What should an election be about?

The government wants an election because it wants to end the impasse of this Parliament. It rightly sees that it is kept in office but not allowed to govern. There is no alternative government on offer in this Parliament that would have a majority to govern. The election should be about who is best suited to form that government.

Elections are the ultimate democratic act. The government may wish to define the debate its way. The Leader of the Opposition may wish to define it in a different way. In practice it will be defined as a result of a jostle of forces and voices trying to shift or dominate the agenda of the debate.

On this occasion it may well be that there is some shared interest between Conservative and Labour over what they want to talk about. Both want to pose the same choice of a majority government led by one or other of the main parties of the outgoing Parliament. Both will look beyond Brexit to issues of tax and spend, their approach to public service quality and reform, nationalisation and privatisation. There will be a genuine choice between a more socialist government than has been on offer for many years, and a Conservative government.

The Lib Dems and SNP will wish to make it an argument about Brexit, peddling their view that the public got it wrong in 2016. They will advance various ways of overturning or cancelling the Brexit vote and will seek to bring the conversation back to this single question that has consumed the last two Parliaments.

What do you want the election to be about , as it your election too?

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300 Comments

  1. Dame Rita Webb QC
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    “There will be a genuine choice between a more socialist government than has been on offer for many years, and a Conservative government.”

    You could have fooled me. For us conservatives having the Conservatives in power, since 2010, has effectively been being on a road to nowhere. I cannot see Boris coming up with anything different than what Cameron and May delivered. Which is just a less extreme version of Labour’s program. More debt, more LGBT+, more immigration and more selling out the UK to the EU.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Tragically, many will vote for the Tories simply because they are less extreme than Labour. It’s death by a thousand cuts versus a swift execution. Is this life all there is, or can new life come out of death? I would say, aggressively prune back the rotten-fruit yielding tree of the Tory party and hope for renewed, healthy growth IF I believed that its roots were healthy. But I don’t, so, chop it down and plant a new tree. But as luck would have it, in the meantime there is another tree that, with a little encouragement, can bear the fruit we need. Yes, it might take some time, but I’d rather wait for a fresh, crunchy, juicy apple than immediately tuck into one crawling with maggots.

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

        After three and half years your party and govt has deliberately failed to deliver Brexit in the largest electoral turn out in history. Why would any right minded person believe anything your party says!

        Sammy Wilson MP in parliament mused why Johnson is going for an election rather than renegotiation, not to give away N. Ireland. He came to the conclusion Johnson had decided to sell out N. Ireland and not need the DUP vote. I think he is correct. Johnson would have won the traitor a Letwin vote had he had DUP inside!

        We were told that the U.K. Would leave 29-03/2019, Mayhab decided not to. We were told Johnson had a plan to leave the EU by the 31/10/2019 and there was nothing the remainers could do about it. Your left wing Tory party starts from the position of no trust in anything they say. Extinction I think Johnson called it.

        • Simeon
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          The one good thing about the Tory party’s naked dishonesty is its nakedness. We must hope that voters recognise the absolute absence of clothes. If the Tories can be so honestly dishonest and yet still people vote for them, then really, what is the point of universal suffrage?

          In times gone by, politicans lied in a more sophisticated way about issues of lesser importance. A degree of credulity borne out of inattention on the part of the electorate was perhaps understandable. But when the issue at stake is nothing less than the nation’s autonomy, and the lies so brazen, there can be no excuse.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        “Less extreme than Labour”?

        What is “extreme”, about the time-honoured, tried-and-tested policies of not even socialist, but Conservative parties elsewhere in the European Union, such as Mrs. Merkel’s?

        That is actually all that Jeremy Corbyn proposes.

        • Simeon
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          I actually accept that Labour’s economic policies are not as ‘extreme’ as the media makes out. I used the word ‘extreme’ in the context of speaking to those tempted to vote Tory. However, that Labour are to the left of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (who are much to far to the left themselves) is inarguable, even as they are in coalition with the SDs, so I put it to you that you are being very disingenuous.

          I should also add that regardless of how ‘extreme’ or not Labour’s policies are, I despise their approach to politcs. I will further add that socialism is, in my view, utterly misguided, and socialist principles have been hugely damaging to this country in the post-war period. I believe that it is good and right to work with and help one’s fellow man, and indeed that every person is one’s neighbour. But state-sponsored socialism is absolutely not the right way to achieve this.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

          You are forgetting nationalisation without proper compensation, the abolition of private schools, the attack planned on landlords with sequestration of of personal property, rent controls and no right to evict.
          Then the disaster planned for employers with a return to wildcat strikes and secondary picketing with the end of secret ballots before strikes can take place.
          Then there is much higher company and personal taxes to add to the list above.
          To compare modern European social democrat policies to Labour’s back to the seventies Marxism is hilarious.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Alexander Johnson MP wants to give all ILLEGAL (ie criminals) immigrants the right to remain. That is one of the things that will happen once he has his majority. Oh, and it won’t be in the manifesto either. But we will get a lot of guff about taxation and spending.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Being in the UK without authority is a civil, not a criminal matter.

        Such people are here unlawfully, but they are not criminals, unlike say, cash-in-hand, tax-dodging tradesmen, who are.

        That’s just a matter of fact.

        Yes, Johnson has proposed such an amnesty in the past.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          Not right Martin.
          Illegal immigrants can be arrested and detained by the immigration authorities and the Police.
          They can be put before the Courts and be subjected to a deportation process.
          It certainly isn’t the same as a Civil offence.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff

          As always you are WRONG , illegal immigration is a CRIMINAL offence , trying to conflate it with other criminals is just well, pathetic.

          Educate yourself here Mr self proclaimed legal expert

          https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/immigration

          By the way the tax gap in the UK ( including the black market ) is the lowest in Europe. The worst are Greece, France, Italy and surprisingly Germany

      • mary
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        The Tory party has already done this: they signed up to the UN Global Compact for Migration very quietly last December, unlike some sensible countries, but it hasn’t started kicking in yet.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Sadly I think you are right, BJ has followed the line that keeping the CP in tact is in our best interests whilst the Referendum vote differed from that view.

    • Kim Gavin
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Well said! Everyone who voted for this so-called ‘new’ Withdrawal Agreement has betrayed Brexit. It is neither in nor out. The Conservatives have been an absolute disgrace.

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        You’re right, compromise will be the death of the UK; either fully in or fully out

        Stop trying to please everyone – please the majority

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

      My opinion exactly. The Conservatives have given us nothing as the majority of them in Parliament seem remainers. I votes tory over 30 years and as I do not want the New Treaty to become reality my only option seems to vote The Brexit Party as Boris seems unable to keep his word. If enough vote TBP then why should they NOT get a majority of seats after all there are 17.4 million of us at the last count who wish to leave.

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Dame Rita, Exactly right. My constituency Tory prospective candidate has put out a newspaper without mentioning Brexit AT ALL!!! Quite clearly the Tory party has a death wish.

  2. Mark B
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The government wants an election because it wants to end the impasse of this Parliament.

    No ! What this government seeks to do is regain its majority it lost in 2017 and further eroded under the present PM. Upon regaining its majority, assuming it does of course, it will ram home the Surrender Treaty the EU has written for it, dividing the UK and undermining our country. It does not matter what the parties talk about, the EU will hold the whip hand as they will still be in charge of taxation and regulation. We will not be allowed to be more competitive. Further, we will be under the ECJ and will not have our own defence and security policy.

    The question we have to ask ourselves is; “Just who are we voting for ?”

    As our kind host has pointed out, this parliament and its MP’s are majority Remain. All we will be doing is voting them back in, it will solve nothing. None of them have the slightest intention of respecting, let a lone implementing, the referendum result of 2016. So what is the point other than to give Europhiles the chance to destroy the UK.

    If we are left with another hung parliament, what then ? Will we be made to vote again until we get the right answer ?

    I am all for a GE but we need to know what we are voting for and I for one want people to pick over Johnson Surrender Treaty and what it means to the UK and our future.

    Short Term political expediency is taking priority over the future of this country. This is wrong !

    • Christine
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      I agree that we need an honest view of what this Withdrawal Treaty signs this country up to. I fear an election will solve nothing. Boris has brought the same remainers back into his party. We need a real change in politics in this country and only The Brexit Party is offering to do this. This election is only going to be about Brexit but I have lost all trust in the main political parties. Boris is making the same mistake as TM made which is to believe the polls. He needs to do a deal with TBP and deliver a clean break Brexit. I doubt any other option will win him the majority he needs.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Good morning.

      Too right. I would add that a hung Parliament where we have to vote again would be the best conceivable outcome if one assumes it will not be Farage in No 10 on Christmas day. I hope this election is about voters increasingly realising that, a) the Tory party are a disaster for this country, and b) that the Brexit party are a viable party of government. If big steps are made in this direction, then perhaps a 2020 GE will see the Tories obliterated and the Brexit party swept to power.

    • Chris
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Good points, Mark. I suspect that many people are not “buying” the spin from No 10. We have been too trusting of the Cons and then we had to watch them break one promise after another, and so called principled MPs dropping like flies in order to save the party and not Brexit.

      When we have this election, is there really any point in having a Cons Party manifesto? We cannot believe a word they say. I don’t think I have ever witnessed before such blatant hypocrisy and lying from our MPs as we have had since 2016. What is even worse, there is no shame, no apologies, no remorse for this, but simply (from the majority of MPs) a dogged determination to squash the electorate and destroy democracy.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Theresa May said that she did not intend to give a running commentary on her negotiations with the EU:

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2016/sep/07/theresa-may-not-provide-running-commentary-on-brexit-negotiations-video

      and she came back with an agreement which would potentially have kept the whole of the UK under the economic thumb of the EU in perpetuity, and so I was alarmed to hear Boris Johnson repeating the very same phrase, that he would not be giving a running commentary:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgdodmrrDjA

      And lo and behold he came back with an agreement which potentially could actually lead to the break up of the UK.

      Then to add insult to that injury, whatever its magnitude will turn out to be, and thoroughly alienate the DUP MPs who were notionally his allies in the Commons, he tried to pull the wool over their eyes.

      If the 10 DUP MPs had voted with the government on Saturday October 19 then the Letwin amendment would have been defeated 316 – 312:

      http://bit.ly/2pvuVL3

      and the government could have won the meaningful vote.

      Instead they voted for that wrecking amendment, for reasons laid out at length by Sammy Wilson at the time:

      http://bit.ly/2MZo4TC

      “The Democratic Unionist party has been supportive throughout the process of delivering on the result of the referendum of the British people, and we have defied and opposed the procedural chicanery and political machinations that have gone on in this place to try to undermine that result. The irony is that today, which should be a day of rejoicing for us because the Prime Minister has come back with a deal, we find that Northern Ireland, and Northern Ireland alone, will be left within the clutches of the European Union, by being a de facto member of a customs union and tied to European regulations.”

      So I ask myself how that serious flaw in Boris Johnson’s supposedly “great” and “excellent” deal with the EU could possibly be remedied through a UK general election, rather than through renegotiation of the Irish protocol agreed with the EU, and the worrying answer which comes back is that if the Tories were to get a big enough Commons majority then they could ignore the complaints from the DUP and push ahead with an EU agreement which could potentially lead to the disintegration of the UK.

      • Chris
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Put simply, Denis, Boris cannot be trusted, and that is based on his track record, in my view.

  3. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    “Elections are the ultimate democratic act”.
    In a representative democracy indeed. To me it seemed that this “winner takes all democracy” had descended into an “total distrust democracy”, showing deeper issues about this system of democracy. The “17 million take all” approach hasn’t worked out well after three years. Maybe a more cooperative and compromise ready approach can be found?

    • Peter Wood
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      PVL,

      The system has evolved on the foundations of honour, principle, honesty. It is a sad reflection on our society that some of our elected representatives do not feel the need to adhere to these principles, and happily lie, deceive and obfuscate. We need better people to represent us, perhaps we’ll get them IF the local associations are allowed to select whom they wish.

      • James1
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        What should the election be about…..

        It should be about booting out the charlatans in Parliament who have shown little or no respect for democracy, and replacing them with people who will uphold our freedoms and get back to the free market capitalism that is the foundation of our prosperity

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      “Loser takes all” is a strange democracy.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        Yes, the American presidential system does seem rather odd.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          Martin

          Only if like you , you dont understand it. Unless of course you believe John F Kennedy amongst others was an illegitimate President

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Welcome to FPTP where it isn’t about winning, it is about getting votes in the “right places”.

        Just ask Clinton who polled 3 million more votes than Trump in 2016 and won a majority of the votes cast, but because of FPTP Trump became President. Not the first time that has happened in the US, the previous instance being Bush in 2000. This has also happened in the UK in the past.

        Look at the last two single party “majority” governments in the UK gained their majority with not much more than a third of votes cast. 2015 – government 36.9% of the vote, opposition 63.1%, 2005 – government 35.2%, opposition 64.8%.

