Labour and the Lib Dems want to protect you from Brexit

There is a deafening silence in the Lib Dem and Labour manifestos about the need for a new relationship with the emerging political and monetary union on the continent. It is surpassed by their arrogance in seeking to deny us an In/Out referendum on whether we want to stay in the EU. They apparently know best. They shout at us that we must stay in, without ever examining the options for a new relationship based on trade and co-operation outside the federal treaties. They appear not to understand the dangers of our present course, accepting more and more rules, laws and invoices needed for a political and monetary union to which we do not fully belong.

We need to ask why do these parties and people think they are right this time, when they have been so wrong in the past? Many of them who now just assert we have to stay in come what may, urged us to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism. I remember how they disagreed with me and the few of us who opposed it, how they briefed against us and claimed we did not understand the stability and growth that membership of the ERM would bring. Instead, as we forecast, it brought us boom and bust. First it brought us too much credit and money, then it brought a sterling crisis leading to our forced exit. It gave us a nasty recession based on interest rates which were far too high for UK needs, as the authorities slavishly tried to follow the European model.

Learning nothing from this bitter experience, many of these same people then urged us to enter the Euro. I and others fought a more successful battle to stop that. Had we been in the Euro in 2008 I suspect the banking crash would have forced a UK exit, as I doubt Germany and others would have wanted to stand behind our weakened large banks in the way the Bank of England and UK government did.

Now these same parties assert we have to stay in the EU to be able to trade with them. Why? Doesn’t the rest of the world trade happily with the EU without joining? Hasn’t the German government already said it would need a free trade agreement with the UK if we left, as Germany sells us so much more than we sell to Germany?

It is high time these luminaries of the left who are in love with our current EU membership had to answer some tougher questions. Why do they accept dear energy, a central EU policy? It means less industry and fewer jobs in manufacturing, it means more fuel poverty. Why do they put up with it?

Why do they put up with the economic policies of the Euro and the wider EU, which generate unacceptably high levels of unemployment in many Euro countries?

Why do they accept the EU policy of controlling government deficits to a maximum of 3% of GDP per annum, when at home they are always urging larger deficits?

Why do they endorse policies which entail massive cuts in public spending in countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain, whilst resisting any cut at home?

We need a new relationship. It needs to be one that gives us more freedom to govern ourselves, and allows the Euro area to complete its union without the UK slowing it down or making it more difficult. If one cannot be negotiated, then the British people need the opportunity to vote out of what we have at the moment, as it is far from ideal. Whatever the negotiation brings, the people should decide. Labour, Liberal Democrats and SNP are united in wanting to deny the British people the choice. If they do not trust the people, why should the people trust them?

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131 Comments

  1. Mark W
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    They fear the referendum result wouldn’t go their way. I’ll vote to leave whatever is negotiated because 1) I don’t trust the EU to stick to a deal and 2) less tiers of government the better.

    Carbon footprint should be on goods sold in a territory not manufactured to at least highlight the offshore production and transport caused by our dear energy policy.

    I know you can’t name constituencies now, but as I travel around a bit and have a nice network of back street pubs I know I was listening to an interesting conversation. This was in an urban marginal nearly always held by the governing party. As you get used to familiar faces you kind of feel you know people a little. One particular gang who I remember having particular vitriol towards Cameron et al before the 2010 election seem to have changed their tune. I’ll never engage in politics when out and about but it was enough to give me the impression that if that’s the way some think they may not be alone, and I wonder if there may be more CON holds than people believe. I’ll post which seat after the election.

    • Hope
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      JR, your point is spot on the money , but it equally applies to Cameron! He ordered a three line whip to prevent a referendum, Dennis highlighted yesterday that 11/01/2011 Cameron ordered his MPs to vote against the sovereignty of the UK Parliament, Cameron had the chance to amend the Lisbon Treaty, her chose not to, he stated he would not directly or indirectly bail out Eurozone countries , he did, he stated would prevent Eurozone countries using EU institutions in his alleged veto, name a country he prevented from using any EU institution, what did he get back for allowing the EU the fiscal pact is break treaties agreements allowing bail outs- sweet FA. Now be serious when you talk about other branches of the LibLabCon and the EU. There is only one party seeking to change the UK relationship with the EU. UKIP. You are in the wrong party for the ideas you promote. You are one of the 66 Eurosceptics Ashdown was speaking about yesterday. An unheard minority in your own party.

      Reply Following the persuasive work of myself and others Mr cameron is fighting for a new deal and a referendum in this election1

      • Hope
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Like he listened to you and your colleagues persuasive voice not to promote closer union with the EU that he had already promised!

      • sjb
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        We will legislate in the first session of the next Parliament
        for an in-out referendum to be held on Britain’s membership of the EU before the end of 2017.
        (p73 of the Conservative Manifesto 2015)

        Why doesn’t the Manifesto give further and better particulars? Would a simple majority be enough? Would an Out vote still be honoured if the turnout was poor?

  2. matthu
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    “If one cannot be negotiated, then the British people need the opportunity to vote out of what we have at the moment, as it is far from ideal. ”

    The day the leader of the Conservative Party not only espouses those same views but is prepared to argue for getting out will be the day he can invite UKIP voters to “come home”.

    Unfortunately, he is a long way from there.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      What party are you in Mr Redwood? This is UKIP policy. You are in the EUphile Tory party. Bound hand and foot to the dictatorship. Only UKIP offer our independence. After over40 years Tory propaganda doesn’t work.

      Reply After many years of trying UKIP have sill not won a single seat in a General election, and the polls for them this time are not good either. So how exactly will UKIP bring us independence? I am trying a route that can work.Why not help me?

      • DaveM
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        To reply:

        Projections (being pessimistic):

        UKIP – 14% of the vote share = probably 2 seats, maybe 3

        LibDem – 8% of the vote share = circa 35 seats

        SNP – <4% of the vote share = maybe 50+ seats

        No wonder the polls aren't looking good for them with the horrifically rigged constituency situation. Mr Cameron said he got the message and was hearing us loud and clear – so where is the loud and clear message from him?

        I predict a Con govt of some sort – however, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the local election results on the same day deliver a landslide for UKIP by way of a message from the English electorate.

        We know you are trying, but you seem to be fighting the white of your own party. If the Cons say they know what we want (thanks to the so-called protest votes) why don't they put someone like you on the telly to tell it how it is so that the 14% who are intending to vote UKIP vote for your party? It's as if your party is actually trying to lose!!

        That 14% of voters are voting on 2 or 3 issues – immigration, fairness for England (which UKIP doesn't really offer anyway) and an exit from the EU. You could snap them up with a few well delivered lines on these issues.

        It's so simple – and I'm the worst sales strategist and crappest publicist you'll ever meet!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

          Meanwhile Miliband (in the betting odds anyway) now looks rather more likely than Cameron who is still leader the party over the cliff with his duff Labour light, pro EU, tax borrow and waste, who cares about the English, greencrap compass.

          Didn’t Major do enough damage to the party (not a single election win since) without inflicting Cameron on us too?

          Still two weeks, just about enough time for him to finally wake up?

          But then he is Cameron so I had better put a very large bet on Miliband to recover the losses that I will make when he implements his absurd anti-business, rob a landlord, expensive energy, pro EU & lefty loon agenda.

          Thanks very much Cameron!

          • A different Simon
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

            It’s not just Cameron though …. or Teresa May or any of the others individually .

            Almost every institution in the UK has been infiltrated by fifth columnists ; the Church , Parliament , Political parties , Local Govt , the Police , state schools , all Govt departments , BBC , mainstream media , trade unions even are not what they were .

            Then we have the new institutions nobody elects yet which have an inordinate impact on our lives ; Quango’s , fake charities , the Green Blob , Greenpeace/FOE/WWF etc .

            Cicero knew about this in Roman times .

            Where do you even begin to cleanse the country of this gangrenous infection ?

