The tragedy and the opportunity for those of us who want an independent democractic UK

 

          The BBC/Labour strategy up to this point has been to create UKIP as a new SDP. The left now thinks they were out of power in the 1980s and most of the 1990s owing to the split in Labour and the emergence of Labour light. Mr Smith and Mr Blair eventually got them back into power by moving Labour more towards the SDP to make it electable. What better, they think, than to help stimulate a massive split in the Eurosceptic forces, so they can have Lib/Lab  governments busily allowing the EU to complete its take-over of our country.

           This week’s Council results should give them pause to think again about this strategy. It has worked in the sense that giving more airtime and support to UKIP as a political force has helped them speak up for many voters who do not like the current situation. It has set Eurosceptic Conservative against Eurosceptic UKIP brilliantly. However, it now turns out that UKIP has been able to garner more of the popular vote in the seats they contested than is comfortable for either Labour or the Lib Dems. UKIP has shown an ability to take some votes from the left, and to persuade former non voters to vote, in a way which has also damaged the two parties of the pro EU  left as well as the Conservatives. Mr Miliband would be ill advised to deny the British public a referendum now, as he scrambles to get up to just 30% of the popular vote.

          From here there is all to play for for all the main parties and viewpoints. The Eurosceptics have shown that if you add the UKIP vote and the Conservative vote they have the majority. Can they find a way at last of translating that into power, to  change the EU relationship as we wish? Or can the left ensure the splits in Eurosceptic opinion get more bitter , so the Conservatives end up  by winning fewer seats, leaving the  field open for Labour? Could Labour succeed in  winning a General Election  whilst polling less than 30% of the popular vote? It would be rash to rely on that. Labour has to think about how it can change on issues like migration, dear energy, extradition and the underlying problem of the EU.

          As someone  motivated to seek a better life for UK people I want to get the UK out of the centralising bossy ill directed government of the EU that currently damages us.  I am not sure whether to cheer or to weep at the last results. The optimist in me says at last people have spoken in greater numbers, to tell all the political parties they want a say on the EU and they deeply resent EU policies on borders, crime,energy and welfare, to name but a few. Surely now we Eurosceptics can weld this mood into a political force for change?  The pessimist warns me that UKIP and the Conservatives may continue to attack one another to the point where they let Labour in, as some on the left anticipate.

         If Eurosceptics are to seize the opportunity in these latest figures, two things need to happen. The Conservative leadership has to start rectifying the problem now, despite the Coalition. They have plenty of backbench MPs keen to do so. They need to act, not just to talk about acting. UKIP for its part has to use more moderate and friendly language about Eurosceptic Conservatives, seeing us as part of the solution, not wrongly defining us as the problem. We do have votes in the Commons, which is where we need them to change the UK’s relationship with the EU. UKIP still has none.

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174 Comments

  1. John of Enfield
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Farage put the situation quite brilliantly the other day.

    I paraphrase:-

    Cameron is pushing Windmills, Gay Marriage and Overseas Aid & the electorate is worried about Immigration, Energy Prices, Electricity brown outs, removing terrorists from the UK, the UK debt & the cost of the welfare state, in no particular order.

    In so far as the EU prevents us solving these problems then the EU IS the problem. But it is these immediate problems, and the way the coalition is not addressing them head on, that are at the forefront of evrryone’s mind.

    UKIP are benefiting from the fact that not one of the major parties is identifying clearly with these issues and committing to solve them. That the BBC conspires to avoid sensible discussion on these issues adds immensely to my personal frustration.

    • Hope
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      First, call an in/out EU referendum. The lib dems and labour will not support. It will not matter because come the 2015 general election they would have no where to go. People would not vote for them.

      Second, call Ed Davey’ bluff and debate the ridiculous economic lunacy of the current energy policy and what DEC is up to. It is destroying industry that depends on energy and will place millions of people in fuel poverty. Highlight how he put an 18 month moratorium on shale gas- the UK cannot afford to wait for cheap energy the world is passing us by.

      Third, the EU is trying to destroy our main source of income, banking. The EU is jealous of London and will try to bring the UK into line by brininging it to its knees economically.

      Fourth, the ECHR is now treated with utter disdain by the public. Change the heads of the judiciary ASAP and sack Teresa’s May. It would also help to get rid of Ken Clarke and other EU fanatics that are costing us a fortune.

      Fifth, Heseltine’s plan brings in the EU plan of regional assemblies by another name and Osborne is endorsing it(81 of the 89 recommendations). No more EU plans by stealth where UK politicians are prepared to take the flak not to give up the EU project. Osborne claims no link when he twitters a picture of clowns. Based on his appalling record to date as a strategist and chancellor he needs to look no further than his mirror to see why he might be viewed the same as he portrays others.

      • Morvan
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Quite right, and an excellent explanation of why voting Conservative will never bring about the end that we desire. I must admit that I did not expect Mr Redwood to use the old hoary chestnut that a vote for UKIP means letting in Labour. That one had whiskers on it when I was a lad – before Redwood was born. (Liberal Party in those days.)

        If we cannot get a rejuvenated Tory Party – minus the wets – or a UKIP government, then a very short lived Labour government is the better option by far. We have listened far too long to the lies emanating from CCO and the Conservative front bench to put any faith in any promises they issue only to quietly forget them after the election.

        • The PrangWizard
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:37 am | Permalink

          You might say that voting Tory did bring in a Labour government.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, the time for more mucking about and deception is past.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Spot on John!

      Tad

      • alan jutson
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        seconded.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Precisely. Perfectly put, and the BBC’s position on these issues is indeed absurd, totally biased, unscientific and pathetic. Not to mention their absurd “forced equality by government decree” agenda.

    • Timaction
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      This comment is spot on. I feel sorry for Mr Redwood, Mr Carswell and similar right minded MP’s. Unfortunately you have a social democratic leader who has publically stated he cannot ever see a time when he would support an exit from the dreaded EU but claims he will renegotiate terms. A position not too dissimilar to the Browns announcement in advance of the sell off of the nations gold reserves! He appointed Hutton to reform pensions, Clarke to his Cabinet, Heseltine as a special adviser and Patten to the BBC. His actions peaks for himself. On the EU he simply cannot be trusted. Immigration, energy policy, welfare etc etc have all been ceded by successive LibLabCon by stealth and without mandate from the people to the EU. Thanks to a large extent to Mr Farage and UKIP these lies and falsehoods have been exposed. Still it only costs us £53 million a day for “ever closer union” before another £9 billion annually to administer its laws and directives! Huge costs for a £50 billion annual trade deficit. Haven’t heard the 3 million jobs a t risk baloney in a while from the Europhiles.

      • Morvan
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Timaction

        Why do you feel sorry for Mr Redwood, Mr Carswell and similar right minded MP’s? They have the remedy staring them in the face. If they really had the courage of their convictions they would have jumped ship ages ago. A couple of good apples in a barrel do not reverse the putrefaction of the rest.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        A position not too dissimilar to the Browns announcement in advance of the sell off of the nations gold reserves!

        Indeed.

        He appointed Hutton to reform pensions, Clarke to his Cabinet, Heseltine as a special adviser and Patten to the BBC. His actions speak for him. On the EU he simply cannot be trusted.

        Indeed again.

      • Dan
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        You feel sorry for MPs who put their party and their career before their principles?

    • Chris
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      John of Enfield – what a wonderful example of Nigel Farage’s ability to get straight to the core of the matter and to express it so simply. I don’t think there is another UK politician who has this skill. Sadly many are so used to spin and having to toe the party line that they have forgotten how to speak honestly and openly, and most importantly they have forgotten that they are supposed to be working for, and representing the views of their constituents. Too many are concerned with how to win, and keep power, at all costs.

      David Cameron is going to learn the hard way, but he will be insulated from the worst effects and presumably go on like Blair to greater and more lucrative things. The EU will ensure that no devotee will go unrewarded. The ones who will suffer are the people of this country until they have a leader who is strong and bold enough to fight for our sovereignty and yes, make Britain a thriving, prosperous and proud country again. We are slave to the EU at the moment and will continue to have our chances of growth and prosperity stifled as long as we are saddled with this political dinosaur.

  2. Ken Adams
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Well yes it is a shame that you elected a leader who turned his back on his core vote and took the party in the wrong direction, and it would be preferable if those few anti EU conservatives could do something to rectify the problem. Unfortunately even EU sceptic Tories such as yourself do not seem to have got the message, we do not believe anyone can renegotiate a partnership with the EU that is acceptable, it will end up as fudge the EU is not about to reverse 40 years of work just to please Mr Cameron. We therefore see the whole idea of a renegotiation and then a referendum as political manoeuvring in order to keep this country in the EU. So you are not actually a voice for EU scepticism but a vote splitter because your party wants to remain in.

    Farage has already said he would deal with a new leader but not this one as he does not trust him, a point you know to be the case otherwise none of you would be talking about a mandate referendum which has only one explanation to show Cameron cannot back out of a referendum commitment, so essentially the idea of legalisation or a mandate referendum is because you have a leader who cannot be trusted on this subject, therefore he will do everything he can to keep this country in.

    • A different Simon
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      The Conservatives have the same problem Labour has .

      Neither have even one credible candidate for leader and the present incumbents are worse than useless and have done massive damage to the UK and Boris is not the answer either .

      There is only one person in British politics today who comes anywhere near close to being the leader the UK needs .

      The Conservatives ought to do a (transfer) deal with UKIP and appoint him .

      As far as Conservative head office is concerned he is the new “F” word (etc ed).

      • Hope
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Peter Lilley and Owen Patterson are very capable of doing Cameron’ s job with their eyes closed. The Tories will need to carefully weed out the EU fantastic s as they learnt to get rid of PMs like Maggie and learnt from Major how to deceive their party and the public about their true intentions. Cameron has to go with all his clones if the Tories are to stand a chance of making a distinction between them and Labour.

        Lib Dems are history, good policy decisions will see them without any support. People forget that when Clegg went into the second TV debate to discuss immigration, defence etc his vote plummeted. Lib Dems got less of the vote and fewer MPs at the last election. If Clegg had not gone into coalition the Lib Dems would have a change of leader by now. Cameron used the Lib Dems for his agenda of changing the Tories and disguising his true pro EU stance. Ably supported by his EU clones. Now who has the backbone in the Tories to rid him on the party?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      You’re so right Ken. Cameron wears a coat of many colours. He says he’s Eurosceptic on the one hand, then says Britain’s best interests are served by being in the EU. To my mind, the two positions are mutually exclusive.

      Tad

    • Disaffected
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      40 U-turns and failed guarantees and JR might get the general gist of what we think about Cameron. He is beyond the Brown line of not being trusted or believed. Clegg beat him to the post first, but Cameron got there in the end. Closely followed by Osborne, Clarke and Letwin. Heseltine already waiting at the finishing line to welcome them in.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Quite a level-headed analysis, Mr. Redwood. The election result certainly spells trouble for all establishment figures. UKIP put a stake in Tory euro phials hearts, & you really ought to thank them as your determined efforts have not achieved that. Your party must immediately (& this is the absolute minimum) jettison Kenny. As the song goes, with regard to the Clowns, “…they’re here”. Nigel Farage cannot work with a Clown that called us every vile name in the book; in politics to call us “racists” was equivalent to dropping the A-bomb. You know there is NO coming back from that for the PM. To attempt to conciliate UKIP the traitor/main-chancer will have to GO. Full-stop. Until then you & all the Tory MP’s are the Clowns; hostage to the delusions of the “cameroons”. You are “camerooned” on Island Nowhere. Get out the daggers & have done with this wretched traitor. The Ides of March have long since passed!

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      No so much “turned his back on his core vote” as that Cameron turned round and kicked them all in the teeth. First by ratting on the referendum, then by throwing away the last election. Finally by proving to be an over tax borrow and waste, pro EU, quack green energy, over regulate everything, Heath/Major type who think Ken Clarke and Lord Patten should be given jobs. Thus making the needed UKIP deal far harder to achieve. This as he calls them and their many supporters fruit cakes & closet racist and he clearly cannot be trusted on anything whatsoever.

      He is clearly an EU ratter, quack green, big state, high tax socialist, who thinks calling people racists when they are clearly not is clever.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Cameron quite obviously thought that giving UKIP a good kicking was an easy cheap point-scorer. The remarks that Cameron made about UKIP reinforce the opinion that many people already have for our “manager”. Utter contempt. He needs to go if the Tory Party are to have any hope of conciliating UKIP.

