Oppositions are meant to oppose

People have written in asking for my thoughts on the events of Monday in the Commons.

I have long made clear on this site, in the Commons, in public and in private that I had urged them to opt out and supported the opt out of all the criminal justice measures undertaken by the current government, and did not wish them to opt back in to any measure. I argued this on the simple ground of Parliamentary sovereignty.

I also made clear that I share the government’s wish to be able to bring unpleasant criminals to court if they leave the UK for a refuge elsewhere. I asked the Home Secretary to make arrangements for extradition from the rest of the EU as we do for the rest of the world, by an Extradition Treaty. This to me is preferable to placing our criminal jurisdiction under the ECJ and Brussels, and can be effective, as it is for non EU cases today.

On Monday we once again saw how Parliament cannot work well if the Opposition refuses to oppose. Labour told us endlessly that they fully supported opting back in to all the measures the government had identified, and they fully supported the regulations to bring UK law into line with this sacrifice of powers. They had no single criticism of any of it to make, no wish to see any change of words, no doubt about any of the powers being transferred. Indeed, they have been egging the government on to do so.

As a result it was always going to be the case that this opt in was carried by a very large majority of votes, as the Lib Dems were even more enthusiastic about opts in and would have liked more. The debate and vote was therefore going to lack edge, as the result was never in doubt.

The government took a legalistic approach to the debate by just tabling the regulations needed to complete the transfer of powers. Those of us who wanted a more fundamental debate on the principle of opt in and on the Arrest Warrant which does not need a new UK regulation to be effective were told that we could and should debate these matters at the same time as the regulations before the House. The government pointed out it was offering an all day debate until 10pm instead of just the usual 90 minutes for a regulation.

It stated unequivocally that if it lost the vote on the regulations it would regard that as meaning the Commons did not want the opt ins or Warrant either. The Speaker confirmed that the motion was only about the regulations, but said he would allow people to debate the opt ins and EAW more generally as that was the government’s wish.

Labour then decided to override the longer debate on the opt ins and regulations by moving a procedural motion which meant whichever way we voted on it debate would cease forthwith – at 8pm – losing us the last two hours, and taking up time to debate procedure that we could otherwise have used to discuss the major issues before us.

The Opposition thought it could do harm to the government by playing games with procedure. All it achieved by this was to deny those of us who wanted to make a fundamental case against the opt ins and the Warrant several hours of time to do so. Labour hastened the passage of measures they wanted all along by their clumsy intervention.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Mark B
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    And when in opposition, how did the Conservative Party vote when deciding to go to war with Iraq ?

    It is not the opposition that is the problem, but how we have set up our system of Government. The Executive already have a considerable advantage over the legislature, having a number of MP’s in their back pocket via Ministerial positions.

    If the Legislature was truly independent, I do not think the executive, let a lone the opposition, would play such silly games and, could be said to be more ‘representative’ of the people.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      A random selection of a 1000 members of the public (in some referendum) would have made far better choices on the pointless/counterproductive wars, energy, hs2, the climate change act and the likes than parliament did.

      Even if they had done no research or investigation into the subject areas.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Yes, because it’s so much more convenient to keep democracy in check. And even when 1000 people or more are allowed a free vote a la Scottish referendum it is just too tempting for politicians and the elite to interfere and try to influence more than just put the pros and cons in an independently minded way.

        We can’t pretend the Swiss have it right – their gold referendum on 30 November is already being influenced by those who like to print money and tie themselves to the sinking EU… but it is still ahead of the UK position….

        UKIP might not be the end game but it is at least moving us in the right direction, compared to the Liblabcon clique which is moving out of the picture and into history.

    • Hope
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      You cannot oppose something that you agree with. There’s no difference between the LibLabCon wanting to be ruled by the EU where most of laws, regulation and directives come from. Parliament is just passing on what it is told to implement by Brussels. Therefore the flaw in your opposition argument does not apply when the is only presentational difference between govt and opposition. There are a few die hards like you, who are very well intentioned but refuse to accept the reality of Cameron’s intentions, but your cause is lost in your own party.

      If you genuinely want change then you need to be more radical in your own party. I appreciate you think your are influencing change the rest of us in the real world do not share that view. Look at your respective promises for change at Westminster and look at the position today, the same as it was before 2009 with Osborne, Letwin and other Tory strategists preventing right to recall- it was in the coalition agreement so it could have been properly brought in rather than the fudge by Cameron and Clegg. You are all the same with mild differences that do not make any difference to the public. There is no opposition on this issue either as you all promised change, yet nothing of any substance has happened after five years. Same old same old.

      Reply I and my Eurosceptic Conservative colleagues got a good package of proposals into the 2010 Manifesto, only to see them blocked by Lib dems in coalition. We have now got the promise of an EU referendum which is something I want .

      • DaveM
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        “We have now got the promise of an EU referendum which is something I want .”

        IF you win a majority at the next election. The failure of the govt to have the referendum written into law shows what the majority of MPs think of the referendum, and what Hope is saying is that to us in the outside world it actually appears as if Cam and his cronies are trying to lose the election so they don’t have to implement the promise of a referendum.

        The question is: if all the EUphiles are so convinced that staying in the EU is the way forward, why are they so terrified of a referendum?

        If they are so convinced that, with continued membership, the pros outweigh the cons as far as the country is concerned, why can’t they convince the country?

        And the simple answer is that continued membership is financially beneficial to MPs and a few members of our society, but not to anyone else, either financially, legally, socially, culturally or emotionally.

        They may be called the Opposition but in reality all parties are all heading towards the same target, they just want to take slightly different routes and do the navigating themselves.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted November 14, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          All except UKIP Dave. They want out. The others are smitten by the siren EU voices – come to me! Come to me! Then their ships of hope and promise are dashed upon the rocks of economic adversity and lack of democratic accountability.


      • Hope
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        As I said well intentioned , but ineffective. I have not come across anyone who believes Cameron will deliver a referendum. Cameron prevented one taking place and we saw the con that he would not pay the £1.7 billion extra payment to the EU and Osborne never even tried to negotiate! And this week we saw the promise for MPs to. One on the EAW and now Cameron telling everyone to move on! You were opposed to all three, well intentioned but wholly ineffective.

