Conservatives, UKIP, English democrats and Conservative independents.


         I am very tolerant of UKIP commentators on this site. I regularly post their comments.  They are the one group who are often partisan, and regularly post exhortations to vote for their own party. Contributors from others parties are usually more restrained. UKIP supporters here also often make big claims for what their party can and will achieve. Again other  party supporters rarely do the same.

         Following their defeat in every one of the 24 Police Commissioner elections they fought, without even a second place to their credit, they tell us they made a big breakthrough. They give no credit to the English Democrats, who achieved a creditable 15.56% of the vote and second place in the South Yorkshire PCC election. There are  two  reasons I sometimes highlight the poor electoral showing of UKIP in successive elections. The first is because some of  their supporters here are unpleasant in what they say and write about fellow Europsceptics in other parties, and the second is because they are always claiming that they are doing well electorally or are poised for a breakthrough. Their main case for others to vote UKIP is that they will win, and then miraculously take this country out of the EU. To do that they would need to win 326 seats in Parliament in a General Election. So far they have never won a single seat, even in by election conditions when they can concentrate their efforts, or in a seat where the 3 main parties withdrew their candidates at the 2010 election. To win 326 they would need of course to win seats from Labour and Lib Dems as well as from the Conservatives, yet they always seem to concentrate on fighting against Conservatives.

            Every day in Parliament 100 plus Conservative MPs watch the measures and agendas from Brusssels. We highlight issues of concern. We vote against measures we think unacceptable. We urge Ministers to negotiate us out of various measures, or seek to see them voted down in the EU itself. Many Conservative MPs voted for a referendum, and voted for a lower EU budget, against 3 line whips.  We feel we do the work and take the arrows of opposing the growing powers of the EU day  by day. There are no UKIP MPs to help us or to swell the vote against extra EU power in the Commons.

              We are sometimes successful in persuading the Coalition government to withstand Brussels pressures. The Prime Minister did veto a Treaty for the UK, which would otherwise have bound us into EU controls over our budgets and tax policies. Instead of getting thanks from UKIP, this is misrepresented as a non veto. The  government has said it will veto any move to increase the EU budget, something the former government would not have dreamed of doing. We have persuaded the government to adopt as its policy the need to negotiate a new relationship with the EU, making it clear the UK has no intention of being bound into a political and monetary union. The Conservative leadership has now accepted that there will need to be a referendum at some future date. We are now discussing when and what about.

               I have no wish to waste time criticising people or policies in UKIP. I appeal to all Eurosceptics of good will to see we are stronger working together instead of some fighting petty feuds, seeking to split the Eurosceptic movement  for their own personal advantage.        

           We need votes in the Commons now. We need to carry on influencing the government in a Eurosceptic direction now. It is not  UKIP that is driving this process, but Eurosceptic MPs, and the mood and commonsense of the British people. We need more Eurosceptic members in the Conservative party to help us with our cause. We need any party that wishes to fight EU federalism to direct its fire at the federalists, not at fellow Eurosceptics. Smaller Eurosceptic parties may develop a stronger negative capability from time to time and in various locations, to be able to damage other Eurosceptics more. This does not help solve the EU problem for our country.

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  1. lifelogic
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Clearly UKIP can only ever, help prevent, a Tory victory. They can never win outright themselves, given the politics and the power of the old Labour and Tory brands. The Tories, under Cameron are however so very little better than Labour, would preventing them win be any real loss?

    Hopefully UKIP will eventually get the Tories to come to their senses and do a deal, but there is so little sign of it so far. They are still putting people like Lord Patten in charge of the BBC trustees, and fake green socialists like Cameron in command. They are still pushing absurd “green” energy religion and still growing the parasitic sector, regulation, EU power and taxes in so very many areas.

    It is quite likely that, at MEP elections in 2014 the Tories will be beaten into third place (or very nearly so) by UKIP. The BBC bias is, far from being addressed, being reinforced by dreadful people like Patten.

    I also see that the Speaker is continuing, on the MP’s expenses issue, to act exactly as we have learned to expect, with the usual Bercow morality on clear display. Is it not now time he quietly retired (taking his wife with him) on his huge and richly undeserved pension?

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Very interesting to read of the more serious scandal at the the BBC. The fact that they seem to take their global warming “proven science” agenda directly from Green Peace types.

      • zorro
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        Interesting to see that the Daily Mail had a few stories in depth on ‘Common Purpose’ and how its adherents appear to be exerting an undue influence within the Leveson investigation. It may be a start of a trend exposing the liberal left BBC think cultural bias which rules over the country….


        • martyn
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          The only thing that the Daily Mail does in depth is envy and class prejudice and ignorance. You need to change your choice of newspaper – almost anything is better than the Daily Mail.

          Reply: The Daily Mail produces some good quality journalism and maintains a high readership.

          • cp
            Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            Strange how things like “a good readership” are important and make the media outlet important if they support your views – but not otherwise. Whilst I realise that we are talking different types of media, the BBC gets a much greater viewership (and given the number of votes cast in 2010 for (then) left wing parties reflects the views of the country much better) but is denegrated , whereas, apparently, the equally partisan – but towards your point of view – DM is OK because it “gets a good readership”. Something illogical there somewhere???

          • lifelogic
            Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            I never buy it but they do have some very good opinion writers – Heffer, Pierce, Forsyth, Letts, Littlejohn …..

          • martyn
            Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

            JR – really! Give me one good example of good quality journalism at the Daily Mail. It is one thing being cerebral and Tory (which I respect) ,it is quite another being an admirer of the Daily Mail.

          • zorro
            Posted November 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

            Martyn, it can be very small minded to dismiss a paper or a person’s view or work on the basis of conscious bias or prejudice. One should consider what is written otherwise you might miss something which is important.

            As it is, I do not buy the Daily Mail or any other paper, I tend to use a variety of internet sources of both a general and specialised nature to inform my opinions or at least to challenge some of them. Perhaps you should do the same?


          • zorro
            Posted November 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            Just out of interest, do you think that the articles on ‘Common Purpose’ were written with ‘envy and class prejudice and ignorance’ in mind, or did the mere mention of this journal send you into apoplexy….?


    • JimF
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Good summary.
      The stench of rot in some of these great “institutions” is just starting to become apparent from problems laid back in the 70s.
      Whether it’s the BBC, debt-funded property boom, EC-EU, anti-employment laws, the foundations were laid then. The Tory party seemed to agreeably waylay their issues by 18 years until 1992, after which the rot continued under Major.
      Perhaps the growing support for UKIP is only the foundations of a more sensible approach, which won’t bear fruit for 30 years or more. Many of us might not be around to see these institutions, the current banking/money system, and so on bite the dust. But I’d rather support a means of getting back on track in 30 years time rather then a a push me pull you Party which says one thing and does another.

      • StevenL
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

        Come on, if you wrote a book on UK property boom and busts, the Thatcher years – end of domestic rates, right to buy, demutualisation, big bang, change in landlord/tenant law, messing with base rates – would have to have a chapter or 6 devoted to them.

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      The party system and first past the post elections pretty well assure that the views of the establishment prevail over the views of the country .

    • Disaffected
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      JR still seems to forget that people voted to get Brown (and Blair) out not to get Cameron in. They did not vote on loyal party politics issues. People have seen what Cameron is like and are coming to the conclusion he is only about himself, it has been reported, several times, that he does not even like his own party and it is becoming loud and clear that many Tories do not like him.

      JR on this rare occasion, your comments appear all guff and nonsense. You should be outraged that a form of AV was allowed when Cameron made strong disparaging remarks about it. Was he telling the truth at the time when Teresa May was writing the process for PCCs? Using sophistry to con the public? Misleading us plebs because we know no better? Either way another chink why people will not trust or believe a word he says.

      I agree with most of Lifelogic says. UKIP will be the downfall of the Tories and the biggest story was Lib Dems losing their deposit and independents being trusted more than any political party. Watch this space come the next election. I live in a Lib Dem area and people are totally disaffected with them.

      • Span Ows
        Posted November 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        “Watch this space come the next election.”

        Yes, Labour will win if you and others keep up the very thing JR has described perfectly. Just think on WHY we have a Coalition and not a Conservative government.

    • RDM
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Really!!!! How can the Conservative Party be a party of the People, and a Unionist Party, if they are going to follow (like sheep) the Divide and Conquer strategy of the Europhiles?

      DC, and You (JR), must know that this can only lead to the enforced breakup of GB!!!!

      You no-longer represent the Union! You are the English Party! Devolution has left so many people disenfranchised, that the only alternative is UKIP!

      In Wales it was brought in on the back of a lie, foisted on us by Tony Blier!! 53% of 38% is not support, not in a constitutional Referendum. The moral victory was won by the No campaign! Against the Vote, and against the Question!

      If you want the Conservative Party to be supported, then you will have to remember that it is a Unionist Party, a party of the British!

  2. Brian Taylor
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Well said,befor the election we need to make sure our own MP is prepared to uphold the views of the voters!

  3. Daniel Hewson
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    John I remember the referendum debate & 3 line whip debacle because I went to parliament to take part in the UKIP/people’s pledge protest, I went & sat in the public gallery & waited several hours just to hear your speech & it was the best of the lot, but just as you were reaching your crescendo in walked my local MP Greg Barker & he sat infront of you on the front bench, therein lies the problem, Pro Europeans like Barker are on the front bench, even the few Eurorealists in the cabinet voted against a referendum.
    UKIP have previously stood down against some Eurosceptic MPs in elections, as a member of UKIP I have suggested they don’t oppose the MPs that voted for the referendum & instead concentrate their fire on MPs like Greg Barker who seek to deny the public the referendum they want.

    • Bernard Juby
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      So have I. I have never seen the sense of standing against a tried & tested Eurosceptic MP of whatever colour but we must beware. I know of at least one of “my” Conservative MP’s and an MEP who loudly proclaimed their Euroscepticism until they were elected then became overnight Euroenthusiasts.
      Patten’s career has been an unmitigated disaster which is an inherent problem within the BBC (like using petrol to put out a fire). He should retire gracefully – after all he has his fat pension from the EU to fall back on.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, which Idiot agree to his appointment?

      • sm
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        What happens to the pension when the EU is no more or if we exit?

    • Liz Elliot-Pyle
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Greg Barker is from the Battle constituency (Battle and Rother or whatever…. ) where I grew up.
      People used to say that the electorate would vote for (anyone-ed) if it had a blue rosette. And I think this time, they did.
      Awful man.

  4. Mr. Undertaker
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry Mr. Redwood, but the danger of ‘splitting the vote’ just doesn’t frighten us anymore. The Conservative and Unionist Party has, since the EEC came about, been avidly pro-integrationalist and shows absolutely no sign of changing simply because it cannot change as the party is so deeply divided on the issue.

    We are heading closer to the exit because of the pressure and campaigning of mainly UKIP over the past few years, not the fruitless efforts of the Tory backbenchers who are defeated and spat upon at every turn. The facts are, that you have been outplayed and outclassed time and time again – 50 out of 650 MPs will not remove us from the European Union (if you want to play the numbers of MPs game).

    The truth is that many of us are now moving beyond the European issue. A great deal of us in UKIP are now looking past our independence and are looking at issues such as debt reduction, mass immigration, the global warming ponzi scheme and various other issues – all of which the Tory Party has also failed us on over the past 50 years.

    The goal is becoming what Peter Hitchens has advocated for a long time; the destruction and collapse of the Conservative Party. If the Conservatives lose the next election then you will not have won an election for more than 20 years and it’s likely that’ll you come to pieces – after which we can have a fixing of the right. But until the Tory Party is removed out of the way, none of our concerns will be addressed.

    UKIP remember doesn’t have to instantly begin winning seats. A short look back in history has shown that FPTP can actually disadvantage a dying major party if the swing in favour of the new party is high enough – the replacement of the ruling Liberal Party within a decade by the Labour Party as well as the near replacement of the Labour Party by the SDP in the 1980s.

    Our aim is slowly shifting to the collapse of the Tory Party – because it is only when this is achieved that we shall have any change in this country and any real effort to tackle 50 years of Fabian socialism.

    Reply: It is Conservatives in PArliament that have enlivened the cause and sent out the alarms, and it was the Conservative party in opposition that did much to save the pound, our greatest victory so far.

    • MickC
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      With respect, JR, it was Gordon Brown who saved the pound, because if we had joined the euro he would have had no power.

      • Bill
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        That really is not so. Just because Brown refused the pro-Euro pressure in his own party, it cannot plausibly be agued that he ‘saved the pound’. In my view he ranks among the worst Chancellors of the century, and I have read Roy Jenkins’ book The Chancellors (Papermac, 1999).

        • MickC
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          He was indeed one of the worst Chancellors ever-he did however save the pound, even if only for selfish reasons.

        • Thomas E
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          Bill – Labour during the blair years had enough votes to pass the Euro, and Blair was widely thought to be pro-euro. Brown prevented us joining the euro.

    • Disaffected
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Good grief JR that is a bold claim. But you are frowned upon by the lIkes of Cameron and Co. With Major, Heseltine and Clarke on the sidelines advising Cameron you do not stand a chance. You and your colleagues are marginalised. If not I would vote Tory again tomorrow.

