St George’s day

Happy St George’s day. England awakes.
Just the day for a Manifesto for England. Which party or parties do you think will produce one?
The emphasis in this election on the issues of Scotland should make us ask what is on offer for England, on this day of all days.
The media decided to give the SNP star billing in the tv debates. The Scottish voters have decided to propel the SNP to new highs in the polls, making them of more interest to the commentators. The main parties left unfinished business from the last Parliament, to transfer new major powers to the Scottish Parliament from Westminster.
Only the Conservative party saw this also meant we have now to tackle the problem of England. Labour and the Lib Dems have contented themselves with saying they will look into it in the next Parliament. Their lack of enthusiasm for the task comes through in their limp and feeble proposals, and in their belief that somehow a bit more devolution to Councils can answer the problem. It most certainly cannot.
The minimum England needs is the same rights to settle matters for our country that Scotland will achieve through the new devolution Act planned for the first year of the new Parliament. In some cases it will be England, Wales and Northern Ireland deciding things, in other cases just England, depending on the degree of devolution elsewhere.
Today I repeat my campaign for EVEN – English votes for English needs. If Scotland decides her own Income Tax, so must England. If Scotland decides her own local government settlement – within the bloc totals – so must England settle hers. If Scotland can legislate for herself without England, then so should England be able to legislate for herself.
The UK is a country which believes in fairness. Today of all days we should seek fairness for England.

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115 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    A fair deal for England looks like a very distant prospect indeed. A carve up and stitch up by Miliband and the SNP is surely on the cards thank to the misdirection of the Tories. Why on earth is Cameron not making much more of this issue? The Tories are essentially now just a party of England after all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      The anti UKIP bias of the BBC is just appalling. Last night on Newsnight Nigel Farage was “interviewed” – (actually just an attempted and planned hatchet job to brand UKIP as racists). This by ……………….Evan Davis (PPE Oxford yet again).

      • Old Albion
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

        To be fair, I saw Evan Davis interview with Cameron last week. It was just as bad. Davis is a far-Left gay rights supporting mouthpiece. He is hardly the right material to interview anyone, though I’m sure he’ll fawn all over Miliband.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          As long as that’s all he does………

          Tad

          • Fairweather
            Posted April 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

            Re:St George’s Day
            My neighbour’s son said the school was not allowed to put up an English cross for St George but ordered to put up the EU flag!
            What is going on? The political correct establishment is taking over this country

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 23, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

            Well, you may recall that some years ago a certain senior Tory suggested that schools should fly the British flag every day, and he got slapped down by his leader who said that wouldn’t be British, we don’t do flags in the front lawn.

            http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2006/01/cameron_we_dont.html

      • alan jutson
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic

        Did you really expect anything else !

        Afraid Evan Davis likes the sound of his own voice rather too much.

        In all interviews so far (I have seen three) he has asked a question by making a statement, but then will not allow time for an answer.

        Afraid Evan Davis appears to me to be rather too full of his own self importance and views, to make a good interviewer.

        Will not view this programme any more !

      • oldtimer
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        The Newsnight piece must have been a repeat of the half hour interview aired on BBC1 at 7:30 pm. It certainly was an attempted hatchet job. At one point Davis put the word “hate” into his description of Mr Farage`s views but Mr Farage did not let him get away with it. Davis seemed to spend more time talking than Mr Farage and frequently talked over his replies. It was obviously pre-recorded as it seems they were looking for some damaging sound bite to broadcast on the 6pm news. The best they could come up with was the Farage preference for giving refugee status to Christians fleeing persecution to others.

        It was a revealing example of the BBC at work.

        • stred
          Posted April 23, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          (Mr ed) Davis started as an interesting economics reporter, but seemed much more interested in ‘tone’ and emotion in his Farage interview. He avoided the manifesto and costings.

          Today, I was driving south on the M25 past the 12 mile queue into the toll booths, taking no money but spitting traffic apart for a F1 style getaway. As usual there had been an accident. I thought, how typically English for us to put up with it, when the Forth Bridge tolls were ended.

          There was a piece on R4 news about the IFS findings on manifesto costings. The only parties considered were Con, Lab, Lib, and SNP, based on projected seats. Voting support did not count and the BBC did not see fit to include UKIP or the costing done by another economics group. They are not going to get any seats, so ignore the policies seems to be the idea. Perhaps it is too anti EU to mention.

          Of the analysis, the Cons wish to reduce national debt by 8% and Labour by 3% by 2020. The difference is reckoned to be £80bn.( see IFS site) Ukip would cancel HS2 currently costed at £50bn and probably £80bn or more if it goes the usual way with public investment. Little will be returned and the taxpayer will have to pay for most of it in the end. Labour do not even include investment borrowing in the borrowing figure. Ukip would also save EU contributions and on the Barnet bung. But for goodness sake let’s not discuss, especially on English national day.

          Lastly, have a look at the poems posted below, one commissioned by English nature and the other by R4 Today by Elvis McGonagal. The latter points out that St George was Turkish and advises us to celebrate with a kebab. Well, better for us than a deep fried Mars bar or a bag of Sheeps intestines Elvis.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 23, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think St George was Turkish, not least because the Turks only moved into Asia Minor centuries later.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Further anti- UKIP bias yesterday by the BBC on the Daily Politics. Four people were interviewed on a bowling green in Sheffield, the first lady said she supported UKIP and the interviewer then ignored her completely whilst speaking several times to the other three non UKIP supporters.
        Later, in the Daily Politics Economy Debate the UKIP spokesman Patrick O’Flynn was similarly sidelined by Andrew Neil. After the opening statements by all the participants all spoke repeatedly except O’Flynn who was not asked to speak until more than a quarter of the programme was over and then his further contributions were kept far less than the others.

