John Redwood at Conservative conference


               I will be making speeches at three meetings at party Conference. The main event will be my speech on Economic growth and taxation at 1pm on Monday 30 September for the Selsdon Group.

               The meeting will take place at Manchester Town Hall (outside conference security) in Committee Room 3.

I will also be speaking  on housing policy, and on the general political background post Coalition at other meetings.

             I will blog tomorrow on economic issues as an introduction  for the speech.


  1. A.Sedgwick
    September 28, 2013

    “I will also be speaking on housing policy, and on the general political background post Coalition at other meetings.”

    If the Conservative Party wishes to reclaim my vote in 2015 (Gw) on the basis a UKIP vote lets in Labour there are two absolute requirements:

    1.2015 EU in/out referendum
    2.No coalition with LDs

    My guess is that there are many like me and Cameron really hasn’t a clue and is UKIP’s biggest electoral asset if he is discussing another coalition with his doppleganger.

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 28, 2013

      On the basis of recent local election results we’re now close to the point where it could equally well be claimed that voting Tory will let in Labour.

      Putting that another way, Labour would be defeated if the Tories stopped splitting the UKIP vote …

      OK, I know it’s a mistake to read too much into local election results many months before a general election, and especially local by-elections, but last week UKIP got these shares of the votes (as calculated by someone posting a comment on another website):

      Devon 15.2%
      Tendering 21.9%
      Mole 13.3%
      Forest of Dean (Red) 23.5%
      West Sussex 32.2%
      Barnsley 26.4%
      Forest of Dean (Clifford) 29.3%
      Sevenoaks 35.7%
      Banbury 16%
      Blackpool 22.8%

      In Sevenoaks UKIP took the council seat from Labour.

      Reply And in the cases where Conservatives were in the lead before they continued to be so and won the seats. Doesn’t seem to prove your point!

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 28, 2013

        That’s why I limited myself saying that we’re only “close to the point” where it could equally well be claimed that voting Tory will let in Labour. Will we reach and pass that point before the general election? Well, UKIP seems to have an increasing momentum as an acceptable choice for patriotic voters from across the conventional left-right political spectrum, and there are the EU Parliament elections before the general election, so maybe we will.

      2. Brian Tomkinson
        September 28, 2013

        Reply to reply,
        JR : “in the cases where Conservatives were in the lead before they continued to be so and won the seats.”
        Perhaps then you should tell your colleagues to stop saying “vote UKIP get Miliband”!

        Reply If more Conservatives had voted UKIP they would have got Labour Councillors.

      3. James Allen
        December 11, 2013

        John’s speech to the HoC during the referendum debate said it all; we cannot continue like this. Not under a Cameron govt, not under a Labour one. Only UKIP offer a genuine alternative, and therefore all right-minded people support lend them their support at the next general election.

      4. James Allen
        December 11, 2013

        John’s speech to the HoC during the referendum debate said it all; we cannot continue like this. Not under a Cameron govt, not under a Labour one. Only UKIP offer a genuine alternative, and therefore all right-minded people should lend them their support at the next general election.

    2. Hope
      September 28, 2013

      When you travel to the Tory conference will you make a blog about (A named Conservative facing allegations ed), appointed by Cameron in 2010? You appeared to make much noise about Bloom/UKIP in a previous blog that it only appears to be balanced to do the same about Lewis and the Tory party conference.

      Reply I do not recall attacking Mr Bloom or commenting on what he said. I just asked a few questions of UKIP supporters to give them a chance to put across their view. I will certainly not be highlighting allegations which individuals reject, a policy I apply to people of all viewpoints.
      Were any party to lose 38% of its MEPs, as UKIP has done then you can rest assured I would write about that. Indeed, if a party with more MEPs than UKIP lost just 25% of them I would find them newsworthy and comment on it.

    3. Anonymous
      September 28, 2013

      A.Sedgwick = +1 from me.

      Housing policy ?

      How can we have any kind of policy if we don’t know how many people are here, how much they earn or – more importantly – how much they cost ?

      We are told that the council house sell offs was a great policy and yet here we are: thirty years later, a welfare and social-housing system bankrupting the country and a feverish national obsession with housing which borders on the insane.

      We should be grateful, in a way, that this obsession has held up – Britain is now valued on its housing stock as much as its industry and we now have a new export market to live off. Our homes – sold to foreign ‘investors’ who don’t have to pay the same tax as we do and some of them from the distressed Eurozone states (being supported by poor UK taxpayers) which happen to be distressed because they were avoiding their taxes there too !

