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When it comes to the EU, one should trust Mr Cameron as they would adders fang’d…

Does any serious person think that EU reform will see them include ceding powers or the acceptance of a decrease in funding?

In spite of overwhelming historical and contemporary evidence to the contrary, Mr Cameron seems to think so, as do Messrs Miliband and Clegg. Having returned from irresolute discussions in Brussels, Mr Cameron is walking tall after not capitulating to the EU Commission’s unreasonable demands for a substantial increase to their budget. Bravo Mr Cameron – except, that is, for your track record on Europe.

His policy of ‘Practical Euroscepticism’ has time and again proven to be neither practical nor Eurosceptic. His modus operandi observes the following pattern:

  • Express exasperation and concern about EU policy
  • Adopt a ‘no nonsense approach’ to look strong
  • Capitulate and beg for mercy from his EU master

It follows, therefore, that having appeared strong on Europe at these recent talks, that at the next round of negotiations he will not hesitate to genuflect to the Commission, then claim to the British public that a satisfactory deal has been reached on their behalf. But who is he trying to fool?

At no point has Mr Cameron called for cuts to the EU budget, and his ‘real terms freeze’ will still see the UK debited for even more than the £53 million a day it currently pays. Worse still, Mr Cameron and friends are still willing to sign the UK up to a political ideology that has not had its accounts signed off by auditors for some fifteen years. The EU is a one-armed bandit against which the UK will only lose.

The only person aside from Mr Cameron who feels that the Conservatives will win the next election is Conservative Home’s Tim Montgomerie. Both characters have devised elaborate strategies to see the Tories regain power, peppered with newspeak and initiatives to ‘re-connect’ with voters – but they all choose to miss the essential point: that if Mr Cameron were to offer an EU referendum, with a positive vision of how the UK would manage (quite easily) without the EU, he would secure a second term and a majority.

This will not be done, however, because Mr Cameron is no more a Eurosceptic than the recently discredited Labour criminal Denis MacShane. In terms of difference and monetary returns, expect no change.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

More from The Panopticon:

As if proof were needed that the British Government is incapable of looking after its people, the case of  Abu Qatada serves to underline this bitter truth.

Next year a limitation on the number of immigrants allowed from Eastern Europe into the UK will no longer be viable, just in time for immigrants from the new EU nations of Romania and Bulgaria to travel to arrive and claim the benefits and jobs that any rational country would issue to its own populace as a priority. This is on top of the immigrants from across the EU and the world who recognise that the UK is a soft touch, with its skewed cultural values and its prolongation of a damaging permissive society. Among these people will be a serious criminals including the possibility of terrorists who could quite easily exploit the weaknesses of the UK’s borders to their own nefarious ends.

Is anything done about this? Of course not. EU law binds the UK to an open borders policy which means that the most one can hope for is containment of the problem, certainly not resolving it. As was alluded to in the previous post, some 320,000 immigrants are likely to be granted an amnesty to stay in the UK because the Border Agency have (no thanks to political parties of all persuasions) not been provided with the adequate resources to stop this from spiralling out of control. And to emphasise, the Government is not serious about patrolling the UK’s borders because their loyalty is to the EU and its ideology before their own territories.

Not only is the problem coming from without, the problem is also from within. When an alleged Al-Qaeda affiliate like Abu Qatada, the ‘the spiritual leader” of this rat-bag organisation in Europe, who has been connected to several terrorist plots and attacks is kept in the UK on account of his human rights, then it is clear something is fundamentally wrong with the system of justice, which is meant to protect the people of the UK. And, of course, it indicates how seriously defective the government is for having the UK signed up to a charter that allows the ECHR to supersede the decisions made my British courts.

The real threats to the UK do not come from without, they come from the government and their inability and unwillingness to assert the rights of its people and its principles from within. So the government sends troops out to die in the  futile and regressive conflict in Afghanistan under the auspices of keeping the streets of Britain safe, but fails at every turn to address the real threats to jobs, welfare, social cohesion and benefits posed by uncontrolled immigration. Furthermore, it fails to  act decisively against known criminal threats like Abu Qatada because it prizes the sovereignty of the EU as a political project before the rights, liberties, freedoms and democracies of its people every time.

