Is Owen Paterson MP the soundest politician in Britain?

The wonderful James Delingpole has written an exclusive piece for Bogpaper this week. Below, he asks, is Tory MP Owen Paterson the soundest politician in Britain?

Here at we place a high value on soundness. Sound money, sound thinking, sound policy – without them we’re stuffed. Until soundness is restored to our economy, our money system, our government, our ideological outlook, The Recovery can never begin.

This is why I found myself feeling uncharacteristically heartened last weekend after a visit to the remote (well, from me, anyway) idyllically rural constituency of North Shropshire.

I’d gone up to give a pep talk to some of the donors who help support the local MP Owen Paterson. Naturally they were feeling pretty pessimistic about the way conservatism is heading under the current coalition. So I thought I’d depress them a bit more by telling them exactly how it is.

2012-2015 Coalition crawls on to its inevitable demise.

2015 Ed Miliband (or a monkey wearing a red rosette) gets in. Insane socialistic policies ensure that economy tanks even more than it did under George Osborne’s money printing/no spending cuts mismanagement.

2020 The Fightback begins.

Yep, eight years is how long we’re going to have to wait until Britain stands even a semblance of a chance of putting its house in order. And that is the best case scenario, assuming that by that stage Cameron and his Appeasers have all been booted out and replaced by the kind of liberty-loving, small-government, free market types with the mettle to do the necessary.

Why then, did I emerge from this meeting so cheerful?

Because to a man (and woman), everyone in the audience TOTALLY got it. They recognised that the Cameron project is stuffed. They also – being mostly very successful, small-business-people – understood exactly the remedies that are needed if Britain is to experience any kind of meaningful recovery.

These remedies are so obvious that they oughtn’t to need stating. But the list of requirements would certainly include:

1. A dramatic reduction in government spending

2. Sweeping tax cuts, preferably in the form of a new low flat tax

3. An end to the government’s insanely expensive, utterly pointless pursuit of “renewable energy” and “decarbonisation.”

4. The immediate exploitation of Britain’s vast shale gas reserves.

5. The ending of red-tape for small businesses, especially regarding the employment laws which make it almost impossible to sack incompetent (or unaffordable) staff without ruining the company.

To which list, I’d add things like:

a) no more money-printing, ever.

b) greatly expanded airport facilities for London

c) the recovery of Britain’s gold reserves, sold at rock bottom prices by Gordon Brown

I don’t know exactly how much of this wish-list Owen Paterson would agree with. All of it, I would guess. The problem is, we don’t really get to hear what he thinks much of the time because David Cameron has very cunningly sidelined him as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. This means that though Paterson is a member of the Cabinet – like Iain Duncan Smith, he is there as a sop to the Tory right – he is kept out of the Westminster political loop because he spends so much of his time fighting fires in Belfast.

Paterson is doing a great job (as you can tell from the near-absence of Northern Ireland stories in the media, despite ongoing campaigns by the paramilitaries – kneecappings, pipe-bombings etc). But the price he is paying for his competence and quiet success is to end up completely off most journalists’ radar.

Mark my words, though. His time will come.

16 comments on “Is Owen Paterson MP the soundest politician in Britain?

  1. Richard McG
    June 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Contrary to your optimistic viewpoint, I find that opinion on the street where I live is quite opposite. I live in an affluent village, in what claims to be a Conservative (previously LibDem) constituency. Most people I speak with, although apparently educated & professional, do not even understand the difference between debt & deficit and many (mainly in education) are convinced that this government is cutting spending and reducing debt! I agree with many of J-Ds opinions and seek out his columns wherever I can find them, but find that the schoolboyish triumphalism that he displays when on the cusp of minor victories, often demeans the excellent points that he makes. Put simply, the leftist coalition government that we have now cannot even make good arguments for the milksop policies that they are failing to ram through and exhibit not a trace of Conservative zeal in their delivery. Sadly, a truly Conservative government comprised of such types as Paterson, Carswell, Hannan, Redwood and yes, even Farage, has no chance of getting elected in this delusional country, not in any time soon. So, we must grit our teeth and bed in for 8 more years of sorrow.

  2. Philip Whittington
    June 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    “No money printing ever” is a bit hyperbolic, I think.

    Some money printing is always necessary so the supply of it can keep pace with genuine wealth created. Think of all the things we can buy that were not around in Victorian times.

    Even in the Carswell-Hannan dream of private, competing currencies, we would see their supply increasing over time to prevent deflation (itself very damaging to demand) as production processes become more efficient.

