Questions for the Labour candidates for Leader

We are getting close to the time for the ballot papers to go out to Labour party members old and new. I would like to see some better questions put to the four candidates so we could know more about how they would conduct the Opposition in the next year when a number of important issues will be before Parliament. Their voice and vote could be immediately relevant to national decisions, given the small Conservative majority in Parliament.

1. Should Labour support or oppose bombing in Syria?
2. What should Labour demand from the renegotiation with the EU?
3. Are there any circumstances in which they would lead Labour to vote for Out of the EU?
4. What is their view of EU austerity policies? If they are against Euro and EU austerity policies what could they and the UK government do to amend or stop them?
5. Do they wish to reduce the level of migration into the UK? If so, what reduction do they seek? How would they achieve it?
6. Should Labour support Conservative measures to reduce EU migrants access to benefits and subsidised housing?
7. Should Labour vote against English votes for English needs? If so, what would they propose to give some justice to England in some other way?
8. Would rent controls and a private sector tenant right to buy diminish the supply of rented housing?

Labour has the power to decide whether the UK bombs Syria or not given the likely number of Conservative rebels. Labour could also have some influence over the renegotiations with the EU if they were prepared to engage and accept that the EU currently has too many powers.

Let’s hope our independent media puts these questions more clearly to the candidates soon. These are decisions Labour will soon have to make as a Parliamentary party and as the UK’s official opposition.

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100 Comments

  1. Richard1
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    9. Should Labour continue to deny that running a 5% structural deficit at the height of the boom was a recipe for economic disaster?
    10. Should Labour continue to deny any role in the explosion of bank leverage which caused the crash and to deny that the bailout was a terrible idea?
    11. Should Labour continue to oppose any reform of welfare?
    12. What answer has Labour to performance issues in the public sector – such as the fact that cancer survival rates under the NHS in England are 1/3 worse than in comparable countries which have a more mixed system of healthcare provision?

    • Stephen
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      I would likewise be interested to hear the candidate’s attitude towards welfare reform (excepting Corbyn: we pretty much know where he stands).

      • petermartin2001
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        Stephen,

        I think the three candidates, other than Jeremy Corbyn, all abstained on the welfare bill. I would argue that MPs should know enough about any proposed legislation to be able to decided if they are for it or against it.

        Abstaining is a cop out! Maybe its OK to defy the party whip by abstaining from time to time, but for a whole party to abstain on important changes to the welfare system is just pathetic.

        Just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. What’s hard about that?

    • Frank salmon
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      13. Should education education education mean training our own youngsters to do real jobs from plumbing to nursing and doctoring, rather than ‘importing’ workers to do the jobs?
      14. Should Labour sell off the rest of our gold reserves?
      15. Should productivity in the public sector influence decisions over more public sector provision?
      16. Should we volunteer higher contributions to the EU. If not, why not?
      17. Will Labour be as honest before election as after election?

    • outsider
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Dear Richard 1, in Addition to your question 12: what proportion of GDP per head should we spend on the NHS?

      • Richard1
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        I would rather see us explore in a dispassionate way the means of providing the best possible healthcare in the most cost effective means possible. Setting a %age of GDP as a target is a recipe for waste and entrenchment of restrictive practices (look at overseas aid). Labour made huge increases in healthcare spending, in cash and real terms and as a %age of GDP, but did not achieve any improvement in relative healthcare outcomes.

    • petermartin2001
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Richard 1,

      5% is a slight exaggeration. You’ve used that word “structural” without, I suspect, knowing what you mean.

      The govt’s budget deficit has to at least equal the current account (or trade) deficit, irrespective of the phase of the business cycle, to compensate for the economy ‘ leaking money and so running short which would lead to recession.

      Fix the trade balance (that would need a big devaluation) and you can reduce the govt’s deficit too if that’s what you really want to do.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Petermartin2001, if you are to make pompous, de haut en bas, corrections of others’ comments you really need to get your facts right. The structural deficit is the budget deficit corrected for the business cycle. In the UK in 2007 the structural deficit stood at 5.2%.

        • petermartin2001
          Posted August 10, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          It’s all very saying we can correct the budget deficit for the business cycle but how? Just what percentage difference is there, or should there be, the extreme points in the phase? How is that calculated?

          I do keep harping on about the influence of the persistent trade deficit , or current account deficit if you prefer. How is that factored in to the equation? I suspect it’s just ignored, but if so why should it be?

  2. JoolsB
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    “7. Should Labour vote against English votes for English needs? If so, what would they propose to give some justice to England in some other way?”

    You could also ask your party John, you know, the one which wouldn’t exist without England, when they propose to give some justice to England. Because one thing is for sure, English vetoes for English laws will not do it. It is unworkable as long as the skewed Barnett Formula is in place because it still won’t stop MPs elected outside of England meddling and voting on matters which only affect England. It’s a sop, an insult, call it what you like but one thing it ain’t, is justice for England. Only a separately elected English only legislature will do that, with an English First Minister and an English Secretary of State, the same as the Scots, Welsh and NI have been enjoying for the last 16 years!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear.

      We are being treated with contempt by politicians of all the old parties, those elected in England as much as those elected elsewhere in the UK.

  3. Mrs Rita Webb
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    “Independent media” you have got to be joking! Apart from “The Morning Star” I cannot think of anyone who questions the current neo liberal economic settlement. While there is no media outlet that thinks that gay marriage might actually be a bad thing. As I write the BBC World Service is doing its best to promote the trans Saharan travel trade. They are interviewing somebody who manages to give do gooding a bad name. Her MO at the moment is to help those who have broken into the country and ensure that their dreams of the streets of London being pathed (with other people’s gold) become reality.

  4. acorn
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Could we try these questions out on the Conservative leadership first. I, for one, would be interested in the answers.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Agreed.

    • Jerry
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      @acorn; Thanks you for asking in 20 words what 20 million are almost certainly thinking… Labour are (or should be) an irrelevance for the next four and half years, it speaks volumes that senior/experienced Tory party politicos think they are not!