      The scare of Labour does not exist. There is no difference. When a Tory PM gets Labour politicians to write policy issues for him you know something must be wrong. Look at the decisions Cameron has supported? Look at the EU, economy, immigration, welfare, education etc. You name it, he has failed to deliver on it. The game is up.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink


    • martyn
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      The post is correct. The reply sounds desperate.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Mr Redwood, but these have always been defensive victories. So far, the repatriation of substantial powers from the EU hasn’t happened. If I were forced to choose between the staus quo and Norway’s deal, I would go for Norway’s deal. But we hope to do better by negotiating.

    • mike
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Sorry John but I’ve said it before..

      Don’t think that UKIP supporters are dogs who will come to heel as soon as the master decides he needs us. Why would I ever vote for a party which has done nothing but insult me for the last decade and more?

      You are a member of a pro-european party which must be destroyed before we will ever get out of the EU.

  5. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    As someone who is ever ready to bang UKIP’s message (and unmoderated on the subject twice yesterday?) I assure you that our realism is such that we do not aspire to 100’s of UKIP seats anytime soon. Your references to the crazy PCC elections seem irrelevant. A realistic target is to see UKIP’s percentage increases sufficiently as to destabilise, not the Eurosceptics, in the Conservative Party or anywhere else, but the Europhiles. The realistic hope that many of us have is that UKIP’s share increases to say 20% pushing aside the ridiculous Liberals and more important forcing the Conservative Party to come to terms, perhaps even a Coalition, which could produce all manner of wonderful things rapidly.

    • JimF
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Indeed, with a slice of the power that the Lidbems presently have on 8% of the popular vote, UKIP would be flying.

  6. Steve Cox
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if you’ve read Norman Tebbit’s piece in The Telegraph this morning, John, but it’s quite relevant and gives a somewhat different slant on things, so I’ll post a link:

    • Timaction
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood. I like many others on this website have been loyal Conservative voters for my entire life. However, following the last election it has become clear to anyone who is politically aware that your leadership has betrayed its own Party and the electorate into thinking it was Eurosceptic when in fact the opposite was true. Actions showing true thoughts and policies. Not hollow words.
      In November 2014 this Country will cede the majority of its sovereign competencies and powers via the Lisbon Treaty (remember they lied it was just a tidying up exercise!) to qualified majority voting. With only 8.2% of the votes we will be outmanoevered by the Franco/German/Italian/Spanish/Polish votes on every occasion and spun yarns of Euro victories. We will have become part of the political Eurodream superstate in all but name and imprisoned in an unelected straight jacket of a dictatorship in which we will have no say, no desire and certainly the Government will have no mandate.
      So if we want more of the same should we vote Lib/Lab/Con who have consistantly lied and delivered more expensive EU aid, no reform or repatriation of powers and increased directives to disadvantage us? Or vote for a new Party that has retained true “Tory” values, patriotism and policies, reflected in its manifesto? I would rather vote with my conscience for what I know as an Englishman to be right and loose, than vote for the quisling Cameron.
      I know you to be an honorable man Mr Redwood but I’m sorry that your Party was fooled into electing this person who only recognises self NOT National interest.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think that’s what will happen in November 2014.

        What will happen under Title II of Protocol (No 36) on page 322 here:

        will be a change to the method of calculating a qualified majority, not an extension of qualified majority voting to additional areas.

        Unless you can point to some other part of the treaties which extends qualified majority voting on that date.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Would it really be democratic if a country representing 8.2% of the votes was able to block the will of all the other countries?

        • Anthony Harrison
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          Presumably you regard the collective known as the “EU” as a democracy, of which we are just a small and insignificant part with no mind of its own.

        • Andrew Johnson
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

          This is currently what happens in every country which has a coalition government as a result of adopting the voting system of proprotional representation. It is the minority parties which hold the key to pwer and who wield an influence way beyond the number of votes cast for them.

          • Bob
            Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

            Quite the opposite actually. With PR, 8% of votes = 8% of seats. Ridiculously simple, and much fairer than this ancient system. It is not fair that, if for example, the Conservative and UKIP vote together is bigger than the Labour vote, Labour could still win the seat due to vote splitting. No electoral pacts need forming, and parties with broader nationwide support are represented. Ukip had 3.1% of the UK vote, no seats (20 under PR), Greens had 0.9% of the UK vote and won a seat. Fair?

        • martyn
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          Of course not. Good point. We are 8.2% per cent of Europe and that is fine by me.

          • Edward
            Posted November 20, 2012 at 12:53 am | Permalink

            Which would be fine if we then only put in 8.2% of the money.

      • APL
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        Timaction: “anyone who is politically aware that your leadership has betrayed its own Party and the electorate into thinking it was Eurosceptic when in fact the opposite was true.”

        Sadly, helped by one or two others who ought to know better.

  7. me
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    You can believe that Cameron will be taking a lot more notice of eurosceptic views now that UKIP took 5000 votes off him in Corby.

    Cameron knows the “conservative” party will be destroyed at the next election if he doesn’t make a massive shift to a eurosceptic position.

    That’s the power of UKIP.

    • Bob
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      The Conservatives need to be a eurosceptic centre-right party committed to free markets and lower taxes rather than europhiles and “one-nation” conservatives. I am fed up with Cameron, he is not a conservative after introducing the gay marriage bill and appeasing the sandal-wearing brigade by increasing ordinary people’s energy bills through wind turbines.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    What you say John makes good sense.

    So if UKIP were to offer not to stand in any constituancy, where the existing MP (of any Party) had a voting record to back up their Eurosceptic claims, would this be a sensible move forward for them in your eyes.

    The problem with them doing the above (if they did so) is that it confirms that they are a single issue Party.

    Fully aware that in the past UKIP candidates have stood against you (daft in my view given your record on the EU) but then so have the Monster Raving Looney Party in the form of Mr Owen, often seen with his top hat and smiling face, waving his bannana at potential voters at major road junctions at election time, and who was an outlet for many a frustrated voter at the time, who used to beep their car horns in response.

    UKIP do not get my vote in general elections, simply because you are in my view the far, far better candidate with a proven track record, and an excellent local reputation for helping those who need help, on a whole range of problems.

    My one problem is that in voting for you, Mr Cameron will think I am voting to support his policies, but then that is the problem with the present system.

    But I guess no system is perfect

    • Liz Elliot-Pyle
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Alun, I think I can speak for many when I say that if we could vote for a John-Redwood-conservative government, we would do so.
      The trouble is that JR is just a small part of a conservative government that seems hell bent on doing stuff that we dont want, and not doing the stuff that we DO want.
      JR is just one MP – however he votes and whatever he thinks, he is not going to change the party. And it is the party (parties, they are all as bad as each other – Liblabcon by name etc) that is the problem.
      Sorry, but its none-of-the-above for me.

      Reply MPs in the party have more chance of changing it than people voting for other parties.

  9. Duyfken
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    JR: “I have no wish to waste time criticising people or policies in UKIP. I appeal to all Eurosceptics of good will to see we are stronger working together instead of some fighting petty feuds, seeking to split the Eurosceptic movement for their own personal advantage.”

    What an extraordinary plea: you want Eurosceptics to work together and then couple that with an accusation of some (unnamed but obviously meant to be UKIP) fighting petty feuds and working for their own personal advantage. How to lose friends an alienate people!

    Let’s transcribe that paragraph as if it were written by Cameron:

    “I have no wish to waste time criticising people or policies in the Lib Dems. I appeal to all Europhiles of good will to see we are stronger working together instead of some fighting petty feuds, seeking to split the Europhile movement for their own personal advantage.”

    That would be just as logical an argument as could be expected from the so-called Conservatives in government, but it’s equally unlikely to persuade Clegg & co to ditch the Lib Dems and join the Tories.

    The real solution to the Tory problem is for it to have a clear direction. If that cannot be achieved within the party because of “petty feuds” and members working “for their own personal advantage”, you might just as well go your separate ways. Vale Conservatives.

    • APL
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      Duyfken: “and members working “for their own personal advantage””

      NOR should we forget that some prominent members of the Conservative party are prepared to sit with the Labour Government, in an attempt to frustrate the policy aims of their own party, when it suits them.

  10. Ezra T Fernydew
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    My vote for UKIP is intended as a message to the Conservative Party.
    “This is a vote you lost by your betrayal of your core support.”
    It’s not just about Europe, although Europe’s important.
    It’s the only way we have of getting the power-at-all-costs PR folk’s attention.

  11. Mark W
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I cannot speak for other UKIP supporters. Without wishing to waste anyone’s time with suggesting they trawl previous comments I have made I have consistently supported voting UKIP against pro EU MPs. I do not believe they will ever gain a seat and generally view them as a disorganised rabble. (Kilroy??). I find Nigel Farage refreshing as he gets good coverage by media for this purpose. What I think UKIP can achieve is the prevention on a Tory majority in future elections. Cutting my nose to spite my face? Yes, but hopefully the biggest influence on the Tory high command to shift ground. A serious referendum promise would just about finish UKIP.

    Come the day Mr Redwood chooses to retire, I could not see an independent minded conservative being selected. We’ll have another A list Louise Bagshawe, so sorry John, the UKIP receptical is the only voter pressure there is on party leadership.

  12. Vonny Watts
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Excellent points all. I was at the South Yorkshire count and heard exactly this from their UKIP candidate. They were definitely about to break through. They almost certainly will have more seats than the Conservatives in South Yorkshire, really very soon. I wasn’t convinced. He was rather too sweaty and flustered as he blustered.

    Incidentally, informal quizzing of the voters responsible for the wholly unexpected success of the English Democrat candidate shows that the vote surfaced from the few words chosen as a tag line on the ballot paper.

    In many cases voters had little information as to who to vote for and faced with a snap decision appear to have used these limited words to form a judgement.

    I am informed that the Conservative Party did not want us to do this nationally. We probably missed out therefore.

    Crucially, since the Labour Party candidate was able to draw on vast union funding and the others had a few hundred pounds he was duly elected despite deep concerns over his competence.

    A brief nationally funded statement from each candidate might have changed this result massively. Instead the campaign had to rely almost solely on Hustings, local media and any onlin tools available. Social media was extensively used.

    I do resent the impositions of Europe on our nation’s government autonomy but retain the view that we need a voice there at the table. The voice of the PM and our MEPs suits me just fine.

  13. History Lover
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I have come to the conclusion that UKIP really don’t want us to come out of Europe because if we did they would have no purpose. When I made a similar point to your comment that they would have to gain 326 seats in Parliament to to some UKIP members, they didn’t agree. When I said that all they were doing was letting Labour in to Government and only the Conservatives will get us out of Europe, they said “but we will stop you winning in 2015”. I honestly think that is what they want to do. If we ever did come out or renegotiate a much looser relationship with Europe there would be no need for UKIP.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      History Lover,
      ” If we ever did come out or renegotiate a much looser relationship with Europe there would be no need for UKIP.”
      The problem is that most of us don’t believe either of those things will happen under the Conservatives – particularly with Cameron as leader.

    • Liz Elliot-Pyle
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      History Lover, yes, but WILL the conservatives get us out of the EU??? On their form so far, the answer is a resounding NO.
      Liblabcon, they are all as bad as each other.

    • Bob
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Hopefuly, the Conservatives will also take on board the idea of the fairer flat tax and the re-instatement of grammar schools. Otherwise, UKIP will still have a purpose opposing left wing tories like Cameron, Ken Clarke etc.

  14. Old Albion
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    All very well John, but your leader is a rabid Europhile who will do and say anything to the people to convince us he cares about EU domination of the (dis)United Kingdom
    But he will never give us what we want………… In/out referendum.
    Of course nor will Clegg or Milliband. There’s no difference between all three, so called, big parties. Some of us out here are simply fed-up and apathetic about party politics, as the PCC election shows only too well.
    So who do we turn to If UKIP is a waste of time as you infer?
    Here’s an idea. Why don’t you challenge Camerons leadership? Put yourself forward as new leader of the Conservatives. Stand on an ‘out of the EU’ ticket. Maybe we will get somewhere then.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Old Albion,
      John won’t do that as it would show that it is not the eurosceptic party he claims.

  15. Alan
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I think it is true that all Eurosceptics are usually put into one category, and this means that different beliefs are seen as one united opposition to the EU. That exaggerates the numbers who want to leave the EU. If the different factions were to say what they actually wanted in place of EU membership they might not be seen as a united opposition to the EU. I don’t think you can have an IN/OUT referendum unless people know what ‘OUT’ means. It is not as simple a word as some people think.

    One thing that OUT might mean is joining EFTA or the EEA. These countries adhere to most of the EU rules and pay a tax to the EU. They don’t get any money back from the EU. I think this may be UKIP’s policy.

    Another thing that OUT might mean is not belonging to any economic group except the WTO. I think that is what Mr Redwood envisages. I’m sure he has made it clear already but I can’t remember.

    A third thing that OUT might mean is conducting bilateral negotiations with other countries and economic groups. We would have to negotiate with the EU as a whole (since its individual nations would probably not agree to negotiate with us individually), and maybe with EFTA and the EEA and perhaps others. We don’t know what the outcome of these negotiations would be, so this is a plunge into the unknown, and it could take many years to resolve. I’ve not seen anyone actually advocate this, but it seems to be an implicit result of what some people say.

    A fourth thing that OUT might mean, and the one that I think most of its advocates believe in, is simply to leave the EU and see what happens. I think this is the policy of those that don’t know what they are for, but do know what they are against. That doesn’t strike me as a policy that a serious political party could advocate, although it seems to be one that many people who profess to be UKIP supporters believe in.

