The Death of Britain?

 

In 1999 I wrote a book asking this question. I hear that people are reading it again. I stand  by my conclusions then, now tested by 15 years passing.  When I wrote the summary I said

“Can the UK survive devolution, European integration, reform of the Lords, slimming of the monarchy, proportional representation?

Will Scotland  now seek to shatter the Union by demanding full independence? Will the new House of Lords be anything more than a rubber stamp full of the friends of the PM? Would the abolition of the pound mean common taxation and political union with France and Germany?

….Viewing the Blairite revolution as the agency for wider changes  coming from the agenda of France. Germany and the European Commission, I  ask the questions: are these changes inevitable, are they desirable, and what will they mean for us here in Britain? In the name of the people, the people’s right to a voice and justice is being damaged. More and more decisions are being made behind closed doors, in quangos and in Brussels. ”

I enjoined people to fight the battle to save the pound, the one part of the scheme we could prevent because we were offered a referendum. The last decade and a half was not in vain, because we won the battle of the currency. If we had lost that Britain would have been well and truly dead and buried.

Commenting on devolution I said ” The end result will be a more divided, more factious, more overgoverned, more overregulated UK…It will not reconnect the people with the politicians. It will confirm the public in their view that politicians by and large do not solve problems, do cost too much and are good at misleading the public in their own interests”

I concluded the book by saying  ” Labour’s constitutional blueprint is nothing more than a plan for the destruction of UK democracy. It threatens splits within the kingdom. It threatens transferring far too much out of democratic control. It gives far too much ground to the federal plan on the continent. It dares to do all these things in the name of democracy, when the result will be less.”

Today we are facing the consequences of those bad decisions. We are trying to resolve the question of Scottish independence, because devolution did unsettle not solve the problem. We have to tackle the problem of excessive powers passing to Brussels. We are living with the consequences of quangos like the Environment Agency controlling large parts of our lives. We need a new settlement, which gives people back their power to sack accountable MPs and so change the government. In turn MPs need to take responsibility back for governing the country so they can serve the country well. .

 

 

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104 Comments

  1. arschloch
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Part of the new settlement needs to involve term limits on MPs, ten years max and that it. If it results in presidential system its a price worth paying. That should put an end to the blatant careerism, nepotism and Blair’s legacy that for MPs to get rich is glorious.

    Incidentally John your whats mailbag like, are any constituents writing in saying Mrs Miller and her million quid windfall is putting them off voting Conservative?

    Reply I have had ten complaints asking for Mrs Miller to go. I have made sure the leadership is aware of feeling on this topic , and am glad Mrs Miller has now sent in her resignation.

    • Hope
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Cameron will fight heart and soul to stay in the EU, he has made it clear he will not lead the UK out of the EU either, he had chances for a referendum and made decisive steps to prevent it from happening. This does not bode well for his credibility or support your view.

      He supported Miller even though he made it clear after the last expense scandal he would act decisively against this sort of thing, transparency etc. Has he forgot or is he, once more, showing his complete contempt and arrogance to the public? The public needs a Conservative party people know the values of and know it will uphold. Cameron and his modernisers need not apply.

      His reply to Miller’s resignation letter speaks volumes about the man: congratulated her for state press regulation while allowing MPs to be self regulated and allowing MPs to overturn an investigator after his minister made veiled threats and was difficult as could be to be investigated (like any other member of the public the matter should have been referred to the police), think gay marriage was a success without any mandate from the public or allowing the public a say in the matter.

      Has he lost the plot or does he not want people to vote Tory? I suggest he watches the BBC programme, Saint or Sinners where welfare claimants are investigated, their assets seized, forced to sale assets which might have been obtained through ill gotten gains etc. Then compare to Miller’s case.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        I think we can sum up Mr Cameron with one word. Judgement. Whatever he thinks and does is invariably wrong. He is always on the wrong side of every debate.
        Anyone else would not only see but lead and act decisively regarding Mrs Miller and her expenses.
        All the legacy party leaders support EU membership and the loss of sovereignty and democracy. You only had to listen to Mr Cameron on the BBC the following morning regurgitating the same failed lies and answers as Mr Clegg on the EU. They know there is NO benefit to the indigenous population of these islands for continued membership. They just consider the nation to be Europe.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it was clear to me that she would have to go. So what was the point of putting dragging it all out with all the damage to the party, the leader and even her?

          He should ring JR or Norman Tebbit to check his compass before he makes any more lets jump over the cliff decisions – only a year to get after all.

          Even his I will have her back letter was foolish. We already have Laws back in.

        • Cliff. Wokingham
          Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          Timaction:

          It does beg the question; Why?

          It was always my belief in the distant past, that people went into politics out of a sense of wanting to do good and to make things better for everyone, out of a sense of duty and a desire for public service.
          In order to achieve these aims, first they must seek power in order to be in a position to change things and then with that power, use it wisely to do good for all. I suspect that is no longer the case. (If indeed it ever was)
          I then find myself wondering why these people, once elected, decide to hand that very power they sought, over to a foreign body. Why would they do that? What do they get out of it? Is there an agenda we’re not being told about?

          John; After reading John Doran’s post below, I read a few articles on money, central banks etc…..Am I right in thinking that our Pound, is in effect, a “share,” for want of a better word, of our GDP? If GDP drops or the money supply is increased by the central bank, say through QE, the value of that “share” decreases but, if GDP goes up or the amount of money in circulation is cut, the value of that “share” increases?
          I also looked at the concept of leverage or multipliers which the banking system uses and it strikes me that, if everyone took all of their “money” out of the banking system, then each “share” would loose at least eighty percent of its value given that banks only hold about twenty percent of their customer’s deposits and lend out the other eighty percent. Am I reading it right?

          Reply No, I don’t think that is the way to think about paper money or electronic money. Money is a medium of exchange and a store of value. If everyone tried to take their money out of the banks at the same time there would be a very difficult problem to handle, as we saw with some banks 2007-8. The system rests on confidence in the currency being maintained, and on predictable aggregrate behaviour by bank users. A bank note is not a share in the economy. It represents an agreed way of aquiring goods or assets from our GDP and stock of capital to avoid the clumsiness of barter. THe bank note keeps its value if there are not too many chasing too few goods, or loses value if the authorities manage affairs in an inflationary manner.

          • Cliff. Wokingham
            Posted April 10, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            Thank you John for your reply. It is a difficult subject for one, who is neither an economist nor an accountant, to get ones head around.

            When we import goods, what in effect, does the seller of those goods actually get in exchange for them, given that the Pound only exists because our government says it does? If countries use currencies which only exist because those states say they do, how do international traders ensure there is real value in the payments for those items they’ve sold? If, for example, a poor or troubled country with a weak currency tried to buy goods from a nation with a strong currency, would that poor or troubled country need to make the exchange in something like gold?…..If say someone or a business in Zimbabwe wanted to buy some high value goods from a person or business in Germany, how would the German seller ensure that they got something of value, which would also keep that value, in exchange for those high value goods? It is a very interesting subject and I am genuinely interested in how it all works. Thank you in anticipation.

