Anyone for an election?

It is unlikely this Parliament is about to vote to dissolve itself and hold an election. The massed ranks of the Opposition parties, usually so keen for an election, are shy about meeting electors on the doorstep and giving them the chance of change. The SNP and Lib Dem offer is tactical and linked to trying to stop Brexit. They are busy lobbying the EU to keep us in The EU  for longer as a precondition for any election.

Labour after months of demands for a poll now say they wish to take so called No deal off the agenda first. They now say that could take them to December 2020 to be sure of that. They might as well say they do not want an election before the Thames freezes over. Given their strong belief in Global warming they should feel safe for a few years with that pledge.

Boris Johnson told the rallies and meetings before he became Leader that he did not want an early election. He assumed he could deliver Brexit on 31 October.

Now he is desperate for one, given the impasse in Parliament and the way his majority has disappeared.

A General election could break the logjam in this rotten Parliament if electors are in decisive mood. Were  the vote to splinter too much with four or five parties in contention, we could end up with another hung Parliament which could perpetuate the block over Brexit and the difficulty in forming a government with a majority that can do things..

One of the most common messages I currently receive is Cromwell’s speech when dissolving the Long Parliament. This much purged Parliament wished to perpetuate itself after the death of the King and the advent of the Commonwealth. Presumably my correspondents  think they see similarities to today.

There are however very important differences. Cromwell arrived with 40 soldiers to close the Parliament down, using the force of the New Model Army against Parliament. He did not plan a new Parliament, but planned a personal autocracy as he became Lord Protector.

What we want instead is an election to try to change the personnel of Parliament. The gap between what this Parliament wants about Brexit and want voters want is too great. Worse still, many MPs were elected to see Brexit through only to go back on their word  and do everything in their power to delay or prevent Brexit.

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  1. Shirley
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Parliament has made sure it protects its MP’s and therefore allows them to lie to the electorate. They do so with impunity when it comes to re-election and touting their spin and propaganda in the media. There is no honour in Parliament. Why is protecting a dishonest fraudulent MP or Lord more important than protecting the integrity and honesty of Parliament? Too many MP’s are more concerned with protecting their own powers and their own selfish needs than serving the people of the UK.

    What happens on the 31st Oct will confirm my views, or be a very welcome surprise.

  2. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Yes we need an election and yes as soon as possible, and if it comes just before or after Christmas so what, feelings are running high on both sides, so people will turn out.

    Perhaps some politicians are frightened of the dark or cold, or perhaps its the truth they do not like !

    If you can change the ease of use of the the postal vote scam/system before that, then so much the better.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      If we can have three General Elections in just four years, then where is the argument against having three referendums in forty-four years?

      And if the country, sorry “the people” were really “crying out” for a General Election, then where were the million or so marching through London for one last Saturday?

      Did you notice what those who did were requesting, however?

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        Martin are you happy with the way Parliament is not working at the moment. ?

        They seem very keen to vote on things they do not want, but cannot put forward a coherent policy on what it does and how to move forward.

        Whilst I do not agree with the LibDems stance, at least they are clear on what they think.

        Like wise are the Brexit Party although they have no Mp’s at the moment.

        All the others (which is the majority) seem to be totally and utterly confused and seem to simply want to play politics.

        • Hope
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

          So JRM admits Johnsons servitude plan is lipstick on a pig! Hammond says the current deal was offered to Mayhab.

          Johnson falsely claimed it was a “New deal”. Clearly and blatantly a lie. he called Mayhabs servitude agreement vassalage, he said the EU should go whistle for the Multiple billions for nothing, claimed he would rather die in a ditch than ask for an extension today he writes the acceptance of the extension!, Deal or Deal would love EU by 31/10/2019.

          Goodbye Tories. Deservedly so.

          JR, your party does not want an election at the moment it will nose dive. The facts are out, it is an awful servitude plan with a slight change to the backstop which gives N.Ireland away to the EU! N.I even has to fill in forms to send goods to the rest of the UK part of its own country!, you were there when Sammy Wilson made it clear.

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Postal voting is rife with fraud – which is the very reason Labour introduced it in the first place. The fact we have had so called Conservative or Conservative led coalition Governments in power (albeit leftie Liberals masquerading as Conservatives) for the last 9 years who have done absolutely nothing to address this abuse beggars belief.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Many complaints made – almost always groundlessly – by people like you have been investigated by the authorities and found to be unfounded.

        The number of actual offences has been tiny.

        But continue to propagate your myths aimed at voter suppression.

        Millions, like I used to, have to work away from home at short notice. Postal votes are essential to them.

        Yes, people who actually work, and in demanding jobs, often do vote Labour.

        And the turnout among us will be exceptionally high come any election, I can promise you that.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Well that isn’t correct Martin.
          Postal vote fraud has been discovered and has led to court cases.
          Your lack of concern is not surprising.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

            Usual Aunt Sally nonsense.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            I haven’t got an Aunt Sally so that comment is indeed nonsense.
            But records show disturbing incidents of postal vote fraud.
            Which needs stopping.
            If it benefitted the political parties you do not support you would be out there marching and protesting.

    • Hope
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Paragraph three of this blog patently untrue. Johnson knew the shinanigans of Westminster and the numbers, despite this repeatedly promised out by 31/10/2019 deal or no deal do or die. Will he deliver or be a lair of the Nick Clegg proportions? After all another of his claims was, exit by 31/10/2019 or extinction.

      Last week he was paying traitor Letwin, Harrington and others defying him compliments in parliament! Rather odd to say the least. Hammond doing the rounds touting for customs union, i.e. Not leaving. Will Johnson pay him compliments this week?

      Johnson when confronted with the blocking amendments still repeated, as did his ministers, out by 31/10/2019. Thursday will be interesting. Will Johnson be revered as the biggest political con man in history?

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Corbyn has called for a General Election approximately 500 times since the last one.

      This morning he has confirmed that he will agree to a General Election when Boris has confirmed the hell has actually frozen over.

  3. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Not a hope in hells chance.

    • Hope
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Why would they? They want Johnson to be seen as a liar and a con man by not delivering on his promises. Cummings said we shall see if Mr Grieve is right. The gauntlet was laid down by both. They knew the numbers and shinanigans before they spoke. They were clear and bold.

      No leverage for blaming others for this and that. They made it sound/ intimated that had a clever plan to get around these dastardly deeds.

      • JoolsB
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Disgracefully even the media are reporting that Boris will ‘fail’ to meet his rather die in a ditch promise to leave by the 31st! No mention of the fact he has been forced into it by an EU loving, democracy denying, remain parliament.

        • Benny
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:45 am | Permalink

          He has failed, end of. I dont care why – he said we would be out this week, then he asked for a delay until January. Failure. At the GE, voting Farage is the only way to make sure we leave

        • Mark B
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink


          Johnson could have prevented the Benn Act thereby giving him leverage as Leaving without a WA / Treaty was still an option. He chose not to so as to give him an excuse not to Leave. The man, in my opinion, is a fraud.

  4. Peter Wood
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Good Morning Sir John,

    You state the problem but offer no solution…

    Here’s one: the PM needs to back a vote of no confidence in his own administration (lord knows there’s plenty of reason to be dissatisfied with it). These are exceptional times, an exceptional solution is required!

    • Simeon
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      It’s a clever wheeze, but obvious game playing. What’s to stop those opposed playing games themselves and voting FOR the government? But then, even if it succeeded and the government fell, a) many voters may conclude that they themselves could not have confidence in such a government, and b) if absolutely necessary, the opposition could form a government themselves. These are absurd people in strange times, so it would be silly to rule out anything around the margins.

    • eeyore
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Here’s another: The government resigns en bloc and Boris takes the Conservatives into Opposition. As the various factions would combine to block any possible new government an election would be inevitable.

      However, Boris is making a habit of talking big and acting small. He pledged not to send the Benn letter and to leave this month – both achievable but neither achieved. He wastes political capital and it’s noticed.

    • Hope
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Extract from Darren Selkus in Con Woman if you want three years of slavery Johnson’s deal is f or you:…. During this transition not only will the EU have their normal control over our laws, rules, regulations, trade policy and borders, but foreign policy, taxation and even military action, matters which have to be in accordance with EU interests, will be added.

      EU Military Integration will continue with us obligated to fund their defence and intelligence plans. British troops will come under EU command in an EU Battle Group (articles 128.2, 129.7, 156, 157)…..”

      JR, you voted for this pass to the next stage! Yes an election is wanted to get rid of the Tory party.

    • Paul Ackerley
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I endorse this suggestion.

      Alas with supreme irony, the opposition will offer their full and unconditional support for the government (i.e reject their No confidence in themselves) – so they can continue to squat in their seats and fight a government they have absolutely no confidence in.

      To pile irony upon irony, that too is a lie. The problem is they they do indeed have confidence in the government – but not in themselves and definitely not in voters. Their fear is that the government is making progress – progress that is at odds with their own personal greed.

      So you have situation were we have a government that parliament rejects for doing what they promised they would do, but in truth had no intention of doing.

  5. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    The gap between what Parliament wants and what voters want?

    How can you pretend to know what voters want? The original referendum question was absurd and the promise to implement it was ridiculous. After the result, assuming the STUPID promise to implement the result had not been made, the government should have said …
    ‘Okay, a small majority wants to leave. We will see what options are available and let you decide which one you want in a further referendum.’

    Given the abject mess the Tory government has made of this, a second referendum is the only way forward. An election solves nothing. In a few years time, with many older Leave voters no longer able to vote due to their departing this mortal coil, the next generation of younger boy may well vote to take us back in – Euro and all. This whole episode may well be a Pyrrhic victory for Leavers.

