Tag Archives: ECR

Cameron has left himself isolated on all three European fronts

The European Union is the only diplomatic game in town for the UK. Like it or loathe it (I am personally somewhere in between) – we need it. Before Cameron came into power I predicted that Cameron would leave us isolated. This argument however was based on the Conservative’s moves within the European Parliament. I could never have predicted how Mr Cameron has left us exposed and isolated on all three major European fronts. In the European Parliament the Conservatives are sat with “xenophobic anti-Semites”. In the Council, Cameron has literally walked away and in the Commission, well we all know what Cameron thinks of Cathy Ashton.

I turn to Edward McMillan Scott, former Conservative MEP who describes the problem of the Conservative grouping in the European Parliament as such, and I quote, “Whatever view you take about David Cameron’s pledge to leave the EPP it has been panned by every commentator, and the choice of EU allies has been ‘controversial’. Putting the Polish MEP Michal Kaminski up for Vice-President was a disastrous choice and would have led to a furore”. He continues, “Kaminski and his party represent the rise of disguised extremism in Europe”. If you have not already – I strongly recommend you read this leaked email – it is very telling.

In true Conservative manner my local MP, Neil Carmichael described the partners inside the ECR group to me as holding “unpalatable views”. In other words, far right! Through pushing for this alliance, Cameron has managed to alienate himself and the Conservatives away from every major centre-right political party within the EU. I think Mr Carmichael and many other Conservative MPs know this.

In the Commission, we have known for quite some time that Barosso and Cameron have not seen eye to eye on the economics. We also know that Cameron has been caught ‘mocking’ Cathy Ashton (the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy as well as the Vice-President of the European Commission). Instead of working to build a relationship at every turn with a Brit in one of the most influential posts in the EU Cameron has left himself isolated.

Then last but not least, the Council. Well, the latest Summit speaks for itself. 26 voices to one. In the words of The Independent, “The EU leaves Britain”. They quote Angela Merkel as saying, “It has antagonised everyone…I really don’t believe David Cameron was ever with us at the table”.

The EU is in drastic need of reform, it is nowhere near being fully accountable transparent or democratic. We are not going to achieve any of this by following a tactic of isolation and frustration. My only hope is that the traditional Tory vote will spot this growing isolation and how bad it is for Britain and respond through the ballot box. Cameron is doing irreversible damage to the UK. I just hope we can survive to the next election.

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The Challenge ahead for Neil Carmichael

Neil Carmichael, Conservative MP for Stroud

Stroud lost their widely loved Labour and Cooperative MP David Drew, as Neil Carmichael the Conservative pipped him to the post at Thursday’s General Election.  David was not loved because of his party (indeed this was a problematic area for many), but because of his record as a “constituent MP”.  In other words, because he made it known that he cared about his constituents and worked on their behalf.  David set down the challenge for Neil during his speech on Friday morning saying that he would “drop the files off so you Neil can get started”.  On the campaign trail I met numerous hardened Conservatives who were going to vote for David because they knew someone David had personally helped out.  Neil must be able to show that he can represent all of his constituents not just the 30% who had voted for him by taking up these cases.

Stroud in the past has had less than effective Conservative MP’s.  The most recent of which was Roger Knapman, who later went on to become leader of the UK Independence Party.  It is widely held in the Stroud Valleys that Roger represented a wholly different kind of politics to David, despite their shared scepticism of the EU.  Roger was born in Devon and soon after being defeated by David in 97 returned to Devon to contest a seat in North Devon.  This is in stark contrast to David Drew who is truly seen as a local “Stroudite” (whether this is a good thing or not remains to be debated).

Many fear Neil may just be another Roger; a man too busy with the dealings of Westminster to be able to truly represent Stroud. I have heard countless “stoudies” rubbish Neil’s character with little or no basis.  I say, let’s wait; at least until he has made a mistake before we start the attack.

Neil, academically speaking, represents a more progressive wing of conservatism.  He has assured me that he opposes the Conservative’s involvement with the ECR group in the European Parliament because of the “unsavoury nature” of those who they sit with in coalition for example. There is no reason to believe (at this stage) that Neil will be any worst a constituent MP than David (although he must prove this) and there is no reason to think that he will be any worse than other elected Conservatives (just think we could have Dr Fox as our representative).  Essentially, I am saying lets hold our fire and let him prove himself (for the good or the bad).  At this stage we should be giving him all the support we can to see if he can give it his best shot.  I want the best for Stroud and this will only happen if we try to work positively with our new MP.

Neil remains a decent hard working person.  He was before he got elected, and he will remain to be so.  We might disagree with some of his politics, but I do not see any advantage attacking the man.  Equally, I see no point in creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by talking up the “inevitable demise of the next 5 years”.  Now is the time to be drawing out shared politics such as our equal commitment to localism and see how this can benefit Stroud and its surrounding valleys.  Will Neil publicly back the community supported agriculture project in Stroud for example? Will he push for the investment needed (not cuts) in the Stroud valleys to make us a leading force in renewable technologies (including the manufacturing of wind turbines despite the hysteria in the Cotswold villages)? Will he really work to challenge the gender pay gap that persists in our society? These are all issues that Neil and the Greens agree need to be tackled; these are the sorts of areas that I would love to see Neil and the Greens working together on.

As far as I can see, he has done nothing to deserve the hatred that I have heard off people (not from Greens but from members of the public and other political parties), he simply has the misfortune of representing the Conservative Party.  Let’s hope that Neil has the vision and the perspective to engage across the political spectrum for the good of the people of the Stroud valleys and beyond!

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Leaked email reveals that the Tories have ‘anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist links’ in Europe!

