Modernising the Conservative party

In a way I was one of the first modernisers. In 1995 I told the Conservative party it was a case of “No change, no chance”. I had in mind especially a change of policy and approach.

So when people tell me the Conservative party has to change or modernise, I do not automatically disagree. It is one of the ironies of conservatism, that a doctrine that wishes to preserve the best and keep some of the continuity of our lives, has always had to embrace change. Indeed, some of the most successful Conservative governments have been some of the most radical. Maybe we are at our best when we are boldest.

Conservative radicalism is based around delivering to the many the advantages of the few. Just as enterprise capitalism retains support and gains friends by ensuring that the luxuries of the rich in one generation become the commonplace of the many in the next, so Conservatism at its best brings the rights and duties of the privileged few of a previous generation into the lives of the many. Conservatives have in the past campaigned to abolish slavery, to  extend the franchise to all,  to encourage the many to own their own home, and to seek an ownership revolution. It has supported more generous welfare and health provision for the many paid for out of taxation.  We want higher living standards and more civil liberties and see no contradiction between the two.

I was surprised in the early opposition years after 1997 to read that Conservatives were split between mods and rockers, between libertarians and authoritarians. It seemed like an artificial conflict, as most Conservatives seek a balance between liberty and the rule of law. I was also surprised to see some advocate a modernising agenda which meant moving closer to Labour’s positions just in time for the implosion of Labour’s model of more European integration, more migration, more public spending and debt, and the eventual inevitable financial crisis.

There is nothing wrong with the underlying principles of Conservatism – belief in the individual, the family, the small platoons, the independent charities and companies, the wish to spread ownership and property, to defend the individual’s liberty against the overmighty power of the state, the wish to conserve the best of our institutions and countryside, the wish to see the inherited tradition improved and developed by the present, and the wish for the state to help those who cannot help themselves. Of course these need updating, with policies based on the modern context, on a regular basis. The ideals and values do not need overturning. Most Conservatives do not lack compassion, charity, decency or belief in  liberty. We just do not believe these things can simply be bought by the government spending more of other people’s money. There needs to be money and oxygen left for the many to provide for themselves, to work for family and the common good, to profit the nation as they profit themselves.

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93 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Indeed “no change no chance” was perfectly true in 1995 and is just as true now. Policy (at the very least) needs to change hugely and largely in the directions you have suggested. But like Major, Cameron clearly prefers to jump over the cliff, taking his party with him for another 3? terms or so.

    The party absurdly supported Major in his unapologetic suicide jump over the cliff then and is doing just the same for Cameron now they clearly do not care. Group think suicide it seems.

    I see Obama, in his State of the Union address, is going on about closing down Guantanamo bay again. Can we assume Cameron will soon make a new cast iron guarantee and promise a new £1M IHT threshold with the election looming, in similar pathetic vein?

    I want civil liberties, no EU, much smaller government, lower taxes, fewer regulations, energy at about 1/4 of the current green crap, no HS2, Heathwick, no pointless wars and money left with individuals, who generally use it wisely, not governments who constantly waste it.

    As indeed we see in Somerset. It seems government department “experts” are now telling us widening and deepening the water outlets from the Somerset levels would not have helped. One assumes they have recently changes the laws of physics, liquid flows and logic. As they clearly also pretended to have done with wind farms. No only do they do virtually nothing, they stop others from doing anything too.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/10595534/Somerset-Levels-Theres-nothing-natural-about-this-man-made-flooding.html

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      sorry – energy at about 1/4 the price of the current green ….

      • Hope
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        Well said Lifelogic. Do not forget that the EA is one of the biggest in the world and has one of largest budgets. Therefore the amount of bean counters is beyond imagination to implement EU regulations. Do not forget the Severn is tidal so water travels away from it even faster when the tide is out. But like you say, their findings go against common sense and physics. Smith did B/all last year in Somerset and it is expected Patterson will follow his lead.

        Hollande makes it clear that no renegotiation will take place before a referendum and that it is the in the EU interest to keep Britain in, no kidding, with a gravy like ours I am not surprised.

        DT reports official figures show 3.7 million immigrants living in England and Wales do not use English as their first language. And those who so not speak English are more likely not to have a job, no kidding. It also found Pakistani and Bangledeshi women are more likely to be socially excluded by not being able to speak English, no kidding. How much bureaucracy does it take to make these findings which most of us see on a daily basis? We need that bonfire of quangos, particularly those headed by socialists and former labour politicians.

        • lifelogic
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          “particularly those headed by socialists” – the BBC perhaps? Well in fact nearly all of them are?

          • Feodor
            Posted February 1, 2014 at 2:24 am | Permalink

            When I read socialist blogs, they say conservatives run Britain. When I read conservative blogs, they say socialists do. Fanaticism, it’s confusing!

    • Chris
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Well said, Lifelogic.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Very unusually for him, Christopher Booker makes no reference in his article to EU interference and/or influence with regard to Environment Agency decisions on whether or not certain watercourses should be dredged, and yet I remember years ago somebody telling me that the EU was preventing or limiting dredging and warning that this could lead to more flooding.

      As that was just one thing among the multitude of things which could be blamed on the EU, rightly or wrongly, I didn’t give it a lot of attention at the time.

      However I now find that if I start to put the keywords [“environment agency” dredging] into google then I am offered an alternative search for [environment agency eu habitats directive handbook] and this comes up about the “Thames River Basin District”:

      http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Research/HRA__final__Thames_RBMP.pdf

      Which is replete with references to “European” sites, such as:

      “The assessment demonstrates that controls are in place to identify any risks to European sites when the actions required to implement the measures are developed. The RBMP itself also makes it clear that before any measures in the plan are implemented they must be subject to the requirements of the Habitats Regulations.

