Opportunity for all, prosperity and home ownership for the many

I wish to hear today an optimistic message from Conference. Conservatives must use this period in office to promote greater opportunity and prosperity.

To do so requires lower taxes. People should keep more  of what they earn, and more of what they make by venturing their savings.

Lower tax rates on income and gains will also yield more tax revenue to help those in need. the state should be generous to the disabled, and to the elderly who need care.

To do so requires us both to build more homes and to limit inward migration. House prices are too high and rents too dear in places around the country and especially in London.

To do so requires more gas fuelled power stations providing more reliable and cheaper energy.

To do so requires a transport policy that makes it easier to get work by car or by train, with more commuter rail capacity and more road capacity.


I go to Conference to further my campaigns for these improvements.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    I certainly agree with that agenda, but Osborne has just delivered a hugely tax increasing budget and also a tax complexity increasing budget. New and irrational taxes on landlords (double taxation of interest costs), new taxes on dividends, mugging of pensions, reductions in tax credits (which are tax increases in effect) and endless other insanities.

    On top of this the foolish Osborne thinks the government should decided minimum wage levels for companies. This for businesses he knows nothing about and has never even visited. It would be far easier to cut taxes if he stop pissing money down the drain on offshore winds, green crap grants, HS2 and endless other complete lunacies.

    I really cannot see Osborne as the next leader of the party. He lacks any charisma, he is hugely disliked by the public (and will be even more so in a few years time), his policies are just wrong headed and will not work for good growth. Above all he is clearly a socialist at heart, intervening before breakfast, lunch and diner and usually in stupid & totally misguided ways.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 5:50 am | Permalink

      A reporter on the BBC just now said “George Osborne – his star is ascendant”. As the BBC is wrong on just about every important issue I am firmly confirmed in my opinion of the unpopular faux Tory, who even wanted to deny the country a referendum.

      Had he succeeded in this the Tories would surely have lost the election, and we would now be in be in the grip of Ed Miliband and the dreadful SNP. Which would be even worse than Osborne’s daft agenda.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        He says a “welfare bill we cannot afford” yet is supporting throwing money away on “aid”, HS2, and so much morel. A disaster. Everyone listening to him on the radio will be screaming at him.

      • stred
        Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        The BBC interview suited their politics. The Irish aristocrat, almost journalist and visionary was in his Powerhouse and managed to get the Power word in. His vision of an HS3 between Leeds and Manchester is now firmly on its way, with his Labour ally Adonis the Beautiful in charge, having proved his credentials with support for HS2, the train that goes to the wrong stations. The idea of better trains and roads to get to work in other places seems to have been forgotten. The electrification of the existing trans-Pennine line has been shelved- much to easy in comparison. Instead we will have to tunnel deep under for the 250 mph whizzo to get up speed and slow down again soon after, using vast amounts of electricity and materials, which will produce lots of CO2. While steelworks and power stations close, because they are thought to produce too much. Never mind, it will probably be built by the Chinese, who can keep their gas in China. Bigger trains on the line into London, forget it.

        I admit an interest. I bought quite a lot of Lloyds shares when they were down. They were at 88p a while ago and have slipped to 77p now. It appears that when Gideon Powerhouse decides to flog a lot off, the price slips back. Now he has announced a discount on shares to be bought next year and a bonus of 10% in extra shares for those shareholders. So what sensible person is going to buy shares in the meantime? Why could he not just sell them now and at the current price, and why were previous share sales only available to city slickers?

        • stred
          Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          Add an o to to easy svp.

        • stred
          Posted October 6, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          It was good to see the BBC had the unelected mayor of the Manchester Powerhouse on to give us his opinion on the diesel pollution, which is killing so many Powerhouse citizens, especially since the manufacturers have been caught doing what almost everyone had worked out already. He is another Labour leader calling for a scrappage scheme for diesel cars.

          This would seem ambitious, considering that there are 11 million of them since Gordon had his scrappage and told us to but CO2 efficient cars. The manufacturers have put information on the net and it would be a good idea to look at it before they take it off and start selling us 11m petrol cars. re http://www.smmt.co.uk Diesel the facts.

          The NOx emissions have reduced by 84%since 2000. The 1 in 3 diesel cars produce 14% of UK NOx. Heating and electricity 55% and Lorries and trains 30%, according to the Defra chart.Diesel cars owners save £315m total in fuel costs and 3 million tons of CO2 every year. As in last weeks JR blog, particulate and NOx emission shave greatly reduced over the UK and lung and heart deaths have reduced or stayed the same, while dementia in women has increased.

          I write as someone who had a lung problem since having bad flu 3 years ago and was worried that the London air may be making the condition worse. My conclusion having looked at the levels on the Defra monitors is that, unless I am in a traffic jam, the levels are under the EU limits and that the problem occurs during high pollen and low wind conditions.

      • Peter Stroud
        Posted October 5, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        I think you will find that Cameron was no keener to give us the EU referendum than his chancellor. It was the good back benchers, and the rank and file Conservatives who won that battle.

        • Qubus
          Posted October 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          …….. and Ukip

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      He certainly seems to be all in favour of more power for the state and less for the individual. His lack of real world experience screams at me every time I hear him speak. Quite how the country ends up with people like him selected for parliament is beyond me.

      • stred
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        They are good talkers and were younger than the more sensible politicians.

      • A different Simon
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        The message from the party formerly known as The Conservative’s is unmistakable .

