‘I am just a loyal Conservative.’

That sentence sums up all that is wrong with politics today.

It was the reported response of Conservative MP, Douglas Carswell, when we was told that fellow Tory MP, Claire Perry, had directed a foul mouthed comment at him in the House of Commons – namely ‘Why don’t you f*** off and join UKIP?’

Carswell is putting tribal party loyalty before all else.  He claims to believe the United Kingdom should not be part of the European Union.  Nevertheless he doggedly remains a member of a political party whose leadership and policy is to remain part of the EU at any cost, to deny the electorate a referendum and to conceal the extent to which the EU is the true government of this country.

How can a man who holds the view he claims remain a loyal Conservative when that party behaves in the way it does?  The party’s position is sewn up tight.  The leadership sets the policy, regardless of the wishes of the membership.  Behind the scenes and out of the public gaze there is a powerful group of people with vested interests who bankroll and control the direction of the party.  They determine who will lead it and what agenda will be followed, to suit their interests irrespective of the impact on the rest of the country.  The Conservative agenda will not be changed.

It is not dissimilar to Labour taking its direction from Union barons and the uber rich champagne socialists who want to pull up the ladder behind them after acquiring wealth and influence.

Being an MP is a good gig, with its good pay and expenses and the illusion of power and influence that comes with it.  Carswell, for all his bluster and verbiage, is just another Europlastic happily sacrificing supposed principles to cling to tribal party loyalty in service of his own interest – namely remaining an MP.  When a person sees it for what it is they quickly realise Carswell couldn’t be a more loyal Conservative if he tried.

Voters who oppose EU membership yet continue to vote Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem only have themselves to blame for this country’s ever deeper integration into the EU and ever greater control by Brussels.  Until they stop being taken in by the likes of Douglas Carswell nothing will change.

44 Responses to “‘I am just a loyal Conservative.’”

  1. 1 ReefKnot 18/03/2012 at 11:07 am

    MPs should be loyal to their constituents first and their party second. Fat chance, which is why we don’t have representative democracy in our country. Couple this with a craven obeisance to Brussels and you can see why constituents don’t get a look-in. It is Brussels first, party second then constituents I.e the public, trailing a long way behind in 3rd place. Our so – called democracy is a joke.

  2. 2 ABC 18/03/2012 at 11:14 am

    What a stupid article.

    Yes, let’s get rid of Douglas Carswell, one of the few remaining true Conservatives within the Parliamentary Conservative Party and we’ll somehow be better off.

    Our FPTP electoral system means UKIP will never, ever, gain a foothold in mainstream UK politics. They say they’re catching up with Lib Dems – they’re not. Their share of votes is way too spread out. They don’t make concentrated gains.

    Carswell, like Hannan, calls for open primaries which would do away with need for parties like UKIP. Destroying the power of the party whips by putting MP selection in the control of local voters would mean all those disillusioned Tories could come back out of the wilderness and make a difference in a MAINSTREAM PARTY.

    How you can possibly argue that it was Carswell’s — rather than the MP who insulted him’s — response that was objectionable is absolutely beyond me.

    You, and your ignorance, is what’s wrong with politics.

  3. 3 ABC 18/03/2012 at 11:16 am

    NB: you do know who Douglas Carswell is, right?

    He’s not loyal to his Conservative masters, he’s loyal to Conservatism. As someone who isn’t climbing the greasy pole in parliament, you can’t accuse him of kowtowing to his superiors.

    You evidently misunderstood his comment.

  4. 4 John Coles 18/03/2012 at 11:43 am

    What a nauseating purist you are. You’re young, aren’t you? Kool.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 18/03/2012 at 11:45 am

    ABC – what has this got to do with UKIP?

    You speak of ignorance yet singularly fail to identify with the argument you yourself have actually strengthened by describing him as one of the last few true Conservatives in the PCP. If that is the case, why on earth remain inside it? Grassroots members cannot change the party and many are leaving it. They are leaving behind what Carswell is determined to cling to.

    He can call for what he likes, the Conservative hierarchy will not let it happen. Open primaries will fade and die for exactly the reason you have outlined. How can you claim to interpret what he meant by his comment? It is wishful thinking on your part.

    Perhaps you need to shed your ignorance and recognise that while you argue he is not kowtowing to his superiors, the fact is he has actively chosen those people to be his superiors. Square that circle.

