What’s in this Coalition for Conservatives?

Yesterday we looked at why the Lib dems should be thrilled with the Coalition so far. So what is there for Conservatives to cheer?

It is true we have seen substantial progress to a £10,000 tax threshold for Income Tax. Any tax cut cheers Conservatives, though this one has been claimed as their own by the Lib Dems.

We did get the veto over the latest federal fiscal Treaty, something Labour and Lib Dems would never have done. We are promised opt out from a large number of Criminal Justice EU measures, again something the federal parties would not propose. We did see the end of the M4 Bus Lane.

We have seen the back of Regional Development Agencies, regional planning and much of the rest of regional government. Some quangos have gone, which is to be welcomed. The ending of the Home Information packs was good. So was the restoration of some of our ancient rights to habeas corpus.

Conservatives liked Plan A. That said eliminate the structural deficit this Parliament, relying 80% on spending cuts to cut it. Many Conservatives are disappointed that this has not been attempted.

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174 Comments

  1. Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    You want to look at why there’s a coalition in the first place – the BBC bought into Labour’s lie machinery because it wants to preserve the licence fee. Reduce the licence to the minimum necessary for an independent body to oversee all broadcasting in the UK, and you get rid of a big headache. It would be a fight, though, because the Lib Dems are already looking forward to their next coalition with Labour.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Indeed look at the coverage of the absurd LibDem conference relative to UKIP’s coverage, a more supported party, than the LibDems.

      • Sebastian Weetabix
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        The limp dumbs have over 50 MPs, UKIP presently have none. In that context MSM coverage seems fair.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          That is purely because they have support in a few areas and not spread evenly over the country so they get excessive representation relative to UKIP as do Labour and the Tories.

          UKIP were second in MEP elections Libdems 4th and probably will be next time two. Liberal may well be beaten to 5th by the Greens. Currently they have, despite the BBC’s best efforts, more support than the Libdems.

          Party conferences are not just about Westminster seats, which if the LibDems have their way, will be irrelevant very soon anyway.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            Lifelogic (and others), don’t rock the boat to much, else not only will the TUC will want their old conference slot back on the BBC but parties like the SLP and BNP will want equal time too…

            There is an accepted formula for working out broadcast airtime, and I bet if it was UKIP in place of the LDs you would not be suggesting that the BBC should be giving them more airtime? Anyway, as all those who hate the BBC keep saying, there is always YouTube and isn’t it funny how non of the commercial/subscription channels are lining up to provide wall-to-wall coverage of the political conference season.

          • Bazman
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            Name the few areas where UKIP are supported lifelogic. Should be easy as there is so many supporters?

          • lifelogic
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

            Bazman they we second after the Tories in the MEP elections their support is all over the country, indeed that is their problem it is too evenly distributed.

            Second after Labour next time or even first.

          • Bazman
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            If they are all over the country, then where specifically?
            You say they are and I quote:
            ‘That is purely because they have support in a few areas and not spread evenly over the country ‘
            You then tell us in your next post that their problem it is they are too evenly distributed. Which is it?
            Second after Labour next time or even first? Where?

    • Bob
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      @Gerry Dorrian
      “Reduce the licence to the minimum necessary for an independent body to oversee all broadcasting in the UK”

      Excellent idea!

      • Jerry
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        @Gerry Dorrian & Bob: What has BBC funding got to do with Ofcom…

        People get the regulator mixed up with the broadcaster really are not in a position to suggest a solution! 🙁

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Most of it should be privatised. The organisation is not even embarrassed that it is not an impartial broadcaster or accurate in its reports on political matters relating to the economy. It is not fit for purpose- a bit like the Border Agency and Home Office civil service associated with it.

      • Timaction
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        If I was a Conservative MP in a marginal or even majority vote I’d be considering my next career move. They will be annialated at the election as anyone who is slightly politically aware would judge this Government and in particular its leadership as useless socialists.
        What has changed out here in the real world? More taxes, more EU and foreign aid (£25 billions worth), more mass migration clogging up our public services, particularly the International Health Service and housing. So much so that health services are starting to be rationed, obstructed or refused. Our children are disadvantaged in our schools as a significant number of pupils do not use English as their first language and 25% of the education budget is now for foreign born children. Our road network has been so overcrowded that any journey is a nightmare. More green taxes based on unproven science so that energy poverty will cost lives this and every coming winter. Still Lord Sheffield, Mrs Clegg, Messrs Yeo and Gummer will be ok, even if my elderly neighbours have to move into the kitchen again to save energy.
        Where are we with repatriating powers from the EU. Oh no, we’ve given them the Arrest Warrant powers and signed up without any repatriation of powers to allow unlawful bailouts. EU referendum? Not if Cameron can help it. He and Mr Clegg need a gravy train future jobs.
        Where are we with reform or removal of the Human Rights Act, EUHCR, the extradition of Qatada and countless other foreign criminals?

        • Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          A fairly good summary.

        • zorro
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, one must wonder where the ‘pupil premium’ money is actually being spent.

          zorro

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Get rid of the TV licence completely and with it all the costs of administering it and chasing avoiders. Any revenue required should be raised through the council tax system and a corresponding reduction of government grants to councils. There will be a few losers who claim not to need a licence but very few of these actually do not view BBC output etc. by some means.

      We need to see the government removing red tape.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        You talk about cutting red tape but your idea will either ‘defraud’ people who do not use a TV [1] or will actually increase red tape (as people start applying for exemptions), either way your idea will be even less popular that the current system! Many people who pay Council Tax do not have a TV, or are exempt, either partially (the blind) or fully (pensioners), whilst others have TV’s but do not use them to receive a television broadcast – for example people who use a TV solely as a DVD/games monitor.

        Also there is the problem that linking the TVL to the collection of a (local) government tax, this will make the BBC more dependant on the whim of the government in power, at the moment the BBC and TVL fee are at arms length from them.

        [1] more correctly, a television receiving device

    • forthurst
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      The BBC is incorrigible; it should be parcelled up and sold off as a mixtue of free-to-air and subscription channels. That would raise considerable sums to put towards paying off the debt that the government has incurred on our behalf; whereas, the bbc is not winning audience share and could reasonably be described as a wasting asset.

      Once it had been sold, it would be possible to give all teevee companies a hard time without being accused of favouritism toward the bbc; furthermore, no future owner would be able to claim impartiality and be believed.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        @forthurst: The BBC is not owned by the Government so it is not theirs to sell… At best, all that could (easily) be done is for the BBC to close down excess BBC channels and then give up those frequencies for Ofcom to auction off to another broadcaster (government does own/control the UK broadcast spectrum, subject to international treaties).

        • forthurst
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

          “The BBC is not owned by the Government so it is not theirs to sell”

          The government doesn’t own anything. The government, however, can decide on the BBC’s income, frequencies etc.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            @forthurst: The government could decide to do a lot of things, it could legislate BSkyB out of existence (or at least its current business model), it could make ITV break-up back into their regional companies etc. Both of these broadcasters have just as valid complaints against them as the BBC does but some people only see what they want to see when it comes to problems/bias within the media industry.

          • David Price
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

            So the answer is very simple, the government can declare that the TVL is no longer a legal requirement to receive broadcast programmes. People can then chose to pay or not just as they can with Sky, Virgin etc.

            No need to waste time, energy and money over managing the restructuring and privatisation, that can be left to the execs.

            The pension should be moved to a private scheme as well, they can have complete independence from the state.

    • eddyh
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      The LimpDumbs won’t get a coalition with Labour. The way the Tories are going Labour will get a big majority and won’t need them.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Indeed even under the dopey Miliband Unison’s place man.

      • Mark W
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        This may well be a reason the LibDems will still go ahead with the boundary changes.

        The other coalition option is ConLab. With half what Cameron says it isn’t as stupid as it sounds

  2. norman
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    You’ve also managed to convince the majority of decent working people that the Conservative leadership hold us in absolute contempt as an underclass of plebs who should know our place.

    That’s no mean feat, given the low regard people already held politicians in.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      @norman: I guess they are just getting their own back, many people over the last three to four years have become exceptionally rude towards politicians, in so many walks of life one gets returned what one gives…

      • Bazman
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        They think you are plebs. What do you not understand?

        • Jerry
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          @Bazman: So what if they are, did you lot never learn that childhood rhyme Stick and stones my break my bones but words never will? If “Plebs” is the worst ‘insult’ I ever hear then I’ll be happy!

          • Bazman
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

            Much more than that and to give you a quote as I know so many of you like these right wing quotes.
            “When the people fear the government, that’s tyranny; when the government fears the people, that’s freedom.”
            Thomas Jefferson.
            Clearly the chief whip has no fear and believes we are plebs.

