New Year message

I look forward to 2020 full of hope and optimism.

The new government has a majority and has energy to make things better. I am delighted they have made Prosperity the main aim of policy, as I asked them to do. I am putting in plenty of ideas about the January budget to give our economy the boost it needs and to leave people with more of their own money to spend. I look forward to the arrival of the extra money for schools, surgeries and the police in  our area that I have battled for in recent years.

The New Year makes  many people reappraise and ask themselves if we can do things better than in the year just gone. In politics it would be difficult to do things worse than in 2019.A fractured and angry Parliament prevented government governing, accentuated the negative, and let the country down. It undermined our negotiating position with the EU and needlessly delayed our exit.

This year we not only want a positive policy to improve public services and quicken growth in the economy, but we need to try to bring  more people together behind that common purpose. Our public discourse has been more rancorous than robust, often nasty rather than incisive or illuminating.

On the central issue of our membership of the EU we can learn from the past. As a young man casting one of my first votes I voted to leave the European Community in 1975. I was on the losing side. I accepted the verdict of the voters and resolved to do my best to keep the spirit of what the majority voted for, membership of a free trade area or common market. It was only  two decades later that I started to think we needed another referendum, when our country was plunged into a deep recession by our membership of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, a close commitment to the EU which was not envisaged in the original referendum.  It is one of those unwritten rules of democratic politics that if you lose an election or referendum you accept the will of the majority. It is also an unwritten rule that the majority should  be attentive to the worries and concerns of the minority and seek to allay their fears or deal with their problems.

In  that spirit this government needs to ensure that as we leave the EU there is none of the economic damage some have forecast. I have always held the view that we can be better off out and have set out  the policies we need to follow to achieve that. It will be a central task for me to make that case in the new Parliament. It is also important to show how we will still travel to the continent, have many trade, cultural and educational links with the continent, and enjoy the wider European culture.

I do not regard Remain voters  any less favourably than  Leave voters, and will judge everyone’s case on its merits. All I ask in return is that passionate Remainers understand the we Leavers are motivated by our view of what is best for our country and communities. We wish to work closely with all our fellow citizens to improve lives  and promote happiness and prosperity. I have lived most of my life with the answer on EU membership I did not want, but have not let it embitter me. I have often had to live under a Labour government I did not welcome, but never challenged their right to govern when they had won the election.

So let us enjoy the freedoms of our democracy in the new year.  Let us have robust and strong debate, but let us play down the nastiness and abuse which came to replace such democratic principles too often last year. Far from improving democracy shouting abuse is an attempt to close it down. It damages the very liberties which make this country great.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I would like to begin by asking our kind host the same question from yesterday.

    In the last ten years of both coalition and conservative governments, has he ever once voted against the Chancellors Budget ?

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Good morning.

      I would suggest that our kind host would not have voted against because that would be to express a general no confidence in his government. I am sure Sir John strongly disliked aspects of particular budgets, but this was not enough in itself to prompt the ‘nuclear’ response.

      On the central issue of Brexit, and the leadership delivering it (I’m only referring to May here), I would suggest that, as much as he had serious misgivings about it, and indeed therefore her, there was never enough wider support *within the Conservative Parliamentary Party* to remove May and change direction. Personally, I’m disappointed that our kind host decided that the only possible vehicle to deliver Brexit was the Tory party. This inevitably determined the nature of ‘Brexit’, and was therefore a failure of imagination, of principle, and of courage. Might Farage have been saved from his folly had he been joined by a sizeable cohort from the Tory party?

    • jerry
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; “has he ever once voted against the Chancellors Budget”

      A very simplistic question, is it not also possible that whilst voting for the Budget as a whole an MP can also vote against specific clauses within, even tabling amendments? As @Simeon says above, for a MP on the government benches to vote against an entire Budget would be seen as a vote of No-Confidence by many…

      Perhaps @Mark B should delve into the Hansard website or sites such as ‘They work for us’ as he is otherwise very unlikely to get a response either way to his attempted brickbat!

    • formula57
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      @ Mark B “…has he ever once voted against the Chancellors Budget ?”

      My recollection is Sir John has done better than that for it was he, alongside some few other colleagues, who forced a bad Chancellor’s bad budget measure to be withdrawn. See

    • acorn
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      A government MP voting against a complex and complicated Finance Act, would beg the question “which part are you objecting to”.

      It would be identical to voting “leave” in the referendum. In both cases neither of the parties would have got anywhere close to understanding the content of the proposition or the consequences of it, due to the manor they were presented to their respective audiences.

      Try asking your local MP which elements of several previous finance Acts, come into operation this April 6th. Elements that you will never hear about or have long forgotten about; unless, they are modified in the next budget. Even then, you can bet the tax increasing bits will not be mentioned, just the partial give-aways.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Thank you to all those who answered for Sir John.

      The point of the question was simple. It was to highlight that people will support courses of action that they may not necessarily agree with. eg New and increases in taxes. Those same taxes have an impact. The ex-governor of the BoE and his advisors are faced with similar decisions. We may or may not agree with them but, they are either elected or selected to such positions of responsibility and have to left to make them. Economic policy is not conducted by the BoE alone.

      • jerry
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        @Mark B; Fair enough… But I think it might have been better to have said that in the first place rather than attempt to ask a rhetorical question of our host! 🙂

  2. Mbj
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Well said.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      John is repeating his claim that all the problems of recent months have been the fault of MPs generally.

      However, the several constructive, conciliatory approaches made by opposition parties which would have united most of Parliament and the country were dismissed in short order by a Tory government only interested in appeasing the ERG and the DUP, and in forcing through something which could be misrepresented as satisfying the puritanical demands of a minority within the Leave vote.

      It’s wearing very thin therefore, and whatever, that is now in the past. His party have emphatically claimed sole ownership of the whole anti-European Union enterprise from start to finish.

      So let’s see them make some positive proposals, and how they get on, shall we?

      • jerry
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        @MiC; What you are trying to say is, the electorate got it wrong, on the now usual style of the EC, yawn….

        No, our host is 100% correct, the problem was Parliament, not the Government, Brexiteers such as those in the ERG or the wider majority plebiscites. Parliament was trying to wreck Brexit, if not in its entirety, by bring about BRINO – some of the ring-leaders are now looking for other jobs away from the green benches they abused, having now been rejected by the Brexit choosing plebiscite.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink


      • Edward2
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Yes let’s.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Marty – – ‘So let’s see them make some positive proposals, and how they get on, shall we?’
        An excellent proposal.
        I look forward to a period of weeks, hopefully months before you have material to return to this site.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          I’ve been disappointed again!

      • Czerwonadupa
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        I suggest you & your kind join the majority & get on the Road to Freedom, preferably with a Union Jack in your hand for a start.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          Leave voters are not a majority.

          They are thirty-seven per cent of the electorate and only twenty-six percent of the country, assuming that they are all still alive.

          They are a minority, but Remain voters are, on that weak basis, only a marginally smaller minority – probably by now a majority.

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            @MiC; “Leave voters are not a majority”

            MiC and his magic-maths again…

            The official result of the 2016 referendum says otherwise!

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            We have some long accepted rules for voting.
            You have to 18 years old and a citizen.
            It is quite simple.
            And for all you know the ones who couldn’t be bothered to vote were all leave supporters.

            Leave were a majority in the referendum.
            “This is your (once in a lifetime) decision.
            We will implement what you decide”…the leaflet sent to every home.

          • Jasper
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

            MiC – today is 1 January 2020 not 1 April!! Thank you for the laugh though!

      • Alan Joyce
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        Dear Mr. Redwood,

        Pity the poor irreconcilable Remainers! Defeated, downcast and now desperate for Brexit to be a failure. It is a little sad is it not, especially at this time of year, for citizens of this great country to want something bad to happen so that they can say ‘told you so’.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          I actually think that some things which are OK will happen – because they must.

          It is you who will hate those, however.

          Look, you will never be satisfied – you have proven that repeatedly with your endless accusations of what you claim to be “betrayals”, even by those at the very centre of this silly, retrogressive undertaking.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Will you ever be satisfied?
            Whatever level of success and prosperity that happens in 2020 and beyond, won’t you always be carping and claiming it would have been even better had we remained?

