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If Mrs Jackson wants the Conservative Party to win the next election she should do us the favour of keeping her views to herself.

She would do well to recognise that she and the minority of MEP's in the Conservative party are just that, a minority who are out of tune with the country as a whole.

Those of us working at the grass roots level know which way the wind is blowing and what the voters feel on Europe.

For the avoidance of doubt, they are sick fed up to the back teeth of being dictated to by European Union, and given the choice would probably vote to leave.

Thank god she's going. She's not alone though. The fact that we've got 5 years of this coming from some of our other MEP's is indeed a worry. The inconsistancy of on one hand having open primaries to decide PPC's then taking the right of members to select their MEP was quite shameful.

The vast majority of Conservative Party members know very little about their existing MEPs, that is why so many of them have been able to behave in the way they have for so long. Mrs Jackson is just one example of this.

The new selection process will only make matters worse as existing MEPs are automatically re-selected. I remember from previous European selections that we got the opportunity to listen to speeches from individual candidates and then got the chance to question them. We the members have now been denied this opportunity so we are not in a position to know what specific candidates are actually like and instead are supposed to rely on the wisdom of the selection panel that chose these people.

We have seen from previous threads that there is grave concern amongst the membership about some of the in experienced candidates that have been selected. Even more concerning is the fact that some sitting MEPs are using Conservative Home as a platform to endorse individual candidates, thus giving them an unfair advantage.

New Labour in 1997 selected huge numbers of very inexperienced candidates, many of whom had no experience of a life outside of politics, they have continued to do this. This has lead to the Labour benches becoming increasingly full of very poor quality MPs; the Liberal Democrats are little better. I now fear that we are beginning to do the same.

We all know the individual candidates concerned. How can they fully represent their constituents when their entire working life has been based in the Brussels village and how can we expect voters to take them and our Party seriously as a result.

I know numerous people who work in Brussels, they love their jobs, some even find it fun and a small number just want to carry on that fun. Politics is not all fun; it is about the serious issues that effect people's every day lives.

Age should not be a bar on selection to stand for election, but we should at least be able to demand real world experience and talent from our candidates.

I remember the days when "bright young things" would be told to go away and make something of your lives before considering a career in politics. Being a politician should not be seen as just another career choice. People used to go into politics when they had something to offer, not just three years working in Brussels.

Charles Tannock wrote on this website last week about taking the European Parliament more seriously, how can we when we consider some (not all) of the people we are being offered as candidates.

It is us the party members that will be expected to put in the hours campaigning for these people and yet the Party feels it is okay for us not to be allowed to find out information about the very people we will be campaigning for.

Fascinating how these Europhils resort immediately to the most vitriolic name calling. We're fungus, apparently. Well at least we have arguments above and beyond mere name calling. Not bad for a mushroom. And as for "poison" - that's clearly clearly Caroline Jackson's department.

This is no suprise. I think Tim & Sam, you've made a mistake giving Caroline Jackson any publicity at all.
I think we all know how this thread is likely to develope ,far more heat I expect than light!!!

Simon,they have even coined a new term NEOeurosceptics to describe those who have been happy with the experiment up to now but do not wish to go further.L;et us not forget that the Conservative Party promotes ever closer union.
What a NASTY woman she is,but then she doth lie down with the enemy.She is certainly making sure her EU pension is secure.

@Malcolm Dunn:

Although, to a certain extent, that makes her point. This party has entirely ceded the ability to have a rational debate about the EU.

The poison that the Maastricht brouhaha generated has now grown into a vast pus-filled boil which means any attempt at rational debate towards a coherent European policy inevitably descends into abuse, name-calling, and comparisons to the Third Reich by proponents of all angles.

It's insufferable. I really wish Dave and William had the guts to do what was necessary to lance the boil.

For this MEP to equate decent Euroscepticism - which in essence is a strong Conservative distaste for big un-accountable Government (whether it be the from Gordon Brown, or Brussels - with 'nastiness' from Tory activists is very disappointing. Why is it that some Europhiles can never make the argument for what they believe in and instead resort to abuse?

Simon Denis - Couldn't agree more. The EUphiles have only two responses when presented with the facts which substantiate EUrealism: i) the sceptic is too stupid to understand the benefits of membership and/or ii) the sceptic suffers from personal or moral defects.

@Paul Oakley:

Are you suggesting that you're entirely free of personal and moral defects? :)

The problem is, not being pro- or anti-EU. The problem is that this party, unique amongst British political parties, seem incapable of having a rational, pleasant debate.

Because of the actions of a few bastards nearly twenty years ago, rational thought departs this party at the slightest mention of Europe, and Europhiles and Eurosceptics pile in to yet another tired, predictable shouting match.

The same rehearsed arguments, the same posturing, the same insults, the same old abuse.

It's entirely unbecoming for us to behave like this, and completely inappropriate for a party that strives to be in government.

When we're talking Europe, we act no better than UKIP, and that's a damning indictment.

Bit of a yawn, this, isn't it? I mean: "Conservative MEP revealed as a Europhile" - a bit of a "dog bits man" story, really, eh?

Although I find her views somewhat repugnant, it is quite refreshing that we have educated, informed and talented people who can articulate their beliefs effectively. Her loss at the next Euro elections will doubtless come as a relief to those who dislike her political views, but when she is replaced by inept nodding dogs rushed through the selection process because of gender rather than genuine talent we may all come to miss Mrs Jackson, in a funny sort of way.

