Sunday, December 28, 2003


Following on from yesterday's post I have now had time to research the YouGov poll results for the last six months of 2003:-

Date Client Lab Con

May 28-29 Daily Telegraph 37 36
June 19-20 Mail on Sunday 37 36
June 24-26 Daily Telegraph 35 37
July 22-24 Daily Telegraph 34 37
August 7-8 Mail on Sunday 34 38
August 26-28 Daily Telegraph 35 37
September 4-5 Mail on Sunday 36 37
September 23-25 Daily Telegraph 31 32
September 25-26 Sunday Times 30 33
Sept 31- Oct 2 Daily Telegraph 33 33
October 2-3 Mail on Sunday 34 33
October 10-11 Mail on Sunday 33 38
October 16-18 Mail on Sunday 34 34
October 30-31 Daily Telegraph 36 34
November 7-8 Mail on Sunday 36 34
November 13-14 Sunday Times 39 36
November 25-27 Daily Telegraph 36 38
December 5-6 Mail on Sunday 36 36

Labour have been up and down but the Tories are......Teetering?

Saturday, December 27, 2003

YouGov and the "Telegraph"

A summary of a year's polling appears in today's Daily Telegraph titled Blair loses iron grip as Tories take heart

A close examination of the graph provided would indicate that they would be wrong to take heart from the results of their leadership change, which still appears to this observer to have been principally a victory for the euro-federalist wing of the party.

Visiting the home page of YouGov gives access to all the polls undertaken by these pollsters, and with the inclusion of those where the 'Telegraph' organisation was not involved an even less encouraging picture for the Tories is plainly evident. The page is linked from here

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Christmas Comes Early as Tories Attack Blair on EU

Surprise, suprise! The new Conservative joint party Chairperson has launched an attack on the governement on the subject of the EU. This report from epolitix is confirmed by this in The Herald.

Can we trust them, though?

Friday, December 12, 2003


The absolute MUST purchase today is The Sun Newspaper. It contains a free booklet with the title "EUROPE"S SECRET PLAN - SHACKLE BRITAIN"

View the booklet from this link:

A Big EU Lie

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Donation's Dispute

The Sunday Telegraph reports an interesting disagreement developing regarding a donation of some two million pounds to the Conservative Party by Lord Ashcroft, who to Michael Howard's dismay, wishes to dispense the money directly to the formers own selected marginal constituencies . Read it from this link

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Letwin quits Merchant Bank

The Daily Telegraph today reports that Oliver Letwin has decided to quit his highly paid Merchant Banking job. Read the article from here.

This blog believes the delay in reaching this obvious and necessary decision proves him unsuitable for any high shadow cabinet position. Combined with his other earlier gaffes, it would have seemed more appropriate to have resigned from politics - cleary lacking, as he does the tact required for such a career, and stuck to banking where none is required.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Letwin's Views

The new conservative shadow chancellor, Oliver Letwin, had some of his tax ideas outlined in the Daily Telegraph today in a piece by Toby Helm titled Tax cuts may take us years, say the Tories.

Letwin, previously notable for almost single-handedly scuppering William Hagues taxation strategy in the last general election and a recent incredibly insensitive remark about state education ( they used to teach manners which require sensitivity at Eton) , apparently considers the likliehood of his party actually winning the next election so remote that he has decided it wisest to continue his day job as Merchant Banker.

Given these considerations we have not actually read the Telegraph article, but placed it here as a reference source, should it sometime be necessary to establish if the Tories have indeed formulated a taxation strategy.

Who will replace Brown as Chancellor when Blair departs? Now there is a question likely to affect the bank balance!

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Howard Confirms Total Capitulation to EU to Resume as Official Tory Party Policy

A report in Ananova on a BBC interview given by the latest interim Conservative Party Leader, one-time Home Secretary to John Major: Michael Howard, highlights these depressing facts:

"I want positive EU role for Britain", says Howard:

a Tory government would take a constructive approach to Britain's membership of the EU:

"We are not going to leave the European Union. I want the UK to remain an important and positive member of the EU," said Mr Howard.

The Tory leader was reluctant to speculate about the approach a Tory government would take to the Constitution if it was already in place.

AND ALL THIS the very day after his own Shadow Defence Secretary (see post immediately below) had stated on the reported defence agreement reached by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in Naples at the weekend:

“If this is indeed true, it is catastrophic news for Nato and a betrayal of Britain’s defence interests".

Saturday, November 29, 2003

First Signs of Tory life since Howard's Putsch

Nicholas Soames, another name from the Tory Party Past is once again apparently Defence Spokesman and has come out of hibernation, at the weekend no less, to actually say something on the Government having sold out Britain's defences. According to this report from The Scotsman filed at teatime today headlined EU Defence Proposal 'Catastrophic':

Shadow defence secretary Nicholas Soames said: “If this is indeed true, it is catastrophic news for Nato and a betrayal of Britain’s defence interests.

“The Conservatives understand that there is a greater need for European co-operation and improvement of capability but only under the umbrella of Nato.”

The outline plan foresees a permanent EU military planning and command cell based at Nato’s military headquarters near the southern Belgian city of Mons.

From there, EU military planners would, with the alliance’s backing, draw on Nato assets – notably transport planes, satellite intelligence and the alliance’s communications network – for peacekeeping missions.

In addition, the Europeans would also beef up a long-term, strategic planning unit at the EU head office in Brussels, Belgium.

Friday, November 28, 2003

'Telegraph' Trumpets False Tory Triumph

Unsurprisingly for the paper that was in the vanguard of the despicable putsch that displaced IDS, this morning's Daily Telegraph (on the morning the crucial Foreign Ministers IGC meeting commences in Naples) leads with Banner Headlines on another false dawn for Michael Howard's leadership of the Conservatives.

As reported below on our post of 16th November, the first YouGov poll of Howard's reign was a disaster and this is hardly better in spite of the Torygraph's headline Tories back in lead with Howard

The actual poll results of 36 per cent for Labour, 38 per cent for the Conservatives and 19 per cent for the lib dems are really only significant for the smallest party. A look at the recent polls from YouGovs Polltracker shows little movement over the same results for recent months, the most recent of which we quote below:

Date Client Lab Con Lib Dem Other Lab lead

September 23-25 Daily Telegraph 31 32 30 7 -1
September 25-26 Sunday Times 30 33 30 7 -3
Sept 31- Oct 2 Daily Telegraph 33 33 28 6 0
October 2-3 Mail on Sunday 34 33 26 7 1
October 10-11 Mail on Sunday 33 38 22 7 -5
October 16-18 Mail on Sunday 34 34 25 7 0
October 30-31 Daily Telegraph 36 34 23 7 2
November 7-8 Mail on Sunday 36 34 24 6 2
November 13-14 Sunday Times 39 36 20 5 3

Today Nov 28 Daily Telegrapgh 36 38 19 - -2

IDS did better on October 10-11, hardly the effect the Tories could have been hoping for in spite of the column inches devoted to stating the contrary.

AND Where is the Conservative Party's outrage at what is now taking place in Naples? Hardly to be found in the Daily Telegraph; in its place we get supposed arch-eurosceptic John Redwood in their Opinion section railing against the plight of the motorist. Quite lamentable!

Monday, November 17, 2003

Frankenstein Tories

This was the opening of an article by Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday recently. We would like to provide a link, but it is unavailable on line, so for copyright reasons must restrict ourselves to this sample:

A squalid putsch and a series of dirty deals will not save the Tory Party. Nothing will
save the Tory Party.

The efforts to do so are macabre and ugly, like the goings-on in Dr Frankenstein's

The pathetic relief and forced smiles of Tory MPs after the latest leadership
transplant have the look of desperation, as well they might.

I marvel at the blatant dishonesty of the whole thing. Is anyone really fooled?

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Down Under the Right Way UP

In New Zealand they know how to read a poll. The headline for the same poll as that commented upon in the post below is Tories falter under new leader.

Britain's Labour Party has taken a poll lead since Michael Howard was installed as the new Conservative leader according to a new political survey of over 2,000 people.

The Tories were five points clear on 38% support last month despite a party conference dominated by speculation about Iain Duncan Smith's doomed leadership.

But now the party, under Michael Howard's leadership, has fallen back to 36%.

Labour is up six points to 39% - the party's highest rating since April - while the Liberal Democrats have dropped two to 20% support.

Just as we were saying.......

Reuters publishes a YouGov Poll Howard Shines in Polls.