            Reply Most people accept major currencies in payment for goods or services, because they are freely convertible into other stores of value and tend to keep fairly stable values day to day. People are usually unwilling to accept very weak and oversupplied currencies. When a currency is debauched too far by its government people then tend to use dollars or some other currency for trade with that country. Most currencies are acceptable because they are convenient and can easily be switched into something else if markets start to lose confidence in them. Where a currency is falling modestly but steadily there is usually a higher interest rate on that currency which offsets some or all of the capital loss.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Hope, I’m inclined to agree with that analysis. I think Cameron is damaged goods, and if the Tories do badly in the European elections, just like a snowball rolling down a hill, antithesis towards Cameron could gather an uncontrollable momentum of its own.

        Cameron did not provide the desired alternative to the Blaire doctrine, he seems to have continued with it. He taints and tarnishes himself by supporting colleagues who have been less than scrupulous and transparent with their tax-payer funded affairs. Perhaps the people were right not to trust him and give him an outright majority in 2010, and that majority looks increasingly if not extremely unlikely in 2015.

        It is therefore up to the Tories to recognise the mood of the public, and rectify the problem before the predicted political Armageddon – the second in the space of eighteen years. If my memory serves me rightly, the economy wasn’t doing too badly at the time of the 1997 election, so our present situation counts for nothing when the public are fed up with politicians who are perceived to be milking the system.

        Only a fool repeats the mistakes of the past and expects different results. The Tories have a rapidly closing window, but time is running out for them to engage with the public and do their bidding, but trust and credibility is not easily built, yet is so easily destroyed. A new leader might be the way to go.

        Tad

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–Dear John, You haven’t mentioned that Cameron, astonishingly to my mind, has apparently instantly written to reply that he hopes to have Miller back in the Cabinet ASAP. If there were any doubt – there isn’t – whether I could even consider voting for Cameron under any circumstances that clinches it. Apart from the expenses, we remember that Miller fronted his despised same sex “marriage” raid on the rest of us and he is not able to see apparently that, so far as many as his former supporters are concerned, that was just another reason for her to go. I do not know and hope I am wrong but presumably she now gets a big pay off parachute. We don’t need a so-called Culture Secretary in any event.

      • Jennifer A
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Same sex marriage (fair enough in my athiest view) was a politically correct tank driven on the CofE’s lawn. Our own PM helped to guide it there.

        etc ed
        (Leslie’s comment quite pertinent to a post on The Death of Britain.)

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      When we allow state funded home ownership we end up with MPs with a vested interest in the ramping of the London property market.

      No wonder that so many seem relaxed about government policies which cause alarm among the wider population and which cause rents and prices to rise to the extent that our young are becoming impoverished.

      Reply Mortgage assistance for MPs ended in 2010

      • Hope
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        It is a part time job. Look at Gordon Brown travelling a round the world and hardly eve turning up at Westminster. A PMs pension and an MPs pay! MPs are not worth it, you do not need any qualification to be one and it is only part time. A stepping stone to directorships, interest groups, and trousering money with no regard for the public.

        Miller should be investigatedthe same as welfare claimant and her case referred to the police. To establish where she really lives find out where her children go to school, it might be clue.

        There are far too many MPs to nod through EU law and far too many quangos to implement EU regulation by delegated powers. 850 Lords FFS. What for? Self serving pensions and daily rates. As we already see, sign in and bog off this is the only beneficial reason for HS2! Cut all three drastically, save a fortune and raise public standards at the same time.

        Reply The more normal definition of main home is where you spend most nights a year. If children go to school from Home A but spend every week-end and all the school/Parliamentary holidays at Home B they may well sleep more nights at Home B than Home A. It is a bit more difficult than some think which is the main home.

    • Colin
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      “Part of the new settlement needs to involve term limits on MPs, ten years max and that it.”

      Seriously? You think the governance of the nation would be improved by having no one with any experience in office? Under such a system, our host Mr Redwood would have been barred from politics after 1997. Margaret Thatcher would have been barred after 1969. Winston Churchill after 1910. Tony Benn (if you’re that way inclined) after 1960.

      In fact, as far as I can recall David Cameron is the first ever PM to have taken office after less than 10 years as an MP. And he’d have had to stand down in 2011. Who would be PM now? Someone elected in 2005, presumably, who would have to stand down at the next election. Just silly.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    You are (and were) quite right but you have elected a leader who has chosen to hugely exacerbate of the problem and is a clear electoral liability. This because of his lack of a compass rather than any personal presentational aspects. He threw the last election through incompetence, Clegg on TV and his ratting and will shortly throw the next one. He cannot debate with Farage as he has no valid arguments to put and is he hopelessly compromised by the fact no one can trust him.

    He cannot even see that Maria Miller has to go the sooner the better. He is at odds with about 85% of his party.

    • Narrow shoulders
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Now gone but of her own choosing and with a ringing endorsement from the PM and other colleagues. The time to go of her own choosing was last Wednesday not after a grudging apology and hanging on for a week.

      Weak leadership and general lack of morals all round I am afraid.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        Oh I doubt it was of her own choosing. I wonder how long Cameron will judge he has to wait before bring her back as if nothing had happened (like David Laws).

        • Hope
          Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          The case demonstrated Cameron has no values or morals worth listening to. We heard it all before, move over and let a proper Tory with a back bone take control of the party.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Indeed I find myself in complete agreement with Michael Mann. Why is Cameron so out of touch?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          John sorry.

      • arschloch
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Yeah and she keeps the money too. I bet part of the deal involves a patronage job if she keeps her trap shut, which over the years until her retirement, will pay her a sum that will dwarf the amount that she has made from her property deals

        • Chris
          Posted April 9, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          I see that John Mann has suggested that she does not take her severance pay, effectively an extra payment for returning to the backbenches: see the Basingstoke Gazette:
          http://www.basingstokegazette.co.uk/news/11137544.Labour_MP_urges_Maria_Miller_to_reject_severance_pay/?ref=var_0
          “… under Parliamentary rules, Mrs Miller is entitled to a lump sum of almost £17,000 that is worth three months of her £68,000 ministerial salary, which is in addition to her Parliamentary salary, and by law but can opt to not take it.

          John Mann said: “In February, I tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for Ministers’ severance packages to be scrapped. It is a ridiculous and outdated practice to pay off Ministers when they return to the backbenches.”

          He added: “In light of Maria Miller’s conduct, it would now be inappropriate for her to claim severance pay following her resignation. For her to accept a pay-off would be a further insult to the tax payer.”