      • behindthefrogs
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        If Evan Davis was biased it was towards UKIP. He did less of a hatchet job last night than he had done in the previous interviews.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted April 23, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Farage missed some really easy put-downs.

          Slightly off topic.

          Cameron states that we won’t be taking any refugees.

          Oh yes we will ! We can’t do anything to stop them.

          Their intentions were never to be picked up by the Royal Navy and brought here. It was always to land in Italy and get here by foot.

      • A different Simon
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic ,

        Only yesterday you were calling for “Cockney Tony” (Abbott) to replace Natalie Benn .

        You do know that Tony Abbott has been on the same Oxford PPE indoctrination course as all the others ?

        Of course statistically , only a few people who read PPE at Oxford end up in Govt just as only a few people who work for GS end up as Heads of Central Banks .

        Still , both seem to be self perpetuating mafias from where I sit .

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          I did know, he is the exception that proves the rule. At least one or two came out still able to actually think.

    • Qubus
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps it is time to sack Lynton Crosby.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Rather too late I suspect. I would have thought even a stuffed bear would be able to beat the prospect of a Miliband/SDP government.

        • ChrisS
          Posted April 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Never underestimate the stupidity of the UK electorate or their collective amnesia.

          What other reason could one find for the fact that Miliband and Cameron are equal in the polls !

  2. Ian B
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    The only plausible solution to this is admit that the single Union Parliament is broken. If “regions” have assemblies, every such region- or nation- must have one with equal powers. Each must have a separate assembly or parliament which sits independently of the Union Parliament. It is unjust that different citizens live under different political dispensations. If any citizen has two votes, so must every citizen.

    This is vital to understand. Scotland, Wales and NI currently have one person two votes, but there is a determination to retain English citizens only having one vote under these cutely acronymed proposals. This is fundamentally unjust. The Scots have more local powers (and will get even more apparently) than Wales. This is also unjust. You cannot continue fobbing the English off like this.

    There was never, before Devolution, any special disadvantage suffered by somebody in Aberdeen or Glasgow compared to somebody in Swindon or Birmingham. If the special privileges granted to the non-English by a Labour Party hoping to buy votes cannot be withdrawn, then they must be extended equally to all citizens to restore equality under the Constitution. Nothing less is acceptable.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      As an Englishman I too want justice for England. The first step however is removal from the EU dictatorship. The cartel want to balkanise England with a few devolved powers at the behest of the EU. All part of the greater plan.

    • acorn
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      “You cannot continue fobbing the English off like this”, oh yes you can. I don’t hear English votes for English anything, as being a big issue in this election. The UK does not have a codified Constitution to restore equality to. We are good at giving constitutions to school governors and various Quangos. We have issued them for Bermuda; Turks and Caicos Islands etc.

      The English don’t care enough or even understand enough about what’s going on in the Westminster village. The only recent whinge they had about voting was when their votes didn’t get counted, but they got charged for the phone call to “Big Brother” and “Strictly”. How many have even bothered to sign an “e-petition”, never mind raise one?

      We wrote a constitution for Australia a century back http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/63-64/12/contents . Perhaps we should take it off the shelf, dust it off, change a few words, chop a few bits out and there you have it! A ready made Bill for a “Federal Constitution for the Commonwealth of the United Kingdom”.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        I disagree, I believe the English people do care, the Conservatives are saying they are surprised how much ‘cut through’ they are getting about their attack about a Labour SNP stitch up, it is just that the English are excluded from the political process. The problem we have is that the British metropolitan media is talking to the British political classes about what interests them. English people and their constitutional issues don’t get a look in.

    • yosariona
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      If England is to be Balkanised into regions we must have a national referendum, anything else will be lines in the sand. We can see the trouble in the middle East from the lines that were drawn up after the first world war still burning a nearly one hundred years on.
      Personally I think the Union died in 1998, and if we have to be part of the EUSSR then one union has to go, and the English will not give up their identity just to keep the Celtic fringe in a dysfunctional club.

  3. alan jutson
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    “Which Party”

    The simple answer is none.

    The Conservatives perhaps come nearest, but with so much compromise and fudge, their recent proposals are simply not good enough.

    The simple solution is for all four Country’s of the Union to have exactly the same powers now devolution is out of the bag, because it is simple and it is fair.

    I agree devolution of powers to regions is wrong, as this will lead to a break up of England.

    What is the point of having MP”S in Parliament if they cannot fight their corner for their constituents.

    • Old Albion
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. But this is not what JR is proposing. The Conservatives may offer a wishy-washy toothless EVoEL. Nothing more.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Sometimes I think their constituents are the last thing on their mind. For all parties , their sole purpose for being there seems to be to score points over the other parties.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      “devolution of powers to regions is wrong, as this will lead to a break up of England.”

