“We don’t believe you”

I talked to a meeting of Conservative students at Oxford yesterday about the themes from my book. I mentioned the growing strength of public opinion and engagement, and suggested the current polls are underestimating the numbers of voters, especially former Conservative voters, now giving support to the Brexit party for the future. A large majority of Conservative members want us out of the EU in accordance with promises made in the 2018 election and afterwards, and have no fears of leaving without signing the dreadful Withdrawal Agreement. The Conservative party can only hope to woo back lost voters once it has got us out of the EU properly.

I found, contrary to the views of some senior Conservatives, that the students loved a clear Conservative message based around ownership, free enterprise, lower taxes, and opportunity for all. They either welcomed or accepted we needed to just put Brexit behind us by simply doing it. There was particular interest in the sections of my book on the revolt of the motorist and how to handle green issues, and on opportunity for home ownership. There was no agreement about future leaders, with a majority undecided, but the most pro Brexit candidates got the most favourable mentions.

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


  1. William1995
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    A Government with a manifesto that will increase home ownership will win a lot of young votes.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Relax planning, sell self build plots off that you can live in a caravan/portacabin while you build it slowly, cut the green crap expensive OTT building regs, get more competition in banking, relax the red tape constricting bank lending in idiotic ways. Be more selective on immigration quality and levels.

      • Richard1
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Nordic Pre-fabricated housing is also higher quality then much new build in the UK, and much cheaper

        • L Jones
          Posted May 25, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          And make good the brownfield sites.
          And also all that unused accommodation space above shops/premises in our cities.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink


        I have never understood the UK OTT building regs. The UK builders are still building substandard homes which appear to get smaller each year.

        With a direct comparison to German Homebuilders, the UK is not well served. German houses are of significantly better quality, larger in physical usage space and circa 20% – 25% cheaper. I recently visited a friend outside of Cologne that has made a purchase of a two bedroom apartment for one of his daughters and was not surprised to see a standard of fittings and living space unattainable in the UK for under £400K. Their price paid £260K.

        Germany is also over-regulated, but it appears to be for the benefit of citizens (less so for profiteering builders)

        In general, I am anti-EU bloated bureaucracy and waste, but in some more advanced European countries, their standards are rising fast while the UK’s are falling rapidly! Joke in Germany – The UK is now profit central – and their question: how do the UK citizens allow the Government to get away with it?. Why indeed?)

        • Richard1
          Posted May 25, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          The population in Germany is much more distributed as is economic prosperity & presumably planning regs on new build are much less restrictive.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 25, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink


            German regs are substantial and highly bureaucratic; somewhat more than in the UK. Generally, everything in Germany is subject to annoying interfering Governmental bureaucracy.

            …..regarding “economic prosperity” having anything to do with building regs…..perhaps you have limited knowledge of Germany?

            Boiling it all down, citizens in the UK get a bad deal! We should look to do better, not find reasons not to try?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 25, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          More land per person in general, so the plots are rather cheaper.

    • Ginty
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Building all over the country – especially where there are no jobs and on former factory sites – is not the answer.

      Landlords have to accept that for every landlord there is a portfolio of people inclined to vote Labour. Why do they think otherwise ?

  2. ukretired123
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I’m sure you found it refreshing and therapeutic to have some clear thinking students who don’t have the baggage that many MPs have.
    Some of the sharpest points made in recent Question Time audiences have come from young folks seeing through the hypocrisy of MPs ignoring the referendum to leave.
    It is so blindingly obvious to them unlike TM who lost the plot.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      She never had the plot, she was never a Conservative a Libdim at best. She has certainly put back the cause of women as PM hugely. Had she got her putrid WA through she might well have ensured that all future PMs were PMs in name only and had to wear her £39 billion EU handcuffs and obey EU orders.

      Be they Male, Female, undecided, transitioning or whatever.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        Looking forward to not seeing or listening to her garbled BS, I have to admit.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 25, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          Me too. Just hearing her voice or seeing her picture was hugely depressing.

        • Gary C
          Posted May 25, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink


  3. jerry
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    “[at] a meeting of Conservative students at Oxford yesterday [..//..] the students loved a clear Conservative message based around ownership, free enterprise, lower taxes, and opportunity for all.”

    Wow, I would never have guessed… 😀

    Now try the same, talking to students at ‘Liverpool Polly’!

    But on a more positive note, I’m not surprised at the number of young people who are welcoming of Brexit, far from the Remain logic, many see opportunities both personal and business away from the EU doctrine, by they from the left or right.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Yup, when about 75% of Secondary school teachers and almost 90% of University lecturers are left-wing-leaning Remoaners, it’s really no surprise that most younger people today have been so thoroughly indoctrinated.

