The failure of the pro EU side to engage


On Saturday evening at the Cambridge Union 200th anniversary debate on the EU there were signs of things to come. The pro EU side was to comprise 2 former continental senior politicians, and one unelected UK pro European in the Lords, with just one MP.  One of the 2 continentals pulled out at the last minute. Clearly there is a problem finding people prepared to argue the pro EU case. The anti EU side fielded two MPs who have been Cabinet Ministers , a senior businessman and the Deputy Chairman of UKIP.

The pro EU side had to argue that the EU was a success. Not a difficult task you might have thought if you believe in it and want a united Europe. Instead they conceded that the Euro was a shambles and implied the UK was right to be out of it. They accepted it was causing economic damage in much of the EU. They volunteered that the borders and migration policy had failed and needed radical change.

Rather as communists used to argue in the days of the Soviet empire, who always said when we criticised the Soviet system that it was not proper communism as they wanted it, they held up a view of an ideal EU. The EU they sought was  quite unlike the EU we currently have. In a sign of how the stay in side may argue in the referendum  it appears the pro side will join in with all the Eurosceptic criticisms of the current EU. They conceded the EU was too regulated, that it was doing economic damage, and that it did not control its borders. Their main argument was that we now have peace in Europe. When we pointed out NATO, US forces present for much of the post war period and the outbreak of democracy in Germany account for that, they agreed they were important. When asked about the violence  and conflict in the Ukraine and the Balkans a few years ago, they  disagreed on the EU’s unhelpful role.

None of them owned up to the 5 Presidents report, none set out a vision for a united Europe, none had the courage to explain why political union was essential to the project. What are they ashamed of? Why can’t they speak out for the United States of Europe which they must secretly want? I will go on reminding people the EU is on a wild ride to political union. Will none of the pro EU people in the UK defend it?


The audience who included various people who worked for EU and government institutions or in EU law, voted strongly in favour of the EU.


  1. Duyfken
    September 28, 2015

    I wonder if it might assist to name the prospective participants (according to the CUS blurb):

    The speakers on proposition are:

    Rt. Hon. Owen Patterson MP (former Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

    Suzanne Evans (Deputy Chair of the UK Independence Party)

    Rt. Hon. John Redwood MP (Former Secretary of State for Wales)

    John Mills Esq. (Chair of Business for Britain)

    The speakers on opposition are:

    Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (Former President of France)

    Rt. Hon. Dominic Grieve MP (Former Attorney General)

    Baroness Quin (Former Minister for Europe)

    Frits Bolkestein (Former European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services)

    Presumably, it was either Bolkestein or the (aloof) d’Estaing who did not turn up.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 28, 2015

      It looks as though they are struggling to find many younger defenders of the EU prepare to speak out. The younger defenders are rather more like Cameron and Osborne who pretend to be sceptic, but their actions are all clearly EUphile.

    2. JoeSoap
      September 28, 2015

      Well it’s a shame the first and third above-named participants weren’t of this mind a year ago, and we might have had some joined-up thinking pre-General Election when it was already clear to the second above-named that Cameron’s re-negotiation strategy was an irrelevant red-herring.

      1. JoeSoap
        September 28, 2015

        However, Cameron seems to prefer hugging a Labour Luvvie to conversing with his own back benches….

        So much for a return for loyalty…

  2. Timaction
    September 28, 2015

    Quite right Mr Redwood. The Europhiles know they can’t defend their views on the truth and their intentions to create a European State as it is and always has been their intention. Fortunately they have been found out. Notice how everyone is asking your leader what he wants? He must know by now that his lies and spin are about to crash. Veto on a non existent Treaty? Agreeing illegal bailouts for no return. Assurity for further Greek bailouts whilst claiming an opt out. Paying the surcharge when he said he wouldn’t. Claiming a reduction in EU budgets and our bill goes up. When are you getting rid of him or asking for his resignation? How is the Home Secretary doing removing those 2000000 illegal immigrants whilst doing nothing about Calais? Why isn’ t she insisting on minimum standards on Lorry doors and structure to prevent stow away? We need Farage or the Hungarian Prime Minister but we have the weak, ineffective CMD and a compliant msm.

  3. Lifelogic
    September 28, 2015

    Why indeed can they not speak out for the United States of Europe, which they clearly secretly want?

    The pro side’s whole strategy is a complete fraud against the voters. They know that if they told the truth they would lose. That is why at the last referendum it was dressed up as being about trade and a common market. The electorate have been given no say in the matter since 1975, which is a total outrage. MPs were not elected to pass power over the UK permanently to unelected others.