          • Hope
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            JR, and for years your was in the worldiness despite the seats you had at Westminster! Your voice and that of your party was meaningless, only self interest and greed pervaded in your party it was of no use to those who wasted a vote on the Tories.

            Any reason why Cameron prefers to waste £14 billion on overseas aid to aeroplanes on the two hugely expensive air craft carriers? EU defence force? Why does he support EU expansionism to the Urals? Can we expect more Middle East travesties under Cameron? When will he be held to account for his role over Libya? Will he ever clean up Westminster and set proper standards? It now appears he has lost more votes to UKIP than he got from the Lib Dumbs? Did gay marriage travesty over public opinion help your party? The economy still in a mess despite huge tax rises, why would anyone trust him again?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            Indeed being not quite as bad as Miliband does not look like being enough this time. Some aspiration and positive vision was needed but non came forth.

            Both this and the last elections were/are sitting ducks for the Tories, if only they had had a leader with a working compass.

            Could we perhaps get Tony Abbott over – swap him for the absurd Natalie Bennett maybe?

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        If UKIP supporters take your advice and vote tactically for your party, you will remind us ad nauseam, after the election, that the UKIP vote melted away and it isn’t a credible political force – just as you are doing here.
        Nice try but sorry no deal.

        • Stephen Berry
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          OK Brian, if you cast your vote so that:

          1. We don’t get a left-wing Labour government propped up by a party determined to break up the UK

          2. We do get a referendum on the EU

          3. We do get moderately competent management of the UK economy for the next five years

          then I promise not to mention after the election that the UKIP vote melted away. Better than that, I will beg JR on this list never do such a dastardly thing either. Is it a deal?

          Because, as DaveM suggests above, I am wondering if UKIP are on the cusp of setting a new UK general election record, namely the largest number of votes for the smallest number of seats. And you were part of that!

          • JoeSoap
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            This is naive. If everybody voted for whichever of Labour or Conservative was nearest to their views, both democracy and innovation would die. A journey of 100 years has to start somewhere. 3% it started in May 2010. For another 11% at least in May 2015. perhaps 2020 will see 25%, who knows? A move in the right direction is better than stagnation.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

            Stephen – Perhaps you are advising people to vote Ukip where they can beat Labour.

            Why aren’t the Tories saying the same ? Or keeping out of the way of Ukip in hopeless seats ?

            This really does seem to be a one-way street.

            So. Any Ukip voters who decide to vote Conservative. What is made of their opinions ? They ‘melt away’ and morph into a Tory mandate ?

            Will Ukip defectors be promised some quid pro quo in Tory policy for being obedient children ?

            No. Of course not.

            The record levels of mass immigration will go on (increasing owing to Cameron’s Libya folly.) The debt will get bigger. We will get poorer. We will get closer to Europe.

            Ukippers will have missed their last chance to force reform on the Tory party.

            They will bitterly regret it.

          • Stephen Berry
            Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

            Mondeo Man – Believe me, not everything about the Tory manifesto is pleasing to me and I personally would have nothing against Tories voting UKIP where UKIP were the challenger party to Labour. Voting is not just about find the party with the policies you most like. You might want to make that vote count towards a government. At the moment UKIP is splitting the vote on the right in the same way that the SDP split the vote on the left in the 1980s and, as we know, that led to large victories for the Tories.

            Joe Soap – History is against you. Typically, challenger parties to the big two in the UK have had a brief burst of popularity and then lapsed back to obscurity and eventual oblivion. They often depend on a charismatic leader. Imagine Farage carries out his threat of resigning the leadership if he does not win his seat in 2015. Where will UKIP then be in 2020?

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          Brian – The tactical voting should cut both ways. Voting Ukip in marginals where the Tories can’t win, for example.

          Unfortunately – such is the state of our democracy – many Ukippers are going to be scared into voting Tory in fear of the SNP.

          And if they do that then they bloody well deserve to be sneered at and abused.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        John,

        From my own personal point of view, I have often said I would gladly help you to get re-elected, but you are in the minority of truly principled people within the Tory party, just as people like Kate Hoey and Frank Field are in the minority in their own very much pro-EU party.

        The ones who just meekly accept the steamroller that is the EU, without really understanding how it all works, erroneously regard you as a heretic for not being on the same page. A dissenting voice is seen as rocking the boat, regardless of the soundness and merit of their case.

        Watching all the subservient career politicians in the Tory party falling into line behind successive pro-EU leaders, was like watching a scene from the film, ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’. Promise me you’ll never fall asleep.

        Tad

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Reply to Reply–Dear John, Many of us are of the opinion that if (repeat if) UKIP doesn’t quite make it (should it turn out that way) then the fault will largely be yours and almost yours personally and entirely. I’m sorry about that but UKIP are or were so close to a breakthrough that if you had joined them it would have made a very big and likely determining difference. I have long thought as you know that the Conservatives (Do you ever talk to the main body of Conservative MP’s??) have left you, not the other way round.

        Reply If I had joined UKIP I suspect the outcome would have been one fewer Eurosceptic MPs

        • Hope
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          No JR, you are wrong and in the wrong party. You could bring intellectual rigour and experience to a party of similar views to your own.

        • stred
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          Blaming John personally is unfair. He is like a soldier in the first world war, ordered to advance over no-mans land, with an army of disorganised troops lead by a few upper class twits in relative safety. His fight is being joined by an new volunteer army with even worse arms lead by a bagpiper bravely making a lot of noise and about to be shot. The enemy has better arms and communications and the propaganda is demoralarising the British. Half the Scots regiment are near mutiny. At least his chances are better than most and he may survive and do his bit in improving the quality of officers in the next war.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          Further Reply–Leaving aside the fact that “Eurosceptic” doesn’t mean very much, which doesn’t help the discussion, even if you lost Wokingham in UKIP Colours I much doubt it would take you long to find a seat that would have you. Even in your own terms one less “Eurosceptic” Conservative MP wouldn’t matter a jot. I know you say that the Conservatives are “Eurosceptic” but to the extent the term has meaning I believe you are wrong. My view is coloured by my own (Conservative) MP who talks emotional drivel about the Second World War on the subject.

      • libertarian
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Reply to JR

        The fact that the UK electoral system is a shambles is not the fault of the electorate

        The fact that the Conservative Party failed to get boundary change is not the electorates fault

        The fact that the Conservative party is anti English and made a dog’s breakfast of Scottish Independence is not the electorates fault

        20 + years of the Conservatives failing to get elected and failing to renegotiate on the EU is no reason to give them another vote now.

        Sorry John the Conservative Party has had its day. Its had numerous opportunities to fix things. Its own self interest should have put in place a real manifesto of English support and an EU referendum years ago.

        Not prepared to waste another vote on the Tories…..sorry

      • Graham
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        Because JR you do your best to decry any efforts to change the status quo.

        You would rather keep muttering away within a party which also wants to stay in the EU – at current rate of progress your way will be light years behind the UKIP way however long that takes.

      • bigneil
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply. A route to independence? Why not help you? Quite simple – anyone who wants OUT of the EU does NOT trust your party or it’s leader. He is known as a complete and utter liar. Promise – renege – smirk, knowing he has sold the public another dummy. I know some people who have voted for your party for many years, and have stated they will NEVER vote for them again – purely based on Cameron’s lies and his untrustworthiness.

      • acorn
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        JR, interesting bit from the World Economic Forum about the start up of the “Asean Economic Community” (AEC).

        He [Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Industry] pointed to the vastly different levels of income in the ASEAN, which would make sharing a currency – and therefore monetary policy – infeasible. He told me [Linda Yueh] that there would not be the equivalent of the European Central Bank in the AEC in the foreseeable future. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32383929 .

        Imagine if Europe had just stopped when the European Economic Community was formed in 1957. Just stopped at a single market with single technical standards, so that products could sell anywhere in the community.

