Labour discovers patriotism

Labour’s patriotism is said to be British. Labour does not know where England is, and has a suite of policies to split it up and deny us a voice. When this morning the BBC analyst linked Labour’s patriotism to England it must have been a mistake. Others called it British nationalism. No one seemed to remember the UK is our nation state.

 

I will only believe Labour has changed from disliking England trying to stifle us when they change policy on England, devolution and regions. As Lord Mandelson wisely observed, the use of the patriotic words is just spin.

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67 Comments

  1. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Yes it does appear that the new Labour leadership has been educated in the benefits of presentation over substance.

    John McDonnell delivered a very political speech yesterday, less hectoring than usual, which hit all the right notes without giving away the envy, destructiveness and redistributing priority of his likely policies.

    Corbyn and McDonnell and their ilk do not believe in consensus. They are right and we must bend to their will. Let us not forget that they feel anyone who earns over £30k who is not on benefits is rich to them. This is where their tax targets will start. Fiscal drag will then catch everyone.

    If Labour is now patriotic why have they changed their tune on leaving the EU? What pressure has been applied?

    • CdBrux
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      “Corbyn and McDonnell and their ilk do not believe in consensus.”

      But they do… with people who agree with them! They look to be playing a possibly canny game. They will wait until they have changed the Labour party internal machinery so that it allows the membership a strong voice in policy making and they have got their £3 supporters signed up as full members. Then you will see their true colours as they claim to have moved the consensus in the Labour party towards them.

      Hopefully everyone else is ready with good, clear and reasoned arguments as to why their populist policies won’t work in practice. It will help to be able to demontrate that the alternative offered (i.e. the governments policies) are actually working.

      • Bob Nozhitch
        Posted September 29, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        “”Corbyn and McDonnell and their ilk do not believe in consensus.””
        “But they do … with people who agree with them!”

        Isn’t it exactly the same things with the author and most contributors of this blog? JR is putting every day some news/information/comment in a way that is almost sure to titillate his readers. And, yes, the result is obtained (almost) every day, with a massive general approval of his position paper, with at times a few reservations, plus the daily serving of criticisms on Gideon, CMD, and the regular topics of opprobrium (green crap, Merkel, green loons, …).

        Have a look at this blog with the sociologist’s eyes, count how many times some people intervene, make a tally of how often some pieces of vocabulary appear, collect the repetitive themes, … There is at least a MA to be done from it.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted September 29, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          The comments on this blog tend to be derived from empirical data and experiences and not theory and envy.

          I hope anyone compiling an MA about fora would have the talent to distinguish.

          • Horatio
            Posted September 30, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

            Would hope that MA candidates know that observational data can generate hypotheses which can then be tested experimentally.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      @Mercia.Your analysis is correct but the EU is not an end in itself,that of course is the One World Government that the likes of Soros and Peter Sutherland and the myriad of transnational institutions staffed with their fellow travellers (at our expense) want to bring into effect.Russia most obviously stands in the way of that and is subject to vilification and one-sided reporting in the liberal media as a result.

      Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,to my mind the towering-and most courageous-intellectual of the last century,while most famous for his role in utterly discrediting the Soviet Union both inside and outside of that country, was also a hardline critic of western-style liberalism and soulless materialism and much of what he had to say in his political works in this respect resonates today.In “The Russian Question at the End of the 20th Century” he forecast that “circumstances will arise therein (in the 21st century) when all of Europe and the US will be in dire need of Russia as an ally”.

      It is interesting to note a) how much of Solzhenitsyn’s thoughts President Putin has incorporated into his own vision for the re-building of Russia and b) how Solzhenitsyn,ironically through not being compliant,seems to have been airbrushed out of history by the academic and media establishments of the West.

      As for Labour,it is impossible for a party imbued with the values of Marx and Lenin,even if only at the cultural level as New Labour was,to be credible when they profess support for the nation state.

