Monday, August 13, 2007

John Redwood Hits Back

John Redwood recounts his experience of dealing with the media yesterday HERE and says that 'idiotic name calling, Labour spin and missing the point' is what is putting people off politics. He robustly defends his proposals...


The Labour spin doctors have been out in force today to try to frighten Conservatives and voters off any idea that we should take action to allow the
enterprise sector to create more and beter paid jobs. Apparently the government
believes that every word and paragraph of the thousands of regulations that crowd down on us are essential. They also seem to believe that if any one of them were removed businesses would be busy treating their staff badly and taking risks with health and safety.

Even by Labour standards it’s pretty sorry caricature. Labour Ministers should get out more. They would discover that there would be more jobs if there were fewer regulations. They might even discover that some things would be better with fewer regulations. Take pensions for example. The last few years have seen unprecedented levels of very proscriptive regulation, and have also seen record levels of scheme closure, bankruptcy and deficits.

Business knows that the cumulative impact of too many regulations has been to take too much money and too much management time away from new products and services, away from treating customers better, away from creating new jobs.
We need to curb them - both to make the UK more prosperous - and to make it
safer, cleaner and greener.

Quite right. From what I read in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday most of Redwood's proposals are on the money and essential if we are to restore the levels of competitiveness our economy needs.

UPDATE: Dizzy questions the timing of all of this.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Brown has any sense he will cherry pick the good ideas and damn the rest.

David Lindsay said...

What does John Redwood actually know about business? He was a public schoolboy who became an undergradute, who became a Fellow of All Souls, who became the MP for a safe seat. That's it.

Cassilis said...

I'm more than a little concerned that I'm having some sort of damascene conversion here but yet again the party that I support seems to be focusing a ludicrous amount of attention on the wrong issue.

The electoral impacts of any set of policy proposals has to be weighed in the balance with the way the media will handle those proposals. I'm sure there's some substance to John Redwoods claims about the impact unnecessary regulation has on business but we need to make sure (1) that we're addressing a high-profile problem already firmly fixed in the public consciousness and (2) that it's very difficult for the government to misrepresent or caricature our proposals.

Did anyone at CPHQ do any sort of analysis like this before they decided to unleash Redwood on the media? Where are the mass newspaper campaigns bemoaning the stifling influence of H&S legislation, the excessive burdens of corporate taxation and the impact it's having on jobs?

They truth is they don't exist because there is no settled view as yet that we have a problem there. That doesn't mean we don't, Redwood may indeed me remarkably prescient and he's spotted something we need to address - but in electoral terms we're yet again seen to be desperately trying to create a mood of public disaffection rather than exploiting one that already exists.

This would be bad enough were it not for the fact that at the same time we're providing an open goal for a hostile media which my dog could have told you would have led with the 'Tories scrap H&S' angle.

Apologies for the length Iain - perhaps I should start my blog again!!

Laurence Boyce said...

If there’s anything putting people of politics, then I would have thought it would be the likes of John Redwood.

Liberal Republican said...

Tories have spin doctors too...
and Cameron's mafia is always out spinning stuff in the press.

Kevin Doran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barnacle Bill said...

I think the Yorkshire Ranter has a good take on this.

Ned said...

Good to hear Redwoods policies... of course the labourites will trash it entirely... they're all programmed in the same emphasised manner. they deliver their robotic speeches with the same facial inclinations!
Other disturbing news today.. anyone can go on line to "Land Registry" & for £3 look into any(yes yours & mine) records on house purchase details... The Police in Thames valley are recruiting "Community Support officers " as young as 16(not even the age of majority) yrs!.....& This Government are 10 points ahead of the Tories..it just beggars belief!

Captain Spaulding said...

Um, how do you make the UK safer without health and safety regulations? How do you make it greener without regulations to control emissions?

Captain Spaulding said...

Cassilis you said

"Did anyone at CPHQ do any sort of analysis like this before they decided to unleash Redwood on the media?"

I don't think CPHQ did decide to unleash Redwood - it sounds like Redwood's own attempt to grab the conservative agenda. Dave must be chewing the carpet..

judith said...

If anyone posting here had tried to run a small business, they would know that Mr Redwood is spot on, re both H&S and insane business regs. Not to mention the insane petty officials who are tasked to implement them.

Mr Redwood's task force was asked to address these issues, and that it has done, so why anyone would assume DC is tormented by the report is beyond me.