        Crikey; they did manage to standardise on 230 Volts for electrical appliances (from 220 and 240); metric threaded bolt sizes and loads more technical standards that have been adopted world-wide including Euro-super 95 petrol (gasoline).

        PS. Number crunchers are hearing that IMF techies are saying that fiscal austerity has been a failure; monetary QE has proved a very inefficient way to increase aggregate spending on goods and services; but, fine for spending on capital assets and corporates’ loan restructuring. The IMF management doesn’t want to know!

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        John, whilst many of us can see how hard you and others try to get change, all many of us can do is contribute to this blog. There are so many of us that are fed up with the current policies but our leaders seem intent on going their own way even though ministers such as yourself are endeavouring to get your point of views over perhaps based sometimes on what you read on pages such as this.

        Cameron simply isn’t listening. He is trying to please too many outsiders and has lost the faith of the traditional Tory voters. I don’t see anything resembling the party I used to support and for many of us rural life has been decimated. I don’t see much protection for our environments and since Cameron is intent on going down the renewables route with wind farms still getting subsidies all I can see is a further deterioration in the quality of my life . I suppose really all I want to see is a leader that is truly intent on standing up for Britain again and not bowing down to faceless wonders in Brussels.

        I have to say I thought Farage was pretty impressive during his interview tonight on the TV. As he said, for a small party with a small budget they have come a long way. Yes, they have made mistakes but then all parties have done that. He still speaks the most common sense out of all the leaders in my book.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Very well put indeed. The public can only ever have any say at all “when the time is right” and they are sure the public will vote the “right” way.

    In politics being proved wrong over decades (on expensive energy, big government, over regulation, over taxation, the EU, the ERM, the EURO, the enforced “equality” agenda, the pointless damaging wars, on open door immigration, the fake equality agenda …..) gets you knighted or a place in the House of Lords.

    Being proved consistently right over decades (as with JR or Bill Cash) just gets you called bastards and leaves you on the back benches.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Yes, as Nigel Farage has seen. He speak a lot of sense, quoting actual facts and figures and gets ridiculed all the time.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        Yes but unfortunately he also talks a lot of nonsense, such as being uncomfortable hearing foreign languages spoken on a train, or believing the country is somehow in hock to ‘corporations’, or moving away from his former sensible flat tax policy, or siding with the Greens in opposing any private sector involvement in the NHS. I hope UKIP’s leftward-statist drift means they do takes votes, and even seats, from Labour, but UKIP are not a credible alternative and a vote for them would be better employed on the (far from ideal) Conservatives, in order to stop the disaster of Labour-SNP.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          Richard 1 – Voting Conservative only encourages them.

          The more I vote for them them more leftist they seem to get !

        • fedupsouthener
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          Sorry but another bout of Libdimmers in a coalition with the Tories does not light my fire. I would rather see UKIP with the Tories any day.

  4. stred
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, as I have found out by talking to my family, those who wish to stay in the EU and regard leaving as a great mistake see nothing wrong in denying other people the chance to disagree. Why should they risk giving ‘zenophobes’ the opportunity to mess things up, as they see it. In reality, Eural and most other Roons in your party agree with them and , even if they were to arrange a referendum, they would make sure that every trick in the book was played to stay in, including voting for indoctrinated 16 year olds and EU immigrants.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      @stred

      Your point is a good one. Political correctness has ensured that anyone queying the merits of staying in is labelled a racist xenophobe or little Englander. So save a few hardy souls the debate is shut down and those less engaged are not given the opportunity to consider other scenarios. When it was fully debated at the Euro elections the sceptics won. The Conservative party is not standing on this issue in this election so there is no debate. Even UKIP are not aggressively pursuing a get out campaign, hiding behind immigration and the NHS, they are a single issue party who should be shouting out from the rooftops. My vote is slipping from them.

      Other topics the left has shut down for fear of being labelled a brigand and a cad. The NHS, access to and level of benefits for home grown layabouts, grammar schools and selection, the level of public services and the size of government. Many people will vote for a strong, principled leader your party needs to work on this rather than worry about being nice unless the clients of the state outweigh the contributors in which case be very afraid.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        UKIP are being shut out by the MSN. They are still shouting but being ignored. We are living in a dictatorship and the EU is throwing our taxes to silence us. Wake up and see!

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        NS,

        ‘The Conservative party is not standing on this issue in this election so there is no debate.’

        Not just the Tories. I listened to a debate on local radio yesterday in which UKIP were absent, and the EU wasn’t mentioned once!

        It could be that they already know they’ve lost the intellectual arguments, and if they didn’t mention the EU, perhaps it might go away. That’s how we got in this mess in the first place, by politicians being in denial of a creeping and callous uncompromising and ultimately all-consuming political disease that nobody ever voted for.

        Tad

        • turbo terrier
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Tad

          Exactly correct

    • DaveM
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      WRT your last line stred, I have a 16 and 18 year old, and – believe me – that generation has absolutely no love for the EU.

      I would vote OUT regardless of any renegotiation deal purely and simply because I don’t want to be ruled by foreigners. And if the communist-loony-green-space-cadet-party said they’d leave tomorrow I’d vote for it.

      Get out first, sort ourselves out after. We as a country have done absolutely fine for centuries without being shackled to the continent (and in fact on many occasions in spite of our neighbours). Don’t need it, don’t want it.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Well said Dave!

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        Great post Dave.

  5. Richard1
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    The ERM was of course implemented by a Conservative Govt under Margaret Thatcher. What is different about that eposode is those Conservatives involved in making the decision, such as Nigel Lawson, have admitted the error. This contrasts with Labour figures such as Ed Balls and Ed Miliband who refuse to admit that the Labour govt of which they were members overspent and over-borrowed.

    It is not only leftists who fear Brexit – although it is the parties of the left (the Greens excepted) who wish to deny a referendum. The majority of business leaders, city professionals etc also fear Brexit. This is not surprising. A better job will have to be done by sceptics explaining why Brexit may not be the economic risk it is portrayed as being. And more pressure must be put on the referendum-deniers to explain what it is they think is so great about the EU, other than the free trade arrangements which could perhaps be negotiated separately post-Brexit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Thatcher was indeed PM when she foolishly allowed herself to be rammed into it by John Major as Chancellor and the rest of the irrational EU lovers.

      She should have stuck with her excellent economic advisor Sir Alan Walters, alas now deceased.

      • acorn
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Is Cameron experiencing a repeat of the John Major 1997 election? The voters blamed Major for taking us into the ERM and crashing us out of it and they perceived he caused the 1990 – 1993 recession.

        Back in 1980, Maggie had unpegged the Pound which proceeded to drop from 2.4 down to 1.2 US Dollars in the next couple of years. This was a good move as the Pound was massively overvalued. So why did she peg the Pound in the ERM, ten years later; JR may know, he was there at the time?

        PS. If, in the unlikely chance, we Brexit, which of the three major power blocs will we join; or will we start our own? What sort of a voice will we have in the geopolitical arena?

        If there is one thing Brits are good at, it’s diplomacy. Most major international deals are made under English law and arbitrated in English Courts. We run most of the international finance operations, (including the casino bits unfortunately). We are quite capable of being the Supreme Court of arbitration for the planet.

        So how come the Brits have ended up with such a rubbish management system for its own socio-economic backyard? And; why does it appear to be operating for its own benefit and not me and mine?

        • Mitchel
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          @acorn.”We run most of the international finances operations…”.I would have to disagree;many of them may be based in the City but mostly they are not UK-owned,nor to a significant extent UK-staffed.We do not control them and we haven’t shown we can adequately regulate them.They are much more concerned with observing US law than UK law (the US manifestly is the supreme court of arbitration in such matters)and,in any event,the remaining UK players have been withdrawing from some of their investment banking activities since 2008.

          And you think we are still “good at” diplomacy?…Remember Baroness Ashton in Ukraine,Tony Blair in the Middle East,Hague as a US mouthpiece over Syria?As far as I can see we seem to be on the sidelines through lack of a distinctive,well considered position on many matters.

