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"It means playing with Daddy’s bubbly researcher Rebecca".

If I understand Hannan correctly, this Rebecca undertakes a great deal of champagne tasting and then suggests which vintages and cuvees should be stocked in the Hannan cellar.

Is this a private arrangement, or does the EU gravy train pay for it? If the latter, I could be persuaded to throw my hat into the ring for the next elections to the boondoggle.

Well done to Dan. Surely we are all europhiles now and that is a good thing. David Cameron is showing with his pledge of strictly controlled immigration and 2009 EPP withdrawal that we can be in Europe and not run by it. Anyone who thinks the EU would try and stop a Cameron-led Conservative government from imposing any limits we choose on EU immigrants is beyond reason and too childish to engage in adult debate.

"David Cameron is showing with his pledge of strictly controlled immigration and 2009 EPP withdrawal that we can be in Europe and not run by it."

I seem to recall David Cameron making another promise in November 2005, about withdrawal from the EPP. Of course, he's shelved it since getting elected to party leader, bit like the climate change carbon-tax things that he's quietly dropped.

I'll let you into a little secret: Cameron's a Europhile, really. The Border Police gag is just to get elected. It'll be forgotten about if he gets to No. 10, so he won't have to upset his friends in Brussels.

That is my point. We are all Europhiles but that is a good thing. I'm fed up pandering to a tiny crazy minority by playing along to some idea of being a 'sceptic' to an organisation that we have belonged to for a generation.
How can we be sceptical when we have been in it longer than most people here have probably been alive?

All members want change and reform, that is perfectly healthy, and we should be proud of what we are. In Europe, not run by Europe.

I don't know whether what you say about the carbon tax is true but I doubt it and the EPP pledge has simply been delayed. That happens all the time. It is called pragmatism.

Brussels are scared of someone as tough as David becoming pm.

You've got thirteen years to change her views, Dan ;) :P

"Brussels are scared of someone as tough as David becoming pm."

Thanks for the laugh, Sarah...

"the EU anthem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony"

This always makes me die a little death. A truly inspiring piece of music on the greatness of the Enlightenment and it's reduced to the anthem for the most uninspiring bureaucracy in history...

Thanks for the laugh, Sarah...

Ash, I am sincerely hoping that Sarah's post was a well-thought out mixture of sarcasm, irony and black humour.

You are right - the final line was the icing on the cake.

I felt the same concern when my 5 year old told me that she believed in God. How could she have been so easily persuaded? Apparently all it had taken was one silly story from her headmistress about how the world was created. Still, there’s plenty of time for her to weigh the facts and see sense.

"I felt the same concern when my 5 year old told me that she believed in God. How could she have been so easily persuaded?"

In my experience a belief in God often comes with a fear to do wrong. Not exactly a bad thing.

Well it is easy to be rude instead of debating like an adult. You'll of course benefit from the safety our border police and relief for local infrastructure that controlled immigration will bring by reducing the huge volumes seen under Blair.

Do you seriously expect Labour to stand up to the EU like this? This is what in Europe but not run by Europe is all about.

Why should I not be allowed to say what is plainly true, that David will be the toughest pm yet on the EU, bringing back all the powers we need to govern ourselves and opting out of unwanted laws like the Social Chapter.

Only those cranks seeking withdrawal don't believe what are cast iron pledges.

She'll get over it. When my daughter was about 6 months old she used to get excited whenever John Major came on the TV.

Cue jokes that he always did look like a right tit!

Depite my Eurosceptism I always feel a little lift at Beethoven's Ninth. Of course it could be that little bit of locked away nationalism for what was for a little time my nation.
See YouTube for explanation - always makes me smile as the EU adopted it a bit after Rhodesia did.

Good for Daniel Hannan. Honest, fair, sense of humour, good dad, Eurosceptic.

Quote: "David will be the toughest pm yet on the EU, bringing back all the powers we need to govern ourselves and opting out of unwanted laws like the Social Chapter.

Only those cranks seeking withdrawal don't believe what are cast iron pledges."

Yes, once Dave is Prime Minister he will go striding into the EU Parliament, tell them the game is up, no more pushing us around, no more CFP, CAP, Eurojust, constitution, Euro ... and then I woke up.

