Labour goes for the full Corbyn

Labour’s Manifesto was even more socialist than the leaked version. Nationalised water companies were added to the purchase list, alongside a nationalised Post Office, new nationalised regional banks, regional public sector energy companies, the gradual renationalisation of the Grid and nationalised train companies. This large programme of changing ownership is not costed.

The Manifesto aims to raise £48.6bn in tax and to spend it on other items. Companies would face a big tax hike on their profits, new taxes on highly paid employees, taxes on buying assets and derivatives. The better off would face a 45% tax charge at £80,000 a year and a 50% tax charge at £123,000. Public debt would be likely to go up much more rapidly than under current government plans to pay for investment, nationalisation, and any shortfall in revenues.

The problem with the arithmetic is it assumes very rich people and companies will stay and pay. It assumes rich people with flexibility will still work and invest as hard, and that companies will still build up more profitable business in the UK when other countries offer them a lower tax background to expand. Given the strong growth in corporation tax receipts seen in recent years in the UK as the rate has been lowered, it is dubious to think there would be further major growth in revenues if the rate were raised so much. Given the good growth in the amount paid, and the increase in the proportion of income tax paid by the better off with a reduction in the top rate from 50% to 45%, it is again questionable that Labour’s plan would work on Income tax either.

There are even bigger numbers on capital account. A £25bn a year investment programme is specified, though much of this is projects already underway out of budgets already secured. Presumably on top of that is the wish to set up a National Investment Bank which in turn would be able to lend £250bn for suitable projects. The taxpayer would be standing behind the bank and the projects if they miscarried.

Labour say they “accept the referendum result” and say they will get on with legislating to get the UK out of the EU. They wish, however, to negotiate their way back into the customs union and many other features of the current EU scheme. They would guarantee the rights of all EU citizens in the UK before the EU made a similar reassurance for UK citizens living in the rest of the EU. They are silent in the Manifesto over UK payments to the EU, though elsewhere they have implied they think the UK does have to pay some bills the EU dreams up that have no legal base in the Treaties. None of this makes for a strong negotiating position designed to give both the UK and the rest of the EU a good Brexit. It is in the interests of both sides that we have a good future relationship. The UK being firm as well as friendly is crucial to delivering such an outcome.

Published and promoted by Fraser Mc Farland on behalf of John Redwood, both at 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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  1. Mark B
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Whilst I strongly disagree with Old Labour (see what I did there) at least they are being honest.

    I of course expect them to support BREXIT how else are they going to be allowed to renationalise.

    As for Capital Spending it is good to read that the government has done the sums before Ms. Abbott.

    But Labour going all Communist has allowed the Tories to adopt more Socialist policies and as such chose to ignore much work that needs to be done, like fixing the financial roof before it starts to rain again.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; Why can’t the Tories do two things at the same time, both build social cohesion for the good of the country and fix the financial roof?

      • alan jutson
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink


        Agreed, but:

        Problem is that no political party has a clue about real social cohesion, because it means different things to different people, why not just have policies which are flexible enough for people to sort this out for themselves instead of politicians trying to force their views of what is correct for all sorts of people, with their social engineering idea’s and policies.

        • Hope
          Posted May 18, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          Tories have produced one of the most dishonest manifestos to date. Including the phrase statement of intent! Compare and contrast with previous manifesto and give me your conclusion JR.

      • John Probert
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        They are doing that very thing

        People are cohesive under Mrs May as you will see from the election result

        This will translate into Social Cohesion, Mrs May will provide Direction

        The Financial Fix will take time probably beyond 2022

      • Richard1
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        It is a leftist myth that building social cohesion requires high taxes, endless regulation and intervention and state ownership of industry. Switzerland is a very socially cohesive society. Thats because it has an effective direct democracy, a low key central government, low taxes and sound public finances. We should try the same.

        • Mark B
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink


          Sometimes you are a man after my own political heart.

          Small government. Low tax. Direct democracy.

          I seriously consider becoming a Swiss citizen not that long ago.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            Taxes are not that low there, the Swiss government spends about 34% of GDP. In the UK it is more like 45% and for far worse (indeed often appalling or worthless) public services.

          • Richard1
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            It would only be worth it if you clearly extracted yourself from the UK tax net, not an easy task. Certainly if the Marx Brothers get in – a low but non-zero probability – anyone with any drive or ambition will have to consider how best to protect themselves and their families from the ensuing catastrophe.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 18, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          Richard 1

          You are absolutely right, sir. Good post

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      How on earth did someone with a brain as innumerate and irrational as Diane Abbott’s ever win a place at Cambridge? Albeit History at Newham. Let us hope that May’s potty interventionist, socialism, her prices and income policy and her augmenting the damaging red tape and employment laws will all be forgotten after the election. Or that she will be forced out.

      She does however rather sound as though she is daft enough to actually believe in it and that it would work. It is not that it “sounds unconservative” as she puts it. It is that it just will not work and will cause huge damage to the economy and productivity.

      • Elsie Johnson
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        How on earth can Theresa May lead the country when she thinks there are 200,000 children in poverty when in fact there are 2 million.

        How on earth can Phillip Hammond not get the cost of HS2 right to within £20 billion.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 18, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Elsie Johnson

          The most common measure for poverty, as used in the Child Poverty Act 2010, is ‘household income below 60 percent of median income’. The median is such an income that exactly a half of households earn more than that and the other half earns less.

