Postings to this site

Some people are sending in far too many posts each day, and some are still sending in very long posts. This is an exceptionally busy time with Parliament trying to complete necessary business and people preparing for the election to come, so my time for moderating is reduced. I will have to delete more.

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  1. Peter D Gardner
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    We send in many and long posts because there is so much going wrong and Mrs May’s Government seems not to understand what needs to be done and much of what she says she wants do is deeply misguided.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Indeed she is almost worse than Ted Heath and Ed Miliband. Prices and income controls, more employment red tape, gender pay repoerting and ever higher taxes. Why did she ever join the Conservatives?

      • Mitchel
        Posted April 26, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        The Guardian columnist,Abi Wilkinson, wrote an article yesterday :-“May is stealing Ed Miliband’s clothes-but no-one’s shouting ‘Red Theresa'”

        I guess she hasn’t come across this blog’s most celebrated contributor.She ought to get out more!

    • sm
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Then why don’t you air your views on, say, ConservativeHome, which is designed to promote political discussion, and which is often read by MPs?

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted April 26, 2017 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        sm, I do. But JR is far more sensible than most of the people writing on Conservative Home. I live in hope that he is more likely to do something! But I understand he is very busy.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Don’t mention the crooked 0.7% aid target is staying , the pension triple lock is to be abolished, the mood music pointing to higher taxes and lack of action on the budget deficit..the detail free Brexit programme about to hit turbulence..

      If I was John Redwood I too would suddenly find myself being too busy to defend the croc of merde Mummy May is serving up.

  2. pleb
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Loads of resignations.
    Don’t resign JR we need you in HOC.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      We need about 380 more of like mind.

  3. percy openshaw
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    At the risk of offering another tedious comment, might I ask your opinion, Mr Redwood, of recent rumours concerning conservative tax plans? In my view raising taxes to pay down the deficit is counter productive. It depresses the economy, reduces revenue and encourages governmental profligacy. May I also raise the issue of capping energy bills. This was a Labour policy and most unwise it was. Why should the Tory leadership so arrogantly attempt to junk tried and tested conservative principles? Do they want to squander the opportunity of a life time? I shall continue to support the party for fear of the alternative – but how many others will? What about the self-employed – so nearly harmed by Mr Hammond’s foolish tinkering with national insurance? What confidence may they have? In too many spheres our leader is dangerously adrift from party sentiment and free market principle. I should like to hear your views on these matters if it is not too much to ask.

    Reply I know of no such plan to increase tax rates to reduce the deficit further. The Manifesto is likely to reaffirm lower rates and taking more people out of Income Tax.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted April 26, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Public spending rose last year from £761 billion to £784 billion, and is due this year to hit £797 billion….I’d hate it if a ‘high tax’ party were in charge..

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 26, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      But they have not even kept Osborne IHT promise of 8+ years back yet. What value has a Tory manifesto?

  4. Bert Young
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    One response per day ought to be the criteria .

  5. Ian Pennell
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    My apologies! I certainly do not wish to detract from your campaigning to get Theresa May re-elected with a bigger Majority. Indeed, I thought that, perhaps, Sir that you might appreciate some practical ideas to encourage Theresa May, costed policies that would increase the Conservatives’ electoral appeal- which is what we want.

    Far from detracting from your Campaign efforts I support them and wish you the very best. However, there are pitfalls into which the Conservatives must not fall- because if they do that poll lead could shrink very quickly. In short, if the Conservatives can be portrayed as the Party that would cut Public Services, put up taxes or clobber the poor the Opposition will milk it for all it is worth!

    There are ways of funding policies without putting up debts more and that don’t bring us trouble from Voters like the sale of Government-owned stakes in banks, cutting Quangos, selling Council houses, etc. A Tax Amnesty Programme, like they have had in some US States could also bring in ££ billions (these have been successful where tried). The Conservative Leadership (I would say all Conservative MP’s in fact) need to be made aware of other ways of funding policies than more taxes, more borrowing and (other) spending cuts in order that we steer well clear of P.R. disasters like Phillip Hammond’s Spring Budget! Yet we still need good unique policies to maintain our strong Poll Lead.

  6. acorn
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    The government’s budget deficit (net borrowing) for fiscal 2016/17, is down by about £20 billion on the previous year. That is twenty billion that won’t be bouncing around the economy buying stuff. Have a look at .

    On sheet PSA1, you will see that the net debt for 2016/17 (row 46), both excluding and including public sector banks is going up. Then have a look at PSA7A for 2016/17 (row 48). The little people continue to be “austeritised” while the Banks get a bundle of very cheap money (probably the Term Funding Scheme) to boost their profit margins. There is no sign that the Term Funding Scheme has benefited 26 million households, what-so-ever.