    But the general point about the reckless printing of money at the moment is sound.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      Thanks Philip for your comment.

      At we disagree with your point that ‘money printing is always necessary’ in order to support wealth and to prevent deflation. You are confusing wealth creation and the amount of money. The more unbacked, paper money in existence the less wealth can be supported on account of the dilution of the money stock. Deflation, which you argue to be damaging to demand, is nowhere near as dangerous as high-inflation or even hyperinflation.

      It is also worth noting that in the Victorian times, when money was not as easily created was a time of huge prosperity and social development. In contrast, we are now in a world when the new generation of working population will be worse off than the generation before.

    • Alfred Sykes
      June 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      Well,Mr Whittington, can I point you to a site where your ideas on money can be checked.
      You have got hold of the wrong end of the stick completely.
      Have a look at
      It will explain it all if you read with your brain switched on, and not as most people do…just with their eyes.

        June 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

        We would also suggest a visit around the rest of Bogpaper, particularly our ‘Why Bogpaper’ section or any of the commentary found here. Also see our ‘Favourite blogs’ menu.

  3. John Anderson
    June 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Great article. Totally agree. One point that’s needs correcting: Gordon Brown didn’t sell the gold at rock bottom prices, he sold them at market rate at the time.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

      Technically, this can be argued to be correct, but this did just happen to be the worst possible time in the last couple of decades to sell gold! You can read more about it here.

    • Ben Everitt
      June 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

      The market price for any commodity always tanks if the market expects a surplus supply of it. Both James Dellingpole and John Anderson are right here. The price was rock bottom, and it was market price.

      This is because before Gordon Brown sold all our gold, he announced to the markets that he would shortly be dumping a massive supply of gold on them. Because he is an idiot.

      • Richard McG
        June 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

        Which is why the phrase “Brown Bottom” came to be…

  4. Herkinderkin
    June 20, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    Wish I could share your optimism, James. One would have thought that the Blair and Brown administrations would have ensured sanity in the administration that replaced them – instead, you got Cameron.

    Meanwhile in the, when I would have thought years of Helen Clark would have caused an appetite for real conservatism, we got John Key, our own faux-conservative.

    The planet suffers not from Global Waming, but from Global Luke-warming.

  5. Alfred T Mahan
    June 20, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    Couldn’t agree more – Patterson’s light has been hidden under a bushel for too long. However the current preoccupation with youth may mean that in his mid 50’s he’s considered too old for further promotion – which would be a huge mistake.

  6. Simon Roberts
    September 7, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    “2020 The Fightback begins.”

    Sadly, I don’t think that any fightback is likely in this country as most people are too ignorant of the causes of our economic malaise and are therefore susceptible to exploitation by career politicians.

    This doesn’t only apply to the Great Unwashed, most of your colleagues at the Telegraph haven’t a clue (judging by their Blogs) and with even supposedly ‘right wing’ commentators following neo-Keynesian theory, where will the political alternative come from?

    The Tories are choosing to address the problem of their ageing support base by moving to the left. The only conservative alternative is UKIP, but they are still a one-man band and don’t have sufficiently detailed economic polices. If they were to become more popular, they would just attract career politicians and we would be back where we are now.

    The answers to pretty much all of our problems require such fundamental changes in economic and social policy that they aren’t going to happen voluntarily. We will continue down the current path until the system just falls apart and we are forced to re-build it from the ground up. It’s not going to be pretty.


  1. Radio Free Delingpole – Gold Buggery | - June 28, 2012

    […] Company, founders of the Buy Britain’s Gold Back campaign, were invited onto the wonderful James Delingpole‘s Ricochet […]

  2. David Cameron's shale gas lifeline – Telegraph Blogs - June 29, 2012

    […] Cameron's administration is in trouble, on this I think we can all agree. Even my menagerie of house trolls. It's certainly what I'm hearing from Conservative insiders. "The […]

  3. David Cameron’s shale gas lifeline | - June 30, 2012

    […] Cameron’s administration is in trouble, on this I think we can all agree. Even my menagerie of house trolls. It’s certainly what I’m hearing from Conservative […]

  4. Owen Paterson: Minister of Sound – Telegraph Blogs - September 5, 2012

    […] is an uncharacteristically bold gamble on David Cameron's part because Paterson is one of very few authentically conservative figures in the Coalition's lame-duck cabinet. While Paterson was Northern Ireland Secretary he represented […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: