A Christmas tale – the power of the ring

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utvAsBKp7FI   (Video version)


Many years ago – forty four to be precise – the United Kingdom came under the dreaded power of the one ring that rules all rings. It was easy at first, as they said it would be.

After all, we had given up the power of our ring willingly. We were told the one ring would be used sparingly. We still had control. The ring that controls all rings was used but lightly. It was as if the wizards had been right all along.

The one ring that controls all rings had lost much of its power.

It was possible to believe it was just a fairy tale that the ring of Brussels could do no wrong, brook no rivals, was under the spell of an unfriendly power.

Maybe the ring had been lost. Maybe hobbits as some had told had cast it into the furnace of Mordor after all.

Those who repeatedly claimed that the one ring was still out there, exerting its bad and increasingly powerful influence, were told they were mistaken.

They were scaremongers. They needed to get out more. They should read their Tolkein and understand the message. The ring had gone.

The rulers of the UK still wore the UK ring proudly. When rulers changed there was the same ancient ceremony to transfer the ring of power from one to the other.

It was true some rulers were distracted or overwhelmed by the ring’s power.

King Heath had fallen when he thought the power of our ring could allow him to stop people working five days a week according to our customs. King Callaghan was removed when he used the power of the ring to try to crush public service workers who wanted more money.

When King Blair used it to unleash war on middle kingdoms far away a mighty protest movement grew to oust him.

When he was replaced by King Brown the people were alert to the danger of misuse. They did not believe he had taken upon himself the power to end all booms and busts. He lost his right to the ring when the towers of UK banking came crashing down around him.

On each occasion power has passed peacefully from one to the next. The ring was taken easily from the hand of he who ruled, and passed to the legitimate heir.

Despite all this outward sign of order, the hobbits of Middle Britain persisted with their alternative history. Tolkien’s happy ending had been forced upon the writer by the custodians of the one ring.

When Gollum had plunged into the fires of Mordor with the ring a large eagle had mysteriously appeared and plucked the ring from him as he fell. The ring had been safely returned to the powers of Brussels. Only a few knew of its presence.

All were sworn to denial. This time around, reunited with their ultimate power, the controlling forces decided to get savvy.

They would not show off the ring in public for many years following its recapture. They would use its powers sparingly at first.

They would work towards a world where the holders of all the other rings thought they still had their powers, and wanted Brussels to control them more. Next time the one ring had to appear to be legitimately worn and wielded.

It was a nuisance to the dark forces that the United Kingdom was particularly sceptical about the missing ring. More and more Tolkien books were put into the misty isle.

Tolkien was made a hero. Films were made in English to get across the message. The whole panoply of government was tailored to reassure.

Everytime more power passed from our ring to the centre, we were told the opposite was happening. We were assured no power had passed.

We were given subsidiarity and opt outs. We were led to believe we did not have to join parts of the Union we did not like.

Whenever UK hobbits challenged the idea that Brussels did not hold sway, they were told pointedly that any day we could abolish the legal powers Brussels had over our ring. We could do it for ourselves by changing our laws.

There was no one ring dictating behind the scenes. Yet it seemed to a growing number of UK people that there was a dangerous power above us.

Told we could always settle our own taxes, Brussels made us impose VAT on things we did not want to tax. Brussels came along and awarded large backpayments of money into rich companies, claiming we had wrongly taxed them.

The UK voters chose a government dedicated to reducing the number of people we welcomed each year to join us in our communities. Brussels told the government that they could not do this.
They had to accept anyone who wanted to come from the rest of Europe.

Many voters wanted the UK to run its own fishing grounds.Brussels told us we had to allow huge industrial trawlers from Spain and Denmark, France and the Netherlands if they wished to come. The UK wanted to allow reasonable freedom to financial businesses. Brussels took over the task of controlling them, and set various rules we did not approve.

The hobbits kept up their pressure, claiming the one ring must still exist. They could feel its ever growing power. In a fit of pique and desperation the UK ruler laid down a challenge.

He said to all his critics there would be a great vote. The vote would show us we were still self-governing. If the critics could win, we would leave the Union and so show there was no all-powerful one ring above us. He assumed that with the power of the rings behind him, the hobbits would have no chance.

With all his fine and powerful friends they would be able to ridicule the very idea that the one ring was working its evil magic still.

As we now know, he lost his vote. The UK ring passed easily from him to another.
The new Queen showed early resolution to wrestle back our power from Brussels and to break the hold of the one ring that rules all rings over us. As soon as she did so mighty armies were unleashed.

