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I'm sure they'd rather not have to face the voters at any level, who might object to their God-given right to stick their snouts in the trough.

IMO, there is a good chance UKIP will top the poll at the next round of Euro elections, which will make much of this discussion academic.

I heard about this last week and it must be fought. We are supposed to be a democratic party. Let the Europhile MEP's explain their actions to the people who fund the campiagns for them to be elected.

We must stop this from happening.

I'm sorry, but "Eurofanatics oppose scrutiny" as a topic is right up there with bears being Catholic and what Popes allegedly do in the woods.

The EPP climbdown is a shambles. Whether or not leaving the EPP is a good idea (in my opinion yes, but that's not important here) it is a clear breach of a commitment made by DC (and of course LF) during his election campaign.

We casted our votes based on commitments made by the leadership candidates. Expecting those commiments to be honoured makes this a point of trust and credibility.

At least Caroline Jackson is honest about being a headbanging extremist who is in the wrong party. I am looking forward to her enjoying her huge MEP's pension after 2009 and then being replaced by a Conservative.

Are you sure about the Polish part of your story Tim? If true I think it is the worst aspect of this whole sorry saga.

This highlights the undemocratic aspect of the Regional Lists.

In my own Region I have to vote Conservative as there is no way I would not support Danial Hannan. But in supporting Danial I also lend my support (unwillingly)to several deadbeats and europhiles that occupy the list beneath him.

I have not seen any proposals from the party leadership regarding electoral reform, but I hope the abolition of the Regional List System is high on the agenda.

Andrew makes a very good point. The list system is dreadfully undemocratic and means that people who would not dream of voting for anyone else but a Conservative do find themselves unfortunately also voting for people like the egregious Caroline Jackson who blatantly isn't one.

I support the idea of the policy commissions set up by DC but can anyone confirm if this sort of sensible voting reform is on the agenda of any of them?

Lists are not only undemocratic but they are anti-conservative as they give power to the centre and not to the members. As we are stuck with lists for the time being selection to get on them should be in the hands of the members or even by having primaries. That would be fun.

James Elles being one such. It was not possible to vote for Daniel Hannan and Nirj Deva without also voting for the closet federalist Elles.

A Conservative government should change the system of electing MEPs so that voters could choose between candidates with official party affiliations, rather than just between their parties. Dave could make that pledge now, as it would repair some of the EPP damage, and after all few people would even remember that he had made the pledge once he'd got himself elected into No 10 and broke it.

"Although a number of controversial MEPs like Caroline Jackson will be retiring at the 2009 elections "

I strongly suspect that some Tory activists will cheer at the news of Caroline Jackson's retirement.

I've to agree with the comment in the original entry that a postal ballot of all members would be the best way of selecting candidates (more or less what the Libdems do).

Not sure if the pro EPP MEPs proposal will help them either. It would give more power to the leadership in ranking MEPs and well, considering that DC wants to leave EPP, I think he won't be so sad if some pro EPP MEPs won't be ranked high in the list.
The system used by Labour was a bit controversial at the time of the 1999 selection. All Campaign Group MEPs and MEPs who backed the old Clause 4 were ranked in unwinnable positions (a coincidence?)

Some of these MEPs really are abominable. And it would be totally spurious of them to suggest that the abolition of democratic selection would increase diversity. It is not as if Caroline Jackson, James Elles, Edward MacMillan-Scott, Timothy Kirkhope, Sir Robert Atkins or Philip Bushill-Matthews exactly represent ethnic, age or class diversity.

Fuller list here: http://www.adieu-epp.com/wheremepsstand.html

I think a switch to one-member, one-vote for the European list rankings is the only conceivable way forward.

Europhiles running scared of scrutiny once again. They should all be kicked out, that could be our Clause IV moment. You should be able to select or rank the candidates at Euro elections. As for the EPP exit, DC has seriously broken a promise and thus loses trust, integrity and value.

