And now – the real Conservative book!

There’s nothing like a Coalition to get the Conservatives writing about what they really want for Christmas. I have introduced you to two MPs writing about banks, and to five MPs writing gently about most things. Now I can tell you about 16 Conservative MPs, one Conservative peer and 9 Conservative experts serving up “The future of Conservatism”.

Have I left the best to last? Only you  the audience can judge. More of you will like what these authors have to say. A few of you UKIPers will no doubt say that none of it means anything unless they all resign their seats. The UKIP plan  would be to fight them in UKIP colours so they could be lost to   Labour or Lib Dem federalists.  I expect no less of you.

The aim is to restate Conservative values, and call for a return to them. We believe there is “a limit beneath which no man shall fall, but no limit to which any man might rise”, as Churchill claimed.¬† We stand against collectivism and in favour of greater liberty and justice. We do not believe utopian dreams can be enacted successfully by all powerful states, we do not like unaccountable power and too much government.¬† We think in recent years too many modern rights have crowded out our ancient liberties. We think the EU has done much damage to our democracy.

To us Conservatism is idealistic, believing in  freedom, peace and justice,  but practical and pragmatic in how we bring about what we seek. We want the greater welfare of all. We do not wish to take sides in a class struggle, nor do we believe that anarchy, the ultimate minimalist government, is the best way forward. We want affordable and effective government, doing those things which only government can do. We prefer our government to be more enabler than provider. We like government to remember that the best answer for most people most of the time is that they be left free enough to take responsibility for their own lives.

The book will give you Graham Brady’s view of selection and grammar schools, Bill Cash’s view of the need for an EU referendum, Geoffrey Cox’s view of how we tame the unhelpful side of Human Rights, Edward Leigh’s view of flat taxes, Steve Baker on why we should cancel HS2, Colin Moynihan on how to spread and develop competitive sport, John Baron on making more use of the Commonwealth, James Clappison on how to control immigration more effectively, David Davis on Conservative philosophy, some of my views on familiar economic subjects, and much else.

The book is to be launched at an event at this year’s Conservative Party Conference and speakers will include Rt Hon  David Davis MP, former Shadow Home Secretary and Party Leadership contender in 2005, and myself as  Chairman of the Conservative Economic Affairs Committee,  followed by a panel discussion chaired by Graham Brady MP, Chairman of the 1922 Committee.

The launch will take place at 2pm in the Main Hall, Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS on Monday 3rd October 2011.

The book published by Conservative Home will be available on general sale at Party Conference for £9.99 plus postage and packaging. Copies can also be ordered from Biteback Publishing, Westminster Tower, 3 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SP, Phone: 020 7091 1260 e-mail: .

I have allowed this advert. I will not myself be taking any financial reward from it.


  1. Duyfken
    September 30, 2011

    Good luck with the book.

    I am glad the authors have the confidence in believing there really is a future for Conservatism, which presently seems to have gone underground.

    Although you are consistently disparaging of those who support UKIP, would you not say their defection is down to the ill-guided performance of the present incumbents in Government? It’s not the voters’ fault that the Tories have been overtaken by the Cameroon careerists; the responsibility lies with the Party organisation to ensure their chosen parliamentary representatives adhere to Conservative principles. Where is the evidence of that?

    That any Tory MP should resign the Whip or whatever in protest is something which may be seen as just a futile gesture but I do urge that your group of dissidents try ever harder in making yourselves a major irritant to the present regime, hastening its return to traditional Conservatism or failing that its downfall.

    1. lifelogic
      September 30, 2011

      UKIP cannot get anywhere at Westminster, the voting system and the fact that many voters will always vote as they have done all their lives, prevents it. The only hope is a sensible Tory party, that look a good way off, but there is no point in futile gestures in the direction of UKIP at Westminster it is counter productive.

      reply: Quite!

      1. Amanda
        September 30, 2011

        Norman Tebbit, has been trying to get people to take back the Conservative Associations at the grass roots, and make sure they try and elect the MP they want. He is very critical of the power and intervention of the Conservative Central Office.

