The Western rules based system

The best features of the western system are the bases in democracy, free speech and limited government. In recent years there has been a big rise in international quangos, international law, and  Treaties seeking to constrain the actions of individual nationally elected governments.  There has been a parallel move to create more and more powerful so called independent bodies within each state and the EU to do much of the work of government without reference to the elected Ministers.

These moves have often been welcomed or even designed by the elected governments themselves. Elected Ministers seemed to think if more was decided and performed by independent bodies at international or national level they would escape the blame if things went wrong. They believed that you could find a range of talented independent experts who would solve problems and manage things well. Elected Ministers would be free to travel around feeling important and taking the credit.

This is of course nonsense. It is also dangerous because it creates a growing gap between the elected party representatives and many of the electors. The quangos often get it wrong, but leave the blame to Ministers who had no power to change things short of changing the constitution of the bodies concerned and taking back control. In the UK there have been spectacular failures. We have an independent Bank of England charged with keeping inflation to 2%, presiding over a rate which soared to 11%. We have an Environment Agency and water regulator presiding over sewage dumping into rivers and threatening us with water rationing in a country which gets plenty of rain much of the time. We have an independent NHS England management charged with getting waiting lists down and given record funding, only to see the waiting lists surge. I could go on.

EU laws and quangos have destroyed most of the Social Democrat and Christian Democrat major centre left and centre right parties by associating them in office with over bureaucratic, high tax ,low growth policies for years. EU politics is defined by challenger parties emerging, sometimes taking national control, but then failing to change policy owing to EU constraints. Syriza, Vox, Forza, En Marche and others have risen and fallen in their turn.

What many of the public expect is for elected Ministers to consider expert opinion but to come to good decisions based on examination and balance of the various opinions on offer. Leaving the pandemic to pandemic scientists would  not have been a good idea, as government needed to balance the needs of the many who would not get a serious version of covid against the wish to protect the vulnerable. The whole point of having a PM or President  was to ensure priorities other than hitting covid were reflected in decisions.It is also a strange idea that there is one strand of expert opinion which is bound to be right.

I will have more to say on this in future postings.


  1. Lynn Atkinson
    December 18, 2023

    Of course you are right, but why do you not therefore condemn the silencing of all the ‘pandemic’ experts who did not agree with the ‘rules based international consensus’?

    These men and women, highly qualified in this field, were threatened, sacked and denigrated by the worlds Press because they took a different academic view. Their predictions are on record and the ‘news’ is like reading their work in early 2020. As the process has proceeded they have undertaken post-mortems and have produced what they claim to be undisputed scientific proof at cell level of their claims. I am not a scientist and cannot assess these claims.

    Silencing opposing views and refusing to examine their claimed proofs of same, does not accord with the scientific or academic method deployed in the English speaking world, which delivered such unprecedented advances for mankind.

    1. Lemming
      December 18, 2023

      Quite right, Lynn. Again – yet again – we have John Redwood telling us how terrible verything is, as if we haven’t noticed that it is the Conservatives who have been in charge for over 13 years now

      1. Donna
        December 18, 2023

        Yes, but they just carried on with Blair’s Agenda – which is really the Globalists’ Agenda – and so will Starmer.

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        December 18, 2023

        It’s been ‘terrible’ for at least the last 70 years with the exception of the Thatcher interlude. Nobody could destroy so much in a mere 13 years – well, maybe Obiden! 🤪

      3. M.A.N.
        December 18, 2023

        Yes. It was the tories who doubled down on and extended the equality legislation in 2017. Just take a minute to think about that. This idea that the Tory’s are being held back by the blob, is nonsense. Can our host tell us who voted it through?

    2. Lifelogic
      December 18, 2023

      Indeed the government chose the wrong experts to trust and even acrivelt rubbished (at public expense) the more sensible ones. Dire deluded PPE dopes Hancock and Neil O’Brien rubbishing far more sensible, polite, delightful and generally spot on people like Prof. Sunetra Gupta, Dr Clare Craig, the Barrington declaration people…

      We need a sensible red team of scientists to counter the mad group think lunacy. In fact we just do not need the group think dopes at all. The groupthink is/was wrong on the net harm vaccines, net harm lockdowns, the zoonotic origins of Covid, on heat pumps, on EV cars, on tax and spending levels, on HS2 boilers… indeed on net zero in general. On the state monopoly and rigged market in healthcare, schools, universities, rail/transport..

  2. Hat man
    December 18, 2023

    Sir John, you say government needed to balance the needs of the many who would not get a serious version of covid against the wish to protect the vulnerable. Implying that this is what the government did. But it isn’t what the government did. It imposed three lockdowns on the whole population. Children’s need for a education, younger and middle-aged people’s need to be economically and socially active, all were sacrificed with the goal of protecting those of advanced age who might get ‘a serious version of covid’.

    Your account reads like the so-called Covid Inquiry’s faux narrative, which accuses the government of not wanting to protect the vulnerable in society. The progressive establishment which appears to have captured the inquiry wanted the approach of we-could-all-die-from-a-killer virus. The government by and large followed it, with the disastrous consequences we’ve seen, but is now being blamed by the inquiry for supposedly not following it. A balanced approach, protecting the vulnerable while allowing the rest of the population to continue with a minimum of disruption, was proposed in the Great Barrington Declaration of autumn 2020, signed by thousands of health professionals and others. Johnson and his ministers showed no interest in it.

    Reply I argued and voted against lockdown measures that went too far

    1. Dave
      December 18, 2023

      Lockdown amounted to house arrest or solitary confinement, depending if you lived alone or not. It was illegal, on my reading of common law or the Human Rights Act. But ‘might was right’ and we have an executive dictatorship, not an elected parliament controlling the executive. Only Lord Sumption and Peter Hitchens seem to have spoken up aganst it. Others were captured by the narrative.

      The likely fatality rate was set out by the incorruptible Prof John Ioannidis, Stanford Univ in 2020. It was very low unless a person was in very poor health, even if sadly they didn’t yet know it. A DHSC answer to Steve Baker MP in 2021 gave the IFR as under 0.1%.

      At other times, the UK government, for reasons best known to ministers and officials, chose to claim that it was ‘deadly’. Why? 0.1% seems less dangerous than Hong Kong flu 1968. We lived through that without batting an eyelid. I maintain that the government did not ‘balance the need of the many’, including healthy ‘oldies’ who were never at risk. (If I recall rightly, a Spanish woman aged 113 had COVID and rapidly recovered.)

    2. Donna
      December 18, 2023

      Every lockdown measure went too far.

    3. Margaret
      December 19, 2023

      At present I am suffering from COVID.The patients I invite in to be examined,if they have a fever , are asked to have a lateral flow test, however I don’t believe that the truth is told.The tests now cost £2.20 for one single test and it is easier for the patients to say that they have tested and are negative than tell the truth that they have not tested and by this deceit the virus is spread to the professionals.You may think that the government went too far but some of my colleagues,were they alive would not agree.

