« The Telegraph to Cameron: Dare to be unpopular | Main | Fox appears to say that Trident will be safe under a Conservative government »

Comments

Mr. Montgomerie,

It is very easy to have a one-sided smear campaign, but much more difficult to have a campaign which allows for free debate.

On three occasions UKIP Witney has asked David Cameron to publicly debate with them the subject of Britain's membership of the European Union and he has either ignored or refused those requests. David Cameron is presenting himself as the next Prime Minister and therefore owes the country the opportunity of hearing his unequivocal views on this subject, let alone his own constituents - 19 percent of whom voted UKIP in 2004 - otherwise it shows a contempt, which is beginning to become a two way emotion.

So I will ask you, what is David Cameron afraid of? Why is it that on Rupert Matthews article, the content of which brought its author nor his Party any credit, having asked this same question twice it still remains unanswered.

It is very easy to have a one-sided smear campaign

What smears are in this leaflet? Did UKIP, for example, actually vote against the regulations raised at point 5 of the leaflet? Did they oppose the closure of the Shetland Box?

much more difficult to have a campaign which allows for free debate.

Really, so UKIP will be having free debate as part of their election campaign, will they? Their leaflets and videos will pay full respect to their opponents?

These leaflets are for the upcoming Euro elections. The focus is on winning.

19 percent of whom voted UKIP in 2004

Barely more than 2% voted UKIP in 2005! Cameron has his eyes on the big prize next year. The euros make a difference for morale. The last thing Cameron wants is to do a Hague, have the focus drawn on to Europe which most people aren't that concerned with, win the euros and then lose the general election.

As it is Cameron will still come out on top next month and probably win next year too.

UKIP MEPs should be glad the EU exists. Without it those piggies would be without a trough and would need an honest job!

Good to see we're focussing on UKIP's bizarre voting record. Would any Ukippers like to explain what on Earth their party was playing at?

I look forward to the next leaflet in the series: Failing to defend British interests: Conservative MPs...

Raj & Richard J,

UKIP will have a free debate with anyone, even your Party; the trouble is no-one wants to have that debate, least of all you or your party.

I repeat the question - What is David Cameron afraid of? If he was not afraid he would accept the challenge - No?

Politics is a dirty business and I am not surprised the Tories have adopted smear campaign tactic

What about Den Dover, and the £500,000 he pocketed? To name only one of their shady lot. People who live in glass houses......

This follows the disgraceful false information put out by Rupert Mathews recently. No doubt we can expect more of the same as election day approaches.

Pigs in troughs? UKIP wants us to leave the wretched EU, the Tories believe "In Europe but not ruled by Europe". I exclude Messrs.Hannan and Helmer.

UKIP have been a bit of a waste of time in Europe (not as useless as LibLabCon though). I read a quote by a BNP spokesman that said "We'll cause more trouble in the EU Parliament in 6 months than UKIP has caused in 5 years". Now that sounds appealing. Even more so after just having heard Ken Clarke's outpourings on the Andrew Marr show.

Clarke is an affront to democracy with his idea of letting the second Irish "vote" determine the future soverignty of this country. Given that he's speaking for the Conservative Party the only remaining alternatives for voters who do not want to be undemocratically railroaded into total surrender to the EU are UKIP and the BNP. Good luck to both of them and a plague on all the main three parties.


I'd be horrified if DC debated with UKIP. He should deny UKIP publicity. UKIP will get thrashed in June and they are desperate for any debate or publicity that might just save one or two of their failed MEPs.

Why are these leaflets funded by the EEP ? showing your true colours I see ! Are you allowed to even hand these out in election time I think not. I shall vote UKIP for the very reason you have produced these leaflets. Obviously your running scared !

Do we really need another thread about UKIP? Last year they scraped merely half the number of votes of the Christian People's Party (Who they?) in the London election. Let's not give these dead-in-the-water irrelevances the oxygen of publicity.

@WHS

I'm sympathetic to what you say but on this occasion I should point out that I'm only promoting literature produced by Tory MEPs and sent to me for the very purpose of promoting them on this site.

In terms of defeating the UKIP threat in June's European Elections a leaflet from Tory MEPs chooses to emphasise their MEPs' record of failure rather than addressing the independence argument head on.

Sensible given that many Tories would side with the Better Off Out message if Tories tried to counter it.

Lol! I bet grassroots Tory members will be so proud to see the party distributing EPP attack material like this.

How lovely to see that sweet pro-USE EPP heart logo on the Tory leaflets.

Whatever happens to the UKIP vote, I can't wait for the 'not quite as you expected' 'EPP withdrawal' after the elections.

