The UK has been a multi party democracy for years

 

There is nothing new in UK politics about some people wanting to vote for parties that are mainly about regional and national identity and related financial isues rather than about the main choice between major parties of the Union. Our Union has been the object of major debates in many decades. In a way that is very healthy, and has led to political change in the shape of our union and to the various powers held under the UK Parliament by different parts of the Union.

The 1974 October election saw 11 Scottish Nationalists,10 Ulster Unionists, 3 Plaid Cymru, one Social Democrat and Labour and one Independent elected to a Parliament with no overall majority for Labour or the Conservatives.  There were 39 MPs from  parties other than Labour or Conservative, and the Speaker.February that year had also seen 37 MPs other than Labour or Conservative and the Speaker elected for seven different parties, with no overall majority for anyone.

On that occasion those two Parliaments produced  Labour minority governments which presided over economic calamity, the country running out of money, a trip to the IMF, and major cuts in public spending forced by the economic circumstance of a country whose government was unable to control its budget properly.

On current opinion polls there could be more MPs from nationalist parties than in 1974, if the present popularity of the SNP is sustained until polling day. This will require some justice for England in the next Parliament, something which seems to be in small supply from most parties. We will need the Conservative policy of English votes for English issues.

It also means paradoxically that the people of England will be able to choose who governs the UK with less help from outside England, if enough English voters can agreee on which of the two main parties should win. Only if English voters remain very evenly split between Labour and the Conservatives, or if a large number of English voters themselves want to vote for other parties do we end up with a situatlon where there is no majority government. I find it fascinating that Labour still does not see the need to offer fairness to England in such a situation, at a time when many English voters do want a new settlement for them.

 

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192 Comments

  1. Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    You say you find it fascinating that Labour still does not see the need to offer fairness to England – but this is just the usual cynical self interest of the Labour party, exactly as one would expect of them.

    What is fascinating and rather odd is why Cameron has done almost nothing to push a fair deal for the English either. The Tories are essentially an English only party now and yet he has done nothing to exploit this politically. It is as if he just wants to lose, wants to become subsumed into an undemocratic, socialist disaster of an EU and to cause the break up of both England and the EU.

    This election is easy to win Miliband & Balls are just hopeless but Cameron just cannot embrace the policies that are both popular and right. He is instead an EUphile, high tax borrow and waste, over regulate, fake equality, greencrap person with a history of being wrong, ratting and losing elections.

    The one think he had to do politically was to get fair boundaries out of the Libdums for this election – even on that he failed totally.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      The BBC this morning (radio 4) are getting very excited about solar PV electricity as solar panel costs are coming down and they say becoming “competitive”. Actually they are still about twice the cost of fossil fuels even in very sunny countries and that is for intermittent electricity and not on demand electricity which is clearly worth far more. If you add battery or other storage in they are even more absurdly uncompetitive in all but a few special situations.

      When they really are competitive people will clearly use them anyway. To subsidise them before then and with tax payers money is idiotic. Especially so in the cloudy UK and with all that shale gas sitting around. The UK want electricity mainly in the dark short days of the winter when PV gives out virtually no power at all.

      Just why on earth does Cameron still employ Ed Davey as as an Energy and Climate Change minister? Is Cameron a “believer” in this nonsense and really as daft as Ed Davey or does Cameron just think there are lots of floating voters taking in by this greencrap?

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Blair passes comment on the the Scottish referendum and compares to the UK in the EU. Who was it that got us into the position in the first place and is it not Europes desire to regionalize e UK? This dope would have us in the Euro, thankfully he did not get on with Brown and by pure chance we are not in the same position as Greece. All the same scare stories and falsehoods ie leading partner, top table, national interest guff. Cameron claimed in October that the Tory party would deliver EVEL, it was not the option put forward by Hague! The LibLabCon cartel gave away everything Scotland wanted, is it any surprise the Scottish seem to back the party who got them the most. Then we have Cameron claiming to be the heir to Blaire, says it all really, should people vote for a party who believes in national interest and its people. Clue: it is NOT the LibLabCon cartel.

        You are in the wrong party JR. The talented likes of you will not be seen again. That is why control of candidates is determined from CCHQ, they do not trust their supporters.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          Indeed without the EU so many in Scotland would not be wanting to break away. Why have two masters one at EU level and one in London?

          Blair was, as usual, very confused and mixed up.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Like many of you points you are just repeating the same arguments in the hope thys will stick for your own deluded reasons.
        You have has Swansons law relating to the fall in costs of solar panels and the facts that in Australia solar is in some cases cheaper than fossil fuels causing fossil fuel companies complain about unfair competition and massive construction of solar farms in many other parts of the world are becoming more and more viable pointed out to you before. It has also been pointed out to you how solar can work at night and on cloudy days.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swanson%27s_law
        If this technology were to become viable in the UK what would you answer be? That it should somehow be stopped?

        • Posted April 8, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink

          Thanks Baz .The link is about Swanson’s law- a PV maker’s claim about reducing cost with quantity. PV works at about one tenth under cloudy skies. Could you elaborate about how it works at night?

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

            I’ve heard if you place them under socialists magic money trees these solar panels work even in the dark.

            PS Like the output figures for PV panels the output figures for windmills are the maximum potential output rather than average output in the real world which is a tiny fraction.
            Relying on PV panels and windmills is why we are going to have power cuts.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            Ignorance will not help you arguments Ted and stred and its not a virtue as many of you seem to think is is. I am not helping you two and lieslogic when you obviously have an internet connection. Plus we have discussed this one before.

          • Posted April 9, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            Well use your internet connection Baz, to look at a site which gives you the actual power being produced by wind turbines, in real time.
            It is a tiny percentage of our nation’s total power needs and a tiny percentage of the claimed maximum of these windmils.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Yes I agree this election would be easy to win with a Conservative leadership prepared to say and do the absolutely obvious. There are far too many issues on which the Conservatives and Labour are hardly different at all. Its very sad to see.

      The wishy washy politically correct media types infesting the higher layers of our politics and media do not represent this country. Democracy here is very much a sham.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        A sham indeed – particularly a complete sham, above all, against the English.

        Anyway it seem Bliar (who has been proved wrong on the wars, on joining the Euro and very much else) now urges politicians to prevent the people having a referendum. Blair is wrong on this too. Not that Cameron will ever give us a fair referendum.

        Had we had a referendum on the ERM, Lisbon, Maastricht, the EURO, the pointless wars, HS2, the Millennium dome, and the war on lie (and other pointless wars) the people would have got all the decisions right.
        Blair clearly got them all wrong why trust him now?

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Democracy? What democracy? The legacy parties gave away our democracy years ago and pretend to be in charge when we know its Juncker, Merkel and Hollande who make over 65% of our laws, immigration policy, energy and a whole raft of other competencies. The EU dictatorship is in charge and we know it. A Country that has so little control over its own destiny is NO sovereign Country at all.
        UKIP is our only hope and the ONLY party who wants to Govern by and for the British people. Trade and friendship. Nothing more.
        The treachery of Westminster is out. It’s our patriotic duty to remove you.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          UKIP is no hope at all. With first past the post (and the always have alway will voters) UKIP will never get more than a handful of seats. Even if they did hold the balance of power Cameron and the Ken Clark wing would be more likely to do a deal with Labour than with UKIP. He is far closer to the Labour position on almost every issue.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Time action. I have to agree with everything you say here. I find this hard to read at the moment because it makes me more and more depressed when I think how the British public are being taken for one big ride!

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            Think of UKIP as the party that tells the truth, the rest just spin and lie about their political project called the EU.
            Lifelogic, can you remember a time in your life where the establishment and msm have colluded with each other to smear a patriotic party so much? First it was sneering and now it is not publishing UKIP news to suppress free speech. It’s like we are living in North Korea. Come to think of it we have the same level of democracy as them. None at all under the boot of the unelected EU dictators! Wait for the results LL, we’ll see on the numbers. It’s not what I’m seeing or hearing on a daily basis out campaigning and leafleting. The British people have had enough.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        @Iain Gill; “Yes I agree this election would be easy to win with a Conservative leadership prepared to say and do the absolutely obvious. There are far too many issues on which the Conservatives and Labour are hardly different at all. Its very sad to see.”

        Very sad indeed, but the Labour left said much the same between 1980 and 1986, that elections would be easy to win if only the Labour leadership were prepared to say and do “the absolutely obvious”, and indeed it was once the Militant Tendency and their more unpalatable policies were dumped. It really pains me to see the political right doing an EXACT mirror image of what the political left did in the 1980s, unbelievable…

        Time and the electorate move on, Thatchers reign ended almost 25 years ago, “Thatcherism” ended almost 18 years ago, get over it you lot – unless you want to see the most left wing Labour government in 35 to 40 years running the country.

        @LL: “Not that Cameron will ever give us a fair referendum.”

        How on earth is he going to do that. only allow for one answer to be printed on the ballot paper for the question put? Nice rant Mr Lifelogic!

        @Timaction; “The legacy parties gave away our democracy years ago”

        But the point you constantly miss, or more likely do not want to accept, is that they did so democratically, once again the some UKIP members show that they don’t actually understand democracy, what do they not understand, they talk about UKIP wanting a referendum but would prefer the party to take the UK out of the EU via a majority governmental manifesto pledge almost certainly on less than 51% of the popular vote, in much the same style as the legacy parties operate.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          The referendum will be hugely biased if we ever get one. Biased on the wording, on the lies and spin about the fig leafs Cameron has negotiated, on the people who are allowed to vote, or some new con like Major’s “subsidiarity” lie/drivel, the usual BBC/CBI bias, the unequal funding for each side, the incentives and arm twisting given to large multination businesses to say they fire people …..

          The BBC were again slanting the field only today with the economic benefits or otherwise of the EU.

          That is how it will be massively biased. Just as the “common market” deception was last time – when I was too young to vote no.

          “Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?” this too was a hugely biased question. “Yes” answers are usually preferred by voters as being more “positive”. Secondly it was nothing to do with a “Common Market” this was another lie. It was an embryo “Common Country” and totally undemocratic and destructive one.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

            @LL; “The referendum will be hugely biased if we ever get one.”

            Err, “Do you want option X or Y?”, how can that be biased?

            “The BBC were again slanting the field only today with the economic benefits or otherwise of the EU.”

            Then report then to the electoral commission for breaking election laws. On the other hand were they merely reporting what Blair and the other europhile parties have been saying today, in other words the BBC and any broadcasters would be breaking the law if they did what you want them to do, that is not report what they have been saying, and thus being biased in favour of your own preferred message – it’s up to the eurosceptics and europhobes to put their own message across, not the broadcasters, all they have to do (by law) is to report it.

            “Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?”” this too was a hugely biased question.

