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Is it me or has Liam Fox - who started very impressively as Defence Secretary - disappeared from circulation? Liam's performance in the leadership camapaign was stellar and he stood on a solid platform of principle combined with electability and modernisation.

Forget it ! Events of the last few days have given John Reid the ideal position to succeed Blair - he has covered Northern Ireland, Defence, Home Office - and in each role he has had MI5 at his side.

The issues that rank in the public mind were ones Thatcher would have made her own and Cameron cannot. Looking at John Reid and at Cameron and Osborne it is clear you cannot send boys to do a man's job. The Conservatives are sleepwalking to disaster - only a Jihadist would want to entrust national security to this Conservative Party

I thought he was good until he fouled up over the EPP and orchestrated Cameron's betrayal over his withdrawal pledge. I will not forgive Hague or Cameron for that.

Hague could still undo the part of the damage over the EPP.

All he has to do is to remove the threat of deselection from Roger Helmer and any others who lose the Party Whip, and we are again a democratic party.

Helmer spoke up against Barroso's corruption in the Euro Parliament to fulfil his manifesto commitment, and he lost the Whip as a result. Hague has shown himself dictatorial with a total lack of principle by threatening Roger Helmer with deselection.

It should not be Hague's decision. Voters choose MEP's. If they want Helmer in the Euro Parliament speaking up about corruption, he should be doing it, and Hague should f*** off. If Hague does not undo his threats and his betrayal of principle, he is the one who should be deselected. How can we have any respect for the deception he and Cameron practised?

They continually reassured all EPP-exit doubters that they were committed to the policy, and the timescale was always given - no if's and no but's. It is not just a breach of a promise. It is a breach of trust and principle. I will never trust Hague again, and as far as I am concerned I am sick of the Conservative Party being compromised by his weakness.

Hague says he enjoys writing books. Well go and write some f...ing books, and stop pretending you are some kind of leader.

It is a sure sign that Cameron's a loser in that he surrounds himself with losers - Hague, Maude, Davis and so on. Strong leaders do the opposite. Liam Fox would be visible in the leadership team, for a start.

Voters choose MEP's. If they want Helmer in the Euro Parliament speaking up about corruption, he should be doing it

That is very true..........but they are elected under the List System so the voters don't choose the candidates

The dreadful betrayal of the party over the EPP issue and the vicious undemocratic threat to deselect MEPs who do not back his betrayal says it all - almost!

"Almost" ?? Well he's added to the 'hug a hoodie- and a husky, - . ride a bike (sometimes), the latest - "EAT VEGETABLE SOUP".

"In response to the firestorm caused by the statement - with strong disapproval from both Party donors and the Conservative Friends of Israel he says: "We’re not going to frame foreign policy on the grounds of who’s going to get upset. If we tried to do that, we’d never be able to say anything at all""

Good - it's about time somebody took a stand and made it clear that narrow-minded interest groups will not be allowed to dictate our agenda and that the party is not in hock to its wealthy donors.

Pity that it's in hock to the Lib Dem agenda without producing the policies then

"We’re not going to frame foreign policy on the grounds of who’s going to get upset. If we tried to do that, we’d never be able to say anything at all""

This is weakness dressed as strength. If Weakness Hague has to look to others to provide non-reasons for his non-positions ('inappropriate' 'disproportionate' etc) he doesn't really have any real idea of what he's about.

If something is right or wrong, that's all he needs to say. Hague likes long words that mean little, which halve the difference. He's perfect material for writing histories, where no decisions will ever be needed as everything's safely buried in the past.

TomTom - so let's cancel all Euro elections then. Helmer stood against Kilroy Silk in the East Midlands and fought a fierce eurosceptic campaign on TV and in the hustings. If he had been a europhile, he could well have been pushed out.

Hague: Honestly, I never want to be leader again

Having watched in slack-jawed horror as he gave the "I'll give you back your country" speech ... good.