        Everything the little people earn is to either go on accommodation or be confiscated by the state .

        The object of the exercise is to render the masses (literally) so that they are totally financially dependent on the state and consume less .

        It’s all so authoritarian and marxist right down to yesterdays imposition of a plastic bag tax .

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Yep the complexity of the tax and benefits system is ridiculous now. All that added expense for admin cripples us. And its almost impossible to write software to handle all the rules properly (as the DWP are finding out), so cost escalations and failure to deliver on government IT projects in these areas are inevitable.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Reductions in family tax credits are long overdue and send out the right signal – personal responsibility. Why should individuals who decide of their own free will to have children be offered subsidies by the state?. It’s not like we are going to be short of people in the years ahead.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        Why should people who won a housing lottery be subsidised by others in other kinds of housing?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Michael Deacon has it spot on regarding Cameron’s interview with Marr on Sunday, in his article in the telegraph today:- “A master at earnestly not answering any questions”.

      What exactly is the point of the wet, pathetic, interviewer Andrew Marr if he cannot push any single point or ask any sensible follow on questions. Cameron might as well just pose his own questions.

      I assume Marr is the only interviewer Cameron will accept, knowing what a pathetically easy ride he will invariably get. The BBC are not only wrong on every nearly every major political issue, they are totally pathetic too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      The more I sees of IHT ratter Osborne, the more unlikeable I find him.

      He claimed in his speach that he has & was delivering lower taxes for all. Yet the man has just delivered a hugely tax increasing budget. Is he very, very stupid or just a blatant liar?

      He also has a rather monotonous voice. I really cannot seem him ever winning a general election as leader – well he might just against Corbyn but not anyone sensible.

      Osborne makes even Cameron’s and his vacuous speeches look good.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      “That’s what we are delivering, lower taxes for all” says Osborne in his speech.

      How can the man tell these complete lies with a straight face? Has he perhaps not read his own last budget? Did he perhaps not understand it then? What otherwise is the explanation for these words, so divorced from reality?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      “Every council able to cut business rates” says Osborne. Sure George, that sounds very likely. Are they not the ones with all the motorist mugging tricks and the fines for pensioners dropping cherry stones under a tree?

      • Monty
        Posted October 5, 2015 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps, Lifelogic, he is in the business of handing the northern labour councils enough rope to hang themselves with?

        After all, they are suffused with the worthy, goodthinkful, earth worshipping, low carbon, low pollution, guardians of the planet, upholders of communidee, and celebrators of diversidee, . They are also crammed with derelict coal mines, closing steel works, defunct aluminium smelters. The declared aspirations of the northern councillor are, in truth, totally incompatible with the employment prospects of their citizens, whether in legacy industries or modern startups.
        I live in the North East of England, and I reckon that any prospective employer encountering our local authority, would be confronted with a time-server who has never spent a week in private enterprise, who takes a dim view of free markets, profits, shareholders, and sees herself as a defender of the right of the long term unemployed to stay that way.

        • stred
          Posted October 6, 2015 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          Central government has already handed councils the ability to charge fees for planning and infrastructure. They charge as much as the can screw the applicant for.

          They also gave councils the ability to licence shared houses in ‘multiple occupation’, which used to mean large bedsit properties, which had a bad fire risk. The areas to be licensed were supposed to be ‘problem’ wards with too many students and sharers making noise and scattering refuse. The position now is that small houses with more than two unrelated people sharing, which had no more fire risk than similar family houses, are deemed HMOs and many councils have made almost the whole town licensable. Departments such as in mine employ around 30 staff enforcing fire and catering requirements, at an average cost of £20k per house. It is also impossible to change from family to shared and vice versa.

          But Mr Powerhouse and his next door neighbour think councils will compete to cut business rates. They must have come up with this one up in another of their blue sky thinking sessions.

          • stred
            Posted October 6, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            I forgot to mention that the streets are still littered with rubbish blow out of recycling boxes and pulled out of open bins by seagulls and foxes. While the pleasures of rock and soul music are available from open windows. My bird compared it to a slum in Rio when visiting.

  2. Cheshire Girl
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    This is probably off topic but on the BBC website there are sime disgusting comments from the Taxpayers Alliance and Liam Fox about Pensioner benefits. I dont know how to put the link up here, but the gist of it is that it was said that some Pensioners wont be around at the next election and some others wont remember which Government cut their benefits, so why not cut their fuel allowance, TV, and Bus Pass now to help ‘the younger generation’ . All this while our politicians go abroad spending taxpayers money like water, and vowing and pledging that ‘we must do more’ to assist those in other countries. Billions have already been spent in this regard. The campaign to make older people feel guilty is relentless.
    It has not escaped my notice that politicians have accepted an eleven per cent pay rise. I wonder how many of them donated that money to charity!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      A pay rise that will also increase their pension pots, by as much as £100,000+. Still we are all in it together as they say.

      • stred
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        I would like to tank the rising star of low taxation for altering the pension rules and allowing me to cash one that I had fortunately not taken as an annuity. I had been paying 1% in charges for them to lose value each of the past 3 years. They said it was because of stock market fluctuations. The final annual payout was forecast at £400 pa, having lost £2k in final value. Oz will be pleased that I have paid around £1500 in tax to get the remainder and put it into long term savings or spend it. He can put it towards HS3 or the Eural’s money for Jamaican roads.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Yes but the comments on the underclass are just as bad. The reality is that if Cameron or Osbourne had been born on a sink estate, with sink schools, and no realistic prospects within travelling distance for the inhabitants… then they would be claiming benefits. Their failure to engage with this simple reality is one of their biggest problems.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        I was born on a sink estate with a sink high school and neither myself or my immediate family have ever claimed benefits!

