Hollowed out government

Over the 43 long years of our membership of the EEC which  morphed into the EU government has become progressively enfeebled. More and more of our laws and standards are laid down by Brussels. The UK civil service has ben used to receiving its legislative instructions from a foreign power, and has settled down to accepting a large amount of derived law.

It is one of the reasons why people have become more dismissive of Westminster and Whitehall. We have had two governments for the price of three.

Some of it has added complexity and work we did not need. Some of it has produced rules and requirements that we accept or may have invented for ourselves.  The employment rules where the UK had a good record before membership of progressively raising standards for employees by UK legislative action has produced a body of minimum standards laws at EU level. The labour movement likes  these, which any UK government will keep. The Leave campaign recommended keeping them. Environmental laws are also examples of requirements which previous UK governments often wanted, though here we may wish to adapt them more to our national needs.

I have found an increasing number of areas where constituents have written to complain about the way something works where I have had to explain that Westminster did not have the power to alter it owing to EU demands. In such cases people did not readily gravitate to one of their MEPs, sensing that the European Parliament does not have the same power to initiate, revise  and repeal EU laws that the UK Parliament has over UK laws. It is also obvious that any individual MEP has so much less power to initiate and influence EU law than any UK MP has over UK law.

EU law is another kind of rule by experts, where the consultants and large company lobbyists and executives have the power to influence and draft for Brussels. The combination of too much big company government from the continent and too much independent quango government  from home, has created a new priesthood or tyranny by experts which the public decisively rejected on June 23rd.


    August 7, 2016

    Where does Brexit leave certain environmentalist groups and general complainers… Green Peace ? ..perhaps Amnesty International … who some say receive great big grants from the EU ( and the UK ) to oppose the EU and the UK
    Will the British taxpayer somehow have to fund these organisations post Brexit?

    What about the Corporate Trades Unions in the UK who receive monies for all sorts of stuff from the EU ( and via the EU..the UK )?Will the Corporate trades unions be given even more money from local and national taxpayers? Is it …or rather wasn’t it about time Trades Unions supported themselves wholly by their members donations? How do they oppose capitalism if it is capitalism who pays the piper? Of course they for the most part, were in favour of the EU with all the freebies for some of their elected members

    The greatest fear of the British people is that all the Grandees…the Brussels folk…faceless unknown people who have been slogging their guts out working on our behalf…thanklessly…but still insisted on drawing their salaries and expenses will return to the UK and spend their time as TV panel guests on such shows as Question Time. The format of a lefty, a righty, a clown and a nondescript on the panel with a guy with insect motifs on his tie as Presenter is a bit stale now. Also the the nightly newspaper reviews of tomorrow’s headlines. A Leftie and a Rightie teaching us how we should debate, both playing Devil’s Advocate in turns. Gosh we’re being educated so very well. But they failed to get us to vote Remain. They failed. Even though they’re paid alot. Not as good as Pravda journalists in the 1930s. All they were paid was half a loaf of black bread with the crusts bitten off by rats and still people believed them so much more than our journalists. Better trained. Better dress sense for the most part too and their hair not sticking out at the side looking for all the world like a dried up bedside lampshade

  2. Brexit Facts4EU.org
    August 7, 2016

    Dr Redwood, we agree with your comments about the emasculation of policy and law-making within Government and administration in the last 43 years as a result of EU membership.

    However, does this explain why the new Dept for Exiting the EU hasn’t made a single announcement since it was formed, with David Davis’ appointment as Secretary of State?

    There’s more on this on our news page as usual.

    Best wishes, the Facts4EU.org Team

    1. alan jutson
      August 7, 2016


      My guess is Mrs May has not yet made up her mind about what Brexit means, thus David Davis is completely hamstrung.

      I hope I am wrong, but I fear the worst, which is complication and delay.

      1. bigneil
        August 7, 2016

        And that delay allows more and more thousands of people, every month, through the doors, all wanting their “lives on the taxpayer” for no contribution. The financial burden just keeps growing. Just like the number of houses – and the NHS bill. Roll up – Roll up – everything you need. Everything free.
        Must be great throwing other people’s money about, knowing that next week another load took from the taxpayer will be deposited in your bank account – just for getting here, illegally or not.

      2. Hope
        August 7, 2016

        It will be associated membership per five presidents report. It was always the EU plan

      3. Jerry
        August 7, 2016

        @alan jutson; ““My guess is Mrs May has not yet made up her mind about what Brexit means”

        Well as many, if not most, Brexiteers don not have a clue as to what Brexit collectively means either and more importantly how they would go about it to achieve such an exit and the best economic settlement (for the entire UK) perhaps people like you should cut some slack to those now charged with enacting “Brexit”, at least until Parliament return from recess and perhaps even the party conference speeches, otherwise people like yourself risk been seen as someone more interested in playing your political opponents rather than the ball.

        For all we know there could be plans being laid for an exit from the EU by Christmas 2016 if we just want to walk away from the Single Market & our Banking Passport etc, but would anyone expect a line by line announcement of such a policy as it was being written?!

        1. alan jutson
          August 7, 2016


          The question on the referendum ballot paper was very, very, simple


          I voted to Leave, along with over 17,000,000 others, not for Brexit, not part Remain part Leave, not Associated membership, not the Norway option, not the Swiss option, or any other sort of agreement..

          Just Leave pure and simple.

          Once we have left, then and only then we should negotiate trade and co-operation.

          So bloody simple, only those who want us still to be tied in some way to the EU want to complicate matters with something else.

          1. Edward2
            August 7, 2016

            Totally agree Alan
            Everything else is just an attempt by Remainiacs to cling onto the EU at all costs.
            The current line is to say “we need a plan”.
            As if the EU had a plan other than a discreet slide to the United States of Europe

          2. hefner
            August 7, 2016

            So bloody simple, and so bloody unrealistic.
            As JR said, 43 years of membership in the EU. Do you expect to be able to cancel your membership as easily as you cancel your internet contract … which, by the way, now that I think of it, is not that immediate, or is it?

            Or is it the demand of some spoilt children? I want it, and I want it now, or I throw a big tantrum, and I wet my pants!

