Lots of jobs


The employment figures have been goods news for many months. Yesterday’s figures mean that 2million new jobs have now been added since 2010. The UK economy is in marked contrast to southern and western Euroland, where high unemployment remains entrenched and where there are precious few new jobs being created.

Yesterday also saw praise for the UK from the IMF boss. The IMF themselves are not immune to making poor forecasts or for giving bad advice on what to do next . This time they gave a sensible comment on what has happened. They noted that the UK has been much more successful at achieving growth than the rest of Europe, and agreed that the UK had made some good calls on the pace of deficit reduction and how to reduce it.

The task ahead is to generate still more jobs. It is to generate better paid jobs. It is to raise the skill level, and to resume productivity growth. It is to create a climate for more industrial growth as well as service sector growth

The singe most important change to speed that process has to be a major change to our energy policy. The UK needs to distance itself from the job destroying dear energy policies of the EU, and have a UK policy based on the pursuit of greater self sufficiency in energy provision.

The position in the Euro area is weaker in many ways. Their overdependence on wind energy will become a particular problem, burdening them with much dearer energy than their leading competitors. Japan and China are putting in large quantities of coal based  electricity production, which is presently much cheaper. As if the disaster of the Euro was not enough, the EU has hit upon another way of destroying jobs and giving the advantage to the competitors.

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  1. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Yes but how many of those jobs have gone to foreigners or British nationals who were not born here?

    • agricola
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      If they have and I do not doubt it, better look at our failed education system and in some cases work ethic than to scapegoat well qualified immigrants.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Even George Galloway said that Labour’s record on education was poor and we didn’t get a lot for our money.


        • Hope
          Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          The cartel will not publicly admit the comprehensive system does not work. Blaire, Harman, Clegg, Gove and Cameron sent/send their children to state schools with exceptional records not near their home address. Everyone else has to take their chances on an equal footing to immigrants arriving.

          As for energy policy, JR is aware all three parties of the cartel have an agreed stance. They all supported the Climaye a Change Act, which normal intelligent people want revoked. Not sure why JR keeps banging the door to the empty house of his leadership?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        I don’t see how she trying to “scapegoat” anybody just by asking for some factual information. And if anybody was to be blamed afterwards, it would not be the people exercising rights granted to them by politicians but the politicians who granted those rights.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, Agricola.

        I don’t buy that poorer educated bit (though I don’t doubt there are examples of it.) I see new arrivals given proper apprenticeships that perfectly capable UK citizens are qualified for and are desperate to do.

        The whole imported unskilled labour issue is underwritten with taxpayer subsidy in one way or another. It is not cheap. It is uneconomical as the increasing national debt attests.

        When Margaret Thatcher told us we needed to compete in the global market we understood and embraced the message and knuckled down to it.

        What we didn’t expect, however, was that successive governments (especially the Tories under Major) would invite the global market to live here and compete with us, subsidising it to undercut us with our own money !

    • libertarian
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Dame Rita Webb

      “Yes but how many of those jobs have gone to foreigners or British nationals who were not born here?”

      I can answer that, just under 2%

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        2% of what?

        • libertarian
          Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink


          Just under 2% of the 31 million jobs are done by immigrants.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 19, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            Where did you get this number from, your own facts?
            According to The Migration Observatory from the University of Oxford The share of foreign-born persons in total employment increased from 7.2 % in 1993 to 15.2% in 2013. In 2013, foreign-citizens made up 9.3% of total employment, up from 3.5% in 1993. The share of recent migrants in total employment increased significantly in recent years although it declined slightly since 2008, possibly due to the global economic recession, but increased slightly in 2013.

          • libertarian
            Posted April 19, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink


            I got my numbers from the ONS report. Oh and foreign born persons aren’t necessarily immigrants.

      • ian wragg
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        2% indeed. Of a workforce of 30 million that would be 600,000. The last years gross immigration was that figure so we can assume that over the 5 year period, almost 3 million arrived on these shores.
        that leaves 2.4 million to be catered for either on benefits or not registered to work. Add to that the 3 million plus that labour admit too and your 2% looks a little stupid. No doubt you are in favour of mass immigration.

        • libertarian
          Posted April 19, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          ian Wragg

          I know you can’t cope with facts, but I just stated the facts thats all. less than 2% of the current workforce are immigrants.

          As to flows of immigrants in general, i think you need to apply more thought. immigrants come AND immigrant GO. Where I live ( Kent) we are the main entry point to immigrants entering the country both legally and illegally. In central Kent we’ve had more than 160 French companies relocate here since Hollande took up residence in France. Those French companies have bought a small core of immigrants however they employ far more local people.

          Your analytical powers are awful . How about this as a way of looking at it too of the 600,000 working they have 2 dependents each thats 1.8 million people working under their own steam. Also take out the independently wealthy ( you know the ones everyone whines about not paying enough tax) and the retired.

          I believe that there is no excuse or reason for allowing immigration into the country and then giving benefits. We should welcome people on work visas only. Your 3 million figure really is stupid, and wrong here are the actual facts

          There are ( 2014 figures) 131,000 EU nationals claiming benefits
          There are ( 2014 figures) 264,000 non EU nationals claiming benefits, that adds up to a total of 395,000 !

          Rather than obsess about foreigners why not focus on why 1.8 million British people aren’t working when we have more than enough well paid jobs for them?

    • forthurst
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      …and how many jobs went to the approx 1.5 million people who were not even living in this country in 2010? Importing unskilled people, applying more downward pressure on the wages of indigenous workers does not increase GDP per capita, does increase the bill for tax and housing benefit, does increase the profits of foreign corporations and does not typically increase income from corporaton tax which is normally paid in Ruritania.

      • sjb
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        The ultimate beneficiaries of housing benefit are often private landlords, most of who vote for the Conservative Party. Also, some councils make cash payments of up to £4k to private landlords prepared to take on council-vetted tenants.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 19, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        No, it must 100%, if you recall “We are all immigrants” …

        Seriously, on the one hand you have advocates of mass immigration claiming that 40% of the people working in the NHS are immigrants, it would collapse without them, how lucky we are to have them; and as it is said that the NHS employs 1.7 million:


        that would be 680,000; but on the other hand you are now citing statistics which together mean that in total under 620,000 jobs are being done by immigrants, which would actually leave negative scope for immigrants to be working anywhere in the economy other than in the NHS.

        When I add up the annual gross immigration figures for the past five years I get a total of 2.8 million. OK, for some reason the government chooses to class British citizens returning to their own country after a period abroad as being immigrants, and for some reason the government also chooses to treat students nominally coming here for limited period of study as being immigrants, but there’s a big difference between that 2.8 million and your 0.6 million immigrants having jobs.

        But taking it as being just 2%, for the sake of argument, roughly speaking is that not 2% more on the unemployment rate, which would otherwise now be more like 3.6% rather than 5.6%?

        • libertarian
          Posted April 19, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Denis Cooper

          No No No No No HOW many times do I have to tell people this?

          WE DO NOT have a shortage of jobs. There are currently 750,000 unfilled job vacancies today, that is steadily rising. Unemployment has NOTHING to do with a shortage of jobs. The unemployed are made up of people who are unable, unskilled, unemployable or unwilling plus a huge number who want to work but just do not go about trying to find a job in the right way. We currently have 600,000 long term unemployed.

          The reason that immigrants are being employed is because its so difficult to find enough UK citizens to do the work. We now have a shortage of HGV and PSV drivers for instance. Oh and before anyone comes out with the nonsense about undercutting pay rates, its tosh.

          The official figures from NHS show that 11% of staff are non British ( India, Philipines & Ireland being largest representatives)

          How many qualified surgeons, Doctors, Dentists, midwives and nurses do you think are currently claiming JSA and unemployment benefits?

          The problem with work in the UK isn’t immigrants, isn’t ZHC, isn’t low pay. Its a lack of people who are employable in the right jobs.

          Despite what the Labour Party say we have NOT created low skilled jobs, in fact low skill/no skill jobs are declining, we are an advanced economy with advanced jobs. Yet everyone is obsessed with the small bottom end of the market and the people who choose to work on flexible arrangements.

          By the way I’m not in favour of mass uncontrolled immigration for a number of reasons, but currently the job market isn’t one of them.

          • K Moore
            Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            ‘We have NOT created low skilled jobs, in fact low skill/no skill jobs are declining, we are an advanced economy with advanced jobs’

            It’s odd then that as so many ‘advanced jobs’ have been created, tax revenues and productivity remain stubbornly low while in work benefits are rising.

          • libertarian
            Posted April 21, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

            K Moore

            Tax revenues have risen.

            The fact that politicians give away taxpayers money has no reflection on the earnings of engineers, CAD designers, IT, digital, pharma, scientific, medical, graphic, software, web design, app makers, Ecommerce specialists, accountants, nurses, lawyers,media, telecoms, insurance brokers, marketers, HGV/PSV drivers, teachers, sales and bankers plus the 100’s of other new high tech high paying jobs.

