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I will not be a member of such a mongrel party.

Posted by Pete Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I don't suppose this can pass without comment. Over on the Tory blog we see Roger Helmer denouncing the possibility of a merger with the Lib Dems...

I give notice to anyone who may be interested: I will not be a member of such a mongrel party. I will not represent it in Brussels. I will not campaign for it, and I will not vote for it. And nor, I suspect, will most of the Conservatives I know.
Fair enough, one might think. His reasoning being:
What do the Lib-Dems bring to the party? An even more limp-wristed approach to immigration, and justice. A positively dangerous attitude to terrorism, as we can see from the current debate on Control Orders. Their “Pupil Premium”, which subsidises failure when we should be investing in success. A general pretension to fiscal probity, undermined at every point by a determination to spend on particular pet issues. A blind, lunatic obsession with the climate issue, and a closed-minded determination to spend eye-watering sums on futile attempts at mitigation. And above all, total subservience to the EU.

We shall never have a robust EU policy while we consort with Clegg and his kind. We shall never see the repatriation of powers from Brussels that we promised (and then forgot). We shall continue meekly passing authority and responsibility for our governance from Westminster to the EU.
But can anyone say it would have been any different with an outright victory under Cameron? And does this not come a little late? The time for breaking ranks with the Cameron loser was long ago. Had Mr Helmer and his kind, not least the pretenders Hannan and Carswell et al, grown a spine and spoke up long before, perhaps the Tories might not have lost an unlosable election to bring us here in the first place.

After years of Helmer serving as a token eurosceptic for the Cameron party, it's difficult to take this at all seriously. It's still only a phoney gesture. Since the same applies to the Conservative party with or without a Lib Dem merger, we will need to see bolder statements than this to be convinced. And then it will be interesting to see if Daniel "I voted for David Cameron and would do so again" Hannan will do likewise, or if maintaining his cushy little number doesn't warrant the risk. The smart money is on the latter.

Either way, with or without the Lib Dems, the party remains as something I do not recognise as conservative. I will not be a member of such a party. I will not campaign for it, and I will not vote for it. And nor, I suspect, will most of the conservatives I know. Go figure.