Why are there so many Conservative rebellions in this Parliament?


I will answer this question with a couple of posts. Today I will look at the policy issues behind the disagreements. Tomorrow I will consider the people.

The rebellions all represent a frustration that not enough Conservative policies are being pursued by the government. Conservative MPs point out that the Conservative party won an overall majority in England, so has a mandate to govern in England. This is frustrated  by Coalition and UK votes in the UK Parliament. MPs want English votes for English issues, with Conservative Ministers for English issues as a result.  They also often argue that Lib Dems have too large a say in policy in proportion to the number of seats they hold.

Some Conservative MPs were not happy about the original Coalition agreement, with many regreting the absence of a proper discussion within the Parliamentary party about the terms, and the absence of a vote to approve it. Few Conservatives ever wanted constitutional change. They were happy to let the Lib Dems have a  referendum on AV because they could themselves oppose AV and vote No.  They never bought into the idea of Lords reform, backing their Leader who had always made it clear prior to the election that he did not regard it as a priority and had no particular plan to bring it about.

Most Conservatives are fully signed up to deficit reduction. Most wish more of this to be achieved by controlling public spending. Far from being uneasy about cuts, many of the rebellions come from people wanting some cuts. There are strong groups of Conservatives who wish to see cuts in the EU budget, cuts in the overseas aid budget, cuts in regulation and  bureaucracy, and sensible cuts in welfare. They would like to see cuts in energy subsidies,  and the end of expensive projects like HS2.

There are strong groups against particular policies. HS2 is a very unpopular project, especially with those with constituencies along its route. Windfarms are unpopular with a significant number of MPs, both because of their environmental impact and owing to the high cost energy they sometimes generate. The delays in controlling immigration numbers frustrates some Conservative MPs.  The intervention of both the ECHR and the ECJ in UK affairs often riles Conservatives.

Many Conservative MPs want some flesh on the bones of the new policy of negotiating a new relationship with the EU. They want a referendum on our relationship.  Some are uneasy about the extent of the defence cuts, a department which has been singled out for far more cuts than other departments.

All want a strong private sector led recovery. Some were frustrated by tax increases in the last budget. Many dislike high fuel duties. The free enterprise groupings dislike current Income Tax and CGT levels, and see them as too high  for the recovery.

The most serious worries relate to the EU. In that MPs reflect the mood amongst party activists. Our relationship with the EU dominates much of what the Uk does or is allowed to do, and is at the centre of Conservative wishes for constitutional change.

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  1. Steve Cox
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    One thing I find interesting about the rebellions is that they often seem to involve many of the new 2010 intake of MP’s. This would seem to imply that many of these new faces are further to the right than the “average” Conservative MP has been during, say, the last decade, or else that the pre-2010 incumbents were originally similar in their political outlook to the new intake, but they have in many cases simply become complacent and happy with the status quo. Of course, a lot of the pre-2010 MP’s will have joined the government’s ranks and so will usually feel duty bound to support it, but there still seems to me to be a very large rump of pre-2010 Conservative MP’s who either were or else have become soft-left and dovish. Any views? Perhaps another election will move the party in the ‘Right’ direction yet again?

    Reply: The rebellions represent all ages of Conservative MP, adjusted for membership of the government. Remember that the 2010 intake is half the Parliamentary party, with far less than half the number of government jobs, so you wouild expect there to be mroe 2010 rebels than other genrations combined. 2010 intake MPs also hold the more magrinal seats, which often leads to an MP being less tolerant of government error.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Looking at the list of those who rebelled of the 2010 intake, it seems as though that those who represent Cameron’s New Model “Conservative” Party (i.e. good looking, public school/Oxbridge educated etc) held the line.The only exceptions being Zac who is not going to pushed around by anybody and the one who got himself into trouble over a Third Reich themed stag party

      • Disaffected
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        First, the Tories backed the wrong horse in Cameron. They should have known his past as an aide to Major. Cameron deliberately failed to give his MPs a choice over coalition because they might have voted against it when he wanted it- a bit like the in/outEurope debate. He should have the guts, like Steve Harper in Canada, to go for a minority government and, if the public liked what it saw, then quickly put in another election to gain an overall majority.

        He used and uses the Lib Dems as an excuse to implement his own liberalist views because he wants to change the Tory party along the pro European line of Clarke, Heseltine and Major, hence control from the centre to pick his MPs rather than leaving to the local Tory party. Cameron would try to prevent JR from joining theTory party today.

        No experience of the real world, but educated to high standard in political theory. Not much use to the people of Britain. This equally applies to Clegg and Miliband. No real connection with ordinary British people, only a clique of friends, polls and focus groups to help him form an opinion as he has no experience to draw upon. Therefore policy decision s are bound to be useless as they do not have practical benefits in implementation.

        Poor judgement: how many U turns, how many failed guarantees, how many failed policies to date? Look at his poor judgment in appointments to influence policy: Labour politicians ie Hutton, Milburn, pro-European liberal Tory advisers ie Clarke, Heseltine, Major. Pro-European liberal ministers dominate in the Cabinet .

        The public and plebs will not be able to articulate why they dislike Cameron but they will be able to vote against him and the useless policies he stands for. Even IDS this morning used weasel words to evade whether he was for or against an in/out European referendum. the Tories will spend an even longer period in opposition come 2015 because of his failings and his choice to hide behind the Lib Dems.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

          I agree fully.

        • zorro
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, as we have said before, you judge his actions not his words…..Patten to the BBC, Clarke to Justice, Heseltine to write reports on reviving the economy…..enough said. He did, of course, ask John to look at economic competitiveness but then studiously ignored implementing what he suggested, probably using the Lib Dems as a lightning conductor.


          • lifelogic
            Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            He has ignored Adrian Beecroft’s rather mild and very sensible suggestions on easy hire and fire too. They clearly do not want any recovery at all.

        • Nina Andreeva
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          I do not believe that any parties really listen to the focus groups. If they did why are the frightened of putting such topics (most of which I do not believe in by the way) as the reintroduction of capital punishment, repatriation of immigrants etc to referenda (or really getting a rid of the international human rights law that binds the status quo on these two topics)?

          Sorry but Cameron and Co are really bottom of the barrel toffs. No doubt MacMillan lived off Daddy’s money, just like they have, but he had a record of personal bravery in both world wars. Some toffs like Sir Keith Joseph even branched off successfully into the professions and away from the family business. However what we have at the moment are a pair who are so insensate to the realities of the lives of the vast bulk of the population. Remember they thought it was a really great idea to hire Andy Coulson as a connection to what the “working class” is thinking about. Yeah and the Murdoch press give an accurate reflection of the working class that I am part of. Instead Cameron and Osborne should become a permanent feature on page 3

          • Max Dunbar
            Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

            Interesting comparison with MacMillan. Cameron and Osborne are soft and un-proved.

        • Woolfiesmiff
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          Totally agree, good analysis

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          Well put. Coldly objective.

        • Derek Buxton
          Posted November 5, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          I too agree, with the added point that the Department of Energy and Climate Change is the other disaster area to be laid at Cameron’s door.

