Twenty Questions for Conservatives

1        Cameron gave a “cast iron guarantee”, in the Sun newspaper on Sept 26th 2007, for a Lisbon referendum.   But after the Treaty was ratified, he dropped the commitment.  Should he have changed his mind?

2        The Tory Manifesto (like Labour & Lib-Dems) promised an EU referendum.  Should Cameron honour that promise?  Why did Cameron whip his MPs in Westminster to oppose an EU referendum?

3      Both Conservative and Lib-Dem manifestos promised to address the European parliament’s travelling circus  between Brussels and Strasbourg (costing £200m a year).  Yet the Coalition failed to back moves by Tory MEPs to curtail it.  Why was that?

4        The Party had a commitment to repatriating powers from Brussels.  It has made no attempt to do so.  Was Cameron right to forget it?

5        Do you feel that Cameron tried hard enough to resist EU financial regulation; the EU diplomatic service (EEAS); the European Investigation Order etc etc?  Do you understand why he whipped his MEPs to support the EEAS in Brussels?

6        Do you feel that the government should do more to reform — or withdraw from — the European Arrest Warrant?

7        It is reported that George Osborne plans to make more UK funds available, via the IMF, for the €uro bail-outs.  Do you think that this is a good idea?

8        Do you agree that Abu Qatada, and other foreign terrorist suspects and criminals, should be repatriated, regardless of the European Court of Human Rights?

9        Do you believe that the Coalition’s green policies are about saving the planet — or about political correctness, gesture politics and raising taxes?

10    Do you approve of the plan to cover Britain with 30,000 wind turbines by 2020?  Or do you fear it will despoil  our countryside, raise energy prices, undermine industrial competitiveness, and drive families into fuel poverty?  And that in any case the target will not be achieved, risking serious supply shortages?

11    Are you happy with Osborne’s “static” , zero-sum fiscal model?   Must tax cuts always be compensated by rises elsewhere?   Or do you think that some taxes could be reduced without affecting revenue, and that such tax cuts would promote growth?  Like the 50% rate, and National Insurance holidays for young employees?

12    More generally, do you feel that the Coalition  urgently needs a growth strategy?

13    Do you approve of the government’s university admissions plans, led by Vince Cable’s placeman Professor  Les  Ebdon?  Or do you think that this is a piece of outrageous, Gordon-Brown-style social engineering which will dumb-down our universities and undermine our economy?  And grossly unfair to excellent candidates who will be excluded merely because they’re middle-class?

14    Are you content with the budget cuts to our Armed Forces, which have seen new Nimrod planes cut up for scrap, aircraft carriers planned with no aircraft, and forces morale decimated?  Are you concerned that the government may no longer be able to deliver its first duty — the Defence of the Realm?

15    At a time of economic stringency, are you happy for Foreign Aid to increase while public services at home are cut back?

16    Do you think that the government has done enough to deliver on its immigration targets?

17    It’s reported that David Cameron plans to make the legalisation of same-sex “marriage” the land-mark achievement of his Premiership.  Do you applaud that objective, or do you perhaps feel that he should give higher priority to other policy areas?  Like energy security? Economic recovery?  National independence?

18    Are you concerned that London’s place as a global financial hub is threatened by lack of airport capacity, which is likely to drive business abroad?

19    In that context, are you happy to spend £30 billion on HS2, to cut twenty minutes off the London/Birmingham rail journey?  Or should we have different priorities?

20    While Michael Gove is doing good work on education, do you understand the logic of saying “You can have any kind of school you like — so long as it’s not a Grammar School”?

On all these questions, I find myself at odds with the government, and with the Party.   But the strange thing is that I find that Conservative voters, and Party members, and activists, overwhelmingly agree with me, and not with the Party Panjandrums.  Cameron had better look out.  Party members will be asking why they should continue to support the Party when on so many issues they disagree with it.  At the heart of the problem is the plain fact that David Cameron gives more weight to bien pensant opinion in the Guardian editorial office than he does to his own members.

