Lib Dem differences

 

          A contributor accused me of unfairness in my attempted independent analysis of what contributions the Lib Dems have made to coalition. I have reviewed it in the light of the news and views coming from their conference.

          Mr Davey obligingly reinforced my view of the main difference – the Lib Dems want more windfarms and dearer “green” energy, the Conservatives want cheaper energy with more gas. Mr Davey went out of his way to criticise Conservatives in general and Mr Paterson in particular for being anti wind farm.

         The Conference voted in favour of the tuition fees policy Dr Cable created in government, confirming my view that Lib Dems have radically changed their position on this issue after campaigning in 2010 against tuition fees.

         Today the conference is likely to back the Coalition budget strategy and general economic policy, despite noises off from Dr Cable, Lord Oakeshott and a few of his friends. There has been no great split with Conservatives on the so called “austerity” policy, of reducing the growth rate in public spending.

       The Lib Dems duly announced their Bag tax, with some Conservatives worried that it will be dubbed a tax on shopping.

               The one pleasant  surprise was to hear this morning that Lib Dems are considering adopting an EU referendum as policy again, as they did prior to 2010. It was a pity they dropped this policy once in government.

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64 Comments

  1. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    “Lib Dems are considering adopting an EU referendum as policy again”

    I would wait to see the precise wording of any pledge so that we can assess the scope for them to do their usual trick of reneging on it.

    • lojolondon
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Correct, the LibDems were the only party with a commitment to a referendum in the last election, and they furiously whipped their members in the House of Lords to ensure it did not happen.
      In the interests of fairness, I fully expect Cast-Iron David Cameron to renege on his latest commitment for a referendum, just not sure how he will slip away this time.

    • Duyfken
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      This really sums up the Lib Dems: vacillating and unreliable (not to mention back-sliding, devious and cowardly). Just the worst sort of crowd within which to be in coalition.

    • Hope
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I think you will find Clegg claimed it was not policy and therefore it was not reneged on. He similarly dismissed the advertising boards with the EU referndum pledge. However, it made no difference to me because I would not believe a word he says.

      Nevertheless, Cameron also made bold statements about the Lisbon Treaty and reneged on it and he made bold claims about a veto that never was, namely he did not stop and Eurozone countries from using EU institutions. Once more, no right minded person would a word he says on the EU or anything else.

      The recent Thatcher years documentary was a clear reminder of the traitors in the Tory cabinet who put the EU before country and party. She was right, pure treachery. They are still affiliated and advise the current Tory party leadership. This alone is a reason not to vote Tory or trust them. No wonder after this despicable behaviour the Tory party have remained unelected for so long and will do so for a considerable time longer. Cameron adviser to Major – having regard to Major’s view on the ERM and the Maastricht Treaty I would not crow too much about the Lib Dems. How much did Major cost the country, businesses and individuals? His title and pension should be withdrawn the same as claims made by politicians against bankers.

      Reply Mr Cameron promsied to vote for a referendum on Lisbon, did so and put the party on a 3 line whip to do the same. He did veto the Fiscal treaty.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 16, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        But he could have given a referendum on Lisbon when he gave the libdems their silly one on AV, even on the same ballot and at no addition cost.

        He preferred however to rat on his “cast iron” promise and will thus always be remembered as a ratter and a fraud, and quite rightly so.

        He gave a “cast iron guarantee” to put any treaty that emerges in front of the voters. No if not buts, just lots and lots of patent ratting and a pathetic fig leaf lie that a treaty is magically somehow not a treaty once ratified.

    • sjb
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      The In/Out referendum promised was not unconditional; there had to be a “fundamental change” in the UK’s relationship with the EU.[1]

      In the Coalition Agreement, the LibDems compromised and the referendum trigger was reduced to “no further transfer of sovereignty or powers”. [2] The necessary legislation was enacted in 2011.[3]

      Consequently, it was rather surprising to read “[i]t was a pity they [LibDems] dropped this policy [EU referendum] once in government.”[4]

      [1] p67, Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010

      Reply Lisbon was a fundamental change in our relationship. Mr Cameron dropped his promise of a referendum on Lisbon prior to the election once Lisbon was ratified, as there could no longer be a simple rejection of Lisbon. It now requires a renegotiation of the whole or a decision to quitthe EU. The In/Out referendum still made sense post Lisbon in the Lib dems own terms. Conservative backbenchers moved an amendment to have such a referendum and voted for it, but the Lib dems flip flopped on their policy.
      [2] p19, The Coalition: our programme for government
      [3] European Union Act 2011
      [4] per JR (final sentence)

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Firstly, on the Liberal Democrats and the Lisbon Treaty.

