Corby challenge


               The resignation of “A” lister Louise Mensch so soon after becoming an MP has created an interesting political opportunity for the parties. Corby is a Conservative marginal. It is exactly the kind of seat Labour has to win convincingly in a by election to show they are a credible contestant to govern next time. It should be  in UKIP’s own thinking an ideal contest for UKIP to prove its own rhetoric that the public are now desperate to leave the EU and prepared to vote for that.

                UKIP contributors here are always telling me that UKIP is now poised to break through. They tell me Mr Farage is a far more electable and popular a politician than the three main party leaders. Will Mr Farage contest Corby himself?  If not, why not? In a by election like this, UKIP could expect to get more publicity than in a General Election if polls showed it  likely to they would  experience any surge in support.

                It is also of course a good test for the UKIP proposition that they are out to pressurise Mr Cameron into adopting a more Eurosceptic policy. There is always a danger for Mr Cameron in a marginal seat that UKIP could gift the seat to Labour by detaching sufficient Conservative voters to allow federalist Labour to win. My guess is Mr Cameron will not think this a likely outcome,  or will not think he should make any concession to UKIP. I do not expect him to  make any announcement offering a referendum soon or a renegotiation to get powers back.

               I suspect the Corby by election will come and go without helping us resolve the obvious need for the UK to have a new relationship with the EU, as it rushes headlong to an unfortunate political union.


2010 General Election    Conservative 42.2%, Labour 38.6%, Lib Dem 14.5%, BNP 4.5%

UKIP    polled 0.9% in 1997, 1.8% in 2001, 2.6% in 2005 and did not contest Corby in 2010. UKIP gained 16.4% of the vote in the East Midlands in the 2009 European elections and 3.1% overall across the UK  in the 2010 General Election.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. lifelogic
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    You do not expect Cameron to “make any announcement offering a referendum soon or a renegotiation to get powers back”. Indeed not, nor do I. Cameron is clearly is a pro EU, every bigger state sector, leader to his very finger tips and just intentionally deceived everyone to gain leadership. One wonders why on earth he is not in the Labour party.

    Even and if he did make another promise no one would believe or trust him one inch (or centimetre as he, the BBC and the EU would have it). I do not think the conservatives have any real chance of holding the seat, whatsoever, even with the expected total collapse of the LibDem vote. It is clearly not a good seat for UKIP but they will surely do far better than they have historically here. The Tories would do well, at least, to find a sensible real Tory candidate, not a semi celebrity, self publicist chosen by Cameron or perhaps for reasons of gender, notional religion or the diversity agenda. Some one you disagrees with Cameron on virtually every issue this would ensure the right type of candidate for the party.

    I expect Labour to win comfortably and LibDems to struggle with their deposit. Ukip and Tories fighting for a poor second place.

    • Bazman
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      As Timaction says why not put Delingpole up for election? I would love to see him defend himself in a serious debate.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Delingpole is just fine a serious debate and it would be good to see a sensible person ,who has not swallowed the fake green, ever bigger state, pro EU socialism of the BBC and both main parties stand.

        Whether his honesty will be popular politically in Corby and in a country so softened by endless lefty BBC drivel and what passes for political debate, I am not so sure.

        Honestly and being right is not always as popular as it should be.

        The Lords is stuffed full of people who have been wrong on the green, EU, ever bigger state and other issues all their lives and have learned little.

  2. Leslie Singleton
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure it’s fair to ask Farage to stand in Corby. You say, If Not Why Not?, but rather, Why Should He? Does he live there or something? I doubt that much of the population in Corby has even heard of him and their individual ideas of when the breakthrough will come will be as uncertain as those of the rest of us. In any event he is entitled to choose his ground. Your depreciation of the perfectly fair and straightforward UKIP comes across clearly as being greater than your continued support, no matter what, for the devious weak-kneed Conservatives.

    It wouldn’t worry me much if UKIP were to take say 10% of the votes (at least?) from the Conservatives in Corby this time thus letting Labour in and signalling Game On. It would worry me even less if that caused Cameron to resign or at least buck his ideas up on Europe.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      I hope James Delingpole contests this seat for UKIP. He is an excellent columnist in the Telegraph and holds true conservative thoughts and values. I sincerely hope he wins. However, if he doesn’t he should get sufficient votes to ensure that the Tory candidate doesn’t succeed. That is the message that Messrs Cameron/Osborne need. They are not listening to the people and are putting their own personal interest above the nation. Mr Cameron has become a liability to the Tories and is on the wrong side of every policy decision (Gay marriage, foreign aid, mass migration, EU, Christians wearing crosses in the workplace etc). He should be in charge of one of the Liberal or Labour partiers as he makes no difference out here in the real world but increasing taxes! There is no difference for us if the mainstream parties are elected as they are all the same.

      Reply: Some people think UKIP votes lost Conservative seats at the last election but it did not seem to change Mr Cameron’s approach.

      • zorro
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply – That’s because he always intended to ally himself with the Lib Dems and use their MPs to force through his unique agenda. If you are happy for the Tories to be led by such an individual all well and good……


      • Timaction
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwood you are right and it will be far worse next time at the election if Mr Cameron still leads your party. All polls show the public want out of the EU as we know its a political union and NOT about trade. Especially with a £50 billion trade deficit. So many more competencies surrendered by the Lisbon Treaty that effective self rule will cease in November 2014 with only 8% of the voting rights. I could write a long list of the reasons why we should leave and there are no benefits other than a retirement home for politicians.
        As one American commentator said this week either we want to be a sovereign Nation or a County of Europe!! As an Englishmen many of my ancestors lost their lives to retain our sovereignty I will always choose the former and despise those who want the latter by deception and incremental stealthy lies.
        Mr Cameron is a liability and vote loser for the Conservative Party. See how membership has haemoraged in recent years and party activists are openly stating their displeasure.

      • James
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        I read somewhere that the UKIP plus BNP vote at the last election held the balance of power in 133 seats, ie their voters could have tipped the result to one of the other parties had they voted for them. It’s a nice spoiler but is largely irrelevant as it makes not one iota of difference which of the main three parties get in.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    This is an extremely interesting remark about Nigel Farrage contesting Corby.
    Louise Mensch has, by any standards, behaved appallingly. The Scots steel workers who live in Corby will no doubt draw their own conclusions from her disappointing behaviour.

    What your post actually shows is the deep divide in the right of this country. We feel let down and, yes, leaderless. She was parachuted in anyway and that has upset the local Conservatives.

    I really do hope that the man who is elected for Labour in a few months’ time will not presage the General Election in 2015.

  4. Steve
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Nice try, John, but Nigel Farage would be wise to keep his powder dry in case Chris Huhne is forced to resign later this year.

    Reply: It wasn’t a try or a hostile question. It was just taking on what many of you tell me about the popularity of UKIP and Mr Farage. At some point this popularity has to be tested again.

    • Steve
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Nigel Farage’s popularity will be tested, but in a seat which is winnable for UKIP and at an appropriate time.

      Let’s face it, you, Douglas Carswell, Patrick Mercer and a few more, represent the true Conservative party and command respect.

      It’s only a question of time before the electorate lose patience with this wishy-washy left wing Coalition, who are not going anywhere now post-Lords debacle.

      So why rush into a by-election when a shattering defeat in Corby may cause the Tory party to split into two, sooner rather than later?

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      A strong line on leaving the EU (or having just free trade) and retaining some UK democracy is far, far more popular than UKIP themselves. Cameron knows this well and will doubtless reinvent himself, yet again, at the next election.

      It clearly will not work now that all his credibility has gone.

      • zorro
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Five years too late if he did (of course he won’t)…….