  6. 6 TheBoilingFrog 18/03/2012 at 11:46 am

    @ABC Carswell is mostly definitely the problem because he campaigns for a Conservative (which isn’t) Government by standing as an MP for them and gives a veneer of Euroscepticisim to the Tory party which they do not deserve. As a a backbencher he has little if any power to curb or change the Government once it’s in. He’s making the problem worse. If he’s loyal not to Conservative masters but conservatism as you suggest then he should stand as an Independent. That he doesn’t shows where his real loyalty lies.

    As for UKIP their problems have little to do with FPTP. UKIP fails to make progress for a whole host of reasons (and one very big one) not connected with the electoral system at all. They should be making electoral progress, as a cursory look at the Brighton Pavilion constituency will tell you.

  7. 7 Autonomous Mind 18/03/2012 at 11:47 am

    John Coles – If that comment was directed at me then you are wrong on both counts.

  8. 8 ABC 18/03/2012 at 12:03 pm

    I’m guessing that you didn’t actually read my full comment if you believe that I didn’t address the issue of why Carswell definitely shouldn’t defect to UKIP. To my knowledge the bulk of my comment addressed specifically that issue!

    To reiterate, UKIP cannot, by virtue of our electoral system, gain a foothold in UK politics, regardless of the number of high profile defections. The more defections, the further leftwards the Conservative Party will move — that is the ONLY feasible achievement of encouraging defections..

    We need open primaries, not defections, and Carswell is actively encouraging their introduction. Destroying the power of the whips will enable liberal/libertarian views to flourish within the party.

    You say we will never get open primaries, yet the Conservative Party, in a direct response to Carswell and Hannan’s ‘The Plan’, has used them in limited # and plans to roll them out in the future. Getting rid of Carswell is not going to force any mainstream party to introduce them yet the progress elicited by Carswell’s shouting from the sidelines has evidently yielded some success. From UKIP, his voice will certainly fall on deaf ears.

    If you disagree with my interpretation of Carswell’s comment you haven’t done your research on Carswell. I really don’t need to make my case on this point as anyone who knows anything about him will already know it to be true.

  9. 9 ABC 18/03/2012 at 12:09 pm

    There are about 14 political parties currently represented in parliament. Asserting that the Greens managed to win a seat doesn’t debunk the fact that FPTP is a 2 party system. Not rigidly, (Lib Dems have limited success), but in all it can only support 2 major parties. Same is true for the USA.

    It’s not just a coincidence that UKIP supports changing the electoral system!

  10. 10 Autonomous Mind 18/03/2012 at 12:18 pm

    ABC – You clearly have a problem with comprehension. I have not mentioned UKIP in the blog post and have not suggested in any way Carswell that should defect to that party. It is a strawman you alone have created in order to knock down.

    You are also the only person speaking of getting rid of Carswell. I didn’t say people should get rid of him. I simply highlighted the fact Carswell is welded to a party that doesn’t share his ideals and that is reflects the problem with politics today.

    You say we need open primaries, but the Conservatives will kill them off exactly because of the outcome you are hoping for! They will cite the costly nature of primaries, or simply limit possible candidates to a CCHQ approved list meaning you can vote for any of them and get the same identikit drone. Yet Carswell remains a loyal Tory. I get the feeling you’re in the queue for the slaughterhouse behind the Judas Goat.

  11. 11 ABC 18/03/2012 at 12:29 pm

    The only party that remotely reflects Carswell’s views other than the Conservative Party is UKIP. I’m sure you’re honest enough to admit that saying he should leave tacitly implies that he should leave the party for another which shares his views.

    The only meaningful reform is open primaries. Carswell wants them, the Conservatives have made some, admittedly limited, process implementing them. That they did this in response to Carswell’s constant appeals is evidence that his voice is best utilised within the party.

    And why should the party masters get to define what the party stands for? Conservatism is a broad church, and should expect to pull together a host of people with occasionally conflicting views.

    You rail against the Conservative high command and yet you seem to be suggesting that they should be able to redefine the scope of a historic political party on a whim. I disagree and don’t think it’s necessary or desirable.

  12. 12 ABC 18/03/2012 at 12:32 pm

    Carswell is not a loyal Tory — he votes against the government and never spouts the party line.

    He’s a loyal Conservative.

    You clearly overlooked this.

