Any Questions? – tonight

I will be appearing on Any Questions, Radio 4 at 8pm. Rachel Reeves for Labour and David Steel for the Lib Dems will also be on the panel.


  1. Havocman
    November 9, 2012

    Good luck with the ever interrupting (although no doubt delightful) Ms Reeves!

    1. Iain Moore
      November 9, 2012

      Not just Labour politicians who interrupt and talk over people to ensure they don’t make their point, you will also have to endure the BBC presenters jumping in with their own interruptions to sabotage someone from the political right making their point, the Dimbleby brothers keen exponents of this.

      Abroad the definition of a split second was the time green traffic light went off and a taxi driver hitting horn, here its the time a Conservative politician goes to say something and a BBC presenter interrupts them.

      1. lifelogic
        November 9, 2012

        The Dimbleby brothers are indeed keen exponents of interrupting anything non BBC (ie against the EU, global warming or every more government). Just mention global warming and they will go on and on about the vast majority or scientists and other drivel.

        It is easy to get them back though, just call them the name of the other brother or perhaps ask them where they stand on people taking “salary” from the BBC through personal companies (not, of course, for reasons of saving tax perish the thought)

        I find woman get away with both interrupting and not being interrupted rather more than men do on the program. Forget politeness and just say what needs to be said and robustly.

      2. Vanessa
        November 9, 2012

        The BBC presenters love the sound of their own voices – that includes the Dimblebeys. That is why I watch RT dot com which has intelligent presenters who listen to answers and give guests the time to make their point. It is so refreshing AND I don’t pay for it.
        The BBC is so mired in the disgusting Savile affair it does not dare let anyone have their say in case they criticise the BBC. You can understand it if you work for such a corrupt and biased taxpayer funded organisation.

    2. Disaffected
      November 9, 2012

      What involvement did the UK have in the capture and killing of Gaddafi without trail? Why did Cameron act beyond the UN mandate in Libya to achieve regime change and thereby reduce confidence on the international stage with Russia and China which is vitally needed in an unstable world?
      Why have the public not yet received the right to recall MPs when scandals continue on a nearly daily basis.
      Gay marriage is not in any manifesto or the coalition agreement, why is it being pursued so vigorously?
      Why did Cameron state one thing about wearing crosses in the work place when the government solicitors were pursuing the exact opposite in the ECHR?
      Why is the mass immigration policy still be pursued and the numbers continue to soar contrary to Cameron’s pledge/promise. Why was Green not sacked as a minister for this failing?

      1. Disaffected
        November 9, 2012

        When are we going to know of the inquiry whether the taxpayer, Tory party or Cameron paid for the utility bills, food and cooking of the food for Tory donors at Downing Street? Secondly, how long does it take for goodness sake. Should we accept this is the speed he works at and why the economy is still in such a mess?

  2. John Moss
    November 9, 2012

    Just heard Yvette Cooper on Toady Prog complaining about PCC elections and saying cuts to frontline policing happening, privatisation happening etc etc.

    Unfortunately Humphries did not ask what the existing Police Authorities were doing about this. You might want to ask the audience how many knew they had one and who it’s chairman is…..

    1. Disaffected
      November 9, 2012

      Labour was going to merge police forces reducing the number and save huge amounts in senior management and headquarter budgets while at the same time creating greater operational efficiency. Why have the Tories decided to make policing more expensive at the top, less effective, more bureacratic and more costly when the economy is the number one priority?