    I voted Leave. I’d vote Remain now, given the chance.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      The next generation of younger voters
      The next generation of younger boy
      Predictive text on an iPhone!

      • Duyfken
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        If only that were the only mistake you are making …

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Nice to have a well thought out, reasoned response.

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        MW, if you can’t operate your phone properly – and proofread before posting your comments – then I have no confidence whatsoever in you (and by extension, the people you clearly support) in running the country.

        You will recall that the Welsh Assembly came into being on a much lesser 0.6% majority from a relatively pitiful 50% turnout.

        The Brexit referendum turnout was 72.2% – the biggest in British electoral history. You may not have liked what was in Cameron’s booklet, but it was a promise to deliver. The referendum was NOT advisory. The Genie is out of the bottle and if anyone tries to stuff it back in again, there will be trouble.

        It is not THIS Tory Government that has made a mess of things, but the two previous ones under Theresa May and David Cameron. The continuing mess is the result of anti-democratic remainers (who it would appear, are in the pay of an agent outwith the UK) subverting that result and trampling on democracy, rather than (as they say) reinforcing it.

        It is my sincere hope that the next Government will, as a priority, repeal Tony Bliar’s repeal of the treason laws so that we may hold a number of people accountable for what they have done to this country over the last 3-4 years.

        Enough is enough. Boz should just send a further (unpublicised) letter TELLING the €U Commission that we have decided to leave at 23:01 on 31st October, regardless of any Article 50 extension that they have offered.

    • BJC
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      You’ve not read Lisbon Treaty, then? Voting Remain is tacit acceptance of ALL its contents and with the rise in the use of QMV our vetoes and opt-outs worthless. Be careful what you wish for.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      You can get a good idea of what voters want by looking at the polls in recent elections and by-elections, noting particularly how many don’t vote. It helps for clear-sightedness to put your own feelings to one side.
      Government and Parliament had the opportunity to refuse to implement the “absurd” referendum, but decided quite correctly that having promised to let the people have the decision, they should abide by it.
      How would a further referendum help? Parliament has already had an instruction from the people, and now they need to act on it, rather than ask the people to decide further on a question the politicians are reluctant to implement.
      As to the next generation taking us back in again, I refer you to my point above about watching the polls. I’d say only 10% of the electorate are committed to remaining in the EU, about a 1/3 have a preference to remain if asked. That’s hardly a platform for rejoining at a later date.
      I voted leave, and nothing about the EU has commended itself to me since then, quite the contrary. If I have learned anything since, it’s how inept our own MPs really are.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Mike Wilson,

      In 1993 Major did not give the people a say when going back on the 1975 promises and extending EU (as it became) competences and further giving up sovereignty. From then until the referendum approx 15 million people died in the UK with a democratic say. To continue this habit of dragging things out so any opposition to the EU can die continues to be disgusting.

      Putting the disgust to one side. A second referendum between WTO and WA might, I guess, be justified but it would need to be quick. A referendum between Remain and WA (as is, unaltered) can only clear things up if the WA wins and is the next stage is completed by end 2020. If Remain were to win but with fewer votes/less percentage/fewer constituencies then Leave in the actual referendum then the arguments would blow up hugely. If Remain won beating the previous Leave result then people would just argue that it was a rejection of the WA – the bad deal argument. What we must face is that fewer people voted in total in the EU elections than just for Leave in the referendum, indeed only about three and a half million voted for the clear B*****ks to Brexit campaign.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      The reason not to have a second referendum is that the losers would not accept the result. The LibDems have already explicitly said this if the vote was Leave. TBP would not accept the result if the vote was Remain. So it would solve nothing at all.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        What matters is whether our supreme Parliament accepted the result. That is all.

        Incidentally, the Fixed Term Parliaments Act was passed to prevent unconscionable opportunism, and was a good law from the Lib Dems.

        However, Swinson now fancies a bit of unconscionable opportunism herself, and so seeks to undermine her party’s very own law.

        This will stink far worse, and for much longer than anything that they did during the Coalition, and deservedly so.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          I think the nations wants an election.
          Your man refusing one will just bury him and his dreadful party into long term opposition.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            Where was the million marching in London for one last Saturday?

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            The silent majority are not organised like the modern left.
            But the polls show both a desire for an election and a good lead for the Conservatives.
            Soon we shall see what the voters want.

    • Pud
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Mike, the problem is not the government promising to implement the result of the referendum. The problem is they promised and then deliberately failed to do so. Many Conservative MPs stood in the post-referendum election on a manifesto commitment to leave the EU that they had no intention of honouring. The Lib Dems decided they weren’t that democratic after all. Labour’s strategy appeared to be disagreeing with the government with the intent of forcing a general election, until they were offered one when they suddenly decided they didn’t want to face the voters after all.
      We need a general election so we have a government that can govern, this will be the Conservatives provided they commit to leave the EU and come to a sensible agreement with the Brexit Party in constituencies where the Tories don’t stand a chance of winning but the leave vote would be split.

    • MickN
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      I am sick of hearing the remoaners waiting for the old to die so that they can get their victory. What they should also remember is that we all flirt with socialism when we are young, but most people grow up eventually and mend the error of their ways.
      This so called “small majority” would fill Wembley Stadium 15 times over.
      Also do you think if Labour win the next GE narrowly that they would say as it was close the issues and concerns of Tory voters must be taken into account in the way they run the country?
      Dream on !

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        The number who did not vote Leave would fill Wembley Stadium 375 times over, however.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          For all you know, those that didn’t vote might all be leave supporters.

          We have long accepted rules for eligibility to vote you should check them out before posting with your dodgy statistics Martin.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Because, presumably, anyone who did not vote must be a Remainer?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            Not at all, but certainly not a Leave fanatic ready to wreck the country for their obsession.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

            How do you know they “are certainly not” a leave voter?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            Er, because my definition was people who did not vote Leave.

            You’re really quite special, aren’t you, Edward?

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

            So you claim to know how everyone who did not vote would have voted.
            I think it is you that is quite special.

        • Pud
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          You regularly claim that somehow Leave didn’t win by counting people who didn’t vote either way as voting Remain. As you like pretending, imagine that the referendum result had been the other way round. Are you really expecting us to believe that you wouldn’t say that Remain had won, even though, by your own warped reasoning, most people hadn’t voted Remain?

      • JoolsB
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        Exactly MickN. I am sick of this word ‘compromise’. One thing is certain, if the remainers had won by 52 to 48, they certainly wouldn’t be suggesting a compromise.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      You never voted leave and you never would … anyone who states that a simple leave or remain question was ridiculous is being both ridiculous and duplicitous. Remember, both major parties promised to implement the decision of the people, so it’s parliament that has failed the people and its time parliament answered to the electorate for their deceit.

      • Tory in Cumbria
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Well Robert, if you could kindly advise MPs what “the decision of the people” was, then I am sure they will go ahead and implement it. Was it frictionless trade with the EU and the exact same benefits as now, bonanza trade deals with third countries, money for the NHS, after all we hold all the cards, don’t we? All these were promises made by the Leave campaign – it’s not MPs fault they are undeliverable, it’s the charlatans who led the Leave campaign you should be upset with

        • Edward2
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          We have had remain supporters like you, Tory in Cumbria failing to negotiate a deal for over 3 years.
          That’s why we still haven’t left the EU nor negotiated a deal.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          Tory ( really?) – well if you believe everything said and written by any ‘campaigner’ you seem like the herdwickes grazing in your area….. follow the leader. Into the crash and over the cliff.

    • Julian Flood
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      May your end be many years away, but when that sad day comes, make sure science gets the chance to examine your brain. Leave to Remain? You must be unique!


    • libertarian
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Mike Wilson

      You can’t convince adults to vote for your absurd desire to remain shackled to a an undemocratic failing institution, so lets brainwash some kids

      You would STILL lose a second referendum, if you didn’t you couldn’t implement the results because the idiotic reasons you gave would be thrown straight back at you

      You are NOT a democrat , democracy has been hi jacked by the EU & their establishment apparatchiks

      • bill brown
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink


        The lecturing is over , you can relax and cut the fake news.

        To think that your arguments/lecturing could fall as low as they have done.
        And you wish to argue in facts, If this is the case you have reached the bottom

        • Edward2
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

          Irony is lost on you bill.

    • Brigham
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      I don’t believe Mike Wilson voted leave.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Well, you are wrong there, pal. I voted Leave because, in the final analysis, notwithstanding the benefits of frictionless trade etc. – I regard the EU (then and now) as an intrinsically undemocratic, autocratic organisation. I thought if I voted Leave a sane arrangement would be reached where we left the EU but carried on trading in a sensible and friendly way. And where we cooperated with our neighbours on security, the environment etc.

        Now, as far as I am concerned, since the vote to leave, the EU has proved itself to be worse than anything I already thought. But, because our politicians – chiefly May – have been so utterly useless in negotiating our exit – agreeing right at the beginning to agree a withdrawal agreement without agreening the future arrangements (‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed!’ Huh!) – and given how long this has dragged on – and given I am 3.5 years closed to death – and given I won’t be around forever – I would now vote Remain because, to be honest, I just GIVE UP. The EU has won because our lot – your Tories – are so completely and utterly incompetent and USELESS!

        I voted Leave.
        I would now vote Remain.

        • Pominoz
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 2:26 am | Permalink


          “I would now vote Remain”

          Understand and agree with absolutely everything in your post – except the extract above.

          Hold your nerve. ‘Proper’ Brexit will be delivered. The darkest hour is just before the dawn.

