Delays to moderation

I have been frenetically busy for the last 48 hours, so please be tolerant. I have not had time to moderate longer or more richly phrased pieces, but will do so as soon as possible.

PS I am now up to date. If you want something posted quickly please avoid personal attacks on individuals and institutions and remember the censorship laws on free speech in this country.


  1. Ex Liverpool rioter
    May 12, 2010

    We fully understand…please take a short but very well deserved rest.


    Ps. Seeing that there is a Tory gov back in power, do you want me to riot again?

  2. Kevin Peat
    May 12, 2010

    May I suggest that comments are limited in the number of characters ?

    It's hard for me to find time to read all of it so it must be much more difficult for you.

    1. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
      May 12, 2010

      Sites I've come across which did limit characters have always been infuriating. The Times online used to be one such — limited to 300 characters or so rendered making a serious or convoluted point impossible. Comments amounted to little more than unsupported contentions, naive and sophomoric fantasies, and obnoxious and unhelpful sneers. Certainly not a debate, and barely even an exchange of opinions.

      Happily, the Times has replaced that system now.

    2. Andrew Johnson
      May 12, 2010

      I hope we are moving to an era where soundbites become less frequent and politicians tells us more of the truth. So many aspects of the world we live in are incredibly complex and soundbites and easy solutions don't help us understand this.

      One of the reasons I read this blog is because contributors are free to expound a point or points, which I find very informative and stimulating – all enabled by John's excellent analysis.

      Do hope there will be something for you in the new coalition John.

  3. Norman Dee
    May 12, 2010

    Have a rest you deserve it. It looks like you will not get a decent job in the new organisation, which is a shame, I hope that your talents are not lost to us.

    1. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
      May 12, 2010

      If William Hague is to be Foreign Secretary, and thus be the man responsible for dealing with the EU (brilliant!), perhaps Neil Kinnock should be forced out and replaced with John Redwood. Then we'd send Douglas Carswell to sit with Daniel Hannan in the European Parliament, and Brussels could become a really interesting place to be!

      1. Stuart Fairney
        May 12, 2010

        Sending JR to Brussels would be like making the archbishop of Cantebury the dark overlord of hell

  4. Tom Pride
    May 12, 2010


    I can understand you are busy and I am sorry. It should be a bright morning, hard work and hard times ahead but the return of hope. Instead – despair.

    Are you really going to put the rate of Capital Gains Tax up to 40% or 51% for long term held assets. No tapering? No relief for the inflation gains of the past?

    I can see the point in tightening up the rules on short term gains, particularly where what is properly income is being dressed as gains. But to hit assets held for the last 10 or 20 years?

    For those of us in the private sector, Brown came along in 1997 /98 and destroyed our pensions and our faith in the pension system. Many of us turned to property as an alternative saving for old age. Are you now going to take 40 – 51% of those savings now?

    Is it going to be like this, fighting a rear guard action for the next five years?

    Oh God! What’s the point. What’s the point of even trying to do the right thing anymore?

    1. Robert K, Oxford
      May 12, 2010

      Couldn't agree more

      1. MaxVanHorn
        May 12, 2010

        Seconded.IHT put on backburner and immediate rise in Cap.Gains tax coupled with depreciating pound and probable inflation to come is not Conservatism.We are back with Marxist confiscation again.If this happens, it's the last time I ever vote Tory.

        1. Robert K, Oxford
          May 13, 2010

          I thought you might like this comment from Geoffrey Wheatcroft in the FT:
          Altogether it was possible to see Mr Cameron as the last Marxist politician – in the sense, that is, of Groucho’s: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them … well, I have others.”

    2. simon
      May 12, 2010

      Private sector pension saving has to be incentivised .

      Currently the tax relief is rubbish and they are inflexible when it comes to getting at it in retirement .

      The real beneficiarys are the financial services industry if you are not self investing it . Poor performance and high charges again .

      It is not in the countries interest for residential housing to rise above the rate of inflation year on year until the innevitable point the bubble bursts .

