For one who would have us believe he is knowledgeable about ‘matters EU’, Daniel Hannan, time and time again, writes what can only be described as tosh and his latest article now gives the impression that he is going overboard on some form of ‘associate membership’. All one can say to Hannan is that if this article is the result of him having used his thought processes, perhaps in future he should save himself unnecessary further effort. Anyone who can write that neither Switzerland nor Norway have no voice in the framing of EU legislation doesn’t deserve a serious critique of his thoughts – and he won’t receive one on this occasion!
Hannan is one of those calling for a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, as is Farage who adds that he wants a ‘free and fair’ referendum, yet neither to my knowledge have addressed the question of the conditions under which any referendum might be held that would meet the demand of fairness. Among the conditions that would ensure a ‘fair’ referendum are, for example, matters such as equality of exposure in the media, limits on expenditure and the quantity of publicity material produced by each side.
What must be avoided, at all costs, is a repeat of the events which happened under Heath and Wilson whereby on each occasion, at varying stages of each referendum, the people were duped. Consider the stunt pulled by Harold Wilson to ensure his victory in the 1975 referendum. He pretended that he had achieved a “fundamental renegotiation” of the EU treaty. The government pamphlet recommending a “Yes” vote was headed “Britain’s New Deal in Europe”. All that had happened was that some minor changes were made to agricultural prices to reduce the catstrophic inflationary effects of the Common Agricultural Policy on the housewife and some extra concessions were achieved in quotas for things like New Zealand lamb and butter. Otherwise, not much else of significance. People often say they voted to join a Common Market – a free trade area. That was never the purpose of the EEC. The intention from the beginning was always political union by imperceptible, irreversible stages. Yet the impression given by the government leaflet certainly led people to think it was a free trade area we had joined. The leaflet refers ten times to the “European Community” or “the Community” but 34 times to “The Common Market” or “The Market”. The leaflet also promised that the British government and parliament would always have a veto on any new proposals to extend the power of Brussels.
Where being duped is concerned, it is worth recalling a paper produced by Eurofacts on 31st March 2000, one entitled: “How they swung it in the 70s”. This paper from Eurofacts contained excerpts from a transcript of the BBC Radio 4 programme, transmitted at 8.00 pm, Thursday 3rd February 2000, entitled “Document: A Letter to the Times”. This programme told the story of how opinion was swung in the early ’70s in favour of Britain entering the European Economic Community, including how the BBC and ITN news programmes were influenced to support the campaign for Europe. It also reveals that the European Movement and other organisations received substantial hidden funding from the CIA. Those excerpts are well worth re-reading and some of the points made, included:
- Back at the start of the 1970s, the greatest issue of the day was whether Britain ought to become European…. and had you been scanning the correspondence columns of the Times you might have noticed a flood of letters in support of our application to join the EEC. A good many of those letters were stage managed on behalf of the then Conservative government.
- Every week as Edward Heath’s government inched Britain towards Europe, Geoffrey Tucker, an advertising guru who helped to market the Conservative party, organised breakfasts for the political shakers and the media movers of the day. Journalists were there and captains of industry, editors too and television people.
- Ernest Wistrich’s European Movement was the natural organisation to front the public campaign for Europe
From the excerpts:
“TUCKER: We decided to pinpoint the “Today” programme on radio and followed right through the news programmes during the day….the television programmes, “News at Ten”, “24 Hours” and “Panorama” and from radio “World at One” and “Woman’s Hour”. Nobbling is the name of the game. Throughout the period of the campaign, there should be direct day by day communication between the key communicators and our personnel e.g. Norman Reddaway at the FCO and Marshall Stewart of the Today programme. And in 1970 the Today programme was presented by Jack De Manio, who was terribly anti-European. We protested privately about this. Ian Trethowan listened and De Manio was replaced.
PRESENTER, CHRISTOPHER COOK: Ian Trethowan was then the Managing Director of BBC Radio and a known friend of Edward Heath’s. Another of Geoffrey Tucker’s guests was Lord Hattersley, a leading figure in the pro-European faction of the Labour party.
LORD HATTERSLEY: The one breakfast I went to was a very chummy affair. We were all fighting the European cause to the extent that some of the protagonists actually drew Ian Trethowan’s attention to broadcasters who they thought had been anti-European, and asked him to do something about it. Now I was so shocked that I decided I couldn’t go again. It sounds terribly prissy but it really did shock me at the time and, frankly, remembering it shocks me still.
SIR EDWARD HEATH (PRIME MINISTER 1970-1974): The support in public opinion polls steadily mounted until we got to the point of finally concluding negotiation and had just on 50 per cent support which was very considerable.
PRESENTER: How helpful was the European Movement?
HEATH: Very helpful. They worked very hard and they received funds from supporters which enabled them to publish their own literature as well as ours.
DR RICHARD ALDRICH (political historian) – on being asked what was the documentary evidence for the alleged CIA funding – I was absolutely astonished to discover that the library (George Town University in Washington) had the entire archive of a CIA front organisation which documents from start to finish funnelling millions of dollars into Europe, into Britain, with correspondence, for example, from British Labour MPs. The whole accounting structure of the European Movement was designed to hide the fact that CIA money was coming in.
HATTERSLEY: – on being asked for his comments – All those years, all the Europeans would say “Let’s not risk trying to make fundamental changes by telling the whole truth, lets do it through public relations rather than real proselytising” and they were always inclined to “spin” the arguments rather than “expose” the arguments.
PRESENTER: And that clearly, in your view, was the wrong approach?
HATTERSLEY: Not only was it wrong for us to deal superficially with what Europe involved, but we’ve paid the price ever since because every time there’s a crisis in Europe, people say, with some justification, “ Well, we wouldn’t have been part of this if we had really known the implications. Joining the European Community did involve significant loss of sovereignty, but by telling the British people that was not involved, I think the rest of the argument was prejudiced for thirty years.”
Fraudsters who have pulled a trick once will continue to repeat that trick until they are exposed. Pressure is being exerted by the United States on Britain not to end their membership of the European Union and today we have the US State Department’s Philip H Gordon, the Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs ratcheting up the pressure even more; meaning no doubt that history will repeat itself and the fraudsters will repeat their trick once again by accepting yet more dollars to fund their efforts.
Years ago the function of the Foreign Office used to be to represent Britain abroad. It was said that an ambassador was an honest man, sent abroad to lie for the good of his country. Little known is that the Foreign Office now has a section called “EU (Internal)”, responsible to Mr Hague. Thomas Barry is the current Deputy Head Europe Directorate – Internal (appointed March 2011) among whose responsibilities is a team of twelve working to develop and deliver UK Government policy on European Union issues. We can be damn sure that part of that remit entails lying to the British people for the good of his paymaster.
In any event all this talk about a referendum is pointless – something which both Hannan and Farage should know full well, but give the appearance of not – as Richard North, EUReferendum, has just pointed out with this post. Politicians would have us believe they are not stupid, yet here we have two politicians who should know better calling for a referendum now, when they know damn well said referendum cannot and will not happen; coupled with a prime minister who states that he has no wish to leave an organisation whose aims and construct in 4 years time he knows not.
The world has truly been stood on its head.
Update: Calling England has kindly added to the excerpt above in the comments section with this link.