Why the Coalition has proved a blessing for Labour

 

In June 2010 many would have said Labour was going to spend a long time in opposition. The Labour government that presided over the trip to the IMF and the recessions of the 1970s left such a legacy of distrust that Labour stayed out of government until 1997. The Conservative government that entered the Exchange Rate Mechanism leading to the recession of the early 1990s has kept the Conservatives from a majority ever since. Surely, many thought, presiding over the huge boom and bust of the last decade and presiding over bank bankruptcies that no-one had seen before in the UK, would mean something similar for Labour?

Yet Labour is now regularly 10% or more ahead in opinion polls, just two years after their bad defeat in 2010. They can thank the Lib Dems for that.

It has been traditional for Conservatives and many in the media to be dismissive of Ed Miliband. I have always advised colleagues to take him seriously and not to underestimate him. His campaign over Murdoch led to the Leveson enquiry which will do damage to the Coalition with the media. His wish to change perceptions of Labour’s approach to immigration is a necessary part of his journey to reconnect with lost Labour voters.  Mr Balls has  associated them  with a growth agenda, which  is shrewd political positioning given the state of the world economy.

However, the main reason he is riding high in the polls is that a large number of Lib Dem voters have defected in despair over the Coaltion. The Lib Dems as an opposition party always faced two ways. In Labour seats they posed as the more “left wing” alternative. They gently chided Labour for failing to spend enough public money, for failing to regulate enough, for failing to take up left liberal causes. They made some progress with Labour voters who disliked Blair’s third way spray paint to have some Tory colour. In Conservative seats they posed as Tories with a conscience, as a milder version of Conservative commonsense. They aimed to be to the bigger government side  of the Conservatives, but not too far away.  Their one principled stand in both areas was on the EU, where they were always the more EU party. It was one of the main reasons they always came a poor third.

Dr Cable’s strange decision to invent and back a scheme for tuition fees was probably the main trigger for the departure of a large number of Lib Dem voters to Labour, early in the life of the government. The fact that they joined  the party that first invented and introduced tuition fees was an irony lost on them. This has given depleted Labour a additional natural bloc of around 10% of the vote. It is the main change that has happened. It has more to do with the Lib Dems than with Labour, but it is a potentially tranformative shift in UK politics.

This would not matter so much to David Cameron’s Conservatives, if the Conservative vote was holding. There should be a good 40% plus body of Conservative votes to counter the newly united “left”. However, UKIP is busy trying to split the Conservative vote for the reasons many have often produced on this site. In the 1980s and 1990s there were Conservative governments partly because Labour and Lib Dems were fighting over the big state vote,whilst the smaller state anti EU vote was united.

Mr Osborne’s political strategy work has to deal with both these problems. Can Conservatives attract the wandering Labour and Lib Dem votes as they hope.? There is no evidence that Mr Hague is about to demand the new relationship with the EU that the Eurosceptics want. He does not wish to respind to the UKIP tactics.

 

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156 Comments

  1. Posted June 25, 2012 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    The main blame surely lies with Cameron, who lost the last, sitting duck, election againts “some bigoted woman” brown. This due to his pro EU, soft socialist, fake green agenda. He then continued in this manor with, tax borrow and waste and a general anti business, anti growth, fake green, pro the EU insanity tosh.

    Anyone who can keep Cable, as a very clearly anti business secretary, has lost the plot. No wonder he is behind against even the totally useless Miliband.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Now Cameron is talking about getting rid of some housing benefits (for under 25 year old’s) after the next election! So five years too late and after he has left office at this rate.

      Meanwhile he is signing up to the, drunk too much on holiday company tax, the gender equal insurance nonsense and the no retirement (ever) nonsense and the green jobs down the drain agenda.

      He seems to have the destruction of UK business and the Tory party as his main aim.

      • Bazman
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        More (nonsense-ed) from you. insurance companies have to treat women and men equally after a ruling by the European Court of Justice, despite the fact young men are more likely to have a car accident than young women. Not only that, but male pensioners will have their income reduced, despite the fact men generally die younger than women. On one hand, this is bad because insurance companies work through risk analysis; the more likely a demographic is to have an accident or die, the higher their insurance premiums will be because the company is more likely to pay out. On the other, this policy was positive discrimination based on age and gender, and it also lumps individuals into the same categories, such as all young men of being reckless, dangerous drivers. Unfortunately, it also means women’s premiums will increase next year to match men’s. The rest is easily (corrected-ed) as well.

        • Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          It is insane to fix insurance premiums other than by the real risk otherwise low risk people are just being ripped off. Men in the case or annuities and medical insurance and Woman in the case of life cover and car insurance.

    • Gewyne
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      This should be the biggest warning to the Conservatives. After 13 years, a bust economy, a hated PM (who was never voted for) and a desire for change the Conservatives could not get a majority government.

      Whilst in the wilderness for 13 years you would have expected them to come in with their wish list, drafted all ready to push through – yet most of the country see nothing but messy legislation, half heartedly pushed (and often u-turned on). Cameron and the party just come over as a shambles. There is little to no confidence in him amongst the public, and Ed Millibands rather slimy school boy attacks have started to stick – not because they are true, but because the Conservatives could not demonstrate 2+2=4 currently – the communication is all over the place, and no one believes what they say with any conviction as tomorrow it’s likely to be dropped/u-turned.

      What happened to the smaller state, Quango bonfire, cutting red tape, benefit changes ? Most of these things needed to be done year 1 and 2 so as to reap the rewards by year 5. At the moment in year 5 it looks as if the country will still be in a transformative mess, with nothing having had time to settle and anger and confusion still forefront in peoples minds.

      Shame – so much promise, dropped, broken and not put back together.

    • Acorn
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      lifelogic; help me please. I am not sure what happened, it may have been a dream or a nightmare, I am in a sweat.

      I think I heard Cam saying lots of factual information about the anomalies in the welfare system that our gallant politicians have rubber stamped over the decades. In fact, just like all the tax dodges they have rubber stamped over the same decades. You have to wonder how many politicians are using these same tax dodges as that not so poor supposed comedian chaps.

      It actually sounded like old style “Conservative Ideology”; I must have dreamt it surely? Politics nowadays is “issue based” not “ideologically” based.

      Lifelogic my Redwoodian friend please help me to understand what must have been a mental aberration on my part. ATB Acorn.

  2. Posted June 25, 2012 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Clearly the LibDems were insane not to insist on a graduate tax rather than break their pledge on the tuition fees (which could have been very similar in effect anyway) and also to have the silly AV and now Lords? referendums. But then with their absurd, green, anti business, pro EU agenda they clearly are absurd on all their main policies.

    Civil liberties is their only sensible area and I do not think they really believe in that much.

    • Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Now I read in the telegraph that Justine Greening has decided not to lobby the Treasury not to go ahead with another 3P tax on petrol. She said taxes “fund the public services we all rely on” what services I wonder nothing of much value perhaps she means the huge abortive costs of HS2 under her command or the PIGIS dustbin, the the EU dustbin. Now that HS2 at least seems to have been sidelined.

      Let us hope a few will still be able to afford to get to work.

      • Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        She has also recently doubled many motoring fines (back door taxes as they clearly are) – things like doing 43 in 40 zone duel carriage way, taking too long to take a child to the loo and going 2 minutes over on the meter, or putting one tyre in an empty expensively coloured tarmac bus lane – I assume.

        • stred
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          Our conservative london council has recently taken to sending their spy smart car around residential streets and fining us for parking on the designated parking area outside our own houses. The ruse is that their is a crossover, for which we paid a large amount to the Council in order to park on a paved front garden. We are therefore obstructing access to ourselves. I had just moved my car from another drive to transfer something and was standing next to it when the spy arrived and stopped to swivel the camera. Previously, the transport ministry had instructed councils to prosecute only if a house owner had called to complain about an obstruction. Perhaps Miss Greening has given the green light for this racket.

          Elsewhere, the Thames crossing ‘congestion charge’ is to go up to £2 soon, having ignored the consultation exercise. The ministry argue that to remove the barriers would cause congestion. The idea is that a lot of drivers on their way home or delivering from Europe or in the UK are waiting until 10pm or arriving before 6am in order to avoid the charge. But every morning, evening and other times there is a tailback miles long wasting huge amounts of taxpayers time and fuel and also causing pollution. A ‘congestion charge’ in order to cause congestion! The Scots removed their tolls on the Forth bridge because of the delays but we have to keep ours. They could put a small increase on fuel duty to make up the loss, but they put a large one on anyway and put up the tolls.More good sense from Miss Greening?

          In their suburban town centre, the consrvative council is busy taking up the small thick paving flags, that were put down a few years ago, and replacing them with large sandstone effect flags and brick patterned edgings. Very nice but many already cracked. How can so called conservatives decide to waste money on this kind of nonesense when the economy is is such a state? Which ministry allocates funds? Miss Greening’s?

          And they think we might vote for them at the next election. Never again.

          Reply: Councils have their own money to spend on crazy paving or good road schemes.

          • stred
            Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            Crazy paving- I had not heard that one. So it’s the municipal morons and not the ministry or Euro initiatives. Probably the councillors are too fond of their huge allowances to dare argue against this kind of job creation for the roads dept. Sorry about the wrong ‘there’. Cringe.

          • Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            They have to pay all those gold plated pensions somehow. If motorist mugging is the only way that is what they will do.

  3. Mick Anderson
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I rather suspect that the “None of the Above” party is head and shoulders above all of those with coloured rosettes.

    It’s just a pity that we can’t vote for them – having nobody in office has a definate appeal when measured against both current and previous inadequates.

    • Mark
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      NOTA had 35% in the election. Since then, they appear to have captured 23% of those who did vote, or a further 15% of the electorate. Perhaps they now have a true majority?

      Labour have benefited from the fact that their core vote was about all that turned out in the election: only 20% of their voters have strayed, 14% to NOTA. 25% of Lib Dems have also become NOTAs, while Labour have captured a few more at 29%. Lib Dem losses to UKIP are a surprising 5%, and to Conservatives 8%.

      Conservative losses are 15% to NOTA, 7% to UKIP and 6% to Labour: presumably such voters think that only a full scale collapse under Labour would lay the foundations to sort the country out.

      Data from this survey:

      http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/0w8gg3rki9/YG-Archives-Pol-ST-results-22-240612v2.pdf

      Note that YouGov only attempt to balance the sample on previous vote, so previous NOTAs are heavily under-represented.

  4. norman
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    When things are going well people will vote for the status quo and when things are going badly they’ll vote for change is how I’ve always seen it.

    Takes exceptional circumstances e.g. corruption scandal or incompetent strategy, to overturn that.

    Osborne’s strategy shouldn’t be ‘vote Tory, we’re not Labour’ or ‘vote Tory, we may have done nothing for five years but just you wait until we’re free of Lib Dem shackles’ but ‘vote Tory because here’s what we’ve done to change course and steer the UK back to competitiveness’.

    The problem is they haven’t changed course from 2010 yet.

