The paradox of democracy in the UK

 

Let me return like a moth to the flame to the question of UKIP. I get plenty of criticism on this site for fighting the good fight against the use and extension  of EU power on the simple ground that I do not join UKIP, who happen to agree with some of my views. I will try again to explain why I and other like minded Conservative MPs will continue to battle for the restoration of UK democracy as Conservatives.

Some UKIP supporters claim to value UK democracy, but they refuse to recognise or accept its results. They have this odd idea that there is a natural UKIP majority of all voters out there just waiting to take us out of the EU, when the reality of election after election is different.

The main reason I do not support  UKIP is I do not believe it can deliver its fundamental promise of taking us out of the EU. The second reason is I do think we need to negotiate a new relationship with the EU which preserves our trade and other matters like shipping, aviation and pipelines rights. UKIP never talks about what kind of relationship it would want with the EU on exit and how it  would achieve this. The third reason is we have to take the majority – preferably a large majority – of the British people with us as we change this relationship.

Over 20 years of trying UKIP has not won a single Parliamentary seat. Its best chances came at Eastleigh and Newark in this Parliament, when UKIP support was at its highest in polls. It won neither. All the polls show it will not win a single seat in 2015. There would need to be a seismic shift in the polls in its favour, taking it to a higher level of support in a General Election than it managed in a European election. No commentator or independent observer think that likely. The reluctance of UKIP to select high profile candidates for possible target seats for 2015 and get them working also implies UKIP themselves do not expect to win anything.

Democratic politics is about the day to day work of looking after a constituency, listening to your voters, and representing all, including those you disagree with. It is about trying to win the big public debates, to move opinion in the direction you think will do most good for your fellow countrymen and women. I think principles do matter in politics, but those of us who have certain democratic principles have to understand that we only have the right or the opportunity to implement them when enough of the public agree and will vote for them. Compromise and toleration are also important parts of democracy. They do not mean all who practice these democratic traits  are traitors or liars as some UKIP supporters constantly assert.

 

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152 Comments

  1. ian wragg
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    UKIP is a young party (of which I am a member). Despite having no seats in Parliament they have put a proverbial rocket up the establishments a..e. The fact all the blogs spend so much time discussing them is testament to their success.
    The Tory Party will never take Britain out of the EU until it is lead by a patriot and not the sopping wet shyster CMD.
    Your boss would (and will ) throw the next election rather than secure an outright majority as the thought of having to rule as a Tory sickens him.
    If he declared that an EU referendum would be held within 90 days of the GE he would secure a massive majority but of course that will never happen.

    • Timaction
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Your comments are very reasonable Mr Redwood but don’t stand much scrutiny. The legacy parties have all lied to us for over 40 years on their true intentions of creating a federal superstate by stealthy incremental treaty change. Your parties simply cannot be trusted on the EU or immigration. 70% of our laws made by foreign dictators and courts. Free movement of 485 million people and elsewhere in the world. I notice the Government has recently granted access to many 1000’s of Chinese citizens now! We have plenty of room and an abundance of free public services for the world.
      I agree that UKIP won’t gain huge numbers of seats at the next election, maybe a handful. They will also upset the legacy parties in large numbers of marginal seats and our voice will get louder. Many Labour and Conservatives will loose their expected seats. We will see the legacy press smear and lie about us in the run up to the election. They’ll say we’re short people (like the Telegraph yesterday), we eat children and are racist sexist bigots. The usual things we’re tired of hearing.
      We want our Country back to a trade and friendship relationship by invoking article 50 Lisbon Treaty.
      Your renegotiation depends on the agreement of our unelected President Junker and the other 27 Countries who have already expressed they have no desire to renegotiate. Mr Junker has dismissed negotiation of free movement so we will continue to be taxed to pay for foreign infrastructure and provision of health, housing and education for foreign people. Mr Cameron will claim success with the repeal of the bent banana rules.
      Things will have to get much worse before the public finally realise that the LibLabCon are all the same mouthpieces for their beloved Europa. The only solution is UKIP.

      • bigneil
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 12:42 am | Permalink

        Your comment of providing health housing and education for foreign people is shown by the reporting of a (foreign ed)family with 15 kids getting THOUSANDS a month in benefits – -how much is their healthcare costing, and their education – and now demanding a taxpayer funded multi bedroom mansion.
        -of course -I will be surprised if John allows this – -it shows that this govt prefers foreigners who cost instead of people who have worked and paid for 45 years – -and STILL DC wants us to vote for him. I am not the only one who is not getting a penny after 45 yr of paying – but presumably JR, DC and IDS don’t give a “fourx”

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          What gets me is that never seems to a be a hint of guilt or shame about all the taxpayers money that family(and others) get. There is always a sense of outrage from them that their benefits should be questioned. In my opinion child benefit should be paid for the first two children only, and the Government should do something about it now, not vague promises and hints that something may be done (after the first four children) and if the Tories are re-elected in 2015!

    • Richard1
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I do not think these insults do anything to bolster the cause you claim to support. If a referendum was held within 90 days of an election – or now – the most likely result would be for the UK to remain in the EU, based on current opinion polls and the fact that all the main parties, the CBI, the unions, the BBC etc would all be arguing to stay in. The Conservative policy of attempting a radical renegotiation backed up by a referendum is a sensible one, and is the route most likely by far to win majority support.

      A vote for UKIP at the general election is a vote for Labour. We would then most likely get federalism permanently entrenched, possibly through a deal on PR with the LibDems.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Richard : A vote for UKIP is a vote for UKIP.

        Voting Conservative has been what’s got us treated like chumps.

        Labour gets in. So what ? SO WHAT ?

        • Richard1
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

          No that’s not true. Take the Maastricht treaty. John Major successfully negotiated opt outs from the 2 main features – the euro and the social chapter. It can be done.

          • Anonymous
            Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            Richard.

            You are having a laugh.

            It was the Tories that signed up for uncontrolled immigration.

          • matthu
            Posted July 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            How many opt outs and rebates have subsequently been handed back, often for no tangible gain?

            Or side-stepped by legislation targeted at Health and Safety or Security or the Precautionary Principle?

            Or simply overthrown by the European Court of Justice?

          • Richard1
            Posted July 25, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

            Matthu, the opt outs and rebates were handed back by Labour. That’s the point. That’s why there is a difference.

          • matthu
            Posted July 25, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

            There are vetoes which we enjoy today that we are prepared to hand back to QMV before the end of this year.

            As John Redwood pointed out to the Home Secretary: “Does the Home Secretary understand that either this House is sovereign in criminal justice or the European Union is, and that if we opt into this measure, the European Union becomes sovereign? She has rightly pointed out lots of defects with the arrest warrant, but once we have given away our sovereignty we have no absolute right to stop or change things in the way that we can if we keep the authority here.”

            And it was earlier this year that the vice-president of the European Commission boasted that an EU Bill of Rights that overrides British laws is becoming a “reality”.

            Viviane Reding claimed that people in European member states would in future be able to “rely” on the EU charter of “fundamental rights” to enforce the charter, which enshrines 54 basic rights in EU law, in all member states.

            Senior British judges have warned that the EU charter has already taken hold in Britain by stealth (effectively overruling opt-outs carefully crafted at the time of the Lisbon Treaty) and Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, responded by saying that he is prepared to go to court in an attempt to halt the spread of European human rights laws.

            Would you back him to win that battle? Me neither.

            So we are not only talking about opt-outs handed back by Labour. We are talking about opt-outs handed back by the current government and we are talking about opt-outs taken back by the EU.

        • David Price
          Posted July 25, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          They are all a pretty poor bunch but Labour is by far the worst, they purposely deconstructed this country while in power and set traps and entanglements for future governments when they couldn’t accomplish things in office. Let them in again and they will finish the job.

          The goals must be to keep Labour and the LibDems out of power and leave the EU on terms that are favourable to the UK.

      • APL
        Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Richard1: “Conservative policy of attempting a radical renegotiation backed up by a referendum is a sensible one, and is the route most likely by far to win majority support.”

        It would be sensible: 1. if it were possible. 2, we haven’t had plenty of explicit indications from highly placed members of the European Union that no such renegotiation will be entertained.

        If I’ve noticed (2) then Cameron must have too. In which case he is playing the usual EUrophilliac gameplan, tiptoe toward Euroscepticism before the election, gallop away after it’s in the bag.

        Not going to fall for that one anymore.

        • Richard1
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          No-one ever concedes in a negotiation up front. If there is a deal it will be agreed weeks before the referendum in the autumn of 2017. Positioning now is irrelevant.

          • Richard
            Posted July 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            Richard1 :

            You write :

            “No-one ever concedes in a negotiation up front.”

            So why has Mr. Cameron said in advance of negotiations that he would never recommend the UK exiting the EU ?

        • matthu
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

          What’s worse than 10 more months of DC? Waking up on May 8 knowing you’ve got 5 more years of DC.

      • Mark B
        Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        No ! A vote for UKIP, is a vote for UKIP. Do not pull that little stunt.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Be careful what you wish for.
        A dose of Miliband would enable the Tory party to re group alongside a bolstered-up UKIP and would actually more likely lead to an exit from the EU eventually than a Tory win in 2015 with Cameron in place.

        • Richard1
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

          That’s a big risk to take & v speculative. Quite possible is the opposite – Miliband entrenches federalism & statism through PR together with the LibDems.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          I make a prediction.

          A Tory party win in 2015

          Labour realigns as New Nu Labour with Chukka as its head. The Tories lose the following election (so disappointed are those that voted for them) and are cast into the wilderness for the next twenty years.

