The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand

Cookies are a technology which we use to provide you with tailored information on our website. A cookie is a piece of code that is sent to your internet browser and is stored on your system.

Please see below for a list of cookies this website uses:

Cookie name: _utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmz

Purpose: Google Analytics cookies. Google Analytics is software that lets us analyse how visitors use our site. We use this information to improve our website and provide the best experience to visitors.

Function: These cookies collect data in an anonymous form. Please see Google's privacy policy for further information. To opt out of these cookies, please visit Google's website.

Cookie name: Sitecore

Purpose: Stores information, such as language and regional preferences, that our content management system (the system we use to update our website) relies on to function.

Function: This is a session cookie and will be destroyed when you close your browser. This cookie is essential for our website to function.

Cookie name: ASP.net_session

Purpose: Allows the website to save your session state across different pages. For example, if you have completed a survey, the website will remember that you have done so and will not ask you to complete it again when you view another page on the website.

Function: This is a session cookie and will be destroyed when you close your browser. This cookie is essential for our website to function.

Cookie name: website#sc_wede

Purpose: Indicates whether the user's browser supports inline editing of content. This indicates whether our content management system will work for our website administrators in their internet browsers.

Function: This is a session cookie and will be destroyed when you close your browser. This cookie is essential for our website to function.

Cookie name: redirected

Purpose: Remembers when the site forwards you from one page to another, so you can return to the first page. For example, go back to the home page after viewing a special 'splash' page.

Function: This is a session cookie, which your browser will destroy when it shuts down. The website needs this cookie to function.

Cookie name: tccookiesprefs

Purpose: Remembers when you respond to the site cookie policy, so you do not see the cookie preferences notice on every page.

Function: If you choose to remember your preference with a temporary cookie, your browser will remove it when you shut it down, otherwise the cookie will be stored for about a year.

Cookie name: _ga

Purpose: Additional Google Analytics cookie. Google Analytics is software that lets us analyse how visitors use our site. We use this information to improve our website and provide the best experience to visitors.

Function: These cookies collect data in an anonymous form. Please see Google's privacy policy for further information.

Cookie name: SC_ANALYTICS_GLOBAL_COOKIE, SC_ANALYTICS_SESSION_COOKIE

Purpose: Sitecore Analytics is software that lets us analyse how visitors use our site. We use this information to improve our website and provide the best experience to visitors.

Function: These cookies collect data in an anonymous form. When you close your browser, it will delete the 'session' cookie; it will keep the 'global' cookie for about one year.

Facebook cookies

We use Facebook 'Like' buttons to share site feedback. For further information, see Facebook's cookie policy page.

Twitter cookies

We use Twitter 'Tweet' buttons to share site feedback. For further information, see Twitter's privacy statement.

YouTube cookies

We embed videos from our official YouTube channel. YouTube uses cookies to help maintain the integrity of video statistics, prevent fraud and to improve their site experience. If you view a video, YouTube may set cookies on your computer once you click on the video player.

Cookies pop-up

When you close the cookies pop-up box by clicking "OK", a permanent cookie will be set on your machine. This will remember your preference so that the pop-up doesn't display across any pages whenever you visit the website.

Opting out/removing cookies

To opt out of Google Analytics cookies, please visit Google’s website.

You can also control what cookies you accept through your internet browser. For details on how to do this, please visit aboutcookies.org. Please note that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our website.

mailing list
donate now
join now
shop

Why the election pledges must be honoured

Roger Helmer MEP
Melanie Phillips

Why the election pledges must be honoured

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

podcasts

Click here to listen online to Roger Helmer MEP

Click here to listen online to Melanie Phillips

Bruges Group event at the Conservative Party conference

It is a matter of great disappointment and regret that the Prime Minister has dropped his own manifesto commitments to take back powers from Brussels and to protect the UK from the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights; this is despite the fact that he was elected promising to do so. To make matters worse the pledge to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was already abandoned.

At the 2010 Conservative Party Conference the Bruges Group made the case as to Why the election pledges must be honoured. And why the Conservative leadership must stop selling-out on Europe to the Lib Dems.

 

Speech by Roger Helmer MEP

Well Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, it’s a great pleasure to be here today in the Midland Institute and to see all of you here. And thanks to the Bruges Group for setting it up, thanks to you all for coming because it’s not much of a meeting unless we have an audience.

