The Italian election

The BBC and other parts of the media seem to be very quiet about the Italian election. You would have thought this stunning result was worth a bit of comment, analysis and discussion. Just as we saw in Greece, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere in the Eurozone the traditional centre right and centre left parties have been dashed aside. 5 Star, a fairly new movement, has swept through the south of Italy, whilst the Lega has dominated in the northern Italian plain, taking much of Lombardy, the Veneto, Trentino and Piedmont. The centre left governing party was left holding on to Tuscany, whilst losing in most of the country. It slumped to just 18.9% of the vote, with the centre right party Forza that had displaced the Christian democrats some years ago only polling 13.9%.

Both 5 Star and Lega are Eurosceptic. Mr Salvini who leads Lega speaks for the centre right coalition as its largest party. The coalition has 37% of the vote. Mr Di Maio, the leader of 5 Star, speaks for 32.3% of the vote. One of them should be Prime Minister, though coalition talks could I suppose find some other combination of parties which gave the job to someone else. The Lega campaigned for Italy to leave the Euro and to remove the Maastricht,Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon Treaties from Italy’s constitution. 5 Star dropped its wish to leave the Euro, but made clear its opposition to EU budget and Euro austerity policies and proposed spending more with tax cuts.

Lega representatives have made clear their view that the EU should change its approach to the UK and try and rescue an Agreement which they think would be in the EU’s interests. They had already upset the EU authorities massively, so that will not make much difference to the relationship.

The Italian result is another in a long series showing growing anger and frustration with the economic and budgetary policies of the Euro, high levels of unemployment, and the EU’s migration policy. It will probably make Brussels corral the waggons of integration more and will doubtless entice them to try to influence the government formation talks which will now be fascinating. The collapse of Italy’s governing party to 18.9% does at least make Mrs Merkel’s 26% vote share for her CDU look good!

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  1. Henry Spark
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    What you have overlooked, in your increasingly desperate desire to find any rabid nationalist crank that might prop up your failing Brexit project, is that both Lega and 5 Star firmly believe the solutions to Italy’s problems will be found as a member of the EU

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      But it seems to be you who are citing nationalist cranks to support your (failed) project to stay in the EU. Quite ironic.

      • Hope
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Former ambassador to Russia says that the EU were not seen for dust following the Letvinenko incident and in particular Germany did. It want to know. Would this be because it is ever more dependent on Russia for energy? In contrast May wants to unconditionally secure a pact with the EU over defence, security and policing, why? Why is she so keen to give away anything and everything for nothing in return?

        Hammond is at it again, implying the fish stocks are up for grabs for the EU. JR, is there any trade deal in the world where a country gives away £100 billion just to secure future talks on trade, unconditionally gives away security, defence, allows a foreign criminal justice system president and mass immigration with all welfare benefits to discuss a trade deal? Is any country so stupid to behave this way?

        Trump, in charge of the biggest economy, wants the U.K. to be at the front of a queue to make a trade deal and May responds to rebuff him at every opportunity and wants extend staying in the EU with regulatory alignment whether she gets a deal or not!

        The U.K. is still part of the EU at the moment so what does it propose should be done if it is proven the latest incident concerns Russia? We already know the U.K. will do nothing and is partly responsible for its insecure borders. The same was true for the terrorist incidents last year yet Rudd still in office!

        Look at your appaling govt and some members of your cabinet, no need to look elsewhere.

    • duncan
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Asserting democratic control over our nation’s affairs is neither a project nor nationalism. Of course if you believe in the absolute centralisation of the powers of the EU then I would argue that’s nationalistic. The destruction of national democracies is little more than fascism disguised

      You know and I know the EU is autocratic. All Europhiles are little more than believers in a style of governance that died many decades ago

      You either believe in democracy or you don’t. The EU finds democracy an inconvenience to their plans. I find that offensive and anything and anyone that undermines that process is to be welcomed

    • zorro
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Hahaha…. you’re not a happy bunny are you? Is it seeing the Italian electorate decisively voting against the EU integrationist direction of travel? I think it is isn’t it ? 😁…. Try not to bang your fists on the floor though…..


      • Ed Mahony
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Clearly, there are deep flaws with the EU. The problem is that there are deep flaws with trying to pull the UK out of the EU without a proper business plan and when our country can’t afford it right now.

        The only approach forwards, is surely to: prepare properly for the UK to pull out of the EU. Could take years. But better than the chaotic alternative: chaotic departure from the UK, leaving our country in a mess, including maybe having to return to the EU one day, but under worse conditions (unintended consequence of Brexit).

        And during those years of preparing to leave the EU, we look at trying to reform the EU, which would be better than trying to leave it, completely, because then we would have the best of both world: political independence + the economic gains of economic partnership with the rest of Europe.

        So you’re either (basically):

        1. Eurosceptic (get out of Europe now).
        2. Europhile (stay in Europe without question).
        3. Euro Pragmatist (prepare properly to leave the EU, over many years, following the spirit of the Referendum, and/or look at how to reform the EU so that you have the best of both worlds.

        Number 3 surely makes the most common sense. And what most people in this country really want.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          Maybe you should ask Angela Merkel to draft another one of these.

          “MEPs hail Merkel’s Reform Treaty success”

        • zorro
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          ‘Over many years’ eh? I don’t think so. Next year will be fine and the illusory chimeras will have disappeared like all the duff project fear hyperbolic tut! Negotiation is a waste of time, they will spin it out for decades as long as we pay full whack for SM/CU and have no vote – the EU dream scenario.


        • Hope
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          No they do not, what an utter stupid presumption without evidence or fact. The majority voted leave this still remains the case.

        • NickC
          Posted March 9, 2018 at 12:17 am | Permalink

          Ed, It is the EU we’re leaving, not Europe. Your continuing attempt to get us to remain in the EU by the backdoor has been seen through. If we “can’t afford” to leave the EU after being in it for 45 years, there is no evidence we will be able to afford it after another 15 years. In those ensuing 15 years we would get even more enmeshed by the EU making it impossible to leave.

          You have absolutely no proof that “most people” want to spend the next 15 years preparing to leave. Parliament gave us the choice of Remain, or Leave, only. And everyone in the campaigns from the Prime Minister down said if we voted to Leave we would leave the SM, the CU, and invoke Art50 immediately. Almost nine tenths of our economy is not involved in exports to the EU so can proceed normally. There will be be no chaos.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted March 9, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          Ed Mahony

          Nice try and again rather amusing…unfortunately, the Remainers and their motley crew of spin artists continue to plough in fallow ground!

          The EU audience is dwindling, due to Europe’s citizens waking up to the absurd clowns in Brussels!

        • Michael
          Posted March 10, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          Well said. I think one reason The Brexit vote was so tight was that people had the same thoughts. I was certainly one of them – vacillating between bloodying the EU projects nose and perhaps triggering EU reform after our departure or staying in and being pains in the arse and consequently leading reform of the autocratic one state one currency approach. Perhaps someone should start another party in this country in anticipation of the forthcoming general election with remain but reform as the central platform

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          Ed Mahoney,

          The #2 type does not exist. The overwhelming majority of EU member countries are Pragmatic about it. However none anticipate leaving. What they do instead is to maximize benefits and minimize costs, through effective diplomacy and the uses of selective bargaining power. That is easier for small countries than larger ones. Good politicians hide their feelings, generally and you would not like to be at the mercy of amateurs.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Not just the italians either who feel that way either.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      So what? The points made here are entirely valid. Mr Salvini is completely opposed to the EUs approach to Brexit, and if he becomes PM of Italy, will likely drive a coach and horses through it. Is that not newsworthy – or is it the sort of Brexitish news you’d prefer was just left unsaid?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        No newsworth to the BBC who have a groupthink agenda. Pro EU, pro climate alarmism, pro anything Pc and pro big government and hight taxes. Also pro the hugely anti competitive BBC licence tax.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          I must not try to type on my phone and certainly not while on a coach!
          I meant.