But that is exactly what he will do. No level of sarcasm can hide that you really fear David will indeed deliver his pledges, tearing up the social chapter, human rights act, cfp, and finally regaining control of our borders with controlled immigration.

David has said he will deliver these, and I believe him.

Daniel Hannan, author, poet, renaissance man, time traveller, Eurosceptic.

I too, love Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony which conflicts with my Euroscepticness. Just proves the EU are the ultimate spinmeisters.

If Dan's blog as I expect, matches up to his speechmaking, then it really will be a must read.

"No level of sarcasm can hide that you really fear David will indeed deliver his pledges..."

Fear? I can tell you, if he had the guts to go in there and sort it out like that, I'd be ecstatic!

He's a pause for effect politician, he's all about image with a few uninspiring policies to keep him afloat.

If what you say is true, he'd have got out of the EPP like he *promised* to do. Already he's failed to do that. You can cry 'pragmatism', and I don't deny there is a place for pragmatism in politics, but we've been pragmatic with Brussels for far too long, and it's going to take someone with far greater conviction than that which Cameron holds to sort this out.

Sarahtv- Cameron has said that he will control immigration from outside the EU. I didn't think he said anything about controlling immigration from within (except, perhaps, when countries are first admitted). Am I mistaken?

Sarahty, firstly you are wrong when you state that euroscepticism is a minority position, it is the view of the vast majority of the British electorate. Secondly if you believe all those nice DC promises as you claim that you do then I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you.

Nobody wants to control EU immigration - not even UKIP, as they want to join EFTA like Norway, which has just the same 'freedom of labour movement' commitments as us.

Besides, do we want Spain, France and Italy to suddenly stop taking our aging emigrants?

My point Matt Davis, as you well know, is that we are being dishonest to call ourselves 'sceptics' of an organisation that has existed for a generation. How long do we need to make up our minds? How can we remain 'sceptical' but ongoing members forever? That implies the exact opposite to me.

We've made up our minds, we plan to stay in and remain in, and that is exactly what David, to his enormous credit, clearly said in his leadership campaign. Now you can play the 'sceptic' to appease a minority who seek withdrawal, but if you can't make up your mind and are still 'sceptical' after a generation, does such dithering have any place in the decision-making environment of Government?

There is no such EU member or pro-EU party that does not want reform, it is a mythical beast used to validate this non position of 'sceptic'.

We are no different from everyone else who supports continued membership of the EU. Can you name one pro-EU, yes europhile party that does not want some EU reform? There isn't one, is there? So how does our position differ from the LibDems, our most likely partner in the future? In the type of reform alone, so why alienate those in a group we are seeking to come closer to?

So now can we just drop this geriatric idea that we have not made up our minds and remain sceptical, and instead be honest, stop complaining, obviously work for ongoing reform but enjoy our membership too?

If we keep trying to tell the British people that we are still unsure on the EU after 30 long years, they are going to question our decision-making qualities.

After 30 years, there are only two real positions on the EU, the sensible one of the europhile who supports continued membership with ongoing reform and the little England withdrawalist. Can we please just be honest, and celebrate our decision, rather than make it, but then feel too ashamed to admit it, and feel the need to deny it?

So please don't insult me by seeking to call me naive, simply because I want to enjoy our membership of the EU. My position only differs from yours in the label to place on it, not on the material relationship we have with the EU or how we seek to work within it, does it?

Sarah - quite right! I agree wholeheartedly with your post! We ought to remain in the EU and ensure it is reformed. The best way to do this is by engaging properly and taking leadership, not sniping from the sidelines.

I was once at a Tory event, and said that Mrs T's greatest achievement was the Single European Act because we set out to make Europe work for us. I was told in response that I must of been under the influence of some terribly pro-European tutor at University. Offensive that I don't appear to be allowed to develop a thoughtful response rather than reverting to what people expected!

I'd like to think that David Cameron is going to take a slightly different approach to Europe, one that doesn't leave us all starry eyed, but more realistic. Realistic in our aims and aspirations, that builds on hopes and opportunities, that closes all open borders too, for our own strengthened security.
I'm sure this will all happen, it's not just an , is it?

One girl's privilege is another man's hunger. A good example of the power of corruption, which works on all ages equally well - from 5 year olds to octagenarians.

