Old, new and Conservatism

One critic remarked that he could not support the Conservatives because they had never held up change or progress for a single day. He revealed a misunderstanding of Conservatism. Conservatives accept the past, and are happy to adapt and conserve all that is best from it. That does not mean we  wish to go back in time, freeze the status quo or resist positive improvements to people’s lives. We like the new as well.

Radical parties of the left favour more revolutionary action, Conservatives favour more evolutionary action. Both often seek the same high level aims. The main parties in the UK if challenged would say they wish to promote greater prosperity and freedom for everyone in our society. The disagreements come over how you do that, and over how far you should go in sweeping aside or remodelling the past. There are also some issues of definition over freedom, with Conservatives thinking more of freeing people to do things for themselves, and socialists thinking of ways the state can enable some people to do things within government control. This distinction is a matter of emphasis or degree, not an absolute.

Curiously today the parties of the left are more conservative than the Conservatives when it comes to the big issue of constitutional reform and our withdrawal from the EU. They are more radical when it comes to wanting a much bigger role for the state in our lives, in the hope that will create greater equality of outcomes. They fight every inch of the way to try to avoid decisions passing from the EU to the UK people and Parliament. They seek new ways to mimic the controls, spending, taxes and requirements that come from the EU. At the same time they recommend spending far more on state service provision, without discussing whether they could do this within the tight guidelines of the Maastricht budget criteria that the EU requires of its members.

Conservatives and socialists both want good quality public services, with healthcare and education delivered free at the point of use. Both want to spend more on developing those services, with disagreements about how much of this extra spending can and should come from the proceeds of economic growth and how much if any should come from tax rises.

Meanwhile the mood of the country is for the EU to get on with Brexit and tell us what if any barriers they wish to impose on their trade with us. The government should seek to up the tempo and remind them nothing is agreed until all is agreed, and no deal is better than a bad deal.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Lifelogic
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    You say:- “The main parties in the UK if challenged would say they wish to promote greater prosperity and freedom for everyone in our society.”

    Not really at all. A huge attack on freedom (and indeed general prosperity) is over high levels of taxation. People not even free to spend the money they have earned or even give it away without a 20% charge sometimes. Not even free to choose their health care or their children’s schools freely.

    The Tories, Labour, LibDems, Greens, SNP and the Leane Wood’s dopes are all parties of high taxation and economic vandalism. Hammond presides over absurdly high levels of taxation way above the point on the Laffer curve where higher rates actually produce less revenue (and we should be aiming well below that point for maximum good for the people and the economy).

    All these parties push the green crap expensive energy religion (and the enforced equality regardless of merit agenda). These massively damage incentives & overall prosperity. The best one can say is that the Tories are not quite as dire as the rest but they very nearly are. Especially under the essentially socialist, interventionists T May and P Hammond.

    The excellent Roger Scruton has this right I think in this short BBC podcast “The Meaning of Conservative” . Or at least that is what they should stand for. Indeed all his A Point of View podcasts are well worth listening to.


    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      20% on some lifetime gifts and up to 40% if you die within 7 years over just £325K threshold that is.

      15% stamp duty fan, Philip Hammond, is still ratting on the £1M IHT threshold each promise – made years ago by the appalling George Osborne. In many countries there is no IHT at all and in the US the threshold is about £4 million for each person. Yet you say the main parties want to promote greater prosperity and freedom!

      We are not even free to choose which TV providers we have to pay for or what arts projects or insane government vanity projects we are obliged to fund.

      Non of the current political parties (that have any MPs) actually belief in “freedom of choice” at all a few individual MPs might perhaps 50-100 or so.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Labour are the party of envy, the state sector unions, the fake promise of the magic money tree, are for the state theft of private assets, the destruction of all sensible incentives and the “all shall be equally destitute” agenda, (unless you are a politician or work for the state sector and even them in the end). We would end up as the new Venezuela in no time.

    The Greens, Welsh lot and SNP are essentially just the same with a bits of fake greenery, quack science and nationalism bolted on.

    The Tories (under May and Hammond) are the “we are nearly as bad as Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party – but we are not actually quite as appalling” party.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      No need for me to comment LL. You’ve summed it up nicely.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      It’s pathetic that the Government haven’t made clear to President Trump that he is welcome in the U.K. as the elected leader of our most important ally. They have clearly been far too equivocal. Mrs May should have been clear that hypocrytcal little weasels like Corbyn and Khan do not represent the British people and can be ignored. Doubtless there would be mobs of shrieking leftists, but so what? The more the public sees of these sort of people the less likely they will be to vote for Corbyn.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Exactly, why does she get almost everything wrong?

      • Chris
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Completely agree with you, Richard1.

      • Chris
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Completely agree, Richard1.

        PS Seems as though there is a glitch in the robot identifier system today.

      • jerry
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        @Richard1; “It’s pathetic that the Government haven’t made clear to President Trump that he is welcome in the U.K. as the elected leader of our most important ally.”

        I assume you are talking about the state visit, and as such by definition the UK govt. have made it clear that President Trump is welcome, had he not been they would not have made the invite or if things have changed they would have withdrawn it.

        But we now here that Trump is not even going to open the USA’s new embassy, citing some daft dislike to its location, cost and who authorised it, his refusal to attend, “as the elected leader of our most important ally”, has nothing to do with anyone in the UK. Stop reading fake news!

        “Mrs May should have been clear that hypocrytcal little weasels like Corbyn and Khan do not represent the British people and can be ignored.”

        Except they do represent the British people, and quite a few, judging by the last general election and London Mayoral election.

        Or should democracy be cancled in the UK, ban any and all decent during such a visit, if that is what you think/want, never mind expect, then this country is not heading for Brexit, it’s heading for a North Korean style dictatorship -decent can simply not be allowed.

        • NickC
          Posted January 15, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, It ill becomes you to pontificate about democracy. Neither Mrs May nor Sadiq Khan were elected by an overall majority. We did vote Leave by an overall majority of 1,269,501. Yet as a BBC and Remain supporter you want to ignore that and stay at least partly in the EU.

      • Bob
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Our Parliament and it’s speaker have made it pretty clear to the American President that he is not welcome in the UK.

        This will weaken our hand in Brexit negotiations with Brussels.

        I hope that Nigel will let Mr Trump know the our Parliament does not reflect the attitude of the majority of British people.

        • John C.
          Posted January 15, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Our parliament is uncannily unrepresentative of the British people; it’s a pampered, self-seeking group who lost most of their respect in the expenses scandal. Its most prominent and most outspoken members are the most unrepresentative of the whole bunch.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted January 14, 2018 at 2:53 am | Permalink

        Absolutely correct.
        By not doing so, she is siding with the Khans et al., not with the so-far silent majority.

        • APL
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          Sir Joe Soap: “siding with the Khans et al.,”

          Do you mean Theresa ” many Britons benefit greatly from Sharia law ” May?

          This is John Redwood’s party standing up and being for change and progressive.

          It’s what the leader of his party has said. Now you know what to expect!

  3. jerry
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “Radical parties of the left favour more revolutionary action, Conservatives favour more evolutionary action.”

    That applies to both left and right, taking the EU as the example, the moderates take the evolutionary approach, arguing their corner from within, getting support, getting change – on the other hand the radicals want revolution, our way or no way, out-brothers-out!

    • jerry
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      “The government should seek to up the tempo and remind [the EU] nothing is agreed until all is agreed, and no deal is better than a bad deal.”

      Mr Redwood, not you as well, first Mr Farage gets cold feet (wanting a second ref that could very likely result in a remain vote this time…), now you suggest that we should stay in until we get a “good deal”! 🙂

      Reply I said no such thing! I want us out as soon as possible and not later than March 2019

      • jerry
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        JR; Well that depends on how one reads “no deal”, but I was joking, more at Mr Farage’s expense then yours, hence the smiley! If you prefer WTO rules over a bad deal then say so…

      • Hope
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        JR, not possible from May’s capitulation in phase one of the talks. This part is fixed. The on,y way out now is no deal. Your traitor colleagues stopped this by their last amendments! Your only other choice is to get shot of May now.

        I note May’s spokesperson standing up for Khan not Johnson. Idiot.

        • Hope
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          JR you falsely claim Tories want to provide good public services. This is not possible when your govt Perseus its mass immigration policy. Osborne made it clear no one in private was serious about cutting numbers to tens of thousands. This lie recently repeated by May. Did none of you read the dire NHS stats, the worse since 2003. People left in ambulances and corridors! Third world public services and housing because of the policy your govt and party are implementing. Rudd said any request for money will fall on deaf ears after losing 56,000 immigrants and criminals, 300 prisoners wrongly let out early and at least four cases where serious offenders released without proper punishment. It simply is lies to suggest this is beyond the ability of govt to solve. Start cutting foreign aid, stop EU contributions. No, May has just agreed, in stark contrast to her Lancaster speech, to give away tens of billions of our taxes to talk about trade! We were told and assured this would not happen. Based on performance and spending it is untrue to say Tory govt wants good public services. They are overwhelmed, you know it, your party knows it and the govt knows it. Totally false claim.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 13, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            Hugely overtaxed and with taxes still increasing rapidly, and yet the government is still delivering public services that are generally poor, dire, appalling, worthless or often even of net negative value to the public. HS2, the renewable drivel subsidies or their hatch junction or bus lane muggings as examples.

