What you are most interested in

Over the last few weeks the two blogs that have attracted the most comments were about illegal immigration and the future of the EU.

I particularly enjoyed the indignant comments of a handful of contributors who daily condemn U.K. voters for voting to leave the EU. They argued I should never comment on the EU now we have left. It is apparently too delicate or precious to withstand normal analysis and comment. These are the same people who regularly condemn USA policy when the U.K. is not a member of that Union either.

I will return soon to the state of the project to ever closer union, as it is important and of general interest.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    To me the most important topic is how to get the economy going again and how to avoid a Starmer/SNP government in four years time. No sign from Sunak or Boris that they are anything other than tax increasing, borrow even more and waste it, pushers of ever bigger government, totally misguided climate alarmists, interventionists, red tape spewing, nanny state socialists so far. Clearly no understanding of how to make the UK competitive.

    We need the complete reversal of these policies to win the next election. Heath, May, Major were all disasters at the ballot box. Thatcher won three elections (four really with Major as her man) until people rapidly sussed out what a dim, misguided fool Major was with his ERM fiasco (still even now no apology).

    We also need far fewer duff and worthless degrees (not the 9000 more at university if seems we are getting). No one should be going without at least three Bs at A level and non (other than in a few badly needed areas) should get cheap student loans (that usually end up as grants). A massive culling of duff universities and duff courses is needed. Let people pay for their own hobbies in their spare time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      We also need to cull the countless parasitic jobs that are endlessly created in the state sector and in the private sector by idiotic employment/tax/landlord & tenants laws/ health and safety, landlord licensing, the attack on the self employed, the absurd complexity of the tax code, the duff university degrees and the endless unfair competition from the subsidised state sector health care and all the other sectors I mentioned below.

      Perhaps most important is to sort out the dire lefty, climate alarmist, identity politics, PC woke lunacy and propaganda that pours out of the BBC and misleads millions every single day.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

        We also need to tackle the state sector gold plated pensions racket which is a huge burden for the private sector wealth creating sector to carry. Why should the state sector (that produces so little of real value) get pensions often 10 times the pot size of the average private sector worker? Why should the pensions cap rules discriminate heavily in favour of state sector manly Defined Benefit schemes and against private sector mainly Money Purchase ones.

        Why too are landlords (and thus tenants) even taxed on profits they have not even made?

        • Hope
          Posted August 15, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          JR, I would like you to explain truthfully why your Fake Tory Govt. Has failed to deliver over ten years on key policy issues and promises it made at three elections. Instead of making specious propaganda be truthful, straight opand honest with your bloggers.
          Structural balanced deficit by 2015. Central economic plank we were told. Deliberately abandoned and now much much worse. Highest taxation in fifty years with worst public services.
          Cut immigration to tens of thousands- currently highest immigration in record as well as illegal immigration.
          Brexit not delivered after four years! Lots of strap lines, deceit and lies. Johnson just gave extra pensions and titles to those who betrayed the nation, govt and your party!
          Save the NHS- go clap, why has your govt. failed to deliver health tourism, waiting lists rise and now those who suffer and suffered from cancer, heart disease etc abandoned and likely to die as a consequence of your govt. policy.
          Law order and criminal justice no longer fit for purpose, could any party or govt in history have done worse.
          Why has your govt. embarked on insitutinal child abuse through the Relationship, Sex and Education Act starting in September, would it be safer to keep children away from school.

    • agricola
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      To a minority our none existent immigration policy and our inability to carry out the policy much talked about is an ultimate business opportunity.

      First there are the hapless immigrants, largely economic, who can be milked in the.process of getting to the UK. Would it not be cheaper to get on an airliner and fly into LHR. The reception would be much the same.

      Then there are the ancilliary businesses requiring cheap labour. The Leicester garment trade for one, where they get prayed upon by their own nationals.

      Finally there are the sex and drug traffickers who can prey very profitably on illegals.

      My answer is to institute an immigration policy that works and to follow the money that is generated by illegal immigration. Ultimately this will be below the horrizon, what you see are only the footsoldiers. Once identified, hit it hard.

      • beresford
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t we pass a law that said that if an airline doesn’t ensure that a passenger has the right to come to the UK they are responsible for returning them? Hard to get onto an international flight without showing documentation and having it recorded.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      My most pressing concern is escaping authoritarianism over CV.

      If we can be locked down once more, it will never end — The number of attacks against our liberty that have been lined up to take advantage of the lockdown are horrendous, including: digital currency, chipping / health passports, enforced vaccinations. See the latest bill from US democrats…Where the USA leads we will surely follow.

      How do we get government to stand back and see the big picture and do their job to protect us from the ‘ESTABLISHMENT’

    • matthu
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      The great advantage of drawing attention to climate forecasts, Covid-19 forecasts or Brexit forecasts is never having to say you’re sorry.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Good post – in which the key word was ‘waste’. Johnson & Sunak will destroy the nation’s finances, throwing billions at one ill-conceived project after another. Just yesterday I saw that our investment into ‘OneWeb’ was made without No 10 seeking the view of either the MoD or the Chief Scientist. I guess that the PM and a Spad thought that their seeing a few episodes of Star Trek made them expert enough.

    • majorfrustration
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      agree but is there anybody in Government that stands out.

    • Nigl
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink


    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Are you really saying it isn’t the media that should set the agenda?

      Although it is possible to reason that if all election candidates were chosen by and financed only by those they wish to represent we would start seeding a democracy. A leader of a gang shouldn’t as now get to tell you who your candidate is. Money from outside you consistency should never come into play in the promoting your candidates. There should be an immediate halt to the taxpayer funding political groups – did the taxpayer get the choice?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      But the massive ‘EU Experiment’ is of huge interest. Of course we should monitor it as we always have done. That monitoring caused the British majority to decide the EU was going for full Union in spite of denials from left right and centre (I mean that literally). Seems the wisdom of the unlettered men trumped the ‘nudging and indeed pushing and shoving by the global elitists’.
      If the EU were to become a roaring success, with peace, prosperity and happiness for its citizens, would Andy not wish us to bow down and acknowledge that? Of course he would.
      If the EU continues in a state of low level warfare, poverty struck citizens at starvation level not seen in Europe since the War, and boiling rage igniting across the continent, it is critical that we monitor events closely to stop the flames coming over the channel in rubber dinghies!
      More power to JR and the ERG in their continued monitoring and analysis of this, the greatest and most disastrous experiment ever visited on what was the civilized world.

      • margaret howard
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink


        “stop the flames coming over the channel in rubber dinghies!”

        Funny then that the people in the dinghies seem to come mainly from Africa or fleeing the Middle East after we set it alight yet again after our illegal invasion and destruction starting with Iraq.

        • Timaction
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          We set it alight= Blair/Campball, NuLabour set it alight. They also started the mass migration shambles that the current Government wont stop.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 19, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          BBC April 2011 “In this resolution, the Security Council has determined that the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The Security Council has adopted the resolution as a measure to maintain or restore international peace and security under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, which provides for such action by air, sea and land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

          Margaret, aren’t we usually sent in under UN charter and NATO requests to carry out our duty?

      • hefner
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        ‘stop the flames coming over the Channel in rubber dinghies’. In my school days my teacher would have read aloud this piece of ‘literature’ and ask the other pupils what was there hardly making sense. And there would have been more than a couple of hands up to explain that the dinghies might explode …
        Thanks for the laugh.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Boris is going to have to get moving soon or he will be timed out. Any radical and rational reform eg of the tax system will need to happen early in the parliament due to all the shrieking and wailing from the left. Same with any other sensible reforms. He’s clearly not going to do anything with the NHS other than gorge it with money so we need action in other areas. Planning is a start. But much more is needed and quickly.

