The collapse of great political parties on the continent

When I wrote my book about populism a few weeks ago I drew a contrast between the long trends on the continent to the demise of the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats in most places, and the recovery of support for Conservative and Labour in the 2017 election. In February this year as I sent it to the printers the Conservatives were on a  healthy 43% in the polls. The reason was simple. The Conservatives had embraced the Brexit verdict and we were on target to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. It seemed very likely the Withdrawal Agreement would not be passed, as it was extremely unpopular with much of the electorate, uniting Remain and Leave voters against. Implementing a timely and clean Brexit could  lead on to other changes that would be welcome – spending the money on our priorities including some tax cuts with more spending on schools and social care, boosting the economy, developing our own global trade policy, setting out our own borders policy and restoring our fishing grounds.

Mrs May’s decision to delay our exit and to blame Parliament led to a big fall in Conservative poll ratings. Her even worse decision to hold the European Parliamentary elections, three years after our decision to leave, led to a further slump in Conservative poll ratings. People write in and tell me I have to solve this problem. I need to do something.

My remedy is simple. We need a government that will go to the EU and explain the Withdrawal Agreement is completely unacceptable to Parliament and people, and cannot pass. We will leave at the first opportunity – October 31 if the EU does not co-operate or earlier if they will co-operate. We will offer free trade talks and no new barriers to our trade on exit if they agree under Gatt Article 24. It would be better to leave with such a deal than with just the various smaller deals we have in place for a so called no deal exit.

That is all the easy bit. I will continue to argue and vote for that in Parliament. That is entirely in line with what I promised I would do in the General election, and with the Conservative party Manifesto of 2017. The difficult bit is how to get the government to do just that, as it shows no wish to save itself at the moment.

I have made clear my wish to see Mrs May either change her policy in the way described or to give way to a PM who can do the job. If the Conservatives do not deliver  a clean Brexit soon the polls will stay bad for the party and the country will continue to feel let down. I on my own do not have the power to get these changes, and nor so far does anyone else. That is what these days are about – trying to get the change we need.

The immediate future of Brexit rests on a Conservative Prime Minister and will continue to rest on a Conservative PM until the end of this Parliament at least. Any individual MP resigning the Conservative whip would not bring about the change many of you want, but would make achieving such change one vote less likely.


The book is

“We don’t believe you”


Paperback version:


ISBN-10: 1095254952

ISBN-13: 978-1095254950


Kindle version:




On Amazon:


On Bite-Sized Books website:







  1. Pominoz
    May 16, 2019

    Methinks maybe May may move aside in May mitigating massive ministerial mayhem. Maybe, May mayn’t – meaning many more meaningless, mendacious mutterings. Mr May may manage manipulating Mrs May’s mind much more meaningfully. Marvellous! – multitudes must make merry, marking a magnificent memorable moment!

    1. Nicholas Murphy
      May 16, 2019

      I spot someone who would make a good panelist on ‘Just a Minute’.

      1. Elvis junior
        May 16, 2019

        Buzz, repetition. May repeatedly said that we would leave the EU at the end of March & no deal was better than a bad deal.

      2. Hope
        May 16, 2019

        JR, you should be concerned that the Servitude Treaty is coming to parliament while talks with Marxist Labour firmly continue, from Tuesday’s meeting between Corbyn and Captain Mayhab. Any talks of collapse are far from reality.

        It is suspected Robbins is in Brussels to get the requisite changes Labour want, why else would he be there? IDS and Owen Patterson think Mayhab never asked for changes to the backstop let alone have it replaced as promised. EU state no changes will be made. Do all think Robbins is in Brussels shooting the breeze?

        Traitors Letwin, Grieve, Spelman and Cooper I suspect are preparing all sorts of ever so clever anti democratic amendments to pass the Great White Brino to remain in the EU under vassalage.

        It is beyond belief to the public Mayhab is still in office to bring into legislation a Servitude Treaty, voted down three times as an agreement, even if it means sinking the Tory ship. It is clear to the public her remain cabinet want her there. How would any successor refloat your party? Every day counts, she should be gone before the end of May. Why is she being allowed to bring her legislation to parliament when rejected three times. Banana republic.

        1. John Hatfield
          May 16, 2019

          The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are apparently subservient to those people in the higher echelons of society and business who are able to lobby the EU Commission, and also benefit from Single Market membership where the taxpayer is effectively paying their business tariffs. They also benefit from immigration.
          Why would they want to leave?
          Why May is subservient to them instead of honouring the referendum result as she once declared she would do, is strange.

        2. Hope
          May 16, 2019

          Did Mayhab give Williamson a reasonable fair hearing before being sacked? Did Brokenshite give a reasonable fair hearing to Sir Roger Scruton before being sacked? As I recall there was no evidence and the two are miscarriages of justice where they lost their job without any right to challenge. Compare 1922 Committee with all the evidence they have on Mayhab!

          Anyone would think the Remain Tories are content for Robbins to come back with something for them to agree with Corbyn?

          Wonder why everyone is flocking to Brexit Party?

      3. Hope
        May 16, 2019

        Captain Mayhad refuses to go and the Brady bunch accept!

        The cowardly Brady bunch appear unable to see the world around them. The damage that is being planned with Labour for her Servitude Bill. Making Corbyn the King of the Servitude Bill in Mayhab’s party name.

        The boat is taking on too much water, it is sinking, the crew are abandoning ship, Mayhad’s obsession to stay in the EU must prevail.

        Is anyone coming to rescue the country or the Tory party? Did anyone remember the 2017 election and her claim to the Brady bunch she got the party in the mess and she would get it out! 33 Tory MPs lost their job because her and lost the majority. Historic defeat in parliament for her servitude plan, historic loss of councillors, historic decision for supporters to hold no confidence in her, all time low poll ratings, Brexit party fastest rise in any political movement in history- to implement a policy that the government failed to introduce which it was elected on!

        Mayhad claimed she would go if the party no longer wanted her. The above is a clue, she broke her word again! Brady bunch claimed if she did not provide a date one would be given, not so. IDS claimed she will be forced to go- not so. Nick Timothy she is beyond the time she should have left, not so. Any Tory candidate wishing to become leader would better served joining the Brexit Party.

        How much is this costing the country? How much damage to business? Mayhab is taking you to the bottom of the briny.

    2. Peter Wood
      May 16, 2019

      Well Done! We need a bit of a chuckle now and then to keep us sane in these difficult times.

      Next BIG issue; what if Trump says to Europe (including UK) ‘ Back me on Iran or NATO is finished’…..? Mrs. Mogherini may have to declare an interest!

      1. Mitchel
        May 16, 2019

        Then NATO will be finished-and not before time.American power and influence is visibly draining away.

        Article(15/5/19) by the well connected journalist,Pepe Escobar,at Asia Times -“What Putin & Pompeo did not talk about.”:

        “Diplomatic sources from Russia and Iran confirm-off the record-that there have been secret talks among the three pillars of Eurasian integration-Russia,China and Iran-about Chinese and Russian guarantees in the event the Trump administration’s drive to strangle Tehran to death takes an ominous turn.

        This is being discussed at the highest levels in Moscow and Beijing.Bottom line:Russia and China will not allow Iran to be destroyed.”

        And I thought Pompeo looked rather sheepish at the press conference in Sochi.

    3. matthu
      May 16, 2019

      “marking magnificent memorable moments” maybe?

    4. Adam
      May 16, 2019

      Mr May’s quiet appearance resembles that of Sid Little from the ‘Little & Large’ duo, but he may be the more effective part.

      1. John Hatfield
        May 16, 2019

        Quiet appearance is in the eye of the beholder.

    5. Sir Joe Soap
      May 16, 2019

      Me thinks you’ve been listening to her too much.

    6. Yorkie
      May 16, 2019

      Not all are literate especially the ill

    7. Hope
      May 16, 2019

      JR, to lighten your spirit I suggest you read Robert James in Conservative Woman today, Captain Mayhab and the great white Will she take down all the Tory ship with her for her obsession to remain in the EU?

      I think her flaws include spite and vindictiveness so she will seek revenge for her personal failings and bring the party down.

      1. Hope
        May 16, 2019

        Great White Brino.

      2. Mitchel
        May 16, 2019

        I made the allusion to Captain Ahab and Moby Dick on here a few weeks ago-it is very apt.

        1. Mitchel
          May 16, 2019

          Just read it – the author even makes the same reference to the same scene in the John Huston film adaptation that I did!

      3. Helen Smith
        May 16, 2019

        She is certainly a bully, as she showed at Chequers, malevolent, controlling, supercilious and down right etc ed too.

