Tag Archive: William Hague

Misleading the House?

On 14th March a very serious accusation was levied against William Hague of committing what is a cardinal sin, that of misleading the House of Commons, one made by Spinwatch and which seems to have slipped under the radar of most commentators – at least I have seen little if any mention of the accusation. (If I have in fact missed any mention elsewhere, then of course I offer my apologies).

On 4th March William Hague said:

Former President Yanukovych left his post and then left the country, and the decisions on replacing him with an acting President were made by the Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, by the very large majorities required under the constitution, including with the support of members of former President Yanukovych’s party, the Party of Regions, so it is wrong to question the legitimacy of the new authorities.

Hansard Col: 736.

Spinwatch point out that the Ukraine Constitution lays down a strict procedure for the removal from office of a President citing Article 111 – the link Spinwatch give to the Ukraine Constitution appears to be broken, but this document can be viewed here with the relevant article found by clicking on Title V.

However, in his statement on UKraine to the House of Commons William Hague makes mention of the fact that the 2004 Constitution was restored – yet we find from this report by RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty that both the 1996 and the 2004 constitutions are uniform when it comes to the reasons for removing a president, with Article 111 stating the parliament has the right to initiate a procedure of impeachment “if he commits treason or other crime.”; and that  it is not clear the hasty February 22 vote upholds constitutional guidelines, which call for a review of the case by Ukraine’s Constitutional Court and a three-fourths majority vote by the Verkhovna Rada — i.e., 338 lawmakers. This latter point about the required majority is something that Spinwatch maintains fell ten short when the actual vote was held. According to Article 111 of the Ukraine Constitution the majority obtained cannot surely be held to be legal – contrary to Hague’s assertion?

There would appear to be something amiss here – and when something amiss occurs in the world of politics invariably there is a growing stench which then emanates.

H/T English_Woman (Twitter) for the Spinwatch link.

 

 


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Redwood ‘open letters’ Hague

In The Times today, on the Opinion page, John Redwood writes an ‘open letter’ to William Hague, one with the title: Is the Foreign Office fighting for Britain? Following the usual opening pleasantry of Dear William, Redwood begins: The Foreign Office review of the balances of EU competences — documenting the powers that Brussels has over Britain — is important work. The title may not be catchy, but it is about our democracy and identity as a nation. He continues: The six chapters published so far read as whitewash to justify the existing settlement. The reader is alerted to the overarching bias of the exercise in the first sentence: “Membership of the EU is in the UK’s national interests.

Redwood wants the FCO to start with an honest catalogue of all the powers the EU now enjoys. He then believes this would allow political parties  to then set out which powers should be brought back to the UK and which should remain at EU level. This is a man who then further believes that: our democracy needs a new relationship.

There will, no doubt, be readers who believe that I should ‘lay off’ criticising Redwood just as they believe my castigation of the likes of Carswell and Hannan are unjustified, in that they are convinced those three are part of the ”good guys’. For any politician who can believe in (a) a system of democracy which has no vestige of democracy within it; and (b) that some powers affecting their nation, whose well being they hold in their hands on behalf of others, can be sub-contracted to another, higher, legislative body should promptly be committed to Broadmoor!

That Redwood, Carswell and Hannan are but Judas Goats leading their sheep to their eventual appointment at the political slaughterhouse is beyond doubt That all three can write blithely about democracy, when such does not exist but a system of democratised dictatorship does, should ring alarm bells in any person who has the ability of thought. They write about independence of our nation, by which they mean their independence, not the independence of those they are elected to serve and whose views they are supposed to represent – hence they wish to perpetuate the existing system of democratised dictatorship.

Since when has a nation been the personal fifedom of our elected politicians, to do with as they wish? Does not a nation belong to the people within it and should it not be their voice that dictates that nation’s – as well as their own – direction of travel? That Redwood, Carswell and Hannan – as do undoubtedly the remainder of their class – seem unable to accept that falling membership of political parties is something that continues and thus demonstrates that people no longer are content to devote hours of their time supporting them beggars belief.

This latter point is one mentioned by Ross Clark in an article to be published in the Speccie in two days time, but is currently available online. In his article, Clark nails the problem with representative democracy where democracy is concerned. He writes:

Yet every election forces us to choose between baskets of policies. The political system offers us only fixed menus when most of us really want to go à la carte.

