My views

During an election political opponents have a habit of ascribing views to me I have never held and sometimes supporters attribute things to me which are also not my view. The definitive statement of my views is this site and I urge all interested in what my view is on any topic to use this site and its excellent Search facility. I have never regarded myself as responsible for the views others ascribe to me, however well intentioned.

If people want a view on a topic not covered here then I will usually be willing to help.

 

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107 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again. 🙂

    If people want a view on a topic not covered here then I will usually be willing to help.

    Democratic reform:

    Does our kind host think it right that, MP’s that are elected on a manifesto promise, then see fit once elected to, not only to ignore said pledge(s) but, also change parties ?

    What solutions to the above does he think would help hold both political parties and MP’s to their pledges and, should they then leave a party and join another, what should be done ? eg should there be a by-election ?

    Reply I think electors should make theirs views known on such behaviour when they get their next opportunity to judge the person as a candidate. I don’t think you can have a rule forcing a person to resign their seat because they have fallen out with their party. The voters can of course press for them to resign if their change of stance is extreme or unacceptable.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      “. I don’t think you can have a rule forcing a person to resign their seat because they have fallen out with their party. ”

      In that case then all candidates ought to stand in their own right and not be labeled by a party & therefore party manifesto

      If you are standing as a party candidate ( after all its our only way of having a very minor say in electing a government) then yes definitely anyone changing parties should by law face a by election.

      To be honest though our system has almost no relationship to real democracy

      • Hope
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        I think it best the Tory party dies so that a proper conservative can be borne.

        JR’s dire views today highlights that change will only come about by getting rid of the Tory party. They are on the March left and will continue to do so.

        Fracking is required for homes to be heated and lit and if business is to be competitive and people have jobs. Johnson’s and Mayhab’s zero carbon policy will destroy UK business, jobs and put the public in the dark ages. Are the majority of the public really asking for zero carbon or put green issues at the top of their agenda, or just a gobby lobby group who know politicos always swing to their demands?

        Johnson is as liberal left as Mayhab. We kept being given the choice from the last three elections to vote for the least worst candidate. Do not repeat the mistake.

        Cameron could have gone back to the electorate like Canadian Harper did, but he chose the lib Dumbs. A lot of his CCHQ forced in take now have moved to the Lib Dumbs or advise us to vote for the lib Dumbs! Most of Cameron’s cabinet were the thirty or so traitors defying the will of the people to keep the UK in the EU!

        Do not expect Johnson to keep his word about anything. If he is to keep the UK lockstepped to the EU there is no point in leaving to be in vassalage. Johnson just wants to be in power.

        • Simeon
          Posted November 15, 2019 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • APL
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          Hope: “Most of Cameron’s cabinet were the thirty or so traitors defying the will of the people to keep the UK in the EU!”

          Yep, what is CCHQ doing recruiting for the Lib Dems?

      • Simeon
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        The problem with that is the same as with PR; once a collection of individuals is elected, to govern, they then must horse-trade amongst themselves to fashion a policy agenda.

        I think it is blindingly obvious that no democratic system yields good outcomes (unless a society is unified in its beliefs and practices to a very large degree, which might have been the case at certain points in the past, but certainly isn’t the case now in modern societies which are massively diverse). The sensible solution is to minimise central government and instead allow indivduals to voluntarily coalesce around agreed policies. To do otherwise is to legitimise tyranny.

    • Dominic
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      ‘extreme and unacceptable’? That’s Guardianista speak for ‘self-censorship’ which of course is one of the fundamental objectives of liberal left and woke orthodoxy. I find that uncomfortable especially when comedians are working with the national broadcaster to routinely encourage hate against their political enemy while hiding behind the protective shield of comedy. Other examples of Tory silence on extremism are far too numerous to mention which reveal precisely what the political class have become over the last 25 years

      It is very simple. Your party have capitulated to the liberal left and we shall all pay and indeed are paying a very heavy price for your subtle of a quasi authoritarian political culture

      Your party no longer represent who we are and what we are and the only reason we sometimes vote Tory is the fear of a Marxist party taking control of the levers of power. Your move to the left and your failure to confront to the left has made this prospect even more likely.

      The political class have dragged this nation through the moral sewer. We simply wait for a political leader that elevates morality, personal responsibility, freedom of expression and civility above barbarity

    • Simeon
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Our kind host refers to the right of recall petitions requiring 10% of constituents. This is a form of direct democracy, for which there are many sympathisers and advocates in this parish. But evidently there is little appetite for it given the failure to hold any of these defectors to account. Direct democracy might in theory have its points, but unless voters are sufficiently engaged and well-informed, I’d suggest it would create many more problems than it solves.

      • Hope
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Cameron broke his promise on the right to a proper recall, it was going to be the public to decide without politicians involved. That of course was changed.