        When it became clear that Merkel was having the legal contents of the EU Constitutional Treaty decanted into a so-called “Reform Treaty” there were some decent Liberal Democrats who immediately said that because it was almost the same thing with just a different wrapper their 2005 manifesto commitment to support a referendum just on the treaty should still apply.

        It was that (man ed) Campbell who decided that instead they would (change their view ed), oppose a referendum just on the treaty and instead demand an “in-out” referendum. In that they were no different to Brown in the depths of their dishonesty and their lack of basic integrity, except for their sanctimonious new call for an “in-out” referendum which they knew would not be heeded.

        There were never any rational grounds for saying that even the previous EU Constitutional Treaty should be treated as an “in-out” issue, as shown by the fact that two countries rejected that treaty but did not leave the EU as a consequence; even less with the Lisbon Treaty, which despite Merkel’s efforts to prevent her scheme being disrupted by any referendums was initially rejected by the Irish people without Ireland then leaving the EU.

        The moment Campbell made that decision, reported in the FT on September 12th 2007, the Liberal Democrats lost any shred of credibility as “democrats” and showed themselves in their true eurofanatic colours:

        http://www.ft.com/cms/s/fba4ae6e-609a-11dc-8ec0-0000779fd2ac

        “Campbell takes heat off Brown on EU poll

        By George Parker and Alex Barker

        Published: September 12 2007 02:35

        Last updated: September 12 2007 02:35

        Sir Menzies Campbell, Liberal Democrat leader, on Tuesday took the heat off Gordon Brown over the revised European Union constitution, arguing that a referendum on the new treaty was “not necessary”.

        Some Lib Dems have urged Sir Menzies to join forces with the Conservatives, some Labour backbenchers and the trade unions to create a formidable campaign for a national vote.

        Lib Dem support for a poll could even have threatened Mr Brown’s Commons majority on the issue and piled on the pressure for a vote that many believe the prime minister would lose.

        But Sir Menzies, a “pro-European”, told the Financial Times the new EU reform treaty was “sufficiently different” from the original constitution to avoid the need for a plebiscite. He said the only case for a public vote would be on a much broader “in or out” question about Britain’s membership of the EU, to prompt a serious national debate on Europe.

        However, such a question is unlikely to be put by any government in the near future. “My judgment is a referendum is not necessary on this document,” he said in an interview ahead of next week’s Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton.

        “But if we were to have a referendum, then it is worth considering a more
        fundamental referendum, in a sense of being in or out.”

        A formal decision on the party’s position will be taken after Mr Brown signs a final treaty text at an EU summit in Lisbon next month, but few believe it will differ greatly from the draft agreed in Brussels in June.”

        (Untrustworthy people ed), not fit to be allowed anywhere near the levers of power.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Secondly, on the Tory party and the Lisbon Treaty.

        Under Howard the Tory opposition to the EU Constitution appeared to be genuine, even if there was some bending of facts in their presentation of the case against it, and at the 2005 election I was even prepared to recommend that UKIP members might consider voting Tory as the best hope of getting a referendum on it when it came back in some disguise in the spring of 2007, as already seemed to be likely.

        But when Blair mocked Cameron in the Commons by saying that he was just “going through the motions” of opposing the Lisbon Treaty, Column 26 here on June 25th 2007:

        http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070625/debtext/70625-0004.htm

        that had a ring of truth about it.

        On September 26th 2007 Cameron went into the pages of the Sun to offer an unqualified “cast-iron guarantee”:

        “Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations.”

        but then under pressure from the europhile wing of his party quickly drew back from that.

        So the Tory party position became that if the treaty had come into force without being approved in a UK referendum “we would not let matters rest there”; Hague said it in the Commons on November 12th 2007, Column 423 here:
        http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm071112/debtext/71112-0008.htm

        “Let me say to the right hon. Gentleman that the best time for a referendum is now, so that the British people can have their promised say. If we did not succeed in forcing a referendum in this House, if we failed to win in another place, if all other EU member states implemented the treaty and if an election were held later in this Parliament—that is a lot of ifs—we would have a new treaty in force that lacked democratic legitimacy in this country and in our view gave the EU too much power over our national policies. That would not be acceptable to a Conservative Government and we would not let matters rest there; the right hon. Gentleman can be assured of that.”

        and that was still the position stated in the Tory manifesto for the June 2009 EU Parliament elections; then on November 4th 2009 Cameron ditched that, having decided that in fact he “would let matters rest there” and swallow the Lisbon Treaty whole, and moreover he resorted to the brazen lie that as it was about to come into force the treaty would no longer exist as a treaty and so could not be put to a referendum, a load of total nonsense deliberately intended to deceive the public and cover his retreat.