        What do I want this election to be about? I want it to be about changing to a system where everyone has an equal stake and an equal voice in the outcome, scrapping wasted votes and the need for tactitical and negative voting (voting against what you don’t want rather than for what you do). I want it to be about replacing FPTP with a representative democratic system.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

          We had a referendum choice about moving to a different system which was a very moderate and mild variant of PR and even that was voted down by a large margin.

          Vote Lib Dem in the election, that is your answer.
          If more and more people feel like you do Peter then they have this option to get what they want.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

            No form of PR has ever been put to the UK electorate. AV is not a form of PR.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            Funny how AV was pitched to us as a form of PR and a voting reform better than FPTP by its supporters at the time.
            But even this mild change was firmly rejected by the voters.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          Peter Parsons

          The USA DOES NOT HAVE A FPTP system it has an electoral college

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            I suggest you look at how the electoral college members are elected – FPTP.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            Parsons

            So what ? Trump was elected by an electoral college and NOT by FPTP as the Democrats and socialists endlessly keep telling us… Do keep up

        • Dennisa
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

          Those purported 3 million votes were no doubt from California, which is the basket case state of the US. The electoral college is designed to prevent large states from dominating the political choice.

          We should think ourselves lucky that Clinton was not elected. There would be yet more wars and bloodshed in the Middle East.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        @Stephen Priest: Indeed! Both are strange. Better systems of democracy must be possible. The national “winner takes all” is fortunately not copied in any of the devolved parliaments.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          It’s telling, that many of the English actually expect government to be an elected dictatorship, and think that something is wrong when it is not.

          Worse still, the Tories expect to be accepted as such.

          No, more advanced societies in Europe do not operate like this.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

            Blair got three terms with on less than 40% .
            How do you think I felt?

            Again you make nonsense up about what you think everyone thinks.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            Tell that to the Catalonians

    • Dame Rita Webb QC
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Cooperation and compromise does not seem to be working in the Netherlands. The referendum brought to a head the fact that economic status quo is not working to the benefit of a lot of British people. Like the UK, you also have an economy which is built on a series of property bubbles, a wobbly financial sector and an unsustainable pile of debt. Perhaps the Dutch farmers bringing the tractors into the cities shows that the people now want to challenge the elite too?

      • bill brown
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Dame Rita Webb QC

        At least the Dutch society is much more egalitarian then the UK according to the GINI measurement

        • Edward2
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          The poorer a nation is the more that odd method of measurement shows it is more egalitarian.

          • bill brown
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

            Edward2

            So that means the more egalitarian societies according to GINI, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland fall in that category, Edward 2?

            What a general load of nonsense

          • Edward2
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            Small population European nations with low levels of industry get higher scores.
            GINI is a left wing designed statistical system to try to prove ever more big State high tax high spend high borrowing wil improve standatds of living for the least well off.
            The opposite is the answer.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        @Dame Rita Webb QC: Please don’t misjudge this farmers’ protest. Today we had a similar protest, the “builders’protest”. Either group stands to lose after a unfortunate earlier policy choice by the Dutch government (different from Belgium or Germany), for which the highest Dutch court has now taken the government to task: As a consequence, 18000 building projects/ permits are currently halted for possible environmental impact. Both groups (builders and farmers) are rather well represented within the four-party government, so a way out of this mini-crisis will certainly be found. Not a case of “the people” (many farmers are millionairs, builders are often employers themselves) against the elite.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          P.S. Dame Rita Webb QC:
          Our credit rating is higher than that of the UK
          Our public debt stands at 52.4% of GDP
          Our mortgage debt is still high while slowly decreasing (meant to be a slow process), but in some way offset by hugh pension savings.

    • Tony
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      The democratic act requires the losers to accept the result of a binary decision. This clearly hasn’t happened. We are still jn the EU sp the 17.4m have hardly taken all, the reverse in fact whilst doing great damage to our democracy.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Brexit is an issue that brooks no compromise. Half in, half out results in these appalling ‘deals’ the Tories have produced. If you haven’t understood that by now of course you won’t understand the political mess the UK is in.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        @Simeon: see my reaction to Tony above

        • Simeon
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

          Sadly, your response to Tony has not passed moderation. I may or may not get a chance to see it. Without wishing to sound impolite, I will not be making it a priority to chase this particular post down, if only because I don’t expect you to have managed to show how a binary choice can be respected with a ‘third way’ – which is no slight on your capabilities. But to anticipate one possible suggestion you might have, the UK leaving the EU but then remaining so closely aligned as to maintain so many of the ‘benefits’ it presently enjoys, or at least big corporations wih business based in the UK enjoy, might fulfil the letter of the referendum, but certainly would not fulfil its spirit.

    • APL
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      PdL: “The “17 million take all” approach hasn’t worked out well after three years. Maybe a more cooperative and compromise ready approach can be found?”

      What you mean is, ‘the Majority’ take all.

      THAT is the way it’s been in this country for at least a century.

      Perhaps you should go away and read up about Democracy. You might find it surprising.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        But the majority don’t take all in the UK. There has been only one government in the last 50 years which commanded a majority share of the votes cast, the 2010 coalition.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

          If you have 7 parties to vote for then it is to be expected that if you add the total votes cast for 6 of them, it will come to more that the total the winner got.

          • bill brown
            Posted November 1, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            Libertarian

            The Swiss population are not happy with their government following too much Eu legislation.

            So actually you have not cleared anything.

            Merkel is still around , you have said otherwise in the past

          • bill brown
            Posted November 1, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Sweden is highly industrialised

            Not any of the nations mentioned have high borrowings like we do except Finland to some extent. you are writing nonsense because you are not on top of the facts

          • Edward2
            Posted November 1, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            Borrowings has no connection to your egalitarian argument.
            You need to get on top of your facts.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        @APL: sounds a bit condescending. You don’t hold a monopoly on democracy, and what has been your national system “for at least a century” doesn’t seem to meet the needs of today.

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          What doesn’t meet the needs of today Peter if MPs who are elected on a party manifesto and then betray the people that selected them as the party representatives by voting against what they stood on?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      PvL

      Welcome back.

      I would like to draw your attention to Switzerland. A country that has enjoyed peace and great prosperity, even in the midst of two world wars, and yet, has not felt the need to surrender its freedom and independence to an artificial body such as the EU. It is also a Direct Democracy.

      • bill brown
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Mark B
        I am not sure the majority of the Swiss electorate would agree with you , when you look at their law catalogue

        • libertarian
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Billy hans

          The Swiss get a score of 96 out of 100 on the freedom index, the same as Denmark . I think you’ll find the Swiss are very happy with their country and very happy not being in the EU

          Glad I could clear that up for you

          ps Hows it going in Sweden and Germany right now ?

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        @Mark B: Maybe you also know that all Swiss political parties have at least one seat in Swiss government, not just in Swiss parliament. For the UK, moving to that system, if that were your favorite system, would take generations!
        Interestingly, Switzerland proves that different cultures and languages, can form a unified political structure, an encouragement for the EU, that the so-called demos argument, often peddled by Brexiteers, is not a strong argument.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          PvL

          The Swiss govern by referendum , they repeatedly dont want to join the EU

          The Swiss are right

    • Andy
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      The trouble is Peter that the 17m (who nearly 4 years on are probably now significantly less than 17m) do not even agree with each other about what it is they’ve won.

      Some claim Johnson’s terrible deal is Brexit. Others think that Farage’s policy – a national temper tantrum – is Brexit. Others want to be like Norway. And none of these versions of Brexit has anything like as much support as Remain.

      Gone are the days when they claimed any benefits at all to the UK from Brexit. Their conflicting visions shattered by reality. It’s really rather pathetic.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 31, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        Remainers have a variety of opinions about the best way forward too Andy.
        Some want to just remain and stay as we were, some want a second referendum, some want a future as Norway’s version of membership and some want full integration into a United States of Europe with Euro, open borders and EU army..

    • libertarian
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Peter vL

      Oh please

      The slavery abolition act 1833 was passed in the UK parliament by 230 to 85

      So youre saying we shouldn’t have abolished slavery as some people were still in favour , we needed a compromise and only had slaves during the week , letting them out a weekends ….. Trouble with you EU fanatics you never think anything through

      OK mate keep drinking the Kool Aid

    • stred
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Peter. Perhaps it would have worked out better if the Tories had not chosen a Remainer Prime Minister who burst into tears when told that the EU fans had lost, and said that it will hurt those who voted to leave most. Then she appointed her personal civil servant who had been chairman of the Federal Europe society when at university and wrote a thesis in favour of the achievements of the Soviet Union. Then she, with the help of ex-PMs and ministers who told the Commission that a really bad deal would be helpful, to undermine the Brexit ministers by negotiating herself and agreeing to pay for future EU expenses before starting to negotiate a trade deal.

      She succeeded in providing the worst deal possible and we now have the second worst deal possible offered by the new Conservative Party, which has taken back the MPs who voted to undermine the PM’s negotiating position using a Labour bill to remove the WTO option.
      Now, there will be a well- publicised campaign exposing all of the tricks to reverse the referendum, the subject of which has been censored by all of the broadcast media and much of the press.

      We now have a chance to remove those MPs who stood on a Leave manifesto, voted to leave and then welched on the goverment promise to leave. We may have a respectable country again by Christmas. If the usual collaborators worm their way back, you can continue sneering.

      By the way, congratulations to your farmers for protesting about greencrap. I may lift my personal ban on buying Dutch cheese.

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      PvL, You may have been asleep when our Parliament offered us the choice of IN or OUT – Remain or Leave – only? That’s what referendums are for – to make a binary choice.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        @NickC: see my reaction to Tony above

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 31, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      The trouble with your ‘compromise’ is that it involves a Customs Union, full access to a heavily regulated Single Market, continued freedom of movement and acceptance that the EU will evolve into a Federal European SuperState. In other words, the Norway option at best. Incidentally, many Norwegians loathe the Norway option.

      If that’s your idea of compromise, you can shove it.

  4. Jayne Davis
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    There is no “impasse” in this Parliament, and you are talking nonsense when you claim that this government “is kept in office but not allowed to govern”. Parliament passed the Withdrawal Agreement Bill last week – then the government refused to proceed with its own Bill, and instead chose yet another time-wasting election. This election will be all about Johnson’s refusal to knuckle down and do his job, I don’t want the false promises of an election campaign, I want the government to roll up its sleeves

    • Simeon
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Sir John,

      The question begged by Jayne is, Why hasn’t BJ ploughed on with his deal when he himself has said that there is a deal to be done with this Parliament?

      I understand that he attempted to justify this GE to Tory MPs, many of whom are appalled at the prospect of a GE (wonder why?!), by saying the opposition would slice and dice his ‘great deal’ beyond recogntion. But isn’t this a failure of imagination? Was there not a deal to be done whereby the BJ deal is ratified as is, subject to the confirmatory referendum? I recognise that another referendum is an awful prospect, but then there are no good options available.

      Why didn’t BJ compromise for the chance of getting Brexit done once and for all (at least in his mind), rather than risk the whole thing on an unprecedentedly dicey GE? If I were a Soft Brexiter/Remainer/Quisling, I’d be furious at BJ for this decision right now. After the GE? ‘Incandescent with rage’ springs to mind. But at least there will be no need for lights on the Christmas tree in a host of Tory ex-MP households!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Quite right, Jayne.

      The parliamentary difficulties have all been created by the ERG etc. with their preposterous Red Lines in any case.

      The grounds for an election have been contrived.

      At least the LDs are now shown for what they are once again, however.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 31, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        The ERG are small in number.
        Did you not notice all the Lib Dems and nearly all of Labour doing their best to stop the UK leaving the EU?

    • libertarian
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Jayne

      If you are right that means we are leaving tomorrow, thanks for clearing that up

    • Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      If anything even vaguely like this Government is re-elected then no sleeves will be rolled up, just more waffle. I shall vote for The Brexit party as they have not (yet) lied and if enough vote then they have a chance. We are told it is a wasted vote unless strategic (don’t see why it should be )but I want them to have a chance and there are 14.7 million of us at the last count.

      • James Bertram
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Mary – just ignore all these false ideas put out by the treacherous Tories and their right-wing press that if you vote Brexit Party ‘You will let Labour in’ – it is the usual dishonest nonsense from the Conservatives.
        Vote for what you truly believe in.
        See my comment on today’s BrexitFacts4EU website (link at top of this page).

      • tim
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        mary McDougal- 17.4 million in 2016 many more now

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Jayne Davis, The government’s policy is to Leave on the 31st Oct with or without a “deal”. Tell me how Parliament forcing yet another extension is “allowing” the government to govern as it promised?

      And only a few weeks ago Remains on here were complaining that Boris was “unelected”. Now you have a chance to elect him (or not). So what are you whingeing about?