      How can ordinary Brits compete with their own Governments working against them like this ?

      1. Anonymous
        September 28, 2013

        Further – As James Reade often states “Our education is now one of our greatest exports.”

        ‘Exports’ ?

        As our children struggle to get into good universities.

        – Is everything for sale in Britain ?

        – Do they really just let anyone in this country (as the Judge once asked) ?

        – Is there nothing sacred or exclusively for British people ?

        And if not then talk of *policy* (on any subject) is nothing but a load of flim-flam and hot air.

    4. lifelogic
      September 28, 2013

      Indeed I would far rather have the dreadful Miliband’s Labour Party with price controls and other nonsense than a new Cameron/Libdem socialist love in. Better to bring Cameron and the Coalition down now – if that is the way Cameron is “thinking”.

      Labour anyway in surely inevitable thanks to Cameron, unless we finally get some sense after May 2014, even then he has zero credibility for any promises he makes.

      The Cameron ship is surely doomed, what a terrible wasted opportunity by the socialist fool when he gave away the last election by ratting.

  2. Roger Farmer
    September 28, 2013

    Three speeches, but how many from the conference platform? From your diary article above I suspect you will not be given the freedom to espouse your views of conservatism from anywhere but off piste.
    This I find very sad because it confirms that Cameron and his acolytes will stage manage a rhetoric fest that those present can overexcite themselves with. A Cameron bubble within the Westminster bubble. I look forward to the revealing of the bribery list which he will offer the electorate.
    It will be Cameron fiddling while true conservatives burn with contempt , and look forward to answering back at the European and local elections next May. I am truly sorry that you, the Hannans, Carswells, and anyone with a contrary point of view will be effectively silenced. An enterprising TV producer could make an interesting hours television based on the fringe meetings, but I suspect the BBC have warned themselves off.

    1. lifelogic
      September 28, 2013

      Unless they say something like “Bongo Bongo Land” you can be sure the BBC will give them little coverage.

      1. lifelogic
        September 28, 2013

        Interestingly the Times reports today “Osborne threatens to put bake on green taxes”, about time but 40 months too late. Perhaps he could use the money to reverse his ratting on IHT thresholds.

        Also an excellent article by Matt Ridley and a very good letter from Prof Michael J Kelly at Cambridge, who says:- “The premature roll out of immature and uneconomic alternative technology is pouring investors and taxpayers’ money down the drain: the green energy stock market index is down 80% in the last five years”.

        Well when it takes money of deluded green party and Libdum dreamers, then that is one thing. But to have the government taxing just us to piss money down the drain is rather worse but very, very common alas with this coalition.

        Do the green dreamers ever speak to any experts like Prof Kelly or indeed any sensible engineers, economists or physicists at all before talking complete and utter drivel.

        1. lifelogic
          September 28, 2013

          No women or men of the cloth either.

    2. Leslie Singleton
      September 28, 2013

      Roger–Totally agree that a TV programme with the Hannans, Carswells not to mention the Delingpoles and the Heffers would be a perfectly splendid idea ,

      1. lifelogic
        September 28, 2013

        Indeed an alternative question time with no politicians and just intelligent & knowledgeable people who are free to say what they actually think is true on the issues raised. With no party line, no supporters to curry favour with, just people who can say what they honestly beleive. Preferably with at least 75% scientists, no lawyers or PPE graduates and only sensible economists like Patrick Minford or Alan Walters. Oh and no self publicist, lefty, PC, BBC think chairman.

        1. Leslie Singleton
          September 28, 2013

          lifelogic–Professor Sir Alan Walters is dead unfortunately, at least so I understand

        2. Bazman
          September 28, 2013

          Only if they are scientists and PPE graduates you agree with and ‘sensible’ economists meaning right wing free market. Would you say you are bias or would that term just apply to the BBC? Channel 4 too but only when you do not like what they report so this is why you do not watch this channel?

        3. lifelogic
          September 28, 2013

          In the telegraph today:- “Cameron opens talks with Clegg on second Coalition”. What a dreadful prospect, anyway he will not have anywhere near enough seats. I suppose it would give him another excuse the rat on the referendum in 2017 was it.

