Monday, May 23, 2005

There has been a flurry of comments on the previous thread which has prompted me to make one last post before I go on holiday.

The big question I keep being asked is 'are you going to stay on?'

Now the question might relate to where I live, the subject of some unpleasant debate during the election campaign (constant references to me be being 'the Candidate from Windsor' were designed to give the impression that we lived here in some temporary capacity, or that we didn't live here at all...). Of course we have no intention of going anywhere else. We chose to move to Torbay like thousands of others because of the quality of life here, and the many wonderful people we have met and become friends with have only confirmed what a wise choice it was.

But the question may also relate to whether I intend to fight the seat again.

The suspicion amongst the political community has been that I would get a 'result' -but not win- in Torbay and toddle off to find a safe seat somewhere else - speculation that completely failed to take account of a very important fact, I am not a career politician.

I didn't even think about being a candidate until just after the 2001 election when the idea was put to me by the Windsor agent Jackie Porter. I have a perfectly successful (business) occupation which I enjoy very much. Politics has been my non-work interest - to a degree, my hobby- and remains so.

So the answer is ... it's not up to me. The Party is likely to introduce new rules regarding candidate selections and in any case the local party need to decide who they want to go with next time after some cool analysis and reflection on the May 5th outcome.

It has been a real honour and a fantastic experience to fight this seat. Local Lib Dems (and maybe one or two Conservatives, too) won't welcome the news - but I will remain (very) active in the Torbay Conservative party, one way or another.


Anonymous said...


Fight for a deceit ant-EU leader or, it's the end of the Tories.

If Clerk gets it then all those who were sitting on the fence regarding the EU will go to UKIP, and split your vote even more.

Best of luck to you

Marcus Wood said...

If Clark gets it even I might vote UKIP.

Seriously, no chance. (Mind you I said that about IDS!)

Marcus Wood said...

I meant theres no chance of Clark getting the leadership - he won't stand because most of the new intake don't care for anyone associated with the 1980's & 1990's - likewise Rifkind.

It might be someone quite unexpected, like Tim Yeo or Theresa May.

Anonymous said...

Tim Yeo, Theresa May - Please no!
I am a younger voter and the Conservative Party has no hope until it looks beyond its core vote - the view that Clarke would be the wrong choice epitomises why the Conservatives cannot win a General Election.
Clarke is the best choice. I am not particularly pro European but people need to look beyond that to the whole package. Had he been elected leader then on a national scale the Conservatives would be in a far better position.
Maybe someone like David Davis appeals to Torbay voters, but not to the majority of the population - if he is elected than the Conservatives need a miracle -and the same is true of Yeo ir May.
Come on folks please elect Ken Clarke, Liam Fox or David Cameron, please.
I do not want a Labour government again next time, so please don't elect someone who is only going to appeal to a very narrow, core Conservative vote

Anonymous said...

Look beyond the EU - oh you really are blind - 89% of our laws are now made in the EU, immigration is controlled by the EU, Post Office Closures are being shut because of the EU, our London transport services are in a sham ecause of the EU, water bills are going up because of the EU, this country is controlled by the EU, and if the EU constitution is signed and more powers are given to the EU then in 2007 there will be little point in voting as our own MP's will be powerless.

The EU is the only subject and until the Tories get that into their heads they will never ever rule again.

The reason - Simple the people of this country what their country back and that beens voting UKIP. You may not like that but you had better get used to it, because unless the tories have a policy of complete EU withdrawal they will always be the shaddow.

I hope they get their act together and maybe even go for IDS again

Anonymous said...

Yes look beyond Europe as the major issue - as the majority of the popultation have. It makes no sense for the Conservative Party to take such an extreme line - the people will have the decisive say in referendums on the constitution and the Euro.

The EU is certainly not the only subject! Do you really think a Party that advocates such an extreme position will get elected - if so many people agree that the EU is the only subjet then why did UKIP not win the election - or even 1 seat! The answer is because they represent extremists. And the Party that won power are certainly not advocating withdrawal!
Your final comment about bringing back IDS empahsises the comedy value of your post! IDS as Prime Minister - maybe in the dreams of people who advocate witdrawal from Europe - never for the majority of the population with sound brains.

Anonymous said...

Youe really are a stupid party and with the view fromthe last comment, you will always be where you are now. THE EU controls our country so to get it back is anything other than extremist. The reason why UKIP didnt get any seats other than increase their vote (something the conservatives failed to do) was a mass press and cross party blackout of the issue. Its terrifying to think that something so important should have been given no coverage. The Tory party is seeking yet another leader after yet another failed campaign. Is it extremist to want our courtry to be governed by Westminster, our laws originating from Westminster, our taxes going to the UK instead of the £44BILLION PER YEAR that it costs for EU membership - even thatchers rebate is being questioned. When you people open your eyes and engage brain who knows. 2.7 Million people voted last June to get out of the EU , why can they see what you cant.

Anonymous said...