  5. Pollen Counter
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    I want the election to be about why Boris FAILED. We’d be out by 31 October he said, it’s do or die he said, there will be no delay he said. FAILED. Anyone who takes ONE single thing Boris says about Brexit over the coming weeks seriously is a sucker. Brexit is safe in the hands of Mr Farage, and only Mr Farage. Brexiters cannot vote Conservative – look at the party’s dismal track record!!

    • agricola
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      The pollen season is over. Boris has not been dishonest, he has been frustrated by a remain Parliament and on analysis has done well to achieve a GE. Now is the time to come to an election accommodation with Nigel. Betting on either to the exclusion of the other opens the door to the socialist/ marxist rabble.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        Boris version of Brexit is as bad as Mays, not really Brexit at all. We still pay them a fortune, they still destroy our fishing, no honesty at all.

    • NickC
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Pollen Counter, It is this Parliament which has FAILED.

      • James Bertram
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Agreed 100%, Pollen Counter.
        I’d rather vote Labour than vote for treacherous Johnson’s Surrender Treaty.

  6. Peter Wood
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Finally remove the polished t…d of the Withdrawal Agreement Treaty and start afresh, table a reasonable FTA if you wish.

    If it takes six months to properly prepare for departing on WTO (multiple facilitation agreements), so be it, but when we leave it must be wholly out, not semi-detached nor a tail of legacy commitments.

  7. Bob Dixon
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Leave asp without a deal.No payments to the EU.

    • Andy
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Then what happens the day, week, month and year after you’ve had your tantrum?

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        We get on with it, same as we’ve always done. And it’s a bit rich you complaining about tantrums when you’ve had nothing else to offer almost daily on this blog for nearly 4 years.

        • Richard Evans
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          Spot on Kevin. We LEAVE, No deals, no tentacles, no payments. We possibly will have a few difficulties but nothing that we cannot master.
          So many negative wimps around these days, in all walks of life who capitulate at the first sign of problems.
          Marriage is one.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Thats what the 17.4 million winning majority voted for

  8. Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    The election should be about voting for Honourable Members of Parliament who people can trust to truly represent the constituents who put them there; not MPs who subsequently ignore the manifesto on which they were elected and reject the result of a once in a generation referendum.

    Politicians standing for the previous election already claimed that they would honour the referendum result; yet abandoned their pledge to the people who helped seat them comfortably in the House of Commons.

    What voters need is real Honourable Friends, not dubious expense claiming frauds.

    Wish number one right now is still to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and be independent of the politically inept European Union of pen pushers.

    The question now is where the remain and leave votes get split:

    The Real Brexit Party and Lost Their Way Tories vs Labour indecision and the squishy referendum majority result deniers members of the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party.

    Of course a general election should be bigger than Brexit in name only, but only when the Brexit issue is finally resolved can British politics really move forward.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Some form of performance related pay for the winners appeals.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      It will never be resolved.

      People will forever look at much of the European Mainland, and compare their vastly superior pensions, affordability of housing, educational and healthcare outcomes etc. with the UK’s and say “what did we do wrong?”

      • Edward2
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        It is amazing why so many in “European Mainland” want to come to the UK to live and work.

      • brexit
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Well remainiacs have been in charge for the last 40+ years – so what did you do wrong?

      • Fred H
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Martin – -emigrate while you still can!

      • libertarian
        Posted October 31, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        That would be the healthcare that is provided by the PRIVATE sector on the continent

        That would be the pension which they pay vastly more into and which you are at liberty to do here too

        Most people rent in Germany as owning a house is out of their reach

        I dont think you’ve ever visited a EU country, you would also need to explain why 3 million EU nationals choose to live here whilst only 900k Brits choose the EU

        Genuine question who in their right mind believing the stuff you post would stay in Cardiff and not move to Cologne, Charleroi or Cannes ?

  9. Antoinetta III
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    The election should be about all the stuff you mention, but the voting public will probably focus first on a candidate’s views on Brexit. Candidates will win or lose based almost solely on their stand on Brexit. I expect that the Brexit issue will continue to suck all the oxygen out of the air as it has for the past three years.

    I don’t think the Remoaner spoilers can do much to overturn the referendum vote at this point because this is not a referendum, but an election for Members of Parliament. What they can do is campaign to elect pro-remoan candidates.

    It seems imperative that BoJo and Nigel co-operate in any way necessary to keep the Remoan traitors out. Get a decent sized Leave majority, then tell the EU you are leaving with a WTO deal, then turn around and walk out the door.

    Antoinetta III

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

      Yes, but Boris has the same commitment to his glue-trap of a WA as May did. He’s now made it clear he won’t leave on WTO terms whatever happens. Nigel Farage, quite rightly, won’t do a deal if it means accepting a long drawn out pay-to-surrender treaty.
      I voted for May last time because I believed her promises. I won’t make that mistake this time.

    • Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I agree but if the members who lost the whip are re-instated then this tells us what sort of Party the Torys have become. This looses my vote assuredly

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Mary, I completely agree with you. This announcement last night has cost the Conservative party my vote. Why? If these people come back into parliament (I know not all of them are standing) as Conservative MPs, BJ will NOT be able to count on their votes if the result of the next GE is tight.
        It shows quite clearly that the party has not learned the lessons of the last three years.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Indeed it is surely imperative that BoJo and Nigel to keep the Remoaner traitors out.

      But why should Nigel Farage do this if Boris is determined to push is putrid (nearly as bad as May’s non Brexit) deal through? He has even brought ten appalling traitors back into the party – some of whom will probably stand and then undermine the next government should the Tories win.

  10. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    If you are fighting the election on the WA surrender then you deserve to lose.
    Regardless of what else you promise Brexit will define the campaign.
    So many promises have been broken by this Parliament expect some fireworks.
    There is nowhere to hide.

    • Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Mr Wragg – I believe you are spot on. It’d be hard to find anyone who didn’t put Brexit at the top of the list. All else will fall into place.

      Many of us have researched this WA/Treaty for ourselves and understand what it’s about. The Brexit Party will ensure that EVERYONE understands it. If the election is fought on the basis of a using this ”treaty” for a so-called Brexit to appease the EU, then the Conservatives will lose, or at least split the vote so that we ALL lose.

    • Chris
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Mary M, I thought that move by Bojo was most revealing. confirmed my worst fears about him. The Cons will not get my vote.

    • Chris
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Apologies, wrong response from me above.

      Yes, Ian, I think you are absolutely right. I actually think that Boris does not realise how angry the electorate is and how determined they are not to be duped again.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      100% agree

  11. Mick
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I want the Election to be about making our country Great again, so let’s have some tv debates to show the absolute disaster it would be to let the labour/libs/greens/plaid Cymru anywhere near power, but given the bias of bbc/sky/channel 4 i cannot see a balance debate they will always have the panels or audience remainer dominated, but bring it on so hopefully we can get rid of all these Eu loving remoaner MPs and consigned them to the dustbin of losers were they belong

    • William Pentelow
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      You are looking for honesty.
      Not a chance.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      It must be all about Brexit.

      This is to be the second referendum in all but name. If it means voting Brexit Party and letting Labour in so be it.

      The Tories have revealed to us that they are offering us death by a thousand cuts whereas Labour offer us death by one hundred – this on law, economics, immigration, drugs – whatever you look at. We must not be gulled into tactical voting or the conflation of general policy (which they all lie about anyway) with the issue of EU membership.

      We simply MUST get a House with the number of MPs for Brexit (or Remain) matching the numbers of people in the country who want it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Indeed the lefty, remoaner, greencrap, magic money tree bias of the MSM and the BBC/channel 4 in particular is absurd propaganda.

      They even talk to Mc John Mc Donnall as if his mad economic proposals were remotely sane and workable! They would kill the economy dead and give us another Venezuela.

  12. Shirley
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Until we can trust politicians and manifestos then political parties will continue to ignore the electorate with impunity. There is no honour or integrity in Parliament and deliberately lying to the electorate appears to be acceptable to most of the current lot, as that’s the only way they can get themselves elected.

    We need power to be returned to the electorate so that thieving lying fraudulent MP’s can be dismissed, with immediate effect, by their constituents, just the same as thieving lying fraudulent employees can be dismissed by their employers.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      you are talking about becoming a democracy – not been this way for many years

    • libertarian
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Shirley
      Amen to that you are entirely 100% correct

    • Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Yes. A new law stating that we vote for party not person and if that person does not act in the interest of their party then they loose their seat and have to return it for byelection should be instigated.

      • Iain
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Yes yes yes

      • hefner
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Anon, MMcD, I: In that case, be consistent and make sure you ask the next Parliament to scrap the FPTP system.

  13. Julie Williams
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Clean Brexit, not the “deal”.

    Parliamentary reform: by-election triggers, reduced no. of MPs/ boundary reform, tighter controls on postal voting and impersonation, reduced/scrapped House of Lords .Scrap Supreme Court, review powers of Speaker (referees don’t make the rules), sell BBC/Channel 4, Review Charity Commission: far too many “charities”, no real control.Review reform overseas aid. Proper border control and immigration: stop blind eye to shameful slavery.

    While we’re at it: we aren’t a properly united kingdom whilst every other country in it has it’s own national assembly and England doesn’t: either all do or none do.

    • Andy
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      No deal Brexit means voting for the Brexit Party.

      They will come a distant fourth – probably winning no seats. If they gain any at all it will almost certainly be in single figures.

      Yet you will still claim a no deal mandate.

      • James Bertram
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Andy, you can’t have read this?

        The Express.co.uk 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.

      • Colonel Blimp
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        Still crying your eyes out Andy? Wait, you have more tears to come

    • Mark B
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      You have my vote Ms. Williams.

      😉

    • David J
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      So well said!

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Agreed – you are too sensible

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Clean Brexit, not the Boris “deal” this is not Brexit, is far worse than leaving and puts handcuffs on for the main negotiation still to come.

      Plus we need taxes/spending to be far, far lower as a % of GDP, cheap on demand energy, cancel all the green crap subsidies, a bonfire and red tape, easy hire and fire that would be a good start. But a deal with the Brexit Party is needed to win properly.

      Why have they have allowed 10 appallingly dire traitors to return to the party? Non should be allowed to stand as they will surely undermine the next government should Boris win and they soil the Party hugely! They damaged the Boris government in its negotiations to a massive extent and have cost the country a fortune. How can they allow such blatant remoaner traitors be allowed to stand?

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Brilliant

    • Sue W
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Julie, I agree wholeheartedly.

      Add to that though, the cancelling of HS2 and the repealing of any and all laws relating to the man made climate change agenda and that about covers it, for me, for now.

    • Christine
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      I’d vote for this party.

      • Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        So would I. One trigger of a by-election would be if your MP changed party. Few of us vote for the individual; most of us vote for the party and its program.

    • bill brown
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Julie

      You have just abolished the Union called the UK.
      Well , done

      • Julie Williams
        Posted October 31, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

        No: you didn’t read what I said, Blair abolished the union and made England a second-class member.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 31, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        billy brown iversen
        For crying out loud hans PLEASE read the posts before commenting Julie did nothing of the sort

        1/10 see me after class

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      Julie

      “While we’re at it: we aren’t a properly united kingdom whilst every other country in it has it’s own national assembly and England doesn’t: either all do or none do”

      I shouldn’t worry too much about that. If Brexit does happen both the Irish and Scots will vote for independence and join the EU as independent members

      Problem solved but unfortunately after many centuries England will have been reduced to a rump with about as much influence on world affairs as Liechtenstein.

      Yet another manifestation of the old adage: from clogs to clogs in three generations’ !

      • libertarian
        Posted November 1, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Maggie H

        Once again showing that she hasn’t got a clue about Europe

        Liechtenstein , is the RICHEST country in Europe . It would be lovely to be like them . World affairs lol

        Oh by the way England on its own would be the worlds 7th largest economy, just ABOVE France

        ps Scotland doesn’t qualify for membership of the EU as has already been pointed out by the err EU and NI if independent is even smaller

        Apart from that great post

  14. Stephen Priest
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Brexit, Free Markets, Free Speech, ending all property taxes such as Council Tax, Stamp Duty and Inheritance Tax.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Wins my vote

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

      Brexit is a severe curtailment of fee markets and if you think it is a movement that enjoys free speech you should try being one of the un-people or indeed getting anything posted here that is not in agreement with Sir John Redwood.

      • Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Yet you still manage to post, ad naus.

        I, for one, welcome the curtailment of the EU’s “fee market”.

      • brexit
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        The EU is not a free market.

        • bill brown
          Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          Brexit

          Which market is totally free?

          • libertarian
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            Hans

            Do try to read the posts theres a good lad, he didn’t say any market was free he rightly dissed the terminally poor of thinking Newmania who claimed that the EU was a free market

            We really shouldn’t have to keep explaining every post to you, up your game

      • tim
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Newmania- true mate he blocks all my posts, Nigel farage for PM

      • Jagman84
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Set up your own blog and enjoy the solitude. Posters disagree with you because most of what you post is personal insults or deliberately obtuse.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Taxes should only be a fare proportion of profits, income or expenditure should be taxes 20% is more than enough. All capital taxes and turnover taxes IHT, stamp duties, the landlord (thus tenant) theft taxes, motorist mugging, renewable market rigging taxes and the likes should all be abolished. NI is just another income tax so merge them both and cut all the absurd & wasteful duplication of admin. costs and the hassle.