Now the Institute here of course is a great symbol of social and industrial history in the Midlands and as I walked in I was reminded of a poem by Betjeman which I mentioned to the Manager here, ‘The gas was on in the Institute’. And what a nice man, he went away to his computer and can you believe he came down five minutes later with a copy of the poem. I was very delighted and touched but I won’t read you all of it now.

Why the election pledges must be honoured2

Now you may be expecting me to say one or two critical things today about the Government’s European policy so I think I should preface my remarks by saying that I am as pleased as any Conservative to see a Conservative Prime Minister in Downing Street and I am very pleased by many of the things which the coalition is doing.

I am delighted that George Osborne is taking a robust approach to the deficit; he is putting the national interest, which we’ve learned about from Robert already, ahead of short term popularity, he is clearly absolutely right to do so. I’m delighted by what IDS is doing about welfare. I recall that Simon Heffer said the reason we had an underclass is because we had decided to pay for one. And I think in the case of IDS perhaps he’s decided that we shouldn’t pay for it anymore.

I am delighted by what Michael Gove is doing on education. Our education system is broke; we clearly need to do something radical with the schools and I think he’s doing the right thing. So I commend him for that.

But I’m less comfortable with one or two of the things that are going on. I am not terribly happy with Ken Clarke, Justice Minister’s approach to crime and punishment. I have this old fashioned idea that if somebody is locked up in jail they’re not burgling my house and from my point of view I’d much rather they were not burgling my house.

I’m not entirely happy that George Osborne has said that he won’t do anything about the new 50% tax band. In that case I think he is putting presentational issues and spin issues ahead of the national interest, the national interest would require us to abandon that 50% tax rate.

Why the election pledges must be honoured3

I’m not entirely happy with Vince Cable, who is rambling on about mansion taxes, graduate taxes; my fear is that the wise old owl is rapidly becoming a headless chicken.

And then of course there is energy and climate change and Mr Chris Huhne, who of course was a colleague of mine in the European Parliament during my first term. He has said that the lights won’t go out on his watch. That is only true if his watch is an extremely short one, which is a consummation devoutly to be wished for if he goes on with this madness of wind farms then we will see the lights go out in about five years.

However, of course in Europe for me as a Euro MP, I have to be honest with you I have people write to me, one or two of them I see sitting here today but I shall name no names, people who have said how can you remain in the Conservative Party, how can you be a Conservative Parliamentarian when your party is so clearly committed to the European project. And I have written back saying the Conservative Party needs a Eurosceptic balance, we have to work on this, wait and see what happens when we’re in Government. I had cherished the hope that when we were in Government and no longer constrained by those constraints that affect parties in opposition we could be a little bit more robust.

So what has actually happened, what has happened in the last five months under the coalition Government?

Two months ago I was sitting in the heavy cycle in Strasbourg, we were voting at one of our regular plenary voting sessions. I glanced down the list and I came to a vote on the famous European Diplomatic Service or European External Action Service you may well have heard about it. And I noticed that we were whipped to vote in favour of it. So I was astonished and I turned around to Charles Tannock London MEP and our Foreign Affairs Spokesman who sits two rows behind me in the Chamber, we all have our set seating positions and I said ‘hey Charles what’s going on, you’ve dropped a wrong whip here on the European Diplo Service?’ ‘No, no’ he said, ‘that is the correct whip; those are instructions from London’.

Now I was last elected to the European Parliament for the third time in 2009 and I’d like to read you a short sentence from the Manifesto on which I and my Conservative colleagues were elected:

‘Conservative MEPs will oppose plans for the EU to acquire additional powers on foreign policy and defence such as proposals for an EU Foreign Minister or an EU Diplomatic Corps however named’.

Now is that clear to you? It’s clear to me. So when our Whip in the European Parliament wrote to me and I must say also to Dan Hannan and Nirj Deva who joined me in dissenting from the Whip, our reply was very simple, that we were elected on a clear Manifesto commitment to oppose the European Diplomatic Service and that was what we did, the Party can change its mind if it wishes to, we will not do so.