      Unfortunately that is the Conservative policy for England, Cameron and Osborne are seeking to finish off what Labour started . By balkanising English into City fiefdoms they are setting up West Lothian Questions across England, as some City fiefdoms get special representation , others don’t and where vast swathes of English people get no representation at all, and are left in some representational waste land.

      The Cameron Conservatives are a disaster for England.

  4. Mondeo Man
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Perhaps EVEN could begin with the formation of the English National Party.

    Let’s see how far we get with that without the BBC and Guardian kicking up a fuss.

    Why are the Scots allowed to be nationalistic and get respect for being so ?

    • Old Albion
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Because all national celebration is good, except when it’s English ….. it’s a long established rule.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      There is one – the English Democratic party.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Dare they call themselves the English National Party, Pranglewizard ?

        • William Gruff
          Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          Mondeo Man:

          Dare they call themselves the English National Party …

          They did before changing their name to The English Democrats, if I recall correctly. The party is a joke and no English nationalist with any grip on reality would vote for it.

          There is currently no English nationalist political group with any credibility. I look forward to that changing from 8th May.

          Here’s wishing Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond all the best in the ‘British’ general election, with my fervent hope that it is one of the last.

          Here’s to independence for England.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      English people aren’t allowed by the cartel to be patriotic. Its all part of the creation of the EU superstate plan.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      ‘Why are Scots allowed to be nationalistic and get respect for being so?’

      Many Scots are nationalistic it is true, and these are the Scots who are real nationalists for both Scotland and England. They flew the Union Jack, our national flag, in Glasgow’s George Square last September. Opposing them were Scottish ‘nationalists’ who flew the Saltire, a flag of convenience which has been misappropriated by communists and republicans.
      Most of this action took place in Cochrane Street which runs off George Square. Lord Provost Cochrane saved the city from the same Jacobite rabble in 1745. And no, these frauds do not deserve any respect but our real Scottish patriots do.

  5. Richard1
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    We must indeed demand Justice for England. I’m surprised the Conservatives haven’t booted the ball to the back of the net through this wide open goal. The only way forward for the UK – since the Labour Party fed the cancer of Scottish separatism through devolution – is to move to a federal structure. Northern Ireland and Wales can also be asked through referenda whether they want Scottish level devolution. The essential principle must be that MPs in the House of Commons vote on issues which potentially apply in their own constituencies. We can’t have tax powers devolved to Scotland and then have Scottish MPs imposing taxes on English taxpayers which don’t apply in Scotland.

    Surely such a policy would have overwhelming support, even in Scotland? Why isn’t Mr Cameron clearer on this?

    • Bob
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      @Richard1

      ” I’m surprised the Conservatives haven’t booted the ball to the back of the net through this wide open goal. “

      The reason you’re surprised Richard is the same reason you keep referring to them as “Conservatives”. Until you can make the leap to accepting that they are now part of the collectivist consensus commonly referred to as the LibLabCon you will remain in a state of cognitive dissonance.

      Happy St Georges day!

      • Mitchel
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        I saw some commentator refer to them as the Vichy Tories recently.First time I’ve come across that…it does have a certain resonance I must admit.

        Dave doesn’t have a portrait of the Lion of Verdun in his office…does he?

    • Ian wragg
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Richard this is exactly what we have had for years
      Brown and Blair getting legislation through only using Scottish votes.
      I wonder if CMD has had approval from Angela for his watered down English manifesto

      The interview with Nigel was a disgrace last night continual barracking by Davies
      Not so for Millipede

  6. Anthony
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I shall make the point again. Until the link is broken between English departmental spending and spending in Scotland and elsewhere, EVEN is open to the challenge that there is no such thing as an english law.

    Get rid of that hurdle, which isn’t likely to be that controversial, and the path is much clearer.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Not much chance of that seeing as Cameron, Milipede and Cleggie have all pledged to continue the Barnett Formula. Tells us all we need to know about how little they care about England.

  7. Old Albion
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Cameron is a Unionist (and EUphile) He told us, he’s got Scottish blood running through his veins.
    He is scared stiff of being the politician named as the breaker of the Union. Despite the FACT it is already broken, thanks to Blair and his lop-sided anti-English devolution bill.
    If the Consrvative manifesto had included the phrase ‘We will give England equality, fairness and Democracy by the creation of an English Parliament within a new UK Federation’ The Tories would have cleaned up in this election.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      It seems Cameron and the Tories would rather hand us over on a plate to Labour and the SNP than heaven forbid do anything that smacks of fairness for England, let alone equality and democracy,even if it means denying themselves a majority.

    • Sean Parker
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      If the ‘Conservative’ manifesto in 2010 had included a plan for an English parliament, they would slaughtered Labour then, too. Instead, Call Me Cast-Iron Guarantee Dave was unable to gain an absolute victory over the worst PM ever, and will most likely lose this time. Any Tory leader who had the brains to remember where the party gets its votes would have had two comfortable victories.

    • Ian B
      Posted April 24, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      I’ve got Scottish blood “running through my veins” too- my grandfather Jamieson. The other 3/4 by volume is English- some from Liverpool, some from East Anglia. I identify as both English and British. My grandfather designed some of the winding gear for the PLUTO line in WWII at Stewards and Lloyds in Corby. He was Scottish, British and proud of both. I imagine he is spinning in his grave at this ethnicist nonsense that has broken out thanks to Labour’s attempt to buy Scottish votes.