        UKIP have made no progress in the last however many years. Nigel Farage could not even defeat Bercow the imposter, and they undoubtedly caused the coalition, and let back people such as Ed Balls. In my constituency at the last GE they could not even decided on a candidate !! And the MEP is a dead loss.

        I understand the frustration of people calling for us to vote UKIP and I’d no more vote for Cameron again, than vote for Labour. But UKIP should try a new strategy, and maybe a bottom up take over of the Tories might be a better idea. Even the BNP realized that bottom up works, but, of course, you have to have good leaders too.

        However, John, I’m going to criticise the 1922 and the so called Tory dissidents too – what is their strategy for getting the party back and representing a goodly part of the English electorate? They seem to make a few squeaks and then fall back into line.

        Why are you not all out campaigning into your constituencies like good 19th century campaigners, firing people up with and town hall speeches and supporting local campaigns to reject planners and the EU. Instead we seem to get a few ‘leaflets’, slipped through the door, and a pointless email response from the MP’s constituency workers. Have you got a local roadshow to publicise this and other books, backed up with action campaigns in each constituency?

        Maybe you should all be more visible and active in general, and less vicious about UKIP – start working together. I think you will find there is more than a few of us now prepared and beginning to stand up in our local areas – and oddly enough it is planning laws and decisions that are bringing people out to the fight. We have had enough, and there is now real opportunity for Tory MP grass roots leadership.

        reply: Of course we campaign in our constituencies in old and new ways. we also have to waste time dealing with UKIP because they mainly challenge us in elections rather than the federalists in marginals.

      2. Duyfken
        September 30, 2011

        “Quite” – no. It should not be for voters to decide which Party has the best chance of being elected, nor should they be expected to indulge in tactical voting. Whichever Party or candidate having the “right” policies for and the trust of the voter merits the vote. So it is up to the Conservatives to put their house in order to attract back the many who have lost faith in the Party.

        reply: As I keep trying to explain, the Conservative high command gets many more votes than UKIP so they are not frightened of UKIP.

        1. Duyfken
          September 30, 2011

          And with respect, I feel you have the wrong end of the stick! I am not advocating that UKIP is the answer to all the problems – I hold no brief for them. But I believe the Tories are losing support from erstwhile Tory voters and this is due to the change of direction brought about by Cameron & co. It is not that they have left the Conservatives but that the Conservativves have left them.

    2. me
      September 30, 2011

      The funny thing is that if this “group of dissidents” defected en masse to UKIP we’d have our referendum on Europe this side of Christmas.

      Reply: Do stop these stupid fantasies. You would have no such thing. There would still be a strong majority against a referendum in the Commons, where UKIP has no members.

      1. APL
        September 30, 2011

        JR: “Do stop these stupid fantasies. ”

        My position.

        Defection of right of spectrum Conservatives is desirable.

        Where they defect to is irrelevant. It could be UKIP* for all I care.

        But equally it could be an independent Conservative group.

        The stupid fantasy is that the Tory party will do anything about the EU!

        Experience has told us otherwise.

        Mr Redwood loves his party more than his country, he is the Sargent who follows the troops over the top, if any waver or turn back in the fact of the gun fire, he delivers the coup de grace.

        I have to say I have been gobsmacked to hear his position on the EU, we have an avenue and opportunity to leave the EU but he doesn’t want to, rather he would prefer to arrange for us to be trussed with silk ropes instead of hemp.

        Regardless of the bindings, we are still trussed a sunday roast.

        *Declaration. 6 or so years ago I donated £100 to UKIP. I vote for them in the Euro elections. I am not a member. I would be equally happy to vote for independent conservative candidates should any exist.

        reply: What nonsense. Try reading what I write and understanding it. I want a free trade arrangement with the EU, not all this common government they are pushing. I vote and speak accordingly. I voted No to the EEC.

        1. dan
          September 30, 2011

          APL is entirely correct on Redwood’s pathetic posturing. His deceit has become massively apparent this last few weeks, all talk on the EU but like the rest of the so called ‘euro-sceptics’… action, not a chance.
          Party before country.

          reply: What nonsense. I will use my voice and vote as I see fit, but we still have the impasse created by too many federalists in the Commons.

