Should we bring modernisation up to date?

 

           In a way I was one of  the first modern Tory modernisers. In 1995 I said “No change, no chance”, and called for new policies and new approaches to Conservative politics. The party opted for no change, and went down a very large defeat.

            In opposition a group of people developed a modernising agenda. Some of it made a lot of sense. They said the party has to be comfortable in modern Britain, and not think it can put the social clock back to the 1950s. They were happy to have a liberal economic agenda as I favour, as long as there was a more liberal social agenda too.  In political terms the aim was to reach out to new voters and to  voters for parties of the centre left, to build a Conservative majority. Subject to careful choice of socially liberal measures and how far that went, this could have worked as an election winning strategy. A well judged reduction in political correctness, leaving people freer to run their own lives, would be welcome and popular.

           Unfortunately the strategy developed harsh edges, at a time when the aim was stated to be make the Conservatives more cuddly and likeable. Some exponents decided that the traditional Conservatives had nowhere else to go, so they could briefed against, left out in the cold or otherwise badly treated. Some of the positive measures of the modernising strategy, like the emphasis on climate change theory and the more recent approach to single sex marriage, caused adverse reactions amongst many  Conservatives , making the party look split rather than modern.

          The strategy also rested on highlighting issues that have been  traditional  strong suits of the left, and ignoring or playing down issues like the EU, law and order and tax cuts where Conservatives have fared better in the past. The Conservatives failed to break through in 2001, and failed to win an outright victory in 2010 despite substantial modernising steps. Some say Consevatives  lost because the party modernised too much in the wrong way, others say the party did not win because it still had not modernised enough.

              In the last three years there has been a great opportunity for the modernisers to show their strategy working, as around half the voters who voted for the Lib Dems in 2010 are currently  no longer prepared to vote for their old party for a variety of reasons. The government modernising agenda of green energy, same sex marriage, increased overseas aid, the concentration  on issues like health and schools rather than tax cuts, the EU and law and order should have been able to attract some of those departing Lib Dems, yet most of them have gone elsewhere. Meanwhile that same agenda has clearly driven numerous voters in the most recent Coucnil elections to vote UKIP instead of Conservative.

          Conservative opinion ratings have gone up when the PM has vetoed the Fiscal treaty, cut the EU budget , set a cap on total welfare payments to each family and made other commitments to welfare reform. In the days ahead I will look at how the Conservative party could come up with an agenda that suits many traditional Conservatives, whilst also showing that the party can reach out to people who have not voted for it for many years, and to younger people who have never voted for it.

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148 Comments

  1. Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Cameron lost in 2010 because of his absurd ratting on the EU cast iron referendum promise, the equal tv billing for Clegg and his failure to set a low tax, anti EU, cheap (with no religion) energy agenda. Instead he put a fake green, caring sharing, pro EU, enforced equality and yet more tax & red tape agenda.

    Look at the boost in popularity when Osborne promised the £1M IHT threshold even though most never even pay IHT. Now also ratted on needless to say.

    Who would trust them on anything ever again? The election was given away by wet, lefty incompetence. If he cannot defeat even the sitting duck Brown with this wet pro EU guff what chance has he got next time against Ed, with no growth to show, and with UKIP (who are likely to have more support than the Tories in the MEP elections).

    You say “In the days ahead I will look at how the Conservative party could come up with an agenda that suits many traditional Conservatives, whilst also showing that the party can reach out to people who have not voted for it for many years, and to younger people who have never voted for it.”

    It is simple:- get out of the suffocating EU, lower taxes, fewer parasites, more jobs, real growth, less regulation, easier planing, cheaper energy, more confidence, no pointless wars and Heathwick.

    A deal with UKIP is now the only way to win a majority for it. Cameron is a busted flush, his credibility thrown away many times over. He reminds me of the old comment on politicians:- “how do you know when they’re lying – when their lips are moving”.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Nevertheless Cameron is sadly the only option left. A UKIP deal is essential to win in 2015 but can one ever be done with serial ratter Cameron?

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Cameron has become delusional. People are not pessimists they do not have any faith in anything he says. 40 U-turns failed promises, do not act on the manifesto and coalition pledges ie right to recall MPs, tax breaks for married couple. In contrast gay marriage nonsense, cannot control borders, cannot deport suspected criminals- we now have the absurd situation where one is telling us he is going to leave after over a decade of living of the state.

        I will never for Cameron he cannot be trusted. He is a Europhile surrounded by Europhile clones/advisers and his actions and record to date show that- October 2012 three line whip to prevent an in/out EU referendum.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      The BBC seem very excited today about the atmospheric carbon dioxide reaching 400 parts per million. They even felt the need to explain what 400 parts per million mean showing just how stupid they seem to think their audience are.

      They did not however ask why no recent warming has occurred for 15 years despite this increase, which seems the obvious question to ask. Perhaps negative feedbacks are working just fine and we should stop wasting billions on the absurd AGW exaggeration religion.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        According to NASA every decade has been warmer than the previous decade. So your claims that there hasn’t been any warming for 15 years is clearly false.

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          “every decade has been warmer than the previous decade”

          Simply not true as usual. The earth has been far hotter in the past. Anyway for that to be true every single year would have to be hotter than the one ten years earlier {otherwise the decade finishing with any such colder year would clearly have a colder average than the decade beginning one a year earlier.}. This as it would be the same nine years plus the colder new year replacing the old year. Perhaps you should check what Nasa are actually saying?

          Everyone, who has any real credibility, accepts that there has been no statistically significant warming since 1998, even many of the scare mongers on your side of the debate. That is why they have been so keen a find some justification for this lack of warming – so as to adjust their duff computer models and continue the scam.

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            The earth has been far hotter in the past.

            It doesn’t matter than the earth was this hot 20 million years ago as you claim that there hasn’t been any warming for the past 15 years is still wrong.

            Anyway for that to be true every single year would have to be hotter than the one ten years earlier

            I’m using the average temperature for each decade so each year doesn’t need to be hotter than the previous year.

            Perhaps you should check what Nasa are actually saying?

            Just went to NASA’s website and they’re still saying that the average global temperature is rising.

            http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators

            Everyone, who has any real credibility, accepts that there has been no statistically significant warming since 1998, even many of the scare mongers on your side of the debate.

            Which scientific organisation have claimed there’s been no warming since 1998? Shall I assume because you couldn’t name any that you’ve just made up this claim?

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Did you do much maths in school? If so you would be able to see that no warming for the past 15 years is perfectly compatible with decadal warming since the 70s. Climate scientists are casting around for an explanation as to why there has not been the warming they forecast. Its odd that many still don’t give credence to the simplest explanation – that the feedbacks are in fact neutral or negative, in which case global warming, though interesting, is nothing to worry about.

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            Indeed it is compatible anyway.

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

            Here is a chart from NASA showing the average global surface temperature between 1880 and 2012.

            http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators

            In 1970 the temperature anomaly was 0.04°C.
            In 1997 the temperature anomaly was 0.45°C.
            In 2012 the temperature anomaly was 0.56°C.

            So your claims that there hasn’t been any warming or that it’s comparable to the 1970’s are clearly false.

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Check with IPCC. Patchuri has stated that there has been no warming of statistical significance since 1998. Even Geoffrey Lean agrees with that.

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            Just checked with the IPCC, according to their Fourth Assessment Report there has been global warming since 1998. The fact that you don’t consider this significant is irrelevant.

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          @U5: NASA has been rocked by their climate scientists either resigning, signing open letters against how the statistics have been used (unproven research stated as a fact) or both. Anyway even if the figures are correct, what does it prove, only that temperatures have risen, nothing about cause – or why.

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            The fact that you couldn’t provide any evidence to back up your claims about NASA’s climate change scientists makes it clear that you just made the whole thing up.

            If the figures are correct they prove the average global temperature is rising to levels not seen for millions of years. As there are only a few factors that can cause the average global temperature to rise by this level it’s a simple process to determine which one is responsible for this. All evidence points towards increased CO2 production by humans being mainly responsible.

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            @U5: When are YOU going to cite any facts, stop calling others to task about what you don’t do yourself.

            According to the scare mongers the we should all have been toast sometime last week….

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            Uni
            Thought you might like this quote from the BBC, its talking about the Met Office and Hadley Centre’s recent press release where they were saying the expected rises were not happening:-
            ” Newsround, the BBC’s daily news programme for children, has written up its own account of the story. It’s interesting to see how it has been worded for its youthful audience:
            Forecasters have changed their prediction of how much Earth’s temperature will change, saying it won’t get hotter for five years.
            The Met Office had thought a rise in temperature of 0.3 degrees would happen between 2004 and 2014.

            But now they predict that from 2013-2017 the temperature is likely to stay the same.