The treatment and sheer ignorance given to the Polish governing party astounds me. We disagree with some of their views, but they are a democratically elected government and it's none of our business really. The recent actions have badly damaged relations with LJP. Why not invite them to the signing? Why snub them? The whole affair gives me fears for the future - will foreign affairs be run in this haphazard and poor way? The failure to establish a new group is incompetance too, is it not?

I wrote yesterday about how the leadership seem to have got a lose-lose out of this whole mess. We have upset the Poles & other like minded parties, distanced ourselves from EPP friends and have not achieved any of the objectives set out.

If the Leadership further diminish democratic accountability through this highly objectionable proposal they will find it's not only the social conservative elements & the more Eurosceptic elements but much of the centre ground of party members who will become more vociferous about leadership.

The only upside to the shaming compromise on EPP was that it took the heat out of a potentially very devisive issue. However David Cameron needs now to start re-building bridges - the Guardian & Europhile led campaign to do down the Poles and other respectable conservative parties needs addressing, our estrangement from Merkel needs addressing. Most importantly though is he needs to build bridges back to the sceptic MEPs and to his party membership.

The members aren't customers of the Party, only good for cash & donkey work, we are the Party.

I am a strong supporter of David Cameron and, unlike many, of Francis Maude in the changes they are driving through this Party but they can only achieve this by taking the majority with them and by inspiring us with their vision and leadership. Real politics does mean compromises but if what binds us at heart, among other principles, is less government, less centralisation, more trust in individuals then hopefully Mr Maude will look for how to deepen democratic accountability, not remove it.

Dave could make that pledge now, as it would repair some of the EPP damage, writes Denis Cooper. (changing the slection method of MEP's so that voters vote for a person and not Party lists)

Good point Denis, but he will also have to remove the threat of deselection from MEP's who feel compelled by conscience to abandon the EPP before 2009. Unless the threat is removed, Hague will go from being one of the most popular Shadow Cabinet members to become a hated figure of contempt.

There is nothing that makes voters angrier than seeing those they support threatened with cowardly bully-boy tactics. Helmer's treatment is disgusting. Hague has now shown that he supports this undemocratic, hobnailed-boot politics. It's shocking Conservatives. He's wounded the Party's soul.

Editor - I do hope this thread is not going to turn into a witch hunt?

Ted,

But there has been no "compromise", "shaming" or otherwise, on the EPP, because the agreement with the Czechs is nothing more than a decoy, totally irrelevant to the position of the Tory MEPs for the next three years - that has been determined solely by Cameron's decision to break his word.

"A Conservative government should change the system of electing MEPs so that voters could choose between candidates with official party affiliations, rather than just between their parties."

The PR system can't be ditched (I think it's in the Treaty of Rome that proportional representation should be used for Euro Parliament elections). But it can be changed which version of PR is used. You can move towards the Irish system (Single Transferable Vote)


The punters don't care about Europe. It's just insane that so much of our internal party politics depends on an issue which most of the voters just don't give a toss about. The end result is that whilst we end up with either a divided party or a party which has reached a general consensus on this issue, it has no bearing on any major issue of the day. Lets sort out the party so it can win an election (ie interest the voters) and then deal with europe as a side issue.

Euro-mongs in this case are almost as boring as Iraq-mongs in the Labour party, even a debate on pensions takes place against a background of a debate which has nothing to do with it whatsoever.

At the MEP selections in 1998, I was delighted to ask a question to John Stevens, the federalist MEP for Thames Valley, at the South-East selection hustings. Stevens fell into my trap and arrogantly and stupidly (bearing in mind the views of the audience) attacked William Hague's policy on the Euro and extolled the virtues of Eurofederalism. It was a joyous moment when he failed to get onto the list of candidates and the South-East activists selected Dan Hannan and Nirj Deva instead.

Stevens later went off to launch the Pro-Euro Conservative Party, thereby confirming what we had all suspected for so long. His loyalty was to the European Project rather than to the Party, his nation or the views of his constituents.