      It is concluded that the RBMP is not likely to have any significant negative effects on any European sites, alone or in combination with other plans or projects. Given this conclusion, there is no requirement to progress to the next stage of the Habitats Regulations assessment (an ‘appropriate assessment’ to examine the question of adverse effect on the integrity of European sites).

      This conclusion does not remove the need for later Habitats Regulations assessment of any other plans, projects, or permissions associated with, or arising out of, the measures identified in the Plan. Acceptance that this Plan is consistent, so far as can be ascertained, with the Habitats Regulations does not guarantee that any plan or project derived from the Plan will also be found consistent.”

      But no doubt Kenneth Clarke and others of a similar mind would say that if this EU Directive has in fact led to the problems with flooding then that would all be the fault of the UK authorities, not their wonderful EU.

      • Hope
        Posted January 30, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        £31 million pounds spent on a bird sanctuary and yet the EA states it cannot afford the £3 million to dredge the rivers. The flooding problem existed in 1950 after 12 years of neglect. The same position has arisen since the EA took over from the River Authority in 1997.

        I seem to recollect that the EU does not like dredging as the silt is classed as waste, something you might be able to look up.

        I also seem to recollect he EA asked why some farmers were still present. As one pointed out how do you move 1,000 cattle and 500 tons of winter feed!t his about sums up the value of the EAa no lack of thought by the Tory govnment. No wonder Cameron recently got short shrift. Perhaps Cameron could beach the plain less aircraft carrier as a Noah’s Ark!

        The administrators of the EA has all manor of worthless bean counter tasks, it is overwhelming. When it comes to water capture and distribution the EU raises it head,once again, to stop the building of reservoirs. With all the attenuation ponds from the mass building programme to support mass immigration one would have thought the water could be recycled into drinking water. Money better spent on water capture and distribution than the useless EU HS2 project.

      • Chris
        Posted January 30, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        I understand, Denis, that there are strict regulations with regard to dredging and impact on environment (all EU related/imposed which includes treatment of certain dredged material, the amount per metre of bank that you can dredge/deposit on bank, and many more conditions). I have not had time to research this in any detail, but there are plenty of hits on a search for EU and dredging.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      It looks as though the Conservative will have plenty of time to Modernise after 7th May 2015, perhaps 15 years + perhaps even a life time.

      In the 15 months they have left they should surely concentrate on limiting the damage. Changing nearly all their policies, getting rid of the 50% Libdems MPs that are in the party and limit the vast damage done by Cameron to the Tory brand.

      This by his “BBC think”, right on, big state, green tosh, enforced “equality”, cycling with a Lexus behind, ratting, husky & hoody hugging and pro EU “modernising”.

      • Hope
        Posted January 30, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        It is too late Cameron’s reputation goes before him. He is not sincere, genuine or authentic. Too many U- turns, failed promises and says one thing while acting in stark contrast quietly on the other. Look at his company of advisers and cabinet ministers, this is why the Tories will be in the wilderness for years to come. James Delingpole list of those who wrecked the Tory party is spot on.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic
      I agree with your comments about the Environment Agency who have followed a policy of non intervention in nature for decades as well as a policy of believing global warming would lead to droughts due to rapidly rising temperatures.
      Not disturbing our rivers natural habitat is part of this policy and is why no dredging has been done for more than twenty years.
      I received regular letters from my local Council warning of future droughts, offering me cut price water butts that could collect rainwater from my guttering to mitigate what they called the inevitability of water shortages and hose pipe bans.
      They also advised me to choose drought resistant plants and shrubs to cope with global warming.
      At the same time building on flood plains has been allowed due to these beliefs.
      At present it would be better to replant my back garden with rice.

    • Timaction
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood I agree with just about everything you state. However, your leadership (Cameron/Osborne) are way off the mark and defer to a foreign Government and ever bigger state and control with no elected democracy.

      Therefore your Party and the LibLab legacy parties are dead to most of us out here in the real world.

      Is Mr Cameron going to ask President Barosso if its ok to dredge the rivers in Somerset as he won’t allow us to build reservoirs to accommodate the mass migration they’re imposing on us?

      …………In April 2010, prior to the election, Mr Cameron said “Immigration will be at levels our country can manage. No ifs. No buts. That’s a promise”. He promised net migration would be reduced to the tens of thousands by 2015.
      Where are we with this amongst many promises?

      • Hope
        Posted January 30, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        They are about as close to having an in/ out EU referendum in 2017 as denounced by the Lords, Hollande, Borrosso etc. Cameron is full hot air and PR spinning ideas to catch the eye and NO ACTION.

  2. Arschloch
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Nothing wrong with modernisation, the problem the Conservatives have is who they chose to do it. Cameron decided to remake the party in his own image and unfortunately for them that does not have much appeal outside of Notting Hill and Chipping Norton e.g. the failure to get an outright win in 2010 against the most inept and corrupt government of modern times. Its always surprised me when I have been to CDU meetings in Germany, as to how much a broader appeal they have. Although it still gets most of its money from “big business” you can see it in its members accents and sense of dress. Also with Mrs Merkel coming from the East she certainly does not have an entry in the Almanach de Gotha

    JR get a rid of him, you know him and Osborne are liabilities and replace them with somebody who has at least worked for a living and has not lived off Daddy’s money all their lives.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      “the failure to get an outright win in 2010 against the most inept and corrupt government of modern times”

      The election just thrown away by two huge Cameron mistakes, Clegg on TV and the EU ratting.

      • Hope
        Posted January 30, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        No he was not. Clegg got less of the vote and fewer MPs. The first TV appearance he did okay but when he came to the second and announced he wanted more immigration, cut defence etc the ratings plummeted. Sadly, the facts show he got his way, so Cameron must have secretly agreed with him.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    “It has supported more generous welfare and health provision for the many paid for out of taxation.”
    This needs thinking through in 2014 does it not? In the teeth of furious opposition from a lot of people who really ought to know better, IDS and the Conservatives need a serious approval rating for their efforts here.

    Socialists assume (very wrongly – go on their sites and read the comments) that they are the nice, decent, ordinary people who care. They assume that it ought to be the State and (Socialist) EU that make us into better people. Generally they are anti-God as well – hey – who needs that if you are perfect already! They also assume (very wrongly indeed) that they understand the course of the future development of humanity. And they are paid for by the TUC whose leadership is, of course poor, hardworking and part of the labouring classes (not).

    All very passé.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Cutting the living standards of the poor as punishment for being poor without any alternatives other than desperation to help them and costing the state a fortune in doing so does not need an approval rating.

      • Arschloch
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        I do not know why the leftie intelligentsia is so enraged by “Benefits St” for me it has blown away a lot of crap that appears in the tabloids that the underclass is living it up at the taxpayers expense. From what I have seen the housing is (poor ed) and its not stuffed full of expensive electronic goodies. While if anything you can only say that the lives of the people involved are nothing but (difficult ed) (words left out ed). These people have always existed, they are not a by product of the welfare state, check out (words left out) the works of the Victorian social reformers like Rowntree and Booth. What has made things worse in recent years is that technology has swept away a load of jobs that relied on muscle power alone and from which people could make an honourable living. You can think of any training course or scheme but some people will never find a place in a 21st century labour force. (words left out ed|)Paying them the money is the cheapest way out, even though it condemns them to a life of desperation.

        Reply I disagree. IT is possible for people to find jobs and work that makes sense for them and improves their lives, and that is the main point of the government’s training and welfare programmes. I have heavily amended this, as I do not think it fair to criticise the people who did appear on tv to tell us more about their lives, or to generalise about them in the way you did.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Get then into work so they that they can learn to work. They will not learn off daytime TV.

        • Bazman
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

          Which work will that be then? Undercutting NMW by working from free learning how to stack shelves in high areas of unemployment or do you have something constructive and real in mind?

      • libertarian
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Bazzy

        Whats wrong with the time tested alternative that us older working class poor adopted? ie working harder, gaining experience and earning more?

        Since the industrial revolution work, business and technology innovation has made the rich, richer it has also made the poor richer too

        • Mark W
          Posted January 30, 2014 at 6:52 am | Permalink

          There’s always work if you’re prepared to drop to any level. I’ve cleaned public toilets, hand laddeled gunge from drains and shoveled sick from the ground in my early years. Always looks better to prove your not shy of getting off your backside and expecting someone else to do things for you. Once old enough I got myself in a position for a fall back job not so harsh. I learnt to drive a bus. I still keep that up to date now as from what I can see its a job like land work. Always one going somewhere.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Most of us have a good idea where you stand John.

    Problem is we are totally confused by what some of your fellow party members believe, because their actions do not follow the chat.
    They still support huge government intervention and spending, and still allow an outside organisation (EU) to lay down many of the rules.

    • auntyestab
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      How can it be that a man of John Redwood`s common sense is left out of the Cabinet when Cameron and the rest of them have such a lack of it, would love to hear Cameron`s excuse for not including him.

  5. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Trouble is , the ‘modernisation’ of the Conservative Party has resulted in it losing about a third (or more) of its members, some of whom have been supporting it for many years. Now some may say that doesn’t matter, but many of the ones who left have worked tirelessly for a long time to get the conservatives elected. They often feel that their views are irrelevant to this ‘modern’ party. New ideas are not always the best ones and the damage to the party may take years, if ever, to repair.

  6. Mark Riley
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    John,

    sadly for you the last paragraph is now solely understood and advocated by UKIP – the ‘modernisers’ have control of the levers of power within your party and are too concerned with being liked by the BBC and members of The Groucho Club than doing what is right for the vast majority of the people.

  7. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    “… the government spending more of other people’s money.”

    Ah, but there you are showing that you don’t understand monetary theory …

    • Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Ah, but there you are showing that you don’t understand monetary theory …

      Denis,

      Well I was going to let it go, but as you’ve noticed the mistake, the correct phrasing would be “government expropriating increased resources”

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        The government “expropriating” is characteristic of a totalitarian system, along with fraud and corruption and cronyism, rigging of any elections which may be held for the sake of appearance, removal of personal liberty and rigorous suppression of dissent. Pretty much what most of us don’t want in our country, and our ancestors fought against.

        • Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

          Well its obvious that you are well to the political right – well to the right of the Conservative Party who do have the good grace to acknowledge defeat in any election without accusations of vote rigging.

          There’s always a balance to be struck between collective responsibility and personal freedom in any society and there is always going to be some disagreement on where that should lie.

          But the economy still works the same way regardless of political views. Budget deficits if they are too big cause excessive inflation. If they are too small they cause excessive unemployment. All that means from your POV is that you’d be arguing for very much lower taxes and much lower spending whereas I would argue for slightly lower taxes and slightly more spending.

          Others, to the left of me, would argue for higher taxes and much higher spending!

        • dave/e
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

          your comment is exactly where we are heading and the public can not see it coming

    • Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      I would hope that modernisation in the Conservative Party would mean that they did start to better understand monetary theory. Of the modern variety!

      In some respects the less modern Conservative Party were much better than the modern version. They did manage to run the economy at pretty much full employment in the post war period. They didn’t worry too much about budget deficits. The discussion was all about the trade deficit.

