Christmas present?

It’s that time of year when children agonize over their present list. The lucky ones get to visit Santa’s grotto to tell him in person what they want for Christmas. Our party leaders have been especially keen to meet  Santa this year  with a General election coming up. Their conversations have not gone quite as they hoped. When Santa came to Westminster he was in an argumentative mood. I have obtained a transcript for greater accuracy.

First to arrive was Nicola Sturgeon. She thought Christmas was going to be early this year so she did not want to miss her big ask. As so often, the person who had the furthest to travel got there before the start. When Santa saw her, she said:

” What I would like for Christmas is an increased SNP membership, clear leadership in the Scottish polls, and the certainty that we can win all the seats in Scotland in the General Election. That’s all I want for Christmas. It’s not asking a lot, as I lead the only party that has Scottish in its name, and the only party which really cares about my country. We need this to stop all those English MPs going back on their word over Home Rule”

Santa looked cross, and replied:

“Last year I gave you the wonderful present you had been asking for, a referendum on Scottish independence. You didn’t look after that present and managed to lose the vote. What you are now proposing is I should give you effectively  the same present again this year in the hope that you could look  after it better. If I grant your wish all your SNP MPs will claim they now have every right to independence because they have just won  an election campaigning for  Out. I have to ask you to think again, and try and find a present you would like which matches with the settled will of the Scottish people to stay within the Union”

Next to arrive, fresh from a pub in Thanet, was Nigel Farage. He had decided to be moderate in his requests in the hope that Santa would be kindly to him. As he spoke, however, the significance of the moment and the opportunity started to overtake him:

“Hi there Santa. You’re doing a great job. I don’t want to make your life too difficult. So all I want for Christmas is momentum going in to the General election. You know the sort of thing – a few good opinion polls, the odd Tory defection. You see I reckon I need just 30 seats in the Commons to make me the third largest party. Then I can decide who the Prime Minister should be, and require him to hold a referendum, and then get us out of the EU and then we can close our borders, and then everyone will be so grateful to UKIP we will be on a roll…”

Santa was dumbfounded by the gap between the ambition and the current polls  and Parliamentary forces of Mr Farage. So he said in a friendly but slightly patronising way:

“Well Mr Farage last year I gave you exactly that same present. You have had two defections, some good opinion polls and you came first in the European elections which I thought were your best opportunity to make your point. What have you and your colleagues managed to do for the UK now you are the largest UK party at Brussels? What single law have you stopped or expenditure have you cancelled? What progress have you made on changing the UK’s border arrangements?  If I granted your wish, how do I know that you  would be any part of a new government, and that you could carry out  the things  you promise? I think you need to choose a more suitable present, that is not the same as last year.

By now The Deputy Prime Minister was getting angry, because he was having to wait outside whilst Santa talked to  Mr Farage . It seemed like salt in the wounds of the Clegg/Farage debates, which some had dared say Mr Farage had won. His wait  came on top of poll after poll showing UKIP well ahead of the Lib Dems in the fight for one of the minor places in the next Parliament. At last he was told Santa would see him. Mr Clegg asked

“I don’t want to ask for much for myself this Christmas. I would just like you to make sure the British people understand how difficult it has been for my party in this coalition. You know, we are not the sort of people who believe in cutting welfare or other spending. We do not like having to keep public sector pay and pensions down. We would be much happier imposing new taxes on the rich, but the Tories wouldn’t let us do any of these things, We only went along with all this because we thought it was grown up and responsible to help form a government, but we do think it would be very unfair if people thought we were to blame for anything the public thought was  wrong.”

Santa appeared dismissive as he came to reply. “I cannot possibly give you such a valuable present. Of course all political leaders would dearly love to be absolved of all blame for what they and their parties have done, but the whole point of democracy is they have to stand or fall by what they did. It certainly helps them if what they did squares with what they said, but that is all too rare these days.It was your Dr Cable that put through the unpopular tuition fees proposal when you had all promised the opposite in the election. It was your Mr Davey who pressed on with dear energy, making it difficult for families to pay their power bills. It was you yourself who wasted so much time on constitutional changes which the public did not want. Your whole party said they would help get the deficit down, now they all want to distance themselves from any difficult decisions. Think again, Mr Clegg, about a present appropriate to your straitened circumstances”

Tomorrow we will see what the famous duo, Ed and Dave, asked for.