        Cameron now making it clear for the Rochester by election he has more in common with Labour and Lib Dems than UKIP. Says it all really. Perhaps that is why he has left so many former Labour politicians in charge of quangos or asked them to write reports for his govt. or to become social mobility Czars like Milburn. He could have always asked you or other former Tory colleagues in the Tory party. Presentational difference no substance. Come on, wake up and smell the coffee.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Your parties repeated actions, not words shows a disillusioned public you are ALL the same. The only way to free us from the EU dictatorship, its 75% of all our laws with no representation is to remove the legacy parties from Westminster and replace them with the ONLY patriotic party. Vote on the EU arrest warrant? Move along, no democracy left.

      • stred
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        For a long time I thought you had the best policies and ideas and were one of the more intelligent politicians JR. Unfortunately, the grass routes of the Conservative party seem to have been taken over by duffers who are only interested in taking a bigger slice of the middle ground, and this is why the Party is largely made up of PR experts who have no experience of real business or practical skills or professions. Following the latest round of behaviour by the Downing street boys, you and your like minded colleagues must feel like someone who is (working in the back office of a differently minded enterprise ed).

        Time to get together and jump ship. You will be ready to retire soon so why stay on an Italian cruise liner with a captain only interested in himself and heading for the rocks.

        Reply I have no wish to retire

        • stred
          Posted November 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

          Roots not routes.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      The post just focusses on one minor aspect of a system which is past its sell-by date. Perhaps the popularity of fringe parties right now is indicative that this feeling is widely held.

      Whether it is the London-centricity of Miliband Clegg and Cameron, whether it’s the fact that they can control situations (and Europe is just one – we could name middle eastern wars, attitude to Putin/Russia, attitude to BBC bias, attitude to keeping the UK together, attitude to immigration) in pretty well a uni-dimensional way without reference to the public, they are demonstrating a remoteness from their constituency of MPs and thence the public which is intolerable.

  2. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Now I realise why the Tories were unable to support the treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lissabon. As a wise man once said: “oppositions are meant to oppose”:)
    The EAW, rushed through parliaments after 9/11, still needs much more reform. As with the EU itself, such is easier accomplished from within than without.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Peter – do you remember the phrase ‘constructive opposition’ ? It was used by all governing parties and oppositions when it suited their purposes to either justify their own actions or those of their opponents. A meaningless phrase. Classic example here.

    • Hope
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      No Peter, the EU is ploughing on in the same way even though destitution, unemployment and economic ruin is a clear consequence of monetary and political union from the policies made to bring this about by stealth. The UK people never voted for such a construct or voted to allow our politicians to give away our freedoms, liberties and way of life to unelected foreign bureaucrats. Our taxes are taken to services in this country for the people of this country not wealth distribution across Europe to raise their standards of living. The UK does not need to be within the Eau to trade with it, other countries in the world manage quite successfully. Friends and allies to countries of Europe not a region of an EU superstate that acts like a leech on the taxpayer.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        “The UK people never voted for such a construct”
        The people usually did much more than just voting for it. In most countries, including yours, a referendum on whether or not to join was held.
        The quality of the information provided to the people has always been a national issue, the EU can display a treaty, the national politicians and media have to interpret it. So yes, you DID vote for each and every treaty since the Treaty of Rome, for which you had a referendum. National political deficiencies should never be blamed on the EU.
        And see the Lisbon Treaty, clause 50: you are completely free to leave, if that would be the UK’s choice (i.e. not just the choice of a part of the opposition of the day). Juncker is now an elected politician, very much like Cameron is an elected politician (i.e. heading the largest party, not directly elected by 60 million people)

        • Tad Davison
          Posted November 14, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          The 1975 referendum? You jest! You’re just a wind-up merchant. And you people wonder why we who have been cheated get so angry and bitter towards the EU.

          We had one referendum to see if the people wanted to join a free-trade area – no more than that. It was sold that way, and the hapless people were led by utterly arrogant and cynical politicians to believe it would bring mutual prosperity by opening up markets to the United Kingdom and vice versa.

          The treaties signed thereafter by successive governments were a con! We basically had a two-party system both of which were closet Euro-federalists, and both wanted to take us towards a federal super-state by stealth. The people of the UK were stitched up, and had the truth been told from the outset, and without the massive campaign of misinformation, they would never have stood for it. Now that the chickens are coming home to roost, the resentment towards these same con-artist politicians is palpable and growing. Witness that the two-party system in the UK is no more, and no-one can be guaranteed of an overall majority.

          We trusted the politicians we elected to do the right thing, but they took advantage of the people they were supposed to represent and cheated us big time. They took away our right to self-determination when they had no legitimate right to do so, and they did it in the most cynical way imaginable which looking back, showed utter contempt for our views and wishes.

          We have never been given a chance to invoke article 50 at any point. The three main Westminster parties would never dare!

          On Junker, you say he’s elected. I can vote to get Cameron out by voting for another party. What options did I have to vote for a different candidate to Junker? And after the shady dealings in his past life, I think we ought to be able to do just that.

          Reply I agree that Labour’s 1975 referendum was sold as a free trade area. However, it was about the Treaty of Rome, which was never a free trade Treaty but the start of the journey to ever closer union, as it said clearly. That is why I voted No.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted November 15, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

            Reply to reply:

            John, I recall it vividly. Politicians at the time who canvassed my voter denied it would ever lead to political matriculation. To me, that is misleading and a con whichever way they want to paint it.


          • Lifelogic
            Posted November 15, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            I was too young to vote, but is was quite clear to me in my teens that the no campaign team was far more sensible and rational than the emotional drivel of the yes teams.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted November 15, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

            @Tad Davison: if people were that gullible in 1975, that might happen again You might find out in retrospect that living outside the EU was not what it was promised in 2017 to be.

    • Bert Young
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      PvL – There is a point when attempting to “change from within ” goes beyond the capability to achieve . The present construct of the EU goes far beyond what I and most of the citizens of this country voted to join – a Common Market . The introduction of the Euro dramatically changed the ethos of the EU introducing constraints on national cultures and disciplines impossible to maintain . The Dutch have always been an accomodating nation and I sympathise with your position and the views you often express , however , we need to put our foot down at this stage of our relationship with Brussels bureaucracy .

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 15, 2014 at 12:21 am | Permalink

        @Bert Young: Yet, all the developments and treaties since that coomon market were jointly developed with the British, were signed by UK governments and ratified by UK parliaments. The very procedures of your own democracy. Once facts and figures overcome the current hypes and gut-feelings (we want to be sovereign) I’m not at all sure that the UK population will vote to leave the EU.

        • Hope
          Posted November 15, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          Based on true facts and information the people of this country would choose to leave every time. The EU has NO benefits to this country, it is a leech on the taxpayer.