      • Hope
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        Landsley’s appearance was dismal and pathetic to watch. If this is the calibre of a Tory minister addressing an issue which is important to the public, God help us.

      • Martyn G
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Stand by for another ‘Mandy’ event and suddenly she’ll be back when the dust has settled…..

        • Chris
          Posted April 9, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          What is even more extraordinary is Cameron’s claim that Miller was cleared. The independent commissioner apparently stated that, due to Miller’s obstruction of the investigation, she was unable to thoroughly investigate and pursue avenues of investigation that she wanted to (in order to find out the full extent about what went on). Thus, the Commissioner’s findings seemed to have been based on an incomplete investigation due entirely to Miller’s refusal to provide the information required. I would not be surprised if the Press tracked down one of these 4 nannies, whom Miller said could not be contacted, to further clarify such issues as which was her main home.

          Reply Further evidence was made available to the Committee who with their independent external advisers concluded Mr Mann’s allegation was wrong.

          • Hope
            Posted April 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

            The police should have investigated this matter not other MPs in a committee, some of whom have also been involved in expense scandals.

          • Chris
            Posted April 10, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            The basic dishonesty was claiming that her London home was her second home, and that the Basingstoke property was her main home. I understand that the Commisssioner made this point and stated that she had designated the first and second homes incorrectly. When questioned by the Commissioner and asked for contact details for the four nannies who helped with the children Maria Miller would not give the Commissioner the names/contact details, instead supplying some excuse which the police or HMRC would not accept from you or me. This, I think is (words left out ed) obstruction, and Miller’s treatment only serves to reinforce the perception that there is indeed one rule for the political elite and one for the rest of us. I was dumbfounded when I read that Cameron looked forward to welcoming her back into Cabinet at some future date. That says everything about his moral compass and level of integrity.

            Reply New evidence was presented to the Committee, including independent lay members, which persuaded them that she had chosen the right house as her main home. The Committee agreed with you that she unreasonably obstructed and delayed the enquiry which is what she had to apologise for, as well as the clear case of overclaiming mortgage interest where she also had to repay money.

        • Chris
          Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think the dust has settled. Michael Fabricant has apparently now been “fired” according to the Telegraph:
          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10756071/Tory-vice-chairman-fired-over-Miller-criticism.html
          “Tory vice chairman fired over Miller criticism.
          ‘Maria Miller has resigned. Well, about time,’ wrote Michael Fabricant, before being fired….
          A vice chairman of the Conservative Party was fired tonight after suggesting Maria Miller’s refusal to resign was undignified.

          Michael Fabricant, the MP for Lichfield responsible for the party’s campaigns in marginal seats and by-elections, said he had been asked to resign but refused. He had compared Mrs Miller to Mark Harper, the immigration minister who resigned after learning his cleaner was an illegal immigrant.

          His opposition to HS2 was also a factor. He had threatened to vote against legislation for the railway line that will pass through his constituency.”

          Reply Michael told me the issue over his resignation was HS2, not Mrs MIller.

    • arschloch
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Dave really is a load of rubbish. Now you can see why the career in PR came to a quick end if this is his presentational skills at work. No doubt we can look forward to (Esther McVey?- ed) or Helen Grant being brought into the cabinet this afternoon in some pathetic attempt to make the voters think his cabinet is not full of millionaire public schoolboys

      Reply Esther McVey would be a good choice.

      • arschloch
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        A former TV presenter who speaks with a regional accent (nothing wrong with that mine is as strong as hers). Sorry but you are deluding yourself if you think someone who can connect with the voters is what is required. What this government needs is a heavyweight who can think up the policies and get them put into practice. If she ticks all your boxes why not Nadine Dorries?

        • Posted April 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          It doesn’t matter who gets the job.

          If they don’t dance to the media’s tune they’ll be targeted and undermined – and you’ll blindly join the lynch mob again.

          • arschloch
            Posted April 9, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            Unfortunately for you we are not living in North Korea and the public at large do not think as their masters would like them to. She was out on her ears because a lot of people here are having to run a lot faster to stay in the same place and she gets a million pound windfall by virtue of her being an MP. The next one who wants to similarly take the Arthur Bliss can look forward to the same treatment. The sad thing for the long suffering tax payer is that the expenses scandal showed all three parties have untouchables who cannot be flushed away.

            Reply Her gain on the house was a gain on a property she bought before becoming an MP. The gain itself had nothing to do with her job as an MP, and presumably is identical to gains made by non MPs living in the same type of housing in London. The issue was which of her two homes qualified for help with running costs when she became an MP. Under the rules one of her homes qualified. The Committee decided she had chosen the correct one for the claims. I think I saw somewhere that the choice of which home to claim for made little difference to the sums involved.

          • Chris
            Posted April 10, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

            Reply to John Redwood’s reply to Archsloch:
            the Commissioner did not think Maria Miller had chosen the correct home as her main home, but this was overruled by the Committee. Maria Miller blocked the Commissioner from obtaining further back up evidence about the main home by denying her the details of the 4 nannies, who of course would have been well aware where Maria Miller spent the majority of her time with her children and husband. The committee did not have this further evidence either, apparently. Furthermore, it is immaterial that the amounts for the two claims you mention were probably similar – (goes on to make an allegation about the reasons for her changes that may not be true ed)

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        It hasn’t happened that way, but I agree. For God’s sake get McVey out of her present job!

        Tad

    • Paul
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Cameron has an inability to sack anyone. He arrogantly stood by Maria Miller and Andrew Mitchell – the very fact that Mitchell admitted swearing at the police should have been enough for him to get the boot. You cannot have government ministers swearing at the police no matter how “frustrating” their day has been. Cameron’s line always seems to be “they’ve done the right thing, they’ve apologised, and now they should be left to get on with the good work they’re doing”. Cameron is weak, out of touch and not fit to be PM.

      • formula57
        Posted April 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Had Mitchell not sworn at the police, it may not have been discovered that they are plebs in fact. Rejoice, rejoice at that discovery.

        It is reassuring rather than not that we live in a country where cabinet ministers can swear at whomsoever they choose – although that reassurance does require also that we can criticize them for so doing. And of course, in our lifetimes, we have seen a cabinet minister punching a voter so let us not get too righteous.

    • APL
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      lifelogic: “He cannot even see that Maria Miller has to go the sooner the better. ”

      It’s clear Cameron was fighting a rearguard action to protect all the other MPs wriggling around in the woodwork.

      The Miller case apparently related to behaviour before this sort of thing was all cleaned up (snigger). So that’s that and what’s a £1,000,000 bonus between us tax serfs anyway?