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  1. bluedog
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Brilliant. Some very painful truths.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    One assumes Cameron will ask for the return of his credibility having thrown it all away with his endless ratting and dishonest claim like we are “repaying the debt”.

    Better still he could just ask for a reliable compass like JR to set a direction and he could just read the lines out (which he does quite well). The compass would start by saying: far less government, far lower taxes, far fewer regulations, no pointless wars and certainly not done without proper resources, real & competitive banking, no green crap, no EU beyond free trade, selective immigration only, far cheaper energy, no global warming exaggeration religion, simpler taxes, more roads and get religion out of schools and government.

    Miliband will ask that people become even more gullible and actually believe him when he adopt the role of Father Christmas. Claiming he will make them richer because he really does have a magic money tree and is going to spend billions & billions to help them.

    Just as everyone knows one can lift oneself off the floor just by pulling on your shoe laces.

    Under Miliband it will be Christmas for all but the rich who will be defined as anyone with positive net assets or an income of more than £12K.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      On radio 4 this morning we get BBC favourite “economist” Will Hutton this morning from the Guardian:

      “Forget austerity – what we need is a stronger state and more taxation”

      Sure Mr Hutton – we have never tried tax borrow and piss down the drain before have we?

      Then we get the bishops on food bank. Excellent idea for the church people to do something useful rather than preaching nonsense – get all those churches back into use giving away free food perhaps even some alcohol and drugs and warm accommodation. Fund it by church fund raising and charity but not with yet more taxes.

      After all it is not as though we have a social security systems that makes many on benefits better of than many who work is it?

      If you give things away for free you usually get a big queue.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        If you give things away for free you also kill nearly all real competition, as we see with the NHS and Schools.

        • Hope
          Posted December 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          Dave would start by saying he was on the naughty step for breaking evey promise he made five years ago and deliberately telling further lies that he would stop mass immigration and make changes to the EU when everyone now knows he has no such intention. Father Christmas is forgiving in nature because of Christian heritage, nevertheless thought Dave must be punished for breaking promises, telling lies and imposing gay marriage and because he was not at all remorseful. Therefore he will be sent to help Putin run Russia. Putin has a similar disregard for his public. And like Putin he has an alter ego demanding people should believe him. Father Christmas thought Dave would like his new country as it was similar to the EU superstate he was helping to create by deception.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

            I agree entirely a dreadful list of complete failures (and virtual fraud against the voters of May 2010) when he had such an opportunity and open goal with Brown. A shame he threw the last election. Personally I have no real problem with gay marriage, surely they should be able to call the relationship whatever they want to but hardly a priority.

            Though non gay partners should surely also be able to have civil relationships if they want to. Since Cameron is so keen on “equality”.

            Then again abolish the theft that is IHT and it would not then matter so much anyway.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Some good news perhaps: David Cameron has “abdicated responsibility” on the environment and left Britain trailing the world on climate change, Ed Miliband claims today.

        Great -let us hope he is right. What Cameron should be doing is firing his duff group non-think “scientific” and economic advisers on the GH religion and getting some sensible, honest Richard Lindzen, Freeman Dyson, physicist types to advice independently.

        The only sensible advice he should be getting is that UK’s C02 output is largely irrelevant in World terms, the wind farms and PV do nothing other than put up energy prices, destroy the environment, export jobs and manufacturing and waste vast sums of money. Saving no C02 anyway. A bit hotter is probably on balance a real benefit. There is no reason at all to assume catastrophic positive feedbacks will create a fiery hell on earth.

        Wait and see and adapt as needed, this is by far the best way to go we have far too many religions already without a new fiery hell one as another excuse for over taxation.

        The weather & climate is an unpredictable chaotic system and co2 is only one of millions of factor that have an effect. Anyway the “experts” failed even to predict the last 17 years of no warming even with their expensive computers and toys. Let look at again in 10 years and see if the (unpredicted) temperature plateau has continued, gone down or up much.

        • turbo terrier
          Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Sheer brilliance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Hope
            Posted December 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

            No chance. The Claimate Change Act is likely to cost the UK taxpayer £1.3 trillion! Dave is wedded to this stupid idea as he recently signed the UK up to more EU emission targets, or rather principles.

        • fedupsouthener
          Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          You sum it all up nicely Lifelogic. Now we have been told by the European Court of Justice that we cannot offer subsidies for back up fossil fuels. The way fossil fuels are being used now does not let companies make a decent profit. We are forced to take wind/solar onto the grid first, made only possible with subsidies paid for by us all and then when we have to have fossil fuels for back up because it is no longer profitable to run we have to give subsidies for this too. It has now been ruled illegal which leaves us in a big mess. Clegg, Davey and Milliband have brought this on us but Cameron should stand firm now and say there will be no subsidies for anyone and then only the profitable sources of energy will be considered. Wind farms have been a total failure and a waste of money as they have not tackled the made up problem of CO2 emissions and have made energy more expensive than it needs to be holding back our economy and losing us jobs from real industry. Cameron needs to get a grip and tell Sturgeon that they either pay their own subsidies for all the wind farms they are consenting in Scotland and not expect the English to foot the bill for them. Perhaps then many in Scotland would not be living within a major wind farm.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            Indeed they should kill all wind farm and PV grants now both proposed and for existing machines. The beneficiaries will complain but they clearly knew what white elephants these machines were when they did their figures. It only takes a few minutes with the back of an envelope after all.

            So they were surely in on the scam – I have little sympathy for them.

      • M Davis
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        The C of E Church just down the road from me is doing something useful. It is keeping some of the local alcoholics/druggies off the streets (not that there are many), by letting them stay in the Church Hall or maybe the ample porch, so long as they vacate it by a certain time in the morning. Apparently, a certain Building Society pays for breakfast for them, (bacon/egg sandwich and a cuppa), with volunteers delivering it. To be eligible, I think they have to be attending AA meetings which is also run in the Church Hall.

        • Sandra Cox
          Posted December 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          I am really pleased to hear ways in which the religious establishments and others are doing things to help the sick and disadvantaged in practical ways. I’d like to see more of it.

          I do get fed up with Church leaders getting involved in politics – telling us we should accept sharia law, and ticking off, mainly, the Conservatives etc.

          In my haste, I’m taking this from a letter I wrote to my MP a while ago, some of the phrases I read somewhere, I haven’t checked out the biblical references, but I’m sure I’ll be corrected if they’re wrong:

          It isn’t the function of the church to tell the government how to run the country (Romans 13). Its function is to tell its people to love and help their neighbours (Matthew 22v39) and, hopefully, to practise what it preaches.

          Since my earliest work experience when I worked for a large building company (hod carrying :)) when it was developing a large part of London, I have been astounded by the Church’s massive wealth, much of it in land, or gained from its dubious investments. Wonga is just the latest adventure, and if the Church is so concerned about the so-called “poor” then why not use its gains to alleviate their suffering. Heaven knows, the taxpayer allows the Church infinite tax concessions and top-ups by way of its charitable status – gifting via wills, and via the collection plate etc, etc.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink


      • Richard1
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Its extraordinary that Will Hutton gets so much airtime, there can hardly be an economics writer who has been more conspicuously and consistently wrong. He published his book ‘the state we’re in’, prophesying endless gloom and recession, in I think early 92 – just before the start of the longest running boom in UK history. I heard him give a talk in 1988 at which he particularly extolled the German and Japanese ‘models’. This was 1 year before the Japanese collapse into 20 years of stagnation. The German system of bank cross shareholdings which he so admired (source of a lot of dubious practices and transactions) was dismantled over the following decade.