      • forthurst
        Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        What you are saying is vote Conservative in order to get a phony renegotiation with the EU which has already refused any substantive repatriation of powers, followed by a deafening campaign from all the corporate big guns in conjunction with the Lib/Lab/Cons to stay in, followed shortly by a referendum to confirm, apparently, that we want to stay in because we are too scared to leave as a result of successful scaremongering, in order that a Conservative government can offer five more years of uncontrolled immigration, wars of choice and further sabre rattling against those the neocons hate, power cuts, industrial decline, trade imbalances, increasing taxes and increasing national indebtedness. Sounds great. I agree: who in his right mind could possibly contemplate voting UKIP.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Fine, but to my mind Labour (even under daft Miliband) is better than Cameron ratting yet again and the continuation of a socialist, pro EU, green crap, election losing, Heath/Major think Tory party.

        • Richard1
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          I don’t agree. Even with the LibDems in tow this government has done much that would never have happened under Labour – the deficit is lower than it would have been and a start has been made on welfare and education reform. It may not be perfect but its much better than Miliband-McClusky would be.

          • matthu
            Posted July 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

            The deficit is on the way back up.

          • lifelogic
            Posted July 27, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            Indeed the total debt is far, far higher then when they took office and they have done virtually nothing to reduce the size of the state sector. M4 bus lane and the squatting law not much is it?

          • matthu
            Posted July 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            Student debt is another black hole the majority of which will never be collected and will eventually have to be recognised as government debt.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        And a vote for the Tories is a vote for more betrayal.

        • Richard1
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          What have the Tories betrayed? They have had to compromise certainly, being in a coalition, but why has there been ‘betrayal’ in your view?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted July 25, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

            Do you really want me to give a comprehensive retrospective of systematic Tory betrayal of this country and its people over more than half a century, back to when Macmillan sent Heath to try to get us into the EEC, with both knowing full well that it meant signing up to a project to subjugate us and all the other nation states in a European federation, while saying the opposite to the mugs in the Tory party who went along with it and supported them?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Indeed he would rather throw a second election than give the people a real say now. His every action shows where he stands. His vacuous EU speech fools no one.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 12:22 am | Permalink

      Lets have live debate – on tv -with monitors showing who is lying – the politicians would all find a last minute excuse for not turning up.

  2. Elrond Cupboard
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    JR ” All the polls show it will not win a single seat in 2015.”

    Really?
    http://order-order.com/2014/07/22/ukip-on-course-for-two-mps-according-to-ashcroft-poll/

  3. Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    How do you represent the europhiles in your constituency Mr Redwood, I don’t think you can. Should they all move house?
    A problem with the British electoral system is that is much too difficult for new parties to enter the scene, also leading to more anger and frustration among people who don’t feel represented. No surprise people turn away from politics and politicians, they feel powerless.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      And that, Peter, is how they like it. And I am not joking.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      The Low countries:
      Proud producers of first rate politicians:
      M. Verhofstadt.
      M. Juncker.
      …Oh and which of the Three is it that hasn’t had a government for years? I forget. Something about Walloon-Flemish or something.

      • Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        @Mike Stallard: If you’re talking European, don’t forget Herman van Rompuy, the clever consensus builder and the “damp rag” which could easily wipe the left over fruitcakes off the table :)

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          Mr van Leeuwen,

          Well there wouldn’t be any possibility of humble pie being wiped up on your table , would there !

          There may be consensus in the political clique but not among the people (those you allude to as fruitcakes, one presumes.)

    • David
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      “A problem with the British electoral system is that is much too difficult for new parties to enter the scene”
      Those who think free markets are a good idea should change that. Sadly no one is in favour of free markets when they are harmed by them.

    • formula57
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      @ Peter van Leeuwen – But if you ask that you might ask also how can Europhobes be represented by Europhile MPs. The point is surely that MPs are indeed representatives, not delegates, and therefore it is neither expected nor required that their views and those of all their constituents coincide precisely.

      You might say that some proportional voting system (that I recall I hope correctly you have previously endorsed here) with multi-member constituencies would help in that regard and would assist small and new parties (like UKIP) to get elected. (Recall though that the German constitution, for example, deliberately includes barriers to election of parties without a level of support, reflecting lessons taught in the 1930’s.) But a PR system can be seen to be a bad thing for democracy etc ed

      • formula57
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        Oxford academic David Deutsch I meant to write above. He is a physicist (like Dr. Merkel!).

        • formula57
          Posted July 25, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          To explain the above post, the David Deutsch reference in the original, as composed, comment referred to and linked to a video he made about PR voting systems (at Alternative Vote referendum time), replaced with the edited “etc.” at the end of the original comment.

          • Posted July 26, 2014 at 7:48 am | Permalink

            @formula57:
            I wasn’t aware that thresholds were put in place because of experience in 1930 in Germany, and I have to check that one out. The Netherlands has no thresholds so if a total of 70 thousand people country wide were to vote for Geert Wilders (or for a Nigel Farage), it would result into 1 seat in our 150 member parliament. There have been many more seats for Geert Wilders “Freedom party”.

  4. Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I talked about compromise many years ago and was ridiculed as though it was dirty word.I want my own way, others want their own way , organisations want their own way ,yet there is only one way to go forward ;one of compromise.We would not have had a Conservative/ Liberal Democrat government without compromise.

    Some think the only way to achieve this selfish state of ‘my way’ is by bullying or trying to take control , by claiming they have authority.We do not live our lives as citizens by being subjected to the status of army privates. Army sergeant like tactics will turn people away. The only way, apart from the blackmail of unemployment and lack of available money for living by some fighting their cause
    is the hope that a vote will deliver what must be everyone’s basic aim;to live comfortably( although the definition of comfortable is markedly variable).

    UKIP speak of withdrawal from the EU and as they do not have seats to take them into a coalition :as you say they need a seismic shift in voting habits.Voters also need a safety of factor in voting. Most desire something they have been used to. Majority is safety in numbers . Whereas UKIP may have traditional conservative leanings it cannot get off the ground and persuade others until unfortunately it has more voters . It is a viscous circle of events which only time will change as voters become more interested or brave.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      corrections A “dirty word”
      voters need a safety factor not “also need a safety of factor in voting.” Unfortunately when quickly correcting sentences etc, the characters jump about between lines and then on an attempt to post , we are told that we are posting too quickly . Perhaps the computer is right.

  5. Mick Anderson
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I understand that Lord Ashcrofts latest polling has UKIP down to win two seats in 2015, but that’s still some way short of the door to 10 Downing Street!

    There are two reasons I’m voting for UKIP. The first is that from where I sit there is no difference between Labour. Lib Dem and conservative. They might say slightly different things in public, but the end result looks exactly the same. There is a far larger gulf between what I would like to see and any one of them. Voting for UKIP is the only protest vote that the Party leaders notice.

    Secondly, I believe that many of the problems stem from the rules imposed on us by the EU. If that chain of command were cut, we would (in theory) be able to run our country in a way that suits us best. Unfortunately I don’t think that any of the three main Party leaders have the talent to actually take advantage of this, but perhaps one will come along who can. Leaving the EU at least means that if a suitably talented politician comes they won’t have their hands tied by Brussels before they start.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      The is no real difference between Cameron, Clegg and Milliband they are all pro EU, high tax borrow and waste, green crap socialists. Anyway the odds on a Tory victory are about 3:1 so rather slim, and it would still be a party full of Ken Clark types & led by David Cameron (another Ken Clarke pretending not to be) and of Cast Iron and IHT Ratting fame.

      Miliband wants to nationalise the railways, fix energy prices and introduce a bonkers housing act (that will cause me and my tenants much inconvenience and cost). He is clearly totally misguided just like his father, but this is far better than having to watch Cameron rat a second time.

      What is clearly needed is a deal with UKIP to the benefit of both but we have Cameron in the way, he it seems would rather throw a second election too it seems.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        If it causes you inconvenience we can be sure it is beneficial to your tenants. Since when have you have ever been concerned by inconvenience and unfairness to them? They just need to put up, shut up and put on another jumper or open a window as you not only own the property, but also the facts. If you want to report me to the landlord. You are talking to him. I’ll put his rent up for that. LOL!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          Nonsense, perhaps I will not renew the tenancies thanks to Miliband’s moronic rent act proposal then sell them off. How will that help the tenants. It will decrease the supply of rental properties available to them. Or perhaps I will put up the rent now in advance.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            It’s always threats with landlords and bosses and as landlords and bosses know. We do not respond to threats do we?

  6. Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    John,

    The Conservative party are deluding themselves if they believe UKIP are only about taking us out of the EU as important as that is to many of us. UKIP espouse all those Conservative values that Cameron has so readily dumped which is the reason why lifelong Tory voters/activists like me will be voting for them next May. As for whether they will win any seats, let’s wait and see. Lord’s Ashcroft’s recent polls contradict your statement that they will not win any.

    UK democracy does not only extend to matters relating to the EU but also matters relating to one of your favourite topics ‘who governs England’ and as we all know that for the Tories under Cameron, this is not up for discussion. Whilst the Scots, Welsh & NI have a right to more and more self determination, the English continue to have NONE.

    Not only are UKIP the only party campaigning to take us out of the EU but they are the only party willing to address the English Question and for that alone, they will get my vote. The Tories have had their chance to stand up for England and the English against the rotten deal it gets post Labour’s dog’s dinner of a devolution act and they have DELIBERATELY chosen not to and ignore it instead. BIG MISTAKE! Big vote loser!

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      This page is about party politics, so I believe I am able to clarify a party political matter.

      UKIP is just another Unionist party. Nigel Farage is in agreement with Mr Redwood that there should be no true English parliament, just ‘English Days’ now and then – ‘I suppose you might call that an English parliament if you wish’, he has said. He thinks this is enough. He opposes any more, including an English First Minister, because the position would be incompatible with that of the UK PM. He thus, by implication, follows the argument that England is ‘too big’ and thus must be treated differently.

