Schwarzenegger to get down with the Tories

schwarzenegger.jpgGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said today it’s a “great honor” to have been invited to address Britain’s Conservative Party‘s annual conference this Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 in Blackpool, in northwest England.

“I look forward to discussing California’s environmental agenda, our fight against global warming, and the partnerships we have developed with other states and nations, including Great Britain,” he said in a news release. “Protecting our environment is not a right or left issue, it is a unifying issue. Republicans, conservatives, and centrists understand that the fight against global warming not only protects our planet, but creates economic strength and energy independence.”

Conservative leader David Cameron seeks to reposition the party of Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill to the center, to the dismay of some party faithful — much the effect Schwarzenegger seems to desire on the Republican party in California and across the nation. Unlike the Republicans, Britain’s Conservatives — who last won a general election 15 years ago — have seen an increase in support in some polls, although the government for now remains dominated by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Labour Party.

Cameron has made environmental protection his party’s key issue, having changed the party’s logo from a torch to a tree and being photographed cycling to work at the House of Commons.

“Governor Schwarzenegger led a dramatic revival of his party’s fortunes in California and as governor he has shown tremendous leadership -– above all in pioneering measures to protect the environment, reaching out to political opponents in doing so,” Cameron said in a statement.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.