            Meanwhile they are still increasing the debt every day. Not even “repaying the debt” as the Cameron government liked falsely to claim.

          • getahead
            Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            Perseus Hope? The demon auto-correct strikes again.

          • Sir Joe Soap
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 2:57 am | Permalink

            Now Dr Wollaston of the Conservatives wants to add another tax for over-40s to pay, hypothecated to the NHS! You couldn’t make it up. So now we pay NI, income tax, a new hypothecated tax and still have to pay privately if we want a decent service. That’s paying 4 times!

        • Lifelogic.
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          Idiot indeed, Trump represents the US and is doing basically the right things for the economy unlike May and Hammond for the UK. Cheap energy, lower taxes and undoing the lefty lunacies of Obama and Clinton.

          He may not be perfect but he is far better than Hillary or some other lefty dope.

        • Tom
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          Indeed Johnson was right and May and Kahn are completely wrong, just as one would expect.

      • ian wragg
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        John, To people like Jerry, no deal means staying. They can’t even begin to imagine we would leave without a deal
        To people like Jerry, we are supplicants and should be grateful for any crumbs the EU offers us.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          I guess most objective international observers would agree with Jerry. Good for you, the EU is reasonably happy with the UK out of the decision making process so there is no way back.

          • NickC
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

            Rien, Is that “objective” from your subjective point of view, or mine?

          • John C.
            Posted January 15, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            The E.U.has always been happy to see us out of the decision-making process, but it’s unhappy to see us out of the money-giving process.
            Fortunately they have on their side May, who seems content to hand over our money for the foreseeable future. As a true European would.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Give us one example of change from within Jerry. Do you not remember Cameron ‘ s negotiation.

      You do like to take a contrarian position on everything don’t you?

      • jerry
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        @NS; “Give us one example of change from within”

        The Single Market, that was Mrs T idea, she and her advisor came up with ways to make it a reality, and until Delors chose to back the Trade Union in 1988 the Conservative govt. were all for the EU and its single market… There were also our opt-outs gained by Major within the Maastricht Treaty, and again Blair also secured opt-outs within the Treaty of Lisbon.

        Reply The single market was not Mrs Thatcher’s idea – it was always part of the EEC agenda.

        • jerry
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          JR Reply; Accepted it was not her idea, sloppy wording on my part, but she did nothing to prevent it.

          The Four Freedoms were always a part of the EEC, did she never read the TEEC, thus she was supportive of the SM when she asked us to stay in the EEC in 1975 never mind later such as in the 1983 Tory Manifesto (section, Britain in Europe);

          We shall continue both to oppose petty acts of Brussels bureaucracy and to seek the removal of unnecessary restrictions on the free movement of goods and services between member states, with proper safeguards to guarantee fair competition.

          The above is not being opposed to a Single Market, far from it…

          Reply Yes, Mrs Thatcher was a keen advocate of a “common market” as it was supposed to be by many in 1975. Later in the 1980s she came to see it was a state in the making and she then turned to oppose.

          • jerry
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

            The “common market” was always the TEEC, as people like Tony Benn and Enoch Powell pointed out, so Mrs T was either in gross ignorance from at least 1975 through to 1988 and her “Bruges Speech”, or the principles in the TEEC didn’t worry her, meaning something changed -perhaps Jacques Delors support for Trade Unions and a more social EU.

            “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state [statism] in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels.” (my emphasis & [note])

            Why use those terms if her concern is the basic loss of sovereignty to a super state that was always the TEEC goal, and why did it take her so long to understand the TEEC…

          • NickC
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Glad you accept that the single market was not Mrs Thatcher’s idea.

            Her view of the single market was that it should consist of individual self-governing nation states trading with each other on the basis of mutual recognition. She was defeated. The EU single market is based on “harmonisation” where all rules (eventually) derive from the centre (Brussels). That is what her 1988 Bruges speech was all about.

          • jerry
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; Stop dancing on the head a pin!

            I admitted to sloppy wording, not being materially incorrect, as my citation proved.

            Mrs T very much facilitated the single market, she never denounced it or did anything much to resist it until Jacques Delors became to sympathetic to the Trade Unions and then of course the Euro

            What you describe as a single market is simply a trade agreement, not something the EEC was even when we joined in 1973 [1], nor does a trade agreement need an office block the size of the Berlaymont building in Brussels, probably doesn’t even need a dedicated room come to that…

            [1] and Ted Heath was open about that in an interview he gave to Panorama in 1972

          • NickC
            Posted January 15, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, It is difficult to distinguish between your “sloppy wording” and your numerous errors. The fact that the EU’s single market was not Mrs Thatcher’s idea is pretty fundamental, and hardly “dancing on the head of a pin”. Moreover Thatcher’s disquiet at the direction the EU was heading predates your claims that it was all down to Delors, see her memoirs.

            There is a standard trick used by Remains/europhiles. The EU comes up with another centralising idea; the europhiles say: it’s just an idea, don’t worry. Then the idea is turned into proposal; and the europhiles say: you won’t lose any essential sovereignty (or some suchlike), don’t worry. Then the proposal becomes EU law; and the europhiles say: well, you didn’t protest when you were told about it before. You are using the same trick.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink


          For goodness sake man stop making it up as you go along. I find that societies failures and losers are those people who remain stuck in one timeframe, you are one of those. You still think the once great BBC is fit for purpose, you still believe in nationalised railways and you dont recognise that the majority of us including Mrs T were all in favour of a Common Market with our 6 closest and biggest neighbours, but once again that was hijacked by the unelected and turned into something altogether different .

          • jerry
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; It is rather obvious, Libby, that you hate History, it rather cramps your style…

            Please feel free to apologies after you read the later exchange between myself and our host!

          • NickC
            Posted January 15, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

            Libertarian, Quite.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink


      Actually thats not correct in reality. The left ( primarily Labour) want Brexit as much as anyone but are playing remain for pure politics. If Labour won an election we would still be leaving and it would be a so called hard brexit too .

      The Libdems dont want to leave but would go for a half in half out approach. This policy is as irrelevant as the party that proposes it.

      We ALL prefer WTO over a bad deal

      • jerry
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        @Liby; Is that the Royal “We”…

        It is crystal clear that “all” people do not prefer WTO over a bad deal considering that a bad deal might be anything other than WTO rules – and who defines what a “bad deal” is anyway?

        • libertarian
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink


          The WE ALL referred to those of us who voted Brexit. You would have to be mentally deficient to prefer a bad deal ….. Oh I see your problem.

          • jerry
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            @Libby; Then you need define what a “Bad deal” is, otherwise anything other than WTO rules is a bad deal, and “we” did not all vote for that, not even the 17.4m who voted to Leave. There was 28 different Leave manifestos, not just one, wanting a WTO exit.

          • NickC
            Posted January 15, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, There were no Leave manifestos. That’s because both the Leaves and the Remains were campaign groupings, not political parties seeking election for government.

            Although you may have difficulty with the English language, we don’t. The offer was to Leave the EU completely, or Remain in the EU under terms just negotiated by the UK government led by PM Cameron. We chose change – we chose to Leave the EU, not remain partly in it.

        • NickC
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, The “we” refers to the 17.4m Leave votes – a majority compared to Remain votes. And those Remain votes consisted of those who love the EU as it is, plus those who wanted to remain in a “reformed” EU – Cameron’s reform deal being the only one on offer.

          Plainly we Leave voters didn’t want to stay partly in the EU. Otherwise we would have accepted Cameron’s negotiated deal as a start, and voted Remain.

          • jerry
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; See my reply to Libby above

      • Andy
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Ironically you will not prefer it if you get it and have to experience the resulting car crash.

        As a Remainer, however, it will make me happy. The harder the Brexit, the quicker the country crashes – the faster we undo Brexit. Bring it on.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink


          Sadly for you, some of us already have experience of such trade so its not too much of a problem really.

          You are right about car crashes though , the German car industry would take a hammering

        • NickC
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          Andy, We were (and are) only partly in the EU (or embryonic USE, as we should now call it) – no Schengen, no Euro – anyway. If the country had voted Remain we would be even further out, after our withdrawal from “ever closer union”. Your apocalyptic opinions don’t fit the facts.