She may be a devout Europhile, but at least she actually knows about our European policy.

Can we refrain from the name calling please? (10:10)

Ask yourself the question. If the Conservative party stands for freedom of the individual, small government (the servant of the people- not it's master)accountability, how does that equate with all we see of the European project,

There is no harm in debating this issue. The Public are interested, although it is not their top priority. What the public want to see and hear is a coherent message. If we are in favour of greater European involvement then let us be clear of that. If we are not, then again, let us be clear.

To that end, when I put the Conservative party values alongside the European project, I find them wanting. As such I cannot support it.

Martin - I have a great many personal and moral defects but it's very rude of EUphiles to mention them.

"a very nasty patch of poisonous fungus...called Europe". Yup, she's got that right.

Thanks to the likes of Dr Jackson people such as me, while staying uber-loyal to the Conservative Party domestically, take a slightly different view Europically.

Incidentally, have a squizz at Dr Jackson's CV:

http://tinyurl.com/2gzuqv

Among her list of jobs is adviser to the EU on animal experiments. Her profile does not say what her advice was, though.

Either she has advised AGAINST experiments on animals, in which case she has monumentally failed because the EU now requires more experiments on animals than ever, even with chemicals that have long ago been deemed safe to use (remember the notorious LD50 experiment, to see how much 'substance', no matter how safe and inert, kills half the animal group being experimented on?).

Of course, if she has advocated renewed animal experimentation across the EU, she has proved successful. That's a jolly good advert for a kind and compassionate, caring Conservatism!

Our editors rightly point out the scandal of the unrepresentative MEPs in the European Parliament. The behind-the-scenes conspiracy to keep them in their posts has not reflected well on us. Dr Jackson seems to have jumped voluntarily; pity we couldn't push the others!

@Stewart Geddes:

It's all very well to say that this party believes in small government, but surely the evidence of this party's entire history, especially since the second world war, gives lie to the claim?

Now, I'm very much in favour of finding a new localism, but it would be new, because since Thatcher, this party has been one of the most centralising in the world.

Of course, even if we were to withdraw from the EU, under most alternative formations we'd still be bound by much of the acquis communautaire, but have no say in its drafting. Such an exercise would be, to me, no more compatible with our principles and the new localist agenda than the status quo.

Which puts us between a rock and a hard place, and is coincidentally why we need as a party a coherent European policy developed from first principles as a new party of localism and decentralisation.

But as I said, we seem to be incapable of debate about Europe, preferring abuse and vitriol to thought and measure reason.

Why should Conservatives remain silent over any issue? The EU, and our relationship with it, is a major political issue, we need to discuss what membership brings us, takes from us, and whether we think being in the EU is actually worthwhile. Putting a gag on people just to win an election is treating the voting public with contempt, as these issues would certainly resurface while in power. The Labour government has been a good little doggie and has rolled on its back for the EU, so the issue of Europe has not been to the fore of political discussion, but it should be, it is a fundamental.

The story, Andrew, is the stripping of members' ability to change it.

:-)

@Tony Makara:

It has been demonstrated that the British public don't seem to consider the EU a significant issue, at least as far as making a choice of how to vote is concerned.

Which means that over-emphasizing Europe could be a vote-loser since it would monopolize time we could be devoting to public services, crime, terrorism and the sort of thing people really get worried about on a daily basis.

Which is not to say we shouldn't talk about Europe in a general election campaign, but to do that we need a European policy. And we don't, at least, not yet.

Not sure why this appalling woman has been given oxygen on this site. Let her quietly remove her snout from the trough. I would rather be described as a 'fungus' than be part of the 'cancer' of Eurocreep.

Mrs Jackson has suffered from a lack of credibility ever since her husband, then an MP, defected to Labour.

However, and despite the protestations of the europhiles here, every opinion poll, including those undertaken by the EU itself, shows a profound distrust amongst the British people for the EU amounting to outright dislike. Conservative voters are completely in line with this view.

It was crazy of the party to have allowed all those eurofanatical MEPs 'safe passage' back to their well-paid posts in Brussels. It has bred cynicism iamongst those who would otherwise have been keen supporters.

British politics hardly exists if you leave out the areas of our lives now controlled by the EU.

Caroline Jackson is the representative of the EUphile poison in our delegation. It is she who is nasty - about Mrs Thatcher, our EU policies and party activists. She would be happier in the Labour Party with her traitorous husband.

The sad reality is that most of the EUphiles in the delegation have been reselected. Most simply lied when asked about whether they want to leave EPP as they have done their best to thwart Cameron's policy. Roger Helmer's and Dan Hannan's expulsion from the EPP shows that you can be a Tory MEP outside the EPP. The rest should resign now, a great test for where they should be ranked on the regional list.

Mrs Jackson is, however, correct when she writes "Conservatives want a referendum on the Lisbon treaty and have made it a key campaign issue. But what is their policy if they come to power after the treaty has been ratified? William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, has hinted darkly that the situation “would not be acceptable to an incoming Conservative government, and we would not let matters rest there”. Such winks keep the party faithful happy. But does he seriously mean that the early years of the next government would be spent trying to craft an exit from the treaty – or parts of it? There is talk of “pulling out” of the European social chapter. Is this serious or will it quietly founder, like the pledge to leave the common fisheries policy?"

