Brexit, populism and the future of the EU – new talk at Politeia, 2 July

The Foreign Press event about my book “We don’t believe you” may not allow the public tickets we now learn. I will keep you posted if the press relents over wider public access to the event on  24 June

Owing to strong demand I have arranged a new  presentation and event with Politeia for 2 July at lunch time at the Oxford and Cambridge Club, Pall Mall. They can help you with tickets on 0207 799 5034. This will help those who were too late for tickets for the IEA. It will be a different talk with a  panel to follow up interesting and topical issues.

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  1. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    You are showing leadership contenders how it should have been done. We want the issues properly analyses and discussed – we want to challenge you on your proposals – Wow – that sounds like the way Parliament should work … will come as a surprise to Rory. If Rory’s proposal for a scientifically selected assembly works for Brexit, which he says is too difficult for `parliament’ – why Recall them? The ‘assembly’ may as well just trundle on and we can all concentrate on how to manipulate the ‘scientific selection machine’.

    • sm
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      I see you went to the same School For Cynics as I did, Lynn.

      Who will select the scientists who will do the selection for this Assembly?

      Who will select the selectors who will select the scientists who will do the selection for this Assembly?

      And if the Assembly comes up with suggestions and answers that Parliament doesn’t like, we will presumably be told the Assembly was only, ahem, advisory.

      • agricola
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Yes we have a scientific assembly advocating highly spurious solutions to climate change. They think they can control the Sun without ever offering a clue as to how. There are also more realistic assemblies of scientists who say, sort out the environment and enjoy immeasurable benefit to mankind, and if you are very very lucky there might just be a minute climate benefit. When we got rid of smog it improved thermal activity east of Birmingham. Scientists and engineers are the answer to making fossil fuels harmless, so use them. They have more to offer than a majority oh HoC lawyers and banshee green yurt dwellers.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink


    • agricola
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      I suspect that many MPs have in reality and thinking been reduced to the level of effectiveness of parish councillors. I believe it suits many of them because they can shrug off responsibility as disasters occure. The mechanism for lifting responsibility from them has been the EU and a myriad of quangos. Corporations use condultants to sort out their management failings in a similar way. With the exception of very specialist areas, I look upon consultants as an admission of failure. The fact that our host and a few like minded MPs are prepared to expend serious intellectual thought on our challenges is to be admired and encouraged. Come the day we leave the EU that is what we will need in abundance.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Rory wants polling companies to select the people for his Unicorn Assembly. That’s a bad start. They will advise him on Brexit – but they are not allowed to propose no deal. Or a second referendum. He’s made that clear. They could propose May’s. WA be ratified, but even then Rory reserves the right to reject that – the Unicorn Assembly is purely advisory. Of course what he really really wants is for them to propose revoking A50. Anyone taken in by his drivel (mostly young people and non-Conservative voters) deserve our sympathy. He’s Tony Blair for the generation who do t remember Tönt Blair.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Good I will be in London that day as it happens.

    Ruth Davidson in the Telegraph today:- A pact with Brexit Party would be an admission Tories are dead, Even in this new age of politics, Conservatives can still beat insurgent parties if we actually leave the EU.

    Well Ruth, Cameron only just managed to scrape a slim majority in 2015, due to his referendum promise and the collapse of the UKIP netting me a few £thousands at about 4 to 1. So how on earth will the Conservative win an overall majority without a Brexit Party accommodation of some form or other? You are totally deluded so some maths dear. Unless that is the Conservative become a real Brexit party in all but name. But how can they do that when 70% of their MPs, are socialists, tax borrow and waste, PC, identity politics pushers, Libdim remainers like Ruth? No very likely even if Borris or Rabb win. Zero chance if they do not.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      UKIP in 2015 took just 12% in 2015 and that was almost enough to stop an overall majority. Look at the Peterborough or the EU elections. Boris will have huge difficulties delivering Brexit. He has a far worse starting point than T May did but he is at least not an idiot or a traitor.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        I would reserve judgement if I were you,LL.

        Events,dear boy,events!