McMillan Scott (far right) has been "sent to Coventry" after highlighting the Tories extremist links. Photo thanks to EP photostream!

I have stumbled across a leaked email from McMillan Scott,former Tory MEP, that highlights what many have feared about the Tories new ECR grouping for a long time. At the inaugural meeting of the Tories new grouping, the ECR, McMillan Scott expressed concerns about some of the “extremists” that the Tories are now sitting with in the European Parliament.  This cumulated with him standing for Vice-President of the Parliament against the ECR candidate  Michał Kamiński a Polish MEP from the Law and Justice Party.  McMillan Scott now sits as a non-aligned in the Parliament.

For me, this email confirms what I already knew.  The Tories are sitting with some nasty characters in the European Parliament putting them in “awkward positions” around LGBT rights and the death penalty to name just two!

Here, I copy in the entirety of the email I received:

Yorkshire & Humber, UK

> 8 February 2010

> Dear Westminster parliamentary colleague,

> I am writing to many Conservative MPs (and I am sorry this is not personalised) about the Party’s treatment of a parliamentarian. Despite my restraint with the media, there is a risk of it becoming an issue in the General Election. The reputational damage to the Party is already considerable: Keira Knightley’s contemporary West End opens with a speech about David Cameron’s ‘grubby fascist friend’

> Whatever view you take about David Cameron’s pledge to leave the EPP it has been panned by every commentator, and the choice of EU allies has been controversial. Putting the Polish MEP Michal Kaminski up for Vice-President was a disastrous choice and would have led to a furore, whether or not I stood against him. Expelling me from the Party until after the next European Election has been a CCHQ own goal and it is time it was corrected – by politicians.

David Cameron may well be unaware of what has been taking place but my numerous attempts to achieve an amicable solution are being systematically blocked by CCHQ.

 I now urge the parliamentary party to appoint an experienced MP – perhaps a member of the 1922 Executive – to conduct an inquiry and resolve this quickly.

The whip was withdrawn from me by Timothy Kirkhope to divert attention from political misjudgements.

However my expulsion from the Party is of another order and must not be allowed to stand. 

You can take me out of the Conservative Party, but you cannot take the Conservative out of me. Please let me know if you wish to help or want more information. My private email is xx@xxx and my mobile number is xxxxxxxxxxx. The Party is more important than any individual, but principles trump the Party and I will not let matters rest.

> Yours,

10 Killer Points: Edward McMillan-Scott MEP��s expulsion from the Conservative Party

  1. I complied with the manifesto, leaving the EPP and joining the new ECR group. I said that I was ‘uncomfortable’ because of moral, constitutional and extremist issues.  I stood against a Polish MEP, Michal Kaminski, and was re-elected Vice-President of the European Parliament with strong cross-party support and NGO support (see http://www.edwardforvp.eu/) on 14 July – see attached Timeline.  This was done on a point of principle because Kaminski had recent and easily-discovered ‘anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist links’ – for some details see attached Kaminski Uncovered


2.      Kaminski and his party represent the rise of disguised extremism in Europe.  My longstanding concern and action about extremism stems from a family secret since 1940, revealed on BBC Radio 4’s Mother was a Blackshirt only in January by my aunt, Diana Bailey, that my maternal grandparents were interned by Churchill as senior Blackshirts (please ask for a transcript)

3. Kaminski was not an official Conservative candidate. He was nominated by Timothy Kirkhope, Tory MEP leader, as part of a stitch-up to promote Kirkhope as leader of the new group without election. The Tory MEPs’ rules of procedure for nominations for EP parliamentary posts were ignored. I stood as an independent. Another Conservative stood independently the next day for another parliamentary post (‘Quaestor’ = Ways & Means) but no action was taken. Only I lost the whip.

4. My Brussels assistants and I were ‘sent to Coventry’ (this was ignored by Tory MEPs and staff); my UK staff were told to stop working for me by Party officials (they refused); all material carrying my name was to be expunged from constituency offices, invitations to Party functions withdrawn; my conference pass was revoked, a fringe meeting cancelled, among other petty actions. Throughout all this, CCHQ has flagrantly ignored the Party’s constitution, its principles – and its reputation

5. A smear campaign was launched against me, starting with a specious letter which William Hague sent to key Conservatives in my constituency and also issued to the media although he knew that, for legal reasons, I could not reply. Six Conservative Press Officers vilified me to constituency media and the nationals while defending Kaminski. This perverse CCHQ strategy has created an issue on which, I am told, Gordon Brown has achieved electoral ‘cut-through’ on our weakest topic – Europe

6. On September 15, without notice or reason, I was expelled from the Party after an email exchange between Board members. They did not meet. This decision is subject to a prolonged internal CCHQ appeal procedure in which my lawyers and I have little faith (I was on the Board for three years) and, as a result, may lead to court action.

7. My UK lawyers, the best in their field, say that my expulsion was against natural justice, disproportionate and unconstitutional: they look forward to the High Court

8. The ‘blind pledge’ (signed by all Tory Euro-candidates that they would join whatever EU grouping Cameron devised) is illegal under EU law and my treatment by the Party is contrary to the EU’s ‘Race Directive’ (and the Race Relations Act)

9. The Party appears to seek to terminate my parliamentary career (I am 60) – as well as my livelihood – despite 25 years as an MEP, 4 years as leader of the MEPs, 3 years on the Board and 43 years as a Party member. I have a reputation for tenacity

10. The only other parliamentarians to have been expelled from the Party were Den Dover for two years, after allegedly misusing his MEP expenses; and Lord Archer for five years, after imprisonment for perjury in the High Court. Who is CCHQ kidding? http://www.emcmillanscott.com/ .


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