My Speech on the Levelling Up Bill

John Redwood, (Wok, Cons):

First, I wish to address the question of housing supply in the national planning policy framework, amendment 44 and others. I support the Government in rejecting the Lords amendments—in most cases, those amendments make the Bill worse—but we need greater clarity from the Government about how the national planning policy framework and the definition of needs in any national intervention relate to what is done locally. The Minister has been a clear advocate of more devolved power, and the one power my local community would like is more power to decide how many houses we can fit in and where they could be built. That is not clear yet, and I look forward to further clarification and further documentation.

I am pleased that the five-year supply of land calculation has been amended, because that was causing considerable trouble. Wokingham Borough Council was more than hitting the five-year target, but we were constantly told by inspectors that we were not, because they calculated the numbers in a different, and we thought rather perverse, way. We never got any credit for greatly outperforming the average that we were meant to be building under the local plan, with all the difficulties that were being created by people living on many building sites in the local area.

That brings me on to the amendments and the debate, and the commentary that we have been hearing on the general issue of levelling up—the subject of the Bill—and how that relates to devolved government. I remind all parties in the House who have a fit of enthusiasm for the proposition that more devolved government will naturally lead to levelling up to look at the experience so far. They should understand that there are many occasions on which devolved powers are created or granted when levelling up does not occur or when things even go backwards. I will not argue with the decisions of the many local communities who have voted fairly in a referendum to have various types of devolved government. I am a great supporter of referenda and a great respecter of their results. I am not urging changes to the current complex structure of devolved government, but that should not stop us analysing whether it is working and whether it can be improved within its own terms and in how it operates.

The biggest example of devolved government is the devolved Government of Scotland. It is now a good time to review how well that has been working, because we were told that devolution would boost the Scottish growth rate and improve Scottish public services relative to public services elsewhere. So far this century—the period in which we have experienced devolved government with considerable powers—Scotland has always had considerably more money per head for public services than England, yet the Scottish growth rate has been lower than the English growth rate.

Scotland comes into the House today to demand bigger levelling-up moneys, because clearly more than two decades of Scottish independent government in many areas has not levelled Scotland up yet. We need to ask why that has failed. What was wrong with the conduct of the SNP Government and, before that, were there defects in the Labour-led Government in Scotland? How could future Governments in Scotland use those powers and the considerable sums of money granted to better effect?

What matters is which parts of the country attract most of the private investment. For all the public investment that Governments have put in, it will always be greatly exceeded by the total amount of private sector investment, because in our more free enterprise society, our private sector economy is still larger than the public sector economy, unlike in true socialist or communist states. That private investment is often the driver of many of the better-paid jobs and levelling-up opportunities that can then be created.

I am keen that we get a better balance in where new housing is built not so much because of the impact that I see of too much housing being put up in a hurry in my area, but because I think that more of that investment should go to places that want levelling-up moneys and that need a better balance of development. Those places could do with a lot of the private investment that all too often comes to parts of the country that do not qualify for levelling-up money.

Every time I get a new housing estate in Wokingham, I have to go to a Minister and say, “We need a new primary school.” After we have had half a dozen new housing estates, as we regularly do, I have to go and say, “We need a new secondary school.” Those are big ticket items, and that is big public sector investment that has to go to a part of the country that does not need to be levelled up. More difficult is trying to get money for roads, because we have this strange idea that we can put as many housing estates as we like into a place like Wokingham and magically our existing road network will take it when people buy those houses and practically all of them have cars; well, it cannot. We then need bypasses, extra road capacity or extra train capacity. We need the utilities to put in more water and electricity capacity, otherwise we have the embarrassment that we have lovely new houses, but it is difficult to hitch them up to a grid that works. There are great pressures and huge amounts of consequential investment from the new housing that comes into a congested area of the country that does not qualify for levelling up.

I urge all parties to do a little more thinking about how we level up areas and to ask why it is that so many people wish to visit huge amounts of private sector housing investment in places that are levelled up, while starving the rest of the country of it, when it is often the motor of the levelling up that they seek.

173 Comments

  1. Mark B
    October 20, 2023

    Good morning,

    Levelling up is another term for Socialism. ie From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.

    The very fact that a political party that advertises itself as on the Right of the political spectrum advocates and enacts policies mentioned above is a disgrace.

    You are not longer Conservative, other than in name.

    1. Peter Wood
      October 20, 2023

      Your comments would seen to reflect the views of Real conservatives in Tamworth and Bedfordshire.

      Well Sir J, are your party leaders listening yet? Is the PM still clinging to his failed plans and useless cabinet?Have you been called in to give advice on restructuring your parliamentary party and put in place some common-sense policies? If the answer is no to the above then we know the PCP, as presently constituted, and the candidate choosers at Tory HQ, should and will be removed within 12 months.

    2. Ian+wrag
      October 20, 2023

      In the 2 by-elections people have decided that if the only choice is socialism then they may as well have the genuine article.
      Getting rid of Truss in favour of the WEF candidates doesn’t seem such a goid idea now.

      1. Hope
        October 20, 2023

        Good to see UK drops 17 places for tax competitiveness! 30 out of 38! Sunak stated he did not want to compete with EU neighbours! Tell us JR will this help growth, pay down debt etc which pays for levelling up?

        Sold out fishing industry and territorial waters, sold out Brexit to leave EU, sold out N.Ireland by giving it away to EU while tying whole of UK to EU rules, laws, mass immigration in stark contrast against promises etc. Why would any right minded person believe or trust your traitorous party?

        1. IanB
          October 20, 2023

          @Hope +1- pure malicious destruction from those that know they have failed at every turn, knowing they would have left the Country while those that can’t afford the same will have to pay even more taxes to cover the this lunacy

          1. glen cullen
            October 20, 2023

            +1 and they still expect us to vote Tory

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      October 20, 2023

      One of the problems with levelling and akin to communist nations is public sector jobs in those areas that need levelling up are paid too much so the private sector can not compete or if they will compete they may as well compete in an area with better communications for the same price.

      End national wage levels for public sector workers.

    4. jerry
      October 20, 2023

      @Mark B; Surely Leveling DOWN is Socialism.

      So you disproved of the Tory party policies under Cameron, Thatcher, Heath (well perhaps…), and the great Churchill, Eden & Macmillan government of the 1950s? All wished to, aimed to, enrich not just the Already-haves but the Have-nots too; whether they succeeded is another debate.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        October 20, 2023

        By equality of opportunity. Not by robbing Peter to pay Paul.

        1. jerry
          October 20, 2023

          @Lynn Atkinson; Yes and that can work both ways, the poor getting mugged so those with plenty can have evermore!

          1. Lynn Atkinson
            October 21, 2023

            The poor are always mugged, they have no voice to complain, the Courts being like the Ritz Hotel – open to everybody.

    5. Hope
      October 20, 2023

      Mass immigration is the causal factor to require more housing, infrastructure etc. Where did JR mention that? Cut to tens of thousands, reduce the overall number, all lies they Chose to import 1.2 million people last year! This is before the 170,000 back log of criminals who entered the country illegally.

      reply I regularly raise that issue and propose reduced legal migration.

      1. jerry
        October 20, 2023

        @Hope; “Mass immigration is the causal factor to require more housing, infrastructure etc.”

        Not as much of a causal factor as post war indigenous British baby boomers leaving the family nest circa 1970-1985, having 2.5 children of their own, who themselves left the nest circa 1995-2010, and now many of their children need housing now or in the near future, all this during a period of historically low new-build housing construction; and on the flip-side many of the parents of baby boomers are still alive due to advances in health care.

        “Mass immigration” made things worse, but it was not the causal factor, 40 plus years of failed govt housing polices are, just as 40 plus years of failed industrial and education polices made the UK over reliant on migrant labour and their skills our governments cast aside as unnecessary in a modern economy.

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          October 20, 2023

          Isn’t the indigenous population declining Jerry.

          Divorce rate may have impacted on housing needs but in the last 10 years nothing has impacted more than extra bodies from elsewhere which printed money then turned into silly prices.

          1. jerry
            October 20, 2023

            @NS; If what you say is corroect surely inward immigration must then be higher than the indigenous death rate, which I doubt, otherwise would there not be a housing surplus (unless houses are being demolished)?

          2. jerry
            October 20, 2023

            @NS; Yes the rise in the number of family breakups has likely made a big difference too, as has the change in multi-generational indigenous households, where once it was common to have three, perhaps ever four, generations under one roof now each generation often lives separately (and of course this is causing problems with social health care too).

        2. Hope
          October 20, 2023

          Utter baseless tosh.

          1. jerry
            October 20, 2023

            @Hope; In deed you rants about immigration are baseless tosh!