  3. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    John, I worked myself into the ground for my County Councillor and gave aid to another sore-beset in the days before the election. My Councillor got back in with a much-reduced majority. UKIP were second, the other ward went to UKIP. People want a conservative/centre-right government but just don’t trust the Tory Leadership any more. I don’t trust the Tory leadership anymore. You highlight the need for policy changes. Such changes will never happen while the modernisers are allowed to run the show. The answer is in the hands of the Parliamentary party,and if they don’t move quickly, there won’t be a voluntary party to support them.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Amen to that Kevin!

      I used to do one of the most unenviable jobs at election time, and man the ‘phones, calling people to cajole them to turn out to vote. And I did it because I wanted what I thought the party stood for. Alas, it doesn’t stand for those things any longer, and thus I am no longer prepared to canvass for them. I dare say many more of us have a similar story to tell.

      Tad

  4. lifelogic
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Indeed finally cause for slight optimism as you say:- “The Conservative leadership has to start rectifying the problem now, despite the Coalition. They have plenty of backbench MPs keen to do so. They need to act, not just to talk about acting.” So can Cameron finally change his spots again, back to what he pretended to be while seeking the leadership of the party?

    Can the BBC ever become more neutral on things like the EU, quack green energy, tax borrow and waste, over regulation the absurd enforced equality agenda, the reality of how the undemocratic UK and EU are actually ruled? Unlikely under Cameron’s choice Lord Patten and his choice Lord Hall – Keble College, Oxford, PPE I note with some dismay. Hopefully Oxford PPE was not such a bad sign in the early 70s as it is now. What the UK needs is more Cambridge Physicists and Engineers, more PPE graduates and endless lawyers and needed like a hole in the head.

    • Credible
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Why do the physicists and engineers have to be Cambridge graduates?

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        They certainly do not have to be Cambridge graduates, just sensible, numerate, determined and preferably not Oxford PPE think graduates. Lots of sensible ones coming from India I see.

        • Credible
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

          I would certainly hope that a physics or engineering graduate should be numerate!
          I’d have thought that what they do have to be good at is physics and engineering!
          But if being sensible and determined is more important, then lets set up some Sensible And Determined (SAD) degrees.

  5. Old Albion
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    John, whilst in general i agree with the thrust of the points you make. This article shows up everything i hate about politics.
    Political parties dancing around in all and any direction in order to get power is all MOST politicians are concerned with.
    When they should be concerned with acting upon the wishes of the people they are supposed to represent.
    It’s the adversarial nature of the (dis)UK system that lets us down and has done throughout my lifetime.

  6. Julian
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    The problem is not the BBC and Labour, it’s the Conservative Party. After the last election I felt it was really important that Labour was kept out of power for a good long time while the economy was sorted out. Now, I’m not bothered if Labour get in in 2015. The Tories have failed to improve the economy, they will have borrowed more than Gordon Brown, there is still huge waste in government and Cameron is clearly convinced we should stay in Europe, insomuch as he believes anything. Labour would do worse in some respects but better in others. Maybe the Tories need the shock of losing another election to make them start paying attention to what the voters want.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      I hear you Julian, but how many shocks does it take to resuscitate a patient? They’ve had four already, and that’s just General Elections. Sometimes, they just won’t respond – and die.

      Tad

    • libertarian
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Julian

      Spot on.

      Large numbers of the small amount of people that even bother to still vote are so fed up with the whole outdated undemocratic tribal game playing of our laughably called “elite” that they couldn’t care less which of the social democratic government for governments sake parties get elected.

      I know for a fact that one of our local Conservative Councillors is a life long labour party supporter and voted Labour at the last election. Only way to get on the local gravy train was to wear the right colour rosette. Bit like a local MP parachuted into one of the safest Tory seats in the country who up until picked for Dave’s A list was a Labour party member. Weren’t you Helen?

      So who cares which of them get in, they have no connection with the public, no solutions to the countries problems and no leadership ability.

      In light of that I will continue to vote UKIP as that label reads to me “none of the above”

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Redwood when the folks that loath Labour write that they “are not bothered” if Milliband replaces this PM it’s your final wake up call. OFF WITH HIS HEAD!

      All of your political activity should be focused on replacing this PM. The next must be a proper Tory. The next PM must call for the In/Out by next year. This are the FACTS of life. You must dare to come out in open opposition to Cast Iron. You must be bold to slay this dragon & be an English Hero!

      • Morvan
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Christopher Ekstrom

        You are assuming that he actually wants to slay the dragon. He has had numerous opportunities and muffed every one to date. Just like Tebbit, Hannan, et al.

        They are ‘paper tigers’.

      • Dan
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Not a chance.

  7. M Davis
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Nigel Farage has stated that he would not be willing to work with David Cameron but that he could or would be willing to work with Boris Johnson. Maybe that is worth pursuing.

  8. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I wonder why politicians ever thought in the 1980’s that all would be well if we let Germany swallow us up at last. There are those who believe that ww1 and ww2 ended with those battles , but the warring goes on allbut in different forms .The resistance I have felt towards myself over the years simply does not add up to jealously from a few, it is a far more structured and cascading obstruction that feeds into every aspect of my life. The twists and the turns and the lies which have been manoeuvred to keep me down , not let my voice be heard ,or only let me speak out of context is a continuous battle .

    In the 1980’s many small businesses were brought down, money was taken out of properties, marriages were split and individuals from that split were faced against a power which would be consistent with control. It is also the decade where State Registered Nurses were not informed as their State registration was’ sold off’. The once British direction we were all taking was being worked against. We were up against a wall of Orwellian prophesied shiny magazines, cheap alcohol, drugs, a changing media, yet echoes of controlling voices filtered through. This barrage of sludge against Brits was accompanied by jibes and assertions that we were’ marching towards something’ or we better keep a ‘stiff upper lip’ . There was irony in this , however the structured warmongering was insidious , cruel and twisted the truth without cessation . The dinosaur remarks poured in. It was abuse filtering down and persuading those who were unknowingly victims of suggestion, to follow a train of thought. Of course more abuse continued , with challenges of paranoia when pressed for the truth. When proof of a reversal was presented , the powers that be did not want to know. Where did all this originate ? I believe that the breaking down of our state and country has been methodical suicide ,with those in power who have not been perceptive enough to see what was happening as they got what they thought was their own way. This is in fact Europes’ way. The third way.

  9. Wat Tylers Ghost
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    So much rot in what you wrote.
    “It has set Eurosceptic Conservative against Eurosceptic UKIP brilliantly” – there might be some Euro-sceptics in the Tory Party but it is NOT a Euro-sceptic party, however UKIP is.

    “UKIP for its part has to use more moderate and friendly language about Eurosceptic Conservatives” – It’s Conservatives who need to learn manners when addressing UKIP – their behaviour has been that of ignorant, privileged toffs. While both of the two faces of supposed sceptics like Daniel Hannan are best ignored.

  10. JimF
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I do sense that you have moved with this posting half way from where you were to where you could and should be. For that we here should be giving at least one cheer.

    1 Your correspondents here have spent a few years now not knowing whether to weep or cheer when they hear about referenda promised then denied then half promised. For referenda also read -sensible economic policy, sensible industrial policy, sensible tax policy…. well you know the rest.
    2 You overstate both the BBC propaganda and the Eurosceptic split cases here. The oxygen of publicity has actually pushed both UKIP and the reason for UKIP into the limelight. That this opens up wounds already present in the Tory party is a healthy sign. It means this issue is nearer to being resolved aka Cameron being replaced, the Coalition being out of business and a UKIP-Tory deal. Although that might be grist to the BBC s mill it will give you the outcome we both want, and what the electorate seems to want- the replacement of the LibDems with UKIP with 10-15 MPs and a mandate of 20%+ vote.

    Therefore in the words of a good lady you need to rejoice. South Georgia has effectively been taken in this battle.
    1 We should be grateful that somehow we have secured publicity for the cause this week

  11. Electro-Kevin
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Unthinkable though it may be we have to put to one side the possibility that Labour may get back in power.

    We don’t like the centrist Conservative party either. We had to hold our noses when we last voted for it. Why should this be the state of democracy in Britain ? Where vast swathes of people are marginalised and then disenfranchised for holding quite ordinary views but are told that they are being simplistic, bigoted, racist, loopy. Should we vote for ever like this just to ‘keep Labour out’ ?

    This breakaway rift is not the BBC or Labour’s doing. It is entirely the NuCon’s fault. They do not like their core voters – this is very clear.

    Where is Mr Cameron’s apology for his insult to ordinary people desperate for representation ? Where is his praise for the British people (on the right at least) for rejecting extremism and the BNP and despite what amounts to outright provocation from him and the Left ?

  12. Andyvan
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    If only Dave had an ounce of credibility UKIP either wouldn’t be doing so well or there could be a pact. Sadly, however, almost nobody outside the Conservative party, and few inside it, believes a word he says. His policies are virtually indistinguishable from Red Ed, all his promises have either evaporated or been reversed and his lack of real action on the huge problems this country faces is amazing. Get a Conservative to lead the Conservative party and maybe things will change but with Dave and sidekicks in charge there is no hope except that UKIP destroys the Tory party completely.

  13. MickC
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    “Having a vote in the Commons” is all well and good, but it is irrelevant if it is not, or cannot, be used to get the UK out of the EU.

    At present either Tory backbenchers are achieving nothing-and do not have the guts to. They cannot even get the Tory leadership to listen to them, let alone the voters. That is why more Tory inclined voters will go to UKIP-and not come back. That is my own position, and I believe I am not alone.

    Indeed, the UKIP success seems to have frightened Tory backbenchers into blindly following the leadership more, rather than pushing for action-presumably hoping that th threat will go away, and at least clinging on until the next election.

    This is a huge mistake. Get Cameron to change his position or change him.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Mick–Agreed till the last bit but, as regards the last two words, the way I see it, it is clear what Cameron really believes and even if he changes policy his heart will not be in it so I would prefer someone else TVM. We need a new broom to sweep clean and a big broom at that.

  14. Richard1
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I think you are right to recognize that the Left and their media outlets, the BBC, The Guardian etc, are hoping UKIP will be an SDP of the right. We should remember also that the forces of Eurofederalist social democracy combined to prevent the House of Commons being made democratic by blocking the Conservative policy for fair boundaries. (the BBC played a helpful role in this conspiracy by referring to the measure constantly as something designed to help the Conservatives rather than focusing on the outrage to democracy of different sized constituencies).

    Milliband therefore only now needs 35% of the vote, whereas to get a Conservative / eurosceptic majority govt, 42%+ would be needed. The best hope is that those UKIP voters who want independence and control of the ever-burgeoning state and associated taxes and debt will not be foolish enough not to vote Conservative at a general election in seats where Conservatives have a chance to win. That’s the only way there will ever be an attempt at renegotiation or a referendum.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      We should remember also that the forces of Eurofederalist social democracy combined to prevent the House of Commons being made democratic by blocking the Conservative policy for fair boundaries.

      That’s a pretty biased way of looking at it.

      These boundary changes would have mainly favoured the Conservatives, so they were hardly fair boundaries from the position of any other political party.

      Also the Lib Dems and Labour opposed these boundary changes because the Conservatives withdrew a bill to reform the unelected House of Lords, even thought the second reading of this bill passed with a majority of over 300. So the Conservatives prevented the Lords being made democratic.

      Milliband therefore only now needs 35% of the vote, whereas to get a Conservative / eurosceptic majority govt, 42%+ would be needed.

      Yet the Conservatives refuse to implement a more proportional voting system even though according to your figures it would harm Labour more than it harms them.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Uni, the fundamental rationale behind the proposed boundary changes was simply to make each constituency a similar size..
        The changes were suggested by an independent quango, just doing its regular job of adjusting constituency boundaries after demographic changes altered the number of people living in the various areas.
        This should have happened as it has done several times before in recent history.
        The fact that this time it happened to benefit the Conservatives is irrelevant.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          This quango was proposing changing the way the constituencies were calculated by using the number of registered voters instead of the total population of the constituency; mainly because this would benefit the Conservatives.