Maybe he can be the first person to be featured in a "Where Are They Now?" feature on this site? :)


Sally, the only witchhunt that's been launched, as I can see, is one by Hague against Conservative MEP's who speak openly against corruption and carry out their obligation to the people who voted for them.

I take it you somehow agree with what Hague's doing.

It's no good trying to sweep this under the carpet. Voters are not stupid. They are carefully observing Cameron, and the other Parties they might vote for. The more we pretend we are something we are not, the more votes we will be losing.

Hush it all up if you want, but please realise that hoping this will go away is electoral suicide. You cannot expect 3 million people or more to look away when they know perfectly well what is happening.

There might have been a time when you could news manage such a disgraceful fudge out of peoples' perceptions, but folk have wised up to the game now. They don't trust politicians, and when they see genuine politicians like Roger Helmer and Dan Hannan threatened by his own party with deselection for bravely fighting corruption, they get bloody angry.

Cameron must remove Hague's threat of deselection against these MEP's. He must also go for a democratic method of selection of MEP's. Party list voting must end.

If he doesn't, the electoral consequences will be severe.

If this is a witch hunt, then a witch hunt is what we need. We've seen Bromley. Now Redbridge. Cameron's near the brink. The modernisers for all their successes continue to make one cardinal error - taking the votes of traditional Conservatives for granted, saying openly that they have nowhere else to go.

At Bromley 55% stayed at home. At Redbridge 25% voted BNP, showing that BNP will pull from Conservatives even in solid Conservative areas.


"Maybe he can be the first person to be featured in a "Where Are They Now?" feature on this site? :)"

I think he's in the Libdems now

YOu made your point, William. I am not going there.

Best wishes,
Sally

I am sick to death of Europhiles trying to claim that the voters do not care about Europe, because from my considerable experience on the doorstep, the most assuredly do and they don't like it.

Having campaigned during the recent Bridge ward Council by election in Redbridge let me tell you that, like it or not in Notting Hill, the two issues that drove the voters to the BNP, and so let them come within 157 votes of us, were Europe and Immigration and we seem hell bent of fudging both of those in the interests of supposedly picking up votes from disaffected lefty types who would rather cut off their own arms than vote Conservative, the party of Mrs Thatcher. Both of the recent by elections clearly show that whatever lead in some of the opinion polls we may have is not translating into votes on ballot papers.

Whilst it is true that the electorate do not understand, and so do not care, about the EPP question itself, the bulk of party activists do and you know what, we matter too, especially if the party wants leaflets delivered, voters canvassed and knock ups done on polling days.

Matt, interesting to hear from ground level as it were.

You say voters mention Europe and immigration. They don't care about anything too intricate about the details but if they believed that Conservative MEP's were doing their damnedest to contest corruption in the EU, and to retain sovereignty, they would be less likely to drift off to other parties.

If they hear that Roger Helmer challenged the corruption of the EU, had his whip removed as a result and is now being threatened with deselection, I guess they would be far less likely to vote Conservative.

William you are, sadly, probably right and never forget that the true lasting legacy of NuLab is the cynicism and wariness of the electorate towards all politicians and parties but especially those who make promises that they don't keep.

"If this is a witch hunt, then a witch hunt is what we need. We've seen Bromley. Now Redbridge. Cameron's near the brink. The modernisers for all their successes continue to make one cardinal error - taking the votes of traditional Conservatives for granted, saying openly that they have nowhere else to go." [email protected]:09.
No William, I think that you are assuming that the issue of Europe is the most important thing in the Conservative party!
This has been a non issue for most people apart from the usual suspects on this site and in the tory party.
I predict that most members of the party have no stomach for opening up old wounds when we are for the first time in many years ahead of Labour in the polls.
The right of the party have dominated the agenda for 10years with dog whistle issues like Europe and it has not brought us any electoral success or influence to actually change things.
I get annoyed when you use sweeping statements with the blinding assumption that all traditional conservatives are willing to put the strongly held views of a few on Europe ahead of any domestic success the party might achieve under DC.
Witch hunts!?! to do what? other than to root out people who don't share your views?
That is not the type of party I want to belong to.
If an anti Europe stance by the UK was so important to voters , why do we have a Labour government and a LibDem party with 60 MP's from constituencies which were quite often former tory heartlands?