TomTom - so let's cancel all Euro elections then

As you will, but if Helmer is not on the List next time around that is a Party matter and not for voters. They don't do Open Primaries for MEPs on the List

Comments on this site prove that Hague is right that the country`s foreign policy as been too much about Europe in recent years.
Foreign policy is not just about the European Parliament and what goes on with the EPP which you would think it was if you only read these colums!
We should have a vision of the world not just Europe.

"Ahead of travelling to India with George Osborne and Liam Fox, Hague advocates a reappraisal of British foreign policy"

Tim, any chance that William Hague, Liam Fox or George Osborne will do an individual/combined piece for ConHom regarding the challenges facing UK troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? I am concerned about the defence committee's findings on the situation regarding inadequate equipment for our troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Also concerned about reports today in the Telegraph, "The language is cold and bureaucratic, but the message is crystal clear - the Army is running out of cash and Britain's troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are paying the price.

In a confidential document, defence chiefs talk of "high impact" cost-cutting measures that will cause "some pain" and result "in severe impediment to the delivery of operational capability".
There is very little information in the media at the moment regarding the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I do wonder if this Labour government is relieved that is the case!
I saw that following reports of the defence committee's findings on Thursday a report was issued saying that "moral" was high among troops. But after reading some of the reports about the defence committee's findings I found that hard to believe.

As you will, but if Helmer is not on the List next time around that is a Party matter and not for voters. They don't do Open Primaries for MEPs on the List (Tom Tom)

Things are worse than that. The moves actually being taken (see www.copov.org.uk -Conservative Democracy) are to permit the eurofascist MEP's to avoid having to face hustings or any reselection process in 2009. In the past every MEP had to be voted for at hustings to be kept on.

There is clearly a determination by hague to eliminate the eurosceptics like Hannan, Helmer etc from the delegation to the Euro Parliament, and prevent the eurofascists from being voted out. If we were living in the Soviet Union, it would appear quite normal. In Britain, it's outrageous - a stinking bloody sell-out to corruption, all courtesy of Weakness Hague.

The measure of how pathetic hague is on foreign issues generally Malcolm, is that even Blair is starting to look good again. And yet he's done almost nothing since 7/7 to improve our security. He appears a brilliant manipulator of news, only because no one exposes the gaps in his programmes. Hague is waste of space on all fronts. The EPP is only one aspect of his willingness to compromise principles and take the easy route every time. I've got no time for the child. As he says himself best of all, he's no leader. He should go.

Not sure why you mentioned me Henry (William) I haven't commented on this thread at all. I wouldn't agree with you that Blair looks good on foreign policy in any sense.I would imagine most non partisan observers (except the the amazingly contrary Michael Portillo) can see the failure of the neocons foreign policy which Blair has followed so zealously staring them in the face.
This interview with Hague doesn't really tell us much about a Conservative governments foreign polcy. I think Hague is right to try to establish strong links with countries outside the EU but diappointed that he thought it worth mentioning that he still thinks the invasion of Iraq was a good idea which given everything that's happened in the last three years seems very foolish.
I realise this probably doesn't matter that much to you Henry (William) as of course the only way to tell whether we have a good foreign policy or not is Hagues attitude to Roger Helmer and the EPP.

Malcolm, of course foreign policy is about more than Roger Helmer and the EPP. However, I think you are wrong to dismiss concerns about it out of hand.

The EPP issue was the ONLY clear pledge that DC gave. It was broken. This is fact. Hague lost all credibility in my eyes by being complicit in this betrayal. If he truly does not want to be considered for the leadershp again, and with all his outside interests, he was uniquely in a position to say to DC that this was a matter of honour. He didn't.

On the rest of Bliar's foreign policy, I find myself pretty much in agreement with you, and I also can't see why Henry mentioned you by name.

Not sure why you mentioned me Henry (William) I haven't commented on this thread at all (malcolm)

I knew you were around. I could sense you.

