Loves Labour lost

Under Blair and Brown Labour claimed to love rich people, to hug business and to be warm towards the private sector. To win and retain power they pledged to keep the top rate of Income Tax at 40%, to avoid new nationalisations, to privatise some more and to engage the private sector in public services through the Public Finance Initiative. They even kept the Conservative spending plans for the first period, which produced an excellent economic performance and some repayments of state debt.

Later in office Labour fell out of love with Prudence and assisted the huge debt build up throughout the economy, adding piles of ill considered PFI loans to the burgeoning private sector debt mountain. It all ended in predictable crash and tears.

Today’s Labour party has fallen out of love with all of this. They do not try to defend most of what Blair and Brown did. The party is after all now run by people who opposed Blair at the time. They are right to ditch the Blair legacy of foreign wars and the collapse of 2008-10, but wrong to ditch all the love affairs with the private sector which helped Labour to power in 1997. Not only did it make political sense to tempt loosely attached Conservatives to join them by wooing them. It also made economic sense to adopt a policy which could help the economy grow and deliver more prosperity. You need low tax rates and encouragement of choice and competition to foster growth in real incomes.

The latest Labour policies are on the Venezuelan model.  They want to use price and rent  controls to make homes and basics more affordable. They want to ban some  contracting out, and nationalise Private Finance contacts. They want to take into public ownership the main utilities, short changing their current owners. They want to boost low incomes and increase benefits.  These policies always start with considerable popularity. Their first round effect may well  be to cut prices and boost real incomes, but this is soon followed by disaster. Price and rent controls curb supply and lead to shortages. Nationalisation  leads to bad investment, inefficiency and to shortages too. In Venezuela foreign investors have been deterred, the shops are empty of many of the goods people want to buy, inflation takes off and nationalised industries let employees as well as customers down. In Venezuela the poor suffer most. The rich have either left or have access to more goods and services by having hard foreign currency to spend  that people will value.

When the UK last had a large nationalised sector both consumers and employees got a bad deal. The steel, coal and rail industries in nationalised hands were always closing  furnaces. pits and lines, and sacking staff. Energy and train fares were dear and often went up more than general inflation.

Labour wish to eliminate choice. They want to limit your choice of supplier, and limit the number of employers who can offer you a job. Far from liberating the poor they would confine more people to poverty. We have seen their future and know it does not work. The Labour leadership will still not come out and condemn the disaster which is Venezuela’s economic policy, because they know it is much like the one they want for us.

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58 Comments

  1. John Soper
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Labour, in case you hadn’t noticed, is not in power. It hasn’t been in power for 7 years. I voted Conservative and I voted Leave in good faith. I was promised that the EU needed us so much more than we needed them that we would get a quick easy and favourable deal. There is no sign of that, and the clock is ticking. I was promised that the US, Canada, Australia, India etc would be queueing up to offer us a great deal – they are not even talking to us let alone offering us anything (where is Dr Fox, by the way?) and only yesterday the US slapped 200% tariffs on our exports. I was promised we would not pay the EU a penny piece to leave – now it is just a question of how high the bill will be. I was promised money for the NHS, and where is that? I would say the Conservatives are doing a pretty job of turning our economy into one as bad as Venezuela’s.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Do you really think this? Wasn’t it quite clear in the referendum that trade deal could only start and EU payments could only stop once the UK had actually left the EU? I thought it was made adundantly clear by all speakers on both sides.

  2. Mark B
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    “They want to use price and rent controls . . . “

    But is not the ‘minimum wage’ a form of price control ? After all, one man’s wage rise is another man’s price increase.

    If Labour ever do get into power, buy gold and foreign currency, and stock up on tinned goods.

    Labour are trying, as some suggested yesterday, of waging and economic guerrilla war on the UK and its economy. Just the thought of a Labour government will send investors fleeing. This will drag down the economy hampering growth and making people unhappy. An unhappy people, lured with Siren Songs of more free stuff will happily vote for their own demise. Socialism is a pernicious ideology. But what is the present government and Conservative Party doing ? Nothing it would seem except try to out Socialist the Socialists ?!?!?!

