Contributions to this blog

I am finding I am getting too many contributions from the same individuals each day, and too many contributions that need editing before posting, for me to handle. I wish to spend more of my time researching and writing my own posts and carrying out my other duties. Whilst I value feedback and different points of view, I do not have enough time to spend to edit all of this for publication.

I am afraid in future I will not be able to post most of the items coming in. I will skim each of them to see what they say, and study those with new points. I will not post if they are repititious, need editing, contain unproven allegations, abusive language ect. Regulars are still welcome but please try to confine your response to one a day and let’s have the edited highlights of what you want to say. Some days I may not have time to post anything, or only be able to post once during the day.


  1. Handbags
    May 28, 2013

    At last! I read this blog nearly everyday – and it’s always the people. Some of them post 4 or 5 times to the same article. Some even respond to their own posts. I think they should get out a little more – and limiting their posts to one a day may actually do them some good.

    1. Robert Taggart
      May 28, 2013

      But some of us have nothing to ‘get out’ for !
      Indeed, some of us have nothing to get-up for !!

    2. Leslie Singleton
      May 29, 2013

      Handbags–I don’t blame John because it was getting ridiculous but you should try to understand that foe many people (not me, at least not yet, Thank God) the “service” that John provides or has provided has been all they have–Perhaps getting out more not being as easy as you think for a whole host of possible reasons–Think about it.

  2. Mike Wilson
    May 28, 2013

    I must admit the thought had crossed my mind that an MP surely ought to have better things to do than moderate a forum.

    But, that said, this is one of the few forums that I am aware of where you can actually say what you think and an MP reads it. As such, whilst acknowledging the fact that each poster is bound to repeat their general views, surely you need to keep in touch with what people are saying.

    I imagine moderation must be the biggest pain. Why not do as many forums do and delegate moderation to some of the more enthusiastic posters. And, instead of moderating before allowing a comment to be published, moderate afterwards – on the basis of complaints. So, if someone posts something abusive or with offensive language etc. – others can complain and the delegated moderators can remove the post.

    I much prefer forums where the dialogue is immediate – someone makes a point, someone else debates it etc. and others can show their support for a comment by clicking a ‘recommend’ button. This leads to a dynamic forum. The Daily Telegraph comments section sometimes gets over 2000 comments on contentious subjects. If this forum attracted that sort of support, you’d surely get a much better idea of the issues that concern people.

  3. margaret brandreth-j
    May 28, 2013

    I am glad to witness growth, even if it is in the form of contributions.

  4. Electro-Kevin
    May 28, 2013


  5. Atlas
    May 28, 2013

    A suggestion for you, John, that could well reduce your blog work load:

    Some other sites have an option to tick a box to indicate whether the reader agrees – or disagrees – with a particular post. This way readers – like myself – could indicate agreement or otherwise with a point of view without having to write a post saying so, as the page shows the current tally of agree/disagree ticks.

    Really, why duplicate a good point? Morever this tick approach would still be useful to you to get a feel for where ‘Vox Pop’ lies on any particular issue.

  6. Edward2
    May 28, 2013

    I think this is a very good move.
    Your articles are always very interesting and informative, and we are fortunate to have them available to read each day.
    But the reply postings have increasingly become comments which are off topic and are for some people an obsessive need to make either pedantic or deliberately inaccurate or provocative remarks.
    I think you have showed great patience, before now taking this decision

  7. APL
    May 28, 2013

    JR: “I am afraid in future I will not be able to post most of the items coming in. ”

    I must admit, I wondered how you coped with what must be a substantial workload.

  8. Brian Tomkinson
    May 28, 2013

    I don’t know how you have managed to keep it going every day of the year with replies in many cases. Thank you for your valiant efforts.

  9. Tad Davison
    May 28, 2013

    Evidently your blog has become a victim of its own success John, which is a shame, as there are a lot of erudite (if I can use that word in this context) and influential politicians, as well as political commentators, who read it and take note.


    1. Chris S
      May 29, 2013

      As one of the usual suspects I would like to second Tad’s comment.
      However, we do totally understand the situation and your workload.

      You won’t hear from me over the next 18 days as I will be “getting out more” in rural France where driving the tractor will be a more than adequate replacement for the keyboard. When we come back it will be no more than one post a day.

