How should you describe the Lib Dems?

 

Dr Cable effectively accused Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne of lying about future tax and spend plans. I would be interested in how you would describe this statement from the Lib Dem Manifesto of 2010:

“We will scrap unfair university tuition fees for all students taking their first degrees, including those who study part time, saving them over £10,000 each”

Dr Cable was the responsible Cabinet Minister who decided to keep Labour’s tuition fees, and put them up substantially. He then put both the Lib Dem and Conservative parties on a 3 line whip to vote for his scheme.

Under the Coalition agreement he could have asked Conservatives to draw up plans and could have refused to vote for them if he did not like them. Instead he chose to put up tuition fees.

Or how would you describe the Lib Dem promise to vote to reduce the number of MPs in the Commons as part of the spending reduction programme in return for the Conservatives voting to hold an AV referendum? You may remember Conservatives did vote for the Lib Dem referendum, but Lib Dems did not vote for the boundary review.

The main reason Lib Dems are struggling in the polls is the way they behaved over the tuition fee issue. I was summonsed like many other Conservative candidates in the 2010 election to a meeting of local sixth formers so the Lib Dems could offer them the abolition of tuition fees for university. I explained that my party did now back Labour’s tuition fees. I said we, like Labour if they were elected, would look at the forthcoming review of university funding Labour had set up and might reluctantly have to agree to increases in the fees. It was not a popular line, unlike the Lib Dems free gift promise.

The Lib Dem Manifesto for 2015 is taking shape. It is likely to send out clear messages:

Do not work hard and earn a good income – if you do we will punish you with higher income taxes

If you dare succeed and get a higher income, do not buy an expensive  house – if you do we will want to punish you with higher taxes

If you earn well and dare to save for your retirement, we will take money from  your pension fund with higher taxes

If you run your own business and want to sell it for a good profit, we will want to take profits with Capital Gains tax

If you save we will pursue you with higher dividend taxes

The Lib Dem advice is do not succeed and get a good income or make a business success. Or if you do, spend the money as quickly as possible. On no account save it or invest it. Saving, investing, building companies and buying dearer houses are ills that need to be punished.

What a depressing outlook.

 

 

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113 Comments

  1. Mark W
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    If the libdems or labour for that matter, simply copy/paste your blog today you could save them a fortune on manifesto writers.

    The only bit missing is the other half of the coin:

    If you are too lazy to find a job that a couple of million East Europeans seemed to find easily don’t forget the mugs above will fund free sweeties from the shop for you.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Mark W ,

      I’ve got a relative who used to work in hotels who has been unable to find continuation in that field because (people from the rest of the EU seem to have a lot of influence over who gets the jobs? ed).

      Bringing in cheap labour from abroad is bad enough but to allow it to take jobs which your own poor rely on is outrageous .

      Briton’s of modest ability should not be expected to compete with over-qualified EE go-getters because it is a battle they cannot win .

      Sure we have our share of lazy bones but we also have people at the bottom of the foodchain who are trying their best but are condemned to rot .

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      Mark – The East Europeans are subsidised.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 8, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        @MM

        Everyone on low wages who fulfills the right criteria is subsided (it is possible to take home thirty six grand a year by taking a minimum wage job under Universal Credit). The Eastern Europeans find the rewards more appealing and business is more inclined to hire experienced, overqualified, immigrants over the indigenous population.

        If business was compelled to repay the subsidies of foreign workers we may see more training programmes for the long term unemployed within work but while the EU mandates equal treatment of immigrants and Brits that will not happen.

        It is a perfect storm and it will get worse.

        • Hope
          Posted October 9, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          Cameron called himself a liberal conservative and chose to go into coalition with them. Peas in a pod. What else remains to be said.

  2. Richard1
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Cable is completely discredited and in any event a diminished figure since the episode of him showing off to two undercover female journalists how he would declare war on Mr Murdoch. The hyberbolic tone adopted both by him and Clegg is a sign of their desperation. All we need to remember is the LibDems are the party of Eurofederalism, of high taxes, of green crap and of course of lies on the issues you mentioned. We don’t need to worry, they are becoming irrelevant at 6% in the polls. It would be worth doing local deals with UKIP to get rid of certain LibDems such as Cable.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Well said!

      They really are off the planet if they remove incentives to work harder and better ones circumstances. I see today they have come out against airport expansion in the South East on a flimsy green pretext. No wonder they are so besotted with the EU that effectively seeks to put Britain at an immediate disadvantage. It’s right up their street, but let’s not forget the Tories have got their fare share of pro-EU loonies too. I hope they all get wiped out, regardless of party.

      Tad

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Indeed but he is not the only one, the current lefty Tories have largely promoted the same big state agenda with 299+ tax increases, and absurd belief in the global warming exaggerations. Benefit claimants and the 50% over paid private sector being treated far more generously than the milk cow private sector which is taxed, fined, distracted and over regulated to death.

    One wonder why the 80% that work for the private sector are so badly treated by Cable types. I assume that Cable mainly comes into contact with his state sector/BBC think experts, advisers and staff, certain pressure groups and in his constituency benefit claimants and people complaining about poor public services.

    The 80% of the milk cow private sector rarely he time to go to see such a silly man.

    Any what are all these taxes wasted on? Mainly economic insanities like pointless wars, £5000 for electric cars & wind farm/PV subsidies, HS2, £150 each person for the jumped up school sports day of the Olympics, the hugely inefficient green deal nonsense, daft new enforced pensions, half witted gender insurance and pension rules, endless over regulation, air craft carriers with no aircraft and yet more over paid & largely parasite mouse pushers in government everywhere, lots of soft loans to the prop up the EURO, daft bank rescue structures, houses with 20% of for some paid for by the others, OTT green building regs, daft interventions in the energy market ……….

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Funny to see Nick Clegg and Libdem high command rejected by his members over badly needed new runways in the South East. Well if you feed unscientific, catastrophic warming exaggerations and quack science to them for years (aided by the BBC, Labour, the EU and even (toy wind turbines in windless Notting Hill pusher Cameron) then you can hardly complain if some are daft enough to actually believe you. Doubtless in the Price Charles mode these members will still all still want their long distance holidays, business trips, central heating, silly fake “I am very green” cars and eco conferences in exotic locations.

  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, your blog is fascinating because you are, as it were, looking through a microscope. Allow me to look through a telescope at the LibDems.

    They have missed the most fantastic opportunity.
    If they were really Liberal then they would reduce taxes to a minimum, reduce paperwork to a minimum, reduce the State to a skeleton and let laissez faire boom. Yes, there would be casualties – and serve them right! Yes, there would be poor people, but serve them right too! The Welfare State would be removed and lazy and unlucky people would be starving in the street, but – hey – that’s life!
    Then, perhaps the British people might have a chance to get back to being what we are – successful and respected Victorians full of drive and power and enthusiasm.