        I suppose if you are consistently a big state leftist the small matter of being diametrically wrong on every major issue over 25 years counts for little with the BBC.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 8, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          Indeed being consistently wrong seems to help with the BBC. John Major and Ken Clark are always on, are never even asked about their many past errors.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink


      Only yesterday I gave you the early Christmas present of a women’s caucus in the EU institutions, on top of all those other little presents on gender quotas and enforced equality effectively assuming gender identity which the EU has kindly given you over the past year, plus those from Viviane Reding herself, but you’ve forgotten to mention any of those little gifts in today’s diatribe!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Sorry thank you very much for your help.

        I see Vivian Reding has a degree from the Sorbone in “Human Sciences” whatever those are? I assume it is the French equivalent of PPE or probably even worse and even more socialist.

        Anyone with this number of “awards” is clearly dubious does she have any time left to do anything? Hopefully not. According to WIKI she seems to have all these:

        1992 Creu de Sant Jordi (St George’s Cross) from the Generalitat of Catalonia
        2001 Gold Medal of the European Merit Foundation
        2004 Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Fu Jen Catholic University of Taiwan
        2004 Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Genoa
        2004 Robert Schuman Medal
        2004 Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Turin
        2005 Gloria Artis Medal of Honour from Poland
        2005 Officer of the National Order French Legion of Honour
        2007 Internet villain award at the UK Internet Service Providers Association Awards
        2007 Deutscher Mittelstandspreis
        2009 Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Sacred Heart University, Luxembourg
        2010 BeNeLux Europa award
        2012 Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Glasgow

        • alan jutson
          Posted December 7, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink


          She does not seem short of degrees does she.

          I can only guess that she is an absolute whizz at the commercial application of all this knowledge.


          Have I got it wrong ?

        • Margaret Brandreth-J
          Posted December 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          Most are honorary .

  3. Cheshire Girl
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    It will be interesting to hear what David Cameron asks for. At the moment the prospects for his wishes to be granted, don’t look too good. Wonder if Santa can change his fortunes.

    • stred
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      If he asks for a ‘lie believer machine’, Santa will probably put him his over his knee and smack his bottom. Then resign when the police hear about it.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Mr Cameron would ask for one simple thing, Cheshire Girl….

      £1500000000000.00 (Peter Hitchens is on top form on his blog today)

      Perhaps one other thing as a stocking filler – Nigel Farage caught up in some scandal involving pictures of him (in inappropriate clothes ed) at a fancy dress party or a …. scandal of some sort (seeing as the Tories seem obsessed with (scandals ed).)

      Dr Redwood.

      ALL leading politicians are seriously barmy, dishonest and deluded – but probably least of all Mr Farage.

      The state of our minus £1500000000000.00 economy is utterly terrifying and yet we are told it is a success story. Our percentage of debt is actually worse than the ‘basket case’ French economy’s.

      The third world floods across the French border as never before – our border farce stripped down as never before.

      And you tell us your party is our best option ? Quite possibly true. But the thought of that makes me feel queasy in the pit of my stomach. We really are on that rusting vessel with knackered engines with its insane captain on its irreversible voyage to the Antarctic – as described by Peter Hitchens so eloquently today.

      • Hope
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        For once Clegg is right about Osborne’s economic plans. Unfortunately Clegg has nothing to offer either.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted December 8, 2014 at 2:03 am | Permalink

        £1500000000000.00 That’s £1.5 trillion right?

        Mr Cameron could ask the BoE to create that but, I’d advise against it. It wouldn’t be spendable. It would be too inflationary.

        The problem, if there is a problem, from the government’s POV is not that it ‘owes’ this amount of money but that others own it. That includes you and I. We all have some money tied up in government securities.

        The only way for government to ‘repay’ that debt is to forcibly take that money away from us. If inflation was a big problem there would be a case for removing some of that money from us by taxation, but as it isn’t that wouldn’t be a good idea.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          And because others own that money there is no feasible or ethical way that the Bank of England could simply cancel it.

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      A nice fat, tax free job at the UN or one of its many bureaucratic offshoots? Safe from the UK electorate and the awkward squad of rebellious Conservative MPs?