      • zorro
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Do you have any examples in particular? Perhaps people have had the expenses scandals uppermost in their minds when considering the comparative venality of their politicians….

        zorro

      • APL
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        Jerry: “I guess they are just getting their own back, ”

        That’d be a shrewd way to win votes, the sort of diabolically clever strategy you’d expect from the top notch advertising executive that runs the party.

        You’ve really got to admire his sheer cunning.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

          Indeed “ALP”, encourage the unthinking media to create a storm in a egg cup and then sit back and watch as their readership show themselves up as the unthinking reactionary ‘Plebs’ they really are! We can all have a good rant but seldom have I seen so many do so for such a trivial reason and for so long. Lets get back to real news, real issues, real politics…

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Cameron went on Lettermen yesterday to help his US image after the election to kick start his speech tour circuit in the US I presume? Opens the door for other Tory MPs after the 2015 election?

      Thanks to the ECHR Abu Qatada is still in the UK after a host of legal trials, appeals and at huge cost to the Uk taxpayer. Teresa May went to Jordan many months ago and the ECHR agreed he could be deported (that is good of them)- why is he still here??

      I think if you were to present a pro and con list the Tory voters would see little to celebrate, if anything. People regularly disappoint, Cameron has made it a career.

      • zorro
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        So Prime Minister (formerly of Eton and Brasenose College, Oxord PPE 1st class)……what does Magna Carta mean?…….Er, I don’t know.

        Well, words really do fail me…..

        zorro

        • uanime5
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          I’m surprised his Latin lessons didn’t help him.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          OK “zorro”, I’ll show my lack of a academic education, what does Magna Carta mean?…

          • zorro
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

            “Jerry”, it means Great Charter. I don’t think that is unreasonable to expect someone with a first class Oxford degree who holds the office of Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury to know that, bearing in mind that I was taught about it when I was 12……

            zorro

      • zorro
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        He is merely making use of the legal system….at a horrendous cost to the taxpayers over the year.

        zorro

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    This is a fair summary.
    The problem is that we, the voters, got it wrong. What is needed with increasing urgency is radical action immediately on:
    the debt and deficit
    reforming the sprawling civil service
    leaving the EU before the roof falls in
    making a start on governing ourselves to free up our people to go out and make money.
    The Liberals are not really interested in any of these vital challenges.

    • alan jutson
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Mike

      Whilst I would agree with all you have said, and indeed many of us out here and JR himself suggested harder cuts first, and then perhaps a gentle release as it worked through over 5 years, I thought Mr Clegg placed his speech yesterday very cleverly.

      It was serious enough, it outlined warnings, it highlighted the problems with the economy, with public spending, with taxation, with borrowing, and above all with Labour, and it listed the Lib Dems successes.

      We still had huge chunks of nonesense for the die hards on the green issue and the EU, and other huge areas were not covered at all, but I thought he made a good effort for a man who was very much under pressure.

      Interesting that he thought the hard work was now done, with but just a little bit more to do. I wonder if he really believes that, and if Cameron feels the same.

      One thing for sure, now Clegg has claimed all the good news, Cameron has a real problem, it will be interesting how he handles it.

      Perhaps he will crow about foreign aid going up, huge cuts in our armed forces, additional money for the EU budget, additional money for the EU Bank, additional money for the IMF, additional money for Pakistan education, an increase in money for the climate change department, the increase in our debt, the increase in taxation, the control on Banks lending (hold more reserves). The green tax on fuel, the rise in air passenger duty, the huge reduction in immigration (joke) the list of failures is almost endless.

      It will certainly be interesting to listen to the content of Mr Camerons speech.

      One thing we now all know about Mr Clegg, he is a better at negotiations than Mr Cameron, he punches above his weight and has done so since the very start.
      He also gets gets to promote and announce all the good news.
      Have you noticed.

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Cameron might understand the conflict in the Magna Carter and the European Arrest Warrant. He might also want to explain to the rest of us plebs why he let it happen when he stated he would repatriate powers? No powers should have gone in the first place.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          Indeed.

  4. Nina Andreeva
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    There is nothing in this coalition for real conservatives expect the prospect of at least five years plus of Labour after the next election. If Dave was the capable leader he claims to be. He would have done as Harper did in Canada and led a minority government at first, were after the voters had became so impressed with his capable government they would later reward him with an overall majority. Instead because he is so desperate to become Prime Minister because he thinks “he would be good at it”, he creates a horrible mutant terminally ill administration with the “looney left” Liberal Democrats.

    (sentence left out) However having lived in Bristol for the past six years I am now convinced there is something not right with the Liberal Democrats. For those of us who actually believe in climate change and that something needs to be done about it, take a look at how the LD council is actually making green house gases emissions worse.

    Bristol is now the most cycle friendly city in the UK. Cycle and bus lanes are everywhere (however cyclists still chose to use the pavement and the police just stand by and do nothing). So much road space is given over to these things that one of the main thoroughfares into the city is now reduced to a single lane. There traffic naturally reduces to a halt with cars belching out their fumes as far back as to the entrance of Polly Toynbee’s old school, as they wait their turn to get past roundabouts etc.

    While because I live in a listed building I have to put up with my drafty sash windows and keep the central heating on at full blast. This is because some effeminate architecture expert at the council says “double glazing would detract from Clifton’s unique Georgian inheritance”. OK then how do all the wheely bins and recycling boxes on the streets (which are usually overturned by the local vermin on the night before the council can be bothered to empty them) also not help ruin the area’s Georgian charms? For some reason, which the council will not explain, they do not collect stuff that I have to recycle from the tenants of their tower blocks so there is plenty more landfill there.

    One good thing Eric Pickles has done though is that it has been a long time since I last had a copy of the council’s version of “Pravda” shoved through my letterbox, which went unread and straight into the recycling box.

    Incidentally if any thieves read this blog and you are about to go up before the beak, make sure you pass this article to your brief about one our liberal judges. She has set a precedent, being that as long as you have nicked stuff to the value of less of what it would cost to send you to jail, the worst you are going to get as a “punishment” is a few hours picking up litter a week

    http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/jail-benefits-cheat-prison-cost/story-16864713-detail/story.html

    • Steven_L
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Nothing new there. I know of trading standards cases where the amount of money netted from the scam divded by the number of hours community service is into 5 figures.

      Make sure you do something classy enough, and even if you do go down you’ll get sent to one of those white collar open prisons. There you can meet lots of bent accountants and lawyers, who will be useful next time, and go out at the weekend.

      Even if you are unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of a Proceeds of Crime confiscation, a good barrister will haggle it down to a fraction of the actual amount with his drinking buddy, who happens to be representing the other side. As a last resort, if you don’t want to cough up, you can just opt to do another 6 months inside and keep your ill gotten gains.

      Crime pays, that’s why they do it.

  5. Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    A necessarily short posting I note!

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      This of course reflects the lack of achievements as shown by the prominence of the M$ bus lane. As for the quangos most of them have simply shuffled their staff around. It would be interesting to learn how many jobs have actually been removed as distinct from moved elsewhere.

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        JR has already gave us a few department examples, they were paid off or made redundant only to be employed again at huge cost to the taxpayer.

  6. lifelogic
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Indeed not much else positive that I have seen.

    They have at long, long last stopping squatters stealing your (residential) property I suppose.
    They should do far more like this, to stop the endless bean feast for Lawyers often on legal aid. The appalling, no win no fee, and whiplash scams, the absurd arbitrary nature of divorce settlements, multi level courts and absurd employment laws. Anything which reduces litigation and lawyers is usually better for everyone else. We do not get rich by arguing over wealth we need to generate it.

    The first step should be to limit legal costs. It is totally absurd that a divorce might settle an estate of £1M as £500K for the lawyers and 250K each for the litigants, or worse, as often happens. A clearly understood fixed scale is needed. There is little reason why lawyers should get paid so very much anyway. Their recovered costs need to be capped very severely and their monopoly attacked. The court system need to provide a service to the public not the legal profession as it is now largely constructed.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Another absurdly biased interview with Lord Mandelson on radio 4 Today programme about 8.30am in the “what words of wisdom would you like to impart to the nation your Lordship mode”. No mention of the fact that he was in favour of the EURO and the EMU both of which proved (as all sensible people could foresee) to be such a total disaster. So why on earth should we listen to a proven wrong, paid salesman for the EU? Bernard Jenkin redressed the balance slightly afterwards but was not allowed to question Mandelson. The BBC news reporting is a total outrage and need killing. It is profoundly damaging on the EU, on ever bigger government and on the green religion. It is both hugely biased and totally moronic on these issues.

