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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, cl