The Eurosceptic split

Some will welcome the by election result this morning. I cannot, because it just reminds us how split the Eurosceptic movement is. UKIP want to deny that many Conservatives are good Eurosceptics, to diminish the Eurosceptic army. Their tests of purity make it impossible for them to unite the movement and gain a majority.Indeed, some UKIP supporters now are so exclusive that anyone who fails to join their party by definition cannot be a Eurosceptic. Some Conservatives get  cross with UKIP for splitting the movement, and a few well known Conservatives condemn some Eurosceptic policies, making it more difficult for committed  UKIP voters to trust Conservatives. They do not speak for the party, but that gets ignored.

The end result of the battle of Conservative against UKIP is little has changed for Rochester or in the Commons. UKIP merely sought to relabel a Conservative MP, who was already speaking and voting in a very Eurosceptic manner as a Conservative. There are no more Eurosceptic voices and votes in the  Commons today than yesterday That is why I can neither rejoice nor welcome what has happened.

UKIP will argue that something has changed for the General Election. They will hope their good vote here will lead to better votes in May 2015. The polls suggest that if the UKIP vote stays in the range 10-20% nationwide  there will be no breakthrough in seats, but the UKIP effect is to help Labour. I remind people of this not because I wish to use it as an argument, nor because I am pleased it is true. Far from it. I raise it because it just shows how difficult it is to do the right thing for Euroscepticism given the competition for votes.

What do I mean by Euroscepticism? I mean that majority view in the UK which thinks our current relationship with the EU is not working. The majority think we are paying too much and getting too little back. They think there are too many rules and the UK has to impose and enforce them too strongly. They think the UK should be able to control its own borders and settle its own welfare policies without accepting EU directions to open the borders and pay the same to anyone who comes.

This is not yet the same as a reliable majority wanting simply to leave the EU as  UKIP suggest. The public understand that the UK does have to have a trading and working relationship with the continent, and think it probably best to try to sort this out first. If we were able to hold an In/Out referendum now without any negotiation first there is no guarantee the Outs would win. If we can have a negotiation and then a referendum the majority will be able to come to sensible view in the light of what has or has not been achieved by negotiation. If  UKIP are right in thinking nothing worthwhile  will be offered the UK then winning for Out will be much easier.

That is why I would like Eurosceptics to unite to fight for that negotiation and referendum which we Eurosceptic Conservatives have persuaded our leader to offer. Revolutions end in tears when the radicals fall out over how far and quickly to go in their agreed direction instead of concentrating on maximising support for reform. The issue is not my or your purity of intent in our Euroscepticism. The issue is not what divides us. The issue is how can we harness a majority movement which gets us out from Brussels control in the way the majority want and need.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

187 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    For Eurosceptics to unite, they have to have something both to unite around and have a common message to promote. That is not going to come from the LibLabCON. Even by your own admission, you are a minority, both in the House and in your party.

    Just like with the SNP, if your are not going to lead the debate, the debate will lead you !

    One of the things I liked about, Thatcherism was, that it was about ‘choice.’ Well now people can choose between which party best represents their views. ie Greens, for environmental issues. SNP, Sinn Fein and Plaid Cymru for Nationalist and independence and so on.

    It seems that everyone is nibbling away at the two and a little-bit parties. You looked East and too the EU, and in the process turned your backs on your core support. And now you* seem a little indignant that those same people that you* thought you* no longer needed and will always turn out for you*, are now going elsewhere.

    Isn’t competition great ?!?!

    * By you, I mean Political Class, not our kind host.

    • Hope
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Cameron insulted his supporters and turned his back on them. What did you expect? Osborne failed to persuade the EU not to cap pay rates for employees, he did not even try negotiate the extra £1.7 billion payment that France mocks him about today. They pocket the cash! Where is this top table and influence, a small singular voice among 27 others who want our taxes for wealth distribution which Cameron is happy to supply. He has quadrupled the EU contribution, he gave away £18 million to promote closer union, he bailed out EU countries with billions of borrowed taxpayers’ money, he allows the EU to spend a sixth of our overseas aid, expensive energy because of the EU, expensive food because of the EU, flooding because of the EU. When he is exactly going to act in our national interest and what part of his actions would you describe as Eurosceptic?

    • Hope
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      The flaw in JR’s blog the leadership of the Tory party is not Eurosceptic.therefore there is no split. The few Tory MPs who are Eurosceptic need to move over wi Carswell and Reckless.

      £1.7 billion extra payment to the EU without any negotiation all spin and con, the failed promise on the EAW, today Osborne fails in his bid to stop the Eau placing a cap on pay for employees which will damage the finace industry that the auK relies on. Three key issues in a week! Where is this top table, he alleged influence ie 1 out of 28 where the other 27 want the taxpayers’ money for wealth distribution.

      JR is a small minority being squeezed out of his party by the new crowd that Cameron is bringing in.

  2. mickc
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    The Conservative party needs to be rebuilt. To do that, its present form and leadership must be shown to have utterly failed, and torn down.

    The rebuilding of the grass roots suppport is essential, and cannot be done under any current prospective leader. The sneering at the ordinary people and their views has been deeply corrosive, even Labour now get that apparently. About time the Conservatives did.

    So yes, I’m pleased Reckless won, hopefully the start of the end of Dave and his chums.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      The leadership under Heath and Major is was shown clearly to have “utterly failed”, but the party learnt nothing and is merely repeating the same mistakes under Cameron. Even still using the same K Clark, M Heseltine, J Major types.

      The country is crying out for sensible UKIP/Tory type of government. There is a clear majority of the public in favour of sensible policies. We just need to stop the pesky Tories splitting the vote with some sensible deal. A deal that Cameron and UKIP just do not seem to want to do.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The problem is Cameron. He is simply not serious about renegotiation. He is just another dreadful Heath, K Clark, Major, Bliar type. There is a clear majority in the country for sensible real Tory/UKIP policies with far less EU, far lower simpler taxes, selective points based immigration, pro growth, UK based democracy and for cheaper energy.

    The problem is that Cameron seems to prefer splitting the vote, calling the ex-Tories fruit cakes and racists, ratting on IHT and Cast Iron, pushing up energy prices with his silly greencrap religion, signing up to the outrageous European Arrest Warrant. Even, just yesterday, accepting that the EU & EU courts should fix bonuses and pay in the city of London. So much for Major’s absurd “subsidiarity” claims.

    I heard some people on a radio discussion on the NHS the other day. A couple of callers said that when they finally managed to get to see their doctor (one said just a 7 minute appointment) The Doctor would not even listen to more than one medical condition! They had to (with difficulty) to make more appointments and travel several times. The good old NHS free at the point of rationing and death and deteriorating rapidly in nearly all respects and outcomes.

    Imagine if you garage said I am sorry we can only deal with the door catch you will have to bring it back three more times for the misfire, the brake disk and the central locking! Quite apart from the fact that the medical conditions may well be related and thus relevant to good diagnosis.

    A UKIP deal is the only way they are the stop Labour. They are the stop Labour vote in much of the north. Miliband is clearly worse than Cameron but the difference is slight. Cameron’s policies are essentially Libdem (high taxes, very pro EU, fake green policies, endless waste, huge increasing deficit, false claims about paying the debt down, and un-selective open door immigration. The Libdems got just 349 votes yesterday. Can he not learn from that?

    • Bert Young
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right in the way ( LL ) has summed it up . Cameron is a very untrustworthy leader lacking in the experience necessary for his job . The public are completely fed up with him and everything he has come to represent .
      Since I have been participating in the responses to Dr.JR’s blog ( on several occasions not published ) the tenure has been anti Cameron . Dr.JR has been stalwart in the defence of the Conservative party to an extent that has caused me surprise . Lord Tebbit signified that the Conservatives must come to a deal with UKIP recognising that it was the most sensible way forward ; this is certainly my view and the view of my friends in and around the Oxford area .

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Bert,

        Cameron is toxic, but the Tories still fail to see it. His only strength is the ability to make Miliband look stupid at PMQs, but that’s not too difficult. It’s like beating a three-year-old at a game of chess. When Cameron’s in discussions with the EU, it is he who is consistently made to look stupid, if not weak and pathetic.

        People generally tend not to take an interest in politics until it affects them personally. Too many of the political class’ failed policies have changed the lives of ordinary people for the worse, so the former should not really be surprised when the people turn around and bite them.

        UKIP are beginning to fill the void. At last, the ordinary people have got a party who recognises the democratic deficit, and aims to put it right. It is absolutely incredible that all three of the main Westminster parties are STILL unable to recognise the need for them to change.

        The Dodos once made that same mistake, and they didn’t come back from it.

        Tad

      • Hope
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        There is a straight choice: independent sovereign nation UKIP or Europhile LibLabCon.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      UKIP and the Tories have about 80% of the total vote in Rochester and it was a former Labour seat until 2010.

      Is Cameron really still going to throw this second election in a few months, for want of a working compass?

      • Hope
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Yep, it was all about changing his party last time round. It was very difficult to lose an election against the most loathed PM in living memory.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        LL,

        Cameron is a waste of space. It’s not just a matter of a faulty compass. Cut him in half, and he’s got EU written right through him. I can’t see him changing any time soon, nor indeed will the direction of his party under his leadership. The whole message is wrong. His claim to be a Eurosceptic doesn’t even come close to what we regard as a qualifying criteria.

        What was it Obama said about putting lipstick on a pig?

        Tad

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 22, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          True but he clearly has no principals so he could change. Anyway the Tories do not have anyone better to replace him (and who could win the leadership given the current sad state of most MPs).

          We just need to find him a new more logical, rational and numerate brain.

      • John Robertson
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        For the polling in Rochester okay, elsewhere in the UK can you be sure the UKIP voters will back off so as not to let in Labour where it will take the singular vote to keep them out?

    • Jock
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Garage is a spurious analogy. You pay for the service, they have as long as they want to manage a problem and don’t have to deal with undifferentiated problems with psychosocial overlay.

      GP only has 5-10 mins for each consultation and it is not possible to take decent history and exam in that time if more than one complaint. GP gets about £60 pa for each patient on their list – can’t insure a gerbil for this.

      Only thing cars and medicine have in common is general lack of public knowledge.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 22, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        The difference is at the garage you pay at the time of use so they are keen to help you and then charge you. In the other (the NHS) they are very keen to get rid of you asap and to deter you from coming at all (if possible) as they already have your money.

        How can it be sensible for you to have to visit and travel 5 times to five GP appointments for five different complaint when they could all be dealt with in one visit? Hardly efficient is it? How can it be efficient to only have one set appointment length.

        Fixing a car and a human are essentially similar tasks, just for different types of machines. Doctors (or human maintenance engineers) are, or should be, as efficient as a Toyota production line.

  4. Mark w
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Quite sobering reading. And I have to confess I’m an Out supporter at all costs but accept it’s not a majority view.

    It is also true that Clacton and also Rochester have the same MPs that went thru the right division lobby on the previous referendum vote.

    Clacton will no doubt see ukip have their first proper general election mp. For Rochester read it as “Labour Gain”.

    Without naming names what a huge relief that one of the worst kind of smug know it alls finally let their guard drop and resigned yesterday. I feel programs like question time will be better without the kind of annoying pleased with herself nonsense we’ll be free of for a while.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Mark,

      ‘I’m an Out supporter at all costs but accept it’s not a majority view. ‘

      I can see your point, but I bet it would be the majority view if they knew the truth about the lop-sided way it works, how much it costs the UK, and how little we can do to stop it.

      Tad

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      She was only saying what the rest of the metropolitan political class privately think .

      White van man is entrepreneurial and likely to be self employed ; i.e. an enemy of the state as far as LibLabCon are concerned .

      Patriotism is an anathema to the primrose hill brigade and very close to falling foul of equalities legislation .

      They would have been extolling it as something for the rest of us to aim for if it had of been three EU flags with a Prius in an expensive residents parking space .

  5. Iain Gill
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    It’s not just a desire to get control back from Europe…
    It’s also a frustration with out of control immigration, in so many more ways than even UKIP list
    It’s also frustration at supposed leaders who “have never done a proper job”
    And its frustration with the politically correct treacle we must all walk through every day and which we are subjected to by our politicians and media, highlighted by things like the anti-car driver persecution, lack of realism about the NHS poor service, postcode and religious selection for schools, and so much more
    And far too much 1984, when we can see the politicians don’t send their own children to the rubbish schools they expect the rest of us to tolerate and so much more, choice is alright for them but not for us

    • Hope
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      I meant Animal Farm not 1984 of course

  6. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Creating such high pitched initial hypes, most recently on an extra EU bill and on EU immigration, your government always seems to make the convenient headlines for UKIP. Then by the time more facts and figures kick in, it is already too late for any moderation, people go for UKIP.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Peter – There is a continuous flow of ‘high pitched’ headlines about the EU. There has been for decades now.

      The bad news just keeps coming.

      What would you like the Tories to do ? Control the press ? (With Leveson that is being explored)

      So long as the bad news keeps coming then Ukip will keep gaining.

      Why does the bad news keep coming ? Simple. It’s because the EU is BAD. Especially after the figures are analysed.

      200,000 passports issued this year is what has broken the camel’s back. Hospitals, schools, housing, transport … you name it. All in crisis.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        @Mondeo Man: Not everybody goes for the “high pitched” headlines about the EU, such as you have indeed found in the tabloids for decades. Your government needs to dig a bit deeper and of course it does. My point is that it is not good policy “as a government” to start with tabloid headlines itself.
        As an example October’s extra EU bill for e.g. the UK and the Netherlands:

        *Cameron gave a very angry news conference, started a fight and later had to cave in (still has to pay, be it after the general elections and offset by the rebate payment)

        *Rutte was ‘surprised’ and his minister of finance summoned Eurostat to explain itself to the Dutch parliament. Same result, no caving in needed. Parliament understood and accepted the calculations, for the time being.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted November 22, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          Mr Van Leeuwen,

          Mr Cameron’s outburst was a reaction to the press. If not then we must presume that it was all coordinated – spun. (If Ukip is bringing an end to spin then that is yet another thing to be truly grateful to them for.)

          There seems to be more to this ‘surprise’ EU tax bill than meets the eye. One eminent polemicist (Peter Hitchens) even predicted a contrived confrontation with the EU in the run up to the general election. A bit of a fight followed by the EU seeming to give ground.

          “I WILL NOT PAY THIS BILL… in December.”

          Is a calculated statement. Not the angry one that it might seem at first.

          As I’ve said before. It’s not so much the newspaper you read but the lines in between the print. I thank the cheeky tabloids for pricking the pomposity of those who rise above democracy.

          They are a vital freedom and yet are under assault like no other institution. More journalists are arrested (often without charge) than the bankers who destroyed the western economies or politicians caught stealing taxpayer’s money.

          This faux battle with the EU exists for one reason only. The EU is a bad idea.

          Our economy’s saving grace has been all to do with what is NOT EU rather than what is. (Being out of the Euro.)

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted November 22, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            ***Correction***

            Please substitute ‘Mr Farage’s outburst…’ with ‘Mr Cameron’s outburst…’

            Thanks.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        It’s water off a ducks back MM. The eaters of the Lotus fruit will always be oblivious to what is patently obvious to the rest of us.

        Tad

    • DaveM
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Good lord – I actually agree with you Peter.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Well I disagree with Peter, Dave M.

        Whether or not the hype originates from government spin (itself a bane on UK politics) or from genuine news what Mr Van Leeuwen seems to advocate is control of the press.

        Perhaps I’m wrong on that but Mr VL is a supporter of the EU which purports to be democratic but isn’t. Democracy is so thinly spread throughout the EU that it is meaningless and so it is a judicial dictatorship. A desire for containment of the news wouldn’t surprise me at all then.

        We experience judicial dictatorship often in the UK where democratic will is overruled in the Supreme Court and through the ECHR.

        Perhaps the unpopularity of the EU is the fault of the Tory Government. Blaming the EU for its failures all the time.

        Personally I’m a democrat and journalists should be as shrill as they like. I want to see a vote on EU membership and promise to shut up if a fair vote has seen that we remain in the EU. (There is no half way measures or compromise with this organisation – we are all-in or all-out and that should mean one government, not two.)

        Personally I would like to see us out – for the benefit of democrats on the Left as much as my own political position.

        This is not a left or right issue as Mr Farage says – the wide spread of Ukip converts shows he’s not alone in believing this.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted November 22, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          @Mondeo Man: Of course I don’t advocate control of the press, neither the Dutch pluriform press nor the British largely foreign owned tabloids.
          The “high pitch” I mentioned comes from your prime-minister and I point out that instead of helping his own party he is inadvertently helping UKIP, which, by the way I don’t mind. It will finally a voice to a considerable group of its supporters.

  7. Mick Anderson
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    From this side of the fence, we can see recent by-elections as two messages to the LibLabCon Party leaders. One is that no matter how Eurosceptic they might claim to be, it isn’t persuading us. The other is that none of them are doing the things that might make us to believe they are worth voting for.

    I don’t know what many of UKIP policies are and don’t especially care, although it helps that they are adamantly in favour of leaving the shackles of the EU. The most important thing at the moment is that they are the anti-LibLabCon vote. Even if we had Mr Farage as PM next May, I doubt that the nation would fare any worse than under either Mr Cameron or Mr Brown (I presume that Mr Miliband would be almost the same as Mr Brown).

    Of course, as I live in one of the safer electoral areas in the country, it doesn’t matter how I vote. The sitting MP will be returned.

    • Hope
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      No, if you and the likes of you go out campaign and vote for change. If you are content for the same do not be surprised you will get the same.

  8. Richard1
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    The fuss is overblown. A byelection tells us nothing about general election intentions. Anyone who is serious about wanting an EU referendum – I wonder whether Mr Farage really is? – will vote Conservative at the general election. Perhaps Mr Farage is concerned that an EU referendum would result in a decision to stay in, opinion polls suggest so. A proper attempt at renegotiation taking the UK to a free trade relationship with the EU without the green crap etc is the best policy.

    Ms Thornberry’s snobbish tweet at patriotic Rochester residents is a revealing insight into the sneering modern left. I urge UKIP supporters who give Mr Cameron 5/10 to reflect on how much worse it would be if the likes of Thonberry and Miliband were to come to power.

    • Bob
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      @Richard1
      I suspect that privately Mr Cameron fully subscribes to the underlying sentiment expressed in Emily Thornberry’s tweet, although he would no doubt publicly condemn it. And there lies the problem.

      • willH
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Yes, of course he does, its exactly how he thinks of us proles. We are only here to provide money for him to squander abroad.

      • A different Simon
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        He has done , “Swivel eyed biggots” or was it “swivel eyed loons” or just “bigots” or was that the saviour of the union Mr Brown ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Ms Thornberry’s snobbish tweet did indeed perfectly reveal all that is wrong with New Labour and the largely parasitic “human rights” industry (and much more of the UK’s legal industry and litigation culture).

      • Hope
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        They are all the same.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        The tweet was so damaging because that is exactly the way so many in the Labour party (and indeed the lefty wing of the Tory party) do think about the private sector worker bees and voters who pay their wages.

      • Richard1
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Yes Ms Thornberry’s tweet showed that though such politically correct leftists claim to speak for the common people in fact they view them as a race apart and hold them in contempt if they feel the plebs’ views are not acceptably leftwing. It is nevertheless also pathetic that she has had to resign for what is in reality a very unimportant transgression. Who really cares, I can’t imagine the people whose house got photo’d do? Her sacking shows how sensitive and how inadequate Mr Miliband is.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      So you want us to vote for the man who calls 42% of people in Strood and Rochester fruit and nut cakes? Believe me, they are all tarred with the same brush.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      All socialists ought to be taxed at 90% and not allowed to own their homes – let alone £3m pound ones.

      Of course they could opt into this arrangement voluntarily and show us that they believe in what they preach but they’d be silly if they did – in which case I wish they’d just shut up and that they weren’t given the airtime and easy ride that they get from the BBC.

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Richard1 is exactly right. The win by Mr Reckless was nothing like as pronounced as when Shirley Williams ‘broke the mould’ at Crosby for the newly formed SDP in 1981. Williams lost the seat at the next general election at that’s likely what Mr Reckless will do next May.

      But this is not just about the EU. Whilst I don’t like massive over-government from Brussels, I don’t like it from Westminster either. If you don’t like high taxes, political correctness, high regulation and highly subsidised energy, which party with a realistic chance of winning an election in the UK should you vote for next May? Yes, I know that Cameron is on the Tory left, indeed I have annoyed some of my socialist friends by arguing that Cameron could have led the New Labour Party and Blair could have led the Tories. But, in the Tory Party we have people like John Redwood who will act as a disciplining force on the leadership. Nor should we ignore the effect that the Libdems have had on government policy.

      As for the Thornberry tweet, I am amazed that anyone is still surprised to find out that many Labour big shots no longer much like the white working class. Labour is obviously the party of the state-sector workers, the serried ranks of the politically correct in the media, academia and law, and the ethnic minorities. The good news is that there are not enough of these people to get Labour elected. The bad news is that, unless there is some sort of deal between the Tories and UKIP, the vote opposing them is being split at this moment.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      “Ms Thornberry’s snobbish tweet at patriotic Rochester residents is a revealing insight into the sneering modern left.”

      Yes, and the Tory party displaying the EC flag on the platform backdrop at its 1984 national conference, and moreover giving it the place of honour as superior to the British flag, was another such revealing insight.

  9. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The main news of the day is that an ex public schoolboy with a PPE a degree from Oxford wins a by election. His party believes that the nation’s finances can be put straight with a tax on handbags. If this is breaking the mould of British politics I fear that the UK is in for more trouble than I expected.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      We want out of Europe and to cut immigration drastically.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Personally, I couldn’t care less about a person’s background provided they are in tune with public opinion and do the very best for us. For instance, I wouldn’t ask questions about a surgeon’s background, provided he had the right skills that could save my life.

      I do however feel that a bit of real-world experience is a good thing for a politician for them to have an affinity with, and a understanding of, the people they are elected to serve. Some rich boys do, and some patently do not. I haven’t yet seen a problem with the two UKIP MPs.

      And conversely, it’s interesting that the former Shadow Attorney General, Labour’s Emily Thornberry, who like myself comes from a very humble background, was branded a snob and detached from real people.

      Parties lose their way by choosing the wrong candidates. Usually those who meekly accept the whip even when they know it to be wrong.

      Tad

  10. Javelin
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    UKIP seem to be out manoeuvring the LibLabCon-densate.

    Whilst the LibLabCon-densate appear to chase marginal voters in a few key seats UKIP have simply found that most people want out of Europe and to stop immigration.

    The LibLabCon-densate seem strangely obsessed with supporting immigration. They must have a some secret reward or threat hanging over them. Perhaps their advisors, friends, wives, workers, constituents and neighbours are foreign?

    The majority of people can see what needs to be done but the LibLabCon-densate simply can’t act on it.

    Call it the peasants revolt but you get the impression that the LibLabCon-densate are stuffed full of ex public and ex private school boys who are out of touch and simply see politics and people as an academic theory.

    There are real people and real voters who will start to trust UKIP and theLibLabCon-densate will collapse because the “metropolitian elite” are run by spin doctors, directors of big business, pseudo-academics and lobbyists.

    The LibLabCon-densate are just all out of touch and don’t represent hard working families and until the LibLabCon-densate change the public will flock to UKIP.

    I am a conservative – but unlike politicians I can FEEL what is going on and not just theorise about it.

    • DaveM
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Spot on.

    • Richard
      Posted November 22, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Javelin :

      “The LibLabCon-densate seem strangely obsessed with supporting immigration.”

      Labour are pro EU as membership impoverishes the UK and immigration increases the number of potential Labour voters.

      Whilst the Tories are run at the top by the corporates who are very happy to use the EU to be able to move jobs, workers and profits where they wish.

      Cheap labour from the EU is especially beneficial to them particularly when the cost of this labour is subsidised by the UK tax payer in the form of working tax credit.

      The Liberal Party are so pro EU that they will accept anything and everything the EU says and does.

    • Margaret Brandreth-J
      Posted November 22, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      That is an interesting point and I am not exploiting ‘interesting’ as a put down as some attempt to do when they try to put themselves into a superior group and suggest a view being held is rather eccentric. What is it that makes you FEEL this .You must have experienced something or a set of things that makes you distrust or is it simply observation of events. Most of us actually register things intellectually without consciously ascribing it to the intellect and from thereon react emotionally.

  11. oldtimer
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I agree with what you say about divided votes and the uncertainty about the outcome of an immediate in/out vote. But that will not change the direction and momentum of UKIP, not least because of distrust of Cameron`s motives. He revealed his hand by his crass offer of £600 million of cash we do not have to fund the UN climate change agenda and, by extension, the multinational NGOs which feed on it using these taxpayer funded handouts. The EU is another extremely generous source of hand outs for these groups. In its way his action was as revealing as Thornberry`s notorious tweet.

