Parliament turns to other matters

It was a welcome development this week that Parliament avoided more Groundhog day debates on Brexit. We all know each other’s positions and have heard the arguments regurgitated all too often. Instead we talked of social care and schools, amongst other matters.
There was considerable agreement from all parties in the Commons that social care and schools need more generous financial settlements. The topic of school funding was introduced by a Conservative MP and drew warm support from the Labour front bench as you might expect. The Labour debate on social care also saw Conservative MPs accepting the need for better settlements.
The odd thing about this Parliament is it does not marry its wish to spend more on certain public services with its approach to Brexit. A large majority of MPs on both sides accept the idea that the UK should pay at least £39bn to the EU. Indeed many seem to welcome this, with large payments over the next two years. It is as if the referendum had never happened. I seem to remember day after day debates in that campaign about just how much money we might save, with everyone agreeing there would be large savings but disagreeing over whether to use the gross or net amounts. The public certainly got the idea and by a majority voted to spend the money at home, whether it was £10bn a year, £12 bn a year or more. Why is that so many MPs in this Parliament are so casual with money for Brussels, when they agree we need it for something else?
There is no legal clause in the Treaty requiring us to pay after we have left. The large sum in the Withdrawal Agreement is not nailed down in numbers and would doubtless be bigger than the Treasury £39bn estimate. The Treasury seems to want to pay the money and says we would need to anyway. It is particularly difficult to know why we would have to pay for the next two year’s membership if we just left, when that was a big element in the £39bn!
Labour came up with a bank tax to pay more to our schools. The Chancellor has collected more tax than he expected, so he could just provide a bit more cash for schools out of that. It would be far better to have a Brexit budget, boosting the Uk economy with better funded public services and tax cuts, all paid for from saving all that money to the EU. The Schools Minister was left explaining he and his colleagues were going to put in a good bid for the Autumn Spending Review. By implication he too thinks there is a good case for bit more cash.

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191 Comments

  1. Ian wragg
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    The highest taxes in history and you have the cheek to call yourselves Tories.
    Tax, spend,waste and per it up the wall.
    Where is the £70 billion plus going to come from which May and Hammond want to give Brussels.
    Why no detailed costing of the WA.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Apart from their economic policies their social ones are enough to alienate their core vote too. The Gender Identification Act and the upcoming Relationships and Sex Education law, vote Conservative? You have got to be kidding!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Plus law and order (with violent crime figures increasing considerably over May’s long period at the Home Office and as PM). With most crimes the police do absolutely nothing but give you a crime number and a victim of crime letter. Often they do nothing – this even when the culprit is know or could easily be identified. They have give up on shoplifting to augment the problem one assumes. Do nothing whenever possible and deter as many crime reports as you can seems to be the plan.

        Often by making it very clear that reporting it will do nothing and they will do nothing about it even if you do. Or saying it is a mental health issue (not our department try social services) or if fraud it is a bank/credit card issue etc.

        • Hope
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          I suppose corrupt parliament would turn to other matters because of local elections next week! So deviously transparent because all polls shows Tory party in for a good kicking.

          Let them have the kicking they deserve. Do not vote Tory whatever the other choices are. Betrayal of the public will should never be rewarded.

          Labour are in opposition, Brexit is a Tory issue that they have betrayed the nation on. Last Wednesday its elite ruling body, 1922 committee, decided May should remain as PM against All polls, against Tory national voluntary motion and 65 associations voting no confidence! Tory party out of touch with reality, public, party volunteers and associations.

          All associations need to withdraw support immediately you are being used, no voice or veto.

      • Richard Hake
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Whichever way you vote in the UK you get cultural Marxism.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      It is not really the Tory Party’s fault for high taxes. You can’t suddenly wean a country of high taxes after used to them for years.

      I support lower taxes. But I think the only way the Tory Party can really do that is by investing, wisely / carefully and creatively, in the high tech / digital sector. Investing in the sense of sewing the seeds of fertile ground for private enterprise to flourish. Sewing seeds that private enterprise won’t / can’t do itself (developing infrastructure on Oxford to Cambridge Corridor, creating hedge funds for tech entrepreneurs like Israeli Gov. did helping to turn Tel Aviv into major high tech world hub, fund for more coding for the young like the Irish gov have done to a degree and now have two billionaire high tech entrepreneurs still in their 20’s only, and much more – we should be coming up with our own ideas as well).

      The high tech / digital sector creates high exports, high skilled jobs, highly-paid jobs, high productive jobs, great brands that people can rally around and get excited about. This would be huge in building up our economy (and sense of patriotism). And without our economy not so dependent on The City (important as that is) and the boom / bust cycle of The City. (Plus a stronger economy makes Brexit much easier, smoother).

      But government can only do so much. Ultimately, it’s down to the individuals of this country to bring down taxation by more: 1. Work Ethic 2. Public Sense of Duty 3. Patriotism. And these things can only be increased more by other groups playing an important role: The Church, Education Sector, The Media, The Arts Sector, and so on – changing cultural norms, and how we work and treat each other and view our country.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        More High Tech / Digital, and far more Work Ethic, Public Duty and Patriotism is needed. But the beauty of Notre Dame (its buildings involving a lot of Work Ethic, Public Duty and Patriotism – as well as high technical skills for the day) reminds us that a nation can’t survive on bread alone – we also need the arts, culture, beauty – and above all, The Divine.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          ‘and above all, The Divine’

          – And behind all the good stuff.

          Apologies for sort of proselytising but I am getting fed up of where our great country is going. Recently, experienced knife attack in respectable part of London (and I was inches away from being stabbed – God forbid). And I can’t even wander, care-free and in high spirits, at night, through a smart area like Sloane Square, or near it, without being approached by some druggy who could have a knife on him.

          Our country could be AMAZING – in every sense – we shouldn’t have to settle for acid attacks in our capital city, knife attacks, and the rest of it (dysfunctionality on quite a scale – exact same for other countries like us in the Western World).

          • Tad Davison
            Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

            I take it you’re disappointed with all the gutless chinless wonders then who seem to ignore Conservative party traditions and values, and do their very best to ape neo-liberal Blairites. Join the club. I have utter contempt for them. Just don’t expect these ponces to solve these problems of their own making any time soon.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

            @Tad,

            ‘who seem to ignore Conservative party traditions and values, and do their very best to ape neo-liberal Blairites’

            – I want our party to return to: political philosophy of Edmund Burke, to be truly Royalist, support High Tech / Digital industry, support the traditional family, and return to traditional Christian values and vision (Catholic / Protestant).

            God bless the Queen – God bless England.

          • rose
            Posted April 27, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

            I am very sorry you have had these horrid experiences, Ed. It is a tragedy for our once safe and civilized country. Civilization takes centuries to build but can be destroyed quite quickly – like democracy.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

            @rose

            ‘I am very sorry you have had these horrid experiences, Ed. It is a tragedy for our once safe and civilized country. Civilization takes centuries to build but can be destroyed quite quickly – like democracy’

            – I agree, thanks.

            ‘Civilisation’ is key (we can’t compartmentalise human endeavour – it all impacts on each other – we have to look at all together: business, economy, the arts, nature, the family, and so on). It’s ambitious talking like this, but why not be ambitious like this. Its either this or mediocrity – or worse.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        “It is not really the Tory Party’s fault for high taxes. You can’t suddenly wean a country of high taxes after used to them for years.”

        Rubbish what really matter is how much they waste they have to stop wasting money and halve the size of the state sector. Start with HS2 and all the greencrap subsidies, the payment to augment the feckless, restrict immigration to people who will be a positive tax and other contribution earning over about £40K minimum.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          We have the highest (and most complex) taxes for 70 years, endless red tape, daft employment laws, expensive by design energy and yet Hammond is still increasing the debt further. Meanwhile we have dire and declining public services (particularly the NHS, long term care, law and order and the education system. Tax at this absurd level (of itself) makes an economy very inefficient, makes people leave and deters people from working. It destroys jobs and make businesses unable to compete. Yet Hammond bemoans the lack of productivity! Yet his tax to death lunacy and the rest of the above (plus low paid net loss immigration is the main cause) of this problem.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            @Lifelogic,

            But essentially all you’re doing is wrist-slapping. You have to offer a positive vision for this country which people can join you in and get excited about. And it can’t be just about a narrow focus on taxes and money (important as these are). It has to be more comprehensive than that. Traditional Conservatism certainly is more than just that (for cultural values / education / the arts / patriotism etc .. all impact on the well-being of this country in general including, indirectly and directly, on our economy and taxes ..).

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          @Lifelogic,

          ‘Rubbish’

          – You offer policy (important as that is in the short-term and CAN although not necessarily lead to unintended consequences). But you offer no political philosophy which is paramount for proper, stable, long-term reduction in taxes (which is what I want). Policy has to be grounded in political philosophy – and for me that it is the political philosophy of Edmund Burke, essentially (he’s not perfect but can’t think anyone who encapsulates better Conservative political philosophy).