There is a huge gap in the Party's EU policy. Hague is unwilling to address what we will do once Parliament ratifies the Lisbon Treaty without a referendum. At that point the EU Leviathan will have all the powers that it needs to crush our democracy. There is no chance that, armed with the new Lisbon powers, that a Conservative plan to repatriate powers has any chance of success. We will have a simple choice of trying to tame the Leviathan or leaving it.

Cameron dropped the pledge to repatriate fisheries policy. He reneged on the promise to leave the EPP immediately. Cameron needs to demonstrate that he can be trusted to defend our democracy from the EU Leviathan. He can do that by announcing that, as PM, he would hold a referendum on British membership of the EU Super-State. If he fails to do so, UKIP will again have the ability to take valuable seats from the Conservatives at the European elections in June 2009.

@Christina Speight:

It's irrelevant if the public dislike the EU if they don't consider it a significant issue when choosing who to vote for.

As has been noted many times before, the people of Britain have been systematically electing pro-European governments for as long as I have existed, which doesn't entirely sit with your claim that the British people are agitating for withdrawal.

More accurate might be to say that British people don't really care.

Which is why we can afford a little leeway in what we talk about to paper over the cracks of our internal divisions and our lack of a coherent policy on Europe.

I am going to agree with Martin Coxall

Europe is not of any great moment to the average voter in determining their vote. 90% of the Conservative Party however, opposes the EU with varying degrees of hatred and asperity. Ergo we should use this boredom with the topic to seize the opportunity for really substantial reform of our relationship with the EU, preferably withdrawal.

If the voters don't care about the issue, we can and should do what we believe is in the best interests of the country.

That is what Martin Coxall was arguing for, wasn't it.

@Jonathan:

I personally would be against EU withdrawal, but very much for a referendum on our continued membership.

However, the core of what you're saying is correct- we should seize the opportunity to lance the boil of venom that has sprung up over Europe and develop a forward-looking European policy that's entirely in keeping with Conservative Party principles.

So Martin Coxall

You propose rational debate and then calling Eurosceptics MP's who tried to represent the will of the vast majority of our Members 'Bastards'.

Nice.

Clarke, Hesltine, Dorrell, Hurd, Howe, Currie...

I know which group of MP's had the true principles in this debate...

@Treacle:

Maybe I should have put the 'bastards' in quotes. I was using the term in the historical context in which Major used it.

I have no doubt that the bloody and vindictive civil war which the ratification of Maastricht caused in this party is the cause of much, much anger amongst both pro- and anti- factions in this party.

I explicitly am not saying that anybody who supports EU withdrawal is a bastard, my apologies for not making this clear.

This party dwells in the past too much. Maastricht is a shining example.

“In the shade of the blue-green tree (the party’s emblem), a very nasty patch of poisonous fungus lingers on.”

Dr Jackson’s views on the EU are well-known. I disagree with them but I am sure genuinely held. Why, though, she thinks it advances her case one jot to insult the large majority of Conservative Party members who share my view rather than hers is beyond me.

Among the public there is genuine concern at the direction that the EU is taking. If there were not, Gordon Brown would have undoubtedly kept his promise of a referendum on the Constitution. Over the past month, I have been helping to organise a private referendum on the Constitution for the voters of Eastleigh. Far from seeing us as the “nasty party”, many voters have commented that at last someone is standing up for their view that this is not what we voted for in 1975.

It is true that the EU is not currently top of the voters political concerns, but thats because Labour have given the impression that all is right with the EU. The kow-towing from Blair and Brown has been sickening to watch at times. We have become a lackey state within the superstate. The political EU today bears no resemblance whatsoever to the internal economic market that was the EEC. The issue EU membership needs to be put to our people in a referendum. Then both sides can put their point and we can lance this festering boil once and for all.

Goodbye Caroline Jackson. You won't be missed by many in the 'South West'.

As Tim points out, the real scandal is not what Ms Jackson has to say (things that she has been trotting out for years,) but instead the removal of membership rights to fully rank MEP candidates. This has of course been done because the party leadership who have implemented these measures do not trust the party membership to make the 'correct' decisions. These decisions therefore need to be made for members at a higher level.

So much for devolving power and decision making to ever lower levels.

"a very nasty patch of poisonous fungus" is a very good description of Caroline Jackson and her fellow europhile MEPs.

MEPs are delegates who are on a party list and are put there to follow party policy.

They are not MPs and have no personal vote.

She is even married to a defector to the Labour party. She is a thoroughly dreadful representative of the party.

The positive European policy is to withdraw from the EU. We would take back control of our own democracy, foreign policy, borders, trade policy, agriculture and fisheries. If We remain in the EU,Super-State, our Parliament will be reduced to a rubber-stamping Assembly.

Martin Coxall should note that the real venom comes from the EUphiles. They smear anyone who dares to question the EU's drive towards a Super-State. Senior EU bureaucrats even proposed to make a criminal offence to oppose EU membership as its is "xenophobic".

Marta Andreasen, the Danish accountant who blew the whistle on EU fraud, was sacked by Neil Kinnock for "disloyalty". She initially sought Conservative help but did not get it and is now the UKIP treasurer.

The EU, its officials and supporters (often funded by Brussels) will not tolerate any criticism or dissent. EUspeak is the modern version of Orwell's Newspeak. As the EU expands towards Turkey and beyond, the totalitarian EurAsia envisaged by George Orwell in 1984 is nearing completion. It would be a supreme irony if Tony Blair becomes EU President as Orwell's real name was Eric Blair.