    • Bob
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      @oldtimer

      “He revealed his hand by his crass offer of £600 million of cash we do not have to fund the UN climate change agenda”

      Who benefits financially from these handouts?
      Follow the money.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Emily Thornberry ex Shadow Attorney General (and a human rights law graduate) illustrates perfectly the contempt with which Labour and indeed many “modernising” Tories view white van men.

    We need more white van men & woman and far fewer human rights lawyers & politicians for the good of the economy.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Totally agree LifeLogic. Just what I was going to say. The main parties do not understand that this family with their proud, patriotic flags outside their home and their white van are what England is all about. Hard working, tax paying people who are the back bone of this country. The real people who rally round in a crisis and would give everything for their country. If taxes weren’t being paid by these people and the rich and privileged had to pay more then they would leave. This is what we are always being told. If we tax the rich more then they will move out of the UK. So much for their patriotism. Good for this man to show he is proud to be English and what a sad state of affairs when a member of the Labour party (supposed to be the working mans party, ha,ha) ridicules him. Our politicians need to look at what is happening to politics in this country. We are sick of people from rich backgrounds telling us what we can and can’t do without any understanding of how the real world operates. We are sick of hearing about so called climate change when we cannot afford to heat our own homes, sick of schools being overcrowded, the NHS struggling with the numbers of people using it from outside the UK, sick of the back door taxes and in particular, the ‘green’ taxes and fed up with being governed by a bunch of nobodies in Brussels! Message to the man with the flags outside his home – I salute you sir!!

  13. Ian wragg
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Humbug. Eurosceptics should unite
    Yeah right with CMD determined that we should stay in the EU at any price. We have trading relations with the rest of the world but they don’t have a say in ruling us
    The trade argument is a straw man as the EU is a political project modelled on the Soviet Union
    Do you really take the public as such mugs

    .

  14. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Much of what you write is difficult to refute Mr Redwood but away from the Westminster bubble real people do not believe your party is serious about standing up for them.

    Labour and the Conservatives appear to appease vested interests, business and the EU whereas we want figures from outside the political class who will work for us. Neither Mr Carswell or Mr Reckless are from outside the political class but evolution must start somewhere.

    Labour is torn, Ms Thornberry is contemptuous of working and middle class white people’s hopes, likes and fears while Ms Cooper now says questioning immigration is no longer racist. Nice of them to decide that, it has been stated by those of us expressing their fears for ten years. What is the difference now between a little Englander and an upstanding lefty?

  15. Old Albion
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Two things JR:
    Cameron and Co would not even be talking about a ‘renegotiation’ of our relationship with the EU. If not for the threat from UKIP.
    When he does emerge from the renegotiations, the whole country knows he will do so claiming victory and urging us to vote to stay in. The truth will be different. Merkel will not allow any sort of ‘renegotiation’ beyond relaxing controls on how curved our bananas may be.

  16. JoeSoap
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    There are a number of things wrong with this post in respect of mainstream UKIP view versus mainstream Conservative view. That is what we are talking about, because it isn’t those on the fringes of a party or movement which effect its power, but those at the centre, those of the leadership. Just look at the difference in tone, policy and fundamental belief between your leadership and UKIP.

    On education, as an example, and nothing to do with Europe, UKIP wishes to help young people by offering tuition-fee free study in science, engineering and medicine, and other courses which the country needs. Your party doesn’t.
    Second, UKIP wants a return to selective education in order to achieve best results and to cut University places to pay for better apprenticeships and training and your party doesn’t.

    On Europe, there are fundamental differences. Your party wastes time and money challenging European issues in Court, such as the bankers bonuses, whereas UKIP wouldn’t be involved in that. Your boss negotiates staying in Europe, you will FOREVER be fighting lost causes like this and backing down. Now the good bankers will make money in Geneva, and the state backed lousy ones will lose money in the UK, sponsored by taxpayers. What a joke!

    There are more fundamental differences than can be mentioned in this post. It is NOT just about pure Euroscepticism and between the right of the Tory party and UKIP. There are fundamental reasons and attitudes, whereby Labour, Liberal and Conservative members sneer at the public (Thornberry’s photo could just have easily been sent by a Liberal or Conservative politician), and treat them as fools. No longer.

  17. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Your argument might carry more weight if Cameron were to pledge your being offered the head negotiator role i.e. EU Minister. In reality the EU is so burdened with bureaucratic layers and vetoes that the only options are exit or fight an endless campaign to correct financial and social inbalances between Northern and other EU members, the latter being unwilling to give up any benefits of membership. Your involvement at the highest level would give the exercise a thorough examination.

  18. The PrangWizard
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Oh dear! How more times are we to have to read this kind of analysis? People vote for UKIP because they do not believe your party or your leader can be trusted to deliver. Indeed there is no change in the Commons. You need to change your party, your fellow MPs, and your leader, maybe some will start to getting nervous now. I am not sure just who you are appealing to here, but don’t blame the voters. Along with many others I don’t believe Cameron has any true intention of recommending ‘out’, if he does it will be another one of his attempted deceptions.

    And as for Labour, just look at what they think about the English, the mask has slipped from them, and it goes just as well for many in your party of course – sneering British Elites. (words left out ed) Some in the media early this morning – I think the BBC, described the flag in the photo – the flag of St George – as the British flag, they changed that later, but it says a lot about what the British Elites think of England and the English, unworthy of a mention. But the tide is turning.

    To all British Elites, as I said yesterday ‘change or be changed’.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I’ve just heard Gove refer to ‘patriotic Britons’ concerning the flying of the ENGLISH flag. QED. Gove is of course Scottish too. Unionists do not like England, they refuse to recognise it.

      PS. I am censored for mentioning windows and bricks, but another contributor can mention ‘setting fire to town halls’. It is rhetoric.

  19. mike fowle
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Your last paragraph has often been demonstrated on the left, where there are constant splits and realignments over the purity of the “vision”. Trouble with the leading Conservatives is that they show no sign whatsoever of taking on board the clear discontent with Mr Cameron’s leadership or policies, and simply continue to smear and misrepresent UKIP. I am afraid your party will pay the price. As you yourself said once in a different context No Change- No Chance.

  20. DaveM
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    What you say may be true John. However, the facts remain:

    Ukip has had a good showing in three recent by-elections and there is no response from Cameron. He promised to “throw the kitchen sink” at Rochester; he may have visited 5 times but did he say anything of note?

    Ukip had astonishing success in the EU elections and the last round of local elections and there is no response from Cameron.

    Half of Scotland is annoyed by the fact that they have seen no evidence of follow through on this “vow”. The other half of Scotland is annoyed because you made a “vow” and they feel betrayed, as if voting “NO” was a waste of time. Sturgeon forges on. And still there is no response from Cameron.

    The Welsh would like more attention – they feel as if you have abandoned them to an inept Labour party. No response from Cameron.

    The working classes in England are being undercut at work and having their areas reshaped by immigration. The Tory-supporting sleeping giant which is the English middle class is seeing its kids plunged into debt at university while the Scots (and overseas students in Scotland) pay nothing. They see their hard-earned taxes being sent to Brussels by politicians (who pretended to fight The Bill but got found out). We see idiots in London trying to carve up our country and hand it to Brussels. We see murderers and terrorists from other countries on our streets because of the ECHR.

    By caving in to the EU over bankers’ bonuses you’ve now managed to annoy the City – your cash cow.

    It’s no use trying to analyse the demographic of Ukip voters because they cover the political spectrum.

    The Ukip victory is the country’s way of screaming in Cameron’s face – spittle and all – but STILL he does not respond.

    We have a government being stymied by the leader of a party whose candidate got just over twice the number of votes the Monster Raving Loony Party got. And the MRLP beat the Greens yet Cameron is still pursuing green crap and giving away £650 000 000 to FOREIGN green projects!!!!!!

    The Labour Party has a leadership crisis – no response from Cameron, no kicking them while they’re down.

    There has been more talk about these mythical EU “renegotiations” from the Germans than there has been from your illustrious leader.

    The bottom line is that Cameron does nothing. He says nothing and he does even less. He is a bag of hot air and he is tearing your party and this country to bits.

    It doesn’t matter if you “vote Ukip and get Labour” because there’s no difference between you. The public regards you all as self interested cowards and liars.

    To paraphrase Rents in Trainspotting: “it’s a sh**e state of affairs, and all the hot air in the world won’t make it any better”. Except that Ukip promises action, and people believe them. NO one believes a word Cameron says.

    Ball’s in your court.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Cameron need UKIP to give him credibility and back bone. Otherwise no one will believe him after his serial ratting last time.

      • waramess
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Lets hope that Farage refuses to give it then. Look at what happened to Clegg.

    • BernieInPipewell
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      You are absolutely right no pun intended

    • DaveM
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      I do apologise – the Greens got 4% of the vote. That’s 4.5 times what the LibDems got. Clearly a massive voice and one which justifies spending millions on green crap.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Another interesting post Dave.

      ‘It’s no use trying to analyse the demographic of Ukip voters because they cover the political spectrum.’

      I absolutely agree, but the BBC keeps wheeling out the so-called ‘expert’ Professor John Curtice who is always at pains to say that UKIP voters are basically thick with low levels of educational attainment.

      I resent that. As I believe Karl Marx once said, ‘Achievement is no measure of potential’. Just because a person might not have been to university and gained a degree, doesn’t mean they never could. And what would it matter anyway if people hadn’t been to university and been schooled in the ways of the arrogant PC left who think they are always right, and everybody who disagrees with them is always wrong. That could be a positive advantage in the real world.

      Another example of arrogant snobbery by a political class that is firmly and decidedly out of touch. I can see now where Thornberry and all the other Islington Socialist Labour trendies get it from. It’s a psychological disorder that affects the mind and clouds the judgement of those afflicted!

      Tad

      • DaveM
        Posted November 22, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        “UKIP voters are basically thick with low levels of educational attainment. ”

        He’s absolutely right Tad. I haven’t quite jumped ship yet but I voted Ukip in the EU elections. Maybe as a protest. I’ve only got 5 A Levels and 2 degrees (History and Arabic). Thick ….. me.

  21. Mondeo Man
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    The clue is in the name:

    United Kingdom *Independence* Party

    There is no ‘sceptic’ about it. Ukip are anti EU (though not anti Europe and racist as the BBC would have it.)

    I don’t think there is a split at all. We have two different parties wanting two different things entirely. In fact it is the Tory party that is fractured and paralysed – if this weren’t the case then there wouldn’t be a need for Ukip.

    I (and many others) fully intend to vote Ukip at the General Election.

    For a Tory win in 2015 there are issues which need to be surmounted:

    – The white English working class believe that they are hated and sneered at by all other parties including yours (Emily Thornberry to note) Rather than being a racist organisation Ukip is tapping into racism against white English people,

    – UK citizenship is no longer something special. 200,000 passports issued by this government this year is offensive.

    – Mr Cameron is distrusted. His words do not match his actions.

    People are now refusing to vote for politicians who – despite words – seem to actively dislike them.

    Of splitting the Eurosceptic position ? Tories need to get out of the way of Ukip in constituencies where they can beat Labour. It seems that Mr Cameron would sooner do a deal with Labour than Ukip !

    Seriously

    Your party is irredeemably pro EU. Your core voters (erstwhile) are not stupid. They’ve worked out that this economic ‘recovery’ is bogus and even if it isn’t they’ve worked out that their quality of life is going to continue to decline because of mass immigration.

    I don’t think you’ll get Rochester and Strood back in 2015.

    You STILL don’t get it.

    Reply I do get it. You don’t understand the difficulty of getting from where we now are to where you want to be. If all you do is insult every Conservative MP and voter by refusing to see the Eurosceptic drivers of our policy we will never sort out our membership of the EU which remains en route to political union.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      I can’t believe the language the Conservatives have been using.

      – ‘going to bed with…’

      – ‘notch on his bedpost…’

      – ‘ sex with vacuum cleaners…’

      – ‘ kick his arse…’

      – ‘finger up bottom and likes it…’

      Who are you trying to appeal to ?

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        Me insulting every Tory MP ?

        Well my response at 8.57 (before I read your allegation that I’m being insulting) seems uncanny.

        The Eurosceptic drivers in the Tory party would be nothing without Ukip.