        • Mark B
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:37 am | Permalink

          I agree.

    • Stred
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      You missed Green loon. Even Boris supports running the country on windmills.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Why on earth would the Brexit Party want a pact with the Conservatives?

      • Steve
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Roy Grainger

        ……well, better than a pact with Corbyn.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:38 am | Permalink

        Exactly ! Why would they ?

  3. Leaver
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I’ve been following the leadership debates.

    Don’t like this Rory Stewart fellow, but he’s making the others look like idiots.

    He worries me a lot.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Actually they all talked like idiots in the last debate, apart from Boris Johnson who was not there to talk like an idiot but will have his chance tonight.

      In contrast the charming Dia Chakravarty talked sense on the Sky press review last night, saying that she was fed up with pointing out again and again that whatever UK politicians may decide EU will not – cannot – “take no deal off the table”.

      “MPs huffing and puffing about taking No Deal off the table know very well that UK can’t unilaterally do that. If we don’t agree to EU’s terms or they don’t agree to ours, only way to avoid No Deal is revoking Art 50. If that’s what they’re advocating, just be honest FGS.”

      I also got fed up saying it when her newspaper eschewed my second letter:

      “Speaking in the Commons debate today an MP claimed that the people “want no deal taken off the table”.

      Even if that were the case it could not be achieved through a decision taken just by the UK, rather it would be necessary to persuade the EU and all its member states to amend Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union which at present does not permit the EU to take no deal off the table.

      What is being proposed is comparable to the unilateral disarmament advocated by Jeremy Corbyn and his colleagues in CND, and just as foolish.”

    • jane4brexit
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I don’t trust the way Rory Stewart is being promoted by the media, the BBC, people phoning phone-ins when he was largely unknown saying he is the best candidate and even despite the one thing that should have squashed all and any support…he is the one May voted for (plus all the usual Remainers).

      If he wins I will have even less faith in the Conservative Party and all government linked elections than I do now, which would be difficult to happen. To think only as long ago as 2015 I assumed elections in this country, apart from the odd unusual event and the possible abuse of postal votes, to be democratic and fair.

      There are a few articles about Stewart on The Conservative Woman and the comments are worth a read, the only ones with a good word for him only have it because they want the Party totally destroyed. If he wins I will think it was fixed.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        It is a sufficient condemnation of Rory Stewart that he is being promoted by that europhiliac weasel David Lidington … but I have just read this:

        “As a young Tory I am supporting Rory Stewart for the sake of my future”

        “This is why I will be supporting Rory Stewart – the only candidate who is honest about the fact that no deal will be a disaster for this country.”

        Well, as somebody who has always said that we should aim for an orderly withdrawal I would say that leaving with no deal would be sub-optimal in the shorter term, but not a disaster, and in fact the German government would agree with me and not with our government on that:

        But if Rory Stewart thinks it would be a disaster why did he repeatedly vote for the government to serve the Article 50 notice without any safeguarding provision to ensure that we would only leave with a deal?

        Did he neglect to read Article 50, was it too difficult for him to understand that it could lead to a supposedly disastrous withdrawal without a deal just as well as withdrawal with a deal – and it had been deliberately written like that so that a member state which wished to withdraw would not need the agreement of the other member states – or was he just slavishly following the party line as laid down by his party leader?

        For that matter, why did Theresa May, who now says she is determined to stop us leaving without a deal, previously say that “no deal would be better than a bad deal”, and why did she make no attempt to include some kind of safeguarding provision in the Bill as she had it introduced?

        • Steve
          Posted June 18, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Dennis Cooper

          “For that matter, why did Theresa May, who now says she is determined to stop us leaving without a deal, previously say that “no deal would be better than a bad deal”, and why did she make no attempt to include some kind of safeguarding provision in the Bill as she had it introduced?”

          Simple, she was telling lies.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Rory, along with Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston was selected under Cameron’s open selection process. That worked well.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Me too. But is it better if the Conservative Party (full of pro remain socialist MPs as it is) is destroyed by electing an appalling socialist like Rory – T May in a kilt – slightly less robotic, but no more electoral appeal at all.