Do not think for a second that the government has yet to decide on its relationship with the EU, that decision has long since been made and so long as it lines the pockets and furthers the careers of the political class, so the people of the UK – soldiers and citizens – will pay for it.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

More from The Panopticon:

Some notes on matters that have arisen over the last week

Europhile Denis MacShane is a criminal – no, I am sorry, he’s not a criminal – he made a ‘mistake’ and because of some technicality cannot be prosecuted for defrauding the taxpayer with their own money and using it to further his own political and financial ends.

Mr MacShane attempted to blame the BNP and other members of the political right for his actions, doing nothing to disprove that those on the left are incapable of applying personal responsibility for their actions. Indeed, in an effort to make it sound like he was doing the taxpayer a favour, he alluded to his efforts to tackle anti-Semitism – did he hope this would somehow justify his criminality to an already squeezed taxpayer?

One thing is for certain – as both a Europhile and a criminal, Mr MacShane is perfectly qualified to obtain a position on the European Commission.

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I cannot have been the only one nauseated by the expressions of uninhibited delight that greeted Mr Obama’s re-election as US President, especially in the UK. The suspension of critical faculties was total, so in awe of the image of Mr Obama were those expressing adulation. No one seemed to mention the way in which Mr Obama is saddling future generations of Americans (and, let’s face it, the world) with trillions of dollars in debt, nor was his flaky attitude towards the Middle East situation probed with any purpose.

So star-struck were the Media Politburo of the Labour Party (the BBC), that they interviewed an actor who had played the part of a communications director, who worked for a fictional president, during an imagined Democratic presidency. Could his opinions be any less important? I hope that on matters of national security they will consult Daniel Craig, or else on matters of scientific revelation, they will grill Dr Who.

*

Every time there is a crisis at the BBC, commentators tend to remark that this blighted corporation needs to regain the trust of the British public, as if it were a long-term relationship were suddenly imperilled by indiscretion. But does any thinking person ever really trust  the BBC any more than any other company or media outlet? To do so would seem rather incautious, but I dare say there are those so slavishly devoted to the idiot box that nothing short of relationship counselling will help reconfigure their dependency.

*

There is a backlog of immigration cases in the UK equivalent to the population of Iceland – this blog has said more than once that if this was any other department, heads would role. But why don’t  they? Because the main political parties a) do not care and b) because, as Theresa May alluded to today, despite temporary curbs imposed on immigration from the EU in 2005 to protect the British labour market, these are set to expire and that it is not possible under EU law to extend them.

Miss May also suggested that the government was on target to cut immigration into the UK from people outside of the EU as a way of deflecting the point that it is largely people from within the EU, flooding the labour market and seeking benefits who are the most prominent strain on the country’s already overstretched resources.

*

I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! – a celebrity reality TV show – a televised equivalent of the stocks returns soon enough to offer vital life support to the ever swelling legions of the UK’s brain-dead populace. One does not even need close analysis of the title of this sub-genre to realise that neither celebrities nor reality are constituent ingredients in this soup of human indignity.

That Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has decided to participate in this year’s series of the programme has caused her to be suspended by her party. This is not an unreasonable course of action from the Conservatives, especially since she will continue to be paid her salary whilst being absent from her constituency and from parliament – rather like that moulding potato Gordon Brown.

Ms Dorries’ has claimed that with an audience of some 16 million viewers (what did I say about ‘the ever swelling legions of the UK’s brain-dead populace’?), she will be able to profile who she is and what she stands for to an audience who are probably generally concerned with neither. Of course, one can hardly imagine a better place for Ms Dorries to champion her campaign to lower the point during a pregnancy at which an abortion can be performed than from a jungle in Australia.

Speculation has arise over whether or not she will defect to UKIP, especially since she is to the right of the Conservatives and a welcome stone in Mr Cameron’s flip-flopping shoes. Some seem excited about this prospect, but one may also be inclined to think that a discredited Ms Dorries could undermine UKIP’s efforts to make its outfit more professional and a part of the celeb-chasing culture that characterized the New Labour years.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

When Douglas Carswell claimed that the UK had ‘shackled itself to a corpse’ by continuing to belong to the EU, his remarks entertained an alarming, but unintentionally accurate implication…

Europhiles have begun to look like necrophiliacs.

Any thinking person has long since known that justifying the UK’s ongoing relationship with the EU, let alone attempting to justify the EU’s very existence, is a hiding to nothing. As it begins to resemble the government of a third world country (with its excessive spending for those who least need the money, its corruption, the violence it has bred, the bankruptcy it has initiated, the poverty it has caused), support has become a marginal voice.