Here, although Clark does not wish to mention it – assuming he has even considered it – we have the first unspoken suggestion that representative democracy does not and cannot work; and it means that if we want à la carte then the only way to achieve that state is to adopt a system of direct democracy. On this point of an à la cart option, Clark continues:

But what if convention were to be abandoned and the Prime Minister and the main offices of state could be directly elected? The possibility that any MP could become Prime Minister would encourage independent candidates to come forward, who could stand on their own genuine beliefs, not those fed to them by party managers (or donors). No longer would an incoming government have a mandate to enact a single manifesto, with whips on hand to bully MPs into line; every policy would have to command support of the House of Commons on its own merits. Then the country could simultaneously vote — as it would choose to do — for both welfare reform and a mansion tax.

Yet again we find Clark highlighting the deficits of representative democracy, but once again seemingly unable to take the next logical step. If we wish to vote for welfare reform and a mansion tax, why on earth does that have to have an effect countrywide? Why cannot smaller units, such as County Councils, decide that; and, more importantly, why cannot the people in each County Council decide that which they want and insist on their Council providing just that?

That which Clark would like to see is but the tip of what the 6 Demands would provide – political freedom for the people and an end to the servitude which they presently suffer under representative democracy, a system that is by its nature one that is dictatorial.

No doubt like many others I am frustrated that those who present themselves as opinion-formers/political commentators appear unable to think logically – and ‘outside the box’. When we have politicians inside the box; and whose livelihood depends on maintain their seat inside the box; and opinion formers/political commentators who appear to have not one logical reasoning process among them – then all we, the people, can look forward to is a continuance of the status quo.

Unless we, perhaps, start thinking for ourselves?

 


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2013
08/28

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David's Musings

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Mandate? What mandate?

William Hague writes in the Telegraph in tones designed to sway public opinion to agree with him and the remainder of the political elite that the United Kingdom, as a democratic nation , should become involved in the “Syrian problem”. The immediate question that has to be asked is if we, the UK, intervene just what are we going to do? What is the desired end result and just how will that be accomplished? In essence: where is the “game plan”?

Presumably, by defining the United Kingdom as a democratic nation he infers that our country practices the system of democracy. Really? As one of the many who provide the funding for wars – and everything else that government wish to spend – where is our voice as to whether we wish to pay for what will amount to another war?

I would remind readers that our government has no money of its own, only that which the forcibly extract from us through the taxation system. Coupled with which – and leaving aside the question of what mandate the present government has for such a decision – one has to ask the even more fundamental question: by what mandate does the present coalition government have for its existence? To which the answer must be none, as when were the electorate given the opportunity to vote for it, or even its manifesto?

I cannot be alone in finding politicians prattling on about democracy to be both amusing and frustrating, especially as it is obvious they know not the meaning of the word and fail to ignore the fact that representative democracy is a farce – it is a system that allows what are no more than elected dictators to rule over those that elect them for, in our case, a period of 5 years.

Logic requires one to return to the 6 Demands, in particular Demand #5, which states that no expenditure of public money should be made without the consent of those that supply said money. Ergo, were this nation to practice true democracy, no intervention in “matters Syria” could be undertaken without the agreement of the majority of the British electorate.  Now that would be democracy in action. Instead, we have the situation that a tin-pot dictator – aka David Cameron (and tin-pot he is as he was not elected to the position of Prime Minister) – can take us into a potential armed conflict purely on a whim of his, thus allowing him to “grandstand” on the world stage.

Hague argues that the way ahead will not be without risks, but the risks of doing nothing are greater. Er, excuse me Mr. Hague but have not you and your ilk been guilty of doing nothing where firstly; democracy is concerned and secondly; about the abrogation of sovereignty over which you have all been complicit since 1972?

 

 

 


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I think we should be told, Mr. Cameron.

Not that I expect an answer to that question, especially bearing in mind I wrote to him in my capacity as one of his constituents on 19th June and was advised on 24th June by a member of his staff that my email had been printed out for him to read – and to which, surprise not, I still await a response.