  3. arschloch
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Its interesting to compare HM Queen liability to CGT. Unlike her lovely subject Maria, HM Queen coughs up voluntarily and she cannot also chose which residence not to pay it on if she sells a property. If anything you should be encouraging people not to read just one of your old books but “The New Class” by Milovan Djilas there are just too many parallels between what is going here now and what went on with a Tito’s nomenklatura.

    http://www.royal.gov.uk/TheRoyalHousehold/Royalfinances/Taxation.aspx

  4. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    I think many of us feared most of these things from as early as 1984, but could do nothing about it whilst the country was swept away in an indulgent credit boom without the slightest consequential consideration being given to those rose spectacled days.
    Once capital is replaced by debt ,they have got us where they want us.We cannot stand alone without some sort of a fight.Yes, I agree with you it was the right thing to do to hang on to the the pound.
    We have a generation who have grown up thinking that it is sensible to owe money for other than durables. They give themselves the appearance of being more powerful by the goods they buy, but in reality are weaker because of debt. This appearance / reality gap signifies the last 30 years or more.We as Great Britain are less powerful because the population were conned into thinking they could spend , spend , spend and everything would still be all well.Which set of peoples initiated these thoughts.Wasn’t this the beginning of making us more vulnerable for a European take over?

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Margaret

      Some good points made here about attitude to debt.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Good post Margaret, and one that recognises the dangers of debt that threatens to enslave us all if we persist with it.

      Tad

    • JoeSoap
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      I have to say that I would counsel UKIP to avoid anything in their manifesto which urges more debt onto our youth in the way that Major, Cameron, Clegg, Blair and Brown have done over the past 17 years. The problem with the student debt is that ordinary consumer debt is dwarfed by it, so that if you have a £30K student loan debt then another few £10K s won’t seem so bad on the credit card. Stitched up like a kipper, all started courtesy of our friends Labour Conservative and Lib Dem.

  5. Mark B
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    John Redwood said;

    ” . . . we won the battle of the currency.”

    But so long as we are in the EU, we will not win the War !

    I agree with your third from last paragraph, but would not just restrict it to Scotland. Wales too, is going that way.

    I believe that devolution was a great idea from New Labour’s point of view. There, they could setup and run, their vision/dream of a Socialist utopia. They even created a voting system that they thought would keep the SNP, and others, from ever gaining power – further cementing their strangle hold. It of course did not work out like that, it never does.

    Labour in Scotland was run very badly. The Scots’ punished them by voting in the SNP. This in turn has created the situation we now find ourselves in.

    And whatever the result up north, things will not be the same again, you can be sure on that.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      They even created a voting system that they thought would keep the SNP, and others, from ever gaining power – further cementing their strangle hold.

      How exactly is the proportional system used in Scotland meant to keep other parties from gaining power? In 2011 this system resulted in the Conservatives getting 3 MSP elected from constituencies and 12 MSPs from regional top-ups.

      Also the SNP got 53 of its 69 seats from constituencies, so even under the first past the post system they would have won.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        As you are so fond of links:

        “The system was explicitly devised by the UK Labour Government in the late 1990s to prevent the SNP ever gaining a majority at Holyrood! As fallout from the election result all three of the main opposition party leaders subsequently resigned from their leadership posts.”

        “The prime minister who delivered devolution, Tony Blair, was aware of the potential opportunity a Scottish Parliament could give the SNP.

        So, the Scottish Parliament’s part first-past-the-post, part PR voting system was intended to prevent any one party (ie the SNP) gaining an overall majority.”

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-13326310

        “The triumph is all the more surprising because the electoral system in Scotland, set up in 1999, was designed to prevent any party from achieving an overall majority.”

        http://www.channel4.com/news/alex-salmonds-snp-wins-majority-in-scottish-elections

        “The proportional voting system was set up in Scotland – or rigged, if you will – to prevent any one party from achieving the kind of majority won by the SNP, and with it a mandate to hold a referendum on independence.”

        http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2012/01/salmond-scotland-snp-scottish

        I admire your persistence in the face of certain defeat. Just don’t blame Mrs. T when it all goes Pete-tong for you.

  6. Bernard from Bucks
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Well said Mr Redwood. I go along with that 100%. You are certainly a man I respect and wouldn’t hesitate to vote for you – except that – you are in the wrong political party.

  7. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Rather than rehash all the anger over the last government, let me quote a Chinese Sage:

    “A nobleman who has authority over people should set a personal example by proper regulations, law and practices. The corollary of this will be that no one will disobey him and everyone will be transformed as a result.

    “Eccentric Chieh Yu said, “That would ruin Virtue. If someone tries to govern everything below Heaven in this way, it’s like trying to stride through the seas …When a great sage is in command, he does’t try to take control of externals. He first allows people to do what comes naturally and he ensures that all things follow the way nature takes them.”

    Do you know what? He is right! Hands off our lives!

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I have just had an awful thought.
    It is this:
    Wives and husbands are very different. Husbands usually go for reconciliation, freedom, tolerance, quiet. They lie around reading the paper or go out to work.

    Wives are there to make things better. They love to improve people and things. They tidy up. Small things are the most important in tidying. Children need teaching.

    Which is why women in politics are usually (not Mrs Thatcher) so very fussy, so very dangerous and so destructive of Virtue.

    Reply Wild generalisations like this are usually dangerous and provocative. I can think of men who are not tolerant and women who fight for freedom and virtue.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Wild generalisations perhaps, but without some generalisation we can say very little.

      My wife and family have been away for 4 days and my house is a complete tip already, coffee cups and work papers all over the place. I will tidy it up a bit just before they return. Not that my wife is that tidy, she just has a lower threshold or mess than I do.

      I see that only 20% of people studying physic at A level are female, so they clearly (on average) make rather different choices. Just as one might expect from evolution. Something that the BBC seem unable to understand in their usual anti-science way.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        20% would be amazing…..
        A large engineering exhibition at the NEC this week… http://www.machexhibition.com
        You would struggle to find 1 female in every 100 participants….., and statistically there are 1000s to base a generalisation on…
        It is a very safe generalisation to say “he” when you ask who their technical specialist is….

    • stred
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Did you know that the Head of the CPS is a woman and something like 4 out of 5 of her head office staff are also women. Is it any wonder that they are trying to ‘tidy up’ possible crimes going back up to 35 years.

      The person responsible for regulating the press was a woman, the person running the HMRC is and used to run the Borders Agency. The person running the Environment Agency was a woman when they decided to turn land over to birds and she went on to run the Care Quality commission. Radio 4 is run by a woman. The chief scientist for the Met Office and forecaster of steeply rising sea levels is a woman.

      This week R4 Woman’s Hour is having another Powerful Woman contest. No wonder Britain is changing faster than a baby’s nappy. Thank god some of them are like Betty Boothroyd.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        It is I agree not a very promising list. Surely there must be some woman around tha

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Re CPS isn’t there more money to be made and more control in partner owned defence businesses than in the prosecutors department? With female lawyers seemingly prefering the regular lower or flexible time hours and holidays in the CPS, I wonder what the % split is for all workers in the CPS with more than two years service compared to defence practises.