    I’m a supporter of the EU, but at the moment I don’t know what ‘IN’ means, since I think the EU is undergoing a transition. By the time of the referendum I think it will be clear. But will the advocates of OUT be able to explain what they mean? If they can’t they will lose the referendum. The undecided voters will not vote for a side that cannot explain what the outcome will be.

    • Andrew Johnson
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Given that the UK runs a pretty massive deficit in trade with the EU countries, you can be very certain that they will want to enter into trade agreements with us so they can continue to sell us their exports.
      Sitting even above the mighty EU are the World Trade Organisation agreements which control trade between countries. JR has reminded us of this on numerous occasions.

      Please remember to include the money the EU so lovingly give back to us when calculating costs of EU membership . We have to send it to them in the first place. They then send some back and tell us how and where it must be spent.

      In my view Britain should be looking forward to becoming again what it has always been – a great trading nation, a low cost tax area, a country that does everything to encourage existing business and to attract new business. A country that will never again involve its military in foreign wars, unless it is attacked first. A country that isn’t afraid to take charge of its own affairs instead of surrendering everything to unaccountable European institutions.
      A country whose politicians will show vision, courage and integrity and enable the talents of all the citizens of the UK tobe used for the benefit of the UK and the world.
      Oh I could go on and on about what Britain could be.

      As much as I respect you, I’m afraid that the majority of Conservative MP’s do not share your views. So isn’t a vote for them a wasted vote?

      The ways things are, I think we’d better get used to the idea of Prime Minister Milliband. Given that the Labour party’s financial strategy is to both spend more (involving yet more borrowing or QE) who knows how that will turn out?

      • Andrew Johnson
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        and cut more

      • martyn
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        I don’t get this bit about because they export more to us than we do to them they will be anxious to keep the trade going. Doesn’t anybody remember the French under de Gaulle. Our European friends and allies will be furious if we leave Europe. Any member state under a bit of pressure at home will put on import duties etc. It is naive in the extreme to expect spurned partners to go “oh alright then”.

        • Andrew Johnson
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          We export far less to them, than they do to us. If they add tarrifs, they will have to ensure they do not fall foul of the WTO agreement. Furthermore, we would simply add tarrifs. It would hurt them far more than us, because we actually run a massive deficit in trade with the EU despite what the MSM tell us. JR has been telling us this for some time now.

      • Bob
        Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        See Greece now, in answer to your question. Thanks to them fiddling the books to enter the Euro, they are now ruled by Germany, as we will be if we don’t leave. The imposition of a single “European” identity, rather than the diverse, historic cultures of Europe, plus mass immigration and the effects of the Euro crisis have helped cultivate the rise of the far-right in Greece, with Golden Dawn. Do we want that here? Miliband clearly does.

  16. Sue
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    For many of us traditional conservatives, voting for UKIP is an act of defiance. It’s an act borne of desperation that comes from not being listened to by people we trusted in the past. I would love to vote Conservative again but you simply don’t represent us anymore.

    The truth is, this is no longer a democracy. We want our referendum. A simple in/out will do but of course we won’t get one. You know what the outcome would be.

    Meanwhile our taxes are being spent by the EU on a constant stream of shameless self promoting projects. “European Parliament to increase spending on promoting itself
    The European Parliament is to increase sharply its spending on promoting itself next year, including a first £9.4 million instalment for a controversial new museum of Europe”.

    Hitler would have been proud!

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Oddly enough I was reading yesterday that Albert Speer was as early as 1943 discussing European economic integration with his Vichy colleague Jean Bichelonne.

      Funny old world.

      • Alan
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        And what is your point – that Anglea Merkel equates to Speer and President Hollande equates to Jean Bichelonne?

        I have to say that I don’t think this is a serious contribution to the discussion. Let’s get over WWII. It finished 67 years ago – 67 years! It’s not relevant.

        • APL
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          Alan: “It finished 67 years ago – 67 years! It’s not relevant.”


        • Robert Christopher
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

          “The Prime Minister will put reforms of the planning system at the heart of a drive to place the public sector on a “war footing”.
          The pursuit of economic growth will now come before all other concerns, just as defeating Hitler’s Germany supplanted all other considerations during the Second World War, Mr Cameron will say.”

          What a funny old world!!!!

        • Bob
          Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          Yes, and why did it happen? A man with a funny moustache and a liking of rising his right arm decided we should unite Europe and give them a single identity, culture and leader. In the end, Britain decides it is having none of this, and beats him.
          Fast forward to 2012, and yet again Germany is busy creating a single identity, flag and leader for Europe, only instead of bullets and soldiers it’s the economists and their pens doing all the work.

          • francis
            Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            You have to remember that there are also a lot of resident non British EU citizens ready to vote in any future EU referendums, and many of them are already getting involved in local politics. Last May our Ward nearly elected a european into local government. The candidate is working very very hard to win here and she is courting the votes of resident europeans in her ward and knows where they are. I think she’ll triumph next May thanks to the completion of housing developments full of catholic southern and eastern european bloc voters.

            Fortunately she is very pro England and this is very very attractive to the indigenous English voters (now outnumbered by europeans in this ward). The sitting BME councillor is totally useless (no racism accusations please) and I and many other English people will vote for the european candidate.

            Which would you rather be taken over by?

      • Alan
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        Sorry. I didn’t mean to be so intemperate.

  17. Anthony Harrison
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry you feel too many UKIP supporters seem over confident, boisterous, unrealistic and unreasonable: to some extent I agree with you Mr Redwood. Wild claims about imminent victory are indeed rather silly.
    But what you fail to appreciate is the depth of feelings of betrayal held by many former Tory supporters who now vote UKIP, together with great impatience.
    Many Tories make very silly claims about their Party’s being the true home of EU-scepticism; you say the same, albeit in a more sensible, rational way. But I’m very little older than you and I’ve watched your Party failing to get to grips with the EU for a desperately, dishearteningly long time, and some years ago I decided I just coudn’t stand it – so I started voting UKIP.
    You point out that you and a number of your colleagues man the lookout posts constantly against EU incursions: it’s not enough. You mention the recent vote on that EU budget amendment: one-sixth of you voted for the amendment…. You say you “need more Eurosceptic members” to help the cause: just how long is that going to take?
    Sorry, but time is pressing. The EU might possibly implode, or at least parts of it, and the Euro come a cropper; in the meantime the logic of “ever closer union” looks more inescapable every day as a means, essentially, for Germany to keep the Euro going and avoid an expensive reversion to the D-mark that would handicap its exports.
    We need to get out now, and the Conservative Party is simply an unlikely candidate for leadership of that project. For goodness’ sake, your leader is on record repeatedly as wishing us to stay in, to the extent that he (and his senior colleagues) are suspected of being happy about ever-closer diminution of our sovereignty and our eventual adoption of the Euro…
    You do a very good job on behalf of your country, Mr Redwood, but far too few of your Conservative colleagues are prepared to stick their heads above the parapet. Most UKIP supporters in my experience are not loud-mouthed idiots, but simply people who like myself have given the Tories an awful lot of chances to come good – but have given up in despair. We feel we have no choice but to vote UKIP – and while acknowledging what you say about electoral success, their third place in Corby was respectable, and their vote in central Manchester (OK, a Labour foregone conclusion) was only five fewer than your Party scored….

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Well said!

    • Bernard Juby
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear! I was a staunch supporter until the Maastricht betrayal and the fact that the EU didn’t know what the word NO meant – or at least they chose to ignore it. I have voted UKIP ever since and even stood as a UKIP Euro Candidate sevberal years ago. Apart from one year when I was conned into believing that the new local candidate was a eurosceptic I have, and will vote UKIP unless and until the Conservative Party keeps to its promises – cast-iron (Cameroon) or otherwise.

  18. NickW
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The Eurozone needs new Treaties in order to bring its members closer together and surrender Sovereignty to the unelected Centre at Brussels.

    These Treaties need to be put to the electorate in referenda across Europe, but what none of the European leaders dare to mention is that the UK is by no means the only Country likely to reject them.

    If the Treaties are rejected, it will be our Country’s duty to ensure that Europe, for once, honours that vote, because the implications of allowing the EU to proceed against the will of the people are too horrible for words. It is too easy to envisage that European Army engaged in battle in a Member State, suppressing riots against austerity or preventing secession by use of force.

    Watch the contortions as Brussels tries to pass the new Treaties into law without referenda.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      “Watch the contortions as Brussels tries to pass the new Treaties into law without referenda.”

      It’s already happened, and even the Irish were denied a referendum.

      I’m not referring to the “fiscal pact”, which is not an EU treaty because Cameron vetoed it becoming an EU treaty, but to the radical EU treaty change agreed by EU leaders on March 25th 2011.

      The Irish government successfully resisted calls for a referendum on that EU treaty change, and Hague made first use of his “referendum lock” law to block a referendum in the UK, and although the treaty change is not yet in force it is certain to come into force on January 1st 2013 and the EU is proceeding on the basis that it will come into force and therefore there can now be what is called “provisional application”.

      Every time you see a reference to the ESM eurozone bailout fund, remember that its establishment was legally dependent on all EU member states ratifying that EU treaty change agreed on March 25th 2011.

      Here’s the Act of the UK Parliament to approve that EU treaty change prior to final ratification by the UK government:

      “European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Act 2012”

      “An Act to make provision for the purposes of section 3 of the European Union Act 2011 in relation to the European Council decision of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro. [31st October 2012]”

      NB Section 1(3):

      “That decision does not fall within section 4 of the European Union Act 2011 (cases where treaty or Article 48(6) decision attracts a referendum).”

      And that is how it will be for every EU treaty change ceded to the eurozone “in order to bring its members closer together and surrender Sovereignty to the unelected Centre at Brussels”.

      Unless EU leaders make the mistake of agreeing to a treaty change which will on paper “apply” to the UK as well as to the eurozone states, and Hague will be on the alert to make sure that doesn’t happen.

      Note that the test is not whether a new EU treaty provision would “affect” the UK, but whether on paper it would “apply” to the UK.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Given that the treaties need to be ratified by national Parliaments there’s no need for a referendum. If the people object to these treaties they will elect politicians who will repeal these treaties.

  19. Normandee
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    If it is insulting to point out that despite your good intentions, you are not achieving enough quickly enough and we are in danger of becoming overtaken by Europe’s drive towards a one party state, then I am sorry. Can you not see that the sense of urgency we are trying to impart is real, hindsight will be no good when it’s too late, and there will be no point in saying “we could have tried harder” you will be right, but it will be too late.

    Reply: Why do you think I do not share your sense of urgency? The issue is, are you helping or not?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Just how are we supposed to help? By voting for a party that is led by a man who repeatedly avows his determination for the UK to remain in the EU? I’m sorry but on the EU and so many other failures of this government your party has alienated many who should be its core supporters and they are very unlikely to change their minds unless you do something about your party’s leadership and policies. I think there is no chance of that before the next election when, as I have previously predicted, you will be ousted from office and only then will you realise the folly of having elected Cameron to lead your party.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        You are wrong about the impossibility of changing the Tory leader before the next election. An opportunity will present itself in the autumn of 2013 and if I were in parliament, I would fancy my chances.

    • Normandee
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      And how can I help ? do I vote for an openly pro European Tory or for UKIP ? where in this situation does my “duty” lie? Or do I spend time encouraging people who can do more, to do more. I have told you before I am not a natural UKIP voter, but given the situation I am in and the state of affairs generally in Parliament what do I and people like me do ???

      • Anthony Harrison
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        I suggest the only thing you can do to maintain your political integrity and sense of what is right is to vote UKIP. I voted Tory for decades, and underwent the same process of self examination as you. I don’t know what a “natural” UKIP voter is, but it seems to me the only option.

      • Bernard Juby
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes. It is not just IN/Out of the EU BUT a vast raft of matters that need to be dealt with that have lmainly been brought about by being saddled by the Acquis Communitaire – a river never runs backwards uphill after all.
        If UKIP lights the blue touch paper under Cameroon then so much the better.

  20. Martin Weaver
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink


    Many conservatives want a return to core right-wing principles. Fiscal prudence, low taxation, low regulation, a reformed welfare state, the right to self-determination through a sovereign British parliament, the right to control our own borders and expel those who clearly wish to harm us, a coherent energy policy. The list is almost endless.

    An in-out Euro referendum, an end to the blighting of the British landscape with useless windmills, expelling Abu Qatada (and to hell with the European Courts) – the Conservative Party needs to give us some sign it is listening to its natural constituency. At the moment there is scarcely any sign and time is running out. The ghastly vista of Ed Miliband in Number 10 and even worse Ed Balls in Number 11 is becoming a distinctly increasing possibility. It’s a terrifying prospect.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget that the economy is hardly showing improvement under Osborne’s direction. You may be consoled though to have read this week that he claims that supporting gay marriage is the way to ensure a further Conservative victory!