  8. David Murfin
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    We should move as quickly as possible to assemblies for each of the constituent countries, each with the same powers extending over that area, each raising all the funds for its activities from the people of that area. We should then soon be able fairly to abolish all four as expensive, unnecessary and mistaken, establishing a reformed central parliament for the whole of the UK.
    If this is not done, regional pressures will be succeeded by pressures for independent powers on ethnic and religious grounds.

  9. Old Albion
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I’m still waiting for an English manifesto. In fact, I’m still waiting for Westminster to acknowledge England exists politically.

  10. David Price
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I agree with what you are saying but as far as I can see the Conservative Party is not offering anything like it, nor intends to. Cameron promised much of what you say on the Downing Street steps but his group has consistently failed to deliver.

    That the manifesto comes up so short of a proper solution that matches his words demonstrates it was a false promise all along. There could be no malign influence from the LibDems so why the mean proposals?

    I don’t know if Camerons failure to deliver is a consequence of the limits of his commitment to those he is supposed to represent or limits imposed from elsewhere, either way a different approach and attitude is sorely needed.

  11. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Therefore we also need a true parliament for England to see all this through. It follows. England deserves nothing less than any other nation – why should it be expected to settle for a second class solution?

    Happy St George’s Day. And let’s make it a Public Holiday.

  12. formula57
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    You make a very sound point that “The minimum England needs is the same rights to settle matters for our country that Scotland will achieve through the new devolution Act….” and no doubt would add for clarity “and that Scotland as achieved by past measures”.

    The proposals in the Conservative manifesto seem timid and too hesitant when what was needed was a bold, forthright statement that England and Wales and Northern Ireland would get the same deal as Scotland. Perhaps Mr Cameron was holding back some better announcement for today of all days so the answer to your opening question could be the Conservative Party. Wouldn’t that be nice!

    And happy St George’s day to you too. I continue to be grateful for your efforts to speak for England.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Which have to be “the same deal” of a separate and separately elected devolved Parliament and government for the whole of England, as for Scotland.

  13. Gary C
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    With increasing regularity you blog on issues which should have been sorted well before this election and todays blog again shows just how we have been badly let down by the conservative party.

    If only you would employ your efforts in a party that has the bottle to tackle the issues head on instead of pushing them further away.

    Unfortunately it would appear your voice is being used to prop up a party unsure of it’s direction.

    Shame.

  14. Know-Dice
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Why are we in England being bombarded with SNP & Plaid Cymru on English television when we can’t vote for either of them (as if we would want to)…?

  15. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    The clue is in your heading – very few know when St. George’s Day is unlike March 1 & 17 and November 30 in their respective countries. The English PR is lousy, the SNP don’t have expensive Ausssie or American gurus they just meet the people and baldly say give us power and we will shake up the system or else, whilst Dave and Boris paint their hands blue in a kids nursery – boys, kids can’t vote. An English Parliament should have been a central plank of the manifesto – none of Hague’s waffling alternatives. I know I am repeating myself for the umpteenth time but same for the referendum. The Conservative campaign has had too many itsy bitsy on the hoof “policies” when it just needed a handful of big issues.

  16. Douglas Carter
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Not for me to suggest you and your colleagues play fast and loose with Parliamentary procedures in the next Parliament John. It may fall, however, that dependent on the final poll returned by the electorate, the opportunity may present itself that yourself, and like-minded MPs might persistently offer England-specific amendments to as much proposed legislation emanating from the next Government as can be thought up?

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Happy St George’s Day!

    Now, JR, can you please clarify whether it is in order for a political party to make use of public resources, such as analysts employed at the Treasury at public expense, to further its election campaign?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/georgeosborne/11556539/George-Osborne-Families-350-worse-off-under-Ed-Miliband-and-the-SNP.html#disqus_thread

    “Every working family in Britain will be £350 worse off under a Labour government propped up by the SNP, an official analysis has warned.

    An independent Treasury analysis highlighted by George Osborne in an interview with The Telegraph has disclosed that the SNP would add £6billion to Britain’s debt interest bill, equivalent to £358 for every household.”

    If so, would that taxpayer funded facility be available to parties other than the Tory and LibDem parties, that is to say the two parties which are still in government?

    Incidentally, to put that £6 billion in perspective it would be less than 1% of total public spending, just a marginal difference from the Tories’ own spending plans.

    Reply When Parliament is in session any MP from any party can ask for a costing from the Treasury of a measure which may be associated with one particular party. There are rules about how the Treasury is neutral, and how the question has to be asked. I think it perfectly fair that different policies/eventualities can be costed by officials without them expressing any preferences/views on them

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      But Parliament is not in session, it has been dissolved.

      • stred
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        It sounds a bit Tower Hamlets.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Agree agree agree with JR’s post today . I don’t want the Union to break up but if the SNP become the threat they are promising , let it happen . England must protect its citizens .

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Therein lies the problem. Currently England has no-one to defend its citizens, certainly not any of the UK MPs currently squatting in English seats.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Unionist citizens of Scotland require protection now.

  19. backofanenvelope
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    “The UK is a country which believes in fairness”

    And therein lies the root of all our problems! We should ban the word “fair”.

  20. JoolsB
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    John,
    You are preaching to the converted on this website. It’s your leader and your colleagues who you need to be talking to but I doubt England is going to get a fairer deal any time soon whilst Cameron is at the helm. He couldn’t even keep his promise on English votes for English laws and with respect, even you are not advocating a full English Parliament the same as Scotland and which you party has now also promised for Wales.

