Mandelson: Tories sit with “xenophobes & homophobes” in Europe

Lord Mandelson has gone on the attack over Europe & the extremism of the modern Tory party, attacking David Cameron for sitting with "xenophobes and homophobes".

Lord Mandelson has gone on the attack over Europe and the extremism of the modern Tory party, attacking David Cameron for eschewing alliances with mainstream centre-right leaders like Angela Merkel and Nikolas Sarkozy and choosing to sit alongside “the xenophobes and homophobes” in the European Parliament – like Michal Kaminski, who Left Foot Forward revealed last week was active in a 1,500 strong neo-Nazi skinhead movement.

Lord Mandelson, speaking to Progress and the Foreign Press Association this morning, also criticised the Tories for not having changed at all and still not wanting to. He said:

“The modern case for Europe strengthens every day. Europe is a multiplier for British strength and influence – on banking regulation, on the rules and openness of our biggest market, on climate change, on global imbalances. The Conservative Party does not get this simple point. If I can borrow a leftist expression for one moment, the Cameron position seems to be ‘capitalism in one country’.

“They are parish pump politicians for a global age. David Cameron chooses to sit alongside the xenophobes and homophobes in the European Parliament. He rejects co-operation with mainstream Centre-Right allies like Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy. And this from a party that used to think statecraft was its birthright. This parochial policy alone should disqualify them from high office…

“After 1997 a Conservative Party less divided by faction, with fewer ideological obsessions with tax cutting or anti Europeanism could have competed with New Labour for this political territory. But it didn’t, and in reality, under the thin veneer of change, it still doesn’t want to.

Answering questions after his speech, the business secretary mocked the Tories for being so extreme his opposite number Ken Clarke was “isolated in the Tory party” and the only pro-European on the front bench, adding:

“Let me just say this about the Tory party, they may not get it, but the public do. The public gets that we have to be part of Europe to multiply our strengths to assert ourselves to multiply what we can achieve in the rest of the world. They know that when they see Tory candidates who are anti-Europe on a scale and with a number hitherto unknown in the Conservative party.

“I meet and talk to Ken Clarke, my opposite number, I couldn’t agree with him more on Europe. I agree with him on many things. It’s a shame that he’s so isolated in the Tory party. You name me, go on, this is a test for all of you, you name me a single further member of the Tory shadow cabinet who holds the same views on Europe as Ken Clarke. Go on, name one. Actually I bet you can’t name a member of the shadow cabinet.

Name a member of the shadow cabinet who’s pro-Europe other than Ken Clarke. Go on, go on… I’ve looked, I’ve searched, I’ve tried to find a friend for Ken. He’s out there, lonely, friendless, looking for company. I’ve tried to find him, I can’t find one anywhere. Not just in the shadow cabinet but in the whole of the front bench.

“I’ll tell you something about the modern Conservative party when you see these… it’s like climate change. Did you see the poll of Conservative candidates in the Financial Times? They don’t actually think climate change is important they don’t think it should be a priority for a future conservative government.”

The issue of Europe was also raised at the final prime minister’s questions this afternoon, former Europe minister Denis MacShane telling the Commons:

“The Tories are so isolated in Europe, they’re jumping into bed and breakfast with people whose views on homosexuality, the Holocaust and the Waffen SS are unacceptable in our democracy.

The prime minister replied by saying:

“If the Conservative party had really changed they would have changed their position on Europe. Instead, they’ve moved to the extremes. They can’t find alliances with Merkel and Sarkozy, they’ve got into alliances with some of the most extreme allies in Europe.”

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15 Responses to “Mandelson: Tories sit with “xenophobes & homophobes” in Europe”

  1. Ged Robinson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Mandelson: Tories sit with "xenophobes & homophobes" in Europe:

  2. graham hitchen

    RT @leftfootfwd: Mandelson: Tories sit with "xenophobes & homophobes" in Europe:

  3. the14th disciple

    RT @gedrobinson: RT @leftfootfwd: Mandelson: Tories sit with "xenophobes & homophobes" in Europe:

  4. Duncan Wiles

    RT @leftfootfwd: Mandelson: Tories sit with "xenophobes & homophobes" in Europe

  5. AnyoneButCameron

    RT @leftfootfwd: Mandelson: Tories sit with "xenophobes & homophobes" in Europe

  6. North Briton

    RT @gedrobinson: RT @leftfootfwd: Mandelson: Tories sit with "xenophobes & homophobes" in Europe:

  7. Rory

    Ah, back to the question of homophobia again.

