Mrs May’s non EU policies

Mrs May set out a strong  vision of a fairer and more prosperous UK in her initial statement of beliefs as she became Prime Minister. It hangs on the wall in 10 Downing Street as a reminder to visitors of what she intended. Unfortunately in office she was unable to make progress with it.

One of her mistakes was to appoint as Chancellor someone who did not buy into her vision, and who had no wish to use more public money to achieve some of the objectives she wished to set where state intervention was seen as part of the answer. The Chancellor did not conceal his wish to dilute and delay Brexit. He used Brexit as an excuse to withhold cash from public services or tax cuts on the grounds he wanted a “war chest” against a possible exit from the EU which he always wrongly thought of as damaging.  The PM wanted more money for schools to help raise standards and give people a better start in life. She wanted more money for the NHS, which was eventually extracted after a long battle. She probably wanted or needed more money for social care, though that remains a series of problems in search of a policy.

She saw social care as a major issue. I remember being sounded out by the Downing Street Policy Unit on possible reform prior to the 2017 election. I advised a careful approach and suggested that first the government should issue a general document describing current policy and outlining the problems as they saw them, to invite responses and to trigger a national debate before trying to formulate answers. They said they were interested in how Margaret Thatcher had run things, and I reminded them I had helped Margaret approach welfare reform in this way with a big public conversation and enquiry before offering change. I was very aware from my work as a constituency MP that some  people with no direct family experience of care homes did not know that the elderly person’s home had to be sold to pay the bills in many cases, and this needed to be more widely understood to have a conversation on care.

Unfortunately advisers decided they could invent and land a major reform of social care using a General election as a brief period to sell their ideas to the voters. Mrs May accepted a scheme for the 2017 election Manifesto that sounded like the old death tax that Conservatives had rejected under Labour. It turned out to be  a predictable disaster which the PM had to reject during the election campaign itself, as criticism of the social care policy drowned out other matters and came from many potential Conservative voters.

She was keen to encourage more housebuilding and put in place various schemes and directions to do so. There was progress in increasing the build rate as she hoped. She saw the need for improved standards in schools, building on the reform work of the previous government. It was not a smooth path given the antipathy of teachers to the Gove reforms, and the shortage of cash for the lower funded schools around the country. She continued to develop and promote her agenda to curb modern slavery and to tackle discrimination.

The bold aim to narrow the  north-south divide, one shared with many previous governments, made some progress with welcome acceleration of investment and modernisation in some of the great northern and Midlands cities.  

The aim to develop a modern industrial strategy made little progress. The industrial strategy was damaged by the ever dearer energy which made it difficult to keep or expand energy using industries in the UK. The car industry strategy was damaged by the Chancellor’s higher taxes on cars and the general government assault on modern diesel vehicles. The Business Secetrary, like the Chancellor, was downbeat throughout about the opportunities and prospects after Brexit. The various car factory closures in the UK and rest of the EU and currant state of the uk steel industry shows the failure of their so called industrial strategy.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    An excellent article today which serves only to highlight the value of money and the precarious routes to its generation.

    It is, therefore encouraging to hear that Boris is threatening to ‘withhold’ the £39 billion mentioned in the WA. Remarkably, there is press comment that this would be a default by the UK which could see the country’s credit rating downgraded. Macron is up in arms saying non-payment would be a breach of international commitments leading to ‘consequences’.

    I make the following observations:

    1. During negotiation of the WA it was said “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. The WA may have been agreed by Mrs May herself, but it has never been agreed by Parliament. Therefore there exists no agreement to pay £39 billion.

    2. Macron, on behalf of the EU, is ‘pooping himself’ at the thought that the UK cash cow might fail to deliver. It is evident that the EU is absolutely desperate for the money. It is not the responsibility of the UK to prop up a failing EU of which it is no longer a member.

    3. I am sure the UK will pay whatever sum is adjudged to be legally due in respect of obligations / commitments made whilst an EU member. Only non-payment of such might raise the question, not only the integrity of the UK, but also that of credit downgrading.

    4. Boris is wrong to threaten to ‘withhold’ – he should be saying ‘annul’. Any payment more than our legal liability under 3 above is not actually due. We should not be paying the EU for a trade agreement, any more than we should be paying, say, South Korea.

    There seems to be an ongoing flippancy regarding the use of ‘insignificant’ billions of taxpayer’s money as continually demonstrated during the May leadership regime. Even Javid, if elected, is offering to ‘give’ the Irish hundreds of millions to ease the border problem. The border has two sides!

    Whether it is Boris or someone else who becomes the new PM, let him or her respect the toil and often hardship incurred by the taxpayer in generating such funds. Spend it cautiously and wisely, ensuring it genuinely benefits the UK. If it does not, then don’t spend it at all.

  2. Nigl
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Greg Clark was in the pocket of Hammond so was never going to deliver much and at a personal level he never appeared particularly dynamic.

    The role of Business Secretary always seems to be an ‘afterthought’ after the so-called big jobs are handed out.

    As business is the driver that provides the revenue for all the spending departments it should have a much higher profile with the next Secretary being an experienced in business big hitter, if they exist, apart from yourself!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Greg Clarke is another LibDim (he was president of Cambridge University Social Democrats). He, like Hammond & May, seems to like very high taxes, complex taxes, expensive religious energy and endless “government knows best” red tape.

      Plus minimum wage laws to make it illegal for some to work or even learn how to work and to build on EU workers rights, (mainly the right to be unemployed).

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        I think the problem for the Tories came when they stopped being Tories. They let far too many of these modern-day liberals into the party declaring it to be a ‘broad church’ not realising what damage they would do if they ever got elected.

        As for Hammond, it was oft reported that May wanted to lose him. A strong leader would have done just that, which is yet another clue to her unsuitability.

        Yet there are still good people in the Tory party worthy of support. My own choice of Owen Paterson and Steve Baker both chose not to run for the leafership, but that shouldn’t be an impediment to ministerial office further down the line. Speaking of which, but in a different context, perhaps that is where Mr Gove ought to be – down the line. Some people are just not credible.

        Only a dyed-in-the-wool Brexiteer can now put right years of failure and neglect to the public’s satisfaction. It is quite literally ‘do or die’.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          It was the halfwitted idea the Conservative had to row to the left to win elections. What people want is what works at the end of the day. Labour win elections by going to the right as we saw with Blair. The Tories need to go to the right too in policy terms anyway. People want low taxes, cheap energy, jobs, houses, freedom and choice as to how to spend their own money.

        • Hope
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          JR, another Labour motion tabled for tomorrow to take charge of business to stop Brexit before new Tory PM appointed. Letwin, again, putting his name to it. At what point will the Tory party take action against this Traitor? At what point does he think the public will turn against him?

      • Hope
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        In fairness he was a Social Democrat before he changed to lefty liberal new Labour aka Tory.

        • Hope
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

          When will Tory associations take action and withdraw all support and finance immediately.

          MPs like Letwin who wish to make the ballot box void must accept the consequences.

    • Hope
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Mayhab was a disaster as Home Secretary has she made a list and hung it on the wall as well? Why would she hang a list of failures on the wall of a Downing Street, strange.

      Mayhab should have been given the order of the boot after the election, so why did you all allow her to stay in office? Everyone knew the disaster Hammond, again, why was he allowed to stay there?

      The ‘modern’ Tory party is no longer conservative in any shape or form. Time for it to be destroyed. You highlight it in this blog! Or was it just a sign of sour grapes you were not listened to? Clever chap like you should have got the message by now. But you appear to like flogging a dead horse and then bleat about it.

      Your only chance of change for survival is giving power back to associations to influence policy and choose their own MPs. At the moment there is a total disconnect between the two. Worse Cameron types till insult them. Look at what is going on with Grieve, Boles Lee, Letwin and Soubry. The letters association was clearly vindicated and CCHQ should have supported the association in ousting her! Now she is your competitor acting against your party while holding a Tory seat!

      Perhaps your party needs a new name, how about the Freda Khalo party after the communist Mexican feminist which Mayhab celebrates by wearing a picture of her on her bracelet?
      Hammond is continuity lefty liberal Osborne.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Similar with Transport. This is one of the most important industries in the land as everything and everyone requires transport, nothing is brought to us without it. Far more important than the Home Office and the ‘jewel in the crown’ the Foreign Office which they all hanker after, yet transport is given almost as a punishment to the lower orders who never achieve anything except make moving things and people around more difficult and costly. No freebies or foreign glory trips in it of course.

  3. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–I say the Conservatives should quit beating themselves up about the putative need for new ideas to fix how awful everything is (not) and should go back and resurrect a few old ideas. Too much so-called progress implemented too rapidly is going to destroy the world.

  4. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Blaming the Chancellor for these failures won’t wash – May could have just ordered him to comply with her wishes.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      My guess is that he was complying with her privately expressed wishes.

      I said it before and have since found no reason to go back on any of the four words that I chose with care to describe my local MP, not just random insults:


      • Richard1
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        What words will you keep in reserve eg for someone who plots acts of terrorism, or betrayal to actual hostile powers, as oppose to those with which there might be marginal trading disputes?

        • Stred
          Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          The EU considers that May’s WA has achieved colonial status for the UK against the wishes of the native population and the decision of the referendum. That’s hostile. To secretly allow the other side to write the terms and attempt to deceive parliament by lying that it gives a genuine result with free trade, law and an end to payment is betrayal. To quietly sign your country to support a foreign state’s forces and security and accepting command is treacherous. The word ‘traitor’ is correct.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          I chose my words carefully and they do not include “terrorist.” If you find it difficult to face up to the true character of the person who was allowed to lead the Tory party that is your problem.

    • Jocelyne Perks
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      …or dismissed him.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s non EU policies:- The highest taxes for 50 years, endless waste, endless red tape, damaging identity politics, pushing the evil politics of envy, gender pay reporting, robbing people’s pensions, landlords assets & people who move home and other insane PC lunacies.

    A letter in the Telegraph today (from the President, Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association) actually sings the praises of Philip Hammond:- The deficit has all but gone thanks to him ……..his skill and courage ……he should be kept on by the new leader…… and similar total guff.

    The problem is he has reduced the deficit by taxing people at the highest rate for 50 years and thus damaging the real economy, productivity and growth hugely. Many of these taxes are, in effect, raised at over 100% of income and are hugely damaging and totally unsustainable for very long. He has also damaged housing and job mobility massively (with insane tax levels, tax complexity and interest rules). He has continued with endless government waste and many highly damaging vanity projects with a very damaging expensive energy and green wash agenda too. He even lies that he is reducing government debt.