      Luckily, some can still think for themselves.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Plus the endless remainer, big state, PC, left wing, climate alarmist bias of the BBC.

        • Julie Dyson
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          Whose who can, went out into the real world and did it. Those who can’t, presume to teach our young — or joined the BBC.

        • APL
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink


          The most obvious ‘industry’ that would benefit from being sold off.

          Yet the ‘Tory’ party won’t.

          That should tell you something about today’s Tories.

      • Captain Peacock
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 3:35 am | Permalink

        See the story in todays Daily Mail ref the 8 year old how would anyone not be shocked at what’s going on in our schools. It clear young children are been brainwashed and the government is funding it. If you speak up you are threatened with legal action.
        Getting back to the Tory party no good looking to the future when they have messed up the present.
        The message is ‘ Never Forgive the Conservatives and never forget their betrayal of our Vote ‘
        Finally Rory Stewart as leader/ PM come on ! The guy should be in the Lib Dems but again no lessons learnt.

  4. Richard1
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    The right course of action for the new PM surely is now to say to the EU that we will leave with no deal on Oct 31, make such temporary arrangements as they will agree, and such unilateral preparations as are possible. The new PM will need to move very fast with confidence restoring measures, in tax and regulation in the UK and in signing up trade deals. The low hanging fruit will be roll-over of existing EU 3rd party deals, joining TPP, signing up to the Australia-NZ deal, and hopefully a quick deal with the US while Trump is still in office.

    This will change the mood music very quickly, and most likely enable sources of sense in the EU to prevail over the likes of Veradker, Verholfstaft etc who who insist on a punishment Brexit. Perhaps we will get the Swiss style compromise we should have had even before the referendum!

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      The Swiss have freedom of movement, pay into the EU budget and are in Schengen.

      Would retaining freedom of movement, continuing to contribute to the EU budget and joining Schengen be acceptable to many of those who comment here and voted to leave?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Residence permits needed to stay more than 3 months, even for EU Citizens. Enormous trade surplus, out of which contributions are negligible.
        Free trade agreements round the world.
        A large European country (the UK) ready to work alongside you (with May gone) to ensure the EU don’t get too big for their own boots.
        Not such a bad start.

      • Richard1
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Probably not but it would be fine with me. I think they make direct contributions to structural funds (& much less per capita than the UK) not to the general EU budget. And in any event freedom of movement is under review (it applies differently in Switzerland already). There would be no need for the UK to join Schengen, which in any case has more or less collapsed in many places.

        • mancunius
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 12:10 am | Permalink

          The Swiss people are currently engaged in a tussle with their own (doctrinally pro-EU) political class about freedom of movement and subjugation to ECJ ‘interpretations of law’. (I recall a Swiss diplomat telling me years ago that his Foreign Minister kept on urging actions X and Y as ‘helping to further the interests of the EU’, as if this were a Swiss foreign policy goal.)
          The EU is trying to coerce Switzerland into accepting a new ‘overarching framework treaty’ (Rahmenabkommen) to replace the existing bi-lateral treaties. Swiss MPs are closely questioning legal and constitutional expertsabout the treaty, about which there is widespread concern… There will likely be another nationwide referendum, and the EU is pressuring Switzerland to sign the treaty before the September 2019 Swiss elections. Otherwise, they say, they will apply a guillotine clause in the EU-Swiss treaties that cancels them all immediately if one of them is unilaterally amended.

          Of course, it is not directly our business, but it is immensely relevant – why are we not liaising and attending to a negotiating problem that is so similar to our own? Why are we not talking to the Swiss? (Or perhaps one of Mark Sedwill’s eager groupies is attending the public hearings, and reporting back that there is ‘nothing to see here’? 🙂

          The Swiss voted in 1992 against joining the EEA, but have had EEA-equivalence salami-sliced upon them since then. Current public opinion is 3% (three per cent) in favour of joining the EU, but this new treaty would tie them irrevocably into it in all but name. A confrontation with Brussels is a likely sequel to the next referendum.

          • Richard1
            Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

            Indeed it’s interesting to watch. The Swiss have a long history of resisting bullying from would-be European empires.

  5. Ginty
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    The Conservative brand, the Conservative name is now toxic among conservative people.

    It isn’t just about May.

