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CINOs anyone? Would explain that Notting Hill lot wearing chinoes anyway...

More good news! Direct action. Excellent.

Good luck to them. They should make sure they add a donation page to their site as I am sure many would be willing to contribute to their noble cause.

Not all Conservatives are Eurosceptics. Why can't there be room in the party for both Europhiles AND Eurosceptics.

One senior Tory MP - who will remain unnamed - referred to the Tory equivalent of RINOs as Conservatives Using the Name Theoretically. I of course would not condone the use of such vulgar acronyms. But maybe others on here will have less vulgar ones to mind..?

Rob,

To be more accurate, many are pro-Europe, but EU-sceptic, ie they do not see the organisation called the EU as the best solution for European cooperation and advancement.

It's not the cooperation, but the solution that many oppose as the EU is seen as a big state, and thus non-conservative operation.

I'm passionately pro-European, but I think the EU stinks as it is a private members club with an agenda that is primarily about itself that the world.

pro-European = anti-EU, imho

"Not all Conservatives are Eurosceptics. Why can't there be room in the party for both Europhiles AND Eurosceptics."

The problem in this case is that the MEP's pretend to be Eurosceptic and stand on a Eurosceptic manifesto.

Those who are at least honest about their Europhilia also criticse Cameron for daring to adopt a policy (leave the EPP) that is in line with the majority of his party and probably representative of most people in this party (anti-federalist).

Very good luck to them. I think it extraordinary that Ms Jackson should use the Guardian to air her views. What a selection process that adopts people with so little political imagination.

Tories Against British Sovereignty?

Although the acronym is the same as the nickname for Cambridge students used by Oxford students.

This article appeared on Iain Dale's blog

"Tory MEP Must be Disciplined

I got up early today as I am about to drive to Manchester to attend the Conservative Spring Forum, so I broke the habit of a lifetime and switched on the Today Programme at 6.30am. About third in the headline running order was this grave item. Tory MEP Caroline Jackson has accused David Cameron of being all talk on the environment but no action. Typically, the Today Programme omitted to share with its listeners the fact that her husband, former MP Robert Jackson, defected to New Labour 18 months ago. I wonder if the leader of the Tory MEPs Tim Kirkhope will now discipline Jackson in the same way he dealt with Roger Helmer. I doubt it, but one can only hope. Caroline Jackson knows her days in the Tory Group are numbered, as she has already made clear she intends to stay in the EPP if the Tories leave. Oh happy days."

Please all of you who read this site and have not done so all ready visit www.reinstatroger.com or e-mail [email protected] and register your support!

Please Remember to visit the
Reinstate Roger Campaign website
and pledge your support.

Im sure Im in a minority here but Im not happy about this grassroots campaign. Whats the betting that Cameron will do nothing to stop it? In fact Id go so far as to say he would encourage it as these are the MEPs who dared to not agree with the Party line.

The only way forward for Eurosceptics is, paradoxically, in cooperation with other elements in the EU. I think that people are disillusioned with the European project, and these elements are becoming more important. That is, federalist ambitions must be curtailed through multi-lateral anti-federalist rather than unilateral action.

Unilateral action will leave us economically isolated, bound to follow EU legislation if we want to export. The other two trade groups are tiny and toothless, and member states enact European legislation without having any control over it. If you think the French will be reasonable about a unilateral decision, you are living in UKIP land.

I'm happy about all grassroots campaigns. That's what we need - grassroots engagement, which leads to wider engagement with the electorate (people who are interested in politics get involved when there's debate, when there's a chance to change things, not when they're just used as envelope-stuffers and cheer-leaders).

I've been encouraged by the 'primaries' idea and by the use of people video-blogging for a ppb. If the party can accomodate and even encourage real grassroots involvement, a real tussle for the future, and does try to subordinate everything to nice Steve Hilton's whims, then things are looking up!