          For example, about 28.4% of UK GDP (2016 figures, Pink Book) is derived from exports, c11% to the EU, and c17% to the rest of the world (taking into account the Rotterdam effect). You can see for yourself that the EU is far less important to us that the rest of our economy (c89% UK GDP).

          What we Leaves voted for, despite personal nuances, was to regain national independence. We did that primarily to benefit our children, and their children.

          • Andy
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

            You voted for independence for an already independent country.

            It is not hard to see why the Brexiteer Einsteins are struggling.

          • NickC
            Posted January 15, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

            Andy, Declaration 27 of the Lisbon Treaty states that EU law has primacy over UK law. That makes us subject to the EU. So we are not independent. You are like those people who argued against allowing countries in the British Empire their freedom.

          • rose
            Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            Andy, if we were an independent country why did Mr Cameron have to crawl round 27 countries begging permission for his chancellor to alter the tax on tampons? And how come he didn’t get permission?

          • rose
            Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

            PS Just on our tampons, that is, not theirs.

      • mancunius
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        Quite so. Corbyn is salivating over the idea of being free of EU restrictions. He’ll let Starmer play remainer quisling for a while longer, then sack him when it suits Corbyn’s book to admit he really wants: a hard brexit.
        As JR has previously pointed out, No Deal and WTO is very much to our economic advantage.

        • jerry
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          @mancunius; “No Deal and WTO is very much to our economic advantage.”

          Then why are so many right wing eurosceptics and europhobes so scared to promote WTO rules, if it was so good for the UK why all the talk about wanting a good deal – in fact why did so many eurosceptics and europhobes reject the idea of just leaving, ignoring the A50 process?

          You are correct, Corbyn is salivating over the idea of being totally free of EU restrictions, WTO rules in effect, that is probably why many right wing eurosceptics and europhobes are desperate have a good deal and thus still beholden to the EU, thus reigning in what they consider would be the worst excesses of a possible Corbyn govt.

          Any “quisling” are thus not on the Remain side….

          • mancunius
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

            I don’t see anywhere any eurosceptic Leave politicians in any of the parties (neither right-wing nor left-wing) who are ‘desperate’ for a good deal.
            It is the Remain element both in the government (Hammond/Rudd etc) and in the Labour/SNP/LibDem contingents in Parliament who are urging a compromise deal with the EU, not the Leavers.

          • NickC
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            Jerry. 98% of global trade is run under WTO rules already. Including our trade with the EU. Only Remains, absurdly, try to portray the WTO as a bogey-man – it’s part of their project fear.

            An FTA (zero tariff) deal with the EU is not a good idea. The EU will exact too high a price. It would also prevent us judiciously applying our own tariffs to EU products to reduce the trade imbalance.

          • jerry
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

            @mancunius; “I don’t see anywhere any eurosceptic Leave politicians in any of the parties (neither right-wing nor left-wing) who are ‘desperate’ for a good deal.”

            None so bland as those who choose not to see!

            The eurosceptics in cabinet accept collective responsibility, thus they accept the govts. position – nothing to stop them resigning….

  4. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, two things: (1) free healthcare is rarely an idea supported by conservative parties. Look for instance at the Republican stance. The same goes for christian-democrats in Europe. The NHS is a British institution (with pros and cons) now supported by the Conservative Party. But conservative it is not. Second, since the UK is the “leaving” party and knows quite well what the default option is for a “third country”, is seems to me that it is up to the UK to make a claim -or offer- and see if the other side would accept. Vague feelers put out by the UK (like Canada +++) doe not seem, for now, to have made much of an impact. Hence I think that again this position is more part of the intra-UK, or even intra-Tory party discourse than of the conversation the UK might want to have with the EU.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      There is no such thing as ‘free’ healthcare and there never has been. It costs most people a lot of money.

      The original scope of ‘free at the point of use’ was basic, safety net, treatment.

      It has now become a free for all to all except those who pay for it, it seems.

      • APL
        Posted January 15, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        Anon: [Healthcare] ..” costs most people a lot of money.”

        Yes, and we don’t really know how much. Because the Tories have failed to provide us with accountability.

        We wouldn’t expect the Labour party to attempt it.

    • stred
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Conservative or Trots, it would be nice if public services were competent. Last week the press published the opinion of Public Health England that the older flu vaccine would not work for people over 65 and the Australian flu about to break out was the nastiest in 50 years. Only the quadruple vaccine would work for oldies and a list of pharmacies offering the jab for a price was given.

      My GP had the last pneumonia jab for me and, as I have a weak chest after the last flu, at least this was available. Unfortunately, they did not have the quadruple vaccine. We phoned all the chemists and all had run out. My partner, who is below the 65 age guideline found that her GP had the quandruple and we went to have it. She asked whether I could also be treated and was told that GPs had to order the vaccine and they would not treat patients from other practises.
      the walk in centres had no jabs and said only GPs provide it.

      So we have some GPs giving the jab that works with over 65s giving it to all their patients and others who ordered the older unsuitable jabs unable to offer it to older or vulnerable patients. The ordering system of the NHS does seem to be in a rather dangerous mess. Could someone ask the minister why anyone ordered the older stocks of vaccine that don’t work?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted January 14, 2018 at 2:58 am | Permalink

        Buy an air fare out of the country to some place warm. It’s cheaper and easier than all this aggro at our age.

    • NickC
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Rien, The NHS is 70 years old, making the desire for its retention “conservative” in fact. And, since the Conservative party states it is their policy to retain it, also “Conservative”. Your arbitrary re-definitions are therefore incorrect, and irrelevant. And who in the UK cares what the “christian-democrats in Europe” think?

      Secondly, the unelected EU apparatchiks keep changing the EU by accreting power to themselves (whilst pretending that is not self-serving). Mrs Thatcher was quite clear 40 years ago that we wanted an association of separate, friendly nation states co-operating and trading with each other, not a centralising oligarchy on the way to an antidemocratic USE, a latter day Roman Empire. It is the EU – by definition – that is changing, not us.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        I just wanted to point out that Mr Redwood’s Conservative position differs from small c conservatives like the US Republicans and continental Christian Democrats. Which is interesting academically: as you point out, something the UK conservatives did not want originally, has now become part of the canon.

        • APL
          Posted January 15, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          Rien Huizer: “I just wanted to point out that Mr Redwood’s Conservative position differs from small c conservatives .. ”

          Agreed. I’d go further, not much different from Labour positions.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      As previously noted, we are talking with, primarily, Germany to achieve any sort of deal post Brexit.
      Ref: The former Director General of the CBI added: “I’m convinced now, that the leaders of the 27 – particularly Merkel – will put the long-term success, the survival of the European project over centuries, over the short-term benefits of European citizens.
      Germany, as the largest donor to the EU project, wants control of what arrangements are made. After we leave, the rest of Europe will effectively be provinces of greater Germany. What Germany wants, Germany gets. Be ready for that, Europe.

    • Tom
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      What are the pros of the NHS?

      No choice, no freedom, rationing, delays, poor quality, under staffed, appalling outcomes, difficulty getting any appointments, often no treatment at all or superficial go away please treatment and a take it or leave approach. Also it kills nearly all the competition that is so very badly needed and hugely damages UK productivity.

      The pros – well not much medical over treatment goes on I suppose which can happen sometimes in a private system.

      • Peter
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        The pros are the wonderful knowledge that, whatever illness you may be unfortunate enough to suffer, you will never be bankrupted or put out of your home in the UK as a consequence of the cost of treatment.

        Health care, like education, is a basic need in a civilised society. Private insurance just does not cut it when you have a serious and expensive health condition.

        • APL
          Posted January 15, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

          Peter: “The pros are the wonderful knowledge that, whatever illness you may be unfortunate enough to suffer ..”

          You can be sure to catch something worse in an NHS hospital. But don’t worry, the infection is free at the point of delivery.

      • Andy
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        I bet, however, you are the first one on the phone the NHS GP when you have so much as a sniffle.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink


          GP’s are private companies they aren’t employed by the NHS


          Thats funny as the top 20 BETTER health systems in the world all seem to work ok for their citizens

          Do you think it might be that the apologists for the NHS are so one dimensional that they have to keep using insurance based privatised health as an argument because you know really that the NHS is awful and should be scrapped if compared to any of the dozens of better systems

          • Miss Brandreth-Jones
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            GP.s treat NHS patients and are funded by the NHS to run small private companies.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I wish people would stop talking about no deal, it is surely a deal based on WTO rules which is the actual default position.

    Perhaps not enough people are aware, or are making enough of this.

    I hear stupid cries of us being cast adrift, falling off a cliff, isolated, excluded from EU markets, and other such nonsense, as if no one will purchase our goods at all under any circumstances.

    • jerry
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      @alan jutson; Indeed, (and as I joked with JR above) no deal is staying in, withdrawing our A50 request, asking to retain our membership!