  2. lifelogic
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Indeed all good points. You say there is “a frustration that not enough Conservative policies are being pursued by the government”.

    What Conservative policies at all are actually being pursued? How many MPs in the party are remotely Conservative, perhaps just a hundred in total. The rest are just career politicians. The government cannot even sort out the banks they own nor get some real competition in bank lending, taxes are far too high for any strong recovery (or even for raising maximum tax), the C02 warming religion is still running energy policy, and Heseltine is writing socialist command economy reports.

    Cameron clearly wants to remain in the EU and will never grant the promised referendum because he knows he will lose. Just as he lost the last election due to his failure to put a Conservative agenda to the country. The position looks pretty hopeless to me.

    • j goodchild
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Hear hear the party has been hijacked by a load of lefties of the hestletine and clarke type and bare no resemblance ti what i consider my opinions of what a conservatism stands for. It is refreshing to see the new intake.embracing a more traditional form of conservative values.
      Im glad they are standing up to all the wet lefties in the party. with the exception of IDS, Gove and possibly Hague and May the rest are pretty inefectual. We must have an in out referendum on Eu or its curtains agin for.5 years. Time to bring some new blood like Conor Burns, phillip davis. Mark Reckless and co down to the front bench

      • Timaction
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        I agree. The whole country has moved to the right of the previous centre ground and Cameron has stayed behind on the “old” centre ground. No effective action has been taken to tackle the obvious issues. The EU being the biggest obstacle to progress. It influences just about everything and the Tory led coalition leaders want this unelected benemoth. The electorate do not. Immigration? 650,000 and rising. More (people-ed) from Bulgaria and Romania next year. Just can’t wait for more unemployment, overwhelmed public services, education, housing (lets build on the greenbelt to accommodate), roads, young peoples jobs and particularly health tourism and shortages. £25 billion borrowed annually to give away in EU and foreign aid. The EU aid for a £50 billion annual trade deficit with it! Of course the 16 Nations in net receipt want us to pay more! Absolutely absurd figures for even our stupid political leaders and Sir Humphries. Reform of the EU HCR or Human Rights Act? No Article 8, right to a family life, forget the rest of us. Qatada deported? No. Reduction in armed forces is all part of the softening up process for the joint forces of the EU Superstate hidden by the quisling Cameron in austerity bunting.
        I’m afraid the game is up. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows the repatriation of powers is a kick into the long grass as their is no mechanism for this. Lisbon Treaty requires us to leave under article 50 for renegotiation. Bring on that straight in/out referendum.
        They’ll start doing the politics of worry again soon……..3 million jobs at risk……….benefits of the single market……NO, we don’t have to be in the EU to trade with it. Ask China, USA, Japan, Norway, Switzerland.
        We have a totally ineffective leadership.

        • peter davies
          Posted November 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          Good points there, crudely put but I’m afraid your not far off the mark there.

          I have listened to so many politicians defend the EU, like David Milliband and the best they can come up with is ‘trade’ and ‘influence’ which are complete c**p!

          Trade with Europe should not be a problem given the £50 bn deficit and the fact people forget about the trans shipment – now there’s a plan JR, create out own trans shipment route from Norwich or Harwich, Southampton, Liverpool or Cardiff – that would create a few jobs!

          Whilst on the subject of trade, are we not restricted to trade with on terms and countries mandated by the EU?

          Influence is a complete political BS red herring – the best influence you can have is being able to produce something at a competitive price in a competitive economy which we are not at the moment.

          Sooner the govt gets the message and accepts its time to come out the better. The great leader ‘Heath’ got us into it without any say so its time for the Tories to make amend and acknowledge that the ruined fishing industries and many more things were a mistake and set up the process for bringing us out.

    • Rebecca Hanson
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      I think you’re right to point out the lack of clarity regarding what ‘conservative’ policies actually are lifelogic.

      Thatcher pursued economic liberalism as a conservative with policies designed to tackle real issues which existed.

      While I see some of the policies which John most supports as being from the same tradition many of the other policies which are labelled as being ‘conservative’ today are more to do with anarchic libertarianism then any other vein of politics. It seems to have nothing to do with need or purpose and all to do with rampant ignorance. Or does anybody still actually think that current conservative policy in education is vaguely coherent?

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        My policy would be to halve the size of the state sector and halve tax rates. The education policy should be to let people spend their own money on it or have a voucher system that they can top up as needed. Also a basic safety net for those in real need to ensue they get an education.

        Fire all the countless parasites in the middle of the parent, tax, tax office, central government, regional government, local government, LEA, schools, to child (of the initial parent) ring. Fewer lawyers and accountant that way too so good for everyone.

      • zorro
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        ‘Anarchic Liberalism’……’nothing to do with need or purpose and all to do with rampant ignorance’……(another maybe voter John)……But seriously, Conservative tradition is against ‘anarchy’ but for a strong, vibrant country with a small effective state looking after defence, law and order, border security, and the free and lawful exercise of commerce……I think that there is definitely a need/purpose for those ideals within society. The freedom of the individual to grow and express oneself without fear of micromanagement/interference by the state….


        • Rebecca Hanson
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          Anarchic libertarianism. Not anarchic liberalism.

          • Christopher Ekstrom
            Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            If anyone is idiotic enough to believe Libertarianism is a serious “danger” in democratic-socialist Britain then that person should rest assured PM Cast Iron Slipery Davey is having none of that!

          • zorro
            Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

            I meant libertarianism but my iPad defaulted to old fashioned liberalism. How ironic is that? 🙂


          • Rebecca Hanson
            Posted November 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

            Anarchic libertariansim advocates the shutting down of state systems no matter what the consequences Christopher.

            If you cannot see why that is dangerous then I am concerned for you.

      • Mark
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        I see good signs of some shaping up on schools policy, albeit the recognition of the contribution to cost effectiveness and improved results for all (not just the most able) from a more streamed approach is only through the back door.

        Tertiary education is however a complete mess. That’s because it’s under the control of Lib Dems Cable and Willetts.

        • Rebecca Hanson
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          I’m sorry I can’t understand your first paragraph Mark. It doesn’t seem to make sense logically or bear any relation to the real world.

          To be fair I am beginning to hear very good things about the early years reforms from the managers of local pre-schools and nurseries who I have spoken to at length, frequently while the reforms have been implemented.

    • zorro
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      I am looking forward to Frau Merkel’s visit and how Cast Elastic handles that….He shall have to watch how he minds his Ps and Qs…..no ‘calm down dear’ or ‘frustrating’ moments one hopes…..


  3. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    “….owing to the high cost energy they sometimes generate….” What an elegant turn of phrase!

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink


      In short they generate energy at about twice the cost of some other generation methods. As wind cannot generate electricity on demand (and it also cannot be stored cheaply) then the electricity produced is clearly worth far less than on demand electricity too (and needs expensive back up).

      Just as you would want to pay rather less for a take away pizza if it were o be delivered at some random time in the future rather than in ten minutes time.

