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This would impact on David Cameron's compliance with the EU Directive on the Funding of Political Parties. Any Party which stands to withdraw from the EU will not receive any funds.

If there was any doubt before about Cameron being a europhile, there is none now. Cameron promised MP's face to face at the Party conference during the leadership contest that they would be allowed to make speeches in the House Of Commons advocating withdrawal from the EU. A Pork Pie would be a better graphic than a chameleon.

As Cameron's traditonal Tory support slides away, he is not going to pick up enough from the trendy section of the electorate. This guy's a loser.

When I read yet another post on the EU directive regarding funding from William I do wonder how UKIP MEPs get into the building in Brussels and aren't arrested by Europol?

On the Philip Davies matter I agree with DC that someone publicly at variance with party policy and therefore opting out of collective responsibility couldn't serve on the front bench.

The same would I hope apply to someone belonging to an organisation supporting Euro membership and/or increased federalism.

I would think Mr Davies understands that his decision means he is likely to remain a backbencher. However, as in case of Caroline Jackson, directly attacking the leadership is both unecessary and shows a lack of party loyalty and I hope Mr Davies considers carefully what he says.

Congratulations to Philip Davies, and to the people of Shipley for electing him. But Cameron's reaction is just typical and shows how the Left have gotten to him.

Mr. Davies is right to hammer away at this issue because being in the EU is harming us. Just look at the 'deal' Blair got away with that has us paying even more into the EU budget. The French claim victory, Blair gets away with it and Cameron stays silent.

At last Mr. Davies is standing up for the British people, and good luck to him.

David Cameron has asked William Hague to try to negotiate a new right-wing grouping in the European Parliament as part of his committment to leave the EPP-ED. Those negotiations are just not going to be possible if our would-be partners believed that we were about to leave them high and dry.

While I don't entirely disagree (or agree) with Philip Davies' beliefs, I think his campaign is utterly foolish. The Conservative Party has been ripped apart in recent years by MPs who focus on Europe to the detriment of party unity.

I hope that any announcements made by this new campaign are done so in a constructive manner rather than the rapid frothing we have become used to by now.

Any blatant disloyalty should be dealt with severely. And on that note - is Caroline Jackson going to be reprimanded soon? She is a liability and an embarassment to the Party.

Well done Philip. I can only apologise for my email urging you to vote Cameron before the first ballot. Your judgement is sound.

It is very telling that Cameron has not sought to ban outright Europhiles (or even reprimand them), the federalists from being on the front bench when clearly that approach is more at odds with traditional conservative values than eu withdrawal.

Cameron is a europhile and it is not just UKIP offering eu withdrawal. I'm sure that eventually new parties will emerge to represent (small c) conservatives like myself (whether that be Imagine or other parties) that see the EU as utterly unreformable.

It will not happy under the CamCons, so perhaps it is at least helpful that Cameron has revealed his europhile colours.

I guess my chance of a front bench position is not very good then :)

Another snake rears its head. It's one thing for punters to say what they think, quite another for an MP to launch a campaign against agreed policy a few days before an election. What an idot.

David Cameron doesn't think that people who disagree with a central plank of agreed party policy should be on the front bench. That doesn't sound unreasonable.

Party policy is to renogotiate the terms of our membership, and we will be the first genuinely Eurosceptic government with a will to do this.

On this blog, "Europhile" now appears to mean anyone who doesn't advocate withdrawal from the EU.

You know what? He is Better Off Out.

Sensible comment as always Ted.I would probably agree with Davies but why does he have to launch the campaign in this way?Some of our MPs have learned nothing from our last three election defeats.

Well I would certainly urge a sitting MP who sees EU withdrawal as the only way forward to do the enormously brave thing and to defect.

With just one seat in Parliament for an eu-withdrawal supporting party (whether UKIP, Imagine, whoever even their own new party) the whole debate will change and will give the public a real focus that UKIP have so poorly served.

Be brave. Be conservative. Do it.

Well done Philip! The sooner we leave the EU the better!

Here we go again.

Every time the Government gets into trouble some loony MP with a Euro axe to grind comes out of the woodwork to stir things up and help deflect the news from Labour's ills and on to us.

As a Tory Councillor, I had hoped that the "professional" Tories in Westminster had finally learned self control, oh, there goes another squadron of pigs !

Why do we always need to start fights amongst ourselves when the real fight is with this discredited and disintegrating government ?