          • John Hatfield
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

            There are none so blind as those who will not see – Martin.

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    It has indeed been a very strange year, but it could have turned out a lot worse. For example, had Mrs May won a working majority we’d be locked into BRINO, with her deceptive WA.

    Looking ahead, surely by now it must be clear; we MUST fully prepare to leave the EU without a FTA. We have 11 months to do the work, please use your good offices to make this point to Government.
    The battle will shortly be joined, regaining complete control our fishing grounds must be established as the prize; the indicator for success or failure of our leaving with honour. We can rally behind this idea.
    Once we leave, the EU will be seen for what it really is; an incompetent waste, truly the ’emperor with no clothes’.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Stred
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Best of luck. You mentioned common purpose. Unfortunately, Common Purpose seems to be getting its way in all sorts of policies, such as energy and education, and Boris is going along with the nonsense. He is in danger of going on another Garden Bridge binge and probably has many other ill advised projects in mind while he listens to the many new Tory gobblers who arrived recently. Your voice will not be heard if the BBC and other gobblevision outlets for the world agendas have their way. Keep awkward and don’t let them think for one minute that the new year means that the new order will win.

      Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      The Tory party’s embraced liberal left authoritarianism and I for one will never forgiven their treachery in this regard. It is nothing less than an attack on our very freedoms and an acceptance of the tyranny of the minority

      Ex-PM May embraced social engineering in all its forms. Today, we can see that across our television screens and in the nature of debate

      Race, gender and sexuality have been weaponised for both political and social social purposes.

      It is now almost a criminal offence to even discuss issues surrounded immigration, race and gender. That is intolerable. That is what has happened since 1997 under all parties. They have destroyed our freedoms

      Reply We discuss immigration here,but I will not publish pumped up language against migrants.

      • DOMINIC
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        ‘social control purposes’

        • jerry
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          @Dominic; “Race, gender and sexuality have been weaponised for both political and social social purposes. “

          Yes, by id… sorry, people like you, most people had never (and still don’t) given a second thought to race, religion, gender or sexuality etc. until your ‘Heroes’ opened their mouths offering ever simplistic solutions to often cross-party or complex political problems – touting for votes from those even more stupid than themselves.

          PS Sir John, sorry for the previous attempt, oh for the want of a preview button!

          • Fred H
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            jerry…..after you have passed the required pictures test, you can preview/amend before hitting POST.

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

            @Fred H; How does that spot a missed / in a closing tag, unless one can see the rendered HTML.

            The reCAPCHA test was irrelevant

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Common Purpose is an open, transparent organisation with declared objectives, unlike the several so-called think tanks such as the IEA and the Taxpayers’ Alliance, which share an address in SW1, and which seem to be dictating Tory policy, and therefore the life of this country.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Beware too that our recently elected PM thinks an illegal immigrant amnesty is a good idea.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Well, just for once this country would have an idea as to how many there might be.

        Most countries require ID cards and many keep a Residency Register, so they don’t have quite such a problem in this respect.

        The Tories voted against Labour’s proposals to bring in a similar system here, otherwise the UK would not either.

    • Bob
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      I see that Mark Carney has already started providing Forward Guidance on climate change prior to starting his new xxxx sinecure as the UN’s special envoy for climate action and finance.

      On the BBC’s Toady programme for a segment guest-edited by Greta Thunberg, he said that the financial sector was “not moving fast enough” to divest from fossil fuels.

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Bob, toady programme, wonderful!

  5. formula57
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Since becoming prime minister the people’s Blue Boris has exuded hope and optimism, to the great good of us all. He has also made it seem as if the failed May regime never existed, a remarkable achievement for which the Conservative Party should be truly grateful.

    Your wise words about conduct will be ignored by the class of Remoaner prepared to use every blackguard manoeuvre including consorting with foreign powers to thwart the referendum decision and by me who still hopes to see an UnBrexit Activities Committee thrive. Let us hope the commendable ruthlessness exhibited in removing the whip to end the careers of the rebel parliamentarians may be employed against Remoaner elements if needs be by Mr. Johnson.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Of course we should to be far better off out of the EU, controlling our own affairs democratically, rather than being ruled by by one size fits all, unelected, socialist bureaucrats. Bureaucrats with no real interest in, nor even much knowledge of the UK.

    We do however need far lower & simpler taxes and far less government in general. Education, health care and the police do not really need more money, they need to stop pissing what money they have down the drain and direct their activities rather better to actually serving the public (rather than themselves) as is so very often the case. They are, in general, totally misdirected from the top.

    We especially need to give the public freedom and choice in education and healthcare as to how they spend their own money. Not tax them to death and leave them Hobson choice and endless delays, incompetence and rationing. We need far less of these virtual state monopolies and this blatantly unfair competition from the virtual monopoly state sector which is so inefficient and inept. We certainly need far less student debt for largely worthless degrees – as at least half of them are.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      A typical BBC report on student loan statements this morning. They are written off after 30 years with “the government” picking up the bill! Well not “the government” but tax payers most of whom did not even go to university. Why on earth should these people subsidise these graduates (most of whom are obtaining worthless degrees anyway).

      Those that do earn over £25K pay back 9% of the surplus – giving them effective tax/NI/student loan marginal rates of circa 42% or 62% (plus the employers NI on top of this). Think rather hard before you take £50K of debt plus 6% interest PA for 30 years (so increasing at 3K PA exponentially) for a worthless degree (at least half of them are – perhaps more like 75% of them).

      • None of the Above
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        If it is acceptable to have a points system to control immigration, why not see if it can be applied to university degrees? The least valued and needed degrees would have to be paid for with cash.

        • Al
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          “The least valued and needed degrees would have to be paid for with cash.” – None of the Above

          Or go back to old school student loans that may be at low fixed rates but still have to be paid back. While allowing those with lower means to get to university, it does discourage people from taking degrees for the sake of it.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink


        “….. Most did not go to university….”

        Correct, what a daft arrangement this fee system is..

        I chose to complete an indentured apprenticeship over 5 years so I could earn and learn at the same time.
        I then continued with my studies to gain higher qualifications at Night school, self funded.

        Some also completed Open University Courses, at the same time as working.

        Many of us think University (especially as it is run at the moment) is a very expensive way to getting Qualifications/Degrees, which now seem to be less appealing to employers, as time progresses.

        Most degrees require a massive amount of self study for learning, as the often less than 8 hours of tuition/lectures per week (if you are lucky) is no where sufficient enough to get you anywhere.

        University great if you can afford it, rather silly if you cannot.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Mark Carney is talking compete drivel yet again I see:- “Pension fund investments held by millions could be rendered worthless by climate change crisis”.

    It is the absurd over reaction to climate alarmism that is the economic problem mate. Could Carney go and learn some real science/physics and energy engineering – perhapps he could take St Greta with him for this.

    It was good to have Charles Moore editing the Today programme on Saturday actually addressing climate realism (and the unfair funding of the BBC) for once on the BBC (these topics are clearly usually banned). But the BBC still made the climate item hugely biased and alarmist with a long, unchallenged interview, with the totally deluded chemist David King given the last word on it.

    It seems St Greta has two largish dogs (vegitarian perhaps?) she does seem to be very selective and totally irrational about her Carbon output computations. The BBC was it seems in a dilemma as to how to go to visit her for an interview (they flew). The sensible think would be not to go at all. She clearly has nothing sensible, scientific and rational to say. But then the BBC are clearly not looking for sensible, scientific or rational. They are after raw emotions, gut feelings and the perpetuating the irrational climate alarmist religion.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Also to study some real economics – as clearly this does not seem to be covered (or they did not understand) in Oxford PPE – given the people like Mark Carney, Dave Cameron, Maria and Angela Eagle, Hammond, Danny Alexander, Ed Davey, Ted Heath, Yvette Cooper, C Huhne, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband …….. types it forces us to suffer.

      Is Boris going to ditch Ed Miliband’s insanely damaging Climate Change Act or is he just going to be another Blairite/Brownite/May/Cameron tax borrow and piss down the green crap drain Socialist I wonder?