      I shall have to stop listening for reasons of my blood pressure.

      But then Cameron think Lord Patten is a good head of the trustees at the BBC! So there is no hope is there? Typically he did not even know what Magna Carta meant I suppose, judged from the actions of its graduates, Oxford PPE is all about the EU and the ECRH, how to exploit the political systems for personal advantage and why Hayek was wrong despite all the evidence and the logic.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        How many of the population know what Magna Carter means from the top of their heads? When I Googled it I was reminded, but could not come up with this it casually listening to the radio. Is he supposed to be an encyclopaedia of British facts? If he had come up with textbook answers. I’m sure many would have something to say.

        • Sebastian Weetabix
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          We expect a product of Eton and Brasenose with a first class degree to know what everyone in my local pub quiz knows.

          As for Magna Carter, he must be a terribly big chap.

          • Bazman
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

            I thought it was a new brand of cider

        • Mark W
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          We agree on something. I wouldn’t fancy a Latin test on TV.

          What purpose is there in translating Magna Carta to English if you know what it is. David Cameron’s title isn’t Prime Minister but we know what that title means, without getting into Firsts and Lords and Treasuries.

      • zorro
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Well, I seem to recall learning about the Magna Carta in history lessons when I was about 12….No matter what you feel about Mandelson, what he says about potential UK membership of a reformed ‘Euro monetary area’ could possibly come to pass and be foisted as a ‘fait accompli’ on the British people. They will, of course, do this using the ‘fear factor’ and saying that we will not survive outside. I definitely see movement towards this aim slowly slowly in all the official parties (no matter what they might profess outwardly)….

        Ps…Ms Flanders is currently presenting some BBC programmes on Keynes, Hayek, and Marx, but no Friedman however….I shall be interested to see how the BBC presents the series.

        zorro

        zorro

        • Mark W
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          I’m sure some of Marx’s less politically correct views won’t get aired.

    • alan jutson
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      lifelogic

      The biggest prolem we have with the Court system is one of financial enforcement.

      You win your case, you get a financial award (even costs in some cases) but then you have to go to Court again, and spend ever more money, to get the money the judgement has decided.

      The simple solution would be for the Court to follow cases through to the end with the use of their own bailiffs to ensure the judgement is enforced in full. (unless of course they have no money) rare, as most people would not bother to sue knowing that any judgement would be a waste of time.

      Above would make the system more fair, and would give the Court and Legal system some proper respect.

      As it is at the moment, many who know how the system works and functions just abuse it, and simply fail to pay once a judgement has been made, and stick two fingers up to the system.

      The legal system at the moment, is simply justice for those who can afford it.

      • Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Indeed at the small claims level you are right you pay lots of fees and rarely recover much. Rarely worth the effort.

        At the larger claims area the result of court cases are often so random and arbitrary and fees so expensive (and risk/reward so unfairly balanced) that the system rarely serves the public. It seems entirely designed and evolved for the benefit of Lawyers. How on earth can it cost £500K in fees to decide how to split £1M between a divorcing couple and result be so random? Tossing a coin a few times would often provide a better service and without 50% being taken in costs.

      • Steven_L
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        In Scotland you can apply to have a proportion of the defendants assets frozen before going to trial, and the court officers do collect the debt. They used to be so draconian that they would come and empty your house and flog your posessions off to your neighbours at rock bottom prices to pay it.

        In England civil courts are a nightmare. I had a crack at one of these civil trading standards injunctions not so long ago. This process was ‘sold’ to us by the civil service as a quick and easy way to stop scams etc. We hired a barrister for some advice and next thing you know our entire annual budget was potentially at risk in the High Court.

        Once the solicitors and barristers have dragged both sides into an action they can’t afford to run they then negotiate an agreed settlement in a private room with each other where both parties end up losing. The barristers and judges (and a lot of barristers do actually work as judges on the recorder circuit) all drink together too.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          It is indeed largely run for the benefit of the profession.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Legal aid has been stopped for almost everything and no win no fee was introduced to replace legal aid.

      I believe most lawyers use a fixes scale where they charge by the hour.

      • alan jutson
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        uanime5

        In your dream world.

        Do not believe the advertising, the content and cost is very different in reality

        Clearly you have never had to take anyone to Court with a civil action !

      • zorro
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Oh yeah…..Abu Hamza’s on ‘no win – no fee’ too I guess……LOL

        zorro

  7. Pete the Bike
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Just for a second I thought you meant cutting government spending by 80%. Alas that won’t happen until the whole rotten system collapses.

    • Lord Blagger
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Quite. And when it collapses the damage to people is truly awful. Dire. Look at Greece. Now think, what happens when you impose Greek style austerity (and its just started, lots more to come), on Manchester, Liverpool or Tower Hamlets.

      Will people behave when the government says you’re not having your giro?

      • zorro
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        I think that you know the answer to that one….as does the government.

        zorro

  8. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    “Many Conservatives are disappointed that this has not been attempted.” I’m more than disappointed. I feel betrayed and angry, and have lost all faith in the Cameroons. Mr. Cameron needs to be able to spend more time with his family, and the sooner the better.

  9. APL
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    JR: “It is true we have seen substantial progress to a £10,000 tax threshold for Income Tax.”

    But not yet a £10,000 income tax threshold. Meanwhile the government expands the money supply (aka inflation) to the extent that we should be looking at a £20,000 tax threshold so that the poorest, or indeed anyone in society isn’t disadvantaged.

    JR: “We did get the veto over the latest federal fiscal Treaty .. ”

    No we didn’t.

    JR: “Criminal Justice EU measures, again something the federal parties would not propose.”

    Scotch mist, such EU measures will be brought in by what ever back door is avaliable.

    In short true Conservatives shouldn’t be supporting this government.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      I agree with APL re. the tax threshold for income tax. The goal of £10k (yet to be achieved!) is woefully inadequate and is the equivalent of earning £192 per week or £833 per month!

      The threshold should be at least £15,600 per annum (i.e. £300 per week/ £1,300 per month) with a top rate of income tax at 35%. Only lower tax rates and higher thresholds will revive our economy.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Sound like a good start.

      • uanime5
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Approximately how many additional jobs paying the average salary (£27,000) will need to be created in order to offset the loss in taxation from the lower tax rates and higher thresholds?

        • alan jutson
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          uanime%

          Some of the loss will be made up from Vat when the increased disposable income is spent.
          The more goods sold by increased demand by those with more disposable income, means more jobs needed to create those goods, and those job holders also pay some tax etc.

        • Mark W
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          How many additional jobs? It doesn’t matter, if the revenue falls then the govt should cut its benefit bill accordingly. Why should workers fund shirkers.

          If benefits get too low their claimants could go on strike. Oops no one will miss people who don’t contribute anything anyway.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Spot on. The veto that never was. ECHR to be replaced by a British Bill of Rights, how many people need to resign from the commission to acknowledge that Messrs Clegg and Clarke are doing all they can to prevent any change?

      Laws back in cabinet after how many promises to clean up politics and parliament?

      European arrest warrant implemented when there was no obligation to do so. This was enacted after a pledge to repatriate powers.

      More Eu bail outs and loans in stark contrast to what the Uk was promised- yet we are told there is no money for services for the people here?

      EU students receive a free university education in the UK when we are told there is not enough money to fund education for our children?

      Mass immigration soars and the Uk cannot cope with funding its public services or provide adequate infrastructure to collect and distribute water.

      Energy is so expensive elderly people cannot afford it and yet the economic lunacy of the energy policy is till pursued and Tories prevented from interfering!

      Oversees aid has doubled (£12 billion) yet we have to borrow this sum because we do not have it. So the actual amount is much higher and a sixth of it gets spent by the EU to countries on middle incomes! Mitchell presided over this monstrosity of an increase was rude and humiliated the people who are prepared to die in protecting him and he is still in government!

      Soft on crime approach is in stark contrast to the Tory manifesto. Three let out last week for violent offences and given £43,000 for breaching Human Rights because they were given indefinite sentences- why were they not given life and have done with it to protect us?

      The UK is not allowed to make a decision to deport people who pose a threat to our national security ro public at large without the EU’s permission?

      Banks bailed out (£45 billion) by the UK taxpayer are told what parts of its business are to be sold by the EU! They are our competitors!

      Gay marriage is a key priority for Clegg and Cameron and yet it is not in either party’s manifesto?

      Come back Gordon we need you!!!! They are worse at sums than you!