        • stred
          Posted April 10, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          There are very large numbers of female lawyers in the private defence area and in the divorce and claims business. The ones dependent on legal aid were on strike recently, claiming they could not make ends meet.

  9. Narrow shoulders
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    You appear to have been sold out by your leadership and the other political elite Mr Redwood.

    They do everything in their armoury to apease supranational institutions and focus groups to hold onto power whereas you are a conviction politician who wishes to take decisions and then be accountable at the ballot box.

    True right wing democracy, small government, low taxes and less intrusion. How do we wrest control back from this new establishment?

    • Aunty Estab
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      A good start would be for all the genuine Conservative MPs to go over to UKIP and give some real momentum to the opposition to the Westminster elite. Mr Redwood you took on John Major, it would be good to see what would happen if people like you, David Davis and like minded MPs had a real go, wouldn`t it be worth it just to see Cameron`s face as a large number of his party left?” What larks Pip”

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    About time too for Maria Millar how can ministers remain so completely out of touch with the public views?

    We see it on the EU, on absurdly expensive green energy, on taxation, on uncontrolled immigration, on the EURO & ERM, on the over regulation of almost everything ……… do they never speak to normal people working in the private sector, engineers, scientists and people with common sense.

    Yet another self inflicted wound to the Tories. Pointlessly inflicted by Cameron’s total lack of a working compass.

    Just one thirty second call to someone sensible could have avoided it all. Mind you, one thirty second call to someone sensible could have avoided Cameron throwing the last election too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Cameron’s continued support is still far too warm. We do not want her back at all, she is simply not a Tory anyway regardless of her expenses – but then Cameron isn’t one either.

  11. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    It is clear that the BBC goes to great lengths to avoid using the word English or England in its programmes. It is indeed official policy to avoid the words English and England. Olympic successes were described as Scottish, Welsh or British. It didn’t take long to work out that this meant English. Further than this in a recent programme entitled “A Very British Renaissance” it was very evident that all the people referred to in the programme were English; only one was Scottish.

    We were told about the important contribution that these men had made to the culture of our land and that of the world and yet their nationality was not recognised. The period in history highlighted was prior to 1707 and the act of Union so these men were not British and would not have named themselves so.

    The English continue to be cheated by the British Establishment. If we are to defend our nation and encourage a lasting renaissance England must have its own parliament, from which an English renaissance can begin. That is why it is denied us, deliberately and consciously, the British don’t want England to be a true and distinct nation. But we must defend our identity from those who set out to deny it and distort it, from those who say and write British or Britain when, if they were true to themselves and others, they would say English and England.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes it has become very noticeable that they are desperately trying to turn England into a non country.

      I too found it a remarkable with the British state already seeking to take credit for English values while calling English people good for nothing racist little Englanders, they now seek to write history to claim a British renaissance on events that took place before Britain existed. Another program is the one of the ‘Borderlands ‘ , I haven’t been watching it that closely but I get the impression that northern parts of England are being renamed, so that a non country hinter land spreads into England. We saw a bit more of this in Any Questions last week where they announced that Chester was on the Welsh border. It is getting to a point where making any reference to England is censored out. I suppose if they go to Lowestoft they will say the program is coming from the town nearest the coast of Holland.

      I can only presume this is the British establishment making plans in case the Scots vote for independence, then they can avoid having to come to terms with England, and so rename England as Britain, so they can continue to ignore English people.

    • John
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Well said PrangWizard, I often ask myself when these supposedly English MPs will stand up for us English the way Scottish, Welsh and NI ones stand for their countries. That is why EVOL (English Votes On English Laws) will never work, British MPs are too scared to speak for England’s benefit and will always vote against us to keep this rancid Union together. An English parliament seperate from the British government is the only way forward.

  12. David Cockburn
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    There is still reason for optimism.
    The Quebec separatists were wiped out in a provincial election after many years of playing similar cards to the SNP and almost winning referenda.
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/08/the-pqs-story-may-not-be-over-but-it-feels-like-quebec-has-turned-the-page/

  13. Old Albion
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Britain is on it’s deathbed. Whether Scotland votes yes or no.
    It’s time for England to have equality, fairness and democracy in the form of an English parliament.

    • Stephen Almond
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Old Albion,

      “It’s time for England to have equality, fairness and democracy in the form of an English parliament.”

      Really? Another layer of “rulers” is the answer?

      • Old Albion
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        What like the other ‘layers of rulers’ in Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland that i didn’t see you or anyone complaining about?
        No!
        Create an English Parliament at least equal to the Scottish parliament. Raise Wales’ assembly to a parliament.
        There you have a federal ‘Britain’
        The Westminster parliament could then be reduced massively from 650 providing a British Federal Gov. for reserved affairs.
        The added bonus to the cost reduction would be no need to build an English parliament building. We already have one in the House of Commons.

        Reply I did criticise all the extra cost of devolved government at the time it was being proposed, and set out the case against in The Death of Britain? I thought then that Westminster MPs could fulfil both roles , in Scotland and Wales as well as in England. The view in Scotland and Wales is clearly now different, as they have built in the extra cost of devolved government to their activities, so I no longer use this argument as there is clearly little support for it in Scotland or Wales.

      • James Matthews
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        An English Parliament is a large part of the answer and an essential first step. If that involves another layer of elected government it will be a price well worth paying ( English independence, of course, would not require any additional tier).

      • Mark B
        Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        If ‘another layer of Government’ offends you, then you must agree that the other Home Nations must be denied their devolved parliaments’. Also, we should get rid of the London Mayor and associated bureaucracy.

  14. Alan Wheatley
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Seems to me this is the stuff of a TV documentary, written and presented by John Redwood. There are very many documentaries of this type on British TV, ranging from good to bad with all points in between, but there is plenty of precedent.

    The broadcaster that first comes to mind is, of course, the BBC, but they do tend to stuff out a programme with irrelevancies to make it double the length it needs to be. Perhaps Channel 4, but they can be just as bad. So although I think the subject should make compelling viewing I am far from sure there is a broadcaster who would make a proper job of it.

    Which leaves the internet. Any possibility of a private venture documentary downloadable from this site?

    PS: the merits of video over the book is that it enables appropriate visual aids to be used to help get points across: that (moving) picture worth a thousand words.

    Reply I have offered the BBC these ideas in the past but they do not wish to run with them.

    • stred
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Russian TV in English are always making short documentaries, allow non MSM views and don’t seem to like the EU much. Ron Paul and Mr Frazer, the former Australian PM have been interviewed at length. They have their agenda, but no more bias than the BBC and Ch4 in pushing Guardian views. Al Jazeera also makes regular documentaries and they seem to take a moral stance.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Re reply, I think you would do a better job without the BBC, for they would want editorial control which may produce a result at odds with what you had hoped for.

