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Patten signed us into the EPP. Did he admit that?

He's a walking policy disaster zone. He removes responsibility away from people at ground level and tries to fix complex situations through corrupt bargains struck at high level - Hong Kong, Northern Ireland, Palestine, the European Parliament and more.

God help Oxford University.

At least they elected him.

Other than that he's another of the rejects who somehow keep themselves in the game - Kinnock, Portillo, Mandelson and so on. No wonder they all hate democracy. It tells them the truth that they are not wanted.

How can we ever rid ourselves of these parasites?

Good for Chris Patten - especially since he made his point in a measured way (unlike Ken). The situation in Europe has changed with Angela Merkel's election. We have a successful pro-American centre-right leader in Germany. We should make common cause with her in making the EU work better. Turning our back on her (and John McCain) would be very peculiar. This is particularly true given that our MEPs were elected on a manifesto commitment to sit with the EPP and given that our alliance with the EPP has not stopped us campaigning against things we don't like e.g. the constitution.

Cameron should completely ignore Chris Patten. He is part of the Eurofederalist clique who will have no truck with anyone who opposed their agenda of gradual European Union.

Cameron made a commitment he must keep to form a new group of moderate Eurosceptic centre-right parties and it would be folly to give in to pressure from the Federalist consensus.

How does it help Merkel if we sit in a grouping we dont agree with and we don't say what we think?

Self denial and self destruction cannot help anyone. Living a lie is counterproductive to any constructive relationship.

Some peoples' idea of 'making common with others' are a bit warped.

Can someone remind me of the result from Bath in 1992? I seem to remember it being a Conservative seat for the preceeding 80 years.

"Can someone remind me of the result from Bath in 1992? I seem to remember it being a Conservative seat for the preceeding 80 years."
It's pretty damn embarrassing just thinking about what happened there. It is a safe seat for them now. i think they had more than 50% of the vote in 2001

I cannot help but think Clarke and Patten are crawling out of the woodwork to denounce the plan because they are absolutely terrified that it might work and wreck their dreams of a federal Europe.

Chris Patten is a man of the seventies - whose world view is one of managed decline leading, eventually, to absorption in a single European State.

He's best ignored.

Maybe the likes of Patten and Clarke just like being in opposition. Why do we put up with treason like we get from the clapped out Europhile left of the Party - Patten, clarke, Heseltine etc. Why can't they be expelled from the party? They clearly would be happier in the Lib Dems or NuLab.

DC gave a pledge to get us out of the EPP. Should he waver, he will lose the support of the very people who elected him.

Rotherham's piece is a joke. Not even Senator McCarthy would have been daft enough to try the red scare argument against mario Suares, the man who did more than anyone else to stop Portugal's escape from fascism becoming a slide into leftist authoritrianism.

And yes, just like Boris Yeltsin and Angela Merkel, lots of people in Eastern Europe used to be in Communist parties or their front organisations. Does that make them tojan horses for a coming Leninist dicatorship, err, I think not.

Chris Patten is in the media because he has the paperback edition of his book to publicise. Which will gather more publicity - lining up alongside DC & the party direction or getting headlines about his opposition?

Saying that I wish we could start talking about the things that really matter to the voters - crime, health, pensions, jobs and at this time the use of UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would like a PMQs not to begin with Blair expressing sadness over yet more deaths. The EPP, A List, English votes etc might exercise political anoraks and activists (including Marr, and I admit, me) but in the scheme of things they are peripheral. Voters expect us to deal with that stuff in the background not make a huge fuss about it.

We all know what Chris Patten's agenda is. He can't hack the fact that Eurofederalism is unpopular in the country.

Isn't Ms Merkel in serious trouble now the honeymoon is over (see yesterday's DTel)? I'd say doing the precise opposite to whatever Patten recommended was sound political practice.