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Comparing the Today treatment of St Greta with their abuse of Charles Moore and Lord Ridley was just like listening to Andrew Marr interviewing Lady Chakrabarti followed by the PM. Do you think they ever listen to these recordings back to back?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. The BBC bias is totally overwhelming especially on climate alarmism.

  8. Oldgrumpy
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Giving more money to the NHS will do what it always does allow medical practitioners to pay themselves more. The reason is the NHS is built and run in such a way as to ensure employees self interest takes precedence over patient care.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Tax people to death then leave them no choice but to accept what the NHS deigns to offer them (or not offer them) and after a suitable delay – if they survive that long). A state virtual monopoly – as it is rather hard to compete against “free at the point of use” and make a profit!

      But so poor, delayed, customer unfriendly and inefficient is the NHS that some still manage to do so.

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, dare I say it…..perhaps American involvement in the NHS might result in improved services?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Indeed but there are better systems than the US one (and certainly than the NHS). The US one suffers from over treatment, massive litigation and insurance overhead costs and other issues.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      One can make a lot more money a lot more easily than by becoming a medical practitioner.

      The problem in the NHS is the wastage of things which cannot be re-used, drugs which are issued but not used (and cannot be taken back) and that there is always an insatiable demand for free-at-the-point-of-use items. It cannot be run on a standard business model therefore.

      Also people abrogate responsibility for their own health based on “the NHS will take care of it.” mentality.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Anon….do let us into the ‘secret’ as to ‘One can make a lot more money a lot more easily than by becoming a medical practitioner (GP?).

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          From personal experience…

          After gruelling selection tests and interviews, having built a CV over several years and having competed against hundreds of well qualified applicants you may get a place at med school.

          It takes five years of unpaid study and 80k of debt to become a bachelor of medicine. A further two years of exams whilst doing low paid work (F1 and F2) to get licensed as a doctor. Thereafter medical insurance must be paid from pay of around 45k pa as a junior doctor – taxed at top rate before even becoming able to earn a mortgageable wage.

          To become a 100k GP one must be prepared to become a business partner after around 8 to 10 years qualification period.

          An easier route to owning a house and a middle class lifestyle would be via any trade, train driver, banker, police officer (taking rank)… anything that gets you on the property ladder as debt free as possible early in life.

          The vast majority of people simply could not become a doctor no matter how hard they tried.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            Indeed. I know one qualified surgeon who decided to retrain as a lawyer and now does medical litigation – mainly against the NHS. We surely need incentives that encourage more surgeons and doctors and fewer (indeed far fewer) lawyers. Why not change the law so that if you have NHS treatment you accept a standard compensation package or you have to take extra insurance. Thus largely killing the parasitic litigation activity.

          • Fred H
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

            Anon…..’owning a house, middle class lifestyle….as debt free as possible early in life.’
            All this outside London, in a trade, train driver, police officer easier route.
            ‘The vast majority of people simply could not become a doctor no matter how hard they tried.’ I doubt many would argue with that, but as to the ease with which the general public might obtain the lifestyle you describe – set yourself up as a careers adviser.

  9. GilesB
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I too am optimistic.

    I am also fearful. Our constitution is been severely tested by Brexit and found to be inadequate. It is vital that we use the current majority to evolve and revitalise our constitution. Reform of the authority and accountabilities of MPs, the Speaker, House of Lords and the Supreme Court are all necessary.

    The Conservatives ran a good campaign, but not great given the way the Brexit Party was handled. And in the circumstances had an appropriate manifesto appealing to both Leavers and those Remainers who appreciated the need to Get Brexit Done! But at least as important the opposition were and are in complete disarray. We cannot rely on such weakness in the future.

    Let’s have a great reforming Parliament. A Parliament that not only frees us from the chains of the EU and forges better links around the world, but one that also delivers on the rejuvenation of the North, of One Nation and reforms our constitutional arrangements.

    Brexit has been and is a noble reform led by backbenchers, and Nigel Farage. Further essential constitutional reform also needs to be led by backbenchers as it is so often seen by the Executive as a distraction and never a vote winner

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Wow. You actually believe that backbenchers can do something when the government has a huge majority? And which backbenchers would these be anyway? What you are describing is a complete fantasy.

  10. Shirley
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I would love to be full of hope and enthusiasm, but I have been deliberately deceived far too often to believe the party will actually deliver a meaningful Brexit.

    Boris can talk the talk, but then so did Theresa May, initially. Results will show whether he and his party are trustworthy, but I suspect I will be bitterly disappointed, yet again.

    • steve
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink


      You have to give him the time to deliver the goods. Not an ideal situation but that’s where we are.

      If he doesn’t then divisions in the country will probably turn very nasty. The coming year is when we need to see some grit.

    • Pollen Counter
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Correct! Mr John Redwood is asking us to line up to support Boris’s deal which involves big payments to the EU and a continuing role for the ECJ – as did Mrs May’s – but worse than Mrs May’s because Boris also wants to abandon Northern Ireland. THIS IS NOT BREXIT!

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Will you please define, clearly, a “meaningful brexit”?

      For instance, do you want visa-free travel, and your driving licence and insurance to be valid in European Union countries?

      Do you want to have your car strip-searched every time that you cross to and from the UK?

      Do you want the UK police to continue to have access to the European Union’s database as to possible threats to this country?


      • Edward2
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        The EU and UK has already said it wants Visa free travel.
        The EU and UK has already said the will accept vehicle insurances and driving licences.
        The sharing of intelligence via different police forces will carry on via Interpol just as it did decades ago.
        Your claim of every car being strip searched is just too silly to even comment.
        There are many areas where the EU and UK want convenient arrangements to continue.
        And unless the EU wants to be awkward then they will.
        You dont think the EU will be deliberately awkward do you Martin?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          I was asking Shirley what she wanted in order to constitute a “meaningful brexit”, not to what you expected the European Union to agree as part of what she might very well describe as leaving in name only.

          Do you understand?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            You listed several Remain Project Fear clichés.
            I was just informing you what the current situation was.
            So you can understand.

          • Andy
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

            Not true. After Brexit you will need an ETIAS visa waiver – up to £10 per person – to travel to the EU.

            You will also need an international driving permit in most EU countries for longer holidays and in some cases – like that of France – for all holidays. Of course there is not a standard international driving permit so the version you need depends on which country you are going to. You may need more than one.

            You will also need a Green Card from your insurance company – which routinely cost £25 or more in admin fee to provide – and you will need GB plates.

            These are the extra bits of Brexit bureaucracy you will need just to drive to France from 2021. The cost for a family of four is close to £100. In red tape.

            Interesting the UK government – having completely capitulated – has decided EU citizen and those from the EEA will not need international driving permits in the UK. So they keep the status quo and we get more bureaucracy. This is all on the government website if you want to check.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

            So that’s what irks you
            £10 a year.
            You can get an international driving permit and a green card for free if your car insurance is with the company I choose.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

            No, what motivated Andy to write was the fact that you post endless falsehoods, and he is public-spirited enough to correct you.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            Nothing I said was wrong.
            No final arrangements have been concluded.
            Andy was referring to a government website that says what might be required in the event of no agreement.
            In any event,
            A green card can be obtained for free from insurance companies and not just the one I use..
            GB plates or an EU sticker are required now.
            An international driving licence can be obtained for free from AA and RAC
            Visa waivers are unlikely to ever be needed.
            But even if they were needed is that the real concern?
            A ten pound per year cost.

            Endless falsehoods indeed.

        • Frank
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          The UK speaks for the UK but the EU is not a country so it is likely some EU countries may want to deal with UK travellers in different ways. Some will be friendlier than others, some will be more difficult- the British traveller and business will be the first to know. Interesting times ahead?

          • Fred H
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

            Marty, Andy – – the fuss you both make! Anyone would think it is compulsory to drive in France or any other country in the EU. If people really cannot cope with these formalities don’t go! I expect tourism to drop from UK to EU anyway as a result of the damaging games EU ‘negotiators’ have played with us.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

            Note to normal people:

            Fred thinks that the only UK people who drive elsewhere in the European Union are tourists.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

            He didn’t say that.
            Stop making things up.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

            Marty – -any Brit driving in the EU countries on business should be more than capable of dealing with the requirements of their legislation. If it will be too much for you, stay safe from the rigours by remaining in Cardiff.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Marty – -at least you’ve restarted the post-Christmas spirit by giving me a good laugh.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink


        Last couple of years when we have returned from France our Car has been searched at Calais by armed French soldiers.

        Couple of years ago also searched on UK soil by our own Customs staff.

        Have witnessed other stop and searches over many, many years, and all whilst we were in the EU !

        I have absolutely no problem with either if it keeps us all safe, and means less illegal immigrants, Drugs and the like.

        Thus your comment is nonsense as it has happened for years whilst we have been EU members.

        Been travelling throughout the World for the last 50 years, never had a problem with Car insurance, Driving licence, Travel Insurance, Car Hire or anything else.
        Just need to be organised.

      • agricola
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        A meaningful Brexit involves cutting the EU umbilical of control in its myriad forms and becoming a sovereign state once more.

        For your information the UK driving licence, insurance and vehicle registration is not valid after you have been in the EU for more than six months. Those are the rules the Spanish apply. It is a form of protectionism and a means of creating an income stream when EU economics have failed them. They have even started collecting property rates a month early which I imagine is illegal. Yet another indication that they are slowly going bust.

        As for strip searching, bring it on if only to reduce the drug and immigrant problem. On the plus side, when the Spanish police set up a drug bust or terrorist operation you find yourself in a properly tooled up ambush. No problem if you are not what they are looking for and very reassuring in comparison with policing in the UK.

        Access to criminal data bases is of mutual interest so I would not fret too much about it. However I have a certain faith in MI5 and MI6 where threats to the UK are concerned, they even highlighted the total unsuitability for government of many on the Labour Party front bench during the election, doing us all a great service.

    • Hope
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Suggest you read articles by Kathy Gyngell in Con Woman who is chronicalising Tory govt leaving the EU over the last year. JR s memory seems to have failed him, suggest he reads the articles as well to refresh his memory and once held views.

      It is beyond my comprehension why JR is currently spouting utter nonsense. It is as though he has accepted defeat and trying to defend Tory govt lies and dishonesty over leaving the EU. Level playing field clauses, best endeavours mantra, alignment to a host of areas, non discrimination over immigration and fishing i.e. Remain the same as it has for forty years appears to be lost on him. He does himself a disservice and reduces all credibility in his recent blogs.

      Reply I have not been defending any of these things.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Re-reading our kind host’s post of the day before yesterday, I was interested to note something that first escaped me. His third para very clearly asserted the superiority of WTO trading terms to a deal. I don’t doubt that this is what he personally believes. It would seem as if Sir John is not defending the detail of the deal whilst defending the principle of it. In his fifth para he talks about the government strengthening its negotiating at the Committee stage of the WA bill. It will be interesting to see if the government takes this opportunity, and if it does, whether the EU will agree to what is newly proposed. To be blunt, it looks like fantasy to me, but perhaps Sir John could say how what he suggests might be achieved in practice?

        • acorn
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          The WTO has no sanctioning powers over it sovereign state members. It de-facto ceased to function as an appellate body on the 11th of December; thanks to the global sanctioner in chief, Trump.

          It will be a very brave or daft country that tries to take on the US, the EU or China.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            It works simply because it encourages mutually advantageous trading arrangements.
            Unlike the EU it works without sanctions.
            Trade just carries on sucessfully throughout the world.
            WTO rules are accepted by over 90% of all trade on the planet.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

            The WTO is facing challenges. International trade generally is being challenged in a way not seen in many years. My point was to highlight what I perceived to be an inconsistency in our kind host’s thinking.

    • Bob
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech was a barnstormer,
      although she didn’t mean a single word of it
      pure deception.

      • Shirley
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Well said, Bob.

      • Liza
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Presumably Nick Timothy meant it.

  11. Charles Bantridge
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    It is one of those unwritten rules of democratic politics that if you lose an election or referendum you accept the will of the majority. It is also one of those unwritten rules of democratic politics that if win an election or referendum you have to focus on delivering what you promised. Well, it’s three and a half years since the referendum and you have not delivered a single new trade deal, you haven’t delivered frictionless trade with the EU, you haven’t got the German carmakers to come running to help you, you haven’t even delivered Brexit itself. Those of us who voted Remain would accept we lost and look to heal the country if you had fought fair – you didn’t, you achieved a leave vote by spinning fairy stories. You are in charge now, we Remainers plan to hold you to account as every Brexit promise crumbles to dust

  12. BCL
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Optimism, hope, enthusiasm and confidence that Great Britain is “Great” and can achieve great things for all its people were, in my opinion, characteristics of Boris Johnson that helped get him into No 10. I trust him and look forward to him delivering on all this. I am confident he will.
    As for the budget, please consider asking the chancellor to reverse the anti-entrepreneur changes to the way dividends are taxed. The new regime is destroying the incentive to work hard and achieve.

  13. steve
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    All very noble sentiment, Mr Redwood. But perhaps you could convey it to Ms Sturgeon of the SNP, and others who clearly have problems understanding how democracy and referenda work.

    Might I also suggest that we start the new year with a ban on posting extremist comments concerning pensioners. Their victimisation on here, or anywhere else for that matter, surely cannot be right.

    Yours truly.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Yes, Steve, we recognise Andy from your reference to attacks on pensioners.

      It seems our Andy is allowed to insult and denigrate and post bigoted comments, but only rarely are we allowed to refute what she/he says and express our disgust.

      • steve
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink


        “It seems our Andy is allowed to insult and denigrate and post bigoted comments, but only rarely are we allowed to refute what she/he says and express our disgust.”

        I hope I am right in my thinking that J.Redwood might be censuring our responses because he expects better of us, while allowing the perpetrator to show himself for what he is.

        John Redwood was my MP for many years, and I absolutely know for a fact he does not agree with these attacks on pensioners, I’d say he’s probably just as disgusted as we are.

        Never the less I’d prefer not to see pensioners being vilified in the first place. I think it’s ungrateful and shows the perpetrator to be someone who doesn’t know what hardship is.

        And for the person concerned I have this – provide your lectures when you’ve known what it’s like to have spanners frozen to your hands, lugged coal on your back for many miles to keep the kids warm, worry yourself sick about a telegram arriving.

        The list of horrors older folk endured is staggering, you haven’t got a clue, Son.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

          I hope I am right in my thinking that J.Redwood might be censuring our responses because he expects better of us . . .

          Perhaps ? But may I propose an alternative view ? I propose that the likes of Andy, whoever he is, is nothing more than ‘click bait’, and I suggest that it would be good to ignore him.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        possibly Mr Corbyn using a non de plume?
        They both seem to be capable of arguing against ANY point expressed.

  14. jerry
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I hope that the budget is going to announce measures that will take effect 1st Feb 2020, such as the scrapping of VAT, with a return to a more flexible Purchase Tax system.

    More widely, I hope for radical governmental reorganisation, the scrapping many of the departments that were set up, or have been used, to not to help run the nations affairs but make (party) political statements by their respective Ministers, DECC went but so must DfID, Defra and the DWP, all have failed in their core purposes. Another dept. that has out grown its remit is DfCMS, along with Ofcom.

    Many of these ‘new’ government departments, their arms length Quangos and respective parliamentary oversight committees have created more problems than have been sorted, Defra is a classic example of a Govt chucking the baby out with the bathwater for largely party political reasons, yes MAFF was failing prior to and during the 2001 F&M outbreak but there had been wider Govt failings that Civil Servants within MAFF took the heat for.

    • jerry
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Sir John, do you think the PM will do the right thing, sack the Governor of the BoE for his latest politically motivated outburst, which has more to do with his future employment loyalties than those he is still been paid for – did the PM or Chancellor sign off on these comments by Carney.

      Mr Carney was due to leave anyway, but agreed to stay until some time in March, could his deputy not fulfil such duties until then?

  15. BOF
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I suspect you are quite right Shirley.

  16. Derek Henry
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Excellent John !

    As a middle of the road kind a guy I couldn’t agree more.

    My views are not always the same as most on here but always welcome. What an oppertunity we have to drop the pretence of using the Euro and start to use the £ it was designed for.I

    Only thing holding everyone back is the gap between our ears.

  17. George Brooks
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Having read the first 5 responses to today’s blog it seems the ”glass half empty” brigade can’t leave Project Fear alone. For heavens sake give the new team a chance as we haven’t got to the New Year yet.

    Of course our public services need more money but they are crying out for management improvement. Throughout the parliamentary shambles for the past 3 years under the leadership of Theresa May only lip service was given to running the country whilst the ardent Remainers did everything they could to undermine Brexit.

    We have now had two very clear votes on the direction this country is to take and we have a person in No 10 who has that rare quality of being able to pick people. In addition he is a born leader and an optimist with a very engaging personality. These qualities were clearly demonstrated when he cleared up the mess in London left by Livingston.

    Once the Withdrawal bill is filed away and we have left the EU on Jan’ 31 clear evidence of these qualities will come to the fore

    • Simeon
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Okay Tory Boy…

  18. Javelin
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    BofE Gov Mark Carney currently being ripped to shreds in the right wing press comments sections after predicting climate change will hit pensions. My favourite comment “They keep locking him up. He keeps escaping.”

    His statement has nothing to do with him distracting from his previous inaccurate predictions about Brexit or needing to spout globalist man made climate change taxation nonsense to get a new job at the top table.

    Can you do us all a favour and sit behind Boris so if he starts banging on about St Greta, will you please stop him from destroying his reputation by saying climate change is man made.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      The climate has always changed and always will. Man’s activities (of all kinds) are one of millions of things that affect the climate. Most like the sun’s activity, volcanic activity, many natural feedbacks, genetic changes in plants etc. are unknowable and cannot be predicted. The idea that atmospheric C02 levels are some kind of World thermostat is totally absurd. The idea that you can accurately predict the climate for more than a few weeks is also absurd.

      Note the gentle treatment of St Greta, the Manchester Univ. “climate scientist” and David Attenborough by the biased/alarmist BBC. Not a single sensible questioning of their clearly absurd alarmist position. Compare with yesterday and the Matt Ridley interview followed by government alarmist Sir David King!

      No Greta, the old do not “just not care” about the climate – as they will be dead soon so it does not matter (many have children and grand children). They just think (like most sensible physicists and impartial rational scientists) that the alarmist lunacy is clearly exaggerated nonsense. The gullible children have been conned by alarmist BBC types.

      We listen to sensible people like Freeman Dyson and the many other sensible scientist rather than St Greta and the “BBC think” David Attenborough types. Neadless to say he got his pro-EU bit in too!

      • Dennis
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        David Attenborough is or used to be a Patron of ‘Population Matters’ and years ago kept pointing out that excess population was the cause of environmental damage and obviously of CO2 production but he never mentions that now – has he been sat upon or has just forgotten that?

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink


        “. The gullible children have been conned by alarmist BBC types.”

        Gullible children? Joan of Arc was 19 when her adversaries had her burnt at the stake. By that time she had headed an army that liberated her country from an oppressive invader (England).

        The world remembers her over 600 years after her tragic death. Who remembers the names of her (grown up) murderers?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          Joan of Arc, a peasant girl living in medieval France, believed that God had chosen her to lead France to victory in its long-running war with England.

          So she was rather deluded (or perhaps used by others) too!

    • Liza
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Wouldn’t it be more sensible to sit behind the Bird?

  19. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Well meaning words JR, but will it happen, or will we be taken for yet another unwanted expensive ride to nowhere ?

  20. margaret howard
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink


    “So let us enjoy the freedoms of our democracy in the new year.”

    I should like to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi when asked:

    “What Do You Think of Western Civilization?”

    “I Think It Would Be a Good Idea”

    In our system of ‘democracy’ – in fact a 2 party state who choose the leaders the public are allowed to vote for – millions of voters like myself are disenfranchised.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Remember that Boris Johnson’s majority came not from the people, but from the system. If you add up all the votes cast for Labour and the LibDems, it differs from the number of votes cast for the Conservatives by about 1.5 votes per constituency.

      One of my wishes for 2020 would be real democracy in the UK, with every voter having an vote that counted and an equal voice, but the Conservative manifesto made a commitment not to deliver that.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        If you have multiple parties and then you add up the total votes cast for every single party bar one, then plainly they will have more votes as a group than the winning party.
        That mathematical certainty also happens under PR.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Look at the difference in representation. FPTP simply fails to deliver equitable representation for voters. On an almost identical national vote total:

          Conservative MPs: 365
          Combined Labour and LibDem MPs: 213

          Doing better under FPTP also doesn’t guarantee increased representation in Parliament:

          SNP: +0.8% vote share, +13 MPs
          Conservatives: +1.2% vote share, +48 MPs
          LibDems: +4.2% vote share, -1MP

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            In the latest election the result would not have changed.
            The Conservatives would have a majority.

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        C 3 million more people voted conservative than any other party. That’s democracy saying clearly we want you to govern. At least with fptp we know the person we vote for rather than someone from a party patrons list as would be under the pr system, the system that creates talk around government instead of a get it done one.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

          Both the STV and Open List PR forms of PR also mean you vote for a person rather than a party list. Either is preferable to what we have now.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            Why is that?
            I voted for a local candidate.
            But also for a party that had policies I liked and a potential PM I preferred.
            I got what I wanted.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

            Because they both retain the concept of voting for individuals nor parties and an explicit constituency link while delivering a far more representative Parliament.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            Then the manifesto policies you voted for are rehashed, as minority parties use the leverage they have to demand changes against the wishes of the majority of voters who voted for the winning party.

      • rose
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Every vote does count with FPTP. With the corrupt continental systems of PR it doesn’t. Instead of the good, clear, clean result we can all see with FPTP, PR delivers backroom stitch-ups which leave the voter out. Invariably, the same government which was supposedly thrown out, re-emerges the next morning under a new arrangement. It can go on like that for decades with no getting rid of them. The nearest thing we have experienced to this undemocratic carry-on was the Traitors’ Parliament where the losers prevented the government from having an election to produce a majority, and also prevented it from governing.

        • margaret howard
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink


          “Every vote does count with FPTP”

          Oh really? So how many voters live in constituencies like mine (for over 50 years) that have been forever either labour or conservative? Millions of wasted votes?

          “. Invariably, the same government which was supposedly thrown out, re-emerges the next morning under a new arrangement”

          As opposed to the same 2 parties here who play musical chairs?

          And what you so farcically call ‘backroom stitch-ups’ are in fact compromises that ensure that a party can’t vere too much to the left or right as we shall no doubt experience here pretty soon.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            You plainly support a party that most do not.

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            @margaret howard; “Millions of wasted votes?”

            That is not what @rose said nor implied, of course ever vote for those who did not win is ‘wasted’, but they were counted non the less. With PR a majority could vote for a manifesto pledge to ban bubblegum but the coalition talks scrap that pledge because every one of the smaller parties (who are willing to help the larger party into or retain power) have their grass roots within one or another bubblegum factories!

            “As opposed to the same 2 parties here who play musical chairs?”

            There’s far more political “musical chairs” in countries that use PR than there has ever been in those using FPTP, what is more many such PR based governments are very unstable under, which does nothing but cause even more “musical chairs” as govts and MPs try to retain their positions.

            Were I disagree with @rose is her idea that the last parliament was held hostage by the Losers (can we please stop calling others ‘Traitors’ please), it was held hostage by the electorate and how they voted in the 2017…

        • Edward2
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          I agree entirely rose.
          A family member voted Lib Dem in Sheffield for Clegg.
          He went round all the University and Sudent Unions solemnly promising an end to University fees.
          The under the PR style coalition agreement that major policy was dropped.
          This type of thing happens all the time in countries stuck with PR.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            This has nothing to do with PR, it happens under FPTP as well. The Institute for Government calculated that over 20% of manifesto commitments in the UK’s previous single party majority government were not delivered.

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            @Peter Parsons; Coalition Govts are far more common under PR, to the point of being expected!

            No one is trying to claim a coalition can’t happen under FPTP but it is extremely rare – outside of war there has only been two in modern times, 1918-22 & 2010-5.

            Also there is a tremendous difference between non delivery of a manifesto pledge during the life of a 4 or 5 year parliament and the intentional scrapping of a manifesto pledge as part of a coalition agreement in order to secure or retain power. at the start of a parliament.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

            It is common problem with PR
            You vote for a manifesto you like or a person you like and afterwards you get neither.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry, I wasn’t talking about coalitions, I was talking about the concept of parties not delivering on their manifesto commitments.

            I repeat, the previous single party majority (under FPTP) government (the 2015 Conservatives who were not in a coalition nor in a confidence and supply arrangement) failed to deliver on over 20% of their manifesto promises according to the Institute of Government’s analysis.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

            It has everything to do with PR Peter.
            Clegg dropped his key promise in order to negotiate a coalition.
            This is a common occurrence in all PR systems.
            Voters vote for things they like in particular party’s policies and then post election they get nothing like the government they wanted.

          • bill brown
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink


            Some of the most successful countries in Europe have PR. Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany , Austria and so on, sometimes party politics are implemented sometimes not, but your generalisations do not stick up to reality

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            Yet many other nations without PR do very well.
            So your generalisations do not stick up to reality.

          • rose
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

            Peter Parsons:

            “I repeat, the previous single party majority (under FPTP) government (the 2015 Conservatives who were not in a coalition nor in a confidence and supply arrangement) failed to deliver on over 20% of their manifesto promises according to the Institute of Government’s analysis.”

            Did this biased organization point out that the 2015 administration only lasted a year? If it had run its course it might well have fulfilled everything.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Of course. Welcome to the club.

      70 million people can’t all have their way.

      Or do you think you’re a bit special ?

    • steve
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Margaret Howard

      “2 party state who choose the leaders the public are allowed to vote for – millions of voters like myself are disenfranchised.”

      At least you get to vote and without your family being violently targeted, no one forces you to vote and no one prevents you from doing so.

      You have strict laws that guarantee your protection and anonymity at the ballot box.

      Appreciate what you do have, Ms Howard, rather than grieve for what you think you should have. Some people in this world are not so fortunate, and courageously risk their lives to cast their vote….because they aspire to the democracy we take for granted.

  21. BJC
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Actions speak far louder than words and we’ve received the same message over and over again. We no longer trust what we’re hearing, so the message transmitted will continue to be “white noise” until it’s substantially different and delivers what it promises.

    I’m in awe of your continuing optimism, Sir John, especially after decades when we’ve all experienced deliberate mendacity on an industrial scale by those holding power. I sincerely hope Mr Johnson and his team aren’t daft enough to believe that the majority they now enjoy translates into unquestioning support for the EU’s sleight-of-hand withdrawal treaty.

    We have just one opportunity to extricate ourselves from the suffocating embrace of the EU and if the Tories abuse the precious gift bestowed on them by the people for the purpose of a true Brexit, they will never be forgiven.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Yes, something just doesn’t seem right. That this thinly disguised treaty of May’s is now being hailed as the greatest thing since sliced brot seems most suspicious, as so many voted against it a short while ago. We can’t do anything now, of course, since we handed our lot almost absolute power – so we shall just have to sit back watch it unfold.
      And hope BJ’s EU ”friends” are not given the upper hand – or else they’d never ever allow us to get so close to ditching them in the future.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      BJC what a brilliant post. I too hope Boris and those he installs around him have faith in the abilit of this country to make a great future for ourselves. Too often governments have held us back. Let’s see a change and revert back to true Conservatism. Keep at it John.

  22. Oggy
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I too voted leave in 1975 but accepted the democratic decision to remain in the then Common market and moved on.

    The problem has been for the last 3.5 years that the losing side has refused to accept the 2016 result and the remain establishment, politicians, certain celebrities etc have used any and every means possible to overturn a result they didn’t like. They paid no heed or cared how this angered the leave voters or cared about the democratic process, and you can rest assured that some of them will still be plotting and scheming on their next move as I write this.

    They did not listen to us, so why should we listen to them now ? They treated us with contempt so it should come as no surprise that many including myself feel nothing but contempt for the undemocratic nay sayers now.

    It will be a very long time before their unacceptable, contemptuous, disgraceful behaviour will be forgiven or forgotten.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Even if your claims were true, the Tories have claimed sole ownership of the whole Leave project, and they have a thumping majority to do whatever they like now.

      They now own it a hundred per cent, so what are they going to DO?

      Just whinge endlessly about their twisted version of the past, it seems to me.

      • agricola
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        I find the claims of Oggy highly credible. Remain said they accepted the result of the referendum only to fight tooth and nail to block it. It is not that the Tories have claimed sole ownership of Leave, it is that all the superficial stake holders in Leave who had promised to fulfil the referendum result, slowly let their true feelings emerge and their mask of democracy fall, to reveal a dishonest rabble of remainers, be they vested interests, personalities or the just plain ignorant.

        All you are doing is preparing the ground for I told you so in the most unlikely result of failure. A failure you are no doubt praying for. The EU is an experiment gone wrong because it has left the people behind. Until this is realised it can only get worse for all those involved I do not whinge, but I fear that the “gilet jeune” will gather pace in all its various national forms as the realisation of the intellectual corruption within the EU becomes clear to many more citizens of the EU.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Whether the country prospers or not after Jan 31st will not be affected one iota by my personal opinions as to the folly of leaving the European Union, but by the arrangements that this Government might make with it, and in other respects domestically to try to secure that.

          The opposition parties cannot stop them either, so the Government can take all the credit where they are successful, and all the blame where they fail. It is you rather, who seems to be expecting the latter, and now do not know what to do to smear the blame on anyone other than yourselves. Hardly surprising, as there is now nothing that you can do in that regard.

          The Gilets Jaunes are protesting about sovereign French domestic policy, not about European Union matters.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      I fully agree with your comments and can already see the faith we gave BJ is ebbing away….we wanted and expected change, but nothing has changed

      The illegal immigrants continue across the channel, overall immigration is still circa 250k per year, we are still paying £39bn+ to the EU, the transition period and ECJ involvement could continue for years to come, spending billion’s on vanity projects, HS2, BBC, Big Ben and Parliament, Foreign Aid etc etc

  23. Richard1
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks good thoughts & best wishes for your work in 2020.

    It would be good if there could be rational and as far as possible dispassionate debate on important issues. One such is policies to ameliorate global warming. Yesterday Charles Moore as guest editor managed to squeeze in a couple of climate sceptical voices to the Today programme, something which hasn’t happened for years. Naturally they were subject to subsequent rubbishing and Mr Moore himself to an aggressive interview by Nick Robinson. Today there is a festival of uncritical head-patting for Greta Thunberg, and an unquestioning interview with an hysterical sounding professor of climate change, none of whose assertions were challenged or even questioned.

    What is odd is there has been no discussion at all of any measures to get to zero carbon. No information on how much energy is generated now from renewables and how, in the absence of new technology, this is to get from 1% to 100% in 30 years. (Nor of course of the actual level of warming versus predictions in the models etc)

    As far as I can see the only remotely achievable way of making a serious reduction in carbon emissions would be a massive increase in nuclear power and a major push into natural gas – which has 1/2 the emissions of coal & somewhat over that of oil. But practical measures are never discussed, all we have is virtue-signalling doom-mongering about the end of the world. Even Mr Carney’s interview followed this format – not a minute of discussion on what actually to do. Very odd.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “I have lived most of my life with the answer on EU membership I did not want, but have not let it embitter me…(and on)”

    Hear hear !

    I accepted the voting system too when Blair (whom I always detested) got in several times.

    I fear that we have not adhered to the full promise in the 2016 referendum to abide by the result, however close the margin (the referendum was not even in recount territory.) We have been indecisive. We have allowed Remain to delay and to water down the Leave process.

    If anything goes wrong now I am fully entitled to blame them for it.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      And everyone else is fully entitled to laugh at your ridiculous, groundless basis for so doing.

      Your party now has an indefeasible Commons majority. How can anything that happens from now on be anyone else’s fault therefore?

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Three and a half years of struggle and delay against people in our own country !

