So, is this one a real or a political promise, Dave?

Just for the record, let me state that I love Germany, France, Austria, Italy, and every other European country I’ve visited. I like Europe. And the european people. And I especially like going to Europe, partaking of their foods and wines, and enjoying their cultures.

Wish I was there right now - in the warm with gorgeous food!

That, though, is the point. They all have different cultures. So do we.

Today the radio informed me that our revered Prime Minister is on his way to Brussels and Germany to reassure people that the British are still keen europeans. Germany has said he should not give us a referendum on a “small” treaty change, even though it’s UK law now – and as a threat, they are bringing up the Tobin Tax to destroy British banking. Oh, and

It is a constant source of amazement to me that we keep having these discussions in Europe. After all, for most of my life, I have seen British and English laws discarded to be absorbed into a new European grouping.

I am, like Churchill, very keen on the idea of Europe. I think it’s a great project, and a wonderful means of restraining the hotheads in Europe. The fact that I don’t feel remotely part of the project, like Churchill, doesn’t mean that I bear any ill-will to Europe. I don’t. I want the European project to succeed – whatever the project is.

It’s not because I’m a little Englander, but because I believe we would be better off maintaining ties with the nations that have always been our friends and allies: America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand amongst others. We are no longer the rulers of the world’s greatest empire, nor even the commanders of the seas. We are now only one of a number of small nations.

Small armed services, but we do have sticks!

We have a massive budget for military expenditure, but a tiny number of armed services, which are being steadily eroded. Our army has dropped progressively, and now we are to have only some 80,000 troops. That is a pathetically small force. We no longer have the yeoman forces, and since Blair, we don’t have the Home Guard training forces we used to. If we were to have another war, the only substantial weapons stores would be those owned by the police – and our army would not be able to use their ammunition. Police expanding ammo is illegal under the Geneval Conventions because it is uniquely lethal.

It’s OK for our police to use it to kill British subjects, but not for the army to defend the realm against invasion.

Be that as it may, the threat of attack currently is not high.

We still have some castles for defending the realm, you know!

No, but I do not like to think of the billions of pounds which we each year send to Europe for other people, generally unelected, to spend.

We have never been asked whether we want to be in a European state.

Some forty years ago, while I was in school, we became a part of the European Economic Community. We joined enthusiastically, for the most part. And yet the first action of our European “friends” was not one to instil confidence. We applied, fulfilled all the requirements, and on the day of the signing of the first treaty, a new clause was added at the last moment. This single addition asked that Britain give up all our fishing waters. Before that Britain had owned most of the fishing in Europe. That clause meant that Britain had to give up our fishing almost entirely. That is why our fishing fleets have been strangled, and our little seaside fishing towns have been all but evacuated. There are still ships in them, but now those ships are Spanish or French. And they are bigger and more powerful, because while Britain has had to pay off our captains and compensate them for the loss of their ships, we have also had to pay into European funds to help French and Spanish shipbuilders construct vessels for their own fishermen.

Later, we were asked whether we wanted to remain in Europe, in a free trade area called the European Economic Community, the EEC. That was the only time we’ve been able to vote on membership.

We were not asked if we wanted to join the European Community, nor the European Union. When other nations gave their people the right to be consulted over new treaties, we in Britain remained unconsulted.

Some Morris men know about camouflage, too.

Not that promises to consult us have been thin on the ground. Quite the opposite. We have had promises from Clegg, from Brown, from Blair – even, I think, from John Major – to the effect that if we had another major treaty, we would be asked beforehand.

Not one of these “political” promises has been honoured.

Hard to imagine why. Just think of some of the men involved in our political classes.

Neil Kinnock, for example. He was a failed politician, a very left wing Labour politician, whose rhetoric was so appalling that Labour saw their poll ratings slide. As a result he was given a job as a European Commissioner. In that he earned some £10 million pounds in around nine years Now he is paid a full European pension while also sitting in the House of Lords, a position of absolute hypocrisy, since he’s consistently called for the Lords to be abolished: “The House of Lords must go – not be reformed, not be replaced, not be reborn in some nominated life-after-death patronage paradise, just closed down, abolished, finished” (Tribune (November 19, 1976)).

Then there was Peter Mandelson. A man who had to resign twice from Blair’s government, and so was naturally rewarded with a position as European Commissioner. And returned, like Kinnock and Britten before him, to a position in the House of Lords. He’s still there now, regularly spinning on behalf of the EEC, whether it’s to the benefit of the British or not.