        • Simeon
          Posted November 15, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

          My mistake. Thank you for correcting me. Umunna, Allen and other’s constituents cannot be blamed for their persistence.

          That said, I still don’t think direct democracy is the answer, at least in and of itself. The foundational principle upon which a good society is built ought to be the protection of the individual from tyranny by others. Until this is established, democracy will always be tyranny, whether that be by the majority, or even the largest minority, which is much more usual.

      • Mark B
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        This is a form of direct democracy, for which there are many sympathisers and advocates in this parish.

        Of which I am one.

        🙂

  2. David in Kent
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I’m glad to see you are in favour of more tree planting, many citizens and councils like the idea of tree lined streets in principle but don’t like them in reality. They find the autumn leaves a bother, roots damage the pavement, branches fall on cars and it all costs money. So it is important to keep encouraging them to keep planting.

  3. Everhopeful
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    JR could do a modern day Cobbett’s Ride type expedition to see what is really going on?
    Our last proper Tory MP used to come door to door and TALK to people.
    The place has gone to pot since he retired!

    • David in Kent
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      I’ve just returned from a morning out with our Tory candidate knocking on doors and asking for votes. So Tory candidates do still do that and a couple of people said to me they wouldn’t vote for anyone who couldn’t be bothered to canvass.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Lucky to have such an MP!!!
        Our previous was such a wonderful man.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Everhopeful – -Gosh, I haven’t heard Cobbett mentioned in years. Still have a copy somewhere. I trust Sir John would not do it on horseback with his assistant walking alongside!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        It would be a vote winner though? 😎

    • dixie
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      JR does canvas, he knocked on my door once and I canvassed with him during the referendum.

      Reply Yes, I am out and about a lot in the Wokingham and West Berkshire areas.

  4. Stred
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    This election is so dirty, you are lucky if they don’t dig up something you said thirty years ago or that you came from outer space.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Does this current crop of politicians really think that dirty British electioneering is good, brings people together and promotes their party as sensible choices for the government?

    • acorn
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      That’s the problem with having a search facility on your social media site. Try putting “wto” in this one.

      Meanwhile, WTO members are queueing up to rubish the Brexit Tariff Rate Quota splits unilaterally decided between the EU and UK.

      Countries including Australia have asked for trade compensation from the UK and the EU over Brexit disruption. Fifteen countries, including the US, India and New Zealand, have been setting out Brexit concerns at a World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Geneva. Australian officials said their beef and lamb exporters had already been hit after several Brexit delays. Brazil said Brexit plans for Northern Ireland could breach WTO rules. (HT Indy.)

      You can assume that the EU trade bloc won’t be paying the compensation.

      Reply Disputes are a regular part of the WTO process for us all with or without Brexit. Trade continues until there is a determination by the WTO , which would always provide an answer so trade can continue on a specified basis

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        That’s thanks to disgusting anti-democrats who would not accept the result of the referendum and immediately set about scheming how to delay and finally prevent its implementation.

        https://www.politico.eu/article/major-trade-partners-seek-compensation-over-brexit/

        “Australia said the extension of the U.K.’s withdrawal caused “significant commercial disruptions” for their businesses. “Many Australian businesses ceased exports of commercially valuable beef and sheepmeat in the lead up to Christmas,” Australia said in the meeting.”

        • acorn
          Posted November 15, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          Did you notice that there was no mention by the complaining members of Free Trade Agreements with the UK post Brexit? Particularly from the commonwealth/colonies, we conquered, pillaged and subjugated a couple of centuries back.

          If Brexit happens on 31/01/20, the UK will be free to negotiate and sign trade deals with countries where the EU has no trade agreement – such as the US.

          However, the UK will also need to negotiate a free trade deal with the EU to ensure continued tariff-free access to its market. Thus allowing the seventy-odd countries the EU has deals with, to know how much they have got to screw out of the much smaller UK, to make up what they are going to lose from the EU.

          • Hope
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

            At present the UK will only be able to negotiate trade deals on EU terms and rules because of level playing commitments. The EU does not want the UK to be more competitive and the Tory govt agrees!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Hey, why have smooth, problem-free trade with the world as a European Union member, when you can have continual disputes and strife, eh?

        • Edward2
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          The EU is and been involved in many WTO disputes with other nations.

  5. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I’m very concerned about the alleged dirty tricks being played on the Brexit Party by Tory head office.
    I’m also concerned at the likes of xxxxx being allower to promote a tactical voting website without having to declare funding.
    If it was for a Leave faction no doubt the Electoral Commission and police would be front and centre.
    Democracy it isn’t.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Ian, if xxxxx can do it why don’t you set one up on the leave side to promote tactical voting to balance? I guess you don’t have the financial backers though! Or the Russians or whoever else we like to blame nowadays.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      The punishment may be evident on the 13th. When and If the Conservatives find they have no majority but the SNP / DUP / LibnoDems hold the balance of power, we will be saying ‘if only a sensible pact was done with Brexit party’.
      Cummings/Johnson may be doomed to be kicked out at the first opportunity.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Sadly, I don’t think it’s worth worrying about the Brexit party after Farage shot himself in both feet, and arguably his own head. Any suspicions prospective voters for Farage from a Labour background (or indeed any other background) had about him being a Tory in sheep’s clothing are all too easily confirmed.

