The left does have to explain, defend or condemn communism

 

          In my youth I grew up hating both the major ideologies that had so disfigured the twentieth century. I loathed both fascism and communism, which seemed to me to have a lot in common with each other. Both thought they were morally right, both used state power to excess, both were brutal with anyone who disagreed in places where they had power. Fascism killed the Jews, the disabled and the opponents of the regime. Soviet communism killed the middle class  farmers, the dissenters, the “mentally ill”, shot anyone trying to leave their zone without permission and presided over cruel famines. Both ideologies encouraged people to hate other people because of their birth and circumstances.

          As a Conservative I agreed with the left when they condemned fascism. Many of them declined to join in when I condemned communism. When I argued with left wing intellectuals they usually played down the Soviet attack on personal liberty, the deaths done in the name of the state and the deaths which came about owing to farming failure and poverty. Alternatively they told me that they believed in a form of communism which worked and created equality for its peoples, a form which unfortunately had never existed in the real world.

            The enthusiasm for Soviet communism was surprising given its dreadful record. Cambridge educated men became Soviet spies. Many left wing academics in reputable universities had good things to say about Marx’s thought. Mr Wilson when Prime Minister in his famous “white hot heat of technology” speech was recommending a sanitised version of  the Soviet state planning model to modernise the UK economy. Many left wing intellectuals egged on Marxist revolutionaries seeking power in far flung countries. They would praise Castro’s Cuba and support Che Guevara.

           All those who have in their past espoused Marxist thought should be asked to explain why. They should be asked if they still agree with it, or which bits they now on reflection think were unwise. They need to be asked why did their egalitarian ideal so miscarry? Why did communism become the embodiment of Animal Farm? Why did the leaders of Soviet communism reserve to themselves a lifestyle the rest of their country could not approach? Why were there privileged schools for the children of the bosses and summer villa second homes  for their relaxation?  Why did they have special rights to travel where most Soviet people did not?

               Facing many clever people who told me that communism was a noble ideal, I used to ask them why it was that  so many people wanted to leave the Eastern bloc, and why the guards shot them if they sought to cross into the west? How could you think that was a good system of government? And why had the communist bloc fallen so far behind the west in living standards and output?  I never received any satisfactory answers.

             Tomorrow I will look at the Communist party Manifesto, to remind us what they were trying to do and to see how far they got in the UK.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

141 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    You ask “Why did the leaders of Soviet communism reserve to themselves a lifestyle the rest of their country could not approach? Why were there privileged schools for the children of the bosses. Why did they have special rights to travel where most Soviet people did not?”

    Simple because lefties (indeed many human in general) are complete hypocrites, as we see in the UK when they send their children to private schools or conveniently gain places at the few good state sector religious schools to escape the dreadful local school that they force all the other mortals to attend.

    In theory some central planning should make good sense, but this does not allow for the stupidity and quite often total dishonestly of most state sector workers and politicians. The nature of the state sector and lefties in general is always to help themselves to others money and wrongly fool & convince themselves they are doing good while doing so.

    Even in the UK state sector workers, when including pensions are remunerated at 150% of private sector workers who have to pay for it all. Yet they have better work conditions, retire earlier, take more sick leave, more sociable hours and work fewer hours in total.

    But do many in the state sector, on the BBC, or the political parties (even on the right) ever point this out or suggest it needs some correction?

    The Miliband non story still rumbles on I still cannot see anything in the article remotely questionable yet the BBC is in complete overdrive on it. Perhaps they should just have had the head line “Did Ralph Miliband Hate Britain?” They could then have perfectly fairly concluded that in many ways and at certain times in his life he very clearly did. Most who condemn the Daily Mail article seem not to have read it beyond the headline.

    Anyway we are surely going to have to suffer Miliband, thank to Cameron’s lefty incompetence, contempt for his party members and serial ratting. Pointless promises and words now from the man are totally valueless. Miliband will be even worse, but not that much. It is just a price we have to pay. Watching the pro EU ratter Cameron win a second time just to see him rat yet again on the voters (as he clearly will given the chance) would be unbearable.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Unless the Tories make up a lot of ground against Labour before the election, at least reversing Labour’s current poll lead of around 6% to a Tory lead of 6%, then we will indeed have to suffer Miliband.

      And it should be understood that as things stand between the Tories and Labour the latter would win even in the unlikely event that UKIP completely disappeared from the political scene.

      In the absence of UKIP candidates some of its supporters would vote Tory, but against that there are now some UKIP supporters who would vote Labour instead, and some would even vote for the Liberal Democrats, and quite a lot would not vote at all; therefore the net advantage to the Tories would be slight.

      There’s an analysis here:

      http://electoralcalculus.co.uk/Analysis_UKIP.html

      and it is a simple matter of extrapolating the tables upwards to UKIP getting zero votes to discover that as things stand the eradication of UKIP would do very little to help the Tories stop Miliband.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        Indeed the Tories are likely to come third to UKIP and Labour at the EU elections in May 14. The Libdems will surely do a coalition with Labour and not the Tories next time. Their membership will surely insist on this. They probably only did one this time as the Labour MP numbers did not really work and Gordon Brown lacked credibility.

        Cameron has failed (thanks to his duff deal with the Libdems) even to get fair boundaries. He surely will not get an overall majority on his current course and he seems totally unable to change it. Even if he promises a huge change of direction post 2015, he will simply not be trusted, without a UKIP deal he a surely dead. Even then I suspect it is rather too late.

        It is a dreadful waste of the huge open goal he was presented with by Brown.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        An interesting analysis – it surely shows, as I think too, that Cameron simply cannot win an overall majority without a UKIP deal and huge change of direction. He will struggle even then. Alas it seems that he prefers to lead the party straight over the Cliff in the John Major Style.

        Libdems will surely not do a coalition with anyone other than Labour, post election.

        • ChrisS
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          I would remind you that there is a crucial difference between John Major and David Cameron :

          John Major won a General Election and by a big margin……………

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          As things stand he couldn’t get a majority even with a UKIP deal.

          The main obstacle to a Tory majority is Labour, not UKIP; even if UKIP were to disappear the net benefit to the Tory party would be only a fraction of what the Tories needed to reverse Labour’s present 6% lead in the opinion polls.

          Over the past year the general trend has been UKIP up with both Labour and the Tories down, so their separation has remained roughly the same, while the LibDems have been static:

          http://electoralcalculus.co.uk/polls.html

          That and other information suggests that UKIP has been eating into support for Labour as well as the Tories; so the Tories would gain only slightly if UKIP supporters returned to the main parties they previously supported, that is if they voted at all in the absence of a UKIP candidate.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Makes ya think, dunnit! All those ex-Tory party members who have ditched them for the real thing, cannot be wrong.

      Tad

    • uanime5
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Yet they have better work conditions, retire earlier, take more sick leave, more sociable hours and work fewer hours in total.

      If you work in the NHS you don’t get better working conditions, you retire early because you need to be physically fit to do this job, being around sick people makes you more likely to get sick, you have to work on a rota so you don’t have more sociable hours, and you have to work more hours in total. So all your claims are wrong.

      They could then have perfectly fairly concluded that in many ways and at certain times in his life he very clearly did.

      A diary entry written when he was 17 doesn’t mean he hatred Britain for his entire life.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Also his position on the Falklands war and the quotes from his later in his life in middle age.

        • peter davies
          Posted October 7, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          I’m not sticking up for him but Mr Clarke was against re taking the Falklands was he not?

          Also he and Heseltine would sell the UK to EU integration and the Disastrous Euro tomorrow would they not?

      • Edward2
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Are you saying working conditions etc, areas better in privately run hospitals Uni?

  2. Andy Baxter
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Most if not all of the so called ‘political class’ and I include not just politicians but corporate leaders our ruling ‘elites’ are to my mind closet communists at heart and committed socialists in practice. but with one major difference; they practice “do as I say, not as I do”

    EVERYTHING we see being done to undermine our traditions, our culture and our historic way of life in Britain over the last 50-60 years is evident in the philosophy and teaching practices of the Frankfurt School of Cultural Marxism;

    BUT there is no longer the so called ideological battle between LEFT and RIGHT anymore the bar has shifted 90 degrees to the horizontal and we have the ‘have not’s below and the haves, our ruling ‘elites’ above with the bar so high now only the select privileged few are able to get there via compliance or born into such.

