Democratic politics should be about the needs of voters, not the vanities of the media and politicians

In France many demonstrators have taken to the streets for the last six months to protest against taxes which are too high, government which impedes their lives, and politicians who are out of touch with the mood.

In Hong Kong hundred of thousands have peacefully demonstrated against a government which wants to remove their freedoms and place them more firmly under Chinese control in ways they fear.

In the UK voters resoundingly rejected the two main political parties in the recent European elections for their collective failure to implement the decision of the EU referendum.

All across the continent of Europe traditional centre right and centre left parties have been voted out of office for their failure to put the prosperity and welfare of people above the demands of the EU scheme.

The response of the out of sympathy elites in each case is different. In Hong Kong it is likely the authorities will ignore the views of voters and will seek to find ways of suppressing the protests. The damage done to the Legislative Council building provides a reason  the authorities will use  to clamp down, in reprisals that may go beyond just the few who did physical damage to  the place. In France the President says he is listening and makes a few token gestures over taxes, but drives on with the same old agenda despite the reversals. In the UK the ruling party is trying to change leader and find one who will implement the wishes of the people with many members of the Conservative party conscious that it has no right to political success if it fails to do the people’s bidding. In Italy Lega and Cinque Stelle strain at the leash of unpopular  Euro and EU rules but so far have declined to break out.

Tomorrow I will look at what happens when the populists get into power. Are they absorbed and turned into establishment clones, or can they assert their different agenda? Does the agenda work?

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  1. Adam Cole
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Nice blog

    • bigneil
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Agreed – and the title says it all. Pity more politicians don’t see it that way.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Indeed. It is usually about the vanities of the media and politicians.

        But often, more generously, it is just that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We see this with climate alarmism, endless calls for more regulations, more misguided health and safety laws, more “the government must do something about X Y or Z ….”

        Or for politicians (especially on the evil politics of envy and identity politics of the left) then the path to get elected as an MP is to promise to rob others and give the money to people who might vote for you. Not that they ever tend to deliver the second part.

        • Dave
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          Politician- ‘Something must be done’
          civil servant- ‘This is something’
          Poltician- ‘OK. Let’s do that’

          Spot the flaw

      • Turboterrier
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink


        See it that way?

        The majority see it their way and their way only and do not give a stuff about their electorate only themselves. Totally self centred neither use or ornament. A total disgrace to the position they hold.

  2. Shirley
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Politicians across the EU have unleashed a monster by accepting everything the EU demands. Democracy is deliberately sidelined and mass immigration is used to dilute nationalities and love for their country.

    There is no democracy in the EU. EU citizens are never consulted, are they? Deliberately so. They are just taxpayers and consumers which are for the benefit of the EU, no longer for the benefit of their own country.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Are they absorbed and turned into establishment clones? It seems they usually are alas.

    A vote every five years (for usually the lesser of usually two evils as we get in the UK’s first past the post system) is a trivial amount of democratic control. Particularly when the would be MPs and parties say one thing at elections then do the complete opposite.

    Did May’s election prospectus say:- we will give you the highest taxes for 50 years, fairly dire and declining public services, thousands of needless deaths in the NHS, endless new red tape and tax complexity, absurd PC and identity politics lunacies, increases in the nanny state, open door immigration regardless of merit, police who fail even to bother to attend or investigate most crimes and charge only a tiny proportion of crimes, very large increases in government debt and we will totally fail to even bother to try to deliver Brexit?

    That is essentially what she and Hammond delivered and still they are in office doing further damage.

    Then we have the role of the EU and UK bureaucrats in subverting any real democratic control.

  4. Nigl
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    And if anyone needs convincing of this, look at the latest EC shenanigans. The two most powerful positions decided with no elector input whatsoever, indeed I understand the Belgian had been roundly rejected by his own electorate.

    No doubt your Europe mainland contributors will love being ordered about for the next five years with no say whatsoever, on the top jobs.

    If there is only one reason I want to leave, this is it.

    Ps I see Hammond is still promoting Project Fear and Hunt is using the Treasury model and predictions that were so wrong after we voted to leave.

    I will say it again. We don’t believe you.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      I certainly would not trust Hunt he is just May (but slightly less daft & robotic). I have my doubts about Boris who idiotically voted for May’s deal once. But he is certainly far, far preferable.

      • Dave
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Guido has uncovered some of Hunt’s photos from the Brexit campaign. They seemed to have disappeared from his website. Funny that.
        I’m sure Mr Hunt will be ever so grateful that they have turned up at last. Perhaps we should share his joy by distributing them far and wide

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink


      “The two most powerful positions decided with no elector input whatsoever”

      Meanwhile we get 160 000 tory establishment figures presenting us with our next prime minister and in this case no doubt buffoon Boris will get the job.

      Long live democracy – British style.

      • Nigl
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        You conveniently have overlooked the fact that he comfortably topped the poll of Tory MPs who, in case you had forgotten, represent umpteen tens of thousands more voters.

        And as for being a buffoon, a very successful Mayor of London who won twice in a Labour heartland.

        So Margaret wrong on both counts.

      • Nigel E
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Your point has some merit. However, we can dismiss BoJo or Jeremy come the next GE, no later that 2022. That’s true democracy – universal, not just British.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          Nigel E

          So for 3 years we are ruled by a man whom we had no voice in choosing? You say it is universal – where exactly in the free world?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

            He was elected by his constituency voters and then voted for as leader of his party by his party members.
            Your local MP is your parliamentary representative.
            Did you not study Britush constitution at school Margaret?

          • margaret howard
            Posted July 5, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink


            “Did you not study Britush constitution at school Margaret?”

            We had religious instructions at school as well. But like most of my contemporaries we saw through the sham it all is once we were old enough to think for ourselves.

            Just like most children discover Father Christmas is a fairy tale adults have told them.

      • formula57
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        The means by which the next prime minister is being chosen does indeed seem to worry some people, particularly I would suspect those (some in the infotainment industry) whose knowledge of British constitutional law has been gained mainly from viewing the West Wing.

      • rose
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Would you prefer the American Presidential system, the French, or the Turkish?

      • Woody
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        Seems more democratic than the elite jobs hand outs in the eurocracy … 4 top eu policy directing posts bargained over by about 28 people it seems … 0.000005% of the EU’s population. And those being promoted are serious small time politicians of very questionable CV’s. That’s democracy eu style … but it won’t live long as it’s being seen to be what it is, an undemocratic jobsworth scam.

      • NickC
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Every UK Prime Minister is at the mercy of the HoC that we the people elect. And we vote primarily on the policies advanced by the political parties, not the potential PM. That was clearly demonstrated in 2017. We elect an opposition too. And if we don’t like the current government, we can unelect them. None of that is true for the EU “presidents”.

        Long live EU democracy – GDR style.

        • hardlymatters
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

          same as for American presidents

      • Pud
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        Did you make a similar complaint when Gordon Brown replaced Tony Blair?

    • Andy
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      ‘No elector input’

      Erm – you realise that the EU Council, which makes the nominations, consists entirely of leaders of elected governments? And that MEPs have to vote to approve the candidates. MEPs being chosen by us.

      Meanwhile a bunch of old white men are picking our next prime minister. With no input at all from the wider electorate.

      • Woody
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        You have clearly never been to a tory party members meeting … plenty of men AND WOMEN of all colours and creeds .. and ages. These are people who have had to commit time and effort into being members .. I compare with the new old new labour cabal which only requires £3 to be a member.

        • rose
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          And of course, these men mostly have wives and daughters who tell them what to do. The womenfolk don’t need to be members themselves to have an influence.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink


          ” These are people who have had to commit time and effort into being members”

          So have the ladies in my local WI. But I don’t want them to have the power to elect a prime minister.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink


        Oh the new EU Parliamentary President recieved 364 votes, all from white people as there are only 3 people of colour in the parliament and one of those was refused entry to the parliament by security because he is black and couldn’t therefore be an MEP according to security

        Meanwhile the Conservative Parliamentary Party has 19 LGBT, 19 BAME and 67 females including the second female PM.

        Oh and they are NOT picking the next PM, the House of Commons ( our elected representatives do that ) they are purely picking the leader of their party , there is no guarantee he will become PM

        You people are dullards

        • Richard1
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          Good response

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink


          The EU consists of European countries. For the number of coloured people in the national parliaments of individual members you have to examine their own national parliaments, nothing to do with the EU. No doubt you’ll find that those with former empires will have a fair number of coloured people.

