Mr Carswell


Today I know many of you will want to post on this topic whatever I write, so let me give you the heading you want to let you say what you wish.

I have little to say on the topic. I find Mr Carswell’s timing curious. We have moved the Conservative party to say that our current relationship with the EU is not working for the UK, and needs to be changed. We have moved the leadership to offer a renegotiation. More importantly they have offered a referendum on the results. That means if they are unable to negotiate a decent relationship based on trade and political co-operation which allows us to have self government back over the things that matter, the UK voters will be able to vote for out. The party leadership also now recognises that there are circumstances in which the government would have to recommend exit, if the EU does not come up with sensible proposals for the UK.

Given this, what matters now most of all is a Conservative majority in 2015 to deliver the renegotiation and the referendum. Had Mr Carswell resigned from the Conservative party and from Parliament a couple of years ago before we had achieved the changes of policy we needed I could have understood, though I would still have argued we had every prospect of winning the arguments within the Conservative party, as time proved we could. To leave now when we are on the cusp of success in changing the relationship or simply leaving the EU altogether on a  vote of the people  is curious.

I note that the incumbent UKIP candidate for Parliament in Clacton understandably does not wish to give way to Mr Carswell to be the UKIP candidate. It just shows how difficult any deal between UKIP and the Conservatives would be, if UKIP cannot even work out who will be their candidate in Clacton for the by election to chose a new MP for around just 5 months service.

Mr Carswell we are told is a man of principle. You should therefore take to heart his recent statements on the topic of the EU and the PM:


“In order to exit the EU we need David Cameron to be our PM”

“Only the Conservatives will guarantee and deliver an In/Out referendum. It will only happen if Cameron is PM”

“Nothing we do must make the prospect of an In/Out referendum vote less likely”

Cameron’s Bloomberg speech on the EU was “100% right”

Words of Mr Carswell to treasure.

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  1. Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    I would like just like to say; “Good morning everyone.” 🙂

  2. Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Up early John?
    The cosy consensus between the professional politicians of the Conservatives, Labour and LibDems that high levels of immigration are fine, their conspiracy to lie about it to the British people and pretend at election time that they are going to do something about it, the massive problems the ordinary people can see every day with immigration and integration do lead to an inevitable tension. Politicians like Carswell will be forced by the inevitability that the voters are going to rebel and vote UKIP as much about the ongoing out of control immigration, as about Europe, the quality of the politician class, the political correctness gone mad, and so on.
    There is far too much cosy consensus amongst professional politicians, so many examples, schools selection by catchment area being another where I don’t see any of the public who don’t think they shouldn’t have the buying power in the relationship with schools but the politicians are never going to give them it. Times are rolling on.
    Carswell was also correct about the way the public debt is presented by Cameron and friends, and the word play around deficit and debt trying to pull the wool over people eyes. The debt is going up massively every single day and that with the party that wants to supposedly spend least in power… this con trick is sailing the country into disaster as you well know and again the whole professional political class have only themselves to blame when people start to rebel at the lack of honesty and competence.
    The sheer lack of real world experience of the political class, the fact so few have done “proper jobs”, the Eton clique Cameron has surrounded himself with, the public school dominance (in the labour party too), Large politically correct “equality” bureaucracy’s funded by the public purse which fail to speak out again the most common inequality that is discrimination against working class and regional accents and the white working and under class, and so very much more. … do you really expect this to be successful long term? Of course not no chance.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Indeed. UKIP represents the chance for the demos to register dissatisfaction with the incumbent cohort of rulers. Those parties who either kowtow to Europe and blindly follow its directives or those who use Europe as an excuse to follow their own doctrine. We need a real vent to drive change and UKIP is that.

      Mr Carswell may well have trodden on Mr Lord’s toes ( Mr Lord gave an entertaining interview on the Today programme this morning) but at least he did not just cross the floor, he has given his constituency the final word. This is in keeping with UKIP principles.

      Maybe Boris would like to fight Clacton instead of parachuting into the safe Uxbridge seat where he is unwanted.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Boris is vulnerable as he is far too pro open doors immigration.

        He is another one who has been cosying up to the Indian outsourcing movement which decimates jobs here.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:21 am | Permalink

          Boris is all comedy. How does he get away with it ? When careers can be ended by holding a banana the wrong way – or by wearing a baseball cap. We have pictures Boris suspended from a trapeze !

          The public will not vote for a comedy act. They want the present complacency on immigration and cultural fragmentation replaced with a dour sense of urgency.

          We – the people – have done our utmost regards welcoming newcomers.

          We are never thanked for it. Nor apologised to having been wrongly insulted and accused of all sorts of unkindness and bigotry.

          Get rid of the Tory party.

          It’s been the problem all along. Not the solution.

          • Posted August 30, 2014 at 6:26 am | Permalink

            “We are never thanked for it. Nor apologised to having been wrongly insulted and accused of all sorts of unkindness and bigotry. ”

            and your solution is … welcome in the party that engineered such high levels of unqualified immigration.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:52 am | Permalink


      Absolutely correct on all issues.
      The way every crisis (immigration, at the moment) is promised a ‘robust’ solution, only to be swept under the carpet (perhaps after installing a few bureaucrats to oversee the issue) is just appalling.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Very well said, Ian. Will the Conservative Party MPs under Cameron listen? It seems not.

  3. Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    It would seem Mr Carswell has realised, just like us out here in the real world. That the chance of the Conservative party winning outright in 2015 is not good, and that even if Cameron does get re-elected. There ain’t a hope in hell of any meaningful change in relationship with the EU(ssr)
    So Cameronwill bluster around for another five years, assuring us change is on it’s way, when of course the EU(ssr) project has not the slightest intention of giving up one iota of the power it has gained over national sovereignty. Mrs Merkel has previously made that clear.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      What is Mr Carswell unhappy with? He knew in May 2010 that the Conservatives are in a coalition with the LibDems. If anything Mr Cameron’s policy on Europe has become more eurosceptic. Its now clear there will be a referendum if there is a Conservative govt, which is why until yesterday Mr Carswell was arguing for one. If he had defected a few months after the 2010 election you could have understood it, but defecting now makes no sense. Could it be more about Mr Carswell and his prospects than any policies?

      The only sure conclusion is if Mr Carswell and others are successful in splitting the right of centre / eurosceptic vote in seats like Clacton there will be a Labour govt, and then of course no referendum on Europe.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        There will be not meaningful and fair referendum under Cameron, even if he did win a majority. He is a proven ratter and his heart and soul are just not in it.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

          Don’t agree. Cameron has been v clear the Conservative manifesto will contain a commitment to an in/out referendum by end 2017. If it doesn’t happen Conservative MPs will force it. I have every confidence in that.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

            The referendum will be non binding anyway.

            The ‘vote UKIP, get Labour’ line simply doesn’t wash anymore. I am NOT voting for a federalist PM. I am not voting for one who floods our country with immigration – look at what he does and not what he promises.

            Clearly we’re f*****d anyway and it matters not a jot which party gets in.

            This is the insurmountable sentiment which is affecting so many.

            Reply Of course Parliament will implement the wishes of the electorate in the referendum.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

            A referendum but, just like the Scottish one, undertaken in conditions where voters are faced with material uncertainty and doubt because it will be impossible to provide authoritative answers to important questions – so the default position of any reasonable person will be to opt for the status quo ante, especially if it is represented that improvements are due.

            Cameron is, in my view, a very astute operator and he has enjoyed considerable success with referenda (AV which has extinguished the dreams of a generation of Liberal Democrats and the Scotland one which however will not do the same to nationalists’ dreams.)

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

            The last Manifesto has a clear commitment to a £1M inheritance tax threshold and all sorts of other lies they have ratted on. Cameron claimed his priority was in three letters the N H S.

            You judge men like Cameron on their actions not their words. His actions are all pro EU, tax increasing, regulation increasing, big government increasing, pointless warmongering, green crap from top to bottom.

            Reply As many here constantly remind us, Mr Cameron did not win the election so he was unable to implement many parts of the Manifesto.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

            Mr Cameron did not win the election so he was unable to implement many parts of the Manifesto.

            We should therefore treat any forthcoming manifesto with a certain degree of circumspection … try this:

            Increased IHT and simplified taxation
            Jobs for everyone, smaller public sector
            Profitable HS2 (on time and within budget)
            e-borders (leading to control over immigration)
            Bonfire of the quangos
            Cheap, reliable energy and pleasant climate
            Kettle and vacuum cleaner inspectors

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

            We plan to change Britain with a sweeping redistribution of power: from the state to citizens; from the government to Parliament; from Whitehall to communities; from Brussels to Britain; from bureaucracy to democracy. Taking power away from the political elite and handing it to the man and woman in the street.

            – Conservative party manifesto 2010

            How much of this did we achieve?

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

            And pigs will fly. What about the commitments in the last manifesto first?

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            Indeed Cameron threw the last sitting duck election through his complete incompetence and cast iron ratting and then did a very duff deal with the Libdems to make matters even worse. A deal where he could not even get a fair constituency boundaries off them. On IHT thresholds the Tories will not even do anything after the next election it seems. Not that they will win one with the current broken compass. With the exception of the M4 bus lane and the new squatting laws it is hard to see what he has done that is positive.

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

            Mondeo Man

            “vote UKIP, get Labour”

            That was one of the Conservatives main appeals in 2010 .

            I fell for it last time around . Not going to fall for it again .

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          Lifelogic–Entirely agree

          If the Conservatives and in particular Cameron have “moved” it is through gritted teeth, having been forced to do so. Our host says that the leadership recognises that there might be circumstances in which they would have to recommend Brexit but Cameron on the box last night and pressed a number of times on whether he agreed, unequivocally declined to do so. Cakes and eating them comes to mind. Perhaps our host (and one or two others) could support what he says on this? Factor in also that of course even if Cameron somehow wins (not impossible given Miliband) there is not the slightest hope of significant change in the EU, though no doubt any small shift would be dressed up as significant to pull the wool in any Referendum, which thereby could then easily be lost–the worst possible result of all. Miliband would after all be only temporary.

          But the (so-called) Conservatives and Cameron are going to lose so there is no point getting too bothered about his (highly dubious) promises. The clear priority is to get an initial few UKIP MP’s in place and go from there. I tend to agree that there probably won’t be any more defections congruent with Carsdale’s, not immediately anyway, but my hopes, especially once there are one or two UKIP MP’s, is that the variability, especially in the North of England will bring further very welcome shocks. Nobody said it would be easy.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

            Let me quote King Lear to you:

            O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
            No more of that

            To give up on the Conservatives and pin your hopes on UKIP is the ‘counsel of despair’. What we need, what we desperately need, is an agreement between the Tories and UKIP.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

            Postscript to Bill below–Couldn’t agree more and later (q.v.) I asked for an explanation why if Churchill could do it (with the National Liberals in 1951) the present apology for a Tory Leader cannot do the same. Is it because Churchill went to Harrow?

          • Posted August 31, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            Not just me then that thought the timing of the change in terrorist threat level to substantial was interesting.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          JR there will only be a referendum if Cameron. A wins an overall majority highly unlikely and if he thinks he will win one. A referendum promised by a proven heart and soul EUphile, serial ratter is worthless.

          Anyway Cameron is also wrong on expensive energy by , high taxes, electric car subsidies, endless government waste, the equality drivel, HS2, green subsidies, GAAR, IHT, electric cars, the economy, Scotland, uncontrolled immigration …….. he is just not a Tory why did he ever join the Conservatives?

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          Now we have Theresa May and Dave Cameron raising the terror threat level from “Substantial” to “Severe” (Highly likely but not imminent it seems) clearly meaningless distraction drivel & nonsense. Perhaps time for some more footage of Tanks at Heathrow? PR and spin at its most truly pathetic.

          If the government have any specific information they should do something about it. Adjusting Terror warning in this pathetic way is just absurd. Indeed worse it does the terrorists jobs for them. It frightens them pointlessly.

          Stop them if possible or clear up the mess and bodies afterwards that is the government job. Not this silly spin, scaremongering and PR distractions.

          Cameron’s speech just now the usual vacuous drivel and spin.

          Far, far more are killed by the incompetent NHS why not do something about that Cameron? It was your priority was it not?

          Who writes these speeches, full of compete and utter drivel – could they not get a proper job?

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            Why do the all the new channels report this PR drivel. Some committee/quango changing a word from “Substantial” to “Severe” is not news. Even if they pad it out with endless speeches with zero content from May and Cameron.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            It takes the storey away from Carswell. This another P R political distraction stunt. May has said there is no specific threat, so why make an unimportant announcement important?
            I prefer his dirty tricks routine on UKIP before the EU election it was quite funny. Remember Cameron was going to bomb Syria last year.
            Obama announced the US had no plan for ISIS, he did for Syria though! Mean while Putin must be laughing at these incompetents who make overtures but still want his energy and business! He must be shaking in his boots.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            sorry – why do all the news channels ….

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            I’m inclined to think this is a constructed distraction too. Desperate politicians create enemies, then try to cash in on the patriotism and nationalistic fervour that is generated when the snake they create turns around and bites them. Or perhaps I ought to say, bites us, the hapless public.

            Cameron has been trying to create his own ‘Falklands factor’ for ages because I suspect he can see his premiership slipping away. But it’s a highly dangerous game to play. And there’s another thing that I wouldn’t put past any of these dead-end politicians in order to deflect attention from bad domestic form, or worse still, to make money, and that’s a false flag attack on the mainland. And before anyone pours scorn on that possibility, the internet is a great advantage of the modern communications era. It gives us an insight into the illicit workings of agencies of the state. Perhaps they’d like to do some research for themselves.


      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink


        “What is Mr Carswell unhappy with?”

        He was onside until he discovered that the referendum idea is just a cynical ploy by Tory insiders to give the more gullible Tory supporters just enough hope to keep them on side.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          Who’s bothered about Mr Carswell’s integrity ?

          Integrity has long been absent in Parliament.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          What has he discovered? The referendum pledge means there will be an in/out referendum by end 2017, nothing more, nothing less. What’s changed?

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            As Mr Redwood has just reminded us.

            “As many here constantly remind us, Mr Cameron did not win the election so he was unable to implement many parts of the Manifesto.”

            I would suggest that after May 2015 we will see the same.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

            @Richard1 You should read Mr Carswell’s blog before comment further.

            Speaking of David Cameron, Douglas says:

            “His advisers have made it clear that they seek a new deal that gives them just enough to persuade enough voters to vote to stay in. It’s not about change in our national interest. It’s all about not changing things.”

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          “He was onside until he discovered that the referendum idea is just a cynical ploy by Tory insiders to give the more gullible Tory supporters just enough hope to keep them on side.”

          Well we could all see that years ago surely he knew before now just look at Cameron’s actions!

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        Amongst other things, Carswell is not happy that Cameron is not seeking meaningful reform and not being open with the electorate about how little change he is actually prepared to consider.

        Carswell knows that Cameron will spin the idea that he is achieving meaningful reform. This whole debate therefore needs to be forced out into the open sooner rather than later.

        The current lot of Conservatives are not managing to do this: the debate remains submerged, only a handful of MPs attending a debate about giving back more of our vetoes.

        It is entirely likely that without Carswell’s resignation the Conservative party political conference would rather have ignored immigration and the whole issue of the EU altogether.

        (The government likes to focus on the immigration problem as a benfits issue anyway, totally ignoring its impact on education, housing, health, policing, crime and other services.)

        Bring all the dirty washing out into the open: if government leaders are hiding behind weasel words, flush them out. Have the power of your convictions to speak openly! You don’t have the opportunity to do this while remaining a member of the Conservative Party.

        Well done Douglas Carswell!

