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What a sad interview!

Sounds like fudge to me. We should sit alone if others won't join us. Will all promises be subject to delays and waiting? I hope Hannan et al leave the EPP as they said they would.

Tim, excellent post, and it makes me feel better already. I just wish we'd had this information when the story was leaked this morning. We can clearly see a timetabled strategy now, and thus I think most people will be satisfied. The commitment of all MEPs to leave the EPP is brilliant, it will stop us from being dragged down by those who have gone native.

Did the issue of Roger Helmer come up at all?

2009? It takes nearly 4 years just to switch European Parliamentary affiliations? Supposing it comes to 2009 and maybe a new leader decides then to drop the committment to do this, someone who unlike David Cameron may not have campaigned on the basis that they were going to do such a thing - if it takes 4 years to switch group people are going to wonder how long it might take to do other committments, the probability is that the next European Elections will also be the General Election day meaning that this will be happening probably after the next General Election.

Well, it's important we ensure that the party leadership stick to this new pledge, and that MEPs who don't support it are not reselected.

Yet Another Anon, it will have been in our European election manifesto (like our current pledge to stay within the EPP). Plus the issue will have been blown so out of proportion by the media by then, that if we did have a new leader (Which I hope we won't as DC should be in number 10) they'd pretty much be obliged to stand by the policy.

Besides, Labour probably won't call an election until 2010 if they are set to lose, they'll hang on another year hoping that that they could recover.

Con Home are getting annoyed over a delay of 3 years!

Please compare DC to past Leaders who did nothing about it......

At least with DC he has made the move and there is 3 years to attract others to the new group.

Talk about putting a "spin" on things. I just got an email from conservatives.com entitled "David Cameron fulfils pledge on European People's Party".

This is called kicking the issue into the Long Grass. If a week is a long time in politics, then three years is an eternity.

William Hague clutching a piece of paper after negotiations involving the future of the Czech people? I hope it turns out to be less worthless than the shameful piece of paper Neville Chamberlain infamously brandished in 1938. Thank you Hague and Cameron for acting as recruiting agents for the BETTER OFF OUT campaign.

After Willets had explained how the Czechs couldn't join the new group, hence the delay to 2009, Andrew Neill said (gist) "good to see the Czechs are running the Conservative Party then!" not verbatim. Daily Politics.

That email is a damn cheek!

"William Hague told me that the Tories will leave the EPP at the 2009 elections whatever the Czechs do -"

Which begs the question of why we are unable to act unilaterally now...

Disappointing but unsurprising.

Although I didn't object to withdrawal from the EPP-ED, I hope that the 'parking' of this issue will allow the leadership to focus on real issues that the wider public actually give a hoot about.

I am pleased that a formal timetable is now in place so performance can be measured.

Whilst not ideal I do think that DC has fulfilled a commitment to get out of the EPP, more than any previous leader has done without attracting howls of outrage.

Very pleased to see all future MEPs will be required to be Conservatives - perhaps we could have primaries for selection and actually allow the party and its supporters some say.

I don't understand why Roger Helmer is still being ostracised and would suggest individual Conservative MEPs resign from the EPP as it is Roger who deserves their support not the EPP.

All in all though this issue has been blown up out of all proportion as it has become a test of DCs ability to meet pledges. In hindsight DD was right to refuse to make such a commitment, as Europe as an issue seems to send certain people into orbit and causes a lot of unnecessary grief for the party.

I do hope we can now move on from this and hold the leadership to account when the time comes.

"I am pleased that a formal timetable is now in place so performance can be measured."

Is there an award for delusional post of the week?

Sorry, but this 'jam tomorrow' is not 'bankable'. Preserves tend to attract mould, and this isn't even in the larder until next year - it is three years away.

There aren't many leaders of the opposition who have lasted three years, and none of ours have managed it. Cameron may not even be in post in three years time to honour the commitment...

But, it does imply that MEPs who wish to remain within the EPP will be deselected. We must ensure that this happens so that, regardless of who is leader in three years time, our MEPs will wish to leave the EPP.

What will Dan Hannan do? And the Magnificent 7? And Helmer?

With the going gets tough, the tough get going.

How come Hague is always the one behind the EU fudges - keep the £ for one Parliament in 2001 was a joke. Now it's keep the EPP for one Parliament - the next joke. Given that he's making speeches about free trade areas across America and the EU combined, one is forced to the conclusion that he prefers fantasy to reality.