Far from it proving the easy and willing transfer of power we had always been told would happen if we so chose, the Brussels forces unleashed legions of experts, business people, foreign governments, international institutions and others to say the UK had made a mistake, the UK would be punished, the UK would have to change her mind. If proof were needed, dear reader, that the one ring must still exist, that was it.

The dark wizards had let loose thunderbolts of forecasts, predicting every conceivable calamity for poor Britain.

As the overwhelming majority of these proved to be wrong after the vote, so the wizards made their forecasts worse and longer term. As things went well for Britain, so they plotted better ways to make them go bad.

The next few months will be crucial. Can the White Queen unite with the hobbits and the White Wizard, and destroy the power of the one ring over us?

In the process, how will the power of the one ring be wielded over the power of all the other European rings? Is it as they now say, you cannot break the power of the one ring?

Will the one ring be successfully wielded to forge a full political union? Can the one ring wearer make his universal money succeed?

I will keep you posted. Meanwhile, a very happy Christmas to you all. We are living through a gripping battle for our freedom.



  1. Lifelogic
    December 22, 2016

    A gripping battle for freedom indeed. Alas with a leader who thinks workers on company boards, central pay controls, Gender pay “gap” reporting, HS2 and endless other complete nonsenses are the priority.

    May is just not “fit for purpose”, to use that obnoxious politition’s phrase. She is a ditherer who lied to the voters, just months ago, that they had control of their borders even within the EU through Schengen. This in order to attempt to deceive them into a remain vote. Brexit means a “red white and blue Brexit” is the best she can come up with so far.

    Her decisions so far HS2, Hinkley, more greencrap, the dire Autumn statement, the failure to even set a lower taxes, smaller government, cheap energy as even an aspiration is a huge wasted opportunity. There is talent on the back benches and much remainer, lefty, greencrap dross in government. She does not seem to be remotely a real Tory to me. Her team looks like more of the same lefts, green crap Libdim think, tax borrow and waste dross, just like. Cameron and Major. Indeed much of it is rather like Ed Miliband’s bonkers agenda.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2016

      Excellent piece by Arthur Laffer the other day in the Telegraph. Except we do not want Trump’s silly protectionist agenda.


      1. Hope
        December 22, 2016

        It is quite simple you tell Brussels and its allies to piss off and walk away. Our country did not surrender to the evil power of Germany on two previous occasions for its aim of world domination and there is no need to be afraid of of its seudinym called Brussels now. The bad Germany still wants to expand East causing conflict with a super power that has told it on many occasions to piss off, yet Germany persists in its quest taking other weaklings with it.

        The bad Queen Merkel has stupidly and recklessly endangered all her people for her own personal quest and in doing so recklessly endangered all other people in countriestheoughout the EU who were weak and stood idly by. She is a menace for peace and safety, as her country has been on previous occasions. She needs to be told to go away for the peace and stability of Europe. If she does not go voluntarily force her. If the weak princess May shows no backbone remover her, the people are becoming restless with weak spineless greedy self indulgent politicos who only line their own pockets with gold. They all hang around a Westminster palace that he’s become discredited and rotten with corruption. Once politicos had self respect and honour and would resign, quite appropriately for wrong doing, now it is unheard of. The rules written by them put them above the people and normal stanfpdards in pun,in office. Once more, they fail to hear the people who will become restless and oust them. Thankfully their cousins in the US have taken the first brace step to clean up a swamp of corruption in their palace of politicos. Like the Arab Spring the feeling willl sweep the world. Remainiacs beware you will not be able to hide.

      2. Richard1
        December 22, 2016

        Indeed that is a good article. Let’s hope Laffer has some influence in the new administration & Donald Trump has the courage to implement radical policies. If he does and they succeed, perhaps that will embolden Mrs May and her colleagues. Trump’s protectionism on the other hand, if implemented, would be a disaster.

        1. Lifelogic
          December 22, 2016

          Indeed hopefully we can also get a sensible, cheap energy policy in the Trump mode in the UK too. It is very clear that climate alarmism is at best a huge exaggeration and probably a complete scam.

          What is also clear is the wind, PV, lagoons, imported bio-fuel, use of bikes and the likes does not even do anything for CO2. Even if you are a CO2 devil gas believer.

        2. acorn
          December 22, 2016

          When Reaganomics adopted the neo-liberal rejection of budget deficits, they also had to come up with the claim that the tax cuts would actually generate offsets in tax revenue and improve the budget balance.

          This was the comedy that became known as the Laffer Curve. The economist who was pushing that line in the 1980s has also maintained an intense opposition to any use of fiscal policy to stimulate real GDP growth.