  3. Chris
    November 9, 2012

    Good luck.
    If a question(s) on the EU comes up, and the future of Greece (and Germany’s apparent change of heart, now wanting to keep Greece in the eurozone at all costs) an article in Ekathimerini from August 2012 may shed some light. It appears that there may be hug oil and gas reserves off the Greek coast, enough to dispose of most of Greece’s debt, but much more important for the EU enough oil/gas to provide vital energy supplies for many years to come.One estimate suggests that income of over $300 billion could be generated over 25 years.I think the EU has decided Greece is worth holding on to.
    “Greece has one of the largest refining capacities in the Balkans, as well as one of the most strategic geopolitical locations in Europe, with an impeccable shipping industry that can actually provide Europe with natural gas,” said Chryssa Tsouraki, one of the organizers of the Cypriot-Greek Oil & Gas Summit in Larnaca last month.
    Preliminary estimates made by experts commissioned by the Environment Ministry suggest a potential 22 billion barrels in the Ionian Sea off the coast of western Greece and more than 4 billion barrels in the Northern Aegean.
    The area south of Crete is said to be particularly promising, while the Eastern Mediterranean, especially the area between Crete, Cyprus and Rhodes, is thought to be the location of sizable reserves of oil and natural gas….Furthermore, according to the United States Geological Survey, in the sea between Crete, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt, there are about 15 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and oil just waiting to be extracted.
    Cyprus, which has already found vast reserves of natural gas — 100 billion cubic meters, according to estimates — could serve as an important example for Greece, particularly regarding how to exploit these reserves and help to solve the debt crisis that has now hit both countries…”

    1. martyn
      November 9, 2012

      Very interesting Chris. A pan European vision. Gosh. Of course the alternative is that we withdraw from the EU and watch from the sidelines. Miss the boat etc turn the lights out etc ….

    2. forthurst
      November 9, 2012

      “Preliminary estimates made by experts commissioned by the Environment Ministry”


      1. Chris
        November 9, 2012

        I have no idea why there seemed to be an apparent change of heart by Merkel et al regarding Greece, so am just pondering on likely reasons e.g. if (possible) energy sources are key here. I am as sceptical as the next person, but something fairly dramatic must have been at play here for such an about turn by Merkel (if there was in fact an about turn!)

        Reply: I think she just wants to get through to her election without an upheaval, and thinks if one domino goes another bigger dominomight fall.

    3. A different Simon
      November 9, 2012

      100 BCM is slightly over 1 years UK consumption .

      If I was Greek I’d want to keep as much oil and gas for domestic consumption and release as little as possible into the EU wide Market .

      Europe should face down the enviro taliban and start tapping it’s own onshore unconventional gas resources using the techniques developed in the US .

    4. uanime5
      November 9, 2012

      Why exactly has no one noticed all this oil and gas? Also once Greece has paid to harvest, transport, and process this oil and gas will they have enough left over to pay back their national debt (larger than their GDP) and all the bailouts they received?

      It’s worth pointing out that Greece only has access to the oil and gas that’s contained in areas it controls. When oil and gas shared between several countries it’s very difficult to determine who owns it.

  4. Iain Moore
    November 9, 2012

    Any questions? That is a misnomer, the questions that will make it to the panel will only be the ones the luvies at the metropolitan BBC are interested in.

    So it will start with paedophile Torys. That will take up half the program.

    1. Iain Moore
      November 9, 2012

      You might get the BBC trying to suggest the nasty Tories are removing Aid from India, if so, remind them that India is a democracy, in their elections the Indian people decided on their priorities, that it doesn’t meet with the approval of the metropolitan classes here doesn’t give them the right to arrogantly waltz into India with our Aid money, patronising them and insulting their democracy.

      In addition it should be remembered where some of our Aid money to India went, went to a Communist run Indian state to subsidise their Civil servant pension funds, and supplying TV’s to Indian schools that had no electricity, and where many of the TV’s have disappeared.

    2. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      November 9, 2012

      Good guess. It was, and took up about ten minutes out of forty eight minutes.

  5. Nicola Clubb
    November 9, 2012

    What is on the agenda for the show.

    Reply: We are n ot told the quesitons in advance

    1. lifelogic
      November 9, 2012


      The new Bishop of York, whom Delingpole assures me does not believe in the great Global Warming exaggerations (but does believe in God one assumes). But does not support gay marriage it seems, for some reason, no one is going to force him into one are they live and let live surely?