  5. alan jutson
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    The more worrying aspect to all of this is Mr Camerons personal judgement.

    First he shoe horns in Louise Mensch, who to her credit won (but this was when Brown was in charge of Labour), but after just 2 years, decides enough is enough it does not fit in with family life.

    Did she not realise the working hours and commitment at the time of her application.

    Then we hear in Mr Camerons resignation reply letter, that he was thinking of promoting her, if she had stayed.

    Talk about crash and burn.

    Once again Mr Camerons judgement about people is bought into question.

    All of your experienced senior back benchers must be rolling their eyes.


    On the by election

    I have not a clue who will win but I will be surprised if you hang onto this one, especially if you get a candidate who is parachuted in from the central list.

    No, I do not think UKIP will take it, but certainly hope they Poll enough to shake Mr Cameron up if they do decide to contest it.

    Reply: I think Mrs Mensch decided to marry a man who lives in the USA after becoming an MP, which was an unusual complicating factor.

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      reply – reply

      Yes its is a complicating factor getting married to someone who works/lives abroad.

      But what was known at the time was that she had 3 small children, does not hold a driving licence, and was going to be parachuted in from a distance.

      Think I may have worked out that this may present some problems with regard to travel, apart from the time and unsocial hours factors.

      Only she knows if she was seeing her present husband at the time !

      Surely there were other candidates more worthy ?

      How about a local one who knew the constituancy and had some knowedge of the local area and its make up . !

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Indeed their were doubtless far better (perhaps, white males who were sound on the EU) candidates who were doubtless deemed unsuitable by Cameron’s PR minor celebrity, approach.

    • zorro
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      As you say, another example of Cameron’s legendary judgement……


    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      No doubt after experience of this parliament Miss Mensch was driven to flee to the States. Nigel Farrage would hardly stake his political life on a by-election in Corby (of all places). But sending this seat to Labour is another thing; watch out what you wish for Mr. Redwood!

  6. Single Acts
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Short of the obvious photogenic nature, I could never quite understand why this writer was regarded as an A-lister, until I read this on wikipedia

    “Consequently in 1996 she switched to the Labour Party, saying that she believed Tony Blair to be “socially liberal but an economic Tory” and secretly Catholic”

    And I humbly submit, this tells you all you need to know about the modern conservative party and today’s identikit, interchangeable MP.

    • zorro
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Continuity Blue Labour…..


    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      “socially liberal but an economic Tory” is an interesting quote. Personally I had hoped that the Coalition would have this leaning, taking the socially liberal aspects of the LibDems and the economically liberal aspects of the Conservatives. But to me it has seemed the opposite path has been taken; LibDem economics and Conservative social policies. Perhaps Louise Mensch hasn’t gone for family reasons after all?

    • James Matthews
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink


  7. Duyfken
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The more frequently you mention UKIP, the more good it does for UKIP, since it shows that UKIP is creating a problem for the Party you loyally defend. Did I mention the name of UKIP? Not that I am a member of UKIP, just that UKIP proclaims the sort of principles I can support. I am glad you have kindly reminded us of UKIP!

    Reply: My piece was a piece of analysis, not a pro Conservative broadcast.

  8. Paul Danon
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Sadly, political union is already here. Our trade and farming are run from Brussels, our human rights have been exported and most law is made in Strasbourg. We also have little control of who lives or works here.

    • Jerry
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      But isn’t that the point that UKIP is making, it doesn’t have to be that way, surely only those who are either Europhiles or have thrown in the towel would ever have such resignation in their comments?

    • uanime5
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Only human rights law is made in Strasbourg.

    • Martyn
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      You left out fishing – our once plentiful shoals of fish decimated, in some cases almost to the point of extinction by Heath handing them over to the EU.

      There we were, within living memory, an island stood on coal and shale oil, with productive farmland and surrounded by sea with plentiful fish stocks and where are we now? Everything, lock, stock and barrel handed over by successive governments to be run under EU diktat, in some cases to the point of ruination.

      Thanks to Blair and Prescott, the Scots still have Scotland, the Welsh, Wales and the Irish Ireland but England no longer exists so far as the EU is concerned. And politicians wonder why so many of us want to claw our way out from under the EU boot?

  9. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    You are right it will be revealing. The by election date is suggested as November, which gives time for the mess we are in to worsen. If this is correct why so long? Is it because of the political party silly season – time these were truncated to weekend events and not given priority over parliamentary scheduling. The latest figures suggest the three main parties have collectively less than 400,000 members, say 1% of the electorate.

  10. APL
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    JR: “UKIP contributors here are always telling me that UKIP is now poised to break through.”

    You are being deliberately obtuse.

    If we had an Eurosceptic Tory party, one that wasn’t rotten to the core, riddled with EUrophillic traitors; Clarke, Eustace, Cameron et al, we wouldn’t need UKIP.

    You have been promising change from within the Tory party for about … twenty years, when are we, those voters who gave Thatcher such electoral success, going to see some?

    In the mean time, this post is just a diversion. Oh! look over there.

    Reply: You all seem very touchy. I am just trying to set out the position and the options for Eurosceptics. I have helped get change in the Conservative party. It is now an anti Euro party in principle, which it wasn’t under John Major, and a party in favour of getting powers back. I am now with many of my elected colleagues pressing for a referendum and a new relationship with the EU. It would be good to have some support for these causes.

    • APL
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      JR: ” You all seem very touchy.”

      Not at all. Speaking for myself, I have been gulled by the Tory party too many times to take any rhetoric at face value. Actions speak louder than words, Mr Redwood, and David Camerons actions and words are consistent, leading me to the conclusion that you are in error when you assert that the Tory party is now an anti Euro party in principle.

      Even if you were not mistaken, and it were true, the Tory party is still controlled by EUro schills and its governing administration still infested by EUro dinosaurs like Clarke.

      Try it on an 18 year old voter if you want.

      This doesn’t work here.

      Reply: Mr Cameron is strongly anti Euro, the currency, and has recently kept the UK out of a new Treaty required by Euro folly.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        “[JR] Reply: Mr Cameron is strongly anti Euro, the currency, and has recently kept the UK out of a new Treaty required by Euro folly.

        Sorry but this is more than about the Euro, it’s about the EU, doesn’t Mr Cameron understand that? Perhaps he doesn’t, thanks for the clarification!

        reply: I agree this is about more than the Euro, but was reminding you of what I wrote, which was accurate.

      • zorro
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply – So there are no circumstances in which Cameron would recommend the Uk to adopt the Euro? Is that what you are saying?…..We shall see…..

        Funny he is so anti Euro that he seems to have wasted billions of pounds of money we don’t have to prop it or its adherents by deceptive hook or crook….


        • lifelogic
          Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          Precisely – thanks, you saved me typing it.

      • Duyfken
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        The rising sense of anger which I detect in APL’s postings, is one with which I can empathise and JR’s “Reply” here and his others in this thread do little to stem my dissatisfaction with the entire bunch of Conservative MPs, even those who are truly EUsceptic. I am distinctly unconvinced by JR’s apologia (he would say he is just stating facts).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        If it were true that:

        “Mr Cameron is strongly anti Euro, the currency”

        then he would be taking every possible step to keep our country out of it, not just for the duration of this Parliament but forever.

        He isn’t; he’s doing the exact opposite; he’s doing everything he can do to make sure that the present eurozone will survive intact so that it can later expand and eventually, inevitably, engulf us as well.

        And nobody should fondly suppose that the British people would have their chance to stop that through a referendum, because Cameron’s government deliberately rejected all suggestions that the relevant part of the European Union Act 2011 should be entrenched against easy repeal.

