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I think the article in yesterdays Times put it quite clearly about Georgia and NATO. Georgia attacked first and complained when Russia shoved them back harder. Should NATO have to back up Georgia everytime it gets trigger happy? The West should stop trying to be the worlds policeman.

The Tories are making the same mistake Miliband is.

James, that just isn't true. There had been attacks from South Ossetia on Georgia for years. The Russians had been threatening and sending low-flying planes in. The Russians were on a 25-30 year programme of propaganda in the area to try to stop Georgian independence.

Don't get me wrong, Georgia shouldn't have risen to it. But it is just wrong to say that Georgia attacked first.

"Don't get me wrong, Georgia shouldn't have risen to it. But it is just wrong to say that Georgia attacked first."

You, we, Mr Cameron and the BBC are trying to define the “Goodies" and "Baddies" in this fight. They are probably all bad, in varying degrees.

But the main point is that this is NOTHING to do with us and we should not become involved.

Absolutely right James.

The drive to expand NATO - and, by implication, guarantees of defence to countries whose interests are not even closely identified with Britain's - is a ridiculously UNconservative folly, more typical, indeed characteristic, of the Trotskyist neocons of Tel-Aviv via New York.

Even Malcolm Rifkind says so.

And I notice supposed Shadow Foreign Sec. Hague was much more realistic about this spat and its import for Britain than eager-beaver Cameron: "let's leave 'em to it and hope they sort it out quickly", basically. And right on! You have to laugh at DC knocking the neocons and Blair for their interventionism and hubris.

"The people of Kosovo are entitled to independence, but that must not mean borders elsewhere in the Balkans are reopened."


"Despite the rhetoric about "independence" and "self-determination" make no mistake - this is a right only of the Chosen People, who happen to fund my party. Other peoples are NOT entitled to the same national rights as the Jewish people.

Puppet-'states' like Kosovo are useful for bargaining purposes (with our peaceful Muslim brothers, lest they try and blow us up) and to better monitor/control the trade in arms, heroin, and terrorists, but if they ever instituted policies discriminating against their Jewish minority, as my masters in Israel have against their Muslim minority, they will be wiped off the map quickerna Jamaican can run."

Michael Rutherford: the Russians had a recognised peace-keeping force in S.Ossetia when the Georgian army rolled in. Should they have let Georgia continue bombing civilians? Or should they have driven the Georgians out and pacified them?

The S.Ossetians have only had to endure these periodic skirmishes with Georgia because G refuses to recognise their independence despite an overwhelming democratic demand and good legal and unimpeacheble moral claims to such.

Some history:

Some Legal Foundations of Independence of Nagorni Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the world community recognized the appearance of three new states in the Trans-Caucasus: Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. But the independence of the three smaller states - Nagorni Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia - born in the region at the same period, was not recognized by anyone.

Europe's view of the subject was most aptly expressed at the beginning of July 2005, by Goran Lenmarker, special representative of the chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly for Nagorni Karabakh. He said he opposed the recognition of the Republic of Nagorni Karabakh for the following reason: "I have to openly say that we cannot allow a great number of midget states to be formed in the Caucasus. The region must have three major states that should be treated with respect".

This pronouncement shows that, in its approach to the problem of the recognition of Nagorni Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Europe proceeds not from legal, but rather from opportunistic political considerations. To make as if they remain within the legal field on this issue, the European countries have pulled following trick: they began to register the legal situation in the Trans-Caucasus from the moment of the disintegration of the USSR, ignoring all the legislative basis of the Soviet state. But if one were to consider the situation with the recognition of Nagorni Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia from a really legal point of view, one should apply the laws that were in force in the USSR.

Thus, according to the Law of the USSR of April 3, 1990, "On the procedure for solving problems related to the withdrawal of the union republics from the USSR", autonomous entities had the right to self-determination and formation of independent subjects of the union federation, including their withdrawal from the constituent union republic. The said law was quite clear about that: "In a union republic whose composition includes autonomous republics, autonomous regions and autonomous districts, referendums shall be held separately in each autonomous entity. The people of the autonomous republic have the right to solve themselves the problem of their state/legal status ".

At the moment of the withdrawal of Georgia and Azerbaijan, which had the status of union republics, from the collapsing USSR Abkhazia had the status of an autonomous republic, and Nagorni Karabakh and South Ossetia of autonomous regions, and according to the law they had a legal right to freely define their status, including the proclamation of independence.