      If one assumes support (which should be a given…) from the traditional right-wing NI unionist parties the Tory government of May 2015 is in as strong position as the Tory government of Oct. 1951 was…

      Reply As I pointed out, the government will need Labour agreement or abstention if it wishes to go to war in Syria

      • outsider
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwood is right in that his first question, on Syria, is the one that has most immediate import and the one that Labour leadership contenders could reasonably be expected to answer plainly. Otherwise, the acorn has it.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        @JR Reply; Why, the government has a majority of ~12, if the PM wishes to go to war in Syria but can not take his party with him then surely all he will be doing is making the very same mistake as Blair? This is the sort of message senior MPs and Whips should be spelling out to the PM/party in private, not have people on a public internet forums deliver it, but then perhaps he is again being like Blair in just not listening to what he doesn’t want to hear. 🙁

        • Edward2
          Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          Out of the number of Labour and Conservative MPs there will be a number who will vote against the Governments position.
          So a majority of 12 is slim to carry a controversial vote to go to war.
          For example Jerry if you were a Conservative MP given a vote to go to war would you vote yes?

          • Jerry
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            @Edward2: “So a majority of 12 is slim to carry a controversial vote to go to war.”

            Indeed thus it might be better not to risk splitting the party so early on perhaps if the vote is tight or already lost without opposition support – a damaged PM and strident backbench, even mid-bench, rebels seldom get on from that point, and four year plus is a very long time fro a PM to mind his or her back, a fixed term parliament or not…

            “For example Jerry if you were a Conservative MP given a vote to go to war would you vote yes?”

            If you mean direct UK involvement in Syria, no I would not! Also, if a Minister how ever low, I would resign from such a government position if needed, should there not be a free vote, which is what there should be (thus asking how the Labour leadership candidates would vote is a little pointless as it tells us nothing about what the rest of the parties MPs will be doing).

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Good point.

      Tad

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

      Acorn – The Tories are already setting up a bogeyman for the 2020 general election.

      They are not interested in their voters – just being less bad than their opposition.

      I would have thought it a good thing for the Tories not to have an effective opposition for a while. To make good the grave damage done (still being done) to the country.

      To have a clear run at putting things right.

      Curiously – at a time that the country is being invaded – the PM is on holiday and our host writes a post about the state of the official opposition.

      I don’t care about Labour.

      We have never witnessed such scenes on our TV and in the press.

      The one question I would like answered: Is mass immigration a deliberate Tory policy ?

      Because it bloody well looks like it !

      Reply I have just written about migration. I do not intend to do the same topic every day.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous; “We have never witnessed such scenes on our TV and in the press.”

        Have we not, so what was all the political trouble and strife with regards the Sangatte migrant camp 15 or so years ago, why has there been fines imposed on lorry drivers found to be unknowingly transporting illegal migrants entering the UK for several years now. I would suggest that had it not been for those strikes at the port of Calais this ‘crisis’ would not have been so news worthy, attempted illegal immigration was known problem back in the 1980s when the channel tunnel was being planed.

        “The one question I would like answered: Is mass immigration a deliberate Tory policy ?”

        If it was the UK government would surely be paying for the fences to be torn-down, not re-enforced…

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Jerry – The fences are a half hearted effort. The influx is at record levels.

          The Tories have lied about their true intent.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; “The fences are a half hearted effort.”

            What do you want, pill-boxes or something?!…

            “The influx is at record levels.”

            So UKIP keep telling anyone who cares to listen…

            “The Tories have lied about their true intent.”

            If the ‘true’ numbers are such common knowledge how have they hidden anything, stop contradicting yourself all the time, you can’t have it both ways!

            Rather than just bleat, what would you suggest that the UK does, whilst keeping trade and holiday traffic moving, and without expecting to tell other countries how to run their domestic politics – so please do not suggest banning of strikes etc?

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately the BBC and the Tory tabloid press are doing the same topic every day.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely the nail on the head. I’m sick of the Tory excuses on just about everything of importance. Immigration, no action, EU renegotiation or Treaty change, no action, International Health Service, no action, Human Rights Act repealed, no action. More taxes, yes, more EU yes, more mass immigration from everywhere, yes, building on the greenbelt, yes. Congestion, overcrowding waiting times for Hospital appointments and Doctors as they’re full of…………migrants! I didn’t vote for any of this and I’m just one of 4000,000 people with one representative in the Westminster village imposing EU law.

  5. Old Albion
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    The biggest stumbling block to effective government of the (dis)UK is the adversarial two party (essentially) system. It leads to MP’s doing as the party says instead of doing what is best for the country.

    I’m no Labour voter, so if they continue to self-destruct why should I care.
    The election of Blair to lead Labour was at the time a good move for them. He did have a personality and was capable of making Labour electable, as it proved. Sadly power corrupted him and he will be remembered as the PM who cost thousands of lives with his illegal war.
    The promotion of Brown was stupidity personified, never was a man less fit to be PM. It seems Labour haven’t learnt anything. The four candidates are an uninspiring bunch, three bereft of anything resembling leadership ability. One who is so left-wing he will consign Labour to the political margins.
    Labour reaps what Labour sows.

    • Mrs Rita Webb
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      OA you need to be very worried about the future of the Labour Party. When George “wirtschaftwunder” Osborne’s house of cards finally collapses the voters will elect a party that will promise any unrealistic crap. You have just seen it happen with SYRIZA in Greece. Its not a question of “if” but “when” because its mathematically impossible to keep deficit spending for ever, especially at the rate Osborne has increased the national debt. The QE continues in indirect forms like student loans and now multi million handouts to charities.

  6. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Do you seriously think that you would get straight answers to these questions? Just watching yesterdays debate about Greece in the MEP. There is a lot of clapping going on.One can feel the power struggle ; not simply competitive rhetoric, but the fight for not letting it’s European wife go less she liases with another who gains power .

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Indeed not much in the way of answers from the candidates on the points you list.

