Contributions to this site

I was amused to see a contributor saying that in order to post his response more quickly I should write less often for my own site. That is not my plan. As I handle more than one issue a day I wish rather to put more onto my own site.

I am happy to allow contributors to post interesting views and disagreements. I am still getting too many long and too many repetitious posts, too many posts wishing to use aggressive language against named individuals and institutions or to download quantities of other people’s copyright material.

I will get tougher by simply deleting posts to make my task of moderating easier. Well informed posts and posts with different points of view are always welcome.

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  1. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Thank you John.

    There seem to be a lot of peer-to-peer replies which are completely pointless, because they miss the clear point, usually deliberately, that the commenter was making – Straw Men, I think they are called.

    We have seen the tiresome techniques endlessly, such as objecting to an alleged claim about a general position, where the poster was only dealing with the particular, taking an obvious metaphor literally, asserting implications, but on the accusers own premises, addressing a point that was not even made, and so on.

    It would make this site a better forum if fewer of those were to appear, I think.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 9, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps take your own advice Martin
      You post sometimes 20 times a day.
      Often just repeating that you don’t like Brexit.
      We know.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 9, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        And right on cue…

        • Edward2
          Posted January 10, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Well it was an open goal.
          Thanks Martin.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted January 9, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink


      Condemned from his own digital device.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      You truly do reflect the hypocrisy of your of you ilk Marty. Keep entertaining us because you rarely inform us.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Martin in Cardiff. Talking about yourself??? Can I also say that I and many others are fed up with the constant slagging off of pensioners on here.

    • NickC
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Alternatively, Martin, we just don’t agree with your opinions. I wouldn’t dignify your comments with the term “points” because you seldom, if ever, provide evidence. Moreover, commenters do not need your approval to address points other than the ones you fail to make.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink


      That’s new…a strawman’s strawman?

      …..but it is original and not copyright, John!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 11, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      I rest my case.

      • NickC
        Posted January 12, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Martin, As do I.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Boris was Championing “Synthetic phonics” at PM questions I think – a method of teaching English reading which first teaches the letter sounds and then builds up to blending these sounds together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words. Was this not always the blindingly obvious way to do it anyway? Though …….ough for example has seven pronunciations.

    Not so helpful for the very many totally irrational English spellings – So why not just spell them more sensibly and save children/people all that time so they can learn something more useful. It would be far, far more effective than just “synthetic phonics”.

    Words like Write, Wright, Knife, Ghost, Yacht, Know, Eight, Wednesday, …… what is the point of a U after every Q anyway? Why have a soft and hard C/K but not use them consistently as such?

    • eeyore
      Posted January 9, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Y? Bikoz speling remanes comon akros orl aksence, wile peepul reed bi looking at the shaep ov the wurd on the paij not its speling.

      But praps yur rite and r hoast shud rite his poasts like this so wee can orl understand him evun beter.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 10, 2020 at 2:50 am | Permalink

        But accent, the spoken equivalent to spelling, varies widely. Also we very sensibly do not have different pronunciations wright, right, write and rites or their, there, they’re or to, too, two.

      • Charlie
        Posted January 10, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

        heeya heeya

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 9, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      On the dire NHS delays reported today clearly we need to encourage more people or companies to pay for private care so as to lighten the NHS load. Or to give voucher to perhaps pay half the cost to people to top up and go privately.

      But we also need to change the way doctors are (very slowly) trained. What is the point of training surgeon of perhaps 10 years in nearly every area of medicine when all they might end up doing is endless repetitive eye operations, knee or hip operations, or other fairly standard things that one could train people perfectly well (to just do that operation) in perhaps just six months and for 1/10 or so of the cost.

      Also getting perhaps many more useful years work out of them. We also need to ensure that doctors that are trained (very expensively) in the UK are retained under 50% currently end up working in the NHS many even leave medicine completely as they can do better elsewhere.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 9, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        My wife has just been taken in by ambulance, spent a night in a ‘serious’ department, had multiple equipment readings etc – incl several blood tests, and finally when a very likely diagnosis was imminent, told the doctor (probably a consultant) would need to ‘see her’ before being allowed home. Some hours into the following morning she met and was told the findings over 2 to 3 minutes. Now the need to be discharged cropped up, a prescription to be raised, further hours, a transfer to a holding ward, an accompanied walk to a ‘discharge ‘ department. Finally a prediction proving correct that it would be 2 hours to get the drugs required for 14 days’ supply, requiring a visit to GP to have a routine prescription produced. So – 111 service efficient, ambulance crew superb, admittance to critical 24*7 and care attentive, but follow up processes poor in timing, waste of resources, inadequate pharmacy when everyone goes into the queue no matter what. Anybody spot the areas which might be improved?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 11, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          You are lucky to get the right diagnosis at all in my experience. Or indeed access to the right scans, tests and specialists.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted January 10, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        Very true.
        I remember seeing a prog about a common but unpleasant condition ( in Africa I think) that could be completely cured by one op.
        So they simple trained a whole band of non medics to perform just that op. and ended much suffering.
        Medical profession here has literally spent centuries trying to fend off competition thus ramping up reliance on Drs. and now they can’t cope with the numbers.
        Why not, as you say, train quickly and specifically and allow pharmacists to prescribe?