That's when the real fight will begin.

Labour has maintained our opt out of the Working Time Directive, and the Tories know this. Including "support for the working time directive" is a lie.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8022095.stm

"I can't wait for the 'not quite as you expected' 'EPP withdrawal' after the elections.

That's when the real fight will begin."

I think you might be disappointed when all goes according to plan!

Why have you changed your name to "RON" by the way - I am slightly bemused! ;-)

Seems fair enough to me, provided all the facts are true. It is a risk, however, as it may be used to show the tories as a nasty party.

This release is a joke. It does not even give the details of specific votes. Let's deal with the allegations.

The so-called in-fighting has been led by two ex-Tories, Roger Knapman MEP and his disgraced aide Piers Merchant. They and their allies, using stolen membership databases, have been behind the concerted smear campaign against Nigel Farage and the NEC.

Several senior UKIP colleagues expect Knapman, who is desperate for a Peerage, to defect back in the coming weeks. The fact that Knapman used Polish builders is a non-story. UKIP cannot tell a MEP who to employ

The accusations on expenses are nothing compared to Den Dover, Derek Conway and other Tory scandals such as Nannygate. Unlike Den Dover, Wise paid the money back. We will see how clean the Tories are when MP's expenses are published.

UKIP, however, has Marta Andreasen standing for the party. Andreasen was the Chief Accountant of the EU who was sacked for exposing fraud. She initially went to the Tories for help but they let her down. Marta then joined UKIP and is the party's Treasurer and number 2 candidate in the South East.

UKIP will be revealing shortly how Tories have consistently with the federalist chums in the EPP to add to EU red tape and regulations. They recently voted in favour of EU regulation of The City and the financial sector. Unlike here, we will give details of the legislation and who voted for it.

The Wales Chairman mentioned was a new member who rose quickly, ran for the leadership, lost and left the party. UKIP has plenty of anti-Cameron quotes made by supporters of David Davis and MEPs who support the Tories staying in the EPP.

If that quote made by Nigel Farage, in jest, is the best you can do, then UKIP is in fine shape. UKIP will be releasing a series of quotes by Conservative MEPs and MPs supporting the Lisbon Treaty and Britain joining the Euro.

I have jusy spoken to Nigel Farage about this pathetic stunt. He just laughed at it. The Conservatives have become a joke on their failure to oppose the EU super-state effectively.

Excellent. So the Tory Party is now smearing their traditional supporters who choose to vote UKIP instead of the trendy wet pro-EU Cameroonian Tory Party.

Still no Ukippers explaining their voting record I see.

MALICIOUS COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

"Still no Ukippers explaining their voting record I see.

Come on RichardJ, don't be so pathetic.

UKIP are not in Brussels to play along with the charade of the EU votes, they are there to withdraw.

No-one votes for UKIP to vote for Brussels bills, it is simply a protest vote to register support for EU withdrawal.

UKIP are rubbish as a party. All the criticisms of their infighting, poor organisation etc etc are 100% valid, but 100% meaningless.

It is the potency of their message that keeps them alive, and always will whilst Cameron plays the antidemocratic authoritarian and denys MPs who endorse a policy supported by 55% of the British public a place on his front bench team.

Pinktory may well be horrified if DC debated publicly with UKIP - probably as he would be 'trounced'!

Richard J - UKIP's voting record is not the subject of discussion really, but if you wish to discuss this please explain one of your MEPs publicly saying in the EU Parliament he would vote for everything!

Answer the damn question please - What is David Cameron afraid of? If he was not afraid he would accept the invitation - No?

My last comment was not malicious. It pointed out that UKIP will publish a document that spells out the Tories' records in Strasbourg and their plotting against Marta Andreasen of which we have proof.

witterings: I have answered your question. You just don't like the answer.

I think the notion that you can use your vote in the European elections in order that British interests can be promoted within a Parliament, whose members are drawn from 27 states covering 500 million people, is rather meaningless.

I think the best you can hope for is that your vote helps to keep certain ideas in circulation.

UKIP contribute to this on the issue of withdrawal, however ineptly they advance it.

@UKIP Member,

You know full well that your comment contained a smear that I cannot tolerate. If you abuse your freedom once more to post on this website I will take steps to ban you.

"It is very easy to have a one-sided smear campaign, but much more difficult to have a campaign which allows for free debate."

Take it as a compliment, clearly the Conservative hight command has some concerns about the UKIP vote and whilst unwilling to have much in the way of policies on the EU, it seeks to shore up its vote with a smear campaign.