            Productivity is an interesting one, none of the economists that I’ve spoken to ( quite a few) can explain why it is not growing faster. Personally I think its the criteria used to asses productivity doesn’t suit the new economic market place.

            Whatever its still a fact that average wages are rising and are now over £27k pa. That we have 750,000 unfilled job vacancies mostly in the sectors highlighted above and that we are on course to create another 2 million new jobs.

            There is also the little matter that we have the highest number of people in employment EVER at 31 million and rising.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 19, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        I make that 2.8 million by adding up the gross immigration figures for the past five years, not 1.5 million.

        • Ken Moore
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          Taxes keep falling short of expectations, the budget deficit persists, the government now spends £25bn on “in-work” benefits given to working people whose wages are simply too low for subsistence.

          ’31 million jobs’ doesn’t tell us anything useful about the state of the economy but the dire state of the Uk’s current account deficit does. The point is we aren’t producing enough jobs that help us export globally marketable goods – at the moment we are living on tick and not paying our way in the world.

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood does not explain how he is to achieve productivity growth with a seemingly unlimited supply of cheap labour subsidised by generous in work top ups. Anyone ?

      Net migration at current levels has seen the population increase by 1.25 million since 2010 – how many of these new jobs have gone to those already settled here ?
      The number of foreign-born people of working age in the UK more than doubled from 2.9 million in 1993 to slightly more than 6 million in 2013′.

      ‘Compared to the early 2000s, the presence of foreign-born workers has grown fastest in relatively low-skilled sectors and occupations’.

      So we have vast numbers of migrants doing low skilled/low paid jobs, concentrated in the most overcrowded areas, that probably wont result in a net benefit to the country in terms of money paid into the system.

      Yet the Conservatives think this record is something they can be proud of ?.


      • Timaction
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Total failure by the legacy parties to have any control over the 485 million who can come here from the EU. So they plan to build 200,000 houses a year on our greenbelt to house them and enough school places for 250,000 of their children, no Doctors or increase in health provision means queues will grow at the Doctors, Dentists, and A&E’s across this once green and pleasant land. English people have been well and truly shafted by successive LibLabCON Governments. During the debates Mr Farage was hounded because he didn’t agree with the legacy parties in giving away HIV and other expensive treatments to foreign people who chip up here. Can anyone advise which Country I can go to and get free healthcare without insurance cover? Utter madness from the cartel who don’t intend to do anything about this and would prefer to give away £12 billion more whilst we have 900,000 using food banks and many pensioners in fuel poverty. There is only one sensible party who want to Govern this Country by and for the people!

  2. Leslie Singleton
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    What is needed is a couple of dozen tidal lagoons spread all round the country. Get rid of HS2 and foreign aid of course. Yes I am sure harnessing the tides is (initially) expensive but I wonder what the total cost of the useless wind turbines is when subsidies are included. Oh and the lagoons will last forever and with minimal maintenance whereas wind turbines are going to start rusting and falling apart essentially immediately–at best each of the wretched things will have to be maintained individually at vast and continuing expense in inaccessible places to boot.

    • agricola
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Yes if you choose areas of high tidal range that are not fed by large rivers. You then avoid the silting problem and keep maintenance at an acceptable level. We need something like Portland harbour but on a larger scale. A dam across the entrance to Milford Haven might be considered.

    • stred
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Les. Suggest you read the book written by the previous chief technical advisor to DECC, Prof MacKay, Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air, available free off the net. Tidal lagoons can only provide a very small proportion of total energy requirements, owing to geography and physics, and at very high expense.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Exactly, they would need to be huge to generate much of significance, are hugely expensive and totally do the engineering and economics maths.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Dear stred–Too long for me and I couldn’t readily find a Summary but please see my response to Simon below.

    • A different Simon
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Leslie ,

      I was aware that the energy density of tidal was low but decided to do a back of an envelope calc . It appears to be so low that I am wondering whether I have made an error .

      Assuming a tidal range of 7m and a very steep beach , the volume of water in a full 1 km squared tidal lagoon using the shore as one side = 7,000,000 cubic metres .

      Density of sea water 1,020kg/m3

      Mass of water in a full 1 km squared tidal lagoon (or waiting to fill and empty 1km squared tidal lagoon) = 7,140,000,000 kg

      Constant for acceleration due to gravity 9.81 .

      Potential energy in a full/completely empty 1 km squared tidal lagoon

      = 7,140,000,000 X 3.5 X 9.81 = 245,151,900,000 joules = approx 245 billion joules

      If drained instantaneously at low tide , or filled from empty at high tide average “head of water” would be 7/2 = 3.5m

      The amount of potential energy which can be theoretically captured over the course of a day is 4 X the above i.e. approx 980 billion joules

      This is a theoretical maximum and would require the lagoon to be filled instantaneously at high tide and discharged instantaneously at low tide which of course is impossible . For arguments sake lets assume than 100% of the theoretical energy is converted to electricity for a consumer who needs it at high/low tide .

      By comparison , an AP1000 reactor electrical output power = 1,200 MW = 1,200,000,000 joules/second = 1.2 billion watts/second

      Seconds in a day = 86,400 .

      Joules electrical energy output in a day by AP1000 = 103,680 billion joules .
      i.e. one small compact nuclear reactor outputs over 100 times the theoretical maximum output of a 1km squared tidal lagoon .

      The practical maximum output of a lagoon is going to be less than 50% of the theoretical maximum .

      A single (as opposed to dual) tidal lagoon would be too dangerous for recreational use because it would have to be filled/discharged at artificially fast rates .

      I’m not saying that it couldn’t be done , just that I can’t see many suitable locations in this country and by the time local opposition has been overcome something better may have come along .

      • ian wragg
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        The study conducted independently regarding tidal power gives a figure averaging 19% of installed capacity. See Roger Helmers blog. Like wind, power is intermittent and not necessarily when you need it. For quite long periods when the water is slack there is little or no generation.
        Your calculations are similar to those given by the windmill developers and again they turn out to be on average 19% (and dropping) of installed capacity.
        Tidal lagoons are asking for an eye watering £148 per megawatt indexed linked. Sheer madness.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Dear stred & Simon

        Have you both looked at that article in the Guardian entitled “Should the UK be subsidising the world’s first tidal lagoons?” (easily findable) which involves a company willing to back what it believes with its own money no less.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 19, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Postscript–Just had another gander at the articles. One gives an estimate of 8% of UK’s needs being provided with six lagoons and seems to me those could be built twice over for the cost of HS2. I have never really got my head round why we need to talk about strike prices. Once the walls are built and owned by the Government (my idea of a good investment) why will the resultant electricity not be cheap to produce? In any event the proposed Swansea barrier is small and larger ones will have economies of scale. What would the Victorians have done?

          • A different Simon
            Posted April 19, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

            Each lagoon is different so talking about them in plural is meaningless .

            Remember that 8% of electricity production is only 2.66% of the UK’s overall energy consumption .

            A barrage over the Severn estuary would spell the end for migratory eels .

            Underwater turbines would generate a lot less energy than barrages but cause less environmental damage and be less of a hazard to shipping .

            A pilot project of 22 miles of underwater turbines between say Dover and Calais could provide proof of concept .

            If it was successful , an industrial sized scheme could be implemented between Grimsby and Scandanavia .

      • forthurst
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        ADS, Can it work both ways, in practice? What about an allowance for the height of the turbines? Proper power stations generate large amounts of electrical energy, in comparison, because that is what they are designed for.
        I’m out.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Tidal energy will still require vast subsidies, something that our fossil fuels didn’t need until the introduction of subsidy funded renewables which have to take first place on the grid. That’s when they are working at all of course. John is right in saying that Europe is strangling the creation of more jobs by using wind farms instead of fossil fuels. Utter madness and all encouraged by Millipede, Cleggie and Cameron. China and India will leave us all behind economically and we will know who to blame. Farage has yet again got the right idea. Abandon the whole stupid policy of renewables and get back to job creation and national wealth. It always amazes me that most of the commentators on this blog think Farage has all the good ideas but not many are voting for him. Why vote for a party with losing policies???? All 3 main political parties are leading us down the path of failure. When are we going to have the courage to change?

  3. alan jutson
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Yes moving in the right direction albeit slowly, but fast when compared to most others particularly in Europe.

    Shame that we are still importing people so that most of the demand is filled by them, and not by people already here, then we would have made real progress.

    Also shame that GDP/output per person has not risen, all growth being the result of more people here.

    Certainly agree we need to resolve our power situation to one which will give us enough supply, with a good safety margin, at a reasonable cost.

    The green solution sounds nice, but is simply not sustainable given we live in a competitive World.

