No more coalitions

I was pleased to read this week that Mr Cameron plans to rule out another coalition with the Lib Dems after the next election, if Conservatives have not won a a majority. As a Conservative who did not want a coalition last time, the experience of the last few years has not changed my mind. The Lib Dem refusal to allow any renegotiation of our relationship with the EU, and above all their refusal to allow an In/Out referendum shows why coalition is a bad idea. In order to make the right decisions and choices for the UK we need to remove ourselves from EU government, whilst continuing to allow Germany and others to sell us all their exports in return for access to their markets.

Mr Cameron’s wish to rule out any future coalition underpins his promise of a negotiation and a referendum on the EU as urgent business in the next Parliament. If we want cheaper enegry we need to change the arrangements with the EU. If we want to control our own borders we need to change the relationship with the EU. If we wish to limit welfare payments to recently arrived people in the UK we need to change our relatiosnhip with the EU . There are many more areas where Ministers cannot do as they wish and as the public want owing to EU Treaty commitments, regulations and directives.

The current Commons has an inbuilt pro EU majority from Labour, Lib Dems and nationalist MPs. The one Eurosceptic party, the Conservatives, is prevented from dealing with the EU issue as it wishes by coalition. I am glad that will not be a problem next time. Now all that remains is the issue of whether the public will vote for a Eurosceptic party that can win the General Election or not in sufficient numbers to create a Conservative majority. Our chance of an In/Out referendum rides on that, as all the pro EU parties in the present Commons are united against a referendum.

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96 Comments

  1. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    The people will not vote for Cameron in sufficient numbers because too many loathe him. We should pray for a sweeping UKIP victory in May combined with the annihilation extermination and extirpation of the wretched LibDems. Lots of good stuff could follow. I tire of hearing about Euroscepticism: what I want is outright anti-ism. It is blindingly obvious that Cameron is only doing what he is on the EU because he has to, not because he believes it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Does Cameron believe in anything?

      Real Tories should surely believe in far less government, far lower taxes, no EU beyond free trade, cheap (& greencrap free) energy, freedom, self determination, selective immigration and a sound currency.

      • Hope
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        It was a clear deliberate choice Cameron made, some of his modernisers, like Boles, who have scared Tory voters away, spoke of a permanent merger!

        Those modernisers are in cabinet, Eurosceptics like you remain firmly on the backbench. You are a voice of the past they want to distance themselves from. Clarke always corrects and undermines Cameron if sounds slightly Eurosceptic. Clarke who has no specific role and falls asleep at work. He is in the cabinet!

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 2:54 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic–Of course Cameron has beliefs. How can you say such things? For instance homosexual marriage and in a Church and homosexual adoption (male mothers etc). “Because we are Conservatives”–one of the most fatuous comments I’ve heard of, or by, anyone ever (past or present). With “judgement” like that and his deciding it was a good idea (instead of another one of the worst ever for the Conservatives) to give Clegg equal standing, he has had it with me. Attempts at dismissal of UKIP support is another joke: he would have done precisely nothing on the EU if UKIP had not come along.

  2. Duyfken
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I wish not to be rude but your article this morning is not up to standard. You would have us believe Cameron “plans” to rule out a coalition and that the Conservative Party is Eurosceptic. The vague assertion of “Mr Cameron’s wish to rule out any future coalition …” falls far short of a cast-iron guarantee and you know what happened to that. You seem to have faith in the prospect of an In/Out referendum; that is quite touching but I would rather believe in the fairies. As for announcing your Party is Eurosceptic, I should welcome being given some evidence (which in my estimation would not include the pie-in-the-sky ideas of seeking renegotiation). Perhaps some Party members may be so inclined but none of the leadership, the Cameroons, could be so described. It is a misrepresentation.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Euro sceptic? You will be telling us they are sound on all thr green crap too next. When they nearly all voted for the absurd climate change act.

      • Hope
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        Cameron made it clear today that man- made climate change is the greatest threat to us. Like most of his other claims he has no evidence to back it up! He has made this finding and is, presumably like the other fanatics, looking for evidence to prove it, the reality should be the other way around. After gold plating Miliband’s ideas on energy he is, and was, pretty snookered today. It does say something about Miliband, he will not tolerate people holding different views to him. A bit totalitarian like the EU?

        He should take Lord Tebbit’s advice in his article today about the coalition. Then again that would pre suppose he was telling the truth about not going into coalition into the future.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    “In order to make the right decisions and choices for the UK we need to remove ourselves from EU government, whilst continuing to allow Germany and others to sell us all their exports in return for access to their markets.”
    That is exactly what I want to see. It is exactly what UKIP is demanding and it is urgent.
    What I want to see is an alliance between UKIP and the Conservatives. I suspect that (read the comments) there are a lot of people like me around.
    Yes, yes, I know all about the Labour voters and Unite members who are flocking to UKIP. I also know that Mr Farage never went to Eton and that Mr Cameron has never been in business.
    But as a voter, I expect rather more leadership. Because we’re worth it.

  4. Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    A couple of questions:

    How likely is it that there will be a clear pledge for a referendum in the 2015 manifesto?

    Instead of ruling out a coalition, why not agree but only on the understanding that the Conservatives have their referendum? It wouldn’t be negotiable. Last time the Lib Dems had theirs so why not?