          Not newsworthy to the BBC, who clearly have a group think lefty but pro government agenda (which is wrong on almost everything). It is pro EU, pro climate alarmism, pro anything PC and pro ever bigger government and ever higher taxes. Pro even more regulation of everything and pro the dire virtual state monopolies in health and education too.

          Also (unsurprisingly) very pro the hugely unfair and totally anti-competitive BBC licence tax and locking people up for not paying the fines.

        • Hope
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Eustice confirms fishing stocks likely to be given away! Give aways and capitulation is May’s form of negotiating to remain in by another name.

          • A.Sedgwick
            Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            Two of the reasons for Leaving are to quit CAP and CFP.

          • alan jutson
            Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink


            I have just seen Mr Tusk give a press statement saying no more talks, until the Irish Border has been agreed.

            This must be agreed with the EU first, before they are prepared to talk about anything else.

            Time now for us to walk away, we are looking like incompetent fools to the rest of the World, in front of the rest of the World.

            For goodness sake where is our pride !

            How are we ever going to be taken seriously by anyone, if we give in to this sort of nonsense.

            What is the prospect of meaningful trade talks with anyone else if we show such weakness.

            For goodness sake Mrs May take control of these talk, walk away or or resign, !!!!

            These are not our friends !!!!

          • Bob
            Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            “Eustice confirms fishing stocks likely to be given away!”

            That cannot be allowed to happen.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Why would he do that? He would like to squeeze more out of the EU, not destroy it.

    • John Bell
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      You should read Ambrose Evans Pritchard’s columns in the Telegraph (7 March, 8 March). The Lega seem to pose the greater danger to the EU project. Apart from hostility to its treaties (noted above), they may set up a parallel currency (AEP).

      The general impression is that the EU is staggering from crisis to crisis, that a major shock could prove fatal; and even without one, things are falling apart and the centre cannot hold.

      It seems to me that the only solution for the EU (the EU27) is less EU, not more.

      • Hope
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Yet May caves in at every step of the way.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Indeed but the EU bureaucrats do not seem to do “less EU” they prefer to stick with the grand plan of a totally anti-democratic country called Europe. Until the whole project goes over the cliff that is. Just like Majors Erm fiasco and Camerons lets try to deceive the people in a referendum agenda.

    • A Briton
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Sparki: “both Lega and 5 Star firmly believe the solutions to Italy’s problems will be found as a member of the EU”- both will look at the numbers and creep back into ‘the fold’ acknowledging the fact that hamstrung as they are no amount of huff and puff can blow that house down. Brussels knows that and despite what the papers say are quietly confident nothing will change except that they have no further use for Renzi and ‘we will work on the new lot’ and more importantly ‘we can squeeze the vice as an example to others’. If Italy and other EU States choose to live like that then who are we to judge them and it’s their business anyway. The majority in this Country choose not to live like that Hen – as many have said -it’s not about trade it’s about Sovereignty .

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      The can’t-do attitude among the ruling elite and the BBC has hindered Brexit to breaking point.

      It’s failing because of a concerted campaign by influential Remainers.

      *Your* ‘failing Brexit project’ happens to be *our* project. It is mainstream opinion in the UK that the EU is a bad thing. It is mainstream opinion in the wider EU that the EU is damaging their countries in some way yet euroscepticism is treated as though it is an illness or some fringe eccentricity.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        Both Lega and 5 Star advocate a withdrawal from major EU treaties.

      • Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        Absolutely right, Anonymous.
        (Except – they’re NOT ”elite”.)

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Come on. You’re not reflecting reality.

        The reality is that for most people in the UK, Europe is about 20th on their lists of concerns.

        We are a Parliamentary Democracy, not a Plebiscite, so that Parliament can decide about complicated things such as Europe. Yes, a referendum was held, but for party political reasons, and it wasn’t completely clear what leaving the EU meant, when several prominent Brexiters suggested it wasn’t about leaving the single market.

        So euroskeptism is eccentric. And so is europhilism (supporting the EU without question).

        So for most people in the UK, Europe isn’t that important. Whilst most people are pragmatic about Europe. But Europe is becoming important in the sense that people are worried about what pulling out of the EU will do now to our economy. Most people are more concerned about this. And that if we do pull out of the EU, suddenly, it could wreck our economy so much, that we might have to return to the EU, but under worse conditions than before.

        • A.Sedgwick
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          It was made abundantly clear by Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and all the rest on TV and print – remember £9m taxpayers money spent by Cameron on Remain leaflet to every household – that Leaving meant:

          Out of single market

          Out of Customs Union

          Out of ECJ

          Out of Free Movement of People.

          Regrettably you have joined the people are thick brigade.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          We’ve had the referendum, your side lost, now the government should get on and do what it promised in its leaflet.

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

        • Andy
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Well said. What we have learned since the referendum is that while Brexiteers hate many things about the EU, they have no credible plans for fixing any of the things they claim are wrong.

          No solution for customs, no solution for citizens rights, no solution for the Irish border, no solutions for anything. A lot of angry ranting – but no answers. And, of course, now that Brexit is demonstrably going wrong it is everyone else responsible for it going wrong. The EU. The BBC. Businesses. Tony Blair. Remoaners.

          Brexiteers are the ultimate blame shifters. Everyone else is responsible for this mess except them. This is not how it will be remembered in the history books.

        • sm
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Yet the 1975 referendum was a plebiscite, wasn’t it Ed? Can’t recall anyone saying it was advisory, either.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          No. I do not recall anyone saying we’d stay in the single market. Remainers said we’d leave it. Leave said that trade would continue, which it will.

        • Hope
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

          It was clear. Cameron made it clear in parliament. You must stop making up stories without daft or evidence.

    • formula57
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      It is the EU’s great triumph at present that its victims see it as the means of their salvation but both Lega and 5 Star exceptionally contain a few rare bright sparks who know the truth so we might see some material change.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      My we are early today. Is it early start in Brussels ready for the long weekend.
      There is nothing desperate about pointing out that the EU is being rejected by the electorate.
      Of course Brussels answer will be more integration. Already finance ministers are rejecting Macrons plan for a single treasury and banking union.
      The EU will go the same way as the Holy Roman Empire etc ed.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        Well, the Holy Roman Empire lasted for a thousand years so there will be plenty of time to enjoy the ride.

        Being rejected by the electorate? Ireland, Denmark, Germany and even Greece all voted for pro EU parties. They have more sense.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Just as 52% of people here thought a few years ago.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        But are being ignored. 52% and that is after all the dishonest government leaflets the punishment budget and the BBC lies that were pushed at them.

    • acorn
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      “At the same time, however, a majority in the country is in favour of common European policies. “Italy ranks among the highest in considering that more decisions should be taken at the EU level (61 percent “agree,” ranking seventh of the EU28),” reads the Delors report. (Politico and reference to THE ITALIANS AND EUROPE, CHRONICLE OF DISENCHANTMENT)

      Surveys show that migration is one of the top priorities for many in the country. But the prevalent sentiment is that the country has been “abandoned” by Europe. In this area, as in others, Italians want Brussels to do more, not less.

      Unlike, say, many in the United Kingdom, “Italians seem to regret that the European Union does not act more, and more efficiently,” the report says.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      If Lega wants Italy to withdraw from the Maastricht Treaty on European Union it is not easy to see how it wishes Italy to remain in the European Union … but even if it only wanted Italy to withdraw from the euro that would require withdrawal from the European Union under the present treaties.