      He is just another Establishment thinker. So in terms of English aspirations you have a Con/Lab/Lib/UKIP coalition against England. None of these are prepared to grant England a true English parliament, so any English nationalist who believes UKIP will deliver for them is being deceived.

      There is only one party which campaigns for England, for a true English parliament, and a First Minister on the lines of the Scottish parliament and that is the English Democrats. Many years away from an MP but the only party standing for England.

      • forthurst
        Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        What is the point of an English parliament if English affairs are controlled from Brussels? How wonderful if the English can decide English matters when Brussels can decide how many they will have to treat in their hospitals, educate in their schools, house in their countryside?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Indeed if you have professional parties with focus groups asking voter panels and then following that lead you get, as we have three almost identical parties.

      If you then have the EU funding for NGOs the BBC etc. to push silly agendas on global warming, the EU, an ever larger state sector, over regulation, redistribution, augmenting the feckless and the government and bureaucrats doing the same then the public just feed back this drivel to the focus group. People often do not know what is best for then until someone like Lady Thatcher leads the way. Alas we have a follower worse still a socialist, green crap, dishonest, pro EU, ratting and one who loses elections anyway to boot.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        What should they do to deal with parasitic rent seekers?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          There is nothing parasitic about renting out property, cars, vans, machinery, JCBs, aircraft, factories, money, ships or anything else it is just business.

          People can rent them if they wish to or not if they don’t.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            In a market of under supply and little way of increasing supply the person doing the renting becomes parasitic. You will have of course the same views on banking and payday lenders of course?

          • StevenL
            Posted July 24, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

            It can’t exactly be hard work renting out houses judging by the amount of time you spend on here.

            Renting out buildings is just like renting out cars, but renting out land – a natural monopoly – is just like extracting a tax from the productive economy.

            Land, or location rents should be taxed, preferably at 100%, and taxes on actual production abolished if you ask me.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 25, 2014 at 7:45 am | Permalink

            This would mean your landlord would be the State, Steve.
            Have a look at nations who had that policy in the past and see how well that went.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 25, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            Its a fair point Edward2, but is now far to far the other way.

  7. Amanda
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    An important part of the democracy you talk about, is an educated and informed public. Freedom of speech and valued debate are also key. We in the UK and especially England have none of these things in a state fit for purpose: we are not a real democracy.

    As for yet another sideswipe at UKIP. The disgusting propaganda campaign conducted by primarily the Tories and their MSM pals means that some of us will not be voting for your party in its current state again. Which means, your party is never going to win a majority.

    As for listening to views and representing people – that feels like a tastless joke considering what has happened under Cameron. His first act as PM was to try and muffle the 1922 committee. He cares about spin and his own skin not diverse views and representing people.

    You should wake up John. With Cameron in charge your talents, that could greatly help this country, will remain on the backbenches rotting away. If you lost your seat Cameron would do a dance of glee at the success of his purges. Democracy is dead in ths country John and you need to open your eyes to that fact.

    PS UKIP one the EU elections despite the slander

    • Posted July 23, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Right but he is getting paid to do a job , which he documents well.This is self evidential.Would you leave ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Indeed with all the propaganda from the EU, governments, LEAs, schools, the BBC and all the NGOs and “charities” they fund, it clearly cannot be a real democracy. Taxes used to indoctrinate pro EU drivel, ever bigger government and the greencrap science. Even the legal system and the police are used to distort peoples thinking.

      Then Cameron’s policy advisers asking them what they think! Before taxing them again to fund yet more propaganda.

  8. mick
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Morning Mr Redwood, the only reason UKIP don`t have any MP`s at the moment is because when it comes close to a G.E most of the main stream media including con/lab/lib`s party’s go all out to find every little piece of news that they think will put off the public from voting for UKIP, well i`ve got news for you the public are`nt as gullible any more, and come the 2015 G.E you will find the public voting in there droves to put UKIP into parliament and helping to getting Great Britain back

  9. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “All the polls show it will not win a single seat in 2015.”

    That simply is untrue.

    http://order-order.com/2014/07/22/ukip-on-course-for-two-mps-according-to-ashcroft-poll/

  10. alan jutson,
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Given our system of first past the post, I would agree with all that you say John, with one exception.

    Eventually with growing support there becomes a tipping point, when from next to no seats or electoral success, large gains can be made when only a fraction of more support is required.
    I do not know when that point will arise, if ever, and neither do the so called experts.

    One thing is sure, UKIP are the Party with Momentum, and that momentum is kept going by the refusal of the of the traditional Party’s to grasp the EU nettle properly.

    Yes, you and others like you in the traditional Party’s are doing your best (and thank you for that), but as you say yourself, there are not enough of you, and all of your leaders have failed to get the real message.

    Yes I fully understand that Mr Cameron has pledged a referendum, after so called renegotiation (if he gets in again) but most of us to here have seen his so called pathetic list of requirements, most of us have seen his failure in all sorts of negotiations past, most of us have seen his failure to appoint reasonable people to his own personal staff, we have also seen how he likes to throw our money away on foreign projects/aid,
    Face facts, his record is of poor judgement in so many areas.

    Yes Mr Cameron talks a good game most of the time, but so often fails to deliver.

    If UKIP get their present act together with the addition of some sensible domestic policies, and can get that message across, then do not be surprised if they get a few seats in this coming general election.

    It is a fact that UKIP, even if they get no seats at all, could still take enough votes from the traditional Party’s to make a nonsense of any predictions with regard to the result.
    Many MP’s underestimate that risk at their cost.

  11. Iain Gill
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The problem with our supposed “democracy” is the candidates selected by the main parties do not reflect the majority view of the voters. That is where the tension is created. The voters do not get the option of a candidate broadly reflecting their views. On immigration I would say that tension will go pop at some point and the political class will be forced to listen, I would prefer it to happen sooner through the ballot box and peaceful change.
    Re UKIP, on immigration and Europe they are the only party expressing the frustration of the mainstream public. As Dominic Cummings is honest enough to admit the other parties “they keep lying and pretending and hoping the public won’t twig”.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted July 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      thanks for the moderation here John

  12. Old Albion
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    JR, the two most important issues to me are for England to withdraw from the EU and for England to be granted a parliament of our own.
    Do the Consevatives offer that, no
    Does Labour offer that, no
    Will the Lib-Dems offer that, hell no.
    So i have to seek a party that does offer these two policies.
    UKIP quite obviously will offer EU withdrawal. UKIP has also spoken of a fair deal for England. I wish they would firm up this idea. Perhaps their general election manifesto will? So far it’s a one horse race !

    As for this quote from you;
    “I think principles do matter in politics, but those of us who have certain democratic principles have to understand that we only have the right or the opportunity to implement them when enough of the public agree and will vote for them.”

    So how did ‘gay marriage’ get through the house? It was not in the Consevative manifesto there was no public clamour for it, just a few noisy gay militants. (though Cameron thought it would win him a few votes, obviously)
    How did successive (dis)UK governments drag us into wars in Islamic lands. There was no public desire nor support for wars.

    • Bazman
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      Should gay marriage have not got through you are saying? What is it of your concern that it did?

      • David Price
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        The concern is that time, money, effort and energy was spent on persuing legislation on a topic that benefited very few and precluded dealing with issues that benefited the majority.

        The issue was one of priorities when the economy, jobs and growth were more pressing than trailing the liberal cloak.

      • Old Albion
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Congratulations, you’ve managed to completely miss the point.

        • Bazman
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          ‘So how did ‘gay marriage’ get through the house?’ Your words and they could be taken to a disapproval of gay marriage or at least a disapproval that it got through the house. Your point is?

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Bazman – I’m quite pleased that gay marriage got through. I’m an atheist and dislike religion.

        But for the life of me I cannot understand Mr Cameron’s priorities at a time of national economic crisis.

        This issue is evidence that he is a leftist with different priorities to those advertised.

        • matthu
          Posted July 25, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

          Correct me if I am wrong, but David Cameron knew that the legislation was going to be mandatory in order to fit in with an upcoming EU requirement.

          He figured it might prove to be contentious and as there was no option of kicking it into the long grass, best bring it forward to separate it from the election.

  13. Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Whatever our political beliefs, we all should agree to put democracy before everything else. On the question of the EU, the main parties have failed to do this. The Labour Party , particularly, has made promises which it has failed to keep. That has allowed UKIP the opportunity to develop as it has. UKIP would be nowhere if there had been a post Lisbon referendum, whatever the result.

    Many of us oppose the EU, not because it allows people to freely cross borders, that would be a good thing if the flow was two-way, but because of its lack of democracy. The economies of the Eurozone have been constrained in an economic straitjacket by the rules of the Troika and there is no obvious way the electorate of those EZ countries can change anything. All they can do is elect a different government to wear the straitjacket. That’s not democracy.

    We do have to recognise that a referendum may well not go the way that commentators to this website would like. There is much more support for EU membership than they seem to think. Yet, there is still considerable support for withdrawal from what might be termed the progressive left and that support could be vital in a tight race. It is important they aren’t alienated by an ‘out’ campaign which is overly xenophobic in tone. The lack of democracy within the EU and its economic failure, and there is a definite connection, should be the prime issues.

    • Roger
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Not sure what paragraph two means but most of us do NOT want open borders.
      What we want is a points system allowing us to control quantity and quality.
      The way we are going there will be so many immigrants coming to this country that an OUT vote will become impossible.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        How do you propose to stop the immigrants to this country I mean how do physically stop them from coming here living and working? This is just the legal ones. Don’t forget illegal immigrants are just that. Illegal! You are going to impose a points system? It is highly likely that this may well be reciprocated by other countries too.
        Maybe you could also tell us how to stop file sharing whilst you are at it. The days of just stopping something are over in this increasingly interconnected world.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 25, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          Other countries at least try to control their borders Baz.
          Try wandering in to Canada or New Zealand or Singapore and see how far you get.

