Our aim should be helping people out of poverty and into better paid jobs

One of the main arguments between socialists and conservatives is over the main aim of economic  policy. Conservatives want to raise living standards, to help people be better off. Socialists usually want to lower or remove inequality.

These two varying aims require different policy responses and achieve different results. Of course all sensible socialists would also want higher living standards, and all democratic conservatives agree the  tax and benefit  system should remove some of the inequalities market economies generate. Nonetheless deciding based around a primary  aim of betterment for the many or a primary aim of cutting inequality produces different results.

Mr Osborne adopted more of the socialist preoccupation in his budgets, worrying about measures of inequality more than about sluggish rises in average real incomes. He worked out how to administer a bigger tax hit to the wealthy and how to get rich people out of the country or to stay out of the country. One of the easiest ways to cut inequality is to offshore the richest people by having a hostile tax regime towards them. This may then reduce investment and job creation for everyone else as these people live and invest in a more friendly climate elsewhere. Both France and Italy are now wooing the rich with a better tax deal for that reason.

A test of which motivation predominates in a policy maker is that of the Laffer curve. If a Chancellor insists on imposing a tax at a rate that reduces the tax take, we can assume he does so to create more equality at the cost of less income and lower living standards. The decision of Mr Hammond and Mr Osborne to levy Stamp duties that cut the revenue must be based on this, and their  persistence with a 45% higher rate of income tax which also lowers revenue.

I want a policy based on a more rapid reduction in low incomes and no incomes. That requires a policy  which allows entrepreneurs, footballers and great entertainers to keep more of their earnings  so they stay here and pay tax here. They then also buy more things here, invest more here and employ more people here. Jealousy is a nasty emotion, and not a good policy. It makes us all worse off, with less money to spend on public services. As you achieve more growth you can then also lower tax rates on the rest of us, where lowering the rate cuts the revenue for any given level of economic output.

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154 Comments

  1. Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Agreed, but you first need a Conservative government to achieve it. We do not have one, conservative in name only. May and her two hundred odd sycophants are not true conservatives, more akin to the Lib/ Dums. Come next weekend the first blow will have been struck. I hope that no conservative makes it to the EU parliament. It is the last wake up call to your rag bag parliamentary party. I doubt they have the nous to realise this. You cannot even run your own internal affairs let alone have the responsibility of running the country. Rid yourselves of the cancer within or join the dust of history.

    • Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      I have just put down “Appeasing Hitler” by Tim Bouverie. He tells how Neville Chamberlain (Con) was determined to stop war with Hitler. He tried everything on the assumption that Hitler was just a German Speaking Brummie.
      When September 1939 came along and Hitler was revealed as the criminal lunatic he really was, the Conservatives simply came to bits.
      Churchill (Con) (Dardanelles still rankling) had just grossly mismanaged the Norwegian War and the Cabinet knew this.
      But we still have this very tenacious party today. It can adapt…

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        It can indeed adapt hopefully it will do so in time to stop a Corbyn version of Venezuela. The sooner the appalling May goes the better. Will she be joining the Labour, the LibDims, Tig or the Greens I wonder. Will she take the tax to death, economic illiterate Hammond with her?

        She certainly was never a Conservative.

        • forthurst
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

          Of course she’s a Conservative; she does everything that the backers of the Conservative party want including putting their placemen in the most important offices.

      • mickc
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        Chamberlain was not the only one trying to prevent war…..all major British politicians were.

    • jerry
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      @agricola; “but you first need a Conservative government to achieve it”

      You mean it [1], or at least a good measure of it, wasn’t achieved in the 1950s?

      “May and her two hundred odd sycophants are not true conservatives”

      I agree, with a few notable exceptions, most are either in the mould of Thatcher or Heath, the 1950s were the last time we actually had a true ‘one nation’ Conservative Govt.

      [1] fair opportunity for all, without fear or favour

      • Hope
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        JR, you fail in your first paragraph, there is no difference between the current Tory party and Labour. Your blog is more a political theory than reality.

        The fact is the EU decides law regulation and directives with small boundaries for domestic parties to operate in. You have told us as much.

        Both parties want to remain under EU control after lying to us twice under a referendum and general election. The will of the people betrayed, democracy betrayed and Brexit betrayed. Your party ruled again this week it wants more of the same in Mayhab!

        Today we read in the DT a leaked memo from May betraying the army veterans in N.Ireland! Is there no depths to her rotten behaviour? Smear Tory MPs who Stand up for democracy on a campaign EU literature, get her whips to dig for dirt on other Tory MPs, sack an advisor and Minister without evidence or any fair process! She is rotten to the core.

        Both parties want higher taxes, regulation over everything we d,o snoop on us through our computers and control our,lives,as,to what we can eat, that no,or say. Your party is done. Moreover.

        • Doug Powell
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          Correct – There are no depths of treachery and deceit to which this rotten to the core individual would not sink! But the people to blame are the “none so blind as those who won’t see” – the pathetic apologies for ‘politicians’ who won’t do anything about it! She will keep on doing so as long as no action is taken! And the removal has to be a PUSH because she will never WALK!

          My only positive suggestion is that you change your moniker to “Despair.”

          • Timaction
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

            ……….but her Cabinet still won’t make her leave. What bit of fairness does she not understand when the Government gives a free pass to those on the other side of the troubles yet prosecutes its veterans in the same conflict! Outrageous behaviour to which the Tory Party should hang its collective head in shame. Demonstrations up and down this land not reported by the fake msm!

          • jerry
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

            @Timaction; “……….but her Cabinet still won’t make her leave.”

            But they can’t under party rules, because people like you pestered Tory MPs to force a NC vote last November, before there was enough support to oust her! Sure they can ask, bully, or suggest that she goes but being stubborn she doesn’t need to listen.

            How long did it take for Thatcher to finally walk, even though the discontent had been there well before the events of Nov 1990?

            As for NI, I think you will find that it was the Blair govt who gave in to such a lopsided agreement.

      • mickc
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        What we had in the 1950s was Butskellism whereby the Conservatives accepted most of the Labour agenda, including extremely high taxes and “unearned” income surcharge. It was unsustainable, as became apparent in the late 50s and the 60s.
        Macmillan’s “little local difficulty” consisted of Thornycroft, Birch and Powell effectively pointing out the problem.
        Even the epithet “Butskellism” is, in fact, mistaken; Butler had wanted sterling to float (Operation Robot) to overcome the recurrent sterling crises. He was, regrettably, overruled. The decline continued.

        • jerry
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          @mickc; You mean just like our competitors had a general consensus to their politics and taxation policies back then, and still do. The UK changed economic/social course, they did not, and from whom we now have to buy so much, £250bn in the last three years according to our host and Facts4EU.org…

          Then of course there is also the trade deficit with Communist China.

          • mickc
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            Doesn’t look to me like much consensus in the EU on taxation….ask a gilet jaune

          • jerry
            Posted May 20, 2019 at 5:05 am | Permalink

            @mickc; I did not say the EU, nor even the EEC, there was no “EU” until the early 1990s. I talked about the 1950s, you talked about the 1950s but now try to switch to the 2000s when your original unthinking rant fails – typical right wing europhobe!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        For “one nation” read “no nation”.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        Its the 21st century, Thatcher did far more for the common working man than patronising One National cobblers , which was just a 1950’s form of virtue signalling. Here in this century we have done more to alleviate poverty, increasing health outcomes and to provide equality of opportunity via free markets than at any time in history. We dont need politicians to organise this for us, we need them to provide high quality essential services and to manage public spending effectively. We live in a world of localism, communitarianism and oddly a global longtail .Politicians are the problem not the solution

        • Edward2
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          Totally correct Libertarian.
          One nation consensus politics is a meaningless ad agency strap line.

        • jerry
          Posted May 20, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

          @libertarian; Most of what you wrote could have been, and probably was, originally written in the 1950s about the 1950s, by Conservatives, Liberals and most a good number of Socialists, never mind Sociologists of the day!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      May and Hammond are not just Libdims they are clearly idiotic socialists. We have the highest taxes for 70 years. Virual monopolies in heath care, schools, universities …. wage controls, red tape everywhere, taxes at over 100% on landlords, some pension contributors and people who move home. Wage controls, daft restrictive employment laws, damaging interventions in energy, banking, housing ……

      • Iain Gill
        Posted May 23, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        IR35 proves it, expecting genuine freelancers to pay tax on their genuine expenses is madness.