I was under the impression this was supposed to be a non-party political campaign. Though I guess the left-wing eurosceptics have pretty much died out now, and even were they to exist, they probably wouldn't want to associate with what looks like a right-wing cause.

Bob
Hear, hear

While in complete disagreement with Ken Clarke on Europe there are a few to whom "headbangers" seems to apply.

We are facing a government beset by problems of its own making and some Tory MP decides to indulge his ego.

Comments equally apply to Caroline Jackson & the Europhiles who attack from other direction. Can you all just shut up and concentrate your fire on the opposition (which includes UKIP BTW)

Some of you get so hooked up on party strategy that you can think of nothing else.

I'm personally glad that at least one MP is openly supporting what is a mainstream view among the public. If more did so, perhaps we wouldn't have such huge dissatisfaction among the electorate which sees both main parties polling at around 33% (or less).

The days of three main parties setting their own agenda then telling the public to choose the least-worst are over.

The public want representation of their views and won't just passively vote for one of the big 3.

John H,

If the strategy isn't right it doesn't matter what the policies are - we will just look like a party fighting with itself rather than focusing on Europe.

While withdrawal from the EU may be a mainstream one, it isn't a General Election winner. I remember queues lining up to sign our Keep the Pound petitions in 2001 (even more a mainstream view than complete withdrawal) but the same people voted Labour and Lib Dem because they didn't trust us on issues like the NHS, pensions, the economy etc.

Perhaps there is such widespread dissatisfaction with the main parties because we spend so much time fighting with ourselves and not enough focusing on the issues that people really care about.

John, yeah that worked really well for Hague and IDS.

Yes I'm part of the majority who are "Eurosceptic".

Most voters are Eurosceptic but not rabid antis.

Europe is not an issue that will move new supporters to the Tory party, unfortunately some Europhobes would rather abandon a eurosceptic Tory party for a purer UKIP or BNP, what they will achieve is more Lib Dems and another Labour Government. With more regionalisation, quangos and moving us further down the federal route to the EU.

Purity has a price !

"John, yeah that worked really well for Hague and IDS."

They advocated EU withdrawal? I must've missed that.

The point of this campaign, surely, is not as a recommendation for party strategy but to open up debate on a topic that has been pretty much hushed up by "mainstream" politicians and even the media. For that reason I welcome it.

Hi Bob,
Most voters are Eurosceptic but not rabid antis.

100% agreed. We had this the other day. There seem to be four groups:

1. EUphile federalists
2. EUsceptics - believe EU reform is possible.
3: EUsceptics - believe EU reform is not possible
4: EUphobes.

Most people here are 2 or 3 and 1-3 are all 'pro-Europe'. We only differ in our belief that that reform is or isn't possible.

I'm a 3. I do not believe that EU reform hoped for by the 2's is possible so EU withdrawal is the only way forward.

I agree, EU withdrawal should not be a core priority (where UKIP go wrong), but it is a core process to deliver a conservative small government agenda.

lets face it:

Cameron is an over-privaliged, under-principaled, opportunist.

He's a loser and the public have spotted it. we need to cotton on and get rid of him before he does the part lasting damage.

when you abandon belief you are lost.

I agee with John, surely the point here is to make the EU debate one of normal, sensible scale, rather than to split parties or "headbang". If MPs wanted to discuss other issues, they wouldn't be accused of being headbanging splitters who endanger the party, they'd be having a political debate. That is their job!

After all, it was Cameron who sensibly gave the backbenchers the right to free speech on the topic.

Well, when Dave loses the next election to Gordon-sodding-Brown, at least we know who should be in pole position to replace him.

Launching a campaign just before polling day? Does no one else think this is stupid and disloyal?

Of course. I do. This is stupid and ought to be noted as such by the whips' office.

We don't need indiscipline like Caroline Jackson's OR Philip Davieses.

I agree with all of those who say that the timing of Mr Davies' Freedom Association campaign is deeply unhelpful although I am a supporter of a fundamental reappraisal of Britain's relationship with Brussels.


I want to note for any members of the pres reading this that Chad is not a Conservative. He calls in this thread for a Tory MP to defect and in a thread yesterday for people not to vote Tory in the local elections.

It is important to note who is on-side here and who is working against the Tories.