      Back in 2012 the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte suggested that the EU treaties should be changed so that it would become possible for a country to leave the euro without having to leave the EU altogether:

      “A country should be allowed to leave the euro zone if it so wishes without having to quit the European Union as well, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was quoted by a German newspaper on Friday as saying.”

      But he shut up after Angela Merkel had a quiet word with him.

      Naturally the politicians in our government offered him no support.

      • rose
        Posted March 9, 2018 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        Mark Rutte spent New Years Day in Austria as a guest of the new regime there. He looks as if he is toying with the idea of leading the antis – the Visigrad 4, Austria, Italy, and maybe Sweden and Denmark, against France, Germany, and the Commission. I expect Mrs May will be told by the civil servants to align us with the latter.

        Anyway we should all be congratulating Signora Lifelogic on her splendid victory!

        • rose
          Posted March 9, 2018 at 12:49 am | Permalink

          Sorry, Visegrad.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Rutte is doing the same he and his predecessors have done all the time. Be pragmatic. Only he has changed the PR around it because British self harm creates a new strategic matrix for the smaller countries. Holland does not want the “french” stereotype EU (which the French do not want either) and is not happy to become a German Bundesland without a vote in Berlin (probably the best solution for the EU long term would be for the smaller Northern group to apply for Bundesrepublik membership but that would probably arouse irrational political dynamics. A bit of a joke of course. But EU membership is an excellent substitute for Bundesrepublic membership -and cheaper. I guess that is why the smaller countries see no problem with EU and EUR. Of course, France, Italy, Spain and even Poland have status conscious pop[ulations brought up with soft nationalist ideas and that is hard to get rid of. So, the EU, a long term temporary solution. Much better that the various Reichs and large enough to be efficient for business. Only an idiot would like to be outside..

    • graham1946
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      ‘The solutions to Italy’s problems will be found in the EU’

      What was it Einstein said about keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result?

      • Prigger
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        I never understood why Einstein would have said that doing “the same thing and expecting a different result ” was incorrect. Many people remarry. It is just they have to lie about the result the second time round so as not to look foolish.

        • graham1946
          Posted March 9, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          Ah yes, the victory of hope over experience.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 9, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Why do they always marry almost the same person second time round?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      You are unkind. Why not mention that denigrating Merkel’s share is a bit strange: she led a “coalition” (in fact a permanent combination of two likeminded (and distinguished) parties, with the CDU share at 26 but the combination at 34. Normally , Conservative politicians would be very sympathetic towards their conservative brethren in Germany etc. The AfD is hardly “salonfaehig” even in Mr Redwood’s eyes, I hope. Defending the mistakes of English politics is fine. Suggesting that other countries are on the same path is at least highly premature..

      • mancunius
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Only CDU propagandists claim the CDU is still a Conservative party – it’s certainly no longer regarded as such by traditional CDU voters. It is of course pro-business – up to a point – but generally trades on its conservative past, and is happy to have coalitions with the socialist opposition in order to cling to power.

        The new GroKo coalition has agreed numerous SPD policies that CDU (and particularly CSU) voters explicitly voted against. Current SPD support is at 15% across Germany. Current AfD support is also at 15%. And yet the SPD now has a disproportionately high share in government. No CDU/CSU voter voted for that.

        Of course, I realize that to you, a europhile German, (one who is notably keen on attacking ‘the mistakes of English politics’) it must be extremely embarrassing that an ultra-conservative and eurosceptic party such as the AfD has the same amount of voter support as the SPD, and appears to be increasing its support by the month, just as the SPD loses its support. But growing German voter disenchantment with the old tweedledum-tweedledee politics is now an established fact – however uncomfortable you might find it.

        You only need to raise your eyes and look across the German border, and you will note a similar trend in Austria towards national, patriotic mistrust of the EU. And in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. And now in Italy.

        Germans are banned from having a referendum to leave the EU, so I’m afraid you’re pretty much stuck with the prospect of Germany having to subsidise all the EU countries the euro has damaged, until – if you’re lucky – the whole thing collapses.

        From our own national standpoint we’ll want to be well clear of the mess it will cause. Leaving cleanly now will ensure that.

        • Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          An excellent post, Mancunius. It’s what many of us think but you’ve put it all together in a way that would be difficult for the remainders to refute.

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 9, 2018 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          They couldn’t do what May and her Conservative party have done in England, namely pay Danegeld of £1b to a disreputable party like the DUP to keep herself in power. Only in England. Surely they haven’t forgotten the Einstein dictum of repeating the same mistake again seeing that paying Danegeld turned out to be a wasted gesture last time round.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          Never call someone a German unless you know you are right. Some of my countrymen would find that offensive..

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Quite agree. Redwood is getting desperate. Surely he knows that the post war history of Italy has failed to secure a single party to govern the country and in fact their governments have never lasted more than a year. Furthermore as EU members Italy has become the world’s 8th largest economy and the 3rd largest in the Eurozone. They are more than happy with their EU membership. How Brexiteers can twist facts is truly amazing.

      • mancunius
        Posted March 9, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        “They are more than happy with their EU membership.”
        That must be why a majority voted for parties that demand EU reform, insist its integrationist direction of movement halted, and have campaigned for the euro to be redesigned to accommodate Italy’s economic difficulties?

        That kind of happiness I could personally do without.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 9, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        margaret howard

        “Italy has become the world’s 8th largest economy and the 3rd largest in the Eurozone”

        Interesting – try telling that to the Italian youth?

        Italy Youth Unemployment Rate 32.80 percent in December of 2017.
        Youth Unemployment Rate in Italy averaged 28.78 percent from 1983 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 43.40 percent in March of 2014

        Ah yes, another wonderful EU success statistic?

        The trouble is, facts and figures always bite the Remainers in the rear!

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          That unemployment rate among youngsters is not due to EU policies. In fact, thanks to the EU they can choose from a very large jobs market. Labour market problems in Italy are home-made mainly. The only “international” issue they have is their strange relationship with illegal migration. Some Italians love illegals (not too different from the UK) and others see them as a burden. But momentarily even the informal economy cannot absorb more and the other countries are less welcoming of the “rejects” Italy exports.

    • Prigger
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      “desperate”. You believe your own anti-democratic dictatorship rhetoric. Much separates present day (# note not pre-June 23rd referendum 2016 ) remoaners from the Remainers. The Remainers were democrats who honestly believed in the democratic result~~~ whatever. The Remoaners in Parliament are Sovietesque without fear of litotes or hyperbole. They hate being called traitors and enemies of the people. Just as an owl hates being called a bird of the night and mouse swallower.

  2. Mark B
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The BBC and other parts of the media seem to be very quiet about the Italian election.

    It is what is known as; “Censorship by silence”

    The Lega campaigned for Italy to leave the Euro and to remove the Maastricht,Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon Treaties from Italy’s constitution.

    Another bunch of muppets ! The ONLY way to do that is to leave the EU.

    It will probably make Brussels corral the waggons of integration more . . .

    Very true. More Europe will go the cry. Funny how the EU seem to want to make countries take immigrants that they, including the EU, did not invite, but do not want to make Germany complete the currency union in order to make the Euro work and releave the suffering of millions of EU citizens without a job or hope.

    And this is the problem with the EU. It is not a organization built on unity and equality of nation states. It is a cartel primarily set up for the benefit of France and Germany.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      You are forgetting a few other countries that benefit. Italy for instance..

      • mancunius
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        If only the Italians agreed with you. Calling for radical reform of the EU and the euro suggests they do not.
        And 11.1% unemployment, with a rate of 31.5% youth unemployment, suggests they may be right to disagree with you.

        • jerry
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

          @mancunius; “Calling for radical reform of the EU and the euro suggests they do not.”