      2. Mickey Taking
        October 20, 2023

        Sir John – but legal immigration is a small percentage of the invasion. When will your Government actually do and stop talking a solution?

        1. jerry
          October 20, 2023

          @MT; “legal immigration is a small percentage of the [problem]”

          Is it? The last full year figures show there was around 4m *legal* migrations into to the UK, and most will likely never contribute to the wider economy (any more than a constant flow of tourists do), by comparison even the worst case HO figures for illegal migration are a fraction of that number.

          So unless someone is attempting to claim illegal migration is/was north of 4m…

    6. Ian B
      October 20, 2023

      @Mark B +1
      So very true on many, many levels

    7. margaret
      October 20, 2023

      I don’t agree . From ‘each according to their ability’ equates to a very different spectrum of people as individuals and competence and’ to each according to their needs’ again speaks of individual requirements not a group of persons with the same needs.

      Levelling up, I hope, means providing the same opportunities for all ,everywhere, for each individual to perform ,without bias, to the best of their ability.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        October 20, 2023

        +1

    8. Timaction
      October 20, 2023

      All talk of levelling up and NO TALK of the reasons for all this housing, health, education etc. MASS IMMIGRATION. WE DON’T WANT IT. NEVER HAVE. Stop importing foreign cultures and problems. Witness the recent demonstration’s against Israel in this Country. The disorder at a recent cricket match between two Asian nations. Who’s causing the problems? The legacies have and continue to import serious problems with no care to the security or wellbeing of English people. It’s time for the legacies to go and we need REFORM. Witness last nights by elections and see your future Sir John. Westminster has betrayed the Nation and still they want to import more foreign people. Indigenous populations don’t need it. STOP.

    9. glen cullen
      October 20, 2023

      Your leadership doesn’t realise that if your party where ‘real conservatives’ there wouldn’t be any need for reform and you’d have probably won the recent by-elections and the next general election ….not long left

  2. Lifelogic
    October 20, 2023

    Sensible stuff as usual JR but the party leadership is not listening.

    Meanwhile a wipe out in the two by-elections with many real Conservative voting for Reform costing them both seats. But what did Socialist Sunak expect? We have had 13+ years of Socialism and incompetence from Cameron, May, Boris & now Sunak. He is failing on at least 4 of his five pledges and the other one (halving inflation) was inflation Sunak himself caused – with mad lockdowns, vast government waste and huge QE currency debasement. A slight touch on the brakes of the May net zero/green crap is nothing like enough Sunak!

    Rishi Sunak will (insanely) even push ahead with long-delayed plans to ban gay and trans conversion practices after whips warn his dafter MPs could rebel if they failed to do. Such a ban will surely end up criminalising parents, teachers… who give often very sensible advice to children struggling with their gender identities.

    1. Peter
      October 20, 2023

      The scale of last night’s two election defeats were historically bad. Conservatives try to downplay it as something that happens to parties in power.

      Others talk of ‘annihilation’. We will see at the general election.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      October 20, 2023

      Even Sunk isn’t wrong about everything, and he is certainly right about stopping the mutilation of children to appease the ‘mad-sex-lobby’.

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      October 20, 2023

      Hyperbole.

      Labour put on less than 1,000 votes in Tamworth and their number of votes actually fell in mid-Beds.

      60+% of voters stayed home, “none of the above” would have slayed every party if it was on the ballot paper.

      Conversative voters stayed home, conservatives lost. This will not be repeated at a general election so the hysterical analysts really need to factor that into their commentaries.

      1. Ian B
        October 20, 2023

        @Narrow Shoulders – “none of the above” should be on every ballot paper, the voter has been disenfranchised in the UK and they need a way to express it.

      2. Peter
        October 20, 2023

        NS,

        Former Conservative voters will not be turning up to vote Conservative in a General Election either.

    4. Lifelogic
      October 20, 2023

      The only positive for the Conservatives is the public want and the country needs real Conservative policies – far less government, freedom of choice, far lower taxes, less government waste, less red tape, no net zero, less woke lunacy, much less immigration and public services that are competent. Labour will certainly not deliver any of these – but then Sunak’s Con-Socialists have made it clear they will not deliver any of this either.

      How many Tory seats are still safe? Will the Tories ever get back in power in my lifetime after Labour get in with a large majority & perhaps bring in votes for children, compulsory voting and other vote rigging methods perhaps?

      1. Ian B
        October 20, 2023

        @Lifelogic – your lifetime, my lifetime – not a chance, this shower have maliciously destroyed the Country and the Party. CCHQ , the wider Conservative Party just don’t give a hoot otherwise they would have stopped the rot, it has always been in their gift.

    5. Hope
      October 20, 2023

      It would have been better for conservatives to vote for a Conservative Party like Reform. Utter stupidity to vote for uni party expecting change. You only get betrayal and lies. 14 year record proves this. With an 85 seat majority they could have delivered Brexit and changed anything they liked, they Chose not to.

      1. Ian B
        October 20, 2023

        @Hope +1 exactly

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        October 20, 2023

        They voted for Reform, they put Labour in. If you want Labour or at least want to put the Tories out, have guts to vote Labour at least.

        1. Hope
          October 21, 2023

          Unusually stupid comment Lynne. No. Vote who you believe in. Reform is conservative, Tories are not. Uni party are the same.

    6. Dave Andrews
      October 20, 2023

      Not many warming to Reform, perhaps their candidates weren’t that convincing. Clearly in both constituencies the Conservative vote stayed at home. What do you expect when the major parties are all trying to appeal to the same sector of the population, but one party is their more natural home?

      Reply Yes, if Reform did offer an attractive alternative to Conservatives yesterday they would have polled strongly.

      1. Timaction
        October 20, 2023

        They polled strongly enough to dethrone both the Tory candidates and will do better at the coming election as your party has nothing to offer except more of the same, high taxes, mass immigration, minority/equality priorities etc etc. Einstein said doing the same and expecting a different outcome is insanity. Voting Tory uni party etc. Other than providing unqualified part time work for MP’s, the Westminster crowd offer nothing to English taxpayers

      2. glen cullen
        October 20, 2023

        For a young party they outperformed the LibDems and the Green ….thats an impressive start

    7. Mickey Taking
      October 20, 2023

      Children often struggle with identities, gender or otherwise. With hormones raging, character and feelings swinging about, difficulty with asserting their voice in this confusing world, these ‘ children’ should be helped to understand this process from child to adult takes patience and balance – taking any physical or indeed medical steps in relationships or indeed sexual awakening is likely to be regretted later.

    8. jerry
      October 20, 2023

      @LL; With regards to your claim about 13+ years of socialism(-lite), well if that is the reason for the Conservative Party by-election losses to Labour then all it does is indicated the people want more, not less Socialism. Next you’ll be claiming Pope isn’t Roman Catholic!

      I often criticize Reform UK but the two results last night are not of their making. Protest parties affect close results, not massive swings, the real problem was Tory voters choosing to sit on their hands [1]. This is 1997 territory, and much of that defeat had nothing to do with policies.

      [1] perhaps far to many older Tory voters no longer have suitable photo ID, and have also bought into the right-wing press lie that Postal Votes have become corrupted…

    9. Ian B
      October 20, 2023

      @Lifelogic – “But what did Socialist Sunak expect?” – to create a Socialist State in his own image, for his own personal self-gratification, to do it he must first destroy society. The Conservative Party egged on by CCHQ just lied they intend to create this new State, and new religion somewhere to the left of Labour. Something Corbyn desired now being achieved by this Conservative Government.

    10. XY
      October 20, 2023

      They are not “real Conservatives” (capital C) they are conservatives (small c) who have noticed that a party is not necessarily conservative, in terms of policy and actions, just because it borrows the name and many of the words.

      Actions speak louder than words and this lot have been doing the wrong things for 3-14 years, so people have decided to vote accordingly.

      I sincerely hope it carries over into a General Election and beyond. We desperately need a new conservative party, this lot are beyond hope as we saw when they tried to put Truss in as leader.

  3. Lifelogic
    October 20, 2023

    Thank goodness that “the Voice” referendum (on whether to create a group representing Aboriginals and giving them special (clearly unfair) representation – rather like the Scots and Welsh have in the UK). It was rejected by 61 per cent of voters. The Yes campaign outspent No by five to one. It had sports stars, companies and the whole establishment on its side, yet still lost in every Australian state. Needless to say the Government blamed its defeat on racism, ignorance, misinformation…

    Identity politics is surely pure evil, rather like equality of outcome, net zero, socialism, over taxation, coercing net harm vaccines into people (even those with no need for any protection) and running a vast, over large and invariable totally inefficient state sector.