          Lastly, in the good old days of Edmund Burke, you would never dismiss someone’s argument with ‘rubbish’ even if their argument was ..)

    • APL
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg: “The highest taxes in history and you have the cheek to call yourselves Tories.”

      Console yourself Ian, with Theresa May in charge, at least they are not the ‘nasty party’.

      MPs of course don’t pay any tax. Their ‘tax’ is nothing but an administrative book keeping entry. Yet from this privileged position, they still graft and thieve their way through any borderline perk here, a company directorship there.

      Who else could walk in off the streets with no experience, no qualifications and no ability and be paid £74,000 per annum, for talking all day?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Talking nonsense in the main too or pushing identity politics or the evil politics or envy. Or promising things they know full well they will never ever even try to deliver.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          @Lifelogic

          ‘pushing identity politics or the evil politics or envy’

          – I agree.

          BUT there is also the economy of greed (and people who have come to money too easily and who then look down on others) over Work Ethic. The Quakers created great companies for this country – from Work Ethic – that helped to create a stable and strong economy. And also they treated their workers well who responded with higher productivity. And were modest and gracious in their success.

          But Boris Johnson proclaimed ‘Greed good’ at Tory Conference few years back. We all know greed is wrong in our heart of hearts (it’s the philosophy of Scrooge which turns people into rapacious, cold-hearted, covetous humbugs – and secretly no-one likes people like this even if they pretend to for some reason of self-interest.
          And economically greed always leads to boom and bust and corruption.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            From a relatively small group of Quakers, the Quakers, through their WORK ETHIC gave us:

            Barclays, Lloyds, Cadbury, Clarks, Fry, Rowntree, and loads more. They were great employers. And modest and generous in their success.

            (And in Japan, the Quakers established Sony).

    • James1
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Why is the £39 billion not “nailed down”? Astonishing that there has been such relatively little comment in the main stream media as to the validity or otherwise of the sums involved.

      • PeteS
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        The AG at the dispatch box, in a verbal reply to Peter Bone said, there is NO EU law that compels us to pay anything once we leave. It is Danegeld; they originally demanded £100B, making out they are being reasonable at £39B. If we ‘no deal’ they have demanded £39B before they will start talks. This is the kind of organisation we are dealing with.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      An organisation called Natural England seem to have power to ban things without any debate in Parliament.

      Democracy is dead.

      • MickN
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        and unfortunately we have Mr Gove where Owen Patterson should be.
        Packham of course does not work for the BBC so he doesn’t have to be impartial. They are just a platform for him animal rights agenda.

  2. Pominoz
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    What a great shame that more MPs do not have your financial and business background. Maggie Thatcher’s ‘corner shop’ view of money was an important factor in her thinking and played a great part in her success.

    £39 billion is a lot of money by anyone’s standards, so why give it away unnecessarily. No real problem if you only see it is a rightful contribution by those ‘morons’ who made the wrong decision in the referendum. In fact, surely even more should be given to the EU so that the idiots really get what they deserve!

    And now the travesty is set to continue with Sir Graham Brady deciding that May really shouldn’t be unseated at this time. Might create a problem during the local and European elections.

    One of these days, sanity must prevail somewhere. Please, someone, put an end to it all and get us out.

    • Rabah
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Plus the annual foreign aid budget. Borrowing billions to give away whilst public services fall apart in the UK.

  3. Ron Soames
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Every single reputable economic forecast makes clear our economy will take a huge hit from Brexit, especially if there is no deal. There are ZERO savings from Brexit. There is only loss, huge loss. You are fooling no one with wild posts like this one, Mr Redwood.

    Reply A big lie. Most of the Remain style forecasts I see now show a short term slowdown in growth followed by a rebound. My forecast is for an improvement in growth based on a Brexit bonus budget.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      By reputable you mean produced by economists or institutions rooting for remain. That’s not the same thing. Many of the best economists – those who have been proven right over the years on everything from Thatcher’s supply side reforms through the ERM, the euro and the financial crisis – like Roger Bootle and Patrick Minford and others – see substantial potential gains from brexit. And significant risks from remain as the EU harmonises and integrates further under the single currency.

      • margaret
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

        yes ..whose view is wild?

    • J Bush
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      So what have been and will be the benefits of staying in the EU?

      At a macro level please explain the benefits of the loss of sovereignty and the ability to make our own laws and to have full democratic accountability?

      At a micro level please explain the benefits of the decimation of our manufacturing base and fishing grounds? The sugar and butter mountains of the 70’s? The concreting over of our green belts and agricultural land to house the millions of migrants, the rising crime and the huge cost of social welfare needed for said escalation of the population? The gallop of control over the populace, for example the directive the size of War & Peace to define what a cabbage should be like, what type of light bulbs you can use, what the power of a vacuum cleaner should be etc?

      Remainers when asked never say what the benefits of staying in the EU are. Are you going to be the exception and list all these ‘benefits

      • Fred H
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        J Bush… but the benefits of the EU are….being able to travel throughout the other 27 !! Funny that, I remember very clearly travelling to many of them and former Iron curtain places by use of a passport before 1973. Also I knew people who got jobs ‘over there’, if the skills are wanted no problem. As for trade advantages certain countries like Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands do very well from us…while we don’t. Looking forward, the latest free trade deal EU with Japan prompted immediate withdrawal of entry points of items like cars ( built in UK) since Japan can build at home now!! A lot of good that did us.

      • DaveM
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        I’ve discovered the “benefits” vary greatly depending on who you ask, because I’ve not heard a pro-EU voice cite any benefits for the country as a whole, only those that affect them personally. It really sums up the selfish attitude of the “metro” class who are scared their Costas are going to go up in price a bit.

        Of course, they talk about very vague abstract things like “job losses” and….erm, that’s about it. But they talk about biased forecasts and neglect to mention empirical evidence if it contradicts their rhetoric.

        • margaret howard
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          DaveM

          ” a pro-EU voice cite any benefits for the country as a whole,”

          You obviously weren’t there to know what this country was like before we begged to be allowed to join the EU and were eventually admitted, with German help, despite de Gaulle’s repeated ‘NONs’:

          We were known as the ‘Sick man of Europe’ and on the verge of collapse before. Industry was collapsing, interest rates were spiralling and inflation was rampant. We had food, fuel and power shortages and a steadily growing balance of payments deficit.

          The common market had to pump in 25% of its regional development funds to stabilise the nation, the highest ever figure.

          We were also known as the ‘dirty man’ of Europe and accused of being responsible for causing acid rain that was killing off forests in Northern Europe. Many of our beaches were filthy with raw sewage pumped directly into sea. In 1987 with the “European Year of the Environment” scheme Blue Flags were awarded to countries who cleaned up their environment, years before any other organisation entered the field.
          Instead of listing the myriad of improvements life as a EU member have given us I would advise you to read about everyday living conditions in Britain in the 1950’s/60s’ and why in the 1975 referendum 17,378,581 of us (over 67%) voted YES against 8.453,073 (32%) who voted No.

          These figures will tell you all you need to know.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            Cut and pasted yet again.
            Demolished every time you post this propaganda.
            Take your 25% regional development fund nonsense.
            The UK has paid in considerably more than it has ever taken out in every year bar one in the 43 years of membership.
            I’m amazed you have the nerve to keep repeating this ridiculous stuff.

      • Barbara Bebbington
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        “No answer came the stern reply”.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Ron, I sincerely look forward to hearing your reply to the questions others have posed above.

      Failing that, please just explain one simple thing to me, as I have yet to hear a single Remoaner make a good argument on this. Why is it that you want Britain to remain shackled to the EU and continue paying for their failures? There have been a total of twelve bailouts since 2008, to the tune of over half a trillion euros in total — 544 billion to be precise. With both France and Germany now teetering on the brink of recession, where will much of the money have to come from for the next bailout?

      For all its lofty aims and noble ideals, when will you people grasp the simple fact that the EU just doesn’t work? It has always been an economic failure, stumbling from one crisis to the next, with the lowest overall economic growth anywhere in the world, and in the not-too-distant future it will also be a political failure of potentially catastrophic proportions akin to the collapse of the Soviet Union, or worse.

      • Pominoz
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        Agree entirely.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      More chance of losing your job after it is ‘exported’ to Eastern Europe if we remain in the eu. Just ask those who used to work for Cadbury’s in Somerdale and LG in Hartlepool. Freedom of movement of capital and labour is a wonderful thing.

    • Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Mr Soames – obviously a remainer. Never make a comment if you can include an insult.