      • Hefner
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        More likely a fat, essentially tax free job (via trusts and charity-status like companies, … a la Tony Blair).

        • BobE
          Posted December 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          He’ll do a Kinock.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      The legacy parties will ask Santa to give them a few more years of spin, lies and deceit of the British public whilst they try to complete their EU political Union project claiming it to be about trade and risk of job losses. They will continue to impose mass migration at 580,000 annually to stop the indigenous population any belief in the Nation state and patriotism. They will tax and give away increasing amounts for our children and grandchildren to repay for their vanity foreign and EU aid, currently at £25 billions a year. They will continue to allow foreign criminals rights before the British people and any one found here illegally will be allowed to stay as it will breach their human rights. They will take no action on extremism.
      The deficit will grow marginally as GDP per capita sinks as well as tax receipts as pressure will continue to push down wages for foreign migrants who will receive in and out of work benefits on minimum wages whilst we pay our own unemployment benefits. The health service waiting lists will grow as will appointments for Doctor Surgeries. Our children will not get places in local schools and when they arrive English will not be the first language so they will fall behind in their studies and international league tables. A City the size of Birmingham will have to be built every two years to accommodate new arrivals.
      Most of this will be understood by 2020 after the truth is repeated time and again until the message is out and understood by the British people despite the claims of the legacy parties!

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink


        (How long will it take to moderate this comment ? Understanding that each of us is working for free.)

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted December 8, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        So very true Lifelogic it’s frightening!!

  4. Antisthenes
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I am luke warm at best about UKIP but I do believe you are being a bit disingenuous about them not being able influence events in the EU. Indeed they cannot influence anything but that only points to the fact that the UK as a whole have little or no influence when it comes to the EU. So why we are still in the EU is a mystery as being outside of it the UK’s influence would increase considerably by being at the worlds top tables and not being represented there by the EU. In fact we have not only no influence in the EU we have very little at home as the EU have now taken that away from us.

    However the rest of your article is spot on. I look forward to your RedEd edition but I suspect that will be difficult because as far as I can see he has extreme difficulty articulating anything that makes sense. So Santa will probably have to tell him to go away until he can ask for something that is understandable, rational and will actually be of benefit.

    • Bob
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Santa clearly needs to brush up on his maths if he thinks that 24 ukip meps can out-vote 40 LibLabCon meps.

      Santa should recognise how ukip’s rise has forced the incumbents at no 10 to talk about things they would prefer to brush under the carpet.

      I dare say that Ed & Dave’s wish will be to make the new kid on the block go away, and leave them play by themselves.

      • Hope
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        The two are morphed as there is no difference between Dave and Ed. Perhaps the only difference is that Dave copies Ed on economics, EU, immigration, energy and tax rises.

        If you looked at the facts over the last five years without knowing who was in government, would you be able to tell which one it was?

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Agree. UKIP cannot do anything much about our borders or immigration while we are in the UK same as Cameron can’t. That is the whole point of UKIP, getting us out.

  5. Mark B
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I think it would be better, if we talked in political terms of Christmas, using the old Charles Dickens story of Ebenezer Scrooge. You know the one ? Christmas past, present and future.

    Sadly it would take too long and I’d doubt there would be a happy ending.

    I hope your ‘Dear Leader’ does not ask for goose this Christmas ? It might find it well and truly cooked. I say goose, because all the other turkey’s have taken to the opposite benches.

  6. agricola
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Dear Santa,

    You seem in a somewhat curmudgeonly and ungracious mood this morning. Is you tongue stuck in your cheek or is Christmas a bit of a drag, all those chimneys and cheap sherry left by ungrateful customers.

    I think Nigel gave up on Santa and the Tooth Fairy long ago, having realised he could create his own destiny.

    The Clegglet has been thoroughly naughty and is most unlikely to be taken to any grotto to even see Santa.

    Possibly the nicest thing Santa could give Ed and Dave are fat cat jobs in Brussels with tax free incomes and pensions. Providing of course they never say anything nasty about the EU.

