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Go ahead, rub it in.
It hurts.

I think he speaks common sense here. Most of u, especially in the "broad church", are moderate eurosceptics. The hard-liners are just very, very vocal.

EDIT: "Us" not "u"

My view remains this: we need Clarke to win, in large part because Osborne isn't strong enough as Shadow Chancellor and the rest of the front bench is relatively weak.

We simply cannot afford not to win. But Clarke will be old by the time Cameron gets into power. And if he wins, I think DC gets at least two terms.

By then Clarke will be long gone. He is a tool, he needs to be used. I think this is also DC's opinion.

I am much more worried about Hague, who actually WILL be around and will be Foreign Secretary. And, as he's demonstrated by moving left, I just doubt Hague has the guts to actually *do* something about the EU.

Oh dear - bitterness does not become you Tim. Get over yourself and stop helping the other side.

We aim to provide comprehensive coverage of developments in the Conservative Party, scampi. Good and bad. Please go to conservatives.com if you only want positive stories :-)

Historically true.

Breaking Chatham House rules? Somebody at the Guardian has been very naughty.

You can tell that the Guardian is scheming when they stop you leaving comments at the bottom of the article. It's so boringly obvious. It's like saying "hey, we have a hidden agenda by posting this". Heh. They should learn that this creepy style didn't stop Boris Johnson from becoming Mayor of London, and it won't create divisions on Europe. British people are wise to the crap coming from the Guardian.

I think the decision to bring Clarke back in to the shad. cabinet was made as a knee jerk response to the 'brown bounce' before Christmas.

Too bad the bounce seems to have come to an end without Mr Clarke's intervention- tough break fellas!!

Feel free to tear yourselves to bits over europe anytime you please :D

I note that both he and Mandelson wear suede shoes .Surprisingly the 'ginger' ones are worn by Ken whereas Mandy wears slinky black ones,much favoured by Italian diplomats.

Clarke is from the generation whose views were forged in the 1950s and are closed to what the EU has become since. The one-way ratchet of the growing body of EU law means that the EU issue will eventually come a head because fundamentally it is about who runs the country. Do we as a nation want to be governed by the government we elect in Westminster or by the emerging government that is the EU Commission. The issue is even more acute for the Conservative party because they will only ever be a party of power in the UK. The parties of power onthe EU scene would be the socialists and the EPP, with the Conservatives never able to play any more than a bit part similar to that of the CSU in Germany or the UDP in Westminster.

My vote in 2010 has been decided by the recall of Ken Clarke. The Conservatives need another 5 years in opposition to get some backbone on the EU issue.

labour must love reading all this..

Tory ken clarke bashing brightens their day up.. and electoral hopes!

This is a non-story. If Ken were to come round to BOO, now THAT would be a story worth printing!

All that will happen is that UKIP and Labour trolls will come on here trying to make mischief and try to create some "Tory Grassroots at odds with Ken Clarke" ammo for Mr Kate Garraway to peddle to his friends at the BBC and in the MSM.

It is true that governments have always become more eu (or whatever brand then existed) friendly when in office. However, that fact cannot disguise the absolute truth following the constitution that there will be little point in being in the UK Government since its function will, progressively, become nothing more than rubber stamping decisions made by the unelected second raters in Brussels. Goodness knows with 80% of our laws/regulations emanating from Brussels now it seems amazing that Brown had sufficient leeway to bankrupt the country.

Dan Hannan often asks why governments become eu friendly when in office and has, when I last heard, failed to discover what the bribeis.

Reading silly blogs won't help Labour. They are the party in power, talking about the opposition shadow minister for business doesn't help them out of their troubles. Ken Clarke is a seasoned politician, however he is a true conservative and as a result we should trust his judgement.

This gives more ammunition for UKIP in the June EU Parliament elections.

The issue will eventually split both the Tory and the Labour parties. I am looking forward to that happy day!

This story doesn't matter electorally. Brown's recession means we'll win but it tells us about the kind of Conservative Government that Clarke expects and now has the power to help deliver.

so someone had a tape recorder and sent it to the Guardian?


Better to get this stuff aired out sooner and in our own way rather than at some more pivotal moment, I think. See also the fancy dress sicko from the other week.

Clarke supports Europe?! Hold the frontpage!!