            Groups that have doubts about climate change argue that this could mean that global warming has stopped.

            The change in the Met Office’s forecast could mean that by 2017, there will have been no global increase in temperature for 20 years.

            However, forecasters from the Met Office don’t support this reading of their predictions.
            “The warming trend has not gone away,” Julia Slingo, the Met Office’s Chief Scientist told a newspaper.
            The temperature predicted for 2013-2017 is 0.43 degrees above the average between 1971-2000″
            So Uni, at worst a 0.43 of one degree average global rise.
            Is that what you used to call catastrophic?

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          No warming for over 15 years. No evidence of all this warming religion whatsoever. Any change in weather is now always “proof” when the exact opposite can be argued. Its a religion NOT science. 0.034% of the earths atmosphere is CO2. Its a naturally occurring plant food.

          • Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            I think you’ll find that 400 parts per million of plant food =0.0004%, i.e. 4 ten thousandths of a percentage.

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            Here is a chart from NASA showing the average global surface temperature between 1880 and 2012.

            http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators

            In 1997 the temperature anomaly was 0.45°C.
            In 2012 the temperature anomaly was 0.56°C.

            So your claims that there hasn’t been any warming for 15 years is clearly false.

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            @U5: Oh come on U5, call that an increase, you (and the AGW paid pushers at NASA) are joking, that is well within normal variation.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Open-minded readers may care to download Minority Verdict: The Conservative Party, The Voters And The 2010 General Election in order to understand why the Tories failed to obtain an overall majority.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        In your link page 129 the graph.

        The Appendix /
        Selected published polls,
        2005-2010

        This graph show very, very clearly that Cameron’s ratting on his cast iron guarantee in Nov 2009 meant his support fell from about 40% to about 35%. His decision to let Clegg have equal TV billing meant their support rose from under 20% to about 30%. In short Cameron threw the election away – just with those two patently idiotic decisions. Why on earth did he make them and why did no one stop him in his absurd foolishness.

        His other fake green tosh and general soft socialism cannot have helped either, but the above two factors were more than sufficient to throw it all away.

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic: “Why on earth did he make them”

          Straight from the Tory party manual ‘Bilking your supporters’, chapter. Along with the directions to ‘rinse and repeat’ as as often as required as the operating assumption at CCOHQ is a Tory party supporter is as thick as two short planks and will never leave the party.

          Ooops!

        • Posted May 13, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

          The graph shows voting intention. Despite the 30% rating in the opinion polls in the 2010 GE the LibDems won a 23% share of the vote.

          Lord Ashcroft’s conclusions about why the Conservative Party failed to win an overall majority are on pp123-4.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      One million pound IHT is somehow supported by the majority or even some of the electorate as a maim point for electing the Conservatives?. This is the application of base logic? Not sensible and absurd rant.
      You seriously think a Conservative party based on your opinions would be voted in by the British population. It would be a whitewash for them as we all well know what the effects on the living standards of the average British person would be and on the social effects this would lead too. Who do you blame for this inability by the British electorate no sharing your right wing dreams? The BBC who only you can see their subversive massages? Which is another reason they will not vote for this idiocy and fantasy who people like you support this sort of conservationism which brings us neatly round to the real world and modernisation of the party to be elected.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        That was what stopped Gordon Brown from going for his early election. The rise in the poles for the Tories, that resulted from this promise. Now ratted on needless to say.

  2. Posted May 11, 2013 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    You are trying to be all things to all people, trying to please everyone and in the end pleasing no-one. A classic English fudge, derided in Scotland for one, and many other places I suspect. What happened to the Conservative and Unionist Party? A coalition of like-minded freedom-loving rational people who believe in their country. The one clear aspect of the present coalition is the continuation of petty infighting between so-called Liberal Democrats and “Tories”, while the country continues to burn. Get a grip, stop playing politics and kicking the ball around the playground that is Parliament, and lead the United Kingdom out the mess that the socialists, the international do-gooders and downgraders, have bequeathed the Western world.

  3. Posted May 11, 2013 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    John, you are too kind about the Modernisers. Neo-Heathite, “Back to the ’70″s”, policies, rampant cronyism with the renewables industry, family-hostile policies, destroying the meaning of Marriage and making it difficult if not impossible for one partner to stay as the homemaker, and a snivelling obeisance to an expansive communist-inspired EU are neither conservative nor modern.
    A few weeks ago I attended a councillors conference day with attendance from CCHQ. Councillors long steeped in the conservative tradition were ORDERED to be more loyal and it was intimated that younger people were available to take their places if the required blind obedience was not forthcoming. The overweening arrogance from Party HQ was all the more remarkable given the less than successful track record that institution has had since 1997. CCHQ lost us a slam-dunk victory in 2010 and are set fair to be sunk without trace in 2015. I am not a ‘kipper yet, as I think traditional Conservative values are worth fighting for, and will do my best until all is lost, but unless the modernisers are seen off there is little hope for the Party.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      What a damning indictment. Why are the people that matter not listening, and acting?

  4. Posted May 11, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Frankly, I’m fed up to the back teeth with ‘modernising’ . It too often means sweeping away that which is good and replacing it with things that are not important. The result is usually chaos. Too many politicians try to rewrite history and the electorate are never consulted. The idea is usually to try and increase their votes ! Labour were experts at this. I would like a period of stability. If things are working, don t change them !

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl,
      I agree. ‘Modernisation’ has become a fad everywhere. Most of the time the result is less appealing. The problem with the three main political parties in Westminster is that they have abandoned any deep philosophical beliefs, are all virtually indistinguishable and see the need to keep their jobs above all else. Spin is the answer to everything and they still haven’t noticed that because of all this they are all becoming less relevant to the voters and more unpopular.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      I would have though Prestbury is about a politically stable as it gets by any standards. I doubt you would see many insurgents there.

  5. Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    It is clear that as far as the public are concerned you can’t be too tough on welfare, so that should be a winner. There is a clear desire for an EU referendum, which puts Labour in a very difficult spot having signed the last 3 treaties and then welched on their referendum commitment. (No need to be sensitive to the LibDems on this, they deserve a kick for their duplicitous and unprincipled treachery on fair boundaries.) Conservatives need to point clearly to the potential for tax cuts, and perhaps take a punt that cutting rates would raise revenues, as Laffer demonstrated and as has happened in the past. Last but not least, we need to drop the green agenda, and go for sensible environmental policies not the current absurd energy policy driven by hysteria about nonexistent global warming.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      It is clear that as far as the public are concerned you can’t be too tough on welfare, so that should be a winner.

      Give how much of the UK is dependent on welfare (job seekers allowance, housing benefit, child benefit, tax credits, pension, etc) cutting welfare will be a vote loser. As long as the percentage of people requiring welfare continues to increase an anti-welfare policy will never benefit the Conservatives.

      Conservatives need to point clearly to the potential for tax cuts, and perhaps take a punt that cutting rates would raise revenues, as Laffer demonstrated and as has happened in the past.

      Well given that the Conservatives recently cut the 50% tax rate to 45% they should have all the evidence to show that lower taxes result in more tax revenue. Unless this doesn’t occur and the result is less tax revenue.

      Last but not least, we need to drop the green agenda, and go for sensible environmental policies not the current absurd energy policy driven by hysteria about nonexistent global warming.

      Ignoring the science for idealogical reasons never makes a Government popular.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Wrong again, uanime5

        Those who are working and receiving some benefits would probably prefer to see tax cuts which would remove the need for income support.

        Most people recognise the lunacy of our “green” energy policy which is simply increasing our energy bills while countries like China completely negate the miniscule reduction in our emissions by opening a new coal fired power station every month.

        We are simply making our own industrial base even more uncompetitive !!!!!

        Of all the green energy initiatives, wind turbines are the least efficient and most intrusive and that’s why the public hate them so much.

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

          Chris S: “would remove the need for income support.”

          Not to mention the deadweight of the civil service bureaucracy necessary to administer and snoop on the recipients.

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          Those who are working and receiving some benefits would probably prefer to see tax cuts which would remove the need for income support.

          What about the millions of people earning below the personal allowance (£8-10,000)? Given that these people will be paying little to no tax they won’t benefit from any tax cuts but will suffer because of benefit cuts. Millions of people earning close to minimum wage will also suffer from these benefit cuts.

          Given that the Conservatives need to encourage people who wouldn’t normally vote Conservative to vote for them alienating millions of low paid workers won’t help them.

          Most people recognise the lunacy of our “green” energy policy which is simply increasing our energy bills

          The UK’s energy bills are high because there’s little competition between all the foreign owned energy companies.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        There is overwhelming public support for control on the burgeoning welfare bill. There is extensive evidence that cuts in tax rates boost revenues (and vice versa). Science does not support the green policies of this govt. Though subsidized at huge expense the wind industry still produces a negligible contribution to UK energy generation. Especially in the light of the failure of climate models to predict the halt in global warming, there is nothing scientific about such policies.