      I still like the idea of a private venture film. How about “crowd funding”? If you let it be known you would like to make a privately funded documentary there could be a crowd of people who would step forward with some money. I am sure there would be a small film company who would do the job.

  15. John Doran
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Some questions, John.

    What is your position on the Bradbury£ ?
    I believe it was last used when the banks were in trouble in 1913?

    Is it true that MPs are not allowed to ask questions about the Bank of England in the House?
    & if so, why?

    Is it true that the £ is issued, at interest, by the private BOE, to the British Treasury?

    As is the system operated by the Fed in the US?

    I would like to recommend Bill Still’s epic 3.5 hr documentary, “The Money Masters”.

    Thanks,
    JD.

    Reply The House scrutinises the work of the Bank of England primarily through the Treasury Select Committee which calls the Governor and Treasury Ministers in for questioning. The Commons can of course at any time debate the powers and work of the Bank fo England if it wishes, on a government or an Opposition motion, or pssibly through a backbench motion if the frotn benches do not want a debate.
    The Chancellor does nto have to answer questions about the actions of the Bank that are under the devolved powers the Bank enjoys – e.g. setting of interst rates – but if there became a general discontent with Bank handling of interest rates then of course this would become the subject of Parliamentary debate and scrutiny.

    The details of the note issue is set out on the Bank of England’s website. We run a fiduciary currency with fractional reserve banking, as do most countries. The Bank of England is not private. It is owned and controlled by the state. Parliament can at any time change the rules governing how the Bank behaves.

    • John Doran
      Posted April 10, 2014 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Thank you, John.

      Does ‘we run a fiduciary currency’ mean that the BOE issues our currency at interest to the British Treasury?

      I believe that fractional reserve banking means that money is created out of thin air, upon an individual’s willingness to contract to time payments, say a young couple contract to a mortgage, for 25 years, or contract to buy a car, for example.

      It is difficult for me to see this as anything other than a form of slavery.

      Is the lending of money you do not have not, legally, a fraud?

      Is this why no bank will sign a mortgage contract, with just the future serfs committing to work large portions of their lives in return for the magic trick of making their debt appear?

      Is it true that our politicians have spent more than they’ve taken in in taxes for 30 of the last 34 years?

      Is it true that since the 70s, the British £ is now down to about 7p in value, which is wiping out the pensions of the elderly, apart from those who’ve arranged themselves inflation proof salaries & pensions, & is also wiping out the savings of the prudent?

      No comment re the Bradbury £, issued without interest, if I have the right of it?

      No comment re Bill Still’s film?

      Thank you, John Doran.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    JR: “MPs need to take responsibility back for governing the country so they can serve the country well. ”
    The pity is that most of them are very happy just being subservient to the anti-democratic EU. There is no indication that many of them would care to follow your advice. On the other hand, there are many people who would happily undertake that responsibility but they are currently outside Westminster. We must work to make that position change in May 2015.

  17. Iain Moore
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    The EU and the disintegration of the UK are cause and effect. What the hell did our political class think was going to happen when they sold us out to the EU? The EU pretty much spelled it out. Ken Clarke let it slip out when he said he wanted to see Parliament relegated to a County Council. Just as Russia is playing to the separatists in the Ukraine, the EU has been the agitator to separatist movements within countries.

    If we had never been sold out to the EU, the SNP would have got nowhere. There would still be a British identity.

  18. Martyn G
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the only effective way of calling our elected representatives to book is to immediately establish a recall system whereby the electorate, if so driven, could formally call in their MP to justify his/her position. But that, I suspect, will never be allowed to happen.

  19. Peter Davies
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Do you not think that we are so far down the road now that Quangos and Civil Servants are so integrated into the ways of implementing supranational regulations and directives it would take a sea change to grab them by the scruff of their necks and get them used to making decisions based on local need rather than regulatory compliance?

    Likewise many career politicians be they MPs/AMs/MSPs seem to be comfortable now with the notion of ‘serving’ their “masters” rather than their electorate.

    Govt bodies remind me of large service providers – you have a narrow box to make decisions but everything else is a process you have to stick to as defined in this case by the EU

    • acorn
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Exactly Peter, there is no way back from where we are. In thermodynamic terms, we are inside an irreversible system.

      A system in a highly complex and complicated state, as the UK has become (more rules and regulations than you can shake a stick at; plus, declining trust in its institutions and governance), is probably far from equilibrium and in a low entropy state. The equilibrium state would be much simpler, less complex, and subsequently have higher entropy (S).

      Basically, our politico-economic system is shagged out; the battery is knackered. The internal energy of our society(Q), is low and the current political temperature (T), is high. S = Q/T.

      All empires decline this way. The UK will not be an exception to this rule.

  20. Richard1
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    The positive development is people are so much better informed due to the internet. News travels much quicker and cover ups are far more difficult. Measures to put in place to keep democratic power where it belongs, in the hands of the people,include recall for MPs and many more referenda. If we are to have devolution we need it for England too. No need for any new parliament, just English MPs determining laws in England. If we can establish that borrowing by the different devolved govts don’t have recourse to UK taxpayers it could be attractive to have devolved tax and borrowing powers. Scottish and Welsh Labour MPs won’t as now be able to burden the UK with high taxes and their borrowing. People in Scotland and Wales will then vote for politicians who offer sustainable competitive economic policies,not as now big govt leftists whose political pitch is to blame all ills on rich people in England.

  21. Iain Gill
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I think a large problem is the way we grant the vote to Commonwealth citizens who do not have the right to be here long term. So we have large numbers of nationals of other countries here on work, student, or similar visas voting in our elections. I believe in a number of marginal constituencies they alter the outcome. Brits do not go and vote in their home countries and sway the balance of power. I really think this one needs fixing. Again its an obvious issue where the views of the majority of the population have been ignored by the political class who have set the system up like this.

  22. stred
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Blair’s cafe culture, extended opening hours and the total smoking ban seems to be killing off most pubs. It used to be possible to meet a cross section of local people for a short time, standing with a pint for a pound. Now, pubs are empty, expensive and no matter what they do with food and music, they are closing. While younger people, women and Metromen sit drinking cups of expensive coffee while gawping at their tablets and pods.

    • horatio
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      All part of the plan to reduce community focal points for shared discussions by the indigenous population

  23. Bryan
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    A Commissioner ruling is overturned by a group of MPs, the MP who benefits pays back a paltry sum on a house she sold and made a £million profit on, and gives a grudging apology to Parliament and the people. The PM says what a wonderful lady and justice has been done.

    The people however think ‘nasty’ Tories all over again. The PM is not one of us etc.

    Friends I have in Scotland now say that this has put independence firmly in the minds of doubters and made a yes vote more likely.

    What a plonker we are saddled with as Prime Minister, and what a group of ‘yes men’ he has surrounded himself with.