This is the Guardian doing it's damndest to pull at Tory threads... no more.

Europhile or Eurosceptic, it's no bad thing to have good and robust challenge in the shadow cabinet. Good challenge will lead to better, more thoroughly examined and tested arguments. To merely accept the dogma and spout it (like some UKIP supporters) is intellectually weak.

"It is still firmly Eurosceptic but it's now moderate, harmless Eurosceptism"

Like promising a referendum that won't be delivered?

Clarke is only one man in a shadow cabinet of Eurosceptics. His ability to inluence the majority of MPs will be negligable so I doubt it will be much of a story. Unless we let it become so.
The UKIP supporters on this site can delude themselves that it will make much difference to the electorate if they want. They're becoming more and more harmless.

I recommend Obama should join America to the EU if he's so up for it and stop thinking for Britain when his own country is the biggest mess it's ever been in.

Secondly, I recommend David Cameron sticks to his word and doesn't end up a liar like the lot we have now.

Thirdly, I recommend that Kenneth Clarke gets his own job done and leaves leadership thinking to the leader elected by the party.

This article needs to be stamped on by David Cameron swiftly.

Yawn. Ken Clarke is a Europhile - hardly earth shattering news to the readers of this blog.

An article on the dire condition of Sterling would have been more relevant today.

Surprise! Surprise!

As someone who finds the thought of the many outcasts at the EU totally running Britain, completely repugnant, Ken isn’t my favourite MP, but seeing the Guardian piece doesn’t make me like him any less because this is exactly the type of language & thoughts I’d expect to hear from someone so in love with the EU.

If the Guardian thinks that pointing out the obvious to anyone with the slightest interest in having the obvious pointed out to them will have any effect on anything at all, what a silly, clueless bunch they must be at that paper, I on the other hand I like having these stories pointed out to me because I wouldn’t get a chance to have a laugh at those desperately trying to make trouble.

The way I see the EU is that it is full of the Kinnock reject types who long for some power but not wanted at home, the EU is also made up of such diverse people with such diverse ideas, religions, views & patriotism, I fail to see any amount of laws & rules to make us tolerant to each other having any real affect in the real world, people are people & human nature is a powerful thing, I am relying on that as a more powerful basis’s to see the EU fall apart.

Clarke's comments pre-suppose that by the time the Conservatives get into power Obama will still be enamoured with the EU. I wouldn't be placing bets on it. And if the polls continue to move in the Conservatives' favour NuLabour is likely to hang on as long as poss before calling an election. By then Clarke will be approaching 70 and is unlikely to feature in any Conservative Cabinet for very long. Also, there's a lot of water to go under the EU's bridge before then. With at least 5 of the members of the eurozone in deep trouble it is surely only those who are very optimistic - or naive - who would bet on it being free of some disturbing tensions. Apart from anything else with the German economy taking a deep nose-dive surely it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the government there will want to take decisions in its own interests rather than those of other members of the eurozone. What price EU harmony then?

Ken Clarke forgets how utterly changed a parliamentary party with an overall majority will be.

Around 50% of the parliamentary party are likely to be newly elected if we are to have even a slim working majority.

As the candidates I speak with are much more Eurosceptic than most of our current crop of parliamentarians I suggest that the centre of gravity will swing in a more eurosceptic direction.

Ken is engaged in wishful thinking.

I agree with those saying "Surprise, Surprise"
Frankly with our bankrupt, broken country slowly disappearing down the drain, morally, financially and spiritually, all presided over by a cowardly maniac of a prime mentalist in Downing Street surely there are more things to worry us than this trivial garbage.
The only important thing is we need to be rid of this Zanulabour mob as soon as possible and if bringing Ken into the cabinet helps then more power to our elbows.
If your party is not in power you can,t change anything, which is why the right, euro-sceptics etc need to unite and get the tories back in government, then take care of the Euro question.
We need to fight and kill one enemy at a time and our first enemies are Zanulabour and the Lib Dems.

As for the Tories in Scotland, I copied this rubbish from our invisible shadow sec of state David Mundell.

"David Mundell MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, has today launched his Private Member’s Bill which will require all providers of goods or services in the UK which accept Bank of England notes to accept Scottish banknotes on an equal basis."