  2. Adam
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Difference is the essence of existence. Equality destroys difference.

    • Andy
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      You confuse two different types of equality. Equality of outcome and equality of opportunity.

      We never could achieve equality of outcome, even if we wanted to. But we should strive to give everyone an equal opportunity.

      So many of today’s elite are where they are because of where they started.

      No offence to MPs like Jacob Rees Mogg or Zac Goldsmith – but they are where they are because they had rich well connected families. Families who paid not just the fees to Eton but who had the connections too, which ensured Oxbridge and smooth-less transitions from there to positions of power.

      Had MPs like this been born on a council estate, to a single alcoholic parent – and had they gone to the local failing comprehensive – they would not be MPs.

      As a society we are missing out hugely by not giving those at the bottom a chance – and by giving those at the top everything. 93% of kids go to state school. But government, business, media, even elite sport is dominated by those in private education.

      Now I am not anti-private school. My kids go to private school. But I am pro much better state school. And that needs more money. We would transform society by doubling our spend on education. And we’d probably end up saving money too – as better educated people tend to make better lifestyle choices, which saves money in the welfare bill, criminal justice and the NHS.

      How many Newtons , Einsteins , Flemings, Bells are we missing out on because 93% of our kids don’t get a good enough chance?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Andy, you could start by noting giving £39b to your beloved EU. It would be better spent on schools. I think that’s what you said?

        • Andy
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          The £39bn is your Brexit bill. It is your bill to make us all poorer and to remove opportunities from young people. And, remember, it is just the upfront cost of your Brexit. The real expense is decades of lost growth. That is much more than £39bn.

          • John Hatfield
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            Andy,
            In the 25 years BEFORE Single Market started: 2.4% average annual growth
            In the 25 years AFTER Single Market started: 2.2% average annual growth
            (Office of National Statistics (ONS))

        • nhsgp
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          It’s 80 bn a year.

          That’s the cost of May’s deal with all the promises costed.

          The 39 bn is pure fantasy, ignoring all the big promises such as welfare for life, tariffs, costs of regulation, the CAP, ….

      • James1
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Wow, first time I have been able to largely agree with Andy. Yes, we need the government to stop pandering to vested interests and lobbyists and generally get out of the way. We need to get rid of umpteen quangos and their stupid regulations that destroy jobs and disrupt production, and leave much more money with taxpayers so that they can spend it in ways that suit them infinitely better than government bureaucrats could possibly imagine.

        • Andy
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Name 3 regulations which destroy jobs.

          I’ll wait.

          reply VAT regs taxing things like green products
          Fishing regs which have greatly damaged our industry
          Budget regs which take large sums in tax from us to spend outside the UK

          etc

          • Richard1
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            The cap, the CFP, mifid2, The anti-fracking regs, the anti-GM crops regs…

          • Fred H
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            andy…lots of ridiculous H&S rules other countries ignore.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

            regulation which destroy jobs? number one has to be taxing foreign workers less than locals, allowing them to work the 1st year in the country free of both employers and employees national insurance, and other large tax wheezes, is a large part of the reason they are used in such large numbers and employers dont bother to hire, train or retain locals

          • libertarian
            Posted May 20, 2019 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

            Andy

            Added to the others the VATMOSS regulations saw the closure of 300,000 micro businesses in Europe

            Article 11 and Article 13 will do untold damage to the media industries and their associated jobs

            CAP, CAF, GM crops etc etc etc

      • Steve
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        “Had MPs like this been born on a council estate, to a single alcoholic parent – and had they gone to the local failing comprehensive – they would not be MPs”

        Oh I dunno, they’d probably have joined Labour, what with it being the politics of envy. Much like your own ideology, Andy…..you know, always jealous and resentful that someone might have more than you’ve got.

      • Ginty
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Rarely does social mobility take place in one generational bound.

        My children are the first in our never-unemployed family to get their degrees at full-time university and study towards middle class professions. I struggled through night school and correspondence courses to be able to help put them through their own long courses.

        Already we are being told they are now too privileged and must make way because of quotas. You may well experience the same with yours.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Re “Had MPs like this been born on a council estate” I agree with this, its not just parliament, the board rooms of our big companies are full of nice but dim people who got good exam passes simply by virtue of the schools they were sent to, who in a more average school would have been demonstrably mediocre. A real weakness of the UK is the poor quality of people we have at the top of society who are far from the best of their generation. I compare to the USA where I lived for a while, which has far more people who genuinely started on the shop floor in the board rooms. Modern versions of Chuck Yeager are still becoming brilliant fighter pilots, and admirals, and so on, its many many factors more unlikely here, and it makes our country less efficient and less competitive because we are not using that talent. I find the open discrimination against, for instance, working class accents tiring and offensive, and so do the people who suffer it every single day, especially since our political elite have chose to legislate to outlaw so many other kinds of discrimination.
        I agree with John’s analysis that we should try to keep our wealthy people who got there through their own talent and hard work. Sure, I think the Pete Townsends, John Deacons, Robert Plants, Elton Johns should be very rich, they deserve it more than most.
        I am less convinced by the far higher numbers of mediocre people who inherited wealth, or were given an exceptional chance through expensive schooling, or contacts of the family, the reality of this country is we have very high numbers of people who are rich or at least in highly paid jobs who would not have made similar levels in many other countries. I am not sure any of the political parties really have a good story about what to do about this longer term, probably due to the major parties largely being inhabited at the top by such people.
        Re “As a society we are missing out hugely by not giving those at the bottom a chance” I agree there are some really clever people doomed to go to rubbish schools, brought up in a sink estate, who could and should have been powerhouses of our economy given even the slightest chance. In the old days the local dominant employers would compensate for the rubbish schools and train many of them to high levels, the pit deputies, and managers of shipyards etc, were often clever kids come up through the ranks like this. With the disappearance of such employers these chances for such kids have disappeared.
        Re “We would transform society by doubling our spend on education” I don’t think throwing money at a problem on its own solves anything, especially if the money was funnelled through the clueless education authorities etc. I would rather spending be increased by giving it to parents to spend as they choose, maybe start a cottage industry in out of school foreign language tuition, or computer science tuition, which could easily flourish if the money was there to incentivise people to provide those services, but please don’t let the current system have the money.
        I also worry about the people with low IQ’s. Jordan Peterson has done several talks on the people who have an IQ so low that the US Army rejects them as recruits, I think in any modern society times are always going to be tough for such people. Even the best education system will leave this problem. My own view is that it would be better to have them working as station masters in small train stations, which are currently unmanned, than to pay them benefits and tolerate the vandalism at these stations, as an example, there are many other walks of life that could use genuine honest trustworthy people, who are in the low IQ end of the scale. We should make jobs for them, instead of automating them out of the workforce.
        The other big thing that’s got to change to produce the changes John wants is the social housing system. Currently in the North we still have big housing estates built to house the workforces of mines, shipyards, etc, and since these employers have shut these houses are still there and the residents have largely been forced to stay by the way the social housing system works. If the residents were in control of their own housing subsidy they would have naturally moved closer to the evolving jobs markets themselves, but the way they have housing subsidy tied to one particular house in an unemployment blackspot it’s a very tough call and hence these places become benefits dependent estates which is not good for any of us. Why do we persist with heavily subsidised housing in areas with no jobs? Far better to free the people up to move of their own free will.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Do you want the money to be invested by someone who earned the money & knows how to save or invest it well or to take it off them and give it to government or perhaps a feckless alcoholic or drug adict to “invest”. Government investment is hugely less efficient on average.

      See Milton Friedman on the four ways you can spend money!

      • nhsgp
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        Quite. And that government promise to “invest” and to pay you a pension is the biggest cause of poverty, wealth inequality, austerity, …

        13 trillion pounds owed, and only 1.6 trillion accounted for.

  3. Nigl
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    The other way which must be part of the strategy is to reduce cost through efficiencies not cutting services.