      Boris clearly needs to boot out all these lightweight mediocrities from the cabinet, whose inadequacies have been shown up so starkly in recent months.

      (BTW Margaret Thatcher was PM when we joined the ERM)

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Yes, over a barrel set up by Major (chancellor) Geoffrey Howe and Lawson. She had nothing to lose – she should have sacked them rather than join!
        Thatcher was deposed because of weakness, not because of strength.
        It is always thus.
        Take note the long suffering and generous British.

      • Zorro
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Richard1, in case you hadn’t noticed, Our Dear Leader Kim Jong S0n IS the problem!!


    • JoolsB
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      But…but….what will they DO with ‘em?
      No tilling of the fields, no factories, no wars, no Empire and NO JOBS whatsoever.
      No money either.
      And loads of newcomers.
      What will they do?
      What ARE they doing?

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink


    • UKQanon
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      100% agreement. Plus reform of the police system, back to the days of pre Macpherson report, total cancellation of the Common Purpose BS, Armed Forces included. Zero tolerance. Return of Capital and corporal punishment.Reform of the Judiciary. Totally disband the liberal left wing Blair dictat of the Supreme Court.Total reform of the education system. (Children are SO dumb at present but there again part of the plan) Multiple choice answers prove nothing. We are not all equal and if you have not got what it takes, tough. Remove gender studies. Reassess LBGTQ+ logic.Reintroduce punishment in schools. Get Brexit completed. Stop immigration totally for five years and then reassess.CANCEL HS2. Hope and pray Trump wins in November because if he somehow loses we are all FINISHED and there will be no point in this blog. I could list many more …..

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        +1 god give strength to Trump – I believe the US will return him.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Well, it’s a bit of a scattergun post from John, this.

      People in every nation on Earth will comment upon the US’s actions because they are so egregious under Trump, e.g. undermining the WHO and UN, attacking his allies such as the countries of Europe, giving succour to demagogues and dictators, and withdrawing from global treaties drafted to avert possible catastrophe. Also the UK is a very much junior partner in NATO to the US, which gives it far greater sovereignty over UK soil than anything to do with the European Union ever did.

      If the European Union were ever in a position to do similar damage on a global scale – which is hard to envisage – and actually did so, then no doubt people would rightly respond alike.

      Restricting domestic vacuum cleaners to six hundred watts hardly compares, but from some of the comments here you’d have thought it a Crime Against Humanity, to tower over history’s worst.

      People in the European Union can still buy industrial grade ones of a higher power, incidentally.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 19, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        “People in the European Union can still buy industrial grade ones of a higher power, incidentally.”

        martin, i think this was more about letting the EU manufacturers to get up to speed and power of the preferred Dysons and just delay his introduction to the market so they didn’t take market share.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Good afternoon John

      As a pick-up from Lifelogic and Hope comments (their lists hit the nail on the head), do you really have any influence on these matters and in reality does your Government genuinely care about the thoughts of UK tax paying citizens (other than pre-election hyperbola vote chasing?)….based on past performance, is there a cat in hell’s chance of any remedies forthcoming? The simple answer is, no.

      There just is nobody brave enough to break 50 years of Political/Establishment mismanagement! “When all are eating from the same financial trough, none will venture out to sniff reality!”

      No reply required…there can be no answers from this incompetent Government! Time for a change…but from where?

  2. agricola
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Yes it is important. Having such a large fragmented and at times flailing bloc of nations close offshore affects us, like it or not. The EU are vulnerable because the people of it are largely ignored by their unelected administration. Nobody in Brussels would deign to contact the 20% unemployed around the Med to enquire how we could help or to offer manufacturing employment.

    The EU is big enough, or thinks it is, to make outragious demands of all and sundry, but incapable of recognising it’s own weaknesses or offering workable solutions. It is therefore highly vulnerable to external or internal takeover or just plain disintegration. The latter when the people of it’s nation states realise that it is unfit for purpose. The latter will cause more than street unrest because in most cases national governments are content with it, but the people less so.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      In the EU, only Hungary and to a lesser extent Poland understand the importance of using effective means to keep undesirables out. Throughout the rest of the EU, there is far less understanding of how the people who want to come and live in Europe are the same ones who would destroy the quality of life for the native born citizens of European nations or how to keep them out. The Tory government does not know how to keep them out or if it does, does not have the will or desire to do so. There have been many and there may be now, many people in authority in the EU or EU countries that believe we either need or deserve to flooded with unassimilable aliens on the basis that aliens have a ‘right’ to live in a country not governed by people like themselves (until of course they start meddling in our politics). Were the EU as a whole more like Hungary, the weak Tory government would have less difficulty controlling our borders.

      Many people believe that the EU is essentially a benign organisation; these people have very short memories. Despite the EU’s woeful record with regard to its weaker economies in South and Eastern Europe, it is still expansionist: Tories such as Boris Johnson and David Cameron have stated they would like to see the EU reach the Urals and incorporate Turkey (a non-European nation). They are not deterred by the disastrous attempt to swallow Ukraine which initiated a war still ongoing in the East of the country which has destroyed their economy which was highly dependent on Russian demand nor have they the wisdom to keep out of the Balkans, an area where the the aftermath of Ottoman rule still presents very serious problems.

      The EU is a failed experiment and many in the EU recognise this even if their rulers have not quite caught up.

  3. Mark B
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again ! 🙂

    I particularly enjoyed the indignant comments of a handful of contributors who daily condemn U.K. voters for voting to leave the EU.

    Alas some of your other readers do not, and I am not one of them, since I hardly ever read let a lone reply to them. But as others remind me, it is your Diary / Blog 🙂

    History has taught us that what goes on on the continent is of interest to us. As Sir Winston Churchill stated :

    “We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not combined. We are interested and associated but not absorbed. If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea.”

    I, along with many others, chose the open sea and the fish stocks it contains. Listening to the noisy neighbours and passing comment on their goings on is the bit that covers, “We are interested and associated but not absorbed.”

    Just to make that clear 😉

  4. John E
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I am most interested in having a working health service restored in this country.
    There is appalling suffering being caused by the policy of “We’re not doing that due to Covid.” I’m not finding anything amusing in that at all.
    This Protect the NHS madness has to stop. Doctors and nurses need medical treatment too and are being denied it. No-one and nothing is being protected.

  5. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    It may seem stupid given all of the very major problems at the moment, but I am afraid the continued illegal traffic of immigrants sums up the uselessness of government thinking and action at the moment.

    It should be such a simple problem to resolve, but here we have criminals selling seats in a rubber dinghy to people who have a wish, but no legal justification to come to our Country, being helped in their quest to do so by our own border force and Navy, and then being put up in 4 and 5 star hotels, complete with full use of all of the facilities, and then given spending money to roam the UK at will.

    The above situation is an absolute farce, a National disgrace, an insult to our own population, many who are working hard but living in much poorer circumstances with less help, and shows how absolutely pathetic and toothless our Government has become.

    Here we are a supposed superpower, with nuclear submarines, with one of the supposedly best electronic surveillance systems in the World, unable or unwilling to stop thousands of unknowns crossing the Channel at will in rubber dinghy’s.

    Its pathetic John, absolutely pathetic, no wonder this subject gained big figures from people making contributions.

    What chance of the Government getting the economy right, of managing the fight against Covid, of sorting out the chaos in many schools, if they cannot even stop a rubber dinghy crossing the Channel.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink


    • anon
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Occams razor.

      What you see is what they want.