          As regards your LBGT numbers we don’t know how many there are in the EU parliament as they don’t have to wear identification labels to mark them out.

          And women make up 37.4% in the EU parliament. However, fewer than a third of British MPs are women, which means the House of Commons is only the 12th most gender-balanced lower house in the EU.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

            Coloured people…..very non PC margaret.
            I’m very surprised and disappointed you use such words.

  5. Dominic
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    What we are seeing in HK is heart breaking. Freedom loving people crushed under the weight of totalitarianism. They’ll go down fighting. They are a beacon to those in the UK who are already aware of how the British State’s become overtly coercive in its action against anyone who refuses to tow the liberal left line

    I believe that in a decade or under the UK will institute laws that crush freedom of expression.

    We live under the tyranny of the minority. This was never more evident when the 5 Tory leadership candidates were confronted and amubushed by a BBC appointed Imam to accuse the party of being, well, I refuse to use that idiotic term

    Play the race card and watch people quake in fear and rush to self-censor. A pathetic capitulation to the left’s highly effective attack on the political enemy. Scruton is the living embodiment of this

    I want freedom of expression back at the heart of British culture and the BBC utterly condemned to obscurity

  6. agricola
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Yes the cosy status quo of rulers and ruled is under threat. The ruled will eventually win because information is no longer the privalege of those who rule, the internet and social media have ended this. Even the media no longer have exclusive access to information. Even more significant, politicians and the media are no longer trusted. The answer is more direction from the voting electorate on key subjects to those who legislate. Shops that fail to sell what the public wish to buy go out of business. The same applies to legislators who look more like our high streets every day.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Good analogy! High street legislators whose costs are simply too high so they are no longer in business!

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Family barbecue as harmful to planet as 90-mile car journey in the Telegraph yesterday.

    We had better not walk or cycle to work then as we will have to eat even more food to fuel ourselves. The government’s and BBC think agenda of cars, trucks, planes, fossil fuels, plastics all bad but buses, trains, bikes, walking, public transport, renewables good is simplistic, absurdly expensive and mainly just wrong.

    Dire figures for the construction industry out I see. Doubtless due to absurd levels of taxation, over restriction of bank and mortgage lending, up to 15% stamps duty, the threat of Corbyn, an incompetent chancellor and a total lack of confidence due to the May disaster.

    The good new is Labour seems to be doing all they can to make themselves as unelectable as possible. This with their new policy of preventing you giving you own money away even after you have earned it and paid tax on it it is not yours it seems. Boris should deliver the £1m each IHT threshold that Osborne promised so many years back but he and Hammond ratted on. Still just £325k in general more like £7 million in the US and non in sensible countries.

  8. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    I wish our politicians would focus on what the electorate believe ought to be done, rather than the politicians promising what they think the electorate wants.
    The Tory leadership contenders seem intent on promising things for today’s voters, which will have to be paid for by tomorrow’s.
    There is no Brexit war-chest, there is a massive national debt.

    • NickC
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Dave Andrews, There is certainly a mismatch between what the electorate want and what politicians want. One problem is that, in general, the electorate is swayed by offers of “free stuff”. In a way, politicians’ cynicism about the public is warranted.

      An illustration of that is Corbyn offering “free stuff” in order to get into power. He knows that most people do not want socialism (Venezuela anyone?) so he cynically panders to tribalism, avarice and greed instead, hoping that sufficient numbers will be fooled.

      That is why we need more single issue referendums.

      • Otto
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Venezuela socialist? More than half of its economy is private capitalist. Most if not all of Europe is more socialist.

        • NickC
          Posted July 5, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Otto, Yeah, a real beacon of capitalism is Venezuela. That’s why Corbyn venerates it.

  9. J Bush
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    When considering the generous and somewhat indolent easy going character of native Brits, I think our current crop of politicians take our disinclination to public displays of emotion in the form of mass protests and rioting, (well the silent majority, who are not so easy to scare and indoctrinate) too much for granted.

    However, in their arrogance and ignorance they also tend to forget the rest of our native character, beautifully set out by Rudyard Kipling’s poem The Beginnings.

    They ought to pay heed to what Kipling recognized as an idiosyncratic element of our nature. The Hate is out there. And if they carry on, the Hate will grow and will be unforgiving to those who ignore our right to sovereignty, right to self determination and our democracy; which we the people, only loan to those we elect into Parliament.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Great analysis of the consistent British character. (In Kipling’s lexicon, ‘English’ meant ‘British’ – all colonialists call the U.K. either ‘home’ or ‘England’ – I guess that from the tip of Africa or the Punjab the difference between an Englishman, Irishman, Scot, Welshman, man of Monmouthshire or man of Berwick are pretty insignificant).

      We sure have the hate – maybe 100 days left in us for Boris? But that’s it.

  10. Mark B
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    All this has similar parallels with events of the 20th Century and beyond. And I conclude that future events will take a similar path. So clearly, those that choose to ignore history will soon become history themselves. This has been the warning by many here and elsewhere of what will happen to the Conservative Party if BREXIT is not delivered.

    • NickC
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      MarkB, Indeed. Democracy worked for the Remains in 1975. It should work for the Leaves in 2016 too. Discarding one democratic decision puts all subsequent democratic results in jeopardy.

  11. Ian
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    For the most part people talk democracy when they want to get elected and as soon as they have power it becomes how can we exclude others so as to retain power.

    If democracy is said to be government by the people by the people, how come it gets diminished to which Gang do you Least Like? Maybe it will never be perfect, that doesn’t mean the system shouldn’t try, but there is now the case that only the constituents should be permitted to choose their candidates. In the same way only, it is the constituents get to vote on which candidate they feel will represent them.

    The problem could be reasoned that the root cause of democracy’s failing is the Party System which I liken to Gangs. For the most part these Political Groupings model themselves on street gangs, very little decorum, bully boy tactics that want to impose their will, not serve the will of the electorate and certainly not the ideals they first proposed to get elected.

    As now, with the Gangs we get labels – left, right – centralist. This is weird when a group moves to the extreme left in their views and doctrine, they get called extreme right. So, it becomes who can label the other most vehemently. Coupled with the tendency in society to stamp out challenges to one way of thinking or another. We finish up with censorship, as much by the media as any one else. All this is the Corbyn way, ‘destroy society and I will rule’ and everyone is playing into it.

    Tomorrow the 4th July should remind those that have assumed power, that any form of Government without proper representation means they miss the point. Government is the will of the people, releasing everyone to achieve their aspiration and potential.

    Governments are not Rulers, if the think they are they are in fact despots/dictators of the worst kind.

  12. BCL
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I am puzzled by the term “populist”. If I understand correctly it means those who are popular or appeal to the masses. Why then is it used by some in a derisory sense. Is not an appeal to the masses the essence of democracy? My impression is that some use it to mean “those who appeal to the ignorant, ill educated, unreasoning masses who are not like we sophisticated folk who know best and should therefore be in charge”.

    • Cliff. Wokingham
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Yes I too found the use of the word odd and concluded the same as you.
      The other word that gets banded about is progressive which appears to mean liberal left leaning.
      Too much of our politics seem to be about semantics and presentation.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      It is used by people to suggest they know better than the stupid, ignorant masses. Usually by people who have PPE or similar degrees, are pro EU, full of greencrap and wanted to join the ERM & EURO.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink


        Did you fail your A-levels?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          No 5, maths, physics, further maths, chemistry and general studies plus a grade one physics ‘special’ all at top grades. Why do you ask? Plus the Cambridge maths entrance exam.

          Not so good at spelling, languages or remembering people’s names though.

        • stred
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          MH. As a matter of interest, what are your qualifications? You seem to be very illogical so I would guess that you qualified in law or education.

    • Brogham
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      The remainers must have read Orwell (real name Blair, how true.) most of their ravings amount to “newspeak”

      • ChrisS
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Margaret, your comment is intensely patronising.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          Chris….I’d have said ignorant, but then I don’t do PC.

    • Andy
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Populism is an ironic description. Seeing that they always get a minority of the vote and are actually not that popular.