    The saddest issue of all is that it’s being done salami slice by slice just like the EU project and only now are some of us starting to wake up to the agenda and how far it has permeated our society.

    Witness:
    The destruction of our national identity in Britain, the destruction of basic democracy in Britain, the undermining of traditional beliefs and values and the slow, secretive merging of the public and private sectors into a state-controlled partnership. Quangos, fake charities public/private merging of initiatives et al

    The massive network of ‘training and diversity’ along with with ‘equality’ organisations that have permeated every level of our society, combined with enforcement of such in the courts and instant penalty charge notices to control the dissenters and brainwash the useful idiots needed to run society on behalf of the ‘élite’. These include those agents of the institutions of government, commerce, education, law enforcement etc.

    The proposed ‘design for life’, from a frighteningly early age. encouraging the breakdown of family life by forcing mothers to go out to work with the STATE becoming the guardian and educator of children from an early age where propaganda can be cemented and compliance in later life made that much easier; If you are with them, you can rise through the system until you reach your calling – but dissent, and you will always be staring upwards from the nadir below. In other words, if you will not play by the rules of the manipulated system, you can kiss any future career goodbye.

    The dumbing down of the education system, loss of grammar schools, ‘everyone’ has to go to university now so devaluing the once hard worked for qualifications to create an unthinking, uncritical mass of fodder, (people thinking for themselves critically simply won’t do in the modern world of surveillance and control) that can be easily controlled by whipping up frenzy’s of FEAR in easily misleading digested headline grabbing sound -bytes and entertained by mindless drivel of soaps and vacuous entertainment shows….in the Roman Empire they used bread and circuses to control the masses, not much has changed in 2000 years has it?

    Witness:
    The lives of more and more individuals and families experiencing;
    * Rapidly falling incomes
    * House repossessions
    * Increasing debt
    * Experiencing the ravages of deliberate Govt. delivered high inflation via low interest rates and devaluation of currency
    * Unemployment or low-skill employment
    * Poverty
    * Overcrowding
    * Control and monitoring from cradle to grave
    * being victims of crime without any redress or true justice being delivered
    * Cultural disintegration
    * Constant surveillance
    * Criminalisation via petty civil enforcement of rules and regulations

    For Britain culturally as a whole;
    * Perennial trade deficits
    * High unemployment
    * Silencing of dissent and free speech via equality and diversity and hate speech legislation
    * Massive debt
    * Devalued currency
    * Mortgaged to foreigners
    * Inequality
    * High population density
    * High immigration to destroy the traditional culture
    * Social fragmentation
    * Economic enslavement via debt and low remuneration
    * Organised plunder of personal wealth and no respect for property rights
    * Sticky Plaster NHS, disintegrating before our eyes
    * Politically correct multi-culturalism
    * Destruction of the middle class and property rights
    * Taxation of unbelievable magnitude even after death (Inheritance tax at 40%!)

    WHILST the ‘elites’, the bureaucrats and politicians who deign to rule over us enjoy;
    * Rising incomes
    * Full employment
    * Tax-payer funded income
    * Comfortable pensions
    * Private medical insurance
    * Human rights
    * Lavish spending
    * Favourable policy of Corporate taxation mitigation
    * Quality education for their offspring (the next generation of ruling ‘elites’)
    * Immunity from prosecution

    And by using non existing ‘environmental’ concerns as the main vehicle, along with instilling FEAR of terrorism (we loved with IRA terrorism for nigh on 30 years and life didn’t stop) they gain ever more control over work, industry, energy, food supply, populations and money.

    We will wake up one day; despite the signs and portents of doom for decades having been in front of our eyes to a new order of total control with dissent being crushed and compliance being the new mantra for survival.

    Truly 1984 is closer than you think!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      A lot of that rings true.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Quite ;ruling elitism is, as described continually breaking down and remoulding so there is not consistency in production therefore no consistent ladder to enable social mobility and allow workers to do any other than create money which has become a product in itself. The Bourgeoisie have changed, The Proletariat have changed , but the nature of socio economic control is unchanging. Where there are tensions now though ,also describes a type of workers revolution or a rising up against a dictatorship whether religious economic or otherwise.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      For me 1984 was 1984 and I have watched the momentum grow. The deliberate splitting of a pair almost in synchrony by outside influence, the ruination of a business and the control and manipulation of both sides of the pair , the inability to get justice where there is evidence, the use and abuse of professional / monetary aspects to take half of earnings on the back of someone else’s efforts, directing learning for the purpose of employment , then used against the person to add to the prestige of another and denying the original worker the credit. The controllers are there , they have influence , they have influence over the way people behave to one another and the resistance to justice is in the form of a line of whips.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Much truth in these lists.

    • Alex Osmond
      Posted October 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Ah, the evidence free rant of the true conspiracy theorist.

      Government is far more shambolic than appear to fear/realise. Stop stirring up ridiculous scare stories and get on with your life.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    “Facing many clever people who told me that communism was a noble ideal”

    They were clearly were not that clever as they had totally misunderstood human nature and how organisations/governments/politicians actually work (or rather fail to) in the real world.

    Look at the appalling state of much of the NHS as a dreadful example, where they often cannot even feed & water patients let alone treat them.

    • Hope
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Good article JRaxnd good observations Ll. Question:when is Andy Burnham going to be held responsiblef or the atrocities when he was in charge of th NHS? He had All the privileges of officers do with it comes responsibilities. He must accept the acts of those under his command or control that is part of leadership. When will he be held to account fort he huge amount of deaths that unnecessarily occurred when he was in charge?

      I hope all politicians will fight against Levision. A free press is more important than a few stupid journalists. There are laws to prevent this stupidity and it should be enforced rigorously. Stop dumbing down the criminal justice system. A lot more needs to be done across the board with the criminal justice system to bring it back not back and put victims and decent members of society first.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        I agree fully, when is Andy Burnham going to address the issue of his past activity or inactivity. Levision will prove to be a disaster for democracy or what is left of it.

        The Mail is abused for perfectly fair comment on Milibands father and yet Heseltine can brand UKIP (and one assumes its members) as a racist, without so much as a murmur of protest or even comment from the BBC.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        Question:when is Andy Burnham going to be held responsiblef or the atrocities when he was in charge of th NHS?

        Probably when Hunt is held responsible for failing to pay the staff what he agreed to pay them.

        He must accept the acts of those under his command or control that is part of leadership.

        By that logic Ian Duncan Smith is responsible for the failings of Atos, the Work Programme, and Universal Credit because they’re all under his command or control. Gove would also be responsible for the failures in education. I trust you’re going to object when either try to blame other people for the failings of their departments.

        A free press is more important than a few stupid journalists.

        How is hacking the phones of dead child and celebrities a good part of the free press?

        A lot more needs to be done across the board with the criminal justice system to bring it back not back and put victims and decent members of society first.

        Here’s a quote from William Blackstone from 1760:

        “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”

        The legal system is operating the way it always has. There was never a time when brutalising criminals was considered more important than being just.

        • Hope
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

          I think ministers should be held to account for any failing. When a substantial amount of people have died this considerably outweighs any socialist example you cite.

          The law adequately caters for phone hacking , it has not been enforced- that is the problem. No need for Levison, just proper enforcement of illegal activity. The rest of your blog is socialist point-scoring drivel.

          • uanime5
            Posted October 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            Given the number of people who killed themselves after they lost their benefits (due to Atos, the bedroom tax, or a 3 year sanction) to avoid starving to death on the streets Ian Duncan Smith meets your criteria.

            Given that many police officers were receiving money more the media it’s no surprise that the law wasn’t being enforced. So there need to be major changes to how the newspapers can act.