        • Iain Gill
          Posted October 6, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          Yea same here pretty much, but Cameron and Osborne are not of our caliber.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        A priest of any religion with a suicidal person in front of them will quickly find they are out of their depth and need proper mental health care professionals.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted October 6, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

          Mercia, I get upset when I see Alistair Campbell lecturing on how good his mental healthcare was in the NHS when any professional will tell you he would have been primarily managed by nurses and not consultants had he not been so high profile. It’s that lack of insight by a member of the elite that’s a bigger problem. As for you I disagree, good mental health professionals do a lot more than peddlers of medieval superstitious nonsense ever could.

      • A different Simon
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        They would not have got away with their early dabbling in drugs if they had grown up in a Glasgow and ended up in a shooting gallery .

      • libertarian
        Posted October 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink


        Belief in God is not “medieval superstitious nonsense” it is still the most logical and rational explanation for why we are all here and has been confirmed to me on a personal level.

        Which God exactly? there are currently more than 4,000 different religions worshipping a very large and eclectic mix of deities . Why would your God be right and all the others wrong?

        I would say the most logical is the empirically provable evolution rather than the very illogical superstitious answer which of course immediately presents the second question about creation.

    • M Davis
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink
    • Bob
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      @Cheshire Girl

      “The campaign to make older people feel guilty is relentless.”

      I couldn’t agree more. I always considered the TPA as a force for good until I read this.

      There is plenty of waste and squandering that could be cut without picking on some of the most vulnerable people who have paid in and supported the system for the whole of their working lives.

      Has the TPA has lost the plot?

      • A different Simon
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Bob ,

        I had some sympathy with TPA’s opinions on public sector pension largesse .

        However , I knew their proposed solution to be completely wrong – they recommended implementing Hutton’s recommendations in full .

        This made me realise that they are not ordinary people but more like Osborne and Cameron – privileged and detached from the real world .

        Then I read more of their articles and it became clear they are not very nice people .

        etc ed

      • A different Simon
        Posted October 7, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Bob ,

        Calling themselves THE Taxpayers Alliance is almost tantamount to claiming a monopoly on representing taxpayers interests .

        They are self appointed and certainly do not represent all tax payers or in my assessment even most .

        They are not a grass roots organisation . Astroturf at best perhaps even prefabricated like the sixties pop group “The Monkeys” .

        They remind me of the CBI .

    • Bob
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      @Cheshire Girl

      ” I dont know how to put the link up here”

      Here it is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34439965

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      There is a flaw in that cynical calculation, namely that many of the elderly people you hurt will have younger relations and friends whose loyalty to their family and friends of all ages may come before their loyalty to people of their own generation outside those circles, and so you may antagonise them as well as just the elderly people you are targeting, and most of those younger sympathisers will be around to vote at the next election and they may not forget.

      I recall reading that before we joined the EEC the Foreign Office made a similar cynical calculation that opposition would literally die out by the year 2000.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Those comments were from Mr Alex Wild, clearly a nascent politician apart from being a 2010 graduate of Leeds University. Presumably Mr Wild has forgotten that the BBC were obliged to pick up the tab for the free licences; the bus passes help fill local buses during off-peak hours with the less mobile, reducing traffic congestion and accidents. Giving away freebies is a lot easier than taking them away, politically. Why is Mr Fox associating himself with silly organisation?


    • CdBrux
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      I agree those comments, if as reported, are not acceptable.
      The broader point though is that it seems to me the pensioners have been by and large protected over the last >5 years in comparison with some other areas of welfare spending. I think slowing down the rise in pensions is, after the tax credit reforms (and I share some concern the rate in which some are withdrawn may be ahead of the mitigating measures such as tax rate decreases, childcare, minimum wage etc…) the next priority. But depite the comments we all know pensioners have a higher tendancy to vote than others…

      • Bob
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        If we can afford to give away £12 billion a year to foreign countries then we can afford to provide our pensioners with a bus pass.

    • Alexis
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      The individual concerned must be held answerable for what he said.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl – I’ve long believed that tax ought to be set by government but that the option should be there for people to pay more tax if they wish.

      The Left can then fill the gap as they see fit. “So, Polly. You want to see a higher rate of tax on the rich so that wealth is better distributed. Are you paying the voluntary higher rate yet ?”

      It should bring in tens of millions if the rich Left contributed to the degree that they think everyone else should.

    • David Price
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      I’m not yet a pensioner and I may well forget which indentikit politician reneged on promises or forced through laws without a mandate but I will definitely remember that Alex Wild of the TPA made such abhorent remarks and Liam Fox was a side kick.

      The attitude revealed by these remarks is not something that can be hidden away again by apology, especially the poor excuse for an “explanation” on the TPA website that claimed it was a mistake. I don’t receive these benefits and fully expect not to when I reach the age but the parties involved are now clearly tainted in my mind as not on my side regardless of what they might say in the future.

      I find the gratuitous offensiveness thrown about by people dependent on taxes and on votes from people like me to be cynical, ungrateful and offensive. That these idiots are stupid enough to make such comments in a public setting suggests they really aren’t cut out for their positions, they certainly don’t represent my views or interests.