            As would “Do you think the UK should leave in the European Community (Common Market)?”. To get an answer to a question you first have to ask a question! Again it could be argued that what you want is for bias in your own direction. Sorry LL but either you know that eurosceptic arguments are weak, which I for one do not accept, or you must take the average Mr and Mrs Pleb as idiots, do you really think that they can not process a simple yes/no question without being lead by which option leads, some might, you might, the majority will not be.

            Secondly it was nothing to do with a “Common Market” this was another lie. It was an embryo “Common Country” “

            Indeed, but as the Treaty of Rome made no secret of the fact all I can assume if that either the majority were not bothered or the “Out” campaign failed to inform the electorate.

            “and totally undemocratic and destructive one.”

            Define “undemocratic”, I very much doubt it simply means “what I don’t personally like”…

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          @Timaction; “The legacy parties gave away our democracy years ago”

          But the point you constantly miss, or more likely do not want to accept, is that they did so democratically,

          Not really democratically as the public are never told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about anything to do with politics or the running of the country. Same as we are never really told just what the EU is up to. They have a habit of changing rules and bringing in policies that are news to most of us. How can the British public really decide what is best when they aren’t told the whole truth?? Many are too busy to be bothered to look at what is happening but would be alarmed if they were enlightened.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

            fedupsouthener; “Not really democratically as the public are never told the truth

            Tell me something new, has any political party ever?!

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          Jerry

          Since the leftie/wet arm of the Tories Knifed Thatcher remind us how many elections they’ve won?

          Since the Tories became a mild centre left party remind us how many elections they’ve won?

          Since the tories became a big state, high tax, keynesian centre left party remind us how many members they’ve lost

          Since the tory party became a one nation unionist centre left party remind us how many seats they have won in Scotland and wales

          Since the Tories because an EU phile party remind us how they’ve done in EU elections

          Jerry

          What part of democracy is difficult for you to understand that an EU referendum should have just 2 questions

          1) Stay
          2) Leave

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            Absolutely right. They have hidden the truth from the public for decades with all the treaties claiming it was a bout trade and tidying up exercises. Not freedom of movement for 485 million or being an EU citizen, or signing us up to give away billions in our taxes and public services. To be a star on someone else’s flag. They’re frankly traitors who should be brought to book. We already know Jerry doesn’t do patriotism (30/1048 FCO secret document from 1971) Read this Jerry then tell me we all knew!

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “Since the Tories became a mild centre left party remind us how many elections they’ve won?”

            If you think that the Tory party is centre left one can only guess how far to the right you must be…

            The two they contested, 1992 and 2010 (OK in the last they merely gained the most seats (but remind me how many seats UKIP won…), the lost elections of 1997 had the ongoing repercussion from Majors “back me or sack me” moment, never mind the sleaze which only compounded the parties problems, then in 2001 and 2005 the Tory party had lurched back towards Thatcherism and the voters rejected them for it each time.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

            @Timaction; “To be a star on someone else’s flag.”

            You mean like being a + or an x on someone else’s flag, with comments like yours I’m starting to see the SNP’s point – you might need to think about that… 🙁

            Reply the stars on the EU flag are for the 12 apostles, not for the number of member countries.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            If you think the conservatives are currently a right wing party Jerry, then as Bazman often says….you are deluded.
            Immigration, europe, spending, equality legislation etc.

            Comparing the years under Mrs Thatcher to the policies leaders after her followed, the drift to a mildly centralist party is plain.

          • Posted April 9, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; That, never mind your wish to commercialise the NHS etc, says far more about were you personally strand politically than it does about the current Tory party, only those politically well right of centre-right would consider the current Tory party not to be right wing…

          • Posted April 9, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps is says something about your current political leanings.
            I hear many political commentators describing the current Conservatives as less right wing than under Mrs Thatcher so that makes then right of centre but not much away from centre.
            It is Millibands Labour that has moved sharply leftwards away from the centre.

            PS
            I do not wish to commercialise the NHS.
            But I would encourage those that can afford it to have private insurance.

          • Posted April 9, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “I hear many political commentators describing the current Conservatives as less right wing than under Mrs Thatcher”

            Yes and Mrs Thatcher was rather right-wing herself on many issues, and not so much winning elections between 1979 and 1987 but Labour (or the Unions, on their behalf) loosing them, once Kinnock had boot out the Militant Tendency etc, the Tory party had to start to becoming more moderate again, with changed made by John Smith and then once Blair got the party to accept post war socialism was dead (the Clause Four moment) even John Majors changes to Tory policy wasn’t enough. Many of the policies now being suggested by people like you Edward would have been to the right of Thatchers own (public, at least) ideas hence why I suggest that you are somewhat to the right of were the Tory party has to be to get elected – and why UKIP will likely never progress as a political party even if they do as a protest group. UKIP and the Greens are peas in the same pods but at opposite ends.

            “It is Millibands Labour that has moved sharply leftwards away from the centre.”

            Perhaps, but then Blair had moved the Labour party so far towards the old right by the time he left office in 2007 some of his policies could have been mistaken for those of the post war Tory party up to and including Heath’s premiership!

          • Posted April 10, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            Well there we have it
            Jerry agreeing with something someone else has said.
            Its a breakthrough.
            If you remember your original statement was that the current Conservative party was more right wing than it had been.
            And I said it was not.

          • Posted April 10, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Far from it, I’m saying that you are to the right of Thatcherism, who was further right than the current Tory party which is not of the centre-right they were in the post war period up to the end of Heath’s leadership [1] – who was happy for the State to build council houses, the State to over see/run existing nationalised industries if it was in the best interest of the public, fund infrastructure projects from taxation etc.

            [1] although Tony Blair was, and Ed Miliband (for the moment) still is…

          • Posted April 10, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            Firstly we are talking about the Conservative Party not me.
            I’m not sure why you have decided to switch the argument now you have lost the original one you were making.
            You do not know me so please stop telling me what I think, Jerry.
            I am not to the right of Mrs Thatcher.
            My views are very similar to the politics of our host, mixed with some policies of the current Coalition.

            If you think this Conservative Party are as right wing, or nearly as right wing as the Thatcher Govt, then you are wrong and most political commentators would agrree with me.

          • Posted April 10, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

            Edward2; “Firstly we are talking about the Conservative Party not me.

            I am, and always have been, talking about were some (including your Edward) who comment on our hosts site wish the Tory party to be.

            “I’m not sure why you have decided to switch the argument now you have lost the original one you were making.”

            Stop talking about your own mode of operation! Oh and rem,ember that I wasn’t actually debating this with you

            “I am not to the right of Mrs Thatcher.”

            Oh yes you are.

            “If you think this Conservative Party are as right wing, or nearly as right wing as the Thatcher Govt, then you are wrong and most political commentators would agrree with me.

            Only those from the “ultra-capitalist” right-wing press…

            Your problem is that you have forgotten just how radical Thatcher’s policies were in the late 1970s, a distinct move to the right that made many of Heath’s and his predecessors policies appear distinctly small “S” socialist by comparison and by the time she left office she had moved still further to the economic and political right but by then her policies were considered the norm, so much so, as I’ve said, Blair moved Labour to the centre and adopted some of Thatchers own policies.

          • Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            What specific policies I think like, are further to the right of Mrs Thatcher’s governments Jerry?
            Come on Jerry use your mind reading skills and tell me in another of your rambling posts.

            What or who are the “ultra capitalist press” Examples needed here Jerry.

            I have not forgotten how radical Mrs Thatcher’s policies were.
            Ones which led to three election victories for the Conservatives.

          • Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            @Edweard2; “Come on Jerry use your mind reading skills and tell me in another of your rambling posts.”

            No mind reading needed, just the ability to de construct your rambling comments.

            Thatcher was prepared to fund the NHS from central taxation, prepared to increase funding beyond just keeping pace with inflation when needed, you appear to detest such a funding model, preferring an bought private insurance model “I would encourage those that can afford it to have private insurance” (presumable those who can’t afford it will have to make do with a US style Medicare?), that makes you somewhat further to the right than Thatchers (last) 1987 manifesto.

            “What or who are the “ultra capitalist press”

            Those, like you, who believe that free market competition provides a better service/product even when it has been proved that an integrated state owned and/or regulated service/product works better.

            “I have not forgotten how radical Mrs Thatcher’s policies were. Ones which led to three election victories for the Conservatives.”

            No it did not, it was the fact that there was no other acceptable or realistic party to vote for as Labour had decided to implode, had Edward Heath still been leader in 1979 there would likely have been no Thatcherism but a Tory government non the less, and as the Militant Tendency would have still caused the Labour party to lurch to the left and self destruct Heath would have likely won three consecutive terms just as his own predecessors had in the 1950s, and just as Thatcher did instead.

            Between 1979 and 1987 it wasn’t so much a case of which party we wanted to govern us but which party we didn’t want to govern us…

          • Posted April 11, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

            Strange ranting post again Jerry.

            I do not detest the current funding model of the NHS
            I am in favour of encouraging those that can afford it to take out insurance cover for private cover.
            It would help relieve funding pressure on the NHS.
            Copying several modern health services in Europe.

            No examples of the ultra capitalist press I note, not that I was expecting any ftom you.

            Despite you rather desperate attempts to make wriggle and make a valid argument it is a simple fact that the Conservatives won three elections under Mrs Thatcher.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, it is almost as though these are the questions our host dare not ask… it is quite crazy to let your voter base down in this way and then expect them to come back…

      Why say you’re going to balance the books, then abjectly fail and carry out the debt management policy which Labour promised, then have to defend that failure at the hustings 5 years later?

      Why promise to reduce immigration drastically and then have to defend that failure, because you have taken no steps which would have reduced it vis a vis negotiate out of freedom of movement?

      Why offer fairness to England (where your power base is) versus Scotland (where it isn’t) then not deliver it?

      Why make any sort of offer at all on EU referenda for the 2010-15 Parliament then not deliver?

      Why not institute boundary changes which both coalition parties agreed to?

      Cameron should have just said he would deliver the Labour manifesto of 2010 but with a happier friendlier spirit than the incumbent, and garnered Labour support at the time too.

      Reply Conservatives offered no referendum in 2010, and would not have been able to carry one in the last Commons anyway.
      The Conservatives did have Lib Dem support for the boundary changes – Lib Dems voted for the Bill to implement them. They ratted at the last minute over a subsequent SI
      The offer of fairness to England comes in the 2015 Manifesto

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Hog wash. JoeSoap is correct. Economy, I migration and Lisbon Treaty. He was no if or buts, not let the matter rest there, with serious expression on face. He turned out New Labour and holds gay marriage as his biggest achievement! Without public mandate or consent!