      Farage may be sincerely regretting standing down his troops, but the damage is already done and the situation is irretrievable. The reason is that Farage’s paucity of ambition has been exposed. He only ever wanted to hold BJ’s feet to the fire over Brexit (or at least try to; ask the ERG how that went). This talk of ‘changing politics’ was and is mere rhetoric. In Farage’s book, the Tories are alright, especially given they’ve nicked Brexit party policies, according to Farage. That says it all. Farage talked a good game for the most part, but when you’re on the ground, in the s#%t, fine words are meaningless; deeds are all.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        What a load of utter tripe.

        • Simeon
          Posted November 15, 2019 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

          I’d be interested to read your reasoning for branding what I said ‘utter tripe’. If you’re a Farage loyalist (not meant as an insult) then I can understand your loyalty to a man who worked and fought very hard in very challenging circumstances for what he believed in. I respect Nigel Farage for what he has done in the past. But I stand by my criticism of this past week. Everything he has said since standing down his troops illustrates just how needless and self-defeating it was. I cannot understand why on earth he did it, because everything else he has said and done I have broadly and strongly approved of.

  6. Shirley
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I have a question. Do you think the Conservative party are trustworthy? If so, why, when all the evidence indicates they are not trustworthy!

    ps. I don’t want the excuse that Labour are worse.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Not trustworthy? DC used the “reduce immigration” ploy more than once – all lies – and now BJ is using the same ploy, with no numbers. So If the official figures ( more lies ) show even a drop of ONE person -it can be claimed they did what they promised. Of course, the people they won’t have caught with the very expensive turned-off lorry x-ray scanners and all the undetected boats which arrive on the South coast beaches will knock the numbers back up.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Shirley

      Politicians are the problem not the solution . Its all snake oil, reverse ferret, straight-out fibs, obfuscation, pork barrel and boondoggle

      We genuinely would be far better off with vastly smaller government , ring fenced to provide essential services and social safety nets only

      Be like Switzerland

    • David in Kent
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      While I think it’s fair to say that there were several MPs, elected on a manifesto to implement the referendum, who did everything in their power to stop Brexit. I would say that this election is your opportunity, as a voter, to throw out those MPs and replace them with a new crop.

      • Gone with the Wind
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        If the electorate do not vote for Brexit via the Election then sorry, they will get what they deserve. We should all try to live in another country of choice. Our country will be dead and gone and all that is left for the worms are Remains.
        It happens. Cry a lot for Country lost. Then move on.
        My choice would be the USA but lack of funding may be a problem. I shall work on it. I shall not stay here in a United States of Europe whatever.

  7. Kevin
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I would like to discuss the election in general. Yesterday, Nigel Farage lamented the lack of reciprocity shown to him by the Conservative Party over the withdrawal of Brexit Party candidates from Tory-held constituencies. Apparently, the Conservatives want further concessions. I presume that they are not keen on Brexit Party candidates having the power to make laws for the UK. My question is: where were the hardball Tory negotiations when it came to agreeing Boris’ Deal, which, during the transition period, hands over precisely that power to a foreign government?

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      I’m puzzled that so many previously keen Brexiteers seem to have caved in to the idea of Boris’ deal. Brexit Central, Leave.eu, briefings for Brexit to name but a few have all said this is the best deal, and at least it gets Brexit over the line etc, etc.

      As Kevin just posted above…..” when it came to agreeing Boris’ Deal, which, during the transition period, hands over precisely that power to a foreign government?”

      Accepting any deal agreed by the EU has soooo…..many conditions attached, it’s not worth having!

      Why do we need to be closely aligned with the EU, Australia, Canada….they’re not?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        I have not “caved in”…

        The way our supposed democracy is setup in this country is letting us all down massively.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        They must think it is better than nothing.

        I think that a far better deal could be obtained by just leaving and then negotiating – it is almost as rancid as the May handcuff Treaty. The appalling treachery of the Hillary Benn Act ensured we got a duff deal. Rid of this we can do far better. It is not Brexit at all really. Yet many of these dire traitors will be back in parliament soon. Even some so called “Conservative” traitors.

