Joined: 03 Jun 2005
|Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:57 am Post subject: CAMERONS CASTE IRON PROMISES ARE ALL LIES TO KEEP YOU DOWN
|Only when all three parties tell you that something is right, can you be certain it is wrong
By Mail On Sunday Comment
Last updated at 1:23 AM on 23rd October 2011
Every few decades, the British people realise that continental Europe matters to them whether they want it to or not.
Its revolutions, reunifications and power struggles often appear remote, but eventually - and sometimes violently - reach across the narrow Channel to alarm and shake us.
This is such a time. Though a thousand years of history have made us profoundly different from our nearest neighbours in politics, language, law, customs, landscape and religion, and though we tend to prefer to look out across the open sea to the wide world we once dominated, we cannot be indifferent to the European Union’s growing internal crisis.
Question time: After being ignored for generations, the people of Britain must now be allowed a say on our role within Europe
Above all, we are not free to stand aloof because in 1973 we joined what was then the European Common Market, binding ourselves legally to its aims and regulations.
One of the great tragedies of modern times is that our leaders were not honest with us about what this meant. They insisted that it was purely a free trade area, and that its only aim was to increase prosperity.
A few mavericks warned that it was much more than that, a vast political project aimed at the creation of a new, unprecedented superstate. But we laughed at them and their cranky alarmist predictions, and foolishly trusted the soothing mainstream voices of the big parties.
Seldom has there been a better illustration of the maxim that when all three parties agree on a policy, you may be absolutely sure that it is a mistake.
Year by year, the wild alarmists have been proved right. We have lost a great measure of control over our own laws, over our foreign policy, even over our defences. We have lost our fishing grounds. We have been compelled to hand over vast contributions for purposes over which we have no control.
Speaking a different language: European finance ministers deep in discussion at the European Council headquaters in Brussels. But how much do we really have in common with our neighbours?
Individuals can even be arrested and taken to other EU countries for actions that are not crimes here. We have - absurdly - been prosecuted for using our own weights and measures. Perhaps above all, we no longer have our own national passports or control our own frontiers.
Thanks to a referendum in 1975, in which the case against membership was never given a proper chance, our political class have been able to consider the matter closed.
But in recent years that apparently decisive vote has lost its authority. Nobody under 54 took part in it. It is widely accepted that its conduct was flawed. Meanwhile, the compact original Common Market has swollen to become the sprawling EU, with a toehold in Africa, a coastline on the Black Sea and a border with Russia.
It has acquired a sort of Parliament (though one without an opposition), a diplomatic service, joint external border forces, a flag, an anthem, a so-called ‘Single Market’, a Supreme Court, a President and – above all – a currency backed by a central bank.
It regulates everything from the way we dispose of our rubbish to the shape and size of the envelopes we can use in the post.
And as it has grown, so has a strong, articulate and responsible current of scepticism about its aims and purposes. In Parliament, this is most potent and most open in the Conservative Party, though it has quieter voices in the Labour Party and even a few in the Liberal Democrats.
But outside Parliament it has produced a confident strand of responsible but critical suspicion - and sometimes more than that - in the press, which was once united in favour.
Uncertainty: The future of the euro hangs in the balance
It is largely thanks to these critical currents that the United Kingdom narrowly managed to escape entry into the euro, a deliverance for which even some EU enthusiasts privately give thanks. It should never be forgotten that so much of our Establishment was keenly in favour of what would have been a national disaster. Nor should it be forgotten that many of them still secretly hope to revive the idea.
It is also due to these rising levels of doubt that European governments in several countries have begun to offer referendums on important increases in EU central powers. In Britain, these votes have never yet been held. In France, the Netherlands and Ireland they have been ignored or held again to produce the ‘right’ result.
The brazen chicanery of European politicians over the EU Constitution, later repackaged as the Lisbon Treaty, must have persuaded many previously unworried citizens that the EU project was not to be trusted.
And had David Cameron kept his ‘cast-iron’ promise to hold a ballot on Lisbon, he would not now be in the trap he has dug for himself.
Trapped: Prime Minister David Cameron promised a ballot on the Lisbon Treaty
It is perfectly reasonable for opponents of a new referendum on the EU to point out that this is a bad time for such a thing. Of course it is difficult for our European partners to listen to our worries about sovereignty when they are in the middle of a profound economic crisis. But such people should recognise that the issue has arisen now only because they themselves have dodged the question so dishonestly in the past. And that the crisis itself is largely, if not entirely, caused by the EU’s own insistence on creating and maintaining its economically illiterate vanity project – the euro.
We cannot constantly avoid questions of principle because the time is not quite right. Apart from anything else, one of the principles at stake is our ability to run our own economy.
Moments arrive in the history of any country when its leaders and people have to ask themselves what sort of nation they wish to be, and what sort of future they want to have. We have ducked this question for many years, which is why it is now being asked again so urgently.
Wishful thinking? The Mail's front page headline from earlier this month
If we continue to duck it, we will be sucked irrevocably into a supranational body that operates on un-British principles, that is undemocratic, that does not serve our interests and which compels us to do increasing numbers of things we do not wish to do, and which may not be for our benefit.
Our mainstream politicians have done all they can to ignore the public’s will on this subject. The Prime Minister’s strange and needlessly provocative attempt to silence his own dissenters is an example of this wilful refusal to accept that there is anything to worry about.
Rather than scuffling in this pointless ditch, Mr Cameron should call off his Whips and, if Parliament votes for it, hold the referendum on our position in the EU that we have so often been promised and denied. Then at last we would have the chance to consider what position we wish our Government to adopt, and to influence its behaviour.
It is very likely that a call for renegotiation of our EU relationship – official Tory policy after all – would win a majority.
It must be stressed that this newspaper does not view Europe or the EU with hostility. The real problem is the very different ways in which continental countries order their politics and make and enforce their laws.
There is also the seldom-spoken fact that France and Germany are in reality the final arbiters of every EU decision, and that in nearly 40 years of EU membership Britain has never been able to outweigh or divide this alliance.
If we have a referendum and vote for renegotiation, the EU will have to decide its response. Depending on that answer, it may eventually be that we have to face the fundamental question of whether we want to be in this club at all.
But we should not hurry towards such a stark and dramatic choice.
The most sensible approach is to move deliberately but carefully. First, the public should be allowed to consider if the EU is what they were told it was from the start. Then, if they decide it is not, we must see if we can create the free-trading, open relationship we thought we were going to get.
Only if this option fails, and every effort should be made to ensure it succeeds, should we consider the momentous question of whether to stay or go.
The tragedy is that, at this geat crisis in our history, we have such supremely weak, incompetent and unpatriotic leaders. Cameron makes Neville Chamberlain look like a great statesman by comparison and the other leaders are at least as bad, if not actualkly worse. For the first time in a life spent observing, and occasionally being involvrd on the fringes of, politics, I feel despair. It seems nothing can save Britain but a purging crisis. Read Denis Wheatley's 1935 book, "Black August" for a Prophetic glimpse of our future.