Is Labour trying to become more Eurosceptic?


This week the Unite Union has offered some good advice to the Labour party. They said ” A policy which combines uncritical support for the present working of the EU while denying any opportunity for a referendum on Britain’s membership is thus likely to be an electoral millstone for Labour at the General Election”.

How wise those words are. The UK both needs a new relationship, and needs a vote on that deal if government thinks there is merit in staying within some parts of the current treaties. Official Labour policy offers neither the opportunity to renegotiate what we have, nor the chance to get out of what we are in.

Meanwhile Mr Balls made an important and thoughtful speech on 30 th June. He implies that Labour would need to renegotiate. ” We know that we need reform of the EU to deliver value or money for taxpayers and to make Europe work in our national interest”. Mr Balls fondly imagines that the UK can pull off the trick of improving the EU for all in the ways he wants, which is extremely unlikely. The Euro has its own centralising logic, pushing the EU in the opposite direction to the UK’s needs. Any successful negotiation is going to be primarily about opting the UK out of a lot more of the common government the others want or put up with.

Perhaps the most telling phrase in the whole speech relates to the explosive subject of immigration. Labour fears the splits, wanting to keep its migrant vote whilst worrying how to stop the loss of more traditional voters to UKIP and in Mr Balls’s seat as he points out to the BNP. He said ” On immigration too we need greater international co-operation so that we can keep the benefits of skilled migration, while controlling and managing it fairly. …..While still in Europe we need longer transitional controls…restrictions on benefits.  Because we face such an acute challenge to make work pay for unskilled people, we should not be subsidising unskilled migration from the rest of the EU”.

So Mr Balls only seems to accept the doctrine of free movement for skilled people within the EU. He wants new controls on benefit seekers and on low wage unskilled labour. To do this, something Labour never attempted in government, he will need to make his party more Eurosceptic. The logic of Mr Balls’ position is a renegotiation for the UK, because the other states do not share his agenda. The logic of Unite that we also need a referendum serves to remind Labour of the popularity of that policy.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    So Mr Balls on immigration is it seems rather more EUskeptic that Cameron, who wants to retain free and uncontrolled movement of people within the EU. Cameron does not even want to try renegotiate this, as he has very clearly indicated.

    Is Cameron not the mill stone round the Tories neck not with his personality but with his duff compass?

    Cameron clearly is a pro EU, pro Greencrap, high tax, over regulation, EUphile, Libdem in every his bone, heart, soul and sinew. For anyone still in any doubt I see Cameron has now appointed Sir Anthony Seldon, head of Wellington Colleg (recently knighted) to write an official biography of him.

    Seldon clearly of the left, and thus a BBC favourite, is famous for Introducing well-being/ happiness classes at Wellington College in 2006, including regular ‘stillness’ sessions. The UK government has also now introduced well-being as a target for national policy. What is Cameron’s daft and expensive happiness index showing, is he still wasting our millions on it?

    Presumably even Cameron is planning to lose the election.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 5:47 am | Permalink

      Seldon is yet another Oxford PPE chap too I read. The big problem with top private schools is surely the number of wet, lefty, half baked, silver spoon, arts graduates in the Cameron mode they churn out.

      I see the Queen is to launch one of the two £6.2 billion aircraft carriers (but without any aircraft for many years to come) later today. All those state sector people paid & pensioned 150% of the private sector rates must have thought this a good use of taxpayers money for some reason or other?

      Perhaps they can use it as an expensive prison/cruise ship or something.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Sorry £6.2 billion for the pair, but that’s before the vast ongoing running costs.

        What will these vulnerable white elephants actually be doing without aircraft?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        I wonder how Prince Charles might have launched it perhaps with organic ginger beer? I assume he would have said that he hoped it would always to be fuelled using recycled organic extra virgin olive oil, or recharged from offshore winds farms stopping every 30 minutes as it sailed about the world, more recycling on board too. Or perhaps he would have commented and on the need for it to have far more holistic & herbal medical wards, “doctors” & such facilities on board, to treat the seriously wounded, in the event of any skirmish.

        Cameron seems to think an aircraft carrier with no aircraft or purpose is “a proud day for Scotland”. Is it still true that one aircraft carrier will never carry jets before being mothballed or perhaps sold after three years, as was reported a while back? What will the other one do anyway, a prison ship with a football pitch or two perhaps?

      • Bazman
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        The shipyard is owned by Babcock Marine Rosyth Ltd so the workforce are not state sector employees and are paid market rates. Though without government contracts being awarded to this comapny many would not have a job, so they are in a way state sponsored and parasitic by your own deluded logic. What a tiz you must now be in?!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          I did not imaging that the construction workers were state sector employees, I was talking about the incompetents who commissioned the lunacy.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 5, 2014 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          Bazman – There were clearly better ways to employ the shipyard’s workforce is all that Lifelogic is saying in his witty posts. Something which adds to our defence capability as well as keeping workers productive.

          What do you think of the functionality of the new aircraft carriers then ?

          • Bazman
            Posted July 5, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

            It was a government decision by ministers lifelogic. You presume Britain should have no new aircraft carriers, but cannot say this? Or the planning should have been better? Which?
            From your oracle.
            What use will be the new Trident system which is going to be built as large parts of the Shipyard are being demolished and rebuilt for this. along with a large recruitment drive?
            Maybe as a counter threat to Russia’s new The R-36 given the NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan. The world’s heaviest ICBM by far

          • APL
            Posted July 6, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

            Bazman: “You presume Britain should have no new aircraft carriers, but cannot say this?”

            What is the utility of an aircraft carrier without aircraft?

            Also what is the utility to Britain of an aircraft carrier with out the defensive screen such a vulnerable vehicle represents to our enemies?

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Perhaps we can have a target which enables kids to collectively rubbish others and bring them down . That would certainly engender happiness wouldn’t it????

  2. Mark B
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Is there a General Election near by ?

    There is so much false with what Ed Balls has said. You cannot renegotiate and change the EU, unless it is in the direction of ‘Ever closer UNION’. Yo cannot stop people who the EU class a Citizens of the EU, taking the jobs and benefits offered to other Citizens of the EU, whether they be immigrants or not, because, in the eyes of the EU Commission, that is discrimination. You can however stop non-EU immigration from say, the Indian Sub-Continent but, since that is one of the main voter support bases of the Labour Party, I think they might have second thoughts. You can ask the Commission if they would allow the UK a brief derogation of the right for the free movement of people from the EU, but that would be an admission that we no longer have the power over our own borders.

