Thursday, December 30, 2004
Monday, December 27, 2004
The following is an extract from the blog of Richard Corbett MEP for 14th December:-
In the afternoon we learn who has been elected as the new leader of the Tory MEPs - they are changing yet again - and it is our very own Yorkshire MEP Tim Kirkhope. He is pro-European and fended off a challenge from Chris Heaton-Harris, a eurosceptic. But to get into the final ballot, after a tie with Giles Chichester MEP in the first ballot, he had to win a cut of a deck of cards in which he came up with the Ace! What a way to decide a leader!
Anyway, I wish him well when I bump into him, saying "This will keep you busy and out of mischief in Yorkshire!"
In the evening I go to the mince pie and drink offered by UKREP - the UK Embassy to the EU - to which all British MEPs and officials are invited. This is one of the few cross-party social occasions, though only one UKIP MEP turns up, and even then briefly.
What are the eurosceptic Conservative MEPs such as Daniel Hannan, Roger Helmer and Christopher Heaton-Harris still doing within the EPP group one must ask - as they all made commitments before the last election not to continue therein?
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
According to the Evening Standard, linked here, the following Tories were among those who voted against the Bill:-
"nine Tories, including former frontbenchers Damian Green and David Curry, defying the whip."
According to the same newspaper:-
"The Tory rebellion appeared to stretch to the senior ranks of the shadow cabinet, with at least six members failing to appear on the frontbench.
They included John Redwood, Tim Yeo, Nicholas Soames and David Cameron. Their absence may have been for another reason, but the lack of frontbench support is a blow to Mr Howard.
Other senior Tories absent included David Willetts, George Osborne, Alan Duncan, and Gerald Howarth."
The linked Opinion column by Stephen Robinson, clearly a natural conservative supporter, which may be read by clicking here, pretty much provides a fitting obituary on Michael Howard's leadership and the conservative party's hopes for the next general election.
It discusses the vote last night by Howard's front bench misfits for the introduction of ID cards and concludes as follows:-
In selfish terms, I was relieved to see Michael Howard take the easy way out and endorse ID cards, because it freed me of any sense that I should have to vote for his party. No longer will I have to profess enthusiasm about Tory policies, or pretend that I see the green shoots of a Conservative revival.
For the first time I shall vote for the Liberal Democrats, because they do understand that the identity card debate is about the just role of government, and I suspect tens of thousands of instinctive Conservatives will do the same next year.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Thursday, December 16, 2004
I found this interesting blog item while researching the new Home Secretaries reumoured Communist Party membership. The full item is linked here of which the following is a direct quote:-
Born in Nottingham, Clarke was educated at the private Nottingham High School and went on to study law at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He was called to the bar in 1963 and married Gillian Edwards in November 1964. He had joined the Conservatives while at university, where he was chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association for an eight week term. He first gained notoriety in this post when he invited the fascist leader Oswald Mosley to speak, twice. This forced some Jewish students, including his future succesor at the Home Office, Michael Howard to resign in protest at the seeming anti-semitism of Mosley’s two invitations. This almost certainly led to Clarke’s surprise defeat for the presidency of the Cambridge Union by, Michael Howard. It is not, however, Mosley’s anti-semitism that made a mark on Ken Clarke, but his ground breaking advocacy of a European Union. Mosley was the first politician of any standing to call for British participation in building up a federal state, and his call for Europe a Nation has found echoes in much of Clarke’s rhetoric. (emphasis mine)
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
The question must be of even more concern to any who saw the treacherously deposed ex-Leader Iain Duncan -Smith expose the Blair Government's non-democratic bent in the Commons last evening.
Who are the Tory Traitors who dumped this man for a totally hopeless and ineffectual, deeply distrusted has-been such as Michael Howard?????????????????????????????
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Read the following excerpt from an item in the Independent on Sunday today, linked here:
Mr Howard, who is 63, is expected to stay in office for two or three years after the next election even if the Tories are heavily defeated, instead of precipitating the party into an immediate leadership contest as did John Major in 1997, and William Hague in 2001.
One leading Tory said: "One effect of the recent polls is to repress expectations so much that if we come back with anything over 200 MPs, Michael will have been seen to have done rather well. He won't be under any pressure to go early. If we are within striking distance, he may even want to stay the full Parliament."
I find the whole article quite remarkable, first because of the underlying assumption of the whole piece that the leadership of the main opposition party is within the gift of the incumbent leader or his coterie, something I belived they had tried to get away from following the rise of Sir Alec Douglas-Home. Secondly, and more importantly perhaps is the apparent calm acceptance of the Tory's coming massacre in the General Election.
The country badly needs an opposition that offers the voters a real opportunity to rid the country of the failed Blair administration whenever the election comes. Five more years of the same increasingly authoritarian rule is not an option, even if 200 prospective and sitting conservative MPs choose to believe that it is.
Monday, December 06, 2004
The crisis in the Conservative Party is now hitting their revenues, as the impossibilty of electoral success dawns on even the most faithful of supporters and former donors. Read The Times report from here.
A public row illustrating how the party is now even unable to agree on presentation of a once underlying tenet of toryism - tax cuts is reported in The Scotsman from here, here and was reported on in depth on the World at One radio programme today, when the Shadow Chancellor's absence was pointedly noted.