  2. Sean
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    It’s because they are the Stupid party Labour.

    • alan jutson
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Sean

      Both of us, along with many, may not like Mr Corbyn or what he stands for, but underestimate him and his ilk at your peril, as millions believe in the magic money tree policy promises, and will vote for them.

  3. petermartin2001
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    “No one seemed to remember the UK is our nation state.”

    That’s a good point. Northern Ireland does rather tend to be forgotten about now the troubles there are largely resolved. At least for the time being!

    There isn’t much holding the UK together right now. It needs some bold thinking to fix the problem. I’m pretty sure that next time there is a referendum in Scotland the result will be reversed unless we move towards a Federal UK. That needs doing quickly.

    So we need to set up a Federal Parliament for the whole of the UK somewhere outside London. My choice would be somewhere in the North of England. Durham maybe? York? Possibly.

    The existing Parliaments (including Westminster) would become Regional or National Parliaments. The problem with having one English Parliament would be the large size relative to the others. But its not a insurmountable problem. It can be resolved.

    I’d hope we can start giving the idea some thought now and be ready to come up with some kind of plan after the result of the EU referendum is known. I’d like to see a formal invitation to the Republic of Ireland to rejoin the Union. I know it probably won’t be accepted but they should know that the offer is there!

    I’m not optimistic though. I suspect nothing much will happen until Scotland votes to leave and I, for one, won’t be at all happy about that.

    • Richard
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Do you think England would be more likely to leave the EU than the UK? I suspect it would be, and for me this would be the silver lining of the break up of the UK… I would rather live in an independent England, than the UK within the EU. England alone is more likely to follow the ‘correct’ path when unencumbered by socialists north of the border.

      The referendum, and any independence referendum should have no concessions (no last minute ones either). It should be between ‘leave the UK for total independence’ and ‘stay in the UK and abolish the Scottish parliament’. That way it would be full and final, the current halfway house is the worst of all worlds.

      I noticed on Facebook recently, a post by the government/Conservatives/Cameron celebrating a year since the referendum and all the great new powers being handed over to the Scottish parliament. Almost every single comment beneath it seemed to be from Scottish ‘no’ voters angry that their parliament is getting more powers despite the pro-UK outcome of the vote.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      I’d rather continue with the federal UK Parliament and the principal ministries of the federal UK government being located in London, where the rest of the world is long used to finding them for international dealings, and have a devolved Parliament for England located elsewhere, preferably near the centre of England.

    • yosarion
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Quite simple, English parliament in the Commons , shut the lords down and turn it into the Federal assembly. Bring back the Counties in England that have been destroyed by EUSSR regional directives.

    • scottspeig
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes, asking EIRE to rejoin should be there – along with rejoining the north and south into one federal state (thereby creating positives & negatives on both sides).

      Still think the EIRE govt would refuse. Not so sure about the people though.

      Surely one way to resolve the size differences would be to use PR for the national elections yet retain the current FPTP for state elections?

  4. Jools B
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    With respect John, it’s not only Labour who dislike England. You don’t have to look any further than your own party for that. A party led by an England hating Europhile who just like Labour, can’t even bring themselves to say the word England, let alone demand an end to the discriminatory manner in which the majority of their constituents are treated on a daily basis. If any one of them cared anything about England, they would not have allowed Cameron to rat on his promise of English VOTES for English laws, a giant sop in itself and if they really cared they would offer the people of England via a referendum what Scotland, Wales and NI already enjoy, i.e. it’s own self determining legislature.

    Reply Mr Cameron us going to give England more voice and votes, and is giving the UK the chance to leave the EU. Why not welcome and use that?

    • turbo terrier
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Mr Cameron us going to give England more voice and votes,

      When? Old WW2 saying “it is the waiting that gets you”

      Perception of a lot of us out here is that its nowhere near the top of his Must Do list.