    All this ties in with the rather anarchic age in which we live – internet, globalisation, egalitarianism and disrespect for authority and tradition. A lot of our present problems – EU, debt, decline of parliament, inefficiency in the NHS, Police and Education, becoming an international joke – are down to lack of laissez faire.

    At the moment Liberals stand for what we silver surfers spot instantly – survival at the trough. And nobody likes that much.

    • lojolondon
      Posted October 8, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      And – if they really believed in democracy then they would have given us a change to have a referendum on the EU.

      So we know the LibDems are neither Liberal nor Democratic, just whinging troughers, looking to the EU as the great gravy train in the sky that they all aspire to : Lots of ‘power’ and no responsibility, lots of pay and expenses, no tax. What a life!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the name “Liberal Democrats” is quite clearly satirical. Everything they propose clearly would not work and would harm the groups they claim they would help.

        The green crap, destroy the British countryside (with thousands of pointless wind farms generating vastly over expensive energy), anti-business, anti freedom and anti-jobs party perhaps?

  5. Peter
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The Lib Dems are a thoroughly depressing party, marked by duplicity and an everyman local/doorstep policy that promises vastly conflicting things countrywide.
    It is absolutely alarming that Milliband is likely to gain power with only 31% of the electorate. One of the only things that could possibly increase this democratic deficit is if the SNP slap Labour in Scotland (possible) and the Lib Dems in a desperate attempt to stop voters running back to Labour veer further left and become King makers. It is awful to contemplate a party so unpopular and unrepresentative, with so little talent fielding MPs in every branch of govt again. How they can run under their Democratic name is beyond belief! Consider their sulking refusal to honour a promise and reform the electoral system. And why should D Alexander, a sitting Scots MP, promise £1b for English NHS while funneling even more to Scotland ?

    If however, EVEL rumbles through to the election, the BBC starts to discuss EVEL impartially, Ukippers realise that Milliband is worse than Juncker and means more Juncker, then change might be possible. Part 1, possible. Part 2 , impossible. Part 3, we can only pray.

    Milliband/Lab victory will be presented as a mandate for balkanization of England. More Europe, more immigration, more taxes, more welfare and more government. Heaven help us. I don’t know why the Tories don’t highlight the problems with the electoral system more?

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    How to describe the Libdems?

    Very Foolish, dim arts graduates in the main infected with a half baked green religion & “BBC think” and a desire to “help” the poor by policies that would actually make things even worse for them.

    Fake green, anti business, anti car, anti plane, anti business, pro the dreadful NHS, anti the rich, anti science, pro tax, pro the EU, pro the ECHR, pro ever more lawyers and bureaucrats…..

    There only positive policy is that they do vote to protect civil rights very occasionally.

    Cable studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge I note, but switched to economics. He should be ashamed of his views on almost every issue. They are wrong headed, anti science, state sector think, anti business to the core.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Sorry “Their” for the spelling pedants.

      Let us hope the Libdems never have sufficient MPs to make it in to a coalition government (or have any influence) ever again.

      But of course the real problem is Cameron his is essentially just a pro EU, big government, high tax Libdem at heart and soul. This means he lost to sitting duck Brown and is shortly going to lose even to the hapless Miliband. Why does he want to lose when he could win by moving to sensible anti EU, pro English, low tax policies?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Currently there’s a projected chance of about one in seven that Clegg will continue as Deputy Prime Minister after the next election, more likely with Miliband as Prime Minister rather than Cameron.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          So Clegg has more chance of being part of the next government than Cameron does!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 8, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            Yes, assuming he survives.

            Ridiculous, but that’s the way the system works.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic – I had to re-read that sentence.

        Text speak is leftist. It involves a lot of re-reading and re-writing.

        You dumb down if you want to. Pretend that people of influence don’t notice all you like.

  7. mick
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Morning Mr Redwood, i don`t know how you can sit along side the likes of Clegg,Cables, Alexander or any lib/dem after all the slagging off your party is getting

  8. Kenneth Morton
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    The only Liberal Democratic Government minister who has made any positive impression upon me has been Steven Webb the Pensions Minister. He appears to have taken his time to prepare and now introduce radical changes that will have an effect upon the country for fifty or sixty years into the future. His Secretary of State is having a difficult time with his plans for Universal Credit but has not wavered in his determination to finish the task he set himself. The Department of Work and Pensions has really benefitted from the Coalition.

    The same thing cannot be said in other Department which have suffered from the ‘weakest link’ Lib Dem influence. Names such as Chris Huhne, Ed Davey, Sarah Teather, Lynn Featherstone remind me that their talent is limited not least in the Office of Deputy Prime Minister.

  9. DaveM
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Even the BBC described the LibDems as “largely irrelevant” last night. Just a shame that they love Vince Cable so much that he got more coverage than the other 4 more important parties!!

    If only the LibDems’ welfare programme was aimed away from people who don’t work or even come from this country, and aimed towards people like the ones who were featured on Panorama last night – working in insultingly low-paid jobs but with the pride and conscience to take nothing from the state.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The Lib Dems, as ever, are highly unlikely to form a government by themselves so can make manifesto promises in the knowledge that they can hide behind not being in control so do not need to deliver. Lib Dem voters, like UKIP’s, appear to be a vote against the establishment so when they become the establishment support will wane. UKIP would experience similar.

    The increased banding on council tax seems sensible to me. I would bring the valuations up to date and charge them on the actual purchase price not some notional value. By charging on the purchase price grannies and others in legacy housing are protected and dwellers would be charged on what they had paid for the asset. Renters would need some form of protection, they should not be penalised for the volatility of the BTL market.

    Vacuous promises are not peculiar to the Lib Dems Mr Redwood, your party pledged to raise tax thresholds by inflation last week which is merely allowing us to keep our own money after 4 years of plundering it.

    Additionally in the business pages of the Standard last night there was a damming critique of your party’s spending cuts and an analysis of a £13 billion hole in your annual figures.

  11. ian wragg
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    There’s a leading question. W…..,.s springs to mind. I see the MSM is waking up to the disaster which is Drax power Station. Emitting more CO2 than coal and relying on USA forest destruction.
    I note you haven’t commented on the German Bard offshore wind farm complex which is a disaster in the making and has lost circa £half billion up to now. Another example of the German technology which is generally a myth. The Limp Dumbs are following all these stupid green ideologies which will ultimately bankrupt us and leave us in the dark and your boss just lets them get on with it.
    How would we describe CMD????

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      “Another example of the German technology which is generally a myth.”

      Yes but they will end up doing the absolute best which can be done just to save face .

