There is a natural tendency to the permanent expansion of government

The first law of government is the law of continuous expansion.

In a democracy good causes line up as lobbyists demanding  government gets  involved. They lobby for government to intervene in areas it does not currently manage. They demand new laws and controls on things they do not like. They demand more money and supply of things they do like from the state.

The official government machine encourages lobbying for more as they like growing their tasks. Ministers often dislike constantly saying No to lobbies and buy them off by offering them cash and laws to help them.

Oppositions usually take up lobby causes and press the government. If the government gives in they claim some credit. If the government resists they claim the government is mean, tough, insensitive or worse.

The media join in, running campaigns on behalf of lobby groups and behaving like Opposition parties.

There are very few lobbies the other way. The  causes of a smaller state, less government control of our lives and even of lower taxes have  very few lobby groups arguing for them as a counterweight. They are chronically under  represented in the media.

208 Comments

  1. Ian Wragg
    May 4, 2021

    And Raab hints that masks will be a feature after June 21st.
    Ministers can’t relinquish control.
    I for one won’t be wearing a mask, if that precludes me from any venue so be it.
    Guidance is just that.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      May 4, 2021

      +1

      Reply
      1. Hope
        May 4, 2021

        The latest Tory ruse to fool the public, if the Tory govt. or minister fails its duty appoint a czar or task force! Make a specious change to policy anything but accept responsibility. Civil service and ministers are meant to carry out these tasks!

        Pretty Useless has a former marine acting as a school patrol crossing in the channel at taxpayers expense.

        Useless Handcock has so many czars, SAGE and its psychological scare units, task forces, inspectorate bodies etc it is hard to keep tally. Dido Harding must have presided over the most expensive waste of taxpayers money in our country’s history for failing to track trace or isolate anyone! And yet Johnson gives more tens of billions!!

        Offwat, Offcom,Offgem, her majesty’s inspectorate of everything, ASA, Environment Agency, OBR, ONS, IPSA, as well as countless ombudsmen all to deflect at huge cost to the taxpayer Tory mismanagement of the country! None of them providing a useful service to the taxpayer that each ministry should provide other than created to deflect blame.

        JR asked which ones should be scrapped. It should be the other way around. What value or benefit do they actually provide. Any business would make sure any support or back room staff kept to a minimum to provide maximum service delivery. Govt is the exact opposite, ie MOD, CQC etc. Secondly, his govt has already undertaken that task of reviewing quangos years ago and failed to act.

        We might remember Francis Maude was going to sort out the civil service and its unions- years on still the same. Home Office declared unfit for purpose in 2008, yet nothing! HO was found to have failed Rudd those responsible moved on not sacked! HO loses hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants regularly, deliberate govt.policy? If not who was sacked? All talk, spin and lies.

        Who or what inspectorate body was responsible for allowing Johnson to spend so much on a publicly owned flat when he had use of Chequers as well? Bearing in mind at the time Johnson was unnecessarily forcing thousands of businesses to close and making millions unemployed and putting millions on 80% of their salary? Other govt.’s cut their salary as an act of all it in together while Johnson spent a kings fortune! No it is not trivial and, yes, we are interested in the behaviour of the PM who is meant to set standards for society.

        Reply
    2. Everhopeful
      May 4, 2021

      +1
      Funny how they swallow all the psycho stuff but ignore reports from medics who are concerned about the health risks of mask wearing. And the risks are significant.
      Government loves to pretend to care about our well-being.
      Yet they stop us from breathing!

      Reply
      1. bigneil(newercomp)
        May 4, 2021

        Yes – they want to show they care by stopping travel – -yet hundreds arrived by dinghy over the weekend – NO travel problems for THEM. Then they get free lives for coming here – and the govt is clearly doing NOTHING about stopping the invasion – for THAT is exactly what it is,

        Reply
        1. Mikey
          May 4, 2021

          +1

          Reply
        2. The PrangWizard
          May 4, 2021

          The invasion is in practice encouraged. Any words uttered to the effect they wish to stop it are deceitful. The Tories signed up to free migration and they are doing all they can to make sure as many as possible get here. So far it looks like 50,000 each year in small boats will be achieved. Tories are still under the thumb of the EU and globalists and like it. We are not out of it as ‘Boris’ keeps falsely asserting. He dare not confront France or any other country there. We the people who started out here and had to work for everything are of course ignored and insulted.

          Reply
          1. Iago
            May 4, 2021

            Well said!

        3. MWB
          May 4, 2021

          +1

          Reply
        4. Michelle
          May 4, 2021

          Absolutely. The ‘Conservative’ party is wedded to mass immigration and are not particularly fussed how it comes about.

          Unfortunately despite all the complaining over mass immigration, the millions will still vote for ‘their party’. I’ve lost count of the numbers of Conservatives who have looked down their noses at the Labour die hard crowd who continue their support for a party that clearly has no interest in them or their opinions, purely because they’ve always voted for them and their parents voted for them etc. etc.
          Why they think they are superior in any way shape or form is beyond me. They clearly are as infected with the silly idea that a political party ‘is for life’ or like their favourite football team to who they must remain loyal.

          Reply
          1. M Davis
            May 4, 2021

            +1

        5. DavidJ
          May 4, 2021

          +1

          Reply
        6. Everhopeful
          May 4, 2021

          +1

          Reply
        7. Fedupsoutherner
          May 4, 2021

          +1

          Reply
      2. David L
        May 4, 2021

        Dr John Lee has a most revealing talk on Youtube (1st May). It’s 43 minutes long and sadly has some irritating music for some obscure reason, but he shows how futile the interventions (masks, distancing, lockdown etc) were and how they were for political purposes. He mentions the role of the Behaviour Insight Team in advising the government to keep people scared to ensure compliance. As a retired Professor of Pathology and Cancer specialist his insights are both credible and lucid. Let’s hope for a no-holds-barred inquiry into the actions of SAGE and Government, but not hold our breaths!

        Reply
        1. jerry
          May 4, 2021

          @David L; “As a retired Professor of Pathology and Cancer specialist his insights are both credible and lucid.”

          As is the case put forward by Professors of Virology for the wearing of masks, in fact one might suggest such Professors of Virology are a damned sight more qualified to speak on the subject than someone outside the specialist discipline. Each to their own expertise, after all I’m sure (should you have the misfortune to have a cancer) you would not want to be treated nor operated on by a virologist!

          Reply
          1. Hope
            May 4, 2021

            Drivel once more. WHO, PHE prepared plans made clear masks make no significant difference. Danish study last year also came to the same conclusion.

            The change to wear masks came about to scare people and force compliance not to prevent catching the virus. Sub group of SAGE idea. Dear me.

          2. jerry
            May 4, 2021

            @Hope; Stop posting twisted half-truths, the only drivel here is the clueless conspiracy theories you post to explain your utter ignorance. If masks do not stop cross-infections why do surgeons wear them in operating theatres, why do isolation nurses wear them when treating patients on the isolation wards?!

        2. Lifelogic
          May 4, 2021

          He is a very sensible and honest man, I agree with everything I have heard or read from him.

          There is indeed “a natural tendency to the permanent expansion of government”. Also a natural tenancy for people when spending other people’s money on things for other people to waste it massively. This as they care not what something costs, nor what value if any is ever delivered. Only a competent ministers can protect against this and most do not even try to. That or some real and fair competition, deliver value or go bust and get fired.

          Reply
          1. Derek Henry
            May 4, 2021

            Taxes don’t fund spending lifelogic.

            Tell the truth about taxes that the government accounts price beyond any doubt.

            Hey, you might actually get your tax cuts.

            Continue with the myth that your taxes fund, schools,hospitals, police and the public sector and you’ll never get the cuts you are looking for.

            If increasing productivity of a nation depends on the myth that your taxes pay for what needs to be built. Then you’ve lost the debate even before it has begun.

    3. nota#
      May 4, 2021

      @Ian Wragg – what is called a ‘face mask’ isn’t, it is a bit of cloth in hope of protecting others from you. These serve no purpose in protecting the wearer, it is Government ‘Virtual Signalling’ . Even the so-called surgical mask cant protect

      For protection the mask has to be a minimum of N95 or better. Government didn’t want mere mortals to go for proper protection for fear of supplies drying up for the NHS

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        May 4, 2021

        nota# the masks must serve to protect or Doctors, Dentists and other trained medics wouldn’t bother wearing them, the homemade fake masks with no filters I’d like to know just how effective they are in a proper test situation and those blue masks that are littering everywhere are they N95 because nurses seem to wear them?

        I wonder if people in hospitals are asked to wear masks for their own protection from fellow patients and staff? We are told they don’t affect breathing.

        Reply
        1. Hope
          May 4, 2021

          Tracey, standard and quality of masks vary particularly for the purpose you cite. It is clear from the fashionable ineffective ones being warn they serve no purpose. If they did govt would make it mandatory the masks have to be of a standard and quality. Sub group of witch doctors in SAGE. Read the minutes that Valance chaired last April, they wanted to scare people into compliance.

