The terms for a SNP/Lib Dem/Labour coalition according to Nicola Sturgeon and friends

I do not predict UK election results where I am taking part. The SNP and Lib Dems do, and are predicting a hung Parliament.  I see the polls as others do, and read that there could still be a hung Parliament where post election deals would decide how we are governed.  I hope that is not the outcome, given the disastrous last months of the last Parliament where no-one had a majority.

Meanwhile some parties are telling us how they would behave if the electorate voted for another stalemate.  Nicola Sturgeon has set out her terms to allow a Labour minority government to take office. She wants an early second referendum on Scottish independence, the removal of Trident submarines from Scotland and more money for the NHS.  Jeremy Corbyn probably agrees with the second and third, and Labour would doubtless finesse the issue of another referendum in order to get Labour into government.

Jo Swinson seems to have abandoned her rhetoric of expecting a Lib Dem majority. Whilst playing hard to get she has made it crystal clear she would not want to help a minority Conservative government, so it only leaves one option of Labour into office . It might well not be a coalition, but just allowing them to win confidence votes would be sufficient for Labour to take over.

The push for a second Independence referendum in Scotland would be disruptive. It would establish the idea that governments only accept referendum decisions they like and make people vote and vote again to get a reversal. It would invite further uncertainty over Brexit, with the parties concerned wanting a second referendum on that as well. It would plunge the country into another two years or more of constitutional wrangling and confusion, undermine  business confidence and get in the way of the new Parliament doing thigs to improve public services, grow the economy and pursue an strong and consistent  foreign and trade policy.

Now is the time for a clear decision. We need a majority government  to move on from Brexit and to remind the SNP they had their referendum and promised to accept its result.

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  1. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Given that both the SNP and LibDems want to deny the democratic results of once in a lifetime referendums, it’s pretty clear that if either of these two parties gets any traction we will be in one hell of a mess.
    Yet it was the Tory party that gave rise to this position by keeping hold of its past two hapless leaders.

    The country could pay heavily for all three parties’ behaviour, before even considering Labour.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      There’s no law that it has to be once-in-a-lifetime, nor moral reason why there cannot be another vote, though, is there?

      That is Labour’s position.

      However, I correctly called the last election, and – you can remind me of this – I think that Johnson will probably get a government majority roughly in line with YouGov’s last forecast.

      That would be interesting, because if so, then he would need neither the DUP nor the ERG to get through whatever arrangement with the European Union he chose.

      I also think that we would see the greenish Ultra Low Emissions Zone’s author and clandestine immigrant amnesty proposer social liberal too.

      His non show at the climate debate was a stunt.

      All those brexit party voters who switched to Tory would be chuffed to high heaven, what?

      Whatever, this whole anti-European madness will be remembered, for the rest of all time, as an entirely Tory-generated and owned fiasco.

      • Hope
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        JR, in 2016 Mayhab had a majority to leave the EU in accord with her Lancaster speech and moreover act on the will of the people.

        Your party and govt should take responsibility for allowing her to connive and collude with the EU to prevent the UK leaving. We know this because the dishonest Kitkat tapes show civil servants claiming they would hide the true costs and ties to the EU. We saw Chequers, Mayhab running off at night in December 2017 to meet in Ireland to make a mountain out of a molehill for the border issues.

        There were so many occasions where Mayhab should have been sacked. Even now allowed to stand rather than be investigated. Your govt and party is to blame for not leaving and creating dither and delay.

        Mayhab introduced “Red Ed” policies! Cameron tried to scare with him by the label he used. Your party is marching left, Look at your education policy to brainwash children of tender years on LGBT issues against parents wishes! Stopping free speech now being imposed by the left wing courts. There is little difference between the liblabcon. Brussels ruling for forty years, parliament being the mouthpiece. You made that point.

        JR, in your scare story who is responsible for not addressing the Lothian question as promised by Cameron? If England had its own parliament like the other nations in the U.K. would things be different?

        It strikes me the Tory govt is the problem to your anxiety/dilemma. It broke its promise to answer the Lothian question and instead made a less than half hearted fob in its place. It then gave more powers to Scotland and more money so that the minority 5 million Scott’s have more money spent on them than the main contributor of tax for the UK.

        The will of trust has ran dry.

        • JoolsB
          Posted November 30, 2019 at 1:58 am | Permalink

          Well said Hope. This Tory Government and it’s MP’s, there by the grace of England, have got no intention of addressing the WLQ or the skewed Barnett Formula that discriminates against every man, woman and child in England. Gove the other morning actually defended the fact England, the only net contributor to the UK coffers, gets far less per head than the rest of the UK. Unbelievable. They deny us the same rights to self determination that the other nations of the UK have enjoyed for the last 20 years because to do so would result in a cull in their numbers and a dilution of their powers and that’s far more important to self serving MPs than fairness or equality for England. They couldn’t give a stuff about the rotten deal England gets. They can’t even say the word England when they know damn well most of what they refer to only applies to England and you can be sure if the SNP end up governing England they will say and do absolutely nothing. If that happens hopefully the long suffering people of England will finally say they have had enough of a lopsided union that discriminates against them so badly on a daily basis. The Con/Lab/Lib parties are as anti-English as one another. England deserves better.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Will the second vote be Leave v Remain?
        No it won’t be.
        It will be Continuity Remain versus Remain.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          It would be Remain v. Leave under the terms approved by our sovereign, democratically-elected Parliament.

          Don’t you approve of democracy?

          You have not been asked about those terms.

          The ballot paper was silent on them.

          • Ben Millward
            Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

            We wont be leaving if we stay in the Custom Union and the Single Market. Edwards is right in saying remain or remain.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

            Shame you and they didn’t believe in democracy after the first referendum.

            Leave now is defined by Labour as remaining in the Single Market and the Customs Union and remaining under the supremacy of the ECJ
            The very beating heart of the EU.
            That is not Leaving in any sense of the word.
            At least the Lib Dems have the honesty to state their true position.

      • Dennisa
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        I think it is not anti-european sentiment but anti EU which drove the referendum result. You seem not to get the difference.

      • L Jones
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        Good grief, MinC. You sound so arrogant that it’s difficult to make sense of your maunderings! It’s called getting carried away with the exuberance of your own verbosity.

      • dixie
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Don’t recall you commenting on here before the last election, unless it was as one of your sock puppets.

        Perhaps you should provide the permalink for the contribution you are referring to prove you are telling the truth.

    • Hope
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      How abut the ten leave blocking saboteurs and former PM allowed back in your party? What about the 30/40MPs in your party who sabotaged leaving the EU on the fixed timetable in the treaty including cabinet and the Mayhab PM?

      Another scare story as part of project fear. How about dither and delay for the last three and half years and paying billions to the EU for at least 2028 when they will revise it (Art.140). Any dispute to ECJ!

      What is scary is agreeing to EU vassalage by your govt and subservient to ECJ forever and paying billions until the EU says stop! Who in their right mind would agree or sign up to this while claiming/lying taking back control of laws, borders and money!

      Could you tell us who authorised and sanctioned the military operation to seize the Iranian tanker in Gibraltar and its release? Was it the EU or UK?

      Is the UK accepting immigration from the rest of the world via the EU, hence the 212,000 announced yesterday, 150,000 of who from the rest of the world who are overwhelming our public services and are financial detriment to the UK taxpayer?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        The European Union has no military-related institution with any kind of control over national operations.

        If the UK remained a member, then it could always have vetoed any proposal to change that.

        No, very little immigration from the rest of the world arrives via the European Union. Nearly all of it comes here directly, mainly from the ex-British Empire.

        • L Jones
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          It’s difficult to make out if you’re ill-informed or simply naive.
          Let’s go for ‘naive’ – it sounds more forgiving.