    REPLY YES THERE WILL BE A PLEDGE FOR AN IN/OUT REFERENDUM (UNLIKE 2010 MANIFESTO WHERE THERE WAS NOT)
    I do not want an other coalition because Ministers have to make endless compromises over the EU in many fields.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      “endless compromises over the EU” that Cameron was clearly very keen to make but to blame on others.

      • Hope
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        There was no compromise about the EU arrest warrant, he did not have to do it. He had the opportunity to make changes tot he Lisbon Treaty and chose to do nothing, after warning us of the dangers when in opposition, he did not have to sign up to greater integration with the French to creat an EU army, he did not have to go along spending £90 million on Strasbourg, but did so not to upset the French, he did not have to give bail outs to EU countries after promising us he would not directly or indirectly. The list is endless and no matter how much you write in bold it will not alter the facts which we, the public, base our opinions about Cameron. He has failed one very respect and insulted core Tory voters- closet racists, fruitcakes, turnip Taliban etc. In addition introducing legislation which he knows will be against the core Tory vote ie gay marriage, planning policy or £18 million pounds spent on propaganda promoting closer union with the EU (only two weeks ago) when he did not have to. JR, your bold writing is an insult to your readers.

  5. Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    No more coalitions… except for the likely Lib-Lab one that will replace you lot next year. Their government will probably be just as awful as yours if not worse, but boy, is yours awful, so many golden opportunities down the toilet.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    “The one Eurosceptic party, the Conservatives” has alas only about 80-100 MPs who are actually EU sceptic as we see in all the voting. Even fewer are sound on the climate change lunacy or the size of the state sector. Furthermore it is led by someone who is perfectly happy to rat on voters at the drop of a hat, as it suites him and will clearly never push for an out vote on the EU.

    Cameron’s word is simply worthless. Any promise he makes, on say coalitions, would be worth as much as his promise on Inheritance tax thresholds, cutting the deficit or his blatant cast iron lie. They would just call it cooperation/coordination or something rather than “a coalition” if it suited them and do it anyway – rather like the EU constitution/Lisbon Treaty lie. Oh sorry it is no longer a treaty now, according to Cameron, it is part of EU law!

    Anyway Cameron will clearly come a poor third in May 14 and the voting system is against him in May 15. He has zero credibility and we know where his heart and soul lies. He has no chance of wining or even a coalition post May 15. This despite the uselessness of Labour & Ed Miliband.

    Vote Tory as they are not quite as bad as Labour is not a way to get votes. We need red blooded Tories with a believable position on the EU, for lower tax rates in principle (not 299+ underhand tax rises), much smaller government, sound currency, public services that actually work, cheap energy and no green crap subsidies and religion.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      It would have been far better had Labour actually won the last election, as Cameron very nearly achieved with his pro EU, fake green, big government, 2010 throw the election strategy. Then we might now have the prospect of a real Tory from in 2015.

      Where on earth do the Radio Four today progamme (and indeed radio 4 debate progammes) get their totally unrepresentative “BBC think” panels from (in Slough today)? They are nothing like the people I meet when I am in the UK.

      • Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        I have wondered the same thing myself. Even the chairman of ‘Any Questions?’ has had to admit on more than one occasion that the audience ‘hands up’ opinion was at odds with public opinion.

        I have also wondered why so many in the audience were armed with statistics. Much is revealed in the way that the tickets go out:

        From the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qgvj/features/hosting):

        Quote from the website:

        One of the chief responsibilities for you, the organiser, is the distribution of the tickets.

        Admission to the programme is free. We will send the tickets to you directly from the printers approximately 10 weeks ahead of the programme.

        Members of your organisation will want to have first call on the tickets, but at least one third of the tickets must be made available to the general public on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

        Please offer a number of tickets to the local political parties. We suggest you contact the local Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat party offices* to let them know you are hosting the programme and that you will hold 10 tickets for each of them.

        Any tickets that haven’t been taken up 2 weeks before broadcast can be released to the general public.

        From this you will see that the aim is to stuff the audience with political activists. Not only that but it would appear to be quite easy for a party to ‘hijack’ the audience.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

          Indeed the Any Answers programme is also heavily skewed with filtered contributors, often they spend near all the programme on one “BBC think” issue last week it was food banks. Then they ignore completely the other issues that might be more dangerous for BBC think people.

          When anyone sensible does get through the wall the chairman usually takes them on or just cuts them off very quickly. Certainly no one get to criticise the biased BBC for very long.

          On food banks, well if you give out free anything you will certainly have plenty of takers. Try free petrol stations or free housing for example.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 27, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          How many who works at the BBC do not hold BBC views? Why are they nearly all Guardian reading innumerate art graduates? Who are in favour of renewables, fake equality, ever more EU, ever more government and hate the rich, landlords, real Tories and bankers.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

            LL,
            The BBC has been captured.
            Its internal culture is fixed.
            People like me or you would probably never get to the interview stage, even if we were highly qualified and fitted their job description.
            Promotion, like in most organisations, is achieved by enthusiastically following the requirements of the existing culture.