          But your final paragraph I am in full agreement with!

          • acorn
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Can’t really argue with anything you said Mitchel, but I was just trying to raise spirits a little. I have been surrounded by gloom and despondency for the last two days and it’s not fun.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Sir John Major and Ken Clark have never admitted or apologised for their errors on the ERM or did I mis that? Indeed it still seems they would happily repeat it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      What they think is so great about the EU?

      They never come up with anything at all but:

      Free trade – well we can clearly have that anyway.
      Avoiding wars – Yeah sure!
      A seat at the table – where we are alway out voted anyway and it is then legally enforced on us.
      The right to retire to sunny Spain, Greece, Italy, France ……. – did we not always do that before anyway? If we are paying for ourselves why would they want to refuse us?

      Nothing positive that remotely makes any sense at all.

  6. Andyvan
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I see little sign that Cameron has the backbone to stand up to the EU. His promises mean nothing as so often demonstrated. In any case if he didn’t take orders from Brussels he certainly would take them from Washington as he has shown with his ridiculous and dangerous attacks on Putin. Pretty much all of the candidates for leadership are born vassals, since Brussels is also in awe of Washington the only matter to be settled by this election is whether we get our orders direct or via the EU.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      President Putin was absolutely spot on last week with his assertion that the “Americans do not want allies,only vassals”; most of the “International Community” has duly obliged them.

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    We need a new political class that have done proper jobs.

  8. Douglas Carter
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I think Owen Paterson was fairly on the ball on this in the early Autumn when he rightly highlighted that ‘we’re not leaving the EU, the EU is leaving us’.

    The EU is proceeding into areas of political integration that are areas previous UK Administrations have pre-asserted the UK would not follow into. Those aspects other EU nations are continuing integration with are likely to create other pressures which will eventually serve to drive the EU apart with some considerable inevitability. The German taxpayer will not serve as the preferred creditor of choice for ever, nor has France ever once shown they are willing to play on a level agricultural playing field. The EU as is, and is likely to be will prove unsustainable in traditional Democratic terms and the UK (and any other nation willing to enjoin the exit process) would be well out of it when Brussels begins to fall.

    • A different Simon
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Very true .

      The Southern European’s could decide to essentially vote themselves Germany’s wealth .

      German’s would never stand for that .

      The EU Commission would have to act in Germany’s interests , not the people of Europe .

      By then it would be too late for the people of Europe to realise they had been suckered .

      The whole state machine would be in full swing putting down dissenters .

      • Edward2
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        A very interesting possibility Simon.
        Twenty eight nations and a qualified majority voting system with limited veto could leave Germany in a position of having to pay out more and more to weaker needy partners, in this strange Union of unequals.

  9. stred
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Like Mark above, I have been in a pub, up North in my case, and overheard conversations. One was between a couple of 30ish men with shaved heads, tanned and wearing expensive knitware, talking in northern camp educated voices about radio 4 with words like ‘nuances’. The conversation was all about BBC stuff and the impression I had was that they were unlikely to vote Tory. You really have a problem with even expecting even handed presentation of policies.

    One way in which they are influencing the election is the continual references to AUSTERITY. In a conversation between their chief presenter on the 5pm R4 programme and a Scot Nat leader they must have mentioned it 10 times. Possibly in an effort to be balanced, the presenter asked how they would cover the missing so many billion that had been saved ‘reducing the debt’. It really seems that BBC ‘journalists, do not know or wish to know that debt has increased and the deficit has only reduced slightly and not in real terms. It may be a difficult point to put across. Having debates with 4 socialists to 1 conservative also helps and giving Libdums with 5% support priority over UKIP with 15% is another. The results of previous election became the criteria, not current support.

    Also a clever way to reinforce AUSTERITY is to give interviews with every obscure socialist and liberal party with almost zero voting support. In these interviews, the impression is given of mass starvation of the workers while the bosses get big pay rises, the latter being true in some cases. The result of this is that even people in my family with degrees in business and PhDs in science think that they will vote for Nick and Vince, thinking they are middle of the road, competent and democratic. I have tried to point out the Post Office sale debacle, unfunded promises for expenditure and scuppering fair boundaries, and that a lot of Ukippers and Tory voters around our way are builders and taxi drivers who are not rich bastards. No result so far.

    Reply You are right about the misunderstanding over austerity and the figures. The austerity was the great recession and following squeeze on the private sector, which is now lifting. The deficit is, however, down in real terms as well as in cash terms.

    • British Nationalist
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Living within your means is not austerity; it’s normality, and we’re not even doing that yet.

      • Mitchel
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        I’ts normality for conservatives but unfortunately it’s not the new normality!

    • stred
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Sorry about the confusion over deficit reduction. I was thinking of the figures given in the New Statesman showing that the claim to have halved the deficit was only in terms of % of GDP and was really more like a third. The figures as % of GDP have gone from around 10% 5 years ago to 4.1%, with the debt still increasing and behind even France at about 3%. Perhaps your party does not wish to stir up the austerity argument too much as no-one understands it.

      It is further complicated by the change in the way GDP is calculated by adding in prostitution, drug dealing and charities. Also as the inflation between 2010 and 2015 was near enough 20%, the £127 billion in 2010 reduced in cash to £80 billion now needs to be adjusted. In order to buy what 80bn was worth 20% more in 2010, so the comparable figure should be 96 bn. 96/127 = 0.756 and not half.

      Could you please clarify?

      Reply The fact there has been inflation since 2010 means today’s cash deficit is even lower in real terms

  10. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I would think about voting Conservative if the manifesto contained the following. Being free of nasty Nick a Conservative government would dump the Human Rights Act. No longer will foreign born criminals be given the right to stay because they have the right to a family life. EU citizens have the right to benefits, but only at the same value as they would receive at home. As there is nothing substantial to prove that they really want a fair deal for the UK I will not bother.

  11. fedupsouthener
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Good morning John. I was pleasantly surprised when reading your post this morning to find that I agreed with just about everything you were saying. But then, of course, I also realised that Cameron doesn’t want us to leave the EU either. Your views won’t count for much once the BBC, Clegg, Millibiand, and the Greens get on board and that’s not counting Princess Nicola.

    Corruption is going on in the EU on a massive scale regarding wind farms and I am sure other forms of renewable energy. (Spanish e.g. removed as no time to check it)

    Nigel Farage was interviewed on the Breakfast show this morning and I thought,”Thank God for the voice of reason, calmness and sanity”. Of course the political correspondent and the team couldn’t say one positive thing about him afterwards!! This is what the BBC has become. Totally biased but the problem is, so many of the public think what they say is gospel so the debate on whether to exit the EU is doomed from the start. We will just blunder on getting more into debt and having more regulations coming from Brussels. The latest thing is getting rid of gas. Now there’s a thought. Get rid of the excess gas in parliament and we might just get somewhere!!

    • DaveM
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      “Get rid of the excess gas in parliament and we might just get somewhere!!”

      NOOO – don’t get rid of it! We could run a small city on the amount of wasted gas that comes out of there.

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Ooops! Silly me, didn’t think about the advantages of that.

  12. magaret brandreth- j
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    They are influenced by those whose interest it serves to be taken over by Europe and cannot see it themselves due to blind arrogance. The reversibility of all problems has been worked on for many years. I am not sure where it has come from , but it certainly can be correlated with Europe. It doesn’t matter whether the evidence is in favour of the facts and truth, they will twist it round. Who are they? the ones who are influenced by Europe?
    The problem is we have many immigrants who are in positions where they can reverse facts as they wish. It is no using getting annoyed , scrutinising everything and being exact , as when they make mistakes they bounce it on to the one who is correct and get their clans to corroborate and blackmail others into loss of jobs when they do not agree.
    The power incentive to take control has nothing to do with ethics , getting out of debt and serve our country’s interest .It is a creeping disease which like a cancer invades everything good.

