The new group will be called European Conservatives. It is unclear who will join it from other countries, and I hope the group leadership will be very careful about who it invites to join. They must share the values of the modern Conservative Party. Gadflies and fruitcakes need not apply. This probably means that it is unlikely the group will get the requisite representation from six (or is it now seven?) countries to enable it to qualify for massive funding. So it is ironic that UKIP will benefit from EU funding through its membership of the IndDem group, whereas the Conservatives may not. It's a funny old world. Going it alone may not be as bad as it might first seem. Dan Hannan was expelled from the EPP last year but has found it a truly liberating experience. It hasn't affected his chances of being called to speak, or indeed his membership of committees. The hope must be that the European Conservative group may start with a limited membership but within a year will have attracted others. We'll see.
I did have to laugh at a quote given by the Minister for Europe, Caroline Flint this morning...
William Hague needs to come clean on who he has invited to join the Tories' fringe group in Europe, who has already turned him down and who he will pledge never to work with. The Tories would put Britain on the fringe of Europe, hurting our standing in the world and undermining British businesses.
This would be the same Caroline Flint who, when I was at university with her in 1983, was all in favour of pulling out of Europe altogether!
Iain - Caroline Flint is a politician, so by definition her views will change according to what's best for her career in Westminster.
well, at least she got it right once in her political career
26 year old quote ian keep up the good woork ;-)
Michael White's take on this could have been dictated by Flint. After Browbama's approval, of course!
"They must share the values of the modern Conservative Party."
“So it is ironic that UKIP will benefit from EU funding through its membership of the IndDem group, whereas the Conservatives may not.”
It isn’t “ironic” at all. It’s a deliberate policy by the Tories to isolate themselves from the centre right. It’s hardly surprising when the Tories announce they will take their bat and go home that nobody wants to play with them any more.
The current Tory party is way outside present day centre right thought and constitutes a danger to this country. It also abrogates Tory traditional pragmatism in international affairs.
Caroline Flint has severe form.
Dizzy came up with this last year:
She is just a piece of work.
But Britain is at the fringe of Europe. Check the map Caroline !
We used to be at the centre of the Commonwealth, but then we stabbed our family in the back in exchange for decades of French and German abuse and money grabbing ( mostly the French here ).
I'm pleased as punch about this, but why did it take so long?
'who has already turned him down and who he will pledge never to work with'
I refer everybody who is interested (&Caroline Flint) to Dan Hannan's excellent piece 'Seven reasons to leave the EPP': http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/daniel_hannan/blog/2008/12/04/seven_reasons_to_leave_the_epp
Especially reasons 4 & 5
'26 year old quote ian keep up the good woork ;-)'
She'd be quite happy to use Conservative quotes from the Thatcher era.
'It’s a deliberate policy by the Tories to isolate themselves from the centre right.'
No, it's so we can engage with other Centre Right parties without all the fanatical-federalist baggage. We'd also be insulated by some of the far right policies currently pursued by leading parties in the EPP. I refer you again to Mr Hannan's piece.
“'It’s a deliberate policy by the Tories to isolate themselves from the centre right.'No, it's so we can engage with other Centre Right parties...”
What “other Centre Right parties”? There aren’t any. The Tories have abandoned the centre right. They are now quite alone and very, very peculiar. All that’s left is the fascists. The Tories are Iain’s “fruitcakes”.
"when I was at university with her"
Commiserations. Is this what made you the man you are ?
PS I swear WV is sentient : hylym
If the Conservatives do not achieve the numbers of MEPs from the requisite number of member states to form the new group by the time the new European Parliament assembles, expect the EPP to do them no favours when EP committee chairmanships, memberships and speaking time are handed out. The fatc that Dan hannan has managed to remain on a committee following his departure from the EPP is no indication of what the established groups in the EP may do to a significant anti-federalist political grouping on the non-attached benches come June.
I really don't like Caroline Flint, but it seems reasonable to have changed one's opinions in the past 26 years without being accused of, well, anything at all.
I mean I accidentally voted Tory in 1979 (because I was anti-abortion), and look where that lead.
Why not cover this - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1161483/Thirty-members-Government-admit-employ-relatives-taxpayers-expense.html - about Flint and others.
Especially as she was so vituperative to people in social housing last year.
Whoops! I meant to say: 'insulated FROM some of the far right policies currently pursued by leading parties in the EPP'
Damn tricky business this politics lark. Especially in English, which I thought was my first and only language.
Was the lovely Miss Flint as fit in 1983?
Lovely in the physical sense of course.
'All that’s left is the fascists'
In practice the Rods and Axes are being wielded only by the pro-federalist bloc who won't hear any opposition point of view.
She wasn't always in favour of pulling out, at least not when in Tunis.
The Conservative Party's move smacks of opportunism and I remain unconvinced of Mr Cameron's stance.
The good news is that there now seem to be more alternatives open for me to register a protest vote about the EU.
Conand@2:22 'All that’s left is the fascists' . That statement is right up there with 'all your x are belong to us'!
'The Conservative Party's move smacks of opportunism and I remain unconvinced of Mr Cameron's stance.'
Opportunism?? Cameron had this policy in the 2005 leadership election! It's not remotely opportunistic.
Why are you unconvinced? He said he do it and he's doing it. I guess you're really talking about his policy on the Constitreaty Neverendum if in power and everyone else has signed the Constitreaty.
On principle I think we shouldn't sign until every country has passed it with a referendum. This won't happen at the moment, primarily because it's c**p.
An act of courage, to stand by a comittment which puts funding at risk. Such a refreshing change.
Steve_Roberts said... “...a commitment which puts funding at risk...”
Eh? Please explain.
Don't know of this counts from another country, but the UUP MEP has already committed to leave the EPP and follow Cameron:
"To that end I have given David Cameron an undertaking that if he succeeds in forming a new group in the European Parliament after the 2009 elections, outside the federalist leaning EPP, then the Ulster Unionists will support him by joining his new Group."
Should have gone to specsavers old son.
Ignited said... “Don't know of this counts from another country...”
Would anyone venture a stab at answering IT WILL COME TO ME @ 11:58AM?
Colin said... “Would anyone venture a stab at answering IT WILL COME TO ME @ 11:58AM? [Values of the modern Conservative party.]”
Thatcherism lite? We’ll say anything to get elected and then it’s back to same old Tory horror? New improved soft Tories - you can trust them this time? Ssh - whatever you do, don’t talk about Europe? “Cameron - he’s NOT Gordon Brown”? Will someone please sit on George Osborne so he stops embarrassing us? It’s the New Tories - we’re not Thatcher, Major, Hague, Duncan-Smith (who he?) or Howard? “Nasty party” - what nasty party?
Thanks for the non-invite Iain but we wouldn't be interested in joining a group who are in the process of asset stripping the UK and are happy for us to be governed by distant Bureaucrats.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery which is why whilst resorting to name calling, the Tories try to emulate UKIP to keep their grassroots happy.
Here's an irritant we prepared earlier, but do be warned, it'll make your eyes swivel!
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