          Laffer claims that the recent history shows that fiscal policy expansion damages growth. But when you dig into his argument you realise that the comedian is still trying to make us laugh. The problem is that Trumpism will adopt Lafferism, in totally different economic conditions to Reagan.

          Firstly, there is no such thing as “supply side” economics, for which A. Laffer is the poster boy. Secondly, no government seeks to maximise the yield from a tax, at some mythical point on a graph. If they did, then something has gone badly wrong with Tobacco taxes.

          The proposed sugar tax likewise will have to find the Laffer inflection point on a graph, to maximise the tax. The tax is meant to slowdown sugary drink consumption, not to maximise tax revenue from the product.

          Taxes are meant to be used to slow the economy down, not to raise revenue per-se. Taxes don’t pay for anything, they vaporise into thin air the moment they get back to the Treasury.

    2. a-tracy
      December 22, 2016

      What does red, white and blue say to you, what is a British future, I hope it is successful for all and our health and well-being? A positive change, repatriation of power that if it isn’t used well to the benefit of all of our regions under self-government we can change in four years time. A rejuvenation of our democracy.
      Free Trading; Independent; Internationalist. Now can this government deliver as we reject the power of the ring over us because some of them are giving all appearances that they don’t want the responsibility!

    3. Martin Reed
      December 22, 2016

      Agreed. She has merely carried on where brain-dead Dave left off. Calamitous decisions on Hinckley Point C and HS2, and the energy industry left to rot with the prospect of an unbridgeable growing gap between supply and demand as existing power stations are blown up without anything in the pipeline to replace them, except useless unreliable bird mincers that produce nowt for most of the time. No attempt even to start to rebuild armed forces shattered and demoralised by Dave. On top of that every sign May’s Brexit will be a stitch-up, ending with the UK going from half-in to half-out of the crumbling terror wracked EU after months wasted (years even) sitting on her bottom etc ed

    4. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2016

      Her only sensible policy that I have seen so far is grammar schools and she will not be able to deliver that. It is just a distraction dog whistle to try to keep the 100 on the sensible wing of the party quiet.

      Every day that passes convinces me that May and Hammond remain the wet Libdim remainers in essence, just like Cameron Major & the dire Osborne IHT ratter. I cannot see them ever doing the job of getting fully out. They are not up to it ever if their hearts were so inclined.

  2. margaret
    December 22, 2016

    They will not lord it over us ,they will not harvest the fruits of our labour,troglodytes troglodytes will skip from wall to wall proving that small survives, then raise it’s tail feathers to our glorious kingdom.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2016

      Well with spending at nearly 50% of Gdp they are harvesting a lot off a lot of people and largely wasting it.

  3. Prigger
    December 22, 2016

    I forgive you for spelling Tolkien Tolkein as my typing fingers almost always spell it incorrectly too. My George Eliot they incorrectly spell George Elliott eleventy-seven times out of eleventy-eight.

    “The one ring to rule them all” seemed pleasant especially when Elvish-English was chosen as the one tongue. But then we learned the Kings of Middle Europe had their own contexts for our words changing them magically meaning something other. Democracy meant none. Our-say meant their-say; our Parliament meant their Parliament; our freedom meant no-ones freedom; our own law paradoxically could only be used via the Orc-Eye Court to stop us having our own law.
    Yet we heard and they kept us awake in our beds at night the fearful moanings and grumblings and weeping of hornless hoofless hapless Remain-deers. A vocal prelude to a great Christmas indeed. Happy Christmas JR and all Commenters of the Shire!

  4. Bernard from Bucks.
    December 22, 2016

    Excellent John, but you missed out two characters, the Dark Lord Mandelson on his dark throne, and the Wizard Kinnock in his coat of many colours, but thanks for the laugh.
    May you have the very best Christmas for forty years.

    1. DaveM
      December 22, 2016

      He also missed out the Bitter Witch from the North who was convinced that the One Ring’s holder would grant her riches beyond her dreams and therefore sought to brainwash her subjects and try to undermine the newly-recharged powers of the UK ring. Little did she realise her powers were hollow and illusionary and that the majority of her subjects preferred the Wizard they knew to the one that promised nothing but would take everything.

  5. E.S Tablishment
    December 22, 2016

    Some say the Government in Poland is behaving undemocratically with its constitutional changes. The EU says it is indeed undemocratic and is demanding it stop. That is, the undemocratic EU telling the democratically elected but possibly undemocratically behaving government of Poland what to do “in the name of democracy”. One hears the clanking of two fools gold rings each and both simultaneously proving their worth.
    So Europe and Poland stumble as ever, in a continuous loop of repetition, as ever, on their long upward bifurcated path to two false gods.They being the back and front of the Dark Lord Morgoth who bears an uncanny resemblance when he takes off his spectacles to Jean Claude Juncker

    1. Mitchel
      December 22, 2016

      Poland has a habit of vanishing for long periods due to it’s own dysfunctionality;can we hope for the same of the EU?!