  3. JoeSoap
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    This means you accept house prices are too high?
    That they have been manipulated there by silly schemes like Help to Buy and ZIRP when the reverse should be happening?
    At last!

    • stred
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      With very large numbers of pensioners living in houses valued at between the IHT starting point and a million, it would be a surprise if the Treasury did anything to discourage the rise in prices. Pensioners will be voting elsewhere, the young house buyers will be paying for it and, if negative equity happens, in hell on Earth.

  4. barryjones
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Good luck with all that on a day that sees the introduction of yet another new tax, this time it’s on plastic bags, the proceeds of which are to go to the discredited pressure salesmen of the “charity” industry. No doubt it’s trebles all round in their plush west end offices today.

    As for home ownership for the many, that’s even more of a distant dream as we see the bailed out banks rigging the property market with printed money to keep the bubble inflated. All easily fixed but there is no chance of today’s corporate conservatives doing anything about it. Corbyn is more likely to apply some true market forces to the housing market than the Tories are.

    • Mark
      Posted October 6, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      I can’t see Corbyn applying market forces to housing – the reverse, in fact. He would entrench subsidy for his favoured demographic, while seeking to tax those he thinks won’t vote for him with yet higher property taxes, while creating another banking crisis.

      Oddly, the last government had a rather better approach until Mr Osborne decided to pump up house prices: it left prices to stagnate, eroding them in real terms. For a while that improved affordability, while not creating immediate problems for banks through rapidly falling nominal prices eliminating the equity cushion of the over-borrowed. What they failed to do was to rein in the ability of BTL landlords to add to their portfolios at the expense of first time buyers.

      • barryjones
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Corbyn is going to make self build plots available at cost (or so someone told me). Just imagine, agricultural land at £10k an acre, 5 plots to the acre= £2k per plot, add £10k for infrastructure, a £70k kit home and you have a very decent home for less than £100k, or a lot nearer to the historic price of 3x income than anything the developers are selling. Just imagine, a government who worked for the people rather than all these dodgy corporations who inflate the price of everything.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 7, 2015 at 12:25 am | Permalink

          This assumes the owner of the agricultural land is happy to sell for approx £10,000 per acre so others can build houses on it.
          I suspect unless Corbyn tries to steal the land off the owners few will be tempted to sell.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Can you add tax simplification to the agenda please John.


  6. Iain Gill
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Osbourne creating more quangos, doing more state intervention, giving more power to local councils whose decisions have been proven to be bad time and time again, taking away choice and buying power from individual citizens, and supporting ever more immigration. Doesn’t sound like the Conservative party. Massive disproportionate funds to his prejudiced version of where “the North” is, missing out most of the real North and cheesing off lots of people.

  7. MPC
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    It’s good to hear again your commitment to try and limit inward migration, which is starting to transcend all other issues Mr Redwood. I’m trying to stay level headed about all this but I hear today that 1.5m migrants are on their way to Germany, too many even for Mrs Merkel. Most of them will surely want to come here – those interviewed on TV tend to specifically favour England. Is it time for even David Cameron to start thinking about defying the EU and make plans to reintroduce border controls covering EU passport holders and new migrants who will no doubt be given rights by Germany to remain in the EU and work. Otherwise, irrespective of the EU referendum, it’s starting to look like a case of ‘vote tory and get mass immigration’ with all that implies for representative democracy.

    • Monty
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      “…..1.5m migrants are on their way to Germany, too many even for Mrs Merkel. Most of them will surely want to come here …”

      Merkel isn’t entirely stupid though. She is hoping to filter out the well qualified. the well motivated, the grafters, and keep them in Germany.
      And the disparity in unemployment benefits between the UK and Germany will ensure that the layabouts will drift over here of their own account.

  8. The PrangWizard
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I read that Amber Rudd is handing over £5.8 billion to the International Climate Fund, that is sending money overseas, the spending of which by recipient countries on themselves will make the UK wealthier, so she says. If she believes that then I’m a Dutchman.

    How does this help to pay down the deficit that you all go on about?

    The roads around where I live are falling apart and have in effect been abandoned; they get badly patched up now and then. How does giving money away to other countries help to improve productivity by keeping things moving here. Why are the roads left to fall apart instead?

    Does the Liberal Elites in the UK think we are so rich, so superior to everyone else in the world that we should give our money away with such abandon. I think they do. It isn’t a case of giving food to the starving.

    Is there a belief that we owe the world all our wealth, because somehow we have come about our money at the world’s expense? Is this guilt money/reparations in disguise?

    There is some sick and unhealthy at the heart of our Establishment.

    • Mark
      Posted October 6, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Rudd should be spending money on replacing the coal capacity she’s closing in the UK – but not with expensive power form Hinkley Point and Swansea Bay. Better still, she should have kept the money and the coal capacity.

      • stred
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        In her speech, Amber Rudd said her department was doing something with Sheffield University about small modular nuclear power stations. If she knows about these, she may also have noticed that other countries are building big nuclear stations with agreed costs about 40% of the price agreed for Hinkley and that even the French have given up with their design and are planning a simpler one. So why is she continuing with this flawed project. The answer given to BBC news was that we needed nuclear as base load, avoiding the ridiculous cost and delays. Perhaps it is because RBS lent the French the Money to buy British Energy, who own the land and we know who owns RBS. Also, the higher the cost the better from the point of view of the builders, who employ PR firms with government contacts to represent them. Either way, her ideas about getting best value for the consumer have disappeared.