    Best Wishes,

    Just one elector.

  7. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Britain has been forced to hand over £15 million to the European Union to settle a bizarre dispute over garlic. Another example of our desperate need to trade without hindrance of any kind (EU/TTIP).

    If I classed most anything enacted as a “good gift” since Mrs Thatcher was trashed I’d have to return it (Blair to present).

    Farage cannot do much at all, the EU commission does that and often behind closed doors, so why MEPs are in Brussels at all beats me. And the EU accounts audits..thought not!

    The UK Gov Godless PC Xmas cards…LOL. So, why Welby woke up on the hungry topic today and babbled about Gov fixing it also beats me.

    • Bob
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Welby should use the Church’s own money before he starts asking for handouts.

      Watching a program about benefits bludgers in Blackpool last week there were no signs of starvation, quite the opposite in fact. The problem seemed to revolve around lack of work ethic and inability to budget or be responsible for ones own actions; no doubt caused by removal of need to budget or be responsible for ones own actions.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Has Welby not heard it ? ‘Build it and they will come’ ?

        Charity should be exactly that. Unenforced altruism. Not state enforced (compulsory) wealth redistribution. But any excuse, eh ?

        Part of the Tory problem is that the CofE turned Jesus into a leftist hippy in sandals. The CofE is the religious wing of the labour party. (The BBC its broadcasting wing, the NHS its industrial wing) They are all communist, doubtless they had pictures of Che at some time in their lives.

        The only wings the Tories have (the military/police/borders force wing) is being clipped – by them !

        Why ? Because there really isn’t that much difference between them and Labour.

        Of ‘the reverse of signs of starvation’ we are told that the cheapest foods are the sugariest. All the same, getting fat doesn’t take place quickly. A tightness of clothing is one clue but shell suits have elasticated bands – so, by the time the wearer realises they are becoming obese it is too late to care.

        Obesity isn’t a sign of poverty but one of lack of self discipline and shame.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the “moral hazard” has been removed by government and its feather bedding/safety net – so we are where we are.

        It is the fault mainly of the system that pertains.

  8. nick
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    All I want for Christmas is for John Redwood to join UKIP.He is too intelligent to exist in a party that has been so duplicitous over UK membership to that supra national chamber of horrors.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Could we be that lucky? Our host must despair on what is going on around him and maybe a change would shake up the 500 odd disbelievers in Westminster who sit with their heads somewhere else. Very often the person is stronger and bigger than the party and that is what people vote for.

  9. Bert Young
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Good stuff this morning ! I wonder whether Santa will be prepared to take back the presents from last year that were unwanted and faulty ? Top of the list would be “gay marriage” . The loss to the Conservatives of so many members during the past year is sufficient reminder of the uphill task they face ; it was a great mistake to follow the middle ground ; as things have turned out – mainly over the EU , membership has turned away from the political establishment .

    Santa had better make sure he has plenty of First Aid packs in his sledge – there are many sore and bleeding wounds to deal with . Of course with his vast experience and his invaluable sense of direction he should have no difficulty in finding his targets . His patches , band-aids and medicines have to deal with immigration , Scotland , the EU membership red lines and many other smaller ailments . Hopefully he will continue in his approach of showing no favouritism making sure everyone is treated equally and fairly . Getting down the chimney has always been a very dirty business .

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      And if he gets stuck in the chimney he suffers from Santa Claustrophobia.

      Or so it says on the flap for one of the chocolates in our Advent Calendar.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      The Scots should miss a present this year.

      How lucky the are to be able to have an SNP without censure.

      Could you imagine the outrage if we demanded an English Nationalist Party ?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 8, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        I did imagine it, but JR declined to publish my thoughts.

  10. Hefner
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Shock therapy, anyone? As in Chile, Argentina, Russia, China, …? Maybe, despite Mrs T.’s reserves at the time, that might have been good for the UK? Instead of this LibLabCon’s slow fall to the 28th position in GDP (PPP) league table.
    I am sure there are some commentators in this blog who might not be against such an idea!