    • Little White Squibba
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      “When things are going well people will vote for the status quo and when things are going badly they’ll vote for change is how I’ve always seen it.”
      The main worry is the huge number of people who do not vote at all.

  5. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Allow me to add in three extra ingredients.

    1. Postal votes which are a gateway to corruption and falsification. They also have been honed by the Labour Party as has been conclusively shown in past elections in the law courts. (in Birmingham at the 2004 European and local government elections in the UK). George Galloway’s election had absolutely nothing, we are told, to do with postal votes, even in the “ethnic” areas of his constituency

    2. The electoral boundaries are all over the place, but are well in Labour’s favour. the Lib Dems refuse to redraw them.

    3. The SNP has, I think, peaked. So where will all the disaffected SNP go in 2015?

    • wab
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      1. I agree, so why haven’t the Tories done anything about this? Although I don’t think it has actually had a big impact in terms of actual results so it’s more the principle than anything else.

      2. I disagree. The boundaries are being changed to be in the Tories favour. It is undemocratic to use registered voters as a measure of the size of a constituency, because rich/old people are more likely to register to vote but poor/young people should be represented equally. Just think, you have two towns, one of size 100k where everybody registers, and one of size 200k where only half the people register. Should they be each be represented by one MP? Well, I’m sure rich/old people can come up with all sorts of fatuous reasons why this should be the case, because they are the winners from this.

      Of course rich/old people are also more likely to vote, even considering who is registered, so the new system gives them a double whammy of extra representation. And needless to say rich/old people = Tories, generally speaking, which is why the Tories have come up with this system. It’s amazing that Labour has not made a big fuss about it. It’s probably one reason the Tories want to get rid of the census, because if you know how many people live somewhere the unfairness is more obvious.

      • Winston Smith
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        How unfair that people who bother to vote get representation. Let’s do away with elections because they are unfair on those who don’t vote. Let the political elite choose our representatives from now on.

      • Cliff. Wokingham
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Yes but, speaking as an older person that is a traditional Conservative, who do I vote for? Mr Cameron has alienated me for the reasons previously stated by Lifelogic above.
        If I was wanting to destroy a political party with very sound values and principles and make them unelectable, I would follow Mr Cameron’s example and alienate my core voters and completely reverse most of the policies and ideals that the party had held dear over the decades. As far as I can tell, Mr Cameron does not know what he actually is politically speaking; at times he comes across as a progressive Marxist, at times a liberal, at times a socialist, even sometimes as far right. I honestly believe he chops and changes his views depending on which audience he’s adressing at the time and whether he feels he will gain a PR advantage sadly for him, we had too much of that approach to politics from the last couple of governments under Labour and people are fed up with it.

        It is the party system that is destroying democracy in this country. We may, here in Wokingham, have a good, traditional Conservative MP but how can I vote for our host without effectively endorsing Mr Cameron’s daft, anti Conservative policies?

      • Adam5x5
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Just think, you have two towns, one of size 100k where everybody registers, and one of size 200k where only half the people register. Should they be each be represented by one MP?

        They should each be represented by one MP. If someone can’t even be bothered to vote, then they have no representation and are not deserving of such.
        If you don’t make your views known by voting, then how are you to be represented?

      • forthurst
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Without proportional representation, democracy (“the power of equal votes for unequal minds” Chas. I) offers only abstention as a viable alternative to the LibLabCon Party. No doubt some of the people to whom you refer would prefer to vote for a credible nationalist, (or) Sharia law,(or) rioting and drugs or even Icelandic justice for banksters and corrupt politicians party.

      • peter
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        What a stupid argument – you can only go by the size of an area based on eligibility – that is people entitled to vote.

        If half the 200k people in town A can’t be bothered to vote then that is up to them regardless of their wealth/status/background etc.

        If all the 100k people in town B can be bothered to vote then equally that cant be held against them – they do the same thing, put a X in the box.

        The voting boundaries have been scewed heavily if favour of labour for a long time – why should constituency A with 15k people have the same power to vote an MP as constitunency B with 60k people?

        This is probably the one thing that will help the tories get back in – unfortunately labour have shown time and again what they are about even when they try the 3rd way nonsense.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      1)Totally agree, postal votes are an open invitation to fraud, usually from Labour ‘ethnic’ constituencies. Cameron’s proposals – probably doesn’t intend to do anything about it.

      2) If the results had been the other way around in 2010, Labour would have walked it with a handsome majority just as in 2005 when the Tories won the most votes in England and yet Labour ended up with 60+ more English seats. The duplicitous Lib Dems are now stamping their feet on this even though they agreed it in return for the vote on AV. They are now saying they will agree in return for Lords Reform.

      3) SNP have only got 6 MPs at Westminster. As usual Scots vote SNP for their own government at Holyrood but send their usual over represented army of Labour MPs to Westminster to govern England. Scotland, Wales & NI get two votes, one for their own parliament/assemblies and one to choose the UK Gov. England only gets one vote which was overturned by the rest of the UK. England gave Cameron a 62 seat majority and yet it is only predominately England which is governed by this useless coalition that England didn’t vote for. Again, if Cameron addressed the English Question, not only would it give equality to England but also ensure England get’s the government of it’s choosing just like the Scots enjoy. Even though the Tories are dead in Scotland, “there’s Scottish blood in these veins” and “I don’t want to be PM of England” and “those sour little Englander’s” Prime Minister will do nothing to address the democratic deficit which exists. He deludes himself that Scotland will vote for him come the next election if he keeps capitulating to them at England’s expense and of course he thinks he can take England’s votes for granted.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Quite so, why pander to the others? We could have a PROPER Conservative government in England (one that is staunchly anti-EU, pro-business, and true -blue as opposed to pale pink in it’s complexion).

        Once England is shown to be benefitting by it’s stance, the others would have no alternative but to follow suit. The same would apply to the EU after England’s withdrawal. It would be exposed as an uncompetitive nonsense.

        Tad Davison

        Cambridge

  6. Adam5x5
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    The coalition has been a blessing for Labour as the LibDems have prevented the Tory party doing what needs to be done – cut spending and the state sector severely.

    Of course, the Conservative party has done a bit, and now appears to be ineffectual as the debt is still increasing.

    The Conservatives have also given too much ground to the LibDems in the Coalition, while alienating their core voters with the move to becoming blue-Labour. The LibDems have done a lot of damage, but a lot of the collapse in support is also at the door of the party leadership.

    I, along with quite a few others, no longer support the Conservative Party as it has changed into something that I can not support.
    It is no good saying that we should all join the Conservative Party and change it from the inside – it is frequently reported in the papers how Cameron responds to and treats the party (1922 committee struggles, 3-line whip on referendum). To do this would be to sign up to a long struggle with no guarantee of success, or even effectiveness. Why not join a growing party that already represents our views?
    Until the Leadership listens to the party and solves this schizophrenic paradigm currently cleaving the party, the Conservatives will lose voters to UKIP.

    • David John Wilson
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      The coalition has been a blessing for Labour as the Conservatives have prevented the Libdems doing what needs to be done – cut spending and the state sector severely.

      Of course, the Conservative party has done a bit, and now appears to be ineffectual as the debt is still increasing.

      The LibDems have also given too much ground to the Conservatives in the Coalition, while alienating their core voters. The Conservatives have done a lot of damage, but a lot of the collapse in support is also at the door of the party leadership.

      I, along with quite a few others, no longer support the Conservative Party as it has changed into something that I can not support.
      It is no good saying that we should all join the Conservative Party and change it from the inside – it is frequently reported in the papers how Cameron responds to and treats the party (1922 committee struggles, 3-line whip on referendum). To do this would be to sign up to a long struggle with no guarantee of success, or even effectiveness. Why not join what was a growing party that already represents our views before the coalition? The LibDems deserve a chance to govern without Conservative interference.

  7. colliemum
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Nicely reasoned, but you did not mention one factor which IMV is a major contributing factor to the comfort of Labour.
    It is the fact that the LibDem DPM seems to think that cabinet discipline does not apply to him. His outbursts and briefings against his cabinet colleagues and the coalition government he is part of do illustrate this nicely. Add to that the impression – regardless if fostered by him, his party colleagues or some who have had enough of his postering – that he feels it’s his right to have a ‘spy’ in Cameron’s group travelling to the next € summit and reporting to him every day. Words fail …

    Perhaps this large difference between government and Labour in the polls is a vital reminder to both Tory Party, Tory MPs and leaders as well as ministers that it is for them to pursue proper Tory policies now. After all, the LibDems seem to prefer to brief against anything not watered down by them.
    Isn’t it time to hammer home the message that there is no money for all those lovely welfarist projects beloved by the left? Why is it only you yourself who shows the numbers?
    What does this government, what does the Tory Party have got to lose by telling the plain facts?

    • uanime5
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Given all the qualitative easing claiming there’s no money won’t work. There always seems to be enough money to do whatever the Government wants to do.

      Also without Lib Dem or Labour support the Conservatives can’t pass any bills so the Conservatives can’t alienate the Lib Dems.

      • zorro
        Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Quantitative Easing (QE) is what you mean I think…….

        Zorro

  8. backofanenvelope
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Well, that is that then. The right-wing vote is split and you are not going to do anything about it. In 2015 (or sooner) we are going to elect another coalition. Labour-LibDem. Should be interesting.

  9. Pete the Bike
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    We can look forward to 3 more years of do nothing politics followed by a Labour government that will destroy the pound utterly if it hasn’t already collapsed. I’m looking for a way out. Anybody got property in South America they want a caretaker for?

  10. Alan Hill
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    The Tories deserve the oblivion which I hope will soon overtake them. The real point is; ” do the rest of us deserve Ed Milliband and his poisonous crew”?

  11. Edward.
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    No, I’d say it was all Mr Macbruin’s fault, he almost single handedly [with Mr Balls and also Miliband in his clique] fed, nurtured and reared MacBruin’s ‘client state’.

    A massive and amorphous sucking monster greedily feeding on the taxpayer teat. Welfarism, is a crime against humanity, dependency and sloth are sins to the flesh and spirit of mankind.
    It was, all a deliberate policy and done with the EU’s [tax credits] and Nu Labour’s enthusiastic verve. I mean, you couldn’t (word left out) ‘rewrite’ the nation’s demographic ethnicity – if the indigenous population were fighting for the same jobs with new arrivals – now could you?

    Keep ’em happy, keep ’em fed and housed and drug fueled too [relax the laws].

    Now, the welfare state money hose is running on empty. Shock horror for the numpties who thought Clagg was a preference over Dave and an alternative to MacBruin, now they’re back in the bosom of Labour and all is well in Milibandland.

    Some of us can remember where you hail from Miliband.

    Heaven help the taxpayers – why can’t they get to choose?

    Ha, ha – because of the 10 million dependency MacBruin client state and the 4 mil’+ immigrant infux.
    A coup and all-in-all quite brilliant and the British still won’t allow themselves to admit it, thus, the purblind vote for the idiots.

    Would that, there was an alternative.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Edward

      A lot of truth in this.

      Some Politicians use social engineering, to try and remain in power.