While it reports the Tories rising by 4 per cent to 36 it nevertheless has them trailing Labour by three. Strange result for what might be considered as a honeymoon period for the new leader.

Looking at the results for this year (from the link below) the performance is even worse. Five YouGov polls between June and September had the Tories under IDS above the 36 per cent level now being trumpeted as a Howard triumph.

YouGov Voting Intention Poll Tracker shows the Tories again behind Labour as they have been since before the plot to topple IDS became clear. In the months before that the Tories were clearly in the lead, with seven polls on the run showing them ahead, the highest margin being by 5 points. A three point deficit is the worst since last April, and that during what should surely be a honeymoon period. Howard is nevertheless reported as popular with 80 per cent of Tory Party Members.

Adding this link to your Browser's Favourites will allow easy access to the latest opinion shifts:

YouGov - Understanding People

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Selling Out

The Tories having apparently sold out their active resistance to further EU encroachments and any pretence of considering the desires or preferences of their members in the country at large are now set to dispose of another of their valuables, this time the long term lease on their Smith Square Offices for which they hope to obtain six million pounds. Read the article in the Telegraph's Tories seek £6m for Central Office Those using the link should note the photograph of the new party leader and perhaps ponder the party spokesman's statement about the building in terms of their new leader:

A party spokesman said the decision was not purely financial but the building was no longer deemed appropriate for a modern political party.

"It is a 1950s building with a Georgian facade and is not a suitable office environment for a party in the 21st century,"

Monday, November 10, 2003

Shadow Cabinet

The List in full from epolitix

Kenneth Clarke hails new broad-based Shadow Cabinet on BBC Radio Four 'PM' Programme

Party Leader : Michael Howard

Shadow Foreign Secretary, International Development and Defence: Michael Ancram

Shadow Chancellor: Oliver Letwin Background

Shadow Home Secretary" David Davis

Health and Education: Tim Yeo Background

Transport: Theresa May Theresa May Web Page

Work, Pensions and Policy Development: David Willetts Background

Local Government and Devolved Regions: David Curry Backgorund

Chief Whip David Maclean

Lords Leader : Lord Strathclyde

Joint Party Chairmen:

Maurice Saatchi and Liam Fox

There is to be a gimmicky panel of four wise men, one being Kenneth Clarke, another John Major and the last two leaders William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith. All but Major will be asked to speak from the front bench from time to time. This face saving formula is presumably designed to cover Howard's embarassment that no senior or particularly influential figures seem to have been attracted into the Shadow Cabinet.

More disgruntlement within the party was the probably predictable report from Andrew Marr on the six o'clock BBC Radio Four news.
Howard to Hurt more Feelings

According to the BBC's World at One programme, Howard is planning to reduce the Shadow Cabinet from 22 to 12. Guaranteed an extra ten disgruntled figures on the backbenches then.

Other rumours Letwin Shadow Chancellor plus Trade and Industry, Davies at the Home Office, Tim Yeo on all 'touchy feely' areas.

Steven Norris former Mayoral Candidate insisted on air that the party would be shifted to the centre.

Full details will be posted here when published.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Congress for Democracy's Rally

The following is part of an e-mail from Harold Green (Leader Reform-UK) reporting on the above rally.


IDS made a rousing speech in favour of a referendum on the EU Constitution with all the usual arguments against an EU constitution.

If Blair was to receive parliaments approval for ratification then he stated that" no Royal assent should be given."

He likened the ratification to a political party winning an election and then holding on to its seats forever.

IDS underlined his image as a man of the people by stating that " He was inspired by the qualities of the British people." He said that he "fears little but fears the might of a distant power and we need to breed a fierce appetite for the fight ahead.

A fight for the truth.

A fight for our sovereignty.

A fight that we must win"

He was then given a standing ovation with only a few sour faced UKIP and Lib/Dems remaining seated.

IDS spoke like a Prime Minister in waiting. It is inconceivable that his dismissal can be considered as anything but a Europhile plot! (Our emphasis - ed.)

The anti-EU campaigners from France spoke well despite the language Difficulties, notably Phillipe de Villiers who took the precaution of providing us with a complete English version of all that he had to say.

I shall make this available to all who want sight of it, should you ask.

On the subject of a French referendum on the EU Constitution he had this to say:- " Yet French federalists seem to be doing all they can to stop the people from having their say. They are terrified. It is true that, according to the polls, most French people favour the idea of a constitution, at least in the abstract (it's a fine word 'constitution' ; we must concede that). But that is because they don't know what is actually in it. Once they understand that what is being proposed is a superstate, they will surely turn against it.
And consider something else. Let us assume that such a referendum might realistically be held in the latter half of 2004. This would mean that it came just as the European Council was deciding whether or not to open accession talks with Turkey. Now an overwhelming majority of French people oppose Turkey's admission. If these two questions - the superstate and Turkish Membership - become conflated in the minds of my countrymen, it would be explosive for the federalists.'

Phillipe de Villiers finished by observing " how refreshing it was to pay the taxi fare from Heathrow airport in real money!"

Martin Howe Q.C.'s booklet 'A Constitution for Europe' is a 'must have'reference. It is a legal assessment of the draft treaty.

March & Rally There is to be a march and rally on 24th.April 2004 calling for a National Referendum on the European Constitution.

For more details, contact Diana Coad on

Another Poll reports the Obvious

From this morning's Independent on Sunday:

If the polls are anything to go by, Mr Howard will need all the help he can muster. An ICM poll for 'The News of the World' showed the Conservatives slipping two points since replacing Iain Duncan Smith as leader with Mr Howard on Thursday. The survey puts the Tories at 31 per cent, trailing eight points behind Labour. The Liberal Democrats scored 22 per cent.

If translated into actual votes the figures would provide a third Labour landslide in an election with Tony Blair losing just two seats.

Earlier the article reports Francis Maude is to be brought back to the Shadow Cabinet, another backward step, watch for further poll slippage ahead!

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Britain's Shamed Conservatives

The following is the e-mail I sent this morning to my Conservative Member of Parliament, copied to my Conservative MEP:

As a registered elector within your constituency I had to write to express my total disgust with the Conservative Party. As a one time party member in the ---- Branch, and with strong views on individual freedoms and responsibilities I should be, and was for many years a natural Conservative voter.

I am appalled at the actions of all sitting Conservative MPs excepting only Iain Duncan Smith and (with no admiration) Michael Howard, who one cannot blame for his new found but totally misplaced ambition.

The real shame for recent events must fall on the 163 unprincipled sheep who allowed the properly chosen party leader to be thrown out on his ear, while then sitting back and permitting a small secretive cabal to impose a failed, elderly, shop-soiled candidate to be installed without offering the party at large any opportunity of choice or say.

The Conservative Party has a long history, but clearly now exists only as a hindrance to the beliefs and principles it was once supposed to represent.

While under Duncan Smith I had been contemplating a return and even active support for the Tory party, (following a very brief and unhappy dalliance with what I discovered is the completely corrupt and rotten UK Independence Party), I must now divert my efforts to ensuring the Tories never rule again.

Did Portillo quit in disgust I wonder? If not then he and the rest of you certainly should. Shame on you all.

Patten's Poison Patronage

Chris Patten, possibly one of the most seriously flawed politicians of the present day Conservative Party has now joined other Eurofederalists in throwing his support behind the leadership of Howard.

Nothing could better illustrate the collapse of euroscepticism within the Conservative Party than such endorsement. Iain Duncan Smith aware of this reality has been forced to announce from the backbenches that he, possibly now almost alone among these spineless Tory MP's, will continue the fight against the EU and its dangerous proposed Constitution. Read it here from the Daily Telegraph

Friday, November 07, 2003

Portillo to Retire

According to this report Portillo has thankfully had enough Media bound and will seek a new career in the media following the next General Election.

He confirmed he was offered a place in Howard's Shadow Cabinet (as reportedly was Clarke).

One safe seat should be available for the next session then!
Howard on Europe

The following is an excerpt from an interview between the newly installed Tory Leader and the BBCs Chief Political Correspondent Andrew Marr:-

Marr: "Are you Michael Howard completely committed to Britain's membership of
the European Union?"

Howard: "Absolutely. Er, I always have been, I've made it absolutely clear. I think
there are all sorts of reasons why that's terribly important..."

Marr: "... [interrupts] even if we're bound in by a new constitution?"

Howard: "Well you see you keep coming back to this hypothetical question..."

Marr: "I do."

