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Fantastic! Well done William Hague!

and with Cameron attacking on the F&M failures at Pirbright, and on the NHS, we are seeing a real concerted attack on the government.

Terrific stuff, and we won't be short of targets.

Open Europe published an English translation just after the original was published. Is this a different translation or a summary?

How wonderful that we're still in the most pro Treaty/Constitution at Strasbourg, namely the wretched EPP. It's almost as if Cameron couldn't give a toss about Europe, but is in fact scared of being tainted as a 'Europhobe' if he makes too much noise on Euro-stuff (hence his leaving it to Hague to make all the running on this).

I am not happy at reverting to talking about Europe. We need to stay on the modernisation themes. Poverty. Gay rights. Climate change. Hospitals. Train travel.

Well done William (and whoever else had any input) on cutting through the cr*p and telling it like is!! I think if the Great British Public get to read this they will see plainly that there must be a Referendum - and there must be one now!

Yes, this is a first class piece of work. But where is the answer to a hypothetical "so what" from an ordinary elector reading the Plain English summary? Rather than simply respond that this explains why we should have the promised referendum, why not come off the fence and state that the Treaty aka Constitution would be highly damaging to national interests, and that the public should vote No in the referendum?

And well done from me too William. Keep up the campaign and we'll win in the end.
Are you a real person Felicity? Why should we not talk about Europe? It's not 2001,we're not talking about it to the exclusion of all else as it seemed then. Gordon Brown is lying through his teeth if he's prepared to abandon the promise his party made to the British people at the last GE.

Excellent work, William Hague!

Are you going to sign up to Early Day Motion #1584?

I agree with Sally Roberts.

Yes... and what are you going to do about it?

Yes, well done but what are we going to actually do about it? We do lots of endless sabre rattling but never actually do anything substantive that the public can then join with us and allow some momentum to be created. Why not whip every Conservative Member to sign the early day motion to show we are really serious about wanting a referendum. As it stands we will make lots of noise, as usual, and it will all happen anyway and we will then moan about it afterwards. Cameron and co should show some anger the public is crying out for leadership on this!

Well down that boy Hague.

But, where's it to be published and given the publicity it so desparately needs? it's no small wonder that the EU couldn't be bothered to produce an english translation, and no small wonder that Gordo ain't really fussed, as the IGC will be done and dusted by the time the nodding donkeys are back at Westminster. Then of course the whips will three line and force our acquiesence to this act of vandalism on our history and democratic standards.

Does anyone reckon that that arch-egotist and manipulator Murdoch and his rags will run this piece of truth and actualitie?

Should one wish to be paranoid, and take a Yankee view, it seems too pat that one of the most important points in our history, ranking on par with....1066, The Armada, Trafalgar, Waterloo, The Marne, August 1918, March 1940 and Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, el Alamein, D-Day June 1944 etc, should be relegated to a period with Westminster prorogued, information heavily censored or just not produced, and a government spinning away that they are not giving ground, and that the people are not to be trusted with a vote and decision....paranoia anyone. Almost makes one nostalgic for the days of Wilson's holidays in Sochi (Black Sea) and ole Peter Wright and his pals bugging and burglarising their way round the politicoes.

So what's next, or to quote Gerry Anderson....."what do we do now Troy"...with apologies to Phones and Stingray.

Great Job - part 2 is to get this on the news / bbc website - good luck.

Pity that Gordon Brown hasn't the bottle to call the Eurosceptic bluff and call a referendum on EU membership itself. Sure, it's high risk, but getting to the heart of the issue. Even if the Reform treaty fails, there will still be a rake of whinging about the EU itself. The British people should have a chance to decide on the big issue. Of course, it might break up the union....

Excellent work- this is the type of intelligent and aggressive opposition that will quickly put the skids under Brown.

The Europe Minister Jim Murphy is one of the weakest members of a weak Govt- this is a subject we can really cash in on. We will even have the Murdoch Press on our side as well.

...it's no small wonder that the EU couldn't be bothered to produce an english translation ...

Posted by: George Hinton | August 07, 2007 at 14:52

The official English translation has been on the EU Council website for over a week now.

Does anyone know why the media is hardly covering this issue?

For example, in the past, Murdoch's publications have been very critical of EU expansion - this time it seems to hardly being mentioned.

I voted for Cameron and am very supportive of him, but I'm hugely concerned about the continual talk about Europe in recent weeks. It might get the grassroots going, but several general elections have shown that floating voters are more interested in other issues. Perhaps we could move on and attack the government on things that actually have a noticable impact on peoples lives.

