Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Why Cameron Deserves the Party's Support on Europe

Having reflected on David Cameron's speech on a new European policy, let me offer a few lines of reaction. Tim Montgomerie has just tweeted that he is disappointed with it. Let me explain why I am not.

What David Cameron achieved today was to deliver a speech which was gritty, determined, realistic, statesmanlike. There was no bullshit. He just told it how it is. He reiterated the point that he never promised a referendum once the Treaty of Lisbon was ratified and that to do so would have been futile. And he's right. And deep down in the recesses of their Eurosceptic heads, even UKIP members and supporters know it. It might make us all feel better, but it would achieve nothing, and cost the taxpayer millions of pounds.

No, he had to look to the future, and with his proposals for a Sovereignty Act he will ensure that this sorry saga (which, remember is Brown's fault) can never happen again.

I would have preferred a 'mandate' referendum, if I am honest, but I can fully appreciate the logic that a manifesto commitment is just that, and gives him the mandate to negotiate over the restoration of various policy areas to this country.

One thing Conservatives need to be aware of is this. The media would like nothing better than a new Tory civil war on Europe. They have done their best to engineer it over the last few days and they have lamentably failed.

I believe Cameron's speech, while it could never have gone as far as some would have wished, did enough to keep all parts of the Party on board.

Will it satisfy those whose agenda is leaving the EU? No, and nothing he could say ever will. Frankly, those who start spitting about voting UKIP can bugger off and do just that if it makes them feel better. They may get a momentary warm glow of satisfaction, but what they could end up with is another five years of Gordon Brown.

Think on that, if you're one of those people. And then think about the word 'self-indulgent'.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will get on with trying to support a party leader who is trying his best to rescue the country from the Euro-mess created by the present lot.

Some people seem to have forgotten that it was Gordon Brown who reneged on his manifesto pledge for a referendum, not David Cameron. Cameron could never deliver on it if he wasn't in government. Brown was and didn't. That should tell you all you need to know.


happiness said...

Just another politician making promises he can't deliver. My vote is going to UKIP unless we get a referendum; as it looks like we're not - hello hung parliament.

Norton Folgate said...

The party can support him all they like, they're not the people that matter.

What he needs is the backing of the voters, and i'm not sure this pronouncement will help that.

Sue said...

Sorry Iain. He's either trying to con us or he thinks we're stupid!

We're not fooled. What a waste of time that was.

Anonymous said...

I'm in two minds about this. I had hoped there would be some kind of referendum but then perhaps one does get stuck in a groove, if one has been waiting for years to get an answer on this.

Cameron was convincing and the sovereignty act is a good idea, if it is doable (and I'm assuming it is because Cameron will have had advice from constitutional lawyers). Whether Cameron's proposals go far enough remain to be seen.

Having been bitterly disappointed by the prevarications, semantics contortions and craftiness displayed by Major, Blair and Brown, my trust levels are way down.

We need flesh on the bones and a hearty, no-holds-barred debate on that.

Guthrum said...

I would have been happier if he said the Constitution is non existent and we should have a Written Constitution and a Constitutional Court, to prevent here today gone tommorrow politicians signing away rafts of our Liberties to a supra national Power, even the Monarchy needs its position examined having meekly assented to these transfers of power.

Have no fear the Tories will win the next election, everybody hates Brown more than Europe. But thereafter I think the next Tory Administration is going to be in for a rough ride over this in the first year.

Oliver Drew said...

It was an impressive policy set in my opinion.

To enshrine in law the right to a referendum when sovereign powers are to be transferred to the EU is a good move. Guarantee the people a say, nobody in favour of democracy can possibly complain about that.

Cameron will have problems, in my view, getting the repatriation of certain things that he wants but it is a good thing that he will try.

And finally to enshrine the primacy of British Law over EU law (or at least interpretations of same) is another good move. We, of course, adopt European law all the time, so all it does is allow us to have the final interpretation (as I see it anyway).

Good set of policies without going OTT. Oh, and he set the blame for no referendum rightly where it lay - Blair and Brown, who were the only people who had the power to give it to us, and they took it away.

Not that I like quoting the Sun, but they (Labour) did effectively say "Up Yours!" to the British people on this matter.

Man in a Shed said...

I was impressed by Cameron's speech, and listened to it live. It seemed measured, reasonable but firm, and most importantly achievable.

I especially liked the UK Sovereignty act - and not just because I have suggested something similar in the past.

Remember there are only two outcomes to the next general election - a Labour Prime Minister or a Conservative one.

Voting UKIP or anything else just helps keep the Lisbon traitors Brown and Miliband in office.

David Boothroyd said...

There were as many Labour manifesto pledges to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty as there were insults posted by me in "one of the Kaminski threads": none. The pledge was to hold a manifesto on anything which amounted to a Constitution for the European Union, or a Constitutional Treaty. Lisbon is a mere amending treaty of the type which comes along every so often to modernize the European institutions, on which there has never previously been a referendum.

David Lindsay said...

Easy. An amendment or a one-clause Bill restoring the supremacy of British over EU law wherever the two conflict, and, to get the ball rolling, declaring that this shall be the case with regard to the United Kingdom's historic, and internationally lawful, fishing rights: 200 miles or to the median line. That way lies the capture of Lib Dem strongholds from every seat in Cornwall, round North Norfolk, Berwick-upon-Tweed and North-East Fife, to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. No need for a referendum. No need to go to Brussels for negotiations. Easy. So why not?

Mr. Musicology said...

"There was no bullshit"

That's a bit rich isn't it. Bearing in mind that most of the promises:

A: Will simply be impossible to keep. Just like the cast iron referendum plan. There's not a chance in hell he will be able to get anything back from EU, with the lack of support he has

B: He has stated that nearly all of his promises won't happen for at least 5 years. So you'd have to vote him in for 2 terms to see any of them.

I'd say that's a fair bit of Blair bullshitting

Quiet_Man said...

You don't get it do you? Lisbon is self amending, there will be no other treaties, Lisbon will say whatever the EU wants it to say.
There will be no more referenda and Cameron knows this.

Mr. Musicology said...

Blair's leadership was based on these sort of pledges:

These "I will do this, as long as you vote me in for 2 terms".

I'd say at least 50% of the promises won't happen. And that's not speculative. I'd say most of the repatriation stuff is nonsense, and impossible

Alan Douglas said...

So now we know what "not letting it rest there" means.