            I suspect you ignored my other points because you can’t rebut any of them. You also ignored that Burham didn’t suppress this report and according CQC emails he ordered a press release as soon as he heard about it.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-to-sue-jeremy-hunt-if-he-wont-back-down-over-nhs-cover-up-row-8862240.html

    • Bazman
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      But in your world there would be no healthcare unless you were able to pay outright or by crippling premiums that should the cover run out or the condition not be covered tough, so don’t tell us no service is better than bad service. You will no doubt quote Switzerland and the USA as examples to follow, but we know from your past posts the above is the real agenda. What puzzles me most about you fantasies is that the ones which the numbers effected for the worst would be huge, should accept it as the best way? Poverty, poor healthcare and starving children are political decisions in thsi country a price you seen affordable as long as taxes are as low as possible for those fortunate enough to pay them. You will say that more jobs will be created, but worthless low paid ones are of no use to pay massive healthcare costs. Ram it.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Dear Bazman how many times do you need to be told something?

        Try researching before posting your rants. There are 17 SEVENTEEN better systems of health provision in existence in the world, none of them are American or Swiss. I have NEVER heard anyone who is against the NHS argue for a US style fully private system.

        You are a typical socialist. You have no idea what so ever about creating things, finding different ways to achieve something or innovating ( lack of innovation is a hall mark of all socialist systems & a major reason socialism always fails).

        The worlds number 1 healthcare system is France, I quite like the 3 tier system in Singapore as not only does it cover every aspect of healthcare it also helps the poorest in society with other aspects of their lives too.

        In neither of these or any of the other 15 better systems than the NHS is healthcare run and delivered by the government. All of them are available to everyone without cost ( other than taxes ).

        Rather than live 100 years in the past, try getting out a bit more and finding out what happens in the world

        • Edward2
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          The problem Libertarian is that you are speaking to the converted.
          They have an ambition and that is socialism

          Facts such as you have so well demonstrated in your post just get in the way of the march.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          Fortunately for you we live in a very socialist country and any reforms you have in mind are not about improvement, but undermine this to save money for the rich and political dogma. Singapore has dubious democracy and the French system is socialist in a socialist country, as I keep pointing out to you, but as you are willing to sell anything, do want to hear and are so anti socialist do not listen. Ram it.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            I’m not very interested in Singapore nor France but I do love my country.
            We plainly have a mixed economy in the UK which I like very much.
            It is not socialist. I might meet you half way Baz and call it social democratic but even that is pushing it.
            So the political argument is about what that mix should be.
            A State which has grown to 50% of the total size of the economy and is spending £120 billion more per year than it receives in tax revenues adding to a long term debt of a trillion is not sustainable in its current form.
            We need to cut out the unessential and the overpaid starting at the top.
            But those at the top in the State sector keep cutting essential services at the bottom in a dreadful, obscene and quite deliberate attempt to fool us peasants that “not a penny can be saved”
            This when Council leaders and their full time staff earn several hundred thousands per year.
            They regularly get paid off with equally large sums then turn up next day at another Council on the same over paid salaries.
            I want wealth and opportunity for all.
            I have never ever been convinced that socialism has ever or will ever bring this about.
            In fact it seems to bring about the opposite effect.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            Baz

            You do indeed keep pointing it out, its still a shame that what you point out is wrong.

            1) I didn’t say I liked the Singapore system of govt I said I liked their health system, what don’t you like about it?

            2) France may well be socialist but its health system isn’t. You have to PAY at the point of use ( you get the money back though)

            The reforms I seek are to improve the provision of health care up to the standard of many other countries.

            Your ramblings about rich people are typical stupidity, rich people don’t use the NHS.

            People like you who are politically motivated are indirectly responsible for the appalling levels of care handed down in one of the most advanced and richest countries in the world. 100’000s of people have needlessly died because of the dreadful state of socialist medicine.

      • peter davies
        Posted October 7, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        I have spent time in Germany (90% of their hospitals are run by the private sector) and Norway (I’m not sure how they are organized) and had to visit people in hospitals in both places.

        What I can say is you could eat your food off the floor, they don’t have queues, they don’t kill thousands of people and you instantly get the feel that they are resourced with good governance.

        I have spent time visiting chaotic NHS hospitals in the UK, (I know people who won’t go near them and prefer BUPA) they often don’t appear to have well organized governance and we know they are a very expensive resource as all Health Care is – so money can’t be the problem.

        No one is saying the US system is the answer – the USA is way down the list of good practice as too many people don’t have access to it which is not what we want in the UK, but there are plenty of good examples around the world – the bottom line is the NHS has been a political football for too long and is just too cumbersome too manage.

        There needs to be a new consensus on how a national healthcare system needs to look based on the best models out there as we are kidding ourselves if we think the NHS is the best system in the world – it is way down the list.

        The English NHS appears to be making strides in the way they have the flexibility to call off services though time will tell how this shapes up.

        Wales and Scotland I fear in typical socialist fashion are too wedded to the old fashion NHS concept – indeed it is suspected that in Wales there are many Staffordshire examples which have not been bought into the open.

        Bottom line is lefties and political groups do need to stop kidding themselves – the NHS may do good things but IT IS NOT the best model by far. Any alternative would probably end up being just as expensive but if it can be made:

        A. Sustainable and
        B. Fit for purpose

        then it is something that must be done.

  4. colliemum
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    It’s not so much that ‘The Left’ needs to be asked to at least explain their enthusiasm for communism, it’s rather that we, the questioners, are never insistent that they answer fully.

    You then say: “The enthusiasm for Soviet communism was surprising given its dreadful record.” it still is surprising, if looked at innocently. However, we overlook or forget at our peril that enthusiasm for Soviet communism has been instilled in our thinkers, in academe, the arts, right down to our schools, since the 1920s. Generations have been ‘educated’ to think along communist lines, with clever veiling of such thoughts under a cloak of fake humanitarian concerns. It is highly instructive to read about the lives of the western communist propaganda Tsars Willie Muenzenberg and Otto Katz …

    Modern examples of ‘some animals being more equal than others’ are the upbringings and lifestyles of the Labour party and Trade Union elites, compared to those they profess to represent. Students of Soviet history will be able to draw parallels with the Nomenklatura.

    Sadly, as the years roll on, I am more and more convinced that far too many people are happy to hand over their freedom to a Nomenklatura because it is far easier to have others decide what to do when to do it and what to think than to do all those things for oneself.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Modern examples of ‘some animals being more equal than others’ are the upbringings and lifestyles of the Labour party and Trade Union elites, compared to those they profess to represent.

      And how exactly are the Conservative party elite are different?

      Sadly, as the years roll on, I am more and more convinced that far too many people are happy to hand over their freedom to a Nomenklatura because it is far easier to have others decide what to do when to do it and what to think than to do all those things for oneself.

      Are the new Nomenklatura the wealthy or the media?

  5. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I very much look forward to your views tomorrow. I love that document! I really do!

    But if you leave people unsupervised and in total control, it doesn’t matter much what political colour they are, they will get slack and they will, eventually get used to putting violence into practice.
    President Assad, Abu Hamsa, President Mubarak, Bin Laden, Colonel Ghaddafi (political colour: black/green) etc etc etc rather prove this point.

    Today I reminded myself of the sad procession of whistleblowers in the EU where, again, people are left more or less unsupervised. These were brave people like Marta Andreasen, and Mrs Schmidt-Brown whose lives were destroyed. I look at what is happening in Greece. I tremble.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Indeed some monuments to Marta Andreasen, and Mrs Schmidt-Brown please and to the folly of corrupt structures like the undemocratic and totally out of any control EU. Alas we will have to wait until ratters Cameron & then Miliband are no longer in power.

      Will I see it while I am still alive, I rather doubt it. I suspect it will only end with (protests ed). The Cameron, Clegg, Heath, Major, Blair, Brown, Heseltine, Clark types are to blame.

    • Bob
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      A wonderfully eloquent essay indeed Mr Redwood.

      With regard to your point about the USSR
        “…the guards shot them if they sought to cross into the west…”
      What does it say about an ideology that it needs to imprison it’s people, who even required travel permits to move inter city/region within their own borders.

      I never heard of anyone trying to escape from Miami to Cuba, the flow of people was all in the other direction.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Some people do go from Miami to Cuba because Cuba has better healthcare.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

          Better health care? Well cheaper perhaps.

        • Bob
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

          And I know people who traveled their on business, but they didn’t up sticks and risk their lives floating in shark infested waters on truck inner tubes to move their families to Cuba.

          And non of them were imprisoned or shot when trying to leave their country of origin.