    • Bazman
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Hardly booming under Osborne is it? Your austerity and other middle class fantasies are killing the the economy. The building industry is at a standstill and I should know as I have been laid of due to the unprecedented downturn in the demand for basic equipment need to facilitate major construction sites. A bloke in a pub told me that the van factory he works at is for the first time on a single day shift. Vans are the tool of industry nobody buys one for pleasure or for the wife’s run around, others tell me that they are just ticking over, so what do you fear? Will they make further cut back and make the problem worse with more right wing fantasy like yours? What is all the money saved going to be used for? More benefits payments and plans to make the population more desperate to make them work for ever lower wages? Got news for you Martin I don’t work for minimum wage I just don’t spend any money further reducing the economy. Got any ideas to force me? Thought of that one? (etc)

      • Martin Weaver
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        We’d not be “saving money”. We’d be borrowing less. That’s the point – and that’ll be less that you, me and our children will have to pay back one day. What do you suggest: borrow more, have our credit rating downgraded and then see interest rates rise and at stroke killing any chance of a recovery and inevitably driving unemployment even higher with the subsequent need to borrow even more money to pay additional benefits causing our credit rating to be downgraded etc … are you spotting a trend yet?

        • Edward
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          Im sorry Bazman has been laid off. It is tough out there. Our family income has fallen a lot over the last few years and so I know a liitle about “austerity”.
          The question is, how do we improve the prosperity of the UK, create wealth, employment and growth?
          Bazman seems to feel that borrowing even more, taxing even more and the Government spending even more, will bring this about.
          But in the UK the USA and the EU that is what Governments have been doing for years and look where we all are now.
          Government has become huge and they are taxing, borrowing and spending ever increasing amounts.
          There havent been any real cut backs, it is a myth, Government spending is going up year after year in real terms.
          If all this Government spending was the answer to our economic problems then why are we all now not wonderfully rich?

          • Bazman
            Posted November 20, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

            It’s interesting that austerity never seems to apply to the wealthy in the form of the rich and the so called directors of large companies who are little more than managers with executive powers who seem to get ever larger percentage pay rises often hidden in shares and the like laughably called remuneration or compensation. Maybe this is where the problem lies in the culture of reward for success or failure. As for taxing more who is being taxed more to provide the infrastructure and tax base certainly not the companies and the individuals making the most use out of it. Claiming seventy quid in dole is not taking the most out of the system by a long way and forcing the average person to pay as a percentage the most tax is just wrong.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Nobody will be paying anything back without a job and the benefits bill will be sky high. Spotted that trend yet?

          • Edward
            Posted November 20, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

            You still need to consider the cause of what is happening and what the best cure is.
            Of course I see the trend, as I said, its affecting me as well.
            But is more and more borrowing and Government spending going to give us prosperity.
            If so, tell me why isnt it working so far?

  21. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    John, here you are supposing that all influence derives from seats in parliament. The logical structure of politics does not take into account opinions which can be changed within the parties themselves.The U turns are numerous -thankfully as stubborness when things are not working can bring down a Country-
    When we discuss Eurosceptism , it is sensible to define exactly what we mean , as trade must continue . We cannot survive without Europe, yet we have been fighting federalism for over a century , allbut under another title. Boxes and nomiclature often disguise the reality and flux of opinions within any structure, but it is basic nature to seek dominance either in numbers for survival or individual strength and these tensions will continue without seats.

  22. Amanda
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, a small group of Conservative MP’s are doing as you say – but, you are called ‘rebels’ by your own party leadership. There is talk of Wavy Davy, shouting at ‘rebels’ after key votes. The ‘rebels’ do not get ‘job promotion’, because your are rebels. Dave, would get rid of you, if he could, and one of his very first tasks, after he had courted the dreadful Clegg, was to try and stick the knife in the 1922 committee. We support what you do, we wave and cheer, but that does not influnce your leadership to put you in positions of authority, does it?

    Davy, thinks those of us ‘out here’, in the real world, who want our own soverignty, and do do the best for the people of this land first (then we can help others). Are turnip Taliban and Fruit Cakes !!! He insults us, daily. Yet, he is the most cowardly, incompetent leader I have ever witnessed. He hasn’t even taken the opportunity to get people with conservative views into positions of influence – he still appoints lefties, look at Patten as a prime example.

    There is no way I, or many like me I talk too, will join a party that has got Wavy Davy at the helm !!! So, if the brave ‘rebels’, and I do salute you and recognize what you are doing, want us to join their ranks, then you are going to have to do something about Dave n’ George n’ Clark. Otherwise, any increse in Conservative Party membership will be taken as support for Gay Marriage, press restrictions, EU membership and others assorted lefty policies, and nothing will change. You forget, Davy doesn’t let the membership choose it’s representatives – a policy which is now coming a cropper.

    Meanwhile, UKIP, and other small parties, and independents, will continue to be the home of a large faction of the Conservative party in exile. You are right, we do need to join forces.

  23. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    For once I totally disagree with you. This has not happened a lot over several years.

    We the voters stand by and watch our country turning into something completely different. It used to be the richest country in the world and the most powerful. It used to have full employment. Everyone used to uphold the Christian principles and believe in Great Britain under Her Majesty the Queen and Parliament. We felt we were part of a going concern.
    None of that is true today, is it.

    UKIP are saying things which I personally believe are truly Conservative principles. They are not yet connecting with the general public, of course, because the public are as usual well behind the times and very ill informed by the BBC and much of the Media. What I personally want to see is for the Conservatives to swallow their pride and get the UKIP back where they belong – inside the Conservative Party.
    This is not to criticise your own efforts which are dogged and valiant.
    But without UKIP, the next election is going to be a true disaster because the Conservative Party is going, divided and fighting on a non level playing field, to lose handsomely to the Labour which is still under the very people who nearly destroyed us under Mr Blair.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      It used to be the richest country in the world and the most powerful.

      I believe this ended after WW2, due to the cost of WW2.

      It used to have full employment.

      I believe this ended when women started working, so during the Victorian era (cotton mills).

      Everyone used to uphold the Christian principles

      Expect for the Jews, atheists, pagans, and all the people who weren’t considered the right sort of Christian. So while the majority of people may have been Christian not everyone was Christian or upheld Christian principles.

      So you seem to be harking back to a very long time ago.

  24. Acorn
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    JR, don’t let the buggers get you down. BTW: He came second for PCC in Hants; screwed by a voting system I thought our pygmy parliament had done away with. Still, what do I know. Oh but I do now know, that a 15% turnout is perfectly legitimate in any future Trade Union Election. It would be pure hypocrisy to legislate anything different surely!!!!!!!

    UKIP is going to be a problem in my opinion, they are gaining traction. If they get some major funding and start putting up paper candidates to attract protest votes; tricky. Euro-sceptics on all the benches are going to have to up there game, assuming they have serious commitment and won’t buckle when it comes to a vote that would affect their wages.

    Interesting question. If there is a serious incident within a PCC jurisdiction; who gets to jump in front of a television camera first? The PCC or the Chief Constable. Nowadays, the first priority for any serious incident is to set up the press conference. The PCC needs to harvest votes, the CC, brownie points for a top job at the Met. Has anyone really thought out the political pecking order here? 😉 .

    • Sidney Falco
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Surely that is for the PCC and the CC to decide for themselves?

      That is the whole point of devolving power down to locally elected PCCs.

      Some will be good, some will be bad, most will probably be average.

      It will be up to the voters to decide every four years.

  25. JimF
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    “I appeal to all Eurosceptics of good will to see we are stronger working together instead of some fighting petty feuds”

    Perhaps you should put that to your Party’s leadership, who DO have the power, who DO say they are in favour of cutting the deficit, lower immigration, bringing back powers from Europe, a referendum on Europe, etc etc and do NOTHING of consequence about these. So a vote for a Conservative is a vote for Cameron who will continue to drive in the same direction as Labour with a small tweak of the steering wheel, when we need a complete volte face.

    Given that state of affairs, and UKIP’s sensible ideas on education, non-EU driven economic policies, and others, I’d prefer to place my vote against the party with the right policies at the top rather than to that fighting a rearguard action.

  26. Magnolia
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Labour are europhiles with very few notable exceptions.
    The only party that has ever beaten Labour is the Conservative Party.
    Present government policy seems to be directed by the last Labour government and their financial mess.
    That is unpleasant for Conservatives.
    Welfare and pension grab to pay for Euro bailouts.
    Wind turbines in the countryside paid for by poor people.
    Punishment of stay at home parents.
    Rewards for the least productive NHS doctors and removal of patient choice of hospital specialist.
    Plans for gay marriage when equal legal rights of civil partnerships are already in place.
    I am putting my trust and faith in the numerous and outspoken Conservative backbenchers and the 1922.
    Watch out for the BBC. They are giving Mr Farage a lot more airtime now.
    The Conservative Party is the only party that has beaten europhile New Labour in a general election.
    I will vote for the Conservative parliamentary party however much I might detest the government.

    • Bernard Juby
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      “Labour are europhiles with very few notable exceptions.”
      Of course they are – as soon as they woke up to the fact that mainland Europe is a political cross between Communism and Socialism (read “Clochemerle” for a start) so where else could they get their agenda driven through except via the EU?

  27. merlin
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I interpret your article in the following way, UKIP is going nowhere, and has no future, come and join the Conservative Party and we can work together to leave the EUSSR. My answer, as you probably would expect is a definitive NO.

    The 3 main parties are all the same in that they have become social democrats and are all singing from the same hymn sheet and are all pro european.

    I am tired of saying this but it is impossible to get powers back from the EUSSR and the same applies to renegotiation, it is a fool’s paradise. The EUSSR is a totalitarian dictatorship in embryonic phase and is anti democratic, and extremely powerful and will tell GB what to do and not the other way round.

    I am a realist, UKIP is a party of like minded individuals who believe in the Nation State of Great Britain, not under the chains of the EUSSR. My own individual objectives are as follows:-

    1) attain councillors in all councils across the country

    2) attain MP’s in the British parliament

    We probably will win the 2014 european elections and have the most MEP’s in Euroland.

    When I joined this party I and my fellow members realised it ws going to be a long hard struggle to gain power which is what it will be. So there are no illusions and personally I make no unsubstantial claims about UKIP, or the future of UKIP.

    We are a small party compared to the three other main parties and have little money, so , and this is true, we actually pass a bucket round at local meetings.

    UKIP policies are simple and straightforward, and easy to understand, which suits my own personal philosophy, remember, the more important something becomes the more complex it becomes.

    Why not join us, John, we need more like minded people in our party and you are sympathetic to UKIP’s policies. We need more high profile members to enhance our image in the country. The Conservative party will never leave the EUSSR, and the only referendum will be renegotiation of powers, which will not happen.

    UKIP is the party that puts Great Britain first.

    • Normandee
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      JR is set on becoming a righteous martyr, with 20 20 hindsight, no joining the resistance for him.

  28. waramess
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I carry no banner for any of the parties and I avidly read all the posts on this site every day. I see little if no evidence of the complaints you make about UKIP followers but I can sympathise with their view that the Conservative Party have abandoned the principles of the right and have decided to stake their claim to the centre/left ground.

    That you publish comments with which you might not agree is sensible otherwise you will find the only comments you receive will be those with which you might agree and that would defeat what I believe is, or should be, one of the reasons this site exists at all.

    As for the fight you insist is mounted against EU regulation, I am mildly anti EU and only mildly because in my experience our own MP’s are as great a danger to our society as the EU however, whatever the fight and whatever the personal cost it has done no good. A chip in the edifice here and there, has been totally inefective to prevent the real damage the EU has done to the UK.

    The damage done over the past thirty years is so obvious it need not be listed but still the right believe they are making some impression by chipping away.

    The comments on UKIP might be akin to ridiculing the oak sapling for its slight appearance. Only time will tell

  29. Chris
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    UKIP has no need to gain any seats to “seriously harm” the Conservative Party’s chances at the next election, so I am rather surprised by Mr Redwood’s analysis of the situation and apparently dismissive attitude to UKIP. The growing power wielded by UKIP is a very serious threat to the Conservatives. David Campbell Bannerman, Tory MEP for the East of England, sums up the danger of UKIP to the Conservatives very clearly:
    “We know that Ukip cost the Conservatives a parliamentary majority in the general election, and my concern is that, if we do not take action to reassure people we are the best party for Eurosceptics, the same or worse may happen in the next election.”
    What is highly significant is that the former Conservative voterswho have turned to UKIP, as well as those considering doing so, do realise that they would in some cases let in a Labour candidate in an election. The fact that they are willing to do this should send an incredibly powerful message to the leadership that something is very wrong with the current direction that the Conservative party has taken, and with David Cameron himself. I would dearly like the Conservatives to win the next election, but only if they abandon the left of centre policies which Cameron is espousing. I believe this could only happen if a new party leader were elected. I have major concerns about the policies that Cameron has adopted, particularly with regard to the EU, and immigration, but there are many other concerns.

    Reply Why don’t you see I am not writing from the point of view of what helps the Conservative party, but what gets us to a new relationship with the Eu that restores our right of self government!

