Sunday, March 29, 2009

A man of principle

One of the comments on Tory Boy Blog that particularly struck a chord was one we ourselves have reflected. Simply, it said: "One of the (many) things that really annoys me about politicians is when they start telling me what I think, and what I am concerned about …".

That indeed is the issue with Cameron who, in the interests of party image, has determined that discussion of the European Union is "off limits" and that we must instead buy into his cuddly "social agenda" in order to win him the election.

What people like Cameron simply do not understand is that there are people out in the real world with principles – and a greater grasp than he will ever have of what is important in this life. And on the basis of principles before party, they – which includes this blog – can never wholly support the Tory line as long as it remains equivocal on the issue of the European Union.

It is thus good to see the The News of the World report that Stuart Wheeler, the "Tories' top donor" has donated £100,000 to UKIP and said that he will be voting for them in the June euro elections.

He has told the News of the World that Brussels is a bigger threat to Britain than the economic crisis and he is fed up with leader Cameron's decision to ignore it. Thus he notes that, "The Conservatives … just wish no one would talk about the EU so that they can win the general election in peace." He has also authored a piece in The Sunday Times where he reports that he was told that Cameron had had got 70 Conservative MPs together last week and told them the EU issue did not matter. If that is Cameron's attitude, then he does not "matter".

Nevertheless, we would rather that Wheeler had not supported UKIP, although the message it sends is so powerful that, on balance, it was justified even if it does strengthen a corrupt and dysfunctional party. But, given a choice between corrupt and dysfunctional parties, the one that wants to leave the EU is preferable.

An added bonus of Wheeler's intervention is that it has Iain Dale spitting with fury, fulminating that Wheeler has committed "an act of gross disloyalty", urging that he should now be expelled from the Tory party.

That tells you exactly where Dale is coming from – an ertzatz eurosceptic if ever there was one who, without a single principle in his body, is ready-made for the Cameroon fluff. He seems to annoy someone else as well, for slightly different reasons.

However, Dale's outburst is reflected in some of the other comments on the Tory Boy Blog, an indication that there are Tories out there who still don't get the message: opposition to the European Union is not a passing fad, but a matter of the deepest-held principle. It is not something that can be "parked" merely for electoral convenience.

Stuart Wheeler, as a man of principle, has sent that message. It is one that the hard-core "party above principles" Tories do not want to hear, but it is one that they ignore at their peril.