Well Mundell don,t we have enough stupid, laws, rules and regs from Zanulabour without you thinking up any more and, speaking as a Scot who travels overseas for work and pleasure, I always get rid of my Scottish banknotes at the airport.
Also, as both Scottish banks are virtually bankrupt and should be dissolved, why not get rid of the silly scottish notes at the same time.

So Mundell if thats the best you can do,,please go back to being invisible again,, or better still, clear off and lets have a Tory shadow for scotland who really is a serious Tory ( somebody like Lord Forsyth) with good Tory principles rather than a Tory laughing stock.

Hardly news is it.

I still have a bet on UKIP winning no seats in June!

"We aim to provide comprehensive coverage of developments in the Conservative Party, scampi. Good and bad. Please go to conservatives.com if you only want positive stories :-)"

Ooohh very bitchy. Loser.

John F, don't be a pratt on this issue please.

I have over the years been very annoyed about this issue, and I for one am glad that a Scottish MP is trying to deal with it. Its long overdue.
More importantly, as I listened to Mundell on 5 Live radio, I realised that the Scottish Tory media machine is certainly much improved recently. Something else to be commended.

Now, can someone email Tim or Jonathan to let them know about the breaking story tonight.
BREAKING NEWS: Police 'raid Tory MP's Commons office without search warrant'.

The email on my computer is playing up for some reason.

Please go to conservatives.com if you only want positive stories :-)

But Tim, although you do seem to have Ken in your sights (payback for past deeds?), this is a positive story!

The Conservative Party is not unanimously eurosceptic and it’s fair enough that the pro- people, like me, have some representation. Even so, you eurosceptics have no need to fear. Ken is there for his economic gravitas, not his opinions on Europe. Cameron's leadership is secure enough to sideline any MP who creates trouble in order to promote a personal agenda. And legendary though he is, Ken's lone europhile voice in the Shadow Cabinet is not a threat to the euroscepticism that you meat eaters demand of our party. Malcolm is absolutely right on that.

Tories to get more pro-EU in office? I most sincerely hope NOT. We need some reassurances from the leadership that the next Conservative government will take back substantial powers from the EU and restore our ability to govern ourselves as a free nation. I fear 'Europe' is becoming an more of an issue again (just as Labour would like) after a long period of it being settled in the party - I hope I'm wrong.

Well he would say that wouldn't he?

Also, nothing he said relates to, or reqires him to be on the front bench.

It is not a threat, or plan of action it is an analysis - and not necesarily an accurate/correct analysis...

I didn't want Clake back, but accept that he is -- and this makes no real difference to anything in my mind.

However - I strongly disapprove of anything being 'off the record', if someone hasn't got the nerve to speak their mind openly, they don't deserve our respect - the public are not simple minded, hysterical panickers (even if some newspapers pretend that they are).

'Off the record' also fuels damaging rumours and suspicions, as 'the public' can never be sure if they have the full picture and may doubt their own position incase others are more 'in the know'.

I'm as Euro-sceptic as they come, but if there is anyone who is going to cause a split in the party over europe, it's not ken clarke but paranoid people who dwell on stupid articles like this. If anyone thinks the party line on Europe is likely to change or is compromised in some way just because Ken Clarke is now in the shadow cabinet, get real! With Cameron and Hague at the healm, absolutely no chance! So to those people who are crying and wimping over to UKIP because of this move, good riddance, go and waste your vote, you are clearly not serious people when it comes to politics. I would have thought party unity and having the best economic team in the face of the most serious economic recession in decades was more important. Some people obviously think its still 1992, wake up and buy yourself a newspaper, check the date and the main headline.

ConHome really do need a new angle on Clarke and constant stories on Europe is not helpful. We all know Ken's views on Europe and you could post a new blog a day on it. However, the only people to gain from this approach would be Labour. We are living in uncertain times which call for people such as Clarke. Surely focusing on his economic track record is more positive than the non-issue of Europe. Must be time to move on....

Here Here, Pro-European or Euro-sceptic, Welcome back Ken Clarke.

I think it would be helpful to hear from Ken Clarke in an interview for Sky news and the BBC. He could then squash the stupid spin from Labour that is currently being repeated on TV. It would be a good way to show how much of a force he will be on the front bench.

Now what is this about Editor? Yes, you aren't conservatives.com and you publish a wide range of stories.