      4. Mitchel
        May 16, 2019

        Most amusing news item today?Exploratory talks are said to be underway in Oslo between representatives of the two camps in the Venezuelan contretemps-the Maduro government is represented by their information minister,the Guaido (would-be)putschists by an MP by the name of ….Stalin Gonzalez!

      5. John Hatfield
        May 16, 2019

        Reminds me of Hitler. “Is Paris burning?” If he couldn’t have Paris nobody could.
        I note that the general who disobeyed Hitler in refusing to destroy Paris was given a posthumous award.

    8. Tad Davison
      May 16, 2019

      The problem with Theresa May is a simple one, and applies equally to any number of past Tory Prime Ministers, Ministers, and MPs. They’re all CINOs – Conservative in name only.

      They bear not the slightest resemblance to what we rightly expect – low-taxation, tough on law and order, pro-business, strong defence, anti-immigration, patriotism, independent governance free from foreign interference, a belief in self-reliance and a rejection of the Nanny State, a strong NHS, and a good education system that produces talent we actually need.

      Theresa May and her cohorts fail on every single count which must qualify her as the very worst Prime Minister of all time, and her choice of ministers the most unsuitable. We must now ask ourselves who can put that right after her inevitable and highly welcome departure.

      1. Lifelogic
        May 16, 2019

        Exactly right.

      2. Lester Beedell
        May 16, 2019

        This isn’t the Tory party that I’ve supported all my life, it’s rapidly becoming the LibDems, Anna Soubry admitting that she is a LibDem

        Perhaps Nigel Farage is the future home of disaffected Tories, his thinking certainly seems to confirm this, Ann Widdecombe and the other candidates seem to be going in the right direction, and the candidate in the East owns a fish market so that seems sensible, I’m sick of the political correctness and not daring to say anything in case someone is offended and the latest nonsense, volunteers cannot bake cakes for terminally ill people because their kitchens haven’t been inspected!

      3. ChrissyG
        May 16, 2019

        Spot on!

    9. yossarion
      May 16, 2019

      I see the 1922 committee have been mugged of by teardrop explodes, the Muppet party are about to find out their base support for the next three decades next week

  2. Ian wragg
    May 16, 2019

    You have the power to bring down the government by withdrawing from the whip.
    If May gets the WA through you will be equally complicit.

    1. Andy
      May 16, 2019

      The withdrawal agreement is Brexit. You voted for it in 2016.

      You are not allowed to change you mind just because you have now bothered to read the small print. (And by that I don’t mean you have read the actual withdrawal agreement – of course you have not done that. You have merely read complaints about the withdrawal agreements made by Tory MPs and ‘journalists’ at Tory owned newspapers. None of these people who complain about the withdrawal agreeemnt have actually read the withdrawal agreement either).

      You need to respect democracy.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        May 16, 2019

        Andy, your posts get more bizarre by the day. Whatever it is that you are on, you need to stop taking it. I do look forward to reading your posts though as they are good for a laugh and the replies are entertainment at its best.

      2. forthurst
        May 16, 2019

        David Cameron told the nation what Brexit would mean (ie leave the Single Market and the Customs Union) and we voted for it. We were not given an alternative opinion by someone called Andy and we did not find the WA on our ballot paper.

        Repeating the same falsehood endlessly will not make it true.

      3. Helen Smith
        May 16, 2019

        If the WA was Brexit you can be sure Sir John would vote for it and the Leave voting public clamouring for MPs to agree to it.

        However, it is only Brexit in the mind of recalcitrant Remainers like you.

      4. Fred H
        May 16, 2019

        nobody voted for Brexit, that’s a term coined by May at the start of the 3 year fudge, lie, misrepresent, obscure, manipulate a simple vote that confirmed LEAVE. There was no qualification, you somehow keep trying to rewrite history….for your memory as it has terrible lapses, the vote was either Remain or Leave. You also forget the people voted LEAVE.

    2. jerry
      May 16, 2019

      @Ian wragg; Yes, indeed our host and the ERG do have the power to bring down the govt, they also thus have the power inflict a Corbyn lead govt on the UK, if not scrap Brexit too should there be a europhile coalition, like the one UKIP caused in 2010.

      Might that be why they have not done as you, and others, keep suggesting?!

    3. Julie Dyson
      May 16, 2019

      … which right now, Ian, would unfortunately mean a Labour government, surely?

      Ye Gods, what a choice — Mrs May’s horrendous surrender document, or that dangerous Marxist sneaking in to No 10 via the back door simply because the Brexit Party (the only party with even the potential to stop him at the next GE, given the current situation) is barely five weeks old.

      Conservative rebels would not be easily forgiven for being responsible for that particular outcome either, Sir John, so it really is a no-win situation for you and the stalwart few. You have my sympathies… but unfortunately, no easy answers.

      It seems to me that the timing would be crucial, for what that’s worth.

      1. Ian wragg
        May 16, 2019

        Not necessarily true. I think the Brexit Party would get a fair few seats.

    4. Peter
      May 16, 2019

      May does not care. Her reputation cannot get any worse, but so far the Conservative party as a whole are unwilling to remove her. Brady seemed happy to report that she had won her confidence vote.

      She will drag it out for as long as possible, wasting time, pretending to work for Brexit while trying to find a way to thwart it.

    5. Hope
      May 16, 2019

      JR, IDS on TV saying after watching the fly on the wall documentary about the EU negotiators, there was no negotiation just capitulation! He continued to say it went against all what May said at the dispatch box.

      IDS might want to reflect why he voted for it last time against his view yesterday?

      People will wonder why any Tory MP voted for it last time and even more incredulous why they would vote for it this time and not take a stand to refuse it in its entirety.

      Reply I think several of my colleagues who switched to support the Withdrawal Treaty last time will switch back and vote against if it comes to us for a fourth time in some new package.

      1. Sir Joe Soap
        May 16, 2019

        We still need to ask ourselves why they voted for it last time? But for a few of you, their capitulation could have resulted in us now being subject to laws made by foreign powers in perpetuity.

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        May 16, 2019

        Reply to reply. That would be most welcome John. It might go a way to showing the Tory party are regaining their senses.

    6. Chris
      May 16, 2019

      That is the stark truth, IW. You are right. Sir John and others are not powerless. There is action they can take but they do not want to take it. That is their decision. However, the electorate will judge them on that basis. Their words may be fine, but it is the lack of action that makes them “complicit” as you say. Where there is a will there is indeed a way.

    7. Mark B
      May 16, 2019


      No single MP wields that much power. But if MP’s refuse to sit in her government and the DUP let it be known they will not stand by the government in a no confidence vote, then who knows ?

    8. Lynn Atkinson
      May 16, 2019

      We need the Redwood vote if not the Redwood in the Leadership challenge. The WAB is so dreadful Govt can’t bring themselves to publish it – no obfuscation and friendly words like the WA – the real deal – it will fail.
      I have remained a member of the Party because even my tiny vote could be pivotal. I am concerned however, that whatever happens, we don’t lose the Parliamentary caucus of Heroes who never voted for the WA. They are irreplaceable and must remain in Parliament and speaking for Britain irrespective of the fortunes of the two suicidal main parliamentary parties.

    9. cynic
      May 16, 2019

      Both Labour and Conservatives should remember what happened in Scotland when all those safe seats went to the S N P, for which read Brexit Party.

  3. stred
    May 16, 2019

    How about a tariff of 25% on cars to protect British factories now that the EU has facilitated the move of Japanese manufacture back to Japan. We make about the same number as we import but buy many more from the EU. We have all car types and sizes except real minis made here and could make models if we wished to. Parts could stay zero rated in order to cooperate with continentals. A trade deal with Trump would boost JLR and quality car sales in the US. Why buy German when quality and reliability are now the same?

    1. Fred H
      May 16, 2019

      what? please don’t equate US cars with German. We might make lots of cars here, but we have very very few where build rights/designs are British. (unless you see us all affording supercars?)

      1. margaret howard
        May 16, 2019

        Fred H

        ” (unless you see us all affording supercars?)”

        Or a Reliant Robin?

        1. Tad Davison
          May 16, 2019

          The British car industry went into decline throughout the 1960s and 70s to the point where some of their products were little better than the ones produced in Eastern Europe under communism – and I have rebuilt enough of them to attest to the fact they were both poorly designed and of shoddy build quality.

          There were literally acres of unsold stockpiled poor-quality British cars in the 1970s. But the Labour government of the day kept subsidising a loss-making industry to churn out junk and to please their union masters.

          Past mistakes often point the way to the future, so I wonder what would stop the UK getting its act together post leaving the European Union, and producing cars of excellent quality that people actually wanted to buy?