  3. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Yes and governments are supposed to govern. Remember Dave is the PM who blew most of his political capital (and next May it will probably be seen that he mortally wounded the Conservative Party too) on legalising gay marriage. In the meantime our borders are still wide open to those who fancy some free money or wish to do harm to the British people. The banks are just as unstable as the were in 2007/8, check out their derivative exposure. While IDS seems to have been just sitting on his hands. I live in an area of historic high unemployment. However the local hospital still seems to have to recruit its cleaners from the Phillipines. Or yes and some of the construction workers building the extension to it travel into work in cars with Moldovan licence plates. The UK does not have a skills shortage does it or is it more important that our kids have a worthless degree and a load of debt rather than a trade?

    • Hope
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      It has now been reported in the papers that Osborne did not even challenge the £1.7 billion pounds increase given away to the EU. A bit difficult for his claim of success when he did not even mention or negotiate the sum involved. The narrative was already prepared on the rebate that was going to happen. Is this correct JR?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        It is clear that the reduction was pure smoke and mirrors and pathetic PR spin (that largely backfired on them as everyone say through it). We shall probably see this reflected in the by-election results next week.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink


        I read yesterday that in a recent poll, only 16% thought Osborne got a good deal. That seems to me to be a pretty paltry figure and appears to show a lack of confidence. But what it does show pretty accurately in my view, is how these people talk up abject failure and spin it as some kind of fantastic success.

        What was it the little doctor used to say. Ah yes, if the lie is big enough, and repeated often enough, it becomes accepted as the truth.


        • Hope
          Posted November 15, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          That £1.7 billion could provide 60,000 nurses and their pensions. Yet Hunt claims if they want a pay rise it could cost 14,000 nurse jobs. He knows where the money could be found if he wanted. Either nurses or wealth distribution with our taxes across the EU to help Eastern European countries improve their lifestyle. I do no see why I should pay for it through my taxes!

  4. Richard1
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    We need to remember that Labour when in government signed 3 federalist treaties whilst denying the people a referendum, surendered Margaret Thatcher’s rebate at a cost of £bns pa to British taxpayers, and enthusiastically opted in to some of the worst EU driven regulation such as green crap and the social chapter. (And, btw, brought the Country to the edge of bankruptcy at the same time).

    Anyone thinking of voting UKIP should reflect that though this govt has many inadequacies, Labour would be much, much worse.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      We need to remember that the Tories when in government signed 3 federalist treaties whilst denying the people a referendum, treaties which provided the foundations for the 3 federalist amending treaties later ratified by Labour when in government and without which those 3 later treaties would not have happened; and we need to also remember that the Tories when in opposition repeatedly promised for two years that if they became the next government they “would not let matters rest there” as far as the last of the treaties was concerned, and fought EU Parliament elections with that promise in their manifesto, but then decided that they would “let matters rest there” after all.

      Reply We still do not have a Conservative government with a majority to do something about the EU. Our Manifesto promise of a Bill to re-establish UK sovereignty was vetoed by Lib dems

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        JR “a Conservative government with a majority to do something about the EU.”

        How are we ever going to get that when only about 100 in the Tory party are real Tories? Also the chance of an overall Tory majority with the current socialist, high tax, pro EU, green crap, PR deception and ratting leadership is only about 12% anyway.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        You’ve made me envious Denis. I would have loved to have made that point!


      • JoeSoap
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply
        You have to ask yourself why you don’t have a Conservative government. It is because even in 2010 you lost votes on the basis of your leaders’ duplicitousness. You relied on the “soothsaying powers” of Major, Clarke and Co. then and you still do. The problem has since become far far worse for the Conservative party.
        The Major speech was classic Major “look, I’m in a hole which I just dug and it is filling up with water.. if you don’t provide me with some Wellington boots I might drown…”

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 14, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          Exactly right Cameron through the last election with his ratting and green crap modernising and Clegg on TV. We need Norman Tebbit to be cloned very quickly.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 15, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        JR, Cameron’s decision that the Tory party would after all “let matters rest there” on the Lisbon Treaty was announced on November 4th 2009, it had nothing at all with the LibDems blocking the Tory party from taking action within the coalition government after May 2010. And in fact the LibDems did not veto the Tories’ proposed “sovereignty” or “referendum lock” law, it is there on the statute book as the European Union Act 2011, but as very carefully drafted by Hague to avoid referendums that the Tories did not want to hold.

    • willH
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Taking the least worse option is no use, we will be stuck with the pro EU, anti English people forever if we don`t take a stand in May. Surely no one thinks Cameron will conduct an honest in out referendum after his deceit over the EWA and the EU surcharge on top of everything else he has ratted on.

      • Richard1
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        What deceit over the EAW? What deceit over the EU surcharge? Criticism where its due, but not where its not. Cameron has never said he is against the EAW and has clearly halved the surcharge (at least based on the numbers put forward by those complaining about it).

        • Tad Davison
          Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink


          I watched that debate last Monday in its entirety. It was clear even to the speaker and Cameron’s own back-benchers that there was subterfuge at play, orchestrated by the government front bench. And you say he halved the surcharge (presumably we’re talking about the £1.7 billion the EU ‘suddenly’ dumped on us that he wasn’t going to pay on 1st December).

          If we think of it this way, we pay £850 million in two tranches, but we forego the rebate, it still amounts to the same thing. One pound is a pound too much. His capitulation shows where his true sympathies lie, but alas, it isn’t with the UK.

          I admire loyalty, but blind loyalty?

          You’re better than that.


    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Miliband clearly will be worse with his idiot rent act and price control. But Cameron is very nearly the same he is just better at eating bacon butties. Cameron is for green crap, the climate change act, the climate change catastrophe religion, for ever higher taxes 299+ so far, pro ever more EU, for fake equality law drivel, for over regulation, for more pointless wars in Libya etc., for pathetically deceiving people on the “non halving” of the EU surcharge and for rating on the EU referendum promise and IHT thresholds ….

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Also he was for Lord Patten at the BBC, for firing Owen Patterson/Michael Gove and for keeping Ed Davey & Chris Huhne, Ken Clarke types and even re-employing the dodgy expenses person David Laws.

        What else do we need to know about Cameron he is simply not a Tory genetically. He even sent (or seems to have approved of sending) the dreadful John Major to Berlin to make a vacuous speech the other day. Why send some one who is such a proven disaster the reason is simple Cameron is just another John Major who speaks in full sentences.

        • Richard1
          Posted November 14, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          As you say,Miliband would be worse. That’s why we need a Conservative govt!

