Sunday, June 18, 2006

Labour Hypocrisy on Tory EPP Position

The main line of attack by Labour and the LibDems on the Conservative proposal to withdraw from the EPP has been that Tory MEPs would have to form an alliance with foreign parties who are either semi-fascist or weird in one way or another. This has never struck me as a very convincing argument as no Conservative politician, let alone William Hague would even contemplate such a move.

It was therefore highly revealing to learn from Christopher Silvester in the Independent on Sunday today that the Socialist Group of MEPs, of which New Labour is ironically a member, contains a Polish Party called the Self-Defence League. It campaigns against gay rights, against what it calls 'global capital' and any other kind of involvement with foreigners. The words pot, kettle and black come to mind.

13 comments:

Andrea said...

Actually the Self-Defence thing is not a member of the Socialist Group as a whole party, but 2 of their MEPs sit in the group.
The other 4 "Self-Defence" MEPs sit among the no attached members.

RedEye said...

The fuss over the Tories withdrawing from the EPP is overdone, given that David Owen refused to join the EPP on account of its federalist views. See Daniel Finkelstein's column in this week's Times for more.

Rob Knight said...

If Dave is such a "liberal conservative", perhaps the Tories could find a home in ELDR, the EU liberal grouping?

Ross F said...

Labour's spin about how leaving the EPP will force the Conservatives to sit with Le Pen et al, is so lame I wouldn't worry about it if I were Cameron.
It seems that he is either going to upset his MPs by staying or his MEPs by leaving, since MEPs do not matter in the slightest it is obviously preferable to leave.

Pulsar said...

Since the Conservatives (NPP) only have one policy at the moment it would be a pity if that collapsed.
That said the no policies line is very effective when holding down the Gov. attack rate and should make the GE of real interest particularly if it's called early.
The good news from the morning papers appears to be David Davis proposals on law & order-some good news at last!

Rick said...

Who cares Mussolini made the journey Tony Blair started out on............the idea that any of these labels constrain opportunists and careerists is absurd

Anonymous said...

It is remarkable how all the other parties are lining up to criticize David Cameron's decision to leave the EPP by saying how the Conservatives will "lose influence" have to align themselves with "nutters" etc. Since when have they all been so concerned with the Conservative Party's welfare? This is obviously something they very much do not want him to do from their point of view, therefore good for the Conservatives.

Samuel Coates said...

May I recommend Neil O'Brien's Platform piece about this?

Chris Palmer said...

Why have the Limps and Labour suddenley become all caring about who our Conservative MEPs sit with in the European Parliament.

Is it because in reality they are scared the our new grouping may challenge and destroy the myth that 'ever closer union' is inevitable.

bebopper said...

"The Fink" was right in his Times article. Only a few political anoraks are interested in where we sit in the EU. From a political point of view, it's important for Cameron to look strong and consistent. He should honour his pledge without delay.

Paul Leake said...

To be fair it isn't really comparable. Jack Straw was never actively soliciting support from the likes of the Self Defence League and I doubt Labour MEPs on their own could have blocked the admission of two Self Defence MEPs.

Gary Elsby stoke-on-trent said...

Should Dave sit with the Liberals due to being a Liberal Conservative?
or should he sit in the socialist group, due tto being the 'heir to Blair'.

Most EU watchers are waiting for Dave to isolate himself from positive politics and align himself with the negatives, IE.UKIP, LE-PEN and co.

The difference will be viewed by the differences of opinion by the Tories and Racism and Fascism.

EPP and divorce=Big mistake.

gary

tyke said...

What about Conservative hypocrisy on the EU?
You pretend you want to represent us, but the Conservative stance does not sleep soundly with this item -

http://publius.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/36/1/75?maxtoshow=&HITS=1
0&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&searchid=1138950374513_58&FIRSTINDEX=0&minscore=5000
&journalcode=publius

"Moreover, the assemblies and executives are endowed with different
levels of power, Scotland (and potentially Northern Ireland) having more
authority than Wales. England, by contrast, has no assembly in its own
right. There can therefore, for example, be no separate English scrutiny of
EU proposals: this is conflated with UK scrutiny in Westminster (on scrutiny
more generally, see Bulmer et. al. 2002, chap. 4; Carter and McLeod 2005).
As in other aspects of devolution, there is an "English problem."

"The fourth characteristic is that the devolveds' involvement in EU
policymaking is conditional and dependent. A critical point is that the new
and enhanced opportunities noted above need to be exploited skillfully so as
to ensure that galvanizing and pursuing Scotland's or Wales's interests, on
the one hand, does not jeopardize Scottish or Welsh involvement in the
process of shaping the UK position on the other. In order to assert
themselves successfully in shaping the United Kingdom's European policy, the
devolveds need to balance their policy interests with the rules of
engagement imposed on them by the prevalent Whitehall culture. This tricky
balancing act is right at the heart of the task of conducting European
policymaking under devolution and it centers on the special relationship
with Whitehall (Burch 2004). Compared with the English regions and
nonconstitutionalized regions in other member states, the devolveds enjoy a
privileged position in national EU policymaking. They are treated as
partners with UK government. They are not, however, equal partners