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


      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        As I’ve argued before, ad nauseam, even if UKIP were to completely disappear from the political scene the net benefit to the Tories in their contest with Labour would be slight, maybe 2% at most. Some Tory loyalists continue to delude themselves that every UKIP supporter is no more than a disgruntled member of the Tory flock who could be cajoled back into the fold – that is very much how they see voters, as sheep – when that was not even true when UKIP support was at the 3% level. Now that UKIP has been extending its appeal to patriotic voters across the political spectrum it is so far from being true that it is almost nonsensical; many of the 14% or whatever who now support UKIP would simply not vote at all if there was no UKIP candidate for them to support, or they would vote for some independent or other minor party candidate, and among those who did revert to a previous allegiance among the three old parties there would be some switching to Labour as well as some reverting to the Tories. I’m sure that those leading the Tory party are perfectly well aware that they could not hope to overcome a Labour lead which is effectively around 10% by bashing UKIP, even if they could bash it to death; their real reason for bashing UKIP is not because UKIP could stop them winning the next general election but because UKIP is totally committed a policy which they regard as anathema, namely withdrawal from the EU.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          You can keep arguing those excellent points as often as you like for me Denis. One day, they might just get it and the penny will drop. They certainly don’t get it at present.


        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          I am convinced that Cameron would rather see a Labour Govt than do anything which might lead to the UK leaving his beloved EU.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      Exactly, no one trusts Cameron to win and even if he does win a real majority, no one trusts the party (certainly under Cameron) to negotiate anything significant. Just look at Cameron’s absurdly weak negotiation list.

      Why on earth should anyone trust this proven serial ratter? He clearly is a fraud who makes the right noises near elections but then kicks all his supporters in the teeth.

      I would rather suffer Miliband and get some sensible opposition in 2020. He will not be much worse than Cameron, just Miliband’s idiotic rent act we will have to suffer. Cameron is, as everyone can see, is clearly not remotely sincere on the EU to say the very least.

      He is also wrong on his 299 tax increases, GAAR, IHT, all the green crap subsidies, the size of government, the green deal, HS2, global warming, gender neutral insurance/pensions, promotion of token women and the likes and countless other things.

      He is just as bad as Major was but without the excuse of vacuity. He acts more like a bent, second hand car salesman than a statesman acting to represent the interest of the UK.

      Just like the latest drivel from the UN, where woman under 30 will compete to win the right to address world leaders with emotional unscientific drivel. Cameron is PR drivel and dishonesty over substance every single time.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Did Cameron not say his priority in three letters was the N H S?

        As Carswell says:

        “In a world of 24 hours supermarkets and instant access everything, it ought to be possible to make an appointment to see a GP. Yet in my Essex constituency patients have to literally stand in line and wait. They have to compete to been seen by doctors.

        There is an alphabet soup of NHS quangos supposed to be in charge. But who takes responsibility?”

        What has Cameron done about his priority in three letters, nothing at all indeed it is worse?

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          He has not dared touch the NHS, inadequate as it is in so many ways. Lansley had a go but failed. Unfortunately more mid-Staffs style disasters will be required before public opinion moves decisively in favour of NHS reform. It will also be v difficult whilst the BBC remains a virtual stated owed monopoly in current affairs broadcast and other broadcasters are prevented by law from offering opinions.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

            Well if you put people like Lord Patten in as head of the BBC trustees what did Cameron expect?

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        I think you are quite wrong, Miliband would be much worse. All attempts at reform in the education health and welfare sectors will be abandoned by order of the unions. Borrowing, assuming they try to implement their neo Keynesian drivel, will go even higher, and Miliband believes in principle in high taxes, more public sector employees and more state control, because he believes the state delivers ‘fairer’ outcomes than the market. The guy is a neo-marxist if you listen to what he actually says. He has no interest in markets, incentives, entrepreneurialism etc.

        Cameron may not be perfect but Miliband would be far worse. Anyone who wants to avoid neo Marxism or who wants a referendum on Europe needs to vote Conservative!

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          Do give it a rest, Richard.

          If this is all the Tories have left – ‘vote UKIP get Labour’ – then it’s embarrassingly desperate.

          ‘Keep Dave, get Ed’ more like.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

            Vote Tory – We rat, cheat, increase taxes, lie to you over IHT, the deficit, the 299+ tax increases and the EU and we are very pro EU – but we are not quite as crap at Labour!

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

            MM That’s the irony that seems to escape the Tories. The fact that the Europhile Cameron is himself the party’s biggest liability and makes a Labour victory more likely. Had they been true the values they say they believed in, there might not be need for UKIP. As it is, UKIP is now the voice of sense and reason and occupies the territory the Tories lost years ago. They speak the language of mainstream man, and to hell with the PC liberal lefties Cameron constantly tries to appeal to.

            Quite where to begin our analysis is unclear. Perhaps we need to go back to the advent of one Edward Heath in the mid sixties to see where the insidious pro-EU underhanded rot began, but Cameron certainly represents and epitomises all that is wrong with British politics today.


          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

            My repetitious reply to the repetitious:

            “Vote UKIP get Labour”


            “Vote Tory get betrayed”.

            From what Douglas Carswell said yesterday it seems that he has now come round to a rather similar view.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          Miliband will be worse but not much I agree he is the voice of the state sector unions.

          A price worth paying alas.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          Richard1, I don’t disagree with anything that you say about Miliband and almost everyone on this site would probably concur but it has gone too far now.
          We cannot afford to waste any more time with the useless Conservative Party. Why should we have to suffer these duplicitous fools any longer? They have succeeded in alienating the very people on whom they depend for their support. Thatcher said ‘..,the Tory Party merely pitched camp in the long march to the left’. Cameron has done just that with gay marriage, signing up to the Marxist UAF, raising our taxes instead of taking on the Unions, doing nothing about repealing the Thought Crime laws, mass immigration continuing apace, not appearing to take the threat of our nation being rent asunder with any degree of urgency, etc.
          Is it any wonder that people are desperate for a party and a leader who represents their views and not those of subversive left-wing pressure groups and the leftist placemen in public sector institutions.
          It would be better to lance the Marxist boil quickly than continue the slow painful death that we have endured for the last four years. Bring on Miliband, and lets see how long he lasts.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Says someone who abandoned this country over 7 years ago and has vowed never to return. You will not suffer at all under Milliband.

        Letting Milliband and Labour back in will continue the destruction of this country they have been at for decades, or aren’t the events of Rotherham enough to convince you of their morality.

        You often talk sense but on this you act more of an agent provocateur for the lefties.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          I will lose out, his idiotic threat of a rent act Mk II is causing huge damage already to both tenants, lenders and landlords. But Cameron is hardly any better and I do not want to have to watch Cameron rat on his supporters a second time, as he very clearly will.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            Compared to those who have stayed you will not “suffer” and it is insulting to recommend we take a dose of Labour while you are safely ensconced somewhere out of harms way.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            Why does Germany and in particular Switzerland one of the highest earning countries with the lowest housing owning renting instead of taking out mortgages. Is it because of the lack of rent controls? It is not. Tell us why they rent?
            Defending slum landlords is not the way forward. Don’t tell us about bad tenants as the balance is towards the landlord as you well know. Last time you were threatening to put up rents as some sort of punishment for proposed government policies. Don’t often see many tenants threatening to leave for lower priced property do we?
            It’s called a housing shortage, exploited by many landlords.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

            I would dearly love to see a sound Tory party, with an overall majority in 2015 or better still a Tory UKIP electoral & coalition deal. But half the Tory party (at the very least) including Cameron & Osborne are simply not to be trusted one thou.

            Miliband is clearly bonkers with his dads ideas on rent controls and price controls and is also the voice of the overpaid and over pensioned state sector unions – but he still would be a price worth paying. A price it seems has to be paid anyway thanks to broken compass Cameron.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink


            The Germans and Swiss predominantly rent for one simple reason. Even in those high earning countries they can’t afford to buy as the cost to buy is incredibly high and much higher than here. By the way any idea of the average rental cost per month in Germany or Switzerland. Some facts for you.

            More than 50% of Germans live in flats rather than houses.

            The national average monthly rent for a family flat is €2201 ( except Munich where the average flat rental is an eye watering €4025 per month ) Rents have risen 15% in Germany in last 5 years.

          • Posted August 30, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            That is not the full story libertarian as usual with you as a cursory glance of Google shows. Saturated rental market in Switzerland and historical regulation in Germany makes renting cheaper than buying.

          • Posted August 30, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink


            Yes if you actually bothered to read what I wrote renting is cheaper than buying in Germany because of the HUGE cost of buying. Rents are still HIGHER in Germany than the UK.

            Do try and pay attention

          • Posted August 30, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

            Interesting that renting is cheaper than buying, the reverse is true here, so what does that tell you about their rental market? It is you who should keep up and do some research.

          • Posted August 30, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

            Oh dear Bazman you really do struggle with simple concepts don’t you.

            In simple steps


            Rents are higher than Uk

            Purchase price is vastly higher than the Uk

            Therefore rents are cheaper in Germany than purchasing

            In the UK

            Purchase is expensive in some parts of country

            The UK average rental price for a family house is £723 pcm

            The German average rental price in sterling £1741 pcm

            41% of Germans the second lowest behind the Swiss at 38.4% own their own home

            70.7% of UK own their own home

            What part of the UK housing market being cheaper than Germany are you struggling with ?

          • Posted August 31, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            They have more rent controls a fact you cannot deny. This gives lower rents and more secure tenure.
            You refuse to look at the historical reason for this.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

          It was amusing to see a leftie suffering the kind of abuse normally reserved for right-wingers in Kircaldy…by lefties! Dunfermline is even worse.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          @David Price

          “Letting Milliband and Labour back in will continue the destruction of this country”

          Don’t you mean, continue where Cameron and Clegg left off?

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

            So the 14 years of Labour wasteful administration was a figment of everyone’s imagination and they didn’t leave the succeeding government to clear up their financial excesses and screw ups in the middle east.

            And what was UKIP doing all this time – pratting around collecting salaries in the EU….,

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            Dear David Price

            The last Labour administration was a disaster for this country. Meanwhile Camerons Tories have borrowed MORE in 5 years than they did in 20 and we now have a whopping £1.6 TRILLION of debt. You think this equates to “clearing up the mess” ?

          • Posted August 30, 2014 at 5:56 am | Permalink


            No I don’t think they cleared up the mess or even started the right way as has been discussed on this blog. They were too tied up with appearing to be the not-the-nasty party, hence the choice of Cameron, and appeasing the libdems.

            The point is while Cameron and his mindset are wrong for this country that Labour are the last people you ever want in charge of our government.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          You write as though the Tory party is the epitome of morality.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

            Far from it but Rotherham, for example, was and is a Labour mess and the left are always too happy to accuse Conservatives of being evil and corrupt.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Mr Carswell has stated his reasons including his belief that the unknown EU renegotiation is disingenuous and a feeble way of pulling the wool over peoples eyes. Cameron wants free movement of people and has refused a trade only deal telling the 1922 committee this recently. Which means more mass migration. The English people don’t want it. As 70% of our laws are made in Europe we either want more EU and a Country called Europa and less democracy and sovereignty or we want UKIP! The legacy parties are all one of the same.
      When is your leader going to take leadership over the on-going scandals with ISIS, Rotherham etc? He is part of the problem not the solution.

  4. Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Perhaps it is just a simple fact that Mr Carswell does not trust Mr Cameron, not just on the EU but on many things, and he could not stomach going through another election campaign believing all promises made, stood little chance of ever happening.

    None of us here know what Mr Cameron really thinks, I would suggest very few of his Ministers or Mp’s do either.

    We all know what he says, but so often nothing ever happens or changes, his recent pathetic list of so called demands of what he intends to ask for with regards to so called renegotiation with the EU was probably the last straw for many.
    The simple thought is he will recommend and campaign to stay in the EU, no matter how little he gets.
    His so called negotiation stance underlines this.

    Mr Carswell clearly is a politician who wants change in many things, clearly he feels he is not going to get what he wants with the present Conservative Party, under the present leadership.
    I can only guess that he feels rather closer to UKIP’s policies than he does the Conservatives, and that he stands a far better chance of having an influence and support within that Party for his views, than he did with his last.

    Rather than simply cross the floor, as many have done before him, Mr Carswell has resigned and is seeking re election for himself with another Party, this is the honourable and democratic thing do in the circumstances, and he should be commended for doing so.

    As for the timing, when is there ever a right time ?

    At least by doing it now he will have a second chance in 9 months time, if this attempt fails.

    The voters of Clacton will give their verdict, do they vote for the man, or for a Party.

    Mr Carswell and Mr Cameron will find out soon.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      What Cameron really thinks? He is a cross between C Huhne, Ed Davey, Ken Clark, Nick Clegg, John Major, Tony Blair, Denis (98% tax) Healey and Ted Heath but in a very weak disguise.

      Cameron is however clever (and indeed dishonest) enough to say the complete opposite near election time knowing he will just rat on it later.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      “Rather than simply cross the floor, as many have done before him, Mr Carswell has resigned and is seeking re election for himself with another Party, this is the honourable and democratic thing do in the circumstances, and he should be commended for doing so.”

      This close to the General Election I disagree, he should have just crossed the floor and declared his intention to re-stand on a UKIP platform at the General Election. The financial cost of a by-election to the electorate is unnecessary. What would have been a triumph for Farage is if he could have persuaded five Conservatives to cross the floor together, this action is very noble but its easy to be noble with other people’s money.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        He was quite right and principled to resign, it will highlight the issue and expose Cameron’s attempted fraud MKII.

        This will actually help the Tories in the end.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Well, if the voters in Clacton begrudge the roughly £3 per head cost of the by-election they can express their displeasure when they vote. In my view he has done the decent thing by seeking their endorsement as a UKIP MP rather than a Tory MP. It is within living memory when it was normal for an MP to seek a fresh endorsement through a by-election the first time he was offered a post in the government, and as far as I’m aware it wasn’t the electorate who demanded that this should cease.

  5. Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    As to be expected Douglas Carswell is not very popular within the Conservative party and the diatribe as started.
    I personally think it was a very brave and noble act to leave a party who he knows are just trying to pull a fast one on the British public.
    Its the so called euro sceptics who sit in their safe seats with their cosy lifestyles while the rest of the country deteriorates under EU rule who deserve the contempt they will show Mr Carswell.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      I believe it was a brave thing for him to do too Tom, and I e-mailed Douglas Carswell to that effect.


    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Indeed it was brave and it was the right thing to do. I think it will also help the Tories to finally recognise that they cannot defraud their supporters yet again.

      You cannot say I am a low tax conservative and make 299+ tax increases, rat on IHT, allow banks to be robbed by HMRC and introduce GAAR.

      You cannot make cast iron guarantees then cheat on them and expect any trust in the future. You cannot pretend to be against EU expansion and yet sign up to it behind the scenes with your every action.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        allow personal bank accounts to be robbed by HMRC without legal authority – I meant.

  6. Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Yes, in order to have a referendum in 2017 we do need Cameron to be PM in 2017. We don’t need and won’t get a Conservative majority.

    The trouble is, Cameron is a Europhile through and through. Many people simply would not trust Cameron not to resign before any referendum if his negotiations are seen not to be bearing fruit.

    People don’t trust Cameron to be open and transparent about the progress of any negotiation: no Conservative PM ever has been open and transparent about the route down which they are leading the country. Cameron says one thing, and does another. that’s why the country will opt back in to all those EU controls.

    Under Cameron, the electorate will be sold another pup, with the media backing him whatever he says. EU sceptics will not be given airtime.

    The rhetoric needs to change.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more!