        If a future government of whichever party or parties wanted to join the euro without a referendum, then it would be as easy for them to remove Hague’s so-called “referendum lock” as it would be for a burglar to remove a front door lock that a foolish householder had fitted with the screw heads on the outside.

        • Jon burgess
          Posted August 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          Any reply to that, Mr Redwood?

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Re reply

      If you want some support for the cause of “a new relationship with the EU” then you are going to have to do a much, much better gob of selling it! Floating a few “wouldn’t it be nice if ideas”, as you have done from time to time, is no convincing vision for a sound future for the UK. At best it is simply advocating joining a process that has a multiplicity of conceivable outcomes. How can you support something when you do not know what it is you are supporting?

      And in any event, why would the most satisfactory new relationship in the EU be better for the UK than out of the EU?

      Reply: A new relationship with the EU includes the option of simply leaving, as I would give the people a vote allowing that as an option. There would still need to be a subsequent negotiation of a new relationship with the EU should the Uk vote for immediate withdrawal.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      To reply you say:
      “It is now an anti Euro party in principle, which it wasn’t under John Major, and a party in favour of getting powers back.” well is this actually true even just “in principle”?

      I rather suspect this stance was purely for electoral purposes and certainly, under Cameron, they clearly cannot be trusted one inch. Not on the EU, not on smaller government, and not on endless tax, borrow, debase the currency and endless waste.

      Reply Since I and my friends won the argument the Conservative party as a whole has argued against Euro entry and has voted against it. The Conservative party voted against Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon and has recently refused to join the latest Treaty.

      • Jon burgess
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        Too late, Mr Redwood. Sadly, it was Maastrict (which you supported) the Single European Act and Rome that set all this in motion, and all signed by your party – one could describe them as institutionalised EUfanatics. Nothing has changed.

  11. oldtimer
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I have read elsewhere that Mr Farage was eyeing the attractions of the Eastleigh constituency and the possibility of an early election there. That would depend on the outcome of Mr Huhne`s court case. It seems to me that UKIP will be looking to next year`s MEP elections to make a stronger mark on the political scene. That would be a better proposition for them.

    Re Europe and Germany in particular, talk of a referendum there to secure public backing for a transfer of more powers to Brussels is increasing. This appears to be be a response to concerns that the politicians are in danger of exceeding their constitutional remit. If Germany does go down this route, it would inevitably delay still further a political resolution because of the time required to specify just what it was the referendum would be about. In short it would be another way of kicking the can down the road and getting someone else to take responsibility for the decision.

  12. Mick Anderson
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I understand that Mr Farage has some association with Eastleigh, and would stand there if Mr Huhne loses his pending trial in such a way to force a by-election. I suspect that even if he is found guilty that a way will be found for him to keep his seat.

    It would be more interesting if Mr Delingpole were to stand for UKIP in Corby. He has recently moved to the area, and seems to align with their policies fairly well.

    Much as I would be delighted to see UKIP MPs elected in both places, I can’t see it happening. It is more likely that if these candidates were to stand in these seats, the “big three” parties would find a way of squeezing them out.

    • zorro
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      What is clear is that Cameron’s CONservatves are doomed in Corby….


    • lifelogic
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      The problem with Delingpole is he tells the truth rather too clearly (on almost every issue apart from his odd OTT gold fetish).

      This is rarely a good stance for politicians wishing to be elected. It would be good to watch though.

      • Mick Anderson
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        The problem with Delingpole is he tells the truth rather too clearly

        Truth-telling would be a problem if he (or anyone else) were standing as a Conservative or Lib Dem candidate. It’s a bit of a problem for Labour too, seeing how recently they were in office.

        I’m not sure that it’s a disadvantage for anyone standing on UKIP or independant ticket. They are not going to be in power if they win, so can never be held to account! I suspect turnout will be low, which will also help.

        The only danger for Delingpole -vs- UKIP is if he were to show them up in some way, and I doubt that would happen (he’d have to be really appalling). If anything, UKIP would benefit from having a high-profile member of the Party who is other than Mr Farage, even if Mr Delingpole failed to be elected. It would at least double their visibility.

        I rather suspect that Mr Delingpole will chose not to run. Perhaps Kelvin McKenzie would like another crack at being elected as an independant….

  13. Jerry
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Corby is a Conservative marginal. It is exactly the kind of seat Labour has to win convincingly in a by election to show they are a credible contestant to govern next time.

    Corby is a flip-flop marginal (barometer) seat, it seems to go the way of the wider political picture, the other side of the John’s coin suggests that it is exactly the kind of seat Tories really has to win -or keep- convincingly in a by-election to show they still retain popular support to govern. Consequently, for who ever looses, the reason for the loss need to be examined carefully to understand were the voters went and why.

    The fact that John has given over a blog to nothing but trying to goad UKIP suggests that UKIP are rattling at least some Tories, UKIP don’t actually need to win seats, they need to (I would hope…) just threaten to push sitting Tory MP’s into second place so that the policy/manifesto writers at TCO start taking note of grass roots feelings rather then select focus groups. Are those at the top of the Tory party really saying that if the party were to actually promise -put it in the manifesto- a simple IN/OUT referendum that more people would leave the party than (re)join/vote Conservative?

    • zorro
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      But John said that this was a piece of analysis, and not a pro Conservative piece……LOL


    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Jerry, are you sure it is the “select focus groups” of whom they are taking note? How much notice do you think they are taking of the big party donors?

      • Jerry
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Well yes, point taken, but then who was a BIG party donor, since kicked out of the Tory party [1] and now the Ex officio Party Treasurer for UKIP, this person still hold the record for the single highest donation to a UK political party – so in that respect money doesn’t always talk at TCO it would seem…

        [1] admittedly he did ‘ask for it’…

        • Alan Wheatley
          Posted August 12, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          And your point taken, too. As long as the system allows for individuals/companies/organisations to make large, dominating donations to political parties there can be the danger and always the suspicion that donations are driving party policy.

          In some case large donations support what would in any event be party policy (e.g. leave the EU) but in other case you have to wonder why the leadership is so keen on things at odds with grass-roots support (e.g. gay marriage).

  14. Bloggers4UKIP
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Nice try John. Whilst appearing to be perfectly reasonable and even encouraging to UKIP you’ve managed to slip a couple of terminological inexactitudes in. UKIP is not out to convince your leader to be more eurosceptic, that would make us a Tory pressure group not a political party. Your party can’t be saved, UKIP long ago gave up hope that the Tories might become eurosceptic again, the only way to save the country from the EU is with UKIP MPs in Westminster.

    But it’s about more than the EU as you well know. UKIP had the most comprehensive manifesto of any party at the last general and local elections and unlike the Tories, who successfully argued in court that they don’t actually mean what they say in their manifesto when sued by Stuart Wheeler for beach of contract over Comrade Cameron’s Cast Iron Guarantee™, we intend to honour our promises on flat tax, improving the education system, honouring the military covenant, fixing the union-threatening lop-sided devolution, allowing the private sector to support the NHS without privatising it, negotiating a Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement and all the other common sense policies contained in our manifesto.

    Nigel Farage doesn’t need to contest Corby, we have any number of very capable candidates available and it’s up to UKIPpers in Corby to put their choice of candidate forward. Unlike the Tories, who are having problems with dissent in the ranks because they’re trying to parachute in a loyal Camerloon, the selection process isn’t a central party stitch-up.

    Reply: To achieve any of those aims, which include many popular ideas with Conservative voters and members, you first need to have a majority in the Commons. Otherwise offering them is meaningless.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      You sound increasingly desperate. How can it be meaningless for UKIP to offer a comprehensive manifesto? Your party has ceased to offer what many of us want and unfortunately you are happy to keep supporting a leadership which as you concede will not make “any announcement offering a referendum soon or a renegotiation to get powers back.”

      reply I did not support the Conservative leadership on these issues, and have voted several times in this Parliament against a 3 line whip over the EU issues.