            This blog so often verges on the ridiculous …

            Reply. It sounds as if you are having the tantrum. Czechoslovakia created two countries and two governments over a week-end, a much more complex task than withdrawing from a customs union.

          3. BobE
            August 7, 2016

            I agree, but a fudge will happen I suspect

          4. Jerry
            August 7, 2016

            @alan jutson; “The question on the referendum ballot paper was very, very, simple”

            Yes, the referendum asked if we should leave, but not HOW or even WHEN… Thus no one actually has any idea what the majority voted for, how do we know that the majority do not want a Swiss, Monaco or Norway option, rather than your (or even my) idea of what Brexit should be. Perhaps we need a second referendum, this time to ask the “How” and “When” questions this time?! On second thoughts…

            “Just Leave pure and simple. Once we have left, then and only then we should negotiate trade and co-operation. So bloody simple,”

            No, bloody simplistic, not quite the same, at least the ‘negotiate trade and co-operation later’ bit! Talk about leaving the City and UK businesses etc. [1] up a creek without a paddle and not even knowing which was the water-fall is. I have no problems with a hard exit if that is the right thing for the UK but not just out of spit or political frustration or fear.

            [1] never mind international companies who have made the UK their base because we were in the EU

            Reply We voted to leave. The official campaign made clear this meant leaving the EU and the single market migration and contribution requirements. Did you follow any of the debates? Even the government said leaving meant just that.

          5. alan jutson
            August 7, 2016


            Actually its all very realistic.

            I did not suggest we simply up sticks and leave overnight in some sort of tantrum, but leave we must if we are to be true to the electorate.

            Like JR I do not think it is over complicated to do so, and to wait as we are doing creating confusion, complication and concern for the economy and the business world is simply daft.

            So far in 6 weeks we have had 27 countries offering to do a trade deal with us, and all we have done so far is put them on hold, how crazy is that. !

            After giving our notice under article 50 (as that seems to be the chosen way most seem to want to go), we have then 2 years to negotiate trade and co-operation with the EU.

            Nothing to stop us holding talks at the same time as well with the other 27 countries already mentioned, but that does not mean it needs to take 2 years, it could be but a few months if the will is present.

            As a last resort we must simply walk away from the EU if a sensible arrangement cannot be agreed with them.

          6. Jerry
            August 8, 2016

            @JR reply to hefner; Indeed but then those who wanted to split Czechoslovakia got on and did the deed! Many of those now being impatient for Brexit said things like “what’s the rush” when others suggested that Cameron should write to Mr Tusk on the morning of the 24th and trigger Article 50, but then many of these people were expecting their ‘chosen’ right-wing ‘Brexit’ candidate for the leadership of the Tory party to be elected -if not anointed- as our PM and not Mrs May, hence why some are now objecting to their own indecision and using it to attack Mrs May.

          7. Jerry
            August 9, 2016

            @JR reply to me; “We voted to leave. [..//..] Did you follow any of the debates?”

            Yes I did follow the debates on here and elsewhere, and all sides of opinion (Remain and Brexit, left and right, “wet and dry”), not just what I wanted to hear, unlike some I suspect.

            But unlike Mr Jutson and yourself I do not believe we can read the minds of the electorate (how and when to leave) from a simple binary question which is the point I was making and the point you didn’t touch upon in your reply. We can’t even point to which Brexit message they support unlike in a GE, so just who has the high ground, UKIP and their Leave.EU campaign, the official multi-party Vote Leave group or perhaps even the Labour-left and SLP -who knows?!

      4. Denis Cooper
        August 7, 2016

        Luckily as one of her constituents I’ve been able to help Mrs May’s thinking along through my thoughtful letters published in our local paper, which she no doubt reads with great attention; so she will have grasped the basic “plan endorsed by a majority of those who voted on June 23, namely that the UK should cease to be one of 28 countries which are members of the EU and instead join the other 160-odd countries which are not.”

        It all comes down to treaties; if the UK is still a party to the EU treaties after Brexit then obviously we will not have achieved Brexit, but nor do we want some new treaty which is largely an emulation of the EU treaties.

        Mind you, she never paid much attention to my earlier letters about her apparent willingness to see me and any other of her innocent constituents being exposed to the risk of arbitrary arrest and summary deportation just on the say-say of some foreign official, to be banged up and left to rot for many months in some foreign gaol.

        And nor does she seem to be paying much attention to the recent flood of letters saying that grammar schools are the work of the Devil.

        1. Iain Gill
          August 7, 2016

          On grammer schools like much else about life in the UK the real solution is to hand buying power over to the individual citizens, let parents control their individual school spend and let them take it anywhere they like, get the public sector out of the rationing and top down decision making. Let the countless small buying deicisons of individuals optimise schools much more efficiently than a command control style of organisation ever can. It should not be for the public sector to decide where my kids can go to school, its should be down to negotiation between me and the schools, but importantly I need money to exert proper influence like I do in most walks of life.

    2. Roy Grainger
      August 7, 2016

      I suppose if you are planning a negotiation it would be foolish to give your opponents abroad and at home any prior warning of what your negotiating position will be.

      1. hefner
        August 7, 2016


        1. Iain Gill
          August 7, 2016

          The problem is Ms May tactic is just to delay and fool the British people into thinking she is doing something, while using the time in practise to figure out how she can deliver as close to remain as she can while paying lip service to leaving the EU.

    3. acorn
      August 7, 2016

      Perhaps you could start taking bets on which of the three stooges / Brexiteer ministers will resign first

      1. sjb
        August 7, 2016

        Liam Fox will wish to travel to as many countries as possible. Boris Johnson is a soft Brexiteer at best. When the three fall out over the best way forward then each side will brief against the other. Save for personal scandal(s), I reckon David Davis will be the first to go.

    4. Antisthenes
      August 7, 2016

      As I understand it the department for exit is still setting up and no doubt understanding the complexities of the EU is a mammoth task. Probably made more complex by Brussels Bureaucrats who will have slanted treaties, laws etc so that only they can benefit from them and they can interpret them in any way that suits them. As they have done all too often.

      Juncker already flouting EU law by appointing an EU negotiator which is premature and not his prerogative. Brussels are like the monarchs of old they believe they are above the law and the law is what they say it is. The ECJ is tacit in it’s support of Brussels as it puts the aims of the project before justice.