And, David Lindsay, perhaps you would inform us how many of the Cabinet over the past 10yrs have had business experience?

tapestry said...

Just as NuLab believed they had buried Cameron into an early political grave, yesterday he shocked Gordon's media bully boys by releasing John Redwood into the fray.

How could Cameron who they had spent months bullying for his non-attendance at floods, and his membership of exclusive clubs, dare to do this. Why was he not kneeling down in repentance begging forgiveness for being a Tory from a privileged background - and not only that - a Tory with wait for it, yes some 'right-wing' beliefs.

Redwood's new policy ideas immediately provoked loony-left rants about children being sent up chimneys, slave labour and stories of old ladies being tortured by unscrupulous care-home owners out to extract profits.

Redwood got the Marxist media chorus chanting in full voice just as expected, and what a bunch of dimwits they all seemed.

Their critique was so overdone that hardly a viewer or a listener in the country could not have been impressed with their inability to focus on anything other than name calling and witch-hunt.

The media minnows were driven into a frenzy, evoking well known torturers from the Tory past like William (europhobe) Hague and Michael (immigration) Howard. They trotted out all the labels known to terrify voters that something evil was being planned, which at the very least would involve the maiming for life of half their number, and the cancellation of all subsidised bus tickets for pensioners - the very essence of right-wing politics.

If the media circus under Blair was all a bit creepy. Under Brown they're all going just plain barmy. 57% of the public no longer trust them as it is.

So John, now they're all going nuts about something else today, what exactly was it you were trying to say yesterday? It sounded really intersting to most people, what little the media pemitted them to actually hear.

bebopper said...

I finally found Redwood's proposals on page 24 0f The Times.
Like the BBC, the "Paper of Record" gave them a negative slant, with the heading:
"Tories reopen EU divisions with an attack on red tape".
Who wrote the story? Step forward, Philip Webster, recently outed by Alaister Campbell as his favourite useful idiot in the press.
The Times, once a great newspaper, now employs second-raters like Webster, Tim Hames and Tom Baldwin to peddle New Labour propaganda.
What a trio; they should do a remake of The Three Stooges.

bebopper said...

Laurence Boyce

So John Redwood puts people off politics, does he?
Why? Have you ever listened to anything he's said? Have you ever read a word he's written?
Thought not.
Now let's look at you.
You're vain enough to provide us with a photograph to accompany your shafts of wit and wisdom. You appear to be over-weight and you radiate a demeanour of half-witted smugness.
You describe yourself as a middle-aged software engineer and your interests are Wilkipedia,Facebook and blogging.
My, my, you sound a really interesting chap.

antifrank said...

Redwood is dead right on pensions. 90% of pensions regulation could be culled to the active benefit of companies and pension scheme members.

Anonymous said...

You'll notice that none of the parties are keen to constrain Ministers in any way. At present, they only have to decide whether policy proposals are "proportionate" in the way they balance costs and benefits, but too often there is the suspicion that the sums are done to justify decisions already taken (for example, back of the envelope manifesto commitments). Ministers can't be subjected to Judicial Review for this legerdemain - the only check is the Panel For Regulatory Accountability, a group of fellow alcoholics who sit in the distillery behind closed doors and who never report to Parliament. So come on, Mr Redwood (and Ed Miliband) - sort out the problem on your own doorstep.

gfen said...

David Lindsay said -
What does John Redwood actually know about business? He was a public schoolboy who became an undergradute, who became a Fellow of All Souls, who became the MP for a safe seat. That's it.

So - what does Gordon Brown actually know about business? He was a High School boy who became an undergraduate, who became a television journalist, who became the MP for a safe seat. That's it.

Snap.

Laurence Boyce said...

Thanks for those penetrating insights “bebopper.” I shan’t bother to respond because you’re just one of the many anonymous snipers who routinely spoil this site for others. In the meantime, I think we should all enjoy hearing the Welsh National Anthem another time.

english blah blah blah said...

Can a Labour supporter please explain HOW the nation is going to find a TRILLION pounds to pay for all those government pensions? Who is going to pay? When the north sea oil runs out where will the money come from? Everyone is taxed to the hilt as it is! Please explain?

Praguetory said...

Why do people talk rubbish on blogs? Why is David Lindsay such an idiot?