        • Book
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:55 am | Permalink

          The best result is if Labour loses big-style and Old Mao McDonnell becomes the Great Helmsman, of the Labour Party fighting for workers and peasants.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Kevin,
      You are of course correct, BUT there was no exit negotiation because Mrs May and team were trying to hoodwink us into BRINO. Having at last got rid of her, we were expecting/hoping for, at least, a reset of negotiations; throw out the withdrawal agreement, tell the EU that we’re leaving on such’ a date, and PROPERLY PREPARE the nation for exit on WTO arrangements. BJ has, in his usual lazy way, gone for the easy option by trying to sell us a minimally modified May deal, and again trying to call it a ‘chocolate pie’ when in fact it’s a turd with cream on it.
      I would be happy to wait another 6 months, if that meant we left on WTO, AND we are properly prepared.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Well, it crossed my mind that the behaviour of the Tory party is rather like that of a school bully who takes pleasure in beating up a smaller kid but shrinks from a fight with an opponent who is more of a match, let alone with a stronger opponent.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      And when the results come in and we look at the number of Remainer Tories elected because TBXP have withdrawn Remains will say “See ? The People want to Remain !”

      I give up.

      Vote Remain get Hard Remain

      Vote Leave get Harder Remain (vassalage)

      This is the way of the EU. It’s over.

  8. Iain Moore
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic, but I see the Conservatives are doing their damndest to lose the election, again. The little I saw of Question Time (always a mistake) with Cleverly was like watching a slow motion car crash. The Conservatives always seem to put up people to speak on their behalf who struggle to string a sentence together without stutters and Umms and Errs , like Cleverly or Zahawi , which makes it easier for the BBC to interject with their interruptions, who never need much incentive to interrupt a Conservative trying to make an argument.

    The defense of policy is also pretty rubbish. I gather political parties have pretty whizzy people managing their campaigns, but it would seem that they don’t bother with ensuring politicians have the right lines to say, which as its politicians who are facing the public it is a rather large flaw in their strategy. Like yesterday with the NHS waiting time news, where I felt sure the Conservatives would raise the exponentially rising demand the NHS is having to cope with , with A&E seeing a 40% increase in the last decade or so, but no we got Cleverly umming and erring, but having just got beaten up on the Conservative record on the NHS, he then got beaten up over not having free movement , of course never putting up an argument about the demand problems this creates.

    Of course you politicians don’t do population sustainability do you, a rule I presume was put in place by Labour to stop people pointing out the contradiction of their policies, but I am at a complete loss to understand why the Conservatives choose to abide by the rule, for everything from housing , NHS, environment is tied together by the problems created
    by adding millions to our population.

  9. Ian @Barkham
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    I fully understand your concern. But, most of us, i.e. those that don’t ‘flip flop’ between beliefs realize that the MSM is like the UK Parliament so wound up in its own belief of purpose they no longer understand or participate in the real world. Their sole purpose is to sell, sell and sell the concept they know what they are talking about. So much so most of us realize none of them have got a clue – so their story lines become amusement.

    Of course a very small percentage are taken in, and they are the ones that win or loose an election.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      ‘a very small percentage are taken in ‘ – sadly I think rather more. Electioneering is after all how to convince the weak minded. With luck they may not remember the promises.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        It might at times seem to be a big chunk that get swayed but in practice 2% moving from one side to another results in a loss. 5% moving is destruction of the opposition. 5% moving in most constituencies is actually 5,000 extra count over and above the other side. Its the situation that if both side are equal and 1 person moves that is 2 extra on the other side.

        Most people made up there mind long ago and vote from the logic of a position, left or right, or they are entrenched in a position and it is just a thing they do.

        The ‘snowflakes’ are the believers in anything – primarily just the soundbite. To understand deeper for them would be illogical.

  10. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Sir John, this is a very good time to compliment you on your blog which is full of common sense. It is also a very good time to thank you for bothering.
    I am not a constituent. I have nothing to gain by saying this either.

    Reply

    Thank you. It’s a pleasure to help the public debate and great when some of the ideas find their way into public policy

    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      seconded

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Let us hope Javid does most of the sensible things you suggest post the election. He cannot be as dire as Hammond, Osborne, Darling, Brown, Clarke or Major as Chancellor but he does not inspire much confidence in me so far.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        LL. Oh, I don’t know, I expect with a bit of encouragement he could be just as bad.

      • Yes!
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:28 am | Permalink

        Javid and Patel are a good double act in my book. So far, so good. I shall hear what Javid has to say.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

          Kwasi Kwarteng would be far better than Javid in my opinion.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Smile
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:30 am | Permalink

      JR’s blog does not have competition. Just think how much better it would be if other MPs were literate!

  11. Polly
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Connect to Labour free broadband – Full of exciting government approved words to enslave your day………….

    Call 📞 the Communist Correctness Connection on 1984 to get yours now !

    Polly

  12. Iain Gill
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    OK can I pass on a question from a 10-year-old?

    What do you think about “sugar tax” being on mango juice? While similar putative tax is not on many artificial drinks?