You know of course about the European Diplomatic Service, it is intended to take over eventually from national diplomatic services that have started already being made where smaller countries do not wish to maintain embassies in 200 countries around the world so they say well we’re going to have European representation, we don’t need it anymore. And we’re assured of course that it won’t impinge on national foreign policy or defence policy but we’re used to those assurance from the European Union.

I’ll tell you why they want a European Diplomatic Service, Europe already has a flag, a passport, an anthem, it has a President – although I’m not quite sure which one it is, it seems to have two or three Presidents – it has a Parliament, it has a central bank, it has a currency, tell me which aspects of a nation state does it lack.

Well one thing that it lacked until just recently was something called a legal personality, which sounds terribly technical, what does it matter to the man in the street, a legal personality. Well I’ll tell you why it matters, previously when the European Union negotiated say a trade contract, a trade treaty, it was actually a series of treaties and the individual Member States has to sign up to it. Now because it has a legal personality it can undertake treaties on its own behalf. Of course it has approval procedures within the European Union but the treaties are now signed by the EU not by the Member States.

It also means that it is a credible policy that the EU should take over representation of European countries in international organisations starting of course with the United Nations and we know that they’re extremely keen to do that.

What else did it lack? It lacked a Diplomatic Service so of course it had to create one and it has. And an extremely suitable person has been chosen, Baroness Ashton, to run this organisation. Let me just remind you about Baroness Ashton, so far as I know she has never been elected to any public office, she has held minor and intermediate posts in a number of quangos, she is a if you like modest quangocrat who by virtue of being married to the right guy seems to have been promoted to the House of Lords and then suddenly is appointed the European Trade Commissioner.

As far as I know she has no experience or interest in or knowledge about trade, but that was the job she got for a year taking over from our friend Mr Mandelson. Now I have few good words to say about Mr Mandelson but I think he did understand trade issues and I think he was more free trade than the average of the Labour Party, not saying a lot but I don’t think that Baroness Ashton is any great improvement.

Suddenly this unelected quangocrat, the sort of person who might make a great number two in a minor county council, has found herself the highest paid British politician of any... £328,000 a year I think it is, quite a substantial sum. But also she’s trying to set up a new department when Mr Barroso and Mr Rumpy Pumpy – he has a Belgian name which I can’t pronounce but Rumpy Pumpy will do – the respective President of the Commission and the European Council actually think they should be running it and the battle that is developing between them is fascinating.

I could talk for a long time about the European External Action Service but I don’t think I will, I think my point is made.

We were clear in opposition that we opposed the Lisbon Treaty, we promised a referendum on it, which for various reasons was not fulfilled, the Lisbon Treaty of course setting the legal basis for the European External Action Service. We were clear we oppose the Lisbon Treaty, we were absolutely clear in black and white, I just read you the words, that we were elected as MEPs on the basis of opposing it, suddenly we’re in favour of it.

What is the excuse? I’ll tell you what the excuse is; well we’re in Government eventually we’re going to have to work with this Diplomatic Service so we may as well make the best of it. You may have to make the best of it, it may be absolutely right that the British Government will have to work with this organisation but that doesn’t mean we have to like it and it doesn’t mean we have to pretend to approve it, we have broken our word and we should not have done that.

Let me turn to the corpus juris European law, you were familiar with the European Arrest Warrant, I am particularly familiar with it because this was of course in place before the present coalition Government, I don’t blame then for that. But it is in place and it is creating the most outrageous injustices.

Last year something like 1300 British subjects were removed abroad without appeal, without safeguards and they were sent to foreign jurisdictions, some very dodgy foreign jurisdictions and I can affirm that because I’ve been following the cases of two of my constituents from Derby, I wont go into the story because that will take me 20 minutes by itself, but I just got the news, some of you who were here earlier will have seen me take a phone call. One of these people who have been accused and acquitted and called back on appeal and now being called back a third time, one of them has a wife who I knew was suffering from breast cancer. I have just heard the news from the Derby paper that that lady has died and her husband is due to go back for another hearing in a fortnight’s time. They’ve asked for a delay on the hearing on compassionate grounds and it has been refused. That is the way one of my constituents is being treated under the European Arrest Warrant and I tell you I am angry about it.

