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Further signs that Blair and his Europe loving chums are preparing to sell out British interests comes in this report by the BBC (here) of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

That the conduct of senior ministers is such that it attracts the criticism that Beckett’s reluctance to attend a session ahead of an EU summit was “a failure of accountability to Parliament” is, on any view, very grave indeed. But what can this shifty duo be afraid of?

They fear that even a modicum of skilful cross-examination will reveal the real plans that Blair and his Europhiliac chums have for the discredited, unloved and once-dead European Constitution, namely that the core provisions which, inter alia, give the personality of a sovereign state to the EU and remove from the British people yet further areas upon which they may freely govern themselves, are to be revived in a form which Blair, in one last act of treachery, believes he can slip under the radar and to which an incoming Brown administration will thus be bound. All this to be achieved without the full-hearted consent of the British people by way of a referendum.

They know, of course, that the British people will never ever give such consent which is why every subterfuge is to be used to commit us to the perma-socialism of the EU without any attempt to achieve the consent of the British people.

This makes it vital that we watch every move they make to frustrate such treachery.

Let us have a truly radical policy for education.

If, as is claimed, the Conservative party is the party of choice, then let the people choose: let local authorities, charities, business, philanthropists etc. set up such schools as they wish, be they Grammar Schools, Technical Schools, City Academies or Comprehensives. Give Parents School Vouchers for use as they wish, where they wish, even at fee-paying schools and let us then see which type of school produces the best educated and most socially mobile pupils.

The proof of the pudding will very much be in the eating.

Stand by for red faces all round as the results fly in the face of the political elite’s view of the world.

Oh to be in Crete now that spring is here!

Thus David Cameron as he contemplated his short break in the sun, leaving behind him a trail of destruction in the wake of the row within the Conservative party about education policy. Meanwhile Graham Brady, whose courageous resignation this week has won him many admirers, has returned to the fray with a further defence of his position and other MPs have entered the lists. Dominic Grieve, MP for Beaconsfield, not someone who might readily be thought of as a rebel, told his local newspaper, according to the Evening Standard:

“Our local schools are very good and provide excellent education for the students,” he. “This is why I am pleased that although my own party is looking at ways of improving education nationally through reforming the existing comprehensive system, there is no question of our changing the selective education system in Buckinghamshire against the wishes of the local community.”

“We must also ensure that if further grammar or secondary schools are needed they can be supplied within the county.”

It will be interesting to see if he gets a midnight knock on the door from his friendly neighbourhood Whip and finds himself being trashed in the national press shortly thereafter.

Nadine Dorries, MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, already proving to be an independently minded contributor to debate in the Conservative party, has written a Comment piece for the Independent (here) which hardly oozes support fro the Cameron-Willetts line.

It is the sense of both the size of the dissent to the leadership line and of the feeling that this is a policy too far that must or ought to trouble the front bench of the party. It really does not pay to kick large numbers of your supporters in the teeth.

The rumpus shows no sign of subsiding and unless Cameron acts soon to get a grip on things, it can only damage his position.

Vanity Tourist Anthony “It’s Tuesday so it must be Sierra Leone” Blair has evidently been needled by his critics. Speaking at Lungi airport, Sierra Leone after being fêted by the locals, he attacked their “cynicism” of those who have had the temerity to speak out against him and his self-important tour of what he sees as scenes of triumph.

Meanwhile, The United Kingdom has two Prime Ministers and a Deputy Prime Minister. One PM is gadding about Africa preening himself, the Deputy PM is holidaying in the West Indies and the other PM has disappeared.

What a shower!

One of the characteristic features of the early Blair years was that Alistair Campbell controlled with both great care and almost military discipline the way in which stories were to be allowed to develop, starting off with ensuring via pager and mobile phone that individual MPs were always kept “on message” through to the use of brute cajolery against those who were attempting to move the agenda away from New Labour’s perceived take on anything you care to name.