          I would far prefer Labour to another Cameron/LibDem coalition. They will be dreadful, but not much worse than Cameron. Cameron’s Tories deserve to be destroyed at the election. This for his ratting, his throwing away of the last election, his total pro EU, fake green, tax borrow and pour down the drain incompetence and his say one thing do the opposite. He will be his only hope is a UKIP deal post may 2014. Even that is probably too late.

          I see has finally come good on one of his promises “the married allowance” but only from April 2015 – so it will last perhaps a month before Labour scrap it. Pathetic and it does not even apply to anyone earning anything much I understand anyway.

          1. Bob
            September 29, 2013

            “I see has finally come good on one of his promises “the married allowance” “

            When you consider that he has undermined the whole point of marriage, it’s a rather pointless exercise.

          2. Bazman
            October 1, 2013

            What if you are single for whatever reason? Why should the state fund marriage?

    3. forthurst
      September 28, 2013

      Apart from Cabinet members and those with impeccable voting records and an obvious keenness for personal advancement, who from the wider party in the country will be allowed to address the teevee audience? Obviously not mad swivel-eyed loons, but possibly a few ‘more like us’ who as we know do not vote conservative, but then image is all when there is no substance.

  3. Brian Tomkinson
    September 28, 2013

    Pity your main speech clashes with the Bruges Group meeting ” Conservatives and UKIP: enemies or allies?” with Nigel Farage and Bill Cash in the Great Hall at Manchester Town Hall.

  4. Brian Tomkinson
    September 28, 2013

    JR : “I will also be speaking on housing policy, and on the general political background post Coalition at other meetings.”
    Haven’t you read today’s Telegraph “David Cameron has held talks with Nick Clegg about forming a second coalition after 2015, amid growing concern in Downing Street that the Conservatives will not win the next election.”?

    Reply And Mr Cameron has indicated he would need approval from the Parliamentary party before considering any coalition next time. My own view is a Conservative of Labour majority is far more likely. As I have set out on my blog, I do not see how there can be a Lib/Con coalition, unless the Lib Dems sign up to the full agenda of EU renegotiation and In/Out referendum.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      September 28, 2013

      Comment on Reply–Eh? Cameron would just say that resiling on the Referendum pledge is part of the price of continuing the joys of the present Coalition and keeping him as PM

    2. Brian Tomkinson
      September 28, 2013

      I’m not sure that Cameron has said that “he would need approval from the Parliamentary party before considering any coalition next time.” He has said that you would be consulted on any deal when he cobbles one together with the Lib Dems after the election. That is quite different. We know (and he knows) that, when faced with supporting Cameron’s wish for a coalition or his resignation and the other alternative government scenarios after the election, you will support him.

      Reply I opposed joining a coalition last time and would have liked a vote on it.

    3. Lindsay McDougall
      September 28, 2013

      A very likely outcome is that the Conservatives will be just short of an overall majority, Labour’s ‘soft’ vote having declined. There will be an opportunity for a minority Conservative government, taking support on European issues from Ulster Unionists, any UKIP MPs that get elected and some Labour back benchers.

  5. Denis Cooper
    September 28, 2013

    Off-topic, there are accusations about BBC bias in Scotland:

    “SCOTTISH Labour has ­accused BBC Scotland of being “complicit” in a “co-ordinated campaign” by the SNP to manipulate coverage of the independence referendum.”

    It’s strange that the Labour party could quickly discover that somebody who presented themselves as being “undecided” was in fact a long time campaigner for independence, but it was beyond the capabilities of the BBC to check him out beforehand.

    This is the kind of thing that would happen in an EU referendum campaign, unless there has been a major clear out of pro-EU personnel from the BBC.

    1. lifelogic
      September 28, 2013

      It will certainly happen in the EU referendum campaign if there ever is one.

    2. Lindsay McDougall
      September 28, 2013

      At Holyrood, the SNP government has set aside £20 million this year to alleviate hard cases resulting from the bedroom tax, but nothing next year. Labour says that they are doing this in order to maximise resentment against the Westminster government. Does this ring true?

      It is worth noting that the SNP has not used its tax raising powers, suggesting that Scotland is doing very nicely thank you under the Barnett formula. The last time that I checked, public expenditure per head was 17% higher in Scotland than in English. That sort of differential is appropriate for sparsely populated, cold rural areas. But 80% of Scotland’s population lies in its central belt.

