Polls, polls, polls

 

                  It’s the voters turn to say what they think.

                   In France it looks as if an other incumbent who has presided over the Euro crisis, another supporter of Euro austerity, is about to lose office. Latest polls shows Mr Sarkozy trailing Mr Hollande by between 6% and 11%. If Mr Hollande wins, expect rapid moves to bring him on board for the austerity treaty of late last year, sweetened by some kind 0f Growth package to be agreed with Germany and the Commission. Do not expect a radical change in the EU’s approach to the Euro.

                   In Greece the two larger parties of past elections and the last Parliament saw much lower poll ratings in recent months.  Pasok, the current ruling party, saw its rating slump from 38% in January 2011, to around 14% in the last permitted polls.  New Democracy has had a smaller fall, from 30% to 23%. They do not allow polls close to the election. There is speculation that the two main parties, who both broadly support the loan and EU policy, will neither win a majority, and may not be able to form a coalition together to supervise the EU agreement.  Expect uncertainty if as expected there is a Parliament with a variety of parties represented, as they seek to establish a new government and maybe  form a new policy in relation to the EU loans and requirements.

                     In London it looks as if Boris will win the Mayoralty. It will be a triumph for him personally, running on his lower tax ticket with strong messages on law and order, and the EU.  It will be  consolation for the Conservatives on a night when they themselves have forecast losses of Councillors elsewhere.  Labour is expected to pick up a good number of seats around the country. In 2008 when these Councils were last contested, the Conservatives polled 44%, the Lib Dems 25% and Labour 24%. Current pollls show Labour doing much better, at the expense of both Coalition parties.

                  However, Labour’s night could be spoiled if they lose London again, and if they also lose Glasgow to the SNP, where pundits say opinion is shifting against Labour, the incumbents. In 2008 nationwide  the three main parties shared 93% of the vote.

                 Some think Greens, UKIP, English Democrats, Independents and others may poll better this time. At the moment they only have a handful of Councillors. The English Democrats are defending the position of one elected Mayor, in Doncaster. They achieved that breakthrough following  conduct of a Labour Council which was criticised by Labour itself  in a traditional Labour area.  I do not expect the  English Democrats and/or UKIP to win control of any Councils.

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95 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    “It’s the voters turn to say what they think” – Well, not really, they just get a choice between the lesser of two evils who anyway will not do what they promise. What a choice Sarkozy or Hollande and in Greece they will have no power anyway. In the UK we have three main parties who are all essentially all pro EU socialists. Cameron’s party just pretending not to be one in a while.

    We shall see how popular Cameron’s tax, borrow, waste, give billions to the PIGIS, quack green and pro EU agenda is. It could all be so different had he been a Tory and not thrown the last sitting duck election away – with his green, soft socialist, pro EU agenda.

    At least Boris will amuse and perhaps show Cameron the way.

    I am no great fan of Rupert Murdoch (though he did at least sort out the print union racket) but the idea of a gang of Labour MPs on the the culture committee deciding “he is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company” is a bit rich. Even the chance of a dressing down by speaker Bercow (with his own interesting expenses arrangements and his irritating wife) I hear.

    He seems, to me, a rather better leader and a more principled and honourable man than Blair, Brown, Major, most of those at the top of the BBC, and most Labour, Liberal and about 70% of Conservative MPs. Unlike Cameron too, he does seem to have a sense of direction and is not just drifting in the wind and people do seem to like the services provided.

    Reply: The French people have had a very genuine choice – they had plenty of candidates with very varied approaches. It was the French people’s choice to narrow it down to these last two. Just becuase you do not like their choices, it does not take away the fact that there was a choice.

    • Single Acts
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Well then, let’s say effective, funded, exposed choice. Anyone can stand but try getting coverage and in the event your are covered, try avoiding ridicule and abuse.

      Life Logic is sadly correct.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      “It was the French people’s choice to narrow it down to these last two”.

      To a degree it was – but the choice is clearly restricted by the many people who always have and always will vote one way perhaps just because they or even their parents always have. Rather like a choice of brand of coke or washing powder the parties have an historic brand – and so it was always a choice of which of the two possible winners is the lesser evil.

      I do not suppose, given the constraints of the EU, Hollande
      will be much different to Sarcozy but it will not help hold the Euro together -which is perhaps a good thing.

      • Susan
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        lifelogic,

        I don’t believe that is true, the French people did have a choice from a wide variety of candidates. For instance it was a surprise that Marine Le Pen was so well supported. It is the British that tend to vote along the lines of social class or because their parents support a certain party. This has never been more obvious than it is now with Mr. Cameron and Mr. Osborne as wealthy people occupying the important roles in Government.

        • asdf
          Posted May 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          It is a bit like saying any one can be the biggest supplier of coke all you need is a bottling plant and some marketing but coke and pepsi have years of marketing and history behind them for many years what happened to virgin coke?

          You are not going to get people to change easily. Further more the voters know this and so they are reluctant to vote for say UKIP as they know they can almost certainly they can never win – even if they do support their policies.

          Then you have the BBC sloping the pitch too every day.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        We could have a break-away Tory Party called The REAL Tory Party, or The Continuity Conservatives or something like that.

        It would deal with any problems caused because of tribal voting patterns.

        • asdf
          Posted May 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          It would spit the vote and Labour would win in the first past the post system.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      I agree with your comment on Rupert Murdoch. Notwithstanding the wrong-doing at some of his papers, he is one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world. Here in the UK he saved the newspaper industry from the left-wing print unions and has given us a real alternative to the BBC/ITV duopoly. For this committee of 5 Labour MPs to describe him as not fit to run a company brings our Parliament into contempt. How much work has any of these people done outside the public sector? People in the US, Australia and elsewhere will laugh at this pompous absurdity.

      • Bob
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        @LL

        This anti Murdoch frenzy is pure politics and sour grapes.

        If he hadn’t criticised the BBC and withdrawn his support from Labour it would never have happened and we all know it.

        Vested interest – pure and simple.

        And BTW, isn’t it nice that the “pious” Lib Dems can keep any money that they accept in “good faith”, regardless of it’s source, even stolen money. Would that apply to a member of the public accepting stolen goods?? Of course not!

        Welcome to our third world banana republic!

        • Bazman
          Posted May 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          When was Murdoch a foreign billionaire ever elected by any British citizen? He was in effect trying to create a banana republic to further his business interests.