          Still worrying about your illegal file downloading I note.
          You will be getting a warning letter soon judging from recent articles Ive read

          • Bazman
            Posted July 26, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

            Try just wandering into Britain. A bit difficult as you have to wander across the English Channel and then face some may say lax, but one of the most stringent checkpoints in Europe. Anyone with the skill and resources to get past all this needs to welcomed and asked what took them so long?!
            A free VPN is very handy at preventing those pesky letters from internet providers and other busybodies. No worries there.

            Reply All should pay for the phone and internet services they use and not break the law, whilst using free services where these are provided.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

            Using a VPN is not illegal. A bit like tax avoidance you could say John.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 25, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          Bazman – an Australian or a Canadian would disagree with you, as is his enshrined right.

          We are not allowed to disagree with you, it seems, and we have it your way. So there is no point in a UK government nor a Conservative party.

          A vote for UKIP is a vote for UKIP. Any other vote would risk being taken towards a pro EU, pro mass migration mandate.

          As Dr Redwood has clarified by saying that there is no UKIP groundswell in the UK and that those who think there is are odd – then what became of those votes that were for Mr Cameron’s promised referendum in the recent EU referendum ?

          They haven’t been counted. They haven’t been quantified. (How can they be ?)

          All those people who wanted to vote UKIP but voted Tory instead because of the scare stories. Fools ! They’ve been forgotten already. Taken for granted already. IGNORED already.

          As you say, Bazman. Nothing will change.

          So there should be no fear in voting UKIP then.

  14. Mark B
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    This is a very good Article. It says a lot that I believe. Why should I put my faith in a political party whose supporters cannot accept that political parties are not so single issue and are, as such, represent a much broader church of opinion. Things are not always black and white and, whilst many maybe pro-EU, that maybe down to ignorance or, the desire to be seen to be part of the club. This is so that their career’s can be advanced. This in itself, if I maybe so bold, is a powerful statement. Its says that those we elect, tend to put themselves before Nation, Constituency, and even Party. Treachery by any other name.

    I view UKIP, and indeed other political parties like the SNP, as canary in a cage, down a political coal mine. They represent an opinion that has been ignored or marginalized by the other political parties, and act as a warning that a particular policy or direction is not desirable. The challenge for them therefore, is to develop beyond the narrow confines of their main issue, whether that be independence from the EU or the UK.

    They may not win seats or office, but that does not mean that what they stand for is any less important. We have seen here, that the call for English matters to be determined by an English Parliament. And although no English Nationalist has ever been elected, our kind host seems to have taken up this cause. Noble though this may seem, coming from a MP that was once Minister for Wales, I did ask the question; “How much support, both from within your party and across the benches, do you think you have on this issue ?” It is a fundamental question. Many people tend to look to others to achieve that which they would not necessarily do themselves, and this maybe for many reasons. Having a broad range of politicians and constitutional experts may help to rally and galvanize popular support. We all like low taxes, and we all like free, or free at the point of service stuff, but we do not necessarily spend every waking moment arguing and fighting for it.

    UKIP, like the SNP, will be found out. The SNP had decades to get their independence strategy sorted. And just before their big chance, they have been found out. Some might agree that that is what the SNP wanted and that they really want Devo-max. I would not argue against that. But there was an alternative. They could have gone for an EFTA/EEA type arrangement. UKIP are the same, they have no coherent plan or strategy, no Brexit or Flexit. Just repeal the ECA and then see what happens, those pesky Europeans will come round soon enough. It’s the child like thinking that does me in. The same child like thinking that somehow we need a referendum to decide matters when, we never needed one in the beginning. The same one that, being ruled from Brussels is better then ruling one’s self.

    No Mr. Redwood MP sir, you stay in the, mostly, Europhile party. With it’s Europhile PM and cabinet. We the people deserve what we are getting. Because we refuse to change our voting ‘habits’, ask questions, and like to be led astray.

    • forthurst
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      There is no correspondence with the SNP and Scottish independence. The last time they were independent was as a medieval country. Going into enormous detail about the mechanics of what we do once we are free of the EU is a mistaken priority. The priority is to get to the point of being able to leave in the first place which in practice requires a majority in parliament because the idea that we will get a fairly fought referendum with all the main parties in favour of staying in is implausible. Once we are a sovereign nation, we do not have to kowtow to Brussels on anything: we can make whatever trade arrangements we want. The idea that the EU would try to jeopardise trade with us when we have an overwhelming imbalance in their favour is implausible. It needs more than an exit textbook to retrieve our sovereignty however detailed it may be.

      • David Price
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink

        Establishing a process and plan for exit is not a mistaken priority at all. People will need convincing that the leadership know what they are doing and have thought through eventualities and have goals that include their interests not just those of the politicians.

        As things stand there is one bloke who rants a lot but has no background of negotiation and influencing with the EU, so I for one am not convinced he can establish a good deal for us on exit. A year ago Will Gilpin observed that the main thing holding back UKIP was Mr Farage, this hasn’t changed. I simply don’t believe that Farage and co have the ability to deliver a successful outcome and the lack of a plan and detailed goals only reinforces my concern.

        UKIP needs to change it’s act from being a rent-a-rant to demonstrating how they can successfully serve our interests. They have not done anything like this yet, just offered up a shopping list of promises like any other parties, they are no different from the rest living on the public payroll.

        We have the basis for successful trade relationships but that has been screwed up before by politicians and civil servants so UKIP needs to sell their ability to create a successful outcome. Simply claiming the EU would not jeopardise trade is not good enough, we need to see that you’ve thought through dealing with spiteful revenge and meddling by EU politicos and interest groups as well.

        Or do you really believe the EU will accept the loss of revenue and allow anything that benefits us without making an example of what happens when someone leaves the fold? EUphilic fanatics are not driven by commercial rationale, as the situaltion in Greece, Spain, Portugal demonstrate. They can print money, what drives them is power and influence.

  15. matthu
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The reasons why many voters will not be seen to support Cameron are broadly similar, aren’t they?

    They do not believe Cameron would ever consider taking us out of the EU.

    Cameron never talks about what kind of relationship he would want with the EU on exit and how it would achieve this.

    They do not believe Cameron will ever take the majority – preferably a large majority – of the British people with him as he changes this relationship.

    All the polls show UKIP will not win a single seat in 2015.

    No longer true, after Lord Ashcroft’s polls yesterday.

    It is highly likely that any government next time around will either be a minority government or will be in coalition. If in coalition, who do you want them to be in coalition with?

    A party that is against a referendum, or one that is in favour of a referendum?

  16. Aunty Estab
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    “Continue to battle for the restoration of UK democracy as Conservatives”, Mr Redwood, imagine if you and some of your like minded colleagues went over to UKIP, how it would make Cameron & co. sit up and take notice! I’m willing to bet they would remember how to say England again!

  17. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I am a natural Conservative, but I voted in May for UKIP. I desperately want us to leave the ghastly EU, which is going to get even worse very soon. It is also very expansionist and that means constantly bumping, unarmed, into Putin’s Russia.

    The blame lies fairly and squarely on the psephological experts, who took the PM out of parliament and placed him in a bunker at No 10 surrounded by a group-think which says that what matters are swing voters. And this, they say, is what swing voters want: Vote Blue get green (remember?) More wind farms and solar panels. Stay in the EU. Gay marriage is compulsory or you are a homophobe. Lie a bit about immigration. Flood the rivers on the Somerset levels. Pretend you are being really tough on repaying the debt and austerity. Hug a hoodie…
    You can, they said, take the natural Conservatives (like me) for granted.

    People like me are confused and, yes, angry. We do not know what to think. UKIP offers us time and time again what we want for our country. The Conservatives do sometimes, but by no means always. And there is always that sort of reluctance and half heartedness which we have come to expect and hate. A split vote is going to let Mr McCluskey and Mr Jack Dromey and Ms Christine Blower misgovern the country.

    “They have this odd idea that there is a natural UKIP majority of all voters out there “. There is: it is what used to be the Conservative party.
    Hence Mr Farage finds the way open and, no, he deliberately isn’t answering the question: how can we keep trading AND get our independence back? And Dr North, who has been studying the problem for years now, says he never has.

    Help!

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    JR: “Let me return like a moth to the flame to the question of UKIP…..All the polls show it will not win a single seat in 2015. ”
    Why waste your time then? Strange though that your own colleague Lord Ashcroft has just this week published a poll contradicting your assertion about UKIP not winning seats in 2015. In one of those seats he predicts UKIP will win – Thurrock – UKIP does have a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, he is Tim Aker MEP, who is UKIP’s Head of Policy Unit. Your comment that: “The reluctance of UKIP to select high profile candidates for possible target seats for 2015 and get them working also implies UKIP themselves do not expect to win anything.” is therefore equally shown to be false. This may be your contribution to your party’s rallying call to knock UKIP at every opportunity. If so, you need to try harder.
    However, what you have revealed today is that you are prepared to publish clear untruths and that as far as our membership of the EU is concerned your position is one with which your pro-EU leader will be well pleased.

