For whom the poll tolls

 

          The latest polls show that the Conservatives are now losing their shine, following the Lib Dems down to unpopularity.

          It is interesting that Labour are 10% ahead, when most people agree that Labour left the country in a dreadful financial mess. Most of the problems the Coalition are grappling with come from the inheritance.

            It goes to show that  opposition to government  is not strengthening votes for parties on the side which wants spending cut and the deficit reduced faster. It’s good old Labour who are the main beneficiaries of the Coalition’s little local difficulties. For the purpose of this argument I accept the national opinion polls who do not forecast Respect taking off in other places. Labour agree that the deficit needs cutting, but disagree over the  timing and  magnitude of the adjustments.

            So what has gone wrong?

           The first problem must be inflation. As we discussed yesterday, the Bank’s failure to control price rises has led to a surge in domestic energy, fuel and other prices rises which have badly squeezed family budgets. This cut the purchasing power of family incomes.

          The second is the way the government decided to direct the squeeze  or the cuts to the private sector instead of the public sector for the first two years. Whilst people are  not clamouring for spending cuts, they do not like the high tax strategy imposed to try to pay more of  the public sector bills. Between the outgoing Labour government and the incoming Coalition government, we have seen rises in VAT, National Insurance, Income Tax above the standard rate, CGT, Stamp duty, petrol and diesel tax and others.  The reaction to freezing  the pensioner tax allowance is a symptom of the pent up frustration at ever rising taxes.

              The third is the inability of the government to make decisions that UK voters want, owing to differing views from the ECHR or Brussels. Votes for prisoners, asylum rules, extradition and a host of other matters leave the government looking powerless when the public expect them to be able to tighten things up.

                 Mr Cameron experienced a surge of popularity when he announced his intention to veto the budgetary treaty. Many people would like him to follow that up with demands for a new relationship for the UK. Mr Osborne experienced a surge in popularity when in opposition he announced a tax cut and flat taxes. In government has has been unwilling to follow it up,as he has so much spending to pay for.

                 The Conservative leadership said they wanted to rebalance things – to grow the private sector and get the public sector to concentrate on the essentials. That was a good idea. Maybe they should do more to implement it soon.  People are getting restless at the high taxes and the ever growing tentacles of EU and UK government. The private sector still needs more progress on tax, regulation  and banking reform to be able to grow at faster rates.

 

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218 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    As you say “The private sector still needs more progress on tax, regulation and banking reform to be able to grow at faster rates”. It also needs a proper vision to encourage investment, the rich and the clever hard working into the UK rather push them away as now.

    Your points above are all correct. 1. Inflation (or intentional money devaluation), 2. The attack on the private sector and feather bedding of the bloated and over paid state sector. 3. ECHR & Brussel giving a government that is not democratic & cannot control borders or do thinks that are in the UK’s voters interests. Above all however the lack of a proper small state Tory vision.

    The lack of anyone making the moral case for small government, real growth and lower taxes this is why Cameron lost the election in the first place.

    Osbourne should go for income taxes of circa 20%, no IHT and sensible Gains Tax rates (and after inflation), and a halving of the state sector (so their are fewer to inconvenience the productive) and less money to encourage the feckless.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      When you “more progress on tax, regulation and banking reform” has there actually been any progress here in two years – apart from the abolition of idiotic HIP packs (and not even fully) precious little else. Huge increases in regulation all over the place the no retirement rules, idiotic gender neutral insurance rules, ill & drunk too much on holiday employment rules ……….

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      It is of course easy for parties like Respect to put forward policies knowing they will never have to implement them just like the (not Liberal and antidemocratic) Libdems.

      There is a political danger that Labour will convince everyone that it was “new labour” Blair/Brown and the Tories that caused all the problems and what is needed is “Old Labour”. It is therefore important that Cameron actually starts to do the right thinks for a change, he is running out of time. He needs to make the moral case for a small government – it is that it work and is better for all.

    • Disaffected
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      John, you are still inaccurately portraying Cameron made a veto. He did not. The Treaty is still going ahead. He stopped you and the backbenchers from having an EU referendum. You were done over, accept it.

      The core issue is trust. Tories were given a chance and have now shown that they did not mean a word: borrowing, spending and taxing more than Gordon Brown and to ordinary people to pay for the increase of welfare lifers by 5.2% next week. EU is growing by the day. Iceland stood up to the EU, Britain did not. It watched the EU take over Ireland, Greece and Italy and did nothing. The arrest warrant came into force. It is easier to extradite a citizen to the US than a terrorist back to the country of origin because of the HRA. Cameron was going to change this- he has not. Crime and disorder is a joke under soft on crime Ken Europhillia Clarke. Pensioners get a worse deal than immigrants or asylum seekers who contributed nothing. Mass immigration is still rising not decreasing and there is no chance of Cameron fulfilling this pledge either. Good for Respect I suggest. The World Free Health Service needs reform if nothing else to stop everyone in the world using it at the taxpayers’ expense. Education is being dumbed down. Higher education given freely to EU competitors, cheaply to he rest while the Uk reserves the best places for undeserving people who cannot obtain the grades. A race to the bottom has started with university education (as it did with secondary education) under Mr Willetts. If that was not bad enough Mr Cable has appointed Mr Ebdon (which to my mind questions the role of Mr Willetts at all) a fellow socialist which will ensure social engineering (or the dumbest) get the places.

      Water is very short and the other public services over whelmed. It might be due to the birth rate being four times higher than it was in 1980. However, the priority is a single rail line to cut one journey by 30 minutes at a cost of £32 billion, undoubtedly the cost will be more by the time it is finished. No likelihood of any progress on any key policy issue in the next two years. Still self-serving interest, kudos and greed pervade parliament. Any chance of national interest featuring in the next few years?

      I would not trust this current shower to run the proverbial brew up in a pub.

      Reply: Don’t lie. Cameron did use the veto, and there will be no EU Treaty – there will be a Treaty of the 25 which poses problems for them and keeps us out of it.

      • Boudicca
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Cameron said that the EU institutions could not be used to enforce the non-EU Treaty. He then backtracked and gave them his blessing – but not absolutely nothing in return: no rebate; no concessions – nada, zilch nothing.

        The rest of Disaffected’s post is entirely accurate. What he omitted to mention is that not only did Cameron sign us up to the European Arrest Warrent, so we can be seized and jailed with no evidence submitted, he has recently also signed us up to DNA sharing. This means that some dodgy foreign lab may carry out faulty DNA testing – decide that a British citizen is involved and invoke a European Arrest Warrent – and there is nothing we can do about it.

        DNA is personal information. It is not the Government’s to give away to a foreign power. Cameron is destroying the protection we have had since Magna Carta.

        Reply: I am an opponent of the criminal justice powers this governemnt has transferred, and have highlighted them. Mr Cameron has said he intends to oppose the use of the EU institutions to enforce a Treaty of the 25.

        • Boudicca
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          The transfer of criminal justice – without the promised Referendum – is just one more betrayal by an arrogant political elite. They/you have no right to destroy centuries of civil liberties painfually won by our forefathers.

          For this reason alone, I will never vote Conservative all the time Cameron is leader. He is a Quisling.

      • Bernie in pipewell
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        Am I right in thinking that in order to use “the veto”, an Intergovernmental Conference needs to be convened and the text of a treaty or the text of an amendment to a treaty, needs to be available to agree or veto. Was this the case in December last? I think DC objected to this process proceeding. This objection was then spun into “a veto”.

        Disaffected, I don’t think you lied, furthermore I agree with all you have written above.

        Bernie

        Reply: Mr Cameron did use the veto to stop an EU Treaty – a voting member state can do that at any meeting to discuss such a Treaty, and if it sticks it is a valid veto. This did stick, because there is no EU Treaty.

        • Bernie in Pipewell
          Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          John, thanks for the reply.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 1, 2012 at 5:38 am | Permalink

        He did veto a full treaty of the 25 and in doing so denied the UK voters an EU referendum – which he knew he would give him and the coalition trouble. Is this better than having the referendum?

        Reply: Of course I want a referendum. The government had already said that if they signed the latest Treaty it would not have triggered a referendum, so that would not have been on offer. That is why it was much better they did n ot sign the Treaty.

        • Bob
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          Snake oil, smoke and mirrors.

          What he did amounts to a temporary opt out, which he will surrender at the earliest opportunity, presumably when he lets the EU get us over a barrel on some other issue and it will be presented as the lesser of two evils.

          Maybe we will need to borrow an aircraft carrier (including aircraft) at some point? I wonder what the trade off would be?

          Why is it that people do not trust Cameron?

          Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    From down here it feels like this:
    Petrol is virtually out of the question – we have to think before we use our tiny little car even to get to my mother’s 100th birthday celebrations over Easter.

    My wife fossicks round for food. People often say they don’t eat out, go to the pictures etc. Well that would be a luxury. Thanks to the weather and Chinese clothes, we are nice and warm under our blankets (true). And our savings are on hold – and declining inevitably. There is an air or hopelessness about. The Poles went home years ago and we are filling up with Latvians and Lithuanians and Roma.

    Meanwhile the EU is having its baleful effect. VAT is going up. Sprawling new towns are forecast in our area. Peterborough is already pretty multicultural. We will be soon. And that means no-go areas.

    On a broader front, we have Scotland going for broke. We have Dan Hannan prophesying woe. We have a welfare system which screams for reform. We have a parliament with good people who seem to have simply been bypassed. We have a BBC that is more or less a Labour mouth piece. Even the papers trumpeted Mr Miliband’s remarks last week when it wasn’t the fault of the government so much as Unite, whose (left wing-ed) leader is deeply involved with the Labour party.

    We look forward with trepidation to Labour winning the next election (Harold Wilson) and leading us straight back into the 1970s when we huddled round a fire in the dark.

    Fingers out methinks.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Sound about right. Certainly the BBC is the mouthpiece of the ever bigger state and state sector unions but that it seems is Labour, Libdem AND Conservative policy.

  3. colliemum
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    While I wouldn’t dispute that the economical situation and the obfuscation in regard to taxation, cuts and inflation play a major role in the dissatisfaction people feel and express, you’ve overlooked the major one:
    people are angry at the way this government has deceived us.
    Yes – deceived.
    From the weaselling out of signing of the Lisbon Treaty, from the weaselling words about getting closer or not to the EU, the ECHR, from words about cuts when they are not happening as you keep showing us: people dislike being lied to.
    After 13 years of NuLab spin, people have learned and can discern when the spin masters are trying to soft-soap us with PR.

    The fact that the polls shot up when Cameron took a stand against the EU-leaders, regardless if is was or was not a veto, should have told him, the spin masters and the party strategists something.

    Perhaps you could start telling Party Headquarters and especially Cameron that we’re not stupid, we do not like being lied to. Cameron will never be seen as the bloke who stood on conservative principles, but the Party must find those who can and will, and who will be believed. Someone like you, and certain other colleagues …

    • Morvan
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      You are assuming that Cameron is a Conservative; he is not, just the heir to Blair. Otherwise your comments are spot on.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        He certainly seems to be a Blair II but with bits of Ted Heath too. A good presenter perhaps, even saying the right things sometimes – but not ever doing them alas.

        • Sebastian Weetabix
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

          Down our way he is known as Heath-without-brains. He seems lazy too, thank goodness. Imagine if the gentleman were industrious.

          • lifelogic
            Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

            Did Heath have brains? He never seemed to say anything sensible.

    • Prodicus
      Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Point of info: Brown signed Lisbon, not Cameron.

      Apart from that, I have no comment except that we are totally stuffed and Cameron has done the stuffing. And unlike him, I am a Conservative.

  4. Caterpillar
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    “So what has gone wrong?”

    And can it be corrected by and within the Coalition. If there are MPS on the Coalition benches that believe that it can not, when will they act and leave? There is a country of ~ 60 million people at stake. If they don’t then presumably the assumption is that the economy and people’s lives will actually be OK in three years’ time, and the policies aren’t that bad.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      I want to see:

      Sincerity, Coherence and Achievement.

      I believe Mr Lansley wishes to improve the NHS and start to use pricing as a coordination mechanism.
      I believe Michael Gove wishes to transform education.
      I believe IDS wishes to transform the welfare state through incentivising.
      I believe Mr Pickles is committed to localism.
      I did believe Mr Fox wanted to re-engineer the MoD, I think Mr Hammond can bring this about.