"I think you might be disappointed when all goes according to plan!

Why have you changed your name to "RON" by the way - I am slightly bemused! ;-)

Lol Sally. I'll be pleased if it delivered, but know it won't be, but we'll just have to wait on that one, but with a total absence of effort and success on forming a new coalition over the past 2 years, you would have to remove logic and evidence from your opinion making to believe the Tories will suddenly be completely detached from the EPP-ED group straight after the elections.

On the name, I forgot to sign in, so the name simply reverted to the cookied Replace Osborne Now login.

I guess it is always worth highlighting that aim anyway! ;-)

Anyway, the sun is shining, and I have to spend the rest of the day sitting on my mower cutting the grass rather than cutting through sixth-form substandard attack leaflets...

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

It is notable how similar the Labour and Lib Dem parties appear to be when it comes to Europe! Both are unwilling for the British People to be given a say in a Referendum. The Conservatives are the only serious party calling them to account for this.

Yet again, it is apparent that this website is run by closet UKIP supporters for the benefit of other UKIP - and now BNP - fans. Isn't it about time someone set up a CONSERVATIVE website so that real Tories who want success at all levels of elective representation can exchange productive thoughts on the issues of the day!

@ Man on the Clapham Omnibus,

This website has published allegations against UKIP and its members are entitled to rebut them.

It is typical of the Cameroon control freaks here that they seek to deny free speech on a debate that they started.

If you are a Cameroon, you can debate with yourself on Platform 10. It is as boring as the official blog on conservatives.com.

Where is the anti-BNP leaflet?

And you guys here are better than the Sun et al. in what way exactly?

I thought this low level smear bollocks was beyond ConHome, clearly I was wrong.

UKIP Member when was Tom Wise kicked out of UKIP? I had read that he never was.

@ Tim Montgomerie

Yesterday you published this smear in Rupert Matthews article - "In 2008 Robin Page – a farmer and TV presenter – was prevented from standing as a UKIP MEP candidate. He fumed: “There is so much sleaze in UKIP at the moment. I think the hierarchy wanted to prevent me from standing in case I won a place at Brussels and saw how some of them behave. It is a disgrace; the whole thing has been run like a Zimbabwean election.”

You may wish to apologise, as a Freedom Association member, to TFA President Christopher Gill. Christopher was in charge of the nomination process and is, as you know, a man of integrity.

You ought to read this article - http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2008/09/ukips-zimbabwean-election-sees-robin.html - and apologise for the libel. Christopher Gill has grounds for actions against you, Jonathan, Rupert and Stefan.

Can we have a cast-iron promise from David Cameron that a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution will be held with 12 months of being elected?

Oh come on! Is that the best the Tories can do? Rodger Knapman employed, quite legally, some Polish builders. So what? Mrs Farage is German and Mr Batten’s wife comes from the Philippines. Are you going to attack UKIP for this?

UKIP is not against allowing all foreigners to enter or work in the UK but rather for the imposition of sensible restrictions and limits. Neither is UKIP against a European trade agreement (a genuine “Common Market”) but IS opposed to political rule from Brussels.

With every attack from the Tory Leadership, UKIP gains more publicity and will gain yet more votes on June 4th so keep it coming.

We are like dragons’ teeth scattered inside the fields the Tories use to think they harvested.

Tom Wise lost the UKIP whip and did not renew his membership. Mr Wise has been charged but is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I was not aware that the Conservatives had abandoned the British legal system.

"Yet again, it is apparent that this website is run by closet UKIP supporters for the benefit of other UKIP - and now BNP - fans. "

Man on a Clapham Omnibus - that is, with respect, a little unfair. Neither Tim Montgomerie nor Jonathan Isaby are "closet ukip supporters" - indeed Tim served as IDS's Chief of Staff! Both simply want to cover current political topics and get as much debate as they can going.
The trouble is that the "UKIP Homeless" (who in fact DO have a perfectly good "home" now but seem to prefer here) are simply engaging in some good old "knockabout" politics - the inevitable rough and tumble one gets in the run-up to any Election. It is always the same - the smaller parties accuse the larger of being "frit" if they do not respond to the constant pulling and tugging at their coat-tails; accusations of "smears" fly about whilst at the same time the accusers offer up their own "kite-flying" stories and so it continues until Polling Day. All good fun in a way but many people get turned off by it and that is why, by and large, one tends to read the same comments from the same people.

Who should I vote for?

Being a Conservative party member I shouldn't have to ask myself that question. There should be no doubt in my mind that voting Tory is the right thing to do. But there is doubt.

