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Cameron balks at even minor tokens of conviction

The utterly flaccid David Cameron has balked at even the token gesture of pulling his ‘conservative’ party out of the Euro-integrationist EPP in the European parliament. As withdrawal from the EPP would be little more than a minor token that did nothing beyond offer the tiniest of fig leaves to the now completely naked Euro-skeptic remnants within the Tory party, is anyone under any illusions now of his inclination to ‘stand up for British interests’ in dealing with the EU?

As having the Tories ditch the EPP (whose platform includes ‘ever closer union’) was one of the planks of his pitch to win the Tory Party leadership against David Davies, will conservatives who are not pure Blairite (or perhaps even Heathite) now admit they have been screwed (and not in a fun way) and finally decamp from Cameron’s appalling social democratic party?

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14 comments to Cameron balks at even minor tokens of conviction

  • steves

    I think you will find that apart from a few “rightwing bastards” to paraphrase Major most will keep their heads down.

    Like Blairs lefties they have been out of power too long and will accept any shame to get back into goverment. If Cameron does pull it off expect a Blairite solution to emerge, a distinctly feeble program with odd scraps thrown to the “right”, an alternative foxhunting bill so to speak, just to keep them satisfied.

    Oh for a choice at an election

  • The Dude

    Someone needs to form a political party called “None of the Above” and get on some ballot papers.

  • guy herbert

    Why? There would seem to be no electoral cost in the country, which is oblivious to EU affairs. Could it be that the Clarkeites are more likely to derail his leadership than the Euroskeptics? It would imply that, contrary to their profession, that they – the Europhiles – are the ideologues not the pragmatists.

  • Mike Lorrey

    Apparently that the general American English definition of “Tories” = Traitor that dates from the Revolution, has seeped into the British English dictionary as well…

  • Didn’t Cameron also say that the imposition of the much derided A-List, composed mainly of C-list celebrities and CCHQ insiders was justified because he promised it in his election bid?
    So how come withdrawal from the EPP now becomes optional? Why is it OK to lie about one thing but claim a mandate for another?

  • Julian Morrison

    It is politically hard for DC. The people he was hoping to join up with are proving to be real jackbooted nasties, and the Euro parliament rules don’t allow him to just pull the Cons out and go it alone as a party. He’s caught between “I promised to go” and “I’ve nowhere to go”, and probably thinks that “I’ll announce my intent to leave as soon as an opportunity opens” is the best availbale compromise, combined with active politicking to try and build such an opportunity.

  • James

    Mike Lorrey exclaimed:

    “Apparently that the general American English definition of “Tories” = Traitor that dates from the Revolution, has seeped into the British English dictionary as well…”

    Care to explain how that is so, Mike? I’m curious as to what you’re getting at.

  • ResidentAlien


    In 1998 Puerto Rico had a referendum on constitutional status. There were five options on the ballot; including “none of the above” which took over 50% of the vote.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Cameron (as is often said) is trying to “do a Blair”.

    But he has forgotten that the situtation is quite different.

    A public [in the sense of elite private school in British English) school, Oxford University person (Blair) was acceptable to some former Conservative voters (at least they would stay home rather than come out and vote Conservative), and was still acceptable in strong Labour areas because he was leader of the Labour party.

    Mr Cameron (for all what he may think he is) is not leader of the Labour party – he is a public school, Oxford University educated person (and indeed a person of inherited wealth whose only jobs have been in politics and in public relations – and the less said about his time doing P.R. for Carlton television the better for him).

    In the 1960’s and 1970’s when the Conservatives were out of office the party made big gains in local elections in the northern cities.

    Mr Cameron understood that (if the Conservatives were going to win the next general election) they would have to make big gains in these cities at the last local elections – that is why he organised conferences in these cities and campaigned hard.

    The results.

    No victory in either Bradford or Leeds (cities the Conservative party controlled even in part of the 1980’s) – in fact the party LOST seats.