          • dixie
            Posted December 1, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

            Why would the, according to you, peace loving ultra civilized EU require the UK to veto it’s ambitions for a military capability?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          MIC. Ive just been talking to a guy whose daughter and her husband work for a EU Commissioner. Apparently it is most certain that there will be a European army.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 30, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

            Yes, now that the veto-obsessed UK is leaving that would be more likely.

      • L Jones
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        The ten leave-blocking saboteurs, etc, were obviously bought – if they pledged to vote for BJ’s ”deal” then they’d be allowed into the fold.

        How lightly all these MPs seems to regard the word ”pledged”. Anyone would think they had no honour at all.

  2. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Ideally the Tories would get 300 seats and the BP 20 together with the DUP on 8. Then we would get a proper Brexit.
    An outright majority for Boris spells betrayal.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      I think your maths is wrong, as you assume that 300 Tories would be in favour of Brexit. I think if you reversed the numbers and there were 300 BP MPs there’d be a chance. But there is no chance of that now. Betrayal is inevitable because betrayal is the policy of every party with a chance of returning MPs. The electorate does have the choice of which betrayal though – who said democracy is dead?

      Reply The Conservative party will deliver Brexit.

      • Mark B
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        Yes. Just not the BREXIT we voted for.

        • glen cullen
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          and £39bn later will still wont have left till the 12th of ever

      • Pollen Counter
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        “Reply The Conservative party will deliver Brexit ” – excuse me, what is the saying, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. The Conservative party has been in power since 2016 and it has FAILED to deliver Brexit. You are not getting my vote again under false pretenses. Vote Farage!

        • Lester Beedell
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          I think that their failure to deliver Brexit is probably down to sabotage from the remainers?
          I thought that everyone was aware of that!

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        I’ll wager they don’t unless they have someone holding their feet to the fire.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        How is considering the interests of fifty million people, in addition to the wishes of those of seventeen million – absolute maximum – “betrayal”?

        Please do explain the basis for that remarkable claim.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          How many of those 50 million would have voted to Leave?
          Have you any data?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

            So you implicitly admit that the silly little vote in 2016 was just an opinion poll, and that it was only a 26% sample of the people, but you claim a representative one, so they are 52% for leaving, it seems to me.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

            The biggest vote in the history of this nation.
            Answer my question.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 30, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            No, turnouts were higher is post WWII General Elections.

            They were also legally binding.

            Get your facts right.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 30, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            Answer my question.
            Where is your data?
            Are you claiming everyone who didn’t vote thinks like you?
            For all you know they might all be leave supporters.
            And do you really think primary school children should get the vote?
            Turnout percentages isn’t the same as numbers of votes.
            Get your facts right.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        reply to reply ……Boris is going to deliver the awful WA mk2. I wouldn’t call that Brexit, and think the people who voted Leave do not want WA mk2.

        It is this that might prevent Boris getting a majority.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply. Yes, John, but is it going to be a real Brexit or a fantasy?

      • Thomas
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Reply to Reply

        Didn’t you miss “in name only” off your sentence, Sir John?

      • Peter Wood
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Sir John,

        Perhaps you promise too much? A Johnson government will deliver the ‘New May Withdrawal Agreement’ but I don’t think that can be called Brexit.

      • Bob
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        “Reply The Conservative party will deliver Brexit.”

        The Merkel/May Treaty is not Brexit, even with a couple of minor adjustments which Boris agreed. UK would not have any independent policy with regards to trade, employment, taxation, subsidy, and many other things, where such divergence would impinge upon a so called “level playing field” with EU countries. In other words UK is explicitly debarred from competing with the EU in any meaningful fashion.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        Every Tory now sanding has committed to Brexit. The BXP won’t get a single seat.

  3. Mark B
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    It is clear what is going on here.

    First they came for the BREXIT Party. They claimed that a vote for them would damage BREXIT as it would lead to a Labour government.

    Then they came after Labour. Pretty easy and self explanatory this one 😉

    Now it is the turn of the SNP. Yes, vote SNP and you will not only get Marxist Labour but, Scot’s Indy’ Ref 2.0 plus, EU Ref’ 2.0. We are back to where we were in 2010. This time only the names have changed but the same old game is being played out. And that is :


    Well you fooled a lot of people with that in 2010 but you will have a hard time doing it twice. Just saying 😉

    • Mark B
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      PS I would like to thank our kind host for letting my post from yesterday go first. That honour should have gone to LL. And thanks also for all those kind enough to comment.

      One is not alone. 🙂

    • Johnny Dubb
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Quite correct!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    A labour government or a coalition would be a complete and utter disaster for the country, the economy, healthcare, education and everything else and especially bad for England with the SNP tail wagging the Labour dog.

    The BBC reports that the IFS has found both Tory and Labour economic policies not to be credible. True perhaps, but the Conservative one is thousands of times more credible than the Labour magic money forest lunacy. Something neither the BBC nor their “experts” failed totally to address.

  5. Ian @Barkham
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    I agree we need a good solid majority, so we can get behind one story and move on, so to speak. However, the left leaning loonies(sorry about the language, but how else can you describe then) have promised everything for free, that no one will pay and magic happens by voting for them.

    If anyone believes that voting for the SNP/Lib not so Dems/Greens/Plaid/Labour is not a vote for a Corbyn Government, they are mistaken. They will all coalesce to prove their own self importance. Public differences are just grandstanding.

  6. Bob Dixon
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Boris needs a clear majority.However his new treaty W/A no. two is a disaster. The other parties live in cloud cuckoo land.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    The labour chap on Question Time made the point that the WASPI women made their contributions in full expectation that they were getting the pension deal when they came out so the government should honour that obligation.

    Well perhaps but a lot of people invested a lot of money and time in much needed residential rental properties to let out in full expectation they would provide some of their retirement income. Yet this same Labour Party proposes to effectively steal much of this capital and income off them by rent controls and a new law to make it impossible for them to regain possession or sell them for full value. This would be a disaster for landlords, tenants and indeed the economy in general. Government theft and extortion of private assets rarely does much to encourage inward investment.

    Reply European equality laws required the UK government to set a timetable for equalising the pension age. This was well signalled in advance.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      To reply and state pensions have alway been a blatant discrimination against men – this as men paid in far more (no career breaks and higher wages) but received far less pension (as they used to have an older start date of 65 rather than 60 and they live about 3 years less.

      The insane enforced unisex annuity rates are another blatant (EU pushed) anti-male discrimination.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      There was never any guarantee of the amount of state pension payable, so this is a feeble claim by these WASPI women. However equally daft of the hapless Cameron to accelerate the situation in 2011 unnecessarily. Another landmine strategically placed.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      It was, as a WaSPI Woman technically I stand to gain £50,000 if Labour win, however I know I wouldn’t receive a penny and that women born in 1960 would then be the other side of the cliff edge, so it’s a no from me.

  8. Richard1
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    In the event of a hung parliament, even if the Conservatives are the largest party, the right course of action for it would be to revoke article 50 and recognise that the people have not confirmed support for brexit. A second referendum is no solution as even if there was another leave vote, we have seen that a remain parliament will never vote for any meaningful brexit, only (possibly) for Brino. I do not think I would be alone in greatly preferring to forget brexit rather than have 5 more years of paralysis and then possibly brino.

    There would be howls of ‘betrayal’ of course. But the reason we had a hung parliament would be because there were not enough voters prepared to vote for the only conceivable way of progressing a worthwhile potential brexit, which is to vote Conservative.

    Anyone thinking of voting anything other than Conservative, eg for the Brexit party, should consider this.

    • William1995
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      I’ll summarise your post.