          Which means that the 2million you claim are in poverty are actually in the top 10% of wealthy in the world

          • Edward2
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            If the population increases poverty will increase.
            If the population decreases poverty will fall.
            It’s a mathematical certainty.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    One of their spokespeople said that the costs of purchasing these assets (assuming, probably wrongly, that they would not steal them) would not add to the deficit. This as it was a capital purchase and they were acquiring assets that were worth the price paid. Except of course that once the government (and business geniouses like Corbyne, Mc Donnell, Gardiner, Long Bailey, Diane Abbot, E Thornbury and the likes get hold of them they will be valueless in no time at all. They cannot after all even run their own party or even trot out any sensible numbers on anything.

    reply You still need to borrow the money to buy these assets

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      I suppose Labour know already they will never have to deliver any of this anyway. So they are happy to say any magicmoney tree nonsense they like just to win some votes from the gullible and envious. Endless bank holidays for all, minimum pay at say £1000 an hour, free council houses for everyone, jobs for life, a brilliant and free NHS, free university places, all private landlords to be shot, free gread sex and drugs for all, free food, cheap water, cheap trains, cheap green energy, free internet for all…… vote for us, vote Father Christmas.

      And do not worry about the costs, it will be all paid for by about 15,000 rich people who will will rob.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        Except these 15,000 will already have left the UK.

      • margaret
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic continue to be a drama queen , exaggerating , slagging off people left, right and centre. Do you ever think that you credibility is being damaged by your insults?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          Where are my comments erroneous or unreasonable?
          I do not think they are even exaggerated really, just pointing out reality.

          Some may not like it but as Richard Feynman put it – What do I care what other people think? I am not a politician after all, I just say what logic suggests is likely to be true.

          • Anonymous
            Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            Less is more is not an aphorism of yours, is it, Lifelogic !

            How Remainers must come here and have their prejudices about Brexiters confirmed. You do our shared causes great harm and I wish you’d desist as you’re an utter embarassment to me.

            I haven’t read your postings for years, If I’m honest. I see ‘Lifelogic’ as a cue to use the scroll button.

        • Glenn Vaughan
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          I agree with you completely Margaret. These daily android-style rants from Lifelogic are as predictable as they are tiresome.

          How do they ever past the “I’m not a robot” test? So much for restricting the number of daily contributions per individual.

          • Sterile asKeir Hardy
            Posted May 18, 2017 at 1:05 am | Permalink

            Glenn Vaughan and Margaret
            I do not make a habit of reading just Lifelogic. You don’t need to read him, What he says about Labour is correct. It is not an exaggeration. Nationalisation only “works” if a state is prepared to shower it with money. Even then it can’t do the job properly. Reason, no-one cares to work, make it work, want it to work. The profit motive of Business usually lasts as long as Spring. Then POWER steps in, ruins and corrupts the motivating energy of profit-seeking.But Labour is 19th to early 20thCentury. It lasts as long as its army.

    • zorro
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply – Well, they could QE to fund the purchase (not in any way recommending it of course!)


    • zorro
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Anyway, what do you think of Theresa Heath’s policies 😉?


      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Even worse than Heath, worse than red Ed perhaps even – if she does actually do them post the election.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Dear Both–If it’s as easy (It isn’t) as just netting out liabilities against assets one just ends up with a balance sheet that says Net Assets = Net Worth, which is not terribly meaningful or helpful when assessing Debt levels and Gearing–but apparently this is OK if the amount borrowed is large enough.

  3. eeyore
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    This election has uncovered a secret of British politics: Labour need not win elections for socialism to triumph. All they have to do is lurch so far to the left that the Tories are sucked in behind them to fill the vacuum.

    Becoming Labour-lite to cosy up to Cs and Ds at election time may be good politics. It is emphatically not good statesmanship.

    As for Labour’s “fully costed” manifesto, the fact that nationalisation costs are not included proves that expropriation not compensation will be their policy. Anyone with money in a pension fund is being asked to vote for his or her own robbery. Incredibly, millions will.

    When Parliament reconvenes and the rump of decent Labour MPs finally abandon their catastrophic leadership to form Old Labour (or whatever they’ll call themselves), I hope HMG will help them with transfer of the Short money and other aspects of official Opposition.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      If the Labour Party does spilt, expect one hell of a political civil war not far from that of Germany in the 1920’s, when Socialists battled National Socialists for the same voter base.

  4. agricola
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Insane though their manifesto may be it will appeal to that part of the electorate that likes something for nothing. Even if it could work, and I doubt it because I cannot think of anywhere where it does now or has done historically, the labour party does not have the talent to make it work.

    Having said that, most of which it wishes to nationalise does not currently work in the interests of the vast majority of our citizens. For the supposed fifth largest economy in the World our infrastructure is appalling. You name it, most of our services are third world. When I was travelling the World on business it really hit home on arrival in the UK and it has not improved. So I would say to the next Conservative government that in the five years you have you had better get a grip on our infrastructure before people begin to believe that the idiot Labour manifesto could work. Letting them anywhere near power would be the kiss of death to the UK.

    • Bob
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink


      “For the supposed fifth largest economy in the World our infrastructure is appalling. “

      It was the Tories in coalition with the Lib Dems that enshrined the 0.7% foreign aid donation into law, and it was also the Tories that broke their promise on the “bonfire of the quangos”, they would sooner charge £10,000 a year for university courses than cut back on overly generous sinecures for their crony buddies in the Environment Agency, Equal Opportunities Commission, the Carbon Trust etc. etc.