This article first appeared on ConservativeHome

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21 Responses to Twenty Questions for Conservatives

  1. harry Beckhough says:

    each point casts a shadow over our Party policy which seems to hang on for dear life to EU though the majority of members, now aware of our true situation ,are definitely against. Each point needs to be reiterated carefully in clear and regularly with explanations; usually max.3 points at a time for clarity of acceptaaaaaaance

  2. maureen gannon says:

    I believe that Cameron one of the worse thing that has ever happened to this country indeed I now rate him along with T bLiar , he is as shallow as a dried up stream, say’s what he believes people want to hear, the diva performance of using the veto was a Brian Rix farce, and was purely to avoid giving us a referendum as he would have been forced to give us as his deial that it was a treaty was an out and out lie.
    The sooner he has been given the boot the better I always believed David Davies would have made a good and honest leader but was prepared to give Chamelon a go he failed at the first rung. the tail now wags the dog “Clegg rules OK”

  3. Malcolm Edward says:

    You state my worries and deep concerns about the attitiudes and policies of the leadership of the conservative party to which I am diametrically opposed. It is too much like a continuation of the worst aspects of New Labour which I supported the conservative party to vigorously oppose.

    Either we need a radical transformation within the conservative party, and soon, back to common sense ideas which we can sell to the aspirational floating voter, or else we need a new political party to do that.
    It strikes me that the Conservative party is in the odd position of having a leader who is happy to pursue policies that turn off many core supporters (and floating voters).

    Another thing you can add to your list, is why is the government making defence deals with France, a country that has shown us nothing but antagonism, and attempts economic warfare against us via the EU, has different foreign policy objectives, and is totally untrustworthy in who it leaks information to. And this is at serious expense of our relationship with the US. These agreements need terminating before our defences are entwined and compromised.

  4. Anton York says:

    Your list is a “wish list” to me RH, It is like a dream; but It can’t be fulfilled as no one can be trusted to keep their word.
    I am wavering between voting for UKIP next time or not bothering to vote at all for the first time in my long life, or rather voting but spoiling my vote by writing ‘none of the above’ across my paper. We have three (?) main political parties that are desperate to appear different when in fact they are all the same for 95% of what they want. Very little of that represents the will of the people.

  5. Jan M says:

    Mr Helmer, I give up with the government of this country, of whatever hue.
    I do think that the ordinary educated people of the UK can see what a farce the whole lot are, I despise the EU, I didn’t vote for it or endorse it, so why do you people in our government still endorse it, knowing how corrupt it is, is their not a voice within, that can stand up and speak against it and I mean a LOUD voice?

  6. Bob says:

    Well Rog, I for one support conservative values, which is why I joined UKIP.
    The Tories have become a subsidiary of the Lib Dems, they’re a lost cause.

  7. Peter Hulme Cross says:

    When you put it as succinctly as that, Roger, it’s quite obvious the Conservative Party has got itself the wrong leader. He’s the wrong leader because he is not a Conservative and does not have Conservative values. Maybe that is why he gets on so well with Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander. He’s more Lib Dem and Europhile than Conservative and Eurosceptic.

    But he is good at pulling the wool over people’s eyes making everything he says sound ever so sincere and reasonable. Maybe that is how he got himself elected Leader in the first place.

    Let us not forget he hasn’t won an election for the Conservatives, he’s just avoided defeat by opportunistically striking up an alliance with another like minded person, equally desperate.

    Unfortunately he’ll probably have to lose the Conservatives an Election before they get rid of him.

  8. Adam Hopkirk says:

    Maureen Gannon, poor Rhiannon – Ken’s got wind

  9. Faustiesblog says:

    Welcome to UKIP, Mr H.

    Now perhaps Douglas Carswell and Dan Hannan will follow suit and so begin the stampede.