          • Richard1
            Posted May 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            It is quite obvious in a first past the post system that constituencies should as far as possible have the same number of electors. There are no arguments against it which anyone who professes to believe in democracy could hold for a second.

      • Hope
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Drivel once more.

      • Andy
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        The Boundary Changes would make the electoral system fairer. I wish someone, such as yourself, could explain why the Isle of Wight with 110000 electors is one seat and Rhondda with 52000 is . . . one seat. Now if you block together Rhondda with Cynon Valley with 52372 that still doesn’t make 110000 ! Ditto Ogmore (55851), Aberavon (51233) and only if you block Rhondda with 52862 with Pontypridd with 60275 you get 113137. That is within 5%. And why do Scottish and Welsh and Northern Irish MPs have a say and a vote on purely English matters ? We have devolution, so any devolved matter should be only for English MPs because it is the people of England it effect, not Wales or Scotland.

        You will also find that in the Coalition Agreement there was no link between the Boundary Reforms and House of Lords reform. What the agreement says is that proposals would be brought forward for HofL reform, but it does not say they would be enacted. In the end the Conservative PP would not support what were dreadful proposals.

        • sjb
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          “I was making the point that both coalition negotiating teams that signed the Coalition Agreement were very clear that what they were committing both coalition parties to do was to actually deliver on House of Lords reform […]” – per Mark Harper, [the then] Conservative Minister for Constitutional Reform
          (link provided previously)

        • uanime5
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          Firstly the proposed boundaries were based on the number of registered voters instead of the total population of the constituency. So an area with a population of 110,000 and 50,000 registered voters would have the same number of MPs as a constituency with a population of 60,000 and 50,000 registered voters.

          Secondly non-English MPs can vote on English only laws because Parliament has refused to address the West Lothian question. Even when it doesn’t benefit them.

          Thirdly it is irrelevant whether there was a link between Boundary Reforms and House of Lords reform in the coalition agreement. The fact that the Conservatives refused to implement part of this agreement is all the justification the Lib Dems need to not implement part of this agreement.

          Fourthly the agreement made it clear that the purpose of bringing forth the HoL reform was to reform the Lords. So by refusing to enact them the Conservatives breached this agreement.

          Fifthly a large number of Conservatives did vote for this reform, though about 100 voted against it.

          Reply The issue was very disproportionate constituency sizes based on number of voters! Another classic howler.

      • Mark W
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        How fair is it that many of the rural constituencies are over 80,000 in size (115,000 Isle of Wight) and many urban are below 60,000. Or are you implying that us straw sucking retards don’t deserve equal representation?

        Assuming you won’t address that issue as your Marxist textbook doesn’t cover it, I already know the other reason the Tories have higher % of vote to win. That is that their safe seats have huge majorities and there’s no difference between winning by 1 vote as 25,000 votes.

        But constituencies should all be the same size and the pathetic labour excuse that they are established communities etc etc etc. Well in that case some of the rural Tory shires should be split into two seats as the geographical areas are massive.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          How is it fair to change the basis of constituencies from the number of people to the number of voters?

          • Mark W
            Posted May 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

            Drivel as usual.

            It is based on population. You really ought to try being wrong. You win every argument you have!! and that is not a compliment.

      • Ken Adams
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 5:29 am | Permalink

        They did not refuse they held a referendum the British people rejected it.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          The Conservatives campaigned against voting reform because they didn’t want voting reform.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

            Are you suggesting they should campaign in favour of something they don’t believe in?
            What bizarre ideas you have Uni.

          • Ken Adams
            Posted May 8, 2013 at 6:19 am | Permalink

            I think it was less dramatic, did not all conservatives have a free a free vote on the matter. They did not as you say refuse to grant a change in the law.

    • sjb
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      @Richard1
      “Fair boundaries” was blocked because the Tories failed to meet their obligation to deliver House of Lords reform. But don’t take my word for it, please read what the Conservative Minister in charge of the matter said in July 2012 (url link below).
      http://skynews.skypressoffice.co.uk/newstranscripts/murnaghan-80712-mark-harper-mp-and-jeremy-browne-mp-lords-reform

      • Richard1
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        I don’t see the connection. Of course constituencies in a first past the post system should be the same size. Anyone opposing this cannot be a believer in democracy.

    • Morvan
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      On current showing I would reckon that you stand a better chance of a referendum from the Labour Party than from the current Conservative Party – slim though that may be. Cameron will never allow a referendum while the sun rises in the east.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        I tend to agree, if he ever did it would surely be a distorted and hugely biased referendum in circumstances that he thought he could somehow win over the voters. Using the bias of all the political parties, some large industries, the EU and the BBC.

  15. Douglas Carter
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, whilst I understand your consternation, which is probably rather more than bordering on frustration with the matter, it has to be said that without the very considerable pressure from UKIP and those who have conducted a divorce from your respective Party elecorate, it’s unlikely that Mr. Cameron would be even remotely motivated to contemplate divergence from the EU direction of travel.

    There are MPs in your party who are passionately committed to precluding EU integration. There are still far too many who are not, or who believe EU integration has yet gone not far enough. In the Parliamentary culture, such candidates and MPs hold their vote as a blank cheque for any form of representation they may conduct on behalf of the constituency.

    As it currently stands, my local MP is a labour EUsceptic. The last prospective Conservative candidate for the constituency was a man who was a wholly paid-up Europhile whom I heard at hustings refer to those who were not fond of EU integration in terms which were sharply contemptuous and arrogant.

    Should that constituency Conservative Party return such a candidate again, or the same candidate, then it would be diametrically purposeless to simultaneously reward such an inappropriate appointment, and disapply pressure from Mr. Cameron? And, yes, I have written to that party constituency chairman on the matter. Reply came there none. I would suggest thirty months was sufficient time to conduct such a reply?

  16. alan jutson
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    John

    If Cameron is serious about his EU referendum Pledge, then all he has to do is call one now.

    Let Labour and LibDems vote it down at their peril if they wish, at least the voters would then know where all of the Parties stand, and at the next general election the Conservatives could at least say “well we tried to give you a referendum” it was Labour and the LibDems which denied you.

    But

    It is not all about a referendum, it is about many other things as well, including taxation, immigration, the welfare state, the NHS, pensions, the justice system, and the fact that government is now too much part of our lives.
    Remember the bonfire of quango’s, simply a damp squib.
    Remember cutting out waste ?
    Remember 80% cuts 20% tax rises ?

    The people are frustrated and getting angry, that is why all three mainstream parties are failing to gain support.

    You are right, we want our Country back !
    But the Conservatives, the LibDems and Labour have shown they do not care.

  17. Jerry
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The BBC/Labour strategy up to this point has been to create UKIP as a new SDP.

    Err sorry Mr Redwood but it was Mr Farage himself who did this, and it has not been just the BBC who followed up on Mr Farage’s comments but all news broadcasters, agencies (including the right-wings beloved Sky News…) and indeed political parties. I know it is your blog, I know that you will wish to push issues in a way favourable light for the right but please do not fail into the ways of the (hard) left – the use of half-truths or worse. In this interconnected world they will always now be found out and used against the originator.

    But to the substance of your blog; It seems to me that your otherwise excellent piece is attacking the wrong groups, if Labour win the next GE they will do so by a default (as you say, on a very low popular vote), in other words it is for both the Tories and UKIP to loose. Can both the Tories and the UKIP work together, I doubt it, judging from the last couple of days (UKIP on a roll, the Tories kowtowed), at the very least both parties will likely need to have new leaders and whilst many in the Tory party might be prepared to go down that route I very much doubt that many -if any- in UKIP will, least of all their current leader… 🙁

    As I suggested yesterday in one of your blogs, the real problem is not actually about the EU as such, this is a personal and political grudge-match that goes back to the ousting of Mrs T.

    ___

    John, edit this, delete this after reading if you like but I just need to say it;

    On a different issue, not related to the recent elections, this past week has once again shown why the media (especially the press) do need to be effectively regulated – either by industry code or legal statute – one again the last 7 days has seen people all but strung up and hung out to dry by the press not because something has been proven by trail but simply because of suspicion, not even because they have actually been charged with an offence in one case.

    • con
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Whilst sympathising with your sentiment, Savile should have been hung out to dry and probably would be today.

      If we had a stream of serious wrongful arrests I would agree with you. I can’t think of any.

      Stuart Hall seems to show that more people are prepared to come forward when there is publicity.

      This year we’ve had Savile (kept secret by the police), Huhne (innocent honest guv) and Hall. Enough to say publicity works.

      To those citing e.g. the Bristol teacher, he wasn’t accused by alleged victims, just the police who got it badly wrong.

      So having been anti the Leveson saga from the start I am even more certain that his recommendations vis a vis the law and the press, should be quietly binned.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        @con: “Whilst sympathising with your sentiment, Savile should have been hung out to dry and probably would be today.

        If Mr Savile (I refuse to use his title) was still alive he would no doubt be standing trial, would have no-doubt been found guilty (if the evidence is as suggested), he would no-doubt be spending the rest of his days doing Porridge and no-doubt doing so in solitary for his own protection – and yes the media would by then have every right to hang him out to dry. But that case is like chalk and cheese to the press behaviour I was commenting on.

        My issue is how the media assume guilt simply because someone has been arrested, it is quite possible for their to be what appears to be smoke but isn’t, never mind the presents of any flames.

        To those citing e.g. the Bristol teacher, he wasn’t accused by alleged victims, just the police who got it badly wrong.

        No, the problem was with the press, adding up 2+2 and getting 5, even had the police ‘got it all wrong’ had the media not reported until the point of actual and formal charging of the suspect who would have known outside the immediate case?… The press also hung out to dry another Bristol resident, during the Jo Yates murder investigation, because he looked “weird”.

        Oh and non of this needs to involve any of the Lord Leveson’s recommendations, there are already laws that could be amended, the media is already prevented from publishing anything that might interfere with a court case (this is why Mr Hall’s guilty plea could not be reported until after the other trail he was facing had been dropped or a verdict reached), the press making the public think that the police “have their man” can be just as damaging to a police investigation – even more so if it causes an innocent person to stand trial or worse

      • Richard1
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        The thing I find odd is the way the police are clearly tipping off the media – cameras ready to roll at the arrest of a person who is innocent until proven guilty. Its very odd the police-media relationship doesn’t seem to be questioned by Leveson.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      “As I suggested yesterday in one of your blogs, the real problem is not actually about the EU as such, this is a personal and political grudge-match that goes back to the ousting of Mrs T.”

      Maybe for some people, a few; however UKIP grew out of the Anti-Federalist League, and neither were founded in response to Thatcher being removed by the europhile wing of the Tory party but instead in response to Major agreeing to the Maastricht Treaty.

      Suppose that in an alternative universe Thatcher had been succeeded by somebody who shared her revised views on the EEC/EC/EU project – not her earlier views, but the views she developed towards the end of her tenure – and that new Prime Minister flatly refused to agree to anything like the Maastricht Treaty.

      Would there have been the same impetus for the formation of a new party with a the paramount aim of removing us not only from the EU – which wouldn’t have existed as such, of course, its establishment having been vetoed by the British Prime Minister – but from the entire EEC/EC/EU eurofederalist project?

      I don’t think so.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: “Maybe for some people, a few; however UKIP grew out of the Anti-Federalist League, and neither were founded in response to Thatcher being removed by the europhile wing of the Tory party but instead in response to Major agreeing to the Maastricht Treaty.

        Do you honestly think that Mrs Thatcher would have signed the Maastricht Treaty as it was eventually signed by Major, or even at all? What do you think her speech and “No! No! No!” comment in the House on the 31 October was all about… It was at that moment her fate was sealed (in the eyes of the “europhile wets”, she HAD to go) and her exit was played out in slow time (due to the delay in Howe giving his resignation speech, and then the Tory party leadership election rules) between the 1st Nov and 22nd Nov 1990 when Mrs Thatcher withdraw from the contest.

        Would there have been the same impetus for the formation of a new party with a the paramount aim of removing us not only from the EU

        Of course not Denis, because without the Maastricht Treaty (as it was signed) there would have been no eurofederalist project, no Euro, no “EU” – or at least as we know them today.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          Then we are agreed; except for a few, this is not “a personal and political grudge-match that goes back to the ousting of Mrs T” – as I said recently, personally I have never been a great fan of hers – it was instead a reaction to the traitorous behaviour of her successor.