          WHO and PHE made it clear they are of no significant value. Van Tam made that clear last year as well.

          Reply
        2. nota#
          May 4, 2021

          @a-tracy. This is where the ‘virtual signaling’ and reality gets blurred. The health professionals you talk of are required to wear those blue face coverings. They do not however protect the wearer or any one in close contact from the spread of Covid-19 – the mesh of the material is massive in comparison to the actual virus.

          If worn properly, a surgical mask is meant to protect the wearer from sprays, splashes, and large-particle droplets. The N95 mask in addition to splashes, sprays, and large droplets, can also filter out 95 percent of very small particles includes viruses and bacteria. There is also a N99 version. So a surgical mask will stop a cough or sneeze from splattering you. N95 will stop 95% of Covid-19 getting into your system

          The Government didn’t want pressure from us, the mere rabble securing PPE in competition with the NHS, hence the cloth face covering with or without filters, becomes the pointless for all norm

          You will see the more concerned(able to understand) health professionals wearing proper industrial strength 3m Masks, which are about the same price as the disposable fashion items.

          Reply
          1. jerry
            May 5, 2021

            @nota#; Social mask wearing is not to stop the wearer catching the CV19 virus but help stop the wearer passing it on, even the once suggested home made two layer t-shirt mask does that to some degree. The govt didn’t want social mask wearing to use (at the time, scarce) N95 masks because other mitigation factors provided for additional safety, such as the two metre rule, one-way systems etc.

            Yours and others anti mask arguments are as silly as saying a handkerchief doesn’t stop the common cold, thus it must be acceptable to spit and snort your phlegm to the floor or ground – no one has ever said a handkerchief is 99% effective.

    4. No Longer Anonymous
      May 4, 2021

      +1

      This is a prime example of expanding government.

      Masks and social distancing are NOTHING like normal and certainly not “… as close to normal as possible.” as Mr Raab describes. My heart sank when he said it.

      The Tories need to be taken to court and resisted in other ways for us to get their boot off our throat.

      Reply
    5. MiC
      May 4, 2021

      What a shrinking wet lettuce – terrified by a little bit of cloth on his face, that even primary school kids in France just think of as a bit of a giggle.

      But John’s point is valid, and it generally stems from delegation by lazy people who nonetheless want to revel in the trappings of power, and the Tories are the worst for this.

      They pass all the actual work and responsibility on to quangoes and the like. The senior men – usually not women – in these then do the same, and on it goes.

      As I say, ordering a lockdown is power.

      Making sure that the relevant entity is correctly structured, staffed, and empowered to get enough PPE for clinicians in a pandemic is responsibility, and worse still – work.

      The expression “idle rich” is not for nothing.

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        May 4, 2021

        MiC – you seem to know a lot about PHE:
        What was their budget each year?
        What stock were they supposed to keep -v- what they actually kept?
        How many top executives over £80,000 pa did they employ?
        Who was responsible in that executive for Stock control?
        Were they reporting back to Hunt then Hancock or not?

        Reply
      2. Peter2
        May 4, 2021

        MiC
        Again completely ignoring that the biggest increase in the size of government happened under Labour in the Blair and Brown years.

        Reply
      3. No Longer Anonymous
        May 4, 2021

        MiC

        When a person socialises with a mask on they do so not in fear of a disease but in fear of the government.

        What don’t you get about that ?

        Reply
        1. MiC
          May 4, 2021

          I have hitherto been wearing a mask most of the time in public places, indoor and out, as people do in the more successful countries such as Vietnam.

          It’s been no bother at all, and I have done so not out of any personal fear whatsoever, either of disease or of the government, but simply to do all that I can to help defeat a very serious problem for humankind.

          What don’t you get about that, and the hundreds of millions of people all over the world doing the same for the same reasons?

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            May 4, 2021

            There is a big difference between being forced to do it by law and you doing it because you want to.
            Indoor I can see it maybe of benefit but outdoors I’m not sure.
            Especially if you’ve had both doses of the vaccine.

          2. Fred.H
            May 4, 2021

            Which medal would you like?

          3. No Longer Anonymous
            May 4, 2021

            Well I’ve done my bit, MiC.

            Double jab and social distancing and face masks getting on for a year.

            What’s to be scared of a bit of cloth over the face ? I’m not scared of a bit of cloth over my face but I LOATHE the infringements on social interaction, the stuffiness of it (I like fresh air) and the consequences its continuation is going to have on vast swathes of the hospitality and live entertainments sector.

            We must never ever get used to this but I note that Mr Raab says the will continue despite the vaccine and Liz Truss refused to deny that we are now going for zero Covid (shouldn’t we be told if that is the policy ?)

            By contrast you cannot seem to contain your glee over the situation and you do not have to wear one of the bloody things at work for an average of six hours a day.

            This must never become *normal* but I am glad that the Tories are holding this baby and the babies of all sorts of other policies that they blamed other parties and institutions for.

            It should be clear for everyone to see by now.

    6. X-Tory
      May 4, 2021

      There is an expression: “Be the change you want to see”.

      If you object to the requirement to wear masks in shops, for instance, then simply don’t wear one. You are a man, not a sheep. Follow your principles, not the herd. You’ll be surprised how easy it is in reality.

      Reply
      1. No Longer Anonymous
        May 4, 2021

        I get my exemption lanyard soon.

        Reply
  2. Peter Wood
    May 4, 2021

    Good morning,

    Why not make the ‘first law of the Conservative Party’ to be: ‘Do more with less’.

    where are the conservative principles in the Conservative Party?

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      May 4, 2021

      Well that is what they claim before elections buy they deliver the complete opposite. Before the last election they promised a “Triple tax freeze promise will mean no rise in rates of income tax, VAT or national insurance under Tory government” but they have already “effectively” increase these rates by freezing thresholds for all of them plus increasing Corp. Tax, cutting entrepreneur reliefs to deter new businesses, increasing IHT, further mugging pension pot saving and also soon about to attack CGT I suspect. Sunak shortly increasing most house prices by a further £25k of stamp duty and rather more than this through new insane, net zero, building regs.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        May 4, 2021

        Increasing corporation tax is, in effect, a tax on incomes and people’s living standards (as companies have less money to pay as wages, less to pay in dividends to investors and pension funds and less to invest in creating new jobs). Almost as much a tax on incomes and living standards as income tax and National Insurance in effect.

        Reply
        1. Alan Jutson
          May 4, 2021

          The real problem is mission creep, first introduce a regulation, law, tax, or benefit policy, then it gets expanded out of all proportion, by design or intent from the original argument.

          22,000 pages of tax rules, Goodness knows how many pages on the huge range of benefits, so many changes in what were simple laws, which are now so complicated clever lawyers walk rings around the prosecution service, that is if they actually decide to prosecute at all, then we have sentencing where the term handed down really only means 50% of time is being served.
          Then we have the 1000 Quango’s discussed at length over the last few days.
          Now it would appear you can change your Gender with a new Certificate costing a £ fiver.(announced today).

          John, we are being buried under so much increasing regulation it is a wonder any of us know what we are doing is either right or wrong !

          Reply
        2. nota#
          May 4, 2021

          @LL it is also saying ‘Lets Export Jobs’

          Reply
        3. Hope
          May 4, 2021

          LL,
          Do not forget Council tax was meant to be frozen. Council staff allegedly worked from home on full salaries without providing all the services. Govt gave them billions to make up for the shortfall and now on top of that allowed them to charge 5% and more! Why?

          When water was taken from our rates bills ie council tax did our council tax bills go down because they did not provide the service, no. Water bills became an additional cost, with 9% year on year increases allowed by useless Offwat!

          Social adult care now an add on in council tax, yet people still forced to sell their homes, why?
          EA created in 1997 taking away responsibilities from councils. Council tax was not reduced when this work was taken away. Now taxpayers pay an additional sum to councils for the responsibility it formerly had ! EA still in existence without any cut to its budget!! Tory govt. is mugging the public at every turn for more tax. No wonder Tory govt at a seventy, yes seventy year high for taxation! As you say tax, spend no piss down the drain. JR asks what quangos should be scrapped!! Surely as a citizen, let alone an MP or former minister he can see this waste for himself? Moreover, what has he done to champion cutting costs of govt, local govt and associated bodies for his constituents? Should he not be telling us what he has done for others to follow his example so we can lobby our MPs?

          Reply
    2. Hat man
      May 4, 2021

      Two years ago Boris promised us a ‘different kind of politics’.

      How different!

      I don’t think many of us commenting on this blog will be voting Conservative on Thursday, unlike in December 2019. That is Boris’s achievement.

      Reply
      1. Fred.H
        May 4, 2021

        If memories of events during this Parliament stay with the Electorate, the ruling party will be laid waste.
        The only event that springs to mind to support them is the £billions spent via dubious undeclared purchasing of vaccines. The UK vaccines totally due to scientists that have not been properly supported over the course of the last 3 governments, at least.

        Reply
        1. Pauline Baxter
          May 4, 2021

          They did manage to build Nightingale Hospitals, using the defunded military. Then they failed to use them! Just another waste of money.