    But cast iron ratter Cameron and IHT ratter Osborne, the BBC and indeed most of the Tory party are also on the side of this huge deception and fraud against the voters.

    1. JoeSoap
      September 28, 2015

      Sadly much of the Tory Party’s actions are a fraud against voters. Take QE, immigrant promises, tax promises, IHT promises, quango promises….. One by one they come to light, so slowly that most barely notice….

      1. alan jutson
        September 28, 2015


        One thing that is happening is the erection of new stronger fences in and around the Euro Tunnel area.

        Looked at the evidence myself as we passed through today on our way back into the UK after a few weeks abroad.

        Looks like the French have given up on passport checks though, as only UK passport control was evident at the terminal.
        If this is their attitude in general, then it does not bode well for other locations or the longer term.

      2. Lifelogic
        September 28, 2015

        Indeed but J Corbyn and John McDonnell are clearly an even bigger “magic money tree” fraud against the electorate.

        What on earth is McDonnell’s “corporate welfare”. How can my companies claim some of it? All my UK companies get is endless corporate taxes, daft regulations and endless muggings for government.

        1. JoeSoap
          September 28, 2015

          “Corporate welfare” – probably your companies and mine don’t need it or get it, infact we pay for it to help out the big boys. When you’re RBS, Lloyds, Google, Boots, Starbucks, Vodafone you get the picture. (Unnamed big companies ed)pay well connected idiots top notch to go on an ego trip, you can ring the PM for assistance that day , you can flog stuff in the UK out of Luxembourg without bothering with VAT, you can do deals with HMRC then employ the boys later, you borrow from HMG and lend on at several 100% profit and so on. Meanwhile Osborne and Cameron hobble the SME s with business rates and crazy interest rates to pay for this welfare.
          These new Labour guys have a point.

  4. Antisthenes
    September 28, 2015

    The new shadow chancellor was decrying Boots for avoiding tax by locating it’s HQ in another EU country and that he will stop that when Labour is in government. He is yet another politician who know not what he speaks of. Boots is being perfectly legal in it’s tax obligations as they are complying with EU law which he obviously has no understanding of and only can do as he says if we leave the EU. So many politicians say that they are going to do this and that when as we gave away most of sovereignty to the EU they cannot. Time to leave the EU me thinks however if Labour is in power it will be out of the frying pan into the fire. But it at least will be our fire and we will be able to douse the flames every 5 years.

    1. JoeSoap
      September 28, 2015

      Of course it is perfectly legal under current tax law – that is the whole point… Corbyn is arguing (and I see his point) that while our SME s are paying 20% (was up to 29%) Corporation Tax it is indeed legal for Boots to turnover most of their revenue here but send the profits back to CH… so us SME s which DO actually have some export turnover and are set up here play by the rules (both legal and moral) but Boots doesn’t worry so much about the moral side of profiting here but paying taxes in CH…

      Reply Boots has taken tax advice and has behaved legally as you say.I thought the main criticism was that Boots is financed by large borrowings where the interest is an allowable cost.

  5. formula57
    September 28, 2015

    Perhaps the pro-EU side’s strategy will rely upon asking voters whatever is the question that is the equivalent of the Scottish referendum’s “what currency will you use?” so that fear, small-mindedness and timidity can act to preserve the UK’s membership (as so successfully modified by the renegotiation of course).

  6. Denis Cooper
    September 28, 2015

    “… none set out a vision for a united Europe, none had the courage to explain why political union was essential to the project. What are they ashamed of? Why can’t they speak out for the United States of Europe which they must secretly want?”

    It has always been thus, they may discuss it between themselves but they are ashamed to bring it forward before the public for proper, wider, debate, and moreover they are quite prepared to lie and deceive when it suits them.

    1. Chris
      September 28, 2015

      The whole project was based on a deception right from the start it seems. See the following quotes/information about the founder members: Monnet, Spaak (Belgian communist), Spinelli (Italian communist) in the early days:

      Monnet 1952 UN “The nations of Europe should be guided towards a supra-national state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be achieved by successive small steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to a federation.”

      “Spaak apparently proposed that the EU be always referred to as a ‘Common Market’ to disguise its true nature”.

      “Spinelli advocated that the aim should be to stealthily assemble the components of a supranational government and only to declare its true purpose at the end of the process by unveiling a ‘Constitution’. (i.e. deceive the public.). By then it would be too late for the democratic peoples of Europe to do anything about it”.