    • JimS
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      We were taken into the EEC/EU on the votes of very few MPs.
      We were told we had a veto, that ‘free movement’ would never happen in practice.
      We were signed up to treaty after treaty that our MPs couldn’t be bothered to even read let alone understand.
      For forty years all the main parties were pro-EU so the people had no voice, nevertheless they stuck to the rules, they voted, they paid their taxes, they didn’t riot.
      In 2016 the politicians blinked, they at last gave the people the chance to have a say. The question was simple, leave the EU or remain in the EU? The people said leave.
      For a year the politicians faffed around, eventually getting around to tell the EU that we were leaving, (but with fingers crossed behind their backs).
      Leave was clearly ‘off the table’, the political question was how much ‘remain’ the people would put up with, 98%? 99%?
      The people obeyed the rules, the politicians haven’t. What do the people do now?

    • Oggy
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      You know very well this mess has been created by a Remainer Parliament and Remainer establishment. MP’s who lied to get elected and have gone back on their own promises and manifestos to respect the referendum result.
      The result to leave was clear and true leavers know exactly what that means. The whole issue of what leave means has been diluted and obfuscated by remainers in an attempt to stop a true Brexit.

      I voted leave in 1975, I voted leave in 2016, I have not changed my mind, if anything given the way the establishment and this rotten Parliament have behaved in sucking up to the corrupt EU, I am more convinced than ever we should get the hell out.

    • Cerberus
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Anyone that thinks 1.4 m is a small number & believes that you voted leave is stupid.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        1.4 million is a relatively small number compared to the total number of votes.

        I must be stupid. I KNOW I voted Leave. I actually stood in the ballot box for about 3 minutes dithering before I finally thought ‘what the hell, we’ll lose anyway’. My views of the EU haven’t changed. My view of the competence of this government has. They couldn’t negotiate the purchase of a used car.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          Converted into constituencies that “small number” would have resulted in a majority of over 100.
          But Parliament has deliberately refused to carry out our instruction.

    • Sue W
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      The problem is that we cannot be “taken back in” because we have not yet left That is the whole point. The result of the referendum needs to be implemented before there can be another. If, at that point, the perpetually young replacements for the defunct leave voters then vote to take us back in, so be it.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Where is the law which says that?

    • Thrush
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      “The original referendum question was absurd ” In or out. There is no disgrace in never having had a girlfriend.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Firstly – the electorate voted OUT, another Ref ‘might’ vote stay in – but we Leavers can rightly claim ‘best of 3 to be decided after another lonnnnggg delay’?
      Secondly – the Parliament is a mess as you say – but mainly due to dishonest MPs on all sides. As soon as possible we should try to sort it out.
      Thirdly – by the time we have passed on, the EU will be a bigger shambles than it is already, the Euro will be a joke currency. Better that we switch to US dollars.
      Man up for God’s sake!

    • forthurst
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      It is not possible to establish what voters want under FPTP; the vote for the least worst option in an election is not a positive endorsement for anything in general and politicians who claim they have a mandate are therefore lying. However, the Referendum result was absolutely clear and because of this the main parties offered to implement it without equivocation in their mamifestos. Since then, they have invented the concept of ‘leave’ being a variant of ‘remain’.

      Before we joined the EU, we were an independent nation: was that absurd? Our economy was growing faster than after we joined the EU. We traded with whom we wanted under mutually agreed terms and since then the WTO has removed many of the barriers to trade erected by the EU as part of their customs union. It is only remainers (ie the liblabcon) and the Brussels regime that fears Brexit; for us it is a win win.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      It’s a shame people didn’t complain about The Question *before* the referendum.

      All those who took part in it pledged to abide by the result by marking their ‘X’ on the ballot paper.

      This is a basic democratic principle by which civil war is averted.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        I’m not being funny mate but that is a really simplistic view of things. What did you think ‘Leave the EU’ meant?

        I thought it meant leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, losing (what I always thought was a good thing about the EU) Freedom of Movement and no longer having our laws made for us by an undemocratic organsation we can never vote out of power.

        What did I think would happen afterwards?

        I thought our government and the EU would sit around a table and negotiate how it would work after we left. How trade would be able to continue in the best way possible and to agree citizen’s rights etc. But NO – the idiotic EU said they wouldn’t talk about the future arrangements until we had signed a surrender document and our the useless, incompetent fools that were negotiating for us let them. 3.5 years later …. oh boy, I’m sooooooooooo tired of it all. Let me change my vote to Remain and accept we are ruled by the EU because our politicians are not up to the job.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          And that Mike is the real problem.

          It is now being promoted as easier to stay.

          Short term pain for long term gain. These people will get round the table when they have to and mutually beneficial terms will be agreed.

          Once the referendum was announced, our selective membership of this union was over. The choice was more integration or out. That remains the same.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        “People” absolutely did, but were ignored on that by the government, as they were ignored on ex-pats votes, on those for our three million tax paying fellow Europeans here, on votes for sixteen to eighteen year olds, on the need for each of the UK nations to agree, and on far more.

        Can you really not remember?

        If not, then are you sure that you should be voting?

        • Edward2
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          Same rules as for every election in the UK.
          Ex pats could vote as long as they hadn’t been away for more than 15 years.
          European nationals vote in their own countries.
          18 years is the legal age to be able to vote.
          More ridiculous remainer moaning from you Martin.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            No, not the same rules as the Scottish referendum.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            That went well.

          • bill brown
            Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Stop your silly generalisaitons

  6. GilesB
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    We are in an extraordinary situation. Government is unable to govern. We risk surrendering to vassalage . And the breakup of the Union.

    Surely a Privy Councillor has to consider very carefully their personal responsibility for advising Her Majesty.

    Constitutional theorists may have differing views as to whether a unilateral dissolution of Parliament is possible today; Sir Ivor Jennings wrote that a dissolution involves “the acquiescence of ministers”, and as such the monarch could not dissolve Parliament without ministerial consent; “if ministers refuse to give such advice, she can do no more than dismiss them”. A. V. Dicey, however, believed in certain extreme circumstances the monarch could dissolve Parliament single-handedly, on the condition that “an occasion has arisen on which there is fair reason to suppose that the opinion of the House is not the opinion of the electors … A dissolution is allowable, or necessary, whenever the wishes of the legislature are, or may fairly be presumed to be, different from the wishes of the nation.”

    Each Privy Councillor has the right of audience with the Queen. If not now then when would be a time for requesting an audience in person. Recommend the dissolution of Parliament. You and your fellow Privy Councillors each have not only the right but the obligation to advise the best course of action at this time.

    • Andy (the real one)
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I doubt Her Majesty could, by her Prerogative, dissolve Parliament now because of the Fixed Term Parliament Act which has fettered the Prerogative in this area. I wish this were not so, but fear it is.

  7. Mick
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    And that is why Boris should just man up and walk away on October 31st with no deal because the cowards in Westminster won’t give him a General Election without strings, history in 50years time will look at all these cowards who are doing there best to thwart Brexit and will be seen for what they are , a bunch of losers who’s one and only goal is to keep us tied to the Federation of European Union states , but the only thing these cowards have forgotten is the British people determination not to be ruled by a foreign government

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      1000 upticks.

    • Dame Rita Webb QC
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Thats never going to happen with Boris. Just like May he flies over to Brussels at the beck and call of unelected international civil servants, he gets pushed around by the Irish prime minister and we meekly refuse to return anybody who sails across the Channel seeking ‘asylum’ because its our problem and not France’s. The Conservative party no matter who is leading it seem to have an aversion to putting Britain’s interests first.

      • David Maples
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        There are no Tories left in the Conservative party, apart from a very few such Sir JR!

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink


      Hear, hear!

      There was a poll last evening in the Express asking whether Boris should do exactly that, leave on 31st with no deal. It will be interesting to see the result!

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink


      Genuine question, is he allowed to turn down the offer?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Let us hope the people’s determination is sufficient to overcome the establishment traitors, the BBC propaganda, Welby & the C of E, the legal establishment, academia, the civil service, MPs and the Lords, the green crap pushers and all the other vested interest groups.

      The Boris deal is clearly not Brexit it must go.

      • David Maples
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        All true, but at least we will be out of the club, no longer at risk of ever closer union. Hopefully, over the coming years we can become sufficiently non compliant, enough to be a thorn in the flesh to the EU.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          But the Boris deal still puts us in hand cuffs for the negotiations and is far worse and far more expensive than just leaving.

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more. Walk away on October 31st with so called no deal and let the democracy deniers threaten him with court or prison. He should consider it worth it in order to keep faith with 17.4 million people and the promise he made. At 5 minutes to midnight on Thursday he should declare to the EU we are leaving and do not require an extension, no ifs no buts by which time it will too late for all those EU loving traitors in parliament.

      Sadly, this won’t happen as I am now truly of the belief that Boris isn’t prepared to leave with no deal at any cost and only his pig with lipstick version of May’s deal will do which is why he stubbornly and stupidly will not agree a pact with Nigel Farage. Big mistake!

    • Peter
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink


      If Boris Johnson is able to do what you suggest, against the will of parliament, then that is by definition a dictatorship. I’m not exaggerating for effect here, that’s the literal definition of the word. Are you sure you want to publicly support that?

      • Jagman84
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Attempting to implement the result of a national referendum is a dictatorship? That’s a new one on me! I do not want Boris’ EU treaty to be ratified, for the reasons often stated but Parliament cannot be allowed to pick & mix what they individually want.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Peter – -Tony Blair did a whole series of things OF HIS OWN BAT, including sending our young men & women to die in a war wanted by the USA. Don’t try and tell me that action by Boris would be the first of dictatorship by a PM.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      The big danger is a Fib-Dim/Scots Natsi alliance.

      The Fib-Dims’ core vote is safe – after all, they will only EVER vote Fib-Dim…. but they are likely to pick-up extra remainer voters from both the Tories, Labour and the Greens.