    • Bert Young
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      agricola , Your posts are always sensible , well expressed and generally echo my own views . I also like the fact that you limit your replies to one a day .

  5. Richard1
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    A measured summary of an absurd programme to implement policies which have always and everywhere been a disaster when they have been implemented in the past. The UK in the 1970s is one example, countries such as Venezuela and Cuba are examples today. The Soviet Union and its satellites are more extreme examples of the catastrophe of socialism when fully implemented. It is clear Labour will lose this election but it’s important they lose big – this is likely to be the last time we see a quasi-Marxist sect with serious theoretical chance of office in the UK. The people must send a message of rejection to the Marxists/ socialists. Post Brexit there should be widespread acceptance of the need for the UK to be competitive and to attract entrepreneurs and investors, which will make a socialist programme like this inconceivable.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      It would be useful to see a graph or table of the increases in revenues brought about by reducing Corporation Tax over the years.

      Can anyone provide this?

      • Bob
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink


        “It would be useful to see a graph or table of the increases in revenues brought about by reducing Corporation Tax over the years.”

        I don’t suppose that HMRC or the Treasury would be able to provide such information?

        Probably too complicated for them.


      • Richard1
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink
        • Mockbeggar
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          Thank you Richard1.

      • acorn
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        You won’t find any. All the increased yield from Corporation Tax has occurred due to a smart bunch of techies at HMRC, closing a couple of dozen loopholes.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink


          Name and provide evidence that HMRC closed tax loopholes without any recourse to parliament to change the law. Which loopholes did they arbitrarily close that generated such a large increase in CT tax revenues?

          • acorn
            Posted May 19, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            Parliament did change the Law in the (POTAS) legislation in Part 5 of the Finance Act 2014. It uses Statutory Instruments where primary legislation allows. Cameron; in the last parliament, put £1bn into HMRC to strengthen its powers to tackle avoidance and evasion. Over 40 legislative changes to combat tax avoidance were made, closing down loopholes. There are further POTAS rule changes in the current Finance Act.

            I am surprised you are not aware of this.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink


            I’m aware parliament made changes , thats why I asked because your statement “due to a smart bunch of techies at HMRC, closing a couple of dozen loopholes.” Is not correct is it.

          • acorn
            Posted May 21, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

            Who do you think drafts the legislation for the politicians, the techies at HMRC and government lawyers. The techies are the only people who understand the loopholes!!! Did you think the Chancellor writes the Finance Act on his own.

            To understand my necessarily shortened comments on this site, I depend on you having some basic knowledge of how our political economy works. That bit I did get wrong.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      The Soviet Union for most of it’s history was neither communist nor socialist,it was Stalinist(-isms are rarely precisely formed which is probably the point of them).State ownership by itself does not equate to communism.As the really good historians of the period (like Sheila Fitzpatrick or Robert Conquest) write,there was in effect another revolution(a counter revolution) c1928 after Stalin(who apparently struggled to understand the theories of Marx and Hegel)took over from Lenin and most of the true underlying ideology was binned and the old politburo shot.

      I think the people behind the Corbyn project are quite clever-they are purging the party of “bourgeois thinking”,purifying it and getting it ready for a forthcoming crisis in capitalism (which,who knows,may be coming given many of the structural problems of the west have not been tackled).Whether true socialism/communism would be any more implementable in their hands than Lenin’s is another matter but you should be worried that young people are getting enthused about it.Lenin’s theories on monopoly capital ring true to me.Capitalism in it’s current perverted form needs reform.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        “but you should be worried that young people are getting enthused about it”

        Yes, until they leave home and reality smacks them in the face! And I wonder which young people we are speaking about here….certainly not young people that are studying for productive degrees, such as Engineering, Medicine, Architecture, Pharmaceuticals, Chemistry, Information Technology, etc etc.

        • Mitchel
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          Yes I’m sure you are absolutely right but how many are doing the non-productive degrees which produce the more left-inclined?The technical director of Dyson only the other day was bemoaning the number of Psychology graduates compared to those in Engineering.

      • Even Gulagovitch
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        “Stalin(who apparently struggled to understand the theories of Marx and Hegel). ”
        Moscow never published much of Stalin’s works say in the 1960s. The People’s Republic of China concentrated on Stalin’s “Foundations of Leninism”…a small booklet in 1966.. I read ALL of his books, many of them published way back and loaned to me courtesy of an old ( even then ) British communist . Stalin was a tyrant but extremely intelligent . One volume/ book completely devoted to linguistics. I’m afraid online versions are tiny in comparison to the original work. Things get vaporized, gone into memory holes. Actually, many of his English versions were destroyed by British communists themselves as they feared a successful Nazi invasion and didn’t want evidence on their bookshelves of their political views.Later they just disapproved of his books and him.
        Conclusion: Stalin did NOT “struggle to understand the theories of Marx and Hegel.” He did realise he was at the helm of a Soviet Union where Socialism had utterly failed bringing hunger beyond their wildest nighmares. Like many politicians in absolute power I guess, for no-one knows, he concluded ORDER however barbaric was preferable to total chaos that Socialism had brought. There was no political force or movement which could have successfully filled a vacuum he and his horrid regime would have left behind them….at the time.
        The old Russian “joke” : “Why are scientists better than Marxist-Lenisists? Because scientists experiment on animals first”

        • Mitchel
          Posted May 17, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          I agree with most of what you say.Stalin was very intelligent in many respects (and a voracious reader)but Robert Conquest “Stalin Breaker of Nations” would disagree with you on his understanding of the theory-he claims Stalin’s major theoretical work was mostly the work of his secretary who was subsequently shot to hide the fact.