      • Woody
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        A populist is described as a person, especially a politician, who strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups. Its not that they are not that popular, but only that very few MP’s seem to bother about the views and wishes of ordinary people … I of course reference the peoples referendum that showed a majority wished to leave the eu .. yet the elite are doing their utmost to block that democratic choice.

        • Andy
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          You just described fascism.

          Nobody is stopping you from leaving the EU. Just make your choice about where to put the border and we can go.

          • Robert mcdonald
            Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

            “Fascism is a form of radical right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy ” much more like the eurocracy with its elite cabal who dont even bother about what the people want. … by the way, the border is an eu problem, the UK is happy with it as it is.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:44 am | Permalink

            It is totally ridiculous to define anything Woody said as fascism.
            It is becoming a complete joke as you lefty remainers continually call anything anyone says in opposition to your pro EU, open borders, corporatist globalist vision, as being either racist or fascist.
            The once startling claim has now become an hilarious and meaningless cliché.

            Time to grow up and think of a new shouty adjective Andy.

    • acorn
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Until you understand Neoliberalism, you won’t be able to understand how it fermented this post 2008 Crash episode of Populism. (see: Joelle Gamble “Populism Ascendant” writing in The Nation.)

      “The dramatic effects of deindustrialization, automation, globalization, and the growing disparities of wealth and income—including by race and region—are undermining political norms in much of the West.

      Activists and academics alike have linked these trends to the neoliberal ideology that has guided policy-making over the past several decades [Thatcher-Reaganomics]. This ideology has resulted in pushing the widespread deregulation of key industries, attempting to solve most social and economic problems through market competition, and privatizing public functions like the operation of prisons and institutions of higher education. Neoliberal ideas were considered such common sense during the 1980s and ’90s that they were simply never acknowledged as an ideology. Now, even economists at the International Monetary Fund are willing to poke holes in the ideology of neoliberalism. Jonathan Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri wrote in 2016: “The costs in terms of increased inequality are prominent. Such costs epitomize the trade-off between the growth and equity effects of some aspects of the neoliberal agenda.”

      We know that neoliberalism has now provoked populist responses on the left and the right. But are either of them sufficient to end its rule?”

    • NickC
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      DCL, I agree. The problem is that some words have become triggers. ‘Tolerance’ is one such trigger – it is a word used by the MSM, establishment, etc in place of consensus, even though it is the opposite. So we are told we must “tolerate” multiculturalism, when what the establishment means is we must accept it.

    • Otto
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      It should be popularist – populist has a completely different meaning of an American 19th C political movement.

      Other current diminution of meanings in English are pedophile for pedosexual and epicentre for centre. I wonder when bibliophile will come to mean one who tears pages out of books. There are many who don’t like the French so I suppose they will be Francophiles and what about Anglophile? I shudder to think.

  13. George Brooks
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    The Chancellor in Parliament yesterday was a classical illustration of your blog.

    He should apply for the leadership of the Lib Dems as he is no more a Conservative than Corbyn is

    • Doug Powell
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      ‘Lib Dems?’

      I take it you mean the “NEITHER LIBERAL nor DEMOCRAT PARTY” – to give them their proper name!

    • NickC
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      George Brooks, Jeremy Corbyn desperately wishes to conserve 1970s Trotskyism. So he is much more conservative than Philip Hammond.

  14. Jazz
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    No comment on the bullying of the Swiss?

    • Turboterrier
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink


      In your dreams

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Time to recall William Tell!

  15. Cheshire Girl
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    That’ll be the day!!

  16. RAF
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Sir John, an important subject of debate but the problem the people face is encapsulated in your final paragraph and raises the question: who or what exists that has the influence to absorb and change new and untainted people into establishment clones?
    Whoever or whatever it is, and the Deep State is a fitting description, needs to be exorcised before any meaningful change is possible. Are either of Mr Hunt or Mr Johnson sufficiently anti-establishment to tackle this problem?

    • NickC
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      RAF, “Are either of Mr Hunt or Mr Johnson sufficiently anti-establishment …”? No, unfortunately not. For me, the issue is: will either of them fulfil the Tory manifesto pledge, which we voted for, to leave the EU? Frankly Hunt is all over the place on Brexit. At least Boris has been fairly consistently in support of Leave.

  17. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The last PM who didn’t become an establishment clone was Mrs T.
    I still remember the letter signed by the top economists rubbishing her agenda and of course they were 100% wrong.
    Good to see the EU appoint 3 arch federalists to the top jobs.
    Should be interesting for the Remainiacs.

  18. Richard1
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Is mr Hammond correct that a WTO Brexit will cost the Treasury £90bn pa? Will MPs ask him to set out the assumptions behind this alarming projection, so we can evaluate how sensible they are?

    • graham1946
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Doesn’t matter if the Treasury sets out it’s arguments or not, they will all be rubbish as were the ones supplied to George Osborne about a punishment budget, 500,000 job losses and a recession merely for voting for Brexit. The government is run by Civil Servants who love the EU because it absolves them from too much work and responsiblity and the hope of a cushy number sometime in the future. The Chancellor and the current PM are Remainers who tried to deny Brexit with complications, lies and procrastination. This is the just the last hurrah from a failed Chancellor who is going in a few weeks. A shovel of salt is needed with these predictions.

      • NickC
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Graham1946, Yes, isn’t it funny (peculiar) that the Remains think the EU is just a club of friendly nations co-operating with each other, yet at the same time Remains think our entanglement in EU laws, regulations, standards, and procedures, is so complex that we cannot possibly Leave.

    • Andy
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Those figures have long been set out.

      People like you choose not to believe them.

      What if the figures are right and you are not?

      • graham1946
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Predictions like this (and the weather) are based upon past experience, but as there has been no such experience Hammonds figures cannot be called ‘predictions’, but more accurately ‘guesses’, from an organisation that has been wrong on just about every forecast they have made from balancing the books by 2015 to Osbornes Brexit garbage and now this.

        What if the figures are right? We’ll pay up and be glad we are out, free and not liable for the trillions when Italy goes bust and the Euro goes down.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        The previous forecasts had absurd assumptions such as tariffs on UK exports to the EU but no reciprocity, no new free trade deals, and the UK handing over a £bns bung to the EU for nothing. I don’t know whether in your line of work you ever use computer models, but if you do you’d understand that you can back solve for any output and conclusions you like.

        • hefner
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          Are you a practioner of the adjoint method? If you are, you must know that except for simplistic computations applying such an adjoint method to a complex forecast problem such as economic forecasting is far from trivial.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

            Sounds impressive hefner but it boils down to garbage in garbage out.
            The basic rule of most computer models.

          • hefner
            Posted July 5, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            Edward2, please do not talk about what you do not know the first thing about, you will avoid looking ridiculous. Repeating tabloids stupidity (or DT’s for that matter) does not make you look any brighter.

    • Marcus
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      I think 90 billion is a slight exaggeration. Could be about 80 or 85 billion ?

    • acorn
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      The £90 billion pounds (€102 billion) was the figure the techies came up with back in Jan 2018. With a lot of fantasy accounting assumptions, this was made to look like £39 billion; to get it through the UK parliament. I suspect Hammond has found the original email with £90 billion on it. That will have gone up a bit due to the exchange rate; the bill will be in Euro.

      What Hammond has not made clear is where the £90 billion turns up in the Treasury budget sheet. Which Treasury account takes the hit and why.

  19. sm
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I’m re-reading Alan Clark’s ‘In Power’, and his descriptions of the way that both politicians (of all Parties) and the Civil Service work resonate with what is going on today.

    (And yes, before Andy, Newmania and M Howard start yelling, I am fully aware of some of Clark’s very unpleasant political sympathies).

    • Mark B
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Ah. Alan Clark. A splash of colour in a grey world. May he RIP.


  20. James Bertram
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    ‘Democratic politics should be about the needs of voters, not the vanities of the media and politicians’.

    Sir John, how many billions of pounds has that woman, and the Tory Party’s unfailing loyalty to itself rather than this country, cost all of us? It’s now over 3 years since we voted to leave the EU – how much damage has that uncertainty caused British business? Why should anyone forget this betrayal?