      Disillusioned Leavers may desert to The Brexit Party from both the Tories & Labour. The danger is, that if not enough do so, then a Fib-Dim/SNP alliance could potentially see more seats than a Tory/TBP one (….Boz has said that he would not consider one).

      A coalition Government of these two groups of rabid anti-democrats would destroy the UK.

  8. James Bertram
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    !7.4 m voted to leave the EU. Johnson’s appalling surrender treaty neither leaves the EU for many years, nor makes us an independent country when we do officially leave. No one voted for BRINO.

    A General Election can only be decisive and break the logjam if the Tories fight the election on a No Deal ticket, alongside The Brexit Party, for a proper clean-break from Europe. Otherwise this shambles will just continue for another 5 years and a hung parliament is almost certain.

    Johnson has just 4 days left to drag victory from the jaws of defeat; otherwise this is the end for the rotten Tory Party. History will not be kind to it.

  9. Mark B
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I am for a GE, but not just yet. We need to be sure what we are all voting for this time and, on current showing we have :

    Conservatives : BRINO.

    Labour : Second referendum between Remain and BRINO.

    LibDems : Remain.

    Out of the three main parties, which one offers me Leave. You know, the one what I and 17.4 million others voted for ?

    The Conservatives want a GE because Johnson knows he will win and soon before the people realise just what a betrayal he has set us up for, and he poll rating plummet. Labour do not want one because they would lose. The LibDems want one as Labour is weak and see an opportunity to steal some of their seats. The SNP want one because there are storm clouds over the horizon 😉

    None of this of course is to do with BREXIT, the UK, business, the economy and the people. Just naked political self interest.

    So yes, I want a GE, but not just yet. Let us get Christmas out of the way first and look to 2020 after we have gone through Johnson’s / May’s new EU treaty. Oh, I forgot something. There is a recession on its way. You really do not want to be in government when that hits and there is a GE around the corner. A GE I might add none of the parties can avoid.


    • Simeon
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Yes indeed friend. Let us all thoroughly scrutinise exactly what it is the Tories are so keen to sell us. This is only democratic. If the electorate are paying attention, they will realise that the Tories are the party of big business and vested interests, and are no longer a popular political party.

      These poll ratings, if they remain the same, are a problem though. Polls, as has been demonstrated, can be (tend to be?!) inaccurate. But I have no doubt that even those that visit and contribute to this site, that are therefore well informed, and that have sound instincts, will, perhaps understandably, but in my view misguidedly, vote Tory because not to do so results in something even more appalling, purely on the basis of these polls. But if the Brexit party can rise in the polls, then this should encourage others to vote this way too.

      Where there is crisis there is also opportunity. If people genuinely want change, then they will have to change the way they vote. Hint: people swapping from one legacy party to another doesn’t work!

  10. zorro
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Cromwell’s speech is more apt than you think for the current rum bunch! Except that they are probably worse…. Unfortunately JR, you know and we definitely know that if we give BJ a majority he will push through his mucky furry handcuffs deal with the EU which will hugely disadvantage us as you also know. If he went for a clean break at election time he would clean up. And because he won’t, a lot of us will not vote for his rubbish WAB.


  11. Simeon
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I can’t see a GE resolving anything in and of itself. This is because I am highly sceptical that a) current polls accurately reflect support for the Tories, and b) that present support for the Tories (whatever that is) will not drop significantly over the course of an election campaign as voters become increasingly aware of BJ’s incompetence and dishonesty. Add to this the SNP’s strength making it that much more difficult for another party to secure a majority, and the baked-in advantage to Labour of present constituency boundaries, and you have a recipe for a very hung Parliament. That said, even if modest Labour support holds firm and the Peterborough by-election is anything like typical, then a very strange outcome is not impossible. Still, I expect a second referendum is likely one way or another.

    The interesting question is this; why, when there is the prospect of something like BJ’s ‘great deal’ being ratified by this Parliament (the government’sown view), is BJ not doing everything possible to work with Parliament to this end? Together with the huge risks to the Tories a GE presents, this would seem to constitute a compelling argument NOT to have a GE. Perhaps BJ is not being entirely straight when he says he wants a GE?

  12. James Bertram
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Interesting poll of Express readers – who you would have thought would support Johnson’s deal:

    “The poll, which ran from 1.30pm until 10.30pm on Sunday October 27 and saw 16,397 votes cast, overwhelmingly shows support for a no deal departure on Thursday.

    The poll asked: “Should the UK walk away on October 31 without a deal?”

    A massive 93.3 percent (15,298 readers) voted in favour of doing so, as the clock ticks down to Briton’s proposed departure from the bloc.”

    • Fred H
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      JB – -I have no idea how the poll was conducted, nor whether Express readers are more likely to vote that way than Joe Public. However, only 6% didn’t want to walk away is indeed interesting.

      • Peter
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink


        Express readers are, like the commenters on this blog, not representative of the country as a whole. Nor are Guardian readers. Nor are leavers, or remainers, or climate change deniers, or climate change activists. None of these groups, in isolation, represents the entire country. You have to mix them together to get a representative sample.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

          in that case it is ‘open and shut’ that 94% want the country to walk away from the dreadful EU.

  13. Stred
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Welching MPs could be made to meet their constituents locally and advised strongly to arrange s bye election with a petition handed over with maximum publicity.

  14. Julie Williams
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Challenge Article 50, shame remainders and the EU if an extension is offered: it’s not only bad faith, it’s not legal because our government did not request it, our Prime Minister did so under duress and made that clear to the EU.
    Bercow and Parliament are not the government, they are holding it prisoner and if the EU acquiesce to this request, they are aiding and abetting them, there should be an international outcry about what’s happening but it suits too many people with deep pockets.

  15. Oliver
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Given the choices you present, a personal autocracy sounds quite appealing – “man up” Sir John! It’d be great!

  16. RAF
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    What we want instead is an election to try to change the personnel of Parliament.

    are we to suppose that the major parties have bevies of new PPCs waiting in the wings and that the majority are of the Leave persuasion? The only party offering a range of new PPCs with a fresh look is the Brexit Party. Are you advocating that the Johnson/Cummings axis sees sense and embraces a pact to put Corbyn, Swinson et al. back in their respective boxes?

  17. Polly Smith
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Johnson was elected leader on the promise that (1) there would be no election and (2) Brexit would occur by 31 October. Now he wants an election, and Brexit will not occur on 31 October. Would you please get rid of him, and instal Nigel Farage immediately

    • Benny
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:06 am | Permalink

      Bang on the money! Boris us just another politician who doesnt keep his promises. Dead in a ditch? No, he has asked the EU for an extension! He has zero credibility

  18. oldtimer
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Your suggestion that the turkeys will not vote for a Christmas election sounds the most likely outcome today. I would like an election to attempt to end the current stalemate, but recognise that it might not succeed. At least it would give me the opportunity to vote for someone to replace Mr Grieve.

  19. Caterpillar
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Leave on 31st with no deal and if not possible accept the SNP/LD offer as long they both agree to whip for no ammendments. It delays again (as.long as EU agrees) but may get us somewhere.

    Will need to consider ‘relationship’ with TBP carefully.

  20. dixie
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Cromwell? having a Chemist background I relate more to events 100 years later – specifically the fate of Antoine Laurent Lavoisier. Lavoisier was the father of quantitative chemistry identifying Oxygen, Hydrogen, Sulphur, the combustion process, helped develop the metric system, produced the first list of elements, established public schooling and did many benevolent works for the common man.

    He funded all these good works by being a Tax Farmer and in the French Revolution they guillotined him.

    Cromwell was concerned with a dispute between politicians, Brexit is a dispute between politicians and the common man, and I see more parallels with the causes of the French Revolution; Social inequality, heavy taxation of the lower classes, financial crises, increased cost of living, crap leadership, parliament’s successful opposition to reforms, extravagant lifestyles of the elites off the backs of everyone else.

    A no-deal Brexit is not a leap into the unknown, the reaction, attitudes and behaviour of the fools in Parliament and the establishment to the referendum process and it’s outcome has taken us into the unknown.

  21. Everhopeful
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    The thought of a Cromwell type coup…ummmm
    But then maybe not..he abolished mince pies and gave us political correctness.
    Wonder though how many others feel very angry with Boris for the May rerun and wonder too how he would use a majority?
    Maybe to NOT deliver Brexit…it has happened before you know!

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      There is a marvellous,but very cynical,passage in Trotsky’s 1925 account of the breaking up of the Constitutional Assembly(Russia’s first and last-for 70 odd years- elected assembly) by the Red Guards on it’s first day of sitting in 1918:

      “…these little citizens from the provinces did not know what they should do;the greater part was simply afraid.But they carefully prepared for the first meeting.They brought candles with them in case the Bolsheviki cut off the electric light and a vast number of sandwiches in case their food was taken from them.Thus democracy entered upon a struggle with dictatorship heavily armed with sandwiches and candles.The people did not give a thought to supporting those who considered themselves elect and who who were in reality only shadows of a period of the revolution that was already past.”

      Brilliant-he was a real card,that Trotsky!

      You’re going to need more than candles and sandwiches!

  22. Roger Phillips
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    If the Conservatives fail to deliver Brexit on the 31st then you will be punished at the polls, a “do or die” promise was made and we will hold you to it. I see the Brexit party doing far far better than the polls suggest, fail to deliver this week and the Boris honeymoon will be over.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      are there really going to be voters who support brexit who are dim enough to vote for the brexit party in constituencies which matter, and so allow corbyn / SNP to scrape in? could be I guess, in which case maybe we would be better off being governed as much as possible by the EU.

      • Simeon
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        are there really going to be voters who support brexit who are dim enough to vote for the conservative party in constituencies which matter and so allow corbyn / SNP to scrape in?