  6. Mark B
    December 22, 2016

    Good morning.

    Well, what can I say ? That was almost as long as the bloody original ! 😉

    But none of the above would have ever happened without the connivance of willing helpers here in the UK and in parliament.

    But there are ‘external forces’ acting in all directions regarding our membership. Not least, the EU itself. They want us gone ! Not that I am complaining. But the sooner people in power realise this the better. It does not matter what side you are on, the world is changing and we had better all change with it.

  7. alan jutson
    December 22, 2016

    Our ring still exists in all of its past glory, problem is it has been put away in a dark place, and has not seen the light of day for many years.

    Indeed it has not been seen for so long, that many of our political elite have forgotten what it looks like or even where it is located, many suggest that it has gone abroad for safe keeping by others, but perhaps now we have a few people actually searching for it, we may find it closer to home.

    Perhaps, just perhaps if enough people search hard enough, they may even find it hidden somewhere in the House of Commons, and we can then show it off proudly to the rest of the World again.

  8. Frodo
    December 22, 2016

    Times Literary Supplement editor Stig Abel said something interesting on TV’s Sky Papers. “Terrorism always brings the Right into power not the Left” Let’s not quibble about the meaning of Left and Right for argument’s sake. He was speaking about the terror in Berlin- Germany and in other countries. We know what he meant. Equally, it could be said that “Not being Right in all senses ushered in the terror in the first place.” Not being right about the EU grew in the telling and in the living. The Round Table ( Arthur’s ), one ring, one rule, for all, is our legend. The EU unsurprisingly for it is a reality and not the stuff dreams are made of ,could never fulfil our noble ancient mindset, which was a prayer , a hope..a progression. The thing is, we already possessed the One Ring, it was in our own pocketses all the time.

  9. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    December 22, 2016

    May the epic fairy-tale struggle for independence one day give way to the realization of interdependence.
    Merry Christmas to all.

    1. Hope
      December 22, 2016

      No, it wa the independence that we strove for in previous wars that you gave you and countrymen freedom to choose. A simple thank you would be suffficient. It interdepence nonsense.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        December 23, 2016

        @Hope: Thank you! Especially to the Russians, who sacrificed almost 30 times as many soldiers to topple Hitler than your country did, but nobody here denies that the British empire also played its role.

        1. rose
          December 24, 2016

          The Nazi Soviet Pact enabled Hitler to start the war with his back protected.

    2. Know-dice
      December 22, 2016

      Merry Christmas to you as well Peter 🙂

      Independent from the EU and cooperation with the European nations, would suit me fine…

  10. Ian Wragg
    December 22, 2016

    So when is the Hobbit in Chief going to start extricating us from this circus.
    £1 billion monthly tribute and 75000 more mouths to feed.
    Time is running out.

  11. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    December 22, 2016

    The white queen should make a little haste to cast her magic Article 50 spell, because a post-Brexit deal may have to be agreed by at least 38 national and regional parliaments, including the 27 national parliaments, at least five regional and linguistic parliaments in Belgium and at least five upper chambers.
    Who would dare to say now that the EU machinery was undemocratic? 🙂

    1. Gandolf
      December 22, 2016

      I would dare to say it’s undemocratic ! Designed to make leaving or any sort of individualism impossible.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        December 23, 2016

        @Gandolf: Actually, it has nothing t do with leaving but with “mixed treaties” and the result of the trade deal with Singapore being an example of a mixed treaty. CETA (trade deal with Canada) just proved that national democratic oversight in mixed treaties are quite possible.

    2. bigneil
      December 22, 2016

      Over 17 million Brits.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        December 23, 2016

        64-17 = 47.
        17 million amounts to only 52%. A quite divided country.

        1. Hope
          December 24, 2016

          Not at all. There is always a winning and losing side at each election. Normally with a much lower turn out.

    3. ian wragg
      December 22, 2016

      Which Peter is a good reason for walking away from the whole dysfunctional shooting match.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        December 23, 2016

        @ian wragg: CETA (EU deal with Canada) was approved by all these parliaments. Then again, Canadese didn’t go out of their way to make enemies in EU countries and stayed on good speaking terms with all.

    4. Chris S
      December 22, 2016

      On the contrary, the EU is a profoundly undemocratic construct.