    Massive cost overruns, duplication, appalling project management, non existent people performance management, unreformed and very expensive public sector pensions, quangos, wasted overseas aid etc all need to be dealt with.

    Unfortunately neither the political will nor the ‘business’ skills and understanding of our politicians, exists so nothing will happen which truly hacks off employers/employees in the private sector who have to pay and work to a different set of rules.

    If only your MPs could see the opportunity that the end of risk free, drab, machine politics that Mays going offers, true clear blue water could be established between you and momentum.

    Regrettably we are already seeing the ego driven beige people like Rudd, Truss, Hunt, Hancock (strewth) think they have what it takes to be PM. Excitement, leadership, Vision, some risk,plus of course true Brexiteers, all are needed and no they don’t.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Agree Nig1. My husband has just sent in his tax assessment through his accountant and has a letter back from the tax office informing him of how much he owes. One week later he receives a letter from them asking him to submit his tax return! What a waste of our money. I had a letter from the child support agency informing me that my case was closed and they would not be pursuing my sons father for maintenance anymore. 3 weeks later I had another letter saying the same thing. My son is now 24. Numpties, the lot of them.

    • mickc
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Whilst not PM material, (who of the contenders are….?), Matt Hancock is always “up for the fight ” even when the position is clearly indefensible and others are too frit to do it. It is an admirable quality. I would add that he is usually good humoured in doing so; again a useful quality.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Matt Hancock has sadly had the wool pulled over his eyes by the BS merchants supposedly leading digital in the NHS. He has made lots of announcements but delivered little, he presides over a system where CCG’s are not accountable to patients or GP’s, are nominally accountable to NHS England, but NHS England simply does not have the time to deal with the detail of their failings and wildly different decisions about which treatments they will support and fund. A system where leading a CCG is a ticket to doing whatever you want, with no pressure from the customers, and no accountability to anyone with the purse strings, little islands of madness where any decent services is simply an accident or the result of the worker bees doing something despite the leadership.

  4. Mark B
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    We are being taxed to the hilt and yet, we are still borrowing. Why ?

    The cost of Socialism cannot be borne by the wealthy alone. Sooner or later the government is going to come after those with cash, and that usually means those with income and assets. This cash cow is what is known as the Middle-class and it is usually they that vote Conservative.

    Following Socialist policies in the hope that people will like you and vote for you is daft. People are generally tribal in their politics and will not be so easily swayed. In short, all this pandering has just made the Tories less electable to an even broader set of people.

    I am also of the mind, although I have no evidence for it, that the EU, via our Civil Service, have created such a situation that, no matter who you vote for, your going to get the same policies mandated from Brussels.

    Just a thought.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Completely agree with the first part, Mark, though even as cynical as I’ve become I can’t quite bring myself to accept the second part… That way lies despair and depression, and I need at least some hope to make life worth living!

      It is however clear that heads will need to roll (figuratively speaking, of course) among the upper echelon of our Civil Service if any significant change of government is ever to succeed. As you say, they have become far too EU in their group thinking and that is the precise opposite of what our country will need following a clean Brexit.

      I suppose the only real difference is that I believe this is not only absolutely necessary, but actually doable.

    • Steve
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      “….no matter who you vote for, you’re going to get the same policies mandated from Brussels.”

      Well, yeah. That’s why we voted leave init.

  5. Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Traditionally it has been men who have been competitive. Men have gone out and got it. Men love to come top, to have the biggest, to – yes – show off a bit. Life is like, as you say, a game of football. The strongest, the best, succeed.
    Women are different traditionally. They build a family, a home. They pay equal attention to everyone – especially the most needy. They are concerned about the ones who can’t keep up.
    Thanks to women coming to the forefront of politics, therefore, there is a tendency to put the vulnerable centre stage, not the successful ones. Everyone after all, is equal. Everyone after all deserves a fair share of attention.
    The age of differentiation has gone.
    Evidence? Look at the News programmes.

  6. Ian wragg
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    By letting May continue with the WA charade, you have forfeited all right to govern.

    • Ian terry
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Ian wragg

      You are correct and what I think makes it worse they carry on as if all in the garden is lovely when in reality they show actual contempt about the possible legal action being bought about by Robin Tillbrook in the courts. If he wins the day as he seems really confident that he will “what happens next?” What has all this chaotic period in our history really been about. They waited on the Gina Millar case methinks they should have at least addressed this possible threat with more conviction. Inept is one word that comes to mind.

    • Timaction
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Indeed. I’d go further and say that the chance to remove her over a year ago to deliver a proper Brexit has left us all in a state of fear for over 3 years. Why on earth would anyone vote for more of the same when they now have an ethical, honest and patriotic Party formed and earning £100,000 a day from supporters to deliver what we want?
      Brexit Party will deliver us from these socialists.

  7. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I would define socialist policies as dogmatic and destructive – never mind what the alleged intentions are…
    WE should move away from calling life-enhancing policies as conservative, as that confuses the picture – Does a policy help more than it harms? If it does then it’s constructive, and goes towards the right hand pile of objectives.
    Taxation is one thing that keeps many poor – Basic items for life are taxed, meaning those on benefits require more benefits, all the time making life worse for the taxpayer. A revamp of our tax system is long overdue, one that removes loopholes and increases incentives, but it has to be done by making life-enhancment it’s core objective.

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    We are never going to see decent and honest government policies, that reward hard work and support those that need it, while we have the confounded 2010 Equalities Act in place.

    The basic theme of the act is to introduce ‘Fairness’ – This being a socialist concept, meaning that in all decisions made by government, prospects are weighted against ability and merit, and allows the establishment to insert laws against our morals, making second class citizens of those that oppose, or who are in the majority.

    • mickc
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Ah yes….a piece of legislation fully supported by May.

    • Posted May 19, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      This Act strikes at the very basis of a civilized and free society and it must be repealed. Another evil legacy of the last Labour Government accepted by its successor.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Equality for everyone but the white working class, especially men, who apparently it is ok to discriminate against. Hence why the political class are regarded as idiots.

  9. George Brooks
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Here here Agricola you are so right.

  10. Kenneth
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    A true market economy with light regulation allows competition to be the great leveller, disallowing monopolies and providing good value for money.

    The problem is that the left wing media hates right wing policies – particularly the BBC.

    Trouble is, people in public life need the BBC to keep them in their jobs or sell their books, or whatever wares they are peddling. Hence, too many in government take the path of least resistance and we end up with back-door socialism.

    This media tail that is wagging the dog needs to be cut off!

  11. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    You might find a Brexit Party will do the job. Conservatives definitely will not.

  12. Pat
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Diamond and Saez give 54% for the peak of the laffer curve so 45% top tax rate is ok- but not with NI which needs to be abolished, it just complicates the system and no longer has any relationship to benefits. Set that tax rate on all taxable income and it should be possible to raise the tax free allowance considerably for everyone. Sure there’ll be people in the top ten percent but not the top 1% who’ll lose out but 91% will either gain or hold even, and a good number of the losers have been posturing about taxing the rich.
    There’s £30bn pa to be saved by leaving the EU, scrapping foreign aid and scrapping HS2. Doubtless much more is to be found.
    Individual education accounts managed by parents would force schools to compete in both quality and price, improving both. Is it really useful to keep every child in school to 18? I suspect a large proportion would be better off leaving earlier. It beggars belief that a degree improves job performance in most cases, so there’s much time and money to be saved there, not to mention freeing up some talented people to do something useful.
    But to accomplish any of that requires a government that is serious about it. It strikes me that the vast majority of MPs are serious about their image and nothing else. Worse, it is their image with their peers they are serious about, they care little what the general public think.

  13. Richard1
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Can anyone now doubt that the threat of a hard left govt is having a major impact on growth and investment? The spectre of the terrorist sympathising Marxists must be lifted before we can get good levels of growth and investment back again.