          Oh come on, they are unhappy with their domestic government and/or political mechanisms as much as the EU, just look at the ideology of the 5* movement, nor can they be that eurosceptic if their members voted (last year) for their MEP’s to join the ALDE group in the EP!…

          How many in the UK vote(d) UKIP not because they hold especially strong eurosceptic opinion but as a protest vote against the two main establishment parties, indeed if the 2017 GE result was anything to go by those who came from the left-wing have gone back to Labour now there is a less establishment Leader and shadow cabinet again.

  3. jerry
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    “The BBC and other parts of the media seem to be very quiet about the Italian election.”

    Oh do stop making it up, the Italian election was all over the media Monday morning, including on the BBC.

    “Both 5 Star and Lega are Eurosceptic.”

    Indeed but neither want an Italian ‘Brexit’, rather they seek seek reforms.

    Neither party can form a government on their own, neither party seem to have any wish to work together, indeed 5* do not appear to want to work with any other party in coalition. Politics as usual in Italy then, nothing to see or report – at least not yet…

    Reply Lega campaigned to leave the Euro and to leave all recent EU Treaties

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      “neither want an Italian ‘Brexit’, rather they seek seek reforms.”
      Another optimistic and naive bunch. there is no such thing as reform of the EU, only ever closer union. the way ahead was charted with crystal clarity in the Five Presidents’ report on completing monetary and economic union. Euro members will have no choice. EU members outside the euro will be coerced into joining the euro. the staunchly recalcitrant will be relegated to second tier rule-taking status. Had UK voted to remain, its government would now be staunchly federalist in order to gain a seat at the top table. Despite all evidence to the contrary the EU leaning elite believe UK would have fundamental influence. It won’t. But the elite would gain caviar and truffles for everyday lunches and expenses and out-of-this-world pensions at our expense. Bully for them. No wonder they are so sore about Brexit. They never believed in democracy in the first place but now their disregard of it has been exposed for what it is: naked self-interest.
      The EU elites are cornered and on the back foot. They will now fight Brexit like cornered rattle-snakes.

      • Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Agree in every way, except – they’re most certainly NOT ”elite”! Such a misused word to describe this amoral and self-seeking bunch.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted March 9, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          L Jones

          In the contexted of Brussels, the oft-used word “elite” is now used for derogatory slang. It is synonymous with: Greedy, nefarious, cronyistic, unscrupulous, undemocratic, autocratic, etc.

    • jerry
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      @JR reply; Indeed, as i said, they want reforms. But campaign is one thing, obtaining ones dream (at least democratically) is another. The LidDems here in the UK campaigned for greater integration with the EU during the 2010 GE, they even became the King makers, but all they succeeded in achieving was the direct opposite of their European dreams! Unless something way off the radar happens in Italy I doubt Lega (nor 5*) will get anywhere close to implementing their polices.

    • jerry
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Just a though John, you criticise the MSM for not covering the Italian elections as you think they should have done, but today is Thursday, it has taken you four days to comment!

      Reply I am not running a new organisation. I write about one thing each day, often something I am working on, or sometimes to offer some balance where the mainstream media are all one way or ignoring something

      • jerry
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        @JR reply; That would be fine John but how many times have you posted very short comments, the most recent being “Cake and eat it” -a mere 57 words, often in response to breaking or very recent events.

        Yes you are very busy but so are most news desks, and with very few facts to report regards the Italian election as yet do you honestly expect the MSM to spend much time pontificating about a what might happen in the weeks or even months time, if Germany is anything to go by, rather than report fact based news that is happening now the world over, including serious news from the UK.

        • mancunius
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          ” you are very busy but so are most news desks”.
          John R is not a news desk: if you want the very latest on the Italian election I suggest looking at Reuters or La Repubblica, or Corriere.

          Today, for example you can see Draghi wading into the Italian political negotiations with ‘warnings’ that look very much like threats. The news is there online for all to read. Whether it’s ‘fact-based’ or not is a matter for the reader to judge.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted March 9, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink


            Exactly…or you can go one better and speak to family, friends and colleagues in Italy. They will provide their opinion on the current Politics in Italy without the usual spin.

            (I did) Their brief summary might be interesting: Typical Italian politics with each party offering the earth to gain popularity and voters. Seen it all before? Now waiting to see if anyone of these parties can actually execute their plans, given the internal rifts and political instability that has blighted Italian politics for the past fifty years… meaningful discussions on a Brexit type referendum….highly unlikely at this stage!

        • Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          Do you really compare Dr Redwood’s blog with the hurly burly of a news desk? I think you are clutching at straws. As usual.

          • jerry
            Posted March 9, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

            @L Jones; Of course not, I was making the point5 taht5 if our host doesn’t have time to post complement then why is he so surprised that “the hurly burly of a news desk” doesn’t either when they are dealing with far more subject and issues daily than our host does or perhaps even the PM.

            I think you are clutching at straws, as usual, always dutifully backing up our host who posts daily what you want to read. I bet, had Mr Corbyn posted exactly the same post as our host you would be agreeing with me…

        • sm
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, our host’s primary business is being a Member of Parliament, and very few people comprehend just how much time an assiduous MP spends on his work, both in Westminster and his constituency, and then on media interviews and articles, as well as being a Guest Speaker in other constituencies.

          That John bothers to post something EVERY day, 7 days a week, is astonishing. Is anyone aware of any other MP who does anything even vaguely similar?

          • jerry
            Posted March 9, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

            @sm; Indeed, but as I said to our host, that has not stopped him from commenting on such ‘news stories’ before.

        • Bob
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink


          Our host is a politician, not a journalist and he doesn’t get paid to supplement the BBC’s woeful news and current affairs output.

          The BBC has a duty to inform, educate and entertain, and it sadly fails on all three counts despite receiving four thousand million pounds per year with which it employs armies of overpaid journalists, foreign correspondents, economists and political editors; you say these people haven’t got time to pontificate, but that’s about all they do do, instead of reporting “fact based news” they regularly pontificate about Brexit’s possible negative impacts, Russian plots and they get really excited if they can find some Clinton supporting hack who thinks Donald Trump may face a setback in his presidency or a #MeToo wannabe who claims that he gave her a furtive glance, but should any opposition or discontent with Brussels can be swiftly dismissed as unimportant and/or irrelevant. When was the last time the BBC did a piece on negative aspects of the EU?

          If you’re not be paid by the BBC Jerry, you should be!

          • jerry
            Posted March 10, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; “The BBC has a duty to inform, educate and entertain

            Which is does, otherwise some clever legal beagle would have likely taken the BBC off air by challenging their interpretation of the Royal Charter years ago! Your complaint is not that they fail to “inform, educate and entertain” but that they do not do so in ways you think they should.

            “If you’re not be paid by the BBC Jerry, you should be!”

            Well sorry to disappoint, what is more even if I worked for Sky (which I don’t) or any other broadcaster for that matter, I would still be defending the BBC against biased rants be they from the left or right.

        • NickC
          Posted March 9, 2018 at 12:53 am | Permalink

          Jerry, That is extremely one-sided. The BBC “news desk” people are paid to provide news, but JR provides this blog as an free extra on top of his constituency and Parliamentary work. Basically you’re trying to wriggle out of the fact that the BBC’s sparse reporting of the Italian election results is yet another example of BBC bias.

          • jerry
            Posted March 9, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            @NickC, You lot want it both ways, you object when the BBC offers opinion (that you do not like), telling them to stick to the facts, but then complain bitterly that they do just that when speculation and opinion might help your cause.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted March 9, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          Not having facts doesn’t stop these busy new desks pontificating and inviting guests to comment on issues that suit their editorial agenda Jerry

          • margaret
            Posted March 10, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            Are you also guilty of that?

