Thursday, December 29, 2005
The item is linked from here.
I fear it is now too late, for were Cameron to really go against his all too obvious natural character and live up to the exact intent of his sole firm pledge - the Tories would have been out of the EPP before last weekend!
Blair, Brown, Cameron and Kennedy - what hope for Britain?
Monday, December 19, 2005
Daniel Hannan, to whom Vapid made the promise of having the Tories out of the EPP by Christmas, made a rather weak attempt to further justify the move in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph, linked here.
THE MAIN REASON CAMERON HAS TO ACT THIS WEEK IS THAT IF HE DOES NOT - HE WILL BE EXPOSED FOR THE TWO FACED OPPORTUNISTIC HYPOCRITE THAT THIS BLOG HAD SUSPECTED FROM THE START.
If on Boxing Day morning the Conservative Party is still within the EPP, then Cameron's election to the party leadership would have been gained on the back of one of the biggest lies in modern day politics - and that really is saying something!
Friday, December 16, 2005
The following quotation comes from the above MEP's web site and is extracted from an item dated 31st October 2005 and titled 'Its got to be Cameron' linked here, in which he urges party members to vote for Vapid. Emphasis has been added by me:
As regular recipients of these bulletins will know, Conservative MEPs have spent the past 13 years in an unhappy mésalliance with the federalist European People's Party. To his credit, Michael Howard substantially improved the terms of the deal, but the essential problem has not gone away. As long as we sit with the most Euro-fanatic bloc in Strasbourg, people will not believe that we can be trusted on the EU. Voters will assume that we are saying one thing in Britain and doing another in Brussels - and, God forgive us, they will have a point.
Here is an issue which is immediate and vital. It may not set the world alight, but it will be a token of a new leader's good faith - an indication, in Opposition, of how he plans to behave in Government.
There is a clear division between the candidates on this question. David Cameron would remove us from the EPP grouping immediately; David Davis would leave the decision to MEPs, a majority of whom favour the status quo. With Cameron, we'll be out of the EPP by Christmas; with Davis, we'll still have this albatross dragging us deckwards at the next European election.
That alone ought to answer those who wonder how much substance there is to David Cameron. On the one issue which he would have to decide within days of taking over, the one which he must have been most tempted to fudge, he has been unequivocal and bold.
How many Conservative Party members voted for Vapid on the basis of this and similar assurances from both MPs and MEPs.
Will Cameron have the balls to stand by his sole promise given in the campaign, or will he cave in to the eurofanatics within his own party and pressure from the likes of Merkel and Sarkozy on the Continent as once again reported this morning in The Times, linked from here.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
The latest pressure on the wavering and increasingly hapless looking new Tory leader may be read from here. It is headlined as follows -
EU conservatives threaten Tories with isolation
By Frederick Studemann, Political Correspondent
Published: December 15 2005 17:20
The final paragraph quoted below contains a curious contradiction:
There has been mounting fury among fellow EPP parties over Mr Cameron’s stance. Many feel that the Tories already enjoy a privileged position within the EPP thanks to exceptional terms of association negotiated when the(y) joined the grouping.
Surely if the Tories have been so pampered the other parties should be delighted to see such favouritism come to an end?
Another interesting analysis of the matter appears in the Times of Malta linked here.
I had earlier reported the 'before Christmas' statement was made at Frimley, but now believe it was there Vapid actually started to backtrack stating he would hand the timing of the withdrawal to his shadow foreign secretary.
The best information I can presently obtain is this from the Guy Fawkes blog on 21st November, linked here:
Apparently Cameron has promised Bill Cash and Daniel Hannan that Tory MEPs will be out of the EPP by the end of Cameron's first week as leader. If wet Europhile Tory MEPs want to make an issue of it - all the better - a fight with them will be a pleasure. A move that will undermine UKIP to the point of extinction and pacify a right-wing base that is a little nervous about where Cameron is going to take them.
So either Hannan or Cash can probably confirm the time scale - if it were only one week then Vapid has already broken his promise - and rather than win over UKIP members to the Tories as was always the obvious intention of the move, it could immediately begin to have the reverse effect.
The report of such an intervention appears in The Guardian and is linked from here.
Many in Britain might find such meddling inappropriate, only because the majority in Britain have not been following the reality of their country's loss of independence.
Cameron's increasingly likely abandonment of his firm promise to remove his party from the EPP before Christmas will highlight the truth of where the real power now lies in the non-democratic EU.
So maybe this publicity will prove positive!
THE EPP ISSUE
There has been a lot of coverage in the media about David Cameron's decision to take Conservative MEPs out of the EPP group, and a great deal of misinformation. Now Roger Helmer and Chris Heaton-Harris set out the facts as they see them.
The need for consistency
You may have seen the recent press coverage concerning the Conservative MEPs’ relationship with the ultra-federalist European People’s Party. David Cameron has been attacked by several Euro-enthusiasts for promising to end this unhappy link.