    Reply The Committee considered new evidence before reaching their conclusion. I suggest you read both reports to see what happened.

    • Bryan
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      I have read the second report and there is no new evidence readily detectable except that which Mrs Miller now seems to remember about her financial affairs, which is lamentably little. Her word was taken by the Committee.

      The system allowed her to claim as a second home that which probably was not and the absence of data as to how little she used the Flat was allowed by the Committee, but not the Commissioner.

      Mr Redwood, it does not alter the perception that she was let off by her parliamentary peers. And the voters know it!

  24. Atlas
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    The failure to address the West Lothian question is the thing that makes me now call myself English. My opinion of the word ‘British’ has change drastically over the last few years. I now view British in a similar light to way I view the EU’s monikers – that is, an artificial construct imposed against the peoples will. (The Scottish populace did not agree the act of union, only their MPs who were bought with gold). And today we have been treated to a State visit from the head of the Irish Free State – where our attempt to try to hold on to Ireland caused terrible loss of life over the years.

    Let us let Scotland go its own way if the Scots so choose. They’ll have to take their own chances in this unfriendly world.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      I have had pretty much the same journey with regard to my nationality. ie I consider myself English, and only English. ‘Other people’ may call themselves British, thanks to a piece of paper and an exam. They are of course welcome to it, as British no longer means anything to me.

  25. John
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    And the camerooms wounder why we are off to UKIP.
    And it will not be a brief affair!

  26. stephen O
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I would have added to the list of hazards the rise of a professional political class, prone in combination with much of the media to group think.

    Indeed this has encouraged support for wrong headed policies, such as you (JR) mention.

  27. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Wise words Professor Redwood I have a copy of your book at home.
    This has all been allowed to happen because of the sheer uselessness of the Conservative Party (with the exception of John Redwood and a few others) as an opposition to the forces of the radical left. Instead of actually opposing them, the Conservatives have been busily helping those that seek to destroy our country.
    I do think John Major burden of responsibility is large – he left a weak and demoralised party which |New Labour royally took advantage of.

    I do accept there has been some success (such as keeping out the Euro) but this is largely because even Gordon Brown recognised it would be a disaster.

    The changes are only ‘inevitable’ if the Conservatives dismiss David Cameron and get off their knees and fight.

  28. Robert Taggart
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    The single biggest problem facing the electorate be the increasing naivety of the elected !…
    All too many politicos be all too willing to simply rubber stamp the advice they be given by ‘experts’. They enact legislation with little or no alteration on the grounds that they do not know enough to do otherwise – who are they to disagree with ‘experts’ ?
    This be a problem in Parliament, but, this be a much bigger problem in Councils – up and down this land – with Stockport and the ruling LieDums ‘leading the charge’ !

  29. David
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I don’t quite understand why “Can the UK survive devolution, European integration, reform of the Lords, slimming of the monarchy, proportional representation?
    PR is included in this list.
    All PR for Westminister would do,would enable voters to have more choice (I thought Tories liked that). It wouldn’t affect the UK in the same way that the others would do.

    If we had PR we would probably have a lot less European Integration.

    Reply We have PR for Euro elections but it has not stopped Euro integration!

    • James Matthews
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Reply to rely. It has, however, produced a substantial proportion of representatives for British Eurosceptics, something which FPTP at Westminster conspicuously fails to do.

  30. Remington Norman
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    You do not encourage comments on Mrs Miller (wisely probably). Why does David Cameron have difficulty in understanding that she has done serious wrong (defined in a way that could be libellous ed)? (words left out)
    Mr Cameron promised zero tolerance on sleaze, yet he supports Mrs Miller. What message do you and your colleagues think this sends to law abiding voters?

    In his clumsy attempts to finesse all this as a minor matter requiring overhaul of the expenses scrutiny process, Mr Cameron patronises the intelligent by suggesting that they cannot differentiate between a flawed process and straightforward wrong-doing.

    I will now watch him being rightly chewed up on PMQs.

  31. Edward.
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    It’s been a long, painful demise and Britain – is nigh on gone.

    Post WWII, particularly in the FCO and most of the establishment, they just gave up.

    After the disaster of the Suez crisis – the slide accelerated, society meticulously undone, its institutions, laws and traditions trashed by the communists left wing ‘thinkers’ and their baleful creed of Cultural Marxism.
    Socialism in all its forms, called the Labour party by some but its ethos and mores daubed all UK political parties with the same stench of surrender and giving away the birthrights of the British people – a people who just recently had battled and fought so hard to save their nation, in 1939-45.
    A people, undermined by education ‘reform’, racial discrimination acts of Parliament which have rent asunder the social cohesion of British society and it goes on still – multiculturalism. Dave said it [multiculturalism] had had it’s day but all councils across Britain – still march goose-stepping to its tune and EU open borders – mass immigration plays the band.
    All of the above, then throw in the greatest act of perfidy, Heath knowing full well that the common market meant an inexorable progress towards a federal Europe – in January 1973 marched us in and shackled us – to Brussels.
    Post, the debacle of the back door signing of the treaty of Lisbon by an unelected Prime Minister, there is not a lot the bod’s in Westminster can do. Patiently, you should explain to Mr. Cameron – exactly what the acquis means Mr. Redwood because I don’t think the boy Cameron even vaguely understands what it [acquis communautaire] actually means.

    Only complete withdrawal and out of the EU: can save what remains of the British people – or should I say England?

  32. Remington Norman
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Question: Comment posted, then it disappears. Is there a reason for this, if not a fix?

    • matthu
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      The comment is probably visible to you as long as your “cookie” is preserved. When the cookie disappears (for whatever reason), you can no longer see your earlier message until it has been approved by the moderator i.e. John Redwood <or if you write a second message before your first message has been approved, your cookie is re-created and suddenly you can see both messages again.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 10, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Well one of mine from yesterday never saw the light of day, but then it did call into question David Cameron’s judgement just before the 1922 committee meeting.

      Tad

  33. stred
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Mrs Miller has been on BBC News saying that she resigned in order to avoid distraction from the ‘incredible’ achievements of the Coalition. Well put.

    From personal experience of moving into my one and only house, which I previously improved and let, the CGT is payable for the proportion of time lived in after designation as the main home proportional to the time it was not. In my case I would have tax relief for 10/13 of CGT payable if I sold it. Presumably, If Mrs Miller sold her main home last year, she will not be charged for the period since she flipped it but should pay it like the rest of us for the proportion of the period before. On a gain of about a million, this will be 28% on quite a high proportion. This will therefore be a lot more than the few thousand she had to pay back(words left out ed). Or is there some special arrangement for MPs?

    Reply There is no special CGT arangement for MPs. I do not know how much CGT MRs Miller will have to pay, as it will depend on how she designated the home in question for CGT purposes. The designation of a home for Commons expense purpsoes is not necessarily the same as the designation for CGT, where MPs rightly live under the same law as anyone else.