Obviously I meant "and does NOT try to subordinate"

RobC - I'd like to say yes, and I believe we should be a broad enough party for a range of opinions on Europe to be held..BUT..the membership of this party elected David Cameron and one of his declared aims was to leave the EPP, they are against further integration and imposition of franco-german initiated social, commercial and other intrusive legislation. They do not share the federalist ambitions of our partners in EPP-ED.

The Tory group of MEPs want to remain in a confederation with awowedly federalist parties because they say it "gives them a voice on policy" but this isn't the case. The ED bit of EPP-ED is a minority, it has little effect on the policies persued by the majority.

Its the same argument I bought when in the EEC referednum we were told that being in EEC would stregthen the UK's voice and enable us to change the direction of the EEC to this countries advantage. Since then Europe has been a never ending retreat with skirmishes that hold back the tide for a few years.

The Caroline Jacksons, Christopher Beazleys do not share the principles in the manifesto they stood on and are unlikely to agree with our next one - unless Cameron, Hague & Davis are secret EU agents - and I think its right that the Party looks closely at their place on our list. They are not representatives of the people as MPs are, they are representatives of our party & our policies and it is right that the electors of my region who supported the Conservative Party manifesto have as a result MEPs who stand by that manifesto & their party.

There is one manifesto committment that David Cameron stated he would break and made part of his manifesto for leadership: "We have also secured the right of any Member of the European Parliament to apply to join either the EPP or ED elements of the Group. Centre-right parties, including our sister parties from Central and Eastern Europe, will now have the opportunity
to sit with British Conservatives in the ED and follow our distinctive agenda.

When elected, every Conservative Member of the European Parliament will be committed to this position. This agreement means that Conservative MEPs will remain allied members of the EPP-ED parliamentary group for the duration of the 2004-2009 legislature"

Breaking a manifesto committment is a grave undertaking but it was endorsed by the membership of this party. The reason for breaking it was that the agreement with EPP-ED has not worked out in practice as it was agreed but it is understandable that our partners are upset. Thats why I am happy for William Hague to have some time to work through the issues.

At heart though it is that Conservative MEPS are elected to represent the Conservative Party through a list system and as such are subject to a greater responsibility to follow our party line than a Conservative MP is - an MP represents his constituency not just the voters who supported him and can chooose to put his beliefs and the interests of his constituents above that of party.

Bux - preferred your first draft - freudian slip :-)

Typical.

Labour are in an absolute mess about one of their claimed territories, the NHS (did TB and GB mention it at their launch yesterday?), we have a leader who is actually being listened to and then one of our MEPs is going running to The Guardian of all places and the Today programmer to slag off our policies.

Nice one, Caroline. Much better than focusing on attacking the Labour party.

If the organisers of the campaign are reading this, please think again. I am as keen as anyone - keener, in fact - to have Conservative MEPs who believe in our national independence. But this type of operation sets our members against each other to no good purpose. It is similar to what happened in the Labour Party at the beginning of the 1980s.

The prospect of more bloodletting over Europe will cause despair in CCHQ.

And not just in CCHQ, but among ordinary members like me who want to get on with campaigning against Labour as well. I hope that the originators of this campaign have the political intelligence to organise a strong input into the selection procedure (which is their right if Party members), while keeping the whole thing away from the mainstream media.

"Tories locked in battle over EU candidates" are not the kind of headlines ANY of us want to see.

I think it will play to David Cameron’s advantage to have a spat with the pro-EPP Conservative MEPs. The public has nothing but contempt towards the EU and move away from clubby EPP will only shock some Guardian reading EU types who will never vote us anyway.

I went to the Conservative Selection meeting for the South West. Caroline Jackson gave a Eurosceptic speech, and she came top. Spoke to David Heathcoat-Amory to ask who we should vote for, her name was not included.

The problem is that most grassroots tories know nothing of the people they are voting for, so it is a good thing if a bit of light is shed on their political motives.

"But this type of operation sets our members against each other to no good purpose."

DH, I do agree we don't want that kind of in-fighting. But we do want to get away from the idea that MPs, MEPs etc are somehow superior beings who can treat members with contempt. So how else do we ensure that members are truly involved not just in the selection process, but also with the performance of those who they support into the positions?