  14. Everhopeful
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Whatever the political persuasion politicians only want one thing …. power, as far reaching as possible. The pursuit of wretched “equality” ultimately delivers the most power because “ equality” is actually reserved for the plebs. They all end up in equal poverty and oppression, as in “ Some animals….”.
    Taxation is now even more illegitimate than ever since the money collected is blatantly used for projects that many tax payers ( the ones who go to work in the mornings) do not want.
    It was utter idiocy for the Tories to move towards the Left (whatever Macmillan said). Talk about a commie wolf in sheep’s clothing …what about a Lib Dem in Conservative garb??
    And look at what it has achieved!
    But then ..maybe the present chaos is what they wanted all along?

  15. Kevin
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    The distinction between conservative and socialist should be more than
    one of economic policy. The fact that it keeps getting reduced to this
    may be one reason why people see this as a two-party state. In
    my mind, Labour is bent on a self-styled “moral” agenda that produces
    yearly reductions in civil liberties. Conservatives – please oppose this.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Indeed note terrorist Group Hamas’s recent thanks to Corbyn for his support. This is the sort of ‘moral’ policy we can expect from Labour. What are moderate MPs like Yvette Cooper doing in the same party as the likes of Corbyn & McDonnell?!

  16. Julie Williams
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    To put it bluntly, it needs to pay to work.
    What’s the point of importing cheap labour enlargements rocket along with obesity, depression and crime…..apart from the taxpayer subsidising business.

    • Julie Williams
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Blinking spellchecker: “whilst benefits” not…enlargements!

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    What on earth is a “sensible socialist”? They are often quite kind people but totally misguided and usually want to be kind with someone else’s money. It is someone who believes in an agenda so everyone is equally poor but with a few people driving in zil lanes.

    Equality is an absurd and dangerous agenda that damages everyone. If you take money off people who invest and use it well and give to to governments who use it appallingly it is hardly likely to benefit the economy as a whole. I would far rather have Bill and Melinda gates spending their money than governments wasting it. Even if their software is very annoying and time wasting.

    Corbyn and Mc Donnall are ‘politics of envy merchants, combined with their magic money tree agenda. Vote for us and we will steal off the rich, write off your student debts, cut you rents, build more social housing, invest in rail, expropriate the electricity and gas utility industries, increase minimum wages, nationalise and regulate the banks, destroy the property rental market …. a total con trick from beginning to end.

    All we need is a safety net if you have somewhere to live, enough to eat and medical care the rest should be up to you and your family to provide.

    • Ginty
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Sorry. They aren’t kind. Often the worst type of hypocrite and extremely aggressive and rude if challenged.

      • Ginty
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        There is a reason why leftist countries have killed far more of their citizens than others.

  18. J Bush
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    To my shame I have ended up on a contract in the civil service in the lead up to my retirement. Prior to that I worked in the private sector for over 40 years and gracious me, what a contrast and eye opener in the difference to the way these sectors operate!

    I never cease to be amazed by the supercilious attitude that they are always right and do not take kindly to me applying logic. Asking why the guidance’s used is subject to constant change on a commodity that is constant, or worse if I prove they are wrong on an issue. Stiff polite smiles exude venom as they thank me for pointing out the error. It is always the ‘customer’ who is at fault, never them.

    The sheer waste of manpower on useless convoluted box ticking processes. The waste of tax payers money on weekly hour long team meetings, which include a general knowledge quiz, the younger ones playing on their phones and general chit chat! The monthly breakfast gatherings away from your desk. Oh, and if you don’t want to attend this you can go off site for an hour and do some shopping! The idiocy is endless. This is not the way to conduct a business and a gobsmackingly disgraceful waste of taxpayers money.

    And this problem is evident right across the public sector and will invariably fail to help getting people out of poverty and into well paid jobs, because they are clueless about anything that doesn’t exist in their bubble.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Indeed not their money they are wasting so what do they care? They are just as happy doing something positively damaging as they are doing something totally useless. So long as they get a good salary and gold plated pension that is.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      J Bush

      One of our family members had exactly the same experience as yourself.

      The difference between Private Companies and Government organisations is like chalk and cheese.
      Government organisations seem to have No urgency, little in the way of looking for efficient working, few cost parameters, but always saying they never have enough money as the excuse for poor performance.

    • APL
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      J Bush: “The waste of tax payers money on weekly hour long team meetings, which include a general knowledge quiz, ”

      So when the Government laments the UKs loss of competitiveness, and urges us to be more efficient and competitive. It is the Civil servants that are briefing the MPs to spout this absolute rubbish on TV?

      The single most effective way the UK could become more internationally competitive would be to sack half the civil service, 30% of MPs, MSPs, MWAs, and all the QUANGOS & NGOs.

  19. Andy
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Yet you support Brexit. Which we now know beyond any doubt will hit growth and make people poorer than they would have been.

    Just this week a Brexit Party candidate Lucy Harris helpfully pointed out that we should not worry about this period of relative decline as it will only last 30 years or so.

    A question to everyone contributing to this blog. How old will you be in 30 years? My children will both be nearly 40 – and will have spent two decades of their working life paying for your Brexit. A Brexit their generation overwhelmingly does not want.

    • formula57
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Your post today allows me to point out to others here why I never join in the criticism you so freely suffer.

      Your willingness to set your children to work to hold harmless from the effects of Brexit me and my fellow baby boomers is one of the few altruistic acts in our selfish times. Thank you (and them of course, poor mites). I rest easy in the knowledge of their help.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile in the Telegraph today:- “Theresa May personally blocked ministers from proposing a new law that could have protected Northern Ireland veterans from facing murder charges, an explosive memo reveals.
      A private letter sent on the Prime Minister’s behalf orders that a government consultation on addressing unsolved murders during the Troubles “should not contain” proposals for a statute of limitations on historic prosecutions of military personnel.”

      Perhaps she can clarify her position and then resign.

      • APL
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        LifeLogic: “Perhaps she can clarify her position and then resign.”

        Or she could just resign.

      • Steve
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic

        Do you not wonder if the EU and southern Ireland has some hand in those prosecutions ?

    • oldwulf
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      @Andy. A few months ago there was an excellent article in the Guardian in support of lowering the voting age to six.

      The article went on to say:

      “Young people are massively outnumbered because the voting age is 18, whereas there isn’t a cut off point at the other end. You don’t lose the vote when you get to be 75. You can carry on voting until the day you die and there is no test. You could be frankly demented and still get to vote…”

      For local elections or general elections, the situation can be remedied every couple of years or so. For the more “long term” votes such as those in 1975 and 2016, a remedy is more challenging. For example, there are those who were unhappy with the outcome of the vote in 1975 but who accepted it. The winning margin was, of course, greater in 1975 than in 2016.

      • Andy
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        There are clear differences between 1975 and 2016.

        1975 was overwhelmingly. 2016 was not.

        1975 was a vote for something. 2016 was not a vote for anything. It was a vote against something.

        1975 was implemented slowly and cautiously. Eight years it took.

        2016, despite there still being no clear plan, we are told must be implemented in an impossible time frame. Even though nobody actually voted for anything.

        Those defeated in 1975 were not told to shut up. They were not called traitors. They were not told their opinion would never count again. Indeed, had they been we would not be here now.

        1975 was based on facts and evidence. In 2016 facts and evidence did not matter.

        I fully expect Brexit to happen. I also expect it to be undone before long. This is actually the best outcome. It will prove the Eurosceptics were frauds all along.

        Reply Yes, I lost in 1975 as a young voter and was told to shut up and told we would get the whole works as the country had consented to it.NO-one tried to compromise or go easy on the march to ever closer union, even though Remain in that referendum had denied any such thing would happen.

        • Ginty
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          I was too young to vote in 1975 and I am told my vote of 2016 should be ignored because I am too old.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Andy ..Well me and the missus were about in 1975, had 3 kids and a mortgage.
          It ‘was based on facts and evidence’….must have missed that working too many hours, not reading the right papers and worrying about the kids and the primary schools they would be attending. We felt it was effectively squeezing our nose and jumping in, trusting government knew what we as a nation should do. Sadly as the years went by we became annoyed at the poor economy, the indifferent attitude to us Brits, the seemingly excessive cost to get meaningless votes on straight bananas etc. For what must be last 20 years, and lots and lots of travel into Europe, business and pleasure, we have cemented our view that we want OUT, even at a cost.

    • Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Then again, Andy, just think – if we remained in your much-revered EU then your children by then would have already done their EU National Service (perhaps even seeing action, who knows?) and, if they’ve survived they’d be explaining to their own children what ”conscription” means and what they did in the war.

      At least I know I have ensured my own children freedom of choice in a free country. And who knows? They may even decide their country should rejoin the EU! But at least it will be their own choice as citizens of a sovereign nation, without shackles that would have deprived them of every option, except those allowed by the EU overlords.

      • Andy
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        This would not happen. Because if we remained we could veto the creation of an EU Army. Not that we would need to as most EU nations do not want one anyway.

        • Jagman84
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          Read the Lisbon Treaty and then get ready for your kids to be conscripted into the EU army. Your idea that we’d get a veto is a ‘dangerous fantasy’, to quote one of your fellow travellers.

        • anon
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          But the EU army is happening, irrespective of what the “people” of the EU want.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          Andy …. so you trust a vote on that eh? The only hope is that Russia, USA, CHINA etc will sell the EU a load of military hardware that they can disable easily. In case you don’t know, hardly any planes, tanks, guns, missiles, comms are compatible within the EU major defence countries. They will need to re-equip big time. I’m sure the superpowers will happily help you become another one.

          • Steve
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            Andy

            On reading your latest posts, in particular those in which you profess to be an expert on defence, and what this country is capable of, it occurs to me that you do talk a load of guff.

    • mickc
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Your children will, however, be able to vote for, or indeed vote out, those who rule them.
      If they feel the price is too high they will no doubt be able to vote to give up that right and rejoin whatever the EU has then become.

      • Andy
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Not under the Westminster system. They never get a vote for the government only for an MP – most of whom are in safe seats anyway. At least in Europe your vote counts.

        • mickc
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          The system delivered us into the EU, there is no reason it could not again.

        • Steve
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          “At least in Europe your vote counts.”

          Ha ha…….laughing like hell here, that’s a cracker, you need to go on stage Andy.

          But seriously, ask yourself why then are our laws made by UNELECTED bureaucrats in Brussels. Hence, what vote ?

    • Richard1
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      We do not know that beyond doubt, it depends on the policies adopted. If we get Corbyn and the Marxists then most certainly we will be very much worse off. But if we get the sort of policies pursued in such (non-EU) countries as Switzerland and Singapore then it is likely we will be much better off. Note that eg in Italy young people by a majority oppose EU membership. So it really does depend.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Exactly.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      On the contrary, Andy, this “glass half empty” thinking is precisely the root of the problem with this country today (or at least, with Remainers like yourself).

      I know that “your type” (forgive the generalisation) will avoid like the plague reading anything which might serve to even remotely challenge your beliefs, but please do yourself a favour and try just one. It may help explain why my glass is most definitely half full:

      https://brexitcentral.com/i-backed-remain-but-the-warped-project-fear-narrative-does-not-stand-up-to-scrutiny/

      • Andy
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        On the contrary. I read this site most days and Brexit Central, The Telegraph and posts by Brexiteers. To say I don’t read anything which may challenge my beliefs is clearly untrue.

        Do you read articles by Remainers? No, I thought not. I would recommend a really good piece in the Observer today about Guy Verhofstadt. Really interesting. But I do not expect any of you to read it.

        Incidentally I use evidence to ascertain how full the glass is. I can see with my own eyes that Brexit Britain’s glass is not half full. It is smashed in pieces on the floor.

        • Ginty
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          I listen to Remainers all the time. I dare not speak – they are always incandescent, before the result they were smug and assuming. Assuming that no-one could possibly ever disagree with them.

          You get Remain plus Corbyn

          You get a second referendum plus Corbyn.

          You get Brino PLUS Corbyn .

          Remainers never ever factor this economic impact in.

          • nhsgp
            Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

            The reason is that the WA contains no costing.
            There’s a simple reason why.
            80 bn a year cost.

            What we need is consent where remainers can say yes, get the EU goodies. Leavers can say no and are deprived of those goodies the remainers want.

            Then we tell HMRC, and remainers get all the costs, and leavers get a tax cut.

            Will remainers tolerate the EU with a 5,000 a year tax increase each?

        • Julie Dyson
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

          Andy, I notice that you didn’t actually offer any comment (I won’t ask for actual evidence because we both know it simply doesn’t exist) on the points raised in that article.

          Let’s just take one: billions upon billions of foreign investment continues to flow into Britain, in some cases in record amounts, and yet according to you we’re heading for a cliff edge. Do you really think the “smart money” would continue pouring into the country if the very smart people behind it thought for one minute that there’s even the remotest chance of an utter catastrophe as you claim?

          Actually, scratch that question. No doubt they’re all stupid and just don’t know what they’re doing — and are probably racists to boot.

      • Steve
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        Julie Dyson

        No, his type are remainers because they fear losing the perk of undeserved benefits which currently the EU says the British tax payer has to fund.

        He resentfully refers to it as ‘your’ brexit, because he’s miffed at the prospect of losing a nice little number.

        Most remainers are the same, it’s all about them, not the sovereignty of the nation.

        They are not the type of people we need when we leave the EU. We need grafters – people who roll their sleeves up and get on with it. That’s what scares him.

  20. Captain Peacock
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Iv just looked at Daily Mail comments and the hatred for May is unbelievable like its unbelievable the so called Tory party have kept her as leader.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      I think the hatred of her is entirely understandable. She has lied and cheated again and again. She is a traitor and an appalling economic illiterate socialist too. Why on earth did she join the Conservative party let alone get to lead it?

      Plus we now have the revelations in the Sunday Telegraph today too.

      • APL
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        LifeLogic: “Why on earth did she join the Conservative party let alone get to lead it?”

        The Manchurian candidate. It is a political thriller about a vicars daughter who is brainwashed by Marxists of the British Education system into infiltrating and destroying the British Tory party.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 19, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Sounds quite likely. Published in 1959 I note when she was about three.

  21. Alex
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Both conservatives and socialists believe that central planning can bring about prosperity. I see very little difference except in degree and detail between May’s shower and past Labour governments. What a shame we have no political party that thinks that people should not be molested by the state because they are capable of running their own lives better than a bunch of political and bureaucratic leeches. Oh hang on we do, vote Brexit Party.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Indeed.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Alex, I am.

  22. Dominic
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    You’re treating Labour like it’s a normal political party. It isn’t a normal political party. The people that have taken over this once moral entity are pure bred political animals. Their aim is total politicisation of all things and the creation of a hard-left political state that is beyond reform and they will crush the taxpayer to achieve it

    I would also suggest you focus not just on the economic plans but on their non-economic plans. This is the area I believe they will focus their oppressive laws targeting areas to crush debate affecting them.

    I believe they will also try and rig our democratic structures to prevent their removal from office.

    I believe they will attempt to abolish the constitutional monarchy

    Local government will be restructured and placed under Marxist control

    Marxist Labour will leave no stone unturned to construct a political infrastructure that makes reform utterly impossible

    Considering all of this, then I believe this article fails catastrophically in exposing the real dangers posed by Corbyn and his conspirators

    Either expose them fully (economic AND non-economic plans) across the board or don’t bother

    • Steve
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Dominic

      I believe they will also try and rig our democratic structures to prevent their removal from office.”

      Theresa May’s beaten them to it.

      “Local government will be restructured and placed under Marxist control”

      What do you mean ‘will be’……it is already.

  23. Peter
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…..

    You are just talking about taxation policy not jobs.

    Offshoring jobs is the huge issue. ‘Entrepreneurs, footballers and great entertainers’? Not so much. (You don’t mention terrible entertainers.)

    A gig economy is no life for most people trying to earn a living, despite the much-trumpeted ‘flexibility’.

    ‘Trickle down economics’ is just make believe.

    • mickc
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Taxation policy and jobs are interdependent. If having a job, or employing someone is made uneconomic by the tax structure there will be lower employment.
      Indeed offshoring is a problem; the answer is tariffs, or in other words a change in the tax structure.

  24. Christine
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    John, to get any of this you need a leader who has vision and believes in the country, rather than corporate big business. I suggest that before the leadership challenge begins all the Conservative Brexiteers have their own vote and decide which candidate to put forward. Otherwise you run the risk of the best person being eliminated. If the last 3 years has taught you anything it’s that the other side is devious and fights dirty. You have to get someone decent in the final two candidates. The party members will do the rest. United we stand divided we fall.

