Freedom and England


On Tuesday I am giving the McWhirter Memorial lecture at 7.30pm on HMS President, moored on the Victoria Embankment in London.

I will use the opportunity to make the case for England. If we assume Scotland votes to stay in the Union, the three main Westminster parties have promised more powers including powers over parts of taxation will be passed to the Scottish Parliament.  This will be the time to recognise that England too wants and deserves devolved government, enjoying the same powers of self determination of laws, spending and taxes as our Scottish neighbours and friends.

I will ask Who currently speaks for England? Why do the EU and many senior politicians in the UK want to break England up into regions that we do not seek or recognise? Why can’t English MPs at Westminster make the decisions for England, and speak for England, in the way the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh does for Scotland?

If we are revisiting Scotland’s settlement, we need to consider England’s at the same time. Many English people will not accept Scottish members of the Westminster Parliament voting through taxes on England that they do not have the power to impose on Scotland.

Should against all the odds Scotland vote for independence then the rest of the UK will need a new constitutional settlement, which will emerge from the negotiations over separation. It would also accelerate the need for the renegotiation of our EU relationship. One of the reasons why many English people are Eurosceptic, is they have the feeling the EU wants to remove their country from the map of Europe through strokes of the legislative pen and through administrative decisions which ignore, counter order  or bypass or country.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    It is not just Scotland, bit also N.Ireland and Wales. All three Home Nations have devolved powers to their respective assemblies, we do not. I am not asking for more powers for England and the English, I am asking for the same ! That is not an unreasonable request.

    I also note, (via EUReferendum) that Christopher Booker has a very interesting piece on Scotland and England. I would hope that our kind host will read and allow it.

    To me, the above piece b, Booker, highlights why we need English MP’s to look after the interests of England. We have had PM’s from Scotland that have overseen a very disproportionate and unfair settlement.

    For the Union to succeed, it must be seen to be both fair and beneficial. Scotland or one of the other Home Nations leaving, would not spell the end. But if England were to leave ???

    Have a good time Mr. Redwood MP sir, and please report back on the kind of reception your speech receives. I think it will help to gauge the level of support this issue has.

    • alan jutson,
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Mark B


      I am sure you will put forward an excellent argument John, I hope the audience take your points fully on board, and that it will get the publicity it deserves.

      Mr Salmonds demands have at least bought this subject to a head at last, now it needs fair and corrective discussion and action, not further give away’s.

    • agricola
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Yes Booker highlights yet another fault line in Salmond’s independence campaign, this time in respect of power generation. However when he suggests that UKIP is just as incoherent in it’s plans for detachment from political EU he is way off piste. UKIP are quite unequivocal in advocating a referendum, which if answered yes will lead to our exit via Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This has to be followed by renegotiation and a new EFTA type relationship. Booker must like the EU.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        No, Christopher Booker doesn’t like the EU, far from it; I think it’s more that he and his collaborator Richard North dislike Nigel Farage.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      We must go further and insist that no more powers should be devolved to Scotland unless the same devolved powers are also given to an ENGLISH parliament. The advantage of such a parliament being a subset of the Westminster parliament is that the Scots could go home for two days a week thus saving on expenses and salaries.

      At the same time we must demand equal representation by insistng that all constituencies are approximately the same size in terms of the number of voters. Why sould we put up with a parliament where the Scots are over represented.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Indeed on Booker the deal seems to be we have to buy low value Scottish wind electricity, at random times when they have too much for 2-10 times its true (intermittent) value, then sell on demand electricity back to them at its true value when they want it. Economic lunacy like Osborne’s arbitrary, you owe just what we say you owe, random GAAR tax.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 11, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Wouldn’t that be a consequence of UK government policy as preordained by the EU? In another, more sane, scenario neither the UK government nor UK consumers would be so heavily subsidising the production of electricity by windmills anywhere in the UK or elsewhere, including in an independent Scotland; the prices of electricity bought from and sold to Scotland would be a matter of negotiation, and if either side was going to have to pay high premiums it would naturally be the side which would have a desperate shortage of electricity when the wind wasn’t blowing, or when it was blowing too hard … so if it was prepared to ignore EU energy policies, surely the government of the continuing UK would tend to have the upper hand in the negotiations with the government of an independent Scotland, and could get Scotland’s intermittent surplus wind electricity at cheaper prices than it could charge when Scotland needed immediate help to keep its lights on? At least until Scotland could either store enough of its wind energy when there was a surplus, which might be possible but expensive in capital investment, or arrange to buy enough electricity from its other neighbours rather than the rest of the UK.

  2. Old Albion
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Good luck with that John and thanks.

  3. Martyn G
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    John, you say “One of the reasons why many English people are Eurosceptic, is they have the feeling the EU wants to remove their country from the map of Europe through strokes of the legislative pen….”
    England, as an identifiable country was removed from the map of Europe with the express agreement of the government of the day many years ago, followed by Mr Prescott breaking the country up into regions of the EU.
    I remember that at the same time the EU published a revised map of the EU in which Wales had also been removed. There was an instant huge outpouring of complaint by MPs and the government of the day quickly followed by its reinstatement with the EU telling us that the removal of Wales from the map had been ‘an administrative error’.
    I am in no doubt that the removal of England from the map of the EU was and will remain a deliberate policy of the UK governments, a dishonorable and spiteful measure taken to ensure that never again could England rise in opposition to the imposition of foreign rule, in this case by the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Well, the division of England into various regions for various purposes started long before we joined the EEC, and the division of England into euroregions started when we joined the EEC.