It should be noted that not all the autonomies of the Trans-Caucasus took advantage of their right to become independent states. Adzharia, for instance, decided to remain a part of Georgia, and Nakhichevan autonomy a part of Azerbaijan.

A barrier for any possible unlawful actions that might be taken by union republics in respect of their autonomies was set up in the Law "On the delimitation of authority between the Union of the SSR and the federation subjects" of April 26, 1990. Article 1 of the Law stated: "Relations of the autonomous republics and other autonomous entities with the union republics, which they are part of, shall be defined by agreements and treaties", while Article 3 read: "The territories of a union republic and other autonomous entities shall not be changed without their consent".

Obviously, the above-mentioned laws thus established equal rights and possibilities for the union republics and autonomous entities to freely define their political status. It is noteworthy that in accordance with the latter law Georgia's attempts to give South Ossetia a new name - "the Tskhinvali Region" - and divide administratively its territory among several of its regions are unlawful.

Provisions of the said laws fully complied with the basic provisions of international legal documents, such as: UN Charter (1945), International Pact of Civil and Political Rights (1961), UN General Assembly Resolution "On the Principles of International Law as Applied to Friendly Relations and Cooperation in Accordance with the UN Charter (1970), the Final Act of the Helsinki Agreement on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1975), UN General Assembly Declarations "On Peoples' Education in the Spirit of Peace" (1978), "On the Right to Development" (1986) and others.

Georgia and Azerbaijan who withdrew from the USSR in 1991, attempted, in violation of the provisions of the above laws, to annex by force the unrecognized states of Nagorni Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia that were formed at the same time as Georgia and Azerbaijan themselves. In these unlawful actions they have been counting on the support of those countries of the world community which recognized them. This support is the main reason why the Georgian-Abkhazian, the Georgian-Ossetian and the Nagorni Karabakh conflicts still find no solution in the second decade of their existence.

Georgia and Azerbaijan claim that the only possible variant of the settlement of these conflicts is the annexation of their former autonomies, and declare their desire to achieve the reunification by peaceful means. At the same time, both countries do not rule out in principle the solution of the problem by force. Seemingly, that is why at present Georgia and Azerbaijan are actively beefing up their armed forces.

The world community can prevent such a development only if it returns to the legal framework for the settlement of the problem and recognizes the independence of Nagorni Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which would deprive the leadership of Georgia and Azerbaijan of the possibility of a renewal of armed actions.

So the failure of the world community to recognize the smaller Trans-Caucasian states created on the basis of the former autonomies of the defunct USSR in full compliance with Soviet laws, leads the settlement process to a dead end and may result in a new aggravation of inter-state conflicts in the region.


I salute David Cameron's firm stance on this issue in his support for democracy and upholding international law and his clear views that we must confront the resurgent Russian bear in its neoimperialist aspirations by saying that its so called "peacekeepers" have no right whatsoever to occupy a sovereign state and that Russia recognising the independence of S Ossetia and Abkhazia will be a dead letter as the UN will not back it as the territorial integrity of Georgia cannot be violated by unilateral use of force nor for that matter anywhere else (Russia will have designs in Ukraine and Transnistria next if they get away with no sanctions against this move against Georgia). Russia will next quietly try and annexe it having allowed a total and brutal ethnic cleansing of 30000 Georgians living in the previously pro Tbilisi Sanakoyev governed area. This ethnic cleansing is subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC and Russia may under its Geneva Convention responsibilities of protecting civilians face War Crime indictments as it allowed free rein to S Ossetian irregulars to burn and raze whole villages to the ground. President Sakashvilli was probably unwise to rise to S Ossetian violent provocation orchestrated by Moscow but he was legally entitled to retake his national territory under international law and its also clear to all that Russia is now the aggressor. David at Home just doesnt seem to understand that the traditional UK Foreign policy of ignoring places far away about which we know little no longer applies in the modern world of instant free communication, huge global flows of capital, cheap jet travel, and large flows of people into Europe. The UK (via BP the biggest investor in Georgia) has now along with its EU partners an interest in developing a common external energy security policy to avoid the use of the gas weapon by Russia and other unstable regimes in the world by showing coordination and solidarity with vulnerable EU countries like Poland and Lithuania and in future years the UK itself as we have to import a bigger share of oil and gas from countries like Russia. Not to mention if Russia extends its irredentism to Crimea by handing out its passports to establish a so called "legitimate interest to interfere" by supporting pro Moscow parties and spurious plebisicites and there is a bloody war in Ukraine there would be massive flows of refugees some of whom would come to Britain, host to a large Russophone community in London. D at Home seems not to appreciate that domestic and foreign policy in a country like the UK with large immigrant communities for whom where we stand on foreign policy issues affecting their countries of origin also becomes a serious political consideration in domestic politics particulalrly in London which I represent. For instance in the EP today there were calls to prevent Visa facilitation for Russian passport holders (ironically making it easier for an Ossetian to travel to the EU than a Georgian) and a closer scrutiny of the billions their oligarchs have deposited in our banks under various monay laundering laws etc. Now such a drastic measure if implemented would seriously effect the City of London so you cannot just ignore these issue David as you would simply like to isolate our country, stop the globalisation train and try and blame everything on the EU!