Good, and good enough for me. I can march behind this banner. Also making it very clear that it will take 4 - 5 years was very good.

It will not be easy, but Mr Cameron LOOKED and sounded like a P M today.

Alan Douglas

Lady Finchley said...

Jojoko - don't let the door slam your ass on the way out!

Jimmy said...

"There was no bullshit"


Malcolm Redfellow said...

Was this a serious speech?

Or was it merely a statement hammered out over a Wapping table, agreed by an ex-PR man on one hand and the plenipotentiaries of the Murdoch empire on the other? If so, what other Faustian bargains are required to keep The Sun on side? What's the difference beween a "cast-iron guarantee" and a piecrust promise, especially if The Sun claims pontifical powers to absolve the promise maker/breaker?

Any bets on the sovereignty bill making it intact through the legislative procedures and then the inevitable review by the Supreme Court?

Doug said...

I will definitely be looking at my UKIP candidate. I've only ever voted Tory even during the wilderness years.

Cameron has accepted the default LibLab surrender of Britain's sovereignty to Europe. It makes no difference who becomes the government because they will all be singing to Europe's tune. The formalisation of the rubber stamp parliament.

Cameron's Sovereignty Act is a complete sham and a red herring. Any constitutional lawyer worth his salt will tell you it will have absolutely zero effect. We have already signed away supreme power over our country to Europe. And as for future EU treaty referenda that is an even worse lie by Cameron because the Lisbon Treaty is self-amending for the precise reason that EU bureaucrats can avoid the sticky constitutional necessities for referenda among some EU members.

It's sad to see Iain and others ducking for cover and trying to say the usual 'it's only Europe it doesn't matter.' Adopting the attitude which has had this country prostrate itself to Europe. Traitors all of them.

neil craig said...

He did make a "cast iron promise" (in his own words) that we would have a referendum on it (which to my mind means a referendum on continued full membership but am open to alternatives). There were no weasel words on not having it if it passed.

The new promise seems impossible secondly because, unless Britain adopts a formal constitution which I would like, a promise to bind future governments is non-binding if they vote not to be bound (as with the cynical guarantees that the government of 2100 will ban fire). Primarily it is impossible because this constitreaty contains rules as to how to change itself so that if it is simply impossible to have a referendum on it then it is simply constitutionally impossible to reject future centralisation using those rules.

I am still interested in what the constitution of the Conservative party is. Is it indeed, as Cameron seems to feel, that nobody else has any rights to say what the party stands for today & completely reverse it tomorrow again. Even Stalin didn't, at least in theory, have that power & I find it difficult to believe the Conservative party is more dictatorial.

On a previous occasion MPs issued a personal manifesto on the EU. That should not be necessary this time. They need only state that they adhere to the current & I believe legal position of the party, that we are entitled to a referendum, until its membership decide to change it. I assume the large majority of MPs & almost all members wish to keep the promise.

We are in the situation where all 3 of the major parties have quite deliberately lied to the voters on a matter of major constitutional importance. This cannot be excused as "no new taxes" sometimes can if circumstances change. There are NO unforeseen circumstances forcing any of them to break their word.

If this stands it means there are no circumstances whatsoever under which any representative of any of the 3 major parties can ever be assumed, without strong supporting evidence, to be telling the truth, or in which any promise any of them make can be taken as trustworthy. That being the case democratic government is obviously impossible.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that had you been blogging in the 1930s, then you would be calling Churchill "self -indulgent" for opposition to Hitler and saying that every Tory should be supporting the leadership, indeed Baldwin, Chamberlain et al who at the time were considered to be "gritty, determined, realistic, statesmanlike".

Also I think that your blunt response to those Tories who disagree to 'bugger off' (note before you moderate this post, these are your words and not mine) to UKIP will backfire, I think a lot of Tory voters will be prepared to vote UKIP at the next election and won't listen to bullying tactics such as "vote UKIP get Brown".

Mazza1230 said...

I too think that Cameron has played a blinder.

Those that still want a referendum on Lisbon are just too late. Not wrong, just too late.

Brown reneged on his manifesto promise and thats it. Without consulting us, Labour has just handed over another dollop of power to Brussels. Cameron will a) try to get some of them back and b) enact a "Referendum Lock" to prevent any more chicanery by future governments.

Can you imagine Labour ever winning with lines like:

"We will ablolish any Referendum Lock" so we can hand over even more power to Europe without consulting you...."

"We will give back power from the UK supreme Court to Luxembourg"

"Calm Down Dear....Gordon will look after us all for another FIVE years"....."

No. Nor can I.

Goodwin said...

There is absolutely nothing to stop Dave from promising a referendum within his first three months of office (assuming he now gets in). The question would be "Does the British public want to remain part of the EU with the attendant loss of democratic sovereign powers?". A simple yes or no will do just fine.

Bird said...

Ignore the trolls on this site.
If we're going to get rid of New Lieber, Cameron has to be supported.
And he will be. There is no appetite in the Tory party for self-indulgent rebellions from old style purple-faced Tories.
Cameron has had to compromise time after time to bring the Tories back from the wilderness, but he's a true conservative at heart and deserves some gratitude and support.

no longer anonymous said...

Cameron's pledge is a good start, let us hope that in his second term he will look at the CAP, CFP and the EU tariff, not to mention immigration.

Rog said...

Ken Clarke fully approved of Cameron's speech.

What more do we need to know?

Our written constitution is the amended treaties as per Lisbon. And it takes precedence over UK law.

Cameron certainly has other important problems to sort out, but this is a fudged attempt to kick our EU relationship into the long grass.

There is absolutely no reason we couldn't have been given a referendum on the sort or relationship we want with the EU.

So even though Iain's not bothered, my vote will be going to UKIP unless the situation changes - and in my constituency Con could just about beat Lab. But they'll need every single vote to do so.

Opinicus said...

Well I am far less sanguine
There is no evidence here of any spine about Europe.
After Lisbon Britain faces a binary choice accept a united Europe or withdraw.
Cameron has made it clear he will never withdraw nor give the British people any direct say on the issue in a referendum.
There is no longer any place in the Conservative Party for any one who thinks the EU means the end of an independent Britain and that that matters.

IanW said...

Frankly, those who start spitting about voting UKIP can bugger off and do just that if it makes them feel better.


They may get a momentary warm glow of satisfaction, but what they could end up with is another five years of Gordon Brown.