  25. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Another no brainer.

    Thanks for the link Facts4EU, today’s offering says only 29 MPs are reliable Brexiteers. About 60 Conservative MPs are forming a “One Nation Caucus” apparently to stop a Leave PM.

    • Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Facts4EU is always worth reading, as is this blog, before the daily plunge into the Main Stream Mania. At least we can get something informative, measured and balanced before being presented with media hype.

  26. ukretired123
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Real Conservatives help create a bigger ‘Economic Cake’ first before sharing it.
    By contrast Socialists like to debate sharing the cake before it has been created.
    Putting the cart before the horse like this creates reluctant endeavours to create it at all.
    Most Socialists lack business experience and pretend they know looking from afar.
    Business folk recognise them right away as they have no empathy to them like an apprentice guessing and the giveaway is poor listeners.
    Risk taking is necessary and produces heroes and zeros weekly track records.
    If rewards occur Socialists think is is by default without recognising the cost of the risks.
    Why would anyone work their socks off to be judged by those who just talk talk and criticise their efforts?
    Self employed folks like my experience find we help bail out bigger often national companies who have lost their way.
    Businesses should be seen as Problem Solvers and judged and yes cherished if that is the case. If not they either and die.
    The EU proposal to record every hour worked by every employee in every small or large company demonstrates quote clearly they assume the business has already made it big!
    Totally out of touch with reality and a recipe not to employ people at all!

  27. libertarian
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    If you want better paid jobs then STOP increasing the cost of employment, STOP adding business taxes and pointless regulations that inhibit business and add to the cost of employment

    Employers pay 13.8% National Insurance then for the same thing another 3% for workplace pension , so 16.8% of YOUR potential extra pay is going to the government , thats without business rates and the cost of compliance with maternity/paternity/sickpay & also the cost of compliance with utter cobblers like GDPR, VATMOSS , doing the taxman work for them etc etc

  28. Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    We now have the prospect of WA mark 4, changed we are told. May must be playing with a few commas because she can change nothing, the EU have told her so time after time. Or is it miracle of miracles she has decided to eliminate all the articles you drew to the attention of the AG.

    Meanwhile all those of absolutely no relevance such as the Soubry are being resurrected by the media to add their dose of poison to the body politic. All can barely mention the two elephants we have in the room, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson. Both are of course closer to the wishes of the electorate, perhaps that is what makes them an anathema to the chattering classes. While Soubry erupts in the background I ask what possible relevance does she have at this point in time.

    I wonder what effect the tsunami of the EU elections can have on this collection of donkeys we keep in the HoC . Marr can only produce Corbyn, Cable, and Sturgeon. What is the point. They are all losers and have little to contribute to the future of the UK. Why are we surrounded by lance corporals.

    The printed media are generally on the money, all credit to them. I do not think the establishment realise just how powerful social media is, this diary included. Considering the hostility of the broadcast media, work out how the Brexit Party can explode onto the scene in a matter of days and be way out in the polls for the EU elections. Simple they are selling goods people wish to buy, goods that none of the other parties have on their shelves, despite all their talk.

    For the conservatives next Sunday is the point at which they wake up or visit the end of life clinic. Rest assured Nigel will have learnt a lot from the past few years and will be ready for the next GE with a workable manifesto, and that is when politics in the UK changes for good, no more two party carve up of the electorate. May has handed him a no brainer this week in failing to put an end to the prosecution of UK servicemen from NI days while the murdering terrorists roam free by treaty agreement. Interesting times.

  29. Prigger
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Inequality works.
    Equality has never been put in to practice. Attempting it in all experiments in their fullness has led to greater inequality. Russia, China, Venezuela, North Korea, Vietnam, Syria, yes Syria, Mongolia, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Albania,Hungary. Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, EU( north and south), Georgia,Cuba, Chile Yemen…
    Corbyn and McDonnell. What they wish never gets further than “Well it wasn’t equality” ( socialism) No. But they were socialist equality attempts leading directly and quickly to mass murder, starvation on massive proportions unknown prior to the attempts.
    They should be disallowed grooming underage young people. So too the Greens.

    • Posted May 19, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      On the money. Equality is not in the human DNA, I have not noticed it in the animal kindom either. All we have to remember is that if we are one of those privaleged with more talent than most is that we are morally bound to look after the disadvantaged in whatever form they come. In the animal kingdom you just get killed off.

      Possibly the nearest we get to an institution of equality is in a monastry/nunnery. I suspect there may be a pecking order even there. Perhaps there is an abbott out there who could enlighten us.

      • Prigger
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        DNA. I never think as deeply as that.
        The old adage that we are each dealt a hand at cards at birth hits it.
        You can play your hand foxily of course but you only have the one hand to do it.
        I personally, recently, may have found many DNAs are buried, covered, knocked back, inhibited from within and without like, a mind-engine damper.
        It may be found to be true we all have a full pack of cards beneath the surface and that we have been playing solo.
        In this connection being intelligent as seen, is showing the intelligence of our Era. High IQ people may not have thrived in much earlier times where that kind of intelligence was not advantageous at all. It may be and I think it true just now, our present IQs in some regards are detrimental to individual and social progression. “She’s too intelligent for the job we have advertised” or “She’s not intelligent enough for the job we have advertised” Take Mrs May in either of the two cases it still works out the same. Not many University exams are based on the answer being no ifs no buts Yes and No equally and simultaneously on identical grounds.
        I may have always been superior 🙂

        • Prigger
          Posted May 20, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          Not quite superior. My mind was on the card game of Solitaire sometimes called Patience.My brain pushed up Solo to my finger ends. My brain and mind were both right 🙂

  30. Iain Gill
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    The other big theme should be power to the individual citizen.

    Labour like having unaccountable burerocrats rationing services. Conservatives should stand for firm guarantees of what citizens are entitled to, and the buying power given to individual citizens to take wherever they want to procure those guarantees.

    Take the power away from education authorities, CCG’S, housing associations, and instead hand the cheques over to individuals.

    In planning have some nationally agreed housing designs which local planning can only change in truely exceptional circumstances.

    Stop mass immigration.

    Start taxing foreign workers at least as much as locals.

    Put significant government resources into protecting British intellectual property.

    There I have just written a winning manifesto if only the conservatives could be trusted to keep their promises.

    • Posted May 19, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes, power to the people is a great thought. Providing that the financial element of that power is only useable where it was intended. An education grant only for education, not down at the pub. Socialism uses power, retained centrally, to control people. If it offered freedom of choice it would lose control. I would point out that whenever it has had control in the UK it has been a financial and political disaster.

      On immigration I would also call an end to Blair’s open door which has run unrestrained since his departure. Only import what we want with very specific restrictions. Most important train what we want from within. Consider using prison labour in the agricultural industry. Worth a trial scheme. I always thought that working immigrants would be taxed just like everyone else if the earnt enough. Excluding oligarchs of course.

      Successive British governments have an appalling record on intellectual property. Think of for instance; the computer, radar, jet propulsion, hovercraft, the Miles rocket aircraft, DNA, the Internet, Chobham armour. How much does the outside world pay UK individuals or the nation for their use. Little or nothing I suspect. I believe Frank Whittle got £100,000 for his jet engine, and Alan Turing a belated statue after being hounded by the state to his death. We need a really robust patent office. If we get there first the next area in need of protection will be fusion energy, but don’t trust government to provide it, not ours anyway.

      The list for the Brexit Party’s manifesto is limitless, I am sure that Nigel is onto it.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        re “I always thought that working immigrants would be taxed just like everyone else” sadly not always the case. many are entitled to first 12 months in the country free of both employers and employees national insurance as a simple example.