    Promises, promises everywhere, some even made of Cast Iron, but not one worth the paper a manifesto is written on. And we ALL now know that to be true !

    The day the Political Class reneged on their promises of a referendum on Lisbon, was the day they lost the trust on both me, and I am sure, a lot of right thinking people.

    • Timaction
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      None of the legacy parties can be trusted on the EU or mass immigration. No public apology from any of them on how they lied about the EU and its ambitions to create a United States of Europe by stealthy incremental treaty change. Mass migration to remove our identity, heritage and culture. Shame on them all.
      The English people never gave any mandate to any of it.

      • Excalibur
        Posted July 5, 2014 at 6:10 am | Permalink

        ‘The Times’ reports today, Saturday, of a secret meeting in which DC agreed to the transfer of more policing powers to Europe. Apparently a decision is also to be taken before December 1st next year, whether to take part in a Europe-wide DNA data base. A list of thirty-five ‘areas of co-operation’ with Brussels were agreed. This was a week before DC’s confrontation over Junker. The EAW was among the measures.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          A rather staged confrontation over Juncker during which Cameron wrongly identified the sources of his problem as being the Lisbon and Nice Treaties, to pin the blame on the wicked treacherous Labour party, when in fact the original source was the Maastricht Treaty agreed and pushed through on a confidence vote in the Commons by his Tory predecessor Major … while the EU Arrest Warrant had its origins in the next treaty, the Amsterdam Treaty, the negotiations for which were already well advanced when Major lost the 1997 general election and handed it over to Blair to conclude … and so it has always been and continues to be, with each of those two parties pretending to the voters that the other is to blame for EU developments that they actually both support.

  3. Richard1
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Lets remember that in the 70s ad 80s the EEC / EC was a bulwark against socialist policies in the UK promulgated by the labour Party. That’s why many Conservatives were pro EU at the time. Perhaps Unite thinks the EU would be an impediment to eg mass nationalization, more subsidies, confiscatory taxation? If we get a Unite dominated Labour govt, the EU and the euro might start looking more attractive!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      “Lets remember that in the 70s ad 80s the EEC / EC was a bulwark against socialist policies in the UK promulgated by the labour Party. That’s why many Conservatives were pro EU at the time.”

      The Tory party has never really believed in democracy, has it? We have a general election and the Labour party wins and the Tory party loses, so then those leading the Tory party decide that the next time they win they will use the opportunity to neutralise this nuisance of national democracy with universal suffrage.

      Utterly shameful and arguably treasonable, and I am surprised you even dare mention it; I recall a meeting when Lord Tebbit described this as being a part of Heath’s plan and saying that in his view if the British people voted for socialism they had a right to get socialism.

  4. Margaret Brandreth-
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    All appears to be reactive than pro active. Whilst to many the prospect of greater integration meant new exciting territories and cultures to explore ,to others it opened a flood gate of trouble and cultures from the abroad who carried with them the ethos of the countries they escaped from.
    We gave away control by selling everything British. Business does not have a sense of loyalty ,except to profit. It saddens me that my Country has changed into microcosms of other countries, yet I fear this future set by a precedent of carelessness in the signing of treaties and lack of forethought is inescapable and I am glad that I will not see another 40 years.
    I search for an answer to the present Euro mess we are in and cannot understand why politicians seemed to be so obtuse and argued strongly years ago for a road to destruction. It is as though they just could not see the whole picture. Surely their IQ’s could not be so low that they could not see the possible futures , Perhaps they had problems in their personal lives and wanted to self destruct for everyone else.
    Party politics now will have to realise that money alone and objective cannot be separated from the things it represents .Lives are built on it and the greatest weapon of mass destruction likely to be used is monetary and utility control.

  5. formula57
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Dangerous times for your party though – what if Mr. Balls’s thinking progresses a little further such that he feels he needs to cross the floor? (He could even bring his wife!)

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Two more, dreadfully misguided, Oxford PPE graduates are the last thing the Tories need. Might we not just get Cameron to joint them in the Labour party instead where he clearly belongs (as indicated by idiotic gender insurance/annuity laws, his heart and soul and his EU arrest warrant opt in).

      Perhaps we need a campaign to get Oxford PPE graduates banned from government, academia and the BBC?

      It seems they just train dreadful career politicians to ride the political surf of envy and irrational emotion – mainly for personal benefit and at huge cost of the electorate, democracy, the BBC and country.

      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        I was accepted for a PPE at Oxford. Too expensive as a single parent though : Conclusion It can’t be all elite who rule.

      • Hope
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Once more, Cameron seems to be showing a lack of judgment. Having witnessed Mr Rock, No 10 adviser, arrested and charged for offences of child pornography he is refusing an inquiry about an alleged establishment cover up over a pedophile ring which 120 MPs have endorsed.

        It is also concerning that Coulson gets 18 months imprisonment in contrast to Huhne who served 9 weeks for perverting the course of justice, a former minister no less. And his wife back in a highly paid government job!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 5, 2014 at 6:19 am | Permalink

          In my opinion Huhne deserved 5 years in jail just for his idiotic views on green energy and the endless wasting of taxpayers money on them.

      • John E
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Modern History graduates from Oxford are presumably allowed?

        Not asking for myself you understand – I’m an engineer.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          Probably not, but you would be fine.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Maybe some sort of test for the required level of ignorance and deluded bigotry you desire is needed? Never seems to stop you.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 4, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          Well few seems to put up any valid, rational, reasoned arguments against my position.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 5, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

            You have no valid reasoned arguments and rational debate just reactionary do nothing, learn nothing thoughts.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            @Lifelogic: “Well few seems to put up any valid, rational, reasoned arguments against my position.”

            Which could translate to mean; All other opinions in my opinion are invalid, irrational, ill-reasoned, thus no one put up any valid, rational, reasoned arguments against my position.

            Ho-hum, a self fulfilling prophecy perhaps?…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 6, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            You just don’t get it do you Baz
            Your comment about a person who has opinions you do not agree with is exactly how I feel when I read your posts.