    More referendums please, the people almost invariably know far better than politicians what they want and need, but under the UK system the public get virtually no democratic say at all. Just a rigged vote every 5 years for the least bad of two or three options – candidates who almost never do as they promise anyway. Still waiting for the £1m IHT threshold each now 15 years after Osborne promised it.

    Frazer Nelson has a good piece on this today.

    1. a-tracy
      October 20, 2023

      Lifelogic, perhaps you should now concentrate on getting a commitment from Labour not to drop the inheritance tax allowance. The SNP wanted to drop it to just £35,000. Around 4% of estates pay it, it may be a big issue to you, but it is not something I’d go to the electorate with at the next election. Hunt should, if anything, be fair and increase it by inflation.

      1. Berkshire Alan
        October 20, 2023

        a-tracy

        IHT
        Afraid it is a big issue in some parts of the Country, and in particular the South.
        Forget London, even in Wokingham a standard 3 bed semi with garage is about £600,000, way above the present IHT Threshold level on its own, without any other assets being taken into account.
        We now have people/families who have never paid 40% tax in their lifetime, now being taxed as if they were “Filthy Rich”
        Perhaps exclude the family home completely, and it may make more sense, but no change in the allowance since 2008 !!!
        I would suggest all tax allowances should automatically rise with inflation, as many are now paying tax on the State pension for the first time !

        1. hefner
          October 20, 2023

          What about changing the IHT calculation, based not on the value of the estate of the deceased but on the value that each of the potential inheritors would inherit and let each of them pay their due (if any)?
          Most countries have a IHT system more or less along this second method. The UK system is unfortunately still linked to the past centuries situation where the deceased estate/wealth was transmitted to the older child and the others were getting crumbs.

        2. a-tracy
          October 20, 2023

          I thought a couple on death could pass on a £1m with a joint allowance on death of the final partner. I did say he should increase it with inflation from 2020 when it was set at that level.

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        October 20, 2023

        Abolish inheritance tax, it’s one of the reason people move to Australia where there is none.

    2. Ian B
      October 20, 2023

      @Lifelogic +1

  4. Wanderer
    October 20, 2023

    You can’t “level up” without investment and jobs. Unless these flow to less crowded areas, we will live like sardines. The biggest problem is we don’t create conditions that encourage investment, quite the opposite in fact.

    It is so disappointing after 13 years, and now with Labour overturning 20,000 seat (so-called)-Tory majorities there is no hope left. Can you find anyone optimistic about our country, other than illegal immigrants?

    1. jerry
      October 20, 2023

      @Wanderer; “Unless [investment and jobs] flow to less crowded areas, we will live like sardines. The biggest problem is we don’t create conditions that encourage investment, quite the opposite in fact.”

      Indeed, and that was perhaps my biggest take-away from Starmer’s conference speech, not Sunak!

    2. iain gill
      October 20, 2023

      a lot could be fixed if the social housing system was fixed.
      the large sink estates left behind when the large dominant employers shut (mines, shipyards, steelworks, etc) still being there is largely due to the way social housing works.
      in a sensible economy in a jobless area rental prices would collapse, allowing new employers to move to that area and take on employees who need less pay due to lower rents… this doesnt happen as rents are kept high by state subsidies. in some areas where no employers want to move to the area the houses would be abandoned as people individually choose to move closer to the modern jobs market, this doesnt happen as people are trapped in their social house.
      social housing is a completely broken model which traps people in poverty, increases significantly the price of houses to buy for others, and prevents large reputable corporate landlords entering the market like they do in other developed countries.
      none of this is said by any mainstream party, because they are all too scared to take on a sacred horse like social housing.
      this country is in serious trouble, we need to face some home truth head on.

  5. Javelin
    October 20, 2023

    You have a much bigger problem than individual policies.

    The Conservative Party went full Woke.

    – Mass migration – causing eye watering taxes

    – Net Zero – bankrupting the country

    – Lockdowns – borrowing causing inflation

    – Leaders – with foreign families and interests

    – Thought Police – whilst real crime rises

    Just as Victoria Secrets, and Bud Light discovered.

    Go Woke, Go Broke.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 20, 2023

      Indeed. What drove all these MPs totally mad? Nearly all of them supported the insanity of net zero and the Climate Change Act, the net harm lockdowns, the net harm vaccines, the road blocking, the vast tax increases, the open door immigration (regardless of merit)…

      1. Mickey Taking
        October 20, 2023

        It is quite simply that the great majority of MPs don’t think for themselves, nor carry out what most promised to their constituency. They live a lie, bowing to the 3-line whip, and fear the PM and Cabinet, rather like the Communist Party delegates across the water, and continents, beg to differ and you might disappear.

    2. Donna
      October 20, 2023

      Correct. Over the past 14 years, the Not-a-Conservative-Party has completely trashed its brand and its formerly loyal customers are no longer buying, along with those who gave the brand a chance in 2019 for one specific reason.

    3. MPC
      October 20, 2023

      Yes. It’s all largely because there are so few properly Conservative in outlook MPs in the Conservative Party other than Mr Redwood, Craig Mackinlay, and a handful of others. A typical Tory MP these days is Caroline Nokes.

    4. jerry
      October 20, 2023

      @Javelin; Yet by-election after by-election, opinion pole after opinion pole, suggests voters want perhaps even more “woke”, just perhaps not woke in the same way. When even our host appears to have signed up to unquestioning eco-woke (well that’s the impression I get) what hope is there, other than whatever version of woke is the more tolerable.

      A Reform UK govt, or them as coalition King makers, is a pipe-dream. The next govt is either Con, Lab or a coalition of some sort with the LD and/or SNP as King makers.

    5. Ian B
      October 20, 2023

      @Javelin – ‘Levelling up’ is a centralised doctrine to create a cuddly message for control by a few of the many. It has nothing to do with releasing people from the chains of a spend, spend, tax, tax centralist State. Everything to do with further enslavement – pure 100% Socialisum

    6. MFD
      October 20, 2023

      I must second that letter of truth, we need to stop all migration and changes for a period to let the waters settle and we can see the true level, then make decisions on a firm basis.

    7. Original Richard
      October 20, 2023

      Javelin :

      Correct.

    8. Lynn Atkinson
      October 20, 2023

      Even Starmer knows that the people want more conservatism. That’s why he becomes more conservative day by day.

    9. glen cullen
      October 20, 2023

      The Tory voters now ‘hate’ this Tory government/party for not delivering brexit and ignoring them

  6. Lifelogic
    October 20, 2023

    Scottish government has (totally unfairly) had far more money to spend per head for many years. You say “We need to ask why that has failed?” Quite simple, this money goes to their deluded government who waste it and/or steal it, direct it to friends, try to buy votes with it, or spend it very inefficiently indeed – often even producing zero value or doing net harm. Had it gone to sensible Scots themselves (as tax cuts) it would have worked wonders and attracted lots more inward investment.

    Indeed IHT tax and higher stamp duty taxes on expensive houses are largely South East England taxes that the North and Scotland rather rarely have to pay. Thanks to Blair & Brown for this transfer of wealth then wasted in Scotland etc.

    1. Matthu
      October 20, 2023

      Didn’t one NHS Scotland region find £40m to pay as slave reparations recently? No wonder devolution is suffering.

  7. DOMINIC
    October 20, 2023

    Levelling up is a political scam but we shouldn’t be too surprised by this Keynesian trash. This government has been abusing the private tax base for years to pander to the fascist Left and their realignment agenda.

    Misallocation of resources has always been the abiding legacy of Keynesian, politicised and abusive spending by national and local governments but to see a Tory government indulging in this Socialist tripe is evidence of a party that’s trashed itself and the nation to appease a greater enemy. No doubt a Labour government will accelerate this abuse by importing more migrants to create a demand for housing that is utterly contrived

    We are being played by tossers, liars and grifters who care not one jot

    1. Lifelogic
      October 20, 2023

      Seems so. Plus it will largely be a “demand” for housing from people with no money to pay for their housing. A demand that other taxpayers fund the housing for them so they can very often live off the labours of others.

      Nigel Farage on his GBNew show last night had some very depressing figures from Denmark on the vast costs to other tax payers of some migrants groups in crime levels, % on benefits benefits and the likes.

  8. Michelle
    October 20, 2023

    Excellent point about the Scottish Govt. If we are talking fairness and levelling up England should have her own Parliament, but it seems fairness doesn’t come into it for the oldest nation AD927
    Excellent points about the building of estates without the matching infrastructure.
    Of course in all this is the issue of turning England’s once ‘green and pleasant’ into a huge housing estate for the policy of mass immigration/multi culture that people have repeatedly said they don’t want.
    Reply Why lumber England with more costly government as well?