        • Mark
          Posted October 6, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Now I read Rudd plans to close all coal plants by 2023. Presumably regardless of the existence or otherwise of other capacity including Hinkley Point.

          Lights out.

  9. Bert Young
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    The priorities Dr.JR has outlined today are those worth supporting ; a strong growing economy is the best morale booster for the country and is badly needed at this time ; equally is the case for the restoration of our sovereignty and Brexit . The latter points will certainly not be featured on the main platform of the conference , but , behind the scenes there will be other voices that the media will pick up ; it is these voices that will grow in importance and reflect the mood of the voter .

  10. Old Albion
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I had hoped you would be mentioning the democratic defecit affecting England.

  11. DaveM
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Good luck John. Watch out for the hundreds of protesters spitting at people and being angry about the unfairness of not receiving thousands from the state.

    We would have done similar protests in Brighton but we have jobs to do so we can keep topping up the welfare budget for those people protesting in Manchester.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Your aims are desirable. Unfotunately that is not what we get. Instead we get more tax complexity not less; inefficient taxes where the cost of collection does not justify the taces raised; counter productive, agenda driven taxes of which the obsession with CO2 is the prime example (and of which the growth of NOx is a consequence). Along the way the savings culture has been destroyed. Perhaps one day the Conservative party will appoint a reforming Chancellor who will be bold enough and brave enough to clean up the mess (s)he will inherit.

  13. English Pensioner
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The only problem that I have with gas-fired power stations is that gas no longer comes from the North Sea but in tankers from various politically unstable countries. We no longer have a navy that could defend our sea routes nor an army that could help protect the sources of supply. What would happen if, for example, the Suez Canal was closed?
    For those reasons, I am firmly in favour of nuclear power. I also believe we should be conducting real research into alternative forms of nuclear power, there are theoretically several less potentially harmful types of reactor than the current generation, we should be investing in research so that once again we can become leaders in nuclear power.

    • Mark
      Posted October 6, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I’d like to see us develop the gas we do have. Enough to keep us going for 50 years or more, according to the British Geological Survey.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Well, the global economic weather is still generally favourable for this government, but may not remain so right up to 2020. Going on an average cycle of roughly a decade there is a fair chance that there will be another world recession before then, and the government may or may not be in good financial shape to cope with that when it comes.

  15. Bob
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    If Mr Osborne wants more people to consider the option of working for a living then perhaps he would explain why people on the minimum wage are still being taxed.

    The tax free allowance should be the minimum wage.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 8, 2015 at 1:50 am | Permalink

      Dear Bob–There is no necessary correlation and besides for how many hours? It would look neater but when I think about some of the absurd complexities in the tax system – dividend income tax credits for instance – a relatively straightforward and uncontentious subject I should have thought – neatness doesn’t get a look in

    Posted October 5, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Affordable homes owned or rented on a tiny island such as ours, fine and finite space, with a GROWING population is economically and political impossible to obtain either by a capitalist system or a socialist one.

    The optimistic message for Conference should be that the inevitable failure to bring about the aforementioned will, by default, lead to a major exit by people now resident here as the economy collapses; an automatic increasingly curtailment of immigration.

    The unoptimistic but true message to take to Conference should be their continued institutional blind eye to basic economics will leave this island with many old, disabled, unskilled people of every race, colour and creed:- no-one to pay their pensions, health care and, with no fixed value system to prevent them fighting one another for increasingly scarce resources.
    The Conservative Conference at its last evening should sit down at table together and have its last supper before buying a one-way ticket to Canada. I believe older non-working relatives of immigrants to there are allowed,…… at the moment.

  17. iaan wragg
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Same old, same old. We need to build more houses and reduce inward Immigration.
    Does Dave and Gideon know this, Gideons whole growth strategy is based on high net immigration. We don’t have a shortage of houses, we have too many people and rising at over a thousand a day.
    I see India and China are going to add 400GW of coal fired generation in the next few years. We are down to eleven and five more leaving us shortly.
    Where will be prosperity for all be when we cannot keep the lights on and the computers buzzing.

  18. Vanessa
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Your “wish” does not take into account the fact that interest rates may go negative. This means that those of us who have been prudent and saved for our security and not rely on government hand-outs will be charged to keep our money in the bank. The obvious reaction to this will be to take our money out in cash, but we hear from the Bank of England that they may outlaw cash ! How criminal is that?
    This is war against the people and our freedoms and sovereignty. We are being punished for saving whereas those in debt are rewarded and paid interest. Who was it who said “give me control of a country’s finances and I control the country”.

    This is a recipe for unrest and kicking out the conservatives as soon as we can. Irresponsible, incompetent etc. comes to mind.

  19. Peter Stroud
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Gas fuelled power stations – yes, absolutely right. Also, Mr Redwood, please discourage our esteemed Prime Minister from following Obama’s climate change agenda: this is what Mr President sees as his legacy. The adverse effects of greenhouse gases on climate have been grossly exaggerated, as quantitative satellite global temperature measurements have consistently shown. These measurements, unlike the masses of different terrestrial measurements, do not need the ‘adjustments’, that always seem to reduce old temperatures, whilst always increasing more recent levels.

  20. Tony Houghton
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink


    My concern is that the Chancellor believes that his tax reductions and other changes in his last budget are going to compensate fully for all the tax credit reductions planned for the lower paid. I suspect that there will be several maybe many who will be out of pocket.