      Claim: “In the event of a hung parliament, even if the Conservatives are the largest party, the right course of action for it would be to revoke article 50 and recognise that the people have not confirmed support for brexit.”

      Justification: “But the reason we had a hung parliament would be because there were not enough voters prepared to vote for the only conceivable way of progressing a worthwhile potential brexit, which is to vote Conservative.”

      This way of thinking could lead you to justify almost anything regardless of the way people voted. For example, if the Lib Dem’s somehow became the largest party in a hung parliament, should the Lib Dem’s then be forced to leave the EU since “there were not enough voters prepared to vote for the only conceivable way of” stopping Brexit and revoking article fifty, “which is to vote” Lib Dem.

      Notice how you can chop and change your reasoning to enforce your own opinion on people regardless of what the majority votes for. This is a dangerous line of thinking that I’d expect is common amongst Marxists. I don’t know what your views on totalitarian states & Marxism are, but I suggest you be careful what you wish for.

      • Richard1
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        the point I am making is that any result other than a working majority for the Conservatives would mean it would be impossible to get any sort of sensible Brexit arrangement through Parliament. In such circs, remain would be preferable to more years of pointless paralysis, possibly with a Brino deal at the end.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      ”…. recognise that the people have not confirmed support for brexit…..”
      Obviously you seem to forget the result of a referendum we had in 2016.

      It should unquestionably have been the duty of our Parliament to act on this result – and it still is.

  9. Ken Leach
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Here’s one of the main backers of Brexit telling us that if we don’t vote Conservative there will be uncertainty! The nerve of it. Brexit has pushed this country into the biggest state of uncertainty since 1941, so don’t try to fool us into blaming anyone but you and your party for the mess

    Reply It’s not Brexit that has caused uncertainty but the forces of Remain in Parliament who have deliberately created uncertainty by trying to stop the decisions being implemented on time.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      reply to reply……it is not even that. The uncertainty in the country is due to being shafted by the EU for decades. The Ref finally allowed the people to voice what has been ignored by successive governments for decades.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Public opinion has been pretty favourable towards the European Union for decades, all except for during the media frenzy of lying propaganda against it during the referendum campaigns.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Hilarious propaganda Martin.
          You forget for decades the left was the most fervent opponents of the Common Market EEC EU
          With Corbyn one of the leaders of that opposition.

        • dixie
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Public opinion of the EU was never tested between 1975 and 2016

      • margaret howard
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Fred H

        “. The Ref finally allowed the people to voice what has been ignored by successive governments…”

        That’s not how the Scots or Irish see it.

        We’ll be left a rump England with about as much importance on the world stage as Liechtenstein.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          MH – – really? So the Scots loved the EU stealing their fishing rights and livelihoods did they? The mad SNP ( a minority party!) hate the English but accept being bossed by Brussels….amazing isn’t it.
          The Irish (republic) certainly liked EU, we travelled about and witnessed and were told that the EU paid for ‘all’ the houses to be repainted and roads to be improved….etc What’s not to like…..of course in recent years they want to stop new members getting the handouts.
          If you don’t like my posts at least state facts.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink


          It’s generally agreed that there was such a thing as the French Enlightenment, and the Scottish Enlightenment etc., but scholars seem to concur that it never quite reached England.

          We see the evidence for that in these comments quite often.

          In that sense Scotland enjoys a higher international stature.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

            You need a new history book.

        • MB
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          I wish that I lived in Liechtenstein.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          Ah I see your ridiculous”rump England” statement is making a comeback.
          Some rump with 85% of the tax revenues, GDP and population.
          Still no real majority for independence in either Scotland or Northern Ireland
          You forgot to mention Wales.
          I was wondering why?

  10. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree with that more! The only option on the table must be to support the Conservatives.
    This week, by the way, we have had two cases of robbery with violence – one threatened at a cash point the other at knife point outside a local Christian centre. Both in the middle of the day.
    I have been around here a long time and can never remember anything like that in my own lifetime.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Boris was very sensible not to take part in the absurd Channel 4 Climate debate. Lots of very daft art graduates politicians and Corbyn (a Polytechnic drop out) talking complete and utter drivel about climate, energy systems, net zero carbon dates, bonkers “lagoons” in wales, solar, wind, wave, tidal and home heating systems.

    Not a sensible physicist or engineer to be seen alas. Three female academics top scientists introduced as leading climate scientists at the end. Still rather little sense even from them – but then so much of academia relies and climate alarmist funding from the state – I would guess non were solid honest engineers or physicists certainly not climate realist ones for sure.

    Where is a sensible physicist like Corbyn’s brighter brother Piers or a Richard Lindzen type when you need one? I suppose Gove (an English graduate who wants VAT of school fees) would have come out with much the same drivel.

    The programme started of with irrelevant pictures of floods, storms, fires, high tides in Venice and a sadly burnt koala bear – as if we did not have any of these issues before we started mining and burning coal, oil and gas (or old bio fuels as I call them). I could never see why all the green loons all believe that burning a kilogram of new bio fuel (wood) is apparently good but burning old biofuel (and using the wood to build something instead) was bad. Same C02 output a bit more heat from the coal too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Sorry is seems Siân Berry did read material sciences – so she has even less excuse.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Ah, the old Ducking Stool logic, so beloved of right-wing Leave voters.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

          As the election nears and the result looks clearer I see you getting more and more cross Martin.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      With respect, I think you’re wrong – or at least not entirely correct. BJ should have been there to defend Tory policy. But then how do you defend the indefensible when you’re an arts grad incapable of speaking coherent English, and incapable of telling the truth?

    • Mark B
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink


      Common sense will resume once people are forced to choose between heating their home and putting food on their table. The Chattering Classes have the upper hand now but, when people get angry these lot head for the hills and the second homes.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Well will sense resume? We have had this insane group think religion for far too long. Even Mrs Thatcher fell for it.

        It started shortly after they gave up on threatening us all with a new ice age.

    • Ed M
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      The evidence that I can gather from Cambridge University (that I published to you before on this site) and most leading scientists is that climate change by humans is a real issue.

      But there are THREE ways we can approach.

      1) The lefties with fantasy approaches to climate change
      2) Clunky, lazy capitalism about keeping the status quo i.e. burning lots of fossil fuels.
      3) Smart, hard-working, entrepreneurial capitalism which sees this as an opportunity to make lots of $$$$ whilst having loads of FUN (but challenging fun) in the spirit of enterprise to create the technology of the future that will solve these environmental issues. That we can have our cake and eat it, except that it will take a lot of hard work / imagination / perseverance / guts to get there (like sending the first man to the moon or Sir Francis Chichester sailing around the world aged 67 with cancer etc ..).

      But we need to make it as easy as possible for tech entrepreneurs to create the technology of the future.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes we should make it easy for new technolgy innovations but rolling out duff uneconomic technology early with tax payer subsidies/bribes is very foolish indeed.

        The climate has always changed and always will. C02 and mankind clearly have some effect on climate – but the world’s climate sensitivity to C02 does not appear to be very high at all. The predictions by the alarmists have proved to be gross exaggerations so far. Millions of other things can also affect the climate and many are unknowable like volcanic activity and sun activity. Predicting the climate for 100 year is clearly not remotely realistic if you cannot even do it for next month or next year. We do not have all the data we need and even if one did you could still not do it far too many butterfly wings about that could change things.

        Renewable make virtually no difference at all to man made C02 emmisions. CO2 is great for crop, plant & tree growth as is higher preciptiation and a slightly warmer temperature anyway.

        If we did ever need to cool the earth reducing atmospheric C02 would be a very inefficient method indeed. Just adapt if and as needed it by far the best and cheapest way to go.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          There are thousands of better ways to spend money and save lives than wasting it on reducing C02.