      For a start, you couldn’t have an EEC system of regional development funds without having a set of regions recognised by the EEC for that purpose.

      But while it was the Tory Heath who first agreed to that it was the Tory Major who later agreed to the establishment of the EU Committee of the Regions through the Maastricht Treaty.

      Which I find is using taxpayers’ money to promote its “Charter for Multi-Level Governance in Europe”:

      “This Charter opened on 9 May 2014 for the signature of all EU cities and regions and calls public authorities of all levels of governance (local, national and European) to use and promote multilevel governance (MLG) in their future undertakings.”

      People may think that their local council is their local council, but in fact it’s now just part of the bottom tier of the EU’s “multilevel governance” structure, with the protofederal EU at the top of course.

      It is worth noting that these three traitors to England – Heath, Major and Prescott – are or were all English, and they were all elected to Parliament by voters in England; it was not a case of wicked Scots trying to break up England, but of its own disaffected sons working to do that; and nothing much will change until voters in England buck their ideas up and start voting more sensibly.

      • James Matthews
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Prescott claims to be Welsh. I believe him.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 11, 2014 at 6:28 am | Permalink

          Apparently his family moved from Wales to Yorkshire when he was four; he may sometimes prefer not to be identified as being English but for sure he’s not a wicked Scot either, and he was elected as an MP by the English.

  4. Richard1
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Quite so. I’m fine with devomax for Scotland so long as we get it for England as well. This could be a real winner for the Conservatives at the election, I hope and assume the reason Cameron and Osborne haven’t yet jumped on it is so as not to impact the Scottish referendum. Let’s have a federal system, with basic flat taxes across the UK and then supplementary taxes for the 4 nations on top determined by devolved Parliaments. In the case of England, the devolved parliament should simply be English MPs sitting at Westminster.

    We must certainly resist moves by the EU and the UK political left to Balkanize England. They don’t want the Centre right in England to be able to express themselves!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      “In the case of England, the devolved parliament should simply be English MPs sitting at Westminster.”

      Because the Tory party does not believe that the English deserve what the Scots have got, their own separately elected devolved Parliament.

      Any more than the Tory party believes that the British people as a whole deserve the right to elect the second chamber of their Parliament; indeed it became clear that some Tory MPs preferred to risk losing the next general election rather than agree to any proposal of that kind, and it looks as if that is what will happen.

      • David Price
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Why do you single out the Tories, all the parties are the same on this issue. The question is what happens from this point on and which politicians will move things forward.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        I just don’t see the point of another parliament with all the costs when we have a parliament with 500+ English MPs at Westminster. Remember every time you create a new elected body the first thing it will do is try to create more powers for itself, thereby making more laws and probably demanding more taxes. English MPs sitting by themselves at Westminster should be able to legislate for England.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted August 11, 2014 at 2:47 am | Permalink

          Excalibur–Apart from all else what we don’t need is another ghastly modern building–concrete, RSJ’s and plastic

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 11, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

          Assuming the annual running costs of a English Parliament were the same as those of the Scottish Parliament then they would work out as just 2.5p per week per head of population in England. The cost argument is just about the most feeble that can be advanced against giving the English what they deserve, their own separate devolved assembly like the Scots and the Welsh and the Northern Irish. Let’s put it to a referendum in England, and see if the Tory party, indeed any political party, dares to tell the English people that they are not worth 2.5p per week per head. Or is it the fear that a separate English Parliament would not be elected by FPTP?

          • Richard1
            Posted August 11, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

            The cost is not just the direct cost its all the new laws and taxes and civil servants which will result. I’d certainly support a referendum on devolution for England in some form though.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 11, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

            Why do you assume that there would be any increase in the number of new laws, when obviously the effectively federal UK Parliament would cease to legislate in all of the devolved areas and that lawmaking would simply be transferred to the English Parliament? And what form of devolution would you support other than devolution to an elected assembly for the whole of England, as all the alternative forms would inevitably lead to the disintegration of England?

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    “One of the reasons why many English people are Eurosceptic, is they have the feeling the EU wants to remove their country from the map of Europe through strokes of the legislative pen and through administrative decisions which ignore, counter order or bypass the country.”

    Indeed, and they clearly do want to do this, in order to destroy any little democratic power it still has. They also want to regulate the city away from London and to use uncontrolled immigration on a large scale to change the nature and demographic of England. While taxing it excessively to fund other regions.

    Why should someone buying a tiny house in London have to pay say £40,000 in stamp duty yet in many regions they would pay nothing at all. Perhaps paying much more than 100% of their income in taxes in the year they move.

    If Scotland do vote to leave it will be sad, but what will Cameron and Libdems do in the few months left to address this issue. Lumbered as they are by the LibDems (thanks to Cameron’s daft approach to the last election) and the Libdem Tory MPs and with Cameron essentially a Libdem % wrong on nearly every issue so far.

    He could not, after all, even get fair MP constituencies agreed with the antidemocratic and anti Liberal Libdems after all. It will doubtless end up as another complete botched mess.

    • Bazman
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      They could always get on their bikes and pay nothing at all. Have a think why they have to pay 40k more if you are able and lets face it rich foreigners who use this property as piggy banks and holiday homes should pay for this in some way. Renting land is not work.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        They may well be left with less disposable income than others paying far less in tax or even nothing in tax.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Renting is indeed not work it is charging rent for lending an asset, just as one charges interest on a loan (other than to many UK banks it seems). But renting does involve work finding tenants, repairs, contracts, cleaning, insuring …….