I have been waiting for a long time to hear about the Conservative party policy on Sri Lanka and its 25 year conflict.

It appears that the party is not willing to listen to the 100,000 or more Tamil voters in London. I hope they do some time.


Is its for voters or for Oil?

Where there is oil we will fight. Is that what Politics is all about?

How many voters have we got from Darfur?

Lots of waffle there, Dr Tannock, but I am not quite sure what it means in policy terms. I doubt I am not alone in my alarm at the thought that immigrants from unstable areas in Eastern European London might influence our foreign policy and even drag us into foreign wars.

Anyway here are two very simple questioned for you:

1. Are you in flavour of Georgia joining the EU?


2. Are you in favour of Georgia joining NATO?

By the way, next spring in the EU Parliament elections, you will not only have to contend with that excellent UKIP MEP for London, Gerard Batten, but also the formidable Marta Andreasen. Do you remember her? She was the Spanish EU Chief accountant sacked by that famous EU Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Neil Kinnock, for uncovering the chaos in the EU accounts. Mrs Andreason takes no prisoners and I think you should be prepared for fireworks!

This is the most naive and dangerous thing I've heard a politician say for many, many years. I'm so glad he is not in charge.

It's not stretch to imagine a Russian leader testing the credibility of NATO by causing a confrontation with a new NATO power.

No nation which is not a stable democracy should be allowed to join NATO or the EU.

NATO is an on/off switch to global confrontation, and should not be used to further short term policy goals.

Gerard Batten MEP (nice chap that he is) got a derisory 1% of the vote as UKIP mayoral candidate recently in spite of being a London MEP since 2004. Good luck with your candidate Martha Andreasen who till recently is not even a UK resident fighting the cause of UK independence. Conservatives are hot on the issue of EU fraud and we have nothing to apologise about in this respect. I just pointed out (as demonstrtaed coincidentally by Mr Ratnaraja) that we live in a cosmopolitan Britain where foreign and domestic policy overlap as Mr Ratnaraja pleads the cause of Tamil independence and openly talks about the 100 000 Tamil votes at stake in London. In London Robert Evans MEP has courted this vote assiduosly but as much as I suport devolution to the Tamil majority areas of Sri lanka and investigation by alleged atrocities by Sri Lanka armed forces against civilans I regard the Tamil Tigers or LTTE as a terrorist organisation as does the Conservative Party. I refuse to lobby to take the LTTE off the EU terrorist list for as long as they advocate child soldiers, suicide bombers and brutally murder opponents even if there are Tamil votes at stake, as this is a matter of principle and UK national interest in which we respect the territorial integrity of the Republic of Sri Lanka, a Commonwealth country.

Sorry DatH I didnt fully answer your questions. I am speaking personally and my views may not reflect the Conservative Party official policy but I am in favour of Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO although in Ukraine this will be a hard sell politically and I am in favour of Ukraine joining the EU which to my mind should be restricted to clearly defined European countries under Article 49 of the EU Treaty.

Concerning the EU Parliament Elections next year (when the EU will be the top item on the agenda) we will see, Dr Tannock, we will see!

Are you going to answer my questions about Georgia joining the EU and/or NATO?

Sorry Dr T. My post crossed with yours.

Thanks for answering my questions. I do, however, regard your answers as alarming.

Did no one teach Charles Tannock on the use of punctuation, grammar or paragraphs? His long posts are unreadable.


Mr. Tannock: the whole world knows what the western European and American press prefer to file away at the bottom of every report: Georgia invaded South Ossetia, Russia's actions were a response to a modern army's attack on a civilian population.