    • NickC
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      James Bertram, It is indeed the case that uncertainty has been far more damaging that just leaving. Business would have adapted to Leave quite readily – most businesses have already got plans for all eventualities precisely because of the uncertainties. Yet they have been left in limbo because our government has not done its job. May’s government pandered to the EU, rather than looking after our own people and businesses.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


  21. GilesB
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    You could usefully comment on Donald Trump’s accomplishments against his campaign promises e.g.

    Economy and Jobs
    President Trump jump-started America’s economy into record growth, which created jobs and increased take-home pay for working Americans.

    President Trump protected the American homeland by enforcing immigration laws, so that every American can feel safe in their community.

    Foreign Policy
    By promoting fair and reciprocal trade, President Trump put America first. This includes exiting TPP, renegotiating NAFTA, and securing major new bilateral deals with major trading partners.

    National Security and Defense
    President Trump rebuilt our military, crushed ISIS, and confronted rogue nations to protect America and our allies.

    President Trump removed red tape and ended unnecessary regulations that stifle economic growth and prosperity.

    Land and Agriculture
    President Trump created a task force on agriculture and rural prosperity that included actions to improve the lives of rural Americans.

    Law and Justice
    President Trump partnered with local communities and worked with local law enforcement to protect American communities.

    Energy and Environment
    President Trump reversed years of policies that locked up American energy and restricted our ability to sell to other countries.

    Government Accountability
    One of President Trump’s biggest campaign promises was to make a government by and for the people. Throughout his first year in office, the President worked to drain the swamp and created more transparency.

    Health Care
    President Trump repealed the Obamacare individual mandate, expanded plan choices and increased competition to bring down costs for consumers.

    Infrastructure and Technology
    President Trump built stronger rural communities by ensuring Americans have access to the quality infrastructure they deserve.

    Social Programs
    President Trump and his Administration protected life by fighting back against illegal drug shipments, opioid abuse, and abortion service providers.

    President Trump and his Administration supported the expansion of school choice across the country so every parent has a voice

    President Trump made sure the government fulfilled its commitment to our country’s veterans by reforming the V.A., including firing the 500 worst managers in the agency, and providing education and health benefits.

    • Chris
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      President Trump’s achievements are stunning, and I believe he is one of the greatest US Presidents. Also significant is that he has achieved all of this with the full armour of the deep state against him, a media almost totally opposed to him, a Democrat led House, and only a small majority in the Senate. He is one amazing individual.

      The fact that he has made huge progress towards averting WW3, through bringing the possibility of peace to North and South Korea, defeating ISIS, and taking very significant steps towards defeating the deep state influence in Iran, is astounding. I also believe that in the near future there will be an Israel/Palestine solution under his Presidency.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        What uncritical,unresearched tosh you have written.Iran is going to face down the USA with the support of China and Russia.It was reported at the weekend that India and Turkey are still-discreetly-buying Iranian oil.And Iran has entered into a “temporary” shotgun FTA with Russia and the EEU(the westernizers in Iran have been comprehensively discredited and the religious establishment and the Revolutionary Guards have got their way with a decisive turn to the east.Anecdotal reports talk of goods flooding across open borders from Russia,Azerbaijan,Armenia and across the Caspian from Turkmenistan.

        As Ben Aris,editor of Business New Europe,tweeted this week,”All the renewed US sanctions are doing is driving Tehran into the arms of Moscow” and “This(the Saudi-Russia oil deal-the OPEC takeover by Russia as Bloomberg called it) was the real substance of the G20 meeting and the West didn’t even participate in the discussion.We didn’t notice it ’cause Ivanka was in the way.I think the global centre of gravity just moved to the right(east).”

        Iran is the third key leg of Eurasian integration,everything else is infill.Geography,not economy,is destiny!

        As for who might be responsible for the start of WWIII………

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Chris, well said. Considering nobody can say a good word for him he has done a fantastic job and I hope he gets reelected. He deserves to. I’d rather have a Clone of him than our useless lot put together. He puts his own people and his own country first and with both hands tied behind his back has managed to achieve what he promised. Our lot promised to enforce Brexit and yet they are avidly campaigning to do exactly the opposite. They are all liars and not worth trusting or voting for. Its so good to see Farage and his rallies doing so well.

        • Chris
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Agreed Fus. I think P Trump will be our saviour too. It is no accident he became President. There is an almighty battle taking place against the deep state, both in the USA and globally. P Trump is winning, and it will be of huge significance for the UK.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink


      “Health Care
      President Trump repealed the Obamacare individual mandate, expanded plan choices and increased competition to bring down costs for consumers.”

      My nephew has just returned from a business trip to the US. Unfortunately he was rushed to hospital with appendicitis.

      The bill for the operation and 3 days in hospital?

      $21 500.

      Lucky American consumers!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Wow that’s less than the price I pay in the UK for every visit to the GP. I calculated it when I went for the 4th time – dividing my payment by my visits. Lucky Yanks – better care and on the cheap!

        • hefner
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          My wife gave birth in the USA some 28 years ago, a “plain vanilla” birth. For her six-hour stay in the hospital, we were invoiced $3,300 including £40 for two tablets of paracetamol. $1,500 for the obstetrician who had been present for 10 minutes, $1,000 for the delivery itself including the presence of a nurse and the remaining $s for the room she occupied less than five hours. And I was paying some tax in the USA.
          And you know what, Lynn, my other son was born in Britain, I am paying tax, but the 36-hour stay in hospital and delivery was free on the NHS. I would not say the care was so different between the USA and the UK, but certainly cheaper in the UK.

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        And just how much do you think it costs, in real terms, to carry out an emergency operation and recuperate under close care. Just because our tax payers cover our bills doesn’t mean c£16 k is very high.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Lucky he was in the US perhaps. The NHS in London mis-diagnosed mine sending me home twice before finally doing the urgently needed op. Until doctors got good at detecting and doing this operation the condition was apparently the second commonest cause of premature death in young males.

      • Jagman84
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Did he have no private Travel/Health insurance? It is clear that stupidity runs in your family. Even in Europe, I’d never rely on EHIC cover. It’s not worth the risk of such a big bill.

        • hefner
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          Given I tend to be prone to mishaps, I had both a snapped Achilles’ tendon and some years later a broken arm over in continental Europe. I had a private Travel insurance, and I was able not to pay there and then. In both cases, when after months of wrangling and a lot of mail exchanged with the insurance company the claim matters were finally settled, I realised that most expenses must have been paid not by the insurance company but by the agreement set up under the EHIC cover.
          My advice would be: to be sure, have both your EHIC card and a Travel/Health insurance. Whatever happens the insurance company will try not to reimburse your expenses.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink


      Very well said. Truth will always out.

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        But not the whole truth .. just the remoan version.

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Penny Mordaunt Minister for Women and Equalities (how can you be for both?) seems to be in overdrive today on radio 4 and LBC. She is proposing even more red tape, costs, distractions and inconveniences for thousands of companies and many other total insanities that would decrease UK productivity and generate loads of pointless parasitic work for lawyers, consultants, HR people and the likes.

    It is rather hard to take anyone remotely seriously when they actually think people should pay more taxes so the NHS can waste it on pointless homeopathic and similar treatments. Needless to say she is supporting Hunt. Let us hope Boris sacks her and abolishes her absurd and damaging department.

    I used to quite like Beethoven’s Ninth until the EU ruined it for me.

    • Chris
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Completely agree, Lifelogic (and on Beethoven’s Ninth too!).

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      There’s always Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude or,even(far) better,Prokofiev’s Cantata for the 20th Annniversary on the October Revolution(to experience the latter performed live is quite something!).

  23. A.Sedgwick
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Add Switzerland to the EU politburo ensnarement of the people. Greece failed to break free, the UK anti democracy establishment are doing their best to lock us into a colonial treaty and now landlocked Switzerland are getting the Commission treatment.

  24. henryS
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Looking at it from outside your jurisdiction am delighted with the new appointments to the EU top jobs, subject to ratification of the EU parliament of course. The New Commission President is an interesting choice and am glad to see Christine Lagarde there- experience will tell in the end but will be needed to put manners on remaining populist outriders- Italian or Hungarian- whip them all back into line. Ode to Joy

    • MickN
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Wasn’t Christine Lagarde convicted of (negligence in high office ed) just a couple of years ago? Is that not like putting the fox in charge of the hen house?
      What could possibly go wrong !