    • Hope
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Come on Richard, the parties are a polyarchy- diffent cheeks of the same arse. JR and all leavers knew the EU governed our country and was only managed by the party in power to show a sham democracy. The politicos lied and misled the public by claiming the EU laws were only a fraction of our laws to demonstrate a limited influence, when in truth EU directives and regulation were enacted by quangos and public authorities as law. The ministers knowing lying saying they implemented this and that as if it was their idea when they were doing what they were told by the EU.

      • Timaction
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. They were lying from the start of their intentions and who was really in charge. We did not have any democracy at all. Even Campbell, Blair’s crony, couldn’t respond when challenged on these 40 years of lies by Farage.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    And the Tories are taking over as the new labour party
    We look like having a choice between a far left and centre left government. Not a good choice really.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      Don’t you mean no choice?

    • Bob
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg

      “And the Tories are taking over as the new Labour Party
      We look like having a choice between a far left and centre left government. Not a good choice really.”

      And two thirds of the Tories are also Remainers, especially Cameron’s all female shortlisters.

    • Hope
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Labour won the elections when the Tory party gave up its centre right position. Labour AKA communism, Libs/greens middle left and Tories New Labour. In May’s fixation to shift the party left she is and has adopted many of Milbonad’s policies and as she stated in parliament to Miliband would build on them!

      The Tories have done nothing to shift the public sector and judiciary back towards the middle let alone centre right. All selection procedures to enlist and promote people of the left aided by MSM. Let us not forget the snoopers charter, curtail freedom of speech and writing, state police equality babble to prevent talking about the shift to a neutral gender, no marriage, non Christian society, writing concern forms from what children say in class! Despite rejecting mayors and the regionalization of England to make it a federal U.K., the Tory govt continues ignore the public.

  7. margaret
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I have seen and had my career ruined by privatisation . I have seen companies steal parts of Britain’s utilities and take them out of the country. I have seen companies run by those who will not employ home grown British workers. I welcome Nationalisation to keep my County British. Over taxation though, to those wanting to employ and grow is not the answer. We have seen companies who have been forced to go offshore ;we do not want to lose any more.

    • Hope
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      JR, you are misleading us by this blog. You have commented in contrast in the past when this was not part of an opposition manifesto. We recently saw how worthless manifesto and promises are by the Tory party. Let us add iron cast guarantees to make it sound more binding. Hammond saying there is a black hole when recently acting in stark contrast to your manifesto! He has no credibility.

      The railway is still heavily subsidized and treated as nationalized is it not? The only difference I see the badge of the company running it on behalf of the state! Banks were bailed out if they belonged to the state were they not? Any substantive changes to prevent a recurrence? Why are interest rates still so low and the govt making loan to funds available so banks do not need to increase interest rates? Is this not state intervention? Energy companies operating in the U.K. owned by foreign state powers are they not? Is this not part of the intertwined EU energy policy to bind us all together? I am at a loss to understand why these companies are given back to us in full and cut out the rich fat cats who have added little to service.

      • eeyore
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        “Let us add iron cast guarantees to make it sound more binding.” Manifesto promises are not legally enforceable (Wheeler v Office of the Prime Minister 2008).

      • mickc
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        All excellent points! I am amazed the Labour party is not shouting them from the rooftops.
        Theresa May is a mediocrity promoted way above her competence level. As in the USA, the British people have an appalling choice of likely Prime Minister.
        At present, I prefer not to vote at all.

  8. Yossarion
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    We were told we could buy Lloyds shares John, then it was put on hold, now its been sold to Who?

    • Ajay Gajree
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      IMO that was a silly idea floated by GO as it would have meant selling at lower price than we got from the institutions, the treasury have banked a £900m profit now they are completely sold, not at all a bad result.

      • Yossarion
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Though some who lost money first time round would have a chance to buy shares at a reduced rate after the Scottish banks sub prime transatlantic Folley

        • Mr Ajay Gajree
          Posted May 18, 2017 at 5:22 am | Permalink

          A handful of private investors who know investment can go up and down should not be subsidised by the state.

  9. Yossarion
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Why are you and the other parties still using EUSSR regional Boundaries, England has never had a vote to this end, remember when they divided the Arab World with lines in the sand with the Sykes Pecot Treaty one hundred Years ago, that worked look at the Harmony.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Regardless of historical geopolitics and country dividing lines, people have a choice to live in peace and co-operate together in the future. The fact that several countries in the Middle East remain complicated is due to the insidious geopolitics of today.

      People, in general, can get along just fine until greed steps in from ” Local / International Governments, Elites, Corporations etc, that get involved for their own self-interests. Oil, being one of the key motivators of Middle East policy today. If there was no oil in the Middle East, I am guessing the West would leave it alone?

      UK/Europe has been through this turmoil over many centuries and by and large has managed to remain stable for only the past 70+ years.