      All these are examples where I think there is sincerity, there is some coherence and worthwhile achievements may be (are being) made. But all these are, rightly, aimed around the public sector. But where is the symmetry? Do I believe Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne really wish to enable free market competition, really don’t want to punish people for doing the right thing? Of course I do not believe this: emploers’ NI hasn’t be sorted out, red tape hasn’t been scrapped to the level that companies celebrate, the BoE/MPC has been allowed to continuously punish savers etc.

      The sincerity, coherence and achievement that is partially demonstrated by the first examples is lost by the major failings towards freeing up the individual.

      (In terms of intelligent flexibility and adaptabiltiy to a changing global environment I am 50:50. Libya reasonably well handled, Latin-America and the Falklands/Anartica not doing well, international development some hits some misses).

  5. norman
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    It’s the economy, stupid.

    • Acorn
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      It certainly is norman. So what has gone wrong? I think George has realised the Brown debt binge problem, was a lot bigger than he realised. In the following link you will see how we got to be the debt capital of the planet.

      The author says just how difficult it is to get simple usable data or charts out of the ONS or the Treasury; unlike the US or Australia. I have to agree. This has led to a poor level of financial journalism in the mainstream media and the high level of ignorance that the 99% of the UK population is kept in.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/everyone-is-starting-to-realize-the-size-of-britains-debt-crisis-2012-1

      On recent evidence, it would not be beyond the realms of possibility, for this coalition government to follow up on its petrol PR crisis / drama, with a currency PR crisis / drama. Then we will be in the soft and brown. Respect fellow Redwoodians (geddit).

      PS. JR, we need to repeal that SI that says you can’t have a political party named “None of the Above”, because I want to vote for them! Yes, I know Terry Marsh changed his name in Basildon / Thurrock; but that was a bit drastic to get a legal protest vote. Wanted: 600 people from the 99%; with normal jobs; to stand for MP at the next general election. The MP job will be part time, a couple of hours a week; so you don’t have to give up your day job. I envisage the first year will entail just repealing large quantities of primary legislation. To be clear, we will be ideologically driven, with very little consultation with anybody. As the King said,

      “A little less conversation, a little more action please
      All this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me
      A little more bite and a little less bark
      A little less fight and a little more spark
      etc .

      • Bernard JUBY
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        I have always maintained that a “None of the above” box would bring MPs on their toes and stop then saying that they “have a mandate from the public when hardly any-one voted for them.

        I also repeatedly question why the UK pays vast, obscene amounts of money to an organisation that cannot balance its books, sacks people who try to point out the errors, corruption is rife and it keeps on mounting up anti-business legislation.
        We should simply state that we won’t pay a penny piece more until that happens.
        Kinnochio, (words left out) was supposed to do something about it but has a track record of joining the club.

        Reply: Any voter can write in None of the above, or cross out all candidates if they wish. A few do this in each election I have witnessed – typically around 5 voters.

        • Bob
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Or you could select UKIP.

          • Perse O'Nally
            Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

            After voting Conservative since I was old enough to vote, I have seen the light and joined UKIP.

            We have been lied to and taken for fools. Never again will vote Conservative while Cameron leads that party.

        • APL
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

          JR: “Any voter can …. ”

          Yes, it’s called spoiling the vote and is not counted.

          What we want is a category of ‘no confidence in any of the candidates’, which is a different thing entirely.

          JR: “… typically around 5 voters.”

          And the reason so few avail themselves of the opportunity is that they know their ballot will be disqualified and their protest ignored.

        • DaveK
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          In 2010 the Wokingham constituency had 505 invalid ballots, so a portion of them could have been spoiled/none of the above.

          http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/excel_doc/0004/105727/GE2010-turnout-admin-web.xls

          Reply: Most of them were discarded as intentions were unclear – more than one candidate marked.

  6. AN Grey
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,
    You usually write some sense, this is the biggest load of tosh that you have ever posted.

    The Tories are doing badly because the public have finally realised that Cameron is a lying spiv and Osborn is a conceited snob. And both are completely useless at their jobs.

    Neither have the country’s interests at heart.

    • dan
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Are you surprised?
      Redwood wants to remain within the EU.
      Thats the be all and end of all of it.
      Is that what the majority now want?
      I dont think so.

      Reply: I seem to remember voting against membership and continuously arguing for a referendum, as well as for a new relationship based on trade

      • dan
        Posted April 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        I recall you recently stating you want to renegotiate our terms of membership. That means we remain within the EU, doesnt it?

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          We don’t need referendums to repeal the Maastricht, Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon treaties (and remember, Lisbon is really a constitution, nor a treaty). There was never a referendum before we signed up so there is no obligation to have one before repeal.

          We need some sort of working relationship with the continental nations and Mrs T’s Single European Act of 1986 offered us that (although I can remember Enoch Powell’s scathing words “You don’t need to share someone’s bath water in order to have a trade agreement with them.”)

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      I do not see much of Osborne so I am not sure if he is “a conceited snob” but the budget was not very sensible or professional and will not encourage growth very much.

      • APL
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        lifelogic: ” .. but the budget was not very sensible ..”

        And it turns out the vat on pies was to conform with EU regulations too.

        Cudav knocked me down with a feather, Gov. Not.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      …..and you were introduced…..when?

      • AN Grey
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        I did not need to be “introduced” to Shakespeare to discover that he is a great writer or to Hitler to know that he is a genocidal maniac. There is evidence enough.

    • Phil Richmond
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      100% – Cameron is a lying deceitful Europhile quisling. He is a disgrace.

  7. rose
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    One thing Conservative backbenchers – like Mr Jenkin and DD – could do, is support the government when it needs support.

    Fine to go after them when they are being weak in Brussels, and borrowing and spending too much. Fine to attack stupid wealth-destroying taxes, and ill-considered foreign intervention. But to join in the BBC/Labour spin over the threat by UNITE to strike over Easter is suicidal. These propaganda coups go into the folk memory, as did the portrayal of “sleaze” under Major, and the damage the other side can then inflict on the country is terrifying to contemplate.

    The government has seen off a strike over Easter by being prepared, and by alerting the public to be prepared. They have taken a hit, spin-wise, but they have prevailed. It is now going to be very difficult for Ed and UNITE to keep to the high moral ground at the same time as calling out the strikers.

    The same can be said for all the rest of the Watson spin – over pasties and toffs. For goodness sake don’t join in. Expose it for what it is: black propaganda. And hit back.

    Or just keep away from the shallow, ignorant gossip of the out-of-touch pampered commentariate, and get on with governing in the national interest. Toppling Messrs Cameron and Osborne isn’t in the national interest. If they fail, we will get something altogether different in their place. Difficult to predict exactly what when one looks at Spain and Greece, and at the sheer numbers of disparate peoples to be fed and housed in contemporary Christendom, but it won’t be an old-fashioned English conservative patriotic administration.

    • Duyfken
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      It appears to me that UNITE achieved so much and at no expense by the government’s incompetence that it would have been needless to call a strike next week (but wait until the next time).

      Rose reminds me of a propagandist:etc etc

      • Bob
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        The mere mention of a strike throws the country into chaos.

    • zorro
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Rose,
      I assume that you are being ironic when you say that the government’s plan (sic) was ‘being prepared, and by alerting the public to be prepared’. If that was a well constructed contingency plan in their eyes, God help us…..

      ‘…but it won’t be an old-fashioned English conservative patriotic administration.’ Another piece of irony? Are you seriously suggesting that this coalition and its current policies and obsessions can be described as such….

      zorro

      • rose
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        1) No irony here. How would you feel if you were facing a petrol famine for Easter, which is what UNITE were planning until Maude shot their fox. No idea how old you are, but if you think a bit of queueing in a car for petrol is inconvenient, think back to what it was like managing ordinary everyday life in the 1970s. If you can’t remember, then ask someone who can. The blackmail and bullying didn’ t stop with the arrival of the eighties, either. It was a long, nasty struggle to get to the comfortable and undisrupted plenty that young and middle aged people take for granted now. They shouldn’t go on taking it for granted, though.

        2)No irony here either, but bitter experience again. This time of the Things Can Only Get Better Brigade. I am suggesting, “Keep a hold of nurse, for fear of getting something worse.”

        Something much, much worse.

        • uanime5
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          There’s no need to remember back to the 1970’s. I believe there was a similar incident in 2000 when fuel refineries were blocked leading to a petrol shortage.

          Besides the Government could have prevented fuel shortages by using army personnel who were trained to deliver fuel. What they did resulted in panic buying and fuel shortages throughout the country. The Conservatives’ mismanagement turned nothing into a crisis throughout the UK.

          • zorro
            Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            Mismanagement pure and simple. It is over…This parliament was the last chance to show that a conservative management of the economy could turn things around. They have flunked it. People are prepared to take a punt. Raising the boogeyman will no longer work…..Cameron in action scares me enough.

            zorro

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            We do need to remember back to the seventies. Brown and Blair got away with caving in a couple of years into their stewardship because they had been left a bulging war chest by Kenneth Clarke.

            Brown wasn’t quite so provident.

          • Mactheknife
            Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            But wern’t Liebour in power in 2000 ? So were they to blame for the blockade and shortage ?

        • History Lover
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          Well said Rose. I remember the 1970s very well, a strike everyday at Rover in Birmingham, no electricity because the miners were striking, shops were only open for a few hours a day because there was no electricity, 15% pay rise one month, wow loads a money, the following month found it very difficult to make the housekeeping money last until the end of the month. The Labour Government made the country bankrupt, however they weren’t aware of it until a Dutch Banker rang them to tell them. Then Dennis Healy was off to the IMF cap in hand. It all ended up with the dead not being buried and filthy piles of rubbish all over the place. That’s what Labour Governments and the Unions are for causing mayhem. As Max Boyce would say “I know because I was there”

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

            Thank you for mentioning the dead not being buried. It had occurred to me afterwards that I should have said “ordinary everyday life and death in the 1970s.” This was the most shocking thing of all about those godless me-first-and-the-devil-take-the-hindmost times. And the picketing of the cancer wards. So shocking that they were more or less excised from the records. Only we who remember remember now. Our children and grandchildren are taught instead about the Selfishness and Greed under the Evil Thatcher.

          • alan jutson
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            H L

            Yes I remember all of that too.

            Perhaps we should have a Party political brodcast of some old film archive, interspersed with the problems of 2010 when the money ran out.
            Maybe it just may trigger a connevction in peoples minds about the record of the Liebour Party when in Government.

            Problem at the moment, the coalition are not doing much better.

          • zorro
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

            I also remember the Barber boom and Heathism. Labour facing the oil shock and Heath’s legacy were left a poison chalice too……Cameron is Ted Heath mark 2.

            Zorro

          • Bazman
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

            You will remember the millions put out of work by a Tory government then and the erosion of rights and wages on those left in employment?

  8. alan jutson
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    John

    Whilst I agree with many of the points you make, the biggest problem the Conservative Party has/had, was is its inability to explain the shear magnitude of the problem in the first place, and secondly an inability to stick to the original sensible proposed plan of 80% cuts, 20% tax rises which proposed to completely cut the deficit within 5 years.

    You have clearly outlined much of the situation here on your site, and offered a whole range of solutions (some popular some not), but your Party has been totally ineffectual, has shown a complete disregard for its core voters, who were at one stage perhaps prepared to knuckle down, once again for the common good, even though many had been prudent all of their lives.

    We have had shifts in policy, “U” turns, excuses, weak management, poor PR, and I do not mean spin or lies, but a sensible and true explanation for government action.

    To us out here it seems that we have had few cuts, but a huge amount of tax and price increases for little gain in the well being of the Country’s finances.

    Labour in contrast have always had better PR, who would ever have believed that Brown very nearly pulled off being re-elected after his complete and utter shambles in office.
    What Labour say may not be true, but is percieved to be by the majority, because it is explained away in simple terms.

    The last 2 years has been an opportunity lost, and before you talk about the Lib Dems holding things back, you must remember that it was Cleggs team that out negotiated the Conservatives, to get that influence in the first place.

    I have to say that without reading your regular blog, I would be absolutely lost as to what the present governments policy is, or where they want to go, given the failure of so many aspects to date.

  9. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    The problems is the quality of governance going on.
    It’s abysmal in many areas.

    We’ve got very young and naive politician running rampant with ideological policies that are getting shoved through without them being properly consulted to make them in any way fit for purpose.

    It’s like the vandals have turned up.

    Add to that that you’ve got the likes of Francis Maude sneering at and dismissing the very highly intelligent people we have chosen to represent us. The seem to be determined to create class war with the professional classes as well as the working classes.
    Here is Francis Maude on newsnight in case anyone has forgotten: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ctyt9KPMMr8

    It’s repulsive.

    To me it feels a bit like pop music in the 80s – we’re getting all these manufactured acts blasted over the airwaves who have no ability to actually connect with people. George Galloway and the SNP have shown how popular politics can become when we have the opportunity to elect people who can connect directly with and command the respect of voters not through body language and deep voices but through what they actually know and say and how they interact with and empathise with people.

    I think and hope that mass online discussion will, in time, help to return politicians to the people because it is a substantial extra too through which politicians can properly connect with their electorate.

    You need to stop blaming other things and start clearing out the non-credible MPs and get them replaced with people we can personally respect.

    • Rebecca Hanson
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      tool not too! sorry (and They not The)

      • Rebecca Hanson
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        p.s. If Francis Maude wants to convince me he’s actually really credible close up he can come round to my house and share some soup and stottie. Or he can treat me to a posh meal out (so long as he behaves himself which would be wise because my husband is harder than he is. 🙂 )

        • Rebecca Hanson
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          From the Conservative’s Website:

          “Francis’ brief includes policy towards what’s now known as the Third Sector, the vital non-governmental organisations such as co-operatives, community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises.”

          Aha – the delivery of the promised ‘big society’…… :-/

        • Bob
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          @Rebecca
          he can treat me to a posh meal out (so long as he behaves himself which would be wise because my husband is harder than he is.

          To much information.

          • Rebecca Hanson
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            oops – I meant hard as in fighting skills!!!!

  10. Sue
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    You’ve lost the Conservative voters because you simply don’t represent our views any longer. You’ve moved left of centre and left behind all the traditional conservatives, most of which are the older generations. We see right through your spin, lies, information omissions and false flag stories. You see, we are not addicted to reality TV, we prefer the reality of life.

    Not giving us a referendum on the EU. That was the beginning of the end for the Conservatives.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Not giving us a referendum on the EU and continuing with “tax, borrow and waste” the every increasing parasitic sector and uncontrolled borders.

    • libertarian
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      100% spot on

      • Phil Richmond
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        Exactly! Roger Helmer summed up the present day Conservative party perfectly!
        No EU Referendum is why I left the party. Dont get me started on immigration, windfarms & defence!

    • Michael Jecks
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Sue, you’re quite right. I was hoping that Cameron and his team would be better than Brown. Brown promised us a referendum on the Lisbon deal – and reneged. Cameron and Haig promised us a referendum and they too lied.
      I trusted Conservatism for most of my adult life. I cannot trust them any more. God knows where to go now – probably UKIP: because they do represent my views.

    • 0a
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Spot on. I wrote to my local Conservative MP at the time of the EU referendum stating that I would be unable to vote for her again if she voted to deny the public a vote. I also ceased to be a party member.

      This is the time for The Conservative Party to reshape the EU – or be brave enough to leave.

      Public spending simply hasn’t been cut, and unions remain a damaging block to change and improvement.

      A family member works in local government and was ordered to find £50k of extra spending to ensure budget was met. Her colleagues spend thousands on alternative poetry meetings. Waste is endemic.

      It IS possible to cut spending and waste in large organisations like local government and the NHS. I worked for company employing tens of thousands of people and they used a variety of approaches to remove waste and excessive spending. It requires strong management and difficult decisions – and dismantling the union barrier to change.

      People, and in particular Conservatives, see working people getting hammered with talk of ‘spending cuts’ that don’t materialise and deny the prospect of meaningful tax cuts.

      The Conservatives need to cut spending and this will allow fair and popular measures – tax cuts for all workers so people take more money home, a reduction in VAT and fuel duty.

      Being permitted to spend more of their own money rather than have the government spend it for them will remind people what The Conservative Party is about.

  11. Nick
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Inflation – Simple solution. Sack Merve. Force the bank of England to sell off all their indexed link gilts that they invested their pension fund into, and say, control inflation or your pension fund goes down the toilet.

    Presentation – You are not presenting the case because politicians and the BBC are constantly lying about the debts. There is a constant stream of debt = borrowing, which ignores all the other debts that have been run up and hidden off the books. Put those debts on the books, and give every tax payer an annual statement of their pro rata share. Then you will get action. You’re also likely to get riots. Imagine being given a bill for 225,000 pounds from the government who’ve been lying about their hidden debts.

    Explain the choices. It’s either spending cuts or more taxation. That is the only choice to cut the deficit.

    • zorro
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      There is another alternative…..

      zorro

    • Bob
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      @Nick
      The inflation proofing of Mervin King’s pension is an admission of failure.

      You are correct the inflation proof investments should be liquidated to give him some incentive to do the job for which he is paid handsomely.

  12. JoolsB
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    With the exception of deficit reduction, can’t see anything Conservative about Cameron and his party. If lifelong Conservative voters/activists like myself will not vote for them again, they must be doing something wrong. Our Liberal PM is too busy promising gay marriage and being over generous with our hard earned money in foreign aid to realise where they are going wrong. Their ratings might improve if they:-

    1) hold a referendum on EU membership
    2) Scrap the Human Rights Act
    3) Sort out the English Question
    4) Reverse the Granny tax
    5) Scrap the Pasty Tax
    6) Do something about the price of fuel
    7) Reduce foreign aid in times of hardship
    8) Replace Clarke with Davis and Cable with Redwood

    They will do none of these of course. Cameron and Osborne are nice guys but sadly they really have shown themselves to be out of touch with the country.

    • George Anderton
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Could not have put it better myself except to add – Sell off the BBC and scrap the TV Licence.

    • Richard Cavin
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I agree with all this. Not sure about the “nice guys” bit, though!!

      • Morvan
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        You have to be very careful calling blokes ‘nice guys’ these days!

    • rose
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      By scrap the pasty tax do you mean scrap VAT? We would have to come out of the EU first. Or do you just mean tax on Supermarkets’ takeaways as opposed to local Fish and Chips ?

      Fuel seems still too cheap round here, judging by the number of unencumbered fit young single people roaring around on their own at loutish speeds, and leaving their loud engines running when they stop to bawl into their telephones. Then there are the young fit people who text the supermarkets just across the road to deliver their shopping to them by lorry. And the young fit people who dial for a motorbike to bring them pizza and booze in the small hours.

    • Neil
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      Add

      7. Scrap all subsidies for wind turbines and
      8. Scrap pointless “Green” taxes

      and I agree 100%

  13. Steve Cox
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I said 6 months ago that the Coalition’s plans were falling apart. It was obvious then that their failure to reign in public spending at all, combined with lacklustre (or no) economic growth, was going to derail the deficit reduction plan. People are smart enough to see now that the planned spending cuts over the next few years will not materialise for fear of further damaging the economic recovery, leaving them with ever higher taxes and a still hopelessly bloated public sector. It’s a tale of all pain and no gain for many voters, so little wonder at how angry they are. The inept mess that Mr Osborne made of the Budget, from Grannygate to Petrolgate to Pastygate, has only angered potential Conservative voters further. For the party that wrecked the country’s economy and left us bankrupt to be 10 points ahead in the polls should be sounding alarm bells in Downing Street similar to those on the Titanic when they had spotted the iceberg. The basic problem lies at the top of the party. Neither Cameron nor Osborne is a ‘real’ dyed in the wool Conservative, they both tend towards the spoilt rich kid, liberal champagne Socialist, Dickie Attenborough sort. Unless they start thinking like ordinary people and empathising with them, they have as much chance of winning the next election as I do of scooping the jackpot on the Lottery.
    (I don’t do the Lottery, by the way! 😉 )

  14. Stewart Knight
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    The third is the inability of the government to make decisions that UK voters want,

    It’s not inability, it’s unwillingness.

    I said exactly this to one of your colleagues six or so months ago at my workplace. The Tory hierarchy are out of touch with the likes, wishes, aspirations and opinions of the vast majority of voters, instead choosing to pander indulge every minority that makes a noise….as is the case with most liberal elite types from Blair on.

    They are going to get thumped at the polls and Labour will be back, then they will get thumped and so on. Thatcher, and the Tories from that era, were popular because they took the decisions to benefit the majority, despite what squealing, breast beating miners and the like scream as they were in reality minority. Cameron needs to listen and act on the majority wish, not the minority and stop concentrating what is seen as a massive amount of time and energy on stupid minutiae put forward by tiny pressure groups, like homosexual marriage. Ignore the ECHR, who have no power, and do what the people who elected you want.

    I somehow doubt that very sound advice will be heeded though when Cameron and Osborne are very good friends with the likes of Mandelson.

    • Morvan
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Birds of a feather flock together – wink, wink.

  15. Patrick
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    It must be clear by now, even to the staunchest supporter of the Conservative party, that two years into their term the prescribed remedy is not going to be administered by this coalition.

    A Cameron/Osborne victory (let us not forget – sharing the proceeds of growth) could not be achieved against a discredited and loathed incumbent Prime Minister so the chance of achieving a Conservative majority at the next election seems slim to impossible.

    I fear we will need to wait for the next incoming Labour administration to finally lose the confidence of the bond market and await another dose of IMF imposed medicine to shrink the state.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    You have summarised many of the reasons for our disallusionment with the Conservative party in government, but I do not expect any changes. We were basically duped into thinking that this would be the government to slash spending when in fact they have spent more but have kept their promise to increase our taxes. They like tax and spend just as much as Labour and the LibDems. They want inflation to ease the debt burden which they intend to double in just 5 years. They care nothing for the prudent only to see them as a source of funds for spendthrifts and the reckless. They play cheap party politics; as so evidently witnessed this week with Maude, Cameron and then others encouraging a totally unnecessary rush to petrol stations creating shortages and higher prices – all because they were caught out in a cash for access scandal and wanted to link a threatened strike by Unite to Labour. The Chancellor has morphed into a mixture of Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson – what a toxic mixture. On the EU as with all governments they have gone native in support of an anti-democratic authoritarian organisation. In short, they have in less than two years shown that they don’t represent my views. I don’t want to vote for a party that doesn’t represent my views. As there is so little difference between the three main parties none of them are worth voting for. You berate people for voting for UKIP but if that is the party that best represents their views why shouldn’t they? I think they probably represent your views too. Before you tell me that this will only lose seats for the Conservatives you need to realise that since the main parties are so alike what difference will it make? I know why you are concerned about that but why should I be?

    • zorro
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Cameron uses the Lib Dems as a human shield for cover for his agenda. There is, I think, no way that a majority Conservative administration led by Cameron would have behaved any differently over the last two years. What would they have done differently in all honesty?

      zorro

    • therealguyfaux
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      “Vote UKIP = Elect Labour” only works (A) for those to whom another decade of Labour inspires thoughts of emigration or suicide and (B) for those who will hold their noses and vote on the basis of “Anything is better than the Two Eds” regardless of their disdain for the Tory top-of-ticket, as if one were put to a choice between malaria and dysentery. Let’s not forget that a well-strategised push by UKIP, assuming they are capable of it, could convince the voters in certain constituencies that even were Labour to achieve the plurality of votes, they might not be able to form a Government in the absence of a majority, and a UKIP-Tory coalition would better serve the nation than either the current one or a LibLab one would, assuming UKIP + Tories > LibDems + Labour. That is to say, UKIP could say that the Tories are going to lack a majority no matter what, but that the Tories’ loss is not necessarily Labour’s gain. I’ve no idea how they pull this one off, indeed whether they can or not, but what have they got to lose? To be the tail that wags the dog seems to have been Nick Clegg’s strategy; what’s to say it couldn’t work for someone else? Someone tell me what I’m missing here.

      • rose
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        It took decades for the Liberals to climb into government on the back of another party’s coat tails – and then it was only done with decades of media bias to puff them up and promote them, a courtesy which hasnt’t been extended to UKIP, the BNP, or any of the English national parties. Try and imagine where the Liberals would be now if the media didn’t keep inviting them on on equal terms with the other two, and referring to the Three Main Parties. Probably where UKIP are – still dreaming,

    • UK Fred
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      This is an interesting comment, Brian, considering what Anna Raccoon published this morning.