Howard: "And I'm not prepared to accept that hypothesis. But it's very important.
Europe could develop in a number of different ways in the future, and some of those
ways would be very difficult for us. That's why we've got to be in there, really making
our case - not only our case for Britain but our case for Europe, to show them that
there's, er, a different way, a way that will actually be much better for the rest of the
European Union as well as for us."

A recording of the section can be heard by clicking this link, but the original date and where transmitted is not at present known. Distressingly it sounds genuine!
Clarke rules out (Shadow) Cabinet Post

This report from The Guardian taken from an earlier BBC interview says:

Mr Clarke, interviewed on the BBC this morning, hinted he may be prepared to take another role in the party outside of the frontbench.

Asked if he would take a senior party job, he said: "I will be as supportive of my party as I can be and certainly supportive of Michael Howard and any suggestion he puts to me in which he wants me to support him, he will get my eager backing."

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I would be delighted to be supportive. After 10 years of civil war which has made all of us extremely miserable and done a great deal of damage, we want to get back together."

He said he did not think he would be offered a shadow cabinet post and has already said he would not accept one.

He urged Mr Howard to lead the party from the centre as he has promised to do.

Mathew Tempest reports
Telegraph predicts Dramatic Shift of Fortunes!

Labour feud bursts into open as Tories hail 'King' Howard is the headline of this piece from which the following is a brief quote:

Tory MPs claimed his "coronation" signalled an end to bitter infighting that has engulfed the party since the removal of Margaret Thatcher and showed the Conservatives were now prepared to make a serious bid for power.

The board of the Conservative Party announced last night it had decided against holding a formal postal ballot of the membership to ratify Mr Howard's election by MPs after "overwhelming representations" from the party at large that it was not necessary.

The Independent' hints that there might be a role for Portillo on the Front Bench.

Meanwhile the Labour Party Tories confirm victory of the Right seem to have deliberately chosen to intially open their attack on Howard's 'extreme' right-wing credentials. It will be interesting if Howard should lose votes in that area from his courting of the centre, while failing to gain new support because of his past. Falling between two stools perhaps, we await the shadow cabinet announcements with interest, let alone the first policy pronouncements.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Knives out early

Sky News carries a report that "Howard can't do warm" from Amanda Platell, who was William Hague's media chief, Ms Platell said Mr Howard had failed the "GMTV sofa test".

"Too cold and too confident was the verdict," she said.

"You have to be able to do `warm' to work on morning TV, and even his most devout supporters would not claim this of Howard.

"Rumours that a blood transfusion was standing by, I understand, are purely malicious," she added.

Judging by the photograph selected to accompany the item, it appears that this part of the Murdoch Empire is not still aboard the Howard band-wagon. It will be interesting to see how other media elements now react.
Howards Speech MarkII

Herewith another version of the speech being put out from the BBC. Roehampton Speech

In another BBC Report John Major heads a list of those offering their congratulations:

Tory former prime minister John Major was one of the first to congratulate Michael Howard on his leadership success - describing him as "the best choice for the party".
Mr Major, prime minister between 1990 and 1997, said Mr Howard deserved "the support of all present Conservative voters and the millions of others now so disillusioned with Labour".

Other reactions can be found from the link.
Howard's Victory Speech

The full text of the speech delivered by Michael Howard in Putney, once constituency of David Mellor another noted figure of the Major era if I remember correctly, can be found in this link from the BBC Howard's speech in full

It opens:

'Who was it who said a week is a long time in politics?

This has been a bruising period for the party.

Some hard things have been said on all sides....'

Not least, indeed by this blogger. I will now watch developments and hope that my political instinct has been very badly wrong!

Howard Anointed

There are now only two sitting Tory MPs within the United Kingdom worthy of re-election: those being Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard.

The former not having been allowed to stand against Howard and the latter who can hardly be blamed for believing in himself in spite of all the evidence and logic arguing to the contrary.

The remaining 163 will have no excuse for what will now be seen to follow.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Opinion Polls

The Mori Poll commissioned by and published in The Independent yesterday is quoted in this article on Michael Portillo in today's Telegraph Portillo is tipped for return to front line by Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent.

It quotes: "A frontbencher from the Right said: "It would be a brilliant idea." Which, if true, provides proof positive, as if more were needed, of the total loss of any contact with the real world now on display from that section of the party.

As the Tory's House Journal has decided to include mention of the Mori Poll and provide a link it is worth another look at what your typical Tory MP will be reading this morning that most of us had fully absorbed yesterday:

There's no "bounce" yet evident in the public's voting intention for the Conservative Party after the Tory MPs' choice of Michael Howard as the Leader of the Party.

All the tables look disastrous for the Tories with them losing 3 points to the Liberal Democrats since Howard's appearance. The sole area where he seems to be an improvement over IDS in the public's eyes (naturally seized upon by the totally biased and probably complicit Telegraph) is in his readiness to be PM with 30 pct agreeing (vs 16 for IDS) and 48 disagreeing (67 for IDS)

Being ready to be PM in the publics eyes is one thing, getting to be PM is, of course quite another. In these increasingly presidential campaign style days of General Elections "Trust is generally considered a key.

On trustworthiness the true disaster of the Tories rush to crown Howard becomes clear. In June 2003 48 per cent of the public found IDS trustworthy against 36 who did not and 16 per cent who did not know.

Michael Howard, even before he has really started to get grilled about his past record, scores as follows:

Trustworthy.....41 per cent Not Trustworthy.....49 per cent Don't Know 10pct

The Tories are about to APPOINT as Leader a Candidate, who, before he even assumes office is distrusted by half the electorate.

Now is that LUNACY? If not, then it most certainly is Electoral Suicide! The question, of course, is WHY?
The 'Howard Paxman' Interview

By clicking this this link you will find, towards the end of the BBC page that then opens, a video link on which it is possible to watch the 13th May 1997 Jeremy Paxman, 'Newsnight' interview of Michael Howard, where the latter famously refused to answer a straightforward question 14 times.

The interview gives clear evidence why Conservative MPs then thought this man unsuitable to be leader of their party. He came bottom of the subsequent poll.

It also clearly explains why even to this day only half the people in the country would trust him.

What it does not explain, of course, is why there is not apparently one single Tory MP with enough respect for their party or country to have the courage to supply them with an alternative to this sure fire loser.

Howard "I'll Never Stand for Leadership"

These are quotes from a BBC News report in November 2002, linked here.

'I'll never stand for leadership'

"But I have no interest or desire in becoming leader of the Conservative Party, because we have an excellent leader in Iain Duncan Smith, whom I wholeheartedly support."

Is the shadow chancellor ruling himself out in a David Davis sense ("I will never stand against Iain"), or in a Michael Portillo way ("I never want the job")?

"I will never stand again for the leadership of the Conservative Party," Mr Howard unhesitatingly replies.

So he rules himself out completely, whatever the circumstances? "That's right."

No wonder half the country do not trust him!

These are some of the directorships he has pledged to give up if annointed:-

Eschmann Holdings Limited (medical supplies manufacturer Chairman George Kennedy), the Imprint Group (specialist printer Chairman George Kennedy) Finex plc (PR company), Crime Reduction International Limited and is a member of the Advisory Council of Gas and Oil company Consort Resources Limited (chaired by ex Tory Minister Lord Moynihan)

Did Howard mislead Parliament?

Private Eye seems to think he might have done so according to these reports from December 1994 and February 1995 which can be read in full from this link:-

Howard or this quotation gives the feel:-

In an answer to the Leyton MP Harry Cohen (dated 19 January this year) Howard declares that “the Home Office did not make any staff redundant; subsequent redundancies by Sema Group are a matter for the company”. Sema Group made it clear, he continues, that the number of staff required would be dependent on an “operational review.”

Howard’s use of the word subsequent is odd. For Sema had already completed their review in September last year, and knew exactly how many staff it wanted to keep. So did ED5, and so did everyone else, it seems, except the Home Secretary himself.

Howard is also coy about the size of the ‘transitionary payment’ (from the taxpayer) covering the redundancies. He can’t wouldn’t reveal its size he says because “the precise details are commercial in confidence.”

The Home Office still insists that the deal works out cheaper in the long run. But embarrassingly, the newowners Sema Group have already sub-contracted some of the work to a third party, helping themselves to a profit.

New Statesman, April 1995:

The Home Secretary Michael Howard has been accused of misleading parliament over the £50m privatisation of a Home Office computer department.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The Spineless Bottom Feeders of the Conservative Party

In just under two days time, it seems that the British electorate will be presented with proof positive, that there is no living organism so far down the evolutionary scale, to compare in political terms with a British Conservative MP. Even in the deepest mud of the darkest, smelliest and most stagnant of ponds could there then lurk a lowlier equivalent?

Old Etonian Oliver Letwin, one of the earliest Tory MPs to make a deal with putative leader Howard and now famous for his recent crass remark about state schools and his own children was asked over the weekend:-

Some of Mr Clarke's friends made clear to Mr Howard's team that they wanted assurances for their support. David Curry, who could help sway up to 14 votes in Nick's Diner, a Clarke-ite dining club, said he wanted an assurance that there would be no attempt to pull Britain out f the new EU constitution if it was signed by Tony Blair; This of course is THE crucial question. I, and I expect most Tory supporters (and millions of non-Tories too) in the country, want to know just that:

Will Howard pledge to "pull Britain out of the new EU constitution if it is signed by Tony Blair"?

To which Letwin replied,MH is totally committed to a referendum

Further clarification was then sought by this internet debater, particularly as to whether Howard would grant a referendum on gaining power after Blair might have already signed the country up for the new constitution. Straight reply came there none, only this final exchange:

Questioner: Dear Oliver,
If you don't know yet, can't you find out? And if not today, then when?

Letwin wrote: When the dust has settled, and we have all had time to sit down and talk and think.

One of the Conservative Party's leading eurosceptics for many years was receiving copies of this e-mailed exchange and the last response to Letwin contained a question for him:-

Mon, 03 Nov 2003 10:49:36 +0100
Subject: Re: What IS Howard's position on the EU???
Oh, so you mean after the leadership election? That will be too late.

In my view, if Howard DID give the assurance sought by David Curry, namely that he would not attempt - by referendum or any other means - to pull Britain out of the EU constitution once Blair has shoehorned us into it, then he should not be leader.

At present the membership is heading towards a voting paper where the only name on it will be Howard's (a bit reminiscent of the old Soviet-style East European elections...). I have read that there are a couple more days in which another contender could put his name down.

If Howard DID say YES to Curry, there jolly well ought to be another contender, don't you agree?

Why don't you ask him today?

Mr Redwood, don't you agree it would be disastrous if the Conservative Party were to be led on the basis of an (unrevealed) assurance given to Clarke that if Blair shoehorns the country into the EU constitution, the new leader will NOT attempt to pull us out?

I am sure that if this is the case, then when the membership finds out the Party will be destroyed by their outrage. I am told that some are already angry enough about the defenestration of IDS, and some are talking about de-selecting sitting MPs.
Signed T.

PS You will see that once again I have had to copy in the other recipients of my earlier message. I would be much obliged if you could hit the "Reply All" button when replying.

If any reply to that query has been sent we have yet to see it. We will, of course, post it here as soon as one might be received.

There is talk of deselection. The first targets that come to mind are those well known fans of our country's absorbtion into the EU such as Ken Clarke, Ian Taylor, etc. And who could argue that they should not have been so discarded long, long ago?

But worse are appearing as a result of this present crisis. The likes of Bill Cash, John Redwood and David Heathcote-Amory. Presumed stalwarts of the country's independence and always at the forefront of the supposed continuing fight against the EU.

At 11 o'clock this evening it will be 36 hours since the above question was put and left unanswered. Time enough for the truth to sink in to the slowest of minds and a rush of other candidates to have surged forward. But NONE have appeared!

Michael Howard, is so determined to get his hands onto the position of party leader and treat with the Eurofederalists that he is not willing to unequivocally state that he would remove us from the oppressive and totally unacceptable EU Constitution presently being negotiated within the IGC.

Michael Howard is so powerfully backed by the forces of Conservatism that the true craven natures of ordinary elected Conservative MPs is now fully exposed to the public view!

In the face of this treachery, where the individual freedoms, common law rights and unique democratic institutions of this country are planned to be destoyed, there is not one elected Conservative MP apparently prepared to step forward and offer himself to lead the party and save his nation.

The depth of the betrayal of the people of our country, if it continues through Thursday noon is so enormous it can barely be fully comprehended.

The one honourable exception to all the above, is Iain Duncan Smith, who under the party's election rules is not permitted to stand as a candidate!

Time is running out for Toryism!
An Essential Question for the next Leader

The following sentence is taken directly from the Conservative Manifesto for the last General Election:

We will not ratify the Nice Treaty but will renegotiate it so that Britain does not lose its veto.

Apart from the policy on the EU Constitution, the next leader's attitude to the Nice Treaty could be more critical if the Constitution fails to be ratified. This appears increasingly likely with growing negotiating differences, the ever more obvious problems surrounding the euro and the dreadful state of the economies that the single currency is slowly but surely destroying.

The Nice Treaty provides a blueprint for an enlarged but unworkable EU. What would the Tories policy be towards this and all the earlier Treaties if the Constitution is not ratified leaving them all in place?

Sunday, November 02, 2003

The Tory's Michael Foot

Out from the shadows to seize control Gaby Hinsliff and Kamal Ahmed have put together a well researched report in The Observer on the events in the Conservative Party from which we quote three paragraphs as a sample below:-

Like most fairytales, the incredible rebirth of Michael Howard - disgraced as Home Secretary over the sacking of prison chief Derek Lewis, humiliated in the 1997 leadership contest when he trailed in third of three right-wingers, dismissed as a has-been when he stepped down from William Hague's Shadow Cabinet two years later, only to rise magically from the ashes last week - is a little too good to be true.

'Michael has had the great advantage of being all things to all men,' says a senior Tory figure who served close to him in government. 'He's never been a proper right-winger, in fact: he is politically androgynous. He has pulled together the Portillo group, his own rather small group and a penumbra of others who have nowhere else to go.'

Howard's past statements on everything from the poll tax to rising unemployment and gay rights will be flung back at him over the dispatch box, week after week. 'What we need to demonstrate is Howard is an old right-winger pretending to be something different,' said one senior adviser to the Prime Minister.
The Tory's Michael Foot Re-visited

As was to be expected from The Sunday Telegragh which was in the vanguard of the media working towards the overthrow of Iain Duncan Smith it now goes overboard in pushing Michael Howard's candidature. Howard tells party activists: Don't risk our new unity
is the headline of an article by Colin Brown and Francis Elliott where the elderly Howard is pictured looking every inch the drawn and failed politician he should by now have been.

Elsewhere in an interview by Dominic Lawson we are asked to believe that there was no deal with David Davies, no deal with Ken Clarke and that the whole thing had come as a complete surprise. Before setting aside the paper as the piece of blatant propaganda it has clearly become, interesting to note that Bruce Anderson seems to have arrived as a columnist from The Spectator via The Sun. Another sign of shifting priorities?

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Is a record like this an electoral advantage?

From Scotlands Daily Record watch for similar turning up elsewhere:-


MICHAEL Howard is probably best known for his ``hang 'em and flog 'em'' rants during his time as the most unpopular Home Secretary in living memory.

He was a right-wing rottweiler for Thatcher and Major and is the last remnant of the Tory glory years. But there are many things readers may have forgotten, or never known, about the likely next leader of the Conservative Party.

1. Howard is the son of Jewish immigrants. His father came from Romania, his mother from Russia and he was born in south Wales. 2. His looks and Transylvanian ancestry earned his Dracula tag. Anne Widdecombe said he had ``something of the night'' about him. 3. He is a sports fanatic who supports Liverpool.

4. His wife, Sandra, 63, was a model and a Vogue cover girl. 5. Howard was the smirking face behind Thatcher's hated Poll Tax and tested it out on Scots.

6. He was also responsible for the Section 28 law, discriminating against homosexuals.

7. He voted for David Alton's Bill to reduce access to abortion.

8. Howard fought against the national minimum wage, claiming it would cost two million jobs.

9. As Environment Secretary, helet power generators keep their pollution levels secret.

10. As Employment Secretary, Howard opposed EU plans for a maximum 48-hour working week. 11. He refused to recognise an EC directive allowing mums to get guaranteed maternity leave.

12. He wanted to place police authorities under Home Office control instead of representatives chosen by local people.

13. His police reform plans were branded ``unacceptable'' by Tory grandee Sir Willie Whitelaw.

14. His answer to crime was simply to lock more people up, stating: ``An increase in the number of criminals in prison leads to a large fall in crime.'' 15. As Home Secretary, the Appeal Court slammed his ``abuse of power''.

16. He was found to be acting illegally by the European Court of Human Rights seven times.

17. He cut access to health care and education for asylum seekers. 18. Howard manages the Tory parliamentary football side.