  7. mick
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    couldn’t agree more John,it must be like working with a pebble in your shoe

  8. Old Albion
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    JR, you continue to peddle the myth that Consevative party is Eurosceptic !!
    Just because a few Conservative MP’s including yourself, hold Eurosceptic opinions, it doesn’t make the whole party Eurosceptic. If it truly were, Cameron would have given us a vote on the EU………………….and he hasn’t.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      If the party were EU sceptic it would not have ratter Cameron as leader.

  9. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    What do you think will happen if Labour doesn’t win a majority but are ahead of the Tories?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Margaret–Their paymaster-in-chief has just stated that (after a short and failed attempt at minority rule) there should be another election; but that apart and despite what has been said there would of course be a Lab Lib coalition.

      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        Exactly another term of Nick Clegg and his determination to put little England in the middle of a flux of conflict which particularly after seeing BBC’s debate on ‘The Pity of War’ makes a point of stating how the great war in Europe, which consequently escalated, could have been avoided with initial forethought and strategy. The strategic point must be not to get involved.

  10. Alan Wheatley
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I, too, would be pleased to see no more coalitions.

    In the next parliament a minority Conservative government may well find support from the third party more to their liking.

    Voters will do well to be minded that achieving a referendum is a long way different from winning a referendum, and that “eurosceptic” Conservative Party policy is to remain in the EU, and as long as that is the policy I would expect the Conservative Party to campaign to remain in the EU.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Alan–I displayed my scepticism about the very word euroscepticism earlier today. Look at it this way: everybody, apart maybe from Clegg and maybe even he, has reservations about the EU, so is eurosceptic

  11. Bob
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink


    The current Commons has an inbuilt pro EU majority from Labour, Lib Dems and nationalist MPs.

    You forgot to mention two thirds of the Tory Party Mr Redwood.
    You cannot seriously refer to your party as EU-sceptic with it’s history on the issue.
    Your leader has declared himself to be a “heart and soul” EU man and he relegates sceptic MPs to the back benches.

    UKIP is the only reason that the subject of the EU is on the agenda.

  12. alan jutson
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I certainly agree we would not want a coalition next time, but that surely will be dictated by how people vote.

    Last time you could have perhaps tried to govern with a tiny minority government, but if the figures (number of seats won) are even lower then it is surely a bigger problem, and it begs the question, would DC have the courage to try, because he did not last time.

    Yes by all means aim to campaign for a single Party win, but I am afraid DC has not exactly covered himself in glory during the last 4 years on so very many issues, and you simply cannot forever blame the Lib Dems for that.

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    JR: “The one Eurosceptic party, the Conservatives”
    There you go again making a deliberately misleading statement. Your parliamentary party is pro EU. I have suggested before that you stop making this unfounded assertion. Clearly, you intend to argue that black is white. Good luck with that but if you are prepared to be mendacious about this then don’t expect us to take any of your other comments at face value.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      It seems that JR is a glutton for punishment … I really don’t know how he can keeping maintaining that his party is “eurosceptic” when he has had several fairly lonely passages through the “Aye” lobby voting in favour of the sovereignty of our Parliament, while almost all of his colleagues have either been crowding through the “No” lobby or have made themselves scarce …

    • APL
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Brian Tomkinson: “There you go again making a deliberately misleading statement.”

      What can one say?

      It is incorrect, it is made with knowledge that it is incorrect – ………

      If the Tory party was in anyway Eurosceptic, Ken Clarke would be squealing like a stuck pig. Since he is ‘silent as the grave’ at the moment, snooping around any department of state he chooses to interfere in.

      One can only conclude, John Redwood sadly deluded, poor fellow.

      We could still benefit from knowing the justification of keeping Ken as minister without portfolio at the tax payers expense?

      Other than to report back to his masters in Brussels.

  14. oldtimer
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    It certainly helps to bring greater clarity to the EU issue. Whether voters care about that is another matter; the evidence suggests not. The Conservatives will have to work harder to make the connection between issues voters complain about and EU responsibility for them, to the extent they can be pinned on UK membership of the EU. Just point out what wll be different.

    Paul Goodman, yesterday, pointed out that the Coalition has achieved some of the limited aims it set out to achieve; the glass half full analogy. That being so, we are stuck with the five year full term, another “achievement” of the Coalition. Apart from keeping Ministers in the style (salaries, pension entitlements, cars etc etc) to which they have become accustomed, what benefit is there to be gained from bumbling along will little to do apart from the “partners” taking pot shots at each other? Do you approve of five year fixed terms or do you believe there should be a return to the former conventions?

    Reply I do not favour 5 year terms

  15. me3
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Humans’ capacity for self delusion never ceases to amaze.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Indeed they believe in fairies, ghosts, UFOs and soothsayers, the catastrophic AGW religion, IHT promises from Osborne and even that Cameron can (or is even remotely trying to) renegotiate anything real on the EU before 2017.

      They even buy millions of lottery tickets every week.

  16. Iain Gill
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Seems to me most of your supporters are closer to UKIP than the Conservatives, this version is therefore wishful thinking.

  17. JoolsB
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    John,

    Keep saying it but the only way for the Tories to win a majority and decrease the chances of further coalitions is to address the elephant in the room, ie. the English Question. The Scots will never vote Tory no matter how much Cameron bribes them at England’s expense and as most of what any UK Government does nowadays only applies to England anyway, surely even the Conservative ‘Unionist’ party must realise that the only fair and democratic way forward is an English Parliament within a federal union. Not only will the Tories have a good chance of winning a majority in England but more importantly it will give England the government of it’s choosing and not the one chosen for us by the Scots, Welsh & NI before they then go on to vote for their own separate semi-autonomous governments for themselves.

    No doubt Cameron will be falling over himself to offer Scotland even more goodies at England’s expense once they’ve voted no, which they will, whilst still continuing to deny the English any recognition or representation. The Tories have obviously got a death wish to carry on defending a ‘union’ which discriminates so badly against the biggest part of it, ironically the part that tends to vote Tory.

    • Mark b
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      JoolsB

      I agree. I have posted a link many times before on this ‘Diary’. You’d think our kind host would even attempt to acknowledge where he and his Conservative bread is buttered. It seems the Conservatives do not want power. They give sign Treaties giving a foreign power control over us. They try to appease the Socialists and small minority groups at the expense of their core voters. These people are not worthy of office. That’s why they never got into power after 2010. With a history like theirs no one trusts them.

      And now, they cannot even bring themselves to name the country that gives them the most votes – England. Amazing really.

      The Conservative Party is a relic of a past age. Its high, and low watermark was the 1992 – 97 Government. From here on end, its downhill. I have heard so many stories form so many people from that party, that I can only conclude that in 10-20 years time, the Greens will have more MP’s than them.

      • APL
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Mark b: “They try to appease the Socialists and ..”

        Yes. Isn’t it amazing? The Tory party think its supporters are so stupid, that they are unable to tell the difference between Conservative principles, and Socialism. To the extent that the Tory ‘High Command’ appear to think Tory party supporters really want to move the party to the centre ground ( as the Tory party moves toward the ‘centre ground’ the centre ground moves leftward ), ignoring the fact that their supporters are deserting the party in droves, and membership of *ALL* political parties is plummeting like a stone.

        If the population wanted Socialism, you’d think the membership of the Labour party would be skyrocketing!!

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      The Unionists regularly betray the English. It is cynically and casually done. They imagine they have a kind of divine right to rule over us. We know what happened previous believers in that. It is time we demanded radical change and acted. The English Democrats is the only political party calling for a true English parliament and an independent England. Here’s a paragraph from a contributor on the Chairman, Robin Tilbrook’s blog.

      ‘As a result of this the English, who have voted Conservative more often than Labour in all post-war elections have to accept a block vote of Labour Members of Parliament sent to Westminster by the Scots. The process that brought this about was one which the Scots themselves were given the final say in a referendum from which the English were excluded. In other words the process of devolution has an air of gerrymandering. The effect of which has been to secure a Labour bias in the Westminster Parliament while allowing the Scots to govern themselves in whatever way they choose. And the process continues. In response to Alex Salmond’s bid for independence the people of Scotland have been granted another referendum, but again the people of England have been deprived of a say. Why is this? Are we part of the Union or not? Or are the politicians afraid that we would vote the wrong way? And what is the wrong way? What way should we English vote, given that the present arrangement gives two votes to the Scots for every vote given to the English. Should we not vote for our independence given that we risk being governed from a country that already regulates its own affairs and has no clear commitment to ours?

      Prof. Roger Scruton

  18. Bert Young
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I am mindful of the promise David Cameron made before the last election to hold a referendum on Europe ; why should I trust his statement this time ?. He believes we should remain in the EU ; I believe we should not !. He has not given any indication of a deal with UKIP ; I believe the only future for the Conservative Party is with UKIP . Recent polls show that UKIP supporters do not want to support Cameron ; I want to see a Conservative Party led by a different individual who can bring UKIP on board . I returned to this country in 1961 after 10 years in Bermuda believing that it was the right place to be and that our values of independence and enterprise were indelibly linked ; under Cameron’s leadership that belief has been dashed and I no longer have the pride in my country that I once had . I am ashamed to make my sentiment known this way ; the solution can only be in the ballot box .

    • Deborah
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Snap.
      After living abroad since 1993, I returned to the UK in 2000 with pride, believing it was the place with the right values to bring up my children. I did not realise what destruction was taking place under Blair and Brown. Neither did I understand how fundamentally the Conservative Party had been weakened in the “nasty party” years, allowing cuckoos to take control of the nest.
      Sadly, I am now encouraging my adult children to leave.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

      Cameron has blown the huge opportunity he was given in the sitting duck last election when he threw it all away. With his pro EU, big government, in three letters N.H.S., green tosh and the coalition.

  19. Mark B
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    John Redwood MP said;
    “There are many more areas where Ministers cannot do as they wish and as the public want owing to EU Treaty commitments, regulations and directives.”

    Which was what Jean Monnet and others planned all along. This is no accident. The EU did not suddenly morph from a trading agreement to Supra National Government.

    Treaty of Rome, signed by the Conservative Government of Edward Heath, committed the UK to, “Ever closer UNION.”

    “Mr Cameron’s wish to rule out any future coalition . . .”

    Yes, and it is my ‘wish’ that I become Emperor of the Universe and the Nth’ Dimension. Totally unrealistic and fatuous of course, but no different from Cameron’s ‘wish’.

  20. Bill
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    If the polls are to be believed, only a Conservative deal with UKIP will bring a Eurosceptic government to power.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      If the polls are to be believed, a Conservative deal with UKIP would not prevent Labour winning an election if it was held now. There is still time, fifteen months, for the Tories to reverse Labour’s current lead, but so far there has been no sign that opinion is shifting in that direction. But in any case it is hard to see what kind of electoral deal there could be between a party which under its constitution is totally committed to getting us out of the EU and another party whose leaders are totally committed to keeping us in the EU.

      • Bill
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        According to a recent report on the Daily Telegraph the conservatives lag well behind Labour in the support they receive from the ethnic vote. And this is odd given that a good section of the ethnic vote is made up of people in the small business sector.

        Maybe the Conservatives need to put on their best suits and ties and go a-wooing?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Even then he will struggle hugely.

      The main problem is that Cameron, for all his actor talents, simply has given away all his credibility and cannot be trusted one thou. His compass is defective on nearly all the main issues if he changes no he will look daft as he did over Catastrophic AGW today. He cannot be replaced either, as there is simply no one suitable who could control the daft Libdem/BBC think half of his party. Many of whom he has even foolishly appointed to government and jobs.

      It is too late anyway.

  21. Timaction
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    A Eurosceptic Party? Please Mr Redwood the Tories signed the Treaties as well as Labour and your leader is an avid fan with a stated desire to remain in the EU regardless of any pretend renegotiation.
    The Tory plan is always kick the can down the road. The process for Treaty change by 2017 CANNOT work within the existing processes of the EU. Our President Barrosso has told us publically that there has been no discussions on renegotiation and free movement of people is sacrosanct. Therefore there is only a one Party solution and it isn’t from the same old legacy parties who secretly signed us up to this nonsense in the first place.

  22. stred
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    One advantage of freeing ourselves from EU dictats that has emerged lately would be the ability to spread silt from dredging rivers on nearby fields in the way that was done before. According to the Environment Agency, dredging costs have to be taken into account and presumably the land tax and waste treatment make it uneconomical, leading to valuable and scarce land being abandoned to the sea. However, to my surprise I read that dredging from rivers is EXEMPT from this tax ( see 360 environmental.co.uk). Now, if this is true, what on earth are the EA playing at? Where dredging and sliuces have been installed, before the the bird enthusiast took charge, the flood defences have worked. In Lewes, which was flooded to first floor level in 2000, the river came up to the top this year but did not flood.

    I have been unclear as to who receives the landfill tax and am unable to find out. It is administered by HMRC and has been raised to a level which means that the Treasury receives about £5 for every wheelybin that goes to landfill. HMRC have also been tightening their grip on the exemptions for engineering projects, having lost a court case. In Essex, landfill has been used to create raised areas and small hills, with lakes in old gravel pits. These Country parks have been a great success, but if the higher rate of landfill tax applied perhaps they will not be viable in the future. Cities such as York are built on ancient landfill and, if sea levels are rising, one would have thought that it would be a good idea to fill as much low lying land as possible.

    Now the question is, does the money go into EU coffers or the Treasury, and if it goes to the EU, why is HMRC trying so hard to make landfill so expensive?

  23. cosmic
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    “The one Eurosceptic party, the Conservatives,”

    People don’t believe they are anything of the sort and you are going to have to do a lot of convincing to make it otherwise.

    Mr. Cameron has blotted his copy book in many other ways, which doesn’t really help your cause..

  24. yulwaymartyn
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    JR – for an otherwise sensible politician you sound totally obsessed with the EU. Your post all too easily sounds like if you blame someone else it will be a panacea here in the UK. This is not how many ordinary people see life in the UK. Glib politics results in glib solutions.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      for once yulwaymartyn, I agree with you.

  25. Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    Despite your continuing claim to the contrary, the Conservative Party is NOT a Eurosceptic Party, as the record of voting in recent divisions shows.

    While you continue to make statements contrary to the evidence on this matter, you will continue to devalue your other opinions.

    John Wrake.

    • APL
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      John Wrake: ” the Conservative Party is NOT a Eurosceptic Party,”

      It’s not even a conservative party!

  26. Normandee
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    “Mr Cameron’s wish to rule out any future coalition underpins his promise of a negotiation and a referendum on the EU as urgent business in the next Parliament.”
    How exactly? that’s blatant supposition and wishful thinking, Hague has already shot this dog of a statement, no renegotiations have even started and depend on winning the election (still looking unlikely), and the conservative party would campaign to stay in. At the risk of repeating myself again, you cannot have your feet in 2 camps, your desperation to stay in the party (which has already left you high and dry) and recognising the need to get out of Europe. These positions cannot and will not meet at any point, you might as well go the Carswell route and chicken out of resistance and just throw your lot in with the new “Workers Party”, now even further to the left of the Social Democrats most of us thought was bad enough.

