What does a UKIP MEP do?

 

In the run up to the European elections we will hear the oft repeated claim from UKIP that they are going to “win” the European elections. They aim to obtain the highest share of the vote of any party and therefore gain the largest minority of the UK  seats on offer through the EU’s complex system of PR. UKIP followers who love to set out their case on this site have been “warning” us of this possible outcome for many months. Today I am giving UKIP supporters a free chance to make their case.

Last summer it was revealed that our current UKIP MEPs have the worst attendance and voting record of any party in the European Parliament. Four of their MEPs turned up for less than half the votes. As Mr Nuttall said at the time ” I’ll hold my hand up, as my attendance record is flaky to say the least”. The UKIP defence has been based around the proposition that they do not think it their job to try to amend or block new EU rules by turning up and voting. They prefer to draw the pay and support staff costs to help them campaign and take up issues  around the country. UKIP also enjoy the biggest loss rate of MEPs by a long way, finding it difficult to keep people in their party once elected to office.

It would be good to hear some answers from UKIP on what we could expect if UKIP MEPs are elected in 2014.

1. Would it continue to be UKIP party policy not to try to amend or block much EU legislation, leaving the detailed work of the Parliament to others?

2. Should people wanting an MEP to represent their view in Brussels look to MEPs of the other parties, given UKIP’s view on the irrelevance and undemocratic nature of the EU?

3. Would UKIP MEPs continue to draw  salaries and allowances whilst not wishing to be participating Parliamentarians in a full sense? What will the support money to spent on?

4. How would the presence of UKIP MEPs speed the UK’s exit from the EU ?  What have the current UKIP MEPs done to speed our exit?

5. How will UKIP MEPs be whipped to ensure the elected party sticks together and delivers in relation to its manifesto?

Some UKIP supporters seem to think voting UKIP is a kind of referendum on coming out of the EU, and that more people voting UKIP makes coming out of the EU more likely. The problem with this approach is that as UKIP will poll less than 50%, if UKIP insist on saying they are the only true Eurosceptics it means commentators can use their approach to say the UK wants to stay in the current unreformed  EU. It makes more sense to recognise the Europscepticism of the Conservatives, and to accept that it will take Conservative votes in the Commons to sort this problem out.

It would also be interesting to see how many possible UKIP voters like Mr Farage’s latest policy of more immigration from the Middle East.

 

 

 

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176 Comments

  1. Arscloch
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    In yesterday’s “Guardian” there is a front page article about a Mr Ryan Shorthouse from the Bright Blue think tank who thinks Dave panders too much “too UKIP prejudices”. Well we know now we really have something to worry about if he comes direct conflict with some one like Putin being so easily pushed around by this rabble.

  2. Arscloch
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Here is a nice little historical puzzle for all you UKIPers. Knowing the calibre of the UKIP leadership and of its MEPs (including all the defectors), if we were all transported back in time to 1975, do you think you are attractive enough a proposition that Enoch would join you?

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Seems to me the answer is obvious.

      When Powell sought to remain a MP but membership of the Conservative Party was denied him, I am sure UKIP would have seemed to him a good alternative home. No doubt he would have become its leading light and more would have followed him.

      We might see something similar following the 2015 general election!

    • zorro
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Again, I am not a Ukipper but Enoch left the Tory Party to join the Ulster Unionists because he could not honourably and in good conscience support a party led by Mr Heath. Enoch had what it takes to make that decision.

      zorro

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Indeed & would he have have felt he could honourably stay in a party led by Cameron, with his absurd, dishonest, EU long grass stance – surely not.

        • Hope
          Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          Another day another U turn. Immigrants allowed FREE access to GPs. Another burden we taxpayers are expected to tolerate. I had to wait three days to see my GP recently, disgraceful. I presume the medicines and subsequent treatment will be free as well. Trust Cameron? Not likely.
          We also hear health tourists turn up to give birth. What they have not cottoned on to yet is that I understand they will be eligible for child benefit. A nice little earner for life. The 360,000 children in receipt of child benefit who do not live in the UK grows and what is Cameron doing about it? He is letting the Romanians and Bulgarians join the UK FREE public service merry go round, build on every piece of green belt to provide them a free house. How is his pledge for ten of thousands coming along? Over 500,000 immigrants came hear last year.

          A clue, either the UK needs a contributory benefit system or the UK needs to gain control of its borders from the EU. We taxpayers cannot afford his stupidty any longer, nor should we be expected to wait in queues for all the third world to receive free treatment at our expense.

          • Vanessa
            Posted December 31, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

            You are lucky! I have to wait for TWO WEEKS to see my GP. I live in London and this is because he has so many immigrants who need appointments BEFORE me.

            Who pays his salary and pension ?

          • Tony
            Posted February 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            I don’t disagree with your issues over the rules laid down by the EU. I hate the damn institution with a passion and I want to leave.

            But if you think that voting absentee UKIP MEPs in to office is going to solve the problem than you are a naive fool.

            UKIP can never get Britain out of the EU because to do so you need to be in power in Westminster…..and they never will be. In fact I would be amazed if they even win one single seat in 2015. I have run GE campaignsin seats many times and I know what it takes to win……UKIP are a generation away from that, even if they ever do it.

          • Jon Smith
            Posted February 18, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            Tony – UKIP don’t need to be in power in Westminster; they just need to hold the balance of power in Westminster.

            Predictions are that 2015 will be another hung Parliament. There are already murmurings in the press that Clegg will side with Miliband in that event. Cameron is relying on his (doubtless to be reneged on) promise that a Tory majority will see us have an in/out vote, since the other two parties killed the Bill in the Lords last month.

            However, the LibDems lost their eighth (I think) deposit last week and UKIP trumped the Tories, coming second. In a Parliamentary election… Granted, it was a safe Labour seat and the majority was similar to usual (despite the usual continued suspicions regarding Labours relationship with the postal vote system).

            If the LibDems are demolished in 2015 as much as they have been in local and by-elections since 2010 and both the Tories and Labour continue to haemorrhage voters to UKIP as they are doing then, come 2015, it could very well be Farage and not Clegg that ultimately decides whether the Tories or Labour form a three- not two-party coalition or try to govern in a minority single party government or two-party coalition. Either way, that would lead to a very prompt referendum, changes to immigration policy, etc. because to deny it further would see UKIP either walking out of coalition and bringing down the government or hammering any legislative attempts in the Commons whilst being all over the media explaining why everything is at a standstill.

            Government would be effectively hamstrung unless UKIP got their way.

            They don’t need to be in power, just hold the balance – and they wouldn’t need that big a representation in the Commons to do that.

  3. ralphmalph
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    If the UKIP MEP’s take the EU’s money and use it to campaign for an out vote in the UK I am happy with that as long as they work hard at it and put the hours in. The result wanted is not a change in the EU but out of the EU and a trade deal. Why bother to change something when you do not event want the changed version.

    With respect to the Conservative parties Euroscepticism, I firmly believe that there are Eurosceptics in the party and some even at cabinet level. The problem I have is that Mr Cameron is 100% not one of them. Why do I say this because he announced his renegotiation strategy and then in the next breath said “Of course I will campaign to stay in.” He has surrendered before the fight had even begun.

    The why am I voting UKIP is in truth larger than just the EU, I am appalled at what this government has done, benefits up 5% whilst sacking serving personnel in Afghanistan, relying on the Chinese to fund our strategic energy, 12 billion a year for foriegn despots, I do not want to list more because it will depress me.

    • Bob
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Well clearly ukip have got the LibLabCon rattled, with the EU Parliamentary Elections looming next May.

      It does Mr Redwood no credit to continue citing ukip’s lack of penetration into the UK parliament, because we all understand that the current electoral system is designed to keep the incumbents in situ and block newcomers.

      LibLabCon put on regular “Punch and Judy” shows to demonstrate to the gullible public how vehemently opposed they are to each other’s policies, and yet whichever party sits on the government bench the policies will be the same, whether it’s HS2, gay marriage, green crap, immigration or whatever else the EU has in mind for us.

      Wouldn’t the ruling establishment be pleased if ukip were pinned down in Brussels voting against the army of EUphile placemen to try to stem the flow of EU legislation with ten minutes to read through and vote on five hundred pages of impenetrable doublespeak pushed out by the Commissioners which will get nodded through whether ukip are present or not.

      No, if we are to save this country from EU hegemony, we need to do concentrate on the main prize, we need out, and then the EU can pass all the legislation it likes and we can paddle our own canoe.

      BTW John, don’t try to kid us that the Tories are EU sceptic, that’s just insulting to the intelligence of your readership.

      • Boudicca
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Well said.

    • James Sutherland
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      There are certainly *some* Eurosceptics within the Conservative party – and indeed I would happily vote for John Redwood to be my MEP were that an option. The list system precludes that, though: I can’t vote for a Eurosceptic Conservative candidate without that vote also counting towards Europhiles. (In fact, it looks as if my region will return either 0 or 1 Conservative MEPs, it’s a close approximation to a single candidate – and, unfortunately, that one candidate happens to be a Europhile.)

      I think I would prefer to have MEPs who would reliably vote against the EU agenda whenever it’s put to a vote, even if it is generally a futile gesture – but I’d certainly take absenteeism or abstention every time over a vote in the opposite direction, which is what I would expect from my region’s top Conservative MEP candidate!

    • Michael Foulston
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      UKIP MEPs do not take the EU’s money to pay for their campaigning. The EU does not have any money of its own – just money that they have stolen from taxpayers of all counties, thanks to Quizlings such as Heath.

  4. Duyfken
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    “It makes more sense to recognise the Europscepticism of the Conservatives, and to accept that it will take Conservative votes in the Commons to sort this problem out.”

    The Conservatives appointed Ivan Rogers to be the new UKREP in Brussels, a person who was once Chief of Staff to Sir Leon Brittan, Private Secretary to Kenneth Clarke and then PPS to one Tony Blair. Patently europhile, this is the man “protecting” UK interests within the EU, selected by Cameron just a few months ago (in succession to the similarly EU-loving Sir Jon Cunliffe also appointed by Cameron). What chance of Conservatives sorting out the problem? I really despair of your assessment and outlook JR.

    • zorro
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      That’s really like having the child snatcher in charge of the children’s home…….

      zorro

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        LOL Don’t even go there Zorro, but maybe take a look at YouTube sometime.

        Tad

      • Bob
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        @zorro

        Interesting analogy.

        Worms and cans eh!

    • APL
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Duyfken: “What chance of Conservatives sorting out the problem?”

      ….. silence.

    • Boudicca
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      They have no intention of trying to “sort the problem out” to suit the British people.

      They are still absolutely infatuated with the EU and are determined to ensure that we remain a member.

      I want this country’s Sovereignty and independence restored – in it entirety. Not a few p!ddling little powers returned which will be surrendered again “on the quiet” a few months/years later.

      • bigneil
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        spot on – -the tories have no intention of even a referendum – because they have no real idea – or concern – of what “joe public” is having to put up with – thanks to the tories own policies – masses of money given away every day to the EU – -yet food bank usage going up – and importing thousands of Roma – who will presumably be some sort of “improvement” to our multiculturalism in some deskbound idiots list – and john – instead of trying to rubbish a different party – why don’t you tell us of all the wondrous things that this government has done -besides make sure that “they” are alright – and two fingers to the rest of us – -we are one step away from being a dictatorship – you know as well as more and more of us – that you are all fully intended on destroying the british people and the british nation – - hope all the liblabcon MPs get mugged and robbed by the wonderful foreign people you want to give a free life to – -but they will be kept well away from you lot – wont they – we are the ones who will pay – -financially and otherwise.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Cameron, judged on his actions, is surely worse than Heath. Cameron has lived through years of experience of what a disaster the EU is yet he is still in love with the concept heart and soul, but pretends not to be.