    • Jerry
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Reply to “Bloggers4UKIP”;

      Sorry to say but the first thing UKIP needs to be electable is a credible UK leader, Mr Farage is fine for the show-boat that is the EU but would be totally out of his depth at Westminster and the wider world-stage and I suspect voters understand that and is why UKIP have failed to make a breakthrough. IF I end up voting UKIP at the next GE, should Mr Farage still be the leader, it will be whilst holding my nose!

    • zorro
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply – Why do you offer your ideas which may be popular with Conservative voters and members, you first need to have a majority in the Commons. Otherwise offering them is meaningless, isn’t it?


      reply: The purpose of launching them is to persuade other Conservative MPs and Ministers to back them, which from time to time they do. I think I am more likely to persuade them from within the party than from forming a new party with little support.

      • zorro
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Who knows?….But, as you can see, I was juxtaposing your words to your situation as you were doing to UKIP……


    • Mike A R Powell
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      That ‘majority’ may yet come from another coalition, this time including a handful of UKIP MPs.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      UKIP will be lucky to get one MP let alone a majority alas under – the current system.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Ms Lucas of the Greens managed it, one just needs the right candidate, the right constituency, the right promises to the right group of electors (even if you then don’t do much to fight their causes once elected…) and hey-presto!

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          The fact that Ms Lucas of the Greens achieved it shows just how many irrational voters there are about – such voters are not likely to vote UKIP nor are the very many, always have always will vote C or L voters.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 12, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

            Sorry but Tory voters can be as irrational as the next, were do you think most of the votes for Blair and NuLabour came from in 1997?

            Whilst it’s true that fully paid up party members are unlikely to switch their vote, the same can not be said about those who have just traditional voted for the party. If UKIP ever do break-though I suspect that it won’t be in a marginal or flip-flop constituency, it will be at the expense of an ‘under performing’ safe Tory MP …

    • bob webster
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      UKIP hardly needs a majority in the commons to see large parts of it’s manifesto realised. Labour may have a ten point lead at the moment, but we all know a hung parliament is a likely outcome in two or three years time, with or without the proposed boundary changes. I believe that UKIP can gain up to 5 seats if the coalition staggers on into 2015, and could play an important role in a genuinely euro-skeptic right of centre alliance once “cast-iron Dave” is out of the way.

    • outsider
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Dear anonymous bloggerUKIP,
      You would do well to take Mr Redwood’s points to heart. Your party really only attracts people who previously or would otherwise vote Conservative. To others, you remain a one-issue party to be supported only when Europe is the main agenda. For instance, while many talk of certain Conservative MPs defecting to UKIP in some future scenario, it seems inconceivable that eurosceptic Labour MPs would do so. Why is that?

      You therefore require the Conservatives to be thrashed and to implode in order for you to make deep inroads in Westminster or local government. Of course, that could happen, but I wonder how far the SNP would have got if its electoral strategy had depended on Scottish Labour collapsing. It cleverly positioned itself to draw support from patriotic Conservatives, Liberals and Labourites.

      Your 2010 manifesto was, in my view, the best of the bunch. In this context, without judging its realism, I liked the idea of re-orienting government spending to maximise extra UK jobs. But you really need a broad theme into which withdrawal from the EU fits as the ultimate objective rather than everything else flowing from that. And that theme needs to appeal to people across the current political spectrum. Given the state of the country and the level of disillusion, that should not be too difficult.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        it seems inconceivable that eurosceptic Labour MPs would do so. Why is that?

        Ignorance…of what is actually within the UKIP manifesto perhaps?

      • wonkotsane
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        I founded Bloggers4UKIP and despite voting in every local and national election in the last 16 years I’ve been entitled to vote, I’ve never voted Conservative.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      UKIP will not break through until it sets out to attract the English working class that has been abandoned by Labour in favour of vibrants. Labour was never sincere in its espousal of the working class, viewing it as cannon fodder for its previous promotion of Marxist ideology and syntax-mangling popinjays. Now that Labour is only interested in promoting the interests of vibrants, apart from BNP, the working class has nowhere to go. Why not offer them a fair crack of the whip?

  15. Anthony Harrison
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I have always valued your straight talking, Mr Redwood, such a change from most of your colleagues. But I suggest you’re being a little disingenuous with us today.
    When you write, I am just trying to set out the position and the options for Eurosceptics, your tongue is in your cheek: you know full well it is not a straight fight, and that the challenges facing a small and still fairly new Party such as UKIP are enormous. People are conservative; many people are deeply unimaginative and over cautious; their instinct at General Election time is to vote tribally, and very often the way they have done, and their families before them.
    Corby is not, I would have thought, natural UKIP territory – I’m surprised it approved of anyone like Louise Mensch. Nigel Farage is very personable, highly articulate, transparently patriotic, an excellent public speaker, and says the right things on the EU, things that chime with a lot of people.
    But I think Labour will win it, with or without UKIP costing the Tories any votes.

    When you write, i>..the Conservative party…is now an anti Euro party in principle.. you really do invite a variety of instant ripostes, not all of them polite! For a start, one might say, “in principle” is all very well but what is required very urgently is some practical anti-EU measures, radical ones at that. And what about your Party’s leader? Is he anti-EU as well? Hardly, given his public pronouncements to the contrary.

    I am now with many of my elected colleagues pressing for a referendum and a new relationship with the EU. It would be good to have some support for these causes.
    Please remind us exactly how many of your colleagues that would be. And your closing sentence is pretty much a standard Tory line in recent years: if only the awkward squad would abandon their silly infatuation with UKIP and return to the Tory fold, everything would be sorted.
    It won’t wash, Mr Redwood. We’ve spent, er, how many decades now, as members of the EU but noticeably dragging our heels? Not really doing anything useful to challenge the monster, just chucking stones into its cave then running away… For most of that time the Tories have been in charge. Mr Cameron wants us to stay in the EU. Many of us think he and other senior figures want us to join the Euro.
    So no thanks – many of us couldn’t hold our noses firmly enough to return to the Conservative Party.

    Reply: I said an anti Euro party, not an anti EU party – the first big battle I and my friends won was to make sure on of the three main parties ruled out joining the Euro in principle and forecast its crisis. Now we are trying to make the Conservative party a pro referendum pro new relationship party, where there are so far around 100 Conservative MPs on board. I am not trying to wind UKIP up, but I am trying to promote a serious debate about how those of us who want out of the Euro superstate can best achieve our aim. The problem we share is it may well be a popular aim, but that does not come out in the voting patterns for a variety of reasons.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      reply to reply
      I understand from your reply that you want this country to remain in the EU. You would welcome some form of renegotiation but do not really advocate leaving. Many of us believe that your renegotiations will either never take place or be insignificant. If you wish to indulge in self delusion that’s your choice but don’t expect us to fall for it.

      reply: I voted to come out when we had a vote, and want the UK public to have another vote with leaving as an option. I find the current position unacceptable, and strongly oppose it.

    • zorro
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Exactly, and that is what FPTP does not work…….I used to think it was best, but now it is clear that you just get an EU governing party /coalition no matter what. So let’s get some ‘diversity’ into parliament with anti EU views…..


    • Adam5x5
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      The problem we share is it may well be a popular aim, but that does not come out in the voting patterns for a variety of reasons.

      Would that be because the politicians say one thing and do the opposite?

      Many people have pointed out that the Liberal Democrats offered a referendum in their manifesto… Where is it?
      Cameron promised a referendum on the treaty… and reneged. You yourself have pointed out that parliament has supremacy and that treaties can be cancelled. The “Oh, it’s not possible because it’s ratified.” excuse is paper thin and won’t wash – we can see right through it (and them).