      So modernisation isn’t necessarily good, if things slide backwards.

      It may come as a surprise to any younger readers of this blog but I can personally testify that there was a time when there existed offices called Labour Exchanges in all towns and cities. There was no nonsense about sending you off on courses or checking that you’d applied for a 100+ non existent jobs to qualify for State benefits. And guess what? If you wanted a job they would help find you one.

  8. JoeSoap
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    This was the case pre-1992
    Since then both Major and Cameron have spent more of other people’s money p.a. than Labour. Taxes are higher than most of the interceding Labour years. The individual isn’t any more free from regulations now than in 2010. Saving to provide for thyself gas been decimated by QE under Conservative rule as for Labour.
    You’re skating on pretty thin ice with this one.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      I cannot agree with this. The 1997 Labour Government inherited a growing and stable economy. They continued to borrow (a lot of it off balance sheet through PFI) and spend, culminating in the situation today were, many more people depend on either State jobs or, State handouts. That is not a model of success.

  9. Bert Young
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    First class blog today . The ability to look at yourself and decide what to get rid of and to keep is a tricky one , most people are incapable of this ; those who are keen on history have the most chance because if you can see the ills of the past you are most likely to steer away from the bad . Of course it is one thing to do this for yourself and another thing for an outsider to try to do it for you ; it needs very careful analysis and personal acceptance . For this very reason having the EU impose an analysis and regime without a precise understanding of the inner needs , culture and particular demands of a member country , is a mistake . To progress we must have faith and the belief we can make beneficial change happen ; outside judgement has to considered but kept at a distance .

  10. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I cannot see a conflict between idvidual libety and the state . A state has to be powerful to ensure the safety of it’s citizens to enable it to have as much freedom as is doled out to any civilisation. Capitalism can also hold many in the power of it’s grip and threaten and blackmail those who do not comply to the all out of money making. The two types of ‘institutions’ use the same methods to keep a many as possible down to increase their own wealth, however the principles which you lay out seem clean and I would go along with them.These aims do not play out in real life as for everyones freedom there is another taken prisoner.
    I was Mod in the 60’s/70’s but it was merely a dress code and a type of enjoyment. There wasn’t any underlying political stance. Many of us just regarded the riotous motorbike people , who would laterbecome Hells Angels as aggressive ,yet there was another side to this when the Lambrettas and Vespas took to the road and also caused a disturbance This was simply a culture war and did not represent anything but teenage preferance.

    • Robert K
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Freedom is not doled out by the state. It is the birthright of all of us. Freedom is most typically suppressed by an overweening state.
      (BTW, the possessive “its” does not take an apostrophe :-)

      • Horatio McSherry
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Exactly! This is the biggest and most important difference between British and the continental models. We, supposedly, are born free; and, so long as we don’t contravene any laws, can to do as we like. On the other hand, the continental model supposes that you belong to the state and can only do what the state says is legal. It’s a technicality; but the most important, and one we must aim to keep.

        • margaret brandreth-j
          Posted January 30, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

          As long as we don’t do this or that exposes the actual fact that we are NOT born free.

      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        That is an imaginary concept. Unfortunately we have to live in a civilisation. To opt completely out of civilisation is almost completely impossible as is your idea of freedom.

      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        BTW the apsotrophe..I agree and how many times have I argued with ENGLISH PHD’s.. but they will not agree. IT’S has an apostrophe which replaces the the letter.

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          It’s = it is

          Its (possessive) is the same as his or hers. We don’t have hi’s or her’s do we ?

          Nor do we have PHD’s when saying “I have argued with ENGLISH PHDs…”

          It would be correct if you were saying “I have questioned a ENGLISH PHD’s opinion.”

          • margaret brandreth-j
            Posted January 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            Sorry, I don’t see the argument. I have already said that the apostrophe places the missing letter and I agreed with the challenge. Concentrate on comprehension.

          • margaret brandreth-j
            Posted January 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

            It depends whether you interpret the signified ‘d’ as being a word complete
            in itself or as an abbreviation of doctor(s). If this is so then there is a case for
            an apostrophe. If it is the merely the plural which is referred to then there
            isn’t any case for an apostrophe.This being your argument and not mine
            will give you chance to think .
            My argument was highlighted by my challenger whom I conceded was
            correct in my orginal “I agree.”

          • Narrow shoulders
            Posted January 30, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

            That would be “an English PHD’s opinion” I feel.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      I’m rather depressed by capitalism at the moment. Seem to be some programs on the box at the moment that are showing how people are getting by. Some poor bloke the other day, works as a postman. But he works through an agency on a zero hours contract. Said he got an average of 4 hours a day at £8 an hour.

      He cannot easily take another part time job as he never knows what hours he will get. He really is at the bottom of the pile. A journeyman offering his labour each day. No job security. No guarantee of work every day. No regular income. A life of constant worry about bills.

      Is that the best we can do in this day and age? I am sorry to say that, although I acknowledge the country was in a mess when Mrs. T (God rest her soul) took over, I can’t help feeling we are on a downhill slope at the moment with the poor and unskilled in the working class beginning to be treated like dogs – just as they were in past.

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 30, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Mike

        I take your point, but I suppose If I were in your postmans position I would be looking for something else during the rtest of the day when I was not being paid to work,

        Alternative start a window cleaning round, set up a gardening/car cleaning business, deliver some leaflets for local businesses (at the same time as when you are a postman delivering mail) and thus double your money per hour.

        Where there is a will there is usually a way, certainly not easy, but other than for a few years, many decades ago, when has it ever been.

        We need more flexible signing on and off proceedures so that temporary work does not exclude peole from working due to loss of benefits.