19. Less than a year ago, he claimed: ``I will never stand again for the leadership of the party.''

20. A recent ICM poll found that 26 per cent of people are less likely to vote Tory with him as leader.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Further Coverage

Our main posts on the Conservative Party's apparent urge to self-destruct can be found on Ironies by clicking HERE
Howard's EU Compromise with Clarke

According to the BBC's 'World at One' Programme the sell out by Howard on the EU takes the following form:-

Howard will not allow "his own Euroscepticism to lead him to be intolerant of the views of others."
Clarke stated that he believed that Howard will end the obsession with Europe. His advice is to get back to the centre ground.

Following the Clarke interview it was announced that John Redwood has also now ruled himself out. The Tories are now therefore finished as an anti-EU alternative for all British voters.

Sir Albert McQuarrie also on the programme added to his letter quoted below that some calling to account was required, preferably by a deselection of the 90 MPs who voted against IDS.

A Conservative Board spokesman was also trying to manufacture some form of pretence that in the event of no ballot the voluntary members would be given the chance to indicate their support. A completely ludicrous situation.

The BBC radio also reports that Ladbrokes was paying out on bets placed on Howard winning. A very unusual decision.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Lacklustre Launch by Haggard Howard

Unbelievably it appears that the Tories are set to make their leadership favourite an individual who appears even worse on television than the previous three such office holders. Not only that he plans to lead 'from the centre' and stated that he was heading straight over to see Ken Clarke when his Press Conference in the old County Hall was finished. A fitting statement by this Majorly-Marred Candidate. Any chance of Heseltine making a come-back too?
Conservative Leadership

Michael Howard as portrayed in the press this morning would be telegenically incapable of winning an election. I was recently at an anti-EU rally in Bath where John Redwood appeared fighting fit and ready to take the real battle forward.

All Eurorealists are urged to make John Redwood know of their strong support for his candidature.

His e-mail address is

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Craven Conservatives

This summary of the Conservative Party seems appropriate as the confidence vote on the leadership of IDS reaches the midway point and speculation from BBC Political Correspondent Andrew Marr is broadcast that he has 70 of the 83 needed already in the bag. Can anyone, however, believe a word any Tory MP says?

The article can be read in full by clicking the title The Undisciplined Losers of the British Conservative Party from The Washington Dispatch. Some quotes:-

the sad collection of otherwise unemployable misfits who comprise the Parliamentary Conservative Party have been engaged in one of their bouts of serial plotting against their leadership. Mostly men, these men are men of neither calibre nor character, who by their self-centredness and egocentricity will probably bring to an end one of the greatest political movements in the English-speaking world, all through vengefulness and pique.

Michael Heseltine, a man who would have crawled naked over broken glass for the Premiership

If a man of limited ability and experience who does not acknowledge his limitations has a high opinion of himself because of how he speaks, who he’s related to, what school he went to and where he comes from, you have a pen picture of a sizable number of Conservative MP’s.

The Parliamentary Conservative Party is not fit to form a government. They don’t have the slightest realisation that their behaviour appals the British public, who are at their most politically disengaged since the Second World War

They act like losers, and when a loser, a little guy like me, calls you a loser, you’re in deep trouble.

The whole article is worth the read. It is written by Martin Kelly who I have not come across before I don't believe, strong and perceptive stuff.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

IDS Confidence Vote to go ahead.

The required 25 letters have been received by Sir Michael Spicer and the Confidence Vote on the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith of the British Conservative Party will now proceed. He now needs to keep his nerve!
Tory rebels force leadership vote

Monday, October 27, 2003

Supporting IDS

We suggest those wishing to retain a Eurosceptic at the head of the Conservative Party should quickly and instantaneously show their support for IDS by signing the Petition for a Referendum on the EU Constitution at Conservative Central Office, where the numbers signing-up will be immediately seen.

This can be completed in a moment by clicking on this link Support IDS by signing the Conservative Petition from here.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

IDS "The Worst Ever" - Maggie T.

But despite the mounting pressure, he promised to fight to stay in his job and made it clear that he has no intention of clearing the path for a successor.

Writing in The Mail on Sunday, Mr Duncan Smith said the party was being held to ransom by a "small number of malcontents".

The above is taken from a report by Sky News.

According to a report in The Sunday Telegraph by Francis Elliott, Deputy Political Editor titled 'Duncan Smith tells allies: I will quit if MPs call vote' which can be read from this link.

Iain Duncan Smith will not contest a confidence vote and will step down as Conservative Party leader if dissident MPs trigger a leadership ballot, he has told his aides.

Senior Tory officials say that Mr Duncan Smith, who only recently promised to fight any challenge to his leadership, is now willing to stand down if 25 MPs, the number required to force a ballot, submit letters demanding a vote.

Anyway one looks at it complete confusion exists within the main opposition party. And this at a time when our Prime Minister is selling out his country's constitution, defence and democracy!

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Support Website for IDS

Conservative supporters of IDS have launched

It is not very professional and seems not to mention the EU. Link from here. Even more worrying.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Major on Democracy

John Major the former failed British Prime Minister has somewhat cheekily written an article for the Daily Telegraph this morning under the startling title:
The deep malaise undermining our parliamentary democracy

The piece, or pamphlet perhaps would be a fairer description, disappoints following the seemingly all-encompassing title. Read it from the link if you will. I would be surprised if any find much more than the usual party political attack with little evidence of the deep thought and consideration that the country's growing and deepening problems really deserve. But that's my view and what surprises me about arriving at such a conclusion is that once again I have allowed myself to be disappointed by Major! I have sworn, several times, to never again give him the chance!

Monday, October 20, 2003

Tory Turmoil (continued)

Still nothing of substance or policy. On the leadership problems The Scotsman seems to have the best summary.

Sunday, October 19, 2003


No point discussing policy, the implications of Blair's latest refusal to consider a referendum on the Constitution, the future role of the Queen, the planned huge cuts in equipment defence spending or the myriad other problems of concern to the Nation.

No, this blog is devoted to the Tories so we can only mention Betsy, IDS and link to these reports:-

Plot to ditch IDS by time of Queen's Speech from The Independent on Sunday and this just one of several similar to be found in the Sunday telegraph titled 'I am being smeared by Central Office, says Tory at heart of 'Betsygate' affair'

Friday, October 17, 2003

Leader of Lemmings!

Once again, while the nation's defence and sovereignty are the topic for discussion from The Sun to the FT the Telegraph continues with its obsession with the Leadership of the Tory Party Duncan Smith loses backing of the 'men in grey suits'

I ask you?

Thursday, October 16, 2003

IDS in his own defence

The Spectator this week gives IDS his opportunity to defend himself against recent attacks. 'My fight is for the British People'

The final paragraph highlights the fatal flaw, namely that he has been persuaded against his own gut instincts to forget where the real battle for Britain and its people now really lies and where it should be being fought! :-

It is time, and past time, that the Conservative party pulled itself together and remembered the purpose of its existence. We are not here to occupy power for its own sake, or even for the glory of our party. We are here for the simple purpose I set out in my Blackpool speech. The Conservative party under my leadership stands for and fights for the people of Britain, who are themselves, in their everyday lives, battling against this government. It is a government which does not understand them, which loads them with unfair burdens, which will never reform our public services adequately, which has no respect for our national independence, and which, in denying every one of these charges, lies about its record, its intentions and its very nature. That is our enemy. Let us fight it.

Neil Herron says it better in his comment on the YouGov poll on a referendum as covered in the Daily Telegraph for the Referendum04 Campaign:-

Neil Herron, Campaign Director for Referendum04 said:
" Tony Blair is being backed into an impossible position. For his party, which made no reference to the Constitution in its manifesto, it will become increasingly difficult at constituency level for his MP's to agree with his stance.

"Referendum04's support is coming from MPs and voters from all parties as the YouGov poll confirms, and as their voice becomes louder along with that of the man in the street, the demand - and it is a demand, not a request - will become impossible for the Prime Minister to refuse.

"The issue, as can be seen from the poll results, has grasped the public's attention as very few are not interested in the issue, and they are determined that their voice will be heard.

"Blair is out of touch with the younger generation. This constitution was drawn up by a group of predominantly elderly political hacks, including the corrupt and disgraced Giscard d'Estaing, who had no democratic mandate whatsoever. Yet Blair is planning to impose this constitution on the young without their consent.

"Calls to Referendum04's campaign office, Tel. 0871 700 2004 offering financial, moral and practical support show that the fuse is well and truly lit. People will be queueing this week end to sign the petition and get involved.