      He is clearly a charlatan who will rat again if he gets any chance.

    • MartinW
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      You do well to point this out. It happens well below the radar, and these appointments are unlikely to be subject of an article on Conservative Home (increasingly the Cameroons platform).
      Of course, Leon Brittan himself was appointed by Cameron as one of his inner circle advisors early in his leadership, but since we have heard very little from LB in the past few years, he has doubtless been advised to keep a low profile. We should also remember that Cameron selected the arch-Europhile Heseltine as one of his advisors. Cameron – a Eurosceptic? No-one believes it!

  5. Border Boy
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    All the questions posed about UKIP are valid, logical and powerful, but I don’t think they address the thinking of those considering voting UKIP and will not affect their voting intentions.

    Those considering voting for UKIP, in my view, will do so because the party is unequivocally in favour of leaving the EU and because the other parties, in one way or another, are tainted by recent power and have done very little to stop the EU juggernaut encroaching on national sovereignty.

    The real issue that will force change is membership of the Euro. The Eurozone countries will seek to use their power to decide many key issues for the EU as a whole and this stress will force change sooner or later. UKIP is not irrelevant to this process, but the change is coming whether it exists or not.

    • Freeborn John
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Farage is correct that asylum seekers from the murderous Syrian regime should be allowed in. He and Cameron are wrong though to block economic migrants. What we need is a migration policy that works for Britons, i.e. trades access to the Uk labour market for access for Britons to desirable labour markets, which most certainly are not in Eastern Europe or the Eurozone periphery. We should be seeking bilateral freedom of movement treaties with the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, S. Korea etc. and only have similar arrangements with the handful of European countries (Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia) which as many Britons might want to migrate to as their people might want to come to the UK. That means an end to EU freedom of movement which is a one-way deal for the great majority of EU members to which it makes very little sense for Britons to move too.

      • Edward 2
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        John
        I totally agree with your excellent post.

      • peter davies
        Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I’ll second that. Unless a country can control its borders and allow in who it wants to allow in then it IS NOT a sovereign state – simple as

  6. alan jutson
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    John

    All you say may well be correct, but pray tell us what have we gained from voting in LibDems, Conservative or Labour MEP’S in the past.

    Have they saved us from any of the EU creep of the last 4 decades ?.

    Sometimes it is worth cutting off your nose even though it will spite your face, just so that you can make a point.
    I have done that in business on occassions, especially when a supplier thinks it can be taken for granted that they will automatically get your business, and when service declines and the price rises.
    Place an order with a competitor, even though it is more expensive, let it be known that is what you have done, and then behold, service quality and price improve in a flash.

    Yes UKIP has serious problems, but at least its leader appears to talk a good game, appears to communicate with the right words and phrases, and seems to care about what is happening to the future of our Country.

    Never voted UKIP in my life, but really thinking why not for the Euro elections, if for no other reason than to give the present three Party’s a bloody nose for 40 years of failure.

  7. Richard1
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The quality of UKIP politicians is extraordinarily low, Farage excepted. This should give pause for thought to anyone thinking of voting for them, although they do have some sensible policies (and some silly ones). The problem for Eurosceptic Conservative voters, is if UKIP get a high share of the vote in the Euro elections, Mr Miliband will be spooked into ‘guaranteeing’ an EU referendum. Of course he would never hold such a referendum if he got elected, just as Brown didn’t on Lisbon. The result therefore would be to make a Labour govt more likely, with all their disastrous and foolish economic and environment policies, and to eliminate any chance of reform or renegotiation with the EU, or,failing that, of a vote on leaving.

    • Hope
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Cameron has copied and gold plated all Labour polices, so no change either way. Try something new and I see what happens.

      • David in Kent
        Posted December 30, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        Hope: That’s nonsense and your saying them doesn’t make them true. You only have to look at welfare reform, schools and the economy. All really difficult problems which DC has tackled.

        • Hope
          Posted January 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          You are deluded on fact and intoxicated by spin. All jam tomorrow promises have not been fulfilled. Osborne has failed to achieve any of the measurements he asked us to judge him by, the deficit has increased in real terms and the debt is honorific. Welfare is still the largest bill at£220 billion and capped at £26,000 which is about £35,000 if taxed. Millions of people work for less, so it still does not pay to work. The schools are in a complete mess, much talk of jam tomorrow, no achievement to date. Perhaps you need to read a bit more and spend less time listening to grab a headline Dave..

          Reply The deficit is down in cash and real terms. Working has been made more rewarding by big increases in the Income Tax threshold.

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Richard

      Your point is exactly why many of us wanted Cameron to offer a vote in this Parliament and negotiate (if that is what he wants to do) from a position of strength

      Rest assured if UKIP do well in The Euro’s, then Mr Miliband as an opportunist politician will be offering a referendum as well, thus DC’s trump card of a referendum in the next Parliament (he thinks that is what it is) will be cancelled out at a stroke.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        Well Alan, Nigel Farage is indeed at pains to say that the UKIP vote comes from every quarter, including Labour, so you could be right. Miliband won’t want to see his support drift towards UKIP, and the carrot of a referendum might make some donkeys follow.

        People need to remember however, the last Labour government’s debacle concerning the EU constitution and the Lisbon Treaty. They actively looked for a way out of their commitment to ditch one, and by calling it something else, were then able to sign the other. That way, they were able to get around the problem, which is just as contemptuous of the people who vote for them, as anything the Tories are guilty of, but that is by no means letting the Tories off the hook. And didn’t the Lib Dems promise to have a referendum too?

        I therefore wonder what conclusions we might be able to draw about the trustworthiness of our three main Westminster parties?

        Tad

        • Hope
          Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          Brown made sure he signed it in private!! As for the last comment from JR, how about Cameron’s illegal regime change in the Middle East and if left to him he would have let the US bomb them- no matter if innocents were killed!

          • Tad Davison
            Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

            Hope, there’s something altogether ‘iffy’ about the US and its involvement in wars and incursions all over the place. Their black ops budget is said to be massive, although no-one seems to know precisely how massive, because the Military Industrial Complex, the CIA, and the Pentagon aren’t telling. It’s not good enough that the British government keeps hanging on to their coat tails.

            Tad

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          I think we can conclude that when it comes down to it Hague is not too bothered that we now have an EU treaty in force which lacks democratic legitimacy in this country and gives the EU too much power over our national policies, as he first said in the Commons on November 12th 2007 at Column 423 here:

          http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm071112/debtext/71112-0008.htm

          “… we would have a new treaty in force that lacked democratic legitimacy in this country and in our view gave the EU too much power over our national policies. That would not be acceptable to a Conservative Government and we would not let matters rest there; the right hon. Gentleman can be assured of that.”

      • Richard1
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        I could not understand why any Eurosceptic would have wanted a vote in this Parliament. Almost certainly there would have been a vote to stay in the EU, so completely undercutting any attempt at renegotiation.

    • Eddy Holt
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Your first sentence should read. “The quality of UK politicians is extraordinarily low”.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        I’m not sure I agree, there are many excellent people in Parliament,and I don’t think there’s any evidence it was any better in the past. But its very rare you hear anyone other than Nigel Farage from UKIP who is anything other than an embarrassment.

    • Me_Again
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t make any difference if Milliband gets in. All three of you are the same, all europhillic. WE just need to keep pushing the buttons unitl the whole dreadful edifice falls apart or our electorate wakes up.

      There are really only 2 parties in the UK, you lot and UKIP.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        This is a fantasy. After the next election there will either be a Conservative majority or coalition govt or a Labour one. If there is a Labour one then there will be no attempt at renegotiation or reform of the EU and no referendum. A vote for UKIP makes the Labour option more likely.

    • MartinW
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Nuttall is very able, and chimes well in Labour constituencies. (I’m not a UKIP member, by the way).

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I hope to vote UKIP in the MEP elections on May 22nd.
    All I hope to achieve by this is to show how deeply angry I am about unelected, unaccountable people, whose word cannot be trusted, hijacking of my country.
    Do you know what? I really do not care at all about the details.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Surely it ismuch more important tovote for an MEP who will most closely represent your views when participating in theEU parliament. If so many people vote for UKIP candidates there will be fewer MEPs looking after UK interests within the parliament and so even more changes will not be in our interest.

      The only elections where there should be be a UKIP vote should be in UK parliamentary elections, where given sufficient support they can do something about achieving their objectives.

      • Boudicca
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        MEPs are powerless. All the power rests with the unelected and unaccountable EU Commission.

        It doesn’t matter one little bit whether you elect a Labour, LibDem or Conservative MEP. They all kow-tow to the EU.

        If you elect a UKIP one, they won’t.

      • Me_Again
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        This is an oxymoron surely?
        We have no interests in the European parliament.

        Apart from which the MEPs have as much power and influence as the supreme soviet had -none.

    • Hope
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Well said, totally agree. JR has told us about the lack of spending cuts, lack of immigration cuts, more EU, interfering ECHR, only NET immigration cited to make it look better because they do not have any control over who leaves. Immigration has not been cut. Immigration is what the government should be able to control emigration it cannot. Tories have not made cuts. JR cannot cite what the Tories have done for four years in office because it is absolutely miserable whether that be Tory MEP or UK regional office MP.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed I would do the same had I not left already. Who would want to vote Cameron in only to watch him rat on the EU issue a second time? Miliband will not be appreciably worse than Cameron perhaps a little but, rather the same in fact.

  9. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Whilst the UKIP and I share some fundamental views on how our great country has been brought down, I don’t believe that they will make an impact on the EU as their views are carried through by tactless, seemingly bigoted representatives. The emotions and triggers which fire the UKIP many share , but that is not politics John.

  10. backofanenvelope
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    UKIP is just a big stick which the electorate can use to cause the mainstream parties a lot of discomfort. No one expects it to form a government or do anything else useful. As I have said before, Mr Cameron doesn’t care what I think and I don’t care what he says. With a bit of luck, a crushing defeat in 2015 will eventually force the emergence of a conservative party. Things might be uncomfortable for a few years.

    • zorro
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Exactly right, he doesn’t care what you think as has been clearly evidenced over the years. So it is important to target your retaliation where it will hurt…….

      zorro

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      It’ll be too late by then, the EU federalist concrete into which our feet have been firmly placed would have set. We won’t be able to get out of it. And JR has often admitted himself, that all three major Westminster parties are federalist, so what will it matter which party governs us if they all want the same thing?

      The Tories lost touch with their core supporters years ago, just take a look at their many electoral defeats in recent years. It isn’t the party it was, and indeed should be. That’s why they can’t command a majority in this parliament, and they look like losing seats at the next General Election, rather than gaining them as yet more support ebbs away.

      There is an alternative. Purge the Tory party of EU federalists, and do it now. Then put in place another leadership that would give a guarantee to withdraw from the EU altogether, that is signed in blood and set in stone. That would give all those like myself who are bitterly disillusioned and angry at the EU hijackers like Clarke, Heseltine, Heath and Major, a reason to come back to the fold.

      But anyone who thinks that is going to happen, probably also goes looking for fairies at the bottom of the garden.

      My conscience is clear. I’ll put my cross on the ballot paper next to the one who will guarantee to get me out of the EU, not tinker around the edges in yet another feeble attempt to pull the wool over our eyes.

      Tad

      Reply No, I do not agree that the Conservative party is federalist – it voted against Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon, vetoed the Fiscal treaty, calls for a renegotiation and an In
      /out referendum. We need support, not criticism, for seeking to undo the damage full EU membership is doing.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        JR, today your colleague Dominic Raab has an article here:

        http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2013/12/dominic-raab-mp-we-need-more-conviction-mps-and-fewer-political-clones.html

        in which he says:

        “The way to raise Parliament’s stock is to encourage more conviction politicians and fewer party-political clones.”

        and outlines three steps which he thinks would make a difference – open primaries, the right of recall, and MPs asserting themselves and taking greater control over the business of the House.