    This country needs calmer, stronger and more stable characters at the helm. Not some elderly admin staff who have yet to leave the Common Room and its antics behind them.

  3. eeyore
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    I believe Labour’s aim is not to govern well but to destabilise economy and politics in a revolutionary manner so as to install themselves in power in perpetuity. This is not the social democratic Labour Party of old, but an aggressive Marxist party already flexing its muscles and feeling its strength.

    Its leaders are not good people who happen to be foolish or misguided. They are very bad people who know full well what they are doing, and have long planned for the opportunity to do it.

    The danger to our wellbeing and freedoms is very great. All the fearsome apparatus of a Marxist tyranny awaits us. This Conservative government has much to do right now, but to ignore such evil growing in our midst is to make a terrible and irreversible mistake.

  4. Peter Wood
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood, all of what you report is true, BUT to many conservative minded voters, we now have ‘Labour Lite’ in office. The Tory party does not seem to have conservative priorities; you yourself have said how do we spend the money that we will no longer (hopefully) send to Brussels. This is not what Conservatives want. My wish list for the Tory Party Convention reads like this:
    Government pledges to live within its tax-take and reduces the government proportion of GDP to @ 35%, down from the current 45%+.
    Amend the foreign aid giveaway such that foreign aid can only be made from a real budget surplus.
    Money no longer sent to the EU can be used in part for NHS only after an independent audit of NHS expenditure to find and eliminate waste, the balance to repay government borrowing.
    If by the EU council meeting in October, there has been no agreement on widening the negotiations to start free trade discussions, terminate talks with the EU but continue outreach to the European nations with whom we trade.
    IN ANY CASE, the UK Government shall treat as a national priority, the preparation of the UK public and private sectors to leave the EU without any deal and to trade on WTO terms.

    • svcop3
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:17 am | Permalink

      Wouldn’t it be nice ? But no, thats not what we are going to see.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Indeed Corbyn policies would be total a disaster for jobs, the economy, housing and the poor especially. Let us hope the voters are not fooled by Corbyn, the magic money tree, Father Christmas conman.

    It would be a very good thing to get back to 40% income tax. Under Osborne & Hammond many have lost their personal allowances, their child benefit, pay 45% income tax plus NI, 20% VAT, 12% Insurance tax, have had their pensions robbed, are taxed on rental profits (they have not made) and pay up to 15% tax when they move or buy a home. The Conservatives are a party of low taxes and home ownership or they are nothing. Clearly they are the latter currently under Hammond and May. High taxes are, above all, hugely inefficient for the economy.

  6. Duncan
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Hard left unions are now in charge of Labour policy across many areas of social and economic activity. The consolidation and expansion of political and industrial control is their primary goal. The unions will , if Labour get into power, reconfigure the UK in a manner that will be irreversible. They are determined, organised and powerful

    Meanwhile, we have May and Hammond. They hardly incite fear in hardened figures like Billy Hayes and Len McCluskey

    Backbench Tory MP’s have a decision to make. They either dispense with M & H and install two brawlers or or we will witness a UK dominated by hard left unions while still being members of the EU

    I genuinely blame my own party, the Tories, for capitulating to the left across many areas of economic and social policy. There’s a war coming and there will be casualties. Let’s hope the casualties are May, Hammond, McCluskey and Corbyn

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    The way to win the next election is to have some vision, to cut taxes and to help people get deposits together to buy homes. Voters, in general, do not aspire to Corbyn’s social housing they want to buy their own home and should be able to do so. They want freedom and choice. Sort out the system, the planning, the Greencrap building regs and the banks so they actually can. Also stop the policies that overtax landlords and push up tenants rents. How can they save when Osborne is pushing their rents up with absurd extra taxes.