          And finally, they all voluntarily returned home from their trips, as I expect your health tourists did.

          Point stands, people vote with their feet, as they usually do from communism if they can dodge the bullets from the border guards.

          Have you ever thought of moving to North Korea?

        • libertarian
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          Uanime5

          Cuba’s healthcare is a MYTH. The superb hospital ( singular) that they have is reserved for people called Castro and who happen to be in control of the country. The rest of Cuba gets 3rd rate treatment. Typical socialism in fact.

          • uanime5
            Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

            Still better than the nothing you’d get in the USA if you’re poor.

          • Edward 2
            Posted October 7, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            Uni
            There are many good public free hospitals for those who need treatment and cannot afford to pay in the USA
            Propaganda will always fail when faced with the facts

          • libertarian
            Posted October 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            Uanime5

            It would really help if you socialists bothered to learn anything. The US spends MORE on public healthcare than the UK. Every city has a free public hospital and NO hospital is allowed by law to turn away a patient. Stop peddling myths. I do not think the US system is particularly good and I certainly wouldn’t want it here but its a damn sight better than Cuba’s

    • uanime5
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      I look at what is happening in Greece.

      You mean the Greeks trying to pay back all the debts they ran up.

  6. Stewart Knight
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Could not agree more over fascism, but you’re sanitised and generalised version of the Soviet System of Communism and the comparison of the two is verging on offensive.

    There is no difference between the two; there is no left and right wing but a generalised socialism, what makes fascism different from communism is merely the main protagonists who formed the specific ideology.

    As to the Soviets….it was the Soviets who oppressed and murdered Jews in their droves long before the NAZIs, and you’re glib comment of ”cruel famines” is actually offensive to someone like me has t least part Ukrainian blood and whose father fought against the Soviets directly because of the Holodomor. More Ukrainians died through deliberate extermination than Jews in WW2. If I was Jewish and you’d described the Holocaust in those terms I would calling for an apology and your resignation [sic] This is of course only the tip of the iceberg.

    NAZIs are rightly shunned in British and world politics and cannot get a foothold on power, and I think the same should be the case for Communists and it too, far more murderous and damaging to the world before and after the NAZIs, should be shunned from power, same for Communist or Socialist unions and the Labour movement in general; it’s always been a source of amazement that they are allowed freedom to espouse this discredited, corrupt and murderous ideology, and that included Milliband if he admires his father.

    Mind you, if you look at the Soviet hierarchy in the twenties and thirties when Jews were being transported to Gulags in the hundreds of thousands if not millions you might be surprised to see they were vastly well represented by Jews.

    Reply Thank you for your confirmation of why we should hate communism as much as fascism. I did not seek to provide an exhaustive list of al those communism incarcerated and killed.

  7. lifelogic
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    It is interesting to see, after Mehdi Hasan vitriolic torrent of mindless abuse on Question Time against the Daily Mail it seems he applied for a job at the Mail. These chip on the shoulder left(ies ed) are a complete and utter joke. Or they would be it they did not do such damage through organisations like the BBC.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/steerpike/2013/10/mehdi-hasan-please-please-please-can-i-work-for-the-daily-mail/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mehdi-hasan-please-please-please-can-i-work-for-the-daily-mail

    • zorro
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      An absolute classic having seen the letter on Guido Fawkes….I initially thought that it was a wind up, but it appears to be genuine.

      zorro

    • Richard1
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      I have given up with Question Time, it is too tedious with the audience comments. Did anyone hear this week’s Any Questions? Patrick McLoughlan faced 3 leftists (balance??). The audience was clearly heavily weighted to the left (evidence: a c 75% disapproval of the Conservatives’ plans to restrict benefits for young people to those in work or training, a policy with majority support in the Country). The discussion on the absurd Milliband issue was typical – faux outrage from the 3 leftists, to hysterical applause from the bussed in leftist activists in the audience, Patrick M doing a good job to douse the flames, but no-one prepared to make points such as those above. Ralph Miliband was an avowed Marxist. Marxism / communism is a loathsome political philosophy which was used to justify the oppression and deaths of tens of millions. But on the BBC these days that point can’t even be mentioned.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Patrick McLoughlan is also to the left of centre on any rational analysis. Alas the BBC has hugely sloped the playing field in the UK.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        (evidence: a c 75% disapproval of the Conservatives’ plans to restrict benefits for young people to those in work or training, a policy with majority support in the Country)

        Given that 1 million young people will suffer because of this policy along with their families, it’s no surprise that 75% disapprove of it. Only in the world of right wing fantasy do the majority support this proposal.

        Marxism / communism is a loathsome political philosophy which was used to justify the oppression and deaths of tens of millions.

        Just like capitalism.

        • Richard1
          Posted October 7, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          There is no reason for anyone to ‘suffer’ under this policy. It is an excellent idea and has worked well under the Democrats in the US. That it has public support has been well tested – this govt wouldn’t otherwise have proposed it. That the BBC audience was so out of sync with national opinion shows there is a systemic leftwing bias in the selection of audiences on these BBC programmes. You might like that, but those who believe a state owned broadcaster should not be partisan are entitled to object.

          Your point that capitalism is no more attractive than socialism is made absurd by experience since 1989 where numerous populations, when given a choice, invariably choose capitalism and market democracy over socialism.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    How the Tory party leadership treats the Daily Mail over the Ralph Miliband issue is a vital indicator to voters about their true ideology. (Note that they weren’t honest enough to show EU flags as this year’s party conference – this despite remaining a pro EU party. Yet another mandate for continued EU membership by default.)

    Will the Tory party put the ‘protection’ of their fellow politicians above the right of the British public to know exactly what leading candidates stand for ?

    I exhort readers of this blog to pay attention as to how the Tories react. It will be most revealing.

    The Daily Mail may have made some mistakes but they have done great service to the country. That the Left have been gunning for the Mail for decades shows just how good this paper has been and is – thus far – not implicated in phone hacking. (I bet Hugh Grant really is hacked off over that !)

    Will it put

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know how many times in the past the Tory party has displayed the EU flag at its national conference. I know for sure that it was displayed at Brighton in 1984 because it can be seen in the videos of Margaret Thatcher giving her courageous and resolute speech after the bombing. Whether it had been displayed at previous conferences or has ever been displayed since I don’t know.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Somehow I doubt the Conservatives will be supporting the Mail’s smear campaign; mainly because they don’t want what their own families did being printed across all the papers.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Yesterdays editorial in the mail called for a Leveson inquiry into the Labour party. They name leading Labour politicians who – if innocent of these allegations – should respond with law suits for defamation of character.

        It is Labour who are the masters of smear and bullying.

        Ed Miliband referred to his father as being a great influence on him. Ralph Miliband was not some anonymous figure but was a leading thinker on Marxist ideology.

        The Daily Mail were wrong to say that he hated Britain but would have been right to say that he hated the things about Britain that many of us loved.

        We have a right to know this. And if politicians don’t want their families being scrutinised then they ought not to mention them as major influences in the run-up to elections.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          They name leading Labour politicians who – if innocent of these allegations – should respond with law suits for defamation of character.

          You do realise that MPs can’t fight defamation cases while they’re MPs. There’s also the huge cost of bringing a defamation case.

          So it’s no surprise that MPs are reporting these false allegations to the press complains commission.

          It is Labour who are the masters of smear and bullying.

          It is the Mail who is the master of smear, which is why they’re being investigated because of these false claims.

          Ralph Miliband was not some anonymous figure but was a leading thinker on Marxist ideology.

          Either provide evidence to support this or admit your made this claim up. Liking Marxist ideology doesn’t make you a leading thinker.

          We have a right to know this. And if politicians don’t want their families being scrutinised then they ought not to mention them as major influences in the run-up to elections.

          Politicians should be able to talk about their families without the media harassing their families and launching smear campaigns.

          Reply There is no ban on MPs b ringing libel cases whilst in Parliament. Mr Burnham is threatening to bring one at the moment against Mr Hunt.

  9. Roger Farmer
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    There is communism the ideal and communism the reality.

    The nearest you might get to the ideal is in a monastery or perhaps a kibbutz. However within these organisations I am sure there will be a pecking order. The very basic Christian ideal was communist in an intellectual sense.