Does anyone know why the media is hardly covering this issue?

For example, in the past, Murdoch's publications have been very critical of EU expansion - this time it seems to hardly being mentioned.

Posted by: timC | August 07, 2007 at 16:05

Try the Daily Mail today. When there is something new and interesting to say, there is usually a market.

TimC - Read the Sun's "Sun Says" editorial on Brown and Malloch-Brown.
"So while we condemn Malloch-Brown’s outburst, we must thank him for blowing the gaffe.
Gordon Brown is now exposed as the fervent pro-European it seems he has always been. Indeed there is not a sceptical bone in his Government’s body.
That, more than anything else, makes it essential for him to deliver the referendum he promised."

A love in could be coming to an end.

Let's hope so Ted. I have never understood why the Sun has given Blair or Brown such an easy ride when they plainly disagree with so much that those two believe in.
Why do you comment so rarely these days?

Strange how so many rush to congratulate William Hague. This is the man who said "come with me and I will give you back your country". Not a chance, the Conservative party has no intention of returning any powers from Brussels to Westminster, and one wonders how genuine they are not to want this new Treaty. There is a track record here of deceptive rhetoric, saying one thing, and meaning another for other purposes. Before I would trust what Hague and Cameron are up to I would one to see evidence they mean it, restoring the fishing policy would be a start.

The party has to be very careful not to talk too much about Europe because voters want to know what the party will do about schools,hospitals, crime and breakdown of society and the environment.

Great Job - part 2 is to get this on the news / bbc website - good luck.

Posted by: JimJam | August 07, 2007 at 14:54

Your wish has been granted.

Of course the tories must debate the EU draft treaty because it is a current issue of real importance to all of us and if the tories' version of the text is correct, our sovereignty is likely to be further eroded and we are getting near to the point of no return (if we haven't already reached it).

Many of us believe that the EU (different from Europe) should consist of a close association of sovereign states trading together and co-operating closely on defence, terrorism, policing, drug control etc but that all legislation emanating from it should only be adopted if passed in the normal way by parliament.

Will the Plain English version of the treaty stand up to intense scrutiny from Gordon Brown et al? Is this an accurate statement?

If it is, then we now need a summary to show what, if anything, the UK gains by it and, more likely, what the UK loses by it.

Then we can have an informed debate - but well done William Hague in any event (we need more northern commonsense in politics these days!!).

Interesting how few posts there have been on this critical issue. The title 'Europe' doesn't help. We need to discuss this in terms of giving away our democracy.

My first post here. I am a floating voter who just wants to express thanks that William Hague is pressing for a referendum on this vital issue. This definately gets my vote.

Sign The Downing Street Petition:

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/EU-treaty-NON/

'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to guarantee that the British people will be permitted a binding referendum on any and all attempts to resurrect the EU "constitution" (and any or all of its content) regardless of nomenclature.'

Its hard to criticise Cameron for 'all spin and no substance' when under him the party produces documents like this - intelligent and properly thought through. When we elected Cameron as leader that is what we voted for - we voted for something long term and well thought out, for the policy reviews and so on. Congratulations to the Tories for producing this. Kudos.

Well done, William Hague! Keep up the pressure.

This is the most important issue in politics yet it is barely debated and when it is debated it is always debated dishonestly.

The europhile politicians in this country and in the rest of the EU know that their plan would never be approved by the peoples of Europe. So democracy is out and deception is in.

Our only weapon is the truth - so keep telling it, William.

It is only the most important issue in politics to members of the Conservative Party and UKIP. Out in the real world people are concerned about education, health, crime and the environment.

Cleo et al. Those of us who continue to bang on about our membership of the EU only do so because the pustule has yet to be burst. When we do leave (and, yes, we will) there is nothing we would like more than to concentrate upon domestic issues. That is the core of the issue - our right to govern ourselves in the way that we wish. The ratchet of "ever closer union" is indeed tedious in the extreme and its tendency to induce boredom in normal members of the public is the most worrying thing about the project.

This is very good, but I would simplify even further if speaking about the issues as they are still a little abstract. So if we virtually have no veto on EU criminal justice legislation what might that mean in terms of sentencing or conditions or deportation etc. Also If potentially we have lost veto on 60 different things what might that mean in terms of transport or housing.

Save the Pound!!!! Remember that William, lost you an election I think.

It is only the most important issue in politics to members of the Conservative Party and UKIP. Out in the real world people are concerned about education, health, crime and the environment.