The reality is that he's let us down. The Czech ODS are being asked to keep in the EPP by potential coalition partners. The outcome is still not decided. The Poles want to go with us now - or they say, we can forget it. Hague is missing the bus for the Conservatives again, and is clearly sold out to his Bildeberg loyalties.

We need people who will represent our views now - not for one Parliament only, not at some point in the future but now. Hague can take a hike as far as I'm concerned. I'm sick of listening to his waffle.

We need a Churchill, not a Chamberlain waving pieces of paper promising who know what - all to keep the powerful at bay. We need someone who gets into the game, builds a position of strength and negotiates on behalf of our freedom, and Europe's freedom.

Daniel Hannan - cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Nadim is right. We were expecting months, not years. No one can guarantee years won't change into never.

I can live with this arrangement - who knows what will happen in 2009; we may well decide to reform the EPP and stay in it by then? I am, though, delighted that we have not agreed anything with Poland's Law and Justice Party. There WILL be deep unrest in 2009 if we hook-up with L&J - many Conservatives, myself included, would feel very uncomfortable and would have to consider our positions...

Amazing stuff - DC takes a MORE Eurosceptic position than his predecessors by attempting to find a way out of a federalist grouping, and his reward? Incessant bleating on here.

You couldn't make it up.

I'm depressed. This makes the chance of the EU being a problem issue more, not less. A big strategic blunder.

Is anyone seriously suggesting that Charles Tannock and John Bowis should be de-selected? I think if Hannan, the increasingly "I hate Europe push me up the List Kamal" and Co go 'walk about' before 2009, they should have the whip removed.

Good work DC. They have made the right choice by changing parties during the European Parliament elections which, I might add, would make it easier to deselect MEPs who refuse to move and replace them.

It gives more time for more members of the party, which is definitely needed to become more credible.

The complaining by euro sceptics is just another EU bashing tactic, this is still an important move, more than Mr.Howards, but more proportionate and considerate of other possibilities.

I think this is fair enough. I like the fact that all conservative candidates in 2009 will have to be committed to work outside of the epp group and join the new group.

I think if Hannan, the increasingly "I hate Europe push me up the List Kamal" and Co go 'walk about' before 2009, they should have the whip removed.

Nice to see that party unity is at the top of everyone's list of priorities.

Justin, let me write this in words of one syllable so even you can understand.

Dan Han nan does not hate Eur ope. He hates the EU. There is a diff er ence.

I think it is churlish not to accept that this is progress. Howard made no commitment to leave the epp - on any timescale

I'm not sure hannan even 'hates' the eu. he just thinks the UK would be better off out

I am a mild tempered politician but I have just boiled over. I have just listened to the Caroline Jackson on The World at One laying in to DC about the fact that she thinks we should not even be leaving in three years because we all "don't understand". Can something be done about MEP's who refuse to accept the will of the party? One presumes that if she follows this line she will save us the pain of her standing again!

The problem here is one of perception! When DC pinched this idea from Fox, he gave the impression it was a 'done deal.' 'Once I'm leader its out of the EPP', can't remember much talk about negotiations etc. I think that's the impression he gave to everybody!
To now say we are going to hang in there till 2009, because of The Czechs, it don't look to convincing: bit Mcawberish. Ukip, Hitchens/Heffer will go into overdrive on this one.

Kevin, tolerance is a two-way street.

"Ukip, Hitchens/Heffer will go into overdrive on this one." - Good!

One presumes that any sitting MEP who is leaves the Conservative Group cannot be selected to fight the next EU elections!


Tolerance is but Caroline should be keeping quiet as she has got her way. Instead she goes for the gizzard and attacks DC in what appears to be an attempt to stoke the Eurosceptic fire further.

Serf: "Eur", "ope", "diff" "er" and "ence" aren't words, all you've done there is split existing words into their component syllables. And why did you write "EU" rather than "E U", is it because it's an acronym rather than a word?

Caroline Jackson should have had the whip removed a while back, she's a turncoat like her huisband in all but name. I'd be pleased to see the back of her.

What really annoys me about this whole debacle is about how our representatives go to parliament, promising to try and reform the EU, criticising the gravy train that is the EU government as a whole and they end up going native all too often.

I think, to be honest, we can live without Dr. Jackson but NOT good people like John Bowis and Charles Tannock (to name two).

"Can something be done about MEP's who refuse to accept the will of the party?"

You mean the eurosceptics?

Yes, Tim confirms above that they are going to be abused.

I thought some ukippers were delusional, but Syd Barret, rip, had a tighter grip on reality that some here.

