Messages from a tractor factory


The Prime Minister and his Deputy chose a tractor factory to pre launch the Queen’s speech agenda on Tuesday. They heralded the opening words of the Gracious Speech, that this new session of Parliament is going to be dedicated to sorting out the economy and promoting faster growth.

It does not worry me that the Speech was light on new bills. The UK is scarcely short of laws. Much of what needs to be done now requires competent administration rather than lots of  new legislation. The health, welfare and school reforms require patient and purposeful execution and follow up.

Nor does the backdrop of their news conference cause me as much concern or amsuement as some journalists who wrote the obvious pieces about tractor production statistics, and the sea of blue and yellow tops sported by the workforce. The government after all has said much about leading an industrial revival, so it needs to paint its picture, and it needs to listen more to people who make things to see what else it can do to promote more home grown manufacturing.

I still think it is going to take more radical action on banks, on energy supply and prices, and on sensible deregulation to make the UK a compelling proposition for the much larger projects and sums the government has in mind for  industrial investment. The Queen’s Speech left open opportunities to promote more competition in areas like energy and banking, and to respond to these obvious needs of the economy.

In his Monday Telegraph article Mr Cameron pledged not only to preside over the creation of many more jobs, but also to see that more of these jobs go to people who are unemployed citizens resident here. He did not just want to create work for “new arrivals from overseas”. This was a crucial promise. To honour it takes success in both the area of economic management, and  in following a suitable and sustainable immigration policy. The PM’s statement reminds us that he and the governemnt do wish to get the total down, and to offer more of the opportunities to people settled here. The PM will be trusting that the Home Office are now taking the necessary measures to bring  about the anticipated  big alteration.

He also said he loathes “the bankrupt high taxing something for nothing society”.  It takes deficit reduction,welfare reform and other changes to banish those disliked idols.

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  1. lifelogic
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    You say “He did not just want to create work for “new arrivals from overseas”. This was a crucial promise.” Rather an empty one – how is he going to do this given his submission to the EU on everything are we leaving now? Did he elaborate or was it just a cast iron promise?

    “I still think it is going to take more radical action on banks, on energy supply and prices, and on sensible deregulation”. “More?” perhaps just some of this might be a start. Just easy hire and fire would be a huge help to the private & state sectors.

    He should think in terms of what will reduce pointless jobs for state and private sector parasites and employment lawyers and thus create real jobs for everyone else.

    Cameron seemed yesterday to blame the absurd agenda he is implementing (tax borrow and waste, expensive green energy, every bigger government, submission to the EU on everything and over regulation of everything) on the Libdems twisting his arm. This would have more credibility if he has not started this agenda well before the election by going back on the cast iron promise, pushing the green nonsence, failing to put a sensible tory agenda to the voters and even giving Clegg equal TV billing. Had he done so he would have won agains the hopeless Brown. Indeed a stuffed bear should have done so.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:31 am | Permalink

      Queen’s Speech: why was there no plan for growth? this seems to be the newspapers and business reaction. Why indeed easy hire and fire, proper banking and fire half the state sector that is all that is needed.

      • zorro
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        It sounds like some cast iron window dressing to me…..How exactly, bearing in mind the EU, will he ensure that UK residents are able to get these jobs which are created? Currently around 80-90% of jobs created are going to foreign nationals who travel to the UK.

        There is no way that this can change with current legislation. The UK is wide open to the European unemployed of which there are many, and many more to come. Obviously, as John mentioned on a previous blog, there are a lot of Europeans with strong family ties who can live off the land. However, there is also a large number of aspiring youths who are prepared to move to find jobs in the European metropolis including a lot of recently Europeanised immigrants who do not have long established ties with for instance France or Spain….

        Cameron is setting himself a tough target which he has done little so far to achieve. Whilst it is admirable that people from abroad want to work, the fact is that there are millions unemployed in the UK who need to fill these jobs so that they can come off benefits and we lower taxes!


        • outsider
          Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          He could start with the NHS and the rest of the public sector. They should require much stiffer English language tests for recruitment. But if immigrants pass them better than the natives – sadly quite likely in some cases – they should get the job.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Basically externalising all the costs onto the population in the form of jobs that are of no use to anyone other than the employer and putting the rest on the dole on Monday. Now in reality what would happen if half the states workforce was fired? To the state and the individuals concerned, not just state workers or even workers, all with with no redundancy. How would they sustain themselves lifelogic a month later? How? Do tell us. By crime and cash in hand or for food? The population would just lie back? Silly fantasy by someone with to much time on their hands.

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          You ask “How would they sustain themselves a month later?” Clearly they would have to find something useful to do or go on the dole. Anyway at least they would no longer be a burden and a drain on the productive tax payers and would not be inconveniencing them with absurd regulations or pushing expensive propaganda at them – as is so very often the case.

          • Bazman
            Posted May 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            They would all just get jobs or go on the dole..That easy? What if they are unable to find ‘useful’ work. Won’t be cheap keeping them fed, housed and clothed. might take a few ‘absurd regulations to provide this to and some propaganda to hide the millions in poverty. I also suspect. Suspect mind, that they might have something to say about this and might even consider ‘direct action’. These layabout middle classes and their parasitic council workers. Maybe they could join the police who will be very much employed, or not, as you might have got rid of them too? Keep up the silly work lifelogic as you do not appear to do much real work yourself.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to temporary contacts it’s already very easy to hire and fire people. Also making work more unpleasant won’t motivate employees, encourage company loyalty, or make the unemployed more likely to work.

      Given that reducing public sector jobs hasn’t resulted in enough private sector jobs being created it would be unwise to further reduce the public sector until the private sector is stronger.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Pro unsustainable business quackery subsidised indirectly and directly by the states population, with fawning anti democratic tendencies for the super rich leaning toward religious belief of their favours and the free market to come to the aid of all the country despite much conclusive evidence to the contrary.
        I suspect that he writes this stuck in the belief that the prophecy will become self fulfilling if the forces of evil like the BBC and other Satan’s little helpers helpers are burned at the stake. Much like the American right. The question being how some people with less talent and brains are getting a free ride. The ones with money are not getting a free ride they carry the burden of wealth like George Best did it all so we did not have to.
        A question when asked of me by some I give the correct reply that “God loves me more than you..”

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

        It’s total public sector remuneration that is not affordable. Apart from graduates, public sector pay is higher than private sector pay at all levels of educational achievement. I don’t mind if you reduce the number of public sector employees, or impose a pay freeze, or reduce their pensions or obtain greater employee contributions. It doesn’t matter, and to some extent I’m happy enough if public sector workers choose where the cuts come – but cuts and lower taxes there must be.

  2. Iain Gill
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Not exactly what Cameron said to the Indian businessmen he met in India, he comments to the leaders of the movement moving large numbers of folk here from India on ICT visas (and many going onto getting indefinite leave to remain and British Citizenship) were widely reported in the Indian press.

    Not exactly what Osbourne has been saying to the Indian foreign minister on immigration.

    Does the governement think we cannot read the foreign press?