  13. 13 blackswansblog 18/03/2012 at 12:34 pm

    There is a 3rd way for Carswell. If he is a person of integrity rather than just a party hack, he should be challenging the quisling Cameron for leadership of the Tory party as a stalking horse. Or alternatively supporting someone else who perhaps has a possible chance of winning – eg Davis, or perhaps Redwood who also might himself serve as a reasonable stalking horse for Davis.

    But it certainly is unfortunate that no electorally effective (in Westminster terms) right-wing counter-Tory party exists at present. If there were a genuinely potent one in existence, Cameron (backed by his deceitful henchmen) would find it much harder to get away withhis slimy & deceitful behaviour than he does at present. Surely, while we have any confidence still in democracy in Britain this is the way to go? And the way that Carswell should also go if the opportunity genuinely existed for him to do so.

  14. 14 David Jones 18/03/2012 at 12:40 pm

    You’re absolutely right on this one AM. I stopped following Carswell’s blog some time ago because of this.

    Change the Conservatives from within? Right. Just like Major, Blair and Cameron changed the EU from within.

  15. 15 Bellevue 18/03/2012 at 12:53 pm

    I am with David Jones on this. I no longer read Carswell’s blog – he doesnt engage with commentators at all.
    As for voting UKIP, the reason I do so is not because they have any chance of government, but as a protest. If enough of us vote for them, I am hoping that the Powers that Be might just notice. I realise that this is a vain hope, but I think it has more effect than just not voting……as long as ONE person votes, TPTB reckon they have a mandate and can ignore the 99.999% who didnt vote.
    (apart from which, if one does not vote as a protest, who know exactly WHAT you are protesting about?)

  16. 16 dan 18/03/2012 at 12:55 pm

    Perry was right….a bit potty mouthed but entirely correct. Why are Carswell, Redwood et all still ‘loyal Conservatives’, when the party simply does not reflect their views.
    They havent the courage to walk away from it.

  17. 17 Autonomous Mind 18/03/2012 at 12:57 pm

    ABC – So having had your strawman corrected you now suggest I was instead implying he should defect to UKIP. I did no such thing. If you were honest you would simply admit your error.

    Philip Blond and his Red Toryism and the editorial page of the Guardian have more influence in Cameroon circles than Carswell’s Plan. So well utilised in the Conservative Party is Carswell’s voice, the Foreign Secretary dismissed his comments about an Arabist leaning FCO as ‘claptrap’. This is not so much a broad church as Carswell having value for giving the Tories a veneer of Euroscepticism when they are utterly Europhile.

    I did not argue the party masters should define what the party stands for or suggest CCHQ should redefine the scope of the party, I simply pointed out that is the state of affairs and that despite it all Carswell clings like a limpet to his party membership and Parliamentary seat because it suits his own interests. If Carswell is opposed to the state of affairs why is he content to accept the party’s whip and campaign for people to vote for it?

    Loyalty is given to an entity. Carswell’s is the Conservative Party of which he is an enthusiastic member and advocate. If you believe anything different you are deluding yourself.

  18. 18 dave ward 18/03/2012 at 1:03 pm

    “MPs should be loyal to their constituents first and their party second”

    They should do, but we all know the reality.

  19. 19 ABC 18/03/2012 at 1:32 pm

    By arguing that he should leave you are saying that as soon as a party leader takes over and moves the party in a specific direction, all those who disagree with that direction must defect. What, other than the complete ideological redesign of the party, could possible come from that?

    I admit that you never mentioned UKIP specifically, but again this is the tacit implication of your argument. If he leaves for a party which better represents his views, where’s he going? I don’t think I’m making too great a leap to suggest it would have to be UKIP.

    The reason why Carswell is right to stick to his Conservative membership is precisely because there can only be two political parties in the UK for as long as we use FPTP. It’s that simple. And when the choice is between Conservative and Labour, we must pick Conservative every time!

    The Conservative Party is imperfect, absolutely, but moving to fringe parties only makes it less perfect. UKIP has pushed the Conservative Party further and further to the left. This is not something to be encouraged when we’re still left with a choice of Labour or Conservative!

    Carswell’s influence is no doubt extremely limited, but it is precisely these constant defections that are making it harder and harder for him to speak up and exact influence! He is becoming a smaller and smaller minority within his own party because so many people don’t understand how politics works in Britain.

    This post is unfair on Carswell, you should accept that. How can you ever expect to create a movement when you’re so eager to cannibalise your own?