      • Hope
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        The Russians learned it was the best way to infiltrate the establishment. They got to the top and heart of the security services in the sixties. Where are they now?

        It is incredible to think that a people like Cameron have not learned the old boy network needs to change.

  6. Excalibur
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Only marginally off topic, JR. I cannot have been alone in deploring the depiction in the “Daily Mirror’ of the Islamist terrorist from Cardiff with the caption ‘Be Afraid’. For those who did not see it, it showed this maniac with an array of IEDs suggesting that we should be shaking in our shoes over his possible return to the United Kingdom to wreak havoc here. Be afraid ?? Why do the media perpetrate this fallacy ? Far from being afraid, the reaction it provoked in me, and I am sure in others, was of anger. There seems to be a reluctance to call a spade a spade on this issue, John. It needs to be aired.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Now that ISIS has declared the creation of a new state I suppose we could claim that depriving its supporters in this country of their British citizenship would no longer leave them stateless. Of course it would only be a pretext insofar as the British government does not recognise that new state, but they do and they would have somewhere to go after they had been refused re-entry or deported to one of the Kurdish checkpoints and told to walk in that direction. It would probably mean removing ourselves from the jurisdiction of the ivory tower lawyers on the European Court of Human Rights, who would no doubt uphold their right to slaughter us over our right not to be slaughtered by them, but there are already many other reasons for taking that step.

  7. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    We simply cannot go on like this. Immigration will, eventually, break up the NHS and the Education system and the Social Services. Do we really want that? Add in the by-passing of parliament (which will get worse) and also the growing assumptions within the European Union of common army, common police, common laws and justice, common banking…

    I do not think, from the Labour blogs which I read, that the penny has quite dropped yet, although Unite is getting uneasy. They are so determined to unite the Blairites and the Lefties that adding in the eurosceptics is a step which they dare not contemplate. So instead we get a lot about hand-outs and squeezing “the rich”.

    The real answer must lie in our joining EFTA and the EEC and then negotiating like fury.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      The “in three letters” N H S was already broken when Cameron came into office and is even worse now. Yet another broken promise from Cameron, another vacuous, PR spin cynical catch phrase.

      A PR man with a duff compass to the core, who says almost anything he think will win votes, but then does the complete opposite.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      We couldn’t and still can’t be in both EFTA and the EEC.

      That was the choice which had to be made, whether to stick with “The Seven” in EFTA or leave EFTA and join “The Six” in the EEC:

      As we know, the wrong choice was made by those leading the Tory party, and as we also know they made that choice because they wanted more than greater freedom to trade with our neighbours, they wanted this country to join the political project of “ever closer union” leading to its absorption into a European federation and thus its extinction as an independent sovereign state.

      The rest of the Tory party followed its leaders, with few exceptions; once the eurofederalists had gained control at the top they could rely on that.

    • cunctator
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      to Mike Stallard.
      It is not likely that immigration will break up the NHS etc as you suggest. What will happy is they will become totally different from their current form. However, again, as I continue to point out in my posts, the basic premise of so much argument is flawed. You point out the growing assumptions in the EU about common institutions and bodies and you are right. The presumption of acting in our interests is wrong, there is no ‘our.’ in the EU. As the federalists gain ground, federalism will disappear; it is too diverse to be countenanced by the European commissioners. What are viewed as federalists are really unifiers to a new system of a an enlarged homogenised EU. We are all to be citizens of a single state with convenient regions , dozens of them, for administrative purpose not having any legislative power. A single EHS, a single EU Education Service setting a single curriculum. This is the Utopian dream, thought up by the unholy alliance of totalitarian, utilitarian EU government and the monopolistic desires off big business. The former of course will eventually take control of the latter. There is the future; the future than many seem to want without understanding what it means. Frankfurt School wins Europeans lose.
      Corrections to typos in earlier submission

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 5, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        The EU could become a federation of states, or alternatively it could become a unitary state; either way, the UK would no longer exist as an independent sovereign state.

    • Bazman
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Interestingly you are more liable to be treated of looked after by an immigrant than the immigrant being the one looked after or treated, so far from being a burden organisations would collapse without them.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 5, 2014 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        Bazman – Things have reached such a crisis point that there is no longer any excuse for immigration policy being unselective (as Labour’s Mr Balls seems to be intimating.)

        Even though I don’t believe his change of heart I welcome his change of language.

        ‘A mature, sensible debate…’

        Yes please.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes, all history shows that the NHS would collapse without constant fresh supplies of trained medical staff imported from abroad.

        That’s because the indigenous population is stupid and lazy and incapable of producing enough trained medical staff.

        And that does not just apply to the longstanding indigenous population, those who who think, rightly or wrongly, that their ancestry in this country goes back for centuries or even millennia; it also applies to the children of recent immigrants, because having been born here they are also stupid and lazy and so incapable of becoming trained medical staff.

        I do hope that you go around and tell people this, that you tell as many as possible, including those who have come to this country over past decades, and make it clear that this is the view of the party you support.

  8. JoeSoap
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    So is this another party “not being influenced by the popularity of UKIP”, Mr Redwood?
    After 17 years of turning a blind eye to euro-migration, is Mr Balls finally starting to feel the heat in his constituency?
    If anything, this damns Labour along with the Conservatives now to inconsistency and lack of logic on this issue. At least the Libdems are consistent in their fairness fantasy ideas.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Indeed the LibDems unlike Labour and the Tories are at least honest with their duff EU/fake green/big tax agenda, that is why they got so few votes.

      But Cameron is just the same politically on the EU, but he lacks any morality so just says one think but does the complete opposite.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      JoeSoap: “So is this another party “not being influenced by the popularity of UKIP”, Mr Redwood?”

      No, the hard left (and thus many unions) have been europhobic for the last 50 years or more, long before UKIP came along and tried to make out that they are the only europhobic party in the village – so to speak.

  9. Iain Gill
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    The still don’t “get it”
    Its not just unskilled migration that’s the problem, its all parts of the skills spectrum all the way to the top.
    I watched Alan Johnson on question time in disgust last night. A man paid to represent working people who have been ravaged by the worst excesses of out of control immigration trying the usual political tricks of associating anyone concerned about immigration with Oswald Mosley, and so on. In total denial that the policies he and his political mates have imposed on the rest of us maybe wrong.
    The Conservative party is little better.
    There is a real vacuum for people in the political class to talk common sense on these issues.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      And while Johnston was wittering on about Mosley and that immigrants we solely responsible to the NHS, an Asian man was expressing concerns about immigration and saying that it needs to be debated about.