    You are never going to win a general election again.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Ginty…. too extreme reading of the situation. Cons must not put the worst Remoaners in Cabinet positions. We need direct talking charisma in the media, Boris, Farage (why not, he might go for something – trade with other countries? ), Patel, Redwood for Chancellor, Baker, IDS – -not the Gove backstabbing types. Out of EU, trade deals struck, new arrangements with other countries, discussions with EU- but no white flag waving. Fresh faces to NHS, Military, Foreign office. It will take time to clean out the stain of May’s intolerable activities – but it can be done.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        oops…How could I forget Education, and major controls over BBC else license fee should be capped at £50.

      • Ginty
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Well. Thus far I am proven right. The Conservatives were out of office for 20 years. In coalition one term then weak to very weak majority in the second.

        You think that’s going to get better ?

      • mancunius
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 12:16 am | Permalink

        If Baker were i/c, and continued to show he meant business, I’d be tempted to support the Tories in future election. He is intelligent, focused, articulate, energetic, and I feel he could carry the country with him.
        No other candidate convinces me so far.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Indeed no one has been making the case for a sensible, low tax, smaller government, cheap on demand energy and a bonfire of red tape since we lost Mrs Thatcher. We have the mainly socialist or Libdim ‘Conservative’ party delivering the highest taxes for 70 years, endless government waste and generally rather dire and declining public services.

    No one even dares to discuss why the NHS is often so dire, why so many university degrees are virtually worthless, why the BBC is such a lefty propaganda organisations and (unfair competition), why so many schools are bog standard, why the police are so misdirected and have largely given up, why there is such poor competition in banking, why practical skill training is often so poor, why many taxes are above 100% levels…..

    Freedom and choice please as to how we spend the money we earn and cheap on demand energy.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Yep, we’re about to remember all the things you mention when the Brexit Party issues a list of promises… my guess is Farage will ensure these are set into law the first day of a Brexit Party in government or coalition. He’ll also ensure any other party campaigning on manifesto promises in future has to keep them or face oblivion and possibly trial and imprisonment for wilful breach of Contract.

      Labour and Conservative watch out!

      Never again can we have people like May and Hammond breaking almost every promise they made in their “manifesto” before a General Election.

      • GilesB
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        I completely agree about holding politicians to their manifesto. Otherwise representative democracy is impossible.

        It hasn’t been a problem until recently because MPs were honourable enough to resign and trigger a by-election before voting against their manifesto commitment. But the current bunch don’t follow the same moral code, so enforcement is required.

        The Trade Description Act should apply to politicians selling ideas for votes.

        Of course they can’t keep to minutiae in the manifesto (but why then are those points in the manifesto) and a coalition needs a joint manifesto.

        But for Oliver Letwin to declare openly after the election that he never agreed with Brexit, the key policy in the Tory 2017 manifesto, is an outrage for which he should be etc ed

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink


      ‘Indeed no one has been making the case for a sensible, low tax, smaller government, cheap on demand energy and a bonfire of red tape since we lost Mrs Thatcher’

      – Low tax is ultimately a social / cultural problem NOT a political problem. Politicians can only do a certain amount. It’s really down to The Church / Education / The Arts / The Media and so on to challenge / inspire people to: 1. More Work Ethic 2. Take more Responsibility for themselves 3. Rely more on self (and family) than state 4. Sense of Public Duty 5. Sense of Patriotism 6. Not to be jealous of those who have more power and money and not to look down on those who have less power and money. And so on.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, I meant high tax (as problem to be tackled).

      • Wessexboy
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Ed, this is ALL about politics! The left have used all these issues, taking over education, attitudes to what constitutes family, making the state responsible rather than the individual, and making Patriotism a dirty word. And so on.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink


          You’re right.

          But in the sense there are two types of politics. Parliamentary politics and politics outside Parliament like in education etc ..

          The politics in education is more of a social / cultural phenomena with political roots to it obviously.

          And to me it’s a complete HERESY to turn patriotism into something bad. To me it is literally a virtue and something beautiful. They’re confusing the bad nationalism of say the Nazis with good patriotism. It’s like saying because people commit sexual crimes that somehow sex is something bad. Or because some artists create immoral art that all art is immoral or something.

          And i agree with you too about the Family and the State (how people in general should become more reliant on themselves mainly – and their families to a degree – and not the state).

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink


        • Ed Mahony
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          But i also think, unfortunately, the problem is much bigger than bad political education (destructive as that can be).

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Travellers who arrive at Heathrow by car to face “pollution” charge of up to £15 – so yet another new tax for this tax to death Government. In fact for groups of 4+ arriving by a small efficient car is usually the greenest way to arrive. This as it takes a direct route rather than a usually convoluted or indirect one, it needs no staff, ticketing or rail infrastructure.