Theresa May I think recognises there are problems with the European Arrest Warrant and indeed the rather unbalanced expedition treaty that we have with America. One of my American colleagues is in the audience, so I apologise for that joke but never mind. And she is right of course to investigate it but I understand that her investigation will not report till June next year. That seems to me a rather lackadaisical approach to an issue which is causing huge injustices as we speak.

The other thing where we can pin the blame directly on the coalition Government and Theresa May is something called the European Investigation Order. It is now possible for a foreign jurisdiction, for a Bulgarian Magistrate, for a Latvian Prosecutor to demand information on your bank details, your DNA, your telephone records and it then is an obligation on the British Police to obtain that information and send it, no ifs, no buts, no checks, no balances, no safeguards for the citizen, no Data Protection Act, that information must be obtained by the British Police and it must be sent.

Now that is an outrageous infringement of our personal liberty in this country. It is also by the way an outrageous infringement on Police time. We are just about to have the spending review, undoubtedly the Police will have less money and less officers or fewer Officers and they are having this very large, very large new time consuming responsibility placed on them without any discussion. They can’t go to a Magistrate and say this is a frivolous issue will you please dismiss it, they have to do it.

Why did Theresa May vote for it, well not vote for it, sign it off, that’s what she did, Theresa May signed it off and I think that is very regrettable indeed.

Let me turn to a third issue and I promise you I wont go beyond three issues that I’m concerned about, although there are many more we could deal with, and that of course is the regulation of the City of London. Bear in mind that the City of London has the lion’s share of the financial services business across the whole of Europe, it is the European centre for financial services and we have problems with regulation, of course we have but there are problems with financial services regulation all around the world, its not unique to London.

Europe however thinks it knows best and it wants to regulate it. Now the excuse they will give us of course is that it was the Labour Government who signed up to the Lisbon Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty creates the legal basis so we had to accept it. No we didn’t. In fact one of my colleagues, Vicky Ford, she’s an expert in this area, she’s worked in the city for many years, I pay tribute to her for the rear guard action she fought to mitigate the damage and to take out some of the worst aspects of these proposals.

But the fact is the British Government accepted in principle that the City of London should be regulated from Brussels and Frankfurt, they should not have accepted that in principle or at all, they should have fought tooth and nail. Yes there may be a legal basis in the Lisbon Treaty, they could and should have fought it and kicked and screamed and made a difference and they didn’t do so.

But you will say to me – well you probably wont say it to me actually but somebody will say to me – why are your so excited about this, we have a referendum lock, we have seen the press releases from David Lidington about the referendum lock, we have guaranteed to the British people that powers will now not be passed to the European Union without a referendum.

If I may quote again, the 2010 Conservative Party General Election Manifesto, ‘we will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that any proposed new treaty that transferred areas of power or competences would be subject to a referendum – a referendum lock’.

Thank you for nothing. It is less a referendum lock, it is more slamming the stable door when the horse is long gone. As I’m sure you will know if you’ve been following these matters and if you’re here you probably have been following these matters, the famous Lisbon Treaty contains passerelle or ratchet clauses that enable the European institutions to take forward their project of ever closer union without recourse to new treaties, they don’t need new treaties, they can do everything they want under powers established already in the Lisbon Treaty and they can do that without reference to referendum or the people.

It’s the last thing the European institutions ever wish to do is to refer to the people. If you ask the people do they want European integration the unthankful brutes say no, so the answer is simple, don’t ask them about it.

The other point is that in the press release, which I studied with some care, we are saying well we recognise there are the passerelle clauses, ratchet clauses, we will catch those too, we will actually be prepared to have a referendum on those if we think they’re serious enough, but of course it is – I’m still quoting roughly, paraphrasing a little bit – its difficult to define quite what is a ratchet clause and what is a serious transfer of power and not just a little issue so we’ll have to think about that and David Lidington tells us there wont be any referenda in the next five years of this Parliament. Hang on a minute, there won’t be any referenda in five years, we’ve given away these powers I’ve been talking to you about in five months, how many more will we have given away in five years?

And then we voted in the House of Commons to consider whether a particular issue justifies a referendum. Well if the Government has decided to sign up to it it probably has a majority in the House of Commons to get it through.