I actually believe we have a very good set of MEP's (from whatever side of the EU divide they come). However DR CJ is not one of them. I would be delighted if John Bowis, Syed Kamal, Charles Tannock or Dan Hannan stood next time, however they are going to have to stand on a ticket that does not include membership of the EPP. If they can do that is a matter for them.

Arthur is correct. Trust is the issue and trust is all about perception:
1. People were led to believe that this was a real pledge to leave the EPP in the short term.
2. The pledge has been dropped
3. It's been announced on a day which seems convenient for burying bad news
4. The Party is spinning it as a success

This catalogue of events looks awfully like the hypocrisy, lack of values, etc which we've been criticising Blair for.
In the light of this, why would anyone trust Cameron and/or the Party?

It is going to be very hard to persuade the public (and me) that their vote will make a difference.

Where is the integrity Cameron promised?


I agree with everything but point 3. We were told a few weeks ago that July 13 would be the announcement date. It hasn't been orchestrated as a 'bury bad news' day.

The distinction that people keep drawing between the EU and Europe is a bit silly. No one's talking about where you like to go for your holidays or whose paintings you like to look at - the fact is that the majority of European countries have decided to join something called the EU - get used to it.

So you support the UK joining the Euro Valerie as most of Europe have joined that too?

Cameron and Hague have come up with an honourable solution to a tricky dilemma.

1. They are meeting the pledge to withdraw from the EPP.
...something DC's predecessors failed to do
...but not on the timescale originally set out of "months, not years".

2. David Davis pointed out during the leadership election that the party had given a promise to its EPP-ED partners that it would remain in the group for the whole parliament.
...and our MEPs were elected at a time when the party was a committed member (and probably mentioned in the manifesto).
...so DC and WH appear to have accepted that waiting until the 2009 election is the fairest way to resolve this conflict.

I'd rather have a leader who is willing, and able, to reach compromise solutions than one who declares "full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes" for the sake of policy purity. And I know which type would make the better prime minister in a dangerous and complex world.

Labour must be loving it: Dave the Chameleon rides again aided and abetted by William Hague. Presumably the first line on Cameron's 2009 Pledge Card will read "Obfuscation, Obsfiscation, Obsfuscation"?

It appears to me that Cameron and Hague have been strong enough to make a difficult decision in the face of opposition from all sides of the party. We will leave the EPP, we will deslect MEPs who refuse to leave the EPP and we have not jumped into bed with homophobes.

This looks to me like the right solution to a difficult problem, I wonder how many people will see it as a bad thing in 5 years time when the Tories are leading a strong euro-sceptic grouping. It will be strong because it will have been formed at the right time for all participants, it won't be a rush job quickly introduced in order to keep the right wing happy.

To RobD, if it gives you comfort to believe the fairy story in the second paragraph of your post, then make the most of it.

I assume that the reference to "homophobes" is in fact just a veiled sectarian dig at Catholics.

It's about propaganda Valerie.

Sadly eurosceptics are forced to make the distinction because otherwise they are smeared by their opponents as xenophobic little englanders. see the comedian eddie Izzard and countless lib dem and new labour clones

great post by victoria street

What a squalid fudge, and an apology for a non-policy.

The bottom line is that Cameron and Hague are being held to ransom by the same clapped-out wets and federalists who ran this party into the ground during John Major's leadership, and who are very good at demanding "loyalty" from the rest of us whilst showing none themselves when it is asked of them.

What guarantee is there that current MEPs will honour this pledge then, having refused to do so now.

What happens if the ODS implodes some time between now and 2009.

What guarantee is there that the sitting MEPs will be subjected to a proper selection process by party members, given the current fashion for by-passing them whenever possible (London Mayor).

If a policy is worth implementing, it is worth implementing now. It appears that pandering to the minority views of Patten and Heseltine takes priority.

So, Micheal McGowan, you wanted us to sit with homophobes?

So many 'Conservatives' on this site really should sod off to UKIP - the sooner you go, the better.

In the leadership election David Davis said that he would get us out of the EPP at the next election in 2009. David Cameron implied that he would do so much sooner, though when asked directly to give a time scale he dodged the question by saying that he would hand the job to William Hague. On this pledge Davis was more honest than Cameron.

When interviewed on the World at One, William Hague clearly said that any Conservative MEP who left the EPP before 2009 would lose the whip and would not be able to stand for selection as a Conservative MEP at the next election.