    The reality has proved to be an organisation of consummate evil, glorying in all the worst traits in human nature. A more imperialistic philosophy and practice it would be hard to find. When it retreated it left nothing behind that the freed populations of eastern Europe desired to return to. The reality a total hypocrisy.

    Reply : Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s etc was also Christ’s teaching

    • Bob
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      @Roger Farmer
      “The reality has proved to be an organisation of consummate evil,”

      To paraphrase our host “communism became the embodiment of Animal Farm”.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      To Reply:

      “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” [Matthew 22:21]. The original message, coming in response to a question of whether it was lawful for Jews to pay taxes to Caesar.

      Rather typically it is open to countless and contradictory interpretations.

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    JR:”Mr Wilson when Prime Minister in his famous “white hot heat of technology” speech was recommending a sanitised version of the Soviet state planning model to modernise the UK economy. ”
    You must have had a loss of memory when it came to the Conservative Heath government from 1970-74. I can find no better descripition than this from Simon Heffer in the Telegraph, December 2005 under the heading “Heath copied Labour – and look what happened” : “the nadir of this socialist policy was reached by Heath and not Wilson, with his neo-Stalinist three-phase prices and incomes policy in 1972-73.”

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Indeed and now the EU is largely copying it too, with past help from Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown and now Cameron.

  11. Tad Davison
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I Agree with every word!

    Tad

  12. Paul Bolton
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    This may be true Mr Redwood however the Right in this Country should also explain why they supported Regimes such as Pinochets.

    Reply If they did, then yes. I myself do not support dictatorships of right or left.

  13. Edward2
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    What an excellent article which reminded me of friends of mine from my youth who used to excuse the way the USSR badly treated its people by saying “its not real communism” and believed if we had communism it would be just like the good book said it would be.
    Communism plus human nature results in the evil regimes we have seen throughout history.
    Perhaps it operates OK as the Kibbutz system in Israel.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      I worked on a kibbutz in the 1970s. We volunteers were kept away from the Israeli women, who were very attractive, in our own compound. The gate to the compound seemed to be one-way for the Israeli men however.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Not when I was a kibbutz volunteer it didn’t. They were good fun for young volunteers, but for economic productivity they were useless.

  14. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I was brought up with living with conservative socialism , and having much input from a very left wing mother .Communism and the bible both wrote of egalitarianism. We are all born equal yet every individual matters is the theme of equality in the bible. These are also Marxs’ principles yet how things practically work out depend upon honesty and love for one another . This is beautifully naïve and is what many aspire to. Theory is misinterpreted , it is abused , it is twisted, central themes are ignored for something which is ambiguous and suits the competitive instinct. Orwell’s pig revolution is real and replays again and again presenting itself in the bullying instinct in’ fools’ collective. It is about totalitarianism which also can be aligned to capitalism. Purity of aim is given a warning when St Matthew tells us to “Neither cast ye pearls before swine”
    What manifestos intend ,cannot be truly enforced , due to the simple fact that competition , survival and the big ‘I’ take precedent , therefore the ills of the individual need to be addressed and not the academic intention BUT If I kill in the name of a cause then should the cause take responsibility or the individual?

  15. oldtimer
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Good questions! But, as you point out, answers none. There will be replies, but instead of answers there will be attempts to change the issue or the question.

  16. cosmic
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Communism just seems like such a good idea. Helping people and cooperation. A scientifically planned economy, which can’t help but be better than a haphazard capitalist system.

    Shame it doesn’t work out that way and produces drab, inefficient and often immensely cruel governments which are not even environmentally friendly.

    Nonetheless, there’s such an attachment to the neatness of the idea that some people embrace it with religious fervour. Then it becomes rarified, so “the workers” become a grotesque abstract.

    When the extent of Stalin’s actions began to emerge, there was an absolute refusal amongst a lot of socialists to accept it was possible. I believe something like at least 20 million deaths were involved. No one is entirely sure how many. Estimates are based on statistics and demographics.

    The same sort of thing happened in China in the 50s and 60s. In both cases many of the deaths were caused by incompetence and the resulting famine and poverty.

    We haven’t outgrown it. People who subscribe to the idea believe it wasn’t done properly before and this time it will be different. Their means and objectives have changed but it still boils down to a love affair with a big state and the belief that the state can and should do everything.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      When the extent of Stalin’s actions began to emerge, there was an absolute refusal amongst a lot of socialists to accept it was possible.

      Given that one of the first people to denounce Stalin after his death was his successor Khrushchev it seems unlikely that the socialists didn’t accept what Stalin did.

      People who subscribe to the idea believe it wasn’t done properly before and this time it will be different.

      People who subscribe to free market capitalism believe the same thing. They just assume that it’s a coincidence that it always creates a small super-wealthy elite, while everyone else lives in poverty.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5

        Only one trouble with that post old son.

        The facts. Socialism, always and everywhere has ALWAYS ended in failure.

        Free markets always and everywhere have resulted in the massive improvements in the standard of living of everyone under that system.

        The super wealthy elite compose 1% of the population, show me ONE place that has free markets where 99% live in poverty

        • uanime5
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          Care to explain why socialist Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden haven’t failed and in many cases are doing better than the UK.

          The homeless aren’t benefiting from free markets.

          In Pakistan 99% live in poverty while the remaining 1% live lives of luxury. Most African countries are similar with the wealthy elite sucking all the money out of the economy.

          • Edward 2
            Posted October 7, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            I keep hearing the people of Germany, Sweden and Switzerland laughing hysterically seeing their nations repeatedly described by you as socialist
            Hilarious Uni

          • libertarian
            Posted October 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

            Uanime5

            Germany Switzerland and Sweden aren’t socialist and ALL of them have just LOWERED their top rates of tax. Germany has also removed a lot of workers rights regulations from the statute book.

            Er Uanime5 Parkistan or The Socialist Republic of Pakistan is er a SOCIALIST country, the local tier of government is administered by the Unions.

            Try again one free market country

          • Richard1
            Posted October 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

            Check Switzerland against John Redwood’s summary of Marxist policy. It is the least socialist country in Europe (I don’t know about Liechtenstein)

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    If the European powers which were defeated and occupied in the Second World War had been communist rather than fascist then fewer people would have been prepared to support communism afterwards. As it was the full truth about the barbarism of the Nazis was thoroughly exposed by the allied powers, even to the point of holding the show trials at Nuremburg, while the comparable barbarism of one of those allies within its own territory remained largely shielded from view. The Soviet communists killed millions through collectivisation and purges and deliberate starvation, but while those on the left in western Europe insisted on putting a Holocaust Day on the calendar there has been reluctance to introduce a similar Holodomor Day. History tends to be written by victors, as it happened Nazi Germany was among the defeated while the communist Soviet Union was among the victors, and that has inevitably coloured subsequent views.

    It is an interesting question why neither of these extreme ideologies ever put down deep roots on British soil, and I suspect the answer is that we had a somewhat longer history of the great majority of people accepting that political disputes should be pursued peacefully through the ballot box rather than through violent confrontations on the streets.

    But it is also interesting that the exceptions to that rule of non-violence are now far more likely to be on the left of politics than on the right, and once again that can be traced back to the outcome of the Second World War which in the eyes of some on the left justifies violence against their political opponents.

    • zorro
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      The excesses of the French Revolution (before the Communist Manifesto) precipitated and foresaw the 20th century tyrannies….

      zorro

    • uanime5
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      It was possible for a country to be communist but not part of the Soviet Union. An example would be Yugoslavia and to a degree Albania (they were part of the Warsaw pact but left once the Soviet Union started becoming more liberal).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        The communist Soviet Union was the communist Soviet Union, and its communist allies were its communist allies.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          The Soviet Union produce more propaganda attacking Yugoslavia than they did attacking the USA. The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were not allies.

  18. Stuart K
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I have never understood the way in which some leftists in the West have hero worshipped Che Guevara. This is a man who, during the Cuban missile crisis, spoke of the need to “walk by the path of liberation even when it may cost millions of atomic victims.”

    The man was a fanatic (etc ed)

  19. Martin
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Communism had a lot of support as Stalin kept his atrocities very secret. The book Gulag Archipelago only appeared in the 1970s (long after the Cambridge spy ring) and opened a lot of eyes very wide open indeed.