      IMO, reminding people of historical events is counter productive…better to establish a co-operative spirit today, to assist the future!….though I doubt this will ever be achieved in my lifetime because there is one insurmountable problem….Human Nature!

      • rose
        Posted May 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        “The fact that several countries in the Middle East remain complicated is due to the insidious geopolitics of today.”

        If you put more than one nation in one land you will find people live together side by side for generations and then one day the killing starts. We have seen it all over the world and on our own doorstep. We never learn.

  10. Dave Andrews
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    You can add to your arithmetic those many people who will look at the return they might get out of their effort and investment, in Corbyn world they will calculate it’s not worth it because of the tax burden.
    They might indeed calculate the best way to prosper is on the black economy, leaving the government not just with a hole in their tax take but the added cost to HMRC and the police to detect the evasion.

    Can a Tory government please consider reducing employer’s NI to encourage firms to hire?

  11. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink


    The political landscape of the UK now appears to consist of the extreme left (Labour) the far left (SNP, Plaid Cymru, Greens and Lib Dems) and the centre left (Conservative). UKIP has remained unashamedly to the right of all other named parties but has lost its voice since the departure of Nigel Farage. How dispiriting for the electorate!

    Incidentally is any party prepared to abolish the BBC licence fee and save us all £147-50 per annum? It is nothing more than a state sponsored organ for left wing propaganda. My question is (of course) rhetorical in the current political climate.

  12. APL
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    JR: “new nationalised regional banks, regional public sector energy companies”

    Not much between Tory and Labour there then. Your government has been supporting the regional bank RBS to the tune of £6bn (last year).

    And now Teresa May is going to guarantee workers rights – what rights?

    How will you ensure that these rights don’t make our economy more uncompetitive?

    It’s worth pointing out that Macron the new French president intends to reform the sclerotic French economy, while I don’t think he will. It would be ironic if Macron makes France more competitive that the UK.

    • Beecee
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      He immediately showed who is boss by visiting Ms Merkel on day 2.

      He will have to get her approval before he implements anything.

      It would be nice to know what bones she will now feed the French peoples.

    • getahead
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Ironic? It would also be amazing.

      • APL
        Posted May 18, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Getahead: ” It would also be amazing.”

        Well, yes. But not really anything to boast about. Even so.

  13. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I will be voting Conservative, without any great enthusiasm though, the first time since 2005.

    If the choice was Corbyn or staying in the EU, without hesitation I would choose the latter and I am a Leaver of the first order and critic of the EU for decades.

    Mrs. May’s choice to Remain is hard to reconcile, in my view she is wrong about Grammar Schools, Hinckley C, HS2, 0.7% Overseas Aid, several cabinet ministers and no doubt other points to be confirmed. There is a view that she is a talker.

    I hope I am wrong but as Napoleon’s much quoted ” give me lucky generals”, she has been lucky with no credible alternative for PM after the Cameron/Osborne fiasco, Nigel Farage creating the opportunity and the unbelievably dreadful Corbyn.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      And very, very lucky as Home Secretary. Especially given her record.

      • Timaction
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Appalling record. Total failure.

  14. formula57
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Would Royal Mail be renationalized at the prevailing market price (now 428 pence per share) or at the gross undervalue (330 pence per share) set on initial sale by Dr. Cable when Business Secretary or at the 455 pence reached on the first day of trading or some other figure?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Several of Corbyn’s nationalisation plans seem to violate EU rules, the rail one for instance. Yet Corbyn says he will stay inside the Single Market and thus the EU would insist on those rules being enforced. Hypothetical, I know.

      • Paul wills
        Posted May 17, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        There is no way the UK can stay inside the single market now.. it just wont happen….after the general election mrs may will exercise full control and power and will see to that..then the next thing she’ll do is to see off the tory right wing crowd who have had too much to say about everything up till now…and then she’ll be completely free to do some kind of a third country deal with the EU according to her own likes and dislikes and which will suit some parts of the economy but not others…it’ll be a typical fudge- as we’ll end up half in and half out of the customs union..and am afraid theres not a thing we can do about it.

  15. Chris S
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Even McClusky is no longer pretending that Labour can win the election. Voters tend to distance themselves from losers, preferring to be associated with winners, so I suspect that Labour are heading for meltdown. With this manifesto they deserve it

    McClusky’s measure of “success” at 200 seats is looking optimistic

    Even such a comprehensive defeat for socialism won’t finish them off, though. The zealots will still say they would have won if only the policies were more left wing when any sane person has seen ample evidence over the years that England, where elections are won and lost, is small “C” conservative in outlook.

    When Mrs May is returned to office she will get on with Brexit. There is little she can do with the NI economy but I would rerally like her to step in and get to grips with the Scottish and Welsh economies, both of which are a considerable drag on England with their huge deficits.

    Scottish voters in particular need to have a few economic home truths explained to them over the heads of Sturgeon and her ragbag pinko army. There is every reason for Mrs May to step in and hold Sturgeon to account for the SNP’s abject failures over the last ten years to properly manage the Scottish economy, their NHS and education.

    If Scots decide to leave the UK in 2020 -2022, fair enough, but England really can’t wait another five years before doing something to reduce the Scottish deficit which remains at £15bn a year.

    Eliminating that would be enough to cover Corbyn’s black hole !

  16. alan jutson
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I have no problem with a number of utilities (like water, power and transport) which provide and are the essential and necessities of life being Nationalised, if they were then run efficiently.