      They are an economic nonsense and will be more so when we get fracking and people finally lose their c02 religion as it become clearly that it was a huge exaggeration fraud by the state sector. This will be apparent from temperature readings the “experts” cannot massage them upwards for ever.

      Even the BBC’s David Attenborough recently seems to have back away from his earlier stance on the issue.
      Not now saying anything that I would disagree with on the issue. Namely the climate changes, it always has and always will, and humans are one of very many factors in this change.

      • zorro
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        To be quite honest if they could harness the hot air produced in Westminster into usable energy we could save a lot of money (might even be an argument for keeping some of them)…….


      • peter davies
        Posted November 5, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        I’ve always been an environmentalist but lifelogic makes a very good point about wind mills.

        One thing people forget is that however much we cut direct Co2 pales in comparison with the increases coming out of China and their new coal fired power stations – so we are saddling people and business with higher costs whilst the likes of China and India steam ahead – total madness, stop us competing, let others do the polluting and we end up in the same place.

        Another point to note is that turbines in upland areas tend to be where there is natural peat. Peat holds something like 5 times more carbon per sq km than a woodland equivalent. Wind turbines need deep foundations and they crack the bed rock which drains the peat causing it to die and decompose and release the carbon it holds.

        Not only that, all wind turbines need access roads and ditches which will always go downhill and act as a drain – thus draining the peat.

        I wonder how much of this is factored into the scientific impact/effect when deciding on this policy?

        I suspect climate change and energy policy has nothing to do with (Tory) Gov’t wishes, I strongly suspect that they follow this agenda to comply with some EU directive but are not telling us – as they are merely following the pattern of Nu Lab.

        Good news is that Anglesey and a place in Glouc have just signed up a nuclear investor – this will be a welcome shot in the arm economically as well for both areas, I don’t see any other viable option at the moment apart from nuclear and coal and gas with carbon capture technology.

        After all, we still have plenty of coal fields with people that could do with the work living near them.

        Fracking still has quite a few question marks, especially for built up areas, it will be interesting to see where they go with that

  4. Nina Andreeva
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Why are there so many rebellions? It is because they are a result of a combination of weak and inexperienced leadership at the top who are also only interested in policies that are of no interest to the Conservative Party core vote.

    You can also see this reflect itself on a local level too. On the 15th Bristol holds its mayoral election. Labour are standing on a platform of fair wages for all and an end to rip off rents and bus fairs. There is no mention as to how they are going to pay for this let alone of the £25 million budget cut the winner will have to contend with from day one. Meanwhile the Conservative Party candidate is into “nature reserves” and wants to make “Bristol the greenest city in Britain”. The result is a foregone conclusion.

    • Derek Buxton
      Posted November 5, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Best result for Bristol would be “neither”. They are obviously not fit to run a whelk stall.

  5. Prangwizard
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I am like minded, but would be very interested to know how many MPs are in favour of the re-establishment of an English parliament.
    If English Votes for English Issues has support, why not support an English parliament? ‘English Votes’ will be open to dispute, and it is a constitutional outrage and unjust that England continues to be excluded from the devolution process and is not recognised as a nation.
    I urge you, and like minded colleagues, to make the logical step and come out for an English parliament. It will have to be granted at some point. It does not need to deferred on the grounds that the EU is the biggest issue.

    Reply: Conservative MPs tend to prefer English votes for English issues, as that used to be official party policy, and is cheaper than setting up another Parliament.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      An English parliament? Oh please not more opportunities for people who go into politics because they cannot get/do not want a proper job. In Bristol one of the candidates who is standing for police commissioner currently spends his time as chairman of a hospital trust (non medical background) and now wants to offer his boundless talents in upholding law and order. The Conservative Party candidate used to work for C&A however.

    • JoolsB
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      With respect John, whatever Conservative MPs prefer is irrelevant. The Scots have been asked more than once, the Welsh also. The English have NEVER been asked whether they would like the same level of self determination (Cameron’s favourite catchphrase for everywhere else in the world), i.e. an ENGLISH PARLIAMENT. Here’s an idea, why not ask the people of England what they want next time Scotland is being asked yet again. Yet another thing we are being denied a vote on. Only UKIP are offering both a referendum on the EU and one on an English Parliament and when the Tories lose the next election, they will only have themselves to blame.

      We in England are also sick of being told the reason for not being allowed a parliament is cost. The House of Commons could be used for an English Parliament and the Lords could be the UK Parliament. An English Parliament would virtually make 119 Celtic MPs redundant saving millions in salaries and expenses and 800 Lords and Ladies who only scrutinise English legislation anyway could certainly be reduced. If England was allowed it’s own parliament, England would finally have someone standing up for it unlike now and demand an end to the skewed Barnett Formula saving more millions. It’s insulting that cost is used as an excuse to deny England democracy when billions were spent on giving the Scots and the Welsh just that.

      It’s a mystery why the Tories are happy to continue the status quo which discriminates against every one of their English constituents. Only our young face crippling debts, only our sick pay prescriptions and only our elderly face losing everything they’ve spent their lives working for should they need care. The Tories would prefer not to say the word England deliberately trying to imply the whole country is affected by their austerity measures. Their contempt for England is almost as bad as Labour whose reasons for cynically leaving England out of devolution was at least obvious – one of partisan self interest. The Tories are idiots for refusing to address the English Question and not only will they be the losers but every man, woman in England also.

      • Prangwizard
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Could I ask you please Mr Redwood for your views on devolution to the other nations, and do you support the arrangements they have? I know there was a big row in Scotland about the cost of their parliament building, but do you support the principle of the self-determination of peoples? And the other MPs? By your own analysis it is denied to the English.

        • JoolsB
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          They don’t want to give England equality with the rest of the so called union Prangwizard, i.e. it’s own parliament, not even the Tories, who rely on England for the bulk of their support – what a thankyou. Cameron has already stated that he does not just want to be PM of England and calls those of us who want our own parliament sour little Englanders. The only MP to stand up in the Commons and ask if there could be a discussion on devolution to England was Labour MP, Frank Field and he was knocked back by Cameron in no uncertain terms and accused of trying to nurture the grievances of us English for wanting one. The Tories do not want an English Parliament because just as the Scottish, Welsh & NI MPs are redundant in their own countries, all devolved matters now being decided by 129 SMPs at Holyrood and 60 AMs at Cardiff, they are more concerned about losing their jobs than the little matter of democracy for England, the only country in the western world without it’s own parliament.

          Reply: I have also been asking Who speaks for England?

          • JoolsB
            Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            You need to ask a bit louder John because your Liberal, proEurope, anti English leader isn’t listening.

    • zorro
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes, we have a very nice extended property in Westminster which could serve as a Parliament for English constituencies, and the Celtic fringe (if still with us) can vote on any issues affecting the UK as a whole.