        Who would want to rent if you got no rent?

    • William Buggins
      Posted September 8, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      “Indeed, and they clearly do want to do this, in order to destroy any little democratic power it still has. They also want to regulate the city away from London and to use uncontrolled immigration on a large scale to change the nature and demographic of England. While taxing it excessively to fund other regions.”

      If this is true, and I believe it is, why are our political parties aiding and abetting in this act of national suicide? Why do they wish to yield power and sovereignty to a sclerotic and corrupt “EUSSR” that simply cannot compete economically with the rest of the world?

  6. Yorkshire Lass
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Do not allow them to dismantle our country. No to Regions. England is worth fighting for and must not be destroyed in order to please her neighbours and the British government.
    Thank you.

    • Dave Maslen
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Hear hear

  7. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    It has to be the same constitutional arrangements as Scotland enjoys, JR, that is to say a separately elected devolved Parliament for the whole of England – including London, which is still part of England whatever Boris Johnson may think – and with a separate English government. Not this rather insulting fudge whereby what are in effect the UK federal institutions also double up as the devolved institutions for England. Having a separate Parliament for the whole of England is the only way to stop eurofanatics trying to break up England as they are now trying to break up the UK, and in my view nothing less than that will do. Of course it is possible that other people in England will disagree, which is why they should be asked in a referendum whether they think they deserve to have their own elected assembly like people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      I fully support your proposal for a referendum for a TRULY English Parliament, and would actively campaign for one.

      • The PrangWizard
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        As Mr Redwood has quite fairly and generously pointed out previously in one of his ‘replies’ the only party which puts England first and actively campaigns as part of policy for a true English parliament, is the English Democrats. If anyone supports UKIP because they think it does, they are wrong.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Would you be agreeable to having Scottish members of an English parliament such as Michael Gove, Liam Fox or George Galloway? Would it be ‘TRULY English’?

        • David Price
          Posted August 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          Do you mean Scottish by birth or allegiance? I don’t see it much matters where someone is from if they have thrown in their lot and become a citizen of the country and are representing it’s citizens.

          If Salmond does achieve his goal of breaking up the UK I don’t see how you can avoid people having to make a choice though.

    • James Matthews
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink


    • acorn
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Denis, a fine idea to have “devo-max” for England; a carbon copy of what Scotland is going to be given, England should get. But there is no non-violent mechanism in our unwritten constitution that would allow it to happen.

      The UK is Europes biggest “Rotten Borough”. You will know they were a product of a system that did not want change, where fathers passed on constituencies to their sons, as if they were property (which many saw them as), where some rotten boroughs were so bizarre that they beggared belief and where the very few who voted could not vote for whom they wanted to, due to the lack of a secret ballot or challenging candidate.

      The same situation pertains today, only instead of rotten MPs we have rotten legacy political parties that hand on constituencies to the next pawn in their lobby fodder collection. They don’t want the system to change anymore than did the Tory Prime Minister in 1830, Arthur Wellesley. We need a new version of The 1832 Reform Act that includes a written Constitution. (Or get invaded by the Vikings or similar; again.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 11, 2014 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        The non-violent mechanism is there, it just requires the English to buck their ideas up and change their voting habits at general elections.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      I am coming increasingly to this conclusion. I doubt our political class will ever agree. I do hope whatever happens that the multiple political layers can be made more efficient, smaller, and cheaper, just keeping on expanding them does us no good overall. But England does need a fairer settlement.

    • David Price
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      I can’t see any other option that would be equitable.

  8. Stephen Almond
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Why can’t English MPs at Westminster make the decisions for England, and speak for England, in the way the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh does for Scotland?

    Indeed, this would seem fair.
    My concern is that we will end up with an additional layer of rulers, in yet another purpose built palace.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Not necessarily. We do not need the useless London Assembly and Mayor. All part of the EU’s plan to Balkanize, England.

      Get rid of that, and we can save ourselves a small fortune and lose an additional layer of unnecessary bureaucracy.

    • Eryl Davies
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Scotland and Wales have already dealt with this and have assemblies which they both realise are of great benefit. Successive UK governments have continued to think in an outdated colonial way and have devolved powers piecemeal. What is needed is a revamp of the whole system with regional assemblies for every region all with the same powers and level of democracy. i.e. England should have its own assembly or assemblies so that ‘The Midlothian Problem’ is a thing of the past.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        “England should have its own assembly or assemblies” – one Parliament for the whole of England is what we need.

        “The Midlothian Problem” is that Scott used too much Lowland Scots in his dialogue. It is a problem which often crops up with novels where the author wishes to lend an air of authenticity to the story by having some of the characters speak in local dialect which is largely incomprehensible to the majority of the readers.

        The West Lothian problem is that Westminster MPs elected in Scotland are still allowed to vote on laws for England when they could not now vote on the same law for Scotland because that matter has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

      • Richard Hobbs
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        I agree with this. Best wishes for Tuesday, John. You have my support.

      • Bill
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        I am not convinced the Welsh Assembly Government has brought any benefit to the Welsh people. As far as I can see it has messed up the Welsh education system at both ends – primary level and university level. And then it creams off money to pay the extra politicians.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      “My concern is that we will end up with an additional layer of rulers, in yet another purpose built palace.”