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink


      The three Rs spring to mind?

  3. The Prangwizard
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I was pleased to be able to see most of your contribution to the WA bill debate yesterday, and hope that sometime soon you will expand here on your views expressed concerning the need for greater recognition of England’s identity and political representation in parliament.

    I did write recently that I hoped you would be prepared to stick your neck out on the subject and I’d very much like to know how far you will be prepared to go towards declaring for a true parliament for England.

    • JoolsB
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Totally agree Prangwizard. Problem is although John purports to speak for England, he doesn’t actually believe in England’s right to be treated as equal class citizens with the rest of the UK with it’ own Parliament.

      Despite the fact England gave Boris and the Tories all their seats with the exception of 20, I guarantee recognition of England is not on their agenda and they will continue to do what they do already, deliberately ignore the rotten deal England, especially our kids and elderly, get both constitutionally and financially and they will also continue to ignore the English Question, the West Lothian Question and the skewed Barnett Formula whilst I can equally guarantee they will be dishing out even more powers to the other parts of the UK, powers England can only dream of.

    • JoolsB
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      John doesn’t believe in England having equality or an English Parliament Prang Wizard despite claiming to speak for England and he has deleted my response to you as I’m sure he will this one.

  4. This
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    This, sceptred I-sle.


  5. Newmania
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Your post may over flow with charm
    Exude a reasonableness and calm ,
    Acknowledge views that you don`t share ..
    Are, nonetheless sincere and fair.

    The epigrams of Wilde or Pope
    Better sums than Robert Chote
    Arguments that coax and please
    Your post may well have all of these

    But if you still support remain
    You won`t get published , all the same.

    • Pud
      Posted January 9, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      I trust you won’t think me froward
      If I should mention Margaret Howard
      And your argument is not so dandy
      As you have clearly missed out Andy
      Your recall you will have to smarten
      You forgot the man from Cardiff, Martin.

    • L Jones
      Posted January 9, 2020 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Not really true, Newmania, as we see your name popping up quite often!

      (‘Remain’ doesn’t rhyme with ‘same’. Sorry to be pedantic. Good effort though.)

    • Longinus
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      We’ve had 3 years of listening to remainers with daily project fear stories. Please bore off.

    • NickC
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Yes you do get published, despite the fact that you and other Remains here provide only tediously fearful, and repetitive, guesses about the future.

  6. margaret
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Not every comment is required to be a challenge. Agreement is good also . Not everything needs to be blurted out in scribe , some written down thoughts could be left until a later, more appropriate post. Emphasis or passion regarding issues doesn’t require childish adjectives to describe and project emotion. Swear words can be replaced by vocabulary which speaks of respect.Too much hype takes the comparison away between fervently wrong approaches to government control and actual important ongoing ethical issues.
    But there again it takes all types!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      But why should I respect views (on economics, energy engineering, science, climate and similar) that are clearly very wrong, do huge damage and have been clearly shown to be wrong? The government’s energy policy for example, gender pay reporting, over bloated government or Corbyn’s and Mc Donnall’s insane plans for the economy for examples. Even Corbyn cannot have believed in this lunacy. They just thought they could deceive, buy or bribe the electorate with lots of fake promises to give them other people’s assets.

      Respect surely have to be deserved.

      They and Labour deserved complete and utter contempt.

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    at its best this place is a virtual pot of tea being shared by friends

  8. acorn
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    What is the purpose of your website from now till the December 2029 General Election (GE)? Assuming the December 2024 GE will be a slam dunk for you and the Conservative party.

    Your regular band of commenters have served the purpose you intended; the Referendum and the General Election results have so proved. They are never ever going to come up with a well reasoned fiscal policy debate on this site; so, why bother with them for the next nine years at most?

    • Edward2
      Posted January 9, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      And you acorn?
      Is their any top limit to the level of public spending you would recommend?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      I think that John was perhaps already with you.

      He need not spend his time reading to moderate so many repetitive, erroneous, lengthy comments, which will at this time serve no purpose for his various causes.

      The thing which exercises many of his supporters seems not to be anything said by those who are pro-European Union, but just the fact that we still exist, as we do in our many millions.

      Well, they’ll just have to get used to that fact, and that our resolve to further our aims is ever strengthened, by the mounting evidence of the magnitude of the mistake that the country has made.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 10, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        You will get another vote in five years Martin.
        The way the Labour party are going it will be ten or even fifteen years before your lot ever get control.