    Your party is very quiet on this matter, always has been, even though it is virtually an English only party. The best Cameron can put up regarding the possibility of the SNP propping up Labour is his usual mantra of “we would be governed by a party that wishes to break up the UK and the party that wishes to bankrupt it”. Not one mention of the little matter of England, and it would be predominately England, being governed by a party which was elected outside of it and which England had no say in electing. After all, he mustn’t say the word England must he? Sorry John, but if we wait for the Tory party to give England a fairer deal, we’ll be waiting a very long time. They’ve had five years to do something and have done absolutely nothing except make the education apartheid against our young three times greater. Shame really because if they had stood up for England a bit more instead of choosing to ignore it, they would probably be looking forward to a healthy majority in May.

    Now I have come to the conclusion that the only chance England has of getting a fairer deal is to have a Labour/SNP foist on us against our will and hopefully then the English lion will finally roar and demand it’s English Parliament run by English patriots instead of the anti-English Con/Lab/Libs we have now.

    Happy St. George’s Day.

    Reply I see in the Mail today a story saying the Conservatives are about to publish a Manifesto for England.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Well, yesterday on the radio Miliband was unequivocal in telling the presenter, Jeremy Vine, that Labour would not enter into any agreement with the SNP, let alone agree to a coalition government.

      It’s from 1 hour 25 minutes in here:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b052j0gs

      In the end, despite pressing him on this, Jeremy Vine had to acknowledge:

      “Right, you said no coalition and no agreement, you’ve just said, so we’ll note that.”

      Nevertheless today Telegraph has an article in which its says:

      “Mr Miliband has refused to rule out a deal with the SNP in the event his party finishes second despite warnings that such a government would be “illegitimate”.”

      Miliband also correctly pointed out:

      “The Prime Minister is spending his time trying to set one part of the United Kingdom against another. He’s trying to stir up English hatred of the Scots and Scottish resentment against the English.”

      And that is correct: in fact some senior Tories such as Boris Johnson have been doing this for a decade now, basically since the 2005 general election when the Labour majority was cut and it could be argued that they were having to rely on their MPs elected in Scotland to get their legislation through.

    • Sean Parker
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      And before those five years in office, the Tories had thirteen years in opposition, from the time of the Scottish referendum on establishing its parliament, to figure out a solution that’s fair to England. What have they been doing all these years, apart from claiming their thoroughly undeserved salaries and expenses?

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      You’re doing an excellent job for the EU and SNP.

    • William Gruff
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      JoolsB:

      Now I have come to the conclusion that the only chance England has of getting a fairer deal is to have a Labour/SNP foist on us against our will and hopefully then the English lion will finally roar and demand it’s English Parliament run by English patriots instead of the anti-English Con/Lab/Libs we have now.

      You’ve got it.

      1) English Parliament

      2) ‘U’K out of the EU

      3) England out of the ‘U’K, and no nonsense about a ‘federal’ solution.

  21. Liz
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I don’t get the impression that most English MPs ‘ – yourself excepted – care much about devolved powers for England and their constituents democratic rights. That goes particularly for Labour and LibDem MPs but also a great many Conservative ones too. You have got to care very much about these issues to get anything done as the SNP have shown us all too clearly. After hearing John Major’s speech about the SNP and its leader it did occur to me as to why so much publicity is being given to its leader who is not a candidate for the House of Commons and thus why was she given a place in the TV debates. It should have been a SNP Commons candidate – probably Alex Salmond. Nicola Sturgeon can have no part in discussions on any coalistion should the occasion arise after May 7.The excitement of the media at the SNP leader and possible May 7 ramifications is getting out of hand.

    • Sean Parker
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      There is one other notable exception to the general rule about MPs in England not caring about justice for their English constituents, and that’s Frank Field. The fact that he’s Labour should not prevent his inclusion on the list of honourable (in this particular matter) MPs. Not quite in a class of his own, but it doesn’t take very long to call the roll each day, does it?

  22. Iain Gill
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Its the Conservative party elite to blame for the current shambles.

  23. oldtimer
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    You are right of course but your plea will be drowned in the whingeing and whining we hear coming from north of the border.

  24. Iain Moore
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you Mr Redwood, the Today program has managed to go through three hours of broadcasting without mentioning England on St Georges Day . A day perfectly timed to have a debate about English constitutional matters in front of the election, is an opportunity the BBC flagship news program chooses not to have.

    Unfortunately the British political classes are happy to get past St Georges Day without mentioning England , for it means they don’t have to justify what they have constitutionally done to England , or intend doing. And what is really surprising is that the Conservatives who have much to gain by raising English constitutional matters , help out the Labour party, who have much to lose by it, be keep silent themselves, a political strategy I am at a complete loss to understand.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you should listen to five live which in addition to a one hour phone in has raised the subject all day

      • Iain Moore
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        5 live debated if St Georges day should be celebrated, there was no attempt to debate English constitutional matters .

  25. Tad Davison
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I am right with you John, but I daren’t express my love for my own country and fly the national flag in case I get branded a racist or a little-Englander, and that says much about the way we’ve been overrun by the PC brigade.

    They have caused much inequality and disparity, and that doesn’t bring about more social cohesion, it fuels yet more resentment and division.

