EU’ve got to be joking!

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I want to make it abundantly clear that the views expressed in this post are mine and mine alone. In no way do they reflect the collective view of BUCF nor the Conservative Party…

I have just found out that one of our most prominent donors, Stuart Wheeler, has been expelled from the Conservative Party after donating £100,000 to UKIP. I for one am outraged by this action. Mr Wheeler has a democratic right to express his financial support for any party he so chooses and the Conservative Party has no right reacting in this way to a man who has given us such vital financial and loyal support over the years. Mr Wheeler’s contributions to our party run in to the millions and we react at what by comparison is an insignificant donation to a party such as UKIP, which in terms of European policy is not the far removed in its views from much of our own membership, in such an outrageously dramatic way.

Cameron and the Conservative leadership need to take note that there is genuine displeasure amongst the party faithful and the country at large at the way they are handling our European policy. We as a party and they as a leadership need to acknowledge this criticism. We need to be more direct, one way or another, in regard to our European policy. I personally, Chairman or no Chairman, have never been one to sit on the sidelines if something displeases me enough in regard to Tory party policy, and I too am nearing the end of my patience in regard to our European policy. Its about time we remember that we are a Conservative Party and we cannot stand idly by while the powers that be in Europe take an increasingly federal route. We need to stand up and speak out for what we believe to be right even if it flies in the face of party policy or lack thereof.

I have no doubt that Stuart Wheeler is as much of a conservative as you or I. I believe he donated to UKIP to give the Conservative Party a short sharp warning that they are starying off track in regard to the upcoming European elections when they should be hitting a harder tone. We need to remember we have a duty to be true to our conservative values. But in regard to this situation, when such a prominent and longstanding donor has been reprimanded in such an unustifiable and unforgivable way, we have to remember we have a duty to the people who make us what we are as a party. Stuart Wheeler is by no means alone amongst our membership in regard to his views on Europe. Cameron and his team will ignore that fact at their peril. We Conservatives have never been afraid of competition and we should not act out in such a Stalinist way against a man who has shown us more invaluable support as a party over the years than most of us could ever manage to do in a lifetime…

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16 thoughts on “EU’ve got to be joking!

  1. “We need to stand up and speak out for what we believe to be right even if it flies in the face of party policy or lack thereof.”

    No pun intended.

  2. It would be absolutely absurd to keep him in the Party after donation £100,000 to UKIP. We can’t have the Party donors being linked with the Party but donation money to other and voting for others. If he donated £100 to us or £5,000,000 to us it’s all about showing how unified we are, and there can be no exceptions in it. If he had stayed it would … Read morehave sent a message to other prominent donors saying they could explore other politics parties and that would have broken the unity even more. Eric Pickles was absolutely right to expell him.

  3. haha. When Laura Blyth does not go on a fully fledged rant in response to a post of mine…then I shall take that as a sign of support ;)Btw you missed a smashing end of term party… you should have come along! :)

  4. Sorry Declan we must have been responding at a similar time I didnt see your response… unsuprisingly I respectfully disagree. One donor does not in anyway reflect party unity. He is ONE donor. We have always been for the liberty of the individual. We arent like Labour we are not bound to our donors. We do not owe them anything. If they wish to donate to the monster raving loony party frankly I couldnt give a damn. It is their choice and we should respect it.

    I, and many others, am disillusioned with the state of politics atm. I think morality, conviction and a sense of fair play have gone out of the window and its all about ticking the boxes and how everything ‘appears’ nowadays. I wish one party would say sod convention, political correctness and ‘ticking the boxes’ and do it their way. So what if he donated to UKIP? Expelling him mkes us look weak as it makes it seem as though we in some way ‘fear’ UKIP. I think the public are fed up of ‘yes men’.

  5. I find myself agreeing with you. Mainly because we haven’t addressed the issue of the EU which we really need to do and am shying away from. I don’t think his was a shrewd move or a fair one, but at the same time I think to expel him is a ridiculous reactionary measure.

    Also, sorry about Thursday, I did very much want to come but have been in hospital fora good chunk of this week and couldn’t really leave the house at all :S

  6. Yes, he is ONE donor… He is however the largest and most influential donor, he is the man who has been both a life line and a hole in the boat for the Party. Openly supporting another Party and its candidates is just plain stupid and I can’t imagine he seriously expected to not be expelled. No matter how much money he has, no matter how much influence he has, it is good to see the Board have followed the right course of action. When you say “We need to stand up and speak out for what we believe to be right even if it flies in the face of party policy or lack thereof.” I agree, everyone should be allowed support who they want, but it should not be the case that people can cross and chooose between who they’re donating to. Unfortunately my membership card is on the other side of the room and I can’t be bothered moving, but out of memory on the back of it I think it says something to the effect of “membership of the Conservative Party is not compatible with membership of any other political party” and whilst I appreciate he is not a member of UKIP I would say a £100,000 donation to help a Party that will be standing against us in this election is as significant as holding membership. (I may be asleep in a while if you don’t note I’ve replied recently so I might reply to your comment tomorrow!)