DAILY MAIL, 13.5.05

by Simon Heffer

THE QUESTION of Europe was hardly mentioned during the election campaign.
The British public could, therefore, be forgiven for thinking that the role
of the EU in our lives was, if not negligible, then at least under control.

How wrong they would be. The European Parliament, voting at Strasbourg on
Wednesday, decided that millions of British workers had to abide by a
maximum 48-hour working week. Failure to do so would result in our
Government being hauled up before the European courts and threatened with
massive financial punishment.

Welcome to the world of supra-national sovereignty.
The fact that Europe was not an election issue, given the astonishing power
the EU now has over us, begs various questions. The answers, though, would
be pretty depressing.

Labour did not want to talk about Europe because its record of capitulation
to Brussels would horrify most voters. Its unequivocal support for the
European Constitution says all one needs to know about it's real regard for
our sovereignty. Despite the imminence of a referendum on that constitution
­ to be held in a year's time ­ the Conservative Party also chose to say

As the party that took Britain into the club in 1973 ­ with the then Prime
Minister, Edward Heath, deliberately misrepresenting the consequences ­ it,
too, has a difficult track record. Also, in the 2001 election it went to
the other extreme and ran a campaign about Europe and little else, which
partly explained the electoral disaster it suffered.

And the Lib Dems, with an approach to Europe even more extreme than
Labour's in the desire for federation, also realised that discretion would
be the better part of valour.

And so, in this conspiracy of silence, profound issues about the vast and
expanding right of a foreign power to dictate to our country remained

The truth is that the 48-hour week compromises one of the most sacred
relationships in our national life: the contract between boss and employee.
It has always been a matter of mutual agreement what the terms and
conditions of service in any job will be, and that includes the exact
nature of an employee's working hours.

John Major won an opt-out in 1993 from the Working Time Directive that
would have spelled the end of this freedom. Our European partners have
always resented this, because the lack of a working hours restriction gave
our firms a competitive advantage over those on the continent.

Now that the big European economies ­ notably France and Germany ­ are
basket cases with low growth, massive unemployment and falling shares of
export markets, their anger with us is even more pronounced.

That explains why the European Parliament was so keen to bring us into
line. What is more embarrassing for the Government ­ which knows the
damage that would be done to our economy if the opt-out were revoked, with
85 per cent of construction and transport firms saying it would make their
lives more difficult ­ is that the motion so was passed with the help of
Labour MEPs.

The EU not only seems oblivious to our needs, but also to the needs of the
whole of Europe. Enforcing such restrictive practices will further reduce
Europe's competitiveness, which is already suffering from the effects of
far more efficient economies in the Far East.

This proposal is but a token of the levels of damaging interfer­ence Europe
can inflict upon member states. And it exemplifies the betrayal of the
electorate that was implicit in the main parties' decision to avoid debate
on this issue.

And because, unlike most other European countries, Britain inevitably plays
by the rules, the effect of this directive being implemented would be
devastating. Many firms would simply not be able to operate and would close
before they went bankrupt. Unemployment would rise.

The cost of enforcement would also be gigantic.

High-minded talk by Labour MEPs and many trades unionists about improving
the 'work-life balance' would look absurd when, for many, there was no work
with which to balance 'life'.

The Government has said it will fight the imposition of the directive, but
without big allies among other governments, its hopes are by no means

As is the case with our immigration policies, it will simply be a case of
our masters in Brussels telling British politicians to do as they are told
rather than allowing them the traditional power to act independently.

With the referendum on the constitution coming closer, this reminder of our
enslavement to Brussels could not have come at a worse time for a
Government that wants that constitution imposed on our country.

There can be no pretence that it will put an end to this violation of what
have always been considered the sovereign rights of its peoples. The whole
point of the exercise is to take even more areas of sovereignty (such as
foreign affairs, for example) away from us and give them to Europe.

Of course, Mr Blair is hoping to avoid a referendum ­ something he will
probably be able to achieve if the French say 'Non' in their vote a
fortnight on Sunday.

However, he reckoned without the spectacularly corrupt proposal by the EU,
debated yesterday, to seek to allow the French to cut the rate of VAT on
one of their great national pastimes ­ eating in restaurants ­ from 19.6 to
5.5 per cent. [emphasis added]

The news that this bribe was even being considered was enough to reverse
the trend of 21 consecutive opinion polls, and put the 'Oui' vote six points
ahead almost overnight. Regardless of what happens in France, the
constitution looks set to be vetoed in Britain ­ it is hugely unpopular, as
is the Prime Minister who is its chief advocate.

However, the removal of our opt-out on working hours would kill it stone
dead, and would open up once more to scrutiny what we have already given up
to the EU, and the nature of what we might lose next.

In the event of the EU letting us keep the opt-out ­ and that is by no
means certain ­ it would only be in return for some massive surrender on
another front. That is how the EU works.

The fact is that, outside the euro, and less regulated than our neighbours,
Britain is simply too economically successful for some of its partners, and
so handicaps must be shackled on to us.

So it is no wonder that none of our leading politicians wants to remind us
of their, and our, impotence in the face of our true rulers in Brussels.