As someone who is sympathetic to Philip Davies's campaign I agree (a) this is not the time to do it and (b) Cameron is quite within his rights in saying that he will not appoint to the front bench someone whose views on the EU run against stated party policy.

Sean,

Would it not have been balanced though to say "Both EU federalists and those in favour of EU withdrawal have no place in my front bench".

The lack of any kind of reprimand for Caroline Jackson who is constantly quoted in the press attacking the official party policy of EPP withdrawal combined with this lopsided attack by Cameron seems to be an attack on one side of the party, and thus is bound to end in a negative fight-back.

The last thing the Conservative Party need to discuss is Europe because there are far too many in the party who are completly obsessed by it.
This site proves my point. Most threads no matter what they start discussing usually end up on the subject of the EU.
I have no doubt that there are some in the party who if they get up in the morning and its raining they blame it on the EU.
We need to show people that the impression we gave a few years ago of becoming a single issue party is no longer true and we are in tune with the voters main cares and concerns. Europe no matter what anyone says is not one of them.

Philip Davies should be taken into a dark corner and taught the value of keeping certain things to yourself, as should anyone who thinks that contradicting official party policy in an Election campaign is a good idea. Having said that though, I would suggest that no-one in the wider electorate is going to notice it at the moment what with the Cabinet falling apart and the wheels finally coming off of the Blair Government.

'Unhelpful'? Sure, and if you believe that, you doubtless think that this is going to be the story of the week, and that one solitary soul outside SW1 is going to care, still less, remember, come polling day.

Dave's igloo-building-with-Jimmy-Carter jaunt? Election winning, no doubt.

We need to show people that the impression we gave a few years ago of becoming a single issue party is no longer true and we are in tune with the voters main cares and concerns. Europe no matter what anyone says is not one of them.

I agree. Policy on the subject seems reasonable - "Reform through renegotiation." It's not going to change, and harping on about it makes us look like swivel-eyed obessesive loons.

Those who support withdrawal should keep their powder dry until first, we are in goverment, and second, reform has been attempted and has failed (if this happens).

They really aren't helping their own side. If we lose, there are two Europhile parties who will make things much, much worse.

So why no criticism of federalism or reprimand for Caroline Jackson?

Any men out there can just go and piss off!

Mr Cameron also unveiled plans to transform the party by ensuring that a tenth of candidates in winnable seats were from ethnic minorities. Addressing parliamentary journalists at Westminster, he made no apologies for setting up a secret group to promote the selection of women by announcing that the new "priority list" of top-quality candidates would have more women than men on it.

The list of up to 150 names had originally been expected to be split evenly between the sexes but Mr Cameron said that "more than 50 per cent will be women".

"Every time the Government gets into trouble some loony MP with a Euro axe to grind comes out of the woodwork to stir things up and help deflect the news from Labour's ills and on to us."

I could not agree more.

Most voters don't give a crap about the EU or with those who are either madly pro or violently anti. As far as this party is concerned, the EU debate can best be likened to a black hole, an unstoppable vortex from which light itself cannot escape. Local elections anyone?

Bothered.

Is Margaret back? meaningless postings appearing across threads.

There's no need to go to the GoldList moderated thread approach, but perhaps a modest registration fee would both help fund the site and discourage anonymous posts?

The more we understand each other's bias, the more we can understand the opinions both pro and anti.

Most voters don't give a crap about the EU?
That's only because most voters don't understand the extent of EU influence on the UK.
Otherwise difficult to disagree that (1) poor timing for such a launch and (2) Cameron must be even-handed in dealing with 'philes and 'sceptics alike.

True Blue

"Those who support withdrawal should keep their powder dry until first, we are in goverment, and second, reform has been attempted and has failed (if this happens)."

I totally agree with this. I am skeptical that reform is possible, but that is the next step.

I remember when David Davis was asked by Dimbleby in the leadership campaign about what he would do if his EU plans were scuppered by the EU. "It would cause a crisis" was Davis' reply.

I fall between 2 and 3 in Chad's schema, but what I find utterly baffling about Chad's approach is that he believes that the EU cannot be reformed, but International co-operation is possible on a much larger scale. The way I see it is, if the EU cannot be reformed, how the hell can we expect those Nations who are much more different than us to co-operate. We have to start at a regional level of co-operation first, not scrap the local believing the universal will work.

I admire the courage of Philip Davies to take the stand that he has. I doubt if there is ever a right time to announce a break with party policy, but I doubt if it will have much effect on the local elections.