  19. Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I will vote UKIP because I want change and it is the only party which offers the possibility. I am aware that this could lose the Tories seats in marginal constituencies, but I’ve reached the point where I don’t care. Neither Tory or Labour seem to have any plans other than to tax and spend, the only difference is that they waste our money on different things. Although Cameron has proposed a referendum, it is quite clear that he wants the country to remain in the EU; Labour at least has the honesty to admit this.
    I don’t believe the re-shuffle has done the Tories any good, I’ve been unable to find a single woman amongst my acquaintances who believes that it is a good idea to have more women in the cabinet as part of the numbers game; they want the best person for the job and it is not apparent why those chosen should be any more effective than their male predecessors, particularly in Education
    Cameron has run out of ideas, if he ever had any, and in my view is one of the most useless Prime Ministers the Tories have ever produced in modern times. All talk but zero action (to put it politely).

  20. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I can well imagine that you and the last two ministerial head chops won’t pop over to UKIP. Although, a few of you going there might get them past the election near misses? Anything to counter the Greens and that awful LibDem thing.

    Paterson/Gove…what a wasted move that was.

    Some say that abysmal election turnout figures are due to people feeling that its the same old gang saying/doing the same old thing. I am inclined to think that too many in this country are rather to thick to bother with what happens to us. Except in London of course!

    UKIP has been a messy venture for quite some time, but like anything else it tends to change. Perhaps some of you grey/male/stale might help that? Only joking!

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    JR: “The main reason I do not support UKIP is I do not believe it can deliver its fundamental promise of taking us out of the EU.”
    A self-fulfilling statement when you urge people to vote Conservative; a party which makes no such pledge and seems determined to keep us in the EU.

  22. Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I believe Britain should exit the Union for two reasons:
    1. Like all large bureaucracies it is intrinsically inefficient
    2. It is dominated by those of Leftist views with which I profoundly disagree
    However, I also believe it won’t happen in the foreseeable future for the obvious reason – there is not now nor is there likely to be a majority in favour. Given that unfortunate circumstance, my best guess is that, should the Tories be re-elected, they will negotiate new membership terms which, although immaterially beneficial to the UK, will be presented as both vastly advantageous and the best available. This will result in a ‘Stay in’ vote in the referendum.
    Democracy, though an abysmally poor system, is the best so far devised. Sad.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      Whilst JR consistently fails to make people use original names, and not choose ones those that closely resemble other contributors, it diminishes the blog. What’s wrong with this person being more original in their choice, is it merely their intention to be irksome?

      Surely it is pretty obvious that this odious practise is not in the best interests of proper debate, or is it perhaps a deliberate attempt to impersonate?

      I’m sure if I decided to do likewise, he wouldn’t like it one bit!

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        I believe their intention is to advertise their book.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Tad – I understand your frustration COMPLETELY.

  23. Douglas Carter
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    UKIP are a flawed party and fairly bear many of the criticisms you ascribe them here John, so whilst I appreciate your frustrations in the matter, I can’t necessarily claim to share them in equal measure.

    In the terms of ‘democracy’ as you consider them in your piece here, I think it’s too simplistic to conclude that the figures sent to Parliament represent the public view accurately over ‘Europe’. The raw effect might show that, but the matter entirely lacks nuance.

    For example, Europhiles – as in, the kind of people who want the UK to be fully integrated in the manner obviated by current treaty obligation – were given a generous opportunity some nine weeks ago to declare their unambiguous enthusiasm for the project by voting LibDem. They didn’t have to like Nick Clegg, but the opportunity was there for them to hold their collective noses and demonstrate to the world that there was an unambiguous public majority for relentless and irreversible EU integration.

    They were awarded fewer than 3% of the total available vote. A smaller percentage than the accepted polling margin of error. In terms, the section of the electorate which wants fullest EU integration is almost non-existent. ‘Democracy’ in the terms of EU acceptance can only be served in a definitive sense if the parties present their manifesto with regard to the EU accurately. As I mentioned several times prior to the EU elections, Labour suppressed any enthusiasm for the EU as a specific campaign strategy in order to retain voters. In terms of Labour, they cannot claim their votership to have been a pro-EU endorsement since they made no clear mention of the subject. When indeed labour MUST mention the EU publically, they then bring in the classic, never-fails clause of hiding their intentions behind never-to-be-held referendums.

    However, the current posture of the majority of Parliamentarians is to accede to the pro-EU integrationist party whip. MPs who denuded their respective electorates of a proper chance to scrutinise the means by which their representation would be enacted on the behalf of that same electorate.

    What’s disappointing for a person of my persuasion on the subject, is observing the leadership of the Conservative Party letting these legions of open goals to go unattended, unobserved. I’m well aware some backbenchers can bring themselves to aggressively contest these matters but almost invariably they do so without any sign of public support from their erstwhile leaderships. It’s true UKIPs post-withdrawal plans seem essentially non-existent. I can’t contest that. An entirely fair comment, John, would be to observe that Mr. Cameron’s post-withdrawal plans are similarly non-existent?

    Taking advice just this once from Mr. Clegg, I want to see the small print, and in advance of my vote. I don’t just want to see those example post-withdrawal plans, I expect to see them. In the same manner that I know you yourself have been seeking – without much success thus far – a very clear illustration of the post ‘renegotiation’ version of the EU to which Mr. Cameron is apparently committed?

    The public almost never see a proper EU debate. From the parties on electoral offer they almost only see matters hidden beyond the event horizon of the next general election and behind nebulous referendums, the consequences of the results of which are also usually held as opaque. That cannot fairly be described as democratic. It should be seen as what it is. A grand blank cheque. One which never gains my signature, and never will, unless I see the small print in advance of an election.

  24. Paul
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    While the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems are fighting each other to occupy the centre ground, UKIP is firmly on the common ground. They are at one on the EU, grammar schools, law and order, HS2 etc. The Conservatives are led by a man who likes hugging hoodies and will fight with his ‘heart and soul’ to keep the UK in the EU. Most Conservative supporters, Conservative MPs and ordinary voters are much more in tune with UKIP than the soppy careerists that are Cameron and Osborne. UKIP won’t cost the Tories the next election – Cameron will. The Tories elected this man who has gone straight from Oxford to PM – no past, no present and no future – as their leader and are now paying the price.

  25. brian
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Well said John. The only thing that ukip will achieve will be to get Ed Miliband as Prime Minister.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    JR, if we had no other reason for seeing that our parliamentary democracy is flawed then just the fact that Parliament voted us into the EEC would demonstrate amply that.

    Leave aside that we still have a second chamber of unelected legislators-for-life, in its previous state consisting mainly of hereditary peers who proved not to be the staunch defenders of our traditional national constitution that some fondly supposed by voting overwhelmingly for the primacy of EEC law over the supremacy of their own Parliament – and here I disagree with Nigel Farage about the merits of that old House – and now packed with EU pensioners, supporters and fellow travellers.

    Thanks to the Parliament Acts those we elect to the Commons can over-rule the Lords, indeed if necessary their wings could certainly be clipped further by another reduction in the period for which they are permitted to delay Bills, say to only three months, even if there is some doubt over whether total abolition of their House would be constitutional.

    No, the main flaws in our parliamentary democracy lie with the superior chamber, the Commons, and the way in which both the election of its members and their proceedings are totally dominated by those controlling three old political gangs who long ago gave up on any idea of national democracy and prefer subordination to foreign powers.

    For more than five decades the main function of the Conservative party has increasingly been to block the election of patriotic MPs of a right-wing inclination – just ask whether any of those aspire to become Conservative MPs actually believe in the sovereignty of our national Parliament, and see what reaction you get from tribal supporters of that party; and why should we expect those who aspire to join our Parliament to be committed to its sovereignty of Parliament, when a senior Conservative who clearly does not believe in it was appointed as the Attorney-General, the government’s chief legal advisor? – while for half that time the main function of the Labour party has been to block the election of patriotic MPs of a left-wing inclination, and the Liberal Democrats have been there to act as sweepers to try to divert electors who have become dissatisfied with those two parties and might be tempted to vote for a patriotic candidate.

    • Posted July 24, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Denis, to my surprise I find myself in broad agreement with you this time.
      After 2017, the UK will continue to have a quarrelsome and complicated relationship with (the rest of) the EU, whatever the outcome of a possible referendum ( inside and outside both complicated).
      It might therefore be worthwhile to spend more effort (lobby?) on reform of the UK parliamentary system. Maybe the Scottish system, maybe yet another can be found?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 25, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Why don’t you mind your own business?

  27. Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, look of the reality of what has actually happened.

    There would have been NO referendum without UKIP.

    In terms of delivery, UKIP have achieved for more than the Conservative eu-sceptics.

    Far from being wasted, the votes for UKIP turned out to be extremely valuable.

  28. Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Well written, John. I would add to this UKIP’s divisive language on immigration, hypocrisy (talking about Tory friends in the media when one of their MPs is a prominent media figure) and lack of consistency, eg. when they were promising that UKIP “will protect your benefits”. Truth be told, on the last point I can’t see a difference between UKIP and Labour.

  29. libertarian
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood

    I’m NOT a UKIP member. However its the establishment such as yourself and the party you represent that really make me angry. We don’t have democracy in this country. We do NOT get to vote for our government. We do not get to choose who stands in our constituency, we do not have a right of recall . We do not have representation for England. We have one half of the legislature appointed !!!

    The system is rigged in favour of the status quo. Buggins turn politics. Its got to change. You won’t change it by hanging around the Conservative Party.

    There is an urgent need to establish real democracy in the UK . Like most things that the establishment try to tell us are the envy of the world, parliament, NHS, education system etc they aren’t and haven’t been since the last century.