      • forthurst
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        “ECHR to be replaced by a British Bill of Rights”

        I read that Cameron appeared on the Leterman show and was ambushed with questions relevant, apparently, to obtaining a British passport. Apparently he was unable to explain what ‘Magna Carta’ meant. I find it very surprising that someone who has studied politics and is allegedly concerned about the inalienable rights of the English people, should betray such ignorance. When a first is awarded for PPE, does the ‘Politics’ not include those milestones of our history determining the legal basis of the relationship between the people and supreme authority? Does PPE actually stand for: P=vapourings of Karl Marx; P=vapourings of Karl Marx; E=vapourings of Karl Marx. When putative politicians and other assorted leftwing revolutionaries follow an exclusive course of study, how do the rest of know that the work for which they are awarded a First is in any way equivalent to that awarded for History, Classics, Mathematics etc?

        Reply I think he knows what it meant. He was unable to translate the two words Magna Charta. he did know when and where it was signed.

        • forthurst
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          Generically speaking the Magna Carta was ‘charter’, a written grant by the sovereign or legislative power of a country to a group of people.
          How it is possible to know what it was without knowing that?

        • zorro
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          John, you are too generous….Look, even he could do it….Magna like magnum of champagne, and carte like letter….schoolboy French….no…’carta’…sounds like charter….I’m sorry.

          zorro

          • alan jutson
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

            Zorro

            From Memory

            The actual monument (which I have visited albeit many years ago) and have driven past many times, has a complete description of its meaning, the people present at the signing, the reason for treaty, and the location of its signing, on an inscription plate attatched to the monument.

            It is not far from Eton/Windsor/Egham and is in Runnymead, I would be sure that Mr Cameron would have been taken to it (at least should have been) if he did not visit it himself .

            The Kennedy memorial is also about 100 yards upstream from its location, and the Royal Airforce memorial and gardens overlooks both from the top of the hill which is a few hundred yards downstream to the south and behind .

            All worth a visit if you are in the area, particularly the Airforce Memorial approached from the A30..

        • APL
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          JR: “I think he knows what it meant.”

          I rather thought the point of a politician appearing on television is to show every one else that he knows what he is talking about.

          Using modern parlance to describe this episode of the Westminster soap, “Epic fail”.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          While Cameron knew it was signed in Runnymede in 1215 he thought it was signed on an island, rather than in a field.

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

            Isn’t it true that the Magna Carta declared the rights of barons rather than those of the common people? If so, it was perhaps less significant than historians make out.

            Now the Declaration of Arbroath, that was different. However, the Scots did rather spoil it by asking the pope’s permission for their independence.

            The brutal truth is that chopping King Charles the First’s head off was far more significant for the rights of parliament and eventually the common man.

        • Mark W
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Why British bill of rights. We have the 1689 English Bill of Rights. The USA find it up to the job.

          This document was put together by smarter folk than now. They knew it’s government that needs curbs to protect people from tyranny.

          The Habeas Corpus Act, English Bill of Rights and Magna Carta are all we need. The Blair government did its best to wreck Habeas Corpus and this government has not done enough to revoke arbitrary imprisonment.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          To be fair he did know the date and place, which I had forgotten. These facts not being very useful or relevant to an engineer/businessman very often.

          I would prefer it if Cameron could do simple sums on HS2, wind farms, PV subsidies, electric cars, the tax and benefit system and incentives to work and all the other nonsenses they push and subsidise.

      • Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        Indeed

  10. JimF
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Perhaps your Plan A should be to leave this club.

  11. ian wragg
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Prepare for a long spell in opposition…….

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Indeed the Tories have not had full political power since the appalling Mr Major buried them for 3+ terms with the idiotic and predictable ERM – that he pushed the UK into in as Chancellor and then as Prime Minister.

      It seems Cameron is certainly in the Heath, Major socialist disaster mould and is attempting to do the same for the next three terms. By which time the UK will be a fully non democratic region of the EU. No one, who could appoint Lord Patten (to the BBC), could be anything else could they?

      • Jerry
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think they have held political power since Mrs Thatchers “Poll Tax” (which as always going to end in tears, an 18th century tax for a democratic 20th century world…) and probably long before that, things would now be very different indeed had we vetoed -and at the time the UK really could have done so- the Single European Act, no EC, no EU, no Lisbon treaty, just a collection of independent countries trading within a common agreement.

        • Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          Indeed Keith Joseph’s pole tax was never going to work politically. He clearly had a sheltered live and did not understand how many people live.

          Major won because he was not Thatcher and few had worked out how daft and useless he was at that time. They soon did a few months later with the ERM and Maastricht. An apology is still awaited.

          Reply: The Poll Tax (sic) was not Keith’s. It was worked up by William Waldegrave, Ken Baker and Chris Patten (from memory) with Nigel Lawson and myself advising against.

          • alan jutson
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            reply to reply

            Would have thought you would have been for the poll tax JR, on the grounds of more equally shared costs,

            Aware it needed clear qualification and presentation to succeed, but surely far better for all to contribute a smaller personal cost to local government costs, than a high cost for just the house owner.

            Reply: I thought it would backfire politically, which it did.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            @lifelogic: It is often suggested that John Major won (the 1992 election) because he wasn’t NK, or more to the point, didn’t get up on a stage two days before polling day and trumpet a premature triumph by shouting “Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah” into a microphone!

            Up until that night Labour actually held a lead in many of the the opinion poles, the morning after the said Sheffield election jamboree didn’t The Sun print a very cruel image of a light bulb with a face superimposed on to it, together with the tag-line saying something like “If this man wins tomorrow will the last person to leave the country please turn off the lights”…

          • lifelogic
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

            The Poll tax is right in principle but politically stupid.

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted September 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            The poll tax was regressive. You simply can’t do that. Employee NI is now income elated. Any time the State or local government levies a fixed charge, it has to say what the money will be used for and demonstrate that the contributory principle is appropriate.

        • Bazman
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          Got elected again after the pool tax fiasco.

          • Mark W
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            Major won in 1992 partly because they’d scrapped the Poll Tax. Also certain safe guards to people of less means lost impact in the news at the time as this was when the Tories began to lose there skill at making their case. Kinnock had little appeal either.

          • Mark W
            Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

            And before yesterday’s pedant turns up. Their skill, not there skill.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

            @MarkW: The safeguards came with the Council tax, not with the Poll tax (or “Community Charge” as it was officially called), there were few safeguards within the the Poll Tax regime and that was half the problem with it. Some, not necessarily those who smashed up London, really could not pay the tax as people on benefits (of which their was still plenty at the time in the 1980s unemployment black spots) only got partial relief and thus had to find the rest from existing benefit money.

            In one tax Mrs Thatcher very nearly undid ten years of (mostly) good work, it would be another four years before Blair scrapped Clause 4…

      • Steven Whitfield
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        The lesson of Major was that important economic decisions should under no circumstances be made by highly ambitions but economically illiterate men. But as we know, politicians have very short memory’s.

        Why did Major, the Son of a circus performer and having experience of working as a bank clark think he was qualified to shape a decision of such magnitude as entering thr ERM ?. We as a nation much have literally gone mad to allow such badly qualified people as Major anywhere near the levers of power.

        Now we have the Osborne and Cameron in charge who would be out of their depth running a market stall.

        Major’s apology is long overdue both to the people in his party he arrogantly ignored and to the millions who suffered because of his actions.

  12. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Each time you try and show the achievements of this government you mention the end of the M4 bus lane. I’m not sure if this is meant to make me laugh, as it always does, or that your task in proving evidence of achievement is so difficult. It is clear from your daily posts that you cannot be impressed by this performance. Many who voted Conservative feel betrayed that your party has not even attempted to tackle the economic mess they inherited in the way they promised but basically have continued in much the same way as Labour. The three main parties offer variations of socialism. Lady Thatcher’s period in office must have been an aberration.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Hip Packs (nearly we still have mad energy performance certificates)
      Squatting Laws
      M4 Bus Lane

      The only positives so far alas, not enough time to list all the negatives.

      • zorro
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        In all seriousness, I am impressed that they have, it seems, sorted out the ‘squatting laws’ which can be very distressing to people.

        zorro

  13. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The target of 10k as the personal tax allowance was a Liberal manifesto promise that the Conservatives agreed to as part of the coaliation agreement.

    Is that not so? It is certainly my recollection. Now you are claiming it as your own. I don’t think many people will be fooled.

    After the lunacy of the Labour years, I expected the coalition to look at public services and simply decide which services are necessary and which are luxuries – and get rid of the luxuries until such time as we can afford them.

    A glance at the public sector appointments in the Guardian is all it takes to reveal the sheer inanity and stupidity of many public sector jobs. Instead of that, we have police numbers cut. This is the biggest problem with the government, you seem to be useless.

    Start with diversity co-ordinators. Make the lot redundant and then carry on with the others.