    When alternative energy is both efficient in continuation of supply and cost, then that is the time to push for real change, in the meantime let the companies continue with their research on small scale projects, but not at the cost of closing existing plants/power Stations

    Will be interesting to see what the tidal barrier in Swansea and Cardiff will produce.

  4. agricola
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Everything you say here is true, and in particular your penultimate paragraph.

    Please explain why your leader, who has had a lot of money expended on his education both at school and university, cannot see this simple truth. Equally why does your party let him get away with his indulgence in all that he mistakenly sees good in our membership of the EU. On energy, alone and it’s direct relationship to the competitiveness of UK industry ergo jobs, he has been totally misguided to permit the windmill fantasy. The only industry to benefit has been those associated with making windmills. Where oh where is Don Quixote.

  5. JoeSoap
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately going into Coalition with the Libdems again will not help the Conservatives move in this direction.

    The opportunity of moving away from the EU is lost, as your party won’t go into Coalition with UKIP or even do a deal!

    So as a party you are on your own, with a past but no future and few friends. Fine words written here butter no parsnips as your party won’t move a jot from its “pretend to be a nice-person-socialist but get no credit for it” position. Your leader has bad judgement and little focus on the task he has. The cause for perhaps the 60%+ of the English who support a right-of-centre aspirational party which the Conservatives should be is lost. UKIP has tried to work with you, face up to you, and tell things as they are on TV when Cameron would prefer to be down the pub or chilling out somewhere else. You personally have been badly let down but you can’t see it. We have been badly let down and we can see it. The English public might forgive you but they won’t forgive your party in its present form.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink


      I’m afraid a coalition with UKIP would be pointless as UKIP will not get any more than 3 seats, so it won’t make any difference either way

  6. cliff. Wokingham.
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    In general terms, the increase in the number of jobs in the economy is good news, as indeed is the increase in the number of people in work however, as I have mooted on here before, for me there is a figure which is missing and yet, in my opinion, is more important: What are the figures for the total number of man hours worked within the economy and what are the the average number of man hours worked per worker? I apologise to the lefties for using the phrase man hours, but I cannot think of a more PC version to cover it:-)

    When I retired from nursing, I was on a Thirty seven and a half hours contract. I was replaced by two nurses each working Sixteen hours. This produced Two facts: (1) The number of nurses doubled. Two instead of One.
    (2) The total number of nursing hours decreased. Thirty two instead of Thirty seven and a half.
    I do wonder how much of this kind of distortion occurs in the official figures hence, why I feel the actual man hours numbers are more important.

    All of these “extra” nurses and Doctors which various parties are promising are going to come from where exactly? How can we recruit all these new nurses and doctors to cover longer GP opening hours unless we start to train very many more doctors and nurses? We need to train our own people to fill these clinical rolls, not rely on persons from overseas.

    Reply We normally quote full time equivalents to deal with this issue.

    • Cliff. Wokingham
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Thank you John but what are “Full Time” hours these days? Some government departments count Sixteen hours as full time, Mr Cameron talks about people who work Thirty hours a week as full time, in my working life time my basic full time hours have varied between Forty eight and Thirty seven and a half? The idea of full time equivalents can only work if we refer to a standard unit of hours.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink


      UK average weekly hours worked 38

      Germany 30

      France 31

      These are hours adjusted after holidays are taken

      More than 4 million people in UK work longer than 48 hours per week these tend to be self employed, SME owners, managers and professional

      • forthurst
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        “More than 4 million people in UK work longer than 48 hours per week these tend to be self employed, SME owners, managers and professional”

        …or just the sorts of people who do not fill in timesheets as there is no one to give them to.

        • libertarian
          Posted April 19, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink


          “or just the sorts of people who do not fill in timesheets as there is no one to give them to.”

          Whats your point? I think you’ll find managers and professional tend to work entirely by time sheets as do quite a few trades people

    • JoeSoap
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Also to the point, the 2 part-timers replacing you were probably less efficient (thinking about the other half of their lives, not in touch completely with the job in the way a full-timer would be, and struggling to communicate with patients who don’t speak the native language). When people look for the loss in productivity, this type of move typifies why it might have happened.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      My son is just about to start a six year course in medicine and can expect to come out with debts approaching £100,000. Who can blame him and many like him who will probably take their skills elsewhere once graduated so they are not clobbered by the anti-English tax system of the Con/Lab/Libs.

      UKIP have the right idea, free tuition fees for the STEMM skills – science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine, making it much more likely they will keep their skills here because they won’t be clobbered with an extra 9p income tax plus interest for most of their working lives.

      An idea much too sensible and conservative for the likes of Cameron and the rest of the wet, liberal Conservative party.

      • Chris
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        We are supposed to have a shortage of doctors, but there are many instances of UK residents who qualified as doctors not able to get a job in the UK, and hence have to uproot themselves and go elsewhere e.g. Australia/N Zealand. What sort of incentive is that for our medical students?

        • alan jutson
          Posted April 19, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink


          Ref, Plenty of Qualified Doctors in the UK.

          Yes have also seen this reported that they cannot get jobs and wonder why.

          Is it they are being too choosey, or is no one looking sensibly forward to future vacancies or demand.

          What a waste if we train people here, let them go abroad and then import from overseas.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink


      I’m sure you would have seen the cases in the Telegraph recently regarding agency nurses and doctors who get massive sums per shift, but for those who didn’t, I strongly suggest they look them up. It would be interesting thereafter to hear from those who don’t feel the NHS needs to be properly managed.

      Here’s a short personal anecdote. I have had more surgical operations than I can remember over many years. I had one in 2009, but wasn’t called back for a follow-up procedure. That made it necessary to do the original operation all over again in 2010. Again, I wasn’t called back for a follow-up procedure.

      In 2012, the senior consultant urologist at Addenbrookes looked at my predicament and said there’s only one really effective operation left open to him, and I duly went under the knife again, this time for six hours of reconstructive surgery, in a complicated operation that even a flagship NHS hospital like Addenbrookes only does three times a year.

      Two weeks later, I had an abscess develop which required an urgent re-admission as it burst all my stiches. They even had to get specialists in to figure out what to do because they were running out of drugs to fight the infection, and the grafted tissue was becoming gangrenous.

      To cut it short, I had three more operations afterwards and I am now ‘disfigured’ all because the pen-pushers couldn’t get their job right in the first place, and God alone knows how much it all cost.

      Whilst I love the NHS and will always fight its corner, there will always be parts of it that need to be run more efficiently, as my own case clearly demonstrates. We can’t just throw money at it, but somehow, criticism of the NHS has become taboo.


      • Bazman
        Posted April 19, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        The agencies get massive payments the nurses do not. There is a difference.

        • libertarian
          Posted April 20, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink


          Agency nurses in South East England get paid between £10.50 & £45 per hour ( band 6) depending on level and what shifts are worked. Agencies make an average mark up of around 10-15% out of which they have to fund workers benefits and entitlements.

        • cliff. Wokingham.
          Posted April 20, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink


          Agency nurses are very much the last resort these day…..Most hospitals run what is known as a Bank system where nurses and care staff sign up to cover shifts which suit them at very short notice. Many a time I had staff go sick at the last minute and had to cover a shift with just a few minutes notice. Once the bank list was exhausted, then it would be necessary to contact an agency.

          I wonder if Labour’s banning of zero hour contracts would, in effect, outlaw the bank nurse system and, if it did, would it cost the NHS more because they would have to go to the agency from the start? This is the law of unforeseen consequences, something which happens when politicians interfere in things they don’t fully understand. When I was still working, I was signed up to several “bank lists” in order to get extra shifts, often at a premium, to help me live a higher quality lifestyle.

          I have no problem with agencies making a few bob because they provide a service. Many nurses these days are fairly well paid compared to the wage levels of yesteryear because, I believe, it was seen as a vocation which people were expected to do for the love of it however, I don’t think nurses are badly paid these day especially in forensic mental health which was my field.

          Just out of interest Baz, what do you consider to be a reasonable level of profit for a nursing agency given how many hoops they need to jump through now and the number of costs to employ people they need to make?

    • Dennis
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood – what do mean by ‘normally?’

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been reading this:


      “Immigration and the National Health Service: putting history to the forefront”

      And it says straight off:

      “Since the 1930s, successive governments have recruited doctors, nurses and other health workers from overseas to work in UK health services”

      Why? Because the indigenous population was, and is, too stupid and lazy to be trained up in those roles, as some like to imply? No, it’s more because:

      “Since the 1930s, unplanned shifts in population growths, upturns and downturns in economic conditions, and changing political motivations have created and continue to create contingencies in NHS staffing for which successive governments were and are unprepared. It is clear that any government would find it very difficult to manage health manpower requirements by achieving equilibrium between migration and immigration flows. Shortages of health workers, especially doctors, are difficult to handle because of the lag time between the creation of training places and qualification.”