  2. lifelogic
    September 30, 2011

    It sounds encouraging – David Davis would, I thing, have made a far better choice as leader – even though he seems to believe in capital punishment. This sits rather strangely with his civil libertarian views. Particularly as the UK courts have proved so efficient at convicting the innocent so often on no real evidence.

    All the other topics, flat taxes, the human right excesses, EU referendum, grammar type schools all look sensible but is no one brave enough to take on the absurd Global Warming Exaggeration (that all the non scientists and indeed many of the dimmer scientists all seem to have fallen for). Convinced by years of BBC propaganda. What too about the second rate NHS and the BBC tax funded, socialist agenda, propaganda unit. What about the endless growth of non jobs and lawyers in the state and private sector due to absurd laws.

    So much more to put right than this.

  3. Mike Stallard
    September 30, 2011

    I have just written a book too – but I intend to make lots of money from it. So I will shut up!

    Conservatism is, I admit, something that has been bothering me. Of course, being old, I want to see a return to my youth. I want the old days of Secondary Moderns, Steam Railways, Bank Managers, Tweed Jackets and male only Cambridge – with scarf – and the Cold War and Hitler and…….

    Hey wait a minute…….

    So what’s the answer?

    Good luck with the book! You certainly deserve it after years of putting up with us lot on your blog.

    Reply: Someone once said Conservatismn has never held up the march of progress for a single day. Conservatives include freedom lovers like myself who accept change, but want it to come from democratic and free choices, not from overmighty states.

    1. lifelogic
      September 30, 2011

      “from democratic and free choices, not from over mighty states” – not much sign of this at the moment from Cameron is there?

  4. oldtimer
    September 30, 2011

    The benefits tourism hoo-ha that has blown up this morning appears to offer a good issue on which to base an In/Out referendum on the UKs continued participation in the EU.

    I too am curious to see the position adopted on the Climate Change Act and related matters.

  5. foundavoice
    September 30, 2011


    I voted Tory at the last election but have since joined UKIP and will not vote Tory (or any other party) again until there is a real offer of an in / out referendum.

    It is also worth noting that many UKIP members are dissaffected Tories who are waiting – more likely willing – the party to adopt the referendum offer so that they can return ‘home’ to their natural party.

    You may well say voting for UKIP will split the Tory vote and allow the Lab / LD’s in and you may well be right – especially in the 1 of 2 continuencies that I can register to vote in as one is a three way marginal and the other is a 2 way marginal.

    However, MPs in general only seem to listen to us when their seat is under threat. If UKIP forces the Tories to lose a number of seats or indeed the threat of doing so is perceived as creditable, then the pressure from within the party to become more EU sceptic will grow. Even more so, if UKIP causes a Tory loss at the next GE then the party will be forced to deal with it.

    Or maybe it won’t. What I do know is, if I continue to do the same thing with my vote the result will be the same .

    As for the Conservative values – please re-establish them: the rule of law (I don’t mean bang ’em up), sensible economics, the protection of our freeborn rights, small state, liberation of people to earn an honest living, etc. We are thirsty for it.

    Which is one of the attractions of UKIP: they are more Conservative than the Conservatives…



    Reply: UKIP has been trying this approach of seeking to unseat Conservatives to teach the Tories a lesson for 10 years now, and look where it has got them.
    It would be more helpful to have strong UKIPers in the Conservative party pressing for change from within, instead of in effective alliance with federalists trying to get Conservatives booted out.

    1. foundavoice
      September 30, 2011

      Thanks for the reply (and apologies for the typos – it’s these small comment boxes! (honest, guv’)).

      Two points:
      1) Yes, look where it has got them – they are trusted on the EU and gain wide support in the MEP elections.

      2) 10 years ago I believed the Tories would be strong on Europe and have continuously been looking for signs. I gave Cameron the benefit of the doubt. Now I’m convinced he’ll never deliver what I’m looking for. The tipping point for me has been reached… Whether it affects the GE is an entirely different matter.

      Finally, I sympathise with proper Conservatives like you and appreciate your efforts to realign the party accordingly. If you were my MP I would vote for you.