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          There is overwhelming public support for control on the burgeoning welfare bill.

          Given how many millions of working people claim benefits it’s unlikely that there is any public support for a reduction.

          There is extensive evidence that cuts in tax rates boost revenues (and vice versa).

          Your failure to provide any evidence to back up this claim leads me to suspect that there isn’t any evidence. Also how much extra revenue has cutting the 50% tax rate produced?

          Especially in the light of the failure of climate models to predict the halt in global warming, there is nothing scientific about such policies.

          There hasn’t been a halt in global warming and all scientific studies have shown that the average global temperature is continuing to rise.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        We do not want to “ignore the science for idealogical reasons” quite the reverse we want to ignore the AGW green scare religion for the real science and logic – which says see how the climate goes and adapt as we have to. C02 is only one of countless variables in the complex chaotic climate system.

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          The “real science and logic” has proven time and time again that human produced CO2 is mainly responsible for global warming. It is only the deniers who refuse to accept the science because it conflicts with their own ideologies. That’s why the deniers lack any evidence to back up their claims.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Do you mean corporate welfare and welfare for the rich? We can’t get enough of that, but attacks on the middle class social security system do not go down well.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Not sure what you are referring to. If you refer to the continued subsidies for the banking sector then I agree with you.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        You would think people would join up the dots between high house prices , high rents and conclude correctly who housing benefit benefits .

        If the next generation have to pay the same unaffordable accommodation costs I do wonder how they are going to pay my pay-as-you-go state pension .

        Only 30 years ago there was a junk shop in my town and a motorcycle shop which employed a couple of mechanic which dealt with stuff main dealers wouldn’t touch for people who couldn’t fix them themselves .

        With rents as they are now small businesses have gone from marginal to unviable . Hardly any diversity on the high street now .

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      @Richard1: “It is clear that as far as the public are concerned you can’t be too tough on welfare

      Care to cite some evidence for that statement of fact, both the Labour and LibDems stood on a manifesto that called for a fair benefits system, even UKIP stand on such a manifesto except they go about it in a different way, proposing a flat rate benefits and taxation system – only the Tories, by way of IDS, seemed talk “tough” and only IDS and the DWP has carried on talking in such terms what with all his striver’s, shirkers and bedroom curtains talk. Funny sort of mass-support you claim Richard, considering that the Tories failed win a majority.

      Result for 6th May 2010: [1] 306 con to 343 all other seats/parties, even if the Sinn Féin seats are disregarded -in fact, let’s even disregard all the nationalist parties [2] and thus just leave the Con, Lab & Lib parties + the odd IND and Green MP, the Tory party would likely lose any vote of confidence put in front of the HoC should the coalition break up in disarray, which might just happen if the right wing of the Tory party try and push their coalition partners to far…

      Looking at those GE figures I would suggest that the public are/might be more concerned that government/Society can be too tough on welfare…

      [1] and since then, of course, the Conservatives have lost further seats to by-election defeats

      [2] because many on these blogs quite like the idea of removing such nationalists to their own devolved parliaments

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Everyone is in favour of a ‘fair’ benefits system. Who would say they favour an ‘unfair’ system? Opinion poll evidence shows consistently that a large majority of voters – including Labour voters – think the welfare system costs too much and dis-incentivises work.

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          @Richard1: I could name a few politicos, media personalities, opinionists that in my opinion fit the description of wanting an unfair benefits system, starting with just about all who now head up the DWP and those who either fund the department or appoint such people to their jobs! Also the fact that Atos has not had their contract cancelled (yes I now which government awarded the contract), there is more than enough evidence of (unsatisfactory performance for this blogger-ed) on their part but if it is all by design well…

          No one is suggesting that the welfare budget doesn’t need to be brought under control, it does, but the problem is how both Labour and now the Coalition government are going about things, tackle the real waste, the real fraud, the real benefit scroungers (often described as the “Jeremy Kyle type”), don’t just pick on the weak and/or the defenceless. Also, please don’t tar everyone on benefits as the “Jeremy Kyle” type, we all know that there are some who take advantage and play the system but they are the minority and not the norm.

          • Posted May 13, 2013 at 5:30 am | Permalink

            @JR Edit: Thanks John for the edit, it actually says more than my original comment did about the politics of the situation!…

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          Care to explain how welfare disincentivises work when many people who are working are claiming welfare? Could people think this because they’re told that only the unemployed are claiming welfare.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Indeed

  6. Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Most people on this blog believe that Britain is decadent and going downhill fast. This could be because politics has always been a sport for the elderly.
    If you believe this, you are actually looking backwards to restore stuff rather than modernise it.
    Me, I want a return. To the nation state. To the Commonwealth(etc). To grammar schools and Latin. To full employment. To Her Majesty once again being head of state. To the restoration of our historic faith. To trial by jury even in special courts.
    The lefties, too, want a return to TU power, to jobs for the boys, to obsolete climate change. They are in fact, locked into an idea that is a century out of date.

    Rerply Her Majoesty is still Head of State.

    • Posted May 12, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      JR: ” Her Majoesty is still Head of State.”

      What does ‘head of State’ mean, in the context of an administrative area that takes instruction from a foreign authority?

  7. Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    On Gay Marriage;

    An impact study is needed on Immigration procedures. Under equality legislation a gay spouse would have the same rights as a heterosexual wife or husband. (danger of people claiming they were homosexual to get in under border control system-ed) Human rights and gay marriage would tie the Border agency in knots, entirely of the Government’s own making.

    On the Lib Dems and mansion tax.

    The Lib Dems are vulnerable on mansion tax. Will the tax take account of a mortgage on the high value property? If it doesn’t, it’s a property tax, not a wealth tax. If it does, the super rich will easily avoid it by establishing a financial vehicle to lend money to themselves.
    As with all taxes, once in place their scope will be extended by politicians until every householder is paying it. There will be plenty of Labour voters who view ANY house owner as “Rich” and a desirable target for punitive taxation.

    These criticisms successfully helped evict a sitting Lib Dem Councillor.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Rather than a mansion tax we should introduce two or three higher bands of council tax. Some initial overhead but after that part of the usual council tax collection. The government could obtain their cut by making correponding cuts to Council grants.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        A realistic idea! If you don’t want to pay then don’t live there. Same rules as luxury cars.

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          @Bazman: Indeed a realistic idea – in normal times – except currently we are not in realistic times, due to the stagnant economy and housing market. I suspect that there would have to be quite some transition period…

          At the moment any mansion tax or a revision of council tax bands would be faced with deciding if a property was a “Mansion” [1] but what if the owner bricks up doorways (and perhaps even windows) of unused rooms, is the building then still technically a mansion. Worse still, what value does the CT re-valuers take, the pre 2008 market value that it might one day return to, guess a current value but what if the house can not sell and the owner decides to sell the land for redevelopment, should the CT value be the land value plus any demolition value?…

          [1] yes I know there is an actual definition for a mansion

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      @Nick W: You mean like how the claims of genuine heterosexual marriage already tie the immigration/border agency in knots you mean – do you really think someone is going to pretend to be (either heterosexual or) homosexual just to get into a country, rather than just enter a marriage of connivance with someone from the opposite sex as happens already.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        The idea is laughable. It’s like getting married to an East European. Where would that end?

  8. Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    What was wrong with the 50’s? Modern technology and infrastructure allied to 50’s values, work ethics and class distinctions would help Britain tremendously.

    In the past you have advocated moving not to the centre but to the tune of the masses. The masses should be law abiding workers of various ethnic and sexual backgrounds so these colourful initiatives should not be necessary.

    Unfortunately due to competition from globalisation industry demands cheap labour which requires mass immigration and wage subsidy through housing benefit and tax credits. This in turn raises prices and fuels inflation, government becomes debt ridden with no way out.

    Protectionism is part of the answer. We do not need all the cheap tat we buy, and we should be able to provide our own seasonal produce. Of course the genie is out of the bottle and unlikely to be put back in, the EU determines much of our legislation so political parties must differentiate themselves by pandering to minorities and interest groups for the swing vote. That is not modrrnising it is competitive party politics.

  9. Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Its really quite simple you get a rid a of the “modernisers”. Its funny how the sons of multi-millionaires, who have never had a proper job chose to call themselves so. As to the world at large it appears that the Conservative Party has regressed back to the ’50s with its large cohort of Old Etonians in control.