      And if you watched the last TV election debate you would have heard the Plaid Cymru woman

      a) complaining that compared to the rest of the UK poor old Wales is particularly hard done by with respect to the number of doctors, which if it is true at all is only true to a very marginal extent, apparently, with allegedly 2.67 rather than the UK average of 2.8 doctors per 1000 people:


      b) saying that Wales needs more doctors NOW, and it would take TOO LONG to train up Welsh people to become doctors.

      She could have added that even if more Welsh people were trained up as doctors there is no guarantee that they would choose to practise in Wales.

      Also in that TV debate Nigel Farage was accused of “demonising” immigrants, which seems a pretty strange allegation when in his autobiography as serialised by the Telegraph here:


      he mentions “a beautiful Dutch nurse” who held his hand after the 2010 plane crash, “She felt like an angel”, and refers to “my brilliant osteopath, Mr Gupta” and then to “Mr Bhupal Chitnavis, a top-dollar consultant neurosurgeon”.

      And it was said several times that 40% of NHS staff are immigrants, when according to the FullFact article linked above 79% of NHS staff are British nationals, with 10% known to be non-British and another 10% of unknown nationality, but not including GPs who are not actually NHS employees.

      Of course if a government was sufficiently unreasonable and stupid to instantly deport all the healthcare workers of recent foreign extraction then the healthcare system would collapse, unless they were also sufficiently inhumane and stupid to deport all the patients of recent foreign extraction, of which there are now many; but then nobody is suggesting that, apart perhaps from whatever remains of the BNP, it is just a fantasy created by rather small numbers of extremely selfish, and unpatriotic and anti-democratic, people who have either a personal financial or an ideological motivation for wanting unrestricted mass immigration and who are looking for whatever pretexts they can find to attempt to justify what they want over what the great majority of the established body of British citizens want.

      • Hope
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Simply excellent post. You should have added that the cartel keep lying about what Farage and UKIP actually says to portray the party in a bad light.

        Good to see Cameron in a head scarf to support the minoritynSikh religion while enforcing gay marriage to offend people who believe in Christianity!

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 19, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink



      • libertarian
        Posted April 20, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink


        Thats a reasonable analysis.

        The major problem has always been that the centralised workforce planning systems of the NHS is and always has been a shambles. A lot of foreign Doctors are in specialist areas that very little training has been provided for in the NHS. Oh and I also suspect that since the introduction of nursing degrees a lot fewer people have entered the nursing profession and therefore hiring experienced overseas nurses and midwives alleviate this problem without requiring them to have degrees as they have been in practice for many years.

        What would be interesting to know but so far I can’t find out is the breakdown. The NHS claim they have 11% of the identified workforce from overseas. They don’t break that down by function though so I’m not sure how many of those are non clinical staff.

        The GMC claim there are 97,000 overseas Doctors in practice in the UK. This number includes British born Doctors who obtained their qualifications overseas, and it includes all Doctors in private practice as well as the NHS.

  7. agricola
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Jobs are also affected by Worldwide trade agreements, another area where we go to the table with our hands tied behind our backs by the EU.

    Jobs would not be affected by exit from the political EU despite all the contrary propaganda that emanates from the pro lobby. The fact that they sell us more than we sell them is incentive enough on their part to let it continue.

    The quality of jobs in the UK is directly affected by the abundance of escapee low wage emigrants willing to take low, by UK standards, wages. I do not blame them, having had direct experience of industrial life in Romania. The EU could better employ it’s talents creating industry in Romania to avert the unhappiness of population movement. Thanks to our own political ineptitude we are seen as the Californian destination for all the dust bowl states of the EU, and other failed countries in the World via the porous borders of the EU.

    Job availability in the UK fishing industry has been totally screwed by adherence to the EU fishing agreements.

    The only plus side for UK jobs would appear to be in the UK legal industry which has expanded like a cancer to cope with all the health and safety claims, injury lawyers for you, and asylum seeking marathons. Much of all this comes out of EU membership.

    For me , getting out of the political EU is a no brainer, and that is before you consider the lack of democracy and sovereignty associated with membership. Hence my disillusionment with your supposedly well educated leader.

    • Hope
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Excellent post.

  8. Ian wragg
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    My wife works in the charity section and we see first hand some of these so called jobs. One 50 year old who has never worked and now has an 19 year old son has been told she is to be classified as self employed as a cleaner. She has been sent on numerous computer courses and she is classed as under training. My stepson is working for an agency on a hit and miss basis on minimum wage and a range of in work benefits. No wonder the welfare bill is rising.
    Yesterday early doors wind was supplying 400 mw or 0.8%. Laughable.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      “One 50 year old who has never worked and now has an 19 year old son has been told she is to be classified as self employed as a cleaner”

      Really, there are a few problems with that statement.

      If she has never worked why has your wifes charity employed her as a cleaner?

      Just because they tell her she’s self employed doesn’t make it true. If they are the only people she works for then she is employed whatever they think. It doesn’t matter if she’s a temp, part time or on a zero hour contract.

      She cannot be working AND classed as Training

      I have no idea why her having a 19 year old son as any relevance at all.

  9. Richard1
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    2 million jobs is a great achievement. Could we have a guest post by the motor mouthed left wing economist Danny Blanchflower who predicted 5 million unemployed, so he can issue a public apology and perhaps explain why he was so wrong and why he now accepts the coalitions ‘austerity’ has been a success? Or even from Ed Miliband and Ed Balls who expected 1 million job losses, not job gains (even though they now claim to be in favour of cutting the deficit by 2/3 during the next parliament – a policy which until last week they have been describing as ‘austerity’)

    There is far too much airtime going to the far left – the Scottish separatists and the ridiculous Greens, it’s almost taking the heat off Labour to explain why they have been quite so wrong.

  10. Mondeo Man
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Lots of people

  11. oldtimer
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    You are right about energy policy. A good place to start, for the next government, would be the adoption of UKIP`s eminently sensible energy policy, starting with repeal of the Climate Change Act. It will not happen, of course, as Establishment group think on this issue is set in stone.

    This Act, the quangos it established, the people carefully selected to run them, the subsidies which offer risk free, privileged investment opportunities for the few, the ROCs which pass the costs onto consumers as cleverly disguised taxation, the BBC`s grip on the accompanying propaganda barrage – all this and more is designed to preserve the status quo. It is all bonkers but no one within the Establishment has either the wit or the courage to dnounce it as such. Thus I think we will continue to be saddled with this nonsense for at least another five years.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Well done Ian for pointing out the obvious which our illustrious leaders cannot or will not see!! Why are we voting for any of them? There are other alternatives.

  12. Atlas
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    On the ‘opposition’ TV debate Farage got a lot of stick for trying to be numerate about our financial position as well as supply/demand in housing and immigration. I suspect had he been numerate about not only the (claimed) science of Climate Change but also the costs of all these alternative energy sources, he would have been heckled even more.

    Hi-ho, we could do with a good education system so that folks can think; and not just fantasise about the existence of magic money trees in order to solve all their problems.

  13. Iain Gill
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Energy is not the only issue. We need to do more to protect our intellectual property. We need to cut immigration. We need to enable the workforce to be more mobile. We need to do something about the large social housing estates left stranded when the employers they were designed to support shut down. We need to tax foreign businesses at least as much as UK ones. We need to cut public spending so that we are paying off the national debt. We need to radically improve the quality of PPE courses and our political class.

  14. Colin Hart
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    We’ll only get a sensible UK energy policy outside the EU. You know that perfectly well but the energy section of the Conservative Manifesto under which you are standing pretends otherwise. It is a masterpiece of doublespeak and obfuscation. Do you support it?

  15. Tad Davison
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    It was interesting to hear Ms Bennett of the Greens in the leader’s debate, give her take on housing and immigration. And her line seems fairly typical of the out-of-touch liberal left including Miliband and Sturgeon.

    People who come to this country from abroad seeking work must have a place to live. Building houses at a rate of one every seven minutes just to meet the demand, especially on green belt land, is surely not conducive to a nice environment. These people also put pressure on our infrastructure and need more roads and rail service, and of course, a means of generating electrical power so they can have heating and lighting. All of these things place a burden upon the environment and wildlife.

    The more people who come to this country, the more pressure there is to drive the cost of housing up due to the increased demand, and wages down – something else the liberal left don’t quite grasp. Yet with a smaller pool of home-grown talent to draw upon, employers would have had to pay more in terms of unit labour to get the right people, so voters would have been feeling the recovery by now. The cost of housing would also have been smaller pro rata with less of a demand, and the pressure on our environment wouldn’t be so great.