      Nothing could be further from the truth Stephen, this is a miff put about by the politicians. For a start, 650 UK MPs would no longer be needed as the majority of their work would be done by the respective legislatures. The Houses of Commons could once again become the English Parliament.

      800 and rising Lords and Ladies’ ‘services’ could also be dispensed with saving a fortune in ‘expenses’ along with their £300 a day merely for signing in. It would also end another undemocratic practise known as the Upper West Lothian Question because just as in the Commons, we have the likes of Windbag Kinnock and his ……. wife and the the likes of Falconer and (the former Labour Speaker ed) all scrutinising legislation which only applies to England. The vacated HofL could be used to house a fraction of the 650 UK politicians currently employed needed for the few remaining UK reserved matters.

      Not only would an English Parliament restore democracy to England but it would not necessarily mean either new buildings or more politicians, if anything it could mean less and an end to the Westminster Gravy train which is probably the real reason our self serving politicians oppose an English Parliament.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Take over one of the royal palaces or MOD facilities. There is plenty of state paid for space available. I wouldn’t build a new building like Scotland did.

      Indeed I’d be tempted to keep the current parliament building for the English parliament. The UK one can go rent some space at the NEC or similar.

  9. agricola
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Whatever the results of the Scottish referendum we in England must put an end to the control that Scottish, Welsh, and NI MPs have of purely English legislation. Do not expect any support from Labour or the Lib/Dems because such a move would diminish their power in England.

    As to who speaks for England currently, I am forced to accept that in terms of political parties it is only UKIP. Yes there are individuals such as yourself who do, but you are up against the EU, the three main political parties, and the BBC. You do have the strength of the vast majority of the English people behind you, but you need to harness that power. Sympathetic printed media and the internet should be the channel through which you do it. The fact that UKIP is the only political body that is coherent in this respect accounts for their support.

    The Scottish people would be myopic should they support an ill thought out independence. If as I suspect they reject the Salmond blather, then part of any devolution of more power to the Scottish Parliament must be the just resolution of the East Lothian question incorporating Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

    Reply UKIP is a party of the Union, celebrated in its very name United Kingdom Independence party

    • agricola
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Yes John ,but not a party of an unbalanced slanted union that ensures that socialist ideology prevails in England.

      • David Price
        Posted August 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Give it a bloody rest. There is only one party that is focused on an English settlement and it is not UKIP, their “What we stand for” doesn’t even mention England or English so how you can claim they have a coherent position is a bit vaporous

        It is likely that support for such a thing will draw on and will need to draw on MPs across all the parties. So instead of supporting an MP who is pressing the issue all you do is try to make tribal points for a party that doesn’t have any MPs at all. Worse than that the politicians it does have in power are in the wrong parliament entirely and completely ineffectual then.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      I am sorry but EVfEL is no solution, the British political establishment will just get around that restriction by making sure any English only legislation isn’t by making sure the legislation effects Scotland and Wales. Hey presto no English only votes.

      EVfEL also doesn’t sort out the issue of Executive power. With EVfEL we still could still have a Gordon Brown deciding English legislation, and as we have seen the lobby fodder will troop through the lobbies to vote through what ever he wanted. And even if you don’t have a Gordon Brown, you would still get a Cameron, where what ever legislation he is pushing through is being done for the good of Britain, which might not be what is good for England.

      Reply No, could not do that. There is already a big bo0dy of case law over what is Scotland’s to decide, which would then also apply to England.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        As I understand it any change in spending plans in England will effect what tax revenue the Scots get in money in the Barnet formula. A situation which Scottish MP’s have used to claim an interest and need for their presence in what have been English only bills.

      • forthurst
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        “Reply No, could not do that. There is already a big bo0dy of case law over what is Scotland’s to decide, which would then also apply to England.”

        That is all very well, but if the government of the day is hostile to the English, it could also decide to either ignore English matters by not timetabling relevant bills or by scheduling legislation whose objectives are detrimental to English interests.

        In the bad old days, so much of what Westminster has to agonise about today was dealt with by those directly affected at local council level who had the added incentive of taking decisions that affected their people and their landscapes e.g. over flooding their farmlands or filling them full of houses for the benefit of those Westminster had decided to import from the third world.

    • stred
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Not many Ukippers would be sorry to see an English Parliament part time at Westminster or English MPs deal with English matters. The Welsh and N.Irish would still be welome as the remaining UK if Scotland leaves. Anyone disagree? Perhaps Nigel could make this clear?

  10. ian wragg
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Things will never change whilst we have the same LibLabCON ruling us who are at heart anti England and all very pro EU.
    Come the GE when many feathers are about to be ruffled then we may see some change.
    I see the Mail is today slagging off UKIP for being allegedly told to campaign like Hitler. This is the start of the MSM onslaught against UKIP which will continue until the election.
    It didn’t work for the Euro’s and it won’t work now.
    It’s time the MSM started exposing some of the Quislings in power at the moment and publishing Bozo’s pro Turkey, illegal amnesty etc etc speeches. We are not that stupid young man.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      I expect Boris Johnson thinks that his policies of allowing the whole population of Turkey to come and live here legally while also encouraging illegal immigration through the first of an endless succession of amnesties, naturally without any thought of asking us directly what we thought about either of those proposals, would go down very well in the safe Tory seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip. No doubt he imagines that they would see him swept into Parliament with a huge majority, and set on the road to becoming the new Tory leader in short order.