    Above all he has assisted May in almost destroying the Conservative Party by refusing to prepare properly for a real WTA Brexit while endlessly pushing project fear and voting three times for May’s £39 billion, putrid, vassal state, W/A. His misguided interference in bank lending has also been hugely damaging. The man must go, he is as appalling and just as responsible as T May for the appalling mess they have created.

    Tony Hall today in the Telegraph “Give the public a say on funding the BBC” – good idea Tony let them pay the TV licence (propaganda) tax if and only if they use BBC service (by subscription or pay as you go). One suspects the last thing Lord Tony Hall want to do is give the public any real say what so ever. He just want to pretend they have a say. Yet another tax increase for millions of people over 75 from this dire tax to death government.

  6. agricola
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    If her main problems were her Chancellor followed by her Business Secretary why did she not get rid of them. Possibly as a remain PM she was reliant on their support. Ultimately she boxed herself into the impossible position she found herself in. She forgot the old adage, ” When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Sadly for the country she was dishonest and incompetent. Promoted way beyond her talents.

    • agricola
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink


      I think we should cease agonising over the dreadful three years of May and concentrate on getting a PM and Cabinet that can lead us out of the EU with a path to an agreement on trade and services, or at last resort to leaving without an agreement. It needs to be done before any party conference, and without reference to the squabbling HoC if necessary.

  7. Brian Cowling
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Regarding the UK steel industry – your final comment. How depressing along with all the other current news about the Conservative, Labour, LibDem and others supposedly serving us in Parliament.

    Yet uplifting to listen to the Brexit Party’s positive thoughts on the matter of British Steel:

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Rory Stewart discussed all these last night on LBC.
    He also pointed out the alternatives to a clean break on October 31st. He maintained that if we left on WTO terms, then we would not be able to impose import dues on just one lot of people. Fair’s fair when you do it with the WTO.
    So either we imposed import dues on EU products and kept out the rest of the world, or we junked the lot and then ruined the farmers in his constituency as goods from all over the world simply poured in at rock bottom prices.
    So far he is the only contender who has outlined this.
    I wonder if you might like to comment yourself?

    Reply I have done so many times before

    • Al
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Except that we would impose an import duty level for all partners, and then immediately following, the continuity trade agreements which have already been made with several of our current trading partners come into force, reducing duties with those partners as seperate trade agreements.

      This is how the EU currently handles trade with its external partners, e.g. Japan and Canada do not have the same agreement or duty levels with the EU, so if the WTO object they should be going after the EU already.

      You can find a list of the already-agreed continuity agreements here:
      It is disappointing he didn’t mention this.

    • David Price
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Why not simply maintain the current tariffs we impose for non-EU countries but now they apply to EU countries while we modify them for the growing list of countries we have prepared TAs and MRAs with.

      Given their unwillingness to negotiate fairly the EU should be at the back of the queue. But then I don’t want any FTA with the EU that gives them any advantage considering the current imbalance of trade.

      • Original Richard
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        I agree.

        To start we keep the existing EU’s tariffs on RoW and impose these same tariffs on the EU, which will be automatically mirroring those the EU will impose upon us.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Mr Stewart is confused. He is correct that WTO rules means it’s the same tariffs all round – until you strike FTAs. But is odd to hear a Conservative argue as he does that we need tariffs to protect the agricultural and car industries. In other words his constituents should pay 50% more in many cases for food and 10% more for cars than they would otherwise have to. new Zealand abolished all farm subsidies and tariffs 30 or so years ago. It was feared this would destroy farming in NZ but it had the opposite effect, it galvanised the NZ agricultural and wine industries. Perhaps we do need to subsidise farming, but then let’s do so directly, eg by paying farmers to keep the countryside beautiful, footpaths open etc. There is no logic to subsidising them by forcing consumers to pay higher prices. That also obfuscates the economics of what’s happening.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Mike Stallard,

      I infer that you have reasons to protect UK (and EU) farmers by making consumers pay more for food. Fair enough, but what are the reasons the rest of the world can produce and ship to the UK at lower prices? I think it is these that should be considered whether practice based or resource based. I guess practice based is usually regulation led. If (EU) complete bans are scientifically questionable on the basis of safety (hormones, GM, chlorine wash, metaldehyde) but they are still desired for other purportedly genuine reasons (animal welfare, local environment …) then there is room for non-tariff barriers. If resource endowment based from developing countries then there is some flexibility away from MFN status if UK wants to be progressive on trade. If countries are dumping (unfair competition) there is flexibility away from MFN.

      Personally I am not for protectionism, but if Mr Stewart desires it to protect his quite safe Penrith and the Border seat then I think it is possible.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Not true. There is Article 24 of the WTO which permits things to remain as they are for 2 and up to 10 years whilst an FTA is negotiated. All that is required is the agreement of both parties – and there is the rub – the EU is so intent on punishing the UK that it may not agree, at least until their manufacturers see what happens with no deal. In any event the new lot in Brussels may take the opportunity to change the thinking there.

      • rose
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        I couldn’t decide whether Mr Stewart was being dishonest or confused. It was at any rate a petulant performance, making it clear his slogan “compromise” does not include himself. It was the same the previous morning when he took calls from the public.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s non EU policies:- to destroy the Conservative Party and give us Corbyn/SNP & another Venezuela perhaps?

  10. Mark B
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    So she wasn’t a complete failure then !


    If the Chancellor was such a problem for her, why didn’t she sack him ? If he was holding back on funds as suggested and creating policies that were causing real harm, he should have been gone. My only guess is, that the Chancellor, much like, Gordon Brown was the power behind the throne and the one in charge

    The only good thing to come out of this is, by blocking her he sowed, hopefully, the seeds of his own downfall.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      So she wasn’t a complete failure then !

      Er…… well I approve of her opt out organ donation policy but even that is not effect as yet! Plus the NHS will probably not cope anyway.

      • Pud
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        I have carried a donor card since my teens and have signed up with the Organ Donor Register. If I don’t need my parts any more I’m very happy with the idea of being scrapped to help others and I have ensured my family know my wishes.
        Having said that, I am firmly against presumed consent. That is not donation, but rather the state claiming that your body belongs to it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

          Well you can opt out if you feel strongly in a few seconds. What is wrong with saving people’s lives using organs from people did not feel strongly enough to opt out? Rather than just burying or burning them and letting many people die?

          • David Price
            Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

            Because presumed consent is presumed ownership and what of vulnerable people who aren’t capable of understanding or making the choice?

  11. Ian wragg
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    She should have sacked Hammond long ago. He single handadly destroyed the motor industry and has successfully had Brexit blamed. BBC in overdrive. Now we need Boris to promise to kill the licence fee and he will romp home at the next GE.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Indeed Boris should promise that no one should be forced to buy a TV licence unless they want to watch BBC and choose to.

      • Al
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        I agree. With modern technology and cable, it is easy enough for providers to track what people watch and which channels. If someone does not watch the BBC, or use their online services, why should they pay the licence fee?

        The degree of extra accountability might make the BBC more careful about its use of funds.

  12. J Bush
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I am not convinced her ‘note’ on the wall is anything as commendable as you imply. More a list of platitudes to deceive others of her real intentions. Rather like her ‘strong and stable’, ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’. ‘brexit means brexit’ etc, culminating in her ‘we will leave the EU on 29 March’. What a pity she didn’t specifically state the year.

    People argue the Frankfurt School 11 point plan is only a conspiracy theory, which I accept may be true. However, the 11 points (listed elsewhere) has happened in the West and it certainly doesn’t come from conservatism. This started under Blair’s ‘centre’ politics and rigidly followed by Cameron and May throughout her term as HS and now PM, as she openly moved further and further to the left.

    You give this woman far too much credit and far too polite. So we will agree to disagree on our opinions of this woman. I will not be convinced she is anything but a insidious, conniving, lying traitorous person and the only thought of ‘conservatism’ she may have is for herself.

  13. sm
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Regarding social care:

    We live in an era of incredible scientific development affecting every aspect of our lives, but society/government/scientists etc do not appear to ever consider the financial and social costs of their innovations.

    Modern medicine/technology means we can keep incredible numbers of individuals alive, from perhaps the moment of birth to a point of death perhaps 90 or more years ahead, who will need constant care and medical attention at society’s expense.

    There needs to be a very wide-ranging and tough discussion on the morality of spending increasing £billions on, for example, brain-damaged premature babies or severely stroke-damaged pensioners.

    I hope this is not straying too far from today’s theme!

  14. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Let’s just put the last 3 years to bed. A useless PM who surrounded herself with some fairly diabolical advisors. There’s nothing to learn from this, really. We already know what went wrong and what has to be done to fix it. Let’s start from now.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      I can see why you like this position; however it ignores the ‘vote of confidence’ in her leadership, which she easily won. So it’s not just a terrible PM, its the PCP that bares most of the blame by not being able to figure out that they are not doing what the voters require, and in a number of cases actually working against the declared aims of the manifesto. PCP= NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE. Our host is a rare exception.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Peter….you make the point that matters ie. the party had the confidence vote, and the fools let her continue!! Could it be that so many were reasonably happy with the can kicked down the road, and the direction of travel. The party and reputation destroyed as a result, in fact there could be worse to come given the poor quality of wanna-be -PMs.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      I agree it might be better to start from now but the fact is that the Article 50 TEU notice was sent in on March 29th 2017. There is nothing in that article or anywhere else in the EU treaties to say that a member state which has put in its notice can later change its mind and revoke the notice, but the ECJ has invented a rule that it can do so provided that its changed intention is to stay in the EU permanently. The people having voted to leave in a referendum ordered by Parliament on the clear basis that the government would implement what they decided we now have a lot of MPs – I will not use the derogatory word that springs to mind to describe them – who want to go back on what was promised to the electorate. That is why I support the idea that if necessary the new Prime Minister should ask the Queen to prorogue Parliament simply to stop those pro-EU MPs cheating the people as some of them are still scheming to do. And as for the Tories among them, they should be expelled from the party and automatically deselected for the next general election, if that is what they precipitate. In fact the new Tory leader should immediately require all potential Tory candidates, including sitting MPs, to sign a declaration that they will support the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on or before October 31st 2019, with or without any withdrawal agreement under the terms of Article 50 TEU, and with no further extension to membership in gross defiance of the referendum result.