      It says a lot about our country that people have been forced out of the sort of investments which should have provided a pension into houses which are for providing rooms over heads and rental income , not capital growth .

    3. Stuart Fairney
      May 12, 2010

      Yep the scuttlebut is that taper relief is to be abolished so even inflationary gains are taxed. This may of course be a smokescreen to make the actual increase seem less bad, but really, have we changed governments because Brown would be proud of this outright looting.

      Any tory who votes for this, can hang his head in utter shame.

    4. Michael Lewis
      May 12, 2010

      SIPP should avoid the tax though? So, this would be tax held outside of both SIPP and ISA ?

      Taxing property -is- a good thing, the only thing missing would be non-recource mortgages and then the lid on rampant house price inflation would be firmly shut.

  5. Ian
    May 12, 2010

    It may not be top of your priority list right now,but you must start to de-politicise the civil service, the police, the BBC.
    Root out all the Labour placemen and moles and get rid of them.
    Oh, and while i'm on….look seriously at all the quangos,there are hundreds of them , all on the public payroll.
    Good luck, you have inherited a poison chalice, but only the Conservatives have a hope in hell of sorting browns mess out!

  6. Lulu
    May 12, 2010

    Well done, and I hope you will be on the front bench again soon.

  7. DBC Reed
    May 12, 2010

    I'll take over the moderation for you ,if you want.

  8. Robert K, Oxford
    May 12, 2010

    Fully understand the delays to moderation, but cannot fathom how Cable has been given Chief Secretary to the Treasury with a brief on the banks, where he has been wrong all the way. That should have been your job. In short, this is shameless.

    1. david b
      May 12, 2010


  9. Mike Stallard
    May 12, 2010

    Thank you for writing your excellent blog. And Thank you for keeping us in the picture too.
    Most unusual. And much appreciated!

  10. Andrew Gately
    May 12, 2010

    I am disgusted that Vince Cable's loony tax policies are being implemented especially the more than doubling of the rate of capital gains tax.

    I have now voted for a party that in its first real policy decision announce a policy that is going to hit me hard.

    1. Michael Lewis
      May 12, 2010

      Are you sure though? Will SIP/ISA be divi's be taxed. I suspect we'll see more 'accrual' ETFs and some interesting 'total return' products available: Good old Vince, he's stoking a bit of financial engineering;)

  11. Javelin
    May 12, 2010

    May I recommend a read by Stephen King – HSBCs Chief Economist.

    John probably would agree with a lot of this

    Here's some of the review

    I'm no economist,but the great virtue of Mr King's book is that you feel, while reading it, that you don't have to be: many of us have been asking ourselves for years how it was that The UK seemed to be getting richer and richer whilst producing less and less, and the catastrophic events of the last 18 months have provided us with the beginnings of an answer: the banks may have been lending, but it hasn't just been them that's been doing the borrowing – the euphoria of the Blair years was mostly down to unrestrained borrowing and spending.

    Mr King makes his argument in DUPLO: in pursuit of cheap labour and bigger profits the West has exported its technologies and outsourced industrial production to what used to be called 'the third world' but is now more genteely – and accurately – known as'emerging economies'. In consequence, the West earns less and less but aspires to consume, and, through its governments, to bestow upon itself, more and more. In addition, the West thinks to bridge the impossible gulf between production and provision by borrowing from the very economies on which it depends, and issuing them with paper securities in return. A number of experts thought that the West could create a virtuous circle in which its investments in the emerging world and a consequent proliferation of world trade increaseed its power and proserity- but that hasn't really happenned: the populations of the emerging economies save, but they don't buy – or not nearly enough – and there have, says Mr.King been more losers in the West then there have been winners: hence the growing inequalities of wealth in a society that has had a 'socialist' government for 13 years.

  12. Robert K, Oxford
    May 12, 2010

    sorry, Laws, not Cable as Chief Sec. No matter

  13. Lindsay McDougall
    May 12, 2010

    You have been frenetically busy for the last 48 hours but I doubt if staff of HM Revenue & Customs have been. Having sent my Tax Return 2010 to them by registered post, and having verified its arrival by using the Post Office's track and trace facility, I thought that I would telephone them to find out how they were getting on.