      It seems you are reading different ”economic forecasts” than the rest of us. Perhaps you should tell us where these pearls of wisdom are to be found – in order to educate us deluded souls, of course.
      But also tell us about the great and glorious future that could be ours if only your EU masters would allow us to remain in the EUtopia – all the benefits, economic and social, the wealth, cultural enhancements, and the extra security provided by the EU army (which may include your own children, of course).

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      What “huge loss” ?

      Such as losing our ability to control immigration and through not knowing how many people will be living in the country lose the ability to be able to plan properly for housing, schooling, health and social care, welfare, police, courts, prisons and infrastructure ?

      Such as losing our inability to tackle our £100bn/year trading deficit with the EU and our fishing grounds ?

      Such as losing our sovereignty and hence our ability to remain a democracy where we can influence our laws, taxes and policies (foreign, environmental, energy etc) by retaining the right to be able to elect and remove those who govern us ?

    • graham1946
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      The one certain economic forecast that anyone can make is that if we stay in it will cost us hundreds of billions, just as it has since we joined.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Rubbish. Why would a vassal state under the EU yoke paying huge fees and accepting endless red tape and daft employment laws be in a better place economically than a free democratic country? Singapore is twice as rich and has fewer natural advantages. All the economy needs is sensible government, lower taxes, a bonfire of red tape, cheaper non greencrap energy and smaller government.

      You seem to think like your namesake Sir Nicholas Soames who seems very keen to betray the Brexit result despite standing on a manifesto that promised the reverse.

      • MickN
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Sir Nick’s grandfather would be spinning in his grave as would Tony Benn

    • BillMayes
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Why would it? The UK runs a £98 Billions Good’s Trade deficit with the EU. It means our dumping the EU without a zero tariff deal that the EU will be giving us around £7 Billion more in fees than our exporters hand to them. More than enough to compensate OUR exporter for the tariffs levied upon them.
      Our exports to the EU represent under 13% of our GDP those to the Rest of the world are 17% of GDP and they have mandatory EU tariff schedules tagged o n them. Ditto imports from the RotW. With our own deals with the RotW we can buy everything we want at cheaper prices than from the EU Members at present. You do the maths and don’t you wonder how the RotW manages to get their exports into the EU without paying the EU anything to do so?
      In any case, trade is insignificant compared to the aim of OUR voting to Leave the EU. We elected to take back our National Sovereignty and join the RotW in being an Independent Nation able to run our own affairs in our own way.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Why sign yourself ‘Ron’? Aren’t you really ‘Nicholas’? You sure do sound like him!

  4. Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    The profligate spending of other peoples money is a natural function for MPs and a civil service with left leanings. This amounts to 5/6 ths of MPs and virtually all of the civil service.

    There needs to be a radical re-assessment of how much government we need in our lives, and how much has a negative effect on the success of GB Ltd. The civil service needs to be put back in it’s box labelled servants and assessed according to performance with reward and penalty as in the commercial world.

    It should be obvious to all by now that the PM is invested with too much power especially when surrounded by a weak set of ministers. She has not been accountable to Parliament, witness the first hint of duplicity over Brexit came at Chequers after two years of EU negotiations. In fact her career at the HO and as PM has been one of continuous failure.

    All the above cannot be left to this rabble of a Parliament to rectify. The chance to talk of other matters is only a smoke screen for it’s weakness as a democratic institution. The ultimate solution is a GE clear out of 5/6ths of them and their replacement by real democrats. Bring it on.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Totally agree agricola. If the shenanigans over Brexit have proved anything, it is that our parliament is full of incompetent lightweight career politicians who couldn’t run a whelk stall let alone a country.

      • James1
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 12:05 am | Permalink

        The majority of Conservative Party supporters are reported to want to be rid of Mrs May. No wonder. They must realise that the Party is virtually finished due to the duplicity and Brexit betrayal by so many of the Parliamentary Party. The one thing that might save or at least mitigate the situation is a very rapid exit on WTO terms. Highly unlikely, which means they could be out of power for many years if not permanently.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    I have commented before that the current parliament is unfit for purpose. Until it has implemented Brexit, other preoccupations appear to me as little more than displacement activity.

  6. GilesB
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    One component of the £39bn was paying regular contributions up to December 2020. That is to the end of the EUs current five year financial framework, even though we were expected to have left by March 29th 2019.

    If we were to leave on October 31st, that component should of course reduce from twenty- one months to fourteen months.

    Far better to leave sooner. And not make any payment!

    But at least the £1billion a month that we pay between April and October this year should come off the £39 billion.

    Or have I missed something?

    • graham1946
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      I think honour binds us to pay until 2020 as we agreed to do in 2014. You can’t really just dump a great big unplanned hole in the budget because we decided to leave.
      Our credibility would be shot. However, it is nothing like 39 billion, more like half of that and of course no mention has been made of our investments which should be returned, so probably zero payment will be roughly all square. I’d settle for that.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Giles B

      Spot on, Mrs May and her delay is costing £1 Billion a month because we are now paying twice for the same period.

      £39 Billion should be reduced by £1 billion for each month past 29th March we remain members >

      The clown in Westminster have yet to realise this.

      So in effect Mp’s holidays (when Brexit will not even be discussed) will cost us £billions over the next few months.

      How can anyone justify this.

  7. Adam
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    One welcome 2nd Referendum would be that which asked voters if they want to pay the £39bn to the EU or not.

    To ensure fairness, only those voting Yes would pay, & share the cost equally between them.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Adam, that is one of the best ideas on this subject. If only it were possible.

    • J Bush
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      I agree the ones that want to pay, should pay and we should start with all the MP’s in Parliament.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Just do not pay it. Anyone wanting to give to the EU can do so with a voluntary donation if they are daft enough to want to.

      To me almost anything would be a better cause than the EU or a better way to spend it.

  8. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    The simple argument John is that it is not Mp’s money that is being spent, it ours.

    For most people it is always easier to spend someone else’s money than your own.

    It is always easier to give out good news (more spending for all) than it is bad (more taxation for all)

    Then there is the voter base.
    If I tax and spend more, will I get more of fewer votes from my supporters than the other Party.

    Living within ones means, sensible taxation and spending rates do not even appear in most Mp’s thoughts, when it comes to decision making it’s all about votes especially towards the end of a Government term or near to election time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      ‘For most people it is always easier to spend someone else’s money than your own.’ and far, far less efficient than spending your own on what you know you want or need.

      As Milton Friedman sensibly put it on his four ways of spending money.

      ‘I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what value I get.’ This essentially is Government.

      Also “Education spending will be most effective if it relies on parental choice & private initiative — the building blocks of success throughout our society.”

      If you let people spend their own money you cut out the middleman of government with all the huge inefficiency and costs.

    • Andy
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Actually for many people on this blog it is not your money being spent. Most of you are pensioners and you are a massive drain on the state – taking far more out than you have ever paid in.

      It is good that the House of Lords has seen this and has demanded old age perks be scrapped.

      So it is my tax money. And more than half of my tax money goes on old people who, frankly, should have saved properly for their old age in the first place,

      Scrap state pensions, make old people pay for their own social care, get rid of bus passes, winter fuel payments and TV licences and you could slash tax by well over a third and still have loads left to improve services.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Tax is paid by individuals on pension income.
        State pensions are paid for by many years of employee national insurance payments.
        I’m surprised you dont understand this being a business owner Andy.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        If that were true Andy your comment may have some merit, but I still pay taxes not only on income, but on my expenditure.

        Wonder what your parents and grandparents, if alive, think of your views ?

        Guess on principle you will not refuse the inheritance they may leave you eh !.

      • John C.
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        This must be your silliest effort yet. You have become a caricature of yourself, and I can only assume you are not blocked in order to provide some light entertainment.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      ” Living within ones means, ” – plenty of people coming here to live within OUR means.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        bigneil

        Good point.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Much discussion on about putting VAT on private school fees or even abolition of the right of people to go to private schools. In the mad, socialist Michael Gove & Labour mode. Another dire take it is leave it mate state monopoly mode.

    The best way to go is to make nearly all schools private and make them actually compete for students. This by giving students education vouchers that they can top up and use as they wish for education. Freedom and choice and a far better system would result. Schools would have to preform and innovate to attract students some might be more practial or more specialised. This rather than students being forced to go in a take it or leave it state monopoly.

    I see that the BBC is keeping up the ‘one Brexit person to every four or five remainers’ on their discussion or political programmes. This despite the majoriy of pro Brexit supporters (and licience free payers) in the country. I suppose they think they know best and have a higher cause they are wrong. I suppose they think the same on Climate Alarmism and their endless lefty, big government, identity politics of envy and PC propaganda too.

