Saturday, April 23, 2005

Empty headed Michael Howard

Click here to see today's Daily Telegraph 'Opinion' cartoon on the Tory leader.

Why did the Conservatives get rid of a staunch eurosceptic and democratically elected leader and replace him in a putsch with a known loser of suspect character?

Throwing this election seems one very likely possible answer as the postings on this blog have repeatedly tried to illustrate.

Why, only now when it is too late, is the Daily Telegraph, which is considered by many to be the house journal of the Conservative Party, only now prepared to hint at this possibility - and that in a cartoon over an article by the paper's former editor (linked here)?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Howard Blows the Election as Presumably Planned!

I wonder how many Tories took in the book review by Simon Heffer of Michael Crick's 'In Search of Michael Howard' in The Spectator of 9th April.

I can no longer find the internet link, but for those who still have last week's magazine have a look and consider - can ever a man so flawed have been selected to do anything other than the opposite of what he apparently intends? Will some of the flaws revealed be slowly brought out throughout the campaign - or will his own errors make such scandal stirring unnecessary?

What spur of the moment piece of political expediency will the Tory's summon up tomorrow, yesterday Council Tax, today Stamp Duty - some gimmick on health I would guess.

Meantime our democracy dies!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Conspiracy?

The following is an extract from an article by Ferdinand Mount in this morning's Daily Telegraph linked from here:

"While I was staring at Mr Blair's eerie tan, the Prime Minister may have been launching a vigorous defence of his decision to invade Iraq. Or Michael Howard, while I was dreaming of the first cappuccino of the day, may have been explaining to us exactly how he would renegotiate the European fisheries policy.

But I do not think so. On the contrary, so far foreign affairs have been kept off both parties' menus with Stalinist rigidity. It is as though their leaders had signed some secret concordat not to mention the war, or indeed the outside world in any shape or form

I heard Mr Howard start off yesterday morning with a thumping denunciation of Blair's lies: the lies about Tory spending plans, the lies about Labour's pensions policy, the lies about the patient's passport. Terrific stuff, but was there not one other little area of, shall we say, prime-ministerial prevarication that earnt some notoriety not all that long ago?

With few exceptions, the media seem happy enough with this weird vacuum. They will remorselessly quiz the politicians on almost anything else you can think of: where the Blair tan came from, what Rupert Murdoch thinks of immigration, the treatment of prostate cancer. But as for the world and Britain's place in it, for the moment these seem to be no-go areas.

Which is peculiar in the extreme. Because outside the political hothouse, as far as I can see, people talk of little else. Perhaps for the first time since 1945, it is two foreign issues - Iraq and the European Union - that are foremost in the minds of the most agitated voters at this election.

Every Leftish person I bump into is obsessed with Blair's lies in the run-up to war. Every Rightish person is exercised by the latest excesses of Brussels and in despair at our apparent impotence to undo them, let alone to find a stable and enduring relationship with the EU, in or out of it. Every tobacconist and taxi driver is liable to let rip on either front.

There are not one but two elephants in our sitting room. And the politicians are doing their best to pretend that neither of them is there. In the American elections, the candidates chewed over every aspect of the Iraq war. In France, each clause of the EU constitution is being hotly contested. In the British election campaign to date, zero public debate on either."

Monday, April 18, 2005

Conservatives Reject British Declaration of Independence

From the BDI website:-

Conservative Party officially rejects

British Constitution and British Parliament

We talked to the Policy Unit at Conservative Central Office. CCO said that:

  1. The Conservative Party rejects the British Declaration of Independence principally because of paragraph 2 - the right of the British Parliament to "initiate, pass and repeal laws applied to the British people". That is unacceptable to the Tory Party. (In other words the Party rejects a Parliament and Democracy itself not only for Britain but for the whole of the European Union as well. "The Tory Party is committed to the treaties signed since 1972 which contradict paragraph 2 of the BDI".
  2. The Tory Party would NOT withdraw "from areas where the EU Court has jurisdiction over the United Kingdom". It would request re-negotiation of specified areas –e.g. employment, immigration, international aid and fishing.
  3. The policy he was stating had been decided by Michael Howard and the Shadow Cabinet. We asked if candidates had been told NOT to sign the BDI. He replied the policy was that candidates should not sign statements which are inconsistent with Conservative policy. We stated that the BDI was entirely consistent with "in Europe but not ruled by Europe", a sovereign independent Britain in the European Union. They said they disagreed with the BDI because it meant "withdrawal from Europe". But the BDI does not concern itself with Europe it concerns itself entirely with British Democracy.
  4. Therefore the Conservative Party confirms that membership of the European Union has destroyed British Democracy and that the British Parliament was replaced in 1972 by a British Assembly. The British Conservative Party confirmed that this always was and remains their intention.
  5. The Conservative Party rejects the British Constitution. They also reject the European Constitution. Therefore they believe in NO Constitution – which means unfettered control by the politicians.