      • Ed M
        Posted October 31, 2019 at 12:11 am | Permalink

        @Lifelogic,

        I challenge you that God exists and that the UK would be amazing country if more people believed. How traditional Christianity gave us: so many successful Quakers in Business, The Monarchy, Parliament, The Judiciary, Beautiful Cathedrals and Churches, Oxford, Cambridge, Eton, Grammar Schools, faithful Christians such as (RIP all): Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Christopher Wren, Faraday, James Maxwell, Jane Austen, Elizabeth I, Mrs Thatcher, Handel, Samuel Johnson, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and so on.

        There is a strong link between Traditional Christianity and The Family. In the old, religious days, people relied on The Family instead of The State. The State is a totally Secular concept. Traditional Christianity is completely opposed to Socialism whilst completely support Work Ethic and Public Duty.

        If our country returned to Traditional Christian Values, we’d have taxation below 20%, we’d be out of the EU, we’d have low crime, we’d have high level of patriotism (which is a traditional Christian virtue), high leve of Culture (new Shakespeares and Handels etc ..) we’d have people focused on being cheerful and merry (Thessalonians says be ‘joyful at all times’).

        Traditional Christianity teaches that England will NOT end with death. But that God will glorify everything good. Nothing good will be destroyed – but glorified at end of time. So people will be able to enjoy a glorified England as well as of course, glorified Earth in general and of course Heaven – with God. May we all share in that, please God.

        For God, Queen, Country and Family.

        • Ed M
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 12:17 am | Permalink

          And Patriotism is like a BEAUTIFUL Faberge Egg!

          (And after experiencing a beautiful miracle out in the snow in an English country field – a burning ecstasy inside and gold everywhere in the snow, stretching for miles – and a JOY resembling that of Scrooge when he wakes up on Christmas Morning – and I then experienced another miracle in Central London where I was cured of a crippling injury, I know well God exists and wants to bless our country and our people – all people – but I’m talking about Patriotism, specifically, here which is a traditional Christian virtue).

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I would like this election to be about allowing taxpayers to keep more of our own money. This can come about by making government spending more efficient (paying for services rather than funding through taxation appeals) and taking the tentacles of government out of many areas of our lives. Let us properly revisit the bonfire of the quangos, use of SPADs and other apparatchiks and the number of MPs and Lords.

    Remove the right of anyone who has not paid in at a minimum level or attended school in this country for 5 years to claim any form of taxpayer support including a contribution towards their children’s schooling.

    Finally and as a priority leave the EU, speedily and without long terms ties. I would accept some form of transition arrangements and settlement of genuine liabilities and alignment of regulations during this period which comes with oversight from the ECJ. What we need is a legally binding political declaration which states the intention to have an FTA based on current trading terms and friendly cooperation in other areas of mutual benefit. This can only happen with the strength of a reasonable majority.

  16. BOF
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Whatever else parties wish to make the election about, and they will try to deflect attention, it is about Brexit.

    I will certainly not vote Conservative if they campaign on the basis of leaving the EU with the atrocious, shameful, vassal state treaty, aka the Withdrawal Agreement.

    Unfortunately, that may result in a Libdem MP.

  17. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I would also like to see any MP who defected from any party during this Parliamentary session fight the election in the constituency in which they were elected and subsequently defected.

    None of this moving to safer seats. Principles are principles after all.

  18. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Afraid Boris will push his simply awful surrender document as Brexit, when it simply is not Brexit at all.

    Boris needs to work out a solution with Mr Farage or he will split the Proper Brexit Voters, by not coming to any sort of agreement the LibDems will profit, as that is the only way to go if you are a remainer.

    Boris talked tough until it came to the crunch, and like all others before him, he chickened out and gave away even more concessions rather than walk away.

    Afraid if you really want the Country to be sovereign then you either vote for the Brexit Party or a candidate from another Party WHO YOU WILL TRUST to follow the views that most represent your own.

  19. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I would welcome a promise for a people’s vote on the reality and therefore unnecessary costs being demanded on climate change.

  20. William Pentelow
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Your WA will not wash, as you have said many times.
    Get behind leaving for real or face an hung parliament, with little or no power.

    Hung? Hmm.

  21. Sea Warrior
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Brexit, obviously, has to be seen as ‘Job One’ but I want the Conservative Party to take a moment and reflect on the destruction of the Green Belt done on its watch – and scheduled to continue over the next decade. Continued population growth has got to stop!
    P.S. Good luck to you in your constituency, Sir John. I enjoy your blog.

    • Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Sea Warrior – I’ll second that. Yes, Brexit first, then the Green Belt. Once lost, that’s lost forever. Most other things can conceivably be put right with a change of heart and leadership.

  22. Richard1
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The main thing this election is about is preventing the catastrophe of the most left wing govt in Europe since WW2, this side of the Iron Curtain. Corbyn’s policies of arbitrary confiscation, crippling taxes, uncontrolled borrowing, over-layered with unpleasant anti-semitism, would quickly destroy the U.K. economy. Venezuela was once a prosperous country. Czechoslovakia was the most prosperous country in Europe before the War brought nazism then communism.

    The second thing it’s about is Brexit. The only possibility of Brexit happening in any remotely sensible form is a majority Conservative govt. any other result means either no Brexit, or – which would be much worse – Brino. Indeed if there is a hung parliament I think the first thing it should do is revoke article 50 as there would never be agreement on a sensible Brexit.

    So anyone who says they support Brexit but are thinking of voting for anyone other than a Conservative – if they vote in a seat which a Conservative might win – needs to think about that. It’s Boris and Brexit or Corbyn and Communism (and no Brexit).

  23. David Halstead
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Would want you to encourage Boris to not field candidates in mainly northern and Midland seats that will never vote Tory but we’re heavy leave voters. Rather let the Brexit party have a free run at them. Would be ridiculous to keep splitting the vote as happened in Peterborough.

    • BW
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think they realise. It is not Labour we need to care about. It is the Lib Dems. They will unite the Remain vote with their main policy to cancel brexit. Therefore they have turned this GE into a second referendum. If the leave parties do not understand or act now to unite the leave voters we may see a Lib Dem government. At the moment the leave vote is split between leave with the deal, vote Tory or leave without a deal vote Brexit Party.

  24. Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I just want to wish the conservatives and you too, Sir John, all the very best of luck for the election which will, in my opinion, be a very tight race indeed.
    People talk about a precipice: Mr Corbyn is rushing straight towards it.And I can remember the Wilson years…

  25. Andy
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    This is not my election.

    It has been orchestrated by the sore losers in 2017 who did not like the result so wanted another go.

    I, like the vast majority of the electorate, live in a safe seat. My vote does not count.

    A teabag wearing a blue rosette would win here. It is genuinely pointless voting. I suspect nobody will come around campaigning.

    So it does not matter if I want to make this election about Brexit or climate change or the NHS or homelessness. Because, like the majority of others, I am excluded from the undemocratic Westminster process.

    Unlike Brussels elections I should add – where my voice, in common with all the others is actually heard.

  26. GilesB
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    This is a failed Parliament.

    The Brexit journey has surfaced major flaws in our constitution.

    There is no guarantee that a General Election won’t deliver an equally incompetent Parliament and a powerless Government.

    We need fundamental reform, including but not limited to holding MPs to their manifestos and an impartial Speaker.

    A General Election should be an opportunity to choose the Government for the next five years. With at least two credible options from parties which can act as the Government or as Her Majesty’s loyal opposition.

    And of course a sovereign Government needs control of our laws, our borders and our money.

  27. Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Nigel Lawson as Chancellor, Norman Tebbit Home Secretary. It doesn’t matter what I want. WDA scrapped, low tax enterprise based economy, public sector reform including easier recall for MPs, zero reward for failure, no Honours for political services etc.

    The last few years shows firstly that there will be the usual promises to get votes and then ‘forgotten’ and secondly the calibre of politicians (with a few notable exceptions) is at an all time low and that even the so called conviction politicians will conveniently forget them at the drop of a sniff of a ministerial job, a la Rees (quisling)Mogg

  28. Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Ps. Greg Clark, the ultimate project fear person and nine other out and out remain rebels have had the whip restored. Sows Johnson is as much a Remainer as May. No wonder the so called new WDA continues to sell us out.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      100% agree the WA is a sell out of the referendum result

  29. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    John – I think your policy of just ignoring the Brexit Party (not mentioned at all in your piece) as you used to ignore UKIP is counter-productive. As Boris lied about leaving the EU on 31st October your main problem is stopping them splitting the Leave vote.

  30. Adrian Lloyd
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Answer: Getting us out of the EU fully and quickly. Sadly, it doesn’t look as though the Conservative Party will be proposing this.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Sadly I 100% agree that the Tory policy will be a WA deal and not a WTO/FTA exit

  31. miami.mode
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Matt Hancock was interviewed on Sky and BBC1 this morning outside the HoP with someone shouting his head off in the background. I muted it. Not exactly the way to get your message across.

  32. David J
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    It is inevitably going to be about Brexit- the debate has become all consuming and there needs to be a release of pressure.
    Who knows how this will end? My vote will be for the Brexit Party so it will one of the 20% of the lost votes in the first past the post system. It is easy to imagine that we are headed for another hung parliament. Deep joy.

  33. Mick
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    In your manifesto you should say you would get rid of the fixed term Parliament act and also introduce a bill that anyone that crosses over to another party in Parliament should be forced to go back to there constituents in a by-election

    • brexit
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      … funded out of their own pocket

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      Not really, as people would be forced to stay in ever more extremist parties.

      If a mainstream party starts turning nazi or stalinst, let good people hang around and call them out.

      • Al
        Posted October 31, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        *Not really, as people would be forced to stay in ever more extremist parties.*

        They need stay only if they want the perks and benefits that come with representing such extremist parties and think those are more important than principles. There’s no question of force, just self-interest.

        Like any job or association, when the higher ups start doing something unconscionable, people of principle leave. If their constituencies agree, they will be re-elected.

  34. agricola
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Do not get distracted by all the possible sweets in the shop.

    This election is about Brexit, the will of the people and their decision to leave the EU, all of which to date has been frustrated by a large number of dishonest MPs. If your party wish to prevail with a strong government they must get rid of all those sitting MPs who to date have frustrated Brexit. In addition there are constituencies that voted Brexit but would never vote for a Tory candidate, but would for a Brexit Party candidate. There are many Tory seats where the option of a Brexit Party candidate would open the door to socialismin the form of Lib/Dems or Marxism disguised as Labour. All of this needs sorting so that there is only one cadidate set on leaving the EU.

    The opposition to your party will want to talk about anything other than Brexit. By all means answer them with simple fact behind which is a strong economy. A strong economy is beyond the talents of the Lib/Dems or Labour. None can point to a record of success. In fact Labour have always failed in this respect and in Marxism have the formula for disaster economically. Not even the EU would want us after a period of Labour government.

    We could have lost at Waterloo without the help of the Prussians. Remember this in relation to the Brexit Party and cooperate for a united Brexit.

    • agricola
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      It is long overdue that this entry was moderated or do you so much disagree with it’s content that you prefer to ignore it.

  35. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Off topic slightly but interesting to see that Ms Soubry voted against the general election.

    I wonder why?

  36. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The public need to be made aware of what EXACTLY is in this so called WA Boris is supporting. For myself I don’t trust any of our so called leaders. Swinson and Sturgeon wouldn’t respect the result of another referendum anyway if it was the sane result. All parties except TBP want us to stay in and will stop at nothing to achieve this. Even Boris will not deliver a clean exit. It’s all just lies and bluster. If we really want a clean exit then Farage is the man to do it and perhaps this is one reason Boris won’t entertain working with him. Boris doesn’t really want to leave. It’s about time the electorate manned up and voted for an alternative. The USA did it and oh how it’s woken up politics. What is the point of voting for the same rabble every time? I want a true parliament with honourable members who respect our democracy and keep their noses out of the lucrative troughs. Not one listening to utter rubbish being spouted off by a 16 year old when what is bring propsed will do great damage to our country.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Why is my response still awaiting moderation? It only says what a lot of people are thinking. It was put in at 08.03

  37. BJC
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Do the legacy parties truly believe they have a God-given right to return the same people to the HOC to carry on where they left off? Are we meant to forget everything they’ve done over the last 3 painful years? It’s clear that in the near future at least, politics will involve far more collaboration and the Tories would do well to compromise by working with a chosen partner with shared goals at this stage than one who’s more intent on political point-scoring later.