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 7, 2016

        It isn’t actually true that Juncker has flouted EU law by appointing an EU negotiator, as you say that would be premature and not his prerogative. What he has done, with the help of the media, is give a false impression that a man he has chosen to head up a Commission taskforce preparing for Brexit is, or will emerge as, the person who will lead the negotiations with the UK on behalf of the EU. Given that a few days after the referendum Tusk appointed someone to a parallel position for the Council or European Council it could be argued that if Juncker has broken EU law then so has Tusk, but in fact neither have done so.


        “Brexit – Belgian Didier Seeuws named chief negotiator for Britain’s exit from the EU

        Saturday, 25 June 2016 21:02

        Belgian Didier Seeuws has been named the EU’s chief negotiator for Britain’s exit from the EU.

        This was announced to diplomatic circles in Brussels on Saturday.

        Didier Seeuws will head the European Ministers Council’s “Brexit Task Force”, which will represent the member states. Mr Seeuws was the head of Herman Van Rompuy’s cabinet. Van Rompuy was the first permanent president of the European Council, and his second mandate ended late November 2014.”

        1. Antisthenes
          August 8, 2016

          I bow to superior knowledge and relearn the lesson “believe nothing you are told and only half of what you read”. Having bashed the MSM especially the BBC for misreporting and shaping the reporting of news to fit their bias and their laziness I am as gullible as everyone else it appears.

  3. Lifelogic
    August 7, 2016

    Keeping all the endless and often daft employment laws is hugely damaging to UK productivity and to job creation. The real protection for employees is the availability of jobs so they can leave the current one if they do not like it.

    It is not even in the employees interests to keep these largely daft employment laws. It makes it hard to fire poor staff and they know it. Who wants to work alongside staff who are not doing their jobs so they have to be carried by others?

    No sensible employer wants to discriminate against good employees as this would damage their business and make it less competitive. They just want the best person (or machine) to do the job efficiently.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 7, 2016

      The real problem is that the interest of bureaucrats, legal profession and the state sector is for more and more regulation, more licencing fees, more red tape, more interference and more & more taxation. This is what drives their regulation “industry”. The interests of the public and productivity are generally the direct opposite of this.

      Only politicians can protect the public from this and they rarely make much difference. Indeed they sell new employment laws as a benefit to certain sections the public when they are actually the opposite.

      The endless discussion of the “gender pay gap” which the figures clearly show does not really exist (other than through work life choices people make) is an illustration of this.

      Corbyn in his hustings even seemed to think Women are somehow prevented from studying maths, engineering, physics, computer science and the likes. Most just seem, on average & for whatever reason, not to choose to. Does he want to force them?

      What a dire choice for Labour, Corbyn or Jones! If anything Corbyn seems rather more attractive to me.

      1. Lifelogic
        August 7, 2016

        Corbyn puts his agenda in the Telegraph today. In short it is more money for the NHS, abolition of university fees, more money for the care of the elderly, for train nationalisation and indeed for almost everything else.

        No mention at all of where the money is coming from, from his magic money tree one assumes. After all higher tax rates than we have already will just kill the economy, push money abroad and raise less. So magic money tree economics it must be for him. Rather like Osborne but even worse.

        1. Alan
          August 7, 2016

          Surely it is Mr Hammond who believes in the magic money tree? Mr Osborne at least had the nominal target of achieving a budget surplus by 2020; Mr Hammond has abandoned that and not replaced it by any other date.

          I’m not saying this is the wrong policy (one of the main reasons for having our own currency is so that we can print more when we need it), but we ought to be aware of what is planned.

          1. Lifelogic
            August 7, 2016

            I reserve my judgement on Hammond but fear the worst, we shall see very soon.

            He needs to start undoing all the damage Osborne has done. His pension and landlord tenant muggings, his absurd stamp duty rates, his counter productive nondom attacks, his endless waste, his IHT ratting, his greencrap subsidies, hs2, his 10% insurance premium taxes, Hinckley C, the endless other waste and his absurdly high and over complex tax system.

          2. stred
            August 8, 2016

            Can we please abandon having to do online tax returns every 3 months. Wasting one month a year is already too much.

        2. Tim Chick
          August 7, 2016

          I saw the same article by Mr Corbyn. Once again spending is described as ‘investment’, but we had all this ‘investment’ under Gordon Brown – until they ran out of other people’s money.

          1. Lifelogic
            August 7, 2016

            Exactly everything is always referred to “investment”. It is generally a euphemism for “pissing tax payers money down the drain”. Often using companies, consultants and senior “employees” with good “connections” to government and state sector.

    2. Jerry
      August 7, 2016

      @LL; Your first paragraph is nothing but a recipe for a race to the bottom, sure, employees would be able to switch jobs but those employers who offer higher employment standards would -by your own admission- be less productive and would thus not last very long in a competitive market. We see this happening with off-shoring to countries with lower employment standards than our own, those companies that have not followed their competitors become uneconomic until they also off-shore or go bust.

      Who decides, in your second & third paragraphs, which empoyees are burdens or an assets, the CEO who expects employees to do overtime, putting the company before family and perhaps even health? No one defends truly lazy staff, and the current employment legislation doesn’t either, but it does protect employees from CEOs who think their employees belong to them, if a CEO wants such people to live, breath and dream the company then make them partners (or make the company a co-operative)!

      1. Sir Joe Soap
        August 7, 2016

        Last sentence – most people don’t wish to become partners because it means so much sacrifice – however there has to be a balance between partners who shouldn’t need to spend time working to keep employees in a job and employees who should be working for or at least with the partners.

      2. Lifelogic
        August 7, 2016

        It is not a race to the bottom at all quite the reverse.

        Top down government employment controls just destroy productivity and exports jobs overseas. It keeps people in the wrong jobs and encourages sloppy work from people, knowing they are very unlikely to be fired. It encourages a litigation culture generally rewarding compensation to the wrong people and encouraging largely parasitic legal and consultancy service that further depress productivity.

        The race to the top is when employers have to attract staff and keep them as there are so many good alternative jobs available to them.

        This would also be helped if the absurd stamp duty rates were reduced so that people could afford to move.