      Tory MPs are reluctant to publicly bite the hand that feeds them, but even the most obstinate and myopic amongst their ranks must privately see that Cameron has lost the confidence of the voting public. Take his record on immigration, the right of recall, and cutting the national debt for example, three of the most important issues around today. He’s failed miserably on all counts. He even seems to want to take us into another unnecessary war with all his pro-US pro-NATO pro-EU crap. He’s not just wrong, the man’s dangerous, and the sooner we lose him, the better!


      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        Tad Davidson: “Take his record on immigration, the right of recall, and cutting the national debt for example, three of the most important issues around today.”

        Credit where it’s due, we got gay marriage.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          APL–Yes, and the changes to the monarchical succession, after a thousand years yet (and these from a so-called Conservative)

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

            Leslie Singleton: “and the changes to the monarchical succession, after a thousand years yet”

            It’s great, we might have a female monarch. I *am* so excited at the prospect.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink


          “Credit where it’s due, we got gay marriage.”

          No surprises there, the Tories are a very gay party!

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Indeed, no one trusts Cameron – why on earth would they? He has proven himself to be a complete fraud and charlatan not just on the EU but also on tax increases, IHT, on government waste, on the N H S, on green crap and countless other things too.

  7. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    A possible explanation for Mr. Carswell’s action is provided by Professor Curtice’s notion that a 2015 Labour Government might find itself having to offer a referendum on some renegotiated settlement that it has without enthusiasm been obliged to deliver and that referendum fought by a then firmly Euro-sceptic Conservative Party pressing for an exit vote might offer a better chance of securing that outcome rather than a referendum offered by a Conservative government some of whose leadership may campaign for acceptance of the renegotiated terms.

    Curtice says “Almost undoubtedly if we have a referendum in which Cameron has indeed come back from a negotiation with a piece of paper saying Brussels aren’t going to boss us around quite so much anymore then the ‘stay in’ side would win. The thing you really have to watch is not a Conservative inspired referendum, but a situation in which the Labour Party are forced into holding one. Labour are desperate to avoid making a promise in that context, although they have agreed to keep the legislation on holding a referendum should there be future treaty change.

    The problem that they would face is of course that if the Tories were out of office they’d almost certainly become more Eurosceptic and if Ed Miliband came back with a piece of paper from Brussels the Tories would be more inclined to campaign to leave. That would be a much more difficult referendum for the pro-EU side to win because it might be an unpopular Labour government fighting a referendum it doesn’t want to fight against a hostile opposition. [More @ ]

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      That is an interesting and plausible analysis.

      Carswell`s switch to UKIP is significant because he is a reformer (as co-author with Daniel Hannan on an influential book on the subject), he speaks his mind (IIRC he was frst to call for former Speaker Martin to step down) but most of all because he clearly does not trust Mr Cameron. To justify this he referred to the failure to implement legislation for recall of MPs or to introduce open primaries and, most significant of all, the view of the PM`s advisors that the EU renegotiation game plan was to seek as little change as possible and then sell this to the electorate as a reason to stay in the EU.

      It seems to me that his action will raise the pressure on the other parties re the EU, raise the profile of UKIP and make the outcome of the next GE even more unpredictable than before.

      One interesting aspect of Lord Ashcroft`s recent polling of Conservative marginals was the data revealing that over half of those choosing UKIP did not vote as the last GE. UKIP is reaching parts of the electorate that other parties cannot reach. It is in the interests of both UKIP and eurosceptic MPs that they continue to do so.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        And another interesting aspect was that the fraction of the present UKIP supporters who had voted Tory in 2010 was more or less matched by the sum of the two roughly equal fractions who had voted either Labour or LibDem. Given that the popularity of the LibDems has collapsed and they now have barely a third of the support they enjoyed at the time of the 2010 election, and that most of their lost voters have transferred their support to Labour as the leftish anti-Tory alternative, it seems obvious that in the absence of a UKIP candidate it would now be Labour who picked up far more extra support from those who had voted LibDem in 2010 than the LibDems themselves, and so the extra support gained by Labour through the disappearance of UKIP would not be far short of the extra support gained by the Tories. It is this line of thought that leads me to conclude that even if the Tories achieved their aim of bashing UKIP to death that would bring them little net benefit in their contest with Labour.

  8. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    The quotes were a bit of a cheap shot John. I once said similar things of the Conservative leadership past and present, but there comes a time when one realises it just isn’t gong to happen, and we’re continually being lied to and conned. I suspect that is pretty much how Douglas Carswell is feeling right now. He can see what’s coming on the 1st November with QMV, and realises that could be a serious impediment to any meaningful renegotiation of our membership of the EU.

    I’m just hoping the trickle away from the duplicitous Tories becomes a torrent, and they’ll only have themselves to blame for being consistent and serial ratters. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time, but I have to give the Tories 10 out of 10 for trying. I’m just baffled that some people still believe anything Cameron says.

    Tad Davison


    Reply NO, they are not a cheap shot. In politics the main thing you have is your word. It is most important to be consistent and true. If you make a mistake or need to change your opinion then you need to do so for good and demonstrable reason. I find it difficult to understand Mr Carswell’s logic or politics, given the strength of his stated loyalty to Mr Cameron and the Bloomberg policy up to yesterday. He did not have to express such strong support before – he chose to. He chose to make it very personal to David Cameron, so he now needs to explain what has changed in the last few hours.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:59 am | Permalink


      Carswell realises things have changed, so he changes his opinion.
      What do you do in those circumstances?

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      “the main thing you have is your word” that’s Cameron stuffed then.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Indeed he should be.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      The most important thing is keeping your word.

      On not letting it rest after Lisbon.
      On reducing public debt.
      On meaningful right of recall.
      On boundary changes.
      On drip-drip transfer of powers to the EU.

      The next most important thing is surely honesty.

      Not pretending that cutting the size of our kettles is going to change the climate.
      Being open about what changes you are seeking from the EU – and what not.
      Not pretending you are reducing our debt.
      Not pretending you will gain control over immigration.

      The next most important things are holding sound principles and then having the conviction to speak out and be heard, not seeking to hide behind a 3-line whip on every important issue!

      Time to break up this cosy LibLabCon coalition.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        I agree with all the points you have made. However, it is very risky, if Carswell’s resigning the Tory whip leads to more defections to UKIP. Then there is a chance of removing the Con from LibLabCon, and replacing it with a single UKIP seat. Plus the certainty of seeing Miliband in number 10.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        hear hear.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      To reply: In an ideal world you would be correct, but the Party system rather precludes that. The view from outside SW1 is that MPs are simply lobby fodder, instructed by the Party leadership. All three Leaders are so similar that it makes little difference which one speaks, and we have stopped hoping that the promises made to improve our lot will ever be honoured.

      As such, some of Mr Carswells previous words have effectively been put into his mouth by Mr Cameron – he had the same duty to Party loyalty that you honour yourself. They represent what Mr Cameron wants us to hear.

      Both you and Mr Carswell (and a few others) articulate an off-script view, and I continue to be impressed with the way that you personally interact with us. However, assuming that Mr Carswell has been struggling with his loyalties, it’s not really fair to remind us of when he toed the Party line rather than being his own man.

      Politicians are word-smiths. Apart from a few at the top who can also be judged by their actions, we can only consider them by what they say. Most of us can be shown to contradict ourselves at times, and if you only pick selected sound-bites it is easy to amplify any apparent volte-face.

      One view is that Mr Carswell has been treacherous to the Party. My view is that having concluded that the Clacton Electorate is not being sufficiently well served by him being a Conservative MP, he is giving them their say. He has championed a proper Right of Recall, and in its absence is giving it to those who elected him (or his Party, whichever you prefer) that right without being ordered to.

      He may have been disloyal to Mr Cameron, but the (more important) loyalty to the Clacton electorate has been far greater. For that, I applaud him

      Reply When I and others persuaded the PM to make the Bloomberg speech (Mr Carswell was not at the meetings) Mr Carswell welcomed it fulsomely and praised the PM personally. That was not a case of toe the line – he independently decided it was a good thing and wished to back it. That policy is still the policy on offer, and it is the right policy to secure what we want. A Labour or Lab/Lib government would neither seek a new relationship nor give us a referendum on Out.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      “In politics the main thing you have is your word. It is most important to be consistent and true.”

      Have you mentioned this to Cameron who discards his words like soiled paper tissues?

      “Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations.”

      The £1M IHT threshold promised too and his priority in three letter the now basket case N. H. S.

      I am a low tax Tory by instinct! Sure Dave.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      JR: “NO, they are not a cheap shot. In politics the main thing you have is your word. ”

      Which is why no one, no one, believes a word David Cameron says.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply:
      What appears to have changed is that Carswell seems to have gained the impression that there will be no real negotiations and that they will be window dressing for a few minimal changes which will allow Cameron to claim success.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      “In politics the main thing you have is your word. It is most important to be consistent and true. If you make a mistake or need to change your opinion then you need to do so for good and demonstrable reason”.

      That statement may or may not apply with some degree of accuracy to yourself, I don’t know you well enough to say that it does not.

      It surely does not apply to a significant minority of your fellow MP’s, as empirical observation over recent decades will show. I haven’t done the math but it may even be a majority who have lied, cheated, reneged or as you put it, “change your opinion then you need to do so for good and demonstrable reason”. but without the “good reason”.

      I am having difficulty thinking of even a small number of other MP’s who could say this without provoking an instant mocking guffaw as the response.

      Due credit to yourself therefore.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      “I find it difficult to understand Mr Carswell’s logic or politics, given the strength of his stated loyalty to Mr Cameron and the Bloomberg policy up to yesterday.”

      According to Carswell’s statement he enthusiastically endorsed the Bloomberg statement because it offered a negotiation to achieve “fundamental, far-reaching change”; he having ascertained that, “[Cameron’s advisors including presumably his “mainframe computer”] have made it clear that they seek a new deal that gives them just enough to persuade enough voters to vote to stay in [the EU]” ie not fundamental or far-reaching at all, he decided to take a different course of action, namely to stand in his Clacton seat for UKIP.

      I suppose that Clacton might be winnable for UKIP given momentum and a fair wind, however, JR’s constituency is such that a stuffed pig with a blue rosette might defeat him if he attempted the same stunt and for many in Wokingham they would no doubt wish to “keep a-hold of Nurse For fear of finding something worse”, such as an A-lister with Turkish ancestry; that being the case, knowing that no fundamental renogiation is planned, JR is hoping that there will be a referendum and that the Outs will win. However, the Outs will be fighting a PR campaign by the leaderships of the main parties, the BBC etc etc, and most people are actually either too busy or clueless to get to grips with the detail.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      In politics the main thing you have is your word …… which is why Cameron isn’t trusted. He’s a duplicitous, untrustworthy spiv.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        …and he has also not being nearly radical enough to satisfy the expectations of Conservative supporters at the last election which is why I really believe that JR believes they will lose the next election which will then leave the field open to more radical moves (of a different kind), but which are closed now; incidentally is the terror threat level of ‘Carswell’ the highest possible to the security of the realm?

  9. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    What a nasty, snide little post. For shame.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Disagree it was the post of the consumate politician and well written.

      I also feel the it states Mr Redwood’s true feelings, he has often supported Mr Cameron’s position on Europe and evidently had input into the (potentially superficial) change of heart by our Prime Minister.

      Unfortunately without an immediate renegotiation of immigration criteria we will welcome a million extra Eastern European fortune seekers before we get our referendum which makes it more urgent than Conservative policy allows at present.

  10. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Carswell joining UKIP shows the way that Eurosceptic Tories should go, join UKIP in a mass exodus.

    There is a clear and undeniable risk that this will tear apart the Conservative party and put Milliband and Balls in Downing street for 5 to 10 years, but the party has to finally resolve the issue that has split it for decades.

    Let the Europhile Tories have their rump party and coalition/merger with the LibDems and let the Eurosceptics tories take over UKIP, which has started to become too Socialist under the current leadership.

    The split is inevitable, so lets get on with it.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Miliband an Balls won’t last 5 years.

      I fear that the upheavals this country faces are going to be terrible but they must be faced sooner or later.

      Better sooner.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      A Milliband govt would struggle to last 5 months let alone 5 years. In my mind although people say there is not a lot of difference between Con and Lab, Con is the least worst option.

  11. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Presumably the timing was such as to give impact to event-and it has.

    Cameron is one of those people who takes no notice unless something is rammed down his throat. Carswell has done that.

    The next election is Labours to lose, and it won’t.

  12. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Everybody is entitled to his or her “Eureka” moment, not lease Conservative MPs. Don’t knock those for whom this comes earlier rather than later, or even too late

  13. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I think the real problem is the TV and rolling news.

    Mr Blair noticed that what matters is presentation (spin). In the old days, politics was showbiz for ugly people in parliament. Now it is showbiz for the telegenic. If you are not telegenic, you do not count. How do you think Mr Clegg got to be made Deputy PM? He went from nothing to a leader of government with just three TV appearances.

    Parliament is now a historic remnant – showbiz – while the real power lies with an un-elected Commission and where we are just one voice out of 28. And we are a joke too. Look at the clips of Guy Verhofstadt in the hemicycle and the loud applause when he speaks if you don’t believe me. Add to this the unfair boundary distribution and the scandal of postal votes and on top of that the disgusting behaviour at Tower Hamlets (so far swept under the carpet).

    Meanwhile the leaders of all three parties (except Mr Farage actually) pose with factory workers, with nurses in hospitals and with lorries and, looking directly at Camera 1, deliver a pack of half truths neatly spun into a gossamer tissue of sincerity.

    Mr Carswell’s blog has been questioning this for a long time. He is one of the very few people I seriously respect on the internet, no matter what his politics are. (I love this blog too!)

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      And which idiot gave Clegg equal TV billing, and put a green crap, big government, pro EU (Libdem think) Tory manifesto to the country. Thus throwing the last election.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        LL, good question.

        I still think if Cameron had come out saying (and of course believing with his heart and soul) everything Nigel Farage and UKIP says and stands for, he would have walked the 2010 general election. But what we have is subterfuge. Cameron would wish us all to think he’s anti-EU federalism, but we who have taken the trouble to seek out the facts know that isn’t the case. By any measure, that is a con upon the British people.

        A sufficient number of voters saw that con, hence the hung parliament. Next time, even more voters will see through Cameron and his slippery rattlesnakes, but the Tory party remains obstinately loyal to him. On the face of it, that is just plain mad and they do so at their peril, but let’s not forget the coup that took place in 1990 that deposed a three-time winner, to give ourselves a better understanding of the pro-EU make-up of the modern Tory party.

        On the one hand, we have a bunch of people who say they have always acted in Britain’s best interest but have consistently sold us down the river. On the other, we have UKIP who say all the right things but have yet to be tested. I think I’d rather go with the latter and give them a chance. They can certainly do no worse. The carrot of a referendum is just an inducement, or bribe to put it another way, and is far less attractive than UKIP’s alternative of getting out of the sick and ailing EU altogether. Cameron will never match that, so what’s the point in voters sticking with a loser?


  14. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Perhaps Mr Carswell has realised that Dave’s promises aren’t worth anything. He’s just another empty political suit that has no real intention of doing anything radical. It’s just business as usual at No10. What we have is a vague promise of renegotiation and a referendum with so many caveats and get out clauses that nothing meaningful will actually happen. Maybe Mr Carswell has had enough of pretending to believe?

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      As have we all.

  15. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    You claim “The party leadership also now recognises that there are circumstances in which the government would have to recommend exit, if the EU does not come up with sensible proposals for the UK”

    I have certainly not heard Cameron say this or anything like it, not that anything Cameron says can ever be trusted anyway he is a proven ratter of the first order.

    He does not even want to negotiate anything significant (just a tiny long grass, delaying fig leaf) not even the ability to control immigration selectively.