    Personally, I support Tory domestic policies, but without the freedom to make the fundamental and independent choices we need, we’ll always have one hand tied behind our backs. Sadly, I consider a vote for the Tories this time as a vote for Mr Johnson’s terms of surrender and I simply cannot support a treaty that legally binds us to a past I have rejected. Even if he brings “No Deal” back to the table my goodwill is exhausted and I know the same group of people will have no intention of delivering it.

  38. Annette
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    It’s very simple Sir John.
    The democratic mandate was to LEAVE the EU.
    You cannot seriously promote domestic policies for an ‘independent & sovereign’ future that will not exist as it seems that your Party will be standing on surrendering our country via an unnecessary Treaty of submission to a foreign power.
    The only thing that Boris (& so the Con Party) was flying with was the belief by many leavers, that his ego & desire to be as great as Churchill would impel him to deliver what was democratically voted for.
    We’ve watched as
    The Benn Surrender Act, which could have been stopped, deliberately wasn’t;
    Absolutely no challenges to a flawed & contradictory Bill which really was impossible to comply with;
    No challenges re Queens Consent;
    No challenges re financial implications;
    No challenges that it was contrary to S51 of Vienna Convention;
    No challenges that it contradicts the Tax Bill;
    He accepted an extension that wasn’t asked for and the proscribed letter gave no reason;
    He accepted a ‘flextension’ which didn’t even appear in proscribed request;
    There was no challenge to the EU that the request could not be complied with as they were not going to negotiate;
    He has readmitted faux cons, who voted for the surrender Act & are determined to overturn democracy, with open arms.

    It seems clear that the party that lied to take us unlawfully into the EEC, knifed Mrs Thatcher when she woke to what was happening in the EEC/EC/EU, was the Govt which campaigned to remain & has done everything to not implement the democratic mandate, now wants us to believe that surrendering is leaving & is ‘banking’ on a large enough majority to do just that.
    You & other ‘real’ conservatives need to start a proper conservative party as the one that is the Conservative & EU Unionist Party only believes in the EU Empire. We are now living in an occupied country with a Vichy Govt & Parliament. The attempts at gerrymandering the voter franchise & failure to address rampant voter fraud shows that no-one in the ‘big’ parties is interested in democracy nor sovereignty.

  39. Mark J
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party continue to live in a land of fantasy. Listening to Matt Hancock on GMB this morning, he was confident that the Conservatives will win large amounts of working class support in traditional Labour heartlands, on Brexit alone – it simply isn’t going to happen. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows this too. Nigel Farage offers to help the Conservatives in order to get Brexit done and dusted, yet this is arrogantly rebuffed by the PM – as it will mean giving some power to Farage and the Brexit Party for one term.

    Surely this is a price worth paying to ensure a majority in Parliament, in order to get the Brexit we want over the line.

    However some in the Conservative party still live in la-la land.

    If the next election results in yet another hung Parliament and yet more wrangling over Brexit, Boris will have no one but himself to blame for his arrogance.

  40. Dan
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Brexit aside, I would like to see this election about reform, particularly on the Conservative side. I would like to see serious proposals covering reform of the following:
    tax – our tax code at over 21000 pages is too long. The best is Hong Kong’s which is 276 pages.
    HoL – too big, too unrepresentative and stuffed with non-entities
    NHS – badly managed, badly structured, cannot spend its budget properly
    defence – too small, underfunded, includes all military pensions and trident which was only added in 2010 by Osbourne, Exclude those and it is about 1.4-1.6% of GDP.
    Energy – we should be as independent as possible, encourage fracking, ditch the climate change act, focus on pollution.
    Transport and infrastructure – review HS2, build or reopen more interconnecting rail lines, a reverse Beeching if you will.
    there are many more but that’s a start.

  41. J Bush
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    A government that will:
    – Honour the 2106 referendum result, take us out of the EU ‘lock, stock and barrel’
    – Repeal all the identity politics and ‘hate crime’ laws and the zero carbon garbage
    – Remove Blair’s political SC
    – Enact the constituency boundary changes, 5 yr election rule, return postal voting and the HoL to what it was before Blair
    – Stop funding all the quangos, wind and solar power projects, fake charities and pressure groups
    – Drop all the pet policies, such as HS2 and zero carbon etc
    – Get rid of the ‘service’ and return the police to a force fighting real crime
    – Control our external borders and deport all illegals
    – – Protect our fishing community
    and last but not least, bin the ridiculously convoluted tax rules and replace with basic and simple policies

    Sadly, the party taken over by the ‘heir to blair’ will probably only remove the 5 yr election rule and dismantle the SC and leave the rest of the stuff damaging our Country.

  42. Kenneth
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    To be hones, apart from the need to honour the 2016 referendum, my main gripe is about the BBC and some other media forces. I hope we have a Conservative government that will, at last, tackle the Remain and left-wing bias.

    So many political woes are stemming from this issue.

    Today, the BBC quotes a report from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research warning us that Brexit will cost squillions, without pointing out that this organisation gets a lot of its income from the eu and is well embedded in it through its membership of Euroframe.

    Incompetence? Unprofessionalism? Bias?

    Take your pick. Whichever way you look at this, the BBC is yet again peddling fake news and takes us for idiots.

    Most people are busy and do not have time to check sources. Why should they have to double check the BBC’s work when we are paying them a fortune to do the job properly?

  43. Alec
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    This election should be about replacing the rubbish with people that understand that their job is taking orders from the electorate. Every single MP and civil servant that has attempted to obstruct the democratic will of the people, expressed in a referendum and two elections, should be booted out (and receive no pension or payment of any kind). The new parliament should institute an enquiry into their behaviour with a view to pressing criminal charges if warranted. However their first imperaive should be to leave the EU, immediately and without signing any treaty whatsoever. No payoffs for Brussels, no back door surrenders, just out as quickly as humanly possible.

  44. alastair harris
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I will vote conservative under two conditions..
    Firstly I expect to see a manifesto that offers conservative policy solutions to a post Brexit future. Lowering barriers to trade. Reducing the scope of the nanny state. Delivering on the Cameron promises to cut our red tape. Fostering the conditions that encourage free trade.
    Secondly I expect to see a commitment to reopening negotiations with the EU on the basis of solving the many issues with the current agreement. For example I will not vote for a transition period.
    I also expect to see a government committed to rebalancing the institutions that make up our constitution.
    Worth noting that I live in a labour marginal in an area of the country where the Brexit party might expect to make gains. Like many people I have time for Boris, but I won’t be taken for granted!

  45. MikeP
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Brexit is a simplistic and unhelpful media-concocted term that fails to convey the independence from EU that millions voted for. Sadly Sir John, as you yourself pointed out here and in the Commons, the Treaty on offer in no way gives us that independence – far from it – so I fear that voters will be deeply split between Conservatives or The Brexit Party as the best way forward. Boris’s refusal to form a Brexit alliance when self-evidently there’ll be a Remain alliance will cost him dear in the Labour Leave heartlands where the Brexit vote will be split.
    Rejecting Barnier’s Treaty, and Verhofstaft’s colonial status for UK, would have been risky yes but was what 17.4m voters asked you to do despite all the downsides of Project Fear. We were ready to take that risk for our freedom. MPs weren’t and will pay the price I hope.

  46. oldtimer
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The election should be about the choices for the UK in a post Brexit world. Fundamentally it is an argument for capitalism Vs Corbyn’s version of socialism. The Conservative party needs to be clear about its intentions in a post Brexit world when it is free of EU directives and regulations.

  47. Bob
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I am shocked that Boris restored the whip to ten rebels.
    Weak and unprincipled.

    • Yorkie
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Oh we do not know what deals Boris had to do behind the scenes. Remember Brexiteers in a House and are outnumbered. It’ll come out in the wash. Believe me.

  48. Peter
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    We have seen how politicians act for a long time now.

    This is a chance to remove many of the worst of them. It is also payback time where the public can take revenge on the major parties who were involved. If some of those parties are fatally damaged so be it.

    However many constituencies may simply return the same parties. Key battles will be in the North and Midlands.

    I would like a true swamp draining exercise but I fear it will not go far enough.

  49. MikeP
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    (2) but to answer your question directly what I want to see is how you intend to capitalise on our “independence”, such as it may be after our exit from the EU, but still shackled to its rules, Treaties, courts, without vote, veto or representation. Talk about boxed into a corner?! I can’t think of an easier way to prove to Remainers that we’ll be worse off than staying.

  50. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Mrs May ushered in the worst Parliament in my recollection in 2017 when she fought a pathetic election campaign. The same could happen again if your party doesn’t form a pact with the Brexit Party which is better placed to win Labour held seats in the North and Midlands than your party.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Brian my post which John hasn’t posted says and agrees that Farage is the only man who will deliver Brexit. My post hasn’t been put in yet. I don’t think Farage is supposed to be mentioned. I bet he gets a lot less air time than the other so called leaders.

  51. Roger Phillips
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Unless you form an alliance with the Brexit party then you are in serious trouble, Plaid and the others are already forming these allegiances and you need to swallow your pride and do the same, this election is about Brexit!

    • steve
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Roger Phillips

      Ah well you see Boris won’t talk to Nigel Farage, but he will, and did, swan off to Ireland for a cozying session with Varadkar. Says it all really.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Too right and if Boris and the rest of the arogant Conservative mps think they are unbeatable they had better come off their high horses.

  52. Robert Valence
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    “There will be a genuine choice between a more socialist government than has been on offer for many years, and a Conservative government. There certainly hasn’t been such a choice since Margaret. e.g. Cameron’s government was so pink it was indistinguishable from Labour. same-sex marriage, sex education for toddlers, promotion of “other life-styles” etc.
    How’s about a genuine choice of a conservative government….?

  53. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    This election should be about each candidate’s position on Brexit.

    No-one should vote tactically or on any other issue.

    Your local Conservative wants to Remain and you want to Leave ? Don’t vote for him. Visa versa if you are a Remainer and your local Conservative wants to Leave then don’t vote for him.

    I fear that this election will be bogged down in general politics and that we will be told to “hold our noses” and vote Tory to keep the others out, yet again. Alas this is the only way to break the deadlock.

    Keep this about Brexit, Sir John. Keep the issue of Brexit above all others. And the Boris deal is not Brexit.

    What a mess but here we go.

  54. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–There are the 50’s women who have just lost their legal case (no surprise) to be compensated for the unreasonable reduction in their State Pension. The situation cries out unfairness. Tim Loughton is trying to make progress and Boris made positive noises at the time of his election but not sure I have read anything from you, Sir John, on this. How do you stand? If Parliament cannot do something about this obvious wrong, who can?

  55. Peter
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    “Clean air, better public transport, thriving High Streets” ?

    This is what the new Conservative candidate has on her first campaign leaflet that dropped through my door on Monday.

    Notice any omissions ? No mention of the real hot topics at all. A leaflet more appropriate for a local council campaign than a general election.

    I am in a Lib Dem seat and a Remain constituency. It looks to me like we are being offered another Lib Dem-minded Conservative candidate who will campaign wearing a blue rosette.

  56. Caterpillar
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    The GE should be about:

    How we want democracy to work once UK leaves EU (English parliament vs local devolution in England, end of Lords, further devolution such as immigration policy to Scotland, Scotland leaving the union, change of voting system to mixed member proportional, the role of the supreme court, separation of executive from legislature etc.)

    What is the future balance of the UK (continued London centric transport, finance, culture, politics or a rebalanced UK. If the latter realistic policies to do this e.g. Stop Heathrow 3, accelerate HS2, move all senior civil servants out of London, English parliament etc.)

    How finance can serve democracy rather than finance dominate all (we are forever trapped in the same old tax, spend, borrow world view and not the real constraints of resources). Why is full employment a shared objective and not minimum employment (with a full life)?

    Whether we want the law abiding to feel safe (behaviour of the youth, catching criminals and not releasing, carrying weapons, good driving, national defence, streets full of rats, uncontrolled dogs, misbehaviour/threats/noise/filth/disease on public transport)

    The role of religion in society (faith schools in the 21st Century – really? Religious education/indoctrination before the brain has matured ..?)

    The failed education policies for 16 to 18 year olds, for later life English and maths, for the bottom 50%.

    Environmental policy whilst remaining competitive (border adjustments).
    National health vs treating illness (e.g. How to get people strong, how to operate on hip/knee as early as possible, delaying dementia etc.).
    Trade policy (progressive?)
    Sustainable community (e.g. lost fishing communities) vs neoliberal competition (i.e. what is value)
    How to do ethics at the gene/species/ecosystem level? How to value people who currently don’t exist against those who do?

    I am sure we can all write endless lists but what we will see will be shallow.

  57. Ian@Barkham
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    The UK has lost all standards of honesty and decency lead by the majority of recent incumbents in Parliament, with just a handful of exceptions – yourself included.

    No Law should be applied to those living in this Country that they cannot have altered or repealed by their directly selected and elected representative. All laws and rules applied to UK citizens in the UK must be able to be held accountable by the UK electorate.