    I see Jeremy Corbyn even thinks the rich “want to pay more taxes”. Sure they do they Jeremy. They just love to see their money stolen off them so they cannot invest it wisely, then watch as it is largely wasted by governments, usually on complete and utter nonsense. Nonsense such as greencrap, expensive energy, propaganda, social engineering, fake equality drivel, over regulation of everything or just trying to buy votes.
    The rich just love to see the economy destroyed in this way thus damaging the poor even more than them.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/11791839/Jeremy-Corbyn-is-wrong-about-high-taxes.html

    • Richard1
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Leftists such as Mr Corbyn are impervious to evidence. Of course the evidence is overwhelming over decades and centuries from all over the world that the sort of policies he espouses are a disaster – we even saw that in the UK as recently as the 1970s. But no matter. To a socialist it’s all about maximising state control of the economy and attempting to impose egalitarianism whatever the economic cost. The worrying thing is – as we see with Syrizia in Greece – it is possible for such populist drivel to obtain significant support in certain circumstances.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        @Richard1; “Leftists such as Mr Corbyn are impervious to evidence.”

        Most politicos and activists are, it’s not just a “Leftist” problem,

        “Of course the evidence is overwhelming over decades and centuries from all over the world that the sort of policies he espouses are a disaster”

        Well that depends on if you are talking about what he actually says or what the right-wing MSM says he said.

        “we even saw that in the UK as recently as the 1970s.”

        Hmm, best be careful there, much of the then domestic economic problems came about due to the disaster of the Heath government, along with the external “oil shock”. This is all now a matter of public and historical record.

        “To a socialist it’s all about maximising state control of the economy and attempting to impose egalitarianism whatever the economic cost.”

        By a socialist might counter that with ‘To a capitalist it’s all about maximising corporate control of the economy and attempting to impose neo-liberalism whatever the economic cost.’.

        I’m more worried about those, left or right, who seem wedded to (the ideology of) “TINA”…

        • Edward2
          Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          Your view of what capitalists want is a nonsense Jerry but typical of the negative propaganda people who are against capitalism always claim is the aim.

        • Richard1
          Posted August 10, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          The Heath govt was certainly a failure, but the real disasters of that period were the Wilson and Callaghan govts (and the Atlee govt before it) which pursued idealogical nationalisation, sustaining loss making industries at the public expense, imposed cripplingly high and uncompetitive taxes, intervened at every turn in the economy suppressing entrepreneurship, and vastly increased and entrenched Union power. And of course spent too much and ran out of money in 1976. Mr Corbyn seems set on much the same course. These days the markets will mean he falls flat on his face at the first fence, as for example Hollande has done, and has has happened with Syriza in Greece. But if he got his hands on power, the attempt to turn the clock back in this way would be a disaster.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; @Richard1; You are both entitled to your opinions, gained no doubt from the ultra-capitalist, TINA supporting, Hollande (and EU) hating, biased UK MSM.

            You both, I strongly suspect, need to broaden your reading lists…

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            No Jerry its not ultra capitalist at all.
            And your other references are just cliches of the left.

            The way you think neo liberalism is defined is wrong.
            What we have now is big state corporatism.
            Free market economics are less effective now than ever before.
            Look at the sizes of companies in every major business sector.
            Consider how easy it would be to enter these markets and succeed.

          • Richard1
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            I note that Jerry has no response to the substance of the points I made above.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 11, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

            @Richard1: But you responded to the points I made, we disagree, what else is there to say?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      I also assume that Jeromy Corbyn also thinks that the NHS is a shining example of heath care, and that the very many bog standard comps provide a wonderful education. Clearly these are just in need of yet more of other people’s money to chuck away.

      Perhaps we should also go back to a state owned British Telecom monopoly. Where you had to pay a fortune and wait months just to get so much as a new phone extension fitted.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        I think Corbyn would be quite content to see poor healthcare in the NHS so long as rich people weren’t able to buy better. He’d think bog standard schools are fine so long as private schools and grammar schools don’t exist in case they are ‘too good’ (as John Prescott once helpfully explained). I think he’d even rather like the idea of a public sector monopoly providing all telephones, it would engender pathetic gratitude to the state when after 3 months you finally got your line. It would also cut off another industry which has created rich people whom he doesn’t like. The trouble with all this of course – and the dilemma for a man like Mr Corbyn who no doubt is a decent fellow who means no one any personal harm – is you need a police state to enforce such socialism or everyone wants to get the hell out, as we saw with the Soviet Union over 70 years and still see eg in North Korea. It is quite incredible that such views still command material – albeit minority – support in a free country like ours.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        @LL; [re state health care and education] From what I’ve read, Corbyn’s own words not the MSM interpretations, no he doesn’t, but he does think that they can be – if properly funded, managed and staffed, without the need to create a corporate profit motive.

        “Where you had to pay a fortune and wait months just to get so much as a new phone extension fitted (in the days of the GPO).”

        Indeed, but how much was that incompetent political master, incompetent staff(ing practices) or simply due to (now old) pre-digital technology. Oh and many might suggest that they are still paying a fortune!

        • libertarian
          Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

          Jerry

          The GPO wasn’t run by the government or politicians. It became a public corporation in 1969

          It was massively overstaffed and unionised, it took an eternity to get anything done, because as with most state monopolies there was no competitive urgency. Oh and whilst a lot was analogue it wasn’t pre digital. In fact in Scandinavia they were installing high speed digital networks in the 1970’s . The first commercial roll-out of a fully digital local switching system was Alcatel’s E10 system which began serving customers in Northwestern France in 1972.

          The Standardised System X exchanges were introduced in the late 1970’s , the GPO wasn’t privatised until 1984

          I was building international data networks in the 70’s. A Leased line connection at this end could take up to 9 months to get installed, the other end of the circuit in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany took a few weeks. The USA end was available in days. A GPO Datel Modem took 2-3 months to arrive. A US Motorola, or Codex modem delivered in a week.

          The difference between dealing with the GPO ( a typical state owned, nationalised monopoly, held to ransom by highly unionised staff ) and Western Union, AT&T and various Bell Co’s was astounding.

          The Telecoms arm of the GPO was making annual profits of £400 million in 1975.

          The profit motive has nothing to do with quality of service, any monopoly private or public will by its nature not be the best it can be as its under no competitive pressure. Competition is what drives customer service, value for money, quality and innovation.

          By the way its the same reason that despite developing the very first commercial computer , the LEO 1, our indigenous computer industry was wrecked when ICL were given a monopoly by the government.