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Your articles on Mrs May’s legacy show disdain for her methods, her cabinet and her delivery.

    You probably made waves behind the scene but the superficial acceptance offered by you and your backbench colleagues gave her goverment a legitimacy it evidently didn’t deserve.

    I suggest that the back benches are more vocal in future. Your distaste should not be retrospective.

    Reply I criticised the main errors at the time

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Are you in a position to speculate on why she kept a Chancellor whom you evidently hold in contempt?

      Reply Either she agreed with him about Remain, or she was too weak to sack him once she found out how he opposed her

  16. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Have any other users noticed that mobile devices will not retain cookies from this site and so can not view their own posts under moderation (and therefore reply to them).

    Have any of those users found a cure? The cookies work on my laptop just not my phone.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      No, I’ve just posted on my mobile and after closing the site and going back on, I can still read it while awaiting moderation.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Yes on my newer phone (Samsung Andriod) they are not held – but are on ipads, laptops, my old Sony phone and on an Apple phone. I have not looked for a solution yet other than using the latter.

    • Big John
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      It won’t be the phone, it will be the browser supplied with the phone.
      Try installing and using a different browser.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        I have tried the Samsung browser and Chrome, both have the same issue so I think it is a process that is being imposed by the phone.

        It suddenly started happening a few weeks ago

        • Big John
          Posted June 12, 2019 at 2:04 am | Permalink

          I have a Samsung phone and I use firefox which has no problem.

          If you are using Chrome (And I think the Samsung browser is a re skined Chrome), this will be your problem.

          Google are trying to control https certificates issue, by not accepting competitors certificates.

          The answer is, don’t use browsers which don’t let you control the certificate authoritys you can trust, and force you to use to what they decide is trust worthy.

          I am sure I have mentioned before, the whole certificate crap, is rubbish.

          If the site you are using wants to sell you something, you will be redirected to a very high security site (A Bank, PayPal etc).

          Your problem is just a power grab, by the people who have writen your browser.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            Thank you

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      I always copy and paste my posts, including the ‘Permalink’ onto an email and put all other relevant information in the ‘Topic’ box. I then post it to my own email address and from there, I transfer it into a dedicated folder. I have every single post I have ever written, I can access them in an instant, and it works flawlessly.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Likewise, but I stopped actually sending them to myself when I realised I could just save a draft and copy it into the appropriate folders.

        I also go back and mark with a “V” those which get vaporised, unfortunately they often tend to be making the most important points.

        • Mark B
          Posted June 12, 2019 at 5:01 am | Permalink


          Not V for vaporized, but for victory ! Only those that speak the unpalatable true get deleted.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink


  17. Lifelogic
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    You say Hammond “used Brexit as an excuse to withhold cash from public services or tax cuts on the grounds he wanted a “war chest” against a possible exit from the EU which he always wrongly thought of as damaging.”

    Indeed he did, but the trouble with over taxing people to produce a war chest is you do much damage to those businesses and people overtaxed weakening them, deterring investment, pushing industries overseas, damaging the economy and reducing the tax you might then safely extract from them the year after. He should have cut the endless waste, many pointless and even damaging things the government do and do very badly indeed in general.

    I see that Baron Gus O’Donnell has a new job defending the BBC on radio 4 today. He seems to think the BBC are doing over 75 year olds’ a great favour by charging them the BBC propaganda licence tax as it will “encourage more to claim pension credits”! If they do then everyone else will pick up the bill in still higher taxes to pay these!

    Why not make the BBC actually compete fairly in the market, charge only those who use it and become efficient and cut their countless overpaid (plus gold plated pensions on top) staff.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Theresa May is ‘very disappointed’ with the decision to means test the BBC licence fee for the elderly and has urged the BBC to look again!

      Well what on earth did the dope think the BBC would do given the options they had been given by her government? Of course the BBC management will grab as much tax as they dare (so as to remain totally unfair competition to other competitors) and to keep their lovely gravy train running smoothly! Clearly her government actually wanted them to do this and this take the blame for this decision off her shoulders. What a disingenuous woman she is.

  18. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    The simple fact is John, Mrs May had a wish list, but not a clue as to how to plan for its content or implementation.

    She is not a strategist with vision, she is/was a micro manager of detail, and that is why she can still see nothing wrong with her putrid Withdrawal Agreement.

    As soon as her last Social Care plans are broadcast just weeks before the last General election I actually said to my wife, she has now turned victory into defeat, the fact that she said continually “but nothing has changed” in numerous Press conferences implied even she did not understand the original rules and policy herself.
    Why announce a brand new policy, if nothing was going to change ??

    • Timaction
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      We’re paying for increases in social care sneaked through via above inflation Council tax charges. That helps those on fixed incomes!

  19. formula57
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Just like Blair, she was hampered by a bad Chancellor and did not have the courage to sack him. Not that such failure matters to either of course, since the defining legacy of one is Brexit treachery and of the other Iraq adventurism but the replacement prime minister might take note.

    • Stred
      Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Fortunately, Bliar had a bad chancellor that kept us out of the euro, even though he lost the gold reserves.

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    There is a line of thought that if Theresa May had successfully increased the Tory majority in 2017 then she would have been in a position to completely disregard any objections that were raised by whatever MPs had been elected in Northern Ireland.

    Following through along that speculative line, it is arguable that her disastrous general election campaign indirectly helped to preserve the Union, that is to say the British not the European Union.

    It must fall to her successor to face down the CBI, with their record of getting things wrong, stop cuddling up to Leo Varadkar, and call him out over his nonsense:

    “Personally I believe Theresa May’s critical error was in her calculation that she could use the concocted fuss over the Irish border as a pretext for giving the CBI and similar rather narrowly based business lobby groups what they demanded, yet still retain the support of the DUP MPs and almost all of the Tory MPs.

    There must be a reason why she has never called out the Irish government over the utter nonsense they were talking about the border, and the apparent opportunity to placate the likes of the CBI stands out as by far the most likely reason.”

    So which of the Tory leadership candidates would be most likely to do that?

  21. L Jones
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Perhaps she wouldn’t have had to put plans in place to cover even more of our green and pleasant land with even more houses IF she’d got to grips with immigration in the first place.

    Mr Hammond and his lack of vision should be spoken of in the present tense, surely?

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      @ L.Jones

      We certainly hope it will soon be in the past tense….

  22. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    It is probably easier to look at May’s failures than try to put a gloss on her near successes.
    Under may, the government became ever more lemming like in following international trends set by the Un global establishment. There was no original thinking involved, as everything had to fit into the EU or UN way of doing things.
    Clearly there was an image of the future that had been agreed upon within the EU and she did her best to pass this on. Her refusal to protect veteran soldiers summed up her attitude in this respect, as did the feeling that justice and policing were not as decent as one might expect.
    The way that issues with grooming gangs was handled didn’t do anything for her reputation. In short it seems that those under May were pursuing injustices, and we won’t even mention immigration. She moved the Tories much further left than they ever should be, which was also in line with EU intent to have political parties that certainly were not of the right, but socialist by nature.
    The way she simply signed the UN treaties on favouring immigrants, which some decent countries refused to do, really showed her lack of empathy for British people.

    • Timaction
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      ……….lack of empathy for British people……. No, it’s the English that have been shafted by successive Governments. When are we getting our own legislator to have free tuition fees, hospital parking, prescription charges etc. Why should we continue as the cash cow under the Barnet formula as well?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink


        You’re talking about a totally different set of injustices – My comments are aimed at What May has achieved in her short time as PM, long time as HS.

        The trust between voters and elected is thoroughly broken, and as I keep saying, a new contract is required, immediately we have settled Brexit cleanly.

  23. jerry
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    But Sir John, when ever more public spending is mentioned it is your wing of the party who screams the loudest, and have done since the late 1970s, it was your wing of the party that enforced the idea of the deficit and the need to bring it down as quickly as possible – just so long as it did not interfere with tax cuts.

    So please stop trying to sound as though you have all the answers, you do not, many of your ‘answers’ are the problems of today, such as a fragmented NHS that no longer included social care in its remit, off loaded to LAs etc. Unintended consequences perhaps, not all on your watch perhaps but signposted all the same on your watch, and if you were critical of the policies back when you do not seem very ready to go public with such criticisms now, some 30+ years later.

    PS, no doubt this will be held in moderation until most have moved on to tomorrows or the nest days article, but then I’m not really talking to the wider audience, so no problems!

  24. Shieldsman
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    When did we ever have a sensible Industrial Policy, it was a long time ago.
    In manufacturing industrial relations appear to be good.
    The transport sector with the split in who runs the railways has bad labour relations.
    Too much of our industry is foreign owned as we are not prepared to make the investments with our own money.
    For example huge swathes of Engineering are owned by Siemens of Germany. So what went wrong? The CEO of UK operations is German by birth but a British citizen.
    Foreign Companies will give priority to home manufacturing.
    How many MP’s have an Engineering or Business background?
    Energy policy is a disaster in the making.

    • Ian terry
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink


      Energy policy is a disaster in the making.

      It is already a disaster and getting worse by the months to become a complete catastrophe. The Church of Renewable Energy and World Salvation are totally in control. Politicians of all parties have to be constantly watching what they say and write for fear of upsetting the Green Blob. There is not one area in the whole of the UK economy that would not benefit with much lower energy prices. e are still shedding real jobs because of our commitment to the Climate Change Act

  25. Everhopeful
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    May was not keen to encourage house building in her own constituency.
    She famously campaigned to stop a destruction ( aka development) near Sonning.
    ( Pictures in the papers ‘n all….unless it was “fake news”).

    • Fred H
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure the residents of leafy waterside Sonning would be in favour of homes thrown up to cater for the social climbers and the immigrants and refugees.

  26. Ian
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    A good outline as always regarding how we have arrived at the situation of managing a complex situation, Sir John.

    Outside looking in, top down ‘control’ never works, trying to micro-manage something that doesn’t present the same in all parts of the country never works. While it is good that central government sets out aims and direction, at the coal face so to speak it is best left to those that are there.

    What fits Central London and some its less affluent areas can never work for those that are in similar situations in the North East or other parts of the country. Some areas are better managed than others, just as some schools work better than others, as with some parts of the monolith that is the NHS. The top down approach that successive governments have adopted in reality try to level things out by dragging those that get it to work down to level of those that struggle.