  3. DOM
    December 18, 2023

    Thanks for this article. It goes some way but not the whole way of exposing the poison of anti-democratic globalist overreach that is driven by dark forces. What is needed is real exposure of individuals who drive this deliberate circumvention of our dwindling democracy.

    The poison of the Globalist woke cabal now infects both domestic private and public entities and is financed by powerful and wealthy individuals and organisations. All main parties are intimately involved in this contemporary phenomena. It stinks, it’s a cancer and its aim is total control without democratic oversight

    As an aside. If I hear the term ‘far right’ again I fear I shall go insane. Why is this vile slander allowed? Those who use it should be prosecuted and are utterly repulsive and that includes the leeching, sclerotic BBC. THIS propaganda organisation still exists in the public sector. Why?????

    We are so in need of a Thatcherite leader who confronts head on the woke, racist cancer

    1. Sharon
      December 18, 2023

      Your reply to SJR’s excellent post is a brilliant continuation analysis!

      As we are now (supposedly) a sovereign nation again, we should be better placed than the EU to shrug off and change all the things you both refer to!

      But we first need to rid the country of advisers such as Blair. To do that we need to rid the Conservative Party of its LibDem MPs!

    2. MFD
      December 18, 2023

      Can I second your statement DOM as I agree with every word, the only thing missed is the stopping of free speech, opinions are censored these days!

    3. Everhopeful
      December 18, 2023

      Melanie Phillips article “Brainwashing Becomes the New Normal” seems to go some way to shedding a little light.
      This has been seen before and bizarrely the powers that be have bent over backwards to supposedly stamp it out. Yet here we are! I can’t type the word because we do not have free speech but interestingly Mel P has put it in her intro.
      I thought that when all this madness started it was like the French Revolution. Later I looked to more recent history …the “Plague” and “Blue and Yellow” rather proved my point I believe.

    4. glen cullen
      December 18, 2023

      Your correct Dom, I’m glad that SirJ has acknowledged that there has been a paradigm shift in politics with western governments glorifying the United Nations and all her sub organisations WEF & WHO and the EU, but I fear that our parliament doesn’t seek nor want a solution to redress the balance

    5. Peter
      December 18, 2023


      Some interesting choice of words – ‘dark forces’, ‘infects’ , ‘stinks’ , ‘cancer’, ‘vile slander’. Maybe your point would be better made with less loaded terms?

      Either way, you have long since gone past being this site’s version of Sir Herbert Gussett.

    6. Jim+Whitehead
      December 19, 2023

      DOM, +++++. I know that you’re not going to back off regardless of detractors. You’re definitely over the target and you’re unloading seriously potent ordnance.

  4. Michelle
    December 18, 2023

    This touches on something that has been concerning me for a long time. We seem to be slipping further and further into a sort of dictatorship by remote bodies that do not represent us as a people in any way shape or form.
    The main political Parties, or the Uni-Party as many refer to Cons./Labour, seem to be nothing more than bullying line managers for the International bodies that they so keenly hide behind.
    Fraudulent manifestos are offered up every few years, knowing full well they’ll never be adhered to as a social contract.

    1. Sharon
      December 18, 2023

      UK Column had a chart on their website a couple of years ago depicting the chain of hierarchy within countries. Governments were in level three from the top, below all said quangos and the big tech etc companies.

      All I can say is, at last it’s at least being spoken about. All the time these organisations such the UN, WHO are demanding more and more power for themselves. They obviously learnt from the EU. Make treaties that are vaguely worded so as to be difficult to legally challenge the various interpretations!

  5. Richard1
    December 18, 2023

    A very important summary of one the most fundamental issues today. In the U.K. we saw an explosion of the prevalence and power over us of unelected regulatory bodies during the Blair-Brown govt. some of these bodies we hear little of and do not even know the names of the main bureaucrats who are silently ruling our lives. Who for example is now on the climate change committee, one of the most powerful, following Lord gummer’s retirement?

    If huge powers to make laws and regulations are to be given to quangos of various sorts then we need to elect the quangos. Undesirable as it may be this must also apply eg to the Supreme Court if that’s to get involved regularly in political questions.

    1. hefner
      December 18, 2023

      So R1, you are unable to do a web search. Seeing that I really doubt you would be able to contribute anything sensible onto the climate question debate, or would you?

      Up to 2023, the CCC was John Gummer (Lord Deben), Baroness Brown, Prof.N.Chater, Dr.R.Heaton, Prof.P.Foster, P.Johnson, Prof.C.LeQuerre, P.J.Skea, Prof.R.Dawson, Prof.G.Mace, E.Odzemiroglu, R.Schofield, Prof.M.Davies, C.Stark.

      Following Lord Deben’s retirement, the CCC is now led by Prof.P.Foster.

      1. Martin in Bristol
        December 18, 2023

        Who elected these people hefner?
        Was it you?

        1. hefner
          December 18, 2023

          No, but please tell me, who ‘elected’ the members of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Adam Smith Institute, Centre for Policy Studies, or Bow Group?
          Was it you?

          1. Hope
            December 19, 2023

            Why waste time on a Google search, the quango needs to be scrapped. Nothing of any clue emanates from it.

          2. Martin in Bristol
            December 19, 2023

            Irrelevant response from you as expected hefner.
            You list some independent bodies which offer their views versus a powerful political group with real legislative influence and the ability to demand people appear before them like a modern day star chamber.

          3. hefner
            December 19, 2023

            I am sure MiB will be keen on providing the list of all those who were ever requested to appear before the CCC.

          4. Martin in Bristol
            December 19, 2023

            Why don’t you provide us with this information hefner.
            You seem good at research.
            Or are you trying to claim Parliamentary Committees do not have power to get people to appear?

          5. hefner
            December 20, 2023

            Obviously Parliamentary Committees have the power to call people as witnesses. It is simply that the CCC is a committee of experts, not a Parliamentary Committee.
            You are confusing the CCC with the Environment and Climate Change Committee, a HoL committee. Not the same.
            But am I surprised? Not really, you are not even a good troll.

    2. glen cullen
      December 18, 2023

      Its as though the electorate, the voter is now secondary

    3. formula57
      December 18, 2023

      @ Richard1 “Who for example is now on the climate change committee” – could it be the people whose photographs and biographies are shown @ perhaps?

    4. Peter
      December 18, 2023


      Indeed. ‘Cancelled’ historian David Starkey has a lot to say on this issue.

      He suggests the Supreme Court idea was partly to undermine Derry Irvine as Lord Chancellor. Blair was his former pupil in legal chambers.

      The Quangos also bypass parliament and are very useful in pushing through changes if you stuff them with your own apparatchiks.