    Its only somebody as useless as Cameron who believes that ethnic minorities are more interested in banning nursery rhymes like “Baa Baa Black Sheep”. Does he really not think that they are not more interested in policemen on the beat (rather than getting a rid of 6000 of them) so that their businesses are safe, as are the neighbourhoods where they live? I bet the Pakistani shopkeepers who were trying defend their shops in Birmingham during the 2011 riots really felt like hugging a hoodie that night. As education is a key Asian value do you think they really want their kids to go to a crap comp or a grammar? Do they really give a toss about “human rights’ either? My other half being from Malaysia always points out that back home Abu Qatada would not be giving anybody the run around. He would have been given up to five years detention without trial. Malaysia is a muslim country and any “radical Islamic cleric” like him will get locked up for trying stir things up.

    You could go on and on with other examples, but if you stick to the basic stuff you win elections (he obviously still is not listening to Crosby yet) by appealing to your core vote. Marx was absolutely right that class trumps everything, certainly not race. If you have policies that appeal to economic strivers the ethnic vote will mostly follow.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Some excellent points. I think Cameron et al have completely misunderstood ethnic minorities and have attributed them with a set of “values” and priorities which are very wide of the mark. Hence his lack of success. His policies (and those of Labour before) have actually encouraged fragmentation by treating ethnic minorities as different and singling them out for special treatment. What a disaster the multiculturalism experiment has been. Use some common sense in policies and take note of the comments that Nina above has made.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Nina

      “If you have polices that appeal to economic stivers, the ethnic vote will mostly follow”

      Certainly true to a degree, as a recent programme on TV (Thursday eve BBC2 Bradford- City of Dreams) outlined, but again that is the case for so called “strivers” of any group.

      The problem the Conservative Party have had, is that because they could not properly explain the pure and simple costs of Socialism to people, and because the Labour Party has been in the past excellent in using smoke and mirrors to cover their financial tracks, they got more support from the general public, and remained in office for years.

      Politics is really quite simple, the real basics needed for a civilised society should be provided by the State, the rest should be up to the individual.

      Clearly we can all argue about what the real basics are or should be, but the fact of the matter is, Government has far too much control, which reaches far to far into peoples personal lives, and as it continues to need more and more money to satisfy this control, it brings in ever more controls to make sure people are playing by the more complicated rules it is setting out.

      Thus we have an ever increasing spiral of control costs.

      The simple solution is to get back to basics, no not the John Major type of getting back to basics.
      What we need to do is really to scrap the lot, and start again.

      The main problem the Conservatives have is that they failed to communicate properly, and rather than fix that fault, they thought that the actual message was wrong.

      The only change needed was to “Make it simple, and get it right”.

      We simply have to live within our means.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Politics is really quite simple, the real basics needed for a civilised society should be provided by the State, the rest should be up to the individual.

        By basics I take it you’re referring to:
        -Food
        -Water
        -Shelter
        -Heating
        -Jobs or the ability to apply for jobs
        -Defence
        -Justice
        -Healthcare

        All of which cost money and will continue to cost money.

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Uanime5

          So you list your basics, which is a start.

          So how many of those on this list do you think should be provided 100% for by the State, and how many should you be responsible for ?

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            Well if you’re unemployed all of these need to be provided by the state.

            If you’re in a low paid job you can probably afford to pay for your own food and water.

            Given the current energy prices you’d need to be earning a lot of money before you can afford your own shelter and heating without Government help.

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          Well a good list of basics that could all be dealt with with a government spending less than 20% of GDP or by the private sector.

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Uanime5

          “well if you are unemployed all of them need to be provided by the State”

          With that one simple statement you underline exactly what is wrong with the present situation, and why we are in the mess we are.

          So, If I sit on my arse, the government should provide all should they, what an incentive that is.

          Pray tell me why exactly anyone who is working, pay ever higher taxes, for people to do nothing, who are capable of work but choose not to.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Osborne who is supposed to be the “expert” at winning elections needs to talk to JEB Bush. JEB has recognised that the Republican Party will wither away if it continues to be the party of the “angry white man” as America’s demographics change. Unusually for a Bush, he is clever enough to have realised that Hispanics are really conservatives at heart and are not metrosexual multi culturalists who want live off the state. He knows that they are actually interested in law and order, quality schools and not having to fork out money for deadbeats. All you need to do is stick to the core conservative policies but manage to package them to suit the tastes of the varying parts of your coalition. Dead easy but the Conservative Party will never click on to this the longer it is run by lifelong failures such as Cameron and Osborne

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          Given that most Hispanics work in low paid jobs they’re more likely to vote for the Democrats because the Democrats are less likely to cut their benefits than Republicans. This is why the Republicans get few votes from Hispanics even when offering other pledges that will benefit Hispanics.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Worked well in Northern Ireland didn’t it?

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      My other half being from Malaysia always points out that back home Abu Qatada would not be giving anybody the run around. He would have been given up to five years detention without trial. Malaysia is a muslim country and any “radical Islamic cleric” like him will get locked up for trying stir things up.

      Somehow I doubt that practising “detention without trial” would improve the UK’s international standing.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Gay Marriage will probably have lost us more friends in Africa and Asia than being tough on Qatada.

        I don’t believe in detention without trial : Personally, I would have followed the Italian and French examples : put him on a plane to Jordan and not worry about the liberal backlash which would have been purely symbolic.

        Why foreign terrorists who chose to come here illegally have to be given the same rights as UK citizens I don’t understand.

        They should face justice as practiced in their country of birth.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Good points, well made.

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

      Indeed the whole idea that certain ethnic races have special needs, just due to their racial background is a rather racist assumption is it not. Usually an excuse for yet more parasites in the state sector to “help” them.

      They have similar needs and aspirations to everyone else. jobs, law and order, housing, cheap energy, low taxes, an efficient state sector………….

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        Where does middle class stupidity fit into this?

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Your 2k a weeks driving you mad Nina. How much of this have this have you put towards your windows?

  10. Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The problem for the Tory party is the same as always.

    First and foremost is that it refuses to fight the Labour party on its own terms, or to fight the Labour party in an effective and easily digestible manner, which goes to the heart of the modernising agenda; make policies easily understandable for the lowest common denominator, make points simple and fight dirty to accommodate the IQ lowest common denominator. Labour will verge on the point of lying but get an effective point across; this has always been the Tories Achiles heel. If Ed Balls is an incompetent and lying shyster….say so and don’t bother to produce a load of figures and statistics to show it that in reality few care about.

    No need to change, just modernise the delivery.

  11. Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    How about a really radical idea? You come up with policies, make promises that you will carry them out, and here comes the radical bit- actually do it.
    When your current leadership comes up with a policy it’s almost certain to be dropped, watered down or be carried out so slowly or inefficiently that it is almost invisible. You were elected to carry out a program of austerity and cuts. Where are they? So tiny adjustments to the books, a cut in one department that is wiped out by increases elsewhere. The biggest obstacle to winning back voters is not lack of policy it’s lack of action.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      @Andyvan: “When your current leadership comes up with a policy it’s almost certain to be dropped, watered down or be carried out so slowly or inefficiently that it is almost invisible.

      I think they calling “Democracy”, you seem to want to live in a…well I’m not quite sure, but it most certainly is not a parliamentary democracy! 🙁

  12. Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Doubtless one can only be modern (enlightened) if one supports the EU.

    All pro-EU candidates should be made to display the EU flag somewhere on their campaign literature.

    Only Eurosceptic candidates/parties should be able to display the British flag/colours. There cannot be a midway point on this issue. One cannot be both pro-EU and pro British.

    I have found myself supporting a pro-EU mandate (inadvertently) because I did not know that the Tory MP I was voting for was Europhile. My fault – but I was more concerned with other policies at the time.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Amendment:

      All pro-EU candidates should be made to display the EU flag PROMINENTLY on their campaign literature.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Kevin, if I had my way, I’d have the EU flag tattooed on every Europhile’s foreheads, so when it finally goes into oblivion, they couldn’t then turn around and declare they weren’t responsible!

        Tad

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

          Like the suggestion.

          You may recall the classic 1950s film ” Invasion of the Body Snatchers” where aliens slowly took over a community by brainwashing with a device that left a puncture mark in the victim’s neck.

          I sometimes wonder if EU diehards have similarly been afflicted!

          • Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            Then, just like the film, it’s up to us to make sure we never fall asleep!

            I’m afraid that’s what many of us did, and the Europhiles started to take over. Their philosophy is like a poisonous stain creeping across water, and for evil to triumph, good men only need to do nothing. We must be ever-vigilant, and fight every inch of the way. Alas, we British only ever seem to be at our best, when our backs are against the wall. I am hopeful the tide is now turning in favour of reality, common sense, and the mass of evidence that proves the EU is an unworkable nonsense.

            Tad

        • Posted May 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          @Tad Davison: With “friends” like Tad around neither UKIP or the Tories need political enemies…

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        On the contrary, the obvious way to show them up is for all Eurosceptics to wear a Union Flag lapel badge to signify the desire for an independent United Kingdom.