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Wrong Jerry. As I pointed out on Monday, whilst driving I listened to 5 BBC radio bulletins and there wasn’t a mention until 6pm and then well down the pecking order.
      The biggest news all day was the Oscars.

      • jerry
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg; “I listened to 5 BBC radio bulletins and there wasn’t a mention until 6pm and then well down the pecking order.”

        Old news by 6pm old chap, sure it will have been well down the running order by then, even more so considering all the other news about, especaily considering the events in Salisbury!

        It was a top item between 5:15am & 6am on R5L, as it was also headlines on R4 at 6am, (it was also prominent on the BBC’s website over breakfast), I know this as I hear the headlines on R5L -having just listened to their early morning finance programme and then switching to R4 at 6am to catch the news and start of the Today programme.

        But as I said, there was nothing much to say anyway, bar speculation, as the results on Monday are provisional and no one will know what impact the election will have until when/if a coalition government is formed.

        • Ian wragg
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          There was no mention on R1 or R2 until 1500hrs. Check the I.player

          • jerry
            Posted March 9, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

            @Ian Wragg, Nor was it, I suspect, on the BBC local radio stations either. Your comment says far more about the target audience those two national radio stations aim for than it does the BBCs wider and actual news output!

            Shock horror, look in my local newspaper yesterday, not one mention of the Italian election results…

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted March 9, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          Being old news doesn’t stop the BBC bringing up any EU leaving issue from the recent past and inviting guests to comment.

          Even when little has been reported they find a reason to broadcast about the effects Jerry.

          • jerry
            Posted March 10, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            @NS; What, you mean like on programmes such as ‘Dateline London’, or ‘Politics Europe’? I wonder what they might be pontificating on this weekend? Always assuming that there are enough known facts to even pontificate upon!

    • Mark
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      I found it necessary to read the Daily Express – not a usual source for me – to get much coverage in English. They had dedicated a number of reporters to it, and their coverage was well above their normal standards for both accuracy and impartial thought. The Italian press was of course far too partisan to be useful. Eventually Reuters chimed in with a limited but reasonably sensible analysis. The BBC was slow and uninformative.

    • Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Jerry – Rather like the reforms that were sought by David Cameron perhaps?

      • jerry
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        @Dioclese; Indeed, I was making no judgement about the likelihood of success!

  4. duncan
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Any political event in any EU member state that weakens the autocratic grip of the EU is wholeheartedly welcome. The events in Italy and moreover in Poland where only this week its democratically elected government took back control of the appointment of its judiciary are such events

    Of course the irony is that such developments will no doubt incite further EU centralisation though some prefer to call it ‘integration’ which is a rather devious term to conceal the nature of what is essentially a power grab and a contempt for national democracies and the inconvenience they present

    European nations can work together to present a common front but there is no need to jump into bed together

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      “Democratically elected” I believe that Mr Chavez and a certain Austrian were also democratically elected. Electorates do make mistakes..

      • mancunius
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        And you personally decide that they’ve made a mistake. That’s a rather snobbish and ultra-elitist form of democracy, but certainly one your ‘Austrian’ would have agreed with.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          Would you like to defend that choosing that Austrian was not a mistake?

      • Erronerus Muchess
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Rien Huizers make mistakes

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted March 9, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        And so they must vote again until they are correct.

  5. Dave Andrews
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    No news on Italy because there’s nothing further to report. The parties will go through their coalition bartering process and eventually might form a government.
    That government will be weak and no threat to the EU establishment.
    If the Northern League ends up on top, their pro UK trade agreement stance might help us, but frankly by the time a government is formed it will be too late to have any influence on negotiations.
    There isn’t really any news on Brexit either, but that doesn’t stop the media making it up.

  6. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    It is obvious the Italians are fed up with the present levels of illegal immigrants flooding their country and one of the reasons for Brexit was concerns about immigration and yet we have a PM who is intent on ignoring these concerns and letting the EU dictate the terms. This simply is not acceptable. I hope the Italian election starts the ball rolling for the eventual downfall of the EU. Germany is becoming too dominant and the French are creaming off the goodies while we pay a high price for it. There are other countries in the EU that flout the rules constantly but we seem to obey the lord and master. It is high time we took control of our own destiny.

  7. Peter
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I am more concerned with Britain.

    Mrs. May’s pathetic response to EU rejection of her aspirations is to ask them to be “flexible”.


    • Timaction
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Yes. I like millions of others have been shocked by Mr Davis and Ms May and their lack of negotiating skills and total capitulation. Do they have any skills worth noting?A National embarrassment and disgrace. I like many millions of others won’t forget!

  8. Nig l
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    In any other sector, a Regulator would be all over them for abusing their ‘monopolistic’ position. I rarely use them, detest their ‘we are always right’ smug arrogance and resent being taxed, because indeed that is what the license fee is.

    Abolish it and let them compete with all the other media players on a level playing field.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Recent Election results show that most of the EU population are voting against more EU integration, so what does Mrs May want to do when we voted to actually leave.

    She wants us to remain as close as possible to the EU, allowing them still to control much of our trade and laws with no wish to upset them.

    At the rate Europeans are voting, the Eu will be gone in a decade, they will all be leaving without paying a penny, indeed most of them will still be owing the Eu huge sums of money, for goodness sake do not plough any more money into the EU Central Bank to bail out anyone, because you may never get it back.

    By the way when are we due to get paid back what we have put in, or is that part of the calculation ?

    If the EU are not careful, they will self destruct before we have finished talks !

    • Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      “If the EU are not careful, they will self destruct before we have finished talks !”

      If there is a God, please could he make it happen now?

  10. formula57
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    There is also media silence about the German grand coalition finally being approved, as if such step represented a Bushesque “mission accomplished” rather than a serious failure of German politics that permits further corrosion and postpones a worse reckoning. A ray of sunshine perhaps for Dr. Merkel is that she may soon have her old friend Silvio to deal with again.

    (Silence here too about Oxfam ( some staff misbehaving ed) so I have not been able to tell you of my astonishment at Penny Mordaunt doing the right thing by immediately withholding further government funding. I know she should have done, but to see it happen when so often doing right is eschewed was very refreshing. We must hope that unlike Greece’s Syriza, the new Italian government can do the right thing too.)

    • Mark B
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Silvio cannot be part of the government, alas. But having him in and around Italian and European politics is such fun. Plus he has a few scores to settle. As the Italians say ; “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

  11. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Whilst I do not agree that the EU was set up to please Germany and France as great parts of northern Europe and eastern Europe also seem to be enjoying the economic fruits and growth of Europe for the moment, the Italian election is interesting.

    The current outlook is again a coalition government with the 5 Star and the former government parties (who support the Eu and the EURO)as the most likely alternative.

    Weak governments have been a historical fact in Italy for the past 60 years but Italy still needs major reforms.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      The Italian tradition is to govern fairly openly in the interest of the governors not the governed. They are a lot less hypocritical about that there than in most other countries. Eventually the incumbents (everyone except 5 star) will find a way to accommodate the newcomers, integrate them using bait, coearcion and blackmail, in other words turn them into normal Italian politicians who will do Berlusconi’s bidding and then be entitles to a share of the spoils. Meanwhile the excellent civil servants and South Italian NGOs (names omitted) will make sure that Italy keeps functioning in a way. No offense meant to the Italian people here. Machiavelli studied what a “prince” should do to get and maintain power and that is precisely what good politicians still do there. That is their way and in fact another form of national political culture. They will keep the EUR ( leaving would be very costly to the public; they own most of the Italian State debt) and the anti EU sentiments will be used to extract favors in Brussels. That is an art the British politicians never learnt.