I mean frankly the referendum lock is an outrageous piece of spin, it reminds me of the European word ‘subsidiarity’ – sorry its an English word but common in European politics – words like subsidiarity, things like citizens’ initiatives in Europe are there not because they create legitimacy or democracy, they are there to give a spurious impression of legitimacy and democracy while the European Union goes its own way. The referendum lock is designed to reassure sceptics in the Conservative Party that all is well while we continue to shuffle powers to Europe at an ever increasing rate.

This is not good enough; this is not the reason why I have served 11 years in the European Parliament as a Conservative MEP or why I run for election, I am deeply unhappy about it.

What I should like to do Mr Chairman, I should like to conclude my remarks on an uplifting and inspiring note full of optimism. I’m sorry to have to tell you I have nothing uplifting or optimistic to say. Sadly I start to despair my for my Party and my country.

 

Speech by Melanie Phillips

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, I have to say after that inspiring finale to Roger’s conclusion as far as I’m concerned things can only get better from now on.

It’s a really great pleasure to be here at the Bruges Group this afternoon because this after all is, is it not, the elephant in the room, this is the fly in the ointment, this is the pooper that is not going to be allowed to spoil the party.

Why the election pledges must be honoured4

The one issue with the Tory grassroots have been brutally cut aside and dumped. There’s been we are told a huge row over welfare reform, one it would appear via IDS, no doubt it’s in large measure because it’s considered absolutely imperative to reassure the Tory grassroots by keeping him onboard.

There is still it seems an epic battle raging over defence with Liam Fox needing to be appeased in order to reassure the Tory grassroots. Even immigration has been addressed sort of, although I don’t think any grassroots are actually reassured as yet.

One of the only subjects that apparently can be safely airbrushed altogether out of the Tory Party’s conversation with itself, and on which the Tory grassroots can be told to get lost is Europe and yet Europe is, in my view, the most important issue of all, the issue of issues, the capacity of this country to govern itself. So how can this have happened?

A few years ago I was invited to a European conference at Potsdam attended by ‘très grand fromage’ of the EU to discuss an issue that was so important I’m afraid I can’t remember it.

I went as a journalist to observe the proceedings, a mere journalist but through a most unfortunate and wholly unforeseen development I found myself upon disembarking in Berlin catapulted into giving the keynote address to replace someone who had missed his flight. I protested to the organisers that I was positively the very last person on earth they would want to deliver such an address to such a gathering but alas in vain.

So presented with this unforeseen opportunity I decided to go for broke.

To this eminent audience of Brussels bureaucrats I ignored the debate that was then raging in the room about subsidiarity and competences and wider or deeper or was it possibly vice versa, and I said instead what I believed about the EU. How it was a global vision but one that was fatally flawed, how rather than protect freedom it constricted it, how instead of guaranteeing peace it was a recipe in the long term for conflict. How it was not just anti-democratic but a vehicle for undermining European and Western civilization itself, how it was a conspiracy of the elites against the people and how Britain would be better off out.

The reaction to my impasse was instructive, it was simply open mouthed astonishment, the ‘grand fromage’ were for once lost for words, they were simply flummoxed. Some said later they’d never heard such arguments put in their entire lives, they didn’t even bother to argue against what I was saying because what I had said was, as they all knew, simply unsayable, it could not be said, it could be therefore swatted aside.

Why the election pledges must be honoured5

I could be safely ignored as a Europhobe, a xenophobe, a little Englander in the fashionable heresy hunting language of today doubtless they would have said I was an EU denier. Of course it goes without saying an extreme right-winger, truly one of the damned and the party of the devil.

Now I would suggest that a mighty strange alchemy has been worked here. I remember when to be passionately viscerally against the EU or the EEC or EC or whatever it was called in those days, was an extreme left-wing position, yet now it’s a defining feature of the extreme right and an advertisement of imbecility or insanity. How come?

Well I would suggest that this startling crossover does actually explain why those sceptical of or against the EU project are now regarded by all progressively-minded people as simply an aberration of nature. So much so that the Cameroons of whom we must give due obedience to because, as we must duly note they are now the party of the progressive centre, it is why Cameroons put a hankie to their noses whenever the subject of the EU is mentioned.

For what’s happened in those intervening years when the EU opposition was the left and then it became the right, what’s happened in those years was that the politics of the left changed very radically and I would say that the Conservative Party failed to grasp what had happened.