    Perhaps the daftest thing Carswell said was that believed Cameron to be honourable (but not serious) he is nothing of the sort. Cameron is very serious, he is just a Ken Clark/Ed Davey/Nick Clegg/Heath/Major type pretending not to be. He is trying to deceive the voters a second time. probably throwing this election in the process, just as he did the last sitting duck election.

  16. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Perhaps he was taken in by Mr Cameron’s promises and has realised, that as many think, conservatives are stalling. When promises are broken from the top , then it follows that others have to change also.

    When my ex husband said for better or worse and then years later said it to someone else, my own stance changed. I could no longer reciprocate by saying for better or worse.

    If UKIP have a strategy that would work to divorce us from the EU,would you John go along with that or would you remain loyal to the party which went against your better judgement and kept us in tow with European demands?

    Reply I will remain true to the promises I made to my electors at the last election – to be a Eurosceptic Conservative and to support a referendum on the EU

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      “to be a Eurosceptic Conservative and to support a referendum on the EU”
      The same description you attribute to Cameron!

  17. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Morning Mr Redwood, lets hope there are more defections, the trouble with politicians is that when they get into power they forget about the will of the people, not including your good self but when it comes to the crunch most of your fellow parliament members mostly vote with the party line and not what the people want, and as for Mr Cameron`s pledge of a vote in 2017 well we all saw which side of the street himself and the other party leaders are on in 2011 when a three line whip was used to stop a vote on a referendum on the EU

  18. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “To leave now when we are on the cusp of success in changing the relationship or simply leaving the EU altogether on a vote of the people is curious.”

    Truly laughable stuff from Redwood.
    Carswell had the guts to leave.

  19. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    John, if I were in your constituency I wouldn’t have to worry, I could gladly vote for you in favour of UKIP, knowing what I was getting. After the election, I would know that you would fight my corner in regards to a proper renegotiation (if that were possible) or exit. But I’m in Wandsworth, which means I, like many Conservatives, reside in a seat with a known Euro-enthusiast Conservative MP. So I am being asked to elect someone I know will fight fiercely against leaving after the election. [Clearly I could be wrong here, but her voting record suggests otherwise – she is a serious enthusiast]

    Cameron in response to Nick Robinson yesterday wouldn’t even admit that he would be prepared to leave the EU when the question was put to him. He needs to give people like me a little more than that! It’s not as easy for us to make the leap of faith John! I think it needs to be recognised that this isn’t as easy as it looks and we are all, like Douglas, having to make a judgement call. Yesterday’s events scared me, as we just lost one of our fighters – I fear he knows something that I don’t. I’m relieved to see that you are still in the game, it gives me some hope.

    I would like to add in regards to what you said:
    “That means if they are unable to negotiate a decent relationship based on trade and political co-operation which allows us to have self government back over the things that matter, the UK voters will be able to vote for out.”

    I don’t understand why you are still using the word ‘if’. We know that it won’t be a decent negotiation. Keeping up the fantasy isn’t going to convince the swing voters ahead of the election. This is why we need stronger rhetoric from Cameron. The reason Douglas has left and that natural conservatives are wavering, isn’t because of a lapse of judgement, it’s because we’re not being given enough. This -must- change ahead of the election.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Andrew M

      ” This -must- change ahead of the election.”

      Yes, of course it will, ahead of the election, but after the election it will be business as usual.

      You should ponder the fact that the Tories couldn’t get a clear win against Calamity Brown after three terms characterised by unpopular foreign wars, the sale of our gold reserves, stealth taxes, pension fund raids and the financial disaster leading to the bank bailouts which bankrupted the nation then what hope do they have after ignoring their manifesto promises and instead increasing VAT, increasing the debt, increasing foreign aid and tuition fees, not to mention the unfair withdrawal of family allowance for certain people.

      Remember that it was the Tories that took us into the EU without our consent, in the same way that they introduced Gay Marriage without our consent.

      They would have abolished the pound in favour of the Euro if George Soros and the events of Black Wednesday hadn’t spoiled their plans.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        Indeed Cameron will say what he thinks is needed to win votes pre election, he will do none of it post election unless forced to. He treats Tory supporters with cynical contempt. Perhaps he thinks they are all fruit cakes and closet racists?

  20. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    We have moved the leadership to offer a renegotiation

    There’s no evidence of this bar the odd speech. Where the substance? Which powers are the UK going to get back? Which powers have the EU offered to return?
    You haven’t a clue. We haven’t a clue. The obvious conclusion is that its all waffle.

    More importantly they have offered a referendum on the results

    No results. No negotiation. So no referendum. Just like the previous promises for a referendum. Nowt.

    The problem for you is that people have seen through the lies of politicians and you are not believed. It’s a long list of lies that add up, and the conclusion the public have made is that when a politicians speaks, they are lying.

    Given this, what matters now most of all is a Conservative majority in 2015 to deliver the renegotiation and the referendum.

    So how does converting a Tory MP to a UKIP MP make this less likely? The UKIP MP will vote for a referendum.

    Why not have a referendum now? Then we don’t have to mess around with renegotiation.

    It’s simple. You have lost control over immigration. Walk out of Westminster. Walk over the bridge.
    (e.g. of migration problems not checked out and removed ed)

    reply Mr Cameron will both negotiate and provide a referendum if he has a majority in 2015. He is also clever enough to realise that a Wilson type fix with few powers back will not receive the approval of the UK electorate, so why would he recommend it and lose?

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      The “Wilson type fix” is exactly the sort of fix I fear Cameron would propose, with massive PR and funding. There would be lots of “the great and good” congratulating him on his statesmanship.

      The British people were fooled once by a leader. It COULD well happen again.

  21. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Firstly I’m pleased to see you haven’t yet removed your link to Mr Carswell’s blog, but it will no doubt go before very long, because your piece today is pure bitter party line and very disappointing. I believe you share many views with him, you have been critical of government and party on similar subjects, except you express them differently.

    But the knives are out. I saw Mr Cameron on BBC last evening, he too was quoting Mr Carswell’s earlier words – yesterday he said one thing, now he is saying another, with the implication that carries. And I think your final paragraph is unworthy of you – full of sarcasm. Is he off your Christmas card list? I seems you could have ‘I will always be a Tory on pain of death” printed through you like a stick of rock. It would certainly be difficult for you to leave the party after this commentary.

    Mr Carswell’s statement is not all about the EU, it is about many other things and about trust. He has been loyal to the Tory party, but he couldn’t take the what he sees, and many feel here too, the duplicity any longer – he is not convinced that the leadership is being honest. That it claims to want change but has no intention of delivering it; but as for the EU Mr Cameron dodged, and dodged, and dodged again the question from Nick Robinson of the BBC about the referendum. Would he, if he did not get the right terms vote NO? The PM was his using his usual practiced earnestness to the full – (does he talk to his wife at breakfast and his friends in private like that?) – but he would not answer, and the impression I got was that he will recommend we stay in, whatever the outcome. Mr Carswell has said your leadership has ruled out an exit from the EU in that a trade only deal is not acceptable.

    In other words we stay in whatever the outcome.

    And finally a serious question for you to answer. If the Tory party put in the manifesto that we should join the Euro, would you leave the party?

    Reply. Yes of course I could not support a party which proposes the UK entering the Euro. Nor can I support a party which seeks to stop us having a referendum on the EU in 2017.UKIP has promised our exit from the EU for 20 years but is no nearer achieving it. Why isn’t that a broken promise from unreliable politicians?

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Dr JR says, ‘Why isn’t that a broken promise from unreliable politicians?’

      Well, UKIP has at least stayed on message for 20 years, but FTP in the lower house makes it hard for a protest party to get a foot-hold. In addition, since Blair’s ‘reforms’ to the Lords, any putative UKIP hereditary peer has effectively been denied a voice there. Neither Labour nor the Coalition are inclined to give life peerages to overtly UKIP personalities.

      It’s just possible that Carswell has his ear to the ground and detects an electoral earthquake in the making. The Scottish vote could easily be a catalyst for upheaval, which ever way it goes. There are signs that English voters have become much more focussed on the benefits to Scotland of devolution, and now want constitutional equality themselves. A competent political entrepreneur in England could exploit that sentiment very effectively. Doesn’t seem to be part of Cameron’s thinking at all, he’s rightly focussed on saving the Union. Ironic when you consider the role of Clan Cameron in the ’45..

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      “Why isn’t that a broken promise from unreliable politicians?”

      I don’t think anyone is going to hold UKIP to account. It is the last resort of exasperated people who have given up after being ignored and misled for so long.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.
      If it were not for the constant and increasing pressure from ukip the Tories would not even be discussing the EU, rather they would still be pushing to join the €urozone.

      Face it Mr Redwood, the Tories are overwhelmingly pro EU but keep a few Judas Goats tethered mollify the waverers.

      Reply It is we Conservative Eurosceptics who have daily in Parliament exposed and argued this case, starting before UKIP was born, and it is we who with our votes have changed Conservative policy.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Dr JR says, ‘…starting before UKIP was born, and it is we who with our votes have changed Conservative policy. ‘

        Whatever next. Over twenty years ago a letter arrived containing a flyer from nascent UKIP, with a note in a familiar hand scribbled on the back, ‘These people are the only hope. The others will never get us out.’ The writer was my step-father, a Conservative MP for thirteen years who retired undefeated. The Conservative party today is unrecognisable to that of the Thatcher years, but then, so is Britain.

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

      Reply to reply,
      UKIP is a relatively new party which has never held office in Westminster and therefore has never had the opportunity to break promises; whereas your party has years of experience of each and has become quite expert at the latter but you still support it come what may.

      Reply Usual double standards! My party did not win the last election so could not implement all its promises. Your party did not win a single seat so broke all its promises.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        I think if you just calm down and read the totality of what you have written in reply to me the “Usual double standards!” applies to you not me. I am quite shocked at the illogicality of what you have written.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        “Reply Usual double standards! My party did not win the last election so could not implement all its promises. Your party did not win a single seat so broke all its promises.”

        On the basis of that answer alone I may have to reassess how much respect I give you inj the future. It may or may not be a perfect political answer, it is however the most perfectly dishonest.

        That your party didn’t win the last election is a matter which should cause you all to hang your heads in shame such was the nature of the open goal you faced. The honourable thing to have done would have been to admit your failings and refuse to enter a ‘power at any price’ coalition. But you didn’t did you? So no whinging about what your party could or could not allegedly manage since, if you please. A cynic might be forgiven for thinking that Cameron was relieved to have an excuse to break promises he had no intention of keeping.

        As for UKIP breaking promises, when have they done that? I must have missed their power base in Westminster, who is in it, anyone I should know? (Before you label me, I am not a supporter of UKIP, but I am an ex- supporter of the Cons.)

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Logically correct John , but both sides of the argument have opposing ? ‘ mitigating circumstances’ or a great disparity in reasons why promises have been broken.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        I like you John, but sometimes your loyalty to a discredited leader exasperates me.

        The Tories did not win the 2010 election – that’s an incontrovertible fact. But they didn’t win outright because they simply were not Eurosceptic enough, nowhere near! To win outright, they need to be heavily Eurosceptic, and that just isn’t going to happen under Cameron’s leadership because he wants to stay in. He’s damaged goods. The public doesn’t trust him. His domestic policies clearly aren’t working either.

        Here is a man who was given a golden opportunity to beat one of the most unpopular and discredited sitting duck Prime Ministers in history, and he couldn’t manage it. He now dangles a carrot in the form of a referendum if he doesn’t get what he says he wants, only, nobody is really that sure what he’s after so we can make a proper judgement. But what he wants, isn’t necessarily what the voters want, and I venture the gulf is too wide for him to bridge. The clock is ticking down, but there isn’t much time left to lose him and get someone who will do the nation’s bidding to their satisfaction. The big problem is that the Parliamentary Conservative party is awash with EU federalists who try to hide their true feelings from the public, so you’re in the minority. They took over in the 1990 coup.

        I recall travelling up to Milton Keynes from London in 1996 with one of your former colleagues, for a meeting of REAL Eurosceptic Tory MPs, and I was told in no uncertain terms just how far-reaching that 1990 coup actually was. I learned then how the Tory party had changed, and it hasn’t been the same party since. Cameron is just another in the line of Heathites. You might see it as your challenge to fight them from within, but it’s gone too far. The best you can hope for is to remain a minority bed-blocker in a party with different ideals that covets the seat you have worked so hard to build up.

        I hope you reflect upon these words in a constructive way. The Tory party is beyond redemption.


      • Posted August 31, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        The Conservatives did not win the last election, so how come they did a dirty back room deal with the party least favoured in order to gain power.

        You stood for election on a manifesto, not on the agreement presented to us after the election. If you knew you had no chance of meeting your promises to the voters you had no moral right taking power to pursue a totally different agenda.

        Reply A deal with the third most popular party at the time. It was an open agreement placed in the public print.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply–Obviously the “promise” (though I am not aware of one as such) only applied if they had been elected and besides I reckon the first MP elected wearing UKIP colours as Carsdale certainly will be (read Simon Heffer) is indeed nearing to achieving their goal.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        Oops–Carswell (I think)

  22. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    “Given this, what matters now most of all is a Conservative majority in 2015 to deliver the renegotiation and the referendum.” Not entirely. That is a necessary condition, but it is not sufficient. It matters equally that the negotiation is conducted in good faith , with meaningful objectives. There was always the concern that Cameron would do a Harold Wilson – negotiate, achieve some minor concession, claim a great victory, and recommend staying in. Mr. Carswell has said that he has had indications from around the Prime Minister that this is what will happen. When one considers the CV of Ed Llewellyn, the PM’s chief of staff, that is hardly surprising. So if true, then that would be a good reason for Mr. Carswell to resile from his previous statements of support, and follow a different path.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Excellent point re good faith and meaningful objectives, R Jenkins.
      Carswell has realised the charade and in all honesty cannot support it. It is time for the other genuine eurosceptic Conservative MPs to act also. I don’t think they realise how exposed their “euroscepticism” is now. The defection by Carswell is indeed a profoundly significant action.

  23. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    From my perspective Mr Redwood I would feel happier if I found Mr Cameron convincing. Whether he believes in anything at all is beyond my understanding, but in the absence of any real sign of conviction I feel he will fudge the issue. This to me seems his main mode of operating.

    Nonetheless I have no wish to see Mr Milliband enter office so I wrote to the PM a few weeks back to outline what will I consider will undercut UKIP and provide a path to winning the next GE, in essence this would commit an incoming Conservative administration to ordering a referendum on the continuing membership of the EU. This must be preceded by a proper adult debate structured around the sort of document produced by Dr Richard North and colleagues. Entitled FLEXCIT, this paper comprehensively surveys what the options are and examines the difficulties. The nation needs to understand these factors and make an informed judgement about what is best for Britain (or what is left should Scotland depart). This does not commit said government to campaign to depart, instead it should ensure everyone understands as well as possible what staying in or leaving means.

    Whatever the national decision we should then leave aside the constant bickering and start dealing with the self induced stupidity that has allowed situations like Rotherham to go on ruining the lives of so many ordinary people. For too long Britain’s hierarchy have suppressed sense in pursuit of some misplaced sense of guilt over being white and well off. In some senses this will do more to improve the situation here than any argument about EU membership.

  24. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    JR: “We have moved the Conservative party to say that our current relationship with the EU is not working for the UK”

    I think the problem is that the words of David Cameron have been so devalued, that no one would believe him if he said the sky was blue.

    Compounded by the fact that we know there is an election looming, and we also know that Cameron is prone to saying all sorts of fantastical things before an election that he reneges on after.

  25. Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    The most significant words of Mr Carswell to treasure are these as reported in the Telegraph:

    “They are not serious about real change in Europe. Everything they have done is about trying to win the election. This is about change so everything can stay the same.”