  12. W.A.Laugh
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    On the 41st anniversary of 8 March, Women’s Rights Day, I want to celebrate all the MCPs of this blog, with a special mention to dear old Lifelogic.

    • stred
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Women are almost always right and international. Mansplaining is always wrong. Treez put Jezza down with it and he couldn’t argue because he agrees. Yes dear.

    • Peter
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Maybe he could post as wife logic for the day?

  13. Alison
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning! off topic, if I may:
    1) Following yesterday’s publication of draft EU negotiating guidelines, I urge the prime minister and team not to budge a fraction of an inch, and to reply to the Barnier team, no evolution of our position. Let us then see what the EU27 will do. My view is that the UK has conceded far too much already.
    2) Fishing: I was too busy dealing with mountains of snow and consequences (elderly neighbours in particular) to read Mrs May’s speech, but snippets I’ve seen indicate that Mrs May will put our fishing waters on the table as a negotiating chip. This is wrong and totally unacceptable. Fishermen (and women), villages, businesses, economies have been sold down the river from before our accession to the EEC, and throughout our membership. This must be corrected, by recovering control over our waters in full.

  14. Gary C
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Now is the time to strike, tell the EU their demands are not acceptable we are walking.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Dear Gary–Agreed–Exactly what has to happen for the Government to realize that an agreement synchronous with our leaving is simply not on? Why isn’t it obvious that we need to cut the Gordian knot and get out and well away from the EU’s tentacles after which in a very short time the EU will be keen enough to strike a deal with us, their closest neighbour and biggest ex customer? Yes, admittedly there will be a period of pain–never been much doubt about that but anything is better than the embarrassment of what’s going on at present.

    • Adam
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      A new Govt in Italy might oppose much of EU nonsense & weaken it. However, while being an EU member, it shares what the EU loses. Italy might therefore not favour a better deal for the UK at its own expense.

      Even so, EU discontent within Italy may assist Brexit performance in other ways.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Vladimir Putin must be quaking in his boots at the sight and sound of ‘very serious’ school mistress Rudd this morning.

    • Scrutin
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      I am. She has power.

    • rose
      Posted March 9, 2018 at 1:01 am | Permalink

      I think she was more concerned with putting down Boris than any would-be assassins. The House and the Media were following her in that. What an odious lot they are.

  16. agricola
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    As far as possible the EU will ignore publicly the Italian result. If it becomes too intense for a change in relationship with the EU they will threaten dire consequences. Italy , when they have a government, should hold an in/out referendum. It being the only way to resolve what they do not like about the EU, which I suggest are control of immigration and national financial control. Remaining in the EU offers no respite in either case.

    When the EU talk to the UK it is very different. First because they sense a hardening in our resolve, second because they are dependant on trading with us, both in goods and financial services. Donald Tusk in effect admitted defeat yesterday in saying that without a customs union, single market and the ECJ there was only trade to talk about. Most of this diary has been telling him this all along. The EU have never understood that our attachment to democracy is an evolution over many hundreds of years and remains strong in our DNA. Democracy is not a vital element within the EU.

    Just make such that in retaining free trade it is not a pick and mix, it is all or nothing. Nor should our fishing rights in territorial waters be in any way sacrificed to achieve free trade. I am all for treating continental fishermen generously with licenced fishing to ease the shock to their businesses.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    As with Austria the rise of populist parties in Italy and their success is a sure sign of the impending collapse of the EU. Once Italy has established the final composition of its representation system I expect there will be a stand off with Brussels . Messages so far indicate that Italians want to rid themselves of their illegal immigrant problem and re-establish their right to govern themselves . There is an enormous economic problem in Italy that cannot be solved by continuing with the disciplines enforced by EU regulations – the same is true for Greece and others .
    Italy is the 3rd largest contributor to the EU and their withdrawal from its disciplines will provide them with the leeway to re-construct the Lira and devalue . The southern countries of the EU are in no position to assist and welcome other poor nations into the EU web ; their own local issues stare them in the face everyday and they are bound to put themselves first .

    • Bert Young
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I fail to understand why my response is still being “moderated”. It is a straightforward effort that is on topic , is not overlong and is in no way contentious . Yesterday my response was held until the last moment . I find the logic of giving preference to some – often very repetitive responses , irritating . I will not participate at all if it is preferred .

      • Bert Young
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        So far ( it is now 5.15pm ) Lifelogic has made 6 responses at various times of the day !. Is this a reflection of some considerable bias ?.

  18. Epikouros
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    The EU appears to be falling apart. Certainly not in one massive tsunami event but bit by bit. The UK after 45 years of frustration with the way the EU is run, administered and her distaste for the EU’s objectives she has called time and will leave. Other members states of the EU are also showing their frustration as country and after country turn away from traditional political parties to show their disapproval and find an alternative to the continual crises that the EU engenders and the damaging effects of her policies and domineering ways.

    Anyone who has some knowledge of history and is the least bit rational could predict that a fantasy project that aims to unite a number of sovereign nations into one massive superstate that brings together diverse economies, cultures, legal systems and aspirations is doomed to eventual failure. What cannot be achieved by force and in Europe it has been tried a number of time in recent centuries by Napoleon, the Kaiser, Hitler and Communists will however subtly done will in the long run not be able to achieve it by more peaceful means(in fact it is becoming ever more apparent that Brussels and Germany are having to resort to more and more forceful ways as yet bloodless but not painless to push through their agenda and keep the fantasy project intact).

  19. Bob
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I have noticed that the BBC refrains from reporting anything that could be seen as negative regarding the EU, they portray it to their viewers as perfect and benign.

    With the notable exception of Andrew Neil it looks like the BBC has been hi-jacked by Common Purpose stooges “leading beyond authority”.

  20. Know-Dice
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry but completely off topic 🙁

    No mention at all on National BBC of the death of Trevor Bayliss on the 5th March 🙁

    Surely a quintessential eccentric British inventor…

    • Bob
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink


      “No mention at all on National BBC of the death of Trevor Bayliss”

      He didn’t write any plays, songs or books and he didn’t do sculpture, oil paintings or photography, so why would the BBC be interested?

    • jerry
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      @Kown-dice; “No mention at all on National BBC of the death of Trevor Bayliss on the 5th March”

      Oh for goodness sake… It was breaking news on the BBC News Channel the day his death was announced!

      There is a web-page with the news… There is still an Obituary in the Technology section of their website

  21. kenD
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    A strange topic to be bringing up today since the Italian election was held last Sunday..The Italians have so many political parties in the field that it is no wonder that unusual results are thrown up.

    We have known for a long time now that things are not good in Italy, not with their banking, not with unemployment, especially amongst the young, the employment rate is much to high- so what else is new- well a lot of people are able to retire much too early, school teachers and public servants, you can see them walking about taking the air, holding hands, nice if you can do it at age fifty five in a lot of cases- so yes reform is necessary- but not alone in Italy and my guess is that it will be taken on in a large scale by the EU once they have brexit out of the way. So no need to dwell too much on whats happening in Italy, Germany or anywhere else in the EU..they will sort themselves out, I have no doubt. Instead let’s get on with looking to our own strange circumstances and to our unpredictable future.

    Reply I have set out my view on Brexit at great length and on many occasions. What happens on the continent matters all the time we are negotiating with them.

    • RayK
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply…negotiations..what negotiations?..we voted to leave and that is all that counts..we don’t want any other relations or deals with them..we just voted to leave so let’s get on with it..all of this talk is making me dizzy

      • mancunius
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Another of the remainer typing pool. Does nobody ever think to alter your template? It’s ludicrously transparent.