      Power eventually corrupts the minds of most political leaders, as they lose the ability to understand what normal life is for most of their citizens.

      Most of our last generation of Prime Ministers lost their way in the end, even Mrs Thatcher, so I suppose it is to be expected after many years in power.

      The dangerous ones are those who have a hidden agenda in the first place, but manage to hide it until elected, or indeed those who manage to get power without an election.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Like Brown?

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

        Thatcher did indeed loose her way due to the disasters in EU wets of the party Major, Hesetine, Howe who successors are now making such a hash of things.

        Also due to the pole tax pushed on her by the right wing Keith Joseph – it was predictably politically disastrous – being a rich boy academic he was totally out of touch with most average people, who just lived hand to mouth. Right in principal, perhaps, but it could never work politically as should have been obvious. Without which she would have been fine and we would never have seen Mr Major disaster and the ERM.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Give that there are 2.61 million people unemployed and only 455,000 jobs available is it any surprise that so many people are on welfare. Unless the Government creates more jobs the number of people living on welfare will continue to rise.

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        As I probably won’t be the first to point out – the government is not in a position to create anything. All it does is tax, regulate and discourage those that should be leading growth -private enterprise.

      • Posted June 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        Governments just destroy jobs. The only way they can create them is to fire half the state sector.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          The Government tried this by firing thousands of people in the public sector and all that happened was the number of people unemployed rose, there was a double dip recession, and most of these departments became inefficient (such as airport queues due firing so many immigration officers).

          So as long as the private sector fails to provide jobs to those fired from the state sector, the state sector can’t shrink.

          Reply:P The private sector has created far more jobs than the public sector has shed.

          • zorro
            Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            More information/data on the type of private sector jobs created – part time/full time – low pay/high pay – would be useful to compare with the type lost in the public sector.

            Zorro

      • David John Wilson
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        There is also a significant number of those “unemployed” who are working in the black economy.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5 – Government creating jobs ?

        They could employ people in pairs: one to dig the hole and the other to fill it back in.

        When was it the Government’s duty to create jobs ? It’s only duty was to ensure that The Queen’s subjects were put first and in that it fails abjectly.

        I’d sit back and smile at such endearing naivety – except that so much of what you say is actual policy.

        DANGEROUS policy at that.

        We shall see precisely how it all turns out. The theory tested to destruction. And when it happens you’ll fail to see the connection – that YOU did it. (Those who think like you, that is)

        I’ll take the more charitable view of you instead – that you are a wind-up merchant who likes stirring things up around here by being contrarian.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          Try reading my post. The point I was making was that as long as there aren’t enough jobs for everyone people will remain on welfare.

          So the Government has two options the following options:

          1) Give people welfare for doing nothing.

          2) Creates enough minimum wage jobs for everyone.

          You can’t reduce the number of people on welfare without providing them with a way to earn a living.

          • Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            We read your post – but it makes no sense. There is not a fixed number of jobs as you suppose. Halve the state sector, easy hire and fire, reduce taxes, stop paying people to sit about and there will be loads of jobs around.

          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

            Predictably you omit to mention the obvious at a time of mass unemployment which is to cut mass immigration.

            I’m weary of your tosh.

            I’m weary of the fact that your deliberate conflation of issues is the exact same tactic of Nu Labourites and Guardianistas alike.

            I’m weary of the fact that your kind of thinking is what holds sway in government.

          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

            Uanime5 – You are not funny any more.

  12. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    More of the electorate has seen through Cameron and the momentum will increase. His regular pronouncements are largely disregarded as most unlikely to happen, he is a truly lame duck whose only aim was to be PM and not to implement workable and deeply felt convictions.

    Repeating myself yet again a true Conservative Leader would not have touched the non trade union wing of the Labour Party with a barge pole, he would have run a minority government as long as possible and then held another election. A shrewd leader would have kept Clegg off the TV debates or not agreed to them at all and given the in/out EU referendum. My conclusion is that Cameron quite simply has not got the will or the intellect for big and complex policy he prefers to drift along acting the part of PM.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      A minority Conservative government could at least say to the public, ok, we got it wrong, and that’s why you didn’t give us a clear mandate. We were neither Conservative enough, nor Euro-sceptic enough for the public’s liking, so, these are the new amended policies we will put before you, that everyone is calling for.

      Cameron could then dissolve parliament, call an election, and give the people what they really want. That would be the brave thing to do, as well as the honourable thing to do, but he wasn’t having that. His ego was far too important! He didn’t want to be known as the five-minute Prime Minister!

      That exposes Cameron’s true colours, and he’s no better than Major in his pro-EU position. Yet as leader of a minority Conservative government, the public could then see who opposed him, and ask questions as to why?

      It would have given Cameron the chance to put clear blue water between himself, and the pale-pink Tory ‘wets’, but here’s the rub, that wouldn’t have played out because in reality, he’s one of them!

      I cannot in all conscience continue to support people in the Major mould. Bring back REAL Conservatives with REAL Conservative values, and I might reconsider.

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Tad, I wouldn’t waste any more time on the Tories; they don’t deserve support. It’s Independents or UKIP.

      • Spinflight
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        I rather agree, Cameron’s only real decision was whether to form a coalition or not. I believe his own ego and ambition blinded him.

        “I think I’d be rather good at it” were his words, said with all the misplaced confidence of a cheap salesman. Quite why he thought he’d be good at ‘it’ is beyond me.

        “Calm down dear, I was born to run the country.

        Lol

        DC”

        The conservatives have had a leadership problem since Maggie left office, Cameron is certainly no better than his predecessors and appears to hold no defining principles whatsoever. I wouldn’t quite go so far as to say that you would easily mistake him for Labour but you certainly wouldn’t think he was a Conservative.

        Cameron’s oily ways turned a lot of voters off at the last election, the next one will be a massacre.

        Let us hope that a handful of UKIP MPs can turn the tide. All it takes is a few good men.

        • Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          The sad thing is he could be quite good if he had a sense of direction.

  13. NickW
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    What is a political party and what is its purpose?

    What UKIP is doing is to LISTEN to what vast numbers of the electorate are saying, and formulate policy accordingly.

    UKIP is functioning as a proper political party, representing the views of thousands and thousands of voters. To dismiss UKIP’s activities as “tactics” which can be ignored if one chooses to do so is to bury one’s head in the sands of reality leaving one’s posterior exposed to ridicule.

    UKIP is a properly functioning political party; the Conservative Party is not. The Conservatives have forgotten where they came from and how they got there.

    Our relationship with Europe is now a major problem with serious adverse effects on our country which are widely reported. European regulation is a serious obstruction to the supply side reforms needed for economic recovery, a problem frequently referred to by all Conservative Ministers. The leaders of the European Government are unelected and manifestly incompetent and there is no peaceful democratic way to remove them.
    Conservative policy is to ignore that problem and pretend it doesn’t exist. That is why UKIP is taking votes from the Conservatives.

    • NickW
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      To answer my own question;

      A political Party is the voice of the people.

      • NickW
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        What unites people is the perception of a common problem which is serious enough to require resolution.

        People are not united by agreement about solutions.

        To curb the deficit, focus on the problem of high taxes, which unites everybody, not the solution of spending cuts, which antagonises those who fear for their jobs.

        Note the word fear. Emotions are a far stronger motive force than logic and are more easily abused as a result. Attempts by political parties to motivate voters by fear should be opposed as a matter of principle; most people would understand why if it was explained to them.

        Clegg’s House of Lord’s reform is a solution without a problem. Putting it bluntly; this is an abuse of power for entirely selfish reasons which have nothing to do with the interests of the Country or the concerns of the electorate.

        Clegg and the Lib Dems are becoming a problem which unites the country and propels voters towards UKIP.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          Well said Nick!

    • WitteringsfromWitney
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      “UKIP is a properly functioning political party……..”

      If only! Their admin is non-existent; their strategy is rubbish; and like all political parties it is presently run by a leader-picked clique.

      I would vote for them in a GE, but only as a protest against the Lib/Lab/Con.

      • NickW
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        If one considers what a political party IS, then UKIP has sound foundations.

        Everyone knows what main principle UKIP stands for, they agree with the proposed solution, and are happy to be identified with the solution and the party.

        The Conservative party has no foundations; they’ve been dug up.

        • Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          Their foundation now seems to be largely an income, expense account, promotion and a pension please.

    • Bob
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      I agree with NickW.

  14. Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    John, I agreed with all of that except the bit about UKIP. UKIP is not trying to split the votes of the right; most want a Conservative party that is of the right. Achieve that and UKIP will melt away.

    Best,

    Mr. Frost.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Or be re-absorbed by the Tories. Most UKIP supporters are disaffected Tories anyway, and we have people like Major, Heath, Clarke, Heseltine, Hurd, Howe and Brittan to thank for that!

      Kick out the left, bring back the right, shift the centre of gravity accordingly to match that of mainstream man, and the future of both the Conservative party and the country is assured.

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

      • Spinflight
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        Erm… No?

        How about UKIP destroys the conservatives over the next 15 years instead?

        Much happier scenario.

        More likely too. It is the conservative vote that wavers, in my experience once chaps and chapesses actually read the UKIP manifesto and see their policies they turn into UKIP voters rather than disaffected tories.

        Indeed, from personal experience, it is remarkably easy to turn a tory voter into a card carrying UKIP activist.

        Do you know of any such happenings vice versa?

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted June 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

          Who cares if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice? The Conservatives need to get their Manifesto Policy right.

      • Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

        Agreed .

  15. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    My read on the Labour lead is that a lot of people who like what Labour at least aspire to, think they can have some of the benefits of that because they believe, probably correctly, that Labour are so chastened by the ghastly effects of the huge debt they built up (which they will no doubt do again as per usual down the pike) that they can, as they see it, safely vote them back in, at least for a while. Plus Godspeed UKIP whose every word I agree with.

    (PS Apostrophe after Balls please.)

  16. WitteringsfromWitney
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    You mention Miliband and immigration. Question:

    What exactly did Miliband know about financial support to Global Forum on Migration and Development? What did he know about financial support to ICLEI? Both organisations are actively working against the stated aims of cutting immigration to this country. In fact, Mr. Redwood, how much are you aware of these contributions? How much do William Hague and Damian Green know about this – and if not why not?

    For politicians to pontificate on matters without informing the electorate of the entire truth is disingenuous to say the least and omitting facts can be construed as lying.

    • Chris
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Something very disturbing was reported yesterday regarding comments apparently made by Peter Sutherland to the “EU Home Affairs sub committee, investigating global migration”:
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2163969/UN-migration-chief-calls-EU-force-member-states-multicultural-says-Britains-quota-legal.html
      UN migration chief calls on EU to force member states to be multicultural as he says Britain’s quota ‘not legal’…..The EU should make sure that its member states are multicultural to ensure the prosperity of the union, the UN’s special representative for migration has said. Peter Sutherland also suggested the UK government’s immigration policy had no basis in international law….He was being questioned by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee which is investigating global migration. Mr Sutherland, who is non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former chairman of oil giant BP, heads the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which brings together representatives of 160 nations to share policy ideas….