        As I have said previously, June 2008 was the moment when Cameron could have shown himself to be a true British and European statesman, not just another cat’s paw of the Empress Angela, by saying loud and clear that the Irish had rejected the treaty and should not be made to vote again, but in any case unless it had been dropped he would give the British their say on it in a referendum, and even if it had already come into force.

        Reply I have explained so many times why this account is wrong I do not have the time to do it again.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 18, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

          Don’t forget about my balancing post!

          The one starting:

          “Firstly, on the Liberal Democrats and the Lisbon Treaty.”

          Everything I have written in this post is factually true.

  2. Nick
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Similarities.

    1. Make promises and break them.

    Still waiting for those debt numbers. Just how many trillions do you owe for pensions?

    2. Right of recall.

    Manifesto promise by both parties.

    Two fingers to the electorate. It’s not the way it works.

    How does it work?

    We make promises and then once in power we stick two fingers up to the electorate. It’s not the way we’re (MPs – the royal we) are governed. We can’t have the electorate having control over us.

    Imagine being told what to do by the plebs. They might cut our perks for example.

    • Hope
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Moreover insult your core supporter. And expect them to vote for you! What planet is Cameron and Osborne on? Te best they can do is say would you prefer Miliband or Cameron, well neither. Farage would wipe the floor with them and has been right on every issue including Syria.

  3. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Today is the 21st anniversary of Black/Golden Wednesday, September 16th 1992, when Tory plans for us to join the euro were defeated by the markets.

    • lojolondon
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Yes, we have learnt from our mistakes, we will not ever try to join the Euro again.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Black Wednesday when Major finally took the Tories over the entirely predictable cliff for three and a half terms so far.

      If only Major has not won that election (then only through being Thatcher’s man). If only we (and she) had know what a foolish, pro EU, duplicitous (man ed) he was, then all the ERM blame would have landed on Labour. We could have had a real Tory party in power from 1997, no Bliar, no Brown no Cameron no new EU treaties and no counter productive wars either perhaps.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Well the Libdems will shortly be going back into a position where they can promise anything they like, knowing they are very unlikely to have to keep their promises.

    Just as they did at the last election. Even it they do go into coalition it will surely be with Labour, their members are very unlikely to allow one with the Tories again. The Tories anyway are very unlikely to have the numbers as Cameron is now dead in the water.

    There input has been to let Cameron get away with not cutting government tax borrow & waste, pushing green nonsense with absurd subsidies, ratting comprehensively on the EU and Inheritance tax and retaining the 50%/45% tax and other anti growth, enforced equality policies.

    What policies have the Libdems ever got right? – The pointless wars and some civil liberty issues, not much else. They are usual a very good way to determine what is wrong.

    • Hope
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      And the ever increasing tax rises. Where is the 80/20 split promised by Osborne? We should judge him by the AAA rating, by sound money not funny money, by the structural deficit balanced by 2015 . Now he has failed to achieve all of these with the deficit and debt increasing, he changes tack to say should we pref Cameron to Miliband. Yet he fails to appreciate there is no difference between the two incompetents and offers no choice whatsoever! The LibLab Con is over, look at the marginal results.

  5. stred
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Greg Barker seems just as keen on ineffective, expensive and plain stupid green policies as Mr Davey. He was put there an kept on by Mr Cameron. Green waste is now ‘grandfathered’ by HMG, in the terminology of DECC, when they have committed to these policies and subsidies long term. So, father in law should not worry if Dave decided to change his mind and stop this waste.

    • Hope
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Barker is as bad as Boles who wants to build on every bit of countryside and national park to help the (substantial ed) immigration (words left out ed) so the UK can be part of the world order in becoming part of the EU superstate. Not to mention the white elephant EU project of HS2 that is being promoted by the dim-witted in the Tory party.

  6. Atlas
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Davey’s comment about Stone-Age opponents is typical Lib-Dem cheek. His policies are designed to take us back to the Stone-Age.