  22. ChrisS
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The Lega quietly dropped its plan to leave the Euro and the EU, as did Five Star their opposition to the Euro. Both changes in publicly-expressed policies were made to appeal to more mainstream voters. It obviously worked.

    However, can there be any doubt that the leadership and rank and file members of these parties still hold the same views ?

    Returning to the Lega, it is the latest incarnation of the Northern League whose policy was to turn Italy into a series of Federal States in order to separate the successful Northern industrial area from the economically-bankrupt South, thus creating an autonomous region that would be have a successful economy with wealth somewhere between those of Germany and Switzerland.

    One wonders whether that policy will re-emerge if they are ever able to form a government.

    Reply The Lega Manifesto remained with out of the Euro, but they did accept a different common platform for the centre right coalition. In the upcoming negotiations they can of course revisit any of their former positions. A voter would have voted Forza not Lgea if they wanted the softer version of Euroscepticism.

    • forthurst
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      A Di Maio led coalition as opposed to Salvini led would likely be very unstable as 5 Star does not appear to have a stable platform, although neither party appears to be fooled by the replacement of the word ‘traffic’ with the newspeak, ‘rescue’.

  23. stred
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    EUBC/Sky/Guardian journalists are convinced that the populist ‘hard right’ is a force to be defeated and ignoring them as far as possible is their way of helping. There was a good comparison yesterday asking how the British would feel if migrants from over populated continents, who were almost all economic and not refugees, boarded rickety boats run by crooks in Western France and were then picked up 12 miles out by EU navies and lefty NGOs, subsidised by taxpayers, and then ferried 300 miles to Plymouth and freed to travel up the country while mostly unemployed and hanging around town centres. You won’t hear this repeated on the EUBC. Well done the Ities!

  24. MickN
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I see the Chancellor is playing fast and loose with our fishing industry again this morning.
    If Mrs May has any hope of delivering the Brexit that we all voted for then he and the Home Secretary have to go.

    • Bob
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink


      “If Mrs May has any hope of delivering the Brexit that we all voted for then he and the Home Secretary have to go.”

      The Tory Party are run by Remainers which is why Leavers are heavily outnumbered in the Cabinet. Mrs May wouldn’t last long if she tried to redress the balance (not that she would actually want to).

    • forthurst
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately, Philip Hammond knows nothing about the City and how it operates in practice, therefore offering up our fishing grounds to countries like the Netherlands, Spain and Denmark which have massive surpluses of our fish for export in return for the EU allowing access for our financial services when their business mostly takes place in London in any case, purely because he listens for preference to some …. American bankers with a globalist agenda instead of those who can offer him wise council, is the height of folly.

  25. MickN
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    As a slight aside whenever I am told that the margins were tiny in the vote I ask them if they have ever been to a cup final at Wembley. After the puzzled response I let them know that they need to multiply a capacity crowd at Wembley by 15 to see what their “small majority” really looks like. It often ends the exchange.

  26. Adam
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Do EU regulations on Communications extend to spellcheck on this site?

    Brexit is highlighted with a wavy red underline as an error

    • forthurst
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      The language setting for this site is Eng-GB; I suggest you set your browser spellchecker likewise and if that doesn’t work, change your browser to e.g. Firefox.

      • Adam
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        I thank you, forthurst, & Robert Betteridge, for your response. The EU spellcheck note was intended solely in mirth, but my browser was set to UK English.

    • Robert Betteridge
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Have you not noticed it’s an American English spell-check?

  27. James Matthews
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Yes. Pretty quiet about migrant related violence in Germany and (above all) Sweden. No surprise there either.

    • Bob
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      @James Matthews

      The bottom line is that you cannot rely on the BBC to tell the truth.
      They either spin or ignore anything that doesn’t fit the Common Purpose agenda.

      They flout their obligations under the Royal Charter and for that reason they should not be receiving funding from TV Licencing. They should be privatised and funded by voluntary subscription so that viewers can watch Sky, Virgin or any other broadcaster channels without funding the ghastly BBC.

  28. duncan
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    We have a PM who is more concerned with virtue signalling her ‘right on’, liberal sentiments rather than taking back democratic and legal control from the unelected pollies based in Brussels and all the other institutions that have managed to infect with their EU tosh

    We have a quasi-new Labour politician as the leader of the Tory party…

    On IWD’s we need a proper leader, male or female, who isn’t a feminist nor a virtue signaller

  29. am
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    It is no coincidence that this week, after the stunning election in Italy, seven eu nations including the dutch, lambasted macron’s idea of closer eu integration and the German/French power axis within europe.

  30. Lifelogic
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Indeed Mrs Merkel’s did well to get 26% given her history.

    Mrs May did extremely well to get 42% of the vote. Especially as she went into the election with a punishment manifesto and she has no vision, no leadership qualities, robotic delivers, a tax til the pips squeak chancellor and is essentially a dire socialist, interventionist at heart.

    I tend to think the Tories will win the next election comfortably – if only they can get their act together and unite behind a real low tax a heart Conservative who actually believes in a real clean Brexit at some point.

    • Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      It’s worth reflecting that May’s 42% was better than Blair’s share of the vote when he got his 1997 landslide.
      Mr Blair would also do well to remember when wingeing about less than 50% of the electorate voting for Brexit that the 48% was more than his 1997 result if you accept his math to include those who did not vote at all…

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, I watched some of this very poor opposition day debate yesterday:

    which led to this ridiculous motion being passed unopposed:

    “That this House supports the maintenance of European Union citizenship rights for Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish and English citizens, notes that the range of rights and protections afforded to individuals as European Union citizens are integral to a person’s European identity; further notes that many of those rights are closely linked to the UK’s membership of the Single Market; and calls on the UK Government to ensure that the UK’s ​membership of the Single Market and UK citizens’ right to European Union citizenship are retained in the event that the UK leaves the EU.”

    That motion is so wrong on so many levels and I feel sure that it will repeatedly come back to haunt the government over coming months. When asked whether it would become part of the government’s negotiating strategy the minister Robin Walker replied:

    “The hon. Gentleman makes an interesting suggestion. I said that we listened carefully to the debate, and of course we always listen carefully to decisions of this House … ”

    I don’t see it, JR; it doesn’t matter that it was a largely nonsensical debate initiated by Plaid Cymru, at the end that motion was passed nem con and I don’t see how it could possibly be right for the government to now simply ignore that and fail to make every effort to ensure that we remain in the EU Single Market.

    Reply THis government has established a new convention that general opposition motions do not bind the government unless the motion expressly is worded to show it does. If the Opposition chooses this route then of course the government would need to ask us to vote it down.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Just look at this tripe from the Plaid Cymru parliamentary leader:

      “As individuals, we stand to lose our heritage as European citizens—a heritage we might not even have been aware was in our possession, a family treasure forgotten at the back of the display cabinet and about to be discarded in the bitter acrimony of divorce.”

      I wonder how she can say anything like that when EU citizenship is clearly not part of our heritage, rather it was only in 1993 that it was imposed on the citizens of this country, including the Queen, through the Maastricht Treaty on European Union forced through on a confidence vote by a Tory Prime Minister who refused to ask us directly whether we actually wanted it, which most of us did not, and who said at the time that we should not have a referendum on it because that was not part of our heritage, but who now wants us to have a second referendum to overturn the 2016 referendum in which we decided to leave his precious EU.