          Reply
          1. Fred.H
            May 4, 2021

            I don’t think a long row of skeleton partitions inside a bare warehouse is a great achievement.

    3. turboterrier
      May 4, 2021

      Peter Wòod

      Where are the Conservative principles?

      You will find them in the corner of every cemetery, buried deep and long forgotten. Like us waiting for their resurrection .

      Reply
      1. Hope
        May 4, 2021

        TT,
        What is Handcock doing across the NHS to stop doctors filling in extension of treatment forms not to resuscitate elderly patients who clearly did not give consent? A disgraceful scandal on his watch. It would appear he wants to get rid of the most vulnerable group in society to reduce demand on the NHS. This goes to the heart of trust, ethics and integrity of treatment of the elderly. It also goes against the norms of a civil society to look after the most vulnerable.

        First he is responsible for the scandal of removing elderly from hospitals to care homes last year which resulted in their certain death and now this.

        To add insult to injury prevent people from attending their funerals!!

        There must be an urgent inquiry whether this is an unwritten govt policy.

        Reply
        1. Pauline Baxter
          May 4, 2021

          Hancock should have been sacked at least a year ago and Sage with him.

          Reply
    4. JoolsB
      May 4, 2021

      “where are the conservative principles in the Conservative Party?”

      They are non-existent Peter and that’s because the current bunch masquerading as Conservatives are anything but. Sadly those of us who want to see a Conservative Government have been deprived of one since 1990. They say one thing at the ballot box but have all turned out to be big state, big tax and spend nanny state socialists at heart. Johnson has deceived us all.

      Reply
      1. Hope
        May 4, 2021

        Anyone voting or considering voting Tory must be out of their minds!

        Reply
        1. JoolsB
          May 4, 2021

          Totally agree.

          Reply
        2. Timaction
          May 4, 2021

          +1

          Reply
    5. MiC
      May 4, 2021

      The fragmentation and contrived complexity of responsibility in the UK is intentional, and is meant to allow all those who went to certain schools to avoid any onus for disasters such as Grenfell Tower, the hundreds of deaths of NHS staff owing to a lack of PPE, and other egregious failures of administration, regulation, empowerment and enforcement.

      The creation of all this of course engenders the appearance of endless expansion.

      But if you’re chasing the votes of cash-in-hand, tax-dodging, fly-tipping shabby traders and the likes, then you needn’t worry too much about their sort caring, I suppose.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        May 4, 2021

        Feeling better after your rant MiC?
        Seen the latest polls?

        Reply
        1. MiC
          May 4, 2021

          Yes, the low-life are just going to have to learn the hard way yet again.

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            May 4, 2021

            Keep abusing the voters Martin.
            Labour will be in opposition for many more years.

          2. Fred.H
            May 4, 2021

            such a shame you have to share the planet with your unequals.

          3. MiC
            May 4, 2021

            Not “the voters”.

            Just the degenerate minority amongst them, whose votes John’s party nonetheless seek to get.

            They are welcome. These people will never be enlightened nor decent.

        2. Peter2
          May 4, 2021

          Still continuing on your quest to abuse the voters MiC
          Best of luck getting your favourite party elected when they see how all you posh elite really think about them.
          Eg
          That bigoted woman

          Reply
    6. Colin
      May 4, 2021

      Why not make it, “Do less”?

      Reply
      1. Peter Wood
        May 4, 2021

        Yes, I thought about that later; we really want a LOT LESS government don’t we, but it doesn’t sound right! I was thinking of greater efficiency with what they’ve got.

        Reply
        1. Timaction
          May 4, 2021

          Indeed. We need the number of MPs cut by half and the Lords to about 200, non political experts across the piste.

          Reply
  3. Lifelogic
    May 4, 2021

    Indeed, but we know that small government, freedom and real choice give a far better standard of living for almost everyone. People keep voting for lower taxes, smaller government & far less red tape and Tory politicians promise this (before election) but rat on it and never deliver. Is it any wonder such politicians are held in complete contempt? The current administration even wants to put the vast and pointless expense of circa £10 trillion on top with their moronic net zero CO2 (plant, crop and tree food) agenda.

    Cameron for example claimed to be a low tax at heart, Cast Iron, Eurosceptic and that he would stay on and deliver the section 50 letter the next day. He was, in reality, the complete opposite and just abandoned ship like a petulant child passing his job to the dire May who tried to kill Brexit in all but name.

    Sunak and Boris appeared to be libertarian low tax conservative but now in power are the complete opposite. Sunna’s first action (before Covid) was to cut entrepreneurs relief to 1/10 of what it was. He even taxed people to fund his moronic eat out to help out, he continues with the insanity of HS2 and he too has fallen for the CO2 alarmist insanity. Being a PPE graduate he will probably have little grasp of science, energy, real economics or reality.

    Reply
    1. bigneil(newercomp)
      May 4, 2021

      Is that the same Cameron who said he’d trigger the leaving of the EU? – and walked away????

      Reply
      1. Alan Jutson
        May 4, 2021

        Shame the Country did not do the same thing and followed his example at the time, just walked away with a simple transition period of 12 months after which we could have enacted WTO Rules, it would have saved more than 4 years of the absolute nonsense of so called negotiation, saved us £40 billion, and we would not be left with the farce over Northern Ireland, and would be in full control of our fishing waters.

        Reply
        1. Hope
          May 4, 2021

          Alan,
          +1.

          A total betrayal to N.Ireland, fisheries and at vast cost to the nation and taxpaying public. ECHR was promised to be scrapped three times by each of the last Tory PMs. No wonder it is a free for all for illegal to keep coming. After all four star hotels await while pensioners forced to sell their homes because Tories failed to keep their promises on social adult care. I never hear Mitchell and his like who bleat about overseas aid worrying about homeless ex servicemen, elderly in fuel poverty- which will get worse under Symmond’s/Johnson’s green crap deal, school children not getting an education depriving them of life chances etc. No, but perfectly okay to give Lear jets to despots, create Spice Girl bands, help exotic fish mate etc etc.

          Reply
        2. glen cullen
          May 4, 2021

          +1

          Reply
        3. Lifelogic
          May 4, 2021

          +1

          Reply
      2. Fred.H
        May 4, 2021

        But failed to set up even a miniscule group to prepare for a possible LEAVE result. The EU got 27 countries to agree and set up a well organised thorough team for a year prior.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          May 4, 2021

          +1 indeed gross negligence by the government and indeed civil servants. We need now a small group to analyse and expose the bogus climate alarmism scam, the bogus non solutions and this current net damaging lockdown too.

          Reply
    2. DavidJ
      May 4, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  4. Everhopeful
    May 4, 2021

    Strikes me that the govt has no problem ignoring the wishes of voters.
    So WHY cave in to lobbyists?
    Just say “No!”

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      May 4, 2021

      +1 and ignoring, cheating on or circumventing the many pre-election promises they make. Yet voters have little redress. They cannot sue or recall these people for their totally dishonest promises.

      Reply
    2. Lifelogic
      May 4, 2021

      Why cave in to Lobbyists? Well many MPs, MPs friends and relatives, ex PMs like Cameron are very much on the payroll of vested interests as “consultants” etc. Declared in their financial interests perhaps – but what difference does this make they still have the interest and most cannot be trusted to act honestly or in the public’s interest as we see daily.

      Reply
    3. Fred.H
      May 4, 2021

      Well one would THINK that the wishes of the voters would be first and foremost lobbying by the MPs !
      But it doesn’t happen. Why is that? Could it be that they hoodwinked their voters all along? Is it that they know where their bread is buttered and want to be seen cooperating with ‘influential’ lobbyists or media? Do many have a hidden agenda, and are considered pliable by Central Office who themselves are working to a script or theme which is not revealed? It became clear that Remainers held far more important positions in Government, Civil Service and the Law than the voters knew who said ‘enough, we want to leave the EU’. How does the persuasion to select the majority party PM work? We’ve seen the farce of (First) minister selection in parts of the Union, and English parties. Even Johnson has a large number of MPs who think picking Johnson was a travesty, like many voters.

      Reply
      1. Lester
        May 4, 2021

        Fred H
        Well said!

        My MP just rubber-stamps everything that’s placed before him including the ruinous lockdown legislation which has such a detrimental effect on his constituents and other than an acknowledgment NEVER replies to my emails expressing concern about the course being followed by Johnson!
        What’s to be done, I was under the impression that one’s MP was the constituents connection to parliament?
        Despite representing a Leave voting constituency he was voting for all the Remain motions until I pointed out that he was supposed to be representing the voters and not his own inclinations.
        I thought that he would be required to answer my emails Sir John?

        Reply
      2. glen cullen
        May 4, 2021

        +1

        Reply
    4. jerry
      May 4, 2021

      @EH; So WHY cave in to lobbyists? Just say “No!”

      I’m sure all the Remainers would agree, the govt should not have caved into the anti EU lobbyists, they should just have said “No!” to a referendum.