But this is something you knew about six weeks ago and chose not to publish (Chatham House? Or because "Clarke is pro-European" is up there with "Man bites dog" in yawn factor). Now you choose to do so after the whole attack on Clarke's entry into the Shadow Cabinet failed.

Trying blatantly to force open the Euro-splits you predicted would happen, now that the polls and the calibre of the attacks (Barry Legg et al) shows most the membership don't want the splits? It really does smack of trying to force the Party's hand in your direction by whatever means. Say it ain't so.

Better Off Out!!

Big beasts make big messes ,especially when kept inside the tent.

Michael: I completely agree with your reasons not to bring back David Davis.

These attempts by uber-loyalists to stop ConHome covering stories are not going to have any effect.

My final word on why I've published this: it's news. And it's not just my view.

The Telegraph...


The Times...

The BBC...

...all think it's news too!

Today I've written TDs attacking Alan Johnson, Labour on expenses and praising Cameron's PMQs performance.

Despite some people's hopes, however, this site is never going to become ToryPravda.

Good night!

Everyone here that simply wants to sweep the eu under the carpet is admitting tacitly that they do not comprehend the scale of the disaster that is the eu and its malign influence in this country.


I hope you have the good grace to congratulate KC next year when he helps the party get a decent majority in the general election.
Yes, you have to post both positive and negative stuff about the Tories, but you're never even handed about Europe are you?
Your post was cheap and irrelevent after Ken has gone to great lengths to say he wouldn't get involved with Europe in his present job.

There is something very NuLabour about the so called Conservatives who seek to suppress debate on this website.

The key thing that the Europhiles and their fellow travellers still don't get is that for a lot of us, possible even a majority within the Conservative party, one of the key reasons to want a Conservative government is the expectation of a serious and thorough roll back of the ever increasing encroachment of unelected eurocrats into our lives and our country's ability to govern itself. Without that we are left wondering if there is any point in working so hard to win just to see more of the same "ever closer union" but under new management.

Agreed. However, it has been made clear the parties policy commitment to stop the ceding of power from brussels will not change as a consequence of one individual joining the shadow cabinet. You will probably find the majority of the people objecting to this overeaction to Ken Clarke joining the cabinet are self-proclaimed euro-sceptics including myself (see 21.39). The difference is we recognise the value Ken brings to the cabinet. We recognise that the issues surrounding europe are no different from the day before Ken joined the cabinet to the day after, nor is the parties position on Europe. We also recognise that trying to make an issue out of this is playing right into Labour's hands and is completely uneccessary. The simple truth is its not 1992 anymore, the party position is settled without question. Ken Clarke joining the shadow cabinet and the issue of Europe should be two very different things in the eyes of a modern conservative party that has moved on from the past. The sooner we learn to accept this the better.

Tim is a troublemaker - viz the sounding board which he gave to the grammar school question. He has been seduced by the MSM, in fact he is part of the MSbM - the Main Stream blog Media. When the MSM want to stir up some trouble for the Tories they invite him on to their pages/programmes.

Goldie referred to Ken Clarke as a "tool", I have always regarded him as such (our connotations will differ I'm sure). It was the presence and influence of KC, Heseltine and other Europhiles that made my mind up to dump the Tories and join UKIP 7 years ago (best days work of my life)
Until the Tories acknowledge the fact that they began the process of betrayal, apologise to the country for so doing, and firmly promise to get us out of the EU completely they will not be the solution but merely part of the problem.
Footnote to Goldie: a wrecking bar is defined as a 'tool'.

Previous posting 'Sentinel of Norwich' in error should be Hartlepool. Well it's early morning and I had something else on my mind as well - comments stand however.

Of course Ken Clarke has made a very astute point that quite a few seem to be ignoring. Obama is rather keen on the EU and European integration.

Therefore a conflict for those who have (rightly or wrongly) been characterised as the 'right' of the party is coming - do you hate the EU more than you love the US? Clarke reckons that when push comes to shove the Parliamentary party loves the special relationship too much to jeopardise it over the European question. You may disagree with him, but it's hardly an outlandish suggestion - is there anyone in the Parliamentary party who doesn't sing the praises of the special relationship?

Give it a rest Tim! Wipe the froth from your mouth and take a chill pill. You didn't stop Ken getting onto the Front Bench, but please don't create a feud.