No - I muddled you up with another equally talented correspondent. My apologies!! (Too many family talking in the room and interrupting the concentration! weekends!) At least it proves you are reading me and not skipping which is reassuring.

You are like me, and like to read the latest on Roger Helmer despite your protestations. Nothing has done more to shake support for Cameron. It is not as insignificant as you say it is.

Hague is all round weak. The EPP is just an example. Until Cameron gets better advisers around him, he's going nowhere.

The problem with the EPP pledge was that Cameron was drawn into making an undeliverable promise. That was an error by Cameron alone (although possibly a cynically calculated one). It's not Hagues fault that leaving the EPP would be an own goal and a complete gift to Labour (a bigger gift than breaking a promise).

Mark, there is NO bigger gift to NuLab than breaking a promise. We are seeking to re-establish the trust of the British voters. If our leader is seen to promise things, then go back on that promise, how can the public trust us.Cameron cynically made a promise in order to take the leadership, then broke it. Hague should have had the guts to stop this.

Cameron cannot escsape all responsibility as you say. But Hague is 100% guilty of messing up the chance to get out of the EPP, of months of inconsistency, and finally even worse than his breach of the EPP promise, by threatening the eurosceptics with deselection if they dare to speak openly in the Euro Parliament outside the Whip, he's betrayed all Conservative principles.

Not content with ensuring that eurosceptic MEP's will be silenced or deselected, he now is not opposing moves by the eurofascist MEP's to secure their position without having to face a vote each 5 years at Euro elections.

In summary Hague is a traitor to his Party, to democracy, and to his country. Cameron's role one might put down to weakness of position and inexperience, if you are feeling charitable. But hague has no such excuses.

I notice that no one comes back to justify hague's betrayal of the eurosceptic Conservative cause. That speaks volumes.

William, I find myself in complete agreement with your last post. What makes the situation so sad is that Hague is the very last person of whom I would have expected this behaviour. Indeed, prior to this debacle I would have supported him completely in any bid to regain the leadership. His credibility in my eyes now is zero. He should be removed from the front bench quickly.

Yet another thread that suppose to be about the party`s "Foreign" policy hijacked by the Euro Obsesives. We must really get away from this nonsense that everything starts and ends with Europe.

It's becoming increasingly clear that the Conseratives are going to miss the chance of a generation.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if Reid succeeds Blair in the end, and I think he would be a very effective campaigner.

Cameron and Osborne come across as incompetent boys. Hague has awful judgement and should not have come back from retirement.

There are hardly any grown-ups in the Party. That means that, afer the inevitable loss at the next general election, there is no grown up to take things over from Cameron except David Davis.

I see Jack Stone. So in your eyes, the role of our Shadow Foreign Secretary doesn't include dealings with Europe? Strange, I would have thought that as a Euro-Sceptic or Euro-Enthusiast, Europe is the most important part of Britain's Foreign Policy.

Goldie,don't you get bored writing essentially the same post time after time? Why not discuss the issues for a change instead of finding so many diffrerent ways of saying Cameron 'is an idiot'.Same is also true oof Christina Speight.

" I would have thought that as a Euro-Sceptic or Euro-Enthusiast, Europe is the most important part of Britain's Foreign Policy."Jon [email protected]:11.
Sorry but that is not the perception of the general public, although they do seem to think that the tory party is "obsessed" with Europe and therefore in the past out of touch with the voting public.
Looking at what is going on in the world just now how many people apart from a few poster's on here are more worried about the tories withdrawal from the EPP? Go and ask someone taking a flight out of Britain today?

What "issues", Malcolm? Cameron is most certainly an idiot--and an unmitigated disaster as Leader. And I say this as someone who fingered DC as the next conservative prime minister four years ago and supported his leadership campaign enthusiastically from May.

He is really going to miss the change of a life time, but he doesn't realize it.