      • stred
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget Boris is 25% Turk and very effective. Just like my favourite Turkish enterpreneurs running my local shop and selling excellent Polish beers for £1.30 a pint. Personally, I would be very happy to have them running the county, instead of a bunch of incompetent ex-public schoolboys who could not even run a Portaloo. A competent ex- Tory would be even better.

        • stred
          Posted August 10, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          I am surprised that no one has mentioned the recent finding that the BBC bosses wasted £100m of taxpayer’s money, having commissioned digitaisation of old stuff and then cancelling it half way through,and then blaming the technicians. Heads to roll? Don’t think so.

        • APL
          Posted August 10, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          stred: “Personally, I would be very happy to have them running the county, ”

          A reincarnation of the Ottoman Empire? No thanks.

          • forthurst
            Posted August 10, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            “A reincarnation of the Ottoman Empire? No thanks.”

            What, not even with Bey Boris?

  11. JoolsB
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    We know Labour and the Lib Dums will never allow an English voice because they need their Scottish (and Welsh) votes/MPs to help them govern England but the Tories under Cameron are idiots to go on ignoring the English Question.

    You’ve been asked a few times in recent weeks John how many of your Tory colleagues feel the same as you or even care about the rotten deal England is getting from this so called union. Seeing as none of them can even bring themselves to say the word England, can we assume from your silence the answer is none?

    Please tell us John and good luck on Tuesday.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Why do you refuse to tell us John? Otherwise we can only assume what we already suspect, that the ‘English Party’ are every bit as anti-English as Labour and the Lib Dums and couldn’t give a toss about England, until election time that is. BIG mistake!

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    It seems we will have to suffer Baroness Warsi springing up on the BBC for years to come as one of their silly expert “thinkers” like Major, Ken Clark, Billie Brag, Jo Brand, Russel Brand, Shirley Williams, Polly Toynbee…….

    Which dam fools decided to make her a Baroness and chairman of the Tories. In my experience sensible voters of all colours tend to want similar things, jobs, a sound economy, decent houses, schools, law and order, real democracy, fewer feckless, lower taxes ……

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Harriet Harman, Prescott, Yvette Cooper, Vince Cable, Mendi Hasan, Ken Livingstone, B Zephaniah, C Huhne, Ed Davey, Shami Chakrobati…… What a collection the BBC seems to keep in their cupboards to push the BBC Lord Patton D Cameron think line.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        And Mary Beard of course.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      That’s rather unfair on Major and particularly Clarke who are of a completely different calibre to the likes of Warsi who was only ever prominent by virtue of being a token Muslim woman.

  13. Alan Wheatley
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I would like be there. I hope it goes well.

  14. Richard
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    I wish you all the best with your lecture.

    The fact that there is no devolved parliament for England and that Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs can vote on English only matters is a measure of how undemocratically we in England are currently governed.

    Furthermore, England needs its own MP’s just as there exists now for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Anything else is not equitable.

    All 3 major parties are so Europhilic that they are happy to accept the EU’s proposals that England should be split into separate regions, even to the extent that the south of England will become part of a northern French region.

    Labour has tried to break up England into regions and the Conservatives are attempting the same result with the introduction of city mayors.

    Thus any Englishman who does not want to see England split into separate EU regions should not be voting for any of the 3 main parties.

  15. Iain Moore
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Great, you would have my vote.

    Trouble is , as you have found out in Parliament , anybody raising the English Question is stonewalled . Stonewalled by both the political establishment and the media. As I have pointed out before, there is no BBC England, and there isn’t any English arms of the main political parties as there are Scottish and Welsh. I also gather another MP sought to raise the issue, and was told to keep quite about it if she knew what was best for her career. As such any efforts on your part will disappear into a fog of indifference. To ensure it doesn’t may I suggest you don’t rely the British media to give you coverage , but get control of its broadcast by having it videoed and getting it on the internet.

  16. James Matthews
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Slightly tangentially I see that Baroness Warsi is now threatening the Conservatives with the electoral power of “ethnic minorities”, The subtext being that one particular minority which now forms 5% of the population and which has brought with it its own set of loyalties from elsewhere wants to control of our foreign policy, They are of course entitled to use their fast growing electoral power ( though a review of voting rights for those who are not full citizens of the UK is long overdue), but the first past the post electoral system greatly amplifies this, as it does that of other vocal minorities who might swing marginal seats. It really is time to rethink Conservative opposition to proportional representation. Party interests are being put ahead of those of the majority of the electorate in a way that will eventually lead to disaster.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink


      For the Political Class and the Establishment to put in place policies, they must at first be prepared to see that there may indeed be a problem. And I cannot quite see it yet, although first signs look encouraging.

      The first thing that they can do, and indeed should do, is ban postal voting. It has been mentioned on here before and, our kind host has questioned (quite rightly) whether or not postal fraud exists. But when the political party that first expanded it, then starts to question it, I think it is not only time, but a good opportunity to legislate.

  17. David Price
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Why must you ask instead of demanding, and why must an English constitution be dependent on negotiations with the Scottish politicians. English MPs must represent the interests of their constituents above those of the Scots, Palestinians and the rest, they must tell the Scottish politicians and the EU to be silent on affairs that are not their business.

    On a more pragmatic note, Mr Salmond has come clean and admitted he would consider defaulting on Scottish debts. Even if he gets Devo Max as far as I am concerned neither he nor any government he is associated with can now be trusted on any fiscal matters. so I will start reviewing my financial affairs and look to move all of them out of Scottish hands regardless of the referendum outcome.