          • Tad Davison
            Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            Please don’t keep making me swear Richard, my wife keeps telling me off.


      • stred
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        I can’t wait for a minority coalition of RedEd and Mrs Sturgeon’s MPs forgetting the last experience of rent control and security of tenure. The private rental sector is much larger now and a large part is owned by small landlords who realised that pensions were a rip off. They have overstretched and have very large mortgages. The result will be a housing market crash and many more thrown into a position of reliance on pension top ups or welfare. Then I will be able to sell my property without paying as much CGT and have enough left to leave the country.

    • Bob
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink


      Can you just remind us which party signed us up to the Maastricht Treaty without a referendum.

      Come to think of it, which party took us into the EEC without a referendum?

      And do you remember the debate in Oct 2011 as to whether we should have a referendum on our EU membership (the one where Dave imposed a three line whip to prevent a referendum)?

      Wasn’t this the same cast iron Dave who promised Parliament a vote on the EAW?

      More broken promises lies and spin from Mr Slippery and his sackful of greased weasels.

      • Richard1
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        The Maastricht treaty’s two main and worst clauses were the euro and the social chapter, both of which John Major got us out of. Cameron has got to his current position in steps I agree, but his current position is quite sensible – have a crack at renegotiation and back it up with a referendum. I can’t think why anyone who favours EU withdrawal would want a referendum now, the vote would surely be to stay in, removing any chance of an improvement in terms.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          Faith is a wonderful thing, and I too had faith in David Cameron. He wasn’t my first choice in 2005, but I said the job of leader needed to have someone with the delivery of a Shakespearian actor. It also needed sincerity to reconnect with the people and restore their confidence in the political process, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

          My view of David Cameron has changed. It has been shaped by the countless instances of ratting, of spin, of twisting things to make them sound like a success when they’re really a failure. So I’m curious. How come you haven’t seen the broken promises and the many flaws in his character too?


          • Richard1
            Posted November 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            Considering he is a coalition and our major trading partner, the EU, is in a disastrous downward spiral, I think Cameron is doing well on balance. The welfare reforms are clearly working – look at the employment stats. The school reforms are reversing 40 years of anti – educational egalitarian rubbish, and are popular where they are seen. Not enough has been done to cut spending and taxes are too high. My point though is what we do not want is a Labour govt. It is not true that there very little difference, Labour would be much much worse.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Richard the First –

      I agree with you there about UKIP, but at the coming election should I vote for John Redwood knowing that I generally agree with his polices, but know that he now seems to be marginalized to the back benches of the Conservative party?

      I also have no confidence on his current record that CMD will actually implement any thing that he promises. Either he will prevaricate that the “referendum lock” is not relevant in particular circumstances or that the coalition partners will not let it happen.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Your only real hope is that something goes so terribly wrong in the EU that it becomes a no-brainer to leave, even for Cameron, and to rely on that to correct the situation is a shame really.
        Far better to be first out than on the edge prevaricating or talking with head turned both ways, whether UK in the EU or a Conservative MP.

      • Hope
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        I will vote UKIP because Cameron has failed to deliver on the economy, EU, immigration, public services, law and order, deporting foreign criminals. He has caused devastation and human suffering in Libya with the resultant mass immigration across the Mediterranean to Europe. Left unchecked by Miliband he would have done the same in Syria. Broken promises and U turns too many to list like no direct or indirect bail outs to EU countries. Failing to negotiate anything for this country in return for the EU treaty change for the fiscal pact. Overseas aid could provide much needed help to public services or the elderly. HS2 which is economically illiterate and hides the report from the public so we are not able to make up our own minds, in contrast claiming he has the most open transparent govt! He forced through gay marriage without a mandate but claims he cannot implement some of his manifesto promises. He gave the LibDems 50 percent when they had 9 percent of the vote. You name it he has failed to deliver on it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Well if I ware in a position to vote I would support the circa one hundred JR type of sound (& proven consistently right) Tory MPs. Being sound on the EU they are unlikely to be unseated by UKIP anyway.

        In other places I would probably vote for the best stop Labour/Libdem/Green loon candidate. If I had an MP like Ken Clark, Major, Hesetine, Hurd, Cameron or anyone associated with this modernising, one nation, Tory Reform Group sorts then I would vote for the best stop the Tory candidate (probably UKIP).


  5. MIke Stallard
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    “I asked the Home Secretary to make arrangements for extradition from the rest of the EU as we do for the rest of the world, by an Extradition Treaty. ”
    This is the first bit of sheer common sense that I have heard.

    Out here what happened stinks.
    Giving away our historic rights without a proper debate is not what we out here in the provinces expect from our elected representatives.
    Forget the blame. This is something that badly needs fixing and very very fast.

  6. Mondeo Man
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Oppositions are meant to oppose, alas we don’t really have oppositions now, do we.

    “Time and again on Europe they just play smoke and mirrors. They promise a vote, then only pretend to have one. They promise their backbenchers they will opt out of lots of EU justice cooperation, when in fact they know we need to work with other countries to catch criminals. And they pretend to have done deals on EU funding when they haven’t saved a penny.
    “Why can’t they just be straight with people? We need the European Arrest Warrant and we should vote for it. All this tricky game playing means its no wonder people don’t trust David Cameron on Europe.”

    Ms Cooper before the ‘debate’.

    The real question is did Mr Cameron and Ms May get the opt in that they wanted ? If not the bad exposure that came with it.

  7. Livelogic
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    What on earth is driving all three LibLabCon parties to opt in to such dangerous, anti-liberal and against all natural justice measure? Furthermore to do it with such antidemocratic tricks, dishonesty and lack of open debate.

    It seems the Rosseta probe has landed badly and somewhere dark so the batteries will run out. Oh well it was never really going to produce much information of any real use anyway. We have some pictures of rock I suppose, a billion here a billion there.

    Someone dope defended almost entir pointless £1bn expenditure on the grounds that the £billion did not go to the comet but was spent on earth. Just as if they had all dug holes and filled them in again. A huge opportunity cost is lost, lots of clever scientist could have been doing something far more useful for humanity. On say malaria, clean water, basic medical care, nutrition, vaccines, antibiotics, roads, more efficient engines, batteries, cars, better energy production, bridges, anti virus treatments ….. The £1Bn might have saved between say 1000 and 10 million lives perhaps instead of pictures of a rock. Were these lives worth the pictures we got?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Still £1Bn is far less than the circa 70Bn+ that the Department of Energy and Climate Change is wasting on the duff, un-environmental & uneconomic technology of wind farms, photo voltaic cells, electric cars and the bonkers climate change act.