    And NO SEATS AT ALL in Manchester (the second city of England where Mr Cameron made a special effort), Liverpool, Newcastle……. And this was at a time when the government (due to various cases of corruption and incompetance) was wildly unpopular (they had and have “mid term blues”).

    You see it is not a question of “principle or winning the next election”.

    Mr Cameron is not going to win the next general election. The lead in the polls means nothing.

    A “toff” (upper class) Conservative party person like Mr Cameron could only win the election if he really generated passion among the voters (enough to make ordinary people come out vote Conservative).

    Most people do not hate Mr Cameron (because they do not know about his activities at Carlton and so on), but they feel no passion about his principles (because they know that he has not got any – indeed he makes a point of stressing how pragmatic he is).

    So he is not going to get people out and voting Conservative at the next gerneral election.

    “But the B.B.C. (and so on) support him”.

    But can leftist media support really be relied on at election time?

    The media supported John McCain when he was fighting Bush in the primaries, but they really have supported him against Gore (no).

    The leftist media (the B.B.C., C4, the Guardian newspaper) will support Mr Cameron against his “right wing” foes in the Conservative party. But at general election time they will turn on him (and turn on him very hard).

    The rightwing media (a few newspapers) will support Mr Cameron (in spite of his failure to fight aginst the E.U., his ratting on taxes and government spending and so on) but their support will be luke warm (sort of “hold your nose and vote Conservative”).

    This will not be enough to get people going to the polls and voting Conservative.

    So, unless their is a massive recession (a possibilty in a credit bubble economy like Britian), the Conservative party will be defeated at the next general election.

    It will have ditched what is left of its principles for nothing.

    Mr Cameron’s people are already preparing for this. They are (and have been for some time) going around telling people “the party must not get rid of a leader just because he lost an election”.

  • Michael Taylor

    What we have here is an ungodly cross between Tony Blair and Douglas Hurd.

    Realistically, I don’t think I could bring myself to . . .

  • I was thinking Tony Blair and Ted Heath but…

  • Could it be that the Clarkeites are more likely to derail his leadership than the Euroskeptics? It would imply that, contrary to their profession, that they – the Europhiles – are the ideologues not the pragmatists.

    Spot On.

  • Paul Marks

    People above are correct. Mr Clarke is (odd though it may sound) an ideological fanatic.

    “Ken” Clarke has long been wildly popular as a person. I do not like him (but then I am ideology man too – and my ideology is different to his), but many do.

    The jazz music, the bird watching in the woods, the plump frame, the hail fellow well met manner (and so on).

    Whereas people he stood against in leadership elections in the past (before he got a bit old for the job) like William Hague and Ian Duncan-Smith, had few friends.

    So how did Mr Clarke manage to lose?

    He was not prepared to compromise on his support for all power to the E.U.

    Still he and his friends (“Hezza”, “Gum Gum” and the others) seem to control the party now.

    Mr Cameron has (quietly) made it known that “experts” have explained to him that he can not get Britain out of the Common Fisheries Policy (the one E.U. policy that the Conservatives were pledged to get out of).

    People who voted for Mr Cameron because they thought he was more hostile to the E.U. than Mr Davis (because of what Mr Cameron said about getting out of the E.P.P. group in the Euro Parliament) should now feel rather silly.

    However, most likely, they do not – all many party members can seem to see is “we are ahead in the polls”.

    I used to think it was the elite in the Conservative party that were no good, and that the ordinary members were decent sorts. Since the comming of “Dave” (or rather his popularity with some people) I am reconsidering that opinion.

  • Nick (Not the usual one)

    You can at least form a coherent reaction to someone with a strong ideology – there’s a certain kind of quasi-respect even in finding them worthy of contempt. Even Tony Blair I can look at and say “evil.”

    But with Cameron, there’s nothing. He vacillates between any positions he thinks he can use to appear voteworthy, but without even the pretence of sincerity that Blair found useful. I’d almost be unsurprised to discover that he didn’t exist at all.