Archive for mai, 2013

PM Cameron’s Relations with Old Tories - by Michael Webster

Mercredi, mai 29th, 2013

Bagehot, an editorialist of the Economist, paints a gloomy picture of Prime Minister Cameron’s relations with the Tory old guard.

The Conservative Associations around Britain are growing increasingly disgruntled with his policies on immigration, defence cuts, a too weak exit strategy from Europe and, above all, gay marriage. Their members’ average age is approaching 60 and they cling to the old values of sound economic policies, Church, family and strong policing.

David Cameron, after three successive Tory electoral defeats, felt the need for change. Hence, his “modernising” campaign (which he sold as a reaffirmation of Conservative values), included favouring gay marriage and renewable energy. However, he failed to obtain an outright majority necessitating a coalition with the Liberals and the adoption of policies which further watered down Conservative ones.

The population is ageing and senior citizens are more likely to vote. Yet it seems to me that there is a great need to rejuvenate the Party and make it an important priority to increase our appeal to a younger generation, if we are to have a hope of winning the next election.

Merkel “to lobby for UK membership” of EU.

Vendredi, mai 17th, 2013

David Cameron is facing renewed pressure over Europe after Angela Merkel has said she would lobby for “our British friends” to remain in the EU.

The head of the CBI John Cridland has also warned that the “inward-looking” tussle over Europe looks like a “diversion” from promoting growth and competitiveness.

Voters also appear unimpressed, with a poll showing 64% think Mr Cameron is motivated more by tactics than principle when it comes to Europe.

But leading eurosceptic Peter Bone is pleased with the new focus, telling The House magazine it has put Parliament at “the centre of the political debate”.

Following the strong showing of UKIP with some 25% of the vote in the recent local council elections, this could just be viewed as the eurosceptic wing naturally pressuring Conservative party strategists to now try and “Out-UKIP UKIP”. However, this can lead the party into the dangerous and emotive waters of Immigration, not necessarily a vote winner in swing seats at a general election and when the Economy, Employment and Healthcare are considered much more important issues.

Mr Cameron also has to respond to the perception of voters that he is motivated more by tactics than principle when it comes to EU membership. Noting that Mrs Thatcher in her prime was not necessarily liked but respected for her conviction in getting things done, the prime minister now has the opportunity to show more conviction & leadership on Europe given the powerful and influential helping hand that Chancellor Merkel has extended to him.

As open trading nations, there is a natural alignment of interests between Britain and Germany in taking maximum benefit from “deepening” the current single market in Europe and removing structural obstacles to competitiveness and growth. The opportunity is there for the Uk to benefit from a strong partnership with Germany, given the current imbalance in economic power and influence within the traditional Franco-German axis.

Margaret Thatcher: A woman who was first among equals

Dimanche, mai 5th, 2013

To complement the personal tributes to Margaret Thatcher by members of British Conservatives in Paris and which can be found in the left hand column of this website, a link is provided on this blog to the article below by her biographer Charles Moore.

Taken from The Telegraph of Saturday, 13th April 2013:

Margaret Thatcher did more than simply change Britain in the 1980s. Her influence on the way in which British politics are conducted endures today. Charles Moore examines how she showed the men around her a new way to govern.