Pattern openly despises Israel, he’s consistently lobbied hard against Israel in the EU. Further, he’s constantly pushed for increased EU aid to the Palestinians - despite revelations that some EU money has funded Palestinian terror Pattern has never apologised to the victims of terrorism which was funded by the EU or demanded greater scrutiny on how Palestinians spend aid. (That a good chunk of aid to the Palestinians ends up in Swiss bank accounts of corrupt Palestinian officials has never bothered Pattern).

On Europe Pattern is out of touch, europhilia is unpopular electorally (just like Pattern...) and the EU itself by its very existence and our membership ridicules the notion of parliamentary sovereignty and fatally threatens our independence. Cameron needs to listen to the 'Better off Out Campaign' on Europe. People like Philip Hollobone, Douglas Carswell, John Redwood and Philip Davies are worth listening to on Europe, not past it failures like Clarke and Pattern.

Sorry editior different story, this is about the schools question time on the blog they have going:

"Well, we had a pretty good response in the circumstances. It has to be said, a fair few entries never quite overcame the technological hurdle (or was it our ability to fathom how to access them?). By no stretch could you say those entering were a representative sample of the age group - but it was striking how many said they were Conservative supporters. And each assumed they'd be highly unusual to hold such views when so young. And surprisingly few green types - or is that my middle-age stereotyping expectations? Some Labour supporters - rather fewer actually expressing enthusiasm for the government - and quite a decent smattering of Lib Dems and others not yet committed to a party"

I dont understand why it is 'unusual' there are so many young conservative's all my mates are conservative and were all 18. Even the ones that are not all that intersted in politics were conservative minded, mainly on Europe, crime and immigration, not the NHS, even then it was about infection rates. It will also be a test for BBC bias!!!!!

Patten is out of order. Cameron was clear about this before he was elected and as we all know he got a clear mandate.

more ammunition for blair and co

Patten was better serving us by being anonymous over the last few years.

P.s michael, I saw the clipboard with potential names they were looking at. All lefties. Clearly the schools are full of socialists.

Well thats rubbish I can assure you, we have one die hard marxist but other than that, apart from the teachers of course no real socialists, were all far to intelligent for that. So if they pick a lefty I think we should start a protest, we all pay for the BBC they should be representing us !!!!

Cameron got elected for a whole range of reasons. The election was not a referendum on his EU policy. Camerons election doesnt mean that people cant disagree with him. I think Patten has a point. By taking the line he is taking, Cameron may well be keeping the hardline Euro-sceptics onside, but hes alienating the EU leaders which hes eventually going to have to do business with.

I totally agree with you James! We are in danger of obssessing over Europe - yet again! This is only one issue in a whole raft of areas on which we need to concentrate.
Patten does have a point here - much as it pains me to say it as I find his views on Israel totally unacceptable.

It is very good to hear from Michael @ 22.03: "Sorry editior different story, this is about the schools question time on the blog they have going".
A very interesting contribution. Let us hope that the tories can do something positive for the 18 to 30+ year olds who are getting a particularly raw deal from this government (and especially from Gordon Brown).

The idea that we won't be able to do business with European leaders if we're not in the EPP is wide of the mark. It underestimates the UK's economic strength and the importance of the UK market to other EU member states.

In short, it is mere propagada.

And in any case, I don't see that our negotiations with the EU have been very successful whilst in the EPP.

No movement on CAP but movement on the rebate etc - of course this is Blair's fault

Chris Patten was kicked out by his Bath electorate and has joined the Euro club of political failures. He has no place lecturing us on anything.
I can't help thinking that his warm support for the Euro-elite's pro-Hamas/Palestinian policy , regardless of the terror the Palestinians constantly inflict on a democratic Israel, is in some way connected to the recent Roman Catholic view of Jews as Christ killers. This shocking cultural legacy has warped European thinking towards the Jews for centuries, and perhaps Chris Patten should examine his Roman Catholic conscience and analyse it more carefully .