Chris D, - it's surely not about opening old wounds or a single issue, it's about being trusted by voters to deliver on what we promise.

Europe probably isn't the main thing on the minds of the voters, but "can we trust DC?' probably is an important one.

The breaking of a clear campaign promise has made myself - who up until now has been a supporter of Cameron despite disagreeing with some of his views - really question my allegiance. This stinks. Hague, who I previously would have also ranked very highly amongst the Shadow Cabinet has gone down in my view also.

If DC is going to say one thing to gain power, then just ignore that once power is achieved, then really what is the point of difference between him and Blair?


The point is surely this. Membership of the EPP matters to few voters, but it matters to us. We could have withdrawn from the EPP without taking any flak from the voters - but that decision has now been ducked.

And regardless of the level of voter interest in this particular subject, the voters probably approve of politicians who take a decision because it's *right* - rather than because it's expedient.

"Europe probably isn't the main thing on the minds of the voters, but "can we trust DC?' probably is an important one." Jon [email protected]:21.
Yes I do think we can trust DC and his judgement on this. If he could have formed a new grouping with 4/5 like minded moderate parties then yes we would have left the EPP this year.
But I think that he realised that standing alone or sitting with some not so moderate parties for the sake of an early exit from the EPP, would not have been in the tory party's best interests. And it would certainly also have been much more damaging to the party and any domestic electoral success. It would have fed the perception of the tories as a party obsessed with the issue of Europe at any cost.
Because at the end of the day DC will be judged on his ability to deliver a tory party able to win a GE. And I predict that anything other than a well thought out exit strategy from the EPP would not have made him look statesmen like or the tory party look like it was fit for government.
Did DC deliberately break a pledge or did he find the best deal for the long term good of the party?


Chris D, do you think it is better to sort out this issue now, or in 2009, the probable year of the next general election?

I could just imagine the Labour and Libdem GE literature featuring a tory party sitting by it's self in Europe or with other parties whose views were not seen as mainstream in the UK. It would have been disastrous in the long term and I think that DC and WH knew this.


Chris D, I think that's where you contradict yourself. On the one hand, the public don't care about Europe, so you think we shouldn't leave the EPP; on the other, they'll care enormously about the precise location of our MEPs in the chamber if we do leave.

That doesn't really add up.

Absolutely Sean, you have nailed the complete weakness at the heart of the current Europhile argument. They pretend that "for the good of the party" we shouldn't talk about europe because the voters don't care (which is just plain wrong, go on Chris D et al go and ask a few voters about europe)but at the same time claim that for us to do what DC promised he would do will play badly with those self same voters. Total Yes Minister stuff really.

There is a strong, fact based, case to be made for saying that the Conservatives lost the last general election because of the Eurosceptic vote.Apologies to Anoneumouse from whom I have pinched these figures;