      You wonder who the left wing hand-ringers are talking for, as it isn’t the indigenous working class, nor does it seem to be the people with immigrant backgrounds. It is only the left wingers who live in ivory towers who can’t see the disastrous consequences of mass immigration driven over population.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Indeed Alan Johnston was truly pathetic with his smears last might.

      Anyone earning less that about £40K PA is likely to be paying less in tax in than they cost. Admittedly if the government stopped wasting money hand over fist and became even slightly efficient this threshold could be much less, but currently anyone on less than that is likely to lower GDP per cap for all.

  10. oldtimer
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Labour`s problem is that it was the party in power that signed the Lisbon Treaty without a referendum beforehand. No doubt the electorate will be reminded of that, come the election, as more and more of the electorate make the connection between the EU and issues that really bug them. Added to which the other Ed was the man who piloted the Climate Change Act through Parliament with all its attendant green costs. What is remarkable is how long it is taking people to understand these connections. It demonstrates the power of the modern propaganda machine to suppress, divert and mislead. The BBC does it every day.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Cameron’s problem is that he ratted on the Cast Iron Promise and threw the last election as a direct result. He will not be trusted twice.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Is Labour trying to become more Eurosceptic?

    Well they clearly will if they think they need to. Cameron has set an extremely low bar, having as Peter Hichins put it:- the words “European Union” run through him as through a stick of rock.

  12. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Would this be the same Ed Balls that proclaimed it would be silly to ask the electorate if we should stay in the EU? The same Ed Balls who can not admit his economic policy has been proven time and again to be at best incorrect and at worst a sink hole? The same Ed Balls who remains in government only due to the support of the bully boys in the Labour party who ensured Gordon Brown had an unchallenged coronation rather than a contest for the role of Prime Minister?

    I will take no lectures from this intellectual pygmy whose doctrine blinds him to reality. Business wants cheap labour provided by mass unskilled immigration, the liberal elite believe it is the right thing to do providing opportunity for others. The general population pays the price in increased taxes for in work and out of work benefits for the incomers and those whose incomes they depress and higher living costs driven by manipulated demand.


  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    ”On immigration too we need greater international co-operation so that we can keep the benefits of skilled migration, while controlling and managing it fairly … ”

    Where does that word “fairly” fit in to the question of whether a sovereign people wishes to surrender the possession and control of its country to foreigners?

    Do we as a people owe some kind of moral obligation to nearly half a billion foreigners in the EU, and seven billion foreigners around the world, to allow a “fair” number of them to come and share our country?

    If I voted in a referendum to have zero gross immigration for the foreseeable future – that’s the referendum we should have, but our politicians will never allow us to have because in their arrogance they assume they know best how to dispose of our country for us, and so there is no need to bother asking us and it would be dangerously “populist” to do so – would I be acting “unfairly” by saying that I wanted a complete halt to any further immigration, whereas if I opted to allow a million foreigners a year to come and share my country then that would be more “fair”, and I might even get a nod of approval from the likes of Ed Balls?

    This is now the great political divide, not between “left” and “right”, but between those who believe that the British people have a right to both possess and control their own country, their homeland, and those who do not believe that.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Very well put Denis.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Well said, Denis

      The issue of immigration is not just explosive – it is virtually taboo. And most of the discussions we have here on domestic issues, from energy to housing, are incomplete, irrelevant and – dare I say – dishonest without the inclusion of it.

      If Mr Balls carries on with this language (and one suspects he is somehow informed from comments on this very blog) the Tories will lose the next election.

      “The explosive subject of immigration”

      One imagines that ‘explosive’ is not just figuratively speaking. Well clearly it isn’t the ignored majority who will explode otherwise they would have done so years ago.

      So who then ?

      Is Dr Redwood admitting what we all know already ? That those willing to resort to violence on our city streets get their way in this pathetic country ? WE are the victims now. Not the minorities.

      What’s the difference between Labour and Tory ?

      Labour seems to have more Balls on the #1 issue with voters.

      Reply No, I am not trying to say what you allege.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 5, 2014 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        Little difference in policy they just have different voters, so the presentation (propaganda) is modified. They are (all three) big government, high tax, green crap, pro EU, pro uncontrolled immigration, pro ever more regulation, pro HS2 waste, pro the dysfunctional NHS ……..

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 5, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply: The subject of mass immigration is indeed ‘explosive’. So it is avoided.

        I take ‘explosive’ to mean loss of temper. As we who believe in limitation are not getting our way and have not exploded then it can’t be our patience in question. (BTW where is the praise from your party for this ?)

        Perhaps you’d like to tell us who you think will be losing their temper if this subject is discussed (or dealt with.)

        I’d like to know if they are a minority. If they are then why do they have so much power to make you reticent ?

        (In actuality your postings give scant regard to mass immigration and the effects on our economy. You have to be continually reminded of it.)

        Reply I have consistently called for tighter controls, for UK control of our own borders, and pointed out the role of migration in issues like benefits, housing and health services.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps you’d explain who is likely to ‘explode’ so that we can explore whether or not there is a democratic deficit/disparity in this country.

          Clearly there is.

          So by clarifying who is likely to ‘explode’ we can pin down who is dictating how we must speak in this county.

      • David Price
        Posted July 6, 2014 at 5:55 am | Permalink

        Re reply
        I would not advocate violence but Anonymous has a point. Basic management and child/pet rearing is to reinforce and reward the behaviours you want. On that basis our government is rewarding behaviours counter to the interests of the majority, hard working taxpayers and law abiding.

        No party, not even the Farage party, represents my interests or concerns anymore. Either the PCP has chosen the wrong leader or he has surrounded himself with the wrong people, or both. From my perspective The CP needs to address this issue quickly as I have no wish to vote for Mr Samantha Cameron even if it means not voting for you.

