And so the Tory deception continues…

Writing in the Telegraph, political editor Patrick Hennessy tells readers that up to 70 Conservative MPs are to join a new group dedicated to “reversing the process” of closer European Union integration in a move he says is likely to place fresh strain on the coalition.

Three Conservative MPs are setting up this new group, one of whom is Daventry MP, Chris Heaton-Harris. They were the authors of a letter circulated among Conservative MPs that explained:

“The political objective of the group would be to reverse the process of ever-closer union.”

Of course the bullshit-o-meter should already be blaring. Surely, someone who is opposed to ever-closer union would be shouting from the rooftops about something as far reaching as, say, the EU’s Draft Regulation establishing a programme to support the further development of an integrated maritime policy. There is evidence to the contrary.

This blog wrote about the draft regulation in July, to highlight how Parliament’s European Scrutiny Select Committee – chaired by ‘Eurosceptic’ Bill Cash – nodded through the regulation in 2010 without so much as a murmur.  It should come as no surprise to readers therefore that Heaton-Harris sits on that Select Committee. Despite his supposed opposition to further integration it seems Cameron the cat has got his tongue.

After the blog post AM submitted a Freedom of Information request to Parliament by email for the full minutes of the committee’s deliberations about the draft regulation, to see what Cash and Heaton-Harris had to say about it.  The response received last month showed that the only information in the public domain is what we had already linked to in the blog post.

We keep being told the UK is very a democratic country, boasting a Parliament that is committed to openness and transparency in such weighty matters; so it obviously follows that in response to such a request it tells the citizens it is supposed to serve:

Any other information which may or may not be held by the House of Commons on any discussion in the European Scrutiny Committee on this item is exempt information under section 34 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Under this section, information is exempt if it its exemption is required to avoid infringing the privileges of the House of Commons, which include the right to decide whether, when and how to publish information about proceedings in Parliament, such as meetings of select committees held in private.

You can see the full response below:

The long and short of this is that even when the so called Eurosceptic Tories have an opportunity to take a stand against further integration and ever closer union, they don’t. Their promises are meaningless, and they do not honour their duty to the people they are elected to serve.  For all the acres of newsprint devoted to diversion pieces like the one Hennessy has published, all we have to show for Tory Euroscepticism is an acceleration in the transfer of power to Brussels and a long list of broken promises.

20 Responses to “And so the Tory deception continues…”


  1. 1 Dave H 21/08/2011 at 2:35 pm

    They’re very good at talking the talk, but when it comes to the walking bit, they appear to have their shoelaces tied together.

  2. 2 Odeston 21/08/2011 at 2:42 pm

    Whilst europhile dedicated, treacherous, serial liar Cameron is in power it is quite clear that our country will continue to pass control to the kakistocracy that is the EU.

    He, Cameron seems determined to sacrifice we British subjects to Brussels overall control; but why?

    I think Cameron is plausible and clever, but with restricted intelligence;
    I think he foresees his personal future in a Brussels europe-wide government.
    Democracy has already been ceded to that wretched project: but what is our country’s future?

    Our weak, intellectually bereft, free-loading members of parliament will do nothing to risk their sinecures.

    Who will be England’s next dictator?

    Where do you see our benighted country in five years from now…….?

  3. 3 Span Ows 21/08/2011 at 2:53 pm

    AM, good post and good point. All this foreign rioters to be deported and getting power back from EU is just a fart in a bottle until something is DONE i.e. the first MP/group to take action will get much support.

    Odeston, I’m available and I’ll be back in the UK shortly. I can promise I’ll be a mighty fine and benevolent dictator :-)

  4. 4 Span Ows 21/08/2011 at 2:55 pm

    P.S….that image (EU stars over ‘sickly’ yellow Conservative tree) is quite off-putting clearly giving the right nauseous feel for the content of the post!

  5. 5 NeilM 21/08/2011 at 4:05 pm

    So it is likely that the motivation behind this new group is to ‘run interference’ and to ‘smoke out’ any dissenters in the Tory ranks. How shallow and predictable they now appear to us – or am I just being too cynical?

  6. 6 ReefKnot 21/08/2011 at 4:13 pm

    How do we get Parliament – which is our Parliament, don’t forget – to comply with the wishes of the majority of the electorate ? MPs continue to vote the way they want or their whips tell them – here is the great disconnect. It’s not what we elect our representatives to do. We elect them to represent ( i.e re – present ) or views, regardless of what the MPs themselves may think individually, but they just ignore the majority ( well 80% of the electorate anyway). They think they know best, but that’s not for them to say. So, how do we get them to pay attention and do what we want i.e. a referendum on EU membership ? Voting for UKIP is appealing, but we have to wait another 4 years and then not enough people would support them for it to make much difference. No, we need some Parliamentary device. Any ideas out there ?

  7. 7 Autonomous Mind 21/08/2011 at 4:43 pm

    That, ReefKnot, is the question.

    We do not live in a democracy. We elect MPs to represent us, then as soon as they arrive in Westminster our wishes are jettisoned and replaced with the wishes of the elective dictator of the day – currently Cameron. Currently there is no Parliamentary device available to us – and even then Parliament is subservient to the EU.

