The wider message

Quite often contributors write in asking why I don’t publish my views more widely, or even suggesting this site is a way of keeping things unpublished! I always explain that this site is designed to publish the views for those interested, including the media. This week has seen me write different articles on the general economic themes from this site for the Guardian, Observer, Independent and Telegraph, so I do use other publications when these are of offer. I am always willing to write a unique and new piece for such papers.

I was also asked to appear on Newsnight on Friday. I had already committed myself to the Wokingham Living Advent event and to hosting the Floods Minister in Wokingham so I had to turn it down as Wokingham comes first.


  1. Mike Stallard
    December 4, 2016

    I want to say that I very much respect you for your last sentence. I imagine a lot of MPs would have jumped at the chance of National Television. Well done!

    1. DaveM
      December 5, 2016

      Who? Like Diane Abbott? Never!!!

  2. Lifelogic
    December 4, 2016

    Almost all your output is sensible & sound too, but how do you find the time?

    Why, in politics, is being proved consistently right never much of an advantage? The consistently wrong like T May, Cameron, Osborne, Major and Hammond always seem get the top jobs only to make a complete pigs ear of them then to be replaced by more of the same jokers.

    1. Bob
      December 5, 2016


      “Why, in politics, is being proved consistently right never much of an advantage? “

      Integrity seems to be valued less than “flexibility”.

  3. Cheshire Girl
    December 4, 2016

    Well Done for putting your constituents first. I think that is the way that politics should work. I have read your articles in the papers and watched you in Parliamentary debates. I dont think you try to hide anything. Whatever you do, there will always be those who think you should do something differently. They are entitled to their opinion, but for myself, I enjoy reading your opinions, and think you do very well to write something everyday, on top of all the other duties you have to undertake.

    1. Horatio McSherry
      December 5, 2016

      Hear, hear.

  4. Mark B
    December 4, 2016

    Good morning.

    . . as Wokingham comes first.

    And quite right too !

  5. Excalibur
    December 4, 2016

    What dismays me, JR, and I suspect others, is that your outstanding talent and perception is not used more widely. Why are you not in the cabinet ? Why do successive prime ministers not use your experience and expertise ?

    There must be so many areas of government in which your shrewd judgement and grasp of issues could be usefully employed.

    1. am
      December 6, 2016

      Cabinet reshuffles happen from time to time. March will be time for one.

  6. Bert Young
    December 4, 2016

    I’m amazed you can keep so many balls up in the air !.

    1. Anonymous
      December 4, 2016

      I have trouble managing two!

  7. agricola
    December 4, 2016

    I would not wish to only suggest that your diary site is a means of keeping disagreeable opinions unpublished, because in fact it is. The subjects you do not like or subjects you consider taboo remain unpublished
    I for one have become tired of producing well thought out pieces only to see them ignored while repetitious afterthoughts get published ad nauseam. Obviously you do not consider them well thought out.
    You need to accept that the consequences of unfettered immigration and militant Islam are very relevant to this age and the country we live in. Those who would ignore it have it come back and bite them.

    1. agricola
      December 5, 2016

      Just to prove my point. Today 5/12/16 at 16.20 GMT the score is 7-Nil

  8. hefner
    December 4, 2016

    Good to see you keep. Wokingham at/near the top of your engagements. Thanks for that.

  9. Bill Moseley
    December 4, 2016

    Thank God for an MP who puts his constituency first. Very rare, compare Anna Soubry whose constituents voted overwhelmingly for Brexit!

  10. Del
    December 4, 2016

    It’s time you started talking about the real terms of trade John any chance you get.

    The graph remainers don’t want you to see.

  11. SM
    December 4, 2016

    I think many people forget that you are an MP first and foremost, John, and therefore have constituency and Parliamentary duties that take priority.

    I strongly recommend your blog to anyone, regardless of their political affiliation, who wants to read rational analysis of complex subjects (I slide gracefully over Dame Lucy’s contributions!).

  12. Denis Cooper
    December 4, 2016

    Off-topic, I know it’s only a newspaper headline probably written by a sub-editor, but shouldn’t we be a little bit worried about the choice of the word “could” here:

    “The 16 key words that could force Britain’s divorce from EU”

    One might have thought that these 11 straightforward words in the government’s official referendum leaflet addressed to electors and delivered to every household:

    “This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.”

    would have had that effect once a majority had voted to leave the EU, and nobody had set out to challenge the result on the grounds of counting errors or other irregularities.

