Not all Tories are vermin.
Yet. But they’re working on it.
Anyone who questions that should read Edward McMillan-Scott’s apologia in today’s Yorkshire Post.
It is a critique of Cameron’s and the Tories’ new-found friends among the fringes of Eastern Europe. McMillian-Scott states his case concisely, and without whinging:
After the European elections, complying with a manifesto commitment, I left the mainstream centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and joined the ECR group.
It was formed because, during his leadership campaign, David Cameron had promised that his MEPs would leave the EPP, largely continental Christian Democrats and conservatives but seen by many as too “federalist”.
I have always been a Conservative internationalist, believing that Britain should be leading in Europe – not leaving it. The EPP is the party of Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy and Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish conservative who currently chairs all EU meetings.
He points out, pungently, that his expulsion from the Tory Party puts him in an exclusive club:
When I was elected leader of the Conservative MEPs in 1997, The Times described me as “a moderate pro-European, with a general loyalty to the party line”.
I am to this day, and I have asked for the Conservative whip to be restored. Is it not telling that, after a three-month onslaught on MPs’ expenses, the whip was removed from no Conservative MP except Derek Conway?
Once upon a time, not so long ago, the mainstream of the Tory Party was also:
“moderate pro-European, with a general loyalty to the party line”
If there is a “save Edward McMillan-Scott for the nation” campaign, it has Malcolm’s support.