Friday, April 20, 2007

A Letter to the Conservative Party Board

Dear Members of the Conservative Party Board,

As you know, the next meeting of the Conservative Party Board is scheduled for Monday the 23rd of April (St. George’s Day,) where the issue of how our Conservative MEP candidates are selected will be discussed and the method decided upon.

The very fact that the Party Board even has to discuss this issue has created doubt amongst grassroots members and increasing concern within all levels of the Conservative party - and with good reason. In 2005 during the Conservative Party leadership elections, the party hierarchy attempted to remove members’ rights to vote on who became party leader. Thankfully, such an unjust, undemocratic and unfair situation was averted.

Trusting people is a core conservative principle which our party has held dear for decades and sets us firmly apart from the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats. It is imperative that we maintain the democratic rights of party members, or how can we go to the country at the next elections claiming that Gordon Brown or Labour are ‘authoritarian’ when we do not even allow our own members a vote on such a basic premise as selecting European candidates?

The Conservative party should continue to be a bastion of liberty and democratic principle. We urge you to seriously consider the implications of any proposals, and draw the conclusion that, we the undersigned and the supporters of our campaign have come to; that the only acceptable outcome from the meeting of the Conservative Party Board is an unanimous approval of party democracy in the continuation of grassroots members’ democratic rights to rank and select European candidates at regional hustings on the basis of one person, one vote.

Yours Sincerely,

Chris Palmer (MEP Watch), Richard Hyslop (MEP Watch), Andrew Woodman (MEP Watch), Tim Montgomerie (ConservativeHome), Samuel Coates (ConservativeHome), Donal Blaney (Young Britons’ Foundation), Iain Dale (Iain Dale’s Diary).

UPDATE: More on ConservativeHome HERE.


Anonymous said...

Who cares!!

Iain Dale said...

The people who signed the letter, for a start - and about 250,000 Tory Party members ought to care too.

Anonymous said...

So why has no one else commented apart from you and me??

Anonymous said...

Iain, this is all well and good, but how do you stop the right-wing loons [admittedly a minority] who are either homophobic/xenophobic or Norman Tebbit from voting ??

Democracy sounds great in principle, but really I think decisions should be left in the hands of people like yourself, Boris Johnson, David Davis, and David Cameron.

Anonymous said...

By all means fight for democracy, but don't waste your time over this.

This isn't the place to go into the detail, and the amount of secrecy and obfuscation from the 'Euro' institutions make understanding how they work well nigh impossible.

But democracy is not a component of the European form of Government. The MEPs are there to give an illusion of democracy, but truly if their votes changed anything they would soon be abolished.

You would do better fighting to regain some more sovereignty for Westminster, so that we aren't at the mercy of ridiculous laws to curb freedom of speech which were not originated here, which we don't want and should refuse to implement.

Anonymous said...

Why is this blog site chock full of hate and paranoia?

Anonymous said...

anon @ 8.39 pm -

"if their votes changed anything they would soon be abolished".

I recommend you stick to commenting on something you actually know about, sunshine.

Anonymous said...

This anonymous cares. Anons who don't care are incumbent MEPs who will try any trick in the book to stay on their gravy train.

Anonymous said...

This is necessary: keep up the pressure Ian,

Anonymous said...

anon @ 9.57 pm - so every Tory MEP incumbent should be slung out, then?

Perhaps MEPWatch should encourage candidates to stand for the list on a ticket of never actually leaving the UK.

Anonymous said...

Well said and thank you,

Chris Palmer (MEP Watch), Richard Hyslop (MEP Watch), Andrew Woodman (MEP Watch), Tim Montgomerie (ConservativeHome), Samuel Coates (ConservativeHome), Donal Blaney (Young Britons’ Foundation), Iain Dale (Iain Dale’s Diary).

please keep fighting this outrageous proposal and for democracy for party members.

Are Conservative head office becoming such totalitarian control freaks now that we soon won't be able to distinguish between them and nulab? If this goes through I take back every positive word I've said about Cameron recently and will be thrust back on the electoral fence.

Ditto if the Conservatives do not get off their fat cat backsides and fight the repressive measures which would deny freedom of speech to bloggers.

Auntie Flo'

Chris Paul said...

As anonymous 7:31 said - who cares? - but then again I do. Labour do let us rank our lists, except for the sitters. But the sitters pretty much get shoo'ed in in their usual order. And the original list for the first PR election WAS ranked by the centre. So are you lot trying to get to choose and rank the whole list including the sitters? Or will you settle for what the Labour Party have had for the last two Euro selections? The misrepresentation of our internal democracy is pretty crass ... though it is not good enough for my liking and I was very vocal about that last time.

Anonymous said...

I wish you luck, but you can hardly claim that trusting members sets the Tories apart - the LibDems vote for their leader, MPs, MEPs, GLA members, etc etc.

Manfarang said...

If the Tories were so full of democratic principles such a letter
would not be necessary.
What's the problem here?
For ever continuing splits on the European Union.

Anonymous said...

Trust "the people", fine - but the reactionary zealots who are motivated enough to join the Tory Party and go to MEP selection meetings ain't the people, by any stretch of the imagination.