Coming over Christmas

 

          Coming to this blog for the festive season:

A modern fairy story,   “Dave, George and the magic lamp”

and the latest leaks from the heart of government, as we discover what Dame Lucy and Dr Roy are up to.

What else do readers want to hear about?

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50 Comments

  1. Wilko
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Assessing Govt choices as if it were a family household reveals much about which policy decisions are sensible. Margaret Thatcher communicated similar notions about Govt economics with clarity & good outcomes.

  2. Wilko
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Good ideas provide better solutions than complaints.

    Years previously, some males made their political & other comments known by writing on lavatory walls. The landlord of a pub near the Old Bailey reacted. He had 2 blackboards fixed in front of his pub urinals, with a grooved shelf holding sticks of chalk. Above was a typed note suggesting it would be more sensible to mark words on a board than deface the walls.

    The idea worked. Walls remained unmarked for months. Later, a friend noticed, someone had carefully inscribed on the wall: Where’s the (expletive deleted) chalk?

    Perfection is a moving target. Good ideas & even pursuit of excellence need regular maintenance.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Wood Street Police Station (not too far away) had a loo roll dispenser with a sticker on it “Please use serrated edge” *

      Some wag had scrawled “No. Use the paper. It’s kinder on your arse.”

      *To tear the paper of course.

  3. ian wragg
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Did youmean Dave, George and their Limp Dumbs???

    • Timaction
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      The implications to England if this current and future Governments continue to fail to take action on mass migration from the third world and new entrants from the EU of Bulgaria and Romania. The obvious consequenses on potential civil order, costs to public services (health, housing, education, congestion on our roads etc) and the job prospects of the 6.5 million British people of working age on benefits who aren’t working and specifically the 1000,000 young unemployed deprived of starter jobs by the competition and low wage economy driven by 3 million and rising eastern Europeans who are already here?

  4. Nick
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    How about when the national accounts are going to have all those off balance sheet debts included?

    It goes back to the basics. Accounts are there for the stakeholders in an organisation to gauge it’s financial health.

    MPs, yourself included are desperate to keep us in the dark over the state of government finances.

    Hence confusion over debt and deficit. Deliberate deceit or ignorance. Deceit is obviously criminal, if you’re ignorant as an MP, then one has to question why you’re spending other people’s money.

    I personally count deliberate ommission as part of the deceit. I suspect lots of MPs know that they can’t pay out, but have taken the view that they can make it someone else’s problem, or the tooth fairy will turn up, or that to tell people would result in unrest. Quite why they think that unrest later, when people can’t do anything about it is any better is beyond me.

    With the estimates at at least 6.3 trillion, based on making sure you get a high discount rate, on taxes of 0.55 trillion the state can’t pay. However its still taking money from people on the basis it can.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/section/2

    This is section 2 of the Fraud act.

    So are the government accounts a false representation? Yes – they don’t include the state pension and the civil service pension. The later being a contract. That’s false accounting

    2 Fraud by false representation

    (1)A person is in breach of this section if he—
    (a) dishonestly makes a false representation, and
    (b) intends, by making the representation—
    (i) to make a gain for himself or another, or
    (ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.
    (2) A representation is false if—
    (a) it is untrue or misleading, and
    (b) the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.

    (3)“Representation” means any representation as to fact or law, including a representation as to the state of mind of—
    (a) the person making the representation, or
    (b) any other person.

    (4) A representation may be express or implied.
    (5)
    For the purposes of this section a representation may be regarded as made if it (or anything implying it) is submitted in any form to any system or device designed to receive, convey or respond to communications (with or without human intervention).

    So given section 2 of the Fraud act, can you tell us why it doesn’t apply to government accounts?

    Remember, that the excuse, you can always legalize the fraud by changing the law doesn’t work. Since its current legislation that applies.

    The effect on most people of this is dire. Not getting a state pension or getting welfare in return is going to make them completely destitute.

    Planning on defrauding those that have saved, because they are better off. Isn’t that the same? Or have you still pulled that post?

    When you were a director of NM Rothschild, when you accepted deposits from people for their savings, did you spend it immediately, on the grounds that another depositor would be along when people wanted their money back?

    Don’t take it personally. I ask the same questions of all flavors of MPs. It’s starting to look like a consipiracy

    Reply: I have set out clearly the many liabilities and obligations of the state. I have also explained why Parliament sees the State Pension scheme as a pay as you go one, just as the NHS is pay as you go, though of course there are huge forward liabilities for future health care for residents here. On the other side of these large future liabilities is the stream of revenue from future taxation.