        Cameron could have gone it alone and if the public liked what he offered could have gone for another election. He CHOSE to go with the Lib Dumbs and change the law to make sure they could not be kicked out! He calls himself a liberal conservative and heir to Blaire. Based on his own characterisation he does not deserve a vote from a Tory voter especially after insulting them. Poor economy and failed promises, failed immigration promises, failed EU promise that he would not take us closer to EU Union the. Spends £18 million pounds to do exactly that, put every citizens liberty at risk through arrest from the European Arrest Warrant. EU criminals given free access without restraint to our country and services! What part is not closer. He has given more of our taxes than any PM before him. Does this sound Eurosceptic? He knew he could not deliver his 2010 pledges on immigration, economy but did so to get in office.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          @Hope; “He turned out New Labour and holds gay marriage as his biggest achievement! Without public mandate or consent!”

          Hog wash on stilts! Had Cameron done those things having achieved a landslide majority victory in 2010 you might have a point -thanks to UKIP he did not- thus the popular vote was far more towards the policies you so despise.

          “Cameron could have gone it alone and if the public liked what he offered could have gone for another election.”

          Nonsense, the arithmetic suggests that had the Tories attempted to form a minority government Cameron would not have got his first Budget through, which indeed would have meant another election (earlier rather than later) which would have likely spooked the markets very badly and the electorate would have likely punished the Tories for not attempting/agreeing to a coalition.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

            Doesn’t matter who’s in office as the power of law making is in the EU and the lot in Westminster just rubber stamp it. The legacy parties argue over what is contained on the head of a pin. Same on most policy now. The only party who want our sovereign democracy returned is UKIP.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            @Timaction;; But UKIP taking the UK out of the EU on less than a 51% outright majority government would be undemocratic and treasonous too by the same standards! Don’t try and say that UKIP would not want to do so as it in the parties DNA, in their very name, their reason for being, they only now want a referendum because they know they have little or no hope of actually forming a majority government of their own and thus have to hope on getting 51% of the popular vote instead but then also claim that such a referendum would be “undemocratic” as some might be lead by a europhile question thus plan A should apply even if there isn’t the 51% popular vote…

            The only politicos being undemocratic are UKIP.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Now Miliband wants to get rid of non-dom tax status, which sounds a good plan to me, on balance…. they will eventually realise that they need to reduce domestic taxes to encourage home-grown entrepreneurs to replace non-doms who are at an unfair advantage right now, and all those silly dear London houses and estate agents will finally be put under pressure…

  2. Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Your parties’ policy of English votes for English issues appears to have been ‘kicked into the long grass’ We haven’t heard a word about it for months. Running scared of encouraging the SNP vote would be the reason.
    It’s time for a political party to stand up for England. We need equal representation, fairness and justice.
    We need an English manifesto, we need an English parliament.
    After you have blown this election and the SNP get the deciding vote on English legislation you might want to revisit the ‘English question’ and come up with the only sensible resolution. You may then get voted In at the following election.

    Reply Wait and see the manifesto

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Will this manifesto be full of pledges that won’t be kept, just like the last one in 2010?

      Reply If we win we will carry it out. We did not win a majority last time.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        You knew last time that you had no ability to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands whilst we were members of the EU. Was it just an outright lie?

        Reply. NO it was not a lie. People underestimated the success of the UK economy in generating jobs, and overestimated the capacity of the Euro area economy to recover.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          Many of the jobs created are due to immigration and benefit no-one but the immigrant.
          If you double the population sure aggregate demand will rise but public services will collapse, this is what is happening now.
          Yesterday we learned that the NHS is recruiting paramedics from Oz because there is a shortage. Well how many are we training.
          The NHS has reached a critical mass of foreigners now where the first option is to recruit ones own from India, Philippines etc etc.
          This together with students is main cause of immigration outside the EU.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

            Paramedics here are resigning in big numbers. For lots of reasons which are understandable. They are being rushed on blue lights from one routine job to another, not blue lights because the jobs themselves are emergencies but because there is such poor ambulance coverage the need to free the crew up for the next job. A complete breakdown of the rules on blue light use.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            Ian Wragg / Iain Gill

            How many times do I need to post about the skills shortages?

            We aren’t training enough people in all kinds of vocational fields

            Here are the official numbers

            17,000 paramedics employed in England

            600 per year are being trained

            There are 1400 vacancies

            183 overseas paramedics have been recruited since last April

            360 paramedics left in last year most of them to take up roles on NHS 111 phone service and as disability claims assessors

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          Didn’t stop you keeping the throttle of non EU immigration wide open, printing uncapped intra company transfer visas in massive numbers for workers with skills already in oversupply.

          Absolute disgrace. And no support amongst the population.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

            JR is not correct. When Cameron made the promise he Knew he had NO control over the EU and derided Farage and supporters as closet racists.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

            Iain Gill

            Just keep saying something over and over again doesn’t make it a fact

            In total 27,000 tier 2 intra company visa’s have been issued. A vanishingly small number in a work place with massive skills shortages. I’ve told you this so many times. What is it that you can’t grasp?

            Oh and which skills in the UK are in oversupply ?

          • Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

            @Hope; “When Cameron made the promise he Knew he had NO control over the EU and derided Farage and supporters as closet racists.”

            Wrong again Hope, there are controls that any EU member state can (and do) impose on non-economically active EU migrants, and that is why UKIP got accused of being closet racists, because they refused to differentiate between employed economic migrants and those not employed and/or not supporting themselves.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          It is CP policy to create many more jobs over the coming 5 years.
          How will you ensure that the wage differential between UK and Eastern EU does not act as a magnet for more uncontrollabl;e immigration? Note that the availability of benefits are not the issue here, it is the wage differential that will drive immigration.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            @matthu; If more jobs are going to be created in the UK then they will have to compete, employer cost wise, with those in the rest of the EU and those in the RotW, thus UK wages will likely be on a par. The real question is surely, will the UK’s indigenous working age population be prepared to take such jobs or will employers, having invested geographically in the UK, find that they have to recruit from other EU countries just to have any staff! Globalisation, wonderful isn’t it, never mind your car, TV, kettle and toaster cost so little now compared to 30 years ago when it was made in the UK by a UK company, using UK sourced components, put together with a UK workforce…

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            Jerry – Look at the national debt rocketing.

            Your ‘cheap’ imported labour isn’t cheap at all. It is subsidised either directly through in-work top-ups, migrant welfare (not all are productive), the welfare of displaced UK workers, extra security needed for anti terror and imported crime and prisoners.

            There is no excuse for an immigration system that isn’t based on an Autralian type points system.

            By comparison those goods aren’t cheap either – especially considering the afformentioned national debt boosted by housing demand (in the form of equity release.)

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

            @Mondeo Man; “There is no excuse for an immigration system that isn’t based on an Autralian type points system.”

            That system simply allows in economic migrants to do work that is needed to be done, filling gaps in the economy when the indigenous population either can’t or do not want to do the work, which is what the eastern European migrants are doing here in the UK because either our own population can’t or won’t do the work, the latter preferring to bleat on about migrants taking all the jobs they did not want to do. Tell me how come a migrant can travel 1200 miles across the EU and find work and some place to stay here in the UK yet someone already living in this country can’t travel 12 miles to find the same job (often before the migrant leaves their own country)?

            Oh and when (IF) we have this Autralian type points system it will not stop returning, highly motivated, expats (due to tick for tack repercussions) from seeking out these “Jobs for British Workers” because they are British citizens and will be entitled to apply, what is more the many employers will actively choose such people because of the added extras such as language skills and or knowledge of their customers customs and lifestyles etc, and that is the problem with finding scapegoats, the problems are never actually solved, just another scapegoat needs to be found.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:40 am | Permalink

            Jerry – “By comparison those goods aren’t cheap either…” (me)

            A postie sells his South London terrace, bought cheap in the ’90s, for £800k.

            The £700k profit (adjust for inflation) goes to buy a cheaper house in Hampshire and some of the equity released goes on cars, techno goods and holidays.

            Where did the money come from to pay for that ? If the buyer didn’t pay cash then through debt generated by commercial banks so that the borrower could buy his house with a large wage multiple. Not from the postie’s pay nor his economic output.

            A credit bubble.

            Caused by unregulated overcrowding of the UK.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

            @Mondeo Man; “[housing shortages] Caused by unregulated overcrowding of the UK.”

            In my experience [1], of local planning decisions/objections, such shortages have been caused by a lack of profitable new build (either social or private), compounded by the NIMBY attitudes, often not objecting for technical reasons but because the development will devalue their own properties in one way or more – even to the extent were people in housing developments barely 20 or so year old object to proposed similar new development close by, using arguments that could have been used again their own properties!

            [1] in an area with a large eastern European population

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            Jerry said “That system simply allows in economic migrants to do work that is needed to be done, filling gaps in the economy when the indigenous population either can’t or do not want to do the work, which is what the eastern European migrants are doing here in the UK because either our own population can’t or won’t do the work…”

            In other words the system is propped up by the taxpayer – either in direct benefits or to unwilling workers.

            That they are unwilling is not our fault but the government’s refusal to deal with them.

            The open border system you seen to prefer comes with costs which you don’t mention. How many EU waiters does it take to fund one EU prisoner’s costs ?

            Your second comment to me on housing. The shortages are due to overpopulation. What else can this sudden crisis be ? (Sudden because house prices have shot up unexpectedly in 10 years)

            I am not scapegoating migrants. I am criticising the system.

          • Posted April 9, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

            @Mondeo Man; The economically closed border system you seen to prefer would come with even greater costs which you don’t mention. Are you prepared to see your children being directed into any physically/mentally suitable employment what ever they might otherwise have wished to do, and thus perhaps have to give up even the thought of owning their own home, or perhaps you would like to see companies forced into to locking the factory gates and putting up the “Company now closed, due to lack of staff” signs.

            “I am not scapegoating migrants.”

            Yeah sure, and the Moon is made of cheese, the man who lives there told us so…

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply
          So you are saying there is zero unemployment in the UK so we HAVE to import unskilled workers? That’s daft. Your problem is the benefits bill is too high because you encourage the indigenous people not to work with Labour benefit levels while importing willing workers from the far corners of the EU.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            Its also the way the housing, tax, and benefits system is setup makes workforce mobility so poor in this country.

            We have big housing estates of folk far beyond travelling distance of jobs, it matters not one jot what we do to those families there are no way those families will ever re-enter the jobs market with the worst schools in the developed world and beyond travelling distance to any jobs.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            How many times have you been told that most benefit claimants are in work and EU migrants are in the main young, educated, and often more driven than locals, willing to live five to room/car in expensive areas. Locals cannot compete with these people in many cases and why should they?
            A middle aged man is to leave his wife and children to live in a bedsit sending a few quid home does not make sense and neither do you.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            Bazman – We don’t know if you are correct because we don’t have a controlled immigration policy.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

            @Iain Gill; “and beyond travelling distance to any jobs.”