    I am sure he will be interested…

    Reply Which drinks are exempted that he thinks should be taxed?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I am not sure he thinks any should be taxed more than normal VAT, but he is at school I will ask him later.

      But a lot of fizzy “diet” lemonades, etc, currently have no “sugar tax” while as I said Mango juice is taxed extra “sugar tax”.

      Doesn’t seem to be encouraging the healthy lifestyle supposedly the purpose of this tax.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Iain, That might be because a lot of fruits like Mango are very high in carbs and carbs turn to sugar. That does not mean I agree with the sugar tax. Just stating a fact.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      The sugar tax is absurd nanny state lunacy.

      It only seem to apply to drinks though not to tea or coffee with 15 sugars in them. Not to Jam, Treacle, Bags of Sugar, Honey ……. and anyway pasta, rice, potatoes, bread and all carbs turn rapidly into sugar once in the body anyway!

      Just another tax making some people buy the diet version instead but are these really better?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        No, the diet versions are no better. We have been brain washed as a society into thinking natural fats in food are bad. The science behind the fact that fats are good for you has been held back. Doctors are taught in universities funded by the pharmaceutical industry and it suits them to teach us that even when diabetic it’s ok to eat food that has loads of carbs in it. Madness. But it give back a good profit to the pharmaceutical companies with an unhealthy population. Many African tribes and the Inuits eat meat alone and think veg and fruit is only fit for their cows. They are much fitter than we in the western world. The USA began to get more diabetics and people with heart disease when this low fat craze came along. Natural fat found in meat, veg, eggs, butter cream etc is not bad for us and is nearly carb free. I wish the government would stop interfering. Doctors are under licence to preach what they are taught in universities and if they don’t they can be removed.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 15, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          It is interesting to note than when doctors go on strike in countries or regions then the mortality rates usually fall quite significantly. Then rises again when they resume their important works!

          Doctors can kill rather a lot of people it seems.

          • Fred H
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            LL — ‘Doctors can kill rather a lot of people it seems.’
            Only indirectly. People die waiting to see one, rather than a result of actually meeting one.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      It would be fairer to stigmatise self inflicted obesity (greed and laziness in the vast majority of cases.) As usual everyone gets punished and tax seems to be the only tool in the arsenal.

      I wouldn’t mind but the image of a victimised and shy fat person is mostly a myth. In my vicinity they are often the most arrogant and rude of people and are the workplace bullies.

      It is an environmental sin to eat so much that you become morbidly obese – eating what could sustain a family of 5 (as shown on TV last night) but you won’t hear the Greenists complaining about this disgraceful lack of self discipline.

    • agricola
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      The big sugar tax is levied by the EU on imported cane sugar that would otherwise compete with sugar from EU grown beet sugar. Rather than taxing the use of sugar in other product aimed at reducing its consumtion I would reduce its inclusion on a sliding scale over five years. At the end of which people would not know what they were missing.

  13. Polly
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Rewritten !

    ————————-Communist Free Broadband———————-

    Communist Correctness would ultimately make independent thought and communication literally impossible because correctness authorities would withdraw the actions and words required to express such aberrations..

    Every concept and human interaction would be rigidly controlled with meanings precisely defined by government rules and all non approved alternatives extinguished and soon forgotten. The process would still be continuing long after the British have tried but failed to escape the EU behemoth.

    Every year fewer and fewer words and the range of consciousness always a little smaller.

    Even now, of course, according to senior correctness officials, there is no reason or excuse for having independent thoughts, it is merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control.

    But in the end there won’t be any need even for that, because through Communist Free Broadband central authorities would enter our brains to prevent it and control us all..

    Polly and G Orwell

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    JR, this morning just reading the headline:

    https://www.cityam.com/business-leaders-join-forces-to-push-competitiveness-agenda-for-uk/

    “Business leaders join forces to push competitiveness agenda for UK”

    prompted memories of the EU’s largely unsuccessful attempts in that direction.

    For example, “Archived on 06/04/2010”:

    https://ec.europa.eu/archives/growthandjobs_2009/objectives/index_en.htm

    “The Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs was launched in 2000 as a response to globalisation. The idea is for the EU and its member countries to cooperate on reforms aimed at generating growth and more and better jobs by investing in people’s skills, the greening of the economy and innovation.”

    It is worth recalling here that according to the EU itself the regulations that it imposes on its member states are too costly, as mentioned here:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/11/07/what-do-free-trade-agreements-add/#comment-1069447

    Even if the 12% of GDP at the upper end of the estimates of the cost is too high, and even if Peter Mandelson’s 4% of GDP is about right for the cost but higher than the level of savings which would be feasible, it must help to have the freedom to set our own better regulations than continue to be forced to accept whatever it decided for the whole of the EU and moreover almost always by Qualified Majority Voting.