        You can’t be pro-EU and at the same time be a supporter of a proud, independent UK, can you ?

  13. Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The party didn’t win during the Blair era because:

    – Labour had a charismatic leader

    – The economy was ‘booming’ on fake money and people felt rich

    – Sky TV/football was a massive distraction (it still is – Sir Alex Fergusson was able to outshine The Queen’s speech this week.)

    – The Tories looked dire and phrases such as ‘Tough on crime, tough on the causes…’, ‘Back to basics’ and ‘Things can only get better’ appeared during the Major years.

    – Mass immigration had not yet impacted most parts in the way it had the SE. The effects were localised and people elsewhere simply did not believe it was happening (The Tories must take responsibility for this foolish open door policy and is why I refused to vote for them in ’97)

    Reply Migration was under reasonable control in the Tory years.Labour changed the policy fundamentally.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      The Tory Party didn’t win because The Sun had been duped by Blair into supporting him.

      I have not bought that rag since. It (not the Daily Mail) is what people should be taking the rise out of.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      And what about ‘immigration’ ? Dis you ever get that under reasonable control ?

      When you control the words, you can better control the debate.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – The rot started with the Tories and the abolition of exit controls in 1994 to the EU and later on for the Rest of the World……

      zorro

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      @Electro-Kevin: The Blair boom years were built on the economic/socail success from the Thatcher/Major years so I hope you are wrong that it was all built on “fake money”!…

      The Tories didn’t beat Blair for one reason and one reason only, between 1997 and 2005 (yes I know what some will say but…) the party elected a series of leaders that were basically more out of touch than -the party thought- the two previous leaders prior to ’97 had been – in short the Tory party was, and still is to some extent, beating its self up in the same way as the Labour Party did between 1979 and 1994… The difference between the two, Labour was able to tackle the structural fractures (such as “Militant”) mostly from within and behind closed doors, on the other hand the Tory party is having to tackle many of their structural issues (such as the EU) in the public street because much of the problems are being caused by forces outside of the party.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Jerry – The ‘fake money’ came from the Clinton inspired credit boom and the low interest rates post 9/11 which should have increased prior to that event to counter the Dot.Com boom.

        Who watched the Twin Towers falling and said “Do you know what ? There is going to be the biggest economic boom in history now this has happened.” ?

        My thanks to all responses to my comment – especially Mr Redwood, though I disagree with it entirely. The impact post Maastricht was obvious and instantaneous in London. I was shocked by it to the point that I abstained in 1997.

        Life is hard enough them saying that people have to compete in the World. It’s even harder when they tell people that they must compete with the rest of the World within their own country.

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          @Electro-Kevin: The down-side effect of Clinton’s credit boom was not felt for some 7 yeas after 9/11 when the sub-prime crisis hit, on the other hand the Blair/Brown boom was built on the solid wealth generated during and after the Major and Bush (snr.) years – it was this capacity for wealth generation that allowed Clinton to believe (that allowing) sub-prime mortgages could be sustained, but then came the mini recession caused by 9/11 as companies started to protect against the possibility of a full blown recession in the weak of 9/11 – the trouble was that by then everyone was living in a house of cards…

          Also I’m not sure what you mean by low interest rates, I seem to recall that they were still moderately high until the 2007/8 credit crisis hit when of course they fell like a lead ballon, unless of course you beleive rates should be topping the 15% we saw during the ERM crisis!

  14. Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    JR: “In 1995 I said “No change, no chance””
    That was when you stood against Major, I think, for the leadership of your party. Unfortunately you failed and after the next election there followed 13 years of Labour. The words are as apt today but with a different leader. I suspect the outcome is destined to be similar too!

  15. Posted May 11, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    JR, you know you can’t go wrong knocking immigrants and welfare scroungers; regardless of a political party. Every Brit believes all his neighbours are getting a better deal than he/she is. Every Brit is quite prepared to cut off his/her nose to spite his/her face.

    We have developed MHVH (media hyped victim hysteria) to a fine art. We now have more victim groups than we have Elm trees; and, they all get their five minutes on the “Today” programme. We have cornered the market in vicarious grieving and are second to the USA in applied depressive Memetics (see: “The Selfish Gene”; “Viruses of the Mind”; “Thought Contagion: How Belief Spreads Through Society” etc.).

    The results of the above mean we have advanced (?) to having more laws; rules and regulations than you can shake a stick at. We now make laws to inhibit the chance of a one in a million unwanted event; but, the market will always ensure that the majority lose anyway.

    Now, if you can put together a manifesto that covers all the above, you will be on a winner. 😉

  16. Posted May 11, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    A good start Mr. Redwood, would be to either heavily amend, or withdraw the ‘Special Measures’ ruling with regard to the Conservative Party and constituencies which develop political strains at odds with the leadership.

    No party can survive without new ideas, and a process which intentionally stifles new ideas creates a party existing in a stasis – its leadership thence risks the path of dynastic succession rather than fresh thinking. As an aside, it also will create and perpetuate a sense of self-justified paranoia in that leadership, that opposition in the party cannot be tolerated, rather than given due scrutiny and consideration.

  17. Posted May 11, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    John, I disagree with your suggestion that if the Conservatives had concentrated on ‘right wing’ issues, they would now be more popular (sorry for the over-simplification of your position)

    I disagree.

    The Conservatives party took the path of least resistance. It decided to take a BBC-friendly approach. The BBC’s special word for being BBC-friendly is called “modernisation”.

    To some extent it has worked:

    1. There are very few examples of the BBC challenging the government over its substantial overseas budget

    2. Hardly a mention of the high level of state spending

    3. Hardly a murmur against single sex marriage

    I suspect that, if the Conservatives had espoused values that the BBC found objectionable, it would have been in opposition right now.

    We have seen the tremendous power of the BBC with its recent promotion of UKIP. Further back, the BBC’s promotion of the Greens resulted in their first MP. Just think, therefore, of the effect of the CONTINUOUS bashing of the Conservatives and promotion of Labour in the past, the present and the future.

    The latest example is the near crisis in Labour over MPs selection rules, general split between Labour factions and those that want a change of leadership. This is not being reported. However, a public and honest debate about eu membership is being characterised by the BBC as a “Tory split”.

    Until the BBC is tackled you are on a hiding to nothing.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      We have seen the tremendous power of the BBC with its recent promotion of UKIP

      BBC promoting UKIP? I think there must be something wrong with your telly Kenneth, it seems to be distorting the signal. Everyone else is just getting UKIP put downs.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        I would have agreed with you had this been a few weeks ago, however things have changed recently,

        UKIP has recently been getting a lot of coverage by the BBC. This was a policy change by the BBC. In fact I have been told a memo went out within the BBC a couple of months ago to “take UKIP seriously”.

        Some think this was a deliberate ploy to wreck the Conservatives. I detest the way BBC distorts democracy but I have never seen any evidence of conspiracies at the BBC. Whatever the reason, the recent BBC coverage of UKIP has made a very big impact.

  18. Posted May 11, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Subject to careful choice of socially liberal measures and how far that went, this could have worked as an election winning strategy. A well judged reduction in political correctness, leaving people freer to run their own lives, would be welcome and popular.

    This kind of thing is really starting to irk.

    It seems the priority is “will this win us votes?” more than “is this the right thing to do?”.

    Of course, sometimes both are possible but this seems to happen as a coincidence now.

  19. Posted May 11, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I have never understood why, when a country and its people are basically conservative in their belief, a political party that is supposed to champion their cause, should then seek to win over those from the political margins, by ditching their core principles, and moving towards the minorities. The only party to make significant political gains in recent times, is the one that remains loyal to those core principles, and that sure as hell aint the Tories!

    Minorities are usually marginalised for a reason, and that reason is because their ideas are fanciful, and don’t actually make sense, as with socialism. And before anyone starts pointing to the three victories Labour had on the bounce, that was down to the crass incompetence and sleaze of the Tories under Major, and that Labour had ditched hard-left policies with their ‘third way’ in order to draw in disaffected people. Just that in the end, Labour turned out to be just as crass, incompetent, and ridden with sleaze as the ones who had gone before!

    Yet things can change, provided it isn’t simply for change’s sake, and that the metamorphosis is something that is both needed and workable. Were that not the case, we’d still be shoving kids up chimneys!

    In the final analysis, the public expect good governance of the highest order. So let’s break that down. We want fair taxation without the waste. We want to feel safe in our homes, and to walk the streets without some criminal dross helping themselves to our hard-earned property. We’d like to have medical treatment free at the point of delivery should we become ill. We’d like our kids to have a proper education and to grow up with a sense of moral values, and in a proper family environment wherever possible. We’d like full employment where jobs pay enough to live on. We’d like our armed forces to be able protect us from foreign invaders. We’d like an energy policy that provided energy at affordable levels, but above all, we want democracy, for without that, we are unlikely to achieve any of the rest.