      • formula57
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        The prosecution was ridiculous though and seemed politically motivated: Lagarde had tackled a problem others had long neglected and acted reasonably. Note the guilty verdict was unaccompanied by any sentence.

        Her ECB appointment is the only one of the five presidency appointments that matters. She will continue Draghi’s policy and with great luck will not run out of road before her term ends. Her abuse of the IMF rules (supporting a currency rather than a country in the Greek bailout) may prove useful experience. We shall see whether she is a populist or not.

      • hefner
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        In December 2016 Christine Lagarde had to attend a tribunal accused of negligence when overseeing a payment of €405m to an industrialist (Bernard Tapie) by the French government of President Nicolas Sarkozy. She was not convicted and the following year the IMF renewed her contract.
        To put this into context Mr Tapie (at a time a Minister in a previous government) has been involved for more than thirty years in a number of “deals” involving failing companies subsequently helped by some amounts of state funds.

        • hefner
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          formula57, I checked again from French sources (Le Monde, Les decodeurs, 19/12/2016 20:16). C.Lagarde was indeed considered guilty but with no sentence. Sorry.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Mr Putin starts an official state visit to Italy(and the Holy See) tomorrow(Matteo Salvini and co pleaded with him to grant them this honour on a visit to Moscow last year.Will it be start of a re-run of Justinian the Great’s Byzantine reconquest of Italy from the Ostrogoths in the seventh century?!

      I also see the Irish Foreign Minister,Simon Coveney,was in Moscow for talks with Sergey Lavrov yesterday.

      • Lazlo
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Ah yes but Coveney is also with the Irish President Higgins on a three day state visit to Germany starting today. Busy people

    • NickC
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      HenryS, Yes appointments – because you didn’t get to elect them. And you still cannot tell us why we should be ruled by unelected EU “presidents” from Brussels.

      • HenryS
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        In the case of the Commission President we are talking about a five year appointment. The person is appointed by 28 heads of governments, themselves all highly elected and at several levels, local, and party political, general elections etc? how many more elections are needed? The system is to appoint someone to do the job for five years only- hardly a dictatorship- then the whole business of the appointment has to be approved by a parliament of 700 plus MEPs all duly elected on several fronts.

        Secondly as a Republican I am not ‘ruled’ by anyone nor do I defer to my betters l- I leave that to others chasing the class system

        • NickC
          Posted July 5, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          HenryS, The EU Commission wields the principal power in the EU. It is all appointed. Even if the Commission “president” was appointed by the EU sub-states’ heads of government, neither you nor I got to elect 27 of them. And except in extremis s/he cannot be held to account.

          For a federal state like the EU there ought to be an elected government – and that includes an elected president – and an elected opposition. All elected by a state wide demos. Only then would the EU approach being democratic. Since none of that prevails within the EU, the EU is undemocratic.

    • ChrisS
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Yes, you must be so pleased at another grand stitch up between Germany and France to see the two top jobs go to their own people.

      So much for a Europe of equals !

  25. formula57
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I recently re-read A.J. Nicholls’s “Weimar and the Rise of Hitler” and was struck by how politicians in German national life were obliged or at least were conditioned to reflect their times and circumstances and none committed errors so serious that they made Hitler’s rise inevitable. Some, like Ebert and Wirth, did very well. But as we know collectively they failed to deliver for the people and were punished by being replaced by one of the most evil regimes in history. A lesson that still applies no doubt.

  26. David Maples
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    As in 1789, if the status quo elites(no offence to Francis Rossi), the guillotine(metaphor), will re-appear in the Plâce de La[ack of] Concorde!

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Jean-Paul Marat:

      “Five or six hundred heads cut off would have assured your repose,freedom and happiness.A false humanity has held your arms and suspended your blows.Because of this millions of your brothers will lose their lives.”

      (for the benefit of the censor,I am not advocating the severing of heads!But the removal of c500-600 individuals from positions of power would probably be sufficient pour encourager les autres.

      Kerensky,Leader of the Provisional Government after the first Russian Revolution, said:

      “I will never be the Marat of the Russian Revolution.The Russian Revolution does not take vengence.”

      And look what happened to him!

  27. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Interesting how the gilets jaunes are hardly mentioned in the press and social media, but as soon as the climate change people block a road in Paris and the Police squirt them with pepper spray until they run away, that is presented as a real scandalous use of power! Greta Thornberg, by the way, is appalled.

  28. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Some people see this ‘Out-of’-touch’ attitude as a deliberate attempt to sidetrack democracy and impose some other kind of authority over us.
    It is surely no coincident that this ‘attitude’ appeared in all Western nations at the same time, from Canada to Australia, and especially Britain, along with similar legislation pushing the socialist cause for a total lack of morals, with no barriers to total freedom, without responsibility, while justice has been turned on it’s head.
    People trafficking, child abuse, overwhelming migration, and many other issues, are seen as a way for the political establishment to change our global society, if not complicitly, then not unwillingly.
    With the UN exerting it’s power and issuing irrational dictates and treaties, one has to look beyond ‘populism’ to see what is really going on.

  29. Kevin
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    This is how out-of-sympathy establishments treat mass protests? One can
    only imagine what they would do to you if the cameras were not rolling – if one
    man voiced a contradictory opinion that could potentially appeal to
    many. In the UK, the decline in civil liberties began under John Major, and
    you would struggle to find any reversal under successive governments.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Agreed – This was the start of the gradual surrender by Parliament, not just the government, to the EY-way

  30. Alex
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    In Hong Kong the authorities reversed the policy almost immediately and even apologised although protests have continued over other issues.
    In France despite months of protests all Macron has done is ignore their wishes and respond with brutal police attacks injuring hundreds, new repressive laws and draconian sentences from the corrupt courts.
    So much for the “democratic” French government who are even worse than the Spanish government sending their uniformed thugs to Barcelona after they dared to have a democratic vote on their future.
    European governments are increasingly authoritarian and fearful of the people hence all the hate speech laws here. If people really understood what goes on in governments across the world this fear would be well placed because there would be revolutions everywhere.

  31. Alan Joyce
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I know of one politician whose exposure to power and privilege seems to have turned him into an establishment clone.

    At a Party Conference speech in March 2001, he said of the Blair Labour Government:

    ‘We have a Government that has contempt for the views of the people it governs. There is nothing that the British people can talk about that this Government doesn’t deride.
    Talk about Europe and they call you extreme. Talk about tax and they call you greedy. Talk about crime and they call you reactionary. Talk about immigration and they call you racist. Talk about your nation and they call you Little Englanders.’

    Noted for his keen debating skills in the House, his youthful ability to consume vast quantities of ale whilst out delivering soft drinks and his campaign to ‘Save The Pound’, he now writes a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph and backs Mr. Hunt for leadership of the Conservative Party. A recent article authored by him said ‘Brexiteers will soon discover that all other deals are worse than Theresa May’s’.

    I so enjoyed listening to him before his head was turned. His 2008 Commons speech lampooning would-be EU President Tony Blair and his ‘lackey’ PM Gordon Brown was simply brilliant.

    His name is William Jefferson Hague, Baron Hague of Richmond, Privy Counsellor, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Now that’s an establishment handle if ever I heard one.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Michael Portillo has said that he believes that Boris Johnson will offer very little more than Theresa May’s deal re-hashed.

      (BJ-1% Churchill-and even then the dog from the insurance advert-and 99% Scooby-Doo!)

      • Nicky Roberts
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        I think Portillo has a problem with Boris. On the Wednesday late evening political program he seemed to endorse the actions of Johnson’s neighbours, (surely everyone realises it was a political stitch up). Naïve or complicit? Following these comments I would say complicit.

        • rose
          Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          He does have a problem. I’m not going to list the other lapses. He had a problem with Cameron too. Make of that what you will.

  32. agricola
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Ref your last paragraph, it is dependant on the quality of the so called “populists”. By giving them such a name you infer that they are in some way different from the mainstream parties, who at the moment are unpopular. You could describe any party that wins an election as “populist”.

    The days when a political party wrote a manifesto to get elected and then put it aside to respond to all the vested interests that knocked on their door are over. We the electorate do not trust you because you pay too much attention to protectionist voices off, often in exchange for financial support, or at a lower level for a free lunch and a bottle of Latour. I have no objection to anyone stating their case,we do it every day, but I do object to them walking through the door of No 10 or greasing individual MPs. I am sure they can write just as we do.