But it still has its champions, who cite the following arguments in the EU’s defence:

1. The EU Safeguards Peace

The EU has never prevented a war in Europe, let alone safeguarded peace. At the present time, significant civil unrest continues to rock Greece and Spain as a direct result of EU policy, whist even recent history proves this notion a false one – in Bosnia, Kosovo and the Chechen wars, intervention was led by British and American initiatives carried out by the UN and NATO whilst the EU twiddled its thumbs, actively arguing against intervention.

2. The EU gives states more power on the global stage

One pro-EU website repeats the familiar line, ‘EU membership gives states increased influence on the global stage.  While nations would find it easy to ignore Britain or any European nation acting on its own, the combined influence of all twenty-seven member states acting together is harder to ignore.’ This feeble argument is presented by EU necrophiliacs and from within the UK by apologists. In fact, the UK is the world’s tenth largest exporter, with $495,400,000,000 worth of exports occurring in 2011 alone. Considering the UK’s size compared to other countries in the top ten (France, Germany, Russia), this is not to be underestimated. Notwithstanding the fact it is also a nuclear power, the UK is also one of the biggest contributors to the UN.

3. The EU makes us better off

EU necrophiliacs continue to claim that by creating a customs union and later the single market, the EU has been hugely successful. But this does not account for the fact that the collapse of the ideological project of the euro has left about a quarter of working-age people in recession-hit Spain unemployed. Indeed, Spain’s economy is set to shrink by 1.5 per cent this year with the recession due to continue into 2013 and beyond. Its level of unemployment is now the second highest behind Greece where the average is 11.4 per cent.

4. The EU encourages our neighbours to reform

Instead of presenting an argument against this, I have chosen to quote directly from a pro-EU website (that claims to be impartial):

“The EU shares land or sea borders with a great variety of nations including Egypt, Libya, Serbia, Turkey, Syria and Israel, with unstable governments, histories of conflict or different cultural and political outlooks to our own. Despite this, the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) ensures stability with the region by offering favourable relations with the EU in exchange for nations living up to standards such as the rule of law and democracy. Meanwhile, nations that look to join the EU are encouraged to reform their national institutions in order to fit in with the European liberal democratic model.  This encourages wider stability and improves people’s lives.” [2]

Claims as fatuous as this do enough damage to themselves without the need for annotation.

Leave the EU, now.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

Notes

Pat Condell once again illustrates the miry corruption of the EU by using the example of Ireland’s vote(s) on the Lisbon Treaty as his locus. A salient reminder of why the EU should be resisted rather than embraced, as the UK political class continue to have us do.

Every five years the UK’s political parties affect listening attentively and talking with the electorate in order to secure their vote. But if you want your say during the intervening period, forget about it. 

Examine this list of referendums held in the UK since 1973 [1]. What do you notice?

  • Northern Ireland sovereignty referendum, 1973, on whether Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom or join the Republic of Ireland (UK)
  • United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum, 1975, on whether the UK should remain part of the European Economic Community (yes)
  • Scottish devolution referendum, 1979, on whether there should be a Scottish Assembly (small majority voted yes, but fell short of the 40% threshold required to enact devolution)
  • Welsh devolution referendum, 1979, on whether there should be a Welsh Assembly (no)
  • Scottish devolution referendum, 1997, Two questions: On whether there should be a Scottish Parliament (yes); On whether a Scottish Parliament should have tax varying powers (yes)
  • Welsh devolution referendum, 1997, on whether there should be a National Assembly for Wales (yes)
  • Greater London Authority referendum, 1998, on whether there should be a Mayor of London and Greater London Authority (yes)
  • Northern Ireland Belfast Agreement referendum, 1998, on the Good Friday Agreement (yes)
  • North East England devolution referendum, 2004, on an elected regional assembly (no)
  • Welsh devolution referendum, 2011 (yes)
  • United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, 2011, 5 May 2011. (no)

In reading this list you may noticed that nearly every region of the country seems to have been given the chance to better determine its own governance, whilst there has not been a referendum concerning how the country as a whole wishes to determine how it is organized and by whom. The 1975 European Communities membership referendum comes close, but only because this was sold to the public on the false premise that it was a trade agreement, not a means of facilitating political union.

