Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's the way you tell 'em

A glass half full or half empty? Half full says ConHome, definitely. Tim Montgomerie is excited, poor chap, by the fact that 37 Conservative MPs (thirty-seven!) defied the Whip and voted for Douglas Carswell's Amendment yesterday to reduce contributions to the EU at a time when everybody is tightening belts. Well, goody-goody.

On the other hand 12 MPs who also signed the Amendment decided for whatever reason not to vote for it. (I must admit I am a little surprised at Philip Davies.)

The really joyous news as far as ConHome is concerned is that
The overall debate was a festival of Euroscepticism with particularly strong contributions from younger, newer Tory MPs. One got the sense that the baton of opposition to the European superstate was passing to a new generation. Priti Patel, in particular, was on great form.
Ms Patel, I may add, was also one of the MPs who, having signed the amendment, did not bother to vote for it. Justine Greening, who apparently made some "robust" statements, did not bother to vote for the amendment. But then, she is on the front bench, not that she was particularly courageous when she had no official position.

As a matter of fact, I was rather impressed by Gisela Stuart's intervention:
I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. She says that this debate demonstrates the importance that the Government attach to giving the House a say. Can she tell us whether a vote on the matter, either way, would make the slightest bit of difference?
Indeed. And the answer from the "robust" Ms Greening?
The hon. Lady is assuming that those Members who have tabled amendments will press them to a vote. Perhaps she is prejudging the outcome of the debate. We welcome the debate because, tomorrow, I shall be in Brussels pressing our case in respect of the European Union budget, and it is vital that we are able to say that we have scrutinised the document thoroughly in our European Parliament.
In our "European" Parliament? A Freudian slip, perchance? And, in any case, scrutinizing it, however thoroughly, and I doubt very much that any MP even looked at it, is not the same as making a difference.

So, exactly, how is this good news from a eurosceptic point of view?

Here is the debate in full. And here is the vote (you have to scroll down a bit).

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