    • Hope
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely Dennis. Good article in the DM by Dominic Lawson reminding us why Nicholas Ridley was asked to resign because of his comments relating to Germany dominating Europe by economics. His words are turning out to be true. What exactly has the auK achieved in the EU over the last 30 years or so? I can only read what the politicians have given away or given up rough lack of sovereignty. Including Cameron’s opting back in to the EU arrest warrant. Loss of sovereignty and more gains to the Nepolianic laws in foreign lands.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted July 5, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      It seems we are reliving the problems of an earlier age: then it was unlimited immigration from Commonwealth countries, now it is from the EU.

      Then one siren warning voice was castigated from all corners, but the Labour government changed policy soon thereafter.

      Now the siren warning voices come from a party, but the castigation from all corners is the same. Who will change policy this time?

  14. Roger Farmer
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    At the eleventh hour UK politicians are beginning to wake up to the writing on the wall. Although they know they are only in Parliament to reflect and do the bidding of the electorate, they see an election round the corner and their lifestyle might come to an end. This is principally because once in Parliament the electorate can go hang while they get on with furthering their careers and perks.
    Up until the EU election, UKIP were jabbing away reminding politicians that there was a fundamental change out there in constituency land. After the EU election the message was rammed home with appropriate force even though said politicians looked on the result as an aberration that would go away in time for May 2015. It will not.
    We can see the same thinking to the power of ten in the EU Parliament itself. Nearly all of you are in denial
    I suspect it will all end in tears, and you only have yourselves to blame.

  15. Jerry
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    “Mr Balls fondly imagines that the UK can pull off the trick of improving the EU for all in the ways he wants, which is extremely unlikely”

    Well indeed, and many have been saying the same to Mr Cameron. 🙂

    “To do this, something Labour never attempted in government, he will need to make his party more Eurosceptic.

    That doesn’t follow, in theory at least, could Labour think that they can -unlike the Tories- take the majority of the EU with them, not just getting British opt-outs but actually getting change in how the whole of the EU implements such pan-European policies on migration etc. Might they be thinking this because they believe that they have a closer, europhile, working relationship with the left dominant EU? There are people and arguments (not necessarily within the walls of parliament) who think that for Britain to get what we want from the EU we actually need “more europe” not less, that way the EU will give more of what we want. Bunkum of course, but that is how some europhiles think – some even still believe we should join the Euro!

    “The logic of Unite that we also need a referendum serves to remind Labour of the popularity of that policy.”

    It serves to remind Labour that the hard left has always been anti the EEC/EU, and that Labour are nothing without the funding from such unions.

    It seems strange that, for those on the eurosceptic right, the hard left and some of the more militant unions might actually be their best friends when it comes to the EU – but then both the political left and right worked together in 1975 when it came to the EEC referendum…

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    The answer to the headline question:

    “Is Labour trying to become more Eurosceptic?”

    must be:

    “No, but like the other two old parties it may want to appear more Eurosceptic”.

    There is now very little loyalty to this country and its people among those leading the old parties; some of them never had any such loyalty to start off with, having been brought up to think of the EU as their country and the United Kingdom as an undesirable relic from the past, indeed even its national flag is “racist”; while others who may have had some loyalty to this country at some point in the past have long ago transferred their primary allegiance to the proto-federal EU, either from conviction or for the sake of their generally worthless careers; few of these leopards will ever change their spots, the most the rest will do is to try out different forms of camouflage.

  17. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Problems with the migration of unskilled labour are not unique to the UK, and reforms which address these can be achieved in cooperation with the other wealthier EU members. A critical look at the present working of the EU is bound to be high on the EU agenda anyway. However, a Labour government might indeed be ‘silly’ to now offer an in/out referendum:
    1- it connects reform/renegotiation with forms of blackmail, likely to backfire.
    2- it goes against the thrust of international opinion which wants Britain to be part of a reformed EU
    Once EZ integration will require treaty change, that would be a better time to introduce new forms of (partial) EU membership (like an EFTA-plus). As such a referendum would be dictated by major treaty change, not by Labour.

    • ian wragg
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      The only reform likely is if Germany wants it. Have you read todays Mail, makes interesting copy.
      We in Britain (England) don’t want ruling by the Germans and the population are slowly awakening to the mess our politicians have got us into.
      Half a million foreigners each year and Frank Field proposing that pensioners should pay N.I. to save the NHS.
      STOP these freeloaders coming into the country and there will be plenty of money for the NHS, defence etc etc.
      We want our country back and boy are we going to get it one way or another.
      balls is all balls.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        @ian wragg: If you stop these foreigners or send them back, don’t forget that they (surgeons, doctors, nurses) also keep your NHS from collapsing. It would be a bit one-sided if you drain their countries of origin from the medics they need over there but say no to the rest.

        • Alan Wheatley
          Posted July 5, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

          There is no inherent reason why a country of 60million odd with a longstanding history of endeavour can not fill all the jobs needed from its own population. Inability to do so indicates a failure of governance.

          Saying no to all would be fair to all.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 5, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          Perhaps these extra NHS staff from other nations you say are essential Peter, are needed to service the medical needs of several million new arrivals.

          Many of our own highly trained medical staff are emmigrating to nations like Australia, New Zealand and Canada who recruit and allow in, only those they want.

        • Margaret
          Posted July 5, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          Bull. Many of our own qualified have had to go to other countries for jobs . Since 1995 there are very few jobs for Brits, but many for less qualified staff from other countries .We could fill every service there is with our own.

        • ian wragg
          Posted July 5, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          I have no problem with limited immigration as necessary. There is no reason why the NHS should be staffed by foreigners and in many respects be subject to their lower standards. The NHS has reached a critical mass of foreigners where now they continue to recruit their own. It’s time the government issued a moratorium on all foreign NHS staff and started training our own.
          As for the rest, we have enough Big Issue sellers and car wash operatives and we are quite capable of breeding our own criminal class without importing them.

        • JoeSoap
          Posted July 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          So you are against any form of quality control in immigration? I think we have plenty of our own young people who could provide those services rather than languish on unemployment benefit. We’ll live with no migration and lower youth unemployment, thanks.

        • David Price
          Posted July 6, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

          And the Nederlands have never expelled or been selective of immigrants?

          Fix your own attitudes before lecturing us on ours.