  13. Ian wragg
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    It was Major who signed up to Maastrict and the Tories who signed up for ERM. CMD has signed up to the EAW despite much opposition. Why should we vote for a rabid Europhile party which is yours John

    • Timaction
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      We should’t. You do know the answer.

  14. Iain Moore
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    The EU fanatics, ( to call them -philes is to be complicit with the spin which hides their dangerous agenda ) wonder why people can’t be bothered to vote in general elections when much of the power people had to change things has been handed over to Brussels, and where our political classes no longer represent the people, but represent Brussels to us. Worse by locking away our sovereignty in Brussles treaties the means to make necessary changes becomes impossible for Brussles won’t permit the re writing of treaties , so that our whole system of Government has become sclerotic , for it neither represents the people nor is it flexible enough to respond to changing circumstances.

    Just as Brussels’s sclerotic policies created appalling strains in the financial system, which we can only be thankful we aren’t part of, it has also spread it sclerotic effects to European democratic process, unfortunately unlike the Euro, we remain trapped in Brussels nightmare.

  15. fedupsouthener
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Take a look at what a Spanish newspaper is reporting on wind farm scams in Spain.

    Reply I have looked at this – so far it is all allegations. I will be happy to post if and when more is established.

  16. Bernard from Bucks
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    “We need a new relationship. It needs to be one that gives us more freedom to govern ourselves.”
    But, according to Juncker, no treaty negotiations can even begin until November 2019 at the earliest. This completely ruins our Prime Minister’s plans for any renegotiations before an In/Out referendum by the end of 2017.
    Martin Schulz has also waded in too. As President of the European Parliament and another arch-federalist he explained his own opposition to changes to EU treaties as a way to keep Britain in.
    “If one cannot be negotiated…” you write.
    ‘As one cannot be negotiated…’ would be nearer the mark.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I’m not bothered about a referendum – I want OUT . The thoughts of having to go through all the political shenanigans during the build up to a referendum vote is spine chilling . The present campaign is so nauseatingly boring , having to go through anything like it again is horrifying . Just imagine Cameron and Sturgeon on the same platform supported by Ken Clarke , Michael Heseltine and Tony Blair all shouting about why we should stay in !! . Indeed , as someone has pointed out this morning , hearing the voice of feet on the ground Farage is the only thing of basic value .

    If a referendum is held and won , there is still the period of negotiation afterwards to achieve the trading relationship required . Once again , imagine this being led by a man who was not in favour of leaving !!”. Heaven forbid .

  18. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    The Grexit saga is critical for the future EU. It has been going on so long that it could be concluded that their exit, which apparently 75% of Greeks don’t want, is regarded by the EU politburo as a major reversal to their ambitions of political union with all member states using the Euro and consequently no one is prepared to pull the plug on Greece.

    We will hvae to recognise the possibilty of the UK being similarly absorbed as time passes and we drift down the 2017 Cameron brick road or the Miliband no referendum unless there is yet another treaty. At some point our entanglement with the EU will become virtually irreversible and joining the Euro a formality. Each year is critical, especially as it is possible according to Nigel that UK based EU citizens could vote in an in/out referendum if so drafted or maybe it will fall under some obscure Brussels directive.

    It will be a quirk of history or “events dear boy” that could see the SNP and its charismatic (to many Scots) leader being Cameron’s saviour. The irony being the bizarrely contradictory Europhile SNP responsible for an English backlash on Labour resulting in a Conservative/Ukip majority – improbable but intriguing and a very risky assumption by the Tory hierarchy.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      “The Grexit saga is critical for the future EU. ”

      Agreed – but what I think is even more crucial is the 2017 election in France. Conveniently ignored and given minimum coverage by the MSM.

  19. forthurst
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    “Why?”

    …because we are governed by politicians who in the main believe that a political idea is more important than the Freedom and Prosperity of Everyman; they are further comforted by the fact that they are able to insulate themselves, through their control of our laws, from the privations they inflict on others. The fact that the system is flawed and unable to deliver and is the direct cause of much of the misery many suffer is simply drowned out by the deafening pro-EU propaganda broadcast by lying politicians and their complicit media. In that way, despite it being disastrous from the off, the Marxist government of the Bolshevik mass murderers, for decades, received approbation from socialist parties, the media, and academe, including such institutions as the LSE, until Ronald Reagan called it out for what it was, the ‘Evil Empire’.

    Reply I m a strong critic of the EU, but it is not comparable to the evil empire of the USSR

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      not yet…but there are people in power in Brussels who would like to take things further in that direction of travel.They learned from the ultimate failure of the Soviet Union that you cannot achieve the Socialist Utopia in one country alone ,all must be co-erced into it as Trotsky and Lenin believed.

    • forthurst
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply: I was not intending to imply that the EU was directly comparable, simply that even with the USSR, blind belief supported by a caucus of propagandists was able to hide the appalling reality for a very long time, or, in other words, Eurosceptics have an uphill struggle.

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Why mot John, the EU is modelled on the old Soviet Union.
      Unelected leaders. A useless Parliament like the Duma.
      Vassal states ruled by dictat from the centre with no overriding control locally.
      Many of the top dogs ex- communist.

      What’s not to like??

      • Mitchel
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        …and multiculuralism as a doctrine,at least in the early years of the USSR;it changed rather once Stalin assumed power!

  20. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    JR: “It needs to be one that gives us more freedom to govern ourselves, and allows the Euro area to complete its union without the UK slowing it down or making it more difficult.”
    In other words we should leave the EU. Not for one minute can you believe that such “a new relationship” could be negotiated or even wanted by your leader.
    He is hardly likely to say he failed in his so-called renegotiation and recommend that the UK leave the EU after making it perfectly clear that he is determined that we should remain members.
    A far more likely prospect is your leader emulating Harold Wilson and conning people to believe that he has successfully negotiated a change in our membership having achieved very little. He will then advocate staying in at the referendum.
    If successful this will be taken as complete endoresment of our membership and confirmation of the need to have the UK in the eurozone. I can hear the words in 2017: ‘Now that the referendum has confirmed the people’s will to remain within the EU, it is essential that we are at the very heart of the EU, in order for the UK’s powerful voice to be heard and to exercise leadership and influence. Accordingly the UK will become full members of the eurozone and the pound sterling will be replaced by the euro’.

  21. Bob
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    @Ian Wragg
    The European Arrest Warrant was slipped in without a debate or a vote in the Commons.
    This is how EU democracy works and the small handful of dissenting Tories were brushed aside with the usual aplomb by David Cameuron.

    How anyone could have faith in the Tory referendum promise is quite beyond me, Mr Redwood.

    Reply Untrue. There was a debate, and Labour fully supported the introduction of the EAW so we could not defeat it. The debate also included other EU criminal justice measures, and we had a debate about why they lumped them together.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Your own leadership wanted to opt back into the EAW, so please stop the pretence that you could have stopped it, it merely damages your own credibility. It was reported in the Telegraph at the time that just 30 Conservatives opposed the re-introduction – no doubt you were one.

      Reply Yes, I was. We could have blocked it if Labour had joined us.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        If your own party and its leadership hadn’t been determined to bring EAW back in then you would have had nothing to stop.

      • Hope
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        No no. Cameron,promised a debate on the EAW not as a side show to other EU issues. May stated it was not your party’s finest hour. The speaker even waded in and look what underhand treatment he later got from your leadership! Do not say you had a debate solely about the EAW. Nasty party image will not go away with behaviour like this. What is happening about Rifkin, any update?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      The first “we” being the Tory rebels who wanted their party to keep its word, the second “we” being the minority of MPs who were sufficiently interested.

    • Bob
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply I don’t think you did debate the EAW. You debated whether or not it should be debated.

      The fact that Mr Cameron packaged it up with a bundle of other directives and slipped it through like some kind of sub prime legislation with the help of his Lib/Lab buddies confirms my opinion of him (and his followers).