As for "issues": what do you want me to discuss? The Conservative plans for radically increasing the enviromental tax? Or wedding themselves to Gordon Brown's levels of public spending? Or to the plan-economy NHS? Or their fashionable dislike of a manly Israeli security response? Or their equally fashionable criticism of the US? Or Cameron's fashionable Lexus? Or his frefusal to speak about Europe or immigration?

The only thing Cameron has help Blair by passing his education reform and harm our fight against the terrorists by voting against 90 days detention.

He is fool, surrounder by even bigger fools.

Chris D - yes I agree that issues like the EPP are ones that only political anoraks like I are concerned with. However, a politician should be concerned with real issues, of which Europe certainly is one.

The broken promise on the EPP will probably make damn all difference to the general public, but that should not stop those who are politically aware pointing it out.

Your other point about people's concerns about the threat to Britain from extremist murderers is of course very true. From what I can see, NuLab are being preceived (note, not saying 'are') as handling this well currently.

Goldie, like you I am dissapointed (severely) in much of what Cameron has done. But to say he is a 'fool' is really not helpful.

I remain to be convinced that he can win the next election for us, and also remain to be convinced that if he does that he would change many of the wrongs that NuLab have committed.

However, he does have a lead in the polls, and at the moment he is all we have got. David Davis is not electable as PM, even though my beliefs are much closer to his than to Cameron's.

Instead of just insulting him, we should be bringing pressure through sites like this to get him to re-examine his (lack of) policies, and change them. The most important thing that we can do though is to work together to try and rid this country of the current government.

A Tory government lead by DC, whilst not my ideal, is so much more preferable than a NuLab governement lead by any of them.

Mark, there is NO bigger gift to NuLab than breaking a promise.

Jon, I agree that Cameron made a bad error, but that error was to make a promise without having an exact plan of how it would be achieved. To end up isolated in Europe would have gifted the entire issue of Europe to NuLab - morally better, electorally worse.

IMO the EPP promise has been David Cameron's blunder. On everything else he has done well and I suspect he has learned the lesson.

Lets hope so Mark. The lesson that he appears to have learned is not to make any more promises!

There are many issues that you could have tried to write intelligently about Goldie you could even try to justify your assertions.Butif it makes you happy carry on in the same vein. Utterly pointless of course and benefits neither you nor the Conservative party one jot.

"Instead of just insulting him, we should be bringing pressure through sites like this to get him to re-examine his (lack of) policies, and change them. The most important thing that we can do though is to work together to try and rid this country of the current government."
The problem is Jon, that we have to make a decision to either remain an exclusive "core vote" talking shop or be prepared to broaden our appeal to the wider voting public with the aim of winning a GE.
David Cameron has very deliberately chosen not to announce set policies for a future manifesto this early, he maybe took a serious look at the evidence before the last GE regarding the reaction of the public to a policy with conservative stamped across it. Judging by the polls this has done nothing to damage his appeal so far.

Jack Stone at 1702 " We must really get away from this nonsense that everything starts and ends with Europe."

Are you thick or something ? Almost Everything - or 80% of all our laws - DOES "start and end with Europe." Until we get our independence back there is no point in discussing most things since 80% are decided in Brussels.

NOW do you get it?
=-=-=-=-=-=-=--
As for Malcolm at 1717 "Cameron 'is an idiot" Too right and until Tory membrs wake up in time to get rid of him we'll lose again. Worth repeating, I'd say
=-=-=-=-=-=-=--

And Goldie at 1728 has it spoton. Cameron is an utter disaster and the fools who support him are like lemmings jumping over a cliff
=-=-=-=-=-=-=--
And Chris D at 1823
" Judging by the polls this has done nothing to damage his appeal so far." except of course that his personal rating has slid from positive to negative and with Labour / Blair in total disarray he can only notch up a 5% lead - it's pathetic

Actually, Christina, little is gained by repeating points already made, especially if we have all heard/read them before, and even more especially if they are pretty purile, petty, and insulting.