      Now the Labour party have made noises about a referendum, despite being mainly pro-EU for the past however long. So are we to suddenly believe them? Assume Labour say they’re going to offer a referendum in their manifesto. Would a vote for Labour in the next election count as pro or anti EU? Would the same vote be pro or anti-EU if Labour then reneged on their promise?

      Was a vote for the Lib Dems pro or anti-EU considering they were offering a referendum?

      reply: Most people last time voted for Conservative or Labour who did not officially propose a referendum. Some of us individual Conservative candidates did say we backed one, and voted for one.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Re reply

      Am I reading this reply correctly, that you unconditionally support the principle of the UK’s continued membership of the EU?

      Further, please explain the “Euro superstate” that you think we are in.

      Reply I voted against the UK’s continued membership of the EEC,and strongly oppose the large powers subsequently transferred to the EU by successive Parliaments.

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        So, Statecraft Chapter 10 then, with the implied, though not explicitly stated, conclusion following the certainly bad result of the negotiation.

    • Bob
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      “…I am trying to promote a serious debate about how those of us who want out of the Euro superstate can best achieve our aim.”

      Have you considered replacing Mr.CamEUron?

    • Spartacus
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      I think absent the Conservative Party on the EU issue, the Conservative voter is increasingly disillusioned by many aspects of the party.

      1. Mass immigration and high Unemployment – only words not action. So many loopholes bending over for big business it’s meaningless.
      2. Money Printing and inflation- Savers are simply being robbed blind, unable to get an after inflation return for years. Bankers are still on millions. Funny that.
      3. Housing – There is none.

      If I was a Conservative back bencher, I would start to attack the government on these issues.
      Perhaps in a coalition further reforms of the public sector (Labour Factor) are limited, but of the other 2 factors of production – Land and Capital there is huge scope to demand a MacMillan housing and construction programme, and to fire demand by offering help for people who have mistakenly saved to afford a home and family, rather than buy their first home with a dodgy mortgage from a dodgy bank, and basked in property inflation.

  16. Adam5x5
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I doubt UKIP will take many votes here, due to the marginal nature of the seat.
    People will regress to tribal voting to keep the other lot out – which is the main problem for any smaller party trying to break into the mainstream.

    But lets look at some other statistics, shall we?

    UKIP’s number of votes has increased by over 50% in each general election

    Year # Votes % increase
    2001 390563 —
    2005 605973 55.153714
    2010 919471 51.73464824

    Granted, this quantity of votes is not going to form a government on it’s own – but I would bet that the Conservative Party would love to have this many more votes.
    If the trend continues, and the UKIP vote goes up again by a similar amount, then you’re looking at approximately 1.3m votes. A significant number by any count.

    Of course Cameron may play a blinder and promise a referendum before the general election, but I’m not convinced anyone would believe him after the Lisbon treaty snafu. I’m not convinced that he would keep his word either…

    As to Corby, I predict a Labour victory – looking at UKIP’s election results there, they don’t have the presence necessary to win. I also think a lot of Conservative voters will stay at home as a message to Cameron to buck his ideas up.

    • Andrew Smith
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      I will stick out my neck and for a November poll I forecast:

      Party 2010 % 2012 %

      Conservative 22,886 42.2 10,000 28%
      Labour 20,935 38.6 17,000 47%
      UKIP 5,000 14%
      LibDems 7,834 14.5 4,000 11%
      BNP 2,525 4.7

      Majority 1,951 3.6 7,000
      Turnout 54,180 69.2 36,000 46.00%

  17. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Will the recent overwhelming vote in the Manchester constituencies for an in/out referendum on Europe gain UKIP many more votes? Will the Establishment take note?Will the BBC try their best to suppress it, or distort it? It seems to be something UKIP should be able to use to their advantage in Corby and anywhere else for that matter. In spite of their seeming to me at least to be only a single issue party they do have support and this could well help them further. I agree with Mr Redwood though we must be pragmatic, and do all we can to convince more Tory MP’s to change their stance to anti-EU ie. ‘EU-out’. The Tories need an Eu-out candidate to stand in Corby but I fear they won’t get one. For the record my politics stance is that I’m with Mr Redwood on economics but somewhat more so and democratically and constitutionally my objective is an English parliament in an independent England, with the Queen as Head of State – now that’s a minority position, so imagine how I feel when I wake up in the morning. To get there is a gordian knot of a problem. Does anyone support it? By the way Mr Redwood is on the right side so give him a chance, he’s not stupid. It’s not in his gift to grant what many of us want.

    reply: Thank you. I do find it bizarre that I get so much criticism for being one of the MPs who does continuously set out why we cannot live with the current EU arrangements, and press other MPs to make moveds to sort the mess out. Contributors should note I have never said belonging to the EU is good for the UK.

    • zorro
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – more must be done with the 100 MPs to get traction on the EU issue, and that means tactical voting and putting pressure on the leadership. Let’s face the truth, the Coalition is not worth the effort so why not exert real pressure for change on Cast Elastic – you might be surprised at how he bends…..


    • Jerry
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Reply to John, don’t take it personally, from what I see, any ‘criticism’ of you is either out of a misunderstanding of what you actually said or frustration with the leadership/party – I for one applaud you for sticking your head above the parapet!

    • Duyfken
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      “I have never said belonging to the EU is good for the UK. “ Nor it seems have you said that not belonging would be good and that removal from the EU is the desirable final aim. Your position appears now to try for better terms within the EU and that if these are achieved, then that’s that. As a matter of tactics and of principle, it seems unrealistic and destined for failure.

      But I support Jerry’s comment of applauding you for your good efforts and perseverance.

      Reply: As I keep reminding you, I voted No to staying in when we last had a referendum on this issue. Wanting a different relationship with the EU does not mean I wish to be a member of an amended EU state!

      • Duyfken
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        Thanks for that.

  18. Liz
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Corby will be fought, as most elections are, on the public’s judgement of the government on the most important thing to most people – the economyand also the general perception of competence given by the leadership and ministers. The local party would be very unwise to accept another candidate like Louise Mensch – she was just too young. I shall be very surprised if they hold onto this seat and being a by election may have some surprises in store.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      She’s not that young, or (in reply to another comment) that “photogenic”.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Here’s another perspective.

    The Tories know that they have no chance of winning this by-election, so what’s the point of putting up a candidate to be humiliated, but at the same time stealing votes which would be better used to support a proper conservative, and patriotic, candidate?

    So why not stand back and allow UKIP a free run against Labour and the LibDems?

    reply: I do not anticipate Mr Cameron will do that, as the leader of the party that did hold the seat last time.

    • zorro
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      No, a crushing humiliation for a Camerloon will be much more fun and productive…..


      • Jerry
        Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        Disagree there Zorro, if Labour win then it will likely embolden the LibDems who think that the Tories should be playing second fiddle in the coalition and not them.

        Whilst the EU question is important it is not the only question, whilst I dislike Mr Cameron’s stance on the EU question I do not want him nor the Tory party to be “humiliated” – nor do I find any of this ‘fun’…

    • Jon burgess
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      So you’d rather split the eurosceptic vote then? Seem to remember you accusing UKIP of that.

  20. Mike A R Powell
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    UKIP still need that extra big push to make them mainstream. They could breakthrough in Corby, but likely need the public support of some big names and defection of MPs such as Mr. Redwood himself to UKIP.

    History shows that eurosceptics in the Conservative Party are eternally frustrated. I challenge them to make the switch and turn the slow, steady rise of UKIP into something rather more exciting.