      Obama and what further mess he can make of the US and world economy.

      Nadine Dorries (She cannot be all bad as she has sound views on the speaker and Cameron)

      The Saville and child abuse issue, extended now to be anti Tory, no doubt too – always a BBC favourite.

      1. lifelogic
        November 10, 2012

        Sorry I forgot about the “Living Wage” topic another BBC agenda.

    2. davidb
      November 9, 2012

      Paedos, Nadine, Syria, Police Commissioners, EU Budget.

      The audience will be handpicked antagonists of the Coalition. Any Answers will be a waste of half an hour tomorrow, and Mr Redwood will shine above the other panelists.

      I will get it on listen again – or maybe catch it tomorrow, as I am going to a concert tonight.

  6. Bill
    November 9, 2012

    Recommend you have some useful figures up your sleeve, preferably drawn from unimpeachable Government or EU sources. My guess is that there will be a lot of obfuscatory stuff and sentences starting with ‘I feel…’

    Draw attention to the costs of the EU and the way the Common Market the British voted for in 1975 referendum has transformed itself into something else. I understand that there are far more net recipient countries than net donor countries, which does a lot to explain why the budget rises inexorably.

    Be aware of the argument that will be put forward that the EU needs more money because it now has more responsibility. Who asked it to take more responsibility? Not the peoples of Europe.

    Be ready to nail the Nick Clegg argument that thousands of jobs in the UK depend on our membership of the EU.

    1. Chris
      November 9, 2012

      The article by Hannan in the D Tel provides the info you refer to, but I am sure Mr Redwood knows this anyway. However, it is very useful for us in the blogosphere to have all the info that Hannan refers to.

    2. nemesis
      November 9, 2012

      Yes Bill, I had that response about 1000’s of jobs depending on the EU (forget precise number) in an email reply from Vince Cable.
      How exactly do they arrive at such a rounded figure? Indeed, how would one calculate how many jobs have NOT been created because of the EU? I suspect that any jobs that are created are not of the ‘wealth creating’ variety.

    3. Leslie Singleton
      November 9, 2012

      Better yet, read Hannan’s brilliant article in the Mail today and add it to your own formidable artillery. Absolutely beyond me how anybody could disagree with one single word of it.

    4. uanime5
      November 9, 2012

      Given that the UK agreed to all the treaties that changed the EU, then ratified these treaties in Parliament the UK is partially responsible for the EU changing.

      The people of Europe did ask for the EU to take more responsibility by electing leaders and MEPs who want the EU to have more responsibilities.

      Thousands of jobs in the UK do depend on the EU. Many US companies are only in the UK because it gives them easy access to the EU.

  7. Neil Craig
    November 9, 2012

    As normal The BBC choose representatives from Britain’s 1st, 2nd & 4th parties censoring the 3rd, UKIP. An effect of this is that John gets marginalisedand no balanced debate between free marketeers and statists is allowed. I’m sure John will make a good case but with only few minites out of an hour speaking time the Beeboid propagandists have it sewn up.

    1. lifelogic
      November 11, 2012

      Indeed but at least, this week, it is from one of the few sensible (just 100 perhaps) MPs in the Tory party. Usually we just get a wet, fake green, pro EU, socialist for the Tory party too.

  8. Bob
    November 9, 2012

    Mr. Redwood,

    Don’t be too polite if the Labour woman starts mouthing off and pretending to be “deeply offended” by everything you say.

    1. lifelogic
      November 11, 2012

      Indeed they are often “deeply offended” by almost anything intelligent and honest, that is being said to them.

  9. Sebastian Weetabix
    November 9, 2012

    I bet Dimbleby interrupts you within 20 seconds. Good luck.

  10. merlin
    November 9, 2012

    You say John, that you do not know what the questions will be , of course you do, I will tell you what they are now. Firstly though it is completely absurd to say that the panel does not know the questions. All panelists will have scoured the media, including you , John, to discover what has been in the news this week and will arive at the any questions studio fully prepared and well briefed on what you can and can’t say, here are the questions for tonight.