      Far crazier is the British position of being early , some would say premature , adopters of every green bauble going .

      Better for us to wait and see how the Germans , Japanese and Americans get on with these things rather bankrupting ourselves and offshoring our industry trying to maintain the delusion of “leading the world” .

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        R&D to get something working and cost efficient then roll it out. Rolling out duff technology early before it works in engineering and money terms is just bonkers, using tax payer cash grants to force it is even more stupid and damaging.

        But that does not seem to stop LibLabCon. One wonders what sort of bonkers economics they teach in Oxford PPE.

        A letter in the spectator this week describes Cameron as being Vernon Bogdanor as being one of his ablest pupils (I take that to mean they agreed) and worse one of the nicest. Niceness is not what we want at all. Lots of socialists and Libdems are nice. Michael Foot, John Major and Tony Benn were nice but one would not want them making decisions on running the country or even a Whelk stall.

        Leaders need logic, numeracy, sound economics, an ability to make tough decisions, a working compass and a sound understanding of science, real (not always nice) human nature and engineering.

        Niceness is well down the list, if indeed on it at all.

    • stred
      Posted October 8, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Mr Cameron and his helpers read this blog, in which case the Drax and offshore wind farm disasters were well covered last year. Unfortunately, he let Messers Davy and Barker carry on and the publicly funded Green bank lend them the money. More in the pipeline of course.

      Also, last week the Green bank stopped financing the public company lending to Providers of the Green Deal, which has been tackled by the Advertising Standards Authority for claiming that their loans were the cheapest. Meanwhile, few of the deals pay back in less than 20 years and will have to pay the interest through energy bills, and have the work done expensively by government approved providers.

      The Libdems just don’t understand any of this. W….rs may be a bit strong but ‘idealist incompetents’ would be fair.

  12. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I have no time for the LibDems but your excoriation is a bit rich when you regularly excuse your own party’s failure to keep its promises with the words “we didn’t win the election”.

  13. Mondeo Man
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    What a depressing outlook ?

    I agree. But don’t those stifling taxes already exist ?

    Bother to get educated – taxed to pay tuition fees

    Earn the type of money needed to get a 3x salary mortgage on a tiny flat – pay 40% tax… and on… high stamp duty etc…

    The best thing a young person can do – in the way of becoming independent – is still to get pregnant and not know who the father is.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Off topic – The Ebola virus is clearly more virulent than we thought with even highly protected medical staff becoming infected (the Spanish nurse.)

      Isn’t it time for a suspension of commercial flights from the affected regions ?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Not to take drastic action now, this instant, is to court a massive disaster. That politicians still fumble and prevaricate says it all. They’re a bunch of clueless geldings!

        Tad

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Quite

        This is the issue of the day – however remote the chances of this disease arriving here (and with the spread in Africa plus recent infections in USA and Spain the chances have increased significantly) there will be no election next year if it does arrive.

        I see no cost/benefit scenario that makes it worth keeping communications with West Africa open so why other than liberal attitudes has the whole area not just been quarantined until the outbreak is at least under control?

        “Logic dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

          Political correctness – Which Dr Redwood (non MD) told us was a good thing a few posts back.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        I do wonder how many people might contract this dreadful disease on one long haul say 10 hour flight, with just one sneezing & infectious passenger and perhaps 400 passengers on board. With all the aircraft air recycling systems pumping away, toilets and meals.

      • stred
        Posted October 8, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        There was an adviser from Reading university on the tele this morning saying that it would be a waste of time stopping flights from West Africa now, as Ebola would come from somewhere else in the end. This seemed a little strange, as the production of a vaccine is taking too long, and any delay would be valuable. Would he have liked to use an aircraft toilet after someone incubating Ebola had just come out? The question, of course, was not asked. It would be so incorrect in political class thinking to contemplate cutting off this area from Europe or the US.

  14. Know-Dice
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I think that at local level the Lib Dems do a good job for their communities. And keep the excesses of the other parties in check. Have in your own back yard (Wokingham)…

    But, certainty the hierarchy of the national party do seem to have lost the plot in their eagerness to smear their coalition partner. In particular the Business Secretary consistently shows his very left leaning Labour roots.

    Thursday will be make or break for the Lib Dems – If UKIP get their first MP/MPs then that could be the end of the Lib Dems at a national level.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Not to mention tuition fees – again.

      And how proud they are that we have to BORROW money to keep to our overseas aid contribution.

  15. Old Albion
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Not to worry JR. In the forthcoming General Election, i believe the Lib/Dems will finish fourth. Behind, in no particular order, UKIP, Conservatives and Labour.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      In terms of votes, but not of seats won.

      • Old Albion
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        No, seats won.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 8, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          It’s extremely unlikely that the LibDems will come behind UKIP in terms of seats won.

  16. Douglas Carter
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Having witnessed the incoherent shambles of the LibDems at local level across a few years, I find their antics more offensive than depressing.

    It’s staggering a party which is more or less definitively flatlining in terms of public approval is swaggering around the public hemisphere entitling itself to the effective post of arbiter of the Governmental toolbox. In the EU elections their electoral approval essentially vanished absolutely, but the traditional LibDem refusal to face facts manifests itself in their continuity of pressing ahead with their wholly Europhile agenda – the notion that the electorate have definitively rejected it entirely lost on them, from ‘leader’ (term used advisedly) to their lowest footsoldier. This is a party in which the electorate place no national faith in any effective measure. Yet due to the inadequacies of our system, and a deeply flawed process by which they were offered coalition, they have access to executive power.

    A look at their treatment of the result of the AV referendum a good education – for one reason or another, they look upon that result as some form of temporary aberration, and not as an obligation to accept. These are people who look upon the voter as a tedious nuisance at best. It’s a shame that the controversy with regard to a certain LibDem Lord earlier in the year wasn’t given greater press scrutiny – the public attitude of the Party itself with regard to justice and due process was a clear instance of the culture of the party. That Lord – in terms of due process – was a definitively innocent man. Yet the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK publically implied guilt against him, and then made no apology when institutional charges against him were eventually dropped. This is a political Party which has entitled itself to find people publically guilty if it is necessary for its own Party purposes – very dangerous people indeed.

    I watched on more or less open mouthed when on Monday of this week, the midday BBC treatment of their conference entitled them to pronounce upon which of Miliband or Cameron they would prefer to see as Prime Minister – the nature of the report allowed them to metaphorically ‘hold their noses’ whilst they made their individual so-very-principled comments. Just to qualify, these are people who would see Nick Clegg as Prime Minister – they’re hardly qualified to make a judgement on others with that level of self-delusion?