      • Posted January 30, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        Mike,

        You shouldn’t be depressed about capitalism. It is the best system there is. It just needs properly managing.

        You can imagine that all the goods and services which are produced by all the firms in the system go for sale into a giant store. Customers go to the store to buy the products. The products need to leave the store at the same rate they are being produced and arrive at the store.

        So if the system consists of , say, 60% workers, 30% government and 10% capitalists for every£1million pounds worth of sales the workers and government between them only have £900k or 90% of the purchasing power needed to buy them. The capitalists have to spend their 10% too, If they don’t, and some of the workers save some of their money too, then the items in the store don’t clear and there is an oversupply. The store may reduce the prices to make the items clear but if they don’t make a profit they won’t re-order. They may leave them on the shelf for longer. They still won’t re-order. That leads to the store cutting back orders. That leads to unemployment among the suppliers.

        If the wages of the workers are reduced the oversupply worsens unless prices are reduced too. If prices are falling customers will hold back on their purchases until they fall even more.

        If governments spend less, ie try to achieve a surplus, the oversupply worsens.

        If the capitalists take more profit – that’s fine if its spent (re-invested) but if not the oversupply worsens.

        If workers are fearful for their jobs and work longer and increase their production the oversupply worsens.

        It is only Government which can break the log jam. They are issuers of the currency. They don’t have to borrow it from anyone. The £ is only made in Britain. They shouldn’t issue too much to cause inflation but they should issue enough to enable produce to be sold and the system to clear itself.

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I think your historical account is somewhat partial, JR, but let that pass.

    There are still many decent patriotic folk in the Conservative party, even though many have left, but the problem is that they are not the ones controlling the party.

    Unfortunately the party is run by what is effectively a self-perpetuating oligarchy, an inner party, who do not share the patriotism or in some cases even the decency or basic integrity of most members of the outer party, but who manage to play upon their loyalty to constantly string them along and use them.

    It is not inherently unpatriotic for somebody to believe that it would be better if their country ceased to exist as an independent sovereign state and was instead absorbed and subordinated in a larger unit such as a federation, but it becomes unpatriotic when they know perfectly well that their own wish in that regard does not tally with the wishes of the people as a whole but despite that knowledge they nevertheless connive to achieve their aim through deception and betrayal of the people; then what they do is not only unpatriotic but also anti-democratic; some might say that it is treason, and even if it does not meet the technical definition of treason it is still treachery.

    • Jennifer A
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Modernisation ?

      To capture new political ‘markets’ ? Well that’s failed hasn’t it.

      What political parties should be doing is staking out clear political ground based on their own sincerely held beliefs and standing or falling on them. A less modernist approach – I believe – would have led to a freer, fairer, more honest, less troubled, less fragmented, more identifiable and less indebted country.

      This day the ‘modernists’ are drawing us ever closer to the EU event horizon from which we will not escape.

      There is nothing people fear more these days than appearing old, unfashionable and un-modern. This is the federalist’s greatest weapon and it has done for the Tories.

  12. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    JR: ” We just do not believe these things can simply be bought by the government spending more of other people’s money.”
    Really? I thought Osborne was still borrowing £2bn a week to do just that.

  13. Iain Gill
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    we do not believe these things are compatible with the ongoing large amounts of immigration into this country either

  14. Atlas
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Aaah, John, such ideals!

    Then you run up against the “Papal Infallability” of Ministers when they are standing at the dispatch box. Their policies are never in any slight way wrong (“of course” say the braying MPs behind them). It is a pity that the Civil Servants who support them (and feed them the guff they often spout) did not have a little more humility to admit that they could possibly be wrong as well. But there again, these civil servants would not have floated to such heights if they had been decent people, instead of empire builders.

    You quite correctly point out that Ministers (in theory) take the ultimate responsibility for their policies. It just does not seem that way in practice.

    So you can try to reform the Conservative Party – but the real power is elsewhere.

  15. Max Dunbar
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Why do you say that ‘There is nothing wrong with the underlying principles of Conservatism’?
    Would Labour adopt this defensive tone when talking about socialism? I don’t think so.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Problem with this is that conservatism by its nature involves a degree of socialism. otherwise it would not be conservative. Deluded right wing views are in no way conservative as many of you would have us believe and these views of course never apply to your own set of socialist circumstances as seen by the living cost fanfare on par with record production of pig iron whilst million lives in hardship.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        To me the core difference between Socialism and Conservatism is; with Socialism, they always tell you how much things would be better if people had less, rather than more. Be it wealth, opportunity, and of course, freedom and liberty.

        Also, as history keeps telling anyone with a mind to learn from it, that Socialism does not work. With the exception for a few well placed Comrades.

        • Bazman
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          What would Britain be like in your 1900’s fantasy world? Would everyone tolerate extreme poverty and its problem or are you telling us the market would solve the pr0oblem and wages would rise enough to provide housing health and welfare for everyone? Dream on. Getting rid of massive corporate welfare might help though

          • Anonymous
            Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

            Bazman – Part-time lone parents on up to £13 per hour in London get top-ups which take them to well over £40k (gross) worth of pay for a 16 hour week – subsidised through government borrowing. (Just one example)

            We live in a country where people living ‘below the poverty line’ are among the ‘victims’ of an obesity ‘epidemic’.

            Sadly for us your fantasies are our reality.

            Instead of you questioning our sanity I question yours if you think that this state of affairs can carry on.

          • Bazman
            Posted January 30, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            You need to stop pretending those who are poor earn 40k. They might if you take child care into account but how do they do any work without child care? As for the poor being fat and watching SKY just shows how ignorant you are. You propose to make them motivated by more poverty or are you telling us they are not poor? Which is it?