      • Steve
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink


        “I don’t trust the way Rory Stewart is being promoted by the media,”

        Well as far as the press is concerned he requires much less ink than the rest of ’em.

    • agricola
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      I am sure he is a likeable chap over a pint, but he does not come across as a real Conservative. He is from the May camp of Blairite conservatives of which at the moment there are too many.

      • Steve
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink


        “I am sure he is a likeable chap over a pint”

        Well if he can’t swim you’d never get to find out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Rory Stewart is an appalling lefty, big government, high tax, EU phile just like Blair, Major, Brown, Cameron and May. Surely we have suffered enough of these people?

      Slightly better than Corbyn is the best one can say of him. But he would surely just give us Corbyn.

    • Steve
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink


      I don’t much like Rory Stewart either.

      Was watching BBC coverage of him and couldn’t find him at first – then at last did see him briefly at the bottom of the screen.

  4. Leaver
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Just to be more specific.

    I fear Old Bozo Johnson is going to blow it again, leaving the door open for young Rory to nose ahead on the finishing line.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I doubt it. If he does the sound wing will surely leave and join the far better supported Brexit Party.

      • Leaver
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        I stand corrected.

        Thankfully the MPs won’t fall for his claptrap. More chaos helps nobody.

    • Woody
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      IF so then the tories are done for. Never to govern again.

    • Steve
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink


      “I fear Old Bozo Johnson is going to blow it again,”

      No, more likely the secret voters want you to think Boris will be PM, but at the last minute the shysters will elect a Europhile sissy appeaser instead.

  5. a-tracy
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Brexit and Populism. The double standards in the court between brexit supporters and anti-brexit people who show acts of violence against politicians isn’t good. The 31 year old man who egged Jeremy Corbyn telling him “to respect the vote” quite rightly got 28 days with the Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeting after the incident involving Corbyn: “Acts of violence against politicians loses your argument, lessens your cause and demeans our democracy.

    Yet today because the second incident was against Farage the man gets community service, with a reward mentioned in the Guardian of £1705! Mixed messages for the public, so is it ok to throw milkshake over our MPs but not an egg?

    • Stred
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      And incitement to appalling violence using acid is not even investigated.

    • Dominic
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Don’t expect the Tories to confront the violent thugs on the left.

      Don’t expect the Tories to criticise Labour’s client state that allows this double standard to happen

      The Tories capitulated to the left DECADES ago

      And now we have thugs being treated lightly by a member of the Judiciary who no doubt has the same political leanings as Corbyn and his Marxist thugs

      The Tories have let this great country down by not standing up against the politicisation of our entire public sector

      And let’s not start on immigration. They bottled this debate many years ago

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        The left is losing this double standard almost weekly now though Dominic and the middle ground people are starting to say “eh, this isn’t right”. It takes a long time for people to stand up and exclaim ‘The Emperor Hasn’t Any Clothes’ this action of throwing liquid has started to pray on my fears about triggered people in groups, making them feel they have the popular support of that group to do the most appalling acts on other citizens who don’t support their view (pulling elderly men over, throwing liquids, shouting in their faces) from any side of the argument and it is time it is stopped. If the act of throwing food over a political figure is 28 days then that should be for everyone, letting this second man off and allowing a crowd funder page to reward him for his action and more than adequately cover his minimal fine is not punishment, Farage lost a days work too and wasn’t allowed to go freely about his business in this Country and that has a cost. I’m no big fan of Farage but I don’t like double-dealing.

        This morning on Guido Fawkes it was revealed the Iman on the BBC debate (awful that it was) who asked about the danger of speech was found out using questionable speech by Nicky Campbell’s team ‘We had the Imam from the BBC Tory leadership debate on our programme this morning. His social media comments have been extremely disturbing. We should have checked. We didn’t. I’m sorry. twitter 8:40 AM – Jun 19, 2019 – just another example double-dealing yet again.

    • Steve
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink


      “so is it ok to throw milkshake over our MPs but not an egg?”