        As for sorting out membership of the EU ? Too late for that. Our country has been wrecked beyond repair.

        It’s over. There is no hope and people are seeing that they have nothing to lose.

        Please respect that I am not out there rioting and setting fire to town halls (even though I feel like it.) And that my choice of rebellion is to have a few choice words on a blog site – and not even using language as bad as your party does.

        • Hope
          Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Well said. The Tory party do not get it. I just watched Gove and he was every bit a pompous arse. That is why they will lose people do not connect with the mand they have no results to crow about.

          • Chris
            Posted November 22, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

            Did anyone see Iain Duncan Smith’s response to the UKIP win on a television interview. It seemed to me smug, and rather sneering, and totally out of touch with reality. I am afraid he trotted out the usual phrases like an automaton.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Indeed pretty stupid and self defeating of these Tories, to insult their ex-voters and now UKIP supporters with this vulgar, pathetic, sneering & juvenile language.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        This is why I can no longer support the Conservatives Party – they are now firmly part of the politically correct English hating classes
        . It’s not enough for these people to disagree with you – they have to attack your character as Mr Reckless found.
        Under Mrs Thatcher, supporters felt that the heart of the party was in the right place. Then under Major and Cameron they have drifted further into leftist territory. They have failed to defend Conservative values.

        I feel sorry for the likes of John Redwood as he stumbles around the broken ruins of his once great party he must now barely recognise…- for every Redwood there is two or three Fabricant’s or Boles that do not share his views.

      • waramess
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        This is what they call a measured response

    • waramess
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Inverted racism. Very bad policy indeed but one encouraged by all three main parties

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Cameron’s just the same with English Votes for English Laws – dragging his feet and prevaricating. The English are rubbing rags in his eyes and in the eyes of others of the liberal left, but the rubbing rags have had enough!

        Tad

    • Andrew S
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      This is democracy in action. There will probably not be an overall majority at the next general election for Conservative or Labour. Due to UKIP and the SNP.
      There can be a change of leaders and hopefully a realignment starting to take shape.
      I expect it won’t all get sorted out in one general election, and it is probably not possible to predict any more than that at this point.
      You do have to deconstruct first in order to rebuild, and we do need to go through this democratic and peaceful process as a nation, to correct the many contemptible actions and policies of both main parties in the last 25 years ( and Heath/Wilson before that).

    • DaveM
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply:

      Yes John, we know you get it (and many others like you). But we don’t SEE the Euroscepticism which you assert (almost daily) is prevalent in your party.

      We see a bunch of self-serving EUphiles who lie daily, who appear to despise the English who put them in power. And the sight of Theresa May sitting on the front bench the other week, shaking her head and wishing the ground would swallow her up was pathetic.

      We want strong honest leadership that represents and FIGHTS FOR the people who elected them, not for themselves.

      If the government was a ship, the whole “top floor” would have been sacked by now. The crew would have mutinied – and crews mutiny because it is in THEIR best interests AND the interests of the ship. Crews with good captains and navigators don’t mutiny.

      Ultimately, the country needs a strong, forward looking and honest Tory Party which is based on traditional values and common sense. And we ain’t got one. If we did, you might find that the better and more sensible members of Ukip would be defecting to you, not vice-versa.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Dave M

        There appears to be a Parliamentary consensus that the EU can be worked with from within, that deals can be done and compromises achieved.

        Well it can’t. It is and uncompromising ratchet which salami slices its opposition meaning that each gain by the EU is too little to cause a fuss about on its own. A takeover by stealth.

        A Ukip government would find the country ungovernable. The Left would be so obstructive and cause such (protest ed) (as they always do when they don’t get their way) that the country couldn’t be ruled by any party that isn’t centrist.*

        This is not democracy.

        So let’s give up any pretence that we live in one. It’s this that is causing the rift between politicians and people – the people are having their intelligence insulted.

        We don’t need to be ruled from Westminster AND the EU. One or the other please.

        *The Emily Thornberry tweat was every bit as offensive as ‘pleb’ was in Plebgate and it was a darn sight more substantiated than the ‘pleb’ in Plebgate. Yet Labour will be forgiven by the BBC for this slight against ‘plebs’ by the weekend.

        This is the power of the Left.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        I like to study body-language as well as listen to what people say. I watched Theresa May laughing at something the leader of the opposition recently said, and she bodily jerked around in an exaggerated way. That’s pathetic showmanship just for the cameras. Who the hell could ever have any confidence whatsoever in a politician who is so pre-occupied with a visual image, but makes such a mess of a serious commons debate?

        Genuine? Ha! She epitomises all that’s wrong with the Tories.

        Tad

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is the navigation and compass that are lacking. 180 degrees out on nearly every issue. The county wants essentially UKIP policies and the leader needs to be trusted. Who can now ever trust ratter Cameron – unless he has UKIP twisting his arm, to give him some backbone.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Just a façade of “euroscepticism”, JR, behind which successive leaders of the Tory party busily pursue the same longterm eurofederalist strategy adopted over half a century ago. Busily helping to “build Europe” behind the screen, but as quietly as possible in case the locals notice and start to complain.

      • Chris
        Posted November 22, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        I agree Denis about the façade. While we were focused on Rochester, the final vote on the EAW took place and only 29 MPs voted against. I wonder who they were? Why was there no outcry from our so called Eurosceptic MPs? I believe that the Cons Party MPs are not on the whole Eurosceptic and that they are happily carrying on with ensuring the grand project is fulfilled. I am afraid I find the Cons Party MPs who carry on supporting Cameron in this progression towards a superstate not worthy of my vote nor my trust and respect.

        Reply I voted against. Many of my colleagues decided there was no point voting as this was a put up job of a Labour motion to show just how much the left wants to give away to the EU

        • matthu
          Posted November 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          That has also increasingly been the view of the electorate at large for the past few years i.e. they too evidently decided there was no point voting as the whole election thingy has for too long been a put up job to give the pretence of some semblance of democracy when none actually exists.

          And politicians complain when voter turnout is low.

    • waramess
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply: I really don’t think you do get it. The patience you seek from the electorate is something you have received for a long time now. The current mood is one of impatience at your general lack of progress so far.

      It is becoming quite clear to the electorate that if this lack of progress continues, as it is likely to under both parties, then we will become totally entwined in the EU project.

      Take no comfort from views that this is a protest vote, you will find it is for real but it is already too late for you to do anything about it.

    • Ray Veysey
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Unless you, and your like minded colleagues decide to stop playing with a straight bat, and going down the traditional paths of decency, and good manners, you are going to get nowhere. Because you are playing a team that cheats and lies and twists and turns, and is frankly laughing at you being the well mannered gentlemen you are. You have to fight dirty when your opposition is, you must give as good as you get. Or as you have heard me say before, you will get ground under by the big boys playing by their own rules, and you will be left wringing your hands and apologising before disappearing off to live somewhere quiet on your massive pensions, leaving the rest of us up to our nuts in, well you know what.

  22. mick
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Morning Mr Redwood, your party threw the kitchen sink at this by-election, you could have chuck the kitchen sink+kitchen cupboards+bathroom fittings & on-suite at it and it would have made no difference to the out come, the blood less revolution as started the people have open there eyes to the con/lab/lib`s betrayal to our country, the peoples army is getting stronger so the best thing you and your fellow Eurosceptics can do is join it if you want out of the EU

  23. Bryan
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Perhaps it is time that Sir Jeremy Heywood told the Nation what his plan for the future is – then we would not have to wait for Mr Cameron to tell us!

    One certain good thing to arise from Rochester was the total collapse of the LibDem vote.

    Perhaps Sir Jeremy could also tell us when he will tell Mr Cameron to kill the Coalition?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the Libdums – wrong on every single issue and very unpopular – just like Cameron.

      (Very occasionally right on civil liberty issues I suppose)

  24. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    OK, I have read your post, Mr Redwood and also most of the comments above.
    What nobody has been asking is this:

    OK we leave. Then what?

    Here is a plan: We leave the political and doomed juggernaut of “More Europe” to get on with it. You don’t need a referendum for that at all. Just do it!
    Meanwhile, we burnish our credentials with EFTA and the EEA to protect our prosperity.
    And then we can get a seat at the top table where the major decisions are being made today – at Basel. And we can get some decent trading arrangements with the rest of the world again (like with China, USA and Brazil). The EU is well past its sell by date now and we need to get into where the real action is: with world trade and standardisation organisations.

    Reply We can all comer up with our preferred plan and feel great about our superior insights, but what matters is what happens, which requires majority votes in Parliament and in a referendum. There is nowhere near a majority to vote to repeal the 1972 Act unilaterally in this Parliament, and I doubt the next Parliament would want to do that either. That is why we need to work away at persuasion and winning a majority of seats in the Commons and a majority of votes in a referendum if we need to leave.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Mike

      Having two governments is hugely expensive and results in the public being insulted daily. Westminster is becoming increasingly outsourced and redundant.

      Perhaps a vote as soon as possible to choose whether we have one or the other but not both.

      EU or Westminster.

      A vote for Ukip is to pull the rug from under the whole chirade.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      A sceptic majority need a ukip deal you need to force Cameron into one.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      Please excuse my working class analogy. It’s my background you see.

      Giving the ruling political class a bloody nose as a wake-up call is one thing. Booting them into the gutter and leaving them unconscious is something else. But that day will come unless they stop provoking their masters who will vote for someone else. Which part of the phrase, ‘The people are sick to death of being badly led’ does Cameron not quite get?

      Tad

    • Terry
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      “OK we leave. Then what”?

      Easy – we carry on about our business but without any chains and reams of EU red tape holding us back. This country did not require any of the bureaucrats in Brussels to build our Empire, the greatest the world has ever seen. GB did it all on its own and not just with military might but with oodles of international trade behind it. The economic growth record for the EU is appalling-it has fallen behind that of our old Commonwealth – the one we abandoned to join the Marxists revolution, here. Just how bad can it get when every other Continent in the world is expanding save the EU which is failing. There is no reason to remain onboard a sinking ship unless you are suicidal. Maybe that is, precisely, the LibLabConner’s dying wish for their country – To bring it, finally, under (foreign control ed).

    • Chris
      Posted November 22, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Reply to Mr Redwood
      Sadly you will never be able to achieve that as almost daily further powers are given away to the EU thereby cementing their grip on our once sovereign nation. You will be waiting in vain. It seems to me that Cons MPs really do not have a true idea of the extent to which we are in this iron grip, and the only way to be rid of it is to take radical action. Article 50 needs to be invoked, but that can only happen if “eurosceptics” from the Cons (and LibDems and Labour) openly join forces with the one Party which is truly committed to leaving the EU and demand change. Maybe it would mean some Cons MPs holding their noses, but this is a necessary sacrifice for our country. The survival of Cameron’s Conservative Party should not be the main focus as it seems to be at present.

      Reply We have nowhere near enough votes in the Commons to do this. The latest 2 by elections leave the voting position exactly the same as before.

    • Richard
      Posted November 22, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply :

      You are absolutely correct Mr. Redwood that we need a majority of votes in the HOC to repeal the 1972 Act in Parliament.

      But this will never be possible so long as the English voters keep voting for Con/Lab/Lib.

      For a long time now these 3 parties have said that the electorate must be happy with their EU policies as it keeps voting for them at every election and by-election.

      The necessary changes can only come about if the electorate stops voting for Con/Lab/Lib.

      • matthu
        Posted November 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Never a truer word spoken …

  25. Bill
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Agree with your analysis, John. I still hope Conservative and UKIP strategists can maximise their impact by agreeing to campaign in a complementary way. The danger, as has now been said many times, is that the Conservatives come second to Labour in a large number of constituencies because lots of eurosceptic votes have been syphoned off to UKIP.

    UKIP then ends up a marginal and bitter party with 10-20% of the votes but few seats and little real influence. In saying this, I know strident voices will be raised to tell me that Cameron is untrustworthy and has broken ‘cast iron’ promises. All I can say to this is that if we are marking politicians for integrity on a scale of 1 to 10, the most dishonest is surely Clegg and he is followed by a number of Labour front benchers.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Bill,

      You’ll probably find it’s the Tory party that ends up a marginal and bitter party. A lot of former supporters are VERY bitter at, myself included. The future of the Tories is in their own hands, but it has been in the wrong hands since 1990. Election results don’t lie. Remember, they left us, we didn’t leave them.