Heir to Blair Cameron may think, even believe, he is, but the presentational side of things shows little sign of emulating New Labour in the late 1990s. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, it would be erroneous to suggest that the Grammar Schools argument has been anything other than a PR disaster. Now George Osborne, presented with a bone to chew whilst speaking at an event organised by think-tank Policy Exchange in London, took it between his teeth and proceeded manfully to chew upon it, egged on by a party activist who doubtless could see the flaws in the expressed policy at a thousand paces.

Mr. Osborne, who, you may recall, is Shadow Chancellor rather than Shadow Education Minister, took his party’s policy deeper into the hole which Messrs. Cameron and Willetts had been carefully digging for some time. Normally the idea on such occasions is to stop digging and make your way carefully and quickly out of the whole. But no, Little George could not resist the temptation to play and so arming himself with a large shovel he climbed down and started to dig alongside his two colleagues.

Now at one stage the party’s policy on Grammar Schools appeared to be (1) We do not plan to build any Grammar Schools because we have come to the conclusion that they inhibit rather than promote social mobility; (2) Existing Grammar Schools are excellent places and we have no plans to interfere with them: they are safe in our hands; (3) instead of Grammar Schools we are, for want of anything with which to trump Labour, going to adopt the Blairite City Academies as policy.

Since then Shadow Europe Minister Graham Brady has resigned after concluding he cannot support his Leader, given that his constituency harbours several Grammar Schools and by damning them with faint praise, Cameron has in fact done a considerable amount to undermine Grammar Schools.

Worse was to come, however, with Osborne’s two pennyworth: “We don’t believe in schools choosing pupils. We believe in pupils choosing schools.” He could not have damned Grammar Schools more succinctly. He went on to make it plain that even if an area wanted new Grammars, they were not going to get them.

There is no evidence that the leadership is trying to draw a line under this unhappy affair and one is left wondering what the agenda is, if there is one. At the moment the word ‘shambles’ slips into mind. Alistair Campbell and his gang would never have allowed this one to see the light of day let alone rumble on for a couple of weeks. Meanwhile “Dave” is off sunning himself somewhere.

Last night’s beauty parade of the six hopefuls vying with one another was, to say the least, disappointing. I suppose it comes from a party which conducts its electioneering on the basis of slogans rather than meaningful observations: this was full of jargonizing and sloganising of the worst sort and as such was really very anodyne.

The funniest bit by far was Paxman’s enquiry of them all as to who would get their vote if they were not standing had all of them save Cruddas (who gave a swift endorsement for Harriet Harman), Paxo fished them out one by one from the perma-slime where they proceeded to wriggle and spin in the air like so many eels. That ought to be compulsory viewing!

Generally it was an unrevealing episode but one did get some clear views of the candidates. Blears is dreadfully Mickey Mouse (and I don’t mean her diminutive size, though that is, unfortunately, a problem for her whether she likes it or no: can you see her deputizing for Brown in negotiations with a tall and imposing representative of a nation of more misogynist tendencies such as Saudi Arabia? It does not bear thinking about, really). Hain is a hot air merchant of the worst sort, a real bandwagon chaser. Benn alarmingly has mannerisms just like his father who was, well, alarming.

Harriet Harman played the ‘we need a woman’ card, thus firmly abjuring all thoughts of a meritocracy. She reminded us of why socialism in general and Labour in particular is always so destructive of progress and enterprise. Cruddas seemed to be rather too certain of not winning to be credible as a candidate. Johnson probably put up the best performance, but managed to evince slyness and sharpness at every turn.

Benn in opening parroted John F Kennedy in calling for us all to give something back: what was to be given was not specified, but I suspect Gordon Brown could tell you, given his experience as a looter of the British pocket. Hain played upon his jailed and persecuted parents, who are not standing for the deputy leadership, and otherwise was loud but empty. Johnson claimed, to the astonishment of the entire nation, that John Prescott had been brilliant: proof if you needed it that some politicians will overturn truth however bizarre it may be at the drop of a hat.