Personally I think it is the right time to put the case for withdrawal and I welcome his initiative and hope that others will have the courage to join him. Unfortunately far too many politicians are more interested in their promotion than actually saying what they believe, as opposed to being "on message".

We really need more independently minded MPs, but party control is growing stronger all the time. The truth is that it is all but impossible for a candidate who is not from one of the big three parties to get elected.

but what I find utterly baffling about Chad's approach is that he believes that the EU cannot be reformed, but International co-operation is possible on a much larger scale

Hi Christina,
Please don't be baffled! :-)

I'm advocating looser, realistic and achieveable international cooperation not the same eu structure applied internationally.

"David Cameron threw down the gauntlet to Eurosceptic Tory MPs yesterday by declaring that anyone who advocated withdrawal from the European Union would not serve on his front bench."

Cameron won't be needing a front bench. No europhile leader will hold the support of the Conservative Party which is 90% eurosceptic. That's why support is slipping away.

Many MP's who supported Cameron's election were conned into believing he was a eurosceptic with media support. He made many promises.

Next time MP's must remember that no eurosceptic will ever get media support, but that eurosceptics get support from electors. IDS was at 40% in 2002. Cameron is now down to 30%.

If MP's want to have a front bench to go to, they should back Philip Davies and sack Cameron. Liam Fox will do nicely. He won't get Cameron's media, but he will win an election. It's the MP's who got us into the Cameron mess. They must get us out of it.

Chad,

But if the EU cannot be reformed so that it has looser, realistic and achievable international co-operation, then your International approach is a contradiction. Don't you see that?

Chad cannot see past his computer screen, Christina. Don't waste your time.


"Those who support withdrawal should keep their powder dry until first, we are in goverment, and second, reform has been attempted and has failed (if this happens)."

True Blue

I totally agree with this. I am skeptical that reform is possible, but that is the next step.

Nice to hear from a pro-withdrawal person who can support this position. I suspect many lurkers can also live with it.

Prejudging the situation and demanding unconditional withdrawal is a sign that irrational prejudice has overcome both the precautionary principle and party loyalty (of those in the party, of course).

I think Danny Kruger's article in the Telegraph proved the point. If he isn't aware that waste disposal policy is dictated entirely by Brussels, how can ordinary people be expected to know? And if they do not know, why would they complain?

Thus, to a very great extent, people are less concerned by the EU because they are unaware of it effects.

Yet, as one example, industry experts expect the infrastructure costs of meeting the landfill directive to be in the order of £10 billion, most of which will have to be found by local authorities.

Then take the hosepipe ban in the South East. Despite record investment by the water companies, storage capacity is insufficient and leakage rates are too high - yet industry analysts readily acknowledge that this is because most of the investment has been directed towards meeting EU regulatory standards.

Only by ignoring the "elephant in the room" does the EU not become an issue. If politicians were more open and honest in acknowledging the costs involved in complying with EU legislation, the EU would be much higher up the politcial agenda than it is at the moment.

From Philip Davies' maiden speech -

"My right hon. and hon. Friends, especially the most ambitious of the new intake, will be greatly pleased to learn that I have no desire to rise through the ranks as a shadow Minister and, after the next election, as a Minister of the Crown—that is, all my right hon. and hon. Friends will be delighted apart from my hon. Friend the Member for Hexham (Mr. Atkinson), who has the great misfortune to be my Whip. I wish to remain on the Back Benches and to speak up for the things that matter to me and my constituents. I want people to know that when I say something, I say it because I mean it, not because someone has told me to say it. I believe that that is the best way I can help to restore people's faith in politics. "

He is being true to his word and a place on the front bench isn't one of his ambitions.

"Nice to hear from a pro-withdrawal person who can support this position. I suspect many lurkers can also live with it.

Prejudging the situation and demanding unconditional withdrawal is a sign that irrational prejudice has overcome both the precautionary principle and party loyalty (of those in the party, of course)."

It's quite simple really, True Blue. Although I believe that reform is improbable, I cannot say that it is impossible.

To say it is impossible requires Omniscience or the ability to see into the future. I have neither of these abilities.

To say it is impossible requires Omniscience or the ability to see into the future. I have neither of these abilities.