            You make a strong argument for some post war (1945-1979) style industrial/social planning, for example all the 1950s and 1960s era council housing and industrial estates in my area were mostly built within walking distance of each other, and certainly no more than a short cycle or bus ride.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          It was either complete incompetence or a cynical lie there is no other alternative.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          No surprise the International Health Service is collapsing when LibLabCon policy is to treat all-comers for life with HIV, whilst restricting British people with their cancer medicines and other treatments. Madness.
          Can’t get an appointment at your GP’s for a week or more? A&E overwhelmed? No school of choice for our children? Building on the greenbelt? Congestion and overcrowding everywhere? Mass migration comes at a price to the English people and the legacy parties don’t care! It’s about the long term economic plan that Cameron keeps talking about and the mystic renegotiation that our EU leaders have already…………….dismissed! 900,000 using food banks but we can make it law to give away 0.7% of our GDP forever so our grandchildren can pay but it makes our politicos feel……………good.
          Windmills that don’t work and solar panels. Can someone please tell the legacy parties that windmills died out in the past……..because they don’t work and there is still no EVIDENCE of global warming/climate change!

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        And you, or more accurately those negotiating on behalf of your party, made a poor coalition deal. They didn’t even make absolutely sure that the boundary changes would go through, even though they were vital if your party was to have a better chance of winning the next election.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          The deal was I assume something like. I Cameron become PM and we then have entirely Libdem policies (other than on student tuition fees). You can have a pointless expensive STV referendum – this is fine by me as I am really a green crap, big state, tax borrow and piss down the drain, fake equality and over regulate. EUphile at heart as you know Nick.

          You can also have the anti-business Vince Cable as an anti-business minister and the green (enthusiast ed) Ed Davey at energy (error left out ed). Is that OK Nick?

          Do not worry about fair boundaries as I want another lefty coalition next time too, to help protect me from my sensible wing of 100 MPs.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink

            Oh and I am happy to ditch IHT and keep 50% income tax and attack pensions further, build the idiotic HS2 and fund the EU IMF and PIGS with soft loans. And kick all the EU “promises” into the long grass.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

            You’ve forgotten “We can have an Act which we will pretend is both a “referendum lock” law, when in fact it will be more like a “referendum block” law, and it will carefully exclude any mention of the EU Arrest Warrant, and it will in any case be open to normal repeal by a future Parliament if the government of the day decides that this is the only way it can avoid an unwanted referendum, eg on whether the UK should join the euro, and also a “sovereignty” law which will definitely not expressly affirm the supremacy of Parliament, and we will vote against any amendment to that effect, and once again can just be repealed by a future Parliament.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Of course it will be full of pledges they will not keep like the IHT thresholds last time (now not even mentioned in the budget) and things they will introduce just before the next election at best (to be reversed a few weeks later).

        Having mugged motorists for the last five years they are now making noises about just warnings and an extra ten minutes leeway. The Tories have continued G Browns mugging of private pensions and lied about £1M IHT threshold, immigration in the tens of thousands and lie all the time on the EU. So why trust Cameron one thou he is genetically a fake green/Libdim come bent sales person/spin doctor. One can only judge him by his actions he can only cut taxes when he stops pissing money down the drain on green crap, hs2, the feckless, the dreadful NHS, pointless wars, endless pointless bureaucrats …. he has not even started this yet.

        Even Bliar is trying to help the Tories this AM I see. Yet Cameron is still doing his best to throw yet another election.

        When is this Manifesto doubtless packed with new lies (with suitable escape clauses such as a treaty is not a treaty once ratified) finally going to come out?

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Anyone who takes to feeding lambs on TV just before an election is to be trusted only for weak PR purposes. A lamb to the slaughter would be more apposite.

          The minute Farage starts feeding lambs I am emigrating.

          Reply Mr Farage seems to think endless photos of him in a pub will do him good with electors – he is not immune to the art of presentation

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            Farage also has the unenviable task of fighting the pro European MSM. The cartel should come clean with the electorate and say they will present Junkers’ views in detail and if necessary pretend it was their own policy. Read FCO paper if you think this far fetched.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            Ah MSM = mainstream media?

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            Farage has to fight the EU, legacy parties, the msm and the establishment and still wins hands down on policy. I’d rather have a pint with Farage than a drink with any of the rest who wouldn’t be seen dead without stage managed PR.
            Juncker, Merkel and Holland should be made to have a party political broadcast on behalf of the legacy parties!

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; “Read FCO paper if you think this far fetched.”

            Not sure what yours and others point is by keep telling us to read a FCO paper, by which I assume you mean a briefing paper (but then fail to say which one), you do realise that most governmental departments and especially the FCO will prepare in advance any number of such documents that explore all likely positions. Son your bleating is yet just more ill-defined conspiracy theory, not proof of anything.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        You did not win last time due to Cameron’s ratting and Clegg on TV. He did not even try to get a sensible agreement with Clegg just caved in.

        He will not win outright this time unless he has a huge change of direction or brain transplant.

        • Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          “LL; “You did not win last time due to Cameron’s ratting”

          When will people like you realise that your constant raising of this non-issue does nothing but make the UKIP argument look ignorant, only those without thought or clue still think that holding a referendum asking if the UK should ratify a treaty that has already been ratified is more than a little pointless and a waste of money.

          Oh and the Tories didn’t win last time because far to many people still voted for europhile parties such as Labour, the LDs, PC and the SNP etc. – seeing that some UKIP supporters get upset when it is pointed out that the right failed to get a working majority because of UKIP splitting the vote.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, pompous rubbish without substance as usual.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            The referendum would have strengthened his position hugely with the EU and was anyway what he clearly promised in cast iron.

            The referendum could have been added to the absurd alternative vote referendum and would then have cost nothing at all.

            This ratting, his green crap & lack of vision cost him the last election. He is repeating the mistake this time.

          • Posted April 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; Oh right so the Lisbon Treaty (or more precise the “European Union (Amendment) Act 2008”) wasn’t ratified/passed by the UK parliament on 21 January 2008?! The only “pompous rubbish without substance” is coming from your own keyboard Hope, as usual.

            @LL; “The referendum would have strengthened his position hugely with the EU and was anyway what he clearly promised in cast iron.

            But what would the question have been, “should the UK ratify the Lisbon Treaty (that has already been ratified, and come into EU law); Yes or No?” – what an utterly pointless question never mind cost to tax payers! Far from strengthening Cameron and the eurosceptics (including UKIP) it would have made them a laughing stock here in the UK, in the EU and probably the RotW too.

            “The referendum could have been added to the absurd alternative vote referendum and would then have cost nothing at all.”

            As for holding two referendums on the same day, it would have saved very little in cost as, other than the cost of opening polling stations and staffing them. Of course what it could have done is muddle the voter, some voting Yes to ratifying Lisbon and No to PR rather than the other way around or perhaps Yes to both -especially so considering that the Lisbon Treaty would have been by then in operation for something like three years without any real effect to Mr and Mrs Average, ho-hum…

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: ‘Wait and see’ & ‘If’ . . . . . . Cheap words which mean ‘Lets kick that can further down the road’

      Iv’e heard it too many times before, you will not be getting my vote.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      We can’t wait John. Can’t come a day too soon!

  3. Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I look forward to waking up one morning soon to find that English votes is the main topic of the day being discussed by the Conseratives. Rehashing tax, NHS and economic mismanagement is already becoming tiresome so England and the EU would make an interesting break from the norm. These are the only issues where there is real daylight between the parties and the electorate should have the chance to hear the arguments for and against.

    The nationalists and other smaller parties made little impression on either the Thatcher or Blair majorities. It is only when the floating voters either don’t turn out or vote single issue that the consensus is challenged. There would be no referendum offer is the Conservatives had actually managed to defeat the worst PM (and advisors) in living memory, if not ever, last time out.

  4. Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Top 2 billings on the BBC’s today programme on this first day of the real election campaign? 2 pro-Labour stories: 1) the discredited Tony Blair has said Conservative policy would lead to chaos – this from the Prime Minister responsible for the Iraq invasion, the most disasterous UKIP foreign policy error since the war, also responsible with Brown for the tax borrow and spend policies which led to the Great Recession; and 2) yet another silly NHS scare story. No mention of the fact that there are more doctors and nurses than ever before and the NHS is treating more people, more successfully than before.

    We need to take the gloves off with Labour and its allies in the BBC

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      @Richard1; “We need to take the gloves off with Labour and its allies in the BBC”

      Why are the right so fixated on the BBC, you would never think that it was the Tories who brought both commercial (TV and Radio) and then subscription (TV) to the UK, never mind allowing a much wider ownership spread in all media sectors, censoring BBC and thus stopping then leading on (what some on the political right believe is biased coverage of) Labour election stories/events will not stop the rest of the media doing like wise. The BBC is not the only broadcaster in town… The real solution if the the Tory party to stop hiding, were or what was Cameron or Farage doing this morning that would have demanded, by election law, equal coverage from all the broadcasters?…

      Oh and by the way Richard, nice typo regarding the “disasterous UKIP foreign policy error” etc! Freudian slip was it? 🙂

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Indeed that was an error. The invasion of Iraq was a decision of tony Blair and the labour govt, we cannot blame UKIP for that

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Just to be clear, is this Tony Blair who’s now saying that we shouldn’t have a referendum on the EU the same Tony Blair who suddenly announced on April 20th 2004 that we would have a referendum on the EU Constitution because we really needed to make up our minds about the EU, and ended by saying “Let the issue be put and let the battle be joined”?

      etc ed

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Agree. I was hoping that similar top BBC billing would be given to comments by John Major, if he cares to make any.

      I would like to separate out the BBC politics division and the BBC Sport division and to get rid of the former and keep the latter.

  5. Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Is that to be the Conservatives’ election cry: The Scots are coming, vote Tory! But it’s not going to happen, is it? After the election we’ll be plundered by the Nats, and as the convoys of English danegeld rumble north over the border we’ll watch, impotent, fuming and wondering how it ever came to this. Maybe the Conservative Party should evolve to become an English Nationalist Party. The Scots and Welsh already think it is.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      @eeyore

      “Maybe the Conservative Party should evolve to become an English Nationalist Party.”

      “Conservative Party”? on what grounds do you refer to them under that epithet, would it be because they signed away our sovereignty, because they are printing and borrowing money to give away to countries with navies, nuclear weapons and space programs or because they redefined marriage?

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Bob–Don’t give in on what marriage is–It certainly is not something whose meaning Cameron has the power to change. Haven’t looked it up lately but isn’t it something–a sacrament. no less, to many–ordained by God for the procreation of children? Finding homosexuality tolerable is one thing but what has it to do with marriage?

  6. Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    The problem with your suggestion John is that for many their vote is wasted because many Mp’s are in so called safe seats.

    Whilst I do like the present format of having a constituency MP of your choice, few now seem to vote for the person, rather than for a Party.