I believe every point you make in your last post (the first of which regarding Europe I concur with on) has already been answered, so I won't repeat what has been said already.

Go and ask someone taking a flight out of Britain today?
Posted by: Chris D | August 13, 2006 at 17:22

Members of my family are flying to NY in two weeks time - with any luck. I would prefer us to be out of the EU for the reasons of their safety, and convenience.

With less immigration (EU have dictated our immigration rules and caused us to lose control) and without Human Rights Laws preventing us from evicting Preachers of Hate, we would have had a chance of building a stable situation.

As it is, all the measures we should be taking to defend ourselves are illegal under EU law.

Today there was a need for urgent supply of staff to clear the backlogue of flights. With strict rules about number of hours that can be worked, the airports cannot do what needs to be done - EU again.

You're not connecting up causes with effects, Chris D. 80% of our laws are made in the EU. 100% of our inability to defend and manage ourselves is the EU.

The puiblic are aware. It's a media whitewash to state that Conservatives lose elections through obsession with Europe. (no doubt also from a few planted bloggers)

If the Conservative adopted a 'withdraw from EU policy', we would win every time. It's just that voters know we are a fudge. We hate the EU from the bottom of our hearts, but refuse to leave. Why should anyone vote for that?

We hate the EU from the bottom of our hearts, but refuse to leave

No Henry, you hate the EU from the bottom of your heart. I believe it is an organisation that has done great good and has the potential to continue doing so. Undeniably the EU is gripped by difficult problems but, rather than another argument about EU withdrawal, perhaps we could debate what's wrong with the institutions and what could be done to put them right. I'd love to see an international dimension to the Chameleon Army to stimulate the European net roots to fight for change rather than destruction.

Mark @ 21.26

"I believe it is an organisation that has done great good and has the potential to continue doing so".

Arguing from a position that is already anti-EU, an argument that we are not going to find common ground on, can you please list down some of the 'great good' that you think that the EU has done? (For Britain).

I regard it as an unmitigated disaster, and something that we in the Tory party have blood on our hands with. We took us in, (Heath), we signed the Single European Act (Mrs. Thatcher), and we signed Mastricht (Major), all without any recourse to the people of the nation.

I would really be interested to know what the 'great good' for Britain has been. I see only bad things.

William and Christina, David Cameron has got the tough job of transforming the public view of the tory party. He has to convince the voter's that we are not a nasty right wing faction obsessed with Europe, immigration and cutting public services in the guise of tax cuts.
I ask again, do we remain an exclusive "core vote" talking shop dominated by those who shout loudest?. Are some on this site not even prepared to tolerate the views of other tory member's who wish to broaden the parties appeal to reflect their views and those of the wider voting public with the aim of winning a GE.


Jon, I'm happy to set out some of the "great good". There's probably more, but this is off the top of my head:

The big one is peace – both in terms of trade and people. Embargoes, trade wars, threats, etc are a damaging and risky way to negotiate with your neighbours. A union provides a better, safer way to negotiate differences.

The EU has liberalised markets and increased trading opportunities. Even at an individual level we benefit from cheap flights and easy overseas property ownership.

The EU provides a framework for dealing with problems such as terrorism and climate change that transcend borders. For example, in the war on terror, it seems eminently sensible that Europe can work as one to combat and detain terrorists.

Development of poorer nations enables them to become more stable and stronger trading partners.

Free movement of people serves to protect human rights and individual freedoms. The EU also promotes human rights and democracy worldwide.

Mark Fulford - You'll have to do better than that!!

"peace" - ensured by NATO with the Balkan war CAUSED by the EU!!

"trade" - the failure of the Doha round leading to the impoverishment of the 3rd world and to stagnation of world trade growth.