  27. ian wragg
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Total denial John. CMD knows he’s done more than enough to cheese off any Tories at the 2014/5 election. Talk about managing expectations, you will be lucky to get 200 seats.
    I really look forward to reading this blog the day after the next G.E. to see what excuses are on offer.
    Vote Tory get Labour is a suitable mantra.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Maybe not quite that bad; on the present poll ratings the Tories are still projected to get about 238 seats, but Labour would get a majority of about 66:

      http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/homepage.html

      As support for the LibDems has collapsed and is very unlikely to recover there will in any case be far fewer LibDem MPs, and therefore much less chance that the Tories could assemble an overall majority by forming another coalition with them; in fact that site puts the probability of another Tory-LibDem coalition at 4%, lower than the probability of a majority Tory government at 6%.

      Perhaps one reason why Cameron has been willing to take the risk of ruling out another coalition is that it looks so unlikely to happen anyway.

      Reply Yes, those polls do say a Labour victory, no UKIP MPs again and a split Eurosceptic movement. It does not have to be like that.

      • Hope
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Do not waste your vote on Tories, national interest means vote UKIP. There is no other choice.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        “It does not have to be like that”

        Well it did not have to be but we got ratter, fake green, big government, pro EU Cameron and the Coalition. UKIP will, I think, do far better than 13% it will be far worse than those predictions for the Tories.

        A large Labour majority is virtually inevitable now without a UKIP deal, and even then it is still very likely. It will not be much worse than Cameron what is the difference?

      • cosmic
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        It seems to me that if you vote UKIP, you are accused of not supporting the supposedly eurosceptic Conservative Party and letting a manifestly europhile government in.

        If you vote Conservative, it’s business as usual as regards the EU and Ken Clark pops up on telly explaining that this is the Conservative party’s moderate euroscepticism for which people voted, and if they hadn’t wanted that they would have voted UKIP.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        JR: ” It does not have to be like that.”
        By this you mean that despite its failure to eliminate the deficit, its adherence to the green agenda which is forcing up all our energy costs, its rejection of grammar schools and a plethora of other issues where we disagree with your party, we should vote Conservative and by so doing vote also for a pro-EU party. Thanks but no thanks!

      • ian wragg
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Whether UKIP get any politicians or not is irrelevant. UKIP will destroy the non Eurosceptic Tory party and cause a split so that a real centre right party can emerge. There is nowhere to hide any more. We all know that the LibLabCON is just that, an interbred CON played out to Agenda 21 and the Bilderbergers.

      • acorn
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        If you were a dedicated eurosceptic, more than you are a conservative, you would start your own party or join UKIP.

        Then, if you stood in Wokingham, as the unmistakeable definitive, eurosceptic candidate, would you take the seat? How eurosceptic is Wokingham? Would you take your euroscepticism, outside the warm and cosy tent of the party that will continue to guarantee your pay and pension in solid blue Wokingham.

        • forthurst
          Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          acorn – “If you were a dedicated eurosceptic, more than you are a conservative, you would start your own party or join UKIP.”

          I’m sure the Europhile Cameron would be only too happy to a parachute a Europhile token into Wokingham, should JR be so foolish as to unilaterally vacate his seat; Wokingham is not fertile territory for UKIP at all.

  28. Narrow shoulders
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Coalition government has allowed some of the more social democrat and europhile among your leadership to hide behind a strawman. I would rather see a minority government lose votes in parliament than to suffer again the half measures and middle class persecution we have seen in this parliament.

    Let all parties vote the way they wish on legislation and then ask the electorate to hold them to account.

    Of course a ‘none of the above’ option on the ballot would help too.

  29. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    ” …all the pro EU parties in the present Commons are united against a referendum”.

    As far as I can see Mr Cameron and a majority of the Conservative MPs are pro-EU too.

  30. Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    But there must be an arrangement with UKIP in order for the Conservatives to have a majority.

    Sorry to go off topic but why does our local secondary school force girls to play rugby?

    Why did the BBC say that there would be just as many females as males on comedy panel shows?

    I just want to know why.

    • arschloch
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Why not ask the headmaster? Perhaps some of the girlies like to play it, like in a similar way I preferred to do domestic science rather than football and that was in days before macho types like Ramsay were TV chefs. Instead the likes of Hudson & Hall were more prevalent. As for TV perhaps they could get Theresa May on more she always makes me laugh at her attempts to be taken seriously

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 27, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        Theresa May is indeed very funny as are the idiotic political/equality discussions on Woman’s hour.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Because gender equality is a Cameron and BBC think religion – even in pensions and life insurance. They will not be happy until woman die earlier like men and play chess and weight lifting just as well. Genetic engineering will clearly be needed.

      We need more Jo Brands “comedians” like we need a hole in the head.

      At my Grammar School the boys were also pushed into playing rugby too. We all wanted to play the far superior and indeed more remunerative and entertaining football. I assume they foolishly thought rugby was more up market and better for the uncoordinated.

  31. Peter Stroud
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Well said, John Redwood. I see the idea is getting a rough ride in the Telegraph: but I doubt if that paper holds much sway with the voters.

  32. Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I can’t see the Conservatives getting a majority without coming to some accommodation with UKIP. If they don’t, Labour will surely win the next election; but then as far as I am concerned there is very little to choose between the main parties, both being vehemently pro-EU. As Labour seems to also be adopting the “no coalition” approach, one wonders if this is a deliberate attempt by both parties to “freeze out” the LibDems, so forcing their voters to make a real choice. They will know that even if they elect some LibDems, the only thing that they will be able to do is to block legislation if neither of the main parties has an overall majority, which will really show the public that they are just an “anti-party”.