It also requires similar divine knowledge to have any certainty of what might happen if we did leave. I think it would be foolhardy, others disagree, but no one really knows and it would be an unprecedented experiment with the welfare of the British people.

"It also requires similar divine knowledge to have any certainty of what might happen if we did leave. I think it would be foolhardy, others disagree, but no one really knows and it would be an unprecedented experiment with the welfare of the British people."

Oh Please. What nonsense. Politics is about making judgements, not some philosophical investigation into certainty. You could make the same claim that "omniscience" is impossible about any issue. Does this mean that we don't form any opinions?

So, the EU doesn't matter, except for the little matter of the cost, the fraud, the stupid rules gold plated by the inflated egos of our so called politicians and the small problem of the total lack of democracy. The three main parties have conspired to keep silent so as to use its socialist tendencies, thereby keeping the electorate in the dark. A proper debate is required urgently on the EU. Glacier watching does not hack it, neither does it prove anything.

Chad,
But if the EU cannot be reformed so that it has looser, realistic and achievable international co-operation, then your International approach is a contradiction. Don't you see that?

You are talking about the difference between reforming an existing organisation and creating a new one. Two very different things and I believe creating a new organisation is more achieveable than reforming an existing one with its existing built in bias, agenda etc.

Chris Palmer wrote:
Chad cannot see past his computer screen, Christina. Don't waste your time

Very constructive. That's was worth the effort Chris.

"Oh Please. What nonsense. Politics is about making judgements, not some philosophical investigation into certainty. You could make the same claim that "omniscience" is impossible about any issue. Does this mean that we don't form any opinions?"

Indeed John. My judgement was to join the Conservative Party which wants reform of the EU and withdrawal from the EPP. My judgement is to wait and see if a Conservative Government will achieve its aims, or have a crisis, as David Davis stated. If reform then showed to be impossible I would most likely call for withdrawal from the EU.

Oh Please. What nonsense. Politics is about making judgements, not some philosophical investigation into certainty. You could make the same claim that "omniscience" is impossible about any issue. Does this mean that we don't form any opinions?

Of course we can form opinions based on the evidence we have available to us. Policy is based on examples found elsewhere and the effect that the policy may or may not have.

It is pretty much impossible to find a similar precedent, and even you would agree that withdrawal from the EU will have major effects. Because there will be such major effects, we have to be extra-cautious when taking a decision, because major policy shifts have major unforeseen consequences. I think you can probably put together a drugs-related metaphor yourself.

Leaving the EU has the potential to completely screw up our economy on a very long term basis. You can argue that it might not, but you have to accept that the possiblity is there; there aren't many other irreversible policy decisions that could potentially have this effect.

This is a purely pragmatic decision.

Conservatism is not taking great radical leaps into the dark and hoping that things will work out.

Christina,

As I have noted I am a '3' not a '4'. You state you are a '2' so how do you convince a '3' that '2' is the right way forward?

You:
1: state which reforms you want.
2: state the latest acceptable delivery date.
3: state what you would do if the EU refuses to reform in this way.

I really am keen to here reformists answers to this. What are you answers to 1,2 and 3?

"You are talking about the difference between reforming an existing organisation and creating a new one. Two very different things and I believe creating a new organisation is more achieveable than reforming an existing one with its existing built in bias, agenda etc."

At least it has much common ground with ourselves, Chad. I cannot see how a new org will be easier when considering Nations such as China, North Korea, Iran, various dictatorships, etc.

Chris, Chad is an old friend.


You:
1: state which reforms you want.
2: state the latest acceptable delivery date.
3: state what you would do if the EU refuses to reform in this way.

I really am keen to here reformists answers to this. What are you answers to 1,2 and 3?

To even pose these questions you must know absolutely nothing about diplomacy or negotiation.

Hi Christina,

I really do think that debate is vital in this area and I too welcome our clash of opinion on this.

For me, I want to see what people want reformed, when the latest they would accept for this reform and what they would do if the reform was rejected by the EU.

That way we can rationally debate what can be achieved and how to react if the reofrm is rejected.

To even pose these questions you must know absolutely nothing about diplomacy or negotiation.
What rubbish. You can't be a reformist without setting some limits or sharing what you want reformed.

Chad,

First, your list is inaccurate.

It isn't about what is possible and what is impossible. Such thinking will lead to extremes.

We need to think in terms of probabilities.

Reform of the EU may look highly improbable today, but not as improbable as a few years ago.