    The Treasury helicopter would have done more good for the little people’s economy, if it had dropped £2,000 worth of tax credit vouchers onto 26 million households, instead of the banksters.

  7. Chris francis
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Dear J R,

    Please impress on TM, how totally awful she sounds when she just spouts the same engineered sound bites all the time

    I noticed it with Blair first and it feels/seems that old and dreadful! PLEASE ask her to stop it – its awful and extremely irritating!! People are far more sophisticated about politics these days. She should know that and if she doesn’t, she should!



    • Chris
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly. I fear it is a result of Theresa May’s closest advisers, who I think are of the liberal left mindset, more akin to Blairism than true Conservatism, and very much aligned to the non nasty party doctrine. From them I think you are always likely to get spin, meaningless statements/sound bites, all carefully crafted in order to mean very little and not to upset anyone. That was why Farage and Trump commanded tremendous support. They were not afraid to say how things actually were. Their view is that if you identify the problem correctly, and do not shy away from that, for fear of upsetting this group or that, then there is at least a hope that the much needed resources are focused on said problem, with a view to solving it. In the wishy washy ground of centrism, there will never apparently be that clarity of thinking, nor will problems be solved, but merely “lived with”, a la Macron and his view on the terrorism threat.

  8. simple soul
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    This hounding of Tim Farron is one of the most disgraceful things in our public life since the hounding of Oscar Wilde in Victorian times. In both cases over essentially private matters. Once you start to make windows into men’s souls, in order to enforce a party line, who knows where we shall all end up?

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      The way the Oxbridge PC thing is going it will become mandatory that one engages in certain lifestyles otherwise be guilty of hate crime. Mere ‘tolerance’ will become a crime in itself. In fact ‘tolerance’ connotes a dislike and to dislike is no longer allowed.

      • Protestant Reformed
        Posted April 27, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        The way the Oxbridge PC thing is going it will become mandatory that one engages in certain lifestyles otherwise be guilty of hate crime. Mere ‘tolerance’ will become a crime in itself. In fact ‘tolerance’ connotes a dislike and to dislike is no longer allowed.

        Its all about easing the troubled consciences of those who like Marx have chosen hell.

        Really it is rather pathetic to watch and pathetic MPs are so timid and inarticulate in the face of it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 25, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Surely if a politician holds hold to religious or any other belief systems then voters are perfectly entitled to know. If you fall for one belief system without evidence you might easily fall for another deception – climate alarmism perhaps or the idea that have more employee “rights” help employees, or that yet more state is the solution.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted April 26, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        ‘Surely if a politician holds hold to religious or any other belief systems then voters are perfectly entitled to know. If you fall for one belief system without evidence you might easily fall for another deception’

        – Mrs Thatcher was a Christian.

        It was thanks to the Catholic Church in medieval England that we have Oxford, Cambridge, grammar schools, guilds, the rule of law, Parliament, the monarchy, concept of just war, patronage to the arts, focus on family life, worth ethic / diligence, and all the other virtues leading to a strong, steady nation.

        Many of our greatest scientists were devout Christians for their day: Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, and many others.
        Many of our best people in business were devout Christians, in particular, the Quakers.
        Many of our best people in the arts were devout Christians: TS Eliot, Evelyn Waugh, Tolkien, and many others.

        And, yes, we’ve had crazy religious people as well … as well as crazy atheists and agnostics.

        So I think there should be a limit to what voters are entitled to know. If not, it turns into an inquisition.

      • Hope
        Posted April 26, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        Spot on. Cameron ignored the public when he imposed gay marriage. It is right we know their values especially as they impose laws and regulation on our lives? It is stupid to say otherwise. W should know the sort of person we are voting for. How many times have Lib Dumbs hounded people and labelled them for similar things?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 26, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink


      • rose
        Posted April 26, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        I would rather an intelligent conservative christian any day than an atheist socialist. The Soviet Union was atheist and so was Nazi Germany. Most of the terrifying tyrannies of the 20th century were atheist.

        The Chief Rabbi of a few years ago said that when man dethrones God we are in trouble. There may be something in that.

        Now we are in a situation where religion is being displaced by quasi religion and people persecuted for not subscribing to it. Climate alarmism is just one example.

  9. rose
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I have been full of admiration for Tim Farron standing up to the Inquisition. Now, alas, he has caved in. Will anyone nowadays take on the tyrrannical opinion forming media? Only Marine Le Pen it would seem.

    We had the ghastly spectacle some years back of an Italian Commissioner being booted out of Brussels because he was a Roman Catholic. An Italian, a Roman Catholic!!! That was unacceptable.

  10. margaret
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    You don’t need to justify what you do on your own site, Like the BBC you can pick and choose.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted April 26, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink


      I agree with you. John has politely requested shorter – and to the point, posts, several times. Regrettably, the message doesn’t seem to be getting through.