    It is of course more efficient to actually leave the car at the airport than to be dropped off by wife or taxi but rip off airport parking charges deter this. Perhaps cut these if they are really worried about pollution but they are clearly more concerned with mugging people.

    • sm
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Ah but, Lifelogic, all access to air travel by the great unwashed will be forbidden shortly, and only Climate Change believers will be permitted to fly to Davos/Hollywood/the Bahamas (first class of course).

      Also, in order to reduce pollution caused by diesel, users of emergency ambulances nationally will shortly be charged £25, or be given a leaflet to encourage them to bike to A&E.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Riding a bike in busy cities is quite a good way to ensure you end up in A&E, but usually by ambulance.

  8. Everhopeful
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Thanks GOODNESS that there are still some proper intellectuals at the universities!
    I had begun to doubt it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Indeed about 25% is my estimate at the better universities. Far lower at most of the newer ones. 3Ds at A lever is about the mid attainment of people gaining UK university places (and state soft loans). Many of the lecturers are not much better I suspect. Half the subjects they study are fairly pointless too.

      • Ginty
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Pointless unless you want to produce state-dependent, indoctrinated Remain voters.

  9. Caterpillar
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    The next leader needs to (i) be a Brexiteer and deliver , (ii) remove policy focus from the Golden Triangle (too much to say here)

  10. Excalibur
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Make sure, JR, with the change of leadership, that you agitate for an influential role in the new government. We need your commonsense, prescience, and wisdom to carry us forward.
    Boris for PM, you as Chancellor, and a calming influence on BJ’s excesses. A dream ticket. Good luck !

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      We need JR to be the working compass. We have not had any working ones in Downing St. since Mrs Thatcher left, and even she made basic errors like the ERM, failing to cut taxes sufficiently and appointing John Major.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        ‘failing to cut taxes sufficiently’

        – This is practically IMPOSSIBLE.

        You just get voted out of power if your taxation is too radical (and then you get socialists into power – reversing with a vengeance everything you’ve done – so it’s a balancing act). Mrs Thatcher went more-a-less as far as she could within the time she had.

  11. BillM
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    It seems that Oxford has turned the “Right” way and Cambridge a hard left – down a cul-de-sac.!

  12. a-tracy
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The new leader needs to be someone that says what they intend to do in the next six months and three years and then gets on with what they actually said. So my advice would be only say what you can achieve, not what you need with EU permission because they are clear they are not going to give anything but the WA so accept that and move on.

  13. a-tracy
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I binge watched Game of Thrones recently and just finished watching the final six, no surprises, exactly how I thought it would pan out. The weakest survive and sit at the top table and banish the true heir and king forbid him to have children to remove threats to their new found power, a good show but just so predictable.

    Me, I’d have had the dragon carry Daenerys back to her true love Daarionaharis and have the red priestesses there and the lord of light bring her back to life, time to reflect on why John felt it necessary to end her life.

    I don’t mind John going to the far North to regroup I’d let him discover an hidden dragon egg of his own, for a return to reunite the Kingdoms. When the wishy washy softies left in control now are attacked by the troups led by Grey Worm and Daenerys return for revenge.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Sorry, my point was the Conservatives have got to choose well the leader and friends who will form the new Cabinet, even if some in the cabinet have to be alliance members from other parties who strongly believe in the tough task ahead, look at the entire team they plan to put in place and a majority remain cabinet just won’t cut it this time.

  14. Newmania
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I gather the top selling poster for student accommodation walls is one of John Redwood .
    Those crazy kids eh

    • Ginty
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      “OH Jere-meee COOOR-byn”

      *Crazy* kids indeed.

    • BillM
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Girls or boys? Or both?

  15. Andy
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    You really need to speak to non-Conservatives.

    Your party is, literally, dying off.

    The few young Tories left are the last of their breed.

    Young people now overwhelmingly embrace the centre left.

    They’ll flock to a moderate Labour leader when one comes.

    In their absence the Greens and Lib Dems will take most votes among this age group.

    And, no. They will not become more Conservative with age.

    Brexit, austerity and the Tory attitude to climate change is a permanent deal breaker.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      You are wrong. Polls show strong support amongst young people for policies such as low taxes, sensible restrictions on welfare, entrepreneurship etc. And much less tolerance for nanny state leftism. The Tory party as is might not poll well with young people, but it is wishful thinking by the likes of you to think they will be reliable voters for leftism.

      • Andy
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        I’m not wrong at all. You make two fundamental mistakes.