          See How to Spend £75 billion by Bjorn Lomborg for just some of them.

  12. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Scotland decided to vote to leave the Union how would England (and the rest of the UK that was left) agree terms.

    Would we play hardball like the EU have with us because Scotland may well be a member of the EU !

    Would there be a border between England and Scotland given Scotland wants to be in the EU.

    The same logic would surely apply to Scotland as in Northern and Southern Ireland with regards to tariffs and single market etc etc.

    Would we allow use of the Pound Sterling,

    What share of the UK debt is Scotlands.

    Would some of our UK Government Departments be withdrawn from Scotland.

    Would we still place orders for ships with Scotland.

    How about the Armed forces ?

    Has anyone really thought about this, if not perhaps they should.

    Scotland should be careful about what they wish for.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Or would Scotland and the EU simply walk away and impose their own solution !

      Food for thought for our Politicians ?

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

      bring it on!

    • Johnny Dubb
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Also, using Sturgeon’s logic:
      Regions of Scotland who voted to remain in the Uk in a Leave UK majority would of course expect to stay in the UK or have another referundum?

      Scots who voted to remain in UK in a Leave UK majority would lose their UK citizenship against their will? Would they? Really? As dual passport holders they would have access to public services on both sides of the border. Nice!

      Of course we would need a hard border. People smuggling from the EU and further afield would be huge.

      Sturgeon would need to replace 60p.c. of exports and thousands of govt. and military related jobs.

      Forecast: Bankruptcy, a large ECB bailout with OIL of course the collateral. Bring onIndyref 2!

    • Mark B
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      The vote to Leave would have been far higher. There would not have been 35 SNP , 7 Labour and 4 LibDems (all Remain) MP’s to vote through bad legislation. Scotland would have to agree to its burden of debts prior to any currency union with the rUK. Scotland, prior to joining the EU, would have to have its own currency and reserves. To achieve this, they would have to both cut spending and raise taxes as there will be no Barnett Formula etc to rely on. There will have to be a border between Scotland and England especially if Scotland ever manages to join the EU. And finally. Would the Scots want to join the EU, surrender their fishing grounds, their new found independence and lose their new currency as they will have to adopt the EURO.

      I hope the SNP do get Indy’ Ref’ 2.0 and that this time, they vote the right way. 😉

    • majorfrustration
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Perhaps the English should be given a vote on Scottish Independence. Certainly I would be happy to see Scotland go its own way towards the bright horizon of its overblown ego devoid of English financial support.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Alan Jutson

      Would we play hardball like the EU have with us

      If we don’t the SNP will walk all over us. It is in their DNA. Since the formation of the Union Scotland has lived on handouts from the English Parliament. They will want everything and then more. If the Scots and the EU join forces to circumvent the hard ball effect then the real Scottish people will be the ones that suffer. All they want the EU for is the handouts that they saw going to Eire. In their minds eye it is the money tree to life, until the payments start going back the other way. Their debt burden and high tax policies plus independence will see billions of pounds walk out of the country on the press of a button the night of the referendum for independence is seen to be going their way. Be like the EU treated us give way on nothing.

    • Original Richard
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      The SNP have continually argued that the UK cannot leave the EU with “no deal”.

      So I presume they will agree to not leave the UK with “no deal” and hence are happy to continue with negotiations with rUK until rUK is happy with their side of the deal.

      This could, for instance, include the rUK keeping Faslane in perpetuity as a military base.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Yes, there would be lots of serious problems.

      They were entirely foreseeable in the event of a Leave vote, and it is yet another reason why the Remain campaigns warned that voting Leave would be an utterly silly, reckless thing to do.

      They were quite right, it appears.

      • Dennisa
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        As we haven’t implemented the result of the vote, there is nothing upon which to base your comment.

  13. Simeon
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I have no time for Heseltine’s politics, but he at least recognises the importance of Brexit; he’d rather see a left wing government than Brexit. I remember your position was that you’d rather see a left wing government than no Brexit. So what changed?

    The best you and your party can muster is scaremongering; don’t vote for the other lot. There is no positive case to make for voting Tory; you yourself have tried to make such a case and have failed, floating some good ideas that we all know are not, and will not, be adopted as Tory policy.

    The Tory agenda is getting Brexit done (by shackling us to the EU – worse than being a member with at least some influence, albeit not much); more hospitals (which is inaccurate; a few hospitals that are falling apart will be patched up; more might be at some point in the future if they manage to sell enough tickets for the tombola); more coppers (which is a lie, as the new recruits will not replace those lost over the past ten years); and more nurses (though not nearly enough, and even in announcing more nurses you couldnt help but lie, with almost 40% of the ‘new’ nurses actually being retained nurses; laughable! Pitiful! Contemptible!)

    And your leader, returning to theme of fear, is scared of scrutiny. He refuses to be interviewed by Andrew Neil, perhaps because his record is indefensible, and even if his position were defensible, he evidently lacks the intellectual agility to do this. He ran away from the debate yesterday, again because he is incapable of defending Tory policy. And this is a pattern replicated throughout this campaign. Your leader is a joke, your policies are a joke, and this country is a joke as a result.

    Some say this is the Brexit election. Some say Brexit is beside the point; it’s not about leaving or remaining, but about respecting the public vote, about respecting democracy itself. I would say that democracy in this country doesn’t need to be respected so much as it needs to be revived. Our democracy is dying, and your party’s antics are, more than anything else, killing it.

    Do you not see this? Do you not see the contempt with which your party, even more so than the others, who are undeniably appalling, treat the electorate? This cannot be justified by claiming that elections are a game that need to be played and won, and if you have to lie and cheat to win, then the end justifies the means. Apart from anything else, the lying and cheating continues long after the election is over. Indeed, it never stops. This is what your party has become. Your party Sir John.

    Reply The Conservatives offered Michael Gove for the Green debate because he is the specialist with the knowledge that comes for having run the relevant department. It was a disgrace we were denied a voice in that debate. I disagree that we are negative. I have been remorselessly positive about what I and the Conservatives wish to do next for our country. I also disagree that the leadership will not back my ideas. They have come round to my view that prosperity, not austerity, is the aim of policy. A lot will follow from that. Various ideas from my Brexit budget proposals are now Conservative policy.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,

      Thank you for replying. I must push back on this.

      First, Gove is no specialist; he is a politician who was briefly in post at DEFRA (where he hardly covered himself in glory). Why not put up Theresa Villiers instead?

      Second, Gove is not party leader. It was a leader’s debate. BJ should be perfectly capable of giving voice to the Conservative view in the same way the other leaders could.

      Third, I agree that it was a disgrace that the Tories were denied a voice in the debate – but it was self-denial. BJ had every opportunity to change his mind and appear. Gove turning up was a publicity stunt, recorded for posterity and propaganda purposes – and a most unimpressive stunt at that, unless the aim was to amuse…

      Fourth, I am aware of your remorseless positivity, but positive thinking doesn’t make bad policy good. Not being familiar with the details, I can happily concede that you may have influenced some peripheral policies. But of course this does not alter the general direction of policy.

      Fifth, prosperity not austerity is a soundbite that is surely beneath you. Of course prosperity is better, but it’s just like having a policy of life rather than death. How are you going to live is the question.

      Thanks again for your reply. I appreciate you at least being willing to be held to account.

    • Stred
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      You were lucky that Gove did not appear. He thinks that the teenager, that Corbyn’s brother described as an ignorant brainwashed child, is ‘our conscience’. Gove is an ignorant whether vane and is mislead by the Green zealots in his department. Two thirds of the electorate despises the extinction loons and does not believe that we have to trash the economy im order to do virtually nothing to make any difference, or that the computer models are going to be any more accurate than they were in the past. They have already been altered twice to match the real small increase in temperature.