    Reply Conservatives are tax cutters by instinct and accepted this way of doing it.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      But what about getting rid of unnecessary public sector jobs?

      At the moment vital services are being cut whilst unnecessary jobs are kept. The unnecessary jobs (many of those with incomprehensible job descriptions in the Grauniad) are usually very highly paid. These people keep their jobs while coppers and army personnel are losing theirs.

      Any comment? Or are you happy with the way you are managing things?

      • zorro
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        A lot of these non jobs are to supervise equality laws et al, and do not add to productivity.

        zorro

    • Mark W
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      The Tories have a long history of cutting direct tax. Study tax thresholds from 1979 until now. They were inflation busting during the era from 79 til mid 90s. Gordon Brown used it as a hidden stealth tax.

      The LibDems have made a lot of noise on this issue, but no Tory would have vetoed this. It’s is Tory ideology through and through. The Tories have stood and watched the LibDems claim this policy. They shouldn’t let them get away with it. Well done JR.

  14. Stephen Almond
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    John,

    Two questions:

    1. Are you sure that removing large sections of the public from direct taxation is a good thing? Shouldn’t people feel they have a stake in the government?
    2. How many quangos have been created and how many burnt on ‘the bonfire’?

    • uanime5
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      1) Even if people in work don’t pay income tax or NI they still pay council tax and VAT. So they have some stake in the Government.

      2) I believe dozens have been destroyed and a review has recommended over 100 be cut. Unfortunately over 100 new quangoes have been created with a combined budget of several hundred billion pounds.

      • outsider
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Dear Uanime5,
        Re 2), you are right to point this out. It is, as they say, an inconvenient truth, – although the budget you mention is mainly the NHS.

  15. Lord Blagger
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    That said eliminate the structural deficit this Parliament, relying 80% on spending cuts to cut it.

    ==========

    No, the promise was to eliminate the deficit. No mention of ‘structural’.

    That’s just getting an excuse in early for failure. You will notice more and more the use of structural from now on. Just because structural means anything. 1 billion or 2 billion, not 150 bn.

    What about the promise to publish the state debt? Another failure?

  16. merlin
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    But what’s the overall impression of this government and PM in the public’s minds. This is not a Conservative Government, the last and only real Conservative Government was Margaret Thatcher which was a truly radical and reforming administation. This Government in comparison is overall weak and unimpressive and all Cameron is doing is managing decline. It is interesting that he is the third Old Etonian PM, after Mcmillan and Home and they were not that impressive. Cameron has managed to decrease the membership of the Conservative Party and alienate the general public, further detaching the political elite from the over governed poulation. At heart I do believe that Cameron is a true Conservative, more of a liberal social democrat europhile.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      The Left are good at propaganda. The Right are not.
      The mention of Thatcher is deemed provocative and “divisive” by the Left. Any mention of Thatcher in favourable terms is enough to have you branded in the same category as a racist; therefore there is no chance that Cameron will do anything that is deemed to be Thatcherite (and necessary).

    • Mark W
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Thatcher’s government was a blip on our road to the left since July 1945. Most other Tory governments just act as a pause in the Labour plan. Thatcher didn’t get everything right. Grammar Schools, single European Act, Police and Criminal Evidence Act. I’m sure there’s more.

      Cameron is possibly happy in coalition with the LibDems, if he’d had minority Tory govt he’d have been forced into coalition with his own backbenchers. He wouldn’t like that. When Blair won in 1997, I was sad to see the Tories lose, especially after yet improvements they’d made, but I was glad Blair had a huge majority. That meant he could not be held to ransom by his lunatic left fringe. Yes Brown was an unhinged left winger but they wrecked things in broad strokes. They never had to allow spiteful lefties to get involved in micro meddling with small industries.

  17. Jerry
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Sorry to say this but, getting rid of the empty M4 Bus lane and the HIPs (just about) are about the only apparent -to the average person- success stories for the Tories! Just about everything else is Jam Tomorrow, perhaps even some butter, whilst many make do with bread and water today.

    The LibDems will be going into the next election, rightly or wrongly, being able to tell the voters what they prevented the Tories from doing but if Cameron is not careful the Tories will not be able to say anything positive about their own record in government, it will all be cuts, cuts and perceived broken promises. Cameron and the Tory element of the coalition have really got to buck their game up, and just why Cameron agreed to appear on Letterman’s show, unless of course he really is seeing Boris as a threat…

    • zorro
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      The Lib Dems can be quite surprisingly shrewd at presentation and manipulating arguments/positions when in power, and, I have no doubt that Clegg has the measure of Cameron and could outposition him by 2015 and cause him problems.

      zorro

  18. Robert K
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I’m not a Conservative (and far less a Lib Dem) but from my perspective all this Coalition has brought for most wage earners is a bigger current tax burden and a gigantic and growing future tax burden. The state remains rampant, accounting for about half of economic output and barely a word is spoken about cutting it back. Until that happens we remain on a road to disaster.

  19. JM
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Not much to cheer about is it?

  20. Electro-Kevin
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    One might just as easily ask what is in the Conservative party for Tory voters.

  21. Electro-Kevin
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    “Conservatives liked Plan A. That said eliminate the structural deficit this Parliament, relying 80% on spending cuts to cut it. Many Conservatives are disappointed that this has not been attempted.”

    The innitiative for Plan A has been lost. The acceptance, among the public, of austerity in return for a better future has gone. We see that mass immigration (under the Tories) is never going to stop and reaches unprecedented levels – that views (and rights) are going to get ever more diverse so that it’s going to get ever more difficult to reach the sort of national consensus which will lead to a Thatcher moment.

    Besides. There is little left to sell off this time. Exept for armaments perhaps.

    The Tories are now (rightly and wrongly) sharing the blame for this economic mess with Labour.

    How on earth did that happen ?

    (It doesn’t help that the Left are still in control of the state broadcasting message – much of it controlling the agenda and even the language of debate. Blustery Right wingers such as Jeremy Clarkson and Kelvin McKenzie are allowed – but they’re for purposes of amusement and in the guise of balance.)

    • zorro
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, their support for various Middle East wars/Arab Spring uprisings will cause migratory pressures which will not assist their control of net migration, not to mention general migration.

      zorro

  22. Sebastian Weetabix
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I did enjoy your reference to the M4 bus lane. It reminded me of the episode of ‘Yes, Minister’ where Hacker is asked by a school pupil what he has achieved in his political career and couldn’t think of anything. It does sum up the fact that Westminster is practically a parish council deferring to our unelected masters in Brussels, when one of the coalitions major achievements is repainting a road.

    You left out what appears to me to be the one bright spot: Mr Gove’s activities in education. He genuinely does seem to be breaking the leftie LEA stranglehold on state schools.

  23. JoolsB
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The Tories won a 62 seat majority in England in 2010 and yet England is governed by this useless and pathetic coalition despite most of it’s policies only affecting England because England, unlike Scotland, Wales & NI is not allowed the Government of it’s choosing but the one chosen for it by the rest of the UK despite them having the luxury of their own separate governments. Why should the other nations get two votes, one to choose their own separate legislature making decisions in their interests and theirs alone quite separate from the decisions taken by the UK Government they’ve chosen with their second vote to govern England, a UK Government where no-one is standing up for England’s interests, certainly not the Tories despite getting their support from England and certainly not the 119 Celtic MPs who bizzarely can’t vote on devolved matters for their own constituents who voted for them but can vote on all matters which only affect England where no-body voted for them and often do to justify their existance. Why should England only get one vote to their two and even then, our vote is overturned? Yet we call ourselves a democracy! The ‘Mother of all Parliaments’ ENGLAND is now the only nation in the western world without it’s own parliament. In fact England alone is not even recognised as a nation which is why it can be discriminted against so easily and which is why Alex Salmond can so blatantly discriminate against only students from England. What are the Tories doing about this – NOTHING.

    Even if England gives the Tories a majority again in 2015 (unlikely I know) England could still end up being governed by a Lab Gov/LabLib coalition or even a rainbow coalition consisting of SNP, Plaid Cymru and even Sinn Fein, every party except the one it votes for as nearly happened in 2010 if Brown could have made the numbers stack up. Brown, the self annointed Scottish PM who had no say on 80% of matters for Scotland and the people who voted for him but could dictate policies which only affected England where nobody voted for him and not a word of protest from the opposition at the time – the Tories.