        Well, if you like you can read my comment on that article, in which I point out that on January 11th 2011 when MPs were asked whether they wanted the words:

        “The sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament in relation to EU law is hereby reaffirmed.”

        inserted into the European Union Bill he was among the 256 Tory MPs who did as they were told by their party leaders and voted against that.

        That is the real problem: that most MPs, including most Tory MPs, are not committed to the sovereignty of our national Parliament. They want to be members of it, they may even want to become members of the government, but they prefer to leave the governing to the EU, and to an ever increasing extent as the EU proceeds with its “ever closer union”.

        I will not vote for any parliamentary candidate who lacks commitment to our national sovereignty and democracy, and in almost all cases that means I will not vote for a candidate put up by any of the three old parties and will instead vote for the UKIP candidate.

        • Me_Again
          Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          Well said Sir!

        • Chris
          Posted December 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          You have again summed up the points admirably, Denis. There is a very clear message for John Redwood, and it revolves around the issue of sovereignty, and what his Party, under the leadership of David Cameron, has done about it i.e. given away even more of it.

          I too will not vote for a Party which has done this, and I, like so many others will vote for the UKIP candidate.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        Well blow me down, I could have sworn you once said on this blog something to the effect that if the public were so anti-EU, why do they keep electing pro-EU Federalist parties?

        Presumably that includes the Tories, although they don’t seem to have done quite so well since the Eurosceptic Maggie left Downing Street. Major got in on her coat tails until the public saw through him, then bounced him and his shabby government back out again.

        Personally, I think the Tories are scared by the threat UKIP poses, and that’s why we are starting to see so much firepower (?) and dirty tricks (!) turned on them,but of course, that’s just my opinion.

        Tad

      • Timaction
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwood it has been over 3 and 1/2 years since the Tory led Coalition has been in office. Please remind me what powers have been repatriated? When he allowed the bailouts what concessions did he get? What competencies does he wish to repatriate?
        Qualified majority voting comes into play in November 2014. We will have 8% of the vote and be paying 12% of the budget. The Euro area can then vote collectively to do whatever they like and we won’t be able to stop them.
        Excellent deal this EU. What mad LibLabCons negotiated the Treaties with their civil servants?
        Mr Cameron is a stated Europhile and can never see anytime he would let us leave. They know it. What sort of renegotiations do you think he’ll achieve on that starting point!

      • zorro
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply – we understand John, but we do not trust Cast Elastic to do it, and that is the simple truth.

        zorro

  11. lifelogic
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    What does a UKIP MEP do? Well they are there to give the pretense that the EUSSR is democratic. It clearly is no such thing. Even if 100% of voters voted UKIP at MEP level it would make little difference as they have no power, but it might give Cameron and the Tories a shock that is clearly needed.

    I tend however to take the view that Cameron has just given up on the next election and the Tory party and he is quite happy to take it over another cliff again, in the John Major style. This time perhaps permanently they have after all not won a majority since 1992 when Major won by being Thatchers choice, the voters rapidly realised what a huge mistake they had made but they had little choice, no one sensible wanted Kinnock either. What dreadful choices the electorate are offered in UK politics. Cameron, Miliband and Clegg what sort of choice is that? Miliband it clearly will be. A price the country will just have to pay, for Cameron’s lefty, fake green, high tax, pro EU lunacy.

    • Bazman
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      You seriously think that if the Tory party moved further to the right it would get them elected in 2015? The opposite is the case all evidence points to this? More attacks on the poor with tax cuts for the rich is going to get them elected? This is what many are seeing with the rise in living costs and low wages. Are you going to tell us the electorate do not understand because of the BBC reporting such things as the rise in food banks and Europe? Get real because in 2015 it will be and a promise of IHT cuts for the rich will help persuade everyone to vote Tory will it?

      • Me_Again
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Right or left what silly notions!
        It is entrenched ideology that got us where we are.
        If an idea originates in the Labour area, the Tories will auto-reject it.
        If an idea originates in the Tory camp, Labour will auto-reject it.
        Commonsense is absent plus too many lawyers everywhere.

        The problem with them all is that they are not there fro the benefit of the people who foolishly elected them, they are there for the trough.

        University educated, no life experience clones -most of them.

    • Boudicca
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      I genuinely believe that Cameron would rather see another Labour Government than do what is necessary to win the next election: ie invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treachery and start the process to get us OUT of the EU.

      So what if the Tories lose: The British Establishment’s other pro-EU Party will “win” and ensure that we can’t get OUT.

  12. matthu
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    As MEPs have absolutely no power to propose any legislation this simply underlines the democratic deficit we are faced with.

    But what UKIP MEPs have done more successfully than any other group, and far more successfully than any Wsetminster MP of any hue, is bring the whole car crash to the attention of the British public.

    Until now there has been absolutely no debate on the EU whatsoever, with MPs preferring to conflate the EU with Europe at every opportunity.

    The British public have been lied to over amny years by their elected parliamentary representatives: UKIP MPs are telling it like it is.

    For this one simple fact, they are worth every penny.

    • zorro
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, I have not seen many Tory MEPs making similar speeches to UKIP (apart from Dan Hannan)…..

      zorro

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      matthu,

      ‘As MEPs have absolutely no power to propose any legislation this simply underlines the democratic deficit we are faced with.’

      I just hope to Christ certain supporters of the EU who post on this blog read that!

      Tad

      • Me_Again
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Tad they simply ignore things like that.
        They are entrenched believers.

        The only way it could ever have worked is if it didn’t set out with a blue print that had USSR crossed out and EUSSR inserted.

        ““The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.”
        ― Mikhail Gorbachev

        He aught to know surely……..

  13. R$oger Farmer
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    They articulate the voice of a very large section of the UK populous that is ignored by the three main political parties in the UK.
    They possibly awaken the people of Europe to the thought that there has got to be a better way, and some of them are taking the message on board.
    They stand for freedom , democracy and openness in an otherwise totalitarian cabal of politicos across Europe and in the UK. Their view of the irrelevance and undemocratic nature of the EU is a statement of fact that most MPs at Westminster feel free to ignore.
    The euro scepticism of the conservative party amounts to about 100 MPs of integrity plus fellow travellers under the same banner who are led by a Europhile, none of whom represent the aspirations of the majority of the voting public. Having voted for you all my life I find the Conservative party a meaningless sham. It is a small taste of what Churchill must have sensed under the leadership of Chamberlain.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely spot on Roger!

      Tad

    • Me_Again
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Well said Sir!

  14. Chris S
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I agree with what you say about UKIP but a bigger story Must surely be Gordon Brown who has the worst attendance and voting record of any MP at Westminster ?

    Labour members should demand he either does the job properly or resigns.

    Of course they won’t

    At least Blair had the decency to stand down.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Well he made it to the Mandela memorial – perhaps he felt safe there from any questions about his “Save the World” incompetent rescues. Or pissing tax payers money down the drain in an absurd way on RBS and the likes.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      That might be true about Blair, but who recalls the assembled House of Commons giving him a standing ovation?

      Does that tell its own story or what!

      Tad

      • zorro
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        Some of us remember who led the standing ovation too……

        zorro

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Here are some questions for you:
    1. How much EU legislation was supported by Conservative MEPs (and MPs )?
    2. Do Conservative MEPs and MPs believe that the EU is democratic?
    3. How would the presence of Conservative MEPs speed the UK’s exit from the EU? What have the current Conservative MEPs done to speed our exit?
    4. How will Conservative MEPs be whipped to ensure the elected party sticks together and delivers in relation to its manifesto?
    5. What will the Conservative manifesto say about taking the UK out of the EU?

    Some Conservative supporters would have us believe that their party is Eurosceptic when it clearly is not and is led by a man determined to keep the UK in the EU whatever. Keep trying, but you have no hope so long as you are led by arch EU supporters who will do all in their power to keep the UK subjugated by the EU.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      All good points Brian.

      Denis gave us an example recently of the kind of chicanery the whips get up to in order to ensure the vote goes their way, but it’s not just confined to the Tories. Not so long ago, a certain House of Commons debate and vote on the EU was suddenly rescheduled. I e-mailed a Labour MP to see if she had been told about it, but she hadn’t. I rather fancy that was done deliberately.

      I really cannot abide that kind of thing. It’s dishonest.

      Tad

  16. Timaction
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I started to read this article to see if I could articulate responses to the questions raised but realised I know so little about the voting systems in the EU and how relevant they really are to the current political debate.
    As a former lifetime Tory voter I’ve woken up to the reality of actions and policies of the LibLabCon Parties that relate to my actual experiences in life.
    I have seen and heard all the foreign people who now live in England due to the lax border controls that remain despite all the talk (503,000 new arrivals last year alone). 10 million people living in the UK not born here. I have seen the standards in schools and education visibly decline under the control of the LibLabCons who then tell us our 1 million unemployed young people can’t compete with Eastern Europeans in the job market. That we should continue to pay 5.6 million people work and unemployment benefits, whilst British taxpayers subsidise minimum wage foreign workers with their health, education, housing and other needs. I experience the congestion and queues daily when I go out due to overcrowding. I have seen and felt the tax rises under LibLabCon to pay for their follies.
    I have seen and experienced waits in hospitals and Doctors surgeries due to sheer volumes of people and its getting worse. I have seen plans to build on the greenbelt to accommodate foreign people without the money or infrastructure to support this.
    The EU now effectively controls immigration and tells us who we must admit, it controls business and employment law, financial services, fishing, farming, energy and trade. We are therefore no longer a sovereign nation. How can we be when our Prime Minister has to ring President Barroso to ask permission to put some very minor alterations to unemployment benefits to prevent abuse by foreign nationals.
    So as you keep telling us Mr Redwood all the current legacy parties in Westminster are federalist. So what can I do as a citizen to bring about change?
    Which Party is opposed to all the policies supported by the LibLabCons on Europe?
    I look at the UKIP policies and support all of them, whilst your leader promises conditional offers to a possible future having delivered…….nothing.

    • Johnny Norfolk
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      You have said it all for me. I have voted Tory since Heath left office. I will now be voting UKIP its they ONLY alternative. Cameron is not a true Tory but just another liberal in threHeath mold.

  17. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    This will be my very last reaction on this website and I wish you all the very best for 2014, 2015, and of course 2017.
    Obviously, UKIP is barking up the wrong tree – UK independence is not to be achieved in the European Parliament but the UK parliament. The problem, as I see it, is that the mother of parliaments has severe geriatric challenges, but many British equate “old” with “good” and that is entirely up to them. I won’t repeat the average age of the conservative party’s membership, nor the large number of unelected legislators (life-long hereditary aristocracy peers), nor the gross under representation of women nor the life-long MP careers in their little kingdoms.
    Because this is about UKIP, what I will mention on parting, is that in normal democracies like the Dutch one, each voter has some (tiny) influence on the balance of power in the parliament to be elected. That is why a totally anti-EU party like the Dutch Freedom Party has the equivalent of 65 MPs in the Dutch parliament. The sad state of affairs in Britain is that, according to the 2010 election results, about a quarter of the British voters have the equivalent influence as dead people, none whatsoever (all the people in more than half of the constituencies considered “safe seats”, who fail to vote for the incumbent). Their vote never reaches beyond the local constituency level. A totally unfair system. I don’t buy the excuse that the MP represents the interests of all, that may work for a local issue like a hospital, but not for national or international issues. I wish you all, especially the voters for Greens, UKIP, and other minority groups a lot of success, even though I don’t necessarily agree with your points of view. Goodbye.

