Edward McMillan Scott: A delicate flower

EMS, the (former) Conservative MEP, has just been expelled from the Party, for failing to fulfil the solemn commitment he gave in writing before the June 2009 election regarding the formation of a new group in the European parliament.  Urbane and occasionally charming, EMS has always been a committed Europhile, and determined to keep British Conservative MEPs within the uber-federalist EPP group, so as to render the Party’s opposition to EU integration ineffective, at least in Brussels.
 
I well remember our initial delegation meeting after I was first elected in 1999.  EMS was the Leader of our delegation at that time.  William Hague had just announced a new deal with the EPP, under which we should remain members, but at arm’s length — the new arrangement was described as “merely an administrative umbrella” — and we should be free to pursue our own agenda in opposition to the Brussels establishment.  Or so I thought.  At that first meeting, EMS said with evident relief that we had seen off the threat to our relationship with the EPP, and we could continue as before.  I was deeply shocked, and angry, and said so in no uncertain terms, calling down on my head the displeasure of some other members, including notably Bill Newton Dunn, who chose to defect to the Lib-Dems a year later, but was also of the EMS/Europhile persuasion.
 
The altercation that followed set the tone for delegation meetings for a decade, and I sometimes despaired of ever getting out from under the EPP, and of ever working with like-minded Conservatives from other countries to oppose the federalist agenda.  But then came David Cameron, elected to the leadership of the Party on a promise to take us out of the EPP and to form a new group.  It took longer to deliver that promise than some of us hoped or expected, but none-the-less we finally succeeded in forming the group of the European Conservatives, after the 2009 election, and all our 25 Conservative MEPs were committed to joining it.
 
For EMS, this was the final failure of his decade-long campaign to undermine any initiative to form a new group, and to keep us within the EPP — who wanted our numbers and our money, but above all wanted to keep us within their group to prevent us fromforming a clear and effective anti-federalist opposition.  In his disappointment, and in a petulant response, EMS chose to launch a disgraceful and mendacious smear campaign against the new leader of our ECR group, Polish MEP Michal Tomas Kaminski, accusing him of being “homophobic” and “anti-Semitic”.  These charges are clearly false, as is demonstrated by the fact that a couple of weeks ago Kaminski was in Tel Aviv as an honoured guest of the Israeli government — not the sort of welcome usually afforded to an Anti-Semite.
 
Yet today, in the Sunday Papers, I find a headline “I was the victim of Tory smears, says expelled MEP”.  It seems that EMS is happy to dish it out, but rather less willing to take it.  He can smear and slander all he wants, but when the Party simply tries to set the record straight and defend itself, and its associates, he cries foul.
 
And he should not be immune from criticism.  I should hesitate to call EMS an “Anti-Semite”, but in the great Middle East debate about Israel and the Palestinians, he has been highly partisan in the Palestinian cause.  For him to attack Kaminski on the grounds of Anti-Semitism has shades of pots and kettles.
 
So face it, Edward.  You have comprehensively lost the debate in the Party about EU integration, and about the EPP.  You are exposed as one of those MEPs who sought, and obtained, re-selection by making mildly euro-sceptic speeches at home, while promoting the cause of Greater Europe in Brussels.  You have finally been rumbled.  You might at least accept defeat with a better grace.

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1 Response to Edward McMillan Scott: A delicate flower

  1. Tory Outcast says:

    Said almost exactly the same:

    http://www.toryoutcast.com/2009/09/what-is-mcmillan-scott-moaning-about.html

    Is sickening to now see him moaning to whoever will listen. No dignity at all

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