The EU is only loved by those that are able to enslave the rest of the EU's population, condemn millions to the grinding boredom of unemployment, and exclude the poor of the planet from being able to sell their wares. One day Hanna's daughter will learn to see the error of her ways. meanwhile it's up to the adults to stop this wrongheaded enslavement of humanity.

For God's sake they remove kids from parents for bureaucratic reasons -those who don't accept the right-thinking of the EU's untouchables. Child kidnap is commonplace in Brussels. There are signs at every bus-stop of children grabbed in the streets. It's just like missing cats and dogs in Britain. Too much power in too few hands. The result is as sickening as Auschwitz. If you doubt my word go to Brussels and see for yourself.

An example of the brainwashing that goes on these days.
The EU realises that to make the experiment work they must educate the young to believe in the EU. They must make the EU the hub of learning. The EU has to be seen as the creator of all things, hence the use of the flag on all developments, the use of the Ode to Joy as a substitute anthem, creating the false impression that the EU is the only money font etc etc. One of the causes for the lie that the EU has kept the peace since 1945, no mention of the US nuclear umbrella or deployment of troops, is to give better credence for the creation of a Euro Armed Force and the need for a Euro Defence Dept.
I'm sure that Goebbels and propagandists everywhere look upon the EU with awe at the sheer brass effrontery and cheek of their actions.
Daniel Hannan should refrain from allowing his daughter to go Brussels, or create the pavlovian reflex that Brussels equals bad.

"Daniel Hannan should refrain from allowing his daughter to go Brussels, or create the pavlovian reflex that Brussels equals bad."

I'm sure you'll see the parallels with this and a belief in God and agree that I should refrain from allowing my daughter to go to church or anywhere else that will corrupt her.

Sarah, you're arguing over semantics and completely missing the point. The meaning of 'eurosceptic' is constantly changing as Europe itself changes. In '73, it meant opposition to joining the Economic Community, which was supposedly all about free trade. In '91 it meant opposition to Masstricht. Today, it means opposition to increasing centralisation.

You'll find most eurospectics today would differ with eurosceptics in '73. I am deeply sceptical - not just sceptical, outright opposed - to centralisation and loss of sovereignty to Brussels. I prefer, in fact I openly advocate, a free trade alliance. Many are in my position - I believe a majority, because free trade brings all the benefits, without the strangling bureaucracy and centralisation.

So the term 'eurosceptic' is as ambiguous as, well, 'conservative'. The eurosceptic, today, is sceptical of the direction the European Union is taking, or sceptical of the notion of European union in the first place, preferring free trade, market liberalisation etc.

Eurosceptics don't necessarily oppose co-operation with Europe (especially with regards to free trade). What they do oppose is the direction the EU is going in.

And one thing you keep saying that is really, really bugging me: we've not been in the European Union for over thirty years: the EU is only 16 years old. Thirty years ago, we joined the European Economic Community - the EEC and the EU are two very different organisations.


My view of the EU has not changed. I am proud to be pro-EU but also recognise that reform is necessary. But with that same view, I am described as a europhile for my views whilst supporting the LibDems, but by changing to support David Cameron, I am suddenly supposed to call myself a 'eurosceptic' which does not describe my relationship with Europe at all.

This blanket labelling is insulting and inaccurate. Being a proud europhile fighting for internal reform is exactly the position that David has taken, and that is why the Conservative Party by becoming pro-eu is now electable.

The fact that the Tory position on the EU is not materially different from the LibDems, despite the appeasement to the cranks, actually eased my switch of allegiance, but I think you could put off a lot of floating LibDems by continuing to deny the huge similarity that exists.

You said - "Thirty years ago, we joined the European Economic Community - the EEC and the EU are two very different organisations."

I agree. Honestly, I do, but this is now and the Tory leadership position is to remain in the EU as it is today, and I support that.

The EU is a political union project, the total being greater than the sum of its parts. David has clearly stated that he will never leave it, which confirms what is important to me, that by voting Conservative, I can be confident that David supports the clear, core 21st century EU (not EEC) aims.

David has changed the party, and made it electable. I am not going to hide my support for that change, as I think being pro-EU, and leading reform in a positive is the most important change he has made.

Being grumpy sideliners is not the way to achieve results which the Conservative Party has finally realised and is why I will vote for them.

Ash, the free trade agenda is what has given the EU so much scope. There’s an irony that you dislike the EU for using the tools it requires to achieve the goals you want.