  30. English Pensioner
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I will vote UKIP at the next election because I have yet to discover what are the aims of the present Conservative Party under David Cameron & George Osborne. When Mrs Thatcher was leader it was very clear what the party’s policies were but now, I haven’t a clue when it comes to the issues that really matter. We were promised lots of things but so far zilch! On the other hand, things that weren’t mentioned such as gay marriage are gaining prominence, which whilst are perhaps worthy of discussion, certainly is of little importance in the present crisis. “Improvements” to the NHS seem to have resulted in the closure of local A&E departments and the increase in administrators. My GP has just retired because, as he said to me, “I went into medicine to treat patients, now I’m expected to spend much of my time doing paperwork and the changes will make things worse. Enough is Enough”. The only Minister who appears to be doing anything is Michael Gove, but I imagine he will be ground down by the forces opposed to change and elitism.
    The public finances show no signs of being brought under control, the number of quangos abolished can be counted on the fingers of one hand, others having been merged and are still effectively there. Money is being wasted in foreign aid and ending in dictators’ Swiss bank accounts whilst the EU demands, and will no doubt get in some devious way, even bigger sums.
    I would like a true blue Tory government, and if I thought there was any chance of getting one I would vote Tory. However, under the present circumstances I think that if UKIP wasn’t there, I’d either not bother to vote, or I would vote Labour. There is no way I can support the present yellow-green wishy-washy Tories

  31. MajorFrustration
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    The elephant in the room is Dave plus of course silly policies like PCC’s and gay marriage et al

  32. Chris
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I would like very much to see some sort of “accommodation with UKIP” by the Conservative Party, instead of antagonism. Daniel Hannan wrote last July:
    “Tory Party could be devastated without a UKIP deal, warns Dan Hannan MEP”, and I think he is right.
    On 16 November, Hannan revisited this topic in his article: “Nigel Farage is surely now a more attractive partner than Nick Clegg”
    “…What is surprising is that the UKIP vote was three times as large – three times as large – as that of the Liberal Democrats.
    Whenever I suggest an accommodation with UKIP, I’m told that the LibDems are electorally far more significant. But this is ceasing to be true. UKIP and the LibDems have been level-pegging in the polls for a couple of years, and UKIP has now shown that it can translate those opinion poll numbers into actual votes…”
    Hannan seems to be on the right track by firstly actually acknowledging the threat posed by UKIP, secondly listening to what voters are so very concerned about, and thirdly suggesting a possible way forward based on cooperation between Conservatives and UKIP, not antagonismrecactually

    • Alan
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      If UKIP ever gets an MP elected there will be some weight to your argument, but until they do the Lib Dems are the only game in town. You have to be realistic.

      Votes do not necessarily translate into MPs.

  33. Oranjepan
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Sceptics will be sceptical, they cannot be trusted.
    Realists will be realistic, they can.

    Eurosceptics overestimate their criticisms of the EU and underestimate the benefits of such a formal organisation. In doing so they fail to get most benefit from it because they fail to reform it. They don’t see it to their advantage so they choose to try to turn it to everybody’s disadvantage.

    Euroscpetics are short-sighted revolutionaries – they are to the 21st century what Marxists were to the 20th century.

    • Bob
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink


      “Sceptics will be sceptical, they cannot be trusted.
      Realists will be realistic, they can.”

      How about sceptical realists?

      Eurosceptics overestimate their criticisms of the EU and underestimate the benefits of such a formal organisation. In doing so they fail to get most benefit from it because they fail to reform it. They don’t see it to their advantage so they choose to try to turn it to everybody’s disadvantage.

      Pure gibberish.

      Eurosceptics are short-sighted revolutionaries – they are to the 21st century what Marxists were to the 20th century.

      I think you’ve got it twisted, Jose Manuel Barosso is a well known (left of centre-ed), and the Commission is doing all it can to impose centralised control.
      Also, in common with all other Marxist states, it abhors democracy.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Given that you couldn’t give a rebuttal to the second point it seems that some Eurosceptics can’t tell the good parts of the EU from the bad parts. They seem to assume EU policy equals always wrong.

        As the UK has central control does this make it a Marxist state?

    • David Kelly
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      The EU doesn’t do reform. There are too many people in Brussels with vested interests in maintaining the status quo, and there are plenty who want to join them on the gravy train. Look at how the EFTA member states are ‘struggling’ outside the EU. We should be so poor.

    • Muddyman
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Taking a realistic view of the EU can only confirm its inherent flaws and bureaucratic incompetence, this together with its undemocratic operational system turns a realist into a sceptic.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Taking a realist view of the EU debunks your argument as the EU is more democratic than the UK.

        • Jon Burgess
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

          Truly inspired gibberish – you’ve outdone yourself there.

          • martyn
            Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            House of Lords? another EU institution

            The monarchy? another EU idea?

    • Tom William
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately over twenty years of trying/promising to reform the EU has got nowhere and will never succeed – acquis communitaire sees to that.

      The benefits of a formal organisation? So incompetent and corrupt that its accounts have not been passed by auditors for 18 years plus, that claims to be democratic without a cohesive demos, that wastes money on an unprecedented and uncontrolled manner and that now (under its leadership) represents a part of the world with more dying than growing economies? An organisation which looks back to the problems of post war Europe and has come up with the wrong answers.

      Are Switzerland and Norway desperate to join? Why not?

      • uanime5
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        1) The EU’s accounts have been signed off by the auditors every year. You’re Europhobic lie is fooling no one.

        2) All the MEPs were democratically elected by the people of the EU, as were the Councillors.

        3) Switzerland and Norway have to implement all EU law on everything except fisheries and agriculture, so unless they want to join the CFP and the CAP they there’s little reason for further integration.

        • Anthony Harrison
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          Point 1: rubbish. Martea Andreasen MEP (and former Chief Accountant to the EU), a week or two ago: “This is now the 18th year in a row that the European Court of Auditors has refused to give the EU Budget a clean bill of health.
          “Worse still the ‘error rate’, shorthand for unaccounted money, is on the rise.
          “Research, the EU’s political baby is worst affected, along with Agriculture, which represents the largest chunk of the EU budget. And yet the European institutions want even more money for 2013.
          “If this report, outlining as it does the continued gross mismanagement of EU funds, doesn’t set alarm bells ringing in Downing Street then nothing will.
          “There is a new generation who will be voting later this month who have never known an EU with clean accounts.”

  34. A different Simon
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    A problem for UKIP is that it is viewed as a right wing party rather than a patriotic party with wide appeal .

    You could never accuse the three main parties of being patriotic which is a real shame .

    Another tragedy is that the socialists among the electorate who tend to vote Labour and Lib Dem , even the thinking ones , haven’t worked out yet that the EU is not a form of democratic socialism but is in fact a brand of state socialism , specifically supra-national-socialism . It embodies the close integration of big business and the state which Hitler said characterised national socialism .

    The irony is that the Lib Dems and parts of Labour think the EU is on their side .

    They on the one hand preach nationalisation and on the other fail to realise that the EU single market prohibits national ownership and demands privatisation which inevitable results in the assets eventually ending up in foreign hands or offshored . The net result is the same ; a flight of capital overseas just as Peter Shore predicted .

    The Thatcher govt’s approach to privatisation had very little rationale in that businesses which were not suited to private ownership were privatised . The socialists dismiss this as political dogma , how do we know that it wasn’t just acting out instructions from Europe and Mrs Thatchers ministers didn’t just dupe her ?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      The privatised companies could have remained British if they were private companies, rather than public ones because foreign companies wouldn’t be able to force a takeover by buying up 51% of the shares.

      Also the EU didn’t force any other European country to sell their railways to private companies. Perhaps the UK privatised the railways wrongly.

  35. Bob
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,
    Why do you claim that the Tories are essentially EU sceptic when the evidence is to the contrary?

    They took us into the EEC and the EU without a referendum.
    They imposed a three line whip to prevent a referendum on EU membership last October.
    They would even have taken us into the Euro Zone but not for the intervention of George Soros.

    They’re now introducing gay marriage without even having mentioned it in their manifesto, despite claiming it is a Tory priority!

    Peter Hitchens is right, the Tory Party needs to be be demolished to make way for the creation of a new conservative party.

  36. Bazman
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    UKIP members have not won any seats because they are not credible in beliving that Britain will be able to sail alone with no consequence of not being in the EU. Companies leaving Britain to set up in cheaper EU countries and the idea that the EU will allow unregulated and cheap labour to exist next to them without any sanction is for the birds. The same people also belive that there should be no minimum wage or employees rights whilst at the same time thinking there should be no tax base to support the population or the infasttucture that allows these plundering companies to do business, and when questionened the reality of the polocies have no answer, ususually small minded pensioners or in the case of some like lifelogic actally living in the EU whilst telling everyone that Britain should leave. The rest I suspect do little in what we would call work. Right wing fantasists who belive that their political dreams will have no fallout for themselves and no cost to the country. The capping of the benifits system housing to five hundred a week is going to cost the country more as when the recipitents are turfed out the stae has to pay for more expensive acommadition like B&B. The lack of comments on the alleged price fixing of the gas market is telling too.As Mr Redwood points out nobody belives a word of your nonsense of the benifits of no EU membership and no taxation that is not to say both need reforming. Ram it.

    • Anthony Harrison
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      I’m neither “right wing” nor “a fantasist” – OTOH you seem a bit extreme yourself…

      • Bazman
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Respond to my points or shut up.

        • Jon Burgess
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

          Calm down dear, you’ll do yourself a mischief.
          When we leave the EU, of course they will be upset that we have rejected Brussels rule and reasserted rule from elected politicians from Westminster, but Germany and France will happily continue to sell to us – why wouldn’t they, and who else would they find to sell to? Cut corporation tax to undercut Ireland and Luxembourg and see companies flock to the Uk to set up shop outside of the EU but at the heart of Europe. You never know, we might even start to trade with the commonwealth again and find that there is much more to the world than the continent.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 19, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

            You’re a dreamer. This is just not going to happen and when it does not then what?

        • zorro
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          Is this your blog? No…. well have the decency not to be so rude to other contributors to Mr Redwood’s blog. You have no right to tell people to shut up as it is not your personal space. John welcomes your opinions, but people should not expect to be disrespected. People are free to respond or not to your often opaque offerings. Your belligerence detracts from your message…..


          • Bazman
            Posted November 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

            Do not be so rude as to put forward right wing ideas that you could not live under and would not have to accept the consequences of their implementation due to your personal circumstances. If you cannot justify these ideas by thinking them through with the often dire consequences to many then you should not be putting them forward and should shut up. It is noted that you did not respond to one point made in my post so ram it.

          • zorro
            Posted November 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            I struggle to see what you are saying half the time. I am OK financially speaking but that’s not the most important thing in my life. I have justified my thoughts whenever I comment. You just seem unable to consider things with an open mind, saying that any possible result of any policies that we suggest is a ‘fantasy’. I think that you misunderstand what will happen in practice with the £500 p/w ceiling on rent…….So do you have a £2,000 pcm mortgage or rent?


          • Bazman
            Posted November 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            Using this one point as you are unable to understand anything. Anything you do not agree with I suspect. Do you not accept that in the long run the benefits cap is not about saving money as the recipients would immediately have to be rehoused in emergency accommodation that is often much more expensive than their previous accommodation? Is that simple enough for you? If you cannot join up what you say then it is a fantasy for thick people. A political idea to show whos side the person is on.

          • zorro
            Posted November 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            Rents will probably fall, and even if people did have to be rehoused in different areas, why should hard working people pay over £2,000 pcm for the rent of others. It is ridiculous. I can make this comment without making comments ad hominem accounts about you.


          • Bazman
            Posted November 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

            Your fantasy relies on there not being a housing shortage and claimants being of a big enough number to make a difference. Your idea that they can all be just be deported to other parts of the country tell a lot. It assumes they will go they are all scroungers. If the other regions have enough capacity to take them and their children who will have to be removed from school and most importantly landlords being willing to accept social tenants. This is going to be an expensive experiment as remember the state is legally obliged to house a family. Disagree with that? Come on then do tell. A family in permanent B&B ain’t going to be cheap. So why don’t you think through your right wing fantasies and then get back to instead of writing you prejudiced nonsense while hiding behind your personal short sighted and narrow minded circumstances like many a posh boy further up. This is my main point so if you can understand this, you can ram it.

    • mike
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      ” The rest I suspect do little in what we would call work. Right wing fantasists who belive that their political dreams…”

      And there you sum up the Tories problem… I’ve seen similar rants both from conservative bloggers, columnists, MPs and ministers. Online, in print, on the TV, radio… You name it… All have a similar vein, namely that UKIP is only for swivel eyed racists or golf club bores.

      Only losers vote UKIP in short, Even JR shows little but scorn for his UKIP opponents or their chances of ever changing anything.

      There are of course two problems with this. The tories are insulting what used to be their own core vote and they are doing so whilst having been demonstrably wrong on every issue of note. The very people they are calling losers, racists and idiots are the ones with a warm glow of righteous indignation at having been right all along…

      Of course it doesn’t stop them from begging the swivel-eyed racist plebs to vote for them come election time. Trouble is the plebs don’t tend to vote for people who have insulted them and they have slightly longer memories than you’d think….

      John, I suggest you watch which way the tide is flowing rather than focussing purely on current numbers. UKIP’s vote is increasing, the tories is waning.


  37. forthurst
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    The majority of the people want independence from Europe; they have finally seen through the tsunami of propaganda with which they have been battered for decades by those who have successfully infested and taken over the main political parties and the BBC. A few with prescience such as JR have always understood and been against this treasonous onslaught on our nation and our people. When JR talks of the 100+, he is referring to a rump, those within the Conservative Party who are conservative; the rest are not and are not worth voting for. How has this situation arisen? Clearly this has not happened by accident; suffice it to say, anyone who had done their homework on the Treaty of Rome, something that we pay our politicians to do, would have understood the agenda.

    There has never been a majority in favour of mass immigration. In order to prevent the popular view of this issue breaking out into the open and becoming the major issue that it clearly is, politicians have introduced thoughcrime laws to shut the English up in their own country; thus a politician posing as a Conservative had the insolence to refer to UKIP members as “a bunch of fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists”. That is rather worse than the epithets hurled at the Conservative Party on this site. (goes on to refer to a case which is sub judice)

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Some UKIP members have a visceral hatred of the Tory party.