Battersea (Lab hold) Majority: 163 – UKIP: 333
Burton (Lab hold) Majority: 1,421 – UKIP plus Veritas: 1,825
Carshalton & Wallington (LD hold) Majority: 1,068 – UKIP: 1,111
Cornwall North (LD hold) Majority: 3,076 – UKIP plus Veritas: 3,387
Dartford (Lab hold) Majority 706 - UKIP: 1,407
Eastleigh (LD Hold) Chris Huhne Majority: 568 – UKIP: 1,669
Gillingham (Lab hold) Majority 254 – UKIP 1,191
Hereford (Lab hold) Majority: 962 – UKIP: 1,030
High Peak (Lab hold) Majority: 735 – UKIP 1,106
Hove (Lab hold) Majority 420 - UKIP 575
Medway (Lab hold) Majority: 213 - UKIP 1,488
Portsmouth North (Lab hold) Majority: 1,139 - UKIP 1,348
Romsey (LD hold) Majority 125 – UKIP: 1,076
Sittingbourne & Sheppey (Lab hold) Majority: 79 UKIP plus Veritas: 1,118
Solihull (LD Gain) Majority: 279 – UKIP: 990
Somerton & Frome (LD hold) Majority: 812 – UKIP plus Veritas: 1,531
Staffordshire Moorlands (Lab hold) Majority: 2,438 – UKIP: 3,512
Stroud (Lab hold) Majority: 350 – UKIP: 1,089
Stourbridge (Lab hold) Majority: 407 – UKIP: 1,087
Taunton (LD gain) Majority: 573 – UKIP: 1,441
Thanet South (Lab hold) Majority: 664 – UKIP (Nigel Farage) 2,079
Torbay (LD hold) Majority: 2,029 - UKIP 3,726
Warwick & Leamington (Lab hold) Majority: 306 – UKIP: 921
Watford (Lab hold) Majority: 1,148 – UKIP: 1,292
Westmorland & Lonsdale (LD gain) Majority: 267 – UKIP: 660

So all you Europhiles, having examined the above do you still think that Europe doesn't matter to the voters and that it doesn't effect our electoral outcomes?

Whilst I do not approve of a witch hunt of Europhile MEPs now I do think any oppurtunities to debate with them should be taken and their opinions ridiculed (in a good natured way of course!) so that by 2009 it is unlikely that any of these people will be selected whatever method used for selection is adopted.

Sean [email protected]:12, my last post was not a contradiction at all but simple backed up my argument in my earlier post.
You also make the assumption that I do not want to leave the EPP, I do.
I do not think that a well planned exit from the EPP will have any positive/negative effect on the tories in a domestic GE. But a hasty and ill thought out exit from the EPP might not register on your average voter just now. But it will certainly come back to "bite us on the bum" at the next GE in the form of a negative campaign from our opponents.
Matt Davis, why do we have a Labour government and the Libdems holding 60 seats?
"Whilst I do not approve of a witch hunt of Europhile MEPs now I do think any oppurtunities to debate with them should be taken and their opinions ridiculed (in a good natured way of course!) so that by 2009 it is unlikely that any of these people will be selected whatever method used for selection is adopted."Malcolm @16:46, that kind of campaign sums up why we have not been seen as a particularly pleasant inclusive mainstream party recently.

Chris, I agree with you!
I think one thing is very clear. If the Hustings do continue in their present form in the lead-up to 2009, any attempt to "pack" them with supporters of either "camp" who ask planted questions is going to be taken an extremely dim view of by the genuine hard-working party members there who will have a whole host of other concerns - not least how much work their MEPs have been doing during the last four years. That, when it comes down to it, is what matters.

I'm reminded of Dr Johnson: "when a man is tired of London he is tired of life"

When a man is tired of talking about "Europe", he is tired of talking about how our country is now governed, so what's the point of taking any interest in politics?

The largely hidden hand of the EU moves almost everywhere, distorting decisions and imposing sub-optimal and sometimes disastrous policies.

But nobody should talk about that, because the voters won't be interested?

Let me assure Europhile MEPs that they would be no safer if they try to restrict the ballot to association chairmen. I speak as a current holder of that office, albeit in the East Midlands where we have two excellent MEPs and so the issue would not arise.

However, given what happened when the leadership tried to restrict the leadership election last year, and the way that the London mayoralty has been thrown open to a primary, I suspect that they are mistaken in thinking that they will be able to secure a change in the rules to try and rig the ballot in the way Tim suggests. The leadership seems to have got the message on that score and the tide is flowing the other way.