Harman let the cat out of the bag. She said they had to win the marginals in order to deliver the goodies to their heartlands. So remember you out there in the marginals, you are but a means to an end and that is the only use you are to Labour, the stepping stones to power for them to spend our money on their core supporters’ constituencies.

Blears too played the woman card: why is it that Socialist despise meritocracy so much? What is so wrong with “May the best man win”. (Oops!) She is unlikely to be taken seriously.

The winner: probably Johnson followed by Benn. Best result for the Tories: Blears, by a country mile.

Whatever view the French, Dutch or for that matter British people may have on the matter of the supposedly defunct Constitution, the European Union clearly has it in mind to brush aside the ‘No’ votes of the former and the well-known likelihood that Britain would also vote ‘No’ to any Constitution.

European organs are proceeding on the basis that it is just a matter of time before we are all subsumed in one great Serfdom, The United States of Europe. This we may conclude from a resolution debated last week by the European Parliament at its Strasbourg site (here). Slipped into the tail end of a resolution about “the current crisis in the World Bank” was this particularly sinister little gem:

“The European Parliament………6. Calls for increased coordination of the Member States within the international financial institutions in order to exert influence over the governance of the world economy and suggests to this end that, pending legal personality for the Union, the Commission should have observer status at the Bank, enabling it to attend and intervene at certain councils;…”

Legal personality means in this context that legal personality to be established by Article 1-7 of the proposed European Constitution which was so decisively rejected by France and The Netherlands and which Britain too would overwhelmingly reject if given the chance. That legal personality is, if one reads the Constitution as a whole, intended to be the legal personality of a State, all the trappings of which are given to the EU under this constitution.

Make no mistake: whatever has happened in the past is to be ignored and the EU plans to impose this diktat of European statehood upon us whether we like it or no. Why else speak in this resolution of legal personality and of giving the EU the de facto status of a State at the World Bank?

We will never yield to this.


Graham Brady’s resignation letter reveals that his position is one of long-held principle and that his resignation must have been all but inevitable. But his letter also reveals some matters which will, if he has the wit to recognize it, cause Mr. Cameron considerable difficulties.

Firstly, it has been the contention of Cameron and Willetts that, whilst they recognize that existing Grammar Schools are doing an excellent job and the existing schools will not be closed or otherwise undermined, they are poor at promoting social mobility and doing the job for which they are supposed to be so good, namely giving children from less privileged backgrounds a leg up into the nation’s best universities and thence as high flyers into the jobs market.

Graham Brady bluntly says that “David Willetts’ argument that grammar schools impede social mobility has gone much further and undermines the schools in my constituency which continue to achieve excellent results for children of all abilities and from all social backgrounds.” Thus without equivocation he accuses Cameron of doing precisely that which he claimed not to be doing ,namely damaging existing schools. Brady must be right. How can it be said of the existing schools that they are, in effect elitist and do not promote social mobility and not thereby undermine them? Mr. Brady despairingly speaks of opponents of Grammar Schools dusting off “their grammar school ballot literature”.

Secondly his letter reveals bluntly that his has been no Clause IV moment for Cameron but has in reality been a PR disaster, revealing that the party is hopelessly split on a major matter of policy and that Cameron is actually pursuing a policy with which most of his party and voters appear not to agree. At the very least the way in which this has been handled calls into question both Cameron’s judgement and his competence.

Meanwhile it is Graham Brady who comes out of this affair with his reputation and honour intact.

Graham Brady MP

The resignation today of Mr. Graham Brady, who sits as Member of Parliament for Altrincham & Sale in the Conservative interest, from his frontbench position as Shadow Europe Minister on a matter of principle is deeply to be regretted, though it must evoke much admiration for the honourable course which he has taken, so in contrast to those members of the present Government who, having been found out in incompetence not to say nincompoopery, cling on to their office by the tips of their fingernails.