      • APL
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Richard1: “For this committee of 5 Labour MPs to describe him as not fit to run a company”

        Are these five fit to be elected?

        Let’s remember the ‘hacking scandal’ is about people who couldn’t be bothered to change the default pin on their mobile phone voicemail to different number.

        These people have a role in running the country?

        We are screwed!

        • Richard1
          Posted May 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          The whole thing has been massively over-blown, especially by the BBC which frequently uses between 50% and 75% of the ‘world news’ to discuss this. It has been revealed that Brown ‘declared war’on Murdoch & I suppose this latest episode is part of that. I would like the Leveson enquiry now to turn to connections between politicians and BBC managers, editors and journalists. Lets hear how frequent contacts are and what is discussed. After all the BBC, like other media organisations, lobbies in its own interests.

          • asdf
            Posted May 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            agreed.

          • Johnnydub
            Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

            What the BBC is terrified of is the success of BSkyB

            How does the BBC justify a mandatory licence fee when Sky can generate soo much revenue from customers making a free choice? What can’t the BBC go subscription based?

            One reason? Maybe then they won’t be able to pay the Director General £8934K/yr, the Finance Director £600K/year etc. etc.

            For all the high faluting from the BBC – it’s all about producer capture…

      • Susan
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Richard1

        Tom Watson is running his own private war against Rupert Murdoch and like any other zealot who does this, they damage their own case by their inability to think and behave rationally on the issue they have become obsessed about.

    • norman
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Any chance any committee could pronounce that Labour are ‘unfit to exercise the stewardship of a once major international economy’? At least Murdoch has made a success of things, and if he fails he loses out. What business is it of a bunch of trumped up MPs whose collective claim to economic fame is filling in dodgy expense forms and making up fictitious VAT receipts (in some cases, not all of course)?

      Labour ruin things time and time again then simply shrug their shoulders as they pack their bags (prior to packing their pockets) to the EU, Lords or international chat show circuit and the remainder wait for their turn to come around again leaving the rest of us with the shambles.

    • APL
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      lifelogic: “Cameron’s party just pretending not to be one in a while.”

      Odd coincidence how these bursts of Euroscepticism seem to come on ‘all of a sudden’ just around election time!

      • APL
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        APL: “Odd coincidence how these bursts of Euroscepticism seem to come on ‘all of a sudden’ just around election time!”

        Even odder when you consider that John Redwood repeatedly tells us the EU doesn’t feature in UK domestic elections.

        It’s a bit like living in looking glass world.

        Reply: Let us see if it does in the results this week. I regularly campaign and highlight EU issues,as you well know. I also have to report the mood of the country and of constituents as I see it.

        • APL
          Posted May 2, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          JR: ” Let us see if it does in the results this week”

          Your brand is continaminated, Mr Redwood. It’s not even about being the ‘nasty’ party, as one lightweight now over promoted individual once put it.

          Cast Iron Dave has broken so many promises, he has no credibility left. We know from bitter experience the Tory party says one thing, Opps! Just before an election, then does the opposite, Opps! Straight after the election.

          That isn’t a coincidence, that is deception. Frankly many of your parties erstwhile supporters are sick of it.

          I doubt making pseudo EUrosceptical noises before an election will carry much weight with the electorate, your party has blown all credibility on that score!

          • APL
            Posted May 2, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            APL: “your party has blown all credibility on that score!”

            Lets look at the other items in the ledger.

            Energy policy; pas de point.
            Economic policy, deficit increasing; pas de point.
            Pickles slaughter of the Quangoes; pas de point.
            Immigration policy; pas de point.
            Intrusive surveillance of the population; pas de point.
            Useless infrastructure, HS2; pas de point.
            Ability to win an election against the most useless Labour hierarchy since Harold Wilson; pas de point.

    • A Different Simon
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic ,

      If Hollande is elected , you would imagine that pretty soon the euphoria and good intentions would evaporate and his party would become hom0genised into the rest of the European ruling class .

      However , there is a chance , albeit an outside one , that his party would not go along with the EU status quo .

      That is more than you could say about any of the UK’s major political parties isn’t it ?

      I suspect that on election day the French electorate will be fearful of change and will take what they believe is the safe option of returning Sarkozy’s lot .

      • asdf
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        I do not think Sarkozy can win but the gap may narrow somewhat. Cameron chose to snub him he may regret it.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 3, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        I think Sarkozy will really struggle to win back enough votes he is surely history. Hope fully the even more insane Hollande policies will put severe pressure on them to find a real solution to the Euro insanity and the huge unemployment thus caused in the Euro area by the mad EU policies.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Given that Rupert Murdoch at best didn’t know about the widespread phone hacking in his company, didn’t make any effort to find out about it despite his company paying large sums to the victims of phone hacking, didn’t investigate it after the Royal reporter was imprisoned, and couldn’t remember anything about what happened during this time period this shows he is simply too inept to run a major media company. (etc)

      • Richard1
        Posted May 3, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        There is no doubt there was wrong-doing at some of Murdoch’s papers, which is being investigated. But from the coverage it gets anyone would think he had committed genocide. It is being hugely over-blown by his commercial enemies, especially the BBC and competing press, and by the Labour party, now they’ve lost his support. Murdoch is one of the most successful and admired entrepreneurs in the media sector in the last 50 years. He has created a $50bn company from next to nothing. In the UK we owe him the continued viable newspaper sector (since he crushed the print unions) and a real choice in broadcasting.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          Being successful doesn’t excuse the fact that his company was engaging in widespread phone hacking, tried to cover up this phone hacking, and had an unhealthy relationship with politicians. By using illegal means to get stories Murdoch made it harder for honest newspapers to compete.

          • Richard1
            Posted May 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

            I agree with that, success is no excuse for wrong-doing and where it’s occurred it should be punished. The point I’m making is that the emphasis on this in the media, especially the BBC, is hugely disproportionate, and the Labour members of the select committee have made Parliament a laughing stock by passing judgement on Murdoch as a CEO without any qualifications for doing so and without having enquired into that specific question. Tom Watson and the others are pursuing their own political vendetta. They shouldn’t be in a position to bring our Parliament into contempt in the process.