    I can understand that, because more than any other party the Tory party has sold us down the EU river, but they shouldn’t allow it to cloud their judgement.

    It’s long been obvious that getting even a single UKIP candidate elected to the Commons would be very difficult – and when a Tory MP defected to UKIP he didn’t survive the next election – but in some cases it would be comparatively easy to prevent another candidate getting elected.

    Therefore even without ever winning a single seat in the Commons, UKIP is in a position to apply a patriotic “selection pressure” so that through one general election after another the Commons steadily evolves in the desired direction, away from a commitment to the process of “ever closer union” as mandated by the EU treaties towards a diametrically opposed commitment to the defence of our national sovereignty and the restoration and improvement of our national democracy.

    Unfortunately too many UKIP members tend not to think in those dispassionate strategic terms, and instead for example they’re prepared to celebrate the role of UKIP in helping a raving euromaniac, Chris Huhne, into the Commons; and just how stupid was that?

  39. Elliot Kane
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I think the biggest problem with the Conservatives right now is that while they do indeed have a strong Eurosceptic minority who do their best to fight for Britain, the leaders are Europhiles through and through.

    All this stuff about ‘we will negotiate repatriation of powers’ that Cameron and his supporters keep coming out with is nonsense and everyone KNOWS it is nonsense. The entire point of the EU is ‘Ever Closer Union’ and they are totally up front and honest about it. NO part of ‘Ever Closer Union’ allows for powers to be given back to national parliaments.

    I think the main problem between UKIP and Conservatives (And whilst I am definitely Eurosceptic, I am affiliated with neither party) is that each sees the Conservative party in a very different way.

    I hope you will forgive my theorising on things you surely know better than I do, John, but I think the Conservative view of the Conservative Party is one of a broad church that has strong wings of both Europhilia and Euroscepticism, united nonetheless by a core adherence to principles that can allow both wings to rub along together, however uneasily.

    To UKIP (And again, I am theorising) there IS no higher principle than British sovereignty. So UKIP see the Conservatives in terms of what they actually DO in office – which is (From this outsider’s perspective) almost entirely Europhile. A Conservative party forced to vote against an in/out referendum by a three line whip is a Europhile party, albeit with a number of highly principled rebels.

    A Europhile party with rebel Eurosceptics is still a Europhile party, and I suspect that is what UKIP is actually trying to fight. I’m sure many don’t even understand how principled Eurosceptics can stay in such a blatantly Europhile party.

    As for UKIP – I do see it more as a pressure group than anything else. The more votes they get, the more pressure there is on Labour and the Conservatives to announce the in/out referendum that the majority of the people of Britain actually want. And that’s a good thing.

    It’s no good for either main party to protest they are slightly more Eurosceptic than the other side when both are still, in practise, Europhile. That won’t help Britain at all.

    My vote is up for grabs to either main party if they offer a guaranteed in/out referendum and set a definite timetable for it. Otherwise, my vote goes to UKIP. It’s as simple as that.

    Phew! Sorry for the essay! Just felt all that needed saying 🙂

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      I suspect that John Redwood is underestimating his support. He has the active support of 100 MPs but there must be many more in the 2010 intake who are withholding their fire because they hope to attain office. As time progresses and they still haven’t attained office, the amount of ‘fissionable material’ will increase.

      I believe that the Conservative Party is a Eurosceptic party led by a Europhile, a situation with which John Redwood is familiar. Consider the eveidence against Mr Cameron:
      (1) When John Major and Norman Lamont fell out over Europe, he sided with John Major (and I suspect he didn’t support John Redwood’s 1995 leadership campaign.)
      (2) He ratted on the referendum promised on the Lisbon Treaty.
      (3) He doesn’t want to leave the EU.
      (4) He won’t support a simple in/out referendum now.
      (5) He wants to renegotiate our relationship with the EU, then put the deal to the electorate in a referendum – but he won’t spell out the negotiating position or the bottom line.

      John Redwood has ample time to test the Prime Minister’s intentions over the coming year before deciding whether to mount a leadership challenge in the autumn of 2013 (Liam Fox is an alternative).

  40. Rob
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    The problem with the Conservative Party (indeed all parties) is that they rule, they do not represent. 2/3rds of Tory voters would vote to leave the EU if a referendum was held. Yet the Conservative Party only has 50 odd rebels fighting against three line whip nonsense actually hoping to do something like that, while the party leadership simply ignores the voters.

    Given that, it’s not surprising that UKIP targets disaffected Tories. Because there are so many of them! We all know how simple it would be for the Conservatives to neuter UKIP and actually represent their voters in this supposed democracy, but for some reason Cameron won’t do it.

    Hardly surprising voter turnout is an issue these days when you have an example of such a yawning disconnect between the rulers and the ruled, on a whole raft of issues. This one just happens to be the Tory bugbear.

  41. Paul
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    UKIP is pleased when the small group of eurosceptic Conservative MPs stand up for British interests and speak against the disastrous EU in the HoC, but the problem is eurosceptics in parliament never achieve anything. They didn’t under the Major, Blair, Brown government, and they have not/will not under the pro-EU Cameron government. Many of us in UKIP could see right away the Conservative Party was heading for disaster when you elected as leader in 2005 a man with no experience of the real world who knew nothing about anything. You cannot seriously expect UKIP, a party with people who have lived real lives, to support your party which is led by two hopeless college kids. It’s also not just about the EU – UKIP have it got it right on immigration, energy, tax, transport etc, where the Conservatives are muddled and incompetent. If genuine eurosceptics in the Conservative Party actually joined and helped UKIP we might force change in your dying party. But if you would rather the status quo, UKIP will continue to look forward to 2015 when we help get Cameron out of power.

    Reply Pressure in Parliament stopped us joining the Euro, vetoed our joining the fiscal Treaty, gained us various opt outs etc

    • Nash Point
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Best post of the day IMO Paul. I remember 2005 when the Tory party elected Cameron instead of a man who had pulled himself up by his bootlaces from nothing. I can never understand why Mr Redwood voted for Cameron, when he surely had much more in common with Davis. I’m hardly an intellectual, but I could see then that Cameron would be a disaster. A toff who’d never had a proper job; it was obvious he had no principles.
      I refuse to vote for any politician, or for a party whose leader, has not spent a significant part of their early life in a trade or profession. UKIP’s candidates fulfill that criteria. They have true conservative policies, not just on EU membership.
      Having said that, if I lived in Wokingham instead of South Wales, I would definitely vote for our host.

      reply I declined to vote for David Davis in the 2005 contest because he had as his Chief Whip elect Mr Conway, someone I thought unsuited for the job which could have caused David trouble later. David did not accept my advice on this matter so I did not feel I could vote for him given the team around him. It was not a disagreement about David or his policies. Mr Cameron assured me of his Euroscepticism before I voted for him, and went on to pull the Conservative MEPs out of the federalist grouping which all previous Conservative leaders had kept them in. That was at the time the one decent test of a leader, because it was the one thing the Leader could do despite being in opposition.

      • Paul
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Nash Point. For me, David Davis was the only candidate in the 2005 contest who had any credibility for taking charge of the Conservative Party. Liam Fox, in my opinion, is not a leader and Mr Cameron certainly is not. The only thing David Cameron is good at doing is duping people. As soon as Cameron beat Davis in the contest I immediately switched to UKIP having remained a rather uncomfortable supporter of the Conservatives under Michael Howard. What a pity a real Conservative like Mr Redwood did not become leader. How interesting that membership of the Conservative Party has halved since 2005. I think as each day passes more and more eurosceptics are realising that the party for them is UKIP and not the ‘useless Tories’ (to quote Peter Hitchens). JR is a strong advocate of change from within – more and more people are realizing how far that has got. Want an In/Out referendum? Then UKIP is for you.

      • zorro
        Posted November 20, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply – Did you employ the same rationale when Margaret Thatcher stood for re-election as leader of the Tory Party in 1990 with regards to her PPS……?


  42. Merlin
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    @ Camoron recently stated that UKIP were irrelevant, as a party we were extremely insulted by that remark. You use the word accommodation, wrong phrase I’m afraid. We stopped Camoron from getting an overall majority, and he has not over it and probably never will. UKIP . Our political aims are well known, and UKIP is the master of its own destiny, we are a party of strong individuals, you should consider joining UKIP, we are the party that puts Great Britain first and are not interested in any form of so called accommodation or deals. We do not trust any pro EUSSR party, we especially would never trust the euro puppet Camoron.

  43. C WHITE
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I am not a UKIP member though I did vote for them in 2010. Mr Cameron has taken more anti-ferderalist steps than Mrs Thatcher. However, there is bound to be suspicion given the ‘CAST-IRON’ guarantee on a vote in a REFERENDUM the Lisbon Treaty. Mr Hague’s explanation was that it’s happened, so we havetio accept as if the constitutional arrangements of a country with recorded history showing constitutional change going back at least to MAGNA CARTA in 1215 were like the game of every counts for those old enough to remember whereby if you did take action by a definite date (or time) THAT WAS IT.

  44. Merlin
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Final point, John, having read your comment again, you really sound desperate,that is what comes across. You are in power and therefore have more knowledge and up the second information,speculating, the budget will go through whatever Cameron says or does, and the recent so called rebellion will be deemed irrelevant, which the UK Parliament is as far as the EUSSR is concerned. You must realise, John, that you pleading will have no effect at all, in fact, it is irrelevant, since you have no real power in Government, you are merely another backbencher, albeit with strong anti European views. If you joined UKIP ! John, this would be the breakthrough that British politics needs, you would be part of a new and growing movement in Great Britain and you would have the influence which you do not have in your present party, which as you have stated before is a Federalist Party. If you can’t beat them join them,John, UKIP needs you as does Great Britain join us now John before it is too late. UKIP the party that puts Great Britain first

  45. C WHITE
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I am not a UKIP member though I did vote for them in 2010. Mr Cameron has taken more anti-ferderalist steps than Mrs Thatcher. However, there is bound to be suspicion given the ‘CAST-IRON’ guarantee on a vote in a REFERENDUM on the Lisbon Treaty. Mr Hague’s explanation was that it’s happened, so we have to accept as if the constitutional arrangements of a country (with recorded history showing constitutional change going back at least to MAGNA CARTA in 1215) were like the game of every second counts for those old enough to remember whereby if you did not take action by a definite date (or time) THAT WAS IT.
    The Right is never elected but it can influence decision-making. UKIP has had enough support to be in yougov’s polls as a separate entry for 2 years. I think that as a localist and pro-free enterprise person Mr Cameron is genuinely against the ridiculous harmonisation of the EU, but as with anyone pressure helps and the threat of a Tory defeat in 2015 because of UKIP voters is helpful.
    I would advocate voting for UKIP in the 2014 EU elections (they came second last time on 17%) and then voting Tory in 2015 for all the reasons Mr Redwood gives. Praise for Mr Redwood for his long, and perhaps sometimes lonely, campaign against all the drawbacks of the EU. I cannot see any downside not worth accepting to have a Swiss or Norwegian relationship with the EU. The former Oxford economics don and managing director of Capital Economics Roger Bootle said being in EU now is ‘like shackling oneself to a corpse’ on 12.11 in Telegraph; he is not normally given to rhetorical flights.

  46. Graham Hamblin
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I consider myself a Conservative, I did not vote in the last election and would never vote UKIP because they are not the answer but part of the problem but so is your leader. The ground work is being prepared in the press and elsewhere for a re-run of the 1975 referendum after the next General Election where the question will be fixed to stay in as we are or on re-negotiated terms which will be a con?

    The only meaningful way re-negotiation can take place is by this country giving notice under Article 51 of the Lisbon Treaty to leave the EU and then they have to listen and take notice. It may be that we remain in the EU but if given a free and fair vote on the outcome I will reluctantly accept it and shut up.

    I was against membership from the 1960’s and heeded Enoch Powell’s warnings and remain so. Edward Heath promised that he would not join the Common Market without the full hearted consent of the British people and parliament and he had neither. He lied to us and later admitted he was less than honest, he knew what he was doing.

    As a matter of principle that wrong has to be put right and the only way is an “In” or “Out” referendum?

    I consider you an honest and principled member of parliament who mostly stands up to be counted for what I believe in and I admire you for it.

    Maybe the Liberal Democrats need reminding of their enthusiasum to fight an in or out referendum during the run up to the Lisbon Treaty?

  47. Derek
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Unless the McKay Commission come up with a serious and workable solution to the WLQ and Cameron acts rather than making yet more unkept promises on the English Question I will vote UKIP, that is if UKIP includes an English Parliament in their 2015 manifesto.

  48. Barbara Stevens
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I think UKIP have proved they are not ‘fruit cakes or fools’, they are taking votes, but we all know not enough to win seats. The Conservatives have done themselves no favours by their stance on Europe and the ever denying vote on our membership; if they had kept the half promise, and given us the vote how different things would be now. UKIP would have melted away. They didn’t and that’s why UKIP have become a thorn in their side, like them or not they are taking votes away from the Conservatives and Labour and Lib Dems in different numbers. Yes, they haven’t managed to get any seats, but they didn’t really believe they would, but they are denting the Conservative vote and it must be sending a clear message. Things can change from on election to another. Look at the number of independants that have got through in the Police Commisoner elections, people are fed up with all three main parties.
    I had high hopes for a Conservative run government after 13 years of Socialism under Labour, but have been bitterly disappointed with the blackmail from Lib Dems to have their policies inacted. Its not a fair coalition at all, infact Cameron as far to many minister from the Lib Dems in his cabinet for the amount of Lib Dem MPs.
    I’ve found most comments from UKIP supporters friendly and polite on this site, and in many ways they are Conservatives who have become fed up with Tory inaction on Europe, immigration, and infrastructure investment, to help with growth. I may be one of them, but I’m not sure. May be I’m still undecided, but I’ve got two years to make up my mind; what passes between now and then will detirmine my vote.

