Tag Archives: john-redwood

Rhodri Morgan should be careful about what he wishes for

Rhodri Morgan is continuing to stand by his claims that climate change would not be ‘entirely unhelpful’ to the Welsh tourism industry, spurred on by John Redwood’s endorsement.

I suggest he reads the Guardian’s interview with Jim Lovelock today (I have to admit I was rather annoyed by the cheeky way Stuart Jeffries treated Lovelock in comparison to the revential way in which he treated a real nutjob like Azzim Tamimi in his article on secularism a couple of weeks ago). You may regard Lovelock as a bit of a Cassandra, but if Morgan’s right about the improving Welsh climate, then Lovelock is right about the resultant population drift. I don’t think that’s quite the ‘tourism’ that Morgan was thinking about.

Redwood on the red benches

Last week, John Redwood was complaining about how his speech 10 years ago on single mothers had been deliberately distorted by Labour spin doctors. He has a point, particularly given that Labour has now gone far further than the Tories ever did in this area, but I don’t think anyone should be too sympathetic when he writes this sort of piffle to his constituents:

Unfortunately, the government is unlikely to want to change its mind on how peers should be elected. They favour shorter terms, the right to stand again, and party list systems. This will put many people off, by strengthening the grip of the party machines over the last part of the UK constitution which sometimes shows some independence and commonsense.

To be clear, some of what Redwood proposes for Lords reform makes a certain amount of sense, partly because it isn’t a million miles away from what reformers have been calling for for years. But at the risk of sounding like an apologist for Jack Straw, the government is NOT calling for shorter terms or the right to stand again: both are explicitly rejected by the White Paper on Lords Reform. And while they do advocate a party list system, it is a “partially open list”, meaning that people would be able to vote for specific candidates, rather than parties, if they prefer. It might not be my first preference, but it offers the voter more choice than any other system currently being used in the British Isles – including the Tories’ blessed FPTP – with the obvious exception of STV.

I’m quite confident John Redwood must know this since the White Paper was published more than 2 weeks before he made his post. Distorting what people say is one thing, one might even say is politics. Outright lies on the other hand discredits the whole enterprise and disentitles Redwood from the right to complain when his own words get twisted.