  22. Tad Davison
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    John,

    This post ought to be on the front page of every national newspaper, and taught in every school, to counter the misinformation put out by the highly duplicitous and downright dangerous pro-EU people, and to ensure the public actually know what they’re voting for. We have the abysmally poor standard of the well-spoken, seemingly authoritative, but utterly useless political journalists and commentators to thank for this issue not to be right at the top of the political agenda. Yet there are things we must never lose sight of when rightly condemning Labour, the Lib Dems, or the SNP, particularly in relation to lines like these:

    ‘Many of them who now just assert we have to stay in come what may, urged us to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism.’

    I seem to recall there was quite a number of those in the Tory party, and there still is!

    Interesting to see Major wheeled out yesterday and promoted as some wise old sage in whose judgement we should have full confidence. Nothing gets me so angry as when I think back to how we have been conned by his type.

    I would happily fight for the Tories, just as many other like-minded people did. We held the belief they were fighting vigorously against further EU integration, but how wrong we were! These Major types rode on the backs of us activists and the popularity of one PM who had won three elections on the bounce, and they used us to get elected, whilst harbouring a different agenda altogether. They isolated Mrs. T, briefed against her behind the scenes, then she was stabbed in the back by her ‘friends’ as the noble Lord Tebbit once described them. But if anybody thinks they have gone away, they need to think again. The Tory party is still awash with them.

    David Cameron would like UKIP supporters to come back to the fold. Well here’s one who has had enough of people like him and won’t even contemplate voting for anyone who regards the EU as a good idea, himself included.

    And it is so easy to understand why. That ‘European model’ to which you refer is going down the tubes. It can’t do anything else as it is fundamentally flawed, so by extension, so is the judgement of the people who still want to remain in the EU, with or without re-negotiation. They are just trying to perpetrate the same con as all the other toadies before them.

    Voter beware!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if this is the kind of thing the supporters of the EU so like about the place?

      Taken from this morning’s Open Europe:

      New EU Directive could drive up cost of re-mortgaging

      The Times reports that the EU’s Mortgage Credit Directive, due to come into force by next March, could force existing borrowers wishing to re-mortgage their properties to undertake tougher affordability tests unless they stick with the same lender, potentially depriving them of access to more competitive rates and products elsewhere.

      Source: The Times

  23. Atlas
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Exactly John. Now if only your leader was Boris then I’d believe we would get a better deal…

    • formula57
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Beware of Boris – he actually thinks admitting Turkey to the EU is a sound idea. (Well I suppose it would it such a move coincided with Brexit.)

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know if you are being ironic but if anybody thinks Boris is the solution,they don’t understand the problem.

      I don’t know how keen Turkey still is on EU membership;they seem to be making a good fist of rendering themselves inadmissable on the EU’s entry standards (but as we know those rules can be very flexible) and flirting with Russia’s Eurasian Union,though that may be just posturing,as well as signing up as the hub for the proposed Russian pipeline that will cut out Ukraine and which the Greeks claim may be part of their salvation.

  24. Chris S
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I believe that your piece has a fundamental error contained within it :

    The 27 countries within the Eurozone will never complete their Union.
    We all know that those trying to get the French to give up their sovereignity and the Germans to give up the majority of their taxes to keep ClubMed afloat are living in cloud cuckoo land.
    The Eurozone wil struggle on until a larger country has to leave then it will collapse. There is even an outside chance that LePenn will win the French Presidency and take France out of the Euro. That would certainly finish it.

    As far as the UK is concerned, I think we need to face facts here.

    There are, at most, about 65% of the population that would even consider voting to leave the EU. Unfortunately a lot of them are Labour voters and obviously 12-15% support UKIP. It seems highly unlikely that enough of these people would vote for a Conservative Government with a majority that would allow a referendum to take place, before or after any abortive attempt can be made at renegotiation.

    Furthermore, given that your leader spent so much of our money bribing the Scots to stay, there is now the added difficulty that the now-dominant SNP will insist on Independence for Scotland so that they can remain in the EU if England votes to leave. That will make it even more difficult to secure a win in any EU referendum.

    Cameron was a fool to go along with Brown’s giveaway proposals. If Scotland had voted to leave, we would now be heading for a Conservative majority as soon as the SNP MPs left the house and it would be much easier to win a referendum to leave the EU. Also, had Scotland not been bribed into staying within the UK, the present problems we will face after this election would not exist.

    I suspect from looking at the arithmetic that even if the Conservatives are the largest party, they will probably not be able to get enough seats to form a majority. The Palace has already warned the leaders not to trouble the Queen unless they can guarantee passing a Queen’s speech. That rules out a minority Government. Even if that problem did not exist, with such a large block of Labour and SNP MPs, the LibDems will find it much easier to support Labour/SNP knowing that there would then be no referendum. Few can doubt that Clegg will jump ship if it means remaining in Government.

    In my view, the total dominance of the SNP in Scotland now means that UK as presently constituted has no more a long term future than the Euro.

    I watched Sturgeon facing serious economic questions on Election Scotland on BBC 2 Scotland last night, ( at 22:30 it’s well worth us English watching during the campaign, I might add. Newsnight then follows it ).
    Her answers showed that SNP economic policies are as unreal today as their proposals on a currency were during their referendum. She simply ignored all the facts put to her and failed to answer a single point. Yet this is the party that has so much support that it’s going to wipe out Labour in Scotland !!

    Unless Cameron achieves a John Major-type unexpected swing, things are not looking too bright for those of us who are Anti-EU Conservatives.

  25. Vanessa
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    If you go back a few years this same business community were saying it would be a disaster if we did NOT join the ERM ! We know the consequence of listening to them.

    Then they said it would be a disaster if we did NOT join the single currency and we now know what that has done to the countries which did join.

    AND now they are saying it would be a disaster if we were to leave the European Union ! As you say JR they do not understand how we could “fly” again without being shackled to this failing outdated project.

    These people KNOW NOTHING ! They are all lemmings and will bring us to the same fate – death and lights out !

  26. oldtimer
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    A very clear argument and good questions with which I agree.

    It is obvious that Labour, LibDems, the SNP, Plaid Cymri and some in the Conservative party want the UK to stay in the EU, want to shove the UK electorate into a box, shut the lid and padlock it so that it is denied any chance to vote on the matter. This is authoritarian politics at its most blatant; it is not democracy.

    It is obvious that the BBC is fully on board with this authoritarian agenda. I do not recall any of its interviewers challenging Miliband, Clegg or Sturgeon about it. Evan Davis certainly did not the other night when interviewing Miliband. Tonight`s exchanges with Mr Farage will be illuminating in this respect. Will he try to paint Mr Farage as a Little Englander? Or as a racist for wanting to control immigration? Or will he, unlike the other leaders, actually accept that uncontrolled immigration actually does impact on schools, hospital A&E departments, housing and the like? We shall see. And will Mr Farage get the opportunity to point out the authoritarian, anti-democratic stance of the Europhile camp?

    • stred
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Will he ( Farage) be able to finish a sentence or make a point without interruption?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Not if he is being interviewed by “Tigger” Evan Davis…

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        He did but with great difficulty. Davis was his usual arrogant self.

    • stred
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      As usual the interview was diverted in the direction of personality and tone, while policies and numbers were not raised. Davis started at the BBC as an economics and business journalist. Now he is an metropolitan title tattle expert who could be working for the celebrity section of a freebie.

  27. A different Simon
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Quote J.R. : “….and allows the Euro area to complete its union without the UK slowing it down or making it more difficult. ”

    Le Catastrophic will be gone in 2017 and chances are Sarkozy will be back .

    Things are looking up for France . Wish we could say the same for Britain .

    John , on a number of occasions I think I have detected that you want the Euro area to become a political union i.e. a single country .

    Is there any evidence to suggest that that is what the population of mainland Europe actually want ?

    Reply No, my preference would be an orderly break up of the Euro asap. The preference of voters on the continent is very clearly for the Euro,and that implies political union to make it work.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Would it be possible for the break-up of the Euro to be achieved in an orderly fashion?