    We need
    1) Scrap House of Lords
    2) English Parliament
    3) Country parliaments/assemblies play role of second chamber

    4) A direct election for office of PM and the major secretaries of state

    5) A legislature of MP’s elected to represent the constituency returning them who will be holding the government to account ( I would go as far as not allowing Party name/affiliation on the ballot paper)

  30. Andyvan
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    The upcoming election will make no difference to anything. It does not matter whether we are in the EU or not. It does not matter whether the communist Milliband runs the country or the socialist Cameron or even Clegg.
    We are bankrupt. Our leaders have sold us into debt slavery.
    Don’t believe it? Still think there’s a recovery?

  31. JoeSoap
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    This should be entitled “The Paradox of being an elected representative for a Party whose views are counter to your own”

    The day when the Conservative Party
    -lowers taxes
    -negotiates to take us out of the EU, not keep us in
    -increases Grammar Schools
    -calls a halt to wind energy
    -stops over regulating businesses with stupid employment and NEST laws

    will be the day you can make the claims you do here. Both you and UKIP has fundamentally different aims to the Conservatives!

  32. They Work for Us?
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Margaret points out that in the old days/ previously, the Electorate wanted broadly what went on before in terms of policy with no major changes.
    Looking then, compared to now, we see mass immigration that has changed the nature of the country in many areas – to make the indigenous population feel like strangers in their own country, unprecedented population growth that is causing a too many “b–ms” on seats/ shoulder to shoulder feeling, vociferous minorities making demands and insisting on them coupled with weasel worded political correctness, the effects of devolution that have made the English a voiceless nation but who are expected to foot the bill and finally rule by a socialist unelected foreign power.
    None of these are the “what went on before” that people expected and We were never properly consulted on all of this. We would have said no to all of them.
    Government should do what the people want after spelling out clear alternatives and the consequences. I am afraid that Blair and Cameron belong to the “trust me it will be alright on the night school of politics”. Events prove them wrong.

  33. Roger Farmer
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The paradox (absurdity) of democracy in the UK is that for the English in particular it has been allowed to fall into decay. I think that there is a feeling among the electorate that whoever they vote for will have no effect.

    The Welsh and Scottish socialists can vote on all matters specific to England while having their own Parliaments in which the English have no say. This was highlighted decades ago , but none of our political leadership is prepared to do anything about it.

    Then there is the petulant behaviour of the Lib/Dems, (Get the Lie in their title.), in wishing to perpetuate the lack of balance in constituencies, recommended for change by the boundaries commission. One of their more squalid episodes.

    How about the open to corruption postal voting system. Do you think that could be tightened up before May 2015. What is the norm in the Sub-Continent should never be allowed a foothold in the UK.

    The duality of our legal system that at the behest of The Law Society is allowing Sharia Law to operate in the UK. One nation one law no compromise, end of story.

    There is of course the EU having control of 70% of our law and growing every day. Cameron talks about renegotiation of powers in one breath and gives away in the next . He epitomises the distrust of the electorate and should be consigned to history for it. You govern by executive and Quango because you find that involving Parliament can be embarrassing

    We the people want our country back and none of you choose to hear the message. UKIP do hear it and lead the chorus. As you have already discovered many see them as the only glimmer of light in the tunnel. You denigrate their chances of ever having MPs in Parliament. Maybe not in Wokingham but I am confident that they will make their mark in May 2015. You could even find yourself dependant on them to form a government. Should that happen you can then re-discover conservatism. Even one voice will liven up PMQs and hold you to account on behalf of an electorate most of you seem to despise.

  34. Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Personalities mean a great deal in Politics so, no matter what the rationale and manifesto , the electorate will respond to whomsoever they like . The big disadvantage to the Conservatives at the moment is that Cameron is deeply unpopular , known to be untrustworthy and is seen to surround himself with friends and thinkalikes . Nigel Farage presents himself as “a man of the people and has stuck consistently to an anti EU attitude and policy that has found increasing support from the public as time has passed ; undoubtedly this will be in UKIP’s favour when it is time to put a “X” on a piece of paper . Your view that UKIP will not win a single seat is not one I agree with , equally the opinion polls are adjectival and unreliable at this stage . UKIP and the Conservative Eurosceptics are , basically , one the same and ought to get their act together – were this to occur , it would have a dramatic effect on the public and create a Government who would not only ensure our independence it would also bring a breath of fresh air back to politics once again .

  35. David
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    PS I support UKIP. However I do believe that John believes he serves the UK better in the Tories and I respect his choice and wish him well.

  36. Terry
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Exactly the same could have been said of the SNP years ago. They had not won a seat either – now look at them. Every party starts off as a small organisation.

    You seem to miss the real point about UKIP. They are NOT one of the mainstream parties.
    Voters are fed up with the self-opinionated and self serving professional politicians that we have had to suffer over the past couple of decades or so. They say one thing and do another = all spin and no delivery. The LibLabCon axis are no longer trusted and UKIP are seeking to reinstate the power of the British citizen in the running or OUR country. That is why they have captured so many new voters. However, due to the grotesquely undemocratic bias in the Constituencies, UKIP will struggle to gain seat as they have the wretched and corrupt electoral system stacked against them. The diabolical U turn by the duplicitous leader of the LibDems put paid to any chance of a truly democratic vote next year. The system is so heavily biased in favour of first Labour then the Conservatives that any outsiders will require thousands of extra votes more than they to become elected. I am in favour of first past the post but only on a level race track. Currently that racetrack is a Flat for the mainstream but a Steeplechase for the outsiders. Most undemocratic and very much a disgrace to the mother of all Parliaments. If Dave does work a majority nest year, the first thing he must do is equalise all of the Constituencies then prevent ALL Scottish MPs from voting in the UK Parliament.

  37. Remington Norman
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    1. ” UKIP never talks about what kind of relationship it would want with the EU on exit”. It has discussed this ad nauseam – to wit a relationship based on trade a la Norway and Switzerland.

    2. ” I and other like minded Conservative MPs will continue to battle for the restoration of UK democracy as Conservatives.” John, you and your colleagues have had 4 years of government in which to re-negotiate yet have achieved nothing substantive – and only just managed to publish a series of reports which seem to show how splendid the EU is and how appropriate is the current balance of ‘competences’.

    3. What neither you nor Mr Cameron appear to recognise is that so much by way of powers has been transferred to Brussels as it were by stealth, without democratic consent. Please explain so we can all understand, what is the difficulty in holding a referendum on this issue to confirm or reject consent? This is the single most obvious source of vexation and the government is clearly funking it because it fears the result. As long as this fraud on the people continues there will rebelliousness and discontent remain.

  38. ian
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    This is the worst conservative government you have had and the last labour government was their worst. They sign your names their names to any thing usa,eu and the establishment come up with. Just like you see going on right now in ukraine and the middle east. The pension they doing now is for themselves and their friends who have big pension pots, 40 percent or more comes from the treasury to be paid to their families for life, 80 percent of the people do not have a pension worth talking about, all this money will have to come from the poor and extra tax. They call it democracy. 11000 dead in east ukraine, have to living in basements, that how they look after hard working people, miners and farmers, now they want to call them terrorist, they have not even left their own towns and city, they are ones under attack from the world. John puts his name to this every week and then go to church with the rest of them. I would never put my name to all of this and if think ukip is better, it not it just a party like the rest and will toe the establishment line. It can happen to you one day.

    Democracy is about voting for a person

  39. REPay
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I think UKIP will win the next election – for Labour. Remember the Tories need a 7% lead to compensate for the rotten borough issue the “reforming” LibDems refused to address.

    That is why EU sceptics should vote Conservative, if you do want any prospect of change. I do not want to leave the EU and believe that there is a possibility of reform in coalition with other northern European members. We will, of course, need a change of tone and approach to be successful. We will also need a Conservative PM as none of the other parties offers any propsect of change.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      I am no longer a Tory voter.

      You don’t tell labour voters how to vote. What makes you think you can tell me how to vote ?

      • David Price
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        Seems fair, on this blog UKIP supporters tell us how to vote regardless of what the blog topic is about. That is, when they are not pressuring John to turn his coat and betray the people who voted for him.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          You kip if you want to. This lady is not for kipping.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I think that over the past five years the Tory party has been doing a pretty good job of winning the 2015 general election for Labour, and – guess what? – even if UKIP completely disappeared from the political scene the net benefit to the Tory party vis-à-vis Labour would now be slight, and nowhere near enough for them to get ahead of Labour by the 6% 0r 7% margin needed to win an overall majority.

    • Duyfken
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      “We will also need a Conservative PM”. Well, we do not have one now. Whom do you suggest?

  40. Simon Stephenson
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Excellent statement, Mr Redwood.

    I voted Ukip in May, because I thought that a higher Ukip/lower Conservative vote in the Euro elections would be more likely to push the Conservatives towards the sort of EUrealism/pragmatism shown by you, Mr Hannan and Mr Carswell, amongst others, than would a lower Ukip/higher Conservative vote at those elections. Perhaps I was mistaken, but that was the way I felt then, and it is the way I feel now.

    I have no desperate affinity for Ukip – it holds a lot of views with which I concur, but then so do a number of other pressure groups.

    General Elections are about choosing a parliament, not about giving vent to frustration.

    There’s what I think is a terrible film called Love Actually, which portrays Hugh Grant as a Prime Minister who governs on the basis of the sort of homespun good sense that seems unchallengeable until you start to consider all the above- and below-the-surface factors and consequences that must be considered when governing a nation of 60 million people.

    I get the impression that millions of people seriously believe that what is portrayed in Love Actually is the real way a country should be governed, and that our actual politicians are basically too incompetent to avoid getting tied up with a load of unnecessary complications.

    I think that this outlook towards our actual politicians also forms the foundation of a great deal of the support that people are saying they will give to Ukip at the General Election.

  41. acorn
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    If we are going to leave / stay / renegotiate, this EU thing, somebody really should sit down and write a proper Constitution. The only person(s) capable of doing that are those that understand Common Law.