  18. oldtimer
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    You description of the current political scene rings true true. Will the clash of personalities scupper the Eurosceptic cause? Or will shared aims prevail? Maybe the prospect of loss of office will concentrate the minds of those with most to lose. Perhaps the sight and sound of screeching tyres and handbrake turns will dominate our screens in the months to come. We can but hope.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    JR: “The Conservative leadership has to start rectifying the problem now, despite the Coalition.”
    No chance of that with Cameron as your leader, I fear. He is determined to keep the UK in the EU as he said so clearly in his January speech. He is not and will not be trusted on the EU (or much else for that matter- what a mistake you made electing him as leader). What little has been talked about an EU referendum so far is regarded with suspicion as being mere postioning for electoral advantage rather than being firmly held and principled.
    As for: “UKIP for its part has to use more moderate and friendly language about Eurosceptic Conservatives” – all the immoderate language, smear tactics and deliberately misleading electoral literature that I’m aware of has come from the Conservative party aided and abetted by their media pals. If you are now waking up to what you have been warned of for the past couple of years or so that is good but it needs to be genuine and you and your colleagues need to realise that your party has no divine right to govern nor to have members of parliament. Too many of your colleagues seem happy to issue their palliatives about listening whilst giving no signs that action will be taken. We are tired of the false statements and, at times, outright lies which are told. When you analyse part of the appeal of Farage it is that he answers questions clearly because he knows what he wants to see done – most MPs, including the other party leaders, haven’t a clue and just spout the current party briefings. Their lack of philosophical ownership of such briefings is often palpable. The three main parties at Westminster have virtually morphed into one and just as we want our country back from the clutches of an unelected overseas organisation we don’t want to be a one party state run by the LibLabCon party. I see no progress under you present leadership and no sign that your party will make the necessary change. It is only successful Prime Ministers who show too much euroscepticism who are kicked out of office by your party, not unsuccessful europhile ones.

  20. JoolsB
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    John,

    Those of us who voted UKIP last Thursday didn’t just vote for them because of Europe, as important as that is. If Cameron offered a referendum on Europe tomorrow, I still wouldn’t vote for him and I say that as a lifelong Tory voter/activist (no more). I voted for UKIP because to me they are now the real Conservative party offering all those grass roots abandoned by Cameron a choice of real Conservative values unlike the party calling themselves Conservative.

    I did’t give months of my time in 2010 knocking on doors just to get a continuation of Labour and that is now the problem for the Tories because people are no longer afraid to vote UKIP for fear of letting Labour in because we now see that there really isn’t any difference between Cameron’s ‘Tories and Labour and the LibDums. All pro-Europe, all anti-English. Only Farage offers something different.

    You talk about democracy for the UK John but what about democracy for England? Cameron’s Tories have betrayed England by refusing to address the English Question. Even though the McKay commission offered nothing, we’ve heard not a peep about it since, obviously now kicked safely back into the long grass. Tory MPs with English seats should be ashamed of themselves for failing to stand up for their constituents nor uttering a word of protest that only their constituents face crippling £9,000 tuition fees and are the only ones to have lost their ema, only their constituents pay prescription charges and exorbitant hospital parking charges and only their elderly constituents face £75K (and the rest) care home fees. It seems, they are perfectly happy to see 119 Celtic MPs carry on making these decisions for their English constituents when bizarrely these MPs have no say on these matters for their own constituents, those who voted for them. Cameron should never be forgiven for refusing to address the undemocratic and discriminatory manner in which England is governed both politically and financially. Why do we have to wait until the deficit is sorted to see an end to the unfair Barnett Formula, could it be Cameron cares more about wooing Scotland than he does about the rotten deal England is getting post devolution? Shamefully he and most Tory MPs with English seats (with the odd exception such as yourself) can’t even say the word England let alone stand up for it. Shafting England it seems is still a price worth paying, even to the Conservative party who rely on England for their support, as long as they can all keep their jobs in the over bloated UK Parliament.

    Only UKIP are offering to address this democratic deficit and blatant discrimination against England and that is one good reason amongst many why I will vote for them from now on. The Tories to their shame have proved they couldn’t care less about England and hold it in the same contempt as Labour.

    So you see John, not only are UKIP the new Conservative party, they are now the new English Party also.

  21. Leslie Singleton
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    One way forward is for a Eurosceptic Conservative MP – someone patriotic and noble enough (and who hasn’t made promises to the contrary) – to stand up and tell roadblock Cameron to resign and that if he doesn’t he, the MP, will himself resign and stand in the resultant by-election for UKIP. It seems to me that that would be almost certain either 1) to rid ourselves of Cameron or 2) to give UKIP its first MP. Would work even better if more than one or even all Eurosceptic Conservative MP’s were to act in concert. It would be duck soup from then on.

    • Mark W
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t be so sure they’d be re-elected. Locally an MP has a local party doing the ground work. He/she would be going against these former aides (some might jump ship if warned beforehand but not necessarily).

      Then there is what I call the David Nellist effect (Coventry south east 1992). Nellist stood as real labour against labour in this labour stronghold. From memory they polled about 10,000 ish each in the general election. The Tories took the seat with a small majority. It would be a bold move for a sitting MP to risk being re-electd by an electorate that may not follow the issue that closely and resent having to turn out to vote mid term.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Mark–A bold move is exactly what we need and whether it would work is entirely dependent on how badly the MP’s electors wanted to get out of the EU, what with its being beyond credence that they believe in either Cameron or his promises. Besides if the MP himself wanted to get out, as many do but are frustrated, it would be the right and proper thing to do. This happened all the time in days gone by when there were no career politicians whose priority these days is hanging on to their job. I like to hope that there must be one MP willing to take a risk (a small risk let’s face it–for my money it would not be long before he did win a UKIP seat) to save his country. I read that Lawson has seen the light which is good. Better late than never.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          Postscript–Just read a downbeat analysis that said that UKIP needs 25% to win its first MP. No weight given at all to the fact that 35% would see UKIP forming the next Government. My point is that there was no attempt to weigh in what percentage might finally now realise that there is a real point in voting UKIP. If that percentage were a mere 10%, perhaps unlikely but by no means far-fetched, look forward to Nigel Farage as next PM. The analysis I refer to reminded me of those Government road so-called experts who used to maintain that building a new road never ipso fact create more traffic, even when it was obviously not so.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted May 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

            Post Postscript–And now I’ve read that Cameron says he welcomes Lawson’s intervention which is the sort of unmitigated drivel that people detest. Can you begin to imagine Nigel Farage coming out with such bilge.

        • Mark W
          Posted May 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Leslie,

          It’d still be a difficult decison for an MP in a safe seat. I wouldn’t put my own job at risk and therefore I couldn’t expect to ask someone to do what I would not do myself.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted May 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

            Mark–It is your idea that an MP should regard his role as just an ordinary job that I cannot stomach. MP’s should act in the best interest of the country not themselves. The fact that this rarely if ever happens any more is just one of the reasons MP’s are not given much respect these days. On your way of looking at it nothing is going to happen for a preposterous five years and then only if we are lucky.

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    UKIP has an advantage over the Tories in that it can attract the disgruntled Labour voter. Nothing on earth would ever have got my late father-in-law to vote for the Tories – “The Tories are not for the working man”. But he probably could have been persuaded to vote for UKIP as “They want to reduce immigration so there are jobs for the English, and they don’t want all this gay marriage rubbish”. Cameron will never connect with any Labour voters, Farage stands a good chance.
    Meanwhile, following the two recent by-elections, UKIP will be able to claim that- “A vote for the Tories is a vote for Miliband” !

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Les & the Pensioner have it right! UKIP showed it attracts Labour votes. The old boys know a fruitcake when they see one: Milliband. Gay marriage could really kneecap the “conservatives” (talk about poetic justice!).

      Mr. Redwood the history books would sing your praise as long as there’s an England–& there will always be an England!–complete your life’s work & turf this awful PM!

    • Mark W
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely correct. Most labour voters I know are basically always spouting ideas that are right wing Tory. But they always see the Tories as for the rich. (Like the name Tory, old ideas die hard).

      UKIP doesn’t have the poisoned brand. If the Tories had saved themselves the effort in a seat they couldn’t ever win like South Shields its possible that a lot of the labour vote would have gone to UKIP as they wouldn’t need to worry about keeping the Tories out. Labour ought to try this themselves in Rushcliffe at the next general election.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Mark–Absolutely agree that Conservatives should get out the way in working class seats they cannot possibly win and give UKIP a chance. We wouldn’t want to split the Right wing vote would we–Sauce for the goose and all that?

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted May 8, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          Postscript–How or why on earth anybody could possibly have thought Cameron had even the remotest chance of garnering votes in somewhere like South Shields is beyond me. 100% crystal clear case of Tories spoiling UKIP’s chances and not the other way round.

  23. Peter Cartwright
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Euro-sceptic Tory MPs should press for in/out referendum Bill now so that Parliament may vote on it before 2015, even in the full expectation that the Bill will fail. The public would then know which MPs voted against the Bill and vote down the nay-sayers in the General Election.

  24. Bob
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    ” if you add the UKIP vote and the Conservative vote they have the majority”

    In policy terms I think the Tories have more in common with Labour and the Lib Dems, ( EU, gay marriage, expensive energy, lack of border control) so why not just merge all three and call it the LibLabCon Consensus Party.

    UKIP offer an alternative for people from all walks of life that are fed up with the lack of choice offered by the old establishment parties. Even Labour voters are starting to ask themselves how exactly they have benefited from Labour’s policies, especially when they see their job prospects disappearing due to the open borders policy.

  25. Sue
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “to change the EU relationship as we wish?” You still don’t get it… we don’t want to change the EU – WE WANT OUT!

    I think the Cameron and the Conservative have a damned cheek denying us what they know we have a right to. We want a fair referendum or better still, just invoke Article 50 and get us out before we crash and burn with the Eurozone. We are so heartily sick of being treated like serfs. WE WANT OUR RIGHTS RESPECTED and so far, only UKIP are offering us that. Be prepared for it to grow, we are all working hard to make this happen.

  26. Credible
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    It is not the EU that made the electoral system that doesn’t give us a say.
    It is not the EU that decided our governments have to have been educated in a handful of schools and universities.
    It is not the EU that destroyed our manufacturing base.
    It is not the EU that has given our infrastructure over to foreign ownership.
    It is not the EU that de-regulated the UK banks who caused out current mess.

  27. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    It surprises me, when people don’t see the BBC reflecting their own opinion, that they then accuse it of having some agenda, apart from just reporting what is newsworthy and giving airtime to different sides of any issue.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      The problem with the BBC, Peter, is that unlike all other TV broadcasters in the UK, it is funded by a compulsory licence fee of about £150 per year.
      And if you want to watch freeview channels other than the BBC offerings, you still have to pay the fee, on pain of imprisonment if you refuse.
      As a result of this unique position the BBC has a written charter and that charter says it has to be balanced in its output and not biased.
      Many of us feel the BBC does not meet the remit of its charter and it can be argued that it has taken up set positions on many controversial current political arguments and portrays these set positions in it output.
      So I am surprised you are surprised.

      • Mark W
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

        Personally I can’t see how the bias can be removed. It should just be open like newspapers are.

        How do we know they are biased?

        I will predict that next time Peter Hitchens is on question time he is sat at either end of the panel and not a mid seat. You see the green leader, left wing, is allowed a mid seat or if at the end permitted a monologue. I would also suggest that on a big issue subject that a panelist like Hitchens will get to answer following a diversionary question from the audience. But for now the seating position is my offering as it is very easy to measure as a fact.

      • Credible
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        I hear people on the left saying that the BBC is biased towards the right!

        Probably the BBC is biased towards average opinion on most things.

        • lojolondon
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          Tosh! Mark Thompson and Andrew Marr both admitted that the BBC has a left-wing bias. And that is in a country who’s mainstream media is so left wing it makes the New York Times look like it is run by Goebbels!

      • uanime5
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Just because people have to pay a fee that goes towards the BBC doesn’t mean the BBC has to promote the views of everyone. A TV licence does not entitle you to a channel that tells you what you want to hear.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

          Given Uni that the BBC charter actually requires it to broadcast in a balanced and unbiased manner as a state licence funded company, this is a bit of a problem for you.