  11. Jerry
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I do not expect to make any new comments [1] until the manifesto(s) are published and then June 8th or 9th, unless something significant arises. It is unfair to expect any politician to host a meaningful impartial debate whilst asking for a renewed mandate from their constituents and the wider nation.

    I will carry on reading our hosts diary entries though!

    Sorry to see MPs stand down.

    [1] although I have replied to some older debates, but tried to be short

  12. leave won
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Great comment over on
    Going Postal

    *It seems at times the MSM/BBC/Sky?Ch4 so called news empires along with their powerful political and vested interests NGO, 3rd Sector and banker friends are winning the propaganda battle for Brexit, immigration and many other things by using every dirty trick known
    Isn’t it time the “opposition” to all this, stopped playing at being gentlemen and used some tactics ? We are not in a talent contest, this is the future of the UK we are talking about here. Scoring points is no longer enough”

  13. Freeborn John
    Posted April 25, 2017 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    The reporting of further climb downs by the UK government in EU negotiations are very concerning.

    The EU is reacting to this weakness by May and David Davis by making extra demands, for example ongoing Uk payments in to the EU budget after Brexit including new demands for ongoing direct agricultural payments. May and David Davis urgently (this week) need to get a backbone and categorically rule out all payments to the EU. If these continue we will need a 2nd movement in the Uk to Leave what will be a de-facto EU membership.

    The EU is making all these demands just to agree to begin talks on a tree trade agreement and has now ruled out financial services from that FTA. I fail to see any point to a trade agreement with the EU that covers industrial and agricultural goods in which they have a surplus and does not work those service sectors where we have a surplus. May and Davis are making one unilateral concession after another and failing to get anything in return.

    Reply The source seems to be officials. I don’t think this is the Ministerial line. Negotiations proper have not begun so it would be absurd to suggest any weakening of our stance.

    • Chris S
      Posted April 26, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      We all know on what side the “officials” were on.

      I think it is hard for us to imagine how difficult it must be for David Davies and Mrs May to insist on following the direction they wish to take us in the face of “advice” to the contrary from die hard remainers in Whitehall.

      Any episode of “Yes Minister/ Prime Minister” gives an idea are what they are up against. Then, of course, there is the BBC and the Opposition parties, none of which seem the slightest bit interested in helping by showing a united front on any aspect of Brexit. Quite the opposite, in fact. Shameful political point scoring.

    • Know-dice
      Posted April 26, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply:

      “Negotiations proper have not begun so it would be absurd to suggest any weakening of our stance.”

      Yes we know that is the case, but the message doesn’t seem to have got through to Mr Farron & Mr Starmer.

    • Freeborn John
      Posted April 26, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      I see that David Cameron is today making the incredibly unhelpful statement that the Uk should pay the £50bn EU exit bill.

      The Labour Party yesterday suggested another unilateral concession in promising to guarantee the residency rights of EU nationals in the Uk without securing any corresponding rights for Uk nationals in EU27 states. They further promised to reject that no deal could better than any deal, making it certain they would be offered a very bad deal.

      There is no precedent in EU history for the Uk making a unilateral “good will” concession which the EU reciprocated with a meaningful concession. They simply pocket the concession or agree to consider something at a later date which comes to nought. This is how the Blair government lost half the Uk budget rebate and Cameron’s renegotiation failed.

      What is about British politicians like Cameron that makes them such extraordinarily bad negotiators? May and Davis have the opportunity today to reject all these stories but they are not. Davis Davis is saying instead that “both sides needs to compromise” which again will be taken by the EU as a sign he is willing to capitulate while they say nothing about compromise and harden their position with fresh demands when they see the Uk willingness to make unilateral concessions of all our cards as “good will” gestures.

  14. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 26, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink


  15. percy openshaw
    Posted April 26, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Dear sir, I am delighted to find that rumours over tax rises are baseless. Many thanks for your prompt reply.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 26, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps not in the manifesto, but do not assume they will not happen.

  16. agricola
    Posted April 26, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Try to keep the articles short and concise. Introduce a topic, invite comment, try not to sell a concept with a lengthy article. This I realise could be beyond temptation in the run up to a general election. many of your thoughts deserve more than clever one liners in response.

  17. Ken Moore
    Posted April 26, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry to hear your feeling the strain Mr Redwood – I appreciate your efforts over the years running this site your work ethic is second to none. Your personal remarks to comments raised are what makes this site so special.
    Other Mp’s should learn from your example and get out of their bunkers more.
    A man that has the generosity to set out his thoughts each day and then invite comment and debate (even if correspondents disagree from time to time) is to be applauded in my view.

  18. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 27, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Hmm indeed – Why do we all bother then if posts are ignored and deleted

  • 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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