    I would like to celebrate what I believe England (and indeed the UK) stands for – industry, tolerance, equality, the freedom to speak out, democracy, and the rule of law. Unfortunately, we are increasingly put upon by those who do not share our values, and given what they preach from the streets, I doubt if they ever will. I therefore see no reason to accommodate such people, so maybe we need a written constitution along with a requirement of residency to bear true allegiance to this country.

    As to the issue of England and EVEL, the position of Labour and the Lib Dems is disgraceful, and they should examine their consciences. They would do England down and kick our equality and a just settlement into the long grass, again no doubt because they are afraid of upsetting the PC brigade, yet they want English men and women to vote for them in sufficient numbers so they can gain power and carry on watering down our national identity.

    I’ll give them both a very big miss!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Just heard on the radio, that Gordon Brown said yesterday, it is a dangerous game to raise the issue of English nationalism. Make of that what you will.

      Tad

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      I live near the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire, – for those who don’t know it, it is a stylised white horse carved out of the chalk hillside about 3000 years ago and internationally famous. There is a lovely view from the top.

      In recent years when St George’s day falls on a day when I am not at my part time (Thursday and Friday) job, I have gone to Dragon Hill just below it, about noon for an hour or so, and flown St Georges flag. I’m told that from the road below with sun behind it, it looks magnificent.

      Next year is a Saturday.

  26. Atlas
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Agreed John.

    Off topic: We went to a hustings meeting last night where all the candidates for the Constituency were present. We can only describe it as toe curling / chew the table leg /cringable. Now we know why we don’t see them on our doorstep!

    Present were: UKIP, Lib-Dems, Labour, Green, Conservative.

    Reply All these candidates are volunteers trying to give voters choice. I attended a hustings meeting yesterday which I trust was informative and worthwhile for the audience. If you can do better, then make sure you put yourself forward next time.

    • Atlas
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      I take your point John, but even you I think would agree that if candidates do not inspire then they only have themselves to answer to.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    JR, given the way that this general election campaign is being conducted, and given the way that the AV referendum campaign was conducted, what chance do you think there would be of the “out” side winning an “in-out” referendum under a Tory government which was campaigning to stay in and which was prepared to say or do anything at all to try to get people to vote how it wanted them to vote, supported by mass media which were not only prepared to uncritically repeat its lies but even embroider them?

    Reply If we do not secure a new relationship based on trade and political co-operation, outside centralising treaties, then I would expect many Conservatives and many others to vote for Out

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Whereas I would expect almost all of the mass media to connive to make sure people didn’t know that Cameron had failed to secure such a relationship.

  28. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I can do no better than re-issue this extract from a speech Winston Churchill made to the Royal Society of St George in London on 24 April 1933:

    “On this one night in the whole year we are allowed to use a forgotten, almost forbidden word. We are allowed to mention the name of our own country, to speak of ourselves as ‘Englishmen’, and we may even raise the slogan ‘St George for Merrie England’.
    We must be careful, however. You see these microphones? They have been placed on our tables by the British Broadcasting Corporation………….
    Historians have noticed, all down the centuries, one peculiarity of the English people which has cost them dear.We have always thrown away after a victory the greater part of the advantage we gained in struggle. The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without. They come from within. They do not come from the cottages of the wage – earners. They come from a peculiar type of brainy people always found in our country, who, if they add something to its culture, take much from its strength.
    Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self -abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians. But what have they to offer but vague internationalism, a squalid materialism, and the promise of impossible Utopias?
    Nothing can save England if she will not save herself.”……

    The very same speech could, and should, be made today as nothing has changed.

    • Tom William
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Thank you for this memorable quotation, which I will have much pleasure in repeating.

    • Richard Hobbs
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant!

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        How I wish we had true leaders like Churchill again!! The British Bulldog!

    • David Price
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Interesting quote, the BBC are certainly doing their best to uphold that fine tradition outlined by Mr Churchill.

    • Bob
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      @Brian Tomkinson
      Uncannily prescient.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Loved it! Let’s send it to the DG!

      Tad

  29. DaveM
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Is your party going to produce a manifesto for England? I’m sure your avid followers here would forgive you a month away from this blog if you were to spend a couple of hours a day formulating one on behalf of the Con party!

    There are hundreds of ways to skin this.

    The bottom line is, matters that only affect England should be decided purely and ONLY by English representatives whether they be in an English Parliament or in the HoC. It’s as simple as that. England also needs a First Minister who is not the PM of the UK.

    Even on St Georges Day the BBC insists on referring to Oliver Cromwell as a “figure in British history”. Technically true, I suppose, but I doubt the Scots or the Irish would ever refer to him as anything other than English.

    Reply Be patient! I am expecting an English Manifesto

    • Sean Parker
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Oliver Cromwell a ‘figure in British history’? Well, he was born and bred on the island of Great Britain, which even I would admit to, even though I’m an English separatist, but Cromwell died almost 50 years before the disastrous ‘Union’ between England and Scotland, so ‘British’ cannot possibly be used to describe him. Doesn’t anybody at the BBC know that the British state only dates from 1/5/1707?

      Reply Indeed – what used to be called the English civil war is now known to historians as a war between Ireland, Scotland and England.