Listening to Beethoven's 9th, it always reminds he was deaf. Surely for the amount of money the EU takes from Britain, Rossini's "Thieving Magpie" would be better.

As for Sarah, she just another Quisling. Just a pity we abolished the death penalty for treason

That is incredibly rude. Why must everyone who has been attracted to David Cameron's 21st century pro-EU, pro-environment, pro-social responsibility, pro-increased NHS spending, pro-more love and less stick for criminals agenda face wave after wave of insults on this site? You all seem to love your poll ratings but continue to insult those very policies and new supporters who got you there.

It will be these new conservative policies that people vote for and that we see in power, not your dusty, dinosaur ideas that belong on the fringes with Nigel Farrage and his dodgy foreign donations that have to be returned.

I bet all those complaining like Struan are just old fogies who can't come to terms with 21st centruy Britain.

What do you want? For us all to go back and support the LibDems again so you can steal UKIP's clothes? Where will you be then?

Blaming David, no doubt and complaining about the EU. Well too bad. We're here to stay and will not be scared from commenting by bullies.

The poll lead is not a coincidence. It is because of David's LibDem/SDP/Labour friendly agenda. You can't have one without the other

What's your game, 'Sarah'?

Here's a tip: you were pretty convincing as a moderate Conservative to begin with, but branding David Cameron a europhile/pro-EU has revealed your true colours.

Nice try at stirring up trouble though.

"but branding David Cameron a europhile/pro-EU"

That says it all. Being pro-EU is not something to be 'branded' with. No-one is supporting an unreformed EU but that does not stop us being positive about being a member and the benefits that cooperation brings.

Get over your hatred. 'in' with reform has been the Tory position for years, but David has carefully replaced the image of the moaning old man on the sidelines with a more positive, inclusive approach which simply brings this party in line with the centre view, which David has repeated over and over is his aim.

It is this shift to the centre that has made the Conservatives electable again. Do you not want that?

"The EU is a political union project, the total being greater than the sum of its parts."

This is where you and I can never agree, I'm afraid. I don't believe the EU is greater than the sum of its parts: I believe the EU has the potential to be great *because* of its parts.

We don't want uniformity, we don't want bureaucracy, we don't want centralisation, we don't want overregulation, we don't want unaccountability, we don't want to lose our independence.

We want a Europe of freedoom and a Europe that works, that is a benefit and not a burden. We don't want Brussels to strangle us, we want it to set us free. It isn't.

Their eye is not on making Europe more economically friendly, it is not making it politically united, with perverse dreams of challenging US hegemony by smashing any differences that exist across the continent. But their aim is near impossible: the countries and identities of Europe have developed over thousands of years, and fifty years of bureaucracy doesn't turn us into willing European citizens.

We don't need parliaments and courts and presidents and eurocrats, we need less of them! National identities guide politics, and it is nation-states that have the clearest direction.

We need closer co-operation, not ever closer union, because that can only end up in one direction.

And our allegiance should not be limited to Europe. It should be to the US, Canada, Australia, and the whole of the Commonwealth.

Britain's role in the world and the closely-built relationships with countries as diverse as India, Canada and South Africa are as equally valid as our relationships with France, Germany and Italy.

It is because the European Union is going in a direction that seeks to undermine these other relationships by turning Europe into a political project as well as an economic one, that I cannot support its present course.

The ludicrous directives, leftist economics and Eurocentric attitudes of the administration in Brussels is unacceptable to me, and to support an organisation that is increasingly centralist in a world where localisation should be driving politics is just foolish.

Co-operation, not unity.

"That says it all. Being pro-EU is not something to be 'branded' with."

In the context of the internal politics of the Conservative Party, I rather think it is, and I suspect you do too, 'Sarah'.

Pro-EU/europhile is the charge levelled by hardline eurosceptics (i.e. withdrawalists) at anybody who does not share their appetite for immediate withdrawal from the European Union and has often been used in an attempt to drive a wedge between moderate eurosceptics (i.e. reformists) like David Cameron and the withdrawalists.

With that in mind, your description of David Cameron as pro-EU/europhile is either extremely naive or, as I suspect, a deliberate attempt to cause trouble.

"It is this shift to the centre that has made the Conservatives electable again. Do you not want that?"

Er, yes actually. But is that what you want, 'Sarah'? You've been rumbled.

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