    1) Conservatives and paedophiles

    2) the EU budget negotiations

    3) the new Archbishop of canterbury

    4) Nadine Dorries

    5) the silly question if you were a dog who would you like to owned by etc.

    I have just guessed the questions and I’m sure that I am not far wrong. You do know what the questions will be and so do all the panel before they are asked. personally , I think you should be told the questions before you go on the show anyway-why not?I can even give you the answers if you wish. qestions are only a means for the individual to say what they want.

    Reply: I meant to say we are not told the questions in advance. Your list got 1 and 4 right, but 2,3 and 5 wrong, so guessing does not give you full cover!

  11. Bernard Juby
    November 9, 2012

    Good luck!
    Will you be raising a Question in the House re. Ben Goldacre’s exposé, “Bad pharma: how drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients.” which blows the lid off the pharmaceutical industry’s shinnanikins?
    “The Constant Gardner” springs to mind.

  12. Barbara Stevens
    November 9, 2012

    Good luck Mr R, I hope you’re given the the chance to say and give your point of view without interruptions, like on the TV version. I get so annoyed when the presenters do this, its rude when invited on to give opnions. Best of luck.

  13. stan francis
    November 9, 2012

    Here’s something for you John?
    Ask why do Police treat celebs different to the public/plebs, visavie Olympic cyclist gets 8 police cars attend with one officer saying do you know who you hit before anyone knew who was guilty?–Mitchell has just shown he’s got away with arrest also that a pleb would have NOT?

    1. lifelogic
      November 11, 2012

      Indeed that police do indeed treat celebs differently sometimes better sometimes far worse leaking information often it seems too.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    November 9, 2012

    I hope you are asked about the latest monetary wheeze dreamt up by Osborne and the BoE, as reported in the Telegraph, viz. to take the accumulated interest payments on the stock of government debt the Bank of England has bought under quantitative easing, and credit it to the Government’s books rather than the Bank of England’s. I look forward to hearing or reading your response.

  15. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    November 9, 2012

    Ms Reeves is tipped to lead Labour one day – so she must be very well educated and knowledgeable?

    Let’s find out …

    Best make sure that she knows what she’s doing and highlight the Fact that her predecessors in Labour didn’t.

    1. Ask her why it was a bad decision of Gordon Brown’s, to sell Britain’s Gold at the bottom of the market? [ans: because it was at the bottom of the market and he made it worse by announcing in advance how much he was selling and then sold it in an Auction, this also helped drop the price further].

    2. Ask Ms Reeves if the reason why Central Banks are buying Gold nowadays, is for purely traditional reasons as Gold is a nice “Trinket” [ans: No]

    3. How do Banks create much of the money in the Economy? [ans: Through Lending, which generates newly created Bank Deposits]

    4. If Banks could not generate new credit, would Labour have had to bail them out? [ans: No, Gordon Brown would not have cared two monkeys, as the Money Supply would have been maintained by the Government, Northern Rock and RBS could have collapsed with only minor problems for the Economy]

    5. Ask Ms Reeves, how we can grow the economy and reduce debt at the same time given our monetary System? [ans: This is an easy one, anybody should be able to answer].

    6. How much of the Total Money in Circulation is created by the Bank of England (not including Reserve Accounts at the Central Bank)? [ans: 3% – three percent]

    7. Why is QE not helping the Economy Grow? [ans: because it is being put into the Central Bank Reserve Accounts of Private Banks who are still reducing their Lending as their reserves have been gatting smaller for the past 50 years, that’s why the recession is set to last until 2019].

    8. Does QE money get pumped directly into the Economy as Stephanie Flanders seems to think? [ans: No – it doe s not. See item 7 above].