The plan to which I refer is that of David Cameron’s promise to renegotiate our membership of the European Union. By what method is he intending to renegotiate our membership and what exactly is he attempting to renegotiate?

I think we should be told.

Is Cameron attempting to get a consensus among Member States for change, is he looking for “treaty change” or is he intending to invoke Article 50 of the TEU.

I think we should be told

Just four days ago we were informed, in an article in the Telegraph, that Ivan Rogers,  the Prime Minister’s adviser on Europe and global issues, is being tipped for a new job as Britain’s ambassador to the EU in Brussels., coupled with the fact that whoever fills this post will be expected to lead efforts to strike a new deal for the UK, repatriating powers from Europe to Britain, before putting the results to the electorate in a referendum.

When one looks at the career of Ivan Rogers, who was Chief of Staff to Sir Leon Brittan, Vice President of the European Commission and Private Secretary to Kenneth Clarke, Chancellor of the Exchequer (two known europhiles) it would seem that the deck is already stacked against any renegotiation. It is accepted that civil servants are supposed to be impartial, but does Ivan Rogers hold the position of civil servant? Regardless of whether he is or not, or whether he is an employee of David Cameron and paid out of Conservative Party funds, we need to know where his loyalties lie because those loyalties will influence his actions – is he not human?

I think we should be told.

In 9 months time we are due the European Elections and prior to actually voting should not the electorate have been informed exactly what David Cameron intends. That applies to every political party, especially including Ukip from whom any in-depth statement on renegotiation – or any other aspect of ceasing our membership of the EU – is sorely lacking. It is beyond belief, well mine anyway, that the one party making so much noise about independence and said membership is so quiet – have they all gone to Bongo-Bongo land for their holidays?

I think we should be told.

When considering the “Acquis”, which basically states that a power once ceded to the EU can never be reclaimed, we could substitute the word “annexation”. According to Wikipedia annexation is the permanent acquisition and incorporation of some territorial entity into another geo-political entity. If Carl Gardner is correct – and I see no reason why he is not, as I have proved – then by the acceptance of the primacy of EU law over UK law, be that national or constitutional, has not the UK been annexed by the EU; with of course the agreement of not the people but that of our Parliament.

I think we should be told.

Returning to this “renegotiation thingy” – and leaving aside the likes of Andrea Leadsom and her misguided cohorts – what powers exactly is David Cameron intending to attempt to repatriate? To begin with, should not the people decide whether that is acceptable in the first place? Should not the people be told, prior to any attempt to renegotiate our terms of membership of the EU, whether there exists any “red lines”; ie, that non-acceptance by the EU of certain “cast-iron” matters would result in a recommendation of a “No” vote?

I think we should be told.

Back in January this year, at press  conference in the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week, President Martin  Schulz delivered a crushing blow to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s  planned renegotiation of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European  Union. Asked by a BBC journalist if he had any advice for Cameron  in advance of his much vaunted speech on the EU, and if renegotiation were  possible, Schulz replied: “Nein.” No renegotiation of the treaties would be  possible, he stated. In view of that we can be forgiven if we consider what appears to be David Cameron’s policy could perhaps be summed up as nothing but a British domestic political exercise, one with the only view to muddy the waters a tad.

David Cameron has, since his “election” as Leader of his Party, presented himself as a “europsceptic” yet has conducted himself as anything but. He has been aided and abetted by his Foreign Secretary, who when occupying the position of Leader of the same party said:

And so I say to the people of Britain:if you believe that our country is unique in the world but is in danger of losing its identity; if you believe that Britain is a place where you should be rewarded for doing the right thing, but now you are penalised for it; if you believe in Britain as a healthy democracy, but that the standards of democracy are now being tarnished and diminished;if you believe in Britain as a country where the law is enforced and respected, but that now it is not respected enough;if you believe in Britain as a country that will work with its neighbours but never submit to being governed by anyone else;if you believe in an independent Britain.Then come with me, and I will give you back your country.

If the two “leading lights” of the Conservative Party felt so passionately about our country – well at least one of them did – what made them change their minds? Nothing to do with their political careers, surely?

I think we should be told.

If we have to suffer representative democracy in this country, then I think we should be told everything: the pros and cons of EU membership, the reasons for the change of minds of our politicians where that subject is concerned – and it should be so done in a factual manner with no spin.