And while it is typical that the Government should promise to fight to save
our rights, it will also be typical that the fight will end, one way or the
other, in defeat for our best interests.

How appropriate it was, though, that this startling reminder of the
relentless power Europe has over us should come so soon after we have gone
to the polls. For unless we take radical steps to win some of that power
back, at the next election, there will be hardly any point in voting at all.

11:35 PM

Anonymous said...

You really do miss the point. I am not arguing the pro's and cons' of being in Europe. My point is that Europe was not such an important issue at the last election and should not be when the Conservatives elected their new leader because the people are going to be able to speak about Europe in forthcoming referendums. It makes no difference whether the ruling party or opposition are hugely pro European or hugely Euro-sceptic because of these referendums. If the people vote no in them then it does not matter whether the government were in favour or not, the issue will not progress. Similarly if the people vote yes and the government are against then they will have to progress the issue. Therefore the importance of what any particular party view is is irrelevant.
The decisive decisions about Europe will be made by the people in referendums not the government of the day

Anonymous said...

Im sorry but it's you that has missed the poinr EVERYTHING we do is governed now by the EU even how many hours we can work.

The EU IS th most inportant subject there has ever been.

Utill you realise that and ELECT no OPPOINT the next leader you will always be just the shaddow.

As the above press article shows the subject of the EU was supressed from the voter - very sinister.

Anonymous said...

Point to note - I have no links to the Conservative Party. I do not know why you seem to think I am!

What about hospitals, education, crime, etc, etc? These are all important issues. If you want to debate about Europe that is fine. What is amusing is that I am not particularly pro-European - I would vote no in referendums on the Consitution and the Euro. However I would never advocate withdrawal from Europe altogether, that is a mad idea. Whilst Europe may be the most important issue for you, for the majority of the population it is not - as proven time and again in polls and surveys. The Conservatives need to wake up and realise that if they want to regain power they need to elect a leader who appeals to a wide range of the electorate - and that means looking beyond whether they are pro-European or not. Ken Clarke is the man.

Anonymous said...

I costs the UK approx £44 Billion poinds per year in membership. That represents loads more hospitals , loads more police, well staffed and maintained schools, to name just a few things.

In June last year "Say No" to the EU polled 2.6 million votes , the debate was about the EU, and will again.

Why do you wish to stay in the EU, what benifits do we get?

Anonymous said...

Well there we go the French have spoken. With all the main parties there in favour of the consitution it proves that the people still have the final say and that the Conservatives need to look beyond Europe as the main issue.The model of Europe as a trading area is beneficial to the UK. However I do agree that it is getting out of control and that no votes in referendums are a superb way for the people to remind the politicians of that. No votes in referendums are far more powerful than having an opposition leader who is Eurosceptic.

Anonymous said...

It proves the people dont want a corrupt president and the EU. As for the Conservatives looking beyond the EU, you just carry on dreaming , just like the tories wish for power if they do the same.

Anonymous said...

No it doesn't, that is the Redwood mistake.
The French voted non, but not for the same reasons that many here would vote no. Those who would vote no in the UK would probably be centre-right, and vote against regulation (real or imagined), having an EU president and as a protest against Blair. The French voted no because they thought the EU was going 'too Anglo-Saxon', didn't want Turkey in (not that that was anything to do with the constitution) and because they didn't like President Chirac (the 'non' vote was mainly made up of those from the left). French eu-sceptics are not the same as British ones.

Benefits of the EU?
Trade, stronger voice in the world when we work together, single market.

The EU isn't most people's number 1 issue - the Health Service, the economy, taxes and education tend to be more important. It is AN important issue, but not the MOST important one.
I too would like to see Ken Clarke as leader.

Anonymous said...

You lots realy are dreaming, enjoy opposition as that's were you are staying. It would be funny if it wasnt so tragic.

Anonymous said...

You seem to assume that everyone here other than you is a Conservative - I was but now am not (didn't vote at the last election). I don't like the way the party is heading - negative, backward and inward looking etc...
I want a more positive Conservative Party at ease with modern Britain, and to win an election in the UK you need to win the centre ground rather than the extremes of left or right (I mean how far the 'Longest Suicide Note In History' got Michael Foot).
You may well consider the EU to be the most important issue to you, and that is fair enough. I don't. To me the most important issue is probably, right now, the pensions crisis, followed by the public services. To most people the most important issue are the economy, healthcare and education, and not the EU (no matter how strongly they feel about it).

Anonymous said...

So you agree that public services and pensions are critical? and we must protect them????

Anonymous said...

Yes we must - and to do that we should stop Gordon Brown's windfall tax on pensions (still taking £5bn a year out of them) and reform the public services. This is to do with bad domestic policies and not the EU - the EU isn't responsible for MRSA, a declining pensions pot or education stadards (and in actual fact some of those things are not entirely the government's fault either).

Anonymous said...

ever heard of 2002/97/ec?

Anonymous said...

It's one of the EU's directives thats libralizing our publice services.. this one is closing down our postoffices. This is one of the vital publice services you say is nothing to do with the EU.

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