Do you mouthpieces for empire not consider that the talking points they hand down to you are always self-incriminating? If Russia "ha[s] no right whatsoever to occupy a sovereign state" then neither do Britain and the US - have you heard of Iraq?

These arguments you parrot are forced to be always inconsistent because the policies of the neo-imperialists YOU support are founded not on any universal principles or even on even-handed applications of realpolitik, but rather are the improvised responses to the needs of, as you say, "huge global flows of capital".

Follow the money and remember the one principle uniting all western and would-be western politicians: western nations must be DISMANTLED, as peoples, as independent economies, as self-governing nation-states, and as western nations.

That's what your "large flows of people into Europe" are about; that's what unwanted and despised MEPs are for; that's why the globalists are baffled at Russia defending Russians attacked by Georgia (after all, your governments despise you!); and baffled at Russia taking the long view on her energy resources, rather than seeking big "cheap jet travel" profits Here and Now.

Just contrast the upward swing of the Russian economy with America and Britain's headlong rush to bankruptcy; contrast the approval ratings of their leaders; contrast the lies and propaganda we witnessed for months and months to give us the Iraq war (and what a disaster it has been) with Russia's perfectly moral defence of South Ossetia (and how swift and clear a decisive result). Why are you backing the losers CT?

Anyway, it's been wonderful to have an MEP lecturing us on "democracy" and even more delicious to see a lackey for empire telling us all about neo-imperialism when we know he's taling about anti-imperialism, but thankfully the people don't believe it any more Charlie. Check this thread, never mind the Guardian!

And the oligarch's dirty money? Didn't you know - that was all an anti-semitic Putin smear too; these men are legitimate captains of industry, Lord Rothschild no less took control of Khodorkovsky's cash when that particular angel of free-trade was cruelly gulaged. The working man's plea: Back off Brussels will no doubt be heard for once! How peculiar!

The 2005 EU Parliament elections in London the results were as follows:

Conservative: 26.8 % 3 MEPs
Labour : 24.8% 3 MEPs
LibDem: 15.3% 1 MEP
UKIP: 12.3% 1 MEP
Green: 8.4% 1 MEP
Respect: 4.8% 0 MEPs
BNP: 4.0% 0 MEPs

I do not think that the good Dr Tannock, or anyone else, should be too complacent. There is a lot to play for.


[...] 'what we need is a defence review based on our national security, not on Treasury guidelines, and that will tell us either that we need to reduce the commitments that we have or we need to increase spending.”
What on earth does this mean, precisely? And what determines our 'national security' strategy? Who is going to conduct this review? Senior figures within the MoD or outside contractors who will undoubtedly recommend that not only troop numbers but surveillance technologies should be increased? You would have to make a strong case indeed, Mr Cameron.

Libertarian - I don't know who you are in "real life" but can't you express your disagreement with one of our elected representatives (which you are fully entitled to do) without resorting to rude personal abuse? And that goes for the others of you who are being extremely rude to Charles Tannock who is good enough to contribute to Conservative Home on a regular basis. No wonder some of his colleagues avoid this site like the plague!

I am finding this thread a bit strong meat. I am sure Dr Tannock does his best within the constraints of his party policy, the EU Parliament and his own understanding. The rest of us are entitled to indicate where we think he is mistaken but we should surely do so without personal abuse.

Meanwhile, Mr Cameron seems somewhat confused about his defence policy, or rather, his lack of a defence policy. This is of grave concern since the defence of the realm (but not the pursuit of madcap foreign military adventures) is the first duty of government.

A comprehensive, well thought out defence policy may be found here:


Anything about the EU, Dave?

Charles Tannock insulted Marta Andreasen by insinuating that such a foreigner should not be standing against him. As I said earlier, the Conservatives courted Marta Andreasen but are smearing her after she chose to join UKIP when they let her down.

The Conservative members and supporters in London deserve better than Dr Tannock. It is a pity that Dave deprived the members the opportunity to rank the excellent Syed Kamall and J-P Floru above Dr Tannock.

"It is a pity that Dave deprived the members the opportunity to rank the excellent Syed Kamall and J-P Floru above Dr Tannock."

You are wrong "Libertarian" - we had every opportunity to rank Syed above Charles if we so chose! As for JP he was ranked on a different list and has come out in a position where there is every likelihood that he will be elected next year!


"Charles Tannock insulted Marta Andreasen by insinuating that such a foreigner should not be standing against him."