I think we should be told.

Of course, were Direct Democracy the system under which we lived, we would not be in the political mess we now find ourselves – not just on the subject of membership of the EU, but also on immigration, foreign aid, MP’s expenses and remuneration, energy generation, waste disposal etc; need I continue?

 


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2013
07/17

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David's Musings

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Hague at Open Europe

Yesterday the Daily Telegraph carried a short report by Christopher Hope on the speech William Hague gave at an Open Europe event, the text of which (as given) can be read here.

Let us leave to one side Hague’s praise of Open Europe as a think tank whose work is incisive (not) and unsurpassed among think tanks in Britain; coupled with his statement that he shares Open Europe’s vision of an open, dynamic, more democratic and flexible European Union, when in fact it is known that it is the other way round, that Open Europe is but a mouthpiece for the present policy of David Cameron and his party.

Noticeable in Hague’s speech is mention of the democratic deficit and the irony of complaining that people do not know how to make their views heard or how to change things as they do in a national democracy and that the European Union is  very good at centralising power from its Member States but very bad at letting go of power, at decentralising. Bearing in mind that the people in the UK have no chance to change things with which they do not agree and that the political class is also very good at centralising power; the words “Pot” and “Kettle” immediately spring to mind.

Those two words are also pertinent where Hague accuses the last Government of  arrogance – agreeing and bringing into law the Lisbon Treaty without consulting the voters in any way at all – and thus did severe damage to the EU’s democratic legitimacy in this country. Did not, in 2010, two political parties do severe damage to their own democratic legitimacy in this country when they, in effect, usurped power and published a manifesto on which not one member of the electorate had had the opportunity to pass judgement?

Nothing exemplifies the political characteristic of lying to their audience than Hague’s assertion that the UK had managed to accomplish something that had never been done before, namely a cut in the EU budget – except the UK did not accomplish a cut in the EU budget, we are in fact paying more. Attempts to highlight political lying, or being economical with the actualité, are not helped by the media – and in this particular instance, the Daily Telegraph – using selective quotes from Hague’s speech to present to their readers a completely different impression than would be realised had the entire speech been reprinted.

Update: For those interested – video now available of Hague’s speech.


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Open Europe is anything but “open” about its motives….

…but then, neither is our political class.

I note that Richard North has posted what I take to be an initial response on the EU Referendum Bill debate held today in the House of Commons, seeking to paraphrase the title of his post on the statement of  Nasa and the original moon landing. Subsequent to Richard North’s post comes one on the Open Europe blog website.

There are a number of points to make in regard to the blogpost on the Open Europe website when considering the scenarios that are considered:

1. It is not right for political parties to indulge in actions, purely for their own benefit and thus influence the minds of the British electorate, to consider which option open to them will bring them the greater electoral reward.

2. Bearing in mind that, for those with the “nous”, it is well known Open Europe is but a mouthpiece of Cameron and those who wish this country to remain a member of the European Union; as a result the view can be taken that this is no more than an attempt to “consolidate” the Conservative support and thus the vote of their members. Does it not contain “warnings” of possible dire results should the Conservative Party vote falter by abstention, or switch support to Ukip?

3. In the preamble, prior to the “dire warnings”, the Open Europe article maintained that the HoC debate was interesting for what was said, as for what what not said. Likewise the Open Europe blogpost. It does not attempt to tackle the question of how – and by what method/procedure – any renegotiation would be conducted; nor does it attempt to discuss how, bearing in mind the Hoc Research Paper 13/42, the timescales being discussed by various political factions could be met.

It is well known that I am prone to digress – now and again – and in this instance it is to note the speech this afternoon by William Hague in support of James Wharton’s Bill. This from the man who is reported to have said - not a few weeks ago:

“……..wrong question at the wrong time – partly because we don’t know how Europe will develop over the next few years.

Pot/Kettle?

It is also worth noting that, this time last year,  Hague was maintaining that his “audit” of EU competences had nothing to do with if a referendum should be held – and when. One has to ask why then it is being conducted if it is not do with democracy per se and our membership of the EU? It is also worth noting that neither Open Europe, nor Hague in his HoC speech referred to that question of democracy – yet is not the subject of democracy at the heart of the question about this nation’s membership of the European Union?