    • PrangWizard
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to labour this Mr Redwood – I have found your piece ‘Who Speaks for England? it pre-dates my involvement in all this, and I haven’t previously looked backs.
      I do not think it reasonable that the English should have to suffer a second-rate type of devolution such as English Votes on English Issues, and certainly not on grounds of cost. In any event it need not be unreasonably costly, since no vast new building will be necessary surely, as was required in the Scottish case.
      As for the voting in English constituencies, people will not be voting for MPs for England, because they (including yourself) will still be British MPs campaigning on British policies. Surely you couldn’t ‘wear two hats’.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        No “vast new building” was required for Scotland’s parliament.. There were existing buildings available at that time.

    • Woolfiesmiff
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Surely once the Scots vote for independence, which they will, then what we have left will be an English Parliament.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

        What you will have left if the Scots are foolish enough to vote for separation will be an unstable socialist republic on your northern border.

    • peter davies
      Posted November 5, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      It should be quite a simple one to fix – no one outside England votes on issues if they are devolved to their country.

      You could go one step further and double up the Westminster MPs with devolved ones so they report to their own parliaments for devolved business and come to Westminster for UK business

      After all if it is Civil Servants that apply policy and if political business for each parliament mirrors each other there should be no need for any MP/MSP/AM to be in 2 places at once.

      We could also do with getting rid a of a few waste of space politicians who would not survive in any normal job in Wales!

      I’m afraid good old Tony Blair made a right mess of this one when he set this up – Wales in particular was doing far better under the tories pre ’97 with less govt interference than it has over the past 10 years. Things were more balanced, property and living was far cheaper, education was even better – it seems that we’ve just marched backwards having been saddled with labour the whole time, enough said.

  6. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Very good, it is a pity or perhaps catastrophe that the leader of the Conservative Party does not understand these home truths.

    • Acorn
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      How about this little factoid. Next Tuesday, the next US President will probably get a personal vote of circa 70,000,000. The UK Prime Minister had a personal vote of less than 34,000.

      • zorro
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        But that is because of the Presidential system they have. They could still be voting Republican or Democrat but not like either of their candidates (a bit like Cameron with Conservatives). The US have a constitutional republic with an executive split from the legislature. We have a Prime minister, who is someone who can command a viable majority of MPs and not always from his own party as with the Coalition. Can you imagine the Frankenstein coalition which would have emerged if Brown had stitched something up after the election…..

        However, as you imply, in a constitutional republic, you are going to get one man or the other, whereas after the last election it was touch and go, and we ended up with Cameron (un)ably assisted by the Clegglet……


        • Woolfiesmiff
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Where as in our country we don’t get any vote at all to elect a government and Prime Minister as this is actually chosen by the monarch….very democratic….not

      • uanime5
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Well the whole of the USA (300 million) is voting for the US president, by contrast only Cameron’s constituency (Witney) voted on him. I suspect if the whole of the UK voted separately for the Prime Minister he’d have a higher personal vote.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps only slightly higher, given his pro EU, fake green, socialist performance so far.

  7. Adam5x5
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    The rebellions all represent a frustration that not enough Conservative policies are being pursued by the government.

    What Conservative policies?
    Public spending – up & up
    Energy Policy – Lib Dem (laughable, possible signs of hope of keeping the lights on with Hitatchi)
    Europe – pro-EU Lib Dems & leadership
    Civil liberties – lots of ‘nudge’ tactics in the form of taxes from the government & erosion of freedom of speech
    Crime – laughable punishments & ever worsening relationship between police and public.

    The failure of the government to curb the excessive legislation of the last lot’s badly written multitude has meant the coalition has lost a lot of respect from the public.
    A return to individual liberty and responsibility, governmental financial competency (stop spending so much!) and a referendum on Europe would restore a lot of confidence and support for the Conservatives.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Indeed what Conservative policies?

      • zorro
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        You are forgetting the cancelling of the M4 bus/taxi lane……a very Conservative policy…. 🙂


        • lifelogic
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          True and nearly getting rid of HIP packs.

  8. Greg Tingey
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    HS2 is NECESSARY & the nimby’s are quite happy with the M40!
    Lyuing hypocrites, the lot of them.
    However & contrariwise .. The EU.
    Even the Labour party is beginning to “trim” on this issue, as the cost & corruption that have become embedded in the EU finally reach the public’s consciousness. Together with the unwarranted interference in small matters, and the open squashing of small people, businesses & individuals in favour of corporate greed by Brussels-lobbying.

    • APL
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Greg Tingey: “HS2 is NECESSARY & the nimby’s are quite happy with the M40!
      Lyuing hypocrites, the lot of them.”

      No it is not.

      But beside that, I couldn’t care two hoots about the M40, nor is HS2 going through my back yard. So I am opposed to HS2, but not open to the charge of lying or hypocrisy.

      • Richard
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        Allow it to go ahead but without a penny of taxpayers money.
        And just in case you ask, its planned route is nearly in my back yard !

        • APL
          Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          Richard: “Allow it to go ahead but without a penny of taxpayers money>/b>.”

          A compromise I’d be happy with.

    • Mark
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I travel on the M40 several times a year in a full vehicle. There is no way that HS2 could begin to offer a sensible alternative to that: it would require a fleet of porters to handle the baggage, and a lengthy trip into central London, not to mention problems with onward travel to destinations (some of which would entail an element of backtracking, and others a variety of destinations North of Birmingham that won’t be served by HS2). Neither on cost, convenience nor time would HS2 compete.

  9. Bill
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    If you go to a pub or restaurant there is little evidence of a recession or of austerity. Where we live, people are out and about spending money on the minor luxury of a well cooked meal. The trouble is that the statistics we are given of recession or recovery are such blunt instruments and that, when we are given figures relating to pounds, the numbers are so astronomically large that they are unimaginable. We hear of the billions of pounds going to the EU and yet, if we hear the EU defend itself (as was the case on the PM Programme on Wednesday), we are told that the British contribution is only 1% of GDP.

    I think we should be given much fuller information about all these numbers so blithely banded about. Ideally we need the numbers themselves as well as background numbers to get everything in proportion. Everyone knows, or ought to know, that it is easy to make a big number small but comparing it with an even bigger number.

    Reply The cost of the EU is far more than 1% of GDP if you count the cost of EU regulations and the consequences of EU decisions on UK public spending.

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Let’s have a referendum on the EU that gets to the heart of the matter – do the British people see their destiny as being part of a unremitting, unlimited and very largely uncontrollable process of “ever closer union” with their European neighbours which is deliberately designed to end, and must end, with the extinction of their country as an independent sovereign state?

    So why not have a referendum on that fundamental issue, with something like the following printed on the ballot paper?

    “”Under the present treaties of the European Union the United Kingdom is committed to a process of “ever closer union” with the other countries in the European Union.

    Do you wish the United Kingdom to continue further with this process of “ever closer union”?”

    If the answer was “No, we don’t want to continue further with the process of “ever closer union” with the other countries in the European Union” then the UK government would have to seek very different treaty arrangements with those other countries.

    Either alone, or in concert with some of those countries where the peoples also felt that they’d already gone far enough or too far with that process and they didn’t want to go any further.

    Reply: Many of us want a referendum and have been working on various ways of bringing one about.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      To Reply: “Many of us want a referendum and have been working on various ways of bringing one about.”

      So do I but I cannot see how you will do so. Certainly not with Cameron at the helm and so many big government, career MPs in the party and house. They know they will lose so they won’t have one. The only way is to convince them they would win perhaps?

      • zorro
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Actually to decide to come out of the EU, we just need a majority of elected representatives to overturn the 1972 Act…..


        Reply: Indeed – and when do you see that happening in this Parliament?

        • zorro
          Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          I was outlining an eternal truth – one however as likely to happen this Parliament as you running off to marry the PM!!


          • Backofanenvelope
            Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            An interesting idea that would add greatly to the gaiety of the nation!

    • APL
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      JR: “Many of us want a referendum and have been working on various ways of bringing one about.”

      Neither do we want one referendum, since the EU has set the precedent and holds referenda until it gets the result it wants. Good enough for the EU, good enough for the UK.

      The point being, no Parliament has the authority to abrogate its authority, if it wishes to then it should first resign in toto – and no group of people, the present population included has the right to deliver future generations of UK citizens into political bondage.

  11. Alte Fritz
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    During last week’s “Westminster Hour”, Robin Harris remarked that Mr Cameron likes coalition government. This was not pursued, but it is interesting that the party leader seems to like something which dilutes the natural instincts of his party. This begs the question whether Conservatives failed for being the nasty party or other reasons.

    Maybe the answer lies in my hobby horse of the infantilisation of public debate. The NHS is held as something beyond reproach in the face of numerous public scandals and appaling private experiences. How can we hope to have a coherent, intellectually honest public message in the face of a public which seems to face two ways (at least) on so many issues?

    To address the theme of this post, I wonder whether Conservatives are in revolt against an unstoppable force.

  12. Colm Costello
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Your post here describes a group of people who sound like opposition MP’s. Is that where they want us to be after the next election

  13. A different Simon
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I think it is little more than an embodiment of the chasm which exists between the opinions of ordinary folk and the ruling class in the country .

    We will see in the coming weeks that what the leadership thinks will prevail over parliament in a way that lays the myth of democracy bare .

    Has little to do with coalition government .

    Sadly I predict that MP’s will start towing the line in the run up to the next election as more than anything else , being and MP is a job and there are very few jobs around , even less that give 5 years of security and a defined benefit pension .

    • APL
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      A different Simon: “Sadly I predict that MP’s will start towing the line in the run up to the next election .. ”

      I think you have it exactly reversed. As the election approaches, the Tory Top Brass will do their best to appear ever more ‘EUrosceptic’ this time without actually making any ‘cast iron promises’ ( to avoid the embarrassment of cynically breaking the promise once the election is in the bag ). The question is, are Tory rank and file as gullible as the Tory top brass think?

  14. oldtimer
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    This is a very good summary of the sources of discontent. It is, I believe, reflected in the sharp drop in Conservative party membership since Cameron was elected its leader. Where I live, in the Beaconsfield constituency, ConservativeHome reported a very sharp drop in paid up members. I put this down to a shared discontent.

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Cameron opposes the rebellions not because of the LibDems influence but because he supports all the things the rebellions are against. Your main rebellion will have to be against Cameron. Sadly, you elected the wrong leader. It seems to me that he is very happy leading the coalition and would like to lead the Lib Dems if they were big enough. He is not what we think of as a Conservative. He is looking for another coalition after the next election not a Conservative victory. He may well get his wish but it will be a Lab/Lib coalition.

  16. APL
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Our friendly cheeky chappie, sweet old Kenny is at it again:

    Ken Clarke: ‘We need spies in these dangerous times’

    Under the bill, judges will be able to listen to more civil cases in secret without claimants being able to hear the evidence against them.

    The man is (bad news-ed).

    • zorro
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Nice….an updated ‘Loi des suspects’ I see…..How very continental….


  17. Martin Ryder
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I think that it all comes down to leadership, as very few people want to rebel against a good leader and are frightened to do so against a strong leader.

    A good leader would take the party with him, by having clear goals which are explained to, and accepted by, the great majority of his MPs. A strong leader pushes the party in the way he wants it to go by bullying and patronage. Of course the best leader is both good and strong.

    The Prime Minister appears to me to be neither good nor strong. There doesn’t seem to be much interaction between him and his MPs, so he cannot take them with him, and he gives in whenever anyone pushes back; especially to Mr Clegg who isn’t even in his party.

    I do not think that the latter failing is because of lack of confidence or courage but simply because he doesn’t believe in anything very much and so cannot have clear goals that most people could support. This wouldn’t matter too much if he had one or two very good, well trusted and close advisors who could hold his feet to the fire but he has surrounded himself with reflections of himself and is not the sort of person who can listen to anyone outside his very small circle.

    I have had bosses like that, all in the public sector, who would not listen to anything that they did not want to hear and who ignored anyone who was not in their charmed circle. None of them (male or female) were particularly good at their jobs but were very good at surviving. I have never been in a charmed circle, and so my comment is somewhat subjective.

    Does all of this matter? If Mr Cameron was a good and strong leader, would it make any difference? We are out in a small boat in a storm and the best sailor in the world cannot control a storm, all he can do is try to keep the boat upright. Can Mr Cameron do that? I am not sure?

    The old Chinese curse comes to mind. ‘May you live in interesting times.’ I think that, both at home and overseas, the times are getting more and more interesting.

    • zorro
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      The shame is that Cameron had a lot of natural advantages which could have helped him be a good leader. Unfortunately, his greatest weakness has been his ability to choose the right people or act on the best advice. As you mention, his seeming lyalty to historic friends has perheps blinded him to what he needs to do, or at least prevented him from doing so.


  18. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    It is of course the wretched Liberals who are, apparently, to be allowed to ruin so much with support that is so little. Cameron’s first and biggest mistake was allowing Clegg an equal platform with the two big parties. His head should have rolled just for that. This whole ‘balance of power’ thing is plain bonkers. Clegg stands up and says that the Conservatives didn’t win a majority on their own but he forgets to say that they almost won, which can hardly be said of the Liberals. Taken to its logical conclusion, if the next lot of results are 49.5, 49.5, 1.0 does it make sense that the 1.0% should hold sway or indeed have any say whatsoever?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Well unless you plan to change the democracy of the UK so you don’t need over 50% of the votes to pass any bill then the 1.0% has every right to hold sway over issues the 99% can’t resolve by themselves.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Unanime5–I never thought to read such unmitigated twaddle but from you such is the norm. Why not take the reductio a bit closer to absurdam and make it 49. 995 and 49.995 and o.01 or indeed results with 0.001 and all the way to zero, when does your soppy “logic” end? The Liberals should be treated as de minimis and simply ignored.

        • uanime5
          Posted November 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          As long as the UK is a democracy the support of more than 50% of the Commons is required to pass any bill. As the Conservatives don’t have more than 50% of the MPs they can’t ignore the Lib Dems without the risk of being defeated on everything.

          Just because you don’t like that the Lib Dems can influence Government policy doesn’t mean that they can be ignored without repercussions.

  19. Frank Little
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    It seems to me more than a mere party philosophical divide, but a symptom of the general sense in Parliament that individual members now count for something. It’s part of the glasnost which followed the expenses scandal, now enshrined in the reformed procedures of the House. You would not expect me as a Liberal Democrat to endorse much of the “dry” agenda, but I feel that the increased “rebellions” are a healthy sign.

  20. Dan
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Interesting post, I had not seen the English votes for English issues as part of it, but it probably is, we are an increasingly divided nation, and you will have Conservative activists increasingly in touch with other conservative leaning voters in areas where conservatives already win seats, being more and more frustrated, as they do not understand that other parts of the country have really different views.

    In terms of the EU, I can understand the position of UKIP, I can understand the position of those Conservatives open about calling for “Better Off Out” but surely the official position of the Conservative party is the rather confusing.
    1. It is absolutely vital in our national interest that we must remain in the EU.
    2. We must drastically change what the EU is to turn it into something radically different .

    Simply calling for “a referendum” unless you have a policy as to what the question is and whether you want to campaign for a Yes or a No. There is a minority that want out under all circumstances and they want a referendum regardless of the question so they can vote NO!!! If you want to stay in and reform then, what are the changes you want and how are they going to come about. If you want to stay in but turn it into the European Free Trade Area 2, then sorry but both Nick Clegg and Nigel Farrage are right, the other 26 are not going to agree to a position for Britain of all-but-out but it still gets to keep Membership and Commissioners and MEPs and votes at the Council etc.

    A policy of getting out I can understand
    A policy of staying in I can understand
    A policy of promising the British people they can have their cake and eat it by delivering them the bits they like but the bits they do not, i.e. they can retire to Spain or Italy but Polish plumbers can not come here, is just going to lead to more and more frustration as it is undeliverable.

  21. Bernard Juby
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Fair comment – so why do the Party elite and greybeards not listen, to them????
    Every month we get a Party feedback questionnaire. Do thay ignore that as well?

  22. Ashley
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Surely the real question should be why MPs acting in the best interests of the country are called rebels and why there are so few of them. The biggest deficit in the UK these days is democratic.

  23. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Are none of the conservatives looking at what’s happening in education and wondering about some of the policy agenda they were so passionate about?

    Perhaps they’re not actually capable of seeing what’s going on due to not having any real insight into state education at all?

    • Adam5x5
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      what is happening in state education?

      A glance at the last 3 weeks of articles in the telegraph and the guardian have the main trends as being teachers cheating on their marking, people spending vast amounts of money on private tutors to try and get their children a decent education, articles about the failure of various schools to educate the children to be able to spell and do basic maths as well as complaints about various subjects being ignored (notably the non-subjects like music and art). Also some articles about uniforms being too expensive.
      The Grauniad also has some teacher resources – I read the one about gravity – kind of misleading as it presented it all as fact when gravity is still a theory.

      Sounds to me like a good dose of competition is exactly what is needed in this industry.
      All I remember from teaching was a lot of surly, unhelpful people not open to ideas or willing to listen/assist. If they weren’t actively being unhelpful…

      • Rebecca Hanson
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        I suggest you go and talk to somebody who actually works in state education Adam.

        • Adam5x5
          Posted November 5, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

          I’ve had as little as possible to do with state education since I left that particular line of work.
          Only people I know now in education are primary teachers and they’re main topics of work-related conversation are what their new displays are or about the ducks they were looking after.
          While thrilling (/sarcasm), this isn’t terribly helpful for getting an inside viewpoint of the political landscape in the industry…

  24. English Pensioner
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    To an ex-Tory (now UKIP) supporter like myself, the main thing that stands out from the present government is their inability to get things right first time; they simply decide what to do without considering the “Law of unintended consequences”, or Murphey’s Law “If it might go wrong it most definitely will”! The present cabinet, with the exception of Michael Gove do not appear to be pro-active, Cameron in particular seems to wait until disaster has struck before taking action. I believe he is simply lazy and totally unwilling to take action to pre-empt a disaster.
    Many Tory MPs clearly don’t like this, they expected action and are getting precious little, and what they get is accompanied by very poor PR, with Nick Clegg getting the credit for any good points and the Tories getting the blame for the bad news. To me it is simple, if a government can’t run a decent PR machine, how can I expect them to run the country.
    I hesitate to think what will be the outcome of David Cameron’s meeting with Angela Merkel this week; I suspect she will run circles around him.

    • Pleb
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Is that the meeting where the leader of the forth richt tells our leader what to do?
      The UK is going to capitulate to an unelected tyranny.

      • zorro
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        I wonder what John’s ‘agony uncle’ advice would be to the PM for when he meets the German Chancellor….


        Reply: I may manage to write ome next week.

    • zorro
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes it might be better that he is a bit lazy rather than rushing around making more bad judgement calls. Remember Von Hammerstein’s rule on judging officers….


    • Rebecca Hanson
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      “The present cabinet, with the exception of Michael Gove do not appear to be pro-active.”

      By ‘pro-active’ do you mean determined to carry on with whatever stupid idea popped into their head last night despite all the evidence that to do so would be ludicrously damaging?

  25. Electro-Kevin
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    As well as income tax and CGT stamp duty is prohibitively expensive and is helping to stall the housing market (no bad thing.)

    Without the reduction in state spending taxes must remain high and all sorts of unpopular means of extracting it must be considered. Road tolls for example.

    This is, however, useful. It makes the expense of EU membership ever more unpopular among the public and brings the subject to the fore.

    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Geoffrey Johnson Smith, then a Vice Chairman of the party, when interviewing me in the HOC (he bought the G&T) in connection with my application to be included in the list of parliamentary candidates, admitted that he had voted against his conscience because of what he believed and conceived was the overall benefit, but had also voted against the party, but not when it had caused a general election!
    He was indeed a man of conscience and today would surely have voted (with others) for the overwhelming wishes of the people (remember them – every five years anyway)!
    Lifelogic says there are too many career politicians (perhaps or probably not wishing to blot their reputations or their futures).
    Is the primary responsibility of MP’s to represent the electorate (what a novel idea)?
    UKIP may well put Conservatives out of office for generations. Oh dear!
    Would Europe instantly refuse to buy anything British and refuse to sell anything to UK?
    Are there any other countries which might even expand their trade with UK?
    Overseas aid (perhaps ‘aid’ is occasionally the right word); funding profligate unelected spendthrifts across the water, who know they can simply demand overspend millions or is it billions? etc etc
    I could go on, but how strong is the desire to reduce the deficit, let alone reclaim our sovereignty et alia?

  27. Neil Craig
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    What it all comes down to is that David Cameron has very little interest in Conservative principles. He became leader because (A) the Conservatives were desperate for power & (B) the BBC, by using a faked “focus group” & slanted coverage of the leadership election, persuaded the Tories that they needed a BBC approved (big government, warming alarmist, EU supporting, immigration approving, gay friendly “moderniser”) leader who would resonate with public option & get elected.