    • Bazman
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      This shows us just who Rupert Murdoch and his lieutenants where, what they have always stood for. They have stood not for “uncovering the truth”, but for self-serving (actions-ed). Not for making the world a better place for little children, but for using people and bringing insecurity and misery into the lives of working-class families. (words left out-ed) This being your main plank too lifelogic unless that philosophy effects you. As in the case of banking. How about the fee paying school in Surrey advertising a caretakers job with pay only during term time? Teachers quite rightly paid all year. I Wonder how long it will be before the caretaker is sacked for not working when not being paid and his job taken over by a more ‘competitive’ person. Ram it.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      It’s a bit more difficult than is popularly supposed. The first problem is the electorate – they like lower taxation, they like more public expenditure, they don’t like inflation (unless they are ahead of the game) and they won’t vote for pain. In short, they are totally incoherent.

      Then there is the need to form a ‘broad church’. Individual MPs who fearlessly say what they think are much admired but the electorate like the accountability that comes from large parties and towing the Party line. There is a contradiction there. Occasionally, you get a Samson who is prepared to pull the temple down on a point of principle – like Enoch Powell in February 1974 – but it is a very rare event.

  2. merlin
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I almost think that slowly but surely democracy in Europe is becoming irrelevant, Italy has a technocrat in charge as does Greece, Ireland has an EU puppet and even in the UK, apart from UKIP and yourself, John, there seems to be little incentive to oppose the constant flow of EU directives. The majority of MPS’s are pro europe and the general public do not see Europe as a priority. All this leads me to conclude that the gradual sovietisation of Europe is progressing well and the mysterious bureaucrats who run the EU must be quietly pleased as their power over people’s lives increases. This is what’s called the process of engrenage ( creeping socialism) and it seems to be working. Although Germany lost WW11 they are close to a quiet takeover of Europe.

    • Graham
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      People do not see Europe as a priority even though most of the downsides in our lives emanate from the EU from pasty taxes to fishing to immigration. Apart from UKIP there is no organisation prepared to join the dots.

      All politicians ensure that there is no connection between the change and the demand from the EU and this coupled with the poor understanding (intelligence level of?) by the electorate plays straight into the hands of those who want to govern our lives more.

      Surprisingly even the so called ‘euro sceptic’ MP’s make little comment, or seek any publicity, about the high level of interference.

      I seriously worry for future generations!!

    • Martyn
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      I would go further and say that in my view there is now no one in government and certainly not in the Civil Service with the slightest serious interest in recovering UK sovereignty. The EU project has passed the tipping point and regardless of whether or not the Euro collapses or is reduced to a smaller number of nations, the process of establishing the United States of Europe is now irreversible.

      It is a loathsome thing to me and I hate to say that, but I simply cannot see how it can be stopped. Who is there on our political scene that can or will stand against it – UKIP has not a chance, none of the major parties want to and the US of Europe, dominated by Germany in fulfilling its ancient ambitions, will inevitably come into being within the foreseeable future. Only in France can I see a population willing and able to bring their entire nation to a complete halt (ports, airfields, roads, railways etc) and maybe force changes to their relationship to the EU that in turn might return the lost democratic right for member states to govern themselves.

  3. Damien
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    If Boris is successful and UKIP do better than expected will the coalition change some of the current policies on tax and the EU?

    Reply: The Conservative leadership has sometimes in the past pointed out that UKIP with 2-3% of the vote shows how unpopular strongly Eurosceptic policies are and used UKIP as a reason not to highlight European issues in elections – coupled with the low salience the EU as an issue has in voting surveys. Those of us who urge the leadership to be more Eurosceptic and to tackle the EU problem head on therefore find UKIP intervention is usually unhelpful in making our case, reinforced by the fact that UKIP has no votes in the Commons to assist us. I do not expect UKIP to win any Councils tomorrrow, and will comment again on all this when we know the results. I am pointing out that Boris has stayed considerably more popular than the Conservative party in London in recent polls and think this has a lot to do with his stance on tax as well as on his personality.

    • matthu
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      “The Conservative leadership has sometimes in the past pointed out that UKIP with 2-3% of the vote shows how unpopular strongly Eurosceptic policies are and used UKIP as a reason not to highlight European issues in elections …”

      So European issues will not attain higher focus unless the UKIP vote increases?

      Conservative leadership is actually suggesting that unless there is a significant swing to UKIP Europe will stay off the agenda? That couldn’t fail to be interpreted as a very firm steer then.

      Reply: There have been occasions when the leadership has not talked about the EU when some of us have wanted it to do so. When we have argued about the importance of the issue to our country and to many voters, the poor showing of UKIP is one argument used against, to buttress the polls which usually show low salience for the EU issue. It does not stop us pushing harder for the governemnt to tackle the EU problem, but UKIP can make it more difficult.

    • norman
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Nothing to do with the fact Cameron and Osborne come across as incompetent, clueless, out of their depth and out of touch then? And none of that is going to change, it’s too firmly embedded in the public consciousness.

      I know they can’t be got rid of because who would / could replace them and be acceptable to the Lib Dems (they already grumble in public – not in private I’d wager – that these two clowns are too right wing) but surely you can’t continue to sleepwalk into a landslide defeat in 2015 to an Ed Miliband led Labour.

      So fast have the wheels fallen off it would be hilarious if not so serious.

      The economy isn’t going to improve, public services running on auto-pilot combined with inertia means we won’t see any improvement there, what is the strategy? Is there one?

      It’s turgid stuff from this government, as dire as can be imagined so regardless how well / badly UKIP does nothing will change that. No point attacking strawmen, the problems lie in No.’s 10 & 11.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      John Redwood said: ‘Boris has stayed considerably more popular than the Conservative party in London in recent polls and think this has a lot to do with his stance on tax as well as on his personality.’

      Not forgetting that Ken Livingstone now looks and sounds (unpopular-ed).

  4. Antisthenes
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    All across Europe the electorate are shifting politically leftward as standards of living fall and growth becomes evermore elusive. Of course you, I and most of those who read your blog know it is their policies and practices that caused the current crises in the first place. The future is going to bleak whoever is in charge but hanging on to privileges, entitlements, systemically flawed economic models and stimulating growth by printing and borrowing is not a receipt for recovery but for disaster. If this trend continues and more and more left wing government are formed then the electorate will truly get the governments they deserve but not what they need. Hollande likely to be the next French president may well be a left winger too far and his appointment will bring about a European wide collapse quite quickly.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      The current crisis was caused by banks taking on too much bad debt and having too little capital, so it was caused more by right wing capitalism than left wing socialism.