    Note: Flint Axes are not sustainable – eventually all the flint is mined out.

  7. David Hope
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    The Lib Dems don’t really have any positive policies. I think your analysis was fair.

    They have only things to ban, things to tax, things to regulate, people they don’t like for having a big home.

    All quite ironic given their party name. They have nothing to say on making life easier, letting people keep more of their money or generally improving life for everyone

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      The name Liberal Democrats is clearly satirical.

  8. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The one pleasant surprise was to hear this morning that Lib Dems are considering adopting an EU referendum as policy again, as they did prior to 2010. It was a pity they dropped this policy once in government.

    Yes, it is a pity people say one thing out of government and do another when in government. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  9. Roger Farmer
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    What Lib/Dems say at any one time is only what they think the electorate or their supporters want to hear at any given time. Rest assured it is all lies and subterfuge designed to keep their hand on power.
    As to charges for shopping bags, why not if it is openly done at cost and said bags are bio-degradable.
    The pleasant surprise is akin to waking to discover you are pregnant only to find a little later that it is ectopic and will have to be aborted. The Lib/Dems are so deep into the virtues of political Europe that pigs will fly before they swallow giving the British public the referendum they demand. They speak with forked tongues.
    Resolving the European question is relatively simple so do not be mislead by Cameron’s verbal flatulence about renegotiation. It is irrelevant.
    1.Hold a referendum now to ascertain the views of the electorate on an in/out basis. Should the Lib/Dems go for a 2015 plus referendum at conference, trump their card and hold it before the next election.
    2. If out, invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, and we are out.
    3. Join EFTA to which we used to belong, and enable trading with Europe.
    4.Draft a short shopping list of where we may wish to cooperate with European institutions.
    5. Re-establish all those areas of our sovereign life that we once controlled but no longer do.
    Be clear in our minds that any “damascene” recanting on the part of the Lib/Dems over referendums is a cynical ploy. They do but lie and lie again. promises from the lips of Cameron for 2017 are little better. They can be shot through with reference to the facts. It is only a reaction to the rise and rise of UKIP. He reneged before and will do so again in the unlikely event of getting back in power. If he fails yet again to win an election then no doubt the party will consign him to the dustbin of failed PR dream merchants.

    Reply As I have to repeatedly say, designing a way to leave is not the problem. There are several ways the UK could leave or have a new relationship if it wanted to. The issue is what way forward can anyone get through the UK Parliament, where the process has to start? The electorate have not voted in a a Parliament of leavers.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Re “The electorate have not voted in a a Parliament of leavers” no the main parties have not selected candidates who would like to leave, the electorate have had no choice as all the main candidates hold similar views.

      It is the selection process that is wrong not the electorate.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        “the main parties have not selected candidates who would like to leave”

        More, they have done their best to bar anybody who is known to think along those lines from ever being considered as a potential candidate.

        Difficult for sitting MPs, unless they can be discredited in some way, but if you’re not already a sitting MP and you want to have any chance at all of becoming a main party candidate then it’s best to keep quiet about any desire to leave the EU that you may feel.

        Those who think that this problem would be solved through the panacea of “open primaries” are completely mistaken, because the same people who are barred from entry into the present constituency selection procedures would still be barred from participation in primary elections – their names would not be allowed to appear on any primary ballot paper.

        Reply The 2010 Conservative intake is very Eurosceptic, including MPs who simply want to leave asap.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          Could you please name one of the new Tory MPs who:

          a) openly wants to leave the EU ASAP; and

          b) made that clear before he was selected as a candidate

          Reply David Nuttall

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 17, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            Fair enough.

            So if CCHQ knew that leaving the EU was part of his “core beliefs and values”, how did he slip through the net of the Parliamentary Assessment Board and get on the Approved List of potential candidates?

            Reply MOst Conservatives are Eurosceptics!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 17, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

            Being “eurosceptic” is not enough; wasn’t it Blair who once claimed “we are all eurosceptics now”? Only a few of the Tory MPs are prepared to say that we must withdraw.

          • margaret brandreth-j
            Posted September 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            When locals were campaigning for David, I said I wasn’t sure which way I would vote. This knowledge certainly gives him a step up in my personal decision.