    I cannot see any vision coming from T May, she is just Corbyn light in drag. She must go soon.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      We have had 3 months since the election. It was agreed within 24 hours that housing and the decline of home ownership is a massive issue in the rise of support for Labour, yet there is no sign of the Government doing anything about it! Ministers don’t seem to realise what a disaster this is – radical policies to force freeing up of planning regs are needed. If home ownership doesn’t rise noticeably before the next election, the Conservatives should assume they will lose.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      I agree on helping people to buy homes. First thing to do I suggest though is to regulate who can own residential property, as it is an artificially restricted commodity. It should not be bought up by the rich for the purpose of oppressing the poor.
      We do not need foreign investors buying up London property and speculating on its value whilst leaving it empty, reducing housing availability and pushing up prices.
      Buy to let for retirement – that’s fine, but not ownership of multiple homes – the resource needs to be shared.

  8. sm
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Can’t imagine why anyone would NOT want to return to the days when BT put you into a months’ long queue to get a telephone installed, or when a call to British Gas about a problem meant hanging on for at least 45 minutes (if you were lucky) before you even got to the first stage of explaining the issue.

    And hey, I’ve another idea for Mr Corbyn: wasn’t the nation a lot healthier apparently while on food rations? I’m just old enough to recall having to hand over a ration card at a Sainsbury’s counter – think of the beneficial control that could be handed to Public Health officials: one year you won’t be allowed more than 3 eggs a week (all that cholesterol), and another year you could have 6 (it turned out to be ‘good’ cholesterol after all).

    • Paul
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      It’s a lot of idiots who genuinely (apparently) believe nationalised industries are cheaper and more effective. In practice produce capture rules.

      (We probably will be on food rations if (God Help us !) Corbyn gets in. The country will be broke in short order – we will have the boomette caused by money being thrown about, maybe six months if we are lucky, six days if we are not, then collapse)

      Have you not noticed the delusional belief amongst many that the 1970s was a time of great peace and prosperity and good times for all ; then the evil Thatcher somehow conned her way into power and deliberately destroyed this wondrous country out of sheer spite ?

      It sounds like a parody but I find this view quite common.

      • sm
        Posted September 29, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        Quite right Paul.

        My 45yr old son is a Corbyn sympathiser, and thinks I’m stuck in the wicked Thatcher era. Last week, new friends (age 70) came for supper, and started to recall without my prompting the “joys” of the 1970’s Labour Govt without any prompting from me – it was a bit of a eye-opener for my son.

      • ian wragg
        Posted September 29, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        What annoys me is the ones who slag Maggie off about closing the pits when Labour closed the most and Scargill was responsible for their demise.
        I left the UK in 76 to work in Africa after the 3 day week and endless strikes.
        Best move I ever made.

      • Dennis
        Posted September 29, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        “(We probably will be on food rations if (God Help us !) Corbyn gets in. ”

        This would be excellent to improve the nation’s health and perhaps close a few hospitals as they won’t be needed. and solving pollution, landfill and a myriad other problems. Food rationing should be in every manifesto.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Dear sm–A month’s??–Why you were lucky–In my early days in the City if a new telephone line had to be put in it was a stuffed brown paper envelope on a Saturday morning that got the job done–All very hush hush as you can imagine–There was simply no other way.

    • David Tomlinson
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      And don’t be squeamish about eating your pet rabbit.

  9. Richard1
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Indeed the far left Corbyn -McDonnell types have been praising Venezuela for years. What has happened there is entirely predictable and was predicted by people with some understanding of market economics for years. But we have a problem : for whatever reason large numbers of voters are taken in by Corbyn’s drivel. With the government in a precarious position we can’t risk a collapse and early election due to disagreement on Brexit. I suggest the Clean Brexiteers such as you find a rapid accommodation with the Hammond types and get a deliverable deal. I note that Dan Hannan, who is very sensible, supports something along the Swiss model at least as a staging post for 5/10 years. Sure it might be better to be completely free but there is no consensus for that even in the Tory party, and certainly not in the business world.