We are Better Off Out of the totalitarian EUrasia.

I suppose in line with her committment to democracy, freedom and choice is a support for a refernedum. So that the people can make the decision, not an out of touch, distant and elitist bunch of spineless politicoes who owe all to the party and ignore their constituents.

Richard Robinson wrote "Dr Jackson’s views on the EU are well-known. I disagree with them but I am sure genuinely held. Why, though, she thinks it advances her case one jot to insult the large majority of Conservative Party members who share my view rather than hers is beyond me."

How naive!! Mrs Jackson does not care about the Conservative Party or its members anymore than her treacherous husband. Free from the need to secure reselection by the members, she is now able to express her true and utter contempt for them, their beliefs and principles.

Her objective in publishing these attacks is to smear the Conservatives EUsceptics and secure a well-paid job from the EUrocrats. The Conservative Party is Better Off WithOut Caroline Jackson.

Given that "Poisonous Fungus" was the title of a particularly nasty book written by Julius Streicher, perhaps she should go the whole hog and start referring to eurosceptics as "bacilli" "maggots" or "plague rats."

@TFA Tory:

It's not fair to say that the venom comes mainly from the Europhiles. I've been around the block enough times to know that this knife cuts both ways. You're doing it yourself, laying into Caroline Jackson in a way which is entirely disproportionate.

But then, I'm not surprised, because you're using a UKIP slogan, which would seem to suggest you're trolling in some way.

I'm really surprised to find out that not everybody is as thoroughly sick of it as I am.

Here is Julius Streicher's description in Wikipedia -

"Julius Streicher (February 12, 1885 – October 16, 1946) was a prominent Nazi prior to and during World War II. He was the publisher of the Nazi Der Stürmer newspaper, which was to become a part of the Nazi propaganda machine. His publishing firm released three anti-Semitic books for children, including the 1938 Der Giftpilz (The Poison Mushroom), one of the most widespread pieces of propaganda, which purported to warn about insidious dangers Jews posed by using the metaphor of an attractive yet deadly mushroom. After the war, he was convicted of crimes against humanity and executed."

How appropriate for Jackson, an EU propagandist, to have borrowed his book title and methods! Just substitute Jews with Eurosceptics.

Martin Coxall, Better Off Out is campaign run by The Freedom Association. I am a paid up member of, and substantial donor, to the Conservative Party. Your UKIP smear is disgraceful - typical of your EUphile colleagues.

[email protected]:47

Fair enough. But in that case more than two lines on the "real story" might have been good...

Godwin's Law invoked.

And, in accordance with commonly accepted Internet practice, TFA Tory is now deemed to have lost the argument.

@TFA Tory:

Oh, come on. The Freedom Association is a UKIP trojan horse intent on undermining our party from the inside.

With friends like you, our party doesn't need enemies.

I think it is entirely reasonable to draw attention to the antecedents of the expression which she used.

Perhaps.

To then suggest calling Euroscepticism a fungus makes her a Nazi is NOT.

I would like to agree with rightwingery. While I do not agree with Mrs Jackson on the issue of Europe, she is educated, informed an talented, do I wish she didn't write articles like this one? Of course.

I also don't agree with Hesaltine, Clark and many others on the issue of Europe, but I am pleased that they sit on the Conservative benches in the House of Commons.

As I said earlier there is grave concern amongst the membership about some of the in experienced candidates that have been selected.

We all know the individual candidates concerned. How can they fully represent their constituents when their entire working life has been based in the Brussels village and how can we expect voters to take them and our Party seriously as a result.

The Freedom Association is not a UKIP trojan horse. It chaired by Roger Helmer MEP. Its members include Andrew Rosindell MP, Chris Chope MP, Philip Davies MP and many other Conservative MPs and PPCs in target seats. John Redwood MP writes a regular colum in Freedom Today. Lord Tebbit is the Hon. Patron of the Better Off Out campaign. He is still in receipt of the Tory whip in the Lords.

Martin Coxall, you have demonstrated that you are a despertate EUphile smear merchant who spread lies and disinformation about your opponents. You should print out your remarks on this thread and use them as a suppository.

I don't think you're right about the Freedom Association Martin Coxall.I know several members, all without exception are members of the Conservative party and isn't Roger Helmer the Chairman?
They may disagree with your view on the EU but I suspect that they do have the majority view on this subject.

Actually Julius Streicher would most likely have favoured a pan-European movement, although run along national socialist lines. A common misconception about national socialism was that it was a strictly German phenomena, when in fact the leaders of the national socialist movement were very keen on the idea of eventually setting up a pan-European political empire.

@Richard:

You know, the disconnect between MEPs and constituents is entirely Labour's fault. Under the TEU, members can choose between several electoral systems for the European Parliament.

Naturally, Labour chose by far the worst.

One sensible, easy reform would be to change British EP elections to use constituency-based STV, rather than the wretched closed list system Labour went for.

@TFA Tory:

Abuse, abuse, abuse.

See what I mean? I'm sick of it. Sick of the way that anybody and everyone in this party can only resort to personal attacks any time the EU is mentioned.

Dave, /please/ call a referendum on this country's continued membership of the EU when you become PM, and make it clear that the party has to abide by the people's decision.

I'd be happy to abide by whatever the people decide. Would you, TFA Tory?