      Judge them by their inaction.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    We need a clean break from the EU to plough our own furrow.
    The WA needs condemning as it gives Brussels too much say.
    If you don’t get to grips with immigration then you may well be ousted at the next election.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Just describe one of the countless points of your “clean break”.

      Following it, on what terms would UK vehicles, such as HGVs, drive on European Union member countries’ roads?

      How would those terms be settled?

      • anon
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        On what terms would EU vehicles drive on UK roads.

        Well that will depend but i favour a pay as you go charge by mile and a supplement based on the CO2 output of the vehicle per mile.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

          You, as ever, do not answer the question.

          The position is far from symmetrical. The UK needs Continental roads vastly more than vice-versa.

          From day one of a no deal, what would happen?

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 19, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps Martin the UK will do what it typically does and that is use EU trucks who pick up loads at cut price when returning empty and out price UK hauliers.

            Southern Ireland would have a terrible problem if we have to take war like action should roads be cut to the UK only in Europe.

  7. Andy
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Seeking asylum is not illegal – and dinghies are not illegal either.

    Despite the fact that you left, I for one, enjoy everyone’s comments on the EU. It shows how little you have all learned over the last four years and how immensely disappointed you will all be with what comes next. None of you like reality Brexit – which is amusing.

    And, actually, I have to thank you Brexiteers. Like millions of others I was always moderately pro-Europe and very pro-US. I thought working together in a friendly way with other neighbouring countries was a good thing. There were some bits of Europe which I didn’t like – the unseemly horse trading and the monthly move by MEPs to Strasbourg – but overall all, on balance, I thought the EU was and is a good thing.

    It has taken Brexit to turn me into a passionate pro-European – and Trump to turn by into a US sceptic. The good thing about Trump is that he’s gone soon anyway. Even if he wins the electoral college in November, or manages to stay in the White House regardless, he’s certainly gone 4 years after that. America will return to decency and this nasty little episode will be over.

    Brexit will take longer to undo – but the Brexiteers have been extremely helpful in ensuring that it too will be a relatively short term project. They could have had a permanent Brexit by, early after the referendum, seeking a national consensus about the details of what Brexit meant and what should happen next. They didn’t. They could have levelled with voters about the consequences. They didn’t – and have continued to pretend there are none. They could have sought a confirmatory popular mandate at the end of their negotiations. They didn’t. And they could have listened to the concerns and wishes of younger people. And they didn’t.

    All of which means the vast majority of younger voters still object to Brexit and all we need to undo it is time. The more your project goes wrong the easier to undo it becomes and all we have to do is wait. (And laugh).

    Maybe you could all step out of your comfort zones and tell us one thing about the EU you like – and one thing about the US you don’t. You might even surprise yourselves.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      How terribly sad, Andy. After all these years of following this blog, you’ve still not grasped that there is a difference between ‘pro European’ and ‘pro EU’. One day, maybe, you’ll understand the difference?
      Or maybe not, you do seem very repetitive, which implies that you’re not open to new ideas. You seem to be a very angry and unhappy person.

    • beresford
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      A lot of young people don’t understand what the EU is or what its aims are. The great thing about young people is that as they acquire experience they become wiser. We never voted to join the EU, and when presented with the choice neither will the next generation. ‘Join’ is a much harder sell than ‘Remain’, which is why you and your fellow travellers are so desperate to block our departure.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      Did anyone get past “And, actually…” without breaking into the most massive yawn ?

      The EU was such a massive success we all rejoiced and waved its flags and ate the Euro chocolate coins and bowed to Captain Euro !!!!

      YAAAYY !

      An armada of little rubber boats escape ‘civilised’ France where refugees are shoved in shitty ditches.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 11:29 pm | Permalink


        You keep saying how bright young people are but the really bright ones (all except going to the very top institutions) avoid university and get a trade and get earning and buying property as early as possible.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Go on, don’t chicken out. Give us an answer. How many ‘asylum seekers’ would you allow to come to this country?

    • G Wilson
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      The boats in the Channel have nothing to do with Brexit.

  8. Fred H
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Sir John you say ‘I particularly enjoyed the indignant comments of a handful of contributors who daily condemn U.K. voters for voting to leave the EU. ‘
    Well what about the majority who find the tedious, pointless and often childish foot-stamping contributions ones to avoid?

  9. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Isn’t the reason remoaners don’t want any more evidence of EU incompetence and general corruption discussed is because they might have to change their minds about their beloved EU…. Now that would really make them wrong — Please do continue.

  10. Pat
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John,

    A question (o/t) :

    As it appears to be unrealistic to curtail government spending, is it possible to fund that spending without tax rises, entirely through borrowing?

    In view of today’s low interest on government borrowing, would such a strategy result in a lower future debt to GDP ratio as the private sector grows without the constraint of additional taxes?

  11. beresford
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    For sure controlling immigration is more important than the future of the EU. And we are told that ten times more are arriving ‘legally’ than illegally. Our political system encourages short-termism and solving immigration requires robust action, so it is tempting for our leaders to offer talk and little change. Some of us believe that the EU and facilitated mass migration are two sides of the same coin, breaking up individual nations and peoples for absorption into a global bureaucracy.

  12. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I’m very interested in the state of decision-making in the government. Perhaps you’re too loyal a Conservative to open the hood and discuss the workings of the D-M engine but would you consider opening a debate, here, on the subject? And then sharing the results with the PM! It seems that chaos reigns inside No 10.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Boris no longer has the wherewithal to comprehend. He is sick. He needs to bow out while he can. We, the members, demand the right to produce the leadership shortlist. We no longer trust the Parliamentary Party. They have confirmed repeatedly that they lack courage and judgement.

      • MickN
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        They would need to allow Nigel Farage back into the party then as he would be a shoe in.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        But you the members have suffered from Entryism by the far Right – they boast of it all over the internet.

        These people are not Conservatives at all – they want to burn down civil society.

        This is on a far worse scale than Labour’s problems with the revolutionary Left in previous decades – a few public school-educated idealists.

        CCHQ is well aware of this too, and their mission is to try somehow to protect the identity of the party from what these newcomers would have it be.

        They are not doing so well, it appears.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

          More socialist conspiracy theories from you.
          Who are these extreme right wing Conservatives?
          Are they MPs?
          Any names?

  13. Anonymous
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I am most interested in the restrictions on debate and free comment. And how the Left – having repeatedly lost votes over ten years of Tory government – still seem to be in charge.

    I know the Channel migrant issue involves small numbers in the scale of things but it is that the Left still has the Tories over a barrel and this will become a much bigger problem as Priti Patel fails.

    I am most interested in how the British people are caricatured as the most awful racists – often using weak evidence which is still under investigation and often later discredited, such as legitimate police car stops – whilst ignoring BAME on white violence and murder both here and abroad. This distortion is, I believe, taken on by Tory politicians and they lose heart in their own politics.

    I was alarmed when Boris first said (before CV19) “I have a duty to those who lent us their votes from the Red Wall” Cue Leftist policies.

    And so many times elected Tory politicians say on entering office “I have a duty to those who didn’t vote for me.”

    Such magnanimity is never ever reciprocated by Labour politicians when they win.

    In short

    Mass immigration is the measure by which we see if you’ve changed.

  14. BW
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Boris is the PM because he said let’s get Brexit done. That means out of the EU. Out of the ECJ. We don’t need an agreement which is now being described as a treaty. Just bloody leave. The Tories will be slaughtered at the next election if we don’t just leave.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Stop being so silly. The UK has left.

      The European Union will always have enormous influence over it, just as S. Africa does over Lesotho, say.