    • Paul Cohen
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Simeon –
      Putting aside all the hyberpole for the moment, the only credible party with a sensible team are the Conservatives.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Prosperity, freedom and choice please. Prosperity will follow from a clean Brexit, large tax cuts, a much smaller state, cheap reliable energy and a bonfire of red tape just as day follows night. But is Boris a low tax small state person or just another fake like Cameron?

      With a Corbyn/SNP/Libdim agenda a Venezuelan economy will follow – just as night follows day and without even much sunshine.

    • Original Richard
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Simeon : “I have no time for Heseltine’s politics, but he at least recognises the importance of Brexit; he’d rather see a left wing government than Brexit.”

      Mr. Heseltine recognises that it if we remain in the EU it won’t matter who has the most MPs at Westminster as our Parliament will no longer be making our laws or our trade, taxation, foreign, military, energy, environmental, infrastructure or immigration policies.

      Remaining in the EU abolishes the UK citizens’ ability to influence their laws and policies by removing their ability to elect and remove those who make the decisions.

      • Simeon
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Quite. And yet the Tories still try to scaremonger. How Marxist could Corbyn be whilst the UK remained in the EU?

        • Original Richard
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          No sane person would vote for a Marxist whether we were in the EU or not.

          Membership of the EU and the Euro is no protection as Greece has demonstrated and in fact makes a return to sanity even more difficult.

          • Simeon
            Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

            Just to be clear, I’m not endorsing a Labour government, regardless of who is leader – though even if Corbyn were both leader and PM (and a thoroughgoing Marxist) I think there is no chance of him pursuing a Marxist agenda because his own MPs wouldn’t allow it. Moderate Labour MPs would act as a brake in the same way the 21 Tories that were expelled did.

            What I will say, without apology, is that Corbyn as PM is better than BJ for the simple reason that BJ would push through his WA, wheras a Labour government would result in remain. Again, to be clear, this would be a betrayal of democracy, but at least we would have the chance of Brexit at a later date.

          • Fred H
            Posted November 30, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            Simeon – – Moderate Labour MPs ? – -care to point us to some? Might be even harder after Dec 12th.

  14. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Change of subject. Who do those Channel 4 bosses think they are? The Conservative Party was entitled to put forward its best spokesman for the climate change debate. It is a subject on which Michael Gove knows far more than Boris Johnson, a fact that Channel 4 should have accepted. Yet another ‘independent’ institution is due for purging after Brexit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Indeed but what about the endless bias of the BBC too. Question Time and Any Question average always about 5 to 1 remainers to leavers. The BBC coverage of climate is entirely alarmist and wrong. Never is any climate realist scientist allowed on to question their endless one sided alarmist propaganda. All their presenters are clearly left wing other than Andrew Neil who is middle of the road. No one is to the right of him at all. Look at all the dire lefty Newsnight presenters.

      Also listen to the lefty bias of Dorothy Bryne of Channel Four a good interview podcast with Iain Dale Book Club.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I am beginning to believe that the Left has actually formed a strong, parallel, ideology-driven government. ( Complete with fascist “ antifa” army!).
      A state within a state.
      Ready to stage a total coup.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Seriously? And are Corbyn, Swinson, etc. their party’s experts on this policy? No, of course not. That’s not the point. Leaders of political parties should be sufficiently across policy to debate and defend their position and attack opposing views. And though policy detail is important, you also get a measure of a candidate by seeing how they perform in debates – especially those held in hostile environments. BJ is an awful debater and an awful media performer. And his policies are rubbish. This, together with his lead in the polls, determined the decision to no show.

  15. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Friends?? Leave it out John. There is no way you can describe the SNP as friends. They do everything they can to hold England back. Most of them hate us and that goes for around half of Scots too. Try living there. It soon becomes obvious yet they get bunged a few million here and there to appease them and keep them in the union. Why? I would be more than happy for them to get their referendum and go. I am sure they will get all their demands from our weak government. It’s time they got their nose out of English politics and shut up. It’s time to reevaluate the Barnet Formula. They get a good deal compared to the English if they want Brussels as their master, so be it. I don’t think they will be as generous as Westminster has for centuries.

    Reply We gave them a referendum and they lost. Prior to it they confirmed it was a referendum for a generation.

    • Stred
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Give the referendum to the whole British electorate. The English would then banish the whinging windbags and the country would be better off with a Conservative government everywhere except for the big city socialist republics, which could then be strangled.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Then offer them a People’s’ vote then ? They clearly did not know what they were voting for.

    • steve
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink


      I’m surprised he let yours through, we say similar and he deletes.

      Mind you in referring to Scotts Nats as our friends, he’ll be throwing a lot of votes.

      Boris does it too, often referring to the EU as our friends.

      Neither the hateful SNP or the EU are our friends. People like John Redwood and Boris Johnson don’t seem to realise how offensive that is to the average English punter.

  16. Andy
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I am very much enjoying the stage managed row between the Conservatives and Channel 4.

    The climate emergency is, by far, the biggest issue for young people. Teenagers, Millennials- pretty much everyone under 30, considers this priority 1.

    It is also an area where the Conservatives (and Brexit Party) have no policies of note except to pretend it is not happening. This is possible when the people who vote for you are stubborn and gullible.

    It would have been deeply unpleasant for Johnson to have his lack of policies exposed on a stage where those involved actually care. It also made sense for C4 to refuse to accept a non leader at a leaders debate. And the block of ice gave the most accomplished performance I have ever seen from a Tory.

    Today No 10 (presumably the unelected Mr Cummings) is telling us C4’s licence is at risk. This, of course, alongside the BBC being at risk too – and also with Mr Johnson set to ban legal cases he doesn’t like. (I am very pleased I have a property abroad I can escape to as this descent into authoritarianism progresses).

    But is it all distraction because today we are talking not about Johnson’s woeful performance or the lack of Tory climate policies or the informed, mature and sensible debate the other leaders had. Instead we are talking about blocks of ice. Classic Dom.

    Reply So why wouldn’t C4 allow us to field the person Boris thought best to state the case? How is that democratic?

    • steve
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink


      “I am very pleased I have a property abroad I can escape to”

      Andy, just a suggestion – why not go there and stay there ? Sounds to me like you’d be happier anyway.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Why wasn’t Pele allowed to play for England, John?

      • Edward2
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Because under FIFA rules he only qualified to play for Brazil.
        Did you not know?

    • steve
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink


      “Reply So why wouldn’t C4 allow us to field the person Boris thought best to state the case? How is that democratic?”

      I’ll comment on this, JR: It’s because C4 is not an organisation that supports democracy. It is and always has been a socially subversive and very often a highly offensive organisation.

      They and their friends at the BBC should have their broadcaster licences revoked.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      You say “The climate emergency is, by far, the biggest issue for young people. Teenagers, Millennials- pretty much everyone under 30, considers this priority 1.”

      Perhaps we need to increase the voting age to 35 then or perhaps you can only vote after you have paid £2ooK in taxes!

      Well only the young deluded ones who have been brain washed or conned by the BBC, the education system, certain “charities”, governmental and state funded international organisations, daft virtue signalling politicians, the crony green industries, the David Attenborough, Emma Thompson or Greta types. The ones who do not understand physics, logic, chaotic systems, energy generation systems, solar activity, the science of the atmosphere & climate …… The ones who think mainly with their emotions rather than their brains like most actors.

      The one who have not understanding of the very long history of climate changes, sea level changes, the history of species extinctions and the likes. The ones who use words like “sustainable” when almost nothing is really that sustainable.