      We are all pleased that you are prepared to continue to accept comments, in whatever amount, scope or form that you can cope with them.

  10. Iain Gill
    May 28, 2013

    Don’t worry John this is just a product of the success of your blog.

    Same old problem many a rock star faces (this isn’t a joke…) you build up a fan base who think they know you but often don’t and so on. But there is a skill in harnessing that fan base.

    Me personally I don’t have much time either, a stream of consciousness is all I have time for often, if it doesn’t make the edit fair enough.

    It would be a shame if you lost all of the impulsive feedback from those of us with as little time as you, I wonder if you couldn’t offer some regulars on here ability to view the unmoderated posts of everyone, or similar.

    I know you have not allowed many of my best comments, but it’s not something I am going to worry too much about.

    I also wonder if the format of the blog should change through time from a rolling view of what you are commenting on each day to something split into broad headings so that similar subjects can be viewed together, together with some link to most recent posts. Although this would need different software at your end.

    “repetitious”? Well the concerns of the majority of the population are a bit repetitious, and the disjoint between them and the political and journalist bubble is half the problem

    1. lifelogic
      May 28, 2013


      “Repetitious” well yes, but as the government are still rowing towards the top of the May 2015 waterfall then one has, alas to keep shouting, “Can you turn round please”. What else can we do?

      I shall try to limit myself, and do some more remunerative things instead. Please JR do whatever you can to get some sense into this dreadful government before we have to suffer an even worse Labour one again in 2015. Alas I think it is now too late, thanks to Cameron throwing the last election away, forming the coalition and steering the wrong course.

      1. M.A.N.
        May 29, 2013

        Yes, go on any news comments page , and its the same left-right stuff, which is totally disingenuous anyway, as a lot of left leaning individuals think the civil service is on its side when it isn’t, trapping people on benefits is no answer. Likewise the average joe is struggling to keep afloat, assuming he hasn’t still got a debt overhang from the boom years. The bottom line is that the cost of government is too high!. Civil servants getting automatic pay increases and bonuses. Why?. This is why council tax is almost unaffordable. Add in utility bills out of control, and well you can see where this is going. You might not like this John , no blame intended, but you are part of the problem. What do you do? I’m sure you will join a few boards after the election but think of all of us who have for years supported the Tories on the implicit understanding that we didnt want this country turning into a communist state. Now look. The state will let you keep a few pennies for daring to work in the private sector. Unbelievable.

  11. Tedgo
    May 28, 2013

    For the past 12 to 15 months I have been suffering from blog readers comment fatigue. I value John’s articles and would not like to see them stop. I have always wondered how John manages on a daily basis to moderate the blog.

    However keeping track of the comments particularly when they get beyond 30 or so and then grow to 100 or more becomes very time consuming and I must admit to not now reading them all. By now I have a good idea what many individuals are going to say anyway.

    I think the layout of the blog is one of the best, particularly its readable type face and no other junk. I like the reply facility but perhaps its also the problem as it encourages localised conversations which are not necessarily related to the blog content.

    Perhaps doing away with the direct reply facility and readers showing some self control in not commenting more than once would be useful.

    1. Mark W
      May 29, 2013

      Here here

    2. Deborah
      May 29, 2013

      First of all, thanks for your hard work in providing this very interesting and informative site.

      I agree the layout of the blog is one of the best, particularly its readable type face and no other junk.
      I agree that a “like” box to click would help – allowing the reader to show approval for a comment without adding more to your workload.

      However, I do not agree with those commentors who have suggested losing the reply facility. The reply facility makes it easier to develop the debate on issues you raise. Better to just post “thread closed – off topic”, when comments start going off piste.

  12. Martyn G
    May 28, 2013

    I quite understand, John, having often wondered how you managed to so ably keep so many balls in the air! That said, you are a daily ‘must visit’ blog for me and I suspect many others and so I hope to be able to read, think and occasionally make a post. Best wishes, Martyn

    1. M Davis
      May 29, 2013

      I second this post and agree also with other commenters sympathetic messages.

  13. Kenneth
    May 28, 2013

    Just a thought. A lot of blogs have a few volunteer moderators (often some of the contributors). They could perhaps also provide you with a short summary of some of the comments so that you could provide a summarized response.