    Frankly ridiculous

    • zorro
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, this is treating people as fools. ICT numbers have, of course, increased year on year (because they are not included in the official cap).


    • Timaction
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      In April 2010, prior to the election, Mr Cameron said “Immigration will be at levels our country can manage. No ifs. No buts. That’s a promise”. He promised net migration would be reduced to the tens of thousands by 2015.

      The facts however show:

      593,000 immigrants arrived in the UK over the 12 months to June 2011, a rise of 11,000 on the previous year. A record 170,000 migrants arrived from “New Commonwealth” countries such as India and Pakistan, two thirds of them were students. The latter being an obvious rising trend over recent years albeit there has been no evidence of increase in UK education provision. The levels of immigration have been at this level since 2004 but had still been high from the beginning of the new century. Last year alone over 750,000 people were granted long term leave to remain in the UK. We have probably had up to 10 million immigrants settle here in the last 15 years alone. These figures clearly demonstrate that this level of immigration is unwanted and unsustainable on our small island. Most of this immigration impacts England alone and has significant implications to our public services, particularly health, housing and education. In these austere times the costs are enormous. It impacts our culture, heritage and our right to a nation state. With over 2.5 million unemployed and over 6 million economically inactive there cannot be a justified requirement to import workers when we have a large enough pool of people we could train.

  3. Tad Davison
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    I cringe every time I hear this administration talk about controlling immigration. The emphasis is always on people coming to Britain from outside the EU, never from within it. That, I fancy, is of the highest importance, but the most difficult to do, as it requires a change in EU law – something I cannot really see the Lib Dems agreeing to.

    And the problem looks like getting significantly worse, as unemployment rises in those countries whose economies have gone down the pan, because they were crazy enough to sign up to the Euro in the first place.

    What is the point of creating jobs in Britain, if our own workforce cannot take advantage of them?

    And Labour left us another legacy that needs fixing. A lack of skills, and in a lot of cases, people who are barely literate or numerate, are missing out to those from abroad who are more attractive to employers, thanks to Labour’s abysmal, dumbed-down education system. But it seems to be taking an awfully long time for this present administration to fix it!

    The education system is awash with trendy lefties, whose theories fall flat in practise, and the public rightly expect the system to be changed post haste, for our people to have any chance in the future. But it’s one thing to talk about the problem, and quite another to change it. That, I venture, is why Cameron is losing so much of the support afforded to him before, and just after taking office. We need men of steel!

    Tad Davison


    • lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Indeed “a change in EU law – something I cannot really see the Lib Dems agreeing to” nor Cameron I suspect.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink


      I agree – failure to change the right of any European citizens to move freely into the UK makes attempts to limit immigration pointless (unless the whole point is to further alienate the Commonwealth by focussing on excluding them). I don’t remember there being anything specific in the Queen’s speech that suggested otherwise.

      To allow schools to select by ability might help to reverse the fall in education standards, but as we all know this is illegal (and the Tories had no plans in the Queens speech to do reverse this nonsense).

      Two compelling reasons why I will not vote Tory, Labour or Lib Dem.

    • Susan
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Tad Davison,

      Men of steel, like you I presume.

      You are making the assumption that the rest of the public think the same way you do, has it occurred to you that they do not. If they did the public would not have voted in such a way as to produce the Coalition we have now. In fact it is quite possible if Labour had had another leader instead of Gordon Brown the UK would have seen a Labour Government returned. This Government is not radical in its approach for a very good reason, the public as a whole would never accept it. The public has turned against the Coalition because they look inept, not because they have not taken on the right-wing agenda you want them to. Foolish moves such as putting a granny tax on pensioners at the same time as reducing tax for the well off was bound to cause Labour to be able to say cuts for the rich more taxation for the poor. Endless U turns, the petrol fiasco and many more issues have played into Labours hands. Not presenting a vision for the future and explaining why certain actions have been taken by the Coalition have merely added to their problems.

      Jobs have to be created in the first place in the private sector before they can be given to anyone. In order to do this the UK must grow. Just throwing people out of work in the public sector, as you seem to want to do, will not solve the problem.

      There are a number of reasons why state education is poor. Lack of discipline in the classroom, poor parenting, the value of education has been eroded in the something for nothing culture, the new intake of teachers have gone through the same poor education system etc not just because the teachers are lefties as you have claimed. These social and education issues will take a long time to put right, there is no quick fix as you seem to expect.

      Immigration is a problem but in a lot of instances immigrants have taken the jobs that British people were not prepared to come off benefits to do.

      This is not a battle between the two ideologies of left and right because from that point of view yours is as much a problem as the left you complain about. It is about sorting out the UK economy, bringing in the right policies to address this problem and building a new more responsible society for the future.

      • zorro
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        ‘Immigration is a problem but in a lot of instances immigrants have taken the jobs that British people were not prepared to come off benefits to do.’….

        That is not an excuse – this is the stupidity of the system – What sort of system is prepared to import people to do work with theassociated infrastructure costs whilst paying indigenous people to do nothing…?

        Absolutely bonkers, I don’t care if that’s what people from abroad were prepared to do. Why should working British people pay punitive taxes to pay people to do nothing for years on end?


        • Susan
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink


          Immigration is too high that much we agree on. However, you are as free to go and work in the EU as they are to come here Zorro as are other British people. Now why do you suppose that so many unskilled workers from the EU have always wanted to come to the UK and not to other EU Countries do you think? Could it be that there is more to be gained by coming to the UK than anywhere else in the EU.

          Labour could have put restrictions on numbers for new entrants to the EU at the time of Poland joining, I seem to remember, but they did not. Maybe they just did not want to force British people off benefits to do the jobs that immigrants came in to do. Reform of this kind would have been too much of a vote loser for Labour.

          • zorro
            Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            There are a number of pull factors which caused this influx. The lifting of restrictions obviously made it easier for them to come to the UK. However, established community links, ease of residence, ability to easily open bank accounts/access to money, reasonably good race relations, are mentioned by prospective migrants as the reason why they choose to live in the UK…….Oh and the fact that there is very little chance of them ever being required to leave.


      • lifelogic
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Surely no one, who thinks very much at all, could ever vote Lib Dem – fake green tosh, pro EU, an ever bigger state sector, ever more regulation, 50% anti growth taxes and tax borrow and waste.

      • JimF
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        “Jobs have to be created in the first place in the private sector before they can be given to anyone. In order to do this the UK must grow. Just throwing people out of work in the public sector, as you seem to want to do, will not solve the problem.”
        The way business works is that by pricing jobs competitively, you get more business which adds up to more private sector jobs. In order to price jobs competitively, you need to reduce overheads which includes reducing taxes to pay welfare and public sector salaries, in addition to being able to secure workers who aren’t being “stolen” by the public sector at higher salaries using businesses’ own tax money. The balance has to be right, and by out-paying public sector workers and benefit dependents, business will never be sufficiently competitive to achieve the right balance.