I do not think it was really meant as an insult but it did seem a bit of a snide remark though I expect he did not intend it to be so.

It never ceases to amaze me how the enemies of UKIP like to portray us as "little Englanders", “anti European”, “xenophobic" or even as did Mr Cameron as "closet racists" when this is clearly untrue as can be seen by the appointment of Marta Andreasen as Party Treasurer and MEP candidate, the wide selection candidates we field at elections and even from the wives of Nigel Farage and Gerard Batten.

But it is NOT racist to wish to preserve one’s own traditions of democracy and government. My wife, also foreign born, cannot understand why our political class (including many of the Conservative Leadership) are apparently so keen to give the government of our country away to an unaccountable unelected commission in Brussels but then, neither can I!

Perhaps Mr Cameron will explain during the next of his fireside chats.

I agree that everyone on this site, including but not restricted to elected politicians such as my MEP Charles Tannock, should be treated with respect. But I do not think he does himself many favours with a 43 line message with no paragraph breaks (with an 8 1/2 line first sentence). Let's be charitable and assume he did it on a blackberry from the beach and was unable to read it over.

But I do appreciate him coming on here and salute him for that. And, Sally, yes he did beat Syed in the ballot for top place. Nonetheless the whole process was rotten and I have met many activists who refused to take part as a result. For one thing I would have liked to have heard Charles and Syed speak instead of having to rely on distant memories of their performances last time around.

Londoner I'm glad to read your sensible words in a debate that seems to have become all too bogged down with "noises off"! I do understand that many people are sore about the way MEPs and candidates were chosen and ranked but I do believe the Party did its best to have a fair system in place which amongst other things enabled a large number of excellent female candidates to be placed in winnable positions!
As for hearing Syed and Charles speak (and they are both first-class speakers!) - why don't you invite them to a local supper club to get to know your members some time during the next few months? We had Syed at one of ours not that long ago and he impressed everyone he met!

Mara MacSeoinin,
I think that Defence reviews follow a pretty standard pattern. The government of the day, at Cabinet level, decides where our national interest lies. Input comes from all Departments of State with the FCO in the lead and will probably be coordinated by the Cabinet Office.
Then I expect there would be an intelligence assessment of the threat/s to those interests and an order of priority allocated to those threats. (For example, during the Cold War, the USSR was the main threat and offered opposition to our national interest in a variety of ways, calling for a correspondingly varied range of responses, military and otherwise. It was clear then that we were not in a position to guarantee our national security unless we were in international alliances of which NATO, CENTO and SEATO were the main ones.Today the problem is not so clear cut but membership of Nato, with its wider remit, remains the underpinning of our defence effort)
Having been given a synopsis of our interests and the scale of the threat that opposes (or might oppose) them, the MOD is responsible for showing in detail how our Armed Forces will be able to respond to them; and then show where there is a shortfall in resources. Bearing in mind that we have Defence Forces and their equipment programmes already in existence, any significant changes, needing increases or reductions, must be planned so as to have the minimum effect possible on current capability. Then the mighty Treasury comes into play!
The sums seldom add up so when the political decisions have to be taken, it becomes necessary to decide the priority that Defence spending should be given over all other areas of government. I believe at present it actually ranks 8th in order of priority, immediately after repayment of the National Debt!
I hope you will understand that this is not done on the back of a fag packet and then agreed or otherwise by defence equipment manufacturers! It is of immense importance and it matters particularly to those now serving. The government`s approach is hemmed in in many ways. Domestic expenditure on such items as Education, NHS, the Olympic Games to name but a few are strong competitors for expenditure. But please remember when you yourself consider this matter that in the 20th century, 1968 was the only year when a British soldier was not killed on active service. So David Cameron is right to say a Defence Review is urgently needed to decide what we need to do, what we can afford to do, then either increase resources or reduce commitments. I don`t envy him because so many of the factors bearing on the problem will be outside his control and he will pay the political penalty if he gets it wrong, as indeed he should



As you can see my Comments are in simple plain English. Please can you point out where I have said that I support the Tamil independence.

I want justice for all who live in Sri Lanka whether Tamil, Muslim or Sinhalese.

The current Sri lankan Government is not capable of finding a lasting solution for the conflict.

I can understand your reason for not supporting the LTTE. It is your right. Do you not read about the daily bombing and the suffering of the Tamil People in the Norteh and East of Sri lanka? My own Sister who lives in the north of Sri Lanka cannot afford to buy a loaf of bread to feed her three children (I am asked to go for Conservative fundraising dinners sometimes I pay even £150 for a dinner).

