Straun Stevenson MEP, who paints himself as a Eurosceptic so as to ensure a high placement on the Tory list in Scotland has entered the crowded lists of the EPP debate.
Quoted in the Sunday Herald, this Vice-president of the EPP-ED comes up with what I might generously describe as the worst possible solution. He favours "forming a new party after the next European elections",
“We would have to sit round the table on a weekly basis with these fascists and nutters that nobody else will sit with. I tell you now that I refuse to do that. I don’t care who’s ordering me to do that. I won’t come back and stand for election as a Conservative in Scotland when I’m sitting in a group with Le Pen. I’m sorry, but I’m just not prepared to do it.”
Right, where to start? Setting up a group after the 2009 elections would mean that people could legitmately attack the Tories for being allied to the EPP, which you must recall supports the Constitution, the Euro membership for all, a European Public Prosecutor, greater power forthe ECJ etc. No matter how much the Tories state that they will leave after the election people won't believe them. They have proised as much before. In the meantime over 2 million pounds of their money (ok taxpayers money granted to the Tories) will have been handed over to the EPP to fight federalist campaigns.
Other ideas, suggested by Hague this week suggest leaving in a few months aafter doing the groundwork to set up a group. Even leaving now and sitting as Non Iscrit (NI) would give the Tories the opportunoity to create a group, at least other parties such as the ODS an Justice and Law might believe that they meant it this time. He knows that the NI is not a group, he knows that they don't have group meetings in any meaningful way, he is being deliberately misleading in calling it a group.
He goes on however,
"Stevenson, Scotland’s senior Tory MEP, added that it was important Cameron maintained strong relations with like-minded, centre-right parties across Europe, “and not divorce himself from them within hours of becoming leader of the Conservatives”."
Like minded! In what way are these people like minded to the vast majority of Tory members who would like to have no political truck with them? In many ways, economically at least the Tories have more in common with sectionsof the Liberal group in the Parliamentt than they do with the EPP. They could work closely with the German FPD, the Dutch VVD or the Flemish VLD more comfortably and with a liker mind than with the CDU, the CD&V or other EPP members.
Stevenson burnishes his scep credentials with trenchant articles in the European Journal, but when push comes to shove the kilted wonder is as bad as the rest of them.