(BTW, The Freedom Association could hardly be a trojan horse enemy within if its members weren't Tory party members, now could it?)

I agree with Caroline (no surprise there!). Whatever line you take on Europe, if any, just look at how many posts this thread has attracted. Conservatives are too obsessed with the subject - most voters don't give a damn. They care about 'bread and butter' issues - crime (Labour's fiddled reporting figures and fewer incentives to report crime), education (standards slipping and poor discipline) and health (hospital-acquired infections, dirty wards, post code lotteries and long waits and cancellations).

Re-run the 2001 and 2005 elections and we'll be in for another good hiding.

At present the list system allows candidates to hide behind a list. You don't vote for x, y or z, you vote Conservative. That way inexperienced candidates, who really shouldn't be on the list, can get elected without having to even face the electorate.

So with both party members and the electorate as a whole cut out of the process we won't find out the true nature of some of these candidates until they are elected.

@Malcolm Dunn:

Just because I distrust the TFA's motives doesn't mean that you know what my feelings about the EU are.

As far as I'm concerned, the post-Lisbon status quo is no more acceptable to this party's stated values than the the "turn the UK into an EU client state" option the Better Off Out axis want.

I'm not a fan of the 'closed' list system - another dreadful decision introduced by NuLab.

To those who say that the British public do not care about the EU, it is because they have never been told the truth. The EU will control everything soon and we will have Roman law imposed, tax harmonisation, an EU police force(armed) and England will disappear from the map. Don't forget also that normal lightbulbs are to be outlawed in favour of more expensive "low energy" lightbulbs.
All three major parties have condoned the
cover up by lying. With laws being imposed by the EU, Parliament is no longer sovereign, MPs must therefore have broken their oath. This has happened over a long period of time as was planned because to try to do this quickly would have failed.

What a suprise! This thread has descended to the level I predicted at 9.50. I'm only suprised it too so long before a post like Justin Hinchciliffe's @12.43 or Derek Buxton's @12.55 to appear!

@Derek Buxton:

Outlawing incandescent bulbs is a great idea.

Caroline Jackson is a disgrace.

She outrageously repeats the lie that Dan Hannan compared the President of the parliament to Hitler.

Have a look at this YouTube clip: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/politics/danielhannan/feb08/nazis.htm

Far from comparing him to Hitler, Dan calls him "a committed democrat and a decent man".

But the really interesting bit comes before that. You can see two Eurocrat heavies - the Liberal leader, Graham Watson and the Socialist leader Martin Schulz - doing precisely what Caroline falsely accuses Dan of doing, ie comparing their opponents to Nazis. Shulz says that the pro-referendum MEPs make him think of Adolf Hitler. Watson says that they are behaving like National Socialists in the Reichstag.

Do you remember the outrage provoked by these comments? The furious reaction by the President? The angry statement by the EPP leader? The snide FT article by Caroline? No, neither do I.

Caroline Jackson evidently believes that it's OK to call your opponents Nazis provided that they're Eurosceptics. And, by quoting the Jew-baiting Streicher to make her point, she puts herself beyond the bounds of acceptable politics. It is she who should be sacked.

@Malcolm Dunn:

I think it may have been my fault. I'm sorry, I really am.

This is why we need a referendum though. It's the only thing that can heal this party's Euro-obsession.

@Christopher North:

The European Parliament acted entirely disproportionately. Dan Hannan was behaving like a spoilt child. Dr Jackson's post was needlessly provocative.

None of these things are an acceptable reason to use the Nazis to make political capital.

If we make a habit of it as a party, people will start to look at us very suspiciously both within and without.

We should stop fanning these flames before we end up in some recursive meta-Godwin Nazi-fest.

It's lunchtime. Have a sandwich.

Martin Coxall

@10:10
The few bastards 20 odd years ago actually undestood (and still understand)what sovereignty means. Part of their desire was to retain self-government in Westminster rather than outsource it to Brussels.

@ 10:34 We would be able to choose our relationship with Brussels. It is very tired thinking that because something is so must it remain. Blinkered thinking is a Brussels speciality.

@ 11:04 As I have said here before the average voter professes not to be too concerned about "Europe" only because the malign influence of collectivist and protectionist policies that have driven UK legislation are not understood by the electorate. If our MPs and MEP were to explain that influnce then "Europe" would soon be high on the list.

If the treaty is ratified and when the work begins on the Health Service (shelved in Brussels to avoid rebellions over constitution ratification)Brussels malign influence will be seen. Next comes taxation and the plane is to make it more consistent. The plans are legion and I could go on.

Back to the real point Caroline Jackson is the one who is out of order. Her party leader gave an unequivocal undertaking to leave the EPP and she was one of those that undermined the plan.

If we wish to have real public respect then we should start again with Euro Selections. If the top of my regional list is a europhile then I will not be out there working.

It has taken Malcolm Dunn long to descend into personal abuse, has it? Take a break, Malcolm, have a Kit Kat!

Here we go. This is more like it. Another Tory dropping another bombshell.

The Dad's Army Brigade within the Tory party will be hopping mad here.

Halt! Who goes there, friend or European?

Get real, it is the anti Euro nutters that have all but killed off your party. Get over it.

The bit I disagree with is the notion of victory in sight, due to the polls.
Not really true, is it.
Truth is, mid term blues for the incumbents and a bit of sabr rattling by the jingoists.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Been going on for donkeys years and well you know it.