      • ian wragg
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Jerry, much as you would like no deal to be staying in, I am positive that we will leave at the end of March 2019. If we don’t all the legacy parties will be finished as democracy will be seen to be a sham.
        There will be a lot of very angry people out there and civil disorder is a distinct possibility.

        • jerry
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          @ian wragg; “If we don’t all the legacy parties will be finished as democracy will be seen to be a sham.”

          If democracy is so important to you Mr Wragg how about joining the growing calls for a “Brexit ref2”, asking the How and When questions, or simply a yay or nay on the final A50 deal, heck even Mr Farage appears to be warming to the idea!

          Or do you only do “democracy” when it suits and delivers what you want, no doubt had Remain won you would have been on this site at 6am June 24th 2016 telling everyone how undemocratic, how rigged, it all was…

          As for your prediction (above), that will be up to the electorate. Many of whom, for any of us know, might well have voted to Leave but wanting something akin to the Norway or Swiss options in doing so – as so often put forward by people on this very site.

          So the only people in danger of finishing off democracy in the UK are those who wish to deign it by way of refusing any further (Brexit specific) referenda – in such a case it may not be the legacy parties who will be finished but the alt parties, and I suspect Mr Farage understands this even if you don’t Mr Wragg.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

            So why not best of five?

          • Bob
            Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

            The decision to leave has been made, ref2 would be whether to accept the an FTA or leave on WTO terms.

          • Bob
            Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

            A vote for accepting a “deal” or cancelling Brexit would provide a compelling incentive for Brussels to negotiate in bad faith, but if the vote were accept the EU “deal” or trade on WTO terms that would give them an incentive to negotiate properly.

          • jerry
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; No, any second referenda would ask different questions, the How & When questions

            @Bob; So you admit; Democracy is OK but only on terms that mean your argument wins…

          • Edward2
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            The problem is in what any second referendum question would be.
            Agree with the deal available or leave on WTO rules
            Agree with the deal available or go back and demand a better deal
            The second question could lead to endless referenda as deals are rejected in the hope of ever better ones.
            Which is why I said ” …best of five”

          • NickC
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Democracy does not become better by having multiple votes on the same question. We used to laugh at the EU requiring second votes when the first didn’t go their way. Now you are advocating the same thing.

          • Bob
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

            Usual rubbish from you.
            How does a 2nd referendum on FTA or remain give the EU any incentive to agree to a reasonable FTA?

            Please explain, I’m keen to know.

          • rose
            Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

            FTA doesn’t really stand for Free Trade Agreement does it? The Free bit wouldn’t satisfy the Trades Description Act.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Even if we had difficulties exporting to the EU, due to the EU playing silly buggers, it would not matter much, companies could switch production to replace the EU imports or just export elsewhere. Or set up EU companies somewhere.

      If we cut taxes, energy costs, the size of government and the over regulation we would be booming anyway.

      • Blue and Gold
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        It’s the UK playing ‘silly buggers’. The EU should not have to do any of the running. The UK has no plan and all this mess has been caused by a handful Right wing extremists in the Tory party.

        I look forward to a few decades from now when the UK will be part of a Federal Europe.

        Long live the European Union.

        • mancunius
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          I give it seven-eight more years max.
          It’s the euro, innit.
          Read Bootle’s careful analysis ‘The Trouble With Europe’ and you’ll see that the euro’s collapse is literally inevitable, and will cause the collapse of the EU as at present constituted. Even its initiators now think so.
          Draghi can’t keep up his extend-and-pretend for ever.

          • Diogenes
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            The Sep,17 version of Bootle’s book is even better (more argued) than the 2013 original.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Those companies are often foreign owned and located in the UK for the specific purpose of supplying EU markets (including the UK of course). In many cases the result may well be that these companies as you call them will make the decision to locate p[roduction elsewhere because the UK’s new markets are already covered by plants in Asia, the US/Mexico, etc.

    • NickC
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Alan, Quite right. We trade with the EU under WTO rules already. The WTO covers international trade in goods and services and intellectual property; and about 98% of world trade is governed by the WTO.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        that does not mean it is good for teh UK

        • NickC
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Thanks for you concern, but being subject to the corrupt EU oligarchy isn’t good for us either. And if the WTO is so bad why are we in it? And why are you?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I also wish people could be clearer that “no deal” refers specifically to “no special trade deal”, not to “no deal about anything”. Even if thanks to their dogmatism and intransigence we do end up trading with the continuing EU just on basic WTO terms – which would not be optimal, but on the other hand would not be particularly bad for us, or indeed for them – it will still be necessary to have loads of new deals with the EU and its member states about all kinds of practical matters which have been swallowed up into the EU system which we will be leaving.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        And these “loads of new deals” are the hard part.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          On the contrary, many of those new deals could be described as just technical arrangements and should be much easier to agree. If you think otherwise that can only be because you expect your friends in the EU to plumb the depths of stupidity and vindictiveness.

    • acorn
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      There is currently no “default position” for the UK at the WTO. Have a read of the following https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/org3_e.htm Then tell me at what point you think the UK will be in the WTO membership procedures on Brexit day, while having a legacy membership of the WTO already, but no schedules of our own.

      I can’t find out if the UK is/has formulated its own set of tariff and quota schedules, or if the UK will need a new “protocol of accession” to accept those schedules. JR has said previously, that he expects the simple legal process of “novation” to apply to UK/EU WTO schedule splitting. I can’t find anyone who agrees with that. Eleven WTO members have already objected to such a process because of the reduced tariff quotas.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Correct Alan.
      Most countries trade successfully with each other and Europe without agreeing to supremacy of EU or each othets courts nor freedom of movement nor being in the single market.
      WTO rules seems to work for many trading countries.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I see we are now being told by the media that the EU may make a charge for us to enter the EU after we leave.
    Do they charge and are they going to charge any other foreign Citizen ?

    Some in the EU and certainly France already make a tax charge on accommodation and hotel rooms, as do a number of other Countries all over the World,

    • agricola
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Airport tax is one of the inequities of air travel at both ends of the journey. It would be a stupid commercial decision for the EU to greatly increase it because the options for holiday destinations is almost limitless.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      This is not new news. There have been discussions and proposals for an equivalent of the USA’s ESTA scheme for the EU for quite some time (since 2011 I think).

      Once it is in place, will they charge? Yes they will. Will they charge any other foreign citizen? Yes, they will.

    • Diogenes
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      The tax charge on French accommodation and hotel rooms is applied to anybody renting. So what’s the point?
      As for the airport tax, it depends on the airport, strictly speaking nothing to do with the country the airport is located in.

      • ian wragg
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Rubbish, airport tax is levied by the government and was introduced by Gordon Brown.
        Holland stopped charging it when people started to use other airports for long haul.

        • Diogenes
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          Well, there are two taxes, the Air Passenger Duty (APD) presently £10 for flights within the UK, £40 for flights overseas, and the UK Passenger Service Charge, variable with the airport. Some years ago, 2013, it was only £5.50 from Jersey but £38.10 from LHR, £20 from LGW, and lower (could not find the exact values) for airports in the north (e.g., Liverpool John Lennon). And both the APD and PSC are highly variable over continental Europe (which might explain that for regular travellers between the UK and fixed points in Europe, it can be more advantageous to buy tickets over there.

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 14, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink


        I know what the present charges are, its those it is suggested which may come and be introduced later, as recently outlined as a cost to simply enter.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Like the US “ESTA”) and Canada, the EU are preparing additional documentation requirements for visitors from countries enjoying visa-free travel. Ther is a small charge for your ESTA, and likely one for its EU equivalent too.

      • Diogenes
        Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        In 2016, the ETIAS figures discussed for non-Schengen citizens were $14 or £10 valid for a total of two years for multiple stays not exceeding 90 days each (copying more or less the conditions of the US ESTA). Nothing has yet been decided as it might be part of later (loosely Brexit-related) discussions.

    • Andy
      Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      The EU is indeed planning to charge for a sort of visa waiver scheme for non-EU citizens. After Brexit that will include me, my children and most other Britons because 17.4m mostly old and poorly educated people voted away our EU citizenship. EU citizenship which younger people value greatly.

      My family can afford the EU visa waiver fee anyway so we will still go to the EU. Sadly many people who voted for Brexit may not be able to afford the entry fee. Still, look on the bright side. It’ll keep the riff raff out of Umbria!

      • hefner
        Posted January 16, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        From what I have seen in the last few days, it will not keep the “libertarians” out of Dordogne! But maybe a better climate might soften them up, see Lord Lawson so keen on Brexit, GWPF … and on his mansion in the South West (of France).

  7. Woody
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    It is sadly amusing the way the left talk about being the party of “progressive” policies when in fact they seek to revert to tried and failed socialist policies such as nationalisation and the nanny state.