      1. Jim+Whitehead
        December 19, 2023

        R1, The quango, Care Quality Commission, in its letters to clinicians gives the writer’s pronouns.
        This body, the CQC, is responsible for huge amounts of useless paperwork and form filling throughout the NHS and medical field generally. It’s absence would free so much time and relieve so much pressure from staff from the very top to the very bottom.
        CQC is responsible for constipation and headaches, depression and detachment from what has been historically been called a ‘vocation’

    5. Timaction
      December 18, 2023

      Yes we do need to bring these people to account but first we need to elect those who will allow us to do so. Reform is the only answer as even Sir John and his cohort have no say, so what chance do we have?
      I see it’s reported that Rishi is trying to gerrymander his own selection processes for new MP’s. He obviously wants more Liberals for his “one nation” pretendy conservative grouping to try and fool the electorate again. Sorry that ship has sailed and we see and experience the daily consequences of his policies on mass immigration, Yuman Rights except for the English, and therefore no health, congestion, massive house building yet a housing crisis, education, dentistry etc. Highest taxes ever to pay for the welfare/housing/health etc of the minimum minus 20% immigrant workers, whilst paying 5.6 million to welfare claimants plus inflation linked rises and cost of living bungs. Real conservative policies…………….NOT!
      Goodbye Tory’s election please so you have time to collect your……….welfare!

  6. Sakara Gold
    December 18, 2023

    The Royal Mail is frequently criticised for delays in delivering letters etc. This year, they have managed to deliver ALL my Xmas cards to friends and family within 4 days of posting – with 2nd class stamps

    The reason for this is clear – RM have replaced their inefficient, smelly and noisy diesel vehicles with a fleet of modern, efficient and quiet EVs. Rock on Royal Mail !!

    1. Berkshire Alan
      December 18, 2023

      That is about as stupid reasoning as me saying, I now only get one or two deliveries a week, and some of my cards have taken 14 days to be delivered, because Royal mail has now got electric vehicles,
      When in fact they have been told to prioritise parcels over letters, because it is more profitable.
      Thus I assume your posting was meant as a Christmas joke !
      Now we only send a few cards to the very distant friends and family due to the excessive cost and delay of postage.

    2. Sea_Warrior
      December 18, 2023

      Your causal-link analysis is weak – but Happy Christmas.

    3. agricola
      December 18, 2023

      Not clear thinking on your part. It is good management and an excellent workforce that have delivered your mail. Providing they work, the power source of the vehicles is irrelevant.

    4. MFD
      December 18, 2023

      You must be a deluded city person, here in Devon they need reliability so still have their ICE little red vans!

    5. Everhopeful
      December 18, 2023

      You’re wrong there!
      This year they skim through the skies in sleighs drawn by reindeer.

    6. peter
      December 18, 2023

      Or there are so few people using their awful service yours were probably the only ones they dealt with!!

    7. gregory martin
      December 18, 2023

      @Sakura Gold
      Again you are overguilding your lily. Royal Mail has 48700 vehicles, of which only 5500 are electric vehicles.( The most probable reason for delivery within 4 days of second class mail is the finite amount of warehouse that they are prepared to rent, in which to park your postings, so as to slow it down to create a second class service. It costs them more to charge you less!

      1. Lifelogic
        December 18, 2023


    8. formula57
      December 18, 2023

      @ Sakara Gold – what a triumph, although you fail to mention it has happened after Brexit.

    9. Peter Wood
      December 18, 2023

      Excellent Civil Service style ’cause and effect’ logic there; take a knighthood!

    10. Lynn Atkinson
      December 18, 2023

      😂🤣 nothing to do with looking down the barrel of the gun represented by the private sector competition then. I have just dropped off 6 parcels at the post office, I was so lucky – their big red diesel van was there and I managed to get all my parcels in transit almost immediately!

    11. Mickey Taking
      December 18, 2023

      I know that posties are told to ensure parcels get priority over delivering ordinary letter mail.
      Here in Sir John’s constituency we witness our chap delivering next door sometimes but not us – one day last week yet again no delivery, next day 20 cards! Five first class machine marked from main location, fifteen second class some stamps not marked and others posted after the first class ones! Our conclusion is they decide to deliver odd numbers one day, even the next (we are consecutive numbers so we can see what is going on. Designed to save the time if delivering to every door! I understand they must deliver if mail to every street, but not every house!

      1. Mickey Taking
        December 18, 2023

        we had no mail on Saturday – 19 today!
        I expect nothing tomorrow – the suspense is killing!

        1. Mickey Taking
          December 19, 2023

          as I thought – no mail delivery today!
          Possibly a fair size tomorrow?

    12. Lifelogic
      December 18, 2023

      Well that seems rather in unlikely reason for any greater reliability, but perhaps explains the large postage price increases as EVs are far more expensive for a given load capacity, wear tyres more quickly cause more potholes and road wear and depreciate far more rapidity. Plus spend a long time recharging the short lived batteries (usually from gas, coal or wood generated electricity – total insanity. Increasing CO2 not decreasing it at all.

    13. Mickey Taking
      December 19, 2023

      How many counties and countries do you send to ?
      Total posting numbers? 10 /30 / 60 /100 100+ ?

  7. Mark B
    December 18, 2023

    Good morning.

    EU politics is defined by challenger parties emerging, sometimes taking national control, but then failing to change policy owing to EU constraints. Syriza, Vox, Forza, En Marche and others have risen and fallen in their turn.

    This was designed into the DNA of the EU right from the very start. Problem is, this model of government was designed in the early 1920’s and reflected the world it was in, much like Communism did during its inceptions. The world has of course moved on and has changed and the EU model no longer serves. But rather than recognise this and adapt and change, they have doubled down.

    The CCP is exerting its malevolent influence and seeks to replace the USA and Western values. The trouble is, we do not have people in place who can call this out but, weak little middle managers.

    Things do not look good.

    1. glen cullen
      December 18, 2023

      MPs oath –
      ‘I do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles, his heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God’
      Maybe they should also insert a line indicating their allegiance to the people and to follow the wishes of the people following a general election

      1. Lifelogic
        December 18, 2023

        Even if our King is a deluded climate hypocrite (who foolishly alienates over half of his subjects by not keeping out of politics) a lover of quack medicines on the NHS, Covid vaccines, a defender of faiths (regardless of how bonkers and contradictory many of these faiths seem to be).

        It is a shame he will not keep out of politics as a king should do. This especially as his views are so totally ill-informed, wrongheaded and highly do as I say not as I do hypocritical.

    2. Mitchel
      December 18, 2023

      It is simpler than that-it’s a question of who controls the money?

      It’s always a question of who controls the money!

      Napoleon Bonaparte:”When a government is dependent upon bankers for money………the hand that gives is above the hand that takes.Money has no fatherland,financiers are without patriotism and without decency,their sole object is gain.”

      Written at a time when England was getting into bed with the Rothschilds to fund the war against Napoleon.

  8. Richard II
    December 18, 2023

    A very good analysis of where we are now. It’s just that when we look at areas that aren’t run by agencies, are things any better? Planning policy still comes under a Ministry and so does immigration. I have yet to see timely effective decision-making in these areas. Planning reforms still haven’t been officially announced despite having been trailed in the media for months, and as for immigration it’s clear that the “rules-based system” there is that the people-smugglers and the lawyers set the rules, not Ministers.

  9. Donna
    December 18, 2023

    An accurate summing-up of how, over the last few decades, the Establishment has deliberately hollowed-out our “democracy” and effectively taken the levers of power not only out of the hands of the electorate via elections, but also out of the hands of the people they elect to represent them.