          • Mark B
            Posted January 31, 2014 at 5:51 am | Permalink

            Where in my post did I mention the 1900’s ? It is you, who are living in a fantasy world. A world where Karl Marx was some fairy godmother to all the little Tiny Tim’s.

            Stop putting up Straw-man arguments that deceive no one, and answer the points that I put too you. Like all Socialists when faced with the reality of your beliefs, you call people names, make false allegations and run away.

            Coward !

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          Mark B: Actually I think it is the other way round. The problem with Conservatism is that they always tell you that the more money you have the better you are. The mystery is why so many people believe it.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 30, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

            Yulway
            You forgot the bit about Socialists who want to keep you poor, uneducated and totally dependent on them.

          • Mark B
            Posted January 31, 2014 at 5:53 am | Permalink

            I seem to remember that you tend to travel a a lot and enjoy the experience. I also seem to remember that those living under Communism/Socialism, never ever to got to enjoy those self same rights. Care to explain to me why ?

          • Bazman
            Posted February 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            Many companies you will find are looking for desperate people Edward. If like me in the metal trades you are not desperate enough it goes against you. Not to upset about socialism for the rich, massive corporate welfare and the middle class social security system are you?

  16. A.Sedgwick
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10602490/Imagine-the-explosion-of-growth-if-we-got-serious-about-tax-cutting.html

    If only this had been/could be the CP manifesto, if only Allister Heath was PM or Chancellor. His piece elucidates and enumerates so precisely what is needed. All this furore over 45% tax, he has set out in detail the political nonsense on this issue most people earning over £40,000 pa are being over 45%. Osbrown ruled out flat tax in opposition, ruled out combining the Ponzi tax with income tax and is not remotely radical or farseeing economically or politically. His methods are completely stagnant and the antithesis of modernisation.

    • Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Alistair Heath is possibly right insofar as his analysis goes but he only discusses half of the issue. He has plenty to say on taxation but what about government spending and the possibility of an increased budget deficit in the short term?

      If government spending is reduced to match reduced taxation , aggregate demand in the economy will also be reduced. So it’s quite possible that companies and wealthy individuals will take the view there is no profit to be made in investing any increased financial assets they may have at their disposal from lower taxation and simply store it away. There is already plenty of cash in the UK economy just sitting there doing pretty much nothing and earning very little interest. A shortage of investment funds isn’t the problem.

      If that pile of under utilised cash is increased the economic malaise will only worsen.

  17. Antisthenes
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Moving closer to Labour’s position as Cameron did probably alienated as many as it attracted but at the time appeared to be the only thing to do to shrug off the undeserved nasty party label that the left had managed to attach to the Conservative party. Your article articulates well what Conservatives believe and what they have achieved in the past and that which they wish for now and in the future. The Conservatives believe in equality, fairness, justice for all and the reduction of poverty in the same way as the left do. The difference being the methods employed to achieve those aims. From the evidence it is discernable that the left have far less success in achieving those aims than the Conservatives and in fact often succeed in achieving the opposite. The perception of most people is the opposite because the Conservatives have to tackle not only achieving those aims they have to deal with problems arising from bad practices of others particularly the left and EU which involves taking unpopular actions.

  18. Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    I am not remotely interested in the future of a Conservative Party which has misbehaved as the current Conservative party has done, nor in the glories of that Party in the past.

    Those of us who care about our Country and the way it is being destroyed by lies and deception have wider concerns than the preservation of Political Parties.

    We would hope that those who have been elected to serve the interests of their electors, would show a greater regard for the good of the nation, rather than just the interests of those who share their political views.

    John Wrake.

    • Credible
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Well said

    • JA
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      If our ancestors endured 5 years of world war for democracy then we can endure 5 years of Ed Miliband if it means getting a proper Tory party.

      • Posted January 30, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        And then, I suppose we’ll have to go through another 3 or 4 years of misery to recover from the mess Miliband and Balls will leave behind.

  19. ian wragg
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Come May 2015, you will have plenty of time to modernise. When in opposition you will be able to analyse why you had such a miserable result.
    Immigration still running at 500,000 p.a., Deficit around £100 billion. Total debt above £1.5 trillion Overseas Aid running at 315 billion whilst cutting back on essential flood defence spending and the armed forces.
    There is much more and Cameron will no doubt take his rightful place in Brussels and Gideon will go back to hanging wall paper.

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Should read £15 billion.

      • Bob
        Posted January 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Pakistan gets almost half a billion p.a. to support (queries school building support ed)

        How can this be allowed to continue when we are borrowing money and paying compound interest to support it.

        It’s not modern, it’s insane and it’s time that somebody was held to account for it.

    • bigneil
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      nice to see someone else agrees that Cameron is blindly keeping us in – purely for his own ends.

  20. Neil Craig
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    What believer in freedom could oppose any of that. Certainly nobody in UKIP. But if they are really interested in increasing wealth why are the Tories working to increase fuel prices & poverty. If you want more democracy why do you support a corrupt electoral system and do not keep your “cast iron” referendum promises? If you want more home ownership why do you keep state parasitism that makes up 3/4 of house prices? If you believe in conservatism why insist on redefining the word “marriage” in an Orwellian style?

  21. forthurst
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    “There is nothing wrong with the underlying principles of Conservatism”

    That’s as it may be; however, where is the evidence of such principles being carried forward into policy?

