John Redwood at Conference

I will be speaking at



Think Tent  (just inside secure zone by conference hall)     “Does caring about the poor require caring about inequality?”   IEA   14.45   Monday 5 October


Politeia  Arora Hotel Princess Street Manchester  M1 4LG    “Britain and the EU   To stay or go?    18.30  Monday 5 October  (outside security)


I will also be attending other events to discuss the state of the economy and social policy.


  1. Denis Cooper
    October 3, 2015

    “Does caring about the poor require caring about inequality?”

    That depends on whether you choose to define poverty in absolute or relative terms.

    As they are driven by the politics of envy – “He has got more than me, that’s not right, where’s the social justice in that, what about my human rights, whine, whine …” – those on the left – Corbyn, the BBC, the UN etc etc – prefer to view it on a relative or comparative basis.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 3, 2015

      Cameron and Osborne clearly like this relative definition for some daft reason. They have not changed the definition of poverty to an absolute one have they?

      Inequality is a very important mechanism to encourage people to get a job and behave sensibly. Providing they are healthy they should surely do so. Alas Osborne is killing jobs with is daft policies, expensive regulations, central wage controls and other lefty insanities.

      They even waste £millions on bonkers happiness indexes still I think. Though we hear little of it now.

  2. Ken Moore
    October 3, 2015

    It seems that, thanks to the freedom of foreigners to ‘invest’ in the Uk steel industry, 1700 jobs are to be lost in Teeside. No doubt dear energy had a part to play in this.
    The Germans rightly protect their own steel industry and jobs, why don’t we ?
    Why can the government find 45 million pounds to Loan to Evraz that operate in Canada..but wont lift a finger to protect jobs in Redcar ?

  3. PaulDirac
    October 3, 2015

    Can you please make the text available, thank you.

    Reply I do not write speeches – I just give them. I will put any main messages into later blogs.

    1. Richard1
      October 3, 2015

      I encourage you to post videos if you can

    1. Lifelogic
      October 3, 2015

      Well some have mental illness, addictions or similar problems or have parents with these problems, but other than these Sugar is surely right.

      These problems anyway are not problems solved just by giving the afflicted yet more money.

  4. Lifelogic
    October 3, 2015

    While you are there can you perhaps do anything to persuade Osborne to either resign or if not just do everything that Alastair Heath suggests? He may be better than Corbyn and John McDonnell but he is clearly cut from the same rotten tree.

    Start by undoing the damage done by the proposed wage controls, the poorly designed work place pensions, the reduction in pension caps, the new training taxes coming in, the new dividend tax, the landlord interest tax, the absurd levels of stamp duty, the ratting on his IHT promise of £1M each, his idiotic GAAR taxation, the expensive energy religion and all the other bonkers complexities, costs and tax increases he has loaded on to industry and the public.

    There are few problems that government will not make worse.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 3, 2015

      I cannot help thinking it will be very tempting for everyone on the UKIP side and many on the Labour side to decapitate the Tory party (and the widely disliked Osborne in particular) by voting for out in the EU referendum.

      If that is Cameron does not find a way of ratting on his election promise.
      I strongly suspect he will if he thinks he will lose. His record of serial ratting is very clear.

  5. agricola
    October 3, 2015

    Thanks for having the courage to discuss the pros and cons of belonging to the EU even if it does have to be off site. It is really quite disgraceful that this debate is not being held on the floor of the conference.

    It would be good to know what the conservative party at large think about continued membership of the EU. I have recently read a piece in favour of continued membership by one Declan Ganley. He has a somewhat rose tinted and fanciful idea of why we need to remain members. Read him in CapX. If this is all the in camp have to offer it should not be difficult to burst their bubble.

    It will be very interesting to see if you get any TV coverage. The BBC would be ill advised to miss it in favour of the orchestrated love fest at conference.

  6. Lindsay McDougall
    October 3, 2015

    Well done. You’re doing a good job. I’ve always regarded Party conferences as stupid brown nose jamborees. Perhaps next year I’ll go and just attend fringe meetings.

  7. Maureen Turner
    October 3, 2015

    “Does caring about the poor require caring about inequality?” I would imagine it might but how do we define poor in today’s UK when there is the safety net of our benefit system
    with a ceiling of £ 25,000. This amount is considerably more than many in full time employment can earn. I know a man recently elected to high office who could easily answer the question. Tax the rich and middle classes.

    Inequality has been around since man first walked the planet – my cave is more luxurious than yours etc. We create it through our own endeavours. In a capitalist economy you sell your skills to the highest offer and if someone else’s skills are greater than anothers then it’s likely their remuneration will be higher. That’s inequality but thank goodness for it.

    Most people don’t rail against a good reward being given to the CEO of a company who has been fair to the workforce and shareholders rather it was the recklessness exposed in 2008 by the banking crash and in the case of RBS the cover up by its (leaders ed)that they had bought into a bank with vast mountains of unsecured debt. A really good read on the fall of RBS is by Iain Martin – Making it Happen.

    Only legislation so draconian it would bankrupt the country would be necessary to eliminate inequality, and it would last for but a day, but poverty can be addressed by a good education and a supportive home life. Perhaps free schools will fill the void left by the closure of grammar schools as for many children they were the route out of poverty.

  8. Margaret
    October 3, 2015

    Is it by invite John?

    reply Both are open meetings, but you need a conference pass for the first one

    1. Margaret
      October 5, 2015

      I know you can’t read bloggers minds but it was my intention to attend at 18.30hrs this evening as the EU membership has been quite an issue to myself .Apologies for absence

      Liz Truss gave a good speech

  9. Iain Gill
    October 3, 2015

    Good luck.

