.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The nasty party

Leader of the Liberal Democrat European Parliament Group, Fiona Hall, has set out why David Cameron's drive to modernise his party has been undermined by the actions of the 25 Tory MEPs since they joined a right-wing breakaway group last July:

A Tory attempt to stop the EU offering "new and additional" money at the Copenhagen summit was defeated by 588 votes to 78. Two Tory MEPs, who are climate change sceptics, Daniel Hannan and Roger Helmer, voted against Mr Cameron's policy to support an 80 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2050. The Tory group refused to condemn Lithuania's "section 28" law, which criminalises material that "agitates for homosexual or bisexual relations" or "defies family values". It also opposed a call for press freedom across the EU.

The European Conservatives and Reformists' (ECR) group was set up after Mr Cameron pulled his party's MEPs out of the mainstream centre-right European People's Party (EPP). Rival parties will use the actions of Tory MEPs to attack Mr Cameron's attempts to modernise his party. In a report to her party leadership, Fiona Hall, leader of the British Liberal Democrat MEPs, said: "Whatever David Cameron says, the Conservatives ... let off the leash, are as wild-eyed and rabid as ever. Extremism is still the soft underbelly of the Conservative Party."

This is a big danger for David Cameron. No matter how much the Tory Leader and his officials insist that it is he who speaks for his party there will always be a suspicion that the real Tory party will emerge after the election and they will be the same-old, same-old nasty party.

The actions of the Tory MEPs and the group that Cameron created for them could provide plenty of ammunition to fuel that suspicion and undermine the soft cuddly image the Conservatives are trying to create for themselves.
The overture from Lord Adonis towards a Lib-Lab coalition in the event of a hung parliament is too distasteful to contemplate so you'd better be nice to the Tories from now on!
Perhaps we will just fight on our own agenda and let them both woo us.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?