    Our “democracy” is a complete sham. We have a “choice” between the Red Socialists or Blue Socialists who argue noisily in Parliament, but the policies they offer are virtually identical because the levers of power are operated elsewhere.

    The Covid Tyranny is a prime example of the consequences of putting obsessive, single-issue and unaccountable “Experts” in charge of responding to an issue perceived by the Establishment as a crisis (it wasn’t since they downgraded Covid to a Low Consequence Infectious Disease five days BEFORE the first lockdown).

    The other, ongoing example, is the Climate Change Committee …. a fiasco which will be playing out over 30 years and will bankrupt the country. Just like the Covid Tyranny, the decisions have been taken at International Level, dissenters silenced and the policies are being imposed with no democratic debate let alone choice.

    It really isn’t worth voting …. except this time there will at least be the satisfaction of giving a punishment kicking to the Treacherous Tories they will never forget and hopefully never recover from, which might let a challenger party replace them.

    1. Rod Evans
      December 18, 2023

      Spot on. + 4(3)2 up.

    2. Dave Andrews
      December 18, 2023

      It’s really the electorate who are to blame, for returning the same numpties into office. At the local level, I’m sure we’d have better Conservative candidates if the party membership selected them, rather than establishment favourites being parachuted in from CCHQ.

    3. Hope
      December 18, 2023

      Plus many. JR appears to be delusional that he is in a party that represents conservatism, personal responsibility, freedom of choice, market values, etc. Sunak just banned smoking! Look at double standards in protests, Sex and Relationship Act, gay marriage, EU Windsor sell out forcing N.Ireland to be a vassal state without a say on its laws, regs and rules!! Still under ECJ a foreign court! JRs party annexed N.Ireland, put a border down Irish Sea and forces GB under EU control when we voted leave! JR, explain what your party and govt has done to N.Ireland against your blog. You do not make sense.

    4. Wanderer
      December 18, 2023

      +1. The scare tactic of “vote Reform and you’ll get Labour” doesn’t work any more. As you suggest, Labour, Tory…show me a significant difference.

      Great Post today by the way…freedom is what lets our culture flourish. I only wish more in Parliament felt like our host.

    5. glen cullen
      December 18, 2023

      If it wasn’t for the instruction from the UN IPCC would our government have a policy of net-zero ….and therein lies the issues, it wasn’t driven, proposed nor voted for by the people

  10. Everhopeful
    December 18, 2023

    I read somewhere that today in parliament the WHO Treaty is being discussed/decided upon.

    Reply Not decided. There shoukd be a debate to tell government not to sign

    1. Sharon
      December 18, 2023

      There really should be a debate, but the petition I signed, came with a disappointing response from government.

      My MP referred my concerns on and the reply to that was cut and paste official claptrap nonsense. So I don’t hold my breathe on the outcome!

    2. MFD
      December 18, 2023

      I totally agree with that Sir John, I for one do not want a dictatorship having the power to dictate what happens to me! I have been watching this and have decided if they make any order in my life time I will fight it. What goes is my body is MY decision

    3. glen cullen
      December 18, 2023

      Right to reply
      If its not in the manifesto this or any government shouldn’t be signing any world treaty …..democracy

      1. Mickey Taking
        December 19, 2023

        but a week in politics is a long time – how can you restrict the advisability of signing treaties to a 5 year manifesto?

        1. glen cullen
          December 19, 2023

          I’m talking about treaty that effects democracy and freedom NOT trade treaty

  11. BOF
    December 18, 2023

    As is often the case, you are quite right Sir John.

    Next up, the Government is quite happy to cede sovereignty to marxist WHO. I received a letter from my MP denying this was the case but having read read the changes to IHR and the new agreement I seem to have a different understanding of English to her and government.

    I urge you SJR to please write on this issue and pursue it in parliament.

    Reply I will join the debate this pm in Parliament

    1. Radar
      December 18, 2023

      Reply to Reply, thanks Sir J.

    2. glen cullen
      December 18, 2023

      Bilateral country to country trade treaties are okay, however any ‘world’ treaty with unelected international bodies, should require the authorisation from the people in the form of a referendum or general election …its wrong to sign away our democracies

    3. Denis Cooper
      December 18, 2023

      There was an interesting sequence of comments on here in June 2012:

      initiated by ChrisXP saying:

      “I wonder whether, if the Internet had been widely available in 1975, the vote on the EEC might have been different? We believed we were voting on a trade agreement, not political union and the ultimate abolition of nation states. One could not just press a button on a keyboard in those days and call up the Treaty of Rome to read. People were more trusting of the media and politicians. What a mistake that was. We were all well and truly had.”

      and ending with relevant passages from the government’s pamphlet being quoted.

    4. Lifelogic
      December 18, 2023


  12. agricola
    December 18, 2023

    Within the UK this anti democratic globalist tendency began and multiplied in time as we were sucked increasingly into the influence of EU Brussels. Throughout, democratic power was leached from us as individuals and the instruments of this within Parliament were emasculated, only to be replaced by a compliant civil service. The civil service were in place, anonymous, minus mandate or any form of control. They could not be sacked. The CS were the perfect vehicle to transmit the wishes of the EU and any other globalist player, out of democratic reach. That is why so many of our infrastructure players ore out of contro7l and failing to deliver at times our basic service needs.
    Witness being surounded and underpined with energy sources but unable to deliver cheap energy to the consumer. A country de-energised cannot compete. Witness water, surounded and bombarded by it, but in many cases controlled by overseas companies who fail to deliver it or control sewage. Witness education, in a supposedly Christian country, allowed to be subjected to bombardment and at times control by the alien mob who would impose upon it medaeval strictures that fly in the face of democracy. Witness an emasculated police force that bends to every pressure to maintain what it thinks is racial harmony but which in fact allows the most evil racial thought and resultant events to prevail. Witness the Ponzi immigration policy, should you flatter it with such a status.
    If all the above does not convince you that our culture and way of life is being fast and deliberately erroded you are unquestionably part of the problem.

  13. Sea_Warrior
    December 18, 2023

    Nice piece. For a party that is infected with PPE grads, very few of the high-ups seem to want to stand at a podium and talk political philosophy. With the general election now rushing up like the ground after one’s main parachute has failed to open, can I suggest that more philosophising is now needed – and that your philosophers need to get their thoughts through to the voting public rather than just to their ‘shadows’ across the chamber.

  14. Rod Evans
    December 18, 2023

    The biggest threat to rational decision making is the banning of discussion and debate as seen in the BBC and other national media providers.
    How does anyone imagine a balanced/sensible decision can be made about anything if only one side of the debate is allowed air time.
    Consider the biggest issue currently driving all state policy on energy provision/availability.
    The Climate Alarmists are given prime time on the BBC while the climate experts or actual scientists that hold a different view to the preferred ‘settled science’ of the BBC are banned from even appearing or voicing their opinion.
    The banning and cancelling of those who advance or hold views, considered alien to the mainstream is the key issue that must be changed. Without the dissenting voices being allowed/heard, voices that often make up a majority of opinion in the demos, there is no actual democracy.