    • DaveM
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      To reply:

      I recognise your stance on England Mr R, which is the main reason I read your blog. However, EVEL will only be EVEL when it excludes non-English MPs at every stage and is headed up by a non-ministerial English First Minister (ie someone who is not a UK minister). Scottish, Welsh, and NI MPs must only be allowed to vote in the Commons (and indeed the Lords) when it affects the whole of the UK.

    • JoosB
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      John,
      Not only is it NOT what he promised on the steps of Downing St. but even his replacement sop of a sop has been shelved for the time being, for fear of upsetting the Scots no doubt. English vetoes is a downright insult as it will still allow Scots, Welsh & NI MPs to continue meddling and voting on matters which only affect England. Instead of ‘giving’ us a sop, why not put it to a referendum and ask the English how they wish to be governed in the same way Scotland, Wales and NI have been consulted and given a referendum on, on numerous occasions. England has NEVER been consulted and even though it would be in your party’s interest to do so, the Tory party have so far treated England with the same contempt as Labour – no First Minister, no Minister of State, no Parliament and certainly no-one in the UK Parliament squatting in English seats standing up for it. As I said above, they can’t even bring themselves to say the word England, let alone stand up for it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 29, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Yes, let’s have a referendum in England to ask its people whether or not they would like what the Scots have had for sixteen years. That seems little enough to ask, that we are allowed to decide directly one way or the other.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted September 29, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          Yes please, and let’s have the subject matter of the referendum derived as an output of a genuinely consultative constitutional convention in which we, the public, get to play a full part and have our voices heard.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 30, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

            No, let’s skip the protracted constitutional convention talking shop, largely ignoring ordinary people with jobs and families and who are therefore unlikely to even attempt to participate, and go straight to asking them whether they want much the same as the Scots have already had for 16 years – a separate and separately elected devolved parliament and government.

        • Iain Moore
          Posted September 29, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Come , come, English devolution isn’t something for the English people to decide. Our role in this is to be spectators while the British establishment seek to accommodate everybody else’s interests. The constitutional crumbs left over from this deliberation are then to be tossed in our direction, at which point we are expected to be gushingly grateful for their generosity and fully deserving of being confirmed as fourth class citizens.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            That’s about the way of it.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      The only thing we are seeing Cameron deliver on devolution is the balkanisation of England. The Northern Power house is a reality, the ‘not many English votes for not many English laws’ as far as I am aware hasn’t even got off the blocks yet. Gay Marriage, something he had no mandate for, got pushed through in almost one Parliamentary sitting, but tectonic plates move faster than the Cameron Conservatives move on English representation.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      If public opinion moves even more towards exit, as I expect it will, I would not put it past Cameron to find some way of ratting or further delaying on his referendum promise. Such is his past history. He is clearly still very keen to retain a slopped pitch.

      Something like the renegotiation has reached a point where it now needs a treaty change to implement, and this can only be delivered in five years time, rather conveniently after the next election. The long grass strategy, just like last time.

      How are his (almost silent) demands, EU renegotiations and his pre-referendum (I have this worthless piece of paper) choreography coming along?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Indeed many Tories are anti England too. This despite the fact that they are a partly, almost exclusively, only of England.

      • Horatio
        Posted September 30, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Same as Labour then.

  5. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The Labour Party is a robot. It jerks along. Detects an object. Spots its success. Assimilates it. Saw Union flag worked for Tory and UKIP. Did not know what it was. What purpose? Wrapped it around itself as clothing. Heard UKIP “Straight Talking” . Wrenched it up and stuck it on as Conference Motto. Saw red flower-like thing called Rose. Computed it was Red Rose of England. Stamped it on as Party Logo.

    JR, JR, JR. The reason why the robot Labour Party is having a glitch with “patriotism” is that it is not really a “thing”, an “object”; it is a Concept. Only a human brain, a living mind, can love England.

  6. agricola
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Well Labour on day one of their conference only confirm that they have marched further into cloud cuckoo land than their earlier manifestation.

