Contributions to this site

Some contributors have not responded to my appeal. I have to reduce the amount of time I am spending on moderating this site, which is now considerably more time than it takes me to write my pieces for it. As a result, from today I will not be publishing comments which are

  1. Long
  2. Part of a series of multiple comments the same day from the same person
  3. Require me to investigate a named third party site or other sources to check out allegations about named people of named institutions.

I value  all contributions from constituents, who are welcome to  make a longer comment or comments on relevant issues under a local issues story. They should include the first part of their post code as an identifier if they want to submit long or multiple postings.

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39 Comments

  1. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Your appeal is ultra reasonable and given effect would work with certainty to minimise the occasional delays in moderation which spoil your site–Looking back possibly days and making comments days later is hopeless, indeed difficult (Why I use a salutation). Surely one thing that we can all agree on is that you are already working your butt off so as things stand or have been standing recently you sometimes have to let moderation drag behind.

  2. Newmania
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Fair enough. Last night I went to a debate at which Asa Bennett had the thankless task of apologising for Brexit. ( I made quite an impact myself actually … )
    Confronted by a well-informed and angry audience from political and business backgrounds he was reduced to pretending that the Brexit we have got was not so hard as all that .
    Two points of fact were made ,in which I would be interested in the views of the Redwood fan club.
    1 He claimed that Theresa May had hinted in her speech that we would not leave the customs union
    2 He claimed that it might be presumed there would be a transition deal and the process would extend well beyond two years . This was presented as a done deal

    Are either of these suggestions true?

    • DaveM
      Posted January 22, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      I hope not. Hopefully he was just trying to quell the tantrums of all those on the losing side.

    • Doh!
      Posted January 22, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Yes but not the “done deal” bit. Mrs May has an ongoing string of contradictory “hints” which give talking and debating points for thoroughly beaten Remainers who, in practice, have now nothing useful to contribute on Brexit.

    • Handbags
      Posted January 22, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Who’s Asa Bennett?

      He/she certainly doesn’t represent me.

    • rose
      Posted January 22, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      “Whether that means we must reach a completely new customs agreement, become an associate member of the Customs Union in some way, or remain a signatory to some elements of it, I hold no preconceived position. I have an open mind on how we do it. It is not the means that matter, but the ends.”

      That is what she said on the Customs Union and I suggest you look up what she said on phasing.

      It has been clear all along that we cannot be in the Customs Union and make our own arrangements with other countries. We have a whole department devoted to the latter, with its own Cabinet minister, and Mrs May is talking to the USA, so you had better reconcile yourself to the fact we are leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union as we are leaving the EU. That is what we consciously voted for.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 22, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Whereas it is clearly a nonsense to talk of being out of the EU but a member of the single market (which means accepting unlimited and uncontrolled immigration, subordination to diktats of EU institutions and payment of a substantial sum) there is at least a debate to be had over whether its better to pool trade negotiation with the EU and then to have to apply the EUs protectionist external tariffs or to go our own way. Since Trump’s election makes a trade deal with the US possible (membership of a reformed NAFTA?) and many other free trading nations such as Australia seem to be interested in a free trade deal with the U.K. I’d have thought it’s worth having a crack at independence on trade. The EU will probably agree a free trade deal also in the end after much interim grandstanding.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 22, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Peter Hitchens suggests we won’t be getting Brexit, today.

      • Alan Hill
        Posted January 22, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        Peter Hitchens is quite often wrong.

  3. acorn
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    My Bookmark list still says John Redwood’s Diary | Speaking for England. You have concentrated on Brexit for the UK for some while; an English parliament argument, would probably not go down well with the Whips for the next few years. Who knows, we may get to be England by default, if the other parts leave.

    The Brexit campaign is over, its down to the nitty gritty technicalities now. I can’t see short comments / rants with no links to source documents, being of much use from here on to March 2019. I imagine MP’s will be getting a lot of questions on detailed affects from Constituents in the next two years at least.

    BTW: “Gibraltar is ‘one EU entity’ with UK, ECJ says in Brexit gambling blow.” So that will be another land border with the EU.

  4. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Action on curtailments is long overdue John as it will compel some people (who seem to live only for this website) to find alternative distractions to fill their hours of each day.

    • Bingo
      Posted January 22, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      We live for this website because it is so terribly good.It is a pity you do not appreciate it more

  5. Bert Young
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Absolutely right !. I’m surprised this discipline has not been invoked before .

  6. Mark B
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Many thanks.

  7. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Quite understandable John. Rather this than nothing at all due to too much of your time being taken up with this blog. I will keep my comments short and to the point in future.

  8. Dioclese
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Why not just remove moderation altogether and then go through any comments you find offensive and delete them afterwards? Much quicker…

  9. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I understand. Something had to be done.

  10. William Long
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    A sensible step; I have always been amazed at how you find the time and am most grateful.

  11. Martyn G
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Perfectly acceptable, John. Have often wondered how you find the time to do so much across a very broad canvas……

  12. leavewon
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    There’s a blindingly obvious rebuttal.

  13. Sue Doughty
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Good idea

  14. Lesley
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I understand that President Trump has assumed the POTUS name for his Twitter account from President Obama. I still wonder if either has the time/energy to devote to writing/reading this form of communication and if they have a small team to do it for them. I do not suggest that you do!