      Get used to it.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 19, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Transition period. This time-limited period was agreed as part of the Withdrawal Agreement and will last until at least 31 December 2020. Until then, it will be business as usual for citizens, consumers, businesses, investors, students and researchers in both the EU and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom will no longer be represented in the EU institutions, agencies, bodies and offices but EU law will still apply in the United Kingdom until the end of the transition period.

        There are people who feel the EU have no intention of negotiating a fair exit (as the UK did with Southern Ireland) and feel they will breach the withdrawal agreement and therefore think Boris should pull the plug now – to “just leave”.

  15. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I think people can see when our government is flailing and failing, and these two issues are pivotal in this respect.
    When promises are made and broken, we need somewhere to call the government out.

    We voted to control our borders 4 years ago.
    We voted to remove ourselves from EU structures 4 years ago.

    Somehow 4 years have passed, first with Cameron breaking his promise to leave the EU immediately, second with May not intending to leave at all, and third with us being dealt a wholly confusing hand with the present lot. The left hand appears not to know what the right hand is doing.

    • ChrisS
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary, Joe, The reason we are making little headway in the negotiations is because Frost is sticking to our red lines.

      The problem is that the EU is all about control : The Brussels elite just can’t accept having the UK as a fully independent coastal state on their doorstep.

      That is the problem. The EU will have to move because the Government will not give way and Boris knows only too well that he will lose the next election if he did.

  16. BW
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    These illegal economic migrants. They are not refugees. As they are coming from France why do we not give the bill for their upkeep to France. If it was in reverse I have no doubt the French would have us in the ECJ.

  17. villaking
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Be sure to remind your readers that David Cameron obtained a specific opt out from the ever closer union you want to blog about

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      No he did NOT!

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        Correct Lynn – in fact if will stayed in the EU we’d be full members of the Lisbon Treaty

      • hefner
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        David Cameron came back with the following text from Brussels in February 2016:
        ‘It is recognised that the UK in the light of the specific situation it has under the Treaties is not committed to further political integration into the EU. The substance of this will be incorporated into the Treaties at the time of their next revision in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaties and the respective constitutional requirements of the Member States, so as to make it clear that the references to ever closer union do not apply to the UK’.

        So Lynn, glen, wrong once again, and it will be like that every time you quote things without having a clue of what is what, and not even checking your facts. Poor souls.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

          He can say that but by having signed the treaty we are signed up to ever closer union as defined by the Commission.
          Until we leave the EU.

        • glen cullen
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          have you not read the lison treaty

  18. Peter Wood
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I’m not so interested in the ‘United States of Europe’ as I am in our new relationship with it. I would prefer you to keep up your watchdog reporting role of analysis of the proposed trade deal and any ‘leftover’ issues from the May/Johnson leaving deal. We voted for independence, with no strings or payments left.

  19. Christine
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    We mustn’t take our eyes off the EU trade negotiations. Decisions made this year will influence the future of our country. David Frost is making the right noises but then so did Theresa May before she sold us out. We must be a free sovereign country with control over our money, laws and armed forces. To be dictated to by a foreign power, with no democratic vote, will not be tolerated. We haven’t fought this hard and for this long to give anything away beyond a normal trade deal.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:16 am | Permalink

      They are NOT trade negotiations. They are EU-Lite negotiations.

  20. Nigl
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I look forward to your comments. To me there is clear indication that we are being softened up for a sellout’

  21. Christine
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I’ve been very disappointed with Boris that he hasn’t stood up against the anarchy and lawlessness taking hold of this country at present. How can he fine people for not wearing a mask but then allow a rave of 5k+ people, in a quiet southern coastal village, to celebrate Jamaica Day? It just smacks of hypocrisy.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      This is becoming a serious pi** take now Christine and if it isn’t dealt with soon there will be problems ahead.

  22. ukretired123
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The critics who say we should not look at EU (in crisis) are head in sand brigade hypocrits.
    Similar to 1930s ignoring world events in Europe.
    The Harry/ Markle fiasco too.
    Who said history is boring?
    By looking at the successes and failures of other systems we learn what is best, but some never learn esp about socialism and it’s utopian failures after a century of waste.

  23. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    The thing that most interests me is why there is no safety net for the prudent? This is top of my agenda now that your government has chosen to trash the economy and therefore my chances of being in employment continuously.

    Universal credit is not given to those with savings, they are expected to use their savings before receiving help. Whereas the profligate and feckless (as well as the genuinely unfortunate) get (generous) assistance from the off if they are families.

    Why are benefits not universal, either pay them or don’t.

    The obvious reply is they are supposed to be a safety net, but that is plainly unfair on those who take responsibility for themselves and does not motivate those who don’t take responsibility to do so.

    The benefits system should operate on an insurance basis, pay in and then take out what ever your circumstance so long as you have paid in.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      I agree NS they tax working women as individuals yet the insurance payout if you are suddenly made redundant is affected by your husbands income? Why if your home was dependent on two incomes to pay the mortgage and bills why suddenly no benefit for the full tax and national insurance paying wife?

    • anon
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Well this is where a UBI and a benefits with a cap at the local wage would help.

      Bureuacrats like dependants. they can pretend to care about them whilst drawing salaries pensions etc not available in the private sector.

      A UBI and benefit cap, exceptions only for mentally or physically impaired people. With the bureaucrats told to find those in the above who are not working and not claiming any benefits so they at least get a UBI.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Inflation would adjust for any UBI (just like it has done for minimum wage)

        Universal benefit would just increase prices I am afraid.

        Time limited, capped, universal benefits as a safety net is the way forward not income for all.

  24. Ginty
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Freedom of speech and our way of life. (Scotland has already decided to outlaw it.)

    It is under threat as never before.

    I also fear that face masks will become permanent and needed in ALL places.

  25. ChrisS
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    The future of Europe will remain a very relevant subject for the citizens of the UK because, even though we have left the EU, they are our nearest neighbours and the direction they take and their economic success or failure, will remain important to us.

    Of course, the conduct of our own government is of primary importance because we are facing challenging economic circumstances. How this is handled will affect generations to come.

    The running sore that is highly damaging to the UK is the governance and future of Scotland. The current situation where English Taxpayers are forced to subsidise Scotland to the tune of £11bn a year cannot go on.

    No government in the last 20 years has been prepared to get to grips with the Scottish economy for fear of the Nationalists. The SNP have played us for fools and are riding high in the polls, despite failing on all of the parameters by which a government is normally judged.

    This has to be taken in hand. Given the state of the polls, it is inevitable that there will have to be another referendum. Westminster needs to make it clear, Scotland can leave the UK if it so desires, but if it chooses to stay, the current level of subsidy must be brought under control by ending the Barnett formula. Scotland can have fiscal independence within the UK : in other words, it can only continue to spend what it likes if it raises the money from taxies levied within Scotland.

    Finally, our defence expenditure is badly handled and far too low while our foreign aid budget is grossly excessive and wastefully out of control. These two issues can be brought together and be resolved

    • steve
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink


      Excellently written.

      I share most of your sentiment, except that as far as I’m concerned Europe can rot. We’ve been treated despicably by nations that wouldn’t exist were it not for British sacrifice.

      SNP – it’s a party of bigotry and ungratefulness in my opinion. It also promotes anti-English sentiment.

      Time to cut the money off and repatriate HM Dockyards and all other publicly funded employment.

  26. turboterrier
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink


    With much of what you have said is a tad difficult to argue against.

    But ithasbeensaidmany timesbeforeuntil gthe parties totally reinvent the selection process regarding qualifications suitability, life and business experience we will only get more of the same which dictates very little or no change. Responsibility and accountability have got to be written into the terms of selection and employment.