  33. zorro
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    John, I have always thought that you are sincere in your views, particularly with regards to the UK’s relationship with the EU. You have been consistent……But one thing I am sure of is that the Tory party after all it has(hasn’t) done does not deserve you. You are a very patient man and I despair at the way the Tory Party has not used your skills more effectively…. I think that I know why too.

    zorro

  34. behindthefrogs
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    In order to stop the conservatives or labour making outlandish decisions it is vital that the next government is a coalition. I find it offensive that every time the libdems exercised their right to influence the coalition towards their views they are publicly criticised for holding back progress. This blog contains a number of examples of you being unwilling to accept that you are working in a coalition and need to accept the results of this.

  35. Lifelogic
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Cameron just now on PM is it seems, like Miliband still deluded on climate change.

    His answer should have been:

    Of course mankind has an effect on the climate, along with countless other things many of which cannot even be known. These may well actually be beneficial or offset other cooling factors. We certainly cannot predict that catastrophic climate change is likely especially after 17 years of no temperature increase. We cannot even predict the weather in 2 weeks time. The met office predicted a dryer winter as we saw.

    The best way forward is clearly to stop pissing money down the drain on subsidies for wind, pv, electric cars, the green deal, wave and tidal and spend it on sensible things like dredging, energy efficiency, insulation (where cost effective often it is not), fracking, nuclear and sea defences where sensible.

    Trying to save the Somerset Levels by reducing CO2 output & just from the UK is quite clearly bonkers. I have thus decided to fire Ed Davey who is clearly not in the real world on this matter.

    • forthurst
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      A Fourier analysis of historic temperature variation verifies that climate is mainly driven by two cycles, a 208 year Solar cycle, and a 65 year Atlantic/Pacific oscillation:

      etc ed
      In other words, accasionally rotating windmills will have absolutely no effect on climate, but a strongly negative effect on electricity bills and the landscape. By the way, its going to become colder.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Lucky the UK has all the fracking gas then, that should keep them warm if the government and EU actually allow them to use it.

  36. Vanessa
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    You may be eu-sceptic, John but your leader and the government certainly is NOT.

    We do not want another “cast-iron” guarantee nor do we want another triple lock for a referendum which will not happen.

    There will be a new treaty in 2017 on finance as the EU cranks up its “ever closer union”, Cameron will have the rolling presidency and a new president taking over from Barroso will be settling in – not an ideal time to tell them we are leaving.

  37. Rod Pudney
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative party’s leader says he wants Britain to remain in the EU but we are expected to believe the party is Eurosceptic. If you believe it is you’d probably also believe that Ed Milliband could announce he wants to privatise the NHS and still remain Labour leader.

  38. Remington Norman
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    ‘Mr Cameron’s wish to rule out any future coalition underpins his promise of a negotiation and a referendum on the EU as urgent business in the next Parliament. ‘

    John, I do not understand why you and Mr Cameron continue to repeat this ‘promise’. The EU have made it clear beyond peradventure that re-negotiation is not an option and that even if we invoked Article 50 signalling an intention to leave the EU that any subsequent renegotiation and the lengthy ratification process would take well beyond the 2017 target date.

    This really is a non starter and it is dishonest to suggest otherwise.

    Reply Mrs Merkel has come this week to discuss renegotiation- but anyway if it does nor produce anything we want then we vote for Out.

    • Vanessa
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      If we did vote for Out as you say, John, Cameron would NOT abide by it. There is an interview on the internet where he was asked if he would hold to a “get out” vote and he said “NO” ! So much for a Eurosceptic government !!!!!!!!

      Reply Of course Out means Out and he would accept it.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        Your assertion would perhaps be credible if you hadn’t endlessly told us that your party and Cameron were Eurosceptic, when we know by their actions that they are not.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Merkel has little or no say in this. This is up to the Commission and they are bound by the Treaties. And the Treaties demand EVER CLOSER UNION !!!!

  39. DaveK
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    John

    You raise exceedingly good points and I sometimes wonder why some blogger doesn’t have a webpage or sticky post to detail all of these items with factual weblinks.
    I watched an interesting clip this morning of an interview with Dr Richard North in Iceland, he like yourself, talks calmly and what seems to be straight forward common sense. In the discussion he suggests that in fact the eurozone are going to be organising a treaty way before we think of having a referendum ourselves, and this will be the opportunity for us to act in our own best interests, whether this is a complete withdrawal or a move to EFTA/EEA. An important point he makes about the EFTA/EEA status is that this is not in fact losing our place at the “top table”, but actually gaining a place.

    Dr North states that a lot of legislation is now decided at a global level such as the FAO/WTO, Codex Alimentarius for food standards is one example. I gather from what he says that at present our presence at these organisations is via an EU representative whereas countries like Norway and Iceland have their own, so as he put it we have 1/28th of a seat which may not even bother voicing our position.

    Point 1. Losing seat at Top Table – No moving from 1/28th of a seat to our own seat.
    Point 2. 3 million unemployed – etc….

    http://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/regulation/Codexbranch/

    • peter davies
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      More than anything else DaveK I suspect it is in the WTO/UN interest that they deal with entities like the EU rather than individual states, its far easier to negotiate food safety standards with a single representative than 28 – that’s what this EU nonsense is all about, a stepping stone to creating global layered governance.

