David Cameron has a ‘guest article in tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph, not that I believe in the slightest he was invited to write it – more likely he pleaded to be allowed to have it published in view of the fact ‘matters Europe’ have risen to the top of the real political agenda as he felt it essential he tried to ‘put a lid’ on the subject.
When he writes that it is vital for our country — for the strength of our economy, for the health of our democracy and for the influence of our nation — that we get our relationship with Europe right; I could not agree more. However, is it not for the reasons he states that this country, especially for the health of its democracy, needs first and foremost to be a self-governing country? How can our economy have any strength when it is subjected to the petty rules and regulations that emanate from Brussels and to which we are tied? How can we have influence in the world when our voice is subservient to that of Brussels?
The fact that Cameron can then continue, stating that we need to be absolutely clear about what we really want, what we now have and the best way of getting what is best for Britain only shows that he forgot that which he had written but seconds before. Whether he, personally, is for or against referendums is neither here not there – the man forgets that if we have a democracy, the ability to have a referendum is not for him to decide – it is for the people to decide. He compounds the errors committed so far (and we are only into the third paragraph!) when he believes that Parliament is elected to make decisions and be accountable. Has Parliament ever asked us if we are happy and agree for them to make decisions on our behalf? Cameron writes that if powers are ‘transferred’ then it is right that the people should be consulted – but when Parliament ‘transferred’ so much power to themselves, by usurping power, when were the people consulted? That Cameron obviously did not read what he had previously written is illustrated by the fact that he firstly admits that he is not against referendums, but then continues he is also not against referendums on Europe. FHS, if the man is not against referendums per se, then why the use of the word ‘also’ in relation to Europe?
Returning to the question of what do we want and how do we get it, Cameron then falls back on the argument of Europhiles by raising the question of trade and the single market, linking that with the need to maximising our influence in the world and project our values of freedom and democracy. Values of freedom and democracy? How on earth do we maintain our values (values is a word the politicians love to use) of freedom and democracy when membership of the EU, which does not begin to understand the meaning of democracy, curtails our freedoms to decide matters for ourselves?
Cameron continues to repeat what he wants and what he believes the people want – to which he has to be reminded that it is not a matter of what he wants, it is a matter of what the people want. How on earth he can believe that his view coincides with what the people want when opinion poll after opinion poll is telling him what the people want is totally different to his, beggars belief. Or is Cameron, like all politicians, selective in the opinion polls he reads?
Asking the question: so what have we got he then opines that the problem is not too little Europe but too much Europe, citing too much cost; too much bureaucracy; too much meddling in issues that belong to nation states or civic society or individuals, and maintaining that whole swathes of legislation covering social issues, working time and home affairs should, in his view, be scrapped. If that is the case the obvious question he has to answer is why the hell is he so intent on keeping us shackled to the EU? He must know, as do I and many others, he has no chance of altering EU policy as the power to set that rests with the Commission; there is also no mechanism in the TEU or the TFEU to repatriate powers (something I am sick and tired of having to remind him); consequently the question of why is he so intent on maintaining the relationship has to be repeated (and I am sick and tired of having to ask that, too!).
Cameron mentions that it is the intention of the government to review the balance of the EU’s competences, to provide a national audit of what the EU currently does and its implications for our country; and in this respect it is assumed he is referring to the proposed review which we have been informed William Hague is to conduct. Well, Hague had better get it right otherwise he will be torn to shreds by those of us who have been shown to know far more than Hague does about the matter. For many years there has been a cry for a cost/benefit analysis of this country’s membership of the EU; now we are informed a national audit is to be conducted. Is not a national audit a cost/benefit analysis and why, having denied the need for such an exercise on the argument that the reasons are obvious regarding our membership of the EU, does Cameron now believe it necessary? In any event, I view this exercise no more than smokescreen as such an exercise will take time to conduct and Cameron is obviously hoping that come the ‘findings’ (which will no doubt be rigged in his favour) the political climate will have changed to the extent that by then we will all be clamouring for ‘more Europe’.
Arguing that the eurozone need to move further towards fuller integration means that a two-tier EU will be born – one in which the UK will be in the outer-fringe and thus not able to influence squat-diddley – in which case why stay? Never will the phrase ‘In Europe but still run by Europe’ be more true. Cameron boasts that following Friday’s summit he ensured that the key parts of banking union would be done by the European Central Bank for eurozone members and not for us. We, as a country, won’t stand behind Greek or Portuguese banks but then announces a further loan to the IMF – which means that, in a roundabout way, that is exactly what we will be doing. In his efforts to defend his faux-eurosceptic stance he reminds us of his non-existent veto in December, last year – Sheesh!
More smokescreen comes from Cameron when he again boasts that the UK has a British head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a home in London for important parts of the new EU patent court. Cameron honestly believes that it is not known that any employee of any EU institution has to set aside national considerations and work solely for the good of the EU? So London is the home of the new EU patent court – FHS it is an EU institution and may as well be on Mars for all the difference its siting has,
Stating that there is a need for patience is but stating another way that he is hoping that a change in the political climate will allow him to achieve his dictatorial dream where membership of the EU is concerned – and it is no good his raising what is now an old chestnut by reminding us that we have a Coalition government making life difficult for him. Who created that Coalition government; who obviously did not consider the ramifications of such an agreement in his headlong rush to seize power? It is yet a further illustration that idiots are always answerable for their idiotic decisions. Cameron then poses the question how the political class can take the public with them. Well, we all know the answer to that question: by repeating the lessons of 1972 and 1975, repeating a not so subtle public campaign of misrepresentation of the facts, of brainwashing.
That this article by Cameron, which shows it has been written in haste as he has not ‘content-checked’ that which he has written, is but another opportunistic move on his part in an attempt to deflect opposition to him from within his own party and from the public. As an example of journalism perhaps Cameron, when he is kicked out of office, should consider such a career move as his effort is on a par with the inferior examples of that trade which we are forced to read each and every day.
Readers outside the constituency of Witney may justifiably feel aggrieved that he is our Prime Minister – in which case spare a thought for those of us resident in that constituency – we have to suffer him as our Member of Parliament!
Afterthought: Meant to say that after Cameron’s statement at the recent European Council meeting last Thursday/Friday, this is one of his quicker ‘U’ turns…….