    • acorn
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      What about Carillion plc and the semi privatisation of Prison Services, that are about to be re-nationalised? The East Coast Main Line Rail franchise that had to be re-nationalised to get it out of administration? Once again you hear the Banks demanding the government intervene to nationalise their potential Carillion losses; just like the 2008 crash.

      The problem is not Conservatism or Socialism, it is Neo-liberalism, which they both (and the supranational EU / IMF) idolise to different degrees. Google “Everything You Know About Neoliberalism Is Wrong – Social Europe”

      • Diogenes
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        The Carillion share dropped from ~200 to ~50p at the end June. If you do a bit of research, you’ll realise that this company is involved not only in the Prison Services, but in most of the UK infrastructure projects. Make your conclusions.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Snouts and throughs are present in every political system

      • Edward2
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        Companies start up they grow and sometimes they fail.
        That’s quite normal.
        It’s not neo liberalism

        • Diogenes
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          Might not be “neoliberalism” but it looks like the state (i.e. the taxpayers) will be asked to sustain a private company.
          Or if you are a believer in some “deep-thought economic” theories, (as some here seem to be), the state will produce some hundreds of millions out of nowhere, help Carillion, and guess what, we will all be richer afterwards.

        • acorn
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          Yes Edward2; and, sum fail leaving 28,150 Carillion Pension Fund members, wondering what happens next, when the deficit in that fund is more than the company is worth.

          Will the government nationalise the Carillion Pension Fund? Just like it did for the Royal Mail Pension Fund; allowing a privatisation profit for the Banksters?

          I guess, on this site, non of the above bothers any commenters.

          • acorn
            Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            JR, private sector pension funds are an institution that needs a dose of looking at. The hysteria over public sector pension funds is irrelevant. The UK Treasury, as the currency issuer, is never going to run out of Pounds Sterling to pay its employee or state retirement pension obligations.

            Corporate pension funds are outliving the corporations that were forced to start them up. BHS and Royal Mail are good example; possibly Carillion next.

            Since 2008, and the onset of low discount rates / returns, these funds are starting to turn Ponzi. Doing DCF to get a large negative NPV, is basically meaningless. They will all end up with deficits at this rate, if employers give up.

            As they fail, let NS&I take them over and form a Norwegian style sovereign wealth/pension fund. Saddling employer organisations with pension obligations is totally unnecessary; the State is in a far better position to organise and finance pensions in both the public and private sectors.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

            I’m bothered.
            Pension funds have a strange accounting funding maths applied to them if you are a private company.
            Any worst scenario potential liability is applied.
            If it was equally applied to public sector pension funds you would have a shock

        • forthurst
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          Our local Ambulance service was successfully bid for by an operation who claimed to have an advanced command and control system that would optimise resources and ensure sick patients were collected in a timely fashion. In practice their system caused an immediate substantial increase in waiting times with ambulances and drivers being underutilised. This is not capitalism; this is neo-liberal c**p. Flogging off state run monopolies to rent seeking chancers who have neither the expertise nor the deep pockets to deliver anything approaching added value is simply to tarnish capitalism in the eyes of many.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

            Again this isn’t neo liberalism is simply an example of people buying a business and running it badly.
            In a proper competitive market place the company would go bust as customers phoned up one of their competitors.
            Sadly there is no choice and the only hope is either they respond to your criticism or the government removes their ownership of this monopoly.

          • forthurst
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            Utter drivel and if you were a relative of the old lady that was left for two hours unattended on the pavement of our main shopping road except by passers-by who attempted to make her warm and comfortable because your ambulance ‘business’ decided her case was ‘non-urgent’, you would take a different view. When you dial 999, do they say “which provider of which service do you want?”
            There are congenitally stupid people on the right as well as the left.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            The problem you describe isn’t one of ownership.
            Where I live the NHS own the ambulance emergency system and these dreadful things happen here too.
            It is about management competency.

    • MickN
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Don’t talk to me about the nanny state!
      I am sick of listening to a voice on the radio telling me to cut out some of my alcoholic drinks. I am now being bombarded with a campaign to restrict snacks to 100 calories and only 2 a day.
      I am just off out to have a pastie and a pint to stick two fingers up at the idiots who want to tell me what I can eat and drink. The nanny state is no longer the preserve of the left I am sorry to say. I don’t even want to think about the cost of these multimedia campaigns. It seems there is never a shortage of money in the budget for such things.

      • getahead
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Superfluity of Quangos methinks Mick. Still waiting for Callme Dave to strive the match.

  8. agricola
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Your entry today really asks questions of MPs. Are Conservatives ready to devolve much more power to the electorate. This would result in much less freedom for MPs, but much less dissatisfaction within the people. Do you still believe MPs know best what is good for the people, or are you prepared to learn lessons from the recent EU referendum. Are Conservatives ready to evolve power to this extent and become the servants of the people rather than the servants of their ideology. I have no problem with politicians espousing what they believe, in the course of selling ideas to the electorate, but I do believe that the electorate should have the ultimate decision. The usual cop out of saying the electorate have the final say every five years is not acceptable. This only allows tribal decisions not ones of major policy.

    I would contend that with such a level of involvement the electorate are less likely to switch back and forth every five years , which becomes a formula for no progress, witness education. A 25 year plan can then become a greater possibility as it is with industry.

    Ultimately are MPs willing to divest more power and become servants of the people rather than the polarised politicians that most are now.

    • Diogenes
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Which industry are you working in to have a 25-year plan?

    • forthurst
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      How about giving the electorate an electoral system that actually means most of their votes are not wasted every five years or so? JR often tells us about how in the EU, people are voting for new parties in rejection of the old parties of the left and right but fails to mention that our FPTP system ensures that a vote for a new party is a wasted vote here as are most Labour votes in the South (apart from London which has had its electorate replaced by successive governments) and Conservative votes in the North. Now that they have seen that referenda can yield unexpected and undesired (by them) outcomes, the only referenda you will get from them will be faux choices like the one for AV which is no better than the existing system in terms of proportionality of outcome.

      Reply No vote is wasted. If people wanted a replacement party they would vote for one as they did in France in the second round of voting

      • forthurst
        Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Brand new party, same old policies.

        • Diogenes
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          Maybe, maybe not. At least it had the effect to get rid of a number of old crusts both on the left and the right and to replace them by some new people who had not been in politics with their bibs and bottles.

        • forthurst
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          Macron is an establishment politician, given saturation coverage by the MSM for six months before the election; Hollande was very unpopular, the Republicans had money troubles: the PTB knew they needed to pull a rabbit out of the hat otherwise the dreaded French patriot Le Pen might steal the Presidency; what better than a brilliant young man who could be marketed without let as only a tabula rasa can who in no sense sense unlike some of his predecessors etc ed?

      • Diogenes
        Posted January 14, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Re: JR’s reply: for a ridiculous statement, that takes some beating. But I guess it is so much easier to play dumb than to (try to) answer forthurst’s original comment.
        France: 1/ presidential elections with two rounds; 2/ Parliament elections: two rounds with discussions (or not) to try to create a supporting majority. PM chosen by President.
        UK: roughly two in-fighting parties whose heads are future PMs, only one round with a large number of constituencies where votes are practically useless as only what happens in the marginals is likely to be important.

    • getahead
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      agricola, I find it difficult to believe that many MPs today have political beliefs or principles. Most it seems are career politicians who are in it for the money.
      The ones that do have political beliefs stand out by a mile.
      Apart from that as Lifelogic says, we need far less government.

  9. Paul Cohen
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Nothing about the EU talks and negotiations give the impression that we are sure footed- indeed we have a succession of cringeworthy episodes that saps confidence.

    We need to get a grip and demonstrate more resolve than is presently apparent.

    • getahead
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Paul, most of the Tory politicians are quite willing to sit on their backsides and throw taxpayers money at Brussels so that they have to do nothing. Whilst in the Cabinet itself we have a majority of remainers who, if not obstructing Brexit, do nothing to promote it. Chief remainer being Phillip Hammond who clearly works for the EU and its adherents.
      So no wonder the whole business has been cringeworthy. It’s as if there never was a referendum with a clear vote to leave the EU.

  10. Bert Young
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I wish the Conservatives were united in the aims and policies John has referred to today . From my reading of events there is a marked split between the right and left wings ; it is very marked in the debates . Getting on with Brexit is the major concern at the moment and calls for a strong and united front from the Conservatives ; with such a demand there is the rebellious group of Soubry et al determined to undermine the process . Within Soubry’s constituency there reportedly is an active set up to wreck the negotiations – this in violation of the way the majority voted . Nothing could be more than an open declaration of ” I don’t care about my Party “. Such individuals should have the whip withdrawn . She is not alone .

    • Man of Kent
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Do see ‘Darkest Hour ‘ for the forerunner of today’s split Conservative Party .

      I saw so many parallels between the Remoaners and the Lord Halifax group .