    You could reasonably argue that as we have been ruled by the EU for the last 40 years, with direction, laws and to a degree taxes dictated to the UK by others – so much so what we call central Government has evolved in to a large local council.

    Part, not all of the situation as in life generally we have hung onto structures and systems from another era. At its root is the tax system, it is messy, it is cumbersome and not consistent. It is used as a weapon to bludgeon people into certain directions and attitudes, as such it is not equal or fair, so tweaks here and there are applied. We finish up with an administrative costly mess that is no longer fit for purpose.

    As with all things there is a need for transparency. Is tax system there to provide and facilitate the security and structure so the people can excel and thrive. Or is it, as now there to play to political egos and pretend to redistributing wealth and remind the people who is in control? Central government needs to be clear on its purpose, something they don’t seem to have the ware withal to understand. Which poses the question is our political system fit for purpose?

    I am reminded of Hammond’s ridiculous duty on new cars. The cost of a small safety feature added at purchase to a small compact car means an up-lift of more than 300-400% in charges on that car for the next 5 years. Which curtails sales and damages second-hand values. This downturn in sales is the spun as the result of the UK wanting to leave control of the EU – Brexit. Nothing of the sort, it is just a bitter and twisted man throwing his toys out of the pram because he wants to fight the electorate.

  27. George Brooks
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    This catalogue of failures and lack of achievement by Mrs May is due to her inability to pick people and listen. It is very sad but the whole country has suffered and it will take a lot of hard work and foresight to get us out of this hole that she has dug.

    She is digging another very large hole and putting this country’s security at risk by delaying the decision over Chinese involvement in our next network. Our mobile phone companies are unable to invest the millions needed until they know which road we are on.

    She has done something that prevents her saying ‘no’ to China and therefore must be prevented for making yet another catastrophic mistake

  28. gyges
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Why do you think energy is so expensive in this country?

    (Please save the answer for a separate post …)

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Gyges, its pretty obvious if you listen to those real experts who know about energy and not some idiot of an mp with a degree in geography or politics. Expensive energy was foretold years ago when the green scam brigade took over making decisions for government and silly 16 year olds.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink


      • Ian terry
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink


        You have left out the Nationalists Parliaments who receive all the community benefits from the turbine companies resulting in millions being paid out to small villages all funded by the UK energy bill payers. Commercial, industrial, retail and domestic. 56 million subsidising 5.7 million.

      • gyges
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        thanks for your response Southron but I was hoping for more flesh on the bone … something about how exactly is the carbon tax destroying British steel and whether or not this tax applies to everyone else in the world? Something about how renewable obligations certificates work and whether or not they’re a wealth transfer mechanism from poor to rich. The children’s crusade propaganda issue raised in the thread is of no interest to me; nor is the 99% of scientists believe propaganda. That’s best left to those who follow the ghost of Edward Bernays / Bell-Pottinger types.

      • hefner
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Maybe you should put in the mix the decisions taken in the 80s-90s when the availability of North Sea gas made the politicians let the British nuclear industry drown. And I am not sure that in those days the green thinking was so prevalent … Given that energy policy should be looked at over decades, the mistakes/oversight made in those years still have an effect today.
        See Dieter Helm, « Energy, the State and the Market, British Energy since 1979 ». This book from 2002 is quite expensive but has been made available in some public libraries, usually after repeated requests.

        • gyges
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          @hefner very much appreciate your input. Are the forthcoming uk energy deficit group around still?

          Hopefully JR can synthesise some of this into a post.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      The “renewables” religion! Greg Clarke’s policy of let’s have expensive energy, drive business abroad and be rather uncompetitive. With a bit of virtue signalling.

  29. Henryb
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    So it all comes to this that the BBC has decided to take away free TV from the over 75’s, some of them the most vulnerable in our society, some who as children suffered the worst of the bombing and destruction, who lost parents and family and had poverty heaped on them by poor housing and rationing even into the 1950’s- shame on BBC, and shame on the Tory party standing behind the BBC.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      And they were the ones who believed in the BBC, helped it along to its present ghastliness.
      Handed their kids over to the brainwashing…sorry…”Watch With Mother” and their teenagers to “Top of the Pops” etc etc……
      Such betrayal.

    • jerry
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      @Henryb; Wrong, the govt has, the TVL exemption was a Westminster policy, reneged upon since the 2017 GE, the exemption was funded by HMT, the BBC has since been told that it either needs to either cut services or remove the exemption – I would have preferred the BBC to have cut the (in my opinion) plentiful chaff, non of which would have affected their core services.

      • APL
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        jerry: “I would have preferred the BBC to have cut the (in my opinion) plentiful chaff, non of which would have affected their core services.2”

        It’s got iplayer, which is practically a subscription service – you have to register to use it. Just go the extra mile and make it a full blown subscription service.

        Then closed down BBC4, 3, At maximum the BBC only has programming for two decent channels.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Another reason to get a strong leader to abolish the BBC tax. Let them become a subscription service and they can pedal their left wing rubbish with impunity.

      • Doug Powell
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Exactly! Make them finance their own brand of rubbish! My money won’t be going to support them!

        It is more than somewhat ironic that at the BBC’s consultation 52% were in favour of abolishing the free licence fee for over 75 year olds and 48% were against the idea. Bearing in mind that for 3 years this biased corporation has been championing the cause of the Remain 48%’ it just shows the duplicitous nature of this organisation that it should immediately and unreservedly accept the abolition of the fee. In the name of consistency and fairness one ought to have expected that the corporation would champion the interests of the over 75s!

        Also, apparently 190,000 took part in this consultation, which means the winning margin was about 8,000! This comparison with the winning 1.4 million in the referendum pales into insignificance! So where are the calls for a second consultation? Or, our right to opt out and have our TV sets programmed not to screen their rubbish!

        I could be cynical and note that demographic is that the older generation are more likely to have voted Brexit, therefore the imposition of the fee is a cunning way to further to BASH the Brexiteers!

        Don’t put that past the bastards!

        • Fred H
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          Doug….We need another BBC ref (oops. consultation) with different age groups, income groups and geographic spread. Who selected the basis for the representation, the lefties, the luvvies, the biased groups who pick the ‘random’ panel and audience for Question Time?
          In any case the BBC has too many minority objectives, served by too many overpaid management, covering too many obscure subjects. Somebody needs to take an axe and red pen to the whole organisation. Not fit for purpose.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Henry, how long before the heating allowance and bus passes are taken away. Bus passes are a lifeline yo so many older people. My mother was on a basic pension, widowed and unable to drive. Buses were her salvation but if she had to pay the normal fare she would not have been able to afford it. Again, politicians must get in the real world.

      • Cis
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        Today I overheard a gentleman of 86 telling a tale of woe to a sympathetic ear. His wife, after a couple of incidents in the past six months, is currently in a big city hospital about 25 miles away from his home. He drives to visit her every day, but that is costing him £2 an hour – £42 a week – in parking fees alone, to say nothing of petrol costs. What kind of health system imposes that burden on an old man and his sick wife? Our local hospital has been, is being run down to the extent that there is no ‘golden hour’ for heart and stroke victims – they are lucky to be triaged in an A&E unit within 2 hours. Frankly, I woukd rather any available money went on improving local and accessible hospital services (and making parking there free) than on free social care to people whose life histories mean that they can afford to pay their own way. But you are right, JR – we need a national conversation about the way forward.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink


        I’m expecting that to happen in the future( that will please some of the younger generation).

        Where I live, we haven’t had a bus service for ten years. I have been recently widowed, along with several others, and we feel marooned. I live in a nice middle class area, and we are all ‘expected’ to drive.

        I have a strong feeling, that when the Government hived off the TV Licence to the BBC, they knew that the BBC would not bear the cost. Now Theresa May is asking the BBC to reconsider. Who does she think she is fooling?

        • jerry
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

          @Cheshire Girl; “Where I live, we haven’t had a bus service for ten years.”

          I think some, before they protest a little to much, should remember just who de-regulated, then privatised, bus services in the UK -and have since not granted many a LA with enough income for them to carry on subsidising non-profitable/curtsy services.

          Yes I know the Blair/Brown govt. also cut into LA funding too, but the New Labour era was really pale blue, not pink as in the propaganda, never mind Vermilion!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Yet another back door tax grab.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      We have been told repeatedly that immigration to the UK is of younger, fitter, healthy working people contributing their taxes and balancing the population which was ageing much better. I read the number of net migration is around 300,000 people per year, so with all this extra telly tax and the same number of hours to schedule why can’t they afford free licences for over 75’s?

      Why can’t people opt out of the BBC and just have freeview? This is what my parents would do if they could, my father turned 75 two months ago. I’ve read Jerry arguing it is a tv receiver tax whether you watch the BBC or not so what % of this tax is provided to other channels?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Freeview or Freesat doesn’t help. Both broadcast unecrypted BBC. iPlayer could be encrypted very easily but the other BBC platforms would need the viewer to purchase additional equipment 🙁

        The other option is advertising… Personally I would prefer the licence fee to advertising…

      • jerry
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        @a-tracy; Freeview (DVB-T) and Freesat (DVB-S) are branded delivery methods, and indeed the BBC’s licence fee was used by both Ofcom and Govt via the BBC to create a demand for DVB-T ahead of the internationally agreed digital switch-over project, by way of digital only channels such as (the then) BBC3, BBC4 and the News Channel for example. Many a commercial broadcaster, and indeed some subscription services (never mind shopping channels 😥 ), followed onto the platform as it became popular – the TVL fee was also used to fund free DVB-T set-top tuners for those who qualified and still needed them ahead of each areas DSO.

        You ask about other funding that the TVL fee is used for, I can’t find the % but in 2017/8 apparently £80m was used to fund national broadband (I assume) infrastructure projects, £75m or so was used to help fund S4C, and some £4.5m was used to help fund local TV. Not a lot, but still perhaps the difference between such services and none.

        Further I would have no problem with the TVL fee being used to fund other Public Service Broadcasting channels or programming, I would welcome it, in fact why not slim down the BBC and use such savings to further support the creation of ultra local community TV stations (even if only IPTV for now), something the DfCMS once championed, perhaps the most pure of all PSB.

        It’s not the BBC I defend but the method of providing sustainable PSB in the UK, and what about BBC radio services, such as the BBC World Service that is now fully funded from the TVL?