      • NickC
        Posted January 10, 2020 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Your comment is a partial repeat of your one at the top (3:18pm 9 Jan), where you castigate those who disagree with you for the sin of disagreeing with you. Make your own points by starting with evidence and constructing a rational argument, instead of criticising the fact of others making comments about JR’s posts.

    • NickC
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, What is the purpose of your comments? Remain has not moved on from predictions of double, double toil and trouble made in the beginning of the campaign. And so far they have been wrong. Yet you are unable to say why this time it will be different. You can’t even say why that doom applies to the UK and not the other 165 countries outside the EU.

  9. NickC
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    JR, Off topic – my apologies.

    Just read the HoC Library note ‘WAB: the financial settlement’. Most payments will be over by about 2028 (75% by end 2023), except for the pension liabilities.

    Please seek to re-patriate the pension liabilities. There is no sense in paying the EU money which it then pays to UK ex-employees of the EU. The UK should agree to honour the payments directly. That takes away the “loyalty” clientele who could continue to make trouble here otherwise.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 9, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Exactly then impose a 100% tax on EU pensions!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 11, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        Ah, the Politics Of Envy, so beloved of the Right.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 11, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

          sarcasm, I assume.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 2:44 am | Permalink

      The pension liabilities are EU liabilities not UK ones. They are part of EU employees remuneration. If you leave a golf or tennis club you do not get a demand to fund the staff’s future pensions and nor should you. Do these people even deserve their gold plated pensions?

    • Iago
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      This does not contradict what you have just said, but it is worth emphasising that the pension liabilities are, I think, for all(!) ex-employees of the European Union, not just the UK ex-employees.
      Also, the EU pensions of UK ex-employees will not be taxable in the UK.

      I cannot think of a parallel for a nation signing voluntarily such an appalling surrender.

      • jane4brexit
        Posted January 10, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Thank you I did not know tax was not payable in the UK, but now you mention it I do recall reading that MEPs could chose where to be paid their pensions, thereby being able to chose wherever was most tax efficient for them. I notice you said “I think” re us paying for all ex EU employees and if you are interested have written below, how I understand that has (so far) been agreed.

        This all really needs to be more widely known.

    • jane4brexit
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      It will also mean money need not be changed from £’s to Euros which I suspect will always be done to the EU’s benefit with them in charge of the final details and as you say invalidate the loyalty required for life, while receiving EU payments condition. In fact there is an argument that because of that loyalty condition, anyone in receipt of an EU pension or other payment, should not be eligible to be a member of our government once we leave.

      By the way (sorry I have mentioned this before, but it seems to be generally not known) we are not only agreeing to pay the pensions of EU/UK staff but those of many other EU employees too. The EU/UK staff I believe are around 7% of all EU staff, yet the WA agrees to pay an average amount of what we pay now in the last years of our membership and this is estimated to be going to be around 25% of all EU pensions paid, some paid by us into the 2060’s.

      So paying only our own staff and MEPs is a far fairer and better idea for UK taxpayers, especially when our own pensions are being delayed longer and longer, often without notice.

      In addition all EU staff and MEPs have had salary deductions of up to 13.75% paid into the EU Pension Fund, which must amount to a lot by now, although the Fund is to be disbanded about the time we leave (coincidence?) and pensions are moving to being non-contributory ie: paid directly by EU taxpayers and as worded now, ex EU taxpayers us! So asking for the deductions taken to be returned to us, from the EU Pension Fund, would be a good idea too and even better with investment income or interest added.

      • jane4brexit
        Posted January 10, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        I forgot to state, probably for the reason it should go without saying, that we are not even liable to pay another’s pension liabilities. Only the EU is liable for EU pensions…another reason we should be demanding those salary deductions back…if our government is determined to make us pay them anyway.

      • NickC
        Posted January 10, 2020 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        Jane, I made the unwarranted assumption that the UK will only be liable for the pensions of UK nationals employed by the EU. My mistake. On reflection, I do think that is all we should be liable for, as you, Lifelogic, and Iago, say.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 11, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          The UK is bound by to whatever terms it solemnly agreed in the Lisbon Treaty and in other agreements.

          You don’t get this “honour” business, do you?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 11, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

            Those treaties cease to have effect once we leave the EU.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 11, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

            The Withdrawal Agreement is a binding agreement.

            One can call it a treaty for the difference it makes.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 11, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

            According to Cameron treaties are no longer treaties once ratified! This so he could (fail) to justify his blatant ratting on the Cast Iron Promise.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 12, 2020 at 1:02 am | Permalink

            You quoted the Lusbon treaty.
            It doesn’t have any legal effect after we leave.

            The Withdrawal Agreement is a separate new negotiated treaty.
            Which if ratified we will abide by.