    Incidentally most of the peasant farmers Stalin killed (the Kulaks) were hardly middle class. The secret mass famine in the Ukraine in the 1920/30s was a consequence of this extermination.

    As ever with Communism we drift off of the philosophy on to the brutal implementation. Stalin’s brutal modernisation of the Soviet economy and his hard methods did save the USSR in 1941/2 when most other countries would have gone under. The sacrifice of over 20 MILLION Soviet citizens to win world war two (double the percentage that Germany lost) speaks for itself.

    Reply As a schoolboy in the 1960s I was well aware of the brutalities of the Soviet regime, and quite afraid of their growing power.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Communism had a lot of support as Stalin kept his atrocities very secret.

      Khrushchev used these atrocities to denounce Stalin as soon as Stalin died. So they haven’t been secret since 1953.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 12:56 am | Permalink

        Yes Uni everyone had a fabulous time of freedom and great living standards under kind old Mr Khruschchev.

  20. Old Albion
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Extremism in all it’s forms is to be despised. Communism, Facism, Islamic extremism,BNP…………..spot the difference.
    Recent examples of this have been seen all to frequently. If the EDL (who are nothing more than a few football thugs convinced they are politicians) organise a march, Out come the UAF who behave with the most appaling violence. But justify it ‘because they are fighting Nazi’s’
    They are as bad as those they seek to injure.

    • Ralph Musgrave
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      “Extremism in all it’s forms is to be despised.” Really? Galileo was an extremist: he claimed the Earth revolved round the Sun. And he was put under house arrest for the last ten years of his life.

      And then those peasants who wanted more equality prior to the French Revolution were extremists by the standards of their day.

      As for the BNP, they vigorously opposed the Iraq war from day one, whereas the Labour and Tory parties went off to Iraq and took part in the slaughter of a million Muslims. Who are the extremists?

      • Old Albion
        Posted October 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        You tell me?

      • APL
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        Ralph MusgraveReally? “Galileo was an extremist: ”

        Not Galileo.

        He didn’t attempt to use thuggery to get his ideas across. The UAF for example, (is alleged to use thuggery and intimidation sometimes ed)as its method of communication.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        Galileo was not an extremist just a scientist who observed the world as it is, thought about is and was clearly right. It just did not suit the powers at the time (even some of them they many well have known he was right).

        Rather like the physicist and scientist now, who point out that catastrophic AGW warming, based on simplistic computer projections, is at best an absurd exaggeration and at worst a gigantic scam.

        Also those who point out that a little warmer on balance is probably better anyway far more die of the cold in winter. As 6000 years ago when the Sahara was clearly much more conducive to human life than now.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          The proof for AGW is that the average global temperature has continued to rise for over 100 years. The computer models are used to predict what will happen if the temperature keeps rising.

          There’s currently famines and droughts in Africa because hotter isn’t better.

          6,000 years ago the world wasn’t hotter.

    • Bob
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      @Old Albion
      “Out come the UAF who behave with the most appalling violence.”

      Below is an name extracted from the UAF founders list:

        ”David Cameron MP”

      I’m surprised he hasn’t withdrawn his name in the light of the (alleged ed) violence carried out by this organisation.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        Really no need for the “(alleged ed)”; it has only been necessary to watch what actually happens in its confrontations with the BNP and the EDL and note that at long last the police have started to arrest some of the UAF thugs. I accept that when Cameron first signed up in support of the UAF he may not have understood that he was aligning himself with (some who use ed) political violence but by now he should have realised that and publicly dissociated himself. It is a disgrace that the name of our Prime Minister should appear on their website as a supporter.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      The difference spotted is the BNP.

  21. stred
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    My experience was the same. The sympathetic treatment of Red Ed shows that the Marxists are still with us. The UK never experienced full Marxism and there are more people here that think it would work than there are in eastern Europe.

    I remember going for a walk with a friend who had these views and his Marxist mate. I mentioned the Sky advert taking the p out of Stalin and was rather taken aback by a vehement defense of his record.

    You mention the purging of the middle class farmers. The middle class professionals were also purged. My outlaws suffered under communism in eastern Europe, as they were teachers and lawyers with liberal views and lost their jobs. Friends just disappeared. One of them told me that when he applied to study music at university, he was refused on grounds that he was of ‘unhealthy origin’. Another found that, at medical school, the children of the Party were being given top grades at the expense of the no communist offspring. She escaped but faced a 25 year prison sentence if she returned. Her mother had to die alone.. Even under reformed communism in Bulgaria, when I went skiing the Party members went straight to the front of the ski lift queue.

    The accusations of antisemitism against the Mail are amusing. Some Jews are right wing and some are left. If the right argue with the left they are anti-Semitic but if the left has a go at the right, they are just argumentative. Besides which, an Arab guest once pointed out that they were not anti-Semitic but were anti-Zionist, as they were Semitic themselves. In fact, more Semitic than many northern European Jews.

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Whilst we talk of “left” and “right” in politics, I always tend to think of the parties and ideologies being in a circle. Just as on the earth if you go westwards far enough you end up in the same place as if you had gone eastwards, so, if you go far enough to the left in politics you end up at the same place as those who have gone to the extreme right. The practical effect on most people of either extreme is a form of dictatorship where everyone is afraid of the state and you are only allowed those choices in life permitted by the state, with inconvenient minorities being sent to gulags or concentration camps.

  23. Bill
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Agree. Communism has a terrible record. Thousands – even millions – have been killed by its secret police and its governments. Among other things you will note the belief that the ‘class’ is important and the individual counts for nothing in the great historical process.

    Any competent philosopher can quickly dismantle the arguments of Marx and his neo-Marxist followers. But if you want to read a scholarly work, go to Isaiah Berlin’s book on Marx published in 1939.

  24. Credible
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    John, why are you discussing Soviet communism? Did the Daily Mail ask you to?

    The Soviet Union was a dictatorship. They did what they did to control the people and retain power. Putin seems to be going in the same direction but without the communist ideology. History tells us that this is what powerful people often do. It is something we need to be continually wary of in Britain as well.

    Reply NO the Mail did not ask me to. I think the current debate about ideology sparked by Miliband’s leftwards leaning conference speech is important interesting.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      “what powerful people often do. It is something we need to be continually wary of in Britain as well.”

      Indeed, a move perhaps incubated by Cameron and even worse Miliband taking political control of the press and the allowing the continued growth of the, out of democratic control, malignant EU and the BBC state funded propaganda unit.

      • zorro
        Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        This is normally their first step. They can take verbal insults but do not like it in print…..

        zorro

  25. Atlas
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    A good post John.

    I look on the 1848 Communist Manifesto as written by K. Marx as a response to the legislation (covering trades unions as well as the franchise) at the time in both the UK and elsewhere. Later on in the Century UK Governments wisely altered these and in essence defused the revolutionary pressures in this country. Not so in other countries – and we saw what happened there.

    I fear that moves to wind back the clock when it comes to effective enfranchisement (many aspects of the way the EU works) and also Trades Union legislation in the UK will just reignite these revolutionary pressures. The support for Marx clearly had a fertile reception – so must have addressed grievances at the time.

  26. Neil craig
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    “Both ideologies encouraged people to hate other people because of their birth and circumstances”

    The basic point. Socialism itself, of which both Communism and Fascism are offshoots started by socialists, are motivated by hate of the wealthy (though the definition of wealthy varies enormously with the audience).

    Whereas free market economics, like other sciences, is inherently not driven by morality – though the practitioners usually supply it themselves, for better or worse.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      The basic point. Socialism itself, of which both Communism and Fascism are offshoots started by socialists, are motivated by hate of the wealthy (though the definition of wealthy varies enormously with the audience).

      Fascism has nothing to do with socialism, nor a hatred of the wealthy. The fascist doctrine encourages private profits as long as it doesn’t conflict with national interests.

      Whereas free market economics, like other sciences, is inherently not driven by morality – though the practitioners usually supply it themselves, for better or worse.

      Nothing about free market economics is scientific or moral.

  27. Ralph Musgrave
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Milton Friedman said that if democracy is destroyed in Britain, it will be the political left that does it.