Wharton’s Bill, Hagues speech; and the Open Europe blogpost is but an attempt to lead the British electorate up the proverbial cul-de-sac – no more, no less. It is but another attempt to “park” the issue of EU membership and a referendum, borne out by the failure of our political elite to decide when is “the right time”.

This latest debate is but part of a similar ploy, no doubt arrived at with the compliance of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, with a view to “killing” the possibility of any referendum within the timescale envisaged by means of “delay” in the House of Lords and Labour “talking out” the Bill in subsequent Committee and Chamber debates.

We, the British people, are but puppets on strings being pulled by the political class. Just watch, wait and see!


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The Hague “Red Card” Speech

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have finally posted the teHaxt of Hague’s speech – and firstly, don’t ever again any section of the media label William Hague as a Eurosceptic – Michael Heseltine or Ken Clark could have given this speech.

Virtually immediately Hague repeats the lie that Cameron  and Merkel, working with others, secured the first ever cut in the EU’s multiannual budget. Really? Are we in fact not nearly £800million worse off?

For Hague to lecture the EU about democratic legitimacy is on a par of the pot calling the kettle black. Where is Hague’s democratic legitimacy? Representative Democracy? Just where is democracy in that system?

Hague spoke about the British people agreeing that we need effective institutions to uphold the Single Market. I doubt if the average man in the street could offer a definition of the Single Market and when it came to a definition of an institution, the response would probably have been somewhere where Hague could be sent, never to be seen again.

Hague’s speech continued with him saying that too often, the British people feel that Europe is something that happens to them, not something they have enough of a say over; that the EU is happy speaking but does not seem interested in listening; that the EU is sometimes part of the problem, not the solution. And the difference twixt Brussels and Westminster is? Do the people not know that Westminster is something that happens to them? Do we have any say over that? Is not Westminster never tired of listening to their own voice? Is not Westminster part of the problem and not the solution?

Hague also maintains that it is national governments and national parliaments that are accountable to their electorates and that they are the democratic levers voters know how to pull. But is not turnout falling because in effect with agreement on policy by all the political parties, there is in fact only one lever to pull. Same-sex-marriage, anyone?

I must now quote an extract from Hague’s speech:

“I know that our friends in Germany and across the Continent follow closely the vigorous debate on Europe that we have in Britain. They could perhaps at times be forgiven for asking themselves about our commitment to making European Union work.

But the Prime Minister couldn’t have been clearer in his speech in January.

He said that Britain’s national interest is best served in a flexible, adaptable and open European Union.

That such a European Union is best with Britain in it.

And that he will campaign for such an arrangement with all his heart and soul.”

No, Mr. Hague; what he actually said, although not for British ears, was this!

In conclusion I can but repeat this was the speech of a Europhile, not a Eurosceptic. Hague wears the coat of many colours, in common with most politicians, because was this not the man who said “Come with me and I will give you your country back“?

 


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Open Europe/Hague’s Red Card/Welfare

Once again Open Europe has managed to dig itself yet another proverbial pit in the course of which it unknowingly makes an utter fool of itself. In today’s press summary the first article is about William Hague’s idea of a “red card” to enable national parliaments to block any aspect of EU law with which they disagree. First, having gone to great lengths to increase the areas where qualified majority voting (QMV) is the norm, how on earth does Hague reckon that the EU would allow one country to exercise what in effect would be a veto? Autonomous Mind has posted a short article on this although, unfortunately, it does not go into the subject in any great detail. Admittedly, AM does raise one point that is not mentioned in the OE press summary; that of a specified number of member states’ legislatures being required to issue a “red card”. And the number of legislatures required will be? And who will decide that number?

On the same subject Mats Persson (and we can always rely on him to make a fool of himself) argues that allowing national parliaments to block unwanted EU laws would go a long way to bring back democratic accountability over EU decisions; yet seems to forget that even were that possible for the UK, how then do the people block unwanted national parliament decisions? Persson seem to conveniently forget that there are two sides to this coin of democratic accountability. As has long been asked on this blog – and elsewhere – what is the point of repatriating powers from one set of dictators only to hand them to another set? Linked to this first piece of the press summary is the Open Europe blog piece on this subject of a “red card” which adds nothing but which, in reality, is but another opportunity for Persson to get his name into print.