    This lifelong Tory gave up membership of the party when the UK Government introduced £9,000 tuition fees knowing they would only affect England’s young and yet they managed to do it without mentioning the word England once, the ‘E’ word being the forbidden word in their deliberate ploy to conflate England and the UK in their deceit to convince us we are all in this together and to add insult to injury, Cameron obviously saw nothing wrong with Danny Alexander, MP for Inverness, Nair, Badenoch & Strathspley leading the charge for the yes vote on behalf of the coalition despite the fact his constituents would continue to pay zero in tuition fees thanks to the skewed Barnett Formula, something else Cameron refuses to address. That’s how much the Unionist Tories think of England and shame on them for treating England with the same contempt as Labour except we expected no better from them.

    The Tories still insist on putting a union which no longer exists FIRST and England LAST. No wonder we are all turning to UKIP who are the only party willing to address the enormous great democratic deficit which exists thanks to Labour’s deliberate asymmetrical devolution act and which the Tories to their eternal shame refuse to address. The only way forward now is for an English Parliament within a federal structure, the alternative will be the break up of the UK altogether and the Conservatives will be just as responsible as Labour if that happens.

    It would seem denying England a voice or self determination in the way the other nations of this ‘union’ enjoy (and which Cameron preaches as a right for the rest of the world) and thus having a Labour or coalition government foisted on us against our will is a price worth paying to keep the status quo. To the Tories, it is better to have a ‘union’ which continues to see England blatantly discriminated against both politiically and financially at every turn than no union at all. Shame on them.

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      As a minimum Scottish MPs should be prevented from voting on any issue that does not apply to Scotland. To a lesser extent this is also necessary for Wales and Northern Ireland.

      If English bills were debated on say Fridays the Scots could all go back to their constituencies a day early thus saving on the expenses that they claim.

      • JoolsB
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        If the Scots were prevented from voting on issues which don’t affect Scotland, that would only leave reserve matters of defence, foreign affairs and some taxation. As 80% of matters which affect Scotland are now decided at Holyrood by 129 MSPs and not Scottish MPs at Westminster, why bother bringing them down to Westminster at all with all the added expense of salaries, expenses, second homes and travel? Surely when the few reserved matters need to be debated, the MSPs could vote on these matters too.

        Why should Scotland, a country one tenth of the population of England, have two layers of Government when England is only allowed one and even that isn’t the one elected by it?

        England must be given a voice and recognised as a nation in the same way Scotland, Wales & NI are recognised as nations and only an English Parliament will do that and contrary to the myth the politicians like to bandy about, it will save money not cost more as the H.O.C. could become the new English Parliament and 119 Celtic MPs with nothing to do but meddle in English only matters would not be needed and more importantly England would be in control of her own affairs once again because whatever the politicians say, including the Tories, although put there by the English, they are British MPs with a British mandate and do not speak up or stand up for England in the way Salmond does for Scotland. When did you last hear an MP with an English seat say the word England – never and until there is such a thing as English MPs in an English Parliament, the people of England will continue to get a bad deal and be constantly discriminated against as they are now, even by a Tory led coalition.

  24. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    To me, this very modest list of Conservative achievements highlights the fact that this Conservative administration was never fit for office. The core belief of ‘David Cameron’s Conservatives’ – that they just needed to copy New Labour and ‘de-toxify’ the Tory brand were wrong.

    At election time, the electors saw this too and were less than impressed with Cameron’s brand of often eccentric left leaning politics. It was only because the polictical waterline was lowered so far by Gordon Brown’s incompetence, that Cameron (undeservingly) was able to snatch power with his fingertips. It would have been far better if he had gone away into the political wilderness….there would of been a chance that a properly Conservative force could have emerged from the rubble of his failure.

    Then perhaps, Sir John Redwood’s ideas ,based on learning from past experience, could have been implemented.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uySq55h3SMM
    John Redwood MP: “The relevance of Friedman’s ideas to the current economic & financial crisis”

    I

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      John Redwood’s ideas? Milton Friedman’s ideas? How about Enoch Powell’s ideas? His first two books ‘A Nation not Afraid’ and ‘Freedom and Reality’ contained the entire Thatcherite blueprint (apart from the poll tax – Enoch first proposed Council Tax in 1964).

      Truly a prophet is not without honour except in his own country.

  25. Matthew
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I think your list is a little short. There is a bit of work in progress.
    I suppose it all depends on how you value wip.

    Welfare savings are still potential and are crucial, when they represent such a big area of spending. Here rests the hopes of saving not a few billions, but hundreds of billions. It’s right that Mr Cameron set out to tackle this area. Welfare spending rocketed in the boom years 2002 to 2007. It is quite plainly not sustainable.

    IDS seems well meaning and confident that he’s making progress. I’m not too sure though. Can’t help feeling that it’s all too complicated and is going to blow up in his face. We will be left with recriminations and a more complicated mess.
    (IDS always sort of brings to mind – when you’re driving in the US on an interstate and you catch sight of a huge 100 ft high revolving sign with flashing neon lights advertising ribs…or whatever. Then you look down to the base of the sign and you see a tiny wooden shack, with the paint peeling off)

    Michael Gove’s reforms seem to have gained some traction; he seems to be making progress.
    Repatriation of powers from the EU is wip (I hope)

    There’s the coming reduction in the top rate to 45%, that’s welcome. (Although you have to view that with the increases in VAT, CGT and SDLT.)

    If you looked to award ticks to the Conservatives, it’s probably on what they have held the line on that the other parties would have imposed. Such as restricting pension relief at 40%. The imposition of a wealth, asset or mansion tax.
    Then there was the blocking of the, half baked, House of Lords reforms, although the government can’t claim credit for that. It shows the strength and good sense of the Conservative back benchers.

    Maybe the secret of success with the Conservatives is to have low expectations.

    • zorro
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      ‘Repatriation of powers from the EU is wip (I hope)’…..not even hope, there is no evidence whatsoever that this will happen….The EU drift has continued remorselessly.

      zorro

    • uanime5
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Blocking the House of Lords reform, which was approved with a majority of over 330, because 91 Conservative back benchers opposed it isn’t good thing.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        @uanime5: No one blocked anything, what was blocked was a timetable motion, the LDs could still have their Bill but they might not get it through the Commons before the next election (or if they do, no other legislation would). Even more to the point, had the LDs and Mr Cameron accepted the cross party calls for a referendum on the proposed Lords reforms then the timetable motion would have also passed. Of course the real issue was that Mr Clegg had lost his pet AV referendum and so tried to bring in AV or PR via the back door.

        What really annoys me about Lords reform is the lie that the currently configured House of Lords make legislation, they do not, at best they advise and review, only the Commons can pass law, and as was shown by the passing of the Hunting Bill no amount of parliamentary ping-pong can stop the Commons having their way if the government and Speaker are in agreement for the Parliament Act to be used.

  26. outsider
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    I notice that you do not mention much of the torrent of legislation pushed through Parliament in its first two years. Nothing about health reforms or social security reforms or student fee reforms or education reforms.

    Do you think that the health reforms achieve anything substantial for the political capital or the reorganisation costs spent on them? Do you think that the welfare reforms will achieve their aim or be sabotaged by the Treasury and by reliance on complex software systems?
    You pointed out at the time that the rise in tuition fees would raise borrowing in the current Parliament, so will this Whitehall-generated measure, on a longer perspective be worth the political pain (for both Coalition parties)?

    Except on welfare reform, the voices of the vested interests (whether they are right or wrong) seem to have been louder than the Government’s, not just on the BBC.

    You also do not mention the reversal of half Labour’s poison-pill rise in the top rate of income tax. Was a 5 per cent cut really worth being attacked remorselessly for three years as the friends of the rich? For instance, you might have just quietly axed the clawback of allowances.

    You also do not mention the retention of the UK’s high credit rating in debt markets, perhaps the only tangible achievement of the “austerity” programme. Perhaps you think that this will not last beyond the next election, or even beyond the end of QE.

    My own feeling is that the Conservatives entered the Coalition mainly with the aim of setting the public finances in order but have failed. The LibDems entered the Coalition mainly in order to cement their hold on power through constitutional reform and have failed.

    Reply: Time will tell what benefits the reforms of health, schools and welfare brings. They have their good aspects, b ut they do not yet show us results, as they are by definition longer term matters. The test for welfare comes late this Parliament when they start to introduce Universal Credit – will it bring unemployment down? Will it support the right people? The school reforms may bring in some good free schools, but in the early years there will only be a small minority of places provided by such schools.

    • zorro
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      The retention of the credit rating is solely because we have been outside the Eurozone and been able to QE in the shadow of the US FED QE expansion programme. Can you imagine what would have happened to us if we had been in the Euro with our debt and budget deficit? We would have been slaughtered….

      zorro

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    “We did get the veto over the latest federal fiscal Treaty”

    But we didn’t get a referendum over the radical EU treaty change agreed on March 25th 2011.

