Let down by the leaders of ALL of the political parties.
The eurosceptic cause is being damaged by the UKIP
squabbles, the Blair-Brown feud and the Tory desire to say little as possible
DONES NOT presume to tell its
readers how to vote, and it won’t be doing so at the forthcoming general
election. We also refrain from becoming
embroiled either in inter-party feuds-although we receive a constant stream of
readers’ letters trying to promote the cause of particular parties or factions. We try to live up to the claim implicit in
That of explaining the reality of the European project to
all those who are interested.
Vol 10 No 8
However with a general election perhaps no more than three
months away, we cannot avoid observing that at present the cause of
eurosceptism is not being well served by either the Conservative Party or by
the UKIP, the two parties which claim the support of eurosceptics – while the
Labour government position on European issues can only be understood by the
titanic struggle between Brown and Blair.
fighting a skilful and deservedly successful campaign for the European
elections in June last year, UKIP appears to have become distracted by internal
squabbles from its task of explaining the harm done by Britain’s membership and
the campaigning for withdrawal and a new relationship with the EU. As we go to press it seems possible that
Robert Kilroy-Silk will attempt to split UKIP by forming a new party that campaigns
on immigration, asylum and crime as well for EU withdrawal.
seeking to claim the leadership of the UKIP Kilroy-Silk displayed egotism and
impatience of a high order but the party leadership is also to be criticised
for not having sought more skilfully to find a role commensurate with
Kilroy-Silk’s following in the country and his talents as a communicator.
of the part leadership is now widespread and is not confined to the supporters
of Mr Kilroy-Silk. It is a measure of
how personal relations have deteriorated that a clumsily-written Christmas
message of the party leader to members should have become the cause of
criticism and complaint by members.
More disturbing is the use of a hoax message and a series of dirty
tricks by senior members of the party to damage opponents.
was inevitable that the party’s organisation and structure would need to change
as the result of rapid and deserved increase in membership. Members complain that power is now
centralised. If this is so it would be
a mistake: party members are far more likely to accept discipline and to behave
responsibly if they are given particular tasks within an agreed framework. Moreover, a policy of centralisation
would sit uneasily with a political philosophy that stresses the virtue of
actual and potential UKIP supporters had been hoping to see from the UKIP
leadership was a sign that the party had thought seriously about the next stage
of its development, its role in the forthcoming referendum campaign and a
strategy for achieving its goals; they are still waiting.
principle complaint to be made against the Conservative Party is that like the
Liberal party, it seems not to want to talk about the EU during the election
campaign. As a consequence, it has
missed important opportunities to criticise the European project. The party has a better policy on fishing
than formerly, but anyone who was hoping for heavyweight speeches on Britain’s
future relationship with Europe will have been disappointed. The recent debate on international aid, and
the expression of US disquiet over the EU’s attitude towards defence matters
have provided the occasion for a distinctive Tory voice on these issues but the
chance has not been taken. It is
sometimes said that in the age of spin and sound bites there is no point in
making closely argued speeches, combining the intellectual rigour with passion,
of the kind once made by Enoch Powell and Keith Joseph. Is this so? The last heavy weight intellectual speech
made by a Tory on the European topic that we can recall was delivered by
William Hague in January 2001 and dealt with the EU’s attempt to create an
autonomous defence capability and why this would damage British relations with
the US. The speech won a fulsome praise
from The Times (which said it was the best speech he had
made-despite having been no great fan of the then Tory leader) as well as other
Tory papers, while a columnist in the New York Times wondered
whether Hague was the ‘new Churchill’.
Mr Hague’s rigour deserted him when he later asserted, quite wrongly, that the
approaching general election was the last occasion when the British people
would have a say on the euro.
observed his predecessor deal badly with the European issue Mr Iain Duncan
Smith drew the conclusion that it would be better not to deal with it at
all. Many of those now on the Tory
front bench appear to think the same way.
As for the Labour Party, only a small
number seem to resent the fact that Britain’s political destiny is being
subordinated to the outcome of personal rivalries between the Prime Minister
and the Chancellor.
in the Guardian on the 18th January, Martin Kettle described
the current situation:
“ The details may be in
dispute, but is clear-and was clear before Robert Preston’s account of their
disputes over the euro-that the Blair-Gordon Brown rivalry has acted as a brake
on any decisive labour initiative on Europe.
Blair is always in favour. Brown is invariably against.
So the Question after may 5th is why should it be any different
this time. The formal answer is that
voting ‘Yes’ to the Constitution is Labour policy and will be in the
manifesto. But to believe that
things will play radically differently this time, you also have to believe that
in reality, Blair and Brown will now promote the case for the ‘Yes’ campaign
together, without ambiguity and with equal vigour over many months. It is to
put it mildly, a rose-tinted vision, especially in view of what we are now told
about their relationship. For, if
nothing else, the campaign challenges Brown to put at risk key parts of the
coalition that HE HAS SO ASSIDUOUSLY ASSEMBLED BEHIND HIS SUCCESSION CLAIMS,
NOTABLY THE EUROSCEPTIC PRESS, ESPECIALLY THE
SUN AND THE DAILY MAIL, AS
WELL AS LABOUR’S ANTI-EU MPs.
Perhaps he will dare to do
that in order to win the battle for Britain’s place in the world-certainly the
backing of such a sceptic would send a powerful signal. But it is hard to believe.”
is hard to believe, although unlike The Guardian, we take some
consolation from that fact. We remain
convinced that the European issue remains the most important of all, and cannot
in the long run be avoided-but we are profoundly depressed by the fact that no
political party is treating it with the attention and high seriousness that it
* * *
[Fonts altered-bolding &
Daniel Hannan - Forming an OPPOSITION to the EU
WITH THE ONLY PARTY WITH A MANDATE
TO SET YOU
TO RECLAIM YOUR DEMOCRACY DON'T VOTE FOR THE
TRIPARTITE PARTIES IN WESTMINSTER
SMALL PARTIES THAT SPEAK THEIR MINDS
WITHOUT SPIN AND LIES.
Home Rule for Scotland
HOME RULE for
[All underlined words have a separate
THE QUESTION THAT THE VOTER MUST ANSWER
‘DO YOU WISH TO BE GOVERNED BY YOUR OWN PEOPLE, LAWAND CUSTOM OR BY
THE CORRUPT ,EXPENSIVE UNACCOUNTABLE AND ALIEN BUSYBODY BRUSSELS’
-SIMPLE IS IT NOT?