      “Emblazoned on the wall in the EU Parliament’s Visitors Centre are these words: “National sovereignty is the root cause of the most crying evils of our times… The only final remedy for this supreme and catastrophic evil of our time is a federal union of the peoples…”. Source europrobe website.

      It is worth repeating something from the original framework with regard to how Europe should be governed and laws made: it was to be run by ‘a higher authority free from control by elected politicians.’

    2. Chris
      September 28, 2015

      It has been based on a deception right from the start, as stated by some of the main proponents of the grand project:

      Monnet to the UN in 1952:
      “The nations of Europe should be guided towards a supra-national state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be achieved by successive small steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to a federation.”

  7. Graham Wood
    September 28, 2015

    Perhaps one way in which the pro-EU side would be forced to explain their stance would be to ask them the question – ‘What substantial reason can be found now in 2015 to invite the UK to become a new member of the EU, as opposed to reasons proffered some forty years ago?
    I suggest that not one of the proponents above or any UK political party or politician could provide one sound reason for membership. It has convincingly failed on every count and is now directionless with its dream of a ‘united Europe shattered, if only for the failure of Schengen alone.
    Meanwhile it will be interesting this week to learn what Mr Corbyn can offer by way of continued membership given both the democratic deficit in the EU and its blatant protection of soulless corporate interests which has no interest in ‘workers rights’.

    1. JoeSoap
      September 28, 2015

      Rather like Cameron promises to “reform Europe”, so will Corbyn promise to in the reverse direction.

  8. agricola
    September 28, 2015

    The EU is an empty shop. Nothing to sell from the present construct. From the audience vote one can only assume that they see something in the property value that has nothing to do with the goods one might have expected. I suggest that what they see in the EU is power and control and nothing to do with the needs of the people.

    The EU from it’s conception decided that the people of Europe could not be trusted with democracy. After all democracy had resulted in Adolph Hitler and Mussolini. So they decided that Europe needed dictatorship by an elite. What might have started as a benign elite quickly deteriorated into what we have now, which has every chance of giving birth to a crop of extreme solutions across Europe.

    I assume that neither your leader nor any of his acolytes were present in Oxford. As you imply, all they can now do is accept the myriad deficiencies of the EU construct, but sell the idea that they will make it better. I await your leaders defence of the EU at conference. If his stand is less than out, while maintaining trade, friendship, and cooperation then Caveat Emptor.

  9. Bert Young
    September 28, 2015

    The reason the audience – as mentioned , was very pro EU on Saturday evening , was that every red-blooded Englishman was watching rugby ! One of the responders had referred to this earlier and , at the time , I thought that given the choice , I would be glued to the game in preference . The outcome of the debate ( and the game ) was disappointing ; I hope that when the public masses are asked to vote , the result will be different . The pro EU speakers at least admitted the present state was a mess and seemed to rest their case on a better reformed future ; what they have to accept is the electorate can only judge things as they are and not as some dreamers would want things .

    1. Anonymous
      September 28, 2015

      Bert – Boredom and distraction is the EU’s most lethal weapon.

      The English have totally mixed up their nationalism with sport. This is what it has been reduced to.

      Don’t expect it to be any different on the day of the referendum.

  10. Lesley
    September 28, 2015

    Was the word for the no-shows ‘frit’ ? Would have thought that the Kinnock family might have given it a go.
    The audience were not going to vote for their jobs to become obsolete.

  11. Shieldsman
    September 28, 2015

    “The audience who included various people who worked for EU and government institutions or in EU law, voted strongly in favour of the EU”.
    Despite conceding that the Euro was a shambles, the borders and migration policy had failed and needed radical change.

    What of the ‘eurosceptic’ campaign teams. The spat between Arron Banks and Douglas Carswell was over the non-commitment of Business for Britain to leave the EU. Like David Cameron they want to stay in the EU under any negotiated terms.

    Business for Britain and Conservatives for Britain – its figurehead is Matthew Elliott and it is financed by a group of business leaders and supported by ‘Eurosceptic’ Tories including a number of MPs. Nearly all its activity has been under the guise of Business for Britain, pushing commercial interests.
    Little if any concern is shown for the sovereignty of the UK and the Public. They are a self centered group of people.