  7. Dan,

    What would your response have been if he’d donated to Labour, the BNP or the NF to send a “stark warning” to the Conservative leadership? I understand that this is somewhat different as it’s over the EU specifically, and yet the principle of ‘protest-donating’ is still brought into question…

    Pav.

  8. haha I agree Declan I am a conservative through and through as I am sure he is…. and you know what? I have a sneaky suspicion most UKIP voters are. The point is they are disillusioned about the line the Tory party is taking in regard to Europe. I am all for party loyalty but not when it compromises a persons principles. I CANNOT BELIEVE how quiet we are being in regard to these European elections… when we have Labour on the ropes, when we are seemingly strong, when the public is furious after the Lisbon treaty debarcle… this is the perfect time to strike out and nail our Euro-sceptic colours to the wall. Then we will look like a credible government. I guarentee… if the Tories took a tougher line on Europe then the UKIP share of the vote would plummet, Labour will plummet anyway and we really will look like the next government. Instead we are going to split our vote with UKIP… as always. We’ve missed the boat.

  9. How silly this post is. As a Party we find ourselves actually all pulling in the same direction and finally achieving something. We are proving to the electorate that we are ready to run the country and recent polls are showing that this is working.

    We don’t want to give the hungry media any chance to see any more ‘in-fighting’, which has ruined us so many times before, especially in the run up to County and European Parliament elections!

    This is our opportunity to give the Labour Party, who really are suffering from an accute bout of in-fighting, a very bloody nose.

    Stuart Wheeler knew exactly what would happen and it is absolutely right for our Party to act quickly to expel him, which deals with the matter promptly and allows us to continue with what really matters…winning elections!!

    I do urge you to think carefully about statements which may suggest a split in the Party at this stage.

  10. “all pulling in the same direction” someone is clearly taking their party line pills. If you think this party is united, particularly over Europe, you really have little grasp of the state of the party today. We are reluctant bedfellows who are so full of contempt for the current government we’d do anything to get them out for the sake of the nation!

    “Achieving something?!” Our success is pretty much 9although not entirely) on the back of Labours failure. “Oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them” Perhaps you should remember that Ben.

    Pav, the European elections are prime time for us to come out with a concrete policy on the issue… the public are becoming increasingly Euro-sceptic after having Lisbon forced upon them and what do the Conservative party do? NOTHING. Its about time we ‘grew a pair’.

    The only thing that will cause a ‘split in the party’ as you put Ben is if we let the career politicians overshadow the conviction politicians… conviction is what we conservatives have always prided ourselves on. Its what has led us to unprecedented success. We should leave convenience and career politicians to Labour.

  11. Wasn’t the argument all along to hold a referendum and let the people have their say? If we retort that now and instead suggest, as a party, we should withdraw aren’t we doing the exact same as what Labour did: promised a referendum, but then ultimately followed a pre-agreed agenda?

    Anyway, this isn’t really about the EU is it? It’s about the way we respond to those who protest again leadership by financially supporting another party…

    Pav.

  12. I agree… if the donation were to a party like the BNP then absolutely throw him out. In that light I should clarify whilst I do not believe we should expel Wheeler for donating to UKIP and whilst I believe that in a party such as ours we should allow free speech and support the freedom of the individual… I do NOT believe we should assosciate ourselves with someone who would willingly donate or assoscaite themselves with a racist, sexist, homophobic and basically intolerant or extremist body.

    UKIP fits none of those profiles and thus I see no logical reason for his expulsion. The point is the party membership are increasingly anxious about our party’s line on Europe. For the time being most are happy to sit back and wait and see. I for one want answers before I vote… or I too may be tempted to vote UKIP *SHOCK* :O… I wont vote for an unprincipled government… even if they have a ‘Conservative’ tag. True conservatism is more than a tag.

    Incidently… who’s suggesting we withdraw? I am sugesting we ‘up the rhetoric’. I want to hear more about how Europe are looking towards increasing federalism. I want to hear more about how undemocratic the Lisbon treaty is and how we are going to give the people a chance to have their say. I want to hear more about how the Euro is categorically off limits under a Tory government. That is the type of thing I and many others want to hear. Reassurance.

    Cameron says ‘sorry’ seems to be Gordons hardest word… so simple yet so hard… well perhaps European policy is the hardest word for Cameron… so simple yet so hard. He could end all this with a harder, more coherant line on Europe in the run up to the European elections; perfectly timed. Instead its going to be an embarrassment.

  13. You can’t be a member of our party whilst giving substantial support to one of our opponents, to use against Conservative Party candidates. He’s not funding a think tank, he’s funding a political party that’s fielding candidates against our own candidates in an imminent election. His action may well mean fewer tories get elected in June. Of course he had to go and good riddance to treacherous rubbish.

  14. Pingback: Stuart Wheeler Expelled « A Tory Pier’s Blog

  15. I’ve noticed that it’s always foreign policy that seems to divide a party whether here or in the US. It reflects the fact that parties are established on the basis of domestic issues.

  16. This is true Jack and domestically I am very much in sync with the party. However in terms of foreign policy I find it a conflict of interest to claim to be a party preserving Britains identity and traditions and then taking a back seat when we are having foreign laws and constitutions increasingly imposed on us without democratic mandate.

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