      I see the education secretary Nicky Morgan (another law graduate – no shortage of them) has been going on about needed more scientists and STEM subject graduates particularly woman.

      The place that numerate and rational people are needed most is the house of commons. Then we would perhaps have rather more than three Tory MPs who voted against the patently absurd & job destroying climate change act. Needless to say Nicky Morgan was not one of the three.

    • stred
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Typical of an EU project. It had to be powered by green solar panels in a place without much sun, and it didn’t work. Any thought of a mini nuke ;ike the russians and Yanks used was unthinkable. It migh have polluted a lump of ice and rock.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        PV solar panels do at least make sense in space, unlike the silly roof panels heavily subsidised in cloudy England.

        • stred
          Posted November 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Solar panels make sense in space when near the Sun, not further away than Pluto.

  8. Ian wragg
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Morning John. I hope you have read Jeremy Warner in today’s Telegraph
    I believe he’s 100% correct and you and the rest of the ruling class are way off beam

    While you fiddle around with technicalities Europe sinks.
    What contingency measures has our dear leader put in place for the eventual collapse?

  9. Sandra Cox
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Let’s face it, many of our representatives in parliament aren’t interested in democracy for our country – they are only interested in their true country, the unaccountable, soon to be “Federal Republic of Europe” and what it can bring to them as individuals or to their contacts in big business.

    We now have an army of individuals and organisations sucking at the teat of UK taxpayers who are bearing the brunt of drastic culture changes in order to provide these leeches with cheap labour and an increasing stream of consumers. To add insult to injury, the taxpayer is bailing out these companies, or subsidising their wage bills – stand up the banks, arms, oil, green industries – although I should point out that there are many other high street brands to choose from!

    John, whatever the rights and wrongs of the EAW and the promised debate, this fiasco demonstrates, yet again, the utter contempt many of our parliamentary representatives, on both sides of the House of Commons (and the other place), have for the sovereignty of our country and its democratic processes.

    Drastically, for many of us, regardless of our political persuasions, it also demonstrates the allegiance many of the “guardians” of our country have to the unaccountable EU.

    “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” Augustine of Hippo

  10. Richard1
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Why has the shameful behaviour of left wing Labour MP John McDonnell, who has reportedly called for the ‘lynching’ (ie a murderous attack on) Tory MP Mrs McVey, not been subject to police investigation, or at least why hasn’t he been chucked out of the Labour Party? Imagine if a Tory MP ‘in joke’ called for a violent attack on a Labour woman MP, the item would be top of the BBCs news billing and the Tory MP would have been hounded out of the Party.

    Tony Benn, whose life these pathetic leftists (including BBC favourite Diane Abbott) were apparently commemorating would never have said such a thing. Wrong as he was on most great issues of his lifetime, Tony Benn was scrupulously polite and considerate to his opponents. Tony Benn didn’t need to be rude or violent in his language as he was highly articulate. McDonnell, Abbott and the others have disgraced the memory of Tony Benn.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Tony Benn’s main mistake like most socialist is that he did not understand human nature had he even been an employer or perhaps landlord he might have understood it rather better. You could clearly have a sensible argument with Benn unlike BBC favourite Diane Abbot just why is she one the BBC all the time she never has anything sensible to say? His son is, it seems, a far inferior career politician.

      He was right on the EU and democracy but he did waste vast sums on daft things like Concorde – still far cheaper than the climate change act. Like Cameron he seemed to like daft ideas such as gender insurance equality laws, minimum wages and rent controls and governments paying people to do nothing of any use.

  11. The PrangWizard
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I watched a lot of the debate and whilst I don’t understand the procedures of the House, the interventions from the Conservative side were almost all about the breaking of undertakings by Cameron and Mrs May to have a debate about the EAW; they were each quoted a number of times.

    You have mentioned the principle of parliamentary sovereignty almost in passing. The two individuals were accused of trickery and worse. The speakers all said they felt betrayed by their leader and their party in government. The Speaker of the House ruled that the debate would not be about the EAW. Yet no mention of this sense of betrayal and dispute about that here, I note; it would appear to have been written out of history. Gloss over it, blame everything on the opposition, or at least use a reporting style where reference to it could be missed by anyone who had not seen the debate.

    Is it anything to do with the by-election next week, and the GE in a few months? Party before principle?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Huh huh huh! And answer there came none!

      I urge people to look at Hansard (available online) and read the contributions from good, decent men like Bill cash and Richard Sheppard. Their fire was towards their own side.


      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 15, 2014 at 4:02 am | Permalink

        Indeed both are good men but so few of them in the Tory Party and so many on the Cameron/Heath/Major/Mathew Paris/BBC think wing.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted November 15, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        As was the admirable Jacob Rees-Mogg.

  12. DaveM
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    It just goes to show that the bland centrist coalition governments that work so well in Europe simply don’t work over here. Like it or not, this country’s government works better with two polar opposites on either side of the house. The be-like-Germany-with-a-coalition-govt experiment has failed. Another reason to stop trying to make us like a continental European country and get the hell out of the EU. And another reason for the Tories to become proper Tories again. Whichever way they vote, people in this country want the full package of left- or right- wing politics, not some wishy washy half-way house.

    Also, can we have an English Parliament please?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Dave wrote:

      ‘It just goes to show that the bland centrist coalition governments that work so well in Europe………..’

      I’m struggling with that one Dave.


  13. Old Albion
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Just one more example of the stupidity of two party(or more)adversarial politics. That puts points winning over the best deal for the country.

  14. A different Simon
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Surely this is just another way of saying that only UKIP are offering anything different ?

  15. A different Simon
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Things are getting pretty desperate when a Conservative back-bencher has to rely on a Labour opposition to stand up for liberty and freedom against the Govt .

    What does it say for MP’s principles when they won’t to resign the Conservative whip ?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink


      What does it say about the direction of a political party that withdraws the whip from its own MPs who have the foresight and the integrity to speak out against an undemocratic and damaging treaty, as with the Maastricht rebellion?


      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Indeed any who has gone to Berlin to make vacuous speeches (for Cameron?) but one John Major.

  16. yulwaymartyn
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    No. Entirely wrong.

    Labour want to have a debate in the House the day before the Rochester and Strood by election in order to emphasise the ideological differences between UKIP and the Tories. Whether you go along with it and express in the House your opposition to everything about the EU is your choice. Some would call that freedom of speech. Others would say that Labour has given you the option of speaking your mind in the House as opposed to the party that you support which has tried to curtail debate.