  27. Ian @Barkham
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Its the difference between the Left Collective were no one is responsible and everyone will do as they are told, and those that look in the mirror and see the person looking back at them is responsible.

    Most people that condemn the US haven’t a clue about the US. The media version of the US as it must be the opposite way around for UK citizens in the eyes of the US media is a distortion of reality. The greater and I do mean Greater majority of the actual people everywhere get on with one and other, as they do with all people from all walks of life.

    Is the POTUS a good leader, who knows, who cares, he has no real power other than declare war. As for why he was voted in, we are close to a similar situation in the UK – he just wasn’t the establishment and the establishment needed a kicking. As with all those that set themselves up as the established Elite/Political Class around the World, they forget who they work for.

  28. Gramp
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    It concerns me the large percentage of people who go to university with relatively poor grades, get into significant debt that they are very unlikely to be able to pay off. There are vast amounts of people who graduate and end up having relatively menial jobs that they certainly didn’t need a degree to get. What a waste of their time, earnings and a cost to the tax payer.Not to mention having the feeling of a mill stone around their neck and all the worry for them. On the other hand students that get exceptional grades at A level, especially in meaningful, useful subjects should be educated at the tax payers expense.
    There is all this fuss at the moment regarding what grades students have been awarded. Every year there are lots of surprise results with some students delighted and others, well not happy. Usually there isn’t a handy excuse! However it obviously wasn’t a satisfactory way to be given grades or perhaps fair but probably the best that could be done under the circumstances.
    I confess to being rather bias with my daughter having just been awarded four A* in Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths.

    • anon
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps but also the willingness to do the hard courses and pursue that interest into research and practical areas, which benefit the UK and the world. Our foreign aid money would be better spent here on science and using that for world benefits.

  29. Javelin
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Next week the Brexit negotiations cover military involvement.

    The question is on what legal basis is a UK uniy going to be under EU military exercises.
    As a subordinate of EU Defence Policy? Or as a Third-Country Contributor (TCC)?

  30. Lifelogic
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    A table in the Money section of the Telegraph today suggest that graduates earn about £8K more than non graduates. But of course this is not (in the main) due to their “degree”. Graduates are on average brighter than non graduates and bright people do tend to earn more with or without a degree (the very common confusion of cause and effect often a deliberate one). Also I suspect there is more cash in hand work for non graduates a further distortion.

    But even if you accept the £8K PA figure is still does not outweigh the £50K of student debt, the £6K PA interest on it, the loss of 3+ years earning and the large Tax and NI you pay on a higher salary. (Often now not even getting child benefit or personal allowances than to past Tory chancellors).

    Money is clearly not everything but outside a few protected professions (law, medicine, dentistry etc) most degrees are clearly a net financial negative. So many people going to university (most without even passable A levels) is clearly a big negative for the overall economy. Practical skills and learning on the job should be encourage far more.

  31. Everhopeful
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    So happy to have left the EU…if we really have.
    So unhappy at how Liblabcon see fit to treat this country!

    • steve
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink


      “So happy to have left the EU…if we really have.”

      Well until there are no French fishing boats in UK waters and illegal immigrants are sent back to France, then we will not have left.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Very true..I don’t have much/any faith in the govt’s ability to tell the truth.

  32. Iain Gill
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Oh I dunno, there are other topics you could do.

    Like “How is the UK planning to pay its way in the world” that looked at the way the politicians, of all parties, have manipulated society over the last number of decades to favour some wealth generating sectors over others, and forced many to shut.

    Or “What could the UK learn most from the rest of the world” which is a big topic, but could easily look at the far more meritocratic aspects of other countries versus UK, and so on.

    Or “What are the biggest issues where the political class is completely divergent from the voters and why”

    Or “why are we frightened to address the neo liberal narrative on a wide range of subjects”

    Or “what would you say to your teenage self?”

    There is lots of scope for different perspectives like this.

    Good luck

  33. ChrisS
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    The Express is reporting that “The Westminster Government wants to establish a new internal market between the four nations at the end of the Brexit transition period.”

    Why is this necessary ? – we already have a single market within the UK and this is just giving Sturgeon and Co another opportunity to wag the tail of the dog. Powers repatriated from the EU should reside with Westminster for at least a two to five year period while Brexit settles down.

    Once proper governance for England is established within the United Kingdom, and the running sore that is the SNP’s drive for independence is sorted, things can be looked at afresh.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Those “powers repatriated” are relatively few, and of low immediate impact upon most people’s lives – unlike the sovereign UK’s powers to impose lockdowns and all manner of other things upon its people.

      I wouldn’t get too excited.

      On the other hand, we the people have lost a whole swathe of far-reaching rights and freedoms, in probably the twenty-seven most cultured and civilised nations on Earth.

    • steve
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Chris S

      “…..running sore that is the SNP’s drive for independence is sorted,”

      Easy sorted Chris, just hold another referendum but this time include the English vote.

    • Harka
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      I can understand- it reflects the reality that whatever money is there is just going round and round.. but with not much growth

  34. dixie
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Some topics with the overall aim of seeing the maximum number of our people prosper;
    – how increase our energy, technology, engineering, scientific and manufacturing bases,
    – how grow and retain ownership of our economic capabilities,
    – how increase our agricultural and maritime assets in food and pharmaceuticals,
    – how increase the effectiveness and accessibility of our educational and academic assets,
    – how increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our public sector particularly in health, justice and defence,
    – how change direction of our financial sector to more effectively support the above,
    – how change our governing structures to more closely match the electorate’s interests,

  35. ed2
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Lol that was funny

  36. Cheshire Girl
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Off topic perhaps:

    I am interested in remembering, on this VJ Day, all those from the United Kingdom, and around the World, who suffered and sacrificed so much to achieve the freedom we enjoy today.
    They left a debt that we can never repay.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      +1 we must repay what we can by safeguarding the asset they left us! It’s literally the least we can do.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:34 am | Permalink


      They sacrificed their lives for our freedom, only for us to sacrifice our freedom in fear of our lives. And at that I will stop there.

  37. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    John, you are welcome, as far as I am concerned, to comment upon the European Union as often as you like.

    I might, from time to time, express my curiosity as to why, in particular instances, you perhaps do this too.

    It does look rather like the divorcee, whose Specialist Subject is My Ex Spouse sometimes though.

    Reply Nonsense. I comment on the global economy and interesting policies outside the U.K. which may include EU

    • Fred H
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      MARTIN – you and others go on and on about the EU being such a wonderful, large, future-proof group – – yet you object to us talking about them!
      Talk about China, USA, NZ even Norway -fine – but oh! no not EU.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        FRED – no, I just object to people writing rubbish about it, as I do whatever the subject, no more.

        John’s original posts are normally correct, if rather selective in what they report on the other hand.

        He also understands very well, what misconceptions fill the minds of many of his voters – and how what he writes will be interpreted under those – to lead to the conclusions, which he perhaps hopes that they will form, I think.

        Reply I am glad you agree I strive for accuracy. I am not responsible for what others think about those facts on either side of the debate.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          Thank you John.

          I would be prefer it if you did something salient to dispel those many widespread misconceptions, plenty of which were originally engendered by the PM himself during his days as a journalist.

          However, I surmise that you pitch your posts carefully in relation to them, in order to achieve your intended impact.