      Tad

      • Chris
        Posted November 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Tad, the feelings run very high amongst former Conservative supporters, and it is this that the Conservative leadership and MPs seem totally unaware of (or determined to steamroller). Many have just cocooned themselves in the Westminster bubble, convincing each other that all is OK in the outside world and all they have to do is hold course to ensure a Cameron victory and business as usual. All is not OK, but I wonder how long the opposition to the LibLabCon can last with every day seeing more powers handed over to Brussels, and more free speech apparently being stifled. The “education” agenda of the EU is indeed very worrying, with the millions being poured into it in order to ensure EU propaganda reaches everywhere, and in particular the young. I genuinely fear that we will be subsumed ere long, yet Conservative MPs just haven’t a clue, or are willing players in the scheme.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Not necessarily.
      It is quite possible through a change of leadership that either Cons or Lab will drift to the UKIP position – the current leaderships are trying to do this and flaying around. You would then get an honest agreement on the way forward rather than the very dishonest and infact impossible way forward described by Cameron. He just will not let us leave, exactly per the Scottish referendum!

  26. David
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Europhiles are split between 5 parties and the split doesn’t seem to have caused them any harm.
    BTW I don’t like the word Eurosceptic, I prefer Euro realist.

  27. Ken Adams
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Once again Mr Redwood we have to point out that although some conservatives MPs might be Eusceptic, the party is not. Otherwise it would have an agenda for leaving a vision of the nation post membership and your leadership would be already working towards that vision.

    None of that is happening, all we are offered is a meaningless empty renegotiation and a referendum with the whole power of state being used by a conservative Prime Minister to endure we vote to stay in.

    The fact is your party is split on the issue and those who want to keep this country in the EU are always in power.

    • Ken Adams
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Try proof reading first Adams “ensure”

  28. acorn
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    How many so called eurosceptics in the conservative party, would vote against a J Major style,”put-up-or-shut-up”, three line Whip on the matter?

    When I am mining for data on the EU’s diktats, I have stopped being surprised that the “EU rule and regulation problems”, more than likely originate in the UK, not the EU.

    The net cost of membership is just over 0.6% of GDP; when you include the EU payments that go direct to UK private sector entities, and not just the amounts that go through government departments. There is a number crunchers consensus, that membership is worth about £75 billion a year. (That number is the one that gives 3 million EU dependant jobs – a bit iffy.)

    All known parties have no idea how fiat currency economies work and still think we are on the gold standard. Conservatives are in favour of the free movement of capital and profits, but not workers or wages. Once we solve that problem, you will be surprised how many other problems will fade into the background.

  29. English Pensioner
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    As I understand the situation, Cameron has said that he will negotiate a new deal with the EU and following successful negotiations will put it to a referendum. He has also said that he would then campaign to stay in the EU.
    What we don’t know is what changes he is seeking, or what his position will be if the EU simply refuses to negotiate.
    So we get some trivial change, Cameron claims success and does all he possibly can to keep us in, and billions more go down the drain.
    No thanks. At least there are no “ifs and buts” about UKIP’s position on the EU.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      And Cameron wants the British people to just accept his word, no questions asked.

      Would we buy insurance or a pension plan on such terms?

      Tad

  30. Iain Moore
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Yesterday in the devolution debate, Graham Allen, Labour Chair of the Constitutional select committee, stated how surprised he was by Cameron’s evidence, where it was all chillaxing, and lets damp down these matters. Then today we hear Cameron in the Guardian say its English veto on Laws.

    You lot take us for fools. You say one thing to our faces, then do the opposite in Parliament.

    Same over the EU, we get flaky promises about repatriating vague powers , while at the same time Cameron signs away our right to Habeas Corpus to the EU, meekly accepts EU sovereignty over deciding pay here, and shelling out hundreds of millions in more money for the EU.

    No wonder EUsceptics don’t trust the Conservatives.

    Reply Mr Cameron said the same thing in the Guardian, in Parliament, and on the steps of Downing Street – English votes for English issues.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      So where is it? Your proposals seemed easily workable. Please tell us what Mr Cameron thought of them.

      Tad

      • Iain Moore
        Posted November 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Cameron gave the job to Hague, the politician who has lost interest in politics, in other words a long grass kicking exercise.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      What Cameron says is largely irrelevant alas. One judges serial ratters and Cameron types by what they actually do. If he wishes to start keeping his words he could start by doing something his £1m IHT promise of circa 6 years ago, his cast iron promise and all the other manifesto promised he has failed on.

  31. stred
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Well, people like me, who voted for Eural Dave last time have noticed that your party is the one which is split. You and the other skeptics are not listened to, whether it is about energy, taxation, extradition, foreign aid, HS2, foreign wars or anything else. Cameron, Barker, May and all the new ministers must take us for mugs. They make commitments such as regional government and bungs to the Scots without any consultation, let alone a vote.

    Above all they are utterly incompetent and in the hold of the Civil Masters. We may get slightly worse idiots next May, voted in by 18% of the population, many of which will be newly arrived from the EU and enjoying their tax rebates, child benefit and housing benefit, with more of the same legislated by Scottish MPs for the English. Then there will be real trouble, and forget the 5 years free residence at no 10. The sneers about the English flag will be remembered.

    As you say, if a referendum were to be held now it is likely that the numbers from Scotland , Wales and the EU plus the Europhiles , with BBC propaganda, would lead to England staying in. As a thought, how about requiring that only British citizens who have lived here for 10 years are allowed to vote, and that unlike the Scottish referendum, Brits working abroad should be allowed to vote. Can you imagine the reaction from your trusted leader?

  32. formula57
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Mr Reckless may well have split himself off from the Eurosceptic part of the Conservative Party with all the attendant downsides you note but he may take some consolation that along with his new party he now supports inter alia: –

    No tax on the minimum wage
    new temporary 35% tax rate for 35-50K earners
    abolition of inheritance tax in its entirety
    removal of the so-called bedroom tax
    lower top rate of tax
    protection of NHS spending and oppose the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership thereby to prevent unwanted NHS privatisation
    controlled immigration to 50,000 a year
    new Luxury VAT rate
    cancellation of HS2
    exit from the EU in preference to negotiating to see if it might be changed enough

    It is a powerful offering and, I would have to admit, very tempting indeed. With Mr Cameron’s rejection of a parliament for England and his need to do less than welcome things to honour the Vow to Gordon Brown, might that offering not become compelling?

    Reply Promises are easy when you do not expect to win a majority to deliver them.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      “Promises are easy when you do not expect to win a majority to deliver them.”

      ..or, as in the case of the Tories at the last General Election, if you have no intention of keeping them.

    • stred
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      UKIP could also win a lot of votes from white van and car drivers living near London if they abolished the Thames Crossing tolls and collected the £70m from a small national fuel duty increase. Twice this week I had the opportunity, while queueing 40 minutes to assess the number of foreign articulated lorries waiting to pay. The proportion was way over the 3% claimed, more like 40% of the lorries.

      From the end of the month these operators from all over Europe will have to pay by computer or phone, or be sued using the EU system. Hopefully, this will work as well as other government systems. However, just to cheer them up, their toll for a huge lorry, probably using fuel bought in France, will be reduced by a pound. While, to cheer up the local van and car drivers, theirs is going up by 50p, having already been increased from £1 to £2. Quite how they will justify the ‘congestion charge’ if the new system cures the congestion will be interesting.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Well Cameron can promise anything now then not that anyone will trust him anyway.

    • Margaret Brandreth-J
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      You may not publish our takes which we scribe sometimes, but we see you ,therefore we get a glimpse into the objective party speak and the person.Personality politics today are significant.We look at who truly can assess what is possible to deliver and what are pie crust promises. Whilst most people respect you for the dampening down of your own text, which probably comes with practice and controlling of anger from many years in academia, we still see through. Many of us general public have developed suspicious minds( sorry Elvis) and because political personalities are manufactured to fit the purpose we lack trust.
      We hear top executives cruelly say things like get rid of him or her and they do not often appear in the limelight yet we dance to their tune. When we see courage and freshness like Farage and know he likes his beer, loses his temper and fights his cause , it is endearing.Many are not prepared to dance to the executive bells who promise their managers promotion if they say the right thing any more . We need as British people, the values we grew up with.

  33. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    JR: “The issue is how can we harness a majority movement which gets us out from Brussels control”
    You can’t even do that within your Parliamentary party. The majority of Conservative MPs are pro-EU, as is your leader and most of the Conservative leadership. It is therefore disingenuous of you to write “a few well known Conservatives condemn some Eurosceptic policies, making it more difficult for committed UKIP voters to trust Conservatives. They do not speak for the party, but that gets ignored.” Many people have realised that your party is untrustworthy on this and a variety of issues.
    Why do you keep up this pretence that your party is ‘Eurosceptic’, other than to deceive people into voting Conservative? Such sophistry may make you feel better and keep you in Cameron’s good books but it does little to enhance your personal reputation.
    I am delighted that Mark Reckless was elected. If you seriously want your party to become Eurosceptic it should give you more, rather than less, leverage within your currently pro-EU party.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Even after the election of supposedly much more “eurosceptic” new Tory MPs in 2010 the reality is that about 90% of Tory MPs are either strongly committed to EU membership or they exhibit what may be called “pseudoscepticism”. Invite them to vote in favour of the sovereignty of our national Parliament and they will do as they are told by their party leaders and vote against it, that is the strength of their “euroscepticism”. Oh, and persistently ask on a well-known Conservative website whether any of these people who are aspiring to become new Tory MPs actually believe in the sovereignty of the Parliament they wish to join, and that will get you banned by those controlling the site for the simple reason that in most cases the true answer would be “No, they don’t”; so clearly there are no grounds to expect anything to change after the next general election.

  34. fedupsouthener
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    There is more than one way to start a revolution and we don’t need blood on the streets to do it. It’s called the ballot box and the people of the UK have a chance to get a long awaited change. We have been thrown to the wolves by Con/Lab/Dims but many are fighting back. Looks to me like it’s the only way to get anyone to listen but as to actually DOING anything, well, that’s another matter entirely. Cameron has done nothing to convince me he seriously wants change and if he thinks we all fall for his talk of change without leaving the EU then he is seriously deranged.

  35. waramess
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    You are right. This was a resounding victory for the Conservatives who not only won more support than the Liberal camp but roundly demolished Labour.

    Let not the overall result concern you; tralala they will all come home wagging their tails behind them come the GE and, that is a cast iron promise from Dave.

    Into the final stages of the GE we go with the three main parties sporting mortally wounded leaders, out of favour with their respective parties and out of favour with the electorate.

    William says never mind just carry on as usual so, there you go.

  36. Chris S
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I agree with John but many above have also made excellent points.

    I understand UKIP supporters complete distain for David Cameron. It’s a fact that he has had to be dragged, kicking and screaming to offer a renegotiation and a referendum but no matter how hard he is pressed, he always ducks and dives to avoid saying that if the renegotiations fail he will campaign to leave. Why ?

    Is it small wonder nobody trusts him not to become a second Neville Chamberlain coming down the steps of the aircraft clutching another meaningless piece of paper ?

    BUT it is a fact that the electoral arithmetic is so stacked against the Conservatives and UKIP that we might get as much as 55% of the popular vote between us yet Miliband gets into Downing Street with a majority, without even needing the remaining LibDems rump. Heaven forbid if he does a deal with the SNP.

    I’ve said it several times before here, The 2013 Eastleigh By-election was a warning shot everyone on the Right has chosen to ignore.

    I will remind everyone again, Hulme was an utterly disgraced LibDem MP who was sent to jail so rightly the party should have faced a real uphill task to keep the seat.
    Yet here are the figures :

    Conservative Anti-EU Candidate : 25.4%
    UKIP Anti-EU Candidate : 27.8%
    LibDem Pro EU Candidate : 32.1%

    A clear majority, fully 53.2% of the electorate, voted for anti-EU candidates yet they ended up with another pro-EU LibDem !

    I believe that the outcome of the General Election could well mirror these figures.

    It’s a complete n brainer : UKIP and the Conservatives should be working together.

    Every pollster is saying that UKIP can’t win more than 3-6 seats at most under our FPTP system. They therefore have everything to gain from something as simple as an agreement for the Conservatives to give UKIP a clear run in 10-20 winable seats and for UKIP not to put up candidates against avowed anti-EU Conservatives like our host and my MP, Christopher Chope.

    That’s probably all that is needed, yet the leadership of both parties are too stupid and pigheaded to rise above their own prejudices.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      There was no “Conservative Anti-EU Candidate” in the Eastleigh by-election.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      “[CMD] always ducks and dives to avoid saying that if the renegotiations fail he will campaign to leave.”