    • Newmania
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      The best way to go is to make nearly all schools private and make them actually compete for students

      Quite so and when the private sector decides money is best off out of inner-city schools use the bestial Untermensch cohort to donate organs to rich people
      Win win!
      Education is not optional for a developed economy like the UK , we sell services , not Steel. I see that there is strong Libertarian argument for paying to privilege your children but it is not the only argument.
      Social mobility is declining inequality growing, and our futures depend on competing with the world`s best . We are failing
      A monopoly of opportunity for a few does a lot of harm , that it should be tax free seems an odd situation even if you do see both sides

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:10 am | Permalink

        Inequality is not growing.

    • Andy
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      VAT should be charged on school fees. And there should be much stricter requirements on private schools to make them help state schools. For example by opening facilities – sports halls, pools etc – to nearby state schools for after school clubs and the like.

      The Eton boys would hugely benefit from more interaction with the kids at nearby Slough comprehensives.

      And this is not hypocritical. My children go to private school.

      Reply the well endowed public schools do share facilitues, offer lectures and other support to state schools

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        All of them or just a few?

        Today’s Metro newspaper headline:

        Eton College gets 80% tax break while state schools are ‘at breaking point’

        • Edward2
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          When some fee paying schools close as a result of these attacks the state sector will be even more at a breaking point trying to cope with tens of thousands of extra pupils.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          I wonder if all private schools closed tomorrow how much extra it would cost the taxpayer (education Department) to educate their students.
          Do remember that private school parents get no tax relief on paying fees and still fund state schools, so they in effect pay twice, once for a school they do not use, and the second time for one they do.

          No I did not go to private school and neither did my children.

        • rose
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

          Eton is no more a profit making business than any other school. Education is recognized as a charitable activity. Why destroy what is good and doing well? Why not encourage excellence? Pull the Council schools up by driving up standards. If the Grammar schools had not been destroyed through left wing envy and spite, people might not be sending their children to independent schools.

      • Steve
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Should this, should that.

        I’ve an Idea, Andy; why don’t YOU do something for your country.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Agree Steve. It never fails to amaze me how much Margaret and Andy seem to hate their own country. What is wrong with them and why are they still living here when the EU is so much better in their eyes? I am sure they would make great collaborators.

      • Richard Hake
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        You’re still not sharing.

        I want YOUR kids to share CLASSES with comprehensive school kids.

        And then I want YOUR kids discriminated against in university and jobs because they had a ‘privileged’ education.

        I didn’t want any of this before you started showing your true colours about my class. Corbyn is coming. Prepare for it.

      • APL
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        JR: “the well endowed public schools do share facilitues, offer lectures and other support to state schools”

        The Socialist in Tory clothing, conceding that private property is a communal good.

        No wonder the Tory party is and has been a disaster, they never stand up to the Socialists, and never oppose them.

        Utterly useless, the lot of ’em.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Rather than private schools, might I suggest the grammar/secondary modern plan? As someone with no children, it is quite right that I should contribute via my taxes to the education of the young, so they can benefit in the way I did.
      One modification to the traditional grammar school plan would be to have a mechanism for promotion after a couple of years, so it isn’t quite sheep and goats.
      It’s in the interest of the country that those with ability should be provided with the training for them to be successful, even if their parents can’t afford to pay for it.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      The further the Tories go to the left the more room Farage will have. Sounds good to me.

      • John C.
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Yes, the greatest worry that Nigel Farage must have is that the Tories will somehow behave like Conservatives, and not a confused left wing party.
        Actually, on second thoughts, he has very little to worry him.

  10. Fed up with the bull
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Who knows what your government is thinking John. Hammond must be the worst chancellor in living memory. Gove was only saying the other day about taxing companies that don’t use recyclable materials in their packaging. What he really means is that we, the public, will be taxed because the companies won’t be paying this tax. It will get passed down to the consumer. Why on earth are we wasting so much money paying the EU when there is so much that needs doing back here in the UK? The government has truly lost the plot but then much of this is down to brainwashing in universities and schools now. Common sense does not get taught any more. Anyone notice the lack of air time being given to Farage?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      I tend to agree but rather stiff competition Dennis Healey with his 98% income tax rates and cap in hand to the IMF, Major with his moronic and predictable ERM fiaco, Osborne with his IHT ratting and tax to death approach, continued by Hammond, Brown with his endless wasteful expenditure and no return to Boom and Bust drivel, Darling with his EU bailouts and the dire UEphile lefties Ken Clark and Woy Jenkins.

      What next John Mc Donnall guided by the SNP ? Let us hope not.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Fed up with the bull
      Me tooo! Ooooooooh the plastic bag stuff really annoys me.
      Whoever asked for plastic?
      Whoever asked for supermarkets?
      I was very happy with the high street shops and minimal paper packaging.

      • Richard Hake
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Ditto

        They keep changing things that seemed to be working perfectly well before.

        • Richard Hake
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          Yes. I notice the lack of air time given to Farage and the Brexit Party.

          Plenty about the LibDems’ second referendum. Plenty about all the others.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Labour said this. Conservative said that. Labour. Conservative … Labour… Conservative

      Aren’t you sick of those two words and of everything in our political system revolving around them!

    • Dan Rushworth
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right, edu institutions are very much brainwashing. By their very desire to run a safe career course, entitled pension at the end; all very risk averse. My 15 year old daughter had a full form lesson on why it is soooo bad to leave the EU. My daughter asked her teacher what the positives were of leaving and the reply was “no, there isn’t any”. They then went on to have a mini referendum, leave or remain. This was only a month ago.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        Let’s write an open letter of complaint to the Education Secretary!

        This is how the remainers work, they load the dice then wonder why there is so much bitterness and resentment towards them. Personally, I would have been knocking on the headmaster’s door and insisting the teacher in question was disciplined if not sacked!

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Hammond(Hu-he to the Chinese!) is in China for the Second Belt & Road conference-at least we are represented this time if only on the sidelines.

      Although not signing the B&R Memorandum,he’s touting for business for the City and it’s legal services.He’s also-controversially perhaps- said that the UK has “no position” on the South China Seas.Combined with the Huawei decision,has the government finally accepted that Eurasia is moving West and needs to get on board,regardless of what “our allies” think?

      On a related issue I was reading an interesting article yesterday on the BNE (Business New Europe) website about demographics-how the currently sparsely spread population of central asia is surging whilst the population of East-Central Europe is collapsing.Could the next wave of Huns/Magyars/Mongols be on the horizon?!

  11. Kevin
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    “The odd thing about this Parliament is it does not marry its wish to spend more on certain public services with its approach to Brexit”

    Another odd thing is that some MPs continue to work in a parliament that has “declared (verbal) war on the people”. I do not know what the alternative is, but it does create the appearance that, for Parliament as a whole, stopping Brexit is just another day at the office.

  12. Steve
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    This looks like –

    ‘ Oh we don’t want to talk about that, and it was so long ago everyone’s forgotten about it ‘

    Which is exactly what we said their eventual tactic would be.

    So, to every MP and minister who advocates remain – bask in your own smug arrogance for now………BUT WE’ WILL BE ‘AVIN YOU !

  13. Everhopeful
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Government departments either collect taxes or spend them!
    Redistribution between those who have sufficient money and those who are deemed not to.
    Does this really wash any more when we are no longer a democracy?
    Why should I pay so long and generously for a stranger’s lifestyle choice,
    in accordance with the whims of an undemocratic Parliament?
    Remove all rose tinted remnants. This country has been reduced to rack and ruin.
    Asset stripping underway in prep for the great vassalage.

  14. Ian wilson
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    How about repealing the Climate Change Act which is costing us billions and will not change temperatures by one hundredth of a degree? That money could be put to better use.
    It was probably the most foolish and expensive legislation ever passed, all to tackle ineffectively a non-problem.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and all but a handful of totally idiotic or deluded MPs voted for it. No sensible honest engineer would have.

  15. Annette
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Always a feel-good factor spending other people’s money. The answer will always be ‘tax more’.
    The modern ‘professional’ MP, has no understanding of the ‘real’ world as they’ve never had a proper job, with a ‘career’ route mapped out to the trough of riches. The majority, who have followed this route, are non-taxpayers maximising their wealth at the trough of the plebs, the taxpayers.
    If it’s their only job, their salaries & expenses are all funded by the real taxpayer, just like anyone else working in the public sector. The only ‘real’ tax that’s paid is by those working in the private sector. The ‘tax’ that they ‘pay’ is just an accounting entry reallocating the real tax money elsewhere as the gross originated from the taxpayer.
    Whilst I don’t begrudge the vast majority of faux taxpayers providing a public service, the EU Parish Council of the UK region, which still calls itself a ‘Parliament’, is now stuffed full of parasitic bureaucrats who barely look up from the trough to acknowledge those that they hold in contempt, the people. Many don’t seem to have a clue about the EUtopia that they think it is. Many of those working in the Palace are afraid to speak freely, or be seen supporting leaving the EU as their ‘lives & careers will be ruined’. What a terrible anti-democratic place it has become.

    • Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Well said. You have summed them up precisely.

  16. Newmania
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    By the way I must say that disseminating this sort of “Material” on line is a new low .We seem to be going to way of the US, employing competing “narratives” without any intervening mechanism ascribing authority. I have no doubt there are many people who will be swayed , 90% of Brexit voters , after all , believed they would be better off.
    We used to have debate , now we get propaganda

    • Richard Hake
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Phew !

      I thought it was just me living in this continuum.

      “Propaganda” YES. Pro Remain shit everywhere I look.

  17. Everhopeful
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    AND
    Surely taxpayers should be accorded some respect ( which we are not)?
    We have recently discovered that we have no voice.
    Why are we still paying tax when law and order has virtually been abandoned ( except for misspeak)?
    We are no longer kept happy and safe..not a great incentive for contribution really.

  18. margaret
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Vince Cable sees the amount of 39 billion a drop in the ocean. I see it as a penalty by obstinate power seekers.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Cable sees it as a “drop in the ocean”? – he should pay it all then. Another one not in touch with the reality of what they are doing to the people of this country.

  19. Stred
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Same old story. My friend is having to write to s committee of NHS managers to beg for the only cancer drug that will save him because he doesn’t have enough qualis for his consultant to prescribe it. While our MPs, some of whom look and sound like a remedial class in a sink comp, can’t wait to send his taxes to help (the Commission ed) expand his empire, to the tune of £39,000,000,000 for starters.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      ‘some of whom look and sound like a remedial class in a sink comp‘

      I listened to the questioning of Claire Perry by some parliamentary committee the other day on energy etc, a subject I know something about. The above was exactly my impression of that. Why would one put a geography graduate with virtually no understanding of the subject, physics or energy engineering in charge of energy? Still less have an even dafter and more dishonest one as PM.

  20. Stred
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Same old story. My friend is having to write to a committee of NHS managers to beg for the only cancer drug that will save him because he doesn’t have enough qualis for his consultant to prescribe it. While our MPs, some of whom look and sound like a remedial class in a sink comp, can’t wait to send his taxes to help a ……… expand his empire, to the tune of £39,000,000,000 for starters.

  21. Andy
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    £39 billion is your Brexit bill.

    The DUP got a bung of £1bn – £100m each – to back this failed government.

    There are only around 40 extreme Brexiteers in Parliament.

    They are getting around £1bn each to pursue their failed vanity project which will be undone before long any.

    Turns out there is not a magic money tree to help sock people, to educate children, to build more houses or to tackle crime.

    But there is plenty of money to attempt to appease unappeasable hardline dinosaurs.

    • Posted April 27, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      It is truly remarkable that you can’t quite grasp that many of us here are hard-working people with concern for the future of our children, and respect for older generations who worked hard to provide for their later years (my own parents) and for the future of their children (us).
      Your ageism is very ugly, and your pontifications are so juvenile, petulant and ill-informed that I don’t believe you are a grown up with a family.

      (‘Sock people”? Are those the little woolly things you play with in your room when Mum’s out, Andy? Pretending you’re important and that people are listening to you?)

    • acorn
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Andy, JR wants more government spending; but his party Chancellor is crowing about having a £24.7 billion budget deficit for fiscal 18/19, £17.2 billion less than in the previous fiscal year; the lowest borrowing for 17 years!

      This means he is continuing to extract spending power from the economy with taxes and cleverly camouflaged reductions in public sector spending, Osborne style. This to get to the idiotic neo-liberal holy grail of a budget surplus; ten years later than originally planned admittedly.

      Unfortunately, countries that are running large net import bills, have to pay it with government created (magic money tree) cash; or, private sector income, savings or credit. Osborne/Hammond have successfully forced Households, using the classic neoliberal austerity tool, to pay for those imports instead of the government treasury.

      The Household sector has been running deficits in the last ten quarters. This will not end well for the the little people or the banks that extended the credit to them. There is another “Minsky Moment”, coming for the UK and the EU sooner than we think.

      Reply I do not seek more public spending. I wish to redirect public spending from the EU to home

    • Al
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      As the 40 hardliners don’t want to pay anything, the $39bn is hardly going to appease them. The legal position for paying it seems murky, with the legal advice still, I believe, being chased by our host.

      However it will appease the Remainers, as it keeps a foot in the door.

      It seems there is plenty of other people’s money available to make Brexit look worse, but none to actually deliver it.

    • Richard Hake
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Nope. That’s YOUR Brexit bill.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Did the DUP MPs benefit personally from that money? I think not, and it is disingenuous to imply otherwise.

      And who the hell are these ‘sock people’ to whom you refer, might they be the MPs like May who have the hands of their puppet masters up their posterior doing the EU’s bidding?

  22. Richard1
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    We should note the utter humbug of contemptible Corbyn in his fatuous gesture of boycotting the banquet for the US president. Corbyn is happy to meet terrorists dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the massacre of Jews, happy to meet the IRA shortly after they attempted to murder the elected British cabinet and other innocents, but not happy to meet the elected president of the UK’s most important ally and trading partner. Corbyn has shown again how unfit he is ever to hold office. What are decent moderate Labour MPs doing in the same party as this extremist fool?

    • rose
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      The best antidote to Corbyn is to read his brother Piers’s blog.

  23. Dominic
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    And still the Tories continue to finance Labour’s client state. Don’t you understand that further funding of public sector entities is merely strengthening the hand of Labour and their Marxist allies?

    Why is the Conservative party so blind to the pernicious nature of the left and their adherence of Gramsci viral politics?

    Stop pandering to the left, the unions and Marxist Labour. By doing so you simply embolden them and provide them with even more ammunition in their quest to spread their poison and influence

    Maybe there are some Tory MPs who see what is happening and choose to remain silent. Or maybe most Tory MPs couldn’t care less. Or maybe most Tory MPs are clueless

    What is required is not more political spending but public sector reform. Of course to do this will require a spine and a new leader who understands the Marxist threat to this country

    We need total reform to minimise the influence of the left in our public services.

    We need to dismantle Labour’s client state

    We need to expose Labour and their antics, historical crimes and their destructive intentions

    You start by cutting off funding to the Labour party using the scam of the opt-in system. Cameron threatened to do this in 2015 though I suspect this was a political tactic to get the unions onside for the forthcoming EU vote. Without opt-in the unions would struggle to finance Labour party itself

    You also stop all political activity by every public sector employee

    You stop covert funding of left wing publications and organisations. An example is advertising of public sector jobs in the Guardian.

    You target the BBC and Ch. 4 (who receive taxpayers money) and depoliticise them

    This is only a start. You have to turn the left into a private concern but they’ve managed to infect the State and now feed off the taxpayer as though they were part of it

    Your party is complicit in the weakening and undermining of this nation, its morals and its decency

    We need a Tory leader with a spine, who understands the existential threat of Labour and a leader that as the guts to tell this nation’s people what most politicians will not

    • M Davis
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, I second that!

  24. George Brooks
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    We are in a head long dive towards becoming a third world dictatorship until conservative MPs have the guts to change the occupant of No 10. Twice the 1922 committee members have come up to the fence and baulked.

    Apart from missing the dates of March 29 and April 12 we have allowed the ”dictator” to tell us to spend another £100m on the European election and therefore miss a third exit date on May 23. All that achieves is the continuation of damaging uncertainty for another five months.

    There has been a report in the papers that the Whips office has been in contact with people who knew and worked with an outspoken Brexiteer searching for ”dirt” in an endeavour to pressure the MP to vote for the WA. That sort of action takes our government into the gutter where the people who dream up this sort of action reside.

    The WA is the worst of all worlds and in the next 5 months it is going to be put to the vote once more and MUST be voted down. So if it is atall possible to ditch the EU election then it should be, then we can exit on May 23 and spend the £39bn as you have stated Sir John.

  25. Iain Moore
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Not just with the EU , there is also our ridiculous Aid spending, where our politicians would rather invest in the Ethiopian spice girls than in our own country, or even foist money on countries that have their own space programs, and sending missions to the moon, while we don’t. There is something very sick and twisted going on with our political establishment.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Iain…. I think the MPs imagine they are buying a place in heaven by granting Aid to these poor countries. However as you say – why on earth give money when they buy massive armanents, play with space race, ignore corruption, have hopeless health services etc.

  26. Dominic
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, I read an article on the BBC website questioning as to why there were ‘eight white men’ on the policy board of BOE. Is it not a criminal offence to say such things now or does hate crime and discriminatory laws apply only to a certain section of the British people?

    I feel like a criminal and an alien in my homeland and this Parliament’s responsible for this by bending the will of Labour for this is Labour’s doing

    I am white
    I am male
    I am heterosexual

    And your party by conspiring with Labour is turning millions of UK citizens into criminals

    • Andy
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      The BBC asks a fair question.