  11. turbo terrier
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I can think of quite a few ministers who and their departments that require more than shock therapy. Putting against the wall comes to mind. What some have done to this country is nothing short of treason. Going to Europe to fund food banks, millions in fuel debt and poverty. Hello, is anyone listening out there in Westminster other than our host and a 100 odd supporters.

  12. formula57
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    A most entertaining and amusing blog – and with more to look forward to tomorrow! Thank you.

    Santa despite what he might say has delivered early for Nicola though. She asks for “.. an increased SNP membership, clear leadership in the Scottish polls, and the certainty that we can win all the seats in Scotland in the General Election” and seems to have unwrapped all of those presents (or will have come next May).

    Could Santa have some extra affinity for fellow dwellers in cold, northern climes?

  13. Tom William
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Santa also asked Owen Paterson what he wanted. He said he just wanted a proper discussion on his proposal to leave the EU (by invoking Article 50) but stay in the EEA, and then to make all EU regulations just UK regulations which would, over a period of time, be examined and amended or discarded as Parliament decided. This plan would impose no complications for business but would satisfy those who want all British laws to be subject only to British legislation.

    Santa said that his elves had told him such a proposal would only be understood by “policy wonks” and that dear Mr Cameron had already promised an in/out referendum by 2017.
    Moreover No 10 had ruled that there should be no discussion of this proposal and that it should be allowed to fall off the back of his sleigh, where no one would notice it. Central Office were asking him to play Rudolph the blue nosed reindeer. The BBC were happy to oblige.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    “Santa was dumbfounded by the gap between the ambition and the current polls and Parliamentary forces of Mr Farage … ”

    Santa is not only widely travelled but widely read: during his long summer breaks he makes a point of catching up with the back numbers of “Which Electoral System?” that he’d been too busy to read at the time, (words left out ed)but he really can’t be bothered to retrieve the copy of “Proportional Representation for Dummies” that he lent to Nick Clegg some years ago …

    So Santa knows that there is no country in the world where a party which got only 3% of the votes in a general election would be guaranteed representation in the parliament, it would need some fluke or special circumstances, but he also knows that if the country had been using proportional representation then that party might have got significantly more than 3% of the votes and so might have got some of its candidates elected; and he also recognises that when a party gets 17% of the votes it becomes absurd that it should still get no representation in parliament, especially when another party might get quite a few of its candidates elected even though it gained only 8% of the votes:

    On the other hand, Santa has been observing all of this for a long time now, and he has concluded that it’s far better for a country to have an electoral system which is rather unfair but nonetheless still avoid sliding into brutal dictatorship, in contrast to some other countries which had originally set out to have much fairer electoral systems but ended up with such a chaotic situation that it created the opportunity for a “strong man” to seize complete, and completely undemocratic, control.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Denis – the point of Ukip is not the gains for Ukip but the loss to the Tory party.

      In order to retrieve democracy in Britain we must first recognise that the Labour party and Conservative parties are in cahoots.

      The second thing is to destroy one of them.

      I’ve never voted Labour so I can’t do harm to Labour.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        PS, No-one wants a dictatorship.

        Just fair representation.

        And on a wide range of issues there is a democratic deficit. Nigel Farage is absolutely correct. This is no longer an issue of left and right.

        In fact most working class Labour voters are very conservative (small c) in their thinking. The big ‘c’ Conservatives have failed to recognise this market.

        But then their failure to market has been their failing against the superior marketeering of Labour in recent decades.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted December 7, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Who’d have thought that Labour would have understood their markets better than Conservatives ?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 8, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          I want fairer representation in Parliament, and note that I refer not just to the Commons but to “Parliament”, but without creating such instability that there is a risk of a dictator seizing power.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 8, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        The paramount point of UKIP is to get us out of the EU, it says so in the party constitution. If other parties get hurt on the way, so be it, they could change their minds on the EU but choose not to do so.