    • zorro
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Agree with you PVL in that the UK Parliament does not manage to get diverse voices within it. Are you ex-communicating us?

      zorro

    • Tom William
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t agreed with much of what you have posted in the past but this is a reasonable and fair comment on our undemocratic system. Happy New year – 2014 will be a critical one for the UK in many ways.

      • Me_Again
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Can’t argue with the truth………….

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Peter

      It has been really good to have you here, even if I do not agree with everything you have said.

      But on your last posted, my I say that I 100% agree with you.

      I have always believed that the EU is not the problem, but a symptom of a far greater problem. And that is a serious democracy (sic) deficit. The sooner more people wake up to this, the better.

      Thank you for you time here, and goodbye.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      I’ll not be churlish either Peter. You and I disagree on many things, but that won’t stop me wishing you all the best for the future.

      Tad

    • peter davies
      Posted December 31, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      @PVL

      I also don’t agree with many of your views, but in the case of the UK Parliamentary democracy model I think you make a very good point.

      Happy New Year and all the best to you and your family.

  18. Nick
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    5. How will UKIP MEPs be whipped to ensure the elected party sticks together and delivers in relation to its manifesto?

    =============

    Why should they be whipped?

    Look at you. You promised to publish the pensions debts in order to get elected, and yet so far you have not delivered on that promise. Instead you have a go at others for what they may or may not do, instead of looking at what you promised and failed to deliver.

    What about the lib dems? They voted for tuition fees, and yet they said something completely different. Not a peep about them for doing that.

    On not attending and claiming a salary.

    Why haven’t you put forward a bill that deselects Gordon Brown for not turning up? No need to go after the EU. You can’t because you gave away the power. However you can get Gordon Brown kicked out for not attending. Your call, you have the power. However, you won’t do it. All mouth and no trousers.

    Reply I did publish figures on the pension liabilities as promised. Mr Brown does attend from time to time, so I do not see how we could pass a Bill to expel him. His electors are the ones to judge his conduct.

    • zorro
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – Indeed, they should be able to recall him……Oh wait…..

      zorro

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Good one!

        Tad

  19. JoeSoap
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    A sensible deal, then, might be to exchange every UKIP seat gained in the European Parliament for a Tory one In Westminster? That way, UKIP can get one step closer to exiting the EU for every step closer the Conservative Party gets to trying to amend but failing to amend EU legislation.
    I think this business of trying to knock UKIP is a nil-sum game for the Conservatives. Put simply, if you believe in something, stand up for it. Don’t indulge in weasel words, antics and phony deals in the way Cameron ad Co. have with this Coalition. You will be caught in the pincer between UKIP and the Libdems on this issue. The only way out for the Tories is to hop right off the fence, one way or the other.

  20. Hope
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Struts this is a desperate post JR. We wee promised early legislation for right to recall and,once again, Cameron U turned and abstained from voting. Cameron cherry picks what parts of his manifesto he might try to act on and introduces legislation on gay marriage that has nothing to do with the problems facing e country or its citizen.

    His false premise on the EU, tax cuts, immigration or his pure stupidity on energy policy leaves most people wondering what on earth he has actually done for four years. You must be either bored or unable to think of a topic of substance for your blog today. Trying to slate UKIP will act against your party. What the Tories failed to understand under Major is the sleaze, self interest and lies left them as an elitist party with no standards and no public support. To date Cameron has failed to change that. He thought it was about modernisation not basic standards. After he expense scandal instead of addressing it, true to form, he has been vindictive to the press for raising it and introduced state press regulation. This is what the Tory party is hated. It is what gave the Tory party a bad reputation along with lying and being jailed for it, self interest and the interests of a small select group being arrogant and treating the public with contempt. Today you continue the nasty theme instead of addressing your party’s failings.

    Don’t worry about UKIP, you need to focus on the Tory party. It might occur to you and Cameron that the party has made no difference to public life since 1997 even with MPs in parliament. Copying Labour’s spending plans, EU policy, energy policy and tax rises are just some of the reason why the public have come to realise there is no difference between Old Labour or New Labour. At least we all know what Labour stands for, as for the Tories who knows. Time for another continued spell of contemplation in opposition. The Tory party is losing supporters hand over fist while UKIP is on the rise even when no candidate is put forward!

  21. Graham Taylor
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Hello John. I have a great deal of respect for you as an MP, but I believe that, in posing the question ‘What does a UKIP MEP do?’ you are missing a rather important point.

    At the present time the primary function of UKIP is as a political pressure group. Without a single MP they are punching far above their weight, and their current influence on government policy is out of all proportion to their size.

    For decades the three major parties have largely ignored the electorate’s genuine concerns, and our country has been ruled not only by the EU but by lobbyists for big business, think tanks, focus groups, quangos, in fact, everyone has had a say in how our ‘democracy’ is run except us – Joe Public.

    Now, the advent of UKIP has finally given us a voice and offered us a possible return to true democracy. So, as things stand, it can be argued that a UKIP MEP doesn’t need to do anything! UKIP are doing a grand job as it is, without becoming embroiled in playing the pointless game of pretend politics that only serves to legitimise the appalling undemocratic edifice that is the EU.

    I wish you all the best for the new year John – have a good one.

  22. mark browning
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I can tell you what a UKIP doesn’t do and that is dream up plans to carry on persecuting the sick, Disabled and war wounded

  23. ben moss
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    It matters not at all if they vote in the Brussels or strasbourg parliaments. The entire eu apparatus is designed to ensure power is protected from public resistance (democracy). So long as ukip continue to raise the profile of the arguments for leaving the european empire then they are fulfilling their contract with those who vote for them. God speed and for gods sake vote UKIP

  24. Douglas Carter
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I appreciate you have a right to be sniffy over this matter John – you have a career record of your approach to the EU. But without the collective emergence of first the Referendum Party, then UKIP, your own parent party would have had no external leverage to remove it from its relentless Europhile path. The utterly abject and dismal John Major would have been succeeded by similarly mediocre Euro-plants.

    Without UKIP, everything is rosy in the Conservative Europhile garden.

    Now. On the subject of a referendum, just notionally – I type this for a reason – in 2011, the LibDems finally were awarded a chance far beyond their deserves to change the UK electoral system. They were defeated massively at the corresponding poll. Yet PR is still there resolutely in their manifesto, and will be presumably at the next election. A wee bit of an anomaly there.

    So. Cameron is a Eurosceptic?

    Is this the same Cameron who sent rabid anti-European Ken Clarke to Brussels prior to the 2010 General Election to explain how Prime Minister Cameron would work with the EU?

    His main intervention on the matter of the EU at that pre-election point was to mutter ‘We have to stop BENGING on over Yer’p'…. Thence subsequently assuring the viewer and listener ‘As Prime Minister I will do nothing that will harm British membership of the EU’. That’s what he HAS said about EU membership. Cameron has repeatedly and assiduously made it plain he will not remove the UK from the EU,

    Was it the same Cameron who whipped his party against an EU In\Out Referendum two years ago? The same Cameron who allegedly vetoed an important EU aspiration in December 2011, only to quietly acquiesce the main points scant weeks later when all had gone quiet? That Cameron?

    The same Cameron who has enjoined EU integration without delay, in step and at pace with the Blair Governments? The same Cameron who assured the nation that under no circumstances would the Brussels administration be permitted to see the UK budget before it will be delivered to Parliament by the Chancellor, precisely six weeks before conceding precisely that quietly whence none was looking?

    The same Cameron who has added fire and credibility to his claims that he would be prepared to ‘walk away from Europe’ by reminding the world that under no circumstances (that’s *NO circumstances*) would he withdraw from the EU?

    The same Cameron as the one who whipped against an EU In\Out referendum who, in the early part of 2013 announced that he intended to hold an EU in\Out referendum? An In\Out referendum which under no circumstances will he permit the UK to withdraw from the EU?

    The same Cameron who is allegedly going to renegotiate, but will not reveal any terms of reference for that renegotiation? is sending a career Europhile (and one time assistant to both Ken Clarke and Leon Brittan) to assist in the conduct of that alleged renegotiation? http://www.euractiv.com/uk-europe/cameron-faces-eurosceptic-backla-news-530250

    As I’ve said earlier John. Many respects, your own record in this matter is fairly clear. However, the personal record of David Cameron is also crystal clear. As hard as it has been to draw a referendum commitment from the man, he has done so to ‘park’ the debate (as the Blair technique defined it). The tactic was to sterilise, to remove the debate from the public mind. To attempt to outrun UKIP. But, the tactic was never to sincerely offer an alternative prospectus of a UK outside the EU.

    I know your instinct on the matter – you’ll advise us if the UK votes ‘out’ that Parliamentary articles leading to a withdrawal will naturally follow. However, from my observation platform Cameron has repeatedly made unambiguous statements he would not withdraw from the EU. There is no tangible single occasion in which Cameron has ever indicated he would accept a UK ‘out’ vote in terms of legislating for the result. Not one. When questioned on the matter, individuals such as David Lidington or William Hague will elicit the standard non-answer retorts… ….’It would be strange if having gone to the length of holding a referendum we would ignore the result’…. (France, Holland, Ireland, Denmark….??….) …’Parliament would be in no mood to repeat the same process against the public will’…. ….’We have no plans to’….. ….’Well, as far as I’m concerned we will withdraw’…. ….’We will not ignore the public vote’…..

    All of these retorts commonplace evasion and waffle. As constant and reliable as scotch mist. And that’s well within your own institutional knowledge – I need not qualify why they’re valueless.

    If Cameron wishes to give a straight answer to the straight question, I’m all ears. I’ve been waiting more than two decades for that straight answer – oddly enough, the only person I’ve ever heard it from in your party is from the MP for Haltemprice & Howden. But in spite of repeated requests, the man at the head of your own party insists on avoiding a clear answer to that question. If you want to request of him a very straight and crystal-clear three, or two letter response to that question John – ‘Will you withdraw the UK from the EU’? – and have him deliver that straight yes\no answer in a recorded public forum without any form of preceding or succeeding caveat then I’d be happy to consider voting for your party.

    But the best argument against your party stance is the record of Cameron himself. If he wishes to pass himself off as a Eurosceptic, he has proven remarkably inept at it, has in fact very successfully painted himself as an enthusiastic Europhile. And I’m not the only person who has noticed. Your problem John, is not UKIP, it is your own party leader. No amount of – arguably justified – protest against UKIP will change that.

    Reply Mr Cameron has been so far the most Eurosceptic main party leader and PM we have had. He withdrew the Conservatives from the federalist centre right grouping in the EP, opposed Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon imposing 3 line whips against those treaties, vetoed the EU Fiscal Treaty and has now offered a renegotiation followed by an In Out referendum. It is the bets offer Eurosceptics will get that has a chance of success. If we stay rowing with each other the federalists will win.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      The Amsterdam Treaty was signed on 2 October 1997, and entered into force on 1 May 1999; as Cameron was only first elected to Parliament in June 2001 how did he manage to impose a three line whip against?
      The Treaty of Nice was signed by European leaders on 26 February 2001 and came into force on 1 February 2003; as Cameron didn’t become leader of your party until December 2005 how did he manage to impose a three line whip against?
      You are letting your standards slip with such inaccurate assertions. Or has Cameron so beguiled you that you feel the need to make false claims on his behalf?

      Reply Yes, you are right that the first two were vetoed under previous leaders. Cameron did not seek to alter our approach to those Treaties however, when he became leader, but agreed with our fundamental and continuing opposition to them.