No-one outside the Tory Party really believes it (as a party) to be 'eu-sceptic', understanding that the party line on EU matters is a strategy not a belief.

I'll have to wait until the Tories are in office to be proven correct, but I certainly do not believe that Ken is more 'pro-EU' than Cameron, so give him a break, please.

This is an old story (as others have mentioned) - six weeks old! Tim, you have waited for your moment to bring it out, assuming correctly that Clarke would be recalled to the Front Bench and kudos to you for your political "nous" and journalistic skills. But shame on you for running this story (and yes, please go ahead and dismiss me as an "uber-loyalist" - others on this blog have done that too before now) and scratching at the almost-healed scar of previous wounds gained in battles over Europe (notably the huge conflict engendered and fought by many friends and allies of posters on here - The Battle of Maastricht in 1992)! The scar, as I say, was almost healed, but if articles like this re-open those wounds then it will be our political opponents who reap the benefit. Some people believe that the European Elections do not matter. I say they do - that they are a spring board for the Election that we ALL believe matters.

Sally, I did not publish it. The Guardian did. I had nothing to do with its publication. Nothing. I'm only covering a story that is in just about every national newspaper today.

For the Record......

Detailed minutes of meetings held between Prime Minister Heath and French President Pompidou, regarding Britain's entry to the EEC or "Common Market" as they called it, are available for the public from Margaret Thatcher's archives.


Although the files are easily viewed in pdf online, I've placed the full records along with a sample in my documents folder here: http://www.scribd.com/people/documents/6689197?from_badge_documents_button=1

And on my blog here: http://rugfish.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-british-were-conned-into-europe.html#links

Meetings held between the two leaders concerning the future of both the United Kingdom and The Common Market are shown here to explain how and why the British Public were misled to believe they were being asked to join "just a common market", when asked 2 years later to hold a referendum AFTER Heath took us in.

It must be remembered that we were not party to these talks, nor were the media, and that when we joined the "Common Market", the British Public was not told of the consequences of joining as outlined 2 years earlier by these minutes and subsequent treaties which further integrate the country with the now "European Union".

My storage holds a full account specifically of these meetings to make them easier to find when researching, and currently include the minutes of further meetings between Heath and Pompidou as given account by former British ambassador Lord Soames.

For the record, they are all freely available under the Freedom of Information Act and are of course no longer secret however they are not generally known and are much ignored as to the meaning of their content by today's politician's.

Margaret Thatcher's account is thus; ( extract ) :-

At the heart of the summit was a simple question, posed by Pompidou to Heath in their tête à tête: was Britain ready to make "a historic change in (its) attitude", a "fundamental choice" in favour of the European Community? Although detailed negotiating points occupied much of the eleven hours of talks, the exchanges on this subject (at the beginning of the first and second sessions) mattered most. Heath was probably the first British Prime Minister in history who could have truthfully answered "yes" to that question, and he was very likely the only one who had a chance of being believed when he said it. His credibility in this respect drew heavily on his coolness towards Britain's traditional ally, the United States, as to which he left Pompidou in no doubt.

A further account by the writer:

For good or ill, the summit achieved everything Heath could have hoped; it was perhaps the highpoint of his political career. The entry talks in Brussels came to life the following month and outstanding problems were successfully resolved. The British Government was able to begin the task of pushing the necessary legislation through Parliament and bringing the sceptical British public into line.


Tim, I note your response and accept the facts as you state them - but the main thrust of my comment stands.

The references to Obama encouraging EU integration (loss of sovereignty and control of the nation state)is interesting.
I pose this question: "If any candidate stood for office in the USA, be they Republican or Democrat, advocating that the USA be governed by an unelected, corrupt bureaucracy rather than their elected representatives how would the electorate react?"
Everyone knows they would be run out of town.
What gives any American politician the brass neck to tell us that we should surrender our sovereignty completely to satisfy their foreign policy.
We in this country however are faced with a similar dilemma where all three 'main' parties are wedded to the idea of belonging to the EU regardless of the consequences.
Both Labour and Conservative parties have strong grass roots opposition to the EU and would pull out tomorrow (no hope for the Limp Dims)yet they support everything they hate by proxy.
Time to get real I fancy and vote with your conscience.