    • Roger Farmer
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      What you say is correct, however the majority of the British people want out of the EU but those in parliament refuse to even test the water on that question let alone to take us out. A parliament that refuses to represent the wishes of the majority of it’s electors on a matter of sovereignty is next to useless. They have indeed proved equally useless on just about every other major question they have had to confront. Democracy has been very badly served by Cameron and his socialist metro elite. As ever the electorate will pay the price of their duplicity, as will democracy itself.

  10. oldtimer
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The addiction of Mr Davey, the LibDems and others to windfarms is very strange bearing in mind they compound the problem it is claimed they are there to solve – to cut down carbon usage. Furthermore the so-called problem that there is a linear relationship between the emission of man-made CO2 and global warming (whether catastrophic or not) as claimed by the Met Office and the UN IPCC, is false.

    Some claim the science is settled. It is not. I read that even Professor Myles Allen (of Oxford University) has stated: ‘The idea of producing a document of near-biblical infallibility is a misrepresentation of how science works, and we need to look very carefully about what the IPCC does in future.’

    Another scientist who has studied satellite data since it first became available is Bob Tisdale.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Indeed but you do not even need to study in order to see it is nonsense, you just have to think. How could they predict the weather in 100 years time when events like wars, sun activity, volcanoes, disease, genetic variance in plants, technical innovations and countless other factors can all make a large difference. They just can not know most of the input data they cannot even be sure of co2 concentrations or populations.

      Also how can they predict it for 100 years time yet not for a week on Tuesday. This when the weather on one day affects the next days. The reason is they know they will not be around in 100 years time to take the flack.

  11. peter davies
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Very nice of Mr Davey to defend his wind farm stance based on what evidence? It has allowed the UK to close how many power stations?

    Maybe we should erect these huge monsters next to the homes of MPs who are so for them and see how they like it.

    • peter davies
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      the bag “tax” is a good move though, its been in force in Wales for a while now, even though its not a tax it has gone a long way to changing habits – we don’t see bags flying around in the wind these days in the grounds of supermarkets – discarded rubbish being one of my pet hates!

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted September 16, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        A few miles from me is an independent “Food Hall”. It mainly sells Cornish or West Country food stuffs. It provides sturdy paper bags in several sizes or cast off cardboard boxes.

        Why don’t the mainline supermarkets do the same? Anyone know. Mr Redwood?

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        I prefer decent paid for bags with more plastic in them, rather than the useless ones that fall to pieces before you even get them home. Not sure it saves much plastic though.

        • peter davies
          Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          It does if you get into the habit of re using them several times over and not forgetting to take them with you. It took me a while but its ok once you get into the habit

          • Bazman
            Posted September 16, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            Get string one that expands about 20 times. Still end up buying three 9p bags in Lidl though..

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      We have dozens of them on the slopes of the Pennines, they are fantastic pieces of sculpture apart from the practicalities . The blades at all angles spinning against a back drop of hills. Holland has nothing on these brilliant structures.
      The many local houses all making an effort to put in solar panels . They are a credit to global warming. They do not wait for proof (as we will all be dead then) They help fix the problem with probability and insight.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 16, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Alas you have been taken in by the religion, they do nothing for global warming, whatsoever and generate virtually nothing while exploding bats and killing birds.

        • margaret brandreth-j
          Posted September 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          I have sketched many and am constantly amazed by their powerful beauty.

      • stred
        Posted September 17, 2013 at 5:24 am | Permalink

        Solar panels don’t work too well either, especially up North. My water heating on the south coast gave me only 3 months useful heating in the best summer for years. Last year was useless. And mine face SSW. Many are being put in facing east or west and even shaded. PV is even worse, as only half the energy is convertible. The only thing that makes it worthwile is the subsidy of 5 or previously 10 times normal price units- which the rest of us pay for through increased bills.

        It is such a pity that intelligent people, in the UK escpecially, cannot understand the simple facts about costs and supply or real sustainability, rather just worshipping the green religion. There are ways to cut CO2 without this waste, not that any effort by the UK or other European country will make a detectable difference.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it is green religion first engineering and economics last.

        • margaret brandreth-j
          Posted September 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          It is a step in the right direction, don’t give up . If there is no electricity and all the lights go off, we will all have candles: you wont.

  12. Iain Gill
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The problem with the bag tax, like all the rest of the green stuff, is that its loads costs onto the British economy which our competitors do not bear.

    Doesn’t anyone in politics realise how much pollution China and India are pumping out? it completely dwarfs the minute affects of anything that happens in the UK.

    Green is not something that can be done unilaterally by one nation without destroying the ability of its businesses to compete.