Let me explain: in the days before the fall of the Berlin Wall the left believed that economics was the key to conscience, the left was protectionist and suspicious of capitalist trading blocks such as the EU. With the collapse of pseudo-communism however it changed its agenda from economics to a cultural attack on Western society. This led to the adoption in fashionable and progressive circles of universalist doctrines that would trump the particular values of individual nations and cultures. Doctrines such as universal human rights, radical egalitarianism and moral and cultural relativism, a doctrine that says what is right for me is right.

The nation became viewed as the cause of all the ills of the world, why? Well simple, nations led to nationalism, nationalism caused prejudice and war, abolish the nation and you will arrive at an egalitarian Utopia in which intolerance and greed, hatred and prejudice would be excised from the human heart. Transnational progressivism, as this doctrine is called in the jargon, accordingly became the defining creed of the left. Supernational or transnational institutions such as for example the UN, the European Court of Human Rights would trump any national bodies such as the mere parliaments, not just the particular values of European nations but the very idea of the nation itself became either suspect or even illegitimate.

Now this dovetailed of course perfectly with the view in EU capitals that a European super state would prevent the ultimate horror of war in Europe from ever happening again. And to cap the joy on the left, such a super state would also be a bulwark against American power, which all white thinking or should I say left thinking people must view as entirely awful.

So Europe stopped being a threat to the left and turned instead into an opportunity. To the post-communist left which urgently needed a fresh set of progressive clothes, Europe suddenly became the issue to cover their ideological nakedness.

But ideology it was and like all other ideological causes in the left’s arsenal, European integration was identified with virtue itself, it was after all a project to create the brotherhood of man, at least in Europe. And the result, anyone who did not subscribe to this was not just mistaken but altogether beyond the moral pale. There could be no possibility whatever of descent, any heretics against the one true faith had to be penalised and rendered a pariah.

In the Balakian universe of the left anyone not on the left is automatically said to be on the right. The idea that the left may be opposed also by liberals appalled by the illiberal ideology of the left does not of course occur to the left at all because it regards itself as synonymous with virtue itself.

So to the left anyone opposed to the EU’s dictatorship on virtue must inevitably be a swivel-eyed bigot and of course ultra right-wing. Anyone who stood up for nation was a nationalist and nationalism was synonymous with racism, so patriotism became a dirty word. The defence of democracy and self-government became unspeakably narrow-minded while the destruction of democracy and self-government became an unchallengeable good. Thus the progressive line stands language, politics and morality on their heads on the EU and on a number of issues.

But this upside down world as far as Europe is concerned is not confined to the left; its roots are wider and deeper. For the culturally suicidal embrace of the EU is born I would suggest of a radical despair and confusion. Despair in Britain as a cohesive society; despair that this country can ever again go it alone in the world, a radical loss of faith in Britain which has given rise to a profound political and moral confusion, which brings me to today’s Conservative Party.

Its not just that it has spectacularly reneged on its promise to the electorate to hold a referendum on the EU constitution, which as we’ve heard from Roger, so radically transforms everything, its not just that it is sliding as fast as possible away from its promise to restore Britain’s powers of self-government exposing British citizens, as you’ve already heard, to the threat of oppressive arrest warrants issued by foreign governments and even as I have written recently, causing patients to die unnecessarily from the havoc fraught in junior doctors’ hours by EU dictate.

It is that it is also using already a language to conceal its abandonment of the defence of this country’s capacity to govern itself and in the process its abandonment I would suggest of Conservatives in itself.

We read constantly that the problem is that the Clegg tail is wagging the Cameron dog, that to keep the Lib Dems onboard in the coalition the Tories are having to swallow unpalatable policies of which capitulation to the EU is won.

Well I don’t think that that’s the whole story at all. First of all I would suggest to you the really problematic coalition is not between the Cameroons and the Lib Dems, it’s between the Cameroons and the Tory grassroots also known as the right. Far from constraining the Cameroons, the coalition of the Lib Dems has, it seems to me, given them an unforeseen golden opportunity to complete the task that David Cameron has apparently set himself to finish off conservatism once and for all. It’s not the Lib Dems but the Tory right that the Cameroons identify as their enemies. It’s the ‘Tory right’ that they seem to want to bury forever to create a new coalition party of the progressive centre. It’s the Tory right who are seen as embodying the nasty party, mean spirited, racist, reactionary, bigoted for such is the way those who seek to defend the liberal values of democracy and self-government, not to mention the cultural underpinnings of freedom and human rights and true equality which are now under the cosh of the secular egalitarianism, which views of the EU are regularly presented.