There's a big problem facing the Tory party in the run up to the Euro Elections, and that problem's name is....... Referendum (dun dun dunnnnnn...). It's a problem that David Cameron can do little about without making life very difficult for himself if he is to lead the next government.

It's like this: If Gordon Brown was to do the entire country a favour and call an early election, then Cameron's first year in office becomes a whole lot easier. He can give the go ahead to his promised referendum before the Lisbon Treaty is ratified, the country will vote NO, and the Treaty dies on it's arse. Everybody is happy. But if Gordon decides to desperately cling on to power like we all expect him to, then Cameron has some very difficult times ahead.

If the Lisbon Treaty is already ratified when Dave strides through the big black door then he is left with two options. The first is to say "I'm sorry, but Gordon has put the country into a position that would be too difficult to remove ourselves from". The second option would be to put the UK at odds with the rest of Europe by backing out of a Treaty that we are already signed up to. Unfortunately for David Cameron, neither of the two options are great (understatement). The first will alienate a vast chunk of the party, and the second will be very damaging to European relations.

Of course if Gordon Brown had not broken yet another manifesto promise then this would be all academic.

So where does that leave me?

UKIP? The problem I have with UKIP is a simple one. Though I hate the EU, I cannot see how we can extricate ourselves from it without causing damage. But not only that, I do believe that there are some benefits to being in the EU (though I can't think of any off hand).

Labour and the LibDems? I've lumped these together because they both want further integration into the EU, and hell will freeze over before I vote for that (or them).

Libertas? Now I do like what Libertas have to say but I just can't see how they are going to achieve it, so they are a no no for now.

So that brings me back to the Conservatives. I can't blame Dave for not promising a referendum after ratification. It would be a bloody political nightmare to pull us out of the EU - because that is what it will mean. Once in place, the rest of Europe will not scrap the Treaty because the Brits don't like it.

So I've made my decision. I'm going to vote Tory. I'm voting Tory in the hope that Gordon steps down (or is pushed) before the Treaty is ratified. If that fails then I'm putting my trust in David Cameron's Tories to fight for UK interests from within the Treaty. Their the only party that are likely to do that (apart from Libertas but I can't see them getting the numbers).

So here's a message for Dave: Tell us the truth i.e. If we have a Tory government before ratification then we will have a referendum. If not, then you will do your utmost to get the best deal for the UK post treaty.

Cameron could end Europe as an issue once in office by just having a referendum on EU membership. Tory members could have a free vote & democracy could be used to resolve the UK's relationship with Brussels.

The EU could fund its PR for the yes camp & the UK government could provide the same level of funding for the no camp-just to make things fair.

Once the true damage of EU membership was revealed the UK electorate could vote to get our country out of the clutches of Brussels.

@ Sally Roberts, UKIP members are entitled to defend their party against allegations made by the Conservatives. As I said earlier, many of the alleged problems in UKIP have been caused by ex-Tories.

It is telling that these publications carry the logo of the EPP-ED Group. It is possible, even likely, that they were funded by the European Parliament, i.e. with taxpayers money.

@ Steve Green.

You wrote "The problem I have with UKIP is a simple one. Though I hate the EU, I cannot see how we can extricate ourselves from it without causing damage."

Please define the damage that EU withdrawal would cause. Is the EU damaged by Switzerland and Norway not being members? Are these countries, richer per capita than the UK, damaged by being members of EFTA rather than the EU. I think not!

UKIP Member,

I was talking about the damage done to foreign relations as we break away from the union. No one can say how bad that will be, but I think you are kidding yourself if you think it will be done amicably.

@ Steve Green. There are agreed procedures for leaving the EU. Even the Lisbon Treaty sets out a formal process for withdrawal.

Do Norway and Switzerland have bad relations with the EU because they have chosen not to join? No, because, through EFTA, they have free trade agreements.

Sally Roberts at 11.45

"All good fun in a way but many people get turned off by it and that is why, by and large, one tends to read the same comments from the same people."

Including those by Sally Roberts?

Sally, on June 18th last year David Cameron wrote to me stating "I believe it would be wrong for Britain to leave the EU". Has this changed? Does he therefore continue to believe in the political integration of Britain into the EU?

Conservative Home is an 'open' website and therefore you cannot complain if statements made by your party are challenged by those who dispute such statements.

If the Conservative Party is so dismissive of UKIP then publicly debate with them - would that course of action not be to your party's benefit instead of just refusing and leaving the accusation of 'frit' on the table?

Just asking is all.