    • Epigenes
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Brian. Many Conservatives/former Conservatives think similarly.

      I have always known that the Labour Party did not like me but I’m convinced that Messrs. Cameron, Osborne and Maude feel the same. My former MP, Mrs May who I met several times and campaigned for on the hustings (as I did for Michael Trend) thinks I’m nasty, for some reason. That is what I read although she did not say it to my face.

      Strange that I have never heard her criticise Labour Party members.

      No wonder there is disillusionment.

  17. Alan Wheatley
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I agree with the thrust of the post, and with many of the specifics.

    However, I think disillusionment with Labour and the Conservatives is more to do with a feeling that neither party is much good at doing the main job, running the country.

    In some case, as you rightly point out, this is because the power lies outside the country. In such cases the government (whoever they may be) has to make the case for this lack of power being beneficial to the UK; simply claiming it is “in Britain’s best interests” is vacuous and persuades no one. Where is the vision of the UK prospering financially and socially within the ties of the ECHR and Brussels?

    On the other hand, if the ECHR and Brussels are forcing the UK in a direction that the population can not be persuaded is in their best interests what is the message from the political parties? It oft seems the message is two-faced, and that is certainly a significant, current criticism.

    Even where our government does have the power they are seen to be incompetent, as exemplified by the words of government ministers in relation to the fuel tanker drivers dispute.

  18. stred
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Disillusioned conservatives, English nationalists and UKIP need to get toether to provide a united alternative choice. Most of the awkward squad may be ready to retire in 2 years time. More years of Labour probably.

  19. Bazman
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    The lack of commentary and comment on this site of the tanker divers dispute is conspicuous in its absence as it writes itself. Selfish tanker drivers holding the country to ransom by refusing to work for less pretending that health and safety is their real priority, or the working class fighting back at continually renegotiated contracts lowering terms and conditions in race to the bottom to raise profits? The crux of this is employers wanting skilled work for minimum wage which is rife all over the economy. Should anyone drive and operate a breakdown truck for minimum wage as I have seen advertised? Or work in the metal trades. translation work and many others. They can do it themselves preferably at the weekends at night. Ram it.

    • rose
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for this down to earth comment, Bazman. It reminds us yet again that increasing the population hasn’t enriched it. How could it?

    • uanime5
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Companies wanting skilled labour but wanting to pay them as little as possible is a major problem in the UK that Governments of all shades have ignored for too long. Welfare costs are constantly ballooning because more and more working people simply don’t earn enough to live on. At the same time people are spending less because they have less disposable income, which results in less growth. The Government needs to stand up to big businesses and make them pay a living wage, rather than using tax payer’s money to subsidise poor wages.

      Sadly the current Government is going in the opposite direction and is trying to drive wages even further down with their apprentice wage (a third of minimum wage) and forced labour (forcing the unemployed to work for free). They’re too willing to pander to big businesses and have no concern for the average employee. All this will result in is no growth and increasing welfare costs.

      • libertarian
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        More total and utter nonsense from you uanime5

        Please show one shred of evidence for you assertion that companies want to pay skilled employees as little as possible. You just make up stuff and expect people to believe it marks you out as an aspiring Labour politician.

        I was the keynote speaker at a Worklessness Conference organised by our County Council a week ago. There were more than 20 organisations there with taxpayer funding greater than £1 million each supposedly tackling NEETS . I did a quick add up, The total number of NEETS could have been given £100k each from the money being spent by these quangos . And that my friend is why there is no growth because a) Politicians are taking more and more money from us in taxes and squandering it b) The quangos encourage people to see themselves as victims when in fact there are more job vacancies than there are unemployed

        • rose
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

          And your county council may not spend as much as our city council – i.e. the equivalent of the entire GDP of some whole nations – but I ‘ll wager it is more than it should be spending for its own area’s economic and social health.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          The utter nonsense is coming from you. What uanime5 writes is largely true and the truth hurts.
          In the metal trades the use of agencies and getting the agencies to compete against each other by lowering rates paid to workers has been going on for years, so I ain’t paying more in tax. I am now earning less per hour than I did in 1996. The agencies blame the companies for the cost cutting, which of course they would.
          Some agencies are even asking for skilled work at minimum wage doing shift work! When told to ram it tell you it could be a way into the company. They are in short having a laugh. You need to pull your head out of the ground libertarian instead of attending worthless worklessness conferences where obviously little work is done by busy bodies. I have had some interesting conversations with cappos about rates at some companies who have decided to back down as I am a bit big. Lets put it that way.
          Many companies are run for the benefit of a few and soon as they see anyone else making money from their business try to put a stop to it.
          ” great work can you do it for less?” Is very common way of thinking. When told to no get it done on the cheap. On the cheap not efficiently or any other way. Just on the cheap. Just Ram it you middle class lightweight.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          I recommend you go to job boards and see how much employers are offering for various jobs. This will quickly show you how little employers want to pay. I’d recommend the Job Centre’s own website which is full of jobs paying minimum wage or less.

          http://jobseekers.direct.gov.uk/homepage.aspx?sessionid=c8ef7f83-3280-4267-beb0-372ae69f7055&pid=3

          Let’s see now there are 2.7 million people unemployed and 450,000 jobs so there are many times more unemployed people than there are vacancies. Do try to do basic research before posting.

          Also I suspect those 20 organisations were private companies, not quangos, which are paid huge amounts of money to get people into jobs despite all the evidence showing that they are completely useless. I believe the success rate of the New Deal was 6% and I suspect the Work Programme is far less successful because the economy is worse.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 1, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

        uanime5,

        it is a nice aim to have people’s labour and skills priced at how it is valued, without ‘artificial’ power driving wages/salary up or down. But to get to this I suspect the public sector will have to be slashed, education (at least post primary) to be privatised, minimum wage scrapped, employment legislation scrapped/simplified etc. The closer to an undistorted market, the closer to value based wages … but there is so much to change inorder that people are paid what they are worth.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          You would have Eastern Europeans and other foreign groups working for a pound an hour if what you proposed was implemented. You are away with the fairies with your right wing wet dream.

          • Caterpillar
            Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

            Bazman,

            Thanks for continuing ht thought experiment (not proposal), you have identified that Eastern Europeans and foreign groups would produce the same for less. Presumably this means that the UK is not using its resources as efficiently as possible. The question then becomes how to transfer the resource of the UK to produce something else so that eveyone one wins (this doesn’t need to be zero sum).

            [BTW there is much about me that is not right wing. I am socially liberal, don’t believe in maintaining a hierarchy, I abhor hate groups etc. I like the idea of a better life for all, but wonder about how approaches to coordination bring this about. In a factory planning and coordination approaches are mixed e.g. a master production schedule at a high level and JIT or similar at a low level. I see the market mechanism as a coordination approach that is well proven in some scenarios.]

          • Johnnydub
            Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

            Bazman,

            You can’t keep demonising anyone who has a different opinion to you. You warn of some Armageddon like outcome, yet all you’re highlighting is that people with little or no marketable skills have little negotiating power. So the answer is for them to increase their skills.

            To put a counterpoint – the embracing of your state controlled managed wage environment is the State of California which is going bust despite being the 7th largest economy in the world in it’s own right. Why? Because of public sector wage and pension entitlements.

            Stop talking dogma and actually try to acknowledge that your left-wing economics have their own set of significant issues. Then lets try and work out a middle way ?

          • Bazman
            Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

            They produce the same for less as they are desperate. Five to a room/car living on communal foods such as rice. we are supposed to compete with this?

          • Matt Thompson
            Posted April 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            The solution is to combine that with restricted immigration. A jobs market within the confines of our own population.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted April 1, 2012 at 5:34 am | Permalink

        Let’s go into the real world shall we?
        In India, China, Brasil and Russia, the managerial class and the working class – yes they still have them – are disciplined, hard working and modest in their demands.
        So you respond by saying that our workers (of whatever class?) are underpaid?
        It isn’t a matter of “concern” or “fairness” it is a race to the bottom!
        And the loser is going to grow very hungry.

        • rose
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

          No-one mentions the imbalance in local public spending that has come about through abolishing the family: the manual work done by family and single men on essential maintenance of the public space, and on its supervision – not just police but other attendants like park keepers, bus conductors, etc – have largely given way to the burgeoning industry of nationalised domestic service.

          Women are going out to work for the council, being paid at public expense to do work for other people that used to done by the people themselves, by their families, or their servants. Is this sensible?

          It is called “caring” and “cleaning” by UNISON, but we all know what it really is, and that there are administrative, bureaucratic, and tax overheads, as well as the women’s wages and petrol to pay for from the public purse.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          They are desperate Mike and the levels of poverty and inequality in these countries are a scandal. If you propose that making British people as desperate as these people in one of the richest countries in the world you are on a hiding to nowhere. A race to the bottom is about right and is what you would get. The British peasant cannot exist in this country so without adequate income how would anyone survive?

      • alan jutson
        Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Uanime5

        Assuming “skilled workers” you mean skilled qualified tradesmen with more than just a few years of experience.

        Skilled workers are usually in great demand, reason, we do not have enough of them.

        What we do have, is a surplus of people who think they are skilled, but who really are not.

        I would certainly agree that 40 years ago we had a surplus of skilled workers, who were underpaid because there were so many of them.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          It’s not a skill shortage. If you paid skilled men fifty quid an hour you would have to many. Proving it is a shortage of money.

          • Johnnydub
            Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

            Bazmna,

            That’s a laughable load of cobblers. Try getting a good plumber / decorator / sparky in London without paying £200/day.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

            A bit like a seven quid pint in London. The rest of the country beer is not seven quid plus. Thousands of metal workers, building trades, engineers are being asked to work for little more than minimum wage. Why bother? Many do not, explaining to some degree the skill shortage and the employers appetite for cheap labour.
            Welding, joinery, painting/decorating jobs and many other trades are advertised for a tenner an hour or less. Ram it. I ain’t travelling very far for that and when I do will not be killing myself. Maybe you could explain that minimum wage is about six quid so how can a gas fitter be charging £50+. You know a East European who can do the job for half that as well. See how far and what sort of job you get you get. Your mate used one and…? Ram it.

        • Matt Thompson
          Posted April 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          We have a shortage of companies prepared to train young people up. They want the finished package right away. Shame.

      • Remittance Man
        Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Which bit of capitalism did you not understand? Of course companies want to pay as little as possible for labour (skilled or otherwise) for as much output as they can get – to them Labour is simply another input cost to be balanced against revenue from output.

        In just the same way workers want to get as much as money as they can for as little effort as possible. These are human and entirely natural impulses.

        What actually determines the real price of labour is the conflict of these two competing demands combined with supply and demand.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          Simple Simon met a pieman… Why do think the minimum wage was brought in and how do you hold down a job when you are so simple?

  20. ian wragg
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Cast iron broken promises.

  21. A Different Simon
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Labour did not want to win the last election so did it’s best to sabotage the incoming administrations prospects .

    Now it looks like the Conservatives are doing their level best to make the situation worse before they pass the parcel back to Labour .

  22. Antisthenes
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Before the last general election I was advocating that Labour should be left in government. As it seemed obvious that who ever was left with the mess that Labour made was going to eventually lose popularity. This was because the mess Labour left was going to be impossible to clear up without effecting everyone badly one way or another. Coupled with which the UK is more governed by a remote undemocratic and dysfunctional entity than by it’s own parliament and executive the EU. In this environment any political party in government was looking at eventual electoral suicide. This prediction is starting to be proving true and as growth and proper reform is looking evermore unlikely then it will in 2015 (if the coalition lasts that long) become a fact. Leaving Labour in government would of course made the situation many times worse but it would have highlighted how insane their policies and practices really are. Their tenure would have been relatively brief and the Conservatives would have been returned to power with a clear mandate that allowed proper reform and economic governance. Too late now the next election will return the left to power to complete their destruction of the economy and society.

    • Susan
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Antisthenes

      Yes; this is something I said before the Election. I thought it needed to be proved to the public once and for all that Labour’s policies do not work. The only way I thought this was possible was for them to have won the last Election, destroyed the economy further thus giving the incoming Conservatives a proper mandate for all the necessary cuts that were needed to pull the economy back into balance.