  21. Acorn
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    This is just the situation where a Primary Election would allow the voters of Corby to choose their own candidates, rather than having the parties parachute their A; B; C or E minus semi moron lister in, to match the local flora and fauna.

    We are never going to cure the Institutional Sclerosis in Westminster until we get to electing individuals as MPs, and not party lobby fodder.

    BTW. If you haven’t already, have a look at PESA 2012. Particularly Chapter 5 Tables. . If you have last years (fiscal 2010/11) updated version you will see that public sector TME (Total Managed Expenditure) was £691.7 billion. This year TME (2011/12), is £694.9 billion.Less than one half of one percent increase. It was £669.3 billion in 09/10; so, at least the increase in the negative “cuts” is slowing down. Er … or … is it the other way around.

  22. Neil Craig
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    The fact that UKIP didn’t have a candidate last time does mean we have a mountain to climb. That doesn’t mean we aren’t likely to climb most of it. I can confidently say we will see off the BNP showing they are not a credible alternative anywhere. Ditto the LibDems. If we get close to the Tory vote it will prove the Tories alone cannot, under any circumstances win. If we have a larger vote than the Tories it will mean that nationaly we are a more credible opposition to Labour than the government is and people who vote Tory, not because they like the party but because they see them as better than Labour (I think this is the majority of their vote) will switch.

    UKIP’s real problem is to cut into the Labour vote. If we can do that then Labour can be beaten.

    I do not think Mr Farage should be the candidate here because it is (possible-ed) Mr Huhne will be convicted, in which case there will be another by election – this time in a constituency where he was previously a candidate. He must choose one or the other.

  23. forthurst
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    The Corby by-election will not be about UKIP at all, but about the party that millions of voters supported at the last election in the sincere but mistaken belief that there had to have been a clear expanse of blue water between the antics of Labour under TB and GB and the postures and actions of the Tories under Cameron, who incidentally was sold to Tory supporters like a toothpaste by the purportedly advertisement free BBC. (Purportedly, obviously, because a high proportion of the BBC output is product placement for Multiculturalism, Anthropogenic Global Warming, the EU, the Neocon ME agenda etc).

    The only change has been in tactics not in substance: we now find ourselves at war with ME countries through stealth rather than blatant lies about WMDs or the use of false flag terror attacks etc. We have had Cast Iron guarantees, a pretence of firm dealing with the EU apart from issues where the vital interests of City banksters might be affected. Instead of continuing to suppress allegations of child rape by vibrants whilst repressing the whistleblowers, the policy is now to single out one group of vibrants as less than perfect in order to deliberately create disharmony (although all the others are better than us) whilst continuing to lock up without trial, English people who have committed thoughcrime, the acid test of each and every repressive regime that has ever existed. (The Coalition government has failed to control immigration-ed)The Tory party of JR is a sinister travesty of what any patriotic Englishman could be expected to support. Furthermore, it has been economically incompetent in both policy and delivery.

  24. Andrew Smith
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I don’t suppose Farage himself will contest the Corby seat but another UKIPper will, I expect.

    The practice of challenging another party to do something in the hope of creating difficulties is an old one. Only Cameron was daft enough to fall for it when he agreed to the leadership TV debates. An all-but-dead LibDem party was resuscitated thereby and the rest is history.

    John really does seem to have a problem with UKIP and he hardly misses an opportunity to sneer and criticise us. Could it be that he has been stung by near the mark criticism of him in the past or else does it nark him and all Tories when our forecasts about the development of the EU and the foolishness of the Euro are proven to have been right.

    I do not hesitate to acknowledge that John himself made the case against the Euro but his party was saying “not for this parliament” until recently and certain of its Cabinet Ministers still say they want Britain to adopt the Euro. UKIP is the only party to have consistently made the case against it and against membership of the EU and maybe John finds it uncomfortable that he is still in a party which supports Ever Closer Union and further political integration.

    reply: I am merely inviting UKIP supporters here to tell us how they would like their party to contest Corby, if at all. I find it an intersting quesiton, having so often been told how popular is the leader and the cause. As someone who wants to get rid of the EU domination of our country it is important to me to know how Eurosceptics are going to come together instead of endlessly and often needlessly having rows.

    • Andrew Smith
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      I accept that is a fair objective and I too hope “Eurosceptics” can be better aligned and less fractious.

  25. Atlas
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I think John makes fair comment in his posting – he is a member of the Conservative Party after all! Whilst I support the highly Eurosceptic line of UKIP, I suspect that this Bye-election will be lost by the Cameron-lead Government on the economy rather than won by Labour.

    But I also think the elections for the European Parliament will show further gains for UKIP unless Cameron puts his money-where-his-mouth-is and tables a Bill for a Referendum on continuing EU membership.

    • zorro
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Yeah right….LOL (Cameron putting his money where his mouth is)……


    • Robert Christopher
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      “But I also think the elections for the European Parliament will show further gains for UKIP unless Cameron puts his money-where-his-mouth-is and tables a Bill for a Referendum on continuing EU membership.”

      I do not understand your logic. If Cameron does this, he will support staying in the EU!

      How will THAT increase the Tory vote?

      A referendum is a means to an end. What is needed is some direction from our leader that will be for the benefit of Britain and its people (and, as NF will tell you, for the other European countries as well).

      After two years, I am getting very weary. I am not alone!

      • Jerry
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Robert, I think you are getting caught up in semantics, does it really matter how the question is put as long as it is put- one thing is sure though, should any referendum take place, neither said of the argument will be allow a leading question to be asked on the ballot-paper.

  26. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    John: On the subject of polling, I understand that you have signed The People’s Pledge. Consequently I’m surprised you have not commented (yet) on the referenda results in the two constituencies that polled on 9th August.

    If you have commented then I’ve missed your remarks.

    Reply: I am pleased but not surprised that people want a referendum. I saw no need to comment, as I support a referendum and voted for one when it was last discussed in the Commons, and will vote for one again when it seems possible we might actually win such a vote. That’s why I keep asking you all to consider the question of how rather than endlessly rowing about the question of whether, as if we disagreed.We need more MPs prepared to vote for a referendum – it is as simple as that.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      “We need more MPs prepared to vote for a referendum – it as simple as that.” You also pose the question of how that could come about.

      I can think of no other way than through pressure from the constituency parties. If a Conservative MP fails to support an EU referendum then s/he must be deselected. The threat of deselection might well focus minds on what the electorate actually desires.

  27. James Matthews
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    In the absence of some extraordinary and unforeseable Event, Labour are going to win Corby. Eurosceptics, therefore, need not worry about holding on to nurse for fear of finding something worse. Nurse is already disappearing up the drive in the arms of her beau. The important thing, therefore, is to maximise the UKIP vote. Who knows, it might even give Labour a scare.

  28. OGGA1
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I give very little credence to fence sitters as in sceptics,besides would the {in due course}
    cameron /Farage debate take place on camerons pro E.U stance prior to the by-election.
    Why not throw in another political heavy in the form of miliband that should see the
    labour lead diminish somewhat.
    P.S ask cameron what his definition of “in due course”is.

  29. j fife
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Can you truthfully say here that following ukip’s manifesto at the 2010 election would have given a worse outcome than the present one over the past 2 years and from herein in?
    Here we are less interested in tribal loyalties than outcomes for the Country.

    Reply: As a number of items in UKIP’s manifesto reflect things I have long argued for I have not been criticising their policies but asking how they are ever going to do any of them with no MPs.

    • Jon burgess
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry, the way your lot are performing is doing wonders for UKIP support. Just keep up the inaction and we’ll see what happens.

  30. Sue Doughty
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I remember the anti lobby went to enormous lengths to discredit Louise so the next candidate will have to be tough enough to withstand a similar onslaught. Where is Corby, what do they do there and what do they take an interest in? Is it now a commuter town like Basingstoke?