    “As business leaders and entrepreneurs responsible for millions of British jobs, we believe that the Government is right to seek a new deal for the EU and for the UK’s role in Europe. We believe that, far from being a threat to our economic interests, a flexible, competitive Europe, with more powers devolved from Brussels, is essential for growth, jobs and access to markets. We therefore urge all political parties to join in committing themselves to a national drive to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s membership of the EU”.

    What stands out about BfB, despite it having the support of the supposedly arch Eurosceptics Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell, is that it isn’t actually committed to the UK leaving the EU at all. It’s sponsors have a very clear objective, staying in a ‘reformed’ EU.

    Despite this, despite talking exclusively to business interests, and despite not uttering a single compelling argument in favour of leaving the EU, Elliott and Co are surprisingly keen to be the designated official leave campaign. Even having stated their aim of being the official campaign, Matthew Elliott has subsequently gone on the record to explain what he and BfB would do if David Cameron claims to have secured reformed relationship with the EU:

    ‘If the Government gets a two-tier Europe, we’re very much in’.

    Cameron wishes to remain in the EU and will sell the electorate down the river ably assisted by Elliott and a small circle of money-hungry friends. Once Cameron waves his promissory note , Elliot and Business for Britain could so easily say we back the stay in vote.

    Of course the scenario resulting from a stay in vote would be an unmitigated disaster. A new treaty requiring adopting the EURO, greater integration and fiscal control, a Lisbon treaty on steroids.

    Reply. Do stop criticising our side! Do you want to win?

  12. Iain Moore
    September 28, 2015

    As you have pointed out in other blogs , the pro EU acolytes never have to present a coherent argument as they are never cross examined by our tenacious truth seeking media who only present them with helpful leading questions. They haven’t quite got to asking them ‘ what would you like to tell us today? ‘ question, but its getting close.

    As a result the public is presented with an in your face hostility to anybody who wants to restore our democracy , who are painted as some knuckle dragging right wing thugs , while the people in favour of totalitarian bureaucracy are helped to come across as genial people who occupy the centre ground. So the underlying message from the media is a very clear instruction as to who to support.

  13. MPC
    September 28, 2015

    The vote at your debate is perhaps not surprising Mr Redwood. On an anecdotal note, when I was out for coffee the other day I couldn’t help overhear two senior people who were obviously work colleagues discussing EU issues and they described themselves as ‘social democrats’. One of them said he feels much of what the EU is doing is wrong ‘but it feels right to stay in somehow’ and that seems to be our problem. Perhaps part of the answer is to adopt an additional ‘soft’ approach pointing out that leaving is far from ‘threatening’ or ‘radical’ but is a return to how we always governed ourselves. Also, that we intend to operate on a collegiate basis with our EU friends – fully considering any new initiatives they come up with, appraising them from our own viewpoint and being willing to consider them but obviously outside EU treaty enforcement because we believe in national sovereign parliaments.

  14. Bob
    September 28, 2015

    @Mr Redwood
    Is your government prepared to tolerate discrimination, violence and abuse in the UK against our military personnel?

    1. Bernard from Bucks
      September 28, 2015

      Tolerance is one of this Governments ‘British Values’. We are told we must respect cultural differences and all this is being taught now in Primary Schools.
      Perhaps this Government is trying to lead by example?
      John, I guess you know that this comment is a bit ‘tongue in cheek’, but I really do think that someone needs to get a grip and get back to common sense.
      I’m very sad to see my MP Mr Grieve backing the losing side. I must have words with him.

  15. forthurst
    September 28, 2015

    Even if the EU had kept the peace in Europe which as JR describes is simply a falsehood, why would that be a reason for us to remain in? Instead, surely we could simply pass a law preventing us from declaring war on Germany for a third time and then blaming them for starting it?

    The countries of the EU have become very soft on protecting their own borders (words left out ed) The EU is quite as evil as the Bolshevik Empire at its height and if we allow it to run its course without opposition, unlike modern Russia, there will be nothing to salve from the wreckage.

    Perhaps JR should abandon his political career and return to Cambridge to teach History because clearly the quality of teaching there has to be extremely low. Feeding students a narrative supported by ‘facts’ is not teaching but grooming; History can only be understood correctly if all the known facts based entirely on documentary evidence are assembled from first principles from which can be constructed a narrative which supports them in much the same way that scientific principles can readily be derived.
    If this is done, much of what has been represented as History can be seen as propaganda which has been used to mask the truth. The EU floats on a sea of propaganda and we need to sink its boat. Practically every advance it has made towards a United States of Europe has represented a retrograde step for the people. Who is the EU really for? The putative and actual gourmands of Brussels, just like in the good old Bolshevik Empire.

