الثلاثاء، مارس 30، 2010

Vice President of the European Parliament Leaves UK’s Conservative Party and Joins Liberal Democrats

Great News to Liberals !


EDWARD McMILLAN-SCOTT


Vice President of the


European Parliament Leaves


UK's Conservative Party and


Joins Liberal Democrats (LibDems)


A Letter from EDWARD McMILLAN-SCOTT

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VICE-PRESIDENT

Yorkshire & Humber, UK,

www.emcmillanscott.com

Brussels, 26 March 2010


Dear friends, colleagues and former Conservative colleagues,


As you may know I have left the Conservative Party and joined the Liberal Democrats. Yorkshire & The Humber have not lost an experienced and senior MEP – but they have lost a Conservative. This is a brief explanation from me but if you want an independent view, go to Monday's Yorkshire Post article Own goal as Tories force out a decent man (http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/columnists/Bernard-Dineen-Own-goal-as.6170738.jp - also pasted below).
On March 5 the lawyers conducting my appeal against expulsion from the Conservative Party – for a stand of principle against David Cameron's new East European allies - received a letter which made it clear that the party had no intention of giving me a fair hearing at the final panel on March 18. The legal correspondence is on my website under Tory Troubles http://www.emcmillanscott.com/10.html. So on March 12 I withdrew from the appeal, resigned from the party and joined the LibDems.
From being a liberal Conservative I have become a conservative Liberal. I have known, liked and respected Nick Clegg since he was a trade negotiator for the EU – and then as an MEP. Unlike today's Tory party, the LibDems want Britain to lead in Europe, not leave Europe. David Cameron walked away from Europe's centre-right family and so, for example, he was not present when leaders like Angela Merkel discussed 'European Economic Governance' at this week's EPP pre-Brussels summit with José Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy.


The LibDems are a party of internationalists, not nationalists. I resisted several approaches to join but I need a political base, especially to carry on my work in human rights and democracy. I shall be working with their foreign affairs team, with people like Ming Campbell and Paddy Ashdown. I wrote about it in this week's issue of The Parliament Magazine http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/f81e86aa#/f81e86aa/1.
As we go into the Easter recess it is a time for rest and renewal – and time to prepare for the most interesting general election of our times. To the Conservatives I have worked with, many of whom I liked, I express my regret at this sad episode, which has damaged the party more than me.


Yours,
Edward McMillan-Scott
Bernard Dineen: Own goal as Tories force out a decent man

Published Date: 22 March 2010


THE departure of the former leader of the Tory MEPs, Edward McMillan-Scott, to join the LibDems is a sad business. He hasn't "defected": he was forced out.


The trouble began when a would-be Palmerston in the Tory leadership decided to engage in European power politics. This juvenile exercise involved withdrawing from a mainstream EU group and joining a ragbag alliance of East Europeans.
At a stroke, it offended European conservatives and provided an excellent opportunity for the Left to smear the new "allies". Given the nature of recent East European history, that wasn't difficult. It was supposed to strike a blow against federalism; instead, it has proved a disaster.


McMillan-Scott, a respected Vice-President of the European Parliament, was ordered to stand aside to make way for a Polish politician – to the bewilderment of Tory voters, who could not understand this tomfoolery. McMillan-Scott did what anyone with a scrap of self-respect would have done: he stood again and won a resounding victory.
This was the point at which the Tory leadership should have cut their losses. Instead, he was expelled, in a manner worthy of the Workers' Revolutionary Party rather than the Conservatives. I don't know who has imported this nasty streak of intolerance into the party but I don't like it.


This is not the only piece of stupidity. Another brainwave was to give valuable support to President Saakaghvili of Georgia, a man who nearly caused a major war by launching a brutal assault on Georgia's Russian-speaking province, which gave the Russians an opportunity to intervene.


The blunder was compounded by welcoming the hotheaded fool as guest of honour at the Tory Party conference. Who is taking these decisions?


This whole episode is a piece of unnecessary, self-inflicted damage at a time when the party should be concentrating on winning the next General Election.


I am at the opposite end of the EU spectrum from McMillan-Scott. I abhor the idea of a federal Europe. I think the EU has become a swollen bureaucracy which infringes our national sovereignty. I believe it has expanded beyond all reason. The plan for a host of EU ambassadors who would usurp the authority of nation states is the latest threat.
I know McMillan-Scott only slightly, but over the years I have met hundreds of people who have had dealings with him. Without exception, they have spoken of his transparent decency and courtesy. The list of people and organisations that he has helped in this region is endless. He has respected other people's views and never sought to push his own down others' throats.
If there is no room for men like McMillan-Scott in the Conservative Party, it says more about the present leadership than it does about him. No one was more Eurosceptic than Margaret Thatcher but she worked with colleagues like Ken Clarke because she was a realist, and she had no intention of destroying the party.
The Tory Party is either a broad church or it is nothing. Only a few years ago, it nearly tore itself to shreds with squabbles about Europe. Some of the sour comments about McMillan-Scott now make me think the lesson still hasn't been learnt.
These people should get it into their skulls that the only way of preserving Britain's independence against an encroaching EU is to get into power. And there is no chance of getting into power with a disunited party. In short, they should belt up.

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