    They love the EU, but wish to go after large corporate businesses that totally legally incorporate themselves in low corporate tax regimes in other EU countries. If they really want that corporation tax they should lower the level in the UK and bring back those businesses. Ten per cent of a few billion is better than twenty per cent of nothing.

    They believe the 3,000,000 million jobs lie and the peace dividend lie in belonging to the EU.

    They fail to consider how high cost green power might be at least part of the reason for Redcar’s closure. They fail to accept that they were in government when Milliband pushed through the green power legislation at the behest of the EU.

    They bewail the skill shortage in the UK but overlook their trashing of education since about 1960.

    They seem heavy on workers rights but light on their responsibilities. To give them credit, John Hannett of USDAW did talk a bit of sense on Sunday trading.

    The electorate would be foolish to buy into such nonsense . I suspect it will drive many of their erstwhile supporters into support of UKIP who are more in touch with their concerns.

  7. Martyn G
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    John, OT but relevant to patriotism, I read today that Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU official in charge of migration, says that political backlash over migration ‘means nothing’ as he is not elected and “the cost of migration crisis means nothing to us, says top EU official”.
    A superb example of the utter contempt that the EU commissars have for the nations of Europe and their peoples?
    Also perhaps a splendid argument to be used by the ‘leave the EU’ movement.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Staggering that he should be so open about it, but then we only know what he said because the Telegraph and the Mail chose to pick it up from here:

      http://www.politico.eu/article/migration-news-political-europe-cost/

      and spread it further in this country.

      I note this as well from that source:

      “Europe is not the United States, it is not a federal system,” he said. “You don’t impose your decisions, although it was the case the other day. Because four countries out of 28 did not fully agree but now they are obliged to implement it.”

      Which doesn’t actually make sense: “you don’t impose your decisions”, but they have just done exactly that, or at least they are attempting to do so.

  8. Old Albion
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Scotland and Wales have been asked how they want to be governed multiple times. England has never been asked. This is explained by the fact, those inhabiting Westminster see England and Britain as the same thing.
    I have wanted a new Federal UK since 1998. Succesive governments have ignored the problem.
    Englands best chance of self government ironicly, comes from Scotland. They let us down a year ago by voting to stay in the laughingly named UK. However when Sturgeon takes them into their second vote on ‘independance’ (I predict around the Autumn of 2017) This time I believe they’ll get it right and leave. Independance for Scotland equals independance for England. Wales will no doubt make it’s own decision with yet another vote.

  9. Ian wragg
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Gideon is hell bent on Balkanising England so your piece seems very odd. Cameron is going to give England more votes. Is that the same as reducing immigration to the tens of thousands.
    No one believes a word he says.

  10. Bert Young
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    The Corbyn rhetoric is disastrous and extreme left wing ; it will only have appeal to those who want something for nothing . The only way to re-integrate this UK of ours , is to get rid of Regional Government . Apart from saving huge costs , a re-established United Kingdom would be driven by centralised government from Westminster and make more sense of our voting system .

  11. adams
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Labour hate Briatin and want us ruled from Brussels just like your Party does John . The Con Party is just better at pretending they like British people . Meanwhile London becomes a foreign land .

    Reply after all I have said and done you still make these unfair and unhelpful comments

    • scottspeig
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      John, with respect, you seem a rather small minority in your own party. Yes, we will (hopefully) have a referendum of which I am grateful to you et al. However, the Cabinet and especially your leader seems to be not in step with your view.

  12. Iain Moore
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Corbyn says he is patriotic , but didn’t he just the other day boast about his internationalism , and scathing about anybody wanting to limit migrants coming here?

    Strange sort of patriotism that wants to see the country you love, (changed by mAny ed) migrants.

    This seems to be more evidence of the man of principle the Corbynites boast of, where he will say anything to ensure he can get the chance to implement his hard left politics.