  20. 20 Autonomous Mind 18/03/2012 at 2:08 pm

    ABC – You clearly have no grasp of history. Cameron has not taken over and moved the party in a specific direction. The Conservative Party has been enthusiastically pro-EU for decades and has been responsible for overseeing a significant transfer of power from Westminster to Brussels and the erosion of democracy. The party has stolen the name ‘Eurosceptic’ to redefine it as relating to people who are pro-EU and support further integration.

    There was no tacit implication that Carswell should join UKIP. I did not say he should leave for another party – that is yet another strawman you have built. It is not just a leap on your part, you are writing fiction.

    I laughed hard at your mitigation of Carswell’s lack of influence, having argued previously that he had influence. The constant defections you refer to are far fewer in number than those who are simply leaving the Conservatives. Then you say “He is becoming a smaller and smaller minority within his own party because so many people don’t understand how politics works in Britain.” What?? Carswell is becoming a smaller minority because more people are recognising the reality of the irreversible Europhile Conservative position and putting principle before tribal party loyalty and letting membership lapse or actively resigning.

    I laughed even more when you suggested that by exposing Carswell’s tribal loyalty I am cannibalising my own. Carswell is not one of my own. Carswell is a useful idiot whose loyalty to the Conservative Party. He actively encourages people who oppose EU membership to continue voting for a party that will do anything to maintain it. And you say my criticism of him is unfair?

  21. 21 ABC 18/03/2012 at 2:49 pm

    You say being an MP is a good gig and that Carswell’s conceding principle for power and money.

    You know what’s an even better gig than being an MP? Being a minister. More money, more power, more influence.

    Carswell will never be a minister because he sticks to his principles. You have him totally wrong.

    Margaret Thatcher was herself cannibalised by a growing group of wets in the party for her scepticism of the EU. Interesting then that you claim the Party has been “pro-EU for decades”. And I am the one who lacks knowledge of history!?

    The majority of Conservative Party members are anti-EU, so just because Cameron and Major are/were staunchly pro-EU doesn’t mean the Party has changed at its core. It hasn’t. If it had, Cameron wouldn’t have been on the back foot to use his veto. It achieved little, yes (not that the EU is capable of keeping it together for much longer anyway), but Euroscepticism is clearly still a palpable component of the Conservative Party.

    I’m growing weary of this debate. You’re evidently happy to be dishonest if it gives your argument a veneer of legitimacy. In order to keep up your claim that you were not tacitly suggesting Carswell should defect to UKIP you’re now saying he should leave politics altogether! Oh well done! Just because he can’t dictate policy he should leave his political party. Again, this is just a demonstration of your lack of understanding of how politics works in Britain.

    Oh and the contradiction hasn’t escaped me! He has no influence so he should resign?! Well if he has no influence, resigning would be utterly futile would it not? In isolation, without even a damp squib of a fringe party for support, he’s really going to make a different isn’t he? You’re clutching at straws. Principled men who wish to make a difference should disappear — nice one!

    And I’m glad the Conservative Party was, under and before Maggie, pro-EU. Before Maastricht it still had considerable potential. The early EU removed from member states their ability to tinker with the economy. Essentially, it gave individuals economic sovereignty. This was a good thing, and it is why the EU was, at first, an engine of economic growth.

    You seem less interested in imbuing political debate with meaningful, liberal/libertarian discourse than being an annoying contrarian and you’d like Carswell to become another you. Well, I think most people can see that he is, and we are, better off where he is.

  22. 22 Autonomous Mind 18/03/2012 at 3:00 pm

    ABC – Hahahahaha!!

    Your knowledge and commentary has more holes in it than a collander. All you can do is create strawmen, apportion to me views I have not expressed and scream that black is white. The irony of your defence of Carswell, your admission of your own pro-EU viewpoint and support of removing economic independence from member states, before trying to identify yourself with a liberal/libertarian outlook is hilarious.

    Enough already. You’re clearly a wind up merchant or too confused to have anything to say that is worth paying attention to. If nothing else you’ve brightened my day.

  23. 23 ABC 18/03/2012 at 4:24 pm

    I’m not mightily concerned with your attempts at convincing yourself that you’re not wrong — because that’s all you’re doing. Anybody who reads these comments with an open mind will see that every time I have pinpointed your vague arguments, you’ve shifted position until you managed to back yourself into a corner advocating Carswell’s withdrawal from politics. Now you’ve posted a vague concluding response suggesting there are flaws in my argument which you haven’t listed and that I’m winding you up. Nobody will be fooled.