        1. hefner
          August 7, 2016

          Sorry, but if you look at the last thirty years, it is far from clear that “top down government controls just destroy productivity and export jobs overseas”
          Globalization certainly has meant exporting jobs overseas, but I doubt (please provide examples of the contrary) that government decisions were the major reasons for companies to relocate in the Far East, or Eastern Europe, …

          1. rose
            August 8, 2016

            Didn’t high taxation (including rates) and regulation (discrimination laws etc.) drive business abroad? Then once there it mutated into multinationals accountable to no-one. Socialism and feminism have a lot to answer for.

    3. lifelogic
      August 7, 2016

      Christopher Booker is spot on again today – the superb private health care they want to scrap.


  4. DaveM
    August 7, 2016

    And yet in spite of all these layers of government England has only UK MPs who can be overruled on English-only matters by UK MPs from other parts of the UK. And due to the ridiculous make-up of the Lords, even if we had proper EVEL, our elected representatives can be overruled by unelected LibDem, Labour, and Scottish peers.

    As much as I dislike the EU, I recognise that it is successive UK govts which have nailed down the coffin lid of democracy; the blatant refusal to accept the EU Referendum result is the perfect demonstration of the arrogance of current MPs. When is something going to be done about it Mr Redwood?

    1. Mitchel
      August 8, 2016

      On the subject of EVEL/devolution I read something very interesting over the weekend that I had not realised before and which for those of us who believe that there have long been forces in the UK seeking to slowly and surreptitiously recreate a version of the Soviet state here resonates.From Dominic Lieven’s comparative history”Empire”:-

      “Of the 15 republics(of the USSR) that existed in 1985,Russia was inevitably in some respects the odd one out.Equal in population to and larger in size than all the others combined,Russia was a potential threat both to them and to the all-Union “imperial” government.For that reason Russia did not have its own separate Communist Party(ie the ruling polity)until the last months of the Soviet Union’s existence.In that period the emergence of an autonomous Russian centre of power under Yeltsin was to be crucial to the USSR’s demise.”

      Although it doesn’t usually feature highly in most western narratives,I knew that Russian nationalism was one of the main reasons for the collapse and I also knew that the founders of the USSR were largely “rootless cosmopolitans” and,as Solzhenitsyn forcefully pointed out, strongly anti-Russian but the extent to which the core nation(and key wealth generator) was excluded came as a surprise.

      Clearly our own rootless cosmopolitan establishment want neither EVEL nor Brexit for similar reasons.

    August 7, 2016

    Off Topic:
    A new book by John Redwood MP. Something about Brexit. Future scholars need it. So let’s hope it is in process of being published.

    There should be a few unsigned book deals at various publishers. All those champions of the EU. They must have thought of writing a book about how they worked tirelessly in Brussels. Not even pro-EU people would read those books now. They lost. People only like reading stories of losers if their heads get chopped off and put on spikes surrounding Parliament. Some will go to any length to get published.

    # Do people read books nowadays?. I was only today trying to add a few books to my internet order so I would get free delivery. Noble prize winners for literature and other quite remarkable writing scholars. Their books were seemingly Out of Print. Only second-hand copies are available. All THREE volumes of “The Gulag Archipelago” by Solzhenitsyn; “Hunger ” and “Victoria” by Hamsun; “The Yawning Heights” by Zinoviev; “William and A.R.P” by Richmal Crompton…a book which was read to me as a child several times.So funny. I never did read it. I always imagined for some reason until this moment that it was written by a man. I cannot buy it new. I cannot imagine University, College and School English classes buying anything but new, very new set books. This means they are not reading anything which would tell them just WHY the older generation voted overwhelmingly LEAVE the EU. They may never know, really, unless JR writes a NEW book for them.

  6. Lifelogic
    August 7, 2016

    May to life ban on grammar schools reported today. The first sign of anything positive from her new government- at last!

    Now we need the cancellation of HS2, Hinckley Point, lower simpler taxes, cheaper gas energy, a bonfire of red tape, some new runways and roads, and a halving of the state sector.
    Get on with it.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 7, 2016

      Her general approach should be to do the opposite of nearly everything that Osborne, Cameron and the Libdems in favour of, and start undoing all the endless damage they did.

      Small government, lower taxes, less red tap and growth please.

  7. Tad Davison
    August 7, 2016

    Agreed, but whereas the public might have rejected it on the 23rd of June, a lot of those from within the establishment did not reject it and wish to reverse that democratic decision whatever way they can, usually by overstating the ‘difficulties’ leaving the EU will bring, to the point where it is a self-fulfilling prophesy. They seek to talk Britain down, and it could yet cause a crisis of confidence. And as most of us know, confidence is all that backs up many a Fiat paper-money economy.

    It is grossly unfair and irresponsible of them to take this line, especially in the case of certain parts of the media who try to create a story rather than report one. But pro-EU politicians are just as irresponsible. They wish to ruin our chances purely for the satisfaction of being able to turn around afterwards and say ‘I told you so.’

    I feel the positive case for leaving the EU still needs to be made, as it is both strong, and viable. We need to counter these remainiacs and show them up for what they are – people who talk this great country down, and who would even now chain us to a ship that is heading for the rocks. And we don’t need to look very hard, or indeed too far, to see the evidence of that for ourselves.

    Tad Davison


    1. getahead
      August 7, 2016

      “the positive case for leaving the EU still needs to be made.”
      Tad, the positive case for leaving the EU has been made, on this site and others. The unbiased BBC of course would not publish such material as it goes against its elitist liberal ideology. Same with many pro-EU newspapers.

  8. agricola
    August 7, 2016

    Yes agreed, but the real question is what happens on Brexit. Can we look forward to government in which MPs, Ministers and Civil Servants take responsibility for what they do, and when they screw up big time, resign. It is not acceptable to pass all decision making to unelected quangos, of which the EU has been the largest. By all means take all the professional advice available, but accept that the buck stops at the ministers desk.

    I would also advise that on critical ussues, government seeks the opinion of the electorate via referendums a la Swiss. If the electorate are involved they will take the responsibility. The days are gone when after an election the largest party are left to get on with it for five years. If you wish people to take politicians and politics seriously then you involve them. Just as you do in a small way via your diary.