The delay is very disappointing. The reason for it is presented as "because our partners, the ODS, have asked us to wait." The real reason, I believe is to avoid a damaging public split among the MEPs. The good news is that, provided the promise is kept, we will lose the federalist MEPs in 2009. The disappointment is because a lot can happen in the mean time.

"When interviewed on the World at One, William Hague clearly said that any Conservative MEP who left the EPP before 2009 would lose the whip and would not be able to stand for selection as a Conservative MEP at the next election."

Good on Hague!

Presumably DC's manifesto promises at the next election will have the same 4 year time lag between pledge and delivery?

As for me, I promise to campaign hard for the Conservatives... but not until 2009.

"So, Micheal McGowan, you wanted us to sit with homophobes?"
No, sit by yourself.

And just for closer-to-home clarity, Cameron has not made a single statement along the lines of "homophobes have no place within the Tory Party" as he did with racism because many in the party hold strong anti-homosexuality views.

"The distinction that people keep drawing between the EU and Europe is a bit silly. No one's talking about where you like to go for your holidays or whose paintings you like to look at - the fact is that the majority of European countries have decided to join something called the EU - get used to it."

Hostility to a particular constitutional arrangement does not imply hostility to the people who are governed by it.

Chad, wishingful thinking on your loony part. This site is for Conservatives, not UKIP-ers.

it will have been in our European election manifesto
It will have been only if it has been, it hasn't yet and so it might not - either the EPP is not suitable for the Conservative Party or it is, if it's deemed incompatible than what is the purpose of staying in it for another few years? It just means the Conservative Party remaining a member of a group that will no longer recognise their membership in anything other than rhetoric, if the UK was pulling out of the EU it would be a reasonable timescale but for simply switching formal affiliations it's ridiculous.

Cut the personal stuff please Justin.

"Chad, wishingful thinking on your loony part. This site is for Conservatives, not UKIP-ers."

The wishful thinking was me seeking to get the Tory party to make a clear statement that homphobes have no place within the party. I did that here and was criticised by those who oppose homosexuality for "religious reasons"

I am committed to No Preference, No Prejudice.

Before you start calling other groupings homophobes, the only way you can ensure you are not sitting with homphobes is to stand up!

Just ask here. I'd love the Tories to make a clear statement that homophobes have no place in the party but it is not going to happen, is it?

Editor, Chad's wrong isn't he?


These are the issues highlighted by this decision, not so much the EPP issue itself - though as an indicator of commitment to logic and principle it is not irrelevant.

Not only is the promise to leave the EPP the one actual policy issue Cameron campaigned on - it is actually an issue on which he could have delivered forthwith following his election. He needs no parliamentary majority to carry it through; he needs no approval by rubbish human rights act judges; he doesn't even need a favourable vote amongst backbench MPs as he was elected by the membership on the issue.
All he needs or needed is the COURAGE to confront the Europhiles and carry through with his sole promise by writing a polite letter to the secretary general or whatever of the EPP. Even the letter could have been phrased along the lines that Conservatives were sorry to leave and would be very happy to rejoin when the EPP dropped certain policy commitments which are incompatible with Tory principles.

But he just couldn't do it. He bottled out.
He couldn't put fingers to keyboard and write the letter.

Be absolutely honest with yourself. Disagree as you may [and I do] with lots which Blair has done you cannot deny he has shown courage and true leadership in dark times.

Would you really prefer a manifest coward in No 10 ? What would be the purpose of a Cameron Prime Ministership?

? Most of the mood music he is playing is against what Tory activists want [ but is exactly what the BBC and print media want so no courage is necessary to play it ] .

But we now know that he will achieve precisely nothing if he gets to No 10 because he hasn't got the courage to even try. He will be total putty in the hands of the civil service and it will be government by the self-satisfied, never had to struggle, complacent, snouts in the trough Establishment like never before.

It's only a year since the last election. There's plenty of time for a new leader to establish her/himself with both party membership and the public at large. Does Davis or Fox for example have the courage to mount the necessary challenge?

In sadness.

'So many Conservatives on this site should sod off....'- Justin Hinchcliffe.I really feel sorry for Conservatives in Tottenham.You must be doing a really good job fostering unity etc.I guess we can kiss goodbye to ever doing well there.

Chad is wrong about lots of things Justin (although often not) but let's point out the errors in our opponents' arguments - not call him or anyone else a "loony".






Ed, point taken - thanks. Malcolm, you'd be very welcome to visit my Assn. and judge for yourself.