      A start would be to tell us what his negotiating position would be assuming he is sincere (what CMD?). He cannot and also retain the credibility of the EUphobic majority: too fundamental and Juncker would respond negatively through his megaphone, too trivial and he will drive all those whom JR is trying to entice into remaining within the fold into the arms of UKIP.

      “Every pollster is saying that UKIP can’t win more than 3-6 seats at most under our FPTP system.”

      Half of them don’t even prompt for UKIP, so how accurate are their forecasts? etc ed

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Watching the news coverage today, there’s one variable that doesn’t seem to have been factored into the equation. The analysts tell us what the share of the vote would look like at the 2015 GE, going on the share of the vote in yesterday’s bi-election. They don’t tell us anything about what the 2015 GE result would look like if people continued to go over to UKIP at the present rate. Or indeed at an exponential rate.

      Confidence breeds confidence, and as dissatisfaction and disaffection in the Westminster LibLabCon grows, UKIP support could go viral!

      Tad

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Neville Chamberlain had little choice at the time and is vilified unfairly .

      Cameron is like a stick of rock with the EU flag running through it .

      There is nothing wrong with Cameron being an EUphile other than trying to lie and mislead about it .

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted November 22, 2014 at 12:25 am | Permalink

      Chris – The Tory Party is pro EU with a few Eurosceptics in it.

    • Richard
      Posted November 22, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Chris S :

      “A clear majority, fully 53.2% of the electorate, voted for anti-EU candidates yet they ended up with another pro-EU LibDem !”

      This is why I voted for AV

  37. Mr D Barker
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Buzzwig

    Good morning Mr Redwood,
    I urge all your readers to read “The Trap” by the late Sir James Goldsmith .Says it all regarding our countries present situation!

  38. Kenneth
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I take it from your last paragraph that you are coming round to the idea of an electoral pact with UKIP in order to save us from the misery of a Labour/Brussels government?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      A national electoral pact between UKIP and the Tories will not happen, and even if it did happen it would not work as you might hope because both the Tories and UKIP would lose supporters who strongly objected to the pact.

  39. Duyfken
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    One reason for a lack of unity within Eurosceptic circles may be a matter of personal antipathy mainly against the upstart Farage. He, Farage has down a great job so far but others find it necessary to deride his achievements and manner or treat him with disdain. JR is one, William Cash another and so is that chap Richard North (who is well-informed but who squanders his reputation by his all-consuming self-regard).

    JR expects the Eurosceptics to coalesce around the central figure of … Cameron? That is just ridiculous. It just seems to be a ploy to temporize for ever and a day. But then perhaps we should mark a difference between those professing to be “Eurosceptic” and others, like me, who are truly “EUphobes”.

  40. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Of course what you write just echoes what many of us are thinking . Why do the SNP want their own control?why do the Eurosceptic conservatives want their own control? why do we play tactics instead of honesty? why do we pander to reversal instead of the real thing ? As Farage puts it : why do we bow down to snears which derive from those who are self centred?
    UKIP may gain ground and we know revolution does not often provide a basis for stability and growth as we found out in the last sweep from labour, but what do we do to keep Britain British with home rule ? etc ed

  41. DaveM
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    It may be worth noting that by dropping the legal action against bankers’ bonus caps, the govt has actually made the general public side with city financiers – on principle of course, not because they want the bankers to have ridiculous bonuses. (In fact, if the govt had introduced that ruling themselves they might have won some support.)

    Those city bankers, of course, being the only collective bunch of people in the country that were (PREVIOUSLY) hated more than the current political clique.

    Quite an achievement.

  42. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I would respectfully suggest that the Conservative party is ‘toxic’ to many people. Always has been and always will be. I believe that since the age of universal suffrage began you have only won majorities on the basis that people will hold their nose and vote for you, rather than see a Labour government.

    Perhaps with the rise of nationalist parties, the Greens and populist (how DARE they!) parties – there is now enough choice to start to see the end of the stranglehold that Labour and the Tories have had on power.

    Not many people would vote Labour or Tory in the belief that they are the best people to run the country – with the best policies. I would suggest a majority vote on the basis of who they don’t want rather than who they do want.

    Labour and Tory governments have FAILED. A bloated state, over priced housing and money thrown around like confetti. Want to GIVE 12 thousand million in Overseas Aid because ‘we are a wealthy nation’ and it is ‘the right thing to do’ – hey, who cares that we are borrowing 100, THOUSAND, MILLION POUNDS this year. Stuff it eh? We’ll BORROW IT AND GIVE IT AWAY, and our children will pay it back. And their children and grandchildren.

    This is UTTERLY IMMORAL – yet the ‘political classes’ (a term of abuse!) constantly tell us it is the right thing to do! And the hand picked audiences (the fools) on Question Time applaud! I hope your children will thank you for burying them in debt to pay back their whole lives.

    No, sorry, I hope and pray this is the end of our two party system and the sanctimonious fools that are in the Labour and Tory parties.

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Really, JR, I don’t know how you can write along these lines when just in the past two weeks we have had two Commons votes* in which the great majority of Tory MPs once again showed their true colours – yellow and blue, not red white and blue – alongside the LibDem MPs and almost all of the Labour MPs.

    Do you really think I will vote for somebody who isn’t bothered whether I, or any other of his or her entirely innocent constituents, gets carted off to rot in some foreign prison for many months for no good reason? And with the rules on how that system operates ultimately determined by a bunch of eurofederalist lawyers in Luxembourg, not by our own national Parliament?

    Never; even without earlier occasions when only a small number of MPs, including a small number of Tory MPs, have been prepared to vote in favour of the sovereignty of the Parliament of which they are regrettably members, just in the past fortnight we have seen what total rubbish the three old parties have managed to wangle into our national Parliament, still in theory the supreme legal authority for our country; enough is more than enough as far as that it concerned, radical change is long overdue and that cannot be achieved by voting for the same kind of rubbish at the next general election.

    * Division No. 79 on November 10th 2014, at Column 1266 here:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141110/debtext/141110-0003.htm

    Ayes 464, Noes 38.

    “Resolved,

    That the draft Criminal Justice and Data Protection (Protocol No. 36) Regulations 2014, which were laid before this House on 3 November, be approved.”

    And then Division No. 87 on November 19th 2014, at Column 384 here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141119/debtext/141119-0004.htm

    Ayes 421, Noes 29.

    “Resolved,

    That this House endorses the Government’s formal application to rejoin 35 European Union Justice and Home Affairs measures, including the European Arrest Warrant.”

    • stred
      Posted November 22, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      The EAW will have advantages for the English social services. They will now be able to arrest parents who have gone to Ireland in order to avoid their children being taken away and adopted for reasons only understood by social workers.

  44. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Dear John–A lot of us would not be over impressed even if you and your Party could convince us that you are indeed “Eurosceptic”, because that is not saying very much on any basis–a lot of us are not in any doubt, which is what scepticism is all about. And you cannot even dream of finding a better word because even if you did–along the lines of “Want Out”–I think you would agree that you could not begin to say that the Conservative Party is a Want Out Party. This is one of the appeals of the UK Independence Party: no prevarication.

  45. Tad Davison
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    How does a potential candidate with excellent anti-EU credentials get selected to stand for the modern Tory party?

    All we ever get is an endless precession of subservient pro-EU Toadies who assume the identity of a Eurosceptic for the sake of political expediency. In other words, they set out to con people right from the off!

    Just as Labour have shown themselves to be against the very people they are supposed represent, the Tories are not really Eurosceptic at all, they have been found out, and they’re losing!

    The true litmus test is the Lib Dems. They are openly the most pro-EU party of them all and almost got wiped out entirely. Surely that must tell the Tory party something?

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      ‘……….a few well known Conservatives condemn some Eurosceptic policies, making it more difficult for committed UKIP voters to trust Conservatives. They do not speak for the party, but that gets ignored.’

      If by that you mean Clarke, that’s a nonsense. Could you ever imagine UKIP having Clarke in their rank?

      No party with a REAL Eurosceptic agenda (which, when all things are considered, makes common sense anyway) would even entertain the likes of Clarke. So why didn’t the Tories get rid of these no-hopers years ago and make itself more representative of the people it is supposed to serve, rather than electing one as party leader?

      Tad

  46. Zarathustra
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Agreed that a Eurosceptic replacing a Eurosceptic is no great victory for the Eurosceptic cause, however it is no bad thing either. If you’re applying this logic John, surely you would concede (but I won’t ask you to) that a theoretical Eurosceptic UKIP MP replacing a Euroenthusiastic Conservative MP, lets say in 2015 GE, is very much a good thing, because as you always say, we need more Eurosceptic MPs in parliament. This is for most of us the difficult decision we have to make in 2015 and I think it’s sad you don’t recognise it. Instead you deride UKIP as a whole, forgetting that there is some good than can come from it and it isn’t a black or white decision.

  47. Jock McSporran
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood – I might begin to think about agreeing with you if and when the Conservative party has a Euro-sceptic as leader. Cameron has traditionally been a self-confessed Euro-phile (although the EU leaders have given him such a public humiliation that that may now be changing). He has promised a referendum because he was forced into it; I believe that he’ll try to do everything he can to get the pro-EU result that he wants.

    Anyway, the EU issue should be a cross-party issue. I didn’t see anybody suggesting that Tony Benn should join the Conservative party in the interests of Euro-sceptic unity.

  48. Elliot Kane
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    John,

    While I agree with most of what you are saying, I think the single largest stumbling block to harmony amongst Eurosceptics is not UKIP, but rather the current leadership of the Conservative party.

    However many Tory MPs are Eurosceptics to one degree or another, your leader is a firmly committed Europhile who has said he wants Britain to stay in at any cost and has always ducked the question when asked under what conditions he would campaign to leave the EU.

    It is surely not unreasonable for Eurosceptics to look upon your party as a whole with some doubt as long as David Cameron remains your leader.

    Just speaking for myself, I have no objections to voting for any party which seems to put the interests of Britain first. But until and unless David Cameron states firmly under what conditions he would campaign to leave the EU, I am afraid I cannot trust either his word or his intentions. I suspect that I am not alone amongst Eurosceptics in thinking as I do.

    I certainly wish you and other genuine Tory Eurosceptics well. I accept that there are many legitimate reasons for a Eurosceptic to remain a Tory (Or Labour, for that matter). I agree that it would be better for Eurosceptics of all parties and none to unite around a common cause. I just can’t see it happening with David Cameron leading the Conservatives. Sorry.

  49. turbo terrier
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    The fear is that after the next election Westminster will be split again and this time it will be the SNP in the driving seat. If the Tory party wants to remain in power it ha GOT to do a deal with UKIP. First part of the problem collect data. Find out who would Farage deal with as he has stated that CMD has got to go. Just straight forward data collection, not a big deal no need to put it out in the open. Get your ducks in a row and then if CMD is the problem then in the interest of the country he has to resign. He can quote what he likes as a reason but if that is what it is going to take to get UKIP on our side that is what has to happen. With UKIP it is hardly a match made in heaven but it has got to be a hell of a lot better than another five years of labour. The time has come for the senior members of the party to put up or shut up. Like with our energy policy leaving it to a few and ignoring the obvious is not the answer. The country let alone the Tory party are fast approaching that sword in the sand moment and it is not going to go away, for the last 9 months or so the running of our government and politics was a train smash just waiting to happen. It has to end now starting today.

  50. BobE
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Next May will see no party have a majority. My hope is that enough UKIP seats will form a pact with a CMD less Tory party to form a seriously EuroSceptic Coalition.
    John, I must disagree with you because even you must admit that Ukip has caused the EU debate to escalate. Labour is even changing policies, nobody else could have done that. With two MPs then Ukip gets to take part in the TV debates. So there are many advantages to having a true eurosceptic party in Westminster. It could even start the process of getting rid of CMD and his worthless promises.
    Bob

  51. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    “The polls suggest that if the UKIP vote stays in the range 10-20% nationwide there will be no breakthrough in seats, but the UKIP effect is to help Labour.”

    Well, the first part is largely true, firstly because the more uniform spread of support for UKIP means that it is even more disadvantaged than the LibDems have always been by the FPTP system which Labour and the Tories prefer – except where a PR system saves their own party from complete oblivion, as with the Tories and the elections to the Scottish Parliament – and secondly because we know that the old parties will collude to try to make sure that UKIP never does better than come second anywhere.