        The Conservative party policy is BRINO, a thinly veiled excuse to keep the party together. It would be just desserts for BJ to unite the party but lose his office. He and his party deserve each other, whilst many, many people in this country deserve better than he and his party. If you truly support Brexit, then vote for the one party that is offering it, not the Tories.

    • manx
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Agree, many are fed up with Boris’ continual lies.

  23. Alec
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Instead of Cromwell with 40 soldiers how about Nigel Farage with 400,000 voters? Or 4 million? Maybe thatwould do the job. We should make sure the first 650 voters have barbed wire and a good knowledge of the location of lamp posts close by. To be honest although I’m sort of joking it really would be the best outcome for the country and the people.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Wow! I am surprised your weird comment was not moderated.

      You are ‘sort of joking’. This whole thing gets more worrying by the day.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    No, I do not want a general election, or another referendum, like Arlene Foster I want Boris Johnson to go back to the EU and attempt to renegotiate the Irish protocol.

    “Boris Johnson should again seek to re-negotiate the Brexit deal if he wants DUP support, Arlene Foster has said.”

    10 votes that he will need to have a chance to get a Bill through the House of Commons, and we have already seen.

    The proposal he makes should be based on this from Sir Jonathan Faull et al:

    “An Offer the EU and UK Cannot Refuse”

    “A Proposal on How to Avoid a No-Deal Brexit”

    which he chose to ignore back in August.

    Opting instead for an arrangement similar to that which the EU had originally wanted, but which Theresa May rejected because it threatened the integrity of the UK.

    And if the EU did unreasonably refuse that offer then the UK should act unilaterally to avoid the need for any change at the Irish land border, while making it very clear to the wider world that it was the intransigence of the Irish government and the EU which had made it necessary for the UK to act unilaterally.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      Johnson has put himself, and the country, in this position. He now wants parliament and the people to get him out of his ditch. Personally I am happy for him to stay there until the polls look less favourable. Then maybe, just maybe, Leaving the EU without his Surrender Treaty might look a little better.

  25. Kathleen P
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Boris seems to be buoyed by the polls but when we do not leave on 31st October, watch those numbers plummet and the Brexit Party’s rise. Theresa May told us over a hundred times we would leave on 29th March. We didn’t. Boris has told us possibly half that number that we would leave on 31st October. He will soon find that there are consequences if he doesn’t keep his promise. Fool me once shame on you: fool me twice, shame on me. Won’t get fooled again.
    The Brexit Party and Nigel Farage are now the only hope for this country in getting a clean break Brexit. So yes, bring on a General Election whenever you like and let’s have a Brexit Parliament. In relation to which, what would be the point of electing the same faces? Candidates should be chosen for their Brexit credentials and then we might finally get somewhere with dynamism and optimism.

  26. BOF
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The problem is, Sir John, that we will be asked to vote for a government that wants to pass the WAB, to keep us under the thumb of the EU.

    The answer is no.

  27. Andy
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    You want an election because you don’t like the result of the last one. Ironic.

    When the election comes the Tories might win a big majority, but then they might not.

    They have not figured out yet that either way they lose.

    If it is another hung Parliament then we have more of the same. That’s a loss.

    But then if there’s a Tory majority Brexit is entirely down to you. That’s a loss too.

    Voters will hold you responsible for the Brexit mess – as they did the Poll Tax.

    You were out of power for more than a decade after that – and Brexit will be worse.

    I hope you get your majority. We’ll be seeing your party off for good within a few elections.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      the polls suggest that it you who will be losing this one

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Whatever the short term, demographics would seem to say that the sun is finally setting, and deservedly so, on this so-called party.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          Plainly not correct.
          Look at polls comparing Boris and Jeremy.
          Your man has the worst personal rating of an opposition leader since records began.

    • Jagman84
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Who is this ‘we’ that you profess to speak for? By the way, thanks for this months’ pension. Much appreciated! Keep sending that lovely money to the taxman. If you had your way, there would be millions more in the country, wanting you to supply them with freebees. You’d have something to complain about then..

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Over the duration of their stay, on average, our fellow Europeans here contribute seventy-eight thousand pounds more than they cost.

        You might have to take a pension cut if they go back.

        UK-raised people just about break even on the other hand.

        (Oxford Economics)

        • Edward2
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          Ridiculous statistic.
          How come GDP per head isn’t rising greatly if that figure is correct?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

            Our European friends can only offset to some degree the wastes-of-space among the Leave voters.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

            That doesn’t add up Martin.
            If 300,000 new people each year for over 15 years arrive in the UK and all add greatly to the national income as you claim, then why is GDP per head not rising rapidly?

          • bill brown
            Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            look at the source before you raise objections

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Quite simply.

      Run the election based heavily on each candidate’s Brexit position. Then we’ll get a much more accurate representation of the country on Brexit in Parliament.

      MPs should be prepared to stand or fall on this one issue and – Remainer or Leaver – should be prepared to be sacked on it.

      At the moment People and Parliament is well out of kilter and that is what is going wrong and if The People weren’t still for Brexit (more so now) then this wouldn’t be a problem. As it is MPs are having to say that they *respect* the referendum result but do everything to thwart it on the sly – why do you think that is ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        PS, it wasn’t the Poll Tax that did the Tories. It was an EU putsch and the awful PM that followed that did that – now posturing as an elder grandee.

        Major (Hesseltine) saw that the Tories never got a convincing majority again.

  28. agricola
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I assume that a new Parliament following a GE is not hobbled by anything that previous Parliaments may have voted in favour of, they start with a clean sheet. A government with a clear majority can depart the EU or stay in the EU as it pleases. It means that any preconditions imposed by any party that sanctions an election are irrelevant unless they win. For many current politicians the promises on which they got elected are irrelevant. The important thing is to have an election and should leave win to give immediate effect to Brexit. How to win is for another diary entry.

  29. L Jones
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    ”And that is why Boris should just man up and walk away on October 31st with no deal…”
    Yes – many of us want the default position of out on 31 October. I personally don’t want an election until leaving has been achieved, cleanly and conclusively, as pledged, or how can we know what we are voting for? None of the main parties are trustworthy – that leaves the Brexit Party as our only hope.

    ”.. a GE without strings”? It won’t just be the ”cowards of Westminster” who will hold those strings – you can bet your bottom euro that the foreign power will do anything (I don’t know what) to ensure that the Brexit Party doesn’t win.

  30. Lifelogic
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Indeed an election to remove the traitors and liars in parliament is required. This to align MPs views more with those of the public. The public are far better at judging things than all the daft art graduates. pushers of the evil politics of envy, career politicians, self publicists and paid “consultants” in parliament.

    None of the 21 should ever have the whip restored and an accommodation with The Brexit Party is still needed. Plus abandon the dire Boris WA treaty it is not Brexit.

  31. Kevin
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    The Tory vote is the biggest concern at this point. The “reassurances” about
    our fish stocks, our sovereignty and our foreign and defence policies are
    made superfluous if we leave without the Tory leader’s “deal”. This is not to
    mention the apparent absence of any reassurance about the money to be
    yielded to the EU under this deal. The Brexit Party represents a clean break.

    • Benny
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      The Brexit party is the only party promising a clean break. Johnson’s deal is a total sell out, the Conservatives want to lock us into the eU orbit

  32. Brigham
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Bearing in mind that no government can be bound by a previous one. What is to stop Boris promising anything to get an election, and when he gets in again or has a coalition with the Brexit party, leave with no deal. That is, of course, that he is able to command enough support .

  33. Oggy
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Appropriately what chance of turkeys voting for Christmas ?

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      None.Like the Perpetual Diet of the Holy Roman Empire-packed with agents of foreign powers and,as one contemporary had it,as useful as “a bladeless knife without a handle.”

  34. Steve Reay
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    It’s truly shocking that this country allows the E.U to tell us when we can leave. I said months ago on this site that they would give us an extension even if we didn’t want one and sure enough they have. Boris should make a statement that this government doesn’t recognise it.

  35. Richard1
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Good to see Boris outpolling Corbyn strongly among young people.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      at least Boris can be amusing, Corbyn looks and speaks like a time warp back to caricatures of a befuddled Lenin.

  36. glen cullen
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Prorogue parliament till 31st October…..haven’t got the bottle
    Reject EU extension offer…. haven’t got the bottle
    Use special emergency powers….. haven’t got the bottle
    Manifesto position ‘No-Deal’ with immediate WTO…… haven’t got the bottle

    The Tories main competition ‘the Brexit Party’ will do all the above while the Tories will continue with the TM/BJ deal ?

  37. ferdinand
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I agree, it is a depressing outlook. Democracy died with the Remainers.

  38. John S
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    If there is an election, we need to come to an accommodation with The Brexit Party. We could agree for it to contest Tory Remainers’ seats plus those, particularly in the North, where we have no chance of winning. I am thinking of constituencies in places such as Sunderland and the Black Country. By doing this we should be able to get Brexit done.

  39. bill brown
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    The language used is really falling “Rotten Parliament” does that in any way convey a better or strong massage?

    I have my doubts.

    • dixie
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Hans, historically a rotten parliament is where a minority has disproportionate influence, in this case by MPs fraudulently presenting themselves as pro-leave to get elected when they really were not.

      If you want a strong massage then you need to take yourself off somewhere else.

  40. Lifelogic
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Anyone who voted for May’s deal (even once) is clearly dubious and lacking in judgement and backbone.

    • James Bertam
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      The same could be said for Johnson’s Surrender Treaty (excepting Sir John).

      • Peter
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        On what grounds do you exclude John from your sweeping generalisation?

      • Simeon
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        In fairness, JR didn’t vote for the WA, but merely for it to get to the next stage. I would have liked to see him vote against it, even if he then lost the whip, but I respect his judgement on this.