      Maybe an alabaster egg ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Indeed we shall have to wait to see if anything happens Jo Brand. The BBC are defending her it seems.
      Has Jo Brand ever said anything remotely funny in her life so far?

  6. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Congratulation on being so much in demand as an author …

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink


      I also agree with Iain yesterday you could think about putting your events on You Tube so that people that live a long distance from London can view.

  7. agricola
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I do not buy that one, but time will resolve matters.

  8. Iain Gill
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I see the current home secretary is busy destroying any hope the Conservatives have of winning the next election by opening the floodgates of immigration even more.

    And the health ministers have completely given up holding the NHS to account for its widespread failings.

    This limbo land of no real government really is disastrous for the country.

  9. acorn
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Why are you so obsessed with; and, keep banging on about the EU JR? The UK will be leaving it on the 31st Oct, Boris says so. What’s your problem? What’s sticking in your sphincter?

    • acorn
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      BTW. Rory versus Boris would be a proxy second Brexit referendum. Unfortunately, the massive democratic deficit in the UK, much much greater than that in the EU, means that only some 100k plus members of the Conservative Party, get to decide our next Prime Minister. They will represent 0.2% of the UK voting population.

      Can you imagine the US electing a President on such terms. There isn’t a UN member state, developing / undeveloped, that would entertain such a totalitarian system of democracy.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 18, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        28 members of the EU
        9 pay in the rest take money out.
        Power in the hands of appointees.
        MEPs with little power.
        Qualified Majority Voting and gradually reducing power of veto.
        You are fooling no one scorn

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

        Anyone can join the Conservative Party (as Rory Stewart has proven) and have a vote for the Leader of the Party.

      • sm
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

        South Africa gets its President in the same way as the UK gets its Prime Minister – ie the Leader of the winning Party at the General Election becomes President (unless his rivals within his Party stab him in the back before the inauguration, which was definitely a possibility this year).

      • libertarian
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink


        Did you complain when Wilson handed the PMship to Callaghan or Blair to Brown, electorships of ONE person in both cases

        I do agree though I would prefer a simple FPTP vote for an individual to be PM in the same way as a US President is elected

  10. Mike Cowburn
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Bought the book & read it. It’s an excellent work 🙂

  11. Stephen Reay
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Rumour has it Merkel was shaking in her boots having heard about Boris increasing his lead and possibly becoming Pm.

  12. agricola
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    My very intimate experience of the NHS for the past six months suggests it is very much on the ball. Medically thorough and inquisative. On the human front very caring. Everyone I have had contact with has been very supportive, I really could not have expected better.

    It is obvious, even to a peripheral observer that in some areas the NHS falls short of my experience. Not in the quality of medical service you get but in it’s promptness.

    We have not invested heavily enough in producing our own medical professionals. You cannot replace hips without ortheopaedic surgeons, and they take at least 15 years to train. They have to be backed by myriad nurses, lab technicians, radiographers, pharmasists et al. We have not trained enough.

    All the above requires training structures and heavy funding. We have limped along with elastoplast solutions. We cannot keep desimating the third world and our neighbours for staff. They have needs too.

    The NHS must have the biggest purchase account in the UK, in medication, consumables, and capital equipment. I suspect that in organisation, value analysis, and an understanding of what they are buying, they are not up to it. Just to kick off it should be national not trust led.

    I would investigate the desireability of surgeons operating in both the NHS and the private sector. I am not against the private provision of health, but I question whether you should mix them. Pay surgeons enough in the NHS and the pressure to make serious money in the private sector reduces. I would give tax breaks for health insurance provision. No hypochracy here, the trade union movement use private health.

    We need a big debate on the subject with parochial politics left on the back burner. Getting it right is beyond politics. It is a what are we trying to achieve, how best we can, so lets do it situation.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      agricola – I agree “We have not trained enough”.

      When you think it costs a child £9250 per annum to train to do ‘Sports Science’ more often resulting in no graduate job at the end of the course, these teens could have been doing Physiotherapy, orthopaedic studies and other speciality training that could have crossed over into Sports as more often than it should it is participation in people’s favourite sports that result in so much activity in A&E and replacement joints.

