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>>just when we should be widening it and calling for all to come and join with us?<<

The Conservative Party is a party for Conservatives, not a party for "all".

If it were (some hope!), it would obviously cease to be a Conservative Party in anything but name.

There is a problemetical dichotomy between "careerists" (including wanabee careerists) in the party and the rank and file.

"Tory careerists" are simply members of the middle class seeking a career in politics. They may have almost any political outlook or none. As a result we have had out-and-out socialists like Aubrey Jones and Edward Boyle and quasi-Hitlerites like Alan Clark all pretending to represent the same ideology. What nonsense!

The "Tory Grassroots" however generally join the party to protect their own interests against the encroachments of socialism and liberalism. Importunate minority groups, unsurprisingly, are seen as enemies of their lifestyle, as opposed to tools that may cynically be used to facilitate a return to office.

That's why, ultimately, the gulf between leader and led will prove unbridgable. You'd better cross your fingers and hope that the groundlings continue to believe "He's such a nice boy..."

A serious poll downturn might shake up their ideas.

Interesting little snippet from Malc's past,
He was appointed the UK rep on an EU ad hoc Committee drawing up proposals for the future shape of the EU back in 1985 which drew up what is aclled the 'Doodge Report'

His main contribution came when he called for greater powers for the supra-national Parliament over the intergovernmental Council of Ministers. The report comments,

"He considers that the European Parliament should be encouraged, within its Treaty powers, to make a more effective contribution to Community decision-making. The Parliament should make more use of its right to put forward proposals for Community action. The Council should follow up resolutions with the Parliament, or explain its reasons for not doing so. There should be improvement and extension of the conciliation procedure, in particular by more effective consultation between the Council and the Parliament at earlier stages of the consideration of proposals".

In other words he preffered the EP to the Council, or the federal over the national. Principled euroscepticism? Don't make me laugh.

The last person who used to blog about the TRG was a bigoted halfwit who called himself 'Monday Clubber'. Are you the same person blogging under another name Mark?

What a very odd comment Malcolm. I don't recall Monday Clubber and I certainly hope you aren't casting similar aspersions in my direction.

You seem to have a problem with people who mention the TRG. Are you a member by any chance?

No, I'm not a member Mark although looking at the history of that group many of its members did sterling work for the party. What these people didn't do is attack the party EVERY SINGLE TIME they had the opportunity to do so.

"In other words he preffered the EP to the Council, or the federal over the national. Principled euroscepticism? Don't make me laugh."

The European Parliament is the sole directly-elected (i.e. democratically-accountable) institution within the European Union structure.

Regardless of whether you think the European Union is too powerful or not (and I lean towards the former position), surely if it is passing legislation over the entire European Union, it is a good thing to extend its accountability to the citizens of Europe instead of concentrating power in the hands of the executive?

>>What these people didn't do is attack the party EVERY SINGLE TIME they had the opportunity to do so<<

No I'm sure there was some occasion when they didn't, but I must say I'm scratching my head trying to think of one.

The TRG was the key base for all the malcontents seeking to do down Margaret Thatcher. They must have had a champagne party when she was finally trashed.

Years ago - before the fall of Maggie - I was handed an FCS leaflet headed "Smash the evil TRG!"

I think they got it about right.

"...Moving towards UKIP"? If you'd adctually read or listened to their resignation statements, you'd apprecaiate they are standing still, and the Tories, under Cameron, are RAPIDLY moving away. BIG difference.

Yes David Cameron should be allowed to be bullied and blackmailed by big money donors and stroppy right wingers.

Go ahead and change direction because of this tide of defections.

As UKIP is like a bath with no plug, and branches in Southend, Dorset and Portsmoth resign at Farage's rightward swing and membership drops from 30,000 to 17,000.

Nigel Farage and his merry band need more tories to help keep his bath topped up.

If Farage continues on his rightward lurch and continues to recruit conservatives then UKIP will become nothing more than a new Conservative party and he will lose even more members.

If the Conservatives ever became more eurosceptic then all of Nigel's new found friends will come back into the party fold and UKIP will collapse!

Not exactly surprising to see Sir Malcolm Rifkind uttering such sentiments: while by no means the worst of the genre, he is a fully-paid up member of the grandee patrician wing of the Tory Party for whom government by oligarchy - whether based in London or Brussels - is the preferred choice.

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