      Much drivel from Mc Donnall today about creating green jobs with “government” investment wind farms, solar, electric cars, lagoons and the likes. What a deluded dope. Expensive energy is a job destroying & industry exporting policy. Every green job you “create” probably destroys three other real jobs. Let the market decided when renewable and electric cars make economic sense fine.

      Pushing duff, premature technology with tax payer funded bribes and expensive energy market rigging is hugely damaging. Also government “investment” comes only from taking money off people who would have used it far better has they not been mugged.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      “The climate emergency is, by far, the biggest issue for young people. ”

      No it isn’t.

      (words left out ed). (which I have to pick up.) They buy clothes at cheap outlets and throw them away when they get bored with them.

      The BBC have made this Brexit deadlock breaking election about the ‘Climate *Emergency*’ – as though how we vote on the 12th flicks a switch on climate change. It doesn’t. We are a tiny part of the global economy.

      So here’s just some of the confusion from them:

      – Houses are getting cheaper since we voted Brexit, so without even having it yet we are starting to see good effect, yet young people prefered more expensive pre Brexit ones. Really ?

      – Young people want millions of houses built and yet billions of trees planted too

      – Young people want mass immigration yet our carbon footprint reduced at the same time

      – Like Andy, the young like bargain bucket air travel to the EU and the threat of losing it was one of the big arguments against Brexit for them.

      It’s the BBC that has made climate the #1 ’emergency’ issue and (yet again) taken control of the agenda. Well sorry to break it to you. There isn’t anything fast going to happen about climate in the world whatever the result of our general election.

      This has got ridiculous. A biased broadcast agency (often using a little girl as a human shield) have taken control of a general election which was meant to have broken the Brexit deadlock in Parliament.

      How is that democratic ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Now it’s got to be “vote for a politician on their climate change policy” and not their Brexit policy (which is what this election is meant to be about.)

        Well we know why the BBC want the election run this way. Whenever Boris talks ‘hard Brexit’ (in actuality nothing of the sort) he steals a march on Corbyn.

        Most greenist candidates are Remainers. So the BBC has changed the agenda in a sly way to get more Remainers into Parliament.

        The Greenist’s position is full of flaws as I have mentioned in my previous post (yet to be published.)

        The BBC is unwatchable. Even its drama and comedy (especially its drama and comedy) is laced with political propaganda.

        It is not entertaining. I distrust its news and documentaries.

        For proper entertainment I have to go for channels such as HBO. Thankfully, for the truth, there is a variety of good reporting on the internet.


        The BBC licence is outdated.

      • Andy
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Gosh. So much anger towards a teenage girl. Are you feeling alright?

        • Ginty
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          Lefty using human shield as usual.

        • steve
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:37 pm | Permalink


          And what of your anger towards little old ladies ?

          Pot & kettle as they say.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      The climate emergency the biggest issue for young people? Still, there are in the region of 800,000 new driving licences issued each year. So it seems they just about all want their share of carbon footprint.
      If the young people are concerned about the climate, where is the “refuse to be driven to school, we must walk or cycle” protest? What about a protest against immigration – more people into a country that already doesn’t grow enough food to feed the population, despite having chopped down most of its forests since the middle ages – where is the sense in that?
      I’ve got a new slogan for them – “Plant trees, not houses”.

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

        Most even have trouble switching their lights off or wearing a jumper rather than putting the heating on. But perhaps that is just mine.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      It was clearly a stitch up between C4, a partisan left-wing media organisation (despite enjoying the privileges of being a ‘public service broadcaster’) and Corbyn. Designed to deny the Conservatives a voice in the debate and to ridicule and traduce Conservative policy. Of course leftists like yourself will cheer. But in a democracy both sides of an argument need to be heard. You’ll get load cheers in the leftist echo-chamber, but you’ll have lost votes in this one.

      The complaint to Ofcom is entirely justified.

      • steve
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        Richard 1

        “The complaint to Ofcom is entirely justified.”

        …and is also totally a waste of time.

    • Andy
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      It was a leaders debate. A debate for leaders. Micheal Gove lost the leadership race. Stanley Johnson is the leaders dad. I suspect a debate for losers and a debate for leaders’ dads would be most entertaining. But this was not one.

      I have to say though the block of ice was the most impressive Conservative I have seen.

      Reply Leaders can usually nominate representatives. What if one was ill?

      • Andy
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        He wasn’t ill. He was scared.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Is there some sort of legal requirement for attendance, which I might have missed, nodding off during endless H of C diatribe?.

        • steve
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:43 pm | Permalink


          “He wasn’t ill. He was scared”

          Likely so.

          Probably scared of Nichola Sturgeon.

      • Doug Powell
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Stanley Johnson was invited by C4 to be present in the spin room for post meeting comments – he was not nominated by the Tories.

  17. Kevin
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Then why not have a pre-election pact with the Brexit Party? You have said it yourself that, “To a leaver the WA is not Brexit”, “The Withdrawal Agreement is unchanged”, and “The Withdrawal Agreement without the backstop is still a bad Treaty”.

  18. TomTomTom
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Very hypothetical question:

    Suppose there was a hung parliament with a minority Labour gov, propped up by the SNP and as part of that a deal for an 2nd IndyRef WHICH the SNP “Won”

    At what point would the Scottish MPs lose their seats and be unable to vote in the UK Parliament? Because at that point Labour would almost certainly lose it’s the ability to resist a vote of No Confidence by the Conservatives, who could form a government without needing an election and simply reject any “deal” that Labour / SNP had agreed between themselves.

    As the SNP believes that “No Deal” is a catastrophe … they’d be unable to proceed with their separation.

  19. Old Albion
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Whoever wins this election should grant the SNP their second referendum. Hopefully this time they will vote to leave. They won’t be missed.

    • Eunice Ridley
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      I have a group of people around here who will gladly help rebuild Hadrian’s Wall!

      • Doug Powell
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Eunice, I appreciate your friends’ sentiments, but I feel they are overgenerous! If the Scots want separation, let them build the wall, preferably in granite – and pay for it!

        Incidentally, building it along the line of Hadrian’s Wall would gift the Scots much more land than is their right!

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        You need to check your boundsries. Hadrian’s wall is not the boundary. If you are taking about security, build it just south of Edinburgh/Glasgow.

  20. Everhopeful
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    The Tories had better win…not make any stupid mistakes with only a couple of weeks to go.
    They have weakly overseen the rise of utterly shambolic and disgraceful politics from the Left…supported it even. And the Left’s “gratitude” for their weakness is carved in melting ice!!!
    ( Some say the Tories are nearer Liberal Democrat’s than Conservatives).
    Apparently they are terrified of anything 1 degree Right of Mr Corbyn.
    I would suggest that, thinking of history, what they should be terrified of is the CHAOS they have benignly and indulgently “tolerated”( ahhhhh!).
    BBC and C4 are also examples of their over indulgence.

  21. Dave Andrews
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    If there is a coalition headed up by Labour, I can at least hope that they will all fall apart with disagreement, and the daft manifesto will fall by the wayside.
    If the country delivers a Tory majority, then we have BRINO and we are stuck in a never-ending implementation period, having given the EU a blank chequebook.
    Even if Boris is lying and will actually take the country out at the end of January with no agreement signed, I don’t have confidence that the front bench consists of anyone who should be let anywhere near trade negotiations. All the talent seems to be relegated to the back benches.

  22. a-tracy
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party have had ten years to do something about Channel 4 bias and didn’t.

    The Conservative Party have had ten years knowing about voting fraud, you have been warned about students thinking they can vote twice, one in the University town and once in their home town but have done nothing.

    You must put out advertisements or the electoral commission must to make sure young voters are under no misapprehension that they have ONE vote, if they make two (and checks will be made on close-fought constituencies they will be criminally charged and fined.