Who are they and where can they be found?

I believe that if Pro-EU candidates are pretending to be EU-Skeptic when interviewed, they deserve to be outed and removed, as it shows a lack of integrity, IMO.

If a Pro-EU candidate is selected on that basis without pretence, then that is okay, IMO.

I applaud this new initiative by the EU-Skeptics and think it is in response to the plotting of the rebel MEPs.

If rebel MEP's need to be rooted out, shouldn't a similar witch hunt be made for those who are closet UKippers? After all, they're just Conservatives In Name Only too :-)

"One senior Tory MP - who will remain unnamed - referred to the Tory equivalent of RINOs as Conservatives Using the Name Theoretically. I of course would not condone the use of such vulgar acronyms. But maybe others on here will have less vulgar ones to mind..?"

Tories Who Advocate Treachery?

Yeah this is a good idea, backstabbing's worked so well in the past.

*hits head against wall*

Candidlist was quite useful in providing activists with parliamentary candidates' views on Europe. It didn't seek to deselect candidates or campaign in the manner that this proposed new organisation would - it merely left activists with the facts and left them to use that information in whatever manner it wanted.

In the US, the American Conservative Union produces annual rankings of Senators and Congressmen (1 = Ted Kennedy, 100 = Jesse Helms) as to how they vote on particular issues. Again, it doesn't campaign to unseat RINOs it merely leaves activists with the information and they can do with that information whatever they want.

Tut tut.

Let's give the TOFFs a break.

(Tories Only For Fun)

I suppose it was only a matter of time.

Have they never heard of the Militant Tendency and the immense damage that the application of this sort of ideological purity test did to the Labour Party? We used to be proud to be a grown up, broad church party. Now, it seems, we are to be a single issue pressure group.

Gareth is right but the problem is that for thr last eight years, a succession of prominent Tory figures have been allowed, time and again, to get away with badmouthing their party in public....to the obvious delight of the Guardian, Labour and the BBC. Caroline Jackson is simply following in the footsetps of her benighted hushand. In the age of the Internet, one wing of the broad church is not simply going to shut up and go away when the serial indiscipline of the other wing has been indulged for so long. If discipline is to be restored, it has to be on an even-handed basis.

I like direct action and I like eurosceptisism even more but why focus on the useless European Parliament? They're powerless irrelevancies. The real focus ought to be Parliament!

"pro-Europe, but EU-sceptic, ie they do not see the organisation called the EU as the best solution for European cooperation and advancement."

As I've mentioned before, that is why I prefer the term EU-skepticism to euroskepticism (unless the latter term is only used in the context of the 'Euro' currency).

Being pre or anti Europe is meaningless though.

I'm rabidly pro-European but think the EU is heading in the wrong direction (ever closer union) not sure where that leaves me...

I'm rabidly pro-European but think the EU is heading in the wrong direction

Which is why we need to be part of a group in the Euro Parliament that does not advocate ever closer union.

For once I agree with Compton, although I suspect our respective motivations might be different! (He's a pro-EPP Europhile, I'm not.)

This campaign strikes me as a bit of a witchhunt which could serve to promote division within the party and spawn other groups to campaign against Conservative representatives whose views they disagree with.

Better to get the likes of Jackson and Beazley deselected on the quiet during the next phase of candidate selection rather than engage in open warfare in this manner.


I agree with that Daniel. We know where they stand on European issues now, and we'll vote accordingly when it comes to choosing candidates.

You may know, Sean, but you're a key and informed activist. My guess is that most are "hoodwinked" as the CRCC say. The deselection campaign is all too necessary unfortunately.

An unconsidered technical problem for the CRCC to consider.

MEPs are elected by list, and the higher up the list the candidate comes, the more likely to be elected/re-elected.

Last time we re-selected (I think in 2003?)the top places were reserved for incumbents standing again - so, if you had a list of 10 and 4 sitting MEPS then positions 1-4 were reserved for the incumbents and only 5-10 open to newcomers.