    There is every evidence that the very worst of the New Labour legacy is still the status quo: the deficit, the conglomerated, dysfunctional, (words left out ed) banks, the same rate of influx of migrants as enacted by Labour’s top secret policy to (change the UK ed); but what about the Conservative Party? What is Conservative about the monstrous unaccountable quangocracies whose malperformance impacts all our lives? Why is the Environmental Agency run by a socialist, the World Health Service by an ex-communist? Cameron believes that the Somerset flooding may be due to ‘Climate Change™'; Christopher Brooker in the DM opines it may be due to a decision by Baroness Young of Old Scone (another Socialist, just like Baron Smith of Finsbury, the present incumbent) to allow the Levels to return to a swampy nature reserve from which they were first won, by the simple expedient of ceasing to perform the river dredging, pumping and ditching activities which are necessary to prevent it. There is a major problem with quangocracies, whether the Environmental Agency, the BBC: they are totally unaccountable to either customers or an electorate and consequently they can become subject to the whims of crackpots and wreckers as well as pathological incompetents, entirely without recourse.

    Fine words need to be backed by fine deeds.

  22. Remington Norman
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    What have the present government done to uphold ‘the underlying principles of Conservatism – belief in the individual, the family, the small platoons, the independent charities and companies, the wish to spread ownership and property, to defend the individual’s liberty against the overmighty power of the state, the wish to conserve the best of our institutions and countryside, the wish to see the inherited tradition improved and developed by the present, and the wish for the state to help those who cannot help themselves.?’

    1.Belief in the individual: individualism is rampant and has undermined social cohesion. The individual is important but does not invariably trump community considerations. The decay of virtue has been marked in the demise of integrity, respect, courtesy etc, especially in politicians and other high profile public figures.

    2. The family: in many communities families do not exist as recognisable social entities; generations may cohabit but that’s as far as it goes. Gay marriage and gay adoption are another nail in this particular coffin.

    3. The small platoons: small businesses are crucified by regulation which the Tories have done nothing to stem or reverse.

    4. Independent charities and companies: cf 3 above.

    5. The wish to spread ownership and property: no repeal of IHT or of Labour’s predatory tax raid on pension funds.

    6. To defend the individual’s liberty against the over mighty power of the state: if liberty is being compromised it is the EU not the state that is to blame. The Tories have done (and propably will do) nothing to address this issue. In any event, the individual has become far too dominant in public affairs and needs reining in.

    7. The wish to conserve the best of our institutions and countryside. The Tories have notably relaxed the planning laws and stated an intention to erode the green belt in the quest for new homes.

    8. The wish for the state to help those who cannot help themselves. Seems to me that far too many undeserving people are helping themselves – and liberally – with connivance from the government. There are few restrictions on immigrant benefit and healthcare access, benefit fraud appears rife and welfare dependency as widespread as ever.

    All in all a depressingly poor Tory record and certainly nothing to boast about.

  23. Mike Wilson
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing wrong with the underlying principles of Conservatism – belief in the individual, the family, the small platoons, the independent charities and companies, the wish to spread ownership and property, to defend the individual’s liberty against the overmighty power of the state, the wish to conserve the best of our institutions and countryside, the wish to see the inherited tradition improved and developed by the present, and the wish for the state to help those who cannot help themselves.

    It’s funny – if those are the core principles of the Conservative Party – you have a massive PR problem.

    Many people still think of you as self interested members of a nasty elite. I don’t know how you can ever get past this.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 30, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      It’s funny – if those are the core principles of the Conservative Party – you have a massive PR problem.

      Well policies which force the unemployed to work in charity shops and attempt to remove people’s human rights don’t help.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        All socialist countries allocate jobs to their citizens Uni, so why when the UK does it, are you totally opposed?

  24. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the name should be changed: I recognise little in the now ever so modern party that can be construed as Conservative and a lot that can be construed as anything but.

  25. Mark B
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I have long believed that their are in fact two political parties in the Conservative Party. Evidence for this can be seen in the Parliamentarian of yesterday and today. The Conservative Party is not a true ‘Right-Wing’ party as Bazman alluded to above. They are mostly Liberals. Even two of their greatest post-war leaders have, either came from the Liberal Party (Churchill) or, have had revealed by those closest to them, to be of a Liberal leaning (Thatcher). Even today, those who we think are Conservatives, are in fact former Liberals:- Lord Heseltine. Lord Finkelstein. etc.

    That is not to say that there is not a Right-Wing element in the Party, its just not as strong as some might think. This lends the Party to a more Janus view of it, and its history. For the Conservatives, there is no little red book. No Karl Marx. No underlining doctrine. There was never a Clause 4 moment in Conservative history. They do not really stand for anything that most people in the workforce would recognise. They have mainly come from the upper-echelons of Society, particularly post war: Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Douglas-Home and of course, Cameron. With Heath, Thatcher and Major all having more humble backgrounds.

    But the only two that really stand out of those PM of post-war Britain, are the only ones that this Nations has seen fit honour in death. But is not the only thing that they share. These two were not for compromise. They were conviction politicians who needed no little red book and were not shy on stating the core belief’s and sticking to them. In short, you knew were they stood. And whilst this may have ruffled a few tender feathers, they had the courage, wit and wisdom to fight their corner.

    I remember a story about a certain member of her Government, and a leading Wet, who did not agree with the fact the UK were sending forces to recapture the Falklands. It highlighted to me, even a youngster, the problems we as a Nation faced. We had people, even in the heart of Government, who were, ‘Consensus’ Politicians and ‘One Nation Conservatives’.

    And here I will end. But will leave you with this to read.

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

  26. Mark B
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    And here is something else that might interest a few readers.

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

  27. Dennis
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    JR: We want higher living standards

    He never states where the sustainable resources are coming from to fuel this – obviously he thinks they are inexhaustible with no downsides. Oh perhaps he thinks we can continually use other peoples resources for a time, as we are now doing.