      Reply Yes, of course. The break up of the rouble was relatively orderly.

      • Mitchel
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply.I’m not sure they are totally comparable situations with the USSR not having an indebted capitalist/banking infrastructure to sort out and surely it was only orderly to the extent that wars didn’t (immediately)break out – there was to western eyes huge suffering amongst sections of the population(albeit paling in comparison to events over the previous 75 years and tolerated by the people themselves).

        • Feodor
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

          1) Russia and most of the former Eastern bloc countries did have significant debts. Those debts were a major reason for the IMF-ordered restructuring these countries then underwent. See Poland for a particularly good example of this.

          2) I’m not sure it pales half as much as you think–just think of the population decline in Russia since 1991. And it wasn’t tolerated as much as it was forced on peoples so haggard and disorientated that they had little capacity to resist. There was nevertheless some resistance, which for example in Russia was forcibly suppressed by the Yeltsin dictatorship.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      If the euro is so popular and survives, with the attendant political union, then I repeat that your leader would take us into the euro if he were successfully able to deceive the British people to confirm our abandonment of self-government.
      It would follow just as night follows day.

  28. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    “It is surpassed by their arrogance in seeking to deny us an In/Out referendum on whether we want to stay in the EU”

    It is not arrogant at all. It is not in their manifestos and we are free to vote for them or not as we choose on that basis. In any event Mr Farage has managed to contaminate the anti-EU stance so comprehensively with his ill-judged remarks about immigrants with HIV and so on that there would be no chance of you getting a majority in an early referendum on the EU anyway. It has long been my view that one or more other countries will leave the EU before UK does.

    On another topic what would your view be if SNP obtained more than 50% of votes case in Scotland (as polls indicate is possible). I’d say give them independence immediately but I suppose the main UK parties might (arrogantly ?) oppose that.

    Reply The election is not a re run of the independence vote, and the SNP are pitching for pro Union voters to back them as a voice for Scotland. It would not therefore be a decisive vote for exit from the union, but clearly the SNP would have more authority and might then press for a new In/Out referendum.

  29. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    You had your chance – in 2010. You and the Lib Dems were desperate for power. Clegg was fresh from leaflets in 2008 saying it was ‘time the people were given a say on the EU!’ (Ha!) Cameron could have said – ‘we are having a referendum on Lisbon because I gave a cast iron (ha!) promise to my supporters that, even it was ratified, I would not let the matter rest.

    He could have had the referendum – we would have voted ‘No’ – and he could have had a meaningful re-negotiation with the EU.

    But that would have taken a man with leadership qualities. And Dave is not that man. Now, the Tory party is going to lose again and, by 2020, it will be 28 years since you won an election and your party will start to disintegrate.

  30. formula57
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    A most cogent post that should be reproduced on a leaflet and posted to every household in the UK.

  31. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    ‘ …Why do they accept the EU policy of controlling government deficits to a maximum of 3% of GDP per annum, when at home they are always urging larger deficits?…’

    Our GDP is 2.8 trillion. 3% of that is 84 billion. So, the EU thinks it is okay for us to borrow 84 billion a year? How long for? Forever? Even when you already owe one and a half trillion?

    Surely there has to be some rule that you can run a deficit for X years – but you just move into surplus and pay it back regularly. Surely?

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I think the 3% is because the politicians expect growth to exceed that thereby reducing the deficit/debt as a percentage of GDP.
      Of course this is not happening so we import millios of foreigners to increase GDP but this reduces per capita and actually increases the welfare budget.
      Either our politicians are incredibly stupid (yes) or are very devious (both)
      Farage is the only one speaking the truth and is howled down be the rest and MSM.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Go and have a read of Dr Tim Morgan’s (ex of Tullet Prebon) latest blog and see that all of them are taking the voters as being mugs with regard to the true state of the UKs finances. That’s before we consider the consequences of an unreformed Anglo-American banking system, Japan defaulting on its debts etc

    • petermartin2001
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Mike Wilson,

      UK GDP is £1.9 trillion. The figure you quote is more like what is would be in US$ which is fair enough – but you need to specify the currency!

      The UK runs a budget deficit of about £100 billion. That is about 5% of GDP. Much higher than would be allowed under EU rules.

      The UK imports more than it exports. Its current account deficit is 5.5% of GDP.

      So the governments deficit is almost the same as our external deficit.

      That’s not a co-incidence. If money leaves the economy to pay for net imports it has to be replenished from somewhere, otherwise we’ll end up with a huge recession.

      You can’t tackle the problem of the budget deficit without tackling the, largely ignored , current account (trade) deficit too. It’s just simple arithmetic. Yet, governments ignore the connection. Not just in Britain but in Europe too. The trade imbalances there are the root cause of the problems in the euro zone yet governments are largely powerless to do anything to correct them. They can’t impose controls on trade. They can’t vary the value of their currencies. The end result is a the mess we now see there.

      The UK isn’t quite in the same position so there would be no excuse to induce recession or even depression to our economy when there is no need to.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        You are very relaxed about UK debt levels yet consider the current modest trade deficit level to be a concern.
        All nations cannot run a trade surplus at the same time can they ?

        • petermartin2001
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          No we can’t all run a trade surplus. You’re right to point that out. But the German imposed rules on the EZ require them to effectively do that or close to it. There’s only Cyprus that doesn’t – and I’d be suspicious of the official figures in Cyprus’s case as no-one there trusts the banks and instead Cypriots have to resort to using suitcases full of cash for large transactions.

          I’d agree with you that the trade surplus is modest. But then so is the Gov deficit!

          BUT, it’s hard to convince everyone on that point. So, if there is to be a concerted effort to reduce the govt deficit it’s better that the external deficit is also simultaneously reduced. Otherwise we’ll just end up with an economy spiralling downwards into depression.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

            Correction: should be “I’d agree with you that the trade deficit is modest…”

          • Edward2
            Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            Keynes thought a depression could be helped by reduced taxes and some boost to State spending to prime the pump.
            This would increase employment, increase consumption and improve export trading.
            But Keynes did not envisage borrowing 100% of this money.

            Problem now is the constant deficit spending by all European nations and the USA makes this positive effect minimal in terms of stimulous.
            Perhaps it now actually requires a reduction of permanent national deficit and a reduction in tax levels to bring about stimulous.

            The current pathway is not Keynesian nor monetarist.
            It is not an economic theory at all.
            It has developed mainly by politicians realising that to be successful in elections, promising to out spend rival parties brings them victory.

            A law to limit State borrowing and to limit corporate and individual taxes to below a certain percentage level would be a first step to bring the madness of having politicians bribing the electorate with other peoples money under control.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted April 23, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            “The current pathway is not Keynesian nor monetarist.
            It is not an economic theory at all.”

            In science the observations come first and the theory second. Economists would do well to adopt the same approach. They should look at the system we have which clearly does work. Not perfectly of course. It could and should be much better. But if we don’t understand what we now have we are unlikely to be able to make any improvement.

            They need to start at the beginning with a single unit of currency and ask what it is, why it has a value and where it comes from. In Keynes’ time, and also of all other well known economists, the answer to that question would have involved gold and the intrinsic value of that metal.

            That’s not the case now. So, we can’t look to economists of a previous age for complete answer to that question.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 25, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

            Except monetarism is a postt gold standard theory.
            At least its popularity and use is.

  32. Kenneth
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    “If they do not trust the people, why should the people trust them?”

    Great campaign message. Send that one to Lynton Crosby.

  33. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Just a digression, I was amused to see that both my Conservative and Labour candidates have pledged, in writing, to “fight against a 3rd runway at Heathrow”. So, no problem then, whoever wins the election there’ll be no new runway at Heathrow. They both must think we’re easily fooled – why do we think the report on that has been delayed till after the election ?