    A Corbyn or other far left government would be an unmitigated economic catastrophe for the Country, especially if it was unshackled by all the EU laws and regulations. Conservative MPs have a duty to the Country to find an accommodation and a formula which avoid this.

    • sm
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Richard: I’m neither a politician nor an economist, but for the life of me I can’t understand how a trading agreement that allegedly suits countries the size of Norway and Switzerland (populations 6 million and 8.5 million respectively, so smaller than Greater London) can work for something the size of the UK (65 million and growing), and that is one of the biggest economies in the world apparently?

      • Richard1
        Posted September 29, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        The point is in both cases material concessions have been made to the EU over issues such as free movement and payments, but a good measure of freedom obtained in both cases. In the Swiss case its free movement minus and in both cases the payments are smaller than ours and are under more control (eg Norway makes voluntary contributions to Eastern European structural funds). But both allow free trade deals, and both give a wide measure of escape from EU regulations and dictats – particularly the Swiss deal. At the moment, rightly or wrongly, the large majority of business expect a cliff edge with no deal. we heard another cliff edge terror this am from the Governor of the BoE – over the governing law of derivative contracts. We need a measure of national consensus on a deal, and certainly one in the Conservative Party. The good must not be the enemy of the perfect. The worst possible combination of circumstance would be Brexit followed by an unconstrained Marxist government!

        Of course its possible the EU will absolutely not play ball. If thats the case then we will have to walk away and do the best we can. the Oct summit of EU leaders is a good time for that determination.

        • Richard1
          Posted September 29, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          I mean the perfect mustn’t be the enemy of the good ….

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Mr. Hammond and his business friends the bankers, the corporates, the hedge funds, the financiers, the governor of the BOE, and the wealthy elites are amongst the most committed of EU supporters.

      It remains to be seen whether these people are prepared to continue to push so hard to remain in the EU that not only will it strengthen the EU’s hand in negotiations so that we are only offered a very poor deal, if one at all, but also lead to Mr. Corbyn winning the next GE.

      The irony for Mr. Hammond and friends is that Mr. Corbyn’s election would not only be a disaster for their business and the country but Mr. Corbyn, being a longterm commited leaver, could well be the PM who ensured we left the EU in a clean and hard Brexit.

      • Paul
        Posted September 29, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Most of what Corbyn wants would either be contrary to EU rules (nationalisation, debt monetisation) and would be taken straight to the ECJ (low value bonds in ‘exchange’ for shares at the rate we decide).

        I’m pro Brexit but absolutely terrified of things like “wargaming plans for capital controls” or whatever it was McDonnell said.

        The damage a Corbyn government would do makes the pro/anti Brexit discussions look like a debate about what flavour of ice cream to have.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 29, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        Exactly.Instead of banging on about Venezuela and the UK experience in the ’70s,the Tories need to produce their own ideas,purge the party and the government machine of saboteurs and deliver a true Brexit.

        There is no sign of any of that happening.

      • ian wragg
        Posted September 29, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        OR. It might be a disaster for their business but many are prepared for that just to stay in their beloved EU.
        Mustn’t rock the OWG boat must we.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 29, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Corbyn will say or do anything to obtain power. Corbyn’s Brexit would be like Lenin’s Treaty of Brest-Litovsk – ruinous for Russia but all Lenin cared about was domestic power to force his revolution. Corbyn and his cronies are no different. McDonnell after all is a self-proclaimed admirer of Lenin.