The second item of the press summary is a continuation of the spat twixt the EU and the UK over benefits, a piece which they headline as an attempt by the EU to “land grab”. This piece has a number of links to it, yet nowhere can one see one to Article 18 of the TFEU which is what is at the heart of the matter and is what on which the EU is basing its decision to go to the ECJ. Just what is it that OE – and Persson – do not understand? In fact the accusation that OE are but craven cowards where debate is concerned is illustrated by my having responded on Twitter to a tweet of theirs which referred to their blogpost about the EU’s decision to take the UK to the ECJ. My response that their article was factually incorrect and incomplete remains, after nearly 24 hours, still unanswered. Need one say more?

On this subject of the UK being taken to the ECJ, Mary Ellen Synon has a short article in the Speccie “Coffee House” blog in which she maintains that we are all citizens of the EU now. She is, unfortunately, only stating the obvious when she writes about the EU’s intention to negate any sense that those in Member States may have about their nationality. Hell, does not Article 20 of the TFEU not state that every person holding the nationality of a Member State is a citizen of the EU. It may continue that this citizenship is in addition to, but does not replace national citizenship, however why else would one of the four pillars not be free movement of people if one of the aims was, over time, to negate “nationality”?

Mary Ellen may write that the EU is attempting to extend control over the benefits system, but surely the EU is continually extending control over member states in every area. Why else would they have given themselves that ability under Articles 4; 5; and 6 of the TFEU? It should also be remembered that once the EU has legislated in any area it becomes an EU competence, similar to those specified in Article 3 of the TFEU, resulting in the situation where Member States cannot legislate without the agreement of the EU.

Not one of the points raised in this post is addressed by Open Europe, yet it is to such bodies that the media pays great attention. It is important to note – and make the point – that misinformation, or a lie, when repeated by those too lazy to question the information, remains just that: misinformation, or a lie. On this point, a slight digression:

A “conversation” took place this morning with someone who is quite prolific on twitter (I withhold his name to spare his blushes) – and who, as an aside, is a Ukip supporter. He tweeted that  ”The discredited, ludicrously designed House of Commons (bear pit/old-boy/gentleman’s club/Oxford Debating Soc) could be replaced.” When I replied that there is no need to replace the HoC – it is our system of democracy that requires to be replaced, he disagreed replying, in turn, that the House of Commons chamber is an anachronism – delightful eccentricity or inefficient mayhem and that it should be replaced! When I queried with what, his response was it should be replaced by a new building. To this I queried what about those within it to which the response was that we need to encourage people with successful life experience into parliament by paying competitively. When I replied that having got the people he wanted and paid them more; how does that cure the basic deficit in our democracy, adding that he needed to start thinking “outside the box”. The response to that was that democratic deficit, as I put it (a tad aggressively he maintained) will be assisted through robust independent-minded representation. Responding to him: How and what did he see as the big democratic deficit in this country and pleading with him not to put forward the EU, the response I received was: “Safe seats”. At that point I gave up………. One is left with the impression that my twitter respondent would be well advised to apply for a job with Open Europe where he will find himself among similar ill-informed and ignorant people.

The point of that long digression is to show that it is due to the efforts of our political class and bodies such as Open Europe, that the people in this country are so ill-informed and so ignorant on “matters political” – the cause of which is the misinformation and lies that they are fed. Do not voting fodder have rights, one of which must be to be educated and informed fairly and without bias?
In this “post-democratic” age – obviously not.

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Public increasingly interested in affairs EU

So reports TheParliament website (the one with a ring of stars) stating that: “Europeans are increasingly interested in European affairs, and a majority want to be informed on what happens at EU level.” With the survey, conducted between 17 November and 2 December 2012, on 26,739 European citizens from the 27 member states out of a population of 500m, it can hardly be termed representative – but I digress.

 From what coverage of the Eastleigh by-election campaigns I have seen, it would appear that mention of matters EU did not feature that prominently, other than immigration, which is a tad surprising when considering how much the EU affects life and how we live it. Needless to say that may well change, come the 2015 general election, although it is a given that the three main parties will do their utmost to ensure discussion of matters EU is kept to a bare minimum, if that.