Posted by: Cleo | August 07, 2007 at 20:15

Which is why we need to be concerned with the EU. The environment is an exclusive EU competence, so that all our environmental policies are determined in Brussels. Increasingly, the EU is encroaching on crime and security policy, and this treaty adds to the EU's competences in this sphere.

Through progressive ECJ judgements and the redefinition of health care as a "service", the EU is making inroads into the regulation of primary health care and has already assumed "public health" as a competence - and fully intends to make further inroads into these areas.

Primary and secondary education is largely clear of EU influence, but higher education comes within the EU sphere and the EU is dominating the research field with its research framework funding and its European Research Area.

Thus, if you are truly concerned with these issues, then you have to be concerned about how our freedom to control our own destiny in these areas is being steadily eroded, being transferred to Brussels where law is made by unelected officials.

And, of course, that is why we - in the real world - are concerned about the European Union.

Good work! It has a nice rhythm to it which looks familiar when you put it alongside the 'read the small print' doc. Basically they're both along the lines of: what he/it says v. what he/it really means - or to put it another way you can't believe a word those lying b******ds say!

Now all we need to do is get these documents and others like them under the noses of enough journo's so that at least one of them will get it.

Right on, Richard!

So many people fail to grasp that so much of legislation is at least under de facto EU control if not de jure.

To the EUphiles here: name some policy areas that the EU does not have control over. And you can't mention tax because the VAT has something to do with the EU alright.

And also to the EUphiles: where is the popular mandate for transfering any powers away from our parliament?

Better off out I say. Back to intergovernmentalism.

Felicity Mountjoy wrote

"I am not happy at reverting to talking about Europe. We need to stay on the modernisation themes. Poverty. Gay rights. Climate change. Hospitals. Train travel."

Ok Fliss, which one those topics isn't covered by or under an EU competence?
.

Train travel is irrelevant to most voters - very few voters use trains even though they pay £6 billion subsidy to run them for a minority.

Trains are a London issue - for that is where most of the subsidy is focused.

voters want to know what the party will do about schools,hospitals, crime and breakdown of society and the environment.

Do they ? I much doubt it.

Education policy is to do as Labour does. Hospitals is to attack Labour for implementing Conservative poliy of privatisation. Crime and Breakdown of Society is to talk around the issue and have no effect whatsoever

TomTom, trains are there to be used and are in fact being used by rising numbers of passengers. They would be used by even more if fares and journey times were competitive, and are they the only thing for which subsidies are used for minorities - most people don't drive on most of the new roads that have been built.

As for Felicity, I wonder if she is a conservative. Yes poverty, the environment, railways, and hospitals are subjects we need to concern ourselves with, but being a free nation able to govern ourselves does seem important too.

Excellent pamphlet from William Hague which makes the key points of the Constitution, sorry Treaty, clear. As others have said, I hope this campaigning will be worked through to decisions that must be taken regarding our relationship with the EU, even, I would add, leaving it. Perhaps this pamphlet needs to be delivered to every home, with a short and clear letter from Mr Cameron explaining why the matter is so important

Yes, voters aren’t interested in the issue – it’s all rather remote compared to hospitals, crime and so on. But surely Mr Cameron has the communication and leadership skills to alert this nation to what is going on and the importance of our becoming again a free and sovereign nation able to govern ourselves? This is an issue,(like that of Islamism - see post yesterday on Ed Husain’s book), that needs Churchillian leadership.

As for the BBC (Richard North 1853), yes it is on their news site. But “The EU Treaty in Plain English” is mentioned only briefly at the very end of the BBC article, and while they have links to their own Q&As etc, there is of course no a link to “The EU Treaty in Plain English”. Neither is there a link to conservatives.com where it can be accessed. The BBC often puts links to political sites, including to conservatives.com, that are relevant to news items, and there is a link in the Thursday 2 August story on “EU red lines unravelling – Tories”. But not this time. Would the BBC not be too keen for people to see the in plain English what are the key points in the Treaty?

Dear Felicity,
It's been ages and now I'm out of hospital we really must meet again and talk about gay poverty rights and how climate change is affecting the trains.......

TomTom, trains are there to be used

so is The Royal Opera House but it is in the wrong part of the country. Trains do not merit £6,000,000,000 annual subsidy and most people outside the Southeast do not use them. Before Major privatised them all investment in new rolling stock was halted in Northern England and cast-offs from Southern Region were eventually acquired.......reliability collapsed.

The subsidy local authorities have to pay to run branch stations and lines is enormous, and the question is simply whether it is sustainable.

With North Sea Oil the country could have rebuilt the rail network on French quality standards - but instead chose to have a consumerist blowout.