    Anyway, this blog is an excellent contribution to political debate and, like others have said, the numerous comments are a sign of its success.

  14. Robert Taggart
    May 28, 2013

    Well done Johnny – for your efforts to date.
    Understand what you mean.
    Always did wonder how you managed all this – on top of your ‘work’ as a Member of Parliament !

  15. Jon
    May 28, 2013

    I look forward to these intellectual informed blogs, a thought for the day that exercises the issues of the day. A source of education that is far more interesting than the ever increasing regulatory crap we have to learn.

    1. Deborah
      May 29, 2013

      I’d like to “like” this 🙂

  16. zorro
    May 28, 2013

    John, thank you for the opportunity to share comments on your informed posts. I will try my best to keep my comments together in one post and resist the temptation to reply too often!


  17. Jerry
    May 28, 2013

    Understood John, in fact I was starting to worry about your workload anyway (and my heart actually missed a beat the other morning when opening your website to read the title “Health Problems” and was somewhat relieved that you were merely discussing GP’s and the NHS…

    I will attempt to post less (often), and when I do, make my point more concisely.

  18. Anthem
    May 28, 2013

    Moderators are a decent idea but a bit of self-moderation isn’t such a bad idea either.

    You’ve read Mr Redwood’s post; if you feel the need – comment, but include within that comment all your pertinent points and don’t comment multiple times to the same post unless it is in reply to a reply to one of your comments.

    The internet truly is a remarkable medium – never before have we been able to communicate so directly with politicians not in our immediate geographical area and know that they are at least hearing what we are saying, if not necessarily agreeing.

    I do appreciate the work Mr Redwood does on here and I hope we don’t spoil the opportunity he gives us by over-burdening him with unnecessary comments…

    Of which this might well be one so…

  19. Dan
    May 28, 2013

    So, what this really means is that only the compimentary stuff gets through in future!

    1. Deborah
      May 29, 2013

      Dan, if you believe that you are obviously not a regular follower of this blog.

  20. forthurst
    May 28, 2013

    I’ve been anticipating this for some time. It would be possible to restrict the size and frequency of posts programmatically but ultimately, it might be better to remove the comments section depending on how much time it takes to moderate; JR could possibly have written a book or two in the time he has spent purging these comments of impurities. Personally, I would still follow this blog if it were read only and occasional; usually, there is little to disagree with or wish to augment in the original post.

  21. Mark W
    May 29, 2013

    I don’t blame you John. I sometimes struggle with how you think up the subjects let alone research them. I’m also aware that being an MP is very demanding even in recess.

  22. Old Albion
    May 29, 2013

    Will it be worth bothering anymore. Particularly as you have taken to censorship?

  23. stred
    May 29, 2013

    Your blog has provided a lot of interest and information, not easily available elsewhere. Where someone has made an untrue statement the replies give an opportunity to discerne the truth. The subjects debated have reached a wide audience and you should be proud to have opened up this new form of parliamentary discussion. Whether anyone in a position to change policy has listened or seen the error of their ways is difficult to see. The DECC seems to be on the same course. However, even the BBC News last night had a piece questioning the burning of trees, but managing to have a warmist at the end saying it really was a good idea. Thanks for the opportunity to contribute and hope you enjoy some free time.

  24. Mactheknife
    May 29, 2013


    For my input, should you choose to read it, is that you actually blog too much. Very often you post up more that one blog per day and on various subjects. I can well understand your problem of digesting responses and publishing them all. I do not know of any blogger who writes so many per week and of such length (occasionally ).

    My recommendation is moderate your own blogging and limit the number to say three per week. This would be more manageable to administer.

  25. James Reade
    May 29, 2013

    Yes – I would agree with a number of commentors and say it is commendable that this forum exists, manned by a serving MP – thanks for that, John.

    I wouldn’t want to be so presumptuous as to think that this overall post is aimed at me, but I would say that generally my posts, being often (but not exclusively) not in agreement with John’s sentiments, will attract replies from numerous others on here – all of which I heartily welcome, even if I don’t find the time to respond.

    I also think this is essential in political debate – the ability to be critical of one’s own ideas and test whether they are based on pure ideology, or something more solid than that.