"trading opportunities" - since we joined the EEC we've lost much of our agriculture and almost all our fisheries. Our imbalance of trade with the EU has got worse and worse.- "cheap flights" - at the expense of the environment. - "overseas property ownership" we're not all plutocrats.

"The EU provides a framework for dealing with problems such as terrorism and climate change that transcend borders" There is nothing here that needs the undemocratic bureaucratic monster in Bruissels - national cooperation is the answer. Both Norway and Switzerland cooperate fully and are not in the EU.

"The EU also promotes human rights and democracy worldwide." Absolutely the opposite happens. The Human Rights record is one of promoting political correctness.

Christine you should really refrain from geting your knickers in a twist everytime someone disagrees with you
Europe is not a central concern of most people and of the concerns like public services and crime that most concern people Europe as very little interferance.
Personally I feel its rather tiresome that every thread on this site gets turned around to a discussion about Europe. I don`t think it benefits the site or the party for this obsesssion about Europe to go on and on.
Personally I think that your comments about David Cameron are offensive as they would be if directed against any Member of Parliment.
I am afraid your school of politics is that of the schoolyard not the grown up world where people treat, or should treat, one another in a more civilised manner

The EU also promotes human rights and democracy worldwide. (Mark Fulford)

We are losing democracy at home (Parliament is bypassed). We cannot even speak in the Euro Parliament except by agreement with the owners, sorry EPP. The idea that the EU is democratic is farcical. It depends for its existence on destroying all the independent democracies of Europe.

As for trade, Professor Minford offers the analysis that we would be around £40 billion a year better off outside the EU. Once the Constitution is rammed through, and our service industries get the real dose of intended regulation, that could cost us as much as £200 billion a year.

We could get rid of VAT entirely (a EU tax) - and replace it with local sales tax set by councils - and then get rid of Council Tax.

All the lovely movement of people which we cannot control, we could begin to control. We are getting maybe 1 million immigrants a year. London is bursting at the seams with foreigners. You rarely hear English spoken on many bus routes. No problem if we knew what was happening. But we've agreed in EU Treaties to allow people in, and there is no possibility of an occasional review. It's barmy.

Fighting terrorism is quite well done in the UK - do we need an EU Police Force controlling our Police operations? As long as the terrorists keep their attacks limited to Britain, the EU might agree to leave them alone.

Brussels is teeming with terrorist organisations, but they have a deal not to attack there, as long as they are given passports and left alone. Ever wondered why there's not a hint of trouble there?

No doubt it will be harder to buy a house in France etc. If I was French I would not want my country taken over by wealthy Londoners. I would have the choice outside the EU, whether to let some Brits buy up local housing, and how many to limit it to. Inside the EU we have as much right to buy a French or Spanish house as the local people do. It's the new imperialism. We've got the money so we can take over their villages. It's a recipe for hatred if there si no local democratic control - and there can't be any - inside the EU.

Jack Stone approves of the secrecy of the eu programme.

Hague is a longstanding member of the Bildeberg Group, and so that clearly has no impact on his views. Neither does it have any influence on Ken Clarke, or explain why a tiny rump of eurofascists is able to control the Conservative Party.

The reason we have to keep quiet about Europe in public is that the eurofascists are under instructions to pull the plug and resort to internecine warfare if the vast majority even attempt to go for free expression of the truth.

Were it not for Hague's secret membership of the organisation that orchestrates the promotion of the EU, the Conservative Party might have solved the EU problem by now.

Liam Fox is not in the 'promote the EU' game. See how he's the new 'quiet man' - completely marginalised as are the eurosceptics in the Euro Parliament.

The eurosceptics going silent is all they want to achieve, and it's all that won't happen. Christina is doing well, inSpite! of all the displeasure of the urofascists at her attempts to tell the real EU story.

Jack Stone "Personally I think that your comments about David Cameron are offensive"

Since you, Jack, have demonstated here that you are prepared to see Britain a mere province of the EU the fact that you find the truth about the weak-kneed useless Cameron "offensive" is of supreme indifference to me.