      • Boudicca
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        He’s not opposed. He has made it perfectly clear that he supports the EU and British membership. He’s their puppet and dances to their tune.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        If only they had been “vetoed” by previous leaders!
        Incidentally, do you ever wonder (worry) about how Cameron came to be elected as your party leader after only being an MP for four and a half years?

    • Hope
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      JR your answer is not accurate and you know it. You discredit yourself by such nonsense. He allowed the fiscal pact to circumvent a demand for a referendum, he bailed out countries when he promised not to do so directly or indirectly. The veto that never was, he did not stop any Eurozone countries from using EU institutions, if you claim otherwise name the Eurozone countries and institutions? You evaded this point on several occasions despite claiming otherwise, now name the countries and institutions. This was part of his alleged veto.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        And he has allowed two appalling precedents to be set with the fiscal pact: that a group of EU member states can make use of the EU institutions for their own purposes without the express consent of all EU member states, effectively hijacking them, and that ECJ can impose fines on a country for something which is not a breach of EU law.

    • Tom William
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Actually Mr Cameron said “If you elect me as leader, I promise to take the Conservative MEPs out of the clutches of Hans-Gert Poettering and his EPP/ED group in the European Parliament, not within days, not within months but within weeks”. This was the first promise he broke.

      He also promised as part of the following Conservative Election Manifesto a “cast iron” commitment to give the country a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Another promise broken.

      Opposing Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon was not difficult when he knew he would lose the vote.

      Reply He gave no commitment to a referendum in the 2010 manifesto

      • Chris S
        Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        I’m no real enthusiast for David Cameron but I do agree with John on this and would like to point out what our friends in UKIP seem to conveniently “forget” :

        David Cameron could not hold a referendum on whether to approve the Lisbon Treaty because disgracefully, Gordon Brown had sneaked over to Portugal and signed us up before the General Election. He signed on his own after all the other leaders had left in the hope nobody would notice.

        Lisbon was, unfortunately, a done deal before Cameron came to power.

        My contempt for Brown as both Chancellor and Prime Minister is almost beyond words.

        He was, simply, the worst Chancellor and PM this country has ever had.

        I’m convinced that Blair would have sacked him before 2006 but for some reason was unable to. Perhaps Brown had some hold over Blair perhaps a scandal or he knew where some political bodies were buried ?

        Sooner or later we might find out.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          “David Cameron could not hold a referendum on whether to approve the Lisbon Treaty because … ”

          Because the europhile wing of his party would not allow him to offer a retrospective referendum to the electorate even though that would have been perfectly possible.

          “Lisbon was, unfortunately, a done deal before Cameron came to power.”

          It was, and remains, a deal which could be undone if Parliament so decided, and Parliament could order a referendum on that as on anything else to ask the public for their view on the matter; but for that to happen it would be necessary to have a majority of MPs who were actually committed to the sovereignty of the Parliament of which they are members, which we clearly lack at present and will clearly never get if we continue to vote for the parliamentary candidates put forward by the three old parties.

          • Posted December 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            Dennis, there is something called ” The Inconvenient Truth”
            here which you and your UKIP friends chose to ignore :

            1. Governments do not generally renege on agreements made by their predecessors. If they did, no International agreements would ever be taken seriously.

            2. Even if he had decided to renege on the Lisbon Treaty, how could David Cameron possibly have held a retrospective referendum without the votes in the House to support the necessary enabling legislation ?

            The coalition would never have got off the ground and Labour and the LibDems would certainly have voted any bill down.

            In my view, was completely impossible for David Cameron to do anything about it. Unless, of course you have a serious suggestion that could have got round the problem ?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 31, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            Chris

            1. In 2008 Cameron should have given fair notice to the governments of other EU member states that he would put the Lisbon Treaty to a UK referendum even if it had already come into force, and if it was rejected then he would revoke the UK’s ratification.

            2. He announced his decision not hold a referendum on November 4th 2009. It is quite possible that if he had stuck with the previous promise of a referendum then after the election he would have had the votes in the Commons for the necessary legislation.

    • matthu
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      “If we stay rowing with each other the federalists will win.”

      Mr Cameron has (had?) it in his power to quell the rowing.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      We’re not actually rowing with you personally, at least I’m not.

      The row is with those leading your party and the other two federalist parties.

  25. Peter Whale
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Hi John the UKIP vote will not be a vote for UKIP but a vote against the Liblabcon and I for one will enjoy the angst that this will give this most puerile of government we have ever had. Nick Clegg is an opportunist moron and cast iron Dave has the integrity of a mouse Ed Milliband needs to be ostracised from society for the misery he has caused for the old and the poor with his climate change act. The sooner this broken system of government is gone the 600 plus MPs 900 plus in the House of Lords and we are governed by EU. What a mess successive governments have made by their continuous lies and policies . Time for change.

  26. Bert Young
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    A vote for UKIP is the closest thing we have to a) making a protest b) enforcing the public’s view that we’ve had enough of EU bureaucracy c) showing David Cameron that it is time to go d) straight talking does appeal and e) the promised referendum is a long way away . The conduct and appearance record of the few UKIP representatives at Strasbourg is not a good one , nor is the “one voice” of UKIP the best way to put its points across ; certainly I dislike a hand-in-glass smoking leader , nevertheless UKIP’s appeal is strong in the electorate’s mind and is likely to be stronger as the result of the elections in May . Once it has attracted a publicly acclaimed respected leader , it will swipe the board of the other parties .

  27. yulwaymartyn
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    How about insulting the president of the Council. ? And by extension the people of Belgium? Without doubt the most cringing and embarrassing comments. Belgium – the country of lace, Bruges, formula one, mussels, chocolates, etc and where thousands of British soldiers lie buried insulted by one single UKIP British MEP.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      The French are historically pretty good at that too YM. I know they’re not particularly happy about the names of some of our railway stations, and frequently tell us so, much to our annoyance.

      In a 1966 meeting with the US, France indicated that they were to pull out of NATO. President DeGaulle told the US Secretary of State, Dean Rusk that he wanted all US troops removed from French soil. At President Johnson’s behest, Rusk asked DeGaulle if the order included the 60,000+ US soldiers buried in France from World War One and World War Two.

      It is said the room fell silent to the point where one could hear a pin drop, and DeGaulle left the room.

      But I must say, I really DID like the way Nigel Farage savaged the likes of Rumpy-pumpy et al.

      Tad

  28. ian wragg
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Your comments just go to show how UKIP are setting the agenda. All the points you make about them could be aimed at LibLabCon MEP’s as they have done nothing or can do nothing to speed our exit from the monstrosity.
    As all legislation is instigated by the unelected Commissioners and the MEP’s cannot block it, it has the same legitimacy as the USSR did. It is true that it is modelled on the Soviet system.
    UKIP have brought this to the attention of the electorate and bully for them. They have my vote.

    • bigneil
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      well said – -have you thought of running for your local UKIP representative ?? – -have read all your reports and found them to be honest – though some would say painfully honest – - I would like to see crime reports in the next year – though you and I realise if they go up – we will not be told the truth – because the govt don’t like “I told you so” -especially from people who they only consider “cash cows” to be taxed to pay for all the freeloaders they signed up to allow here.

  29. Terry
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Attempting to denigrate your competitors used to be classed as bad form in the Conservative party. No doubt ALL parties have their reasons for not attending the farce they call the Brussels Parliament.
    Now, I see you have followed Blair’s “Third Way” into politics, feeding in disinformation, much to the dismay of true blue Tories. Slagging off in this manner will do nothing for the Tory vote but it will enhance that of UKIP. We, in the back streets of Britain, are tired and insulted by main stream politicians and we seek a brand new alternative to these modern day boys clubs. Right now, the Conservatives just ain’t doing it. Neither are any of the mainstream parties and that is why they all have to be put back into their place! – As employees of the British Tax payers.

    Reply I am not “slanging off” UKIP MEPs. I am asking a few important questions, treating UKIP as serious challengers in the forthcoming Euro elections. Surely people need to know how individuals intend to behave if they are to be their representatives. All the time we are in the EU we need to pursue and protect our interests as best we can, which includes participating fully in the EU Parliament.

    • Boudicca
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      “All the time we are in the EU we need to pursue and protect our interests as best we can, which includes participating fully in the EU Parliament.”

      The EU Parliament is a sham. The power resides with the unelected, unaccountable Commission.

      Participating in sham isn’t “protecting our interests.” It’s legitimising that which is unacceptable.

    • terry
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      But “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
      In this case, I am the ‘beholder’ and I perceive your blog to be ” ‘slagging’ (the correct back-street vernacular) off” your competition. It matters not what you wrote but how it is read.

      Judging by the other comments made here, John, it seems I am not alone in my perception. I am a Thatcherite Tory and the gang of four, now incumbent in Downing Street, bear little resemblance to the Iron Lady and appear to oppose her good old Tory principles. More is the pity for the future of the United Kingdom.
      However, I wish Happy New Year to ALL.

  30. Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I will vote UKIP simply because I believe that the most important issue facing this country is whether we stay in the EU. Personally I want out!
    Cameron has promised to “renegotiate”, and I expect he will be given some minor concession which he will claim as a great victory, and as he’s already said he wants to stay in, will campaign for a stay in vote. Labour can’t make up its collective mind, but seems likely to want to stay in. So there is only UKIP who offer some real chance of getting out.
    If a vote for UKIP at the general election means we get Labour, as the Tories claim, so what? I find it difficult to distinguish between the two main parties which seem to be moving steadily leftwards.
    There is nothing that UKIP MEPs (or any other MEPs) can achieve in Brussels, as the power seems to reside with the unelected commissioners and there are always sufficient MEPs who are pro-Europe to vote it through. Name me thing that the MEPs have rejected, other than possibly reducing their salary/expenses!

  31. roger
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I am 68 years old. I have always voted Conservative. I contributed over £600 to the parties funds this year. I worked many hours during the last election to help us win a marginal from Labour. However I have a problem. I am attracted by many UKIP policies and just wish we adopted more of them. However an exit from the EU for both democratic and financial reasons is to my mind essential unless our relationship changes significantly. I will vote UKIP in the European elections in the faint hope that David Cameron (who sadly will campaign to stay in regardless) will be forced to lay out an attractive enough list of red lines that will keep me in the fold come election time. I appreciate that many euro sceptics in Westminster helped bring us to where we are now but the main reason is the UKIP surge in support. Hopefully the results in Europe will force the party to stiffen its stance further and in doing so give itself hope to form a government in 2015.

  32. Leslie Singleton
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Dear John–I now regret staying in bed rather than answering this early on. You and the Conservatives are clearly rattled by UKIP and you in particular do not seem to understand at all. First, Farage is, as ever, bang on the nail about the Syrian refugees. As I said the other day in response to Cable, these people are indeed refugees in real and immediate mortal danger not to mention starving with no water electricity or indeed much of anything else and, were we to admit some of them, there is at least a chance they would be grateful rather than considering it their right under EU so-called law like the welfare and pregnant EU invasion. As apparently ever, Cameron’s judgement is plain wrong. Secondly, you are way way off course with your comments about the European Parliament, indeed to me it beggars belief that you should think UKIP voters could care less about the place’s very existence. To Hell with what goes on there. We do not want “influence” from votes in that place not that we would get much. Thirdly, we have contempt for much about the Conservatives and would not bet tuppence that they will be in power after the General Election, or, in the unlikely event that turns out wrong, that there will be any re-negotiation of significance. Cameron is just using this device to hang on to power which is not going to work because many of us are derisive of him personally and so want him out. What UKIP supporters are doing is simply the best they can in the circumstances. We see at least a possible way forward via voting for them and none in any other direction. You are right we do see next year as a form of referendum and I do not believe that you do not see that if UKIP does very well that will not give another huge heave to UKIP’s chances. The first few MP’s is important but not everything: far from just that, if UKIP do get 16% (latest poll I have seen) or above, the Conservatives will have their own percentage commensurately reduced and will have no choice but to ditch Cameron and to form some kind of accommodation with them. You talk as if a change in the structure of Parties available to the electorate has never happened before but it has many times of course. According to you any such change should have been impossible.