    I’ll endeavour thus to collect my responses to each individual commenter into one post to ease the workload on our host.

  26. Glenn Vaughan
    May 29, 2013

    John: Frankly in your position I would write a daily blog and not waste time inviting comment from the public. You must be expending too much time and effort moderating comments, often from people who are engaged in debate with each other. They should find some other forum to air their disagreements or start their own blogs.

    Write your daily blog and then get on with other duties, thus avoiding wasting time that can be utilised for worthwhile tasks.

  27. Auror
    May 29, 2013

    I still read your blog nearly everyday, but I’m far from being someone who posts regularly. I would like to second Atlas’ suggestion of a tick box method for responding to your blogs. As Atlas rightly says, it could give you lots of useful data to think over, and reduce your workload at the same time. I think it’d be a great idea.

  28. Max Dunbar
    May 29, 2013

    You provide an escape valve for many people who have strong political views and are prepared to spend time writing some very good short (and not so short) posts inspired by your interesting and informed articles. The effort that you put into this work is very much appreciated and provides a valuable means by which even those who live in the more remote areas of the UK can come toghether and share ideas.
    Your positive criticisms of some of the contributors to this blog are noted.

  29. William
    May 29, 2013

    I’ve been reading your daily email for many years. I think I may have skim read the comments twice, maybe three times.

  30. David Saunders
    May 29, 2013

    It is amazing you can deal with your daily blog and research, plus Parliamentary duties and constituency affairs – and have a life outside of all this.

    Re NHS budget – I think it is unlikely there are no savings to be made in its huge budget and by ring fencing it there are disproportionate demands on other budgets which may be doing better to obtain more for less. Of course there are increasing demands on the NHS but this needs to be balanced against the bureaucracy that consumes so much of the budget.

  31. Bert Young
    May 29, 2013

    I think many of your responses have used your blog as a bit of an ego trip and I am surprised you have allowed this to happen . One response is quite enough . How you have ever found the time and inclination to attend to your blog , I have no idea . I have always valued what you have chosen to write about and I hope you keep it going .

  32. uanime5
    May 29, 2013

    If someone makes a flawed claim it’s no surprise that someone will point out any errors. The problem arises when multiple people criticise the same comment for the same reasons.

    Another problem is when people post that they disagree with a comment but fail to provide any evidence to support their claim.

  33. David Langley
    May 29, 2013

    Noted, wilco.

  34. Normandee
    May 29, 2013

    I am not in the least bit surprised, you can only put up with the tax paying electorate telling you what to do for so long, and then you have to do one of 2 things. Do it or stop listening, I’m glad you have made a decision.

    Reply I am not stopping good advice, just trying to make it a feasible task to moderate it all when there are so many repititious and potentially upsetting comments for named third parties.

  35. Christopher Ekstrom
    May 29, 2013

    Your timing, so close to UKIP’s recent triumph, does suggest your the sort of chap that takes his ball & goes home when his side loses. Enjoy your Modern Party; I shall remain a true Conservative.

    Reply: It has nothing to do with UKIP. If my motivation had been party political I would have stopped all those UKIP postings prior to the local elections.

    1. Christopher Ekstrom
      May 29, 2013

      I consider you a Gentleman, & though recently I have come to realize you are far more the Mod than I thought; so I will also admit you have been generous concerning my UKIP advocacy. My name appears & I stand by my posts. Perhaps my opinions are over the top for most here; perhaps that reveals how far we have fallen. In any case I have tried not to be tedious: lest it be forgotten my few predictions came true. The polls WERE wrong! UKIP took labour votes. No Mod Party will ever do that despite torturous political contortions. Redwood you are on the wrong side!

  36. Alan Wheatley
    May 30, 2013

    Was a recent reminder of “no change, no chance” not just a look back but also a pointer to the future?

  37. John Wrexham
    June 2, 2013

    Good idea and not before time. I come on this site to read your (usually) well considered and well informed views. I rarely bother to read the rantings of under-employed right wingers who seem to bore on at incredible length with the barest of grips on the facts. Perhaps you could find someone who could set up the site so that comments have a 100/200 word limit, only one comment per posting and delete the reply option.

Comments are closed.