I, on the other hamd, find the attitude of eurofanatics more than offensive - I find it tratorous.

Before you say I am being rude note that it was you, unable to answer the political points I made, who resorted to attacking ME rather than my views.

I find your refences to "the schoolyard" and "uncivilised" as being the supreme case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Think about your country for a change and not your party.

William and Christina - I’m hoping to have a debate with a slightly different emphasis. We forever debate whether the EU has any value. That is an argument with no end and it never lets us get to the next stage… if we are to fix the EU, how can we do it?

So I’m going to resist the temptation to argue all day about the “great good” and hope that we can talk about reform.

Mark - There will be no reform of the EU because of its very structure. NOTHING can be altered except by unanimity (the acquis communautaire") and the EU being a French construct there will BE no unanimity.

This is a fact of life and successive prime ministers here from both parties have come to power claiming "Reform" as their lynchpin in ignorance of the facts. EACH prime minister fails, goes nartive and we, the British, get screwed

Someone, some day will learn. The only way for us is OUT and then - and only then - rebuild our bridges. You'd find that other countries would follow our example.

The eurofascists are unable to engage with any genuine debate. say BOO! and they run away.

Thank you for trying Mark Fulford. I don't agree with your analysis of what the EU has done (though I couldn't help but recall the wonderful scene in 'Life of Brian' when reading these exchanges: "What have the Romans ever done for us?"), especially your claim that it has brought peace in Europe.

I don't concur, but admire your guts in putting the views forward against Euro-Sceptics like myself.

I do agree on one point though - lets talk about something else for a change!

"I don't concur, but admire your guts in putting the views forward against Euro-Sceptics like myself.

I do agree on one point though - lets talk about something else for a change!"
Hear Hear!
[email protected]:53 "I, on the other hamd, find the attitude of eurofanatics more than offensive - I find it tratorous." Are you for real?
I agree with Jack Stone's comment "I am afraid your school of politics is that of the schoolyard not the grown up world where people treat, or should treat, one another in a more civilised manner"
Stop acting like the playground bully on this site and try a few posts arguing your point rather than insulting other's.


Almost everyone here who disagrees with me makes it personal. I can point to facts and /or specific arguments and each time I am accused of behaving in an unciviliksed manner or something similar.

The fact is that Blair has just signed up to giving 42bn NET to the EU - much more than he admitted to - and meanwhile we lose our agriculture, our fisheries, our laws are subject to EU interference and in any case 80% of them are made in Brussels. We are being crucified and you want to talk of something else!!!

Something of the order of 4 - 5 million Tories abandoned the party over Maastricht and the Party will never recover until they return,

Talk of something else ? Suicide perhaps.?

People abandoned the Tories because of sleaze not because of Europe.
Suicide will be committed if we go back to acting like we should be committed for being obsessive about Europe.
Europe is just one subject, it will not decide he outcome of the next election and I don`t think we do ourselves any good by continually going on about it.

Chrstina

Between 1992 and 1997 there were 2.2 million fewer votes. Conservatives lost 4.5 million votes and Labour and the LibDems gained 2.7 million. The Refendum Party and UKIP gained around 900,000. There's little evidence more ex-Tory voters abstained than others so perhaps a million or so 1992 Tory voters sat on their hands..

I think it was sleaze and disunity (in which Masstricht played a part but so did the defenestration of Thatcher) - faced with a well financed anti-EU campaign and pro-Euro Blair & LibDems only 900,000 voted on Europe as an issue.

The Euro is gone as an issue, the Constitution is dead as an issue. Like stealthy taxes, stealthy EU federalism doesn't excite the mass of voters but government incompetence, failures in NHS & education, protection from terrorism, the rise in violent crime, green issues do concern them. Voters get excited if theres disruptive change or their personal lives are affected.