  10. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Labour want us all to be union supporting fanatics, like them, all united and working for the government – We here all know how painful their policies are – I’ve already lived through far too many disasterous labour governments – I don’t think I would survive another, and its doubtful the country would!
    Labours 4 point lead over the Tories could so easily disappear, but it really needs some help and unity from all in the conservative party – Why are the Tories so bad at promoting themselves?
    It’s not what corbyn has said, that attracts the faithful – it’s how he says it, he and his cohorts – they speak at the level that his supporters can accept – doesn’t matter what he had to say as long as he attacks the Tories, and enthuses about ridiculous policies that would strangle us all – Time for the Tories to get enthusiastic, get their message across and stopped being afraid of this worthless monster we call labour!

  11. agricola
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    A fundamental that many overlook is that whatever your politics, rabid left or right, the economy needs to be successful or you will not thrive. There should be no divergence of opinion regarding the creation of wealth. The arguments should be about what you do with it.

    Through the WWW, and all forms of exchange of information, people are better informed and have more choices than ever before. I does not curb the activities of those who would exploit, but everyone becomes quickly aware and can counter the exploitation. Labour seem to now favour, as did their communist mentors, who incidentally have not gone away, less choice and more control, except for the few who have control and therefore choice. This hypocrisy is virulent in their shadow cabinet in their opposition to grammar schools, but their desperation to use them for their offspring. They mimic their forefathers who ran the USSR and the young do not question the nonsense they vomit because the teaching of history seems not to impart the disasters of the past.

    The answer to it is to run a successful economy with as great a choice as possible in peoples lives. Tesco would not be where it is if it only offered margarine.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Labour thinking reflects the producer mindset. Sooner or later it will result in failure. Successful businesses reflect the market mindset.

    The Conservative party needs to hammer this home. There is no shortage of examples.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Rather,the Conservatives need to generate some fervour for their own policies(when they come up with some).

      “Reason always cuts a poor figure besides sentiment;the one being essentially restricted while the other is infinite” – Balzac.

  13. robert lewy
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    JR,

    The accretion of increased power to the centre inevitably results in cronyism as Venezuela also demonstrates.

  14. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The problem is that the grass is greener on the other side, and frankly not at all green on this one.
    Young people are offered £60k loans to study @ 6.1% compound interest rate, followed by houses at 10 time + their post graduation income. In our day it was maintenance grant and houses at 3 x.
    Old people are offered confiscation of their assets to pay for the care which they had assumed their collective taxes paid for. Their retirement age, written in stone for 40 year at 65 yrs is progressively increased. The country is filling up with people who haven’t made this contribution but receive perceptibly greater benefits than they do.
    In the middle you have a population working as hard as any in the world, taxed to pay for incompetent administration, elite politicians and bank bail-outs.

    Then these miscellaneous groups get Cameron coming along to offer a way out for them in respect of paying for the EU and lower immigration, and he does a runner as soon as the opportunity is taken, proving there’s nowhere to go for an elite when he’s cornered.

    You can’t blame people for looking to the rosy sunlit uplands, even if they’re looking in the wrong place.

  15. David Murfin
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    If our education system dealt properly with topics that affected people’s day to day behaviour, no-one would believe Corbyn, nor want to be in the EU.

    • Paul
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      It’s all show.

      I can understand people being pro EU or anti EU or undecided.

      But much of the protest is just virtue signalling – I genuinely cannot remember a single occasion where anyone waved the EU flag for example, however pro Europe they were (Eurovision Song Contest maybe ?) let alone painted their faces or went on protest marches.

      None of them seem to know much about it. Many complain about tax on UK transactions being remitted abroad. I’ve explained the idea of the “Single European Market” (you’d think the name would give someone a clue) or the “Common Market”, how it’s supposed to work and what the benefits are, but it’s like talking to a wall.

  16. alan jutson
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Will the Conservative party conference outline its real plans for the future, the Deficit, National Debt, future Tax rates, Social care, NHS etc, etc.

    Will it put some real meat on the bones of its real thoughts on Brexit.
    Will it have the courage to put some red lines down on our negotiation stance.
    Ref ECJ, Immigration, transitional arrangements, WTO option.