      However, what I had not counted on was that the Conservatives would behave in Government in much the same manner as the Labour Party. Some of this can be attributed to being in Coalition with the Lib/Dems but it would have been a simple matter for the Conservatives being the bigger party to have asserted themselves in the Coalition. But the truth is the leadership of the party do not want them to. I say leadership very loosely because in actual fact there is none. A leader at this time should only be concerned with the needs of the Country and its people, instead what we have is this battle to out fox each other between Labour and the Coalition and the public are merely pawns in this game. We have seen this played out this week with pasties and petrol. The focus of the Government is not on repairing our economy, it is in pleasing different minority groups and appeasing anyone who might give them bad headlines.

      Mr Redwood asks what is going wrong for the Conservative Party, it would be easier to say what is going right because just about everything is wrong.

  23. English Pensioner
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I think the problem is Cameron. He has all the characteristics that party members sought when he was elected, looks, charisma, an attractive wife, and all the attributes which look good in PR.
    Unfortunately, he has shown that he doesn’t have any beliefs or principles. For all the talk he’s achieved very little, public expenditure is still rising, there have been no real cuts, only a lot of noise from the Trade Unions claiming there have. The Quangos are still all there, red tape is flourishing, we are still obeying the EU dictats, the Human Rights Act remains unchanged, the NHS is declining. Osborne is no better, he’s seen as a mate of Cameron but has no particular financial skills, so is presumably reliant on Treasury Civil Servants for advice.
    Indeed I can see very little difference between them and Labour who would have been forced to make some cuts, probably elsewhere, but still equally ineffective.
    In spite of all the PR experts in the Conservative Party, they’ve still managed to make a hash of things.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Ep

      Same thoughts as mine, but rather better crafted.

  24. Leslie Singleton
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    To think that a party which went from prudent to reckless, destroying our finances in the process, should be ahead. Horrors! Beats me why Cameron cannot see that his sucking up to the Liberals loses more votes than it gains. He should tell Clegg that things are going to change, effective immediately. Clegg has no more cards to play. We have to get some Conservative policies in and some wet ones out with only a couple of years for changes to take effect. Slightly off message: Please include the iniquitous fishing licence fees (though Cameron not responsible for them admittedly) in future lists of taxes. These place barriers in the way of teenagers harmlessly fishing which otherwise might help in a small way to give them something to do in face of joblessness.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Cameron can’t do anything to Clegg. He needs the Lib Dem’s support if he wants to pass any of his bills.

  25. waramess
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Who knows what the cause is. Galloway’s Mrs might have a lot to do with the following he has in Bradford West, the swing to no voting might be something to do with the political drift to socialism or it could be the electorate’s disinterest in politics.

    Cameron is a marketing man so must be suspected of deliberately saying what the right wish to hear and doing what he considers to be the most expedient, or perhaps more generously saying what he would wish to happen but is unable to do so because of Civil Servant obstruction.

    To point to the lack of support for UKIP is to dodge the issue. UKIP is a relatively unknown party to the electorate who perceive it to still be a one issue party and the lack of migration by politicians from the main parties will leave this perception to their disadvantage.

    Somehow the right need to do something other than talk and complain. The electorate can see that socialism is not all milk and honey and regretably they will see the Conservative inability to turn the economy around as being the Conservatives shortcoming.

    Plays nicely into the arms of the socialists who now behave as if the shocking state of the economy has nothing to do with them.

    Let the right have a go. Raise funds and start a party based on sound economics where they are able to show the electorate that socialist policies of redistributing wealth from the productive part of the economy to the less and non productive parts is beggering the nation.

    Let them see that unemployment levels of fifty years ago that were only ten percent of those we see today are all a part of the failed social experiment and that our vast balance of payments deficit is the price we pay for allowing the productive part of the economy to become uncompeteive as a result of the burden of the state.

    Socialism does not work, not Ed’s brand nor Dave’s brand nor indeed the EU brand but the electorate are still not offered a choice because……who knows whether it is fear of starting another party and the risk that goes with it or whether ur right wingers really thing they can change from within;.

    Or would it just be too much bother?

    • uanime5
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      “Let them see that unemployment levels of fifty years ago that were only ten percent of those we see today are all a part of the failed social experiment and that our vast balance of payments deficit is the price we pay for allowing the productive part of the economy to become uncompeteive as a result of the burden of the state.”

      50 years ago the UK was a major manufacturing nation with a much smaller population so it’s no surprise that unemployment was lower. Unemployed only rose after Thatcher destroyed our manufacturing base in her campaign to destroy the trade unions. The current high levels of unemployment result from a capital policy (maximising wealth), not a socialist one (maximising the number of people in work).

      Also socialism seems to work very well in Germany, while capitalism is causing a lot of problems in the US.

      • Bob
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        The unions were responsible for the collapse of UK manufacturing, and Bob Crow is making a good case for more DLR style driverless trains.

        If you constantly hold your employer to ransom, don’t be surprised if they look for ways to replace you.

      • libertarian
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear how many times do you have to be told something ( with links to the evidence) Manufacturing grew under Thatcher by 12% , The UK is now the worlds 8th largest manufacturing nation, Germany is NOT socialist it is ruled by a coalition of the centre right CDU ( conservatives)and the centre right FDP(classic liberals) Whilst currently the USA has its most socialist leaning President ever. You really are a berk of the highest order uanime5

        • Bazman
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          The problems of Thatchers attack on the working person exist to this day. If you have ever read the book The ragged Trousered Philanthropists. You will see that this is really want you would like to back to with your right wing fantasy. Hard won entitlements will not be given away nor should be. Yes entitlements like healthcare, decent housing and food.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          The UK is the 8th largest manufacturer because Thatcher destroyed so much manufacturing that the UK slide down the world ranking. More than 20% of GDP used to come from manufacture, now it’s about 10%.

          The German centre right is far more left wing than the US Democrats. Next you’ll be telling me that the Democratic Republic of Korea AKA North Korea is the most democratic republic in the world because of its name. You really should base you arguments on real evidence.

          Also Theodore Roosevelt was far more of a Socialist than Obama as he broke up all the American Trusts. Had he been a capitalist he would have protected them.

          • Matt Thompson
            Posted April 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            Actually most of it was lost under Labour….

      • forthurst
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        “Unemployed only rose after Thatcher destroyed our manufacturing base in her campaign to destroy the trade unions.”

        At that time the Trade Unions and their Shop Stewards had had a very long run, indemnified as they were by their control via the purse of the Labour party, of destroying their members’ jobs by insisting on trade demarcations, retrictive practices and the privilege of striking, any sort of strike, at the drop of a hat. This sadly played into the hands of our competitors who were not so constrained. It was called the British disease and unfortunately it was fatal for much of our engineering industry.

        • rose
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          And don’t forget the “wildcat” or unofficial strikes, and the “flying pickets” or secondary strikes.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          Competitors like France or Germany. Or competitors like India and china? We cannot compete on modern working practices and certainly not in a race to the bottom.
          Many tradesman lost their jobs for whatever reason, and being clever people adapted by taking jobs in call centres and the like which where also moved abroad not for reason of militant unionism thats for sure.
          The attacking of men in their late fifties for being unemployed in areas where there was once work. Work done by men with families produced in good faith by by this work is not acceptable and is usually put forward by middle class political simpletons supported by the middle class social security system. People not unlike yourselves. Ram it.

      • Epigenes
        Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        How is socialism doing in Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain?

        How is it doing in Cuba? What about the former Soviet Union and East Germany? They collapsed because of it.

        Only joking, uarenice. I know that you are posting one of those April fool things. But throw away the Cuban watch because it is a day fast again. Get a Breitling, Rolex, Omega, Seiko…..

        • Bazman
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          Unfortunately for your beliefs we do in fact live in a very socialist country and a good thing it is too! Would it be a better place to live without healthcare or housing? I mean living in you silly right wing fantasy which in reality you would not last five minutes in.
          In the watch stakes you have just named the perfect middle of the road aspirational watches preferred by the middle classes. Average mass produced quality I’m afraid, even Rolex. I’m a 10 year old plastic Casio man myself, but own a Tag Heuer to impress people like yourself and you are impressed. I see it in the pub. I wear the Casio for any serious business with serious people. Less twatery.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          The fact that you can’t tell the difference between Socialism and Communism shows just how little research you’ve done.

          Cuba is doing fine and has a better health system than the US.

          As Fidel Castro once said “They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia, and Latin America?”

          How is capitalism doing in Africa. I hear it’s only benefiting non-African countries.

          Reply: Capitalism is not given a lot of chance in the autocracies and single party dominated democracies in some African countries.

  26. JoolsB
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I thought £9,000 tuition fees were bad enough where the Tories were happy to see only youngsters in England, the very people who vote for them, be the only ones to have these debts hanging over them for years to come as if somehow Cameron & Osborne were unaware that such a ‘trivial’ amount could make any difference to the apartheid started under Labour but the Granny tax was unforgivable. My neighbour worked all his life, ‘did the right thing’ and now aged 65, his private pension has taken a hit and to get the best of a bad deal it’s non-index linked which means it will never go up whilst everything else will and yet from his £13,000 combined state & private pension, he still has to pay £500 in income tax and £2,100 in council tax because for the first time in his life he has some small savings which are being eaten away on living costs. He’s left worse off than those on pension credit who pay neither and yet by freezing his allowance, Osborne has decided that a larger portion of any future increase in state pension will go straight back to him. Incredibably, we have a ‘Conservative’ Chancellor and a Government which is carrying on where Labour left off and are still punishing the thrifty whilst rewarding those who haven’t bothered. How can it be right that someone can receive £26,000 in benefits free of any taxes and yet my neighbour who’s provided for himself is clobbered in such a way?

    Yes, voting UKIP may let Labour in but Cameron has the power to stop them in their tracks if he and his party will start acting like Conservatives. I despise Labour and everything they stand for and God help us if they get in power again but if they do it will be because the public can see no difference between the two parties.

  27. Bernard Otway
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    The system needs to be broken before it can be fixed [unfortunately] and my party since 1958
    lost me when I as an individual followed some young canvassers before may 6 in a leafy surrey suburb of South London [tory ones] and asked what their answers were to certain questions,especially the EU and Immigration,I VOTED UKIP ON MAY 6 AS A RESULT,
    it is NON NEGOTIABLE that at least 25 seats were LOST that would have been Conservative
    because of the UKIP vote,therefore instead of 306 seats at least 331 [NO COALITION].
    QUESTION John WHY ? in your opinion.In my daily enterprises I spread the stuff I have said above to at least 10 DIFFERENT people. etc etc

  28. Neil Craig
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Ut is not that anybody supports labour, as demonstrated on Thursday, but that the “opposition’s” traditional function is to soak up votes among thise sick of the government.

    Our democracy is in such a state that everybody recognises how awful all the conventional parties are. If democracy falls it will be the fault of the political establishment. If it falls to the “left” it will be the public who pays & it is clearly the objective of the media controllers, who poured an enormous amount of effort into promoting the “Occupy” nihilists and censored the arrests of hundreds of EDL supporters for doing nothing and censor any free market advocates from the airwaves.

    No government which, in an era of 7% annual growth in the rest of the world, is so useless that it keeps us in recession is worthy of support. The Tories know perfectly well that we are in recession because of their Luddism & are deliberately keeping it that way.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, and the EU don’t have 7% growth. It seems only the developing countries are growing fast.

  29. Bernard Otway
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    John ,what do you think of Simon Hefer’s full page in today’s Mail,please answer honestly
    from the heart and head.

  30. Taxed to Death
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Look at the Bradford result,Galloway has tapped into the mood of the voters.All the three main parties are the same,All left of centre, soft and cuddly.There is hardly a policy difference between any of them.There are two ways out of the deficit,cut Government spending,increase growth.Neither has been done.The deficit will be larger in 2015 than when Osbourne started in 2010. You can’t have an economy where 40% work for the State either local or national Government.Until somebody can be found to grasp the nettle and cut the creeping power of the State to govern every aspect of our lives, and cut the, ” my rights init”attitudes of the populace the UK will contiune its decline.We are drifting towards an European Super State despite all of the political bluster from sceptic MP’s and nobody seems to care. If voters at large can see this,we can only assume our political masters choose not to,but there again they are not living in the real world,just the “Westminster Bubble”.

    Reply The debt will be bigger in 2015, but not the deficit – that will be lower.