    All pledges, promises, manifestos that lead to selection of an MP by law to be their mandate for serving. Breaches, even changes of circumstance should be referred to their electorate for approval. MP’s should no longer be able to hide behind the people selected me not the Party, especially when it is the ‘Me’ that made the promise

  58. libertarian
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    We have now painfully discovered that we cannot trust parliament or our elected representatives to actually honour our unwritten constitution , nor uphold the results of referenda it doesn’t like. We have exposed our “democracy” as a sham .

    It doesn’t matter what you campaign on or whats in your or anyone else’s manifesto WE DONT BELIEVE YOU any more

    This election is about just one thing Brexit and upholding the referendum result

    After that we need a wholesale reinvention of our democratic processes

  59. Jack Falstaff
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    First and foremost, bringing all activity in parliament back into alignment with the real world of the electorate that puts MPs there in the first place.
    Then a clean Brexit, a repeal of the ridiculous Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, a fiscal boost from a positive and more open-minded Chancellor, legislation to compel political parties to adhere to their manifestos and punish them if they act in any way contrary to the wording of the latter (barring changing circumstances), and lastly the sealing of multiple trade agreements with countries, or groups of them, all around the world.

  60. NickW
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    This election needs to be about Democracy. Every single day.

    Every day there needs to be a reminder that the Lib Dems (in particular) are standing on a platform of ignoring YOUR vote if they don’t like the outcome of an election or a referendum, or if the BBC doesn’t like it, or if the EU doesn’t like it.

    It will be an intelligence test for students in the University Towns and cities; will students vote for a party which wants to disenfranchise the electorate?

    Don’t forget the SNP who will look even sillier if they campaign to ignore the Referendum result.

  61. John S
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Unless the Conservatives come to an accommodation with the Brexit party, we may still have a Brexit impasse. Boris must swallow his pride. In places like Chester-Le-Street, Sunderland and some seats in the Black Country, the Tories will never get elected.

  62. Gareth Warren
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I want the election to be about brexit.

    First to leave the EU with the minimum of costs and full control.

    Secondly about how we then use the opportunities brexit delivers to cut taxes and improve services. I want to see a large fishing industry encouraged in the UK with all the benefits that brings.

    I also want to see import tariffs reduced and regulation reduced, green taxes scrapped and instead reliance on improving technology to reduce hydrocarbon use.

    However I do not see any point in this next parliament for MPs who want the EU to make decisions, I will join ad lend my support to any campaign that seeks to reduce their number. I do not expect we will be leaving the EU on the 31st and treat re-admittance of MPs who sided with Corbyn and the EU as certainly actions in bad faith.

    My local MP is fairly pro-EU (he voted against the government once for EU interest), so unless there were a pact with the brexit party I would likely vote brexit party.

  63. glen cullen
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The Tory manifesto must clearly state WTO/FTA with a commitment to implement the day after election

    In fact the manifesto should include a draft letter that would be sent to EU on the 13th December

    • Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Well, Mr Cullen – they’d have to give it to one of us Brexiteers to post, then, because we couldn’t trust them to do it, even if it IS in their manifesto.

    • Walter
      Posted October 31, 2019 at 5:05 am | Permalink

      If it states that, would you believe it? The PM said we’d be out today, do or die. He hasnt done, he hasnt died. Are you seriously thinking of believing anything the Tories say about Brexit? If so, I have a bridge to sell you

      • Simeon
        Posted October 31, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        This is perhaps THE most important point. Politicians generally are considered untrustworthy. Even after May, BJ has taken this to another level. The Conservative party campaign pitch, even more so than almost any other campaign pitches, whether past or present, will amount to ‘Trust me’. It’s truly remarkable that this is happening, but then there will be those who do trust BJ, even if, I strongly suspect, in far smaller numbers than the Tories calculate.

  64. Gareth Warren
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    One thing to add, I feel like we are being manipulated on polls about the WA. I would not be surprised if wide spread opposition to it was “discovered” once the campaign got underway.

  65. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    There are dozens of suggestions I could make but abolishing the preposterous HoL would be my choice with a WTO Brexit.

  66. Iain Gill
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    It should be about the poor quality of our political class, and what we are going to do about it. Current candidate selection processes need to radically change.

  67. Edwardm
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The election needs to be about a number of things.
    I’d suggest the Conservative Party (and TBP) gives a very positive “go for it” vision of the future – regaining our leadership role in the world – tax revenues spent effectively – infrastructure improvements – opportunities and freedoms that Brexit brings internally and externally, deal with all well-run countries equitably – opposite to fortress EU.

    Other important issues include:
    Parliament vs people
    Do we want to pay the EU a £30B+ parting gift.
    Constitutional change – how should it be conducted
    Fixed term parliament act – repeal
    Immigration, overcrowding – no more net immigration – enforce controls
    Climate change – need an unbiased technical commission to examine the evidence. (Need to counteract the climate change propaganda war).
    Free speech – repeal hate crime laws.
    British traditions and freedom – no special status for other cultures.
    Rights of non-LGBT people.
    Cut red tape out of everyday lives – e.g exclude small organisations from GDPR, e.g need to reduce costs and simplify provision of childcare – not increase them due to regulation.
    Hard shoulder on all motorways – not SMART without.

    Personally I’d prefer a campaign for WTO/FTA without WA.

  68. BW
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Rest assured the Lib Dems are fighting this election with their main argument to cancel Brexit. Let’s make no mistake about it this election is about remain and leave. Therefore they could swing the remainers in the country behind them. With the leave voters split between Farage and Boris, deal or WTO I think we may be in trouble. Some ardent leavers who don’t like what Boris has done will vote for Farage. We are fighting the referendum again and the Lib Dems have but one unifying policy, to stop Brexit. Brexiteers are all over the place. The Tories should forget the deal and fight on leaving on WTO rules and unite with Farage to unify the leave vote.

  69. Iain Moore
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I am already fed up of the election and it hasn’t begun yet, no doubt we are going to be bombarded with messages about ‘Our NHS’ or schools, or 20k more police, I suppose you call it the retail offer , but needy things wasn’t what Brexit was about, people wanted something different from the managed decline dead end of our EU membership , they wanted an establishment who had faith and ambition for our country, which for me is having a proactive business department that seeks to bring parties together to develop the new industries e.g. we are told robots are going to make 1/3 of us unemployed, we can’t afford to keep shipping low paid people in to pick the crops, we are told we have world leading AI research , so why not bring the need, the predicted development and the research together to be at the heart of the new mechanisation of agriculture? If we can throw money at the Ethiopian Spice Girls, why can’t we invest in our own future?

    People voted Brexit because they wanted a glimmer of something better, a spat between parties saying who can manage the NHS better is not inspiring.

    PS you could also raise the issue of overpopulation, which has a direct bearing on everything from housing to environmental sustainability, but that may be too demanding a request from our shortsighted politicians.

  70. Fred H
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Ending Brexit by ‘just leaving ASAP’ / stop pretending to be friends over the water – they are not / terminate the BBC /remove stamp duty below £1m / increase basic income tax allowance by £1500 – 3 years running / abandon HS2 / begin buying Utilities back from foreign ownership and ban each from foreign ever again /suspend smart meter rollout / push eco targets out by another 10 years / re-assess H of L with view to reduction to 200 / re-assess boundaries in H of C to reduce MPs to 400 / cancel road-tax by adding to litre cost of petrol and diesel / introduce licence for bicycles – mark frame with number / Triple spend on pothole -resurfacing work / remove expenses on MPs increase salary to 100k.
    Limit number of speeches/ interruptions in the H of C to 6 per debate.
    I had better stop there.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      per MP.

  71. J Warrior
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Boris has it covered. Brexit, NHS, crime, education, infrastructure.

    • Dame Rita Webb QC
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      I do not think anybody in their right mind would vote for in excess of £39 billion to be sent to the EU or believe Boris has the money for the rest, thats unless you want to pay more tax and/or see the national debt expand further. He must take the voters for mugs.

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        We shouldn’t be paying in excess of a single pound £1

  72. Raven
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    It’s going to be all about Brexit, whether we like it or not, and whether the electorate wants it to be that way or not. Because that’s what MPs want. That’s not the purpose of a GE, and it’s a great mistake to think a GE will solve the mess you have got us into. A powerless government in situ but incapable of governing, much of it of its own making.

    But since you asked: all MPs to be banned from using Twitter and Facebook and other forms of social media as a platform to boost their ego. They have the time to tweet and post, but never find the time to answer questions.

    While we’re at it, concentration during the GE on the funding of social care and health care, with a move to combine the two into care without the artificial distinction between them that currently exits; GPs can’t even offer appointments within less than 3 weeks notice. Then, funding for education; create genuinely affordable housing; sort homelessness (its causes, dangers and solutions); consideration of overdevelopment by greedy house builders, who build and run, decimating local communities in their path of destruction; proper funding to local authorities so that they can provide the infrastructure so desperately needed. And more. All the things that matter and which have been neglected for years and years now.

    That’s a few things for you to consider, JR.

  73. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Why not start with calling the “deal” what it truly is – a way to still be ruled by the EU, giving them billions every year, while surrendering the country that has been built up – and waving in millions of freeloaders to destroy us – financially and culturally. Coudenhove Kalergi plan in full flow.

    • TooleyStu
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Wow.. first time I have Kalergi mentioned on a main forum.
      Respect to you, Sir.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      100% agree its a bad deal and only a bad government would pursue it

    • Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      It will be up to the Brexit Party to educate people about this deal. Not enough people seem to know what it entails. I don’t believe that the Conservative Party really want people generally to understand too much about it – and they seem to be unaware that many of us already DO know.

  74. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    as it is your election too

    Our election too? Not for the majority of us. Most of us live in safe seats. A donkey with a blue rosette would get elected where I live. Why should two parties always take turns with power? Maybe enough people will vote Liberal this time for them to get enough seats to get electoral reform.

    The present system doesn’t work. It produces endless promises from Labour and Tory to outspend each other. It produces short term thinking and an obsession with power. As soon as an election is won all the energy and thinking is about staying in POWER.

    I’d like the election to be about a blueprint for the future. I’d like to see a series of citizens’ assemblies that would create guidelines and policies for each area of public services. They would set a limit on the percentage of GDP raised by taxation. Then set limits for each department and guidelines/targets for the next 30 years. Major policy decisions to be debated and settled by referendum.

    Instead we will get the usual cat fight with lies, smears and manifesto promises that will be lies.

    As a protest I have voted Green recently. This time I think I might vote for the Illiberal Autocrats – because I think a lot of other people will too. You never know, we might get some change. And the word Brexit will disappear from the language as suddenly as it appeared. That would be nice.

  75. Dominic
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Make direct threats of abolition to the BBC, Electoral Commission, the CPS and the Supreme Court should they fail to do their task of exposing Labour, Momentum and their offences

    These organisations are pro-Labour, pro-EU and downright bias to the left…

    warn them

    You cannot allow these State bodies that are packed with pro-Labour, left wing grotesques to get away with turning a politically charged blind eye to electoral and media abuse…

    Learn from Peterborough expose Labour’s abuses of our electoral system or else we will all pay a heavy price of a Marxist State

  76. Prigger
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Ask Amber Rudd. The news is she is not standing in the Election. She would fail anyway But she a revolving door. How is the Cabinet going to get into the Cabinet room?

  77. forthurst
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    This election is about one thing and one thing only: should the Referendum result be honoured or not. The existing parliament is split between those one want to dupe the people into believing their ‘Withdrawal’ agreement is Brexit and not BRINO and those who want to ignore the decision of the people. This is a parliament created under FPTP. Another election under FPTP will produce an equally unrepresentative parliament. We do not have a democracy at all so talking about an ultimate democratic act is an oxymoron.

  78. Chris
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink
    • Jack Falstaff
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      She can jog on.
      The fact is she was sacked for persistent obstruction.
      “Left to pursue private interests” shall we say…..

  79. Lifelogic
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    No sensible Conservative should vote for people like the 10 traitors recently returned or daft lefty remoaners Nicky Morgan, Greg Clarke and Theresa May (is she standing again?) there must be about 100+ of these dope still standing get rid of them so they do not ruin the next government as they did this one!

  80. ukretired123
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    We don’t believe you – as Sir John’s recent book has exposed the gulf that now exists between ordinary folks an the elected political class.
    Folks are punch drunk after 4 years of indecision and witnessing vested interests rendering their ballot papers worthless flushed away by lunatics in the so called mother of all Parliaments steered away by an unapologetic heavily biased speaker claiming to save democracy by spin.
    This is a very dangerous election for all MPs and all parties.
    The Brexit Party was formed because Nigel Farage knew Brexit would not be delivered but BRINO.
    The EU Barnier said he would have succeeded if Britain decided to remain in the EU.
    So we are still back to 2016.
    Folks will have decided that both the EU cannot be trusted but neither can our own elected leaders.
    Thereby we are between a rock and a hard place.
    Promises to implement Brexit have been broken so many times and no magic wand exists other than leave. Whoever folks trust most will win.
    It is an almighty challenge as to what winning formula parties will come up with limited by how much they can spend by the Electoral Commission.
    A hung parliament would be a disaster.