  17. alan jutson
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    What a mess your Party is in John.

    Aware that you are doing your best, and do please carry on fighting and give us some hope, but your leadership is now so out of touch with the mainstream public opinion, it is quite frightening.

    Just look at recent policy proposals (not policies)

    Gove ,we need to reform schools with learning and examinations which are fit for purpose. Excellent, but it has taken over 2 years to realise this and your Lib Dem friends oppose it, so chances of success nil.

    Cameron, we need to stop the Welfare Benefit culture and limit the claim culture. Excellent, but only last year you gave them a 5.2% rise when many workers had earnings caps, or even worse, a reduction in income, you also maintained child benefit (no limit) for everyone below the higher tax rate of 40%, whilst removing those who pay the largest amount in taxes.
    Also a slap in the face for Ian Duncan Smith who has been working on a scheme (yet to be introduced) to try and simplify everything, although I have my doubts about this.

    The above suggested policies have been aired only this week, add to that:
    A Part Time Army (increase the TA) to make up for all of the sackings.
    The borrow, spend and waste at home.
    The constant bailouts of other Country’s.
    The maintainance of our high tax system.
    And of course the fiasco which is the EU.

    There are plenty of other examples.

    Its all words and no deeds, no wonder other Party’s are looking good.

    Who would have believed that Labour, who have only changed their leader, not their polices, would have such support after such a short time.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      As I keep saying, as an alternative to political suicide, people keep choosing political suicide. We need to break away from the three main political parties, unless and until one of them sees sense and takes us out of the EU. The Tories are best placed to do that, but don’t hold your breath!

      Tad

    • uanime5
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      It’s a pity the Conservatives never implemented their plan to remove welfare by 66p for every pound that was earned. This would have ensured that people in work were always better off than on benefits and would have encouraged far more people to work part time. Instead all we get from the Conservatives are cuts to benefits and threats of forced labour.

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        If only there were any cuts, my friend. If only.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          There were cuts to child benefit for those on higher incomes. There were also some caps on benefits.

  18. oldtimer
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Your analysis of the reasons for the increased poll shares won by Labour sound right to me, as an outsider looking on. The Conservatives have also lost a chunk of their natural share of the poll votes and it is not all down to UKIP as you imply (“However, UKIP is busy trying to split the Conservative vote for the reasons many have often produced on this site.”) although clearly it is a contributor. Some of it is down to Cameron and the policies he has followed. Until they change, he and the Conservative party will fail to win the next election.

    Apart from the studied ambiguity of its policy towards the EU, there are other issues which jar with former Conservative voters. The government has failed to reform the absurd tax system, or to roll back the politically motivated tax changes introduced by Brown in his dying days. Cameron was an enthusiastic supporter of the Copenhagen treaty proposals and, as far as I can tell, still favours more global governance (cf his recent paper to the G20), and spending 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid. He signed, along with Clegg and Huhne, the absurd Carbon Plan. Previously, in opposition, he was an enthusiastic supporter of Bryony Worthington`s efforts to write the Climate Change Act, (she is now Baroness Worthington as reward for her efforts). It is difficult to discern a coherent policy response to the awkward fact that the economic assumptions on which the Cameron/Osborne political strategy is based (“sharing the proceeds of growth”) has been shot to pieces. In short, it is not just UKIP.

    • Little White Squibba
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      And how fair is it to say UKIP are “trying to split the Conservative vote”? They are trying to win votes for themselves, which in principle entails “trying to split” the votes for all the other parties. If the Conservative Party became conservative most UKIP supporters would see the sense in voting for them, but what hope is there of that?

  19. Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Some interesting and insightful points. However, surley it is more simple. Cameron has repeatedly shown a lack of the maturity we needed to steer us out of an economic mess. His perfomances at PMQs have been shudderingly bad, being more appropriate to a primary school play ground. Last weeks session was a breath of fresh air with William Hague not needing to lower the tone, but engendering humour on all benches. More professionalism please Mr Cameron.

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Obviously it’s too late for the Tory party to correct the bad mistakes it made in 2009.

    The first and electorally most important being the failure to explain clearly to the public that the primary purpose of QE was not “to stimulate the economy”, but to ensure that the Labour government could carry on with its over-spending and defer the pain until after the general election.

    The second and electorally less important being the reversals of policy on the EU, with Cameron’s abject surrender on the Lisbon Treaty before the election, and the insane policy of signing up to the Save the Euro campaign after the election, being just the two most notable betrayals of Tory members and supporters who’d been suckered into believing that Cameron was a “eurosceptic”.

    It’s unrealistic to suppose that large numbers of those who’ve shifted towards UKIP will shift back and vote Tory to keep out Labour; many of those who did that in 2010 now regret that decision amd won’t repeat the same mistake at the next election.

  21. Lord Blagger
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Disagree. You are to blame.

    The reason why Labour is doing well is that people believe that there is an alternative to austerity. They believe that because they haven’t been told the truth.

    1. Government debts are more than borrowing. 7,000 bn rather than 1,050 bn

    When people aren’t told the truth, they will believe all sorts of myths.

    2. Given the bill for true government debts, people won’t stand for more government spending. They are more likely going to call for those responsible to be strung up.

    Carry on lying, and you will lose.

    The question relates to the deficit.

    We have 150 bn of Keynsian borrow and spend. It’s not working. Another 5 bn of Labour inspired borrow and spend won’t work.

  22. JimF
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Whilst a few of the Libdem decisions seem illogical, most of the Conservative ones do.

    Why not have offered an EU referendum, and either silenced UKIP or frozen the Libdems out and brought UKIP in? Everything thereafter could have been policy borne of a democratic mandate, rather than struggling along debilitated by indecision, U-turns and splits.
    Why keep U-turning?
    Why not have cut fast and hard in the first couple of years to relax spending now?
    Why leave the banks practically untouched?
    Why continue to make erratic pronouncements about cutting welfare whilst expanding it?
    It only makes sense if you assume the power to maintain the status quo is too overwhelming for this government to resist. In which case what is its purpose?

  23. lojolondon
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The LibDems also offered us an EU referendum as recently as October 2011. See –
    http://my.telegraph.co.uk/cleggwantsareferendum/technotrader/5/5/
    They have lost supporters because they have lied again and again to the public.

    John, please do not say UKIP want to split the Tory vote, that is not true. UKIP are proper conservatives. We want Britain to be ruled by the British, from Parliament in Westminster. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I call it the Battle of Britain against the 4th Reich.

  24. JoolsB
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    John,
    UKIP doesn’t have to try very hard to split the Conservative vote, David Cameron is doing a good job of that all by himself. I am a lifelong Conservative voter & activist who will now vote for UKIP because I see them as the Conservative party which the present lot (with a few obvious exceptions) will never be. Not only that, Farage is offering both a referendum on the EU and an English Parliament, offering England a voice and equality with the rest of the so called United Kingdom, both of which to their shame the Conservatives refuse to do.

    I personally will NEVER forgive the party I spent months canvassing for in 2010 for what they have done to England’s young re. tuition fees whilst at the same time refusing to address either the skewed Barnett Formula or the English Question. To watch Danny Alexander, MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey champion the increase for my kids but not his own on behalf of the coalition and presumably with Cameron’s blessing was the final insult. Same with EMA, prescription charges, care for the elderly, all denied to England on grounds of cost because England gets much less to spend than the other nations despite being the largest contributor to the UK coffers and yet not one MP with an English seat has stood up and demanded fairness for England. They can’t even say the word England let alone stand up for it. They are using the same tactics as Labour in referring to ‘the country’ deliberately conflating England and Britain when they know full well that 80% of policies decided by the UK Government nowadays, including it’s 119 Celtic MPs, only affects England. The party put there by the English have let England down badly. England came to expect this discrimination from Labour but disappointingly Cameron’s Conservatives are turning out to be no better. As much as austerity needs to go further it needs to be applied fairly which it isn’t at the moment. It seems England as it is predominately now the only part of the ‘UK’ which is still governed by the UK Government must take the brunt. We are definitely not all in this together.

    The granny tax was another dispicable move slipped in under the heading of ‘tax simplification’ and which won’t affect pensioners on benefits or those on generous pensions but those just over the threshold for any help who saw their non-index linked private pensions hammered and who get no return on their small savings usually needed for living costs. This was the sort of move we came to expect from Brown but never a Conservative Chancellor. We continue to spend billions on welfare, billions on aid and billions on the EU but not support our elderly who’ve worked hard all their lives and ‘done the right thing’ Shameful!

    No-one wants to see Labour get in again to finish the job of bringing the country to it’s knees and further destroy England’s identity with their deliberate mass immigration policy or break England up into regions which they are already making mutterings about. But for the first time in my life, nothing could make me vote for the party calling themselves Conservative, save a vote on the EU and another asking England if she would like to enjoy the same self determination enjoyed by the rest of the UK and which Cameron champions for the Falkland Islands and everywhere else.

    If you wonder why people are deserting Cameron in their droves, please don’t blame UKIP and the other parties, blame your pro EU, anti- English Liberal leader and his Liberal inner circle.

    Reply: I am not “blaming” UKIP, merely pointing out what their strategy is. I seem to remember that when Mr Farage offered what you regard as a great package to the electors of Buckingham he came a poor third. As a result Mr Farage can offer us any goody he and you like, but none of it will happen because he is not in office in Westminster.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      I don’t expect Mr Farage and his men will win any parliamentary seats, but they may hand the election to a Lab-LibDem coalition. So, what is the Tory counter-strategy to prevent this?

    • Little White Squibba
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      “No-one wants to see Labour get in again to finish the job of bringing the country to it’s knees and further destroy England’s identity…”
      Unfortunately, and inexplicably, that does not seem to be true.

    • forthurst
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      “On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
      “Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
      “I did,” said Ford. “It is.”
      “So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?”
      “It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
      “You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
      “Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
      “But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
      “Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in.”

      * Douglas Adams, in So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish (1984) Ch. 36.

    • MickC
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      But David Cameron IS in office in Westminster and has NOT delivered on the goodies he offered, has he?

      It is likely people will vote for those who may deliver what they promise if they attain power, rather than those who certainly have not.

      I will most definitely be voting for UKIP knowing perfectly well that Labour will win. My hope is that the Tories will then understand reality and propose an agenda which its (former) membership will support. A leader with some experience of real life will also be essential, as will a party not dominated by Central Office.

    • Chris Smith
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Excellent Post JoolsB, I agree almost completely and am in a similar position. But will the buggers listen? No, they blame everyone else when it is their own actions that have directly alienated their erstwhile supporters.

      If voting for UKIP is a wasted vote then so be it. I would rather waste the vote than give it to any of the three so-called major parties that continue to spend more on Europe, Climate Change and International Aid and try to spend less on everything else.