        • Ken Adams
          Posted May 8, 2013 at 6:29 am | Permalink

          Perhaps you need to read the BBC Charta that bit about

          we should do all we can “to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Peter – The BBC doesn’t give airtime to all views and certainly not proportional weighting.

      Dramas and soaps all have a leftist bent to them.

      The BBC brainwashes.

  28. Acorn
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    JR you will have seen from the vote share numbers I gave you Friday morning, that UKIP had the classic England voting system problem; low density voting.

    Shire Counties are currently a slam dunk for the Conservatives. Thursday got you 44 seats for 1% vote share. UKIP got 6 seats per 1%. Even though the two parties were only 2% apart on the aggregate share; 25 Con, 23 UKIP. It needs to get all its supporters to move house into winable constituencies. Or; we could change the voting system; sorry, forgot, we tried that with the only non-EC referendum we have ever had in 2011.

    What we need now is a Westminster by-election; say, somewhere up north, Lancashire looks possible. We could spin it as the Eurosceptics-R-Us mandate referendum. The candidates won’t matter – do they ever on the back benches – we could make it fancy dress. Could be fun.

    Reply You are not using the vote cast figures but adjusted made up figures. The Conservatives polled many more votes and won many more seats than UKIP.

    • Mark W
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      UKIP would have won the parliamentary constituency of Boston and Skegness last Thursday. Political anoraks would also be pleased to know they’d have also won the former boundary constituency of Holland with Boston.

      Unless UKIP prove amateur in local government then this seat will give them an MP in 2015.

  29. Edward.
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    It just goes on and on, we want our country back Mr. Redwood, in the subtext of your blog post, I perceive your frustration but now in Britain frustration for many is boiling over into a rage.

    The first mistake.

    Cameron’s strategy Dave’s big idea post the GE 2010 was to go into government with the limp dems, he should have left it to McBruin to bumble on for another 6-12 months and thereafter won a landslide Tory majority when the country realised just how much they really hated the Labour administration of diversity Stasi of Blair, Brown and cultural Marxism.
    Cameron let them off the hook, he saw an opportunity whereby he could be seen to govern but not be really be in charge – he preferred government with the Labour party MKII and then he [Cameron] could strut his stuff on the world stage – an internationalist is all he is – hence his faux ‘green credentials’ – Dave only advocates the green guff – because it plays well to his perceived audience.

    Many people who voted Tory in 2010 had been appallingly let down – all they got in 2010 was another socialist ‘light’ government – the apparatus of the Socialist state Blair, Straw and Brown had constructed and then embedded. The whole gamut – from councils, quangos to Whitehall is still extant and in fully ‘working’ order. All backed – with strong union influence, PC and cultural Marxism pervades and rules so much so that even when thousands of people were dying through neglect and slack procedures in the NHS – nothing was done and it was carry on regardless – motto of the health unions, BMA and RCN: “the workers are more important than the patients” and ain’t that the Labour Party way?

    So three years down the line, with the Statism, corporate cronyism bankers protected and cosseted……. of the coalition in full cry and with the EU always pushed to the back of the pile.
    We are still (experience rapid inward migration-ed)
    With gas and electricity bills rising to extortionate rates and massive rises planned to combat the non existent chimera of Man Made global warming. Laughably and no real prospect even with all that ‘investment’ in renewable energy ever coping with future demand – blackouts on the horizon – nothing we can do because of rigid EU emissions targets -stupidity on stupidity – Ed Davey and the DECC plough on to unilateral industrial suicide -all with Dave’s blessing.

    Then, insult to injury because of the EU we have no say – with the threat of a further (arrival -ed) of Bulgarians and Romanians – the people have had enough of Dave’s technicolour dreamcoat of coalition cultural Marxism.

    Osborne, has made no real budget cuts, the public sector pensions blackhole is ever growing and many civil service departments are yet still recruiting. Then, we give £12.4 billion away in foreign aid, £19 billion to the EU annually waste £34 billion on quangos [EU government in the UK] and then Dave’s lot turn round to people and say “there’s no money for YOUR pension!”
    Meanwhile, the armed forces are cut to the bone – the RN is a flotilla, the police are turning into an arm of the social services and crime is going down[?] – which rather relies upon whose figures one reads.

    Is it any wonder – that people have had enough?

    Until the Tories come back to UKIP – there will be no accommodation.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Given that Cameron had the largest single party if he hadn’t allied with the Lib Dems he would likely have become the leader of a minority Government. I can’t imagine that would have made the Conservatives popular, especially if they kept losing votes in the Commons.

      Also energy bills are rising because all the energy companies are foreign owned, thus have no interested in providing cheap energy to the UK.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        Given that a large proportion of the recent increases on energy bills have been added simply to pay the subsidies for PV panels and windmills etc, this rather spoils your argument Uni.

  30. they work for us
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    John, you produce an excellent blog that allows many of us to vent our spleen. Please don’t take this personally if you were the Conservative leader, things would be very different.
    Many of us have the impression that there is a core of genuine conservatives that are viewed as backwoodsmen by the modernisers.
    MPs appointed under Cameron’s modernisation, many of them young and inexperienced of life, are in thrall and cannot/ will not disagree with the leadership even when it is so obviously out of touch. They see this as career limiting.

    It is up to Conservative associations who control significant funds that the central party relies on to pull the plug and deselect placemen MPs and replace them with local candidates who are in touch with their local electorate. Screams from Central Office should be net with “we will have our own candidate or the money stops”.

    It is time that the 1922 committee met Cameron and told him the game was up for him and Osborne. It should be circulated to the modernist placemen that support a modernist agenda would find this career limiting and might well lead to deselection. Many people feel that Cameron and Osborne don’t care because like Blair they see their posts as temporary before doing something better. David Cameron is personable and a lovely fellow but he is not the leader we need now.

  31. adams
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Defect John and be the first UKIP MP in the House of Quislings . You caused a welcome stir when you stood against J Major . Cause an even bigger one NOW . At least you will be able to sleep well at night . Your country needs you . The Con Party needs only apparatchiks .

  32. Georgina Dean
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    If only MPs where honest and true when they speak but all we seem to get is the party line instead of answering any questions that are asked of them. They always answer with 100 words where only a few would do, and skirt around what we the people want to hear. Don’t wait get us out of the EU. We all know that there is not going to be any renegotiation as that would be a failure for the EU as then other countries would also want the same.
    UKIP seems to tell it as it is which is what voters want to hear.
    Please stop keep telling us that you are listening because this phrase is wearing very thin.

  33. Tad Davison
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    We have to think about the question of diminishing turnout, and what a House of Commons might look like if those stay-away people could be enticed once more. The first question, is why are so many people turned off by the former three-party make-up in the first place?

    The answer is predictable and in tune with UKIPs own mantra, there’s not much to choose between them, and we want our country back!

    We want it wrested from the grasp of the pinkos who infest all three Westminster parties, and have given us so much pro-EU and PC nonsense, who continually tie themselves in knots, and between them, deliver so much waste. In short, we want a new direction, back to familiar and workable values. Listening to Grant Shapps and William Hague over the past weekend, it is abundantly clear, we won’t get it from the present Conservative party, and change isn’t even on the agenda of Labour or the Lib Dems.

    I am still bemused by the Parliamentary Conservative Party’s selection process. I doubt if some of the current crop of Westminster MPs would have stood an Earthly chance of ever getting selected, had we still got some of the true-blues of yesteryear at the helm. Patriotic people of substance who TRULY put Britain first, not just said they do, would have ensured only the very best people made it through, with the clear message that Heath-ites need not apply!

    People like Clarke, Howe, and Heseltine have done incalculable damage to the Tory party, and have transformed it out of all recognition, in their pursuit of greater European integration. It doesn’t speak for the people as it once did, and to stand any chance in future, that has to change. Election results don’t lie. Heath-ites won two elections in 40 years, yet a true blue won three in a row, until the Heath-ites deposed her.

    UKIP have now bridged the credibility gap on the domestic political front, and if they can get non-voters to vote, where the others fail, and then garner votes from the other parties too, Nigel Farage will have been proven right. Anything could happen, perhaps as happened in Canada where a hitherto relatively unknown party came from nowhere to fill the vacuum and responded to the call from the people.

    Their destiny is in the Tories’ own hands.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  34. Man in a Shed
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I can see the attraction of the SDP analogy to Labour, but they should perhaps remember also what happened in Canada. There is also the memory of how devolution killed the SNP, not.

    The truth is that many life long loyal conservative supporters have just been provoked beyond endurance, and that’s why were in UKIP now. For years I told myself that the tactical situation required unity on the right, but what happens when that unity just delivers the SDP(is the modernisers) into power ?

    The old Conservative party is like a marriage once one partner has mentioned the threat of divorce. Unity can never now be restored – its time to get on with the job of expelling the charlatans who have hijacked the right. It seems this can only be done by leaving for a new party, better to just get on with it.

  35. merlin
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    As a committed UKIP activist I have never been happier.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

    We now have local councillors, we will win the European Elections and become the largest single British Party in the EU.

    Finally we will get MP’s in the UK parliament, I am absolutley certain.

    If this is not progress I don’t know what is, it is simply an incredible achievement after only 20 years.

    UKIP the fastest growing political party in the United Kingdom.

    How about a bit of praise occasionally instead of constant moaning and criticism.

  36. ntropywins
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    John

    It is good to be able to see the views of someone inside the Westminster bubble and also good that those outside the bubble get a chance to comment. I think there are signs that you are becoming a little more realistic, always acknowledging that you are a member of the Conservative Party and as such you owe some duty of loyalty to the leadership. As you say “The Conservative leadership has to start rectifying the problem now, despite the Coalition.”

    My view from outside the bubble:

    1. the LibDems are a problem. I don’t know what the terms of the accord are but there is no solution whilst Clegg and co have any influence on government.

    2. Cameron is damaged goods. Farage is right not to trust him.

    3. You have on many occasions mentioned your duty to the people of Wokingham who voted for you and it is undeniable that you are obligated to them. However, you say above “As someone motivated to seek a better life for UK people…” and herein I think lies a bit of a dichotomy. Achieving a better life for UK people may mean looking at the bigger picture and acting in a way that some of your constituents would not agree with. It is clear that your view of the world is very different from that of the Party leadership. For what it is worth I do not think your Party’s leadership is acting in the best interests of the UK people whilst it remains wed to the LibDems.

    As always I wish you well and I do admire your stamina!

  37. Anthem
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    If the Conservatives want people to vote for them then they need to decide what they stand for because it seems that people want them to return to a Thatcherite type stance (ties between business and government cut, smaller government, anti-welfare and more towards individual responsibility etc).

    It is impossible to take this stance AND be a member of the EU.

    The EU should now be renamed to reflect what it actually is USSE (United States of Socialist Europe).

    It stands for business controlled by the state, big government and Human Rights which are nothing of the sort except in a socialist utopia.

    As long as the Conservatives aren’t seen to be wanting to get away from this monstrosity then it has to be assumed that this is what they now stand for and so the voters are being asked whether to vote for a socialist government who have always been socialist or a socialist government who used to be more inclined towards capitalism.

    Actions speak louder than words and by their deeds they shall be known.

  38. NickW
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Given Cameron’s obsession with gay marriage, the obvious solution is that he and Nigel Farage should publicly kiss and make up.

    Then all will be well, and they can live together happily ever after.

    Or possibly not.

    • zorro
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Definitely not……

      zorro

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      ‘Kiss and make up.”

      No. Nigel would look silly in make-up.

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party has to address the issue of lack of trust. Firstly, the Conservative Party has had 4 definitely pro-European Prime Ministers – MacMillan, Home, Heath and Major. Secondly, there are memories of the Labour manifesto of February 1974 and the subsequent referendum of 1975. In the end the ‘fundamental renogotiation’ was at the margin and the Wilson government recommended a ‘Yes’ vote. Many UK electors in 1975 thought that they were voting for a trade agreement.

    Thirdly, David Cameron has not yet converted his statement of principles for a new relationship into a negotiating position with bottom lines. There is as yet no assurance that he won’t repeat the sort of ‘fundamental renegotiation’ that the Wilson government carried out.

  40. Robert K
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    If the Conservative leadership needed any help in understanding what right-thinking people in this country want, then they just need to look at the fact that the recent Tory/Ukip local election vote combined would have resulted in general election victory. Time for the big re-think and a return to Thatcher-style radicalism (and guts).