          • David Price
            Posted July 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            Above was meant as a reply to Peter van Leeuwen’s comment Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:19 pm regarding sending back foreigners

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Members have problems in common not as members but as wealthy countries which look attractive to those trying to make a better life. The central question is whether we live with ever closer union. In an interview yesterday on Radio 4, Romano Prodi, was sympathetic to the need to address such issues but, of course, when the point was put to him, he could not deny that ever close union is the sine qua non of the EU.

      Even the slowest person on a journey eventually arrives at the destination, willingly or otherwise.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        That is not the position of the Dutch government. Prodi represents the past, not the current thinking in the EU.

        • David Price
          Posted July 6, 2014 at 5:59 am | Permalink

          EUrocrats cannot speak counter to EU policy at any time otherwise they lose their juicy pensions…

          On what basis are you claiming superior knowledge of true EU intent than Mr Prodi?

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted July 5, 2014 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        When you find you got on the wrong train the more slowly it takes you in the wrong direction the better you will like it. But what you really need to do is change trains for one going to the correct destination.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted July 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          @Alan Wheatley: More likely in your country, different politicians want to be on different trains.
          Labour government will still have the benefit of not having to abide by ever closer union since this last summit, but will prove far more EU-friendly in general terms, and probably more effective as well. Cameron lost his match against the European Parliament, he will probably lose future battles.

          • Richard
            Posted July 6, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

            Mr. Cameron had no intention of winning his match against the European Parliament.

            He is as much pro Euro federalism as Mr. Juncker.

            However, Mr. Cameron knew that his stance would be popular in the UK and help him win the next GE and would cause no danger to Mr. Juncker getting the job.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Not only unskilled labour, but unskilled non-labour, claiming our tax money to send back to Europe.
      There are just too many issues now tied to being in the EU for it to work; financial transaction tax, tax harmonisation generally, property prices and availability related to immigration …. you have so many anti-market features such as housing benefit and employment regulations crowding out the true market in property and employment, and this just doesn’t go together with opening our doors to whoever wants to live here…
      No sooner will Cameron have “renegotiated” in one area than another one will raise its head. It can’t work like this.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        @JoeSoap: many of the barriers you mention are UK barriers and would also be there with the UK outside the EU

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted July 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      People of your persuasion have never recognised that EU enlargement to include poorer nations requires a looser Union. ‘Widen and deepen’ was a German formula, and it is not in the long run workable. A two ring Europe – a Federal core using the Euro and an outer ring using individual currencies – would be workable.

      The issues to be settled are:
      (1) The limits to be placed on the Federal core’s military capability – both Russia and UK have an interest; and
      (2) There would be a better balance of power in Europe if there were fewer nations in the Euro based Federal core.

  18. alan jutson,
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I think your topic today john can be summed up in a few words.


    Given the above, many politicians will say almost anything to get a few extra votes.

    We should judge them by past actions, not future promises.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Agreed and on that basis none of the current bunch is worthy of support.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      In the case of Cameron judging him on his actions he is clearly:- pro evermore EU, pro expensive green crap energy, pro 299+ tax increases, pro gender insurance and annuity drivel, pro a “happiness” index, pro HS2, pro the EU arrest warrant, pro a “fake” MP recall right, pro the duff NHS stuctures, anti grammar schools, pro quack medicine on the NHS, pro pointless wars, pro the climate change act, pro more tax complexity/tax accountants and lawyers …… is he pro anything at all that is remotely sensible?

      Well he got rid of the M4 bus lane and made squatting (in residential only) building illegal I suppose.

  19. acorn
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I would suggest we all vote UKIP. That way we will have our referendum next May, done and dusted.

    It is far from clear exactly what the “reforms” demanded are. No legacy party has ever asked what reforms I want. I keep being told what reforms the political elite want. You keep going on about the EU being a top-down proto-democracy yet you refuse to put up an ECR candidate for the President of the Commission when it tried to do something about it. Frankly, I see little difference between the EU proto-democracy and the UK proto-democracy we currently suffer.

    The Conservatives demands are fairly easy to work out from its basic ideology. It is in favour of the free movement of Capital and Profits but not Workers and Wages. High value added immigrants are fine, they add to profits, the rest should be shot as they come up the beaches. It wants to strengthen the internal market but do away with standards and regulations necessary for it to function.

    Cameron has managed to alienate the heads of government that he needs to pool twenty-seven other sets of “reforms” together; so, how the hell is he going to re-negotiate anything with anyone in the EU, before 2017?

    But the big doubt for me with this big reform plan, is that the political elite haven’t got a clue where to start and how to do it. This task is far beyond the capabilities of our Punch & Judy parliament. Best we just make an exit and let Euro Land get on with it. Perhaps then we might decide that the UK needs a new type of management to accelerate it through the 21st century.

  20. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Is Labour trying to become more Eurosceptic?

    No, its simply fixing itself up to win the next GE and move on to further cripple the UK (+/- Scotland). Nothing like a repeat performance to make life simple…is there?

    Seems the BBC paid a bunch of “trainers” to show BBC “managers” how to not select skeptics into a broadcast debate. Something about “false balance” ? That will be about climate….naturally.

    Of course they paid nothing…we did, for pure waste purposes. Just cannot understand how Gov can tax people for this. And cannot understand why so many people without obvious skills (common sense – for one) are recruited.

    From what I saw from the EU parliament opening the other day Cameron will not get any big goodies out of there, just small ones perhaps (h/t N. Tebbit).

    So the above clearly blocks me from any TV debate…thankfully!

  21. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Are Labour becoming more Eurosceptic ?

    No. Significant parts of the party have always been strongly Eurosceptic – think of such iconic figures as Michael Foot, Tony Benn, Bob Crow and many others on the far left of the party. Add to that the strongly Eurosceptic white working class Labour vote and it is clear a large part of Labour is against the EU. But just like in the Tory party the leadership isn’t, and just like in the Tory party the leadership will pretend to be more Eurosceptic for purely tactical reasons to get more votes.

    In the one referendum we had on the Common Market this Eurosceptic split between what we can loosely term the far-right and the far-left led to a woefully uncoordinated and ineffective No campaign with the like of Tony Benn refusing to even share a platform with Enoch Powell even though they were campaigning for the same outcome, if there is a vote in 2017 history will repeat itself on that score.