Chris Patten was kicked out by his Bath electorate and has joined the Euro club of political failures. He has no place lecturing us on anything.
I can't help thinking that his warm support for the Euro-elite's pro-Hamas/Palestinian policy , regardless of the terror the Palestinians constantly inflict on a democratic Israel, is in some way connected to the ancient Roman Catholic view of Jews as Christ killers. This shocking cultural legacy has warped European thinking towards the Jews for centuries, and perhaps Chris Patten should examine his Roman Catholic conscience and analyse it more carefully .

I didnt say that we wouldnt do business with them. I said it would alienate the leaders we would have to do business with. They arent going to treat Britain the same way if we arent going to play properly. It looks amateur. We know already how Britain gets ganged up on by the Franco-German alliance. Id rather we were able to get them onside in Europe rather than alienating them by walking away from the EPP.

Not only will the Conservatives be isolated through not having allies, but Cameron will be diplomatically humiliated and Labour will have something to throw everytime Cameron tries to make a point about foreign affairs.

Peter, I'm no fan of Chris Patten at all, but to attack a man because of his religion (and no, I'm not a Catholic) is poor form and not welcome in reasoned debate.

I very much doubt that Patten has any such view of Jewish people.

Peter, pro-Israel as I am, I don't think this is the reason for Chris Patten's pro-Hamas stance. I think it is simply "flabby" liberalism and a misguided wish to support what he sees as the "underdog".

If Chris Patten says we should stay in, that's good enough for me - we should definitely get out.

Yes James Maskell, but if Conservative voters won't vote for Cameron because he won't represent their viewpoint in practice, we may as well vote for Gordon Brown.

The lessons of Bromley could be that. The EPP is seen as the acid test for Cameron to pass or fail by Merkel, Sarkozy etc - but it's also seen as the key to his initiation by Conservative voters.

'The EPP is seen as the acid test for Cameron to pass or fail.... '.Yeah right.I doubt whether the EPP is of any interest whatsoever to more than one in a thousand voters.As for Merkel etc if Cameron wins the next election they will have to deal with him whether they like it or not.Blair has already shown that good personal relations matter not a jot in international politics so Cameron should not care at all whether he's liked by our European partners or not.

While I don't support the Peter above on Hamas(They did get 44% of the vote compared to Fatah 41%) I would say that we do need to get out of our associate membership with the PP. The problem will always be with whom. The Civic Democrats seem also to want to leave which would be good but we could have problems joining either of the other two mainly right wing groups in the EU who are the Independent Democrats(which have UKIP) and the European Nations(which have the National Alliance). That I think is what William Hague is having a problem with as both groups may well be saying to us that we have to take it or leave it what the current membership is and while I personally don't have a problem with the first group how many of current 27 MEP(if we still include Roger Helmer) would have(ie Caroline Jackson) as we maybe getting to the Donnelly/Stevens problem again?

I think Chris Patten is a pretty good Tory you know. I don't agree with him about Europe at all. It just makes me sad when we attack someone because of a view about something as - dare I say it - unimportant as with whom should UK Tories sit in the EU parliament.

I remember Patten in the 80s, and in Hong Kong (have you read his book? It's very good) - I get the same feelings when I read the comments about Clarke, K and Heseltine, M - to slag these guys off as though they're closet libdems is ridiculous, if you cast your mind back to what they did in government. I might be wrong but I seem to remember that Patten was one of the first serious politicians to think about the environment, and how a market-system might be brought to bear on it (the "polluter pays" principle). He was also involved with the community charge (which, while it wasn't popular, wasn't exactly the mark of a soggy liberal). He's urbane, and intelligent, and I would say it is the shame of the citizens of Bath that dis-elected him (a propos of Bromley & Chislehirst - the more revolting LibDem behaviour was on display that night as well). We simply can't afford as a party to be so narrow-minded that EPP becomes some horrid acid test for whether or not someone's a real Tory.