It is worth remembering that next year, 2014, William Hague’s promised audit of EU “influence”, in how we are governed, is due for publication. He would not be surprised to learn that with my, and that of the public, opinion of our political class at such a low state, any hope that this audit will be fair, reasoned and, more importantly, factually correct, is virtually non-existent. Yet no doubt the findings of this audit will be widely used in the 2015 general election and during the proposed referendum, if and when it is held.

The “pile of cards” being stacked against any wish of the people to cease this country’s membership of the EU grows higher with the passing of each day.

 


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Being Leadsom what up the garden path

The Fresh Start Group has today published what they have called a “Manifesto for change” which includes a Foreward penned by William Hague, the brevity of which is most marked. Richard North, EUReferendum, has dismissed this tome by the FSG as being not worthy of comment – a judgement with which it is hard to disagree. It is not necessary to progress far into this document in order to see why that view is held.

The first paragraph and the start of the second to the Introduction sets the tone:

“The status quo in the European Union is no longer an option. The Eurozone is facing up to the inevitable consequences of the financial crisis, and is moving towards fiscal and banking union. This is not a path that the British people will go down, and together with other non-Euro members of the EU, we must articulate and negotiate a new and different relationship for ourselves whilst remaining a full member of the EU.

Our ambition is to build on the success of the single market. We want to ensure the EU institutions protect and deepen the single market. We also want to protect British sovereignty, ensuring that the British Parliament can decide what is best for Britain………”

Being a full member of the European Union entails accepting the status quo, of the Acquis Commauntaire wherein a power once ceded will never be returned, so how wee “george and rea” believe they can claw back powers as part of this new and different relationship and still remain a full member, beggars belief.

It is indeed laughable of these two clowns – and those who have signed-up to their beliefs – that they feel the need to protect British sovereignty which, because of our membership of the European Union – no long exists. Sovereignty, something that ensures a country can make decisions for itself, can only exist in its entirety and is not something that can be carved up into pieces, handing some elsewhere. A country either has sovereignty or it does not – there are no half-way stages.

It is pretentious, to say the least, that Leadsom wishes to ensure that the British Parliament can decide what is best for Britain. Since when, as with sovereignty, has Britain been theirs to do with as they will? Is not the sovereignty of Britain and what is best for Britain a decision of the British people?

On pages 5 and 6 of this document comes the totally false Norway/Switzerland repetition about those countries having to accept legislation with no say in the formulation of same:

“The benefits of the single market, to UK exports and to FDI, are generally accepted to be the reason Britain entered the EU and the main reason for our remaining a member. If the UK decided that, overall, the benefits to EU membership were outweighed by the costs; there are three alternative models of trading with the EU that have been considered, but found wanting:

  • Joining the European Economic Area (as for Norway)
  • Negotiating a series of FTAs (as for Switzerland)
  • Negotiating a new Customs Union (as for Turkey)

Norway, Switzerland and Turkey have preferential trading arrangements with EU Member States but are subject to bureaucratic rules of origin (though only in agricultural products in the case of Turkey). Most importantly, their trade with the EU relies on accepting or complying with many EU regulations over which they do not have a vote.”

and this document is offered for our consideration and asks us to treat it seriously? Presumably Hague did read it before allowing his Foreward to be used? In which case, in view of the blatant untruth on page 6, just how the hell does he consider it to be “well-researched”? It is noted that the situations of Norway and Switzerland viz-a-viz their relationship with the European Union were dismissed as: “found wanting”. Really?

The final page to this serious-not piece of work contains a vote of thanks to those who contributed – but unfortunately appears to have an omission, a word which I have inserted on their behalf:

“The Fresh Start Project would like to thank those who have contributed so much [crap] to this manifesto, in particular:

Gutto Bebb MP, Nick de Bois MP, Therese Coffey MP, George Eustice MP, Mark Garnier MP, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Gerald Howarth MP, Andrea Leadsom MP, Charlotte Leslie MP, Tim Loughton MP, David Mowat MP, Neil Parish MP, Priti Patel MP, and Dominic Raab MP.”

 


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