      It only takes note of anything remotely democratic when it suits and ignores the people when it doesn’t. The Dutch referendum being the most recent example only last week!

      I doubt whether there will be an EU of 27 countries by the time any UK trade deal is finalised. Your guess is as good as mine as to how many will be left to ratify a deal. My guess is we will just leave without a deal because it will take so long.

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        December 23, 2016

        @Chris S: You obviously have to read up a bit more (and not just in the Daily Express) what a consultative referendum means, what has been achieved since that referendum and why both chambers of parliament (one in which the government only has a minority stake) now will agree.
        We’re a representative parliamentary democracy, in which due to its complete proportionality, a majority in parliament corresponds to a majority among the people.

    5. APL
      December 23, 2016

      PvL: “because a post-Brexit deal may have to be agreed by at least 38 national and regional parliaments, including the 27 national parliaments, ”

      The would be no treaty change, just a change to the number of contracting parties.

      Any agreements between the UK state and the European Union, would be just that. Between the EU and the UK, no need to discuss anything with the member states.

      Unless the EU is in ‘revenge mode’. (shrug)

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        December 23, 2016

        @APL: If you don’t go for a mixed agreement but purely something on trade, the European Commission is mandated to sign and national parliaments won’t need to ratify as well.

  12. hefner
    December 22, 2016

    What, no comment on the role of Queen Margaret and her successor King John, nor on the “flying monkeys” of more recent times?

    1. margaret
      December 22, 2016

      Confucius says ” Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall”
      If Matilda of England was around we would have one of the greatest diplomats of our history and able to handle the current situation .

    2. Hope
      December 22, 2016

      JR, charitably flew over the Maastricht horror story that Major brought to everyone on this land. Never let him or his kind have power again. O matte what disguise they wear like a falseEurosceptic Cameron type.

    3. hefner
      December 22, 2016

      And may ALL contributors to this cheery website have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. It was (mostly) a pleasure to read you all.
      “Talk” to you maybe in 2017.

  13. Newmania
    December 22, 2016

    Tolkien fan, a man for whom the piling up of vaguely learned detail disguises the lack of plot and failure to provide any coherent narrative.
    Not my cup of tea but a good festive effort , well done
    CS Lewis is my favourite of the Inklings , I wonder what he would have made of our lurch into barbarism. I think , as a medievalist he would deplore a version of English identity identity that starts in 1688 , or perhaps the reformation, and ignores our long place as part of wider Christendom . Latin was once the European language of learning allowing a free exchange of ideas , Chaucer, an ordinary man , travelled widely in Europe and wrote in the French courtly style .Aside from impoverishing ourselves we are hacking at our own roots.
    1688 and the cause of Protestantism provides deep well springs for Euro scepticism , I accept that , but it is not the whole story , we are Cavaliers as well as Round Heads .
    You can at no cost, discover and watch the whole of the classic BBC series Civilisation , over the Christmas period . The first episode is called” By the skin of our teeth” and tells the thrilling tale of how civilisation was all but snuffed out by the dark ages . Only a few monks clung on copying the ancient books for generations, in the rocky outcrops of this country.

    If Rome falls again ( geddit ) , god help us all .

    1. zorro
      December 24, 2016

      What is your problem? Are you a Catholic and for some reason resent some aspects of our history? (By the way, I have no religious baggage). I can assure you that the Catholic church tried very hard to extinguish and crush the heretics…. but failed in may countries on the European continent!

      Why do you suggest that we are ‘lurching towards barbarism’?. Noone is suggesting that we will never cross the Channel again or read French, Spanish, or German. Everything from you appears in such apocalyptic terms. Take a chill pill!

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

  14. stred
    December 22, 2016

    The Big Bad Corporation of the Ring told the people that they were wrong every day and before they went to bed their wizard gang, lead by Dobby, would make them realise slowly but surely that they should change their mind. The people were not quick to learn and so the wizards with wigs met and found many ways to stop them making the wrong decision. The White queen became confused and spent more time buying clothes than leading her people. She chose between red, white and blue when her wizards were choosing between hard and soft. No-one in the land could understand what she was thinking about and a rebellion was growing, with the people becoming impatient and bad tempered. ……………………

  15. Shieldsman
    December 22, 2016

    2017 will not be a good year for the Brussels holders of the ring.
    The Oligarchy will be overthrown as the member States seek freedom from the centrist dictatorship.
    Free Trade and Freedom of Movement are simply not compatible.
    The Euro is wrecking the economies of Greece, Italy, Spain and many other members.