      There is nothing wrong with being a white man. I myself am one. But the fact is that most people in the country are not white men. White men are a minority group and yet we are massively over represented.

      It is outrageous than women are so massively under-represented. And that is before we look at ethnic minorities, the disabled, LGBT.

      Why are so many white men – particularity old white men – scared of people who are different to them?

      • Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        ”… massively over represented.” Hmmm. Perhaps that’s because what I presume you mean by ‘white men’ form the majority of men in this country (at the moment). So why do you object to a representative proportion?

      • Steve
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        Thank you for confirming that Psychiatric Hospitals provide internet access for patients.

      • Richard Hake
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Not really.

        Many women take a decade out of a career to raise their children.

        The fact is that businesses choose best value. If they really are ignoring other groups that are better value then they will not maximise profit.

        • rose
          Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          One could say bringing up children is the most important thing and that men of all complexions are massively under represented in that sphere of influence on the country and its future, most primary schoolteachers being female as well as mothers.

      • M Davis
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        Andy – ‘It is outrageous than women are so massively under-represented. And that is before we look at ethnic minorities, the disabled, LGBT. …’

        Andy, I wonder if you will give up your job for one of these massively under-represented people and what about opening up your house to a poor immigrant or two and surely you can send your children to state schools and give the money saved to the poorer children? No?

        • margaret howard
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          M Davis

          Not those tired old cliches again.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            Those who preach to others should first set a good example.
            I agree with M Davis.
            And whilst on the subject of setting an example, all the green eco warriors should pledge to live off grid, using no gas, oil or fossil fuel generated electricity for their homes.
            They shoul give up the use of cars, buses, trains, planes, ships, mobile phones and only buy home grown foods from close to where they live.
            Perhaps EmmaThompson could make a start.

          • margaret howard
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            Edward2

            “, all the green eco warriors should pledge to live off grid, using no gas, oil or fossil fuel generated electricity for their homes”

            You are behind the times – it is already happening:

            “Finland’s new generation of climate heroes

            The town of Ii in northern Finland wants to be the world’s first zero-waste community.

            They stopped using fossil fuels – and the municipality is reducing CO2 emissions faster than any other community in Finland.

            Their target is to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2020, which is 30 years ahead of the EU’s target”

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-48060788/finland-s-new-generation-of-climate-heroes

            And their nordic climate is a great deal more challenging than our relative temperate weather . They are snowed in for months during their long winters.

            Time to catch up with the REAL world of the future.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

            What one tiny town in Finland?
            Try replicating that in huge modern world cities.
            Try doing that and at the same time manufacture bricks glass steel plastics aluminium ceramics etc that we need to build our world.

            You dodge the issue yet again.
            It is for you trendy urban greens to set perfect examples to those of us you preach to.
            Stop posting on your computer or your tablet or your phone.
            Switch off your gas and your electric supply
            Shun any transport with engines.
            Eat no imported food.
            Go on do it.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        There’s only one criteria that really matters – ability!

        Next, you’ll be advocating all-women shortlists just to satisfy some skewed politically correct nonsensical principle!

      • Edward2
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        It is a spin on statistics to call white men a minority group.
        Over 80% of the population is white.
        Do thats about 55 million people.
        Of that group females are marginally larger in number than males.
        So only a minority if every group other than white females is defined as a minority.

      • Oggy
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

        Utter drivel. Jobs should be given to those best qualified to do the job, NOT given to someone just because they are BAME or transgender. It’s called meritocracy.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Also – More than 2,000 people have complained after Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow said of a pro-Brexit rally that he had “never seen so many white people”.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I am white and I am English. How dare I say that. You are right in what you say and its getting worse. The police have no time to fight real crime because of all the PC crap.

    • forthurst
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Obviously you are not acquainted with Critical Race Theory unlike the BBC which can be expected to well up these matters; according to my calculation you have 1050- Oppression Points which makes you Highly Privileged. You may need to resign your job in favour of someone less privileged or even leave the country.

      What is not clear about CRT is whether it can be transported, as is, to a non-European society or whether some transposition has to take place to compensate for an increase or decrease in privilege as one crossing a national boundary, say, in the Middle East or in the Far East. Are there any CRT experts here?

  27. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Half-a-job.
    Finish the last one before you start this one.

  28. Edwardm
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Makes one wonder what’s the matter with most MPs and whose side they are on, throwing £39B+ at the EU for nothing and without question yet looking for ever new ways to tax us. I conclude most MPs are not fit for purpose.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Perhaps 150 sound, bright, honest and dedicated ones at best.

      • Edwardm
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Agree

      • APL
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        LifeLogic: “Perhaps 150 sound, bright, honest and dedicated ones at best.”

        Wow! Aren’t you the optimist?

  29. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    It’s not just schools that have been denied adequate resources – The whole flaming country is in a state of disrepair – wherever you look, the state of roads, paths, crumbling infrastructure, and all the while officials in councils, government and quangos squeeze more salary out of our increasing taxes while we struggle on without any real increase in income.
    I fear nothing will change until Brexit is settled, and only then if we really get out – Otherwise Brussels, still seeing us as the cash cow, will soak us for everything we’ve got.
    I also suggest that nothing will improve while we have a left leaning government in place, especially as their priorities are not our priorities.

  30. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Now that the government is not so intent on Brexit, perhaps we can get some sense out of them as regards our High streets, amongst other things.
    They have done nothing to help or support shops on our high street, allowing one big name after another to go to the dogs – Debenhams is the latest one to announce store closures.
    There are a host of things that could be done to make High streets more inviting to shoppers, from better and cheaper parking to improved facilities.
    …and please let’s not go down the tired internet equation – High streets are less attractive due to neglect and a will to do anything!

  31. NigelE
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Social care provision is one of the issues that are set to explode once Brexit is done & dusted.

    I presume more money means more funding for councils to pay for those with assets less than the threshold (approx £23k?). The disparity between the lower costs paid by council-supported care home residents and those who are privately funded who pay more, needs to be removed. This is a terrible injustice for those who have made modest savings in their lives, let alone the major commitment of buying their own house. Effectively, it is a tax on the privately funded residents. If the council negotiates a particular rate with a care home, that rate should apply to all residents in that home.

    Over aggressiveness by the council to reduce fees will result in even more homes closing down, hence making the situation worse.

    Alternatively, any additional money should be allocated to funding care at home (i.e. the person’s own home, not a care home). At the moment there is limited support for modifications and equipment but nothing for carer support if assets are above the threshold.

    In my personal experience, the disconnect between the NHS for medical care and subsequent social care is a disgrace. The NHS wish to move patients out as soon as possible, while Social Services have little interest unless the ex-patient is deemed to be at-risk.

  32. martinC
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Like government, ‘so many MPs in parliament’ are responsible realists, the majority in fact, they are thinking people who know that if we want a future with our European neighbours or with anyone else for that matter, then we are going to have settle past accounts. There will be no walking away from this one whether the account is settled by ratification before we leave or else meeting the terms of the WA after we leave- all else is just wishful thinking and old spin

  33. BOF
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    ‘It was a welcome development this week that Parliament avoided more Groundhog day debates on Brexit.’

    It is something we have all noticed, but if Parliament thinks that Brexit will go away and perhaps the May/Robbins WA will quietly pass into law, then I think they are all gravely mistaken. Reports from party activists tell us that local issues are not what people are interested in talking about, but Brexit is. My ex party, Conservative, can expect a real drubbing in the local elections, and an even greater one in the Europarl elections.

    MP’s and the press are trying to avoid mention of Nigel Farage and TBP but still they surge ahead in the polls. The Brussels Broadcasting Corporation ignores them completely, giving airtime to every Brexit reverser they can dredge up.

    They all live in a separate universe to the rest of us plebs.

  34. Gareth Warren
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    If it is the governments job to provide the service then it must be done properly, but a look at the NHS and I see so many flaws.

    Recently I had a long stay in hospital, I was discharged and sent home with medication. All of this medication was brand new. Each patient has a person medical safe above their bed with medication, yet all of these are disposed of on discharge.

    My physio also said she was complaining to her authority, for example a ream of “eco paper” costs her department £9! You can buy good quality paper from £1 to £5 by the ream on the high street.

    We seem to have given up on making savings, if anything a blind eye is turned to civil servants who earn tens of thousands for non-jobs.

    Worse still I saw a revolting Change UK (CUK) former conservative MP (contradict her previous position ed), high lighted by Guido-Fawkes website Now while I thoroughly disagree with CUK’s position on everything, from their refusal to renew their democratic mandate when changing it to EU and 2nd referendum. There is one question that should be answered by CHQ. how was such an awful person allowed to represent the conservative party.

    If people such as her were never picked again, and we had more trustworthy people as MPs, we would have a far healthier politics in parliament.

  35. backofanenvelope
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Perhaps someone could explain to me where this £39 billion is coming from? Presumably, Mr Hammond has some idea. Has anyone asked him?

    • Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t this ”£39 billion” sound rather arbitrary? Why not a nice round £40 billion? £35 billion? £50 billion?
      Perhaps it was meant to look as though it had been worked out to the very pound.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        L.Jones ….I think in the negotiating room somewhere in Brussels, we sat across the table from Barnier & co to discuss agenda item: Compensation due to EU.
        The EU moved the conversation to the next budget, the damage the UK would do, and started out with ‘our estimate is north of £80bn’. The UK coughed and tried to look tough guy responding ‘ we think about £20bn, and the Hof C may contest paying anything’. the EU had practised slamming fists on the table and shouting ‘bloody ridiculous in perfect English,’ followed by Barnier sitting down and calmly saying ‘tell you what, we’ll settle for £50bn – sign this.’ The UK who were totally unprepared said ‘ well we can agree £40bn, I think.’ The EU replied ‘ we suggest £39bn, then it looks like we have done the sums, now which restaurant do you all fancy reconvening to?’ And that my friends is how it was done.

    • Steve
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      He’ll either rob it from us, or borrow it and put the country into more debt.

      He dare not say there was £39bn of our money stashed away in a tin with the EU’s name on it for the last 3 years, not when the country needs the cash.

      That said, there seems no limit to their arrogance and misguided belief of being unaccountable to their electors.

  36. BOF
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    When it comes to spending money and taxation this must be the most un-conservative government ever and why do so many MP’s think it a good thing to throw huge appeasement payments at the EU, £39B plus billions more and then wish to demand that large sums are spent on their own pet projects at home as well?

    Meanwhile national debt, £2.176 trillion and rising rapidly!

  37. DaveM
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    This is good news. Hopefully it’ll make the Brexit Party focus on domestic policies and recruit the right people. They need to develop a fully comprehensive manifesto if they’re going to challenge Labour in the next GE.

    Of course, they have the advantage inasmuch as we don’t yet have any reason to treat a BP manifesto with contempt and laughter. Hopefully the Conservative manifesto will be soft and strong and long next time. Then it might be of some use.

    • Steve
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      DaveM

      “They [brexit party] need to develop a fully comprehensive manifesto if they’re going to challenge Labour in the next GE.”

      Just getting us out of the EU immediately and on WTO terms is good enough for me.

      “Hopefully the Conservative manifesto will be soft and strong and long next time. Then it might be of some use.”

      There’s no point; Firstly the conservatives do not honour manifesto obligations, everyone knows this.

      Secondly the conservative party does not have a life expectancy beyond the next GE, after which it won’t exist.

  38. bigneil
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    No money for us – ALWAYS money for non-contributing non-English speaking new arrival’s housing, cash, and unlimited NHS bills – while WE are made to suffer and wait.
    Terror supporters getting taxpayer’s money to sue us so she can return for a life on the taxes of those she hates -no doubt with a MASSIVE compensation payout as well.

    Is there a word for a whole nation being deliberately wiped out by their own leaders?
    Wonder who is going to be the first one in govt to admit the ( blatantly obvious ) plan?

    • Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      I think you’ll find Enoch Powell’s prescience on the subject back in the 1970s is quite instructive. He had some well-considered words for it.

  39. JoolsB
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    May and this leftie Government are very profligate with our money indeed. Meanwhile English councils are being slashed to the bone resulting in already exorbitant council tax bills going up at over inflation rates. Social care in England has been disgracefully neglected to the point that pensioners who have worked hard all their lives are having to hand over everything they have ever worked for, their homes included, in order to receive the same services available free to others who have not been as thrifty. Same with English universities, England’s young are coming out of university with eye watering debts hanging over them for most of their working lives of which 78% will never be paid back except by those who have taken meaningful degrees resulting in meaningful jobs thus penalising those who should be at university in the first place such as the doctors and scientists the country needs.

    Meanwhile May and Hammond are happy to hand over £39 billion of our cash (probably double that) (don’t get me started on foreign aid) and she is happily willing to squander £100 million on EU elections whilst stating the new MEPs will probably never take their seats as she is determined to get her putrid surrender treaty passed. And how many billions have been squandered on preparing for a no deal which duplicitous May had no intention of delivering?

    What a complete and utter shambles by one of the most incompetent Governments in history under an even more incompetent Prime Minister and still you support it John.
    It and especially May needs to be brought down and brought down now and only you and your fellow Brexiteers have the power to do that.

  40. Mark
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Perhaps Parliament should tell Mr Gove that he should overrule Nature England’s decision on shotgun licences that threatens severe predator damage to lambs and rare species of wildlife. Time to send MrPackham and his ultra greens packing.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Mark, I totally agree. Having lived and worked amongst the farming community I have seen first hand the damage done to lambs and sheep while giving birth by gulls, crows and rooks. The BBC are very good at painting a rosy picture of farming when in reality it is nothing like it. Once again people who have little experience of life are making all the decisions

  41. hefner
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    What about commenting on something that is likely to affect a non-negligible number of older people, namely NSI certificates moving their interest from RPI (2.5%) to CPI (1.9%).

  42. Fred H
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    The ONS states UK owed £18.9bn to the EU in 2016, but a rebate of £5bn was claimed. Believe whatever stats you prefer, but it is also claimed the UK received £4bn back in various payments, meaning we made a net contribution of £9bn. Now if we are handing over £39bn (or more?) that suggests over 4 years of net payments. What sort of accountants were used in agreeing the deal Mrs May appears to have struck? Another Barnier coup? How does he keep a straight face?

  43. ukretired123
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    As I said last week why would you send a mile long convoy of bullion trucks to Brussels laden with gold bars voluntarily when we decided to leave 3 years ago?
    Sheer madness!
    As for EU elections costing £100million also totally avoidable is just insanity!
    What banana republic is this joke?
    The credibility of the country’s political parties is zero and extremely serious.
    Schools hospitals roads and rail are desperately lacking yet Hammond and May sound worse than Brown and Blair for caving into EU Brussels.
    Unbelievable madness.

  44. Mark B
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    It seems to me that MP’s are more interested in spending money on things they want, or rather various pressure groups and lobbyists, than the people who elected them and to whom they made promises to get elected.

    I cannot for the life of me understand why no one in the government or the HoC seem to think that it is OK to spend such monies all the while we are borrowing vast sums.

    BALANCE THE BOOKS FIRST !

  45. Michael
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    It is noticeable that Mrs May is keeping a low profile until after the local elections to avoid losing more votes for the Tory party.

  46. Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Personally, I don’t think it’s a ”welcome development”. Yes, these things are important, but they’ll go on for a while unchanged and it won’t make much of a difference in the great scheme of things if they’re not addressed right now. There is another thing that is much more important – our country’s very existence.

    This government (such that it is) HAS to concentrate on defending our country from the EU threat, or we won’t have a country to defend.

  47. Steve
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Dominic

    “I am white
    I am male
    I am heterosexual”

    I’m afraid you’ve had it then old chap.

  48. Steve
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Edward M

    “Makes one wonder what’s the matter with most MPs and whose side they are on”

    Simple; they’re on the EU side, for various reasons such as; cowardice, treason, corruption, hatred of England. To name a few.

    It might be worth questioning what they’re on, since they believe they’ll get away with it.

    • Edwardm
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      I was being brief, and I don’t disagree. It is a good question why so many MPs are beholden to a foreign oligarchy and have a consequent negative attitude to their own country and people, and how the situation has arisen.

  49. a-tracy
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    We’ve More people working than ever, unemployment is at the lowest level for years, your Chancellor has taxed the wealthiest more through fiscal drag, a 60% tax rate through claw backs and removed child benefit if one earning parent goes over the higher rate tax threshold. You’ve all this extra money coming in and your government is throwing it away dithering.

    In England pupil numbers have increased in ten years from 4,090,400 in 2008 to 4,716, 244 in 2008 (source gov.uk). Which suggests you’ve lots more income coming in from taxes. Free School Meal elibility based on household income and benefit receipts has dropped by 4% over those ten years.

    So why can’t you just pay the right money across to schools, what is it being spent on instead?

    It was interesting that phonetics and standards have increased since testing began so why do Labour want to cut this measure off if it is recording better and improving standards? I was never worried about my children being tested but then again I applied no pressure to them or had them swatting up for tests, I saw them as just benchmarks. I used them if I felt my child was slipping in fact it was the only measure as a parent I had because teachers did not tell me at parents evening if my child was struggling to understand a certain concept because high achieving children are just left more to their own devises, often sat with disruptive pupils who distract them and not challenged enough.

    If they are never tested university or work reviews must become a real shock to them.

    • Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      The pupil figures suggest that the population of England has increased in the last ten years by up to 15.3 %, say 7 to 8 million. This indicates the true amount of immigration, something the government will not count or tell us.