    Reply This is where we disagree, All the time we remain in the EU we do need to be well represented in the Parliament, which is now a legislature. We need MEPs who will engage, seeking to block or amend draft laws that the Uk does not want. There is no point trying to live in denial, pretending the Eu does not exist for us or does not have a large and often deleterious effect on us. I want my MEPs straining to stop the EU law making machine at every opportunity as we have far too much EU law.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      RTR
      It is indeed a key difference.
      The Conservatives want to be in the EU, so would of course want to influence the rules of the club.
      In the case of UKIP, this is not a club to which they wish to belong in the first place, so the logic leads to the irrelevance of the European Parliament.

      The other difference is that only one of the two parties has a track record of betraying the electorate by trying to be all things to all men, and doing u turns on key issues.

      Do you think we should deny Syrian refugees entry to the UK? My bet is we will see a discrete U turn there, too.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply–It is not a question of pretending anything: if it were in my power, British MEP’s would make it clear at every turn that they hold the EU in contempt in any, preferably disruptive, way possible: empty seats would be fine with me. You were once held up as the Standard Bearer of the Right in case you forget.

  33. Alan Wheatley
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I suppose the significance of EU Parliament and its MEP depends on one’s point of view. If the view is that the UK should leave the EU then they are totally irrelevant. As long as they are honest I care nothing for what MEPs get up to, as in the short term their practical legislative effect is minimal and in the long term of no consequence.

    For those working towards the UK leaving the EU maximising the number of MEPs of that viewpoint is a tactic as part of the wider strategy. And it is working. As the number of MEPs supporting the UK leaving has increased so has the amount of media time devoted to that side of the argument. Even on the BBC! The EU was for a long time shut out of UK political debate as the three main parties closed ranks. So, those seeking to get their alternative voice heard and finding the front door closed took the opportunity of joining through the side door.

    We are regularly reminded on this site that nothing in Parliament can be changed without the necessary parliamentary majority. With Con/Lab/Lib supporting a policy of continued UK membership of the EU there is no practical prospect of the parliamentary arithmetic changing under current conditions. No matter the personal views of any MP, every vote cast for a member of a party at a general election will be counted by that party’s leadership as a vote in support of party policy. Clearly more of the same is not going to bring about change. Something different is needed.

    In 2014 something different can be achieved. If UKIP wins the 2014 EU elections this will change the nature of the debate. But this is no more than a waypoint; a skirmish on the way to the 2015 general election.

    If UIKP can gain a foothold in the House of Commons then that could be the game changer. That is no doubt why so many are trying so hard to make sure it does not happen!

    Reply UKIP did have an MP in the Commons when a Conservative moved across to UKIP but it made n o difference.

    • matthu
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      “UKIP did have an MP in the Commons when a Conservative moved across to UKIP but it made no difference.

      A Conservative MP defected to UKIP for all of 7 months in 2008 (a period including the traditional parliamentary recess) before leaving UKIP once more. His apparently hasty decision and subsequent reconsideration probably says more about that particular individual as it does about UKIP, but clearly it explains why he had absolutely no opportunity to make any impact as a UKIP MP.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      RTR
      Staggering complacency. I wonder at which % in the polls you would concede that something different is afoot with a non-LibLabCon party. 20%? 25%, 30%? We will see.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Who was that I never noticed?!

    • Roger farmer
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Having 100 plus Conservative MPs that would vote to exit the EU makes no difference as you constantly point out. Your expectations of one UKIP MP seem fanciful. In the present pro Europe atmosphere of Westminster he would need to be a successful Guido Fawkes to be noticed.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Re reply, I did say “foothold”, one Conservative crossing the floor hardly counts as a toehold!

  34. ancientpopeye
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Rather an unfair comparison , Farage is saying that refugees from Syria should be accommodated, and you are referring to economic migrants from Romania and Bulgaria.
    Shame on you.

  35. Tad Davison
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    A clever ploy John, and guaranteed to generate a lot of friction between the different factions on this page, and to establish clear demarcation lines, but I have a few questions.

    Of all those Tory, Labour, or Lib Dem MEPs who regularly vote, who actually knows with absolute clarity and certainty what they are voting for?

    That is to say, how many take the time and trouble to read through every piece of legislation and its possible consequences before they cast their vote?

    Or do they just get told by the manipulators-in-chief how to vote and when?

    The truth is, there aren’t enough hours in the day for an individual to go through all the bilge churned out by the rampant, regulation factory, so it’s just a rubber-stamp kangaroo parliament. The Tory MEPs you would wish us to believe are all very responsible and erudite people, just do as they are told, and of course, pick up the oodles of cash at the end of the day for their ‘services’.

    And this is what is supposed to pass for democracy!

    No wonder the UK has been taken so far down the road to oblivion by the EU federalists, many of which reside in your own party! Take the money, look good to the electorate, and to hell with the long-term consequences.

    Sorry John, it just won’t do. The people are slowly getting wise to this tosh.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  36. zorro
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Again I am not a UKIP supporter or voter, but I do find this post most counter intuitive…..

    Firstly, I would be surprised to hear UKIP go into the elections saying that they were going to lose…… I doubt that even the Tories would do that (then on second thoughts)…..

    I don’t UKIP are going there to ‘reform’ the EU…..Now that would be counter intuitive and frankly impossible as the Tories and Labour have shown over the years…..They are going there to make a noise and challenge the status quo like the LibLabCon consensus singularly fails to do.

    1. I suspect that UKIP are there to hamper the function of the EU.
    2. I doubt it as the other parties have shown themselves incapable of stopping the EU juggernaut.
    3. If they are frustrating/exposing the machinations of the EU, it is money well spent.
    4. It wouldn’t because as you know, that’s not how it works……
    5. There are too many people in Parliament who enjoy being whipped……

    I don’t think that Mr Farage has been responsible for supporting the Syrian ‘rebels’ and fomenting/extending this slaughter unlike some people who have been very vocal in supporting them….. Perhaps they could be given temporary residence in Witney?

    zorro

  37. forthurst
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    “It would also be interesting to see how many possible UKIP voters like Mr Farage’s latest policy of more immigration from the Middle East.”

    Probably more than an uncontrollable influx from SE Europe or elsewhere within the ever extending EU, for the deliberate mass importation from the sub-continent under the guise of education, probably more than the conservative party that would not like genuine refugees, mostly Christians, fleeing from the cutthroats that the neocon leadership of their party wished to empower, giving television interviews here. Offering genuine refugees a place of safety is not the same as pursuing the malignant multiculturalising agenda of the liblabcon party.
    The liblabcon party needs to deep cleanse itself of those who are hostile to the Englih people and are supportive of a foreign policy designed to cause maximum mayhem in the middle east and elsewhere, with a concommitant flow of refugees towards the countries that created them. Traitors belong on the scaffold, not in parliament.

  38. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    The phoney UKIP debate is coming to an end and it is disappointing that even genuine Conservative EU deniers are committed to the party whip. How anyone can imagine the EU Parliament based in Brussels and Strasbourg (to keep the French quiet) at enormous cost has any relevance to democracy or changing the bureaucracy and corruption is beyond reason. We, no doubt literally dying breed of the Conservative Taliban, are not idiots we know the frailty of UKIP, we know without N.Farage it is a lame duck, we know Westminster FPTP is not going to change and give the English some democracy and we know that Cameron’s political word is not to be trusted. Protest votes are a way a failing democracy evolves, history is littered with examples, large and small scale, that change the course of politics. UKIP is part of this function, which should be embraced by all EU deniers, who should not hide behind wishful thinking.

    As to Syrian refugees if we had not absorbed millions of illegals and EU immigrants over the last decade I would support our accepting a quota of these desperate people but we are full and the consequences of the fresh EU influx will soon be known. It is a cheap shot not to distinquish between refugees and largely cost negative “economic” immigrants. Just as the Ugandan Asians developed into real hard working Brits and many genuine refugees before them my view is that rescuing a quota of Syrian families would be beneficial to UK plc as well as giving a fresh start to some traumatised people. Unfortunately we have squandered such reserves to the EU.

  39. BobE
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I will vote UKIP so as to bury Cameron and hopefully Clegg as they are both just about PR and have no real ideas. Milliband won’t last very long anyway.

    • Posted December 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Exactly what will that achieve, BobE ?

      Miliband will do immense damage however long he remains PM and there will be no referendum.

      John will not admit it and our friends in UKIP posting here seem blissfully unaware that the only sensible way forward is for the Conservatives and UKIP to cooperate.

      I have a Conservative Eurosceptic MP in Chris Chope so there is no issue here but
      I criticise both sides in equal measure for burying their heads in the sand, the issues at stake are just too great :

      In constituencies like Eastleigh there simply HAS to be a deal done otherwise there will be no chance whatsoever of holding the referendum we all want to see.

      In many Northern Constituences the Conservative name is so tainted that they cannot win. They need to give UKIP a clear run in these seats and some more winnable ones as well.

      UKIP has nothing to lose by trusting Cameron to come through with what he has promised and we will all work together to hold him to account if he doesn’t.

      The alternative of 5 years of a Miliband Labour or Lib/Lab government it just too terrible to contemplate

  40. Joseph B. Fox
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    The last act of the capitalist, Lenin said, will be to sell you the rope you hang him with. I have no qualms at all about UKIP MEPs taking the EU’s money (our money, in fact) and using it to further the cause of getting this country out of the EU. From UKIP’s point of view, the Euro-parliament’s hemisphere only function is as a bully pulpit (from Lenin to Teddy Roosevelt in one paragraph!).

    We owe these people nothing. They have laboured long and hard to steal our sovereignty, shamefully aided by quislings (there goes another) and useful idiots. No names, no pack-drill, Mr Redwood.

  41. Martin Ryder
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t matter that UKIP MEPs do nothing in the EU Parliament; they have no power to stop the EU Commission doing whatever it likes. All of our MEPs are powerless, even the ones who slavishly follow the EU flag. They are all just voices in a vast crowd of people, most of whom are singing a different song to the one that I would prefer.

    The importance of the UKIP vote in May 2014 is that it sends a signal that even the dimmest politician can understand. If a voter votes for the LIbLabCon party he or she is saying either that they are happy to be part of the EU or that they don’t care whether they are or not. If a voter votes for UKIP they will be saying that they want to leave the EU. It is that simple.

    Very few people will read the manifestos, assuming there are manifestos, or watch the TV advertisements, etc and decide that they prefer the Conservative vision of the future of the EU over the Labour vision, as only the dimmest of voters will think that any party in the UK can have any influence, whatsoever, in the direction that the EU takes.

    Heads of EU governments are corralled regularly in Brussels and told what to do. The heads of government of countries who are financially dependent on the EU budget will always follow the Commission line and will always out vote the EU paymasters; especially as two of the paymasters, Germany and France, ‘own’ the EU (though how long France will remain as a top dog I am not sure).

    I will vote UKIP next May. I have yet to decide on who I will vote for in 2015. A lot will depend on who is leading the Conservative party at the time of the election.