    “Things don’t have to be this way. I will be asking voters in Essex to help me change them. The Conservative leadership are not serious about change. If I believed they were sincere about real change, I wouldn’t be here.”

    “His advisers have said to me, ‘People will not vote to leave. Why? Because we will give them just enough to persuade enough of them to stay in.’ That is the game plan. It’s about not leaving the European Union.”

    “David Cameron has made up his mind – he wants to stay in. It’s all about positioning for the election.”

    “It’s not about changing things – it’s about hanging on to office. Once I realised that, my position in the Conservative Party became untenable.”

    It comes as no surprise that you have no sympathy or understanding for Mr Carswell – you have signed up hook line and sinker to Cameron and his plan to emulate Wilson’s actions in 1975. Interestingly Bill Cash, Bernard Jenkins and yourself have all been on the BBC castigating Carswell’s actions. The same three who were reported early in May this year by Benedict Brogan as attending a supper with Grant Shapps :
    “On Monday night grandees of the Tory outist wing were invited in to CCHQ for supper and a chat with Grant Shapps. Those present included John Redwood, Bill Cash, Bernard Jenkin. The plan had been to enjoin them to rally round, stay on side, stay quiet. Turns out there was no need. It was Mr Redwood, I am told, who urged Mr Shapps and his colleagues to hold the line, keep their heads. The last thing anyone should do, he said, was to go out and stir trouble in the media or try to undermine Mr Cameron. Cue relief in CCHQ to find that the heavy mob are now on side.”

    Listening to you on Today, your poition re leaving the EU sounded even more flakey than we have become used to in your postings.

    Reply As I have explained before, this is not an accurate report of that private meeting, where we discussed what a Conservative government will have to do to change the relationship with the EU to one based on trading.I do wish to see a Conservative government returned in 20o15, above all because I want us all to have the chance to vote for Out of the EU if no good new deal is on offer. I am disappointed that some contributors here still prefer a Labour government and n o referendum.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: No we do not prefer a Labour government but you need to be cruel to be kind.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      It was Mr Redwood, I am told, who urged Mr Shapps and his colleagues to hold the line, keep their heads. The last thing anyone should do, he said, was to go out and stir trouble in the media or try to undermine Mr Cameron

      God help us if this is true – John Redwood comes across as a graduate of the Tony Blair school of politics in this piece. He has argued here that division in partys does not cause election defeat..but bad policy Does. Mr Redwood should bring a libel case.

      The last thing we need is Mr Cameron to be given a free hand to say and do as he pleases – that’s what has got him into the mess he is on today. I seem to remember a similar state of affairs happened with New Labour and Tony Blair and that didn’t end well.

      Reply I have often said this was not true.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      What would satisfy you Mr Redwood, a temporary exemption from the power limitations on vacuum cleaners?

      Regardless, anything that Cameron negotiates with Mrs Merkel will be temporary in nature, lasting just long enough to prevent an “out” vote. That’s the way the EU does business to achieve it’s goal of European domination.

      Reply. NO, as I have often made clear. I want a new relationship based on trade and political co-operation, and remain an opponent of the centralising treaties.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        Why can’t you just say you think we should leave the EU? It’s not that difficult. Do you believe in self-governance for this country or not?

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      I see, it was pure coincidence that the three ‘grandees of the Tory outist wing’, named by Brogan and, whom he described as the ‘ heavy mob are now on side’ much to the relief of CCHQ, were all immediately paraded attacking Carswell and defending Cameron on the BBC.
      It sounds more like delivery of your pledge not to go out and stir trouble in the media or try to undermine Mr Cameron. How pleased he must be to know he has you three on side as he schemes to keep us in the EU with your support.

      Reply No-one from CCHQ asked me to do the Today programme, and I did not inform them I was doing it. The BBC rang me at 10pm last night to ask me. Nor did I read or take the official line. I decided myself what I wished to say. I fail to understand why you keep thinking I will welcome actions which split the anti EU vote and make the task of extricating us from the current EU mess more difficult.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply–You cannot be sure there would be no referendum under Labour–My gut is that they would have to have one–New intake and all that–Not having to eat their words

  26. Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Surely his point is that Cameron has shown that he has no intention to renegotiate anything serious. Already he has moved way back from his Bloomberg speech and now makes very minor demands that hardly need treaty change. Further, it appears that Cameron will then go into the referendum promoting IN along with Labour and the Lib Dems backed by a lot of government money and a lot of EU money making for a totally unbalanced referendum.

    In addition, I think it is about a lot more than Europe for Mr Carswell. He’d like to see proper recall, open primaries, less central bank intervention and more banking reform. Two of the most effective and independent ministers just lost their jobs – I think this is a big part in the timing.

    He sees much that this government does as a continuation of Labour. I share these views – we still have immigration at 240,000 a year, the deficit progress has been frankly pathetic, we have new laws coming that Harriet Harman would have been proud of like the Cinderella one and the new emotional abuse in relationships one, we still have zero rates and a terrible environment for savers, the promise to improve roads and end the war on the motorist lasted about 2 minutes, the police still seem more interested in thought crimes than burglary etc etc

    So whilst you can argue that to get a referendum you should vote Tory I think there is rather more to it than just getting that vote.

    Also I should add that I dislike the tone at the end of your piece here – show some more respect to a long standing member of your party who has taken a serious personal risk to stay true to his views.

    Reply He has just done a 180 degree turn on his views, and failed to explain why.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      “He has just done a 180 degree turn on his views, and failed to explain why”

      But he does explain why. Read his blog.

      Rely I have, and he fails to explain why he was a fan of Bloomberg and Mr Cameron earlier this year and suddenly lost confidence

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Carswell does explain why he has changed his views:

        To be fair, over the past four years ministers have at times done the right thing about Europe. They vetoed a treaty change. They refused any budget increase. And of course they agreed to an In / Out vote.

        But on each occasion they only did the right thing because they had been forced to by their own side. On each occasion, they had instructed their own MPs on a three line whip to support the wrong thing.

        With an election approaching, ministers most Eurosceptic boasts are about things they know that they were pushed into doing. It’s not leadership. They’ve not serious about real change. They’re only interested in holding office.

        No one cheered David Cameron more loudly at the time of his Bloomberg speech, when he finally accepted the case for a referendum. He would, he claimed, negotiate a fundamentally new relationship with the EU, and put it to the people in 2017; In or Out.

        But there’s been no detail since. That’s because there isn’t any. Again, they’ve not thought it through.

        Ministers have specifically ruled out a trade-only arrangement with the EU. The Prime Minister said so specifically at a meeting of the 1922. It won’t even be on the table.

        There must come a time when you realise that Cameron is not leading you anywhere. He is being pushed, unwillingly. And he is slippery: he will sidestep you at the earliest opportunity.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        He may well have made those statements before. But if you find out that, in your opinion, someone has been lying to you, should you still continue to pass on those lies to others? What sort of a person would that make you?

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          Good point.


      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        “There was no one epiphany moment when I changed my mind”, he said; in other words he cannot do what you ask and explain precisely why the scales finally dropped from his eyes now rather than months or years ago.

  27. Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    If you click the link to Carswell on the right of this page (if it’s still there); he makes sense. But alas, like the rest of the Conservative party, he is bad news for the economy. UKIP economics is a copy of Conservative economics and just as wrong.

    For me, if it came to a choice, on one of those rare occasions when we get to vote for anything, I would choose economic capability and put up with the EU; renegotiated or not. That is, I vote for individuals not parties. The legacy parties with their sclerotic ideologies, fashioned when we were still on the Gold Standard, are the problem.

    While we still have our own, respected, sovereign fiat currency, we have the tools to fix the problem, if we had skilled mechanics running the government that is, but we haven’t. The Eurozone does not have that advantage and hence it will probably die a natural death or a violent one in some sort of “European Spring”.

  28. Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    The first big question is, have the conservative leadership moved on the EU. When questioned yesterday Cameron avoided a straight answer to every question. To me, Cameron is aiming to repeat the Harold Wilson deception of 1975. His intention is to gain a few meaningless concessions from the EU, and then to tell us he has succeeded and we should vote to stay in. It will be the same big lie it was in 1975.

    If Cameron wanted political power back, a trade agreement, and a bit of cooperation, he could have asked the British people if they agreed and then got on with it via Article 50. We know he does not want this. What he wants may seem illogical until you ask yourself who is pulling his strings. I suspect a string of bankers and vested interests who prefer to stay well below the parapet and therefore unquestioned. After all who is funding his £1.2 Trillion debt.

    Ask yourself what are Cameron’s selection of items for re-negotiation. Is there anything of substance on unfettered immigration, the CAP, fisheries, the ECHR, or industrial and financial control. Absolutely nothing. Cameron is a snake oil salesman.

    As to the situation in Clacton, I would submit that UKIP had little chance there against an MP of Douglas Carswell’s calibre. Now UKIP have a chance in Clacton and the incumbent candidate will realise this. In terms of a deal between UKIP and the conservatives , there will never be a formal one. I would advocate that UKIP leave alone the 100 Tory MPs who have demonstrated that they want out of the EU, but the rest should be in a free fire zone.

    You should not need telling that Douglas Carswell is a man of principal as you probably know him better than most. I look upon him as a man of considerable courage, so he would get my vote. It would seem that he has put his constituents and country before any party or personal interest. I am not in his constituency, but my MP is one of the 100 so he will be getting my vote in 2015.

    As to Mr. Carswell’s words, with which you try to damn him, I would suggest he was being very loyal to his then party. I think he has concluded that loyalty was not working both ways. No doubt should your Damascene moment arrive you could be judged in a similar manner.

    With justification no one believes anything Cameron says. He has a talent to make Henry V type addresses to the troops, but now those same troops are beginning to realise that he is working for the other side.

    Reply When I had my run in with John Major and resigned from the Cabinet to help save the pound my record was not littered with quotes that I had to rescind or explain away.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      I cannot comment on what your record was at the time of your resignation. I was merely trying to say that were you to decide to follow the same path as Douglas Carswell then all the recent loyalty you have shown to this conservative party would pose the same comment you make of him. I have respect for the support both of you have given the party while in it, but once divorced one should feel free to take a different stance.

  29. Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    It’s over, John.

    I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I now loathe your party.

    What should be a matter of national urgency is being dilly-dallied over . The Tory party can no more be influenced from within than the EU. The latest immigration figures – and your party’s lies about them – are truly offensive and it’s clear that most of us are going down, whichever party wins the next election.

    Without UKIP we wouldn’t even be getting what we are now. Boris won’t save your party either.

    Creative destruction is now the order of the day.

  30. Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I watched all of Mr. Carswell’s announcement and he struck me as a decent man who would have had my backing. He did describe many problems, but I didn’t hear much about the solutions or what the UKIP policies actually are in areas like the NHS and public finances. Maybe I’m missing the point and it’s all about immigration. I do wonder how happy he will be amongst his new companions.

  31. Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    The media reports that Carswell said something to the effect that he’d been assured by Cameron’s aides that the aim of “renegotiation” with the EU was to get the minimum amount of change that will enable him to ask for a “Yes vote” to staying in the EU.
    Whether this is, or is not true, there appears to be a great reluctance by Cameron to detail exactly what he expects to get out of the EU, and without this information how can one decide if the negotiations have been successful?
    I read today that the EU are considering limits on the power of hair dryers and lawn mowers following their ban on powerful vacuum cleaners. I can imagine Cameron coming back from Brussels waving his agreement (like Chamberlain) saying “A great victory, we must all vote to stay in the EU as they’ve agreed we can have vacuum cleaners and hairdryers of any power we like”.
    Sorry, unless Cameron comes up with far more detail about what he expects from the EU, I won’t be voting for the Tories. OK, if too many take that view, Labour will get in. So what? At least they’re honest about wanting to stay in the EU and on so many other policies there is no real difference that I can see between the parties.

  32. Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Your comments on the Today programme and here were absolutely the right analysis of the situation.

    I was an admirer of Douglas Carswell and remain one of Nigel Farage. I credit Mr Farage with ensuring that European Issues and immigration are now front and centre in the minds of voters. He has probably had more influence on moving David Cameron’s position than Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, despite your best efforts on the subject.

    However, enough is enough. These are the facts :

    UKIP are not going to form the next Government.
    They will probably now win 2 seats : Farage and Carswell’s.
    Just possibly one or two more. ( Eastleigh ? ) But not enough to make a difference.
    UKIP taking a significant share of the vote elsewhere could prevent a conservative Government being elected.
    Without a Conservative Government we don’t get the Referendum.

    Is anyone seriously arguing that this is not the case ?

    So how can that possibly be in the best interest of either party, and particularly Douglas Carswell ?

    The result of the Eastleigh bye election should certainly have concentrated minds in both parties but as a result of yesterday, the slight hope I had that commons sense would prevail and there might be a sensible and practical electoral deal between the Conservative Party and UKIP is now out of the window.

    The chance of there being a Conservative Government has therefore also been reduced.

    Well done Mr Carswell.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      There is no chance of there being a Conservative government, and there hasn’t been since the Libs reneged on boundary change.

      Cameron pandering to the Libs ensured that the Conservative core vote would desert the party, and UKIP has provided them with an alternative. They have taken that alternative in large numbers.

      Treating ones core vote with contempt was never a good idea.

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

      UKIP don’t have to form the next government – you already say they have had a significant effect without a SINGLE MP. Just imagine what a handful could achieve, or even dare we imagine this, if they held the balance of power.
      If you compare with 2010, it does seem that UKIP are well and truly getting their act together now, so the only way is up, and at some stage they will meet these Tory naysayers on the way down.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        That’s really great, isn’t it ?

        A lot of Conservative voters, including me, are certainly not happy with the party led by Cameron but he’s the only chance we’ve got for a referendum so we have to get him elected in 2015.

        Are UKIP supporters so stupid that they can’t see what they are doing ?

        By splitting the vote on the right they will get no referendum and another Labour Government which will wreck the economy again, allow immigration to run riot again and immerse us even deeper into the mess that is the EU. It will be Eastleigh all over again.

        Talk about own goal !

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          It would be interesting to know, then, why you think Cameron didn’t just say “Yes of course I’ll recommend an out vote if my proposals to the EU aren’t accepted by them”. It was an easy answer to Nick Robinson’s question. Instead there was a convoluted reply along the lines of expecting one’s negotiation to succeed. Like it is foregone conclusion.
          There was no Lisbon referendum. Despite promises from the Libdems they didn’t manage to persuade Cameron to offer an in-out referendum with his coalition agreement.
          There will be no out recommendation.
          The only path is via UKIP.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      I don’t want a Conservative govt. Nor do I want a Labour or Lib-dem one. I want a UKIP govt. Am I likely to get one? No. But we start from where we are and progress. A few years back, I’m sure you’d have said that UKIP wouldn’t win the Euro election too…

      FPTP delays small parties until a certain tipping point when it flips. I’m helping it reach that tipping point. Will Labour destroy the country? Probably, but I don’t see the Conservative Party doing much better – after all, they have borrowed more money in 5 years than GB did in 13!! And we call it a success?!?

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      “enough is enough”

      Too right, and I’ve had more than enough of deceits from the Tory party.

    • Posted August 30, 2014 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Dear Chris S

      Oh dear calling people stupid and then writing the nonsense you have takes the biscuit.

      To paraphrase you

      UKIP will win 2 seats at best, this will hand the election to Labour.. Really?

      Maybe its this kind of tribal idiocy that Mr Carswell is trying to escape from. If you and your Tory friends are so vexed by people voting for who they want rather than to stop another party gaining power please explain why you voted against AV

  33. Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It’s a shame he didn’t just declare he would stay on as an Independent until the next election where he would stand as a UKIP candidate. In fact if it wasn’t a political pointless point scoring arena, he would be asked to do this to save a lot of trouble, expense and unnecessary work for the local people.