          The answer of course, is nothing! The UK has a skilled workforce, better designers, and better industrial relations than back then, and where there’s money to be made, venture capital will soon lead the way. So now is the time for dynamism, positivity, a can-do attitude not cheap piss-taking.

    2. Richard
      May 16, 2019

      The published DIT ‘no deal’ tariffs schedule retained high tariffs on finished vehicles & food. No doubt to assist with speedy EU Article 24 & RoW FTA negotiations. 87% of UK imports would be eligible for tariff free access.

    3. Gareth Warren
      May 16, 2019

      Unless there is a special disagreement then tariffs on cars are limited to 12% by WTO rules.

      However if price of free trade with US was a tariff on non-US cars then 12% would likely wipe out non-luxury cars since the profit margins are tight. Our trade with the US is more valuable because the Jaguars etc sold there have their components made in UK. A large amount of the car sales to Europe are just imports.

  4. formula57
    May 16, 2019

    What extra suffering and damage must the country endure until the Conservative Party rid us all of T. May and her gang?

  5. Bob Dixon
    May 16, 2019

    I sent an email to my MP Jonathan Danogly with Barclays letter attached.The email was not delivered.I rang his secretary who confirmed that I had the correct email address. So my question to him have now been sent by first class post.

  6. Nigl
    May 16, 2019

    I guess you speak to Mrs May or those close to her. Without breaking confidences can you explain is she in denial about what is happening to her party, does she not care, does she think that not getting her Brexit through is the problem and once it happens voters will flock back, does she know it is the deal we all hate etc

    Equally those that still support her. Are there any and why?

    I have never known a PM so out of touch with the mood of the country.

    Reply It is unusual as you say. She is completely committed to the Withdrawal Treaty and the small band of advisers who think that a good idea, ignoring the obvious dislike of it in the country and in Parliament.

    1. Old person
      May 16, 2019

      Having observed PMQs yesterday, it was interesting to listen to Peter Bone’s question directed at the PM. Like many, I was surprised at her reaction to the question.

      Then I remembered why her reaction seemed familiar. I ask the more elderly readers of this blog to cast their mind back to their schooldays before education was dumbed down and the weapon of choice was the cane. Remember how a pupil would get a stern dressing down by a master. The pupil would not be able to maintain their posture and end up with a silly grin on their face. It is exactly like that in the chamber.

      I challenge any psychologists out there to explain this behaviour.

    2. Alan Jutson
      May 16, 2019

      Reply – Reply

      Looks like fr0m recent news reports that the 1922 committee have given her yet more time to try and get her withdrawal agreement through.

      I absolutely despair.
      How bad does it have to get before they want her to go, simply unbelievable that she is still being allowed to hang on.

      The whole Conservative Party should hang their heads in shame at this now complete and utter farce.

  7. Dominic
    May 16, 2019

    I understand why many Tory MPs refuse to support radical change. Their entire lives revolve around their position as a MP. Their income. Their lifestyle. Their daily routine. Challenging the status quo would put all that at jeopardy. It is a monumental risk to absorb and every member of the ERG simply refuses to countenance such a move which would involve splitting the party

    Self-preservation is a powerful human instinct. Self-sacrifice not so unless absolutely demanded by personal loyalty or an existential threat. On that basis alone every ERG member’s actions are entirely understandable

    There is little doubt in my mind that what we are witnessing at present is the very foundations of our nation and its freedoms under direct attack from both May and her association with Marxist Labour though the rise of liberal left fascism and victim based politics is intent on crushing all that we are

    Not one single Tory MP ever stands to defend freedom of speech. Why? I understand why ERG members won’t split the party to bring down May but where are libertarian Tory voices in condemning May-Labour plans to erode continually our fundamental freedoms regarding the internet, association and expression? Your silence is deeply offensive to our nation and its history

    Millions of brave people laid down their lives to defend our freedoms and rights and this PM in alliance with that vile Marxist is determined to crush them.

    And why do Tory MPs stay silent on the BBC’s embrace of Marxism?

    Why does Corbyn and his (neo ed)Marxist (supporters ed)remain beyond demonisation?

    You and other ERG members have the position and the voice in Parliament to attack May’s plans and her actions but your pussyfooting around is endangering our nation

  8. Everhopeful
    May 16, 2019

    Has it occurred to anyone in govt that their vast unpopularity although largely to do with Brexit might also be fuelled by other things?
    Like the govt’s reaction to terrorist attacks?
    It’s obsession with everything politically correct?
    It’s planning ( or lack of) laws.
    The 2008 crash…is that really forgiven?
    The govt’s total lack of response to anything except left wing opinion.
    Far too much to list so let’s just say that after a very long line of treacherous leaders the Tories are now delivering the final blow to our way of life.
    Had the main parties ever actually been honest about their intentions/ motives they would be long gone ( “ we intend to destroy your universe. That’s our manifesto!”).

  9. Roy Grainger
    May 16, 2019

    That many Conservative MPs are still conspiring to keep May in power shows that the party is split beyond help – any vote for an Conservative MP under these circumstances is wasted, we need to vote out the whole lot of them.

  10. J Bush
    May 16, 2019

    I am absolutely disgusted with May and all the others, including my constituent MP Trudy Harrison; who continually lie through their teeth claiming May’s traitor Treaty is leaving the EU and that signing up to it means the UK becomes a self ruling independent country again.

    How can we be that, if we are tied, with no say, to so many of the EU institutes and under its jurisdiction?

    And they have the gall to accuse the electorate of being thick and not knowing what they voted for!

    1. cornishstu
      May 16, 2019

      If it so benign as May and co say, why has the AG’s advice to government not been published for all to see.

      1. Richard416
        May 16, 2019

        We have Sir John’s analysis and it hasn’t been denied. That is good enough for me. I suspect that the prime minister believes that she is the greatest confidence trickster of all time, but the word is that we have rumbled her.

        1. cornishstu
          May 16, 2019

          I agree, my point was if all is as May and co say then publishing the AG’s advice should not be a problem as it would support their position, ergo his advice does not.

  11. agricola
    May 16, 2019

    She has damaged the negotiating ability and reputation of the UK. She has damaged the conservative party by turning it into a lib/dem lookalike. She has damaged democracy and the electorate’s faith in it. She has traiterously tried to turn us into a vassal state of the EU. She has lied through her teeth at every turn. She has displayed myopic leadership at every opportunity, she was even repeating the mantra in Paris yesterday.

    How much evidence is required, remove her from office pdq. Then let a Leave PM and Cabinet apply some discipline to the conservative party in the HoC. As you say the only option is leave on WTO terms, present the EU with a draft FTA and offer them Art 24 of Gatt to stabilise the trade situation until such time as an FTA is agreed.

  12. Everhopeful
    May 16, 2019

    Very good book. Worth getting. Am enjoying!
    Re banking crisis bit at the beginning…that laid back “ everything will be alright” attitude is now very prevalent in this country. There is no rigour any more.
    For example people believe that they are safe/protected when they put powers of attorney and will provisions in place. Banks, solicitors assure that all is ok …all sorted.
    (Banks are just downright inefficient and totally without discipline ( job sharing does NOT help.) No wonder there was a “ Banking crisis”!!!!).
    Yet when an attorney or executor takes money from the donor/deceased account …nothing can be done. Whatever the law actually says the salami slicing continues unabated.
    There is only one thing in this country that stimulates action from any agency…being right wing.
    Opinion crime….thought crime.
    Utterly shameful.

  13. Kevin
    May 16, 2019

    There is something horribly stage-managed about politics since the People’s Vote:
    Oh! You want Brexit? You don’t want no deal, you want May’s deal!
    Maybe you want a new Tory leader? You don’t want a “Spartan”. You want BoJo!
    Maybe you want a different party? You don’t want UKIP. You want the Brexit Party!
    You want to pick a card? You don’t want that one. You want this one!

  14. Lifelogic
    May 16, 2019

    Indeed as you say:- We need a government that will go to the EU and explain the Withdrawal Agreement is completely unacceptable to Parliament and people, and cannot pass.

    May and Hammond however cannot be allowed to continue in office – anyone who thought the WA might be remotely acceptable is totally unsuitable to be in office. It is clear that these people do not have a Conservative bone in their bodies. We have the highest and most complex taxes for 70 years, dire and declining public services, daft vanity projects like HS2 and Hinkley C, endless expensive and pointless green energy lunacy (like biofuels at Drax), red tape spewing out all over the place, endless misguided market rigging and interventions by government in housing, energy, healthcare, schools, universities, employment laws, wage controls, planning, building controls, free speech ……. in fact almost everywhere.

    Freedom, lower taxes, choice and a far, far smaller state is what is needed. With a UK based real democracy. Al this while avoiding Corbyn who is easy to beat or should be if we had a real Conservative in charge.