    1. Matthu
      October 20, 2023

      “Why lumber England…?”
      Fairness. Make savings elsewhere.

    2. Donna
      October 20, 2023

      Reply to reply.

      Agreed. So let’s get rid of the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments along with the regional Mayors the English never wanted.

      1. glen cullen
        October 20, 2023

        +1

        1. Hope
          October 20, 2023

          D,
          Spot on. If MPs can demand second referendums those who pay for the wasteful largesse with their taxes should be able as well. English people did not get a vote for either ridiculous bodies. Covid showed what an utter waste it is. JR forgets EVEL we were all promised! Tell us JR why have we not got that? Why do these MPs bite for English laws? Why was the thin gruel taken away by Gove? Refer to your previous blogs on EVEL to give a truthful answer.

      2. Timaction
        October 20, 2023

        +1. My area voted against but still got one. Dan Norris a failed Labour MP and net zero believer.

    3. Mickey Taking
      October 20, 2023

      reply to reply ..why? Well to achieve actions for England, long since abandoned by both major Parties!

    4. JoolsB
      October 20, 2023

      Reply to reply: “Why lumber England with more costly government as well?”

      An English Parliament would not necessarily cost more because for a start we would not need anywhere near 650 UK MPs and therein lies the problem. Nothing to do with cost, but more to do with preserving the gravy train for 650 self serving UK MPs. The building is there, the H of C would become the new English Parliament with far less MPs than 650 and all those Lords and Ladies could be sent packing and a senate of say 100 UK MPs for reserved matters could move in instead. If anything, an English Parliament could save money.
      What I find disgusting is that cost should be used as a reason for denying England a voice and therefore keeping its citizens as a third class citizens discriminated against at every level both constitutionally and financially. How much does it cost to maintain a Scottish/Welsh/NI Government/Assembly plus the cost of all those part time UK MPs they send to Westminster on full time salaries and pensions? Never hear those who say an English Parliament is too costly saying they should be abolished because of how much they cost.
      Why don’t all those MPs squatting in English seats stop putting themselves first and either demand equality for England or an end to the costly Scottish, Welsh & NI Governments. Thought not. England deserves better than the anti English Con/Lab/Lib parties who clearly don’t give a stuff about the rotten deal England gets as long as they can keep their noses in the trough.

    5. MFD
      October 20, 2023

      In reply to your reply Sir John. That would be the true levelling up!
      If no English devolved Parliament to let us distance ourselves from the Scots and Welsh, then close down the Scottish and Welsh far left trouble making power houses and while we are at it also those Mayors as they are ALL an expensive layer of government that is not needed.

      1. Hope
        October 20, 2023

        Ah, but the EU Uni party wanted to Balkanise England by stealth into regions as EU wanted, hence unwanted mayors and unwanted police commissioners. That is the reason behind HS2 EU infrastructure project. They also wanted aircraft carriers for EU army. Originally was it not French planes were going to be used?

      2. JoolsB
        October 20, 2023

        Spot on MFD. No complaints about the cost of their Governments and all those Mayors that nobody wanted is there? As I have mentioned above but of course is still in moderation as no doubt this comment will be.

  9. Lynn Atkinson
    October 20, 2023

    In the vast majority of areas that need to be ‘levelled up’, like the North East where I live, the money taken from the private sector in a raft of taxes is hardly enough to fund the money given to the state sector in ‘government funding’.
    That money is always deployed in ways the original owners of the money would not have considered, creating more ‘levelling down’ and generating a greater need to ‘level up’.
    The result is that the North East of England, once the richest area in the world, is now impoverished by interfering, distant, uninformed politicians.
    Just stop it! Stop interfering. Politicians need to take an oath to ‘do no ill’ and if you do ill, to recompense at your own private cost (based on who voted for the damaging legislation). That will cause politicians to do less which is exactly what we require to thrive.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 20, 2023

      Government should do far less. Taking money off people (who would have spent or invested it far better directly) and then wasting much of it in collection costs and distribution/allocation costs, then spending it on endless stupid, wasteful or even harmful things is not likely to do much good is it?

      Bonkers things like net zero, the millions of worthless degrees, the road blocking, the wars on landlords, the self employed and motorists, the over restrictive planning, Sunak/Bailey’s inflationary QE, over restrictive employment laws, expensive intermittent energy, market rigging to push EV cars, heat pumps… unfair competition in transport, schools, healthcare, BBC broadcasting, banking…

    2. Everhopeful
      October 20, 2023

      Come and witness the “levelling up” in this part of the South East ( or whatever they call it now.
      It isn’t pretty.
      In fact it has been destroyed.
      Flattened, besmirched, ravished, laid waste.
      No better job could have been done with the express intention of destruction.

      And what a tragedy.
      Young people will never know any better.

    3. Peter Wood
      October 20, 2023

      ‘Politicians need to take an oath to ‘do no ill’ and if you do ill, to recompense at your own private cost’.

      Wishful thinking but understandable given the eyewatering waste of the last 3 years, and fake policies from this PCP. The amount of tax cash AND money printed then wasted by this government, under Chancellor/PM Sunak, should be subject of independent investigation and new government spending rules established.

      1. Hope
        October 20, 2023

        Lynne,
        That is not the globalist way.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          October 20, 2023

          It’s OUR WAY and it’s OUR COUNTRY!

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        October 20, 2023

        Actually it’s Johnson for whom we are paying.

    4. a-tracy
      October 20, 2023

      I didn’t know that the North East used to be one of the richest areas in the UK, let alone the World. I found this https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/our-city/history-and-heritage – The Roman Empire’s Northern Frontier. Interesting it made me realise how little UK history I was actually taught.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        October 20, 2023

        Well you must have heard of the Magician of the North (Armstrong) and his house Cragside, which was the first to be lit by electricity. He used water power and an archimedes screw and some of the power generated was used to pump the water back up the hill to the holding reservoir, to charge batteries. His huge glass batteries are on display still, and he had the first telephone too – but he could only call his battery house because nobody else had a phone.
        Much else besides of course. The first electric globe was demonstrated at the Lit & Phil in Newcastle. The Consett Ironworks were the biggest on earth, but it was only the 6th biggest company in the U.K.
        To represent such a nation as an MP is an honour even for people like Powell.
        How have we come to this! Tories who have to be schooled in the basics of ‘what conservatives believe’ as JR starts his nursery school lectures.

        1. a-tracy
          October 20, 2023

          No never heard of Armstrong.
          If you’re referring to me as a Tory who has to be schooled. I’m not a member.
          I appreciate John’s blog.

          1. Lynn Atkinson
            October 21, 2023

            Armstrong employed 77,000 people at a time when the whole population of Newcastle was 77,000. He was yet another amazing, inquisitive, Englishman. He restored Bamburgh Castle. His charity was for ‘the deaf, dumb and blind’ – Armstrong never ducked a challenge. He taught them carpentry and leather-work and suchlike using their only operational sense, touch. He did not give them money, he gave them purpose and usefulness and therefore a place in society.
            John mostly schools the CPC and Central Office. They need to have an inkling of ‘what Conservatives believe’. They are the only sector of the party who are not volunteers but depend on their ‘conservatism’ for their eating money.

          2. a-tracy
            October 21, 2023

            He sounds fabulous.

      2. Mitchel
        October 21, 2023

        I wouldn’t rely on tourist brochures for your history.Professor Michael Kulikowski in “Imperial Triumph-The Roman World from Hadrian to Constantine” refers to Britannia as one of the “least remunerative provinces in the empire”.

    5. agricola
      October 20, 2023

      Lynn,
      In the parts of the North East I am familiar with, Alnwick and coast, the quality of life exceeds that of the metropolis. In your more heavily populated areas you need good well paid jobs. Local people have amply demonstrated at Nissan, that they are more than capable of handling. I have suggested the factory building of houses on an automotive scale and variety, but I suspect our predatory building industry is well embeded in the pockets of government and the housing shortage will continue unresolved.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        October 20, 2023

        You need to be bright to earn money in the north, you don’t stand in a river of money as you do, specifically, in London.
        I own small retails shops, one in Alnwick. My tenants have ‘nouse’ if poor education. They surprise me constantly. These are able people. They don’t need Nissan, they need the Government to stop funding foreign corporations at the expense of British people and business.

  10. Everhopeful
    October 20, 2023

    Do MPs these days have any idea what it is like to live in the noxious mess they have created?
    When we here had a proper MP it was not at all unusual to meet him in the local shops. And be greeted by him. He knew exactly what was going on.
    And oh my! What a difference now.
    Mess, litter, building, destruction, closed roads, filth, fly tipping….
    Level up indeed!