  34. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink


    Does anybody really plan to resign from a job and fanfaring all the way to the event. I never did. On reflection it was largely a build up of matters that I didn’t quite like but were not singularly significant at the moment. One finally did it and brought the rest together.

    Mr Carswell lists matters here:

    I still don’t understand how you negotiate with the EU. The T&C’s are irrevocably set are they not?

  35. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    So it’s a big news day in politics. You have got to hand it to the Conservative party PR machine, managing to fill the news with some nonsense about rules and hospital food. Rubbish hospital food is a massive problem. More rules, top down control, bureaucracy, inspections, central contracts which patients cannot enforce, are not going to fix any of this. The only way to fix the NHS is to give individual patients real buying power, where they really do dictate where their medical spend goes and can change their mind at any point, and where they have contractual entitlements to insurance payouts that they can easily take to law. That’s it. “Power to the patients” the political slogan we really need. Trying to out labour the labour party is never going to work, we can all see how rubbish the NHS remains through all of the iterations of hype and this last lot is no different, we are immune to the hype now we want buying power.

  36. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    “…if the EU does not come up with sensible proposals for the UK….”

    Surely we should be telling the EU what we want and when? Our red lines!

    Mr Carswell bleats that the Government and Mr Cameron have done nothing in this regard since the Bloomberg Speech, which he supported 100% at the time, and now complains that he and his ilk were conned.

    If Mr Cameron were to win the next election, which I doubt because he needs the English vote and he is rapidly losing that, we shall have the chimera of a renegotiation, played out in public, which all party front benches will commend to the people.

    Like Mr Blair before him, Mr Cameron thinks that a good speech or soundbite gives the people the impression that policy is being enacted or even exists. The people are no longer that thick.

    An example is the fatuous claim that he would reduce net immigration – fatuous because the government has no control over the hordes coming in from the EU.

    It is unfortunate that an intelligent person like Mr Cameron has no ability to apply that intelligence to the needs of management, just like Academics and SPADS.

    The EU is a virus which is invading the very body of each citizen. I read that it is now deciding on the permitted power of small household devices, the concept being that this will reverse or stop Climate Change.

    What plonkers. As are we for putting up with it!

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink


      ” The people are no longer that thick.”

      I would like to think this was true, but remember that the voters of Buckingham elected John Bercow, which kind of undermines your point.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes remember Cameron was put in place as the Tory answer to T Blair, a role he fulfils in spades.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I see that they plan to ban high power kettles. Trouble is, the same energy will be used to boil water, but it will just take a lot longer to do so. You are not saving energy. This is GCSE physics stuff!

      The same sort of nonsense applied to the banning of high power light bulbs. I remember visiting Sweden years back and being surprised by how many 25 & 40 watt bulbs took the place of the 100 watt ones due to the ban. Instead of a single 100 watt bulb lighting up a room they now had 5,6,7 smaller bulbs (no, I’m not exaggerating) lighting the rooms up, actually doing a lesser job and using up even more energy than the 100 watt bulb!

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        “I see that they plan to ban high power kettles. Trouble is, the same energy will be used to boil water, but it will just take a lot longer to do so. You are not saving energy. This is GCSE physics stuff!”

        I’m not certain GSCE teaches the First law of Thermodynamics in the same way that it was taught (and verified by pupils’ experiments) in GCE; it all seems waffly nonsense that can be taught and learned by functional innumerates. I see they also have their beady eyes on hairdryers and smartphones, the former being a case where the inefficiency of the motor results in heat rather than motion but which is driven past the heating element by the fan therefore, like the kettle, being highly efficient.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Same with a lot of the way the anti-emissions regime is implemented for cars. The tax relates to the exhaust gases only. So unreliable technology that reduces such gasses is encouraged, regardless of the fact it needs much more repair and is overall much less green as the carbon footprint of that repair is ignored. And electric cars are encouraged regardless of the emissions at the power station that generated the power, or the pollution at the plant that made their battery.
        Its complete and utter half-baked nonsense dreamt up by politically correct arts grads.

  37. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    The only rational explanation for Douglas Carswell’s resignation is that, rightly or wrongly, he is of the opinion that David Cameron will somehow find a way to avoid an EU referendum taking place.

    He may be planning to resign before the 2120 election anyway. So he could simply claim his resignation was due to his failure to deliver on the referendum.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      The 2020 election! I doubt the EU will still be in existence in 2120 🙂

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      The only rational explanation for Douglas Carswell’s resignation is that, rightly or wrongly, he is of the opinion that David Cameron will somehow find a way to avoid an EU referendum taking place.

      Exactly right Peter Martin – Tehe Con leadership will likely throw the election by putting a block on policy that might be too popular. Alternately they have been known to announce vote destroying policies when that appeal only to a minority of voters under the nonsensical ‘it’s the right thing to do’ banner.
      Another hung parliament would be perfect for Cameron – any promises can then be torn up.

  38. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    His blog is quite entertaining (he lists yours as a favourite link,for now at least) but I note it’s all about him and his views and despite his enthusiasm for the internet he doesn’t extend the courtesy you do in allowing your readers to respond and comment with views of their own.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      It is a pity Mr Carswell doesn’t allow a more open discussion with direct feedback allowed.
      Hat tip to Dr Redwood for making the effort on this I do hope he continues this valuable work.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      You are incorrect. I have responded many times on Douglas Carswell’s blog. However, I note today that the disqus system doesn’t seem to be operating – not unusual. What he hasn’t done in the past is to respond to those comments from readers as Mr Redwood often does.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for the correction. I hadn’t really paid him any attention until yesterday, at least not since his role in championing John Bercow as Speaker. I was just judging his blog on what I found today.

  39. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    “That means if they are unable to negotiate a decent relationship based on trade and political co-operation which allows us to have self government back over the things that matter, the UK voters will be able to vote for out.”

    I think that statement sums up the quality of so-called Eurosceptics in the Conservative Party.

    A cringeing appeal to be allowed to have back control over things that the Party thinks are important, which, if it fails, will allow people to vote on the merits of treachery.

    Governing ourselves is the red line in our constitution which traitors have crossed and over which, we must cross back. When we govern ourselves again, we will decide on where we are prepared to co-operate.

    This dodgy promise of a possible referendum, hedged about with conditions, is a form of bribery and bullying for the politically ignorant. It has suddenly become the overwhelming reason why we must vote Conservative in 2015.

    I do not know why Douglas Carswell chose now to do the honourable thing, but I am glad that he did. There are too many others supporting ideas contrary to their declared beliefs. No doubt, they can find excuses aplenty. One hopes that, in time, they will recognise the choice to stay or leave is not a matter of political expediency, but of integrity.

    John Wrake.

  40. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what Douglas Carswell’s motivation really is. The timing is odd and it happened after being wooed by Stuart Wheeler, so what was promised there. He talks about issues with David Cameron yet says nothing about other MPs who I would expect him to ally with, eg the 100 or so who went against the whip – 101 MPs demanding something would count for far more than perhaps one disgruntled MP who didn’t get the strokes he hoped for. Perhaps Westminster is more of a mire than outsiders realise.

    I do know this won’t move things towards a helpful conclusion. Until Cameron and his faction are replaced by those who put our interests before themselves and the EU we are stuck. This latest event won’t even change the parliamentary arithmetic.

    I do wonder how long Douglas Carswell will last with UKIP considering what has happened to other politicians who joined them.

  41. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Morning John. Today I have posted a small cheque to Douglas to help with his campaign.
    As I said yesterday I think this a watershed. I must confess to be worried about your tribal loyalty to a man who ignores you, who lies to us and is a complete waste of space.
    I just hope the people of Clacton vote for the man of principles and not the vacuous party of failure.

  42. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    It really is incredibly simple. If the Tories are elected in 2015, Eurosceptics will get a referendum on the EU. If Labour is elected, there will be no referendum. Is that too difficult for Douglas Carswell and many people on this blog to grasp? It may or may not be true that David Cameron is pro-EU, but that’s a future bridge to be crossed. First you have to reach the bridge. By defecting to UKIP, Mr Carswell has made a referendum that little less likely. Brilliant!

    From what little I know of Mr Carswell, it seems he is one of these accursed ‘modernisers’, a constitutional tinkerer of the worst kind. His idea of primaries for constituencies in UK would have increased the length of the political process in the UK. Do we really want political campaigns which last as long as the American presidential primaries or the endless Scottish referendum? How much money is wasted on them? We want less politics, not more. I think Mr Carswell also wanted some form of proportional representation. This would simply confuse most people in this country and in a referendum on this issue the British people showed good judgement.

    We don’t want people drawing up new constitutions. The USSR had a fabulous constitution but also a vast army of meddling bureaucrats. We want less taxation, less regulation and a foreign policy which minds its own business. In short, we want a government so small that we don’t give a fig what constitution it does or does not have.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      One wonders why you would vote Conservative then…

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Stephen you need to understand Eusceptics do not want a referendum they want a totally new relationship with the EU, one which prevents that organization making our laws. Laws that should be made in our parliament by the people we elect and can remove.

      We simply do not trust Cameron or his Tories to deliver, proof the idea that a referendum solves everything and is all we should reasonably ask. Whilst we are in the EU it matters little which party holds power in Westminster.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it really is incredibly simple. Almost all of those who knew nothing of David Cameron when he became Tory leader in 2005, but were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, have since realised that he is a complete shyster and they would be stupid to take his word on anything. It has taken some people much longer than others to come to this rather sad realisation, and it seems that it has still not dawned on you, but it has finally dawned on Douglas Carswell and he has done the honourable thing by saying that he cannot continue as a Tory MP but instead will give his constituents the opportunity to say whether they would like him to continue as their MP but affiliated to UKIP.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

        Peter Hitchens did warn us in the run up to the 2010 election and did so in his book The Cameron Delusion

        It has all turned out as he said it would. (I kick myself for not having listened to him.)

        I believe Hitchens to be the most prescient and perceptive polemicist of our times.

  43. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Mr Carswell’s move has more to do with Clacton than the national picture.

    If other MPs tried this trick they could find themselves in the wilderness. However perhaps Clacton is different.

  44. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    As far as I can see, Mr Cameron will achieve no substantive renegotiation on the EU, and will campaign in any referendum to stay in. Mr Carswell realises this and has decided to stop parrotting disingenuous Central Office press releases he doesn’t agree with.

    I wish Mr Carswell all the best. The great pity is that he’s on his own.

  45. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Well Dr Redwood seems to be in the minority here in not applauding Mr Carswell’s action’s. When your in a minority of like minded people you need to question your own logic. It makes me despair to read Mr Redwood’s unsupportive remarks.
    I’m sure Dr Redwood would admit privately that he has done or said things in politics that he has later found difficult to defend. That is the nature of being a politician.
    So for him to rebuke Mr Carswell for changing his position from one of driven by principle rather than party politics is a little unfair.

  46. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Who seriously cares about the referendum anymore? Many of us now just want to get rid of Cameron and destroy this useless ‘Conservative’ Party. If it means 5 years of Labour without a rigged referendum then so be it. The country is knackered anyway.

    Look at the praise Mr Carswell is getting. UKIP is the future. The Conservative Party is a joke.

  47. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Does anyone else think that, aside from all the intricacies of by-elections, referendums, etc, that Mr Carswell is just falling on his sword in order to wake up the PM and say “actually, all this immigration, Europe, PC, ISIS, etc business is real, and the voters sent a message in the local and Euro elections that they really AREN’T happy, and that you really have to do something about it”?

    Because from where I’m sitting, D Cam is going to continue to ignore it all and keep his head buried deep in the sand unless someone gives him a metaphorical slap in the face and say “everything isn’t OK mate”.

    I believe him about the referendum, but, like most people, I would like to actually SEE something happen – so far all I’ve seen is continued kowtowing to the ECHR, the EU, the PC brigade, the immigration fans and the Scottish nationalists. Maybe Mr Carswell has reached such depths of despair that he sees Ukip as the only alternative – not unlike a huge proportion of the population. Unfortunately, as JR says, Mr Carswell’s previous statements were spot on, and there remains the inescapable fact that the Monty Python voters will continue to vote Labour whilst complaining about immigration and the EU (!!) and that the middle classes who have their heads buried in the same sandpit as DC will split the Con vote thus letting in Red Ed. Ed Milliband in charge of the UK with Balls and Harman as his acolytes? Doesn’t bear thinking about.

  48. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I think it’s just that Carswell doesn’t believe he’s in a party that stands for the things he wants. The leadership of it- if they succeed in using the promise of a referendum to strongarm voters into re-electing them- will do everything in their power to avoid leaving the EU. There are numerous entirely “legitimate” ways to bias referenda, and there will undoubtedly be a pretence of a “major renegotiation” which will in reality be trivial in effect, as has happened in the past.

    From my reading of his blog etc, Carswell has clearly been disappointed by this Tory administration. Not just over Europe, but in its continued pursuit of statist policies, the disappearance of a wave of repeal of New Labour’s innovations, and so on. I think he’s reached a point where he couldn’t honestly go into the next election supporting it.

    Best of luck to him with the Clacton by-election. It is obviously ridiculous that the UKIP leadership didn’t sort things out at the local level before the announcement. That doesn’t bode well.

    But many people have had enough of the behaviour of the main parties, and there has to be some time when we say, “enough!”, and it looks like that time is now.

  49. Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    This is all very interesting – as somebody who drops by to post occasionally it appears that almost every one of your readers would prefer to vote UKIP than Conservative. Again a brief view of the papers from the Mail to the Guardian also shows that most people would vote UKIP.

    It looks like the left right spectrum in politics is closing just like when you switch off those old fashioned Cathode Ray Tube TV’s and there was a pause then zip as the thin white line vanished.

    Which from the perspective of democracy asks why are UKIP not favourtie to win the next election. Given the numbers the answer is clearly momentum – or rather lack of it in the three main parties. So the question is why arent they polling top in the polls is every body online agrees with their policies and online opinions have been validated through online polling?

    I think the answer is a lack of credible candidates.

    That appears all to be what is stopping UKIP from have a landslide election victory.

  50. Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Where does the blame for this lie and where does the buck stop Dr Redwood?

  51. Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    As you say John, interesting, nay curious, timing.

    As an honourable man he is going to seek re-election under his new colours and I wish him well. What a stark contrast to events in Rotherham.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      That Rotherham town hall is not ablaze attests to the patience of our people (or their stupidity !)

  52. Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I am old fogey enough to have voted in the 1975 referendum on Britain’s membership of the E.U., and I voted ‘Yes’, because I believed I was voting for continuing British membership of a Europe-wide free-trade area, at the time we called it “The Common Market” a phrase not much heard these days.
    We were comprehensively lied to. Documents released recently plainly show that both Harold Wilson and Ted Heath knew fine well that the E.U. project was a pan-european government in the making, and that fact was deliberately withheld from the people by the politicians of the day and by the media, then as now dominated by the BBC.
    Harold Wilson was particularly culpable as deliberately conflated full membership of the E.U. with membership of the european free-trade area E.F.T.A., and then presented the referendum question as a decision between full membership of the E.U. in order to retain trade links or a total and complete exit.
    Douglas Carswell’s charge against the current Conservative leadership is that they are gearing up to play exactly the same trick again. The referendum decision Cameron plans to put to the people will be one of full membership or total exit. Cameron has already disregarded the Swiss option, namely membership of EFTA, which means the referendum on offer is completely in or totally and completely out – and if those are the only options made available then the people will vote to remain in.
    In other words, Carswell is accusing Cameron of planning a europhile stich-up and he refuses to be part of it.
    More power to him. I too am reconsidering my position.