    1. Mark B
      August 7, 2016

      Hear hear.

      The beauty of direct democracy over representative is, that ‘we the people’ decide and, if we get it wrong it is ‘we the people’ who have to change it. MP’s will just be the enablers to our will and the Civil Service its enactors. That’s it !

      1. sjb
        August 7, 2016

        What an appalling vista. It reminds me of the dark days of the Labour Party when delegates were mandated by their constituency to vote a particularly way at the party conference.

      2. Ian
        August 7, 2016

        For direct democracy to have any relevance, referendums have to ask their question in the context of the range of envisaged implications for the referendum result that are represented or suspected. Plans can be promoted or canvassed for, but really only through ones elected representative, who along with parliamentary colleagues, set the terms of referendums. This all leads to the selection of parliamentary candidates, and therefore the constitution and funding of political parties.

  9. alan jutson
    August 7, 2016

    The wonder is why so many of our MP’s still want to remain in the EU

    Its as if they want to take the money and the position of having power, but to do so without any of the real responsibility of accountability.

    So easy just to pass blame onto the EU.
    Leaving removes those excuses, as Westminster then becomes completely responsible.

    1. Mark B
      August 7, 2016

      Easy money. Poor quality of MP. I mean, just look at those we have just got rid of from Number’s 10 and 11 over the years.

      1. Lifelogic
        August 7, 2016

        Indeed but very capable people generally make huge sacrifices to be an MP. So it appeals mainly to the wrong sorts and for entirely the wrong reasons.

        If you actually want to be an MP you are probably unsuitable to be one. I have respect for perhaps only about 20% of them. The rest are career seekers, people who like wasting other people’s money, liars, deluded people who like the sound of their own voice, magic money tree loons, are driven by envy and a chip on their shoulder or some religious zeal such as fake save the world greenery. Very few engineers, scientists, mathematicians, doctors, rational people or sound business people. Indeed very few people who have a clue about what they are talking about at all.

        1. Henry Kaye
          August 7, 2016

          Oh, Boy! Do I agree with all that!

    2. Roy Grainger
      August 7, 2016

      It is a mystery why many MPs of all parties like the EU so much, it is really inexplicable. Why did Mrs May vote Remain for example ?

      1. Lifelogic
        August 7, 2016

        Why indeed?

        Why also did she assure the nation that the UK “had control of our borders through Schengen”?

        Was she:

        A. Extremely stupid & very gullible or
        B. Lying to deceive the voters into voting “remain”?
        I can see no other possibilities, after all she was Home Secretary and had been for many years.

        Perhaps she can explain?

      2. Ian Wragg
        August 7, 2016

        I can only think that there is a hidden agenda which all politicians sign up to.
        Common Purpose and the Bilderburger so have too much influence on the government and one wonders why.
        That (person ed)Izzard made an interesting comment on Jeremy Vine just before the referendum. He said that the EU was the first experiment in supra national government and we would be foolish to destabilise it.
        I do believe it’s the great and good trying to destroy democracy.
        Soviet Union Mark 2.

        1. Mitchel
          August 8, 2016

          Well the Soviet Union was the first experiment in supra-national government(but the left don’t like to mention that).When Stalin morphed into an old-fashioned nationalist-imperialist after WWII the true philosophical followers of Marx had to find a new vehicle for their project.

      3. libertarian
        August 7, 2016

        Roy Grainger

        Theres no mystery at all and it certainly isn’t the stuff of the conspiracy theorists.

        MP’s like all of us exist in a Bubble Filter . That is we read, mix with, understand and support like minded people in the day to day environment in which we find ourselves.

        MP’s mix with civil servants , other politicians, governments , inter government organisations, NGO’s and Quangos. They always talk about very similar things, it reinforces their thinking. It used to be called group think. Its why MP’s and other politicians are so dreadfully bad at creativity, innovation and true leadership. They get all their ideas from each other and its all reinforced in the media. Simple really.

        I would imagine that when the Roman Empire was breaking up, those Romanised Britons in positions of authority sat around saying you can ignore the Saxons they’re just a bunch of evil, racist, Roman hating , anti slavery freaks Our future definitely is best being part of the Empire , Rome knows best. We’re Stronger In the empire.

    3. Denis Cooper
      August 7, 2016

      Because if they weren’t at least avowedly pro-EU their chances of getting into Parliament would have been very much reduced. To take the most extreme case it’s difficult to imagine an declared opponent of EU membership being allowed to stand as a LibDem parliamentary candidate. Hopefully once we have left the EU this will gradually change back, as with each general election some of the EU supporters will disappear from the Commons and be replaced by more patriotic MPs, and those who are left will increasingly be seen as mavericks and may find themselves being treated with contempt and dismissed as “the usual suspects” by their party leaders.

    4. getahead
      August 7, 2016

      Money for nothing, chicks for free!
      With apologies to Mark.

  10. agricola
    August 7, 2016

    It is reported today in the Sunday Express that Mrs May is considering paying £10,000 to housholds afected by fracking. A form of hush money I submitt. Do not let her go down that road. You could end up with people moving house to enjoy the benefit, rivaling what happens in education.

    Learn a lesson from the Norwegians. Put aside sums of tax take from fracking to form a national investment welfare fund which in years to come will provide better pensions, welfare for the elderly and those who need it. You could also set up an insurance scheme via Lloyds that covered anyone for the adverse effects, if any, from the process of fracking. A social fund that is free from the meddling and pet schemes of ministers. It must be ring fenced and not open to the abuses we have seen of many company pension schemes that have been used to enhance the companies accounts.

    It has worked in Norway. Do not let short termist politicians fritter the benefits of fracking away as they have done with those of North Sea Oil revenues. In the past politicians have spent like intoxicated lottery winners and in the end have little to show for it. The benefits belong to the people.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      August 7, 2016

      Agricola this is no different to the bribe money offered to communities for consenting to wind farms in their areas. Trouble with this is its often the larger communities/towns that get the benefit those in rural areas who suffer the damage inflicted and get nothing. All wrong in my book and a very unfair system that rewards those who will experience hardly any effects from fracking to those who get shock effects for 25 years from enormous wind turbines. One form of energy provides a strong economy, a lower of emissions and 24/7 power whilst the other does none of these things. Doesn’t add up to me. It is the green loons that are driving the energy policy in this country with their ludicrous ideas while any common sense has been driven out of the window. Energy should be a vital area and under government control and not be influence by a bunch of tree huggers. Sensible policies should come first and not idealogical clap trap.