So what? The precise hue of our government in Westminster will soon be largely irrelevant, except to those who seek political careers. The powers possessed by the EU under the terms of the Treaty and its predecessors (and likely to be added to by judicial activism) make our Parliament little better than a regional assembly. Mr. Cameron has shown his character to be flawed: he has put immediate political considerations above his duty to fight this slow-motion coup by any and every political means possible. And so, I fear, have you.

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

Could someone that knows about legal issues tell me this: if the Lisbon treaty is self-amending and final (no more treaties), and Cameron says he cannot hold any referendum to cancel this treaty but can merely "tinker around the edges", is he saying that we're bound into the control of the EU for good?

If so, what can voting UKIP do then if we're legally and constitutionally bound by the Lisbon treaty, as treacherously and cowardly signed by McDoom?

Is reneging on the treaty effectively a full break in trading with the EU? Will they impose trade barriers for the UK?

Anonymous said...

I am quite sure, based on the relevant significant experiences of my lifetime – the Heath Accession, Wilson Referendum, Thatcher/Major Maastricht, Major/Lamont Euro shadowing – Acceptance at a silly rate, Brown’s 5 economic tests for joining the Euro, & acceptance the Reform (Lisbon) Treaty by both major parties now – Labour will ensure appropriate independence for the UK and constructive use of our EU membership.

happiness said...

Obviously you're no lady, Finchley, or you'd know the proper terminology is arse, the British word. As for my ass, he's in good company with three others of his species grazing in a large field. I am not accustomed to committing animal cruelty such as slamming an ass in a door (shouldn't that be gate)? As for your arse, I do hope you are alert to that large boot aimed directly at it.

ukipwebmaster said...

I'm sorry Iain but despite the content of this post I detect a hint of sadness as if your heart really wasn't in it.

Anonymous said...

The Lib Dems will give you a referendum (when it would not be needed) and free pot and your name on a ceremonial paving stone in your own street and baked Alaska on the moon and . . .

Chameleon would need a referendum asap were he to win power to scotch the new generation of "bastards" as Major called them in his disasterous term.

That is why Chameleon says "not in a first term" - no nous. Major Mk2 with Queenly connections.

Faceless Bureaucrat said...

IMHO he probably did enough to move on from this issue. Hopefully the lesson he has learned from this episode is to be succinct, precise and VERY CLEAR when he makes pronouncements which have the potential to blow-up in his face. Agree with past comments though,that the 'Referendum on any future Treaty' is a bit hollow, since it seems there doesn't need to be any more now.

Whether it appeaeses Bill Cash and Co remains to be seen.

Still, upwards and onwards...


Mulligan said...

There is a point in any game when you know you've lost. We all lost this week but all these "I'll waste my vote on UKIPers" and attackers of Cameron rather than Blair,Brown, Quisling Heath (the bastard who got us in in the first place), Major or the Czechs, Irish etc need to get some perspective.

What we need is a sea change of our view towards the EU, like the completely paid up members step forward Spain who completely, and blatantly, ignore any EU dictats that they don't like (smoking, land grab , bike helmets, and ha ha ha the environment), and they get EU money thrown at them. Spain won't change a thing because of Lisbon, and neither should we. That's the lesson our leaders, and bureaucrats need to take on board.

And as to a referendum, (on what?) good on Cameron for not pissing millions more of our money against the wall on something the WON'T MAKE A BLIND BIT OF DIFFERENCE.

Anoneumouse said...

“This is about an assurance the final word on our laws is here in Britain”

Phoney Baloney

United Nations Convention on the Law of Treaties
Article 27 - Internal law and observance of treaties
A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty

ScotsToryB said...

First, as the Quiet Man says 'Lisbon is self amending, there will be no other treaties' (and yes, I read his speech via your blog and noted the reference to ratcheting).

Second, as the courts have said about any manifesto there can be no "legitimate expectation" of a manifesto promise becoming law.

That was caused by Socialists but pertains to all parties.

Ergo you and Cameron expect us to believe what he says, and, having said that which he did re the treaty, was as much as he could have said at the time. I do not accept that: had he said then what he said today it would have strengthened Vaclav's response/position and perhaps allowed him to hold out until a UK election had been held.

The only good point I can read into this speech is his point about Sovereignty. I know Govts may not bind future administrations but a clause linking the law to Magna Carta references may, just, make it unassailable.

Otherwise I'll need to think of a new name...


Paul Halsall said...

Tim M. in the Guardian: " Given that Lisbon is a self-amending treaty, full of ratchet clauses, the promise of future referendums on transfers of power is a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. There will be no meaningful threats to Europe if there is no serious willingness to renegotiate."

Thank the Lord. We are in the EU forever!

Nigel said...

I was impressed by the speech.
And the reappearance of Jimmy and Boothroyd confirms that impression.

Almost has me believing that Cameron is a genuine (and realistic) Eurosceptic. And I think many underestimate the negotiating power that the UK possesses if only our government is single minded enough to exercise it.

Fail to deliver in government, though, will have unpleasant consequences.

Anonymous said...

@David Boothroyd

They can call the constitution whatever they like but it doesn't change the facts.

Our own constitution (assuming that Labour hasn't jimmied it) stipulates that constitutional changes are to be put to the people. The Lisbon Treaty changes our sovereignty and key parts of our constitution.

Therefore, we should have been granted a referendum by Labour.

Guthrum's idea of a constitutional court is a good one. Jurisdictions and relationships have become muddied under Labour.

E.g., the police/the state, civil servants/SpAds, peers/ministers, parliamentary prerogative/executive power.

Salmondnet said...

Cameron has been praised by Alistair Cambell. Tells you all you need to know.

Robert said...

I will never again vote for any Conservative candidate in any election ever again.

This is nothing short of a betrayal of the British people.

Does Cameron think we are fools to accept that he can get any change out of Europe? It is a one way street. It takes and never gives. Now it does not need to ask. It is game set and match for the nation state and national sovereignty.

Cameron does not think this is worth fighting for. I do.

He does not get my vote ever again.

Nigel said...

>>I will never again vote for any Conservative candidate in any election ever again.<<

Little point in their taking any notice of your POV, then.

Crossed any other parties off your list ?

thespecialone said...