    He resonated only with Beeboid opinion & failed to win an unlosable election. The rest of the party now do not like, trust or respect him & don’t really fear him now either. Even if a new leader like David Davis were unable to push through policies because the LudDims hold a veto, the party would at least trust that he actually wanted them to.

  28. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood please cease the charade; this is an anti-Conservative government lead by a democratic-socialist opportunist. UKIP is the Conservative Party; full stop!

  29. Barbara Stevens
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think the new intake are rebellious at all, in fact most of those who are well learned in parliament, have of late not really showed any mettle for the people they supposed to represent. There are a few who serve well but most are seen but never heard. These who stood up I believe stood for this nation, and should be applauded. We have longed to see MPs really getting down to business and acting on our behalf, speaking out and rebelling like they did, long may it last. This is what democracy is all about. Not party dogma, why should any MP go along party lines if its not right? I found it all refreshing. Europe for me is the first thing on the list, second is immigration; third, is the NHS and changing it’s uniformity.
    Europe is an encrouching bunch of bullies, we have in the past fought off bullies twice from the same part of Europe, it appears they are at it again. We must has a nation, fight back as our ancestors did before us. Not with force but with democracy. It is that very democracy that got us through before and we should not forget that. We should be entitled to choose our own destiny, and to see a Tory government denying us that right is amazing and not on. Thinking of our history, the Tories have played such a strong role within it, I feel let down by them now.
    On immigration, most MPs refuse to acknowledge the strength of feelings, emotion, and rage the way it’s changing our country. The NHS is our jewel in the crown, a lifeline for many, who cannot afford private care. To make changes without a mandate is wrong.
    On H2 it should be dropped, along with foeign aid, we have enough problems here without giving money away. I’d like to see it stopped altogether. Other shores are not our responsiblity. This coalition is a mistake, and many Tories now can see that mistake, and regret it ever coming to pass.

    Reply Aroung 100 rebelled on the referendum, and around 100 on Lords reform. 62 rebelled on the Eu budget

  30. Iain Gill
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    be nice if there were in tune with the biggest problem with the voters, ie immigration, we are still printing intra company transfer visas like confetti, we are still giving indefinite leave to remain simply for working here a while, and so on

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Whats wrong with that? If the Indian IT workers are eventually settling in the UK that is to everyones benefit. Check out how Indian kids perform in the education tables and the conservative nature of Indian culture means you are tilting back the electorate back towards the right wing. (etc etc)

      • Iain Gill
        Posted November 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        its not to everyones benefit what nonsense

        ICT workers pay no employer or employee national insurance for the first 12 months, and get a wide range of tax dispensations, none of which native workers get – hardly fair competition is it?

        bringing in kids who get a free state school place here is hardly good for those squeezed out of decent schools is it?

        hospital beds being full of ICT visa family members displacing Brits who have paid in for a lifetime is hardly fair is it?

        importing a culture where inter caste racism is routine is hardly good for the uk is it?

        yes and indian nationals here on temp visas do get a vote in elections here, why?

        you are badly mistaken

        • Nina Andreeva
          Posted November 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          I agree with what you are saying if they are here to just learn the jobs of people who are going to be made redundant and then do those jobs back in India. Also I thought it would be obvious now to any business on the perils of buying cut price “Indian code”. My comments were instead about the benefits of Indians of coming to stay here for good

      • A different Simon
        Posted November 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Nina ,

        Generally these are juniors learning on the job which denies UK Graduates an opportunity of getting that first job .

        The reason they are employed in preference to UK workers is because they are cheap – largely because they don’t pay any tax or national insurance .

        Why would we want to bring in Indian I.T. workers when there are so many unemployed British software engineers , programmers etc ?

  31. uanime5
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I suspect the high number of rebellions is due to fewer Conservative MPs getting ministerial positions because these roles have to be shared with the Lib Dems. Ministers tend to be more loyal to the Government so that they remain ministers.

  32. Jon
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully also amongst those gripes would be a fair balance between unions and the taxpayer and non union workers. No taxpayer subsidy of their political work and an adjustment to the strike voting thresholds.

    One thing I have noticed in the media (esp BBC) is the portrayal of the EU issue as just a throwback to the 90’s splits. The Eurozone is at a critical point requiring a new Treaty to form a new country in all but name. Can the likes of the Andrew Neil show not realise that this is an important national issue now and not a bit of Conservative navel gazing.

    So many interviewees and interviewers now dismiss what is taking place in the Eurozone as just an internal gripe within the Conservative party related to the past.
    There are big changes to happen in the EU and Eurozone and it would be helpful if the media realized that.

    They seem to miss all the big issues because they are too busy deciding what they think is interesting. The financial crisis was one despite many telling them what was happening. I have a feeling many told them about Saville as well but obviously they know better.

  33. Alan Radford
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    I want Britain to leave the EU. But I do not want a referendum. It will be manipulated by the State and their Big Business cronies who will use unlimited money and power to ensure that people give the ‘right answer’ – and that will be ‘fait accompli’ for another generation.

  34. stan francis
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    The whole Tory lot are ROTTEN TO THE CORE-commit an offence and expected to get off scot free-if you were a jurer the judge would say you cannot judge M’ Lord Leveson as you know the defendent (name deleted-ed)commit sexual crimes and COVERED UP!

    Reply: Which crimes were covered up? If you have evidence of crimes you should send the evidence to the authorities.

    • zorro
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      We will find out soon enough…..


  35. Martyn
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    To my mind there are interesting parallels here with current events regarding our position with the European Union and the terrible 1806-s USA civil war. Although that Civil War hinged primarily around the abolition of slaves driven by the largely abolitionist northern states, an ofte overlooke and major factor in the southern state seceeding from the union was the fact that those states suddenly recognised that in signing up to be a part of the united states of America they had surrendered their sovereign rights to govern themselves and were no longer masters of their own destiny. In fact, exactly the same as the position in which we find ourselves with the EU today.

    Of course these days no one is either willing or indeed capable of following their example in declaring war to regain their sovereignty, in this case the UK against the EU, in which case the only solution is for a determined political leader to battle on the Democratic front in an attempt to regain its lost sovereignty. I venture to suggest that anyone misguided enough to think that this might happen with our present government or any other government in waiting is deluded. Would that it were otherwise, but it is not.

    The past 14 years have taught me to never believe anything and Minister says and only half of what I can see with my own two eyes.

    reply Indeed, states rights was the arguably the main sustaining issue of the US civil war.

    • zorro
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply and Martyn – ‘States Rights’ was indeed the clarion call and has been given more emphasis in more recent historical understanding of the causes of the Civil War. I think that the economic argument and the expansion westwards put the writing on the wall for the South when they realised that the US government would not allow the expansion of slavery into the newer Western states, and that this would eventually affect the economic prosperity of the Southern states. I can see the attraction of juxtaposing that historical reality onto the present.

      However, it is more apposite when comparing the way that we are facing an encroaching federal union (EU) on our own ‘states’. The EU does not seem to respect our sovereignty and appears to ride roughshod over our opinions and views. This encroaching union involves taxation, economy, and many social issues. We can ‘secede’ from the EU as I have described, just as the Southern states seceded from the USA, but I will not force the analogy.