      Oh for someone to speak loudly and clearly and not be embarrassed at being British.

  11. BOF
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    ‘Conservatives accept the past, and are happy to adapt and conserve all that is best from it’

    If this were the case they would have fought tooth and nail to preserve the traditional family, which is proven to be the best for children and consequently for society. We would not now have to put up with all the gender politics (or as I think of it, the tyranny of the minorities) and gay marriage would not be on the Statute boobs.

    That is before we get onto the high tax big state socialism now being adopted by our current so called Conservative Party.

    • Kenneth
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      The welfare system, police, judiciary etc have undermined the family by bypassing them in favour of dealing directly with individuals imho

  12. Blue and Gold
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    What the voters of the UK want is democracy, which is something that does not exist in this country.
    As usual the majority of us did not vote for the government in power.

    The thing that affects our daily lives is not the EU, but the local authority, ie have the bins been emptied this week, can I park my car in the town centre, how much are the charges, will the gulleys in the road be cleaned out to prevent flash flooding, will the pot holes be filled?

    The UK needs a coalition government which would stop the extremist views of both the Conservatives and Labour. The NHS is continually used as a political football and must have all party input.
    Likewise, the EU talks should include representatives from all 4 nations of the UK as well as the main political parties.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. I see and hear nothing from the Conservative party about real constitutional reform, only an absolute commitment to defend the status quo.

      The status quo means the UK has the largest unelected legislating chamber in the entire western world (globally, second only in size to the Chinese politburo) and has governments whose level of voter support is in the minority and at the lowest levels in the G20 (the 2015 government was dead last in the G20 at 36.8%).

      A recent YouGov survey (1st Jan) showed 62% of voters in favour of Proportional Representation. That would be a real constitutional reform which would give all of us a voice and a stake in UK democracy.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 14, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        PR would give small fringe parties disproportionate power and lead to weak government and to governments where the policies carried out by the party you voted for are not ones advertised in their manifestos.
        Like Italy with loads of governments each lasting a short period or current Belgium and Germany who cannot even form a post PR election government.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          PR does not give small fringe parties disproportionate power. Does the DUP wield disproportionate power in Westminster at the moment? Have the recent coalitions proved stronger or weaker than some of the single party administrations? Cameron’s 2015 administration proved to be a weaker government than the 2010 coalition.

          Single party administrations also renege on manifesto commitments and implement policies different to that which they promised pre-election.

          Italy’s “loads of governments” are, in reality, equivalent to cabinet reshuffles in the UK. Did the UK have a change of government last week? Italy also uses perfect bicameralism, two elected chambers, neither with primacy, and any law must path through both unchanged before reaching the statutes. You wouldn’t see any difference if they used FPTP since all you need is opposing majorities in the two chambers to create impasse. PR is not the reason the Italian system of government has issues.

          Of course, if you prefer to maintain a system which renders the vast majority of the electorate voiceless, with worthless votes that count for nothing, that is your right, but those of use who believe in real and fair democracy, democracy where we all have a voice and a stake, will continue to tell you why we know you are wrong.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 14, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            Your defence of Italian weak unstable government is ridiculous and completely contrary to post was Italian history.
            In PR small numbers of Greens or extreme left or extreme right wing parties get far more power than the number of MPS they have.
            Leveraging policies few voted for in order to get their vote.
            We had a vote on the mildest form of pr in the UK and the electorate were uninterested.
            The DUP over decades have traditionally voted with the Conservatives
            All we have now is a more formal arrangements.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted January 15, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

            We have never had a vote on any form of PR in the UK.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      But as far as the EU is concerned local authorities in the UK are now the EU’s local authorities in that part of its territory.

      That is why the EU has its Committee of the Regions:


      “The EU’s Assembly of Regional and Local Representatives”

      The region being proposed as the top level of local government within the EU, with the UK to be divided into twelve such euroregions each with its own euroregional assembly and government:


      And members of that EU committee say important things, such as:


      “There are some signs that people across the EU and the globe are waking up to the profound problem of plastic and other waste in our seas and oceans, but we need to leap to action immediately and to make this a priority. This is a task for everyone, but local and regional authorities have a particular role in preventing and managing waste … ”

      That is to say, emptying the bins and correctly disposing of their contents.

    • NickC
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      BlueandGold, The entire UK, all 4 nations together, had a vote on remaining in the EU or leaving it. The UK decided to leave. There is nothing to talk about.

      • Blue and Gold
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        You are showing the ignorance of most Wrexiteers!!

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        although two nations said no thank you

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          They are not sovereign and they are not parties to the EU treaties, any more than the two where the majority voted to leave.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      I presume you are Lib Dem.
      If we….all us voters….want a very different outcome then we would vote for parties other than the main two.
      But we don’t.

      • Blue and Gold
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        You presume wrongly and like most Wrexiteers, talk nonsense.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Touched a nerve I think blue n gold.
          Not much of a reply from you.
          Usual abuse when you are challenged

    • M. Davis
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      … What the voters of the UK want is democracy …

      So what is it that you do not understand about the majority of the Referendum voters’ decision to leave the EU?

      Wrexiteer? That is a new word to me, perhaps you could explain it?

  13. Epikouros
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    That is an erudite and lucid description of the Conservatives and the parties of the left. Unfortunately the distinctions you observe are not to my personal preference and not distinct enough and becoming less so. David Cameron and Theresa May have accelerated the dilution of this distinction either because of personal belief or for expediency sake. I suspect because of a bit of both. As modern views have changed from not taking seriously those who espouse silly, eccentric, irrational opinions and wish to have a fantasy Utopian world filled with people of equal status happy and contented as all their needs are catered for by the state. To treating them very seriously indeed. The clowns are genuinely now running the circus.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed and May and Hammond are essentially little different from Blair, Brown or even Corbyn, just not quite as bad. They are full of PC drivel, green crap and the desire to tax and regulate everything to death. May simply does not understand that there is no pay gap (that is not more than fully explained by the fact that women make different work life balance choices and only a few of them choose to study STEM subjects at A-level or university – about 8 men to 1 woman in some technical subjects). Time to grow up dear and get real. Look at EasyJet for example where most pilots are male and most cabin crew female. Of course you then get a pay gap!

    • Diogenes
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      “This is an erudite and lucid description of the Conservatives and the parties of the left”. “Conservatives accept the past and are happy to adapt and conserve all that is best from it”. Proof the desindustrialisation that has gone on almost without interruption from 1970s onwards, not all the Cons’ fault, but largely acccelerated by them.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Mass immigration and new gender laws are not evolutionary but revolutionary. Gains have been greatest under the Conservatives.

    Conservatives seem to care more for appeasing cultural Marxists than their core vote. The changes are truly staggering and 2017 must have been the most politically correct Christmas ever.

    Tory voters have always cared about people in need and homosexuals have featured among their favourite people for at least fifty years that I know of. They just don’t like being taken advantage of.

    A white, heterosexual son is now a burden because of positive discrimination.

    • Peter
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      “A white heterosexual son” is a blessing and would have been seen in that light for most of history – even in the days of mass poverty.

      Bizarrely, in this age some media pundits love the run the overpopulation scare story. However, they ask prosperous nations to limit the size of the family and say nothing to the rest of the world.

      There has always been a short term economic benefit in having other countries pay for the cost of raising a child and then using the adult in your industries. If they die quickly after retirement all the better. This approach has other consequences though.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

        Peter – I don’t get it.

        Young white males are restricted from applying for the board.

  15. Mark B
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Welcome to the world of, Punch and Judy Politics. Just try and remember not to ‘drop the baby.’

    The main parties in the UK if challenged would say they wish to promote greater prosperity and freedom for everyone in our society.

    Why only after being challenged ? I’d thought they would espouse such freely. And in anycase, what party would ever get elected if they promoted poverty and oppression ? Something that thanks to the current government policies of devaluation and MASS immigration, and not forgetting being the most watched people on the planet, it is in fact the opposite of what our kind host claims.

    . . . . . socialists thinking of ways the state can enable some people to do things within government control.

    Surely that is an oxymoron ? How can you be said to be able to ‘freely’do things only with State control ?

    My view is this. For Labour to gain power they had to move to the mythical Centre Ground (eg drop Clause 4). In doing so, and because the Conservatives were so lousy in opposition, (ie not opposing much) Labour got into office for three terms. The Conservatives played their part in opposing, “More Europe” and all the various treaties but, in truth, they secretly supported all of them. They just had to keep up pretenses. Now it’s Labour’s turn.

    There is a Left-Wing (Wets) in Conservative politics. These Wets believe in State control and subsidy of both public and private industry. They do not like SME’s and are opposed to anything that might advance the individual over the State. These Soft Socialists, in my view, share more in common with National Socialists on the continent than true British Libertarian views of private ownership, personal freedom and practically no State. How many here can say that we have that when we have repressive , Hate Crime laws which persecute people because someone does not like what someone else has said ?

