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Interesting. Surprised he was invited seeing as we're leaving soon.

Why does that Europhile idiot MacShane keep popping up whenever we make a European statement. Only time you ever hear anything from him. If UKIP were a serious party, they would be fighting him not blocking our Eurosceptics from winning seats.


This is another example of David Cameron sticking with his EPP pledge. I hope the critics notice!

Well done DC. As for the following from the Times link, words fail me.

“I regret that a Conservative Party leader is not going to be present at this very important preparatory meeting,” said Christopher Beazley, MEP for the East of England.

David Curry, Tory MP for Skipton, said he was not suggesting that Mr Cameron had contrived an escape from the EPP meeting but hoped that he would take advantage of the “important network” the body provided. “I do hope that in time David [Cameron] will feel comfortable enough to attend these family gatherings.”

"Ian Taylor, Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, said he believed that it was very important to attend premeetings before key summits."

And, of course, HF we are not going to get the opportunity as members to delist Christopher Beazley. Thanks go to the party board for that.

Cameron doesn't arse lick Europe - or Murdoch - or Bush. He's his own man. A quality unheard of across Europe today - and in Britain since Thatcher.

Cameron's greatest strength is his independence of mind. He would get a far easier ride with the media if he started a little judicious arse licking...he should be given much credit for the fact that he doesn't.

Andrew Woodman should remember that Grammargate and other moves to the left by Cameron combined with UKIP's own changes mean that UKIP is no longer a single issue party, and also that serious parties stand nearly everywhere.

But what is Cameron's policy on the EPP? He broke his promise to leave immediately (at least till 2009, and why should we believe that date?). Whatever superficial benefit there was from staying in is surely lost by snubbing their leaders.

Who set up the Party Board system, Jennifer Wells? None other than William Hague.

Pre-Hague every constituency was legally an independent organisation, and the Party an informal organisation. Since Hague the whole Party bacame a legal entity. Hague europeanised the Conservative Party so it could more easily be copntrolled from the centrre and not by its voters.

Cameron keeos Hague in his clique. a sure sign of closeness!

True enough tapestry - and his whining to the editor of the mirror to "stop being beastly to me, you rotter" was yet more proof of that. Cameron may very well be the greatest political leader anywhere ever.

It's his independence of mind which probably causes both him and us the most problems. I just like to think his diary was full because he was busy connecting with grassroots Members instead.

Cameron has not given his side of the Mirror meeting. Undoubtedly the most significant event in history.

We may be leaving the EPP, but bearing in mind we will not be forming a new Group at this rate (I believe Cameron needs to find another three nationalities to join this formative Group), its probably not a bad thing for him to at least play ball.

About independence of mind...thats all well and good but when he feels that his opinions are more important than the Partys, then thats where the trouble starts...

Adam, the fact that so much policy debate is going on inside the Party is also much to Cameron's credit.

We lost few votes over Grammargate. In fact people were interested to see some genuine democratic debate - under Labour there hasn't been any. It seems like a turning point, as MPs have shown that they can hurt Cameron.

Unlike Blair, Cameron does not live in the media, and have key strategic alliances such as with Murdoch. Cameron's position is anchored in the Party. If he was playing the media game like Blair, he could ignore all internal Party opinion and get the media to push his policy agenda.

If Cameron is scared of the right that's a good thing.

Together with his U-turn over Grammargate suggests that we are getting him back under control

Perhaps William MacDougall should join UKIP?

Good. Its time for DC to put his foot down on this.


Is Justin Hinchckliffe a supporter of the EU and EPP?

'Unlike Blair, Cameron does not live in the media'

The DC regime has certainly seen the Party go forward. However, I wouldn't agree that the media doesn't matter to him. in fact far from it. If what you are saying were correct, and I wish it were, we would see far more debate concentrating on the issues which are real to 'everyday' people.

Sadly, it is a fact that one way or another, DC will have to run closely with the media at some point. It would just be much better if he were to set the agenda for them and do so by working with everyone in his Party.