          They failed to innovate, most private companies went off and bought their computers from IBM and DEC and eventually having gone bust ICL was bought by Fujitsu

          • Robert Christopher
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            It isn’t only competition for customers that raises quality. If there are at least two employers, there is competition for jobs.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

            Robert Christopher

            Indeed, but of course there are also a lot more jobs too.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 11, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; “The GPO wasn’t run by the government or politicians. It became a public corporation in 1969”

            Half-facts as usual. But if you are correct how come the government was able to sell it off if it didn’t actually own/control it?! The question is not of the technicalities of how POT was formally constructed as a ‘company’ but who pulled the strings, POT was firmly under the control of government, Mr Stonehouse and Benn et al would have had it no other way.

            “The Telecoms arm of the GPO was making annual profits of £400 million in 1975. “

            So were was that money going, it wasn’t going on reinvestment, nor a particularly extravagant payroll? Or are you are talking about Gross rather than Nett profit?..

            “The profit motive has nothing to do with quality of service”

            Of course it does, less money spent on reinvestment means more money to pay dividends or to be used by the parent company/owner for other projects etc.). If the GPO had been properly funded (as you have implied in the past) the GPO/BT could have had a digital network long before it actually did, and (as I have said in the past) could have had the video phone by the early 1970s.

            “By the way its the same reason that despite developing the very first commercial computer , the LEO 1, our indigenous computer industry was wrecked when ICL were given a monopoly by the government.”

            An unprovable ‘fact’, there were many factors involved in demise of ICL, not least I suspect the move away from the concept of mainframe computing, something that also caused IBM much grief. Also if you think that three or four small UK technology companies could have competed with the likes of IBM (as a one-stop end user supplier, not as a component or sub-assemble level supplier which the UK is still very good at) then perhaps I should be asking what the weather is like on your planet!

            @Robert Christopher; “It isn’t only competition for customers that raises quality. If there are at least two employers, there is competition for jobs.”

            Other than the the now moribund Mercury network and a few limited cable (TV) networks how is there any competition when 95% of the network is reliant on BT’s network and hardware, after all true completion doesn’t need regulation…

          • libertarian
            Posted August 11, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Just restating some of what I put plus a few pedantic arguments isn’t debate.

            Oh do stay away from business Jerry its way over your head. Its perfectly possible to own a business without controlling it. Thats what management is supposed to be for.

            Dear oh dear Jerry service quality is a TOTALLY different thing to reinvestment and R& D.

            The video phone existed from 1964 onwards, no one wanted to buy one. Anywhere.

            I have never implied that the GPO was not properly funded.

            It made huge profits and the only shareholder was UK govt

            You talk total twaddle

            By the way you STILL haven’t answered the question, what are scared of Jerry?

            Whats your job, whats your field of expertise?

          • Jerry
            Posted August 13, 2015 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; ” a few pedantic arguments isn’t debate.”

            Indeed, best you stop being so pedantic then.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 10, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

          Mr Corbyn wants many things to be “properly funded” but is shy of telling us how he is going to fund all this extra spending.

          Apart from taxing the rich of course. And even if he is successful in this aim his tax plans do not meet his extra spending plans even if he does scrap Trident and HS2.

          So the result must be more borrowing.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 10:22 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Mr Corbyn wants many things to be “properly funded” but is shy of telling us how he is going to fund all this extra spending”

            As are most opposition leaders and their chancellors more than four years away from the next expected election, I don’t remember Cameron or Osborne making such detailed policy statements/costings back in 2005/6 – and a jolly good job too, as it would not have been just been Messieurs’s Brown and Darling with metaphorical mud on their faces by 2010…

            Never mind though, the throwing of political brickbats is still free at the Westminster village summer fête!

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            Well, I would have thought Mr Corbyn would state how he would fund his radical ambitions seeing as he is applying for the job of Prime Minister in waiting Jerry.
            The Government have set out their spending plans and the effect on the deficit over the next 5 years.
            Lofty promises of “properly funding” public services are all fine and attract naive voters but lack detail of how this is to be actually achieved.
            I take your point about oppositions who avoid such detail but modern politicians have to set out how they propose to pay for all promised extra goodies they seduce voters to their cause.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        God, I hope that is not the case with BT. although here in wonderful (ha ha) Scotland I have been told by a BT engineering who used to work in Buckinghamshire that while in England they put all cables underground, here in Scotland they don’t. They leave them on top of undergrowth for farmers and the likes to trample all over them and cut us off!! You couldn’t make it up. I can’t tell you the numbers of times we have been without landline phones and internet connection. Just this week we have been without for 3 days. It simply isn’t good enough. How can my husband expect to run a business without phones and computers?? BT should get their act together.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 10, 2015 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

          BT have given up on providing a decent infrastructure for telecoms, they are more interested in providing expensive football matches.

          As I said in an earlier post monopolies of public or private organisations produce low quality uninnovative expensive service.

          BT has a near monopoly of the infrastructure. New innovators can’t enter the market because the government via OFCOM restrict this.

          UK is falling behind drastically with both broadband and mobile telephony

          • Jerry
            Posted August 11, 2015 at 9:38 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; “BT has a near monopoly of the infrastructure. New innovators can’t enter the market because the government via OFCOM restrict this.”

            There is nothing to stop these new innovators investing in their own infrastructure, but of course it is cheaper to expect to piggy-back on someone else’s already existing network

            If you think that the BT network should in effect be a “carrier of last resort” then perhaps we need to think towards a Network Rail approach, were the service provider is (upon satisfying technical conditions) guaranteed access? But that of course would require ‘Corybnomics’ and the (re)nationalisation of BT’s OpenReach division…

            “UK is falling behind drastically with both broadband and mobile telephony”

            Indeed, yet ultra-capitalist like you keep telling us how well the private sector/enterprise works…

          • libertarian
            Posted August 11, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            More poorly thought out garbage from you.

            OFCOM award telecom operator licences . The competition from the free market is via urban cable systems, wimax and satellite and will eventually be from mobile .

            Nowhere did I say , imply or ask for BT to be a carrier of last resort, nowhere did I ask for BT to be renationalised ( the last thing we need),.

            You obviously have no idea how the telecoms network works

            Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) provides a direct connection to the local network – commonly referred to as the local loop. LLU enables you to install your own equipment in (or close to) BT exchanges in order to connect your customers’ lines to your own network. This gives you the flexibility to differentiate your business and the services you offer.