      What they, the Conservatives, have done to tertiary education is a national disgrace, and in about 10 – 15 yrs wait for the write-offs of student loans that will never be repaid. I am advising my heavily-indebted offspring to either join the cash economy or leave these shores.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      But John, the people of Buckingham voted Conservative to get a Conservative Government elected and to get rid of one of the worst governments ever – Labour. Many voters were never going to risk voting UKIP no matter how much Bercow is hated but I think you will find now we know that Cameron’s Conservatives are not really Conservative at all, many more will be inclined to vote UKIP at the next election because they really can’t see much difference between the last lot and the present lot. I would say I am Conservative with a big C and if people like me are saying this, ex-party members/activists, then the true Conservatives in the party should be worried because with Cameron at the helm, the next election is lost.

      Reply: There was no Conservative candidate in Buckingham. John Bercow stood as Speaker, which is why Mr Farage thought he could win there.

      • JoolsB
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

        The sitting Conservative MP for Buckingham also happens to be speaker Bercow although protocal expects no-one to contest the speaker’s seat. Farage was contesting a safe Tory seat irrespective of Bercow being seen to be more akin to Labour than his Conservative colleagues. John, Tory MPs are making a big mistake if they assume UKIP will be no more a threat at the next election than they were in the 2010 election. Conservative voters thought they were voting for a Conservative party with Conservative values in 2010, they know different now.

        Reply: You not seem to understand how the Speakership works. Mr Bercow is no lomger a Con servative, and if he follows precedfent will never be a Conservative again. He will remain neutral. You also have to explain why Mr Farage came a poor third, behind a pro Euro pro EU candidates. That was far from helpful to the Eurosceptic cause.

        • JoolsB
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Okay John, I’ll give you that one but he was originally elected on a Conservative ticket wasn’t he? Let’s face it, as speaker, he’s not doing a very good job of appearing neutral is he?

          Yes Farage came third but that was when Conservatives like me thought they were voting for a Conservative party, Bercow included as Buckingham is a safe Tory seat (despite the speaker being ‘neutral’.) We were all desperate to get rid of a rotten government and a terrible PM that nobody voted for and weren’t going to risk voting anything other than Tory, nor did we have any reason to unlike now. Also, I suspect it didn’t help Farage’s case breaking the convention of standing against the speaker which isn’t the done thing. Now Conservatives are beginning to realise the party calling themselves Conservative are anything but, UKIP will do much better in the future although probably not well enough under the present FPTP system to gain many MPs but enough to stop the Tories winning a majority. I’d hate to see a Labour Government get in but to be honest I’d rather see a Labour Government doing all the dispicable things we expect of them than seeing a Tory one doing the same.

          UKIP are no longer a one trick pony. Not only are they the only party offering to give us a referendum on the EU but they are the only party offering England equality with the rest of the UK, something the Tories have failed to do despite getting most of their votes from England. All Cameron has to do is offer the same and prove he is not pro-EU nor anti English but he won’t because he is.

          We are told by the three main parties what we want despite polls stating otherwise. Why not just ask us? Is it because we might give the wrong answer?

    • JimF
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Reply: I am not “blaming” UKIP, merely pointing out what their strategy is. I seem to remember that when Mr Farage offered what you regard as a great package to the electors of Buckingham he came a poor third.
      -you mean he wasn’t the PR smart-ass whom some of us saw through?

      As a result Mr Farage can offer us any goody he and you like, but none of it will happen because he is not in office in Westminster.
      -by which you infer that goodies offered by Mr Cameron have happened? Which ones, pray?

    • Posted June 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Indeed third even to Bercow! Clearly the electorate there are mad but that is how they are.

  25. Robert Taggart
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Methinks, correction, FEARS ! Cameo will survive as Tory Leader until after the next General Election. Then ?…

    Should the LieDums be wiped-out – to the advantage of the Tories – Cameo continues.
    Should their be another ‘hung’ Parliament – Cameo will hopefully ‘hang’ with it !

    That said, should UKIP pick up a seat or two – unlikely, but – what of the Tory leadership then ?

    YIKES… how to vote next time ?!

  26. David B
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I think the Lib Dems are learning the hard lesson of – Be careful what you wish for as you might just get it.

    At the last election the Lib Dems campaigned for a hung parliament so they could enter coalition. Now it is here they discover life is hard and lonely when you are the one that decides. We can argue about coalition policy, but ultimately we don’t take the final decision, but they have to.

    Opposition is so much easier, you can make conflicting promises, pull back from policies that upset people and dodge the hard issue of how to pay for them. In government these issues must be addressed head on and in full view of the public

  27. Atlas
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Following your advice John, I’ve been letting my Conservative MP know what I think of recent policies.

    I cannot say that I’m getting anywhere! I think the ‘Whipping’ system just produces zombies.

    So presumably the problem comes down to those who set the Whips, in other words the Leadership, yet I don’t see Cameron’s actions as a reason to vote for the Conservatives again. His dealings with Hunt and the Chipping Norton set have caused him to lose my trust. Perhaps a new leader – not Osborne! – would improve Conservative fortunes.

  28. REPay
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    The reason the Tories are not credible is that they said they would share growth and failed to tell the truth. Everyone (who cared to look – not our innumerate journos) knew the UK public finances were in terrible shape. The Balls/Brown boom was fueled by three things: public sector borrowing, private credit and a housing asset bubble. I worked at Tory Central Office as a volunteer and wrote a strategy whereby the Tories would reveal the nature of the problem using the language of a sustainable public sector rather than the shrink the state argument which many don’t understand. No one wanted to tell the truth. Had they done so they would have looked credible. As it was after ruining public finances Labour, stupidly assisted by the Tories spent most of their time banker bashing. More than half the population believes Balls/Brown were victims of bankers. Brilliantly successful is the Labour line that there is a choice between Growth and Austerity – now the BBC’s line on the UK/eurozone.

    The list of errors is long:
    Bad at PR. Spinning like Labour but not as well. The Coalition is governing as New Labour.
    Disrepectful to Parliament – telling the media first
    Some bad choices – see the budget.
    “Investing” like Labour – vanity projects with little or no economic benefit H2S

    I know it is difficult with a Coalition and to work with a party whose only interest is to secure itself a permananet balance of power and to give away power to people who might give it e.g. Proportional respresentation, unquestioning support for the projet and a House of Lords. However, much of the above list was avoidable.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      REpay,

      Your post reminded me of a 17 page teatise I wrote back in 2005 entitled, ‘From the ground up – a voting man’s perspective’.

      It wasn’t for public consumption, just for a select few. Four out of the five candidates for the Tory leadership, plus one or two others. IDS said how much he enjoyed it, and William Hague asked me to ensure all the candidates read it, which was my original intension.

      It essentially looked at where we (the Tory party) were with an historical re-cap, where we had gone wrong (with being too pro-EU and losing contact with our core supporters), and what we needed to do to put it right.

      I thought I had everything pretty well covered. I gave sound unassailable arguments as to why we needed to reconnect with our core supporters. Needless to say, it had absolutely no effect, so who would be to blame if the Conservative party were now consigned to the dustbin of history, and a new political party took up their mantle?

      I no longer think of the Tories in the ‘we’ context, but the ‘they’ and ‘them’ context. They sure as hell don’t represent MY views!

      Our views (that is, those who have fought tooth and nail for the Tory party) haven’t simply been overlooked, we’ve been cheated!

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

      • REPay
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:15 am | Permalink

        Tad

        I think the country has been cheated. Politics should be about ideas, principles and solutions and based on facts. The facts are inconvenient to politicians as they chase votes based on a world that is as people would like it to be. That is a world where government has the cash and solutions to all problems – or tries to sound as if it has! This is the corporate statist model that is utterly bankrupt in the western world.

  29. waramess
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Oh dear, always someone else’s fault. UKIP, Liberals, but never the Conservatives.
    Are the Labour opposition really in front? If the turnout recently is anything to go by these opinion polls are very unlikely to be reflected in votes.

    The people have lost interest in politics and the politicians have lost the plot.

    Labour proved to be a worthless lot at governing, Cameron is seen as weak and untrustworthy and the Coalition is seen as not working.

    The voting that now takes place will either be tribal or for none of the main three parties.

    There will be a material move to UKIP by those who want a referendum on EU but an even greater number will simply stay at home on polling day. Cameron has had his day and has proved to be an ineffective PM who has been unable to have an impact even on the main job in hand: the deficit.

    As with Labour party before the last election the only way forward will be to change the leader and then restore credibility by holding a referendum on the EU.

    The politicians need to trust the people and they need to stop squandering money on what the public see as nonsense projects.

  30. Tad Davison
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I agree with a lot of the comments.  I’ve been saying much the same thing myself, especially with regard to the biggest gerrymandering con ever perpetrated against this nation by a political party.  Labour couldn’t rely on the indigenous population for a majority, so they imported people from abroad.  Only now, they adopt a contrite facade and say ‘sorry, we got it wrong’.

    That is absolutely gut-wrenchingly sick, and deserves our unreserved contempt and condemnation, but nobody in parliament it seems, has the bottle to expose it or to put it right.

    But the Tories were the architects of their own ruination.  They lost the link with their own core supporters.  They didn’t just lose the 1997 general election through the ERM fiasco, for me, as a law and order campaigner, it was just as much about their failure to tackle crime.  

    And as a staunch Euro-sceptic, it was the pro-EU stance taken by John Major, Heseltine, Clarke, Brittan, Howe, Hurd and Co.  These people had nothing in common with the core Conservative voter, and should never have been given ministerial roles, or even be party members for that matter.

    On both of those subjects mentioned above, and many others besides, they are completely out of kilter with public opinion.  On crime and punishment, and the EU, we Euro-sceptics have been proven absolutely right, and they pale-pinkies absolutely wrong!

    In the prohibitively expensive war on crime, I have always argued for greater deterrents.  By it’s very irrefutable definition, an effective deterrent deters. That way, no-one goes to prison, no-one becomes a victim of crime, the tax-payer saves a fortune, and the rest of us can live in peace, so why haven’t we got deterrents on the statute books?

    Deterrents have worked in preventing nuclear war, so the same principle could apply to the criminal classes.  Furthermore, it can be argued that deterrents represent the most humane as well as the most cost-effective option, because, no-one suffers any punishment as a consequence of their own actions, because there are no actions in the first place.

    Now that seems like logical common sense to me, and in keeping with the best and wisest conservative philosophies, but Major’s lot weren’t going dow that route, not with Clarke as Home Secretary!

    Only when Michael Howard started to undo the damage caused by the likes of Clarke and Hurd, did we see a fall in the levels of crime, but by then it was all too late.  The Tories had lost the trust of the public.  We now have a new generation of under-achieving Toadies to match the earlier ones, but this time, the Conservative party, AND the nation, will sink into the abyss for ever, and be consumed by the EU unless they turn this around, and quick!

    The situation really is that dark.  I just cannot see the necessary wholesale changes being brought about by piecemeal initiatives, but that is going to take a change of leadership as well as a change in direction.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      Tad – Crime is the issue which I’m most worried about. On this – and welfarism – the political class appears to have been disturbingly neutral between the law-abiding and offenders and there is a fearlessness among the criminal class.

      A clamp down on welfarism is not going to be an easy path for any of us.