  11. Mark B
    August 7, 2016

    Good morning.

    And another good article by our kind host. But one small criticism.

    Whilst indeed our kind host is right in the points that he raises, there is another area that has hardly been touched upon. And that is in the area of international organisation such as the UN and Council of Europe. The UK has a seat on these bodies and, in the case of the UN, a ‘permanent’ seat on the Security Council. “So what ?”, some might ask. Well, thanks to the European External Actions Service (EEAS), their equivalent of the Foreign Office, and the fact that all EU countries ‘shall’ adopt the ‘common position’ in this and other designated areas, the UK has to do what the EU wants on foreign affairs. In this regard the UK is a very valuable member, as is France. Having an independent country like the UK on its door step, with the power of veto and international sanctions, the EU will, on foreign affairs, have to take the UK quite seriously. At the moment, it does not.

    As to regulations, these are created by international bodies which member countries adopt. The EU, as an aspiring country, also adopts these standards and just rebrands them. Once the EU adopts them and turns them into regulations, ALL member countries, including the UK have to adopt them.

    Outside the EU, but still in the EEA, we would be a very powerful and influential member. We would be able to sit at the top-top tables and make the international rules. Of course, we would not be making the rules for the EEA but, with proper organisation through the Comitology procedure we can greatly influence it.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 7, 2016

      Maybe even more powerful outside the EU, and outside the EEA as well!

      I see it reported in the Telegraph that the Treasury is seriously considering being outside the EU Single Market and not with the so-called “Norway option”:


      “Treasury looks at quitting the single market as City rejects Norway option after Brexit”

      What intrigues me is that the often-mentioned “passporting” is not available only to companies headquartered in the EU or EEA:


      “US hedge funds get EU passport


      19. JUL, 18:41

      The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in Paris Tuesday said US hedge funds can get a “passport” to operate across the EU because there is no risk of “market disruption”. The ESMA verdict bodes well for the City of London, which is likely to undergo the same vetting process after the UK leaves, Leonard Ng, a partner at law firm Sidley Austin in London, told the Reuters news agency.”

      I don’t really understand this and would appreciate a proper explanation.

    2. forthurst
      August 7, 2016

      I can only see one slight snag with your argument, Richard, which is that we voted to leave the EU which therefore means taking back control of our borders; the EEA can make what rules they want; that is the prerogative of the Brussels regime as with any other country with which we wish to trade, but our share of world trade ex-Brussels will continue to grow and our trade with them will correspondingly continue to shrink, as does their share of world trade, as they focus more on and more on wrecking their economies with the common currency, and their countries and cultures with millions of young, culturally incompatible, single men whose life skills in all respects leave much to be desired, whilst much of the rest of the world strives to make their countries wealthier and more pleasant places to live by adopting sensible economic policies and excluding people who they do not need or want.

    3. Denis Cooper
      August 7, 2016

      I’m ambivalent about staying in the EEA even it was presented as being no more than an interim arrangement, which would be hard to guarantee.

      For me the first and crucial sticking point is the insistence on the unrestricted freedom of movement of persons, and to repeat what I said yesterday:

      “So what is a price which is worth paying to avoid the short term disruption of leaving the EU Single Market? Well, if the other governments say that to stay in the Single Market for goods, services and capital we must continue to offer a new home to any one of the half billion citizens of their countries who care to come here then that is not acceptable.”

      1. forthurst
        August 7, 2016

        I see that Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI director general, is keen, on behalf of the foreign multinationals that she represents, for us to stay in the EEA; it is important when David Davis talks to putitive representatives of ‘British’ industry to establish the real reasons why they wish to remain. It is not a carefully guarded secret that foreign corporations are keen to import foreigners to whom they can pay the lowest wages rather than employ British people and that they are keen to be able to arrange their tax affairs so that they pay none of the cost of subsidising their workers for housing, health and education or the unemployment benefits of British workers, they have displaced. The vote to leave the EU was also a vote against the status quo ante as far as the eggregious way foreign corporations and others have been able to treated their host country as a result of our being ruled by the Brussels regime. The CBI and Caroline Fairburn should get lost.

  12. Alan
    August 7, 2016

    There is an implication here that our democracy is working well, and I don’t think that is true. Mr Redwood likes the influence that he has on the UK government and is unsatisfied with his ability to alter EU policy.

    Fair enough for Mr Redwood, but I and most other members of the public do not have any influence on the UK government. I live in a ‘safe seat’. Apart from writing to my MP there is nothing I can do to affect government policy. I don’t know who gave my MP his job, nor why he got it. I certainly wasn’t consulted. He has that job for as long as he wants it and I cannot affect that. No matter who I vote for it does not affect the composition of the UK Parliament.

    On the other hand when I voted in the EU Parliamentary election my vote had an effect and elected someone because it uses a better electoral system. There will continue to be a democratic deficit in the UK until we have a system where the peoples’ opinions are more accurately represented in the Parliament and the House of Lords is abolished.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 7, 2016

      We know that our democratic system is defective; we can tell that from how we were bounced into the EEC/EC/EU/USE project.

      1. rose
        August 7, 2016

        But then how come the other 27 were bounced into membership? Most people with PR tell us don’t go there. It is corrupt and you will never get rid of it. You will bitterly regret it. Ask a Greek, or an Irishman. Ask an Italian. Only the Germans seem satisfied with a system which gives power to make and break the government to the most unpopular party. And only the Germans seem satisfied with their membership of the EU.

        1. Denis Cooper
          August 8, 2016

          I’m not saying that their systems are any better!

  13. Antisthenes
    August 7, 2016

    The common market that morphed into the EU was deliberately given dictatorial powers because the architects knew that without them the EU would never flower into a European superstate. This tells us that it is ill conceived because the path it is taking and the way it is run is being decided by an elite few when it should be by everyone of us. Those few have no way to gauge what we are thinking or our what our needs are so will nearly always be making the wrong decisions on our behalf.