            Free market enterprise works very well as you would find if you ever visited other places in the world with advanced telecoms infrastructure in a free market.

            What is this ultra capitalist nonsense you’ve suddenly made up

            Hey Jerry, what are you scared of? Come on you can do it , promise we won’t laugh at you.

            Whats your job? Whats your field of expertise?

    • William Long
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I seem to remember Mr Osbourne saying words to the effect that he thought that some people got satisfaction from the knowledge that they were top rate tax payers, too.

  8. Douglas Carter
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I think you’d be lucky to hear answers to any of your questions with regard to the EU. Labour have, for some years, tactically concealed their views on the EU by invoking silence. There was barely a mention of the EU in the 2009 Labour EU Parliament elections Campaign and a specific, applied moratorium on mention of the EU in their 2014 Campaign. They will not talk about it publically. Hence what will apparently become the ‘Official’ Labour ‘Yes’ Campaign for the 2017 Referendum is being led by Alan Johnson, not by someone on their front bench.

    A poor showing on two counts in that whilst the Labour front bench are all profoundly pro-EU, none of them have the courage or honesty to discuss it. Second, in what Johnson has been saying about the EU, he doesn’t seem to have a grasp of the concept of what the EU actually is. Also lazily falls into the habitual Europhile trait of reliance on long-discredited pro- propaganda to justify his stance.

    So I’d wish to replace your raft of questions (albeit perfectly legitimate as they are) with two.

    (i) How would a Labour Government under ‘X’ Leader conduct itself over Referendums called on the ‘Referendum Lock’ legislation – and\or would they amend or repeal that Legislation. (If ‘yes’, full details in advance of an election please…)

    (ii) What do they understand of the views of the electorate over very large levels of uncontrolled migration? Should the electorate be properly observed in this, or overruled?

    Given that in recent years, the UK has been the recipient of a proportionally very large increase in permanent population, I would wish to ask of Labour how they intend to increase the exigencies of increases of infrastructure? Basic requirements of water and power, let alone the concomitant increase in habitation, services to the increased population and schools and medical facilities?

    Having said all that, and I don’t wish to sound complacent, but I can’t see Labour winning for some time. Not until or unless they win back Scotland. Without Scotland it’s possible – but is made very, very difficult indeed.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      “(i) How would a Labour Government under ‘X’ Leader conduct itself over Referendums called on the ‘Referendum Lock’ legislation – and\or would they amend or repeal that Legislation. (If ‘yes’, full details in advance of an election please…)”

      As I understand the current position of both Labour and the LibDems is that they would not repeal the legislation, but if any referendum was ever triggered under it then that would become an “in-out” referendum rather than a referendum just on whatever had triggered it, or there would be a referendum on the trigger but if the answer was “no” then there would be a second referendum in which we could either change our minds on the trigger or vote to leave the EU altogether.

      For example if the government proposed that we should join the euro then the referendum would not be just about whether we should join the euro, with EU membership continuing whichever way the vote went, instead we would have the forced choice of whether to join the euro or leave the EU altogether.

      • Douglas Carter
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        As you say Denis, that’s the current stance in Labour. As yet a new Leader may change that openly (or more realistically, in silence) and so the consequences of the legislation would thereby be quite different.

        Whilst I look on the LibDems now as a force which will be fully spent for the remainder of my lifetime, again, Farron hasn’t set much of a stall out thus far. Although with an ear to the ground, I’m hearing there will be much blood-letting and settling of scores at the LibDem Conference this autumn.

      • Timaction
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        It doesn’t matter if Labour or Tory is in the Government as they are not the real deal as we already know. Most of our laws are made by the EU dictatorship that we cannot remove. They just forget to talk about it. At least our host acknowledges this.

  9. A different Simon
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Whether Labour or Conservative are in power , the executive (being a proper subset of the cabinet) are not true parliamentarians .

    As for the back benchers the party machines ensure that the constituencies can only pick from a pre-selected list of candidates .

    Until the Conservative and Labour parties break from the practice of packing the back benches with compliant , incompetent lobby fodder nothing will change .

    Q for the leaders) What are you going to do about improving the quality of the House of Commons ?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Under the original provisions of the 1701 Act of Settlement ministers were barred from sitting in the Commons:

      “That no person who has an office or place of profit under the King, or receives a pension from the Crown, shall be capable of serving as a member of the House of Commons”.

      But that rule didn’t last long, as explained here:

      http://everything2.com/title/Office+of+Profit+under+the+Crown

  10. A different Simon
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    50 or 60 years ago , Britain governed itself .

    Are our current politicians and civil servants up to the job of picking up the slack if we did leave the EU ?

    A lawyer pointed out to me that the people making the laws in the EU are professional bureaucrats and they excel at bureaucracy and documenting legislation .

    He had praise for the quality of legislation turned out by the EU and disdain for the rubbish which gets turned out by Westminster . His word was shoddy .

    A couple of days ago John you talked about House of Lords reform .

    If the House of Lords is putting the brakes on higher than expected amounts of bills , then isn’t the answer to improve the quality at source rather than disband the quality controllers ?

    • A different Simon
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      P.S.

      His choice of the word “shoddy” was both a reflection on the quality of legislation coming out of Westminster and it’s intent – to erode freedom of British Citizens .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      The more legislation there is shoddy or otherwise, EU or UK (and more levels of courts there are) the better it tends to be for the largely parasitic legal industry. Also the worse it is for everyone else and the economy in general.

      Furthermore the more distant the legislators are from the coal fact the more idiotic, damaging and unworkable their legislation will be.

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

      Interesting you should say that AdS, the lawyer in my old number crunching group, said the same thing about the legislative quality difference.

      A couple of recent examples from the UK bureaucracy.