    Reply Labour curtailed the debate. They now wish to stage an Opposition Day debate for their own understandable political reasons, to remind us all how much they support opt ins to the EU.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      Then let them go ahead! Here’s Cameron’s big chance to show Labour up for what they are and to put clear blue water between them and his own party.

      Will that happen, or will he again prevaricate and fluster?

      It frustrates the hell out of me when I see politicians appear to champion one cause in order to cash-in on its popularity, but then secretly try to take their party in an entirely different direction for the most underhanded of reasons. Let’s see Cameron’s mettle and strength of character (if he has any).


    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      See Denis Cooper’ reply below. He has put it far better than I ever could.

      Your party’s action on this issue has been deplorable. There is no absolutely no need for you to follow it. To then try and blame the opposition for their EU stance is ridiculous. You are supposed to be an MP of independent mind and indeed on many issues you appear to be so; however this is one area where you are demeaning yourself if you follow the party line and risk ridicule from others on these pages if you then blame it on the Opposition.

      Reply I was asked to explain what happened, which I have done. It was Labour which decided to use the 6 hours available for the debate to debate procedural issues, not the underlying substance, and it was Labour which moved a motion which meant curtailing the debate whichever way we voted. This has not been explained in the press – one of the things I try to do here is to explain events free of the party spins. You know the other lines about Monday and have read them elsewhere.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted November 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        Who are you kidding?
        I watched the shameful farce brought about by your party in the HoC and you are definitely spinning on behalf of the Conservative party to create a false impression of events.
        May I remind you, and other readers, that you said in the House: “Many of us thought that we would have an opportunity today to debate the very weighty question of whether this country should opt back into 35 important measures relating to criminal justice, and put it under European Court of Justice and European Union control……..We welcome the Government’s wish to engage and to allow us a reasonable length of time in which to debate those matters, followed by a concluding vote at 10 pm, but you, Mr Speaker, have told us, very wisely and helpfully, that that is not what the business motion says, and, through you, I urge Ministers to consider amending it.”
        Your colleagues, for whom you now seem to be a self-appointed apologist, ignored your request and you actually voted with Labour and other MPs against the Business motion.
        I know Cameron likes to treat us all as fools but there is no need for you to emulate him.

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    We knew beforehand that Labour and the LibDems would support the Tory leaders on the EU Arrest Warrant against some number of rebel Tory MPs. That has been clear for a long time.

    We did not know whether there would be a separate vote on the EU Arrest Warrant or a single vote on a package of measures. You may recall that I repeatedly asked you that, JR, suspecting that May would bundle them all up and put them all to just a single vote; but as it turned out, the EU Arrest Warrant was not even part of the bundle presented to the Commons by May even though she tried to pretend that somehow it was.

    The Speaker did his job by clarifying that in response to MPs, and not just Labour MPs, highlighting out that any vote on May’s motion would not in fact be the vote on the EU Arrest Warrant that May and Cameron had repeatedly promised both verbally and in writing. Not just a debate on the EU Arrest Warrant, JR, but a substantive vote.

    You may also recall that I asked on this blog several times whether there was actually any legal necessity for a substantive vote on the EU Arrest Warrant or it would be more in the nature of a courtesy to MPs, given that Hague had deliberately excluded this issue from his so-called “referendum lock” law, the European Union Act 2011, so that did not create any need for the government to even get a motion passed by Parliament before it told the EU Commission that the UK was opting back into the EU Arrest Warrant.
    My disgust with most of those we have in the House of Commons has plumbed new depths with this contemptible episode, an episode in which the main culprits are May, Cameron and also Hague, not the Speaker and not the Opposition.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Exactly Denis!

      Hence my posts of earlier his week. Try as they might, they can’t twist it. The facts are the facts, the truth is still the truth.


      • Hope
        Posted November 15, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Cameron demands that we move on, the Govt. won the vote!

    • acorn
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Denis, I expect you read Hansard as I did. It would be difficult for the average citizen / voter to understand what was happening during that Monday episode of Punch & Judy. It would be understandable if 64 million Brits had said, WTF has this got to do with me and my family? The disconnect between W&W (Westminster and Whitehall) is now so large, it is difficult to see how the little people can ever reclaim their country from these political carpet baggers and snake oil salesmen.

      There is no mechanism, outside of a military coup, to change any of this malfunctioning malfeasance. Getting the “executive” out of the “legislature” would be a start; electing the PM, (and his appointed cabinet), on a separate national popular vote would help.

      Legislation properly constructed in select committees before it gets to HoC. Primary elections where the candidate chooses a party manifesto he prefers, if any, rather than parties telling us which of their tethered candidates we will be allowed to vote for.

      Alas, as far as the UK voter is concerned, the above is mere trivia compared to voting for Strictly-Come-Big-Brother-X-Factor-Dancing. Mass ignorance gets what it deserves. History tells us that all empires decline this way. Nature has decided it’s our turn now.

  18. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Some in the Labour Party support the EAW except when it is applied to people they approve of such as Julian Assange in which case they say the government should ignore it.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    JR: “The Opposition thought it could do harm to the government by playing games with procedure.”

    You are being, as usual, partisan and rather disingenuous. The shambles on Monday was of your party’s making, you knew it then, you know it now but attempt to portray a different impression.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg informed the House during the debate, Conservative MPs received communications from the Whips Office; section 4 of that document on that day’s business said: “We then move to a motion to approve the draft Criminal Justice and Data Protection (Protocol No. 36) Regulations, which includes the European arrest warrant.”

    Angela Eagle advised the House :
    ‘On 29 October, the Prime Minister said:
    “I am not delaying having a vote on it”—that is, the European arrest warrant—and:
    “There will be a vote on it.”
    He went on to say that “we are going to have a vote, we going to have it before the Rochester by-election”’

    Even Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con) said: “Many of us thought that we would have an opportunity today to debate the very weighty question of whether this country should opt back into 35 important measures relating to criminal justice, and put it under European Court of Justice and European Union control……..We welcome the Government’s wish to engage and to allow us a reasonable length of time in which to debate those matters, followed by a concluding vote at 10 pm, but you, Mr Speaker, have told us, very wisely and helpfully, that that is not what the business motion says, and, through you, I urge Ministers to consider amending it.”

    You then proceeded to vote against your government’s business motion along with MPs of many parties.

    Just who was playing games with procedure?

  20. NickW
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Once again the Referendum Lock and the promise of a referendum if significant powers are transferred to the EU is exposed as another Cameronian lie.