          In other words, you value them, I think.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      No, that really is what it looks like to me, John.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      You have to get it into your head that no majority here EVER voted to be part of a federal Europe. Not in 1975, not in 2016. It is however fair for the author to discuss how this drift on the continent affects us and our neighbours. Ireland, for one, is a prime example of a nation which at once wants to keep an open border with us, but also presently is tied into this federal system. It’s inconsistent in the long term unless there is a trade agreement with Ireland. So a close neighbour has a choice to make.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        No, Ireland wants to keep its border open with itself – both parts – as was promised by a deal, guaranteed by the US and by others as I understand it, and as it has been since that Good Friday Agreement.

        • anon
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

          Perfectly possible as the Eire/NI trade is small enough to be literally ignored.

          The EU can monitor leakage to the rest of the EU as its an EU problem and can deal with internally.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

            If a powerful association of nations were being caused a problem by a small country’s breaking of agreements, then I’d expect them to impose sanctions.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      27 years I’ve been married to mine (30 years in total together)


      And at 57 I can still pass the PRMC tests with a lot left in reserve. (6 minute mile achieved this morning.)

      Not to brag but to rip apart the caricature you seem to have of us.

  38. Sharon Jagger
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    It would seem that since we voted to leave the EU that many people are very happy for us, at least European friends and family. Perhaps not the governments.

    The way the EU has treated us as a nation, (disgustingly in my opinion) has really shown them in their true colours and how they actually are. The virus situation, the immigration system et cetera and now the re-distributing of funds around the nations has really shown the EU up for what they are, and it doesn’t make good reading.

    People are beginning to question their actions more Von Der Leyan was accused of being selected for her job from a list of – one. No democracy there.

    Ireland is beginning to realise they have shafted financially by the EU.

    All along it’s been a democratic front disguising it’s utterly totalitarian back drop.

    Macron once said he’d never give France a referendum because he knew they’d vote to leave.

    It’s future? They can either totally re-write the rule book – they won’t – and change; or they risk falling apart. A number of European (often German) professors have written papers on its demise.

    It’s up to them whether they want the ‘project’ to succeed or fail. Change or fail…

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      We have French friends on their knees praying the UK will secure our escape and thrive, so they have a fact to point to in the hope that France can save itself too. Much depends on the U.K. forging the way, resisting Leviathan.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        The joys of retirement. Plenty of free time to visit your second home in France.

        • hefner
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          T, Don’t put all Brits with homes in France in the same bucket, please. I can bear witness that in some parts of France (Picardie, Occitanie) most French people do not care at all about what is happening in the UK, and if anything when specifically asked about Brexit just go ‘bon debarras – good riddance’.

          But as the saying goes ‘Birds of a feather flock together – Qui se ressemble s’assemble’.
          Or as a faux Anglo-French one goes ‘Once a faf ever a faf’.

          • Tabulazero
            Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            Oh agreed.

            Interest in Brexit is a minority past-time, I am guilty of indulging in. I find it a fascinating subject because the Conservative party shows me what les Republicains, would have become had Emmanuel Macron not blown them up to smithereens:

            Ever more right-wing, ever more populist, ever more disconnected with reality and ever more bereft of vision or idea.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

          I have no ‘home’ or even house on the Continent.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:37 am | Permalink

      The EU is all about keeping France and Germany from fighting over the rest. That’s it ! Other than that, it is not much use to us.

    • steve
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      “Ireland is beginning to realise they have shafted financially by the EU.”

      Yes and it’s highly amusing.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Even better:

        The Brexiters realizing that they have been shafted by their own « oven-ready » withdrawal agreement they voted themselves not to scrutinize too closely.

        Comedy gold.

      • hefner
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        steve, What is even more hilarious is that the RoI is likely to take the crown from the UK as ‘the Gateway to the EU’, a role that the UK had benefitted from in terms of FDI over 43+ years, and is likely to lose specially as all parties in the RoI (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Sinn Fein, Labour P of I, SocDem and Green Party) are in rough agreement on that particular fact. Highly amusing, isn’t it?

        As a number of Irish journalists commenting on European affairs (Fintan O’s Toole is a good example in the Irish Times) have pointed out, the RoI has been a beneficiary of its links with the EU since 1973 and still expects to be in that position in the future.

        As you must have seen the RoI and Apple have recently (mid-July 2020) won their appeal against the EU Commission and kept the $15bn they would have been obliged to pay if the decision of the European General Court had gone against them.

        Shafted financially by the EU? Not so much recently, but what do I know that you don’t.

  39. Helen Smith
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I do think the issue of illegal immigration needs to be tackled, and people need to see it being tackled.

    It is just not right that those with money can circumvent immigration procedures, one wonders why they feel the need to break into the country illegally, is it that they know they have no valid reason to be here?

    It is high time the Government passed a law making it clear that anyone who arrives here by illegal means and then claims asylum will automatically be refused and deported. They need to be treated as trespassers, and priority given to those who wait their turn and use the correct procedures.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      It’s the ultimate test of the Tories and a main reason why the Red Wall voted for them.

      No EU to hide behind.

      No coalition/weak majority to hide behind.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        Which they will fail because if you think it will take only £60mm to solve illegal immigration, you are a bit dumb if I may say so.

        France says thank you for the free money anyway.

  40. glen cullen
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I am interested in this government complying with the terms of the referendum and leaving the EU in its entirety ….the question was to leave or remain and not to spend 4+ years trying to come to an arranged deal behind closed doors

  41. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Could you at some point make a full case that it is and has been perfectly legitimate for you to argue for decades that the UK should and be allowed to leave the European Union, yet at the same time argue that Scotland should remain in the UK Union and to use all arguments to dissuade proponents of Scottish independence.

    reply Scottish independence is a matter for Scottish voters. I supported giving them a referendum to decide which they did.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      That does not answer the question. It is evasion.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        Had we voted to remain in the EU the question would have been settled for a generation despite various moves to consolidate as a debt union, which weren’t mentioned in the EU referendum debate. Likewise the Scottish question is sorted for a generation.

  42. hefner
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I am just curious to learn why a reference to a book by a man previously working as the National Security Adviser of President Trump cannot appear on this blog but dithyrambs by various contributors who to me do not have any close knowledge of the present POtUS can.

    Sir John, do you regret your 15 November 2016 obsequious letter, obviously aimed to the above contributors, as there were in fact very little chances that the President-Elect would have had much time to read it.

  43. Peter
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Illegal immigration is a problem the government could easily address if they wanted.

    Most posters on here could solve it – if they had the power. The government spin on the issue fools few.

    The future of the EU is of interest, but the key question is whether there will be a last minute fudge with only 60% of our aims being realised. The worry is that we will get BRINO and there will be a distraction exercise in December – possibly another COVID scare – to keep the agreement from being headline news and thus properly analysed.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Many posters on here would end up at the Hague, accused of Crimes Against Humanity if they were given the power to which you refer – if their posts were any guide.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Did Australia?

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 19, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Does France end up in the Hague for keeping 300 people in an office block with limited toilets and no bathrooms?

        Does France end up in the Hague for not giving all immigrants homes and leaving them in tents without sufficient facilities?

  44. steve
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to see left wing pro EU institutions like the BBC and the legal profession given a damn good purging.

    I’d also like to see the abolition of the SNP or formation of an English national party.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      I’d be interested in what laws you would pass to do that, how the suitability of a person to lose their job or profession would be assessed, by whom, and how they would qualify to sit in judgement.

      I suspect that the Ducking Stool would suit your purposes perfectly, however.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 19, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Actually this is the left-wing game play Martin. Noted today that Goodyear tyres in America are assessing people as suitable for work or not depending on their voting support. They will allow one type of political clothing but not another.

  45. turboterrier
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    If the news now streaming on Google is correct it seems that JLR will change ownership again like the proverbial ping pong ball on the water, this time it will be the French coming in with a takeover bid for the company.