    Certainly (authoritarianism ed) is very much alive and well in the political left in Britain today. For example you have to be careful what you say about immigration, else you’ll be arrested for “inciting racial hatred”.

    And then there’s Section 5 of the Public Order Act which (amazing this) banned anyone from insulting anyone else. Thanks to a campaign led by Rowan Atkinson, that bit of legislation was removed a few months ago. But the proportion of Labour MPs who wanted Section 5 retained was double the number of Tory and Lib Dem MPs.

    So get this: there are plenty of sanctimonious, interfering Labour MPs who think they have the right to arrest you if you call your mate a twit. Personally I’m all in favour of anyone having the right to call me a thick headed, ugly, useless, b*astard.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Well done to the (Electrical Engineer I think) Rowen Atkinson, and he did not even get a Knighthood unlike the irritating, lefty & untalented Baldrick. Who makes the judgements?

    • zorro
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      That will be Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 which was introduced by the Tories!

      (1) A person is guilty of an offence if he:

      (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
      (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

      within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.”

      zorro

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        How can anyone put forward such an absurd wide ranging law as that. Some people are offended if you so much as burp.

  28. Bazman
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    The soviet Union was not communism, but state capitalism. Communism as pointed out was never achieved. What was achieved though was a gangster state of which Russia still is today with the country being run for the benefit of about a thousand people. The gangster analogy is very close to the communists government of the day and still holds true in modern Russia, with the ruling class often living in fear of their lives by a ‘Godfather’ such as Stalin. They sort of came to power and then as if on a conveyor belt, fell off. Often like the Mafia living simple lives in basic conditions, but owning the latest cars and luxury items and woman wearing simple clothing at least in public. It’s not about money, but about power which is the same problem we have here in communism for the rich and will fall from power not due to theft, but due to the fact they did not share. Ram it.

    Reply The USSR claimed to be a communist state and used Marxism as its excuse. The right does not argue that Hitler’s Germany was not a proper fascist state because it also pursued the mass murder of the Jews – that is what fascism did, and mass murder is also what communism in practice did.

    • zorro
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      No John, I am not a communist, but the theoretical aims of communism are clear. The aims of Fascism/Nazism were also clear – the supremacy of the Aryan race which involved solving the problem of ‘inferior races’ and creating lebensraum for a Greater Germania.

      zorro

      • Bazman
        Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Most Russians and Germans need to phone their mums.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Certainly the Soviet Union was a communist state. The state accounted for over 75% of economic activity. Private business was illegal. There was no capital market, and very little freedom to work spend or invest as you pleased (except corruptly). It was an excellent 70 year control case for the theory of socialism. The Soviet Union demonstrated conclusively, firstly that socialism is grossly inferior to capitalism as a mechanism for allocating economic resources and achieving development, and secondly that you can’t have real socialism without political repression.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      For crying out loud Bazzyboy is there no subject of which you are not a) ignorant b) incapable of googling?

      The economy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was based on a system of state ownership of the means of production, collective farming, industrial manufacturing and centralized administrative planning. The economy was characterised by state control of investment, public ownership of industrial assets, and during the last 20 years of its existence, pervasive corruption and socioeconomic stagnation.

      The Soviet Union carried out no trade with any other country that wasn’t communist until the late 1970’s and its currency was not traded or convertible on the open market.

      That my deluded friend is communism/socialism in action.

      Here is a link to all the countries that have ever been or are still socialist

      Read them all Bazboy because every single one of them was a basket case, enslaver of workers and poverty stricken toilet for the mass of their populations

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_socialist_countries

      And you want to reproduce Albania, The Congo, East Germany, North Korea etc here…. you are devoid of any ability to think, you are an enemy of the working class and an armchair class warrior

      • Bazman
        Posted October 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        My point is Russia was and still is a gangster state run fore the benefit of a an elite few. The politicians are up to their eyese in it on an unimaginable scale. Yeltsin whose corruption was small potatoes by Russian standards is probably the only honest one. Communism, socialism, capitalism. Whatever. Notice how as soon as the rich get mega rich they leave. They claim they still live there as they own a house there, but it a lie. One day in you penthouse next in prison easy as that. The state still has a long reach for many Russians abroad and is constantly looking to bleed them for money.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Baz

          You are right at last !!! One of the many drawbacks of Communism/socialism is that it is soon taken over by a gangster elite.

          Thats why freedom, democracy and free markets work so well. They prevent gangster elites taking over. Thats why its imperative that we stop the march of corporate socialism in the UK.

          Thats why EVERY socialist state on the list I linked too is actually controlled by a gangster elite.

          At last Baz, you’ve seen the light. Welcome to libertarianism. Small government, small state, personal responsibility, low tax and equality of opportunity for all in society. Freedom, liberty and democracy

          • Bazman
            Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            Or crony capitalism.

  29. forthurst
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it became unfashionable to proclaim and strive for the ultimate victory of Marxism as an economic and political system. However, that was far from the end as far as the adherents of left-wing revolutionary politics were concerned, because whilst central planning and the ownership of wealth and power as a means of achieving parity and plenitude for the masses had manifestly achieved the exact opposite, Marxism had been quietly transmuting itself from an economic and political doctrine into a cultural one: no longer was all property theft, but rather Western cultural norms, depriving those who were not of European ancestry, those who did not fit into a conventional family framework had become the new (approach ed). According to the new Marxist doctrine, race, intelligence, gender, sexual preference were simply cultural constructs (words left out ed) which could therefore through education be replaced by a universal equality. In order to bring about the new nirvana, Western culture had to be entirely replaced: mass immigration, the ‘normalisation’ of non-Western cultures and practices, totally equality between the sexes, as well as (minority ed) sexual behaviours were facilitated through (words left out) Western legislatures by some (words left out) politicians.

    etc

    • zorro
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      What you describe is Gramscism, some of its (former?) adherents have high positions oin the EU apparatus…..

      zorro

  30. Iain Moore
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Well said Mr Redwood. So few Conservatives are prepared to challenge the left for their background, I sometimes wonder if there has been a conspiracy of silence to save the Left’s blushes, but when the Left outrageously, and without shame , seek to shout down and liberally label others with any derogatory label they can come up with, I am astonished that the Conservatives not only remain silent at this onslaught, but roll over in an orgy of self loathing denouncing themselves as the nasty party. Where has the Conservative party’s fight gone? It seems it went with Mrs Thatcher.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      I imagine it was quite plain to all Conservative MP’s after Mr Cameron gave his early statement on the incident, just how they were all supposed to react.
      You take your cue from Number 10’s lead.
      Amd it was supine one.

  31. alan jutson
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Those who have nothing, can tend to believe those who say, follow me for a better life, and then provide them immediately with something just a little better than what they originally had, with promises of even more later.

    That is how people get into, and stay in power, they simply lie and bribe people for support.

    There are plenty of examples worldwide, and it only fails when there is not enough of other peoples money to continue to fund such payment for that support, then support is demanded at the point of a gun and or prison.

    All of the above Governments/Party’s fail eventually, but the damage caused is immense, not only to the supporters themselves, but to the whole population.

    Those at the very top of such organisations tend to insulate themselves and their families from such shortfalls with huge secret offshore accounts, and of course exclude themselves from the enforced rules placed on all of those deemed to be below them in the pecking order.

    Such organisations are born out of poverty, frustration, lack of education and opportunity.

    A lesson for us all not to forget.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Those who have nothing, can tend to believe those who say, follow me for a better life, and then provide them immediately with something just a little better than what they originally had, with promises of even more later

      Well when the alternative is remain poor it’s no surprise that people support those who are actually helping them.

      There are plenty of examples worldwide, and it only fails when there is not enough of other peoples money to continue to fund such payment for that support, then support is demanded at the point of a gun and or prison.

      Like certain banks that ran out of money to invest and need a multi-billion pound bailout.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Uni5

        Good that you agree with me with regard to promises made can lead to support.

        Shame you appear not to understand that many such promises are empty and that those in charge have a hidden agenda.

        It is in all Countries interests to try and help those who want to work, to work, and to try and improve their and their families lives.

        “like certain Banks …..”
        So who bailed out the Banks?
        A Labour and Socialist EU, neither of which have any money of their own, just ours !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      “There are plenty of examples worldwide, and it only fails when there is not enough of other peoples money to continue to fund such payment for that support, then support is demanded at the point of a gun and or prison.”