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      October 20, 2023

      One of my small tenants in a red wall seat, a conservative, has had to ban the Tory MP from his premises! The by-election results are no surprise to those of us with our ear to the ground – and of course that includes JR.
      The bus drivers, btw, are threatening a 12 week strike which will take the Christmas trade from all in this market town. Even a national clothing chain says it will have to close if the strike occurs. Bus drivers have such power because cars have effectively been barred from the town. So there is no access for the many unless the bus drivers are appeased.
      What a mess!
      Time for a new Chancellor and a MASSIVE reduction in taxes.

      1. a-tracy
        October 20, 2023

        Or a different bus company.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          October 21, 2023

          Same Union however many bus companies. Now if we had the Socialist/green nirvana, where there is ONLY public transport, think of the power those Unions would deploy. More than that of the PM.
          And we have ‘learned this lesson before’ of course.

          1. a-tracy
            October 21, 2023

            It is my biggest fear for the future for my children Lynn, the unions control our health care and hows that going right now, they control our passports and freedom of movement, they control the education of the majority of our children and their thoughts 💭. If the unions were so good and so right why don’t they own the bus companies themselves? Why don’t they actually raise the funds and own them? It’s because they know they’d be bankrupt and couldn’t run without subsidies by people who don’t use their services being forced to pay for them.

    2. JoolsB
      October 20, 2023

      Met my MPs doing his weekly shop in Sainsbury’s the other day ( a week day) but he’s still a tow the line Socialist wet Tory who doesn’t see anything wrong with Scots, Welsh & NI MPs voting on English only business and just like our host doesn’t think England deserves equality with the devolved nations in the form of its own parliament.

      1. Everhopeful
        October 20, 2023

        Well obviously…he does not know what is going on…does he?
        He may, in future, have enough free days to browse all the supermarkets.
        Looking for bargains maybe?

      2. Hope
        October 20, 2023

        Good reason not to vote for him and help canvass for another party.

      3. Lynn Atkinson
        October 20, 2023

        2 completely different things. It’s easy to stop the MPs in constituencies which constitute part of one of the Assemblies from voting in the Commons on subjects devolved to said assemblies. You get English votes on English issues free. So my more elegant than another chamber and assorted hangers on.

    3. a-tracy
      October 20, 2023

      We should be asking how many hours of community punishment orders were given out in our Council area? Who gave out the work? What work were they given, there is no visibility, if the PCC had any use it would be to sort this out locally, they are a pointless waste to money to fit a EU plan and should be culled, Rishi start cutting and put the money on visible policing and community punishment teams attached to voluntary organisations, places of worship, council teams to help out workers already employed who never seem to have the time to do much.

      1. Everhopeful
        October 20, 2023

        Agree 100%

      2. Hope
        October 20, 2023

        I think you will find Probation not police in charge of community punishment orders. Then of course toilets and places to eat must be found. Few turn up, nothing happens if they do not. A bit like fail to pay warrants ie compensation being the first consideration of the court! First of all meagre sums paid every fortnight, then not paid at all. Chalk wake up. It becomes very difficult and of very little use. A waste of time and money.

        1. a-tracy
          October 20, 2023

          Hope, then it all needs toughening up. Don’t do you community punishment and you lose your liberty for a week. Get stuck on a farm digging up vegetables miles away from anywhere, no mobile phone, tagged. Tell them what the punishment is if they don’t do their service. We are getting too soft and flabby and making excuses up for bad people.

  11. Kayla Tomlinson
    October 20, 2023

    Hit the nail right on the head, Sir John!

  12. Everhopeful
    October 20, 2023

    I see that according to the Telegraph the govt. is trying to level up by building on the green belt.
    Considering last night’s by-elections what a truly brilliant idea. Not.
    Levelling up must mean dragging the entire country down to the level of a semi abandoned 1960s. “New estate” shopping centre.
    The sort with boarded up shops, one tattoo parlour and a takeaway.
    The sort where you would not want to walk alone at any time of the day.
    Abandon hope….

  13. Sakara Gold
    October 20, 2023

    The electorate in the Tamworth and Mid-Bedfordshire constituencies decided last night that the best way to effect “levelling up” is to vote Labour. The inability of the Conservative candidates to get the Tory vote out resulted in historic swings to Labour of 24% and 20% respectively.

    Where was Sunak yesterday? He was swanning about the Middle East, attempting to look statesmanlike while pretending that Britain is still a world power. He declined to visit these two constituencies in support of their Conservative candidates.

    Sunak is clearly a liability to the party. Doubtless, he will now wait until Jan 2025 – the last possible moment – to call the next election, so giving ex-Tory MPs extra time to secure alternative employment. You couldn’t make this madness up……..

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      October 20, 2023

      I was the sub-Agent in a Tory Constituency, Monmouth, lost to Labour at a by-election. We could not get our vote out because people were literally seething at Mrs T have been deposed. But we got the seat back at the next General Election. Of course we worked for it – I predicted our vote to within .01%. I knew the names of every voter’s dog! Canvassing is the only answer. I don’t think the Tories have the manpower anymore.
      The deposed Labour MP came off the stage and congratulated me! The Lib Dem’s told our candidate that I ‘changed peoples votes on the doorstep’. The ammunition I fired was pure unadulterated conservatism. Without that – can’t be done.
      Then the Tory MP broke his electoral promise and voted for the Maastricht Treaty so I downed tools and he lost the seat at the following election. I voted Labour myself.

    2. Mike Wilson
      October 20, 2023

      He declined to visit these two constituencies in support of their Conservative candidates.

      You’re surely not under the impression that Sunak visiting would have boosted the Tory vote. It would have had the opposite effect and given the MSM the opportunity to write ‘Desperate visits from beleaguered PM have no effect.’

      Difficult for most people to take a man married to a billionaire’s daughter seriously. What does he know about struggling to pay an electricity bill or buying marked down, almost out of date food at a supermarket. Or waiting a month to see your doctor. Blah, blah, etc.

  14. Hat man
    October 20, 2023

    The government has said a council with an up-to-date local development plan will not need to demonstrate a 5-year land supply. It has also said all councils must have an up-to-date local plan by this December. Yet it has still not published the revised National Planning Policy Framework that councils such as Wokingham need, so as to finalise their local plan. When your party in government can’t even manage its own policy changes competently, is it any wonder you are losing by-elections so badly?

  15. Donna
    October 20, 2023

    Looking at the state of the economy; the £billions which were printed and squandered on the Covid tyranny; the Net Zero lunacy; the HS2 debacle; the collapsing public services; the uncontrolled mass immigration and the the importation of 40,000 criminal migrants, mostly young (people Ed)of fighting age, it looks like they’re carrying out a plan of controlled demolition to me ….. not levelling up.

    Why don’t developers build houses in areas which need investment? Because there’s less money in it for them. All the time the Government allows them to build over the already over-developed South East that’s what they’ll do ….. because that’s where the money is. Instead of letting them build in the SE, the Government should say NO MORE. But they’ll not do that …. the Not-a-Conservative-Party needs the donations!

  16. Berkshire Alan
    October 20, 2023

    Sadly no one, or at least not enough people in your Party is listening to you John.

    Your Party leaders and Ministers have got it so wrong on so many counts, that they have lost the people, simples.

    1. Everhopeful
      October 20, 2023

      Agree.
      What on earth is the matter with them?
      Electoral suicide?

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      October 20, 2023

      Everyone in the party is listening to Sir John apart from the PCP which is not representative of conservatives, as we point out daily. The solution is to change the personnel.
      You will never get anyone elected standing for one of the pressure group parties, did UKIP not prove that over 25 years? The people you want in must stand for one of the two main parties, get them selected!

  17. Paula
    October 20, 2023

    The by-election results show that it doesn’t matter what you think, Sir John.

    You are ALL going to be kicked out next year despite no-one wanting a Labour government.

  18. wab
    October 20, 2023

    Previous article: “I do not want the state to spend and borrow more.”
    This article: I want more money spent on schools, roads, etc. (as long as it is in my constituency).

    Reply Not so. I want fewer migrants and fewer homes. That reduces need for more public spending.

  19. Mickey Taking
    October 20, 2023

    Sir John you seem to expect praise for Wokingham building MORE housing than the agreed alarming expectations!
    Condemnation would be a better reaction.
    8.44

  20. Ian B
    October 20, 2023

    Levelling up, lets all be honest is nothing more than a bit of jingo, to massage the self-gratification of a few.

    If there was a real desire to allow all regions/areas of the UK to realise their full potential, the first thing that should happen is to release them from the centralist control freakery of the Conservative Government and the State they manage.

    It is not money that is the issue other than this Conservative Government in its very extreme Socialist way is stealing from all sectors of society to peruse their bankrupt Left wing Metro ideas of trying to mould some 60 million individuals to mirror their personal image and thinking.