        • Susan
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink


          I agree. The public sector has to take pay freezes until it comes more in line with the private sector. Their pensions need to be reformed to become more affordable and budgets cut as much as possible without affecting frontline services. What I do not believe can be afforded at this point is massive tax cuts, unless they are targeted towards promoting growth. Welfare reform is under way but will take some time before it produces results I believe.

          I think what the Government did wrong was to increase taxation before any real cuts began. This meant the private sector, the productive part of the economy, felt squeezed whilst the public sector continued pretty much untouched. It would have been much better I believe, to cut and then raise any taxes that they needed to. This would have kept more confidence in the economy, people would have continued to believe they could still spend a little and business would have more reason to grow.

          What you cannot do, is just throw large amounts of people out of work in the public sector as some are suggesting should be done. This would achieve nothing. Until the private sector grows enough for people to be able to move from public to the private sector all this would achieve is high unemployment and thus more people being paid for doing nothing. It would probably lead to a lot of unrest in the Country, giving even less confidence in the UK economy to those who might want to invest in Britain.

          • stred
            Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

            It would be possible to reduce the working hours, pay and pension element of public sector workers by job sharing. Public employees such as building inspectors are cause waste in the private sector because they are given more and more ways of interfering in matters which do not matter. Just cut the requirement for inspections where there is no need. Just copy countries which do not have regulations and there is no detectable benefit to H+S. The same goes for other industries.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          You’d be surprised how rarely private sector workers are ‘stolen’ by the public sector. Nurses and teachers are better paid in the private sector so they have no incentive to go work in the public sector.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Susan. I didn’t see your post until after this evening’s Question Time programme, so apologies for the late reply.

        I had thought about some witty retort, but I won’t belittle you. Instead, I simply urge you to keep reading this blog. You’ll eventually see how weak the arguments you espouse really are.

        The posters here are far more eloquent than little old me. I’ll let them do the convincing, as I’m sure they will. It’ll then be up to you to.

        Tad Davison


        • Susan
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          Tad Davison,

          Tad I am always polite so I will simply say this. I don’t know what makes you believe you have the ability to belittle me. I would have respected you if you had answered some of the points I raised even if I did not agree with them. As it is you decided not to do so. I will leave it to others on here to decide why that is the case.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      The easiest way to resolve the problem of UK citizens not having the skills employers want is to encourage employers to train the unemployed so they can obtain these skills. Unfortunately this won’t happen as long as employers believe that it’s their right to have trained employees without having to train them.

  4. Alan Radfield
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    More fine words. More inaction to come, along with more spending and more borrowing.

  5. Alan Radfield
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    ‘He also said he loathes “the bankrupt high taxing something for nothing society”.’

    Presumably he makes a noble exception for his father in law, Sir Reginald Sheffield, who collects something-for-nothing in the form of a cheque amounting to £1,000 per day from the highly-taxed electricity bills of the the rest of us via Dave’s bankrupt windmill scam?

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Indeed and all the thousand of similar other beneficiaries. I would not object so much if these rotating, religious crosses made any economic or environmental sense – they simply do not.

      • zorro
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Did he say it with a straight face?…I missed it on TV.


    • Bazman
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Taxed by the electricity companies scam of ‘gaming’ too. Passing the cost of the windmills cheap, but not real future price of electricity onto the domestic customer, but not the industrial one. Nuclear power on a cost basis is like wind power. Not real. If it was then there would be private nuclear plants. To much regulation? Laughable. Put one within the M25 then. Any problems the directors are not allowed to leave the site. The rich and powerful have no precedence over flights or airspace. Never happen and you know why don’t you fantasists?

  6. Yudansha
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    David Cameron so serious about getting immigration down that he targets the UK Border Agency for frontline cuts.

    One detected illegal immigrant and a border agent has covered the cost of his salary to the taxpayer for that year surely ? What if he goes on to detect ten more ? Twenty ???

    Mr Redwood. Unless there is a startling turnround in the economy your party has lost the next general election. Worse – it is going to be because of mass disengagement by your traditional supporters.

    We were fully prepared to take the hardships in the first few weeks of the Coalition but now we can see that these are futile and self harming on a personal level.


    Of competition in banking and energy. We must be careful which ‘competition’ we strive for. As it is ‘competition’ does exist in the privatised industries – competing executive salaries, competing wages for essential trades.

    The fragmentation caused results in a myriad of tiers for ‘professionals’ to self agrandise themselves and the ‘choice’ offered to customers often take the form of complex tariffs through which they can be confused and shafted.

    Reply: Competition is the customers friend. It drove down prices in telecoms, for example, and fed huge technical change and improved services.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      When banks can pay .1% on cash deposits (unsecured) and then lend out at 10%+ to sound, very low risk customers taking good security there is clear a total lack of real competition.

      • NJHGC
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        This is exactly true.

    • zorro
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, nothing appears to have been studied with regards to how much properly staffed and trained border officers save the Exchequer when they detect illegal immigrants or stop people entering the UK, not to mention contraband goods.

      Mr Green apparently believes that the UKBA/Border Force can suffer 20+% cuts yet still deliver a credible border control….Oh dear, I fear that there are some holes in that statement!


      • uanime5
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Theresa May seems to believe the same thing regarding the police.

    • Barry
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      The visited factory is part of Fiat. I guess it was too difficult to find a British company given past Governments (both colours) approach to competition.

      Most advanced nations including France, Germany, Italy and USA have strategies for industry (and competition). They secure the future of their key industries, limit foreign control and protect their home markets.

      The UK has no Industrial Strategy (other than to have no strategy) and in consequence little industry. Through ignorance or arrogance we have assumed that undiluted market forces and competition would fix everything without the need to engage any grey cells. On what basis the UK made that rather lazy set of assumptions remains a mystery.

      Given the recent visit to Fiat (tractors), does DC have the time (or inclination) to learn from the successes of other nations industries ?

      • outsider
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        Great point. Sadly, the answer is no.

    • Yudansha
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      Reply to John Redwood: The GPO had always been a world class innovator. This is not to dispute that the privatisation in this field has been successful. However, can the same success be clamed for water, railways and energy ?

      Reply to Lifelogic and others: Apropos lack of real competition within banking enabling the banks charge too much. This is because they are having to recapitalise after a period of highly competitive lending which preceeded the crash.

      Slightly off topic: BTL mortgages have just surpassed FTB mortgages for the first time. This is because the lenders offer far more favourable rates to those with large deposits and assets behind them.

      That young couples, in their second decade of full earnings, cannot buy homes is indicative of an over valued market. In fact they are, effectively, being offered to those who don’t much care about the asking price but have their eye on the potential for rental yield.

      I suppose I have a tenuous point to make here:

      In order to recapitalise the banks want house prices to stay up. With government/BoE policy on housing (BTL tax relief, interest rates etc) as it is this is a surer bet than lending to businesses which could add real growth to our economy.

      A disenfranchised, disconnected, renter generation coming through. What next ?

      • stred
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        The Germans have had a large ‘renter generation’ for some time and it doesn’t seem to have done them much harm. Flexibility is an advantage.