    9. What happens to the money supply when Banks reduce lending and the Government implements Austerity Cuts in public Spending? [ans: It reduces]

    10. Would Banks have to be bailed out by tax payers if a Full Reserve System was introduced? [ans: no]

    11. Did Labour do anything prior to 2007, to prevent the Financial Crisis – were they worried about the impending Credit Crisis? [ans: no (see extract from Gordon Brown’s speech to Mansion House in 2007 below)]

    “Historically, we’ve been one of the most inventive nations in the world. And as the City shows with its high skills, if we are to be what I want Britain to be – the great global success story of this century – our first priority, and this is the theme of my final speech to you as Chancellor, must be to use the talents of every individual in our country far better than we do today by ensuring we become world class in education.”

    “While never the biggest in size, nor the mightiest in military hardware, I believe we are – as the city’s success shows – capable of being one of the greatest success stories in the new global economy.”

    I have a feeling that Gordon Brown had no idea what was about to happen in the Financial Markets and in the Banks.

  16. Martin Ryder
    November 9, 2012

    You might have to defend the almost total lack of effort made by HMG in advertising, explaining and giving details of the candidates in the PCC elections. This is a major change in the way we do things in the UK, which will have far reaching consequences for law and order and the government seems to be totally disinterested in the election and what comes next.

    Does anyone know how the PCCs are going to operate, where they will be based, what their relationships with Chief Constables and police officers will be, how many staff, and what sort of staff, they will have, how, or if, PCCs will work with each other or with the Home Office; what oversight will there be (some sort of panel has been vaguely mentioned); what powers they have, etc, etc? You would think that this is a Labour idea that the Coalition are reluctantly putting into place. The Home Secretary should be ashamed of herself.

  17. Roy Grainger
    November 9, 2012

    David Steel ? Blimey, there’s a name from the past.

  18. Sidney Falco
    November 9, 2012

    You might like to point out how regrettable it was for certain tabloids to have front page headlines and photographs linking paedophilia, No. 10 and the Tories.

    In my opinion, they intentionally left out the detail these allegations were decades ago.

    Today’s Guardian shows that real journalists can get to the real meat of a story and, it seems in this case that the Tory link may have been due to a genuine case of mistaken identity by the abuse victim.

    Even while Leveson is still writing his report, certain tabloids have again overstepped the mark for (in my belief) political point scoring.

  19. They Work for Us
    November 9, 2012

    I have just listened to Any Questions

    All hail to you JR you spoke clearly and well and you were incisive and topical.

    The American gent was very sensible too particularly w.r.t minimum wage and jobs.

    If only people would try harder to make a start on the jobs ladder – perhaps they could be topped up to minimum wage for a month whilst they were training.

    As usual Jonathan Dimbleby acted more like a panel member than a facilitating chairman. He spoke for much too long compared to what one would expect from his role as chairman.

    For once the panel represented a reasonably balanced spread of opinion.

    1. lifelogic
      November 11, 2012

      a reasonably balanced spread of opinion?

      Well – two sensible members this is what I assume you mean. It is usually none or one member at best. With the chairman usually on the side of the “BBC think” lefty dopes.

  20. Jon
    November 9, 2012

    Missed the early part but good to hear someone with thoughtful balanced intelligence expressed with some experienced diplomacy on air. More interesting than the usual cheap shallow sound bites. Mr Redwood, you would not be any good in Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Mr Dimbleby is also a quality act.

  21. JimF
    November 9, 2012

    Your argument on fuel costs/US vs. was compelling but not so much your position on the living wage where the American guest was better placed in his argument. Saying that the government is there to top-up low wages is a poor policy stance, which favours socialists and big business. As a real Conservative you would have argued for reducing these top-ups, such as housing benefit which keeps our young people out of the housing market, and living/minimum wages which stop the young getting a foothold in the jobs market.

  22. Bazman
    November 9, 2012

    Mr Redwood MP. What are your thoughts of those who are skint?

  23. Paul
    November 10, 2012

    Child abuse, Obama, Living wage & Nadine.