    Left and allowed to control their own destiny all regions/areas of the UK would thrive. This Conservative Government has yet to see the streams and streams of failures it is stacking up around its self. They have not learnt the lessons of history Governments are 100% useless at management and delivery. In all prosperous areas of the World it is those on the ground, close to the situation, those affected that are allowed to egt on with things that achieve the greatest results.

    Lessons of Conservative Government interference that has failed, the UK Economy, UK Energy security and resilience, UK Railways and infrastructure, the NHS, UK Eduction. Every part of society were they have sort the hands on approach to impose their sort of personal self-gratification on others, they have failed, failed big time.

    It is time for a Conservative Government, are you listening and hearing at CCHQ, within the Conservative Party. You guys are running a wreaking ball through the UK

  21. Roy Grainger
    October 20, 2023

    “…. my local community would like is more power to decide how many houses we can fit in and where they could be built”.

    That is a NIMBY charter because the answer will always be “we don’t want ANY new houses built ANYWHERE near where we live” and that will be the same for “local communities” all across the country. The people who would be able to live in those new houses don’t get a say. In the case of Wokingham the Conservative voters there voted for a party that has implemented mass immigration so they have no right to any power to prevent the building of new houses to house them. Actions => Consequences.

  22. ChrisS
    October 20, 2023

    I can see real problems ahead for the Conservative party. The fact that the Reform Party vote in both by-elections was greater than the Labour majorities means that voters switching to Reform cost the Conservatives both seats.

    I have said here before many months ago, that if the party continues in its current direction, ignoring what its core supporters want, more voters will look elsewhere. Fear of Nigel Farage and his Brexit party was what prompted Cameron to concede the Brexit Referendum.

    Our host’s blog today is about housing. Well, we are only needing to build so many new homes because no party is doing anythink to cut legal migration to manageable numbers, which are generally considered to be less than 100,000 a year.

    We cannot sustain 600,000 net arrivals and the infrastructure requirements for an increase in population every year of an extra half a million. Recent demonstrations linked to events in the Muslim world set off alarm bells because new arrivals are actually running at 1m a year. If these are mainly people with different cultural and religious values to our own, that is going to create very difficult problems and quite rapidly, given the numbers involved.

    We have already had to put up with very significant changes to our society which most of our indigenous population are less than happy about. If this is not addressed, it is only a matter of time before there is a sea change in politics as a result.

  23. The Prangwizard
    October 20, 2023

    We hear constantly about devolution. But when it concerns England it is about breaking it up.

    England is not considered as a nation, just as regions or localities. No-one in government, and Sir John, does not speak for England as nation or a unity. He does not take opportunities to promote England as the nation.

    The plan is to allow England to be destroyed.

  24. Ian B
    October 20, 2023

    Levelling up, in whose image? The image of Marx, that then became Corbyn-ism, then the WEF ‘Great Reset’ and now the centralist left wing doctrine of the Conservative Government. To mould the people in your own image you first must destroy the society they live in.

    The Socialist Conservative Government lives in some fantasist metro left World that strokes their own personal egos and destroy the lives of the many. Just leave people be, leave them with their own money, leave them to do what is needed for them to flourish. That used to be the very essence of Conservatism until CCHQ imposed these extremist of the left on us. What is called the Conservative Party should hold thier heads in shame

  25. agricola
    October 20, 2023

    Devolution is an illusion of levelling up. It may please the chatterring classes while doing little or nothing for the population.

    My initial ingredients for a more balanced society are well paid production and administrative jobs in the areas that need them and that requires intervention by central government. It needs to be backed by good infrastructure, housing, schools, technical colleges, and transport. I would point out that in many areas that need this the actual quality of life exceeds greatly the experience of living in our capital city. I say central government because only they can move the MOD to Cornwall or incentivise the movement of cutting edge industry to Northumberland. The pawns in this process, the restaurants, the shops, pubs et al will follow where they have customers. The last thing needed is a strata of devolved government to get in the way. There are more than enough examples of local government to advise on need. The Scots have experienced the very worst in outcomes from devolution , an EU ploy to degrade the United Kingdom. The Welsh are trying very hard to acquire the crown of irrelevance with their 20mph speed limits and anti democratic censorship of GBNews, the only channel we can rely on for political balance.
    In final analysis devolution should be more restrictive than at present and its success or otherwise is down to the quality of leadership, lacking in Scotland and Wales but present in the West Midlands and possibly the North West.

  26. jerry
    October 20, 2023

    OT; My biggest take-away from the Leveling Up Bill this week, consideration of Lords amendments, was how much time is wasted because MPs insist on retaining a 1800s era voting system. For goodness sake, if Commons procedures were a British Leyland car factory Sir Michael Edwardes would have shut it down decades ago!

    The devolved UK Govts, the EU, have far better voting procedures, perhaps it is time to build a modern new parliament, allow Westminster to officially become the museum it is, cheaper to.

  27. Bloke
    October 20, 2023

    Difference is the essence of existence. These ‘levelling up’ activities just add needless complication and nuisance.

    The UK is already in the top 10% of the most densely-populated countries in the world. Levelling up to near the densest by importing too many people creates most of its congestion, causing inadequacies of space, housing, health, schools, roads, energy, pollution control, freedom, finance and much else.

    If our people had more freedom of choice and less government forcing restrictions on their capability to do what they wish to improve their lives, enforced levelling up would not apply. Then people could reach whatever level they sought for themselves with their own motivation and efforts.

    Don’t cramp our style with overpopulation and other nonsense. You cannot make a bad bill good solely by changing it to something slightly better than what is even worse.

  28. Ian B
    October 20, 2023

    As the People get to speak up against this 14 year reign of tyrannical left wing government, where was the PM, oh yes out gallivanting around the World looking for personal self gratification, poking his nose into things they UK can do nothing about, let alone have the resources.

    The Conservative Party have trashed the UK, trashed its economy and trashed its future. At home they talk about ‘levelling up’ when in real demonstrable practice they destroy and pull things down. They spend money we haven’t got, create debts we cannot afford to pay back and keep taxing us more when we are trying to hold our heads above water.

    Maybe the whole Conservative Government should join the PM on his travels and never return – we may, just may have a chance.

    1. Timaction
      October 20, 2023

      Agreed. So long as the Snake doesn’t take OUR cheque book promising more giveaways we the 46% can’t afford in foreign causes.

  29. Ian B
    October 20, 2023

    Labour may have thought they have just won a by-election, they didn’t.

    The Conservative Party lied previously to get voted in by saying they were Conservatives. Then they Conservative Party ensured we had a Socialist Government, so the Conservative Party disenfranchise all Conservative Voters – the people have now seen through this ruse. Voting what calls itself a Conservative Party will not get a Conservative Government, will not get Conservative thinking. You just get duped

    1. Ian B
      October 20, 2023

      @Ian B
      Borrowed from elsewhere – A bit of context. In Mid Beds, the combined Labour and Tory vote is approximate the same number of votes that the Tories lost. Dorries got 38,000 votes, 25,000 more than the Tories candidate got this time out. Labour got 14,000 votes last time out, the same as this time.
      Labour didn’t win this Conservative Government deliberately lost it by becoming Labour – the Conservative Party, and CCHQ lied once more to the electorate but this time they didn’t buy it

      1. Mickey Taking
        October 20, 2023

        Clearly the no-shows were basically Tory voters last time who can’t be arsed to bother to turnout for more weak gruel, or actively seek change but still struggle to vote for Socialism with a red rosette, not a blue one.

        1. glen cullen
          October 20, 2023

          A valid assessment

    2. agricola
      October 20, 2023

      Ian B
      Conservative thinking exist among Conservative members, the electorate, but bar 50 MPs not in the parliamentary party. It is alive in the Reform Party, the challenge is to marry all Conservatives together.

  30. Mark J
    October 20, 2023

    If the results of the two by-elections aren’t enough of a wake up call for the Conservatives, then there really is no hope for the party next year.

    Both Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire were won with huge swings away from the Conservatives.

    If Rishi cannot learn to stop being a faux Lib Dem and start being Conservative; providing actual results for stopping the boats, rising prices and costs, the issues with crime and the NHS – then next year is a guaranteed Labour win.

    The way it is going, even the ‘safe seat’ Conservative seat of Wokingham is on very shaky ground.

    I suspect very few who comment on this site want a Labour Government. However, unless the Conservatives really start to be Conservative and deal with the issues at hand, that is where we are heading – and the blame will solely be at Rishi’s door.

    1. Mike Wilson
      October 20, 2023

      and the blame will solely be at Rishi’s door.