  7. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    After the ravages of Mr Blair, I am afraid that I do not believe any Prime Minister any more until I see something useful happening and I suspect that I speak for a very large number of people.

    Last night on BBC of all places, Michael Portillo had a fantastic programme on the EU which I am surprised he was allowed to show. It proved conclusively, to me at any rate, that we simply do not fit there at all.

    You are so right about the need to buckle down and administer this country. I suspect that the Civil Service, not anything like the Rolls Royce which is presented to us, is well out of control – I have personal experience with the Dfe – and that the tail is wagging the dog on far too many occasions.

    Finally, when did you, a Conservative MP, actually exchange a “Hello” with the PM face to face in real time?

    Reply: I see him quite often and had a meeting with him last week.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      To Reply – good let us hope he was listening!

    • APL
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard: “I suspect that the Civil Service, not anything like the Rolls Royce .. ”

      Yea, I am sick and tired of these bloody politicians patting themselves on the back for their ‘achievements’, the only achievement they have to their ‘credit’, a bankrupt country.

      The Health service, ‘the envy of the world’, Odd, no one else has copied the model, despite it being the first post war welfare system. That’s how much they envy the NHS.

      Civil Service, a ‘Rolls Royce’, absolute self serving rubbish. As any outside contractor who has worked in the shambles of an operation will know from personal experience.

      It is huge, it gobbles up half of national GDP and no one knows what it spends the money on!

      Have we found out yet, if the Civil service credit cards have been paid by the individuals or the government?

      • zorro
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Tut tut….you are forgetting that Cuba, that economic power house, also copied the UK’s National Health System….What further vindication could it have!!


        • zorro
          Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          The ‘credit card’ issue has been poorly reported. They are debit cards which have to be reconciled ,authorised and paid for at the end of the month. They also have limits on expenditure. It is a better way of controlling expenditure, and more easily trackable. I think that it would be easier to make MPs expenditure more transparent if they had them…What do you think, John?


          • APL
            Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

            Zorro: “They are debit cards which have to be reconciled ,authorized and paid for at the end of the month.”

            The question is, who pays the bills, who scrutinizes the purchases and are the purchases in order or simply written off.

            It’s irrelevant that they are debit or credit cards. Is the expenditure properly controlled?

    • Barry
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I gather from a well connected source (Minister) that the DFE is welcomed in Whitehall because it makes all the other ministries look good.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      I think the BBC as a whole is no where near as biased as some contributors believe.

      News and Current Affairs is but a small part of the BBC , and we would be foolish to get rid of all that is good because of a dislike of a part that is not good enough.

      Try “Banks to Basics” Radio 4 Thursday @ 2030 and Rory Bremner @ 23:00.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        They claim the BBC is biased to give them an excuse for the lack of support for their ideas receive. Basically they believe that most of the UK supports them and that the “evil” BBC is suppressing this support, rather than accepting that their ideas aren’t as popular as they believe and that other ideas might even be more popular.

        For example they believe that the majority of the UK opposes the EU and it’s only because the support the EU receives from the Guardian and BBC that there aren’t mass protests for an EU referendum. I suspect the reality is that most people don’t know or care what the EU does so they have little reason to actively oppose it. It can’t be due to the support of the Guardian and BBC because this could easily be countered by the opposition from every other newspaper, Sky News, and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        I enjoy much of the BBC output – but everyone, in the whole organisation, with the possible exception of Andrew Neil as far as I can see, is clearly left of centre. This in the sense of an ever bigger state and taxes, arts biased, pro EU, politically correct, diversity & equality (of outcome) driven, and ever more regulation). It is quite a miraculous achievement to get such uniformity in such a huge organisation.

    • stred
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      To reply. Does he ever complain about the comments on your blog?

  8. lojolondon
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Much as I dislike Cameron, I despise him more. His words mean less than Baroso, in the EUParliament, ‘calling for 15% economic growth over the next 5 years’ – with no plan in sight, it was only a rallying cry, so totally meaningless.

    As long as the British government is implementing EU initiatives, like the HS2, like creating a water shortage and putting up the price of water, like all the socialist ‘ealf and safety and employment laws, there is no chance whatsoever of growth. And as long as we are exporting £15Billion of cash every year to the EU for negative value, we will remain in the doldrums, and bankrupt.

    The British people remain lions, led by donkeys.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Indeed his policies are clearly very anti growth. Why is he so keen to lose the next election?

    • Bob
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink


      But who votes for the Donkeys?

  9. Atlas
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I thought Tractor Factory situations had died with the demise of the Soviet Union…

    What we really need is cheap energy – growth would follow as surely as day follows night.

    • APL
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Atlas: “What we really need is cheap energy ..”

      Yes, But, both parties over the last sixty years, ‘THE PARTY’, have deliberately fostered an expensive energy policy.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      BBC Radio 4 Wednesday @ 21:00 in an excellent programme explained why coal is still king, and the vital part it continues to play in the generation of electricity in the UK and around the world.

      We also learnt that China is burning so much carbon fuel that anything done in the UK to reduce the carbon is at best completely irrelevant.

      It reminded me of a sketch from Beyond the Fringe (repeated in Blackadder, I think) in which a wartime senior office calls for a pointless gesture of sacrifice from a junior because such a moral boosting thing was needed at this time – mission to fly over to Berlin, and don’t come back.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Exactly – invest in coal.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Did this program consider the difficultly and cost from mining coal? Coal mining is very labour intensive and dangerous so it may be difficult acquire enough coal.

        • Alan Wheatley
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          Not specifically, but many of the downsides of using coal were covered.

          The point made is that coal has so many advantages as a source of energy that it is very attractive, and the demand is likely to continue undiminished.

          The conclusion is that anything done at a national level by minority users, such as the UK, is irrelevant as to the impact on the planet.

          Carbon capture and storage was presented as a collection of proven technologies waiting for the correct economic conditions (i.e. government subsidy and matching higher taxes) before it will be deployed.

          What would be neat would be carbon capture and usage (i.e. captured carbon has a value), which would change the economic argument; ideally invented in the UK.

          • stred
            Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

            There was no mention by the coal industry spokesmen of the fact that it is necessary to burn almost twice as much coal in order to capture the CO2, assuming carbon capture can eventually be made to work. Maybe they think the Chinese will but the equipment from the UK and that increasing the high death rate of Chinese miners does not matter. No mention either of possible long term leakage back into the atmosphere.

      • forthurst
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        “We also learnt that China is burning so much carbon fuel that anything done in the UK to reduce the carbon is at best completely irrelevant.”

        No we didn’t. We knew that already.

  10. oldtimer
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    We have the words but will the deeds match the aims? Although Queen`s Speech opens with talk of growth, reducing the deficit and economic stability it is difficult to see how that will be achieved on the basis of the measures outlined.

    At least this looks clear enough, and is long overdue “Legislation will be brought forward which will introduce individual registration of electors and improve the administration of elections. ” But it will not do anything for the economy.

    • zorro
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      There was very little, if anything, in the Queen’s Speech which would stimulate growth.


