Zero national authority, sub-zero European authority

With an unprecedented lack of support at the local elections, and a further desertion from the voters expected in the European Parliament elections, Gordon Brown’s authority has been permanently damaged beyond repair. Voters have again re-iterated that the machinery of government is ready to be serviced, not re-oiled, and that a Conservative government would be the motor for change that is in Britain’s best interests.

David Cameron has shown firm leadership on European matters throughout his tenure as party leader. His pledge to withdraw the Conservative Party from the EPP-ED transnational group in the European Parliament will undoubtedly lead to greater freedom in the decision making process for the party in the European Parliament as opposed to being bound by the EPP-ED on broadly federalist lines. The introduction of the “right to know” expenses form has increased the transparency of Conservative MEPs’ expense claims, and clearly shows initiative and leadership by David Cameron on reforming expenses, as opposed to indecision and dithering from Gordon Brown. Contrast this to the “leadership” of Gordon Brown. He has failed to give Britain a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, otherwise known as the EU Constitution. In addition, Labour MEPs called for an end to Britain’s opt-out from the Working Time Directive, a piece of European legislation, which threatened to impose a 48-hour maximum working week on Britain, despite being in contrast to the stance of the Labour government. Thankfully, it was through the hard work of Conservative MEPs that Britain maintained its opt-out from the directive.

Conservatives are committed towards a Europe that works for Britain, by completing the single market, and increasing efficiency, by campaigning to end the €150m travelling circus to Strasbourg, and to end nonsense expenditure such as the European Parliament guide to gender-neutral language. Given a hammering at the polls, a series of resignations from cabinet ministers, and anonymous e-mails calling for his resignation, it is clear that Gordon Brown has absolutely no authority at a national level, let alone at a European level, and that David Cameron, and the Conservative MEPs are the motor for change that is in Britain’s best interests.

(This is a guest blog entry written by Douglas Groves)

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9 thoughts on “Zero national authority, sub-zero European authority

  1. “David Cameron, and the Conservative MEPs are the motor for change that is in Britain’s best interests.”

    Hear, hear! Fantastic insight into EU regulations and the hard work of our Conservative MEPs. I’m glad we have you on board Douglas and I thoroughly look forward to more from you on the EU! ;-)

    xXx

  2. I think it would be informative to see how UKIP did in the Euro-elections. That may give you some insight into whether your approach to Europe is in line with the country at large.

    For the record, I voted Conservative for my Mayor (who won) and UKIP for Europe.

  3. Well, 4 million votes (29%) for the Conservatives, 2.4 million for UKIP (17%).

    Is that enough for Dave to consider policy change?

  4. I’d agree with Tony. Considering Labour saw a drop in 7%, the fact that the Conservatives only saw a rise of 1.2% shows that people across the country don’t have any faith in any of the big three parties. Lib Dems also saw a national 1% drop in votes.

    The defining message from the European elections was 2 fold:
    1 – 65% of the UK electorate don’t care about Europe.
    2 – Of the 14 million that cared enough to vote, 41% of the vote went to non-mainstream parties which shows people in the UK are losing trust with the big parties.

  5. Tony,

    David Cameron has made crucial pledges for Britain’s role in the EU and vice versa. However, it is not necessary to take a rash approach to the EU question. There are some benefits and we should ensure that Britain gets the best deals.

    UKIP, however, do not have the interests of Britain at heart as they vote against British interests in Parliament and take a negative approach to squeeze us out of the EU. They somewhat boycott the EU and really do a poor job in representing the country there.

    Mark,

    Your observations are sound and I think part of the mistrust was a result of the expenses and Brown clinging onto power while he disillusions the general public. The voter turnout was at record lows for the EP elections. I would say there’s two reasons for the low turnout:

    1- Protest apathy? or 2- Who cares?

    Either way, the government and some of those sitting in Parliament are out of touch with the public hence why we need a GE.

  6. Sahar,

    Speaking as a resident of Stoke-on-Trent South, I am dreading an early election. Not because I’m a Labour supporter but because of three letters: BNP. In the European Elections, UKIP were the number one party in Stoke, 2% ahead of Labour. It was virtually a dead heat between the Tories and BNP in third. I can see them gaining an MP if we held an election now, simply because they are brilliant at brainwashing people and playing on their fears.

    All 3 main parties need to sort out the expenses system and sell their policies to the people, as well as tackling the BNP’s lies and racism head on. Then call an election and hopefully the threat of a first BNP MP doesn’t happen.

    You are right though, Parliament have lost touch with common people and all 3 leaders (especially Gordon Brown) are guilty of inaction and complacency.

  7. Thanks for the replies people, some comments;

    Overall, extremely good news on the councils – I would have preferred even more Labour blood on the floor (walls, ceiling), but you can’t have everything.

    Mark,
    I don’t agree with the first part of your analysis (65% don’t care about Europe). It seems that where people believe their vote will have a direct impact on their lives (local councils), they vote Conservative. However, where it makes no difference (ie the highly un-democratic EU) then venting and anger at the ‘main stream’ parties will come out. In my opinion, it isn’t that 65% of the electorate don’t care about Europe, it’s simply that 65% of the electorate have seen that whatever vote is cast regarding Europe, it is simply ignored by the architects of ‘the project’.

    Sahar,
    I knew full well that UKIP MEPs have a bad reputation regarding expenses, and are not representing the country fully, and yet I still voted for them. Why? to send a message to Cameron that he *has* to man-up over Europe and start asking some very difficult questions of himself, his party and the role of this country in Europe. We did not sign up to be part of a Federal ‘super-state’, but rather a customs-free zone.

    He ought to start behaving as though he were in office now, and start addressing the real problems the country faces. Why not use parts of ‘The Plan’ as a template? – there’s many good things in there such as wholesale de-centralisation of power and personal responsibility. What are Labour going to do, steal those ideas? – they can’t, as it’s not as simple as nicking the inheritance tax idea, which is just a tax code change. No, those concepts are simply not in their DNA. They cannot fight back in those areas.

    I’ve been watching this train-wreck of a government stumble and stagger about for too long now and I’ve been wanting the Conservatives to go for the jugular over Labours record (which is bloody awful if you look at their ‘promises’ and what they’ve done) again and again until all that’s left is a bloody mess. And they haven’t, and so this utter shower of liars and thieves still hang on.

    I have the uneasy feeling that Cameron thinks all he has to do is turn up at the election, and its his. Well, maybe that’s true, but I wouldn’t count any chickens just yet – there’s a lot of angry people out there.

  8. I understand your concern entirely Mark and I think the best way of dealing with the BNP is to create the space for debate, that is the best way of tackling them. That said, I think it is unlikely they will do well in the GE due to the nature of the electoral system which marginalises minority parties.

    Tony, although there is a lot of credit in what you say, I don’t think the role of the Conservative party, as the opposition, is to propose. Having said that Cameron has been introducing plans to increase the role of local government and give power back to the people and I, for one, appreciate it. I don’t think any of the major parties should think they have won over voters as they’re is always room for improvement and the Conservatives need to ensure they continue to learn what’s lacking in the country and how best to address these deficiencies. No one should be complacent and nor should voters be undermined as demonstrated last Sunday.

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