  13. English Pensioner
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I find it hard to believe that a government can be patriotic and at the same time allow continued rule by an external power such as the EU
    If we were patriots, we would never have allowed it to happen in the first place, and now it has happened we should be fighting to get out.

    • alan jutson
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      EP

      Agreed.

      Simple logic.

  14. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Labour means poverty for all…and its going to happen again and again. And thats no spin!

    O/T: I hope the whole green house of cards gets a heavy weight kicking form this VW (and the rest) diesel emissions fraud. The EU is part of this because they have been constructing test track case specifications with car manufacturers. Thats where you take the rear view mirrors off, tweak brakes for no bind, lighten up everything and drive down hill where possible….etc. VW created by Hitler and killed by greens ?

  15. botogol
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I have a feeling the Tories need to take Corbyn and McDonnell more seriously….

  16. a-tracy
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    ‘Straight Talking, Honest Politics’ yet the first words out of McDonnell’s mouth were “I warn you this is not my usual rant” – in other words he’s no longer allowed to talk straight, give his own speech that he wants to give he’s got to “behave himself”.

    As for honest politics, all I see in Corbyn is a man with strong views on abolition of the monarchy, Trident etc etc who is no longer allowed to be his honest self but may be pressured into singing the national anthem that he’d clearly love to change, shouldn’t we know that if he was selected what his intentions are with the monarchy, republicanism and the national anthem? Shouldn’t we know what Middle Class earnings are to Mr Corbyn? Is it an individuals income or a family income? Who should be paying 50% tax on what earnings?

    The media amaze me if a lady in a wheelchair got stuck at a Conservative conference it would have been uncaring Conservatives didn’t check access and ensure this didn’t happen.

    I want to hear what Amazon, Google, Starbucks and anyone else McDonnell says are tax avoiders have to say in response with figures?

    As for England the previous Labour government led by Scots’ Labour MPs stabbed the United Kingdom in the backs with their devolution and divide, the irony in so doing they polished themselves off in Scotland too.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Labour are out of office for at least 4 1/2 years.

    Looking forward to some good work from the Tory Party, unhindered by coalition and including trying to regain support in Scotland.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Corbyn can say he loves this country as often as he likes, I still won’t believe him.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    The Tories could outflank Labour by propping up the steel industry in Teesside and showing them that patriotism is not just words. It could be used in the construction of HS2 and then at least some good might come of it.

    We’re used to subsidising single mums and cheap immigrant labour, Chinese football too. We may as well do something worthwhile if we’re going to go into further debt.

  20. Mark B
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Good afternoon.

    I think this is an admission that, if Labour ever has a chance of getting into power ever again, then they are going to have to pay ‘lip-service’ to English patriotism. Notice I use the word; Patriotism and not, Nationalism !

    I love my country (England), and do not hate anyone elses – Except the French 😉

  21. margaret
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    On the Andrew Marr show Corbyn stated that he welcomed all views in or out of party, but as democracy has it, the consensus wins. I do support Corbyn in some of his views as I have personally been at the butt of right wing policies which were lies to manoeuvre a city into creeping privatisation, not once , but several times and the louder you shout the more they privatise. ( I cannot be specific or else John would not publish this). I have never wanted to work to work for any other than the NHS, but to justify this and the private stance I have been made to work for the NHS but employed by the private sector. I say made ,as it was this or nothing . As a single person , a house owner with a mortgage , there was little choice.

    I am British, I work for the State, the monarch in my country is the queen, who is head of state . The Church of England is the predominant religion . Snubbing the national anthem was a mistake and displayed a lack of patriotism. When you are thinking about UK interests, you don’t take out the part that doesn’t agree with you personally , you accept the whole if you are to lead. For this reason I would not vote for Corbyn.
    I would like a review of trident and general nuclear disarmament , but whilst the east is developing nuclear warheads ( which has been proven or not) I am not happy with unilateral disarmament.
    I certainly don’t think the labour party is stupid. Their ideals are good, but not workable.
    To be quite honest those on the right who mud sling are not helping their own cause. They get the reputation of coarse, hard thugs.

