...would bring about a much-needed shot in the arm for democracy and accountability in Britain and the European Union." So says a posting on ToryBoy Blog, known officially as Conservative Home blog.
Its starting point is a remarkably silly and predictable sounding piece in the Financial Times Magazine, which seems to hit out at euroscepticism as being outdated scare-mongering (people like going to European countries so they must like the EU) and at the Conservative Party, which, according to George Parker, has now defeated its europhiliac (sorry, europhile) wing and can go forward on a eurosceptic ticket.
This may be news to some of us as we survey the position of such luminaries as Kenneth Clarke, Malcolm Rifkind and Francis Maude, not to mention the weaselly responses given by the Shadow Foreign Secretary to perfectly straightforward questions.
What surprised me somewhat was the attitude of the posting itself, written, one must assume, by the editor, Tim Montgomerie though he may have delegated. There seems to be an assumption that the Boy-King of the Conservative Party is, indeed, a long-time eurosceptic and will restore, well, give a shot in the arm of democracy and accountability in Britain and the European Union.
First things first. How has the Boy-King's long-term euroscepticism manifested itself? Enquiring minds want to know. They want a list of his words and deeds that prove this.
Next: what will be that shot in the arm and how will it be delivered? We are told that the Social Chapter will be taken back into British legislation. Hmmm. A few problems with that:
1. The Social Chapter does not exist as a separate entity. The Boy-King and his whizzkids will have to find which Articles they mean and deal with them separately.
2. The only way a Treaty can be changed is through an IGC. There are various ways of ensuring that it is called. Which one will the Conservative government use?
3. The changed Treaty at the end of the IGC has to be signed by all participants. How will the Conservative government ensure that it happens?
We at the Bruges Group are looking forward to the various plans the thinkers and strategists of the Conservative Party will produce in order to give that "much-needed shot in the arm for democracy and accountability in Britain and the European Union".