Saturday, October 01, 2005

So Europe Doesn't Matter Any More...

With the political media slavering at the prospect of next week's Big Brother contest (Mr Naughty was virtually wetting himself on Today this am), we've been sharply reminded that we can't ignore Europe.

This time it's the moneymen, who are alarmed at the prospect of Ken becoming leader.

Stuart Wheeler 'who has given the Tories £5m, told the Sun that the former chancellor "would split the party from top to bottom over Europe".

Lord Kalms, a former Tory treasurer and one of its biggest donors, said he could not be an "active member, or indeed even a passive member" of the party if Mr Clarke won.

Sir Tom Cowie, told the Guardian: "We want youth, not people past their sell by date ... Clarke is obviously a very good person but he's not enough of a Eurosceptic."

True, Sir Michael Bishop is backing Ken. But then he's a longtime Europhile, as you might expect from the head of a European airline.

And yes, you might say "well, it's outrageous that these guys should tell us who to have as leader just 'cos they're rich".

But they're simply highlighting the fact that we ignore Europe at our peril.

PS On the general subject of financial support for political parties, there's a good letter in today's Times from Oliver Heald. He's responding to the incessant cries for state funding:

'Voters would rather their taxes were spent on schools and hospitals than on party political broadcasts, billboards or political junk mail. State funding would reduce the dependence of parties upon their supporters and would increase the distance between politicians and the electorate.

If political parties are unable to raise money, that is their problem.

Just as we no longer subsidise failing industries, nor should taxpayers be forced to subsidise failing political parties.'



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