    • margaret
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      P.S, and as a single mum who paid for her own degrees and subsidised 2 parent families .I was fighting for food and a roof over my families head whilst the BMW’s and holidays abroad for the 8 children on benefits were certainly out of my reach. Do not say the state subsidises all single mums. The profit which has been taken of me is tantamount to abuse.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Its certainly true that the tax and benefits systems targets those it helps and those it penalises very poorly and is misguided in much of the redistribution it does. And it often puts completely the wrong incentives in the system. Its also far too complex and expensive to administer, money that would be better spent on the British people than administration. You would have thought this obvious truth could be agreed by politicians of all parties, the problem being that they all like to invent their own complexities and add to the mess.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      On trident replacement I think there is a valid middle ground. I think we should keep a nuclear weapons capability ourselves. I think we should build new submarines. I don’t think we necessarily need 4 boats with intercontinental ballistic missiles though. Some subs armed with cruise missiles, a few plane launched nuclear weapons, and so on… a smaller less predictable nuclear weapons capability would be a lot cheaper. And I am fairly sure it could be designed to have enough of a strike capability against Russia to be worthwhile. And certainly more flexible against other possible enemies.
      Our biggest defence need is more infantry, we have a completely top heavy military spend when most of the real action we are likely to need will be dependant on good old fashioned soldiering.

      Reply The reason for the 4 boats strategy is effectiveness and cost. With one vessel continuously at sea the deterrent is difficult to remove in a pre-emptive strike. Cruise missiles on planes would be easier to track and destroy.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 30, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Yes but you can keep more than 4 boats at sea with cruise missiles a lot more cheaply than 4 with intercontinental ballistic missiles. And these would be more than effective enough against anyone but Russia, who we may not be able to guarantee a strike against Moscow (with their defences in place) but they will never be sure especially if we have numbers and spread to be unpredictable for them. So an effective none ICBM strategy is possible in my view.

  22. Iain Gill
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    John,
    You are correct on Europe and England, and certainly the labour position on these issues is weak.
    But other obvious things need to be said.
    I think the Conservatives should have more ideas about what happens to decent hardworking people when their job disappears through no fault of their own. So the Steelworks in Redcar is shutting. What do the 2 main parties offer? We need to offer retraining pretty similar to folk in the armed forces get when they are reaching the end of their service. Just abandoning these people to a life on benefits, disincentives in the housing system from moving to where other jobs are, and building yet more sink estates of the future cannot be good for any of us? Why not give them the same help someone in the military gets when they need to change occupation and enter civilian life? The Conservatives must have a better narrative than the labour solution of just creating more client voters in sink estates reliant on benefits.
    Corbyn is correct that housing is the major problem in this country. None of the mainstream politicians is talking anywhere near common sense on this. We need radical action now. Stop building silly little boxes as houses, start building proper family homes, and start fixing the horrible mess we have made of the whole of the housing sector. And that means deflating prices. That means tough action against poor landlords. Free up the planning system for decent new houses. Corbyn is correct every family should have a decent house, the Conservatives need to have proper action to make it happen. And not just more segregated sink estates thanks.
    Walking around some of the biggest IT sites in the country today I was again struck by the sheer overwhelming vast numbers of (foreign ed) nationals working there. What on earth has got into the political class that they think printing this number of work visas, and indefinite leave to remain visas, for (people from overseas ed) was anywhere near common sense. Forget Calais look at the (large number of legal IT migrant workers ed) . This cannot go on. There is going to be a rebellion one way or another. Why the main stream media are not highlighting this is beyond me.
    Stuff like this needs fixing if the Conservatives are ever to win with anything more than a marginal win to stop the SNP getting into coalition.
    Cheers