    The first two times I telephoned, I got a "We are very busy now, please ring back later" message. It was morning, so OK. The third time that I rang it was afternoon. I got the same message, not OK in my opinion. So I waited nearly 20 minutes (there is nothing less soothing than "soothing music") when a young lady answered. After the usual intimidating message about the conversation being recorded, I asked my questions.

    It became clear that they had no record of receiving the return (i.e. they had either not opened it or had not registered it), and could not tell me what the backlog was.

    There was no point in giving the young lady a volley of abuse. As is normal in government and large corporate circles, she had been deliberately kept in the dark. I just said "You do know that there has been a change of government, don't you?" There was a gasp on the other end of the line.

    If I make a formal complaint it will be copied to my MP James Arbuthnot, so there is no need for any other MP to get involved. It would be nice, though, if the new government warned all public sector workers that their performance, openness and courtesy have got to improve.

    1. a-tracy
      May 13, 2010

      Snap, seconded.

    2. Martin
      May 13, 2010

      My tax office takes about 3 months to open letters, so your paperwork may be stuck in the rather large pending tray.

      1. alan jutson
        May 13, 2010



        I have to fill in CIS construction tax forms each month, which are due on the 19th of the month. A day late and you are automatically fined £100.00.

        Five times over the years they have fined me, "Guilty until proven innocent", and five times I have won on appeal, as I had a proof of postage receipt.

        I would recommend proof of postage for anything that is going to Customs and Revenue (self assessment returns etc.) so you have proof to fight your case, its free at any Post Office counter, but then you do have to line up and wait, because of so many closures..

        What is so irritating is that I have to spend even more time appealing a fine given for no reason, imposed due to their lack of efficiency which adds to my costs, and makes me less efficent.

  14. Mike Fowle
    May 12, 2010

    I hope you're busy because you are considering the offer of a substantial position in government……

  15. Robert George
    May 12, 2010

    Not too impressed at all with Cameron's appointments so far. It looks like the Westminster sub aqua club they're such a wet lot (just a couple of exceptions)

    Far too many in the cabinet yet again

    Where are Redwood Davies et al.

    If Cameron keeps up this emasculation of the right/libertarian section of the party he will regret it in the long term.

  16. Carol Whitaker
    May 12, 2010

    I was hoping to hear that the new chancellor of the exchequer would be a certain John Redwood MP. Oh well.

  17. Steve Whitfield
    May 12, 2010

    This is no time for true Conservatives to feel any joy. The election of Clegg and Cameron is a defeat for the kind of politics of Mr Redwood, shared by the majority of the British people .

    Despite the Liberals getting considerably less popular support, Dave bent over backwards to accomodate Liberal demands handing out ,FIVE cabinet positions. Why ?.
    He has no fundamental disagreement with the Liberals and prefers having them in his government over right wing Conservatives.

    I think Mr Redwood knows this too and I urge him to be honest about his feelings and take on the chancer at the head of his party.

    Cameron In his opening speech praised Labour for making us a more 'open' country,more tolerant and being more generous with foreign aid.
    So Dave has no problem with the Liberal policy of encouraging mass immigration. He thinks the change has been beneficial.
    It's true we are a tolerant nation…tolerant of third world dictators wasting our money and buffoons with a nice haircut and teeth pretending to be a Conservative. Tolerant of being taken for idiots.

    His funniest line was when he said we had 'our best years in front of us ' …..presumably not being an impoverished,over-populated, multi -cultered and run down province of the United States of Europe as we seem likely to be.

    Some may have been relieved that we avoided the Labour/Liberal 'Progressive Consensus'. We did but now we have a Conservative/Liberal 'progressive consensus which has the same agenda. Dave admitted this today but nobody seemed to notice.

    So expect the 'fairness' agenda to be ruthlessly pushed -code for expending a client state of welfare dependent junkies. Expect no real action on the bloated welfare state
    Don't expect criminals to be punised.
    Don't expect to be rewarded for hard work and saving.
    Don't expect a critical line to be taken on European matters.