    So where has it all gone wrong?

    We can look at the above, and see the hand of the dabbler and the tinkerer. Those who produce rafts of legislation where simplification would do. But the real problem has come about where we have been duped and conned into having more of the EU, where we don’t even get a vote in the first place, as that would be an impediment to the advancement of their socialist-centric ways and ideology.

    The EU supporters have taken us down this route in the name of modernisation, when in reality, subscription to the EU and its ways of working, is taking us back to the dark ages of plebs and serfdom, where democracy is pretty much non-existent. Yet trying to make people see just what a backward step this is, is like wading through treacle!

    And we’ll never forget who it was that started us on this disastrous route, to then have the Lisbon, Amsterdam, and Nice treaties thrust upon us by a Labour party who couldn’t believe their outrageous good fortune! The Tories’ only hope now, is to admit the ‘modernisers’ got it wrong, and take us back to a system that actually worked!

    There seems to be a direct correlation between our nation’s decline, and the move towards the adoption of the liberal policies of the moderniser.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      The EU supporters have taken us down this route in the name of modernisation, when in reality, subscription to the EU and its ways of working, is taking us back to the dark ages of plebs and serfdom, where democracy is pretty much non-existent.

      Given all the employee rights emanating from the EU it’s clear that it’s not the EU which is trying to revive serfdom.

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Same old drivel!

        Show me a law that the EU has passed, that our own parliament could not have enacted had it been so minded, and of course free to do! You continue to overlook all the legislation that comes our way, where our people never had any say at all!

        Dream on! You must be loving it in that ivory tower, so divorced from reality!

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

          What about the Working Time Directive which the British Government fought against because it prevented employers forcing employees to work more than 40 hours per week?

          Also employment laws tend to come from the EU because the UK Parliament hasn’t wanted to create similar laws.

          • Posted May 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            @U5: “What about the [EU] Working Time Directive

            Except that many employees were quite happy to work these longer hours and were paid very well for them, now they find it very difficult (a minefield of paperwork and regulation), in effect they have been forced to take a pay cut by the EU!

            Also, any industry that is safety critical already had working hours regulations -either industry formulated or by statute, some being in existence long before the EU started thinking that they know all the answers, long before the UK joined the old EEC, long before De Gaulle said “No!” to our first attempt to join Le Club

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Stripping nations of their sovereignty, as has happened to Ireland, Cyprus and Greece, is not trying to revive serfdom.

        Right

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      @Tad Davison: “I have never understood why, when a country and its people are basically conservative in their belief,

      With around 35% (more than 1/3rd) of the electorate not bothering to cast an opinion (for a political party or non by spoiling their ballot paper) that is a big enough percentage to effect any assumptions of who has the core vote. Thank you Tad for sharing your opinion, and hopes are, as to the core beliefs of the nation are…

  20. Posted May 11, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Clegg has been used by Cameron to implement his modernising agenda, with disastrous results on the level of support for the current Conservative Party. If anyone is any doubt about the duplicity of Clegg, and how he seems to “operate”, see Quentin Letts’s hard hitting expose of him. I think Clegg is very dangerous when he has his hands on the levers of power, and the problem is that Cameron does not seem to mind the very high degree of power that Clegg seems to exert over him and the Coalition and its policies, principally in liberal left, EU direction. I believe it suits Cameron’s own agenda, which seems to be a social and political engineering project effected in close coordination with the eurocrats.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2322716/How-Clegg-held-Britain-ransom-Nick-Cleggs-cynical-double-dealing-stabbing-Coalition-colleagues-By-QUENTIN-LETTS.html

  21. Posted May 11, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    In my view the analysis offered by Tory “modernisers” has always been faulty.

    Labour won a landslide victory in 1997 mainly because the ERM fiasco had destroyed the Tories’ reputation for more competent management of the economy.

    Other factors – disputes over the Maastricht Treaty, sleaze, etc – also played a part in the Tories’ downfall, but it was the voters’ loss of belief in their economic competence which was the dominant factor.

    With the economy apparently doing well under Labour there was no way that the Tory party could recover from the 1997 rout by 2001; even by 2005 any recovery would still be partial, although as I recall the Tories did claim to have won the 2005 election as far as just England was concerned.

    What is most striking is the failure to win in 2010 after Labour had shown itself to be even more incompetent in economic management; personally I don’t ascribe a large part of that failure to Cameron’s abject surrender on the Lisbon Treaty, which continues to have
    a corrosive effect on his personal credibility but which probably cost the Tories only a few percent of support in 2010.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      @Denis
      With regard to the 1997 GE defeat, William Hague – in his first conference speech as leader – said: “People thought we had lost touch with those we always claimed to represent. Our parliamentary party came to be seen as divided, arrogant, selfish and conceited. Our party as a whole was regarded as out of touch and irrelevant. That is the truth of it, and we have to come to terms with it.”

      The first sentence still seems to be true for some judging by the comments I have read on here since the local election results.

  22. Posted May 11, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Europe was exciting and new in this era. My daughter read European business studies at university and I was certainly enthusiastic about European enlargement and involved myself in her years study at Granada University where I envisaged a large happy European family. A bit naïve you may think, but that was the positive atmosphere of the day. Then the reality banged in; we were second class citizens in our own country. I personally couldn’t get an employed situation in my more senior status and yet immigrants who were less qualified got the positions easily and so it deteriorated from there.
    Since the age of 18 years my first vote was for a liberal candidate ‘Benson’ I fancied myself free and independent. Later years I voted conservative, as the whole row of Victorian terraced houses I lived on were true aspirational Brits , who involved themselves in literature , music, philosophy and even had a Tory MP on the end house. I voted Conservative for years , until the people I had trusted in , Tory’s’ all let me down. Mother was a staunch socialist who would always put others before me, especially the black population and when my blue father died I sided with mum. She convinced me I wasn’t important, wasn’t as good as anyone else and that is the way I should stay throughout my many years to follow in single parenthood by divorce. She was ashamed of my downfall and worshipped the ground any poorly treated other suffered. It was theoretical socialism.
    I studied politics from a philosophical standpoint and really now have no firm views.
    I believe it is about management and not governance , and I cannot remember a decent manager in the whole darn progress of politics. Management is really about individual self control but then you cannot manage those who do have independence.. so where do we go from here?

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Quite right, Margaret but I would add another term to the list – leadership. Yes, dership because those who would lead must have the ability to inspire trust in those whom they seek to lead. Usually this stems from their personal qualities such as presence, honesty, superior knowledge, experience, integrity, trustworthiness, competence, incisiveness and a concern for others – even if that concern has at times to be constrained by the need for the leader to sacrifice, if necessary, a minority for the good of the whole.

      For the ordinary people of Europe (who are far more perceptive than some politicians think) there is little to suggest that EU and EC leaders have the leadership qualities we instinctively expect of them; we are not inspired to trust them, either individually or collectively and can see that many of them are in place, not because of the will of the people, but by political maneuvering where leadership qualities are not necessary for success in climbing the greasy pole of politics.

      To stay in power these people must always work to remove the voter from having any real influence, but that cannot be sustained for ever and at some point they will be brought down, perhaps as seems likely at the moment by external forces over which they have no control. Only then might there be the chance for some real leaders to appear to sort out the ensuing chaos, but I have no idea where they might come from, for there are none on the horizon that I can see at the moment.

  23. Posted May 11, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Modernisation is involves the replacement of obsolescent beliefs, customs and methods with those that are considered new and better.

    In the last thirty years, China has modernised; as a consequence, its GDP is second only to that of the USA. Before its current programme of modernistion, it had modernised in a different way, a way based upon a local variant of Bolshevism, with the help of ‘Russian’ Bolshevik advisors. During that latter period, the Chinese people, who like us, as Northern Europeans, are by nature, law-abiding, did lawful things, both to themselves and others, resulting in the deaths of tens of millions and the reduction of the whole country, apart from a ruling elite, to a state of extreme want. During that period of modernisation, at the time of the Great Leap Forward, local people submitted their pots and pans and toiled in local smelters while eating food from communal kitchens, in the modern way.