    An issue for Scottish voters is not just independence but also how they will deal with someone as reckless as Mr Salmond and his colleagues whose actions result in any wholesale transfer of clients out of Scottish banks and investment houses.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Salmond is sticking with that foolish threat:

      “In an open letter published yesterday, Salmond said he would not consider a Plan B because he would not settle for second best for Scotland.

      He also repeated his threat to default on Scotland’s share of the UK debt if the country did not get a share of the Bank of England after independence.”

      It is foolish because if taxpayers in England thought that they were being lined up to pay off Scotland’s share of the debt then as consumers they would have the means to retaliate by systematically boycotting Scotland and Scottish products, without having to wait for any formal sanctions.

      Exports to the rest of the UK account for about a third of Scottish GDP, while the other way round it would be about 3% of GDP.

      Of course the Scottish Treasury would rightfully be entitled to a pro rata share of the net assets or equity of the Bank of England, which is at present wholly owned by the UK Treasury, but that would only amount to about £300 million.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Trying to pass off ‘Scottish’ notes in English pubs has always been challenging. That’s a boycott that has existed for some time and is unlikely to improve.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted August 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Did you know that in Eurozone countries, some of the elderly will only except those Euros that have their country’s symbol on the reverse side? Old habits die hard.

      • David Price
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        By repeating that policy he must therefore have the support of the SNP in government and party. With financial services being around 8% of Scottish GDP I cannot believe anyone would be so stupid as to put it in jeopardy by threatening to renege on debts and obligations.

        Nor can his tribe make their minds up if they are anti-Westminster or anti-English and are flailing around seemingly in panic. Well I am not taking any risks with such a foolhardy group.

        By taking such foolish line the SNP has gone from being a group trying to get a good deal for their voters to declaring themselves and their government as a clear and tangible threat to UK citizens outside Scotland, particularly those with money in Scottish owned banks (including HBOS, RBS) and investment houses. I wouldn’t trust them not to seize savings particularly when their policies lead his government into high levels of debt.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 11, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          I think just making that foolish threat has already set alarm bells ringing and done some damage to the reputation of Scotland and the Scots, trying to carry it through would be catastrophic.

          • David Price
            Posted August 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

            I agree, the threat cannot be ignored even if they didn’t really mean it. Salmond and the SNP have put Scotland in a very tricky position. If they carry through on the threat then the Scottish financial services industry is toast and who would buy Scottish government bonds or trust any commitments. If they don’t follow through on the threat then what other threats should one believe.

            I thought Salmond was supposed to be a shrewd, canny operator. From this it seems he and his party is far from either, first fibbing over an EU commitment now flailing around and threatening to renege on debts.

            The opportunity was there to have an amicable devolution but Salmond and the SNP have tried to be too “canny” and have jeopardised everybody.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    We know our country no longer exists because the word ‘traitor’ doesn’t exist either.

  19. oldtimer
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Quite right – there needs to be devomax for England too.

    The crushing defeat, in a referendum, of Prescott`s ill advised scheme for the North East was the clearest expression possible of the contempt felt for that EU inspired initiative.

    Do you know who will be in your audience? I imagine it will be relatively small (because of the venue) but will it be influential in helping to sway and form opinion?

  20. Bert Young
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    It is the UNITED KINGDOM that matters ; all of our efforts must be made to retain it . The devolved governments in Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland are a mistake and should be disbanded . Any attempt to dismantle the unity and purpose of our country should be fought off with the sort of determination and effort we have shown in the past when threatened . If Westminster is obliged to re-arrange itself into a selective voting condition with England only concerned with England , it is the end of our identity and force in the world . Local taxation based essentially on property holdings is a regional matter and can be left as such , but giving Scotland a control over its wider taxation on income and wealth is wrong . The EU has made many attempts to destroy our identity and its latest mandate to restrict and control the City is typical of its centrist ambition ; this must be rejected – it is far too important an ingredient in our economy for this to happen . Those forces within and without our country who wish to disintegrate and destroy our Union should be treated as criminals and dealt with accordingly . On Monday I know you will speak up for our country and make it known to the world that we intend to remain a strong United Kingdom – a force to be reckoned with and respected at all times .

    • David Price
      Posted August 11, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      I can no longer agree that it is the UK that matters.

      If a union means we outside Scotland are liable for Scottish debts that they have threatened to renege on and their politicians meddle in our affairs then I would rather the union be re-structured with separate governments within a federal UK.

  21. skynine
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    We need a federated UK with devolution to all the 4 countries and the MP’s coming together to represent the UK for non devolved issues.

    That way we have fewer representatives and another level of politics cut out.
    What we cannot have is Scottish, Welsh and N I MP’s voting and even being Ministers on English issues. Remember John Reid; Health Secretary for England!!!

  22. Eleanor Justice
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Good luck Mr Redwood! see if you can find a few more patriotic Englishmen in the “House” to help you I fear you will have a struggle .

  23. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    “they have the feeling the EU wants to remove their country from the map of Europe”
    It is too easy to once again scapegoat the EU, when there isn’t even a national authority governing “England” as an entity by itself!

    Reply The absence of a government does not invalidate the feelings that we belong to one country called England.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      “Reply The absence of a government does not invalidate the feelings that we belong to one country called England.”