    Let us get on with negotiating our exit from the EU. Links to the Single Market without F.O.M. is a reality, and worth fighting for. A lot can happen in the Article 50 two year timescale.

    Even those Labour MP’s who voted to remain are seeing the light.
    Andy Burnham wrote in the Guardian: ‘The time has come for the left to break out of this dysfunctional cycle of denial and overreaction. By specifying single market access as our highest priority in the Brexit negotiations, we are getting things in the wrong order. The implication of this position is that if Europe made accepting full freedom of movement as its price, we would accept it. That is it is not what people voted for.’
    Yvette Cooper added: free movement hasn’t been working for the British economy in a way that’s fair.

  16. norman
    December 22, 2016

    “We are living through a gripping battle for our freedom.” Many a true word in your bottom line, and I agree 100%. Whilst the outcome is still not assured to us, nor the road ahead likely to be an easy one, it’s manifestly a great mercy that we’ve come this far. Looking back over the extraordinary history of this Sceptred Isle, its time for the few, yet one more time, to appeal to a ‘Higher Court’.

  17. Jerry
    December 22, 2016

    Funny how Queen Thatcher has been expunged from your tail of woe, even though she and her inner group of advisers share the most blame for what the EU has turned into. When will Mr Redwood that in the past he is has been as much the problem as the he is trying look like the solution today, if he really was/is the eurosceptic he claims he could have done to Queen Thatcher what he and other tried to do to King Major (or indeed what the trade unions did to King Callaghan and King Heath), but no the allure of a nice safe seat (perhaps for life, if he later swaps a green seat for a read seat) to strong to resist – career before country, or so it appears…

    Reply A silly slur – I supported what Mrs Thatcher was trying to do, and did not receive a safe seat from her!

    1. Richard1
      December 22, 2016

      Margaret Thatcher’s main battles were against the external threat of Soviet aggression – which she and Reagan defeated comprehensively, and against revolutionary socialism at home, which had crippled the U.K. Economy. The EU at the time was a much smaller and less imperial venture, and the free trade and broadly market oriented policies it mandated were a help to Thatcher in reviving a sclerotic U.K. Perhaps she should have seen that the Single Market would be used as a tool to force harmonisation in fields inconceivable when it was agreed. But that’s being wise after the event – at the time it looked like a sensible free trading open market policy. Clearly she should not have joined the ERM.

      But the saving of the world from Soviet communism – and the intellectual and moral collapse of socialism which followed is owed mainly to Margaret Thatcher and to Ronald Reagan. And the recovery of the UK to one of the worlds most prosperous and dynamic economies is owed to Margaret Thatcher.

    2. Edward2
      December 22, 2016

      You’ve gone all bitter Jerry.
      It’s one thing to have an alternative viewpoint but is it really achieving anything to be so personal and rude in your recent comments?

    3. Jerry
      December 22, 2016

      @JR reply; I never said that Mrs Thatcher gave or found you a safe seat, just that you obtained one, almost certainly due to being a loyal Thatcherite and party member, not because you had been speaking out and against Mrs Thatchers (apparent, now you inform us) poor judgement in relation to both the Single European Act (and the Schengen Agreement, that her government also signed up to).

      Have you ever faced a serious reselection contest since being first selected for your Conservative seat in the mid 1980s, if not and with its usual large majorities to the Conservative candidate, most would call Conservative a safe seat for as long as you want it.

      “I supported what Mrs Thatcher was trying to do”

      What Mrs Thatcher was trying to do (even if she did not realise it at the time), and succeeded in doing, was taking the UK even deeper into the ideals and utopia set out in the Treaty of Rome, uncorking the Genie called “Ever closer Union” with eventual political and fiscal union. Until then the EEC was not much more than a customs union with a few bolted on goodies that mostly troubled no one. If you really thought at the time this country was at risk from the EEC/EU and the path Mrs T was taking you could have followed Mr Powell lead a decade earlier, either by speaking out publicly before you were even selected for Wokingham, during the 1987 GE campaign, or indeed any time since.

      Reply. I did make clear my opposition to the single European Act when I applied for the Wokingham seat.

  18. Yossarion
    December 22, 2016

    If I read right, a trusted Vince Cable advisor is to become a trusted member of the PMs staff ( that should shore up the leaks), remind me again the point of voting Conservative?

    1. Hope
      December 22, 2016

      You should have realised that from the appointment of Milburn and other appointments of former Labour ministers i.e. Oxonian to Cameron’s team rather than Tories! Look at the amount of Miliband policies they copy and introduce.

  19. Anonymous
    December 22, 2016

    Happy Christmas John.

    Thank you for putting up with us.