Europe to the die hard antis, is the 'jewish question' to 1930's Nazis.
There is only one final solution.

Which, if you did your homework properly, is the very reason why the EU project was undertaken.
Duh!

Successful Tories not only welcomed it, they also promoted it.
Today the Tory party remains unsuccessful.
Why? Because you are a negative party.

Short and sweet. Tough love. It's a dirty job I do, I know.
But someone has to do it.
Bang on about loss of sovereignty (you did it) bang on about Chris Bookers, square tomatoess and straight bananas.
Just bang on if you wish.

I go to your funeral every four years, just because I don't believe the press when they say you have lost yet another election.

When I fill in your anti European grave and place the EU flag upon it, I go home for a rest.

Gary

Don't forget also that normal lightbulbs are to be outlawed in favour of more expensive "low energy" lightbulbs.

Oh dear. An EU plot to introduce low energy lightbulbs? George W. Bush recently signed very similar legislation. He's been brainwashed by the EU too, I take it?

The positive European policy is to withdraw from the EU. We would take back control of our own democracy, foreign policy, borders, trade policy, agriculture and fisheries.

Could the "better off out" crowd please take us though these points, one by one?

""a very nasty patch of poisonous fungus" is a very good description of Caroline Jackson and her fellow europhile MEPs.

MEPs are delegates who are on a party list and are put there to follow party policy.

They are not MPs and have no personal vote.

She is even married to a defector to the Labour party. She is a thoroughly dreadful representative of the party.

Posted by: HF | February 18, 2008 at 11:28"

"Martin Coxall should note that the real venom comes from the EUphiles......
Posted by: TFA Tory | February 18, 2008 at 11:28"

Oh really?!!!

As someone called every unpleasant name under the sun by the supposedly civilized and tolerant Eurosceptics on here - forgive me if I laugh!

It's all very well to say that the electorate isn't interested in Europe, it cares about schools and hospitals, but how many of those could we build with the £12 billion a year it costs us to be in the EU

Gary Elsby, the EU project was initiated to subvert democracy. The rationale was that the Nazis and fascists initially obtained power at the ballot box so the people could not be trusted with democratic power.

Mr Elsby should recall that successive Labour leaders - Wilson, Foot, Kinnock and Blair (in his first election leaflets) - have all, at some point, advocated EU withdrawal. The Welsh Windback changed his hypocritical tune when he and his family pocketed hundreds of thosands from the EU coffers. But then Mr Elsby appears to have no true grasp of European history.

60/70 odd comments already on a puffed up piece by a Conservative Europhile MEP on the day we have the government proposing to nationalise NR and articles in the press about further cuts in defence spending!

When you see a thread like this you can almost predict the reaction without the need to trawl through the comments.
Newsflash, there is real venom thrown about by all sides in the Conservative party at the mere mention of Europe.
Unless we address that problem, meaningful debate which takes the views (heaven forbid) of the whole electorate on board will just be an aspiration for members like me within the party.

@John Wilkin:

That's what's known as a false dichotomy. There's nothing about being an EU member that stops us from building schools and hospitals as well.

However, we seem unable to run the ones we have now. Is widespread British public sector incompetence an EU conspiracy too?

@Sally Roberts:

If anything, this thread proves that this party's inability to stay civil when discussing the EU is an ingrained pustule on our body politic for both the pro- and the anti- wing.

It's going to be hard for us to be taken seriously for our European policy if we can't even be civil to each other.

According to Martin Coxall's logic, if I accused Nick Griffin of being a Nazi, I would lose the argument. Godwin's law is total nonsense in the context of increasing authoritarianism in the UK and Europe.

If an organisation expands its powers like a totalitarian state, propagandises like a totalitarian state and attempts to crush dissent like a totalitarian state, it is a totalitarian state.

Nazism and Communism were variants of totalitarian socialism. The EU is growing more like Orwell's EurAsia every day.

I don't think Dr Jackson does her case much good by this rather absurd language, and it also detracts from her extremely successful work in the European Parliament on environmental policy.

I speak as someone who has detailed knowledge of how Jackson and her colleague Malcolm Harbour have battled within the EPP Group (they both hold senior positions by virtue of the Party's membership) and European Parliament generally to press for the UK's position generally - e.g. deregulatory, principles-based legislation - onto the EU agenda.

Membership of the EPP is not just a Tory Party matter. It is one of the few areas where, as an Opposition Party, we can exert real influence on policy. This is really important currently on issues such as insolvency legislation and the Services Directive where Tory MEPs have used their EPP status to get real change to proposals.

I hate to say this but many eurosceptic MEPs just play at being MEPs - making silly speeches but opting out of the real grind of legislative work. It is in all our interests that MEPs are selected who will represent Britain first and foremost: that should be the test and it is one, despite her article, that Caroline Jackson would pass.

@TFA Tory:

Arguments like the above really do nobody any credit. Not you, not the party, not political debate in general.

Of course it's okay to make comparisons to the Nazis where the comparisons are entirely apt. Would you like me to draw you a chart?

Name | Nazi | Not Nazi |
------------------------------------
Nick Griffin | * | |
Caroline Jackson | | * |
The EU | | * |
The Third Reich | * | |
Dan Hanaan | | * |
Adolf Hitler | * | |


Please memorize the above chart. You will be tested on it later.