Why not ask the Conservative party to help those People who are suffering in Wanni? Send a team of Conservative MPs to LTTE held areas.

All what I am trying to say is that the Conservative, Labour and Libdem MPs are quick to blame the Tamils and the LTTE for everything in Sri Lanka and are not willing to even listen to the Tamil voters in London.

More than 25000 Tamils gathered in London to promote Tamil culture. Not a single Conservative politician was there.

This shows as a party we don't reach out to other Communities. I am a member of the Conservative party to reach out to other communities.

I suggest you talk to People like David Burrowes MP, Stephen Hammond MP, Lee Scott MP and learn from them how much they value their Tamil voters.

My references to Marta Andreassen have nothing to do with her nationality (I believe Danish extraction born in Argentina) as I made no reference to this. Instead I referred to her place of residence which is a legitimate enquiry line as we are always questioning if candidates are local or not and I do find it strange that UKIP have adopted a candidate for a UK seat resident I believe at least till very recently in Spain. This notion of having the right to stand as an MEP candidate irrespective of your nationality or residence is normally one attributed to European federalists (David Steel MP did this for the Liberals very many years ago when he ran as a paper MEP candidate in Italy where he got nowhere) as in a UK local election you have to work or reside in your local authority and for Parliament you have to be a UK or Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK as far as I know. In fact the government was proposing that even to be a working peer you had to pay taxes and be ordinarily resident in the UK. For the record I am married to a foreigner and cannot remotely be described as xenophobic with 3 British children of mixed nationality background. I thank Sally as usual and David at Home who although is perfectly entitled to disagree with what I have to say has the courtesy not to resort to insults and debates the ideas without ad hominem attacks.

"I thank Sally as usual and David at Home who although is perfectly entitled to disagree with what I have to say has the courtesy not to resort to insults and debates the ideas without ad hominem attacks."

You are more than welcome Charles - I am afraid (David at Home excepted) it looks as though this afternoon the lunatics really did take over the asylum!

David_at_Home you said: "it is NOT racist to wish to preserve one’s own traditions... My wife, also foreign born, cannot understand why our political class ... are apparently so keen to give the government of our country away... !"

-- Agreed. But nobody says it is. However, do you think it's racist to wish to preserve one's own people's control of the national homeland? England for the English and all that. (The Dalai Lama is doing it now, but nobody says he's racist, in fact nationalism only seems forbidden to White peoples...)

Also, isn't it racist to do as Cameron (and Brown and every other mainstream pol) does, even in the quotes at the head of this thread, and extend rights to some peoples that you specifically deny to others: namely the right to self-determination and national independence?

What could be more racist than saying some peoples can survive as distinct ethnic groups by virtue of separation, while others MUST over time be blended out by enforced geographical and cultural mixing? (Isn't that genocide? Or at the least ethnocide?)

Thanks in advance for the answer.

tory black fist said: "Follow the money and remember the one principle uniting all western and would-be western politicians: western nations must be DISMANTLED, as peoples, as independent economies, as self-governing nation-states, and as western nations."

That's right isn't it? Globalism is the only political game in town. Every other consideration is second to that, every higher order that once acted as a brake on the money-greed; religion, morality, respect for the past and concern for the future, respect for one's own people and respect for other peoples, all are relegated to after-thoughts if we're lucky.

@ Charles Tannock.

Marta Andreassen is not breaking any law or rule by standing for UKIP in the European Elections. These are European elections, not national elections. You are simply being mean vindictive because Marta joined UKIP when the Conservatives failed to back her against the Commission who sacked her for being "disloyal".

Charles Tannock wrote "For the record I am married to a foreigner and cannot remotely be described as xenophobic with 3 British children of mixed nationality background." I believe that his current wife is not the mother of his three children.

"Thanks in advance for the answer."

The answer you would give yourself, Arnoldf, would probably depend upon which side of which Caucasian / Balkan / African / Ceylonese / other conflict you support.

MY answer is simple: They, the Caucasians in conflict with other Caucasians, the Albanians in conflict with Serbs, the different tribes fighting it out in the Sudan or everyone else fighting anyone else should expect to sort this out between themselves, one might hope peacefully and by negotiation, without expecting NATO or the UK to come galloping to support one side or the other on the basis of the latest heartrending report on Newsnight.