    Had we not been deluged with immigrants over which we have little or no control, I fancy a lot more people would have been feeling a lot better off by now, and a good economic performance might be appreciated and reflected in the polls. Alas, is it any wonder that a Prime Minister who was going to get immigration down to the tens of thousands and be judged on his record, is failing to cut it with the voters.

    It is a matter of historical fact that voters tend to vote Tory when the economy is bad, but then vote Labour when the economy is good, which tells us there is something else the Tories are consistently getting wrong for so many to keep turning their backs on them at election time. I have a little list………..

    Tad Davison


  16. Martin Ryder
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood: I have been reading your blog every day for years now and will continue to do so. I agree with most of the things you say; though the economic stuff often goes over my head. I live in a marginal constituency where the choice is basically Conservative or Labour.

    I cannot vote Labour, their ideas are not all bad but they do not represent me; they, like the other left wing parties, live in a dream world where wanting the impossible takes precedence over working towards the possible. I agree with much of what UKIP say but my voting for them would be a waste of my vote, their candidate will not get into Parliament.

    This leaves me with the Conservatives. The local candidate seems OK, though I have never met him, you and other right of centre members of your party also seem OK but your leadership and the bulk of your party leave a lot to be desired.

    Mr Osborne is a clever man and a good operator but I am not sure what he stands for. I am sure that he is popular in the City, which is a good thing, but there are few votes there. But where does he and his senior colleagues stand on England, Immigration, the EU, bringing excellence back into our Education system, training Britain’s young to revitalize our Health Service (just buying in other countries’ people denies the people in those countries the Health resources they need and does nothing to develop our Health resources), etc, etc.

    And then there is the big problem: Mr Cameron. He is a good actor with a bad script. His head appears to be empty. He didn’t even have the sense to make fair boundary changes his priority when he entered government; instead he let that other light weight, Mr Clegg, lead him around by his nose so that nothing was done to ensure that the Conservatives would have a fair chance in this election. He is now wandering about the country playing his part as a hopeful candidate PM but how many of his audience are listening? The media are doing their best to ignore him and play up the left wing parties; where is the Conservative response?

    I wish you, and your party, the best of British luck on 7 May but if your party fails to win a majority your leaders and colleagues will have only themselves to blame.

    • Chris
      Posted April 20, 2015 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Voting for UKIP would not be a waste in the circumstances you describe. It is really important, not least because of the need for electoral reform, that the Election demonstrates the significant percentage voting for UKIP and how it cannot be ignored. If you have a chance to look at YouGov Newscast polls you will see the very significant proportion of the vote that UKIP is apparently currently polling e.g. near 50% in Dagenham and Rainham, and between 25 and 30% in some northern and Midland constituencies e.g. Mansfield, Stoke on Trent, Bradford South. The fact that UKIP is thought to be in second position, some way ahead of the Conservatives is a lesson for all, and not one to be dismissed/ridiculed by politicians as irrelevant.

  17. Peter Stroud
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    We will never reduce our energy bills until we turn away from the, so called, green energy technologies, and invest more in exploiting the massive hydrocarbon based fuels beneath our feet. But I doubt that this will happen. Catastrophic anthropological global warming (CAGW) is slowly but surely being shown to be a grossly overblown scare story. But, every political party leader – except Nigel Farage – has fallen for the story and it has taken on a life of its own. Later in the year we will see another IPCC sponsored CAGW love-in in Paris. No doubt whoever sits in number 10 will be there, and will take part in another expensive fudge. So high cost energy is certain to continue.

  18. stred
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Re energy. In between jobs, I caught a bit of a TV conference on Sky where Eural was explaining how we would all be ok in what is left of the UK, because we are putting in a ‘smart grid’. It is apparently so smart that, with the help of smart meters and smart flooding level monitors, which will all be liked up in a smart way, all will be fine.

    How do and MPs like G.Stringer feel, as a relatively intelligent politicians, when you hear such nonesense spouted by politicians who are so good at speaking but understand so little?

    • stred
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      correction. linked- not liked.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink


      Yes amazing that so many people are fooled to think that smart meters actually save you money.

      All a smart meter does is to tell you how much electricity you are using, no more, no less.
      You can get an idea from a standard meter just by simply watching how fast the disc spins round and reading the numbers.

      Alternatively you can read your bill !

      Can someone please explain why we have , and are continuing to spend, millions and millions on smart meters and the like.

      Do you actually need a smart meter to tell you that a new appliance is likely to be more efficient than an old one.

      • ian wragg
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Some smart meters have a switch and as they are internet connected, at high demand the power companies can switch off large swathes of customers. I work in the power industry and there is a programme at System Control for shedding areas of power on a rolling basis to reduce load.
        In the Middle East we were chronically short of power and we had 25MW blocks for shedding at peak load periods for 15 minutes each. Excellent if you are cooking dinner or watching Eastenders.

      • stred
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Alan. I have 5 properties to look after and have been offered smart meters in all of them. The one in our own house makes no difference to energy use, as we don’t waste it anyway. I read that they actually charge a bit more because they don’t have a wheel, which takes a second to speed up when load increases. The real reason may be that they allow big brother to turn power off when they are having bother with windmills. Also reported on a link on Jr’s Diary that the Italians are putting a smart meter in that costs £68 rather than the £480 in the UK. perhaps this is why they are being put in so fast.

      • BobE
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Alan, I think its so they can be read remotely. This will allow them to lay off meter reading people. So smart for the company.

      • David L
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        I agree with your statement. Smart meters, smart motorways, smart everything….the only “smart” factor is the salesman who persuades corporations and government departments to part with millions in return for some printed circuit board. I often have to drive up the M1. where for unknown reasons several 20 mile stretches are restricted to 50mph and will be for months at a time. Why they can’t concentrate on shorter stretches and get it done (whatever “it” is) pdq is beyond me. The delays must be costing hauliers a fortune.

        • stred
          Posted April 19, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          We were delayed along these 22 mile stretches on the M1 and noticed that the actual operations seemed to be going on along about a quarter. They are replacing the steel central barrier with a concrete wall, which is the same as is used on continental motorways. I was wondering why, especially as they are so ugly, and looked it up on the Highway Agency website. They say that the steel barriers are 50 years old and have come to the end of their life. Bur they are made of heavy galvanised sections and seem to be much the same as they were when installed. I suspect that they just do not want to admit that all the expense and delay is down to new EU standards.

          • alan jutson
            Posted April 19, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink


            WE are having all of our lamposts that are more than 25 years old replaced under a renewal programme in Wokingham.

            Apparently they were only guaranteed for 25 years originally by the manufacturer (info gained from local coucillor) and the Council thinks it may be a legal problem if one falls down.

            I looked at the lamppost they took down outside my house, and others adjacent, no corrosion at all would suggest good for at least another 25 years, (think they are replacing something 9,000 units)

            New posts obviously have more power efficient lights, although some on minor roads suggest that they are not as good as the originals.

            So why not simply replace the lighting head and save a fortune.

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted April 19, 2015 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        Smart meters are not only for people to read, more importantly, they are going to be used for government to turn off our electricity when it suits them. We are all being encouraged to buy the latest technology when it comes to washing machines, fridges etc so they can be linked and controlled. Don’t buy a smart meter. At the moment it is not manadatory but the EU will want it to be in the future. We are going to invest in a generator for when the power cuts start!

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Even someone like me with a modest education can see the folly in this. I feel very intelligent when I look at our energy policy. I deserve a degree in engineering!!

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    We have economic recovery, as would be expected after a recession. There are plenty of opposition quibbles about whether the recovery would have been a bit quicker and smoother if the coalition government had borrowed more to spend into the economy – but bear in mind here that Osborne arranged to indirectly borrow another £175 billion from the new captive gilts investor, the Bank of England, rather than from normal gilts investors, but still lost the UK’s AAA credit rating – and about who has benefited from the recovery and who has not yet benefited from it, and with gross misinformation about “Tory cuts” and some exaggerated claims about the level of hardship being experienced to justify the use of the word “austerity”.

    As far as the electoral implications are concerned, the problem for both of the coalition parties, but most especially the Tories, is that many voters are not prepared to give them much credit for the recovery and some have even been convinced that they, and not the Labour party, were most to blame for the recession.

    Which perversion of the truth can, in my view, be traced right back to 2009 and the failure of the Tory party to properly explain the sheer magnitude of the economic and financial problems created by Labour, which they were able to disguise by getting the Bank of England to print £200 billion to ensure that they did not have to make drastic cuts in public spending in the year leading up to the last general election.

    I note in this context speculative reports that in Greece, where there is real “austerity” and the government is constantly on the edge of running out of money, euros, to pay its bills, it may soon start paying public sector workers partly with its own IOUs:


    “… officials believe that up to 30 per cent of Greeks would end up receiving such government IOUs rather than payment in euros … ”


    “Capital controls give the government the space and time to print either a new currency or IOUs for domestic payments. The new scrip quickly plunges, reflecting the weak fundamentals of an economy that has shrunk by about a quarter since 2008.”