      EH, your rant is yet more proof that the hard right believe in the maxim “Do as we say, not as we do”….

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        May 4, 2021

        Blame Cameron’s miscalculation re Lib Dems, not lobbyists!
        Lobbyists didn’t make Leave win.
        Being a sore loser must be soooooo uncomfortable.

        Reply
        1. jerry
          May 5, 2021

          @EH; “Lobbyists didn’t make Leave win.”

          Yes they did, had there been no Brexit lobbyists, there would have been no referendum, you go what you wanted, twice!…

          “Being a sore loser must be soooooo uncomfortable.”

          The only people looking as if sat upon a high spike, rather than a high horse, are die-hard UKIP (or what ever they call themselves these days, TBP or Reform UK) members, always on the defence, as if their lies and half-truth are starting to unravel. Most people, Remain or Leave, now simply want the best out of the situation.

          Reply
    5. Michelle
      May 4, 2021

      Excellent analysis.

      Reply
  5. DOM
    May 4, 2021

    In a few simple paragraphs this is your most poignant offering to date. Lobbying by pernicious forces with intent to harm and subjugate is directly responsible for the web of oppressive speech laws, identity politics and offence laws and regulations that now pervade our every waking second. We are being suffocated and strangled into submission.

    Lobbying has led to a hierarchy of rights according to identity. Lobbying has led to the criminalisation of emotion, the deliberate targeting of presumption of innocence and a situation in which allegation is treated as evidence of guilt with evidence not even required to prove guilt. How can that be legal?

    The Police do not have to prove intent nor seek physical evidence to arrest and detain. They have been given the right to arrest based on someone or other claiming ’emotional distress’ without any requirement on the accuser to corroborate such a claim. This is the judicial system of Soviet Russia or NS Germany.

    All of the above is as a result of lobbying by groups and vested interests with authoritarian intent using Labour as the conduit knowing they can quite easily force a weak party in government to capitulate to their demands for fear of being accused of the most heinous of offences.

    Cameron’s decision to reject the party’s most fundamental beliefs and ‘go with the narrative’ ie the progressive narrative has brought us to this point. It makes life very easy for the Tory party, insulates them from accusations of racism and xenophobia but exposes us the majority to demonisation with new laws designed to silence and criminalise even the most innocent of comments or references. Entire swathes of history and cultural output purged to the satisfy the fascist appetite of the new cultural and racial hegemony

    Only Conservative Woman is prepared to discuss these most fundamental of issues that are now slowly our eroding and erasing our freedoms, our innocence and our voice

    It is simply barbaric to sacrifice our freedoms to protect the Tory party from lobbying by extremist forces who now know they can demand whatever they want and enjoy total immunity for their vile causes.

    This must end before it causes dislocation

    Reply
    1. agricola
      May 4, 2021

      Could not be better put, well said DOM.

      Reply
    2. Lifelogic
      May 4, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    3. Everhopeful
      May 4, 2021

      Totally agree.
      There are even agencies that train folk in the gentle art of lobbying!
      Who lobbied against smoking? People smoked even before tobacco, since the dawn of time ( various herbs..Sweet Woodruff etc). In whose interests was that persuasion? The cannabis lobby? Or..?
      Who wants to ban the few effective OTC painkillers we have? Is it the antidepressant manufacturers?
      So we go back to a hot onion for earache do we, since antibiotics are now verboten. Who lobbied against them? Are they “unlawful” for some? Is the government listening to and obeying extreme views?
      The creeping ban on alcohol. Who wants that? With what would that comply?
      The loss of our freedoms certainly must suit an interest group or two.
      We are being dragged ( scream loudly!) back to the Dark Ages!
      And our politicians smirk smugly and sit oh so quietly, arms folded, as the dark waters close above our heads.

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        May 4, 2021

        Spot On

        Reply
      2. Pauline Baxter
        May 4, 2021

        Everhopeful. I certainly agree with most of your points there. E.g. all the smoking bans. These must have threatened government revenue (to get back towards Sir John’s blog) since tobacco taxes were a source of revenue. The anti smoking hype was vastly over rated, just like the Covid19 stuff now.
        Demonising the use of antibiotics to treat human infection with bacteria was also wrongly targeted and probably done to make more money for big pharma. OTC painkillers, yes well there is nothing wrong with aspirin, or paracetamol but they were not making enough money for Big Pharma.
        Dragged back to the dark ages. Yes we are being. The Global Warming caused by CO2 Scam, is just that, a SCAM.
        That is a case of a pressure group costing us money, and worse.

        Reply
        1. Everhopeful
          May 4, 2021

          +1

          Reply
    4. Bill B.
      May 4, 2021

      Says it all. Well put, DOM.

      Reply
    5. No Longer Anonymous
      May 4, 2021

      I had my first serious Political Correction course last week.

      ‘Microaggressions’ and how I’m guilty of all of it. The exam at the end of it could not be passed and was full of traps and tripwires. And I noticed that only BAMEs, people with disabilities and minority sexual groups could be victims.

      This is sinister stuff aimed at dividing us and causing frictions and to create a niche for the ‘expert’ class that thrives on it all.

      Reply
      1. Narrow Shoulders
        May 4, 2021

        Mispronouncing a name that you have only ever seen written down derived in a language you don’t speak and with letters transposed to the roman alphabet is, apparently, a microaggression. And calling someone who looks like a man but has decided to be a woman “Sir” is also such a microaggression

        No room for the possibility of genuine mistakes any more everyone just takes offence.

        Reply
    6. jerry
      May 4, 2021

      @DOM; “The Police do not have to prove intent nor seek physical evidence to arrest and detain. They have been given the right to arrest based on someone or other claiming ’emotional distress’ without any requirement on the accuser to corroborate such a claim.”

      So pre-emptive policing is not acceptable, that the police can not intervene to stop a child being abused, a adult suffering GBH or being murdered, or away from ‘domestic crimes’, your business having its computers hacked, your vehicles touched etc, in your opinion the police have to wait until a crime has been committed, physical (non-circumstantial) evidence exists?

      I very much doubt many “Conservative Woman” would want a return to the era when married women, legally speaking, could not be abused by their spouses!

      Reply
    7. turboterrier
      May 4, 2021

      DOM
      +1

      Reply
    8. DavidJ
      May 4, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    9. Original Richard
      May 4, 2021

      Dom :
      +1

      “Lobbying……and a situation in which allegation is treated as evidence of guilt with evidence not even required to prove guilt.”

      We have an MSM which broadcasts incessantly any allegations which fits their narrative and when the allegations are later proved false say absolutely nothing.

      We even have a well known journalist working for a well known PC newspaper justifying serious allegations, which were later proved to be completely false, on the basis that it was right the allegations were made because “they were made in the public interest”.

      Reply
    10. Hope
      May 4, 2021

      Even a retired judge says today in the papers that transgender lobbying has too much say over govt policy!

      Reply
  6. Lifelogic
    May 4, 2021

    The population as a whole vote for MPs, but governments once in place, mainly look after the circa 20% of workers who “work” for government and largely parasite off (& inconvenience/misdirect/regulate) the 80% of largely productive wealth creating workers. They demand virtual state monopolies in healthcare, education etc. to cut out any real competition from the far more efficient and effective private sector.

    They then also (often corruptly) respond to endless crony capitalism and vested interests as yet a further tax or handicap on the productive. Plus they rig the energy market, banking and much else to inflict yet further damage. With net zero CO2 at a cost of £10 trillion of so (with zero actual benefit) the final insanity on top to render the UK very uncompetitive and to kill and export jobs.

    Reply
    1. agricola
      May 4, 2021

      Kn the money this morning LL.

      Reply
      1. agricola
        May 4, 2021

        Sorry, On the money this morning LL.

        Reply
  7. Mark B
    May 4, 2021

    Good morning.

    Then it is time to turn all this on its head.

    The problem with our system is that it is top-down. Everything is done by national government and that creates that which has been described. This is one of the reasons I support Direct Democracy and a bottom-up approach. If the National government was forced to ask the nations of the United Kingdom (each with its own parliament) for money it would be harder for these organisations to both lobby and seek funding.

    As they say :- Follow the money.

    Reply
  8. agricola
    May 4, 2021

    Yes to all that. It is a normal practice in both government and private commercial practice for those who manage to wish to expand their influence and ipso facto the size of the department they run. As you say lobbies, the media, and opposition feed the need.
    The electorate pay for it and only lobby/elect every five years. This is why I advocate many more referendums. Single subject questions being a better way to measure what the public want, rather than a promise all do nothing manifesto.
    Another way is to ensure that every constituency gets the candidate they want, one that will vote for their interests not that of the party. The conservatives benefitted from this at the last election with leave candidates in “Red Wall” seats in the North of England, and fishing reform candidates around our coast. The cynicism of the conservative political party can be seen in the way the fishing industry has been abandoned, a la Heath, yet again. Payment at the next GE.
    A healthy society is one where the people make and pay for most of the decisions in their lives. The converse is true when government make almost all the decisions and the people are emmasculated with taxation at every level. Singapore or the USSR ,which is it to be. The people decided in 2016, when will government realise it.