Therefore the Tory Party refutes the British constitution, rejects the terms of the Oath of Allegiance, denies Britain a Parliament, rejects the 1966 UN Convention of the Self determination of peoples (a treaty which the British Government signed) and thereby disqualifies Britain as a sovereign nation from membership of the UN.

This confirms Michael Howard’s stance that, on being elected, he will request permission (of what he recognises as a superior power, the European Union) to govern in the United Kingdom and even then in only certain areas.

The Conservative Party has been forced to produce a new "form of words" designed to fool their candidates and the British people. The BDI, by demanding they sign up to their previous "form of words" (i.e. "In Europe but not ruled by Europe"), has forced them to refute those words.

The BDI is concerned solely with the sovereignty of the British people and the status of their Parliament as a forum in which their laws are made. Our concern is the British Constitution, not the European Union – or any other Union!

This has all come as a great shock to many Conservative candidates and voters. Those candidates who have signed the BDI regardless of party pressure deserve our unstinting support. We need to do everything we can to strengthen them in the party and encourage allies to join them.

Tell others about the BDI and the Petition. (You can sign up others if they have no computer and you have their post code and permission!)

The BDI is powerful - use it.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Howard's Election Manifesto on the EU

The following are the relevant extracts from the manifesto launched today (my added highlights are the red, bold and italic items):-

We will save warships Mr Blair would scrap. A Conservative Government will support European co-operation on defence but we strongly believe that such co-operation should take place within the framework of NATO.
(Item on Iraq removed)

Conservatives support the cause of reform in Europe and we will co-operate with all those who wish to see the EU evolve in a more flexible, liberal and decentralised direction. We oppose the EU Constitution and would give the British people the chance to reject its provisions in a referendum within six months of the General Election. We also oppose giving up the valuable freedom which control of our own currency gives us. We will not join the Euro.

In a reformed Europe, the restrictive employment laws of the Social Chapter will have to give way to more flexible working. We will ensure that Britain once again leads the fight for a deregulated Europe by negotiating the restoration of our opt-out from the Social Chapter.

The common policies on agriculture and fisheries are unsustainable, damaging to free trade and conservation, and waste huge sums of money. The CAP needs further and deeper reform. And, because fisheries would be better administered at the national level, we will negotiate to restore national and local control over British fishing grounds. We are determined to ensure national control in this area.

We will also build on the success of enlargement, making Europe more diverse by working to bring in more nations, including Turkey.

We value Britain’s membership of the European Union, but our horizons extend much further. A key element of British foreign policy under a Conservative Government will be fighting world
poverty. We will support further action on debt relief and will work to meet the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas aid by 2013. We believe that British aid programmes are among the best in the world, so we will negotiate to increase British national control over our international aid spending.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Guardian Letter on the BDI

The following appeared in yesterday's newspaper, linked from here:

Election principles

Tuesday April 5, 2005
The Guardian

At this election the only thing that matters is whether the parliament to which we elect MPs has the power to govern in our interests (Election countdown, April 4). The British parliament no longer makes our laws. This happened without the knowledge or permission of the British people. The British Declaration of Independence makes sure that in future only our MPs make our laws and that we can sack our law-makers if we don't like those laws - in other words that we live in a democracy.
By signing the declaration, parliamentary candidates acknowledge the authority of the British people and commit to exercising British self-government when they get to parliament. People pressure them to do so by signing our petition ( We then tell the candidates how many votes they gain by signing. We urge the electorate to vote for a candidate who has signed the declaration. Without self-government there is no point in voting at all.

Rodney Atkinson
Frederick Forsyth
Leolin Price QC
Lynn Riley
Alfred Sherman
David Stoddart
The British Declaration of Independence