      • The Realist
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Wrong on all counts sir!

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        The current crisis was caused by governments, including our previous governments, borrowing too much, even in times of plenty. The current one hasn’t helped either!

        If the government has refrained from over borrowing, they could have let the banks fail. That is capitalism.

        A low bank rate has also encouraged too much borrowing, a house price bubble and discouraged savings. Capitalism needs a sensible environment.

        No boom and bust: that isn’t capitalism either!

        • uanime5
          Posted May 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          The Government could have let the banks fail even if they hadn’t over-borrowed. They didn’t let the banks fail because had savers lost their savings there would have been a riot.

          Also boom and bust is a common feature of capitalism and occurs when the markets are allowed to raise prices to unsustainable levels.

      • AlexW
        Posted May 3, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        The crisis in Europe came about because the early success of the Euro blinded credit markets to the structural weaknesses of half-baked union: money was suddenly cheap and abundant for some very weak borrowers.

        Britain’s ability to devalue and adjust her terms of trade has allowed a gentler pace of adjustment (for now). The Euro now functions as a gold standard for many economies whose people and politicians have just decided to inflate their way out of debt. Something’s got to give.

        “Right-wing” capitalism failed because of protracted, massive distortions to markets:
        -US, EU and UK rates too low for too long
        -Yuan misvaluation
        -the Euro and the illusion of creditworthiness
        -US mortgage lending to the poor
        -Vast state spending all round financed by high taxation
        etc.
        All of them failures of statist central planning.
        Oh and all those “right-wing” capitalist remedies we’re trying?
        -printing money
        -socialising private debt
        -increasing taxes
        -increasing spending
        -increasing inflation
        -increasing regulation
        -increasing state intervention across the economy
        -punishing the wealthy, savers and pensioners
        etc.
        Even as businesses fail and markets fall capitalism still serves us by proving the fallibility of state control and central planning. Given half a chance capitalism will work to clear out losses and allow recovery to begin.

  5. ong
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Just for clarification, the vote in Doncaster is to decide whether to keep the mayoral system, not to elect the mayor

  6. scottspeig
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I actually have a difficult vote ahead of myself on Thursday – I have the conservative candidate who when he personally came round, impressed me with his convictions and apparent concern. Then I have a personal friend standing on the Lib-dem ticket which as a political party never gets my vote. Finally, I can choose the local independant candidate who actually has a chance of winning!

    It will probably be my friend, but by no means would that be a reflection on the party – rather it would be despite the party!! And I think that will be the case across the country.

    • Captain Crunch
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Vote for your friend if he or she is is a good and decent person who would work hard for the community.

      You can look your friend in the eye and tell them you voted for them and it was the first time ever you would vote Lib Dem!

  7. Lord Blagger
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    It’s the voters turn to say what they think.

    =============

    No, nothing about what they think. We aren’t asked that question. It’s just we are asked to select between the awful, the unacceptable and the criminals.

    Reply: Then stand yourself, if you are so much better. There are some very good candidates, with some good ideas. It’s an open competition. Mr Davies in Doncaster and Mr Galloway showed you can win without belonging to a major party.

    • Graham
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Very glib answer John as I am sure you know.

      reply: NO – a democracy requires many active participants. If as many of you tell me all the current candidates are useless, then it is a fair challenge to you to find some you think are good and who can win.
      You need good policies, and wide support for it to work.

      • Vimeiro
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        It’s not as if candidates are useless, locally they jsut get overuled by the county council.

      • John Fitzgerald
        Posted May 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        John a fine reply. However if you lived where I do in Lincolnshire you would realise you could dress a chimpanzee as a man and it would win an election if it was wearing a Blue rosette as a conservative candidate. I did stand for the council elections some years ago as an independant as I believe councils should not be run on partisan basis. The problem is trying to convince the electorate that voting independant is not a wasted vote. That is the problem with the mind set when it comes to UKIP et al!

        • Deborah
          Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          Likewise in this area. The voting public assumes that the Conservative Party hase chosen a good candidate and puts a cross in the “blue” box. In reality, the local party selects individuals who will do what they are told and not rock the boat – a questioning mind is absoutely not an advantage in this process. When independents are elected, they are treated with total disrespect by the Conservative majority and denied their basic rights as democratically elected members. Officers know which side their bread is buttered on and follow suit.
          When officers and the ruling party act together, there is no mechanism to hold anyone to account. The system is broken.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Lord Blagger,

      If you ever stand anywhere with different views than the norm then I congratulate you. I would never do such a thing myself for basic fear (personal safety, privacy etc.), those who hold and, put their head above the parapet and stand for election are admirable (even when I don’t like their views).

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood. Your answer to Lord Blagger doesn’t address the issue of your party deviating from its core votership and then reneging on those Tory-ish promises it did make.

      In answer to your challenge I won’t stand for office because I know that don’t have the right aptitudes. Union representative and Scout Chairman is about my limit and I only do those because there were no volunteers. I’ve always believed that to be a good MP one needs to have some exceptional qualities.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Apart from the actual poll results their real significance (in France and Greece) will be if regime changes also result in a significant change in policy and action. The pressures on France to continue to conform to current EU policy will be immense. Greece might be different. The EUrocracy might decide to let it go.

  9. Susan
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Whenever the economy of a Country, or Countries in this case, get into trouble especially on the scale that there is at the moment, unrest usually follows in one form or another. The public are afraid of what the future holds and desperately look around for something new to lead them out of the dark days ahead. However no matter who is voted in by the masses the problems remain the same and so do the solutions. Nicolas Sarkozy may be changed for Francois Hollande, in which case the politics change but in the end both would have to face up to the economic challenge of bringing the economy back into order. So it makes little difference. The same would be true in the UK if Mr. Cameron were changed for Mr. Miliband the economic problems remain the same and have to be dealt with at some point. So Politicians can either spend and tax a little more if possible and prolong the problem or deal with it and risk the public anger that goes with it.

    The Boris appeal is something quite different and has very little to do with politics. People just like Boris, who has a big personality and is always interesting to watch. He has a positive approach to everything he does and he connects well with the public in order to get his message across.