    Will it offer a real and sensible alternative to Mr Corbyn’s fantasy land type of politics, polices, and promises.

    Or

    Will we get a lot of nice words with no substance, but a lot of fudge on everything.

    • Paul
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      There is an old saying about democracy dying when the public realise they can effectively vote themselves freebies.

      I suspect we may already be there. Look at “austerity” ; at kindest we’ve had very very gentle “austerity”, but the public have had enough of it, so apparently we have to stop.

      You can no more “have enough of austerity” than you can “have enough of breathing”.

    • Dave , Shinfield
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      It would be nice to get some clarity on what the Conservatives stand for, but given the mess they seem to make of absolutely everything at the moment I won’t hold my breath.

  17. David L
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I forecast a crashing economy with the Labour government then blaming Brexit for all the problems. Worrying times.

    • Tweeter_L
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      David L: hear hear– exactly the thought that what I was going to post.

      and

      Paul: yes, I too have noticed the rose-tinted specs version of the 1970s, but I also remember the real thing. It was definitely not Utopia.

  18. Bob
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Why do you think socialists are in favour of reducing the voting age?
    Could it be because the younger the voter the more gullible and less aware of the realities of socialism?

    If the BBC were worth the Licence Fee it would broadcast material to educate and inform the younger population about the untold misery that socialism has caused throughout its history. They might also look into the real causes of the 2008 crash and its origins in Clinton’s “Community Reinvestment Act”.

    Notice how they always pepper their policies with nice fluffy sounding words like “community” to camouflage their true nature. The “Liverpool Care Pathway” is another that comes to mind.

    UKIP have an uphill challenge to redress the balance since the Tory swerve to the left.

  19. Licinia Twittlebuck
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Voters need stuff happening to them. Labour is now a laughing stock to most non-pickpocketing mature intelligent people. Fairly young people haven’t experienced nationalisation. It is not something you would wish upon your worst enemy. But they do need to experience it personally. Our education system has failed them. Leftie liberal academics who teach our kids cannot even bring themselves to criticise the former USSR even now. Amazing. Note for further example the well educated Labour MPs who celebrated Fidel Castro’s birthday recently!
    When you have politically educated and generally well-educated people in a society who are stone deaf to screams from millions throughout the world as they died in Socialist camps, who could not so much as say Boo to the government without being locked up or tortured or just disappear..then you must realise our education system is rubbish!
    How do MPs like JR keep their composure when MPs in the House are…actually..in the House and not in pre-school as they should be?

  20. William Long
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The real problem we have is the lack of certainty that the current Conservative leadership really believe in the Free Market alternative and have a vision for it that they can promote from the heart. Instead they seem to be suffering from conscience stricken delusion that Mr Corbyn may be right and repeatedly trimming their sails in the hope of catching some of his wind.
    Mr Corbyn and his henchmen have a huge advantage in that they appear to have total faith in what they are saying however disastrously misguided it may seem to the rest of us.
    I have just renewed my membership of the Conservative Party for the sole reason that it will enable me to vote for someone other than Mrs May in the leadership election that must come. It only costs £25 and seems excellent value at the price!

  21. Tad Davison
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I well remember Gordon Brown standing at the dispatch box crowing about presiding over the ‘longest period of economic growth…….’ when that period actually started four years before Labour even took office! Talk about conceit!

    I also remember a political slogan of the time that was summarily dismissed by those particularly infatuated by these new snake oil salesmen, but has come to pass – New Labour, New Danger!