    However that Irishman Phil Hogan, the one who threatened that the Irish Republic would veto any proposed withdrawal agreement which did not keep at least Northern Ireland, and preferably the whole of the UK, under the economic thumb of the EU, now expects that consumers will insist on the UK keeping many of the EU’s rules:

    https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2019/1113/1090735-phil-hogan/

    “Ireland’s EU commissioner Phil Hogan has said British consumers will expect the UK to sign up to the EU’s labour, environmental and food standards as part of a free trade agreement for which he will be chief negotiator next year.”

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Here is the Statement of Persons Nominated for the Maidenhead constituency:

    https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/4647/december_2019_maidenhead_statement_of_nomination_and_notice_of_poll.pdf

    and I will take the trouble to go along to the polling station to spoil my ballot paper.

    As will my wife, who is not intensely political but does not want any one of that lot.

    • Polly
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      It seems rather a shame not to support the Conservative Party if one frequently participates on this interesting blog.

      Anyway, if the Conservatives don’t win.. enjoy the communism !

      Polly

      • Hope
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        I think I would vote for whoever was the best contender against Mayhab. The real battles are not safe seats but marginals. If you are near one, between Tory and another, campaign for the one who will beat Tory. They deserve it. After all Johnson put Tory MPs who defied the whip and will of the people back into their seats. Mayhab is exhibit A for selling out the nation.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Why would anyone want to vote for treacherous May. BINO with bells on
        She is a disgrace.

        • Polly
          Posted November 15, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          True…. but the thing about the Brits and their FPTP is that the establishment has it all sewn up…..

          ….so peeps often ending up voting for what they regard as the least worst rather than the party they really want.

          Under FPTP, most votes are wasted votes and do not contribute to the composition of parliement, whereas with PR it’s the other way around.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        None of the above is supporting the Conservative party Polly. And it is registering an opinion on the parties and candidates.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      What an appallingly dire choice I agree. Four dire PC lefty loons. One of whom lied that her putrid treaty was Brexit. Why on earth has May been allowed to stand? She soils the whole party brand (what is left of it) almost as much as the 10 Benn Act traitors who were allowed back in.

  16. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    If people on all sides would stop accusing their opponents of thinking any ill thought that they cannot prove that they are not, then the quality of public debate in this country would be markedly improved.

    It really is about one of the lowest of tactics by cynics.

    It is for a very good reason, that in the English legal system, it is up to the prosecution to prove their case, not for the defendant to prove that he did not do the act of which he is accused.

    • steve
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Except that we don’t want debate involving those who lost the referendum, we don’t have to – they lost and it’s majority rule. Tough, hard luck etc but that’s how it is.

      The best way to improve public debate in this country would be to ban the marxist left wing.

      Public debate should be between the public and the government they elect, and not involve the jealous, lazy assed want everything ‘without having to work for it’ serial moaners.

      “It really is about one of the lowest of tactics by cynics.”

      But not the lowest……that distinction goes to Labour.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Seventeen million out of sixty-seven million voted Leave.

        Parliament represents the other fifty million too, and the better MPs understand that.

        People like you won’t be involved in any serious discussions on anything, on the other hand.

        You even claimed that Wales had no national level of government.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          No, it was you who claimed Wales had its own Government.
          It has an assembly with limited devolved powers.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            I gave you the link to the Welsh Government, for pity’s sake.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            Just calling itself a Government does not make it one.

        • steve
          Posted November 15, 2019 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

          MiC

          “You even claimed that Wales had no national level of government.”

          Incorrect, what I said the following –

          Wales has what is called the Welsh Assembly, endowed with devolved powers of governance. Not quite the same thing as a government in it’s own right.

          But if you still insist, then perhaps you could tell us the name of the Welsh Prime Minister / President.

          “People like you won’t be involved in any serious discussions on anything”

          Because where I come from, when our freedom is attacked we’re not known for ‘discussion’- we’re more likely to sort things out in decisive ways.

          “Seventeen million out of sixty-seven million voted Leave.”

          And even less voted to remain. So tough luck mate, you lost get over it.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Marty

        Only 16 million out of 66 millions ( sic) voted to Remain so why has parliament spent the last 3 years representing a small minority ?

  17. Polly
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    So from ”EUobserver” let’s just precis what we know and can deduce….

    Well it looks really simple to me. I think it amounts to this……..

    Last January, Blair, Soros and certain EU guys apparently sat down round a table in Davos to discuss what they wanted to happen to Britain. Yet this has been kept secret, never been made public and Brits have no idea about it, and nobody knows, although I can guess, about the motivation factor, ie why that meeting happened.

    There it is. I think there’s a lot of evidence to support that opinion.

    Looks to me like a grade A political scandal !

    Polly

    • steve
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Polly

      It’s long been known Blair has been conspiring behind the scenes to stop UK departure from the EU.

      The question I have is; why ? what’s he scared of ?

      • Fred H
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Blur never got over the failure to secure President of the EU.

