The return of the Tory bogeymonster?

Former Tory donor, Stuart Wheeler, who was expelled from the Conservative Party for donating money to the UK Independence Party has said more than 80 percent of Tory MP’s ‘feel let down over Europe’. His ‘defection’ to the UKIP came as Pro-European Ken Clarke returned to the frontbench as Shadow Business Secretary. It seems that in the run up to the European election in June this issue may become more prominant, an issue that may continue to divide the Conservatives.

Lately in the run up to the European election I have been wondering where are political parties stand on the whole issue of Europe. Particularly with the whole debate of the European Constitution in the current European electoral term. Is it a case of parties ‘brushing’ the issue under the carpet?

The issue of Europe will never go away and will only grow and grow, particularly when we see the constitutional proposals put in place in the new European parliamentary term.

As a strong Euro-sceptic – what exactly is Europe offering us? What was wrong with the European Economic Communities? Old issue I know, but surely its still very relevant?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The Euro issue to Tories centres on soverignity and the perceived/actual loss of it.

    In Norn Iron there is the more pressing issue of soverignity for people to consider with the architecture of the GFA and the shifting demographics keeping the Irish national issue alive. It would seem to be very much a secondary issue with Nationalists generally following the ROI position and Unionists following the right wing British position.

    It is ridiculous that the Tories could patronisingly lecture the indigenous peoples of Ireland on how the Tory involvement would help bring an end to the tribal politics of Iron Iron when they themselves had dealt so badly with their own ‘tribal’ issue – Britain v Europe in their own party.

  • GGN

    “As a strong Euro-sceptic”

    hmmm. The word sceptic … ‘a person who habitually doubts generally accepted beliefs’

    Can one truely be strongly sceptical?

    Does Euro-Scepticism really exist or it is just down right opposition to European Integration?

    I am not a Euro-Sceptic by any means, I am quite sure that it exists, having been there several times.

    I would be opposed to the current level of polito-economic integration, that doesn’t make me sceptical, merely opposed.

    It simply does not measure up to what I consider democracy.

  • willis


    “As a strong Euro-sceptic – what exactly is Europe offering us? What was wrong with the European Economic Communities?”

    It depends who “us” is.

    A Property Speculator who sees the chance to buy cheap and sell dear will have a different angle from a semi-skilled machine operator who’s job is being re-located.

    Yet they are both “us”

  • I’ve recently written a very sketchy blog post about NI and the European elections. It’s a bit basic, since I blog about European stuff and I assume that those who are likely to read it won’t know much about NI politics. Even though I’m from NI, there’s still probably quite a bit that’s open to correction.


    On the question of sovereignty and democracy, I’ve starting writing a small series on that (just started, so not much written yet), but it’s a bit theoretical.


    Shortly put, I think that there needs to be a level of European integration (though I’m open on the degree).

    Globalisation means that economic power is outstripping political power; and as this happens nations states become weaker and less able to act in the interests of their citizens. As developing countries, especially Brazil, China and India get richer and have a more educated workforce, market size and access becomes more important: without this, welfare states become less possible for countries with smaller markets, and economic forces have more influence in dicating policy rather than the electorate. The single market can mitigate this, though of course this isn’t an endorsement of everything the single market does.

    The question becomes whether or not sovereignty at a European level should lie primarily with the nations (result: more intergovernmental, more diplomacy and secret deals) or with the citizens (democracy). The EU at the moment is (and under the Lisbon Treaty would still be) a fudge between the two.

    States pool their sovereignty to better meet the needs of their citizens (or to strengthen their own positions), but as it continues, there is a tension of how much of a direct input citizens should have on the higher-up stage. No one has done it before, so it’s all very experimental.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I hope Dave doesn’t come onto this thread and see Eurocentric’s contribution. The resulting cataclysm could rupture the space-time continuum and destroy the universe.

  • mormon