        • libertarian
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink


          Maybe follow the very successful model of Public Service Broadcasting in the USA ?

          I would suggest that useful radio stations like the World Service should be under a BBC News Company provider that raises revenues by selling impartial news programmes to other TV and radio platforms . The BBC/PBS can also of course still use the revenues generated by world wide sales of back catalog.

          the BBC/Chan 4 etc has far too many channels and platforms . I would suggest one PSB TV, One PSB News/Current affairs and Two radio stations World Service and Radio 4 type station

          Local TV is a non goer . We have one of the local licence holder stations in my area, its audience numbers are woeful.

          • jerry
            Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “Maybe follow the very successful model of Public Service Broadcasting in the USA ?”

            Was that meant to be sarcasm, or did you mean US local TV stations, often using local Volunteer staff rather than paid employees.

            “Local TV is a non goer . We have one of the local licence holder stations in my area, its audience numbers are woeful.”

            Like with a horse, you might not be able to make the horse drink but that is no excuse not to fill the water trough and keep it filled…

            We have a local TV station in this TX area, their biggest problem appears to be available content with the correct rights clearance, often having to resort to rights expired old films, why not open up suitable content from the BBC’s own back catalogue?

    • Nicky Roberts
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      I think the withdrawal of a free TV license for everyone over 75 is the BBC getting back at people they think voted Brexit. It is a punishment of the kind meted out by the EU when people step out of line. Also part and parcel of doing anything that affects the powerless. Lets kick those unable to kick us back.

      • The Quiet Man
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Its not just the ending of free TV licensees to the over 75 look at how the Common Purpose elite in the Civil Service look after No 1.
        Sir Robert Devereux the Civil Servant resposable for increasing the State Pension to 67 is retiring at 61 with a payoff on £85k a year and a lump sum of £245k. You plebs have to work till you drop but not people like this who ruin peoples lives.

        • Cis
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

          All public sector pensions – including those of MPs – should be capped at half this level. People like Devereux have had 20 years on salaries that should have been enough to accumulate significant personal savings. They don’t need £85k a year for life from the taxes of much lower paid workers, and the other £42k would help to pay for a couple of care workers.

          • jerry
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            @Cis; No one needs more than what the law states is the legal basic state pension accessible to all, want more then save, or cash in, how many older people choose to live in houses that are simply far to big for their needs, for many pensioners a two bedroom house is ample, three perhaps if there is medical needs – yes, what working age people are expected to survive on if having to live in UC etc.

            Are those expressing such views being provocative, of course they are, call it jealousy, just like yours….

    • agricola
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      The BBC is not only a left wing political entity that exists on the licence fee without dependency upon the ballot box, but is now a quango offshoot of HMRC that is permitted to change the tax regime. I find it an unbelievable situation. When will our politicians get to grips with this out of control broadcaster of it’s own propaganda.

      • Ian terry
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink


        When will our politicians get to grips with this out of control broadcaster of it’s own propaganda.

        Never, too frightened to for the fear of the backlash and damage they (parliament) fear that will follow.

    • Ian
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      The irony is they seek to punish those that funded and created the BBC in its current form. Time to set it free and get rid of the license fee!

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      I suggest you listen to the opinions of those such as Age UK. This is down to the consequences of decisions taken by Conservative government ministers.

      It was a Conservative manifesto commitment in 2017 to maintain free TV licenses for over-75s. One hopes John Redwood will show as much commitment to highlighting and advocating adhering to that manifesto commitment as he does to certain other ones (Brexit).

      Reply Yes, I think we should keep to such commitments.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      All of the over 75s in my family are able to afford the licence fee, as will I be able to do when I get to that age. Why should our young effectively subsidise the old? Or more importantly, why should we have a licence fee at all?

      • Mark B
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Because you were paying it when they could not but using it. Children’s T.V.

        You can always donate the same amount to the BBC Children’s need if that makes you feel better.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        I’d rather the BBC didn’t exist at all. There are plenty of alternatives now.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 12, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          Having a receiver or a device to enable watching, listening to a broadcast is a nonsensical way of finding funding for a single media outlet. Means to charge for use of BBC is the only way to balance the crazy situation. Force headcount down, contract fees capped, channels and minority coverage to be removed. In any case a fee of £150+ is a lot for the lowest income groups who rely on the devices for news, entertainment, company etc. Age over 75 was a stupid arbitrary decision in the first place.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      The BBC won’t last much after the terrible optics of old people being taken to court.

      The spectre of this will result in a mass boycott.

      The BBC can cut many of its unneeded activities and top pay before it resorts to putting old people in prison.

      Gary Lineker should go. He is the face of BBC football (you don’t get any bigger and the pay proves it) yet he opines on Brexit all the time.

      Political pundit or face of BBC football – you cannot be both.

      Radio 2 now sounds like Radio Millennial a lot of the time. They already have Radio 1. They are not going to capture the Netflix/YouTube generation so why are they trying ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Can anyone tell me what right the BBC has to exist ? It is not necessary to life so why do we have to pay an aerial tax to it ?

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          How about a Daily Mail tax ? If you read the Guardian then you must pay a Daily Mail tax.

          That’s how offensive the BBC tax is to me.

          • jerry
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; “How about a Daily Mail tax ?”

            When you buy a product that has been advertised in the DM you do pay a ‘DM sales tax’…!

          • libertarian
            Posted June 13, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink


            You left out the word CHOOSE, something you CHOOSE to pay is NOT a tax. smh

          • jerry
            Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; Bit like you then, leaving out the fact that people CHOOSE to watch TV, many would disagree with you that VED is not a tax, and by your logic food must be tax, very few people have the choice whether to eat of not!…

        • APL
          Posted June 12, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

          anon: “Can anyone tell me what right the BBC has to exist ?”

          The government has a larger more comprehensive arsenal of weapons than you do, that’s why.

          • Anonymous
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            Well. Let’s see them bang up their first little old lady.

            They don’t mind giving TV free to prisoners. And 52 to 48 voting suits when it’s a decision it likes – exquisite !

            The PR is utterly terrible.

      • jerry
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous; “The BBC won’t last much after the terrible optics of old people being taken to court.”

        The same could be said about BSkyB, Virgin or BT TV, should they take to court those who (try to) defraud them of their lawful income…

        • libertarian
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink


          Why do you struggle so much to see the difference between a chosen contract ( buying a subscription to Sky) and a TAX that you have to pay whether you want it or not?

          People taken to court for non payment of their sky subscription ( hardly any as Sky just stops feeding the stream ) get no sympathy because they chose to sign up . Old people having a service withdrawn and then being forced to pay elicit a lot of sympathy

          Glad to sort that for you

          • jerry
            Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            @Walter, Please cite the law that REQUIRES people to watch TV, you won’t as there ids no such law – CHOOSE to watch TV then pay the ‘tax’…

  30. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink


    A current British cabinet minister who has confessed recently to specialised knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry intended to swallow liquid Viagra. To his horror he discoveded that he had swallowed Tippex by mistake. Fortunately no harm was done though the following morning he awoke with a massive correction!

    Good luck to Esther McVey from the shower that have made it through to the first ballot.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Like it Glenn and agree, good luck to Esther.

    • David Price
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Glenn – Thank you for the morning giggle.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Glenn, Here’s another. Electile Dysfunction. The inability to get aroused by any party or individual standing for election.

  31. Everhopeful
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Governments should just STOP with the social engineering.
    Why do we need Care Homes? Because women were hounded into the workplace.
    They used to look after their elderly parents until ( if necessary) the FREE geriatric ward in the NHS hospital ( paid for by THEIR tax and at that time not overwhelmed) took over.They had huge support at home from District Nurses and VISITING family GPS.
    Why do we need to build so many houses? Because of immigration “policies” or lack of…or lies told about policies. TENS of thousands!!
    Govts destroyed a perfectly good education system with their meddling.
    Govts destroyed social cohesion, the family, our towns, our countryside, our transport system and by the looks of it our parliament.
    Govts should stop interfering and just protect ( which does not currently happen) and govern.
    And as for tying us, binding us to a ghastly Empire on the quiet…well was THAT really terribly FAIR? Fair…fairness …my foot.
    To be life has never been FAIR and it is getting less so…….and the more govts try to play Solomon the worse things get.

  32. William1995
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    To be fair to Phillip Hammond he has always been clear on his views in terms of Brexit, public spending etc. The blame stops at May for first appointing him and then keeping him in his position. She will be seen as one of the worst PMs we ever had, and has left no legacy whatsoever other than an extremely difficult rut for the conservatives and the country as we are on the brink of a democratic crisis and a Marxist government.

  33. JoolsB
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Although you do not say so, as you are aware John, all the things you mention – schools, NHS, social care, housing are devolved so it is only ENGLISH services which your Chancellor has consistently starved of cash. Meanwhile he has managed to find billions extra down the back of the sofa to hand out to the devolved nations at every budget – this on top of their already over generous block grants. It’s an outrage that England still gets far less money per head despite being the only net contributor to the UK coffers.

    Your Chancellor and your Government, there by the grace of England, see us as nothing more than a ca$hcow for the benefit of the rest of the UK and world whilst we ourselves are starved of cash for our services and despite the fact it is our services which have had to cater for the majority of mass immigration.

    This Tory Government has taken England for granted and has treated it and our young, sick and elderly with nothing but contempt. No-one on this site will be surprised to hear me say it but this is the very reason England needs it’s own parliament so England has someone standing up for it for a change, unlike now, and demand fairness for us English both financially and constitutionally.

    I expect this comment to stay in moderation for although you purport to speak for England John, even you sadly do not believe in equality for it, i.e. an English Parliament.

  34. Dominic
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    We have a problem. Every Tory leader candidate appears to accept the status quo. The left and the EU will be cheering at such a state of affairs

    There’s no anger. There’s no spirit. There’s no conviction. There’s no sense of injustice. None of them will confront the truth that what we have seen since 1997 is an utter travesty of what we are and who we are.

    May represents the apotheosis of Tory cowardice and capitulation

    • Mike
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      According to an interview I saw on youtube called Talking with Tilbrook whoever becomes the next PM could simply concede his case and leave… a couple of months ago.

      And all May’s fault.

      You’d think this would be a good option for the brexiters..