I agree with some comments that what is the point of holding a referendum? It will change nothing. The media, especially the BBC will continually labour on this point that Cameron 'changed his mind'. Everyone seems to forget that the guarantee was said 2 years ago. What has changed since then? Well Brown signed up, without honouring the PLP's pledge to hold a referendum. Now that is betrayal. Why are Labour harping on about Cameron's pledge being a 'bir rusty' or 'plywood'? Dont they and their friends in the media have short memories? B'liar and Brown, aided by Mandelson sold this country down the river. Not Cameron.

Also, I really hope that people who think voting UKIP or BNP will do any good really think about it. How can they do anything either? It is Cameron or Brown. I know whom I would prefer.

wonkotsane said...

Iain, we all expect you to be loyal to your party but this really is extreme.

Show me anything, anywhere, where David Cameron said his "cast iron guarantee" to hold a referendum on Lisbon was conditional on it not being ratified before an election.

His entire speech was bullshit - the British Sovereignty Bill? Will the EU courts allow the British government to assert its sovereignty? The EU courts have primacy over the "Supreme" Court. Will every member state agree to a repatriation of powers from the EU? Will they buggery. It requires a unanimous vote to take power off the EU and it isn't ever going to happen. As for the "never again" bullshit - there won't be any more EU treaty's to object to, there's no need for them now Lisbon has been ratified. And why is none of this rubbish in the manifesto for the impending election? Why is it being left until the 2015 election manifesto? Cameron wants us firmly cemented in to the post-Lisbon EU with no hope of escape so that he can beytray us all once again.

The solution is simple. If the Tories win the next election then repeal Lisbon. If that means leaving the EU then so be it - it's what the majority of the Tory Party membership and the electorate want anyway. That will, of course, be dependent on every EU member state agreeing to us leaving and serving out 2 years notice.

I have a message to all those Tory voters who are thinking of voting for UKIP: do it. So what if it results in Liebour getting another 5 years? If the Tories have betrayed you so much that you don't want to vote for them any more then why vote for them? Why vote for someone you don't want to keep someone else you don't want out of power?

Actually, I have another message for Tory voters who are thinking of voting for UKIP: please do "bugger off", as Iain says. UKIP membership is a fiver less than Tory membership and UKIP won't betray its membership or the electorate like the Tories have.

True Belle said...

I am tapping away on the PC with the worst energy efficient light bulbs in the world , 60w dimly lighting corners of the room , and only the glow from my PC monitor gives me the lighting relief I need to see properly.

I agree with Mulligan . We should do exactly what we want , when we want and how we want. To hell with rules and regulations. If other countries can blockade fishing ports and create nausea when they don't agree with the rules worthy Brussels spoil sports, well so can we.

We really do have to stop this goody goody two shoes attitude, and be more watchful of other countries tactics- be individual and learn, I say.

Bring back common sense!

We need to train the EU in the ways that we achieve things. They would be totally lost with out the UK. Damn all bureaucracy and the rest.

I have a HUGE problem believing anything Mr Cameron says. Haven't you all heard it all before?

Paddy Briggs said...

The "Euro-mess" is that Britain is far too semi-detached from the EU what with opt-outs and the culpable failure to join the Euro.

I would have liked Blair to be EU Pres for only one reason - it would have annoyed a lot of people who deserve to be annoyed. But in truth his lack of a European emphasis was one of his biggest mistakes (couple with the related cuddling up to Murdoch). Blair was a once a convinced European but he let us down. I hope that if Cameron does win the 2010 election he will see the merits of being ever closer to the EU – indeed central to it. And that he will ensure that we adopt the Euro sooner rather than later!

Mirtha Tidville said...

Re buggering off and voting UKIP Iain, seems a few have recently taken your advice. A by election in Huntingdon (good Tory area) resulted in the Tory vote going down 18.7% whilst UKIP went up 14.1%...
Careful for what you wish for eh..

Mr Mr said...

Cameron does not deserve any support from Tory voters. He may as well sign up to New Labour after this evening`s debacle.

Andrew Allison said...

I want Britain out of the EU. If Cameron had promised a referendum on Europe, I would have supported him. It is up to the British people to decide.

I can also assure you there are many in the party who are considering their position tonight, and I haven't got this through Twitter; I've got this through speaking to and meeting people. I'm not going to bugger off and join UKIP and I will vote Conservative at the next GE, but I am considering leaving the party.

Cameron was not statesmanlike today; he came up with a fudge that will come back to bite him. I also have to say - and you may think this is a platitude - but I do put my country above my party. Britain will be a better place without the constant political interference from the EU. This is what the majority of the grassroots in the Conservative Party thinks and the majority of the country thinks. We deserve our say.

Wilson Cotton said...

As someone who voted no in 1975 as a nineteen year old student, I agree entirely with your comments, as does the Sun in today's leader.
The potentially incendiary question that needs to be raised in the House, the very hint of which will send the Sun and the Mail into apoplexy, relates to protocol. On state occasions, and assuming he gets the job, who will take precedence, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, or President Tone and the fragrant Cherie?

Paul said...

Er no...UKIP in 2010 it is.

Unknown said...

Agree with that Iain. I would love us to withdraw from the EU but even that has to take second place to getting rid of Brown.
If Eurosceptics are serious what we must do is keep challenging the pro EU hegemony so a future Conservative government will be able to call a referendum on withdrawal and actually win it. I work for that at every opportunity.
It is much more constructuive than risking the survival in office of the worst Prime Minister this country has ever had.
PS. I have it on good authority that our Lorik is well p***ed off with your pal from the Upton Park Repertory Company.If I was Mr Ilunga I would have a diplomatic injury when you play us next year.

Mrs Clayton said...

I don't like to see us losing the power that we democratically bestow to people who we have not elected (like the labour party leader for example), but an issue which needs to be TEMPORARILY put on the back burner is being used as a stick to beat a party who was in no position to prevent it and what is more is being used as a stick by the party that betrayed us in this issue already!

To have a referendom on the treaty is to be retrospective now. To be retrospective in this, is by the definition of the word to be backward looking. I don't want a backward looking government. I expect them to deal with the priorities of our economy, services, forces and healthcare and then look to change the EU situation as much as we can, with the promised consultation of the electorate.

It is little boys shouting rude names - the culpable attacking those who were incapable of doing anything to prevent the ratification taking place.

By the way - ask five people you meet randomnly tomorrow whether they want the Lisbon Treaty...then ask them what is in it.

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Quiet_Man said...

"You don't get it do you? Lisbon is self amending, there will be no other treaties, Lisbon will say whatever the EU wants it to say."