"John Redwood’s career in business and finance includes positions as Chairman of Norcros, a quoted industrial conglomerate, and as executive director of Rothschilds. He has been non-executive Chairman of Mabey Securities and non-executive director of BNB Resources plc. Since October 2003 he has been non-executive Chairman of Concentric plc, a Birmingham-based maker of pumps and fans that is a major supplier to the world’s truck and construction equipment industries."

Business is crying out for deregulation.

I'm glad that Redwood took this bull by the horns. The weakness of the Labour counter-attack was astonishing.

tapestry said...

Newsnight spin.

John Redwood 'says it's as good as a tax cut'


Cuts to Regulation is being called the same as Cuts in Tax and Cuts in Spending by Newsnight.

Labour see it as a lurch to the right. It's the usual Tory Europe and tax cuts stuff. David Cameron is nowhere to be seen.

Kwark to Redwood - what government ever achieved such big cuts in red tape?

Redwood. the target is much bigger than it used to be.

Kwark. Cutting care homes regulation. (said cutting care homes first)

Redwood. More places possible with less regulation - not less.

Kwark. making it easier to make workers redunadant.

Redwood. employers are unwilling to employ. 5.4 million don't have a job.

Kwark. you will scrap most of H & S regulations.

Redwood. No. about 10%. It's expensive and not effective - review required.

Kwark. You're prepared for a fight with Europe as over Working Time Directove. That signals euroscepticism.

Redwood. Your used to seeing politicians triangulating. I've spent 18 months studying how to make us more successful. There is a lot here that needs looking at.

Kwark. Will this be policy. cameron?

Redwood. Osborne likes it. But the whole shadow cabinet will have to deicde.

Kwark. Tomorrow you address pensions final salary schemes?

Redwood. 2/3 of all final salary schemes are closed to new members.

Kwark . the companies don't want to reopen final salary schemes.
in current climate.

Redwood. we're hoping to improve things at the margin, by improving and moving things in a better direction.

Kwark. Tomorrrow's Guardian - Brown spends £38 billion. Flood defences etc. isn't this what you are saying?

Redwood. We want to improve the infrastructure of the country using private money so the government doesn't have to spend.

CUT

Diogenes said...

Redwood remarkably good on Newsnight tonight.

Stayed calm when provoked.

Made his points well.

Let the interviewer get exasperated and interrupt then shot down her party political jibes with common sense.

If he didn't look like a Martian he would have made a half decent politician.

Little Black Sambo said...

Laurence Boyce says Bebopper is one of those who "routinely spoil this site for others". How public-spirited. I am not one of the "others" & think Bebopper has Laurence summed up.

tapestry said...

shame about comment moderation being on. it takes so long to get the comment published sometimes, it slows the momentum of the blog.

David Lindsay said...

In the course of quite possibly the most back-peddling interview that I have ever seen, Redwood has just told Kirsty Walk that tomorrow he will announce proposals for the re-opening of final salary pension schemes. Well, I bet that that won't apply in the private sector. So, what do you all think of him now?

Anonymous said...

Vince sums it up in a much more mature and reasoned, yet still critical way

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/vincent_cable/2007/08/redwood_dead_wood.html

mark williams said...

When Redwood does make his formal ab#nnouncement on Friday he could do worse than point out that he is simply doing the sort of thing that Gordon Brown promised to do in 2005, but never actually iplemented.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4574229.stm

Praguetory said...

David lindsay said

"Well, I bet that that won't apply in the private sector."

That's exactly what he meant. Are you OK?

Sea Shanty Irish said...

Revelation via Dizzy that John Redwood deliberately sabotaged the Central Office media strategy is VERY interesting, on a number of levels.

--more proof that, as always, John Redwood is a loyal member of the John Redwood Party.

--rightwing is delighted to see one of yer pet peeves heralded by Tory spokesego; but seems highly unlikely that waste & overregulation are going to emerge as killer issues for next GE (think voters figured out New Labour was big on filling out forms a couple of elections ago!)

--points made above by Cassilis are all excellent; for example, when he notes the need to prepare the media before launching a major proposal

--in hindsight it's clear that one of the reasons the media response to JR's proposals was as it was, was because they caught the newsmongers by surprise.

--so despite legitimate grievances over the reporting of the Redwood proposals, etc, once again the BOTTOM LINE is this: when it comes to media planning and news management, the Tory Party circa 2007 is its own worst enemy!

Personally think that waste & redtape is a real problem and a legitimate issue. BUT for the Tory Party it needs careful handling and new presentation. Which JR ensured would NOT happen.

After ye finish patting JR on the back in public, Tories who like WINNING ELECTIONS may wish to consider marking his card . . .

Laurence Boyce said...

Oh no! I have been criticised by “Bebopper” and “Little Black Sambo” in one evening! I am now mortified beyond measure!

Anonymous said...

JOHN REDWOOD… is this a joke. Tories spinners under seem to have lost the plot. JR stands for every thing Camera On is not, or rather pretends not to be. He is and will always be the boggie man from the far right.

Jim said...

JOHN REDWOOD… is this a joke. Tories spinners seem to have lost the plot. JR stands for every thing Camera On is not, or rather pretends not to be. He is and will always be the boggie man from the far right.

Newmania said...

Those are some rather uncalled for remarks about Laurence , Bebopper, and Redwood does have unprepossessing manner. On the other hand Gordon Brown is equally unappealing , more nerdy and clammy palmed and alien . Its interesting how the MSM seem to have not noticed whereas Redwood a comparatively minor figure ( unfortunately) is always treated with personal invective . Believe it or not I was talking a producer on radio Four who is an ex stand-up and involved with BBC comedy . She said to me everyone is so grateful for Cameron Brown is just boring .
It shows you the way the bias at a cellular level. Gordon Brown at my school would have been mercilessly scalpelled for his peculiar ticks , oddity and fascistic power crazed zealotry. They cannot see it but then he pays them not to.

Ned said...

For the first time in months John Redwood gave "Newsnight" a bloody nose...Kirsty Wark tried to interrupt his flow many times with pro Labour jibes...he just walked (talked) all over her..lets see more of this from the Tories.

Anonymous said...

What does John Redwood know about business? Quite a lot - he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

Presumably, David Lindsay, he knows a lot more about business than you do.

Anonymous said...

Deregulation can make sense.

But getting Redwood to present it? Any message he has to say will be ruined by the barrage of personal attacks against him. The bloke's less popular than Chris Langham.

Newmania said...

The danger is that it will be seen as a division against Cameron. Almost a right wing coup.( Toynbee is already suggesting as much) Encouraging SME`s de-regulating and rolling back the state are all good things. Improving employment is a good thing and we do desperately need freedom to provide community care and nursey care come to that. Elf and Safety is failing as it is .Accidents are going up such is the self defeating nature of this rotting edifice. Anyone actually working with it knows what a disaster it has become .It has also, incidentally ,been badly under funded in a typical New Labour delivery foul up .Redwoods study however, is easily spun as an attack on workers life quality and environmental policy though an thereby anti Cameron move. This must not happen.

There has to be a consistency between the Cameron pastel shades of Liberalism and the de regulation of Redwood and I think there is a way to bring the two sides together . Cameron is against big government and looking for ways to empower communities, the small battalions . Local small business is vital for any real community and that is exactly the type that Brown has killed off .Whatever he says about new start ups ( self employed former employees that noone will now employ permanently ) . He likes big business because it likes government control .Big business enjoys s regulation and in fact any barrier to competition. Small business at some levels has also been under attack from mass immigration costs and red tape.
In small business regulation is sheer cost as pro-tem arrangements are unavoidable in real life . Simply forms and costs . These are the sort of oppositions
Brown supports the supermarket
Brown supports Euro homogeneity
Brown supports mass immigration
Brown supports hyper earning Private equity
Brown supports and Unionised Public Sector
Brown supports flabby big business
Brown supports bureaucracy
Brown supports bullying government
Brown has big plans which he imposes



Conservatism must be presented as a light touch localist approach and would be best presented in tandem with other measures to bring out its support of communities through local business. Nulab's irrational over-regulation cuts SME productivity and profits by as much as 20% and creates unsustainable stress for SMEs - which amount to over 50% of the UK's economy and which employ almost 60% of UK workers - and for SME owners and staff. This is the word we all live in I would like to see the humanising aspects of the initiative brought out and those parts of it they appear doctrinally Thatcherite pruned away. The whole can be presented as modern small scale but highly reactive as opposed to the Stalinist five year plan.