    Reply
    1. Jim Whitehead
      May 4, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  9. Vita Brevis
    May 4, 2021

    Very true Sir John. One might add that the purpose of any bureaucracy is to grow. Any other function it might perform is incidental.

    In the past, when taxes were difficult to collect and people felt no moral responsibility to help government collect them, perpetual shortage of money imposed a natural limit on the size and scope of government. Now nothing is easier than tax collection and Tax is Good – so long as someone else pays it.

    Well, the bigger the state the smaller the citizen. A people so indifferent to their own liberties that it is glad to pay for their diminution will not keep them very long.

    Reply
  10. Alan Holmes
    May 4, 2021

    We live in a socialist country where government takes more and more power for it’s own sake but certainly encouraged by lobby groups. What we get is a totalitarian monstrosity that quite soon runs out of money and steals more and more of other people’s money. There is only one outcome of this.

    Reply
    1. MiC
      May 4, 2021

      Hilarious.

      Reply
      1. Fred.H
        May 4, 2021

        so glad it amuses you.

        Reply
  11. Lifelogic
    May 4, 2021

    USSR is the very clear direction of travel from Boris and Sunak so far and we were half way there already.

    Reply
    1. Fred.H
      May 4, 2021

      well I hope this Government hasn’t embarked on a number of 5-year plans, and without telling us !
      Green this, green that, no gas, no petrol, no coal, no pubs/restaurants, no public meetings, arrest for holding anything resembling a banner !

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        May 4, 2021

        Don’t forget the thought police

        Reply
        1. Fred.H
          May 4, 2021

          If Johnson and his Cabinet had the slightest idea of my thoughts about them, I would indeed be arrested.

          Reply
  12. Petey
    May 4, 2021

    The following quote from Henry Thoreau (often attributed to Thomas Jefferson) is spot on:

    I heartily accept the motto,—”That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, “That government is best which governs not at all” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.

    — Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

    Reply
    1. SM
      May 4, 2021

      “If we see the people obedient to the laws, prosperous in their industry, united at home and respected abroad, we may reasonably assume that their affairs are conducted by men of experience, abilities and virtue.

      If, on the contrary, we see an universal spirit of distrust and dissatisfaction, a rapid decay of trade, and dissensions in all parts of the empire, and a total loss of respect in the eyes of foreign powers, we may pronounce without hesitation, that the government of the country is weak, distracted and corrupt.”

      – ‘Junius’, the Public Advertiser daily paper, circa 1770.

      Reply
      1. Sakara Gold
        May 4, 2021

        @SM – Yet another of your comical and nonsensical posts. What on earth has a paragraph cribbed from an obscure 18th century paper about the empire got to do with anything today? Can’t you come up with something worth reading for once?

        Reply
        1. SM
          May 4, 2021

          Sorry, SG, would you prefer that I rant endlessly about horrible and selfish old people, anti-male biased vaccine deliveries, the blessed perfection of the EU and the Marxist take-over of the Conservative Party?

          I quoted Junius, a well-known anonymous political observer who wrote to a lively London newspaper over the course of some years, as I thought it went well with Thoreau’s observation. Why don’t you follow my course of action with contributors I think are a waste of time – ignore and move on.

          Reply
      2. oldwulf
        May 4, 2021

        A reduction in the number of MPs would be a good signal of intent.

        What about the House of Lords ?

        Reply
  13. Richard1
    May 4, 2021

    Whenever a minister is interviewed, especially in left leaning media such as the BBC, the focus is relentless on why haven’t they spent more on this, why haven’t more laws and regulations been introduced. The questioning very rarely comes from the other perspective – why are you spending so much on this, is the taxpayer really getting value for money? In business, looking at the performance of a company we do not challenge managements as to why they haven’t spent more, we focus on the results, and often ask why so much has been spent. No wonder govt keeps growing. A really active effort is needed to control it.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      May 4, 2021

      Even the loyal opposition isn’t asking why this government is spending unknown billions on ‘track & trace’

      Reply
    2. Peter2
      May 4, 2021

      Well said Richard.
      A very good point.

      Reply
    3. Derek Henry
      May 4, 2021

      Considering taxes don’t fund government spending it is a non issue Richard.

      Most of the problems and the inability to cut taxes starts from that false premise.

      Thatcher started the myth. Brexit Britain should challenge it and expose the truth of what taxes are for.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        May 5, 2021

        Ah the magic money tree school of economics.
        See Zimbabwe and others for where that path ends.
        Please send me a million of your magic money please Derek

        Reply
  14. Narrow Shoulders
    May 4, 2021

    Government does best that does least.

    Most who would seek one’s vote, do not deserve it. That is the conundrum

    Reply
  15. jerry
    May 4, 2021

    Government sounds a bit like a PLC, no one would find the activities mentioned by our hosts in his article at all strange if he was talking about the ‘Never Better Widget Co. Ltd’, lobbyists being the customers and suppliers, laws and regulations being trading and credit terms etc.

    If our host thinks lobbying is so bad, worse if taken up by the oppositions (or indeed MPs on the govt benches, especially if against govt policy), why was he so supportive of the Brexit lobby, but then perhaps he is actually putting the case for lobbyists?

    Reply
  16. hefner
    May 4, 2021

    Second law of thermodynamics’ Principle of entropy?

    Reply
  17. nota#
    May 4, 2021

    Sir John

    As you infer – perpetual growth. But in general as well meaning as some of these positions seem they are actually saying we want rule in our minority image and we want the force of Government behind us.

    As for the MsM what ever way you shake it they are not the ‘news’ they are not the buffer for common decency, or an investigation organisation to root out corruption, they are simply there to create advertising space therefor revenue.

    Enough is enough, everything should be paired back. Back to the basics for the Country to function. The Lobbying should be done through the Ballot Box alone, funding for election campaigns restricted in as far as n’ funding comes from any source out side of the Constituency itself.

    In other words the fight is to create a Democracy, not a pseudo democracy that reinforces those that have power.

    There should be less members of the HoC. There we have the problem that some are there for the wrong personal reasons. I would guess (and its only a guess) just about 20% of our MP’s are there out of a duty to serve, the others see a wage and will hang on to it by what ever means.

    There is no place in a Democracy for the HoL, however it is worded it is a corrupting lobby group. An elected revising chamber – yes. But a system like the HoL that just corrupts the meaning of democracy no.

    Reply
    1. nota#
      May 4, 2021

      Sir John – Another one of your ‘blogs’ that to do them justice requires a lot more reasoning than is sensible in a straight forward reply.

      Reply
  18. Bryan Harris
    May 4, 2021

    The System badly needs to change, to evolve into something better with natural constraints — We have outgrown this particular shade of democracy.

    We can’t expect parliament to go about reforming itself, it will need to be driven by a need to serve the people better.
    It should be part of a national debate, after identifying the component parts of parliament and democracy that work well – Then we look at ways to make it all fit for this century.

    I fear this could never happen as there are so many vested interests that will want to keep what we have.

    Reply
  19. George Brooks.
    May 4, 2021

    Spot on Sir John and I agree with Dom and Mark B.

    Regretfully we have been sliding down this slope for nearly 30 years and it will continue until the parties smarten up and tighten up their candidate selection and becoming an MP ceases to be a career opportunity immediately after leaving university. More and more members are ‘very wet behind the ears’ and have little or no practical experience of the real world.

    In the last 30 years we have had three PMs who had very very little experience of the real world prior to becoming an MP and all three took us further down this slippery path.

    An MP’s salary and expenses should not be above their pay scale that they can achieve in the outside world, as it is currently for many members, who then pander to the lobbyists for fear of losing their job and having to go down to the Job Centre.

    Reply
  20. nota#
    May 4, 2021

    Its Human Nature to protect what one has achieved. Hence the first job of Government is not the people, not their electorate but their own self preservation. This is done at the expense of the Country and becomes a tool for pandering to personal ego.

    What it isn’t is Democracy in Action

    Reply
  21. Sir Joe Soap
    May 4, 2021

    Once a manifesto is set out, any significant deviation from that by an incumbent party needs to be subject to some sort of control. The only real control at this time is the threat of the country being run by the alternative team. That being even less attractive than the incumbent isn’t sufficient to stop changes which wouldn’t be vetoed by the population.
    Perhaps a team needs to be set up to keep governments to their manifesto promises-a kind of uber-Quango, which can also demand referenda on contentious individual points within manifestos? Naturally I think of HS2, excess immigration/housebuilding and even smart motorways, which would almost certainly fail in referenda, but still proceed regardless.

    Reply
  22. agricola
    May 4, 2021

    I have concluded from all I have read this morning that here is an opportunity for a new political party in the current vacumn. It would require the leadership of someone as clear headed, charismatic, and as erudite as the unsung Nigel Farage, supported by another half dozen like him. One thing that Nigel proved on at least three occasions was that if you have a clear case, and can communicate it to a waiting electorate, the unprecedented becomes possible.