    Return I went to Oxford and am a fellow of All Souls College Oxford.

  16. Mark
    September 28, 2015

    I note that in supposedly rather more unbiassed polling, “Leave” is now 3% ahead of “Remain”. May it remain the case that “Leave” leads.

  17. Richard1
    September 28, 2015

    Yes I do find it difficult to get pro-EU advocates to engage, being myself a floating voter on this issue now. The main argument that comes out from right of centre people is leaving would be a risk to investment and jobs, listen to Sir Martin Sorrell etc. On the left the argument is the EU is great as it has enshrined [socialististic] laws on employment, the environment etc. (the leftist arguments for the EU of course are an argument for Out for anyone interested in prosperity and growth).

    I think the main argument for In will be Fear of leaving – the effect on jobs and investment. Very coherent and credible arguments will need to be advanced by Outers as to why economic prospects will be better (not just unchanged) if the UK leaves. Otherwise we will remain in.

  18. backofanenvelope
    September 28, 2015

    If we want to leave the EU, it is no use relying on well-researched and closely argued discussions. You need something that will get through to the normal everyday voter. As usual, Mr Farage has his finger on the pulse – immigration. We don’t want any more – we are full up. I believe it was our host who suggested another good idea. Announce that on the day we leave there will be a tax rebate of several hundred pounds. Even those who don’t pay any tax will get it.

  19. Tad Davison
    September 28, 2015

    John’s piece says it all really, so how do we legislate for insanity and overcome an illogical but entrenched position?

    I watched the Labour Party conference on the box yesterday, and there they were, one-by-one, Labour delegates telling the audience how important the EU is to the UK. And those who consistently fail to think for themselves just lapped up the propaganda and will go away and try to sell the pro-EU message – except, it’s a myth that’s built upon sand.

    It’s like telling those furry little Lemmings not to jump off a cliff to their doom, but they still do it anyway, because they are somehow programmed to do it.

    Try as I might, I just cannot see the EU from the pro-EU point of view, but far worse, they cannot explain why they are so enthusiastic about it. I had the same from the leader of Cambridge City Council a while ago when he came to my door to canvass for the Labour Party. He said he disagreed with me that we should get out of the EU altogether, but wouldn’t engage me in a discussion about it!

    And this is par for the course. It’s the Europhile way, and it’s the mountain we’ll have to climb the nearer we get to the referendum. Hopefully, the electorate are intelligent enough to see through it, but when some of them can’t even name the Prime Minister or even the party of government…………..

    Tad Davison


  20. Denis Cooper
    September 28, 2015

    There seems to be some bemusement elsewhere in the EU that Cameron has not yet put forward any clear proposals for the legal changes he wants to make our EU membership more acceptable to the British people. But when he gets round to drafting some specific proposals for his desired “reform” of the EU, shouldn’t the draft be put before Parliament for debate and approval, possibly after some amendments?

  21. Kenneth
    September 28, 2015

    All good points but let’s not forget the positive case for democracy.

    I long for the day when my MP no longer has to admit that his hands are tied due to eu regulations.

    The OUTs need to call themselves democrats. All the better that this term may also be conflated with U.S. politics. The OUTs should be a broad church.

  22. Paul Cohen
    September 28, 2015

    The EU is a multi-headed monster that needs to be slain!

    A club for its dominant members who act unilaterally when they want to, and which will bring the whole house of cards down, showing that under strain it is not fit for purpose.

    My main criticism is that our present leaders do not in fact lead and inform as they should.

    It has always surprised me that one of the national newspapers has not taken to a regular
    JR column with his clear, logical comments and analysis – I can’t think of a better way to get the EU debate out there.

    September 28, 2015

    Too many observable items to John and Jane Public why the EU is turning septic.Wrong time for an EU-er to stick out. He will keep his head down just now. He hopes the dark clouds over Europe and the EU fundament pushing inexorably to the surface revealing its soulless nature will abate. He then feels he can continue to speak in abstracts and theoreticals. Cite statistics and views from important personages. Impress an electorate he holds in utter contempt, as dumbells.

    The Parliamentary Labour Party EU-ers are desperately afraid. But not about the plight of being in or out of the EU. They do not give a fig about that. Just so long as their political careers continue. Any flag will do. They do not know if soon they will need to jump ship. Mayhap join another Party. Join a breakaway Labour Party. Stand as an Independent. Asked pointed questions by Constituency deselection kangaroo courts. They prefer to keep shtum. Then they can, wherever they end up, sing a strange song as if it were their very own and the MP salary keeps rolling in. A political cuckoo by any other name smells just as fetid.