  53. Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    If I was a cynic I would say Mr Carswell has defected to UKIP because he fears losing his seat next May and standing for UKIP is his best chance of retaining it. As I am not then I say he believes that Mr Cameron’s heart is not really in meaningful renegotiation with the EU and definitely not in favour of leaving it and so also fears a stitch up as as we all know our leaders are not above such behaviour.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Antisthenes–Defect (and defected) as a verb still carries overtones of defect as a noun and is unwarranted. What I find odd is MP’s are expected to lie through their teeth, sorry I meant toe the Party line, when it suits but not otherwise. Carswell has changed Parties that’s all and that’s fine with me the more so because he has resigned. Besides even if you were a cynic is it not the case that Carswell has (had?) a huge majority that he built up himself over recent years so I do not begin to follow your opening remarks.

  54. Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood,

    As ever, respect to you for permitting discussion of this difficult subject.

    I speak as a supporter of your views over many years. I support you but not your support of the official Conservative Party line to take. Granted you are often outspoken but your view that you have ‘little to say’ on Mr Carswell’s departure I find most remarkable.
    I suspect you have little to say because you are constrained by party loyalty not to discuss the matter. But there is MUCH to discuss unless Mr Carswells version of events is just a fantasy?. If What Mr Carswell has said is untrue I would be most interested to hear your version of events.

    Douglas Carswell 28/8/2014
    ‘The Conservative leadership is not serious about real change. David Cameron told the 1922, there would be no attempt at associate membership, no attempt at a trade only relationship’.
    ‘His (David Cameron’s) advisors have said to me people will not vote to leave the European Union..why ?. Because we will give them just enough to enable them to stay in. That is the game plan’.

    This is the nightmare scenario the sceptics, us and you fear ?. If Mr Carswell has decided the leadership will have their way by stealth. What part of your messages is Mr Carswell and us not getting ?.
    There are many ways they could do this, sending out false messages. Mr Cameron is a skilled showman.

    Reply I am under no constraint or pressure on this matter. I have little to say because I think Mr Carswell has made a serious misjudgement, and I agree with much of what he said before he defected.

  55. Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    The goal has to be to unite the right. It took the Canadians 10 years to do this, let’s not take so long.

    A Tory/UKIP pact is the only solution to the EU question, and is the best way to keep Miliband out of Downing Street.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Alex–There must be something I am missing and, as so often, I am unfamiliar with the details; but was there not a pact (possibly not the right word) between the then Tories and the National Liberal Party in the early 1950’s and was that not with Churchill, no less, as Leader of the Tories? How did that work and in particular how could the need for a pact, or alliance, or whatever it was, have been more pressing for the Tories then than today, especially as UKIP are the real Conservatives these days and Cameron and Co risk annihilation unless they see sense on this subject? Was Churchill wrong?? Education please!

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Leslie – in answer to one of your comments further up this thread, I assume you have tongue in cheek when you say that the fact that Churchill was an Old Harovian while Cameron is an Old Etonian is what makes the difference between them. I think what makes the difference between them is that Churchill belonged to that generation of politicians who had fought for their country, whereas all of those from Margaret Thatcher onwards had not.

        Once we lost that generation of patriots (and Margaret Thatcher is an exception), we started to go down hill.

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think you are correct to say that Thatcher’s generation did not fight for their country. She left school in 1943.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      @Alex Roebuck
      UKIP transcends the old left/right political paradigm.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      I think the days when UKIP members might accept a pact with the Tory party are long past, not least because there are now so many of them who were previously supporters of Labour or the LibDems. It is a Tory delusion that UKIP supporters are some kind of lost tribe of their party, there may have been quite a lot of truth in that idea at one time but not now.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Denis–Agree not as true as it was but many UKippers still regard themselves as the Tory Party in Exile–Would you like UKIP to split in two??

        • Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          Of course not. I’ve always argued that UKIP should try to position itself near the centre of the political spectrum so that the patriotic left and the patriotic right could be united in the fight against the three old unpatriotic anti-democratic eurofederalist parties. In an ideal scenario all three of them would fall simultaneously, but of course we do not live in an ideal world and it is unavoidable that they should have to fall in turn, starting as we now see with the LibDems who go beyond eurofederalist to euromaniac.

          • Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            I should be very careful about this talk of the political spectrum with a left and a right and a centre ground and UKIP appealing to the centre ground.

            Fitting all political points of view on a single line is bound to be an uncomfortable thing to do. Have two axes, one economic and the other socially liberal/conservative or libertarian/authoritarian and things make more sense, and you can fit things in such as various schools of anarchism, without vacuities such as “at the extremes the ends meet”. Insisting everything be put on a single line has lead to one of the most successful lies in history, which is that the NAZIs were right wing.

            The specific problem I see with your post is that the “Centre Ground” has assumed a particular meaning in UK politics, which is a mixture of pandering to what’s needed to win over floating voters in marginal seats, assuming the rest will be determined by tribal loyalties and will put up with anything, and restricting the debate to a sort of professional wrestling match with which the Westminster Village is comfortable, and avoiding, indeed energetically suppressing, discussion on areas of genuine general interest, such as mass uncontrolled immigration, green energy and the EU.

          • Posted August 30, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            However many axes there may there is always an origin.

  56. Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    ‘Curious timing’…

    It is all really very, very simple Mr Redwood and not at all curious.

    Nobody trusts Mr Cameron… based on his revealed preferences as opposed to declared preferences (I’ll explain that: it is what people actually do rather than what they say they will do) and nobody trusts any of the mainstream political claque anymore to actually do what they say they will do.

    Mr Carswell understands and accepts that and so wanting to be credible has revealed his preferences so we can all see, and done the honourable thing too and let the electorate decide as soon as the rules allow not at some alleged, airy-fairy, date in the future.

    I would say it is time for you Mr Redwood and other politicians in the Not-Conservative Party to reveal theirs.

  57. Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I imagine the process Mr. Carswell has gone through is something like a divorce, where it becomes clear over time that things are not going well, and there are attempts to believe it will all come good, and say it will all come good (self-deception). Eventually there’s a realisation that it isn’t working and won’t work, and that’s triggered by something which could be trivial, say a row about a washing machine. However, it really isn’t all about a row over a washing machine, it’s the sum of a lot of things going wrong.

    It’s obvious that Mr. Carswell has come to believe what many of us have believed all along; Mr. Cameron’s renegotiation line is a cynical sham and Mr. Cameron and the ruling core of the party is determined that we are staying in the EU, come Hell or high water.

    I think it’s unwise of you to draw attention to and exaggerate Mr. Carswell’s lack of consistency when we have the prominent examples of Cameron and Hague. A large part of the problems the Conservative Party has is that they are seen as glib deceivers and whatever they say is automatically disregarded. That in turn is a significant reason why the referendum pledge is not taken seriously.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      cosmic–Your last two sentences are as true as true can be

  58. Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood and a few other Conservative MPs are really just helping Cameron to make the party appear Eusceptic, they make the Eusceptic noises but they actually do not make the decisions or direct the policy.

    Mr Carswell has finally realised something many have known ever since Cameron was elected leader of the party, that he is a fully committed Europhile in the same manner as Heath. That is why he failed to win the last election and why the UKIP are gaining ground.

    If he were to win the election Cameron would use the referendum to destroy any hope of this country ever leaving the EU.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you completely.

  59. Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the many posts above that Cameron simply can’t be trusted. He has lied too often, promising things he either had no intention whatsoever of carrying through or that he knew he couldn’t.

    His EU reforms and reducing immigration to tens of thousands are just two of his latest lies. The pledge on an EU referendum is another. He simply does not carry out what he pledges to do.

    When Tad Davison posted that Carswell had simply changed his mind, you jumped on him and said: “In politics the main thing you have is your word.”

    Well, I don’t know whether Tad was leading you into a trap, but he sprung it well. There are two major problems with your proposition:

    1. it precludes a politician ever changing his or her mind, which is absurd. Look at Churchill – he went back and forth across the floor or the House of Commons like a jack-in-the-box, but he’s still regarded as one of the greats; and

    2. Cameron’s word is worthless, because he has lied and dissembled far too often for anyone to believe him any more.

    Carswell has now done what I did years ago, along with many others. I suspect he’s only done so now because he’s finally lost patience with Cameron and his little clique.

    In jumping ship, he’s waited far longer than most, and of course, we should remember that politics is his livelihood, whereas the rest of us could defect whenever we chose.

    I’m afraid that UKIP is now the only party that is determined to get us out of a relationship that not only doesn’t work for us, it actually disadvantages us and benefits the rest of the EU.

    I sincerely hope that the Tory Party now splits between the right wing Eurosceptics, who will join UKIP, and the rump which will sit much more comfortably with the liberals they now strongly resemble.

    Reply I said MPs sometimes do need to change their mind. If the facts change or the world moves on you change your mind and explain why. If you got something wrong you apologise, explain and move on.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      The facts that have changed for Carswell are, in his own words:
      “His (David Cameron’s) advisers have said to me, ‘People will not vote to leave. Why? Because we will give them just enough to persuade enough of them to stay in.’ That is the game plan. It’s about not leaving the European Union.”

      “David Cameron has made up his mind – he wants to stay in. It’s all about positioning for the election.”

      You seem unwilling to engage with those facts because for you, too, “It’s all about positioning for the election.”

      Reply You should not lie about me like this. I am trying to get this country out of the mess of its relationship with the EU. Like Mr Carswell used to think I think the only to do this is to get the Conservative party to negotiate and then hold a referendum on the result.I do not accept that Mr Cameron wishes to get a few powers back and then recommend staying in. He is clever enough to know that will not work, as we the people would see through a Wilson type stitch up and vote for Out. A PM who lost a major referendum would not stay as PM.

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        JR: “I do not accept that Mr Cameron wishes to get a few powers back and then recommend staying in.”
        Are you accusing Mr Carswell of lying too in quoting what Cameron’s advisers said to him? They clearly think that ‘we the people would NOT see through a Wilson type stitch up and vote for In.’

      • Posted August 29, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Well all Cameron has to do is spell out to the British people exactly what he wants back in terms of powers from the EU and exactly what he is prepared to allow them to continue to control. He then needs to state unequivocally what will happen should there be a failure to get back what we want.

        Even better and more credible would be an in /out referendum on the EU as we know it. If the verdict is out then invoke Article 50 and let the EU know where we wish to cooperate as a trading sovereign state. Article 50 has the advantage of cleaning the slate and confirming how serious we are.

  60. Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Our politics and democracy are broken. We need a major overhaul.

    The Conservative Party is finished, it has no natural support base any longer apart from a few OAP die hards. The only people left in the party are those so terrified of another Labour govt that they are caught in the car headlights like startled bunnies. The Conservative Party has campaigned to kill itself for nearly 3 decades. Its “leadership” repeatedly defying its grassroots over the EU. It is unelectable in Scotland and most of Wales yet it treats England with no respect at all. They routinly break promises and prefer to listen to repeat failures like Clarke, Hesletine and Patten. They are out of touch with the majority of citizens.

    Membership has fallen off a cliff. It can’t be trusted on its manifesto pledges and its has very very little talent in the senior ranks of the party. It is a social democrat party which believes in more government, more state intervention, more tax and is positively fiercly anti small business. The modern Conservative party is in fact a branch of the Lib Dems and should have the courage to say so.

    Carswells defection is the start of a process of redefining British/English politics. UKIP aren’t the answer they are just the vehicle for change. A number of other MP’s will be defecting in the coming weeks.

    The Conservative Party is a party of the 20th Century it doesn’t have a philosophy for the 21st century. Its a dead party, its gone to meet its maker, shuffled off this mortal coil and go to meet the choir invisible. Its snuffed it. Unelectable

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Permalink


      It will be a fitting result if the Party which betrayed the British people over the EEC/EU is itself destroyed by that betrayal.

      You only have to take a look at the Bruges Group website to see what a pro-EU Party looks like. The Tories are the worst offenders and always have been.

      Even IF I was inclined to listen to the claims that Cameron really will hold a Referendum, I wouldn’t vote Conservative. Why? Because my local Conservative MP is an atrocious example of lobby fodder who claims to be an EU sceptic whilst trooping through the lobbies for pro-EU policies around 75% of the time.

      It will be an absolute pleasure to both vote and campaign against him.

  61. Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Mr Carswell pretty much summed the situation up for me regarding Mr Cameron with his statement: “Britain is still run like it was under Tony Blair”. That’s exactly what it feels like under Cameron, endless lies and deceptions abound and lacking in integrity.

    The trouble is for the Tories is that people can now finally see the slimy Blair for what he really was and they are now glad to see the back of him.

  62. Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Vote UKIP get Labour is not true. More likely is another hung parliment with UKIP replacing the Libdems holding the balance. Then Cameron goes and we get a ConUkip alliance. We still get to negotiate with the EU but the UKIP element will be much sterner about changes.
    Whats wrong with that? (guess who replaces Cameron?)

  63. Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I admire Douglas Carswell as a man of genuine principle and absolute loyalty first and foremost to his country rather than his party, which is the way all MPs should be. He is always honest and forthright about what he believes, and he follows his principles above all else. He is one of a number of MPs whom I would (And do) support because of who they are, rather than which party they belong to.

    (You yourself are obviously another such man of great personal integrity, John. Please don’t take my praise of Douglas as in any way being a slight upon yourself, for it is not intended so)

    As such, I admire Douglas for following his principles and putting them ahead of party loyalty. Britain needs more conviction politicians on all sides of the house, not less, and I very much hope that he will carry the Clacton by-election in a landslide. The Commons is a better place with him there, whichever party he may happen to represent.

    I believe that Douglas has weighed his options carefully and decided that the best thing he can do to serve Britain is to join UKIP. I wish him well with that decision.

  64. Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I support Douglas Carswell 100% and admire his courage in resigning and subjecting himself to election.

    You quote his opinions; opinions are not constants, they change with circumstances and no one should be criticised for changing them. Breaking a cast iron promise to the electorate is a different matter.

    There is a reason that Labour are ahead in the opinion polls, despite the improving economy, Labour’s disastrous management of the economy when in Government, and Miliband’s perceived weaknesses. The voters get it but Cameron and the parliamentary Conservative Party don’t, can’t and won’t.

    It is blindingly obvious to the electorate that the rest of the EU is not going to give Cameron anything in the way of repatriation of powers, that Cameron knows that, and that he isn’t even going to bother trying. It is obvious too, that if Cameron is PM that the EU will pull together to give him some token concessions, (probably on the permitted wattage of our kettles and vacumn cleaners), and that he will make a huge song and dance about it and mobilise a quisling media into supporting a yes vote in any referendum. We can all see that as clearly as if it was written in stone.

    The mystery is as to why the Parliamentary Conservative Party cannot see it and are walking like sheep to the slaughter into an election that is eminently winnable, but that they know they are going to lose.

    Anyone who has the slightest interest in the future of this country would stand 100% behind Carswell’s criticisms of the Conservative party; he deserves to win and I hope he does.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Well said. Totally agree.

  65. Posted August 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Douglas’s brand of optimistic, localist, forward-looking Euroscepticism is hugely popular. It could sweep the country at a general election, and propel Britain to global prosperity – if only the Conservatives and Ukip could overcome their animosities.

    That is what Daniel Hannan had to say, and he nails it. He explains exactly why the Conservatives aren’t doing it for anyone at the moment.

    There is no localism. At all.
    There is no forward-looking politics, it is all re-active politics.
    And there is no optimism about the outcome of the negotiations with the EU because no-one dares be open about what is being negotiated.

    But those who see a future outside of the EU can be optimistic.

    Does that mean we can look forward to Hannan and Carswell sharing a joint platform in the near future?

    Carswell and Redwood even?

  66. Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I really hope some Labour MPs defect…I am afraid all Douglas has achieved is to make a Labour victory more likely. That will be a tragedy for the country whether you are Eurosceptic or Europhile.

    My mother’s constituency, Thanet South will go Labour when Farage splits the vote.