"The positive European policy is to withdraw from the EU. We would take back control of our own democracy, foreign policy, borders, trade policy, agriculture and fisheries.

Could the "better off out" crowd please take us though these points, one by one?"

Only an idiot could not understand that, Tory Jim (nice but presumably very dim). The EU controls all of them. If we get out of the EU, our Westminster Parliament regains control - as it had before we entered under Ted Heath in 1973.

The de facto exclusion of the membership from any meaningful say in the ranking of Conservative MEP candidates was the main reason I allowed my party membership to lapse last May. It's very likely that I shall vote UKIP for the first time next year.

@Martin Coxall

It's not a false dichotomy to question whether or not membership of the EU is the best way to spend £12 billion of taxpayers money every year.

I agree with those who are saying that the majority of people are apathetic about continued membership of the EU. The truth is that the average voter doesn't think that membership makes much of a difference to his or her life.

Voters are fed up with high taxes, but the government has denied them a cost/benefit analysis of membership to show them how much it is costing. They are fed up with the ridiculous laws, but they think that it must be worth staying in, or we wouldn't be in. They are fed up of uncontrolled European immigration, but think that we would lose trade with Europe if we left.

Public opinion on Europe can be changed. At the moment people are being fed lies that would not stand up to scrutiny. By getting the truth about membership out to people, I am confident that the public will support withdrawal. They just need to know how much of their money is being thrown down the drain, and they need to know that a Swiss-style economic relationship would preserve the benefits, but stop the waste. In other words, they need to know what difference withdrawal would make to them.

I am not going to play Martin Coxall's silly game. The EU is an unelected dictatorship as national governments' individual ability to veto EU legislation is now tiny. The veto can be abolished in more areas without the need for further Treaties. That is unacceptable to me.

And BTW, around a dozen Freedom Association members are Members of the European Parliament - more than several Member States such as Estonia.

Oh dear, I see a few of the Usual Suspects have come out of the woodwork here.

We must always articulate our euroscepticism in a moderate way, otherwise we risk imitating the bunch of Basil Fawlty's who populate what is left of UKIP. The Conservative Party and its membership, in my experience, is at least 90% (passionate) Eurosceptic. The other 10% will just have to accept that their views are out of kilter, not only with fellow Tories like me, but also, more importantly, with the British public.

Generally speaking some on this thread would do well to remember Reagan's advice:

"Never speak ill of a fellow Conservative".

Let's get a policy on 'Europe' that would make UKIP redundant. The way people generally feel in the UK now (more than ever) a clear plan to pull back from the EU could only help us at the next general election.

@London Tory:

I agree with you, but I question whether, for example, TFA Tory is a Tory at all.

If it walks like a UKIP troll and quacks like a UKIP troll, then we should probably stamp on its head till it bleeds to death.

I'm wary of getting into a shouting match with somebody who can't quite tell the difference between A NAZI and NOT A NAZI.

TFA Tory:
Only an idiot could not understand that, Tory Jim (nice but presumably very dim).

Are you in marketing? :-)

The EU controls all of them. If we get out of the EU, our Westminster Parliament regains control - as it had before we entered under Ted Heath in 1973.

OK, the UK leaves the EU. Then what?

For instance, what would *you* suggest as a border control policy once the responsibility for it rests entirely with us?

We could allow EU citizens to enter the UK for an unlimited time - essentially the policy we have now.

We could have some kind of points-based limited visa system.

We could say "no more Poles, except if you've got a recognised plumbing qualification".

It might be fair to assume that the EU will respond to our policy in kind.

UK citizens having to queue up at Calais to enter France, or being fingerprinted when their flight lands on Fuerteventura might not turn out to be a big vote-winner... or you do suggest this is a price worth paying?

Caroline Jackson represents the South West. The most comments posted on previous threads refer to the South West's prospective MEPs. I posted a question a few days ago to Charles Barwell, a prominent member of the Party Board, and he replied in 2 hours flat. All these things make me realise the influence of this
site. Could I make use of this by asking:

Giles Chichester
Don Collier
Mike Dolley
Julie Girling
Zehra Zandi
Ashley Fox

what their views are on the comments made by Caroline Jackson - I am particularly interested in Caroline Jackson "advice" on animal research. Do any of them know what this advice was and if they do, what are their views on it? Their personal views I mean, not some obscure Party line that none of us in the South West has heard of.
This may then move this thread on from the personality element and South West voters may learn more about their European Candidates.

Mrs Jackson is in the wrong political party. It is dishonest for her to continue to take the Conservative whip.

She should have the courage of her convictions and stand for a party that believes in the EU superstate.

To put this discussion into perspective, here's a (very recent) quote from a party website.

"We are the strongest advocates of a European Union where nations work together in a way that strengthens our economies, empowers our consumers and turns our common values into effective action"

Q: Which party is this?

ToryJim, the Government rather than the EU would decide the borders policy. We could have more open borders or tighten controls as is necessary. The actual policy is irrelevant to the issue of whether the EU or Westminster decides. The same principle applies to other areas.

UK citizens have to be fingerprinted when they arrive in the US. Nobody has suggested that we join a North American Union to stop it. We, of course, would be able to introduce more rigorous checks on controls on who, especially terrorists, is entering our country from EU states.

Remember that French, in effect, dumped a lot of unwanted immigrants on Britain during the Sangatte fiasco. That showed the EU immigration policy to be a shambles.