    I hope that come the elections next year, that not only will the leader of the party with the largest number of seats kick this party while it’s down, that he will ensure they are permanently entombed in the archives of political history – never again to emerge. It’s an authoritarian, anti-democratic cult of people who would say practically anything to achieve votes (personal experience in local politics). They are the true ‘nasty’ party, and it’s a shame that Coalition obligations has reduced the abilities of your party to publically battle them properly. The voters need protection from this extraordinary band etc ed

  17. The PrangWizard
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I have listened to a number of interviews with leaders and party members and the impression I get is that they are able as individuals to say anything to attract any kind of support to anyone who hears the answer, no matter that one person’s words will contradict another’s and it doesn’t seem to matter, it seems to be positively encouraged. We also had Ashdown expressing his ‘hate’ for you, Tories as individuals and as a group. He repeated ‘hate’ many times. And Cable seems to have a very vicious side too. They are a party of the Left and pretend not to be.

    What I think of them is, of course, unprintable. They have no honour or decency.

  18. Bill
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    How should you describe the Lib Dems? Socially libertarian, opportunistic, duplicitous, incoherent, unpleasant…’the real nasty party’ – I think of Clegg’s mockery of those who support traditional marriage while he himself enjoys its benefits.

  19. alan jutson
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I would not be surprised if the LibDems finally get what they deserve from the electorate, and few choose to vote for them.

    For years they craved power, then when they at last have it, have done their very best to try and be more socialist than Labour in some areas of policy, whilst attempting to gain credit for any economic success when they have tried their best to ruin it with higher taxes and expensive green policies.

    Been in France for the last 3 weeks, can slowly see the results and effects of Socialist policy in that country now.
    Probably the only thing they have been doing right for years is the investment they have made in the infrastructure with regards to roads.

  20. Edward2
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Whist the Lib Dems try to market themselves as social democrats sitting in the centre of politics, I have always felt that they are way to the left of the Labour Party and this recent conference gives proof to that belief.
    Tax and spend, ever larger state, soak the wicked rich.

  21. Tony Wilbeck
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    It’s worth remembering that the LibDems have used this sleight-of-hand trick to misdirect over their tax plans in more distant years.

    When asked about taxes, Charles Kennedy would go into a mantra about increasing Income Tax by 1% to fund education. Leaving those who weren’t listening with the impression that taxes would ‘only’ rise by 1% under the LibDems, forgetting that they hadn’t been made aware of the other rises the LibDems would demand.

    They’re carrying out the same misdirection in recent days. Make a great song and dance about one tax rise making it seem that it will be the only increase in taxation that the electorate will experience under them. You can only be fooled by that if you want to be.

    And I ain’t fooled….

  22. Nick
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Still waiting on your manifesto promise to publish the pension debts.

    What a depressing outlook when you can’t trust politicians to honour their commitments.

    Reply They have been published and we recently gave the link on this website!

  23. Bryan
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    They stand only for themselves, supported in the main by local small issue activists.

    They make promises they cannot keep, knowingly.

    They sign up for things, such as the Coalition Agreement, then withdraw their support on selfish whims. Childlike.

    Their time has passed by.

    The best we, the electorate, can now do for them is to put them out of their misery.

    The best Mr Cameron can now do for them is to consign their back stabbing gestures into History by scrapping the Coalition.

    Either way they have nothing to commend their continued high profile in the Government of our Country.

    The sooner they are put to rest, the better for them, and for us.

  24. Max Dunbar
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Of all the main parties, the Lib-Dems are the most (unpleasant ed). The Party for (various bad categories ed) and middle class socialists.

  25. Kenneth
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    While the LibDems want us to pay more tax, all around us we can see the evidence of how the big government model has failed. Whether we go back to the 1970’s in the UK or look at present day France, or for that matter most of the Eurozone countries, not to mention some in South America, the result is always the same with the poor hit the hardest.

    A clue to how the mindset works can be seen here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29416370

    This political statement from the BBC says:

    “Cutting welfare goes down well with voters. But it is notoriously difficult to achieve meaningful savings without hurting the very people you are looking to support and encourage.”

    I completely disagree with the BBC’s political opinion. The very opposite of this is true as reductions in welfare, when done sensibly can free up the economy so that the poorest can benefit. By strangling the economy with ever higher taxes the people who ultimately suffer are the poorest as we found out during the Blair-Brown years.

    Has it not occurred to the LibDems, the Labour Party and the BBC that the voters may just be right?

  26. Bob
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    From the Torygraph 6th Oct 2014

    “The Office for Budget Responsibility said that Coalition policies such as raising the state pension age and further cuts will reduce Britain’s debt as a proportion of national income by two thirds.

    It found that without the measures, Britain’s debt would be £1.14 trillion higher in the next 50 years as the economy struggles to cope with the rise in the number of pensioners and the decline in the number of people working.”

    But the coalition still managed to add £4 billion per year to our foreign aid budget.
    How? Why??

  27. nigel
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    The so called “Mansion Tax” is merely the thin end of the wedge towards a general wealth tax, as practised by Monsieur Hollande et al.

    • Bob
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      @nigel

      “The so called “Mansion Tax” is merely the thin end of the wedge towards a general wealth tax”

      Of course it is. The follow-up policy will be along the lines of why should someone with £3‪‪ ‪‪million invested in their property pay more tax than someone with their savings invested art, jewellery, antiques, cash or even 2 x £1.5 million properties? It’s not as if the property owner is likely to use more local authority services than anyone else (in fact it’s quite likely they would use less).

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      I think you’re right Nigel, and look where that’s got the French!

      Tad

    • stred
      Posted October 8, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Under Mr Osborne, the UK now has a stealth wealth tax. He continued to apply Mr Brown’s capital gains tax of unreal increase in cash value, over any period, even 20 years, when the value of cash halves. Even in France this tax is limited to real gains and in not payable after around 30 years. Osborne put it up from 18 to 28% and now Clegg wants to increase to 35% and remove the £10k allowance. Meanwhile, tax receipts are down as owners would prefer to die than be robbed by these dreadful politicians.

  28. Bert Young
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Words mean nothing . When you are at the bottom of the pile grabbing a headline phrase is a now or nothing moment ; the LibDems are in hole and will now do or say anything to try to persuade the public that they can still be counted on . If I were David Cameron I would have sacked Vince Cable the first time he ventured to disagree with Government Policy ; he has strayed several times from the Government line in the past and has been allowed to get away with it . The LibDems are a lost cause and there is nothing they can say or do now that will bring them back into the limelight ; falling asleep at their speeches seemed a sensible thing to do . On a brighter note the last 2 blogs from Norman Tebbit were first class reading – what a sensible man he is .

  29. A different Simon
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Two sayings come to mind :-

    – “behind every great wealth is a great theft” .

    – “Strong on the weak , weak on the strong” .