    It’s a pity some people can only see things clearly with hindsight, whereas the ones to trust are the people who can see things clearly with foresight. I am sure people won’t need me to go on at length about what COULD happen if we continue to elect the wrong people, but suffice to say, the UK needs to get out of the EU just as soon and as cleanly as we can.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  22. Martin Conboy
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I am very concerned with the way the situation in Venezuela is being reported by the media. They are reporting inflation ad 800%, (2016 fugures) however they do not bother to point out this figure is actually black market inflation.
    The socialist government of Venezuela runs a prices and incomes policy, where they dictate the prices that can be charged for staple goods and services, and they dictate how much people get paid. Labour under Corbyn is planning to do exactly the same here, starting with price caps of accommodation in the private sector, pay and bonus caps in the finance industry.
    According to the Venezuela government prices index, inflation is 0%. The prices that the state permits Venezuelian businesses to charge have not been changed. This is convenient for the government because much state-sector pay and pensions in Venezuela is index- linked, as it is here.

  23. Epikouros
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    It is strange that your article full of provable and obvious truth and does indeed predict accurately what will befall the UK should the Labour party win the next election there is every possibility that enough will vote for Labour to make Corbyn the next prime minister. That fact says a lot about the abilities of a large section of our society and many others around the world as they act in similar ways. None of it complimentary and is does give rise to the thought how has the human race managed to survive as long as it has considering the perverse way that so many think and act and in fact casts doubt on whether the human race has much of a future left to it.

  24. Rob Betteridge
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Excuse me if I’m wrong but it seems to me that the Italians, French & Germans, with State backing, can run our railways, but we can’t; the Indians, now the Germans can run our Steel Industry; the Japanese the Motor Industry, Nuclear is up for grabs by the French and Chinese, Banking by HSBC & Santander, Tech Platforms by the US.
    Yes, some of them pay some taxes here but the profits go abroad. And the average saver is stuck with 1.5% on the High Street.
    The working (wo)man has no avenue to the first step on the ladder let alone riches. The large Companies own one side of Government, the Unions own the other. Neither work in our interest. We are screwed up, down and sideways. An imbalance between housing stock and population and buy to rent has inflated prices into the stratosphere, the tax man takes 50% of our earnings, there is no reason why our wages should go up unless we are more productive – but we see no benefit if we are – the profits are hived off abroad and the Chairperson gets a “bonus”.
    Perhaps Nigel will come to our rescue and rename UKIP “Our Union”

  25. The End is Nigh.
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    When I was Labour Party member before I had my mental impairment operated upon,I used to canvass with other members door to door in marginal constituencies and in our own Labour area where the Labour votes were said to be weighed rather than counted.
    In the marginals, there were very few who said , even confronted by two or three of us at a time that they would vote Labour…one in five. Surprisingly, in our own area, there were fewer than that. It was hard finding volunteers like myself from Labour branches to do such work because so very few people turned up to meetings and very few wanted to canvass. So the outcome of elections and Labour being such a huge party in Parliament is an enigma.
    Even if a top Labour MPs joins the canvasses, there are only a tiny number of members door knocking. They spend most of the time taking photos of themselves and putting them on Twitter grinning idiotically..about five with seemingly enlarged grinning toothy faces then they walk around as glum looking as the Chancellor and being told off for not closing gates.Yet Labour says it has 600,000 members. Where?????

  26. mickc
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I seem to recall Osborne actually agreeing with Brown’s policies, rather than opposing them….something about sharing the proceeds of growth or some such…..
    Regrettably, the Cameron Conservatives were both admirers and emulators of Blairism rather than actual conservatives; May is a Cameron Conservative…..
    Just as AfD have done well in Germany by being “old” CDU, a party which is “old” Conservative would do well.
    Corbynism is old (1945ish) Labour; look at how succesful it is…. Go figure, as they say

  27. Superb Person
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    It will do the British people good in having a Labour Government. They need teaching a lesson. So do the people of Venezuela. It serves them right.
    There is nothing to stop British people when they go on a pre-wedding Cock or Hen party to Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest or Sofia asking “Hey mate, what was Socialism like?”
    Yes they will look at them as though they are idiots for not knowing. They could instead open a book marked Socialism . ..or ask a migrant from Eastern Europe.
    Tories should not need a campaign against Corbyn. He would not be a known person if the British were not as thick as two short planks.