  49. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    If Mr Redwood truly believes in democracy he perhaps should more readily accept that voters vote for the party that presents a series of policies that they are find most favourable .
    Arguing for Conservative voters to forever hold their noses and vote tactically for Mr Slippery because he’s ‘the best of a bad bunch’ isn’t a good enough argument for me. Unfortunately not all Conservative Mp’s share John Redwoods credentials…many like Greg Knight (East Yorkshire) show extreme reluctance to deviate from the party line over EU matters.
    Where can I go , other than to UKIP to register my dissatisfaction with him ?

    For many UKIP is now their party – the Conservatives have shifted too far to the left leaving them behind.

    Mr Redwood talk about the achievements of the Euro Sceptics ..worthy as they are they have been dwarfed by the federalist cause supported by the Conservative left. If the right’s opposition was more united and vocal within the Conservative party I might consider voting for them again. At the moment it’s too much like a pea shooter trying to stop an elephant.
    Messrs Hannan, Redwood, Carswell, excellent parliamentarians though they are seem to be forever fighting individual battles and campaigns , rather than fighting as a untied force. I’d like to see them unite and really make the PM and the ‘Quad’ clique really sit up and pay attention.

  50. Daniel Thomas
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    If Eurosceptic MP’s want to do something constructive to fight Euro Federalism they could start by electing a new leader. It is within their power to do this.

    David Cameron and his Deputy are committed Europhiles who wield the power of the Executive in a Federalist direction which is ever closer union to a United States of Europe.

    Year on year ever more competences are handed over to Brussels until a tipping point is reached where our absorbtion will be impossible to reverse.

    Time is not on our side.

  51. harry
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    The EU is not the only issue UKIP are making the right noises to, they are also the only party that recognises the unfair relationship within the UK that England finds herself in ,i have noticed that the once taboo word” England” is mentioned a little more loosely by some MP`s but but that`s not fooling anyone.

  52. Bert Young
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    The threat of UKIP damaging the Conservative Party in the next election is a real one and the points you make in today’s blog are extremely understandable . I don’t believe that DC will go along with a shift to the right while trammelled with the Coalition , it would bring about an immediate election with dire consequencies . What would win the election is the Party who would allow an “In” or “Out” referendum and DC has already reneged on that . When his new adviser gets the mood of the country and recommends a change of tack in the leaderships position on Europe , and , provided this is robustly communicated, the Conservatives will stand in a much stronger position . There is not the time to get rid of DC before the next election ; everything depends on adopting a new policy that will placate his Right Wing and convince the voters he can be trusted . It’s a very interesting time . Can he , and , will he do it ?

  53. Alan Rogers
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    If Nigel Farage really wanted to get us out of Europe, he would tell all his supporters to join the Conservative Party. If all Tory MPs and candidates were threatened with deselection by a thriving Eurosceptic membership, we might make some progress in changing Government policy. But Mr. F probably likes getting paid to make the odd speech in Brussels, so there’s no incentive to derail the gravy train.

  54. Bill
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Agree with you, John. UKIP are all right as a pressure group but could well achieve the exact opposite of their stated aims by preventing a Conservative election at the next election.

    Again, think of Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, Bill Rogers and David Owen who creamed off Labour votes and helped Mrs Thatcher win.

    I am sure your policy of seeking to reform the Conservative party from within is the right one.

  55. PaulDirac
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m an active Conservative party supporter, but I despair of the party’s inability to respond to 70% or more of its voters’ demand regarding our EU policy.
    If I decide to vote for UKIP it will be only as a protest against this attitude of my natural party.
    Especially since my MP (Mole Valley) has consistently voted in line with the party whips, as a (words left out) Dentist he rarely attends Parliament anyway.

    Reply: I see him around Parliament a lot.

  56. Wilko
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    You are right, John, and have explained yourself well.

  57. Jon
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    The increase in the UKIP poll will only be a bad thing for the Conservatives if they don’t capitalise on it when it comes to the General Election.

    Frequently small enterprises will find a small niche in the market and in a few years the market they built from nothing crosses a threshold and larger investors / corporations get interested. They have the might to go national with strong marketing and sometimes driving out the small enterprises that built the market in the first place.

    UKIP have had the freedom to express a simple view and to get a single message out there perhaps to more people. It is up to the Conservatives to capitalise on it for the General Election. I’ve been impressed with Grant Shapps in his new job, I think a natural salesman.

    A UKIP vote in the GE is a vote for more europhile seats in parliament.

    • Bob
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Grant Shapps sometimes goes by the name “Michael Green”.

  58. Chris
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    UKIP has no need to gain any seats to “seriously harm” the Conservative Party’s chances at the next election, so I am rather surprised by Mr Redwood’s analysis of the situation and apparently dismissive attitude to UKIP. The growing power wielded by UKIP is a very serious threat to the Conservatives. David Campbell Bannerman, Tory MEP for the East of England, sums up the danger of UKIP to the Conservatives very clearly:
    “We know that Ukip cost the Conservatives a parliamentary majority in the general election, and my concern is that, if we do not take action to reassure people we are the best party for Eurosceptics, the same or worse may happen in the next election.”
    What is highly significant is that the former Conservative voterswho have turned to UKIP, as well as those considering doing so, do realise that they would in some cases let in a Labour candidate in an election. The fact that they are willing to do this should send an incredibly powerful message to the leadership that something is very wrong with the current direction that the Conservative party has taken, and with David Cameron himself. I would dearly like the Conservatives to win the next election, but only if they abandon the left of centre policies which Cameron is espousing. I believe this could only happen if a new party leader were elected. I have major concerns about the policies that Cameron has adopted, particularly with regard to the EU, and immigration, but there are many other concerns.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Chris–Excellent thoughts which I agree with totally–JR has got his knickers in a knot relying for comfort, as he does, on admitted inability of UKIP to become MP’s in any numbers anytime soon. It is an insoluble puzzle to many of us what the Conservative Party is doing to itself and of course not just on Europe.

      • Chris
        Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Leslie. I had felt that Mr Redwood missed the point of what I was saying when he challenged my comment (further up the page, as comment was posted twice).

  59. Credible
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Your reference to the PCC election results as a means of bashing another political party is very sad. It shows already that the importance of running the police well is being superseeded by party politics.

  60. The PrangWizard
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m away in Arizona at present, so missed the PCC elections. I am an English Democrats supporter and I’m grateful for your mention of my party, the vote in South Yorkshire is indeed a very good one. I will take this opportunity to bang their drum a little,

    I support them because their cause is an English parliament, and they do have other policies which are being maturely worked up. It is a very small party but clearly doing well; the cause is just and stands on its own merits. I am sure there are existing MPs who support our view on English self-determination but the half-way house of English Votes for English Issues cannot stand.

    I do not have any time for UKIP, they are a single issue pressure group, renowned for dirty tricks.

    I will support Mr Redwood and his like minded colleagues and friends in their objectives as long as this doesn’t undermine the English issue.

  61. John Wrake
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,
    The traditional way of changing government policy has been either, to carry a vote of no confidence in the Commons, or by a backbench revolt in sufficient numbers to persuade the adminstration to change its views.
    Those methods can no longer work so far as the EU is concerned, since all three traditional parties have the same EUphile attitude and backbenchers (despite those like you with grave reservations) are more concerned to be loyal to their party than loyal to England’s Constitution.
    There can be no doubt that the Constitution has been broken. The Queen is no longer Sovereign. English Law has been made subservient to continental Law. The pretence that Government gives us our freedom has taken the place of the God-given freedoms of Common Law which are inalienable under the Constitution.
    Those who support UKIP are not asking for anything, nor in essence, are they asking Parliament to decide our relationship with the EU or requesting the return of powers. They are demanding the right to exercise the self-government, which no-one of any Political Party has the power to take away. What has been claimed under the EU treaties is unlawful.
    Until that fact is recognised, Parliamentary debate will continue to be irrelevant to the mass of those who know what is wrong and who will vote for no-one.

    Reply The whole point is I am also asking for our self government back! That is what the 100 are trying to do from within , where we have votes and voices and are influencing the government.

    • Chris
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      With regard to your reply to John Wrake above:
      Whilst I applaud the action of the 81 on the EU referendum debate, and more recently the Cons MPs who voted for the Mark Reckless amendment (EU budget debate) there is the brutal fact that any amount of such “work from within” is not going to change David Cameron’s actions, let alone have any influence in the powerhouse of the EU. David Cameron is, as I understand it, going to Brussels to ask for “no increase in the budget”, and not for a cut in the budget as was voted for in Parliament. This seems to indicate his weakness and his lack of commitment to the views of the electorate.

      Secondly, and more importantly, David Cameron has made clear on many occasions that he thinks the UK should remain in the EU and that he would work to that end. However, the EU, as we signed up to it, demands a commitment to ever increasing integration. So, under David Cameron the UK is committed to the EU, which is not what the majority of the electorate wants.

      For David Cameron, and other MPs, to indicate to the electorate that renegotiation/repatriation of powers from Brussels is possible, is, I believe both unrealistic and not honest. The central aim of the EU project is integration and, as we have seen, nothing is allowed to get in the way, and if the electorate votes unfavourably it is made to vote again. Herr Schauble made it crystal clear at a keynote speech late last year in the UK that renegotiation on such issues was not an option. One can understand the logic, for if individual countries start to “pick and choose” (Barroso) it would destroy the unity and uniformity that is essential to success of the project.

      The courage, determination and clarity of thought demonstrated by Mark Reckless was a starter, but for any influence to be wielded by Conservative eurosceptics with the EU radical action has to be taken, and this can only be achieved if the leader of the Party is willing to take this. The success of eurosceptic action in Parliament at the moment is perilously vulnerable, being so dependent on the Labour party. However, if MPs were to say that they had no confidence in their leader and the direction he had taken his party with regard to the EU, and called for a leadership election, then they would indeed be showing they have got influence. Contrary to fears expressed already, this would not bring down the Conservative Party. A new leader may instead start the revival of its fortunes, and could lead to a completely new relationship with the EU, with the UK freed from the stranglehold of bureaucracy, negative growth, and corruption, and free to look outwards again to the wider world.

      Reply We have to work in and through the Parliament the electorate chose in 2010. It is unlikely there will be a new Parliament bfore 2015, and we need to make better decisions on the big issues of the EU now. The rest is dreaming.

    • sm
      Posted November 20, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

      Interestingly i understand Ron Paul said the US constitution had failed as well in his valedictory speech. Some things do seem to be global.

  62. Dee
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    I was a former Tory supporter, but since devolution, my priorities have changed. I would have voted for the EDP if they had stood someone in my ward and will do so in the future if the opportunity arises.
    I think we shall see more of them as the Scottish referendum approaches.

  63. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Nicely done, Mr. Redwood. A decade ago your scalpel would have cut more true; but now we know that Labour/Tory is a hydra. Yes it is true that UKIP have failed, so far, to break through. Perhaps we never shall; though I do believe the continuing crises is terminal for the UK & thus a new force will be necessary. I make no apologies for our brash style. I take exception to your claim that significant personal agendas drive UKIP supporters. That is for Tory MP’s to excellent at. They take the Gold, being much more clever than the typical Labour meat-head. But I do agree taking on reliable Tory MP’s in apparently legitimate opposition to the EU is unwise. You noble 100 that keep your powder dry in eternal watch of the EU might just watch the war lost without firing a shot. Not good enough. Thanks for allowing we few to have our say.

  64. uanime5
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that UKIP fields candidates in anti-EU constituencies because they’re unlikely to win seats in pro-EU constituencies and constituencies where people don’t really care about the EU.

  65. Matthew
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    In some ways UKIP are strengthening the pro Europe base, by taking votes from Conservatives, doing the exact opposite of what they are seeking to achieve. On its own UKIP is a hopeless cause.

    On the other hand there may be a beneficial side effect of UKIP support. A good showing in the polls leading up to the next general election (a good showing would be that they are likely hit the Conservative’s in key marginal’s) may push the Conservative leadership into offering a referendum on continued EU membership.

  66. Electro-Kevin
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    UKIP is too single-issue.

    I like Nigel Farage and I think he does a great job in the EU. I’d find it difficult to name anyone else in his party though.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      I think that it’s a credit to the English people that – despite the utmost provocation – we remain so moderate and tolerant and won’t even extend to voting for a party such as UKIP, let alone the BNP. The Daily Mail, for example, is accused of being right of Attila the Hun – yet where are the 5 million plus BNP/UKIP votes which should have come from its readership ?

      Please do not confuse abstension for apathy. There is plenty of exasperation out there and abstension is as legitimate a use of democracy as voting.

      If we had “none of the above” on the voting forms I believe that there would be a record turnout.

      • Bob
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        “we remain so moderate and tolerant and won’t even extend to voting for a party such as UKIP”

        And many people don’t vote for the Tories, and many people don’t vote for Labour, and many people don’t vote at all.