The Conservative Governments cut investment in railways, starved British Rail of funding, and sold it cheaply to property developer bosses like Bob Horton at Railtrack who purused exactly the same strategy as BAA at present - so why should anyone take the Conservatives seriously on railways ?

The EU website and the affiliates are so difficult to navigate in. It needs serious work because the average citizen just wont be able to find their way through. Ive used the Open Europe translation and gave up after several hours of slogging through it (about a third through the second treaty). Its all rearrangement and replacements. Its confusing.

Great document. What we need now is a single, concerted effort led by the Party to get a referendum.

At the moment, there are many different petitions, campaigns, etc. and there is not a united front, e.g. the Daily Mail isn't going to push for people to sign the petition at the Telegraph website.

For the 2004 European elections, it took a while for the Party to come out with one campaign but when it did, it worked really well on the doorstep and street stalls and critically, it got the manifesto promise from Labour.

Come on CCHQ - take the lead, get the campaign rolled out now, so we can keep Labour on the run on this with another example of their broken promises and arrogance in not trusting the people. The troops in the constituencies are ready to go!

Well done Europe haters! Thanks to you it's almost certain that we will get many more years of this awful Stalinist labour government. ID cards will come in unopposed, more of our rights will be taken away and the economy will be run into the ground. All because a few mad old men have taken over the Conservative party and made sure it is utterly unelectable. William Hague has already proved that being anti Europe won't get you elected, as did Michael Foot in the 1980s. The British people are European and they know it. We want to be able to move around freely. We want to have a voice in the world instead of having to do everything the Americans tell us, no matter how much it goes against our national interest. But because David Cameron has failed to face down a tiny minority of nutcases, most of whom are UKIP and not Conservative supporters, the Conservative party has no future. He should sack that clown Hague and deal with the UKIP fellow travellers, just as Labour once had to deal with the Militant Tendency. A real Conservative government, one which believes in cutting back the state and giving people real freedom, is what this country needs desperately. Shame on the Conservatives for failing Britain.

Posted by: Chris | August 08, 17:45
"..The British people are European and they know it.."
"..A real Conservative government, one which believes in cutting back the state and giving people real freedom.."

Anyone spotted the conflict of ideals in these two statements.

On the other hand, I suppose that if 75% of UK law emanates from outside the country, that could be construed as cutting back our state.

Ken Stevens:

Indeed for a Conservative it would be, but not necessarily for some Labour supporters?

Ironically, it also occurred to me that most US citizens are probably more European in ancestral terms than your average ethnic English, Scots, Welsh, Irish man or woman.

What do you think?

John Leonard | August 08,19:27

Depends how far back you go. According to Declaration of Arbroath 1320, the Scots originated in Scythia (central Eurasia). Presuming they took one of the short Channel ferry crossings, they passed through England to Wales and then Ireland, thence onward to Scotland. (Some of the Scottish ones went back to Ireland later but the ones who had stayed in Ireland didn't like it much and there was a bit of trouble later on). It seems the original Celts weren't as single-minded of purpose as modern immigrants in heading directly across to get into the UK but spread out into much of mainland Europe as well. In that sense, we Europeans are much of a muchness. However the Celts didn't penetrate Scandinavia significantly and some of the latter's inhabitants later rowed across to the British Isles, though also to parts of mainland Europe, particularly Normandy. Some of the latter joined up with their British cousins in 1066.

Taking into account subsequent ethnic population changes in mainland Europe and their emigration to the USA, it could indeed be as you suggest, that America has a more representative cross-section of pan-European peoples than the British Isles.

In the 2000 US Census, around 75% of the population declared some kind of European ancestry. The largest single lump were the 15% who considered themselves to be of Germanic origin (inc e.g. Swiss-German). That compares with 11% Irish,9% English and under 2% Scottish.

Given the Germanic influence it was perhaps surprising that there was any sort of special US/British relationship, particularly when you consider that General Eisenhower (-Eisenhauer) played such a prominent role on our behalf, with his forces driving Chrysler (-Kreissler) trucks!

From this short note, I conclude that our interests would be better served by becoming the 51st State of the USA rather than a few regions of Greater Europe.

QED

Well done Europe haters! ...

Posted by: Chris | August 08, 2007 at 17:45

It is interesting how you, like so many others, fail to distinguish between "Europe", a continent, and the "European Union", a system of government.

Perhaps if you did distinguish between the two, it might help you understand why true Conservatives must oppose this alien system of government.

Don't miss to vote YES to Free Europe Constitution at www.FreeEurope.info.

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