  15. oldtimer
    May 16, 2019

    The rapid rise of the Brexit party, helped by switching of many former Conservative activists to it, could already have dealt a fatal blow to the Conservative party as we know it. Getting rid of May is but the first step of many needed to secure Brexit.

  16. sm
    May 16, 2019

    John, I think many of us who post here can sympathise with the massive problem you face regarding your loyalty to your constituents, your Party and our country, all of whom you have served in The House since 1987. I understand that remaining a Conservative means you will have a say in who takes up the thankless task of Leader when Mrs May is finally removed.

    Other than yourself, I frankly cannot think of any likely Leadership contender who has both the brains and the strength of character to get us through Brexit AND begin rebuilding the Party – added to which, the Party machine (CCHQ) appears to be useless and outdated.

    The EU election itself, rather than numerous polling forecasts, may be the tipping point – if TBP sweeps the board, perhaps you and those of your colleagues who have remained firm in their commitment will reconsider where your loyalty should lie.

  17. William1995
    May 16, 2019

    I think all Conservative MPs hold varying degrees of responsibility. Sir John, I agree with a lot of what you say, but over the last 4 years there have certainly been mistakes even on your part. Brexiteers such as yourself supporting lightweight Andrea Leadsom was clearly an error. Had you all got behind one heavyweight, May would never have been able to win by default.

    Hindsight is a luxury, but it is only because politicians such as yourself are held in high regard that there is an expectation of foresight and strategy. If there is still a Conservative party to lead in the comping months, I hope Brexiteers will be MUCH more organised in gathering around ONE leader, ONE strategy and ONE vision for the Country. I do not have high hopes given the 10+ people seemingly positioning themselves for a leadership bid.

    Reply Yes, I agree we mishandled the last leadership election. The reason was simple. Polling showed either Boris or Michael Gove would win easily if they ran, and Gove promised us he was backing Boris so no other serious candidate prepared a campaign. At the last minute for nominations Mr Gove sabotaged Boris and left us with neither of them in the contest, with no immediate alternative other than Andrea.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 16, 2019

      Had Boris continued he probably would still have won.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      May 16, 2019

      Reply to reply: yes, it smacks of disorganisation and in-fighting. Perhaps the party has become stale. That’s the feeling of many out here. As you can see, a certain amount of culling will happen in forthcoming elections.

  18. jerry
    May 16, 2019

    Regarding your third paragraph, yes that is what we need but it is not what we have nor is it likely, even if the Tory party elects a pro-WTO leader how will they get such a policy through the UK parliament democratically, there simply are not the numbers in the House for a WTO exit, if there was not only would we have left by now we would have left under WTO rules, both opposition and Mrs May defeated.

    People keep telling us that a entry-party such as TBP will win a huge majority this time next week, if so why are the same people so reserved when it comes to holding a second referendum…

    Oh and to those who keep mouthing off about the EP being an irrelevance but then telling us that the MEP elections are going to change everything, stop trying to have it both ways.

    1. graham1946
      May 16, 2019

      A second referendum is simply wrong when the first one has been ignored. Why should we believe that a second one would not also be ignored if it went against the establishment? Anyway, why should the leavers be forced to vote again and to in effect have to win twice, when Remainers would only have to win once? Sounds like the EU way of doing things so no real surprise there. Had the referendum been won by Remainers, we would not even be having this discussion however thin the majority.

      The EP elections are mostly an irrelevance in terms of power, but a potent test of public opinion. If it goes as expected, will the Remainers shut up? Fat chance, they will continue to whine like stuck pigs.

    2. jerry
      May 16, 2019

      @graham1946; “A second referendum is simply wrong when the first one has been ignored.”

      Nonsense, it’s just that the majority on this site, and others like it, do not like what has transpired since the 2016 referendum.

      ” Anyway, why should the leavers be forced to vote again and to in effect have to win twice,”

      Why ever not, unless you do not believe it is possible to ‘win’ again, even given a referendum that Remain would call a Hobson’s Choice, Leave by method A or Leave by method B.

      “Fat chance, they will continue to whine like stuck pigs.”</i

      Indeed, some Brexiteers are…

      Q. What’s the difference between a UKIPer and a Eurocrat?

      A. Nothing, both only want direct democracy when it suits!

      1. Edward2
        May 17, 2019

        I notice most second referendum fans rarely tell us the question they want posed.
        When they have done it is usually two types of Remain or a three way question to split the Leave.
        The nation has already voted to leave the EU.
        The idea of a second referendum is an attempt by pro EU fans to stop the UK leaving membership of the EU.

        1. graham1946
          May 17, 2019

          That is quite obvious in that it is only Remoaners calling for one. They simply cannot stand democracy and will come out with all sorts of nonsense like Jerry’s reply because they are so blinded by EU. Intersting to hear on radio LBC this morning that a majority of countries in the EU reckon it will be gone in 10-20 years.

      2. graham1946
        May 17, 2019

        What has happened since 2016 is that Remainers have sold their country out. No, we don’t like that. I wonder why you do.

        1. jerry
          May 17, 2019

          @graham1946; Thanks for proving yet again that UKIPer types don’t do facts [1], just undemocratic (if not autocratic) rants, half truths, scapegoats with promises of jam tomorrow if only. There has been no referendum on How the UK should leave, and unlike you I believe that a WTO exit can be won should there be such a referendum…

          [1] never mind not even having the common decency to actually read what others write

  19. Bryan Harris
    May 16, 2019

    What has happened to the 1922 committee?
    It has proved itself worthless, or complicit, in both options you mention JR.

    If May is not forced out then she will keep us in limbo until finally her surrender deal is accepted or she cancels Brexit altogether.

    With a WTO No-Deal Brexit legislated against, where do we possibly go from here?

  20. Richard1
    May 16, 2019

    The best immediate step to try to salvage the impending disaster of the euro elections would be for mrs May to announce at least a few days ahead of the elections when she will go, even if her actual departure isn’t for a few weeks.

    1. sm
      May 16, 2019

      Would you believe her?

      I wouldn’t.

      1. Richard416
        May 16, 2019

        Nor would I. I think the best way to treat someone who has tried to deceive you (or succeeded) is to treat everything they say and do as fake.

  21. Mel brookes
    May 16, 2019

    Now the chickens are coming home to roost, the years of the faithful following and hoping for the best have long since gone, like the C of E , the establishment of both are presumably really happy with the results of their labours.

  22. Alan Jutson
    May 16, 2019

    The simple fact is that Mrs May is going to destroy the Conservative Party if she stays, and the longer she stays the worse it will be.

    Many of your Party Politicians do not yet seem to be able to accept that fact.

    All this reuniting the Country nonsense is exactly that, trying to do so before we leave the EU properly is not even remotely sensible.
    You will only be able to start to reunite the people when the politicians of all Parties fully accept the result of the referendum with good grace, and implement a full leave policy, and are then in complete control of our own affairs.

  23. Peter Miller
    May 16, 2019

    I have always thought John Major was the Conservatives’ worst post-war prime minister, a vacillating fence sitter, not helped by his previously disastrous management of the UK economy. However, he fades into insignificance when compared to Mrs May and her ability to screw up everything she touches and alienate just about all her supporters.

    If my circle of friends is indicative of the future, it is possible the Brexit Party will receive over 50% of the votes at the European election, due to apathy on the part of Remainers and the determination amongst the vast majority of traditional Tory voters to send May’s dithering government a clear and unambiguous message that ‘Brexit means Brexit’.

  24. Newmania
    May 16, 2019

    In 2017 people voted against the other Party by the only means available as I said
    The polls now show, I was right about this and you were wrong . End of .
    I agree with Nigel Farrage.. that a system whereby we are forced to vote for Parties we detest is undermining democracy, above all else ,..even stopping Brexit … we must must reconnect institutions with people. We need constitutional reform
    Let Brexit be represented by its true champions and let their arguments be destroyed by the broad coalition of moderate sensible British people who oppose both them and their hard left allies.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      May 16, 2019

      All irrelevant where you’re concerned Newmania. You can’t accept the result of the vote to leave so what are you even commenting for. Save your time and go away.

  25. Adam
    May 16, 2019

    The Brexit Party is poised to act as a powerful wedge, forcing voters into the centre from various directions.

  26. Nickyroberts
    May 16, 2019

    Sir John, again I admire your persistence, but surely you understand by now that the bulk of the Conservative party only want to destroy the very idea of Brexit. We were deceived into believing that your party would honour the referendum, but that was not true. TM’s opinion of the great British public clearly is so low, she believes that she can just take any old 585 page document and claim that it is Brexit. It has to be the most perfidious act of deception in the history of politics. As much as I admire your honest support for a real Brexit, I do not understand why you cannot now come out and blow this hideous deception out of the water.