      There is the alternative of quantitative easing, ie printing new money and in one way or another passing it to the government to spend on its bribes.

      In our case, passing it from the Bank of England to the Treasury via the gilts market; £198 billion in the year leading up to the 2010 general election, so the government could avoid drastic spending cuts and the Labour party could save itself from annihilation at the election, and £175 billion since the election.

  32. The PrangWizard
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    You never will get satisfactory answers. The hypocrisy of the Left must be exposed at every opportunity. The subversives of today should be shamed, be accused. We need a leadership which can do this unambiguously. We have become weak, soft, life is just too comfortable, and history is distorted, forgotten, the State broadcaster the BBC is a contributor to this. We must exploit the Left’s weaknesses and lies. We are fighting a war to protect our hard won freedoms; this time it’s here in our own land, we must fight to win; being ‘reasonable’ with the Left and appeasing them won’t do, they do not compromise. All strength to the Daily Mail and its allies.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      The right is no less hypocritical, as managers often maintain their bloated salaries by paying their employees as little as possible.

      • APL
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        uanime5: “The right is no less hypocritical, as managers ”

        typical logical fallacy…

        ‘managers’ does not equal ‘right’.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

          Encouraging other to make large profits any way possible is a right wing doctrine.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

            Uanime5

            “Encouraging other to make large profits any way possible is a right wing doctrine”

            Er no it isn’t its a necessity no matter what kind of operation you run. If a not for profit, charity or quango fails to make an excess of income over expenditure ( profit ) it will fail. Profit is needed by every organisation in order to invest, grow and develop.

            The only difference between a for profit and a not for profit is the tax treatment.

  33. Max Dunbar
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    At last, someone at Westminster who is prepared to take on the Left and has the guts to say cogently and clearly what most of us think. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post. Bring it on!

  34. Edward.
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    “The left does have to explain, defend or condemn communism”

    The left would deny the nose on their face if they thought that they’d get away with it, explaining their hackneyed world view and asinine economic ideas is a stretch, apologize – never and never would they explain the greater strategy – demographic transmogrification and the practice of cultural Marxism – the new creed of the progressives.

    It is and was perfectly possible to fight for Britain and still despise the country you were fighting for – if the foe was an even blacker alternative. Miliband, never answered the question the Daily Mail posed – though Miliband informed us all – by what he did not say.

    John, the guise of the party – of Hitler’s political party was National Socialist, Fascism/Communism are the twigs living side by side on the branch of totalitarianism.

    The fundamental question, the only battle is between, capitalism and communism, or that brand we have here in Britain – progressive Socialism. Progressivism, wherein – the enormous costs of big state welfarism are loaded onto the individual taxpayer [and consumer]- it is a form of communism but where instead of [like the Soviet Union] the state running industry and manufacturing – the progressive government allows these to run mainly by private enterprise.
    When the the boundaries blur, the system fails and capitalism is strangled – as the inefficiencies and public sector waste marches rampant – when corporate business and state become indistinguishable – as they are here in the UK – this is where competition dies, no competition equals no efficiency and always then – the taxpayer cops for it.

    Rightly almost never, usually – wrongly, all three UK major parties practice progressive policies to a lesser or greater extent.

    Miliband’s Labour-ites are a particular worry. because they also preach an internationalist brand of Socialism which propounds a singular world government – that’s why it is pertinent to peer into Miliband’s past – the fellow is a peril.

  35. Bert Young
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Communist and Fascist ideology have both been over-ridden by the cult of deranged personalities during my lifetime . Political parties have often been led by individuals who , once they have become used to their power in office , forget their ideals and abuse their positions . All leaders should be subject to checks and balances by using advisers from a wide area of experience , definitely not lap dogs . The present lot exhibit characteristics that show a poor knowledge of history ; they would be well advised to avoid being cocksure .

  36. Andyvan
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Strange how things go. People used to escape to freedom to the west, now they leave the west to escape the spying, warmongering, leeching, nanny states and run to former communist or fascist countries. In the end all governments turn out to be nightmares, some quicker, (USA) some slower (UK) but the outcome is similar, a predatory state extracting more and more wealth and allowing less and less freedom until they collapse and revert to a small state with low predation. Then the cycle starts up again. That will happen as long as people believe that somehow giving up personal liberty and choice to a bunch of con men that manage to gain enough votes through, lets be kind, lying, will make them safer or richer or give them an easier life. Sadly every single political party now completely believes in the big state being the only solution,that democracy (mob rule) will be our salvation and have managed to convince enough of the mob to continue the cycle. Those of us that believe in real liberty above faux security have a tough time preaching to the brainwashed but we continue to try.

  37. uanime5
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Why did communism become the embodiment of Animal Farm?

    Animal farm was based on communist society. Though there were many capitalist societies that ended up the same way.

    Why did the leaders of Soviet communism reserve to themselves a lifestyle the rest of their country could not approach?

    Given that many people in Russia lived in rural areas it’s no surprise that their lifestyle differed from people in urban areas.

    Why did they have special rights to travel where most Soviet people did not?

    Most Government officials are able to travel where most citizens cannot, such as military bases.

    And why had the communist bloc fallen so far behind the west in living standards and output?

    Because all the Communist companies had a monopoly, thus they had no incentive to improve. Had the Western countries also had monopolies or cartels they would have had the same problems (for example lack of competition is causing many problems in privatised industries).

    Tomorrow I will look at the Communist party Manifesto, to remind us what they were trying to do and to see how far they got in the UK.

    For comparison will you also look at fascist manifestos to see what they were trying to do and how far they got in the UK?

    In other news the Government seems to have botched the economy more than they realised as they’re no longer able to afford the wage increases that they agreed to pay NHS staff. Expect a legal challenge.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/nhs-1-pay-rises-could-be-scrapped-under-government-proposals-8860819.html

    Reply Your support for the USSR delivers you to a new low in defending the indefensible!

    • APL
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      JR: “Your support for the USSR delivers you to a new low in defending the indefensible!”

      Believe me, I’d like to be able to say this more often. Hear, hear!

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Uni5

      Just out of interest

      Do you have a job, and are you married with Children.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      There is a delightful irony here Uni
      If you spoke critcally of the State as you do on here freely, but tried it in the USSR you defend,
      you would find yourself arrested and imprisoned
      Sent perhaps to a Siberian work camp or diagnosed mentally ill (deluded) and held until your views become “healthy” again.
      Careful what you wish for comrade.

    • APL
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      uanime5: “no longer able to afford the wage increases that they agreed to pay NHS staff. Expect a legal challenge.”

      Typical socialist mindset – if you can credit a socialist with such a thing.

      It doesn’t matter if a thing can be afforded or not. We’re gonna have it or else.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        The health secretary entered into a binding contract so he can’t just ignore it whenever it becomes inconvenient. Also despite this lack of money MPs are still going to get a 10% pay increase.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 6, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      I never said the USSR was good. I just pointed out that for many capitalism wasn’t much better.

      • Edward 2
        Posted October 7, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        Just keep reminding yourself every now and again Uni, that the right to say what you want would not be allowed if you lived under a socialist regime like USSR or even in current versions like Cuba.

  38. peter davies
    Posted October 7, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I sent a twitter message to a well known standard bearer of the left Owen Jones last week about the realities of communism and human rights they constantly bleat on about.

    It was based on how China treat their workers (acknowledging of course that they now have a capitalist economy with a communist political structure) with a statement that the vast majority of our soft lefties who idolize Marxism would not last a week if they had to go to live and work in a communist state as native citizens.

    He responded quite rudely that his brand of socialism is “democratic socialism” not “totalitarian communism” to which my reply was that socialism is the economic structure and communism is the associated political/social structure and therefore both are linked and go hand in hand.

    I can fully see the patterns here – take a trade union or example, the leaders are often paid more than the PM, live in a big house and drive a flashy car and the workers are told when to go on strike – the same types who are telling us that we are all equal.

    The simple question anyone should ask a leftie is “Name any country with has a fully blown centrally controlled socialist economy that can be considered successful” – to which the answer is a big 0!

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page