  11. Andy Man
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    The favourite politicians promise- to “create” jobs. Not sure how that works as the only job a politician can create is a parasitic one that depends on extracting money from people with real jobs.
    If Dave really wants more real jobs then cut the public sector, cut taxes, cut regulation and not just talk about it which is all he’s done so far. No new policies, no initiatives, no quangos, no reports, no more b******t.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Exactly. One job “created” by government = three real ones lost in general.

  12. Jim J
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I think this fellow has a better take on the inaction of the Continuity New Labour government …

  13. alan jutson
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I find it amazing that governments still talk about creating growth in the ecomony, when all they can do, is try to create the right climate for businesses to try and flourish.

    Given we have had vast increases in Fuel and utility costs (driven by the green agenda), increased regulation, increased personal taxation, increased capital gains tax, and increased VAT, with only a simple 1% per year reduction in corporation tax per year, do their actions not speak louder than their words.

    Their very actions are actually hindering growth.

    I listened with some interest, to some of the points made in both Cleggs and Camerons speeches.
    Clegg really summed it all up when he said, it was ABSOLUTELY NOT their intention to reduce or shrink the size of Government, when that is exactly what is needed.

    The bloated State Sector of spend and waste is dragging us all down with it, and the sooner it is recognised, the sooner we will start to get out of this self induced mess.

    Where were the words to encourage self employment, which is usually the route to starting any new business.
    Where were the words of simplified employment laws.
    Where were the words of a simplified tax system.
    Where were the words to simplify the Job seekers allowance, so that people can sign on and off easily (without delay of benefit payments) so that they can take advantage of temporary work if it is offered.

    For two well educated men they are so out of touch, it is frightening.

    Labour is no better (in fact worse), so the future looks grim.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      I want to say how much I agree with this comment.

      • NJHGC
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink


  14. Acorn
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    (Offers allegations again Keith Vaz, calling him the Home Secretary. Mr Vaz is a Labour MP and chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee. I do not have any proof of the claim you are making about him -ed)

    • Acorn
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Understood JR. I think you got the point. You need more horsepower on the front bench in this department.

  15. JimF
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    So is this the beginning of “it wasn’t me, guv”?
    There is no way that Cameron should get away with placing the lack of resolve of this government in tackling the problems you outline with the Libdems in Coalition. He had the opportunity to form a minority government or go to the Country again in 2010 if he felt restricted at the time of formation of the Coalition. Neither party should be able to claim “it was the fault of the other lot”, but I think that’s starting to happen.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Just to remind you about the immigration figures sourced from the ONS:
    Entering Leaving Difference
    Y/E Dec 09 528,000 337,000 191,000
    Y/E Mar 10 553,000 335,000 218,000
    Y/E Jun 10 548 ,000 316,000 232,000
    Y/E Sep 10 566,000 312,000 254,000
    Y/E Dec 10 553,000 310,000 243,000
    Y/E Mar 11 543,000 308,000 236,000

    I think the Prime Minister will have to do much more than trust the Home Office.
    In fact, the first thing he should now do is remove those many ministers who have shown themselves to be incompetent.
    As for listening to the voters why are we still committed to overseas aid when we have to borrow the money to give it away?
    I suppose it is too fanciful to talk about deficit elimination when such little progress has been made on deficit reduction but without it the debt keeps on going up and up. When Cameron lectures us that you can’t solve a debt crisis by borrowing more I wish he would take his own advice rather than plan to increase the debt by at least 80% in just 5 years.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      “It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.”

      Or put another way, journeying via a ‘kaleidoscope country’ to a third world failed state.

      When are we going to stop treating the enemies of England as political opponents?

      • zorro
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, the figures are not positive. In the calendar year 2011, net migration increased to 250+,000. The numbers of removals dropped considerably overall too, so we have increased immigration combined with weaker enforcement…..nothing to do with cuts within the UKBA I suppose?


  17. Martin
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Home Office – UKBA are dishing out bonuses

    I agree with your general comment that competent administration is needed rather than endless new laws.

  18. Mactheknife
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The concept of introducing competition into the energy market will achieve nothing. As you are aware the energy companies are bound by the EU climate legislation and emmission targets. As a consequence ANY energy company will have subsidies to build yet more inefficient wind farms, which in turn means the costs are passed to the consumer. Certain murmurings coming out of DECC suggest that the government dont want the itemised energy bills being proposed by the generators as it will show the true cost to the consumer of “green” targets.

    Incidentally (a bit off topic) but did anyone listen to Radio 4 ‘ A life Scientific’ with Prof. James Lovelock yesterday? For the uninitiated he was one of the eco-warriors first to push the “Global Warming” scenario 30 years ago with dire predicitions of doom and gloom. He acknowledged that he was wrong and that his predicitions were way of the mark and called into question the current state of climate science. He even called for new Nuclear build and to stop the dash for renewables like wind power ! He has been a darling of the BBC eco-loons for years, but they now are calling him “maverick” because he has called into question the climate change religion he once championed.

    I wonder if Cameron, Osbourne or anyone at DECC was listening ?

    • Atlas
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Was anybody listening?

      I doubt it. Look at it this way, nearly all the politicians have signed up to this Global Warming notion. To say otherwise now would be a great loss of face – and that is the one thing that would never do at the Dispatch Box…

    • stred
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      James Lovelock did not say that Global Warming would not happen, only that the science is bound to be innacurate or unpredictable, but it is still a possibility and something still needed to be done. He said that the Earth would recover, as it did when an eruption increased CO2 to higher levels in the past and there were crocodiles swimming in the Arctic ocean. The problem was that the Gaia process took many thousands of years. He said that nuclear power was by far the safest form of energy and that no one had died in the Japanese meldown.

      James Lovelock is a practical engineer and scientist who invented the first electron detector and was headhunted by NASA. He also invented the first microwave heater when he had to warm up experimental hamsters to wake them up! His support for nuclear power has upset the illogical Greens and Jonathan Porrit said he respected Lovelock- but he still could not bring himself to be logical and support nuclear.

      Those contributors who are interested should listen to the programme on I player.

  19. NickW
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Government action will not succeed on its own.

    There needs to be a discussion as to how individual expectation and behaviour need to change in order to rebalance the economy and our society.

    “Take” needs to be balanced with “Give” at all levels of society.

    As a start, the ethos of public service needs to be restored along with an understanding in the civil service that a workforce which is treated with respect and consideration by the management will be less hostile to change than a workforce which is subjected to an abusive style of management.

    Abusive management style is in my experience, more the rule than the exception.

    Give people job satisfaction and they will be less demanding about pay and conditions.

    That unfortunately is only a beginning. There needs to be an end too, to the ethos that it is right to claim every benefit and entitlement, regardless of need.

  20. A Different Simon
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    When Cameron talks about a “sustainable immigration policy” what he actually means is a “sustained immigration policy” .