    The Lib Dem’s (and the rest of the establishment) embody the second and show no interest in addressing the causes underlying the first .

    Am I the only Englishman who is ashamed that their capital city is being so brazenly promoted as the premier centre for money laundering ?

    The “mansion tax” is nothing but an attempt to incite mass hatred against a minority which is not protected by equality legislation – an attempt at causing division .

    They ought to remember that democracy without the rule of law is nothing but mob rule .

    I’m massively in favour of shifting taxation from employment onto land to discourage land speculation but “mansion tax” and stamp-duty are not the way to do it . An annual location value tax paid by every landowner is .

    Danny Alexander seems to have some talent but that is about it .

    None of the main parties are really interested in making hard work pay , opportunity , social mobility , availability to viable pensions for all so to single out the LibDems is a bit hypocritical .

  30. JoeSoap
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    By your reasoning if Libdem promises count for nothing you should be voting for them next year.
    I think here you’re just stating what we all know. All three main parties make promises which they then ignore. That’s why your MPs and donots are drifting to the new party which hasn’t broken any promises.
    On the subject of tuition fees UKIP is proposing to grant free places at universities on a selective basis to students in science technology and medicine. There will also be a Grammar school in every town. This signals a return to upward mobility so despised by Liberals, Labour and Conservatives.

    Reply UKIP always promises to take us out of the EU but we are still in it.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Erm you keep promising a referendum on the EU but we’ve never had one.

      Reply No, the Conservative manifesto did not promise an EU referendum in 2010.

  31. Sam
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Were I to chose one word, it would be ‘amateurs’. I would not apply it solely in its modern colloquial sense- that of being inept in a chosen undertaking- but also in the sense of pursuing something as a mere hobby or pastime. Like Ukip now, the Lib Dems have, historically, had no real interest or intent in governing the the country or putting their policies into action. Politics for them was a game, in which your team tried to think up the pledges that would most titillate the electorate, without ever having to deliver them. Like a small football team watching its rise through the leagues, the Lib Dems watched their numbers of MPs increase with great satisfaction. The only pledge which they felt really strongly about was the alteration of the electoral system, as they believed that would deliver yet more MPs for the yellow team.

    Government has been a traumatic experience for them. Reality has bitten hard, in much the same way as it does for a football team that rises through the leagues until it finds the opposition overwhelming, and gets thrashed every weekend. Support has melted away. Quietly, I suspect, the rump of remaining Lib Dem supporters wish they were still enjoying the game of politics in the lower leagues.

    Ukip will prove much the same. Politics for them is a game, played to annoy the major parties and to try to win points for the purple team. Their purported desire to leave the EU has dwindled into a mere ruse: if they were serious about it, they would have swung behind a Tory party offering a referendum on Britain’s EU membership. Instead, they are content to assist a Europhile Labour party in winning the election, as they believe this will help the purple team to win more points.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      UKIP is well aware that even if the Tory promise of an “in-out” referendum was fulfilled then it would be very difficult for them to win it against a government which was utterly determined to keep us in the EU and was seeking to copy the methods used by Wilson to keep us in the EEC in 1975. If UKIP was not aware of this before Douglas Carswell moved over to them they will know it now.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Spot on. Only political parties like the Conservatives and Labour are professional which is why they’re happy to delegate 80% of the governance of the UK to Brussels bureaucrats. Let the EU rule the UK, freeing up our statesmen for the much more important task of creating death and destruction and myriad refugees in the ME and North Africa: all welcome in Britain, obviously.

  32. English Pensioner
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    And Labour won’t be much different.
    The sooner that the Tories come to some accommodation with UKIP the better, otherwise we will end up with a Lab/Lib tax-more coalition.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      The LibDems came to a post-election accommodation with the Tory party, and that has cost them two thirds of the support they had at the election. It’s almost as if there’s something toxic about the Tory party, which will destroy anybody who comes into close contact … if a pre-election accommodation with the Tory party had the same destructive effect on UKIP, which it almost certainly would, then its support would drop from the present 15% back to only 5%; but contrary to what many Tories still believe that would not be worth 10% to their party in its contest with Labour, but would more likely give them a net benefit of less than 2%. By the time maybe 5% had been taken away from the 10% as refusing to vote for either the Tory or Labour parties and in many cases preferring not to vote at all, and maybe 2% had reverted to supporting Labour, the Tories might be better off by a gross increase in their support of 3% but by only a net increase of only 1% against Labour, with every UKIP supporter who reverted to Labour cancelling out the effect of a UKIP supporter who reverted to the Tory party. Which 1% or even 2% would be nowhere near enough to counter the continuing bias against the Tories with the unreformed constituencies, that being something like 7%.

  33. oldtimer
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    To add to your list:

    Mr Alexander was quoted as saying, at the start of this conference, words to the effect that EVEL was a daft idea which should be summarily dismissed from consideration. This was an arrogant statement as well as arrant nonsense.

    I heard this morning that, God help us, Mr Davey has yet another scheme in mind to “save” long suffering energy consumers money. This time it is smart meters which will cost every household c£215 or thereabouts, for a saving of c£25-£35 a year. As DECC and Mr Davey and his predecessor, Mr Huhne, have already saddled us with renewable energy subsidies which push its cost to nearly 3x the cost of gas fuelled energy, I am unclear just where consumers are saving any money. What he will not tell us is that smart meters, as I understand the technology, will give government control the supply of energy to your home. I put this point to a leading Zigbee developer (Zigbee software controls these smart metres) who said that legislation prevented the energy suppliers from doing so – but that does not mean that government could not do so by order. Across the Channel the Belgian government is today scheduling power cuts town by town to cope with the shutdown of its nuclear generating capacity. Big Brother marches on. Smart metres are yet another weapon in his amoury.

    I have yet to hear reported the false “3 million jobs at risk” claim – but perhaps we have to wait for Mr Clegg`s speech for that.

    • Bryan
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      The Off Shore Wind Farm industry has adverts in today’s papers extolling their virtues:-

      1. 2 million households supplied by them

      2. More capacity installed then the rest of the World combined.

      However, re 1. Only when all are working at optimum efficiency and at the time when the energy is most needed. e.g. not on a cold crisp windless day in winter.

      re. 2 Possibly because the rest of the World woke up to how useless and expensive they are. But hey, who cares, the UK taxpayer will make sure the Wind Farm Industry continues to make huge profits.

      It is a no risk slam dunk for them. A bit like PFI NHS contracts which now saddle the NHS with huge costs.

      The Climate Change Lobby now needs to be put out to (green) grass and pragmatism re-established in our Energy Policy.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      I also heard on the radio that he has changed his mind and now supports Gatwick expansion because new technology means aircraft use less fuel. Where has he been the past 20 years. I think we can apply that logic to anything Green, can’t we?

