Tag Archives: peter luff

Proof that not *all* Tories are bonkers on Europe (and nor was Mrs Thatcher)

margaret thatcher europeAmidst all the Tory Euro-hysteria (‘Eurotic’, I’ve heard it described as: and I seriously hope I didn’t mis-hear) it’s easy to forget there are a few Tories, a diminishing if stoic band, who have kept tight hold of their senses.

And though it was David Cameron’s desperate last-ditch pitch for the job of Tory leader — his 2005 promise to his party’s Europhobes to withdraw the Tories from the mainstream centre-right EPP alliance, a policy even David Davis wouldn’t touch — which has, slowly but inevitably, dragged the party ever more fringewards, a few of his backbenchers remain hopeful they can persuade him, even now, to do the sensible thing.

Here’s some of what they’ve written to him:

We acknowledge the EU’s shortcomings and understand the desire and, under the Lisbon Treaty the possibility, to repatriate powers. However, we do our nation, as well as Europe, a disservice by not confidently exerting the same level of engagement and leadership as we demonstrate in organisations such as NATO, the G8, the UN Security Council or the Commonwealth.

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The Independent View: MoD suppresses Lib Dem review and spending information on Trident ahead of Parliamentary decision

Liberal Democrats can be rightly proud of their record on challenging like-for-like Trident replacement and keeping Britain’s nuclear weapons near the top of the political agenda – certainly during the last general election campaign. But now it looks as though their coalition partners are moving to stifle the gains they have made. Not only has the Defence Secretary announced the suppression of the Lib Dem-led Trident Alternatives Review. He is also making a mockery of the delayed Trident replacement decision – scheduled for 2016 – by committing to spend £6 billion before that decision date. This is hardly fair play …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , , and | 18 Comments

The Independent View: The first thing Vince should cut is funding for the arms trade

Vince Cable’s new department, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, was saddled with the heaviest round of cuts in the first round of cuts announced by the coalition government. They will have to find £836m of savings in 2010. Meanwhile the rest of us have been asked to participate in a comprehensive spending review.

There is one candidate for cuts that many in the Liberal Democrats and the country at large would be pleased with – an end to government support for arms exports. One way the government helps arms companies sell their weapons to other countries is …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 22 May 09

2 Must-Read Stories

MPs’ expenses row enters third week
Yes, it’s a fortnight since the Telegraph began exposing some of the most extravagant claims MPs have been submitting at the taxpayers’ expense. Today it’s the turn of Labour MPs Ian Gibson and Ben Chapman, to feel the heat with both offering to stand down at the next election (though both deny any wrongdoing).

Meanwhile Tory MP Peter Luff (three lavatory seats, three food mixers, two microwaves and 10 sets of bed linen) has seemingly sought to outbid Labour’s Fraser Kemp (16 bedsheets) for the highest number of household goods purchased in …

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