          • NickC
            Posted January 12, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            Martin, No, it is you who doesn’t understand treaty law. The UK is bound by the EU treaties only until such time as the UK abrogates them. If we left tomorrow without any agreement we revert immediately to control of our own fisheries and EEZ, for example. Our only obligations are the ones undertaken when treaties are operative – so our financial obligations under the MFF continue until the expiry of the current MFF, even if we did leave tomorrow.

  10. Paul
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Surely there must be a mechanism to automatically limit responses to X number a day? Might solve the issue of having to post this type of blog every couple of months.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 9, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Sir John could use a notepad, with the key players names in rows.
      A simple tick for each submission – any more than the number he tolerates get the chop. Similarly the repeated theme get the chop – little evidence of that threat being carried out?
      That might also save me and a few others boredom, so responding to IMO nonsense or trolling.

  11. formula57
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Only in the contemporary era could there be such self-entitlement dosed with narcissism that leads to such a ridiculous plea as “.. a contributor saying that in order to post his response more quickly I should write less often for my own site”. I am amazed and amused.

    • Charlie
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      You put into words something along the lines of what I was also thinking. I respect the fact that this is John’s personal site for his personal thoughts and not some commercial front with a staff to go with it. There’s nothing wrong with a little delayed response here and there, and it can lead to more thoughtful, measured discussion overall.

    • Tweeter_L
      Posted January 10, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Yes, that is indeed very rich. I’m often amazed at Sir John’s forbearance but
      I should think he had a real laugh over that one – I certainly did!

  12. rick hamilton
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    As this site is headed Speaking for England I would welcome more of our host’s suggestions as to how the interests of the majority of the UK population could be better represented in the HoC. I for one am tired of hearing the endless whining of the SNP (with 1.2m voters) on their selfish obsession with independence, when the priority of parliament this year should be independence of the UK as it is. Why should they be allowed to vote on matters that affect only England?

  13. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Not trying to be saintly, but if I have a comment, I try to keep it short, and not post more than once on any thread, although I agree that some subjects may require more.

    I suspect that long winded, multiple posts, put off those readers who don’t have much time, and make it more difficult to moderate.

  14. Roger Phillips
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    What is really going to happen to our fishing industry post Brexit? We keep seeing media articles that the EU are not prepared to enter talks unless we give them access to our waters, however this was one reason that we the people voted to leave the EU. What is your opinion on this?

  15. BCL
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I am grateful for the insight and information you provide and for the opportunity to comment and express my own views.

  16. agricola
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Well it appears at 08.20 GMT on 10th December that you have taken the advice given, despite the somewhat inaccurate description of that advice. It was only proffered for your own convenience . Getting hissy was uncalled for.

  17. Irene
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I read the comment to which you are referring, JR. But my interpretation of that comment differs from your own. I confess that I have often wondered how you find the time to fit in all your commitments in the HoC, plus the workload locally in your constituency, and reading endless comments and replies here too. To an extent I can understand the suggestion put to you by one of your readers, even though I did interpret it differently from you.

  18. Iain Moore
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I note your tweet regarding the Today programme on our fishing industry, and accept your concerns about their defeatism. I hope your advice is taken to heart, for I doubt the British establishment could survive having traded away our fishing resources to get in the EEC, then trade them away again on our Brexit, for if they did it would show what a useless spineless bunch the British establishment are , who have right to lead our country. There are a few markers by which we will judge the Government’s EU trade negotiations, recovering our fishing grounds is one of them.

  19. Frankh
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Yakity Yak! time to give it up John- the damage has been done and you have played your part- history will record as a footnote alongside the other notables- like the Luddites

    So it’s time now for the UK to come apart as we will see over the next while, already starting with the Royal Family then Scotland then Northern Ireland- Nothing lasts forever- Yes- there’s been too much Yakity Yak! and now Boris thinks he’s going to get that equal partnership deal that we need and do it all in the next ten months- more Yakity Yak!

  20. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    You do appear to have several contributors who believe readers follow their comments rather than your own Sir John. I find it amusing but I can imagine their regular harping about moderation is annoying.

    I use my comments mostly as a conduit to inform the government through you of my needs from them. Often, like my request for my child benefit to be restored, it is a futile exercise but I am confident I am being listened to, if not heard.

    That is the beauty of your site and the posts that make it through add to the experience rather than being the experience.

    This is well demonstrated by this page being more commented on than the previous page detailing your speech in the withdrawal bill debate. That should be of huge interest to contributors.

  21. Peter
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    “I will get tougher by simply deleting posts to make my task of moderating easier. ”

    You have said this before.

    All that seems to have changed is the first poster is no longer limited to one individual.

    On the other hand multiple, long-winded posts from the same person are a familiar feature. You would think these posters might run out of things to say but that never seems to happen.

  22. William1995
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Can’t you set a word limit & number of posts a day from a user

  • 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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