It must be an agenda that wavering Liberals can sign up to. The centre ground is not socialist it is, however , suspicious of the free market. We cannot abandon the centre and we must not.WE cannot have a Redwood Party in the Conservative Party

ratty tatty said...

Newmania said...Tapestry said...

Girls,girls you talk far too much.You need to appreciate that you are a very boring ladies,and should spend more time doing the housework,and less time posting here.

comfy socks said...

Little Black Sambo said...

Laurence Boyce says Bebopper is one of those who "routinely spoil this site for others".

You spoil this and any blog where you appear.You disgusting bigot,you and your ilk should be the bloggers that Dales' censures.But he does not,I know not why.You have allowed this nasty fellow to post with comment moderation on,shame on you.

buffoon watch said...

Newmania said...
Dump this buffoon,and soon.

ratty tatty said...

Laurence Boyce said...

Thanks for those penetrating insights “bebopper.” I shan’t bother to respond because you’re just one of the many anonymous snipers who routinely spoil this site for others.

But you did respond,silly.Bit arrogant the "spoil this site for others" bit.You speak for the others do you ? However I agree with your put down of Little Black Sambo,a nasty bit of work.Agree with the Redwood comments too,the man is a disaster.But we in the Labour Party love him to bits.

Newmania said...

Oh sweet a congenital imbecile all of my own .....

Laurence Boyce said...

Yes, I think that the anonymous sniping is a huge turn off, especially for women. What I didn’t respond to were the suggestions that I am more dull and overweight than Redwood. That may well be true, but it’s very much by the way because I’m not standing for office.

Graf von Straf Hindenburg said...

...As you may know, I refuse to link to any of the Downing Street petitions because they're a waste of time...

Got it in one, Iain plus they now have you on file once the big shut-down happens. Well, not you because you refuse to sign them.

David Lindsay said...

It might well be what he meant, prageutory. But it won't happen. Will it?

Redwood, lest we forget, is a public sector person, an academic turned MP. That's all he understands.

Praguetory said...

"Redwood, lest we forget, is a public sector person, an academic turned MP."

That's been shown to be untrue, but feel free to carry on.

"But it (reopening of final salary schemes) won't happen. Will it?"

Do you understand why these hit the wall in the first place?

regulation, FRS17, weakness of stock market, changes to tax regime. Some further reading. I should warn you that it might be beyond you, based on your previous comments.

C4' said...

Laurence Boyce is like his near-namesake from Only Fools & Horses, a pompus twit and buffoon.

ratty tatty said...

Newmania said...

Oh sweet a congenital imbecile all of my own ....

You deserve one.

comfy socks said...

Graf von Straf Hindenburg said...

...As you may know.

Didn't know,and don't care.

Laurence Boyce said...

And you’re like your near-namesake the Sinclair C5. A joke.

a friendly fellow said...

C4' said... Laurence Boyce is like his near-namesake from Only Fools & Horses, a pompus twit and buffoon.


Why are you picking on poor Lawrence for Gods sake.You have a blogger who posts under the name of "Little Black Sambo" ,perhaps he should feel your wrath ? You have the ugly sisters "Newmania" and "Tapestry",if for nothing other than being so very tedious they should be rebuked surely.Then we have you,probably the most insignificant blogger to comment here,ever.I will rebuke you for being nasty,It's not clever you know,so stop it.

canvas said...

I'm afraid John Redwood is just coming out with the same delusional thinking of the past. He lives in a fantasy world with no understanding of what he is dealing with in 2007.

So, John Redwood thinks the Tories will get on top of Gordon Brown and become popular again by helping businesses and allowing them to make it easier to sack people and make them work longer.

Sorry, it's doesn't resonate with me.

SBS said...

Iain, you say: From what I read in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday most of Redwood's proposals are on the money and essential.

Sunday Telegraph backs Tory right-winger's proposals... hardly a turn up for the books; they'd have backed them before reading them...

canvas said...

Beware the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Redwood is an obsessive anti-European. Any proposal that threatens workers basics rights is not only insane - it's clueless. A vote winner? No chance.

That kind of thinking is completely out of date. The EU is currently growing at nearly twice the rate of the USA and it's ahead of Japan. Read the Economist if you don't believe me. Britain is a top performer. There's nothing wrong with being part of Europe.

Redwood is trying to destroy Cameron's chances - just like he tried to destroy the Major government. If David Cameron accepts these proposals he is all but finished.