    We know that is true because socialist regimes try to do it all the time and fail. Strangely they do not give up and keep repeating the same failure. The Brussels elite would no doubt not see themselves as socialists progressives perhaps although there is little difference yet are attempting the same socialist like experiment a Utopia of their very own. An ideal Europe that we can all live in happily and prosperously being governed by benign dictators. The world does not function on idealism and when we try that only leads to conflict, impoverishment and ultimately collapses.

    1. turboterrier
      August 7, 2016


      The common market that morphed into the EU was deliberately given dictatorial powers because the architects knew that without them the EU would never flower into a European superstate.

      Just the same as when Scotland went from a devolved parliament to becoming a government. How much did that exercise cost? In today’s market millions and Westminster stood back and said “wait a cocking minute” All the media talk about a Scottish government when it ain’t. it is a devolved parliament no more no less. It goes to prove that if you throw enough **** at the wall then some will stick and the punters with the vote will believe it.

      In the halcyon days before the 21st century was born large companies adopted the mission statements of JFDI. Just ********do it and from that arose the empires of Tesco and Sainsbury to name just two. They rolled the dice and went for it and whats more they won.

      Nobody remembers the name of the loser so roll out the JR’s, Patterson’s, Davies,Rabb’s and Lilley’s who believe in changing the status quo and JFDI. No more playing the system. Great Britain expects no it demands it.

  14. fedupsoutherner
    August 7, 2016

    I see nothing has been done regarding the climate change act. This is predominantly EU led. Mrs May has said today that anyone living around a shale gas site will get compensation possibly worth thousands of pounds. Very nice for them!! Why hasn’t legislation been considered for people living close to wind farms? Unlike shale gas which is only a problem while it is being erected, wind farms are a problem for their lifetime, normally 25 years. They emit noise and visual intrusion every day (except when there is no wind and then it is just visual) and make people’s lives a misery. They have to fight tooth and nail against the developers which is always extremely costly and are lucky if they get any compensation of any kind. Generally there is no compensation and to sell your home often means taking a reduction of at least 20% and in some cases not being able to sell at all. It is all so unjust and I could never understand why this situation still exists. The government know all the problems for local residents but do nothing and still insist that house prices are not affected. What I would like to say in response to that is unprintable.

    1. ian wragg
      August 7, 2016

      Our local 6 unit wind farm is not proving the cash cow that the owners hoped.
      At least 2 of the turbines are off due to broken blades and that happened months ago.
      Maybe it’s too expensive to repair them so they may stand as a folly reminder for years to come.
      The damage is interesting as the end third is missing with just the reinforcing bar visible.
      One must ask when will the others fail.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        August 7, 2016

        Ian, In our area if a turbine is not producing anything for 6 months it must be taken down.

  15. oldtimer
    August 7, 2016

    I agree with your analysis that that EU laws and regulations are often captured by the lobbyists, whether for business or the NGOs. Indeed the EU itself is not above setting up and funding its own sock puppet NGOs as cover to lobby for the things it itself wants to do! I do wonder how much of the current push for a second referendum is being supported and even funded, through devious channels, by the EU. Given the stakes, I would be astonished if they were taking a passive role.

    Once I did write to my MEPs about environmental directives and regulations but got no help from one and no response from the other. It seemed to me that my question was either to be disregarded or treated with contempt. For the practical purposes of voters, MEPs are as useless as they are remote.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      August 7, 2016

      Oldtimer. Being involved in fighting wind farms in my area in Scotland I can tell you that it doesn’t matter who or which government you write to or indeed, which department. They all send back a letter which has been written by some nobody in some back alley office saying the same thing no matter who is asking the questions. I know of many people who have written at the same time as I have asking different questions but receiving the same bland answer as I have. Waste of time!!

  16. turboterrier
    August 7, 2016

    The tentacles of the EU are everywhere attempting to strangle the leaving of the failing, getting ever closer to bankruptcy European Union Club.

    Sadly for the UK nearly all our politicians still believe in staying on a sinking ship afraid to go for the option of a better world for the people and themselves. The EU enables a lot of politicians to be able to hide behind these regulations to cover up their own failings and ultimately be in a position of not being responsible and more importantly accountable.

    It is very disconcerting that Mother Teresa is rolling out the old chestnuts about grammar schools and money for individual property owners to get fracking going but nothing about getting the hell out of the EU which it is reported wants £billions from us to leave!!

    What the hell is going on? Because a lot of us out here are beginning to have serious doubts whether Mother Teresa is really up to the task. Why can she not adopt our host proposals which bypass Article 50? Empress Nick is talking about ambushing the whole process and all the apparent lack of anything happening I fear that we will lose the momentum.

    Why are the leavers not highlighting the real state of the EU financial situation as member states are slowly but surely sliding over the cliff?

    Mother Teresa should follow the three wise statements used to describe change.

    There are those that make it happen.

    There are those who might want it to happen.

    There are those who wondered what the **** happened

    Do not see too many politicians in the cabinet in the first statement.

    Someone has to get behind the softly softly approach adopted by Mother Teresa and make push go to shove

  17. gyges01
    August 7, 2016

    It seems to be obvious from hindsight that the bulk of our body politic has been reduced to Hayekian civil servants. Rather than being driven by ideology they were (are) driven by the pursuit of power.

    We saw this with the rise of Blairism where a whole party was hijacked, where long held principles were abandoned, and where the repercussions are still being seen.

    But this is also true of the Tory party, the difference is that it isn’t so transparent. This analysis is also muddied because those who are participating in this behaviour don’t realise that they’re doing it. They believe that all politics is done and ought to be done this way.

    It gets worse. A large part of the electorate also share this opinion: during local debates about Brexit, faith and trust in the EU was preferred to faith and trust in Parliamentary democracy.