      If the EU stuck to being a trade only organization this wouldn’t really be a problem but like any politicians, give them power and they want more and more.

      I suspect the UK coming out of the EU would no doubt upset the UN applecart making it harder for other “trading” blocks to merge together as states.

  40. forthurst
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Kenneth, you seriously need to brush up on your Gender Theory, it’s the coming thing after the successful introduction of gay marriage and multiculturalism, thus enriching our country immensely and making it far more vibrant, as you will doubtless agree; etc ed

    • forthurst
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Just ignore my post, Kenneth, because all that has been published was simply the buildup to what appears to have disappeared down the memory hole.

  41. Remington Norman
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    ‘Mr Cameron’s wish to rule out any future coalition underpins his promise of a negotiation and a referendum on the EU as urgent business in the next Parliament. ‘

    John, I do not understand why you and Mr Cameron continue to repeat this ‘promise’. The EU have made it clear beyond peradventure that re-negotiation is not an option and that even if we invoked Article 50 signalling an intention to leave the EU that any subsequent renegotiation and the lengthy ratification process would take well beyond the 2017 target date.

    This really is a non starter and it is dishonest to suggest otherwise.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it is.

  42. Normandee
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Golly, am I still persona non grata? seems to me I posted my comments very early this morning, when in fact there were no other comments. I can’t see why, it was no worse than any of the others on here.

  43. Normandee
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Just in case you lost it somehow

    “Mr Cameron’s wish to rule out any future coalition underpins his promise of a negotiation and a referendum on the EU as urgent business in the next Parliament.”

    How exactly? that’s blatant supposition and wishful thinking, Hague has already shot this dog of a statement, no renegotiations have even started and depend on winning the election (still looking unlikely), and the conservative party would campaign to stay in. At the risk of repeating myself again, you cannot have your feet in 2 camps, your desperation to stay in the party (which has already left you high and dry) and recognising the need to get out of Europe. These positions cannot and will not meet at any point, you might as well go the Carswell route and chicken out of resistance and just throw your lot in with the new “Workers Party”, now even further to the left of the Social Democrats most of us thought was bad enough.

  44. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Amen to all of that. If we need allies in the next parliament to support a minority Conservative government, then we should look to the Ulster Unionists and selected Labour back benchers – people like Kate Hoey and Graham Stringer.

  45. Normandee
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    So according to this mornings Telegraph, Cameron has finally destroyed any major support he had in the party. Irrational statements display irrational tendencies you must get rid of him now, before it’s too late.
    But, you won’t, dithering is the standard reaction, and you will continue to dither and dither until we have a labour government and the rump of the real conservatives searching for friends. You really are the most frustrating man, you can still make changes but you will do nothing that will upset your own little apple cart.

    Reply Making changes requires a majority as I keep reminding you. Politics is about building coalitions of support for the things that matter, which is exactly what I seek to do every day. Doing that within Parliament is better than trying to do it from outside, as we need the votes in Parliament to change things!

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      In my view, the greatest leverage exerted on David Cameron has been exerted through the threat from UKIP – without that little would have changed (no EU referendum) despite Mr Redwood’s valiant efforts.
      He should join forces with them – this is a time for those of a similar mind to unite. All hands to the pump are needed to defeat the left.
      Mr Redwood has made a calculation that it is better to stay loyal to David Cameron but is this just wishfull thinking ? .Cameron’s Conservatives are heading for a heavy defeat in 2015 as they aren’t sufficiently popular and there is no shortage of fools waiting to vote labour..

      But we have all done it I’m sure..stayed loyal to a boss we didn’t particularly like or respect out of a sense of duty. But better to get out now than be collectively responsible for 5 years of Red Ed.

  46. William Long
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Does he really wish to rule out a coalition or is he flying a kite to see how people will react to such an idea?

  47. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,
    I believe it is a tragedy that your skills and experience have been publically ignored by the Conservative leadership and others that are less well qualified with less wise heads have taken your place around the cabinet table. It’s a tribute to your good character that you do not seem a tall bitter about this.
    For example who should be Chancellor , David Cameron’s best chum, fresh faced George Osborne whose CV includes a period “working for a week at Selfridges, mainly re-folding towels”.
    Or the venerable John Redwood Mp, author of several books, several cabinet appointments under his belt , track record of making the right call on many important decisions, experience of high level banking…

    Mr Redwood…your blood must be absolutely boiling! – why is Ken Clarke allowed a seat in cabinet just because he is on the left wing of the party and therefore wrong about almost every issue ?. Just because Dave Cameron agrees with him and only appoints his cronies ?.
    But I suspect many readers who share your views are annoyed about this – as Mr Cameron also seems to believe that our faces no longer fit in the ‘modern’, ‘de-contaminated’ Conservative party. Party membership has dropped through the floor.

    I just wonder if in 15 or 20 years time (hopefully your still taking an active interest in front line politics!), and if we are still entrenched in the EU, our parliament is still Federalist, the population is approaching 70 million and living standards are going down………would you wish you had taken a different course ?. ie formed a pact with fellow Euro Sceptics and joined UKIP (sorry to keep banging on about this)

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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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