  27. George Brooks
    May 16, 2019

    We are back in the same position that we were in, in 1940, with the German army gathering strength on the coast at Calais. We had a weak PM who was totally out of his depth and had no idea what to do next.

    The only difference now is that we have a PM that believes ”her deal” is the only solution and a whole bunch of wet MPs trying to save their jobs. She is pushing her deal to the brink by bring it back for a so called ‘second reading’ as though it had been voted through. No doubt there is more slight of hand to come and this dreadful WA will be forced through.

    All these wet MPs have managed to destroy the Conservative Party in THREE months and pretty well guarantied to lose their jobs, which is a remarkable achievement.

    The 1922 Committee has it’s last chance tonight when they meet with the PM. If they haven’t got the guts to change the rules and kick her out tonight the whole country will be off down the garbage shoot and all those MPs will be to blame for the demise of both country and party

  28. bigneil
    May 16, 2019

    “The Conservatives had embraced the Brexit verdict “?? – -I don’t see that many will agree with that comment.

  29. Sir Joe Soap
    May 16, 2019

    Your last paragraph is somewhat negative and untrue. The whole reason Parliament isn’t working at the moment is because both parties, but specifically the party which won the election, has ignored the manifesto on which they were elected. On that basis alone, you might as well between you bring down the government and stand as an independent or for another party which will stick to their promises. Not to do so makes you complicit in the deception.

    Reply My main preoccupation is to try to implement what I and the party promised in 2017. That is why I think as I set out today, and am still trying to get this government to sort it out.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      May 16, 2019

      Reply to reply: Yes, but it would be useful to hear from you as to how far it’s beneficial to that cause of pulling at the arms of the driver of your own car to do an about turn, rather than taking the journey in a car going in the right direction already. Now is quite possibly the optimum time to jump wagons and take that new journey, along with so many others. You’re presently fighting blue on blue in Peterborough, against the real Brexit Party and for the phony one.

      1. Richard416
        May 16, 2019

        I can’t speak for Sir John of course, but I would guess that he would like to take the party of the country with him and keep their support. To put it another way, he could jump into the other car that is already going the right way, but the car he is in, has several million passengers in the back who are also screaming at the driver to stop and turn round.

        1. Sir Joe Soap
          May 16, 2019

          Had several million. No longer.

  30. Christine
    May 16, 2019

    It must be heartbreaking for you to see your party destroyed from within. It must be clear to the Eurosceptics that TM was planted as plan B in case leave won the vote. Her sole purpose was to keep the UK tied to the EU as a vasal state until we rejoined. It might have worked but both parties overplayed their hand. Now the public have a passion they can get behind and they won’t be stopped. For too long politicians have taken too much from the British tax payer. We find ourselves working longer than our parents did whilst our money is thrown away on vanity projects. We see our children with lower living standards than our own. A clean break Brexit is your only hope, giving you 2 years to make a success of it.

  31. Sharon Jagger
    May 16, 2019

    Mrs May will never resign – she’s almost like a dictator in that she thinks she’s untouchable! The vast majority of Conservative MPs are so wrapped up in their Westminster bubble, with contempt for Farage, dismissiveness of the Leave voting electorate whom they regard as the great unwashed! They just don’t see any permanent problem….and they think they know best! 2/3 rds want to remain under the auspices of an unelected, foreign, beaurocratic empire, aka The EU, (though I’m mystified as to know why!), so why should they be worried by a few hundred thousand life long Conservative supporters voting for Farage – of all people? They think it’ll all blow over.

    What Westminster don’t seem to ‘get’, is that it’s way beyond Brexit, it’s about freedom of self governance, democracy and frankly, all the old Conservative values which have severely declined – people want change…and it’s going to be the people, the grassroots tories who are going to bring about that change, led by Nigel Farage and the Brexit party. The Conservatives have been too deaf and blind, and have probably left it too late now. The people are revolting against their betrayal of so much as well as Brexit!

    Interestingly, from reading MPs articles, only the few who never voted for the WA seem to really understand the situation, and what’s at stake. Unless the rest of the Conservative mind-set changes (and that’s highly unlikely) nothing else will change!

  32. Al
    May 16, 2019

    At this precise moment, the most important thing for Leave is as many Leave MPs in Parliament as possible with as much say in government as possible. Leaving the Conservative party would seem to be counter-productive for any ERG member, especially as it is one less Leave vote in any upcoming Conservative leadership election.

    The problem the party has is too few members who are willing to act against May: encouraging those who do to cross the floor won’t help (although I’d not object to encouraging certain of her supporters to join the TIGs…)

  33. Paul Cohen
    May 16, 2019

    Somewhat perplexed by para 3 JR, – If Gatt Article 24 is/was available to us to implement why aren’t we adopting it ? Anything better than present quagmire which we seem powerless to solve.

    Great to see the humbling of Marr by Nigel Farage on Sunday – more please.

    Reply No Gatt 24 yet because PM will not ask for it! EU could refuse but why would they if they knew we were leaving anyway.

    1. Sean Kenny
      May 16, 2019

      The EU has said – 1000 times – it will refuse Art 24 if the UK reneges on its promises under the WA. Please Sir John Redwood, live in the real world for once

      Reply Not so, but we must just leave anyway.

  34. A.Sedgwick
    May 16, 2019

    The power does not lie with May. Her lemming cabinet could remove her today. It is reported she threatened the sack this week to any minister not adhering to collective responsibility, supposedly on Hunt’s demand for 4% defence spending. It is inconceivable to see any current minister in a genuine Leave Cabinet – that is the problem. They have as much as May wrecked the CP, which is a Remain party in Parliament. Any genuine Leave supporter cannot be a member of the CP.

  35. Oliver
    May 16, 2019

    You, we are confronted by some very naive idiots. The Lib “Dem” party political pre EU elections contrasted now with the welcoming image of Britian during the 2012 Olympics.

    Whilst Brexit is appoint Sovereignty, of which immigration is a subset (control, overcrowding are the issues, not racism), perhaps someone might point out to the luvvies that EVERYONE WENT HOME after the Olympics.

    Which brings me to Barclay’s letter… why is it that there seems to be more than simple reciprocity in guaranteeing citizens rights, here and there, post departure – we’ve got slightly over 1m of our citizens, subjects, living there – they have approaching 4m living here – is there not a significantly greater cost to us than them in providing all these guarantees?

  36. Yorkie
    May 16, 2019

    The Tories may lose the vote from parents with young children quite soon

  37. Ian McDougall
    May 16, 2019

    Good morning Sir John
    All along which ever way you look at it, Mrs May with the support of Parliament has set out to frustrate any real form of Brexit.
    The EU’s and Mrs Mays new treaty is about frustrating the will of the people. It was never an agreement to leave. It was a continuation of project fear with the aim to wear people down until they accepted control by a ruling class.
    The EU has form, keep voting until you get the right answer.
    Mrs May keeps repeating the mantra of ‘agree to my deal’ and it is ‘everyone else that is at fault not me.’ When any sane person can see the only road block to us having not left the control of the EU is her remain deal.
    We understand now Parliament is to be given a choice agree to my remain treaty or revoke article 50. Democracy by the establishment is now about not permitting choice. This alone is why there is a demise of what at one time would have been seen as traditional political thinking.
    Keep up the good work and just maybe one day sanity could see a return

  38. Iain Gill
    May 16, 2019

    The collapse of political parties in the UK is a little closer to home and more obvious.

  39. Julie Williams
    May 16, 2019

    I can understand your frustration but you aren’t “just one”, there are other conservative MPs that agree with you including nearly half of the 1922 Committee (if the press is believable) and I suspect that others, less committed to Brexit but committed to keeping their seats, will join you: but this time you have all got to work together instead of acting like lone voices in the wilderness.
    The Brexit Party and it’s massive support should provide you with serious firepower, don’t waste it.
    As for the whip? Who cares about that anymore, MPs have already broken it.
    Just remember: the Conservative Party have exposed some serious flaws in the UK democracy during the last three years and putting that right has got to be tackled urgently.It’s not gone unnoticed that over 300 MPs including Corbyn and Johnson have had their credit cards suspended for not following the rules!

  40. margaret
    May 16, 2019

    One can only advise in the most sensible way and as I commented 2 years ago , this protraction and these convolutions make money for people. Unfortunately when things happen we can only say ‘I told you so’ and still they won’t accept it.
    Apparently Brexit ( which has yet to happen) has caused Thomas Cook Airways to have lost a lot of custom . I don’t believe this. Choice has been put into the hands of the customer and on-line searches can reveal the best deals with different companies. People can also book direct with hotels for holidays.