    And this was not just “despite” Hague’s glowing recommendation of his “referendum lock” law when it had just come into force, in the Sunday Telegraph on July 17th 2011:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/william-hague/8642073/Now-you-have-power-to-veto-EU-changes-in-referendum.html

    “Now you have power to veto EU changes in referendum.”

    “This law hands back democratic control of the way the EU is developing to the British electorate.”

    and so forth; because the word “despite” doesn’t fully reflect the fact that on October 13th 2011 Hague actually made first use of his “referendum lock” law to BLOCK a referendum on that treaty change.

    Then on February 2nd 2012 he made second use of his law to rule out a referendum on the treaty of accession for Croatia to join the EU, and it would have been the same if it was Turkey rather than Croatia.

    This report about the proposed “banking union” includes an interesting comment from a German MEP:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/26/uk-eu-banks-idUKBRE88P0NJ20120926

    “What we don’t want to do here is split the EU down the middle,” said Wolf Klinz, a German member of parliament. “What we don’t want to see is that the British push themselves into a corner where they have a referendum and they say … that’s enough for us.”

    But it’s already perfectly clear that Cameron and Hague and Osborne and their counterparts in other EU countries will make every effort to ensure that the British people are not allowed a direct say on “the way the EU is developing”, let alone on whether we should leave it.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Spot on Dennis. They use language to deceive the British public. UKIP is the only alternative.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        @Disaffected: I would have thought the use of the services of the Campaign for Plain English was the ‘only alternative’, sorry to say but UKIP are not beyond publishing gobbledygook themselves and once in government they will be no different as any other political party at the mercy of the civil service.

        UKIP seems to be the answer for everything around here, want perfect toast in the mornings, vote UKIP, want softer toilet paper, vote UKIP! Like that fable of the little boy who kept shouting “Fire!”, one day there really was a fire yet no one came to rescue the boy, some on this blog are in danger of making UKIP that little boy…

  28. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    In the final speech at the LibDem conference, Nick Clegg was strong on the need for continuing deficit reduction. Thank goodness for small mercies. Less acceptable was insistence that there should be more taxation and fewer public expenditure cuts. It might be an idea if somebody reminded him that the Conservatives have 5 times more seats in parliament than the LibDems.

    He can have his mansion tax in the form of one or two extra Council Tax bands at the top end (No new taxes!!). He can have accelerated progress towards the £10,000 income tax threshold. What we want in exchange is the 40% tax threshold to be raised to £50,000 and a top rate of 40%.

    At the same time, we should consider NI. Is it to be based on the contributary principle (in which case it will probably be regressive) or is it just another form of taxation, in which case the employee contributions can be integrated with income tax? It is high time that we had a detailed statement from the Government Actuary as to how NI is spent. If he doesn’t know, why is he on the payroll?

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Ni should be got rid of and merged with income tax. The employers’ NI that is a brake on employment, cash flow. exports etc. but encourages imports should equally be abandoned even if corporation tax has to be increased to find the revenue.

      The saving in red tape costs would be considerable particularly for small companies.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        The merging of tax credits with the tax code. Helping everyone and saving costs? What is this tax credit thing all about?

        • Mark W
          Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          Along with merging NI into income tax, that is a sound proposal.

          • David Price
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

            Not for those who pay income tax but not NI

  29. Tad Davison
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    It depends how one defines the word ‘Conservative’.

    It always used to stand for sound economic policies, where we lived within our means and paid our way. It used to mean standing up for Britain’s best interest. It used to mean a strong defence. It used to mean an ethos of self-reliance. It used to mean fairness, and fair-play. It also used to mean strong law and order policies and a system where good deeds are rewarded, and wickedness chastised.

    Looking especially towards our involvement with the EU, and the way these cherished national values have been diminished and eroded, can we honestly say that the Conservative party is truly Conservative any more?

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      You are quite right with your analysis. In short, no. Vote UKIP.

    • Pleb
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Europe is once again overrun, the UK once again stands alone and under threat of a European dictatorship.

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

        Things are looking dodgy in Spain. I was there the other week, protests are common in the reguons and secession is in the air in Catalonia….

        zorro

    • uanime5
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Here’s the definition of a Conservative according to Franklin D. Roosevelt:

      A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Sounds more like a UK definition of a Socialist, someone who is quite able to help himself but prefers the state to do it for him…

        In any case, one can’t really transpose US and UK political definitions, by UK standards the US democrats are the equivalent to what Mrs Thatcher would have called ‘her wets’.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          I liked the definition of Socialism that was doing the rounds in Clement Attlee’s time: ‘Socialism is a system which ensures that when you have no bacon you also have no eggs.’

      • outsider
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        Dear Uanime5, you have no doubt noted the irony of that quotation and its implied obverse.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      One of the problems in attaining your Utopia is the electorate. They like public expenditure restraint in principle but seldom in practice. They don’t like taxes, except on other people. They like easy money but they don’t like inflation. It takes a great deal of courage to point out what is needed and why, then to enact it.

      Post WW2 there were three men who tried to govern according to the principles you have outlined. Their names were Thorneycroft, Powell and Birch. All three resigned at Epiphany 1958 because they could not persuade the rest of Harold MacMillan’s cabinet to control public expenditure. By modern standards, the amounts involved were trivial, even allowing for an inflation factor of between 60 and 70.

      Harold MacMillan famously said, on boarding a plane to make his Wind of Change speech in Africa, that the resignations were ‘just a little, local difficulty’. How wrong he was. That was the moment that the rot set in.

  30. stan francis
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    As I see it the man/woman in the Street can only see one reason to vote Tory next time and that’s if Boris gets to be PM…daft or what but lesser reasons have seen people elected in the past, nice legs, smart suit so why not SMART BORIS?-failure I can see UKIP at some major party’s side, they may have no MP’s, but many MP’s may just leave their sinking boats between now and the next GE-A lot of elderly Tory voters feel they’ve been let down on their SAVINGS and also Allowances. So the seesaw is is there, Boris or UKIPerhaps both?..u can get as technical as u like, people don’t listen to tech’s they look at their money, wages, living conditions and future, so the Third carrot would be the EU ref and believe me people will LOOK very closely at the wording from the Bullingdon Club boyo’s.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Boris cannot win, he wants open doors immigration and an amnesty for illegal immigrants already here, the exact opposite of what the vast majority of the population want, just watch that get exposed if he did run for national govt

      • Mark W
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        He wanted to win an election in a diversely populated city.

  31. Bert Young
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I stay in touch with the news from Bermuda daily . I was horrified to note 2 days ago that a number of single Bermudian mothers were coming to the UK and living off the welfare system . They apparently took this decision because the fathers no longer supported them in Bermuda and there was no welfare system there . The mothers complained about the climate here and the difficulty of integrating into our way of life , nevertheless , they were glad to be taken care of . Bermudians have the right to a British/EU Passport ; surely IDS should be able to put a stop to this obvious blatant abuse . Once achieved , the Conservative Party would be able to claim another victory .

  32. Bob
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    An extract from bickers comment by I read on Dan Hannan’s blog article 24/9…

    Although this is about the USA it could equally apply to the UK and Europe:


    In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”

    “The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    From bondage to spiritual faith;
    From spiritual faith to great courage;
    From courage to liberty;
    From liberty to abundance;
    From abundance to complacency;
    From complacency to apathy;
    From apathy to dependence;
    From dependence back into bondage.”

    The Obituary of the USA could be as follows: US Independence: born 1776, Died 2012

    So, what phase is the UK in now, complacency? apathy? or bondage?

    • Bazman
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      The end is nigh. Old and middle aged old gits are free to bail out any time. Rich old gits can just do one. You’ll be dead soon anyway. Young old gits can go and live in Tuscany and wait to die. Teenagers have to eat it as we all did and think about dying.
      Six year olds can just protest about life as everything is not fair for sure. Ram it.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Did Alexander Tyler ever provide any examples of great civilizations that had followed this pattern? The Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire, and most Chinese Dynasties have lasted more than 200 years.

      • Mark W
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        The 200 year bit is a little too prescriptive but why did these empires fall? We are promising too much to too many dependants

      • zorro
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        I would imagine that he was talking about the Roman Republic and Greek Republics although they lasted more than two hundred years. The Ottoman Empire was never a democracy nor a Republic, nor were the Chinese Dynasties….This can be seen because he talks about the change from republic to dictatorship. I am not altogether convinced about the authenticity of the statement as a historical text per se. There are some allusions to it in Cicero and perhaps Cato but I haven’t got the time to look up/confirm at present.

        zorro

      • outsider
        Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        Dear uanime5, it is hard to date these things exactly. The Western Roman and Ottoman empires lasted about 500 years, the Spanish Empire 300.
        Closer to home, however, One might say that the first British Empire lasted 200 years and the second rather less. It was about 200 years between the beginning of the second British Empire and the UK joining the European Economic Community. Make of that what you will.

