Thank you Mr Carswell

Thank you Mr Carswell (the former Conservative MP for Clacton and now UKIP candidate) for leaving the Conservative Party. We are better off without you. To see why, let us look firstly at the blog you have published as a new member of UKIP:

We need change in our relationship with Europe.
When we joined what was to become the European Union all those years ago, we imagined we would be joining a prosperous trading block. In the early 1970s, it accounted for almost 40 percent of world economic output.
Today it accounts for a mere 25 percent. In a decade, it’s expected to be down to 15 percent.”

Yes, and a very good thing this fall in the EU’s share of world economic output is too. The EU has 7.3% of the world’s population, does Mr Carswell really think that our share of the world’s wealth should be more than three and a half times our share of the population? This change results from the strength of economic growth in the emerging economies and that is to everybody’s benefit: firstly because economic disparity between the poor and the rich is dangerous for world stability, secondly because we should be glad to see the world’s poor becoming less so, and thirdly for the selfish reason that the richer they are, the more they will be able to trade with us and so increase our prosperity as well.

Mr Carswell should be aware of one simple illustration of how the world has changed. When we joined the then EEC in 1973, the price of oil was some $2 - 3 per barrel. Today it hovers around the $100/barrel mark. Does he think that this should not have changed the balance of economic wealth?

He then followed this blog with an article in the International New York Times, which repeated that inanity from the blog and added:

Instead of using primaries to select candidates for parliamentary seats, party hierarchies parachute in those whom they favour.”

The only reason I can think of for Mr Carswell to use a foreign newspaper to write such rubbish about his own country, is because most of its readers will not recognise that his remarks are simply untrue. The decision on the selection of Conservative parliamentary candidates was previously always made by a general meeting open to all members of the local party. True, Party headquarters has, on occasions, tried to parachute in a preferred candidate from outside, but these attempts have generally failed, indeed for a candidate to be known to have HQ support has been the kiss of death. But the Party is now more and more moving away from the “local Party members” system to taking these decisions by “open primaries”, i.e. a primary in which any elector in that constituency may vote whether or not they are Party members. Two Conservative MPs elected in 2010 had been selected in that way and a number of candidates have already been chosen by that system for the election in 2015.

The Conservative candidate for the Clacton by-election caused by Mr Carswell has been chosen by such an open primary, this was done on 11th September, a week before Mr Carswell’s article was published. There was, however, one candidate who was parachuted in by his party hierarchy for this by-election. The UKIP candidate for Clacton had already been selected, by local UKIP members. When Carswell defected from the Conservative Party, that candidate was unceremoniously booted out and Nigel Farage parachuted in Douglas Carswell to fight the seat.

One other lie in the New York Times article, which says: “Most Laws made in Britain this year emanated from the European Union.” Mr Carswell may no longer be an MP, but he can still read reports by the House of Commons Library, a highly respected and independent source of information. They have studied this question and found:
“It is possible to estimate the proportion of national laws based on EU laws. In the UK, over the twelve-year period from 1997 to 2009 6.8% of primary legislation (Statutes) and 14.1% of secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments) had a role in implementing EU obligations.
It is possible to justify any measure between 15% and 50% or thereabouts. This includes olive and tobacco growing regulations which are unlikely to have much impact in Britain.”

We do not need Mr Carswell’s shallow thinking in the Conservative Party, nor do we want his lies. He is highly suitable for UKIP, where such thinking is a requirement for membership. That is why, Mr Carswell, the Conservative Party is better off without you. Thank you for leaving the Conservative Party.

Robin Baker