    The result of Parliament completely ignoring the will of the electorate can be seen in the opinion polls, with both major parties in our two party system losing their support.

    An explanation for Lib Dem and Labour policy on Europe will come when we see both Miliband and Clegg climbing on to the EU gravy train just as Kinnock did after he lost the election. But why are so many Conservatives determined to hand over power to the EU and leave British citizens unprotected from the flawed legal systems of many EU countries? Why is our Parliament no longer protecting us?

    What we have is a corrupt Parliament. The leaders of our political parties have been bought by the EU. Bought with our money.

  21. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Today there is a story on the Telegraph web site about a student who says she was raped in night club during a college trip to Florence. She, rather foolishly as it turns out, reported the matter to the police. She now stands accused of lying and faces immediate extradition to Italy and the possibility of 12 years in jail.

    I expect my government to defend its citizens from things like this. Not just hand people over to foreign justice systems where, due to language difficulties, they have no idea what is happening to them.

    I have to say this makes me bloody furious with our politicians and their endless bleating about protecting us from terrorism.

    It seems if you are in an EU country and you are the subject of criminal activity, you had better keep quiet in case you get accused of something yourself. If they keep on like this people will simply refuse to go abroad. Is the EAU a ploy to get people to take their holidays in the UK?

  22. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Note to all you dyed in the wool Tory supporters – and Labour supporters. An opposition that does not oppose – welcome to the future. After the next election there will be a coalition of those on the left of the Tory party with those on the right of the Labour party. These Europhile, ‘big state’, ‘high tax’, ‘borrow and let our kids pay it back’ MPs will form a majority and will beat off any movement for change brought by the Greens, UKIP, the Scottish Nationalists, Plaid Cymru etc.

    I feel now that the Labour and Tory parties are monkeys on the backs of the British people. Think long and hard about who you vote for as an MP.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink


      I share your anger and disgust .


  23. adams
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The LibLabCon want us ruled by the EU and the Judicial arms of the EU octopus . What was there to talk about ? Nothing . They might as well have had the vote first .
    Worthy speeches from members of the worthless Parties in WasteMonster no longer have us fooled . LibLabCon deserve no support . In Gods name GO .

  24. Bert Young
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Where the blame lies for the mess last Monday I can only guess at . Michael Gove and Theresa May between them certainly ought to have presented the debate in such a way to have allowed the proper inclusion of the EAW in its own rights . I only saw the closing stages on television and witnessed what I considered to be a travesty of our parliamentary procedures . Naturally Bercow was delighted to rub the salt in the wound and react to the opportunity . I sympathise with the “revolters” who must feel genuinely cheated – not only in not having their vote on the bit that mattered but on the grievous way the whole affair was managed . There has to be another effective way for them to action and respond – the matter is too important to be kicked into the long grass .

  25. NickW
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Can I ask please, what is the state of play on “English votes for English Laws”?

    My reason for asking is that the polls are showing that most of the Scottish Labour MPs will be replaced in 2015 by SNP MPs; Sturgeon has ruled out any kind of deal with the Conservatives, and Parliament is determined through the influence of Miliband and Clegg (again) to block any reasonable and pragmatic solution.

    This matter has to be revisited urgently, because England now faces the very real prospect of being governed by SNP Socialists.

    And the English won’t stand for it.

    Reply Coming soon I am assured by Mr Hague, who is still in discussion with the other parties about it.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      “Coming soon” along with Cameron’s speech on immigration, the vote on the EAW, the elimination of the deficit…….

  26. ChrisS
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I hate to say this but I’m rapidly coming round to the conclusion that we will get nowhere with reforming our relationship with the EU unless we have at least one strong, credible party which puts the anti-EU case in a cohesive manner.

    Currently we have three parties dominant in both houses of Parliament, all of whom have leaders who are wedded to the EU and at least two who are supporters of continuing immigration. At the same time. at least 50% of the population are against the EU and at least 75% want immigration reduced to a minimum. This is not democratic.

    There will come a time when this will be put right but it could well be very messy and will involve a period of economic difficulty because it will probably happen under Labour, SNP and/ or the LibDems.

    Unless the Conservatives get their act together over the next six months and completely destroy Miliband, it may be that Labour and the SNP will form the next Government.

    If so this will cause huge trouble in England and will force a realignment Right of Centre in our Country.

    Cameron will rightly not survive and, hopefully, the Right in the Conservative Party will realign themselves with the sensible and intelligent side of UKIP.

    We will then have a proper Right of Centre party ready to take over when Miliband’s Government is forced to resign when they need SNP votes to get an English budget through the House.

  27. Tad Davison
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I also remember the words of US Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz who said – ‘When in command – command!’

    That means acting decisively, with a clear objective, and taking responsibility when it doesn’t go right.

    The fact is, last Monday’s so-called ‘debate’ on the European Arrest Warrant could and should have been handled so much better by the government. The opposition, being what they are, were always going to be spanner in the works, so it was crazy not to take proper account of that propensity and then give them any latitude whatsoever.

    A lot of MPs are still very sore over that debacle, and it isn’t unreasonable to blame the government most of all.

    Tad Davison


  28. forthurst
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    “All it achieved by this was to deny those of us who wanted to make a fundamental case against the opt ins and the Warrant several hours of time to do so.”

    What actual difference did that make to the outcome? Democracy is not served through the utterence of fine speeches when the overwhelming majority wear earmuffs, but in the casting of votes in favour of just laws.

    There is no clear blue water; that is a mirage which is only observable from within the Westminster bubble; from out here, they are almost all equally dangerous and deluded, ignorant of history, science and anything that really matters, as they go about destroying our centuries’ old freedoms, our identity as a people, our economic future whilst bound to a collapsing European superstate, our very survival in any form recognisable to our forebears.

  29. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    It was not a clumsy intervention It highlighted the problem of T May trying to run 11 opt ins without being checked . The result was the only option to get anything through which resembled the UK taking powers back .It is doublethink and you know it.

  30. Rod
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    A test run for Cameron if he is re-elected next year. When he comes back from Brussels in 2017 waving a piece of paper at Heathrow saying he has has made such progress on changing our fundamental relationship with the EU there is no longer any need for a referendum, as we cannot only decide how curved our cucumbers are, but our bananas as well. Brussels have made it quite clear there cannot be any significant changes to our relationship within the EU.