        Which reminds me…

        Sir John, forgive this cheeky question, but I can’t resist; did it ever cross your mind to resign the whip, resign as an MP, and then stand in the by-election as an independent candidate. That would both serve to shame those MPs that changed parties but didn’t stand in by-elections, and also give you an excellent platform from which to make the case for a clean and proper Brexit.

        Reply. No. I promised to serve as a Conservative and that is what I am doing. I have continued to make the case for a clean Brexit

        • Simeon
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply. Your position is entirely respectable. As far as your constituents are concerned, you are exactly what you said you’d be. Why should they be asked to vote again? But it is nice to imagine what the rest of the country could have learned had you and your constituents performed an honest and principled political dance.

  41. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    OK. The parliament is rotten to the core. It has outlived its original purpose which was to support Mrs May and her negotiations – and to show that we the people are the real boss.

    The question is this: will the British be so fed up that they will simply not turn out in the rain and allow the postal votes and election fraudsters, so evident in the Peterborough election, to allow Jeremy Corbyn to sweep into power?

    • Fred H
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Voters who know when they are being shafted by lying nonsense WILL go to vote. Sheep who cannot tell the difference between UK and China to ‘blame’ for global warming and damage to trade, or have lived and suffered under a communist, oops Labour tinged Government will never go there again. We are still trying to get the debt under control, and no signs of their lesson being learnt.

    • bill brown
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard

      “rotten to the core” is this really the best and most sophisticated language you are able to use?

  42. formula57
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    In casual conversation at the weekend, I encountered the view of two habitual voters that they were sufficiently unimpressed with the present body politic that they doubted they would vote in future. The antics we are witnessing from the political class are not without cost, clearly.

  43. Richard416
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John, haven’t we had enough of these Alice in Wonderland goings on? Just prorogue parliament until November 5th, stop talking in circles with the e.u. and let us get on with it.

  44. Gareth Warren
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I too would be surprised if we achieved an election this week, more likely remainers know the next parliament will not favor them.

    Here I believe Boris should follow trough with his promise to leave the EU on the 31st by doing all he can legally to withdraw. He has authority over money and should use it by ceasing payments to the EU. I suspect this will end our EU membership and then labour would support an election.

    The people are tired of brexit, but the payments and regulations will not go away. therefore the desire and method of brexit will grow ever more extreme. The last three years have not been positive for the remain case too, many voters are much better informed and much more pro-brexit.

  45. BJC
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    All well and good, but if the Tories believe the polls that suggest Mr Johnson’s treaty is supported by the public, they’re probably in for a massive shock…… you know, Sir John, we aren’t that easily fooled. I see we’re now expected to pay for a further extension, so The Brexit Party is set to enjoy another surge to nip at Tory, and indeed Labour, ankles. We can only hope that in the background the true “level playing field” deal, aka temporary WTO arrangements, have been well-advanced along with other “No Deal” preparations. I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, I have no doubt Parliament will continue on its quest to seek out ever more elaborate ways to dig itself into oblivion.

  46. Polly
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink


    To answer your question……..

    I don’t think the public wants an election. After all, why would normal people want all the hassle and have to go out to a polling station on a dark, cold, probably wet December day ?

    To assume voters want to all the trouble is typical of politicians who think the world revolves around them.

    The public does want an end to the Brexit crisis though……….

    You can end the Brexit crisis of course, very easily indeed.


    • Anonymous
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Are you joking ????

      We’ll turn out gladly even on Christmas Day !!!

      I think you’re misreading the mood out here.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Polly – – oh yes they do.

  47. acorn
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Electoral Calculus website is currently predicting a Con majority of 58 seats and 0 seats for Brexit. I don’t know how many of the original ERG 62 (the prime cause of the current mess) are not in safe seats; or, if remain voting constituencies will reject leave incumbent MPs or vice versa.

    It’s worth going for a traditional general election (GE). It is doubtful that British voters would turn it into a virtual referendum, GEs are just pinning a rosette on lobby fodder time, anything else would be too difficult.

  48. Anonymous
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Yes. But let’s be clear what the Boris deal is.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      A general election. Let’s have it on Christmas Day ! An excellent present for the public.

  49. Nig l
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    So Boris’ leaving by 31st October was BS. Why am I not surprised? Bring on the election and the Brexit Party. The Tories deserve nothing.

  50. Norman
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Thank you for such a clear perspective, Sir John.

  51. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Another hung parliament is a serious possibility. Whilst hoping BJ was better than his record of unreliability he clearly is not. This friends and partners guff is an example of the misreading of the hardball core of the EU. The UK have been a soft touch since Major, he has been quiet recently!

    Perversely other ignored matters could turn the tables on the CP e.g. abolish HoL, EVEL, abolish IHT, abolish stamp duty, rescind 0.7% foreign aid act and more issues of the people not complicated, legalistic minutiae.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      More Brexit MPs is a more serious possibility.

      The Tory and Labour brands are dead anyway.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        “The euro will be dead and buried by Christmas 2012” – Nigel Farage.

        • Mitchel
          Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          The continuance of the Euro suits the Russians and Chinese- they can use it as a weapon against the $ and don’t want the disruption to their trade with the EU that would ensue from a collapse.The Russian oil behemoth,Rosneft, moved to default pricing in Euros for new contracts last month it has been reported.

  52. Lifelogic
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    So the silly Theresa May, after the excellent referendum result was apparently:-

    Distraught and in tears about the result.. “The ones who voted for Brexit will be the ones who suffer the most,” she told Mr Timothy.

    Well she certainly made them suffer with her idiotic damage limitation and dithering approach – taking the Conservatives down to 9% and perhaps even giving us Corbyn. Was she not ashamed of the gross incompetence of the Cameron government and civil service to prepare for the rather likely leave vote? Also by his pathetic abandoning of the ship and failing to serve the section 50 notice as he promised to do!

    Thanks goodness the pathetic, deluded and dishonest dope has gone. I hope she is not standing again. We will be far better of out as a real democracy and not a colony of the EU you silly Libdim dope! Are Oxford Geography graduates even dafter than PPEs I wonder?

  53. wes
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Keep the list of turncoat MP’s handy so the people can decide their futures.

    Cromwell only had forty soldiers ?

  54. Mick
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    So it looks like the Europeans have granted us a flextention, surprise surprise because it will give the chicken levered cowards in Westminster more time and motivation to thwart Brexit with more Brexit killing motions like the surrender bill that muppet Benn put, the mps really don’t understand the anger that is in this country but they will if they succeed in keeping us in the undemocratic Eu

  55. Chris Dark
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    So now they’re extending to January. Then what? extend again? and again and again and again until the people have been psychologically massacred and throw in the towel? The anger out here is lifting the lid now on the boiling pot. It isn’t going to go away and not all of us are so weak that we simply sigh and accept our fate.

  56. Diane
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I agree an election is needed in an attempt to breathe some life into this hideous parliament. Whether it’s a good idea at this time I’m not convinced. Also, what is behind this proposed alternative date being offered by the Lib Dems & SNP ? The 9th instead of the 12th December proposed by Government. Further, from what I read, hear, see & sense, I feel people are increasingly more aware of what this WA leaves us with & observe a reluctance to support the Conservatives. And what of the DUP & N.I. situation. The WA is just more of the same & resolves very little in terms of the future control & manipulation sought by the EU. And what of the DUP & N.I. Politicians seem to think we are fools & don’t need to worry our little heads over the minutiae of this “excellent deal” I want to know, in detail, what I am voting for. I fear the impact of votes for the Brexit Party & hope that any campaigning by the Conservative & Unionist Party does not resemble in any way, the language and approach to that of T. May’s 2017 campaign. Tell it like it is and they will gain at least a little respect. I personally have taken the initiative to inform myself as far as I can but there is a lot more our politicians can do to persuade & reassure us and reduce the apathy that no doubt many are feeling. This should have already happened. As an aside, I see that the new EU Budget has now been signed off with the UK having abstained I understand. It’s obvious from that & from the figures, that our ongoing contributions are still considered a given & no doubt very welcome now & into the future.

  57. Christine
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Unless Boris can find a loophole to leave this week then I’m afraid it’s game over for the Conservatives. People will soon realise they have been coned by this WA, it’s not Brexit and leaves us permanently shackled to the EU. We cannot trust manifesto promises and we can’t even trust Conservative candidates to honour their word if we vote for them. I’m sticking with The Brexit Party as they are the only party I trust to give us a clean Brexit. I’m ashamed and disgusted by the way MPs have let this country down.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Agree 100%, Christine

      • Chris
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        I too agree 100%, Christine and James B.

        Boris’s deal is a sell out to the EU, and there are significant numbers of people who are not going to support Boris and the Cons Party. Why does he think we are so stupid that we cannot read/research his deal and discern from the legal opinions that it would represent vassalage?

        In my view, it will be hung Parliament territory if he does not change tack and go for true Brexit AND go for an accommodation with Nigel Farage and The Brexit Party.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      I also 100% agree Christine

  58. Iain Gill
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Come across another big public sector body, seen up close and personal the quality of their work, absolutely shocking would be an understatement.

    We cannot keep throwing money at them without a real drive to improve the quality of their work.

    Financial services ombudsman, have this weeks award for worse standards of work than a six year old would do.

  59. Richard1
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    At the election there will be a clear choice. If you want a broadly free market / small govt / lower tax economy with a Brexit deal which allows an independent trade and regulatory policy, vote Conservative.

    If you want to stop Brexit at all costs and nothing else matters (at least by comparison) vote Lib Dem

    If you are a socialist /Marxist and you look at regimes like those in Venezuela, Zimbabwe and East Germany pre-1990 and like the idea of that for the UK, vote Labour.