    • zorro
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Maybe he’s dyslexic?….maybe not


  21. Neil Craig
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    We have had 2 years of this government. If, during that period we had reached only the, non-Eu, world average growth rate of 6% we would now be 12.4% better off. With the Exchequer’s takings up 12.4% (it would probably be marginally better) the deficit would be down by £60 bn to an acceptable about 3% of GNP (actually it would be better than that because we would be able to print money equal to 12.4% of our money supply without causing inflation).

    That we could achieve considerably better than the world average, if the political classes wanted it, us not factually disputed.

  22. Alex
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    “…leading an industrial revival…” … “promote more home grown manufacturing”.
    Nope, that’s the government “picking winners” again. Manufacturing is a declining share of world GDP and decreasingly labour intensive. Manufacturing jobs are not even rising in China. Let all businesses compete on a level playing field. Why is selling titanium widgets better than selling software? And with the last administration having spent a decade pushing up energy costs we probably can’t compete in industry anyway. Of course U.S. manufacturing is booming on the basis of cheap shale gas, but we are now several years behind the U.S. in shale, thanks to the tree-huggers.

    “… sensible deregulation”. Some encouraging baby steps planned. (But then we have idiocy like the “Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill”. Presumably a Lib-Dem idea? It has all the signs.) It’s all too little, too late.

    Immigration – I know this is an issue for many; personally I think it is a red herring. Using ‘outsiders’ as scapegoats in tough times has a long and infamous history, but moods change when the economy is doing better.

    • zorro
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      If non contributory benefits were cut, immigration would not be an issue ….


  23. ian wragg
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Read Peter Oborne today’s Telagraph. Will Cameroon sacrifice the Tory Party so he can remain PM for anothger 3 years???
    It will be a wipe out at the next election, debt rising, deficit not reducing, immigration the same and more QMV in Europe.
    Cameroon wil be sent to Brussels as commisar and John will still be telling us to vote Tory as there will be jam tomorrow.

    • APL
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg: ” .. John will still be telling us to vote Tory as there will be jam tomorrow.”

      And a very effective strategy it’s been so far.

      If you care more about the Tory party than the country.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Labour are certs with the bookies to be the largest party in 2015. They are rarely wrong. This means an outright Labour Govt or a Coalition with the Libs and/or SNP. Die-hard Tories who think a recovery is possible are delusionists. In 2014, UKIP will probably top the EU elections, creating a platform for the following year. This will follow a year of mass immigration from Romania and Bulgaria. Yes, JR, they won’t win any seats, but they will gather enough votes to ensure the Tories lose 50-60.

  24. Alte Fritz
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    It was mildly comforting that there was a tractor factory remaining in this country. Not built by Count Potemkin one hopes.

    • A Different Simon
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      You’ve got it . Apparently traktor production is up for the tenth year running ….

      • zorro
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        These people are amateurs though….no-one can roll out the tractor stats like Gordon Brown, an amazing phenomenon in the Commons….unique.


  25. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I have been writing off Cameron for five years and although it is tedious to continue in the same vein I do so to add weight to the growing number of converts. His interview in the DM said that he was limited by the Libdems in what he could do. Well this is what a coalition is all about. The fact that he gave away the store to a one sixth partner shows how politically naive he is, just as he was involving Clegg in the TV debates. The Tractor Sideshow was nauseatingly awful. Any smart leader would have run with a minority Government and kept supporters on side. All the mugs who voted for him must have scratched their heads wondering where was the word “coalition” in the Conservative campaign. An even smarter leader would have kept his cast guarantee and had an EU referendum and won an outright majority. Even he said I support the EU, which he clearly does, and campaigned for it, at least we had a vote on it and he would have been honest.

    No, anyone who thinks Sideshow Dave can win the next election is deluding themselves for whatever reason.

    • zorro
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink



  26. Steven Granger
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    What a load of fawning rubbish. What are your views on the bills included in the speech that have the effect of deliberately creating shortages of water and to push up water prices (EU policy of course)? Also the measures that will leave the country with the lights going out and the most expensive energy in the world (partly at the EU’s behest, but also partly because of rank stupidity, delusion and incompetence)? As ever no mention or criticism here.

    Reply: I have previously set out what I would like done to deliver cheaper energy and more water.

  27. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    More deregulation followed closely by more tax payer bailouts.

    The Bank Lobbyists have certainly been busy again.

    Exactly how are jobs going to be created for this Industrial revival when even the Bank of England has shown in this years report that SMEs have even less access to lending, which is completely controlled by Banks?

    HMRC lists places such as Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Hong Kong, Singapore, British Virgin Islands and others – all dominated by the City Of London.

    VAT had to be increased to 20%, and Public Service cuts brought in because Multinational Corporations – including the Big Banks; have such complex ways of filtering money around the World in Nominee Companies and other Accountancy Tricks that it is almost impossible for the Inland Revenue to reclaim vast amounts of Tax Bills owed by large corporations.

    20% VAT – So if I started a small business and had a product that I wanted to sell into the market place with a retail price of £100 – I have to slap £20 extra on the price tag, increasing the cahnces of failure of my business. Am I then forced to seek the advice of Offshore Accountancy Firms and Offshore Banks in order to live in the merky World of Tax Haven Land like so many large British Corporations?

    The planned Police cuts are another sign that too much Tax has been evaded. We are sinking into the merky World of Corporate Governance. When is the Government going to announce that Police services are to be Privatised – “to improve the service to the public and reduce the burden on the tax payer”? Don’t forget that the merger of Private and Public interests into closer links between Government and Corporations occurred in Germany in the 1940s. There was one difference however, and that is the German Banking System and money supply became Nationalised after the total collapse of the currency due to excessive external demands on debt payments.

    Neither the Conservatives or Labour seem to have any idea what they are doing.
    The Liberal Democrats are not even worth mentioning as they have demonstrated an ability to tell whatever lies are necessary to gain votes. Once in any form of power, their principles are quickly swapped for cabinet positions.

    In a balanced Economy – no one sector has an unfair advantage over another. In our economy, the Banks have total control over the economy and our Politicians. This is why only 8% of what they lend goes into productive investments. The alleged Banking Reforms are a joke, giving seven years to water them down into business as usual – assunming they’ll be any small or medium sized businesses in seven years. The ICB was made up of Bankers – and their findings and recomendations will help Bankers and no one else.

    There’s a word that describes our political system (etc).

  28. David Langley
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I seem to remember at school something about the lowest common denominator. It seems to me that particularly with the EU, the lowest common denominator is millions of people who will soon be in thrall to Germany. A lot will try and escape to the UK where their skills combined with their cheapness to hire will be very attractive to employers who do not really care how they live or what on as long as they turn up for work.
    Looking at the Indian young who are eager to work here and technically are far superior in many cases to our young, it is not suprising that they are also acceptable to employers. I live near Astra Zeneca and the daily work bus is full of Indians and Asian who rightly are seeking the better life. (etc etc) I cant complain as most of the specialists and registrars who treat me come from the Indian and Pakistani sub continent. My dentist is Asian and all the smaller local shops are staffed by persons of Indian or Asian origin. If the BNP ever won we would be in trouble for quite a time.

