Wokingham Times

I awoke to the Today programme last week with a message to me from Nick Clegg. He told me and the other Eurosceptic Conservative MPs to stop playing games and to concentrate on the things needed to create more jobs and tackle the cost of living. This was a foolish message for him to send me.

We have not been playing games We have been trying to secure a new relationship with the EU for our country, a new relationship that would help us create more jobs, curb rises in the cost of living and make us more prosperous. It is his party which has prevented us from getting on with this immediately. Lib Dems support EU measures to force high and rising energy prices on us, one of the main causes of the difficulties with the cost of living. Many of the EU regulations which dominate business life add to costs and make it more difficult for small businesses to expand. We need them to be freer so they can create more jobs. It is EU regulations closing some of our power stations, forcing more windfarms upon us, banning overtime and making it very expensive for a business to recruit new labour.

Before the last election the Lib Dems said we needed an In/Out referendum on our whole relationship with the EU, not just a referendum on the latest Treaty then going through, the Lisbon treaty. Now we Conservatives are offering such a referendum, Mr Clegg says it is wrong and will not support us or vote for it. I find that flip flop unacceptable.

I have been calling for the Coalition government to rule out arming the rebels or intervening militarily in Syria. The opposition forces in Syria are not all peace loving democrats capable of forming an entirely different style of government to the thug regime they currently suffer from. It is by no means clear how we would send arms in successfully, how we could distinguish the well intentioned democrats from the rest and how that could lead to a new and good stable government.

I have also been calling for early exit of our troops from Afghanistan. Our armed forces personnel have worked hard and bravely in the Middle East in recent years. All too many lives have been lost. The Afghans have received considerable training from our service personnel. It is surely time for them to take on the responsibility of enforcing the law in their own country. We should not be willing to lose more lives there. Nor should we carry on spending so much on these Middle Eastern military activities.

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  1. NeverMindtheMolluscs
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Spot on John.
    Just sorry that Cameron didn’t have the courage to run a minority government rather than try to work with LibDems. I know of Conservative Councillors who can work with Labour colleagues but find trying to make agreements with LibDems akin to grasping a bar of soap in a bath.

  2. Ben Kelly
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Nick Clegg – all politics and doctrine, no insight into reality Unfortunately he fits in with the current Conservative leadership.

    He also fits in with the entire labour party but they were not in a real position to offer him power at the last election much to the chagrin of his party

  3. Bert Young
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    The fact that Clegg took the sort of approach you described , shows he is running scared of you and the way you have stood out for values , the likes of me , regard highly . Keep it up – (etc ed)

  4. Abdul Rachman
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    I do wish Christians would stop assuming that Muslims are Christians. Muslims have totally different traditions, beliefs, laws and outlook on life going back hundreds of years.

  5. David Langley
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Ed Davey has stated on the Politics Show BBC2 that the reason we will be having dearer energy is because we are committed to the expense of carbon reduction. We are saving the planet and have targets to reach. Its a pity that the main producers of carbon also produce most of our imported goods, making us unable to compete on price. Without government subsidies we will never have nuclear energy and the daft renewable lobby will never be able to generate the base power we we need now.

  • 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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