"Should Blair continue to ignore the elephant in the room he may well be trampled in the stampede."

That's the message IDS should by now be putting across!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Plot to oust IDS

The Daily Telegraph, which since the announcement that it is soon to have a new editor, has seemed bent on ensuring Britain is left without a moderate opposition party to the right of New Labour, this morning has this article in much prominence 'Defiant IDS hits out at plotters':-

Iain Duncan Smith last night accused "malevolent forces" in the Tory party of trying to destroy his leadership with a financial smear campaign directed against him and his wife Betsy.

I wonder if Central Office have yet twigged that among those "malevolent forces" seem to be some working within its one time 'House Journal'?

Monday, October 13, 2003


We have apparently been so intent on remaining neutral on the question of the Tory Party that the intention of this blog is not immediately clear to the casual surfer. For the avoidance of doubt we re-post our opening statement herewith:-

This blog, created by those responsible for UKIP Uncovered and Ironies, will explore in detail the critical question for Eurorealists of whether or not the Tories, under the leadership of IDS, can be trusted to disregard the strong euro-federalist instincts of many within their party, and restore sovereignty to the Westminster Parliament and its democratic accountability to the people of the United Kingdom.

The Full Text of the IDS Prague speech from The Daily Telegraph 11th July 2003

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Michael Ancram's Speech

The following post, far and away the best review of the above speech I have seen, was posted on an internet discussion forum overnight :-

Telling comments from Mr. Ancram's speech:

"We want to make the European Union work." It's doing a smashing job already working Britain over.

So Mr.(Michael) Ancram is not into Britain's full and final exit from the EU, but rather a continuance of trying to shape it into something it can't be, wasn't designed to be, has no point of reference to be.

"We want to build a European Union..." s'already built.

The European Union is the offspring of the United Nations as an instrument to establish a central world government. In-house EU squabbling and jockeying of involved nations (like Britain, who if it wants to survive needs to get out) are like dry leaves rustling about in the wind - the WIND is the determining force.

"A European Union within which the national aspiration of all its members, new and old, are not suffocated but supported." Stop. Britain is being suffocated now. And, thwarted, compromised, destabilized, fractionalized, by a self-aggrandizing cadre of politicians who see great careers for themselves making Britain part of one Centralized Structure where accountability to a constituency isn't necessary.

Even when the 'good guys' manage to negotiate some 'concession' from Brussels, the mandates keep coming. And still, there are those who refuse to acknowledge that decency and reason will not win the day for Britain when dealing with a totalitarian agenda.

"We want a new Europe of democracies, ready to serve the ideals of a new generation, working together in a spirit of new enterprise."

Lauding the merits of an idealistic 'association' of sovereign nations collaborating for the betterment of all is the stuff of fairytales, and nothing to do with the intent of the European Union. Sorry, but Mr. Ancram has his head in the clouds. It wouldn't come as a surprise to learn that he's 'affiliated' in an honorary capacity or otherwise with the United Nations.

"We must follow Sweden's example and carry forward the torch of freedom and
democracy." Carry it forth in Britain first: untie all the knots EU mandates and stiltifying regulations devestating everything from the fisheries industry to being inundated with immigrants to what vitamins people are allowed, the list is endless.

"We can play a vital role in the modern world." You were till the traitors took over. You will when Blair & co. aren't in charge & the boys from Brussels are escorted to the Channel and invited to start swimming east.

Friday, October 10, 2003

The Verdict

The Daily Telegraph makes a timid step towards redeeming itself fot its totally unfair coverage of yesterday in its Leading Article, while columnist Alice Thomson kicks off with some words of praise for the Tory leader before resorting to cattiness.

The Independent predictably enough continues with its theme of a split Tory leader's tirade against Blair fails to stave off revolt a headline that seems to bear absolutely no connection with either the truth or any facts they can find to quote. The paper also apparently gives space to Portillo to claim that the Conference was the Tories worst ever, which seems a very sweeping statement , unhappily for the wannabe leader the link to the article does not work so we cannot find how he justifies such a sweeping claim.

I have not been able to learn the views of The Times due to their all subscription policy while the only article that might seem remotely connected to the IDS speech in the FT is also annoyingly available by subsription only but billed as follows: Britain's leaders should stand up for Europe. Our political leaders may be forced by pressure from Eurosceptics to pursue policies that are not in Britain's interests, writes Anand Menon of the University of Birmingham. Sounds like your typical FT piece, no wonder their circulation figures are reported to be in a nose dive.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Press still talks of Splits

Iain Duncan Smith warned his growing band of Tory critics today that he will not be driven out of his job without a fight that would divide the party and damage its chances of winning power.

First paragraph of an article under these headlines "Back me or I split the party, Duncan Smith warns Tories"Get on board or get out of the way" Tory leader tells critics By Andrew Grice and Paul Waugh in today's Independent

Some quotes at the end of the piece:-

Marion Rix, who chairs the Norfolk South West constituency party, was rebuked by a senior Tory official after criticising Mr Duncan Smith.

She said: "At the end of the day, we are in the game of winning elections. The reality is that - at the moment - we don't look like we are going anywhere fast."

Mark Hudson, chairman of Sevenoaks Tories, who voted for Mr Duncan Smith in the 2001 leadership election, said: "The question is whether he can lead us to victory at the next election. Time is running out for him to demonstrate that."

Jonathan Marland, Tory candidate for Somerton and Frome at the last general election, said: "The mood of the conference is such that there is time for a new leader. You sense it as you walk through the corridors here. It is the subject on everyone's lips."

But Karen Lumley, who will fight Redditch in the next election, won a standing ovation at the conference when she told the leader's critics: "You think you are just undermining Iain Duncan Smith. But let me tell you, you are undermining me and undermining everyone in this conference hall."
Iain Duncan Smith's Full Speech to the Tory Party, Blackpool Winter Garden, October 9th 2003

'We will fight for a fair deal for everyone'

The Daily Telegraph certainly seemed determined to dish any chances IDS might have ot ousting Blair by this article as its lead story on the Tory Conference note especially the unflattering choice of accompanying picture.

Meantime this was the papers Leading Article on the morning of the conference speech of the Leader of the Conservative Party....and they used to call the paper 'The Torygraph'
The crunch

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Latest Plot Story from the FT

Just released is this latest conspiracy tale from the Conservative Conference. Who would know our democracy is in the process of being sold down the River, the Tiber not the Thames.

Tory plotters plan secret revolt meeting

Thursday, October 02, 2003

A party split from top to toe

The Spectator's Leading Article this week opens with the following by Peter Hitchens:-

No power on earth can sustain an idea whose time has gone. Can we all please stop pretending that the Conservative party is worth saving or keeping, or that it can ever win another election?

Sunday, September 28, 2003

ICM Poll

In a Breaking News item from The Guardian about Blair's appearance on 'Breakfast with Frost' ahead of his party's Bournemouth Conference the following report of an ICM Poll published in the News of the World appears:-

A poll released Sunday found that 64 percent of Britons questioned said they did not trust Blair and 48 percent think he should resign. The survey, by polling firm ICM for the News of the World newspaper, found Labour tied with the opposition Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, with 31 percent of voters saying they'd support each party in an election. The next general election must be held by 2006.

ICM questioned 1,002 people between Wednesday and Friday, with a margin of error of three percentage points

What does this mark, with all three parties level pegging and the government horribly unpopular? Three party politics does not work in Britain!

Saturday, September 27, 2003

With friends like these?

Michael Heseltine shows himself as ready as ever to dish the dirt on his own party as reported in today's Daily Telegraph Heseltine warns of Tory election defeat "Lord Heseltine said people suspected the Tories stood for something the public "don't quite like"."

Friday, September 26, 2003

Six Month Test for IDS

The following quote is from the Opinion piece in this morning's Daily Telegraph by Alice Thomson:-

Mr Blair couldn't care less. He knows Lord Hutton won't destroy him, just one of his minions. He can pass off the by-election as mid-term blues. One Cabinet minister told me this week that Mr Blair is convinced that Iain Duncan Smith will never become prime minister. As IDS himself has said, he had six months to prove his mettle, and he's failed. The Tory party has lost all interest in winning, giving up over the summer and cutting their autumn conference to 13 hours of debates. The Sun has warned that "Red Kennedy" is a "man who will ruin your life"; but he will "decapitate" only Tories. He is not a real threat to Mr Blair. However low the turnout, Labour is still on course to win a third election.