    Has he planned for any transition from one to the other? If he has not he should do!

    I am emailing this to you as well in case I am too late for you to comment here.


    Posted October 5, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Miraculously, a political vacuum has opened in the UK like a sink hole in the underlying chalk of Kent. The Greens who historically always spoke rather naively at the time…at the time… of stopping economic development in its tracks now say the opposite.

    Gone are their ideas of no more roads, rails, houses, cars, trains, wanton use of energy, unutterable wastage of lives tied to a “if it’s shiny sparkly however short lasting then let’s mass produce it stick it on the mantle-pieces in every rabbit-hole-sized home.”

    Now the Greens like the mainstream parties believe the UK is the size of the USA or Russia. Every grassed traffic island, every flowered window-box, every balcony capable of supporting two deckchairs are seen as a prairie, a tundra with immense and vast possibilities.

    Hear,just listen, the Conservative Party, its people each balanced precariously on one foot desperately holding onto one another’s shirt tails, attempting to stand upright and not fall over pushing fellow countrymen domino-like into the sea off coastal cliffs.

    A new political party offering zero net migration; zero “development” of roads, rails and airports; zero building of planned new houses presumably on pedestals driven into pebblebanks off Deal in Kent and offers increased incentives to latter day migrants to return to their countries of origin is a potential winner. Win or not, it is the only optimistic way, the only way forward for this country. Everything other is low class political populism.

    Mr Osbourne at Conference today admitted his dreams of Northern Powerhouses and Northern devolution “May not work “. Aside from him having no democratic authorisation/mandate for his experiment on human beings of the North, he should see on a map that England narrows in width as one progresses north of Liverpool and Manchester. A visual reminder than space/area is lessening.

  22. bigneil
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    “Opportunity for all, prosperity and home ownership for the many” – – -once again, after 45 yr of paying in, retiring early through injury, awarded £3.01 a day for one year, then NOTHING. . . can you tell me how illegal immigrants i.e. criminals . . .are put in hotels, no bills at all and also given £35 a week spending money – – for contributing NOTHING but I was given £21.07 a week for having contributed for 45 yr??? and still have to pay my bills. it clearly shows this govt prefers foreign criminals who have got here illegally, and are now effectively unemployable, to people who have contributed. You can check my records for any crime – – -Can you check the people you put in hotels?? . . NO . .because they have destroyed as much of their identity as possible to ensure their stay here on the taxpayer becomes permanent.

    As regards looking after the disabled – -I can’t walk far, but are classed as “disabled” . . .yet programs have shown our foreign imports getting handed piles of money – AND a mobility car. . . .gor having done NOTHING.

    When all the English have been wiped out what do you think this country is going to be like? – etc ed

    • bigneil
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      should be NOT classed as disabled

  23. James Winfield
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    The housing crisis is the only issue that could stop me voting Tory in 2020. Not even leaving the EU, recession, NHS failure would persuade me to vote anyone else.

    But fail to provide solutions for the housing crisis and I’ll be voting Lib Dem. I won’t be the only one.

  24. Alexis
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    May I add country-wide, high-speed broadband to your list.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 6, 2015 at 2:01 am | Permalink

      Done properly with optical fibre to each premises, especially for new build. Not the BT half arsed version.

    Posted October 5, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    The demonstrations outside the Tory Party Conference.

    1.Demonstrations are a legitimate part of our democracy.
    2. They were largely organised, financed and peopled by UK Trade Unions
    3. We the taxpayers funded those demonstrations. Funded those activists and their travel bills. Funded the salaries of full-time Trades Union officials. Funded the production and distribution of placards.Funded the police overtime necessary.

    British Trades Unions are largely Corporate. Local Authorities pay via our tax contributions the salaries of elected officials, pay for trades union offices, pay for and allow and facilitate ballots of members.

    There are one or two people among us, who disagree with the taxpayer funding people and activities against a democratically elected government. In point of fact, given the election result of the Tory Party, the majority of people are against such funding.
    Most people of course even trades union members are quite unaware of the nature of the funding. They should be made aware.

    It is time to stop that funding. Also to stop the charitable status, tax-wise, of trades unions,of its officials,of their activities.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Christopher, legitimate protest against government is a right in a free society. This Wednesday sees the premier of “Suffragette”, and it is worth remembering what those people protested (and sometimes died) for.

      Furthermore, the Conservatives secured the votes of less than a quarter of the registered electorate, so drawing conclusions about the opinions of the majority based on the Conservative party’s vote share is a totally flawed statement.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Saying the current Government was elected with less than a quarter of those eligible to vote is the current left wing fashion for playing with statistics, but it was never mentioned when every previous Labour Government got elected on a similar level of overall support.

        You could just as easily claim that everyone who did not vote would have voted in the same proportions as all who were bothered enough to go out and vote. This logic would have given the Conservatives an even bigger majority.
        Under PR you would probably now have a Conservative UKIP Coalition Government with a large majority.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted October 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          Labour in 2005 got elected with an even lower share of the electorate than the Conservatives in 2015. It it not “playing with statistics”, it is a simple statement of basic maths.

          It is also not possible to interpolate on the voting preferences of the more than one third who did not vote, and I would not do so. It is also not possible to presume that peoples voting would not change under a proportional system since proportionality means voters can vote positively for whom they wish to support rather than feeling the need to vote negatively tactical against whom they want least depending on where they happen to live.

          If we had a proportional system which delivered a Conservative/UKIP coalition whose mandate came from more than 50% of the votes cast, that would at least be a majority, and therefore more legitimate than the “single party with minority support” outcomes we get at the moment.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 7, 2015 at 12:32 am | Permalink

            You are entitled to your opinion.
            You seem to feel everyone who failed to vote are not supporters of the current Government whereas I do not see that as necessarily correct.
            Also your point about voting tactics under PR applies to the existing system too.
            People know how the system currently works and we have got the result we have got.
            If everyone was unhappy they would vote differently.
            Its just been such a shock for the left to realise they lost.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted October 7, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            Edward2, I do not hold the view that everyone who chose not to vote would not vote Conservative. There are no doubt many who would, some who live in safe seats for other parties such as this gentleman interviewed on Radio 5: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02y50zc and possibly some who live in safe Conversative seats who might have taken the view “we’ll win here anyway, so I don’t need to bother”. What I am saying is that it is not possible to determine what the proportions of support are as it could be higher or lower, however unless those individuals feel that their vote contributes we many never know.

            I am hoping that the 2015 result might shake some folks on the traditional left out of their slumbering membership of the cosy electoral cartel that currently exists. Labour’s “terrible performance” came on the back of increasing their share of the vote by almost double that managed by the Conservatives (+1.4% compared to +0.8%) and maybe, just maybe, if Labour choose to put electoral reform in their manifesto and gain a majority, this time, unlike last time they made such a promise, they might choose to deliver.

            We have an electoral system designed for the 1950s, however we have long since left the 1950s behind and, like many things designed for the 1950s it is something which is no longer fit for purpose.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 8, 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink

            We had a vote on a gentle form of PR. It was rejected by the people.
            I see PR in its various forms in action in other countries and find it no more fair than first past the post.

            Extreme parties of the left or right with just one or two elected representatives holding parties with hundreds of elected representatives to ransom.
            Governments where a programme is developed which bears little resemblence to anyones original manifesto.
            Where some person local voters have never met or directly voted for get appointed to them post election.
            Where weak short lived Government and regular elections result.
            If people did dislike the results of the current system sufficiently then the outcome would be different.
            Nothing stops Labour or any other party gaining a landslide majority.
            The cosy cartel you deride is the result of the aggregate choice of the voters.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted October 8, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink


            AV is not a PR system. If you believe AV is proportional, then you are misinformed. The English voting public have not been given a PR system as an option (unless you live in London), whereas the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish have (and if such systems are perfectly good enough there, why not for the whole of the UK?).

            If you think PR delivers weak government, look to Germany. They have had nothing but PR and coalition governments for 70 years. What has that delivered? The strongest economy in Europe. The rest of your arguments can also be debunked. There are proportional systems where every single representative is directly elected by their constituents (STV – used in parts of the the UK already). The idea that minority extreme parties hold others to ransom is simply a scaremongering tactic used by those who oppose giving up the unfair advantage they get from the current system. It is not supported by evidence. No party with one or two representatives is capable of holding a party with several hundred to ransom, the larger party will just go elsewhere for support if needed.

            If a single party cannot command sufficient support from enough of the electorate, then they should be expected to compromise (this is not a dirty word, even in politics, it is simply the way life is) or they will be forced to adopt their policies to attract broader appeal. Neither of these is a bad thing.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 8, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            I realise AV is not the perfect PR you desire but it is a simple form of PR and it was roundly rejected.
            For every Germany there are many other nations where PR creates unstable Governments where tiny parties hold sway.
            France and Holland where a very right wing party exerts too much influence.
            Germany where a few Greens exert power way beyond the numbers that vote for them.
            But as Ive said we live in a democracy and you are entitled to your opinion.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted October 9, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            Edward2, AV is not a PR system in any way shape or form, simple or otherwise:


            It is worth noting that the Electoral Reform Society’s analysis of the 2015 election concluded that the current government’s majority would have been bigger if the election had been under AV than under FPTP:


            Yes I am entitled to my opinion, but having an opinion and vote that counts for something are two different things. My view is everyone should have both. Today, too many of us don’t.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

            If you cannot even get AV accepted in a referendum, what makes you think there is a desire for PR?

            Good article here from Dan Hodges on the Electoral Reform Society, their failures and the effect of PR on recent elections:-


            A safe seat is only safe as long as people are content to vote that way.
            I once lived in one of the safest seats for the Conservatives which changed to Lib Dem after the sitting MP ignored his constituents too much.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted October 9, 2015 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

            I consider that the article you reference blows its own credibility with its opening tag line “The British people decisively rejected a more proportional system in 2011”.
            AV is not, I repeat (and please read the links I posted earlier to validate this), not a proportional system.

            Do the electorate want more proportionality? These surveys say “yes”:



        • Edward2
          Posted October 11, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          You can produce surveys as long as you like, but the most accurate and recent one was the referendum on AV and it was was roundly rejected by nearly 70% of the voters.
          AV was considered to be a huge change from the first past the post system and a regarded as a form of PR by the vast majority who took part in the referendum.
          There are dozens of different PR systems, I’m never sure which one all you enthusiasts want.
          But if even a simple system like AV is rejected as a first step away from first past the post the chances of getting full PR adopted is nil.

  26. behindthefrogs
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    If we are to increase the number of gas powered power stations without having a major effect on the balance of payments this means the country must make major progress on fracking and other methods of producing the gas.