The British Armed Services are not the policemen of the world and should NOT be sent into areas of conflict except for the defence of THIS realm or when there is some clear British national interest involved where to alternatives, to the UK and it people, would be worse. Furthermore, when we do get involved we should behave decently and honourably (as is almost universally the case with the Armed Services but I am not too sure about some of the politicians).

By the UK, I mean the United Kingdom and its dependent territories, not the expansionist EU, not the "International Community", not some vague concept of "Human Rights" or not even the cause of Democracy itself. If there is one thing the withdrawal from Empire should have taught us, it is that democracy cannot be imposed on people who are not ready for it or don’t want it.

How about some thoughts on energy security? It was part of the interview.

The best International Parliamentarian of the Year Syed Kamal was not first on the MEP list for the Conservatives. I wonder how the MEP candidates are ranked?

We are all Conservatives and I hope all Our MEPs win.

What an awful thread. This does show Conservative Home commenters at their best.

I meant of course this does 'not' show CH commenters at their best.

I think the fact "Tamil" politics is now a part of UK domestic politics is a symbol of how much our country has been sold down the river. Why, as a British political activist, should I give a damn what happens in Sri Lanka? If all these people living in Britain really want "justice" for Sri Lanka why don't they return to their own country and do something about it? We didn't ask for them to be here and I bitterly resent the fact that our politicians have to meddle in the affairs of foreign states just to appease a vocal minority who have made it clear their loyalty lies abroad and have no intention of integrating into our society.

Sorry if that offends anyone but that's just the way it is. If you care about Sri Lanka go and vote in Sri Lankan elections, not British elections. I wouldn't expect to move to Sri Lanka and vote there to try and influence politics in Ulster.

"This notion of having the right to stand as an MEP candidate irrespective of your nationality or residence is normally one attributed to European federalists"

Like Sir James Goldsmith, Dr T?

Libertarian: re your comment about the parentage of Charles Tannock's children. I know you might say he brought up the subject of the national backgrounds of his wife and children but whether the former is related to the latter is not only irrelevant, but beyond the pale. Or does your brand of "libertarianism" think taking potshots at someone who was (presumably) once divorced to be proper public debate? A "libertarian" who objects to divorced politicians...hmm.

Regarding Charles coming above Syed in the London members' ballot (on a very low turnout) I think SW7 etc may have had a lot to do with it, but not for any racist reason alleged above. Charles was an active member of Chelsea/Kensington Conservatives before he ever was an MEP and it is the largest Conservative Association in London. No doubt he still keeps up with them and it is hardly surprising they are loyal to him. Indeed it is something in his favour that the people who have known him a long time like and value him. (For the record, I am not from RBK&C and I voted for Sayed as his newsletters etc are excellent and I slightly prefer his more eurosceptic, but realistic, stance. Totally academic anyway as the top two are absolutely bound to be elected.)

Trouble about all this is that I am not sure I am much the wiser about the true rights and wrongs of South Orsettia. But if Putin and friends are on one side, and Cameron and friends on the other, it's probably good enough for me.

New UKIP supporter
Even the BNP would not say that. The world is not flat anymore as the UKIP supporters think. There are 192 Countries in this World.

Why don't you ask all the Jews to go back to Israel because they talk about the Middle eastern Conflict. We are all British Citizens though some were born out of this Country. How British are you? Can you check your family tree if you have one?

Malcolm you're right and I am afraid Con Home is going through a bit of a bad patch when it comes to level of debate at the moment - and not just on this thread! Frankly I am sure the idiotic ravings of a few are putting off some of our more interesting and rational contributors - Graeme, Annabel, Oberon, Patsy where are you all? Frightened off by the foamers no doubt and only temporarily I hope!
I've seen this kind of thing happen on other web communities - non-polital as well as political! Over a period of time a number of trolls steam in and through their inanities deter the more sensible people. After a time the tumbleweed begins to blow and eventually the site closes - do we really want that to happen here? Tim please come back soon - Con Home needs you!

Thank you Londoner for your courtesy whoever you are and If you wish to email me I will explain who is who in my family which is actually very straightforward and is all in the public domain anyway. As to Tannock Watch (this must be some kind of a Joke Ed!) re Jimmy Goldsmith who was an MEP in 1994-9 for France he had French nationality having been born in Paris of a French mother and British father , had homes in France where he was partly resident. Mrs Andreasen is neither resident in London nor anywhere else in the UK as she lives in Madrid to my knowledge nor has British nationality which I think most Londoners will find a litle curious if she is to represent them as an MEP but that is a judgement the voters will ahve to make not me!