    Some Conservatism. No wonder your party is dying.

  16. majorfrustration
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I rather feel that the mood of the country is to crack on towards WTO and leave the EU to come to us with a deal which we can either accept or reject

    • mancunius
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      I agree, but unfortunately the mood in the HoC (let alone the unelected and increasingly impudent House of Lords) is to hobble our leaving the EU, and at all events to ensure our speedy return. If May formally agrees to all the clauses of the December Joint Report, it will sail through the Commons and Lords, with all those who made pretty if rather subdued speeches about the referendum showing ‘the will of the people’ will now vote for ‘more Europe’.
      Most MPs cannot stomach the idea of the people of this country telling them what to do.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Indeed that is clearly the case.

  17. Duncan
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Not one single mention of tax cuts. That alone tells me all I need to know about the so called modern conservative party

    Thatcher understood that the more the state spends the more it must tax and the more it taxes the greater the state’s powers become.

    For the moral health of society the state must be weaned off its powers but cutting its ability to spend our wealth.

    The state has become a VESTED INTEREST IN ITSELF. When you understand that one simple FACT there’s nothing left to say.

    The state views the taxpayer as something to be abused. it views opposition to it as a threat to its existence

    MPs, all of them, play their silly game of managing the public perception while waiting their turn for power, the power to take what they want from the private.

    Politics, as we know politics to be, died when Thatcher was toppled. Following this event I have seen a managed process of transferring power from one clique to another

    It is important that the private person protects themselves from an entity (State) that will only become more aggressive, invasive and demanding

    The Tories have capitulated. They are dead to me

  18. The Prangwizard
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    What we need from the Conservative party is more distance from the philosophy and practises of the hard Left and more countering of its propaganda. We don’t need the wet mimicking of their attitudes with ‘What Labour wants, Labour gets’ from Mrs May and others, Hammond Rudd for example. It is not a difference of degree on policy either, that just indicates weakness and naivety.

    She is quite clearly incapable and unwilling to deliver such. So much support is being thrown away by the leftist views she espouses. She is encouraging the revolutionaries by not opposing them. Our democracy is in grave danger and there should be no tolerance if its authoritarian opponents if freedom of the individual is to survive here in England.

  19. Kenneth
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    A ruling party that presides over a system that removes, by force, up to half of our money is not a Conservative government.

    Mr Redwood you are a member of a socialist party.

  20. Peter
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Theoretically there are party differences.

    However, the phrase “if voting changed anything they would ban it” is increasingly applicable.

    Many voters are now cynical and world weary. George Carlin’s “American Dream” outline applies just as much in this country as in the USA.

    Many politicians are now seen as self-serving troughers, in hock to their donors and not particularly worried about the electorate.

    Some conviction politicians remain but not enough to change things.

    • Cpt America
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      “George Carlin’s “American Dream”….
      “They call it that because you have to be asleep to believe in it” 🙂
      Very good! 🙂

  21. Richard1
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    The banking industry is requesting another subsidy by means of a state guarantee on Carillion’s debt. Of course it must not get it. Carillion must be restructured by its shareholders and creditors without any taxpayer money (as the banks themselves should have been).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink


      A perfect opportunity to cancel the absurd HS2 (beloved of the dire Lord Adonis) and Hinkley C projects perhaps.

      Do any MPs or politicians have “consultancy” positions or other interesting dealing with this company by any chance?

      • Richard1
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        It would be wonderful if HS2 and Hinkley Point would be cancelled as a result of the pending restructuring at Carillion, but I assume that is too much to hope for.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        Credit to Vince Cable for being the first politician to be talking sense in public on this issue (unless I’ve missed someone else?).

  22. Chris
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, with regard to your comment: “There are also some issues of definition over freedom, with Conservatives thinking more of freeing people to do things for themselves, and socialists thinking of ways the state can enable some people to do things within government control” I would strongly disagree. The Conservatives under Cameron and May have increased state interference in our lives, as May chases the left of centre vote. She is not a Conservative, as has been said many time before on this website. What a wonderful way to carry on haemorrhaging support from your grassroots (and attracting potential support from other groups). The Cons will never “outLabour” the Labour Party, so should quit chasing those centre/left of centre voters immediately. Appeasers, and politicians who blow with the wind chasing voters, instead of just having firm principles and policies/ideology will never command respect, nor win votes.

  23. Tom
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Thank goodness for the excellent Charles Moore – today on the misguided, PC, “T May” think army recruitment agenda. Can he not be encouraged to act as a working compass to guide the current dire Tory leadership back to sound and indeed popular Conservatism?


    • Tom
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Mathew Paris in the Times today says – Brexit won the referendum but lost the war.

      Paris is invariably wrong on almost every single issue, though he can occasionally be slightly amusing. Given the hapless, lefty dope May he is proving to be could actually be right on this issue.

      Even he has recently come to the obvious conclusion that the NHS need to start charging.

  24. Colin
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    This is all very disappointing, John.

    “One critic remarked that he could not support the Conservatives because they had never held up change or progress for a single day. He revealed a misunderstanding of Conservatism.”

    I think you’ll find it was Evelyn Waugh, and that he understood what he was saying perfectly well.

    “Both often seek the same high level aims. The main parties in the UK if challenged would say they wish to promote greater prosperity and freedom for everyone in our society.”

    Not so. The left wish to promote greater equality, and care little for prosperity or freedom.

    “Conservatives and socialists both want good quality public services, with healthcare and education delivered free at the point of use.”

    Nope. Conservatives want good quality public services, the left want them “free at the point of use”, i.e. big state socialism. They don’t care about the quality, because of course the apparatchiks don’t use the services meant for the little people.

    “Both want to spend more on developing those services”

    No, Conservatives think the public services as currently constituted are a vast engine for the wasting of money on bureaucracy, nannying, over-regulation and obscenely overpaid leeches who think they are our betters. Not to mention the vast expense of welfare on the wasted lives of our poorest compatriots, while the self-appointed elite ship in cheap foreign labour to supplant them.

    Real Conservatives want less government, less regulation, low taxes, efficient public services, low immigration, full employment and opportunity for all our people. Not condemning them to poverty, rent slavery, ill health and working until they drop.

    • Chris
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Regarding your last para, Colin, I fully agree. We do not have real Conservatives in government. Full stop. How true Cons MPs, of which there are a few, can carry on supporting this government defeats me. Ruled by fear that Corbyn will get in? That is not good enough. Stand up for yourselves, and for the grassroots in this country, otherwise our country is lost (and incidentally the Cons Party).

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Public expenditure should be cut to pre-1914 levels – 15-20% of GDP. It was the world wars that elevated it. It is a one-way street. Taking power back from the state has always been the major battle in UK history. Conservative politicians accept that the difficulty of removing legal power from the state is a reason for not granting the power in the first place but they are quite keen to keep the money.
      The more governments do the greater the risks to the population arising from the mistakes of government. The EU takes it to extremes: its mistakes damage the lives of 500 million people. At least UKG’s mistakes are limited to 65 million but that is still too many.

      • rose
        Posted January 14, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes, the bigger the government, the bigger the mistakes.

  25. Times Gone
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    The funny thing is I was a leftie revolutionary in my overlong frustrating youth. But the conservatism I then rebelled against I now embrace.Better would embrace, but it no longer exists. I find most Tory MPs are like allegedly moderate Labour MPs but out-qualifying them by having one or two “O” levels and a grade three CSE in Embroidery and Sewing.

  26. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Still the fixed perceptions resonate. I have voted tory , I have voted labour and I have also voted UKIP and liberal. Many like myself do not like to be put into categories; we like the freedom to choose and the freedom to change our minds. We get tired of old quotes being dug up from the past and historical comparisons which are out of context of today’s evolutionary societal encumbrance. We usually vote for the things which will bring us health ,prosperity and happiness and the party which seems to be doing those things for us is where we place the x.( not that the management which follows always achieves this)

    By nature I am liberal and conservative as the words suggest , but that does not mean that I will vote for Vince Cable , who is actually talking sense about Pavilion or Mrs May.I don’t favour one or another. I understand what a collection of boo hoo hurrah ( supposedly individual) people can conjur up and how events can be changed by an ill thought out sway of emotion and I shy away from these gatherings of whipped up feelings. I also have understood how bullies can bring others down for having too much or too little money . I have been at the brunt of jealously and contempt at my poverty.

    I am not sure the term revolutionary applies to the majority of the labour party , however the introduction of the private sector into all the NHS , the disrespect shown for our own workers and the cruel way we were all put out of State jobs by the labour party and the way we had to pay for overseas practitioners who were incompetent ( and we are feeling the consequences of this still) in Manchester leads me to believe that this was a very bad period of revolution . The people who condoned this were obviously those in control of the idea and would not agree that they were wrong anyway .The debt speaks differently.