    Problem is, past history shows that when Nationalised they become inefficient, become a political football (just look at the NHS) lack proper investment for the future, and thus become a huge drain on the tax payer.

    Can you imagine Mr Corbyn and his ilk running anything efficiently, and on anywhere near a commercial basis ?

    The Labour Manifesto all sounds good and rosy, and no doubt will buy Labour a number of votes (especially University Students) but I am afraid it is more taxation, more borrowing and piss down the drain economics, from a Party which has failed the financial test every single time it has been in power.

    Time to get out the NO MONEY LEFT note again !!!!

    When has a Government, any Government, ever created any real and long lasting proper jobs by borrowing £ Billions.

    At a time when we have the highest number of people in work, with unemployment falling, and with the economy running reasonably, would we want to risk upsetting this very fine balance, by introducing huge tax and financial changes and more borrowing.

  17. alan jutson
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    We need to get a good deal with the EU or be prepared to walk away.

    Mr Corbyn it seems is not prepared to do that, but wants to retain the Customs Union and the so called Single Market, which is not a single market at all, as it contains many other aspects and controls other than trade.
    Thus we will not become independent, but will still be under EU control, and will still be paying vast sums to the EU.

    That is reason enough not to vote for his Party.

    The fact that Labour under Mr Corby’s leadership appears to becoming more and more influenced by ex communist party members with his recent appointments, is in my opinion another.

  18. English Pensioner
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Another fallacy of Labours plans is the proposal that “bosses” should not earn more than 20 times the pay of their lowest paid workers. As most companies employ someone on the minimum wage, at present this means the maximum pay would be just over £300K pa for the bosses.
    Even if they increase income tax on the high earners’ this won’t produce a huge income for the state; it could even be less than at present with no £1M salaries to tax. Thus they would have to tax the capital of the rich, and, unlike income, once it’s gone, it’s gone!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      @English pensioner

      I agree with you that the level of maximum pay would be too small but it would be very interesting to see what happened to low pay and productivity if the tax paid by the highest paid in a company was dependent on some ratio of those at the bottom (FTE) of that company would it not?

  19. Prigger
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Tories are not getting involved in debates with Labour. Good. There can be serious and legitimate differences of opinion in politics.Labour does not have an adult view.

  20. Kenneth
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    The Labour manifesto is a handbook on how to destroy the economy and make us an unhappy country

    • Jerry
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      @Kenneth; The left (will) say much the same about the Tory manifesto, no doubt…

    • DaveM
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      And the Lib Dem manifesto is a cross between a student handbook and a guide to marxist dissidence.

  21. percy openshaw
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I note from various comments on this thread that my growing suspicions of Mrs May are widely shared. I might well have to vote Conservative, simply to play my part in preventing a Labour government; but I have never supported the Tories with greater disquiet, reluctance or – to be frank – disgust. We hear of policies designed to force firms to pay their employees to look after their “elderly relatives”! Is this reasonable? Is it fair? How many small concerns will be able to cope with such extravagant demands? I have done some such “looking after” myself, and never sought to take time off work for it, still less to charge my employers. When I vote for a party of the nation and the free market that is what I expect to see in government, should it win a majority. If Mrs May and her tiny, eccentric gang of greenhorn ideologues try to betray the founding, abiding principles of the right, I shall immediately withdraw my support and campaign for her dismissal. It has happened to better women than her!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      In that case vote none of the above @percy and spoil your paper (but do turn out to vote rather than just abstain).

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Largely but not entirely off-topic, here is an interesting and quite important article:

    “EU satellite states could be part of Brexit deal”

    The “satellite states” being Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway, the three EFTA countries which are also part of the EEA – Switzerland being the fourth EFTA state, but not in the EEA after the Swiss people voted against joining it back in 1992. Note that any one of the four EFTA states could veto the UK being allowed to join EFTA, and any one of the three which are in the EEA could veto the UK being allowed to stay in the EEA.

    Says the Foreign Minister of Lichtenstein:

    “We are not ordinary third countries, but the EU’s closest partners and friends”

    So, yes, as repeatedly pointed out here these three EEA states are “third countries” for the EU, albeit not “ordinary” members of that category comprising the 160-odd countries which are not in the EU; they do not avoid being “third countries” by EEA membership, and no more would the UK avoid becoming a “third country” by staying in the EEA.

    “The UK has not yet triggered a clause in the EEA treaty, notifying the EU that it intends to leave the EEA.

    If it neglects this formal obligation, the clause will likely be triggered by the EU, said Dag Werno Hotler, deputy secretary general of EFTA.

    “The agreement is only available to EU and EFTA members,” he said.

    Frick and Bakke Jensen said they were “open-minded” about the UK re-joining EFTA, an organisation it helped to found in the 1960s.

    “But the initiative would have to come from the UK. For the moment, the question is not on the table,” the ministers said.”

    And nor should it be put on the table, because EFTA now is not the same EFTA that the UK helped to found in the 1960’s, and:

    “Our relationship with the EU is a dynamic relationship. When EU changes its laws and agreement we do the same. We are working on this every day”

    Including all the EU law on freedom of movement of persons.

    • acorn
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Denis, the EEA and EFTA are a relic of the past, they should have been put down a decade back and merged into the EU. Anything they do currently is dictated by EU policy.