Nail, hammer, whack.

We have been sold down the river into bureaucratic socialist slavery by ZaNuLab and the Tories have kept mum for fear of, gosh, being accused of division over Europe. What a bunch of pussies. It's a shame there is no one articulating an opposition position besides Farage and his bunch of political pygmies, who are certainly not worth wasting a vote on.

Unknown said...

"Frankly, those who start spitting about voting UKIP can bugger off and do just that if it makes them feel better. They may get a momentary warm glow of satisfaction, but what they could end up with is another five years of Gordon Brown."

It took 35 years of Gordon Browns to get Margaret Thatcher, and I'd take 5 years of Thatcher over 50 of Heath any day. What is the point in winning if we win only on the terms of agreeing to conserve everything which we wish to reform, and to reform everything we wish to conserve?

Iain, I enjoy listening to your opinion on things that do not clash with your charming loyalty to the leadership. On those matters, you tend to talk sense. But be reasonable: we have been offered a transparent delaying action to clear the way for economic policies that seem little different to Labour's, complete with matched spending commitments for much of the first (only?) term.

At the very least demand the leadership give you something in exchange for the free spin to the vital potential-UKIP-voting Tory 'faithful'. You are not even a PPC for all your troubles!

Simon Gardner said...

Oliver Drew said... “It was an impressive policy set in my opinion. To enshrine in law the right to a referendum when sovereign powers are to be transferred to the EU is a good move. Guarantee the people a say, nobody in favour of democracy can possibly complain about that.”

Er no. It is completely impossible to “enshrine in law” anything that can’t be pretty instantly ‘un-enshrined’ by the next Government. That’s British Constitution 101.

This was smoke and mirrors even a bumpkin wouldn’t fall for.

And I certainly can complain about it. I don’t approve of these alien referendums.

They are almost never decided on the question on the paper. Mostly they are a referendum on the popularity of the government of the day. Or some other question entirely different.

To expect the layman to understand complex questions is absurd. And mostly they don’t have the time. That’s why we have representatives to decide.

Never mind. Lisbon took 8 years to reach the endgame. The possibility of a new EU Treaty before Cameron is long gone is minimal anyway.

I guess you really can con people who want desperately to be conned.

Domesday said...

Iain, I don't it's helpful to say that those thinking of going to UKIP can bugger off. I'm a Tory activist, branch chairman, and constituency management committee member. But I'm really concerned about this statement from David Cameron. Many (reasonable) people believe that this is one of the most significant transfers of sovereignty from the UK to another power that's ever been made (this treaty makes the EU another power). It's not "self-indulgent" to suggest that perhaps (and it is a perhaps) that this transfer outweighs almost every other consideration including the need to pay down the national debt (which even Brown acknowledges although he disagrees on the timing). Brown's national debt crisis is indeed a disaster for this country - a disaster for years, for one, for two, for three decades. The question around our sovereignty is one for longer than that and I do not feel self-indulgent in looking to that longer term. If I don't take a stand now, when will I? When should I? And when can I?

Newmania said...

If there was a referendum now it could only be on membership of the EU. It is quite likely it could be lost, as Conservatives will be rightly aghast at upheaval and cost of sudden change of that order.
Futile show boating now would be to accept that , having been tricked up a hill, the only way down was to hurl yourself off a cliff

The way to re-establish the National sovereignty is by slow and determined pressure over years which will require two terms of Conservative Government . With patience and single minded determination we can leave a bomb site where New Labour fantasies of international Socialist Super State once stood
This should be the goal, and the first and most important step back down the path is to ensure nothing prevents the de-fenestration of that lying coward Gordon Brown .

So no silliness please

Anonymous said...

For those UKIP ( The loud mouth Nigel Farrage's would be desciples) and like-minded supporters, who want to rant and rave about Europe. Europe does not register as a priority for dozens of lower middle class and working class voters who are victims of the credit crunch and some have lost their jobs. For them it is the "economy stupid".

tory boys never grow up said...

One thing is crystal clear, especially given today's reaction on Tory blogs, is that if anyone wants 4-5 years bickering and discord on Europe then they should vote Tory at the next General Election. And I defy any Tory with a degree of political acumen to say it ain't so!

Osama the Nazarene said...

"...those who start spitting about voting UKIP can bugger off and do just that..."

A "my party, right or wrong" reaction! Not thought out for what is best for the country.

All of Dave's promises for the future are as impossible to achieve as his "iron cast (ala Brown) guarantee". The European "partners" will not allow it, seemples.

tory boys never grow up said...

"I believe Cameron's speech, while it could never have gone as far as some would have wished, did enough to keep all parts of the Party on board."

So there we have it - yet another Tory leader who puts the interests of the Tory Party above those of the country when it comes to Europe. By my reckoning the last one who put things the other way around was Heath - and how you all hate him for doing so.

Rebel Saint said...

So am I correct in summarising the new policy towards Europe as: "Now that we've given everything away, I'm going introduce new legislation that ensures we don't give any more away. And I'm going to ask very nicely if the other 26 will give us some of our stuff back"?

And as for the, "If we don't support Cameron, we'll get Brown" line ... it's that despairing, boxed-in mentality that keeps us all on this nauseating, perpetual merry-go-round. Who gives a damn anymore. Get the whole lot out for all I care.

I get the feeling that a growing number of people are fed up of the merry-go-round and want to get off. There's appears to be more of a revolutionary atmosphere. So Vote for whoever the hell you like & shake things up a bit.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"Frankly, those who start spitting about voting UKIP can bugger off and do just that if it makes them feel better. They may get a momentary warm glow of satisfaction, but what they could end up with is another five years of Gordon Brown."

This is such rot, Iain, and well beneath you. It smacks of someone circling the wagons after a disaster.

We are told repeatedly that Lisbon allows secession from the EU altogether, so why not call that bluff? Let's see the EU run around like crazies offering us concessions as well.

Unless you think that we are inconsequential to the EU experiment and they will let us go without a fight, of course. If so, then why the need to be part of it?

Dick Puddlecote said...

"Europe does not register as a priority for dozens of lower middle class and working class voters"

For 'dozens', maybe not, but for the rest (a bit early for pantomime season, apologies) ... oh yes it bloody does.

Victor, NW Kent said...

The many blogs on this topic have about two hundred devoted and life long Tories saying that they will never vote again. Of those 200, about 10 were the usual UKIP monomaniacs so that's no votes lost.

