Another Telegraph piece, on which comments are welcome over there:
In his attack on William Hague as a “skinhead”, Chris Huhne is expressing the national dislike of baldies which, while it may not say much for us as a nation, certainly exists. (Although I have yet to succumb, I come from a long line of them.) And the Tories’ new allies in the European Parliament should also eschew the company of William Hague. But not because he is bald. Rather, because he owes allegiance to David Cameron.
They deserve British allies like the Labour MPs who mostly voted against Heath’s Treaty of Rome. Who all voted against Thatcher’s Single European Act. And who voted against Major’s Maastricht Treaty in far greater numbers than the Tories, including, in Bryan Gould, the only resignation from either front bench in order to do so.
The Czech Civic Democrats, scourge of global warming hysteria, deserve British allies like the trade unionists who have spent decades defending the high-waged, high-skilled, high-status jobs of the working class.
The Polish Law and Justice Party deserves British allies like the Catholic and other Labour MPs, including John Smith, who fought tooth and nail against abortion and easier divorce. Like the Methodist and other Labour MPs, including John Smith, who fought tooth and nail against deregulated drinking and gambling. Like those, including John Smith, who successfully organised (especially through USDAW) against Thatcher’s and Major’s attempts to destroy the special character of Sunday and of Christmas Day, delivering the only Commons defeat of Thatcher’s Premiership. Like the trade unionists who battled to secure paternal authority in families and communities by securing its economic base in high-waged, high-skilled, high-status male employment, frequently marching behind banners that depicted Biblical scenes and characters.
The Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party deserves British allies with deep roots in the former mining communities, in the women’s suffrage movement, in the 1945 General Election victory, and elsewhere. Some of us are unsullied by the weird cult of Winston Churchill. Instead, we can and do condemn his carve-up of Europe with Stalin.
And all three, like all the rest of their Group apart from the Tories, need those British allies in order to call them away from neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy, both of which have in any case collapsed. Nothing could be more destructive of national self-government, or traditional family values, or the historical consciousness of a people. Cameron is completely signed up to both.