      (1) This article in a BoE blog, is just plain wrong. I suggest the author has a teach-in with Ryland Thomas at the Bank concerning “Money creation in the modern economy”. (video on YouTube).
      http://bankunderground.co.uk/2015/08/05/helicopter-money-setting-the-tale-straight/

      (2) It makes no difference to Treasury spending power, now or in the future, if these resources remain tied up in RBS for the rest of time. If he doesn’t know that, we appear to have some delusion in both the elected and employed personnel at the Treasury! John Kingman, the Treasury’s second permanent secretary, […] telling the chancellor:-

      “it is very much in taxpayers’ interests to begin the process of reducing the resources tied up in these shares”. Kingman added that a “sale at this time” would provide the taxpayer with good value for money. http://economia.icaew.com/news/august-2015/hmt-sells-5point4percent-of-rbs

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      “… they excel at bureaucracy and documenting legislation.”

      Including retrospective legislation to attempt to legitimise previous breaches of the EU treaties and laws, some springing from their own bureaucracy and some from the mistakes made by the EU political leaders.

      At least we have not had the situation whereby our Parliament was unlawfully constituted for two whole years, with persons who should not have been present in the Commons being permitted to sit and speak and serve on committees and take part in votes while others who had a right to be there were excluded.

      Maybe next time you see the lawyer you could ask him what he thinks about Part 2 of the European Union Act 2011 to approve a treaty change to address that little problem:

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/12/part/2

      “Implementation of transitional Protocol on MEPs”

      Two interesting points about that protocol – which for the avoidance of any doubt did constitute a treaty change, as protocols are deemed to be integral parts of the treaties, in contradistinction to declarations which are attached to the treaties but are not legally binding.

      Firstly, it was not written to be retroactive and so it did not in fact legitimise the acts of the EU Parliament during that period of two years when it was unlawfully constituted, so technically all those acts could be seen as null and void.

      Secondly, by incorporating parliamentary approval of the protocol into the same Bill as his “referendum lock” law in Part 1 Hague cleverly avoided putting having to put it to a referendum.

      Not that I believed we should have had a referendum on whether three surplus German MEPs should be allowed to keep their seats legally rather than illegally, although at the time Daniel Hannan did hope that might happen.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Presumably “our independent media ” includes the, apparently not so independent, BBC which has appeared to act as the Labour party’s own media outlet. The Labour leadership contest has been aired daily on various radio and tv programmes ad nauseam.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    An extra question, prompted by your last blog post on the Kids Company and the insightful Cap-X article referenced below.
    Will the new Labour Leader return the cabinet Office to its historic role of serving the Cabinet and not an extended office for Prime Ministerial patronage?

  13. agricola
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Should any of the four give straight answers to any of your questions above it might increase their credibility. It is just possible that Jeremy Corbyn could, but at the risk of alienation in his own parliamentary party and with the electorate. Best leave them to sort out their own bad dreams.

    The only opposition to the EU should come from the grouping of the Conservative 100, the Labour few, and UKIP who predominate for the UK in the European parliament. If you begin to sound coordinated and clear of message you could take most of the electorate with you. The only ones that count in a referendum. I think the latest utterings of one Lynton Crosby could be proved a nonsense. The only reason that the conservatives are in power stems directly from the perceived threat of a Labour/ SNP coalition, not any antipodean magic. They further blew their myth of an invincible force on the cricket pitch.

  14. Iain Moore
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The Labour leadership campaign isn’t going to ask questions of just Labour, but with the surge of Corbyn and the populist hard left policies he is proposing , it asks questions of the Conservative leadership , do they have the arguments to put Corbyn and his mob back in their box ?

    The last time it took Mrs Thatcher to take on the arguments of the left and defeat them, Cameron and Osborne are no Mrs Thatcher, they have never argued or fought for anything other than their career advancement up the Westminster greasy pole . When in opposition they never took on New Labour, they instead became the heir to Blair, and promised to copy Gordon Brown’s spending splurge, and when in Government they have just dumped policies on the country, they have never laid the ground for policies with an argument. The most we ever get out of them in support of a policy is ‘because its the right thing to do’ (it would be a pretty stupid policy if they were doing it because it was the ‘wrong thing to do’!) Then behind Cameron and Osborne we have the massed ranks of the A listers, incapable of saying anything other than what they have been told to say. I sometimes wonder if their family conversations have been planned for them, with any capable politicians who actually believes what they say and do , like Gove, demoted.

    So the answer to the question, has to be no. The Cameron Conservative party, if they knew of the arguments, then they have forgotten them, they don’t have the people who are capable of marshalling the arguments, and certainly find it just too much trouble and effort going toe to toe with anybody to fight for a principle or value.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    “1. Should Labour support or oppose bombing in Syria?”

    Doesn’t that depend on who is being bombed in Syria?

    Personally I was against the proposal to bomb the forces of the Assad government but I would support the most effective action to extirpate Islamic State in Syria or anywhere else, Islamic State being the greater evil and a much more serious threat.

  16. Bert Young
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Labour have to ask the question themselves ; the media can not be trusted -particularly the BBC . From my reading of the situation Corbyn is the only one to have a clear platform , the others wallow in a sea of “nothingness”. Corbyn goes to bat on extreme socialism and seeks to drive the economy of this country into the doldrums ; his policies -were they ever introduced , would drive us to bankruptcy .

    There are many in this country who are “hangers on”; they would love to have Corbyn in charge . What they don’t appreciate is the effort and success of individuals who risk every penny they have pursuing their own aspirations . These individuals create opportunity , employment and wealth for themselves and others ; they are the life-blood that others are dependent on . Those who wish to support Corbyn should ask themselves the question ” How long would his system of socialism last and would it make them secure and independent ?”. One only has to look overseas to those countries who once were under the banner of socialism and wonder why they changed .

  17. acorn
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    This is the best explanation of the RBS bail-out I have read. By Neil Wilson.

    Banks are always fully funded. When a loan is non-performing it is written off against the capital of the bank. If this proves inadequate it is written off against the uninsured deposits of the bank. The capital however is of shorter duration than the loans, so it matures. What was happening is that the capital matured and RBS couldn’t raise any more. Those funds paid back by RBS ended up as deposits elsewhere in the banking system, while RBS became ever more insolvent.

    What the government did is issue Gilts to extract those extra deposits from the rest of the banking system, and then gave those deposits to RBS in return for new shares. The result is that RBS gets additional central bank reserves as assets and a liability of the new shares which balanced out the remaining deposits at RBS. Previous investors in RBS capital, ended up with new government Gilts instead. Which subsequently they sold to the Bank of England under QE.