      Be fair. Let us not forget the vital contributions of Cameron, Osborne, May, Hammond and, of course, the ‘Get Brexit Done and then not do it’ man himself, the man who just lives a party – Johnson.

  31. Ian B
    October 20, 2023

    Sir John

    As always logical clear thinking from yourself. Surely what you call ‘Levelling Up’ is just jingoistic jargon to hide mistakes of the last 14years.

    Although addressing your main trust of the discussion if ‘devolved power’ had been truly devolved down to those that do the job, the work and achieve results, none of this situation would have arisen. Scotland a smaller population than Yorkshire gets more say and government than those fine people of Yorkshire. That’s not devaluation that’s pandering and tinkering around the edges. All that was created was a mini-me Westminster, so don’t blame them

    Logic is, if all areas/regions of this whole UK were treated equal and were treated equally this discussion would not have arisen. What is called the ‘Barnet Formula’ should never have been distributed in the way it is, it should have gone directly to the area/regions that were in greatest need(That includes England). Sending money to a higher tier as it has been shown, has seen the money get lost, shuffled elsewhere and abused. Staying in Scotland Edinburgh is a relativity prosperous area in a UK context, yet the islands, places such as Arbroath are not helped equally – they are just as out of sight and out of mind as they were before.

    First real devolution should happen, the power and the authority needs to go to the lowest level. Then if these communities decide to pool, resources efforts on a collective basis with neighbours or similar positioned areas/regions it should be their choice – not a centralist dictator. The UK to be successful means that the centralised control mentality of Metro London has to be as far as possible removed from all corners of the UK as possible. Until that happens there is no levelling up its is just jargon political speak of a failed politburo

  32. a-tracy
    October 20, 2023

    Well done ‘senior Tories’ with your blue on blue attacks. Bill Cash warned you should be fighting Labour rather than each other (John Penrose and Tom Hunt and the others, you know who you are) take a good look at yourselves in the mirror this morning.

  33. Ian B
    October 20, 2023

    Sir John

    Sorry but I need to rant

    The MsM are as thick as it gets with their headlines ‘ Rishi Sunak was hit with demands for immediate tax cuts to win back Tory voters‘ & ‘Tories say Chancellor is the only one who can stop election wipe-out’ and so on.

    Asking die-hard anti UK Socialists to change is a ridiculous comment. Just as the have destroyed the UK economy they are endeavouring to destroy the UK by smothering it in debt that is going to take a miracle economy to pay it down.

    The fault line is this Conservative Government – (that is not Conservative). CCHQ for foisting them on us and the Conservative Party for doing nothing.

    Install a Conservative leader, a Conservative Government – meaning the Conservative Party needs to get rid of the problem and remember what they told the country at the last election! Are they really going to expect hard-working party activists to go out again and again and just ‘lie’

  34. Bert+Young
    October 20, 2023

    Housebuilding in my area of South Oxfordshire is a disaster . No new schools or extensions , surgeries overcrowded , hospital waiting lists impossible , roads and traffic congestion beyond description – words run out . I cannot see how things can now improve to the point that this is the country I can admire and respect . The 2 election results this morning spell out the extent of our national dilemma . The whole of Europe is just as much in a black hole due to overcrowding and the border restrictions now being imposed are far too late . The leadership in the USA is a huge joke and world economies are weakening ; stimulation efforts are meaningless and the role of politics everywhere a shamble .

    1. Berkshire Alan
      October 20, 2023

      B Y

      Afraid you are correct Bert, too many listening to minority pressure groups, none of them listening to the sensible silent majority.

      1. a-tracy
        October 21, 2023

        Correct Alan, but the not so silent majority don’t seem to agree on priorities either. People banging on about inheritance (the metrics on that if rose higher than inflation would be awful; but by inflation it should have been raised), people can’t afford to have children even those on £55k in London with a partner not working to raise the child gets their child benefit taken of them! The NLW (from 23, 21 next year) is nearly £20,500 for a 37.5 hour week the rate set in every region the same (other than if you work in the public sector then your rates are enhanced in London), it was put up by nearly 10% this year do you hear anyone saying how good that was, no, it was done under a cloak and everyone is wondering why pay has risen to match the base and created inflation, it really is basic stuff. It’s going to be at least £11 next April and talk of more, Labour want to zoom it up to £15 per hour put that won’t affect the price of a loaf of bread if they do it whilst holding down all your state pensions. They have made quite clear their contempt for money saving pensioners those that did the right thing they intend to share your thriftiness around to people that didn’t bother.

        People worrying about Inheritance tax should give some money away now, watch your children grow, if its all trapped in your home, perhaps look at a downsize, an equity release, perhaps Hunt should suggest a way to help down-sizers without massive stamp duty.

        The ones first out of the traps demanding more ventilators, more free covid testing, more PPE, faster vaccines (especially for men) – are the most vocal now it’s “what a waste of money”. The public demanded it, the papers demanded it, the tv news demanded it from people who are always happy to spend money not build and grow money.

        The National Insurance threshold rose from £9500 to £12570 you wouldn’t know it to listen to people and our newspapers who always incorrectly say thresholds haven’t risen and we’re paying an equivalent extra 6% tax does anyone know how they work that out? Again Hunt and Sunak shouldn’t have done a sneaky fiscal drag. We’re just expected to take these things from newspapers on trust. Yesterday they were all reporting those Tory losers at the by-elections walked straight out, they didn’t they shook the hands of their victors and one chap even hugged the chap that beat him. I’m seriously thinking of cancelling my newspaper subscriptions.

  35. XY
    October 20, 2023

    What we are seeing is levelling down. Everywhere is being subjected to more houses without infrastructure, more people, the atmosphere of our daily lives is increasingly in a peasant-mentality world.

    What amazes me is that people still vote for the two “main” parties at all. They are showing utter disdain for the population whose interests they purport to represent.

    I have learned my lesson – in future I will vote for something I want, not against something I don’t want. The old “the other lot will be worse” argument won’t wash any more.

    I only wish the new right-of-centre parties would coalesce and send the Conservative party to the same oblivion as the Liberals experienced in 1928, when they went into coalition with Labour and disgusted voters left them in droves, never to return.

  36. XY
    October 20, 2023

    The two by-elections will dominate the discussions today. No spin is possible, this is now endemic, seen across many by-elections over a fair amount of time.

    Sunak is not someone the elctorate will vote for. People don’t really vote for local candidates any more, any election is largely “presidential” – it’s about the leader and the policies, especially with the incumbent government.

    The issue for the Tories now is… who else? They have defenestrated the only election winners they might have and are left with a bunch of over 200 lefty MPs who basically told a few porkies to get into the HoC as “Conservatives”. Only the die hards are voting for them now, everyone else has seen what’s going on.

    Worse is that even so-called “Rottweilers” like Lee Anderson seems to play along when it comes to forcing the likes of Wendy Morton onto a constituency as a candidate against the wishes of their association (who said that she lied to them about being a Brexiteer and the voted Remain on every issue). These are not my accusations, this was reported by Guido Fawkes as being a direct quote from the chairman of the association.

    I expected Anderson to do something to stop the rot, to have genuine small-c conservatives put up as candidates and return the decisions to the associations – even to help weed out the pretend Conservatives. But no, suddenly he’s a different animal.

    Anyone suggest a Conservative MP they might vote for as PM? One with a realistic chance of getting the job – I realise that Mr Redwood won’t get it and Bill Cash is the same (and is retiring at the end of this parliament anyway). If it were entirely up to the associations though, no pre-selection vote for MPs… perhaps, just perhaps?

  37. ChrisS
    October 20, 2023

    I see public sector borrowing was a massive £6bn and more than 30% less than the OBR predicted! Can they get nothing right ?

    Given the figures over the year , there would have been more than enough fiscal headroom for the tax cuts that Liz Truss was proposing and there would be no need to increase Corporation Tax !

    1. XY
      October 20, 2023

      I was about to post something similar – except that the Spectator is reporting it as being “only” 20% under forecast.

      It adds yet more weight to the argument that the forecasts being used are not fit for purpose. Yet they are routinely relied upon and routnely come in overestimating borrowing, under-estimating growth and everything is skewed in a direction that takes our economy in the wrong direction.

      BOTTOM LINE: Since Hunt used those borrowing forecasts to justify a “bleak” Autumn statement… will he now change tack???

      I doubt it – the evidence is mounting that these guys are doing this deliberately. They cannot be *that* incompetent.

      1. XY
        October 20, 2023

        Apologies, it wasn’t 20% it was £20bn under forecast – and £20bn may well be 30% of the original forecast as you stated.

      2. a-tracy
        October 21, 2023

        XY – what would your priority tax cuts be?