    My admission of my own pro-EU standpoint? Hmm, that’s an interesting one. Yet another lie on your part it seems. I suggested it was a good thing that prior to Maastricht the EU had a single goal of removing socialist economic tinkering from the economies of Europe by taking away from member states the ability to meddle with trade and prices. If you preferred an EU of sovereign member states with protectionist economic policies then good for you, but you can’t claim on your “views” page to favour free-markets. I suggest you go and read some Bastiat, who said that “the State is the great fiction by which everyone attempts to live at the expense of everyone else” — that is all that unfettered democracy gives you. Just what Tony Benn has always called for actually, that’s why he’s always opposed transfers of sovereignty away from the UK. Governments need to have economic sovereignty taken away from them somehow. My preferred method is via a constitution but if the EU had stuck to its guns it’d have been a good 2nd best.

    “your admission of your own pro-EU viewpoint and support of removing economic independence from member states, before trying to identify yourself with a liberal/libertarian outlook is hilarious.”

    I am a libertarian, but I don’t see why I had to outline that before suggesting that a free-market Europe was a good thing. I don’t see why it matters that I lay out my ideological beliefs before saying whether something is good or not. What rubbish. You’re just spouting nonsense now your argument has been exposed for what it is

    Carswell is a principled politician who, unlike you, understands the workings of the British political system. I’m afraid you just can’t claim to have the same insight when earlier in the comments you suggested that FPTP doesn’t create a 2 party political system! You need to go back to GCSE/A Level politics and you might actually learn something.

    You are a misinformed knee-jerker. I stand by what I said in my initial comment: you are what’s wrong with politics.

  24. 24 Autonomous Mind 18/03/2012 at 4:45 pm

    ABC – It’s been amusing, but do yourself a favour and seek help. People reading this comment thread can judge for themselves who has been vague and shifted position.

  25. 25 Bellevue 18/03/2012 at 5:20 pm

    ABC – what is wrong with politics is the likes of Carswell and Hannan pretending to be something that they are not. Actually, it is the whole political class who are pretending to be something that they are not. They promise the world in their manifestos, and then break every promise. They give us the impression (as in: J Redwood esq) that the only way to make changes to the EU is to vote for their party – and yet we can see with our own eyes what they are doing. We are no longer ignorant, we have the internet….. we can find things out for ourselves. And what we find is that the whole political process STINKS. It is full of lying, cheating, corrupt, placemen. And many of them are conservative back-benchers like Carswell.

  26. 26 James Murphy 18/03/2012 at 6:03 pm

    “Give me control of a nations money supply, and I care not who makes its laws.” Mater Amschel Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty. – ‘Game over’ for our financially debauched culture, methinks.

  27. 27 TomTom 18/03/2012 at 8:13 pm

    Ah Claire Richens married to Clayton Perry formerly of Credit Suisse, a master of Leveraged Funding for Buyouts during that lovely Banker Boom before it became Banker Bust and he was out on his ear in 2008.

    This is the Claire Perry who offers The Speaker “blow jobs” in the hope of being called to speak. Yes that must be the foul-mouthed woman that Cameron popped into Devizes. Just what is it about her that makes her talk like a tart ?

  28. 28 John Page 18/03/2012 at 9:33 pm

    Carswell is more listened to as an influential Conservative backbencher than he would be a member of some washed up dead end cowboy outfit like UKIP. He gets lots of chances to influence – politicians and non-politicians.

    If I become a constituent of his, I will certainly vote for him.

  29. 29 Trooper Thompson 18/03/2012 at 9:42 pm

    Gentlemen, please. We’ve all had a few.

    I’d say that there’s an issue of principle and an issue of strategy.

    In the first case, you could argue that Carswell should quit the Tory Party because the policies it pursues do not concur with his own views. Or you could argue that he should stay because he represents a truly conservative position, even though it is currently marginalised within the party at the leadership level, although it is more prominent amongst the grass roots.

    In the second case, you could argue that Carswell, by staying put, is able to use his position to gain a wider audience than would otherwise be the case, and that, by doing so, he gets to piss off the loyalists such as La Perry, which may serve some purpose. Or you could say that the time is right to jump ship, or, to mix metaphors, declare himself Moses and lead off the righteous remnant out of Egypt.

