Norman Tebbit Lord Tebbit of Chingford is one of Britain's most outspoken conservative commentators and politicians. He was a senior cabinet minister in Margaret Thatcher's government and is a former Chairman of the Conservative Party. He has also worked in journalism, publishing, advertising and was a pilot in the RAF and British Overseas Airways. ames Delingpoles news that many Conservative candidates in winnable seats (or at least many of those with the courage to reply to a poll) are Conservatives and far from convinced by the Warmist case is encouraging. It may have within it the answer to many bloggers on this site who ask how our great institutions can be rescued from the shysters who have seized control of them. The European Union lacks a unifying culture (Image: Google Maps) I should, by the way, have said that the Monarchy and the Armed Services are still sound. In particular, the Queen has done very little wrong. A constitutional Monarch has to be very careful indeed not to use his or her last ditch powers unless they are absolutely sure that such a move would have overwhelming support and that the crisis could not be resolved by in other way. I hope that those who understand the importance and utility of the Monarchy will not undermine Prince Charles even before he comes to the Throne. I do not share his certainty about climate change, but I do share his views on architecture and I support his right to express his feelings as he does. A life in a cage, even a gilded cage, is a pretty frustrating one for an active man with a lively mind. Nor can it be a bundle of joy to face becoming of pensionable age before taking up the job to which you have been committed since birth. Anyway, who do the republicans think we would get as president? Perhaps Tony and Cherie would run as a joint equal opportunites candidate or could it be Jonathan Ross, or the winner of Strictly Come Dancing, or Peter Mandelson? The key to solving our problems lies in the House of Commons. And the electorate holds that key. The Commons does not have to be the poodle of the executive. It still has the power of the purse in its control. It has the power to rewrite a budget presented to it in whole or in part. For the moment, at least, I will not succumb to the temptation offered me by the commenter called James (1), who would like a conversation about third world immigration, Islamification and a non-indigenous demographic time bomb although I would observe to opponents of Islamification that it is quite difficult to beat a something with a nothing. Quite rightly a number of contributors to this blog have questioned whether the United Kingdom any longer passes the tests of what is a sovereign state. It is a finely balanced matter. The claim to continue to be sovereign now rests soley upon the right of Paliament to repeal the Treaty of Accession. We have put our sovereignty into the care of the European Union, with a claim that it could be retrieved. The question is for how long a power which is unused can remain potent and, beyond that, if the EU becomes, as we all expect it to do, the European Republic, what then? I should have known better, for I was one of those who voted for that Treaty in 1972. I genuinely believed, as most of us did, not just that it would benefit us to be in a European free trade area, but that the commonalty of culture across the member states was far greater than it was and that we could share many institutions. Looking back, I think that may have come about because as an airline pilot I was a member of an international elite who did share a common culture and I probably had more in common with an Air France or KLM pilot than a Birmingham bus driver. The longer I spent as a Minister around the negotiating table in Brussels, the more I realised I had been wrong. It was not that I dislike my European colleagues it was just that I realised that the underlying history and culture which had formed their institutions was deeply different and indeed hostile to those which had formed ours. That was when I remembered the words of Enoch Powell: Europe can never be a democracy because there is no European Demos. All that leaves open what relationship we in the UK should have with the other states of Europe, or the EU. Perhaps that is a question we should be asking of our party leaders. Until we get it right, a lot of what goes on in the House of Commons (and indeed the Lords) will be no more than what the psychologists call a displacement activity. Oh, by the way, I should confess that my political hero is Alfred the Great.