  10. Adam Collyer says:

    Mr Helmer, you are MOST welcome in UKIP. Like you, I defected from the Tories after many years. I find talking to local Tory activists, that most of them actually agree with most of UKIP’s policies – as do huge swathes of the electorate. The Tory Party is, sadly, rotten to the core and completely disconnected from its grass-roots.

    Anyway, well done! I know it will not have been an easy decision for you to defect, but I believe you will never regret it!

  11. Pingback: Great Post from Roger Helmer MEP | Adam Collyer Blog

  12. Gary Rickard says:

    Roger, hopefully your move to UKIP starts the avalanche that British politics and the British population deserve. I always thought it would take a big name to start things off and now it’s happened.

    As for your twenty questions, they simply highlight that in order for government to make the country a better place, they don’t need trendy initiatives, they just need to stop doing stupid things.

  13. donnyb says:

    in order for government to make the country a better place, they don’t need trendy initiatives, they just need to stop doing stupid things.

    Well said ,sir.

  14. Anton York says:

    Well done with the move to UKIP RH. I think you just got them my vote.
    Do enjoy being outside the tent pi**in in🙂
    And drink heavily

  15. ms m davis says:

    Congratulations on your joining UKIP. Let’s hope you have started the ball rollng and other Conservative greats will follow suit. Dan Hannan? John Redwood? Douglas Carswell? …

  16. OGGA1 says:

    Turned to UKIP when Dodgy Dave done his first bit of fancy footwork in the shape of a U turn,
    First heard you speak at Louth Linc’s some time back, liked what i heard then, am liking more
    what i am hearing now. Do hope your courage in politics shows the way to many more to follow
    on the right route to a pro British party,UKIP. All the best,
    OGGA1.

  17. Derek says:

    Hi Roger,
    Sorry to hear you’ve jumped ship, though I understand completely your frustration at the way you have been treated. Like you, I like the UKIP policies, but I see no prospect of them getting the power to implement them. To have any chance of the quick boost needed, they would need at least a dozen Conservative MPs to defect to UKIP en bloc. I live near Eastleigh, and if a jury were to convict Huhne we would probably get a by election there. My fear is that, as in the past, the UKIP vote could prevent a good EU sceptic Tory from winning and leave a europhile Libdem in place.

    • Bob says:

      Derek@
      IDS is supposed to be EU sceptic but he voted against the referendum!
      Would it be a good idea for UKIP not to stand against him??
      The Tories took us into the ECC and then the EU and they have done nothing to prevent the surrender of our sovereignty.

    • I agree with almost every post here, sadly.

      Derek said “My fear is that, as in the past, the UKIP vote could prevent a good EU sceptic Tory from winning and leave a europhile Libdem in place.” It’s that fear that has got us into the terrible position that we are in now. We need people to vote for policies in which they actually believe or we will have no hope of sorting out the corrupt politics that we have now.

      RH said “Party members will be asking why they should continue to support the Party when on so many issues they disagree with it.” Any thinking party member has already left, or is about to, which is why the support is melting to nothing in the Spring sunshine. Oh, but then we have the proposal to fund the main parties by the Tax Payer, so actual support is not now needed in between elections.

      As we now have Cameron’s five year ‘fixed-term Parliaments’ Bill, the voter is only required every five years. So much for democracy.

  18. Alec Yates says:

    Firstly Roger welcome to UKIP you are a most welcome addition. I saw your speech at Skegness and showed it to our committee last night, during the break to replenish our glasses at the bar. Everyone agreed that you are a natural UKIP spokesman as you speak common sense but not only that you speak very well and will make our national team much stronger.

  19. Gary Rickard says:

    I would suggest that although it might seem that voting UKIP could let in a LibDem or worse, it could also be just what is needed to show David Cameron (fast becoming as delusional as Blair) the error of his policy of not doing anything vaguely conservative.

    Voting for UKIP will give UKIP more influence which can only be good and might just steer Cameron’s (not very) Conservative Party back towards the straight and narrow.

    We reward current Cameron policy of appeasing the LibDems before all else at our peril.

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