  28. Ali Choudhury
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Excellent blog, it would be nice to have a full-throated and eloquent defender of thrift, enterprise, hard work and sensible spending leading the Tories.

  29. nigel seymour
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Forget nightmare scenarios and North Korea – Labour getting back to power is THE ONLY nightmare scenario that this country faces in the ‘medium’ term. Gov are in the firing line and will continue to be until Brexit actually happens.

  30. Newmania
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    …. assisted the huge debt build up throughout the economy, adding piles of ill considered PFI loans to the burgeoning private sector debt mountain. It all ended in predictable crash and tears……..

    That debt is worse now and the second Brexit came along you couldn’t get enough debt as well as encouraging dangerous levels of consumer debt all to save Brexit . you can`t play the economic competence card any more.He is sitting editing the Evening Standard and was not wanted in your “Purity before prosperity” Party

    . They even kept the Conservative spending plans for the first period, which produced an excellent economic performance and some repayments of state debt.

    yes that was an excellent government lead by Jhn Major , another Politician who abhors the Conservative Party adopting the Polices of UKIP and whom you and your Nationalist extremist cronies undermined at every opportunity

    Labour wish to eliminate choice. They want to limit your choice of supplier, and limit the number of employers who can offer you a job.

    Nothing like as much as you limit out choice by cutting us off from our neighbors and largest trading partners

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 29, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      The economic competence card Newmania?

      Isn’t it true that 84% of PFI projects were started under Labour? 604 under Labour to 112 under the Conservatives and Lib/Cons?

      Isn’t it true that banks trumpeted as great successes under Gordon Brown and rewarded figureheads like Fred Godwin were by a Labour government were the worst offenders and the banks still on life support now, whilst the others have recovered (did they pay back their loans?)? Were Corbyn and his team in the same government then?

      It wasn’t the Conservatives that cut us off from the neighbours, they simply gave the choice to the people and the majority of them argued for remain – it was the people that chose to free us from the European Union political construct, we are still Europeans and are still willing to trade even though our deficit of trade is very large and to the EU’s advantage over local manufacturing.

  31. a-tracy
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Look whilst the Labour ruling class turn the party into a cultish, bullying, anti-conservative, bolshy, nuisance party it’s helping you. When us sensible grown-ups see bullying masses stopping your perfectly reasonable conference after the so-called ‘right-wing right’ left them peacefully to have their conference last week it just shows them up for the none progressive, unreasonable, childish force for control they are.

    Their followers are intolerant, they hounded Katie Hopkins out of a job for tweeting yet allow their followers and supporters to spread the same worded insult. They are full of hatred, bile and trouble whenever they meet in organised masses. Throwing missiles and eggs and generally becoming a nuisance just reminds women they aren’t to be trusted to run a town centre let alone a Country. They say they’re against discrimination yet discriminate against conservatives, events are being cancelled because the police don’t feel they can protect people against the left. When the left come for something you enjoy doing or something you believe in don’t say you weren’t warned.

  32. PaulDirac
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    The huge economic problems which will surely result from a Corbyn win are serious, but not as serious as my fear of that potential regime.
    My fear is that they would extinguish democracy here, please don’t scoff, look at what they have done to the Labour party, rule changes and soon defenestration of any internal opposition.
    I don’t know of any communist regime which has agreed to be defeated at the ballot box, even now the trade union bosses are boasting of their intention of breaking laws which they regard as “undemocratic”.
    JR – can you make this a conservative talking point in the conference.

  33. margaret
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I do not have a lot of faith in models , political party manifestos or any form of theoretical propositions. Different plans suit different types of people/s and encompass those who can and those who can’t. Business concerns pull and others either back them up or ditch them.

  34. hefner
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    “Energy and train fares were dear and often went up more than general inflation”: hasn’t it be the same situation these last few years?
    Or am I blinded by ideology?

  • 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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