  27. lojolondon
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Possibly the largest threat that the EU has ever faced is the possibility that Britain goes off alone and thrives. That revelation will sow massive discord within the other 27, after what is the point of a trading bloc that inhibits the potential of it’s members. For that reason they will do anything they can to damage our young democracy. How do you ‘negotiate’ in good faith with someone who’s ultimate aim is to do you as much damage as possible?

    Number One : Every penny we send to the EU makes us weaker and them stronger, we need it all to make Britain Great again.

  28. I Object, I Robot
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    The problem with government is it believes itself.
    It creates objects. It believes in them

    Object One says “You must brush your teeth twice a day. ” Well, you would if you wanted rock-hard nylon to scratch the enamel off your teeth by thousands of criss-crossing tiny cuts.

    So it goes on.Once the government believes in itself then it believes itself when it talks to itself and believes the Object ..its own Creation. Government stops being the Creator, the God, and starts believing in the graven image of itself, the Object.

  29. Andy
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    The EU don’t need to ‘get on with Brexit’. They’ve been saying for more than a year ‘tell us what you want’.

    The hapless Brexit government can not do this because it will split the Tory party. What is accept to Redwood and Duncan Smith is not accept to Soubry and Clarke.

    Labour is split on the issue too – which does not help.

    The harsh fact is that Brexiteers need to understand that they do not have the mandate (either in their party or in the country) for the brutal amputation they demand.

    Sorry Dr Fox – chlorinated chicken ain’t coming here.

    This being the case it is evident that Brexit is pointless as you just end up with a worse version of what we have.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      It’s about the result of the referendum.
      Not Soubry nor Fox

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      You give the lie to your argument at the end. You are not arguing for a good future for UK. You are trying to stop Brexit. You are in dreamland. It is going badly because people like you refuse to make the best of the situation and do all you can to undermine those who are. Even if Mrs May had a brilliant vision for UK you would vote against it. That she hasn’t does not make Brexit wrong. It means we need a better PM and government. We can only get those things outside the EU. Westminster and Whitehall are still the EU’s local office. A change of people is required. It will take time. It is still right. Or do you think they’re all doing a fabulous job?

  30. hans chr iversen
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    if no deal means a WTO deal than I would rather prefer a deal please

  31. Pragmatist
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Just a thought. But where does the Royal Navy’s ships ditch their waste including plastic? Perhaps they can be used in all BBC documentaries on TV as “Best Practice”

  32. Pragmatist
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May as a Conservative seems in spirit the more..but not the definitively and properly speaking conservative mother of her wayward young son Jeremy Corbyn. They should appear more eye to eye but Jeremy has shifty eyes in perfect alignment with his Socialism

  33. mancunius
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    The EU has set up the timing of the phasing of the trade deal agreement so that it must be preceded by our formal acceptance of the draconian terms (continued alignment with the Single Market/Customs Union either for NI or for the whole UK, massive 50bn ‘punishment’ payment to the EU, continuing interference of the ECJ in dictating the rights of nationals of EU countries) set out in the government’s Joint Report on 8 December.
    And the UK negotiators have not at all challenged this timing, then or since.
    John, you said yourself at that time (8 December): ‘There will be considerable debate about the meaning of this statement “In the absence of agreed solutions the UK will maintain full alignment with the rules of the internal market and customs union which now or in the future support North-south co-operation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement” ‘
    Considerable debate? When, pray? It’s surely obvious that the EU negotiators will decide for themselves that there will be ‘an absence of agreed solutions’. If we therefore find ourselves forced to agree to such a concession of sovereignty, May can say she ‘had no choice’, and of course Labour and the Tory europhiles and the rest of Parliament will take the nod and wink, and vote it through. Surely it’s inevitable that their threat to oppose any agreement they don’t like will turn into a willing acceptance of an agreement that thwarts a genuine Brexit, and they will on no account risk ‘no agreement’.
    Barnier and Juncker know that – even without their constant pro-EU briefing by Starmer and other parliamentary Remainers. (What would we have said of MPs and peers who kept the Reichskanzler informed during the war as to Churchill’s defence plans? For this is war, the future of our independence as a nation is at stake.)

    Also, it seems clear that now the UK negotiations are being led and steered by unelected, pro-Remain civil servants, Robbins foremost, only nominally by their captive, a wavering PM who is clearly no fan of Brexit.

  34. good in parts
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    New Conservatism with a capital C distinguishing it from the rational meaning of the word, has done much more than ever before in fighting increasing racism, hate speech, and, not being terribly nice.

    It has done nothing however in stopping the increase or even explaining increases in racism satisfactorily despite doctoring classic books of English literature, censoring films, sacking its own candidates, agreeing to the term “hate speech” and in all ways being thoroughly good eggs in teaching instructing and jailing people at odds with their own new values.

  35. D Gardener
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Alas new Conservatism is a fair stretch to the left of true Conservatism. The party has gone down hill since Mrs Thatcher was forced out of office by the europhiles who’d rather have this country governed by the unelected and unaccountable in Brussels rather than by our own elected MPs.
    Why? Self determination is essential in any democracy and freedom is priceless.

  36. Diogenes
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    A new chapter (Carillion) is presently being written in “The Blunders of our Governments” by A.King & I.Crewe (with thanks to Lifelogic). And the MPs will do nothing as it is the sacred Private Sector. Too big to fail, anyone?

  37. hans chr iversen
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    No deal does not seem to be in the cards and it is difficult to imagine an only WTO deal with the EU as long as both our imports and exports are actually growing the past three years with teh EU. We now export 49% of all goods we export to 27 countries and 51% to the rest of more than a 150 countries in the World.

  38. Historian
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Cameron was a new Conservative
    “A Leave vote and I will trigger Article 50 the very next day, (24th June 2016 ) and carry on
    implementing ongoing the wish of The People!”
    True to his word, Cameron along with present Chancellor Hammond was last seen in Beijing asking a government official if there were any free sightseeing trips down a rice and soy sauce mine.

  39. Yorkie
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t someone in the name of compassion take the Mayor of London aside and quietly inform him out of the glare of publicity, the media, and perhaps the embarrassed presence of his friends and colleagues that Trump although having a British mother,and part of my greater clan ( We Mc’s and others without Mc in front of our names formed an alliance ). Trump, actually, in real terms, is not a UK politician nor British. He is American. He was born in New York. Not the New York in Lincolnshire but the one in America where they say, one or two of them Noo Yark. Mr Khan has been on about Trump before Trump was an American politician. When did this obsession start? He should calm himself or people will think him silly.

  40. Peter D Gardner
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    The left love the EU for two main reasons.

    First, the EU spends other people’s money without having to account to the people for it.
    Second, the EU enables lobby groups to by-pass democratic debate in parliament.
    That is why we find Left wing and sundry activist groups like greenies, no borders, SJW, and so on, all of whom have lost any open debate, alongside the corporatists favouring the EU as a supra-national form of government that has and uses the power to override Parliamentary democracy.

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 14, 2018 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    One question that modern Conservatives do not ask frequently is whether regulation of utilities, theoretically privatised, does more harm than good. Since the payroll, pensions and office rents of the regulators are a significant cost, that question ought to be asked. In the energy market, easy switching and making it easy for new companies to enter the market would be a good thing. In transport, the railways face competition from air travel, road travel, road freight and short sea shipping. Do we really need artificial regulation of rail fares and charges on top of that?

  42. BretW
    Posted January 14, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Am afraid you’re mistaken..A50 has already been activated and we will leave 29th march 2019..so that is agreed and cannot be changed..there are no guarantees about the future..what we want and what the EU will deliver mightbe very different..we are indeed in a very weak position. As far as no deal being better than a bad deal is concerned..a no deal would be disasterous..we should remember we have very few friends left in europe

  43. ken moore
    Posted January 14, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I do not know how John Redwood can say ‘the Conservatives wish to conserve the best of the past’ when they presided over the destruction of the finest education system in the world. Dr Redwood – you are old enough to remember when a murder was a rare occurrence, knife crime was virtually unheard of and policemen were unarmed .. it was safe to walk the streets at night. Why didn’t your party lift a finger to halt the cultural revolution that brought us this mess ?

    Where has your party been when the family unit was destroyed by the relaxation of the laws on divorce and abolition of personal responsibility? . Why didt your party protect us from the extremes of the gender identity industry that is now poisoning the minds of our young people ?. The untold misery of divorce inflicted on millions of children. Nothing but silence and quiet agreement from your party….because they agree with the other side now.

    On PC. It is a fact that most of the plastic in the ocean was put there by Africa ,India and China…..but all we hear about is Mays determination to ban carrier bags and coffee cups. The Conservatives have woefully failed to tackle the cancer of political correctness turning their backs on inconvenient truths.

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page