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh well I will just have to get on with my absurdly complicated UK tax returns for amusement instead.

    Why oh why is UK tax system so absurdly complex? It is hugely damaging to productivity and the UK economy. It must waste millions of hours of people’s time and creates many thousands of unproductive, pointless and essentially parasitic jobs. These often bright people, in the state and private sectors could so easily be released to do real & productive jobs I am sure they would be far happier too. Simplification is an easy win, win but they just cannot manage it, it seems.

    • Know-dice
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Agreed…complicated tax rules create loop holes… keep it simple, everyone wins…

    • acorn
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      You have left it a bit late Life’, I pressed the send button to HMRC back in October!

      Now, stop and think about “… creates many thousands of unproductive, pointless and essentially parasitic jobs.” You could say the same about a lot of private sector jobs.

      Making products like Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Variable to fixed Interest Rate Swaps. Credit Default Swaps (CDS); place a bet on your neighbour going bankrupt; or his house catching fire. Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO); place a bet on some family being thrown out of the house they were conned into buying with a “teaser” mortgage.

      Public sector jobs are a convenient means for the government to inject spending power into the lacklustre UK private sector economy. Public sector employees spend their wages in the private sector. The smaller the public sector … “you do the math” as the Yanks would say. The private sector does not operate for the good of society, it operates for the profit of individuals.

      • Bob
        Posted January 24, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        @acorn

        People choose to avail of private sector products, whereas which doesn’t always apply to public sector “offerings”.

        Given the choice I would be happy to block BBC channels from my TV if it would allow me to watch commercial channels without a TV Licence.

    • hefner
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      LL, don’t you know you could have filled your tax return from October, and pay only in January?
      I find your moaning rather childish.
      I very much doubt your return is so much more complicated than mine, when I practically have to fill all potentially available pages.
      And finally contrary to your rather repetitive comments, back in October the phone lines were always accessible within a couple of minutes, and I found the three HMRC people I talked to over three days very helpful, able to direct me to the relevant pages of the “web tax guide”.

      But once a moaner, always a moaner.

      • Bob
        Posted January 24, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        @hefner

        Having tried to get information from HMRC, I found that after speaking to three different people, I had tree different answers.

        Some of their staff appear to be inadequately trained and lacking in basic manners. I guess that not all of their victims are as patient and polite as I am and probably berate them for their lack of professionlism which may explain why they get a bit tetchy.

        I agree with Lifelogic’s comment in it’s entirety.

  16. Chris S
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    No problem at all in complying if it is what will enebale us all to continue this useful dialogue. But :

    Could we please have a guideline as to the number of words above which you will in future regard a contribution as being “Long” ?

    Secondly, I’ve long supported your imposing a rule that only one comment per topic should be allowed per person per day but are you still going to allow us to post brief responses to posts made by others within the subject of the day ?

    Lastly, I do appreciate your not wanting to have to check references but if we post the link to the source, do you actually need to check that source out ?

    I’m particularly thinking of the tremendous contributions that Denis makes where he often direct us to a third party website. That would be a great loss.

    • Know-dice
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I find DC’s contributions very insightful – long may they continue 😉

  17. Richard1
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Lifelogic you will have to buy a house in Wokingham

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 22, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      It would cost me rather too much in tax if I moved to Wokingham. Far better if I keep the money away from this wasteful & spendthrift government and do something more useful with it some real investments.

      Not very hard given HS2, Hinkely, Lagoons and the other green luncacy.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    A site this successful needs a secretary/intern moderating it. Otherwise rules for commenting need to be published permanently at the top of the page as people gradually forget them.

    Reply I do not have a secretary for this freelance site. I pay the bills myself for the web service to deliver it. The people who blog too often and at too great length are regulars and will remember this.

    • ChrisS
      Posted January 22, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      I would have thought that the generous MP’s expenses system could pay at least half the cost of the web service and moderation.

      They should, at least, cover the entire cost of your personal activity on the blog. After all there is no personal benefit in kind.

      Could we have your opinion on a maximum word count please ?

      Reply This would not be a legitimate MP expense. I am not going to count the words.

      • ChrisS
        Posted January 24, 2017 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        I certainly would never expect you to count the words !
        Just a guideline length that we could keep too ourselves.

        Unless you think it’s still too many, I will, in future, keep to a maximum of 200 words, mostly a lot less. ( my word processor can count them ).

  19. Iain Gill
    Posted January 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    One of the strengths of this site is that you clearly get told, when you spout something untrue or not in line with the mainstream bubble views, what real people think.

    I know I have brought your attention to stuff off the subject and seemingly changed your mind, or at least making you realise how out of touch the whips (for instance) are on some subject or other

    I understand your time pressures, but I hope you find some way of keeping this dynamic

    We are in some ways like your fan club and a major advantage most politicians don’t have

    Good luck

    Let’s make the UK great again

  20. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    See my contribution on ‘Discussions with the EU on departure’ for an example of a concise contribution.

  21. Sue Doughty
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    If a comment is
    4 lines, I would read it
    8 lines I would probably read it
    12 lines I might read it if I am not too busy.
    Beyond 12 lines is not a comment it is a Filibuster.

  22. Iain Gill
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I notice trump has been reading the replies from ordinary people on Twitter to his tweets, and has taken action in response to the more common sense suggestions.

    Like this site a rather quicker feedback improvement loop than most politicians have.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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