    Immigration is the voters main concern don’t let em forget.

  10. Richard1
    October 3, 2015

    Did others see Mr Farage on This Week on Thursday? He cut a ridiculous figure, wingeing about being criticised eg by Nigel Lawson, and rejecting support from ‘snobby Conservatives’. Are Conservatives really more ‘snobby’ or more ‘posh’ than Mr Farage, and is this in any way relevant to the issue? Poor Mr Farage has become over-whelmed by self regard. Let’s hope David Cameron comes back with a good result from his renegotiation with the EU, because if this is to be the quality of the Out campaign, the Ins will surely win.

  11. Cliff. Wokingham.
    October 3, 2015

    Hello John,
    The conference season seems to have come around very quickly this year.
    I do hope the party will take the opportunity to have some meaningful discussions and debates rather than the stage managed butt sucking fest it all too often is.

    If there are any discussions about charity, perhaps you can raise the issue of people being forced to effectively give to charities they may not support. For example, during the rugby tonight, ITV ran an advert to tackle hunger; it may be a very worthy charity but why does the government think it should match donations pound for pound? Surely, the whole point of giving is for an individual to decide, not the state using tax payer’s money especially when we are supposed to be skint!

    Regarding the five pence carrier bag charge which comes in this week….Is it really a Conservative government’s role to tell businesses whether they can provide a bag or not free of charge and then force them to give this money to a charity? Are these bags made in the UK and will this policy put British companies and workers at risk? Personally, I always take bags with me but, I suspect I would not bother with an impulse buy if I had gone out without my bags on a day out, out of principle.
    Why does Mr Cameron feel it is right to give monies from fines to charities? Has our national debt been cleared?

    I look forward to following the conference on TV. Please remind conference we are supposed to be a Conservative Party, not Blulabour.

    October 4, 2015

    I have heard the one about not taxing the rich so leaving more in their pockets for investment or they will clear off to some other sod on this Earth.
    Well they are not likely to make very bright investments if they even lack the commonsense to clear off to some other country where hikers with a copy of “the right to roam” do not trudge past every so often wearing anoraks and other bits of uniform, peering at this and that over the hedges. And with trowels strapped to their rucksacks for digging neat little holes here there and every where depositing fruit gum wrappers and heaven knows what.
    I have read scholarly tales that capitalism works best with inequality in the extreme, the more extreme the better in a technical sense. That the poor become less poor though not in relation to the rich. That in times of Depression Mr Brown Style the gap between rich and poor actually is very much reduced and inhibits growth.
    No-one, anyway, even with a magic wand, even with a red magic wand , is going to get rid of the rich. But the wealthy people are in fact human beings though some try their best to prove otherwise. They will spend lots of money buying a yacht. They will kid themselves they are not bored out of their minds after being on it for more than 10 days. And the same with everything else. A South Sea island with palm trees and white sand, crystal clear water: you would have to have an IQ somewhat below 45 to endure that for more than two weeks even with a good book and most agreeable company.
    No, the rich will spend and waste their money like the rest of us and one way or another it will get to the relatively poor who do not know how boring a yacht can be but imagine and dream otherwise.

  13. petermartin2001
    October 4, 2015

    “Does caring about the poor require caring about inequality?”

    Obviously yes! If someone is unemployed and living on the dole , and possibly homeless, then, in terms of economic terms, their level of economic well being is far below mine. If equality was less that gap would be less too.

    Of course, as an individual, I have the opportunity of helping one or two such people to a limited extent. But if I agitate politically I have the possibility of helping many more.

    I would start by pointing out that trickle down economics doesn’t work. In the last decade, the super rich have doubled their wealth whereas everyone else, including those in the middle, have struggled to keep up.

    So should those in the middle ally themselves with the super rich or the very poor? We, and I’d include myself, are the ones who ultimately decide on the colour of politics in the country. I’d say we don’t want complete equality but we do want less inequality. That’s going to do us more good than harm.

    Instead of the guy with nothing at all having to be given a cup of tea, its better for us if he has the purchasing power to buy that cup of tea!

    1. Jon
      October 5, 2015

      Every living thing on this planet is unequal and if it’s living today then it’s an indication of it’s success.

      If you believe in Darwin rather than Adam and Eve then you may understand how it benefits us. It allows us to succeed and through that success to develop our time on non essential matters to our survival such as recreation and say the NHS for example.

      If like Labour you want less inequality then you dumb down as they are often accused of. If you have someone limited in math and anotehr who is an actuary then how do you equalise?

      You can’t do it by training the person who can’t understand math as they can’t, you do it by dumbing down the math talent to the level that equalises with those that can’t. Unfortunately it may make many more “equal” but in most other ways less and we are back to being animals.

      We are not all equal for a reason, that was mother nature, not a political ideology. By being what we were made to be, working with how we were made then we can make things less unequal. So the person who doesn’t get math maybe can be helped through the taxation on salaries to help fund their talent which may be? drawing?

      1. petermartin2001
        October 7, 2015


        I doubt you’ll find any Conservative MP admitting to believing in Social Darwinism!

        There’s no fundamental difference between the left and the right on the question of equality. No-one is saying everyone has to be equal -except in the eyes of God maybe. It’s just a matter of degree.

        What you’re describing is a meritocracy. Yet if we look at the background of politicians, judges, the top military ranks, the bankers, lawyers etc you’ll find the common factor is the wealth and ability of their parents to send them to the right schools, making the right connections both there and later on when they attend university.

        No-one gets invited to become a member of the Bullingdon club, or entrance to the ‘right’ social circles, just by being smart and having the right grades at A level!

        Reply My parents were not rich and did not pay for my education, nor did I get invited to join the Bullingdon club.

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