THAT a great servant of the borough, Pam Brown, and I are no longer on speaking terms as a result of the disintegration of the Lib Dems is the saddest memory I shall take away from Hastings when I move this week.
My proudest will be that after a time as their campaign coordinator when I retired from party office in 1997 we controlled the council and held all five council seats in my own ward Maze-Hill/West St Leonards.
Another big disappointment is the disintegration of Churchill’s Conservative/Liberal Alliance to secure the peace of Europe, an alliance mirrored in my own family, where my father Eric Cole of EKCO was a leader of the group of Conservative businessmen who helped found and finance the UK European Movement under Churchill’s presidency.
Labour MPs were banned from joining this Tory European plot. Liberals locally never quarrelled with Jacqui Lait’s enthusiasm for Europe. I ask Amber Rudd for help.
I still have my father’s press cutting of the great Hague Conference of 1948, which he helped to finance. Today, the EU has triumphantly fulfilled what Churchill then said was his most important hope, to ‘restore the economic life of Germany and revive the ancient fame of the German race without exposing their neighbours to any reassertion of their military power.....’ That is exactly what the EU has achieved today.
He continued, ‘we are met to help our Governments create the new Europe....the heirs of all the treasures of the past.’ I myself went on my father’s behalf to the next meeting in Strasbourg, where Churchill demanded the Convention of Human Rights to force Europe to adopt British standards of Liberty.
He got the great Conservative Home Secretary Maxwell Fife to draft it and used a Conservative Opposition day in February 1951 to force it through the House of Commons despite the doubts of the Labour Government. He would be astonished that his Convention of Rights is now in force from Vladivostok to the Azores and is being used in court by 25,000 Russians to overturn Stalin’s laws.
My last message on departure is to say to Amber Rudd ‘Please remind the Home Secretary it was drafted by her most famous predecessor, the Nuremberg Prosecutor, and is the greatest Conservative achievement since the war’.
DEREK J COLE