    However, as for the second part, “the UKIP effect is to help Labour”, I have long argued that even if UKIP were to completely disappear from the political scene there would only be small net benefit to the Tories in their contest with Labour, and now I think that the intervention of UKIP may even be of marginal benefit to the Tories.

    I’m looking at the complete table of results from Rochester and Strood here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochester_and_Strood_by-election,_2014#Result

    and in round numbers I am seeing that compared to the 2010 general election:

    UKIP gained 42% on share of the votes cast, while the Tories lost only 14%, dropping to 35%; adding the new UKIP share and the residual Tory share together gives 77%, far higher than the 49% that Reckless won in 2010, and indeed it would be an exceptionally high share of the votes for a parliamentary candidate in modern times.

    So it follows that UKIP must have drawn heavily on sources of support other than disgruntled erstwhile Tory supporters; and in fact Labour lost 12%, dropping to 17%, while the LibDems lost 16%, dropping to below 1%, and their combined losses were 27%, twice the Tory loss; and adding together the losses of all three of the old parties comes almost exactly to the 42% share gained by UKIP.

    So straight off we see that the net Labour losses were comparable to the net Tory losses, 12% against 14%; but there is more to it than that because some large proportion of the 16% support lost by the LibDems was not lost during this by-election campaign, rather it was lost in the months after they went into coalition with the Tories.

    And then as most of the voters who abandoned the LibDems in their droves switched their support to Labour, not to the Tories and not to UKIP either, as can be seen very clearly on the left hand side of the four opinion poll charts here:

    http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/polls.html

    the question is to what extent the 16% lost by the LibDems should be counted as voters initially gained by Labour from the LibDems and since lost by Labour to UKIP.

  52. Tad Davison
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    ******* BREAKING NEWS *******

    According to the BBC, David Cameron is 500/1 to join UKIP!

    Tad

  53. John G-D
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    The higher echelons of the Tory Party (ministers, hangers on and those former “grandees” like Heseltine and now – heaven forbid – the mediocre Major) are so left Liberal as to have lost the trust of their own party MPs and the support of previously lifelong Conservatives.

    One cannot simply ignore Cameron’s track record or his failure to deliver on Conservative policies. After four and a half years of socialist kowtowing and spin. we have seen: no real cut in the deficit; a huge increase in EU payments; the abandonment of attempts to put in place a British Bill of Human Rights and further supine submission to ECHR “rulings;” a complete failure to control our Borders – or even record the true figures; immigration running at Labour levels; the continuation of a deeply unpopular, unaffordable, even offensive, Overseas Development target; an abject failure to tackle the public sector – with the sole, shameful exception of our Armed Forces – the list is pretty well endless.

    Carswell made it clear that the inner circle are going through the motions of renegotiation of powers with EU and I do not recall many, if any, protests raised at this assessment.

    The Conservative Party needs a Conservative leader – not the “heir to Blair.” They need a man of principle who will put the best people in the key jobs, not toadies, “chums” and politically correct appointees.

    What evidence is there that such a move would be so damaging?

  54. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    “UKIP merely sought to relabel a Conservative MP, who was already speaking and voting in a very Eurosceptic manner as a Conservative”

    You ignore the fact that UKIP are able, in Rochester and according to polling elsewhere, to get former Labour voters to switch directly to them. The Conservatives will never be able to achieve this in Labour seats in large areas of the North of England. For that reason you should be promoting the idea of an electoral pact with UKIP as the only way of combining the Eurosceptic vote.

  55. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    The white van and flag incident is the tip of the iceberg and despite the question of our membership of Euroland being of the utmost national importance it is also, a small part believe it or not, of the tip of the iceberg.

    The attitude most certainly deep into Labour territory among council officials let alone political representatives even of the most junior grade is that persons living in social housing are, in a borrowed Asian term, “untouchables” even from those persons who hail from such an environment and have close relations there.

    Coincidentally, I’m sure, many contacts of Councillors obtain employment as Council officers at every level. No-one is more intolerant and vindictive of smokers than a recent non-smoker: no-one is more nastily class conscious than recently “proactively”employed
    guilt-ridden Council employees.

    The perception, incorrect or correct, of the overwhelming voter in all constituency hues is that corruption is massive, and is not being dealt with in any way whatsoever.. I hear it cannot even be talked about on TV even as a generality because of fears of legal retribution.

    UKIP is riding a tsunami of the result of the corruptive influence across the board of political parties in long-term control of local employment and commercial contracts.

    Of course, a lawyer steeped in jurisprudence would find the red cross on a white background draped with love over a humble property deeply embarrassing, as would the leader of a political party if he had one ounce of Britishness within his soul.

    • Margaret Brandreth-J
      Posted November 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      well said

  56. Terry
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    So, it’s the fault of UKIP that the Conservatives lost their seat in Rochester?
    Not exactly! It was the decision of the majority of voters in that constituency that kicked out the Conservatives and highlighted the depth of ill-feeling towards the other runners. You should start to blame the root causes of the demise of the Conservative Party not excuse them.

    It’s pretty obvious to most that the Quad are out of touch with the British public. So it is up to you, the back-benchers, to force ‘them at the top’, to take a different approach and to actually meet the aspirations of the electorate.

    Continuing with the same old fashionable Liberal policies will NOT attract votes but they will certainly lose them. To sack thousands of professional soldiers but Ring Fence Foreign Aid must be the worst decision of the century. And all for vain arrogance. And wasting all that effort on homosexual marriages, contrary to the teachings of the Church, is an affrontery to ALL religions. How many votes did that cost you? The man has become an embarassment and his lack of standing in Brussels should be sufficient reason for the UK to withdraw from that OTT, bureaucratic, Marxists club.
    For Cameron and the Conservatives to win next year, is to do want the British people want them to do. As simple as that. Shut the doors to immigration until a full review has been completed and commence a close down our membership of the EU. And stop saying that you want to remain within the EU. It makes no sense to do otherwise or is that the plan? I cannot see anyone in the back streets trusting Mr Cameron with an EU Referendum, now. The treachery he used in the EAW saga in the Commons, proves he really is an untrustworth individal and truly, a Blair clone.

  57. Atlas
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I think that all John is expressing, correctly, is that the Devil is in the (Electoral) detail.

    Many of us see the EU as the road block to prosperity. That it is unreformable is evident by the last 40 odd years of its actions. Even John Major cannot bring himself to admit that he was outsmarted in his ‘safeguards’.

    Cameron is not trusted on the EU, so no-wonder UKIP has been growing in influence.

  58. Gumpy Goat
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Well the UKIP vote was not high as predicted, a win for the conservatives in the general election? A reckless way to lose a seat?

  59. A different Simon
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    It’s sad that the only time the Conservatives get upset about the EU is when bankers bonuses are threatened .

    One could make a case for a sovereign govt to have input on remuneration where the taxpayer guarantees the bank or owns a significant shareholding in a bank but the EU is doing no such thing .

    Your Govt has puffed up house prices to help the lenders and done nothing to protect vulnerable consumers against predatory lenders .

    Nothing has been done to reduce systemic risk in the banking system . They are still all too big to fail and it’s still coke and hookers all round the only difference being they are counted in GDP .

    We need a party which acts in the interests of all the people . Not just the bankers and crony capitalists .

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      PS we all know the bankers are more important than we are but are their ego’s really so fragile that you need to rub it in like this ?

  60. Freeborn John
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Better to be slow but sure of EU exit than rush unthinkingly to the rest chance of a referendum designed by Cameron to “refresh the legitimacy” of Brussels rule. The real choice ahead is wether the Conservative party be permanently eclipsed or its next leader will unite Eurosceptics by taking the UK out of the EU. It is too late for Cameron who has to go in either scenario.

    Eurosceptics should also stop asking for a Cameron-style referendum on EU exit, and start campaigning for the government to take Britain out first and then have a referendum two years later to legitimise and lock in the exit.

  61. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I think Dr Redwood needs to see the bigger picture here – Rochester looked at David Cameron’s modern purple tinged, not nasty, politically correct, Kenneth Clarke loving new Conservative party and didn’t like what it saw.
    His own more traditional style of Conservatism based on sound money and national interest and a dash of common sense has more in common with Ukip than his old party.
    Dr Redwood, why do you not welcome this: you have been proved right again.

  62. getreal
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    The UKIP phenomenon seems nicely illustrated by the LibDem performance in the Rochester results. Rough calculation, adjusting for the reduced number of votes, suggests they shed 6000 votes (same candidate as 2010). Most of these must have gone Reckless to make the numbers add up. So, thousands of voters are switching from the most Euro-loving UK party to the most Euro-hating. That just about says it for the nature of UKIP support – angry, but not too rational.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Well, it’s not my interpretation that “most” of those who voted LibDem in 2010 have now gone to UKIP, rather that “most” of them went to Labour long ago, mainly when LibDem support collapsed from 24% to about 11% in the months after they formed the coalition government with the Tories.

      As can be seen on the left hand side of the charts here, where the red line slopes upwards almost as steeply as the yellow line slopes downwards:

      http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/polls.html

      But that “some” of those people have since moved on from Labour to UKIP, along with “some” of those who had actually voted Labour in 2010, as can be seen from the loss of 10% support by Labour over the past two years accompanied by a 10% rise in support for UKIP over the same period.

      For example to reconcile the national numbers one possible split would be that about a fifth of those who voted LibDem in May 2010 have now found their way through to supporting UKIP, with most of them passing through Labour on their way, along with about a sixth of those who voted Labour and about a seventh of those who voted Tory.

      Roughly speaking that would be 5% plus 5% plus 5% = 15%, which along with the 3% who had already voted UKIP back in May 2010 would make up the present 18% level of support for UKIP.

      But we don’t really know; all we do know is that tribal Tories and others who view UKIP as just a Tory splinter group, and assume that every UKIP supporter is a Tory sheep which has gone astray but can be persuaded/cajoled/bullied back into the Tory fold, are very, and increasingly, wrong about that.

  63. John E
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Completely off topic: have you tried the YouGov profiler yet? If you have a few minutes over the weekend go to the web address below and type in John Redwood to see the details of the demographic that like you.
    For example you are popular on the South Coast but not such a hit in Central Scotland. People who like you have a niche interest of “letters to the editor”

    https://yougov.co.uk/profiler#/

  64. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    There are two obvious points to make here:

    (1) I have been urging a purge of pro-European Conservative candidates for years and absolutely nothing has happened. If the Conservative Party is not coherent, it can hardly blame others for recognising this.

    (2) If we don’t want to be part of a European Federation – and as far as I am concerned this is the main point – then we have to specify which parts of our existing agreements we wish to repeal. This hasn’t happened yet. It is high time to flesh out our renegotiation stance, to define the ‘red lines’.

  65. John Robertson
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I liken UKIP to the Lib Dems pre being elected. It was full of those that didn’t want to make any tough decisions, always a rosy answer to everything, not facing up the fact you can’t always have everything you want. I remember Menzies Campbell saying you don’t need new power stations it all be green energy ignoring that in the real work green energy can’t supply all the energy.

    Mr Reckless said he defected so that he could say what he thinks. Well, in order to get change and legislation through, a referendum etc you need colleagues and for that you need agreement across the board and that means some compromises.

    The thought of a Labour SNP coalition should worry people in these times. The finances are not good, the English don’t have proper representation, devolution maximised for Scotland and none for England. Labour are an anti English party, taxes aimed at the South East, withdrawal of investment and a trip to the IMF who is in no position to bail out an economy our size.

    Many UKIP voters are of a generation that had a vote on the Common Market as it was called then. They had defined benefit pensions, the assets were sold during that time to fund a lifestyle. Let the younger have their say, their turn, that won’t happen if it’s a Labour SNP coalition.

  66. Magnolia
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Your analysis is faultless for the single entity of eurosceptisism but voters will still turn to UKIP because of their sense of desperation about other issues that matter to them individually.
    I am a conservative but for me it is the issue of micro-turbines all over the Yorkshire Dales and planning law changes that will concrete over the countryside.
    Those cause my despair.
    Other conservatives or socialists will have different lines in the sand that will result in them digging in for UKIP.
    We are at the point where we literally feel the need to politically die in a ditch for what we hold dear.
    There will be no holding of noses as we vote next year rather a proud defiant jutting of the jaw as we vote for the loser.
    That is the legacy of the modern liberal conservatives and the modern liberal champagne socialists.