    • Iain Moore
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      When half of our annual 500 million tons of CO2 output is the result of building houses , and Westminster has voted for a 80% cut in CO 2 output , how exactly are they going to make the two divergent polices work?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        So
        1 Do I expect them to ignore impossible CO2 reduction targets that are just resulting in productive business here getting more expensive here, causing lots of it to shut here, reducing jobs here, while the same productive processes emerge in other countries which are happy to ignore CO2, simply moving CO2 production to other countries and doing nothing to reduce net world pollution indeed quite the reverse?
        OR
        2 Do I expect them to continue to allow many single people to sleep rough on the streets here? To allow many children to be brought up moving between bed and breakfast accommodations and moving school frequently as a consequence? To allow an ever expanding house price bubble? To allow unsustainable immigration to put more strain on the housing market? To allow sink estates to continue to emerge on which nobody could get a decent job or education? To continue to build the smallest houses in the developed world? To impose bigger costs on house building from red tape than the actual build costs? To give social landlords all the chips in the lottery of allocation? To allow private landlords to provide substandard service?
        What do you think? My vote goes for common sense and 1. 2 has had a try and is a disaster for all to see.
        They can reduce pollution by stopping flying in such a large amount of our workforce in from half way around the world and actually use the talents of the people already here. They can reduce pollution by removing the anti car measures which just cause cars to change speed by heavy braking and then acceleration for no improvement in safety.
        Even if the UK sank beneath the sea and stopped any pollution the world would still be producing more pollution next year than this, because the UK is trivial in a world where China and India are throwing so many pollutants into the atmosphere and sea.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          And the correct response to CO2 as a pollutant is rebuilding the worlds forests so that the plants can turn CO2 back into O2 for us to breath, this of course needs multi national work. Reducing house building is not an answer. Other pollutants of course need more complex action.

  23. margaret
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Another aspect of Labours mismanagement was education, education, education and the sucking up to universities.
    I do agree that education is important , even those art degrees which some say are useless , but get the population into top jobs. I object to the unrealistic status attributed to them and the employment of graduates who managed to complete modules up to a first at home ( and then arrogantly showed off their firsts and knowledge gaps ). These people are regarded , usually by the short sighted universities themselves as being qualified. When a person acquires a qualification it is not because they know all about the subject. It is a time when many aspects of the convention are covered and the graduate is considered safe, particularly in a profession to continue learning. Mistakenly these periods at upper schools were seen as a substitute for working knowledge and experience, not enhancement.
    When those supposedly qualified are challenged on their working knowledge and most at one time got senior posts the feedback was appalling , they could not cope. By now those self same people will probably be up to the standard it was assumed they could work at the time of qualification, but there has been a terrible learning gap where the country went under.
    Can you imagine John doing a 3 month module and a university saying that after 40 years you havn’t covered the content and don’t even deserve parity when day to day you are working in it and taking responsibility for lives.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      You see Blair was clever with “education education education” as a slogan. Its a slogan I could support. Its the delivery that was pants. To deliver improved education on the sink estates, in the inner cities, to drive standards up you need to empower parents, you need to remove all the religious segregation. You need to listen to people who have made a success of their life after coming through a poor state education, not hand all the decision making over to public school politicians. More power in the states hands, more decision making with mandarins and politicians, more prescription from on high is never a recipe for success. Learn from the best of the rest of the world, and in the best of the rest – even those that labour reel off as the ones to copy the parents have a lot more say in which school their child goes to than they do here.

    • Horatio
      Posted September 30, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Should have studied medicine, qualified with 5-6 y of debt and then started on a salary of around 26k, equivalent to maximum benefits for doing nothing. Well done Hunt.

  24. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I want to understand, as much as a non-professional can, the full extent of our current and future losses of sovereignty. To this end, I have downloaded two documents:

    The first is a 30 page tome by a man called Craig on EU competences and shared competences authorised in the Lisbon Treaty, contrasted with the pre-Lisbon situation. This pdf file is dated 22/08/2015.

    The second is the 24 page 5 presidents report on ‘Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union’, a pdf file recently downloaded.