It is usually the way in politics that, when a change is proposed, its opponents become hyper-active while its supporters sit back and take things for granted. I hope, though, that, on this issue, those who support the leader’s line will give him public backing. If you are one of the overwhelming majority of Conservatives who would like to restore honour and consistency to our position in Brussels, please tell our new Shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You might also like to copy in the leader of the Conservative MEPs, Timothy Kirkhope(email@example.com), and David himself: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am sure they will appreciate your support.
For those unfamiliar with the issue, there follows a short briefing note.
What is the European People’s Party?
The European People’s Party (EPP) is a union of Centrist and Christian Democratic parties founded in 1976 to promote European integration. Its Basic Charter commits it to “compete for the realisation of a United States of Europe”. Its current manifesto advocates:
· A European police force and army
· Single EU seats on the UN, the IMF and the WTO
· A European president and foreign minister
· The abolition of the national veto
· A pan-European income tax, to be levied by the European Parliament
Isn’t the EPP the main Centre-Right grouping in Strasbourg?
No. British journalists keep calling it “Centre-Right”, but the EPP itself angrily rejects the label. It insists that it is “the Party of the Centre”, steering a middle course between the command economy demanded by the Socialists and the free market supported by the Liberals. According to its Basic Charter, the chief goal of economic policy is “social solidarity, so that the fruits of economic success many be evenly distributed”. The EPP campaigns for a high minimum wage, strong trade unions, a larger EU budget, a barrage of “anti-discrimination” measures and an extension of the Social Chapter.
Why do some Tory MEPs want to sit with the EPP?
It is largely a generational divide. Many of the MEPs elected during the 1980s have a view of Europe not very far removed from that of the EPP. Their careers have been built within the EPP, and some of them now enjoy positions in consequence. They fear that, outside the EPP, they would have to start all over again. The Conservatives would still have the same per capita entitlement to committee posts, overseas delegations and so forth; but there is no guarantee that the same people would hold them, since the Tory Euro-philes would be the minority in a Euro-sceptic Group.
Are there logistical advantages to being part of a large bloc?
No; quite the contrary. The British Conservatives are entitled to staff and financing in proportion to their numbers. But all such resources go through the Groups. As things stand, the EPP “top-slices” the Tory financial quota and spends it on various pan-European projects—such as a campaign in favour of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It even supported the “Yes” campaigns in the recent referendums. It is a similar story when it comes to employees. The British staff are paid by, and answerable to, the EPP. Many of them were hired during the 1980s on the basis of their commitment to federalism rather than any Conservative leanings and, far from answering to the Tory MEPs, they sometimes work directly against Conservative interests. Outside the EPP, the Tories would, for the first time, have significant resources with which to pursue their agenda.
Where would Conservative MEPs go?
They could either sit as Independents or form a new Group with like-minded parties. This is easily done: the rules of the Parliament stipulate that a Political Group must contain at least 19 MEPs from at least five member states. There are already 27 Conservative MEPs, and it would be a straightforward matter to attract respectable, Atlanticist parties from four or more other nationalities. In particular, many of the free market parties from Central and Eastern Europe have repeatedly sought to create a new Group under Tory leadership, and cannot understand why the Tories themselves are reluctant to leave the EPP. It is worth stressing that there is no question of sitting with extremist parties, or with parties that have a colourful past, such as Italy’s “post-fascist” Alleanza Nazionale (which is, incidentally, negotiating to join the EPP). It is also worth pointing out that several of the parties currently in the EPP are tainted by sleaze or extremism: Chirac’s UMP was involved in a number of funding scandals, while many of Silvio Berlusconi’s allies have been accused of corruption.
Why can’t the whole question be left to the MEPs?
It never has been before. Every past leader—from Margaret Thatcher onwards—has recognised that this is a question to be settled by the Westminster leader. The question goes wider than seating arrangements in Strasbourg: it encompasses the Tories’ relationships, as a whole, with other parties. Those who are currently taking this line strenuously argued the opposite when it suited them. When, in 2004, Michael Howard reversed IDS’s decision to leave the Group, pro-EPP Tory MEPs insisted that the question was up to him as the national leader.
Isn’t leaving the EPP at odds with David Cameron’s modernisation agenda?
On the contrary, nothing could be more modern than breaking with the 1950s federalist Euro-dogmas of the Christian Democrats. In forming a new Group, the Conservatives would be turning their backs on Old Europe and embracing New Europe. David Cameron has stressed the need for the party to change. It is striking that his fiercest opponents on this issue are palaeo-Tories of an earlier era: Geoffrey Howe, Michael Heseltine etc.
When should the break come?
Immediately. That was David Cameron’s pledge during the leadership contest. Suitable foreign allies are lined up and ready to go. If the issue is postponed, they may start to lose interest.