The full piece is here

Sunday, September 21, 2003

IDS and Theresa May Critique

The Independent on Sunday is the latest to again raise the 'Leadership Question'.

Duncan Smith bids to save Leadership is the headline of the newspaper's article. Who will bid to save the party if Portillo steps half a pace forward yet one more time?

Meantime in The Spectator Simon Heffer rips into another apparently equally ineffective Tory grandee in this piece entitled 'To all intents and purposes, Theresa May might as well not exist'

Perhaps the criticism of the lady in the article referred to in the second paragraph above leads directly to the failures identified in the first article linked. George W Bush could raise campaign money and performed barely adequately in the Presidential Campaign. His strength seemed to come from his ability to pull good people to his cause. IDS has his weaknesses; is the greatest his failure to build a strong team around him?

Saturday, September 20, 2003

IDS on Brent East

An interesting report from ic Berkshire Tory leader dismisses Brent result

He claimed that Charles Kennedy, "in a desperate attempt to shore up his own position", had attacked Labour from the left, winning votes from people who in the 1980s had voted for 'Red Ken' Livingstone.

"As our vote held up, we saw a move from the left to the left," said the Tory leader,

He claimed the Liberal Democrats were a left-wing party who at their conference next week would discuss "offensive" policies including abolishing the monarchy, banning smacking, and imposing compulsory sex education for seven year olds.

And despite the Brent result, local council by-elections were held on Thursday in which Tories won 45% of the vote to Labour's 25% and the Lib Dems' 16%, said Mr Duncan Smith.
Brent East By-Election

Today's Leader in the Daily Telegraph discusses the implications of Thursday's vote under the title 'Tories get the Blues' and says:-

The Brent East by-election poses the sharpest question for the Conservatives. Everyone knows that they are no longer the natural party of government. Now, it appears that they have also ceased to be the natural party of opposition as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

New Portillo Leadership Challenge?

On an interview with Adam Boulton of Sky News Portillo is reported as saying IDS cannot win. Portillo said it would take a "once-in-a-generation" upset for Mr Duncan Smith to win a victory going on to add:-

But speaking on Sky News' Sunday with Adam Boulton programme, Mr Portillo said the party leader's position was safe as there was no real challenger to his premiership.

Annanova also reports the story highlighting "a failure to communicate" a somewhat strange charge to level against the lengthy policy documents put forward last week and accessible from this link back to our posting of 3rd September
A Relevant Exchange

This exchange of letters took place in the subsription magazine Euro Facts. The first is a letter dated 11th July from Christina Speight


11 July 2003


Nigel Farage MEP and Derek Bennett (letters 11 July) are defending the indefensible.

Duncan Smith was quite clear ...

1. The Tories demand a referendum on the constitution;
2. If they don't get one they will fight the election on the constitution issue;
3. They do not want ANY constitution at all;
4. Duncan Smith will have already succeeded in stopping the draft being railroaded through the IGC;
5. The Tories reject" a centralised and federalist Europe" and want " a partnership of sovereign states, trading freely with each other and co-operating on matters of common interest." [Isn't this what we all want?]
6. "But Parliament has no more right to lay Britain's sovereignty at the feet of a foreign constitution than it has to ban elections. No British government has the authority to give away that which it does not own. Because the Westminster Parliament's authority is founded in the will of the British people. An EU constitution would thwart the will of the peoples of Europe and over-rule their national parliaments. That's why the Conservative Party's opposition to the adoption of a European constitution is a matter of principle. It's a basic principle that sovereignty belongs to individual nations and their peoples"
7. "The European Union can only prosper as an alliance of sovereign democracies. A Europe of nations in a world of nations. Willing to fight for its own peoples and for a fairer, safer world. A stronger Britain in a stronger Europe."

Sure Duncan Smith does not want to leave Europe BUT HE DOES NOT WANT TO STAY IN THIS ONE!

We shall now be treated to that 1980s mantra 'we cannot trust the Tories' once again but after all if IDS can have sacrificed 5 years of his political life on a matter of principle of the Maastricht treaty, he at least deserves to be trusted!

So where does UKIP fit into this? It's now irrelevant!

Christina Speight

The following reply was published in the latest edition of the magazine from Mr Tim Parker

Dear Sir
As a new subscriber to eurofacts I read your excellent 1st August issue with great interest. But my attention was particularly drawn to the letter from Christina Speight as it sums up the ambivalence of the Tory position on the EU.

I have had this discussion with many local Tories, and, for all their undoubted sincerity, they are all stumped by the lack of logic in their own argument; how can any future Conservative government make the EU an alliance of sovereign states when this would require the unanimous agreement of all governments within the EU? Not one government endorses this view, and it would take only one government to veto it altogether.

The case against this approach was well put by Dr Alan Sked in the February 1995 issue of 'UK Independence News' in his article "Why the only good Conservative is an ex-Conservative" in which he says "Let me make it quite clear that there is a fundamental difference between Tory eurosceptics and members of UKIP. We want to withdraw from the EU altogether".

Which is why, Mrs Speight, recruitment to UKIP is very healthy in this area, not least amongst former members and activists of the Conservative Party.
Tim Parker, London.

The latest with today's date has been sent to the publishers of Euro Facts and will most probably appear in the magazine's next edition


14 September 2003

I was sorry to read Tim Parker's letter '"Tory Ambivalence" which was negative and no answer to the clear factual account which I gave originally. There is a very clear road ahead for us all which every organisation in the anti-EU cause endorses - EXCEPT UKIP!! (There was a rally in Bath with the Democracy Movement, The Tories, the Freedom Association, The Labour ESC, the (old!) Liberal Party, and others. UKIP as a party refused to cooperate!)

What we do is
1. fight FOR a referendum - all of us!.
2. WIN it!
3. If we don't get a referendum then back the only party that can get Blair out of No: 10 and promise a referendum then. WIN that!
4. The EU others will certainly go on without us - but SO WHAT? (see Article IV-7) No time for chicken heartedness!!

The limbo is (as Prodi says) a state of not being IN the EU. Isn't that what we want???? Trade will not stop and we hold all the cards. Unless they negotiate we stop paying them (that would make them bankrupt!), we support our farmers (and have a 100% milk quota), we ban all foreign fishing boats from our waters and if they cut off trade they would lose MUCH more than us. What's the worry?? Certainly the old treaties will vanish but I can't see them cutting off their noses to spite their faces. We don't have to take French wine ... plenty in USA and Australia and we are their biggest market!!

I relish the prospect ... we live in interesting times.

As for the facile quotes from Alan Sked. These were written when John Major was in No:10; when the party included at top level such people as Heseltine, Howe, Hurd and - yes - Clarke. Four of those are out to grass and the other is side-lined. The party is now run by one of John Major's principal opponents! Times move on and we should move on too.

As for UKIP Mr Parker has himself disclosed that the Treasurer has been sacked because he tried to introduce financial discipline. The result...?
As at 31/8/03
1. The party has £10,000 in the bank despite having sold many 3-5 year subscriptions all of which have associated costs in the next 2-4 years.
2. the party spent £100,000 in the election campaigns for the Welsh and Scottish assemblies. But only £41,000 had been approved by the National Executive Committee
3. The Party has a legal claim against it of £24,000 in respect of these elections
4. The national Telesales operation is running at a loss - of £5,600 in August alone.

So the party has eaten the seed corn for the next few years, is effectually insolvent and will soon probably be actually insolvent.

They are now irrelevant
Yours faithfully

Christina Speight

Friday, September 12, 2003

Can the Tories learn to trust the people? is the question with which Alice Thomson opens her article in this morning's Daily Telegragh. It is the first of many others to follow.

The Opposition held a party this week, in a foyer, and this is where the Tories are stuck, neither in nor out. Where is the great idea, the road map, the narrative? she continues before highlighting all the potential dangers of the party's latest big theme Decentralisation, as detailed in a new pamphlet Total Politics: Labour's Command State which can be read or downloaded in its entirety in pdf format from this link Total Politics Pamphlet or in summary form as provided by Conservative Central Office.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

EU Constitution Referendum

While we commented upon the first-rate coverage given to Tony Blair's position on the above in yesterday's Sun on our sister blog Ironies with a note regarding the appalling downgrading of its significance particulary by The Times which only gave it mention on page 12; we have now been provided, courtesy of Christina Speight, excerpts from the Daily Mail coverage, which providing as it does details of the remarks by David Heathcoat-Amory and Michael Ancram seems best placed here:-

The issue had a front page masthead together with most of page 2 and all of pages 4 and 5. with Comment on page 10
(Page 1)
Tony '45 minutes' Blair says the EU Constitution changes nothing. So why is he denying you a say in the nation's future?
(Page 2)
Has Blair misled the nation on EU reform as well?