    Reply
    1. Jim Whitehead
      May 4, 2021

      Agricola. +1

      Reply
    2. Philip P.
      May 4, 2021

      Well, we have Reform UK, led by Richard Tice, who makes a good case for ending lockdown restrictions, and seems as clear-headed as Farage (though how they compare after a pint or two I wouldn’t know).
      Your point, Agricola, about how they could communicate their case to the electorate is key of course. The government, from being only 30th biggest media advertiser in 2019, is now this country’s number one advertiser. So why would newspaper editors want to give much publicity to a party that would challenge the government, and threaten that cosy relationship between themselves and government money?

      Reply
  23. glen cullen
    May 4, 2021

    The causes of a smaller state, less government control of our lives and even of lower taxes have very few lobby groups arguing for them as a counterweigh
    _____________________________________
    Wrong – there are millions of lobbyists who wish to reduce government….but they’re called Tory voters – and they’re ignored

    Reply
    1. Fred.H
      May 4, 2021

      the solution is simple and totally in their hands. Stop sitting on them !
      Revenge is a dish best served cold.

      Reply
    2. Jim Whitehead
      May 4, 2021

      Nice comment, G.C.

      Reply
    3. Timaction
      May 4, 2021

      Conservative not Tory as tha latter are no longer, conservative.

      Reply
  24. Roy Grainger
    May 4, 2021

    One point the government seems to fail to understand is that lobbyists will never be satified. For example the green lobby simply ignore the fact the the UK is a world leader in CO2 reduction and green initiatives, they simply continue their lobbying by saying UK is uniquely bad and hasn’t spent enough. The press simply jump on the latest bandwagon – they will support the green lobby until such time that it starts hurting people by taking away their cars and home heating and at that point they’ll switch to lobbying against it.

    Reply
  25. nota#
    May 4, 2021

    There is a natural tendency to the permanent expansion of government

    That in its self is not Government and it is not even Democracy. Democracy may not create the best style of Government, but it is the least worst. Government is about minimal direction not maximum cohesion.

    With the so-called expansions, lobbying, adherence to the MsM and me-too campaigns they are about creating a Dictatorships to perpetuate rule. What that method can never be called is Democratic Government

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      May 4, 2021

      Agree

      Reply
  26. oldtimer
    May 4, 2021

    How true – as are the many comments supporting your remarks.
    Several years ago, I unexpectedly found myself sitting next to a retired MP and ex Cabinet Minister at a lunch. During our conversation he candidly admitted that the quick and easy way to buy off many lobbyists was to bung them a £million or two to support their cause. Now it is much more insidious (as others have already pointed out) as the lobbyists work on changing the law and regulations to advance their agenda. It is not at all clear how this can be reversed.

    Reply
  27. David Brown
    May 4, 2021

    Interesting there are very few lobbies the other way round. Or indeed very little media reporting for this.
    I draw one conclusion from this namely
    The vast majority of people don’t want less Government. This is especially so following the Covid pandemic. There is a very distinct change that suggests life can never go back to the way it was before Covid.
    Less Government is a past ideology.
    That’s my general feeling

    Reply
    1. Bill B.
      May 4, 2021

      Sadly, David Brown, you may well be right. At least until the fear pandemic wears off. But it may never be allowed to wear off. And as Social Credit/Basic Income replaces the furlough scheme, as it probably will, less government would mean a lot of poverty in a ‘reset’ world. The only thing is, big government needs a lot of money, and where will that be found from: higher taxation. Yes, it would be a massive vote-loser, but that would only be a problem if meaningful elections were ever to be held again. Continued extension of the Coronavirus Act should ensure that doesn’t happen.

      Reply
  28. David Brown
    May 4, 2021

    I am strongly in favour of the UK adopting a Federal system for UK nations and areas of England

    Reply
    1. acorn
      May 4, 2021

      We had a referendum for a region in the north east in 2004, remember ? Nesno; the north-east says no campaign, master-minded by one Dominic Cummings who successfully deployed an anti-establishment theme. Nesno claimed it was “Britain’s first populist campaign”. A strategy that Cummings would reprise for Vote Leave’s 2016 campaign.

      Turning the UK into a twelve region federal structure would parallel it with the federal structures of France, Germany and Spain to name but three. That was far too much devolution for Westminster and Whitehall, the UK having the most centralised system of government in the EU.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        May 4, 2021

        It wasnt Whitehall and Westminster that didn’t like the idea of artificial regions acorn.
        It was the majority of people who voted it down.
        There was no Cummings in my region.
        But we still rejected the idea.

        Reply
        1. acorn
          May 5, 2021

          So there was no Cummings in your region???? I was not aware of any other regions having referendums, please explain.

          Reply
        2. Peter2
          May 5, 2021

          12 regions

          Reply
  29. Dorothy Johnston
    May 4, 2021

    Every year, millions of people sign petitions on the Govenment website. Sometimes in the hundred of thousands for one petition. This is the only way the general public can lobby Parliament. If a petition reaches 1o,ooo it gets disscussed at committee. If it reaches 100,ooo it gets disscussed in Parliament. I would be interested to know how many petitions have actualy made any diffference and been acted upon.

    Reply
  30. glen cullen
    May 4, 2021

    MPs not allowed to have face-to-face time with lobbyists

    Create a government website that lobbyists can upload and explain their new proposal

    All proposals to be open and transparent to public to source and read

    Feedback to any proposal via same website and open for all to read

    No need for lobbyists at parliament, or meetings outside of parliament as everything is completed online

    This will stop the corruption, bungs and undue influence…..a similar system is in current use by plebs on the government petition website

    Reply
  31. Julian Flood
    May 4, 2021

    The major problem with interference by governments comes when politicians are ignorant. The lack of a sceptical approach to Professor Neil Ferguson’s modelled pandemic predictions is illustrative — why was he employed with his track record of failed projections? Why was there no-one in government with the training, intelligence and background to point out the obvious dangers of following the science when the science was so uncertain?
    The more government runs, the higher needs to be he quality of the politicians. ‘Nuff said.

    JF
    (My initial response to this runs to 800 words. I’ll try to hawk it elsewhere.)

    Reply
    1. Pauline Baxter
      May 4, 2021

      Hello Julian Flood. I’m sure Sir John would be very interested in your article ‘The High Road to Hypothermia’.
      Please send it to him, perhaps in abbreviated form(?). If you have not already done so of course.
      I wanted to make this comment earlier today when I read it on Independence Daily, because I know J.R. is keen to keep Britain warm and productive.

      Reply
  32. ChrisS
    May 4, 2021

    Some of Ronald Reagan’s greatest quotes are as relevant, perhaps even more relevant today than when he spoke them :

    “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.””

    And, even more relevant to this piece :
    “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth.”

    Reply
    1. MiC
      May 4, 2021

      It has a ring to it, but it’s self-evident tripe.

      No official would ever say that for a start.

      Reply
  33. Iago
    May 4, 2021

    The government have turned the page on this country and its people. Well said, Dom above.

    Reply
  34. acorn
    May 4, 2021

    I don’t know of any UK University that prepares the equivalent of Mercatus’s REGDATA 2.0 referred to in this article, but the UK definitely needs similar. “The 10 Most and Least Heavily Regulated States California has the most regulations, while New York has the most complex rules, according to a new report” By Kaia Hubbard (google “…”) The Mercatus Center is Austrian School (Hayek) and a natural data source for Redwoodians.

    “The Cumulative Cost of Regulations […] By altering investment decisions and disrupting the innovation that comes from investment in knowledge creation, regulations have a cumulative and detrimental effect on economic growth—and, over time, have a real impact on American families and workers.”

    Reply
  35. Denis Cooper
    May 4, 2021

    Meanwhile, on the one hand the EU is trying to force the UK into dynamic alignment with its food safety rules:

    https://www.ft.com/content/00c3dce0-704a-46cc-bac9-198b4892206e

    https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2021/0503/1213564-brexit-food-safety-rules/

    but on the other hand this author presses for a trade deal with Australia partly to forestall that EU push:

    https://www.briefingsforbritain.co.uk/a-trade-negotiation-or-a-scene-from-wwf-wrestling/

    “A trade deal with Australia, especially one that allows Australian food to be sold in the UK, will put paid to the EU’s absurd demands. It would prevent a BRINO relationship with the EU and it would kill the Re-join campaign before it gets started. If the UK is to make a success of leaving the EU, then trading with agricultural producers outside the EU is an important step.”

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      May 4, 2021

      But surely we must abide to the rules of the EU level playing field ?

      Reply
      1. Denis Cooper
        May 4, 2021

        Who knows how the EU will decide to interpret the new treaties?

        https://www.rte.ie/news/2021/0428/1212517-eu-brexit-trade-agreement/

        “‘Faithful implementation’ needed as EU-UK trade deal approved”

        “Much work remains in the time ahead to ensure that these Agreements are fully implemented and that their full potential is realised.”

        Reply
      2. Denis Cooper
        May 4, 2021

        And here is Dominic Raab being totally delusional, he should know better:

        https://www.politico.eu/article/us-secretary-of-state-hails-uk-alliance-ahead-of-g7-meetings/

        “Raab .. stressed that the Northern Ireland Protocol would be enacted in a “balanced” way.”