The past few days have seen some positive suggestions from him on this, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating...

Not much of a story is it? I wonder what the diary commitments were, anybody know? Perhaps he would have done better to go to this meeting and tell Merkel and others that his commitment to us leaving the EPP was binding and that foreign attempts to influence internal decisions of a British political party were outrageous and would fail. If that caused Christopher Beazely to resign the whip that would be an added bonus.

I agree Adam, but Cameron has not sold his soul to any media tycoon. He gets regularly pasted by them as well as his own MPs. He's treading a tricky path between the power blocs that jostle for control and influence.

I personally am happier when I see an independent mind running the party. Obviously he will have to play the media game, and pitch for the so-called 'centre ground', but I don't ascribe so much significance to the media plays he makes such a praising Toynbee and so on. He's teasing the media as much as anyone else.

His own MPs and supporters are rightly concerned with what he says, but he seems not to be in anyone's pocket - hurrah!

Wonderfulk mess in the Independent reporting this. They cannot even spell EPP!

'The EEP is riding high after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as French President, but Mr Cameron pledged to pull out the Conservative Party during his campaign for the party leadership. He has promised to create a new right-of-centre grouping in the European Parliament, alongside the Czech Civic Democrats Party, after the parliamentary elections in 2009.

Mr Cameron has angered his own MEPs by arguing that the EPP is too federalist and telling Conservative MEPs that they will have to join his new breakaway grouping if they want to stand for the party.'

All MEPs? Helmer, Hannan, Heaton-Harris and plenty of others. If Hague would allow a proper emocratic eletion of MEPs the europhiles would be decimated. But Hague wants to keep in with Sarkozy and Merkel, and play around with their murky Contreaty.

He's been writing too many books, and wants to quit mainline politics. Sooner the better I say.

Independence of mind in an aspirant PM is probably a very good thing. It is independence of the party he or she leads that should trouble us.

Cameron's determination not to commit to the EPP by avoiding their party leaders' meeting would be fine if he had some other leaders to meet. We will need allies when we come to power. But at the moment all we sort of have are the Czechs in the ODS and they are not 100 per cent certain. We thought we had lined up a Bulgarian´party but clearly chose the wrong lot because none of them got elected to the European Parliament in the recent Bulgarian elections. So the hunt for allies goes on in the peripheral European undergrowth. IF Cameron did meet the EPP he would at least find out whether there is any support among them for our point of view - and there would be from the Swedes, Danes and Poles, for example. But then again we don't really have any worked out policies on Europe other than to say "no" to everything so perhaps its best he stayed away

The 'lack of potential partners' narrative is hokum. Talk to the pro-EPP exit MEP's. They have a different story they could tell you, but there's no point in going public.

Shouldn't McShane declare an interest every time he speaks on Europe and utters pro sentiments.
One hopes that DC has an empty diary and we are two-fingering the ECC. An absolute bloody shower of closet fascists and Stalinites, hell bent on seizing power from the duly elected entities and creating a Buonapartist praesidium of nodding donkeys.
DC needs to keep well away from Brussels, there's something in the air, its a miasma of corruption and peculation with a soupcon of statist dictatorship. You eventually succomb and become part of the dark side.

Yeah tapestry, I'm looking forward to hearing "cameron's side" of the mirror meeting. Gosh, why on earth has he taken so long in telling us? But as you say, his strength, courage and resolution are without precedent in British, nay, global political history.

I don't know why you are all getting so excited. It's just another gimmick to pretend he really is a Eurosceptic and will leave the EPP when in relaity he'll either fudge it or reneg on his promise.

I am pleased that Dave has something better to do than attend EPP meetings.

But it would have been an opportunity for the rebel europhile MEPs to thank him for preserving their sinecures - by making it impossible for the Party members to democratically deselect them.

ACT - Sarky?

MH - Murky?

