TORY SPLIT ON EU IS NOT A HEALTHY STATE OF AFFAIRS
CHRISTOPHER CLAYTON Chesham
CHERYL Gillan MP revealed the poisonous atmosphere within the Conservative parliamentary party in her contribution to the EU debate in last week’s edition of the Buckinghamshire Examiner, in which she said there had been “much commentary on leadership bids within the Conservatives and punishments for holding a different opinion from the current leadership or minor rewards for compliance have become commonplace.”
That, from someone who is directly involved in what she writes about, does not sound like a healthy state of affairs.
It appears that the Conservative Party is at war with itself on the European issue.
Mrs Gillan describes herself as “fiercely British.”
Presumably she would allow others to be “fiercely German,” “fiercely French,” “fiercely Italian” and so on.
The 20th century demonstrated the danger of competing nationalisms and the tragedy that could result.
The Schuman Declaration and the Treaty of Rome (the founding agreements of the European Union, in which the British could and should have had a hand) were born out of a desire for an antidote to such destruction.
Dominic Grieve shows a much more judicious approach in stating that “the current debate is being conducted on a false view of national interest. The lessons of our history are that the wellbeing of our neighbours on the Continent of Europe is critical to our own.”
Voters in the Chesham and Amersham constituency are subject to the local government of three levels of council, town, district and county, all of them dominated by representatives of the Conservative Party.
Yet it is clear that the Conservative Party is not one party but two, with the section to which Mrs Gillan belongs apparently identical to UKIP on what is probably the most significant issue to face this country in recent times, namely whether to continue our membership of the European Union or not.
And it is not just a matter of significance for this country but for the other EU members and for the global political situation, as the recent comments of the US President have shown.
There are many people who normally vote Conservative who would not wish to vote for any representative who is indistinguishable from Nigel Farage on this issue.
It is probable that the reverse situation is true too.
It is time we knew which “tribe” the local Conservative Councillors belong to.
Isn’t it about time the Councillors who represent the people of this area at local level followed the example of the local MPs and revealed their position on this important and pressing issue?