      Quite, we English are like the Kurds, a sense of identity but without a country that anyone recognises.

    • lojolondon
      Posted August 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      John, you are absolutely correct on this point – anyone who doubts it, google for ‘Arc Manche’ – South-Eastern England has for EU purposes been mashed together with NE France. Note with interest that the President of this region is Alain Le Vern, who is President of the Haute-Normandie Region.

      • lojolondon
        Posted August 11, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, should read not “NE France”, but “NW France” – coastal region.

    • David Price
      Posted August 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      “It is too easy to once again scapegoat the EU”

      It is too easy because the EU bureacrats and elite are so arrogant they don’t care what we think or want.

      However, have you heard of INTER-REG, specifically the NWE programme? I don’t view Wikipedia as a normative reference but it’s hard to imagine the following would be left on the site if the EU actually objected;

      “Interreg is designed to stimulate cooperation between member states of the European Union on different levels. One of its main targets is to diminish the influence of national borders in favor of equal economic, social and cultural development of the whole territory of the European Union.”

      So if the EU bureacrats are happy for such aims to be made public, why are you so prickly about an issue that has nothing to do with you?

  24. The PrangWizard
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    This will be the time to recognise that England too wants and deserves devolved government, enjoying the same powers of self determination of laws, spending and taxes as our Scottish neighbours and friends.

    I think you know that only a true English parliament can possibly serve England’s interests and to produce fairly what you define here, that is to say one with directly elected Members. The compromise, using the same MPs, ie. English constituency MPs, as sit presently for the UK in the UK parliament will not work, people will quite rightly not have faith in it. Could they possibly be trusted always to put England above all; there will inevitably be confusion and worse, many who sit now oppose an English parliament in any form anyway. How can they possibly be relied upon? And how will they campaign for election in future?

    It will not work either if there is no First, or Prime Minister, of England. The fact that he or she will have considerable power which may rival the UK Prime Minister is not something to shy away from. And how could we, the English, trust a Cameron, or any UK Prime Minister to speak and act faithfully and exclusively in England’s interests in its entirety. Why should second best be considered enough for England? Why campaign for it?

    I have faith that you will speak for England, you may not yet go as far as I do in wishing a true English parliament and independence but our movement is gaining momentum and I wish you all strength as we, in our various degrees on this side of the argument, are opposed by powerful forces. But the glaring injustice that exists must, and is, increasingly being understood and addressed.

  25. Martin Ryder
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    England expects …….

  26. majorfrustration
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Good luck with the talk lets hope it has some effect although I have me doubts.
    The problem is that nothing will change – cant see the Scots being that stupid to bite the hand that feeds them. But you never know – independence for the Scots would bring independence for England that much closer – almost a win win. If all else fails and we find ourselves stuck with the Scots and allied to non existent immigration controls and a weak PC lead justice system we could fall back on something akin to the Balfour Declaration/Agreement and start raising money towards finding an English Homeland abroad.

  27. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Airstrip one.
    War on Eurasia…

  28. John Wrake
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,

    You pose a question, in relation to your lecture: Why do the EU and many senior politicians in the UK want to break England up into regions that we do not seek or recognise?

    The answer is straightforward, but at present, no Member of Parliament has the courage and honesty to utter it.

    The European Union wishes to destroy, not just England, but the United Kingdom, because our historic Constitution, upholding the freedom of the individual against the state, is founded on the Christian faith and Common Law and is anathema to those who wish to impose arbitrary power without constraint.

    The majority of Members of Parliament, senior and junior, continue to commit the treason which brought us into membership of the European Union by the lies uttered by Edward Heath, who denied that such membership was unconstitutional. Treason has continued and is continuing, either deliberately, or through ignorance, or through venality, in the hope that a complacent and equally ignorant electorate will allow our historic freedoms to disappear. Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Stormont are all infected by the same disease, since the freedoms of the English Constitution have been accepted throughout the United Kingdom and devolution was just a step toward the break-up of the U.K., now more openly the aim.

    In this year, we remember those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom after 1914.
    We should know the difference between treason and loyalty by now.

    John Wrake.

  29. Terry
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I fear for England whatever the outcome. Our Prime Minister is sorely lacking in the negotiating skills that are honed in a tough Private Sector environment. His privileged background fast tracked him from Eton into Westminster without passing through “Go” on the way. He did not ‘go’ into industry nor go into any other tough business environment and I fear he will be outmaneuvered by Alex Salmond who remains a wily Scot.
    His conceding votes for the Under 16’s in the Scottish Referendum whilst denying votes for any non-domiciled Scot must have been the most naive decision in politics this century. With one hand, Mr Salmond captures gullible children to vote for him while the other sweeps away those that would vote to remain in the UK.
    Even I saw through that and I’m not a politician but I have worked in industry.

    Please, Back Benchers, ensure that Mr Cameron does not give anything else away, whatever the result. England cannot afford it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 11, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Cameron did not just concede on votes for children and no votes for expatriate Scots who are UK citizens, at the same time he agreed that people who are not even UK citizens could have a vote on whether the UK should be broken up. It is bad enough that we allow foreigners to vote in our elections, something which most other countries rightly do not allow, but allowing them a say on whether our country should cease to exist just because they happen to be living in Scotland at the time of the referendum takes that chronic stupidity to a whole new level and tells me that Cameron doesn’t really grasp the concept of citizenship.

      • Richard
        Posted August 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Mr. Cooper,

        I think you have forgotten that Mr. Cameron sees us as citizens of Europe and not of any individual country.