    • Paul
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

      Cameron will be leading the Conservative Party into the 2015 election, there is no-one plausible to replace him – that is the problem. The few talented Conservative MPs with knowledge and experience of real life, like JR, unfortunately would not get enough support. While many of us who vote UKIP do so because we agree with the policies, we would like to return to the Conservative Party and vote for it again one day. But we simply cannot vote for Cameron under any circumstances, we disagree with him on so many issues, including of course the EU, but also immigration, the economy, climate change, grammar schools . . . the list goes on. The Conservative Party needs to think hard about who it chooses as its leader after the next election (when the inevitable happens) if it ever hopes to win a majority again.

  42. Julian Foster
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I was a Tory Party member for 47 years. I now feel there is little in that party worth supporting, least of all its flip-flopping leader. I am voting UKIP for the simple reason that they are the only party which now speaks for me and the ordinary people of this country. I find it strange that John Redwood cannot understand this. For me, the most important issue is to get Britain out of the EU because so much flows from such a move. Only UKIP offers this option. If that means that the Tories lose the next election, quite frankly, I don’t care. Some things are more important than keeping David Cameron in office.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      Quite so…i.e. keeping those in office who want to get rid of EU control.

  43. Antisthenes
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I like Nigel Farage’s plain speaking but his party it could not run a bun fight in a kindergarten. He does not tend to pull his punches when addressing the EP and I like the way he attacks Barroso and Van Rumpey. However he once said that he was a turkey prepared to vote for Christmas when referring to winding up the EU and he cannot do that if he and other UKIP MEPs do not play a full part in the EP. All UKIP is doing is splitting the right’s vote so helping euro-sceptics not at all. One caveat is that he should declare that UKIP will stand in UK elections only in places where the incumbent or prospective MP is pro Europe.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      “declare that UKIP will stand in UK elections only in places where the incumbent or prospective MP is pro Europe”
      Proven how?
      By a referendum promise in 2017 if you elect a majority government?
      Best of luck with that one.
      I think it would take a simultaneous EU referendum with the GE to go along with that one.

    • Boudicca
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      I doubt if UKIP will stand against Better Off Out prospective MPs.

      The rest of them are fair game. They are either hedging their bets when it comes to the EU or they are Europlastics, who ultimately will be “pragmatic” when their Party Leader tells them to vote in favour of EU membership.

      If any MP wants to protect himself from a UKIP candidate, they’d better sign Better Off Out.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 30, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Boudicca–Not quite so simple unfortunately because one of the main ways of making progress is via showing a high percentage turn out for UKIP in the Election, mere poll ratings apparently not being enough–not yet anyway.

  44. Roger
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    As an insidious reader and supporter of this blog it concerns me that a comment of mine has not been included. Is there some kind of cencership I am not aware?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes
      Correct spelling :-)

  45. ferdinand
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    With respect you are not understanding what UKIP MEP’s are about. They don’t need any policies save for one – departure from the EU. Those of us Tories who vote UKIP are mostly true Tories and not coalition wets. We are not prepared to support a duplicitous Prime Minister or a coalition party. That is the beginning and the end of it. we do not look for bright MPs amongst the UKIP millions but simply a one directional representative. This is why Cameron is going to lose. He just doesn’t understand.

  46. Boudicca
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    UKIP’s MEPs are not there to participate in the EU’s sham of a Parliament and to try and make the unaccountable EU “work.”

    They are there to represent those of us who want OUT of the EU. They are there to hold the EU to account and, if they so choose, to disrupt proceedings.

    As far as I’m concerned, they’re doing a wonderful job. And I hope we have a great many more MEPs after May 2014 to continue their good work.

  47. Tad Davison
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    This matters a great deal to me, which is why you’ll always see a lot of my posts whenever the subject of the EU is raised. My mentor, Sir Teddy Taylor, schooled me well!

    I have read these posts through and through, as indeed I do most days, and several things are crystal clear. Most people don’t want anything at all to do with the EU, and those who champion it, soon get taken apart – not with vitriol (although that does happen out of frustration at their intransigence), but with hard irrefutable evidence.

    It is often said, that elections are never won by an opposition party, only lost by the incumbent governing party (or in this case, parties if that turns out to be the case). In the past, people have voted tactically to oust an unpopular government, and with what used to be a virtual two-party state, Tories and Labour would more or less take it in turns. The problem, is that when both parties are in favour of more EU, the EU is what the hapless people are going to get whichever one they vote for.

    They need proper leadership and representation.

    The electorate are like the ball in a pinball game, they get bounced around from one side to the other, but each time they get ever closer to a black hole at the bottom from which there is no escape. And that is where we are headed – except at the eleventh hour, somebody’s just fitted a big flipper to the table to try to prevent it happening, and provided it is used, we can all be bounced right back up the table. That big flipper comes in the form of a new popular political party, and it’s real game-changer. A lifeline.

    Having largely accepted that the EU is bad for everybody, not just the UK (and interestingly, I heard today from a bloke from Saxon that even Germany could go into recession in 2014), our political leaders need to make their case as to why they think our future lies within it, rather than without. And if they cannot do that, we must give the ‘ins’ a really wide birth, because that big flipper is just about the last line of defence before we go down into the black hole. So far, not one of the three Westminster party leaders has properly told us without lies and distortions, why they are so pro-EU and why it will work in this nation’s best interest, only to trust them that it eventually will.

    Well I’m not buying any more of that bilge. We’ve had it for 40 years, but it takes the strength of more than just a few people to use that flipper and give us back our country and our prosperity, it takes a lot of them.

    All I ask is this – if you cannot get straight answers to your questions and doubts about Britain’s membership of the EU from the leaders of whichever party you may support, please don’t be afraid to vote for one whose leader DOES provide those assurances. It’s up to the aforementioned to make the case in the weeks and months ahead, but for God’s sake, don’t be fobbed off again.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  48. Nick Colbert
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi John,

    Saw you in Wells many years ago, I am a Conservative party member and a District Councillor who respects your views, however you of course are missing the point, most people who are going to vote UKIP at next years European elections don’t want MEP’s working within the system but MEP’s who will throw a spanner in the works at every opportunity and to send a clear and unequivocal message to all mainstream parties that our continued membership that none of us voted for is unacceptable.

    I suspect that you are as frustrated as the rest of us by the undemocratic methods used to keep us in the EU, it is dangerous to treat the electorate in such a way and has lead to much of the cynicism the public feel towards all politicians and political parties.

    The sooner we have the referendum the better, and if we are told David has gone to Brussels and secured a few minor amendments so we should now vote yes it will cause a major fracture within the party.

  49. Bryan
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Why should any MEP attend the European Parliament other than to show what a sham it all is?

    Recent EP session when MEP’s were voting on various amendments etc:-

    I paraphrase

    UK MEP ‘Order Madam Chairman, why are we being asked to vote on matters when none of us has had either the opportunity to read or study the amendments we are being asked to vote on?’

    Reply

    ‘Because that is the way we do things here!’

    Sound of laughter.

    Mr Cameron will love it when, after the electorate and then the party kick him out, he finds solace within the comforting arms of his non-elected socialist allies in Brussels.

    Too late however for those he leaves behind.

  50. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    As others above have commented it matters not what UKIP MEPs do at the EU Parliament or how much of our money they claim for (not) doing it. They are following their election promises and were voted for.

    I vote in national and local elections for my hardworking and europhile Conservative MP and councillors because they have proved their worth to me on numerous occasions and our borough is a good place to live at present.

    The EU election offers me a chance to protest. Your government (and other parties) do not represent my needs. All of them are in hock to business and wish to provide it with unfettered access to markets and cheap labour. This is not conducive to increasing mine and others like me’s standard of living. The increased numbers coming in drives up living costs while driving down wages but requiring more tax from me to pay for the unemployed to stay on benefits even as we import cheap labour to perform the roles that companies will not train the British to do.

    The only way out of this death spiral is to exit the single market and enter a free trade agreement without the constrictive terms such as free movement of cheap labour which subsequently claims housing benefit, schooling and medical costs. A poster above suggested only having free movement of labour with markets which are as advanced as ours or that the British might want to migrate to in large numbers. This seems a sensible aim.

    We need to extract ourselves from the EU and merely trade with its members. We still spend the fourth highest amount on defence so we will remain with influence outside this farce.

    My vote for UKIP in the EU elections is not a vote for the winners it is a registration of my opinion. Those above stating that we do not have true democracy have missed the point I do not vote for the winner, I vote to register my wishes. Single issue parties can be highly useful for this and should be encouraged. The electorate (especially in safe seats) needs to be educated away from voting for the winner and just accept that one vote does not change the world but it does lay down a marker. Sufficient “one votes” get noticed; first it was the BNP now it is UKIP. Next it may be the Greens although their time may have passed so another may take their place.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Excellent post from Narrow Shoulders. If Cameron bothers to read any of the comments it should be this one.

  51. Max Dunbar
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    UKIP MEPs not attending parliamentary business in Brussels on points of principle has certain similarities to the Anarchists who refused to take their places in the Spanish Republican government of the 1930s. If UKIP win enough seats then I am sure that they will wish to make their presence felt as the Anarchists were eventually compelled to do in Spain.
    Given the chance I would vote for UKIP, not because they are any good but because, so far, they have not done the damage that the main EU collaborators have inflicted on us. In other words, I would prefer the country to be run badly for the right reasons than to be run less badly for the wrong reasons. Sheer desperation really. We have no confidence in Cameron’s judgement.

  52. Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Answer to no.4: By taking votes from those parties that want to stay in and that includes the Tories.

    Just having a few conservatives claiming to want out of the EU is not enough as the leadership insist on staying in. You need to sort out where your party actually stands on the the EU before trying to sell it as anti-EU.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Ken, that last sentence is very poignant. I get sick of hearing so-called Eurosceptic Tory MPs trying to kid everyone. Given the damage that has been done to the UK during the past four decades by all three of the biggest Westminster parties, there’s only one credible alternative left, and that’s to get out of the cursed thing altogether. That’s the mark of a TRUE Eurosceptic, not half-hearted compromises where the disease can come back again.

      Tad

  53. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    What does a UKIP MEP do? A somewhat absurd question. The European parliament has limited power – the real power lies in the European Commission.

    If someone who said they wanted to dismantle the Westminster parliament was voted into it .. what would you expect them to do?

    What do Westminster MPs do? Have a look at Parliament at any time other than PMQs and … where are all the MPs. Just a handful of the 650 attend at any one time.

    What UKIP does – and what UKIP MEPs do – is give a voice to the ever growing number of people who are fed up with the ‘big interfering state’ policies of the EU. Throughout Europe polls suggest 70% of people are negative about the EU. That is what UKIP have done – made the scales fall from the eyes of people who have been brainwashed by LibLabCon into thinking the EU is a good thing. It started out as a good thing – a COMMON MARKET – but it has been turned into a bad thing by politicians and EU Commissioners.

  54. Alan Wheatley
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Re “It would also be interesting to see how many possible UKIP voters like Mr Farage’s latest policy of more immigration from the Middle East”, it would also be interesting to see how many Conservative voters like Mr. Cameron’s policy on Syria now that we find it has cost us £500,000,000 in aid.

  55. peter davies
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    To me the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT is nothing but a facade to making it appear democratic so it makes little or no difference whether its a UKIPer or LIBLABCON.

    The real power sits in the Commission who no doubt have the ear of various lobby groups so in practise I don’t think it makes a jot of difference who is in

    In my mind as someone (not a member of UKIP) but will probably vote for them in any EURO elections I have some answers below:

    Q2 – Most of mainland EU have a different outlook and agenda to the UK so whilst we need people banging the drum it appears most of our views are ignored and treated with contempt

    Q3. EU money is stolen from taxpayers – the EU don’t have their own money

    Q4. I doubt it would speed up any exit in itself but would surely send a strong message to the UK parliament that they need to change the direction of the train the majority of MPs are traveling on (with the exception of some like yourself of course)

  56. Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    You questions about UKIP policy are red herrings.