    So when a new party comes along that has a narrative that the election can believe, it is demeening to call it “populist”. Responsive to the demands of the electorate might be more accurate.

  33. margaret
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Do they turn into establishment clones? I suppose when they get there it depends upon what the establishment ‘ has got on them ‘ for the purposes of manipulation .

    • agricola
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Which if true only confirms that the establishment is a dirty player because it is the only card it holds.

  34. Everhopeful
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that the UK uses precisely the same tactics as the Chinese.
    We are just not quite as far down the same road.
    Every disaster is used to tighten the web of control.
    This was a free country.
    Who can claim that any more?
    Surely the UK delivered Hong Kong ( treaty etc) up to China in very much the same way as it delivered up the UK to the EU. With very, little regard for any “human rights”.

  35. Trevor Butler
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Hong Kong is being polarized and it is not going to end well – My wife and I were physically threatened on Monday for being against Beijing and told we would be ‘run out’ of the village we live in….

  36. hefner
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Will Sir John comment on the budget/expenses proposals of the two candidates? Is any of them providing a balanced spreadsheet? What are the possible implications for deficit and debt? Will we hear “magic money tree” said about the plans?

  37. glen cullen
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Nepotism, greed and power along with an elite system with old fashioned bureaucracy seems to outweigh the sovereignty of the people

    The system controls who and how to elect MPs i.e independents almost never get elected

    Nanny state and social engineering polices rule the day i.e MPs know better

    MPs only listen to media, celebrities and lobbyists i.e people are plebes

    Taxation system is archaic and meaningless to the common working people i.e has the energy tax on household bills actually been demonstrably used to improvement environment….no

    • Fred H
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      glen…’Taxation system is archaic and meaningless’
      Road Tax – ha ha. spent on maintaining roads? – – not a chance.

  38. BillM
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The Populists will only change their agenda if so influenced by their respective Civil Service Mandarins. One specific thing these unelected “Controllers” cannot abide, is ‘People Power’. That is why they love the European Union and exactly why we hate it.

  39. Newmania
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    In the UK voters resoundingly rejected the two main political parties in the recent European elections for their collective failure to implement the decision of the EU referendum.

    No, the votes for the Brexit Party may have been of this sort but votes for the Liberal Party Nats and Greens were motivated by rage that both main Parties had the same pro Brexit policy and seemed to think remain voters were expendable

    • Rob Pearce
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      “…both main Parties had the same pro Brexit policy and seemed to think remain voters were expendable”

      Your implication that the BINARY Brexit Referendum was in any sense open to a compromise is rubbish.

      You might as well say whichever voters of LabCon lose the next GE are expendable.

      Perhaps you are.

    • Peter
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. I don’t see how anyone could see the 6 million votes for parties with a pro-Remain policy and think “ah, the logical explanation is that those voters want more Brexit.”

    • NickC
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, If you are correct that the two “main” parties are pro Brexit then their votes added to the UKIP and TBP votes amount to a massive near 60% majority for Leave. Is that what you meant to say? And no Remain voter is entitled to “rage” or even oppose the result of our democratic national win for Leave. Democracy doesn’t work without consent. From both sides.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        I’m very aware of rage coming from remainers. They refuse to see a leaver’s point of view, and cannot accept majority decision. The real rage is going to be on the streets should leaving be denied.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, I was for a second referendum until the European elections made me realise it was a waste of time/resource. In the referendum Leave achieved over 17 million votes. With a different electorate (i.e. including EU27 citizens of whom there are nearly 4 million in the UK) the Remain parties only achieved 6 million in the EU elections despite that being the opportunity to show a change of heart. The purported Remain majority had their chance with the LibDems very publicly supported by the EU in the form of Mr Verhofstadt (and splashed all over the media). The numbers simply do not exist.

      (What we are seeing now is the continued erosion of democracy since MPs are mostly in the minority camp. We are also seeing the damage to the unwritten constitution – as highlighted by David Starky. We are also seeing the effects of economic prophecy which often self-fulfils; there is a need to turn this prophecy around).

  40. Kenneth
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    It seems to me we have 2 political movements that have emerged in recent times.

    1. Those that live in the abstract world of regulations, “experts”, quangos etc

    2. Those that live in the natural world of people, freedom and commerce etc

    The first group ignore the massive buying power of the large UK population and seem to think that the regulations and structures they are so keen on will somehow cause a trade blockade with continental Europe.

    The second group are aware that commerce is an age-old natural activity on which many livelihoods depend. They are democrats (or populists if you prefer).

    The real world will always trump the abstract world and I would advise those elected on a “populist” wave not to forget this.

    • Newmania
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      The real world you claim to have access to, exists only exists in the minds of the retired and unemployed taking varieties of nap. People who actually have to solve the problems voted remain.

      I SAID VARIETIES OF NAP….oh whats the point

      • graham1946
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        ‘Oh what’s the point?’

        Just what I was thinking. About your post. Are you saying 17 plus million are all retirees, unemployed and only the 16 million odd are working? Nonsense as are most of your points.

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        I know plenty of people who manage at senior levels or operate businesses, all of whom are problem solvers, of working age and obviously employed who adamantly voted to leave and are even more convinced that that is the right choice.

    • Andy
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Do you understand why we have regulations? Let me explain using window blinds as an example.

      There are regulations which now require new window blinds to have safety cords to open and close them. Adhering to this regulation obviously has a small cost. That cost being that a safety cord is slightly more expensive than a regular cord.

      So why do we have it?

      Well, because we have learned from mistakes. More than once children manage to get their heads trapped in the old style cords and inadvertently strangled themselves. I reckon a couple of pence extra for a blind is a price worth paying to avoid a dead child. What do you think?

      Now, you apply this to ever product ever made and you understand why we have lots of regulations. And, yes, there is always a need to make sure we do not have unnecessary ones. But they exist to keep you and your family safe. If one of your kids or grandkids was to die or seriously hurt themselves in a way that was a known risk you would probably be outraged. And rightly so.

      Be in no doubt that the people who want to ace regulation have own goal. To make themselves and their friends richer. They do not care who dies in the process. And, more often than not, someone eventually will,

      • Kenneth
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:05 am | Permalink

        The news reports rare exceptions. That’s why it is news. The politicians and regulators are quick to react. Good luck and good will.

        A large minority are are swayed by the the tv and think David Attenborough is God.

        The “educated” are brainwashed.

        None of this will stop the full lorries rolling in and the empty ones rolling out again.

        That is real life, real jobs and real people.

        I have no doubt about the goodwill coming from those who consume BBC and educationalist propaganda.

        However, the majority in the real world also have a majority of people to look after and care for.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:33 am | Permalink

        Those kind of regulations are way ahead of the EU here in the UK.
        Our health and safety regulations are stronger than the EU which plays catch up.
        It took the UK many years to get the EU to agree that cords on blinds should be re designed before we could enact it here.
        If we were independent we could do this in months.

        • hefner
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          Could it be that at least in a number of Western European countries (Germany, France) an awful lot of window blinds are integrated in a block right at the top of windows and electrically activated? 😉

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink


      • NickC
        Posted July 5, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Andy, So that is why the EU has a regulation for a knitted woolly-coated, pottery sheep ornament? Not all regulations are good, or even rational.

  41. DaveK
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    May I ask when our governing party became “rulers”? It is something that always makes me cringe on BBC political shows. Is this why politicians are so self important nowadays?

  42. Gareth Warren
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Italy does look interesting, other than trying to bypass the Euro they definitely want to stand out from the rest of the EU by joining China’s belt and road initiative. I’m no fan of China and sea the scheme as wasteful centrally planned spending, but if it has any effect then it will be another aspect the EU disagrees with.

    The Swiss too are having a spot of bother with the EU, the EU is clearly unable to simply be a good neighbour, but its efforts with Switzerland will do it great harm.

    With the UK I expect we will only truly be able to leave on no deal, watching how they treat Switzerland I now expect dirty tricks. If our exports are hindered beyond tariffs then the best solution would still be to move to FTA’s with the wider world.

    As the UK lowers its costs of business we will remain prosperous while a centrally planned bureaucracy paves the road to ruin across the channel.