    This is what we have been able to avoid in the UK because we did not join the euro and so the government has been able to indirectly borrow £375 billion of our usual, familiar, national currency, pounds sterling newly created by the Bank of England, when there was the possibility that normal gilts investors would decline to lend the Treasury any more of the existing money that they had in their possession, but six years on since QE was started and it seems that even now few voters have fully understood this.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 19, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink


      I am an unashamed admirer of yours, and your posts are consistently some of, if not the best. The last few words of this one are very telling. Coincidentally, I was discussing this with my son only two nights ago,who didn’t understand the effects of QE, and he’s got a degree. What chance do we have to engage the masses, and make them take an interest in these things, when many of them couldn’t even name their own MP, the Prime Minister, or who think Winston Churchill was ‘some bloke from the war’?

      Most people are far too vulnerable politically. I rather feel that they are too easily swayed by the simple sound bite, and catchy slogans put out by politicians who want their vote but aren’t telling them the truth. That is VERY worrying, because it could let Labour in.


  20. Kenneth
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    The main barrier to employment is the brick wall of employment regulation.

    Tear down this wall and, not only will we very quickly go to full employment, but working conditions will improve as employers are forced for the first time to compete for staff and therefore offer good terms.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink


      Employers have been competing for good staff for last few years, we have massive skills shortages in this country.

      You will never have full employment

      Despite what the Labour Party & both left wing and right wing commentators on this thread repeatedly state, they are wrong.

      We actually have less and less unskilled jobs, therefore those people with poor education, non existent workplace skills and low aspiration and work ethic will also make up long term unemployed ( by the way thats about 600,000 people )

      Unskilled work in picking, packing , retail and the hospitality sector ( the main employers of such people ) is on the decline.

  21. Dennis
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    More jobs – how much energy required and where and what from? What are the numbers? I bet no one in the political circles has even thought about this. Certainly not Mr Redwood.

    What to do with all these workers when automation inevitably comes apace?

    All political ‘thought’ is about now (5 years) , not a thought about the future – it’s pathetic.

  22. Dennis
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The comments about about how the NHS couldn’t work without immigrants is absolute proof of the total incompetence and stupidity of the past Labour and Conservative parties in not needing them with a population of circa 60 million.

    Do people really think that if the UK had not a single immigrant from the 1950s there would be no NHS, no bus and train drivers etc. with that 60 million population? Perhaps we wouldn’t be as rich, on the backs of other nations and resources.

  23. ian
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    With your party, if it win the election saying it will create 3 million job in the next five year and with 5.5 per cent working population out of work now, is it fair to say that 2 million of these workers would have to come from disablement or from oversea with their children.

  24. Bill
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Surprisingly good article in the Times this morning by Matthew Parris. He foresees a Miliband minority government run ragged by the SNP and, when it has finally been squeezed for every penny, forced into conceding a referendum which the SNP wins. A truncated UK, then is at the mercy of Brussels and diminished on the world stage.

    If Parris is right, the only option is a deal with Farrage. Tell Cameron and Farrage to show some statesmanship, bury the hatchet, and then work together NOW. After the election will be too late because the UKIP haul of seats will be tiny. It is the combined and non-competing total of votes they need. Add 34% to 10+% and you have a winning margin in our first past the post system. Anything less with the built-in constituency boundary handicap against the Conservatives and we are sunk.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      When I work out the average for the 16 opinion polls published in the last week I find that support for UKIP is now at 13.1%.

      Thanks to the concerted, cross-party, untruthful and thoroughly contemptible, campaign to vilify UKIP, with the willing collaboration of most of the mass media, an utter disgrace in a country which presents itself to the rest of the world as being an example of free democracy, plus a bit of a squeeze because of the rather undemocratic nature of our electoral system, that 13.1% is down from about 18% six months ago.

      So has that 5% compression of support for UKIP had any discernible effect, in terms of increasing measured public support for the Tory party in comparison to support for the Labour party?

      No, not really; and the explanation is that it has always been a mistake to assume that support for UKIP could simply be added to support for the Tory party.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink


        Frederick Forsyth writes this week (The Express) that “we are lucky to live in a country in which extremist parties do not gain much traction, unlike many European ones.”

        He’s wrong. We are not lucky. We don’t have those parties because we are not that type of people. The racist BNP and NF were soundly rejected and the people didn’t need to be told to do so.

        UKIP is nothing of the sort and is why they have so much support. Distortions by the political class – and nearly all sections of the media – have painted it negatively to scare the horses and play on the goodness of our people.

        This is contemptible.

        I hope plenty of Tory voters have cottoned on that the only person brave enough to stand up for them and say what they are thinking is Nigel Farage.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      OMG. you are so right.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 19, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink


      That’s an eleventh-hour solution. It would have been far better had the Tories done the right thing by the United Kingdom forty-odd years ago and kicked out all the Heath-ites. The party needed to be truly loyal to the flag they like to wave – the Union Jack, not the blue one with stars on it. I would happily vote for many Tories, JR included, but some of the rest are just as bad as the EU-loving liberal left.

      The 27,470 people of Rushcliffe who remained blindly loyal to one of them, have a lot to answer for!


      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 19, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Interestingly, there’s a questionnaire on his website. It asks about dealing with Britain’s debt, cutting taxes and freezing fuel duty, and capping welfare. So what about his involvement in the very the thing that has bled this country for years, and has reduced the Tory party to a laughing stock, the EU, or is he hoping people won’t notice?

  25. BobE
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    If burning wood is carbon nutral. Why isn’t burning coal also carbon nutral? Coal is just compressed wood.

    • kenneth moore
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Farmers around my way are happy as they receive a generous feed in tariff to burn wood for home heating.

      So every tree now has a price tag on it and is more likely to be cut down..which isn’t very green….

      Each tree needs to be cut down, transported by road and cut into smaller logs and then chipped which takes energy.
      The chipper takes a 100hp diesel powered tractor to run it..
      Then the chips have to be dried for hours by powerful electric fans utilising heat from the burner.
      So in all, almost more energy is put into processing the wood than you get back by burning it.

      Yet it is still profitable as the feed in tariffs are so generous. It is madness but nobody in government seems to have an ounce of common sense.
      Why should wealthy landowners have their energy costs subsidised by poor pensioners ?

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Not just in wood but in our neck of the woods, wind farms!!! Many farmers around us will be millionaires without having to work!! One farmer said to my husband when he asked about his sheep “What do I care about them, I have 12 turbines and am making a fortune before I do anything!” Such is life.

        • Kenneth R Moore
          Posted April 19, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          Indeed plenty of farmers around here making a quiet fortune from subsidised turbines in the process bespoiling the landscape (the trees are already being cut down for wood chip) …..and increasingly solar panels when the wind isn’t blowing.

          Then there is a Tier 1 rate of 5.87p/kWh from 1st April 2015 for biomass heating (many farmers are heating their workshops/cow sheds and dumping the unwanted heat just to claim the tariff) which can add up to thousands of pounds per year. Why bother to work for a living ?.

          The stupidity and naivety of politicians knows no bounds.

    • stred
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      The idea is that wood burning is neutral if the trees are regrown, absorbing the CO2 released when they are burned. However, in a careful accounting method devised by the previous DECC technical advisor it was found that it was only neutral if the branches and bits were made into pellets. The trunks take too much energy to convert. Also the reasorbtion take a lifetime, the land conversion has to be taken into account, as the trees would grow anyway, and all the transport energy. DECC have been very shy about releasing the calculations.

      In order to provide enough wood pellets to feed the main power stations that are planned for conversion, a huge area of land will be required, mainly in the US. An area the size of Rhode Island is presently cut down every year. There is resistance from some Americans, who say that the method saves very little CO2 anyway and destroys their landscape. However, the plan is still going ahead, supported by Messrs Davey and Milliband.

      • ian wragg
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Wood burning at Drax and elsewhere is the most economically stupid thing our politicians have encouraged. The energy content of the wood vis a vis coal or gas is about a quarter so millions of tonnes of wood are required to supply these stations.
        Not a single ounce of CO2 is saved after taking transportation costs etc into account and the power is sold at over double the going rate.
        The CCA was designed to profit the landowners and big business whilst impoverishing the general public.

        • Kenneth R Moore
          Posted April 19, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          We know who the economically stupid one is – Edward Davey.
          Imporeting wood chips from Canada is madness.

          Mr. Davey said, “Our coal industry has powered Britain for more than a century, and today we’re seeing a clear roadmap for its future… by converting existing coal plants to cleaner fuels, or building state-of-the-art power stations that mean coal is truly clean.”

          How much Co2 is created by ‘handling seven to eight million tonnes per year of wood pellets’ per year to fuel Drax.