And it is not just the Tory right under this cosh but the grassroots and beyond them the millions of conservatively-minded British voters who are being effectively demonised, disenfranchised and abandoned by the party that notionally represent them.

Faced with the need to stand up for freedom against the totalitarian mindset, the banner after all behind which the Conservative Party marched for much of the last century, the Cameroons are now ducking the issue and this historic duty. Their entire strategy is to avoid being painted as narrow-minded reactionaries, so they have chosen the path of least resistance and in the process abandoned both conservatism and this nation’s historic identity and freedoms. What are this nation’s historic identity and freedoms compared after all with a free ride on the Today programme?

Broken promises, of course, was there ever much chance that the Cameroons were ever going to do what they so vaguely promised to restore Britain’s sovereign powers. After all to do so would open up yet again the party’s great Euro divide and it would also mean threatening in the last analysis, to pull out of the EU, which most of these dithering democrats think would be wholly against Britain’s interests whatever they may say to the contrary about how concerned they are to protect those interests. But I would suggest that staying in is wholly against Britain’s interests.

What after all has Britain gained from being a member of the EU? The only thing I can see it’s actually unequivocally gained is not being in the Euro zone.

What has Britain lost by being in the EU? Only its very essence as a self-governing nation.

The real problem it seems to me is that the Tory leadership no longer understands what conservatism is for. The fall of communism threw British politics completely off course, it forced Tony Blair to reinvent the left as New Labour, a shallow and meretricious exercise that we can see has now finally collapsed.

But the Tories thought that with Labour having embraced the market, conservatism no longer had a role, so casting around for a band behind which to march, the Conservatives alighted upon the issue of liberty. What they missed crucially was that the left was still a threat, indeed an even bigger threat to the British and Western way of life, for the left too had chosen liberty as its marching song but liberty expressed as a radical libertarianism through for example lifestyle choice, the notion that everyone had equal freedom to define their own values and expect everyone else to fall into line.

This ideology has been enforced with Draconian deliverance. EU equality legislation has been a principle weapon in this onslaught assisted by its close although technically unrelated cousin, European human rights law.

What the Cameroons have I think so dismally failed to grasp is that the liberal tolerance they seek to embrace is neither liberal nor tolerant but the route to oppression, that language itself has been hijacked and that what they think of as the progressive centre, where they are so eagerly positioning themselves, is actually the terrain of the cultural totalitarians of the left.

Conservatism I would say in conclusion, is a cast of mind that seeks to defend what is precious against attack, in other words to conserve. What the Cameroons have so badly failed to grasp is the desperate need today to defend and to serve the British way of life based on historic liberal values emanating from biblical ethics enshrined in the English common law and protected by a sovereign parliament, to protect these things against the anti-nation, anti-democracy, anti-morality onslaught embodied in the EU and in the oppressive global movement it helps spearhead.

Its Burke all over again isn’t it, the need to defend liberal society against the modern Jacobeans in Brussels and in Primrose Hill, in the European Court of Justice and in Broadcasting House.

What’s really astonishing to me is that look at these Cameroons, they are so desperate for power they will do anything to stay in it. They want power so much and yet they cannot see that given their current policy of ducking the issue of Europe, they will end up with no more power than Westminster regional council in the Republic of Europeland.

What is the point of all these great reforms we see unfolding before us this week: welfare, schools, the great fight over defence if Britain is no longer in control of its own destiny, what is the point to coin a phrase of being in Government if they are not in power.

And for members of this Party, the question from me is what are you all going to do about it. Are you all going to sit on your hands and not rock the boat over the EU or over any of these other issues that so concern so many of you now that you are actually at that Cabinet table? What is the point of a Conservative Party if it no longer even understands what it must conserve and against whom? To me the most interesting question is not whether the Lib Dems will break ranks or whether George Osborne will hold his nerve over the public spending cuts, it is simply whether true Conservatives will now fight to get their Party and their country back.

Thank you.