    • ChrisS
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      A useful contribution, Denis

      So much for Sturgeon’s hints that she could go down this route to save Brexiteers voting down independence. I can’t see how Mrs May could allow Scotland to retain free movement via EFTA without imposing a hard border. The situation is different with Ireland as there is a sea border so passport checks can be made before migrants cross the Irish Sea from NI.

      We would be relying on Eire border checks on the ferry routes to Rosslare from Cherbourg and Roscoff. But if these are not carried out properly in France, the Irish border officials in Rosslare could look the other way and we could see a Sangat-style camp outside the ports of Belfast and Larne.

  23. Bert Young
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    The Labour manifesto is a sure way to lose votes ; it is nothing but a Communist inspired joke . Some of its proposals are realistic and appealing – there is much wastage in the operation of the National Grid and the regionalisation of railway services is confusing and unnecessary .

    Equally there are many faults in some of the indications coming from the Conservatives ; worker representation on the Boards of listed companies is a march back to the past – it failed to win support then and it will have the same effect now . Also , if the Government persists with its stupid property stamp duties and the tax level on probate ; it will drive the sector into further decline and lose them much support . Theresa ought not to be pulled into the centre ground ; her predecessor made this mistake and look what it cost him . I know she wants to pull votes from Labour ; she should leave it all to Corbyn .

  24. Redder
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    When the Tories win the election, they should address the poverty in education.The Berlin wall came down in 1989. The fact that Socialism,even in its British corrupted and compromised theoretical form, should still be worthy of a discussion says education and indeed our media have failed our country. I have met graduates of Economics from UK universities who do worthwhile aand hard work in call centres answering routine calls from the public. But the private and indeed the State sector cannot further use their educational accomplishment. It is not these individuals would not be up to it. That they could not hack it. Their courses, universities, and tutors, have simply failed them. Failed our country.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      It’s likely that socialism and every other ism will continue to be discussed until the year dot!And why not?

  25. Anonymous
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Labour will appeal to the non-home owning young. Some of which have two polling cards (university.)

    Who is checking for fraud ? The registration numbers are different.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know about students being able to have two cards, but the honesty ballot box procedure continues for another general election. You couldn’t make it up.

  26. Antisthenes
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The Labour manifesto was undoubtedly written by idealistic adolescent 5th formers whose experience and knowledge are woefully inadequate for the task. So it will be very attractive to many because they are not up to the task of understanding how damaging implementing such policies will be. Added to which they are being offered boundless free largess that they will happily accept is being extracted from those who they envy because they are wealthier than they.

    Well at least their envy will be satisfied as the wealthy will have decamped from our shores and be basking in much sunnier tax regime climes in foreign lands. The naivety and total economic and financial ignorance implicit in the proposals contained in their manifesto are astounding. Pointing to very low maturity and intellectual capacity of those who wrote it and those who will vote Labour because of it.

  27. Dennis Zoff
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Labour offering another socialist cuckoo land!…….

    …..Labour’s extremely naive vision: “A Labour Government with an absurdly over-optimistic fantasy, an unrealistic idealistic state, wholly incompetent financial understanding, where everything is paid for by the “nice” rich and “moralistic” Corporations!” You could not make this stuff up….oh Jeremy Corbyn just did…belly laugh!

    Labour’s puerile attempt to spoil the Tories general election party! Pathetic!

  28. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Labour’s Long-Bailey has been saying that the.cost of acquisition will be neutral as they would be buying profitable businesses and thus payback would be quick.

    Then on The Daily Politics we had Gardiner seeming to say in relation to the National Grid that they would aim to destroy the value of the asset by regulation and then pick it up cheap.

    As for the railways they let the franchises run out implying no cost but where will they get the rolling stock from. Are they going to destroy they leasing companies?

  29. Jason wells
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    The labour party under Corbyn is going nowhere, absolutely nowhere, worse still we are heading for a one party government now with no political opposition worth talking about..mrs may will be a virtual dictator at the end of all of this and we still have no idea on the direction shes going to follow in the wake of the brexit talks…all we currently hear is- brexit means brexit and we’re going to make a success of it- but how? The only redeeming factor in all of this is.. that i believe we would be very much worse off under corbyn- no doubt..jeez,, what a wimp? What a loser?

    • Oh well
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Jason wells
      Brexit does mean Brexit. Simple.
      “we’re going to make a success of it-but how?” First understand plainEnglish Brexit means Brexit. A Bouncer at a disco says “Exit the disco” he does not want to hear “Yes but do you mean hard or soft exit?” You will find out the meaning of exit when your face is bounced onto the concrete several metres away from the disco OUT, ie exited the disco.
      “How do you make a success if it? By EXITING ” Hey you there get out Nar or You’ll get me boot , savvy?” The parrot is dead, deceased, no more, gone to the Brexit land AWAY from the EU.

  30. Pragmatist
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    There are alot of knowingly false arguments and positions being put forward by Labour MPs. They are having to, more than usual, just keep talking…anything…to duck direct questions about the worthless economics of the Labour Manifesto. Rebecca Long-Bailey,Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is excellent at fast false argument streaming and does not use her remarkable expertise and intelligence to deliberately stumble in questioning against journalists who by and large know about as little about genuine economics as herself. She should not be voted to any position in a British Parliament via any other Party than the SNP who welcome such talent.