  18. agricola
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Yes I have a friend and neighbour who when Brexit is mentioned refers to you as my friend and then goes apoplectic (ape) on the subject of how much evil you will bring on the UK should Brexit become a reality. All totally illogical of course, I doubt he has read a word you have published. He is even worse on the subject of his wifes ex husband, but with some justification.

    I think I mostly know where you are coming from and agree with 95% of it. My only quibble is that you suffer from severe PCitous which tends to stiffle genuine discussion, the lack of which breeds the very resentments we all wish to avoid. In this respect I think you need to lighten up a bit as does the whole of PC UK. etc ed I WILL AVOID PRESUMING ANY OF YOUR OPINIONS AND AVOID PUBLISHING ANY OF THEM.

    Reply I am very happy for anyone to reproduce my views from this site with appropriate credit as this site is a free resource for the public debate. I am quite happy to void language which offends groups of people needlessly. I do not understand why some people on this site want to write abusive items about named groups of people or rush to make condemnatory generalisations. As you know I am quite willing to publish views I disagree and criticisms of my party and beliefs.

    • steve
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Wooah ! steady on guys.

      Agricola – It is not so much the PC, more a case that in running a forum like this there is always the risk of some litigious twit taking umbrage. It’s also a Lawyer’s world.

      I’d say in general our host gets the balance about right, even though quite a few of my posts get modded out.

      JR – people who work hard, pay their taxes and rightly expect good government find themselves badly let down these days. The country is divided between a majority who voted for freedom, and a minority who wish to deny that freedom to further their own selfish interests.

      Understandably there is a lot of anger out there, and I mean a lot. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but given that most on this site broadly share common sentiment I think it’s important we don’t fight each other.

      I’d say to everyone if your post doesn’t see the light of day, don’t take it to heart. It may not be obvious to you but there WILL be a genuine reason why it was edited / deleted. Also please everyone recognise that JR does sometimes stick his neck out over some of the things we post.

    • agricola
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Redacting what I said with etc ed. Only confirms your over sensive approach to jewish humour or anything else that defines people without denegrating them. As I said you need to lighten up. We are not androids.

      • steve
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        agricola

        “We are not androids.”

        I wish I was.

    • steve
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      agricola

      “Yes I have a friend and neighbour who when Brexit is mentioned refers to you as my friend”

      Yes I find that very annoying too.

      Boris does it a lot – referring to our ‘European friends’.

      They are not our friends, they want to keep us keep us in to fund their project, they don’t seem to recognise what our country did for them, and if we do manage to leave despite their interference they would try to break up the UK and screw us over to set an example to others.

      I wouldn’t describe them as friends at all, and I don’t think Boris realises the offence he causes to us by doing so.

    • APL
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      JR: “I do not understand why some people on this site want to write abusive items about named groups of people or rush to make condemnatory generalisations. ”

      How about this to assist your understanding? By and large, the things you people in Parliament do, adversely impact a large fraction of people in this country. If you’d been paid by results, all MPs ought to be on the poverty line or sitting next to a cash machine begging to supplement your income.

      But we frequently listen to blithering gibberish which passes for speeches in Parliament and we realise that we aren’t as fortunate as our forbears who at least had donkeys to lead them.

      And them to add insult to injury, you pay yourselves a fortune that 80% of you, if let loose in the Private sector could never in a million years hope to achieve on your own merit.

  19. MeSET
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Second opinion. The NHS Party. It NEVER costs its policies. It never costs the resultant economic consequences and social consequences of its policies. It is the most irresponsible political Party possibly in he known world.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      a bit like HS2 – – we just do it, never mind the implications, disruption, lack of costed controls, social impacts. A political hot potato.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Compare and contrast the service you get from vets for your pet dog with the service you get from the NHS.

      The powerful arms of medical “care” in the UK are the government, the NHS bureaucrats, the staff and unions, the drug pushing companies and the medical profession. They are a largely a conspiracy acting against interests the patients who have little or no power at all in the system.

      Many NHS hospitals are still killing patients by not even feeding them or giving them water either that or by giving them deadly infections (one of the worse record in the world for this). Also by sending them home when they clearly should not be. One survey of NHS workers ask if they would recommend the hospital they worked at to a relative and 75% said no. So they dropped that question.

      But “BBC think” and lefties have it as “the envy of the world”! Having said that the hospital parking muggers can be very efficient at their jobs.

      • APL
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “Compare and contrast the service you get from vets for your pet dog with the service you get from the NHS.”

        Be careful, the veterinary practice industry has changed dramatically. We may all have an image in our mind of the sole practitioner getting up at all hours of the night to help an animal in distress.

        That is no longer the case.

        The whole industry has been bought out and is now owned by a few multinational conglomerates.

        Private veterinary practices have practically ceased to exist.

  20. APL
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Did you see the introduction of the ‘impartial’ BBCs flagship NewsNight program the other night?