    Bad loans are then written out which reduces the value of the equity held by the government vs the reserves they injected. [Think share price change at this point- acorn]

    The size of RBS balance sheet shrinks a bit and it can get back to lending again as its ratios improve. So when you net it all off, the Bank of England bit of the Government gave RBS some reserve assets, the HM Treasury bit got the corresponding equity liabilities and a balancing ‘inter group loan’ between the BoE and HM Treasury popped up, in the form of QE holdings of a load of Gilts.

    Now the shares have been sold, those reserve assets have been given to the government, and the shares given to the private sector. Rather than issuing Gilts this quarter to cover the deficit, HM Treasury have ‘issued’ RBS shares instead. So in aggregate there will be less Gilts issued on a net basis in this time period. The net effect of all of this, once the dust settles, is an increase in the ‘Other Assets’ part of the Bank of England which corresponds to the bad loan losses written out by RBS. This corresponds to deposit savings in the banking system that were protected. All as should be under an insured banking system, Plus a load of unnecessary obfuscation to make it look like something else is happening.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 10, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      “What the government did is issue Gilts to extract those extra deposits from the rest of the banking system”

      Deposits which mainly came from customers of the banks, the customers’ money lent to the banks (even though many of them did not realise that legally that was what they were doing when they put their money on deposit) rather than money which actually belonged to the bank’s owners.

      As repeatedly stated, commercial banks are low down on the list of private gilts investors, the largest being pension funds and insurance companies.

      • acorn
        Posted August 13, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        Denis. The deposits DID come from the customers of the Banks. The customers got it from the Banks, when the Banks paid them back their short-term capital investments, which was depleting Bank capital. The Treasury soaked up this cash, now in other Banks, by swapping it for Gilts. The Treasury gave the cash back to RBS for some shares. “‘Wash, Rinse, Repeat”, as they say.

        This process had nothing to do with Banks investing in Gilts!!!

  18. Anonymous
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    With the LibDems anihilated, the Labour party moribund and such a rejection of Leftism at the general election the Tory party no longer has any excuses.

    We’re waiting for action.

    Reply Left of centre parties got over half the vote.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      More than that when you include most of the current Tory party in that grouping!

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – Then this really could be the Conservative’s last shake of the stick. I don’t understand why Labour is being written off. Corbyn could well be an attractive politician in 5 years.

  19. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Some more:

    1. How many millions of the EU Emergency Fund aid as given to Poland, do you plan to give to EU accession states such as Montenegro and Moldova who have recently fallen victim to a tit for tat banning of food products by Russia and what is the upper limit as Poland feels her own received aid insufficient to compensate her farmers?

    2. Russia has been “castling” ( as in chess ) its trade with the EU to Latin American, Asian and African countries who are in themselves at odds with the EU for its tariffs on their goods. Do you plan with the EU to impose stiffer tariffs and ultimately sanctions on the rest of the world in addition to the tariffs and trade-impediments already imposed on non-EU countries?

    3.In that sanctions by the UK and EU against Russia do not appear be changing Russia’s mind, what escalation of economic sanctions do you propose? Do you propose a military option on Russian soil or what she may consider her soil?

    4. What precise ways in light of recent local Council by-elections in Scotland where the turn-out sank to 14-15% do you propose to cure the democracy deficit?

    5. Do you feel uncomfortable as an MP, with MEPs of another party and perhaps from another country with wholly different priorities and values than the UK, legislating on matters which your electorate and maybe you yourself fundamentally disagree?

    6.Do you feel MPs should follow the Party line in Parliamentary voting when you know your own electorate would disagree?

    7. What UK mainland security measures would you put in place to defend our people against revenge attacks by say one hundred trained insurgents for ISIL upon huge civilian congregations?

    8. Do you support bombing Syria?

  20. Tad Davison
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Given that Labour has always been soft on crime, I would quite like to know whether or not they’re likely to change their pathetic stance under a new leader?

    They always rightly condemn the banksters and the fraudsters who rip us off, and don’t hold back when it comes to their punishment, but in my experience, Labour party members seek to excuse the anti-social trash that breaks into our homes, sells drugs to our kids, steals our cars, and mugs us in the street. If one is a product of a broken, under-regulated, and uncaring society, then so is the other. And the net effect of each is to exploit a hapless, innocent victim for their own selfish gratification.

    Personally, I’m a great believer in deterrents. I would find some uninhabited Scottish island and dump them all there – fraudsters and common criminals alike – guarded by the Royal Navy, with the occasional air-drop of food. Alas, the last MP of Cambridge said to me in an e-mail that deterrents don’t work, which is rather crass given that a strong military is there primarily for that purpose, has given us a long period of domestic peace and security, and he supported having one.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • DaveM
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      ” I would find some uninhabited Scottish island and dump them all there – fraudsters and common criminals alike – guarded by the Royal Navy”

      What have the poor old Navy done wrong??!!

      • Tad Davison
        Posted August 10, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        Lol

        Tad

  21. Iain Gill
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Do they really expect tweaking regulation and more top down control to solve the scandals in the NHS like Mid Staff? Do they really think its sustainable for the public to have no choice in their care and drip fed third rate care? What is their excuse for Mid Staffs when they were in power?

    What is their analysis of the child abuse scandal in Rotherham (and other places) when they were in power in local and national government at the time? What do they think is the solution to this?

    Are they going to keep pushing the nutty anti car driver agenda with ever more speed cameras and such nonsense?

    What would they really do about immigration? More open doors? Some specific detailed answers to stuff like uncapped intra company transfer visas being used to flood the country with cheap workers and so on?

    • Timaction
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      “What would they really do about immigration”. They’ve never shut under the Tory’s. They won’t in this Parliament either and it will undo the Government and its total impotence on the subject, a competency given up to the EU.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Agree Timaction. People must be getting sick already at Cameron’s seemingly inability to control anything. If he is not careful then this awful predicament over immigration from Africa will devastate the Tories and people will lose faith. They have a chance to show what they are made of now that they don’t have to bow and scrape down to Clegg and Co.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted August 10, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Cameron is trying to solve it with media management. Lots of messaging. The bbc are the only news channel not running with this as their number one story. It’s not going to end well.