      • RayK
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Don’t worry Denis.. Tusk has spelt it out..there are enough UK red lines in place now to ensure we depart 29 march next year, in only twelve months time. Probably some time later we will get a kind of a Canada style deal going with them but it will be for selected goods only according to WTO rules I don’t know why JR is still banging on about the Italian elections and other Eu mattets when it is clear to all now that we are cettainly leaving. Surely we have other things to discuss now like our own domestic economic situation here and then of course about our prospects for trade deals with new international partners worldwide ..and so in case anyone who still wishes to remain a EU citizen after March 2019 should be be invited to classes for reeducation or if that fails helped to depart to their EU country of choice..the way I see it

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think of myself as a ‘citizen’ of anywhere. For a start, I don’t live in a city which is what the word originally referred to – if anything I could be classed as a denizen of the EU; but as far as I am concerned I don’t live in a republic and so I am what I have been since she came to the throne in 1952, and that is a loyal subject of Her Majesty.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        “. . . . by a Tory Prime Minister who refused to ask us directly whether we actually wanted it, which most of us did not . . . “

        It was one of the reasons (second only to the ERM fiasco) that made me vote LEAVE !! Even though I knew leaving the EU may impact on me personally. In my own way, it was revenge for all of this and I can see the same across Europe and beyond. People have had enough of faux democracy.

      • rose
        Posted March 9, 2018 at 1:10 am | Permalink

        This associate citizenship was Verhofstadt’s idea, to divide and conquer us all over again.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 11, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, JR, but I hope that new convention is generally accepted.

  32. Robert Betteridge
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    For the moment Germany, France & Brussels are sitting pretty. They have their hand round Italy’s gonads. Italy can only squirm and suffer, just as Greece has/is.

    A lot of this situation is a consequence of our pusillanimous politicians. After Blair got pilloried for taking the moral stand against Saddam gassing his own people (OK, to get the necessary support for his actions he had to take the most ‘favourable’ opinion available and compounded the situation by not being able to get the Americans to support a good ‘end game’) they sat on their hands when Assad started murdering the Syrian population.

    Having decided that Russian Gas was preferable to Nuclear Energy the Germans can’t say ‘Boo’ to Putin who is quite happy to see Europe ’embarrassed’ by the turmoil caused as he plants a foot on the Mediterranean coast. He is going to keep on coming. He can continue to thumb his nose while squirting whomever he likes with Sarin.

    Brexit has blown a hole in the Federalists Dream. 1/5th (€28 Billion) of their annual budget lost – with the only way out to be to change the Euro’s Economic Rules from doing everything they can to stop inflation (whatever the cost in human misery) to start an Economic Relief Fund by borrowing on the World Market (in competition with both USA & China both of whom are running out of sources of finance) to fund a European Army it couldn’t deploy without risking it’s gas supply, and to keep the peripheral Nations inside the tent with the economic ‘treats’ we used to fund.

    Germany would have to swallow being poorer and under threat of inflation – and how likely is that?

    We need our £24 billion a year back from Brussels ‘as soon as’ to start funding Defence, in all it’s forms.

  33. Dee
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    The Italians are like the French, the Greeks, the Spanish and a few others, all hot air and no action. They do not have the bottle to go it alone, they are like frightened little kittens who need their ‘mother’ EU to tell them what to do. Look at 5Star, Beppi Grillo wanted OUT of the EU, wanted to get rid of Italy’s mainstream politicians and politics but since he stepped down they have cast aside their principles and become THE only mainstream party. Salvini makes great play at protecting Brexit from the EU but don’t be fooled, he doesn’t give a damn about the UK, all he is worried about is protecting the export surplus he has with the UK. The wimps deserve everything they are going to get by staying in the EU. As long as we’re out of it I don’t care. Stupid thing is they never learn. Europeans are NOT our friends and never have been and never will be. There is not one of them who would not strip our Country bare given the chance, friends don’t do that.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      We have more in common with Indians than with Italians. Law, cricket, language, history and so on.

  34. Norman
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Interesting times, indeed. I certainly want to see our sovereignty restored. But could it be there’s some kind of ‘frozen mammoth’ in the room (not to say elephant) from the snowy wastes – a ‘Beast from the East’ that’s influencing UK policy towards the EU more than we know. Its icy tentacles may even have reached sleepy Salisbury – or was this a smear of another kind, to distance us from Russia – a nation we could do much useful trade with.
    I worked professionally with a number of East Europeans before I retired. I was also able to see, first hand, what Romania was like under the Communists. The Balkans are still a troubled region, and I’ve been more than a little disturbed to hear it said recently, that ‘things were better under the Communists’. Should this be a major concern to us? Is Europe as a whole failing them? Sadly, it would appear so.
    Is it going to be NATO, or the EU?

    • Rogm
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Norman..what has happened in Salisbury is an attack on British people on UK soil by agents from a foreign power, Russia we think, therefore it is the responsibility of the government to bring it to NATO, for after all if they don’t then you’d have to ask..what is the very point in having NATO. The EU had failed us already, and the UN is a complete waste of time when we see what is still going on in Syria and the Middle East..and now we have NATO which appears to be another talking maybe it’s best to decamp from all of these institutions and put our borders up to keep all and sundry out..we’ve had enough of all of this foreign stuff..too much drama

  35. leavewon
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Just watched JR Speaker’s House speech on YouTube.
    Very good I thought.
    He speaks for the people.

  36. PaulDirac
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    These election results may not matter if the pro-EU Italian president Sergio Mattarella is persuaded to decide that these results (Oh what shame) are not acceptable.
    He may try to foist another “technocrat” government on the Italy

    • rose
      Posted March 9, 2018 at 1:13 am | Permalink

      No doubt Mutti will be on the blower to him and the Bank of Italy and get the PM she wants.

  37. mancunius
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    The winning parties in Italy do not stand a cat in hell’s chance of negotiating any ‘reform’ with the EU. But whatev er happens politically, the process will almost certainly be interrupted by the next Italian banking crisis, which will make a mighty bang in euroland.

  38. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    The EU is set to crumble. The more dogmatic Brussels is , the more dictatorial, the less influence it will eventually have.The Italians certainly do not like to be told what to do and other nations need to be strong enough to say to the EU change or else you will lose all.It is NOT a club as such: it is an amalgamation of separate nations with their own collective opinions designed to end past wars and divisions. Ironically, the way it is handling BREXIT is only serving to demonstrate to the nations the despotic nature of the’ NOT ‘club.

  39. Original Richard
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Not only are the 5 Star and Lega Eurosceptic parties, but they were strongly supported by voters under 30.

    If the EU funded BBC reported on Italy’s very high youth unemployment and upon the influx of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants then support for the EU amongst the UK’s younger voters would decline.

    Even after the referendum the BBC’s biased reporting is leading to EU supporters believing that a majority of the population think it would be a good idea to remain in the EU in order to reform it and are happy to have 27 other countries (soon to be 34) together with unelected bureaucrats (failed politicians in many cases) deciding upon our laws, money, taxation, borders, agriculture, fishing, trade, energy and foreign policies and a German Chancellor unilaterally deciding our immigration policy.

    On the other hand the BBC’s pro EU bias meant that UK’s/EU’s elites believed that support for the EU was higher than it actually was and if it wasn’t for this mistaken belief they would never have allowed a referendum to take place.

  40. Trumpeteer
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    9.40 minutes into the Trump speech meeting with workers states how the UK and others may be able to get a special deal soon on tariffs..steel..

    • rose
      Posted March 9, 2018 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      And the EU is already trying to stop him exempting us. Not content with telling us what to do they tell the USA as well.

  41. rose
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    “The centre left governing party was left holding on to Tuscany, whilst losing in most of the country. It slumped to just 18.9% of the vote”

    I wonder how much of this slump was due to Renzi’s saying after the horrifying outrage perpetrated on the 18 year old Italian girl in Macerata that it could just as easily have beeen done by Italians? This is the sort of thing politicians and clergy say, but in the middle of a campaign it exceeded even Mrs Clinton in electoral stupidity.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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