    The SNP will probably do well in Scotland, goodness knows why? Scotland has done very well out of the Union, it just shows what good propaganda by Alex Salmond can do. Although he has been in difficulties just recently Alex Salmond seems to be able to wriggle out of trouble and keep support.

  10. Alex
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    The discussion seems to be following the usual assumption that voters who have moved from the Conservatives to UKIP are doing so solely over EU policy. Personally I will not be voting Conservative and may vote UKIP. However this is nothing to do with the EU (though I am not a fan). It is because I want small government, a reduction in national government size, scope and power, and UKIP seems to offer that. The Tories should be such a party, they fought the election as such a party, but the party leadership are now shown to be the same old authoritarian nanny-state control freaks as the last administration.
    I don’t know how many people feel as I do. But if the Tories are analysing this in the same EU-obsessed way as the press, they may be wrong about the motives of many of their lost supporters.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      “We are creating directly elected Mayors for cities in England (only). ” Conservative Party policy. Plus, elected Police Commisioners. You will not get small government by voting Conservative.

    • Deborah
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Me too.
      I won’t be voting Conservative again and may well vote UKIP because the Conservatives simply cannot be trusted any more. Cameron has reneged on pretty much everything he promised before the last election.
      I won’t get fooled again.

      You politicians kid yourselves that people aren’t voting because they are apathetic. In reality they just don’t want to vote for anyone on offer. If a “none of the above” category was introduced, people would turn out in droves to register their discontent.

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I’ve come to detest the way Merkel and her crew proceed within the EU, and would prefer to see the French elect a President who was more willing to oppose her.

    Just the fact that she was planning to interfere in the French election to actively support Sarkozy, and tried to induce other EU leaders including Cameron to cold shoulder his principal opponent, says to me that it would not be in our interests to see Sarkozy returned.

    That was reported here in March:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,819297,00.html

    “Meddling in France”

    “Merkel Forges Anti-Hollande Alliance in Europe”

    “The German chancellor has been unusually open in her support for a re-election of her French counterpart. They have walked side by side along French beaches, appeared on television together and are planning joint campaign events.

    She has shown Sarkozy’s Socialist challenger François Hollande the cold shoulder, and that is unlikely to change in the run-up to the vote. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, leading conservative governments in the EU — those in Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom — have agreed not to receive Hollande during the campaign.

    Merkel secretly agreed with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy that Hollande should be shunned, SPIEGEL has learned. British Prime Minister David Cameron also agreed not to meet him.

    They weren’t just motivated by sympathy for Sarkozy but also because they’re angry at Hollande for saying he would seek to renegotiate the fiscal pact agreed among 25 of the 27 EU members. The agreement on fiscal discipline, pushed through by Merkel at an EU summit in December, is a central component of the EU’s strategy to save the euro in the debt crisis.”

    Meanwhile in Ireland the campaign for the May 31st referendum on the fiscal pact has officially started, the government having refused to defer it until after developments in France had become clearer.

  12. fake
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    *****Reply: The Conservative leadership has sometimes in the past pointed out that UKIP with 2-3% of the vote shows how unpopular strongly Eurosceptic policies are and used UKIP as a reason not to highlight European issues in elections – coupled with the low salience the EU as an issue has in voting surveys. Those of us who urge the leadership to be more Eurosceptic and to tackle the EU problem head on therefore find UKIP intervention is usually unhelpful in making our case, reinforced by the fact that UKIP has no votes in the Commons to assist us. I do not expect UKIP to win any Councils tomorrrow, and will comment again on all this when we know the results. I am pointing out that Boris has stayed considerably more popular than the Conservative party in London in recent polls and think this has a lot to do with his stance on tax as well as on his personality. ******

    So following this logic, if we don’t vote UKIP the conservative leadership will think Europe is even less of an issue then?

    How can you hold such contradictory points of view on who we should vote for, if we want less Europe?

    Reply: I am just explaining how the current system works. Let us see how people vote and then discuss what it all means. If you wish to influence policy in a Eurosceptic direction probably the best way is to join the Conservative party and help us from within.

    • Adam5x5
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      “Reply: …If you wish to influence policy in a Eurosceptic direction probably the best way is to join the Conservative party and help us from within. ”

      But why would we join a party that, from the outside, doesn’t seem to share our views?

      I was very close to joining the Conservative Party a while back, but Cameron and his policies dissuaded me. Now I will be joining UKIP in a few months (delay due to personal situation).

      Sure some of the Conservatives may be Eurosceptic, but as the referendum vote in the commons a while back showed, when push came to shove, most MPs just knuckled under and did their master’s bidding.

      Better surely to join a growing party that is more or less wholly aligned with our principles?

      • waramess
        Posted May 3, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Adam 5×5

        “Reply: …If you wish to influence policy in a Eurosceptic direction probably the best way is to join the Conservative party and help us from within. ”

        …and I suppose, should the Labour Party triumph next time round we should all join them in order to influence them from within.

        The only reason UKIP have failed to secure more votes is that they have failed to attract any big hitters (with ministerial experience) and with no big hitters there will be no big funders.

        Unfortunately many of the big hitters will be happy to continue the fight from within even when their party loses power, even though they will then have no meaningful influence at all.

  13. Atlas
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    “Be careful if you get what you wish for” seems to apply to so many things in life. In politics I suspect that a Boris win will pose a challenge to Cameron, especially with Cameron’s stance on the EU with its effect on the Eurosceptic voters.

  14. Neil Craig
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    On all the major issues which are keeping us in recession – closing down 80% of our electricity generation, the state sector being around half the economy, over regulation, rising taxes, preventing nnew nuclear, windmillery, enforcing the catastrophic warming fraud, slowing shale gas development, opposing space industrialisation, anti-GM & any other new technology, 7/8ths of the money spent on public projects disappearing into the pockets of who knows, keeping house prices at 4 times what they could be – all the factions in Parliament (including Nationalists) are agreed. On regulating social matters – smoking, restraining free speech, eating salt (!), dedefining language like “marriage”, death penalty – they are also agreed.

    In all of these the state controlled media set the limits on what may be said, as well as lying & engaging in open fraud to ensure all these factions have acceptable “leaders” – there is now no question that during the Tory leadership election the “focus group” the BBC ran purporting to show Cameron’s popularity was fraudulent.