  31. Woodsy42
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I think you have also missed the fact that Cameron seems to spend large amounts of energy on issues that ‘middle England’ find irrelevent or downright objectionable. They may seem trivial in Westminster but every time Cameron’s government witters on defending a ban on wearing crosses, supporting gay Marriage, selling off green spaces for development, supporting carbon (ie fuel) taxes, hitting the church, allowing councils to continue to control village fetes and entertainments, supporting unfair extradition, supporting nannying price hikes like tobacco and alcohol and controls on salt, sugar and school meal contents he sheds yet more core support.
    People want to be left to get on with their lives, they are content to ‘live and let live’ without criminal sanctions on their thoughts, and want politicians looking after their interests like crime, security and incomes while keeping out of the details of their lives and thoughts. We are weary and fed up with being micromanaged.

  32. Credible
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    John,
    Have you actually gone out and asked ordinary people why they are fed up with this government? I don’t just mean the sorts of opinions that are posted on here, but the more typical person who is less engaged in politics.
    Let me say how I feel.
    I am interested in voting for a party that presides over a secure ecconomy, rewards hard work and supports business and builds a society where it is better to stand on your own two feet rather than sitting around exploiting the state. At the same time I want to see policies that are fair and protect the weakest and where there is still a place for cultural development and protection of our beautiful countryside.
    This is what I thought the Conservatives stood for.
    What I see is this:
    A focus, almost to the point of obsession, on the very wealthy. Those that can bring in the biggest donations decide policy. Those that are rich that avoid tax are let off. It is sleazy and self serving. At the same time banks are not lending to small businesses and the private sector apart from the super-rich are struggling.
    An ecconomy that is not doing well. Although a very bad legacy was left by the previous government, it looks to me like George Osborne doesn’t know what he is doing.
    A party that puts more energy into scoring political points rather than looking to serve the country. Idiotic rhetoric on the tanker dispute with no consideration of the consequences. What will this government do when we have a real crisis?
    The budget – it rewards the very rich at the expense of hard working families and pensioners. We will suffer from the child benefit cut, and whilst it can be argued that we earn a fair bit, we get less, while someone on £150,000 or someone with no kids gets more. Again, it looks like this government doesn’t care about ordinary hard woring people and are in it for themselves. More sleaze in the back to work programme.
    On the NHS – there was a 500,000 signature petition delivered to the House of Lords, the risk register was not released (agan it looks sleazy and self serving), professionals were not listened to. This has not gone down well with most people I know. The pre-elsection ‘no top down changes to the NHS’ promise stinks.
    Our local school is getting so little funding that it will threaten teaching posts. You may say that we need to cut the state – and I agree saving need to be made – but a decent education is vital. After all you have benefited from that.
    All in all, many people see a government that is out of touch with ordinary hard working people and is only interested in their mates the very rich donors.
    (On Europe – very important though it is – I don’t think many people are bothered)
    At present, I don’t feel that I can vote Conservative.

    Reply: Yes I regularly knock and doors and ask for comments. I did so again this morning. The Lib dem voters think the Lib dems have not “moderated” the government enough, and the Conservative voters think the Lib dems have had too much influence for the worse.

    • Credible
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Fair point and pleased to hear that you’re listening. Seems then that you’ve moved too far left for some people and too far right for others. That implies you should be occupying the golden middle ground for votes, except that you (the cabinet) come over as corrupt, smarmy and self-interested.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      No surprises there and no doubt you are thinking that since you are in a coalition you must be getting it right! Bury your head in the sand if you wish but wait for the elections and see how you fare. Galloway has hit the nail on the head about the three main parties, people are sick of all of them and will either not vote or vote for a smaller party or independent candidates.

  33. Scary Biscuits
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    The truth is that Cameron and Osborne are making the Conservative Party unelectable.

    It wasn’t Thatcher, IDS or even Redwood who made the Tory brand ‘toxic’. It was Heath, Major and now Cameron. Heath was so arrogant that when he lost in 1970 he stayed on believing his party was the problem not him. Cameron repeats this exact same conceit.

    After Major’s major defeat the ‘modernisers’ took control of the Conservative Party’s back officers. From their new redoubt they briefed against a leader and a policy platform chosen by party members and made Hague’s difficult task impossible. They did the same to IDS whilst being careful to ensure that the ‘right wing’ took the blame.

    Worse, Osborne has copied all the bad bits of Blairism: the sofa government of a small cabal, the sleazy cosying up to rich people, the government by press release, the continuous campaigning, playing badmington, instead of governing. The good bits of Blair (being unashamedly populist, championing private industry and reconnecting the grassroots whilst challenging the party grandees) have been ignored.

    In government he has been worse still, spinning that he is cutting spending whilst actually increasing it. The resultant tax rises he was forced to introduce in his last budget were bound to upset many people. But again, he blames this on the LibDems for ‘leaking’ not realising that it is due to his own failure to reduce public spending (something the LibDems signed up to).

    This lot isn’t even good at PR. They have turned what would have been a very unpopular strike by Unite into a massive own goal.

    Redwood et al need to go back into Maastrict mode, using their votes in Parliament to oppose the Cameroons and their reality distortion field. The parliamentary Conservative Party is much less wet than it used to be and they may be successful this time. Indeed they cannot lose as the Conservative Party cannot win under Cameron.

  34. Frank Salmon
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I get the impression Osbourne and Cameron like to keep spending in the hope that economic growth will nulllify the amount of interest that will have to be paid in future years. They, like Labour, think that they will achieve this impossible dream with high borrowing and high taxes. The fact is, we need proper growth in the economy rather than a subsidy for the status quo. We’ve got the same old Europe, the same old regulations, the same old unions, the same old public services, same old benefit society. We will end up like Spain……..

  35. Edward.
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    A general election in 2010 but nothing changed, the faces in the powerless executive have morphed into Tory/libdem versions of the previous lot and this is the way it will remain. Power, real power no longer resides in Westminster – which is reduced to a talking shop full of pompous windbags and who are [nearly – with some exceptions John] all on the make.

    The Berlaymont Kommissars, run the show, until we tell them to go forth and get lost, the drift will continue and we are already down to ‘third world status’ – it took only 40 years of European rule [divide and conquer] – when the lights start going out as they will do [as soon as 2013], then we will know what living in the third world really is, God knows we are nearly there.

    This island nation – is no longer a sovereign nation, indeed we are now a maritime outpost of the European Empire of the Brussels kleptocrats and our political and social elite are in cahoots [as they always were] with their European cousins.
    The European elite, maintain their hegemony through the apparatus and rigid control via the bureaucracy and government by diktat in Brussels.

    All the battles and constant striving of the British Army and Navy have fought to keep the Euro-maniacs from our shores – to be undone by our own people, what would those great names; John Churchill, Arthur Wellesley, Horatio Nelson and WS Churchill think now I wonder, doubtless they are spinning in their graves.

    Our spineless political claque, a curse on all of you, Tory, Labour, Lib dem and though I dislike Galloway with an intensity which boils – how he ‘cocked a snook at’ Westminster yesterday.
    By all the Saints, how we need more of that even if it brings the likes of some like Galloway back into Parliament. Better a HoC full of independent MP’s than the feeble and wan lackeys we have now.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Given that only 5 out of 27 EU countries are having major problems with their economy it doesn’t seems that the EU is the problem but the poor management by national governments. Most likely any problems with the UK’s economy is due to the UK’s Government rather than the EU.

      • Bob
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        @uanime5

        Are you suggesting that we should replace Cameron with an EU technocrat?

        • rose
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          Or what about a US one? Irwin Steltzer might be my candidate.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          I’d prefer a UK technocrat but I doubt an EU technocrat will be worse and they might even be able to reduce borrowing.

  36. dennis ward
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    “Most of the problems the Coalition are grappling with come from the inheritance.”

    Quite a lot come from incompetence as well.

  37. MajorFrustration
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Agree with your comments but please dont forget the other promises such as a “bonfire of the quangos” and a reduction in red tape. Perhaps its time for that group of 80 or so right wing MPs to do something, after all time is ticking away and at some time you will have to face the voters. Maybe its time for David Davis.

    • Peter T
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      No “Maybe it is time for David Davis” about it. It is time for David Davis and for John Redwood as Chancellor. If we want to win an election we must ensure that those who are running understand the electorate and that the electorate can understand those who are running. This cannot happen when one group (the politicians) inhabit a different world from the other.

  38. Richard1
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Conservative Ministers should take a deep breath and go full steam ahead implementing Conservative policies. That means cutting harmful high marginal taxes, simplifying the tax system, cutting wasteful expenditure and taking a robust line on the EU. Let the Lib Dems object, and the public will be clear who stands where. It is a waste of time trying to persuade left-leaning voters to vote Conservative by posing as anti-rich or anti-business. The Left will always find policies to shriek objections to, however reasonable. The Granny and pasty taxes are an example. Best to use the one opportunity the Conservatives have in government to do the right thing and be judged on the results.

    • zorro
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      If only….they have blown it. They will continue with more of the same in this 5 year coalition experiment.

      zorro

    • uanime5
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      You do realise that this is impossible under a democratic system because the Conservatives don’t have enough seats in Parliament to pass any law they want. Expect the Conservatives to be thrown out of Parliament is they try to stage a coup.

  39. AJAX
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    #1 The dim mainstream voter wants the credit carded Noughties’ back & hopes the (now empty philosophical husk of the once mighty) Labour Party will give it to them so that they can go on another non-stop spending spree fuelled by thin air again – that kind of activity is habit forming & many of them want it back. They neither understand or care about the damage the New Labour project did, & Cameron’s useless government hasn’t rammed the message home with the venom required in its public pronouncements to educate them on the issue as to how badly wrecked HMG’s financial state is after Gordon Brown’s captaincy

    #2 The public doesn’t like Cameron & now they distrust him personally on moral probity

    #3 The Conservative government that Cameron has formed looks jaded & rudderless after only a short time in office

    #4 The only reason that the opinion polls aren’t flashing red totally for the Tories is that New Labour (let’s call it what it still is in reality) is little more than a burnt out PR act itself now

  40. Robert
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Compared to the 2010 general election at the Bradford by-election both Labour and the Conservatives lost 10,000 votes. Labour lost just over half its vote but the Conseravtives lost three quarters of its vote. Give the voters something to vote for at the next election and the Conservatives could be annihilated.

    I still cannot understand how we can have a ‘relationship’ with the EU. You must know it is either in or out by now. We are either run by Europe or we are out. There is no halfway house. As your party wants Britain to stay in the EU we will carry on being run by Europe.

    • joe ashley
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      campaigning for referendums on the EU is pointless
      new raft of uk laws should be sort
      * undesirable act (residents who know the rules and the consequences will usually more than most will respect the rule of law and be good citizen for the UK. no right of appeal)
      *st George,st Andrew,st Patrick and st David bank/national holiday
      *suspend the WTD. it is our basic right to work when and where ever we like. plus the tacho/driving laws cover this WTD anyway.
      just a starter should show who is in government can govern

      • uanime5
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        If you suspend the WTD then the employer has the right to force their employees to work more than 48 hours per week. How is that beneficial for the average person?

        • Tedgo
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          An employer cannot force anyone to work more than their contracted hours, like 37.5 or 40 hours per week. You just need a bit of courage to resist your employers unreasonable demands.

          Expecting people to regularly work more then their contracted hours is bad management.

          • uanime5
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

            Given that 2.7 million people are unemployed you’re not in a good position to argue against an employer who can easily replace you.

            The whole point of the WTD is to protect people from bad management.

        • A Different Simon
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          I agree that continual long hours are unhealthy .

          They seem to have had a cumulative effect on me .

          Burn-out is a real danger and diminishes your ability to earn a living . Gotta pace ourselves especially as our political masters want to keep us in harness into our seventies .

          People at the bottom of the foodchain might have to work longer hours for no other reason than to pay the bills . Would heads of hotel firms and catering companies like their children treated the way they treat others ?

          I think this is more a reflection on the cost of living than wages .

          The call to work harder and longer is a confidence trick , the carrot will constantly remain tantalisingly out of reach .

          People would be more inclined to accept changes if they had more time to spend with their families and on their own projects .

        • libertarian
          Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          Not true, employees are contracted to work the hours it stipulates in their contract when they joined and signed it. Normally a contract of employment will also include a clause allowing the employer to ask you to work overtime under some circumstances and normally paid at a premium. Contract law ( prior to WTD) states that the requirement for occiassional paid overtime must be fair and proportional i.e. not a permanent requirement.

