Tuesday, 5 May 2009
The Tories in Eastern Region are getting desperate. They know that on the EU only UKIP has a clear record of opposing European Integration. Let's face it to get elected as Tory Leader Cameron promised to pull his MEPs out of the pro-European group in the European Parliament. Once he was Leader he conveniently forgot that promise.
The Tories are now claiming a vote for UKIP is a wasted vote and that UKIP's record is not good. I was going to write a rebuttal myself but thought David Campbell Bannerman, UKIP Lead Candidate for East of England (and UKIP Deputy Leader) said it much better than me.......
John Flack is an amusing guy and it was good to debate against him at Brentwood School. But he already is getting his facts wrong here. But if he attacks UKIP in this low hand way, let me just remind him of a few facts himself.
Firstly, three quarters of Tory supporters ( I was one for 20 years myself ) are Eurosceptics. They believed Mr Cameron when he said the Tories would leave the federalist, pro Lisbon, pro Euro political grouping in the European Parliament, the EPP-ED. They are still waiting, and the Times reported that only 7 out of 26 Tory MEPs were in favour of leaving because they get more prestige and position from being in a bigger group, even if they don’t agree with its aims.
2. Look at the record of Tory MEPs, such as Eastern Region’s own Christopher Beazley MEP who voted for EU symbols and the EU national anthem (Beethoven’s 9th) to be played at all major events, and who votes consistently for the EU to take yet more powers away from the UK - is that a record to be proud of?
UKIP MEPs vote consistently against any measures that undermine British control of its own affairs.
3. Mr Flack attack fraud and corruption, but UKIP acts fast against bad apples, whilst Conservative MEPs let the European Parliament decide. He failed to mention the Leader of Tory MEPs, Giles Chichester, and Cameron’s enforcer on cleaning up MEP expenses, having to resign over what he called a ‘whoopsy daisy’ moment (a technical breach but not dishonest) or Den Dover who was found to have siphoned off 500,000 of expenses unjustifiably. They are others too alleged to be in the same boat.
4. The Tory policy over the Lisbon Treaty is misleading and weak. No wonder the Tory ‘launch’ today hardly mentioned the Euro elections at all. They are terrified of Ken Clarke spoiling the party again, and Mr Cameron has told 70 of his MPs not to mention the EU.
The reality of Conservative policy is simply to let other countries decide the future of our own: if the Poles, Czechs or the Irish stop Lisbon before they get into Government, they’ll have a referendum. But what if Lisbon is already ratified by then ? They will do nothing about it - just meekly accept it. That is just not good enough. Only by lending their vote to UKIP can Tories send a strong No vote on Lisbon !
John Flack claimed at Brentwood the Conservatives had given an “unequivocal” commitment to a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Not true. The policy is equivocal, and misleading. In short, the Tories would let Lisbon stay because it would be illegal then to reverse the treaty. Only by leaving the EU can we get rid of Lisbon - and polls show 55%-60% of the British electorate want to trade happily with the EU but not be in the superstate - which is UKIP policy.
5. The reality is, as former Tory and £5 million donor, UKIP convert Stuart Wheeler says: “The public know that the EU is incompetent, ineffective, hidebound and riven with fraud but the current political class in Westminster don’t want to talk about it. By voting UKIP they can be heard.”
I would ask good Eurosceptics, and others, to recognise that UKIP came second in the East of England last time, and the EU is a far bigger threat now than even then.
Whatever Mr Flack may say, it is indeed time to ‘Lend Us Your Vote’ once more. You are not choosing a Government, you are making a statement - and only UKIP can make that statement loud and clear.
David Campbell Bannerman
Lead Candidate UKIP for East of England (and UKIP Deputy Leader)