If the Tories won’t talk about immigration at least we have MigrationWatch… if the Tories are afraid of making the case for lower taxation at least we have The TaxPayers’ Alliance… and now, with David Cameron reluctant to even mention Europe in his address to Party Conference, we have the launch of a £10m campaign to put Britain’s relationship with the EU back at the centre of national debate.
The Speak Out campaign will – says The Daily Telegraph – launch next Monday with a series of newspaper advertisements. The campaign will seek a referendum on repatriating seven sets of powers transferred to Brussels. The campaign is the brainchild of Yorkshire businessman Paul Sykes – who used to bankroll UKIP. Mr Sykes told The Telegraph:
"Our MPs have betrayed us. They have given away powers that were not theirs to give," say the advertisements. More than half our laws — some people say as much as 80 per cent — originate not in the debating chambers of our elected Parliament but behind closed doors in Brussels… This is an outbreak of the truth. Every man, woman and child will get to know what our relationship with the EU is."
ConservativeHome.com believes that small ‘c’ conservatives have relied too heavily on the Conservative Party for the advancement of their beliefs. The emergence of stronger and stronger campaigning groups like the Centre for Social Justice and Direct Democracy – which have longer time horizons than the need to win the next General Election – is good news. The Tories should only be seen as the political arm of a wider conservative movement that is engaged in a long-term reshaping of public attitudes. Conservative business people have put too big a share of their money into the Tory Party. Investment in the success of these wider movement groups can only be in the long-term interests of big and little ‘c’ conservatism.
Related link: Ed Vaizey MP reacts to this post.