    We already have factories shutting here because the anti emissions regime imposed is too expensive and simultaneously seeing identical factories opening up in India and China without any of the complex anti pollution chimney technology they have had here for years.

    Do we really want to continue to destroy jobs here?

    Wouldn’t it be better for Clegg and friends to get on a plane to China and India and convince them to do something? Or is that too much like hard work? I would suggest every penny spent convincing the Chinese and Indians to reduce pollution would have a billion times bigger impact than spending extra money here on green stuff.

    There is far too much government manipulation here and these news ones just make things worse not better.

  13. Cliff. Wokingham
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I watched the TV coverage of Mr Davey’s speech at the Lib Dem conference.
    What worried me more was that he stated our children are “taught” climate change at school, all thanks to the LibDems. I wonder how balanced that teaching actually is.

    I fear that the left has taken over our state’s education system and it has become little more than a socialist based, indoctrination system.
    I feel that the climate change/green agenda is more about political ideology than it is about real enviromentalism and conservation.
    It seems to me, that those of the left are very pro the green agenda and the EU project and those of the right, are more sceptical about both subjects.

    I feel we need to have true, unbiased debate about both the green agenda and the EU project and then trust the people to make up their own minds on the subjects. I fear that whilst the left dominate our state broadcaster and our state education system, we will never get unbiased information upon which we can make sensible and logical decisions.

    I would hope that neither party would opt to go into coalition with the LibDems after the next election, even if that meant having a minority government.

    I agree with the comment above that the Lib Dems are neither liberal nor democratic and I personally can’t stand seeing or listening to their leader. On the rare occassions when I watch PMQs, it often appears to me that Mr Clegg has a piece of dog’s mess on his upper lip judging by his facial expression when the PM speaks to answer(sic) the questions posed by the members of the house.

  14. Neil Craig
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    “Lib Dems are considering adopting an EU referendum as policy again, as they did prior to 2010. It was a pity they dropped this policy once in government.”

    And as they also promised the election before – that they would support a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. A promise they also deliberately broke, though there was no material downside to keeping their word.

    This does rather look like a trend.

  15. Peter Stroud
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Ed Davey should take little time to read a few papers, and blogs of qualified scientists sceptical to the IPCC and CAGW.

    For example he would find that not a single climate change model predicted a pause in global warming, with increasing CO2 emissions. Yet we have witnessed fifteen, or more years, when no warming occurred. This would be accepted as falsifying the models, in any other branch of science.

    He would also find that the IPCC has, incredibly, no more confidence in its predictions than it had in 1980. Yet computing power has increased by two or three orders of magnitude in that time. Memory, speed and every other parameter has increased. Where there were perhaps a few thousand lines of programming, there are now millions. Again, what other branch of science can boast such disgustingly insignificant progress, with such an increase in quality of its major tools? We are being conned. And Davey is allowing it by believing the IPCC.

    • peter davies
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think its the power of computing that is the problem it is the understanding and application of science and geology. They have given to much weight on CO2 levels in their models by the look of it, when many other factors – particularly the makeup of the earth’s mantle under the polar ice caps are not understood and the variations of solar activity in the sun.

      Also climate proponents seldom talk about methane which has many more heating properties than co2 and leaks out of the sea bed naturally in parts of the world in large quantities.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        The point is they start with a political aim and a standard format “heaven and hell” type of religion and just work the “science” around those visions – it works a treat with the many dopes around.

  16. behindthefrogs
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I note that major planks of the libdem proposals are not worth a comment. For example their proposal to remove income tax up to the minimum wage. In fact it would probably be better to use the money to raise the starting level for NICs. Similarly their mansion tax proposals which would probably be more efficient if higher council tax bands were introduced, even if a balancing reduction in central government grants to councils were necessary.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Face it.

    Whatever any political party says is a load of old tosh, isn’t it ?

    All will result in more Europe, more immigration – higher tax and higher bills.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      yes thats the way its looking.

      I could draft a manifesto that would win a landslide for the Conservatives but they dont seem to be listening.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 16, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        So could I, but if Cameron read it out would anyone believe him?

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    The Daily Mail reports that journalists have been sent a briefing document meant for LibDem ministers by mistake which states : “We are looking at how the richest 10% of people, those earning over £50,000, could make a further contribution.”
    Tax, spend and waste – the shared policy of Lib Lab Con.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      So even these paid wives of MPs are nearly in the top 10% of income levels! Not that you could actually describe them as “rich”

      You need about £20M of net assets nowadays to actually feel comfortably rich. Even then if you live in the UK Osborne will quickly grab it all off you, through income tax, CGT and IHT.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        and inflation.