People in Europe will turn to mainstrean Right Wing parties as troubles increase. We have seen this in Holland and Denmark.

If more right wing parties make up the EU, then reform is more likely, in a looser sense.

Yes, but what reform do you want?


To even pose these questions you must know absolutely nothing about diplomacy or negotiation.
What rubbish. You can't be a reformist without setting some limits or sharing what you want reformed.

Sorry. My comments applied to questions 2 and 3. The reforms required have been addressed in the manifesto and on the last Euro-thread. I'm amazed you can't see that pre-judging negotiations is a ridulous idea.

I think I have a different understanding of Conservativism to you True Blue. You seem to understand it in a literal sense, which I think is actually just about as *reactionary* as it's possible to be.

Hi TB,

My questions were of the loosest discussion basis only, a starting point for debate.

For example, someone might want the CAP dropped. Without some kind of wide limit, say 20 years or 30 years for example, it makes it all pointless.

You have to set some kind of outer bound otheriwse the EU could just agree to implement the policy in 300 years. Silly I know, but I am just trying to find realistic aims that won't just keep being bent or extended on non-delivery.

I'm not expecting people to state I want X by April 2008, but without an outer, this is the absolute latest point, you can simply keep moving the goalposts.

I also want to see if people really do have a limit. Liam Fox has stated that EU withdrawal is possible if it becomes too expensive which is completely rational and responsible compared to the LibDem blank cheque approach.

Like Liam's statement, I would like to know when or if the 2's would become 3's or if they are really prepared to stay in the EU no matter what in the hope of reform.

If you refuse to leave the EU under any circumstances, then I would argue that is a europhile rather than reformist approach.


I think I have a different understanding of Conservativism to you True Blue. You seem to understand it in a literal sense, which I think is actually just about as *reactionary* as it's possible to be.

You sound like an old leftie!

You think Conservatism is taking great radical leaps into the dark and hoping that things will work out?

In what way do you disagree with the substance of my post?

Actually, I think that in itself is the right question to ask:

Under what circumstances would you advocate leaving the EU?

TB,Christina?

"You think Conservatism is taking great radical leaps into the dark and hoping that things will work out?"

I think that's a misrepresentation of my position.

"In what way do you disagree with the substance of my post?"

I disagree with the notion that conservativism means being cautious and wary of all change (even if it may be change for the better). That may be a form of conservativism, but it's not one I have much sympathy for.

Federalism. If we were expected to be a Federal State in a USE.

If the Conservative Government had showed that reform was not going to happen.

I disagree with the notion that conservativism means being cautious and wary of all change (even if it may be change for the better). That may be a form of conservativism, but it's not one I have much sympathy for.

You are settting up a straw man and knocking it down. How you got "wary of all change" from "Conservatism is not taking great radical leaps into the dark and hoping that things will work out." I don't know. Do you agree with this statement? You clearly don't agree with its opposite.

Taking a precautionary approach to an irreversible change which will have massive unforseen effects makes sense. This is not being "wary of all change"

"Taking a precautionary approach to an irreversible change which will have massive unforseen effects makes sense. This is not being "wary of all change""

It is if your only argument for remaining inside the EU is "I'm afraid what will happen if we leave".

I don't believe in the conservativism that says we should just preserve the status quo. I believe society can be made better, and where we believe we have ideas that will make things better, we should enact them.

Of course, it might well be that you favour remaining in the EU for other reasons, which is fair enough. I just dislike the reason you have given.

Thanks Christina, that is exactly what I wanted to hear.

Every single Conservative Party member should support EU withdrawal if the EU proceeds down the Federal route as that is inconsistent with the official party policy of nation-state cooperation.

Unforunately this highlights the problem with Cameron's front bench statement because:

1: Someone who advocates leaving the EU if it pursues a federal route would be 100% consistent with party policy but banned by Cameron from a front bench position.

2: A federalist would still be allowed on Cameron's front bench.

So Cameron is now banning people in serving him if they follow the party eu line, but will not ban those who do not!

Clarification is urgently needed.

Philip Davies does NOT want to be a Frontbencher.

He pledged to represent his and tht was his programme. He does it exceptionally well. When you have had a Party Droid - a C3PO like Chris Leslie as MP - Philip Davies is a refreshing change.