  31. Rien Huizer
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    The employment level in the UK is very high and unemployment is very low (not the same but it habbens to be true both ways). That against a background of having possibly 3 and at least (because no one knows the actual number due to the lack of comprehensive registration) 2%. These people are unlikely to stay and their departure (i do not believe that there a re good alternatives from eg the subcontinent or Africa) will have the effect to cause upward pressure ion the price of labour. So, ending immigration is a way to boost hourly wages and thus reduce poverty among the employed. However the same will lead to severe bottlenecks in certain industries and possibly further widen the trade deficit putting downward pressure on the GBP and possibly provoking BoE action (higher rates) or failing that, higher inflation. The best way is to not (repeat not) cause unneccesary harm to the economy by finding a way to satisfy nationalism without sacrificing economic rationalism. So far I have not seen anyone come up with a solution that could survive a general election.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Unemployment figures are bogus in so many ways. Staggers me when reality is so obvious in front of our noses.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Correct. Thousands on pointless courses. Over 60s put on pension credits and perfectly healthy people on invalidity benefits.
        Motability one of the biggest scams, a volunteer who is so enormous she gets extra money and a car.
        What’s the point in working and saving.
        John. Can you confirm that part of the Good Friday agreement the IRA got an amnesty and the US insisted that the British soldiers where prosecuted.
        I believe that to be the case.

    • Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      In terms of immigration, only import what you want for a specific need and with strict but humane controls. Train internally.

      We have always welcomed immigrants in need/genuine asaylum seekers for many hundreds of years past, specifically when Europe was persecuting them. They have been a great asset to the UK.

      Due to Blairs open door policy they got a bad name , but we like the diversity it has given to our cuisine if nothing else. We do not like illegals of which we have an estimated 2 million. When the desperate of the World are prepared to row the English Channel in a rubber boat we must be a very attractive prospect. Why do they not wish to stay in the EU where they should be asking for assaylum. What have they perceived that you do not realise yourselves.

  32. ian
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I see that you’re still following what you were told at UNI and in banking and business while you were there, you have lost the capacity to think on your own on this subject and outside of the box, your mind has been put into.
    In other words, you have been brainwash, Sir.

  33. nhsgp
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Stop taking their pension contributions and spending them.

    Simple solution.

    But you have a 13 trillion pound debt problem.

    And you have May where the WA costs 80 bn a year.

    Why should people be pushed into poverty to pay the EU John?

  34. Newmania
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    New Labour set the top rate trap and in conditions of income stagnation it was politically impossible to make the rich richer. Had his job had been confined to the back bench opining he might well have regretted this
    George Osborne navigated the country form 2008 towards economic stability with miraculously steady hands. By contrast you supported dropping his debt reduction plans to fling at the economy in order to save the appearances of Brexit
    As George Osborne said , its no good talking about free trade and then enacting the most protectionist policy this country has ever seen
    The Conservative Party it is no longer a Party where Economic social Liberals are welcome, it despises the City it cares nothing for services it is anti immigrant , it derides expertise and it has no further interest in evidence based Policy.

    ..and then despite all its desperate efforts to be Nigel Farrago in blue, people smell fraud and so it is not even popular.
    It is time it died

    • Ginty
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Appoint a Eurosceptic as PM and see what happens to Tory ratings.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Ginty….it will take total (?) replacements at Cabinet, 1922 and a BIG slice of the current Tory MPs. The damage is done and was built over the 3 years, seemingly un-noticed by the majority of Tory MPs. If you think merely getting May out for some temporary Leaver PM will address the droves refusing to vote Tory for at least another GE you have another think coming. This is of Titanic proportions make no mistake.

  35. ian
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    and it no good the socialist and communism talking about the subject, they have been brainwashed as well and have nothing to offer, they are intellectually bankrupt and have no moral standing at all.

  36. Lester Beedell
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    It reminds me of children in the playground, despite the overwhelming evidence that Boris Johnson is the only candidate who could rescue the Conservative Party there are MPs who are desperate that he should never become Prime Minister, I truly despair and the revelations in the Sunday Telegraph today about May being behind the decision to remove the immunity from prosecution from the Veterans, I don’t think that I’m capable of being shocked anymore!

    It’s the Brexit Party for me on the 23rd, exceptionally good and honest candidates, I’m delivering more leaflets in the village today!

    • Ian wragg
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      The only leaflet we have received is from the Brexit Party. They have my vote and £25.

  37. Posted May 19, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    There will be No change from any of the three main parties, there is nothing what ever to chose between them.

    If you want Democracy non of the above will give you that, if you crave Democricy like we all should.
    Your best ever choice is The Brexit Party.

    Every one else is nothing more than , We will tell you what you want.

    They are so wrapped up in themselves that every day all day long they are seen by everyone kicking poor old Democricy down the road.

    They are immune to the spectacle they create of demented bully boys and girls fighting against the majority vote.

    Farage will not let us down, I would stake my life on him and his team.

    He is nothing like Vince Cable, or anyone in the Cabinet ,or anyone close to May, or anyone apart from Boris who are looking to be picked to succeed the PM

    We all need Democricy, that system has always been a winner, but it demands that you are looking after it at all times, otherwise you end up with this nest of ghastly people, much like the one that Cromwell had to dissmiss in 1653.

    Get total change from this Parliament, vote for nothing less than Democricy

    Vote The Brexit Party or more of the same for for life.

    Even if dear Boris could be the new leader, he is still surrounded with the same rubbish people, all out for themselves and no business sence at all ?

  38. margaret howard
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    JR

    “That requires a policy which allows entrepreneurs, footballers and great entertainers to keep more of their earnings so they stay here and pay tax here”

    Oh dear, oh dear. You really believe that?

    Past experience shows that the only contribution they make to society is to employ a whole section of ‘tax (avoidance) experts’ to show them where to park their ridiculous earnings using loopholes in the system to pay as little tax as possible.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      In other news the top 1% of earners are paying record amounts of income tax.
      28% of all income tax.
      And the top tenth of taxpayers paid 60% of all income tax.

  39. BR
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s a while since i saw the conservative (small ‘c’) principles stated in public. They are good to read and make sense. In many ways that’s preaching to the converted on this site – the real question is how to get that message across to people nationally and to see these values being espoused by MPs (and see them actually enact them rather than paying lip service).

    Perhaps, with the leadership election about to start, now would be a good time to start re-airing these principles.

    However, I suspect that you and other MPs will be too busy trying to stop the crazed woman from devising a ridiculous new set of WA giveaway s to try to secure her ‘legacy’. Why did Brady allow this? If she offers a CU, 2nd ref by 3rd June and it passes, that will be a gigantic own-goal for the Tory party.

    How can yo make these people understand that getting the WA over the line will turn people like myself to TBP forever? Ostriches like Batten who said today that he doesn’t believe the polls (and presumably the 22 committee) are in for a shock. Boris may be the only chance the Tories have left.

  40. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    My take is different. My main aim is more freedom and a smaller State. Faced with an insatiable demand for ever higher revenue demands to finance greater public services, my reaction is to ask why more of the public services cannot be private. People that use services should pay for services. Taxation would automatically be lower overall and deciding who should benefit most would be a pleasant chore.

    Just to take one example, there is no reason why railways should not be run at a profit, a provider of revenue as opposed to a basket case. Some basic principles:
    – Reintegrate track and trains by creating corridor or area private sector monopolies, getting rid of the bonanza for banks, lawyers, administrators and consultants that the current system of privatisation (covering only services) results in. Competition would come from other transport modes such as cars, airlines and trucks.
    – Network Rail would as a consequence cease to exist.
    – What types of transport carriage are the most environmentally friendly? Full ones are because what matters is emissions per million passenger miles. So take demand into account, don’t be a slave to existing operational constraints.
    – Allocate carriage types in response to demand, that is business carriages with full wi-fi, plenty of space and waiter service so that business class passengers can work on trains; second class carriages on which passengers are guaranteed a seat; and standing only carriages.
    – Form trains of one or more of these types to carriage according to local demand.
    – Commercialise more stations.
    – Sell off surplus land.

    What of the poor? Flexible and limited subsidies could be applied to selected bus routes to ensure universal public transport access. Running one or two buses each way each day on selected routes that go ‘all around the houses’ would normally suffice.

  41. J Bush
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    There is a huge difference between equality and fairness. Some low paid and unemployed will never achieve ‘well paid jobs’. You cannot pay the same or similar pay to 2 different people, when the responsibilities of their employment are poles apart. But they could have better paid jobs.