    What I would be interested in is that for once we have a government that will not give money just to save a company, but one that gives them the money and instructs all government and local authorities to buy their products. Whatever the millions required it would have been far better to keep the industry producing and developing new products keeping the workforce together and sending out a clear message to the world that we back and buy British designed and built products, rather than create a scenario that the possible new owner could just pull the plug and take it all back across the channel leaving the taxpayer to pick up the tab. Tata the present owner was never going to close JLR down and relocate in India, the country is not yet upto speed to supply world class high end market vehicles but the French have the experience and the world market networks. Doesn’t any one of the ministers actually think outside the box?

  46. margaret howard
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to Brexit:

    “More than 1,000 migrants crossed the Channel to arrive in Britain in last 10 days bringing total to 4,511 this year – more than DOUBLE amount in 2019”

    Headline in today’s Daily Mail.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      no doubt the home office will have another meeting

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes everyone desperate to escape the EU while they can …

    • Pud
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Margaret, I wonder why the illegal immigrants are so keen to leave the utopia of the EU and risk their lives to reach the UK? If the EU was half as good as you frequently claim wouldn’t the dinghies be going the other way?

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 11:16 pm | Permalink


      Totally reveals our rulers, does it not ?

  47. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Immigration and communication are causing me the greatest problems at present. My patients are mainly of Asian origin and I cannot speak Urdu. I undertake telephone consultations and find it exceptionally difficult to correlate what is said with systemic analysis and elicit the cause of a problem or severity.

    I perhaps will move, if things settle down with covid-191 to live in another country so I am learning the language I will need. Why do immigrants think that we should learn to speak their language. As far as the females are concerned , some have been with me for nearly 20 years and cannot speak a word of English. I am told that the culture says that the males in the extended families do not allow their women to learn English .

    We need to talk to the people we let in to live in our country, we don’t want secret societies where the esoteric rules. Communication i s everything . We need more language degrees.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      They don’t want to talk to us. They don’t accept it is ‘our country’.

      • David Brown
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        its not and needs to be broken up

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Which is why they didn’t get the message about lockdown.
      And statues get pulled over.
      Because it’s not your country any longer, just a free for all.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 19, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        They got the messages Sir Joe Soap, their local council had the instructions in multiple languages and used social media, local messages to spread the information. Local community leaders can’t just throw their hands up saying their community wasn’t told either. If they can’t support their own community then community relations are so poor they need breaking up and moving around.

  48. Julian
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    My main issues of interest:
    Getting out of EU
    Promotion of free enterprise
    Opposition to SNP & Sein Fein
    Improvement of the transport infrastructure
    Defence of free speech
    Reducing poverty and enabling lower paid people to buy property

  49. Harka
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Am most interested in getting out of this Covid 19

    Next that we reach some kind of an agreement with the EU.. otherwise?

    That we ditch the Royal Family and become a Republic

    Abolish the HOL

    Let Scitland go

    Introduce proportional representation

    Then as England reapply to join the EU

    But what do I know? – in any case the next generation will decide

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      You know nothing of England! PR in England would overwhelmingly be for Brexit – it was in the Referendum. Any voting system in England alone will never return a socialist government, it never has before, they are always imposed by the Celtic fringe.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        It was highly marginal, Lynn.

        Don’t make a mockery of the English language, eh?

        • MickN
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

          What you mean a number roughly the size of 15 capacity crowds at Wembley Stadium was a “highly marginal” number. You are deluded you poor chap

          • Edward2
            Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            Agree MickN
            What was “highly marginal” was the vote to create the Welsh assembly.
            I note that remain fans on here never complain about that result.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            A number equal to nearly thirty capacity crowds at Wembley Stadium have passed away since the referendum, Mick.

            They were mostly elderly, as were Leave voters.

            On the other hand, the new voters are young, and mainly pro-European Union.

            As I say, things are pretty marginal.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

            Yet successive elections have not proved your theory that voters become more lefty and pro EU due to the naturally occuring deaths of very old people.
            Polls on the EU over the last 4 years.do not show the demographic effect you claim.
            Neither do election results.
            Dream on Martin.

      • David Brown
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Lynn when the next generation of young voters are of age with much greater diverse ethnicity the traditional so called English voting system will be significantly changed.
        I would love to see a young Gay male/female from black or Asian community be Prime Minister

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      The Establishment sees the English culture as being aggressive and war-like, but also creative and with huge ability to change the world.
      The Establishment therefore tries to keep all this under control, by promoting distant governance (Brussels, Edinburgh), leftist dogma to stop us working for ourselves (BBC, Labour, unions), and promoting overseas interests (preferably non-American) to control our technology (Huawei, European agencies).

  50. Tabulazero
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I am most interested in knowing what you think should be the first law the UK should repeal once it leaves the transition period ?

    What do you think the UK should do concretely and in which order with its new found freedoms ?

    Give us your plan to make Britain Great again.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Hey, we’ll all be rushing out to buy tungsten light bulbs, Tabulazero.

      Oh, hang on. No one makes them any more. Because the European Union doesn’t want them.

      I wonder if they’ll start up again, just for England?

      • Fred H
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        I’d buy them in a nanosecond.

        • Tabulazero
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          Why ?

          Led last for decades.

          Do you miss so much having to pull out a ladder on a regular basis ?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          Just for Fred, even?

  51. RichardP
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I would like the OLD NORMAL reinstated within the next month or an election please.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      The Old Normal was not over a thousand people a day dying of an infectious disease.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        true – it wasn’t. Next!

  52. Caterpillar
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Interested in many things, but specifically at the moment I would lile to re-raise

    Pooled/Group/Parallel Testing of Covid 19 Infection

    as mentioned on 4th April


    This has (somewhat unfairly) been thrown at President Trump as something he didn’t insist on, and I guess in April I was also throwing it at Mr Hancock. Nonetheless now that we know background infection levels (due to ONS) and also viral dilution limits of tests (and the effect of correlated groups) it returns as a possible very important approach. It was raise in AsiaTimes on 4th August ‘Pooled virus tests help stretched health services
    Experts generally recommend the technique when fewer than 10% of people are expected to test positive’*

    Given the current situation I would like to know whether a mass population testing using parallel/pooled methods has been considered?

  53. JayGee
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    “…. apparently too delicate or precious to withstand normal analysis and comment ….”

    Is that not the way of our world at present? All too lily-livered to withstand analysis and comment. Is it any wonder so many people have lost all trust in government and politicians? You all seem to see yourselves as existing beyond normal analysis and comment, let alone criticism. It’s nothing to do with the EU or Brexit or the USA or immigration. Just a watered down world.

  54. Tabulazero
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    « They argued I should never comment on the EU now we have left. It is apparently too delicate or precious to withstand normal analysis and comment.« 

    No. They are simply pointing out the very much reduced influence the UK now has on the continent after Brexit,

    You may comment on the EU as much as you like but it is unlikely that anyone on the continent beyond a few poor souls will take notice.

    Reply they have always ignored my good economic advice throughout our membership so I agree they are unlikely to start following it now

    • Tabulazero
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: If I may enquirer, has the Conservative party been more open to your economic advice ?

      I am asking this question because, seen from the outside, bone dry Thatcherism does not look to be much in favour these days.

      Returning to your kind answer, we both agree it is a pointless exercise whose true purpose is rather to rekindle the fire of the Brexiter troops and distract from a rather poor handling of the COVID crisis and failed Brexit negotiation.

      Rather than writing about an organisation you are meant to have left in January this year and which we both agree you cannot influence, I would be much more interested in how you intend to rebuild the bridges burnt with the less than 45 year old, who feel deeply Europeans and have seen their prospects curtailed by Brexit and a botched COVID response ?