  31. Mark
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    If we start with last night’s YouGov and adjust the Corby 2010 result in line with that, we get that of the 42.2% Conservative vote, some 7.6% have become NOTAs, 4.5% UKIP, 1.4% Labour, and 0.3% to each of BNP and Lib Dem, with 27.7% of the original vote remaining.

    Lib Dem support has scattered, with 3.5% becoming NOTA, 4.5% Labour, 1.3% Conservative, 0.8% Green, 0.2% to each of UKIP, SNP (there are many people of Scots heritage in Corby) and BNP, with a rump of 3.5% remaining as Lib Dem.

    Labour’s support has suffered losses of 4.6% to NOTA, 1.0% to Conservative, 0.7% to SNP, and 0.3% to each of Lib Dem, UKIP and Green, with 30.9% staying loyal.

    Adding these up relative to 2010 turnout as 100%, we get an increase in NOTA of 15.7%, with Conservatives on 30.0%, Labour on 36.8%, Lib Dems 4.1%, UKIP 9.1%, BNP (assuming no change on BNP 2010 as base) 5.0%, Green 1.1%, SNP 0.9%.

    Correcting for the increase in NOTA, we get Labour 44.3%, Conservative 36.1%, BNP 6.1%, UKIP 6.1%, Lib Dem 5.1%, Green 1.3% and SNP 1.1%. Of course, it’s likely that among the 2010 NOTAs were some who would only have voted for a party that didn’t stand. That might add 1% to Greens and 2% to UKIP at best.

    It’s clear that Lib Dems are likely to have another disaster, while Labour should win comfortably. UKIP need to outscore their Barnsley Central result to demonstrate that they’re doing any better than the polls suggest nationally.

  32. Graham Hamblin
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    The UKIP party stands no more chance of a breakthrough than Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party did in 1997. They are useful registers of dissent but because of party loyalty they stand no chance of achieving their aims.

    Having voted Conservative all my life believing they were the best option to resolve the EU issue, I did not vote at the last General Election and don’t intend to in the future because I have been conned too many times.

    I blame the EU for a lot, but suspect that much of what I don’t like comes through the back door from international sources, agreed at international meetings where we are represented and then adopted by the EU.

    The bottom line is we lost our political and legal sovereinty in 1972 and the only way that can be put right is to repeal that act of parliament or give the EU notice of our intention to leave and renegotiate a new agreement?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      We didn’t lose our legal sovereignty in 1972; if that had been the case then at the time of the national referendum in 1975 our Parliament would no longer have had the legal authority to repeal the European Communities Act 1972.

      So there would have been little point in holding that referendum, and moreover in its pamphlet delivered to every household, urging us to vote to stay in the EEC, the government could not have alluded to:

      “Fact No. 3. The British Parliament in Westminster retains the final right to repeal the Act which took us into the Market on January 1, 1973. Thus our continued membership will depend on the continuing assent of Parliament.”

      What has happened so far is not that we have lost our legal sovereignty, but that we keep electing unpatriotic MPs who supinely agree that Parliament should not exercise its legal sovereignty by ignoring or striking down anything that comes from the EU.

      Of course legal sovereignty which is never exercised will eventually atrophy, like a muscle, and that’s what will happen if this shameful abdication of responsibility by MPs continues for long enough.

  33. PaulDirac
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The power and threat of UKIP is in denying the conservatives the vote of part of “their” natural constituency, perhaps in sufficient measure to deny them a clear (or any) victory over Labor.
    BTW Although I personalty consider the LibDems a useless, empty drum party, they held their vote in my neighborhood (Mole Vally) in the local elections held a few months ago, so no counting chickens yet.

  34. aracari
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I am as disappointed by the Lefty stance of Cameron as anybody. In my view he’s wasted an opportunity of a generation to take a chainsaw to the giant and ever-growing bloated State, created by 13 years of Labour Party socialism.

    However, regarding Europe it seems to me that Cameron was elected Tory Party Leader precisely to heal the Party divisions over Europe. If that’s correct he would be foolish to take a strong anti-EU stance or indeed a pro-EU stance. My guess is that he’ll allow himself to be taken with the wind on Europe…if the country’s mood and Party’s mood is to get the hell out of the EU, he’ll go along with it.

    Reply: he was not appointed to “heal the wounds” on the EU. he was appointed as a Eurosceptic to confirm the estaboished view of the Conservative party that we should never join the Euro and should have a relationship based on trade, not on common government.

    • aracari
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      In which case his failures are greater than I give him credit for. He needs to ratchet up the EU-sceptic approach and head towards the door before Mr Blair does a deal with the EU-crats to become the first unelected President of Europe and with the Labour Party back home to drag Britain into the EZ and beyond, whether the British people like it or not.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        You seem to think that Mr Cameron has a massive Tory majority to do almost anything, like Thatcher had in 1993 or Attlee in 1945, the truth is more like Cameron is in the same sort of boat as Callaghan was in the late ’70s – a split party (at least on the EU) and no majority in the house without the support of the LibDems.

        In hindsight, perhaps it would have been better had a caretaker government of national emergency been formed in the spring of May 2010 and a second pole be held within 6 months rather than a fully fledged coalition? We seem to be rapidly approaching political impasse.

        Reply It is certainly right that Mr Cameron himself does not have a majority without left of centre MPs supporting him. The Conservative patry is I think united in being Eurosceptic. I very rarely meet any Conservative member or MP who likes the current relationship or supports the vast range of powers the EU mow enjoys over us.

        • aracari
          Posted August 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          I understand that Mr Cameron doesn’t have a Conservative majority but if he is truly Eurosceptic himself (as John R says he is from his election as party leader), why is he not expressing more Eurosceptism on a regular basis — if only to let the British people know where he stands? After all, there’s plenty going on in the EU/EZ to be concerned about.

          On the idea of a government of national emergency, that might have been a good idea. At least it might have focussed attention on who was largely responsible for the crises which started in 2007-8.

  35. David Langley
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    So what do we do John, do we sit on our hands waiting for a conservative government do the right thing. Wait for more EU sceptic MP’s to join you and hope that we will force the cabinet to agree to either withdraw from the EU project or enter a divisive and expensive referendum?
    Corby will offer a chance for a battle anyway and will get UKIP into battle speed mode. I would love the chance to support directly the campaign which I am sure will come. I will offer some support financially and advertise as widely as I can the policies of UKIP which you rightly say are untested but yours are tested and many are failing anyway. When I look at the people running the show I am convinced that UKIP could not really do any worse especially if it sticks to its constitution and agenda. UKIP has sensible and solid policies which would be good for the UK if properly presented and pursued.

    reply: What I need to help me and like minded Conservatives is more members in the Conservative party supporting the viewpoint about the EU that we put forward.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      reply: What I need to help me and like minded Conservatives is more members in the Conservative party supporting the viewpoint about the EU that we put forward.

      How could such people ever feel they should join a party with cast rubber Cameron as leader someone who appoints Lord Patten to the BBC trustees and Ken Clark to anything at all. It is not just the EU he does not believe in lower taxes, smaller government, sensible non green energy, fewer regulations, easy hire and fire or a sound currency either.

    • Jon burgess
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      What you need is to leave the party you’re in and join one that believes in the same things as you. Three guesses who I am alluding to?

  36. Richard
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Corby will result in a Labour victory because a) it is a mid term by-election and b) the sitting MP has abandoned the voters to go off to America and c) the standard of living of the voters of Corby has reduced since the Coalition have been in power. It is as simple as that. The Liberals will probably lose their deposit as will UKIP.