    Then I guess there’s the lunatic fringe of climate hysterics who might vote green, scottish separatists etc (none of whom would have seat in Parliament at all if we adopted the PR system they claim to favour)

    Then there will be a few people who say they support Brexit but even Boris’s deal isn’t real Brexit. It is of course correct that had we had a robust negotiating position from the start and hadn’t gone down the ridiculous Mrs May route of agreeing everything the EU wanted and then started to talk about what the UK wanted, we would most likely now be in a much better position, with some sort of sensible FTA arrangement.

    But such people should not include Conservative MPs who left Mrs May in office for at least 18 months after it became clear how hopeless she was. after the 17 election campaign, the concept of a WA, the sequencing, the money, even after the chequers proposal.

    There will be some who say we don’t want any WA, just just vote for the brexit party. if thats in Labour constituencies eg in the North that doesn’t matter. but if right of centre voters who want brexit are dumb enough to vote for the brexit party in Conservative seats, or marginals, that will of course ensure: no brexit, a left-wing govt, Scottish separatism.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      After your first paragraph I stopped reading. Tories low tax ? Yeah right !

      • Fred H
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        you probably didn’t want to know what is written in the horror story WA version 1 and 2.

    • dixie
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      “dumb” enough? Excellent attitude to retain or gain votes for a party that does not represent our interests, whose leadership and MPs have lied through there teeth, turned coats and have proven their disloyalty to the common citizen and the union.

      What is the point of voting for proven liars if there is no legal means to hold them to their word, let alone their oath.

  60. Me
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Usually I have a feel about what people are thinking politically in my vicinity. Not recently.
    Maybe they have automatically switched off outgoing transmissions as it were.
    Personally, if Boris and Rees-Mogg, appeared together on TV in a special broadcast and informed the nation that Parliament was closed, debates suspended until an appropriate time, and we will Brexit as per Referendum result, I think people would think “Oh” and then flick through their TV controls to see the exact time when the England Rugby match is on. Others not interested in sport could very well weed their gardens, go shopping, or walk the dog.

  61. John Probert
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I agree with the Attorney General

    “This Parliament is a disgrace , they have no right to sit on these green benches”

  62. Rule Britannia
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Johnson should no longer wish for an election.

    He has failed to deliver on his promise to leave by 31/10. He should now, in political metaphor terms ‘die in a ditch’.

    He allowed the Benn Act onto the books when he could have refused Assent – or even challenged lack of Consent / Money Order. He could have told the EU “extend if you wish, but without a money order it will be a free extension since we won’t move a money order to pay you’.

    Or he could have written to them over the weekend withdrawing the request he was ‘forced’ to write.

    He is now shown to be a puppet – possibly a remainer puppet – who will certainly not be getting my vote in any election, even if he passes his God-awful WA2. What happened to the idea of ‘disassembling WA1’ and holding votes on the individual pieces? What happened to negotiating a FTA?

    Brexit Party are the only people who can sort this one out – and sort out politics in general. They will get my vote and millions of others if/when a GE occurs and I hope the Conservatives don’t get in the way – please poll the 8% or less that you got in the EU elections.

    You seems a decent bloke JR – why are you still in this party? You tell us what you are saying to your own group of MPs but never what they reply. I assume they don;t agree or listen to you, yet you are not a ‘man in the street’, you are one of their MPs and you have zero influence it seems. Why not defect to BXP and show the next charlatan ‘leader’ that words are meaningless (actions that deliver on words are what counts)?

  63. William Long
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I cannot see we are going to get anywhere unless the electorate give a majority to ine side (or even, dare I say it, the other) in a general election. Therefor, I think, with all the possible pitfalls that come with it, the SNP/Lib. Dem. proposal is worth pursuing, assuming that Johnson does not get his own motion through this afternoon, and does not see his way to just Leaving on 31 Oct. Given the record of the current lot though, there will be no need to waste any time reading party manifestos as it is clear that they are not worth the paper that they are written on.

  64. Steve Reay
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    With Boris seeking an election he has let the Brexit voters down. His do or die promise was all a fudge. I hoped when Boris got in he would deliver the referendum result but no he’s only delived another broken promise. Parliament is full of broken promises and yet the people are powerless and helpless to do anything.

    Would Farage do things differently? The problem with the election should we ever get around to having one could leave us with a split vote and a coalition government of Brexiteers and Remainers which would then lead to a second referendum which ultimately mean Brexit will be stolen from us through shenanigans .

  65. Sue Doughty
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    We must have a general election, aka the Peoples Vote. This parliament is embarassing the nation it claims to serve.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      A general election is not a peoples vote as in a peoples vote everyone has a vote which carries equal weight and worth whereas under a FPTP general election, some people (those living in the marginals) have a vote worth far more than others (those living in safe seats).

      Parliament doesn’t represent the people precisely because it is not designed to under the current FPTP system. A Parliament which represents the people can only happen with a change in the voting system.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Yet under PR we vote for a party with a manifesto of policy promises and then after the election a coalition forms and some or even many of those policies get dropped and others wanted by fringe parties involved in the coalition force their way in.
        How precisely representative is my vote after the horse trading has been done?

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          The majority getting the majority of what they voted for based on finding common consensus is a far better outcome than the majority getting precisely what they did not vote for, which is the case under FPTP, which delivers “majorities” with 36.9% and 35.2% vote shares.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            It hasn’t been my experience of PR in Europe over decades where weak government held ransom by fringe parties regularly collapse.
            The consensus you mention is cobbled together in secret away from the voters.
            If a government fails to try to govern for the whole of the country then it soon realises the voters will take their revenge at the next election.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

            Almost all European countries use PR of one form or another and you don’t actually see what you describe if you look around in most cases.

            Under FPTP governments can afford to not govern for the whole country (and have, and do) because large swathes are electorally irrelevant to them and can be safely ignored.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

            I dont agree.
            Look at Italy as just one example of many.
            Under PR once the coalition is cobbled together the group can go about their business with little thought for the electors.
            PR gives small and sometimes extreme political parties far too much power.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

            I suggest you study how Perfect Bicameralism operates (the Italian system) before you assign Italy’s issues to using PR, especially as they have partially adopted FPTP (in 2017).

            If you have two elected chambers with majorities drawn from different parties and neither chamber has primacy over the other (which is the case in Italy), you’ll get the sort of impasses you see in Italy, whether those chambers are elected using PR or FPTP, or a mix of both.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            Italy have had unstable government for decades caused by their PR system.
            Like others in Europe.
            PR has big faults.
            I prefer the imperfect system we currently have.

      • mancunius
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Quite so. Though stopping the flagrant fraud in false registration and postal voting might be at least a step in the right direction.

      • dixie
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        A change to the voting system is no good, you need to change the way people are involved in the decision process.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Peter Parsons

        However a Peoples Vote is a binary referendum yet it was NOT implemented . Democracy in this country isn’t a failure because of the voting system its a structural failure or the entire system and the fact that elected people no longer honestly uphold our unwritten constitution

        PR won’t make things any better . What we should have is a straight vote for a PM anything other than that is not democracy

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          It was a binary vote where one of the options was not a binary answer.

          Was leaving meant to mean leaving to be like Norway (not an EU member) or leaving to be like Turkey (not an EU member) or leaving to be like Canada (not an EU member) or leaving to be like the USA (not an EU member) or leaving to be like Mauritania (not an EU member and the only country I’ve listed here which trades with the EU on pure WTO terms)?

          Therein lies the problem, the UK had a referendum on “what” without specifying on the ballot paper “how”.

  66. Dennis
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why the EU, which wants the UK to remain in the EU, doesn’t give an extension of 50 or 100 years. The UK parliament would then keep this wrangle going for at least that time which would please them no end.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Your premise is wrong.

      Many people in the European Union now want rid of this dysfunctional, aberrant country.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        Yet the EU says yes to every extension request.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        thats a cruel remark to make about Wales ( or was it Scotland) – or was it NI?

      • libertarian
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink


        Hmm I think Wales is quite nice actually.

        If the EU want rid why do they keep offering extensions ?

        Most odd behaviour, or maybe Martin is just talking through his ….. again

  67. David Maples
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Swinson is prepared let Boris have his election, but no later than Dec 9, as this is the last day of the university term. She hopes the students will vote(in places like Canterbury)for the Lib Dims, before they go home to mum and dad for Christmas. If her and Sturgeon get together and agree to this ruse, Boris will only need 51%. Problem for him is, what will Lidington and his gang of forty do? Even an absolute majority therefore, is hypothetical. I think the PM needs to use the royal prerogative to meander around the FTPA.

  68. ian
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    The illusion of democracy and the people’s belief that they are sovereign because they are told so by putting a cross on a sheet of paper by the media and parliament. Its put me in mind of a slave rat running on a treadmill for it master to generate food for itself while keeping it master in clover and comfort, while all the time the treadmill door is left open.

  69. BillM
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    This irritating saga, now regarded as a horror story, has been perpetuated because the democracy we are supposed to have, is not protected by British Law.
    It has come to the point now that we can no longer believe what any Politicians tells us. Especially those seeking Office or actually in Office.
    I would like to see in a new Parliament, a new Bill passed that ensures that ALL politicians seeking election or office in Government, must swear an oath to honour their words and step down and seek re-election if they ever break their promises. It should strictly follow the oath protocol in our Law Courts.
    Our Queen had to make such an oath during her Coronation and it seems a crime that Politicians are seemingly excused from swearing to honour the people and their new position as the peoples Representatives in Parliament and in Government.
    In short, there must be a price for them to pay when they default or reneged.
    They have escaped meaningful censure for too long.