    Yesterday I asked Mr Das if he thinks it is OK for some organisations that are not businesses to discriminate, such as Christian youth hostels and the Black Police Association.

    I look forward to hearing his response.

  8. ashcash

    “xenophobes & homophobes”
    who is listening though shamik.

    Question though: The country is looking for a change. No one yet is able to answer what that change may be.

  9. Henry

    It’s rather relevant that the Tories are in bed with a bunch of far right maniacs in Europe. Same Old Tories & so on (except rather worse).

  10. truthmonkey

    No mention of the extremist-left that the Liberal Democrats have aligned themselves with in the ALDE?

    For that matter is the S&D grouping totally without objectionable members? I doubt it very much…

  11. Tyler

    Lets have a look at some of Labour’s European allies then shall we?

    Proinsias De Rossa MEP (Ireland)

    Born Francis Ross, Proinsias De Rossa is PES MEP for the Dublin constituency and former member of the IRA. De Rossa was interned by the Irish government in the late 1950s for his involvement in the IRA’s border campaign – a campaign which caused the deaths of six British policemen.

    Democratic Society Party (Turkey)

    Despite being outside the European Union, the Party of the European Socialists has awarded the Turkish Democratic Society Party associate membership of their party. According to the European Union Institute for Security Studies, it is an “obvious secret that [the Democratic Society Party] is connected to the PKK, the militant terrorist organisation headed up by Abdullah Öcalan. Following a KPP terrorist attack in October 2007, Labour’s very own David Miliband had the following to say: “The PKK is trying to destroy the Turkish government’s efforts to improve the situation of people in the south east of the country, provoke conflict between Turkey and Iraq and damage regional stability… I call on the international community to be unequivocal in its condemnation of PKK terrorism and to support Turkey in restoring stability”.

    Self-Defence of the Republic (Poland)

    The Self-Defence of the Republic party claims to represent the interests of poor, agricultural workers against big business. It is more famous, however, for the erratic behaviour of its leader Andrzej Lepper, the recipient of two honorary degrees from the anti-Semitic Interregional Academy of Personnel Management which counts, amongst others, American white supremacist David Duke as an honorary professor. According to the BBC, his party anthem once featured the line “this land is your land, this land is my land [and] we won’t let anyone punch us in the face” – somewhat unsurprising, given Lepper’s multiple convictions for assault. The Party of the European Socialists welcomed a Self-Defence MEP into their grouping in December 2004.

    Giulietto Chiesa MEP (Italy)

    A former communist party official and television journalist, Giulietto Chiesa has sat with the British Labour delegation in the Party of European Socialists since 2006. Over the past five years, his parliamentary activities have largely focussed around organising screenings in Parliamentary buildings of his 9/11 conspiracy theory film “Zero” which alleges that the Pentagon was actually hit by a missile and that the Twin Towers were really detonated by explosives placed inside the building. Turning to other international events, Chiesa stated his opinion that “Russia did precisely what had to be done” during last year’s Georgia crisis.

  12. Henry

    Tyler: I don’t know about all the people on your list, but the unpleasant Self-Defence of the Republic (Poland) were actually in coalition with the Tories’ notorious allies, the Law & Justice Party from 2007. Indeed, their leader was Deputy Prime Minister.

    They are not in the Party of European Socialists (PES).

    It seems they are (or were) friends of David Cameron’s chums…

  13. Henry

    Sorry, above should read that these nasty folk were in coalition with the Tories’ allies from 2005 to 2007…

  14. Alex

    RT @leftfootfwd: Mandelson: Tories sit with "xenophobes & homophobes" in Europe

  15. A weak and divided voice - what the coalition means for Britain in Europe | Left Foot Forward

    […] say about their new group, evidence uncovered by Left Foot Forward sees regular examples of how marginalised they are. Having fewer MEPs than the Greens makes them only the fifth largest group in the […]

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