      Unfortunately my Tory MP (a new intake) appears to be another career first politician having voted for the Govt on every issue and has only spoken in the House to support the same. She will not be getting my vote again.

    2. me
      September 30, 2011

      “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”

      Keep voting Tory, keep getting more Europe.

      reply When you last had a Conservative government it did negotiate the crucial opt out from the Euro which has preserved an important part of our freedom. Labour on the other hand just kept giving powers away, including the Conservative neogiated opt outs from social policy and common borders, and part of the rebate of money negotiated by Mrs T.

      1. me
        September 30, 2011

        Good point. I think you should convert that into a slogan for the next election:

        “Vote Tory – we’ll give away our national sovereignty more slowly than Labour*”

        *Please note these cast iron guarantees may or may not be implented

      2. foundavoice
        September 30, 2011

        John, maybe you should read Dan Hannan’s post today – the opt outs aren’t worth the paper that they are written on:

        “When the rules count for nothing, opt-outs are worthless. We opted out of the social chapter, but we had the 48-hour week imposed on us. We opted out of the euro, but we’re being sent the bill for propping it up. We opted out of the border-free area, but we can’t control who crosses our frontiers. We never agreed to a common European welfare state, but we’re being dragged into one.”

        Also, look at the raft of powers that we have given away since the Tories took Office again. Me’s comment at 9.43am is bang on.

        1. dan
          September 30, 2011

          Maybe Hannan should ‘opt-out’ of the Conservative Party, but like so many others, thats too much of a principled stand, a step too far.

          1. Electro-Kevin
            October 1, 2011

            I would expect that Dan Hannan fears an instant loss of influence by resigning from the Tory party, Dan.

            It also takes a special kind of self-belief and confidence to make it so that people follow you. There is no real chance of return after a move like that if it flops.

  6. ian wragg
    September 30, 2011

    “David Davies agrees with Capital Punishment”………. doesn’t 75% of the electorate????

  7. Stephen Almond
    September 30, 2011


    Here’s how I arrive at the ‘vote UKIP rather than Conservative, next time’ idea.
    I can see NO difference in our relationship with the EU since the coalition took over from Labour:

    – cut EU budgets?
    – Repatriate powers?
    – Reduce immigration?
    – Return law making to Britain?
    – Reform the CAP?
    – Fishing rights?

    So, if my change in vote meant (as you say) that I let a labour MP into a Conservative seat, on the things important to me I’d see no difference. And, just maybe, this might start a return to real Conservative principles over time.

    1. foundavoice
      September 30, 2011

      Curse you Stephen! That is what I was trying to say but I managed to do so in x10 the words!

    2. me
      September 30, 2011

      More of us conclude the same every day.

  8. Ferdinand
    September 30, 2011

    No item in the book about any plans from David Cameron then. Now there’s a surprise.

  9. Amanda
    September 30, 2011

    The launch will take place at 2pm in the Main Hall, Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS on Monday 3rd October 2011.

    Can anyone come, or do we have to have conference badges?

    Reply: All are welcome – it’s outside security I believe

  10. sm
    September 30, 2011

    Good luck.

    The authors may agree , as they appear to wish to govern the UK and exercise independence from our Masters in Brussels. If other MP’s dont agree they should consider if they are effectively glorified administrators in the EU, passing off EU legislation as there own in.

    Most MP’s in our parliament just seem to be a an expensive veneer which on current trends will be superfluous but not quite yet.

    We will soon all be European, we will pass all the laws and then learn to ignore them. Then we wonder why the tax gap is growing £100bn+

  11. alan jutson
    September 30, 2011

    This sounds more like it.

    A little surprised you are allowed to launch/promote it at the Conservative conference, but the Party is broad one with many different views, so lets hope it goes well, and forces at the very least a re-think by many who had begun to forget what the Conservative Party used to really stand for.

    One thing is for sure, if the Party continues to go along the present road for much longer, support will drift, perhaps not to UKIP but simply to disinterest and abstention from politics althogether.

    Reply: It’s our party too

  12. lojolondon
    September 30, 2011

    Make no mistake, the only true conservative party in UK politics is UKIP. For a true conservative, they are the logical choice, not the enemy. I know that there are some conservative Conservatives, but you are overshadowed by the LibDem flavour of your leadership.