188 were posts under various noms de plume by 17 Labour shills and 2 were Tory supporters who really thought that holding a referendum could affect the actuality that the Treaty has been ratified.

Sorry - one was jojoko who thinks that a hung parliament will advance his cause in some strange way. It is hard to categorise him.

tory boys never grow up said...

Could someone elucidate on how Dave would propose selecting which EU Treaties he would hold referendums - there have been quite a few if anyone bothers to look - anyone for a referendum on the Greenland Treaty, all the individual accession treaties.

I daresay there are some cast iron criteria hidden away somewhere.

neil craig said...

Bird said "There is no appetite in the Tory party for self-indulgent rebellions from old style purple-faced Tories"

The point is that Cameron is the one who has rebelled against the official party policy he himself enunciated. Any party member, whatever his complexion, who calls for a referendum is simply standing on the party line. I am quite certain that the large majority of MPs & overwhelming majority of members want the promise kept (even at the most cynical it cost virtually noting & there is no downside unless you actually believe we should be dragooned into a superstate.

It may seem strange to accuse a party leader of rebellion but it has been done many times, rarely beneficially. Probably the best known was when Louis Napoleon, the elected French president overthrew his own government & declared himself Napoleon III.

The Huntsman said...

Cameron has shown he is no different from Brown and Clegg: when push came to shove he put the pursuit of power above the national interest.

In other words he is just another snake oil salesman on the make.

This is a seminal moment in the long history of our country when the ruling political class told the rest of us, to borrow a phrase, to bugger off and to mind our own business whilst they, a self-perpetuating oligarchy in pratice, decide amongst themselves what is good for us and, more importantly, what is good for them.

Well the political elite may yet discover that we are not going to bugger off, you know. Instead some of us will now put our minds to the business of trashing the political elite good and proper.

Not easy, I grant you, but since democracy and freedom will be off the menu in the EUSSR, we need a hobby to keep us occupied.

I had never anticipated having to become a revolutionary at the age of 55 but I confess that it has definite attractions.

Aux armes, Citoyens!

Anonymous said...

UKIP, UKIP, UKIP. Even a UKIP government could not rescind this treaty. It is over, people. Cameron is 100% right and we should back him to the hilt.

Anonymous said...

Argghh Tories and Europe = disaster.

DC has a pragmatic approach to Europe. what a relief. As if there was ever a chance that he could offer a referendum? Highly unlikely. DC didn't break any promises - that was Labour.

Europe is the future - emabrace and move forward. Old skool Tories are so predictable.

Steve Horgan said...

Cameron is dead right.

What depresses me is the level of downright stupidity and ignorance in the comments. Assuming these people are not simply Labour trolls then they either didn't listen to David Cameron's speech or they really seem to have missed the point.

Let us review:

Primacy of UK law, as Germany has and so eminently deliverable.

UK law to explicitly stop any automatic ratcheting up of EU powers under Lisbon.

UK law to require referenda for any future EU treaties

General policy to repatriate EU powers to the UK.

This is a good balance of deliverability, sound policy and politics. The alternatives are Labour and Liberal Democrat ratting on their pledge for a referendum or the UKIP vote to keep the former in power.

Do you need it in crayon?

Anonymous said...

>>>*** BREAKING STORY *** <<<

Dan Hannan MEP resigns from tory frontbench. Read it NOW at 'A RIGHT PERSPECTIVE'...

Johnny Norfolk said...

We have been sold down the river.

happiness said...

About 55% of the population want to leave the EU and 67% want a referendum. And that £40 million a day going to the EU is one of the major contributors to "it's the economy, stupid" despair. I think the 55% and 67% above understand that relationship.

Lord Blagger said...


I'm sorry but that bullshit.

We were promised a referenda. There was no mention of any qualification.

A bit like saying, I'll buy you a car, and when it gets round to it, the promise is I'll buy you a car if you run a marathon under 2 hours.

If you don't mention the qualification up front, its bollocks I'm afraid.

Put a referenda on the agenda. The problems with the outcome of a referenda isn't a problem for electorate. It's a problem for the politicians who screwed up by not holding one, and for the EU sorting out the mess that results.

It's just another illustration. Screwed for expenses. Screwed for this, screwed for that.

And that's from someone who would have voted yes.

As it stands, the Tories have lost two votes in this household

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I see a lot of alienated Tories on this thread.

The "bugger off" strategy really worked, didn't it?

If anyone can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Cameron will.

What else will he come up with to lose cast iron Tory votes?

Anonymous said...

i'm not one for reading small print but even i knew the deal was that if the treaty wasn't ratified we'd get the referendum, if it was ratified we'd be buggered. it's bleedin' simple. dave's doing the best he can with a stitch up and i think the vast mainstream of voters will agree with him.

Anonymous said...

Cameron will succeed in his EU venture if elected with a decent majority.

Pete said...

"I believe Cameron's speech, while it could never have gone as far as some would have wished, did enough to keep all parts of the Party on board."

Not this part it didn't (I'm with Dick Puddlecote on this...)

Gareth said...

Beware of geeks bearing gifs,


The EU has supremacy over Westminster solely because Westminster has chosen to defer to Brussels. Remove the integrationalists from Westminster and Britain could unilaterally leave the EU if it wanted. No problem. No fuss. If the people choose enough politicians who see sovereignty as something the British people deposit in Westminster for safe keeping rather than for lending out to anyone who offers to take over the decision making, Britain could do what it likes and the EU could bluster in response.

Trade would be a concern but there is the rest of the world and in particular the Commonwealth we could trade more with. Out of the EU our exports into the EU might appear less value for money to EU consumers but our imports from the rest of the world could be cheaper too as they would not be subject to the trade tarrifs the EU insists upon.

Parliament is still sovereign and no Parliament can bind successive Parliaments - that is a function of current MPs beholden to the past rather than the law itself. We have a number of constitutional documents and we already have a constitutional court - Parliament. It has not done it's duty.

What the Lisbon Treaty does is provide a comfort zone for British politicians. So long as they stick to it (and make us do likewise) they get an easy life. The more the EU does the less our national politicians have to do. The restrictions Cameron and others have talked about exist in the minds of the politicians not in real life. Unilateral action is something other EU countries take all the time when it suits their national politics to do so. The massive error in the British relationship with the EU is to mostly toe the EU line even when it has negative consequences for Britain.