  41. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I read that UKIP’s performance in the recent, local elections projected to the General Election in 2015, would give them 29% of the vote.

    Under our insane and undemocratic first past the post system, I wonder how many MPs that would give them?

    If we end up with Labour, Conservatives and UKIP all on about 30% of the vote and with the LibDems on 10% – and UKIP still have no MPs – I think we are likely to see something approaching revolt.

    • WIlliam Henwood
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Well said UKIP needs to be represented in parliament with a showing of approximately 29% of the vote.

      People will not accept the Liberals getting seats with 10% of the vote

  42. Julian
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    One easy way to diffuse UKIP from a Tory point of view would be for the Conservative leadership to stop supporting the EU and most of it doings!

  43. con
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I think the problem is that Cameron is part of the ‘federal tendency’.

    He may say he wants a ‘looser connection’ but I really believe that beneath the eurosceptic patter, Dave is little different to Labour, Liberals, Clarke, Heseltine, Blair etc.

    So referendum or no, nothing substantial will change unless there is real conviction. Sounding ‘a bit like a eurosceptic’ is not being a eurosceptic.

    Dave must be replaced if there is to be a merger with UKIP, it’s as simple and obvious – and as do-able as that.

    Nice irony if Dave and his wet pals (Heseltine, Clarke, Brittan et al) got the knife at the other end of the EU debate. We shouldn’t be faffing around ‘renogatiating’ how much of our garden to give away. We should tell the EU what our terms are going to be – and mean it. Nothing can stand in the way of a man who knows what he wants.

    Another positive from the local elections is that the EU may take us a bit more seriously. Until now they have treated Farage like the local clown, just as Dave and Clarke have.

  44. David Saunders
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    The short(ish) answer is for the leadership to show more skill and listening to voters’ concerns than previously. Also, for Tory MPs to man (and woman) up and hold Cameron’s head down the toilet until he does so. Otherwise, no change, no chance.

  45. Paul
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    This is a problem wholly created by the Conservative Party. Electing David Cameron as leader in 2005 was a dreadful mistake. Many of us shortly after switched our allegiance to UKIP. The only thing Cameron worries about is the image of his party that he’s been destroying for eight years not what is actually good for the country. He is in politics for all the wrong reasons. He has no principles, convictions or a backbone. UKIP wants to work with Eurosceptic MPs, far from being rude about them we admire their efforts in the HoC (even though they always fail), and we would be delighted if they joined us. UKIP is the answer to the EU problem not the Conservative Party under its current leadership. There are are two very simple choices for Eurosceptic Conservatives who want our country back – join UKIP or ditch Cameron.

  46. Elliot Kane
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    It always puzzles me when I see Europhilia described as ‘Left’ as much as when the Conservative party as a whole is described as Eurosceptic. Neither is actually the case.

    Tony Benn, let us not forget, is a Eurosceptic. He is far from being alone on the Left in taking that position. Nor are the Conservative parliamentary party Eurosceptic; they are Europhile with a strong and active Eurosceptic minority.

    You only have to look at the three line whips put forward by all three main parties against the proposed In/Out referendum to see that there is a consensus amongst the three that Britain’s place is in the EU and that the British people should not be allowed a say if we believe otherwise.

    Those Eurosceptics with the courage of their convictions were mainly Tory, but were roughly one third of the parliamentary Conservative party – a strong minority, but still a minority. They were joined by only one Lib Dem, despite an In/Out referendum being in the Lib Dem manifesto, and by a scattering of Labour and other MPs from across the political spectrum.

    Those who failed to vote in favour of the referendum are clearly either Europhile or have no strong feelings either way, especially amongst the Conservatives. It does not take a very great courage, after all, to join a rebellion that consists of a third of the party!

    So, with the traditional three main parties all pretty solidly Europhile and UKIP as the only genuinely Eurosceptic party, why should they NOT oppose the Conservatives in the same way as they oppose any other Europhile party?

    If I were in UKIP, I doubt I would see much difference between Miliband and Cameron in terms of their beliefs, nor of their positions on the most vital UKIP issues – the EU, immigration, the deportation of foreign criminals, etc.

    The Tories may talk a good game, but Abu Qatada is still here, and the number of criminals we cannot deport due to their ‘human rights’ seems to increase by the day. Functionally, the Tories are no different to Labour.

    And things are like that across the board in every major UKIP policy area.

    As for David Cameron and the promise of referenda, well, we’ve heard that before, haven’t we?

    If Cameron puts forward the enabling legislation on a three line whip, then removes the whip from any Tory who fails to back it, I’ll know he’s serious and I’ll vote for him in 2015, whether the legislation passes or not. He’ll have proved he means it, this time. If he doesn’t do those things, I will know he is not serious and ‘referendum later, nothing now’ is yet another attempt to kick the debate into the long grass – a tactic beloved of Europhile politicians everywhere.

    Getting that referendum – and hopefully, thus, out of the EU – is the single most important thing, to me. It will absolutely determine who gets my vote in 2015. I don’t care who delivers that referendum as long as someone does. I suspect I am not alone in that.

    Which party has control of parliament is of absolutely no consequence whatsoever compared to who governs Britain.

    And for the record, only my death or physical incapacity will stop me voting UKIP in the coming Euro elections. I suspect I am not alone in that, either.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Abu Qatada has been BRILLIANT for UKIP and an utter disaster for the NuCons.

      They’ll get him out – eventually. But it will be a right faff and our Govt have been made to look right fools.

      Margaret Thatcher would have known what to do.

      • Eliot Kane
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        And would have had the guts to do it, yes.

  47. Chris
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    There is a highly significant article by Bernard Jenkin in the D Tel “The EU: the time has come for a mandate referendum” (link at end) where he acknowledges the importance of the rise of UKIP and identifies correctly the reasons for so many turning to UKIP. Such comments as:
    “We pretend to govern but the EU has us tied in knots. We are in office, but not in power” hit the nail on the head.

    Thankfully B Jenkin also deals with the misinterpretation of the Ashcroft polling (with regard to the EU) in no uncertain terms. I feel that the damage that Lord Ashcroft’s polling has resulted in (unintentionally) for the Conservative Party cannot be overstated.
    “But the political class seem determined to avoid the real truth. Lord Ashcroft insists that “UKIP support is only tangentially related to the question of EU membership”! His myopic examination of groups of voters and what they say in response to his questions misses the big picture….”

    However, where I do differ from Bernard J is in the following, with regard to a mandate referendum:
    I) I do not think the PM needs permission to approach Brussels to negotiate, and then for there to be some years later an IN/OUT referendum. The signals that a very significant proportion of the electorate want change now are abundantly clear. A mandate ref would only be delaying things and we do not have the luxury of time, as the EU pushes on relentlesss on towards ever closer integration.

    2) Bernard J states that the electorate want a new relationship with the EU based on trading and political cooperation.
    “…The prime minister should ask Parliament to approve a “mandate” referendum for next year, setting out his terms for the “new relationship” he wants the UK to have with our European partners. All the polls show voters overwhelmingly want trade and political cooperation with our EU partners, not government by the EU…”
    No, I do not think voters do overwhelmingly want political cooperation forged into the agreement. I think the public has had quite enough of the political project that is the EU – that after all was the basis of the whole project, political integration, with trade as the acceptable smokescreen. Also actually including political cooperation in the referendum question would provide the green light for those Europhiles intent on furthering political integration – it is far too ambiguous a statement and open to very considerable abuse by Europhile MPs and mandarins and eurocrats. Please do not assert they would not do so – we have seen their actions in the past, and this is why the electorate is so angry.

    3) The way Bernard J writes would indicate that he is not suggesting that the mandate referendum is simply for permission to renegotiate, but that the people should actually be voting at this stage on whether we wanted the PM to renegotiate specific issues with regard to trade and political cooperation, which have already been drawn up. This seems to be different from Mr Redwood, and I would welcome clarification on this.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/10037363/EU-the-time-has-come-for-a-mandate-referendum.html

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      It would be to set the parameters within which he was to negotiate; that’s because we’ve learned the hard way that it’s a mistake to allow Prime Ministers and other ministers a free hand in such negotiations, they simply cannot be trusted and they need to be restricted in what they can agree. In fact the present government has implicitly accepted this to be the case, by making it the law that certain decisions must be approved by Parliament in draft form before the minister can confirm his agreement to the decision; however I think the Tories assumed that this lack of trust related to ministers of other parties, not to Tory ministers.

  48. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    This article is entitled:

    “The tragedy and the opportunity for those of us who want an independent democractic UK”

    but while you could include many grassroots Tory party members in that you cannot include many in the upper echelons of the party.

    Look at Hague, portrayed as being a strong “eurosceptic”, yet with all his knowledge and understanding burbling on about Britain being “in Europe but not run by Europe” when he was leader, not even caring to distinguish between “Europe” and “the EU”, not willing to admit that if you are in the EU then you will increasingly be run by the EU, not even prepared to use the word “never” about the euro at that time, instead carefully picking his words to mislead those who truly do want an independent democratic UK.

    It is a tragedy, but part of that tragedy is the impossibility of identifying a potential Tory party leader who:

    a) really wants the UK to be an independent sovereign state in perpetuity, and

    b) stands a chance of becoming leader when most of the Tory MPs disagree with him, accepting with varying degrees of enthusiasm that the UK should cease to exist as an independent sovereign state and should instead be gradually, stealthily subordinated within a pan-European federation.

  49. uanime5
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    However, it now turns out that UKIP has been able to garner more of the popular vote in the seats they contested than is comfortable for either Labour or the Lib Dems.

    Given that Labour gained nearly 300 councillors and control of 2 councils I wouldn’t say support for UKIP was uncomfortable for them.

    UKIP has shown an ability to take some votes from the left, and to persuade former non voters to vote, in a way which has also damaged the two parties of the pro EU left as well as the Conservatives.

    Given that the Lib Dems suffered major damage, while Labour suffered minor damage, it’s more likely that the Lib Dems have lost votes because of the things they’ve done while in Government; rather than because they’re pro-EU.

    The Eurosceptics have shown that if you add the UKIP vote and the Conservative vote they have the majority.

    If you’re referring to the council elections then this isn’t entirely accurate as the vast majority of these elections were in places where the Conservatives were either the majority or the largest minority. So in most cases the Conservatives plus any other party would be the majority.

    Could Labour succeed in winning a General Election whilst polling less than 30% of the popular vote?

    Well if each constituency has 4 candidates it should be possible to win with just over 25% of the votes, providing that the votes are split between these 4 parties. But that’s what happens in a country with a FPTP system and more than two parties.

    Also the Chancellor’s plan to lend to first time buyer may increase house prices by 30%. I suspect this may lead to an increase in the cost of housing benefit.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/houseprices/10039583/Help-to-Buy-bubble-could-push-house-prices-up-by-30pc.html

    • Edward2
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Uni,,
      I’m already looking forward to your next lot of statistical wrigglings, after the forthcoming EU elections show further reduced support for Labour and the LibDems and increased support for UKIP and the Conservatives.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        I doubt that the Conservative will gain increased support in the 2014 MEP elections unless the economy improves. Similarly I doubt Labour will lose votes as long as the economy is doing badly.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

          Well Uni, we all know how right you are on all matters, as you are fond of telling us, so I look forward to the future results.

  50. sjb
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    JR wrote: Mr Miliband would be ill advised to deny the British public a referendum now, as he scrambles to get up to just 30% of the popular vote.

    David Cameron’s promise of an in/out referendum has not improved the Conservative Party’s opinion poll ratings.[1] Arguably the main beneficiary has been UKIP.

    [1] http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/voting-intention-2

  51. waramess
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get it. If UKIP are not something to be taken seriously then why spend so much time and effort writing about them?

    I suspect UKIP will be a massive rebellion against the three main parties and I suspect nonchalantly whistling will not fool anybody and will certainly not make them go away

  52. Normandee
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    “It has set Eurosceptic Conservative against Eurosceptic UKIP brilliantly.”
    Sorry, but where did this statement come from? I do not recognise it, UKIP are not against those with a common interest in the conservative party, it is against Cameron and his cabal, and his determination to subsume us in Europe. It has been made very very clear that they will negotiate with the conservatives, but not Cameron. So you go and negotiate, take the others with you, UKIP do not have a problem with you and your friends, you might have a problem with their demands however.