  35. hans christian ivers
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink


    “exit from EU as Hammond wrongly thought as damaging” I believe that Hammond is right and so does the BoE and our growth has generally been lower since the Brexit vote than in the rest of Europe as is the case this quarter as well. So, it has already shown to be damaging due to lack of corporate investments which have fallen significantly.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink


      Seeing as both the Chancellor and BoE have all been proved wrong in all their forecasts so far, you would need to be pretty naive to keep faith with them

      You seem to get your figures from different places to everyone else. Try using the official figures

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Considering your assumptions on Mrs Merkel and UK industry not building up stocks before March, I will just ignore those superficial remarks and quote , exactly what I read and believe the facts as they are presented

        • libertarian
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink


          Considering that I have been proved RIGHT about Mrs Merkel and UK industry not stockpiling I think you need better sources of news

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Maybe it has in your parallel universe but it hasn’t in ours. It’s a pity that you make up such fake news.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink


        Kindly explain to me which of the figures are not correct ? thank you

  36. Newmania
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    One of the reasons not to impoverish the country was that it had not recovered from 2008 . Although the retrenchment planed by George Osborne was abandoned as was the normalization of interest rates this was purely to create a fake consumer boom to avert the post referendum recession
    Austerity has continued and now it will be worse
    Take schools which have suffered an 8% per pupil cut overall which translates into a much larger spending squeeze disproportionately inflicted on a rural area like ours. The most noticeable cuts have been to the support staff that transformed the chances for disadvantaged children in the Blair era , now once again reaching secondary level out of the mainstream
    Heartbreaking to listen to braying Nationalists bang on about the country when they treat our own children like this.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Support staff needed to cope with many languages, bad behaviour and changing of nappies.

      Root causes ignored as usual.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      It is a strange austerity when State spending has risen from £350 billion in 2000 to nearly £900 billion by 2020.
      So it is more to do with spending priorities and the effectiveness of the money spent.

  37. a-tracy
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    What a problem you have John, Boris is in the Farage/Trump mould, a divisive character 51/49 popular I’d guess but he was a popular Mayor re-elected against the odds, if he had a good team from day 1 and told us who would be his Chancellor and deputy choosing the right people could win people over. Gove is trying for an over promotion he isn’t Prime Ministerial. Hunt is continuation May. McVey Marmite the attacks on her from the left are verbal acid, no one provokes them in quite the same way! Javid, we don’t know enough about his plans and who would be his chancellor, what’s he want to do about Brexit, just ehh? Rory Stewart, meh, no chance with the electorate, wishy-washy pro-Hokey-Cokey Brexit, pro-national service for teens (when they’re already being forced to stay in school till they’re 18 a freedom of choice remover there is already the Duke of Edinburgh award, Scouts and the rest) he’s a freedom remover Daddy knows best type and we’re just breaking free from Mother knows best! The others have made no impact on me whatsoever.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Politicians were always meant to be divisive. There is no way of getting the Goldilocks Prime Minister so we relied upon left/right steering every four years.

      The Tory Party took away the option to steer right with May’s ‘nasty party’ speech.

  38. bigneil
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    ” a fairer and more prosperous UK ” ? – What’s fair about waving in masses of people with NO skills ( many can’t even speak the language ) who get a rise in their living standards for getting here, then do nothing, while WE get to wait in the NHS queues as they get their free treatment and WE get the bill for it. Add on their housing, their schooling their translators etc which WE pay for, as we see them walking around smiling. Clearly my idea of FAIR is completely at odds with her’s.

  39. ukretired123
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Hammond and May depended on each other to get to No 10 and No 11 throughout their sad careers but it only became obvious recently. They are as thieves together both die-hard Remainers with coordinated sound bytes pretending to be competent PM and Chancellor.
    They are totally dependent on advisors like the civil service and are both risk averse and empty grey suits in the same mould as John Major.
    When it comes to vision ahead I have never heard anything from them that fires my imagination. They are both devious schemers looking after No 1 and cannot be trusted with high office.

  40. Christine
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    “The bold aim to narrow the north-south divide, one shared with many previous governments, made some progress with welcome acceleration of investment and modernisation in some of the great northern and Midlands cities.”

    I don’t think politicians realise the damage this has done to the towns of the north and Wales. In my area thousands of local jobs have been moved to the big northern cities with the old office buildings replaced with more housing. This has left local residents with the choice of either moving or commuting. Commuting has put huge amounts of additional traffic onto the roads and rail system.

    Cities have too much power with their Mayors ability to suck in jobs from the towns. Margaret Thatcher had the right policy in the 80’s of moving civil service jobs from the South East to the towns (not cities) of northern England and Wales. This policy is being reversed at an alarming rate leaving those unable to commute behind. People left with nothing tend to vote Labour not Conservative. Be warned!

  41. Paul Cohen
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Very good article in D Telegraph last Wednesday by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard to effect that by looking through other end of telescope we can see the EU utter failure to achieve a trade deal or political arrangement with its nearest neighbour or to lock in a partnership with a country that is Western Europe’s leading defence and intelligence power, It has failed to secure free access to £350 bn of EU exports.

    The EU Policy centre says Barniers handling of Brexit was so successful that it should be a model for future negotiations – except there is no outcome for them!

    The Barnier strategy was to deter other potential escapees.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink


      When you cancel say, your gym membership do you expect the owners or other members to offer you a deal or come to an arrangement?

      Or do you just pay your dues, cancel your standing order and walk away?

      Like many people who believe their talents/contributions are second to none they find out pretty quickly that others just as good are waiting in the wings ready to snatch the prize.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        It is remain supporters that keep going on about the importance of having a deal.

      • zorro
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Excellent analogy, and if only Margaret…. A gym membership is £20 a month, so when I stop using it, I stop paying as we should have done with the EU. of course, any capital investment or future plans would need to be raised from new subscribers (not my concern), and any money previously paid could contribute towards that, as any well-managed gym would factor into its business plans or cut costs…. But, the tap turns off when I leave – no more money. Wow, it finally seems to be sinking into you Margaret. Well done! 🙂


  42. Iain Gill
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I see the senior civil service as briefing that they will do everything they can do to stop Boris and/or a so called no deal Brexit.

    About time we cleared the swamp.

  43. Bob Dixon
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Is Mrs May still in control?

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Keep up! The permanent secretaries are running the country. May is just the head of a focus-group.

    • Treacle
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and still able to do damage.

  44. Iain Gill
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Re May’s non EU policies, you are missing her flagship reduction of “stop & search” by the police which has led to the out of control knife crime. You missed her paying lip service to reducing immigration while pulling the levers of power in the opposite direction. You missed the help for the “only just managing” which never appeared. Apparently now she believes we should reintroduce student grants, and as the journalists said its a shame she has never been PM with the power to do something about that. You missed the national debt going up every single day of her reign, yet she claimed the opposite in her resignation speech.

    A complete failure of a PM.

  45. Billm
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    In summary, every move she made was a wrong turn and every move the Chancellor made did the real damage. What a pairing to run OUR Country.

  46. Dominic
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Is it merely rumour that the EU is set to try and stoke the issue of Scottish independence once more as a conquer and divide rule strategy in the same way they and the Irish govt have used N. Ireland as a bargaining tool to force the UK into a corner?

    This external interference in the constitutional nature of the UK is akin to an act of war. It is unprecedented in modern British politics and the next PM must confront this and many other external and internal threats with a confrontational and aggressive attitude. Compromise would be viewed as weakness

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      It has always been EU policy to divide all nations into regions and thus weaken the nation states and strengthen their power.

      It is because the EU has plans to separate Scotland from England that the EU is so popular with the SNP’s supporters.

      The SNP do not want independence, they just want separation from England.

      • Fed up with the bull
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Original Richard

        The SNP do not want independence, they just want separation from England.

        Let them have it. After living in Scotland for 15 years I became mighty tired of the moaning about Westminster and the English. They don’t realise what they get for free while people in England have to pay for it. I was shocked at how much a simple NHS dental check up is down here. In Scotland it is nothing. Free parking in hospitals, free prescriptions, free eye tests for all, free university tuition, much lower poll taxes with water rates included in the price and free bus passes from the age of 60. Many of them are just ungrateful.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

          Fed up

          ” Free parking in hospitals, free prescriptions, free eye tests for all, free university…………”

          In other words their government looks after the people rather than the rich. Why should they feel grateful towards Westminster? They contribute enormously through the oil and whisky tax.

          What does our government do with money they may have to spare? Boris promises to give it to the rich. Says it all.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

            Billions are sent from Westminster to Scotland margaret.
            The Barnett formula ensures that.
            If they were fiscally independent Scotand’s taxes would be 25% higher than they are now.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            margaret…you fail to mention the extra money Westminster (the Barnett formula is approx 85% of their budget) agreed to pay for Scots social welfare etc. Plus the SNP have finally used devolved powers they whinged on about for years to raise taxes!! I welcome separation, total… incl. border control from the invading EU people should Scotland get back into EU.

          • Fed up with the bull
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            MH They look after the rich as well as the poor. Everyone in Scotland gets all this for free no matter what their income is.

            Scotland does live beyond its means.

            The key point here is that even adding in the whopping advantage of the oil, Scotland still spends more than it brings in. That makes a nonsense of the idea that it is possible for Scotland to build up a sovereign wealth fund in the same way that Norway has. Norway runs persistent budget surpluses. Scotland clearly doesn’t. The other thing to note is that without the oil Scotland’s finances are pretty parlous – worse than those of the UK’s, which is saying something. Those keen to achieve a ‘Yes’ vote regardless of the consequences say that there is no need to look at the numbers without the oil because Scotland has the oil. But that’s too simplistic.
            For starters, there is no guarantee that Scotland will get 90% plus of the oil revenues – there are endless international standards and negotiations to pass through before that is clear. Then there is the fact that these revenues are both hard to predict (according to the Times, the Scottish government overestimated them by £3.7bn this year) and very volatile: flick through the report and you will see them moving from £5bn to £9bn to £8bn to £7bn to £12bn and then back down to £6bn again before rebounding to £8bn and then £11bn.
            It is also impossible to know what the investment environment will be in an independent Scotland (Shell warned on this yesterday) and to know the costs of extracting what is left in the fields.

            So not easy to say that Scotland pays its way especially when oil revenues have been falling dramatically recently.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink


            Interesting that you think a Primary School Headteacher or Band 8 NHS Nurse constitute The Rich

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink


      The SNP do not want independence, they just want separation from England.