  25. agricola
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I share your optimism, but mine is a cautious optimism. I await the first green shoots of a new way of doing things in the UK. I want a proactive government of naked enterprise from which all benefit. The clever trick for government to perform is knowing how much commission (Tax) they can skim off the top to fund the social programmes most of us approve of. I also want us to be a glowing example to the socialist EU, much loved of some of your contributors, of how free enterprise tempered with responsibility can soar to heights that they can only imagine in their worst collective dreams, while at the same time being a great friend of Europeans both national and individual.

  26. Tony English
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    With ir35 on the horizon I’ll be forced to close my business next year. So 2020 looks like it’s going to be a painful year for me and my family. I have work until the end of feb and then no idea what I’ll be doing after that. I always thought that the tories were the party of business, free enterprise and supported the self employed but their changes to labour’s hated ir35 is forcing hundreds of thousands of highly skilled workers out of business. We’re seeing large companies insisting on contractors working via umbrella companies where the ’employee’ is forced to pay their employers ni and gets none of the employee benefits or protection but still retains the risks associated with contracting. We are also seeing the removal of travel and accommodation expenses. Like many contractors I work away from home, travelling hundreds of miles to be on site. That agile working that business relies on is being stopped with ir35, especially as many roles will be replaced with people from overseas consultancies where the same rules do not apply….and who will pay little or no tax in the uk.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      That is truly shocking Tony and makes no sense for the economy of this country. What the hell is going on?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink


      Understand your concerns about IR35 which has already constrained some self employed people for over a decade.

      You seem to offer your own solution, of setting up a business abroad which can then trade in the UK, frustrating and yet another expense I know, but if you think this is a workable solution, then surely better than no or limited income at all !

      If enough do it then the law will surely change ?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        You do understand that it is Parliament which makes these laws, and that it is now under the near-total control of the Conservatives, yes?

        And yet you will continue to support them, even though many of you find them ruinous personally?

        What ever is the matter with you people?

        • Edward2
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          Did you read the policies for self employed people in the Labour manifesto?
          They were an all out attack.
          And on small businesses as well.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Hi Martin who bought in IR35 and for what reason ?

          Do you remember ?

        • jerry
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          @MiC; The IR35 mess was created by Labour during the Blair/Brown years, of course those affected by ir35 are likely to vote Tory, do you honestly think a Labour govt lead by either of the current factions (Blairites & Corbynites) would help them?!

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

            Why don’t the Tories repeal it then? They’ve already had ten years.

            And Brown’s dividend tax for managed pension funds?

            Because they’re fine by them, that’s why.

          • jerry
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

            @MiC; Of course the HMRC & HMT think such legislation is fine, why wouldn’t they, after all, heads they win, Tails those subject to (parliaments unintended use of) ir35 lose!… 😮

            Until the Civil Service once again (are made to) become servants of the Crown/State, rather than believing they are everyone’s masters, the tail wagging the do so to speak, nothing will change – hence why so many voted Conservative, most likely in hope rather than expectation though.

      • Al
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        “If enough do it then the law will surely change ?”

        When IR35 first came in, many IT contractors did exactly that. Agency nurses and supply teachers who couldn’t were often forced out of the market (which did not help the NHS manage their supply of nurses…)

        HMRC’s response was not to re-examine the law but to try to close the loopholes and tighten up the rules to also tax the overseas companies. They take people deemed employees in one employment and pursue them for tax as if they had been employees in all previous or current work:

        Without direct government action to remove IR35, promised repeatedly by successive governments and not yet delivered, we are stuck with it.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          Parliament makes the law, not HMRC.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            Yes but….HMRC use their limited resources and decide which groups and individuals to target for inspections.

    • acorn
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Stop whinging, it was only a question of time before this tax dodge got caught out.

      All had a good run for our tax-free money with Personal Service Companies. Think about those worse off than you. Those that were getting paid via EBT (Employee Benefit Trusts). Getting paid via a loan from the trust that never had to be repaid.

      If you are that good, how come you are not being offered a PAYE job with some corporate? Other than that, sign up with an umbrella company linked to a recruitment agency; or, go back to being a Sole Trader. You don’t have to close down your limited company. It is possible to continue working through a limited company even if some of your contracts are deemed to be inside IR35.

  27. hardlymatters
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    This morning we read of a New Years opening message from the EU Trade Commissioner Hogan who said that PM Johnson will abandon his pledge on the brexit transition period-

    he goes on to say that PM Johnson has shown he is not up for ‘dying in a ditch’ to uphold his promises- so I don’t know where all of the optimism is coming from- I don’t see it

    • L Jones
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Hardlymatters – I don’t see it either. I can’t escape the feeling that we’re being duped with the usual smoke-and-mirrors ploy.
      People are desperate for hope and optimism after all that went before, so we’re being fed just enough to keep hope alive. That need is being taken advantage of by the powers that be.
      Many acknowledge that we don’t need a ”transition period” – that’s just giving ”the enemy” time to regroup before the next battle. And so it will go on, no doubt, till those we SHOULD be able to trust feel we’ve wearied of the struggle.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Until you continual cryers-of-betrayal draft a detailed document, as to exactly what you want the relationship with the European Union to be on all matters, you have no basis to criticise those who have not been as lazy as yourselves.

        Once you have done that, then you can ask a sympathetic MP or MEP to have it considered by people with experience in international matters.

        I think that it would be very educational for you, and might engender a degree of long-overdue understanding on your part.

      • jerry
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        @L Jones; @Hardlymatters; Based upon the inaction, within Downing Street, not Parliament, since the GE I too have my doubts, some of the PM’s cabinet reappointments were just shocking (on multiple layers), but as I said at the time it is very early days with a lot of talk about fundamental changes to come in Q1 of 2020 – perhaps the benefit of the doubt for a little longer I suggest?

  28. bill brown
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    Well written and happy new year

  29. Lifelogic
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Thanks goodness we do not have to look forward to the new year led by Corbyn’s confiscatory Labour dog wagged by the dire SNP tail. Furthermore it is hard to see Labour recovering under any of the dire list of potential new Labour leaders – given the control that the lefty loons now have over it. David Lammy would perhaps be the best to really destroy the party for good.

    Let us hope that the Boris can prove that he is not just another EUphile, climate alarmist, lefty loon – in the Heath, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, Theresa May mode. We have had far more than enough of tax and regulate to death, bloated, inept, PC government.

  30. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    We should be heading into 2020 relatively sure that aspiration will be rewarded.

    However the government that we have just voted in seeks to massively increase public spending and wants to sign a withdrawal agreement with the EU which hugely favours that organisation.

    I see no reason for optimism beyond survival. That your government was the least worst option Sir John is not cause for great celebration.

    Can we have small government and policies to increase GDP per capita, not GDP? Can we make the NHS take deposits for appointments and insist that patients can get an appointment on the day the contact the surgery? Can we repeal human rights legislation and can we stop disadvantaging ourselves with hocum climate change costs.

    Will this be the year my child benefit is returned to me or evened up by being taken from everyone?

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      And not just GDP per capita but GDP that is actually earned and not just the spending of borrowed/printed money!

  31. Everhopeful
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I do not feel free …much of my Liberty has been taken from me.
    With political correctness and all that entails how can anyone have robust and strong debate?
    Unless of course the subjects allowed for debate are ruthlessly proscribed. Which they are.
    So we will sit on the ground and discuss daisy chains until they too become forbidden?

    • Andy
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      It’s political correctness gone mad! Except it hasn’t.

      Providing you do not incite violence or shout fire in a theatre you can say pretty much what you like.

      What you really mean is not that you can’t say what you like. It’s that you can’t say what you really think. And maybe you can’t say what you really think because it is offensive. So perhaps the problem is you?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        No you can’t.
        The hate law rules make the police record every complaint.
        A hate crime is something the complainant feels is a hate crime.
        Read the law.
        Offensiveness is not the legal test.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Andy ….so you don’t think you are ever offensive? I think a fair majority here, and in the wider world would say you have been.