  15. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Santa is coming early this year.Time is running out . Perhaps we all ought to send them to the jungle to join Edwina.She is one lady who demonstrates old fashioned values.She thinks that if women don’t get a man they will become bitter and twisted as they get older. People don’t need partners in life .Santa must treat all as individuals for if he did not, some may get left out . Any loving relationship is a bonus and not a requirement for a full life.
    Perhaps for the coming New Year Santa will grant us that unique status we all have as individuals.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Farage to Santa:

    “So all I want for Christmas is momentum going in to the General election.”

    To be honest I’m not at all sure what could now provide UKIP with added momentum, because in recent weeks there has been a succession of events which should have shown people why they should overcome their hesitations and support UKIP but there has not been any significant response in its opinion poll ratings.

    When I view the chart for its support month by month since May 2010, here:

    with a dispassionate eye I certainly don’t think that support for UKIP has peaked, and in fact so far the broad upwards trend in its support remains unbroken, but it seems to me that there are indications that the upwards trend may be weakening when if anything it should have been strengthening.

    Labour is still suffering from the strong downwards trend in its support which has been running since it peaked at around 43% two years ago, since when it has lost about 10%, largely it seems through the rise of UKIP but also through the rise of the SNP and also that of another party which is not included on those charts, the Greens, and not to any obvious extent to the Tories who have been more or less flatlining for the past two years, albeit rather erratically, while the support for the LibDems has continued to drift down and in some polls is now below that for the Greens.

    I find it very difficult to hope for any good to come out of the next general election; it seems that with both the FPTP system and all of the pro-EU parties working together against it UKIP is not likely to get to the point of winning many seats, which on a uniform swing model would need its support to rise further to something like 25% even if the other parties did not collude against it; on the other hand all the British Unionist parties will have to somehow come together to neutralise the greatly increased contingent of SNP MPs and prevent them imposing their demands on whichever government emerges.

    • Bob
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper

      “…the pro-EU parties working together against it [UKIP]…”

      That just about sums it up.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted December 7, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      UKIP shouldn’t even be on the map but it is, Denis. It is.

      We are a fragmented country and have been for a long while. At least some of the millions of ‘none of the above’ voters now have a box to tick at election time and are becoming interested in voting again.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted December 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        And at no point. NO point are the common English ever valued for their sensibilities.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 8, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        There should be no reason for UKIP to even exist, but there is because all of the old parties have long ago been taken over by eurofederalists. Some claim to be opposed to eurofederalism, but it is repeatedly seen that their actions belie their words.

  17. Paul Newman
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Excellent work Mr Redwood ,I am afraid you will not be booked by Radio 4 to provide satiric comment despite your obvious talent for it.

    Posted December 8, 2014 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    The Labour Party’s Denis Healey famously was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and remarked on a TV interview that he resigned from the Party because he “stopped believing in Father Christmas ”

    Mr Eric Pickles, Conservative, also “as a boy” is said to have had a soft spot for communism. Perhaps he too does not believe in Father Christmas, now.

    In the 1960s, Ex- British Communist Party members were by far the largest “party”

    Well, we were all young once.

    But just because an end result may not be realistic. Only a test or tests decided that. It does not mean we should not stop trying to believe in Father Christmas. Perchance it is the striving which is of importance.

    The SNP. Lib Dems, Labour and UKIP never did believe. etc ed

  19. petermartin2001
    Posted December 8, 2014 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    If I had an assurance that the two Eds, Dave, and George would actually read them seriously, I personally would reimburse Santa for some Economic text books, to be delivered to their respective households which would explain where they are all going wrong.

    It would save them all a certain amount of potential embarrassment in the years to come. If George had read them before making his promises on the deficit in 2010 he wouldn’t have to explain why it all hasn’t worked quite as planned.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Well, George took a leaf out of Alistair Darling’s book, the page where it explains that if the Treasury is getting nervous about possibly running out money to pay all its bills in full and on time then the solution is to get the “independent” Bank of England to create a lot of new money and indirectly lend it to the Treasury, get it passed from the Bank to the Treasury through the gilts market with gilts going in the opposite direction. Which he did, to the tune of £175 billion.

  • About John Redwood

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

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