    Are these the best two documents to look at?

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, the first file is dated 22/08/2012.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, yesterday the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper on the state of the EU renegotiations, which is available here:

    http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7311

    I wasn’t particularly impressed to read this:

    “Mr Cameron presented his reform agenda to the European Council on 25-26 June 2015
    and this triggered a process of “technical talks” on what might be feasible, with or
    without Treaty change. These talks are being held in camera by EU and UK officials, with
    very little publicly available information.”

    Firstly because in terms of legal changes clearly anything is “feasible” if the EU member states agree to it, and secondly because I later read that on August 31st:

    “… the Luxembourg Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, said he was not prepared to give anything to the UK …”

    so it appears that nothing at all is politically “feasible” unless he can be outvoted (just on secondary legislation) or beaten into submission.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 30, 2015 at 2:05 am | Permalink

      From our point of view, if we don’t want to join a federation, we shouldn’t sign federal treaties. Therefore, before beginning negotiations, we should unilaterally repeal our Acts of accession to the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties.

      Isn’t it about time that we applied a little logic?

    • Tim L
      Posted September 30, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      What makes me determined to leave the EU is that no matter how well Cameron does with his negotiation, voting to remain in leaves us vulnerable to further integration.

      We are told it’s difficult getting a treaty change for the UK, but that’s only because we want to reverse the process of integration. I really don’t believe the EU would drag it’s feet if a future UK government was looking for more integration.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 30, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Merkel has little difficulty getting EU treaty changes that she wants.

  26. Donna Walker
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I support a Federal UK with all the constituent nations/regions having their own Parliament – even England.

    EVEL is a con. MPs from the devolved parliaments will still interfere in, and vote on, laws which will only affect England. I want an English parliament, as free from their interference as the Scottish parliament is free from English participation.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 30, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s only the wretched Barnett formula that enables the SNP to cast doubt on EVEL. Because of the existence of the Barnett formula, the SNP say that decisions on English public expenditure – at least the budget allocations – have a knock on effect on Scottish public expenditure. Unfortunately, it is an arguement that has some logic.

      If we replaced the Barnett formula with a budget allocation that was always at the discretion of the UK parliament, we wouldn’t have this problem. What would be the components of this allocation? Try, for example:
      – The proportion of the population living in cold, sparsely populated areas
      – The contribution of mineral wealth royalties to the Exchequer
      – Demographics
      – Average incomes

      The important thing is that, unlike the Barnett formula, it wouldn’t be automatic. Truly, signing THE VOW was the worst day’s work that David Cameron undertook.

  27. Jon
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I work in that area that, outside of a military training ground, has been most bombed since the War. Take a look at the pictures of the IRA bombing of Bishopsgate or the Baltic Exchange, horrific.

    Why we have see through bins in London if any at all. Not just London either to the terrorists, they caused carnage all over, Birmingham, Manchester as well and many many others.

    I ask the question of Southern Irish friends I know, do you want a united Ireland?

    They tell me those up north don’t like us so why unite? What would be the point of it? We don’t think about it and to try and unite would just stir it all up again.

    The MP for Islington thinks they should (that well healed lefty London cappuccino trendy crowd). He is a shallow self serving (abuse left out ed) He won’t appeal to the majority, just the Emily Thornberrys and self loathing of this world.

    I like what we have built in the city from what was bombed and threatened. I got off the tube train at Liverpool St that went on to be bombed by another cult (words left out ed) at Aldgate. I was commuting on the tube the following morning because their beliefs don’t work here. Just like on those strike days, their RMT days just means a longer walk on those days.

    I see a lot of needy on my commute to work, like a wonderful Big Issue seller at Euston, To look at her she must have put up with so much bullying and abuse in her life but stands brave, going to earn a a few quid, brave. In 30 years, never seen Corbyn or Emily of this world. Where are they? Un patriotic is where they are.

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    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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