      When 50% of our teens are going to University we really should be doing better, with better trained teachers specifically encouraged to do teacher training degrees for specialist schools training the brightest and best children. If it cost £35,000 pa to train James Dyson to become the engineer he is then how do we expect to do it for more with just £6000 per child. We must identify our top 10% and concentrate on bringing them on much earlier.

  13. Iain Gill
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Deary me this leaders debate doesn’t half show how low quality our political class are.

    As a country we really need to do a lot better than this selecting political candidates.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

      We need to take the Party List from The Party machine and burn it along with the quota. The Members are very discerning and can spot a Tory.

  14. agricola
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I can understand Boris being reluctant to indulge in any talking shop organised by the BBC. Matis compairing of it amounted to her interupting and talking over almost everything Boris had to say while giving free reign to his rivals. A despicable
    performance on her part, but from the BBC what do you expect. She let it become a snake oil salesman’s give away. I hope it strengthens the resolve if those Conservatives with a vote in the final run off to see that Boris prevails.

    • rose
      Posted June 18, 2019 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      Her low tactic may or may not backfire. Some people have been criticising him for holding back, being defensive, and evasive, while others have been seething at her oh so predictable behaviour. She definitely gave him less time and interrupted him earlier and more often than she did the others. Actually, I thought the ambush over the article would have been much worse and that there would have been more of them.

      It was delightful to see the impeccable Stanley Johnson ticking her off on Newsnight for not listening and then getting things wrong. People should do that to her more often.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      At the moment, Boris has to play to the “gallery” of Leaver, Fence sitters & Remain MPs. He needs to ensure that he is one of the final two.

      When this goes out to the membership, expect a shift in tone if not policy.

  15. Dominic
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    What a ******* shambles. A pathetic, withering shambles.

    The BBC needs knee-capping
    Minority rights fascism is destroying freedom of expression though that’s its core function

    And every Tory candidate for the leadership were snivelling, lefty, grovelling wet arse idiots

    The BP will kick the Tories arse.

    We have had enough of lefty, virtue signalling crap by all MPs

  16. oldtimer
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I have just watched the shambles that the BBC organised as a so-called “studio debate” involving the leadership candidates and questions from viewers. What a waste of time. Maitlis was useless and seemed to spend much of her time talking over the answers or modifying or asking different questions than those asked by the viewers. There were few actual attempts at answers to the questions raised, more frequently we got expressions of agreement with the sentiments implicit or explicit in the question asked. As Johnson predicted, it resulted in an incoherent cacophony. The old saying that “two’s company, three’s a crowd” applied, only this was much worse with the five candidates often talking over each other.

    Such formats work best with one person responding to questions put by a live audience in the same room (not at the end of a camera feed) and a moderator marshalling the questions without inserting their own prejudices and opinions into them.

  17. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Seems this Rory is Corbyn in a kilt.
    His wife has told him this triangulation thing works quite well. Put yourself forward as a Conservative so Tories vote for you, then spout rubbish that kids and lefties will agree with. The others looked quite shocked that he wanted to raise taxes from these levels, but at least the boy’s honest. Get him elected as leader and every Tory will vote BP.

  18. Final Countdown
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Rory Stewart will make a good leader of the LibDems if that is your bent

  19. ChrisS
    Posted June 18, 2019 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Watched part of the debate and the biggest impression was of Stewart sitting there treating his much more senior rivals with utter contempt.

    His body language when others were answering questions was that of disbelief. The man is as arrogant a politician as I’ve ever seen. He should be allowed nowhere near the new cabinet, whoever else is elected leader.

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Last night’s debate was appalling, not least because the moderator Emily Maitlis not only lost control but often acted as an another participant supporting Rory Stewart.

  21. libertarian
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Boris might just save the Tories for a while if chosen, anyone else and it doesn’t matter as a vote of no confidence and an election will follow with a Tory wipeout.

    How many electoral signals do the PCP buffoons need?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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