        The establishment have brainwashed the voters into believing that if you don’t vote for the established parties your vote is wasted.

        The only wasted vote is a vote not cast, and if we had a truly impartial state broadcaster, they would impart information about the voting system, explain the choices available and how the system is weighted to prevent new political parties from gaining MPs due the polarisation of ideologies according the left/right paradigm.

        At my daughter’s school, the children were asked for a show of hands as to how many political parties we had in the UK, and the majority of them thought it was three!

        It’s not about disdain for UK Independence, it’s about state induced apathy.

        Reply: The children think that because only 3 parties so far have won a significant number of seats in Parliament, and several parties have never won a signle seat in Parliament.

        • Bob
          Posted November 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          @Mr Redwood – Reply to reply

          And they are encouraged to think that by the establishment who obviously want to maintain the status quo.

          No wonder people are not bothering to exercise their right to vote, if they think that Lib/Lab/Con is all that’s on offer.

  67. Headhunter
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Sir, you make a good case for Eurosceptic Conservatives sying with the Party but you must know that many of us voted UKIP last week in protest against the ‘Gay Marriage’ policy. I am one and I resigned my membership (by refusing to renew my subscription) earlier this year, again in protest at this policy. while Cameron and little George are fiddling about with unnecessary measures such as this we will never make progress on important matters of National relvance. Civil Partnerships provided an excellent and practical remedy for some of the inequalities which were born by people in long-term same-gender relationships and I welcomed the measure. One unintended consequence was the newly perceived inequalities now being borne by those in long-term heterosexual relationships. Surely that is of greater urgency than ‘Gay Marriage’? It would certainly swing more votes. I believe a good many Conservatives will vote for UKIP (reluctantly) rather than support a party which has so alienated them in a desire to “look” modern. Perhaps a little more shoulder-to-the-wheel hard work on the important things and a little less posturing to curry favour with imagined pressure groups will change things. Let us all hope Lynton Crosby can put the PM’s ears into ‘receive’ mode.

  68. Freeborn John
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    The problem for Cameron is that we see what his intention is. He views the EU as a presentational issue for election time only, seeking merely to hint at tough action in the next parliament by compiling a list of powers to be returned while bypassing every negotiating opportunity in this parliament (including the current 7-year budget golden opportunity) to achieve them. And then after the election he will say that the other countries do not want to grant us these powers back. Cameron was open about this at the last EU Council telling other leaders that he wants to delay any EU treaty changes until after 2015 as this will make it easier for him to avoid a UK referendum.

    Cameron is pursuing classic ‘vague Hague’ EU tactics of hinting at things he has no intention of delivering upon and deserves to lose the next general election as heavily as William Hague lost in 2001. I am confident the British people will see through him just as they Hague and that you will lose your 6th election in a row as a result. 

    When is the penny finally going to drop in the Tory party that you cannot win a majority without grasping the EU nettle?

  69. James Sutherland
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    The best tactic and real role for UKIP should be to weed out the Europhile MPs and candidates. Think in evolutionary terms: taller giraffes could reach higher food sources shorter giraffes couldn’t, so the shorter giraffes tended to die out.

    By contesting marginal constituencies with Europhile Conservative candidates – incumbent or not – just splitting the vote so the other side wins is enough. Yes, in the short term that means one less Conservative MP – but it also means one less Europhile in the Parliamentary party for that term; next time, hopefully the Conservatives will run a Eurosceptic who wins.

    On a Parliamentary level, UKIP don’t need to win a single seat (just as well, since FPTP makes that almost impossible!) – all they need to do is weed out Europhiles. The “primaries” and other measures should have the same effect, too.

    If all Conservative MPs were like John Redwood, UKIP probably wouldn’t exist – it wouldn’t be needed; as it is, we need either a more democratic Conservative party or UKIP to do that job for it.

  70. Socrates
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    John, I think that the beginning of your third paragraph says it all. The Agenda is ceasing to be anything to do with the British Government, more and more our orders are handed down by Brussels. A lot of Tories like you know this but sadly a larger number of voters have worked out that regardless of the good intent of those stalwarts, the tide of control keeps turning away from our Government. When push comes to shove the Conservative Leadership always seems t0 find a way to follow the European “Project”, whether it was John Major resurrecting the fatally wounded Maastricht Treaty or David Cameron deciding that the promised Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was no longer valid.

    The Conservative Party looks as credible on Europe as the Liberals do on Student Fees. To UKIP supporters it makes no more sense for them to vote Tory so that a Tory Government can sell them out to the EU rather than a Labour one.

    No doubt Marshall Petain believed that he was really in charge of France during the War.

  71. Robert K
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    If you were my MP I would vote for you. However, my Conservative MP is a resolute europhile, so I am not going to vote for him.

  72. Alistair M.
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    As a Eurosceptic of Good Will, I appeal to John to join UKIP instead. You would look replendent in purple. 🙂

    Seriously, thanks for the holding an open ring. But those of us (ex-Tories) over here are of the opinion that the current administration policies are ultimately disasterous for this country.

    Of course we prefer you to Labour. But we don’t prefer you to labour by a great amount. We think you’ll take us to hell by the scenic route rather than direct. We’d rather not go there at all, thank you. If that means depriving the Conservative party of power at elections, in the hope that we can coerce you to something more robust, then so be it.

    Sorry. You’re a decent sort. But this is war.

  73. Merlin
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    John, UKIP is now after Thursday the third party in British politics. We are growing all the time and at party conferences our membership is increasing unlike the Conservative conferences where it is decreasing rapidly, join us John you know it makes sense. UKIP the party which puts Great Britain first and the fastest growing political party in Great Britain.

    Reply: The Independents came third on Thursday, not UKIP.

  74. REPay
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    The real enemy is the fiscally incontinent, spend, spend, spend Labour Party. Only the Tories can stop them. Most of the Lib-Dems should be in the Labour Party. UKIP’s only role is to help Labour win next time around.

  75. Nick Brazil
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Whilst it is true that UKIP have yet to cross the Rubicon of gaining a parliamentary seat, I think you are wrong John in asserting that it is the Eurosceptic MPs who have driven the agenda on EU membership. If it was not for the consistent pressure for a democratic say on EU membership by UKIP over the years, this would still be a non issue with the Conservative Party leadership as it was for a very long time before the party started losing large numbers of its supporters. Like Labour and the Lib Dems, the Conservatives have a very poor record of broken promises to have an in/out referendum on the EU. Contrary to what the commentariat seem to think, voters are not the fools you take them for which is why they are turning away from the three main parties in droves.

    Reply THis is just not true. Mr Cameron has not been spending this Parliament worrying about UKIP votes. He has been worrying about Conservative Eurosceptic votes in the Commons. It is we, the Conservative Eurosceptics, who have urged changes of policy, helped him move to a position where he promises us a “new relationship”, has vetoed the fiscal Treaty for the Uk and has championed no increases in the EU bduget. These are all issues Conservative Eurosceptics have raised successfully in the Commons, and backed it up with votes.

    • mike
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Your only ‘victory’ therefore was due to 250 labour votes and 53 tory….

      Your only victory… ever.

      Indeed only 53 rebels compared to the EU referendum, if anything euroscepticism appears to be waning on the back benches!

      John do you ever wonder how history will view your time as an MP? I doubt they’ll be comparing you to Cicero!

      Reply: I seem to remember we won the votes for prisoners vote, and forced through the numbers voting against Lords reform a rethink on that policy. In earlier Parliaments we won the argument for a referendum on the Euro which saved the pound. I do not recall any UKIP MPs helping us.

      • mike
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        But John it is still a pitiful contribution!

        Your argument that there are lots of tory MPs ready to take a stand simply doesn’t hold water, 53 were willing to vote to reduce the EU’s budget, hence 253 thought it should be increased!

        253 out of 306 do not agree or vote with you, and most of those 53 are only occasional rebels.

        You are a member of a Europhile party!

        Your claim that eurosceptic MPs are effective in changing policy is poppycock, it is UKIP taking 14% of the vote that is changing tory policy.

        Reply The others voted for real terms freeze in the budget. The aim is to get somewhere this Parliament – why do you never encourage us or cheer us on? We did have more voting for a referendum.

        • Mike
          Posted November 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          Because England expects…

  76. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Good post.

    I filled in my MEP list voting form recently – carefully selecting the candidates who want to engage with Europe on an issue by issues basis and ignoring those who were europhiles in a holistic way which would prevent change where change is necessary.

  77. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    All of what you say is true but if you want a Eurosceptic majority in the NEXT parliament you need to attract UKIP supporters to the Conservative Party. You will only achieve this by giving UKIP supporters some of what they fancy – not a little, but a lot. We must be aiming to claw back substantial powers from the EU; they need to be in the next manifesto and the Conservative Party needs to have 100% reliable and believable candidates backing the policy. Eurosceptics are not going to buy a pig in a poke.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted November 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Further to this, I have received a request for a donation to the Conservative Party at national letter. It includes a prepaid return envelope and a short letter from David Cameron. He suggests that I should make a donation because the Government has 3 top priorities:
      (1) A stronger private sector
      (2) Welfare that works
      (3) Schools that teach

      I don’t have any quarrel with these as objectives, but as “3 top priorities”? There is absolutely no mention of Europe.

      Mr Redwood, what do you think my response to this request should be?

  78. Winston Smith
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I respect JR for his views. Unlike most MPs, he offers suggestions to solve problems and policy initiatives. He is the most insightful MP in parliament. I also applaud his efforts to engage with the people through his blog and the open moderation policy.

    However, his tribal rants at UKIP demean him. I rarely, if ever, read a post from a UKIP supporter as he describes. Most are ex-Tories and they direct their anger at the socialist infiltration of their old Party. we have lost the blind loyalty that MPs expect from the minions in their party. Osbourne has just appointed a Labour supporter and campaigner as one of his chief advisers. The list of left-wing advisers and speechwriters amongst the Tory leadership gets ever longer. I am surprised at the attitude of JR towards potential Conservative supporters.

    UKIP will not will any parliamentary seats or councils, but they will continue to gain support and will continue to cost a left-leaning Conservative party many, many seats.

    Reply I have never indulged in a tribal rant against UKIP. I have not criticised their people or their policies. I do ask how long before their often advertised but never achieved voting breakthrough, and do ask all Euroscpetics to ask themselves why, if a majority of the country now agrees with us, we still lack a majority in the Commons?

  79. frank salmon
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    I suppose politics is about making compromises, but if you see your country going to the dogs you tend to vote for the party which most represents your views. UKIP is spot on on many of the policies which I deem necessary to sort out the economy. What UKIP needs is more support, not less, but having said that, if the Conservatives cannot absorb UKIP policies, then UKIP will undermine their chances of winning. Question. Is conservatism more about maintaining the legacy of New Labour and winning middle ground votes, or is it more about standing firm on fundamental issues and bringing marginal voters on board. It is easier to nick Labour waverers than to create new Tories, but this is really what we need to do if we are to be true to ourselves….. That way, UKIP might become irrelevant.

    Reply I think politics is about doing the right thing, and winning enough support to your cause so you have the power to do the right thing. All this bickering between different types of Eurosceptics makes it very difficult to achieve the right end.

  80. pete
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    With respect I see UKIP as almost a single issue party which makes them a long way from being ready for government. I don’t think the PCC elections are a good indicator as domestic policing is not their forte’

    At the same time I agree if they are to gain any real credibility, they need to start winning Westminster seats. Simply taking votes off the tories will only serve to let labour back in who will with their false “red lines” just let us drift further into La la Euroland – its funny how the other EZ members seem to like the labour party….

  81. Neil Craig
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    2 questions arise.

    Are the Conservatives really eurosceptic because if they aren’t voting for them isn’t voting for euroscepticism. At best it is voting to be lulled to sleep? There are certaion constituencies where the Tory MP is really eurosceptic and you have a good case however for the large majoprity it isn’t.

    Does UKIP have other policies which are considerably wiser than the other parties’which would justify voting for them? Obviously I think so – we support reducing energy costs, not pouring hundreds of billions into windmillery & “fighting catastrophic global warming”, cutting immigration, cutting regulation, broadcasting not being a government propaganda instrument, X-prizes & ending the deficit – all things which the LabConDem conglomerate clearly are actively against & which, taken together, would almost certainly get us not only out of recession but into fast growth. Admitedly the Tories sometimes make noises about about some of these but cannot credibly be calimed to be doing much.

    If you don’t vote for the sort of government you want you cannot object if we don’t get it. It is quite immoral for any Tory ever to use the “splitting the vote” argument, partly because you differ so little with the rest of the conglomerate but mainly because it is you who insist on maintaining a corrupt electoral system which distorts results and makes 2splitting the vote” a problem. You cannot honourably demand this corruption of the vote and then object when it doesn’t help you.

  82. Bickers
    Posted November 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    The problem for a traditional Tory voter like me is that the party no longer espouses the policies of one nation Conservatism. My MP, Stephen O’Brien seems to be a ‘Wet’ and so I have no choice but to stop voting for a party and MP who longer hold dear the values of Conservatism, which the rest of the World effectively bought into due to Thatcher. Of course the socialists in Europe & USA have fought back by bribing people with their own money, that of tax payers and the tax payers of future generations.

    I look at UKIP’s manifesto and weep; it’s got one nation Conservatism written through its core.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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