    Our First past the post system certainly may be simple, but throws up all sorts of problems with boundaries, and certainly takes no account whatsoever of the National vote count.

    Thus many people vote for either the least worst option, or choose not to vote at all.

    The system needs to change in order for any Political Party to get a true result and for the people a true representation on how they cast their vote.

    Given the present system seems to suit the Labour and Conservative Party’s AT THE MOMENT, I do not see any chance of change in the short term.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      The system could very easily be changed so that Parliament provided the people with a much truer representation of how they cast their votes.

      Unfortunately it seems to be the case that a majority of the people still prefer not to be represented at all in one half of Parliament, the right-wing parts of the mass media having filled their heads with delusions about the wisdom and patriotism of the unelected legislators-for-life who make up its members.

      And as far as some Tory backbenchers were concerned, apparently it was worth risking the loss of this general election to keep the status quo in the Lords.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Dear Alan, We could give electors more power while keeping the existing constituency system if we adopted the French system of a second round, 1-2 weeks after the first, in which electors choose between the two leading candidates from round one ( if no-one wins an absolute majority first time). This gives smaller parties a better chance and allows voters to see what sort of government they are voting for.

      The main political parties all hate this reform for a number of reasons so it is never put on the agenda.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Outsider

        “…..French system…”

        I know nothing about the French system, but I think if we are to change, then we need to have a result after just one polling, as above all, it must be simple.

        Simple to vote
        Simple to understand
        Simple to manage.
        Fair to all of the electorate.
        Difficult to fix by fraud.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          Yes, like saying the candidate who comes second in a constituency is given a seat in the second chamber, all of the present unelected legislators-for-life having been removed therefrom.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          The idea of a run-off is familiar to anyone who follows competitive sport Alan. Everyone has a go and the top two contest a final. It could hardly be simpler. Certainly much simpler than AV, additional members, multi-member constituencies and all the other devices advanced by various parties to suit their own interests.
          It gives voters much more freedom to vote for who they want in the first round so that smaller parties (LibDems as well as Ukip and Greens) have a much fairer chance of reaching the final. And it has the inestimable advantage that all the MPs elected would have won the votes of most of their electors.
          Why must it all be settled in one night? After all, we now have only one chance every five years on a planned future date to exercise our influence on Westminster, instead of an average of 3 1/2 years at short notice.
          The only potential problem for voters, I think, is that it would be harder to exercise postal votes in the run-off , but that would have the advantage of making it harder to fix by fraud.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

            I point out again that our Parliament has two chambers, only one of which is elected by the people while the second is full of unelected legislators-for-life, and I suggest that before we start discussing alternative plans to change the election of members of the first chamber we could think about how to make use of the second chamber to improve the parliamentary representation of the people.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            outsider

            Yes fully familiar with competitive sport, used to play sport at a reasonable level in my youth, (even won a cup final once) and like viewing now, but play offs for 3rd and 4th place have taken it too far and are a waste of time.

            I do not believe that there is an appetite from the general public for multiple dates/choices for polling.
            I think most people just want to vote once and get a result, but perhaps I am wrong.

  7. Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    39 out of 650 does not suggest multi party democracy, rather in terms of the UK a few people are parochial or prisoners of their own prejudices.

    English votes for English issues will not work until an English Parliament is created in Westminster. Outside your party and possibly UKIP there is no appetite for it. It diminishes Labour to Wales and a few urban areas in England. They already appear to have lost Scotland.

    As every other country in the UK has it’s own Parliament/Assembly, I can see no argument, other than self interest, as to why England should not have it’s own too. It can continue in Westminster with the addition of Welsh, NI, and Scottish MPs from their own Parliaments/Assemblies when UK matters come up for discussion.

    It will be important to ensure that one MP represents roughly the same number of constituents. One per 100,000 would give Scotland about 50 for instance, assuming there are 5million Scots. Anything less would lead to the gerrymandering as we have now.

    There is nothing fascinating about Labour’s attitude, it is pure self interest, party before democracy and country.

  8. Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I read in the Telegraph David Cameron tells Ukip voters – it’s time to come home
    I have heard the message of frustrated Tories loud and clear, says Cameron. Heard perhaps but done nothing about it. It is him who needs to come home or leave and joint the Libdems where he would be completely at home.

    Compete and utter rubbish as usual from the man, the only movement by Cameron has been toward the Libdem/Ken Clark wing.

    Ukip are for: selective Worldwide immigration (not Cameron’s racist open door EU immigration), they are for lower taxes and far smaller government, for fewer and better regulations, for cheap energy without the greencrap, for real UK democracy also for the abolition of inheritance tax. Cameron likes non of this even blatantly ratting on his inheritance tax promise. Just when are we to get the Tory manifesto not that we we be able to trust a word it says?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/11518250/David-Cameron-tells-Ukip-voters-its-time-to-come-home.html?WT.mc_id=e_DM9534&WT.tsrc=email&etype=Edi_FAM_New&utm_source=email&utm_medium=Edi_FAM_New_2015_04_07&utm_campaign=DM9534

    Cameron’s only positive is that he is not quite as bad as Miliband, Balls and SNP.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Ha. And where are the Tories on Grammar Schools, encouraging science and engineering through abolishing tuition fees, levelling out health and education in England versus other parts of the Union?
      There are many reasons why the Conservatives are no longer Home.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      UKIP stand for nothing and any promises on tax and energy will fade into the past as civil unrest would follow UKIPS massive cuts to the living standards of the average person should these ever be implemented Something you have absolutely no idea on seemingly to believe that everyone is a millionaire with millionaires problems. UKIP is a on song part blaming anything and everything on immigration. They in theory could stop this by travel restrictions for all foreigners, but like most extreme parties would then turn on the indigenous population blaming them for sabotage and not working hard enough further cutting living standards for the average person to pay for their deluded and unfunded ideas of a isolated one party state for the benefit of the rich whilst telling us they are looking after the intersts of the average Joe. Never in a million years. What do you propose for him? Nothing just pay for everything whatever your income. Foil hat economics.
      This is why you support them, but are against any busy body interference such as that found in Germany and Switzerland. Funny that. etc ed

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Just watched this video and read what the Telegraph has to say about Cameron’s promises and plea to UKIP voters to come back to the fold and I have to say, I AM NOT CONVINCED. Perhaps if he abandoned his mad cap renewable crap, HS2, sorted out immigration (can’t all the time he is in the EU), started to tell us the truth about what would happen if we left the EU and started trading openly with the rest of the world and really supported our armed forces I might be convinced to come back to the Tory fold. Until then, forget it. I despair of the choices available and the problem for UKIP getting enough seats to be heard. The future seems really bleak. We do not have a Tory party any more or at least not one that I recognise. They have gone too far left and resemble the Labour party. Blair is poking his nose in again and it feels like we have gone backward by about 10 years. Cameron has to get a grip or else this country is doomed to failure. Does he want to lose the election because that is what it looks like from where I am standing.?!!!

  9. Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Many people vote for parties. Some people vote to try to get the policies they want to see, but under the present government many have not got them. That is why the largest party at the last election is not now the clear leader.
    You will doubtless point to the achievements of this government, but achievements are results obtained by whatever methods have been applied, and have not sprung from Conservative policies promised and consistently practiced – and indeed for which another party claims much of the credit.
    I have received a leaflet which says “Only the Conservatives will deliver a referendum on the EU. Labour and the LibDems won’t, and UKIP can’t.”
    Do you really expect me to believe that the Conservatives would be offering a referendum if UKIP did not exist?

    Reply, Yes, because a large group of Conservative MPs persuaded Mr Cameron to hold one.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Only because of continued and increasing UKIP pressure. Many of us remember that Cameron rejected a referendum in October 2011.
      As the BBC reported on 25 October 2011:
      “David Cameron has defeated a bid to grant a referendum on EU membership, despite the largest rebellion against a Tory prime minister over Europe.
      The motion was defeated by 483 votes to 111, after all Tory, Lib Dem and Labour MPs had been instructed to oppose it.
      In total 81 Tories are known to have defied the whips, while others abstained.”
      You persuaded him to change his mind for pure party political purposes – you and he thought it would shoot UKIP’s fox. You failed.

      Reply I am glad you now acknowledge that we did get Mr Cameron to change his mind. We did so because we believe in a new relationship with the EU based on trade and political co-operation. It had nothing to do with UKIP who had no seats in the Commons at the time and did not look likely to get any.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        What was Cameron’s reason for changing his mind when he had already shown that he had the majority of your MPs supporting his opposition?After all, you had shown that you were just a minority in your parliamentary party.
        The reason was that you were haemorrhaging support to UKIP and this was seen as a clever device to stem the flow. There was no sincerity about it on Cameron’s part – just cheap party political manoevering.
        As I said before you failed.

        Reply I was present at the meetings which helped hammer out the Bloomberg speech. You were not. We did not discuss UKIP, we discussed how we could sort out the UK’s problem with the EU.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          A shame Cameron is not even asking for anything substantive from the negotiations –

          Anyone trusting Cameron this time is a compete fool. Anyway he is determined not to win a majority.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            The main point is. Ameron made a three line whip to prevent an EU referendum. Now he expects us to believe his change of heart. You contue to beat your head against the wall others will find alternative people to vote for who they trust.

            Reply Why do you think I will stop voting for a referendum?

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          ‘I was at the meeting – you were not’

          Of course you can always pull that one, as you will always obviously have more of the inside track than we mere voters. However, it is what voters think that counts in the election and you’d do better to focus on what they think than dismissing them for not being included in your private meetings. Meetings like this are just drunks holding other drunks up, mostly. You can’t fool all the people all the time. Without the UKIP threat this subject would not have arisen – there have always been EU sceptics in the party and this is the first time it is addressed. Funny that.

          Reply It is not the first time it has been addressed. This has been a continuing issue since well before UKIP arrived on the scene.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            True, but people like you in the Tory party are diminishing with CCHQ taking charge of selection.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

            No, it may have been talked about among dissidents, but to my recollection the leaders have never before offered a ‘referendum’ or even discussed the possibility of one leading to exit. Mostly it has been just arguments which tear the part apart.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            Hope; “[the lack of europhobic MPs due to] CCHQ taking charge of selection.”

            First rule of politics, you first need to get elected, remind me how many UKIP MPs were elected in 2010…

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Dear John, PLEASE–And WHY did they do that?

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Reply, Yes, because a large group of Conservative MPs persuaded Mr Cameron to hold one.

      Funny that John, because apart from yourself I have never actually heard one of these MP’s speak out and say that they want to come out or give good reasons to vote to leave. Is it like the SNP party at the moment where ministers have been warned not to speak out against party policy?

      Reply Look at the MP voting records and you can see a strong group of Conservative Eurosceptics.

      • Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        ……………..UKIP is the ONLY reason we’re having a debate on the EU and your legacy party love of mass migration! A few Tory dissidents doesn’t make any difference to the legacy party love of the federal EU superstate.
        Betrayal is a word that sums up the LibLabCON leadership who think they know best. Most of us however have had real jobs for a long time, creating real wealth to create employment that your leaders……….waste!

        • Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          @Timaction; “UKIP is the ONLY reason we’re having a debate on the EU [..//..]”

          No one can say either way what the Tory party might or might not have done given a different set of circumstances, without UKIP there could be far more anti EU MPs on the Tory benches, or perhaps because UKIP isn’t around the Labour party could have turned to the left again and be the party to promise a referendum…

  10. Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Much more interesting today we have Cameron pleading with UKIP voters to come back into the fold and vote Conservative. First it overlooks the fact that many UKIP supporters are not necessarily ex-conservatives. There are many ex-labour and more important, people who have in the past been so disgusted with the shabbiness of politics not to have voted for anyone . He is not offering them anything because no one who understands the past has a belief in his re-negotiation, and if it happens, nor the resultant dog’s breakfast that Cameron will try to sell as something to vote yes for in his 2017 referendum. Cameron and the conservative party are Europhile and nothing after May 7th will alter that; UKIP and a significant percentage of the UK population are not.

    We also have the Telegraph today demeaning the next tv debate suggesting that labour have no real opposition. I would see it as an opportunity for Mr Farage to shred Labour on immigration and their no referendum stance. Bring it on.

    Reply The Conservatives offer UKIP inclined voters the real chance of an In/Out referendum, which voting UKIP may deny them.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply
      It may equally guarantee an early , honest referendum. Let the electorate decide.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Can you explain why the Tory party should want the votes of swivel-eyed loons, nutters, closet racists? Does it not bring shame upon your party to even seek the support of such people? Aren’t there enough sane and respectable people who are prepared to vote Tory, without bottom trawling in the hope of getting the votes of people like me, who your leader openly regards as the dregs of society?

      Reply I certainly do not see you that way. Nor I suspect does Mr Cameron, who is offering us the chance of an In/Out referendum which I for one do not wish to miss.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Well without something substantive on Tax, IHT, the referendum, immigration, the EU and much else positive in the Manifesto Cameron will have blown it. Osbornes’s wet “pre-election” budget was just pathetic.

        Not even a mention of his vote winning IHT “promise” of 6 year back.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Its not a vote winner as almost everyone does not pay it? Again why should the rest of the population pay more or have worse services to fund tax cuts for people who have done nothing to deserve the extra money.

          • Posted April 9, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            @Bazman; You might be surprised just how many are, or are at risk of, getting sucked into the “IHT trap” simply because of how property values have sky-rocketed, meaning that even relativity low values of other savings now tip peoples estates into the scope of IHT rules.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Cameron said it, leading the way in encouraging others to vilify UKIP and its supporters, and he has never retracted or apologised. But now he wants their votes, and is stupid enough to think they will come back ‘home’ even though for many of them the Tory party was never their ‘home’, and as for those who previously considered the Tory party to be their ‘home’ to some extent many will never go back to it. If Cameron appeared on my doorstep on his knees, begging me to vote Tory, the answer would still be “No”.

      • Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        The Tory Party left me and many others a long time ago. Mr Cameron cannot be trusted or believed on anything. He has lied, spun and u turned so many times. There is only one answer and logic and common sense dictates that UKIP is the answer. The only party that tells the truth.

        • Posted April 9, 2015 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

          @Timaction; “He has lied, spun and u turned so many times.”

          I could have written that, and more, about why I will never trust UKIP on anything other than wanting a Brexit come-what-may!..

          “The only party that tells the truth.”

          If you think any political party tells the unabridged truth then you are are either young or have not paid much attention to politics before. 🙁

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply.
      Only if you have an overall majority will there be a referendum JR, unless you are in coalition with an EUsceptic party with sufficient seats to push it through. Which on present polling will not happen.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Indeed there is a case for voting UKIP in order to secure enough seats for UKIP to tip the balance towards a referendum, where a UKIP/LibDem coalition most certainly wouldn’t.

        Reply The polls tell us that is not going to happen. Which ones do you think UKIP could possibly win?

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          If we get another Tory/LibDem coalition, then the ‘promise’ is off and it seems that Cameron is trying for that option, rather than a Tory majority. If we are discussing polls, it seems this is a more likely scenario than your trying to scare UKIP voters. The smart money is on a coalition of some sort, so this ‘promise’ of a referendum is worthless and Cameron knows it. So do you in your hear of hearts, I suspect.

          Reply Certainly not. I want a referendum and need help in securing it, rather than endless criticisms.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

            In or out referendum is not tantamount to changing the relationship though.It does not address the problems and is merely black or white.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply.

            Oh, Sorry. Didn’t know you felt like that. I’ll take my opinions elsewhere.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply

            The reasons for criticism are clear:

            You know Farage is correct on the debt. You know that the minute interest rates go up our debt payments go into orbit, and if they don’t then there is no reason to save deposits in Sterling.

            You know Farage is right on Europe and immigration, and that changes can only be secured by moving away from EU membership.

            You know that the rhetoric is cuts, whilst the reality is tax and spend, under all 3 main parties.

            You know most UKIP policies aren’t nuts, but actually more sensible and consistent than Tory ones.

            A tacit admission on all of these would relieve you of the criticism.

        • Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

          Dear John–Your challenge to state which seats UKIP could win is far below standard. The fact that UKIP has no nailed-on seats is hardly surprising given that it is a new party; and we at this stage hope only for a handful of seats. Personally I would be happy with three and very happy with five–with as before the real chance of more. Again as before it is (high) variability (meaning voting concentrations varying all over the place but definitely with a few peaks) that will win us some seats. For me, voting for a party led by Cameron, no matter what the possible consequences, is simply out of the question. He has put himself beyond the pale.

        • Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          Polls? Are you for real? Haven’t you been following the lies, deceit underhanded North Korean msm and polling charts that are manipulated to suit the legacy parties with the lies and smears we have endured. Go back to the Tory’s. Not a chance whilst I breath.

  11. Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    David Cameron’s plea for for potential UKIP voters to “come back home” is typical of his arrogance, and won’t have any effect on me.
    As far as I am concerned, it is the Tories who need to come home; I don’t think my position has changed much over the years, but that of the Conservative Party certainly has; it has moved from being what I wound describe as a moderate right wing party to a centralist position in an attempt to be all things to all people. Then when I read elsewhere that a “Right Wing” Conservative “Think Tank” Bright Blue is calling for all migration targets to be abolished so as not to be seen as appeasing those voters who might support UKIP, I just wonder whether the Conservative Party should simply merge with Labour, there are so few differences.
    It is the duty of a government to defend its people; this doesn’t only mean strong armed forces but also preventing attempts to change the country by immigration and submitting to pressure from outside organisations such as the EU.
    Return the Conservatives to the position in the political spectrum that they held in my younger days and they would have returned to me and would get my vote.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      No doubt there will be some more loosely attached UKIP supporters who waver under pressure and do indeed “return home” on polling day. However for many of them “home” will not be the Tory party, it will be Labour, and if it seems that Cameron is successful in persuading some UKIP supporters to switch to the Tories to stop Labour then others will react by switching to Labour to stop the Tories. It is true that five years ago when support for UKIP was at the 3% level its support mainly, although never entirely, came from erstwhile Tory supporters, but that is no longer the case with UKIP support so much higher. Does anyone really believe that the 7% extra support that UKIP has gained since the end of 2012 has all been attracted away from the Tories, even though support for the Tories has remained almost static over that period while it has been support for Labour which has dropped by 11%? And does anyone really believe that if UKIP completely disappeared from the political scene, so that there were no UKIP candidates competing for votes, then Tory support would be 14% higher than it actually is, 47% rather than 33%? However often the lazy or duplicitous media trot out the myth that UKIP is a kind of rather extreme Tory party in exile, and even now its supporters could still see sense and come back into the Tory fold, it’s just that, a myth, patent nonsense. Moreover I strongly suspect that strategists in all three of the old parties know it is nonsense, and their concerted campaign to vilify UKIP has little to do with beating each other in this election and much more to do with keeping us in the EU by hook or by crook, by fair means or foul.

      Reply, No Conservatives do not believe all 13-14% in polls pro UKIP are former Conservative voters,nor is that very relevant. The issue is how many people currently saying they like UKIP’s approach might come the day wish to help choose a Conservative government which offers lower migration, curbs on health tourism, curbs on benefits to recently arrived workers, and an In/Out referendum, knowing they will get none of those things if Labour leads the next government.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Reply to Reply
        Why haven’t the Tories done something about these issues in the past five years? I know the LibDems have opposed some Tory policies, but did they oppose curbs on health tourism and benefits for new arrivals?
        And I still remain concerned when “A Respected Tory think tank, Bright Blue” advocates removal of any immigration limits. Actions speak louder than words, and as far as I’m concerned, Cameron has been all words and little action.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          A respected conservative think-tank, with a leading light who has actually been employed by Cameron to help write his speeches.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

          And now it turns out that this supposedly right-wing think-tank gets funds from distinctly left-wing sources.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        But the point is they have spent 5 years NOT getting these things already… fool me once, and all that…. these are a con and we know it.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          @JoeSoap; “But the point is they have spent 5 years NOT getting these things already…”

          Indeed and who stopped the Tory party from having an outright working majority, yes UKIP, Mr Farage even boasted about it in the weeks after (once he had recovered sufficiently from his near fatal publicity stunt).

          “fool me once, and all that…. these are a con and we know it”

          Indeed, UKIP did fool us all once, hopefully never again – vote UKIP, get a europhile coalition party as part of the government at the very least.

          • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            ‘Indeed and who stopped the Tory party from having an outright working majority, yes UKIP,’

            This comment ignores the option available to Cameron in May 2010 of forming a minority government in the knowledge that he would be defeated in the Commons. On this defeat Cameron could have advised the monarch that a new GE was required to resolve the matter, and he would probably have won. Remember, at that stage the country thought Cameron was a Conservative leader in all regards. The electorate still believed Cameron would honour his commitment to hold a referendum on the EU and the Conservative core had not been alienated by the indulgent folly of SSM. The problem was Clegg. Somehow Clegg seduced Cameron and the rest is history, including, thankfully, the likely demise of the Lib-Dems as an electoral force.

            But Cameron missed a chance to wield the sword, take a big gamble and win a definite majority for the Conservatives.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            @Bluedog; Utterly wrong, in such a circumstance, turning down the option of a majority forming stable coalition (or even just a confidence pact), and the electorate would more than likely hammer the party at ballot box next time around, even more so a mere few weeks on from the previous ballot [1]. Do you really think if your idea was in any way plausible Cameron, even Brown, would not have taken it?!