  34. Alte Fritz
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The Lib Dems have finally had to explain a record as well as make promises which they never expected to deliver. They still may cause damage but, as a party, are an irrelevance.

  35. Atlas
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    John,

    You forgot the Lib-Dems energy policy which they have been allowed to inflict upon us all…. “Crackpot” is a charitable description of it.

  36. Robert Taggart
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Answer to the headline – LieDims !
    Signed – LieDim dominated council sufferer !!

  37. NickW
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    More on student loans;

    My daughter is hoping to go to University next year, for a three year course @£9000/yr tuition fees. Hall of residence costs are given as £4000-£7000 yr, which would necessitate a maximum maintenance loan of £4047/ yr; over three years this would be £12140.

    Total cost over the three years is around £39,000. Interest is calculated ate RPI +3%, currently around 5.5%. which on £39000 equates to an annual interest charge of £2152.

    According to the repayment tables it would require a salary of around £45000.p.a simply to earn enough to pay back an amount equal to the annual interest charges.

    Earn less than £45,000 and the loan is getting bigger and bigger for the whole of your life and can never ever be paid off.

    What a vile and vindictive system this is, that saddles the student with a growing and permanent lifetime debt, that presumably will make it impossible to ever take out a mortgage for a house, in exchange for a degree which may be of questionable value.

    Look up the figures for yourself on http://www.gov.uk/unimoney

    • NickW
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Realistically, with low starting salaries and women bringing up families, it will not be uncommon for graduates never making any repayments.

      20 years of compound interest at 5.5%, (assuming optimistically that inflation stays low which is unlikely), that £39000 debt becomes £116,868.40.

      This system cannot work, and the sooner Parliament realises it the better.

      If you are a student, or, like me, a parent, give yourself a fright with a compound interest calculator, which google will find for you.

  38. a-tracy
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Can we have some figures John? What effect did the Conservative/Lib Dem tripling of tuition fees for English students only do? What % of 18 year old Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English teenagers went into higher education this year after completing their highers/A levels? How does this compare to before the Blair government introduced tuition fees and say 2008 when the English students were charged £3500 pa.

    Do you think it is fair and just as an English MP that English students are the only students in the Union to pay their own contribution after gaining work in any part of the nation as an effective 9% graduate tax when their Scottish, Welsh and Irish cousins pay nothing maybe in the same company earning the same wages?

  39. behindthefrogs
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    When are the Tories going to stop lambasting the Libdems for backing down from their student fees objective when it was one of the conditions that the Tories imposed on going into coalition.

    Reply It was not. They were allowed to dissent and keep out of the decision.

  40. outsider
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, You are absolutely right. The LibDems’ deliberate descent into ya-boo language will not, I hope, go down well with ordinary voters.
    I would add to your list the LibDems’ irrational stance of backing continuing mass immigration while at the same time railing against the shortage of housing and seeming to advocate compulsory land purchase and forced but profitless development.
    Two caveats. First, Mr Cameron made a bad error in combining fairer constituency sizes with a modest but extremely disruptive reduction in the number of constituencies, which made many MPs in his own party as well as others deeply unenthusiastic. If he had kept to fairer distribution, he would probably have been able to force the review through on sheer moral force of argument.
    Second, I judge that Vince Cable is a sincere politician, unlike his leader. Having embraced the purpose of the Coalition, which was to slash the deficit and demonstrate the stable government needed to do this, he accepted that this obliged him to steep his own hands deep in blood. I am certain, Mr Redwood, that the deficit would now be much lower if you had been Chancellor but I also reckon it would probably be much lower if Mr Cable had been Chancellor.

  41. behindthefrogs
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    You must be very worried about the Libdems at the next election to publish such a biased view of their likely manifesto.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Those leading the Tory party are very worried about both the LibDems and UKIP, for different reasons, when they should be far more worried about Labour.

    • julian
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Don’t think so! Libdems likely to be left with less than half of their current MPs. Could be slightly better but could even be much worse if their heartlands in the West Country etc switch to UKIP, Greens or SNP.
      I remember in the 70s the Liberals were the alternative to the big 2 based on a combination of enthusiasm for small business, anti-unionism and providing a home for left-field thinkers. Now it has little to set it apart from Labour.

  42. Timaction
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I agree that Mr Cable is underhanded and disingenuous, but no more than the other legacy parties who have lied and cheated for over 40 years on the EU and the hand over of power. So much so that we cannot control our own borders, fishing, farming, financial services and a whole long list of competencies. We no longer have sovereignty or democracy in this Country and are forever hearing from one unelected foreign Commissioner or another on what we will do. The legacy parties have given up the right to Govern and should move over and let the only patriotic party into power. We only have to tell the truth. The legacy parties have to lie and spin to stay in office to administer their unelected EU leaders laws and directives

  43. agricola
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Put another way, they have no coherent argument for staying in political Europe so they block the desire of the people to have a referendum on the matter. Having of course promised one prior to the general election of 2010. Possibly why CMD puts up with their insults.

    They have a Tissy Fit over making constituency boundaries more democratic, having agreed to it in exchange for a referendum on proportional representation, which they were given and lost. They then threw the toys out of the pram over constituency democratisation because they failed to get their way over the House of Lords. Duplicitous and lacking known parentage comes to mind.

    On the question of Human Rights, which we the Brits hold sacrosanct and incidentally invented and developed over centuries, even establishing them in Europe after WW2 . I would maintain that our objection to the ECHR is that European Judges have extended it’s remit to areas that were never envisaged originally. Said judges are not answerable to our Parliament or any other that I am aware of. They seem to be on a power grab. Lib /Dems fully support this.

    The Lib/Dems are a fifth column with nothing to offer the UK electorate. When outed in the UK watch them scuttle to Brussels to further their careers and pensions.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      “[the libdems] having agreed to it in exchange for a referendum on proportional representation]

      AV is not PR. The results of a referendum on PR might well have been different.

      • agricola
        Posted October 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Academic, it does not alter the parentage of their behaviour, and does nothing for the title they cling to.

  44. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    A party to leaderlessness.

    Pity but politics increasingly plays on personalities and Lib Dem persons are not seen by the electorate as sizable.

    Dr Cable did well once but he is out of Africa now and his economics could only ever work in a similar regime dictatorship.

    Mr Clegg had only one quiver to his bow, Tuition Fees

    They did have a leader in the shape of just one man but that man lost his party and, livelihood, like so many drivers falling foul of a scientifically invalid traffic safety measure and more so, a common lie.

    The Lib Dems now as always are headless chickens

  45. Eddie Hill
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    So, politicians lie in order to win votes! Shock horror! Who’d have thought it?