  29. Barbara Stevens
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I wasn’t impressed with the Queen’s speech on bit, it lacked anything to tackle growth. As for jobs for our own, we’ve heard that before, yet, he’s telling the Indians they can come here to work, the fact is the electorate don’t want them. Why is it that politicians fail to understand plain English and ignore what they are told by those who elect them? I’m sick to death of (recently arrived migrants-ed) taking jobs, housing, and using our services we’ve paid high taxes to maintain when they arrive. Why should they have the right to use them? Of course we all know the interfering EU will tell us we have to do this and that, but we can say NO. We said NO loud enough to Hitler in 1939 and were prepared to stand up for this nation. It appears the politicians we have now are weak, and lilly livered, and whatever they keep preaching about won’t change minds. Cameron is good at lecturing, and bad at listening. We want a referendum on the EU, let alone the House of Lords, I find it insulting this can be suggested but the former ignored. Its time we had politicians who did what we want and not what they want and their party directs. Oh I forgot, the Conservative party is at odds with Cameron is it not?

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      There has been independent reasearch on the Housing Market which suggests that Housing Stock has kept up with Population Growth. The Government is quite happy for us to think that immigration is responsible for lack of affordable Housing.

      There is an interesting lecture given by Toby Lloyd who works for ‘Shelter’.
      He explains that the lack of affordable housing is not as a result of mass immigration but of mass expansion of Credit by Banks into the housing Market.

      Senior Politicians will acknowledge that Credit Expansion affected the Housing Market but will not accept it is the cause of excessively priced Housing, which attracts speculators inot the Housing Market for pure profit motives. They still point to simple fluctuations in supply & demand economics as there junior researchers tend to peddle this tale.

      David Cameron suggested that everyone shuold reduce their debts by paying off their credit card debts. In fact, he was going to suggest we pay off all our debts. That sounds a sensible thing to do, and with a sound money system, it would be. However, he forgot – or didn’t understand; that most of our money supply (Bank Deposits) is debt based. If we all pay off our debts, we have no money and we will still owe money on our National Debt.

      When Banks lend money – they create new Bank Desposits, when we pay our debts off, this money is removed from the money supply.

  30. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    “The school reforms require patient and purposeful execution and follow up.”

    No, no, no, no, no. The theories of the benefits of free markets in education have been completely invented by Gove and co. They totally contradict both the reality and the grounded theory of the organisation of state education in an established system with responsibility to all children.

    They are starting to do tremendous damage which will rapidly escalate and they need radical surgery right now.

    • Bazman
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Another false market created to bleed the taxpayer and the user.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      One thing that has already done tremendous damage is the dumbing down of our A level system. A few years ago it had got to the point where a modern A level maths question was an exact replica of an O level maths question of 40 years ago. You can blame Michael Howard for introducing school league tables if you like. A more realistic cause was the loss of control of the examination system. Organisations like the Northern Universities Joint Matriculation Board (NUJMB) used to set exams with a view to deciding what % should pass and what % should fail; employers need a means of sorting out the sheep from the goats.

      • Rebecca Hanson
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Lindsay I think it’s also worth mentioning the way in which text books and other teacher resources have been developed which are syllabus specific.

        25 years ago students learned A-level standard material from general texts. Now they learn it from tailored resourced. I don’t think that’s entirely due to government policy.

        There has been some progress- most noticeably the introduction of the EPQ which has made a signficant different to the development of 6th formers, but other moves forward such as a move towards synoptic questioning have been suffocated because the whole education system is on policy overload. There is a limit to the rate of change schools and teachers can cope with and unfortunately at the minute their energy is being wasted on ludicrous free market policies and trying to stave off Ofsted.

    • A Different Simon
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Rebecca ,

      Politicians meddling has not helped education but what should be done about it ?

      At my sisters childrens school in Leicestershire the head mistress actively brushes bullying under the carpet because she doesn’t want it to affect her ofsted rating .

      Something like half the children cannot even read at 10 years of age and they can barely read when they get to 12 . If you can’t read you aren’t going to be able to do maths either .

      This has been going on for years and nothing has happened to improve it . The headmistress is still there , failing her staff and failing the pupils .

      Those teachers in the state school who know how bad it is told my sister that they should try and get their eldest who is bright into the local independent . Unfortunately we couldn’t afford it as a family and there was no assisted funding .

      They went to visit a “studio school” which is opening up locally .
      I have reservations about the “studio school” which appears to be some kind of free school but when the alternative is being doomed to failure , there is no alternative .

      You say Gove’s measures are starting to do damage . From what I’ve seen the damage was done a long time ago .

      I’d like to see us get our priorities right and raise teachers salarys to at least police level and the profession accorded the respect it warrants .

      The greater rewards must be used to attract better teachers by raising the bar for entrance onto teacher training courses .

      It’s a disaster for everyone concerned if someone ends up in the wrong career after 4 years of teacher training and then spends then next 40 years compounding that mistake .

      The state education system is in deep crisis . If a few state teachers think the best way to improve education is by setting up a free school why not let them try ?

      • Rebecca Hanson
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        If the school is still under the LA you can go through the LA complaints system and if that fails you can talk to your local politicians who scrutinise the behaviour of your LA.

        However if your school has become an Academy there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it whatsoever.

        There are some interesting coversations going on about this in the Views section of the ‘Local Schools Network’. Parents are starting to set up support groups for each other.

        I’m sorry to hear about your sister’s children Simon.

  31. Max Dunbar
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Definition of “sustainable”; to support, to provide for, to maintain, to sanction, to keep going, to keep up, to prolong, to support the life of, to bear. From Chambers’s 20th Century Dictionary.
    Do you really condone the warped theories and justifications for immigration to our already crowded island using this language Mr Redwood?

    • zorro
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      I think that John means ‘sustainable’ in the sense that very little immigration is sustainable at the moment because of our dire economic circumstances. ‘Sustainable’ should not impinge on infrastructure requirement as has been the case for at least ten years….


      • Max Dunbar
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        Could “sustainable immigration” as presently understood possibly be an oxymoron? Or is it simply a wrong use of the word “sustainable” in this context?

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic – sorry – this morning Lord Howell introduced the European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Bill into the Lords:

    And the FCO has told the Italians about it:

    “Foreign Office Minister introduces EU Treaty Amendment Bill to the House of Lords”.

    And here is the e-petition I’ve started, calling for that radical EU treaty change to be put to a referendum:

    Thank you.

    • Chris
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Have signed and circulated.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink


    • David Price
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Signed it.

      I thought ePetitions used to list the names of petitioners and not just the number of them?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        The previous system introduced by the last government did, the new system introduced by the present government doesn’t.

  33. Derek Emery
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    It seems unlikely that the government will succeed in reducing immigrant workers based on its record of succeed so far in other areas. The elite are extremely interested in social agendas that will do absolutely nothing for the economy but appear to have much less drive in other areas. They have been in power for2 years but have little to show for it.