Just look at the website of the European Movement. Mr. Clarke is still a vice president and no doubt approved the New Year message from its chairman, Conservative MP Peter Luff, urging adoption of the Euro.

A Candidtae.
All the "new" Tory members (if you get lucky) will be parachuted, Dave diehard, sychophants.
Not to be conflated with real politicians.

Patrick Harris has a point. An example of this is the choice of Zac Goldsmith for Richmond Park. Great supporter of windmills, the global warming campaign and violent protests. Also a large donator to party funds.

I don't think any of this so called 'Ken Bashing' will come to anything, because the public like him. They know he's a controversial character and I don't think people really care.
It's funny how much effort Labour puts into drawing attention to him and things that he has said but I think we all knew that was coming, and in the end I think their attempts will amount to nothing (just like that fake instant messaging on the Labour website - makes them cuter if anything)

Basically Clarke is now one promotion, and one general election, away from becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer.

When he could discover that the economy was still in such a terrible state that the only way to stabilise it would be to join the euro.

And to do that as a matter of utmost urgency, persuading the leaders of other EU countries that the ERM II rules could be bent.

And without any nonsense about holding a referendum, whatever may have been promised in the Tory manifesto.

With the economy in a critical state there simply wouldn't be the time to waste on a referendum; and in any case referendums undermine Parliament, don't they?

As we know, manifestos aren't legally binding; and as we have seen, even a major manifesto promise can simply be disregarded by the government, provided they can get a majority of MPs to walk through the right lobby.

Some Tory MPs would object strenuously, and try to force a referendum; but Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs could probably ensure that they were outvoted.

There might be a major revolt by ordinary Tory members, but that would achieve nothing as there would be no way to remove the pro-euro, anti-referendum MPs until the next general election, when it would be too late.

The Tory party might even disintegrate, and be wiped out at that election, but so what? That would be seen as relatively minor - maybe even desirable - collateral damage.

It's a narrow, tricky, path for Clarke and his allies to tread, but by no means impassable, and he's now a lot further along it than he was a week ago.

Some anti-euro Tories may believe that they can use Clarke as "a tool", but no doubt he sees it as being the other way round, and he may well be proved right on that.


Wanting the next government to be a Tory one and wishing the debate to be centred on Ken's economic strengths rather than old, old stories of Europe does not make me an uber-loyalist.

You point out that the press are putting this story out, they are paid to be stir problems and this sells more papers. ConHome is rightly considered to be above the norm in the blogosphere, with sensible debate and relevant posts. I think the constant attacks and 'reporting' of anti-Clarke stories demeans your site.

The only Union I'm at all interested in is our Great Nation. Even I (as wet as they come) Hate what Blair has done to our Union.
Lets draw closer to the Orange men, they know how to live in community. Sadly Labour has eroded ours. We are a euro-sceptic party, but we must recognise that Europe is real.

"Feel free to tear yourselves to bits over europe anytime you please "

The Press might try to force a split on us. However almost all the conservatives I know have sensible views about Europe. Thankfully a strip of water continues to form a natural border.

"These attempts by uber-loyalists to stop ConHome covering stories are not going to have any effect."

Tim, I was disappointed in your rather churlish response on this issue. Stand back, and then go back and read your comments regarding Ken Clarke over recent weeks. This is not about uber-loyalists defending the party line and you know it. The latest response to his return in your survey would heavily dispute that assertion.

You have been extremely unfair, and if I may so biased in your articles when it came to suggesting who deserved a pardon and a return to the Shadow Cabinet.

You don't always get it right, and neither do you usually highlight one particular group of posters for a collective insult either. I don't remember you collectively ever responding to the UKIPPERS or English Democrats on here. It seems a bit silly to then do that to the collective Conservative posters on here. The site is after all called ConservativeHome, and you purport to represent the grass roots views.

I think its sad that the media are all over you when they want to report a negative finding in one of your surveys, or to get one from you.
But while they were spouting forth on the supposed divisions on Europe that Ken Clarke might throw up, no one wanted to highlight this latest survey that found the large majority in favour of his return.

I am pleased to see Kenneth Clarke back were he belongs. Also, perahps we will see the shift, long awaited by tories like myself, back to better policy grounds on europe.

We need to be pro-eu
we need to be in favour of the Euro

Ken will hopefull end the euroscepticism which as crippled our party.

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