  28. acorn
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t bother modernising the party per-se, just let it react to Daily Mail headlines and similar media hype; test that hype on phone poll groups; adopt it if it is a net vote winner. Forget the old fashioned ideology as such, nobody under forty can spell the word. All parties are neo-liberal deficit hawks now, all are making the same tragic economic mistakes.

    Populism is the future, always react quickly to media hyped victim hysteria. Like the floods in Somerset, promise anything while standing in front of a TV camera; regardless of if it will work or not. You must have Ministers on the spot, who are ace bullsh****rs, like Michael Fallon.

    As we have degenerated into a two party system because of a first past the post voting, ping pong election results will remain the norm. The electorate understands the present set up, one has a blue rosette the other has a red rosette. Please do not confuse them with overt modernisation, and never postpone Eastenders or Coronation Street for a party political broadcast.

  29. Alan Wheatley
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    While being happy with the sentiment of this post, I am struggling with the practical meaning.

    For instance, is not “Conservative radicalism” an oxymoron? Or is it that “Conservative radicalism” (as in the Party) is different to “conservative radicalism” (as in the attitude).

    In any event, why should being radical be good? A little of radicalism now and again can be a good thing, even essential, as with the abolition of slavery. But radicalism as a trait is hardly compatible with preserving the best and keeping continuity. The word “radical” has become part of the lexicon of political spin; indiscriminately added to any idea to make it seems in some way to be better than merely being a “good” idea (or obscure the fact that it is a poor idea); worn as a badge of merit by the advocate.

    A companion phase is to be “taking the hard decisions”. Now some decisions can be hard, but the spin use is to boost the standing of the person taking the decision, and, hopefully, divert attention from the failings or undesirable consequences of the decision. It says nothing about the quality of the decision nor anything about the difficulty.

    As to “modernising”, I do not follow what it is that the Conservative Party has to do to. “Change” is entirely another matter, but to change is not necessarily to modernise. Indeed, it seems that some of the changes being pressed on the Conservative Party by its members are seeking a return to earlier ideals.

  30. Remington Norman
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    What have the present government done to uphold ‘the underlying principles of Conservatism – belief in the individual, the family, the small platoons, the independent charities and companies, the wish to spread ownership and property, to defend the individual’s liberty against the overmighty power of the state, the wish to conserve the best of our institutions and countryside, the wish to see the inherited tradition improved and developed by the present, and the wish for the state to help those who cannot help themselves.?’

    1.Belief in the individual: individualism is rampant and has undermined social cohesion. The individual is important but does not invariably trump community considerations. The decay of virtue has been marked in the demise of integrity, respect, courtesy etc, especially in politicians and other high profile public figures.

    2. The family: in many communities families do not exist as recognisable social entities; generations may cohabit but that’s as far as it goes. Gay marriage and gay adoption are another nail in this particular coffin.

    3. The small platoons: small businesses are crucified by regulation which the Tories have done nothing to stem or reverse.

    4. Independent charities and companies: cf 3 above.

    5. The wish to spread ownership and property: no repeal of IHT or of Labour’s predatory tax raid on pension funds.

    6. To defend the individual’s liberty against the over mighty power of the state: if liberty is being compromised it is the EU not the state that is to blame. The Tories have done (and propably will do) nothing to address this issue. In any event, the individual has become far too dominant in public affairs and needs reining in.

    7. The wish to conserve the best of our institutions and countryside. The Tories have notably relaxed the planning laws and stated an intention to erode the green belt in the quest for new homes.

    8. The wish for the state to help those who cannot help themselves. Seems to me that far too many undeserving people are helping themselves – and liberally – with connivance from the government. There are few restrictions on immigrant benefit and healthcare access, benefit fraud appears rife and welfare dependency as widespread as ever.

    All in all a depressingly poor Tory record and certainly nothing to boast about.

  31. Bazman
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Council houses are back on the agenda in Huntingdonshire. Huntingdonshire could build its first council houses in two decades.
    http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/News/Council-houses-are-back-on-the-agenda-in-Huntingdonshire-20140129063021.htm
    This is a massively growing area and the house prices are just sky high so why pay massive costs in temporary accommodation and to private landlords instead of just building more houses saving in ever increasing rent costs and producing an income stream for the council instead of landlords who often are ripping off the tenants and council with cheap housing?
    More should be built privately? Get real. Plenty of houses for sale here you just need about 100-170k or £700+ a month in rent. More would drive down the cost? Doesn’t seem to as the rents and costs rise every few months despite a number of new estates and planned ones.
    Maybe a bedroom tax for all those in receipt of any benefits such as tax credits pensions and child benefit if they have a spare room is the answer? Tighten everyone up working or not. Can’t be seen a envy or class war. Like that one? You all should by past form.

  32. uanime5
    Posted January 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    It has supported more generous welfare and health provision for the many paid for out of taxation.

    Well that’s not what Jeremy Hunt or Ian Duncan Smith seem to be doing. Osborne’s claims that welfare needs to be cut by £25 billion after the next election also casts doubt on this.

    We want higher living standards and more civil liberties and see no contradiction between the two.

    Well living standards are currently falling due to long term stagnation; there’s been a huge increase in food banks; and the proposed law that would result in anyone suspected, but not convicted, of terrorism losing their UK citizenship seems to indicate that the Conservatives aren’t able to deliver either.

    Reply Another brazen lie.The £25 bn cut is in total spending.

  33. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I was a p/t lone parent and was excited when my months take home pay was£350.00. There weren’t any top ups except the universal child benefit. Life was very hard and we were hungry. Lucky mum was still alive to feed the kids.

  • 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.
    Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU
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