    The EU is intending to impose a 47% duty on Chinese made solar panels, because theirs are 45% cheaper than ours and they now have 80% of the world market; the EU suspects dumping; solar panels can’t be made that cheaply. These solar panels are intended so that local people can manufacture electricity locally, from their roofs, instead of it being made in obsolete coal burning power stations, as no doubt the Chinese are using for their solar panel factories. When Cameron gave his famous speech about there being no room for traditional methods of electricity generation in the white heat of the green technological revolution, he perhaps overlooked the fact that what is modern technology like solar panels is not necessarily high technology and as such can be mass produced far more cheaply in Chinese factories because they do not have the expensive production overheads of our modernised system, with its welfare state with its patient killing hospitals and schools for grooming children with doublethink, all free at the point of entry, our green religion, our laws for prosecuting English people for thoughtcrime, but our extreme concern for the human rights of some people who are not English, the sort of people China would have no difficulty in excluding from their country, to pay for.

  24. Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    They said the party has to be comfortable in modern Britain, and not think it can put the social clock back to the 1950s.

    I would be quite happy to put the social (and thus political) clock back to the 1950s!

    Just think, no silly political correctness, health and safety would be down to common sense and not box ticking, we would have economic policy that was for all and not just for those who are prepaid to back-stab (a gentleman’s word would be his bond and if any businessman was to renege on his bond he would be drummed him out by his peers), there would be houses (that could be called ‘home’) fit for heroes and not for those who can afford the mortgage or high rent – yes there would be unions that are allowed to unionise (but then that wasn’t so much of a problem until the permissive and protest era that was the 1960s), nor would everything be perfect but there would be a sense of hope that “Britain can make it”, that tomorrow will be better than today. Oh and nearly forgot, there would be a strong Commonwealth, and no EU…

  25. Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Yet again, I urge people to watch the BBC News Channel’s Dateline London with Gavin Ezler. If ever there was a lop-sided, biased, badly-informed, pro-EU mouthpiece, this is it!

    We really do need to complain in the most bitter terms about this trash!

    All the panellists derided those of us who wish to come out of the EU as somehow mad, but the BBC again didn’t put up anyone to put the proper and contrary view which would clearly demonstrate that withdrawal isn’t just feasible, it is wholly necessary.

    Can anyone suggest a mechanism whereby we get our protests heard, or do we need to camp outside the BBC in numbers to bring home the point that we are as angry as hell, and we’re just not going to take this any more!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Posted May 12, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      @Tad Davison: “Can anyone suggest a mechanism whereby we get our protests heard

      Yes the BBC and BBC Trust has a set procedure, follow that (in the first instance to the letter…), if that doesn’t help then -try- and get your own MP involved. If your local MP is unwilling/unhelpful then perhaps you could write to one of the two UKIP Peers and ask them if they could take up the issue on your behalf (I don’t see why they shouldn’t be able to so as it is not a direct constituency matter), such approaches to the BBC Trust from UKIP seem to have had some effect regarding balance/bias in the past.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/governance/complaints_framework/editorial.html

      You can not complain to Ofcom regarding complaints of BBC bias.

  26. Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    All you have to do is blame. It works a treat.
    Blame foreigners
    Blame immigrants
    Blame the poor
    Blame the sick
    Blame the scientists
    Blame the public sector
    Blame the EU
    Whip up a culture of blame. Everyone feels better when there are scapegoats to abuse. This approach has worked in the past. Notable regimes have got in on this agenda. The Daily Mail pursue it with much verve.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      You left out ‘blame the bankers’ or perhaps that is whom you would like to blame.

      • Posted May 12, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

        Brian Tomkinson: “You left out ‘blame the bankers’ … ”

        Don’t forget ‘blame the Politicians’, they were after all, in charge.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Feeling better now, Dear?

      • Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for your concern Doug.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Nah, just blame the politicians. That is all-encompassing. They are the ones who got it so consistently and badly wrong!

      • Posted May 12, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        @Tad Davison: “Nah, just blame the politicians.

        Sorry Tad, even that is wrong, just blame the electorate – but then who wants to take the blame themselves, that is why we love to whip up that blame culture and blame someone else… Trip over in the street, it’s some local government employees fault for not painting a yellow line or what ever; hurt yourself by crashing the car, it’s the car manufacturers fault for not making safer cars; stick your fingers up a machine at work and get them chopped off, it’s the bosses fault because he didn’t tell you the blooming obvious!

        Two things this country needs desperately, first we need to get out of the brain numbing EU, then we need to regain common sense – thinking about it, perhaps that needs to be the other way around…

        • Posted May 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          Jerry: “even that is wrong, just blame the electorate – but then who wants to take the blame themselves,”

          Nope, Tad is correct. The elections are a fraud, there is a political cartel and it doesn’t much matter which member of the cartel takes power, they simply carry out EU instructions.

          The election is approaching, and the shell of the Tory party is trying to look EUrosceptic. Just like the last election, promises promises – then when the diminishing votes are counted, the victorious party ( returned on an ever shrinking % of those eligible to vote ) will just carry on implementing EU and UN instructions.

          • Posted May 13, 2013 at 5:43 am | Permalink

            APL: “Nope, Tad is correct. The elections are a fraud, there is a political cartel and it doesn’t much matter which member of the cartel takes power, they simply carry out EU instructions.

            What utter poppycock!

            So if UKIP won a landslide are you seriously suggesting that they would “simply carry out EU instructions”?!

            Sorry but the electors vote these politicains in, if society select the wrong people to do a job then -like the company board- it is they who need to accept the blame, yes the selected person might be blindingly incompetent but s/he didn’t select themselves…

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Personally I blame our MPs in the first instance, and then the political parties that select such people to be installed in our Parliament.

  27. Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I know we have our moments Mr Redwood, and we will probably continue to do so until one of us changes their stance on some things, but I am aware that you spend a lot of time listing your many beliefs on some subjects and your history in regard to them. What occurs to me is that you are possibly listing them to yourself, trying to convince yourself somehow where exactly you are on some debates. When you have made a decision maybe you can tell us and act on them, because you sometimes come over as being between 2 stools, a conservative party dying on it’s feet, and an alternative course, ( I make no suggestions at all for that).

  28. Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative Party has, sadly, lost sight of what it stands for and its unifying philosophies. It always used to stand for, inter alia, personal responsibility, a small state, low tax and a sound economy. Notwithstanding the damage done to Tory credibility for economic competence when sterling was ignominiously ejected from the ERM, Major & Clarke righted the ship, didn’t try to buy the 1997 election with populist give away measures and lost largely on sleaze. 3 election defeats to Tony Blairs New Labour created the impression that revolution was needed when in truth what was needed was evolution which resulted in the catastrophe that is David Cameron. The Conservative Party now is at odds with itself. Sound economy has been abandoned as Osborne has failed to cut Gov consumption spending or stimulate growth, lost the UK AAA rating, abandoned his defucit reduction targets, and is now trying to stoke a mini boom to buy the next election. Radical social policies associated with the Big Society & Broken society to improve the quality ofvour national life proved to be just cheap words with no substance and Mr Cameron has chosen instead to abandon traditional family values in favour of riding the populist wave of (pro -ed) homosexuality with his gay marriage legislation. Tories protect public sector officials from taking responsibility as scandals like Mid-Staffs go unpunished but vilify private sector CEOs who fail; local Gov is undermined with changes to planning include an appeals system rigged in favour of builders, and then there is all the pervasive Tory divisions over the EU. Tory modernisation cannot be brought up to date unless the Conservative party first rediscover a unifying philosophy and agree on a programme for modernisation that is consistent with that.

  29. Posted May 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    set a cap on total welfare payments to each family and made other commitments to welfare reform

    One should always be wary about adopting policies that are popular before they are implemented. The poll tax was initially popular until people actually had to pay it. Perhaps the Conservatives should try adopting more policies that the public have supported after they’ve been implemented.

    In the days ahead I will look at how the Conservative party could come up with an agenda that suits many traditional Conservatives, whilst also showing that the party can reach out to people who have not voted for it for many years, and to younger people who have never voted for it.

    The Conservative party will have trouble appealing to young people, as they are more likely to be on some form of benefits and less likely to benefit from upper rate tax cuts.

    • Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      You wrote:

      ‘One should always be wary about adopting policies that are popular before they are implemented.’

      What about the ones that were likely to be unpopular, but were sneaked in under the radar so no-one would notice, like Labour’s ‘open doors’ immigration policy, that saw to it so many of our young people couldn’t get jobs as they had already been taken by those from within the EU? Young people who were then virtually consigned to the scrapheap before they even had a chance, all because Labour wanted to add to their ‘client state’ as they (as one former Labour minister put it) are more likely to vote Labour.

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

      Poll tax popular? In a way I suppose it was, for those who were able to understand that “from each according to their abilities, to those according to their needs” but should you study English history (or British if you wish to view it that way) you will find that on the 2 previous occasions that the rulers tried to impose a poll tax on every citizen that it led, as it did with Maggie, to universal unrest, riots and, not long afterwards, its abandonment.