    For decades the lowest percentile have the highest tax burden. Sadly, the current Chancellor like all the previous socialist ones appear ignorant of this fact, or perhaps they don’t care that their tax regimes and bureaucratic overkill are the most damaging of all to the low paid. Or perhaps State dependency and control is also the goal of the present Chancellor as well.

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, on Sky this morning Sophy Ridge described the (largely invented) problem of the Irish land border as “a conundrum yet to be solved”.

    Not so, as an easy solution was offered in February 2018 in a letter printed in the Prime Minister’s local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser:

    https://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/news/letters-to-the-editor/128146/easy-solution-to-eu-border-conundrum.html

    “Easy solution to EU border conundrum”

    And revisited in a rather long succession of explanatory letters printed since then, some of which were copied directly to her and acknowledged by her assistant.

    The fact that she has proved totally impervious to my suggestion has led me to conclude that she, and also Leo Varadkar, prefer to listen to Carolyn Fairbairn at the CBI.

    Here is the first sentence of my most recent letter, printed on Thursday:

    “Because our Prime Minister allowed her counterpart in Dublin to make a mountain out of a molehill on the Irish border we now face elections for the EU Parliament.”

    And of course after that we face not leaving the EU at all, because how else can all this end if it carries on as it has done over the past two years and eleven months?

  43. Steve
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I see she’s trying to bribe Labour MP’s by making a bold offer on worker’s rights.

    So, these rights she speaks of weren’t there yesterday, but they’re here today….funny or what?

    I Hope Labour tell her to shove it, firmly and squarely.

    The scorned and bitter woman has no regard for fair play and common decency, it’s all about HER, and her aim of selling the country down the river with BRINO.

    Why the hell is there a problem getting the quisling out of office ? Either the entire house forces her to walk with cries of ‘out, out, out’…..or just have a couple of heavies march her through the exit and onto the street outside.

    The entire HoC is a weak, corrupt, self serving pathetic spineless lot.

    One bloody woman, eh……650 of ’em and they can’t shift one woman. They’re all a disgrace !

    For God’s sake someone shift her and put IDS in.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      I would also suggest that Ollie Robbins got some minor adjustments to the never to be delivered Political Declaration on his visit to the EU last week.

      Hopefully anyone with half a brain will see though the latest May scam…

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 19, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Steve

      “For God’s sake someone shift her and put IDS in.”
      ==

      Is that supposed to be tongue in cheek?

      Ian Duncan Smith Wiki:

      “Many Conservative MPs came to consider him incapable of winning an election when he was Conservative Party Leader. In 2003, Conservative MPs passed a vote of no confidence in his leadership; he immediately resigned, and was succeeded by Michael Howard”

      • APL
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard: “Many Conservative MPs came to consider him incapable of winning an election when he was Conservative Party Leader. ”

        IDS had the misfortune to run against the oily & dishonest Anthony Blair.

        That’s not to say, I much cared for IDS, but it turns out he wasn’t quite as much a liar as his predecessor William ’19 pints’ Hague.

      • Steve
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        MH

        For ‘Many Conservative MP’s’ read: ‘Many Europhile judas backstabbers’

        They also know Theresa May has destroyed any hope of the Tories winning another election – ever again. Yet she is still in office, why ?……..because she’s a Europhile.

  44. Dominic
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    If the Tory party’s going to destroy Labour at the next GE they must elect a Eurosceptic and a believer in meritocracy. A believer in lower tax, a smaller state, less interfering and the obliteration of liberal left tosh

    Look to Scott Morrison in Australia to see how to smash Labour in one easy lesson

    The real people of the UK, as opposed to the liberal left idiots in London, are yearning to be freed from the grip of oppression is being imposed by people like May, Lammy and Rudd

  45. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    The real test for any policy will be keeping the differential between skilled and unskilled earners and positions with responsibility.

    Why should I take a job with responsibilities when I can earn the same with universal credit by stacking shelves for minimum wage.

    I work for the money not for the satisfaction and there are many like me.

  46. BillMayes
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    A waste of effort trying to persuade to change the existing regime in the Party.
    What is it with the Conservative Party that they have a problem “Getting their message across”?
    Mrs Thatcher became PM because the people related to the striking advertisements by Saatchi and Saatchi. “Labour isn’t working” a prime example.
    Why didn’t they similarly promote the “Poll Tax”?
    The liberal left elites deviously named ‘Poll Tax’, was an excellent way for ALL working citizens to have a democratic control over their local councils. Whereby the householder with a home full of workings people was not tasked with the sole responsibility of paying for the households local services. It was shared by all. And it meant that those who benefited from councils that over spent of those who did not pay any taxes, could not hold a disproportional vote for the councillors who were more generous with householders money. It, unfortunately failed, because it was not promoted in a professional explanatory manner, like the Saatchi adverts. So, the violent efforts of the liberal left, won again.
    Nothing has changed since then. The Tories in their HQ are so out of date and it is because of these idiots who fail to see the light, that the Conservative Party is due to fall off of the Cliff.
    Only a clean sweep of the upper echelons of the Party and a seriously good professional promotional strategy adopted will even start to bring about a revival.
    The current incumbents of Number 10 and the Cabinet are truly Conservatives unfit for purpose. The above example demonstrates that they ALL must go, for they are all past their ‘sell-by Date’. To coin a popular phrase.

  47. Vernon Wright
    Posted May 19, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Well put, Sir John. The phenomenon you describe has, however, been a characteristic of socialism since its inception.

    Members of to-day’s Parliamentary Conservative Party (apparently socialists to a man) — including members of the E.R.G. — ought to accept responsibility for the current situation: their condemning the Prime Minister’s policies whilst simultaneously endorsing her as leader, particularly in the recent vote of no confidence, beggars belief.

    Either she’s up to the task or she isn’t. In my respectful submission she isn’t (and ought never to have been appointed party leader); a fortiori having regard to her disastrous attempt to thwart Brexit whilst simultaneously pretending to implement it!

    Avaunt, Prime Meddler, begone!

    ΠΞ

  48. BR
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    P.S. There is no such thing as “poverty” in his country.

    Please don’t fall into the trap of using the words/definitions of the enemy – “progressive” politics being another example.

    How can it be progress that we enforce equality, despite the differences in skills, qualifications, experience, aptitude and effort of the individual?

    Even the Bible says that “All Men are BORN equal”…

    Notes:

    1. Men (capitalised) as in Mankind (not gender-specific).

    2, BORN equal. They start out that way – there is nothing to say that equality must be maintained throughout. All we can do is provide equality of OPPORTUNITY…

    3, And that means … a meritocracy. No women-only lists (or men-only). Appointment on (justifiable) merit, no more no less..

  49. margaret
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I certainly want to lower or remove inequality as I believe everyone is born equal and as Andy comments politics should strive to equalise opportunity.I do not believe anyone is superior or inferior to myself and if things were logically reversed , believe this too. Upbringing and finances change all the innate equality and methods used to gain control . The social devices are too many too itemise, yet I also believe in liberalism as freedom is important. Conservation of our natural world and conservative management of our structure helps survival: so what little tick box should I be encapsulated in ?

    • Ginty
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Remembering that there is a queue that has been stood in for a number of generations before promoting people with lower grades on the basis of filling quotas. Otherwise you have queue jumping.

      Social mobility usually takes place over three generations for most families.

  50. ChrisS
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, greed and envy are something of a National Trait here in the UK, especially amongst those on the left.

    The rich already pay a disproportionate amount of tax – we’ve all seen the stats on it – but Corbyn and his Marxist rabble demand even more. Even Hammond and Osbourne before him weren’t immune from appeasing the mob by increasing taxes like CGT and income tax. They must have been warned that the new rates would actually decrease the overall tax take.

    Our tendency towards Greed and envy can be demonstrated thus :

    When I lived and worked in Germany, if one bought a new car, the tradition was you took in a bottle of Sparkling Wine and your colleagues would toast the car.
    Here, if you buy a new car, the temptation is to say nothing and park it round the corner !

    In Germany the thought would be, “if I work as hard as that, I can afford a new car”.
    In Britain it’s more likely to be ” why the hell should he be able to afford a new car.”

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

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