  24. Anonymous
    September 28, 2015

    You’re arguing against liars and hypocrites, John. The EU is Leftist and anyone claiming to be a Leftist who is middle or upper class is a hypocrite and most likely a liar too.

    We really are in 1984 territory. The BBC telling us their version of reality when it is quite obviously the opposite of the truth. ProEU people are doing the same.

    “If the EU is failing then the answer is MORE EU !”

    It really is sinister and I think things will turn very nasty indeed. Soviet style. Gulags, the lot – after a period of destabilising sectarian voilence.

    How has Britain come to this ? What happened to the safe, sensible and stable country I grew up in ?

    How did we allow the Left to steal it from us and gift it to others ?

    Hopefully the people will see through it all. The immigration crisis – like it or not – is the one and only thing that will cut through all the lies and and obfuscation and get people voting Out.

  25. ian wragg
    September 28, 2015

    The audience who included various people who worked for EU and government institutions or in EU law, voted strongly in favour of the EU.

    Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas john.
    Many thousands rely on the taxpayer funded cloistered lifestyle provided by Brussels.
    It is time that all individuals and organisations promoting the EU should declare if they receive funds or will eventually receive a pension.
    The likes of Clegg and Mandelson together with the BBC should be made declare an interest.

    1. Alexis
      September 28, 2015

      I really think this is key.

      If they won’t declare their financial interests, they should be outed. Preferably by others on the same platform.

    September 28, 2015

    Those in the Parliamentary Labour Party who might under normal circumstances spout, are afraid of expressing views for or against. Evidence could be written down and used as evidence against them in:

    1.In a deselection panel
    2. A Tory or Lib Dem Committee charged with assessing their defection to their parties.
    3. A decided pecking order in a breakaway Labour Party.

    No doubt personally amongst MPs of all Parties there may be some apparent understanding if not sympathy for the Labour MPs who now find themselves on the undesirable Right of a Labour Party “hijacked by Left-Wing Corbynites”. The “understanding” and any sympathy are inappropriate.
    Mr Corbyn would have always been regarded as being on the Left of the Labour Party. However not in any way “an extremist” . Mr Corbyn and his followers are in fact closer to the mainstream central core-belief of the Labour Party than most even long standing Labour MPs. Mr Corbyn IS the Labour Party.

    What has happened to the Labour Party which occupies a particular position in the circle of political endeavour in the UK is that persons pretending socialist values reached the top, changed the rules relating to electing genuinely local candidates as MPs and then parachuted into towns and cities, clones of themselves.

    Persons like Mr Blair for example although intellectually most able and able to talk to the “Middle-Ground as was,- did in fact have a “meteoric rise” as journalists would guardedly call it. Actually, it was not possible and is not possible for any human to join the Labour Party and attend a once per month branch meeting and in practical terms hope he would meet enough members, gain their support, in less than 3 years to be even nominated to run as a local councillor let alone run a successful election campaign as such. Mr Blair like many Labour MPs have one way or another been parachuted in illegitimately into locations thwarting any semblance of representative democracy or indeed Party democracy.
    There is at last some hope the Labour Party will now turn into a proper Socialistic Party and re-occupy its quite honourable position in our Representative democracy. Whilever the Labour Party and the Tory Party are not calling each other Looney Left and Looney Right then one or both of their parties are not behaving in the true nature and tradition of our democracy.
    It would be Traditional Labour to join the OUT Campaign in regard to the EU or at least sport a most severe negotiating stance with the EU.

  27. Rods
    September 28, 2015

    Going slightly off topic.

    Government spending and regulation (especially for EU countries) is generally a bigger percentage of GDP than in the US. So why are Europe’s law enforcement and regulatory bodies, so poor at their jobs?

    LIBOR and other banking scandals involving European banks, alleged FIFA corruption and the new emissions scandal all of whom have been investigated and uncovered by US law enforcement bodies.

    In Europe we have also had the food labeling scandal, in 2008 the BOE, Treasury and FCA (FSA) all saying nothing to do with us as the financial sector crashed and burnt. In Europe there is not only an emissions scandal by also unrealistic and unreachable fuel consumption figure that are impossible to get near in day-to-day driving that are heavily advertised and one of the more important issues when choosing and buying a car.