        They gave a large £3000 threshold allowance increase in national insurance last year no one seemed to notice, they reversed the 1% they were going to add on, no-one noticed.

        They gave all public sector workers an extra two days paid leave – and cash lump sums as part of the settlements that doesn’t seem to get counted in % terms no-one appreciated it, acknowledged it, they’re still striking its political (so what have these unions been promised). This added to the waiting list in courts, hospitals, doctors the public isn’t counting the cost of it to them as the customer.

    2. Original Richard
      October 20, 2023

      ChrisS :

      The OBR, and the current PM and Chancellor, want any fiscal headroom to be left for their comrades first term in Parliament.

      1. a-tracy
        October 21, 2023

        Why OR? What do you think they’ve been promised new roles in the real rulers club.

  38. XY
    October 20, 2023

    Having now had time to read the news in more detail, I see press reports quoting our host saying that low turnouts in by-elections cause these swings.

    And yet, in Boris’s heyday, he won by-elections comfortably. I’m not advocating a return to his tree-hugging net zero policies, or his take on social issues, but allowing the Marsupial Division of the judiciary (aka the Standards Committee) to eject all the potential winners while under the control of a Labour MP… who has now been elected full-time chair… it’s like turkeys voting for Christmas. How many more Tory “winners” will be ejected on spurious grounds? (Not that there any left).

    And we have Hunt saying that his Autumn statement will be bleak “of necessity” (citing all the problems which he, the BoE and their policies have caused as the “reasons”).

    This is NOT due to mid-term issues, the disillusionment goes much deeper. I’d suggest you have another tilt at the leadership JR, make sure it includes the associations stage and you have a chance. Then, you need a way to get elected – voters may find your delivery dry, but you also need to prepare the ground for policy that works (which may be unpopular with socialists/woke types – at least until they are explained properly).

  39. glen cullen
    October 20, 2023

    Your party of government has betrayed its voters at every level, its no surprise labour won both by-elections ….and you continue to be the party of high taxes, high immigration and net-zero

    1. beresford
      October 20, 2023

      Not to mention the party of wokery. All of the nonsense of transgenderism, critical race theory and white privilege has been introduced unopposed into our schools, businesses and armed forces on the ‘Conservative’ watch.

    2. a-tracy
      October 21, 2023

      Glen, if you think this government are the government of high taxes, high immigration and net zero I don’t think you’re reading the runes correctly. Listen to what Labour is actually saying to its fellow believers. What promises it is making behind the scenes to doctors unions, railway unions, bus unions, councils.

  40. glen cullen
    October 20, 2023

    Green Party vote change since 2019 Tamworth (-0.4)
    Green Party vote change since 2019 Mid-Bedfordshire (-2.0)

    The people have voted and they’ve rejected the green revolution and net-zero ARE YOU LISTENING

    1. Mike Wilson
      October 20, 2023

      The people have voted and they’ve rejected the green revolution and net-zero ARE YOU LISTENING

      You’re really clutching at straws there. No-one needs to vote Green because the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems are all a very vivid Green. To use your argument – the only party that is not Green is Reform – and they only got a tiny number of votes.

      Conclusion: The vast majority vote for Green parties and hardly anyone votes for the anti Net Zero party.

      1. glen cullen
        October 21, 2023

        Your conclusion is flawed as our system mandates a count of ballot papers indicating the wishes of the people
        Everyone had the democratic free opportunity to put their ‘X’ against the ‘green’ party ,,,,the people chose not too

  41. Iago
    October 20, 2023

    We’re in Eurabia, heading straight to the Middle Ages, and none of the current gang of politicians will oppose this or even mention it.

    1. glen cullen
      October 20, 2023

      Everyone else can see it ….policy of head in sand

    2. The Prangwizard
      October 20, 2023

      Many politicians and others here wouldn’t be concerned about the fall of Israel. Indeed they would encourage and sympathise with its enemies.

      It must be said that if Israel falls Western Europe would be next and soon. As we have seen there are millions of Israel’s enemies and ours here. They will easily take to the streets this time to burn down our buildings and attack us.

      I may not be allowed to say this here but is a matter which our leaders must contemplate.

      It can’t be shied away from which many will do, as far too controvercial.

      1. glen cullen
        October 20, 2023

        ‘’It must be said that if Israel falls Western Europe would be next and soon’’

        It’s the complete opposite, Israels current war is due to the collapse of Western Europe culture, tradition & religion , and it policies of wokeness, appeasement and immigration

  42. Keith from Leeds
    October 20, 2023

    Whatever lesson you draw from two severe defeats in the two elections, one thing is clear. Sunak is not inspiring people as PM & Hunt is our most negative Chancellor. Yes, even worse than Osbourne, Hammond & Sunak!
    We need a conservative government focused on conservative policies, the most important of which is tax cuts.
    Scottish devolution has failed because of poor government focused exclusively on independence, spending English taxpayers cash to bribe voters. Why does the government allow it to go on? Give them financial independence for the next five years, then have a referendum on independence!
    We need a PM & Chancellor focused on cutting wasteful government expenditure. Savings of 10 or 20% of the current spending should be easy for an effective Chancellor. Someone needs to tell Hunt to stop whining he can’t cut taxes, & do his job by cutting spending to create room for significant tax cuts!

  43. Charles Breese
    October 20, 2023

    Your comments beautifully illustrate the very low quality of problem solving skills across Government and the public sector from the standpoint of the UK population as a whole. Changing this by tackling it head on will take for ever, and may never succeed – an oblique solution is required.

    With all the changes in technology over the last 30 years combined with the changed profile of MPs, I feel that it is time for the UK to review how it practises democracy – my choice would be to switch from representative democracy to direct democracy (Switzerland provides an example). It is interesting to see Australia’s electorate voting against The Voice proposal.

  44. Paula
    October 20, 2023

    “Vote for us to keep Labour out” never was a good election slogan but clearly it’s not working anymore.

    The Tory press can bang on about Labour all it likes. Which Daily Mail reader is going to be voting Starmer anyway ?

    Migration, crime, tax, woke, greenism….

  45. Original Richard
    October 20, 2023

    I am no longer swayed by the argument “the other side is worse”.

    I simply cannot vote for any party that wants to :

    – Destroy our economy with a Net Zero Strategy designed to give us rationing of food, energy, heating, transport with the transition of our cheap, abundant and reliable hydrocarbon energy to low density, resource profligate, chaotically intermittent, weather dependent and very expensive renewables with no grid-scale backup when nuclear is the obvious choice. I don’t want to go back to the Middle Ages.

    – Destroy our social cohesion by encouraging massive immigration in the millions designed split up of the UK into tribal areas. I don’t want the country to look like the Middle East and Africa.

    – Destroy our national security by encouraging the illegal entry into the UK of hundreds of thousands young men of fighting age with no proof of identity or alignment with our culture and coming from unstable parts of the world with gifts of free collection from off the coast of France, free accommodation, free healthcare, free legal services and £40/week pocket money and the freedom to roam our streets and take black market jobs whilst they plot their next strike.

    1. paul curhbertson
      October 20, 2023

      OR – Forget any party in the UK as they are ALL controlled by the Globalist UK WEF Establishment. Just Pray that Donald J Trump is renstalled in his rightful position as PRESIDENT otherwise we shall ALL be Slaves regardless.

      1. Derek
        October 22, 2023

        The continuing persecution of the ex-POTUS by the DNC proves that he is the man of the people never the socialists who crave power and domination.

  46. Derek
    October 20, 2023

    Leveling Up is not working because the Government leans too far – to the left!

  47. glen cullen
    October 20, 2023

    ‘Volta Trucks, all-electric vehicle, said it had filed for bankruptcy in Sweden after its main battery supplier collapsed. Its UK division is also applying for administration. The collapse puts roughly 600 British jobs at risk. The majority of Volta’s 850 staff were based in the UK, largely in the Midlands.’
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/10/17/600-uk-jobs-risk-swedish-electric-lorry-bankruptcy/
    Government invests £200 million to drive innovation and get more zero emission trucks on our roads
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-invests-200-million-to-drive-innovation-and-get-more-zero-emission-trucks-on-our-roads
    Net-Zero madness

    1. p
      October 20, 2023

      GC – Was that a deliberate ploy by vota? UK job losses before Sweden?

  48. Mike Wilson
    October 20, 2023

    We never got any credit for greatly outperforming the average that we were meant to be building under the local plan,

    Ahh, Mr. Redwood – you do make me smile. You want CREDIT for outperforming the local plan! Do you think ANYONE wanted the THOUSANDS of houses built in the last few years – connecting Wokingham to the A329M and the M4. You used to complain about your government forcing all this new housing on the area you represent – now you want credit for it. It’s hard to keep up.

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