  43. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    The irony is that these elitists are certainly not elite! I’m assuming you have a good reason for not calling them ‘Corporatists’ – which is what they are: anti-Democratic and anti-capitalism – therefore anti-British.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Lynn Atkinson


  44. Shieldsman
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Off topic. Do we have more to learn about the Sun and the solar system in which the Earth exists? It would appear so.
    It is Solar irradiance that keeps the Earth from being a frozen wasteland.
    A new mathematical formula has been discovered which allows researchers to accurately plot the Sun’s activity cycles over hundreds of thousands of years.
    The new research, by Professor Valentina Zharkova, of Northumbria University, and academic colleagues from Bradford University, Hull University and Moscow Research University, has now been published in the online journal Scientific Reports.
    In its current cycle of movement, the Sun is slowly moving towards the aphelion of the Earth’s orbit – the point of the orbit furthest away from the Sun.

    This will result in the Earth’s orbit becoming more circular, increasing the amount of solar energy to hit the surface of the Earth. This movement will occur over the next 600 years and will slowly lead to an increase in the average terrestrial temperature by around 2.5°C.
    Their research has established that the current super-grand cycle began sometime between 1645 and 1715, during a period known as the Maunder Minimum during, which the Sun was experiencing far fewer sunspots, and the temperature here on Earth decreased as a result.

    The authors state that we are now in the growing, or ‘warming’ phase of the current cycle, which is expected to reach its peak by the year 2600. By this time the temperature on Earth is expected to have increased by between 2.5°C and 3°C.This rise is due to happen in addition to any rise related to man-made activity such as carbon emissions.
    One has to question how much of the anthropogenic global warming since 1880 is due to increased carbon dioxide levels.
    Historical data has shown the Earths surface temperature has varied regardless of the levels of life giving carbon dioxide,

    • hefner
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      According to a number of past satellite missions summed up by the ACRIM the so-called solar constant or Top Solar Irradiance (TSI) has an average of 1361.5 W/m^2, which varies by 0.07% between the minimum and maximum values in the (roughly) 11-year cycle: that’s a change of 0.95 W/m^2. This change is mainly seen in a change in the ratio of ultraviolet to visible light, which makes it relevant mainly to photochemical processes in the stratosphere and mesosphere, with (it is thought from simulations) relatively small impact at the surface
      The ACRIM studies have also shown, 11-year cycle after 11-year cycle a decadal change thought to be a rise by 0.037%/decade. I am not sure the study you quote refers to the same thing or not as this phenomenon has been known from the 70’s. Anyway such decadal change would increase the average TSI by about 0.5 W/m^2./decade.
      The so-called greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing has been quoted since the 90’s to be around 4 W/m^2 for a doubling of so-called CO2+ (CO2 plus other GHG expressed in CO2-equivalent units) from its 1850 value.

      • hefner
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        I have now read the paper by Zharkova et al. It is rather interesting to see it appearing in the open scientific press, and also interesting per se. Whereas I will not be around for the maximum of solar magnetic activity (SMA) “forecasted” around 2600 nor for the SMA minimum between 2370 and 2415 I hope to be still around at least some years in the coming SMA minimum period between 2020 and 2055.
        The best thing to say about this paper is that it does not address any potential effect of human activities, only the solar influence, so whatever happens in the coming 35 years should be a good test of the theories.
        Thanks for bringing this paper to the attention of all climate skeptics.

  45. Christine
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    One thing that really annoys me is that the media set the agenda on what questions are asked at these leadership debates then the candidates make commitments to take action to address these concerns. They bypass the democratic process. I feel that the majority of the population no longer has a voice. We sit at home arguing with the TV feeling powerless. I like The Brexit Party approach where they are asking the public to submit policies that they want to see implemented. TBP now has some fantastic policies beyond Brexit that will appeal to the masses. If Boris signs us up to any sort of EU deal beyond a simple trade agreement or continues with these money wasting vanity projects May has instigated then there is no hope for your party come the next General Election.

  46. hans chistian ivers
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    The Italian government including MR. Salvini has made clear they wish to stay in the Eu and change it from within,

  47. L Jones
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    One of the reasons they’re so vain is that people keep calling them ”elite”.
    And they believe they are!

  48. Stred
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    The zero tariff on all imports into NI and its effect does not seem to have been discussed with the candidates yesterday. How can part of the UK have different tariffs? How will NI farmers be protected from cheap meat imports? Will cheap Argentine beef and US chicken and cars be imported into NI and sold on in the rest of the UK? Will the RoI have any incentive to back a zero tariff deal with the EU when they already have it to NI? Will customs be necessary between NI and Wales? Has anyone in the civil service given any thought to this?

  49. margaret howard
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink


    “Democratic politics should be about the needs of voters, not the vanities of the media and politicians”


    So why have we got a system whereby just over have the votes cast can determine the future of our country with the other half being ignored?

    As it is 17m people can determine the future of nearly 7om citizens?


    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      MH, can you find avrock to crawl under. I am fed up with your inability to understand what a majority is. Would you be moaning if the same equation had gone the other way?……. No, of course not. Get over yourself love.

      • L Jones
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        With you all the way, Fedup. I am heartily sick of these people whingeing because they didn’t ”win”.
        And, if they had, they wouldn’t have given a damn about the minority. Why don’t they admit it? I’d really REALLY appreciate it if Ms Howard (or similar) would admit that this would have been the case.
        But they won’t.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 10:20 pm | Permalink


        “Would you be moaning if the same equation had gone the other way?

        “In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it.”

        Nigel Farage

        • Fed up with the bull
          Posted July 4, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          Not found a rock big enough for your ego yet Margaret?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Margaret Howard,

      Everyone who voted, whether Leave or Remain contributed to the binary* decision. It is sensible to use the wisdom of crowds for very complex decisions in which each member of the crowd has some knowledge of the issue (e.g. Each person in different areas of the UK, different occupations, different personal situations feels a different effect of the EU, often very different) and hence a real reason for their vote. The likelihood of any individual making the ‘correct’ decision may be about 0.5, but importantly a little over 0.5. The vote therefore is inevitably close, but put that probability of 0.52 into the binomial distribution with N in the millions, and you can pretty much guarantee it was the right decision. (If p were much higher or much lower then a referendum would not have been needed, it would have been obvious to leave or remain.)

      * It is only afterwards that the elite tried to make it non-binary.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      the alternative was for only 16m voting on the future of your 70m people.

  50. Dominic
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Curtail the spending promises, it’s pathetic. We need reform. Reform of the BBC, Electoral Commission , Civil Service, the CPS etc. All pro-Labour, all Europhile to the core

    Purge Labour’s client state and restore confidence to our democracy

    Oh, and why do Hate Crime laws not cover Labour’s Anti-Semitism or is left wing hate somehow justified?

  51. ukretired123
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Christopher Booker sadly passed away today sadly but left a very interesting ” Farewell .. 60 years ” article before he retired due to Ill health citing why he became a journalist to cover significant events not being reported and wrote a book:
    The Castle of Lies, subtitled “Why Britain Must Get Out of Europe”, at a time when this was still scorned as just a ridiculously eccentric thing to suggest. By 2003 we were able to follow this up with The Great Deception, an exhaustively researched history of “the European project” …
    He invented the term “the Westminster bubble” to describe how our political class had begun to cut itself off from the real world into a self-regarding little world of its own.
    I recommend you read his last article – he was a seriously scrupulously dedicated journalist in the same mould as David Frost his one time colleague: Search:
    “Farewell to the Telegraph and its readers after 60 wonderful years”

    • Mark B
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      It was Christopher Booker and Dr. Richard North that educated me about the EU, its history and purpose. A true loss and such a shame that he did not live long enough to see us Leave.

  52. Barry
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Most people will have noted that the BBC presenters have stopped interviewing Brexiteers and instead just argue with them.

  53. Multi Occupancy
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    There is a confusion and convolution in messaging from The House via the media.
    “BBC Parliament” broadcast without external comment and interaction of persons. Other channels BBC proper included, broadcast messaging from The House influenced to a great extent by visual asides and by largely the unelected with the media’s choice of particular MPs not present in The House.
    A total breakdown of Parliamentary Representative Democracy.