    As regards UKIP, although AM didn’t mention it, it is in the story, as it was what the foul-mouthed flapper said to Carswell. I am not a UKIPer myself, but what the party clearly needs is some heavy-weights up top to bolster and / or dilute Nigel’s one-man-bandism.

    As for the EU, contrary to what ABC says, it was always heading in one direction only, as can be gleaned from, amongst other things, the papers covering Heath and Pompidou’s discussions prior to the UK joining -helas! If only De Gaulle had carried on at the helm!. Each successive treaty has merely tightened the noose.

  30. 30 right_writes 18/03/2012 at 9:52 pm

    This ABC bloke really doesn’t know his history does he?

    The founding document of what has become the European Union was drafted by a British Conservative politician and former civil servant.

    As I am sure AM is aware his name was Arthur (later, Baron) Salter. The concept of a European Union was again debated in the Conservative Party in the 1940’s.

    Here is a quote that I have (sorry AM) snitched from AM’s blog:


    “The Tories have a vision of a political Europe which has not changed in over seventy years when it was articulated to the War Cabinet on 20 July 1940 by Duff Cooper, the then information minister.

    The bones of this was a “united Europe”, a Europe “united by goodwill and in friendship, not by force and in terrors, a Europe based upon some federal system … a Europe in which armaments will be pooled and trade barriers will be broken down, and in which each nation will be allowed to conduct its own affairs in its own way with the same kind of freedom as each state in the American Union possesses”.

    Later in the 1950’s, Harold MacMillan another arch EUphile sent (traitor) Heath to Brussels and France to negotiate our surrender joining of the “European Project”, and then later, this same odious traitor, actually took us in following a pack of lies and subterfuge when he was a (Conservative) Prime Minister. Margaret Thatcher was a keen supporter of the EU, and despite her (later) reservations about a common currency (and its implications) has never left the party. Her devious successor, signed up to Maastricht (the treaty which created the EU).

    The list of events triggered by CONservative party bigwigs, that triggered ever further (or closer) union with other European nations is so strong, that it is rather amazing that if Carswell was a “committed” EU sceptic, he would never have joined that party in the first place.

    And further, I have discussed with AM in the past his (what I reckon is a dismissive) view of UKIP, he is no supporter of them, which ABC sort of insinuates. But his goading of Roger Helmer a few months back, may well have had an influence on his departure from the CONservatives to UKIP… Helmer’s comment at the UKIP conference, roughly: “I looked around at my colleagues, I looked at CONservative party politics, and found NOTHING conservative about any of it, so I left.”

  31. 31 right_writes 18/03/2012 at 10:10 pm

    My apologies, the quote from AM’s blog regarding Duff Cooper, was in fact a quote by Richard North and pasted by AM to his blog.

    BTW ABC, Richard North is co-author of probably the most significant book on the history of the European Union, I suggest you snag a copy.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention ABC, I am one of the few ardent (some would say deluded :-) )supporters of UKIP around these parts, and boy do I get pilloried.

  32. 32 witteringwitney 18/03/2012 at 10:16 pm

    Have blogged on this AM, with a few thoughts of my own – and linked to you….;

  33. 33 ABC 19/03/2012 at 12:25 am

    I fully agree with Trooper Thomson that the EU was always heading in the wrong direction, I just posited earlier that had it stopped expanding and centralising at the free-market stage, it would’ve been a good institution. It never was going to, it didn’t and so it isn’t a good institution.

    My preference remains for government to have its ability to meddle with the economy restricted by a constitution — supranational entities can’t be trusted to do this as they have the awful tendency to expand and centralise.

    I can’t see anything in what Right_Writes says that contradicts the things I have said previously. The EU, up until Maastricht, could’ve been mistaken for a benign institution. All those who support it now have no regard for national democracy or free markets, but, prior to Thatcher, the main opponents of the EU project were socialists because they were the only people who had anything to complain about — it was a capitalist club.

    I just don’t see any justification for demonising Carswell. He votes against the government, destroying his chances of promotion, because he has principles and believes that MPs should be representatives of the people, not their own paymasters. He stands for the things this blog allegedly stands for. He is one of a small number of voices remaining within the Conservative Party ensuring that Cameron cannot fully realise the policy implications of his wet, centre-ground, Blairite instincts. No benefit could come from Carswell’s defection or resignation.