          Meanwhile British coal mines and jobs are destroyed as British taxpayers money is sent to Canada for no tangible benefit. Who thought this was a good idea ?

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and Germany is producing more CO2 than before because of their renewables policy and the fact that they have given up on nuclear. How short sighted can you get?

    • forthurst
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      “Why isn’t burning coal also carbon nutral?”

      It would be if it were offset against trees you did not chop down; all you would need is a man with a paint brush painting ‘S’s on enough trees to correspond with the coal burnt. Furthermore, the unfelled trees would yield ‘interest’ on an annual basis on the extra CO2 absorbed; eventually the ‘interest’ would become so large that it would correspond with annual coal burn, at which point, the man with the paint brush would become redundant.

    • petermartin2001
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Burning coal could be carbon neutral if new trees were replanted and grown to absorb the CO2 released which I think is the same point that Sted makes. Its also carbon neutral if we consider a timescale of several million years when Co2 levels were naturally much higher, the Eath was warmer and the seas much deeper which isn’t exactly what we want. Especially for those who might live in East Anglia or even London.

      But burning wood, erecting wind turbines, or fitting solar panels won’t do anywhere near enough to fix the problem of ever increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. There’s only one possible solution and that is to go nuclear. Fission in the short term and fusion in the longer term. Will it happen? I’m not optimistic. There’s too much public fear on the question of nuclear power which isn’t justified on the basis of its safety record even if the disasters of Chernobyl and elsewhere are included. It may be more justified on the grounds of possible nuclear proliferation though.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted April 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Under a system of carbon budgets, every tonne of greenhouse gases emitted between now and 2050 will count towards the Uk’s CO2 target . Where emissions rise in one sector, the UK will have to achieve corresponding falls in another.

        How much additional CO2 will be produced with all the additional homes needed to accomodate immigrants are built ?. We have to pedal like crazy just to stand still. It’s non PC to suggest we need to stop building so many new homes for foreigners so it will be industry that gets squeezed out.

        I agree nuclear energy is the only option.

  26. kenneth moore
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    So if 2 million new jobs is good would 3 or 6 or 20 million new jobs be even better??.
    Perhaps we could get rid of excavators and pay men to dig holes with shovels instead. That would create jobs and make Mr Cameron happy. Why don’t we just invite the whole of eastern Europe to come and live here?

    Why not get rid of expensive automated car washes and use manual labour instead. Ah already done that. Perhaps jobs could be created for a man or woman to push my wheelie bin out and bring it back to my door..Or how about a service whereby a man comes around and cuts my grass with a pair of scissors….

    • Chris
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Cameron seems to lack basic common no sense, and he is perceived as lacking sincerity. Regarding the latter, I refer to his latest election photo opportunity – selfies at the Gravesend Gurdwara in Kent. See D Tel and D Mail.
      Does he not realise that this sudden pandering to Sikhs, and yesterday Christians, is perceived by so many to be totally inconsistent with his policies in government, and thus utterly devoid of sincerity. The electorate can see through him, but he does not seem to have the wit to realise this. Why does he do it, Mr Redwood? Grassroots Conservatives deserve far better, and that is why they have fled.

    • petermartin2001
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Or have 5 patients per nurse on the wards, instead of 10?

      Or 20 children per class instead of 30+?

      Or real policemen on the streets instead of “specials” ?

      There’s plenty of sensible options as well as your silly options!

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted April 19, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        They aren’t that silly the Uk is expanding into a low wage low skill economy – yet the Conservatives think this is something to boast about.

        How will we achive these ratios of policmen, nurses and teachers with a population that is set to double in a lifetime ?. We have to recruit at unprecedented levels, just to keep maintain existing levels of service.

        Most migrants are low skilled workers doing low skilled jobs …not teachers doctors and nurses as the left like to believe.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      He may have to when there is no electricity because the wind isn’t blowing!

  27. stred
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    It looks as though the EU has come up with a new way to create green jobs in car and van manufacturing. After setting targets to reduce CO2 they proudly announced that these had been hit last year, as vehicles had become more efficient. Unfortunately it has been found that the actual fuel consumption in the latest petrol cars and vans is completely different from the official figures. Manufacturers have been allowed to slacken brakes, tape over doors, turn off electrics, and other devices, while the test is on a level rolling road and the wind resistance is calculated from drag coefficients. Honest John and a German site have the figures and our new car obtained 32% less than the official figure. Other makes also have similar deficits. EU MPs have proposed to change the system to a more honest method. As these cars, which are supposed to produce less CO2, but actually produce around 32% more, are taxed much less, this would appear to be likely to cause some problems.

    This is at odds with previous figures, such as my 9 year old diesel car, which gives 99% of what it says on the tin. I actually get more like 63mpg, wheras our new petrol car manages 45mpg. It is supposed to do 60mpg average.

    Now one might think the best thing for the environment would be to make more diesel cars. But I am informed that our local engine factory is going over to making a new petrol engine for vans. The reason is that a new horror- NO2- has been found and a group of lawyers has gone to court on behalf of Client Earth to make Boris ban diesel cars and vans in cities like London. Modern diesels have carbon particulate filters and this type of pollution is reducing. High levels appear to be in busy, congested city streets where old taxis and buses operate. The plan however is to ban diesels within the whole existing low emission zone, which has not apparently worked by banning older lorries and vans.

    It might be thought that this NO2 pollution, which can’t be filtered is an increasing problem and is causing a massive increase in respiratory, heart disease and cancer. However the charts referred to by the pressure group CleanairLondon do not show this. The only death rates from disease which is increasing greatly is dementia, and this is because we are living longer. Anyway, if you have a diesel car or van try to sell it asap before it becomes useless. NO2 is the new CO2. Then buy an electric car or van which, according to the adverts produce zero emissions- except when charging. This will keep environmental lawyers, EU commissioners and the boys at DECC happy

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    JR, does your party have a view on UN Resolution 2417 of December 17th 1968, on:

    “The outflow of trained professional and technical personnel at all levels from the developing to the developed countries, its causes, its consequences and practical remedies for the problems resulting from it”?

    Is part of our overseas aid budget, now fixed in law at not less than 0.7% of national income, in fact intended to compensate poorer countries for the UK constantly poaching medical staff which they have paid to train, because politicians believe that people in the UK are not prepared to pay the full costs of their NHS but want it on the cheap?

  29. Henry Kaye
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood. I’m sure that you read all of the comments on your “diary” but do you inform your boss that almost no one who talks to you approves of him or the party that he leads and of which you are a part?

    Reply That is not my general experience or what the polls say

  30. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    It is obviously better for people to be employed than to take benefits , yet if we carry on expanding the population there will be another downturn in employed persons..
    What a glorious day . For me working at home is a lot more taxing than my paid work and just to recall a previous post of yours defining work is a problem. Receiving money for contributing to a product is sometimes far easier than home chores.

  31. petermartin2001
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    “Yesterday also saw praise for the UK from the IMF boss. ”

    That’s a worry!

    The IMF themselves are not immune to making poor forecasts or for giving bad advice on what to do next .

    No. Indeed they are not. For example, in the Eurozone, they have gone along with the Germans in advising that the best cure for a deep recession is to create an even deeper recession.

    This time they gave a sensible comment on what has happened. They noted that the UK has been much more successful at achieving growth than the rest of Europe…

    How could they do otherwise?

    and agreed that the UK had made some good calls on the pace of deficit reduction and how to reduce it.

    But maybe not as good as the USA? Will the highly paid economists at the IMF learn from what they have observed? Have they learned that the imposition of arbitrary limits of deficits, for example, is counterproductive?

    Have they learned that the only real cure for a sick economy is to turn it in a healthy economy? Have they learned that a healthy economy isn’t one that has no deficits? Have they learned that, if we divide the economy up into sectors, that at least one of those sectors has to be in deficit?

    • Edward2
      Posted April 19, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      If the logic of your final paragraph Peter, were to be applied to commerce it would then state that at least some companies must make losses for others to be in profit.
      Plainly there is no such reason for this to be the case.

      Life doesn’t always follow the rules of double entry book keeping loved by accountants.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted April 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        “… at least some companies must make losses for others to be in profit.”

        No, that doesn’t follow at all because you are only considering a part of the currency zone. You need to consider the whole system. Everything.

        Then it does follow, for totally fiat currencies, that the liabilities of the government sector have to equal the assets of the non-government sector.