    Don't be deluded :Cameron, Clegg and Blair are cut from the same cloth and will carry on the destruction of this country.

    May 12, 2010

    Disappointing not to see JR in the new cabinet but hopefully this means he'll continue the good work on this site.

    We blogged enthusiastically here on Friday afternoon having just heard the speeches from DC and NC and. with the hiccup of Monday aside, we have maintained our enthusiasm.
    One of us has a family motto that she often trots out to good effect:


    To us this seems just what has happened to the Conservatives after failing to get a majority and the Lib-Dems after a very disappointing showing following the optimistic hype. Both leaders quickly and courageously turned the tables and we feel we have a better result for Britain.

      May 12, 2010

      We blogged 2 days ago about Brown's decision to announce suddenly that he'd stand down to clear the way for a Lab-Lib pact….

      "Our machiavellian sister Essex Girl has pointed out that this might just be a plot, with the Prince of Darkness’ fingerprints all over it -aided and abetted by Clegg himself – to force Gordon into a resignation statement. (He can’t go back on it now!)"

      Our sisterhood think that our Machiavellian Margaret might have made a good call!

      However our apologies for thinking that Vince Cable might have been thwarting the Cons-Lib plan. Seems the opposite but we were right about dear Ming's anri-Tory stance though!

  19. Ian B
    May 12, 2010

    After 13 years of Labour misery, we now have a new start. It's uncharted waters, and it would be wrong for any of us to start condemning or cheering the new government at this stage.

    I am on the Libertarian side of things, so quite aware that the kind of government of which I dream is not going to happen. But there are nonetheless many people out here in the country seeking a return of our ancient liberties and a thoroughgoing reassessment of Labour's awful authoritarian state. I have optimism that there are desires for this in both the Tory and Liberal parties, so I have my fingers crossed on that score at least.

    That a drastic change in economic policy is necessary is so obvious as to need no further discussion.

    Congratulations Mr Redwood, and best wishes for the next four years.

  20. alan jutson
    May 12, 2010

    Perfectly understand John.

    Along with many others we were glued to the TV last night and chose to celebrate a little.

    I hope you get a senior position, although I will not hold my breath given that we now have two Parties to satisfy.

  21. ps
    May 12, 2010

    As part of the new open government can you let us know how many labour skeletons have been unearthed so far?

  22. eddy
    May 12, 2010

    Firstly, Congratulations on removing Brown and Co.

    Secondly, Is there any chance that the postal ballot figures for this election could be published? As I understand it these figures are not available so any naughtyness is hidden. Let the voters know the facts.

    Thirdly, Please can we have honest elections?
    No more postal ballots (or only in exceptional circumstances).
    Identification of voters.
    Mark those who have voted (inky finger).
    These basic changes might help restore some honesty to our sorry voting system.

  23. Jonathan Tee
    May 12, 2010

    Apologies for adding to your moderating woes, but wanted to say that I very much appreciate the time you take to write this blog and to moderate it.

  24. Michele
    May 13, 2010

    Hi John

    Please don't take it personally if you don't get a key position.

    It's really important that you and the other statesman-like people within the party don't huddle together and behave cynically about what has happened in the last few days.

    Please promise all those who voted for you that you will take any issues you have direct to David Cameron. You can play a major part by acting capacity of a father figure to the younger people in the party – after all, they are the future.

    You know how gossip in the corridors is fatal for political parties.
    The conservatives will be back totally on top in the future – when financial stability has been secured.

    Do all you can to make this deal work, please.

  25. Lindsay McDougall
    May 13, 2010

    Just for clarification, how can one make a personal attack on an institution? If I criticise Islam and the Roman Catholic Church, it is because I (have reasons to dislike them). And when I state that the rights of Moslems in the UK should be exactly the same as the rights of atheists in Saudi Arabia, that is merely the foundation of all morality "Do as ye would be done by." And if the law disagrees, then the law is an ass.

    Reply: There is a difference between civilised disagreement and unpleasant attacks on people for their creed.

Comments are closed.