PS I have this memory from decades ago, I sound like I'm in my second century don't I. Anyway I went on this anti-CND march near Faslane in Scotland. Hundreds of CND-ers headed by Bruce Kent, with about 6 YCs in front with banners that read "CND, Marching For Defeat". I have a feeling that Julian Lewis may have been there but I could be wrong. On the way we went to the offices of some odd right-wing group to pick up the banners (what larks! Other boys played football in the summer). Sat on the floor of this office was a physically repugnant specimen whose amusement that day was to hiss "too LIBeral" as a term of abuse as his office-mates read off lists of senior Tories. EG "John Patten" -- " too LIBeral" -- etc ad nauseam. I keep it in my mind to remind me of the sort of party I don't want to be a member of (he wrote, ungrammatically).

Jon, I am not attacking Patten for being a Roman Catholic ( there's nothing wrong in being a Catholic), but I think there can be little doubt that the Roman Catholic Church in particular has fostered an anti-semitic attitude for nearly 2000 years because of its teachings ( now recently changed) about the guilt of Jews over the crucifixion.
Given the Church's powerful role in the lives of Roman Catholics, particularly in the traditional Catholic countries of Europe, it would be extraordinary if none of this attitude rubbed off in the sub-conscious thinking of the laity. I am saying that the Euro-elites indifference/hostility to Israel does possibly owe something to the culture they were brought up in.
Without sounding, I hope, anti-Roman Catholic ( I am actually a High Anglican in the Catholic tradition), it is worth pointing out that the European flag of stars on a blue background is symbolic of the Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven ( stars around her head) and blue is her symbolic colour. If this design was not deliberate, then it indicates to me a subliminal Catholic thought process by those who designed it. Nothing wrong with this, but I am saying that one cannot easily escape the influences of one's culture, and I think everyone (particularly the Euro-elites), should be more self critical, and analyse more carefully, why they think as they do when it comes to supporting terrorists against a democratic Israel. Their attitude to me defies logic and reason, which is why I think there are sub-conscious influences at work.

Peter, I too am a high Anglican. Yes, the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church have been, as you correctly point out, until recently anti-semetic.

(As a matter of historic record though, founded on fiction. Christ was crucified - a punishment for sedition in the Roman Empire. The occupied Jews did not have the authority to crucify a man for sedition, only the Romans did. Had he been sentenced to death under Jewish law he would have been stoned. The myth of Jews as 'Christ Killers' arose because the gospels were written under Roman occupation, and the authors had no wish to upset their occupiers, hence the emphasis on the Jews being responsible.)

Obviously, we are all influenced by our cultural upbringing.

However, much as I feel emnity towards Patten and his clique of washed-out Europhile Left Wing Tories (Clarke, Heseltine, etc), even I would accept that he is an intelligent and thinking man. (I just disagree with the conclusion of his thoughts). To say that his support of Hammas (wrong though that is) is based on an innate Catholic anti-Semetism is pushing it somewhat. I find no evidence in his policies that would support your view. Indeed, until reading your entry, I did not know he was a Catholic.

All religions practice intolerance - not just Roman Catholics. What is needed is a true seperation of religious and poltical thinking. The two are incompatible.

Thanks Jon - yes you are right about the Church attacking the Jews rather than the Romans for obvious reasons at the time. However,I do believe that the latent anti-semitism in our society has been fueled by Catholic teaching.
I think Continental Europeans today have deeper and more virulent views on Jews than perhaps we do, because until Oliver Cromwell invited them back there were not very many in England.
The Catholic "culture" is also stronger in the main Continental countries and so is anti-semitism, even today. I think one can view Nazism as the ultimate embodiment of centuries of cultural antipathy and I see the current views on Israel by the Euro-elites as being in the same tradition of antipathy. Therefore,in my view, those who espouse an anti-Israeli attitude, and are Catholic, have a need to think hard whether their views are based on reason or a more tradional cultural hostility they may not recognize as anything but normal.

How did "Call me Doctor" manage to produce all that still fail to hit the target?

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