    But at the request of some bad losers three top judges have decided that not only words in that leaflet, but in fact everything to do with the referendum including all the preparations with many hours of debate and many votes in Parliament, is irrelevant, because back in 1915 a 79 year-old Albert Venn Dicey had written that it would all be irrelevant even though he himself had previously argued for a referendum on another issue:

    “Is Theresa May’s government acting unconstitutionally in seeking to invoke Article 50 without Parliamentary approval? Dicey gave his own response to the accusation in the political furore over Irish Home Rule that he wished to subvert parliamentary sovereignty by introducing the device of a referendum to bind elected politicians … ”

    And to be honest it is very hard to imagine that eleven other judges sitting on the Supreme Court will now be prepared to break professional ranks and say that their three colleagues in the High Court had got it totally wrong, even though they had.

    1. rose
      December 4, 2016

      Not so long ago – during the Pinochet case – judges were prepared to break ranks to uphold the integrity of their court. By their actions in that court, they made plain their displeasure that one of their number had brought that court into disrepute. At that time it was not considered enough for justice to be done: it had to be seen to be done. How times change.

  13. Prigger
    December 4, 2016

    One can over-egg the pudding in banging on about Brexit. We won. Only Remoaners wish to make debate belatedly. The media says “This debate is going to go on for at least two years.” It will unless we refuse such sterile repetition.”

  14. TV Addict
    December 4, 2016

    The lighting in the Newsnight studio gives the impression they haven’t paid their electricity bill and are running on a Heath Robinson backup generator. It makes anyone over the age of 25 look as though they have deep-set ghoulish eye-bags like Uncle Fester in the Addams family. Avoid.

  15. Lifelogic
    December 4, 2016

    So Brexit means Brexit and now Theresa May says-her-faith-in-God-will-guide-our-path-out-of-europe-as-she-admits-brexit-is-keeping-her-awake.

    Great! But not really very reassuring to the vast majority of the population, which particular God is she referring to and anyway and how it she going to take instructions. Was God also guiding her on HS2, Hinkley, the go home migrants adverts, the lie about having control of our borders through Schengen, gender pay reporting, or the desire to penalise migrant’s children?

    I think I would prefer her to be informed by rational thought and reason please.

  16. Denis Cooper
    December 4, 2016

    So some time in January the eleven Supreme Court judges will have agreed on the best form of words to belatedly inform 46.5 million citizens that their EU referendum was constitutionally null and void; not just the 17.4 million who voted to leave the EU, and not just the 33.6 million who bothered to vote one way or the other, but all 46.5 million citizens including those who are now having it confirmed in spades that it would have been a waste of their time and effort to consider the matter and cast their votes.

    Not exactly a great development for democracy in this country; but then why should judges appointed by Royal Prerogative worry about democracy in this country any more than the legislators-for-life placed in the House of Lords by Royal Prerogative who are rather paradoxically against the government using Royal Prerogative to initiate the EU withdrawal mandated by the popular vote, in the hope that if they can create enough delay they may succeed in nullifying the referendum result and keeping us in the EU?

    But now I wonder about the 16 “key” words in the short Bill that the government would introduce to gain fresh parliamentary authorisation for it to serve the Article 50 TEU notice, the High Court having held that three previous Acts – in 2008, 2011 and 2015 – cannot be seen as providing sufficient authorisation.

    Obviously those 16 “key” words will not stretch to:

    “Nothing in this Act may be questioned in any court in the United Kingdom, and nor may any question relating to this Act be referred to the European Court of Justice or any other court anywhere else in the world”.

    In fact not even to something like:

    “All provisions of this Act are to be held as good law notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972 and any other previous enactment.”

    So as with Peter Bone’s Private Members’ Bill the door would be left wide open for judges to entertain further legal challenges designed to keep us in the EU.

  17. alan jutson
    December 4, 2016

    Nice to hear that you are in demand and getting some traction in the media, goodness knows we need some sensible views to be put forward.

    The more I hear from most so called Government sources, it seems the more so called Brexit is being watered down, in fact its getting to the stage now that it almost seems pointless to actually invoke Article 50, because LEAVE seems now to be out of the question.

    The Remainers seem to be eating away bit by bit to such a degree that the Brexit Government team are now refusing to rule out some sort of continuing payment, refusing to rule out drastic cuts in immigration, refusing to rule out membership of the single market,
    refusing to rule out remaining part of the customs union.

    For goodness sake, we voted to LEAVE not part remain with all of the financial and political ties and possible bail outs that exist with membership.

    1. Qubus
      December 5, 2016

      I don’t think that it would be unreasonable for the UK to pay into such schemes as Erasmus, Science 2002 and the European space programme. Additionally, I would think it sensible to cooperate with them over terrorism and, to my mind, similar uncontroversial schemes. Also, not to count students as contributing to the immigration figures. However, I would insist that they left the UK at the end of their course.
      I further think that foreign students should have to have health insurance before they are admitted to the UK. The number who bring their family here is very high, and they very often use the NHS for childbirth.