  33. iain gill
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    get to boss the plebs about

    that’s what seems to be in it for the cabinet

  34. Barbara Stevens
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Firstly, the Conservatives didn’t have an overall majority to take control of the government; the Lib Dems saw an opportunity to be in government after coming third in the election. Which really is a disgrace and insult to others who saw Labour come second. They should all have been in a coalition government to make it fair and acceptable. Of course many would say, nothing would have gotten through, may be, but I believe that is what the electorate wanted all parties to work together. This coalition has proved a disaster; both claiming they have done this and that. What this country really wanted was a referendum on Europe, repatriation of immigrants, and better control of benefits. You won’t get any of that with the present set up.
    Cameron is hell bent on giving our money away, or borrowing more, and we pay the bills on foreign aid, just like Brown did. Of course Clegg supports him all the way, well he would he likes his position in government, and with more Lib Dems in major posts than Conservatives no wonder.
    If I were an elected MP of the ‘blue’ colour I’d be angry; that with only 50 MPs they hold so many posts. None are really expeirienced, and they now have one who as history of accepting money he shouldn’t have had for rent, and welcomed back as though he’s done nothing wrong. Many have had the door slammed in their faces for much less in the expenses row. Is this what we have come down to?
    The truth is Cameron should not have subjected himself to having set parliaments, for now he’s got to go the distance with Clegg, he cannot really call an election, unless of course they really breakdown. Now that would be preferable.
    I saw Clegg yesterday, he sounded, like an sixth form school boy giving his first speech, and there was nothing in it. It was a boring hour, wasted. If they are so clever whey did they come third in the first place? No wonder UKIP are gaining more supporters, we have a PM who is useless, and the other half living in cookoo land. Wake up before its to late or just hand the keys over to Miliband and save the nation the expense of another election, you might has well.

    Reply : I see Roger Knapman, former UKIP leader, is recommending voters to vote for a new Referendum party and not for UKIP nor for the Conservatives, his original party, in the Euro elections in due course. Yet another splinter of the Eurosceptic vote coming up by the look of it.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      From Roger Knapman’s site:

      “… Isaac Newton used a simple set of experiments to deduce some of the most fundamentally important laws in physics. By firing a Bow and Arrow at a man with an apple on his head, Newton convinced himself (and the rest of the world) that Gravity was something that could be quantified and used to advance society. Simplicity can help us all improve our lives.”

      Whilst in Switzerland, William Tell had sat under an apple tree, whence fell an apple on his head, stunning him into conceiving the theory of Swiss independence.

    • Mark W
      Posted September 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      This new referendum outfit were on the Daily Politics last week. Splitters really. I think UKIP is the definitive anti EU vote.

      3 party coalition, would’ve been interesting.

      My personal idea would be fixed 4 year periods for all MPs with a quarter up for election every May. That would hold governments to account. Also no MP would be permitted to take any EU position after they leave parliament.

      Reply Why then did a recent UKIP leader recommend this new party? Why can’t Eurosceptics get their act together?

  35. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    In the Sunday Telegraph of 23rd September, there is a story under the headline “Bid to reclaim powers from EU ‘superstate'”. Apparently, William Hague has ordered up 20 separate reports on dealing with loss of control to Brussels.

    When you get into the body of the article, you find out what we are up against. There was Mr Barroso’s speech proposing the transfer to Brussels of more powers by 2014. Most of you are already aware of that speech. However, it’s the bit that follows that is really interesting.

    “In a separate move, a German-led EU working group put forward a series of radical new plans – including an elected EU president, a new pan-European foreign ministry and moves that would force Britain to give up its veto on foreign policy decision making.

    The group, which had input from 11 EU member states, also signalled a possible European army, a single market for EU defence ministries and sweeping new powers for the European parliament.”

    The group was led by Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister.

    If you put this little lot together with the German desire to create a political and fiscal union that would control the budgets of the 17 member states of the Euro zone, then you can see which way the wind is blowing.

    So when Lindsay McDougall says there is some danger of a German dominated 17 member state federation forming on our doorstep – an event that would be catastrophically against our interests – don’t say “Silly old Lindsay” but wake up.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      You’re right that the formation of a German dominated 17 member state federation on our doorstep would be against our interests, and its gradual expansion across the rest of the EU would be even more against our interests, but apparently that is exactly what the present UK government wants to happen.

  36. Iain Gill
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    wow janet daley on “this week” if you aint seen it john you must watch a replay

    dynamite

  37. Paul
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    It was interesting listening to Michael Portillo earlier on This Week saying that Cameron abandoned real conservative values when he became leader in 2005 because Hague/IDS/Howard had only managed to achieve around 30% support with such policies during Blair’s reign. However, since then and particularly since the 2010 election, as Cameron and the Conservatives have shifted to the left (virtually indistinguishable from Labour and the Lib Dems), the country has shifted to the right. It’s time Conservative backbenchers do something about this and dump Cameron before the next election if they want to have any chance of a Conservative majority. At the moment, key priorities for real conservatives are spending and tax cuts, an EU referendum, a cut in overseas aid and a British Bill of Rights. The Conservative Party are not offering any of these, which is why it is vital traditional Conservative voters send out a clear message to this useless Tory party and vote UKIP at the European and General elections.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      After its 3 defeats in 1997, 2001 and 2005, the Conservative Right convinced itself that it was unable to poll more than in the low 30%s and that it needed a Tory Wet to lead. The logic is sloppy. John Major was far from a man of the Right and William Hague had no chance because he was up against a very popular Prime Minister who in 2001 hadn’t done anything obviously wrong. In 2005, Michael Howard did manage to reduce the Labour lead; the effect on parliamentary representation would have been greater but for the unjust constituency boundaries.

      The Tory Right did well enough in 1979, 1983 and 1987. In 1992, people had not yet rumbled John Major.

      So I think that the fashionable view is wrong and that the Conservative Party could be successfully led from the Right.

    • Steven Whitfield
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Michael Portillo claimed that the policy of shifting to the right had been vindicated by the party polling a miserable 37% at the last election….thankfully Janet Daily had the wit to point out that this is was when the party was up against the most incompetent and discredited leader of modern times.

      Mr Redwood, are the Conservative ‘Modernisers’ all this delusional ?.

    • Steven Whitfield
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, the whole ill thought out venture of the de-toxified ‘David Cameron’s Conservatives’, ‘vote blue, get green’ was never very popular at the height of the New Labour madness. Today it has gone off so badly it is really starting to stink.

      But David Cameron presses ahead with his pledge to increase aid spending – despite a mountain of evidence that it wont allieviate poverty or work politically.

  38. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Not really related to the post but this is JR telling the Conservative out of touch front bench to ‘get real’. Well done Sir John Redwood, please keep up the sterling work!.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o65sHF65QU

    Reply Thank you. It is a simple but important case.

    • zorro
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Congratulations on your seeming ennoblement John…!

      zorro

  39. Derek Emery
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Politicians are not going to tackle the structural problems we have today. They are on another tack altogether and far more interested in equality. The fact that they will not tackle these problems does not mean they will go away. In fact it means they will be worse than if they had been up to the job.

    Whilst they are sitting on their hands doing nothing UK finances can only worsen with the UK on course for national debt to reach 100% of GDP by 2015. There has been no concern expressed by politicians and there are no plans to do anything.
    On the same trend line national debt will reach around 200% by 2020.

    This is likely to translate to a massive loss of purchasing power of the pound at some stage within less than 10 years though one mechanism or other. This reality is now being mentioned at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/9571093/Inflation-could-near-double-digits-says-Jupiters-Chatfeild-Roberts.html
    to quote
    “[Over a five-year time frame] you can imagine inflation being towards the double digits,” he said. “It may be that my five-year time horizon is not long enough, but I see it to be the inevitable outcome.
    Food and energy and fuel will become much more expensive.

  40. Neil Craig
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    The recessio9n is continuing because the coalition is attached to green parasitism & preventing shale gas and nuclear being exploited. It will continue as lo9ng as that continues. The LudDims are addicted to this parasitism. If the Tories were to break with them on this issue (one on which Labour largely agree with the parasitism) they might well win the subsequent election (even though they don’t deserve to). We will see if there kis any dissent at the conference.

  41. Daniel McKean
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Amazed by the BBC article – Is the UK economy looking up? Has Mr Redwood seen this?

  42. Posted October 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    That’s a silfklul answer to a difficult question

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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