    • stred
      Posted April 10, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply. It may be possible, therefore, that by designating a house for parliamentary expenses, bought for £234k and remortgaged for £525k, with interest to be paid for as expenses by taxpayers, CGT for this period may not be payable. Then by re-designating it back to a main family home, CGT will not apply for this period. How many MPs have also applied this rule? perhaps the DT is looking into the question.

    • Chris
      Posted April 10, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply by Mr Redwood
      Can you not see that to all ordinary people a “main home” has a specific definition – it is either your main home or it isn’t. How can an MP’s second home suddenly be designated as a second home, when no physical changes in residency arrangements have been made, simply in order to claim Parliamentary benefits? That is downright dishonest, I believe, and if MPs fail to see that, then I believe they are beyond the pale.

      Reply I was not defending Mrs Miller, who I thought was right to resign. I was merely seeking to explain the position, as it is a bit more complicated than some think. If someone has 2 homes and moves between them regularly there does have to be a definition of which is the main one – is it where you sleep most nights? Or where you spend most hours? etc.

  34. Max Dunbar
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    ‘Devolution did unsettle not solve the problem’, as anyone with an ounce of perception would have judged at the time.
    Since 1997 we have not been permitted a moment of respite by the Blair Revolution, which continues unabated despite the appearances of a Tory led coalition. All that we want is peace and stability. Instead we get mass immigration imposed upon us, a roller coaster economy and regional separation combined with subordination to foreign powers. How long before something snaps? Is this where democracy has led us?

  35. uanime5
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Will the new House of Lords be anything more than a rubber stamp full of the friends of the PM?

    Give that the current House of Lords is effectively a rubber stamp full of the friends of the PM due to the PM’s power of patronage (choosing who becomes a lord) I doubt that the an elected House of Lords will be any worse. After all no other country with a democratically elected upper chamber has managed to fill this chamber with friends of the PM.

    It threatens splits within the kingdom. It threatens transferring far too much out of democratic control

    I doubt that proportional representation and a democratically elected chamber will do either as they enhance democracy.

    We need a new settlement, which gives people back their power to sack accountable MPs and so change the government.

    Especially if we can recall MPs at any time, rather than once every 5 years.

    In other news the a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that the bedroom tax is further impoverishing the poor, resulting in them being more reliant on food banks. I doubt that increased poverty will encourage more people to vote for the Conservatives in 2015.

    Also a report by MPs has found that the Universal Credit has wasted £40 million on hardware and £90 million on software; it will also cost another £60 million to finish building this IT system. This delay is also causing problems for local authorities because they now have to handle housing benefit claims for another 2 years despite it being unclear what funding is available.

  36. Posted April 10, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    You write, “We need a new settlement, which gives people back their power to sack accountable MPs and so change the government. In turn MPs need to take responsibility back for governing the country so they can serve the country well.”

    I reply, with Jesus Christ, being in control of the economy of God, there are three chances of that happening: slim, none, and no way.

    Jesus Christ as seen in Ephesians 1:10, is in Dispensation, that is in oversight of the economy of all things, and appointed Milton Friedman as the father of modern day money. Through his simple genius, he declared that under liberalism one should be Free To Choose, and that currencies should float according to relative value amongst investment choices existing in the nations. President Nixon embraced his concepts and took the US Dollar off the gold standard. Nations embraced the Banker’s floating currency regime. The US funded the Vietnam war, and the US Dollar became the International Reserve Currency, and as a result it replaced the British Empire as the global kick-ass, might makes right empire, as foretold in the Statue of Empires prophecy of Daniel 2:25-45.

    Over the last several years, the World Central Banks drove down Interest Rates, that is the cost of money, through coordinated policies of Global ZIRP, i.e. QE, LTRO, OMT, Monetary Injections, and the Speculative Leveraged Investment community underwrote tremendous stock market gains, particularly in Risk Trades.

    Thus the Banker regime gave great seigniorage to money, which is defined as the combination of Aggregate Credit, AGG, and Major World Currencies, DBV, and Emerging Market Currencies, CEW; the world has attained peak fiat money, on the sovereignty of the Banker Regime and the global community democratic nation states.

    Look for a steepening 10 30 US Sovereign Debt Yield Curve, $TNX:$TYX, which will be reflected in the Steepner ETF, STPP, trading higher; and look for interest rates to continually move higher, from 2.68%, on the ongoing failure of the world central banks’ monetary authority.

    This being seen in fulfillment of Revelation 6:1-2, where Jesus Christ opened the first seal of the Scroll of End Time Events, on October 23, 3013, releasing the Rider on the White Horse, who has a bow without any arrows, that is the Bow of Economic Sovereignty, to effect global economic coup d’etat to transfer sovereignty from democratic nation state to sovereign regional leaders and sovereign regional bodies, such as the ECB, by enabling the bond vigilantes to start calling the Interest Rate on the US Ten Year Note, ^TNX, higher from 2.48%. Under liberalism, creditism, corporatism and globalism were the dynamos of economic activity; these are replaced by the singular dynamo of regionalism.

    Bible prophecy seen in the Statue of Empires in Daniel 2:25-45, and Revelation 13:1-4, foretells that out of corporate, sovereign and banking insolvency in the Club Med nations, that is the PIGS, Portugal, PGAL, Italy, EWI, Greece, GREK, and Spain, EWP, the Beast Regime of regional economic governance will rise to rule in policies of diktak in each of the world’s ten regions, and in schemes of debt servitude in all of mankind’s seven institutions.

    And Bible Scripture of Revelation 13:5-10, foretells that out of regional framework agreements, a cunning and adept Sovereign, Daniel 8:6-8, will rise to rule the Eurozone, and that he will be accompanied in his rise to power by the Seignior of Revelation 13:11-18, that is the top dog banker who in minting money takes a cut.

  37. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    just need to let some steam off: Another reason to distance ourselves from the EU and immigration ; human trafficking ,kids and women and men slaves to work .Hope the Pope puts some light on solving the problem.

  38. Jon
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    A while ago I used to watch quite a bit of the Scottish Assembly on BBC Parliament. Seeing Labour and Lib Dems take on the SNP’s tactic of bigotry to the UK, to offset blame to ‘Westminster’ doesn’t take a huge leape to see why there is this growing independence movement.
    The SMP changed their description to ‘Westminster’ when the PM, Chancellor etc were Scottish. What was stupid was that the Scottish Labour party followed them in that.
    It’s a parent child relationship, they just shift the blame to us even when it’s EU policy but then purport to love the EU.
    If it happens atleast we wont get the same frequency of Labour that trashes the economy so, whilst a smaller economy, we will grow larger. I would rather Scotland stayed but can see benefits if they did decide to go and become a basket case.

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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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