  18. Anthony Makara
    August 7, 2016

    The issue of border control raised the consciousness of people, they saw, possibly for the first time, just how powerful the EU was and how politically impotent the UK was in comparision. Prior to 2004 EU power and EU control over UK law was not understood by most people and in public life, the few stalwarts like John Redwood, who tirelessly kept banging the drum, were not heard. Mass Immigration changed all that. Now that EU power and control is understood we need to expose the 1001 ways in which the EU has usurped UK law. The liberal left likes to portray the EU as a benevolent champion of workers rights but let us not forget that it was money from the EU Social Fund that allowed the Labour government to frogmarch long term unemployed people into 26 week work/training schemes in which they were paid £15 a week on top of their legal benefit entitlement. Often working for firms that had donated to Labour party coffers. This wage exploitation could not have happened without EU Social Fund money.

  19. Ken Moore
    August 7, 2016

    On the face of it, in 2015 the Uk’s £8.4 billion supposedly ‘bought’ preferential access to a market that yields Eu export trade worth £133 billion (a good proportion of which will be exported to the rest of the world through Rotterdam so the figures are flattered).

    Despite this ‘open market’ Uk exports to the Eu are in decline opening up a large current account deficit, which isn’t aided by huge Eu membership fees.

    Is the revenue generated for the Uk , by the part of the Eu export market that is supposedly liberated by our membership worth £8.4 billion?….and unlimited immigration and a thousand other injustices…
    ‘Hollowed out government’..another price the UK pays for the privilege of membership to the EU protection racket/socialist superstate.

    Eu imports to the Uk for the same period are £218 billion (up 22% since 2008).

    I think it’s easy to see who has the upper hand here….perhaps the same flexibility will be shown towards the Uk that the commission demonstrated when dealing with CO2 and Greek budgetary targets.. with the right political will….


  20. Bert Young
    August 7, 2016

    Influence from the outside has always been a headache to governments ; it will continue until politicians are effectively isolated from it along with the Civil Service .Lobbying has become a profession in its own rights and its lucrative hand-outs almost too attractive to ignore . It should and could be stopped if the right initiative came from the top ; the present system of scrutiny of MPs remuneration and benefits also needs to be changed and tightened up .

    The suggestion of the use of referenda as an active system has drawbacks a) it is tedious and costly and b) it is open to outside influence . I don’t see it as practical .

    Simply pulling up the drawbridge from Brussels sounds simple enough but I agree with John that a lot of re-tuning of the |Civil Service has to come first . If Ministers are going to do a proper job they have to be fed with detail and advice that is developed from our own agenda ; this can only come from the top administered with an iron will and discipline .

  21. acorn
    August 7, 2016

    It is starting to look like we will have a second EU referendum; but, we will call it a General Election (GE) 2020. It could be earlier, there are some get-out clauses in the fixed term parliaments legislation.

    The present EU Commission will step down Oct 2019. So, an article 50 filing after Oct 2017 could conclude after Mr Juncker has gone.

    The current EU budget term (MFF) started 1st Jan 2014 and will finish 31st Dec 2020. So, we won’t get our final bill from the EU till 2021, after the next GE.

    The next EU parliament election is May 2019 will be the final test of the “Spitzenkandidaten Process”, the new method of electing a Commission President. This will see the demise of member nation party candidates and the spread of EU wide European party candidates. The Council plans to review this but it won’t if the UK is no longer a member and the EU parliament will stretch its wings and finally launch the European Superstate without the UK, they hope.

    Reply No point in trying another. Polls show 55/45 for Leave these days. This is confirmed by 42% supporting pro Brexit Conservatives and 12% supporting pro leave UKIP for a GE.

  22. David Lister
    August 7, 2016

    Hi John,

    Through the BSI and associated working groups, the UK has very significant influence in EU standards, and indeed many laws that are adopted. This is one area where we are fully represented in EU policy making. It would be a mistake to think otherwise.

    1. ian wragg
      August 7, 2016

      If this is so, how come practically every specification is German standard.
      We commissioned a gas pipeline in the Middle East and specified pipe to BS. Siemens said it would have to be specially made so they fitted DIN. We tested it to BS and it split on the bend.
      DIN is often inferior as it was (designed pre 1945 ed)to reduce material usage.

      1. David Lister
        August 7, 2016

        There are 11000 members in BSI publishing 2500 standards per year. 95% of that work is on International and European standards.

        I am not an expert on DIN so can’t comment on the history of this standard. But overall it’s quite reasonable to summarise that the UK, France and
        Germany together set the direction of European standards. We are very well represented.

        Outside the EU we will still have to adopt common standards anyway. But we won’t have any opportunity to influence.

  23. Martin
    August 7, 2016

    So come the great day and we depart the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) what will be happening regarding the Corn Laws ( I think that was the old UK name for farm subsidies)?

    Will the free market prevail or are we to get some British Agricultural Policy (a sort of CAP re-branded as advocated by some)?

    Will you be blogging on this matter?

  24. miami.mode
    August 7, 2016

    As the government machine may have been underused for some years, you would have thought that they would have found time to recalculate Council Tax bands to bring them up to date, or is this only accomplished once every 43 years?

    How many dwellings have been built since 1991?

  25. Frank Salmon
    August 7, 2016

    John, this is your best ever post. Please make sure ALL MPs read and understand it. Please get yourself on to an appropriate vehicle for influence in these matters…….

    Reply Happy to find more ways to circulate it. Any help appreciated

    1. crystal clear
      August 7, 2016

      Keep it simple. This blog is read because it’s right and true .
      More of the public are aware or “awake” than before, especially the much maligned young.
      Before, public figures with the wrong message could easily be trashed by the media but now it’s not so easy for that to happen.

  26. adam
    August 7, 2016

    “EU law is another kind of rule by experts”

    These people are not experts. Experts care for truth. These people are delusional fanatics living out their delusional fantasies.

    If UN university wants to teach that using fossil fuels is akin to slavery, then let them do it. As it shows what frauds these people are.

    Religious fervour isnt the answer to any problem. Ever.

  27. fedupsoutherner
    August 8, 2016

    Just a last minute comment. On Friday I wrote that Scotland was importing energy from England because the wind was at such low speeds. Yesterday, I noticed the 52 turbine wind farm opposite us was turned off. Obviously because of too much wind. More constraint payments for the public to pay for. What a ridiculous system. Not enough wind and we pay to import, too much wind and we pay to turn off. You couldn’t make it up.

Comments are closed.