+What Blair said in private ... '(It) is absolutely fundamental. It will define the relationship between Britain and the rest of Europe, the prospects for the euro, and it would last for generations. It is more important than Iraq" March 2002

+ and what he said in public ... "If there was fundamental change here there would be a case for a referendum. But there is not. There are no proposals ... at the moment that amount to such a change". May 2003

Mr Blair and his ministers have dismissed it as a 'tidying up exercise.. __ _ _ _ This. .... throws Mr Blair wide open to charges that he has persistently misled the country on an issue of burning importance - precisely the charge that he is facing over the war in Iraq.

Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith last night accused him of deceit declaring "You just can't believe a word the prime minister says."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Shadow Foreign Minister Michael Ancram denounced the new document as "not
so much a White Paper as a White Flag".
(Page 3 - Simon Heffer)
They lied about Iraq. They lied about ending spin. How can you believe aword Labour say on Europe?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"The public in choosing to distrust Mr Blair has already made up its own mind. - - - - - - - - Why then should we believe what it says about the equally controversial issue of Europe? - - - - - - - - An ICM poll showed 88% wanted a referendum. - - - - - - - - The government asks us to believe the constitution would change nothing., but that is not the
impression our partners [in the EU] are under. - - - - - - - - The Government ... knows that if it has a referendum it will lose it. - - -- - - - - The Government knew that much of what Giscard proposed would be politically unsaleable. To that end the Government proposed 200 amendments. Only 11 were accepted. - - - - - - - - The EU would ... have the right
to assume 'competence' over almost all areas of domestic policy - in other words it would have carte blanche to interfere inn our affairs, and to relegate us to the province of a superstate.
The claims that this loss of our democratic rights would be 'patriotic' would not have washed before the Kelly affair. Now they seem like just another insulting exercise in trying to swindle and deceive the public. -
- - - - - - -

(Blair) and his equally mendacious Foreign Secretary will no doubt ....continue by saying that nothing is fundamentally altered by the proposals and that the [few cs] so-called 'red-line' issues that Britain will not concede represent a great triumph for our negotiators. Like so much else that comes out of Whitehall these days that would simply not be true. Too much has already been conceded in the pre-treaty negotiations. If this treaty is ratified and we are subjected to its regulations we shall have surrendered a vital part of our democracy and of our birthright." - - - - -
- - -
(Page 4)

David Heathcoat Amory looks at what the White Paper says ... and, more pertinently, what it doesn't.

[DHA who submitted an alternative draft constitution, was the Tory represenrative on the Convention. He looks at 10 separate items and under the headings "What it says" and "What it doesn't" goes to the heart of the Constitution. I have precised these and do not necessarily use the Mail's words.. cs]

Title Blair says it is a "Constitutional Treaty for the EU" . It isn't ! It is a draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe" [legal nitpicking ?? NO ! It is of profound constitutional importance! ..cs]

"No Fundamental change" The Constitution will enable the EU to interfere in just about every policy area, including employment, social security, foreign affairs, defence, the economy, the law, the police, asylum policy, our borders, sport, civil defence transport, energy, consumer policy, the NHS, education and even taxation. In many of these areas Britain is to surrender its veto completely and for ever.

"More accountable structure and strengthening of the role of national parliaments." Untrue! It is a massive transfer of power to Brussels. National Parliaments merely get the right to complain - and the Commission has the right to ignore those complaints!

"Foreign and Security policy is conducted by member states" Untrue. Member states must "actively and unreservedly" support "a common foreign and security policy" in a "spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity". The European Foreign Secretary would oversee compliance with this. It commits member states to "comply with the acts adopted by the Union in this area" and to "refrain from any action contrary to the Union's interests." And Blair says member states are still in control!!!

"Member states to determine own economic policies" Untrue! The Commission has the power to coordinate the economic policies of member states which must "conduct their economic policies to contribute to the Union's objectives." The Commission is also put in charge "coordinating employment policy, regulating foreign investment in Britain"

"Charter of Fundamental Rights gives no new powers to the EU." Untrue! The government has already failed to stop the Charter being incorporated in the Treaty and so it would full legal effect in European law. This would give untrammelled right to strike with no exceptions. It would allow the Police or the armed services the right to ask for the right to strike [!]
There would be a Right to Asylum and the European Court would be the court of final appeal for all British legal cases.

"Qualified Majority Voting would speed up decision making on asylum and immigration" True.... BUT only by handing over these issues to the EU.

"Legislation on social issues can only be adopted unanimously." Untrue! The veto goes on matters of 'social exclusion' and changes to our 'social security system'. Brussels could set 'minimum standards' with disatrous effects on unemployment.

"Tax decisions must be unanimous". Untrue! On budgetary matters the British veto has gone with possible danger to our present rebate and if 'fraud' is supposed to be involved the veto also goes.

"Treaty sets minimum standards for citizens facing foreign courts". Untrue! The Eu will decide how UK courts operate, will define what are 'criminal offences' and length of sentences.

(Page 10)
A Dodgy Dossier on Europe

"After those dodgy dossiers on Iraq comes an even dodgier White Paper on the European Constitution. What is depressingly clear in these 59 glossy pages of half-truths, silky elisions, and bland reassurances is that this government is as mendacious and manipulative as ever. Why a White Paper at all? the answer ... is that Mr Blair is already defeated in Europe.
Three years ago he was against a constitution. Now he pretends it is 'good news for Britain'. - - - - - - - - ['humiliating climb-down' over the Charter of Fundamental Rights'] - - - - - - - - But then every page of this White Paper reeks of dishonesty and defeatism. - - - - - - - - [ "no fundamental change" !! - - - .... criminal justice and foreign policy ] ......In comes an EU with exclusive competence over trade, fisheries, competition rules, conservation and all international agreements. (With) 'shared' control over whole swathes of policy. - - - - - - - - What does 'shared' mean? Precious little. In future when the Commission lays down the law on such matters Britain will be forbidden to have its own
policies. - - - - - - - -

The Prime Minister admitted the constitution was " absolutely fundamental ...and it would last for generations"
Precisely. That remark - so wildly at odds with everything he and hisministers say publicly - is why his refusal of a referendum is so contemptible. .... (he) scrapes the barrel for any excuse to deny the British people a vote.
Has he forgotten this constitution was supposed to be about democracy and creating a Europe 'closer to its citizens'? Or, like his war dossiers, was that just another convenient lie"

EU Constitution Referendum Rally

Last weekends March and Rally in Bath addressed by Tory MP for Wokingham and noted EU critic John Redwood received the following coverage from the BBC News. Under the headline "Demo demands referendum on EU" it began:-

Tory Euro-sceptic John Redwood and one of the so-called "metric martyrs", Neil Herron, addressed hundreds of people in Bath on Saturday.

The cross-party march and rally was in support of a referendum on the EU constitution.

On Tuesday 9th September, at the English Speaking Union other leading lights of the EU-realistic movement some of whom also members of the Conservative Party met at a lunch to mark the tenth anniversary of the laying of treason charges against Government Ministers involved in the Maastricht Treaty. There they were addressed, among others, by Norman Tebbit and David Heathcoat-Amory.


We are adding a link on our side bar titled Referendum04. We believe that this organisation's careful and well-considered plans, will ensure the maximum possible impact, its organisers being responsible for two of the oh so few recent successes against the ever encroaching EU: namely the Metric Martyrs campaign and the present harassment of the unelected North East Regional Assembly and its financing, through NEARA (North of England against Regional Assemblies).

A petition form can be downloaded from the site Referendum04 Petition Form in pdf format and requires ten signatures. Those wishing to take an even greater part are invited to join the campaign by signing a standard two pound a month Direct Debit from their bank.

Further details can be obtained from this telephone number 0871 700 2004

IDS attack on 'Total Politics'

This item put out by the Conservative Party received some coverage in the FT which we are of course unable to link. The article stressed the disappointing opinion poll fall back behind labour of two percentage points which must be a matter of tremendous concern to all determined upon the urgent necessity of removing Tony Blair from Downing Street.

Epolitix trailers another policy statement that again clearly misses the central and burning issue for the country today and disproves the thrust of the argument in this opinion piece from today's Daily Telegraph by Daniel Johnson titled Why Duncan Smith's mission doesn't look quite so impossible

Time will tell?????