  15. Bryan Harris
    December 18, 2023

    They believed that you could find a range of talented independent experts who would solve problems and manage things well.

    That was always going to end in tears – for a start, ‘experts’ are over rated and too often flawed in their logic.

    Secondly, there is no adequate system of ethics that controls or limits the actions of those put in control.

    As a species we all seem to be waiting for a ‘superman’ to appear to cure all our ills, the ‘experts’ are not it, and the state has already made so much less of personal responsibility – ‘Leave it to the State’ we are told. No wonder there is so little personal responsibility to be found.

    The current quango/treaty/global institutions are out for their own good – just like our own civil servants and many in public life they have forgotten who the serve — Time for a cull!

  16. Peter Gardner
    December 18, 2023

    The state is rather like software. It grows and grows as demands are placed on it and as circumstances change. It becomes more complex. It therefore becomes more difficult to foresee the effects of one change throughout this complex structure. In software regression testing helps to expose unforeseen problems. One cannot do that with the state. It is live, online, and there is no offline test rig available on which to try out changes. Therefore the state itself becomes a more and more frequent source of risk to the people, although the effects of such risk are not necessarily increased. With software one can replace the whole lot with a better language and better architecture that better enables adaptation. Very hard to do that with the state.
    The outsourcing of state functions accelerates this progress towards unmanageable complexity and increasingly frequent failures. The state becomes moribund, and increasingly fails to meet the needs of the people it is supposed to serve and increasingly inflexible in the face of change in the environment in which it operates. its response is to seek reinforcement from and security for itself in greater technocratic bodies in a sort of heirarchy.
    Membership of the necessarily technocratic EU accelerated the process. The EU itself was the secure refuge of struggling national politicians and civil servants. Its legacy is a step increase in complexity and technocratic culture in Whitehall and Westminster with an increased appetite for quangos. The EU culture is designed to avoid democratic accountability and to raise the standing of its senior figures further above the people. This is also the EU’s legacy to the UK and it is very attractive to the professional politician, whether elected or appointed, as it enhances their career prospects. Hence the Rejoiner tendency.
    We used to joke in the Royal Navy that it would run much more smoothly without ships. The state would run much more smoothly without voters. No doubt many of our technocratic elites aspire to be in the position of composer Harrington Birtwhistle: if the audience doesn’t like your music, you change the audience. Since the technocratic elites can’t do that they attempt to silence the audience and they have shown a considerable ability to re-order the thinking of children and students, bending it to a great deal of wokery and nonsense as laid down in the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels.
    The Brexiteers’ answer was to drain the Westminster and Whitehall swamp. It certainly seems the state needs a complete re-design based on a new appreciation of what the state is and what its functions and purposes are. And don’t ask the young their opinion – they have had their thinking re-ordered. Half of them support Hamas against Israel. We have a lost generation that is an unrecoverable failed experiment.

  17. Cliff..Wokingham.
    December 18, 2023

    Sir John,
    It always struck me as strange that, people who go into politics do so because, I assume, they want to make life better for the people and yet, once the get elected to a position where they have the power to bring about those changes, they give that power away.
    Would a leader or party be allowed to bring about real change, given that we are so dependent on other countries for so much?
    Look what happened to Liz Truss and the way the paid for media label and attack anyone or any party opposed to global socialism. Can a nation so reliant on debt ever be totally free?

  18. The Prangwizard
    December 18, 2023

    And lets hope we get Minsters with sense, knowledge and experience in what subject they are operating – there’s no been much sign of that in recent years. And also that don’t get switched around every five minutes by a PM who dare not stick to people or policies.

  19. Bloke
    December 18, 2023

    The so-called ‘independent bodies’ often act as rivals to the elected government. They consume taxpayers’ money to oppose, using devices based solely on their own opinion without adequate public support to justify their existence.

    Elected opposition parties have the purpose to hold the government to account. Specialist regulators tend to be too lax and even need regulation just to perform what they are supposed to remedy themselves properly.

  20. David+L
    December 18, 2023

    More than one Doctor and Consultant has told me that only the individual can decide what treatment they can take. “Informed Consent” is what we are deemed to have given as a principle. “Anything else is contrary to medical ethics” is one quote that sticks in my mind. After being told by government that a covid jab stops you getting it, stops you spreading it and is quite safe I have lost all faith in official narratives as each each of those claims has proved somewhat less than true. This WHO digital passport business is a huge blow to individual freedom and that so many current MP’s think it is to be welcomed is very worrying. Please do all you can to stop this being foisted on us.

  21. William Long
    December 18, 2023

    It seems to me that a consistent thread running through your post, is the unwillingness, I would not say inability, of the elected Government Ministers to control what goes on in their departments. It is hard to see this changing with any of the current major (and in most cases I would say minor) parties in charge. No doubt you will point to the huge difficulty all new parties have found in having representatives elected to Parliament, but the time must be near that a new party would stand a realistic chance if supported by experienced politicians such as yourself, and those of like mind, who we know exist, if only in relatively small numbers. And as your post makes clear, we certainly need something very different to what we have now.

    1. iain gill
      December 18, 2023

      yes but if you read Dom Cummings analysis of his time as a SPAD you will see that ministers cannot actually sack anyone in their depts, their supposed control is minimal, and most of them know little about the work of the dept the end up in charge of so are easily manipulated. the system itself is badly designed.

  22. Philip+Hatton
    December 18, 2023

    3 comments on your post.
    When politicians controlled interest rates they would reduce them to get re-elected, at the expense of rampant inflation. Your example of the BoE controlling the rates demonstrates that it is a better system (inflation halved within a year).

    At the start of the pandemic the political leadership sat on their hand while the country watched the damage it was doing to Italy. If we had enforced quarantine at that point we may have reduced the impact significantly (Australia had a mortality rate of 25%of ours)

    As I understand it, today most politicians have not had a real job, they’re PPE grads, who have worked in the political system all their lives. I would prefer experts with real world experience making the decisions.

    Reply It was the Bank that put inflation up to 11%! aAny Mps including myself had good experiences of your real world before entering politics

  23. Original Richard
    December 18, 2023

    “The best features of the western system are the bases in democracy, free speech and limited government.”

    You’ve omitted “meritocracy”, Sir John, one of the West’s best tools for freedom, fairness and prosperity and which the communists among us are trying to replace with “diversity”.

  24. Original Richard
    December 18, 2023

    There are two reasons for the rise of national and international quangos, institutions, regulatory bodies, charities, commissions, “ofs”, agencies, committees, and the like (the list is endless).

    Firstly it enables the communists to slowly destroy democracy by replacing elected representatives with unelected, incompetent and corrupt Soviet style bureaucrats. This also enables them to turn the screw on us by enacting unpopular Soviet style policies while claiming to be working for the electorate. The worst example being the communist Climate Change Committee who are destroying the economy and our freedoms with their unattainable and unnecessary Net Zero goal with the tax payer even funding the lawyers which take the Government to court for not complying with the Committee’s “carbon budgets”.

    Secondly these bodies provide very lucrative positions for when the electorate finally reject them. The EU use this principle to ensure their bureaucrats dislike their own countries so much they are quite happy to sign their allegiance to the EU instead.

  25. BW
    December 18, 2023

    I see another legal challenge to the Home Office decision to increase the income threshold for immigration. It is being brought by a group calling themselves “families Reunited”. Or something like that.
    Every time I hear something positive to curb the rot in this now defunct democracy some group goes to the courts. Of course Yuman rites will be at the heart of the challenge.
    So remind me who is running the country?

  26. JoolsB
    December 18, 2023

    It\’s not just quangos though is it that need abolishing. What about the club for has beens and cronies, i.e. the House of Lords. 800 plus and growing and receiving £325 a day tax free just for signing in before they head off for their taxpayer funded lunch and drinkies. And why do we need 650 MPs sitting in parliament when the case load of 117 of them is done by the devolved parliaments. Yet what they have no say on for those who put them there, they have 100% say on for those who didn’t, i.e. the English.
    Democracy? 650 self serving anti English MPs do not know the meaning of it.

  27. Nigl
    December 18, 2023

    Agree totally. The issue I have is that your premise needs quality (brave/decisive/with experience etc) Ministers.

    Unfortunately we don’t have them, your Central Office seeking to dilute further only selecting ‘centrist Sunak’ clones as are your ministers.

    Braverman too much independent thought, too close to the shameful truth, becoming too popular so axed.

    Sums it all,up.

  28. Ian B
    December 18, 2023

    Like a lot of things in this mixed-up world, they start off as well-meaning agreements between parties trying to move forward. Then egotistical Bureaucrats get involved and start calling things laws, start imposing their own personal belief set and start building empires around them.
    No Law, Rule or Regulation should be imposed on a people without their Democratic consent, even then that consent must evolve through the ballot box.
    The UK doesn’t have a constitution, in the same sense that other Countries do, it has an ever-evolving framework that is brought into being via the ballot box. What that means is the measurement of standards 100’s of years back doesn’t become today’s millstone.

  29. Berkshire Alan
    December 18, 2023

    I often wonder if politicians are simply trying to justify their own existence given the number of laws and regulations that are forever changing and making everyones life more complicated and expensive.
    Surely we need fewer simple laws rather than more expensive, complicated ones, which appear to be a legal minefield, and a lawyers delight.
    Surely theft is theft, no matter where or what the circumstances.
    Illegal entry into the Country is exactly that.
    Assault is causing harm to someone, no matter the degree, or with what.
    Years ago Judges decided on type and length of sentencing given the circumstances of the crime by the guilty party.
    Now we seem to have a thousand laws for each possible likely cause, which in/by themselves produce miniature loopholes open for legal argument, before or if possible prosecution ever takes place, indeed having the correct paperwork appears to be much more important than actually dealing with the problem

  30. Ian B
    December 18, 2023

    The likes of the UN, WHO and also the EU Commission as they don’t have oversite and responsibility imposed or required by the Peoples on this Planet, they cannot become a government. They are all Bureaucrats who are able to get democratically elected trying and for the most part succeeding in imposing their illegitimate personal will on whole peoples. Put simply they are the Worlds Dictators with the same legitimacy of all the despots we see around the Globe.
    All Governments that call themselves Democrats should rein things in and defend and reinforce the basic premise of Democracy – namely government by the people for the people. All Laws Rules and Regulations inside a democratic state, should be created, amended and repealed through a representative Parliament. That is where this Conservative Government has it all wrong, they are not working or serving their electorate, this country, but themselves and their self-appoint masters in foreign lands that have no democratic legitimacy.
    Or in other words we have a majority in this UK Parliament and its Government fighting the People of this Country, they refuse to serve their electorates, fight democracy and seemingly are all off looking to stroke their own personal esteem above duty

  31. Sakara Gold
    December 18, 2023

    Does the rule of law extend to the Israel/Gaza conflict? Most global opinion was appalled by the genocidal Hamas attack on southern Israel, but does this give the Israelis the right to undertake what are clearly punishment bombings on the Gaza population?

    Israeli intel agencies were caught unawares by the 7 October attack. For this, the Israeli PM Netanyahu and his far-right government have been blamed for taking their eye off the ball. In their arrogance – despite clear warnings from multiple sources – the Israeli cabinet was focussed on making changes to the constitution and reforming the Supreme Court. To prevent Netanyahu from being prosecuted for corruption.

    We face a similar situation with the Ukraine conflict. Last week the war criminal Putin was again threatening Finland and NATO. Last month it was Poland. When is the West going to wake up to these clear Russian threats and re-arm?

  32. Javelin
    December 18, 2023

    This is one of the most important posts you have made. This issue needs to be discussed.

    Subverting democracy is a plague on our times.

  33. glen cullen
    December 18, 2023

    SirJ your article today is the most crucial, the most important article you have ever produced as it goes to the heart of the relationship between the voter and politician, and between the people and the government ….I fear that you might be the only politician concerned about this development

  34. Kenneth
    December 18, 2023

    Just as environmental policy has been a Trojan Horse for increased socialism, the shift of power to the Unelected Sector has heralded more socialism.

    For the UK this move towards socialism has been in defiance to the wishes of the electorate and has been helped by a government which calls itself Conservative!

  35. Derek
    December 18, 2023

    So, in summary, it boils down to – “The best features of the western system” WERE “the bases in democracy, free speech and limited government”.
    Surely, we citizens now need a true and valid public enquiry to establish how and why it all went wrong. AND CORRECT IT ALL!
    But who can we rely upon today to do just that? It’s fair to suggest that ‘we’re all in it together’, especially when it is directed at the politicos we are lumbered with today. Too many have socialist leanings, whatever their political affiliation.

  36. Charles Breese
    December 18, 2023

    For me a key factor for making progress is ensuring that our leaders are very capable long term problem solvers. Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow provides insight into the different ways in which different people make decisions. I would like to see a template derived from this to help select leaders who are effective long term decision makers.

    1. graham1946
      December 19, 2023

      Long term and politics don’t mesh. They are only ever interested in the next election rather than the good of the country.

  37. Bert+Young
    December 18, 2023

    Using independent advice is one thing but allowing such bodies to manage and decide is another . As things stand the BoE and the OBR have mass gross errors of judgement in the past that have been allowed to impinge on the quality of our lives , this is a gross mistake and an insult to our democracy . Representation of the people is the basic requirement of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet he/she selects ; it cannot and must not be subordinated outside of his or her mandate . Using established and proved sources of skill from outside Parliament is always justifiable but that is where the buck should stop . Sunak an Hunt have let us down through weaknesses in their own leadership discretions ; the voters have now have to decide .

  38. Atlas
    December 18, 2023

    Agreed Sir John – What is needed to save the Conservatives, even at this late juncture, is a change of leader to one that is not in hock to the ‘One nation – globalist’ faction.

  39. john B
    December 18, 2023

    You have not included Ofgem who allowed and encouraged undercapitalised companies to sell gas and electricity to customers without hedging forward. When they went bust their customers had to accept higher prices from other companies. The least that Ofgem should have done is ensure that all companies selling energy could meet their obligations before authorising them. No one seems to think that odd

    1. graham1946
      December 19, 2023

      And of course we have had to pay for the losses of these firms on our bills and it seems that any losses made by the current suppliers going forward are not to be borne by them but to be added yet again to our bills to maintain profits and dividends to many foreign investors.

  40. graham1946
    December 18, 2023

    ‘International Law’ is often quoted as a reason we cannot do something we may wish to do for the good of our country. I am not talking here about the ECHR which we signed up to, but the more nebulous ‘laws’ which seem to cover everything else and seems a convenient excuse for not doing anything. Can anyone tell me where the ‘International Law Court’ sits and how they enforce its laws and how it penalises non conformers?
    Regarding quangos, Environment Agency, the NHS management, Regulators, etc. to do things properly requires people of talent, a wish to do the job properly and no government interference limiting their powers to change things which makes them of little use. It seems ‘jobs for the boys’ is the main reason for their existence, and as you have shown they are not very effective. ‘Ministers’ are another problem, many square pegs in round holes and too much chopping and changing before they get a grip on their portfolios and people of low talent promoted on the basis of favours owed.

  41. RichardP
    December 18, 2023

    Exactly! Ministers and government officials want all the glory and none of the responsibility.
    Things need to change and a good place to start would be to throw out the new WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty.

  42. Peter Humphreys
    December 18, 2023

    Which quangos did you vote into existence John?

  43. Javelin
    December 18, 2023

    In the debate I would address the MPs by saying

    I would like to address all the members of this house, not as a Conservative MP, but as an MP who has been elected democratically. I hope we can all respect that every MP represents their voters, and we must respect the right for voters to have their opinions expressed and debated in this House by their representative.

    Political commentators in the media are saying that the King’s Speech did not introduce any significant bills. The reason for this is that Parliament has given most of its power away to super-national and sub-national technocrats. There is very little we can vote on and therefore very little for us to discuss.

    The voters are saying there is little more than the width of a fag paper to choose between the political parties. That is because the political Parties have given away most of their options to super-national and sub-national technocrats. So we are left with an option to debate which side of the fag paper our constituents stand.

    Today the bills we discuss and pass in this house are by a neutered Parliament, by neutered MPs.

    If you believe in democracy. If you believe you should have the power to reflect your constituents votes then you cannot vote for this bill. Neither can you vote for other bills that given more power away to unelected bodies.

    The direction of travel must be for power to be taken back from unelected bodies and given to the Honourable members of this house. It may be a year before the next Kings speech but we must all come together, on both sides of the house, to assert our responsibilities and bring power back into this chamber.

    1. Mickey Taking
      December 19, 2023

      A superb maiden speech – hurry up and get chosen for a constituency!
      CCHQ could easily drop any of about 50 and put you in a safe seat (what is safe after 13 misruled years?).

  44. Ian B
    December 18, 2023

    Time to stand back and think. Does the UK want to be a Democracy or a Puppet of a Dictatorship?
    The majority in the UK Parliament and in particular this so-called Conservative Government are too quick to virtue signal and be subordinate to those that are not elected, not accountable, therefore not actually responsible for anything other than their own personal ego. All the costs and purgatory we as a people have to endure are as a result of Government being dictated to by those that aren’t elected or responsible. You could reason the UK Government and Parliament is being manipulated by those that seek malicious harm to the UK and the principles of Democracy.
    Simple rule of thumb if anything requires UK taxpayer funding, it is then the direct responsibility of the Government and Parliament no one else – there are no if’s and buts, this UK is intended to be a Democracy.
    Any laws Rules and Regulations hitting the UK statute, on how the UK operates internally must at all-times be the responsibility of the UK Parliament, in turn that mean electorate through their representatives.
    All the woes, and there are many that inflict the UK, stem from the Governments refusal to take charge, manage the Country, defend democracy and free speech. It is that simple. Just as with what is seeming the majority in this what is becoming and ever more corrupt Parliament, there is the convenience to forget how they finished up in the HoC, who empowered and pays them.
    If parliament can’t be defended as our Democratic Legislator, we are done for and it should be disbanded.

  45. Ed M
    December 18, 2023

    At end of day, we have lost religion.
    Religion provided structure, order, rules and principles as well as the creative, the artistic and the beautiful (Michelangelo / Mozart etc)(and, of course, spirituality, being down-to-earth / grounded, love – soft and tough love, family values, patriotism etc).

    Last night my friends were all saying how there is no Tory in recent decades who comes close to Mrs Thatcher as leader. Let’s not forget that she was a Christian woman. Born and raised Methodist.

  46. Anthony Jacks
    December 18, 2023

    My major concerns for our Country are essentially international.

    1. Klaus and the WEF.
    This, for myself, is one of the most sinister organisations in the world. Its aims are for a unitary world organisation with total control of the population. A supreme communist entity. We are seeing some of their ideas taking shape now, with the fifteen minute cities and etc.
    2.The UN.
    This organisation is attempting to usurp Sovereign States. They have control of the Zero Carbon initiative, without any scientific credibility. Their offshoot the WHO is attempting to control future pandemics plus taxes on medication.
    3.The EU.
    To a lesser extent but equally important to ourselves. We are still within the tentacles of an unelected bureaucracy. Unfortunately there are parliamentarians who wish for us to be further entangled.

    Sent from my iPad

  47. Christine
    December 18, 2023

    It’s going to get much worse. Sunak is giving over the sovereignty of our health to the very dubious WHO. The UN has just voted to give itself tax-raising powers. The command of our military is being taken over by Brussels. We are still ruled by the ECHR.

    Politicians should be ashamed of themselves and there should be a law in this country that sovereignty cannot be given to any unelected body.

  48. Christine
    December 18, 2023

    “What many of the public expect is for elected Ministers to consider expert opinion”

    I don’t. We see far too many examples of biased so-called experts. Just look at the drivel they spout over climate change and net zero. Anyone who wants to debate contentious issues is vilified and cancelled.

  49. Ian B
    December 18, 2023

    “The best features of the western system are the bases in democracy, free speech and limited government.”
    This is very much the same discussion as the so-called Remain vs Brexit situation. It also is the bit that is central to the destruction of democracy and the UK with it.
    ‘Remain’ was always about the unelected, unaccountable and therefore those not held responsible for anything, the Bureaucrats, dictating on a personal self-gratification basis to a UK population. The problem was for Democracy when the UK Parliament was told to jump by these Dictators the UK Parliament responded with ‘how high?’. Parliament became the instrument of denying Democracy and today still fights democracy.
    With those that wanted to leave the control of the EU Commission it was never about the peoples of Europe, it was never about the interaction with them commercially or personally as it is depicted by some, it was always the refusal and denial of democracy. If Countries can’t get on without simple mutual respect what hope is there for anything.
    That there is the problem we have today a majority in Parliament and Government has been conditioned to taking and accepting diktats form the unelected and unaccountable, so much so they haven’t yet realised that in a Democracy they get to and are expected to be the ‘managers’ and the ones responsible to the electorate. To accept authority other than from an electorate is to metaphorically to ‘kick those that empower and pay you in the teeth’.