If removing Brown was the overriding goal I daresay promising a referendum on our membership of the EU would guarantee it. I would think highly of Cameron if he had been grown up enough to think 'Sod it, we'll have the referendum and I'll campaign for a In vote'. It doesn't bother me one bit that Cameron is very much a Euro integrationalist. What I would like is the chance for me to have my voice heard on our membership of the EU.

For such fully signed up Europeans you'd think Cameron and his chums would jump at the chance to explain why it is so beneficial for Britain to remain a member and for Britain to prove her Euro-credientials if enough people say In. It'd shut the French and Germans up if In was the result - our commitment to the cause would be unquestionable.

This was Dave's chance to put a fundamental question about the future direction of Britain in the hands of the British people, for the State to get out of our way for a change, and he couldn't do it.

Michele said...

He did say that he gave a 'cast iron promise' on a referendum.

He now says something different - therefore he lied.

It might suit you to support a liar, but I don't trust people who do - ergo I no longer trust David Cameron.

I am looking for integrity in my politicians now - and liars have none.

ukipwebmaster said...

"adamcollyer said...

UKIP, UKIP, UKIP. Even a UKIP government could not rescind this treaty. It is over, people. Cameron is 100% right and we should back him to the hilt."

All you have to do is repeal the 1972 European Communities Act.


Lord Blagger said...

UK law to require referenda for any future EU treaties


Its a self modifying treaty. They don't need a new one, they can change Lisbon, because the Lisbon treaty says they can do this.

cassandra said...

Now that both big parties have lied to us all and denied us our right to a referendum it looks like the general election will have to serve as our referendum instead.

With both newlabour and the conservative we will get a castrated and servile subject state of a the new euro empire, a vassal state with no power other than to obey the orders of the new euro overseers and pay up. The eurotrash commissars are laughing at our collective stupidity, they have no real power over us, they enjoy power because our spinelss and selfish political classes wish it to be so, its easier to be a part of a bigger entity, no responsibility other than to enjoy the trappings of local power and obey orders, the police state keeps the proles in line and mass immigration dilutes our national identity, petty laws train the population into obedience and faked up scams like global warming manipulate the popualtion into accepting lower standards of living, even rationing so beloved of despotic regimes throughout the ages can be foisted upon us based on lies.
Cameron knows full well that there will never be any future referenda, there is no need for them because the treaty has taken our sovereignty away, all future laws will be made by foreigners for the benefit of foreigners and parliament is obliged to enact them and enforce them.

Heres a clue for die hard tories to digest, Cameron is planning to offer a high profile job to the EUs current 'compliance and enforcement official' Peter Mandelson as soon as Cameron walks into his his new job as regional administrator for the new EUSSR.
The tories are planning to take the UK into the euro currency using the state of the economy as an excuse, what did you think Mandy and Ozzy were talking about recently?
Cameron only has to utter shallow promises to his eurosceptic party until he walks into No10 and then we will all find out that Cameron was a europhile all along and by then it will be too late because its a plain fact that the next general election will be our last free election EVER.

We WILL have our referendum, it will be the general election and we WILL remember Camerons treachery.

Ean Craigie said...

Iain there are very few things that we disagree on but this I am afraid have got it wrong.

We have never had a vote on the EU its never been allowed we had a vote on the ECC which was, I am sure you will agree, a totally different beast.

If Cameron wants people like me to pound the pavements and get the party back in then he needs to be a an of his word. He has shown with this action he is no better than Brown and Blair. I am so upset with this change that I will now revert to my earlier rallying cry of Dump Dave and you may be surprised at hw much support that call now has.

Unknown said...

Agreed, the Treaty is ratified so we must move point in a referendum on what is a fact. Politicians should not hold to fixed positions but move with the changes and take into account present realities. Too many are stuck and live in the past, thinking of what could be/what might have been - not "what is".

Cynic said...

Im pro being in Europe but not on the Lisbon model. The problem weface is thatGordon sold us into slavery without a referendum. Wenaedto make sure the British people recognize this

Dick the Prick said...

I'm starting to think he's out of his depth.

Eton, oxford, cash, contacts - be harder to fuck up than to achieve. I'm beginning to think he may be thick as shit but fast on his feet but sometime it just catches up.

I made a sort of random comment about Labour yesterday in that they were blinded by their conceit to never once avail themselves of the notion 'err...d'ya reckon we're talking bollox?' and it's looking like I can save myself 13 years and just assume the tories are the same.

Just saw a poll on GMTV (Penny's kinda dirty sexy) where 90% of respondents wanted the troops back home - so what? Are they wrong? When these are the family and friends, the neighbours and the alumni?

The people don't matter anymore. Sure, i'll vote Tory but it'll be a contract.

Cynic said...

Our policy on this is wrong.Theyahve completelymisjudged the mood onthis.

Paradoxically Dave should adopt the Euopean political model to deal with this. He should declare that:

1 the UK Constitution is unwritten and therefore some of its provisions are unclear

2 Labour entered the last UK election promising a referrendum. They lied to the people

3 Brown was never elected as PM

4 He therefore had no constitutional authority to ratify Lisbon

5 a future Governmetn will change UK law to clarify this beyond doubt and will not regard itself bound by this fraudulent ratification

6 upon election the Conservative will immediately call a referendum to right this wrong. If the British people vote to ratify we will then ratify. If not we will not

javelin said...

I have to agree with David Cameron - the focus should be on Gordon Brown stitching up the country and not on David having to deal with the legal aftermath.

In the longer run though the country does need a referendum because the slow creep in Europe must be looked at from the long term perspective.

I want to stay in Europe - but want to stay in a Europe where at the very least the accounts can be audited.

I think a long run referendum needs to have three questions (1) pull out (2) do nothing (3) ask whether we give the UK Parliament right to discuss and use the EU veto.

If the EU wont make itself democratically accountable then we will have to use our veto from a democratic body.

Road_Hog said...

Let the spin begin.

It's all waffle, not going to happen and the French have already started confirming that.

Those who worry about any trade repercussions, should stop worrying.

The EU can no longer set tariffs for goods and services other than food because the world trade organisation has now banned all import tariffs. So trade in the EU will be wide open.

Barnsley Bill said...

Iain. Ask yourself this; What would your hero Margaret Thatcher have done?
Cameron has gone back on a promise. He has broken his word and you can write 50 pithy and logical posts a day for the next year to excuse him but it will not change the fact that he has proven gutless in the pursuit of power. His U-turn is simply an attempt to not allow labour a wedge in the run up to the election.