  34. Glyn H
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Completely agreed with Mr Jutson. An utter waste of the first two years and losing the publics sympathy to austerity. There seems to be no understanding of how business works; understandable in a Lib Dem but appalling in a Tory.
    Out here we are bitterly disappointed, and on a personal note a shame you are not Chief Sec’y at HM Treaaury! At least you understand how the world works.

  35. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    How can you remain loyal to a leader that is destroying everything you have supported politically? First Sarko, next SamCam.

  36. peter
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    On the point of immigration – are ones hands not tied in respect of arrivals from the EU as they are free to come and go?

    • zorro
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      In effect, yes.


  37. Matthew
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Bit disappointing.

    Need competitive lending from banks, relaxation of employment law, reduce employers.

    The maternity, paternity exchange is just another burden for business – great to do if we’re sitting here supplying the world with our top class products, from our world beating companies, with full employment and a balance of payments surplus.

    But this is not the case, are our competitors in the east granting these same worker rights?

    Mr Cameron is clearly a bright guy, but he’s probably never had to meet a payroll before, never had to sit up till the small hours trying to accumulate the funds.

    • Bazman
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      What relaxation of employment laws specifically? Not paying any redundancy? No minimum wage? Health an safety laws made more lax? Or all these things. You want to try working in the metal trades or on a building site via and agency before you tell us this. You are either rich, a desk jockey, or retired I suspect.

      • Matthew
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        I believe that flexible labour markets assist job making.

        By relaxation of employment laws I mean the ability to hire and fire people, without having to go through a complex check list, have meetings, consult an employment lawyer – go to a tribunal.
        In my view taking employees on now is more like a marriage contract.

        A sensible relaxation of the laws would allow more flexibility of labour, encourage more UK and overseas firms to invest here and help young people get into work.

        We, as a nation, carry on giving ourselves all of these employment rewards, our competition in the east don’t play by the same rules. Much of our competition in Germany can afford to give such perks as they have in depth world class industries. (See the Merc and BMW showrooms in the Far East)

        As for abandonment of health and safety regulations – I don’t see that as a sensible way forward. I want to see people get jobs not get maimed.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          What you’re calling for already exists as it’s possible to hire someone on a temporary contract. Once the contract ends the job ends, allowing the employer to hire additional staff for short periods of time. Though I suspect what you want is the ability to fire existing employees as cheaply as possible and removing their right to sue employers for abusing them.

        • Bazman
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          Flexible enough not to have to pay them?

        • Bazman
          Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          You are not usually maimed by stabbing yourself in the finger whilst sharpening a pencil. Working at height with a hand held 9″ high cycle grinder might prove to be a bit more hairy.

        • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
          Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          It depends on the nature of the employment.

          Unskilled workers are regarded as easy to find. If an employer does not need to spend time training them up, they will employ them on short term contracts through employment agencies.

          It is inefficient for an employer to hire someone who needs a certain amount of training in order to make them efficient workers, then firing them and having to continually train some one new.

          A desire to hire and fire people at will seems to suggest that the UK is being steered towards a low tech unproductive economy that is only interested in short term profits. This seems to contradict the Government’s intention of producing our way out of recession.

    • spartacus
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Have you heard that the Tories now want companies payroll in realtime? Every transaction, and you can just imagine the penality regieme for not complying. Every payroll period is going to be like the end of year run in computing thier ever changing rules, pension entitlements, student loan deductions, court order deductions, ssp, holiday pay, spp materity pa etc etc… do they not realise the huge burden this is going to place on businesses? 90 percent of which are small smes.

  38. BobE
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    2 years 11 months to go

  39. uanime5
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Welfare levels would be much lower if jobs had to pay a living wage, rather than a minimum wage. Then you wouldn’t need to give people tax credits and housing benefits to supplement their low salaries.

    • Bazman
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      A direct subsidy to the banks and other large profitable businesses. I do not see why the taxpayer and workforce should subsidise in the form of tax credits to their workers as the wages are so low. No low pay for the boss. If it is to expensive here then go somewhere cheaper for your profits and losses. You are of no use. Remember the mantra used on most working people. We do not respond to threats. I have my own mantra. It’s a two way street and you are only going one way. Ram it.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      But many low tech jobs don’t generate enough output for your ‘living wage’ to be affordable. To attain your goal you would need to slam the door on immigration, mechanise like mad and be content to have a high % of unemployed. Are you up for it?

      • spartacus
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        Which are the low tech jobs that a minimum wage makes affordable?

        • Bazman
          Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          Many jobs carried out by people in the middle class social security system for a start.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Every other European country seems able to pay a living wage for low tech jobs so I doubt that it will result in high unemployment or require large scale mechanisation.

    • A Different Simon
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Uanime ,

      It never ceases to amaze me that we give knighthoods and such to retail magnates who flood the market with tat from China .
      Simmilarly giving honours to heads of catering and hotel firms who treat other peoples children in ways that (I hope) they wouldn’t treat their own .

      However , Legislation to fix this will be inneffective and quite possibly damaging . The only way to achieve it is to create employment so the job market moves from being an employers market to an employees market .

      Where I think you , along with just about every politician in the developed world , are wrong is by concluding the solution is to raise wages .

      Campbell Newman out in Queensland is the only politician in the Western World to have concluded that he doesn’t have a magic wand to raise wages and to have approached the problem from the other direction – reducing the cost of living .

      • uanime5
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        It is far easier to raise wages and reduce income disparity than decrease the cost of living. Any attempt to reduce the price of housing so less housing benefit was required would be met with howls of protests from landlords and home owners.

        • A Different Simon
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          “It is far easier to raise wages and reduce income disparity than decrease the cost of living. ”

          Yes , lets raise the wages until the jobs no longer exist .

          The important income disparity is not between rich people in the UK and poor people in the UK .

          The income disparity is between everybody in the UK and just about the rest of the World .

          All raising wages will achieve is offshore more industry and jobs and dump more people on the dole queue . I can’t believe that is what you want .

          Release a load of building land to create a surplus of housing , especially social housing and the cost of accomodation will be brought down .

          Start using our shale-gas , sack the management at Ofgem and replace them with people who are serious about being regulators . The cost of gas and electricty will then come down just like it has in the states and we too can bring back energy intensive jobs which were offshored .

          • Bazman
            Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            We are to compete with china and India on labour costs as the disparity of wealth is not of UK citizens, but UK citizens and the world. You can. I’m a bit confused over less or more regulation of the energy supply. Ah! I see regulate the regulators to allow the tooth fairy to bring cheap shale gas which is not cheap.

  40. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    In his tractor factory remarks and in his advocacy of the Queen’s Speech in the Commons, Mr Cameron finally began to sound like a Tory. He has perhaps willed the end, now he has to deliver the means.

  41. Sample Messages
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Wishing a friend, the message can be formal and light in vein whereas in the case of wishing an employee or employer, a formal tone of respect must be adopted.

    • Bazman
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Where does ‘ram it’ fit?

  42. alexstuart
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 4:13 am | Permalink

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    Posted May 17, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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