UKIP are not in Brussels to play along with the charade of the EU votes, they are there to withdraw.

In that case, "Tory"blog, why do they accept and claim all the allowances that come with the job?

*SQUEAL! SQUEAL!*

UKIP Member,

Not joining, and leaving the EU are two totally different subjects (and you know it).

If we leave then all the past treaties will no longer apply. We will be breaking those treaties. Agreements that have stopped disputes with our neighbours will no longer apply (think fishing for a start).

It may be easy for you to say "sod em if they don't like it" but you will not be the Prime Minister having to sort the whole mess out.

Even if we leave the EU, the UK will have to write a whole new bunch of treaties to replace the ones we would be scrapping.

Do I wish that we had never got so involved in the EU - yes. But I think our best option now is to fight further integration and then start to reverse the policies which are bad for the UK. I think Cameron will do that.

@ Raj

UKIP MEPs turn up to protest against the EU's imposition of 75% of our laws, over 3000 laws a year.

""All good fun in a way but many people get turned off by it and that is why, by and large, one tends to read the same comments from the same people."

Including those by Sally Roberts?

Yes, Witterings - I freely admit I'm one of those people! I merely observe that new posters who might like to join us are perhaps deterred.

Sally, on June 18th last year David Cameron wrote to me stating "I believe it would be wrong for Britain to leave the EU". Has this changed? Does he therefore continue to believe in the political integration of Britain into the EU?"

Belonging to the EU and further integration into it are different things as you know as well as I do. I hope that we WILL say in the EU - I in common with other Conservatives simply believe that we do not wish to integrate further.

@ Steve Green

If we leave the EU, Britain needs just one bilateral agreement like Norway and Switzerland. The previous treaties provide for withdrawal - the Vienna process I believe. They will still exist without Britain but would be superceded by the Lisbon Treaty.

European integration was facilitated by the Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice treaties. The Lisbon Treaty merely finishes the job. If you oppose integration you must oppose the previous, not just Lisbon, and that means advocating withdrawal.

Resident Leftie @ 10:36 you say "Including "support for the working time directive" is a lie."

The BBC article you refer to says: "However, a majority of Labour MEPs voted to scrap the opt-out, putting them at odds with the UK government just weeks before the European elections" ?

UKIP MEPs turn up to protest against the EU's imposition of 75% of our laws

They don't have to make claims for allowances to do that. They're hypocrites if they take a penny from the EU.

Raj, are you claiming that Dan Hannan MEP and Roger Helmer MEP, Tory Better Off Out signatories, are hypocrites too?

UKIP's MEPs are perfectly entitled to claim expenses in relation to fighting for UK Independence. You just want to silence them like the authoritarian federalists in the Parliament.

I am still waiting for Tim, Jonathan and Rupert to apologise publicly to Christopher Gill for the Robin Page smear.


UKIP squandered their breakthrough in 2004, in a similar way the Green party squandered theirs in 1989. Let us all hope the BNP squander any gains they may make in June.

@ Gary at 12.47

UKIP did not squander the breakthrough in 2004. We have managed the majority of the British public that we should leave the EU - 55% in the recent BBC Daily Politics Show. That is a fantastic achievement.

Some of the comments bear out what I said earlier- politics is a dirty business.

The Conservatives complained, rightly, about the recent smears on their MPs from Downing St. Pity they have stooped to this themselves.

I don`t mind the vindictive and often idiotic comments you get here. It just shows how pathetic they are. Their leader, with his cheap "fruitcakes and closet racists" jibe set them a good example and they are following it.

I have money on UKIP winning NO SEATS in the Euro elections.

ABUSIVE COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

We have money on UKIP achieving a very sizeable vote. UKIP's big opportunity can't have been lost it hasn't come yet! It comes on June 4th when a strong performance puts a solid UKIP in good stead to pummel the incoming europhile Tory government.

Many Conservatives vote for UKIP at European elections because it's a good way of putting pressure on their own party to become more eurosceptical.

This leaflet doesn't really address that.

UKIP are a pressure group, not a party, which brings together a coalition of the ignorant, the selfish and the misty-eyed who actually think the 1920s were a good idea. In short, people we'd all be better off without.

The sheer amount of factual erroneousness that Europhobes come out with (e.g. that the regional constituencies were a Bruxellois decision - actually London - that 'laws are imposed on us by Brussels' - when British ministers propose them, British comissioners introduce them, and British MEPs vote for them - that it costs too much, when the cost is only 7p per person per day) is enough to dismiss them instantly as too dumb to be allowed to vote.

Francis @ 13:28 - if any Conservatives are do