    The modern political system in Westminster, with closed primaries has done more damage to democracy than anything else. Ensuring that loyal MP’s are generally ‘gifted’ their seats (ie. selected to stand in safe seats), thus are owe loyalty to their parties, not their constituents.

  13. Bernard Otway
    September 30, 2011

    John your anger at earlier commenters I find very odd,why is it that they are NOT allowed to get ANGRY at you or the party and YOU are ,I expect better of you,otherwise we are heading for EQUILIBRIUM the film coupled with SERENITY coupled with 1984,I think dear Eric Ambler used the words THOUGHT POLICE alongside DOUBLESPEAK and others,he was very prescient and recognised the innate propensity of our rulers to go this way as the world got more modern.IF IF IF three countries decided to really increase their immigration in a BIG way and from here [I mean AUS/NZ/CAN] because of English speaking being an important factor, this country could well lose 15 million or more in the next 15 years ,What do you think that would do to the Demographic then,the conservatives would be toast as the majority would be conservatives,and these countries have PROPER SELECTIVE IMMIGRATION POLICIES, I am 66 and lived in AUS for 3 years as a £10 POM and 30 years in South Africa ,I have persuaded around 200 youngsters to go since I arrived back in 2008,have even had fantastic letters of thanks back,also I am seriously thinking of returning to SA [violence and all], No Eu you see.

  14. Sue
    September 30, 2011

    It’s a shame your leader isn’t a Conservative. It’s an even bigger shame that you all seem terrified of him.

    CAMERON IS A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT, the sooner you realise that, the better!

  15. Winston's Black Dog
    September 30, 2011

    If the Conservatives were actually as eurosceptic as they pretend to be at election and conference time UKIP would not exist.

    Mr Redwood in attacking UKIP you are akin to a bullied child kicking the smallest, weakest child in the playground rather than putting your head above the parapet and taking on the bully!

    Why would any patriot vote for Cleggeron’s conservatives?

    reply: I see you do not rate UKIP, but you could give me some credit for trying to get the major parties in this country to change our relationship with the EU.

    1. dan
      September 30, 2011

      The relationship you want doesnt appeal to people either.

  16. pipesmoker
    September 30, 2011

    A vote for the UKIP is a protest vote. A vote for any of the other parties is for our continued membership of the EU. I have voted for your party all my life with the exception of 1975 and the last general election and I don’t intend to vote again! I despair.

    I just hope the EU implodes and I will gladly suffer the painful consequences to see the end of it.

    Is there nothing that can be done about those now in the House of Lords and their duplicity in their allegiance to the EU and their oaths as Privy Counsellors and to the Crown?

  17. Andrew
    September 30, 2011

    JR , in your excitement about this bookm please maintain what I genuinely find to be your admirable fairness, –not ALL Labour politicians, candidates, MP’s , etc are Federalists or even Europhiles !

    Reply: No, that is true, though most Labour MPs vote for more EU in the Commons whenever issues arise where I would like the Commons to say No to more federalism.

  18. fairweather
    September 30, 2011

    The time is now 5.30pm and I have only just got the diary. I would like to know why

    some people are replying as early as 6am and I get it late in the afternoon. Perhaps

    its because I am a UKIP member. Our numbers are swelling – a huge turn out at the

    conference – have a listen to Nigel on sky news tomorrow evening. Maybe we will

    be superfluous if the euro collapses and our politicians realise we need to leave the

    sinking ship

    By the way what is the book called?

    “The future of Conservatism”

  19. Paul
    September 30, 2011

    John, as a UKIP member I have lost respect for all MPs except for five or six maximum and you are one of those, hence why I read and comment on your blog. You are consistent in your anti-EU approach, have actively tried to change things (e.g. standing against Major) and we need alot more people like you in the Commons. However, you seem to be confused as to why UKIP even bother or why people vote for UKIP. I ask you one question – to an ordinary eurosceptic voter, which manifesto would be more appealing – UKIP or Conservative? I think the answer is obvious. UKIP exists because the leadership of the Conservative party is no more eurosceptic than the Labour leadership. You cannot blame UKIP or UKIP voters for pushing for an in/out referendum and standing against the Conservatives. If UKIP didn’t exist and the Conservatives had a majority, would the Conservatives hold an in/out referendum? No. Would they be more eurosceptic? No. UKIP is not your problem John. Your party is.