  22. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood – well said!

  23. George Hinton
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    John,
    Labour are part of the Socialist International they will never vote against the EU and Brussels provided that organisation follows socialist thinking.
    Brown was only against the euro as he saw that membership would impose proviso’s that would potentially block his tax and spending, sorry, “investment” plans.

  24. DaveM
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Mr R,

    Based on your question set, I’d like to ask your party leader the following:

    1. What exactly do you expect to achieve by bombing targets in Syria?

    2. What are you demanding from the renegotiation with the EU?

    3. Are there any circumstances in which you would endorse an Out vote of the EU?

    4. What is your view of EU austerity policies? If you are against Euro and EU austerity policies what would or could you do to amend or stop them? Answer – nothing.

    5. Do you wish to reduce the level of migration into the UK? If so, what reduction do you seek? How would you achieve it?

    6. You speak of Conservative measures to reduce EU migrants access to benefits and subsidised housing – do you think this will make the slightest difference? Are you completely out of touch? And when will it happen?

    7. Why won’t you give ANY justice to England, the country which voted you into power based on promises you made?

    See where I’m coming from? The prospective Labour leaders might give (in your opinion) the wrong answers, but it’s hypothetical because they’re not in power, and at least they’d probably be honest about it . Your leader promised all these things and he IS in power (thanks to ENGLISH voters), and yet he has delivered not one jot. When are you going to hold HIM to account?

    Reply Mr C is pledged to cut migration, to renegotiate with the EU, to provide us an In/Out referendum and to introduce English votes for English needs. He has made a speech on what he wants from the EU negotiations, and has stated why he wishes to bomb Syria. THis is all well known. If he does not get back our ability to govern ourselves I will vote for out of the EU. I do not agree with him over bombing Syria.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      But more importantly John, what will Cameron vote for if he doesn’t get full control over our borders?? That is the question of the day. It is no good him not achieving what he set out to do and then saying, ok, never mind, we’ll stay in anyway.

    • DaveM
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      to reply:

      He made a pledge to cut immigration 5 years ago, and yet it has got worse than ever.

      He’s not introducing English votes, he’s attempting to fob us off with an English veto at committee stage with the bill still able to be voted down by non-English MPs at the final stage.

      I know WHY he wants to bomb Syria. That wasn’t the question. The answer to the question I reworded above is: “nothing, because I have absolutely no idea how minor are the effects of bombing, but since all the other career politicians of the past 30 years have turned to bombing, that must be the right thing to do”.

  25. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Jeremy about public ownership. Atypical example of the private touch is the individual who shines his car gets others to valet his 4 wheel drive or series 5 BMW then throws out of the window his fast food wrappings and cigarettes onto the public highway. We need more pride for collective spending and continuing care.

    • Handbags
      Posted August 10, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      You’ll find that most of these types actually work in the parasite sector.

      They’re so used to living off the state that, to them, nothing is of value.

      Someone else will clean up after them – after all everything is free isn’t it?

  26. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Who really cares what Labour thinks. I want to know why Cameron isn’t pushing for the EU to make a sensible decision on the migration (illegal) of Africans to Europe.

    See the link from the Telegraph and if this isn’t enough for people to vote NO then I don’t know what is.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11792039/What-is-the-EU-for-if-not-the-migration-crisis.html

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 10, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      The EU can’t make a sensible decision on illegal immigration from Africa because under Article 78 TFEU it is committed to upholding daft UN agreements, and in particular the 1967 Protocol which removed the limits set in the 1951 Convention which was only intended to deal with the aftermath of the war in Europe:

      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:12012E/TXT

      “Article 78

      (ex Articles 63, points 1 and 2, and 64(2) TEC)

      1. The Union shall develop a common policy on asylum, subsidiary protection and temporary protection with a view to offering appropriate status to any third-country national requiring international protection and ensuring compliance with the principle of non-refoulement. This policy must be in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees, and other relevant treaties.”

      The EU’s publicly stated intention to comply with the 1951 UN Convention as amended by the 1967 Protocol, including the principle of “non-refoulement”, is why economic migrants are aware that if they masquerade as asylum seekers then if/when they are rescued in the Mediterranean they will be helped on their way to Italy rather than promptly returned to a North African shore.

      http://openeurope.org.uk/blog/would-brexit-leave-the-uk-better-placed-to-tackle-the-calais-crisis/

      However that Article 78 TFEU is in Title V of Part Three of the TFEU, which deals with the EU’s “AREA OF FREEDOM, SECURITY AND JUSTICE” and runs from Article 67 to Article 89, and as far as just the UK is concerned we supposedly have an opt-out from all of the provisions of that Title under Protocol (No 21) annexed to the treaties – that is, unless our government has already agreed to relinquish that right for us to make our own decisions – so I suppose that notwithstanding the EU’s policy the UK could avail itself of the right to withdraw from the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol after giving one year’s notice.

  27. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Completely off topic. Didn’t we do well to win the Ashes!!!!!! Even for a non supporter of cricket, I was mesmerised by England’s performance and wasn’t it great to see the English flag being flown proudly??

    Reply. Yes, brilliant bowling by Broad and Stokes and a great century from Root.

    • petermartin2001
      Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:23 am | Permalink

      Yes the England team have played exceptionally well. But we shouldn’t get carried away. The last Ashes series was 5-0 to the Aussies. England failed dismally in the World Cup. Australia played well and won it.

      To show complete superiority requires one team to win on the other’s grounds and wickets, using their choice of ball. We’ve not seen that for a while.

  28. Martin
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Wow trying to sort out the Labour Party – what next Australian cricket?

    I was thinking of trying to type something about the American Republican party but that looks more unspeakable than the Labour Party or Australian cricket.

  29. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Not just Labour that can undermine Cameron in parliament. What about the SNP??? They do everything not to be the same as England.

  30. petermartin2001
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Good questions on the leadership.

    I’m a little disappointed that JC hasn’t been more critical of the EU. But at least he’s said he’s not at all happy at the EU’s extra-ordinary stupidity and cruelty to Greece. Which is a lot more than has been said by the other candidates.

  • 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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