    • Mark
      Posted October 6, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      I don’t think the balance of payments benefits from importing windmills, nuclear plants and solar panels. I gather the contract to build the enclosing dam for Swansea Bay has gone to the Chinese.

      • A different Simon
        Posted October 6, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Mark ,

        The Conservatives will do and sell off any public asset to ensure the City is the major trading centre for the RMB and to get British banks access to the Chinese domestic market .

        I’m glad that the tidal lagoon is being built in Swansea . The only way to convince the greentards how low the energy density is and of the environmental problems is by building a pilot site like this .

        If the area enclosed by the M25 was converted into a tidal lagoon with a 6m tidal range it would generate less than twice the power of the proposed Hinckley Point replacement .

  27. Ian
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The Tories are traditionally ( so the accepted wisdom states ) the party of low taxes. The Tory glitterati need reminding of this from time to time…..

  28. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    With all of these things go fiscal and monetary responsibility, the most important overarching framework. I doubt that lower taxes always result in more State revenue. That is probably true only for the upper echelons of income tax, for capital gains tax and possibly for corporation tax. In other words, if the rich and resourceful think that they are paying too much tax, they will either hire top class tax advisors or vote with their feet.

    The things that gladden me are progress towards a smaller State and less governance. The continuing sell off of Lloyds and RBS shares is unreservedly good. Why not add Network Rail to the list? If Jeremy Corbyn can advocate renationalisation of the railways, we can advocate complete privatisation of them, en route discussing the best form of privatisation and service provision to force railways to make a profit.

    While on the subject of a smaller State, when-oh-when are we going to admit that the present level of public expenditure on the retired elderly is barely sustainable and will be totally unsustainable when the number of retired elderly reaches its peak, somewhere between 2025 and 2030. Of course, the peak may come later if the medical profession is allowed to carry on prolonging life artificially so that more people die of dementia (a truly terrible fate).

  29. DaveM
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    When is fairness for England likely to be mentioned at the Conference?

  30. petermartin2001
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    House prices are too high and rents too dear in places around the country and especially in London.

    I suppose we will hear, at the conference, a lot of this being blamed on immigrants. But immigrants in question will be those who do live and work in the capital the whole year round and do contribute to the working economy and genuinely do need somewhere to live.

    There will be little or no mention of those very temporary ultra wealthy immigrants who fly in, buy a property or two (or three?) , then fly out again.

    There are an estimated 22,000 empty properties in London. And who knows how many more which are almost empty. Maybe there’s just a housekeeper or caretaker employed to live there to give the appearance of occupation.


    • Peter Parsons
      Posted October 5, 2015 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Some of them don’t even fly in. Chinese property investors are happy to buy “off plan” in a way that British buyers won’t. As a consequence there are developments in London which are being sold directly to Chinese buyers while never even being marketed in the UK. The developers then use the money paid by Chinese buyers to pay for the building, so they don’t even need to risk their own cash to do the development.

    • Ted Monbiot
      Posted October 6, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      There are always thousands of properties vacant. Your figure for London is a very small percentage of the total number of homes and not surprising.
      There are several reasons why they are empty.
      Awaiting probate, awaiting planning permission, awaiting builders to commence the project, awaiting conveyancing to a new owner or awaiting new owners to move in.
      In our family it took nearly a year to gain probate of a relatives house during which time only the excecutors had access and then another six months to get the place ready for sale and then another six months before new owners moved in.
      Another relative moved from her home for nearly a year to care for an elderly relative in their home and not knowing how long this role would take was reluctant to rent out her own home.
      Having renovated one or two properties I can tell you gaining planning consent, getting foward financing and engaging contractors often takes over a year.
      It is not always wicked second home owners or rich foreigners.

  31. Edward2
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Impressed with TV coverage of the Conference I’ve seen so far.
    A good solid speech by the Chancellor
    Sensible central ground speeches by several other delegates.
    And very impressed by Amber Rudd’s performance on Adam Boulton’s interview, Sky tonight at around 7.15.

    Don’t the rabble outside the Conference centre just make the Labour party look so very poor.
    If I was a Labour leader I would be trying very hard to call them away.

  32. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 5, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Good points here John, however, if the EU get their way then cars will be off the road by 2030 replaced by what I don’t know. Public transport will never cope with the numbers affected.

    We definitely do need gas and our own gas. Fracking simply must go ahead without delay. Cheaper energy is the answer to a healthy economy.

    All well and good owning your own house but not if you end up like the workers in Redcar. I know what it is like when your husband comes home and tells you he has lost his job. Devastating!! The EU energy policy has a lot to answer for.

    The government’s move on welfare is welcome. Wages should be higher, taxes lower and make people earn their own living instead of expecting others (taxpayers) to fund their lifestyles.

  33. agricola
    Posted October 6, 2015 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Think about how it can be achieved. We did it after WW2 with the pre-fab, very effective, longer lasting than anticipated, if aesthetically limited.

    Now it can be done with real style, witness Sweden. Factory built, incorporating every energy saving device imaginable , and now very attractive to behold. As with cars a modern production line gives you volume, quality, and variety. What are you waiting for, perhaps it is the demise of the last nay sayer.

  34. Lesley
    Posted October 6, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Just to be awkward, but has anything ever been changed by the Party Conferance ?

  35. Lesley
    Posted October 6, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Sorry Conference!

  • 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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