  67. Rods
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t competition great. Enough competition and political parties will have to start listening and implement the policies that their voters want. Instead of writing their sheets of lies, sorry manifestos, they might have to start being honest with their voters and party members. I hope that catches on where some of your competition is now doing exactly that.

    The only political leader I could image having a drink and a chat with down the pub, is the one, whose Euroscepticism party is currently doing rather well in by-elections. Having viewed a number of videos of him being interviewed in the UK and abroad, he comes across well as a man of firm political convictions and what you see is what you get. This is in contrast to all of the other political leaders with their hidden agendas.

    A business with no customers is not a business and a political party with no voters is not a real political party.

    A business that refocuses and moves a brand to follow a market leader at the expense of their current customer base, might achieve short term success, but when the market leader fights to keep its customers, and you’ve lost your former customers to a new entrant, then what do you have left?

    Visionary leaders, like Margaret Thatcher, lead the country by having a clear vision on how to improve peoples lives. Flip-flop politicians like Cast-iron Dave have no coherent vision and after nine years as the head of the Conservative party I’ve still no idea, on what he stands for, I certainly know I don’t like much that he has and hasn’t done. If, like Cast -iron Dave you rely of focus groups, then you don’t lead you fire-fight to minimise your unpopularity.

    In the north of England the Conservatives are a tarnished brand with many people having the mantra of voting for anybody but the Conservatives. If you have conservative values, I think we all know who will benefit from that. In the south you much the same is happening, with the Conservatives repositioning to the left, so they are known as Labour-Lite, other parties are now filling the political vacuum your party has left. Personally, I will never vote Conservative, while Cameron and his wets are running the party. If at the election in May there is no suitable candidate, that does represent my views, then for the first time ever, I will have to spoil my ballot paper.

  68. bluedog
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Dr JR, your concerns are understandable but look at it this way.

    If Oliver Letwin was repositioning the UK in terms of the EU before the bye-election, what does he think now? The answer is obvious, the continued electoral success of UKIP suddenly paints Brexit in new and important colours, Tory blue. The idea of Brexit has now become overwhelmingly attractive for a Conservative government from two points of view. Firstly and most obviously Brexit completely neutralises the threat from UKIP. Secondly and most importantly, Brexit neutralises a key plank of the SNP position – that an ‘independent’ Scotland can simply walk into the EU with UK support.

    If saving the Conservative Party and saving the Union can both be ensured by Brexit, its Brexit by May 2015, n’est-ce-pas? Watch Letwin carefully.

    • ChrisS
      Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      It should now be glaringly obvious to everyone that Scottish Independence is going to be a running sore on the body politic until they get their own way and are allowed another vote to leave. Until then, the uncertainty will be deeply destabilising to the UK economy.

      Far better to just let them have their independence and be shot of them. If not, sooner or later, when the oil money runs out, England would end up being asked to subsidise their little socialist paradise. After a few years of Devo Max their spending will have gone through the roof so the resulting cost to England would be that much more.

      Assuming England and the rest of the UK gets the opportunity to vote and choses to leave the EU in 2017, we can solve the Scots problem at the same time: simply allow Scotland to be the successor state and they can have instant EU membership as long as they aren’t allowed to use the pound.

      This can be achieved by allowing the Scots to have a second independence referendum vote in 2016, this time with the terms all negotiated and agreed up front. If they vote for Independence, as seems likely, England and the rest of the UK can then hold their own in/out referendum which, without the Scots, will be a little easier to win.

      Remaining in the EU will cost Scotland a bomb as they will, ( at least for a few years ), be in receipt of substantial oil revenues which Brussels will demand a huge share of. When the oil money runs out they will become a drain on EU resources, and not England’s.

      No longer our problem !

      • bluedog
        Posted November 22, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        ‘If they vote for Independence, as seems likely, England and the rest of the UK can then hold their own in/out referendum which, without the Scots, will be a little easier to win.’

        But the Scots have just voted by a substantial margin to stay in the Union. This writer struggles to believe that the Scots will reverse their intention in the absence of any catalyst, and as yet there is none. There is also the likelihood that Salmond’s deputy Nicola Sturgeon will not prove up to the job and that the SNP will actually lose market share in Scotland. We may be looking at peak SNP.

        There is no need for the UK to hold a referendum to quit the EU; it is within the power of the UK parliament to simply revoke the UK’s membership. The EU does not in itself possess the means to threaten the UK militarily so the risks of abrupt departure are limited and mainly economic.

        You say Scotland destabilises the UK economy, but how? The real cost of Scottish independence would come from the need to relocate Trident and other defence installations. No price can be put on the diminution of the UK’s position globally if Scotland were to leave the Union. It is a concern to find a commentator who apparently does not begin to understand the very high importance of keeping the whole island of Britain, and preferably the entire British archipelago, under the sovereignty of a single polity. This was well understood by medieval and Tudor monarchs but it seems a different level of strategic enlightenment now prevails in some quarters.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        “Far better to just let them have their independence and be shot of them. If not, sooner or later, when the oil money runs out, England would end up being asked to subsidise their little socialist paradise.”

        These are our fellow UK citizens and the UK government cannot just shrug off its responsibilities towards those who do not want Scotland to separate from the rest of the UK, maybe a large minority or maybe even a majority notwithstanding any referendum vote in favour of independence*; and nor can the rest of the UK ever “be shot of them”, even if Scotland did revert to being an independent sovereign state it would still be physically attached to England, Scotland and its people would not be towed away; and if those controlling an independent Scotland unsuccessfully tried to turn it into “a little socialist paradise” then one might ask why the Conservative and Unionist Party had failed to counter the drift towards socialism when sixty years ago it had such strong support in Scotland, and whether anyone in that party would want to “be shot of them” if most Scots had continued to vote for their party’s candidates; and also ask how it could possibly be in the interests of England and the English people to have a failed “socialist paradise” occupying and controlling the northernmost third of the same island, legally free to make its own alliances with foreign enemies of England and maybe even finding it economically and financially necessary to do so.

        * I say this, having seen some young woman in Glasgow telling a TV reporter that it was OK for Scotland to become independent because it would still be part of the UK.

  69. Roger
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    I posit that dissatisfaction with Westminster is not limited to the issue of ‘Europe’ or immigration. What did it for me is the anti-conservative motion introduced by MAria Miller and passed in 2013 concerning ‘marriage’. One can’t slip a piece of paper between between the Conservatives, Labour & the LibDems. They’re all collectively pro-EU, anti-British, Anti-English, pro-gay, tax & spend fritterers that have lost touch with Joe Public. Our esteemed host excepted. But JR is in the minority within the Conservative Party. Repeal the pc laws and re-instate proper conservative (small c) values and I might reconsider my where my vote goes.

  70. Boudicca
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    UKIP isn’t EU-sceptic. Sceptic implies that you simply dislike some aspect of the EU and want to moderate them.

    We’re EU-refusniks. We reject it. We want out.

    Conservative EU-sceptics have achieved virtually nothing in the past 30 years. We’ve got sucked further and further in …. yet they continue to prop up a pro-EU Party Leadership which continually transfers more Sovereignty to the EU without a mandate.

  71. petermartin2001
    Posted November 22, 2014 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget the Labour left too – there is still a healthy Euroscepticism there. It didn’t die with the recent passing of Tony Benn. Though they should be doing much more I would agree.

    I notice that UKIP are posting up some anti EU Tony Benn speeches on youtube. I doubt many who comment on this site would be in agreement with his ideas on socialism, yet would be in total agreement with everything he had to say on democracy and the dangers of losing political power to unelected European bureaucrats.

    So let’s work out some way of getting them back into the Eurosceptic coalition too. It’s that belief in democracy which is what really matters. That should override everything else, and bring everyone together in a time of national emergency. (not too strong a term IMO)

  72. ian
    Posted November 22, 2014 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    hi john
    People are not voting for parties at this coming election they are voting for what that mps stand for and you say people think that there are not many Eurosceptic in parliament, so people are voting for more and that means ukip. If your party put up more Eurosceptic they vote for them.

  73. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 22, 2014 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Dear John–You apparently don’t like my comments on your use of the word Euroscepticism (yet you say you always publish and I do mot know what rules I have broken this time) but I assure you that you are not going to get much mileage and certainly no impact by continuing to say in effect that you have absolutely no doubt that you and your Party have doubts about Europe. Putting it another way there very much IS a very real split. You cannot define your way out of this.

    Reply I am getting too many very long comments and have been extremely busy in recent days making speeches elsewhere.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 22, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Well thanks for that–and I agree that you get far too many far too long comments. I was of course very serious in mine and its precursor. “Eurosceptic” means everything and nothing and has no impact–and that’s without the extra slight doubts thrown in by reason of the Eurozone and even the Eurocurrency market (assuming that usage is still in play–one does not hear much in the papers about Eurodollars or Eurosterling these days).

  74. Richard
    Posted November 22, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,
    I thank you for your diary and for all your Eurosceptic efforts within the Conservative Party.

    But I disagree with you that a vote for UKIP is splitting the Eurosceptic vote. This is because no major party other than UKIP is Eurosceptic.

    Looking at Conservative MPs EU voting records shows quite clearly that the vast majority of the Party is Europhile and its current leader, Mr. Cameron, says he will not only always vote to stay in the EU but that he wants to see the EU to expand all the way to the Urals and also to include Turkey.

    It is only a handful of Conservative MPs (perhaps 20) who like yourself take a Eurosceptic line.

    For instance, my MP once wrote to me that he was “strongly Eurosceptic” but I see that his EU voting record differs little from that of the well known Conservative Europhile Ken Clarke.

    The Conservative Party has always been pro Europe, taking us into the “Common Market” in the first place, unlike the Labour Party who were anti Europe until the time of Mr. Blair.

    In fact I can see more possibility of Labour switching back to being an anti EU party than I can see the Conservative Party becoming one.

    There is no chance of Eurosceptics winning an in/out referendum without the aid of at least one major party.

  75. JTS
    Posted November 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    This is not yet the same as a reliable majority wanting simply to leave the EU

    Sorry, John – there IS a majority wanting to leave the EU, only some of them are not fully aware of their position…

    They think there are too many rules and the UK has to impose and enforce them too strongly. They think the UK should be able to control its own borders and settle its own welfare policies without accepting EU directions to open the borders
    I agree with this totally, trouble is it is all ONLY achievable by leaving the EU. The ‘Four Freedoms’, including virtually uncontrolled immigration, and also subservience to the decisions of the politicised European Court of Justice, are non-negotiable.

    We can’t take powers back from within the EU, and it would be illegal to undermine the principle of ever closer union – so let’s just get out.

    The main impediment to this is well-meaning Tories trying to assure us that the EU can be more than cosmetically reformed. That is why there is the split, and it will only widen further in UKIP’s favour as the public wise up.

  76. agricola
    Posted November 22, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    An outside the box plan for the euro sceptics. Identify those who are truly euro sceptic within the present H o C. Privately agree with UKIP that the future of these 100 or so individuals will not be contested by UKIP at the general election in May 2015. Make it clear to UKIP that the other 550 seats are a free fire zone to be engaged where UKIP wish to. Many of the 550 constituencies are so committed to Labour or Conservative that they are a waste of UKIP ammunition. However there are many that are vulnerable. This could lead to a working euro sceptic majority.

    If it is left to chance you could end up with a similar Europhile Conservative part aided and abetted by a Europhile Labour party. The only hope then would be for there to be sufficient UKIP members to ensure that a Conservative government was only allowed to be conservative, in much the same way that the Lib/Dems have only allowed the conservatives to be metro socialist.

  77. Stuart B
    Posted November 22, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    There are only two issues. The fundamental one is that of sovereignty – all other issues of government and governance are determined by the sovereignty or otherwise of the United Kingdom.

    The second issue is that the United Kingdom is not united. Admitting the current fissiparous situation means any programme to reclaim sovereignty requires (a) a prerequisite explicit, absolute assertion that this is indeed a single nation, but undoubtedly of several regions, and (b) a defined and urgent programme of re-unification, whether it is through federalisation or some other internal arrangement, but certainly without the benefit of supervision by the EU.

  78. Stuart B
    Posted November 22, 2014 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Apologies: the force of my comment above was that Eurosceptic opinion only to be united about those two fundamental issues – the assertion of sovereignty, and commitment to a programme of national governance reformation, which will re-unify the kingdom as a nation which can truly function as a sovereign state. Nothing else really matters, and diversity of opinion in other matters is neither here nor there. [or so I believe…]

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page