        This is the EU’s idea of how its “enactment” – implementation – will be “balanced”:

        https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2021/0503/1213564-brexit-food-safety-rules/

        “An EU official said if the UK did not wish to adopt an alignment approach, then the EU expected it to implement the Protocol “as agreed”.”

        “But that’s a decision for the UK to take. Otherwise we just stick to the normal implementation of the Protocol that had been agreed and that’s fine with us.”

        “Looking for flexibility within the Protocol and looking for flexibility within EU legislation, some of the requests of the UK would stretch that flexibility beyond breaking point. That’s why we say only a structural shift in the position of the UK can avoid, or lead to a reduction in the number of, checks.”

        Dominic Raab might care to note the phraseology:

        “… some of the requests of the UK … ”

        Theresa May first put us in the position of a supplicant:

        https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/10/13/tax-and-spend-3/#comment-966223

        and then Boris Johnson made it far worse by putting us in the position of having to beg for relaxation of EU rules on trade within our own country.

        Reply
        1. acorn
          May 4, 2021

          But what about all those “food miles” Denis? The UK currently imports from Australia circa £6 billion worth of goods and services, less than 1% of UK global imports, and circa 1.6% of what we import from the EU. Australia has a stable government, a lot of these non-EU countries Brexiteers say we can import our food from, no problem, don’t have stable governments.

          Meanwhile, should you not be jumping on Brexiteer’s latest wheeze that Article 349 TFEU is the complete solution to the Northern Ireland protocol problem?

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            May 4, 2021

            No worse than wood pellets imported from USA which are strangely a green product when used in powe stations.

          2. Denis Cooper
            May 5, 2021

            Who has been saying anything about that?

            Obviously the EU could have decided to amend its treaties and laws law to accommodate what its leaders openly admitted to be the unique circumstances in Ireland, as stated in the preamble to the revised protocol:
            https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/840230/Revised_Protocol_to_the_Withdrawal_Agreement.pdf

            “RECOGNISING that it is necessary to address the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland through a unique solution in order to ensure the orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union … ”

            So when the EU says “This is how we always do it under our treaties and laws and it can be no different in this case” the question is why the UK government did not insist on the EU amending its treaties and laws as necessary.

    2. MiC
      May 4, 2021

      But the European Union are already way ahead in their own moves to a trade deal with Australia, and the latter obviously value that huge market more highly than this one.

      Reply
      1. acorn
        May 4, 2021

        It is interesting to see how many WTO members are synchronising their trading standards to EU specifications and benefiting from it. Particularly, how many are adopting the EU GDPR protocol. Sadly, the UK has decided to synchronise with the North Korean model.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          May 4, 2021

          If you sell into Europe your products need to meet EU requirements.
          Your slur about N Korea is as silly as it is wrong acorn

          Reply
      2. Fred.H
        May 4, 2021

        way ahead – – measured how? Can I draw your atttention to the ill-fated deal with Canada?

        Reply
  36. Christine
    May 4, 2021

    The UK has become like a mini EU with a Government hungry for more power, money, and control.

    Only the electorate can change things but most people seem oblivious to the damage politicians are doing to our country. It’s a very worrying situation that corruption and chumocracy are creeping into politics and it no longer shocks the public.

    Without genuine media investigative reporting, this lack of awareness will continue until it will be too late, with our freedom of speech and democracy destroyed.

    Reply
    1. Dave Andrews
      May 4, 2021

      It’s too late in Venezuela. The private sector has collapsed and the public sector has stopped working. The people are resigned to their fate and don’t see politicians are capable of finding a way out.
      This after 22 years of socialism, and the UK ought to be warned but isn’t.

      Reply
      1. MiC
        May 4, 2021

        Er, after twenty-two years of economic and other forms of aggression from the US, you mean.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          May 4, 2021

          Hilarious MiC
          Venuezela is yet another classic example of socialism in action.
          It starts with good intentions and it ends with you eating your pets to survive.

          Reply
          1. MiC
            May 4, 2021

            The UK has more food banks than any European Union country, I think that you will find.

      2. Peter2
        May 4, 2021

        Nice deflection there MiC, very carefully avoiding actually answering the question posed and the obvious failure of Venezuela and your own arguments about the beauty of socialism.

        Reply
    2. glen cullen
      May 4, 2021

      Christine – you are so correct
      We vote to leave but got WA & NIP
      Don’t believe them, can’t trust them

      Reply
  37. Kenneth
    May 4, 2021

    JR’s post is spot on.

    He identifies the problem. However, what is the solution?

    For what it’s worth, I would suggest the following:

    1. Allow plural, free market media and ditch the BBC licence fee
    2. All legislation to be costed financially and through other non-tangible impediments such as inconvenience or loss of freedoms etc
    3. MPs to be obliged to inform those adversely in writing, by public meeting and press release. This includes the cost of extra borrowing or any devaluing of the currency etc
    4. At election time, the cost of government (cost per capita) should be published and compared to previous governments

    I believe good government = a slim statue book. Adding more laws should be seen as a major problem.

    MPs should be incentivised to repeal laws and civil service and quangos should be incentivised to find savings in budgets every year.

    Reply
  38. Mark Thomas
    May 4, 2021

    Sir John,
    One only needs to look at the United States where this is happening under the Harris / Biden administration.

    Reply
  39. Iago
    May 4, 2021

    Is there any politician willing to oppose the electronic identity pass for the vaccinated?
    Is there any politician opposing the vaccination of everyone, including those who do not get the disease?
    The future appears to be that we will not be allowed to go anywhere or do anything without permission. Dead silence.

    Reply
    1. hefner
      May 4, 2021

      The NHS app (not the NHS Covid-19 app) has potentially all your vaccinations if your surgery has regularly filled the information. Mine does. So even without a dedicated electronic pass I already have under ‘Past appointments’ the proof that I received two doses of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.

      So I guess that once the borders are open I will be allowed to go to a country of my choice without asking any permission, just showing my NHS app to whatever authority will ask a proof of my vaccination.
      Isn’t the electronic age something marvellous?

      I really pity the SitMs who still don’t figure out how much information on the citizens is readily available to the State via HMRC, NHS, DVLR, credit report agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) … and continue bleating day in day out on this (and other similar) blog(s).
      See
      ‘How a creditor can get information about your finances’
      17/10/2016 ‘UK security agencies unlawfully collected data for 17 years’
      05/01/2019 ‘What does the UK government know about you?’

      Reply
    2. glen cullen
      May 4, 2021

      Every MP appears to be pro lockdown, pro track & trace and pro vaccination
      No opposition, no counter argument, no dissent – only fear of the media
      The same with ‘green policy’

      Reply
    3. Jim Whitehead
      May 4, 2021

      So true, Iago.
      Is it the silence of the sagacious or, more likely, of the stupid and the supine?
      In my own professional capacity as a clinician I would never feel safe or justified in administering an experimental and incompletely tested medication to a patient, especially when there was next to zero risk to that person from the disease itself.
      But, of course, my degree was not PPE . . .

      Reply
      1. Fred.H
        May 4, 2021

        next to zero risk?- – what planet are you on?
        I think India is on the same planet as us….

        Reply
        1. Fedupsoutherner
          May 4, 2021

          It beggars belief, eh Fred?

          Reply
  40. GilesB
    May 4, 2021

    Despite the doctrine that Parliament cannot bind its successors, we should agree three limits on the size of the state:
    – Fiscal: The State should not control more than 30% of national income, or assets
    – Legal: There should not be more legislation, regulations, statutory instruments, bylaws, whatever that can be comprehended by a diligent citizen, spending a chunk of their youth reading and understanding it the first time first time, and less than 5% of their time going forward for refreshing their memory and understanding changes. Say, less than ten thousand pages. For every new page, two pages have to be withdrawn until we reach that number
    – Employment: There should not be more than 10% of adult voters beholden to the state because they are a public sector worker.

    Reply
  41. Dave Andrews
    May 4, 2021

    I’d like to vote for less government, so on Thursday I will have a chance to in the local elections – except I can’t, as none of the candidates offer anything in the way of reducing local government costs. The only thing they want is more spending, and that includes the independents.
    Funny, I would have thought a policy of lower spending would be a vote winner. I’m sure I can’t be the only mug in town who actually pays council tax.

    Reply
  42. Derek Henry
    May 4, 2021

    Hi John,

    The job guarentee is the perfect solution.