      1. sjb
        September 29, 2013

        Lindsay McDougall wrote: It is worth noting that the SNP has not used its tax raising powers, suggesting that Scotland is doing very nicely thank you under the Barnett formula.

        If you mean the measure to vary income tax rates by up to 3p, then this power lapsed in 2007 because of the costs of upgrading HMRC computer systems.

  6. Cheshire girl
    September 28, 2013

    I plan to be at the conference on Monday for one day only, and I look forward to hearing you speak. I’m sure I will find it more interesting than some of the other offerings from the platform!

    1. Bob
      September 28, 2013

      Michael Gove put Will Self in his place on QT this week.
      One of the better QTs I’ve seen for a while.

    2. Bazman
      September 28, 2013

      Make sure you talk to some of the ‘fringe’ members.

  7. Atlas
    September 28, 2013

    John, I await reading about your contributions with interest.

    On a related topic – I hope some of your collegues will read Lawson’s 2008/9 book on the climate issue. I have just done so and found it still very relevant – and helpful in assisting the analysis of the IPCC’s recent 2013 report. Given the sums of money that are being wasted, I hope this will figure in your Conference speeches.

    1. uanime5
      September 28, 2013

      Given that Lawson isn’t a scientist, has no real understanding of climate, and his books doesn’t use scientific evidence to support his argument it’s clear that the IPCC report is far more useful for understanding climate change.

      1. Atlas
        September 28, 2013

        I agree that Lawson is not a scientist – however his analysis about what to do (if anything) seems to me quite on the ball. Remember, science is not a ‘consensus’ entity, as the history books have repeatedly shown.

        1. Bazman
          September 28, 2013

          You can then get treated for a serious illness by a fringe practitioner rather than by medical consensus? Right wing consensus seem good enough for the rest of your views too.

          1. Edward2
            September 29, 2013

            If there was only the consensus view then no new or different scientific ideas would ever be developed.
            You should read up about the history of science and medicine and learn how new ideas develop.
            The consensus view used to be that drilling holes in patients heads would cure mental illnesses.

          2. Bazman
            September 29, 2013

            Until the consensus said head drilling was of no use..

          3. Edward2
            September 30, 2013

            Missing the point again Baz
            The physicians who were the first to speak out against the practice were labelled deniers and fantasists.
            Eventually as time went on they were proven to be right and their views became the new consensus.

          4. Bazman
            September 30, 2013

            How often are you ever on the fringe of anything other than right wing fantasy?! Rock and roll you ain’t. Edward2. LOL!

          5. Edward2
            October 1, 2013

            You need to read up on history of inventions and scientific breakthrough first, before you make silly comments.
            Its no fantasy Baz
            Those who speak up in opposition to the consensus view of the moment have been labelled deniers, heretics and fantasists throughout history.

          6. Bazman
            October 1, 2013

            Thats not what it about though is it?More like fatalistic right wing views that no what matter man does the earth will still be in our favour and if it is not then as long as it is not you then there is no problem.

      2. forthurst
        September 28, 2013

        The IPCC report is a specious propaganda piece, in the process of being blown to shreds by the heavy battering it is receiving from the incendiary missives of proper scientists on ‘Watts up With That’.

        1. Bazman
          September 28, 2013

          Nothing but political propaganda and junk science Watts or Morano from Climate Depot have even a modest background in climate physics. Both sites have dubious funding.

      3. Geoffm
        September 28, 2013

        It is evident from the IPCC’s recent 2013 report that it has no real understanding of climate and doesn’t use scientific evidence to support its arguments and it is clear that Mr Lawson’s book is far more useful for understanding climate change.
        In any case the IPCC report is not published until Monday, so what you have just written is an attempt at propaganda which is wasted on this site.

      4. lifelogic
        September 28, 2013

        Not a scientist indeed, worse than that he is an Oxford PPE man and was a complete idiot over the shadowing of the DMark and the ERM.

        But as a scientist I can perhaps say he is surely right on climate change. Adapt as and if needed is the only sensible approach. There is no catastrophic warming in view and a little warmer with a little more co2 is better on balance anyway. Spending billions now to control the temperature in 100 years by altering just one variable & based on discredited computer models is clearly bonkers.

  8. DaveK
    September 28, 2013

    Does knowledge of economics or even maths not extend to government ministers?