But this article again illustrates the point that I made on another thread yesterday. The EPP decision this week has deferred the problem, not sorted it. It is naive to think that the pro-EPP splinter will spend the next three years doing anything other than trying to keep the party in the EPP. It is now up to the leadership to invest energy and commitment to making the new Movement for European Reform work - and they need to do that now, not let it drift until 2009. If they do otherwise, they risk this blowing up again with the European elections imminent and very likely the general election too. Gordon Brown will have been watching this with interest.

The irony is that those who are most likely to be able to help make the MER work are those who will be feeling most aggrieved by this decision. Bridges need to be rebuilt.

"I am sick to death of Europhiles trying to claim that the voters do not care about Europe, because from my considerable experience on the doorstep, the most assuredly do and they don't like it."

The reason they claim that is because they know their pro-Euro views are unpopular. They don't like the idea of the Tories representing majority opinion on this issue.

People DO care very much about Europe - most not wanting it. They just don't like being called racist xenoophobic Little Englanders by patronising Europhile nutters like Ken Clarke. I have seen him, and all he talked about was how Britain has "had it" and "should be pleased the EU accepts us". He isn't a conservative.

We must sepperate Europe and the EU. The Euronationalists have hijacked the word Europe to mean the EU. Thus being anti-EU is called anti-Europe, which sounds insular and racist. The clever use of language is a favourite of theirs. It's like a transition issue, that the communists used to use with things like "homes for all" and "patients before profits". Basically things we all agree with, but the undercurrent being only X can do it. So EU "united in diversity", even though it's really "united in obsessive standardisation [or harmonisation to soothe British interests as Schroeder put it]."

Our policy should be; Love Europe, Hate The EU - Let Everyone [i.e. not just the UK] Be Free.

Urban Myths - "UKIP cost us the election"

I'm afraid Matt that the "strong fact-based case" that UKIP lost us the last General Election is, on closer inspection, bunkum. I've been through the figures and posted them here before, and for the record here they are again:

If 75% of the UKIP vote came from former Conservatives, and 0% from our main challenger (an unrealistic situation I'm sure you'll agree), the following seats fall:

Battersea, Burton, Crawley, Dartford, Eastleigh, Gillingham, Harlow, High Peak, Medway, Romsey, Sittingbourne & Sheppey, Solihull, Somerton & Frome, Staffordshire Moorlands, Stroud, Stourbridge, Taunton, Thanet South, Torbay, Warwick & Leamington, Westmoreland & Lonsdale (21)

If 60% of the UKIP vote came from former Conservative, and 20% from our main challenger, which I think is still optimistic but possible, then we would have won the following:

Crawley, Gillingham, Harlow, Medway, Romsey, Sittingbourne & Sheppey, Solihull, Stroud, Stourbridge, Taunton, Thanet South, Warwick & Leamington, Westmoreland & Lonsdale (13), and Eastleigh would have been lost on a knife-edge. I'll be generous and call it 14.

UKIP cost the Conservatives 15 seats at the very most, and in all honesty probably more like 8 or so - I still think those figures are generous.

and even that of course assumes that if the Tories became some sort of 'UKIP plus' party, the rest of the Tory vote would hold up.

But that misses the vital point of all this. The argument for withdrawing from the EPP-ED, was always couched in terms of forming a new grouping with the eurosceptic right, mostly from the new member states. The impression given was that these parties were itching to get out of the EPP. It turns out that those who advanced such an argument were talking rubbish. Why did they get it so wrong? Why does Cameron get the blame for all this, yet people like Dan Hannan get off scott free?

Interesting comment buried at PoliticalBetting, not sure how substantiated it is, but apparentely senior figures in Finland's Centre Party are showing an interest in the proposed Conservative/ODS grouping. The Centre Party's 4 MEPs currently sit with the ELDR (liberal) group in the European Parliament, and they are part of Finland's coalition government.

If the new grouping can hive off the centre-right liberals from the ELDR as well as the sceptic end of the EPP-ED then it will make things a little more interesting.