            [1] Wilson chose to wait 7 months in 1974, and he was able to get his minority government budget though not top mention rid the country of power cuts and the three day week, he was far from certain he would win in Oct of that year though and then only scraped a majority of 4…

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        If there were any intention to actually hold a referendum on renegotiated terms the Tories would have already revealed what the new terms were.

        Only the terminally thick would believe that the EU would allow any renegotiation, in fact Frau Merkel has explicitly told the three stooges that they would be disappointed if they thought it were possible.

        Reply In that case we can all vote to leave.

      • Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        Reply to Reply–So you are asking me to vote for a man who in my case is rabidly EU philic and a member of an oh-so-modernising party with Cameron as leader. Snowballs in Hell come to mind.

        • Posted April 9, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          @Leslie Singleton; “Snowballs in Hell come to mind.”

          Then we will have a very Europhile government on May 8th, and europhobes like yourselves Leslie will be “Frying in Hell”…

  12. Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    The chances of a Conservative Government with enough votes in Parliament to be able to do anything about English Devolution without the active help of the Labour party is less than zero.

    Even if there was a narrow overall Conservative majority ( dream on Cameron ) it would be scuppered in the House of Lords.

    The most important constitutional change we need at the moment has to be to get rid of First Past The Post. It is a concept that is well past its sell by date in the multi-party scenario we now find ourselves in and it is the single biggest factor in the perverse outcome we are going to get next month.

    I am not a UKIP supporter but how can it possibly be right for the SNP to be in a position to gain 49-50 seats with less than 4% of the popular vote across the UK while UKIP are likely to get only one seat with 12% ?

    It has been predicted that UKIP will need 1m extra votes to get a single additional MP.
    By contrast, each of the predicted 50 SNP member will have been elected by just 35,000 votes.

    In Scotland the Conservatives will almost certainly be wiped out yet they will probably get 18% of the vote there !

    We need to move to a system where the largest party by number of seats gets to form a Government, if it can. In an ideal system that would also be the party with the largest number of votes.

    It is looking very likely that the only way a Conservative Government can take office and get a Queen’s Speech through the Commons is if Labour abstain. This is more likely that it sounds because those around Miliband must be scared stiff of going into coalition with Sturgeon as they know she will run ring round him and show him up for the pathetic leader he is.

    Looking at the longer term. they would probably not be too unhappy with a Conservative Government willing to do some back office deals if the alternative is to face the damage that will be done to the UK as a whole and Labour in England by being made to dance to the SNP tune.

    Labour might then be willing to discuss moving to some form of PR system for the 2020 general election or an earlier one for that matter.

    Some form of English Devolution could also be discussed but don’t hold your breath.

    Reply It is still quite possible for the Conservatives to win if people want the fairness for England, the In/Out referendum and the other items that the Conservatives are uniquely offering.
    The high forecasts of SNP seats are based on the SNP getting around half the vote in Scotland. FPTP is important, as it keeps a strong link between MP and electors. Parties which wish to win under FPTP have to be popular in enough individual seats.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Possible, a good thing if it happened but extremely unlikely.

      FPTP has only two advantages :

      Strong Government without compromise when you only have two major parties

      The link with individual members to their electorate

      The first is most definitely no longer the case and the resulting system is grossly unfair. Such distortion between the number of voters needed to elect MPs of different parties in various parts of the country smacks of a banana republic.

      It must be possible to come up with a PR system that maintains the link between MPs and their electorate. Even if it had to be multi-member constituencies, a voter would still have one or possibly up to three MPs accountable to them.

      In reality FPTP is likely to be so discredited after this general election that any form of PR will be better.

      Reply Electors rejected a change of voting system earlier this Parliament. If a party gets say 10% of the vote nationwide, all well spread, it will not win any seats. That has always been the case.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        Why then are the LibDems forecasted to win over 30 seats with less than 8% of the vote?

        • Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          Brian–Because they have huge variability meaning their votes are anything but well spread–The one thing they have done successfully is to persuade, to keep it simple, the West Country to back them. In other areas their vote is (and recently was) less than one percent.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        The AV system proposed in the last referendum was widely seen as a device to further the interests of a single party, the LibDems and it had no support from either of the major parties. It was wisely rejected.

        However, after this general election the results will be so skewed that a change of system will be called for again and if the system proposed is seen to be fair and equitable and, if possible supported by both Labour and the Conservatives, it will very likely be approved.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      I completely disagree that FPTP is a problem and should be rejected. PR systems give oxygen to endless minority or single issue parties that massively complicate the formation and conduct of responsible government. If you support the Greens or want to see them emerge as holders of the balance of power, go for PR, you’ll regret it.

  13. Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I fully agree that the SNP threat really is the end of a Union parliament and the need to protect England is paramount . I sincerely hope that the manifesto will state the Conservative position and we can assure ourselves that equality will be restored with the Barnett formula kicked into the long grass .

    Sturgeon has made it clear that she wants even more concessions from the rest of us – her latest being based on Scottish longevity being shorter then those South of the Border ! . Why she should believe that there is something special in Scotland to warrant extra financial support is beyond me . I also hope the Bank of England will make it clear that the £ does not belong to Scotland ; they must face their own economic reality .

  14. Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    It also means paradoxically that the people of England will be able to choose who governs the UK with less help from outside England, if enough English voters can agree on which of the two main parties should win.

    Are we leaving the UK? I hadn’t heard.

  15. Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The election result in Scotland, where probably 45% of the vote will win 80% of the seats will highlight the vagaries of FPTP yet again and to the serious detriment of England and the stability of the UK. The polls at the moment show roughly Conservative/Labour with 550 seats, SNP with 50 and 50 for the rest. The implications are for non stable and non democratic government locked into a five year parliament – arguably the most stupid Act of Cameron’s tenure.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      The potential emergence of 53 SNP MPs in the Commons is an irrelevance if the Unionist parties act in favour of the Union. It is of critical importance that they should, and that a noisy and deliberately disruptive bunch of SNP members are allowed to cool their heels in a state of redundancy.

  16. Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I would love to “come home ” but unfortunately the reason I had to leave in the first place is still there. I look back longingly at the good old days when I felt comfortable with a sense of belonging to something good.
    Alas when I started to question why anyone that so desired should be allowed to move in and reap all of the benefits without contributing to the housekeeping kitty I was told that I was a racist fruitcake.
    When the price of my contribution had to be increased because of the spending of the previous landlord I understood that I had to do so because we were all in it together. I couldn’t understand however why I had to take out a loan to cover this only for this to be sent overseas some even to places that were developing space rockets.
    For almost 60 years I thought I knew what marriage was only to now be told I was wrong for all that time.
    With heavy heart I had to leave and I have found another home that feels like the good old days once again and where I feel comfortable once more

    Reply The Coalition has stopped all new grants to China and India. Conservative Ministers have asked the NHS to collect money from people visiting from overseas for non emergency treatments, and has promised more action on health tourism. Conservatives are also pledged to cutting migrant numbers, and have set out a series of measures to help do so. Your message has been heard and understood.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      The message may have been heard and understood but that doesn’t mean there’s the slightest inclination to act upon it.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      ……Conservative Ministers have asked the NHS to collect fees…..
      I thought you was a legislature, what’s wrong with passing a law making it illegal to treat foreigners for free. What’s wrong with legislating for incomers to have medical insurance.
      Just what are you there for John.
      ?

      Reply It is already law for the NHS to reclaim money from other EU states or non EU patients.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Then why aren’t the laws enforced under penalty of jail. Same as immigration, can’t do it, won’t do it.
        Hot air only from Westminster. What does Angels think??

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Ok so no more to India or China but I would hazard a guess that were a financial catastrophe to hit the Redwood household the very last thing that you would consider a sensible action would be to borrow vast sums of money to give away to all and sundry. It is one thing to want to appear generous on the world stage when you have a bit in the bank but quite another to enshrine this generosity in law when by doing so you increase your debt

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        The ludicrous amount of money currently being wasted on foreign aid has the support of only 5% of the electorate yet all three party leaders plus that ridiculously incompetent woman that pretends that she runs the Green party and Sturgeon are all in favour.

        Is it any wonder that the decreasing number of British income tax payers who have a vote are so fed up with those politicians that live and operate in the Westminster and Edinburgh bubbles ?

  17. Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, I well remember the 1974 elections, some of my first, because, as in 2010 and 2015, it seemed to most electors that the country was in an awful mess and neither of the two main parties had the slightest idea what to do about it.

    In the October election, the late Jeremy Thorpe fought on the wonderful slogan “Seize Power, Vote Liberal” which caught the public mood of protest and despair. It did not make much difference.

    Today, the main parties either ignore, temporise or gloss over many of the underlying issues that really concern most people and the parties attracting protest votes are on Left and Right rather than in the Centre.

    Unless Ukip or the Greens make a big breakthrough, which presently seems unlikely, we seem set for a repeat of 1974-79, a period of miserable rudderless decline, whichever of the two main parties leads the next Government.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, one could tell just from the leaders’ debate on TV, that only one participant had any idea of our predicament.

      • Posted April 9, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        @JoeSoap; Indeed, and judging from the opinion polling, it wasn’t the one you’re thinking off…

      • Posted April 9, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        @JoeSoap; Indeed, but judging from the opinion polling, it wasn’t the one you’re thinking off…

    • Posted April 9, 2015 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      @outsider; “Unless [challenger parties] make a big breakthrough, which presently seems unlikely, we seem set for a repeat of 1974-79, a period of miserable rudderless decline”

      Who ever wins we are likely set for a repeat of 1974-79, a period economic stagnation because like then so many of our problems are not linked to domestic or international issues we as a nation can solve on our own or even with our close allies such as the EU or USA , peo0ple knew this probably far better in 1974, which is why the Liberal message failed, than they do now because back then there was much more detailed discussions in the press and broadcast media.

  18. Posted April 7, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Cameron’s song today: –
    I loves you baby — I loves you UKIP — Please come home to Daddy

    Why do the media (including the DT) lie and fail to tell the truth. It takes an obscure East Anglian newspaper to print an article telling the truth.
    They report that the only party undecided on EU membership is the Conservative.
    With their MP’s split three ways.
    One third (the John Redwood’s) wanting to leave the EU – One third (the Ken Clarke’s) wanting to stay in – And one third (the Michael Gove’s) sitting on the fence waiting waiting for orders.

    Reply There is n o one third wanting to stay in at all costs. Most Conservatives want a relationship based on trade and political co-operation, and understand we cannot be dragged into the full political union now underway. Why don’t you spend your time and energy attacking the parties that do want to stay in whatever the cost and terms – Labour, Lib dems, SNP, Plaid etc

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      I am looking forward to reading in your manifesto the details of how your party is going to stop us being dragged into the full political union whilst remaining members of the EU. It has echos of reducing the level of net immigration to the tens of thousands which you knew in 2010 was totally unachievable and incompatible with membership of the EU.
      The very same EU, just to remind you, to which your leader has declared he is determined to keep us subjugated.