      Too true. Ever since the making of the union the Scottish nation has lived on English handouts and bribes. Two aircraft carriers with no aircraft from Brown.
      The (first minister ed)is reported as being aware that when they get Independence she may have to accept a hard border. What does she expect ffs, I just hope that the negotiators on the English side treat her with the same contempt as we have been treated by the EU, Divorce payment , compensation for the money poured into our military bases, no more Royal Naval ship contracts, hard borders no funding for new renewable energy , cancellation of existing subsidies and the separation of the electricity grid etc etc etc.

      We as a country must stop being the Scottish milch cow keeping them afloat.

  47. Norman
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Such great wisdom is needed to govern, especially in today’s world. It is evident from your frequent analyses that Parliament does possess much expertise. What a great pity this is somehow over-ruled by lack of a sound political vision.

  48. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Only slightly off topic, from the editorial in today’s edition of CityAM, headlined:

    “Car industry troubles go deeper than Brexit”

    “Indian automotive factory workers are paid £1 an hour each on average. Brits are paid 19 times that. For Ford, which will source engines currently made in Bridgend from India and Mexico after 2020, it is a no-brainer.”

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      It is worth noting here that the BBC reports that wages have gone up in the UK.

      Brexit is not mentioned for once.

    • APL
      Posted June 12, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      Denis Cooper: “Indian automotive factory workers are paid £1 an hour each on average. Brits are paid 19 times that. ”

      Surely, engine manufacturer is one of those processed that could be completely automated. To the extent that £1/hr is expensive.

      That whole rationale doesn’t make sense if the British car company had invested in computer aided manufacturer.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink


        • APL
          Posted June 12, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          Denis Cooper: “Noted”

          Mr Redwood declined to post a Utube video of an entirely automated engine production plant.

          Such a thing is no longer ‘rocket science’. When you need skilled engineers to maintain the manufacturing equipment. Other constraints come into play.

          I’m guessing the UK with the government expensive energy economy is one, and Ford thinks India is the next big market.

          Good luck with that one.

  49. robert valence
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    You’ve made an impressive list of the things May intended to do – none of which came to fruition.
    But in her dying days as acting PM, she’s trying to achieve zero carbon emission for the country.
    This is good stuff: whereas her WA would have made us slaves to the EU, this new initiative will completely bankrupt the country – and for no evident gain other virtue signalling.
    Can’t she be put into Purdah or the Tower or anyway where she can’t cause more harm….?

  50. Elli Ron
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Calamity Theresa, arguably the worst Conservative PM since Eden.

    You forgot to mention that she tried to get the surrender deal passed with Corbyn support, that was the last nail.
    Giving Corbyn the dignity of a decision maker above all Calamity’s MP’s.
    This was doubble Calamity, since it was absolutely clear that there was NO-WAY that Corbyn would help the Conservatives in anything, it was a hopeless Hail Maria pass which failed and showed her naiveté and desperation to stay in #10
    Calamity’s last day in office should be celebrated with a new “gunpowder plot” holiday and fireworks.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Much worse than Eden!

  51. Shieldsman
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Oh what a mess the Political Parties are in. With the Conservative Party, amongst the ten prospective leaders I cannot discern any MP that I want to vote for. I will probably have two non starters thrust upon me. How do I show my disdain?

  52. Alan Joyce
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I think it was Jacob Rees-Mogg who said “Fortunately, we are blessed with many talented men and women arrayed throughout the entire Conservative Party who would make an excellent future Prime Minister”.

    Unfortunately, the Party was keeping them well hidden yesterday as several candidates announced their intention to stand.

    As they told us how they would deal with Brexit, I am afraid they all came across as little more than a bunch of TIT’s (Theresa in Trousers).

    They still don’t get it do they?

  53. Sue Doughty
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    The choice of new leader is coming down to who they will appoint as new Chancellor of the Exchequer. I wish each would tell us about that – their background is important when getting elected to the House of Common but now, to members appointing a new leader how they got elected is irrelevant.
    Who are their friends?

  54. BR
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Hammond was/is certainly a disaster as a Chancellor. As soon as I heard he was called Spreadsheet Phil I thought ‘This won’t be good’. In IT, people who use spreadsheets o develop anything ‘functional’ are known as “Shadow IT” i.e. people produce ‘shadow ‘systems’ instead of using the IT department to build them properly, and those are often very amateur, untested spreadsheet-based functions that often give spurious results.

    However the user doesn’t realise that the results are wrong since they haven’t tested their work properly – they develop it until the results look believable and go with that.

    That said, it was probably right to resist giving 20bn to the NHS with no idea how the money would be used (and with no good political reason and at a time hat made it rather pointless politically).

    I have seen the waste in the NHS first-hand and it is not wasted the way people think it is – or at least, there are much worse things happening than the obvious ones that (occasionally) make the news.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Spot on.

  55. MikeP
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    We can now add to your list yesterday’s news (shown on BBC South-West probably not shown in other regions) that most of the dualling of the A303 is now viewed as zero or poor value for money. An I ncredible about face after so many years of on/off decision-making.

  56. Treacle
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    When Mrs May gave that unexpected New Labour speech on entering Downing Street, I thought: “Oh dear, she isn’t a Conservative. But at least she is going to take us out of the EU.” I was half-right.

  57. mancunius
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    So really, it’s a Tale of Two Governments. One in 10 Downing Street, and another situated in No. 11. Perhaps Mr Hammond has been modelling his refusenik approach on Gordon Brown’s years at the Treasury during the Blair administrations. This time, of course, the Chancellor has the BoE Governor as an accomplice, Mr Osborne’s plan hijacked by his successor.

  58. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    “12.55pm update: Suspending Parliament to deliver Brexit is not illegal – Geoffrey Cox

    Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General, said suspending Parliament to take Britain out of the European Union is not illegal.

    Theresa May held a Cabinet meeting this morning, during which ministers repeatedly clashed over Brexit.

    Rory Stewart, a Cabinet member and Tory leadership contestant, asked for Mr Cox’s opinion on the legality of proroguing Parliament.

    Mr Cox said that while proroguing Parliament is “unconstitutional” and “improper” it is not illegal.”

    Well, as we know from Speaker Bercow our constitution is not set in stone, if it was then nothing could ever change in response to changed circumstances; and as for what may be “improper” I would say that it is grossly improper for MPs to ask the whole electorate to decide through a referendum whether or not we should stay in the EU and then for some of them them try everything they can devise to frustrate our decision to leave.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Denis Cooper,

      But it looks like Letwin (Conservative? Democratic?) and friends are again going to act to take control of Parliament. May as well call a general election now.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Rory Stewart has said in his husting that he might support Corbyn and Letwin to help Parliament take control so as to outlaw a No Deal Brexit or Proroguing Parliament . A leadership candidate who wants to politically climb in bed with a hard line Marxist! The Conservative party is so finished. The sooner the split happens and the Remainers get kicked out, the sooner the Conservative party can put on a united front and go on to win the election that is rapidly approaching.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        Here we have a man who aspires to be Prime Minister expressing support for disloyal eurofederalist politicians whose avowed intent is to tie the hands of the next Prime Minister to prevent him or her fulfilling the will of the people as expressed in the referendum. He should not even be allowed to stay in the Tory party as an ordinary member, let alone as an MP or in any other elected position. I think it a pity that Dominic Raab is lagging but as at present the odds favour Boris Johnson I hope that he would not shrink from purging the Tory party at all levels and clearing out all those whose primary loyalty is to the EU, starting with Oliver Letwin.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 12, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Iain….if he gets at least 17 supporters we will know the Conservatives are a dead parrot at the bottom of the cage, should he go on to get 33 then the party might as well end, destroyed in the next GE.

  59. Mr Social Media
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    It would arguably be a boon for children’s education in the UK if HM Government were to place the detailed class curriculum of that school which provokes demonstrations, including LIVE actual lessons and pictures, diagrams for real-time viewing and downloads, on Twitter, YouTube and other social media for worldwide LIVE reception. Children would learn about so many things.
    However, it may be a concern for HM Government that those social media companies would be compelled due to their own ‘laws’ to delete an ban the stuff within hours or minutes, suspend HM Governments online presence and tell it never to try it on again or stay banned for its lifetime. Off you go!

  60. Turboterrier
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    No comment or outrage with the announcement to achieve zero carbon targets and the impact on all other areas of the community social, welfare and health. Further proof how out of touch, isolated and remote from real people. Lives in another world.

    • Stred
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Everything points to May being fully committed to the plot to keep the UK in an actual colonial status with the EU from the start. While making speeches which said the opposite, she was appointing civil servants who would do so enthusiastically. She acted secretly and signed over the forces and security to join the EU in their previously denied PESCO, KitKat style. She signed up for the UN Migration treaty without debate. She is now sitting in office but having resigned, but planning to force through a legal commitment to make the Climate Change Act even more destructive. This is because she is a part of the government behind the scenes of NGOs and civil service which follows UN agendas.
      Energy prices will be too high to support any remaining heavy industry. Meanwhile, Hammond and May have put policies in place to wreck car production, which are shared by the EU but worse, so that the BBC can blame Brexit. The woman acts as an EU and UN agent. You need someone like Owen Patterson or yourself who understands how industry works if the Conservative Party is to survive.

      • Stred
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Apparently, Letwin has joined with Corbyn and Starmer to enable parliament to take control and stop Brexit. How can your party continue with traitors like this allowed to be MPs?

        • Stred
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          We read that Mrs Fairbairn, the Big Business chief, ex-BBC, responsible for most of the project fear, has been awarded a Dameship and will join the other large majority of the EU stooges in the Lords. How much more arrogance does the metropolitan class need to display before the Brexit Party eliminates them.

    • Chris
      Posted June 12, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      It is utter madness, and even Hammond apparently says it will effectively bankrupt us, costing £1 trillion plus.

  61. Andy
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    It is almost as if you all don’t realise that Brexit is the only thing that will happen in British politics for the next decade. Just like the government told you it would be in the much maligned £9m leaflet they sent you before the referendum.

    It is what you all voted for.

    Your hospitals will get worse. Your roads, your railways will suffer. The environment will be ignored. Your grandchildren will have a worse experience at school than they needed to. And all because of your Brexit.