    Under Blair and Cameron, the two main parties have “modernised;” i.e. become the Liberal Party, even more so under the Hoteling Model as the election approaches, leaving Clegg and his scheming minions with nowhere to go.

    I can’t bear to listen to them but judging by what you’ve written, they seem to have tried to move leftwards and have probably now moved further left than Labour.

    Hoteling says that parties become more extreme in opposition and tend to meet in the middle of the Bell Curve at election time, so maybe Clegg is trying to put clear red water between his party and Labour?

    He is whistling in the dark though, and I sincerely hope his miserable party gets wiped off the map in May 2015. I frankly can’t see at all why anyone would vote LibDem, but then I feel the same way about Labour and the Tories!

    Empty promises and short-termism in the manifestos, then blow-in-the-wind policies in office, with knee-jerk reactions to events which usually only succeed in triggering the law of unintended consequences because they haven’t been thought through and form no part of a coherent ideology.

    Meanwhile, we carry on trying to act like a great world power on borrowed money and past glories.

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I would describe the LibDems themselves, the party members but not all those who have been duped into voting for them, as a very small minority whose disaffection with their own country and its people is so deep that it shades into outright disloyalty. And I would add that both the Tory and Labour parties also have their share of such individuals.

  47. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Selectively quoting parts of the LibDem manifesto which did not get implemented is only a good idea if there are no parts of the Conservative manifesto which did not get implemented either – however there are and as you have told us many times it is because we have a coalition government. Best to just ignore them as most voters will do.

  48. Terry
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Such announcements coming out of the LibDem Conference are as political hara kiri.

    How can anyone, who is not wearing blinkers or ear defenders, vote for these despicable people. They will say anything to gain votes but as they have already proven in their position of power, do nothing. All they have managed to achieve in the past 4 years, is to hinder and put back the Tory programme to return this country to solvency. They disgust me. And a few others, given the collapse of the vote in the recent Polls. They should have gone to Spec savers and NOT into Government.

  49. Iain Moore
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Confused and Irrelevant.

    With their indulgence of left wing economics and EU totalitarianism , the Libdems are neither Liberal or Democratic.

  50. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    “Or how would you describe the Lib Dem promise to vote to reduce the number of MPs in the Commons as part of the spending reduction programme …….”

    I’d call the breaking of that promise tit-for-tat payback for Conservative MPs refusing to support Clegg’s efforts at Lords reform which was also in the coalition agreement. We have yet to see how spectacular an own goal that was when the next election takes place on the unreformed constituency boundaries which favour Labour.

    Reply The Coalition Agreement let Mr Clegg see if he could find a consensus for Lords reform, which he failed to do. It did not offer support for any particular model of Lords reform.

    • Chris S
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      John, could you offer any reason why Mr Cameron did not threaten to sack every Libdem minister if they failed to back the boundary changes which, unlike Lords Reform, was clear coalition policy ?

      This has always been the standard consequence for not voting for Government Policy. There have been quite recent instances of Conservative PPSs having to resign for not supporting the Government.

      DC could have threatened a vote of confidence and an early election if the LibDems did not vote the policy through. There can be no doubt that the LibDems would then have backed down, given their low standing in the polls.

      The extra 20 seats that were predicted from the changes could make the difference between being in power or on the opposition benches next May.

      I have never understood why he failed to put Clegg and Co on the spot over such an important issue.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 8, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      “Reply The Coalition Agreement let Mr Clegg see if he could find a consensus for Lords reform, which he failed to do. It did not offer support for any particular model of Lords reform”.

      Not true. It didn’t mention Clegg, it didn’t mention consensus, and it DID offer support for a particular model (wholly or mainly elected, PR, long terms of office). Hard to see the Conservative MPs did anything other than break this coalition agreement. Here’s what it said:

      We will establish a committee to bring
      forward proposals for a wholly or mainly
      elected upper chamber on the basis of
      proportional representation. The committee
      will come forward with a draft motion by
      December 2010. It is likely that this will
      advocate single long terms of office. It is
      also likely that there will be a grandfathering
      system for current Peers. In the interim,
      Lords appointments will be made with the
      objective of creating a second chamber that
      is reflective of the share of the vote secured
      by the political parties in the last general
      election.

      Reply Yes, he had to consult and bring forward proposals which coud pass the Lords. He was unable to do so.

  51. petermartin2001
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    It’s all very well to highlight the deception of the Lib Dems but all political parties are guilty of deception in one form or another. That’s why politicians are generally held in such low regard by the general public.

    Was raising VAT to 20% in the Tory party manifesto? I don’t remember that. Raising VAT by 5% was probably the worst decision made by the coalition. It didn’t even raise any extra overall revenue as it depressed the economy, pushed back the recovery, and reduced all other tax receipts.

    Reply We did not promise to keep VAT down, and did say we would need to raise more tax revenue and cut spending to reduce the deficit.

    • David Price
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Wasn’t the coalition’s increase 2.5% rather than 5%? I thought Labour had increased VAT from 15 to 17.5% in January 2010.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Saying that you ‘…did not promise to keep VAT down’ is an absurd statement to make. It was quite clear that you were elected on a mandate of cuts to public expenditure and fiscal continence, not crude tax raising of the most craven nature. Sterling had strengthened on the 2010 result but it fell back very quickly when the markets saw where the coalition was going.

  52. Stephen Berry
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    The Tories can have no grouse with the Lib Dems. Indeed, this conference is a godsend for the Conservative Party. If you were a marginal Lib Dem-Conservative voter with any desire to better yourself, it’s clear which way you are now going to go. Tory Central Office should send a bouquet of flowers up to Dr Cable and tell him to get on with it.

    No, the real problem the Tories have is with some of their own MPs who jump ship
    and then work night and day to return Mr Miliband as Prime Minister. They are far more dangerous than the Lib Dems by far.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Muddled

      You rightly say that a person could be undecided between Libdem and Conservative. As below their policies have been pretty similar, and in many cases to the left of Labour’s 1997-2010. They are unlikely however to be undecided between UKIP and any other in their beliefs – there is morally just too much clear blue water now.

      On the tuition fees front, why do you want a Conservative government back which would continue letting students rack up massive debts to keep trendy-subject academics in clover?

      Also:

      Do not work hard and earn a good income – if you do we will punish you with higher income taxes-
      Tories have higher income taxes now than the average Labour rate 1997-2010

      If you dare succeed and get a higher income, do not buy an expensive house – if you do we will want to punish you with higher taxes-
      Will Tories reduce stamp duty on houses?
      Have any measures been taken to reduce house prices these past 4 years?

      If you earn well and dare to save for your retirement, we will take money from your pension fund with higher taxes-
      Sorry, a no brainer, Tories continue taxing pension dividends just as Brown did.
      Now, they add lower contribution and lifetime limits for the private sector.