      Reply Mr Cameron has made clear he wants to get the UK out of ever closer union. Let’s see how he gets on, then we can decide how to vote in the referendum. What’s your plan for extricating ourselves from our EU agony?

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        I would notify the EU of our intention to leave, not pretend to renegotiate with the intention of remaining and thereby keeping our “EU agony”.

        Reply You need 326 MPs to do that.

        • Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply,
          Just as you need 326 like minded MPs to get your referendum.

          • Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            “Brian Tomkinson; “you need 326 like minded MPs to get your referendum.”

            Assuming that Cameron has a majority of 326, we mere eurosceptic Plebs just need some good old fashion arm twisting whips, and a leader prepared to use the “N” option – that is, a leader prepared to say “if I loose this then I will be asking for a vote of confidence from the general electorate” – after all if a PM can’t get their manifesto pledges through his own MPs then those MPs don’t exactly actually deserve to be sitting on government benches, if in parliament at all…

            How many turkeys vote for Christmas?!

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        JR, it took Cameron seven years as Tory leader to get around to saying something that the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan had by then been saying for fourteen years, that the process of “ever closer union” has always been prescribed in the very first line of the Treaty of Rome and that most of the British people did not really want to be part of it. However unlike Daniel Hannan he still refuses to acknowledge that the governments of at least some of the other EU member states will never agree to that fundamental commitment being taken out of the EU treaties, no matter how much he or anybody else tried to negotiate that; if we want to remove ourselves from the commitment to “ever closer union” then we have to remove ourselves from the EU, that’s really all there is to it, and Cameron is deliberately misleading the people by continuing to pretend otherwise.

    • Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      We possibly do not bother with Labour and all the other fellow travellers because we know exactly what their intentions are. We can call them undemocratic as they ignore a large segment of our population because they believe in international socialism, and they are traitorous because they are happy for us to be destroyed as a nation through lack of sovereignty.

      The bitch with the conservative party, under the leadership of David Cameron, is that it is totally two faced about our relationship with the EU. You and a hundred others want trade and a friendly working relationship. The other 200 plus vary between indecisive because of career prospects, and Europhile like the socialists. Cameron bats for the Europhiles.

      If it was otherwise Cameron would say okay we have an In /Out referendum in October this year. He is hoping that fear of letting Labour and the SNP in will get all the defaulters to vote Conservative. If by some miracle this happened you could kiss goodbye to any decisive referendum. He will just fanny about for two years having achieved little but prepared to sell it as the new sliced bread in the hope that we will be conned yet again.

      Maybe five years of the millipede is what the electorate deserve to wake them from their torpor. Should this happen I would advise anyone with a useful degree or work skills to get out. Life is not long enough to waste it waiting for change.

    • Posted April 8, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Are you in denial? Your party is in the love EU camp with a few members against! Join the only party who want out, UKIP!

      • Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        @Timaction; Are you in denial? Ho-hum…

        Given that UKIP caused the 2010-15 coalition it could be argued that the one party in the “EU love camp” is UKIP, intentionally or not. Without UKIP it was just possible that a majority nominally eurosceptic party would get elected (which people such as our host, Bill Cash and Jacob Rees-Mogg etc. could then work to improve), but with UKIP and leader on their ego-trip and once the europhile parties and leaders (the “I agree with Nick” sort of popularism) started to do well after the TV debates (which UKIP demanded…) there was only ever one result, a very europhile party would at the very least be in a coalition, if not majority government.

        • Posted April 9, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          How can you claim UKIP caused the coalition when theý failed to get one MP in that Parliament?

          • Posted April 9, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            According to Jerry UKIP caused the coalition by existing as an alternative political party and putting up parliamentary candidates who took votes, 3% of the total, which rightfully belonged to the Tory party.

            Rather as Lidl and Aldi have caused Tesco to have poor trading figures by opening alternative supermarkets and stealing customers who rightfully belong to Tesco.

            It’s one of the oddities of the Tory party that they constantly extol the virtues of competition as the best route to progress, except as it might apply to the Tory party when they scream blue murder about another party “stealing” “their” voters.

            But apart from that strange view, Jerry’s misconception is that if UKIP hadn’t had the temerity to put up alternative candidates then all of the electors who voted for UKIP, that 3%, would have instead dutifully voted for Tory candidates, which was plainly nonsense.

          • Posted April 9, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; Once again you show that you do not understand TPTP elections nor democracy, and yes competition is the name of the game, the only person who wins is the person who crosses the line first coming second or last only counts as ‘winning’ in infant school sports days were everyone is a winner simply for taking part and thus you get the sweeties too!

            Let us take a look at a fictional marginal constituency.
            First without UKIP standing, and with no 2010 “I’m voting for Nick” or Farage effect post the TV debates;

            Con get 20.000 votes
            Lab get 19,000 votes
            LDs get 5.000

            Conservatives Win the seat.

            Now with UKIP standing, complete with those TV debate effects;

            Con get 17.000 votes
            Lab get 17,500 votes
            LDs get 7.000 votes
            UKIP get 5,000 votes

            Labour Win the seat, even though the combined eurosceptic vote is 22,000 and as such would give the seat a combined eurosceptic majority of 4,500. (Oh and Denis, note the lost votes from both Conservatives and Labour to UKIP or LDs plus a number of new voters.)

            Why can no UKIP supporter do simple maths, or is it they can but choose not to as it spoils the rant?…

          • Posted April 10, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

            As you say yourself Jerry a very fictional constituency.
            But we shall see very soon how each of our votes adds up.

          • Posted April 10, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; What ever, but do try actually studying election stats, rather than just arguing for the sake of attempting to keep UKIPs spirits flying as they take yet another dip in the poll-of-polls today (now level with a resurgent LD party)…

          • Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            Thanks for the advice I will now study election stats.
            We must of course bow to you Jerry, expert on all things.

            I dont give a fig for UKIPs popularity Jerry
            They will not be getting my vote.
            We have an excellent local MP and in addition, the local prospective UKIP candidate is not very good.

            Your regular use of “whatever” and “ho hum” makes you sound like a huffy teenager, come on Jerry do tell us.

          • Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

            Once again, Jerry, you can create as many fictional scenarios as you wish but you cannot draw conclusions from just lumping together the votes cast for UKIP with those cast for the Tories as you normally like to do, not to create a hypothetical majority for the Tories, or indeed for UKP, nor to create a hypothetical “combined eurosceptic vote”.

            The question is, what would have happened if there had been no UKIP candidate contesting the seat? And the answer to that question is not “All the votes cast for the UKIP candidate would have instead gone to the Tory candidate”. Firstly large numbers of those who would have voted for a UKIP simply will not vote at all if there is no UKIP candidate to vote for, or maybe they will vote for some independent or local or other small party candidate. Secondly those who do vote for one of the three larger parties will not all vote Tory, some will vote Labour – a you now admit – and as every one who revert to Labour will offset one who reverts to the Tory the net benefit to the Tory candidate will be much less than you suppose.

            Even the tribal Tory journalist Fraser Nelson has finally, belatedly, come round to realise this:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/11525853/Ukip-is-shedding-voters-but-it-wont-win-the-day-for-David-Cameron.html

            “… But it’s not helping the race for No 10 because these defectors are “coming home” to Labour as much as to him. The battle is different in each constituency. Lord Ashcroft’s research shows that in places like Chester, Harrow and Southampton the lost Ukip vote has been going almost entirely to Labour. In places like Gloucester and Worcester and Kingswood, the beneficiaries have been mainly Tories. In places like Blackpool, it has been evenly split.

            So overall, Ukip’s decline – on which so many Tory hopes were placed – is making almost no difference in the Conservative-Labour battleground seats.”

  19. Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    ‘No ifs, no buts …’

    ‘… if the Lisbon treaty is ratified, we will not let the matter rest there ….’

    Actions speak louder than words. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I won’t be fooled again.

    Now we’re offered an in-0ut referendum – after a renegotiation we have already been told, over and over again, by our partners in the EU they will not agree to.

    And you are going to vote for these people? Are you daft?

  20. Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Where oh where did it all go wrong? Was it the defeat of David Davis, MP for Haltemprice and Howden, at the point where Cameron became leader? Was it Hesletine’s stabbing of Margaret Thatcher in the back? Was it the introduction of the poll tax against good advice? Was it Geoffrey Howe’s resignation speech?

    etc ed

  21. Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    ….. the country running out of money

    I’m just wondering how the country, or the 70’s Labour Govt, managed to do that. Did their computer networks malfunction? Their printing presses break down?

    Sovereign currency issuing governments, ie the UK and USA but not the euro countries, can never “run out of money”. Sure, they can create high inflation if they don’t get things right one way, or deflation and recession if they don’t get it right the other way, but they can never run out of money.

    I’m not sure if all politicians realise this, though.

    • Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Nobody wanted to lend us any more money Peter.
      The pound was falling on world exchanges after the Govt said it would print money.
      They had to call in the IMF to stabilise the situation and give us an emergency loan.

      • Posted April 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        The pound was falling on world exchanges ….

        Yes. In 1976 it was falling below the $2 level.

        …. after the Govt said it would print money

        I don’t remember them actually saying that. But, of course, all money was just printed or created digitally by then. The pound was no different to the dollar or DM in that respect.

        They had to call in the IMF to stabilise the situation…

        They didn’t. The Conservative government in the early 80’s was much smarter in that respect. They understood much better than the Callaghan Labour government that a floating currency needed to be allowed to do just that. ie Float.

        When the speculators forced the £ down to almost parity with the dollar, in 1983?, the Thatcher government just let them. Hardly anyone remembers that now. They lost money when it rose again later. Not the Government. It’s a pity the Conservatives became later somewhat less smart when trying to peg the pound to the DM in the early 90’s.

        • Posted April 10, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          I fail to see what point this makes.
          In the 70s we had not yet had “big bang” and they had to deal with the crisis using methods available to them.

          Now we have globilised banking, internet trading, currency exchanges floating away 24 hours a day, QE as another name for printing money and all sorts of other instruments for Governments to use.

          However I certainly agree with your point on the chaos caused by pegging to the mark in the ERM project.

  22. Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Back to your subject; The UK has been a multi party democracy for years.

    It appears however that the SNP get to speak in the leaders’ debates in London. Londoners cannot vote for them. However UKIP, whom Scots can vote for, don’t get invited to the Scottish debate.

  23. Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    what a joke what democracy do we have in this country when all we get is the same old we know whats best for you .
    in democracy the people say yes or no not the bloody politicions.
    also why does your boss cameron keep lying over this referendum yes you can have one late 2017 as he knows it will be to late as if the out win he then has to ask the eu for permission to leave and you no the answer to that they are not going to let the golden goose get away that easy

    Reply If we vote for Out we will leave. Who can stop us?

  • 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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