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It is vital that members vote on who will be our candidates for the 2009 European Elections.

What the hell does Cameron's phrase "Be the change" have to do with the attempt to fend off Conservative Home & the anti-European fanatics' attempts to try to make the Tory group of MEPs bow to their agendas, and to try and replace a balanced group which represents the pro & anti-European strands of Tory thinking with a group of one-eyed Europhobe obsessives?

"Be the change" has & had absolutely nothing to do with "internal Party democracy". I opened this thread thinking this might be something intelligent - but no. More Europhobe nonsense.

Clearly the NEF in wanting RSC's (apologies to the Royal Shakespeare Company) is acting as if it where the politbureau of the party.
MEP's owe a duty to the electorate and then the party. Equally they must take the lead and follow the majority line whether it is sceptic or pro with regard to Europe.
By this methodology, someone such as Dan Hannan whio has done so much to expose the sinister inner workings of the EU and the corruption might not be re-elected.
OMOV rules and lets have no more of this plan to shut down dissent to things EU.

Here we go again - on both sides of the argument, no doubt. Perhaps, to save a lot of typing, I can just refer readers to my previous lenghthy and tedious contributions on this topic (on the threads linked to by our esteemed Editor)!

What would be really interesting, Tim, would be if you could discover and publish the proposed timetable for any decisions on the MEP selection mechanism. When, for instance, is the Board meeting that will consider the NEF proposals?

Sorry - I see this is by the Deputy Editor. How about it, Sam?

Because, Margaret, a lot of the Party's current policy direction is (rightly, in my opinion) leaning towards localism, direct democracy, empowering people on the frontline, etc. If the Party itself has centralising, power-grabbing, elitist tendencies, its argument is undermined somewhat.

I think your reference to "one-eyed Europhobe obsessives" undermines your own argument, most MEPs are at odds with most members and it is not "europhobic" to disagree with this kind of thing, for example.

"Be the change you want to see in the world" (Gandhi) is one of my favourite quotes, and as the Party is doing so well at heeding it in the areas of environmentalism and social action I should think it would open to doing so on this agenda as well.

I don't have the dates to hand Richard, let me get back to you.

The way we select our European candidates says something about our attitude to Europe. We criticise the EU for being centralising, for taking decisions behind closed doors, from promoting self-interested deals. We believe that institutions should be accountable. We believe that decisions should be taken locally where possible. We are proposing a new grouping in the European Parliament promoting a vision of the EU as more open, more outward-looking, more democratic. How much stronger would be our claim to be the voice of reform in Europe, how much greater would be our espousal of these values, how much more would these ideas resonate if we depended on these same principles in the selection of our candidates.

When David Cameron quoted Ghandi last year he said, “I want us to usher in a new type of politics in this country: constructive, thoughtful and open-minded. And I want every single member and supporter of the Conservative Party to remember that personal commitment is the most powerful way to bring about change: as Gandhi said, "We must be the change we want to see in the world."”

If the party wants leaflets delivered, people canvassed, knocked up etc at the next Euro's then they have to involve the Members in selecting the candidates.

Imposing any candidates will result in a lot of the activists just taking a rest.

It is a "no brainer" as the yanks say.

Very good rebuttals to MOTG by the Deputy Editor and Richard Robinson. The perks of being a partymember are rapidly disappearing (at a slower rate then they could have been thanks to this weblog) and its the 'europhiles' who are of the foaming-at-the-mouth variety nowadays.

Who is Margaret on the Guillotine? The Ghost of Ted Heath?

" "Be the change" has and had absolutely nothing to do with "internal party democracy" ". Sums it all up really: can't have common people having a say in what their pompous elders and betters what to do. Back to the 1950's, I say.

If this goes through, then there is no chance of our leaving the EPP in 2009. Europhile MEPs will insist on remaining in the group whose philosophy they share.

This makes me despair. I have in the pas campaigned on for at elections for the Conservative Party in an area that was holding several polls on the same day including for MEPs. I offered my help on the understanding that I would not assist the Conservative MEP because I wouldn't vote for him and therefore couldn't ask anyone else to do so. I know I wasn't the only one doing so at the time. I didn't campaign against the party and I didn't vote for another, but I would be more inclinded to do either if another party were to let me select a candidate and my party refused.

Fact is we're an organisation for our members. If we wish to be bossed around by the powers that be we're perfectly entitled to if it will lead to a more effective organisation. It's different from the state not being democratic as the state imposes its will on us by force.

It's only different from the state if there are appropriate channels for members to express their wishes.....which in the Tory Party, there have usually not been.

Surely there must be some sort of compromise available that will ensure our next tranche of European Parliament election candidates is representative of the broad spectrum of Conservative opinion on the European issue?

Neither the prospect of a stitch-up at these 'regional selection colleges' to secure disproportionate representation for integrationists nor 'regional selection hustings' stuffed to the rafters with withdrawalists in order to purge the list of integrationists and reformists seem particularly reassuring.