        Firstly you associate concern for the planet, for the environment and for the climate with what you call ‘leftism’.

        Actually – not wanting to destroy what you have is an inherently conservative belief. Concern for the planet is not some fringe view as it was in the 70s and 80s. It is now the primary issue for most younger people – and by that I mean under 40s. Talk to your grandchildren about it – they will know more than you.

        Secondly you believe opposing austerity means you support high taxes for all. Not true. It is as much about where money is spent as where taxes are raised.

        The Conservatives, for example, think is it right to force disabled people from their homes if they have a spare bedroom. They also think it is okay for millionaires, billionaires and large companies to get away with extreme tax avoidance.

        You are not a tax avoiding millionaire, nor a billionaire, nor a large company. Why you are siding with them against the neediest in society is a moral question which should keep you awake at night.

        • Richard1
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

          Your reply is replete with nonsense including irrelevant references. Being like you middle-aged I don’t yet have grandchildren

    • Fred H
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Andy….is that the Andy-reasonable or unhinged-Andy? It would help if you both (?) retitled.

      • Andy
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        That is ‘unhinged Andy’, not I !
        I’ve posted here for years. He is a ‘johnny come lately’. He ought to retitle his handle.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Andy….a moderate Labour leader, and a Cabinet full of ?

    • libertarian
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink


      I guess you dont speak to many generation Z then

    • BillM
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Andy “overwhelmingly centre left” . SJR was there in Oxford and the observation was Oxford REAL-TIME! Polls et al have become very unreliable forecasters because they depend too much upon the honesty of the target questions and survey sources. The only reliable Polls are those taken outside of Polling Stations after votes have been placed.
      By Midnight tomorrow we shall see exactly what the majority feels. In a democracy, it is the majority that always wins. even when lefties are involved.
      Our PM has deliberately ignored that principle and alienated so many Britsh people it has cost her her job.

    • nhsgp
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Easy to fix. All those off the book debts, the 13 trillion total debt.

      Send every voter an annual statement of their share.

      When bills for £450,000 plus interest drop on the door, do you think people will vote for more socialism?

      Particularly if you add on what you could have had if your money hadn’t been redistributed in the standard socialist manner

      • Edward2
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        But that is only the first stage of socialism.
        The later stage is when people find £450,000 is what it takes to buy a loaf of bread.

  16. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink


    Matt Hancock, Rory Stewart et.al. are just two of the five candidates who have declared thusfar their intention to aim for the Tory leadership. The names of ALL five declared candidates to date would be hilarious if the outcome wasn’t serious for the future of the UK.

    John you should reconsider your decision about not standing for the party leadership. The current mess isn’t the same as your previous challenges in 1995 and 1997. Your party is on life support now and a Conservative voter is an endangered species.

    I’m sure if you changed your mind that Bill Cash and Bernard Jenkin (amongst others) would forward your name in nomination. I believe it is your DUTY to stand as a candidate.

    Reply Bill is already supporting another

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      I would.like to see Sir William as Minister for the Cabinet Office – solid advice behind a Brexiteer PM.

      • forthurst
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Having a patriotic Englishman in the Cabinet Office would be a change.

    • BillM
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      How can either Hancock or Stewart even dare to put their names forward to replace Mrs May? They are ALL Remainers and past experience has dictated that such persons are non-grata in Number 10. Their arrogance is mind-numbing.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      I mentioned Bill Cash simply as an example. There are other MPs who concur with your views and would support your candidacy as I’m sure you are aware.

  17. Dominic
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    It isn’t Oxford students you need to be talking to. It’s white, working folk in Labour’s heartland. Recently, Anne Widdicombe did just that and she was cheered to the rafters by all who attended. You’re fighting the wrong battle with the wrong people.

    I don’t expect Tory Eurosceptic MPs to suddenly up-sticks and converge on Wakefield, Preston, Sheffield or Wigan but at least SEND out your message to these disillusioned people who’ve been utterly used and betrayed by this political virus ala Labour

    I have a sense that Labour activists and many Labour MPs despise socially conservative, moral white, working folk more than many Tory Europhile MPs. Therein lies a massive electoral opportunity for any new Tory leader. Tories will vote Tory but it’s old style Labour voters you really need to be targeting

  18. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    JR Conservatism is always a popular message, that’s why there is so much effort to drown it out on the Beeb etc. Keep going, I’m hoping you will have a platform and louder voice shortly!

  19. Stephen Reay
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Rory Stewart said “he could not serve in a government led by Johnson”, who has pushed for a no-deal Brexit. This exactly why Steward would make an unsuitable candidate for PM as we would end up with someone who would just cover old ground.