Activists could rank the incumbents to determine which was 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and they could rank the newcomers 5th, 6th, etc down to 10th - but they couldn't put a newcomer above an incumbent.

If this system prevails again then, unless CCHQ takes out an MEP on discipline grounds, activists can't deselect wet MEPs: only the voters can do that by returning fewer Tory MEPs.

At the moment, the only MEP facing the chop is Helmer.

The first priority for this campaign should therefore be to pressure CCHQ to change the selection rules. Or they're wasting their time.

You see, it's getting the basic staffwork right that pays dividends.

William Norton is wrong. The top places on the lists were NOT reserved for incumbent MEPs. They were automatically entered into each final but the final was open. example South East; Richard Ashworth a newcomer, was ranked above two sitting MEPs.

I have a feeling that Lord Stockton, a sitting MEP, might have been pushed quite a long way down the list in the South-West as well??

Lord Stockton didn't get in last time, he is no longer an MEP.

Pro EPP Conservatives:-

http://epp-ed.blogspot.com/

I have encountered Kirkhope twice in the last year, on the first occasion there was an interesting few moments when I asked him what he did for a living... The second time was after having watched him do "The Kirkhope selfpromotion campaign" on that occasion I asked him when he was going to let Roger back into the Conservative group. First he went pale, then blue and then a colour slightley redder than pink. He spouted rubbish and tried to gloss over the whole issue, then MacMillan-Scott waded in and went even redder and said it was out the question that such an unreliable and intolerable MEP such as Roger should be let back in.

Having met Roger Helmer I can honestly say that both men were spouting nonsense as Roger is a standup man with impecible ingegrity and posesses a keen understanding of right and wrong.

Perhaps when the next leader of the COnservative group in Europe lets Roger back in he can be allowed to really push a sound agenda and make sure we take control of the European situation. As long as Kirkhopeless is still in charge this is not going to transpire and we are going to be held back considerably until we see and change.

There was a reason the voters of Leeds North East got rid of Tim Kirkhope and it is the same reason the party should get rid of him now...

...(LAST SECTION OVERWRITTEN BY EDITOR BECAUSE OF ITS PERSONAL NATURE.)

Vince-Archer (since it seems we are to be on surname terms these days),

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a 'Europhile'.

Dan: I don't want this blog to descend into personal abuse and the last part of your post has been overwritten as a result.

"I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a 'Europhile'."

If that's true, I apologise.

I'm delighted by this. We need to get the likes of Jackson, Beazley and others out, so that we can have a coherent force in the European Parliament that are consistent with our party's policies and principles.

And the pro-EPP blog link that was posted horrifies me and is a good enough excuse why we should get out of the EPP as the first step of quitting Europe altogether.

I protested by email to Caroline Jackson when she did a Guardian article about the EPP situation. However, her newsletters on her web site seem very Tory to me (apart from the EPP stuff).

Much as I dislike the attitude of the Europhile MEPs I can't help but feel the media will portray this as "right-wing Tories obsessed with Europe create split in party". Cameron should perhaps require the MEPs to give their personal opinions on the EU to their electorates. Anybody caught lying will be booted out of the party.

My apologies Editor. I am used to posting on my own site, but as I am on yours I shall in future refrain from such attacks. It was perhaps a little unfair anyway.

Dan

Is anyone on this site interested in consistency, or is it just a front for those who want to get out of the EU-which has never yet been Tory policy. Does anyone care that our MPs (including Chris Chope, who has loudly complained about the EPP-ED group)are full members of the EDG group led by President Putin's party in the Council of Europe, together with the Italian neo-fascists AN, and Danish anti-muslims, while our successful council leaders have chosen to be full members of the EPP in the Committee of the Regions? Are we going to deselect all our councillors as well?