  81. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Brexit, clean and clear. Freedom of expression, of association and the restoration of property rights. Clearance of PC from public life. Curtailment of the authority and financing of NGOs, cuts to foreign aid and lower taxes.

    • Realist
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Oh c’mon. You wish us to return to a society as it was. Freedom of expression indeed, phew! You’ll wish food and water next!

  82. John Probert
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Get rid of the WAB

  83. Rule Britannia
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Since few MPs bothered to respect the manifesto on which they stood in 2017 – a a vanishingly small number of those actually told their coinstituents in advance of doing the exact opposite of their manifesto commitments…

    Perhaps the election should be about two things:

    1. Making MPs fully accountable. For example: any change of party can trigger a recall motion or by-election.

    2. Delivering on manifesto promises – making key policy statements mandatory. If a candidate does not agree with ALL the key policy statements in a manifesto (and the key ones should be highlighted in a separate section) then they must not stand on that party’s ticket.

    I think we’re all tired of the so-called ‘broad church’ rubbish. It’s time parties stood for a system of beliefs across the board, otherwise what is the point of being a party at all?

  84. formula57
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    So Mr. Johnson wishes to form the next government with the support of half of the Brexit-thwarting quislings from whom he had removed the party whip. Will he undertake to restore Mr. Hammond as Chancellor if we return him to office?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      It’s quite comical, this, isn’t it, John?

      You see, you and your friends in the media have stirred up such a febrile hatred of an imaginary European Union among those whom you courted, that nothing that you propose can now ever be severe enough, and so they will not vote for you.

      Happy campaigning!

      • steve
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        MiC

        I think you should substantiate your accusations with facts, or better still don’t make accusations in the first place.

        While we may not necessarily vote for Mr Redwood’s party, he is certainly not someone to stir hatred.

  85. Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I have voted Tory over 30 years. Putting those members who lost the Whip back into Parliament is the last straw for me. It is US the people who have been betrayed once again. We certainly do not want the Treaty that Boris J has negotiated as it is NOT Brexit. I was waiting for the 31st to go before final decision on whether to change allegiance to Brexit Party but have made my decision now as have many others that I know of. It is Conservative Politicians who have helped to assure that we do not leave with what they call “no deal” and they surely know that WTO exists etc

    • BW
      Posted October 31, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      I agree. The Conservatives have yet again set themselves up for an election disaster. Letting those that lost the whip back in was the last straw for me. Do we really need turn coats back in Parliament. If they stand I see their seats going to BP. They cannot see that the alienating of the BP is splitting the leave vote which will leave a remain parliament in possibly cancelling Brexit

  86. villaking
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Whilst public debate on the many issues you raise, principally on the balance between taxing, spending and borrowing and the ways to improve public services, I think we all know that this will be an election over a single main issue. An election is clearly needed but it would be a great shame if, as seems likely, the winning party has less than 40% of the electorate behind it for its chosen form of Brexit policy. I presume you will be backing a manifesto pledge to withdraw from the EU in line with Boris’s WA?
    May I also note that you continue to allow posts that use provocative language such as “traitor” “fraud” and “surrender treaty” principally from those who want the “no-deal” / “no WA” form of Brexit. This may I suggest is not helpful to a sensible, reasoned public debate.

  87. Sue Doughty
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    A general election is about who we wish to govern Britain. Simple

    • Mark B
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes. The EU or our elected representatives in parliament ? The people want the latter. Parliament want the former. So we are going to reflected the same people, minus a few, who want us to Remain shackled to the EU. Great – not !!

  88. Rhoddas
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I want a clean Brexit – same as you and most people on your site Sir John. If Boris or Tory constituencies foolishly field Remainer candidates then… they will be duly punished at the vote. The swamp needs draining.

    Nor do I want a Corbynista government which returns us to the 70’s, sadly I am old enough to remember. Therefore it’s VITAL the Leave vote is not SPLIT between the Tories and the Brexit Party, they must reach an accommodation based on who is most likely to win in these specific seats, with some Leave competing candidates standing down. I am not interested in the ego’s and power politics of individuals, the twin objective is to deliver Brexit and stop Corbyn, end of.

    Of course if there was a coalition required between parties after the election then Boris might not be able to enact WA2 & PD2, as he cannot currently, but that is a story for another day (and on this site).

    To repeat the objective is to deliver a clean Brexit and stop Corbyn.

  89. Richard Harris
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    It’s all about Brexit.

    If we remain in the EU we will be governed from Germany/Brussels and Westminster will revert to the equivalent of a local council. If we can’t set our own laws, election promises are meaningless.

    The Brexit farrago hasn’t done a lot to encourage the view that the election promises aren’t hollow anyway but at least we can exercise some influence on our government.

  90. Atlas
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The election should be about getting a no-deal Brexit – and not Johnson’s pale copy of May’s surrender document. As you may have deduced, I think Johnson’s deal is not a good deal at all – too much money to the EU, too much say to the EU, and in the process its thrown its ally, the DUP, under the proverbial bus. This latter point is not a smart move in what may be another slim majority Parliament.

  91. John Partington
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    In a word,Brexit and not Boris’s Maybot/polished t8rd/WA which is essentially the May WA with some Northern Ireland/Customs trickery thrown in. We must get out of the EU clutches for good so that they have zero influence on our country again.
    So leave the EU on WTO terms and negotiate later. Get Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party on board as well to keep Boris honest.

  92. Mark
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Competence to govern. Parliament is stuffed with too many incompetent people in both houses, put there by party machines who ensure the public choice is narrow and most Parliamentarians are lobby fodder, used only to rubber stamping edicts, rather than legislators acting in the interest of the public.

    Electoral reform. Abolish the FTPA, redo boundaries, make the Lords a house of experts and clear the political dross, clear out the Electoral Commission, end postal voting except for proven need, require political parties to open up candidate selection (no choice from Momentum or CCHQ imposed).

    Clear out the quangos. Get rid of “green crap” (TM David Cameron), the CCC and zero carbon policy. Halt the BBC propaganda machine.

    Then perhaps we might have government capable of making intelligent choices.

  93. Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Following the Friday 13th result and barring a hung parliament, the elected Prime Minister will then have total power and be able to do as he (or she!) pleases; in the case of Boris Johnson that could well be a reversion to liberal policies and of course carrying through his version of the May WA.

    So what value will be the Tory manifesto? After the betrayal following the last GE, and the now pretend Brexit plans pursued by Boris, the question of trust is what I want the election to be about.

  94. stred
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    It should be about getting rid of MPs like Hammond, Greg Clarke, Alastair Burt and others that voted to take away the only negotiating card and left us with BRINO. They have been let back in. They will probably lose their seats if allowed to stand. The Brexit Party will make them look like the Libdums that they are.

  95. Tim the Coder
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m not voting for a party which backs the appalling ‘deal’. I though May’s turd was impossible to make worse, but Boris has suceeded.

    His sprinkling of glitter turned out to be asbestos: Severe the UK, NI stays in the EU, internal customs border for internal travel. Not leaving, just in zombie land ‘transition’ paying for, and be ruled by EU, until the EU decide otherwise.
    Atleast the Remainers are honest about their objectives.
    Vote for the BRINO? Never!

    There’s a lot of pundits saying a vote for TBP is a vote wasted – but then they would, wouldn’t they!

  96. BillM
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I have little doubt this election will be more about our Leaving the EU than anything else. In effect it will be the ‘second referendum’ some parties have been calling for.
    That Boris had to reneged his promise of leaving the EU tomorrow night might well dwell on the minds of many. We Leavers from the Back Streets of Britain have had enough of broken promises, not least from the Four Conservative PMs of late.
    It should always be the standard where a Politician must never make a promise he/she cannot keep. I have no need to repeat those promises made by Mrs May and Cameron before her. Why Boris could not have said, “I will do everything in my power to ensure we Leave the EU on October 31st” I do not know. Right now it appears an act of bravado and nothing more. Not valued a good point for the PM.
    For those reasons I believe that the Conservative Party must agree a pact with the Brexit Party to ensure the “Leavers” command a majority in the HoC. To do otherwise is to gamble with the electorate just as Mrs May did in 2017. She failed in her quest and Boris might well follow if he continues with the bravado he has displayed in the past. That he has won the call for a General Election does not let him off the hook up t’North.
    The results of the 2016 on a Constituency basis were Remain 242 Leave 406. A resounding victory for Leave where Leave took 63% of the votes. That is the target the Conservative Party must repeat for themselves – with some help from their fellow Leavers in the BP.

  97. Steve Reay
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see a policy to provide a home for every British national. No non British national to have a right to social housing before a British national. Also place restrictions on BTL properties and holiday let numbers.

    I would like to see a policy for investors to this country so that we out compete the EU on all levels but this can’t happen until we go to a WTO

    • Walter
      Posted October 31, 2019 at 5:08 am | Permalink

      A home for every British national! Even Corbyn wouldnt go that far. Even Fidel Castro didnt go that far. Crazy

  98. Steve P
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    It has to be about never having the electorate lied to and abused in the way it has been for the last 3 years ever again. Politicians were elected on a manifesto of leavening the EU – without a deal after 2 years if a deal was not negotiated. They lied to us as instantly they were elected began betraying us with weasel words that they can change their minds so the electorate must too. Many MP’s avoided democracy by changing parties mid-term and on numerous occasions so they could not be deselected. Democracy was thrown to the wolves with a speaker who was able to do as he pleased and along with other MP’s colluded with foreign powers to betray and surrender the UK. The ability to betray and surrender the UK so easily by ant-democrats must be seriously looked at.

    Brexit party have it right – politics must change for good. Anyone who wished to keep the same status quo will not get my vote. I want liars and traitors dealt with.

  99. Julian
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    2 main goals above all else:
    1. To get out of the EU even if it’s only via the Boris agreement (a necessary compromise in the situation he faced).
    2. Stop Corbyn or any other hard left leader becoming PM.

  100. NickC
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    JR, We would not be having this election if it were not for the almighty dog’s breakfast that this Parliament has made of Brexit. We voted to Leave, not for a deal which keeps us tied to the EU.

    This Parliament has not just failed, it has actively worked against our democratic vote. So the real question now is: will the 12th December vote be honoured? And will the MPs elected – by the people – honour our 23rd June 2016 vote?

    • bill brown
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      NickC

      I do not remember us being asked to vote, without making a deal with our closest trading partner and just leaving completely. Where did you see this?

      • sm
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Have you ever asked yourself why all those EU-supporting MPs, many of them senior Ministers in the Cameron Government, didn’t do something about that during the preparation for legislating the Referendum Bill?

        Why didn’t all those bright sparks in the LibDems point that out? Surely that nice Mr Clegg, and the brilliant Sir Vince could have thought about it?

        And what about all those Lords through whose hands the Bill had to pass: Lord Gummer, Lord Mandelson et al – why didn’t they utter a squeak of protest?

      • Steve P
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        You had 2 years to negotiate a deal or leave without a deal. That was known before the referendum and banded about several times. I was actually an expat in China at the time. If I could hear that so many times and you didn’t where were you?

      • Edward2
        Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        I do not remember us being asked to vote on having to leave with a deal with our closest trading partner and I do not remember being told we were not allowed to leave without a deal.
        Where did you see this?

        • bill brown
          Posted October 31, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

          Edward2

          That was not the question is asked

          • Edward2
            Posted October 31, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

            Thanks bill
            You make my point for me.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 31, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Hans Brown

        Go and re read Article 50 and the EU rules on countries leaving, theres a good boy

  101. Snowjoke
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    The first election we should be concerned about is for the Speaker on Monday. The absurd ‘tributes’ by many conservative MPs this morning, no doubt many more to follow, do not inspire voter confidence in the self-awareness and honesty of our representatives.

    In the event that Mrs Dromey/Ms Harman is elected, as I fear, an important test will be whether the conservatives stand a candidate against her in the General Election (they should), and an even more important test will be whether an alternative candidate stands against her at the start of the new Parliament (they should).

  102. mancunius
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, Following the 2017 election, every party reneged on its pre-election manifesto, so there is little point in believing any of them. The Conservatives are no longer in favour of low taxes and free enterprise. They favour powerful big business interests (as global multinationals are its major sponsors, and employment monopolists in electorally sensitve areas), state control of everything that moves) and pandering to socialist dogma out of a lazy reluctance to argue the Tory case.
    I doubt the electorate will see the election as being about anything except Brexit. And even on that matter, the Tories are following the line of least resistance.
    A real election platform would be Boris saying: Elect me in spades, and I’ll face down Brussels and ensure we leave the EU properly, not with this lousy ‘Agreement’.

    Otherwise, what is the point of a Tory majority? The government would just use it to water down Brexit still further.