          And of course there are plenty of jobs about so if you don’t like working for your current employer quit and negotiate a better contract with a new employer

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            As Bazman seems to be able to do.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

            Many people are unable to do this for a variety of reasons. You are saying that there can be more cleaning jobs than cleaners. A silly right wing fantasy. Self employed accountants yes. The rest of the population are being turned into wandering minstrels.
            My last employer and another comapny I worked for have closed down and moved abroad to lower wage costs and no we cannot compete on wages with Eastern European countries. My other jobs have been temporary either directly to the company or through agents. I currently work for a local company earning the same as I did 16 years ago. Other companies either pay the same or a little more, but you would have to travel, so your “get another job” song is just that. I made hay while the sun shines and lowered my living costs so employers or the state cannot control me by threats. Maybe some sort of tax should be put on plebs like me who who have a war chest?

          • rose
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

            I should expand on my own pithy comment: it was meant as a compliment to you personally, Bazman, for overcoming the difficulties posed for all of us by the mass importation of cheap labour. Overcome in the admirably defiant and independent way that you describe on the blog from time to time. I am not suggesting everyone else has what it takes to do what you have done, or is in a position to be able to do it.

            And I did not say this was a desirable state of affairs for you to be in, or for any of us. However, I am delighted you have a war chest, and long may the treasury keep its hands off it. I am not in favour of a wealth tax. Money that has been providently saved in self denial from income that was taxed at the time it was earned, should not be taxed all over again. My right wing fantasy is that we might perhaps agree on that one.

          • uanime5
            Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

            Without the WTD employer can make a contract that compels the employer to work over 48 hours per week. Thus employees never have to work overtime because their contract forces them to work so long.

            The reason there are 2.7 million unemployed is because there aren’t enough jobs about. You’re comments about quitting and finding a new employer show just how out of touch you are with the current jobs market.

    • dan
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      ssshhhh, thats the inconvenient fact Redwood ignores.

  41. Normandee
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    In my appeals for positive action against the European colonisation, you constantly refer to me as a UKIP supporter. Lets be clear, I am not, but they are a means to an end. Changing vehicles to account for a change in terrain is sometimes advisable, it doesn’t have to be a permanent change, only whilst it suits. As for my true colours, they remain blue, but I do not recognise some of the shades of blue that are being worn by the party at the moment.
    Some of our leaders look far too comfortable in the Yellow and Blue ship of state.

  42. Adam5x5
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    JoolsB had it spot on earlier with what the Conservatives need to do to win back the public support.

    Interesting that you blame the bank for high inflation and fuel prices, rather than the punitive “green” taxes.

    On another note – is there any reason my post on the previous thread hasn’t appeared?
    I didn’t think i said anything offensive, or has it just got lost in the internet ether?

  43. nicol sinclair
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Please send the link to your blog to Conservative Head Office. For their convenience, in case any of them are interested, it is: http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2012/03/31/for-whom-the-poll-tolls/

    As for reducing the deficit, whilst that may be important to the chattering classes, more important surely is to reduce the DEBT…

    I am another who has always been a Tory (actually a Conservative & Unionist), who has become utterly fed up with politicians of all hues.

    Nevertheless, I find your comments thought provoking even if they simply drive me to despair at the lack of progress that has (or has not) been made over the past two years. To Osborne & Cameron: “Get a grip and, if necessary, move right and ditch the Limp Dems”. As stated above, there is a very good reason why George Galloway got in. Too few were attracted to the alternative – yes, they’re all the same and might as well be one party.

  44. joe ashley
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    just be honest or have the government declare we are governed by EU committee.
    in my experience committees always fall out due to members self interested .
    the electorate votes for a government to provide stability and rule of law for the masses
    campaigning for referendums on the EU is pointless
    new raft of uk laws should be sort
    * undesirable act (residents who know the rules and the consequences will usually more than most will respect the rule of law and be good citizen for the UK. no right of appeal)
    *st George,st Andrew,st Patrick and st David bank/national holiday
    *suspend the WTD. it is our basic right to work when and where ever we like. plus the tacho/driving laws cover this WTD anyway.
    just a starter should show who is in government can govern

  45. Gideon Mack
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    What’s gone wrong? – you have – you don’t listen locally or nationally – lucky for you that the Labour Party is currently led by a boy out of his depth – Wokingham Borough Council is a great example of the Conservative’s future – May 2012 will be a telling month for you.

  46. Gideon Mack
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I refer to the local elections in May.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Remember that you (nearly) won the general election on the basis that you’d do a little bit more than Labour to cut the government’s appalling budget deficit, an artificially heated contest over just a few billions a year. You didn’t prepare the public for what would really need to be done. I even warned about this from the floor at a public meeting during the election campaign, although not in the hearing of our local Tory MP because she was too busy elsewhere to attend the only public meeting held in her own constituency.

    Reply: I spent much of the election warning my voters about the poor state of the nation’s finances and urging urgent action to tackle it.

  48. pipesmoker
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    You ask, “So what has gone wrong?”

    The answer is the cons, deceits, lies and list of broken promises made by politicians of all the major parties including your own. There are many but top of that list for me is our membership of the European Union and the underhand way numerous promises for the public of this country to have a say have been made, then denied, but even worse that were we to have one the question would be fixed to get the desired result.

  49. Tad Davison
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I think the issue is one of leadership John.

    George Galloway showed how people are crying out to be led by lions, not by donkeys. They want something different in the form of strength. A political commentator said recently that all three mainstream parties represent more or less the same thing, and basically have a social democratic stance. That type of politics got us into this God awful mess, and it’s going to take something a whole lot different to get us out of it. A special brand of politics that puts Britain first. Where goodness and endeavour is rewarded and encouraged, and where wickedness is properly chastised.

    I don’t belong to the breed of wishy-washy, bleeding heart liberals and lefties. I have utter contempt for them in the most part. Nearly all of society’s and successive government’s ills, can be traced back to them. It is reported, that even school kids are now being advised not to have best friends, but to treat everyone equally. I am wholly in favour of a right-wing revolution in the UK, to get back to some form of sanity.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  50. james c
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    The Tories are unpopular because the economy has stalled and,nearly two years after coming to power, they are no longer able to blame the previous government.As for the idea that energy prices, that depend on global commodity prices, are in the control of the UK authorities-what a joke.

  51. forthurst
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    The private sector is taking the strain. Young and increasingly not-so-young people cannot get on the property ladder because the government is conniving with the BoE to support the property bubble whilst banks are consequently loth to lend without 20% deposits. Businesses are not able to borrow to expand because banks are still encumbered with having to purchase government debt and to nurse balance sheets still sequestered with uncollaterised loans and toxicity (and why does the FSA still not act to prosecute for criminal misrepresentation those who supplied it? You can’t pretend you don’t know about it now!). Instead of interest rates regulating activity, it is being contrained either by rationing or penal rates which are totally unrelated to the discount rate.

    There can be no progress until the property bubble is deflated; this may cause some banks to require BoE support again, but that is what the BoE is for. The interests of unsecured shareholders and banksters should come last when the the cost is a moribund economy dependent on fake public sector jobs to achieve ‘growth’.

    • forthurst
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m no politician, but I would have thought the secret of good politics is make some friends even if it means making enemies in the process. I think Mrs Thatcher understood this. Typically the ‘enemies’ should be those who undeservedly benefited from the Blair/Brown years, but are continuing to do so at the expense of the rest of us.

      Meanwhile, the Frankfurt school rules: gay marriage with its deliberate affront to Christianity and normality as well as locking simple folk up for thoughcrime alienate normal English folk and will not win you many friends except in North London. People have instincts which cannot be set aside by grooming and there will be a backlash.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. The “march through the institutions” is nearly complete. But they failed to reckon with the resolve of an Englishman. This story ends with traitors swinging from Traitors Gate!

  52. Iain Gill
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    The fourth is that they are clearly much the same as the old lot, no the wonder people are disillusioned with politics and dont bother to vote

    Promises to cut immigration one of the big issues with real people are obvious to everyone as spin with no substance and no real action, do you really expect anyone to believe the Conservatives? or bother to vote for them?

  53. uanime5
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Most people feel that it was the banks, not Labour, who left the country in a dreadful mess. While Labour did bail some banks out it was the inept management of these banks that caused the problems, not Labour. I have little doubt that had the Conservatives been in power the same banks would have failed and the response would have been bailouts.

    1) I believe that the Government is benefiting from inflation as it allows them to inflate their debts away. Perhaps this is why inflation is still a problem.

    2) I wouldn’t say that public sector was left out of the cuts in the first two years as several thousand public sector workers were fired. Also which taxes did the Coalition increase after they came to power? I think the only one they increased was VAT which they raised to 20%.

    3) The fact there one alleged terrorist can’t be deported, or that the Government has to obey an ECJ or ECHR ruling does not automatically translate into a hatred for the Conservatives. What translated into a hatred for the Conservatives are issues where they can change things but don’t, such as deporting alleged criminals to the USA.

    4) I thought Osborne’s budget for next year did include tax cuts. Maybe next year he’ll be able to reap the popularity for giving the wealthiest a tax cut. Unless he fails to fix the problem where someone earning between £35,001 and £42,484 pays 40% income tax and 12% NI, or 52% in total. I’m certain the media will be very hostile if the wealthiest pay 45% income tax and 2% NI (47% tax rate) while the ‘squeezed middle’ has to pay a 52% tax rate.

    • rose
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      The government is renegotiating with Obama on extradition now. Do you think they should do the same with the EU and the ECHR, or are those treaties and declarations sacrosanct where a treaty with the US isn’t?

      • uanime5
        Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Given that the ECHR can’t order extractions, human rights can be used to prevent extractions, and the whole point of the ECHR is protect people’s human rights I can’t see any reason why our relationship should be renegotiated.

        Regarding the EU the only extractions they have is via the European Arrest Warrant, however this can be changed through legislation in the European Parliament rather than renegotiating a treaty.

        • rose
          Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          I rather feared you might not see any reason to renegotiate with the EU but I wanted to be clear!

  54. JordanNewell
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Acorn, did you read the link you posted from Business Insider? It reads:

    “attempting to reduce
    public debt now is the wrong policy
    —from my perspective, because it
    would add public sector
    deleveraging to private sector
    deleveraging, thus exacerbating the
    underlying problem of deleveraging.”

    Dangerous leftist rantings? Or merely good economics? The truth is that the political class have, in austerity, picked entirely the wrong course of action. The loudest austerity cheerleaders will pay a very heavy price for this historic error.

    • Johnnydub
      Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes the current course of action is painful, problematic and may not work very well.

      But the alternative of not acknowledging there is a deficit that needs to be dealt with would lead to the public Debt figures going over 100% of GDP. (The hidden debt being a debate for another day)

      This would be a clear signal to the market that the government had lost control of the economy and you would see the interest burden of our gilts escalating to compensate for the perceived increase in risk. This in turn would mean that the annual interest rates payable would go up and as each 1% is something like£15Bn in extra interest would rapidly be a bigger weight on the treasury than the current cuts (which are too small in my opinion anyway) Not top mention the resulting rise in public interest rates would take huge amounts of what’s currently disposable income.

      You seem to be looking for a New Labour style “you can have it all” solution when our choices are “bad” or “worse”…

  55. Barbara Stevens
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid only half of your answers are the truth. Most people realise we have to repay our debts, and the way to do it is to improve growth through supporting busineses, how any government does it will cause problems, pleasing some annoying others. The first line of any government is to protect it’s own citizens first, in the last 30 years we have come last. Now we see governments intent of spending our money on foreigners in aid, when we take cuts here so deep its causing pain and misery. Can anyone wonder the indigenous people’s of these islands are angry. Those who have ancestors who have fought and died for them. The (arrival-ed) of immigrants as been so large it has changed the country far to quickly for people etc etc.
    As for the EU, well we have requested that we be given the right to decide for ourselves and have consistantly been refused. Democracy is almost dead from elitest politicians who have no idea how the other half live.
    To conclude, refusing to acknowledge what people want and refusing to allow their requests to be heard, will fester annoyance and hate. People won’t give up just because a few political elite think they can do as they please; eventually they will have to listen. The result in Bradford this week could be, should be a warning to all political parties, how people are thinking. Although I acknowledge Galloway is a mavric and those who supported him will realise his bluff is just that all bluff, he cannot do much alone, but how long will he be alone that is the question we should be asking?
    (Inappropriate anaolgy removed -ed) In short, those who seek to rule should begin to listen to what they are being asked. Out of the EU, stop fighting wars we can ill afford and bring the troops home, once and for all. Immigration, (be tougher etc – ed) Stop spending our money on foreign aid for political gain and popularity, when we need it here. Its our money not politicians. Until they do most of the above, we will see more elections like Galloway’s.