      • Edward2
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        You would never think reading your posts that in the last election the Labour Party had its worst result for decades and the Greens and Lib Dems did badly too.
        With the kind of policies you think everyone likes.

        The Conservatives got a huge 80 seat majority which in UK political history statistics means that they are unlikely to not be re elected in 4 years time.

        • Tabulazero
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          In a first-past-the-post, you should look at marginals. Some seats were won with less than a hundred votes difference. Theses hardly count as a Tory safe seats and even Boris Johnson knows that.

          Next time, it won’t be against good old camarade Corbyn but against Keir Starmer. That will be a completely different ball game.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            As it has ever been in some marginals.
            Which is why they are referred to as marginals.

  55. a-tracy
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    What am I interested in:

    Laws being broken in the UK and just ignored that I have observed every day.

    Many people using London transport without wearing masks at all, laughing and shouting to each other across the carriage with laughing at other people obeying the new rules and generally being obnoxious.

    I’m kept wide awake here in London at 2340 with overly loud music playing in the street, r&b on boom blasters Turn Me On by Kevin Little and just now It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy with lots of whistling and shouting, when complaints by residents have been made they’ve been told the council and local officers are too busy. Too busy doing what? How is this allowed every night this week, these people can’t work as I couldn’t work and keep this up every night until 2am.

    Litter, litter everywhere.

    The biggest problems in this Country are groups of people not respecting their neighbours and neighbourhood. The police and Councils tolerating people breaking the rules to other’s disturbance of peace and rights.

    We have politicians that talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. All politicians were elected to protect us, in a heat wave we shouldn’t have to shut our windows and wear noise cancelling headphones just to get some peace. If I came around outside your home with my car stereo blasting out music after 11pm at night would you ignore it. Or do Councils just rule by % hoping 90% of people just follow so they dont have to serve. I seriously think we’re on a slippery slope and young adults just keep Being encouraged to turn the other cheek and getting down on their knees whilst suffering.

  56. Not Bob
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Martin , Andy and Jeremy spring to mind

  57. Duyfken
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    What am I most interested in? No. 1 is Brexit, with no strings attached. That is the key to tackling other issues such as illegal immigration.

    However, my other main concern and that which should concern the UK and other countries the most, is the risen power of China and its increasing influence and, soon maybe, control over the “western” world. No need for me to spell out the nature of this danger.

  58. everyone knows
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    John, “the new normal” is how the MSM described us getting used to balaclava-wearing men with machine guns after the alleged 2016 Brussels attack.

    Why are the media trying to preach to us a new normal based on fake news tyranny?

  59. Ian
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Leaving the EU is not going to happen in this Parliament.
    This Government is more May , but in trousers.
    Name one thing that was in There Manifesto that has happened that makes any of us have the slightest confidence in this happening.
    We have the largest second House in the world, which this Remainer PM has just put a few more Remainers in for good measure.
    They are all un elected, and calling the tune , the Commons is swamped
    IN O Just look at the immigration , the gutless PM does nothing but kick us in the teeth
    Remainers ruling , just 4 more years ? Or could we get them out now ?

  60. ukretired123
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    BRINO Johnson v Brexit Johnson
    That is “The Big One”

    No Deal May or Maybe Not.

    David Whatzisname.

    That sums up nicely where we are now.
    The CV19 strengthens the pressure to GBD.
    As a Sovereign state we should declare EU interference as Ultra Vires.

  61. Stephen Reay
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Sir John ,I would like to know how our goverment would support the likes of our car industry if we had a no brexit deal and there were tariffs on the export of cars to the E.U. Some of our car companies has said it would be unprofitable to continue making cars for the E.U and would consider there postion in the U.K. How do you see the goverment dealing with this issue ?

    Reply The main issues for the car industry are the collapse in demand from the CV 19 crisis and the huge attack on diesel and petrol cars by The EU and European co7ntry governments. I have written about this and suggest you read my proposals to help the motor industry over this massive twin crisis. Car sales fell 99% at worst whilst we still fully in the EU customs union.

  62. DaveK
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    How would you gauge the mood of conservatives when they compare rallies/beach raves and street “parties” to this? https://conservativewoman.co.uk/torys-snub-for-worship-in-the-pub/

  63. Edwardm
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    JR’s posts are amongst the best reading on the web, covering the wide range of current issues.
    As to those who are upset with the decision of the British people to leave the EU, I suggest consultation is a good thing. There are countries in the world where centralised decision making without consultation is the norm; may be such places would suit them better, they need to ask themselves that question.

  64. Diane
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I am interested in: { The truth, always the truth } {Any attempts to do away with the increasingly blurred notion of legality & illegality in this country; policing, immigration, judiciary, individuals’ flouting of laws to name but a few }
    { Being assured that the UK leaves the EU & its institutions with the EU having no control or oversight over our borders, laws and economy } {New laws being introduced to better support and respect our Police service allowing them to do their job properly and forcefully & ensuring that any violent unprovoked crime against our Police gets the sentencing it deserves } {Establishing new criteria towards reducing the numbers in the House of Lords} { Immigration: Not hearing daily platitudes & refusals to call out cross channel undocumented entrants as illegal. They are illegal plain & simple. Interested to know if fingerprinted, DNA recorded ( I suspect not ) or routinely CV19 tested ( The latter was reported in the last weeks as not being the case ) The Numbers & current status of legal arrivals under the Government’s flagship resettlement scheme & bilateral Anglo / Greek agreement signed in April 2020. What the ‘ changes’ were that dictated that only 14 out of the originally planned 20 due for deportation to France & Germany on Wednesday August 12th. } { Defence & Security policies particularly after our having exited the EU & if these are affected by the EU’s European Defence Union / future military project. } { Our national management of waste – waste disposal, recycling & plastic packaging, any new initiatives
    etc., }

  65. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    The ever closer union project isn’t doing well.

    Take, for example, a common EU immigration policy. Angela Merkel’s Germany admitted 1.1 million …….immigrants (‘refugees’!?) in a single year, wheras Viktor Orban, representing the four Visigrad nations, wants none at all. Harmonise that!

    Then there’s fiscal and monetary policy. Is the Euro to be:
    – A hard currency without fiscal transfers?
    – A hard currency with fiscal transfers from rich Member States to poor ones?
    – A soft currency?

    Until there is genuine agreement on basic themes, ever closer union will only come from an EC / Franco-German diktat – and it won’t last.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Yes, it will be fascinating, watching how the good people of the European Union address and solve the various challenges that they together face.

      Their track record on finding solutions is pretty impressive so far, and will be helped considerably by the absence of the UK’s hitherto continual throwing of spanners into the works.

      Enjoy your spectatorship – there’s nothing that you can do to influence these developments at all. You can’t sent wastes-of-space like Farage and his shower merely to insult our friends any more either.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        For once I think you are right.
        The EU can carry on very soon uninhibited towards a United States of Europe with extra members.
        As long it can keep Germany and a few others like Netherlands and perhaps France to keep pouring in their money and subsidising the other 24 nations.

      • David Brown
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Martin as always I totally agree with you. I watch with interest the USA elections and see if a change of administration will take the USA to much closer co-operation and economic ties with the EU.
        I believe the UK devolved government of Scotland and hopefully Northern Island should be able to determine their own free trade agreements with the EU and Customs Union. It was the English retirees who swayed the vote in Wales.
        However overall the older people will be over taken by younger voters who can demand a future Gov enter a Customs Union with the EU. I will always fly the EU flag. Good to see EU companies operating in the UK will keep EU regulations as part of their customer service web sites.

  • 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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