        No liabilities means no assets.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          Sorry I simply do not agree with your views on the economy and its need to always have a balance between public and private sectors.
          Many economists have different views on theory and I feel we must agree to disagree.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted April 20, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            Ok I’ll agree to disagree if you can make a reasonable argument why you feel this might be an incorrect view:

            Lets’s consider an economy of , say, 1000 individuals who’ve set up a new country. Maybe in Antarctica. They elect a government which then establishes a new currency, called the Crown.
            The government issues 10 Crowns to everyone to start things off. So the government then has a total debt or total liability of 10,000 crowns. The Private Domestic sector ( which is just the 1000 individuals of course) then has total assets of 10,000 crowns too.
            We can develop the model by introducing an overseas sector, who might hold securities in Crowns, and have the Govt issue bonds and levy taxes etc but it’s easy to see that total of financial liabilites always has to equal total financial assets no matter how we shuffle money around or create new money.

            If money, in the new country, was on a strict 1:1 gold standard and the value of the gold was counted as an asset, then that value would offset the liability of the issued money. In which case issued money could be considered to be debt or liability free.

            But that’s not been the case for many decades in now. Mainstream economists still haven’t recognised that the change from a gold based currency standard to a completely fiat system requires a change of thinking about the nature of money itself. This has major implications for the way the economy now actually works. It works but not in the way we think it works, according to our old gold standard mindset.

            PS Yes of course there has to be a balance between public and private sectors. That’s not in dispute.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 20, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

            As I say Peter, I do not agree with your economic theories.
            In particular your idea that all money returns to the State by taxation and the idea that the public and private sector have to balance.
            I have pointed out my own views and examples of what I see to be flaws in your theories without success.
            I have seen a similar post about your fantasy island before and it still does not change my mind.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted April 21, 2015 at 2:37 am | Permalink

            I might just make the point that the idea of the “public and private sector have to balance.” isn’t quite right. That gives the impression that the NHS or the civil service has to balance with the private sector. It doesn’t.

            It’s the currency issuer that has to accept liabilities so that everyone else, the users of the currency, can accumulate assets. That would include a nationalised industry too. They too are currency users. The Govt owns the shares that’s all.

            Simply, if all money ( and I’d include bonds) is an just an IOU in the absence of any gold or other commodity standard, then we need to look at who’s written out those IOUs. Who has accumulated the debts or the liabilities? I would argue that is Govt. Some people like Denis Cooper think its the BoE rather than Govt -even though he criticises govt for “running up” those very debts.

            I’d just include the BoE as being part of Govt anyway. So it doesn’t really matter.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 21, 2015 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            So according to your theory all the State needs to do is to endlessly issue currency into the private sector and we all get wealthier.

            Why has no one thought of this before?

          • petermartin2001
            Posted April 21, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

            I don’t know about it being ‘my theory’ but the economic history of many countries since the end of WW2 , not just Britain, has been that governments have indeed injected currency into their private sectors and we have all become wealthier. That’s an indisputable fact surely?

            That’s not to say its all been plain sailing. I would argue that in the 60’s and 70’s there was too much emphasis on trying to keep unemployment down to an unrealistically low level of 2%. Inflation was allowed to get out of hand.

            But the pendulum has swung back too far. There’s now not enough emphasis on trying to keep the economy functioning at full capacity. Unemployment is too high, but what tends to be ignored is that under-employment is also much too high.

            I’d include all those who are working in poorly paid low productivity jobs as being ‘underemployed’.

  32. fedupsouthener
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I fear the time is running out before we can get back to a sensible energy policy. We have now got so many wind farms demanding so much subsidy together with solar that we have turned our backs on cheap energy and are doomed to lose many more jobs and become a poor nation. One day we will wonder why we didn’t listen to Farage just like Enoch Powell.

  33. Mondeo Man
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Daily Mail
    “Churchillian cry by Boris”

    The Bullingdon boy.

    Where was he when Farage was doing the leg work ???

  34. Mondeo Man
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    According to the (vile) Daily Mail education in Britain is now so dire that we are having to recruit HGV drivers from the EU.

    Lots of jobs ?

    Tell that to Bazman (who never has and never will vote for you)

    • Edward2
      Posted April 19, 2015 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      There are other reasons for this.
      One is rather poor rates of pay failing to attract UK new recruits and the other is a load of new regulations from the EU impacting on existing drivers who are deciding to leave the job rather than comply.

    • Bazman
      Posted April 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      You assume that because the Daily Mail says there is a shortage of HGV drivers there is. That however is not the case and a while ago a large number were laid off. HGV work involves long hours poor pay and a lot of stress, so its also difficult to find anyone who wants to do this work which is often being like a robot following the tachograph.
      I have never denied there are lots of job, but you need to have the necessary skills and experience and be within a commutable distance from them.

      • libertarian
        Posted April 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink


        Wrong as always. There is a shortage of HGV , ADR and PSV drivers average salaries are £22500 for newly qualified upto £35,500 for experienced drivers. Agency rates are £12-£18 per hour

        The hours drivers work is very heavily regulated, which is why they Tachographs Bazman

        Driving jobs at all levels have been one of the fastest growing areas for the last 5 or 6 years. White van drivers, all the way up through the different levels of driving. I just did a search of unfilled driving jobs there are currently 15,000 unfilled vacancies for HGV drivers alone.

        As retail has declined and more and more goods including groceries are now delivered this has generated the growth in driving jobs.

  35. Bazman
    Posted April 19, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The Conservative work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith thinks that the phrase “zero-hours contracts” is too negative, and wants to replace it with “flexible hours”. Did you see what he did there? It’s even better than Esther McVey’s “enabling hours”.
    The majority of zero-hours workers are on minimum wages, have next to no rights, nor any control over their working hours, while often being saddled with exclusivity clauses that stops them seeking work elsewhere. While a modicum of flexibility suits some people students who need to study, people with other jobs the system is rigged in the employer’s favour, to the point where any notion of mutual benefit becomes risible.
    Duncan Smith is furious and says that only 2% of the workforce or what he does not say about 700k of them are on zero hours contracts. Furious huh? Let them eat cake.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 19, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      There is far more noise on zero hours contracts than the numbers of them or the negative effects of them.
      So I think IDS is right to hit back at all this noise from the left.

      I’m not in favour of their excesses and I like the two main party’s ideas for legislating to reduce these excesses such as exclusive rights which affect just a small percentage of this small percentage of our workforce.
      It is wrong to call them zero hours because the average hours worked are around twenty.
      Long ago they were called casual labour.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 19, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Haven’t the exclusivity clauses been made illegal?

    • libertarian
      Posted April 19, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink


      There was no such thing as a zero hour contract the term was invented by the Labour Party. Before that it was always called casual labour or piece work. People on what are now called ZHC have FULL employment rights.

      66% of people wish to remain on a flexible ZHC and a further 17% are students. The legislation to outlaw exclusivity contracts is being drawn up . Please provide evidence that the majority are on minimum wage. Less than 2.3% of the workforce are on ZHC

      • petermartin2001
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink


        Not ‘piece work’. That phrase applies to workers who are paid per item produced rather than on an hourly basis. Yes,there has always been “casual” labour – but that seems a contradiction in terms!

        It used to be the the norm to be paid for being on-call. Not necessarily the full amount, but at least something, for the potential inconvenience of having to drop everything and jump in the car to fix whatever problem might have arisen at work. What’s unfair about that?

        If there’s no guarantee that your “employer” need offer you any work at all, then what does the phrase “FULL employment rights” mean? If I’m unfairly sacked from my ZHC I can appeal and get my job back, can I? Even though I don’t get any hours or any pay?

        Can you explain how that might be of the slightest benefit?

  36. petermartin2001
    Posted April 21, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Lots of jobs?

    Is this really true? Unemployment now is 5.6% which at first glance doesn’t look too bad compared with the horrors of double figure unemployment levels we see in the Eurozone. However we need to remember that when Mrs Thatcher won the 1979 election on the slogan “Britain isn’t Working” unemployment was 5.1%. So if it wasn’t working then, even taking the figures at face value, it can’t be working now.

    These figures don’t, of course, tell the full story. For example: Then anyone who was registered as looking for a job was counted. Now they aren’t unless they are receipt of benefits. There have been numerous other technical changes in the counting method. Counting older workers as being retired. Counting workers who have some disability as sick rather than unemployed. Counting those who have the smallest number of hours on ZFCs as employed. Counting those who set up in some micro business as employed even though they earn very little if anything.

    So, the official figures aren’t comparing like with like. The counting method seeks to minimise the extent of unemployment and cover up the huge problem of underemployment. In addition there is the huge problem of poorly paid employment. It is quite normal for many young people to be expected to work for nothing as ‘interns’. Are they counted as unemployed?

    It’s not something that us baby-boomers had to put up when we were younger. I have never been unemployed but neither have I worked for nothing. I can’t imagine what my younger self would have said, had I been asked to, but my answer would have been short and to the point!

    I we weren’t prepared to do that, neither should we expect our children to work for nothing, or next to nothing.

    Reply We currently have record levels of employment. Since Mrs Thatcher was in power the UK economy has created a large number of jobs to raise the female participation rate in the workforce.

  • 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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