    • Gary
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      “when you
      accepted deposits from
      people for their savings,
      did you spend it
      immediately, on the
      grounds that another
      depositor would be along
      when people wanted their
      money back?”

      Ah, the basis of the fractional reserve banking. That is exactly how it works.Everyone is promised full access to their money at all times, even though a tiny fraction is actually in reserve.

  5. Bill
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Give us two long-term scenarios: (a) Labour win in 2015 and we remain in an EU increasingly run from Berlin and Paris (b) Conservatives win by a small majority with Cameron still in charge.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Well, that’s the same scenario isn’t it? Might be better asking what the differences between these two outcomes would be – as Paul Daniels might say “not a lot”.

  6. Acorn
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Can you get the dirt on the cat fight between Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP who chairs the Commons Public Accounts Committee – currently castigating tax dodgers – and Conservative MP Priti Patel.

    (etc)

  7. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The Establishment’s reaction to the prospect of cheap energy through fracking, possibly including wrapping the whole operation with so much red tape that fracked gas is no cheaper than hideously expensive renewable power, would be informative..

  8. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    About your secret respect and admiration for your Europhile colleagues :)

    Reply: there aren’t many of them left.

    • Peter van Leeuwen
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      I know, but as a new-born “moderate” you could reverse the tide :)

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Only about two thirds of ‘em.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 9, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        At least.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      A bit like our respect and admiration for Machiavelli.

      Getting back to the modern fairy story that Mr Redwood is trailing, I would like to read about the genie being given its freedom; fat chance, I fear.

  9. Matthew
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    With Nick as Window Twankey and Vince the Wicked Sorcerer (he’s behind you!!!)

    Need to advertise for a genie though, bit short of them.

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    How about something on the duplicity of European political leaders who say they want democracy in countries in North Africa and the Middle East and at the same time are working to remove it from their own countries in the Eurozone, to be followed by the whole of the EU?

  11. Big John
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    How about why the govenment force us to pay for the CO2 scam.

  12. Big John
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Another one, is why the govenment forces us to pay for the BBC.

  13. Bob
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    “A modern fairy story, “Dave, George and the magic lamp””

    A modern fairy story? From what I hear about the modern Tory Party that just about sums it up!

  14. Boudicca
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Plans to dispose of Cameron and the other pro-EU WETS.

  15. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    The fact that the quad are away out there somewhere, miles from the Conservative Party who are being eaten by a wicked wizard called Nigel.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    There are lots of things I’d like to hear about, but here’s one for starters – why do certain newspaper editors think it’s OK to feed the British public this kind of tosh, in this article today about your colleague Owen Paterson at DEFRA?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9731057/Owen-Paterson-We-want-our-country-back-from-Europe.html

    “Having written a landmark study in Opposition on the Common Fisheries Policy he is particularly scathing about this “disaster” that is depleting our waters and driving British fishermen out of business. If the Tories were in power alone, he would be arguing for withdrawal from the CFP.”

    Then Paterson would be arguing about it with the closet eurofederalist Cameron, who having blagged his way into becoming Tory leader by pretending to be a strong “eurosceptic” then dropped the official Tory policy of withdrawal from the CFP.

    That was in June 2006, and Cameron had been Tory leader for just six months; at that time nobody was thinking about the Tories forming a coalition government with the LibDems, so their influence didn’t come into it; the change in official Tory policy was Cameron’s very own U-turn on a matter related to the EU, and the very first but of course not the last.

    Why doesn’t Cameron just come out and say that not only does he have absolutely desire to leave the EU and so escape the process of “ever closer union” mandated by the EU treaties, he also has absolutely no desire to ever repatriate any powers from the EU about anything, and therefore he has absolutely no intention of ever attempting to do so?

    • forthurst
      Posted December 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      “Defra tried to start the cull this autumn, only to postpone it until next year when the NFU pointed out that the badgers were going into hibernation.”

      Wonderful. What else don’t they know about?

  17. Jon
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    The three wise men brought gold frankincense and myrrh to the enlightened one. I’m thinking perhaps only one of them was wise.

    What three gifts would you give the PM and the Chancellor. A Milton Friedman passage? A gas heater? A redrawn Aid map?