Daniel VA, if the wish of the majority of party activists results in the outcome of regional selection hustings you suggest, so what? Conservative activists have spoken.

p.s. Integrationists are rarely the 'reformists', calls for reform are normally found to have Eurosceptic voices.

p.s. Integrationists are rarely the 'reformists', calls for reform are normally found to have Eurosceptic voices.

Regional selection colleges are about as far from open primaries as its possible to get! The fact is that some MEPs are both a) dreadful and b) profoundly to the left of not only Conservative members but public opinion generally on integration. I am not a Better Off Out person really, but my skin does crawl when I hear what our MEPs get up to! It'll damage morale terribly if this stitch-up happens, as well as entrenching a them and us attitude to the MEPs.

"'Integrationists' are rarely the 'reformists', calls for reform are normally found to have Eurosceptic voices."

I agree - I was trying to avoid using provocative terms like europhile, eurosceptic and europhobe to describe the three strands of opinion.

Assuming that members retain a democratic voice, there remains an uncomfortable choice between First Past the Post and Proportional Representation. The July ’07 survey on CH found that 30% wanted outright withdrawal from the EU, 33% definitely wanted to remain within the EU, and 33% maintained a foot in both camps. Based on those figures it’s quite possible that FPTP might deliver 100% Europhile MEPs, which would be as wrong and unrepresentative as 100% Eurosceptics (or BOOers). We must tread with caution...

July '06 of course. Either that or I'm Sam Tyler.

Are Europhiles no longer allowed to be Tories?

Milton, of course they are! But they also need to get selected to fight seats with the help of other Tories and that means they need buy-in from activists. If the activists in your seat are Europhiles then fair enough, if they aren't then don't spit the dummy when they say they'd rather have someone else representing their views in Brussels and Strasbourg.

Sadly, according to John Maples, Eurorealists, i.e. BOO signatories are no longer wanted as Tories... To paraphrase [the other] Milton, UKIP hath need of thee...

I just wonder how many Eurosceptic 'Tory' members who want a one member, one vote system actually voted Conservative at the last European election? I imagine many of them voted for UKIP. Eurosceptic Tories tend to be incredibly disloyal. Anyone remember IDS under Major?

I just wonder how many Eurosceptic 'Tory' members who want a one member, one vote system actually voted Conservative at the last European election? I imagine many of them voted for UKIP. Eurosceptic Tories tend to be incredibly disloyal. Anyone remember IDS under Major?

Sounds like you're in the wrong party, Justin.

Do you really enjoy sharing your politics with Europhobes, Homophobes and closet BNP supporters?

"Sounds like you're in the wrong party, Justin.

Do you really enjoy sharing your politics with Europhobes, Homophobes and closet BNP supporters?"

I don think so, Alistair. Sounds like you're visiting the wrong site - think you'd be better of over at LabourHome (or whatever it's called).

If gay men and women didn't support the party in certain areas, many Associations would collapse overnight.

We now have more ethnic minority candidates in winnable seats, selected on merit, than Labour and the Lib Dems combined (see Hammersmith thread as an example).

And if you look at the BNP's manifesto you will discover that they are a socialist party. Indeed, the vast majority of their councillors are in working-class former Labour 'heartlands' - they attract more Labour votes than Conservative.

Justin it may surprise you to know that I have been to Tory conferences and what I now see on TV looks very much the same.

Mainly old people with a small number of young anoraks. I could tell you many stories about the appalling views of many of these people including the clones of Mark MacGregor Brian Monteith and co who hi-jacked FCS.

These people were always very intolerant and obviously still are. You are deluding yourself if you think otherwise.

Why do you suppose it's called The Nasty Party?

You're talking complete tosh. True, the main conference hall tends to attracts the elderly and policy wonks - us youngsters are either in bed (recovering!) or drinking at fringe events;I think I know more about today's Conservative Party than you do.

Yes, there is a nasty party in Britain. It's the party that took us into an illegal war, that stole millions from pensioners, that put taxes up for the poor, that closes hospital wards - I could go on and on! Want to guess which party it is?

Sounds exactly like the Tories the last time they were wrecking the country, Justin, but I'm guessing you're too young to remember when Britain was under the yoke of Thatcher.

You strike me as being a lot more reasonable and moderate than some of the bigots who post here. I can't understand why somebody like you would want to be thought of as a Tory.

It's not a nice reputation.

As I mentioned on another thread Alistair I think your lying through your teeth about your past involvement with the Conservative party. If you would lie about this what else would you tell lies about huh?

Alistair, you have to remember that many of the bigots who post on thi site are not actually Conservative voters, let alone members.

Alastair, stop stirring.

Your bigotry is bringing out the soft bigotry of Justin.

Shame, this was a good post and a seriously significant subject!!

I'm not interested in your opinions about me Malcolm, and whether you believe me or not when I tell you I used to be a member of your party won't cost me any sleep.

Your record speaks for itself in your own bigoted bile-laden messages.

You are an unreconstructed Thatcherite who unmasks the truth about the Conservative Party every time you post.

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