  34. James Winfield
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Ooh good I want protecting from Brexit.

    Do they know anything about running an economy too? Might have to change my mind about voting Tory.

  35. Julian
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    labour, lib dems, greens and snp all want a federal europe with all the entrenched left agenda that implies. Maybe an independence for England movement may the only way forward – shed the left strongholds of Scotland & Wales and go it alone.

  36. David Price
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    And Mr Cameron wants to protect us from the Scots ! This election didn’t promise much but has descended in to a farce.

  37. DaveM
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, a slight amendment to your post if I may:

    “It needs to be one that gives us more freedom to govern ourselves”

    My version:

    “It needs to be one that gives us TOTAL freedom to govern ourselves”

  38. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    John: The boundary commission review to reduce the number of MPs to 600 and equalise constituency size was delayed till 2018. Is it certain to happen then and would a vote in parliament be needed to accept its conclusions ?

    Reply The next government can put its own proposals to parliament.

  39. Ken Moore
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Reading John Redwood in 2007 I’m left asking: what has really changed under 5 years of a Conservative led coalition?
    We are still told by those in charge that we must learn to love the Eu..albeit in a reformed version..despite the fact we have been promised Eu reform for the last 20 or 30 years. It never happens.

    The language has changed slightly but little else….
    Perhaps something for those that think they can secure change by sticking with the legacy party’s to ponder upon.

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2007/11/16/why-are-so-many-people-leaving-the-uk/

  40. Tad Davison
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Re-posted from a different thread.

    I don’t usually say anything good about the BBC, but I highly recommend everyone watches today’s (Wednesday) Daily Politics Election Debate on BBC 2 from 2:00 pm. It was about the economy, and it blew one or two out of the water, although the revelations for some, might not hold many surprises for most who post on this blog.

    In the main, the theme was about public spending, borrowing, and how the hell these people hope to pay for their extravagances and ‘sweeteners’. I won’t spoil it for you, but see if you can watch it without swearing.

    Tad

  41. A different Simon
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    If the election results in a minority Conservative Govt , how long would it last ?

    We may well be having another G.E. before 2016 is out .

    If Cameron is true to his promise of not seek a third term of office , Anthony Blair would no doubt welcome him to his club of ex-leaders to help facilitate the post-democratic age .

    Perhaps this is what UKIP mean when they say it’s not this election that they are looking at but the next one ?

  42. Jon
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I find it ironic that the SNP are pro EU, of course they are not, it’s just their political posturing to be seen as challenging “Westminster”

    They are a Socialist party and a (nationalist party ed) Whilst the EU is socialist I see no stomach to accept (this combination ed)

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    This Tory scaremongering tosh about the “toxic” SNP now strongly reminds me of some similar Tory scaremongering tosh about the “toxic” BNP four years ago:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3499181/Conservative-party-chairman-Baroness-Warsi-urges-Britain-to-say-No-to-Alternative-Vote-system.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=News

    “AV ‘will bring in fascism’”

    “TORY chairman Baroness Warsi today urges Britain to say No to a change in our voting system to keep fascists out of Parliament.

    She warns in The Sun that if voters opt for the dangerous Alternative Vote system in the May 5 referendum they could let the racist BNP in by the back door. Baroness Warsi says candidates will feel the need to pander to racist groups — leading to “more policies which appeal to extremists”.”

    And further down:

    “Why a vote for AV is a vote for BNP”

    Some politicians will say anything at all to dupe us into voting the way they want, it’s just unfortunate that some people will still fall for it.

  44. ian
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I feel your centrally control government will have a housing boom coming for refuges and migrants like the last one with housing association before the last war. I see sign papers in EU to take all the refuges from the middle east and African to the EU, big cooperates moving in mysterious ways, they have their fingers in all the pies, specially on the left because they get things done and can mobilize large numbers of people in demonstration and the media. big business will win again. How the bombing going.

  45. A different Simon
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    You hear there has been a break in down at the BBC ?

    Somebody has stolen the election results .

  46. rick hamilton
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    If by some miracle the Conservatives get the most seats and go back into coalition with LibDems we may expect a five year parliament with continuation coalition policies. Which means – thanks to Clegg – no EU referendum and as much leftie nonsense as the LibDems can get away with.

    By 2020 the coalition would have run for ten years and Cameron would be replaced. They might stand as one party under a new name and the Tories would be gone for ever together with their nasty/ toff / big business image ( however undeserved ).

    Although a depressing thought, as it portends years of indecision on every major issue and more of the green crap etc (see Lifelogic), it may have the useful effect of
    bracketing Labour with the SNP as a bunch of incompetent socialist losers and fifth columnists out to destroy the UK.

    Hope, too for UKIP in the long run as the growing numbers of their supporters become ever more resentful of a parliament and voting system that doesn’t give them a voice, despite the paradox that they beat the two major EUphile parties in the EU elections.

  47. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Anyone wanting to read about our time in the ERM and our exit from it should read Norman Lamont’s book ‘In Office’, about his time as Chancellor. Inter alia, here is the story of White Wednesday. By noon, sterling had fallen below the bottom end of its ERM band. Speculators could afford to sell sterling short, because under the ERM, HM Government was obliged to buy the sterling back at the rate at the bottom end of the band.

    Norman Lamont warned the Prime Minister of this and for 5 hours – from noon until close of business – John Major and his pro-EU cronies, Messrs Clarke, Heseltine and Hurd – dithered, hoping that the problem would go away. Eventually, Norman Lamont was authorised to announce our exit from the ERM, but only after taxpayers had been saddled with a £2 billion loss.

    Immediately after our exit, Norman Lamont started to reduce interest rates in Britain’s interest, instead of having to track the Bundesbank rate. Now if there was a Grexit from the Euro zone, ………………………..

    On the topic of your blog, it would be nice if Mr Cameron were to spell out his negotiating strategy with the EU. I don’t know for sure if the EU is a nascent European Federation or a German Empire; either way, I’m not interested.

  48. Richard
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    “We need a new relationship [with the EU]. ……..If one cannot be negotiated, then the British people need the opportunity to vote out of what we have at the moment, as it is far from ideal.”

    I agree.

    But unfortunately no party except UKIP is offering an unambiguous in/out referendum.

    Mr. Cameron has offered a referendum if he is PM in 2017 and after negotiations have taken place. So if there is no negotiation (which we are told there will not be by Mrs Merkel and Mr. Juncker) then there will not be any referendum.

    In addition I cannot see how any referendum bill could be passed through the Commons when most of the Conservative Party’s MPs are Europhiles and will be voting down the bill together with all the Labour/Lib Dem/SNP/Green MPs.

    So any UKIP voter who thinks that by voting Conservative in the forthcoming GE will lead to a Conservative government delivering a referendum will be disappointed.

    Worse still, the Conservative leadership will consider that all those who have voted for them support their policies to :

    – Continue EU membership and to enlarge the EU to include Turkey and all the countries as far as the Urals.

    – Continue with non-EU and EU mass immigration.

    – Continue with the Climate Change Act.

    And will say that the UKIP vote has collapsed.

    UKIP voters should realise that with the current FPTP system there is little chance of them winning a large number of Parliamentary seats.

    But their greatly increased percentage of the vote, when compared to that of the 2010 GE, will henceforth bring a substantial political influence far in excess of the actual number of seats gained.

    Reply Wrong on several counts. If they permit no negotiation we move straight to referendum – an unlikely outcome, but one an Out supporter would welcome. The Conservative party will vote for it – remember we all voted against Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon on a 3 line whip.

  49. agricola
    Posted April 28, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Do not blame it all on the Labour Party or the Lib/Dems, your leader and around two thirds of his parliamentary party are happy to be in the EU. You may think DC will let you have a straight in/out referendum but I for one do not. Our sovereignty as a nation should have been paramount in this election but there has not been a squeak out of any of you.

    Reply Nonsense. I have repeatedly said I want our sovereignty back and support holding the IN/Out referendum which the PM has promised.

  • 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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