  34. 34 ABC 19/03/2012 at 12:27 am

    Right_Writes — there’s nothing wrong with UKIP. I certainly have nothing against them. My issue is that their existence does nothing to promote proper Eurosceptic progress because, by virtue of our electoral system, they will always be a fringe party.

  35. 35 right_writes 19/03/2012 at 8:11 am


    I didn’t realise that Enoch Powell was a socialist.

  36. 36 letmethink 19/03/2012 at 10:26 am


    on the subject of Carswell’s voting record . . .

    He absented himself from the second and third reading of the Climate Change Bill (not important enough for him to bother)

    He voted for a measure requiring “the Government to establish a renewable energy feed-in tariff”

    He voted for a measure requiring “the Secretary of State to be satisfied that his National Policy Statement[1] contains policies that (taken as a whole) contribute to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change”

    Conservative he may be, but conservative my arse . . .

  37. 37 ABC 19/03/2012 at 11:35 am

    Letmethink — I don’t think his views on climate change are immediately relevant here. We aren’t discussing climate change and, whatever your personal views, it’s a contentious topic with believers and non-believers on both sides of the political divide.

    Right_Writes — true enough about Enoch Powell. He had the foresight to see in the European project that which many others missed but that the (silent) majority of us can recognise today. His arguments were however not concerning the limitation of economic freedom, which of course he would have been ambivalent towards as he believed in free markets, just not the pooling of sovereignty with other nations.

  38. 38 ABC 19/03/2012 at 11:42 am

    whoops, meant to say “the limitation of economic sovereignty” rather than freedom. Economic freedom is economic sovereignty for the individual, whereas state economic sovereignty usually results in massive interventions in the free-market.

  39. 39 Andy Baxter 19/03/2012 at 1:50 pm

    sadly AM; you cannot reason someone out of an opinion who hasn’t been reasoned into it in the first place:

    An assumption on my part perhaps but based only on the evidence of what I am reading here:

    ABC you’re seemingly passionate tribal loyalty to what in no way can be called a ‘Conservative’ party (or the members in it who either through their actions in supporting or voting for policy or who fail to challenge such by their inaction) is sadly endemic and typical of the problem with modern politics. the status qo will never change until we make it change

    No, the modern ‘conservative’ party as it is named is in no way either in its philosophy or practice……what could be called ‘conservative.

    as for ‘fixing the problem’ I’m with Dr. North and WfW in referism and more direct localised decison making empowerment. It is the only way forward as politicians of all hues have proved again and again that they simply cannot be trusted with the promises they make to enter office nor the influence or power they weild when in office to put constituents, electorates or anyones in fact, best interests at heart. It will never change until we can control the purse strings and hold them to account for their actions.

  40. 40 Peter C 19/03/2012 at 2:06 pm

    I am sorry ABC but I must take you to task on your comment, “…. it was a good thing that prior to Maastricht the EU had a single goal of removing socialist economic tinkering from the economies of Europe by taking away from member states the ability to meddle with trade and prices.”

    Britain was very much a net loser in trade terms by joining the Common Market. Trade was opened up between European countries, I accept, although from a UK perspective more in theory than in practice, but at the same time trade without Europe was curtailed. The whole purpose of the Common Market was to support and expand French agriculture, which was absolutely in line with the original proposals for a European Union with France as the bread basket and Germany as the main industrialised area. You would appear to have forgotten that it was in the rules that imports should be preferentially made from other Common Market countries, unless they were not available there. This is why after joining it was almost impossible to get Greek wines (I still miss a certain Greek muscatel at Christmas even after 40 odd years), this is why UK Caribbean sugar imports were restricted, why New Zealand and Australian dairy products were restricted and so on.

    And as to socialist economic tinkering, have any conception of what the social, working time, climate change and health and safety directives contain?

  41. 41 witteringwitney 19/03/2012 at 6:28 pm

    @Andy Baxter,

    Thanks for the endorsement of ‘Referism’ and direct democracy – with apologies to our host for going off topic……..

  42. 42 Autonomous Mind 19/03/2012 at 6:46 pm

    WfW – As you know I endorsed Referism right out of the gate when Richard first floated it. No apology needed for giving it more oxygen.

  43. 43 Letmethink 20/03/2012 at 7:20 am


    Half of me wants to help you understand the point I was making but, on balance, I tend to the view expressed by Andy Baxter that it would be pointless.

  44. 44 james higham 21/03/2012 at 9:05 am

    Claire Perry – a***h**e extraordinaire.

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