    There is no power of recall. The party political system is corrosive . Party memberships are falling overall, even though Labour seem to have added a few thousand Lib Dims to their ranks. Politics, despite all the recent dramas, is more irrelevant and remote than ever.

    There will come a time when patience is exhausted and people will resort to direct action. Not to loot shops and burn cars, but to remove the Westminster troughers from office by making the country ungovernable until they are gone and democracy can be implemented.

  8. 8 Uncle Badger 21/08/2011 at 5:30 pm

    No doubt we can expect more of this nonsense and equally no doubt it will be trumpeted by idiots in the Telegraph as something real.

    The truth, however, is that the traitor Cameron (the heir to Heath in so many respects) will be hoping to fool thousands into voting Tory at the next EU election, conning them with the lie that the Tories represent opposition to the EU.

    The truth, of course, is the exact opposite – it is the Conservative Party that got us into this mess and has consistently made it worse.

    Come the day of reckoning…

  9. 9 Steve 21/08/2011 at 6:44 pm

    @Reefknot

    You’ve answered you rown question!:-

    “Voting for UKIP is appealing, but we have to wait another 4 years and then not enough people would support them for it to make much difference….”

    UKIP have been telling people for years that the 3 main parties are all the same when it comes to the EU. People had their chance in 2010 and what did they do? Voted for exactly the same parties that had p***ed them off. They did where I live, because I stood for UKIP.

    At the declaration of the West Midlands Region results of the European parliamentary elections at the NIA in June 2009, Malcolm Harbour, (Conservative MEP) in response to (UKIP) Mike Nattrass’ speech said: “A vote for the three main parties is a vote to stay in the European Union!”

    So there you are.

  10. 10 mfosdb 21/08/2011 at 7:22 pm

    The next time an EU Directive is set before the ‘nodding through’ dogs of parliament, let’s see whether the 70 actually oppose it.

  11. 11 Uncle Badger 21/08/2011 at 8:06 pm

    Steve – unfortunately the problem isn’t helped by some of the candidates UKIP chooses (yourself not included, I’m sure). It’s unnerving having to vote while metaphorically holding your nose.

  12. 12 jameshigham 21/08/2011 at 9:40 pm

    The long and short of this is that even when the so called Eurosceptic Tories have an opportunity to take a stand against further integration and ever closer union, they don’t.

    Most disquietening. How these people can look anyone squarely in the eye after this defies logic.

  13. 13 Mike Fowle 22/08/2011 at 7:07 pm

    I would just add the cautionary note that any story by Labour’s little cheerleader in the Sunday Telegraph, Patrick Henessey, needs to be treated with a great deal of caution. There is hardly one that does not start along the lines of…In a move that will embarrass the Prime Minister David Cameron…

  14. 14 Roger Helmer MEP 25/08/2011 at 10:02 am

    I worked alongside Chris Heaton-Harris for ten years when we were both in the European parliament, from 1999 to 2009, so I know him extremely well. We represented the same region: the East Midlands. I can vouch for his eurosceptic credentials. You would look a long way to find a sounder man. I am delighted by his new initiative, and shall do anything I can to support it, as will a number of my colleagues.

  15. 15 Riddi of England 26/08/2011 at 5:32 pm

    @reefknot and Am

    Had you considered a friendly visit to your MPs home where he could explain “off the record” his views on the EU.
    Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings would be the least inconvenient and if he is out just leave a message sharing your concerns and that you will call back frequently if that helps.

    Even better invite him down to the pub so that he could explain to a few of your likeminded friends.

    generally they want to explain and feel loved not misunderstood and hated.

  16. 16 Autonomous Mind 26/08/2011 at 6:41 pm

    I know my MP well and even get Christmas cards from him. I know his views, but I also know he will never take on the party machine over the EU. No matter what MPs will say to people one to one, when they are in the House they seem to feel protected and immune and generally do what the whips tell them.

  17. 17 Vanessa 28/08/2011 at 11:06 pm

    Roger Helmer above confirms his eurosceptic credentials ! What a laugh and such a transparent smoke screen. If he was REALLY a sceptic he would fight his party of toddlers to change their obvious love of the EU but he just belches evil smelling farts like all the rest of them. Their excuse is the Lib-Dims, but they got into bed with them! We do not live in a democracy any longer – Libya here we come!

  18. 18 Steve 04/09/2011 at 7:28 pm

    Uncle Badger: I’d like to know who you’re referring to, because the people I’ve met in UKIP have been absolutely splendid, and I was responsible for selecting some of them for one region to stand as PPCs.

    I am sure they could hold their own, especially when compared with some of the fraudsters, trough-hoggers and dissemblers of the 3 main (traitor) parties.

    Ultimately, nobody’s perfect. UKIP is STILL the only party committed to withdrawal.


  1. 1 Operation Deceive and Destroy « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 10/09/2011 at 9:13 am
  2. 2 Roger Helmer abandons Europlastic Tories and joins UKIP « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 03/03/2012 at 9:01 am
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