    Cameron will state: I’m now going to repeal all EU referendum acts as soon as possible. Labour and the Lib Dems will agree to vote with the Conservatives while a small minority from the Conservative anti-EU wing, MP’s such as yourself and UKIP will vote against it as Cameron gets ready to sign the next EU treaty that makes us a province of the new EU superstate, the adoption of the Euro and leaving the Houses of Parliament about as powerful as my local parish council.

    This is much more plausible than anything Cameron and the pro-EU majority of the Conservative party have said to date, and who will never want to see any changes to what was explained in Foreign Office document FCO 30/1048 of the mock Conservative anti-EU stance while getting on with ‘ever closer union’. It has worked very effectively for them for the last 40 years, so we are where we are now, so why would they want to change?

    The reality is that no-anti-EU Conservative MP is allowed anywhere near the levers of power and having a small anti-EU wing works very well in getting the ‘useful fools’ in the electorate, to vote for them, where they think they are voting for an anti-EU party.

    Reply Nonsense. A Conservative majority wold know it had won owing to its promise of a referendum and we would make sure there was one.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      And Cameron et al would make sure that we stay in the EU.

  31. Richard
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    “On Monday we once again saw how Parliament cannot work well if the Opposition refuses to oppose.”

    It is not the job of the Opposition to oppose. Neither is it the job of MPs in the governing party to vote blindly for Government proposals.

    It is not the job of Government or Opposition leaders to whip their MPs into voting the way they see fit.

    All Parliamentary votes should be “free votes” and it should be the job of all MPs to represent their constituents and not their party.

    Reply It is the job of parties to advise MPs of how the party would like them to vote – how else can a party deliver promises made in its Manifesto and offer effective government. It is the job of MPs to decide when and if they should refuse to follow the whip line.

    • waramess
      Posted November 15, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Unusually your reply seems am bit confused because if you add the caveat, as you do, that “It is the job of MPs to decide when and if they should refuse to follow the whip line.” then you tacitly acknowledge that the party may be unable to deliver that promise, whatever that may be.

      We might conclude therefore the “party” may well make promises in their manifesto that they are unable to deliver but presumably satisfy by presenting it to Parliament for their consideration.

      If that is the case then Richard it right in every respect and MP’s would be perfectly in order to vote as their constituents would like rather than as their party might wish.

  32. Richard
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately the country has reached a position where both Conservative and Labour policies on major issues are almost identical, albeit for completely different reasons, and this is why we are seeing no effective opposition.

    Labour simply wish to bribe the voters and spend money. The fact that this impoverishes the country as they finally run out of money is seen by them to help their cause.

    The Conservative Party is controlled by the corporates.

    So Labour were happy to spend vast sums on expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Conservative Party did not oppose this policy as this meant big military contracts for their corporate backers.

    Labour are pro EU as membership impoverishes the UK whilst the Tory corporates are very happy to use the EU to be able to move jobs, workers and profits where they wish.

    Labour introduced the CCA as an excuse to create further hardship and poverty through expensive and unreliable energy and the corporates are very happy to accept the subsidies for windfarms and the possibility to supply emergency power at unbelievably high prices when the wind fails to blow.


    The country will be destroyed unless the voters who care about the country start to vote differently and do not fall into the trap of voting for the party that they feel does less damage.

    Reply The Conservative party does not represent or rely on the large corporations. These multinationals do not fund the party and often have different views and interests to ours.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      I urge everyone to watch Peter Oborne’s excellent documentary in the Despatches series, freely available on YouTube. It shows the amount of lobbyist money that goes into UK electoral campaigns.

      Cameron said that lobbying is the next big scandal. It surely needs to be, but I’d say it looks like it has conveniently been swept under the carpet where the public can’t see it.


    • Richard
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply :

      If Oppositions are meant to oppose why did the Conservative Party not oppose the Iraq and Afghan wars ? Or the Climate Change Act ?

      Two further examples :

      Working credit : Loved by Labour because it is another electorate bribe. Loved by the corporates because they can pay their staff less and increase their profits.

      HS2+ : Old technology which will be expensive to run and maintain and is not the way forward for communications. Loved by Labour as it means a further 50 to 100 billion can be added to our national debt whilst at the same time giving the opportunity to import even more foreign workers. Loved by the corporates as they can make good profits on the whole project for the rest of the EU/world.

      Reply I quite agree. I tried to get the Conservatives in opposition to oppose Iraq and the Climate Change legislation.

  33. Vanessa
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    And you wonder why a large majority of people in this country as so fed-up and disengaged with politics when we have such criminals in charge of decent honest Englishmen ? You are all a waste of space.

    I hear you are thinking about “trying to listen” to the voting public as to why most don’t. Perhaps you should look at yourselves first before you blame us. YOU took away our democracy it no longer exists, unless, of course, you are so idiotic as to think one X every 5 years is democracy – I don’t.

  34. Alan Wheatley
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    The Government’s contemptuous method of tabling the debate was matched by the Oppositions contemptuous method of opposition. This was one of the debates I managed to watch live, and I could not believe what I was seeing.

    After a while I reckoned I had a better idea of what was happening than confused Members in the Chamber seeking clarification from the Speaker! I have never seen Bill Cash so angry.

    This was a prime example of why people have lost trust in politics and do not bother to vote. In any event, not for the LibLabCon!

    My sympathies to those Members who did want a proper debate and were badly let down by their parties. I though the Speaker did as good a job as it was possible for him to do.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:50 pm | Permalink



  35. John Robertson
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    That’s interesting and sounds right, some journalistic comment suggested collusion of the Speaker to Labour. I think Labour hoped for a political victory but really don’t think this topic resonates with the public. Generally a loss all round, political tomfoolery with no benefit to anyone in the end. It maybe what the Scots have found with Labour up north, they play their own game and don’t want to listen or recognise the wants of the local people as its all centrally managed as Johann Lamont expressed. Just as they don’t want English MPs only voting on English matters. This doesn’t play well for Labour either.

  36. Malcolm Edward
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    I thank you and those of your colleagues who voted against transferring powers to the EU. I am grossly disappointed and sickened that a conservative government wishes to retain the EAW and the undermining of habeas corpus, leaving British citizens with no protection against the possibility of extradition without any prima facia case by foreign jurisdictions. The Labour and Lib Dem parties have repeatedly demonstrated their disloyalty to the interests of their electorate over a very long period, but now the bulk of the conservative MPs have joined them. Unfortunately it is evident that there are too few conservative MPs who place the sovereignty of our country and the protections of its citizens higher than their devotion to the EU. For me the conservative party is now a lost cause, on this and many other matters. I wish you and your like minded colleagues well. I despair for our country.

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page