  23. Iain Gill
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    But you are asking us to vote for IR35, uncapped intra transfer visas for skills in oversupply, no action against the corrupt financial ombudsman service, less control over our own lives as more power is handed to CCG’s, education authorities, housing and planning departments, etc.

  24. bill brown
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    It is all very well questioning the opposition and their plans, but according to the IFS the proposed spending plans by the Conservative Party are totally out of proportion to the fiscal rules you have set up and are not affordable either. So let us all try to stay on a realistic footing.

  25. Mick
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Getting a little bit fed up hearing the snp spouting on about a referendum on independence, you had one butt out you lost like the snowflakes who want another referendum on the Eu , also butt out you to lost, no doubt when the results come in for the General Election and if it’s not to the losers likening they’ll be screaming for another vote, all I want to see is a big majority for the conservatives so as to get us out of the dreaded Eu because leaving it is a chance in a lifetime because it won’t come round again in any form the political parties and Europe would see to that

  26. Gareth Warren
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Here our terms with the EU in the WA2 positevely encourage the Scotish to become independant.

    Were a similar deal done with a newly independant Scotland we would see them leave with many of our financial assets, a payment for Faslane and requirements the UK adheres to Scottish standards.

    I believe Labours turning to brexit may have another benefit (other than sinking them in the polls) if we have a frank and open debate about the WA2.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I don’t suppose you’ll be interested, but the editor of the Maidenhead Advertiser has given this heading:

    “No candidates truly believe in Brexit”

    to my offering this week, which in its last two paragraphs also bemoans the fact that the Irish had Leo Varadkar in charge while we had a useless bunch leading our side.

    “There is no question that Mr Varadkar has done a cracking job for his country, and we might be tempted to regret that it was impossible to arrange a transfer for him to take over the management of our side.

    However it has to be recognised that in reality he has only succeeded because our shower have allowed him to succeed, whether or not there has been active collusion behind the scenes.”

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      He succeeded, because he had the twenty-six other most civilised nations of four hundred and fifty million people resolutely behind him.

      Think about that.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        That would have little difference if this had not been the case:

        “While the Tory candidate, who previously campaigned to remain in the EU, now supports a dangerous variant of the crazy deal she herself struck in an attempt to at least temporarily appease that foreign government, as well as her party’s supporters in the CBI.”

        What would the EU have done if she had stood up to them?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          Who is “the EU”?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 30, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

            Answer the question.

            What do you think the EU would have done if she has stood up to them?

            Stopped selling us tyre pumps?

            Cut off her supply of insulin?

  28. formula57
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    And as we contemplate full of hope and confidence our future journey unshackled from the Evil Empire, why would we wish to take Scotland along?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      As far as I’m concerned, Scotland is very much a part of the “we”, and a far better one that say, Thurrock, Boston, or Clacton.

    • bill brown
      Posted December 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Formula 57

      I think you should look up the definition of empire before using it

  29. Polly
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    To discover the reason for the determined promotion of Scottish nationalism, it is vitally important for the British to think outside the box.


  30. BJC
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I can’t help thinking that if Mrs May had been more astute and converted the referendum dialogue into one about constituency majorities, we wouldn’t be in this position. She diluted the Brexit vote through acknowledgement of the individual “rights” of the losing side and gave Remainers traction, perpetuating their cause. By contrast, I live in a strong Labour/Remain/Green area so my views never count, but I’m still obliged to accept the result of the majority with equanimity.

    I’m hoping that if Mr Johnson secures his majority something can be done about refining an electoral system whereby people only feel empowered when voting tactically for what they don’t want, not for what they do want. I might have an opportunity for my voice to be heard, then.

  31. Billy Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I am still suspeciouse that any government has the guts to get brexit done. Sofar it has been soooo desperate.
    But maybe next Tory Government is able to do it.
    Unless Corbyn steals the show.

  32. Paul Cohen
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Putting aside all the hyperbole for the moment, consider that the only credible party with a sensible ream are the Conservatives.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Please do give examples of hyperbole. To be fair, I won’t ask you to justify your suggestion that the Conservatives are in any way sensible as they patently aren’t.

  33. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    One of the major reasons to abandon the Brexit Party is it’s incoherent attitude to referenda. It demands we accept the result of the Brexit Referendum and concurrently states that it wants to overturn the result of the Proportional Representation Referendum.
    Let’s hope this is Mr Farage’s last shout. We need all Brexit supporters to join the Tory `party and get it straight again – it’s been totally lost for more than 25 years.

    • Shirley
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      We never had a referendum on PR. The option given was AV (Alternate Vote) which is just another version of FPTP, or stick with FPTP. That’s avoidance of democracy, just like we always had a choice of one pro-EU party or another pro-EU party … until UKIP came along.

      • John Brown
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        I believe it was a shame that the country did not vote for AV when it had the chance because :

        1) The winning candidate will have received 50% or more of the votes. FPTP cannot provide this and is more democratic than the wrong outcome occurring for a constituency through vote splitting, as well as being bad for democracy in the long term.

        There would be no need for the current farce of tactical voting.

        2) It still enables a constituency to be represented by a specific MP who can be removed at the next election (or before through re-call) if the voters wish. PR cannot provide this.

        It is already used for the election of police commissioners and in modified forms for the election of the CP leader and the HoC Speaker.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      There has never been a Proportional Representation referendum.

      None of the forms of PR were offered to the electorate in 2011.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        So a very minor change to the current voting system was proposed and even that was firmly rejected by the people.
        Yet you reckon a major change of the current voting system to PR would be popular.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          I know quite a few people who are very pro-PR who voted against AV because they consider AV to be no better (and sometimes worse – the Electoral Reform Society calculated that, had AV been the system in use, the Conservative majority would have been larger than it was under FPTP).

          All the surveys in recent yearas have shown a majority in favour of having a system whereby the proportion of MPs in Parliament relates to share of votes cast.

          If you truly believe the public, given a vote on the matter, will reject PR, then give us the opportunity to.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

            Where are all these pro PR surveys in recent years you talk about Peter?
            It isn’t in my power to arrange a vote on PR

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted November 30, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

            They’re on the internet and if this site allowed me to, I’d happily post links to them.

            Typing “uk surveys proportional representation” into a search engine of your choice will provide you with results which show support for what I say. Interestingly, so does searching “uk surveys retain FPTP”

          • Edward2
            Posted November 30, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

            Were the surveys done on a PR basis?
            No one asked me.
            I feel disenfranchised.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      “At present, the UK uses the “first past the post” system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the “alternative vote” system be used instead?” Where is there mention of PR? There isn’t any because AV is not PR. You are wrong and Farage is right, unsurprisingly.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Lynn . . . . not a chance – dream on.

  34. BOF
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I have never been more depressed about an election with the choices I face and it does not help that the election should be about Brexit but has now been turned into a spending war between a socialist Conservative party and a Marxist Labour party with a huge dollop of bogus climate alarmism thrown in.

    Labour will keep us in with retaining membership of the SM and CU. LD’s would simply revoke Art 50. Meanwhile, are we to believe that the May/Johnson ‘deal’ will get us out of the EU? In spite of your optimism Sir John I am more inclined to believe the findings of several other legal minds that it will not for a very long time, allow the UK to leave the EU.

    Once again, faced with a choice between absolutely dreadful and pretty bad, I feel disenfranchised. Should I bother to vote at all?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Hold your nose like me and vote for the Tories unless you are in Boris’ constituency – then vote for whosoever will beat him!