  31. Liz
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    The Conservative weakness in the Coalistion can be summed up by the proposed House of Lords Reform. Here is a major constitutional change supported entirely by the junior partner: it has no support in the country and little in the Conservative party and would weaken the House of Commons even further. Details of the proposals have been leaked without being put before Parliament – par for the course these days. Yet Mr. Cameron seems to be more than willing to foist this on the country without any sort of consultation whatsover. If Mr. Clegg wants more democracy here then I suggest he starts with the European Union, which he is fanatical about, and which has far more unaccountable power than the House of Lords, changes the rules on postal voting and supports the redrawing of parliamentaryconstituency boundaries. The LibDems in the coalition seem to be working all the time to weaken the Conservative vote and placing themselves ready to go into a LibLab coalition in the next parliament. Mr Cameron needs to try and revive his Conservative beliefs, think things through before either talking about them or putting them before Parliament and showing a little backbone.

    • APL
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Liz: “The Conservative weakness in the Coalistion can be summed up by the proposed House of Lords Reform. ”

      Any constitutional reform should be treated with the utmost suspicion while our political class are in thrall to the European Union. We already have a cadre of placemen in the Lords who are both unelected by in the pay, the former commissioners of the European Union; Mandleson, Kinnock et al.

      So when the Limp Dumbs and their Blue tory sidekicks offer us the ‘gift horse’ of Lords reform, we should stride right up to the animal, prize its jaws firmly apart and take a good long look!

      Just look at what our politicians have already done.

      Given us a ‘supreme court’ that isn’t.

      So is it too far fetched to think they might try to foist a second chamber that doesn’t represent the views of the people?

    • uanime5
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Why exactly is the House of Lords’ reform weakening the House of Commons a bad thing? The whole purpose of the Lords is to weaken the Commons in order to prevent the Commons acting in a totalitarian way.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted June 29, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

        Because we don’t want the sort of intolerable conflicts that the American system generates, that’s why. It has taken over 200 years for the USA to get anything remotely workable. And if Mitt Romney is elected President, with a Democratic Senate and a 50/50 House of Representatives, they may be complete deadlock next year.

        If Conservative backbenchers want to stop the bill, they should support Labour’s opposition to the timetable motion. Then they will a chance to filibuster a la Foot/Powell. There is some chance of turning it into a backbenchers vs frontbenchers fight by opposing the inclusion of ANY appointed peers; 50% elected, 50% hereditary would be interesting.

        Reply: If there is a timetable motion the government may lose it. However, you cannot filibuster – you have to keep to the topic of debate, and in the end the Bill should pass the Commons as Labour support it.

  32. RDM
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Appeal to the People.

    Be positive; Offer them a smaller state, and a framework from which everyone can take what ever Opportunity life affords them! i.e Access to the British Banking system. Talk about building a better further, something we all can do, but at different levels. An Enterprise Cultural within which everyone can prosper, the British Way!

    Being negative just re-enforces the Them and Us (Divide and Conquer strategy) perception. To present issues like “Dole Scrounges” as a Election platform is a waste of time. But saying the long term unemployed no longer need benefits, because they can be Self employed, even offering transition support is better!

    The Conservative Party’s real problem seems to be that they still believe in Trickle Down Economics! Them and Us, Public School boys politics, etc … Not looking to the People, not fixing an obviously broken Banking system, etc … This country should be growing now! There is no need to rely just on Export and Inward investment growth. There are plenty of internal Investment and Development opportunity’s, within the Regions especially! Access to Project Funds?

    Ken Clarke (QT) persistence that Banks know how to create Value, judge Risk, and manage Technology development is plain Wrong! Banks should not be allowed to take Peoples Home as collateral for Technology Development (startups) companies. Big Banks are focused on better returns within the BRICs, and not long term development relationships. Also; they MUST be forced to use a formal Project Management approach to Technology development, as a Business plan, like the rest of industry!

    Regards

    RDM.

  33. Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    As you correctly point out at the end the current onservative government do not wish to respond to UKIP by adopting any of their policies, though occasionally Cameron says how much he “understands” peoples wishes on the subject – a tactic which, when repeated so often without action, increasingly fails to fool people.

    On an EU referendum & even on EU membership the Tories position is clearly a minority one. On catastrophic global warming it is increasingly so. On nuclear & shale gas the Tories’ position of being nominally in favour and actually against may be acceptable to the public.

    However this is with them refusing to push any principles let alone coherent ones. I am convinced that either major party would win if it was willing to say that EU membership relegates us to the only area of the world mired in recession; that the Climate Act ensures permanent recession & that we could get out of recession in days if we started allowing shale and nuclear energy to be produced. The alternative is not getting out of recession and it is difficult to see how any party can win if it keeps us in recession, even when the public are not fully aware that it is deliberate.

  34. Bob
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Lib, Lab or Con, where’s the clear blue water?

    Time for a change.

    As the adage goes, the definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

    Roll on UKIP.

  35. David Saunders
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Most of UKIP voters are natural Conservatives and despair at Cameron’s pink leadership as a self confessed ‘liberal Conservative’, especially over the EU and no referendum cast iron pledge that melted.. Of course it is about numbers in Parliament but it was Cameron whose poor judgement in allowing Clegg in on the TV debates and the lacklustre election campaign that failed to produce a Tory majority against an exhausted and incompetent Labour government under a very unpopular Brown. In government Cameron seems closer to the Lib Dems than his own MPs and picks unnecessary fight with his own core supporters. He has no discernible political conviction and has made U turns an art form. He just wants a quiet life so no change, no chance.

  36. Steve Cox
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    You may ask the question at the end of this interesting article, “Can Conservatives attract the wandering Labour and Lib Dem votes as they hope.?”

    Just as relevant is the question, “Can Conservatives expect to keep the votes of their traditionally loyal supporters, savers and those on fixed incomes, when they have betrayed them so badly?”

    I for one will never vote for a government led by either Cameron or Osborne, in spite of being a lifelong Tory. Roll back QE and get interest rates and annuity rates on a normal footing once more, or you will continue to hemorrhage some of your most loyal supporters.

    And for anyone brainless enough to think that money printing is the same as creating wealth, even the central bankers’ overseer doesn’t agree with this continuing idiocy any longer:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9352844/Bank-of-Englands-money-printing-is-putting-UK-economy-at-risk.html

    I have raised this point here time and time again over the years, but John has said that he does not believe many MP’s feel it to be an important issue. Perhaps that should be ex-MP’s?

  37. Bert Young
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Dr.JR , I think you are wrong in believing that Wm. Hague does not want to re-negotiate the terms with Europe . He supports Cameron publicly because , like you , he does not want to create a split in the party , and , as a close significant member of the Cabinet , he knows that if he did not “go along” with DC , it would bring the whole thing down at a very difficult time . There is no doubt that UKIP will play a very significant role in the next election ; opinion polls verify their increasing support and their much more respected standing with the electorate . Nigel Farage has offered a kind of deal with the Conservatives and, he should be taken seriously . Unless a deal is struck , the Conservatives will lose . Norman Tebbitt has a very important part to play in this – perhaps the only individual who can be trusted to bring it about .

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink

      What I would like to know is what happens if England votes Tory at the next election but we end up with a rainbow coalition of Lab/LibDem/SNP/Plaid Cymru as nearly happened in 2010 despite the Tories winning a 62 seat majority in England even with the boundaries skewed in Labour’s favour. As Scotland has it’s own parliament and Wales & NI their own assemblies, the UK Government with the exception of reserved matters only governs England nowadays, it being the only one not allowed it’s own legislature and yet post devolution, England has chosen the Conservatives to govern them twice, in 2005 (although the Tories received more votes, Labour received more seats) and 2010 and yet we alone in this ‘Union’ are denied the Government of our choosing. If a Labour Gov or rainbow coalition excluding the Tories is foisted on England against it’s wishes come the next election, will our elected representatives finally stand up and demand England is given the same democratic rights as our neighbours or will they continue to stay silent as they do now? When the self annointed Brown became PM, David Cameron never once questioned his right to make decisions on English only matters, Brown having no power to make those same decisions for the people of Kirkcaldy, those being decided by 129 MSPs in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. The one party which is virtually extinct in Scotland is also the Unionist party which insists on putting the ‘Union’ before it’s constituents and bizarrely doesn’t want to give a voice or equality to the one nation where it is denied but where it has it’s strongest support.

  38. zorro
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    ‘This would not matter so much to David Cameron’s Conservatives (DCC), if the Conservative vote was holding….’

    Nice positioning John, I don’t blame you trying to slowly distance yourself from DCC…..I’d love to see Cameron’s polling evidence that he has a hope in hell of getting any wavering Labour/Lib Dem voters!

    It must be difficult having a PM who as leader of your party who isn’t even an ‘heir to Blair’…..more like an ‘heir to Brown’ in every sense.

    zorro

  39. forthurst
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Those who voted for the Conservatives in 2010 feel a deep sense of disappointment and betrayal. They were expecting change; they were expecting the egregious errors of the NuLab to be corrected or at least mitigated. The overconcentration of retail banking has not been addressed; the activities of banksters has not been curtailed. (The City is still the fraud capital of the world.) The overconcentration of the media has not been addressed but their half-baked policy has spectacularly backfired. The secret immigration policy of NuLab has become the blatant policy (It’s much harder than you think, blah, blah) of ConDems. To be deported to a (word left out) state such as the USA, you need to be European. The 50% to uni policy has not been kicked into touch. (This, as in the USA, is a racket to encumber a large swathe of young people with debt whilst offering social engineers posing as academics an over-remunerated platform from which to groom their students with anti-nationalist, anti-Northern European poison). Blair’s wars funded by Lord Cashpoint have found new backers and proponents in Cameron/Hague and the rest of the treasonous neocon sympathisers. Welfare and Green nonsense makes us uncompetitive, and, equally damaging, the housing bubble has been sustained with low interest rates and loose money:

    “In its annual report, the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS) warned that artificially low rates and inflated asset prices could also be holding back growth by masking lenders’ bad debts and deterring them from cleaning up their balance sheets.

    “Prolonged and aggressive monetary accommodation may delay the return to a self-sustaining recovery,” BIS said. “It can undermine the perceived need to deal with banks’ impaired assets.”

    Political pressure for loose monetary policy, including quantitative easing (QE), also threatened to damage central banks’ credibility and destroy their independence, BIS said.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9352844/Bank-of-Englands-money-printing-is-putting-UK-economy-at-risk.html

    • forthurst
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      One of the residual benefits of once having been the greatest maritime and trading nation are the facilities still resident in the City to support international trade: however, if maritime insurance is to be withheld, arbitrarly, from shipping based on the allegations of carpet-chewing neocons who appear to be directing this treacherous government, we may need to look to other ways of earning a living in the future.

  40. Richard
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    The last election was always going to be the poisoned chalice for whoever was the winner.
    If I had been the Leader of any of the three main parties I would have run a very low profile campaign with a very vauge manifesto and hoped not to get in….hang on… isn’t that what happened?