        A Europe which extends from the Atlantic to the Urals and includes Turkey.

  30. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    JR: “This will be the time to recognise that England too wants and deserves devolved government, enjoying the same powers of self determination of laws”
    Not possible for the UK, England or Scotland whilst we are imprisoned in the EU.

  31. nonoftheabove
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood. As you well know this talk is all smoke and mirrors, one thing which you politicians are good at.
    What is the point of an English parliament to rubber stamp eu and global directives?
    We need a proper democracy which gives your stolen power back to the people of this once fine country.
    What we do not need is more bureaucracy, more government or more eu.
    We certainly do not need any professional politicians.

    Reply Which is why I have successfully campaigned for a referendum on the EU so we can leave or approve a new relationship where we do make our own laws.

    • nonoftheabove
      Posted August 10, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your reply Mr Redwood.
      As I have said many times before the eu will not cede any meaningful powers back to the UK. Barroso has stated this most clearly.
      The only way to renegotiate our relationship is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This will require an out vote in a referendum.
      If the tory party were serious about a new deal you would have to campaign for that out vote.
      Do you agree with me?
      Correct me if I am wrong but your leader will not do any of this.

      Reply If they offer little or nothing we simply vote to leave. You only get that chance if we have a Conservative government in 2015 pledged to a vote.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Cameron has asked for virtually nothing anyway.

        • APL
          Posted August 11, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic: “Cameron has asked for virtually nothing anyway.”

          So, he can honestly* say ‘I’ve got everything I asked for, it’s a terribly good deal and I recommend everyone votes for this wonderful deal.

          *While lying.

  32. A different Simon
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    A lot of so called English MP’s are in fact speaking up for London rather than England .

    We could start recognising that London is no longer part of England by moving parliament into somewhere else in the union , perhaps somewhere in England like Birmingham .

  33. Bill
    Posted August 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    After 1944 we had a ‘national system of education locally delivered’. That system, with basic coordination ensured by statute, nevertheless allowed flexibility.

    I should have thought that was a better way of organising things than allowing a series of competitive regions, each separately governed, fighting for its own interests. If we do set up an Assembly for England to match the Welsh Assembly Government or the Scottish Parliament, we will still need some coordination between the vestiges of the United Kingdom – or are we all going to become little states herded about by the bureaucrats of the EU?

  34. Atlas
    Posted August 11, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink


    You put the West Lothian question well. Certainly the status quo with regard to MPs from Scottish constituencies voting on English only matters is not acceptable.

  35. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    In promising more powers over taxation for Scotland, the three (sic!) party leaders do not speak for me. I will not support an English parliament because it is necessary only if there further devolution of which I don’t approve. Scottish devolution has already caused tremendous damage to the United Kingdom. There was no serious demand for a Cardiff assembly before Holyrood was created, certainly no demand for tax raising powers. And in Northern Ireland, to many Unionists the Stormont Assembly is a total abomination. Would you care to recommend a second referendum on the Good Friday agreement?

    The English body politic has been WEAK, WEAK, Weak. It has given away powers upwards to the European Union and downwards to the devolved assemblies. If you can’t be bothered to stand up for yourselves, don’t expect other people to do it for you.

    • Martin
      Posted August 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Is the failure to freeze Council Tax in England another example of weakness?

  36. Martin
    Posted August 11, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help but think that the England you speak of is the home counties. Is it the England of run down towns and cities such as Middlesborough or the inner cities?

    Re the Westminster parties tax proposals for Scotland it is a pity they are the wrong taxes. The bodge compromise that London’s placemen agree on for London Parties – not Corporation tax or Air Passenger Duty (and of course supported by the London media and their placemen without question).

  37. Mrs N Mashiter
    Posted August 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Re: Freedom and England , Thankyou raising and speaking about this issue – I cannot claim to be as politically aware and savvy as many of your contributors but it has always struck me as profoundly unfair that those whose constituencies are totally unaffected can vote on policies that only concern England. If Scotland should choose to stay and ‘devomax’ be their preferred route, then we should be perfectly entitled to bar MPs representing Scotland ( or other parts of the UK f0r that matter) on having a say on what happens in England. I hope you get the publicity in the papers this subject warrants.

  38. Oscar De Ville
    Posted August 12, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    What a relief to read Bert Young`s response. I agree with every part of it. Your own readiness to debate ANY break-up of the United Kingdom is hard to understand, even if seemingly “logical” or “fair”. All of us, especially you who are elected to govern, need to be proud, and tough, to defend our British sovereignty – against threats from without or madmen from within. Is there nothing in oaths to the Queen to say so ? Has it taken only a week to forget our recent reverence to those who have died ? Let us undo expensive “devolution” distractions and create no more. And let us get on with efficient management, as you usually propound.

  39. Oscar De Ville
    Posted August 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    What a relief to read Bert Young`s response. I agree with him on every point. How can you consider more fragmentation of the UK with yet another body – whatever the apparent “logic” or “fairness” ? All of us should support unity, not division – even elected legislators ! – and always defend our sovereignty against any external threat or ambitious internal crackpots. Is there not an oath to the Queen to that effect ? Is it only a week since we were expressing reverence for those who died to that end ? Let us undo recent past “devolution” errors, and concentrate on the good strong firm government which you usually tellingly propound.

  40. Oscar De Ville
    Posted August 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Apology for repetition ! Choose either

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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