  19. Richard1
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    It is clear that the guiding beliefs of the Liberal Democrats – the ones on which they are united – are eurofederalism and global warming alarmism. The Cable-Oakshott wing can’t understand why the economy is improving when their Keynesian remedies have been ignored. There are some quite sensible sounding people in the LibDems such as Jeremy Browne and David Laws. I suppose, perversely, if one is a Conservative its best to hope for a Cable ascendency, as his politics seem indistinguishable from Labour’s, and he would perhaps take more votes from them.

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    As far as I can tell their “new” position on an EU referendum would still be that which was foreshadowed back in early August, here:

    http://www.openeuropeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/lib-dems-set-to-officially-endorse.html

    “Requiring that when the EU Act triggers a referendum for the first time, there should be an ‘In or Out’ referendum in which citizens across the UK can have their say on the new Treaty settlement and our relationship with the EU as a whole.”

    To repeat the first comment I made on that article at the time:

    “It’s quite possible that we will never have a referendum triggered under the European Union Act 2011, the so-called “referendum lock”, and therefore we would never have a simultaneous “in-out” referendum under this LibDem proposal.

    There have already been four changes to the EU treaties since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force on December 1st 2009, and of the three EU treaty changes which took place after the Act had come into force none satisfied the Act’s criteria for triggering a referendum.

    That could carry on for many years, with successive UK governments privately urging the governments of the other EU member states to be very careful not to propose any EU treaty change which would trigger a UK referendum.

    And should a referendum ever become unavoidable under the Act, it could simply be repealed.

    In the unlikely event that a referendum was ever held under the Act it would not be an “in-out” referendum and legally it could not be converted into an “in-out” referendum, because that is not what the Act is about.

    It could certainly be agreed by Parliament that a referendum triggered by the Act would be accompanied by a separate “in-out” referendum, but would the LibDems really want to risk the situation where the electorate grudgingly voted to stay in the EU in one referendum but at the same time took their revenge by voting “no” to whatever proposed change was the subject of the other referendum?”

    Incidentally this proposal was not popular with the LibDem members who took part in the poll here:

    http://www.libdemvoice.org/eu-referendum-lib-dem-members-35688.html

    “An in/out EU referendum? Lib Dem members say no, by 55% to 36%”

    So I suppose it’s possible that the motion won’t be passed.

  21. Bryan
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Now a Land Tax is in the offing!

    Have some politicians nothing better to do than dream up yet more ways of taxing the people?

  22. Bazman
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    The Lib Dems duly announced their Bag tax, with some Conservatives worried that it will be dubbed a tax on shopping? What does that tell us of these Conservatives and this idea that cheaper energy will involve gas in the long term is also telling. Maybe if you seal a deal with Russia..Wind power is a power source of last resort too.

  23. matthu
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    John,
    You claim that the Conservatives want cheaper energy.

    How does this square with the EU Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard’s utterance when she says:

    “Regardless of whether or not scientists are wrong on global warming, the European Union is pursuing the correct energy policies even if they lead to higher prices.”

    Are we also pursuing the correct energy policies i.e. by “meeting our international obligations” regardless of whether they can continue to be justified by the science?

  24. Dave B
    Posted September 16, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    ” the Lib Dems want more windfarms and dearer “green” energy, the Conservatives want cheaper energy with more gas. ”

    What evidence is there that ‘the Conservatives want cheaper energy with more gas?’

    The Conservatives voted for the Climate Change Act. Voted for carbon taxes. When did the Conservatives offer a policy for cheap energy? When did they advocate repealing or changing the existing legislation?

  25. lojolondon
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    John, I see that Vince Cable is threatening to resign from the Cabinet. He has been ploughing his own furrow for so long now, he is clearly more hassle than he is worth. Surely it is best to fire him now, rather then allow him to make a point by leaving in a huff about 12 months before the next election?
    On a similar point, the Lib Dem Energy Minister – Ed Davey is wants to replace the power that supplies our homes with wind, the LibDem Transport Minister – Norman Baker wants to replace the vehicles that keep the country running with bicycles, the whole ethos is Medieval – Why are these people given roles in government, nothing good can ever come of it!

  • 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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