    Reply: We are never going to agree about UKIP. All I know is there are no UKIP MPs when we need more anti Eu votes, and UKIP stand against me because they would prefer Labour or a Lib Dem to win in Wokingham. .

    1. alan jutson
      October 1, 2011

      Reply to Reply

      John, I do not think UKIP stood against you, because they would prefer a Labour or Lib Dem candidate to win, they just want to try and enlarge their party support everywhere.

      There mistake is in standing against any MP who has had a track record of voting against Europe, who already is in the house of commons and has thus already (though it may be small) some influence.

      Forgive me but did not UKIP offer Cameron a deal at the last general election along those lines, but it was kicked back in their faces.

      Clearly I am not privy to any proposals that were made, and they may well have been different to what was publicised, hence the reason Cameron rejected them, but they did at least make an offer to stand down, and not compete in some areas where the existing member was a proven eurosceptic.

      I will continue to vote for you in general elections as you represent my views on the governance of this country, but in European elections I have, and will, vote UKIP again, for no other reason but to make a point that the Conservative policy at HQ, HAS TO CHANGE. when it becomes more eurosceptic, I will return to vote Conservative in European elections.

      Fully aware that UKIP is not that powerful, is in some ways in chaos, and indeed does not hold much influence in the European Parliament, but I am prepared to accept that in the short term to try and teach Cameron et al lesson, that they cannot ignor public opinion on Europe for ever.

      I simply want our Country back, and if the present governmment policy does not fit with that, I intend to give it a bloody nose at European election time.

    2. Paul
      October 1, 2011

      I think it was unwise but it was no surprise UKIP stood against you – eventhough you both share the same desire, you have constantly slated UKIP, unnecessarily. They are on your side, your leader is not. If Cameron had accepted UKIPs offer before the election you would have a majority and we would almost certainly be out of the EU today. Many Tory councillors/candidates have defected to UKIP since the election. Despite the fact UKIP has no MPs, there comes a time when principles must take over.

  20. Tom
    October 1, 2011

    Unless the Euro collapses completely (with all the economic consequences, including to our economy) there is no chance of “the project” allowing us to cherry pick what we want to keep of the EU – and to remain members. I am sure, JR, in your heart you know this. The future of our relationship with the EU thus depends on “events, dear boy, events”. Unless we have a referendum.

    As for UKIP, they have the arguments but have a track record of serious policy and personnel misjudgements, infighting like ferrets in a sack and a lack of leadership. Given PR they might have won some seats in Westminster but without it, despite their EU elections performance, no chance.

  21. John Page
    October 1, 2011

    Or £6.76 through Amazon

  22. RDM
    October 1, 2011

    Good idea, setting out Conservative Ideals!

    It would have been good if there could have been a discussion (input, feedback) beforehand? Putting the issues to a blogg of Conversative activists, if for no other reason, then to see what are the important principles of a Conservative. It could end up being just other book. There could be great benefit in developing these ideas by asking questions, things like;

    Can technology really be “Market Tested” before it is developed?

    Can access to our Banking system (our Economy) really be guaranteed through competition, between Banks, alone? Should there be a Right to access the Economy (Banking System)?

    Should we Conservatives be discussing immoral behaviour before Labour gains the high ground? Re: Predator Vs Producer. Predatory Investors that have no idea about the Technology and it’s potential value. If they don’t like or understand something, they just strip the investment for it’s assets?

    What direction would a Conservative take, or reform, our Democracy? Would there be Liberal princples guiding us?

    Can “Selection within Education” really serve the country, or just the individual?

    Etc …

    I don’t necessarily disagree with some of the points that will be made, but surely a statement of Conversative Values can withstand, even benefit from, being Tested?



    PS: Does an unemployed Conservative get a concession on the price of the book?

    Also; Doesn’t ConservativeHome need an accessible discussion site? One that the unemployed can access, cheap!

Comments are closed.