Now I see it. Cameron's in with them too. His promise of a referendum on the transfer of any powers to Brussels is a fop to Conservative euroscepticism. His failure to attend Murdoch's annual parties, EPP meetings and other European get-togethers is all part of a scheme to deceive Conservatives. How was I so blind?

Frank- that was Hague's lot - not Cameron. Hague constructed the Party Board system to block democracy in the Conservative Party. Not Cameron. Cameron is not the boss of our party. The party board is.

That's why the Party BOard systyem must be got rid of, and Hague sent packing. Since hague, the COnservative arty leader hasn't been the boss of his own house. You have no idea do you.

Dear Tapestry - Cameron has fully backed the Board decision of St. George's Day.

As Leader he has the power to argue for democracy within the party but he is not doing that. The Conservative Party has to change - and become a democratic Conservative party.

Cameron is (was) a new leader. He might be able to effect change during his leadership, but if he came out of his trench on day one, or even year one and two, he would meet a hail of bullets.

He has to build position first, and that has not been an easy task, when his main colleague William Hague is the one who implememented the anti-democratic structures.

If Hague goes, as he says he wants to, Cameron could have a freer hand.

He missed a meeting. Big deal. I wouldn't try to read too much into this one if I were you.

If Cameron isn't going to these EPP meetings, I assume it is MEPs like Dan Hannan and Roger Helmer who are courting our potential partners for a new grouping.

I wonder how they're getting on. Does anyone know?

Imagine if he had attended?

It would have reopened the whole EPP thing.

There would be another row with the grassroots.

David Cameron had no choice but to not go.

Is Justin Hinchckliffe (sic) a supporter of the EU and EPP?

Posted by: Nikki C | June 20, 2007 at 09:58


Czech MEPs are increasingly leery about joining with Conservatives in a new Group (5 for, 4 against)and Topolanek is now on very close terms with Merkel and Sarkozy. Eventually he will be persuaded by them to join the EPP. The new Bulgarian MEPs have all become full members of the EPP. So, apart from serial nutters and lonely unrepresentative independents on the fringes of their respective national politics, just which five other countries' centre-right MEPs are going to form this mythical new Group? Face facts - there are none and it simply will not happen! Cameron knows it full well and it is about time everyone understands that.

Chris Palmer. It's not just one meeting. It's a consistent pattern.

RogerHelmer has a new blog.
ask him what he thinks about potential Conservative partners.

Today's blog from Helmer ....

Eye-catching photo opportunity, presented by Roger Helmer MEP, in protest at the Government refusing to hold a referendum on the re-launched EU Constitution.

Where? Old Palace Yard, Westminster, London. Opposite the Houses of Parliament.

When? Friday 22nd June, 10am
All press and media are invited to attend an eye-catching photo opportunity outside the Houses of Parliament at 10am, Friday 22nd June. On 22nd June Tony Blair is expected to sign up to the first stage of the re-launched EU Constitution, and the Government is refusing to honour its promise of a national referendum. Roger Helmer MEP (Conservative, East Midlands) will present the surprise photo opportunity in protest at the negotiations and refusal to hold a referendum.

Regarding the EU I think David Cameron should advocate scrapping the television license and allow the BBC a free hand,because at the moment there is so much discontent regarding the output from them, which many believe is biased,and to be funded from the European Union to the tune of something like £150million beggars believe, if its not illegal in British politics.That would swing it for me and he would certainly get my vote.Colin Moore

'Independence of mind in an aspirant PM is probably a very good thing. It is independence of the party he or she leads that should trouble us.'

Ummm, not sure you have that one quite right. An aspirant PM needs to deliver a manifesto which encapsulates the direction of the Party, not his personal agenda.

No disagreement on the second bit; it's quite simple, Members of the Party are either Conservative or independent. If they are the latter, they should return to that purpose and stop masquerading as team players.

Seems to me that Cameron is muddling through on this one desperate to put off (preferably till after the next election) the ginormous row that will break out when he finally and irrevocably reneges on his pledge to leave the EPP.