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I feel that the LibDems and UKIP are the only parties to be honest about their position with regards to the EU.
    Both Labour and the Conservatives have realised that anti-EU sentiment in Britain is growing and are trying to look more Eurosceptic, although there is little point in that as those running the EU have made it clear that there are unlikely to be the reforms that this country seeks. The EU aim is a Federal Europe, and the only concession is that it could come more slowly for some members than others. The EU won’t change, and both Tory and Labour know this but are just trying to hide it from the electorate.
    Logically, voters should either vote for UKIP or LibDem, at least they would then know what they are getting as far as the EU is concerned.

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    JR: “Is Labour trying to become more Eurosceptic?”
    Since you keep telling us that your party is “Eurosceptic” when it most clearly is not, the question is irrelevant. What does it mean? I have raised before the question of the definition of this word; in MPs parlance it can mean whatever they want it to mean – standard practice for almost any issue. This faux “Euroscepticism” is frankly not just fraudulent but an insult to our intelligence. However, as Peter Hitchens said on QT last night perhaps the electorate is so gullible as to believe the lies – most Westminster politicians seem to think so.

  24. Cheshire Girl
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    They will say whatever they think the public wants to hear, just to get elected, as all politicians do!

  25. Bert Young
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see who gives in . Unite -the Labour Party’s bank roller has officially stated that it is in the interests of its members to get the question of EU membership out of the way ; Ed Milliband is to day quoted as saying ” our future is better off in the EU ” . One way or the other , the referendum has become the focus of the forthcoming election . The Conservatives have an opportunity to put on the table the details of what it is they wish to get out of the negotiations with the EU – delay in doing this has an important bearing on the timing of the referendum and , whether it should be brought forward before the indicated 2017 date . The worst scenario is allowing things to slide and not giving the electorate the opportunity to express itself . UKIP is standing by rubbing its hands in glee .

  26. Max Dunbar
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    But not wise words on this occasion Dr Redwood even if you think that this may help to split the Labour Party; weasel words from Unite.
    The Unite union may converge with you on the issue of the EU but you appear to be allowing your zealous opposition to the EU to avoid consideration of the motives behind Unite’s statement. Old school Communists have always opposed the EU from the other extreme. Likewise, in Scotland the Communist Party oppose a YES vote but again from a convergent view, not from one of fundamental agreement with Unionists.

    As for the BNP, if Balls wants to use them to make a song and dance about ‘fascists’ then he can waste his energy doing that. The BNP, a child of the Labour Party, now exist only as a bogeyman for the Left and have been supplanted by other parties and groupings. In Scotland at the Euro elections the BNP lagged well behind Britain First which is an obscure anti-Islamic organisation which attracts some former BNP members.

  27. Douglas Carter
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it would even occur to me to take in anything a senior Labour figure might say in a period of difficulties for them, and in the run up to a General Election. Let alone at any other time. The matter they’re discussing is one of those irreversible and non-negotiable aspects of the single market. To adjust that will take precisely the process they’ve excoriated the Conservatives for attempting. I could quote ‘manifesto commitments are not subject to legitimate expectation’ but that would be academic. This will not even be in the manifesto as a coherent ambition, and it would not withstand media assault for even so much as a few hours.

    So, whether Labour want to be seen as a little more Eurosceptic is fairly moot. Miliband, like his brother, is an EU enthusiast (and to remind, some years ago during a PMQ session, Cameron rounded on Miliband goading him to answer whether he would join the single currency. ‘It depends on how long I’m Prime Minister for’ came Miliband’s reply, to a cacophony of laughter) but as always, it’s one of those loves that dare not speak its name. Labour intentionally suppresses its EU enthusiasm because they know full well it’s a vote loser, and it’s one of the prime reasons that Labour barely mentioned the EU in the recent election campaign. An intentional strategy – if the reports are accurate – that Douglas Alexander put in place.

    All the same, it’s a very strange message that all the main parties don’t seem to have taken this in properly. Five weeks ago, one single UK main political party campaigned openly and enthusiastically in favour of the EU. Nick Clegg indeed went well out of his way to take on his imaginary opponents. (‘Imaginary’ – we discovered Clegg’s main adversary was the limitation of his own intellect….) The collective electorate as a whole awarded them fewer than 3% of their votes. The most significant part of that vote in one single constituency – that of London. Among the nationwide poll in the UK, a pro-EU stance is categorically and demonstrably unwanted.

    Forget the nonsense about ‘protest votes’ – any voter whose priorities lay with the EU rather than with Westminster was given the opportunity to bite the bullet and declare it democratically in recent weeks. Enthusiasm for LibDem\Labour style EU integration is essentially non-existent in electoral terms. (Labour votes cannot be taken as pro-EU endorsements – Labour didn’t campaign on the subject in any respect.) Neither Miliband nor Clegg, and to an extent some senior Conservatives dare acknowledge that.

  28. Bryan
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    As mentioned by others above this is a cynical ploy by the Unions and Labour to sweep back votes lost to UKIP.

    People capable of logical thought will see this, those without will not.

    Therefore Labour will become the next Government.

  29. John Wrake
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    All this blether about changes in attitude by Labour and the Unions! What does it matter.

    The truth is that talk of re-negotiation of terms of membership and attitudes to a referendum are all irrelevant. The rules of the Club are clear,have always been clear and are not going to change. If we’re IN, its forward to a State called Europe. If we’re OUT, its back to governing ourselves.

    Before a General Election, the sort of politicians we have will say anything in order to stay in their overpaid jobs. If they had an ounce of loyalty to the nation and its people, who they claim to represent, there would be less chat and more action.

    John Wrake.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      “If we’re IN, its forward to a State called Europe. If we’re OUT, its back to governing ourselves.”

      That sums it up; and there is no way we can be IN and govern ourselves.

  30. A different Simon
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    If we had of had a Conservative Government instead of Browne & Balls then there is no question ; the UK would have been in the Euro by now .

    Let’s not forget that the Parliamentary Labour Party is the only one of the major three which has ever in it’s history been officially opposed to membership of the EU .

    What is so unfathomable is why Labour and the TUC sold out so cheaply – Jack Delors’ convincing the TUC that the EU would give them powers to strike which the UK Govt could not override .