    People that have used the ‘of-regulators’ generally don’t seem to hold their actions in very high esteem, so as somebody on the board of directors of UK PLC, what are you going to do to make regulation and enforcement more effective, so those that break the rules are brought to book? Law enforcement and regulatory bodies that don’t do their job have an efficiency and productivity rating of zero, which shouldn’t be difficult to improve upon!

  28. Alte Fritz
    September 28, 2015

    I was at the Oxford Union debate in 75 when the lead pro EEC speakers were Edward Heath and Jeremy Thorpe. The lead antis were Barbara Castle and Peter Shore. The pro side was unattractive but at least drew on major UK figures. In forty years much has changed but the failure of the pros to be honest and the gullibility of the audience (there was a big majority top remain in 75) remain depressingly consistent.

  29. Julian
    September 28, 2015

    The EU accounts not being signed off tells you everything about the EU.
    The FIFA of politics.

  30. miami.mode
    September 28, 2015

    Your post shows perfectly the problems in getting an out vote.

    Despite the fact that there are hardly any demonstrable benefits of the EU, the ratio of an in/out vote still seems to hover either side of 50%. The out campaign must continually push the Europhiles into fully explaining what they claim are the “benefits” apart from the spurious 3m jobs and the chance of living abroad.

    1. JoeSoap
      September 28, 2015

      Indeed, too split, too long. No one party to represent their interests. Those that tried failed to persuade those like our host to move over to crystallise around one party…

  31. A different Simon
    September 28, 2015

    Over the past month we have seen that there is no appetite within member countries for an EU wide approach to the migrant crisis .

    Similarly the EU is happy for America to be the world’s policeman , even when European security is at stake – such as would be the case if the Straits of Hormuz was closed .

    With VW , ministers in the UK and elsewhere in Europe did not let the opportunity to kick a European manufacturer whilst it was down . These are people who would struggle to lift the bonnet of a car let alone tell you what was under it .

    The EU’s claims to be a world power are seen for what they are . Whilst Europe has been naval gazing the rest of the world has moved on .

    Even I as an ANTI-EU federalist am disappointed by the lack of co-operation in addressing crisis such as these .

    It seems that coercion and compunction have lead to less of a spirit of co-operation and friendship .

  32. Maureen Turner
    September 28, 2015

    The reluctance of the invited guests to speak well of the EU at the recent debate you attended isn’t surprising as most of their ideas are out off time. What they appeared to be saying is give us a second chance and we’ll get it right this time – like doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!

    What is surprising is that most EU prime ministers or presidents of the 28 nation states seem content to go along with this never ending mystery tour to what is an unknown destination. Perhaps I’m joining the world of the conspiracy theorists but I doubt this reordering of of the western nations of Europe is merely a EU project. The real driver here is the UN.

  33. Tom
    September 28, 2015

    ONLY foreigners will be allowed to study a certain degree course on medicine at a British university, it has emerged

    There is revolution and rebellion simmering all across the country.—All of our established institutions appear to be filled with “traitors”, liars, deceivers, and political anarchists at every turn, government apologists spouting support for an enemy we so strongly and bitterly despise.

    Lord Weidenfield said: “The British government has said it will take 20,000 refugees and we have said, ‘Will you not take some Christians?’ But we have had no reply.”

    No surprise there. As with all the other Western governments, the British government has joined the conspiracy against Christianity and Christian culture.

    Listen to this speech (with subtitles by Putin, entitled: “Russian president Putin defends Christian culture, Western values, condemns political correctness”.

  34. MikeP
    September 28, 2015

    John what I find most alarming in your post is that, despite all the evidence of the EU’s failures, limitations and direction, the audience still voted to stay in. I met the same blind faith and optimism at work when discussing the worst elements of the EU with my younger colleagues, they – like the Cambridge audience it seems – have a totally risk-averse, trusting mindset that is going to be hard to budge. It’s a generational thing. Those of us who voted for the Common Market in 1975 know what we voted for and what we expected the deal to be, so feel hardest done by. We also have very personalised memories of European politics and war-mongering before that. Subsequent generations are easy prey to the pro-EU campaigners’ rhetoric and seem to be obstinately deaf and blind to how poorly they are being served by the EU.
    You and others must continue to keep the campaign positive and optimistic, balancing an appraisal of the EU’s shortcomings with proven examples and testimonials of how life could be better for all of us given independence from Brussels. I appreciate yours and Daniel Hannan’s coverage in this respect.
    We see the same doom-laden negativity over Climate Change, particularly from the BBC, rather than any attempt to point out how adaptable the human species is and how we could (easily) cope – even benefit – if the planet were a degree or so warmer.