  36. Paul
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    So basically you’re saying there’s nothing truly conservative about this government. Quite right. And what have these rebellions achieved? Nothing. Are we any closer to getting a simple In/Out referendum? No. If people want a referendum they should vote UKIP because, to be fair to David Cameron, he has never said he would hold an In/Out referendum. Why Conservative MPs, therefore, are grumbling is a bit of a mystery. Join UKIP.

    Reply: The Lords rebellion ended Lords reform this Parliament. The EU budget rebellion looks as if it leads to new proposals to cut the budget for us.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      As Paul notes: NOTHING Conservative about this government! Why do you persist in defending this PM? At some point the finger points at you, Mr. Redwood.

  37. Max Dunbar
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    There may be dissension in the ranks at present but the government will jog along until the next economic melt-down takes place. Cameron appears to be comfortable with the Lib-Quislings seasoned with Essence-of Old Wet. For the time being, experienced and pragmatic MPs like Mr Redwood will continue to be sidelined.

  38. Dan
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    It is amusing that some here talk of the terrible war between the states as an analogy for leaving the EU. There is an analogy now in terms of the states rights debates in the US and the real hatred on the part of some of the Conservative movement for their own Federal Government, but there the comparison ends.

    If Britain elected a party with a clear commitment to leaving the EU we would leave the EU, there would be no blood shed, there would be a few years of negotiating details and some people would lose money and others make money.

    However no party since Labour in 1983 has even had a single MP elected on a manifesto of leaving the EU.

  39. John Doran
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I am a conservative at heart. The principles of self reliance & personal responsibility are so obviously valuable to both individuals & country as to be unarguable.
    We are a long way down the road away from these principles.
    I was surprised & disappointed when David Cameron beat David Davis for party leader,
    & saw it as a triumph of style over substance.
    I feel increasing disquiet when I see ‘Hug a Hoody Dave’ pursuing wet left policies, all well mentioned above.
    The EU is our most clear & present danger. Immigration, The NHS & education are the next priorities.
    The EU is a profoundly Marxist federal project, & we must get out now, as soon as possible. Whatever it takes. Maggie leaked plans for our unilateral witholding of UK contributions. Only then did the Eurocrats grant her a rebate. I feel sure that Sir Humphrey slid the Federal aspects past her, behind the promise of a free market.
    As may be, the reasons for exit are now financial as well as political. We pay £50 million per day for membership of this club, & trade at a £50 billion per year deficit.
    This does not make sense. The population of our old commonwealth now exceeds that of the EU, & we share a common language & heritage. The BRIC countries are a more sensible market for us to pursue.
    The EU share of world trade is declining, & the EURO is in crisis. The EU is a sinking ship, & it’s time to man the lifeboat.

    I am disgusted by MPs of all colours troughing away like mad. The people see one law for us, another law for them, & democracy dies. As Frank Field has remarked, voting turnout has dropped from ~85% to ~60% for elections during his time in the House. Democracy is dying in the UK, exactly as the EU wants. This process is helped by huge immigration, which serves to both push down wages & thus living standards, & to fracture the UK into mini-nations, again as the EU wants.

    Borrowing to send aid abroad to dictators & countries which do not want it is lunacy. Our ‘Green’ energy policies are lunacy. While China opens a coal fired power station virtually every week, it is madness for the UK to cripple itself with ‘Big Wind’.
    If we want to kill birds & bats, give farmers targets. If we want to have reliable & inexpensive power, let’s go nuclear, coal, gas or fracking. Germany is opening 20 coal fired power stations. ‘Green Energy’ is the work of traitors & troughers.
    & the EU,of course.

    Michael Gove is finding EU opposition to his reforms so frustrating that he is openly speculating on the value of our EU membership. 20 years ago he would have been dismissed from the Cabinet. IDS is finding similar obstruction.
    They want us dumbed down, they want us insolvent.

    Everything I’ve said so far will make some sense to Tories. What I say now may well get me condemned as round the twist. Here goes.

    The EU impoverishment of it’s PIIGS is deliberate. Germany & the richer northern economies will have huge debts to clear. The standard of living is planned to drop in the EU, UK & US by something like 20%. This crisis is set to run for years. The strategy is the impoverishment of the first world, & the enrichment of the third world to parity. Another main aim is one world govt, for which the EU is the vanguard. Another is the huge reduction of world population to ‘Sustainable Green’ levels, by about 75% I judge. Also planned is the abolition of private property, & the abolition of the family.

    Too far-fetched? I think not.

    Just as the UN gave us it’s Mann made Global Warming scam, UN IPCC 1988, the UN blueprint for the world’s 21st century is set out in UN Agenda 21.

  40. John Doran
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Tea break over.

    UN Agenda 21 was signed by George Bush Snr in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. He hailed it as ‘A New World Order’. Signed by Bill Clinton in 1993.
    Neither brought it before Congress.

    Hidden behind a raft of ‘Sustainable Green’ policies, the real aims are as I have set out above. Alabama has banned UN Agenda 21, & more States, Cities & Counties are following. It’s only taken them 20 years to wake up & smell the coffee!
    The UN & it’s backers are sneaking up on the US just as the EU is sneaking up on the UK. It’s not yet too late, but we have no time for complacency.

    The Marxist Eco-Fascists are on the march.

    James Delingpole chatting to Elizabeth Nickson on ‘Radio Free Delingpole’ is worth a listen. Even David Attenborough is now saying that the world is overpopulated, creating too much CO2, acidifying the oceans & killing coral reefs.
    If we have too much population, let us address that problem.
    What we must not do is leave ourselves, our children & our grandchildren in a one world Gulag.

    What say you Mr Redwood, time for me to get measured for a white coat?

    We live in interesting times.

  41. John Doran
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    For years I have spoiled my voting papers by marking them ‘No votes for lying thieving incompetents’
    Disgusted by Tony Bliar dragging us into a war in Iraq on a pack of lies, I hold him directly responsible for the death & maiming of hundreds of our young people, & hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Also for the 52 deaths & 700 injured in the July 2005 London bus & tube bombings.
    Still, we have excess population, war is the way forward eh Tony?
    The Four horsemen are saddling up.
    Disgusted by the expenses scandal, I felt no allegiance to any party.

    I shall vote UKIP in the hope of an EU exit, & effective border controls.

  42. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    ‘ They also often argue that Lib Dems have too large a say in policy in proportion to the number of seats they hold.’

    But not too large a say in proportion to the number of people who VOTED FOR THEM.

    10.8 million voted Conservative.

    6.6 million voted Lib Dem.

    Enough said? No! Of course not. Everyone knows that 1 Conservative or Labour voter is worth 3 or 4 Lib Dem voters – which is why our political system is rigged to favour the main two parties.

  43. Daniel Thomas
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    The reason there are so many rebellions is because Members of Parliament are voting in the interest of their constituents and not party Whips. Long may it continue.

  • 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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