These, the unelected (or unelectable), are the sort of men who advise our leaders now. And it’s alarming. In Greece the elected government was thought to be a bit rancid by the Germans, and so they were thrown out, and have been replaced by a completely unelected group. Technocrats installed with the rubber stamp of Brussels. In Italy, the leadership of an increasingly unamusing Berlusconi was pushed out and replaced by another unelected group after the leaders of Germany and France were seen sniggering at Berlusconi’s antics. Germany and France both seem happy to see all concepts of democracy thrown overboard in the race to greater European efficiency.

But what exactly is this European Project which is the goal of our political classes?

We have the single market. We have a single currency (for now) across much of Europe. We have ever more political decisions being taken in Brussels.

At the same time, we have less democracy. We are being taxed ever more highly, we have little representation that is meaningful. Decisions are taken in corridors and quiet rooms in foreign countries. I hold no brief for Mr Nigel Farage, but this clip is interesting:

The budget for the EU has not been passed by the auditors for sixteen years. Yes, that is what I said. It is now sixteen years since the budget for the EU has been passed as a true and accurate representation of the accounts. Any company that went that long without a bill of health from the accountants would be closed, but not in the magical wonderland of Europe!

Like Marta Andreasen (go google), most of the auditors don’t last long in office because when they find instances of – let us say, “irregularity” – they tend to lose their jobs. Quickly. In Britain membership of the Union costs us about £65 billion each year ( I am not convinced that with auditors unable to pass the accounts, this money is being spent wisely.

So, Mr Cameron is to be asked, apparently, to give an assurance to the German leader, Angela Merkel, that he will neither try to repatriate powers to Britain (as he promised), nor that he will give the British people a referendum on any treaty changes, as he has promised and as he has now passed into law.

No problem, of course. The civil service is more than capable of finding good legal reasons why that law is irrelevant now. Just as they did when Brown didn’t want to let us vote on the last round of treaty negotiations. Even when Ireland and France were allowed to vote, and when he had promised a vote, he discovered subsequently that it was unnecessary. He passed the new treaties without debate.

The thumbscrews are on Mr Cameron today and this weekend. It will be interesting to see whether at last we have a Prime Minister who will stick to his word and insist on giving us the vote which over half the people of the country want, or whether he will roll over and submit to German demands.

I won’t hold my breath.

But, and this is a very big “but”, the people of Britain are growing fed up with the constant bullying and the apparently unstoppable European juggernaut. We are not enthusiastic for ever more integration, and paying through the nose for it. Having a vast empire of European dimensions may appeal to the political class, who always believe bigger must be better, but it isn’t the same for our people. Forcing diverse cultures to mesh together when we don’t even speak the same language, is not a recipe for success. Throwing our peoples together into a melting pot won’t necessarily make for a tasty stew. It is creating a foul concoction that is poisoning many of our international relations.

If another treaty is forced through without asking our people whether we want it or not, I think the results could be catastrophic.

So, stiffen the sinews, Dave. Remember, in the words of Maggie, that when it comes to Brussels, the response sometimes has to be: “No, no, no!”

4 Responses to “So, is this one a real or a political promise, Dave?”
  1. RichieP says:

    Right on Michael. And good for Farage, it was about time somebody said it, especially since the spineless PM won’t.


    • The more I see of Farage, the more I rather like the guy. Not a fool, and happy to stand up and defend us in Europe. Soon his will be the third party. Liberals will be smashed at the next election. Then it’ll be conservatives and Farage as one bloc – so middle of the road and right wing conservatives all together!


  2. Many thanks, Michael. This is the blog that I wanted to write!
    What a sorry state we are in where we are alternately bossed around, ignored, patronised and treated like second-class citizens of a super state that we neither asked for or want.

    I am also one of those drawn ever closer to a UKIP vote. They will never run the country (at least not in my lifetime), but by making them the third force in British politics surely then the majority will get a voice at last.
    Of course, all that depends on the mainstream media recognising them as such – but that’s another story.


    • Hard to believe that the BBC would ever give up its determined PR campaign towards an ever more centralised Europe, but we can hope. Amazing how every decision made by this government has a negative slant from the media, whereas Blair had years of support while he lied and bullied through his little helpers Mandelson and Campbell. More power to Farage’s elbow, I reckon!


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