    We need a Brexiteer who has backbone believes in this country and has foresight to mitigate any negative effects a no deal Brexit might befall on us.

    • Tapestry
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      J.R. the very person.

    • GilesB
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      This comment by Rory made me laugh.

      He had just argued, at length, that entering negotiations one should have no red lines. Agreeing the terms under which one accepts a cabinet position is a negotiation!

      To be consistent with his own argument that he’d made two minutes earlier he should have said something like ‘Boris and I have our differences. I appreciate that being invited to join cabinet is an honour and a privilege to serve the country. I would have to discuss with Boris the terms under which I would be willing to serve’.

      Ruling it out makes him look just like May. Not a good look. And he’ll look worse if in future he accepts! So easily avoided!

    • Fred H
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Stephen….I don’t think Rory should worry too much, after all, who would want him?

  20. Ian
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    So she is going, I really thought this Nation was to be stuck with this most appalling PM.

    People for some reason no matter if it was the 1922 crowd, or others signing petitions, some have even had words with her.
    Still she knew best, she so wanted to put her damned putrid deal over the line, how could a decent individual come up with that, why would anybody in this Country want to inflict such a deal on this Country, it should have said on a label Welcome to the USSR, in fact Domenic Rab came back from the EU saying just that.

    Some felt sorry for this woman, it is not nice seeing anyone upset.

    From this PM, it was more like a spoiled child not getting its way, that so called Deal was exactly like Trump said Good got the EU.
    No this deal could only be inflicted on a population by an out and out Enemy of the State.

    • APL
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      “Some felt sorry for this woman, it is not nice seeing anyone upset.”

      This from the woman who held the portfolio for ‘Women and equality’, with all the tears she’s not above pulling at the Patriarchy’s heart strings.

      Well, Theresa, that shtick only works for young women. You just make a fool of yourself trying that at 62.

  21. Sue Doughty
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    You are right. If Boris is PM and gets us out of the EU with no deal we all come back to the party with new enthusiasm. Like a sponge pushed through a sieve gets back to the original form and shape.
    You wrote about the revolt of the motorist? I mighth have to buy your book to check it for accuracy. Did you give credit to Stuart Beatty for it for it was he that started the campaign, sadly passed away two days before the hauliers talked to Gordon Brown?

    • nhsgp
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      You think so?

      I think its reached a tipping point where people may well not come back, for a long time if at all.

      Look at the lib dems and tuition fees

      • APL
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        nhsgp: “I think its reached a tipping point where people may well not come back, for a long time if at all.”

        The Tory party has been isolated and insulated from its membership and wider vote base for years. The party is controlled and controls the membership. That is the wrong way to do it.

        Former Tory members that go back to the party after being treated the way they’ve been treated for the last twenty years, deserve everything they’ll get.

  22. matthu
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    The real issue is trying to define what the Conservative Party actually believes in.

    For example, we have over a dozen contenders for party leader and no-one can pinpoint a single principle that divides them (for goodness sake, we even have Angela Rudd now saying she will be leaving the door ajar so that she can support Boris???) let alone anything that differentiates them.

    Until we are presented with a list of Conservative values that attract votes, they will be destined for obscurity. The trouble is, they have all forgotten what true conservative values are and the values they used to have will shortly be pinched by the Brexit Party.

    You won’t easily fool the electorate a second time – but no doubt you will try, so be prepared for dangerous curves ahead!

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      ‘The real issue is trying to define what the Conservative Party actually believes in’

      – How about we try and resurrect the political philosophy of Edmund Burke – the main founder of Conservative political thought and values, based, to a profound degree, on traditional Christianity.

  23. Ken Mannion
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Circa 8 percent of under 25s would vote tory

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      The burning question now of course, is how many older ones would still vote Tory having been shafted by them yet again?

      The people have by and large been loyal to the Tories and given them a fair crack of the whip because they thought they would actually deliver on Brexit. They got fed up with Major’s ERM and his Maastricht con, so in 1997 they dumped his shower for Blair in the mistaken belief his ‘New Improved Miracle’ government would somehow be better, but they turned out to be just another load of shysters who denied us a vote, this time on the Lisbon Treaty – to all intents and purposes, the repellent EU constitution by the back door.

      The people only slowly drifted back to the Tories giving Cameron a majority when he offered a straight in/out referendum on the UK’s EU membership. I can’t quite understand why he was so surprised when the remain side lost, despite the forces arrayed against leave. So Cameron the brave bolted.

