When this blog coined the increasingly common term ‘Europlastics‘ to describe politicians and tribal political party members/supporters who are pro-EU but claim to be Eurosceptic, it was as a direct result of comments made by Roger Helmer MEP in support of pro-EU Conservative MPs who were .
This blog had published a post that exposed yet more Tory deception, with MP Chris Heaton-Harris taking a leading role in a new Tory MP grouping that claimed Eurosceptic views when their Commons Committee actions and voting record showed otherwise. Helmer stepped in via the comments to defend his friend and former fellow MEP while trumpeting Heaton-Harris’ Eurosceptic credentials.
While tribal Tories rushed to Helmer’s defence, our criticism and that of a number of other blogs that had joined the discussion, we learned that within Europlastic circles there was substantial concern about the way their fragile edifice was being demolished. The Eurosceptic gloss had been wiped off and grassroots Tories were starting to accept the reality of the situation – their party is bereft of genuine Eurosceptics at senior and parliamentary level.
It suggests Helmer’s principle may have finally overcome the tribalism that kept him part of a party that does not share his publicly stated views on the most fundamental political issue in the UK today – whether this country is genuinely democratic and who really governs it. While I am not a UKIP voter for reasons previously explained on this blog, I applaud Helmer for taking what I know to be a very difficult decision.
The response from the political blogosphere’s answer to Hans Christian Andersen is as predictable as it is laughable. This is not a Cameron problem, it is a Conservative Party problem. The Conservative Party does not provide the best, or any, hope for Eurosceptics. It remains pro-EU and anyone remaining in that party while professing to be a Eurosceptic is a Europlastic.
The fault lines in the Conservative Party now appear to be opening – and not a moment too soon.