    Far too much time was spent on the child abuse/possible inquiries situation. It’s a serious issue but it doesn’t affect the ordinary man and woman struggling in this economic mess of a country. Your comments on energy prices/sources was well made. The audience was, as usual, on the far left – as soon as Mr Wolf gave Mitt Romney some credit or questioned the NMW, he was heckled. Given your opposition to the NMW JR it would be interesting to read your thoughts in more detail on the Living wage and wider pay in a blog at some point. A pity no question on the EU came up, but you probably would have been shouted down anyway – many people in this country adore giving the EU billions of pounds to take our sovereignty.

  24. John Doran
    November 10, 2012

    & not a single word on BBC v Newbery. BBC refuses FOI request asking who were 28 members of panel who convinced BBC to abandon it’s impartial journalist stance, & take up the position of pro AGW advocate as the science is “settled”.

    This is a scandal way bigger than Savile, which I sincerely hope leads to the BBC being broken up & kicked out into the real non-subsidised world.

    The reason BBC claims it can refuse FOI requests? It says it is a “private company”
    This story has legs.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 10, 2012

      Keep plugging away at this. We pay for the BBC and we should have the right to know how it is forming its editorial policies, especially when it is departing from the requirement for impartiality laid down in its Charter.

  25. Matthew
    November 10, 2012

    You gave a good performance and I was impressed with Charlie Wolf’s answer regarding the living wage.

  26. Lindsay McDougall
    November 10, 2012

    County Durham is a long way to go to answer 4 questions, two of which were about the recent paedophilia and media issues. On the question of the US economy you were, as usual, far too kind to President Obama. He deserves some of the credit for sorting out US banks but the credit for exploiting shale gas belongs elsewhere – all he had to do was to avoid vetoing it.

    You missed out the main reason that the US economy is still slowly growing: he has done nothing about the fiscal deficit and the rapidly escalating federal debt. The total US federal debt is now 115% of GDP and grew throughout his first term. The following are the federal revenue, expenditure and deficit figures for 2012 and 2013 (all figures in US$ trillion; source

    2012 Revenue 2,469 Expenditure 3,796 Deficit 1,327
    2013 Revenue 2,902 Expenditure 3,803 Deficit 901

    The 2012 figures are as enacted, i.e. as in the approved budget; note $3 of expenditure for every $2 of revenue, Gordon Brown’s favoured mix. The 2013 figures are the first year after the ‘fiscal cliff’ that was agreed as a default from January 2013. Apart from the fact that tax rises will be much more than the real terms reduction in federal expenditure, it strikes me that America could do a lot worse than this; at least it would kick start deficit reduction in earnest.

    Reply: I am trying to win the argument to get cheaper energy here. As cheaper energy has happened thanks to or despite Obama in the USA I felt it a good idea to ride the Obama tide on this matter

  27. Daniel M
    November 11, 2012

    I thought you did well, Mr Redwood, particularly on the energy point. The living wage is certainly a tough one to criticise on a programme like this, but I think it demands tougher opp0sition particularly for the sake of unskilled workers

    Reply: I pointed out clearly that a living wage has to be earned and paid for from customer revenue!

    1. Bazman
      November 14, 2012

      Maybe Daniel M you could explain how your laughable idea of being allowed to pay unskilled workers less by companies making large profits from government contracts will improve their wages? You can’t so why write this?

      1. Daniel M
        November 15, 2012

        Very mature post, Bazman. There are 2.5 million unemployed people in this country, some of whom are unskilled. Low wages are better than no wages. Historically, most people who are in the lowest income bracket leave that very income bracket after a year or two, having picked up the skills that will enable them to get better jobs. This is why the majority of people earn more as they get older.

        By the way, I’m actually thinking more of small companies. If you owned a cornershop and were worried about rising costs and decreasing revenues, would you want to pay someone £8 an hour to stack your shelves?

Comments are closed.