      So far, so good we thought, then along comes Mrs May with her Lancaster House speech – YESSS!! We have finally arrived!! Here is someone who will deliver!! Or so we first thought!

      How many times have we seen a false dawn under the Tories?

      How many times must we get our fingers burned by people who promise one thing then do another?

      Why should we trust the Tories again when the party is still riven with people like Letwin, Liddington, Hammond, Gauke, Rudd, Stewart, Clarke, and god knows how many others, who cynically seek to deny us our democratic right?

      The ONLY way back for the Tories is to get rid of ALL the remainers by a purposeful and rapid process of de-selection, and that is going to take an internal Tory civil war. And best THEY have one, than the COUNTRY has one.

      The remainers have brought us to this point. It is now time for them to heed the voting public and get the remainers gone. It is their last chance.

      • APL
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Tad Davison: “How many times must we get our fingers burned by people who promise one thing then do another?”

        The Tory party is controlled by the internationalists, it’s why what ever leader you put forward, you end up with a internationalist.

        It’s why Andrea Leadstrom was nobbled by the BBC and the rest of the MSM. She couldn’t have been worse than May!

        The Tory party needs root and branch reform before formerly loyal Tories should consider returning to the fold.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted May 27, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          You won’t get much of an argument from me on that one, especially your last paragraph!

    • Fred H
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Ken…..but then how many do or will bother to vote? I doubt that age group will affect the outcome much, I remember talking to my 3 adult children about the Blair ‘It can only get better message’ all 3 probably supported him against my view. It wasn’t many years down the line when they admitted they were taken in, and would consider political claims rather more carefully in future.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 3:34 am | Permalink

      About the same 8% as the general population as we will probably see in the EU election results later today..

  24. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Well we’ll see tomorrow if BP support has been underestimated by the pollsters, I suspect it has as the hate and abuse directed at Brexiters by Remain fundamentalists (like our ageist bigoted chum Andy) make people less likely to admit their preference.

    Interesting that Rory Stewart thinks the main issue for the next leader is compromising enough to keep the Conservatives 4 million Remain voters happy. He doesn’t seem to realise that actually they are the only voters the Conservatives have left. The time for compromise is over – the choice is no deal or revoke – the next leader should present the Commons with that binary choice, they’ll revoke, then we can have a general election and vote BP.

  25. Ed Mahony
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been going on about how the UK (and the entire Western World) has fallen apart – to a degree – because of a loss of (traditional) Christian values, morality and spirituality (and how a return to these would radically improve our country for the better). Here is a quote from MARGARET THATCHER that sums up really well my thoughts here (and of others on this):

    “Freedom will destroy itself if it is not exercised within some sort of moral framework, some body of shared beliefs, some spiritual heritage transmitted through the Church, the family, and the school.”

    This is what I hope Conservative leaders will try and think about more and figure out how to work more with the Church, Schools, people in the Arts and Education and other areas of British Life to restore these values, including how to re-build the British Family.

  26. agricola
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Well done, nobody should go through a prestige university denied exposure to a variety of political opinions and the opportunity to question them.

  27. Tapestry
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Leadership? Look no further. John Redwood.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    A perceptive comment from Simon Heffer:


    “Theresa May was the author of her own misfortune. But spare a thought for the man who designed the disastrous approach to Brexit that put her career on the rocks: Philip Hammond. The moment the Chancellor of the Exchequer told Mrs May to take no-deal off the table, she ceased to have a serious negotiating position with the European Union, and ensured she would go down to defeat.”

    Not to mention the brazen lies about the “disastrous” economic impact of defaulting to WTO terms that he allowed, and probably encouraged, Treasury civil servants to concoct and then leak to the mass media, essentially new editions of the brazen lies published by his predecessor George Osborne before the referendum.

    From April 2018:


    “Unfortunately while the doomladen forecasts pushed by the Treasury before the referendum have proved wrong some of its staff have now taken it upon themselves to produce and leak new editions of the same kind of doomladen forecasts, and they are being treated as proven facts rather than as just another set of unreliable heavily biased speculative forecasts.”

    “I am still waiting to hear that the minister in charge of the civil service (Theresa May) has hunted down those responsible and they have been severely disciplined.”

    Whoever is Chancellor in the new government it must not be Philip Hammond or anybody like Philip Hammond, he should have no post at all and instead should be relegated to the back benches where he could do less harm.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      Indeed the Telegraph on Saturday was totally damning of May in numerous comment pieces. They were all spot on.

  29. rose
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    There seems to be something of an international renaissance in conservatism going on among young people on the internet. Heseltine and Patten won’t have a clue about it.