I should add that I will be unable to vote Conservative at the next European elections if the party is still a member of the EPP or if any of the people on the parties list would remain in the EPP.

I suspect this is the position of many in the party and perhaps explains the anomaly in the previous elections results.

No more words, promises, deadlines, alliance building please. Action this day.

@ToryJim:

Heh. Good catch.

The frothers really are deluded if they seriously expect Conservative Party policy to ever be as recklessly destructive to the party or the country as to suggest EU withdrawal.

They should fight battles they could probably win: it might be possible to encourage Dave to call a referendum on continued membership, and indeed, I would support that.

Of course, if it did happen, Dave would almost certainly choose for the party to campaign for remaining an EU member, which would probably cause a few people here to spontaneously combust.

The actual policy is irrelevant to the issue of whether the EU or Westminster decides.

Personally, I don't think we should ever be trying to persuade voters to abandon the status quo if we're not prepared to come up with specific reasons why our proposed alternative would be better.

more rigorous checks on [...] terrorists, [...] entering our country from EU states

We appear to have plenty of terrorists here without having to import them from the rest of the EU.

We need to stop terrorists like the killers of Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh and those who threatened Ayaan Hirsi Ali from coming here. They can come here under EU law and are probably here already.

Why do you call those who disagree with Martin Coxall 'the frothers'? Was it a different Martin Coxall who was complaining of abuse earlier? I think you will find that most Party members are strongly EU sceptic and would much prefer to have a different relationship with the EU than that which exists currently?
In answer to Toryjim,queueing at Calais would be a very small price to pay in return for real border control.

This is a truly stupid, pointless and counter productive thread. It gives easy ammunition to our opponents. Caroline Jackson articulates the views of fewer than 10% of the population, it is a great pity that the normally laudable ConHome has given her the opportunity to do so on their site.

Speaking as a Eurosceptic Tory member, I also find Daniel Hamman's recent conduct as appalling as Jacksons.

Dan Hamman? Is he Sam's son?

@Malcolm Dunn:

'Frother' isn't abusive, it's entirely descriptive of, say, TFA Tory's posts.

People like him can scweam and scweam until they make themselves sick, but withdrawing from the EU will *never* be Tory Party policy. We all know it. Most importantly, the people of Britain know it.

Is anyone else here aware that we are, in fact, not parties to the Schengen accords?

Never is a big word Martin and neither you nor I know whether that is true. But I would hope that a Cameron government would seek to gain very large scale transfers of power from Brussels to Westminister in return for our continued membership. If this was not forthcoming then we would be in a position to have a rational debate about the pros and cons of withdrawal.

"but withdrawing from the EU will *never* be Tory Party policy"

How do you know that? I'm sure that in the 1960s, there were those who would have said that repudiating incomes policies would never be Tory policy. And a generation before that, there would have been those who said that decolonisation would never be Tory policy.

@Malcolm Dunn:

Well, obviously I don't have a hotline to the future, so it's just a prediction. I can't imagine a situation where this party would make EU withdrawal policy under any situation.

I expect the closest we will come is to offer a referendum on continued membership.

I would hope that a Cameron government would seek to gain very large scale transfers of power from Brussels to Westminister in return for our continued membership. If this was not forthcoming then we would be in a position to have a rational debate about the pros and cons of withdrawal.

Agree with every word.

Well, look, we're all conservatives here. That means we all favour nation-states and free markets. That means our position should roughly be to support free trade but oppose political centralisation. EEC, not USE; the EU as an international organisation, not a supranational state. This seems to me to be both moderate and well in tune with the views of the vast majority of the British public.

Even the blindest of europhiles can surely not deny that the EU is taking on more and more characteristics of a state? Its interference in employment, home affairs, energy, agriculture, defence - none of these things are necessary. The commitment to 'ever closer union' can only lead one way, so we, as a party and as a country, have to draw a line in the sand and declare what exactly we want the EU to be.

I suggest that that should be a free-trade area, with nation-states co-operating through an international organisation, mainly the Council of Ministers. Effectively that would entail the abolition of the Commission, the Parliament, the Court of Justice - all of which, a civil service, a legislature and a judiciary, are hallmarks of a state, not an alliance. I know this is, in practice, unworkable. That is why I favour withdrawal. The train is going in one direction, but that doesn't mean we have to be on it. I think it is going to crash, and indeed I hope it will. It is a bureaucratic dream and a political nightmare.

@Ash Faulkner:

You know that the existing institutions were created to support the single market don't you? Even if the EU were solely an economic union, the absence of separation of powers or democratic oversight that multiplexing everything through the council would entail would be quite unacceptable. At the very least we'd need the ECJ.

Functionally, what would be the difference between a sui generis supranational EU and a single federal EU state?

To me, the most important differences that the EU cannot raise taxes directly to fund its budget, and that member states can maintain independent foreign policies.

The chances of member states conceding to a change to either of these situations is inconceivable. However, if it did happen, I would not in good conscience want the UK to remain a member.

Everything else can be achieved by the UK unilaterally withdrawing from those areas of union competency we especially disagree with, and passing reserve powers legislation that marks which areas of shared competency to be offlimits to the EU within the UK.

"Is anyone else here aware that we are, in fact, not parties to the Schengen accords?"

Yes but Britain, even if it is not party to Schengen, cannot stop EU citizens from living and working here. Britain, like France, could have introduced work permits for enlargement country citizens but Blair chose not to have them.

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