    To remain popular enough to get re-elected at the next election, is going to be a very difficult task.
    Browns legacy is a much larger client state who will never vote for any policies which leave them worse off , and with 500,000 more new arrivals each year, that client state is growing rapidly.
    Add an economy left in such a dreadful mess that allows little or no room for tax cuts or public spending increases and you can see the problems ahead in getting re elected.

    In addition, there has been no attempt to stop the ease with which the postal vote can be used to defraud a true election outcome and the rearrangement of constituency boundaries also seems to make re election more difficult.

    The modern voter is far less tribal, and will vote for whoever seems to offer the best deal and this will always make the promises of opposition parties more enticing than those of the current Government.
    The fatal mistake is to try to occupy the middle ground or attempt weak consensus politics, as I feel there is a desire for some firm, radical actions in many areas.
    When all the parties appear similar, as they do at present, the voters will be more likely vote for a change of Government at each election or not vote at all, as seems to be a growing trend.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Richard,

      a good piece, but if all three parties are the same, best then we vote for one other that is entirely different. The other three have consistently failed us, but offer no real change. That’s why there have been so many ‘stay-aways’ in recent elections.

      I really can’t understand them. The opportunity is there. Yet they still want to give us more of the same old junk that hasn’t worked. It’s utter madness to ignore the public. This is why I keep saying there must be an ulterior motive that they’re not telling us about.

      Tad

  41. zorro
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    http://order-order.com/2012/06/25/mps-ipads-costing-225pm-each-in-data-charges/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+guidofawkes+%28Guy+Fawkes%27+blog+of+parliamentary+plots%2C+rumours+and+conspiracy%29

    John, are you an iPad free zone?…….I also see that Italy is knocking on the dor again asking for bond purchases to resume.

    Zorro

    Reply I do not have an ipad on my office costs from Parliament.

  42. uanime5
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    You shouldn’t blame the Lib Dems for the failures caused by the Conservatives. Most of the unpopular policies have originated from your party including trebling tuition fees, the strikes resulting from the Conservative’s attacks on public pensions even though the Hutton report said these pensions were sustainable and they currently produce a surplus, giving control of the NHS budget to GPs in order to privatise the NHS, Plan A for the economy which has caused stagflation, academies that don’t require qualified teachers, propping up failed private schools with public money (free schools), forced labour for the unemployed, the 2 year long Work Programme to hide unemployment, and over 35 U-turns on poorly thought out policies. You can’t blame the Lib Dems for any of these.

    Let’s not forget the current debacle cause by Cameron’s plans to cut welfare. What exactly is going to happen to under 25’s who lose their housing benefit and can’t live with their parent’s because they’re orphans, they’ve spent most of their life in care, their parents are in care homes, their parents have left the country, or their parents have downsized their house? What happens to those who are under 25, in employment, and receiving housing benefit? Are they expected to go on the dole until they’re 25?

    How much longer will this go on before the Conservatives realise that to attract new voters they can’t keep alienating everyone, especially those who currently don’t vote for them? The Conservatives have already lost Scotland, and large parts of the North of England and Wales; are they trying to lose every MP outside of London as well?

    Reply Dr Cable invented the tuition fee proposals and pushed them through. The welfare plans Mr Cameron is talking about today are not government policy. The NHS proposals were in both party programmes in 2010.

    • APL
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      JR: “Dr Cable invented the tuition fee proposals and pushed them through.”

      Really John, stop it.

      Dr Cable an MP of a minority party that is only in government because of the support of the party with the largest number of seats in Parliament, pushed his proposals through in the face implied of Tory opposition.

      This is laughable!!!

      Reply: No – he did not push them through against Tory opposition, but against Lib Dem opposition. They were his proposals, and he with Mr Clegg imposed a 3 line whip to push them through. If a Conservative Minister had drafted them instead they would have been different, but there would still have been increases in fees.

      • APL
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        JR: “If a Conservative Minister had drafted them instead they would have been different, but there would still have been increases in fees.”

        Ah, the Tory party, the hapless instrument of Lib Dem policy implementation.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      So you’re saying that Dr Cable proposed trebling tuition fees, even though the Lib Dems pledged not to increase them, and forced the Conservatives to support him. Do you have any proof of this? Also what would the Conservatives have done to tuition fees if they had a majority in Parliament and weren’t bound by Dr Cable?

      The Conservatives’ manifesto never mentioned replacing NHS Trusts with GP Consortias, though it did promise no top-down reforms. So the Conservatives haven’t done what they promised in their manifesto.

  43. forthurst
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I see that our bank is still having ‘technical problems’:

    “RBS do use CA-7 and do update all accounts overnight on a mainframe via thousands of batch jobs scheduled by CA-7 … Backing out of a failed update to CA-7 really ought to have been a trivial matter for experienced operations and systems programming staff, especially if they knew that an update had been made. That this was not the case tends to imply that the criticisms of the policy to “off-shore” also hold some water.” – an ex-employee.

    Presumably our bank is now in full disaster recovery mode having allowed our computer to systems to plough on regardless; we can hope they have adequate backup tapes.

    • forthurst
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      “When asked to confirm that the CA-7 software lay behind the problems seen last week, RBS refused to confirm what software exactly was involved.

      The RBS spokesman stated that “the software error occurred on a UK-based piece of software” but declined to give details on where the staff overseeing the software were based.”

    • APL
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Foxhurst, I read a similar article, apparently our State Royal Bank was advertising in Hydrabad for CA-7 operatives back in January.

      Could it be that our state run bank has been outsourcing critical services to cheap foreign labour?

      That would be the government sanctioned redundancy for UK taxpayers.

  44. Sue
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    “Lib Dem voters have defected in despair over the Coaltion”

    Perhaps you should tell Cameron how unpopular the LibDems have become. He obviously is not aware of it. He panders to Clegg like a spoilt child. No matter what Clegg wants, he seems to get. He’s even trying to change the House of Lords into an EU led “senate” all neatly assigned to a NUTS region no doubt. Clegg is a traitor to his country and a total Europhile. What he doesn’t seem to realise is that Labour “touting” nationalism and patriotism is capturing that large percentage of Liberal Democrat voters that aren’t pro-EU.

    Clegg has single handedly destroyed his own party and the Conservatives needn’t give way to them every five minutes….. unless of course, Cameron is a closet LibDem?

    • uanime5
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      How exactly will the House of Lords be an EU lead senate? Which EU members will be leading it?

      Also I suspect they’re using NUTS regions to ensure that Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are fairly represented. If PR was used to elect senators throughout the UK only parties with strong English support would get elected as 85% of the population lives in England. A party in Wales or Northern Ireland would never be elected as they wouldn’t have enough support.

  45. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Your party was mistaken in trying to woe the Labour/LibDem votes and ignoring your own supporters. Most ot the voters you have been trying to attract would never vote Conservative and by alienating your own supporters you have confirmed to them that your party no longer stands for what they do whilst UKIP does. Net result you have lost support and gained nothing. Your attitude to the EU has been finally seen through you will never let the people have their say if you think it will result in leaving thw dreadful EU. Your last sentence confirms this. Your party has furthermore shown itself to be just as incompetent as Labour – the only difference being that it has taken only 2 short years for us to realise. I am afraid your future and that of the country is looking bleak, for which we can blame your party leadership. Backbenchers, far from being the dynamic awkward brigade they were portayed, are no more than the mere lobby fodder we have come to expect. Even you cannot achieve anything despite your fine blogs – mere words which may sooth your conscience but achieve little else.

  46. oldtimer
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Re the EU, fiscal union and greater integration there is an interview by Der Spiegel with Walter Schauble, the German finance minister, that is worth a look.

    That interview, and comments today by Merkel, indicate that there will no blank cheques from Germany to the rest of the EU. It appears that far reaching proposals will be made. Herr Schauble believes that, because they go further than permitted by the German constitution, (they will involve a transfer of sovereignty to Brussels), they will have to be approved by the German people in a referendum. He foresees the possibility that events could move much faster than anyone expects – citing as an example the speed of the fall of the Berlin Wall after Reagan`s speech.

    If events evolve in the way and at the speed he thinks is possible, than I hope that the UK government is ready with a convincing response.

  47. Paul
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I’ll tell you what UKIP is trying to do – to get an in/out referendum that the people have been criminally denied. They couldn’t care less about the Conservatives. They care about the country. The Conservatives are no more eurosceptic than Labour or the Lib Dems so it’s wrong of you to believe UKIP is obsessed with splitting the Conservatives – they are focussed on getting a referendum, they lost interest in your party years ago. It is the Conservatives who are obsessedwith UKIP. The Conservative leadership will never to what traditional conservatives want, so it is time to support UKIP instead of bashing them all the time and trying to make people believe they are an anti-Tory party. They are not. They are an anti-EU party, which your party is not.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

      Paul–very well put. I despise the Conservatives more with each passing day. I gather listening to the News that Cameron’s recent stance on Welfare is just blather and an opening of the war of words ahead of the next election years away. Oh for a Mrs Thatcher who said what she stood for then acted upon it not maybe if some focus group liked it. Viva UKIP.

  48. ITF_Tory
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    If you look at the total number of votes cast for the three main parties in every general election from 1979 to the present day, you can see an extremely close correlation between the number of Liberal or Lib Dem votes and the number of Labour votes. When the Lab votes increases, the Lib vote decreases by almost exactly the same number. There is a similar situation for the Conservatives, except their vote correlates with turnout; in fact, it tracks turnout almost exactly. When the turnout increases, the Con vote increases. There is one small exception, and that is 1997, when many former Con voters switched to Blair. But, after that, it reverts to normal. The reason that Lab/Blair got a second big win in 2001 was because the turnout was so low – the voters who switched from Con to Lab in 1997, then simply stayed away from the polls in 2001.

    If you don’t believe me, then try plotting the numbers on a graph.

    The point I’m making is that to get a majority the Conservatives need to look at increasing voter turnout. Find out why 35% of people didn’t vote in 2010. If the turnout had been more like 70%, then I’m convinced that the Conservatives would now have a Parliamentary majority. Don’t bother trying to win over Lab and LD voters; there are many people out there who appear to be naturally right wing but, for whatever reason, simply stay away from the polling stations.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Simply excellent!

      So the Tories need to give the public sound policies, not the crap of the Heath-ites like Major who even life-long Tories like me were glad to see the back of!

      Interesting to note Margaret Thatcher’s landslide in 1983 thanks to the Falklands factor. We are British and wish to remain so. We aren’t European, and have no wish to be. What could be more apparent?

      Bodger and Badger got booted out last time for being dishonest with the public. The same could happen with Compo, Clegg, and Foggy!

      Change is needed to give disenfrachised mainstream man something to vote for.

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

  49. Arunas
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Sir,
    LibDem voters defecting to Labour could be one part of the equation. Another part is that, as far as I can see, Labour is the only party that consistently stays with their (wrong, IMHO) values.
    I have voted for the Conservatives to sort out welfare, health service, red tape, labour laws, public sector inflation, taxes, immigration, education, human rights, restore national pride. The results so far are, in the same order, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, pass, fail, fail. What exactly would be the reason for the Conservatives to lead the polls?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Another good one!