    • Chris
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I agree Normandee with your questioning of the claim “It has set Eurosceptic conservative against Eurosceptic UKIP…..”
      What it has done is to illustrate so clearly the profound gulf there is between Cameron and his team and the grassroots. The Cons MPs who claim to be Eurosceptic have also been exposed for being all shades of Eurosceptic, but the bottom line is that, with very few exceptions, they have broadly gone along with their leader with regard to the EU legislation/regulation (and European Parliament documents such as that on equality and gay marriage). It is not satisfactory to say that they were in a minority in the H of C. At most, 82 MPs voted for the referendum, but they did not follow this up with radical action then to show that they were really disturbed by our loss of sovereignty and democracy, and not did they on any later occasions e.g. with regard to immigration, gay marriage, and the disastrous and nonsensical energy policy. What they have all been scared of saying en masse is that the EU has been responsible for all of these things, and that we have no hope whatsoever of effectively altering these policies while members of the EU. Nor have they made absolutely clear that things will only get worse, with the pursuit of the goal of every closer integration. I would say that virtually no one outside Westminster believes any assurances from Cameron that he can and will renegotiate/repatriate powers. The only way to do this is to invoke Article 50, something he is not willing to do.

      • Dan
        Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        How long must one remain a Eurosceptic Conservative within the EU loving Conservative Party before one can be considered a careerist politician who has been bought off?

  53. harry
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    And on top of all this Cameron set up a Scottish led commission to decide how England should be governed(as if the Scots don`t have enough power),UKIP are the only party that seems to have any interest in evolving policies to answer the discrepancy in the undemocratic way England is governed so maybe that is where some of last Thursdays votes originated from,that is just one of the reasons i will be voting UKIP.

  54. John Wrake
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,
    This is not a personal assault on you. I believe you are an honourable man with deep concerns for your country which you have consistently stated. Nevertheless, I believe that you are mistaken in your view that only the House of Commons can make the changes needed when there is a majority of members in favour of those changes.
    It is a fact that Edward Heath lied to the electorate about the loss of sovereignty involved when he signed us up to entry of the Common Market, despite clear advice at the time. That initial treaty and every one since was and has been contrary to our historic Constitution, since it arrogates to Governments powers they do not possess i.e. the power to cede to others the authority which they have only been leant temporarily.
    All those actions by successive governments are inherently unlawful and, as such, cannot, by definition, be law.
    Withdrawal from the European Union is a return to a lawful constitutional state and does not depend on M.P.s votes, Referenda or any other expression of opinion. The upsets which are likely to result are simply the outcome of the treasonous actions of the past by those who have broken their oath of allegiance to our lawful monarch.
    If current Members of Parliament will not act in this matter, it seems increasingly clear that the electorate will soon replace them.

    John Wrake

  55. Normandee
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Agreeing with me won’t get you far on this site Chris, but thanks all the same. As things are today, they don’t have to be too radical, why don’t they talk to UKIP, all 82 of them, they are not forced to do anything, but talking’s harmless you would think. Excuse me if I don’t hold my breath until this happens.

  56. zorro
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Having spent a pleasant day in sunny Windsor imbibing by the Thames, I have only just had a chance to read the blog……and what a difference a week in politics can have. Do I detect a subtle yet significant and certainly welcome shift in positions?….Yes, I think that I do!

    I am not a UKIPper but want to see serious, sensible cooperation between the Tories and UKIP for the good of the country…….My advice is wind your necks in, forget the past and concentrate on practical politics for the future. Maximise the anti-federal vote wherever possible depending on where you are in the country.

    John, I know that you have your reasons for your feelings about UKIP, but your party needs you to take up the mantle and lay the groundwork for a practical agreement. The bottom line is that in practical terms Parliament must be seen to be sovereign and effective…….

    Accentuate the positive, don’t dwell on the negative, and make it work.

    The BBC strategy is not unexpected but also can be used to Eurosceptic advantage if they keep their nerve and focus on COMMON GROUND….

    ‘It has worked in the sense that giving more airtime and support to UKIP as a political force has helped them speak up for many voters who do not like the current situation’……There may be some evidence that along with disaffected Tory/Labour voters, also previous non voters or disenchanted voters may have felt that it was an opportunity for their voice to be heard.

    ‘As someone motivated to seek a better life for UK people I want to get the UK out of the centralising bossy ill directed government of the EU that currently damages us.’……. This is the COMMON GROUND.

    ‘I am not sure whether to cheer or to weep at the last results.’…….. Don’t weep you’ll spoil your eye make up…. 🙂 Be happy that this could lead to positive change.

    ‘The pessimist warns me that UKIP and the Conservatives may continue to attack one another to the point where they let Labour in, as some on the left anticipate.’……. Be the change you want to see

    ‘The Conservative leadership has to start rectifying the problem now, despite the Coalition.’…… Accurate analysis, but I fear that there is no chance of this happening under Cameron….Nick won’t like it.

    ‘UKIP for its part has to use more moderate and friendly language about Eurosceptic Conservatives, seeing us as part of the solution, not wrongly defining us as the problem.’……. Deep breath, smile, and move forward. Your language has not been particularly friendly towards UKIP, and a tad patronising…….Move forward, the past is now a foreign country.

    zorro

    • zorro
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      It wasn’t UKIP that insulted people calling them…’fruitcakes, loonies, and closet racists’…..

      zorro

  57. Jon
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    As Margaret Thatcher might have said, make a decision just don’t fudge it. Our leaders of the last two decades have been ruled by the polls and the metropolitan dinner party advisers. The country is EU sceptic and the more people learn about the EU the more they don’t like it. This should be good news for the Conservatives but for the metropolitan diner party, politically correct set.

  58. Jon
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Nikita Krushchev once said something like he who sits between two chairs falls in the middle. Is that the middle centre ground being pursued?

  59. Socrates
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    The credibility problem of the Conservative Party over Europe is massive. Under Cameron’s leadership the track record is lamentable – the ease with which he abandoned a solemn pledge on a Referendum was breathtaking. Calling people, who are strongly Eurosceptic, fruitcakes and closet racists betrays what he really thinks. National Parliaments are becoming irrelevant as the EU steamroller annihilates one after another. How much power do the Greek, Portuguese and Cypriot Parliaments have over their own destinies? Until the Conservative Party is unequivocably Eurosceptic and that particularly includes the leadership it is not going to defeat UKIP. Who would trust more weasel words from Cameron? Whilst Farage’s suggestion of only having an electoral pact if Cameron has gone is undoubtedly politically astute, to many Eurosceptics, Cameron, Clarke, Heseltine et al are part of the problem not the solution and none will be fooled into returning to the Party until they are clearly marginalised.

  60. Martin
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t the real problem the entire legal process? It has become a well funded company/individual/lobby group’s play thing.

    Even if we dumped the ECHR & left the EU I think the layers would still be playing appeal games and judicial reviews. You might find that clever lawyers would read Magna Carta and whatever in ways you might not expect.

    A lay person reading the Human Rights document might well be surprised at how some dodgy types can escape deportation.

    You also assume that the UK would do better on its own than as part of the EU. Can you explain why the UKBA doesn’t swipe passports on leaving the UK when Schengen does? No wonder UKBA hasn’t a clue as to who has left the UK!

    • Douglas Carter
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      With regard to problems post-EU membership & legal loopholery, that’s quite true but also a central tenet of withdrawal.

      After withdrawal no british political posture can blame any of that on pressure from an external authority ‘…unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about it’ comes the traditional insistence. (Translation – ‘There’s nothing we would have done about it anyway, but thankfully we can blame someone else…’).

      Dispossessed of a convenient fig-leaf from elsewhere, our politicians must accept custodianship of all matters which stem from Parliamentary authority. Proper political and Parliamentary accountability would be re-established – something I’m convinced a section of the Westminster host would dread.

      With regard to Schengen – you’re absolutely correct. In the oil industry I visited – and left – Norway frequently, and passports and documentation were checked politely, professionally and thoroughly on all occasions, whether I was entering via a Schengen-member nation or not, via air, land or sea; or leaving by similar means to both Schengen and non-Schengen destinations. Some fairly preposterous writers hold Schengen up as a totem of dreadful consequence. It’s nothing of the sort – member nations are still entitled to border security.

      However, academically, I’d still wish to remain out of Schengen for the simple reason if we joined it, the Treasury would insist on an immediate cut in the budget for border staff. The problem in the british sense would be made even worse.

    • stred
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Very true about the legal racket. It would help if their monopoly were to be limited and a maximum rate of pay for lawyers fixed at say £30 per hour. An end to no win no fee and close judges lodgings. Sell them as hotels and put them in a motorhotel.

      Then tax excessive civil servant and NHS redundancy payments

  61. Freeborn John
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Everyone does recognise your own impeccable euro-sceptic credentials and indeed that you had great foresight on the problems the euro would bring. You cannot be faulted but the Conservative party, especially the current leadership, are very much part of the EU problem. They are the British Leyland of politics believing they have a permanent right to be in business irrespective of the unappealing policy goods they offer,  which are indistinguishable from the shoddy policies wares on offer from the other members of the LiblabCon cartel. The only cooperation between a eurosceptic electorate and eurosceptic Conservative MPs that makes sense is for the electorate to make sure Cameron has to step down after a heavy 2015 election defeat and you to elect a real EU-sceptic to replace him who is prepared to take the country out of the EU. 

    No other cooperation makes sense so long as you have a party leader who wants to emulate Ted Heath in heading up the “Britain in Eu” campaign in a 2017 referendum after a token renegotiation. Better to have a referendum in 2020 under a real EU sceptic or better still a leader who will just use a parliaments majority to leave the EU. Otherwise you lose yet another election in 2020 and keep doing so until the penny finally drops that you are never going to win a majority with a pro-eu leadership.

  62. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    As a solution in this split between Conservatives and UKIP, how about a leap forward:
    an In/Out referendum as soon as feasible, say early 2014. It is THE way for the Tories to confront and face off UKIP. The Conservatives would campaign on a “better deal for Britain but within the EU”, LibDem would campaign on “better off inside”, Labour – no idea, but only UKIP would campaing on “out now”. My guess is that the Conservatives would win, maybe even helped by Germany or other North EU members, which sympathise with some of the British ideas for more flexibility. It is a calculated risk, in which, in case UKIP ( the out-now camp) is defeated, it will be th end of UKIP for the foreseeable future. The UK would have more breathing space – more time to negotiate for a more flexible EU (for ALL the member countries – which works better than narrow self-interest). A vote to leave now is very unlikely for a number of reasons. It is a risk that the Conservative Party might want to take, in order to stay more unified and get rid of UKIP in the process.

    • Chris S
      Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      Peter, how exactly are you going to get the LibDems to vote for an in-out referendum during the lifetime of this Government ?

      It’s about as likely as the renegotiation of our membership achieving a decent settlement and a meaningful restoration of our democracy. It ain’t going to happen.

      To keep all those prepared to support a referendum on board, the leader of the Conservatives has to be given the opportunity to renegotiate terms before it takes place. Surely nobody posting here seriously expects a new deal that would be acceptable ?

      It’s going to be essential to set down some Red Lines in advance of the renegotiation otherwise the Europhiles will be trumpeting a few crumbs off the EU table as a major victory. In that situation there has to be a serious risk that the general public could be fooled into voting to stay in.

  63. Edward.
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, fairplay to you Sir.

    Pity is, there are not a few more like you in the Tory ranks, although along with Peter Lilley, that’s two damn good politicians the Tories are lucky to have.

  64. Iain Gill
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    John,
    You seem to be reading into the UKIP electoral gains what you want to believe. Sure our relationship with Europe is an issue and a significant one with the voters. But it’s not the only or biggest one. The reality in survey after survey is that the voters number one concern is immigration, and I agree, with out of control uncapped numbers of ICT work visas being printed for almost entirely Indian nationals to come work here – many going onto get indefinite leave to remain – and so on its obvious why we have problems. Then we have the obvious anti meritocratic tendencies of Cameron and his mates, the idea that such a heavy bias towards old Etonians is “the best people for the job” is laughable, I could pick people who would be better in those roles from those in the bar with me tonight. It’s rather like the NHS – sure people support it in vague general terms – they sure don’t support the rubbish service handed out routinely or all the power being in everyone elses hand but the patients.
    I could sketch some obvious policies that would wipe the board at a general election the main wonder is why nobody else is doing it, my conclusion is that the metropolitan elite is too inbred and far too in love with itself to listen to the rest of us.
    Cheers

    • Ken Adams
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Ian you are forgetting the EU impacts on so many other areas, you name it, the will be an EU element, Transport, NHS, education, Local government, what ever it might be. So when these polls are done they are based on a false premise you cannot separate out things as if the EU had no influence.