    Thus, when you look behind the curtain it is clear that we do not have a multi-party democracy but a monolithic collective rule, of a sort that makes the old USSR look [progressive. It does not matter which, of the approved parties, does better. Which is why all the unapproved ones will see rises in their support.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    On the matter of the Irish referendum, it may be recalled that some months before the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in October 2009 the Irish government triumphantly secured what it insisted on calling “legally binding guarantees” to address certain concerns about the treaty.

    It was stated that those guarantees, in fact no more than political statements of intent and no more legally binding than a promise in an election manifesto, would actually be made legally binding by being added to the EU treaties as a protocol, probably at the time of the next accession treaty or other treaty change.

    Some of us were sceptical about whether this would ever happen, with so much else going on and it being easy to forget those promises made back in 2009, but lo and behold the process has now started, on April 18th, and that has been reported in the Irish press:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0418/breaking41.html

    “The European Parliament has today approved the guarantees on neutrality, taxation and social issues for Ireland that are to be attached to the Lisbon Treaty.”

    “An intergovernmental conference is now expected to be convened to adopt the Protocol. When it has been signed it will then have to be ratified by the parliaments of the 27 member states before becoming formally and legally attached to the EU treaties.”

    Of course that could very easily have been done BEFORE the Irish voted in the second referendum, and it could have been done at any time since then – apart from agreement on the accession treaty for Croatia, there have been two other EU treaty changes agreed during that period, one of which has been ratified and is in force – but apparently it took the threat posed by another referendum in Ireland to finally get things moving.

    Now, guess what, the Irish are being told that they should vote for the fiscal compact as it stands, but with the prospect that later it may be changed to address some of the concerns which are being raised; I’m just waiting for the government to announce that it has secured “legally binding guarantees” that this will happen.

  16. Winston Smith
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Boris’s real views on the EU are not really known. He hardly ever turned up for any of the EU votes when he was an MP. Of course, the Coalitions push for mayors across the Country is also New Labour policy, and is of course, designed by the civil service, and of course originates under the EU’s Covenant of Mayors policy. Mayors across the EU meet up for EU conferences and are fed EU policies and I suspect will soon receive our taxes via the EU. Vote Lib/Lab/Con for more of the same.

  17. Michael Read
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Boris and tax, or for that matter, his policies let alone his Conservatism?

    No one gives a toss. It’s all personality. ‘E’s a geezer. Smartyarty self-deprecating jokes. Odd words out of Wooster by way of ancient Greece. A big grin. The post-modern politician.

    I’m whiff-whaffing for him.

    • Bazman
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      He and the Tory party are keeping his right wing views well hidden. His constant tub thumping for the rich who are a tiny minority in London less than 1% in fact, and his (inappropriate-ed) comments, which will go down badly in London. He thinks Whato! jokes will pull him out of any serious discussion, but we shall see. That does not mean I support Livingston who has a lot to answer for.

  18. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood your party richly deserves every loss! UKIP is more than an anti-euro party; it is the hope of England.

  19. Normandee
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Reply: I am just explaining how the current system works. Let us see how people vote and then discuss what it all means. If you wish to influence policy in a Eurosceptic direction probably the best way is to join the Conservative party and help us from within.

    no doubt with the same success as you and the others, you are a well respected politician John and your continual slagging off of UKIP whilst failing to make any headway yourself is annoying. UKIP are a means to an end, use them what damage can they do in the time it takes them to drag us out of the quagmire that is Europe. You blokes in the boat have nothing to lose, the rest of us up to our necks in the real stuff need some relief.

    Reply: I do not “slag off” UKIP. I merely point out that so far their electoral interventions have not advanced the cause they say they believe in. At least 81 of us in Parliament voted for a referendum, and intend to continue to press the government. No UKIP MP was present to help.

    • Susan
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Normandee,

      Why do you and others see the EU as the most important issue? It was not the EU who spent all the UKs money it was Labour. In fact if I remember correctly it was the EU who warned Gordon Brown he was spending too much. It was Labour who allowed all the immigrants into the Country not the EU. It was Labour who created the massive public sector we have now and failed to regulate the banks properly. Where does the EU fit into any of these issues.

      I don’t like the EU but they are not to blame for the state the UK finds itself in, the Labour Party are. Going off and voting for other parties who will have no chance of success will merely put the Labour party in a much stronger position and they are a very pro EU party.

      I don’t understand why people on here attack the person who is actually trying to advance their cause with regard to the EU, as Mr. Redwood always has, it makes no sense to me.

      Basically all Mr. Redwood is saying is that there is not enough support, at this time, against the EU in Parliament for any progress to be made on this issue. Also the public does not see it as one of the most important factors when deciding who to vote for. Until this changes nothing can be done.

      Recently I met a high ranking UKIP member on holiday, he was a very unpleasant radical, so be careful what you wish for.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted May 3, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

        Madame such are the times! England is being kicked to death & most unpleasantly! These are radical times. Perhaps it is too late already; but we must seek & try the utmost to reverse this disastrous course. Of course many good people will simply refuse to face reality. Making the move to UKIP is radical; but our country is dying of a fast growing cancer. The cure is radical & requires radiation. It will require a good deal of pain. Once England could master such a fate. I’m afraid those Politically Correct politicos like Mr. Redwood cannot bear to administer strong medicine.

        • Susan
          Posted May 3, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

          Chistopher,

          Madame is very nice but Susan will do. I did not want to use the word I had in mind for the UKIP member I met, I hoped people would read between the lines. However the radical would be better described as a thug. If this is the type of person you want in Parliament to represent you, so be it.

          I don’t really see how Mr. Redwood, by leaving the Conservative Party and fighting on his own, could force the whole of the UK Parliament to change its mind about the EU. Surely it makes more sense to try to fight from within the structure than be a lone voice outside it.

          All that will happen if people continue to change their vote to UKIP from Conservative will be to see the Labour Party returned next time and they are a very pro EU party.

  20. forthurst
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    “It is Oliver Letwin’s baby, the Queen’s Speech. He is described by the PM as “the government’s mainframe computer”. Not a single policy escapes his attention and he sees how it all fits together.” George Pascoe-Watson quoted in the DT.

    Hardly ‘Big Blue’ though, is he John, on at least a couple of counts and I’m sure that if Letwin doesn’t know the answer, he knows a man who does, someone, possibly not like us, but nevertheless ready with the latest neo-liberal BS?

    Is your party anything other than an excercise in badge engineering? Look under the bonnet and you find another manufacturer’s handiwork and Cameron is exposed as nothing more than the used car salesman fronting the fraud.