    • dixie
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Agree. There are clearly no meaningful deterents to misbehaviour, no matter how gross, for those in government, civil service or the public sector. A law or regulation does not count if the establishment refuse to enforce it.

  70. Jeremy
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    If reports today are to be believed, we are about to get the much needed election.

    Do you know if Boris intends to campaign with his disgraceful WA in the Tory manifesto?

    • Chris
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      If he campaigns on the WA I suspect we will be in hung parliament territory and deservedly so.

  71. ian
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I had a complaint on the blog the other day about using the word elite, i only use that word because of everyone else is using that word, from now on i will use the words, robber barons, instead of the elite word so that know what i mean.

  72. Steve P
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Three successive leaders of the Tory party have had it in their powers to leave the EU. Cameron, May, and now Johnson have each handed power back to the EU and remainers to stop us leaving. There are international and domestic laws to stop the betrayal but none of Cameron, May, Johnson have used them. Why? They are part of the same old establishment as the remainers. Why don’t the remainers want an election? Because they know the existing government will prevent Brexit or sign a deal that is BRINO – the government are also remainers.

    • Peter
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink


      I have noticed that pattern too. Every Tory PM, when presented with the full informational background and responsibility for Brexit, seems to shrink away from it. Now, I know that 3 data points isn’t that much, but it’s interesting how so many people still seem to think that a change of leadership is all that’s required to get this over the line. I wonder how many more Tory PMs need to be sacrificed before that confidence wavers. Remember the gag about the drummers in Spinal Tap?

  73. DavidJ
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    “They are busy lobbying the EU ”

    Surely the only communication with the EU should be by the elected government’s ministers? They have undermined the government’s negotiators a every turn. In any real negotiation the ability to walk away is absolutely essential in securing an agreeable outcome.

    If only we had robust law on treason. As it is we need to ensure that they are never again elected.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      What, so you mean that you, say, should not be allowed to communicate with over four hundred and fifty million people?

      What a strange thing to say.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        but I think the truth is a handful of 5th columnists to another handful of devious EU officials.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Martin doesn’t know that the EU isn’t a place , its a politburo based institution. People who live in EU member countries are collectively called Europeans , and that term also includes the 20 European countries that aren’t members too. Dear oh dear

        Good grief you simple people run out of arguments quicker than a bucket with a hole in the bottom

        Why even bother with this level of childish, juvenile stuff…. ah votes for children you say … got it

    • Mark B
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 5:00 am | Permalink

      They are what the government might call, useful idiots.

  74. Ian@Barkham
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Hello Sir John

    Not keen on a GE, but the swamp needs cleaning.

    In to-days post in Wokingham a newspaper from the Un-Democratic Liberals pronouncing Jo Swinson as the UK’s next PM. She wants to restore fairness.

    As probably an unfair aside we had Blair, then Brown and the Cameron – is England ready for another Scots ruler. Given Scotland has their own Parliament, their own Laws, and so on – and England we are just part of the UK.

    This newspaper was then followed up wit a campaign leaflet from the same Un-Democratic pool the man Bracknell doesn’t want Dr Phillip Lee sees Wokingham as his new home. The un-democratic Liberals claim he is right for Wokingham because the Lib Dems achieved 40% of the vote at the last election against the Conservatives 34% and Labour 16%.

    I guess all this means the election is now on!

    • Fred H
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      and the Libdreamers continue to deliver mailshots by Royal Mail. This latest has 2 pages of it devoted to eco-issues! Do they not realise they are cuttting down trees to produce this? Ours went pretty quickly into recycling.

  75. Andy (the real one)
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    There is indeed a direct correlation between the Cromwell quote and what we see today. In 1641 Parliament wrung from King Charles I a commitment that Parliament could not be dissolved without its consent. The result of this folly was Civil War. We see the same thing today where Parliament cannot be dissolved without its consent and we have utter mayhem. The FTP Act, another brainchild of Letwin, needs to be repealed as the first act of any new Government and the previous status quo restored.

  76. mancunius
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I think the Conservative Party should stop talking jadedly (and in jaded cliché) about ‘delivering’ Brexit or ‘getting Brexit over with’ or ‘getting Brexit done’, and changes the language to ‘enact Brexit’, ‘effect Brexit’ or even ‘Completely Leave the European Union and begin the challenging process of parliamentary self-government’, it would help many to reconsider their decision not to vote for the Janus-faced Tories.

    Boris has had his chance to resist the parliamentary forces and their conspiracies with each other and with the EU. If he and Cummings had no idea that the rebels really would rebel and amputate his majority, they should improve their intelligence-gathering operation.

    As for the Benn Act, I counted three points at which it could have been halted in its tracks, but wasn’t. Boris should imagine we were all born yesterday. He wants Brino.

    • mancunius
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      typo: Boris should not imagine we were all born yesterday.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      BJ also today accepted the EU extension offer HE DIDNT HAVE TO ? No true democratic brexiter would have

      • Ian Pennell
        Posted October 29, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        @ glen cullen

        The Prime Minister had the Court of Session in Edinburgh keeping a beady eye on him to make sure that he not only obeyed the Benn Law but fully obeyed it in good faith!

        Of course, if Boris Johnson had refused to accept the EU’s offer of a Delay the EU would have accepted a “Nobile Officium” mandated by the Court of Session accepting the Brexit Delay. But if Boris Johnson had promised to “sabotage” the EU’s structures in the event of a Brexit Delay I doubt it would be mandated by the EU.

        Had Boris Johnson refused a Brexit Delay offer he would have been summonsed by the Scottish Court -and possibly jailed for contempt. He would have also had to deal with the resignation of the Attorney General (Sir Geoffrey Cox) and several conservative MPs resigning the Whip.

        But certainly, if he was truly principled and wanted to really fight to uphold Democracy and Get Brexit Done by 31st October, and if he showed true bold leadership he wont have been deterred by such matters. Hopefully when Parliament is dissolved he will ditch his Deal and make a Pact with the Brexit Party otherwise the pro- Brexit Vote will split and the Conservatives will lose to the Remainers.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:47 am | Permalink


  77. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    JR, you ask “Anyone for an election?” but you clearly will not publish any comment saying “No”, so what exactly was the point of asking the question in the first place?

    reply Happy to publish any anti election comment. There is a case against one.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:41 am | Permalink

      Yeah ! Just not mine – again 😉

      Well said Dennis.

  78. agricola
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    It is crucial as we move towards a sanitising GE that it is established by the Conservative Party exactly what the policy is with regard to leaving the EU. In a minority government situation it has been a case of attempting what might be possible. In a majority situation in future we can do what we consider best for the UK. It is imperative that in an election your party put forward a clear statement of intent. WA2 is little better than WA1. And I would guess that in a majority government situation comprising MPs of Leave conviction that WA2 would not pass their scrutiny. So ensure that the means of leaving the EU is absolutely clear. You have made clear your views which agree with mine. But for a party aspiring to majority government it must be made absolutely clear to the country.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      I suspect this is all wishful thinking. But as and when the Tory manifesto is published, perhaps I’ll be surprised. However, as far as I know, our kind host is unlikely to be asked to write it, so…

  79. Fred H
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink


    A most excellent speech Sir John, in the H of C at 5.45 today. Pity so many do not feel ashamed.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      100% agree both Sir John and Cash

  80. agricola
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Nice speach this evening in the HoC. Probably wasted on the 4th remove opposite as they have lost their moral compass. The only plus is that I think they know it.

  81. Wokingham Mum
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Bring it on

  82. Ah!
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    So they had their”debate” on Boris’ Election Asksk and this is it with Modern English translation by Me
    Twas “‘brill’ and the slimy toads
    Did liar and grumble in the wash
    All mumsy were the moronrogues
    And the mummy rats ourshame
    Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
    Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
    All mimsy were ye borogoves;
    And ye mome raths outgrabe

  83. Ah!
    Posted October 28, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Anyway it’ll ……all come out in the …wash ( result)
    Still analysing why it’s right, really.

  84. Smithy
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Although I rarely comment and prefer to read comments than contribute I do fear for the Tories chances in an election . There seems a general theme that runs through the party of self flagellation .
    When the sensible course was to enact a clean break Brexit ,they considered May who was a lousy Home Secretary to carry it through . Boris came galloping into town on his white charger and offers the same lousy vassalage as May .
    The Brexit Party once the hustings start will provide such damning scrutiny of the WAB2 that the Tories will be destroyed . Add to these the open goals of stopping foreign aid , reducing immigration and actually meaning it , with other popular policies the Tories will never implement being brought out on a daily basis you can see the problem .
    Corbyn lied through his teeth at the last election and it worked because he told people what they wanted to hear but people won’t be fooled this time , perhaps Boris should start listening to the people again and implement a no deal Brexit now rather than the idiots who he is listening to now who think Mays surrender deal is a winner .
    I shall vote Brexit Party unless it’s no deal .

  85. Rhoddas
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir JR, It is incredible any opposition party refusing a general election. I view this continuing obfuscation, with the dead hand of delay, as an heinious crime of office.

    It is pernicious to call such MP’s the ‘Rt Honourable’ any longer as most (gladly you are not included in this) have shown themselves wholly without honour.

  86. MeSET
    Posted October 29, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Remainer MPs could not stop shouting during the speech of Boris today and Mr Bercow did not reprimand them with his usual garland for people in ‘sedentary position’.
    He stumbled over the word Beatification yesterday and on first and second,the last attempt, pronounced it incorrectly starting it with the sound ‘be’ as in ‘ bet’ and not ‘bee’ as flowery honey ‘bee’
    Why he chose to use the word in the first place is something we will never know in the context. But it is scholarly advice that a man must know his limitations as the cowboy actor Clint
    Estwood would say.
    I’m better than everyone aren’t I! 🙂

  • 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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