No need re your family - as I said, it is irrelevant to me and anyone else with any sense but I just felt someone should pick up "libertarian" on his ridiculous and offensive reference.

I look forward to voting for you, Syed and your fellow list candidates next year. Although I take Sally's point about invitations to constituency events etc, do you think that you and your fellow London candidates might consider doing some sort of London-wide meeting or meetings, principally for members, before the campaign starts? To avoid repetition, the top 5 on the list, say, could each introduce themselves and do, say, 8 minutes on one particular aspect of what the Euro-Parl is responsible for and then there could be a panel answering questions. I feel this could help to motivate the activists as well as giving people the chance to quiz you that we missed through not having hustings this time. I realise any election expense implications would have to be carefully handled, but I am sure that should not be an impediment.

Londoner this is an excellent idea and I would fully support the idea of the London Euro Team doing a London-wide event! I have not yet met Marina or JP and look forward to doing so at some stage in the next few months!

I will raise it with the team at the next meeting but the problem is that we have limited ways of reaching out to the "whole of London" in terms of publicising events as we have found with the postal balloting and the only way would be a mailshot which to 36000 Conservative members is a major undertaking! Relying on the Associations is difficult as they all have mailslots at different times so we would have to have months notice. The general feelng is we are better deployed in ones and twos to the Constituencies in order to cover more territory which is a huge challenge given the size of London region. I find Associations keen to meet us are inviting us to address AGMs etc already. In the past the turnout to a London wide event was very small as people have to travel long distances wherever we hold it and for most ordinary particulalrly eledrly members this is a challenge. The London wide hustings have produced a less than 1% turnout. However we are having a London wide Regional event 15th November for senior party members ie officers, councillors, AMs , MPs etc and I dont know if youre in that category but if you email me with your identity Ill see if I can get you an invitation as the MEPs will be sponsoring the event and making a presentation.

Thanks Charles and I entirely take your point that it would be a bit of a mammoth undertaking! Sadly I'm not an officer of my Association but I suppose if nobody else wants to go from Hammersmith they might kindly pass their invitation on to me! One never knows.

What an incredibly disappointing response Charles. The Euro elections in London and else where have been a bit of a joke in terms of turnout. Surely it can't be beyond the wit of man to hire a decent sized hall in Central London and then publicize the event through willing Associations,emails, conservatives.com, Con Home ,Iain Dale, Guido etc,etc. It's quick and easy.
Even if it's not a success which I think it will be at least you've given it a go. Better than being content with going to meetings for 'senior party members' which are generally just a waste of everyone's time.

I agree with Malcolm that Charles's response is disappointing. If there are 36,000 members in London, even a 1% turnout means a meeting with 360 people who could be enthused and motivated! I went to the London-wide hustings for both the previous Euro elections and there were certainly hundreds at each.

The reluctance to expose the candidates collectively to any member with the enthusiasm to go and hear them I am afraid is just another indication of how remote the whole process is. I am not currently in the category of people being invited to this special event for the high-ups. It's kind of Charles to offer to invite me specially but I am not looking for privileged access in that sort of crowd. I want to see you guys, including the new candidates, exposed to the rank-and-file activists/members that are expected to work for you. It's really not a great deal to ask.

I have taken note of Londoners and Malcolm's strong feelings on this matter. Just to point out that I dont think such an event was ever staged for Boris or the London Assembly top up list candidates so I am sure the CCHQ experts will have looked at such an event but it has not been raised so far by anyone in the London team so I will promise to raise it as I have said with the Regional team at the next meeting. Maybe Malcolm or Londoner you could join my team during the campaign? I promise to keep mum about your screen identity if you email me!!

If you organise this Charles. I'd be happy to come campaigning with you.
The fact that wasn't done for Boris or the GLA is irrelevant. Turnout for the Euro Parliament is an embarrasment and any anything that can be done to increase turnout and enthuse the activists should be done.
Please let me know how you get on.Tim Montgomerie knows where to find me.

There were several hustings meetings for Boris and his rivals, two of whom were eventually successful GLA list candidates, before he was selected. No opportunity like that re the Euro candidates.

If there's a meeting, I would definitely come and would decide afterwards about the extent of my involvement in the campaign.

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