  103. WiltshireVoter
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I see Number Ten say Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party are ‘not fit’ to govern – rather my opinion of those in Parliament since the referendum.

  104. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I hope that the Conservative Party will think carefully about what it writes about Europe in its manifesto.

    I assume that it will lead on the Prime Minister’s deal (WA2) and extol its virtues.

    But I also want to see a commitment to ‘No Deal’ as Plan B and a description (not Project Fear) of what ‘No Deal’ would entail.

    Most important of all is to outline our policy on what should follow at the end of 2020 when the transition period should end. ‘No Deal’ may well be the best deal. I cannot see any advantage in negotiating with the EU at all, unless they offer us at least an interim trade agreement.

    And we should spell out the revised trade arrangements across the Irish border that will be acceptable, arrangements that should integrate fully NI and GB in the UK.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Why, haven’t you heard ? It is a GREAT, MARVELOUS , BRAND NEW DEAL we are being offered. Well 5% of it is. The bit that separates Ulster from the rest of the UK.

  105. outsider
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, I would like to see the election focus on two issues:
    1)What strategic measures should we take after Brexit to sustain and enhance the private living standards and job security of working families on middle and below-average incomes in our new circumstances ? Would FTAs with the EU or the USA help or hinder this? Clue – reducing our enormous current balance of payments deficit and restricting the supply of labour are key tests
    2) What carbon reduction strategy will best protect the private living standards, jobs and freedoms of working families on middle or below-average incomes? Clue – they cannot afford public transport, new cars or higher energy bills.
    I am not holding my breath.

  106. Dunedin
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    What do you want the election to be about , as it your election too?

    Thank you for asking – I want a clean Brexit (not WA2), Scotland to remain in UK, and a small state/low tax/pro business and enterprise style of government.

    However, as I live in a safe seat my vote does not count. What I voted for in two referendums can be overturned and there is nothing I can do except maybe to vote for Brexit Party as a protest.

  107. Ahhhh!
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Of course Ian Blackford SNP leader in The House worst nightmare is a successful SNP attempt at Scottish Independence. He knows who the people are below him notwithstanding it would ruin Scotland. He is a businessman and knows real economics aside political interpretation by hacks and the ones below him

  108. Posted October 30, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    A little removed from our host’s question…

    I would like to hear what the 46 MPs who initially signed the ‘pledge’ on the web site standup4brexit.com have to say about their broken pledge – ”..to commit to leaving the EU on 31st October and abandoning Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement as dead.”

    There is now a third ‘pledge’ – ”specifically for parliamentary candidates in the forthcoming General Election, so that they can make clear their determination to deliver on the will of the British people.”

    Note – the promise to abandon May’s WA as ”dead” has been dropped.

  109. steve
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    What do I want the election to be about ?

    …..well, for starters:

    1) No deal exit from the EU.
    2) Denial of EU fishing vessels from entering British waters.
    3) Destruction of the Labour party, the Libs and the Greens.
    4) Removal of SNP from the commons.
    5) Reinstatement of sedition and treason laws.
    6) Abolition of political correctness.
    7) Ending the racist Barnett formula.
    8) Free prescriptions in England, or stopping free prescriptions in Scotland and Wales.
    9) Criminalise climate change fear mongering.
    10) Scrap the zero carbon and electric car scams.
    11) Abolish commons amendments.
    12) Limit the authority of the Speaker.
    13) A binding commitment never to act in the defence of Europe, ever again.
    14) Make ‘insulting’ our country a criminal offence.
    15) Pro EU and left wing demonstrators to have their benefits withdrawn.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      I am with you on many of these, but we should all pay for prescriptions and indeed for GP appointments (other than a tiny few who really cannot afford them). Not so sure about 11/13/14/15. Protesting is one thing, but blocking the roads and transport systems in industrial vandalism, but trying to hold the county to ransom is not acceptable.

  110. Fred H
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    so what is wrong with my 9.43 post?

  111. Arnie from Newington
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I want to hear the end of section 24 tax it is inflating my income artificially and is unfair.

  112. glen cullen
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Election brexit stance in summary

    LibDem…….Peoples vote but whatever result will remain in EU
    Labour……..2nd referendum but supporting remain in EU
    Tory………..Revised withdrawal agreement treaty (TMs deal)
    Brexit Party…WTO and negotiate FTA

  113. Mike Sales
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    If people who voted to leave are happy to leave on WTO then BJ is making a huge mistake that can only lead to more split parliaments. It’s time for radical thinking to side with Brexit party and leave the EU.

  114. Christine Marland
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I should like the Conservatives and The Brexit Party to come to an arrangement. Not mentioning them in your article merely shows that they are a threat that you are not admitting to. Strategic voting suggested on https://one.uk.org/ So no Remain Tory mps are re-elected. Let them go and become Lib.dem members honestly.
    Fixed term parliament abolished. Inheritance tax looked at. Any mp who changes party triggers an election in his constituency. Civil servants and mps honour the manifestos they stand elected on. Country and our Uk sovereignty is what they should stand by.

    Any Speaker should be unbiased and be removed if he tries to change the rules to suit his bias. There should be rules in place so this can be triggered quickly. Obviously this could have been done, but establishment and remainers kept him in place to the detriment of getting Brexit achieved.

    The Brexit Party mps could help ERG get a clear Brexit.
    Readmitting the ten mps who lost the whip signals Boris as an ineffective leader and a remainer liberal at heart. His treaty though better than May’s is still unpalatable. His treatment of NI is lethal. There are unwelcome suspicions that he could have pushed harder against the Benn Bill.

    I agree there are many items of Queen’s speech will be of interest and importance to potential Con voters.

    I would however lose fast the quickie divorce bill as it distresses and angers many conservative people who revere marriage as a way of supporting society and families.

    Some of these issues like needing to swap boilers, get electric cars are not, in my opinion, vote winners.

    Pc, woke language, massive support for transgender views, is not of interest to most of the population.

    Progressive gender education in schools should also be lost – not fair to children and a vote loser.

    It is country before party and Con mps could help new Brexit mps in a new Parliament.
    Frankly Brexit mps having no past political history in Parliament could freshen up the Con look which is full of episodes of treachery, manipulation and lies.

    Thank you for your insightful articles, your loyalty to the Brexit cause, and many, many years of hard effective, painstakingly accurate work for the Conservatives and the UK.

    • Norman
      Posted October 31, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Seconded.

    • beresford
      Posted October 31, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      ….and abolition of the Blairite Supreme Court and the liberal guidelines for appointment of judges.

    • Chris
      Posted October 31, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Also seconded.

  115. robert lewy
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Although I have been against our membership of the EU from day 1
    I equally feel that the Brexit question has to be approached with some degree of realism.

    I have always maintained that the result of the 2016 referendum answered only one question:

    Whether we Remain or Leave the EU

    It did not address a second question which is what arrangement the UK should seek with the EU post leaving.

    That this second question was not asked of the electorate provided Remainers with ample scope to try to nullify the decision to Leave so as to make it virtually meaningless i,e May’s WA and questioning of what Leavers really wanted.

    That is the background which produced 3.5 years of dither and delay.

    The decision to be made in the next GE is what kind of deal will be acceptable to the electorate.

    Knowing that the background to this decision is that the vote in favour of Leave was 51.9 per cent against 48.1 per cent for Remain, one has to ask what proportion of the Leave vote would be comfortable with a No Deal outcome.
    I myself would prefer No Deal.
    However, I do not believe that over 50 per cent of the electorate or their constituencies would be prepared to accept No Deal.

    With this background one may ask how this would play out in GE.

    The posters on this site, other than Remainers of course, clearly favour No Deal.
    However, if Boris was to come out for No Deal in the GE what should we expect as the outcome.

    Realistically, one would expect Conservatives to make great inroads into the TBP vote. However, if they then leak the votes of those Leavers not supporting no Deal, Boris may fail to secure a working majority or possibly be in a worse position than the Government holds today.
    However fervent one is for a clean break one has to be realistic about the options available.
    If Boris supports No Deal as his preferred option in the GE he is likely to lose the election. The residual fears in the mind of Leavers and Remainers alike about No Deal are likely to be sufficient to ensure that Boris is unable to secure a majority in parliament.

    The correct way forward is to first win the election and then decide on how to proceed based on the results of The GE.

    To win the election Boris MUST appeal to all those favouring Leave whether they are No Deal supporters or not.

    This means that Boris is right to push the deal he has negotiated with the EU even if it is sub-optimal.

    TBP will strive for No Deal and co-operation between the parties will allow TBP to secure MP representation in Labour Leave voting constituencies.

    If the result of the GE is that Boris has no outright majority but can produce a government by coalition with TBP all is left to play for. TBP can then try to move Boris towards WTO outcome.
    In my opinion any other approach risks putting Corbyn in no 10.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 1, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      You make some good points and some less good points. Vis a vis Brexit, the worst way forward is a GE. And I say that as one who recognises that it is necessary for Parliament to actually deliver, and indeed make a success, of Brexit. The reason for this is that, over the course of the past 3.5 years, the Conservative party have very clearly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted on Europe. The party position is that, if we really cannot remain in the EU and really must leave, then we must get as close to leaving in name only as is possible. I would suggest that their untrustworthyness goes back far longer, though that this was less widely recognised than now is understandable.

      But if the Conservative party cannot be trusted, and there is no good alternative party of government (the Brexit party have yet to demonstrate that they can be this), then a GE inevitably results in an awful government. The least awful government that seems possible is one that offers a referendum on Brexit, which at least gives voters the chance to utterly reject this WA treaty so that we are at least back where we started and therefore have not lost our right to unilaterally leave the EU.

      I do recognise that, in theory, this WA allows us to leave the EU in due course. My problem is that if it is BJ and the Conservative party arranging the terms upon which we leave and the terms upon which we continue our relationship with the EU, we will be a satelite of the EU. It will be like the ERM, but much worse. This is the gravest danger of a GE now.

  116. Trav
    Posted October 30, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Brexit is the most important thing to me, get that done but NOT with this dreadful “new” deal which isn’t new at all. Boris has to withdraw this IF he wins and go for WTO terms (as you have always said). He truly has deflated 17.4 million leave voters, never did I think he’d u-turn the way he has done and I simply do not understand the ERG backing it even though Steve Baker has voiced “it has flaws”. My fear is Corbyn will walk into no. 10 because the vote will be split if BJ doesn’t make it clear of how he proposes “to get Brexit done”. After we LEAVE ( and I mean totally ) we can concentrate on building this country from all angles.

  117. Hilbert
    Posted October 31, 2019 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    I’ve long hoped very much for a general election, particularly while the antics of MPs on both sides are fresh in the minds of their local constituency parties. Perhaps there’s some chance that the many MPs (left or right) in contempt of their constituents, will be deselected. Those MPs might be replaced by individuals with more knowledge and appreciation of the ground-electorate in their constituencies. Time’s short, but I live in hope.

    Politics should have more than the left and right dimension.

  118. MM
    Posted October 31, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    On 9th September, Sir John asked the question: ‘What kind of Remain did Remain voters vote for?’ He received barely a response from Remainers, so he tried again the next day with six clear questions under the heading ‘How pro-Eu are you’. Still barely a response.

    Sir John wrote that ‘throughout the referendum campaign Remain advocates refused to discuss the current state and the future direction of the EU’.

    It is essential that during this election campaign advocates of Remain are pressed to explain why they believe staying in the EU is to the UK’s future advantage. Only then can voters make a considered decision at the ballot box.

  119. beresford
    Posted October 31, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I would like to see some discussion of the EU political project and the future of these islands if we DON’T leave the EU. All we ever hear about is trade and whether there will be tariffs on lamb or we will still be able to make Japanese cars. I understand the media embargo on anything which shows EU membership in a bad light, but it is puzzling why we don’t hear more from those who want to leave the EU. Surely no patriotic Englishman or Scotsman would vote ‘Remain’ if he knew that it meant the dissolution of his country into an administrative district of an undemocratic bureaucracy?

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 31, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      beresford

      I suppose you don’t mind that this country will be reduced to a rump England after Ireland and Scotland vote for independence in case Brexit happens?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 31, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Wrong, that will not happen despite Blair’s appalling devolution structures.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 1, 2019 at 1:12 am | Permalink

        Some rump with 85% of the population and wealth.
        Without having to send them all billions every year England would be much better off.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 1, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Maggs

        Dumb post considering you keep telling us we are all Little Englanders

  120. a-tracy
    Posted November 1, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    The Electoral Commission needs to put out repeated warnings that anyone registering to vote twice in this election will be prosecuted (what charges would deter? Perhaps with a £1000 fine, their vote could result in triggering a by-election and they will be barred from voting again for five years.) Some students are getting very giddy about being able to sign up at their parents home (to postal vote) and vote at their University.

  • About John Redwood


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

    Promoted by David Edmonds on behalf of John Redwood both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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