If you want ‘Vague’, call for Hague

Richard North, EUReferendum, has commented on William Hague’s announcement in the House of Commons in respect of the ‘EU Audit’, or to give it its full title “Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union“, that the Coalition propose to conduct.

Reading Hansard’s report of the debate, a few points:

Hague maintains:

“The review will be an outward-facing exercise, both domestically and internationally, and Departments will be tasked with consulting and inviting evidence from everyone with a knowledge of and interest in the exercise of the EU’s competences, including not only Committees of Parliament and the devolved Administrations but businesses, civil society, other interested parties and individuals with expertise in and experience of each area.”

Of course civil society does not mean civilian society but those quangos, think tanks etc that believe they know everything there is to know (that should rule out Mats Persson of Open Europe then – but I digress). It would seem from Hague’s statement that as the ‘man in the street’ will not be considered to have the required expertise and experience, then we, the public, may as well save ourselves the price of a stamp.

“It is my view, as it is the Prime Minister’s, that in future we must take the opportunities for Britain to shape its relationship with Europe in ways that advance our national interest in free trade, open markets and co-operation. That should involve less cost, less bureaucracy and less meddling in the issues that belong to nation states.”

which begs the question that if a nation is to remain sovereign, then do not all issues belong to nation states?

Douglas Alexander, for the Official Opposition (Labour) confirms that his party too believes in the UK remaining in the EU which means they may as well sport the same rosette come election time: and we all know that mixing blue and red gives purple (oh hang on, some other party has got that colour and some would unkindly point out that they also have a yellow streak – but again I digress). From his remarks Alexander would also appear to believe in this idea that one can repatriate certain powers – and if Richard North believes Hague is from Planet Zog, then so must be Alexander.

In response to the question from Anne McIntosh (and her question did encompass a certain amount of ‘tosh’), the response of Hague was informative because he, in effect, admitted that what were once our waters are no longer; and that hopefully the EU would allow member states a certain latitude in how future measures were implemented. Cameron and Hague would have us believe they govern our country? Sheesh!

The question from Chris Heaton-Harris, translated from ‘Parliamentese’ reads: “With all the fudge we in Fresh Start have managed to put out, coupled with what no doubt will be a well ‘managed’ audit, are we able to ensure that the public will be misled again and that they will then agree with what we recommend?”

As a last comment, I wonder what odds might be obtained from a bookmaker that a very powerful and unexpected reason will arise whereby not all the evidence will be publicly available?



7 Responses

  1. Edward Spalton says:

    “CIVIL SOCIETY” – Quite right to spot this weasel-worded concept. It is largely made up of what officialdom now calls “THE THIRD SECTOR” – what used to be called charities but are also known as NGOs (Non Governmental Organisations) when they venture abroad. Some are genuinely doing what it “says on the can, some are downright fakes, being founded and run with government and/or EU money as deniable policy and propaganda groups, and some are “hybrid” – taking a great deal of their funding from the EU and/or HM Government. It is a vast sector of the economy and of political activity under other guises.

    In the latter case, the deal seems to be “You tell people what we want them to hear and we will give you pots of other people’s money”. This is particularly true in the field of Climate Change/Global Warming. Oxfam, Christian Aid, World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth and others are all massive “players” in the propaganda war.

    Labour completely revamped charity law and put a Catherine Ashton type of person, Dame Suzi Leather, in charge of the Charities Commission. Charities now have greater scope for political campaigning on matters related to their objectives. A similar sort of lady has taken over as Chair of the Electoral Commission and the former Chair of the Electoral Commission is now Chief Executive of the Charities Commission. It’s an incestuous world of selected rather than elected political power brokers..

    So, if there is an EU referendum, watch out for the “Third Sector” as a campaigning force. The Dark Side appears to have got all itsr ducks in a row already. The sort of message may well be “We need the EU to save the cuddly polar bears”.

    As far as I know, nobody in the pro-referendum camp has begun to take this seriously.

    • david says:

      A good point, Edward and as you say one that is not being addressed, most especially by Farage.

  2. “outward-facing exercise” “tasked with”?

    What manner of corporate BS be this? If that’s a taste of what the final report will be like, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.

    • david says:

      Agreed MW – this will result in yet another ‘skewed’ report, one aimed at maintaining the status quo.

  3. graham wood says:

    Hague’s proposals? Basically they are cotton wool, covered with candy floss with a thin layer of fudge topping. A variation of “in Europe but not run by Europe” in another fancy dress.

    Strange that a harp of a thousand strings could play the same tune so long.

  4. james Higham says:

    that as the ‘man in the street’ will not be considered to have the required expertise and experience, then we, the public, may as well save ourselves the price of a stamp

    That’s very true – half the battle is being kept in the loop and being part of the conversation, which Hague, of course, has no concept of whatever.

    • david says:

      gw sums it up most succinctly, JH – and Hague will ensure that we, the people, most certainly will not be kept in the loop.

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