    1. Chris S
      December 22, 2016

      I would strongly like to second that !

      Here’s hoping for a swift declaration of A50 before the Spring.

  20. Bert Young
    December 22, 2016

    The important thing is that the ring is truly a sovereign one ; without this rules are meaningless . We have made the first step ; we now face the next big ones . Theresa has a lot on her plate looking in one direction ; the last thing she wants ( or we want ) is for her to have to look over her shoulder at any divisive moves in her own party . A firm hand is required .

  21. Chris S
    December 22, 2016

    In a post under the Mosul thread I mentioned that I have submitted a Government petition calling for the UK’s ludicrous Foreign Aid budget to at least be slashed in half.

    I’m somewhat surprised but very pleased that the Petition has been accepted and was published yesterday.

    I won’t go into the reasons because everyone posting here prides themselves in being very well informed but if you would like to support the petition you can sign it here :


    We need 10,000 signatures to get a response from Government and 100,000 for it to be considered for a debate. Given adequate circulation via Email and Facebook etc, these numbers should easily be achieved in the 6 months allowed, such is the annoyance at the vast amount of our ( borrowed ) money being wasted.

    Remember a statutory amount for Foreign Aid was Clegg’s idea which CMD was happy to go along with. It’s us taxpayers and our children who are having to pay for their foolishness.

  22. Mitchel
    December 22, 2016

    “For in our plans,the living cannot defend Minas Tirith without the fury of those long dead”-Gandalf.

    We may have to summon the Army of the Dead;does anyone know how one goes about doing that these days?!

  23. acorn
    December 22, 2016

    The French have got a plan writes Prof Bill Mitchell. “It lists three options for reforming the Eurozone: (a) Return to original principles (Maastricht 2.0) where nations were fiscally separate and there would be no bailouts; (b) Reinforced fiscal integration with “joint liability for sovereign debt” and control of “national parliaments’ fiscal sovereignty’ by some European-level institution (Commission/Parliament); and a (c) a US federal model. They are motivated by the conclusion that the current situation is “ineffective”, which is a euphemism for total dead-in-the-water failure. They do not broach the most obvious and, in the long-run, best solution, which is consistent with the cultural and historical realities – orderly breakup and return to true currency sovereignty.”

  24. Malcolm Lidierth
    December 22, 2016

    Part of the argument for the mobjustice funded Irish High Court case is that the EU is wrongly excluding the UK from meetings of the EU Council (even though HMG volunteered that: also possible illegally). A similar argument might apply to the EU rotating Presidency.

    The rhetoric from the one ring that rules all rings since then suggests we might have been too generous. Purely out of deference to the 48%, perhaps we should reassert our right to membership of Council and the Presidency for the remaining duration of our membership.

    Normal wisdom relating to the tent doesn’t apply in the present circumstances. Being inside the tent and closer to the target might have advantages.

  25. Ed Mahony
    December 22, 2016

    Dear Mr Redwood
    – very good!
    Happy Christmas

  26. Russell
    December 22, 2016

    Very nice blog piece.

    It reminds me that fiction writing has the power to reveal what remains hidden from sight.

    I couldn’t stop smiling while reading it.

    I feel very optimistic for 2017.

    Merry Christmas!

  27. Michael Cluer
    December 22, 2016

    And a very Happy Christmas to you and yours .

  28. Mike Wilson
    December 22, 2016

    I am wondering if those currently exiled to the arid wastes of, say, the Costa del Sol who, once the power of the one ring is broken, will be sent back to this damp, yet temperate land of unaffordable and restricted housing – will be able to afford to live here and afford housing? Or will they become a massive burden on the state?

    I’d be curious to know what Leavers think is actually going to happen to these people because it looks to me as though they are going to be kicked out. Quite how that will work when some of them have jobs their and mortgages there and so on … can any Leaver explain?

    1. rose
      December 24, 2016

      Do you think Spain, with all its illegal immigrants – it has foolishly given two amnesties, thus encouraging ever more – is going to deport legally settled British people who pay their way? Quite apart from wanting to maintain relations with us for all sorts of self-interested reasons.

      1. rose
        December 26, 2016

        Spain has given 6 amnesties.

  29. Atlas
    December 22, 2016

    Interesting juxtaposition of the JRR plot onto modern times.

    Where does an EU ‘fifth column’ fit into its sequel I wonder?

  30. formula57
    December 22, 2016

    I had forgotten about your delightful Christmas tales and much as I am ignorant of Tolkien (out of choice) I enjoyed this latest. Thank you.