    I think out of all 28 EU member States, the UK and Ireland are the only two that have a base of Common Law which, I think, still trumps Statutes from parliament. Perhaps that means EU “law” as well, don’t know. Consequently, I think the Judiciary considers some statutes to be of a constitutional nature and treats them as such.

    I think we need yet another of those, now frequent, open; overarching; transparent; independent and Supreme Court adjudicated, framework scoping enquiries. Because it is going to take decades to unwind EU law from UK Statutes; without a Common Law based Constitution, who knows where the little people will end up on the North Korean Democracy Scale; should a Tea Party type right-wing, neo-con government usurp power.

    That constitution needs to set out fundamental rights and liberties of the people because of what happened last week; the DRIP Act. It is far from being a panic status quo holding job. Two MP’s Watson (Lab) and Davis (Con) are concerned enough to seek a judicial review. (That’s two MPs out of 650 mind you). A few days back JR said in reply to me about the North Korea Scale:-

    “… which is so absurd as to be laughable. The legislation this week had the full approval of the Coalition and the Labour opposition. It was a little milder than the Labour government legislation it replaces.”

    Believe nothing; question everything and trust none.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      When there is a conflict statute law trumps common law.

    • Colin
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      “Common Law which, I think, still trumps Statutes from parliament”

      You think wrong. The British constitution can be encapsulated in three words: “Parliament is sovereign.”

      • acorn
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        The Lawyer in my data mining group tells me you both have it wrong. (That wasn’t the phrase she used, which wouldn’t pass moderation).

        She advises that you read the simple stuff first, namely:- R (Factortame Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport. (Google it). Also, a piece on the UK Supreme Court blog:- http://ukscblog.com/waving-drowning-european-law-uk-courts/ .

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 25, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          Well, you can remind her that none of that would have any relevance in the absence of the Acts to approve the treaties which have been passed by Parliament, starting with the European Communities Act 1972; and she may recall that during the debates of the European Union Act 2011 some MPs objected strongly to the implication in the Explanatory Notes to Section 18 that the legal supremacy of Parliament was a matter of common law:

          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/12/notes/division/6/3/1

          and she may also recall that if it came to a crunch any judge who persistently misbehaved, for example by defying Parliament and denying its legal supremacy, could be removed from office by Parliament itself, right up to the judges on the Supreme Court:

          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/4/section/33

          “A judge of the Supreme Court holds that office during good behaviour, but may be removed from it on the address of both Houses of Parliament.”

          I would add that it is not misbehaviour for a judge to point out that the fools and knaves we elect to Parliament have created a confused situation in which they seem to be sending conflicting messages to the courts, not just about the EU but also about the ECHR, and then have the gall to complain when judges trying to pick their way through the tangle come up with an answer they don’t like.

  42. Brigham
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    The only reason that many people will not vote UKIP, is that it may let in the Labour party.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 12:29 am | Permalink

      That was said many times before the Euro election -didn’t work then.

  43. Posted July 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,

    I seem to detect a note of condescension in your statement that UKIP happen to agree with some of your views. That seems to suggest that these political amateurs have managed to understand a little of what experienced politicians like so-called Conservative Eurosceptics have known all along, which is how to maintain English democracy.

    If that is your view, you could not be more wrong!

    English democracy – a pattern which has commended itself to other nations all over the world – was formed on the freedom and fairness enshrined in the Christian faith, which gave rise to Common Law and the principles set out in the documents which define our Constitution. The Constitutional Monarchy which is our form of government has taken hundreds of years and the deaths of many good men and women fighting against the forces of despotism and folly, both within and without, to arrive at the point where the British nation stood at the head of a Commonwealth of nations. It was far from perfect, but it was still the envy of the world and all the thousands of people who aspire to come here to live, fleeing from slavery and injustice and war and lack of opportunity are a reflection of that achievement.

    That is the achievement which our experienced and practised politicians have deliberately destroyed. They have given to others the sovereignty of the nation which was not theirs to give and they deceived those whom they claim to represent in order to do it. The immoral behaviour amongst the leaders of the nation which is only now beginning to appear, has been condoned or shielded from the light in the interests of party or personal advantage. I do not claim any moral superiority, for we are all subject to the weakness and sinfulness common to humanity, but these things have to be faced honestly if we are to be rightly governed.

    I do not believe that members of UKIP are morally superior to members of any other political party, but I do believe that their actions so far have awoken a response among the great mass of English men and women and among those who have come to settle here and who share our values. More and more they have begun to see through the hypocrisy and cynicism of fine words not backed up by actions.

    Compromise and toleration only work when there is honesty and respect between the views expressed. At present, that honesty and respect is missing.

    John Wrake.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      I wholeheartedly agree with you, Mr Wrake.

    • Excalibur
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Nice one, again, John Wrake.

  44. ian
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    It just geopolitical game they play in your names, the west gradual encroachment on russia a thing they said they would never do when the brelin wall came down. They using ukraine as their prawn. The people in east ukraine are rassians, steel,miners and farmers, they are doing all this slaughter to keep germany and rassia apart, they are the ones putting your arms and money into west ukraine and poleland Same thing in the middle east the slaughter just go on. They strut around as they like going into country and doing what they like with your names and money and call it democracy. What if soctland was independent and russians give money and arms to them, what would be their reaction to that. The usa is terrify germany and bric getting together. The usa brittan and the eu have dug themselves a hole and they cannot get out of it. They are capable of anything so look out. The western media is their trump card. UKIP will be the same if they get in to power.

  45. Mark W
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I have favoured the UKIP hysteria as it has caught the attention of people. Cameron no longer talks of “not banging on about Europe”. I conceed that it probably is far more likely that secessionists in the Tory party have bent Camerons’s ear far more than the fear of UKIP.

    I think I may have posted here at the time of the UKIP gains in the council elections of 2013 that it would be the beginning of their end. A high profile and likeable figure like Nigel Farage is one thing. A large number of councillors that fall into factional infighting once the business of day to day humdrum council work is on their plate is another.

    Our constitution does have the anomoly that the two main parties will to a degree have control of a large number of safe seats. There is an advantage of stability here as well as the disadvantage of allowing new parties to start.

    Personally I wish to leave the EU without a referendum. I wish one of the main two parties would have this in their manifesto. I was too young to vote in 1983 when Labour had this offer.

    The economy is going in favour of a Tory victory in 2015. Hopefully a majority. It is a very sad paradox that Mr Farage may yet have his party be the reason for us not having the promised referendum if Labour or Lib Dems win seats because of the Tory vote failing to deliver a majority due to UKIP in the marginals.

    This isn’t an opinion it’s a fact. Our constitution is not going to change. In 2015 we can have a Conservative or Labour majority/ minority government, or a Con/LibDem or Lab/LibDem government.

    Assuming you support UKIP to leave the EU then only a Tory majority guarantees a referendum. As a UKIP supporter I have no option being in a seat the Tories will hopefully hold with a Eurosceptic MP.

    My fear is a Tory minority having not entered into the election campaign with some clause to only agree a coaltion with the LibDems on the strength that this referendum will happen. (Remember the LibDems on student Fees). I would feel incredibly angry on this major issue if Cameron as a coalition Prime Minister fudged out of a referendum with lines such as “we don’t have a majority” “the LibDems won’t agree to it” “the majority in parliament will block it” etc etc. This should be a situation for a snap election should it occur.

    Hopefully there will be a Tory majority and the referendum will be to leave. I don’t care what we win back, I’d never trust it not to dwindle away in time.

  46. Roger
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Sadly everything is stacked against withdrawal from the EU. Politicians, the BBC, much of the printed press, big business and the EU itself will frighten the Outers.
    Just as important the current levels of immigration is automatically increasing the IN vote.
    I really do despair.

  47. Graham
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Got to this blog late today.

    Still can’t believe that so many on here still believe that the EU relationship can be renegotiated.

    Also for a non event JR spends a lot of time denigrating UKIP – why

  48. Jeffery
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Observation and snippets of academic analysis suggest that UKIP appeals to a deep sense of British ‘entitlement’. One strand is those who yearn for a kind of national(ist) entitlement out of nostalgia for the days of Empire. They identify with Putin, who has a similar outlook (regarding the Soviet empire of course). Reference to Norway or Switzerland in defining a relationship outside the EU is pretty absurd for those with this perspective. A second strand are those bypassed by immigration who effectively seek preferential treatment on the basis of their origin rather than their ability and/or qualifications. But their problems reflect global trends tied in with technology, patterns of trade etc. The low skilled are in a difficult position regardless. This general take on things seems supported by comments here, although more the first than the second strand.

    Although not immune to feelings of entitlement myself, it is not the spirit of this globalising age. Frankly, rather than sulking, people should look for the least worst practical choice when voting. Sorry to damn with faint praise, but that is John Redwood and his ilk.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      “A second strand are those bypassed by immigration who effectively seek preferential treatment on the basis of their origin rather than their ability and/or qualifications”.

      An immigrant Polish family I know who have been in the country a short time got a school place at one of the highest-rated secondary schools in UK, whereas my child didn’t, simply by dint of living closer to it than me. That bypassing is not based on their ability or qualifications or – here’s the point – the contribution that have made to the UK schools system over the past decades.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      So are you saying that British citizens living in what was once supposed to be their own country should now have no more “entitlement” than anyone who turns up here from anywhere in the world?

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Denis – Don’t forget that Jeffery’s version of competition involves a lot of government subsidy against indigenous people.

  49. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Lord Redwood, Sorry to write on a negative note…

    Poor form making a vague ad-hom attack on UKIP supporters as if we are all the same. I think you should have a good look at the Euro Federalists and ask which side is generally the most dishonest and prone to mud flinging.