      It seems to me that that there is too large a number of people reliant on the state to provide them with a means of funding their chosen lifestyle who will object to any levelling of social responsibility. Poll tax was a good idea but, as on previous occasions, its imposition would never fly as each individual on the list would have seen exactly how much they were to be taxed to support the state.
      It would be a very good thing if every individual could see exactly how much they are taxed to support the state, from local to national level. That might well bring about a degree of resentment as to how their money was wasted on spin, hype and busted pledges. Put simply, those in power do not wish anyone to see just how puch it costs us to for them to remain in power.

      • Posted May 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Income tax also lets people know exactly how much they are contributing to the state but has never been as unpopular as the poll tax. I suspect this is because those who earn the most income pay the most tax, unlike the poll tax where everyone has to pay the same regardless of the value of their property.

  30. Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    The Tory Party needs a leader, not a manager that follows focus groups’ variable messages. You were right in 1995 to say ‘no change, no chance’ and you are right (no pun intended) now.
    I no longer believe, under the current leadership, that voting Conservative leads to Conservative outcomes so I wish you well in convincing me, and others, that I am mistaken.

  31. Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Modernisation and Conservatism should be complete opposites.

    • Posted May 12, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Leslie Singleton: “Modernisation and Conservatism should be complete opposites.”

      There is a case to be made for incremental improvement, what that traitor Heath did with his local government ‘reform’ was cultural vandalism. The Tory party has been in the business of destroying the UK for a long time.

  32. Posted May 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,
    Differences between the policies of Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties are increasingly irrelevant. The House of Commons is on the same track, for it is able to decide less and less about the real issues.
    Until we return, as a nation, to the Rule of Law, with Governments enacting only that which is consistent with our historic Constitution as set out in Magna Carta, The Bill of Rights, The Act of Union and the Monarch’s Coronation Oath, we will continue the decline which is daily becoming more evident. Those who ignore their past, have no future.
    John Wrake

  33. Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood MP said: “….PM has vetoed the Fiscal treaty…”

    To avoid any confusion, David Cameron did NOT veto the Fiscal PACT (not a treaty), as their was nothing to veto. All he did was not sign up to something. He never stopped the other members of the EU signing up and carrying out.

    I know this to some may seem pedantic, but if you tell an untruth often enough it becomes believed without question. I will not let this happen !

    Cameron refused to sign because their would have been a rebellion and would have been seen for what he is – as a full blown europhile .

    As for modernizing, this is nothing new. The Conservatives’ have allowed them selves to be painted as the ‘nasty party’ by the left, when in truth they are really all the same.

    Reply He did veto the Treaty, and as a result the Fiscal Pact is not an EU Treaty.

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

      Reply to reply:

      So we have gone from you initially saying ‘vetoed the Fiscal Treaty’ in your original post, too ‘vetoing Fiscal Pact’ now !

      Well that is progress of sorts.

      As for treaties, member states of the EU cannot create treaties outside of the EU – it is against EU law. That’s why it is called a PACT and not a TREATY. Cameron did not have a vote on the Council of Europe as neither could anyone else. It was a deal to get around the Commission and to speed up the process. Cameron could not sign, as the Pact meant significant loss of sovereignty. You’d have his guts for garters if he’d signed, and you must surely know this.

      I know I do !

      • Posted May 12, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        John is into revisionism when it comes to kicking over the traces of Tory duplicity.

  34. Posted May 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    “In the days ahead I will look at how the Conservative party could come up with an agenda that suits many traditional Conservatives, whilst also showing that the party can reach out to people who have not voted for it for many years, and to younger people who have never voted for it.”

    Economically, both groups are on the same wavelength. Both believe in rewarding hard work and looking after the genuinely needy. Views on social policy (like gay marriage) are different, but I doubt that for either group, it’s now a big deal.

    My advice: go and find a marginal constituency, and a marginal ward, knock on doors offering people a £10 M&S voucher for 15 minutes of their time to tell you what they want government to do for them, and take it seriously.

    You see, I don’t think that the appeal of UKIP is just about Europe. It’s instead about a general tone towards certain issues. Most people want to live a free life. They don’t want government taking too much of their salary, or telling them that they should be eating smaller biscuits in cafes, or paying more for a bottle of wine, or not being allowed to smoke in their local, despite both they and the landlord being happy with that situation. And these might be small things, but they speak volumes about the government’s view of the adults that pay for them.

  35. Posted May 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    The party that has the most modern policies is UKIP John. The Conservative party does not at present have a mandate to govern this country. The British public did not vote for your party to form a government. You have therefore no more moral right to demand to inflict the present coalition policies on us than any other party. Because the liberals jumped at the chance to be rewarded for having won enough seats to be used as padding, it was a nuisance of course but had to be done so the gravy train could be rolled out. Since then Cameron and crowd have formed a union but both have been desperate to get some blue water between the two parties. I have seen more harmony in a knocking shop.
    If you really want to modernise ditch the Tories and cross the road to UKIP, be the first and make an historic break with a party that has seen its best days long ago. Cameron is not a leader because he is not leading us in the direction he should be. He is like a fish on a hook twisting and turning but with little chance of escape. I do not want to be writing about your parties obituary with you in it. Is it honour or a debt you owe to Cameron and your party, you owe your country more.

  36. Posted May 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    How many of your commenters have had the misfortune to be humiliated by an embarrassing parent during childhood?
    That is what the Conservative Party look like according to Dr Redwood’s analysis of its past and present failings. Trying to look young and hip by donning green clothing, more free handouts to the “natives” (foreign aid) and being overly gay-friendly is a turn-off to most people. Revert to normal behaviour please and start acting your age. Cameron is out of touch.
    Can the embarrassing Tory parent get rid of the trendy clothes and the silly pony-tail please.

  37. Posted May 11, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Lots to share with the ’22 committee, Mr Redwood.

  38. Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Modernisation for me was when the knights of shires no longer ruled the party. That came with Thatcher. It was successfully done, some thing that wasn’t achieved by New Labour trying to modernise their party. The modernisation needed was I think to make the Conservatives look like us with the same aspirations, those of the working and middle classes.

    For instance someone like Eric Pickles I recon connects with a lot of people from all walks yet not someone who chases green and politically correct speak. Not someone who shy’s away from saying what many people think. There has been a disconnect between politicians on both sides from the real people. I think they chased politically correct speak and sought policies that were a fudge between the two views thinking that would gain most respect or following.

    There is truth in the criticism of the metropolitan diner party chattering classes that influence policy both for Labour as with the Conservatives (labour also affected by the unions).

    There are two types for the two parties that just don’t ring true.

    For Labour last decade it was the private educated who purchased the most expensive Parker to get down with the subjects, rejected their education when it came to political views but moved on and used it to secure good jobs. Or it was the many politicians who dropped the “t” in words to sound a bit more with it no matter where they came from in the country, fake.

    For the Conservatives they were never the nasty party, it was their failure to combat that label that meant they thought hugging a hoodie and running with huskies would make things okay. Thinks were okay they its just that they lost the pr battle like they failed to pin the financial disaster on Brown and Labour.

  39. Posted May 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    The parties in Scotland left an open door to Alex Salmond and he like Nigel Farage is a talented debater. I like the money effort and support that has been exerted in London by Government and the Mayor to get homeless off the streets with our money. Thats good. What I don’t like is the many (people-ed) I have to dodge begging for money when I travel to and from work or to take in the museums at the weekend. Is the UK Politically correct or mug.

  40. Posted May 11, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Nice one.

    If, as is expected, cabinet ministers are asked to abstain from voting in support of the Queen’s Speech, will they show loyalty to David Cameron or will they show loyalty to their own principles?

    Or will they show that there is actually no dilemma at all: their own principles are nicely aligned with David Cameron’s?

    Time will tell.

  41. Posted May 11, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    The silly Tory answer to serial political defeats was to poor buckets of mod nonsense all over themselves & soaked wet to the bone exclaim “Me Too”. Libertinism was not the answer, Mr. Redwood. Personal libertinism is also the bored game of losers. UKIP is beginning to catch on with the folks. It’s all downhill for your sad lot…

  42. Posted May 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Lord Tebbit was recently interviewed by Allison Pearson for The Daily Telegraph. He was asked how he got on with David Cameron. It transpired that the last time they had met was in 2010 during the run up to the General Election. Lord Tebbit’s first question was “Why do you think the nearer we get to the election the narrower is your lead in the opinion polls?”. Mr Cameron got very cross indeed without, it would seem, answering the question.

    On bankers, Lord Tebbit said he would put (senior bad bankers-ed) “in the dock at the Old Bailey because it would have done more good than any amount of regulation. People feel anger and contempt over this. Believe me, I share it.”

    Nice to know that the old semi House trained pole cat hasn’t mellowed too much. And, like Enoch, he’s right.

  • 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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