      Tad

  50. Jon
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure one can blame the Libdems and UKIP for this afterall if a company looses market share who’s fault is that?

    I think this goes back to a frustration I had. It wasn’t until around mid 2007 that the conservatives thought there was anything wrong with Brown’s handling of the economy, no doubt for political spin reasons as the facts spoke for themselves. There was a failure to root this economic fiasco on Labour. The Conservatives didn’t defend Labours claim that none of it was predicted yet a large portion of the population was saying that all this credit and people with new cars and fancy holidays was going to end badly.

    Where is the terms Brown’s Pensions Black Hole? Its nowhere, Faced with an ageing population, future costs rising by trillions Labour were meant as in their 1997 manifesto to address this. Brown from day one ditched that and went for credit and leveraging in the face of trillions in liabilities. Through lack of attack the huge liabilities of an ageing population are now collectively the fault of politicians rather than Brown and Labour. In fact if the Libdems have any sense they would start laying the ground work of who’s fault it is.

    Basically the Conservatives were too polite and proper back then and didn’t land the blows that pinned properly the debt and rest of it on Labour. Afterall the Conservatives were bashing the bankers to Labours delight when they were following the perameters set by Brown who wanted a credit boom to offset the end of the post war boom.

  51. Jon
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Just to add further, you rightly say Ed Balls is associated with a growth agenda. Ofcourse we know he’s not, what he will bring is 7% bond sale rates and we will never grow anywhere near that. Conservative respond to him (as does the media) in polite terms. He does not warrant proper and polite but being discredited and a narrative to get that across to a proportion of the public that don’t understand or bother to have the time to.
    These people use bigotry as if we were still back in the 1970’s, they will throw harsh insults at the privately educated whilst paying for there own children to go to drama class or extra math tuition or purchase a laptop for them. The Conservatives fight on their terms all right and proper in stead of what is presented on the battlefield.

  52. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Simply unbelievable that Cameron can carry on or be allowed to carry on as he does, with the Lords for instance. Does he ever go in to saloon bars anywhere in the Country? The Lords WORKS for Heaven’s sake and works well not to mention CHEAPLY. Doesn’t that count for something? UKIP are doing what they are doing out of frustration. Deo vindice.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      How are you assessing whether the Lord’s works or not? How many bills they pass? The number of amendments they make?

      Unsure if low cost has ever been a measure of a well run Government.

  53. Freeborn John
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    YouGov have breakdown of shifts in party allegiance since 2010. 

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/0w8gg3rki9/YG-Archives-Pol-ST-results-22-240612v2.pdf

    The major shift is from the LibDems who are only retaining 38% of their 2010 voters. 39% of 2010LibDems now plan to vote Labour, 11% Conservative and 7% UKIP. 

    Labour are retaining an impressive 93% of their 2010 voters with the Conservatives, LibDems and UKIP picking up 2-3% each of former Labour voters.

    The Conservatives are retaining 82% of their 2010 voters, with 8% going to UKIP, 7% to Labour and 2% to LibDems.

    Thus Conservatives appear not to be  benefiting from the major shift away from the LibDems and are themselves suffering from a loss of support primarily to UKIP but also direct to Labour.

    Of course this is mid-term and some of these shifts can be expected to partially unwind before election day. But I do wonder how the Conservatives can possibly win a majority without regaining any of the 3% UKIP vote that cost them a majority in 2010 and indeed likely seeing this 3% grow to 5% or more next time.

    I wonder who among UKIP voters can have been impressed by the recent dance of the 7 veils from Osborne and Ed Milliband hinting at possible EU referendum promises in future manifestoes (to go with their unfulfilled promises from past manifestoes)? Conservative politicians seem to view the EU issue as being primarily about winning the party leadership rather than pulling the party out the nosedive they have been in since Maastricht. Osborne in particular should be unelectable having shown a catastrophic and myopic sense of political judgement in advocating more European federalism. Looking at the sorry lot of federalist drifters in the cabinet one cannot help but feel that a clearing out of the political stables is needed and that the best way to achieve that is a heavy Tory defeat in 2015 followed by new non-Etonian blood capturing the leadership.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      FJ,

      2015 is way too late. QMV kicks -in well before that in 2014. Unless the whole EU project implodes sooner, it’ll take a civil war to get us out.

      Best the Tories get themselves a new leader who is positively anti-EU. Businesses often have to bring in outsiders to put the job right, when they don’t have people of sufficient calibre in-house. Might I suggest Nigel Farage as a good replacement for Cameron?

      Miles, miles better by far, and in touch with the people, quite unlike the typical breed of lying Tory Toady I have come to detest so vehemently!

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

    • Mark
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      You have to read the YouGov table closely. Percentages of votes relate only to those who would still vote. Lib Dems lose 25% of their 2010 votes to those who now wouldn’t vote at all/are undecided. Only 38% of the remaining 75% i.e. 28.5% of 2010 LD voters would still vote for them

  54. sjb
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    JR wrote: The Conservative government that entered the Exchange Rate Mechanism leading to the recession of the early 1990s has kept the Conservatives from a majority ever since.

    The UK was in a deep recession before we entered the ERM because of the action taken to remedy the fallout (e.g. 9% inflation) from the ‘Lawson boom’ c1986-8.

    If I recall correctly, one of the reasons Mrs Thatcher agreed to join the ERM was that interest rates could be cut from 15%.

    Reply: You recall incorrectly. Shadowing the DM caused a big inflation and being in the ERM caused a recession.

    • zorro
      Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Interest rates were 15% from Oct 89 – Oct 90, and then went from 14% to 11% in July 91. They then changed to 10.5% in Sep 91 and stayed there until May 92 when they went to 10%……..Then they rose to 12% on Black Wednesday…….Major then threatened 15% to try and stay in the ERM, but gave up the ghost and Britain came out of the ERM . Interest rates then tumbled to 6% in less than four months….and the road to recovery began.

      The reason that interest rates were at 15% in Oct 89 was because of the excessive credit/housing boom (remember double MIRAS tax relief) which had been stoked from 1986 and Lawson’s insistence on shadowing the DM at a certain rate (from early 87 to March 88……

      When we were in recession, it was madness to tie ourselves into the ERM, because the Germans had been setting high interest rates to counter any inflationary effects from their excess expenditure on German reunification.

      Zorro

      • zorro
        Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        We went in recession in 1990 and came out in 1992/3…..GDP growth had peaked at 5% in 1988 and then dropped to 1% in late 1989…..whilst our GDP had been falling, interest rates had been rising to silly levels! Inflation rates (RPI) had been growing steadily from around 4% in early 1987 to 9% in 1989/90 as a result of the shadowing of the DM…..

        Zorro

        • zorro
          Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

          We officially entered the ERM on 8th October 1990, so strictly speaking by that time, from memory, we had hit ‘negative growth’ in Q3 1990…..

          Zorro

    • sjb
      Posted June 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      As zorro points out, we did not enter the ERM until about midway in Q4 but were already in recession in Q3 as can be seen by scrolling down to the end of the page here

    • sjb
      Posted June 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      It is unclear (to me at least) whether you also disagree with the link between entering the ERM and a cut in interest rates, so let me share my findings.

      First, during a 1993 speech Margaret Thatcher said vis-à-vis the ERM that she told John Major [then Chancellor of the Exchequer]: […] you can go in in October [1990] after we start to get the interest rate down again […] [1]

      Second, her authorised biographer said she: […] took Britain into the Exchange Rate Mechanism of the European Monetary System on the fleeting promise of lower interest rates.” [2] Incidentally, the Bank of England’s archive shows that interest rates fell during the UK’s membership of the ERM; contrast this with the rise in interest rates in the two years prior to membership. [3]

      Finally, there is the statement she made outside 10 Downing Street: You will, of course, have heard the announcement that the interest rates are to be reduced by one percentage point on Monday [8 October 1990] and that we have applied this week-end to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism. [4]

      References

      [1] Speech to the Fraser Institute (“The New World Order”), 8 November 1993

      [2] Charles Moore, Conservatism: Margaret Thatcher & Capitalism (2012 Adam Smith Lecture), 6 February 2012

      [3] Bank of England, Statistical Interactive Database – official Bank Rate history

      [4] Press Conference announcing decision to join the ERM, 5 October 1990

  55. Electro-Kevin
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    “Yet Labour is now regularly 10% or more ahead in opinion polls, just two years after their bad defeat in 2010. They can thank the Lib Dems for that.”

    I beg to differ.

    They can thank a left-of-centre PM who uses Nick Clegg as cover. The recent mood music on education and welfare from the PM is right but will it come to anything ?

    On Mr Cameron’s past form one can only doubt it. For this to translate into votes at the next General Election these policies must come into force well before the end of this term of office and no later.

    I feel that I speak for millions of erstwhile Tory voters when I say this:

    David Cameron conned me. The Labour party lead is Tory voters rejecting his party.

  56. BobE
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    2 years 10 months till the next labour government gentlemen

  57. Posted June 25, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    What won’t the Tory MP put up with? That is the question. The answer seems to be that the current crop can endure any travesty & remain “loyal”. Events will not be so kindly. That’s why UKIP’s next leader will be a prominent Tory MP serving with JR today…if its not Redwood.

    • waramess
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      If are right then that, and a big donor will be all UKIP need for a serious crack at government.

      Could be what is needed for a real shake up of the system.

      • Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        And that leader will find England ready to end the Lilliputian binding of Scotland & release the most enterprising people on the face of this Earth!

  58. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    It is clear that the LibDems have become a millstone round our necks. We should get rid of them after the 2013 budget is safely delivered because it clear that a popular Eurosceptic policy will be the Conservative Party’s trump card in the 2015 General Election. To be credible, we need to get rid of all the Europhile Conservative MPs and candidates. The key function of democracy is to offer the electorate a clear cut CHOICE on major issues.

    Another thing that is clear is that there needs to be a massive reduction in public expenditure in that 2013 budget: freeze public sector pay, freeze all pensions and benefits, freeze expenditure on the EU and on foreign aid, with inflation causing a real reduction.

    The latest monhly borrowing figure is a disaster. It has soared to £18 billion compared with £15 billion a year ago. Welfare costs are up. Income tax receipts are 7% down. Raising the income tax threshold towards £10,000 should have been accompanied by a rise in the standard rate of income tax. Instead, the government has battered those at the bottom end of the 40% income tax band. The 40% threshold is now a full £10,000 less than it was in 1992 (after applying inflation to the 1992 figure). Total income tax receipts are now a lot less than they could easily be.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      How is the Government going to introduce any of these changes without the support of the Lib Dems and Europhile Conservative MPs? The Conservatives don’t have a majority in Parliament so without both of these groups they won’t be able to pass any laws.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        I’m already looking ahead to the next parliament. After the 2013 budget, the Conservative Party could operate as a minority government taking the odd defeat. The LibDems also want to redefine themselves – Vince Cable has said so. All we read need is one year in which the LibDems do not support a Labour No Confidence motion. Conservatives could use that year to firm up policy.

  • 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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