  35. Shieldsman
    September 28, 2015

    Continuing on from what I said earlier – Big Business wants to remain in the EU so they are taking out an Insurance Policy – Business for Britain.
    What sort of eurosceptics are they? Company MD’s who will accept unknown negotiated terms promising a half baked associate membership.

    To them the cost will be worth it having a tame organisation vying to officially run the Leave Team. Supposedly wishing to promote the leave vote whilst in actual fact wishing to stayin. They have never said they want to leave the EU, so at the last minute they can change their allegiance, and say Cameron has negotiated terms of which they approve.

    Seems to me they and the MSM are ignoring the Electorate.

  36. Chris
    September 28, 2015

    I believe that tackling the BBC and their “propaganda” has to be a top priority for this government before the referendum. Daily it relays pro EU information and fails to interrogate any europhiles interviewed but seems to belittle and on some occasions smear eurosceptics. I fear this issue of what I call BBC bias (helped no doubt by their EU funding) will not be dealt with properly as David Cameron is relying on it to support his pro EU stance.

  37. Chris
    September 28, 2015

    Re clamping down on “non violent extremism” isn’t that part of the agenda to take out free speech? It seems that many of the initiatives of the EU and this government fit neatly into a Marxist agenda of social and political engineering. I really fear for the future of this country, and believe that it is vital that we disentangle ourselves from the smothering effects of the power web that has been woven around us through membership of the EU.

    1. Chris
      September 29, 2015

      See today’s D Tel.which seems to have come up with this on cue:

      “…Early drafts of the (counter extremism) Bill suggest that this will be “the vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”. …True, the proposed definition of extremist views is intended to stop radical Islamist preachers influencing a new generation of potential terrorists, but it is so widely drawn that it will inevitably ensnare the wrong people. How long, for instance, before someone who expresses opposition to same-sex marriage is arraigned under the law? After all, what was until recently an orthodox, mainstream view founded on religious belief is now considered hateful and potentially criminal. ..”

  38. Alexis
    September 29, 2015

    They can’t defend their views. What can they claim in the EU’s favour?

    It seems they are just desperate to hold onto their jobs, or grant money, as applicable.

  39. Borneodann
    September 29, 2015

    Please Mr. Redwood, please come over to UKIP!

    Reply. I was elected as a Conservative and will keep my promises. Why would I want to join a party which only won one seat and tried to stop me getting a referendum by seeking to keep me out of Parliament?

    1. JoeSoap
      September 29, 2015

      Reply to reply:
      But why would you want to stay in a party which wants to remain in the EU when you want to get out of it?

      Reply My party wants and will deliver a referendum. UKIP came fourth in Wokingham, with a strategy that was designed to help a left pro EU party win instead.My party will be neutral in the referendum, with many of us arguing to leave the current treaties. We do not know what our leader will recommend as it depends on what deal he secures for the UK. He is seeking fundamental change.

      1. Chris
        September 29, 2015

        Reply to JR:
        I fear you will wait and wait -that piece of string is very long. I fear you will be caught off guard, unprepared, and David Cameron will be able to take full advantage of your weaknesses. You state that Cameron has made his renegotiation points clear (earlier JR Diary). His EU colleagues do not take the same view, and they are the ones dealing with him. They have been pleading with him to come up with a clear list and strategy. This he has singularly failed to do, as they see it.

        Reply I and like minded Conservatives have got us much closer to success than UKIP! Who came a poor fourth in Wokingham in May.

  40. margaret
    September 29, 2015

    The ideology is similar to a religious one in that the scriptures talk of love ,tolerance and loving thy neighbour ( ok there is the historical aspect of wars and jealousy) , but religious people then say that this or that is not what is meant in the religion but rather people using religion as an excuse to collect the crowds and get their own way. I agree ;the theosophy of good will and love makes me cry ,because of its beauty , yet this is not how it delivers .Similar is that left wing stance ; ‘lets all be friends without jealously and bitterness throughout Europe .’

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    September 29, 2015

    You hint at it but let me ask you explicitly. Did you demonstrate that our deal with the EU is so bad that those who wish to remain in must, without any doubt, be Federalists?
    If not, can you demonstrate it to the general public.

    Reply The topic of the debate was whether the EU is a failure, not our negotiation. I argued it was a bad failure.

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