    1. Fred H
      May 17, 2019

      margaret. In the case of T.Cook, the business (has suffered ed). That shows the sort of effect the lack of leaving the EU has had on Brits holidaying. I have always thought a backlash against travelling to the EU, plus the strife in other holiday locations and finally the keep your money close to your chest would cause damage to the companies. We recently booked a flight & hotel to ‘somewhere’ in Italy. Every airport choice, flight time, hotel and departure date were available. The UK tourism absence abroad must be very damaging.

  41. James Bertram
    May 16, 2019

    Sir John, this is not ambitious enough for my liking: ‘We will leave at the first opportunity – October 31 if the EU does not co-operate or earlier if they will co-operate.’ No, we should leave NOW. (This additional 6 months in the EU is costing £180+ for every UK citizen in payments to the EU; and far more if we add on opportunity loss.)
    I note, and accept, that ‘I on my own do not have the power to get these changes’ and ‘Any individual MP resigning the Conservative whip would not bring about the change many of you want, but would make achieving such change one vote less likely.’
    However, if the 28 true Tory Eurosceptics left en masse, and brought this government down, then that is an entirely different matter.
    The Brexit Party will not wait. Soon after the European elections they will be constructing the party to win the General Election. Their support in the General Election is already ahead of the Conservatives in recent polls, and it is estimated they will win 49 seats as of today – this should increase as time goes on. By 6th June they may well have their first MP. They will be drawing-up policies and choosing candidates (hopefully retaining a broad centre-ground appeal). After that, your opportunity to join them and influence policy will decrease. The only other option is to form a new organisation as the Real Tory party (as the Independent Group have) – but the brand, funds and support are diminishing quickly over time, being tarnished daily, whilst the Brexit Party roar ahead in the polls.
    The 28 true Tory Eurosceptics need to act now, by the end of this month, if they are to remain a force in British politics.

    Reply The 29 are not going to do that. We will keep our votes in Parliament and on the future of Mrs May and use them to try to implement the wishes of the people in the referendum.

    1. James Bertram
      May 16, 2019

      Thank you.
      A firm reply: ‘ The 29 are not going to do that.’
      It would seem that this matter has already been discussed between you, and that a firm decision has now been made – and thus, that you speak for all 29 on this?
      I can only wish you the best of luck.
      If you are to have any chance of succeeding then the 1922 Committee will today have to decide to change the rules and hold another Vote of Confidence on May’s leadership by 12th June.
      So you should know by the end of today whether your strategy has much chance of success.
      And if not, then, as you note above, you need to look to history – the demise of the Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats, and the collapse of the Conservatives in Canada in 1993.

      Reply I know from various MPs of that group, some of whom the Brexit party has approached I believe, that they are not going to do this.

      1. James Bertram
        May 16, 2019

        So, not a full group decision as such.
        I can well see the Brexit Party approaching you, Sir John (and Anne Marie Morris and Andrea Jenkyns – who I’d like to see as Minister for Animal Welfare). The Brexiteers seem a far more capable and charismatic bunch than those sops currently in cabinet. I hope all 29 of you will keep the lines of communication open – events may well push you in that direction eventually, particularly given another unconvincing performance from the 1922 committee today.
        One possibility is that, rather than you joining the Brexit Party, the Brexit Party joins you i.e. out of respect, in the forthcoming General Election they do not contest the seats of the 29 true Brexiteers (nor Kate Hoey and Graham Stringer) – thus creating more of a ‘Leave’ parliament.
        I’m expecting Labour to table a Vote of Confidence soon, whilst May remains PM, and before the Brexit Party advances further into Labour heartlands.
        The 29, and the DUP cannot possibly vote to keep this government in power then – it would completely shed their remaining credibility with the electorate.
        Good luck.

  42. Peter Parsons
    May 16, 2019

    Why does the analysis ignore the political and voting systems and their effect on excluding new/smaller parties in the UK? The Conservative and Labour parties are propped up by the unrepresentative FPTP system designed to exclude others.

    Under FPTP declining support for the Conservative and Labour parties sees little change in their representation in parliament, and growing support for other parties typically sees little or no representation (e.g UKIP in 2015 – 12.8% of the votes, 1 seat (0.15% of the MPs), or the SDP/Liberal alliance in 1983 -25.4% of the vote, 23 seats (4.5% of the MPs)), something which would not happen in most of the rest of Europe where those vote shares would see comparable shared in elected representation.

  43. robert valence
    May 16, 2019

    Dear Sir John,
    “The immediate future of Brexit rests on a Conservative Prime Minister and will continue to rest on a Conservative PM until the end of this Parliament at least. Any individual MP resigning the Conservative whip would not bring about the change many of you want, but would make achieving such change one vote less likely.”
    I disagree. When you vote against the WA, which you are bound to do, that temporarily “resigns the whip”. By doing this officially, it signals that you have the option to oppose the government’s line on any motion.
    The next G.E. is not scheduled for 3 years, unless there’s confidence motions which the government fail to pass. Do you really think the country can stagger on like this for 3 years? The Tories are scared that Corbyn will assume the premiership – rather than just his temporary current position. I think this is mistaken – I think it’s more likely that TBP will win even in national elections. I hope that they don’t put candidates against those trustworthy MPs like yourself who have held the line – up to now.

    1. Stred
      May 16, 2019

      The Brexit Party may adopt popular policies like stopping the attacks on small businesses and investors. The change to maximising revenue by HMRC instead of paying the right tax could be reversed. Taxing profits that have not been made is not a conservative policy. We need a Brexit Conservative manifesto and a Brexit Social Democrat party for those that like high taxation. Abolition of the Lords would also be winner after their behaviour over Brexit. Cutting interest on student loans to that available to government would go down well with younger voters. All of the above is never going to be done by the present false Conservative government.

  44. Chris
    May 16, 2019

    What you are getting is the collapse of a once great Party here, the Cons Party and Tory MPs failing to acknowledge it. I thought Alan Duncan’s tweet two days ago about Nigel Farage and the rise of the Brexit Party displayed contempt and arrogance. He seems to be typical of many Tory Remainer MPs. However, the few Leaver MPs fight on with words and show that they at least understand the danger e.g. Owen Paterson states:

    ” It is a dangerous mistake to assume that established Parties will carry on come what may. If the Prime Minister does not resign now, her legacy may be the end of the Conservative Party”

    “History is littered with the remnants of long-established political parties having been annihilated at the ballot box. Anyone thinking it could never happen to them does so at their peril. Yet that smug, complacent attitude is, astonishingly, exactly what has been adopted by the Conservative Party leadership.

    Assuming that the old order will carry on, come what may, is a fatal mistake. One need only look at the long litany of electoral disasters across the world to see that…..”

  45. Mark B
    May 16, 2019

    Good morning

    Sadly it is a little more complex now.

    We have a PM, government and Parliament who are set against enacting the will of the people. Just changing the PM will simply not be enough. To that end I believe that we need another GE.

    I do not believe that anyone in the upper echelons of the Tory party really cares how well or badly they do. A GE is not until 2022. So long as they still have donors to keep it running. But somehow I think that too may be under threat.

  46. Fred H
    May 16, 2019

    reverting to EU elections, sorry !
    I took a look at 2014 results for South East (again 10 MEPs, and compared to National results (in this weird system):

    UKIP 4 seats, votes 751k 32%.
    Con 3 seats, votes 723k 31%.
    Lab 1 seat, votes 343k 14.6%.
    Greens 1 seat, votes 212k 9%.
    Libdem 1 seat, votes 188k 8%.
    others 0 seats, votes 120k 5%.

    Nationally, UKIP got 27.5% / CON got 24% / LAB got 25.5% / Greens got 8% / Libdem got 7%.

    MEPs : UKIP 24 / LAB 20 / CON 19 / GREEN 3 / LIBDEM 1 / OTHERS…6

    2019 will be fascinating.

    1. Elvis junior
      May 16, 2019

      It is no stranger than the FPTP system used in general elections. Compare the number of SNP seats to those for UKIP given absolute numbers voting for them.

    2. Peter Parsons
      May 16, 2019

      There’s nothing wierd about PR – the more votes you win, the more seats you get, and the number of seats you get relates to the number of votes you get.

      It is the FPTP system that is broken, as Elvis points out. In 2015, the SNP polled 1,454,436 votes and got 56 seats, the LibDems polled 2,415,888 votes and got 8 seats (the same number of seats as the DUP who polled 184,260 votes), and UKIP polled 3,881,129 votes and got 1 seat.