Actually, staying in the EU and leaving the major right-of-centre grouping doesn't make much sense.

What does make sense is to leave the EU altogether.

Why can't he skip leading the Conservative Party?

Outside of the EPP ,Cameron is literally a 'Billy,no mates' within the EU.

Yes. Sarkozy called him 'a weakling' months ago and Dave seemed to have nothing to say in response.

Seems he's cutting a sad figure in Europe. Maybe that's as good a reason as any for him to propose EU withdrawal now.

We've all done it. Given excuse after excuse not to go see Great Aunt Edna or attend Sunday School. The problem is that when we eventually run out of excuses and go it tends to be an embarrassing experience.

Possibly - if he keeps going AWOL - it's going to get to the ridiculous stage where he just doesn't dare turn up to these events at all.

And if he eventually does go he'll be treated like the man who's got the problem even his best friend won't tell him about.

Does he care what that bunch of corrupt ego-trippers think?

There's no point in being independent-minded, and then worying what others think about you. Just get on with it.

This is a bit of a non-story I agree that not attending was the least worst option for Cameron right now. Clearly not a diary clash though, but we're used to the blatant lies by now.

However, Cameron's complete failure to form a new group, with his abysmally low 2 current partner countries having less than 10% of the GDP of UKIP's eight euro-parliament partner countries, leaves me to conclude that Cameron has no real intention to pull out of the EPP.

I can see the speech now, just after the next election where Cameron explains that it makes more sense to 'maintain conservative ideals' of 'fighting for reform' from within the EPP rather than be isolated out in the cold etc etc.

Surely only the lowest forms of life support the U.S.E. vision of the EPP, which is probably why it is such a good fit for Hinchcliffe. Still, I guess he shows that europhiles do live and thrive (branch chairman) within the Tory Party.

I agree it is a bit of a non-story but if he had gone, we would be tearing him to shreds. Let's just be glad he didn't.

Branch chairman???????????????

I support the idea of a Single European State. As I once put it, in rather purple prose: "There should be an inner tier of countries which sign up for the entire acquis, including EMU, and pursue the goal of ever-closer union to its obvious destination in a Single European State. The fusing of disparate European traditions into a single state, their cultures gaining from synthesis, their economies dynamised by the expansion of the horizon of the domestic, their histories of struggle and war ending in a federation of unity in diversity – this is an inspiring vision and one which the UK should help to come to fruition as a friend and a fellow traveller, but not as a participant."

I tend not to think of myself as one of the "lowest forms of life"...

I never knew democracy was the lowest form of life.

LoL. Eek, europhiles cralwing out of the Tory woodwork.

I knew you were there, underneath the surface...

Cameron does not want to meet Centre-Right
European leaders. And Hague supports a new
non-existent Centre-Right Group in Strasbourg which everyone knows is a non
starter. The Tory Party has no international allies and is despised in the
White House. What a triumph for the architects of the new Tory Party - reduced
from exercising world power to uniting behind gay rights.

lol! "Behind" is the operative term.

I bet David Cameron is shaking in his shoes this morning when he hears that Brown has been offering cabinet seats to people like Ashdown.

I wonder whos on his "shopping list" for Tory defections to the governemnt. Id put that old pinko Chris Patten right at the top.

If he gets offered it he'll almost certainly accept -- and a good thing too.

"LoL. Eek, europhiles cralwing out of the Tory woodwork. I knew you were there, underneath the surface..."

Its a job for Rentokil!!!

I do consider Europhiles to be one of the lowest forms of political life. They have abandoned any thoughts of democracy and personal liberty for the pursuit of a centralised and restrictive superpower which will closely resemble the former USSR.

I do so hope that they leave the Tory party very soon and go join one of the fringe groups like the lib dims who have a similarly backward view of the democratic process.

Is it a Europhile view to believe in a Single European State that Britain wouldn't be a member of?

Come and sit down on the couch Andrew. It's time for your medication.

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