This is a situation unlikely to change given the mendacious David Cameron’s latest remarks on the chances of an EU referendum:

I think it would be bad for Britain […] When I look at what is in our national interest, we are not some country that looks in on ourself or retreats from the world. Britain’s interest – trading a vast share of our GDP – is to be in those markets. Not just buying, selling, investing, receiving investment but also helping to write the rules. If we were outside, we wouldn’t be able to do that. It comes back to this, who are going to be the winning nations for the 21st century? If your vision of Britain was that we should just withdraw and become a sort of greater Switzerland, I think that would be a complete denial of our national interests. [2]

Leaving aside Mr Cameron’s nakedly patronising assertions – and omitting the point that given a string of u-turns, serious errors, impotence and incompetence, he evidently has no idea about anything, let alone what is best for Britain – he brings to one’s attention Switzerland, derisively suggesting that Britain would be foolish to follow its record of political, economic and social competence. Indeed, given the antipathy shown towards referenda by all three main political parties, one can see why they may fear the democratic model of Switzerland.

It is a country in which binding referenda can be called by citizens at federal, cantonal and municipal level. The government is obliged to meet this demand and has no power to determine if it should be held, nor when. The procedure is enshrined in Switzerland’s constitution and is at the heart of its political life. Two types of referendum exist:

  • Facultative referendum: Any federal law, certain other federal resolutions, and international treaties that are ongoing in nature, or any change to Swiss law may be subject to referendum if at least 50,000 people or eight cantons have petitioned to do so within 100 days. Within cantons and municipalities, the required number of people is smaller, and there may be additional causes for a facultative referendum, e.g., expenditures that exceed a certain amount of money. The facultative referendum is the most common type of referendum, and it is mostly carried out by political parties or by interest groups.
  • Obligatory referendum: There must be a referendum on any amendments to the constitution and on any joining of a multinational community or organization for collective security. In many municipalities, expenditures that exceed a certain amount of money also are subject to the obligatory referendum. Constitutional amendments are proposed by the parliament or by the cantons or by citizens’ initiatives. Citizen’s initiatives at the federal level need to collect 100,000 valid signatures within 18 months, and must not contradict international laws or treaties. Often, parliament elaborates a counter-proposal to an initiative, leading to a multiple-choice referendum. Very few such initiatives pass the vote, but more often, the parliamentary counter proposal is approved. [3]

Facultative referendums force parliament to search for a compromise between major interest groups and, in many cases, the threat of a facultative referendum is sufficient to make the parliament adjust a law.

It is a modus operandi that puts British democracy to shame. It would ensure that government follows the essential mandate immortally phrased by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg address, that government should be ‘of the people, by the people [and] for the people’ [4]. It would mean that the electoral carnival held every five years would oblige politicians to mean what they say and do what they claim during their term in office. There are those such as Will Hutton who claim they are ‘very suspicious of referenda’, adding ‘I don’t like them and I’m not certain they are a democratic instrument […] I believe in representative democracy, that we vote for our MPs and they take decisions in the House of Commons on our behalf.’ [5] Mr Hutton fails to acknowledge that one reason why faith in the democratic process is so lacklustre, is precisely because of the unaccountability of politicians once their seat is secured and the bald truth that many MPs are prepared to serve their party before they serve their constituents.

Referendums in the UK have also been discredited precisely because they are used as democratic tokenism, consulting the public on issues that are relatively unimportant to anyone other than those in Westminster (see the list at the top of this post). If the Mother of Parliaments is to nurture democracy, it must allow freedom to grow by letting the people it claims to represent take responsibility for their affairs at a local and a national level.

Consider present elector-a-phobia against UKIP who aim to:

  • introduce ‘Direct Democracy’ whereby 5% of the national or local electorate can demand a binding referendum on any issue. At national level, people will have to sign up for the referendum within six months, at local level, within three months
  • offer an in/out referendum on the UK’s relationship with the EU
  • allow binding national referenda on controversial public law and order issues that are outside party politics. The public must have the final say
  • allow county-based referenda on fox hunting within county boundaries on the basis of a simple majority. Where hunts cross county boundaries, co-terminus referenda could be promoted.
  • Introduce binding local referenda for major local schemes such as the building of new supermarkets. Remote planning appeals will not be able to override the local vote
  • allow parents to trigger a government inspection of a school if 10% of the parents at that school initiate this in a referendum [6]

The three main parties are content to treat the electorate like children who know no better. They have deliberately fostered widespread deference to politics and to democracy so that they can take decisions that are in the interests of party politics before the electorate. Lies are the language of the Conservatives, the Labour party and the Lib Dems; they have spread the disease of indifference in politics, they are the wet rot crumbling the wall of democracy.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

Notes

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