This is why Hannan and the magnificent 7 must be allowed to leave the EPP without sanctions - so that we can start building a bridgehead to these other parties like the Finns.

Chris D, I am well aware that there are other issues than Europe as you will discover when you read other threads. When we are discussing Europe, let's discuss Europe and not be told that we must not, in case others portray us as xenophobes, irrationals, loonies, fruitcakes or any other nomenclature that someone dreams up. I believe in dealing with one issue at a time, and that is the correct way to proceed.

Hannan has yet to speak. There is still hope.

"If the new grouping can hive off the centre-right liberals from the ELDR as well as the sceptic end of the EPP-ED then it will make things a little more interesting."@00:08
I saw the same post and this could definitely start to make things interesting.

Wi[email protected]:30
"This is why Hannan and the magnificent 7 must be allowed to leave the EPP without sanctions - so that we can start building a bridgehead to these other parties like the Finns." The way I read the post on PB.com it seems that they are interested in the agreement made betweeen the Conservative/ODS grouping not a maverick bunch of 7 MEP's sitting on their own.
"Chris D, I am well aware that there are other issues than Europe as you will discover when you read other threads. When we are discussing Europe, let's discuss Europe and not be told that we must not"
I think that what you mean is "don't come on to a Europe thread if you have a differant view"!
That might explain why the Europe threads are so one sided.

Chris D - I am not the editor, or even a relative of the editor. I welcome people with different views. It gives me something to argue with. Please come again. As they say, my enemy is my helper.

Politics is the art of the possible. If the situation changes, people change their positions. No one knows what the possibilities might be if Hannan left and started building a bridgehead. Obviously it's second best for everyone involved, but hague's put us in this situation, so we have to deal with it - not the one we would all prefer to e dealing with.

Anyway I would prefer Hannan to talk to the Finns and find out, not assume a negative or a positive. But I would like to be trying.

Looking beyond Hague's campaign of victimisation against those whould fight corruption, I cannt believe that Van Orden, Hannan etc will really sit there and suck on Hague Fudge for three years. They are simply too intelligent and strong in their beliefs.

Which MEP was it who promised DC that there were dozens of other parties in the European Parliament just waiting to follow him into a new group??

Shouldn't he be subject to sanctions for so wildly misleading our leader?

But some of those parties have old-fashioned beliefs about human sexuality.

The sort of beliefs which were mainstream in this country forty or even thirty years ago, and which in fact are still held by a substantial minority.

But sitting with people who have old-fashioned beliefs about human sexuality would be far less acceptable than sitting with people who have old-fashioned beliefs about setting up a European Federation and in the process wiping our country off the map.

Matt Davis, Thanet South was won by Labour due to many people opting for the Dim Libs, not UKIP. Of course UKIP had a part in the result but it was the rise in the Lib Dem vote which cost the Tories worse. I say this as someone in the neighbouring constituency.

Hague's Constituency in Yorkshire should call him to a meeting to let him know their views on the EPP.

If Hague is happy to threaten others with deselection for exposing corruption, it would be a good moment to give him a timely reminder than all our representatives depend on the loyalty of their electors, including himself.

The EPP is trying to fix the silence of Conservatives in the Euro Parliament. Hague is cooperating. He needs to feel a little fear so that he connects with the seriousness of the business he is handling.

If he does not withdraw the threat of deselection against Hannan and Helmer, Hague should be placed on notice by his own Constituency that if anyone lays a finger on them, he will be deselected.

Chamberlain's piece of paper was a delaying tactic to enable Britain to prepare for war to save Britain's freedom. Hague's piece of paper is the opposite. He's trying to enforce the silence of his fellow countrymen, and their subjection.

Cllr Lindley,

I would be surprised if the Finnish Centre Party joined such a new Group.
They are very similar in many ways to the British Liberal Democrats. They have traditionally been a rural and suburban party, where their support tends to be centre-right, pro-market. Recently, however, they have been campaigning strongly - and winning - in urban areas on a more centre-left message.

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