  54. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I admit that I am surprised, but also pleased, that Boris Johnson has finally come out and correctly accused the EU of ‘moral blackmail’ over the Irish land border.

    “Boris Johnson accuses EU of ‘moral blackmail’ over Northern Ireland backstop … ”

    My only reservation would be to doubt how much of the guilt should be attributed to the EU as a whole, rather than just to the Irish government; because in my view most of the blame – the “lion’s share”, as it were – should be laid at the door of the Irish government under Leo Varadkar, who persuaded the EU to support his ruse.

    This has been going on and on for a long time; for example here, last November:

    there is somebody simply repeating the same falsehoods that have been propagated by the Irish government, and unfortunately left unchallenged by the UK government.

    “It is necessary to conclude a Withdrawal Agreement to ensure no border in Ireland. The UK and the Irish government have committed to that. Your remarks above about the First World War ring hollow when you are obviously willing to put your fixation on a hard Brexit ahead of securing enduring peace on my island.”

    Who has been issuing threats about peace on the island of Ireland? As repeated in the ensuing replies, not the UK government which has not only made it clear long ago that it has no intention of making any provocative changes on the UK side of the border but has had that commitment put into UK law; if anybody was going to do anything at the border which could spark a return to terrorist violence then that would be the EU and the Irish government, not the UK government.

    That is how they have been blackmailing us, and instead of rejecting their threat Theresa May chose to take their side and use their threat as a pretext to placate the likes of the CBI by keeping the UK under swathes of EU laws in perpetuity,

  55. Ring a ding
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I believe it was Tory MP Brexiteer Bill Cash who at PMs Questions today quoted from a book ( I do not recall title or author which is a pity) about the OTT role of Germany in the EU.

    Mrs May disagreed.

    The media consistently have it that Mrs May’s first port of call when speaking on the phone to the EU is Mrs Merkel of Germany. Second, Mr Macron of France.

    If true, then why does she not give a quick buzz to the boss men of Slovak Republic , Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia etc?
    It would be refreshing and enlightening for them to know her except on their birthdays.

  56. Ring a ding
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Boris’s idea of changing the Sin tax by the sound of it sounds an excellent idea.

    It will stop some children and OAPs suffering malnutrition where modern food is devoid of necessary nutrients including sugar and salt.

    The NHS can never have time and with its best efforts, menu all of the people all of the time, each and every one of us. The NHS would be more healthily employed sticking to healthcare and not branching out into food production and distribution , attempting to cater for 35 million home restaurants and cafes. Monopoly cannot ever be good for any nation’s health.

  57. Woody
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I had to remind myself what a populist was after reading how contrary to current practice this type of political view was … it is defined as a person, especially a politician, who strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.
    Here’s me thinking our MP’s were all elected to appeal to ordinary people to ensure they are not disregarded by the elite. I especially thought that the left wing of politics was particularly founded on that very premise.
    I am naive clearly.

  58. Peter Parsons
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    If democratic politics really was about the needs of the voters, then the FPTP system would be scrapped and replaced with a system which delivered fair representation of the electorate and in which every vote mattered in determining the outcome of elections.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Too bloody right.

    • Woody
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      I have been a strong advocate for the FPTP system, mainly as it clearly ensures that each MP is voted in and is responsible to his / her own constituency. I am changing my mind in light of the blatant disregard most MP’s seem to have for their constituents views and wishes. I would now totally agree with your view.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        The STV system also ensures each MP is voted in by and is responsible to his/her constituency. You can retain those links while moving to a proportional system (one that is currently used in the UK – in Scotland and Northern Ireland).

    • formula57
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Keep in view the FPTP system facilitates removing politicians who have lost support whereas proportional representation systems pose the problem of perpetual office for third parties that hold the balance of power and hence are typically necessarily included in any coalition. Further keep in view coalition policy is normally decided in deals done between politicians without reference to the electorate.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        FPTP actually keeps in place politicians who have lost support with its safe seats. It is a system designed to retain privilege for the incumbents and exclude insurgent parties. Look at, for example, UKIP in 2015 who polled 1 vote out of every 8 cast, but returned just 1 MP. Going slightly further back, the SDP/Liberal Alliance polled over 25% of the votes in 1983 and got 3.5% of the MPs.

        In countries where PR is used, the parties typically state up front who they would be prepared to work with in a coalition. It is much more open and and honest. There is also no “perpetual office” for third parties. If you look at countries like Germany, it is actually the smaller parties who suffer the biggest loss of support from their time in coalition.

  59. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Just to make things clear: If the new Prime Minister re-presents Mrs May’s deal with just the odd tweak, such as putting a time limit on the Irish Backstop, he will not get my backing in the only election that counts – the next General Election.

    Mrs May’s deal must be thrown in the bin – lock, stock and barrel.

    • Andy
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May’s deal is Brexit. 17.4m people voted for it. You need to learn to respect democracy.

      Incidentally, many of the 17.4m people now say they didn’t actually vote for Mrs May’s Brexit that they voted for a unspecified other form of Brexit instead. Except they didn’t. This deal is what they voted for. And they are not allowed to change their minds. Hard luck.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Rot as normal from you Andy Pandy.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Andy …..’many of the 17.4m people now say they didn’t actually vote for Mrs May’s Brexit’.

        Many? – is that 6, 600, 6000, 600,000 or possibly 16m? Pedantic I know but I’d like to know what number you researched to tell us. Perhaps many is the few blokes down the pub you argue with?

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted July 3, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        You must have spent a lot of time speaking to the 17.4 million to establish their views. The few I’ve spoken to think May’s deal is not leaving and just want out of the eurocracy soonest.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 4:50 am | Permalink

        Well that isn’t right Andy
        Polls show no change since the referendum.
        And May’s deal is not a deal.
        It is just a quasi treaty.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 4, 2019 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Mrs May and a variety of around 200 people in the H of C voted FOR her lies called Brexit.

    • Chris
      Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Well said, L McD.

  60. dave roderick
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    why has my comment not been published is it because it states the easy way out of the eu just asking

  61. BR
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Look forward to the follow-up tomorrow; should be interesting reading.

  62. Pat
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    “Will the (populist) agenda work?”
    Yes but it won’t be quick or smooth.
    First the populists demonstrate that they have much support. As happened here with the referendum. Then some subset of the political class motivated by agreement or self interest get ahead of that support and changes are made.
    To express the same idea in a different way, first a populist army is raised. That done some of the officer class come across to lead them.
    Mr. Farage is directly recruiting and organising officers now.
    The Italians have Salvini, who can move pretty well at a time of his choosing
    Hong Kong is a lost cause, as it is 7 million taking on China, it is more like a war of conquest than an internal struggle.
    The French constitution enables Macron to hang on to the next election. At that point it gets interesting.
    Will the people benefit? Eventually, but there will be costs from the process of obtaining power and from initial poor policies.
    But if all the “sensible” politicians ignore the people , the worst policy is to leave them in power.

  63. hefner
    Posted July 3, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    O/T: Sir John, will you be attending the coming Parliament session on assisted dying? And whatever way you vote will you have the decency to state on this blog your reasons for doing so? Thanks in advance.

  64. I'm just right
    Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    btw. I’ve worked briefly in the NHS and had many friends in that institution .
    A labourer may indeed have bacon butties. But in proper exercise , that is REAL work, ones body instead of producing so many muscles actually produces weight in various areas so as to counterbalance weights lifted, shoved, dragged, pulled, manipulated. Ones body uses its weight correctly positioned to do the bulk of the work, in coordination with perhaps not oversized muscles. It is no surprise to me that persons investigating sugar, fat, exercise, have never ever done regular labouring work, that is REAL exercise or they would not come up with such darned foolish and very unhealthy diets for individuals. The NHS does more harm than good through pure ignorance and arrogance.
    Nor does it surprise me that super fit footballers and sports people , joggers keel over with heart attacks at remarkably young ages. ergonomics is not something to pass an exam about. Knowledge of it comes through personal experience. WORK< WORK EXERCISE. So the NHS should stop advising people to go on hamster wheels at their local gym. That is the way to heart attack. Treadmill people in a gym lose weight. Milling people gain weight

    • I'm just right
      Posted July 4, 2019 at 1:32 am | Permalink

      Anyway I’ll stop throwing my weight about on this subject. People call me fat head. They are correct times two.

  • 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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