    It had Boris Johnson unveiling a plaque announcing “A & E waiting times the worst on record”. It was fairly quick, but that’s the point of subliminal suggestion, the BBC dressed there blatant bias up as a joke about the Tory handling of the NHS.

    You useless Tories, should you be returned with a majority in this election. Really need to do something about the BBC.

    As far as I am concerned, that ‘something’ should be to force it to a commercial subscription basis, NEXT YEAR, and transfer the ownership of its film and audio archive to the British Museum.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 15, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Newsnight is absolutely appallingly biased to the EU loving, PC, climate alarmist left – even by BBC standards. The NHS is however a disaster – like nearly all state run monopolies are. Free at the point of use makes patients just a nuisance and you inevitably get rationing by delay and non treatment.

      It would be even worse under Communist Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP as he will destroy the economy and will then have to cut the funding of it hugely – plus the state sector unions will take over yet again.

      • APL
        Posted November 15, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “The NHS is however a disaster – like nearly all state run monopolies are. ”

        It’s not helped by successive governments ‘open door’ policy which results in a finite tax base being expected to service infinite demand.

        Which brings us back to immigration. Which the Tory party is too spineless to deal with.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

          Indeed I say take the good people with skill or are self supporting and who are needed and not the bad, criminal or large net liability people. Is this not just common sense?

          Theresa May, for some idiotic reason (she never explained) ruled out a points based system – but it seem Boris will introduce one.

  21. Dominic
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Not enough is being done to warn the British people of the sinister nature of this entity some call the Labour Party. It is accepted by the media and in general that Labour is Labour as it always has been. This is a fallacious. Labour is a veneer and under the surface is a Marxist insurgency whose aim is nothing less than the total control of all and everything

    Marxist Labour’s plan to offer ‘free net access’ is disturbing in the extreme. If they do achieve power and bring under Marxist control the national internet provider you can wave goodbye to a free net

    And the previous article regarding planting trees. Well, considering the existential threat from Labour. It does beg the question what is going on inside the heads of Tory MPs if they think planting trees is more important than exposing the biggest threat to the British people since ‘you know who’

  22. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–In the nicest possible way, and despite my twice asking you (this is the third time), best I know you have never given us your views on the State Pensions of 50’s Women.

    Reply I have taken this matter up for people in the past and sent them my views.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      But not on this site so we could all benefit from your views as is your norm and as you say above. I don’t understand why this subject should be so different.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        And by my understanding 50’s Women’s pensions is going to be in the Manifestos probably of all three of the Tories Labour and the LibDems (at least) so would seem to be current and highly relevant relevant. Mystified at your response.

  23. Steve Reay
    Posted November 15, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Sir John I would like your opinion on what the conservatives will do the end the homeless situation in this country. Boris has managed to find billions but the first priority should providing a roof over everyone’s head. We’re wasted millions preparing for Brexit which never happened. I hope Boris gets in but wish for only one thing that homelessness is ended under the Tories.

    Reply Yes it is a priority and money is being allocated. Money can ensure there is a place for everyone to sleep in a hostel or other accommodation but it cannot make people want to use these facilities. The problems may be deeper rooted and need consent to tackle drugs and alcohol issues.

  24. mancunius
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    I found Boris’s response to Corbyn’s ‘national broadband’ idea far too unsubtle. The Tories need to pinpoint the undoubted madness of a *nationalised* Openreach – i.e. creating another pro-Labour unionised state behemoth – and the economic folly of a ‘free’ broadband network paid for by internet globals paying tax (good luck with that :-).
    Boris needs to be careful about so entirely dismissing this idea as a ‘communist scheme’ – which just makes it sound to Joe Voter as if the uncaring Tories want to do nothing about the disgraceful under-provision of fast broadband in the UK regions, while Tory Metroland plays ‘I’m all right Jack’ yet again.
    National broadband does need a national top-down solution – like transport infrastructure, or energy policy.
    BT has been pathetically useless since governments first called for rollout (in the 1990s). There is a standoff between government and the industry about paying the costs of roll-out. Most western countries discovered they had to tax-subsidise the initial one-offs to a very large extent, and bit on the bullet, while the UK’s roll-out has been at snail’s pace.

    What most people hate about Openreach is the fact that it already behaves like the old GPO, a soviet nationalised industry wreaking havoc, doing little good, and generally unaccountable to customers. And we now quite desperately DO need a universal national broadband rollout – whoever ends up paying for it – so that the problem of high house prices in London/SE can be solved: large numbers of networked professionals can then freely move to live and work anywhere in the UK. (And pay more tax – the only ‘social benefit’ politicians seem to have as their baseline these days.)

    Do you have any ideas for an economic financing solution, Sir John? Universal roll-out would cement the UK union considerably, and would surely be worth the initial cost.

  • About John Redwood


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

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