    • Jack snell
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Pragmatist.. yes fully agree..but what about todays Lib Dems manifesto promisi g another vote on whether we agree to leave the EU or not!! Somebody should tell their leader that that boat has sailed..Article 50 has already been activated so there is no going back now.. not even if the prople overwhelmingly decided to change their minds.. it would require the full agreement of the 27 remaining countries and that is not going to happen.. so once again we are being told fake news..trying to give false hope to remainers and others who might change their minds….i’m sick of it

  31. Doug Powell
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Way off Topic, so not expecting publication, but well worth a watch – highly amusing!

    It is a link to today’s Daily Politics, which showed a clip of Clegg at the Oxford Union before the Referendum. In his speech, he arrogantly assumes a ‘remain’ victory, and goes on to say that after the vote there would still be ‘die hard leavers’ who would never accept the result, and would go on fighting for years just like the Japanese soldiers on remote islands, who hadn’t been told the war had ended. This caused much merriment at the time – who is laughing now?
    Clip begins 10 mins 30 secs in for a minute.

  32. rainyday
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Long ago it was decided that nation states should be replaced by a one world goverment.
    It’s a fight about good v evil.
    It’s not about
    Right v left,
    Black v white,
    Young v old,
    West v east,
    Rich v poor.
    In the coming chaos hold onto truth.

  33. adam
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Is the BBC working with UNICEF to promote UNICEF causes.

    I know they love charity press releases but they are reporting on figures not officially published and then doing a ‘report’ on it. How influential is UNICEF in all of this?

  34. Yossarion
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    On the 16th May 2017, Labour’s British manifesto called for a First Minister for England…. It is clear for all to see: Labour will create a role for a Minister for England! PAGE 103 We need a relationship of equals with devolved administrations. Labour will create a role for a Minister.
    What page will we find the equivalent promise from m the Tory Manifesto John?

  35. Androcles
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I like the idea of 10,000 extra policeman and want to contribute to the funding by paying some capital gains tax. However, with corporation tax going up, more power to the trade unions,a Robin Hood tax and other business unfriendly measures investing in the UK, unless you are betting on stocks going down, does not look an option. I am looking foward to reading JR’s overseas recommendations.

  36. Biped
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    BBC “Outside Source” 17th May 2017 on the newMacron Administration
    “The first thing to say is that it is gender balanced.”

  37. APL
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    JR: “Labour’s Manifesto was even more socialist than the leaked version.”

    Labour party produces socialist policies shocker!!!

    Now, could we get some Conservative policies from the Tory party, please?

  38. Becki
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    We have one of the lowest, if not THE lowest corporation tax rate in Europe. Where are these Conpanies going to run TO?!

    And threatening that the rich won’t work as hard?! Don’t be ridiculous. 50% of £200k is better than 60% of a £150k . They need our consumerism. The figures earned by the people earning enough to have to pay these rates have inflated WAY faster than historically. We’re in times of AUSTERITY. As we’re repeatedly told. We have nurses visiting food banks. Yet we’re the 6th (?) largest economy worldwide. Where is all the money?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      We have one of the lowest, if not THE lowest corporation tax rate in Europe.

      Not correct!!!

      A basket of examples…

      Republic of Ireland 12.5%
      Isle of Man 0% !!!
      Cyprus 12.5%
      Gibraltar 10%
      Hungary 9%
      Latvia 15%
      Lithuania 15%
      Liechtenstein 12.5%
      Romania 16%

      • rose
        Posted May 18, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        “Yet we’re the 6th (?) largest economy worldwide. Where is all the money?”

        Don’t look at the GDP, look at the GDP per capita which is now 35th, below Ireland. If you keep on importing unskilled people and exporting skilled, self-supporting people, the country will get poorer. But as the population is burgeoning, the GDP inevitably gets bigger, but not that bigger. We are not as rich as we used to be. We need to do something about it.

    • Handbags
      Posted May 18, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      What do you think successful people do with their money?

      Stuff it in a matress? Go to Benidorm? Binge on burgers and chips?

      What they do is they start more businesses, invest in better equipment, make better products – in other words they employ more people.

      The activities of successful people actually creates wealth and generates more tax revenue.

      We should be encouraging people to come here and succeed.

  39. Gandalf Corbyn
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    The LibDem leader who starred as Pippin the Hobbit in Lord of the Rings is not someone you should seriously vote for unless he can categorically prove he knows the location, exactly, of the ring to rule them all. Even then….

  40. Freeborn John
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I am pleased to see Labour closing the polling gap on the Conservatives as I believe any majority more than 50 would be bad for a clean Brexit. I have voted retrospectively for the last 3 general elections and believe you cannot trust May right now in Brexit. One remembers William Hague in 2010 saying he “would not let matters rest” on the Lisbon treaty but rest is what he did. And Cameron in 2015 saying he “ruled nothing out” if he did not get a renegotation of the the UK’s membership which at the time was him ruling out campaigning to stay in the EU despite not getting a worthwhile renegotiation. Theresa May is now lauding to Jean Claude Juncker her opt-out from EU judicial and Home Affairs as a model for the Brexit negotiations telling him how it was purely for domestic consumption and rendered meaningless by her subsequent opting back in to each individual JHA measure of significance. If she is telling Juncker that then she is as bad as Hague and Cameron and unworthy of a vote.

    I am also pleased too to see that the LibDems are down to 7% in the lastest polls as there should be no place for a party seeking to overturn a referendum result in UK politics.

  • 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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