    UKIP like the much vaunted SDP (or even the BNP) are all one policy parties which will never gain any power and so you are all just wasting your votes. Better not to vote at all if you don’t like the main 3 parties IMHO.
    But we live in a democracy and you can vote however you wish.

    And please give Mr Redwood a break, instead write and have a go at the many other MP’s who are EU enthusiasts, rather than our host, who is a solid champion of the long term effort to bring back proper economics and to free our nation from EU control.

  37. zorro
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Off topic – bearing in mind the police’s seeming ineptitude in the New Addington case, thankfully the police are now clamping down on dangerous criminals…..

    Something about arresting a man for painting a postbox gold……


    • Nina Andreevna
      Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      For an institution that claims to be under resourced, especially since 10,000 of them have been removed since Dave became PM, you really think they would have better things to do than arrest the local half wit who says something nasty about an athlete who you will have forgotten about next week on Twitter

    • JimF
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Ah but they know how to pick a good doctor for a post-mortem examination….

  38. Kenneth
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I am not your constituent but, if I were, I would strongly support you continuing to fight within the Conservative Party where you and your colleagues are clearly making progress.

    However, your criticism of UKIP is negative. UKIP is not going away.

    You will not prevent the splitting of the centre-right (mainstream English) vote by moaning.

    Rather, should you not attempt to build a Parliamentary cross-party consensus (many on the Left are not happy with the eu)? Should UKIP not be invited as an affiliate member of such a rainbow organisation?

    I urge you to be positive. A while back UKIP offered not to stand in constituencies where MPs shared their views. Is it not time to reconsider this agreement?

  39. Barbara Stevens
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Its perfectly reasonable to expect a Tory like Mr Redwood to defend his party, in fact if he didn’t we would question why; his reasoning about UKIP however is a little flawed. All political parties find first past the post difficult to break into, but its not impossible. Some can go down as well as up. UKIP are making steady progress in the polls and with the public and it would be very foolish to write them off. The main three parties have a lot to make up for, the expenses scandal, which we all still remember, broken promises, social engineering, green energy expenses imposed, now with times hard. They all have questions that need answers, which they are all failing to do.
    Cameron, or the Labour party will not be forgiven for not allowing a referendum on the EU, when the public so desire it; what right have they to do this? They are there to serve, not dicate. They are becoming just like the EU with their refusal to acknowledge the public’s requests; they may regret this come polling time.
    I’ve seen many posts suggesting we ‘dump the lot’ and refuse to vote for any of them, and who can blame anyone if they do that. Should we ignore them, like they ignore us? Thinking any party is right, and the public wrong is arrogance beyond belief, and they should be rebuffed sharply. I was going to support Cameron, but now NO, to many broken promises and arrogance on his part.

    Reply: In my post I merely asked for comment on what U<IP's strategy should be for Corby. Every party has to respond to the elctoral tests that are set. I also explained what I thought Mr Cameron's strategy would be for Corby on the Eu issue.

  40. Bazman
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I thought the SNP or the Greens would be the main parties in Corby.

  41. Nina Andreeva
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink


    You are not going to replicate Mrs Thatcher’s ability to pick up votes amongst the C1 C2’s with with an agenda of windmills, gay rights and reform of the House of Lords. These may be hot topics for a Oxford PPE seminar but they mean nothing to someone who lives in a three bed semi and who is desperately trying to keep his business afloat. If you think that for some reason, unbeknown to everyone but Georgie and Dave,that the gay/ethic/eco freak vote is suddenly going to go Tory and it is sufficient to form a government then you know what to do and the quicker the better

  42. Paul Harris
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    James Delingpole says he wouldn’t mind standing in the Corby by-election. He says he doesn’t agree with Cameron, but what he really doesn’t like are windmills. Is it possible for the Tories to run a candidate that doesn’t agree with the leader? He says he quite fancies the idea of running for the UKIP, but he won’t get elected on that ticket, although I would say he would get a respectable score. If he ran for the Tories though, my guess is that he would win. He’s got a really strong following across a wide range of people, like all those who don’t want their beloved countryside taken up by foreign-owned, UK taxpayer subsidised windmills.

    In many ways he stands in a similar way to Dan Hannan. He doesn’t agree with Cameron either, but never-the-less he is a very popular figure who makes the Tories look good. This is essential if we are to avoid the next government being a Labour one. The Tories must get back to their roots and return to grass roots constituency politics. This idea of being on message all the time is something out of the Blair book of politics and looks so false. You need a bit of bio-diversity in the party. The Tories have already slashed wind subsidies, so it isn’t that incongruent with the current policy. James Delingpole though is regarded as a bit of a champion of it, and was saying these things way way back. He’s a leader, not a follower of trends, and that looks good. He would rip the Labour stooge to pieces.

    Rerply: More than 100 Conservative MPs have opposed the windmill policy, and 100 have opposed a 3 line whip on the referendum.

    • Mark
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I note that windmills (at least onshore ones – even though offshore ones are less economic) are indeed increasingly out of fashion among Tory MPs, but I am disappointed to see that the fad has been replaced by support for even less economic tidal and wave power schemes that attract 500% ROC subsidies among many of them.

  43. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    If we are talking UKIP, their greatest contribution will be to be the most popular Party in the 2014 MEP elections, hopefully without dislodging Tory stars like Daniel Hannan. I and everybody else will have to learn how the choices will be presented on the ballot paper.

    If a high UKIP vote in 2014 fails to persuade the Conservatives to wake up and smell the coffee, that’s the Conservatives’ problem, not mine.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      I’ve looked it up. MEPs are selected from Party lists. You vote for one list. That’s not democratic but it gets worse. How is the Conservative list selected?

      The following is an extract from conservativehome/MEPs etc:

      “Conservative HQ has yet to decide on how MEP candidates will be selected and ranked [for 2014]. Five years ago, the process was shockingly manipulated. Many incumbent MEPs were re-adopted even though they held Europhile views. Hustings were banned in order to minimise the opportunity for Eurosceptic candidates to promote themselves and be selected. Women were ranked on MEP lists even if they won fewer votes from members. Turnout figures for the election were suppressed.”

      What we want to know are the identities of the people who were and are on the selection committee. Name them and shame, then let’s have a purge. This is the real reason that Europhiles are still punching above their weight in the Conservative Party. They are dug in in positions of influence and keep a low profile. Yes, I am advocating a witch hunt. It’s the only way that is sure to work.

  44. norman
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Was away at weekend so never commented but were you drunk when you wrote this? UKIP has no intention of forcing Mr Cameron into offering an EU referendum or pulling out – the man is a committed Europhile (OK, maybe that’s too strong but at the very least he has zero convictions and so will do nothing to rock the boat or effect any change), that’s plain for all to see.

    It may have escaped your notice but Mr Cameron is a bit player in history who will soon be forgotten and when remembered as a rather terrible PM. UKIPs aim is to move the Conservative Party (which consists of more than Mr Cameron) into a more Eurosceptic position by convincing conservatives to vote UKIP and give euroscpeticism a national voice.

    Forget Cameron, he’s a ‘dead duck’ PM in the words of the Americans. No one out here in the real world gives a toss about what he thinks or does.

  45. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Are the Tories a ‘credible contestant’ in the next election?

    On the basis of performance since 2010 it is clear they are not. The debt continues to mount up. Government spending increases. No bonfire of the quangos and no action to stimulate the economy. If you are going to borrow money, for heaven’s sake borrow it to fund big tax cuts and stimulate demand.

  46. Considerable
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    There’s lots of necessary power on this mixer that may be applied to make certain that you simply are capable to carry in your mixing with ease. Check the oven temperature with an oven thermometer and reduce the temperature, if needed.

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page