      You mention immigration no government can do anything about that because it is a competence of the EU, it is the EU which says we must allow anyone from any other EU country to come and seek work here as if they were British nationals. Sure they are making noises about making it harder for immigrants to use our services but any rules they introduce will have to apply to everybody equally because of EU rules. I think you will find it was the EU which negotiated the Treaty with India allowing its nationals to come here.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        there is currently no obligation on the British government to print so many uncapped ICT work visas for Indian nationals to come in, nor is there any obligation to give so many indefinite leave to remain, or as many family visas for those that accompany them, or the right to work for the family member, or free access to our schools for their children, or free NHS for all of them despite many being seriously ill before setting off. although you are correct there is a EU/India “free trade” (its nothing of the sort) agreement which will force the UK to do this into the future, right now its the current government doing it.

  65. Chris
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    I see that Nigel Lawson has just written that “David Cameron’s attempts at renegotiation will be inconsequential – we must leave”
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article3757562.ece
    “David Cameron has promised that in four years time the British people will be given the opportunity to decide in a referendum whether this country should leave the European Union. To validate this promise, of course, he first needs to win the 2015 general election, which is by no means assured. But as the British people clearly wish to be given this choice it is unlikely, at the end of the day, that the Labour Party will wish to go into the next election denying it to them….”

    • Douglas Carter
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      …’at the end of the day, that the Labour Party will wish to go into the next election denying it to them’…

      That’s likely, but ponder the worse option.

      Labour commit to the referendum, but amend its terms of reference upon their election to make it an all-or-nothing referendum. Either we remain ‘In’ the EU and accept all tenets of it, including Single Currency adoption eventually, full and irreversible political and economic integration and with all obligations with regard to accepting incomers, or we leave (under a party which will be uncommitted to negotiating a sincere good withdrawal package).

      Whilst I remain wholly unconvinced by Mr. Cameron’s strange form of eurosceptisism, don’t rule out how much worse it could turn out if his thus-far indifference to the matter presents both Labour and the LibDems with their long-awaited political-manna-from-heaven.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Chris–One simple point I liked about what Lawson wrote is his emphasising that the Eurozone is always going to vote as a bloc, which, combined with the fact that we are never going to join the Euro, means that the ghastly mess on the other side of the Channel is absolutely not for us. We would be crazy to stay in.

  66. Stevie
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    John. Why vote, why have MP’s that become toothless when faced with the officials from the Whips office, how many defy the Political policeman and are supported in the next elections by their political party, few I suspect. I didn’t vote for my Member of Parliament to be a member of the Governments flock, I expected him to ram his promises home as promised to me when knocking on my door. Living in the North of the Country where Labour rules I only had two choices Labour and Conservatives hopefully next time we will have UKIP. I have just paid my £30.00 and joined at the age of 71

  67. WIlliam Henwood
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    If you were the Leader of the Conservatives I would not have had to leave the party for UKIP. You speak so much sense; however the mood on the doorstep is for out of the EU as they feel that there is no possibility that this country will be able to negotiate within the EU for the return of some of our sovereignty.

    Mr Cameroon has lost credibility; people say what a nice fallow he is but not sure who he is batting for. The party has a creditable list of PM material amongst the current batch of MP’s so no need to hang onto an electoral liability.

  68. david englehart
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    my wife tells me that there is an oliver stone TVprogramme called oliver stones untold history of the united states the first 2 episodes of which she has saved for me.
    she says he is not a huge admirer of the presidents he has so far reffered to.
    i can only think of 2 prime ministers i can relate to during my lifetime.
    the first was neville chambelain.
    if he had not ben so misled by hitler who knows what might have happened.
    maybe we would not have entered the war or maybe there would not have been one.
    and pigs fly some may say.
    however as there was a war and as the united states enetered it ultimately this meant my father came here with their air force and created me.
    so useless as he was thank you mr chamberlain.
    the only other worthwhile one was maggie and even she had her major weakness namely not appreciating the strength of negative feeling against her within her own party.
    so our problems stem from the top and sadly nothing has changed with the coalition. one cannot see where any talent lies within the house of commons which gives any hope for the future.

  69. Chris S
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    You are right to make the referendum the number one priority but to ensure it takes place we have to ensure that Labour don’t win the general election. with or without the LibDems.

    The Conservatives alone are not going to win an outright majority especially as UKIP are going to be an awful lot more credible and even stronger after the Euro Elections next year.

    By contrast, under first past the post, UKIP won’t win many seats, if any in 2015, and acting independently, the two parties certainly won’t be in a position to form a coalition with a working majority.

    A deal simply has to be done.

    It’s good to see your change of attitude, John. Hopefully your colleagues will follow suit.

    It’s the first necessary step in working towards an electoral pact.

  70. Pleb
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    John, get rid of Cameron and elect a new leader or vanish with the Lib Dems.
    UKIP is the new Conservatives.

  71. Ken Adams
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    What I am finding increasingly interesting is none of the parties in power even considered putting any of the previous treaties to a common vote with the one expedition of Lisbon but as we know that was side stepped, each one of these treaties changed our relationship with the EU. Further no party has ever stood for election saying they would sign up to any of the treaties.

    I know on the surface it might sound reasonable to ask the people, but really that only makes sense if we had previously voted for the treaties. What reason do they have now to demand a referendum on changing our relationship with the EU, the only reason I can see is they have forced these treaties through parliament, but now want to erect barriers to get our relationship changed.

    And now to make matters worse Cameron has thrown the renegotiation tactic into the ring in order to muddy the waters and it is clear that he intends to use this tactic to claim he has renegotiated something and to campaign for a yes vote.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      The original European Communities Act 1972 to approve accession to the Treaty of Rome had no provisions about referendums, neither that it could only come into force after being approved through a national referendum nor that it could only be repealed after a further referendum to reverse the previous approval.

      So it wouldn’t break my heart if Parliament simply repealed it, and I wouldn’t give aid and comfort to our enemies by joining any campaign to demand a referendum on whether that should be done.

      On the other hand there was the retrospective referendum in 1975, so there is an argument of principle that while Parliament need not feel obliged to consult us before repealing all the Acts to approve subsequent treaties, which were passed without referendums, it should do so before repealing its approval of the original Treaty of Rome.

      There are some who persist in believing that the original EEC was OK and all the problems stem from the later treaties, but that ignores many provisions of the original treaty that we now find unacceptable, and above all the very first line of the preamble:

      http://www.eurotreaties.com/rometreaty.pdf

      “DETERMINED to lay the foundations of an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe”

      which provides the driving force for the process of EEC/EC/EU integration which about 90% of the British people now believe has gone far enough or too far.

      As shown in the YouGov opinion poll mentioned here:

      http://conservativehome.blogs.com/parliament/2012/11/tory-mps-want-to-trust-voters-on-europe-labour-mps-do-not.html

      That by itself, without any mandate referendum, should be enough to tell Cameron that he must not come back with any renegotiated treaty which still commits us to that process, which can only end with the extinction of the UK as an independent sovereign state.

  72. Normandee
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Just noticed something very unusual, more than 130 comments and you have commented on only 1. What does that tell us ?
    1. finding difficult to answer, indicating a move in your position?
    2. We are all right?
    3. bored with the whole subject?

    Reply I am very busy!

  73. Richard
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    I wish firstly to thank you for your Eurosceptic efforts within the Conservative Party and for hosting this blog and comments.

    However, you have written :

    “The Eurosceptics have shown that if you add the UKIP vote and the Conservative vote they have the majority. Can they find a way at last of translating that into power, to change the EU relationship as we wish? Or can the left ensure the splits in Eurosceptic opinion get more bitter , so the Conservatives end up by winning fewer seats, leaving the field open for Labour?”

    Had Mr. Cameron not campaigned for and won the referendum against AV then the “translation of power” would have taken place and either the Conservative candidate or the UKIP candidate would probably have won at Eastleigh rather than a Europhilic Lib Dem.

    Having said that, I am now of the opinion that Mr. Cameron was expecting the rise of UKIP and, being a fully committed Europhile, had decided to by the time of the AV referendum that he would rather a Europhilic Labour Party in power than a Eurosceptic Conservative Party or a Conservative/UKIP coalition.

    It certainly appears that Mr. Cameron does not wish to win the next election.

    I have voted Conservative at every possible opportunity for the last 48 years. But I can no longer do so as I now believe that our membership of the EU is the most important issue and a majority of the Conservative Party plus its leader are not only still in favour of EU membership but also wish for Turkey to become a member.

    Because my votes for the Conservative Party in the past were always taken to mean that I approved of EU membership I simply have to vote UKIP even if the consequences are that a Europhilic Labour or Lib Dem candidate wins.

  74. Chris
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    The sooner we take steps to leave the better – a clear warning has come from Barroso that the steamroller carries on regardless: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/
    .
    “Federal Europe will be ‘a reality in a few years’, says Jose Manuel Barroso
    A fully fledged federal Europe may seem like “political science fiction” today but will soon become reality for all European Union countries whether inside or outside the euro, Jose Manuel Barroso has said. ……The intervention will add weight to the argument made by Lord Lawson, and other anti-EU Tories, that it is pointless to try and improve Britain’s membership terms when the dynamic, set by the eurozone, is towards a fully-fledged federal Europe…”

  75. George Earle
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    You said here “UKIP for its part has to use more moderate and friendly language about Eurosceptic Conservatives, seeing us as part of the solution, not wrongly defining us as the problem.”
    Unfortunately that is precisely what your “Eurosceptic” MP colleagues are – the problem. You sit on the eurosceptic side of the Party but do nothing about it. You simply smother the debate on the pros and cons of being in this crazy wicked EU just as you dodge the open door immigration policy forced on us by the EU. Maybe you hope that the Euro and then the EU itself will go up in a puff of smoke so that you never have to put your job on the line by standing up for your country.You have enjoyed a reputation as being one of the leading Tory Eurosceptics but the best you could say today was the we should have a ‘renegotiation’, knowing full well, as you must do, that the EU is incapable of allowing it. These Brussels bureaucrats and politicians are, for the most part our enemies. Look at the attacks on our financial services and now they are stirring the Argentine against us. It’s time you and the so called eurosceptic Tory MPs found some backbone. You are led by a dedicated Europhile. Do something about it. Men or Mice?

    Reply If you could be bothered to read this website and other sources you would see just how much Eurosceptic Conservative MPs do to vote against EU measures, highlight probloems with the EU and get change to policies.

  76. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I just came in from the garden and switched on C4 news. I caught the end of the discussion about Nigel Lawsons’ desire to vote out of Europe . There was a chap defending our inclusion and talked about being further integrated; I just did not catch his name , it may have been Rudd and he was somehow involved in European business. The end of his defence went something like this. …whilst we stay in Europe every family is one and a half thousand pounds better off PA and that we are the centre of financial Europe. Anyone help ?

  77. Monty
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Time is perilously short John. If the party goes sleepwalking into the next election with current leadership, all is lost. In fact there are a couple of deadlines looming by the end of this year, one is the lifting of restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, the other is the onset of another potentially hard winter with our baseload electricity generation capacity further impaired. And it is now much too late for an anxious, dispirited public to be distracted by economic improvement, because it takes time for such an effect to be seen and felt. (Not that there are any signs of nascent economic renaissance at present anyway).

  78. Chris
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    I see Cameron has apparently now said he can’t legislate for a referendum in this parliament
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10042596/David-Cameron-I-cant-legislate-for-an-EU-referendum.html

    Also worth looking at the Coffeehouse article about Clegg’s (and Brown’s) apparent role in all of this in the lead up to the Coalition agreement:
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/05/what-was-cleggs-priority-in-the-last-few-hours-of-the-coalition-talks-stopping-a-european-renegotiation/

    No wonder that Cameron isn’t trusted and that UKIP is gaining support by the hour.

  • 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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