      • Posted April 27, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        I’m no mathematician, since it takes two people to make a child, the immigration figure could be much higher!

  50. a-tracy
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    4,716,244 in 2018

  51. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    The article in The Telegraph today asks what is the point of the Conservative Party? Its demise has steadily progressed from Major through to the appointment of Cameron, a very similar situation to May’s appointment – Hobson’s choice.

    Cameron agreeing to the one sided coalition with the Libdems, apparently orchestrated by Letwin, highlighted his over promotion and complete lack of vision or purpose. A dynamic minority government could have led to a majority after a year or so but he ain’t no dynamo. His handling of the EU referendum was a forerunner of May’s ineptitude – his no deal is better than a bad deal was pretending to support Leave in talks with Merkel and coming back with a bit of paper instead. His walking away after the result was pathetic but in keeping.

    As the article says it is very difficult to identify the CP electoral target. May is still clearly supported by the majority of MPs and the 1922 Committee is as outdated as its name.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      A.Sedgwick…. You have it in a nutshell. Over many, many years the ethics, values and common good sense have marked the Party out as the one we need to stay in power. When the climate of opinion has turned the alternatives have been in, crashed the economy, made upheaval in most areas of life that we hold dear, and then the re-election of Tories has taken years to return to what we think of normalcy. Following the crash and burn years of ‘it can only get better’ spouted by Blair, and the idiotic benefit hand-outs of Brown, we are just about coming out of the black cloud of despondency. And now we have endured egotist posh-boy Cameron, who cowardly ran at the first sign of trouble, and the lying, stubborn disaster of May, who has not finished yet. Yet the Tories cannot, will not, or do not recognise what needs to be done. The electorate may well abandon them once again, but this time the alternative is simply alarming, whereas before it was merely incompetent.

    • Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:06 am | Permalink

      Their electoral target is power for the sake of power and ignoring the needs of the electorate for five years having conned them with a worthless manifesto. The CP works for whoever pays the piper. The electorate is merely a facilitator through it’s misguided votes and taxes.

  52. rose
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    It is extraordinary that so many MPs not only won’t talk about the huge sums of money to be saved by leaving, but, even worse, make out it was all a lie: there are no savings to be made, they assert. With the help of the MSM they seem to have established this as a new orthodox belief from which no-one dare demur.

    • Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:53 am | Permalink

      It is a definition of an MP to be in denial concerning all matters financial apart of course where their own salaries, pensions, subsidised living, and expenses are involved. Spending other peoples money is of course an irrelevance to be conducted with closed mind and lots of doctrinaire conviction.

  53. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I would say throwing money at schools in the hope it will improve the education of our childen is misguided at best. The solution to poor results is to move away from child centred and politicised approaches to teacher led and more disciplined methods.

    We spend more per head than many nations with significantly poorer outcomes and every child is thus betrayed. It sounds though as if all the gains of getting out of the EU, if we ever do, will be frittered away on yet more non educating spending.

    But then politics and the party must come first. To my mind if as seems to be the case the party won’t get rid of a dangerous subversive PM then the only option for the people is to do everything possible to destroy the party. The good will need to go down with the bad.

    • Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      “….if there be a conflict between the call of country and that of party, the call of country must come first”.
      But – with the honourable exception of our host – they don’t believe that, do they?

      • Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:55 am | Permalink

        You are possibly correct if you confine it to matters financial and Brexit.

  54. Ian Pennell
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    I whole-heartedly agree that there is a good case for spending a bit more on front-line Public Services and that, if only we could fully leave the EU, there would be money to do this. This would also provide a boost to the economy.

    However,Brexit aside, so many millions of people think that the Conservatives are out of touch, incompetent and aloof from their concerns- that rectifying this (and ensuring that Conservatives have a chance of keeping Jeremy Corbyn out of power) will involve directing many more ££ billions at crucial swing voters (in addition to sorting out Brexit).

    I would suggest slashing (even suspending) Foreign Aid, axing HS2, putting a Land Value Tax on very expensive land/ property -in addition to curtailing payments to the EU in order to greatly increase Police numbers (folk are worried about rising crime), invest more in the NHS and in Education whilst cutting Income Tax and NIC’s.

    I would also suggest borrowing an extra £30 billion annually for the next five years to up-grade infrastructure and embarking on a huge House- Building scheme (including providing thousands with the skills needed)- with millions of new homes produced then sold cheaply to first time buyers. The proceeds can then be repay some of the National Debt. The only way to get younger people to support Capitalism is to capitalise them!

    Small gestures and titivating around the edges with policies is not now going to stave off a Conservative defeat at the next Election.

    Ian Pennell

  55. Posted April 27, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    You just can not make this up.
    Talk about A I, this Parliament is stuffed to the roof with gutless trash.
    There is not the slightest Intelligence in nine tenths of this bunch, no mater what the Party There is damn all difference.
    People worried that Labour might get in, or even worse, Lib Dims ?

    What you have here is all these people, have either been cloned, by the EU , or there getting a hell of a lot of Money from the EU for bring this Nation to the slaughter house.

    We who only have common sence, and a few decades of life experience can not get our heads around this utter rubbish.

    We are so totally sick to death with the mess that you people have made of this Brexit.

    Non of you , non of the parties in Westminster are offering Democricy, plenty of you worried/ pretending to be worried that we are loosing our Democricy ?

    That has not been in The House for a very long time, because the only excuse you can possibly have is that you are all E U zombies.

    As our host says we D o Not Need to pay any damn money to the EU?

    Where the hell do these people come from, while this Nation is taxed to hell and back , by an idiot, frankly any business knows that there is no call for this what so ever.

    One thing is for sure , our Constitution needs to be re written in stone, not by anyone in either House.

    The worse this mess gets the bigger the wipe out for those making this mess now.

    Thank God for Nigel Farage

    • Ken Bull
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Surely Mr Farage should be parachuted into a safe seat, and voted in to replace Mrs May. Is this Steve Baker’s plan? I believe so

    • Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:31 am | Permalink

      Should duplicitous May stretch our membership beyond May, take your revenge at the EU elections by ignoring all parties other than the Brexit Party.

      If the conservative party has done nothing by the time of its usual self congratulatory conference then note nationally all those MPs who have indulged themselves and ignored the democratic decision of the electorate inclusive of labour. Then come the GE vote Brexit Party again and clear the swamp.

      If the 100 or so tory MPs who have to date supported Leave have by that time failed to follow a very courageous Ann Widdicome best forget them. Their resolve is obviously in question. Only the people at the ballot box will resolve this disaster of miss representation.

  56. DaveM
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else think Andy’s even madder than normal today?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 27, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      DaveM. Is that really possible?

    • Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:43 am | Permalink

      Mad or not he has got beyond worth reading except perhaps to note what the enemy is thinking. Assuming you bless it with such praise. Consign him, the BBC, and those who squat on Westminster Bridge to the dustbin of irrelevance. When the government encourage the increased treatment of mental health they could include “Demoitis” as a definable disease.

  57. mancunius
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    “Why is that so many MPs in this Parliament are so casual with money for Brussels”

    Because they get that money (and the money that pays their salaries and golden pensions and severance payments) out of a little hole in the wall labelled ‘The Taxpayer’. And Brussels covertly offers the political class other perks as well.

    You might want to remind your fellow MPs every now and then of the massive amount of resentment in the country at the light-fingered way they transfer our hard-earned income and build up UK debt.

  58. Iain Gill
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Conservatives on 14 percent, Brexit party and labour on 24 percent each, in the polls

    And still may clings on

  59. Dominic
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I have just seen a photograph of Lenin holding a cat on Pointless Celebrities (BBC). Lenin and his Cheka thugs murdered hundreds of thousands of people following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution

    To see a popular quiz programme using images of this mass murderer in this appalling manner suggests the BBC’s gravitation towards Marxist Labour is gathering pace

    We have also had to tolerate a so called ‘literal Communist’ on the Marr show.

    Why am I being forced to pay a licence fee to finance this subtle rewriting and repackaging of this extremist political philosophy?

    When is the Tory party and this government going to confront left wing extremism and the promotion of Marxism?

  60. adam
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    John if we have a second referendum can you please make sure scotland does get to take part in it. Their leader has refused to acknowledge the last one.

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Because that was before the Brexit vote where Scots voted overwhelmingly Remain. That has changed everything. Another vote is essential if we want to call ourselves a democracy.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.
        The EU referendum was a UK wide vote.
        Currently 69% of Scots recently polled said they did not want another referendum on independence.

        On a very small majority Wales voted for it’s own Parliament and got it.
        Presumably you are OK with the Welsh referendum result.
        But not the first Scottish independence referendum result
        Nor the UK’s referendum result on leaving the EU.
        Strange logic margaret

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