    Very best wishes to you in return for a very happy Christmas. Thank you afresh for this informative and insightful blog and most of all for all your efforts in securing our liberation from the Evil Empire.

  31. pd
    December 22, 2016

    Merry xmas to you John, I’m sure you will turn this story into a book one day once we have left this sorry circus

  32. margaret
    December 22, 2016

    Tonight as I await Barbara’s arrival I will turn my mind to the religious theme and remember times when my son played an ass in Bury Grammar’s school pantomime . His mask kept slipping down and the poor lad couldn’t see where he was going. The direction or the plot was already set , some may say in stone, but his individual take on it caused humorous ructions . This is a happy time when rebirth and good memories should be highlighted and rings of power not metamorphosed into a never ending helix of sameness without mutations. The pacific rings of fire change the shape of all to be . All will be well ……

  33. Bryan Harris
    December 22, 2016

    John, you are a man of many talents – but I’m glad you became a politician…
    You rightly do not underestimate the task ahead of the government, we really are living through a gripping battle for our freedom.

    Do have a happy Christmas.

  34. David Price
    December 22, 2016

    Happy Christmas John and I hope a prosperous New Year for us all – if the government leadership exercises wisdom and courage.

  35. ian
    December 22, 2016

    Onwards and upwards and a merry christmas to all.

  36. norman
    December 22, 2016

    Who will drain these Whitehall swamps, that are a national disgrace and bring shame on our country? Bending over backwards in a sort of P/C reverse discrimination? Needs to go to Ministers (FYI John – thank you for your blog, and happy Christmas to you).

  37. fedupsoutherner
    December 22, 2016

    Brilliant article John. We are living through a gripping battle for our freedom.

    True, but is our arsenal big enough?

    Merry Christmas to you and yours too and a big thanks for the informative material you have provided this year.

  38. Mad Hatter
    December 22, 2016

    It seems Sky News and “all the world are not sure what Trump means in his tweets exactly”
    It was this tweet, this time, which was not understood :-

    “Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 6h hours ago
    The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”

    I’m more than willing to act as interpreter for the whole world:

    “The United States” =America , that bit just below Canada
    “must”= has to, needs to, and, ( in this sense: goddam will )
    “greatly strengthen and expand”= get more nuclear bombs and stuff
    ” its nuclear capability”= ability to bomb you with nuclear bombs
    “until such time the world comes to its senses” = to the point or date when people in the world become even remotely sane in appreciating what terrible evil things nuclear weapons are.
    “regarding nukes”= a cleverly expressed subliminal sub-text reiteration and emphasis in two- words of the preceding phrase and the whole subject of the tweet. ( nukes = an almost slang and “familiar” word for an awful mechanism which by the intended false familiarity deepens the impact of the very last word as a treble reiteration and emphasis of the whole tweet.

    +Note…He has stated all this before several times but the “world” was not listening.
    Since Trump’s words are misunderstood even by our government’s Ministers I naturally would require an Osborne/Blair type speech payment for every tweet I translate.It’s bargain!

  39. A thick plot
    December 23, 2016

    Pippin is already leader of the Libdorks.Gandalf is leader of the under 23 and a halflings . And May-it-be piper of the Rohirrim,a motley crew of elves, reformed goblins and Wimin

  40. Dunedin
    December 23, 2016

    A very enjoyable article. Looking at some activities in the financial sector, these might have been described as “dark arts” in historic times.

    The Wizard of Doom, the rather gloomy chap who resides in a great fortress at the end of Threadneedle Street, spends his days practising the dark arts of:

    Foretelling the future – the Wizard of Doom examines a wide array of economic runes to produce regular predictions of a dismal future, mainly due to ignoring his advice on Brexit. The Treasury indulge in similar wizardry – their far-sighted seers tell us how impoverished we can expect to be in 2030.

    Casting spells – interest rates are a legendary weapon against the fearsome dragons of inflationary and deflationary forces. Setting interest rates gives the Wizard of Doom great power over the economy and financial markets. The Chief Wizardess of the Federal Reserve can even move global markets with only the slightest hint of policy change. Financial hobbits on both sides of the pond are held in thrall awaiting announcements, dot plots and fan charts.

    Alchemy – in the past wizards stirred vats of molten base metals in an attempt to create gold, but this is no longer possible due to environmental concerns and health and safety regulations. Today the Wizard of Doom and the other gloomy chap at the Treasury like to create money (not gold) out of thin air and some computer entries.

    The City hobbits prefer to use different names for these dark arts – economic forecasting, monetary policy, and quantitative easing all sound much more respectable, academically rigorous, and therefore worthy of great remuneration.

    Merry Christmas

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