    By supporting the Conservative party you are mainting the status quo – a situation that has kept us locked into a one way journey into ever closer EU integation. UKIP offers a solution – a platform to lauch your views rather than a convenient vent for Mr Cameron to use to relieve Euro sceptic fury.

    A ‘Conservative’ trying to get us out of the EU is like a drug addict running a chemist shop. The Conservative brand is finished and in decline – why do you insist upon shackling yourself to this corpe… this relic of a bygone era ?.

    Such a strategy cannot work – your party is Euro federalist to it’s core. |
    Mrs Thatcher campaigning for EU entry in 75, Major’s rammed Maastricht bill in 92, the ERM…. Your party learned nothing from this and elected another Federalist. Any organisation that cannot learn from it’s mistakes doesn’t deserve our patronage.

    Running a Euro sceptic side show withing the party is just futile. David Cameron ‘high fiving ‘ Mr junker says it all really. He’s only going to pretend to listen to our concerns and then sit on his hands.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2695613/PM-IN-AWKWARD-MEETING-WITH-JUNCKER.html

    Yours is a self fulfilling prophecy – if a big political name like Redwood refuses to get behind UKIP they will struggle to break the deadlock of the tribal voters. Sometime soon voters will wake up and realise they have been conned and the ‘recovery’ is yet more smoke and mirrors – better to jump ship now than go when all the rats are leaving.
    All it needs is a catalyst and others will follow…

  50. JA
    Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    “Some UKIP supporters claim to value UK democracy, but they refuse to recognise or accept its results. They have this odd idea that there is a natural UKIP majority of all voters out there just waiting to take us out of the EU, when the reality of election after election is different.”

    UKIP voters use the ballot box as all democrats should. People who do not value democracy or who ‘refuse to recognise or accept its results’ resort to violence and terror.

    No UKIP supporter resorts to violence or terror – we continue to pay our taxes and obey the law. We don’t stage loud rallies, sit-ins, obstructions of public places. Therefore we DO accept the results of democracy. (What we are against, in fact, is the undemocratic and corrupt EU.)

    There is no justification for questioning UKIP’s belief in democratic process – especially after the all-party all-media smear campaign and creation of dodgy parties to split the UKIP vote at the EU elections.

    Without a shred of evidence Dr Redwood accuses us of being undemocratic. In fact the complete opposite is the truth.

    And then he calls us ‘odd’.

    Clearly nothing has been learned about calling us names.

    • JA
      Posted July 23, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      We don’t believe that there are enough voters to form a UKIP government.

      We are simply tired of voting for a party which we dislike and which seems to dislike us and whose only purpose now seems to be to keep Labour out.

      This state of affairs is no longer good enough and your track record on mass immigration means that we have no less to fear from your government than we do from a Labour one.

      PS, I know you didn’t call us odd directly but I take it as a bit of lampooning nonetheless. I believe that was what the intention of the use of the word ‘odd’ was – to make us look clown-ish and eccentric.

      PPS, It is very difficult to ascertain how many votes for the Tory party are NOT Eurosceptic. Has anyone bothered to work it out ?

      How many voted Conservative because a referendum was promised ? Were the UKIP-a-like votes counted with UKIP’s and Conservative referendum seekers to ascertain the total ‘OUT’ votes ? If not then why not ? Does anyone really care to find out ?

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      We also do not, by and large use an arsenal of fake statistics and big fat lies to try to hoodwink the masses. 3 millions jobs depend on EU membership ?.

  51. bigneil
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Very crafty words john – saying that UKIP agrees with you. Doesn’t fool people.

  52. matthu
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    David Cameron is reported as saying the EU helps Britain ‘punch above its weight’.

    Is that a good thing? My experience is that a boxer punching above his weight gets floored pretty quickly.

  53. Ray Veysey
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I will try again to explain why I and other like minded Conservative MPs will continue to battle for the restoration of UK democracy as Conservatives.”

    I would draw your attention again to the word “conservative”, it is becoming more and more obvious that this message as most of Mr Redwoods increasingly desperate messages have become, revolve around the importance of being a conservative. Everything the other 13 comments (at the time of writing)below say, is true, but I have posted frequently about the aspect that most miss. “Conservative” has for a very long time always been connected with the word “posh” being a “conservative” MP, in or out of office has a certain cachet, and it is the loss of this cachet that these guys fear most. Nobody does drinks and nibbles like the conservatives, Hunt Balls are places you go to to avoid the hoi poloi, and the golf club dinner, where generally the “conservatism” can be cut with a knife. Their special club has been on the wane, as someone said below, for more than 20 years, and this is what they cannot face. even if it means that we get locked into the EU by the mendacious Cameron (who ironically is not a conservative, but a fair weather social democrat who will say and do anything to get his way), it is worth it to remain “a conservative”, party and social status before country these are the pond slime we are dealing with.

    • waramess
      Posted July 25, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      There is certainly an element of being posh behind the resistance of right wing Conservatives to acknowledge that the principles UKIP stand for are more in tune with their own beliefs.

      Ukip, apart from their anto EU stance and all that stands for are also in favour of small government and low taxes, honest money and restricted benefits. So why else I wonder would they wish to stay with a pro EU party of high government spending, high taxes and dishonest money?

      Something wrong, I think, if they believe they will more easily change the agenda of the Conservative Party than change UKIP.

      Yes, I think you sum it all up: they want to belong to the “posh” party.

  54. nigel
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Time to get real:
    Ed Milliband told Barack Obama this week that Labour “would stand unambiguously for Britain to remain in Europe”.

    DC may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and we need to rely on people like our host to “keep a rod at his back”, as Margaret Thatcher sometimes did with Ronnie Reagan and George Bush Senior.

  55. Richard
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwoood,

    You have previously written on your blog that because the (Europhile) parties of Lib/Lab/Con garner the vast majority of votes it must mean that that the majority of voters do not wish to leave the EU.

    Since I consider our leaving of the EU to be the most important issue today I can no longer vote for a party whose leader says he wants to stay in the EU and, worse still, favours EU expansion all the way to the Urals as well as the admission of Turkey.

    Even though voting UKIP may mean that we will have a Labour or Labour/Lib Dem government I still consider it is more important to register my vote for a party that wishes to leave the EU than to have a Conservative government.

    Plus the fact that I have finally come to the realisation that the Conservative Party is as Europhile as the Lib Dems and hence I do not believe that Mr. Cameron will, if he wins the next GE, provide us with a fair referendum, if one at all. If all else fails, I suspect he will simply resign to prevent a referendum taking place, or ensure the treaty re-negotiations drag on for years or…

    By the way, whilst it is true that UKIP have no clear idea how to exit from the EU I still wish to register my wish to leave and in return I note that Mr. Cameron has yet to inform us just which of the EU powers he will attempt to negotiate for a return to the UK.

    Furthermore, I suspect that all 3 parties, Lib/Lab/Con, are hoping to delay the referendum long enough for mass immigration to finally change our country into a collection of EU provinces and hence achieve the “right” result.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      The promised referendum is non binding anyway.

  56. Posted July 24, 2014 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Some context to this blog:

    (1) Interviewed by IBTimesUK on 7th May, John Redwood MP mused upon the possibility of the prime minister being forced to fall in behind public opinion and leading the ‘out’ campaign.
    “I think that would be asking a lot. The prime minister is an optimistic, positive person and will want to keep on saying he does not go into negotiations expecting to fail and he hopes to bring something home he can recommend…………………. I do not expect him to change his language dramatically any time soon.”

    (2) Today’s Daily Telegraph (24th July) has an item that includes the news that John Redwood MP is contributing to the next Conservative manifesto.

    What I think that John Redwood overlooks is the fact that UKIP supporters are also ‘optimistic, positive people’ who believe that they will steadily build support and eventually prevail. They are not going to come over to the Conservative Party unless and until they are convinced that the Prime Minister’s negotiating stance is robust. They don’t want a statement of general principles a la Bloomberg. They want specific demands for the return of powers to the UK and specific commitments to repeal our Acts of Accession to treaties.

    Parliament returns in September. I think that if by then the Conservative Party is still flat lining at 32% in the polls, John Redwood and his fellow Conservative Eurosceptics will be faced with a very tough decision.

  57. Jen The Blue
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I am a great fan of John Redwood. I am sure were he the Conservative leader I would be voting Conservative at the next election not UKIP.

    But even if he is right to say “”the main reason I do not support UKIP is I do not believe it can deliver its fundamental promise of taking us out of the EU.”” I would have to say there is even less chance of the Conservative Party of Cameron, Clarke et al doing so.

    Joe Soap summed it up so I will repeat it…..this is what I think as an (up till the Euro elections lifelong Tory voter and ex member……..)….

    The day when the Conservative Party
    -lowers taxes
    -negotiates to take us out of the EU, not keep us in
    -increases Grammar Schools
    -calls a halt to wind energy
    -stops over regulating businesses with stupid employment and NEST laws

    is the day they get my vote back. I have been taken for granted for too long and my opinions have been ignored in favour of Labour Lite policies.

  58. Tim
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Sorry John – not your best ever article.

    I like the little twist to make us UKIP supporters agree with you. Nice literary trick you did there but it does tend to wind up your target audience (that may have been your desire).

    I think we found in the Euros that the UK can get to a tipping point where UKIP starts to matter. Yes, they won’t win or even get loads of MPs but they will upset the applecart big time. And maybe 2020 (or earlier if the next government gets rid of the 5 years terms rubbish) will be the real goal.

    Either way – when voting, it’s best really to follow your beliefs, not compromise. Of course accept the result afterwards, but do not hedge on your beliefs. Therefore – UKIP it is.

  • 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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