  18. Barbara
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know how to answer this one, can only hope we get more honesty next year, and tell it as it really is. I’m not so sure the Conservatives will now succeed in 2015, we seem to be having silly bills coming forward taking up serious time, like the ‘gay marrige’ bill. We can do without it. Again we need to see why we are accepting ‘green taxes’ as the rest of Europe don’t seem to have them, why us? The never ending foreign aid bill, which we’ve been informed is our moral duty, since when? I did’t think we had a ‘moral duty’ to other countries, do they have a moral duty toward our poor? Just think of those forced to use food banks this Christmas, or cold through lack of funds for house heating, probably through hiked up bills from the ‘green taxes’. Yes, we have plenty to think about this Christmas and 2013, perhaps thinking of those at the bottom of the pile, who have been demonised, had severe cuts, and to think these are our fellow citizens. I shall be thinking of them as I eat my Christmas dinner, some how it does not seem so palitable.

    • Bob
      Posted December 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t they just put the gay marriage proposal into their manifesto for the next election and see how the voting public feel about it?

  19. Single Acts
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Proposals to simply extinguish gilts bought with QE and the inflationary implication in your view

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 9, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      The point being that there is no practical or ethical way to simply extinguish the new money which was used to buy the gilts, the ca £375 billion put into circulation not just in this country but around the world.

      I would also like to hear when MPs are going to start insisting that they must be properly consulted beforehand on these matters, not just presented with one fait accompli after another by the Chancellor.

  20. Richard1
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Energy policy. This is an increasingly interesting area. According to Nigel Lawson there are c. 35,000 shale gas fracking wells in the US but only two dozen or so trials in Europe due to Green policies and prejudices. For 20 years or so anyone who questions the theory of man-made global warming has been vilified as being a denier of science. Those few scientists who have bravely expressed doubts have been accused of being mad or in the pay of Big Oil. Who knows what the truth is, time will tell – but those greens who claim the science is on their side are also evangelists for the manifestly absurd and economically (and environmentally) destructive policy of wind farm subsidies. In the latest and most bizarre manifestation of this, taxpayers are to borrow yet more money to pay for wind farms in Africa. This debate is coming to a head. Green policies in the UK and Europe are clearly now holding back competitiveness and holding up domestic energy costs. Yet the evidence for catastrophic consequences of man made global warming as forecast is proving very thin. This will be a real issue at the next election. Conservatives need to put some clear blue water between themselves and the fanatical greens of the Labour and Lib Dem parties. It needs to start happening soon.

  21. Electro-Kevin
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    My brother used to drive special needs teenagers in a mini bus and was given a seat at the panto they were attending rather than spend two hours sitting in the car park.

    When it came to the interminable bit where the audience was shouting “It’s behind you !” Buttons asks of the audience “Well WHY didn’t yew TELL me ???”

    One of the teenagers got to his feet and shouted “But we did F*%@ING tell you !”

  22. Alan Wheatley
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    What do I want to hear about – what a generous invitation.

    Well, there are a myriad of issues, but the coming of the New Year would be a good time to think about new beginnings, and to step back from specifics and consider the big picture.

    And the big picture I am thinking about is the direction of travel and future of the UK. It seems to me that for the last hundred years or so the UK has been navigating a path through events determined elsewhere and by others. The objective, though objective is hardly the right word, has been one of managed decline. So now the UK finds itself as a bit player in a continental European ideological fantasy. And worse, for with substantial nationalistic fervour there is the distinct possibility of the end of the UK.

    So what is to be the direction of travel? Is it to be more managed declined with England, Scotland and Wales nations of the EU: I am not sure what happens to Northern Ireland and, indeed, all the special territories? Or is there to be an end to decline and a resurgence of the UK as major state, probably with the Commonwealth as fellow travellers with whom we can share ideas, expertise and enterprise to the benefit of all?

    What we need is a leader with the vision to see where to go, the talent to forge the path to take us there and the charisma to be followed. In the meantime it would be good to consider and decide upon the objective.

    • Bob
      Posted December 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

  23. Epigenes
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    1. How about the question of how much government is needed; Defense, Law and Order, Criminal Justice, Monopolies & Mergers, Strategic Planning, Tax Collecting, some Regulators and administrative functions? This list is not exhaustive but not much more is needed, imo.
    Return others to the private sector (health, education,) and regulate them and abolish the rest.

    2. What about changing to the Swiss system where all major policy decisions are made by plebiscite?

  24. iain gill
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    why don’t you apply your financial analysis skills to the plight of single homeless people living on the streets? it strikes me that we could afford to stop them freezing this Christmas? some caring conservatism?

    • Bob
      Posted December 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      I cannot imagine why anyone would choose to live on the streets when government and local authorities are obliged to provide warm dry accommodation, food and money to anyone who needs it.