      1. Fred H
        May 17, 2019

        Peter….but this form of PR means FPTP for the first seat, halving vote for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th seat. The second seat winner then has its vote halved for the 3rd and 4th seat. The third seat winner then has its vote halved for the 4th seat. Subsequent winners of 5th, 6th, 7th have their vote reduced by half+ seats won so far…etc …That is not weird?

        1. Peter Parsons
          May 17, 2019


          What you are referring to is the seat allocation method (in this case, the D’Hondt, or Jefferson method) rather than the voting system (List PR).

          When there are multiple seats to be allocated, some method for working out which parties/individuals win those seats needs to be used once the votes are in and counted. D’Hondt is one such method (and is the most commonly used one), but isn’t the only one. There’s also Webster/Saint-Lague and variations on those. It would also be possible to use some sort of simple linear model.

          Given that a fixed number of seats are to be allocated, any method has to provide a calculation which can be applied in all circumstances (so, independent of the number of parties or candidates standing, and how the votes cast are distributed) to work out the final allocation of seats.

          D’Hondt is considered to favour larger parties, Wester/Saint-Lague to favour medium sized parties, but often the final result turns out to be no different under either model.

  47. Polly
    May 16, 2019

    Why do you want a Prime Minister who wants a Withdrawal Agreement which is not a Withdrawal Agreement ?

    Don’t you want her to resign today ?

    Anyway, have you wondered if Treasa has an ulterior motive ?

    Reply I have made to clear I do not Mrs May with her Withdrawal Agreement and voted against her late last year when there was a chance.

  48. Arthur Wrightiss
    May 16, 2019

    Just maybe the results of the EU elections will remove Conservative MP’s heads out of the sand. I don’t hold much hope though, they seem determined to destroy the once great Conservative Party.

    1. Tad Davison
      May 16, 2019

      I agree with you Arthur, they’re on a mission, and to say they are 5th columnists wouldn’t be so far-fetched.

  49. Chris
    May 16, 2019

    The disastrous “rally” for last night just puts into perspective the meteoric rise and the pull of The Brexit Party.

    “At the Birmingham Change UK ‘rally’ last night there were nine delegates addressing an audience of five ” (Mark Reckless retweet of Yvette Henson. Photograph also).

    Tory MPs need to heed this evidence and swiftly. There is a real rejection of those who seek to betray Brexit, but also a clear message that a Party (like the Cons) which persists on chasing that elusive middle ground and in so doing betrays its core vote will not survive. The scale of the revenge on the Tories for inflicting Cameron and May on us and their left of centre “progressive” and often illiberal/intolerant policies will be great. Next Thursday will be taken as a huge opportunity to tell the Tories that we do not vote for betrayers, and we are no longer willing to put up with their unconservative policies any longer. We now have another Party to vote for, thank goodness and our revenge will be sweet.

  50. Richard1
    May 16, 2019

    The Labour Party are proposing to expropriate approx £50bn of privately held shares in energy companies (paying £20bn for something worth £70bn). Plus of course they will be assuming all the debt and other liabilities for these companies.

    this is of course exactly the sort of policy which has done for Venezuela and other socialist countries. I heard the rather dim Rebecca Long-Bailey say it didn’t matter as many of the shareholders were ‘foreign’!

    Labour’s lurch to the far left does remind us that one very strong argument for EEC / EC /EU membership in the 70s and 80s was that such policies are simply illegal under EU rules. If there was a serious risk of a Labour govt with the current bunch of clowns, EU and even euro membership might be the best means of limiting its impact.

    1. Mitchel
      May 16, 2019

      We took Corbyn seriously right from the start,not that we thought he would win at the first attempt but that he would pull the Tories further and further left,and put up for sale the two businesses we had a controlling interest in.The second, larger and more economically sensitive of the two we completed on -with considerable relief-the week after the “shock” GE result-we would not get the same price for it now.

    2. Mitchel
      May 16, 2019

      Many of the factories the bolsheviks confiscated without compensation after the Revolution were foreign owned-the product of massive inward investment in Imperial Russia just before WWI -attracted by cheap and flexible labour(sounds familiar!).


      1. Richard1
        May 16, 2019

        Yes but in today’s world that will be more difficult. I think we will see ownership in threatened energy companies move into the hands of hedge funds, who will be prepared to take on Corbyn and the Marxists in international courts, or benefit from a rebound in the happy event his politics are buried by some miraculous Tory revival.

  51. Gareth Warren
    May 16, 2019

    You and the core of the ERG have been key to defeating the withdrawal agreement, a treaty that is also bad for the conservative party and wound if passed be a reason for a severe defeat at the next general election.

    I noticed Mark Reckless and a few others left the conservative party to become brexit party members in the Welsh parliament. Previously he had faced a byelection when he did the same before the EU referendum so he has some standards.

    While I do support the brexit party I do not agree with his decision, it is too early, he has only himself to blame if the conservative government implement a WTO brexit before the next election. In that case the outlook for the brexit party looks grim.

    I would agree your best course of action is to remain a member of the conservative party and to influence the government to take the best course of action for the country. I have a feeling that there would be plenty of time to abandon ship if the worst happened, but I can’t honestly believe the CCHQ would be able to make the conservative party uninhabitable since so many of its members are pro-brexit, it feels like they are already strained to keep the pro-remain position.

    I think this decision must also be vexing the remain MPs in the conservative party, if we get a pro-brexit PM then they will have the same decision. Happily ChangeUK are there with welcoming arms, and well funded too, their pro-remain message seems a tad unpopular. I have a suspicion their performance in the polls may have peaked at 5%, current polls have them at 2%, with +/-3% accuracy they might actually owe some votes…

    History will likely paint them as remainers who culled themselves from parliament, it looks to me that brexit will likely either be achieved this year, or at the next GE, I’m glad you are working for us in parliament as that gets it done faster and with conservative values.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      May 16, 2019

      Conservative values like HS2, implementing carbon emission policies to put our steelworks out of business, massive stamp duties and CGT, fudge with the EU that prevents us trading elsewhere.??… Nein danke.

      1. Gareth Warren
        May 16, 2019

        The conservative party has drifted into authoritarianism and virtue signalling, traditional grounds for labour.

        But if we got a PM who was pro-brexit it is very difficult to see that continuing, one bonus from the current debacle at no.10 is that only a very good PM with an active party will do, listening to the wider country rather than the London bubble.

    2. mancunius
      May 16, 2019

      My perception is that remainer MPs are determined to remain in the Conservative Party and to dominate it: they want to drive out the Leave MPs who want a WTO exit, then they want to swing the party round to either not leaving the EU at all, or swiftly rejoining it.*
      The MPs who left recently were not Conservatives but left-of-centre social democrats who had unaccountably joined the Tory Party, but disagreed with Tory government policy on many issues of social policy, defence and benefit reform.

      *See the passage of Barclay’s civil servants’ letter yesterday listing the problems that would hinder our rejoining the EU. It is always a giveaway when civil servants expand on a point they say would be extremely difficult, as it means they know it is a weak argument: in the event of the WA passing, they have already agreed our rejoining with Brussels, and know it would in fact be simply facilitated by the EU.

  52. Monza 71
    May 16, 2019

    “We will leave at the first opportunity –October 31 if the EU does not co-operate or earlier if they will co-operate. ”

    If only ! The problem is that Remainers are in the majority in Parliament and won’t vote for a WTO Brexit. The 27 know this so won’t take any threat from us to “Just Leave” seriously.

    With Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the ascendancy, I don’t know of any way out of the current situation other than to pass some form of May’s deal with a temporary customs union attached. Corbyn can then campaign for a permanent one at the next GA and a new Brexit Conservative PM can campaign against one.

    Given that another referendum would be unlikely to resolve the matter and will do infinite damage to our democracy, is there any other realistic alternative other than a GA ?

    To my mind, a GA is not a sensible way forward until a new Brexiteer-led government is firmly in place. For the Conservatives to win that General Election, I suspect a deal with the Brexit Party will be necessary. Déjà vu all over again !

  53. Brigham
    May 16, 2019

    I’m sorry to say John, it’s a good idea to get some more writing under your belt. It is, in my opinion, the end of the Tory party, and you may well be out of a job. I, for one, will miss your attempts to get some sanity into the mad woman May.

  54. ian
    May 16, 2019

    First signs that the SNP are on their way out in Scotland, a big boost for the Brexit party with their independents there.

    A breakthrough that the other parties could not make in Scotland, Wales is also falling to the independents as well.

  55. David Maples
    May 16, 2019

    If she does get it through, it will mark ‘the end of the beginning'(Winston Churchill)and the new PM will have to repeal the Act of Parliament that enabled the treaty to be signed into law. This, contrary to popular misconception, is perfectly possible as Parliament cannot be constrained by so called superior EU law, or indeed any law, and international lawyers notwithstanding, there is always the option of abrogation. The known unknown(Donald Rumsfeld)of course, is the absence/presence of political will.