      1. alan jutson
        December 5, 2016


        No problem with sensible mutual co-operation projects

  18. Tony the Tiger
    December 4, 2016

    BBC Sunday Politics interviewed UKIP’s Health spokesperson Suzanne Evans and Labour’s Dan Jarvis MP, in a number of very busy town centre locations in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

    Putting aside what both of them said, what was clearly noticeable was not a single member of the public found their presence nor that of the BBC of the slightest bit of interest. Not one onlooker even from afar.

    This may be the case with most politicians who are very high profile in the media and in newspapers. It does show in this case, in my opinion, the complete lack of a personal following of the MP in Barnsley and a lack of any real recognition of Ms Evans. They are Party-politicians and owe their position in the “hearts” of the electorate solely to their Party membership. Cornflake packet cardboard cut-outs would have probably fared better.

  19. Denis Cooper
    December 4, 2016

    I’ve been looking at the oaths taken by judges, including those on the Supreme Court.

    Firstly there’s the Oath of Allegiance:

    “I, __ , do swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors, according to law.”

    Reading this:

    it has to be asked how many of the eleven Supreme Court judges were sincere when they took that oath, and how many took it with their fingers crossed like a certain MP.

    Then there’s the judicial oath:

    “I, __ , do swear by Almighty God that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second in the office of __ , and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.”

    Personally I doubt that they will “do right” to me, or to “all manner of people”, the 46.5 million ordinary electors who were invited to participate in a referendum ordered by Parliament, and nor do I think that it is actually necessary for judges to zealously “do right” by 1400 parliamentarians who can very well look after themselves with respect to encroachments by the government on their rights but could not be bothered to do so; but then I suppose it is part of the “usages of this realm” that the establishment will always be ready to cheat the mass of the people, and so we should have come to expect it.

  20. turboterrier
    December 4, 2016

    This week has seen me write different articles on the general economic themes from this site for the Guardian, Observer, Independent and Telegraph,

    Wot no Sun John?

    Reply They didn’t print the one I wrote at their request

    1. libertarian
      December 4, 2016

      “They didn’t print the one I wrote at their request”

      Too many long words and no naked women I suspect !

  21. Annoyed
    December 4, 2016

    The Home Office has a major problem. In that items which do not surface in police reports or in the press are calculable as a problem. We have a Police Force which ignores crime. Interconnected crimes. It is easier, I guess , for the police to pursue individual crimes and attempt to get an outcome than for it to note a series of crimes and try to find evidence interlinking them. Or it is administrative laziness and something to do with statistics.
    Good that Citizens Arrest, citizen caution of those arrested, the ability to interrogate and facilitate witness statements, and level charges are still intact in our democracy. We will see more of this whilst our police forces are still pathetic!

  22. Lindsay McDougall
    December 4, 2016

    There is no substitute for well argued speeches in parliament. Quite apart from anything else, it makes it easier to defy party whips if need be.

  23. m
    December 4, 2016

    I wouldn’t expect anything else… patient…my client… my constituent comes first…. this is what I am paid for !!

  24. Democrat
    December 5, 2016

    The Leader of the UK Liberal Party was getting his TV make-up on to call for a Second Referendum on the strength that the loser got 48% of the vote but then wiped his make-up off and went home when someone whispered in his ear that Austria is a democratic country and they do not like that kind of thing over there.

  25. MikeP
    December 5, 2016

    Well done for turning down Newsnight. It is a programme that has a long-established editorial bias for the metropolitan view of life so that any invitation for you to speak would only have given their presenters yet another opportunity to Brexit-bash, so wedded are they to the Remain point of view. With your Wokingham commitments, clearly this wasn’t your reason for declining their invitation, and you may well have given them a good run for their money on the night, but we can have too much of a “good thing”.

  26. Iain Gill
    December 5, 2016

    Seen a few homeless guys sleeping rough. Given the frost we have are we really sure the government is doing all it can to get these people indoors at night? Surely this should be a proper cross party issue that would attract widespread support?

  27. NA
    December 5, 2016

    I was also asked to appear on Newsnight on Friday. I had already committed myself to the Wokingham Living Advent event and to hosting the Floods Minister in Wokingham so I had to turn it down as Wokingham comes first.

    Understandable, but I would like to see more of you on TV.

  28. pleb
    December 6, 2016

    Surely all who read here from all sides know you go beyond the call of duty. Only frustration with media propaganda makes people me included , sometimes seem to suggest otherwise

  29. Simon Platt
    December 7, 2016

    “Why [you] don’t publish [your] views more widely” is an odd criticism. I found my way here, and onto your mailing list, by some route long forgotten, from far away. I welcome it, and wish my own MP did something similar. I’ve also seen some of your posts elsewhere on the web, notably Comment Central. I think you do a good job communicating, to your constituents and more widely, and deserve credit for it.

    I do think twitter is an unwise medium for politicians to use, though.

Comments are closed.