Tag Archives: ben gummer

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 7 Comments

Five MPs face questions over election expenses – how good are their answers?

Channel 4’s investigation with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism into MPs’ election expenses has raised questions about another five MPs in addition to Zac Goldsmith.

Having already looked at some of the legal questions around Zac Goldsmith, how do the other five stack up? Two raise important points of how the law should be interpreted, one has unclear evidence so far and two appear to involve administrative errors without any actual overspending.

First, the legal issues.

Phil Woolas (Labour), who is already facing a court hearing in the autumn over his election campaign, is accused of not declaring leaflets that …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment
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  • User AvatarPeter Watson 17th Oct - 7:33pm
    @Andrew McCaig "We have been doing surveys in a 3 way marginal target ward in Kirklees." It is important to ensure that there is no...
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    Thanks for making that point, Richard. One of the things I noticed on my trip is the intensity of focus on American history in the...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 17th Oct - 6:55pm
    @ Paul Barker "Paper Candidates are the first step". Sorry, Paul, no, they're not. As is frequently said about the stable crop in Wakefield, -...
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    Paul Barker - "To be fair to The Tories the biggest messes, in Merseyside & The North East are more the fault of unimaginative Labour...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 17th Oct - 6:29pm
    We have been doing surveys in a 3 way marginal target ward in Kirklees. There is definitely a shift in opinion and a sample of...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 17th Oct - 6:02pm
    @Katharine Pindar "the important polls are like the YouGov one of last week which began to show a majority shift of opinion in favour of...