    You continue to support a treasonous government by your membership of a Party which continues to act unconstitutionally. While that is the case, protestations of euro-scepticism and votes with a minority of fellow Conservatives on EU matters are of no value.

    We have reached a time when clever arguments and prevarications, contrasts between your Party and other parties, equally guilty of deceit of the electorate, can only detract from the respect in which you have been held.

    Only a separation from a discredited administration can restore that respect. You could begin the restoration of respect for Parliament by resigning the whip and encouraging others M.P.s of like mind to join with you.

    John Wrake.

    Reply That would be a great way to get me to lose my seat at the next election! Is that the plan? How does that help the Eurosceptic cause?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t want to see you resign the whip, not for now at least, but given the overwhelming strength of feeling on this blog alone against Britain’s membership of the EU, might it be possible to be even more vociferous against our membership in the future – even if the likes of Cameron might be embarrassed by it?

      The EU is detested.

      Tad

      Reply I and my like minded colleagues keep up the pressure in Parliament by votes and speeches, amendments and motions, and in endless meetings with Ministers. This problem has to be resolved in and through Parliament, and we have been gathering strength since 2010, as the voting patterns reveal.

      • Posted December 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        IMHO it would be madness for the eu-sceptic Conservatives to switch parties or resign.

        What is obvious to me (and surely to many others) is the there must be some electoral arrangement between the Conservatives and UKIP well before the next general election.

        • peter davies
          Posted December 31, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          Many have been saying that for ages now – I hope this is happening behind the scenes else we get Milliband and further integration into this EU slime hole

    • H Ward
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      How does keeping your seat help the eurorealist cause? You can nag and whine, but you can’t change Camoron’s determination to stay in the EU.

      If you were to resign the Tory whip and become a UKIP MP, I would have thought that your constituents would value you enough to vote you back in in 2015.

      Reply By staying in the Commons I have been able to vote for a referendum, for a lower EU budget, against any further integration, against federalist Treaties, and have been able to help change Conservative policy to get us the prospect of a referendum. I could have done none of those things from outside the Commons and in a different party. Why do you always want to attack the MPs who are on your side?

  57. Richard
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    Whilst I am grateful to you and your Eurosceptic colleagues within the Conservative Party for trying to change the party’s views on EU membership I am afraid that the Conservative Party continues to wish to not only remain in the EU but to actively campaign for further countries such as Turkey to become members.

    For this reason I can no longer vote Conservative, despite having done so for many years.

    In fact I now feel I have been conned over the years into thinking that the Conservatives were a Eurosceptic party when in fact it has been keener on the EU than the other two parties. The only exception was when Mrs. Thatcher was the party leader and she was removed not by a general election but by europhiles in the party.

    It is completely understandable that the Conservative Party, as the party for big business, is very happy with the EU as it provides regulations which stifle competition from smaller competitors, profits which can be moved from country to country to avoid tax and the ability to move production and/or workers to any country of their choice to lower production and wage costs as they see fit.

    The Labour party, who were initially anti-Europe, saw under Blair a wonderful opportunity to import into the country millions of poor workers to expand their core vote, as well as ensuring that the UK would become poorer and hence give them electoral advantages.

    I do not believe that the Conservative Party will ever wish to leave the EU and it’s current leader, Mr. Cameron, has made this point very clearly.

    So who do I vote for please if I wish to register my wish to leave the EU ?

    You have often said that so many people vote for LibLabCon that it must mean these voters are happy to remain in the EU.

    So, whatever the consequences, I now find that I simply must vote in a way which registers my wish to leave the EU and the only party I can sensibly vote for is UKIP.

    You and many others have made the point that a vote for UKIP will enable the Labour Party to win the next GE.

    You may well be right but I no longer care as I now feel that it is more important for me to register my vote as anti-EU than for any particular UK party.

    Ironically, looking at the history I even think that a Labour government would be more likely to take us out of the EU than a Conservative one. It is just conceivable that the Labour core voters might finally wake up to how badly uncontrolled immigration is affecting their lives, and with the prospect of further large scale immigration coming from countries such as Turkey, may finally be able to persuade their party leaders to return to a policy to leave the EU.

    Unfortunately I cannot see any likelyhood of such a change of direction ever applying to the Conservative party.

  58. Jennifer A
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Nigel Farage suggests we take in refugees – the key point is that they should be of OUR choosing. There is nothing wrong with taking in refugees. It is a mistake to think that Ukip voters have a problem with that – or with controlled migration which is under OUR own tight control and not Europe’s.

    Ukip MEPs failure to attend sessions. What of it ? We vote Ukip precisely because we don’t want MEPs. Good.

    We are scared, John. We really think that it’s over. That your party will not control migration and that there is no longer anything to lose by expressing our anger with a stupid vote which at least indicates to you why we are doing it.

    What should worry your party is how many of your voters intend to do this in 2015 too.

    Too late I fear.

  59. Posted December 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Reply to reply:

    I do not wish to see you lose your seat at the next election, and if you have the confidence of those who elected you in the Wokingham constituency, I do not see the loss of your seat as the inevitable outcome.

    What I do see is that your membership of a Party led by Mr. Cameron is seriously damaging your credibility as a euro-sceptic.

    It has been said by one wiser than I, that to continue to repeat actions which result in failure in the hope that next time the result will be different, is a definition of madness.

    Your votes, together with those of a small group of fellow M.P.s who agree with you, will not change the official attitudes of all three major parties, and cannot succeed in achieving your stated aim.
    Something more radical is needed and you are well placed to initiate that change. Or does the risk of losing your seat and the consequent loss of one euro-sceptic vote outweigh the opportunity you have to pioneer the changes which so many desire?

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, the resignation from the whip of a well respected Mp such as a John Redwood with a track record of being on the right side of many arguments could just be the catalyst needed to speed up the process of getting us out of the EU.

      It would be the boot that the Cameron ‘divided party’s don’t win elections…we can’t win an election by moving to the right blah blah set so richly deserve.

      There is a vast army of people waiting to get behind such a challenger to the status quo, I see no personal cost as it would allow his voice to be heard by a much wider audience and greatly increase his popularity.

      Reply And lead to my eviction from Parliament in 2015. How does that help the cause?

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted January 4, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for your reply Mr Redwood,

        Surely it can only be right that only the people of Wokingham can evict you from your seat…not some committee in Westminster that is in the pocket of the PM ?.
        My view is that the people of Wokingham are voting for John Redwood rather than the Conservative Party – as an independentt Mp you would be re-elected – perhaps with an increased majority.

        The Conservative party name is now a liability because of it’s copying of new Labour policies and contempt for it’s core voters.
        Your own position has been consistent but your party’s has not. The Conservative party does not deserve your loyalty, time and effort.

        I think that the put upon people of Wokingham who can’t find a parking space at the supermarket anymore or are fed up waiting 2 weeks for a doctors appointment, or can’t afford dear energy will welcome an Mp who is free to be more outspoken on EU matters.

        Reply If I resigned the Conservative whip then I could not as you realise stand as a Conservative candidate. The people of Wokingham voted for me as the Conservative candidate last time and expect me to remain as a Conservative MP for this Parliament, which I intend to do. Being a Conservative MP does not prevent me speaking out on EU matters, as surely this blog shows you. It means I can do so in Parliament, whereas those who stood as Independents or UKIP candidates in Wokingham did not secure election.

        • Kenneth R Moore
          Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          Lord Redwood,

          Indeed you do speak out regularly on the EU but your words would carry more weight if you were unshackled from the anti marriage, pro immigration, spendthrift, expensive energy Conservative party.

          I would wager that most of the critical comments on your blog arise from the gulf between your well reasoned thinking and that of the Conservative leadership. With a good campaign you could get re-elected as an independent and blow a hole in the pro EU propaganda spewing out of Brussels.

          Granted David Cameron has granted concessions but these are viewed by the public as being mostly hollow and ‘window dressing’. EU referendum for after the election…migration in the ‘tens of thousands’ etc. It’s all rubbish.

          As someone once said ‘it is better to be ******* from outside the tent than the opposite.

  60. Smithersjones2013
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I find John Redwood’s questions distinctly ironic given his party gave up the position of being the only UK party that was part of the ‘governing’ EPP party in Brussels in order to create their own pan-European brand and turning them into a minor party.

    I suppose its part of their ‘In Europe but insignificant in Europe’ strategy’. Perhaps he might also like to start criticising the SNP and Sinn Fein for their lack of involvement in everything that happens in Westminster too?

    That said his Westminster attendance record is hardly impressive (particularly in opposition which of course UKIP are)

    1997-2001 59.4%
    2001-2005 66.6%
    2005-2010 67.3%
    2010-to date 79.5%

    It seems Mr Redwood only attends when they’re winning!

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted January 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      A bit unfair…I don’t have figures but I would suggest Mr Redwood’s attendance record is good and better than most Mp’s..in particularly the Rt Hon member for Kirkcaldy!.

  61. Posted December 30, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been a Eurosceptic since before most of these ‘Kippers were ever seen on public forums. I’ve watched UKIP turn from a fairly reasonable protest party of broadly ex-Conservatives into a bizarre populist mish-mash with no cohesive positions and some nasty undertones. Now, I’m beginning to question what I’ve always believed, not because I think the case for leaving the EU is any less strong, but because I feel uncomfortable being grouped on ANY issue with these people. I still believe that UKIP’s high-water mark will be the EU elections, after which they’ll begin to collapse under their own internal inconsistencies and rivalries. Within four years, they’ll be all but gone and there’ll be some new “we’re not like all the others” party taking the protest votes on whatever issues remain at that time.

  62. Posted December 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Of course UKIP MEPS will speed up our exit from the eu. They have already done so. Rather than take part in daily European “parliament” business they chose instead to take part in high profile debates and had them posted on YouTube in the days when the BBC boycotted UKIP.

    Without these videos, which had worldwide popularity the BBC would not have thrown in the towel and allowed UKIP on the airwaves and the PM would not have been forced to call a referendum.

    What you seem to prefer, Mr Redwood is for UKIP to have taken part in most of the European “parliament’s” business, albeit to block legislation. Quite rightly UKIP is not playing that game. It is boycotting most of the process rather than adding legitimacy to it by taking part.

    Mr Redwood, I’m not sure if you understand the contempt that UKIP MEPS and UKIP supporters have for the eu and the damage it wants to inflict on us.

    The idea that our politicians should engage with this “parliament” is unacceptable. However using it for maximum publicity for our cause is a different matter.

    I don’t know why you don’t accept the fact that UKIP is here to stay. The only way to stop the vote being split is for the Conservatives to come to some arrangement with UKIP well before the next general election.

    In this regard, comments such as yours above are of no help whatsoever.

  63. David
    Posted January 2, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    UKIP MEPs will not vote for Turkey becoming a member of the EU and large scale immigration from Turkey (which will make Eastern European Immigration look like a few people). That is enough reason in itself to vote UKIP.

  64. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Captain Redwood,

    Not your best piece ..there is something of the ‘attacking the man, not the ball’ knee jerk left wing attack about attempting to suggest there is something fishy about UKIP MEP’s.
    Although I agree they are foolish to open the door to this sort of critique. I’d prefer to see more criticism of your federalist Conservative colleagues then your natural allies at UKIP.

  65. Posted February 25, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Exactly how much is a UKIP MEP paid and how much are his/her annual allowances? Can we have precise figures please?
    How much have individual UKIP MEPs claimed for flights to and from the UK (etc ed)?
    How much have individual UKIP MEPs claimed for any other expenditure not included in thewir annual allowances and travel allowances?
    A table showing the actual figures would be helpful.

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  • About John Redwood

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