    The EU certainly knows how to divide and conquer . They probably learned it from the UK just as the UK was forgetting it .

  31. Paul
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    The danger of course would be if anyone actually listened and believed the Labour Party on immigration and the EU. This is the party that opened the doors wide open, let anyone and everyone in, changing large parts of this country beyond recognition. The people that suffered most and continue to suffer from the mass un-controlled immigration that we’ve had since 1997 to the present day is, of course, the people the Labour Party was set up to represent. Whether it’s jobs, housing, school places, sense of belonging/community, the Labour Party has caused massive problems through its idiotic immigration policies. Nothing has changed under this Conservative-led government, of course, because Cameron and his cronies are all in favour of it because none of them is affected by it. It’s about time the three failed old parties merged into one and we had a proper alternative.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      That is the thing that it is difficult to understand above all else. Labour leaders turn into those that in office they despise – rich, privileged, nepotistic. Yet people continue to vote for the sons and daughters of these people…

  32. cosmic
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    McCluskey said, “It is time that Labour’s leadership took a new look at the referendum question. We do not seek a referendum to take Britain out of the EU, we seek a referendum rethink in order to help Labour into power”.

    Right, so he has no interest in the question except insofar as he thinks it’s about time Labour showed us a glimpse of stocking as regards the EU for purely electoral purposes. “Seek a referendum” is an interesting choice of words; you may seek but not necessarily find. More electoral bait?

    It seems to be about the same as the Conservatives who are certainly not offering a referendum to take us out of the EU, or are even neutral about it. It’s fairly clear they want to engineer a referendum which will keep us in the EU.

    I have a theory that the Conservatives’ referendum offer, with its implausible talk of fundamental renegotiation, was hatched when the polls looked so unfavourable that it seemed unlikely they would have to deliver. It was a long way from a desire to let the people decide. It’s now a damned nuisance, but nothing that couldn’t be finessed with the willing help of the BBC and a few friendly papers.

  33. petermartin2001
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    “This week the Unite Union has offered some good advice to the Labour party.”

    That’s not a sentence that you’ll see too often from a Conservative Party MP. It is absolutely right though. The distinction needs to be made between the Labour Party leadership and the Labour movement, including Labour voters, generally. Euro-scepticism is alive and well there. The reasons may be somewhat different to those of UKIP and those on the Right of the Conservative Party but not completely different.

    One common reason would be the lack of democratic accountability of the present EU structure. It is a fundamental failing – I’m sure we all agree on that.

    So, Conservative Eurosceptics, if you do want your referendum and you do want to win it you need to make an appeal to this section of society to co-operate in the interests of the greater good. You need to make it possible for lifelong Labour voters to vote Tory. If just this once.

  34. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 5, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Labour is going to have to become more Eurosceptic. After Mr Cameron’s resistance to Mr Juncker’s appointment and Ed Miliband’s latest refusal to offer an IN/OUT referendum, Labour support has fallen to 31% in the latest opinion poll. You can understand why Ed Balls and Len McCluskey are worried. If Mr Miliband changes his mind and offers a referendum, he will then need to present his reform agenda. That will be most interesting.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 6, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      There’s always some scatter in the results of different opinion polls, and other polls put support for Labour higher than that.

      But anyway the absolute level of support for Labour still matters much less than their lead over the Tories when the Tories need to be well ahead of Labour to have a chance of winning an overall majority; UKIP has been eroding support for both to comparable extents, pulling both down to lower levels of absolute support, but so far the more recent rise of UKIP has not been significantly affecting the gap between Labour and the Tories and so it is unlikely to affect the outcome of the next general election.

      That will only change if support for UKIP continues to rise along the recent trend so that it begins to win seats, which is much more difficult for UKIP than for the LibDems, or for that matter the SNP, because its support is less concentrated in certain constituencies; simply extrapolating the plots here:

      suggests that then there would be three parties with support in the 20% – 30% range plus a fourth, the LibDems, somewhere between 5% and 10%, and the outcome would become much more unpredictable.

  35. Richard
    Posted July 5, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    The goal of the Left is for total equality, especially for that of wealth. The only way to achieve equality of wealth is to destroy it as any wealth leads to differences in wealth.

    When the EU was seen simply as a trading group and hence could improve the UK’s finances, the Left were against it. Now that the EU is seen as a destroyer of wealth, and a way of extending poverty in Europe and the UK, the Left are all for it.

    The Left are very happy to import poor people into the UK through immigration as it naturally increases their pool of voters. Unfortuntately, their indigenous voters are just beginning to wake up to the fact that the uncontrolled immigration perpetrated in recent years by the Left is not in their best interests and consequently the Left are now beginning to make Eurosceptic noises in an effort to hold on to to their voters just long enough for the country to be completely altered by a sufficient influx of poor immigrants.

    On the other hand, the Conservative Party is run by global business who see the EU as a perfect vehicle to enable them to move factories to the cheapest nations, to use the expanding EU for an endless source of cheap labour in countries such as the UK, and to be able to move their profits to where the taxation is least. As well as being able to fix the rules and regulations to their commercial advantage.

    So there is no point in voting either Labour or Conservative if you want to leave the EU.

  36. Ray Veysey
    Posted July 6, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I’m warming to my new theme, having tried to look at it through another lens of the political prism. The greatest dilemma of the conservatives like Mr Redwood, Hannan, Carswell et al is to remove ourselves from Europe without removing them selves from their world. Their world of social acceptance at the highest level, which being anything other than a traditional tory doesn’t achieve. Which means that the protection of the party comes way before the interest of the country. They could all up sticks and change parties , go to UKIP and we would be out of the EU in a matter of a few years, but, and this is critical, all those invites to the nice places would dry up. They would be forced to mix with people who whilst having the best intentions for the country and people, were not quite “right” and tended to have conversations that mattered, not about whose daughter was doing well at which private school, and didn’t they think the Queen looked wonderful last week. Until they get over this or we get rid of them it’s going to be difficult, and we will be left with the vision of “eurosceptic” people like Hannan racing around Europe trying to prevent a truly Eurosceptic party getting fair representation in the European parliament.

    Reply Changing the parties of leading Eurosceptics adds nothing to the cause. I do not get invited to Wimbledon or Henley as a Conservative! If I go I buy a ticket!

  • 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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