    Greg Barker announced on the Daily Politics that green reasons added only £9 to our annual bills, whereas his department have reported that currently it forms 15% of the bill and may rise to 20% by 2020. In the same show the average bill was quoted as £1300.

    p.s. Mr Lawson is an expert on Policy not the science, so when are (certain) scientists going to abstain from policy shilling.

  9. Lindsay McDougall
    September 28, 2013

    With Ed Miliband revealing himself as a Stone Age Socialist, I hope that you will stress the importance of profit to a capitalist economy and our liberty. That is to say, profits that do not depend on bail outs and subsidies. In business, it is good that necessity is the mother of invention.

  10. Mike Stallard
    September 28, 2013

    I have read the frustration in the comments.

    Have you yourself, Mr Redwood, taken it on board?

  11. outsider
    September 28, 2013

    Dear Mr Redwood, I wish you luck in Manchester but we seem to have reached a pre-election stage where any semblance of sound government finance has given way to bread and circus offers from all the main parties.

    When Mr Clegg announced “free school meals” during the LibDem conference, I noticed that Number 10 said this had been agreed in exchange for another tax measure. We now know what this was: a tax break for married couples and civil partners. These are both gesture policies. The free meals are only up to age seven and the tax break is only for some couples to transfer one tenth of their tax-free allowance.

    The main purpose of these political gestures seems to be to allow the two parties to claim they are “giving free meals to our children” or “supporting marriage via the tax system as we promised “, without mentioning the sheer triviality of the measures.

    This party gesturing with public funds will, however, add up to £1.5 billion to the budget deficit. I cannot say it is coming out of taxpayers” pockets any time soon because it will just add to borrowing. Am I right in thinking that the deficit is still above 7 per cent of national income, one of the largest in the developed world?

    Does anyone in the Government care any more, or have they concluded that it does not matter since the markets are still keeping long-term interest rates relatively low and the Opposition has no plan to do better? A fool’s paradise, I fear.

    1. alan jutson
      September 29, 2013


      Agree with your comments about gesture politics and further complications with the benefits and tax system, which in the end will do little good to anyone, but just muddy the murky waters even further.

  12. ferdinand
    September 29, 2013

    I agree. Cameron has no hope of an overall majority in 2015 unless he can enable the return of UKIP voters (who are mainly Conservatives.) He has destroyed some fundamental Conservative beliefs including the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, the belief that immigration should be strictly limited and that membership of the EU is the handing over of Magna Carta to Republicans.

  13. Mark B
    September 29, 2013

    Mr Redwood MP said, “Conservatives believe in tax cuts for all, and decent benefits for those who cannot work for their living.”

    I am sorry, you cannot have both. The money has to come from somewhere, whether it be tax rises elsewhere, or cuts to other services eg NHS, Defence etc.

    You will need to define ‘decent benefits’, as the living standards and job opportunities throughout the UK differ.

    Creating a benefits system that is too generous, creates a dependent society. Cutting benefits too much will hurt the real needy.

    With mass immigration and the reduction in useful paid employment opportunities, is it no wonder we are seeing, according to you Part Chairman Grant Shapps, a country with high house prices but few jobs. A situation that simply at odds with logic.

    As for FREE school meals and FREE this and that, it isn’t really FREE is it. Someone somewhere has to pick up the bill for these gifts that you so delight in giving with OUR MONEY !

    We seem to think in this country, that Local and National Government’s are simply there to give out FREE money and /or services. It is NOT ! It is there to govern for and on our behalf – No more !

    I do not believe in ‘tax cuts’. You always do this before elections, no matter who is in charge. We should have just one flat rate of tax, and just raise the threshold to a higher enough level whereby those on lower incomes do not have to pay. I think that that is a far better way of taking people out of so called poverty (real poverty is what you find elsewhere).

    Work must be seen to pay. People must be given hope and opportunity to rise and prosper, and have the comfort that they will be able to leave something to their nearest and dearest without the state stealing it.

    Until ‘we’ the people realise that it is not the Governments money but ‘ours’ and, that it is ‘we’ the people who should be deciding how much and where it is spent, will ‘we’ see it used on things ‘we’ need for a price ‘we’ are prepared to pay.

    They are out servants, not our masters.

    Reply I too want government as servant, not master. You can have tax cuts and good benefits, as long as we get more people into work to cut the overall benefits bill. We also need to control migration, as this government is seeking to do.

  14. Robert Taggart
    September 29, 2013

    Ah Johnny – so near and yet… !

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