      If you run your own business and want to sell it for a good profit, we will want to take profits with Capital Gains tax-
      I believe this is higher now than the Labour average which had tapering?

      If you save we will pursue you with higher dividend taxes
      Not noticeably different than Conservative or Labour

  53. BobE
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Cleggy is in a terminal tailspin and the ground approaches.
    Next stop will be an EU commission.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 7, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      And Cable has been fiddling with the cables so no chance of full opposite rudder being applied.

  54. Elliot Kane
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    The lie that annoys me most is the Lib Dem’s promise of an in-out EU referendum, which they then voted against on a three line whip.

    As for the Lib Dem party, well, I think they are finally about to fade into the dust of history, and not before time. Always before it could be argued that they might be OK, they just hadn’t had a decent chance at government. Well, they’ve had the chance now. Are you impressed? No, me neither.

  55. ian
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    That why they call it politics, That what politician do like snakes in the grass. It always the same, that their job make something sound great, something to vote for and then change it drop it or do the opposite or turns out not to be good idea. Politician are chosen on their ability to give speech and draw respect to draw people in to vote for the party. Triple dip the Europe starting.

  56. nigel
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Look at Douglas Carswell’s article in yesterday’s Telegraph. I am sure that most contributors will find several points difficult to disagree with:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/douglascarswellmp/

  57. lojolondon
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Hear hear! – John, you are absolutely correct, the only thing that makes this more depressing is the Biased BBC endlessly repeating every quote that insults the Conservatives. PS. Have a look at Guido Fawkes photos of the LibDem conference, and compare to the B-BBC news clips – looks like two different events!

  58. Larry the Cat
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I shouldnt worry too much about the incoherent and erratic LibDems or their flexible manifesto pledges. According to Radio 4, their supporters are all defecting to the Green party.

  59. Robin Friday
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    To be fair Mr Redwood, your Tories have made an art form of taxing aspiration & success. Dare to work hard and earn, God forbid, over 100k you are penalized with a 62% marginal tax rate! Every time the tax free allowance increases that band widens just a little bit. Nearly two thirds of one’s earnings confiscated by the state! Under a Tory Govt! Lib/Lab may well be the enemies of aspiration but the Tories are rapidly catching up.

  60. ian
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Japan also enters triple dip recession with Europe, who next. might not last long if they fiddle the books to show it was a mistake. How is are housing party going, better step up the giveaways to keep the party going. markets going up and down, that the smart getting out, they call it the change over, smart money only like riding first and third wave and then they draw down their exposure to the market. I see that financial service has start to pick up, that the dumb money going in to the market since the start of the year, just right for smart money to take a break. Sentiment drive the market and that is what we have seen, it might keep going.

  61. turbo terrier
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    All defecting to the Green Party? God help us all. History will show that the Lib/dums have done more to destroy the very structure of this country along with all the green thinking politicians in Westminster. Even Vince Cable is singing the start of a different tune and like the other main parties they are changing their views on not increasing Heathrow or Gatwick. JR and the 100 odd who have seen through all the shams and scams of the great RE revolution are totally ignored. As with the English Parliament movement all they are seen is as a PITA. Pain in the ************ who will hopefully go away. In the old days with labour and the Libdums in such termoil the PM could have called an early election and got rid of this pathetic coalition that tries to be all things to all people and pleases nobody.
    The entry today is definately a look into the future if the Libdums get even near the outer doors of Westminster let alone inside the chamber.

  62. james
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    In my area the Lib Dems are seen as strong, innovative and protecting the vulnerable so much so that a lab councillor has resigned from the lab group as she finds their group too bullying and a conservative cllr has just resigned. Two more labour people to follow….

  63. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted October 7, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Dear oh dear …no mudslinging.. although no one wants to be held back , by taxes or anything else. The promises which the conservatives make about taxes are unrealistic, so the lib dems say. Nick Clegg was talking this evening on ITV re the NHS deficit.No party will make much of a hole in the debts and interest on them .

    Growth in the UK and USA seems to be far better than the Euro zone at present ,but not as good as predicted, nevertheless we are still on track. Keep dancing!

  64. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 8, 2014 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    With brevity. it is becoming clear that the only way LibDems can stay in government is in coalition with Labour. Neither party is too fond of spending control from now onwards.

    So look at deficit reduction by increasing taxes; then say corporation tax, mansion tax, employers’ NI and income tax – especially the latter. Few people dispute that they will have to reduce the deficit by £60 billion over 4 years.

    Predictions for income tax:
    – Raising the lower threshold to £12,500 will take 5 years
    – They would abandon the increase in the 40% threshold
    – Standard rate up from 20% to 22%
    – A new rate of 25% to be applied to incomes over £20,000
    – The 45% rate to be raised to 50%

    Would the last man to leave please turn out the lights?

  65. Vanessa
    Posted October 8, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I wrote to Danny Alexander, I think it was, when he boasted about how much more tax was coming in. I asked, in effect, whether he liked being a thief as most of these people had worked hard to try and get on but were penalised by the government with more tax. Needless to say I did not get a reply but the message does not seem to have sunk in !

  66. a-tracy
    Posted October 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    John, please don’t let Nick Clegg get away with painting conservatives as the creators of mean, poor and weak, I’m absolutely sick to the back teeth of you Conservatives not standing up to this sort of rubbish. Compassionate conservatism is all around us, we had it with the Scots get the f’in Tories out. If you don’t start to regularly remind voters what you have achieved with a ‘sorry the money’s run out’ Country then you deserve to have to share power with a bunch of slime balls.

    The Lib Dems are needed to ‘restrain’ the Conservatives. The conservatives will only look ‘after their own’, he must not get away with this there are millions of working class Conservatives and to be honest if anything its your own that GO has been taxing, removing allowances, removing child benefit, increasing our kids tuition fees and asking to take a hair cut.

  67. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted October 8, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I stopped watching the Lib Dem conference when a man who is supposed to have the credibility of a former Shell Uk economist and a doctor, came on the platform and started telling a pack of lies about his fellow coalition members. I’m no supporter of the Conservatives anymore but I could see this was a steaming pile of nonsense designed to appeal to the prejudices of his jumper wearing audience.
    Where is the rage, from the Conservatves over this and Danny Alexander’s assertion that he had to ‘restrain’ the high spending nature of Conservative cabinet members. This seems to fit oddly with Dr Cable’s version of events.

    The other thing about the Lib Dems is Nice Clegg….

    ‘All nations have a cross to bear, and none more so than Germany with its memories of Nazism. But the British cross is more insidious still. A misplaced sense of superiority, sustained by delusions of grandeur and a tenacious obsession with the last war, is much harder to shake off.”

  • 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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