  56. ukretired123
    May 16, 2019

    Thank you for making it crystal clear how you see things day by day in this blog without which it would be a complete fog which is the government ‘s intention.
    By shining a light on key areas of non Brexit process you are spot on about what is required.
    It’s like a game of 3 dimensional chess where only experienced players can operate.

    I am sure the PM totally relies on her underlings for advice as I cannot believe she has read in legal detail all the 585 pages of the WA.
    I feel Sir Humphrey would certainly have delegated it to his civil servants and at least he was a bit more aware of his surroundings and pitfalls than the present incumbent sadly.

  57. a-tracy
    May 16, 2019

    The Conservative Government have paralysed this Country with your extension notice.
    Other Countries are reported in the newspapers as making a move on relocating business whilst May is dithering around and we can’t negotiate deals and trade globally.

    The Guardian are making hay saying all Conservatives are responsible for child poverty in the ‘Poverty Britain’. 2/3 of children in poverty are from working families. 56.7% of Tower Hamlets have its infants in hardship – WHY? They say it is because of austerity but we are told the welfare bill is rising massively each year, Housing benefit costs are going through the roof, there was a pupil premium put in place with the repayments students are making on student loans (the contribution to which no one was making previously).

    Labour say it is because of tax cuts for the richest but the higher rate taxpayer had
    * Their child benefit removed by the Tories – Child benefit rates 2019-20: £20.70 a week for your eldest, or only, child, and £13.70 a week for each additional child £1076.40 extra tax to pay 1 child per annum, £1788.80 2 cdn;
    * They had their personal allowance removed by the Tories -The effective tax rate for income between £100,000 and £125,000 is 60% (sixty per cent). This is the case because, in addition to paying 40% tax on any income above £100,000, there’s the impact of losing some or all of the personal allowance and paying 40% tax on that income too;
    * They had fiscal drag on their National Insurance contribution which wasn’t increased in line with the tax allowance,
    * Changes on taxes to buy to let landlords, dividend tax increases;
    * The children of the English students start to pay back for their higher education at 9% tax over £18,000 plan 1 and 9% over £25,000 scheme 2 (who have racked up £57,000 loans with 6% interest giving them a 9% graduate tax for 30 years with not a hope of repaying earlier that the earlier schemes had).

    Why aren’t your party honest about all the extra taxes you’ve pulled in from the higher rate middle? Not everyone is foreigners playing the British tax system.

    Corbyn says £10 per hour pay for all 16-year-olds – no one challenges this. Is he increasing state pensions so they match £350 per week minimum wage? How will they all cope when the payroll pushes up inflation, how much does the trained worker expect to be paid when a 16-year-old is on £10? 16-18 year olds are all in school/college/apprenticeships anyway so it is empty or are we talking just about weekend jobs in cafe’s, restaurants etc.

  58. ian
    May 16, 2019

    I see no reason why MP like Sir John Redwood would not be reelected at the next GE for his area as usual. people love the great statesmen and women of their country no matter what party they belong to, people who are willing to speak out and put their own views forward against the wishes of their party.

  59. agricola
    May 16, 2019

    What goes on in european countries politics is a bit of a soap opera. I accept that it would be desirable for EU parliamentry members to be much closer to the desires of the people they represent. It is equally desirable that they are not from the extreme left or right.

    I would need to ride shotgun with Nigel Farage to know what an EU parliament, determined on change, can do in a practical sense to curb the EU executive and force it down a democratic and practical path during the next 25 years. If they want a commonwealth of nation states they need to re-think the Euro. If the want a USEU then they must decide who the participants will be and realise that nation states will lose much national control in finance, defense etc but all benefit equally from the overall pot. Europe is on the cusp of change, lets hope it leans towards domocracy and away from the dictatorship they have at present.

    Let us ensure that we the UK are an independant sovereign state as early as possible. The past three years have been frittered away only confirming that Parliament and most of tbose in it are not fit for purpose. Has it occured to them that in the near future they will have to act as ligislaters, very different from the parish councillors arguing over the colour of the curtains in the village hall which they act like today. One can only hope that the next GE will clean the swamp. I would then wish to see the civil service put back in it’s box, the BBC restructured, and then a government like Tesco that thrives on serving it’s customers, that, bare in mind are paying for the wbole damned edifice.

    1. agricola
      May 16, 2019

      Me tambien.

  60. Chris
    May 16, 2019

    May, Brady, kicking the can, and Brady obliging? This is inexcusable in my mind, and dereliction of duty.
    Kitty Donaldson of Bloomberg News has just stated:

    ‏PM @theresa_may hasn’t set a date to step down and will meet the Chairman of the 1922 Committee Graham Brady after the second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill

  61. David
    May 16, 2019

    You should put your book on the other ebook sites like Kobo etc. I already have a Kobo and Kobo library so don’t want to go to Kindle and lose them.

  62. mancunius
    May 16, 2019

    “Her even worse decision to hold the European Parliamentary elections”
    I thought the holding of EU elections became mandatory when May agreed with the EU to defer the latest Brexit date until 31st October, and it became clear that she was not going to pass the EU-dictated WA by 22nd May. And that it was the EU Parliament itself that told the Commission it would not agree to suspend UK MEP elections.
    May would readily have cancelled the elections if only she could. They will be a lasting historical proof that her abjectly submissive non-deal was more unpopular in the country than in parliament, and that it was in fact she who destroyed the Tory Party.

    Reply I urged her to cancel them so we would be out next week.

  63. David Maples
    May 16, 2019

    I’m sure an independent Scotland, in the unlikely circumstances of it being allowed to join the EU, would not be welcomed into the Euro area, mainly because it is a future basket case. By the same token, should the UK ever wish to re-join [E]Utopia, it is extremely improbable that we would be required to ditch sterling in favour of the Euro. The reason is that London acts as de facto lender of last resort to ‘Frermany’ and ‘Spitaly’. Maybe Brussels will get its agreement for a genuine fiscal union passed in the next 10 years, but this will assuredly lead to economic disaster and accompanying political rage. So, London and £sterling will continue to be a safe haven.

  64. Polly
    May 16, 2019

    ”Withdrawal Agreement”…

    Ding Dong….

    Ruse, Deception and Trick Alert !

  65. Sean Kenny
    May 16, 2019

    As usual, not a word about the Irish border. You think it is 1830. It isnt. England is no longer top dog. The EU enhanced your poiwer. But you chose to leave. Now you are powerless. Yr choice. Bye bye

  66. Fred H
    May 16, 2019

    It would appear to be deja vu time. Mrs May is reported (leaked! – who by?) to have agreed to discuss a timetable for her successor. It might be 5 May 2022…..If she does go for a 3-line whip shortly at WA vote, you MUST all vote against the Government. Any future PM looking for support will have to reinstate you. In any case I think you would be elected in Wokingham as an Ind a little more easily than as a Tory.

  67. Yorkie
    May 16, 2019

    I heard Grant Schapps on telly today, a politician of pristine reputation in the Country,

    who made the analogy that Of course, a change of leadership is of primary importance as changing a headmaster in school.
    I read one book in my life about one shouldn’t chase after a runaway horse. Of course, nothing to do with what I am saying. There’s no saving the Tory party.

    The pragmatic solution of voting in Boris as leader may have worked. Too late. The Tory Party is sinking its own ship. “An honourable departure of Mrs May”. Even if she wins she loses.

    She has undermined the whole basis of representative democracy in the absolute. Now, even a vote to Remain via a Second Referendum can be immediately challenged as an invalid expression of popular sentiment. It will be too.

    We have the total stupid misdirection of our Security Forces hunting down mythical Right -wing fanatics who may take violent action when in fact the mobs are on the Left. Thank God she is not a military leader.

    She is the only Prime Minister who has set the conditions for domestic (unrest ed). “An honourable leaving as PM.” Forget it! She has singularly harmed this Country quite fundamentally. Her “legacy” is her personal stupidity and arrogance.
    The very worst PM we have ever endured. And, she is still in power!!!!!!!Tory MPs are in denial of their own unemployment queue.

  68. George Brooks
    May 16, 2019

    Although my comment of 7 15am is still awaiting moderation what I hoped would not happen at 1922 meeting did, as this time Theresa May turned the taps on and they melted

    To behave like gentlemen is quite right but this has to be the last kick of the can down the street.

  69. The Prangwizard
    May 16, 2019

    It’s still the same old excuse. I’m just a little MP, what can I do on my own etc., etc.. But you are not alone. Even as a group you do nothing. Party first. Party first always. Mustn’t rock the Tory boat.

    Cowards all of you.

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