He will only hold his seat as a personal franchise and beng a good constituency MP - the Conservative Party brand brings him few votes in s seat which Marcus Fox once held but which can only be held if LibDems don't vote Labour.

Philip Davies continues to impress !

pledged to represent his constituents and that was his program

Philip Davies should be taken into a dark corner and taught the value of keeping certain things to yourself, as should anyone who thinks that contradicting official party policy in an Election campaign is a good idea

You try that Master Burdett and kiss your Coservative Party goodbye.

Election Campaign ? Philip Davies holds one of the few Conservatrive seats in West Yorkshire and in the Bradford region he is alone as a Tory - even the Council needs the LibDems to prop up the Tories - just as in Leeds.

Only candidates like Philip Davies will get Tories on the map in Yorkshire not the likes of Osborne, Cameron, Vaizey, Boles, May, Villiers et al

Regardless of your view of Europe, it is astonishingly disloyal, stupid and arrogant for an MP to open this argument and challenge Tory policy a week ahead of local elections. I hope that David Cameron gives this no media time now, but kicks him out of the party next Friday. Philip Davis is a loose cannon and should be heaved over the side.

If Europe is such an issue to you that you would rather scotch our election chances and the hard work of all our canvassers than let it lie, please go to UKIP. Or is Philip Davies a Labour sleeper, to be awakened for special ops when the government is in a hole?

I don't believe in the conservativism that says we should just preserve the status quo. I believe society can be made better, and where we believe we have ideas that will make things better, we should enact them.

I agree with much of this. EU withdrawal is a very special, I'd say unprecedented exception. I can't think of any policy decision with similar potential consequences.

In summary:

1. I don't think we should leave the EU because being out will be less economically and politically advantageous than staying in.

2. The evidence for what might happen either way is fairly flimsy, and the probability the implosion of our economy is too high to take the risk. Conversely, membership of the EU is a known, and its future more certain.

3. The populace of the EU, the changing political complexion of members and the influx of new member states will give a future Eurosceptic Conservative government an unprecedented opportunity to reform the EU with popular support.

4. Following 2 and 3 leaving without even attempting reform would be foolish in the extreme - a totally unnecessary risk.

5. Many (but by no means all) of the people who propose EU withdrawl seem not to be arguing from a pargamatic basis, but are supporting a stance pre-supposed by xenophobia, extreme nationalism and similar beliefs. This makes me question their evidence.

There are many other pro-EU arguments, but these are my core reasons for being against EU withdrawal.


Clarification is urgently needed.

Who in the Conservative party has advocated a federal Europe (in the sense you mean)? Please point at evidence.

So Rick it's the I'm a no nonsense plain speaking Yorkshireman excuse?

I think that many of the hard working activists in Yorkshire might feel differently about an egotistical, ill timed bit of stupidity that aids the Labour & Lib Dems shortly before an election.

Hi TB,

Who in the Conservative party has advocated a federal Europe (in the sense you mean)? Please point at evidence.

Those who oppose EPP withdrawal?

Cameron has created a crazy situation where he is banning those who follow official EU policy (ie they oppose a federal EU and would withdraw from the project if it pursued the federal route) but he has neither banned nor even reprimanded those like Caroline Jackson who are vocally opposing official party policy and seeking to remain in a group that clearly contradicts official nation-state aims.

Surely this is consistent with Cameron changing party policy to ditch nation-state and support a federalist approach and at the very least, dropping the eurosceptic line for a europhile one?

Those who oppose EPP withdrawal?

They are disloyal, but they argue that there is no whip to make them vote pro-Federalist in the EPP grouping. If they refuse to leave when the time comes, they should lose the whip.

Who advocates a Federal Europe? Any speeches they might have made? Articles they've written? I can easily do the same for EU withdrawalists.

Mark Fulford - stick to your own constituency and keep away from our's

While I am sympathetic to his position I think this could have been better timed.

I remember how irritating it was under previous leaders when the "modernisers" and Europhiles spoke out of turn.

TB,

You're going off on a tangent. The clarification I called for was whether Cameron would

A: Ban someone from serving on the front bench if they advocate EU withdrawal in the event of an EU move towards federalism.
B: Are federalists (should they exist) also banned from the front bench.

Perhaps, taking into account your post above, you consider there to be not onse single federalist in the party, then I agree that question B would be pointless, however, point A requires clarification don't you agree? That seems a valid reason for supporting withdrawal and perfectly in line with official party policy.