    My forecast result for the next election: 2 UKIP MPs and a Labour government

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I forcast a hung parliment with UKIP holding the balance.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Possibly but that is because Cameron never offered nor pursued real Tory values when he had the chance prior to 2010. Having lost the election he has allowed himself to be manipulated and humiliated by the LibDems who saw him as weak. Cameron’s Tory party is just the lesser of three bad ones. They are all socialists but at varying degrees. The UK desperately needs proper conservatism not this.

  67. Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Most of us have moved on from the referendum issue (yes, we want one) to what our negotiating stance should be and what the red lines are.

    Nowt from the PM so far.

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Cameron has no red lines so don’t hold your breath.

  68. Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Interesting slant on this story from Lord Tebbit;, that had Carswell stayed on as a UKIP MP, then lost the seat as a UKIP candidate in the General Election in 2015, he’d have qualified for the re-settlement grant, but has chosen to do it the honourable way, perhaps losing his livelihood on a matter of principle, and not taking the money that some liars, crooks and expenses cheats have taken!

    There are too few like him in Parliament today.

  69. Posted August 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    What beggars belief, I think, is the extraordinary naivety of David Cameron and his MPs in pushing the line that the electorate will only get a referendum with the Conservatives in power. Quite apart from the issue of the electorate not believing the PM’s “pledge”, can’t the Party see how vulnerable they are to utter wipe out simply by Miliband delivering the master stroke of also offering a referendum? From the way Cons MPs are talking and writing, it appears that they are totally unprepared for an event such as this, and they have left themselves completely vulnerable. Miliband offering a referendum is not so outlandish as we are led to believe, and it would certainly destroy a major reason being put forward by Cons MPs for voting Conservative in the next election. Labour Party is no stranger to U turns, witness their sudden change from anti EU to pro EU, allegedly after the Jacques Delors speech.

    Reply The offer of a referendum is an important part of the platform but not the only one!

  70. Posted August 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    “Only the Conservatives will guarantee and deliver an In/Out referendum. It will only happen if Cameron is PM”
    And in the event UKIP control a majority, they will not be guaranteeing a referendum? Hmm.

    Mr Cameron promised many things in the run up to the 2010 Election. Unfortunately for the country, his desire to be a Blair clone became true. He too turned out to be all spin and no delivery. That is why he is not trusted. He moved his goal posts over the Lisbon Treaty, he has reneged over the promised Bill of Rights and his lower immigration targets are a laughing stock. His has allowed QE to wreck havoc despite when in opposition he and his chancellor declared such a move, disastrous. It was declared an admission of Labour’s failure at the time. He has run down our armed forces to a state of extinction while propping up overseas nuclear powers and dictators with tax payers money. Money that should have been spent on OUR defence. Now, with unchecked ISIS, WE are going to pay for another bad judgement. He has employed and associated himself with bent media editors and against all advice which brings his judgement into question, yet we are told he is the only man for us. Well here’s one who is not convinced at all.
    Why do we have to wait for 2 years after the election to have that referendum? In July, 2017, the UK is scheduled to hold the rotated EU Presidency, not that means very much because they take over from the global giant, Malta. However I cannot see this country pursuing an ‘out’ agenda while they are supposedly running the EU. If that is what they do in the six months. All in all, 2017 is just part of another dodgy dossier but it will take another 3 years to get rid of the government. He must base the 2015 election around THE EU referendum and promise immediate action as soon as he is returned to Downing Street. No waiting. Dave should and must stop dithering -we have waited long enough and been conned too many times for us to wait any longer. So, can anyone really challenge Doug’s analysis of our PM and blame him for leaving the party?

    • Posted August 29, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      This is misunderstanding things.

      The public position has been that the Conservative Party doesn’t like the EU in its current form but there’s a happy half-way position between being in it and subject to all its laws, and leaving it. This is an attractive fantasy which many want to believe and thus they work their mischief. In large part, it’s been a way to avoid stating what their position is (pragmatically, it’s very clearly in, but if they were honest about it, they’d be in serious trouble).

      They have to maintain the fiction that reform is possible and achievable. There are strong suspicions that their intention is to do a Wilson and thereby win the Holy Grail which is a referendum which delivered an in result. So no straight in/out referendum directly after forming a majority government. There are various reasons for the delay and the UK’s turn at the rotating presidency aiding selling nothing as something is one.

      The talk from some Tory commentators has been about what reforms could be achieved without treaty change. Obviously nothing worthwhile and note that the bill of goods Wilson successfully sold involved no treaty change. Everything points to an intention to do a Wilson, aided and abetted by the BBC, Labour, most of the papers and the EU.

      • Posted August 30, 2014 at 12:48 am | Permalink

        Yes. 😉

  71. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Flipping through the previous 180-odd comments, a television programme I had watched early this week came to mind. It focused on the Phoney War; September 1939 to May 1940. The point was strongly made that the French resolutely stuck to their strategy of defending France based on the Maginot Line.

    75 years on we have the Conservatives sticking resolutely to their strategic line – vote Conservative and get a referendum. It seems that Conservatives too are in denial as to the possibility of any alternative, and simply keep chanting the mantra.

    Who will be smiling by the Summer of 2015? I hope Douglas Carswell will be one.

  72. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    “Cycling is more interesting!
    By JOHNREDWOOD | Published: AUGUST 6, 2014
    The piece on cycling has evoked many more responses than war and peace, taxation or even migration. It’s a funny old world, when I was criticised for daring to mention it.”
    Going by the number of reply’s you’ve had on this current subject it is now the new hot topic, maybe Conservatives should start taking voters more seriously instead of fobbing them off with false promises.

  73. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    We haven’t been fighting for a Referendum. We’re fighting to get our country back.

    Mr Cameron has been dragged kicking and screaming to the point where he has “promised” a referendum, but with a number of caveats so he has plenty of wriggle-out room.

    A fundamental renegotiation of our relationship is not going to happen. The FCO claims that “the relationship” is fine as it is. The EU says it won’t re-open the Treaties or negotiate on any of the fundamentals.

    Cameron is going to try and repeat the Wilson strategy. Minor concessions will be dressed up as significant …. and the EU-funded BBC will propagandise like the Pravda it is.

    Cameron has also made it abundantly clear that he will never advocate leaving the EU and will not respect an OUT vote. But he and his Masters have no intention of ever getting to the stage where OUT might possibly win. They will rig the Referendum to ensure that it won’t.

    Carswell finally recognised that Cameron really is Blair Mark 2 and is going to do nothing to break The Establishment’s grip on our sham of a Democracy.

    He did the right thing for the PEOPLE.

  74. Posted August 29, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I saw the interview with Mr Carswell on BBC’s Look East. He barely mentioned Europe. The issue he has with the leadership is not carrying out what it said it would, having failed to make significant inroads into the deficit, no reform of the NHS and failing to tackle immigration.

  75. Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    That means if they are unable to negotiate a decent relationship based on trade and political co-operation which allows us to have self government back over the things that matter, the UK voters will be able to vote for out. The party leadership also now recognises that there are circumstances in which the government would have to recommend exit, if the EU does not come up with sensible proposals for the UK.

    Presumably you don’t agree with Dr Richard North, of the blog EU REferendum, that renegotiation of the terms of our membership is impossible and therefore a negotiated exit after invoking Article 50 is the only possible alternative to accepting the status quo?

    Given this, what matters now most of all is a Conservative majority in 2015 to deliver the renegotiation and the referendum.

    That’s not going to happen and even if it does we won’t be leaving the EU any time soon, regardless of what Cast Iron Dave has promised.

  76. Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow ! +200 Posts ! Is that a new world record ? 🙂

    I must confess to be quite exhausted reading through all those posts. How our kind host must feel is anyone’s guess.

    It is coming close to the time on which I power down my computer and retire. Thank you everyone who has contributed and to our kind host for putting up with us.

    To you all, and especially our kind host, I wish well and good night. See you all in the morning, bright and early.


  77. Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that the D Telegraph, Charles Moore, has this to say, in an essentially positive article about Douglas Carswell:
    “Douglas Carswell can see where politics is going. He’s a true moderniser.
    Ukip, to which the Tory MP for Clacton has defected, has become a popular movement with grassroots enthusiasm, unlike the Tory Party.

  78. Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Oh Dear !

    I do hope that David Cameron reads this thread, or at least some of his advisers do.

    Despite our best efforts, a majority of the people posting here are never going to believe David Cameron will honor his commitments. That should surely indicate a great deal more needs to be done to beef up the Referendum plan.

    As a minimum DC HAS to come out and tell us what the red lines for renegotiation are in great detail and he also has to state clearly that he is prepared to recommend we leave if the red lines are not met.

    I’m sure you, John, want to see this happen and nothing less is going to give him any chance whatsoever of attracting even a small proportion of former Conservative supporters back from UKIP.

    Even then, a large proportion seem to be prepared to risk having another Labour Government in the forlorn hope that UKIP will replace the Conservatives as the alternative party for the 2020 election.

    With Miliband in No 10 for a full 5 year term, our standing in the world will then be so diminished that we will be relegated to a minor European player.

    Reply I am quite sure Mr Cameron will give us the referendum promised if he has a majority in 2015.The referendum keeps him honest on the renegotiation, as he will understand the British people will vote for Out if as some think there is no sensible new relationship on offer from the other states.He will not wish to recommend staying in and then losing the referendum, as that would be a bad end to his Premiership.

    • Posted August 30, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      What Cameron does not want is any meaningful analysis of what he should be negotiating and winning back for the electorate before any referendum.

      He would prefer the referendum to creep up on an unprepared electorate so that the consequence of any Yes or No vote is a big unknown – and people will then vote for the status quo.

      Who is more likely to be given airtime to shine light onto the whole process? Conservative backbenchers who up until now have been content to miss important votes, not attend important debates and generally abide by 3 line whips?

      Or people with genuine conviction?

      Reply As the Scottish referendum shows, the referendum will be big news for many months with plenty of opportunity for all with an interest to shine lights and expose issues.

  79. Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    John thank you for allowing this blog.
    Is UKIP the new Conservatives?

  80. Posted August 30, 2014 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    Here’s a good piece by the former editor of the Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore:

    That pretty much sums up my feelings far better than I could ever express them. I particularly liked his closing remarks:

    ” The fact that Mr Carswell – a free-market man, whose politics are what he calls “” – has joined Ukip is a piece of evidence about how the ground is shifting. Study what happened in Canada.

    In the 1993 election, the Progressive Conservative Party fell to two seats because it had become so Left-centrist as to be almost indistinguishable from the Liberal Party. Today, the Conservatives have been in power for eight years, having merged with the radical Reform Party (the Ukip of the prairies) which did them down in the Nineties. In a wonderfully counter-intuitive piece of modernisation, they threw away the adjective “Progressive” and are now just “The Conservative Party of Canada”. In Britain, conservatives need to bring about such change, sometimes involving electoral pacts. If the Conservatives with a capital C do not do this, they will continue to decline.

    Against this tide, Mr Cameron’s supporters have really only one thing to say: “Vote Nigel: get Ed.” The fundamental problem is that Dave and Ed and Nick are not far off being interchangeable, and so the threat is becoming empty. British politics has become a cartel. Free societies break cartels.”

    Of course, I know that JR will say that the difference between Mr Miliband and Mr Cameron is that the former refuses to contemplate a referendum on the EU whereas the latter has promised us one. However, the comments above show that many people do not believe Mr. Cameron on this matter, and after his broken promise on the Lisbon Treaty referendum it’s hardly surprising. The fact is that Mr Cameron and his cabal have dragged the Conservative Party so far to the left that many natural Thatcherite Conservatives (such as myself) can no longer countenance voting for it, even after a lifetime of faithfully doing so.

    • Posted August 30, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Steve Cox: “that many natural Thatcherite Conservatives (such as myself) can no longer countenance voting for it, even after a lifetime of faithfully doing so.”


  81. Posted August 30, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Whatever one’s political persuasion it has to be admitted that Mr. Carswell’s decision to offer himself for re-election, once he had decided to switch to another party, is both principled and brave.

    That he has made statements in the past which support Mr. Cameron and the Conservative Party and its policies simply show how loyal was Mr. Carswell to his party. Or that the penny has just dropped that the Conservative Party will not be pursuing the policies that Mr. Carswell wishes to see.

    For nearly 50 years I have voted Conservative at every possible opportunity. But no longer. Unfortunately you, Mr. Redwood, are not the leader of the Conservative Party.

    I think that continuing massive immigration to be the single most important issue/threat to the country and all 3 main parties, Liberal, Labour and Conservative, are pro massive immigration, both EU and non-EU, each for their own different reasons.

    Mr. Cameron himself still wishes us to remain in an EU expanded all the way to the Urals and including Turkey. He also went to India and said there was no limit to the number of Indian students who could come the country to study (and stay).

    I have finally realised that the leadership of the Conservative Party is just as Europhile as the Liberals and more so than the Labour Party who have only been pro EU since Mr. Blair.

    Since all Lib/Lab/Con politicians say that their policies must be popular because they garner 90% or so of the total votes cast in any election I see that it is a nonsense to vote for one of these parties simply on the basis that to do so will stop one of the other two gaining power. This is because on the major issues of immigration, green energy, public spending etc. there is very little difference between them.

    I now consider it to be far more important to register my vote for a party that best represents my views, whatever the eventual outcome of an election.

    Unfortunately we still have the FPTP system rather than AV for which I voted.

    Reply And equally principled to push aside the UKIP candidate in the seat already without a selection process or the open primary he says he favours?
    If you want Out of the EU you need to win a referendum vote to do that – first get your referendum.

    • Posted August 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      “If you want Out of the EU you need to win a referendum vote to do that – first get your referendum.”

      Cameron would not hold a referendum until he could be assured that sufficient wool had been pulled over the eyes of the electorate to ensure a vote to stay in.

      In the meantime immigration continues apace ensuring an ever expanding client base of the proponents of open borders.

      Cameron would be seeking an “in” vote which would seal our fate and he will use all the machinery of state to ensure his stated desire.

    • Posted August 31, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      Mr. Redwood,

      Many thanks for your comments.

      The UKIP candidate for Mr. Carswell’s constituency was selected to run against Mr. Carswell in the forthcoming May GE. This is a by-election caused by Mr. Carswell seeking a mandate from his electorate to be their MP between now and the GE having left the Conservative Party and joined UKIP. This seems to me to be perfectly reasonable for both the existing UKIP candidate and the voters of the constituency.

      Who will be candidate for this constituency at the forthcoming GE may not have been decided at this stage, particularly as we do not know who will win the by-election.

      With regard to voting Conservative in order to get a referendum :
      This has been covered very well by many others on this site :

      The leadership of the Conservative Party is so Europhile that I do not believe a referendum will be held unless a significant percentage of the population votes UKIP. Mr. Cameron has already voted down one potential referendum.

      Voting Conservative (or Labour or Liberal) will merely enable all 3 parties to say that the issue of Europe is unimportant, as they have consistently declared in the past.

      We also know that the timetable Mr. Cameron has given for re-nogotiation is too short given the EU’s own timetable for such matters and we have been told in no uncertain terms by the EU, and by leading members such as France and Germany, that no re-negotiation is possible.

      Mr. Cameron cannot even tell us what he wants to achieve in the proposed re-negotiation.

      Mr. Cameron has said that he will resign if no referendum is held and that is exactly what I am expecting him to do – to make way for Mr. Johnson – just as Mr. Blair made way for Mr. Brown.

      We are also told that the result of a referendum is “non-binding”, so this is another clue.

      Finally, I believe the tactic is to delay a referendum as long as possible so that in the meantime there will have been sufficient inward migration for the result to be for us to stay in the EU. Hence the need for continued mass immigration into the country.

  • 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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