    You are all a bit deluded about it. You seem to think you can amputate your own legs and go for a run the next day. Sure you can amputate. But it will hurt and you ain’t going anywhere for a long time.

    That’s Brexit for you.

    • Al
      Posted June 12, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      ” Your roads, your railways will suffer. ”

      I’ve lived through Southern Rail. Trust me, they don’t need Brexit to be appalling, just as their latest excuse.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 12, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Andy….why not emigrate? The EU allows you to choose from 27 other countries.

  62. Ian
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Since we have been talking about May again, some are still putting a shine on her term ?

    Can we get real please, this was Establishment moving pawns for the sake of there end game.
    Yes let’s go back to her / there Manifesto not to mention the Red Lines , so the powers that be New full well what the Country has been crying out for decades, we grabbed it ourselves, it was as if Nigel had written it.
    Her Manifesto, it all comes to that.
    Had she been the real deal, we would have been out now .
    The Establishment had other ideas, and slipped Gove in to Help Boris In the run up to the Referendum, had that not been done Boris NOT May would have had us out in no time, he would never have picked Hammond, this Nation would never have paid any severance 35/ Billion, this Nation would have been spinning away like a Top by now, but instead you have an unsavoury little assassin called Gove, who calls himself a Brexiteer, as they all do, now running for PM.
    Well we have been betrayed let’s be honest, by non other than the worst PM ever, and the worst Government ever.
    It is of of coarse only the Tory Party that is trying to put a shine on May.
    Well they have failed not only us but themselves.
    The Establishment has fallen on its own sword thank heaven for that.

    The real Tories are The Brexit Party, they are already getting our vote, and so they deserve our support. This has all happened because The Establishment thought and still does , that they know better, they have denighed us our Democricy, shame on them, and still they are not listening//. All we ask is for Democricy, still they do not listen

  63. Ian terry
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Sir John

    It hangs on the wall in 10 Downing Street as a reminder to visitors of what she intended.

    Hanging framed beneath it is the quotation:

    The band plays believe if you like.

    She should have adopted the policy on all other external projects on the simple premise.

    Does it add value and can we afford it. If applied to some of the high cost high risk projects she hs signed off they would never have happened. Sadly her Chancellor did not have a clue either. The classic double whammy

  64. Andy
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I often wonder about what is wrong with Brexiteers.

    I know most of you voted in good faith in 2016 for what you thought could be a better future for our country.

    But you also voted blind. Beyond a few meaningless slogans you had no real idea of what Brexit would really look like.

    You’d given zero thought to Rules of Origin requirements, or just in time manufacturing, or the Irish border, or who picks fruit, or Galileo, or the regulation of medicine, or the movement of radioactive isotopes for cancer drugs. Or any of this stuff.

    And, frankly, why would you have done? This was just stuff which worked and which didn’t really need much thought.

    All that I get. None of us had really thought it about it. It just worked.

    But now we have thought about it. We now have three years or evidence that your Brexit makes everything worse and makes nothing better. You notice that virtually none of Brexit’s biggest fans talk about the benefits anymore. They know there are none. But, for some reason, you continue to support the same charlatans who lied to you in 2016. Why?

    And so you had the embarrassing spectacle over the last few days work people like Raab, McVey, Leadsom just standing up and saying things which are not true. Shocking.

    I wonder what motivates you all to now knowingly want to inflict harm on your country, your children and your grandchildren. I think it must be pride. You are simply all too proud to admit you are wrong.


  65. margaret howard
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink


    In my opinion disloyal MPs/Ministers were just as much to blame.

  66. John Hatfield
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    “Unfortunately in office she was unable to make progress with it.”
    John you made me laugh, employing such a euphemism.

  67. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just sent a letter to the Daily Telegraph:

    “The EU has not ruled out the possibility of the UK leaving without a deal, and until it does the UK should also not rule it out.

    To do so would be worthy of the useful idiots in CND who advocate unilateral nuclear disarmament.

    So is it not fitting that one of them has been the first to put his name on the cross-party motion?”

    The motion is here:

    Why is Oliver Letwin still in the Tory party, why has he not been expelled?

  68. Frank
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Just been watching Mrs May speaking at the ILO live from Switzerland and have to say the poor woman is looking awful, she even sounds terrible, can’t be easy for the people who have to sit and listen. Makes me wonder- why? why would anyone in their right mind want this job as PM especially at this juncture?

    • Stred
      Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Maybe she’s seen the talk by Prof Prins at the Freedom Association. It’s on the net and someone may have told her about it.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 12, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Frank…. ego, dictatorship, ambition, status, income/pension, media spotlight, those close urging expectations,collusion ? I’ll stop there.

  69. Cornered
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Most of these speeches by candidates in the Thing, sound and even look like, those speeches of politicians in the older black and white films of John Buchan’s ” 39 Steps. ” titled or historically entitled “THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS”
    Amateur. Patronising towards the mostly politically ignorant, though sound seated.
    We are still there as far as the candidates are able to think.The candidates “sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything..” He didn’t say hearing which is something.
    I’m not the Memory Man but I know where the 39 steps are located. I found them in a cave, in a haunt of John Buchan, in South Africa, where the Boers hid from the British soldiers. We have a fifth column here now in Parliament.
    I’ll be shot for sure when I publish my book.
    But as Shakespeare obviously thought again in his time whether he should actually release one of his plays and didn’t. Though myth has it that it was performed to small audiences twice, as revealed by an alleged friend of his, and as Bill Gates may have thought twice about releasing his Windows but decided on it, I think most humbly too, whether people are old enough to try to read my book. Voices from the media who are professional undertanderers, don’t understand enough even if the words are shoved down their throats with a barge pole. Yes I’m a genius, well before my time. There’s a bullet with my name on it too. But they’ll still get it bounced back in ’em. I shall publish and be dumbed!

    • Cornered
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      He didn’t say hearing. You couldn’t read herring or red herring or hear it. Nothing to see here.
      Of course when I am Emperor it will be the last act ,the last it will be seen, of the Royal Shakespeare Company. They failed us all.

  70. Ian terry
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    With all these cross party fifth column members planning to bring down the new PM come what may to prevent leaving in October, one can only hope that the legal challenge in the courts to say that in law we have already left will stop further mayhem till the next elections.
    It must be hoped that these members are thrown out as unfit for public office for the traitors and sad losers they really are .

  71. General View
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Our most Glorious Media have announced that 571 species of plant have disappeared in the world in the last 250 years.
    I’ve spent five years looking between every blade of grass in my back garden and I can safely say those 570 species are not there. Here’s the shock. I haven’t checked my front garden and sidepiece.
    Our media with straight-face report items like this all the time as if such news is sane. Our media is something else.
    We await what they have to say about politics don’t we.

  72. Steve
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Be interesting to see if the new PM has the guts to sack Hammond. It’s way past time that con man was removed.

  73. Andy
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I am rarely surprised by Conservatives. At least not surprised in a good way.

    But, who’d have thought, Rory Stewart.

    An awkward looking man who, staggeringly, just gets it.

    The current Conservative Party is too extreme, too insular and far too stupid to elect him.

    And yet, it turns out, there is a three term prime minster stood there right in front of you.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 12, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      What you are actually saying Andy, is that Rory appeals to you, but then you wouldn’t vote Conservative at the next election.
      This suggests Rory might be in the wrong party.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      I am sure he would welcome your endorsement.

    • Stred
      Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Thanks for that one. Needed a laugh. Are you on the strong stuff too?

  74. Zorro
    Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I see that there is some special pleading for Mr Three Jobs in the media saying that he has met the two main contenders, Hunt and Johnson, and horror of horrors, Boris Johnson might break up the uniquely talented Civil Service Brexit negotiation team, and even more horror of horrors, Mr Three Jobs might be relieved of one/two of his jobs. This is, of course, presented as very dangerous and a ‘political’ intervention. ‘Political’ is of course something which could never be addressed at Mr Three Jobs 😏😏…..


  75. Big John
    Posted June 12, 2019 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    The conservitive party is finished, the majority of their current mp’s should be libdems.
    I am in Wokingham, and will still vote for John at the GE, but when he retires I will switch.

    On the TV licence, why should I have to pay for left wing, greenpeace propaganda ?

    The BBC complain about “Fake News”, but they are the ones who are creating “Fake News”.

    I can’t get my head around that fact, that just because I own a TV and want to watch live TV,

    I have to pay for a TV licence !!!!

    Then looking into it, I have to pay as much as a family (I live on my own), and I don’t want to watch their rubbish, but I am forced to pay!!!!

    Then it seems the money that is being forced from me, is just being used pay over the top salaries and pensions.

    If the conservitive party want to survive it needs to :-

    Deselect the fake libdem conservatives, and replace them with real conservatives.

    Leave the EU with a clean exit (No 39B etc).

    Drop all the green crap, this eliminates more leadership BS candidates (inc Boris as seems to belive in this BS).

    I should say, I can’t vote for the conservatives in the local elections anymore,
    because the new leader of the council declared we have a “Climate Emergency”,
    so now I have to do everything in my power to get rid of these morons.

    He obviously he only beleves what the Guardian/BBC tell him, and has never done any research himself.

    So the question is how did this idiot become leader of the council ?

    Bottom line is :-

    The conservitive party can only survive, by actualy having conservitive policys and conservitive representatives.

    At the moment, I seriously think Mr Farage will win the next GE, and to be honest,
    I don’t have a problem with that.

  76. margaret
    Posted June 12, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I have used this blog site to learn from John’s expertise and along with this goes reading of a few comments , however the melodramatic, unfair and abusive comments made by those who should be sensible abhor me. Regular comments which speak of a persons mental ability, their honesty ,their capabilities of deception( without knowing the true insider goings on ) are not fair and if these high and mighty people who make comments and judge so quickly science, law , humanity, business ever got a hold on society we would be struggling to keep a cohesive existence at all. Since John believes in free speech and is prepared to let the abuse continue ;I will continue to learn how some make unsavoury comments regularly and hope our paths never cross.I certainly do not hope they demonstrate to their children how thoughtless abusive comments can progress them in some way.

  77. Nickyroberts
    Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The emphasis on house building I find amusing. I live in Barnet which has forced up any old development in the name of progress. These developments are standing empty, and the units that have sold have only sold through help to buy. In five years those young buyers will have to find that loan to pay back and many will be unable to do so or increase their mortgage to do so. This house building helps builders not young buyers and is promoted by Hammond to support the private sector.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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