I'd have preferred to leave the EPP earlier, but all things considered Cameron and Hague have made the right choice, and we now have both a clear timetable for exit and a clear guide for selecting future European Parliamentary candidates.

I too find it rather odd that Cameron's decision to take a harder Eurosceptic line than Howard, Hague or IDS ever managed is being criticised by those on the Eurosceptic right.

Thanks for the heads up on this!

Cameron rejects alliance with Polish homophobes

Just ask here. I'd love the Tories to make a clear statement that homophobes have no place in the party but it is not going to happen, is it?

Wrong again Chad:


"Chad is wrong about lots of things Justin

Not about Cameron reneging on his EPP pledge though!

Tim, we did go through this before, but to satisfy Justin, do you think Cameron will make a clear statement as he did on racism, that there is no room for homophobes within the Tory Party?

Benjamin, very good article. Well done! Isn't Cashman so yesterday in his thinking?

Nice of some people to answer Justin's bizarre question for me but I would like to respond myself. Even if the Conservative Party had sat with the Law and Justice Party, that would not have meant endorsing their views on homosexuality. Those views are in any case the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church and the Muslim faith. So is the oh-so-PC Justin suggesting that the Conservative Party should have nothing to do with Catholics, Poles (the vast majority of whom are Catholics) and Muslims? Malcolm's point is well made: with people like Justin around, the Conservative Party is very likely to degenerate into a narrow sect, rather than remaining a broad church.


"I assume that the reference to "homophobes" is in fact just a veiled sectarian dig at Catholics."

Then you assume wrongly, I would need to belong to a sect for that to be the case!

If you are saying that we should forgive the homophobic views of the Poles because they are Catholics I am sorry but I disagree. Discriminatory views are wrong whoever they come from, it doesn't matter if they are a skinhead from England or a Catholic from Poland.

A very sensible move. It has seemed quite ridiculous that as the party has moved into the mainstream at home it has been prepared to ally with marginal fringe parties on the European level.

Although the EPP may not represent the Conservative's view on Europe ideally, it provides a group of parties that overall are closely aligned to the Conservative vision. I hope that this means that Cameron will commit to work with the EPP until 2009 and build links with our European allies.

Does Justin want Lord Tebbit thrown out of the Party? After all, his objections are not based on faith, as he is an atheist.

Does Chad want Lord Tebbit in his new Party?


Lord Tebbit is a very sensible man. I sat in the audience of question time with Malcolm, and although we come from slightly different ends of the conservative spectrum, we were both impressed with his balanced, calm views (no matter how the 'modernisers' seek to abuse him).

I have many Catholic friends (being an active member of Right To Life and supporter of Care Not Killing) and I find that most of them hold sensible views. Few Christians follow Leviticus!

I agree Chad, I only dislike Lord Tebbit when he speaks about gays etc.

"Few Christians follow Leviticus!"

Errr, right. The anti-gay passage is Romans 1 in the New Testament, plus some other verses elsewhere.

Another ludicrous straw man from Justin: I am a Catholic and don't agree with conservative Catholics about homosexuality either so I'm not sure what point you are making by referring to Leviticus. In any case, if you and RobD are making a sensible point at all, rather than just hurling abuse, shouldn't you be condemning mainstream Muslim teaching on homosexuality? Of course, you wouldn't have the cojones to do that because that would be "racist" and conservative Catholics are an easily vilified soft target.

"Does Justin want Lord Tebbit thrown out of the Party?" My answer is "maybe". I regard him as a very bitter and disloyal man. He was, though, good in his day. Goodness knows what happened to him when he left Parliament?

That goes for Muslims as well, MM.

I'm not surprised by your answer, Justin. I started out supporting Cameron, but was very disturbed to find such dictatorial posts from fellow Cameroons. 'Join UKIP!' etc. It is like Blair, isn't it.

Michael, don't forget the Dalai Lama! He stated recently that same-sex relationships were totally against Buddhism too. Like you, I am not a conservative Christian anymore, and do not believe that homosexuality is wrong.

Lord Tebbit has had an outstanding career and speaks for a substantial proportion of Conservatives. I can see no good reason for expelling him from the party unless we want to degenerate into a fringe sect.

I've said it before, but if we want to reverse the drift of federalism we're going to have work with people who we disagree with on some issues.

Let's get back to the EPP please.


If leaving the EPP in 2009 once we have a new group to go to (rather than now when we don't) fills you with rage then you really should go and lie down in a darkened room.