      You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

      • iain gill
        Posted December 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        your facts are wrong

        • Bob
          Posted December 10, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          @iain gill
          “your facts are wrong”

          How can a fact be wrong? It’s either a fact or it isn’t.

      • sm
        Posted December 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Bob,

        The simple answer is most people ‘would not choose the streets’ its usually because of circumstances they find themselves in a catch 22.

        There are wrinkles in the system.

        Your faith in local authorities is touching, holding them to obligations is another thing i suspect – its priorities plain and simple – now explain away the homeless. They are people and government is about representing the people not the interests of private fiat debt based lenders.

        Lets create some debt free fiat and distribute it equally to pay down debt. That way the debt is extinguished in a reasonably equitable way. We should also move reserve requirements up at private banks, wait a little , rinse and repeat. Say in 60 bn tranches £1000 per person.

        How about it Mr Redwood , invite Steve Keen for a diary appointment?

  25. Barbara1
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Slightly theoretical, but I would like to see a discussion of what MPs can actually achieve on behalf of constituents on national matters, as opposed to constituency problems.

    My MP is very good at replying quickly to acknowledge correspondence, but I am not quite sure when she says she will be ‘looking into it’ what exactly, as a backbencher, her powers are.

    Is it easy, for example for a humble backbencher to gain ‘face-time’ with a minister? If so, would their discussions be minuted, or is it more likely to be a snatched ad-hoc word in a corridor, if they’re lucky? Would the minister care, or would s/he see it as a temporary nuisance? Is a written question only appropriate for certain things?

    PS
    Rather a lot of Barbaras round here all of a sudden, so I am becoming Barbara1 !

  26. Alte Fritz
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    How to win friends and influence people.

  27. Richard Hobbs
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the opportunity to suggest topics.
    I respect your views and would like your thoughts on the very vexed question of frozen pensions. So many British pensioners now living abroad, especially in countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, having paid NI contributions whilst working in the UK, find their UK State pensions frozen at the rate extant when first issued. The unfairness is exacerbated because those living in many other countries are not frozen. A good example of blatant unfairness concerns those living in Canada & USA. Only a border makes the difference. The pensions of those living in Canada are frozen, whilst those living in USA are not. I could go on!

    I might also mention that these people form the biggest age group for use of Health Services and are saving the UK taxpayer a great deal of money by living abroad. Over the past 4 years, like everyone else, they have found the diminishing value of their pension has been reduced further by the significant fall in the value of the £.

    I know this because my wife and I fall within the category, have been suffering a significant reduction in income and all that goes with it.

    Many thanks for your blog. I worry when I see what is going on in the UK these days and am glad that there are people like you who are not afraid to stand up for Britain

  28. MajorFrustration
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Get to the bottom of MPs expenses once and for all
    Ensure that UKBA is fit for purpsoe and until such time immigration halted
    Stop silly bills like Gay Marriage and Votes for Prisoners
    Start reducing the deficit – not just talk
    Politicians to stop using silly expressions such as “I/we have made it clear”
    Pass legislation that allows all over 60s to live abroad with their UK earnings taxed only in country of residence and any currency risk covered by UK government as an offset to prospective NHS costs.
    BBC to lose license fee
    Dream on

  29. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Georgey Porgie, pudding and pie,
    Is Spending too much money and destroying the Conservative Party’s economic credibility.

  30. David Langley
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    The thing government must do next year is stop wasting time. Time is our biggest enemy, there is never enough of it and anyone wasting it is very foolish. This government is squandering it and appearing foolish and lacking direction. The Conservatives are already aware that as the time for the next election comes nearer their chances of winning appear slimmer as their waste of time is becoming catastrophic to their chances of re election. By picking on small wins on irrelevant policies that in some cases arouse ire in the population they are fiddling while time burns. Events are dragging the government off course and the government appears weak and unable to manage the inevitable effects of this. Therefore my message to you John is like a Master to a servant or a mother to a child or a boss to an employee, “Stop wasting my time”, get on with the big things that is what you are supposed to be doing. You know what they are!

  31. Alan Wheatley
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    If you want a nice big topic that can be addressed in a neutral way how about musing on the apparent paradox that as transport and communications have become increasing easier and more world embracing there is increasing pressure for peoples to split themselves into smaller identity groups.

  32. Alex Kitchen
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Can you explain and explore the pros, cons and practicalities of the introduction of a flat UK tax rate of 20% and even more importantly how can we successfully re-build our fading Manufacturing Industry.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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