Monday, June 22, 2009

Beware the Tories' new best friends

The Tories have kept one Euro election promise - they have managed to form a new group in the European Parliament with the rag, tag and bobtail of social reactionaries across the continent.

The thing that binds these parties together is an ideological, dogmatic approach to Europe. They would rather member states preserved isolation at all costs rather than work together on the issues where it is both practical and sensible to do so - in financial regulation, crime and climate change being examples that spring to mind.

For all that David Cameron tries to make out that the Tories are born again fluffy, cuddly and tolerant, their new best friends have very different approaches.

Take, for example, the rampantly homophobic Polish Law and Justice Party, whose leader thinks that gay people shouldn't be allowed to be teachers and that "The affirmation of homosexuality will lead to the downfall of civilization. We can't agree to it".

And that's just the icing on the cake. The Independent on Saturday contained this article which outlined a few of the rather bizarre policies of members of the new group - from thinking that women shouldn't stand for Parliament to some horribly racist campaigns particularly against Islam.

It's relevant as well that Cameron's move has taken him out of step with people like Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, who he will have to negotiate with if he were ever to become PM. I wonder what they think of him taking off and playing house with that bunch of xenophobic bigots. I can't imagine for a minute his actions will do much for his credibility and again the UK will find itself as the laughing stock of Europe.

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