  32. Norman
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    A good, positive vision, Sir John.
    In the garden of this present world, there’s a battle raging. Many noxious weeds and diseases have established themselves, to spoil our well-favoured corner of it. There’ll doubtless be shortfalls and setbacks, but to have HOPE is a great mercy. In the mode of Milton: ‘Lost Eden, through Gethsemane came, to a garden of dashed hopes resurrected, and against the gates of Hades to prevail…’
    ‘For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations’ (Isaiah 61:11).

  33. Gareth Warren
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I will try to be hopeful, Boris has the political support to make difficult decisions, the EU will force some upon him and I hope each time he sides with freer international trade.

    While we must respect those who disagree with us I have not yet heard a remainer explain why trade barriers with the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and others is a good thing? I look forward to the rapid dismantling of them in the next year.

  34. miami.mode
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    It’s about time the council tax was sorted out. To have a modern tax based on what a house in England would have been worth in 1991, even though it may have been built up to 28 years after that date, is beyond ludicrous.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      It’s about time Council Tax was abolished. It’s a dire system. My neighbours identical house and mine are in different bands, and my house is two bands different from an identical house across the road. How should that possible?

      It should be replaced by a revenue-neutral combination of LVT and local income tax.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        You should appeal about your valuation.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted December 30, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          I have. It was rejected.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

            Then your claims were not correct.
            I have appealed and been successful.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            Council Tax banding is public information. I therefore know that identical houses in the street where I live are in a lower band, some two bands lower, than mine. In fact there are higher valued houses (bigger and with a garage) in a lower band.

            Current council tax band allocations are a joke.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

            Then you appear to have a good case for re banding.
            I would appeal again.
            Perhaps taking professional advice to help you present your case..

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      The trouble is that whenever government “sort anything out” the tax involved always goes up and invariably gets even more complicated and even less efficient, Then they have transitional arrangements to make it even worse still and they hire even more expensive staff to administer the transition- staff who then usually make it a job for life!

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Be careful what you wish for. There are envious people wanting to revalue people’s homes and the upshot of that for many owners would be to have to sell up and buy again, lower down the market, paying yet more tax along the way.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      miami mode

      We had a much, much fairer system years ago where everyone made a contribution to local facilities, not just householders, it was called the Poll Tax.

      The problem was some people (non householders) did not want to pay anything at all, so they got it removed by continual protest.

  35. Geoffrey Berg
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    British politics is now more polarised and rude (as is politics in the USA) than ever – it is no use lamenting it because it won’t change anytime soon.
    Brexit is one reason but the takeover of the Labour Party by neo-Marxists obsessed by ‘political correctness’ at the expense of truthfulness, is another reason. May I also point out that as I have never known so many ordinary Conservative voters as vehement and outspoken as in the lead-up to the last election. Furthermore (and I welcome this) Boris Johnson ,unlike previous Conservatives, definitely plays to win (it has long been a Conservative failing that they didn’t mind losing as much as annoying people, particularly people in official positions).
    The country can make progress and the Conservative Party can make further electoral progress but it is not going to be through consensus for the foreseeable future.

  36. Doug Powell
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    …I do not regard Remain voters any less favourably than Leave voters, and will judge everyone’s case on its merits. All I ask in return is that passionate Remainers understand the we Leavers are motivated by our view of what is best for our country and communities……
    Most reasonable and democratic people would agree with those remarks, SJ.

    However, only last night on a press preview programme there was a person of remain persuasion, still peddling the ‘ignorant leaver narrative,’ – this time with a slight difference – “The GE has shown that now more educated people have voted for the Labour Party, and more working class, uneducated people, voted Conservative.”
    Arrogance?! Lack of formal qualifications may indicate a lack of opportunity, but not a lack of intelligence! ‘The University of Life’ produces many, many decent, honourable and hard working citizens that underpin the economy!

    This person did go on to say that she accepted that the UK would be leaving the EU. No doubt she was hoping to appear ‘reasonable and democratic!’ – But for 3 1/2 years she has been making snide remarks about Brexiteers and pushing for a 2nd referendum etc, etc!

    SJ, let us hope that your common sense views prevail.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Damn those simple facts, what?

  37. BOF
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic Sir John but I see that Mr Carney is making fresh predictions. This time that pension and investment fund investments held by millions could be made worthless by ‘climate change’. In view of his past performance on predictions, as you pointed out yesterday they have all been wrong, no one should take a blind bit of notice. His brief should not be to abuse his position to promote his personal views on climate alarmism.

    Personally, I would be reluctant to invest in any ‘green’ technology or projects as they are only profitable so long as the taxpayer is subsiding them, which of course is the reason I find them so objectionable.

  38. BOF
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year Sir John. Keep up the good work.

    Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    What we are seeing across the west is the fight to preserve our way of life, our democracy and our freedoms from a political class who despise all three. This cabal is working hard to assert political control over OUR democracy and impose social control against those who present a threat to their sinister project

    Trump is everything this cabal despise and they will eventually bring him down. The consequences for US democracy would be incalculable

    These people will never give up until they have taken control of our democracy, our language and our person

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Dominic. But do those that see themselves as the ruling Political Class even understand the basis of Democracy. In their mind ‘government by the people for people’ is when you are ‘permitted’ to vote for one of their self appointed gang.

      Putin was elected, so was Gaddafi, come to that so was Hitler, in their minds all true Democrats. Where do you start on the EU ‘s version of Democracy..

      Fingers crossed.

  40. Fred H
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    With this new accent on positivity, perhaps Sir John has a view on CCHQ and how it selected/approved the 109 new Conservative MPs, and of course the ones who might not be expected to win? Was it turning away clear Remainer positions since it was this that caused the extended confrontations in the H of C? Total lockout supporting Leave candidates would also indicate strong support for Boris, and the job in hand. I have seen no comment on the likely position taken by them, beyond the sheep of a 3 line whip in future. Will we have Bills with free voting which might provide clues?

  41. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I’d like more of my own money to spend but you lot keep giving it to the EU, in Foreign Aid (that appears to do nothing except increase the recipients population) and handing it over to reward anyone who gets here illegally- giving them a far better life for committing a crime in getting here and then contributing nothing, while demanding WE change to suit THEIR ways.

  42. ukretired123
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Onward and upward!
    Out with the old in with the new. As one door closes another one opens.
    I concur with Sir John’s positive view and what makes this country so unique.
    You have to go abroad to realise that while no place is perfect Britain has got it right more than most.
    Yes there are problems but the positive opportunities to solve them.
    Rome wasn’t built in a day so patience is needed all round.
    Can do is the key attitude I grew up with despite all the problems folks complain about today.
    Just as an example nothing was ever wasted especially food as it was scarce years ago.
    Today I sometimes see folks throw away and bin fruit, cheeses etc when going on holiday and realise we need to be smarter. The significance of this small thing should not be lost in the wider sense that there is a lot of wakefulness in modern thinking too.
    We need to get smarter in so many areas and there lies many many opportunities too.

    • ukretired123
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Wastefulness is not in the modern dictionary surprise two!

  43. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Sir John

    As always on message with those of us that are self reliant and compassionate towards others.

    Lets look forward to a the return of integrity, accountability, transparency to those that wish to be responsible for shaping our future.

    I wish you and yours, along with other positive contributors to this blog a happy and prosperous New Year.

  44. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    John you MUST regard being wrong ‘less favourably’ than being right! For 46 years we Democrats who believed that the British deserved one place on earth to live under their own laws and understanding of what is right and just, we treated, from a great height, to serious abuse. The names of the first Leavers cannot now be uttered in fear of attracting abuse to their memory and ourselves. Names like Enoch Powell and Norris and Ross McWhirter. The Remainers must acknowledge their sin – attempting to steal Britain from its owners. They must repent, if not, they CANNOT be forgiven else we go around this circle again … and again …

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink


  45. ADAMS
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Get rid of the Supreme Court and reform ASAP the House of Lords . We all know the National debt will increase alarmingly under Tory mis- management . HEY HO

  46. glen cullen
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Did the government sanction the appointment of Mark Carney to be special envoy to UN IPCC
    The same person who projected doom and gloom, and got almost every prediction on brexit wrong is now advising the UN
    The government is sending the wrong signal for the New Year that nepotism and cronyism is alive and well

  • 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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