  56. PaulDirac
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    You can’t run a country by poll numbers, on the other hand this is warning to the conservative party that people occupying the middle ground are deserting them.
    The points John raises are all germane and central to the feeling of frustration with the incompetence and desertion of the conservatives voters, the assumption that their voters have nowhere to go is pathetic, when you are annoyed with a party to the extent people seem to be – they will desert.
    The additional point is that Labor by creating the large under belly of state dependence has a huge starting point of dedicated voters, the conservatives have a slim margin at best, they should be mindful of this simple electoral fact.

    • rose
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Norman Tebbit explains in his DT blog why you shouldn’t try to govern from the centre ground but from the common ground. Read it.

  57. ciconia
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    When the coalition was agreed there was a clear objective to sort out the deficit.
    Next a win win for the tories as the libs took the flak and lost support.
    We’re now at phase 3 as the faux tories have gone completely native just to keep the coalition going. Maybe they were always closet socialists anyway.
    No apparent momentum, taxing and spending still increasing, ie no real cuts.
    +Total surrender to the eu.

    Petrol, pasties, and toffs are irrelevant; it’s the lack of any obvious drive- it’s as if they’re treading water. What is the govt trying to do; what’s it for?
    And no opposition- labour spent 6 months, paid by us, choosing a leader, only to have the unions then make the decision. What is the labour party for?
    Don’t get me started on shifty and incompetent local tory councillors.

    It’ll have to be UKIP, at least I know what they stand for.

  58. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Having read a lot of the posts above, it seems to me to be utterly clear that even the staunchest and most reliable support from born and bred Conservatives is rapidly flowing away. Leaderless and rudderless, they are drifting angrily into the arms of – who?

    • Eric
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      In England the UKIP
      In Scotland the SNP

  59. Boudicca
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    The British people are fed up with the cosy consensus of LibLabCON and real conservatives are sick to the back teeth of Cameron pandering to the BBC-lefty agenda.

    We want action on mass immigration; the EU and the HRA / ECHR fiasco and we want it now. Not in 5 or 6 years’ time, when Cameron has finished trying to persuade the Kommissars that the British people won’t put up with their anti-democratic governance any longer. The EU (ie Merkozy) have made it perfectly plain that they aren’t going to allow repatriation of powers. We will be presented with the same ultimatum as the Euro-nations recently were with the Fiscal Union Treaty: sign up or get out. We should just get out now.

    The fact is, Cameron is just another pro-EU globalist, with his determination to stay in the EU; his pandering to the climate change scame and his international welfare-policy. He is no conservative and he won’t ever get my vote.

    If Dan Hannan was leading the Party, I would consider returning. If Farage and Hannan were the joint leaders, I definitely would.

    • Jim
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Here is something to make you laugh your head off. Apart from paying Roma “Big Issue” saleswomen around £26k p.a in benefits. The UK also gives asylum to people from Angola, yet at the same time Angola is attracting white economic migrants from Portugal so it cannot be all that dangerous. Have a look at this from the German overseas service ,Deutsche Welle …..

      http://www.dw.de/dw/episode/0,,15796736,00.html

      Then ask yourself when policemen and nurses are losing their jobs why do we have such a massive tax burden?

  60. Sean O'Hare
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    What I fail to understand is why Cameron was so keen on cementing the coalition in for a full 5 year term. It was inevitable that the Conservative Party’s electoral prospects were going to diminish rapidly after the election given the dire economic prospects and the malign influence of the LibDems. Going into coalition with the objective of bringing it down as quickly as possible, whilst able to point the finger of blame at Clegg’s band of idiots, would seem a far better strategy. Could it be that Cameron and Clegg are closer than anyone supposed?

    • zorro
      Posted March 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Of course they are, Cameron’s plan was to have a permanent Con – Lib balance of power. He actually thinks that he can get in again on the basis that Conservatives will always vote for him, and middle of the road/leftish people could consider it without too much of a problem as well. He has made his bed and will have to lie in it….

      zorro

      • zorro
        Posted March 31, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        He really couldn’t be that bad in the debates if he was really hoping for a Tory victory.

        zorro

  61. Matthew
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Not sure that inflation was easily avoidable, as it mostly originated with the devaluation of the pound.

    If the bank had raised interest rates I suppose the problem would have hit industry and the deficit as the government borrowing costs increased.
    Where I think the government slipped up was in its inability to cut government spending, after the election the country was expecting it – now it’s too late politically. What’s been saved of defence and a few other areas has been spent on overseas aid and EU negative cash flow.
    So the only way out is economic growth and I’m not sure in even the chancellor believes the predictions.
    What is more the sails are not set for growth, taxes, dismantling of regulation and the lack of lending from the banks.(the gov don’t seem to be taking up your suggestion regarding banks – fine but the situation is not improving and they are not offering any solutions)

    Again I don’t think that this government is doing much differently to what Mr Brown would have done, had he been returned to office.

    • Bob
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Brown would have cut a bit harder a bit faster and no ring-fencing for anything.

  62. i.stafford
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    One reason the public are not blaming Labour for the state of the economy is that the Conservative leadership continues to lambast the bankers. In so doing it identifies them with the state of the economy; not Labour. There was an economic stall resulting from a hiccup in the supply of credit (the usual reason for recessions) but the government economies are necessary as a result of Labour’s massive overspending. When Labour’s attacks on the banks are matched with the Conservative’s parallel attacks, of course Labour responsibility for the deficit is not getting across.

  63. A Different Simon
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Campbell Newman and the LNP swept the Australian Labor Party aside in Queensland last Saturday .

    One of the main policies which was instrumental in this was lowering the cost of living .

    Wouldn’t think be an admirable objective for HMG , perhaps starting with fair-rents legislation ?

  64. Farmer Palmer
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I think it is about time the current PM and Chancellor/ Party Strategist (and Osborne is doing both jobs badly) are replaced by people who are willing to tackle the problems head on. When’s it gonna happen?

  65. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Just a small reminder – the Conservative manifesto promised to cut public expenditure by £4 for every £1 that they raised in taxation. When the LibDems entered the coalition they did not want that to be rebalanced to any great extent. On the face of it, we have a major broken promise.

    However, it is very difficult to contain public expenditure as a % of GDP in a recession. For a start, unemployment payments increase. Secondly, there are redundancy payments to surplus civil servants. Thirdly, welfare payments and state pensions are index linked and if we stop that we may be in breach of the social chapter. In Mrs T’s first two years of governing public expenditure rose as a % of GDP for broadly similar reasons. She got lucky; she was able to privatise whole industries.

    We should be really bold. End index linking, get rid of the freebies and strive for zero inflation. With inflation on the way down, there will never be a better time to try.

    If the EU object, dare them to expel us. As Brer Rabbit used to say: “Do anything you like Brer Bear but please, please, please don’t throw me into the briar bush.”

    • uanime5
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Don’t expect any support from those on welfare or state pensions if you start a race to the bottom. The politics of envy benefit no one.

  66. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    “What has gone wrong?”

    First & foremost DC failed to campaign as a proper Tory. As I watched his surrogates (Tim Montgomery was one) insist that Tories would win as “a modern version” & ignore the simple fact that Heath-ism was not to return it occurred to me that Cameronites wanted a coalition. I do believe that this was a conspriacy at the highest level. Can you deny the incredible & incompetant “campaign” against a hopeless Gorden Brown was even a tenable candidate? Churchill at 100 could have sent him back to the barbarian north.

    That is the final chapter for “conservative” party politics. UKIP is the hope of England.

  67. lojolondon
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    John, I think you have the analysis all wrong – too complex and looking elsewhere, instead of internally.

    It comes down to lying to people. Saying you will do something and not doing it.

    We were prepared for ‘massive cuts’. We were prepared for austerity, we were prepared for tough times. But nothing has changed, our government is indistinguishable from Labour, with the possible exception of the ‘veto’, a one-off.

    We have a left-leaning government, far more LibDem than Tory. We STILL waste £15Bn per annum on Brussels and they continue to decimate our fish stocks, strangle our businesses with red tape and legal requirements, we have steadily escalating energy costs and an energy crisis in the offing as we shuffle backwards in that area. Immigration is far worse than it has ever been, councils are paying ‘execs’ upwards of £250kpa. Just like Labour in other words.

    Remember the honeymoon – after the ‘veto’ ? How opinion polls soared for a few weeks? I can’t believe that it was not taken note of and that all that positive momentum was lost / thrown away.

    • Bazman
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      You were prepared for austerity but not your own I suspect? More like pasty eating government employees on minimum wage.

  68. Phillip Downs
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    John

    I sincerely hope that you take all the above comments to heart as what your party is doing at the moment is suicidal. To most of us it feels like we have been fatally betrayed by the apparent lack of distinction between the current government and Gordon Brown’s administration. At least then we had the hope that things would change. Now it almost feels worse as we don’t even have that hope. Mostly we are just bewildered as to how we get the representation for true conservatism. UKIP may be desperately immature as a party but it would not surprise me to see a massive surge in that direction that will cripple your party for a generation.

    The solutions to most of our economic problems have been well rehearsed on this site. Your party needs to get a grip and respect the views of its own supporters rather than chasing the left liberal ‘consensus’.

  69. ciconia
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    John

    Of course it’s difficult being in a coalition with socialists seperated only by snobbery from Labour. The oily lack of any drama in the coalition suggests that the Tories are far too comfortable with tax and spend and federal Europe, and are unwilling to rock the boat at any price.

    • rose
      Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      No, I don’t see it that way. Diplomacy is very difficult to conduct with a former enemy/ally when in a weak position, so it needs to be done in an even more oily and undramatic way. Think of what would happen if it failed, and what you could do to stop another alliance being set up, oily and undramatic or not – probably not.

  70. Big Al
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    The big mistake was on day one. Cam/Cleg should have said the main problem was the fact that Brown, particularly in the last years of his government, created around one million new “jobs” in the public sector, some would say to ensure he won the election. After all, who would vote against their paymaster.

    Some of these jobs may have been for good purpose. However, Cam Cleg should immediately got rid of every new public sector job that had been created in the previous three years.

    It would have been a seven day wonder. But it would have got rid of any need to cut departments and services that actually are good for the country.

    Salami slicing good departments rather than getting rid of the waste Brown created is the real problem.

  71. Remittance Man
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Cameron and Osborne both experience significant poll surges when they say things that are genuinely Conservative in appearance. Yet, despite this, they insist on taking the party down the sopping wet path of kumbayah singing and group hugs.

    It makes no sense

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted April 4, 2012 at 4:34 am | Permalink

      It is an open conspiracy: they are closet Blairites.

  72. crispy
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    It is surely very ironic that the Eurosceptic Mr Redwood chooses to adapt a phrase from John Donne. Perhaps given his euroscepticism he ought to look at the full quote :
    “No man is an island entire of itself; every man
    is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
    if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
    is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
    well as a manor of thy friends or of thine
    own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
    because I am involved in mankind.
    And therefore never send to know for whom
    the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. “

  73. Bazman
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Still waiting for a lot of replies.

  74. Matt Thompson
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    People are angry and are sick of being ruled by Westminster (whether you are English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish). Federalism would be a great way to get rid of the London-centric nature of this country. Westminster has proven time and time again that blanket nationwide policies don’t work. We need more localised policies to deal with local issues, and we need radical reform to allow this. It should go as far as taxation, borrowing etc

    The UK remains one of the most centralised states in the Western world. This needs to change.

  75. Charles Beresford
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Vote either Con/Lab/Lib, what’s the deference. All we get is more of the same spin and deceitful shenanigans. Could I put my trust in any of the frontbench? No? Do they listen to backbenchers NO? Do they listen to the people No? Do the put the UK first No? Wars, Aid, £1.8 extra to the EU come first. Do they listen to all EU directives Ho Yes? Do they listen to the European Humane Rights HO Yes? Will I vote for more of the same? Not a snowball in hells chance, Cameron and his palls have blown it.

  76. wooden floor
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Why viewers still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is existing on net?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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