  30. Baltic Pro
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    The True Dragon by Brian Patten

    St George was out walking
    He met a dragon on a hill,
    It was wise and wonderful
    Too glorious to kill

    It slept amongst the wild thyme
    Where the oxlips and violets grow
    Its skin was a luminous fire
    That made the English landscape glow

    Its tears were England’s crystal rivers
    Its breath the mist on England’s moors
    Its larder was England’s orchards,
    Its house was without doors

    St George was in awe of it
    It was a thing apart
    He hid the sleeping dragon
    Inside every English heart

    So on this day let’s celebrate
    England’s valleys full of light,
    The green fire of the landscape
    Lakes shivering with delight

    Let’s celebrate St George’s Day,
    The dragon in repose;
    The brilliant lark ascending,
    The yew, the oak, the rose

    (Commissioned by English Heritage for St George’s Day 2008 – leading R4 Today to commission a smug, patronising poem by a Scottish poet ‘marking the day from the other side of the border’: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/reports/arts/st_george_20080423.shtml – & who says the liberal metropolitan elite are anti-English?)

  31. DaveM
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Happy St George’s Day to you too.

    I like seeing the red and white everywhere on a sunny day – even in Plymouth which normally has more red and white flags than most other places due to the locals’ constant efforts to p*** off the Cornish!!

    However. If you have missed the boat for this election Mr R, and you have the opportunity to produce a manifesto for our proud nation, what better day than November 20th 2015 to unveil it – St Edmund was the true patron saint of England for as long as St George has been. Not that I have anything against the dragon-slayer, but Edmund the Martyr was born and died in England and was an established historical English figure.

    Have a good day. I shan’t be morris dancing but I may read some inspirational Shakespeare quotes!!!

    Reply I expect a Conservative Manifesto for England soon.

  32. Anne Palmer
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    The Emblem and Flag of England.

    Hold high the Flag of England,
    Let it flutter in the breeze,
    In honour of our fighting forces,
    In those far off foreign fields.
    Hoist with pride the Flag of England,
    On this St George’s Day,
    Wipe not away those gentle tears
    That fall on tender cheeks today.

    Remember too the Rose of England,
    Our National Emblem worn with pride,
    A tender Rose of magnificent beauty,
    In remembrance of those that died
    So far away in distant Afghanistan,
    Their loved ones way back home,
    Will hold high the Flag of England,
    And wear with pride the English Rose.

  33. Tad Davison
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Another off-topic matter, but a very important one.

    I’m presently watching today’s ‘Daily Politics Show’ on BBC 2. Andrew Neil was interviewing Labour’s Chris Leslie via an outside link, and when the presenter got Mr Leslie into dire trouble over his party’s tax plans, the plug was suddenly pulled and the communication lost.

    Exactly the same thing happened a few days ago with another Labour politician who prevaricated and would not give a straight answer. Andrew Neil later admitted it was down to the BBC and not the interviewees hemselves.

    I don’t believe in coincidences, not when they relate to the same party, and the same topic. Labour needs to be held to account , but clearly that isn’t going to happen with the BBC!

    The BBC itself needs to be held to account by the Broadcasting Standards Commission, but I doubt if that will happen either.

    Why don’t the BBC just be straight with the British people and admit their preferred political allegiances?

    Everybody can see it for themselves anyway! But……….we have to pay for it, like it or not. If the left-leaning, pro-EU BBC had to rely on voluntary subscriptions, they would disappear because nobody would want to pay for their lop-sided drivel!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • rick hamilton
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      If it’s any consolation CNN today ran a feature about the consequences of UK leaving the EU in which no EUsceptic was interviewed at all. The only one not totally EUphile was the Chambers of Commerce chairman who sat on the fence. Keynsian ideologue Sidelsky was given plenty of time to air his leftie views, even announcing he would vote Labour.

      But then CNN are also totally signed up to the global warming scam. Englishmen abroad who want some balance had better read JR’s Diary to keep things in perspective.

    • stred
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Presumably the politicians have handler with them in the studio. They must be terrified of a bad interview going on Utube, as happened with Milipede when he kept repeating the same thing over and over. It makes them look so stupid. They may have got their hands on the cable and pull the plug when things are getting too embarrassing. The first one was so funny that when they repeated it to the plug pull, the BBC shortened the longest non answers.

  34. ian
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    A complete black out so far by the media on ST GEORGES DAY, by contrast BURN”S NIGHT is all over the media for about week when it come round, if it was not for google today most people would not of known, even your leader no ifs no buts has not mentioned it on the internet. RIP. ENGLAND.

    Reply He has

  35. ian
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I have just looked again and no ifs no buts has made a recording for ST GEORGES DAY. someone must of reminded him.

  36. ian
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    No it turns out that its wet&mad who has not mentioned ST GEORGES DAY.

    Reply Not so. It is on their facebook contribution today, and I expect an English Manifesto soon.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      You have stated this several times in replies today.
      Just when can we expect this manifesto? Before or after the election? Anther afterthought?
      Your party’s election strategy is shambolic.

      Reply Tomorrow

      • William Gruff
        Posted April 23, 2015 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply to reply:

        Will this ‘manifesto’ be concerned with ‘pork barrel’ or ‘dog whistle’ politics? Whatever, I can state with confidence that it does not address, in any way, the constitutional and fiscal disadvantages of the people of England under the present arrangements.

        Only an English Parliament can represent and protect the interests of the people of England and your party will not allow us that.