From General elections it looks like 2-3% of voters are willing to vote on Europe to exclusion of all else. Your prescriptions might attract that 2-3% but would IMHO lose us 5-10% elsewhere (including my vote perhaps).

Jack Stone is wrong if he thinks that "TORY voters abandoned the Tories because of sleaze not because of Europe". The biggest single defection was over Maastricht with Major talking of "the bastards" and arm-twisting to scrape the treaty through.

Those voters have formed the core of UKIP ever since which at Euro-elections were to be counted in millions and at a Westminster election to 2/3rds of a million costing the arty 26 seats according to most commentators

We will not return to vote for a europhile party particularly when we have been lied to and a promise broken.

Being a province of the European State may be OK for Jack Stone but to me it is treason.

Ted - The number voting UKIP at the last euro-elections was VASTLY greater than you suggest at 2.6 million. The BNP should be added to that total. And the anti-EU campaign was NOT well-financed. It was entirely paid for by individuals.

If you wsat to see the party commit suicide then you're on the right track. There will - I believe - be a Tory Voters for UKIP Group formed - it would do well.

Christina

I said "General elections" which is where voting matters. After all in 1989 the Greens picked up 2.2 milion votes and 15% of vote share then in general election 3 years later they were at 170,000 and 0.5%. A year after 2004 European Elections where UKIP got 16% of votes cast in the 2005 election, it picked up 600,000 votes and 2.2% (less than Referendum/UKIP combined share in 1997)

So in electing a UK Government Europe is sideshow. We did not lose 4 to 5 million voters to stay at home, the majority voted for other parties.

Just as Green policies have a part to play in the broad approach of a Conservative Party so do Eurosceptic ones - but put in a positive rather than angry negative fashion.

Interesting proposal that I consider BNP & UKIP together.

Ted - the 2.6m UKIP voters in the euro-elections certainly did NOT vote Conservative in the General Election in any signicant number.

I came back for Michael Howard as did others which partly accounted for the Conservative gains in the south. Cameron-Hague have betrayed us.

And don't forget the 26+ seats which the Party failed to gain because of the UKIP vote.

it picked up 600,000 votes and 2.2% (less than Referendum/UKIP combined share in 1997)
The Referendum Party and UKIP are standing on very different platforms, both demanded that the main political parties should not enter the UK into the Euro unless a majority of people in the UK had voted for it in a referendum, the Referendum Party took no view on anything else and as such was not a Euro-Realist party, lumping together the Referendum vote makes no more sense than lumping together the Conservative and Liberal Democrat vote or even Conservative and Labour vote, UKIP has always stood on a platform of withdrawing the UK from the EU, the Referendum Party contained people who wished to see the UK withdraw from the EU but it is not clear that it was even a majority of the party, UKIP also had policies on other things besides the EU including Defence and Security Policies - the Referendum Party was a single issue party on the issue of the Euro.

Ted - The number voting UKIP at the last euro-elections was VASTLY greater than you suggest at 2.6 million. The BNP should be added to that total.
No they shouldn't, the BNP stood on their platform and UKIP stood on theirs - both had candidates contesting every seat outside Ulster on a Proportional System and people voted respectively for each for their own reasons, but UKIP has never stood for promoting racial theory or any kind of Ethnic Nationalism even though as with the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties it has the odd person who supports such things; the BNP on the other hand very much does.

Yet Another Anon - Both UKIP and the BNP want withdrawal from the EU - AS DO A MAJORITY Of TORY VOTERS accoording to MORI.

"Yet Another Anon - Both UKIP and the BNP want withdrawal from the EU - AS DO A MAJORITY Of TORY VOTERS accoording to MORI"
Christina [email protected]:12.
Sorry Christina, but the fact that a larger number of combined voter's wanted the Labour/LibDem domestic policy meant that we now have a Labour government. Judging by your antagonism towards David Cameron &Co I would imagine that is not such a problem for you?

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