    You advise us not to vote for the party of “fruit cakes” and “closet racists” (where did that expression come from, I wonder?) on the grounds of its low poll figures. However, you know perfectly well that there is a conspiracy by the LibLabCon party and the MSM to hide the extent to which the hated policies inflicted on us by the main parties derive almost exclusively from Brussels. This is why mainstream parties are being replaced by other mainstream parties rather than parties which actually represent their peoples’ aspirations.

    reply: I have never used those words about UKIP, and have not presumed to give advice to you all on how to vote on this main part of my site. I am extremely tolerant of the rantings and nasty criticisms of others by UKIP reps. who regularly seek to use this site for their own purposes.

  21. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    If all these opposition politicians stand on an anti-austerity programme, it is hard to see the Euro surviving – unless they all rat on their election promises. Their countries will rapidly increase their fiscal deficits and demand that Germany foots the bill or permits the Euro to become a weak currency. Either way, I see a German walk out from the Euro zone. Don’t forget, Angela Merkel also has elections coming up.

  22. fake
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    *At least 81 of us in Parliament voted for a referendum, and intend to continue to press the government. No UKIP MP was present to help. *

    And how many of those 81 (of 300) would have voted for the referendum if UKIP did not exist, would there even have been the vote?

    There is no way to know this, so voters such as myself can only deal with “what is” and not “what ifs”.

    Cameron is pro EU, the conservative party is pro EU.

    I would vote conservative if you or a eurosceptic were in charge, but you are not, Cameron is = vote UKIP.

    reply: All of us woudl have behaved just as we did without UKIP – as we did before UKIP came on the scene and copied our policies and views on many things.

    • James Matthews
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      I have to say I am unconvinced by the reply. I am sure Mr Redwood would have acted as he did without UKIP, but I am equally sure that without the fear of losing votes to UKIP fewer Eurosceptic MPs would be willing to put their heads above the pararapet and that the position within the Conservative Party of those who are would be much weaker.

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      So the 81 Tory MPs are as effective as all the UKIP MPs in the HoC !

      And the all the UKIP MPs in the HoC are as effective as the 81 Tory MPs !

      At least I know where we stand.

    • DaveK
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      John, I have become more sceptical about this as my local MP who was one of the 81 cheered me up following a reply to one of my emails, however looking at her voting record it appears to be the only occasion that she voted against the EU.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Copied whose views, exactly? Not your party’s views, that’s for sure – your party gave up on conservatism years ago – or am I mistaken? Perhaps we will hear Dave on Radio 4 tomorrow announcing some policy changes:

      ‘ The British people must decide through an immediate referendum if we should stay in the EU or to come out and claw back independent power over our national life. I believe that only by leaving the EU can we regain control of our borders and bring the deficit under control.
      We will make prison sentences mean what they say – life must mean life.
      We will repeal the Human Rights Act to end abuses by convicted criminals and illegal immigrants.
      We will openly support grammar schools and vocational education and bring an end to the failed comprehensive experiment.
      We will ensure that benefits are only for those who have lived here for over 5 years. Make welfare a safety net for the needy, not a bed for the lazy.
      The State will defend its people. Increased defence spending will be a clear priority, even in these difficult times, to underpin Britain’s global role.’

      Hmmn, on second thoughts, it doesn’t sound like Dave, does it? (unless it’s the eve of an election, that is…)

      But tell me Mr Redwood, which of these UKIP policies do you disagree with or would you vote against in the House? (Be honest now…)

      Reply: I have often pointed out that UKIP have borrowed many policies which I have espoused for longer than there has been a UKIP

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted May 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        I think therein lies the problem for you and the other Conservative Eurosceptics.

        You have little in common ground with the majority of your own party, but seem unable/unwilling to take the logical next step, which is to leave the Conservatives and build a party for yourselves.

        Surely this is a better path than having no influence in a party that doesn’t value you?

  23. Patrick Loaring
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    “but the party leadership are now shown to be the same old authoritarian nanny-state control freaks as the last administration”.

    Being a life long Conservative voter this is exactly the conclusion I came to. I don’t know who I will vote for at the next election but it will certainly not be Labour or the camelion party the Lib Dems. If I believed that UKIP were more than a single issue party then they might get my vote but at the moment I’ll probably not bother to vote at all.

    It’s ironic isn’t it. This country fought for years to defeat Napoleon’s France and 6 years to defeat Hitler’s Germany and now within the EU we being taken over by these two countries. The old saying that the pen is mightier than the sword is proving to be true once gain.

    • Bob
      Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      @Patrick Loaring

      “If I believed that UKIP were more than a single issue party then they might get my vote…”

      If you read their policies, I think you’ll agree that they are more than a single issue party.

      Obviously, as the name suggests, they consider the ability to rule ones own country to be the most important policy, because without that we are reduced to implementing policies handed down from Brussels, like we do at present.

      Don’t let our predecessors sacrifices be in vain. Talk a walk down to the polling booth and do the right thing.

  24. BobE
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    “In San Luis, a gentrified neighbourhood just inside the boundaries of Seville’s old city. It was a balmy Friday evening, but inside a crowd of around a hundred people were listening to a 45-minute PowerPoint presentation on puma, a new local currency for San Luis launched last month. Puma is the third local currency to be introduced in the Andalusian capital this year. Pepa and jara already circulate in Macarena, a working-class district on the other side of Seville’s city walls.

    After explaining how the new currency would work – euros can be exchanged one-for-one for puma notes, which are valid in designated San Luis shops – the speaker took questions from the floor: an elderly man with a straw hat wanted to know if his local café would accept puma; a young mother asked how she could sign up for the scheme on-line.

    Repeated doses of EU-enforced austerity have hit Spain hard. Last week, the country officially slipped back into recession. The Spanish economy, the fifth largest in Europe, is expected to contract by 1.7 per cent in 2012.

    In the slipstream of the Eurozone crisis, local currencies – perfectly legal, so long as income tax is paid – have proliferated across Spain. The zoquito has circulated in parts of Galicia since 2007. Local currencies are proving popular in the UK, too: the Totnes pound has been around since 2007; the Brixton pound, with a natty picture of Ziggy Stardust on the tenner, emerged in 2009; the Bristol pound is about to launch.