    Reply
  43. Pauline Baxter
    May 4, 2021

    There are lobbyists for something that would increase revenue, decrease ‘the state’ and government interference in our lives. Those lobby groups are being repressed.
    I’m talking, of course, about the people who urge this government to end ALL the Covid19 restrictions it has imposed.
    It’s not just wanting to speed up Boris’s road map. There’s all the other things as well. Face masks are of very limited use if any, and cause harm, but we are still being threatened with their permanence.
    Test and trace is still being talked up. That is an unpleasant, unnecessary, expensive measure.
    Covid passports are still ‘threatened’, talk is of government funding. Maybe they are acceptable for foreign travel but THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for their imposition for any purpose domestically. Government could save money there.
    There should be NO mandatory vaccinations. The N.H.S. would save a bit by giving fewer jabs.
    I’m sure there are more restrictions interfering with trade and commerce that should be ended.
    Also, it is past time that the Houses of Parliament returned to normal and press reporting took place from there. Since the start of Covid19 we have been ruled by Government Decree, to the Media.

    Reply
  44. glen cullen
    May 4, 2021

    And in other news today
    Egypt are buying 30 French Rafale fighter jets $4.5 billion, while the UK gives Egypt £4.08 million in aid

    Greece are buying 18 French Rafale fighter jets $3 billion, while the UK given Greece unknown millions via the EU and other organisations in aid

    Whatever happened to our aerospace manufacturing sector

    Reply
    1. jon livesey
      May 4, 2021

      The Egyptian order is being financed with a loan that France will have trouble collecting, and Greece is a basket case financed by the EU, so I would not worry too much. Some big orders, you just don’t want. Macron is just purchasing French jobs with French tax money.

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        May 5, 2021

        I agree with your assessment – Our government would never support our industry the way the French government do………….unless its got a green label

        Reply
  45. X-Tory
    May 4, 2021

    I’m sure that is right, Sir John, but that’s what happens when you have politicians without strong ideological views and principles and who simply want an easy life.

    I believe this is at the root of ALL of Boris Johnston’s failures and problems. I don’t believe that Boris set out with the intention of betraying Northern Ireland, for instance, or the fishermen, but he has no strong principles and no backbone so he always opts for the path of less resistance. He believed that, at the end of the day, the EU (and their fifth column in the media and the Labour Party) would give him more grief than would the DUP or the fishermen, so he stabbed the latter in the back as this was easier.

    The same applies to his current problems over the cost of redecorating his flat. He didn’t want Carrie to be constantly nagging him and malking him sleep alone, so although he would have preferred a cheaper option he just gave in to her and let her have her way, as he thought this would give him less grief.

    Or take the lockdowns. The media, Labour and SAGE would have given him more grief if he had not locked down that he faced from the likes of you for doing so. He knows that, at the end of the day, you will never rebel on the big votes (like the budget), so he can safely ignore you and instead cave in to the more bothersome Left.

    Boris will NEVER listen to you until you start to rebel on the big, confidence votes and start openly sending in letters to Graham Brady.

    Reply
  46. ferd
    May 4, 2021

    Two significant principles are used in modern government -the least harm option, and the precautionary principle. Both encourage big government.

    Reply
    1. agricola
      May 4, 2021

      Question, least harm to whom. My answer, those in modern government.

      Reply
  47. ChrisS
    May 4, 2021

    I was absolutely delighted that the trial of two Army Veterans in their 70s collapsed in Belfast today.
    This ludicrous charade should never have been allowed to get this far and I am sure it only did so because the Government are so determined to pander to Irish Nationalist influences in Belfast and Dublin.

    Even the judge and PPS are not beyond criticism here : The judge is reported to have simply released the veterans without comment and the PPS clearly sympathised with the families of the known IRA killer, saying ” the PPS “fully respected” the judge’s ruling and acknowledged “the enduring pain of the McCann family and how difficult this development has been for them”.
    How about the enduring pain of the veterans and their families, especially the one who died before the case came to trial ?

    I am disgusted. There are a number of other case awaiting trial. They should all be dropped, immediately.

    Reply
    1. agricola
      May 4, 2021

      It is all part of official pandering to those who would wish to re-write history. They do it at their peril, anyone for signing up for the military

      Reply
    2. Marko
      May 4, 2021

      No I don’t think so- murder is murder- and there has been far too much of it in the past- Malaya, Kenya, Aden, Cyprus- and then NI. Anyone who served through any of these campaigns in the 50’s 60’s will know- they might not admit to it but they know

      Reply
      1. jon livesey
        May 4, 2021

        “murder is murder” It sounds so simple, doesn’t it, but it is not true. When a motivated group operating behind the scenes deliberately put innocent people into harms way and then create a violent crisis in which some people are harmed because security forces are trying to protect others, then it’s not so simple.

        We keep missing the obvious point that terrorists are not idiots. They have strategies for maximizing the probability that civilians will get harmed by police and army actions, and they make good use of them.

        Put a bomb at one end of a street, and terrorists with guns at the other and then cause a panic and sooner or later someone will get killed, and then all the idiots will chant “murder is murder” and imagine they have said something very wise.

        Reply
        1. SM
          May 5, 2021

          +10

          Reply
    3. Heljut
      May 4, 2021

      Yes the whole thing about the soldiers is political now- looks like the case against them had to be collapsed – because the next ruling from Belfast is from the coroner about the killing of the ballymurphy civilians 1971 – which will be ruled on soon – probably 11th May- It’s all political – an apalling vista

      Reply
  48. jon livesey
    May 4, 2021

    If you looks at the proportion of GDP that is spent by Government each year, it is clear that there is no “natural tendency” for it to continuously increase. It goes up and down. Up in times of emergency and when things swing towards socialism and down when emergencies end or when voters become disenchanted by the false promises of the left.

    The factors you list are genuine, but politicians are cynical and they know that they just can’t keep increasing the Government’s share of GDP, because if they do they will produce another Mrs Thatcher, which none of them seem to want. They would rather stumble along in a messy way that have someone come and clean house, and that seems to more or less work.

    Reply
  49. jon livesey
    May 4, 2021

    I see this morning that Labour think they can still win Hartlepool, and so they are pushing Remain and the wonders of the EU in a constituency that voted 69% to Leave.

    And Starmer says it is hard to turn a Party around in just one year. I guess that depends on how stupid you are.

    Reply
  50. Fred.H
    May 4, 2021

    Does the French woman scorned know no boundaries?
    The French government has voiced anger over what it calls new UK fishing rules in the Channel and warns it could cut electricity to Jersey in response. Maritime Minister Annick Girardin told the French parliament that the new rules governing access to Channel Islands waters were unacceptable.
    She said “we are ready to use the retaliatory measures” under the UK-EU post-Brexit trade deal.
    She then mentioned France’s underwater cables supplying power to Jersey.
    “I am sorry it has come to this [but] we will do so if we have to,” she said.
    In a statement to AFP news agency, the French fisheries ministry said the UK had introduced “new technical measures” linked to licences for fishing off the Channel Islands, which had not been communicated to the EU and were, therefore, “null and void”.
    First the Germans inWW2, now the French in post Brexit war. Why would Jersey be blamed for this?

    Reply
    1. hefner
      May 5, 2021

      Fred.H, The French Minister for Fisheries just wants to apply the ‘mesures de retorsion’ written down in the UK-EU agreement signed by Lord Frost and agreed by the British Parliament on 30/12/2020 (see huffingtonpost.fr ‘Face a la peche post-Brexit, la France menace Jersey de coupure d’electricite’).
      So another and possibly better question might be: How on earth have the British negotiators (and MPs) accepted such conditions? Can’t they read? Don’t they understand legalese? How did Sir John vote?

      Reply
  51. Mike Wilson
    May 4, 2021

    And, again, Mr. Redwood sets the hare running and the hounds tear the Conservative Party to shreds. Day after day – week in, week out.

    I realise Mr. Redwood occasionally responds to a post but, otherwise, I visualise him reading the daily anger and smiling at the sheer pointlessness of it all.

    I read the other day that the government’s decision to cut overseas aid from 0.7% to 0.5% was because of the dire financial circumstances we find ourselves in as a result of government incompetence and the virus nonsense. I know, let’s spend £200 million on a boat for royalty and the blond one to swan around in.

    Clearly, financial circumstances are not dire and NO TAX RISES ARE NECESSARY.

    Reply
  52. Lindsay McDougall
    May 5, 2021

    But not in the polling booths. If the Conservative Party thinks it will get away with a Big State at the next General Election, it will be bitterly disappointed. For myself, if there is not room between the Conservative and Labour parties for more than a sheet of tissue paper, I shall vote for a ‘fringe party’. I am merely one of a certain type of floating voter.

    Reply
  53. Malcolm White
    May 5, 2021

    That’s also the problem with Quangos.

    They continuously expand their remit and reach in order to justify the reason for their existence – not unlike the way the EU has evolved. There should be better controls on how the funding for them is managed in order to keep them in check and on point.

    Reply
  54. pperrin
    May 5, 2021

    If the government wanted to reduce the size of the public sector they would start by setting up a new department with premises and staff. The more they wanted to reduce the size, the bigger the department would be.

    Government/Public Sector always expands – when it is too big (like now) it needs to be abolished and started over as a minimalist government to start the cycle all over again.

    Reply
  55. Julian
    May 5, 2021

    Curb the lobbyists – they skew the legislation away from the democratic will. They have a disproportionate effect similar to ‘activists’ who manage to push their agendas contrary to majority opinion.

    Reply

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