  30. Jim Whitehouse
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Conservatives seem very bad at making our case. It’s too easy for Labour to claim they support the poor and that the Tories are the nasty party out to help the rich. To be fair, Labour are assisted by large parts of the broadcast media and education establishments and our message is often counter-intuitive but we need to be much better at explaining it.

  31. ian
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    The Brexit party is uniting the English people into one group and bring them together, tomorrows results will give the first insight into their popularity.

    Voters say they will not vote again, so turn out at the next election will be down in the 50%, there are new voters who have never voted before over the age of 35 but most of them will be voting for the new Brexit party, they polled 6% at the ref to bring the ref turn out to 71.5, i think about 15% of old voters will refuse to vote at the next election, which will be all labour and con party voters sitting on their hands and if they do vote well you know where their vote will be going.

    Brexit party will win near to 30% of the vote at the next election and that would be a bad showing for them.

    When first on this blog back in 2012 i fault i had been sent on a fool’s errand, how wrong i was.

  32. Original Richard
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    The incoming PM may have a difficult job to do but it is nothing compared to that which would have been faced had Mrs. May managed to get her new EU treaty (the one where we would have been accepting all EU laws, budgets, taxes, fines and policies (trade, energy, environment, foreign etc) but without representation or veto and with no lawful means of exit – described by Mr. Verhofstadt’s assistants as reducing the UK to EU colony status) through Parliament.

    Mrs May tried very hard to satisfy the EU and put her successor and the country into an enormous hole.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      She did thank goodness she was buried before she could do this. It was quite close.

  33. Gareth Warren
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    I have a suspicion that there are around half the number of pro-EU people to anti-EU people, but we will know for sure when we see the result of the EU poll.

  34. nhsgp
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    When Rory Stewart, Florence of Afghanistan, and applicant for PM starts off outline his credentials, he starts off by saying he should get the job because he introduce a new tax.

    Go figure why people have moved to the Brexit party

  35. Original Richard
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. May’s proposed treaty is such a great deal for the EU and so bad for the UK that they simply cannot let go of it.

    The inevitable consequence is that “no-deal” will therefore be the only way to respect the referendum result to leave and demonstrate to the world that we are a democracy.

  36. mancunius
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, as long as the school system and the universities push left-of-centre economic and political ideologies and historical interpretations, keeping complete silence about, say, Hayek and Friedman, and constantly sneering at Britain’s ‘colonial past’, young people will be seduced for years – until they begin to look at their pay-slips and note the wealth, comfort and sense of entitlement of those taking their money away from them, as well as those to whom it is donated. As long as the individual choice of moral and/or religious conservatism is outlawed, intolerance will grow.

    As long as the BBC has the freedom to broadcast 24/7 that ‘no-deal must be avoided at all costs’ – and to silence the voices of those who believe the opposite – the young will tend to believe the only view they have been fed.

    It will take years, possibly decades to reform these cadres – longer than post-Soviet economic reform in Eastern Europe.

  37. Stephen Reay
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    Before this government does anything you suggest we need to choose the right leader for the Job. Gove has just thrown his hat into the ring , this would be a bad choice for Brexit he’s just a Brexit turncoat and is not to be trusted.
    As they say Boris is Boris , but could he deliver on what he has previously said. Raab a little inexpericed perhaps but a true Brexiteer.

    McVey, leadsom, Hancock who thinks he’s (Churchill, and Will Pitt the younger), and Plug Stewart are non starters and are very likely to withdraw early from the competion.

  38. Pat
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you that Brexiteers will outperform the opinion polls in the actual election for two reasons. Firstly they are more committed than average (a lot of remain voters were opting for the peaceful life rather than for membership per se) and hence a higher proportion will turn out. Secondly, and this applies especially to Kippers, they have been derided and vilified for years, so tend to keep their opinions for expression in a secret ballot, where it matters.
    As for the future of the Conservative party, unless the majority of MPs discover a love of independence and market economics, or are replaced by MPs that already have that it has no future. Why would anyone vote for a party dominated by belief free careerists? Those with a sense of purpose should consider a change of party, probably best executed after the new leader is installed, and depending on who that leader turns out to be.

  39. glen cullen
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I have now listened to all the potential candidates and everyone of them are still taking about a deal…haven’t they learnt anything

    We don’t want the WA or any improved version of it

    Will any one of the candidates please declear for WTO followed by FTA after we have left. This is the only way to negotiate i.e from a strong position

    People are voting for the Brexit Party because they want closure to the referendum

  • 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