  35. JoolsB
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    The elephant in the room here is what happens if England votes Tory and yet has SNP MPs governing them whom no-one in England can vote for all dictating policies which will only affect England such as health and education and all the other devolved matters. Matters that those same MPs will bizarrely have no say on for those who did elect them in Scotland. Are 550 UK MPs squatting in English seats still going to say nothing and watch England get shafted? This is why England must have it’s own parliament the same as Scotland so only those elected in England get to make decisions for it and start standing up for a change unlike now. It’s a shame those UK MPs squatting in English seats are more interested in their own survival and the Westminster gravy train than finally doing what is right for England by demanding an end to the rotten deal deal England gets post devolution both constitutionally and financially from UK Governments of all colours, this Tory one included.

  36. glen cullen
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I am more concerned about what will happen when the conservative party win a huge majority and go hell for leather for Teresa Mays WA and political declaration, again today BJ reaffirmed that all MPs are behind the deal

    • Fred H
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      well shame on them…party (or job) before country again.
      Boris – Truth or Lies?

  37. Iain Gill
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got the mass produced printed copy of the letter from Boris.

    My son, who cannot vote, has got a hand written personal note from Boris.

    Makes me laugh, and puts me in my place in the world.

    At least Boris is trying I suppose.

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    JR, you haven’t mentioned the DUP:

    “The DUP — which propped up the Conservative government in Westminster after Theresa May lost her majority in 2017 — refused to support the Brexit deal struck by Johnson because it would entail checks on some goods traveling to the rest of the U.K.

    The deal would keep Northern Ireland subject to EU customs union rules and some single market rules, despite it being included in trade deals the U.K. strikes with other countries.”

    ““The DUP voted against Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and we will use our votes and our influence to oppose its dangers to the economic and constitutional position of Northern Ireland,” he said.

    Dodds added the party would not hand Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Downing Street in the event of a hung parliament after the December 12 election. Foster said on Monday that the DUP could do a deal with Labour but only if Corbyn is booted out of his job.”

  39. Pud
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    The SNP’s oft-repeated claim that Scotland will be dragged out of the EU against its will could cause them a very large problem in the event of another independence referendum. In the last referendum (was it really a generation ago?) some areas of Scotland e.g. Dumfries and Galloway, Borders and Orkney voted by over 60% to stay in the UK. If in a future referendum they voted the same, but the majority of Scotland voted for independence, would they be dragged out of the UK against their will?

  40. APL
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Andy: “The climate emergency is, by far, the biggest issue for young people. Teenagers, Millennials- pretty much everyone under 30, considers this priority 1.”

    Sitting next to me in the office are two under 30s, I’ve just asked them if they are worried about climate change.

    100% of my sample said ” Nah! not bothered about climate change’, although one did say he wouldn’t mind a bit of recycling.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      I’ve just done the same test with two under 30’s – Nope on climate change, their biggest worry is never getting a pension and dying at work before they retire and paying back all the big bills everyone wants to borrow to spend next term.

  41. Mick
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    So the conservatives have put a complaint in about channel 4 justifying too, but what about putting a complaint in about the Eu bias BBC , every time there’s a panel being QT or daily politics it’s mainly remainers of the Eu , the bbc should be shut down or be self funded

    • Fred H
      Posted November 30, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Mick – – Boris must make time for Bills to be readied for dealing with them.

  42. margaret
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Since you are the foremost Brexiteer, you should stand again for PM . John Major was your rival previously but you have mountains more experience than him now.

    • Stuart K
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Sir John would make an excellent Chancellor.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 30, 2019 at 4:54 am | Permalink

      John Major was wrong on almost everything and JR has been right on almost everything. But in politics going with the wrongheaded group think is often the way to senior office. Why on earth did the Conservative party allow John Major to be Chancellor and then PM when he was so clearly extremely dim and wrong on almost everything? Then, even after this became even more clear, they still retained him when he “resigned” so he could bury the party Labour 418 Conservatives 165. All entirely predictable. What a dire quality MPs we have in general.

  43. agricola
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully such irrelevances will fade with a Conservative victory on 12th December. The only question then is how do we choose to leave the EU. It is the key to the future of a sovereign UK.

  44. margaret howard
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink


    “The push for a second Independence referendum in Scotland would be disruptive. It would establish the idea that governments only accept referendum decisions they like and make people vote and vote again to get a reversal.”

    The first Scottish independence referendum took place BEFORE the UK disastrous Brexit vote. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to Remain and it is therefore essential to establish the wishes of the country.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Furthermore, the “pledge” offered to Scotland by the Tories on which the stay vote was based was torn up before the last votes were even counted.

      That would reasonably have included a veto on any exit from the European Union, and for Wales, and for NI.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      MH …. but sometimes with poisonous limbs it is necessary to cut off more than the directly affected part to ensure any possible spread is dealt with.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      It was accepted by all concerned that it was a once in a generation referendum.
      And there is still no majority in polls for independence.
      But several questions the SNP always avoid will need to be answered first.
      Will the SNP explain the arrangements for reducing their budget deficit down to EU required levels and the incresed taxes and austerity needed as a result?
      Will they explain that a border between Scotland and the rest of the UK may be necessary to cope with different levels of taxes and tariffs as the EU have found vital for Northern Ireland.
      Will they tell voters what currency they will have and who controls its issue supply and interest rates?

  45. Helen Smith
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    We didn’t vote for a hung parliament last time, that’s is never an option on the ballot paper, I hoe to God we get a Tory majority this time, just by 1 seat would be enough.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 30, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Helen – – no it wouldn’t – do you really believe the latest Tory MPs, or even the previous ones claiming to be Tory would support the Bills put up by Boris’ government? I sense further ‘crossing the floor’.

  46. BillM
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    The Scots decided in 2014 that they did not want to leave the UK and become independent. The SNP at the time told us that it would be a once in a lifetime vote and the result would be accepted.
    So how is this SWcittish woman now going to exp0lain that her PArty lied to the electorate and now want to do the rounds again and again until the people come up with the right answer?
    Or is a ‘lifetime’ in Scotland now reduced to just 5 years? Things must be bad up therre under DNP rule.

  47. John Payne
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    You put a convincing argument but it lacks sincerity when your Conservative party are doing everything to stop the Brexit Party from gaining Parliamentary seats in constituencies you know you will not win.
    I can only deduce your Party does not want to leave the EU and are looking for excuses to blame others.
    Prove to me otherwise

  48. Derek Henry
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    The SNP are not offering independence John.

    It is long overdue you did a piece about why signing up to EU rules is capture not independence in any sense of the word.

    By the way, I have wanted independence all my life and I will never vote for them again.

    I wanted to break away from London for all the same reasons I want the UK to break away from Brussels.

  49. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 30, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Three recent polls have shown Labour’s vote share up to 34%, with the Conservative lead down to 7% or 8%, bordering on hung parliament territory. If that doesn’t worry you, it ought to.

    The Conservative Party has not been thorough enough at attacking Labour’s programme and attitude. Negative campaigning works. There are three major lines of attack, using rational arguments that should register with intelligent but apolitical people.

    The first is on Labour’s economic programme and the wholesale loss of liberty (and wealth) that would result from it. Attack line 1 is that financing capital expenditure wholly by borrowing has disastrous financial (cash flow and debt interest) implications. Attack line 2 is that the expected increase in revenue from Labour’s proposed tax increases has been hugely overestimated in the grey book. Attack line 3 is on the nature of the people who would be controlling business under Labour.

    The second is on the consequences of Remaining in the EU. The EU is dynamic, not static. The evolution towards a full blown Federal European SuperState, both in the past and in the future, is well documented in past treaties (particularly the Lisbon Treaty), in bilateral military co-operation (the recent Franco-German agreement on a European Army) and in the Five President’s Report, not to mention the remit of the ECJ.

    The third is on immigration. Labour won’t impose any control, even if allowed to.

    Negative campaigning works – just look across the pond. Go to it.

  • 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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