So Rick it's the I'm a no nonsense plain speaking Yorkshireman excuse?

No Ted and I find you should be careful with the tone or do you have similar attributes for Blacks and Women and the Disabled to add to the categorisation by geographic origin ?

These reflex associations say too much about the person saying it - please do not typecast people but treat them as individuals not "types"

He is a constituency MP representing his constituents - that is his job not to e a cipher for some London media outfit. He won his seat - every other candidate the Tories dumped in the seat could not manage a 2% swing and could not dislodge Chris Leslie

Mark Fulford - stick to your own constituency and keep away from our's

Rick, I'm sorry, I don't understand your post. Would you elaborate please?

P.S. It's "ours".

Someone asked if any Tory had actually supported the idea of a Federal Europe.

Statement by E.Heath made to the house of commons 10th of June 1971

'We have said that as members of the enlarged Community we would play our full part in the progress towards full economic and monetary union'.

A pro-federalist statement? some people might think that full economic and monetary union could be in the federalist ballpark!

Hmmmm

April 26, 2006 at 14:19

I found your comments at this juncture to be offensive. Philip Davies is my Member of Parliament elected by voters in the Shipley constituency. You have no right to start telling him what he may or may not say, he represents Shipley not some clique which seeks to uurp the role of parliamentary representation. This is getting to be as bad as the TGWU with its block votes under Jack Jones or the AUEW under Hugh Scanlon.

Philip Davies is Shipley's MP representing Shipley voters - and it is to them that he is answerable. I think the past few years have fried the brains of a few people in ad agencies and party bureaucracies.

The basis of representation in this parliamentary democracy is the MP and his constituents not General Motors appointing divisional sales managers

Free English lesson Mark......."from our's"

Learn to use apostrophes.........


A: Ban someone from serving on the front bench if they advocate EU withdrawal in the event of an EU move towards federalism.
B: Are federalists (should they exist) also banned from the front bench.

I have no idea what you mean by a federalist. Point me at a speech or article supporting what you mean by federalism, and I'll answer.

If you mean "doesn't think leaving the EPP is a good idea" I've already said they should lose the whip if they refuse when the time comes. I wouldn't put any of them on the front bench. They are disloyal.

Rick, there's the Shipley constituency and then there's the national constituency. When Philip Davies campaigns on national issues, I start having rights to worry about what he's saying.

BTW, I'll wager the standard £20 to the TPA that it's "ours". Are you on? If you want help with ellipses, let me know.

My 3.45pm update in the main post:

"Tory MPs present at the launch were both of the Wintertons, Christopher Chope, Eric Forth, Bob Spink and Douglas Carswell. Being at the meeting doesn't necessarily mean they support leaving the EU, of course. Mr Davies used the meeting to welcome David Cameron's agreement for backbenchers to speak openly on this subject. Mr Davies said that 40% of the public already supporting leaving the EU and that was without political leadership."

Chad,

I really do think your interpretation of the EU question in the Conservative Party is way off beam!

"Unforunately this highlights the problem with Cameron's front bench statement because:

1: Someone who advocates leaving the EU if it pursues a federal route would be 100% consistent with party policy but banned by Cameron from a front bench position."

Well, I should think that Hague, Fox and Davis would call for withdrawal if federalism was the only other option, for a start.

Second, even Ken Clarke does not support federalism. The Conservative Party is opposed to federalism.

UKIP, with their withdrawal policy, don't give a damn if Europe was Federal as long as the UK was out of it. You do give a damn about that, even if we were out.


<<
Someone asked if any Tory had actually supported the idea of a Federal Europe.

>>

I can safely say that I wouldn't want Edward Heath on the front bench. Can you find any current MPs or MEPs who share the same views? I'm not saying there aren't any, I just want to know what you mean.

I have no idea what you mean by a federalist

Someone who supports the formation of a formal United States of Europe.

I can safely say that I wouldn't want Edward Heath on the front bench.

I don't know. His corpse could hardly be less effective than some of the current frontbenchers.

Christina, what is the URL of that federal group that supports the USE formation? That would explain what we oppose for TB very well.

and it would be an unprecedented experiment with the welfare of the British people

And exactly in what way is continued membership of this useless and expensive organisation not an unprecedented experiment with the welfare of the British people?????

We pay them billions, they tell us what to do. Great if you are a masochist with a lot of money.

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