Thursday, 23 June 2011


In an unintentionally hilarious piece on Conservative Home, Tim Montgomerie comes over all excited by a letter signed by 14 Tory MPs to the Financial Times outlining what he calls 'mainstream Eurosceptisim. It's so bad I'm almost inclined to think the whole thing is a spoof, sadly not:
The fourteen, led by the former MEP Chris Heaton-Harris, are determined to set out what I'd describe as a 'Mainstream Euroscepticism'. They want to push the Coalition to be more ambitious for EU reform but they also reject what they see as the 'impossibilism' (again my phrase) of some of the backbench Eurosceptics

More useless Tory "in Europe not ruled by Europe" nonsense - a policy that has worked so well since 1973. But no, Tim is convinced:
In their letter (sent deliberately to the FT in order to underline its seriousness)
Apparently sending a so-called letter outlining 'eurosceptic' ideas to a well-known euroslime newspaper outlines its seriousness - Tim is easily pleased. So what are these revolutionary ideas:
  1. We must take the taxpayers’ side in resisting further bail-outs;
  2. Liberalisation of trade;
  3. The principle of subsidiarity;
  4. Wholesale reduction of the waste for which the European Commission is responsible;
  5. Above all we must start getting some value in return for the significant sums that UK taxpayers contribute to the EU’s budget.
Pointless tinkering around the edges with no appreciation of how or why none of this can ever be achieved. I think it's safe to say that Cameron could have written this list, which says it all and why Mr Montgomerie seems so pleased.

The Tory MPs who signed this vacuous nonsense are:
Chris Heaton-Harris
Stephen Phillips QC
Andrea Leadsom
Harriett Baldwin
Priti Patel
Dan Byles
Steve Baker
George Eustice
Charlie Elphicke
Stephen Barclay
James Wharton
Nadhim Zahawi
Dominic Raab
Jackie Doyle-Price.
They write that they are concerned:
"... that the solutions to the crisis proposed by eurozone countries amount to no more than “throwing good money after bad” and will further expose the British taxpayer to any future economic meltdown."
So guess how many of them voted against giving more money to the Eurozone when they had the chance in May? Just one - Steve Baker. Apparently the letter could have been signed by a hundred:
'The Fourteen' are listed below but one of the letter's signatories has just told me that (1) with more time and (2) without many of the new intake being limited by their PPS status the letter could easily have been signed by one hundred members of the new intake.
Presumably that hundred would come from same Tories who voted to squander more of our money on bailouts, or the same Tories who voted to agree with Lisbon Treaty.

Update: Witterings From Witney has his take here.


  1. Good afternoon Mr. Frog, this is my first comment here...

    Agree with your sentiments...

    What I also found interesting about that piece was the commenters, many of whom have completely disappeared from the Barclaygraph recently.

    All claim to be "Eurosceptic" whatever that is?? I am damn sure that Europe exists, I've been there, get off the boat/plane and it's hot and people speak gibberish. :-)

    Anyway, it was a revelation to see such bedfellows for Montgomerie as Lindsay Jenkins, Denis Cooper, and Phil Kean all arguing semantics... Priceless!

  2. @RW thank for your kind first comment.