    Local currencies tend to circulate more rapidly than national (or transnational) currencies, as well as keeping money in the area, with the result that local economic activity increases. In 1932, the mayor of Wörgl in Austria replaced the faltering national currency with specially printed ‘Certified Compensation Bills’. Inspired by Silvio Gesell’s theory of ‘free-flowing money’, the Wörgl bills were designed to depreciate by 1 per cent of their value each month in order to promote rapid circulation and dissuade hoarding. Within weeks Wörgl had almost full employment. A new ski jump was built. Roads were repaired. Six neighbouring villages soon copied the ‘miracle of Wörgl’. In 1933, the Austrian Supreme Court upheld the Central Bank’s monopoly over the issuing of currency. Thirteen months after it began, Worgl’s experiment was over; within weeks joblessness in the town returned to around 30 per cent.”
    Extracted from an article by Peter Geoghegan 1 May 2012

  25. Acorn
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    ‘ere John, some cobber down under reckons you is an imbecile; the bugga!!!
    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=19247 .

  26. Barbara Stevens
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    You don’t expect UKIP or others to make headway in the coming elections, well they may surprise everyone. I do hope so. I’m very disappointed in the Conservatives and what they’ve done so far; knowing how Cameron as promised the earth and done very little. I hate that from politicans. We all know they’ve been stopped from many things with the Lib Dems round their necks, but what they have done as not been in the interests of everyone except the very well off. We all are aware about the debt we have to repay, but its not really been done fairly, and that’s what grates. Bankers, that breed of greedy men and women who have taken us all for a ride appear to be let off the hook. Yes, there is a certain amount taken from them via tax, but its so small compared to the damage they did.
    Voting is the time for us all to decide whom we want to lead us, when we have our say. Across Europe they are having their say, and it’s going to be so different from what’s gone before, that is obvious. The Netherlands, Portuagal, Spain, and France all are going to have their say, and I hope they change the picture we have seen and more democracy, not less is the result. I’ll take the medcine if I’m free to choose; but not with the millstone round my neck choking me slowly. There’s nothing like the wind of freedom, and I can feel that wind gathering pace lets hope it gets stronger.

    Reply: I did not say that – I said I did not expect UKIP to win control of any Councils. Time will tell who is right.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted May 3, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink

      Despair is what Cameron has brought; total failure is coming. And it is very close. I truly believe Mr. Redwood will one day join us on the barricades. May Jesus Christ allow that it will not be too late in the day. A new day is dawning; UKIP will fight to win. Rise Albion!

  27. Sue
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    “expect rapid moves to bring him on board” everyone has their price these days it seems and the EU have plenty of our cash to bribe him with. I long for the day when a politician just says “now, I’m now going to do what the “people” want me to do” and then actually DO EVERYTHING THEY PROMISED without compromise, excuses, u-turns and sneaky backdoor deals.

  28. Bert Young
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    If M. Hollande does win , just imagine how he will wilt on his re-negotiation of the Euro Treaty when threatened with a substantial reduction in French grants from the Common Agricultural Fund . The Germans hold the upper hand and will do everything in their power to maintain the Euro and thus keep their economy intact . No doubt we will be adding our support to this stance . Of course Boris will win ! There is much more about him than a likeable personality . By the way , it is indepndent not independAnt !

  29. David Langley
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    The recent Bulletin from Brussels published by UKIP in Spring 2012, indicates in a very real way how our freedoms have been weakened by the federal project.
    Financially we would be about £8 billion net better off by ditching our ever increasing subscription.
    The disgraceful European Arrest Warrant has lead to our citizens being sent to countries without the evidence being tested by our courts first.
    The Common Agricultural Policies have enabled countries like France to benefit massively at our expense. The EU is strangling any country that accepts the easy money then finds it is in hock to Brussels.
    But cheer up we can escape its easy, we simply have to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and subsequent amendments through a short new act of parliament which could be done in a single day.
    Lets get real and pressure our recalcitrant MPs who do not represent the free peoples of Britain and probably don’t even know it. Promise them carnage in the next national elections and mean it and of course join UKIP.
    In the mean time support UKIP in local elections, and of course any Conservative MP who votes for the above.

  30. Iain Gill
    Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    one of the imperfections of our western democracy is that its often very hard to tell whats in voters mind, people read into election results whatever fits their own prejudices, you read into the french results what you said i read into it a massive anti immigration vote, you appear blind to the polls which indicate the massive public concern about immigration making it consistenty their number 2 or 3 issue after the economy, you appear blind to the bloomin obvious disparity between the governments promises on immigration and the reality of their actions

    you live in the dream land of thinking massive ICT visa printing is of no electoral consequence

    me personally everyone i know has either disengaged from the political process in disgust or is turning against the current imcumbents frustrated that there isnt a proper thatcher style party to vote for

    • SteveS
      Posted May 3, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      ‘frustrated that there isnt a proper thatcher style party to vote for’

      That sums me up, pretty much. I wonder what Mrs Thatcher would have been doing over the last three years…I doubt increased IMF contributions would have been high on the list, nor the stupidity of allowing overall spending to increase rather than being cut. I suspect she might have even given us a say by referendum on the validity of the sovereignty giveaway known as the Lisbon Treaty that the Labour party ratified.

      It really is time for a real leader to take matters in hand, stand on a platform of restoring sovereignty to the UK and watch the landslide Conservative victory.

  31. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    We on the right need to get our act together fast. English Democrats, UKIP, Conservatives, need to unite and get our policy together as of now.
    United we stand… etc
    Otherwise the united left will sweep the board with their false promises of enlarged welfare cheques for everyone.

  32. ian wragg
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Question John.
    Most policies eminate from Europe but we are never told.
    Are the civil service mandarins trained to advise all politicians not to admit to this?
    With things like elected mayors, HS2 and regional assemblies, most people know from where the ideas start. We have Cameroon etc telling us how good they will be for us including shutting down 40% of our power generation.
    I can’t understand why no politician ever stands up in the commons or lords and starts by saying
    ….we are advised by Brussels that we are to spend £30 billion on a high speed rail track to comply with direcdtive EU……. etc etc.
    It’s bizzare that all politicians yourself included always sing from the same hymn sheet

    Reply: Not fair. I often point out that a policy or law is mandated by the EU. As we have discussed here before, HS2 does not have to be built – the UK government could still say “no” to it.

  • 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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