        Here’s wishing success to SNuLab candidates everywhere.

  37. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    You just don’t get it do you. We are not important.We have been trodden on plagiarised , ridculed ; we have, Orwellian- like had glossy magazines , stars and cheap plonk thrown at us, we are being controlled by a few and those who are slightly better off due to the fair paying 50 years or more of taxes and NI will jump on the bandwagon of ignorance and show. The greedy get greedier ( e.g. left out ed), the immigrants get power through job status and give the credit to their own at home . We are nothing.

  38. Francis Lankester
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    England does not need to awake and it is not our country-Britain is our country and includes Scots, Welsh and Ulster folk. We should be fighting back against Scottish and now English, separatism instead of encouraging it. We can only do this by reversing the draining away of power and prestige from Westminster, not by more devolution.

    • forthurst
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Most powers to make our laws and negotiate our trade treaties have been syphoned off by the EU. As things stand, all decide on English only health, education, income tax and special subventions to other than England.

      I agree that that we are one country; however, the only way of getting back to where we were would be to return powers for tax raising and administration of local matters to the counties which are the legitimate divisions of our country, in order or turn the Blairite parliaments into talking shops only.

      However, without leaving the EU, any discussion about fairness for England is beside the point since, otherwise England will be regionalised and removed from the map.

  39. ian
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Looks like I have upset you today, my perdition of a outright win for the conservative party by a nose still stands brother, I look forward to your presentation tomorrow to try and get your party across the line but I do not vote, I am a individualist, I do not need a party behind me. Its big business that is the trouble, they are behind the green crap and the immigration also very little tax paid by them, offshoring is their theme with more people coming in for sales, its all them. TTIP. Politician just give them what they want throw blackmail, you can lay everything that has gone wrong at their door, even the political sex scandals, sometimes I think they are mi5 ,mi6, with the cia.

  40. Jagman84
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    “The UK is a country which believes in fairness. Today of all days we should seek fairness for England.”

    Mr Redwood. Elect a new leader who believes in it too and you may have a fighting chance.

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

      Indeed for the last week Cameron and co have been banging on about a Labour party at the beck and call of the SNP, so when we get to St Georges day and you might have thought the logical development of their attack on Labour would be to initiate a debate on English vote for English laws, we instead get silence on it from the Cameron Conservatives and they decide to talk about anything but English constitutional rights.

    • ChrisS
      Posted April 23, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Hear ! Hear !

      The Cameron/Hague proposals for Devolution for England are a totally inadequate farce. They have fallen for the ludicrous and false Westminster Bubble argument over first and second class MPs.

      Nothing less than full EVEL is acceptable.

      • Ian B
        Posted April 24, 2015 at 1:18 am | Permalink

        Since we’re all doing acronyms, I just want to clarify that I demand nothing less than EVEV. Equal votes for every voter.

  41. Jon
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Happy St George’s Day too.

    I feel this issue has not had the prominence or traction that it should have had by now. Labour have a clear anti English stance, when ever they talk about this issue it comes across as an insult to the English. They have lost their support in Scotland, most of their MP’s are in England and yet they have an anti English stance and pander to the Scottish need.

    I just feel this issue a lone should have put a big dent in their English MP support. Puzzling, is it a campaign issue, awareness issue?

  42. David Price
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    You’ve mentioned in replies a couple of times an impending Conservative manifesto for England. Would this be the manifesto identified in the Mail online as “Its centrepiece will be a pledge to introduce a system of ‘English votes for English laws’ – giving English MPs an effective veto over legislation applying only to their constituents.”

    In which case it is no different from the lash up in the current manifesto. A constrained veto is not the same at all as the powers given to the other countries who can initiate laws for matters and vote on them independently of any interference from the other three countries.

    Putting lipstick on a pig doesn’t change the fact it is still a pig.

  43. Max Dunbar
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Happy St George’s day from Glasgow. We have a fine statue of St George and the dragon at St George’s Cross which is at the end of Great Western Road.
    The SNP’s supporters have been busy applying saltire stickers to street furniture throughout the city. I wonder how many it would take to cover the dragon with?

  44. petermartin2001
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Many on the left struggle with the concept of Englishness. Yet there’s no real need for that. We can all support our National teams at sport. It doesn’t mean we hate the opposition. England is remarkable in its diversity. England always has been a global nation, with people from with many different backgrounds together working towards a common good. There are divisions of class and political allegiance but when the chips are down, when the country is seriously threatened, they are put aside.

    St George is also an international Patron Saint. St George wasn’t even born in Europe. He was born in the Middle East, probably present day Syria. He’s the patron saint of many places besides England, including Bulgaria, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Palestine, Serbia, Slovenia and the Romani people.

    So there’s something about St George for everyone and he’s not at all the preserve of the far right in English politics.

  45. Ken Moore
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    EVEN should have been signed, sealed and delivered by now….this should be bread and butter for the Conservative Party..if it hadn’t elected a leader even more left wing than John Major, thrown an election against the worst PM in living memory and copied the (Mr Blair ed)

  46. Ian B
    Posted April 24, 2015 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    According to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Cameron is going to say tomorrow, um, today,

    “We do not support English nationalists, we do not want an English Parliament, we are the Conservative and Unionist Party through and through. ”

    So there you go. He is determined that the English will remain constitutionally second class citizens.

  • 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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