He deserves nothing more than our unified contempt. He is no better than the unelected nihilist who has driven my homeland to the brink of collapse. A curse on all their houses.

Weygand said...

@ Nick et al

Your indignation comes from your failure to pay attention and is unjustified by the decision to avoid a "phoney" referendum.

Channel 4 - hardly a pro-Tory source has done a specific Factcheck. The full analysis is here

It concluded

"Cameron has campaigned so vociferously for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty that it's easy to think he gave a "cast-iron guarantee" to put the Treaty to the vote no matter what.

But when he used that now-famous phrase, he did appear to be talking about the Treaty pre-ratification, rather than undoing the signed-on-the-dotted line that will now become an EU-wide reality."

Only the lazy media sources and the partisan have failed to point out that the guarantee had always been conditional on treaty not having already come into effect.

cbwoolley said...

"Some people seem to have forgotten that it was Gordon Brown who reneged on his manifesto pledge for a referendum, not David Cameron. Cameron could never deliver on it if he wasn't in government. Brown was and didn't...." It would seem that CMD is determined to lose the next election. Instead of fulminating against Brown for selling us down the river in so many things, he is just going defensive, allowing the narrative to be set by others. The performance at the last 2 questions times has been pathetic. CMD should just state that following the reading out of dead soldier's names, there can be no serious debate, and Brown either ignores the questions, or just plain lies his head off. Cameron should simple state that there is no longer any point to this charade, and fold up his papers to do something more useful.

Paddy Briggs said...

Why David Cameron Deserves the Conservative Party's Support on Europe

by Iain Dale (47 and a half)

Because I'd really, really like to be a Conservative MP !

Irene said...

I'm a voter and he has my full support.
Roll on the election!

Vienna Woods said...

Faceless Bureaucrat said "Hopefully the lesson he has learned from this episode is to be succinct, precise and VERY CLEAR"

Yes, my thoughts exactly! This mess need not have happened if Cameron had tackled the "misunderstanding" that a lot of people had about his "cast iron" approach. Why nobody from the Tory hierarchy spoke up much earlier is anyone's guess. The whole episode has been totally mishandled and if leading Tories did not understand the way in which the speech was being interpreted by the media then it makes me wonder how out of touch they are. When one considers that Cameron's speech was, I understand, made in 2007 then why didn't someone wake up?

Anonymous said...

Dick Puddle whatever: Why can't you join Farage and his 200 minons and go on shouting when for others economy is the main problem?

happiness said...

I don't think a hung parliament will advance my or anyone else's cause one little bit. But that is what is going to happen if the tories don't handle this situation better than they are doing at the moment. It's called facing reality and I'm still going to vote UKIP even if that is what happens, because voting for the tories seems to be getting aboard an unstoppable train. And there is a way to stop a train that has left the station and is hurtling towards certain doom - pull the cord and then get off the EU express. As for "it's the economy stupid". Getting out of the EU will save £40 million a day which would go some way to shoring up that same economy. Keep on claiming there is nothing we can do and the alternative parties will benefit. Keep on claiming there is nothing we can do and you sound more and more like a member of the political class that has no party affiliation but is devoted to keeping on track to a destination the majority of Britons do wish to reach.

Tapestry said...

Are UKIP either

'Useless Khumps In Pink'


Political Prostitutes, Pimped by the BBC?

By definition, they cannot be both.

Paul Halsall said...

@jojoko. I would like to see a hung parliament. Such a parliament would preserved the Union for one thing, which may die with Tory majority. [And if you think you are a Tory but hate the Union, you have no idea of the history of Toryism.]

I think the Lib Dems would extract PR, preferably the Single Transferable Vote, from any coalition partner, and that would ensure for the foreseeable future the center-left state of the British polity.

Lord Blagger said...

I don't think a hung parliament will advance my or anyone else's cause one little bit

Yes it will if they are hung from the lampposts on Westminister bridge

happiness said...

Should have read "do NOT wish to reach". UKIP seem to be the party that are giving the tories sleepless nights. The tory party hierarchy have created this problem by not behaving as opposition but standing behind Labour when they should have thrown down the gauntlet. How many times have you heard them say they support the government when they could have driven them from power before this? The EU non-referendum was the last chance for the tories to get my vote. And many others. If DC respected the electorate, he would give us a referendum on membership of the EU. Instead he promises there will be a referendum if there is a further treaty. And will there be another referendum if the required answer isn't given in the first round? I think we should be told.

neil craig said...

"my readers seem to be blind to reasoned argument"

Iain that is gratuitous & unworthy of you.

To answer your question I can indeed point to the Sun article you mention as being one in which he gave a "cast iron promise" to have a referendum on the treaty.

If we can't have it in advance we must have it afterwards - Parliament has the right to abrogate treaties & has done so many times. That doing so would presumably mean renegotiating an associated relationship like Norway's is no bar.

Not only was his promise unlimited by any mention if it not applying if the election hadn't been called pre-ratification but he went to enormous lengths to say how we are entitled to be able to trust this promise. saying in the next few lines of Brown & Labour:

"Make no mistake, that's the reason he refuses to give the British people a referendum on the EU constitutional treaty - he simply doesn't trust them. It's the arrogant belief that he - and only he - has the right to decide what's best for Britain's future.

Well, Prime Minister, I've news for you. The old politics that you grew up in no longer reflect the new world we live in. It's a world where people are demanding - and getting - more power and more control over their lives."

Whether Cameron thought there was any truth whatsoever to those words of his they are in fact true. I still doubt that he, alone, has the legal right to announce anything or any new policy he wishes as the basic principles, of the day, of the entire party. I think MPs & constituency parties should state that they stand behind current policy until the party as a whole changes it.

It is also dishonest to balme anybody supporting UKIP if Labour get back in. If they do so it will be because we have a corrupt electoral system which the Tories support. The results of that corruption lie entirely with its supporters. We have only had an absiolute Labour government for the last 12 years because the Conservatives would rather give them total power than have a democracy. That is their fault not UKIP, or indeed the BNP's.

Steve McIntosh said...

'Frankly, those who start spitting about voting UKIP can bugger off and do just that if it makes them feel better.'

Ok - will do.

Have never voted Tory and was considering it. No longer. UKIP it is.