When did Cameron ever say that the EPP pledge would be fulfilled this year? When did he publicly commit to any kind of timetable? So far as I'm aware, he didn't.

(And quite right, too. Why? Because forming a new European group requires agreement from other parties in other countries, who - shocker! - don't bark at our command. If you can't control the timetable, then don't commit to one. You don't promise what you can't deliver.)

And if not sticking to an imaginary timetable destroys the rock your church was built on, take a deep breath and try to think about how detached this issue is from the priorities of the people whose votes we need.

It's a delicate situation, well handled.

Editor, I thought you wanted out? :-)

"When did Cameron ever say that the EPP pledge would be fulfilled this year? When did he publicly commit to any kind of timetable? So far as I'm aware, he didn't."

Several MEP's have gone on record to say in would be 2005 and the Editor here was assured enough by a front-bencher to take on my bet that this would occur before the end of 2006. So it seems, quite a few senior, elected Tory officials believed this to be the case.

I'm afraid some of these comments are all horribly reminiscent of what I have said before about many of the modernisers. Just like Blair and his arrogant power-mad clique, they are a censorious sect who regard those who do not share every detail of their moral orthodoxy as not just wrong but evil. You get less strident dogmatism from the Rev Ian Paisley.

"Discriminatory views are wrong whoever they come from..."

What a daft statement. We all hold 'discriminatory' views. The Tory party discriminates against those who hold Socialist views by refusing them entry to the party (or they did until DC came along - now they're on the A-list). Most sane people hold 'discriminatory' views about what should and should not be legal! The question is not whether you discriminate, but what you discriminate on and on what basis. Some might argue that someone's sexuality is sufficient reason to discriminate in certain settings. I'd rather have that debate with them than have them suspended and threatened with being thrown out of the party.

i think comments above are conflating a fairly serious distinction. the Catholic Church has condemned homophobia - as in the active persecution of homosexual people while holding out heterosexual family life as a good, God given pattern. To be a Catholic who follows that churches teaching is not to be a homophobe. therefore sitting with Catholic members of other parties should not be equated with OKing homophobia.
It would be sad if people in the party are not able to extend the same tolerance to Catholics that they can to homosexuals.

Several MEP's have gone on record to say in would be 2005 and the Editor here was assured enough by a front-bencher to take on my bet that this would occur before the end of 2006. So it seems, quite a few senior, elected Tory officials believed this to be the case.

MEPs don't run the party, and they didn't run Cameron's leadership campaign.

And hearsay doesn't cut it.

Let's just hope that three years is enough time for the leadership to realise what an incredible folly leaving the EPP-ED would be!

Espree -why?I've asked this question numerous times on CH and have never been given an answer.

"It would be sad if people in the party are not able to extend the same tolerance to Catholics that they can to homosexuals."

Hear hear. The irony of the gay rights lobby preaching tolerance whilst demonising those who don't share their agenda never fails to amuse me.

This is an important ‘maturity’ moment for the party. We can all take something from this, even if no-one has everything they want. As someone who supports the EPP-ED arrangement I am sorry it will end in 2009, but appreciate we can honour our current commitment. Those who wanted to leave now will be disappointed, but they have the new arrangement post 2009. If we can prove that both points of view accept that DC has done the best with a difficult situation, and that we can handle this without coming apart, the message to the public is ‘Tories: no split on Europe shock’. This will show real progress and that we have our priority right. Removing a failing government is what people want from us. The enemy is in sight, and it is not ourselves. This may not be our Clause 4, but perhaps it is Clause 2 and a bit!

Is the issue really that important, after all its being reported on the news that more conservatives rather than labour memebers have been questioned by the police. In my humble opinion that is far more of a concern!!!

My good friends, Dan Hannan, Roger Helmer and Christopher Heaton Harris are being let down by the likes of Kirkhope, Jackson and Bradley in the EP, as are the people of Britain. Central Ofice has a lot to answer for in chosing the EPP fodder MEP's who are just so attached to their EP comfort zone which has been created to pander to the egos of such weak characters. However, the essential deed must be done in such a way as to retain as much power as possible - it will be no good becoming a tiny protest group, so it may take time. 2009 sounds too far off - attack at selection level.

I'm sorry Alistair, but it is simply a broken pledge.

I totally understand that some like yourself didn't support the pledge in the first place, some did but will take it even if they do not believe it for the sake of loyalty/desire to win, but those who believe, as a value, that it is fundamentally incompatitible for a eurosceptic party to sit within a federalist grouping, know they have been slapped in the face today.

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