The issue upon which he has chosen this commendable course is that of Tory policy on Grammar Schools. Since the matter was so carelessly raised by David Willetts nearly two weeks ago and then exploited by party leader David Cameron as a means of demonstrating that he is in charge of the party and that he is taking on those he feels are capable of blocking his path to power, Mr. Brady has made a number of statements in which he has defended the concept of Grammar Schools. He had made the mistake of daring to assert that Grammar Schools promote rather than hold back social mobility and in support of his case produced statistical data which he disclosed to The Times and made reference to the Grammar Schools in his constituency which he held up as examples of how a significant proportion of their pupils were in fact from much disadvantaged backgrounds.

In resigning he said “Faced with a choice between a front bench position that I have loved and doing what I believe to be right for my constituents and for the many hundreds of thousands of families who are ill-served by state education in this country, there is in conscience only one option open to me”.

Tory policy on Grammar Schools is now in some disarray. Although the idea that in government they would not open any new Grammar Schools has been around for some time and was not, in fact, suddenly sprung on the party, it was the manner in which Shadow Education minister Willetts and Cameron dealt with the issue that has got so many backs up both at Westminster and at the grassroots of the party. Cameron, indicating that he was not prepared to debate the matter, describing such discussion as “pointless” and later went on to use phrases such as “There’s a fantasy element to the debate” and “It’s delusional to talk about these things in the future when we didn’t do them in the past.” and “We need to clear this out of the way. It’s been a chain around our necks.” Given that a YouGov poll for the Daily Telegraph indicate that some 70% of Conservative voters support selective education, this may yet prove to be a cause of serious disaffection from both his policies and his style and raise serious questions about both his judgement and the unity of the party.

The resignation today of Mr. Graham Brady, who sits as Member of Parliament for Altrincham & Sale in the Conservative interest, from his frontbench position as Shadow Europe Minister on a matter of principle is deeply to be regretted, though it must evoke much admiration for the honourable course which he has taken, so in contrast to those members of the present Government who, having been found out in incompetence not to say nincompoopery, cling on to their office by the tips of their fingernails.

The issue upon which he has chosen this commendable course is that of Tory policy on Grammar Schools. Since the matter was so carelessly raised by David Willetts nearly two weeks ago and then exploited by party leader David Cameron as a means of demonstrating that he is in charge of the party and that he is taking on those he feels are capable of blocking his path to power, Mr. Brady has made a number of statements in which he has defended the concept of Grammar Schools. He had made the mistake of daring to assert that Grammar Schools promote rather than hold back social mobility and in support of his case produced statistical data which he disclosed to The Times and made reference to the Grammar Schools in his constituency which he held up as examples of how a significant proportion of their pupils were in fact from much disadvantaged backgrounds.

In resigning he said “Faced with a choice between a front bench position that I have loved and doing what I believe to be right for my constituents and for the many hundreds of thousands of families who are ill-served by state education in this country, there is in conscience only one option open to me”.

Tory policy on Grammar Schools is now in some disarray. Although the idea that in government they would not open any new Grammar Schools has been around for some time and was not, in fact, suddenly sprung on the party, it was the manner in which Shadow Education minister Willetts and Cameron dealt with the issue that has got so many backs up both at Westminster and at the grassroots of the party. Cameron, indicating that he was not prepared to debate the matter, describing such discussion as “pointless” and later went on to use phrases such as “There’s a fantasy element to the debate” and “It’s delusional to talk about these things in the future when we didn’t do them in the past.” and “We need to clear this out of the way. It’s been a chain around our necks.” Given that a YouGov poll for the Daily Telegraph indicate that some 70% of Conservative voters support selective education, this may yet prove to be a cause of serious disaffection from both his policies and his style and raise serious questions about both his judgement and the unity of the party.

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