  50. Ralph Corderoy
    December 18, 2023

    Have these NGOs and quangos inverted power through collaboration? Central banks colluding in timing and policy best achieves their collective aims which are separate from their government-set targets. Have they become king makers through policy announcements affecting the markets? Has their intermediation pressured a PM to pre-announce a big sale of our gold to quickly shift the market price, bailing out a ruinous market position?

    Governments don’t seem to be in charge of policy any more. They are conduits for lobbyists to write legislation which sows future crops for the subsidy farmers.

  51. Denis Cooper
    December 18, 2023

    Off topic, please could we see an end to this nonsense about needing a special trade deal with the US:

    “Biden quietly shelves trade pact with UK before 2024 elections”

    “Britain has long coveted a US trade agreement as a significant post-Brexit prize.”

    On the contrary, this British citizen has long and repeatedly been saying that it would be worth very little.

    Such a deal was worth very little when David Cameron was depicting the planned EU-US trade deal TTIP as a kind of cornucopia, to help persuade us to stay in the EU:

    “Yes, you have been lied to, but I did try to warn a very long time ago that a special trade deal with the US would be of little value to us, or indeed to them. As I circulated earlier today … ”

    And such a deal would still be worth very little to us as a UK-US trade deal, a one-off gain of about 0.1% of GDP.

  52. David Bunney
    December 18, 2023

    John, I fully agree with you. D.B.

  53. Iago
    December 18, 2023

    The horror today is Sunak demonstrating that we do not have an independent foreign policy. He says too many civilian lives are being lost and calls for a sustainable Gaza ceasefire. This is as the Biden administration attempts to compel Israel to limit the war against Hamas, block Israel from defeating it and so contend with the existential threat so graphically shown on October 7th that it faces from Iran and its several proxies.

  54. ChrisS
    December 18, 2023

    “It is also a strange idea that there is one strand of expert opinion which is bound to be right.”

    A perfect description of the actions that have been introduced to enforce Climate Change policy and adopted by 95% of UK politicians. No party with any possible route to power in the next decade is challenging the enforced move to EVs, Heat Pumps, and yet more wind and solar generation, or even considering how it can be made to work without imposing unsustainable cost on taxpayers.

    It will all end in tears – eventually.

  55. mancunius
    December 18, 2023

    I entirely agree with what Sir John says on the subject. But he must have noticed that the Conservative leadership has engineered a compliant set of MPs by preventing local party members from having any material say in who represents them, and then preventing members from having any say in the leadership.
    Since Cameron, with the single exception of Truss, the Tory party leadership and its MPs have been accountable only to global quangos. I sometimes wonder if Westminster MPs forget that we can hear what they say and see their demeanour while they say it. They are so preoccupied with opposing the other side (in order to hold on to their seats) that they forget we can see through their insincerity, and their jockeying for international recognition. The recent Migration Bill was a case in point. So are all the Brexit debates.

  56. Geoffrey Berg
    December 18, 2023

    I agree with the first paragraph of John Redwood’s blog on the virtues of democracy, free speech and limited government. International law is not in itself virtuous nor a proper ‘given’ as is now widely supposed but is anti-democratic in nature as it is not subject to democratic elections nor democratic change. National quangos need to be reined in so as to be subservient to and controllable by democratically elected governments or indeed in many cases simply abolished.
    However the media (and most other politicians) should be far more democratically sensitive when occasionally someone from ‘the right’ challenges the near-consensus. For instance Suella Braverman has rather carefully thought it through and does not agree with the consensus of ‘polite society’ and I think cannot stop herself saying so (I don’t myself think she is really carefully calculating everything but is quite legitimately speaking her mind in her own passionate, forceful style). Yet she is vilified by most of our establishment (including very many in her own Party) who are wrongly not prepared to concede that opinions, especially consensuses need to be fundamentally challenged (be it correctly or incorrectly challenged) if we are to make progress and develop as a country.

  57. forthurst
    December 18, 2023

    En March! was a globalist scam to stymie Marine le Pen. It was successful insofar as It prevented her from becoming President. Globalists use their money everywhere to undermine the democratic wishes of native peoples so that they find themselves represented by bought and paid for traitors who enable them to wreck countries with mass immigration and fight their wars.
    745,000. Ukraine.

  58. glen cullen
    December 18, 2023

    ‘On 30th November 2023, the Government published their long-awaited response to the Clean Heat Market Mechanism (CHMM) which as of the 1st January 2024 will become effective with some minor amendments.
    The CHMM is intended to increase the slow uptake progress of Heat Pumps by placing an obligation on boiler manufacturers to increase the consumer demand for heat pumps or hybrid systems.’
    This government gas lost the plot, forcing us to by EVs and heat-pumps, all its doing is to put UK companies out of business with more and more imports from China ….Worcester Bosch to manufacture heating equipment in China to avold the UK net-zero fines (£600 per heat-pump unsold by quota)

  59. Mickey Taking
    December 18, 2023

    The electorate wants the ‘buck stops here’. Both at Minister level and PM …. avoiding taking the can for delegated bodies like quangos makes it hard to pin down how we could eject for non-performance.
    Controlling by stealth has accelerated over this last 13 years.

  60. Keith from Leeds
    December 18, 2023

    You are right in the principle of your argument. But the Covid lockdowns showed how quickly the Government of a so called democracy abandoned those principles, refused to look at any alternative solutions, and tried to silence any opposition. I cannot believe Mrs Thatcher would ever have sanctioned lockdowns, but she was a scientist who listened carefully and made sensible decisions.
    The current Government talks a good fight but does not perform. The latest nonsense being from Esther McVay who is going to bring in common sense to tackle “woke.” Has nobody taught Ministers to under promise and over deliver? How much better if she had taken action , removed woke nonsense like DIE ( Diversity, Inclusion & Equality) from the Civil Service and NHS, then trumpeted her success at doing so! Until we see people promoting this rubbish being sacked I won’t believe it. A Government that can’t get Civil Servants back in the office is pretty weak. How? Simple, Tell them if they are not run the office 5 days a week from the first of next month they are redundant!

  61. Christine
    December 18, 2023

    Good to see you Sir John at the Westminster WHO debate but people need to understand that this debate has only been brought about by the few enlightened members of the public who have signed a petition to get this topic discussed. What is wrong with our government which has been secretly and without agreement or discussion with the British people been pushing for these amendments to the WHO treaties? These treaty amendments will cause us to lose sovereignty over our health and include the climate change scam, also we will have to contribute billions of pounds to these unelected people and have no scrutiny over where it goes. It seems a recipe for fraud and more dictatorial legislation being foisted upon us. Treason is the only word that comes to mind.

  62. Margaret
    December 19, 2023

    If people would stop heavily criticising everything British then these so called independent bodies would not need to be established.You speak as though this was only recently happening :for goodness sake if you give control away you lose it and this dripping away has been occuring for decades. The solution to many problems is the calibre and flexibility of staff ,not putting in independent management and quangos who just love ripping all off.

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