Excellent news. A bit of Tory civil war on Europe always serves to remind the voters that your party is a) far from business friendly just on the side of the rich, b) full of swivel eyed loons, c) deeply opposed to freedom of expression (and you lot bang on about political correctness yet joke about pro-Europeans are "cunts"), d) split from top to bottom. Give me more!

Well hello Mr/Ms Vote Labour. Your post does amuse me somewhat. How on earth dare you raise your head above the parapet and talk about the Conservative party being the party of the rich. Need I mention certain Ministers in the House of Lords who happily forget a couple of million they lent the party. You mention the Conservative party isn’t business friendly. Have you had a briefing from the CBI recently. Labour set up a “better regulation task force” but don’t realize that perhaps whats required is less regulation. The Tories may not be the party of business – not because they aren’t business friendly – but because they are the party of the people – and not vested interests.

You laughingly suggest the Conservative party is against freedom of expression. Was that a late April fool. I think that is a bit rich coming from the control freakery that typifies New Labour. The Conservative party split from top to bottom? Now which party has its own members on the pay roll calling for their leader to go?

You have had your fun my Labour voting friend, but I think the British public want more than your party has to offer. I’m afraid Labour is out of ideas, and will soon be out of time.

Not to mention Charles Clarke sitting down for cash for access meetings...check out the Guardian website. London In Business involved here.

but I think the British public want more than your party has to offer.

Indeed it does Jonathan, so when people are aching for change, it is probably not the best time to serve up 'the heir to blair'.

Whatever nice words Cameron say, whilst he is colluding with Blair to protect their own position and isolate themselves further from the public and weaken democracy with the proposals for state funding of political parties, no-one bar the most wishful thinkers will see Cameron as opposition.

No-one with core conservative values could propose increased state control via state funding of political parties combined with systematic plundering of taxpayers funds to keep their own bandwagons rolling.

No bicycling or windmills on rooves can divert attention from this state funding proposal that is a direct threat to democracy in the UK.

Cameron wants to charge the British people to vote. The only way that will increase turnout is if the Cameron/Blair team also introduce compulsory voting. I wouldn't put it past them.

Whilst I don't like Tory civil war and all that, I really can not see that kicking out those who lie about their beliefs to Tory members, malign our party leader, cozy up to crooks and chuck out one of our own for pointing out just how crooked they are is civil war.

When you amputate a diseased limb, you save the body as a whole at the expense of a wretched, treacherous and lethal insubordinator. Do we call that civil war?

A word to the wise though on both sides. Let us remember that the sin of these evil does in our midst is not that they are Pro-EU. Even Helmer is pro-EU, just not this EU.

The sin is that they lie. Furthermore, they are not Conservatives. Not in my book anyway.

We will be doing everyone a favour, including the EU though more importantly Britain, when we prosecute these Guilty Men/Women by removing them from our party lists next time.

How can anyone attack Cameron's EPP policy? He hasn't got one yet.

Unless you mean the policy where the Tories are out of the EPP "within a week" of the leadership election...

Mr Vote Labour, why are you on this site? Why not go on one of your own parties independent thinking websites. Oh sorry, of course, no one can be bothered to set one up. The fact that the party leadership use this site, shows the freedom of expression within the party. Your comments are so full of holes, they could be a policy idea from John Prescotts office. Now run along and see if you can boost your declining membership.

It is high time we created the Real Conservative Party out of the Pretend Conservative Party which we predominantly have now.

One question though. Which category would our current leader be a part of?

The tories have members who are pro-abortion/choice and ant-abortion/pr-life, you have members who are pro nuclear and members who are anti-nuclear, you have members who are pro fox-hunting and members who are ant-fox hunting, so why oh why can't you have europhile and eurosceptic members.

After all you are supposed to be a broad church!

UKIP memberships waiting for the fall out from any tory civil war on europe!

Labour MPs looking forward to another decade of Labour rule if tories disintergrte into a civil war on europe!

Just look how Labour are taking the issue of the EPP and tory MEPs on their website!

They are shoving in a crowbar into a chink in the tories armour hoping to split them apart in a bloody and messy civil war!

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