Conservative Commentary
"the blogger whose youthful effusions have won him bookmarks all over Whitehall ... horribly compelling" - The Guardian
Great Weblogs
The Enemy Within

Most recent posts ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
The EU: 15 countries, 300 million citizens, but only one view recognised as legitimate

When one considers for a moment that the EU is a political institution with its own flag, its own currency, its own foreign minister and the power to make criminals out of people who sell apples in pounds and ounces, to determine certain tax levels for its members (for example the minimum VAT levels) and to make laws under which hundreds of millions will live, it really seems rather creepy how lacking it is in any internal opposition. There is no sense of the government on one side and on the other an opposition which is internal to the EU's structures but external to its governing powers. By contrast, the EU has quangos and other bodies dedicated precisely to rooting out and delegitimising anyone who disagrees with the particular course it takes, for example declaring opponents of to the euro to be exemplars of "monetary xenophobia".

So when a representative of a national government at least speaks out on such matters, most democrats would hope that this obvious lack of any internal and structural opposition would be taken into account by the EU - that disagreement and alternative ideas from this source would be rather welcomed.

But once again, the official reaction to Gordon Brown's perfectly sensible and factual Telegraph column on the EU Constitution's implications for British sovereignty, and to his speech warning of the dangers of a drift towards a fully fledged, job-destroying, social democratic Europe, demonstrates perfect continuity of these fundamentally undemocratic traditions. The President of the European Parliament has now accused the Chancellor of - horror of horrors - "appealing to Eurosceptics"; in other words, of listening to and responding to the concerns and viewpoints of the vast majority of the people of his country. The President goes on to assert that even to make the case against the present direction of the EU's ruling body is to risk "marginalisation" of Britain in Europe. Lest there be any doubt that countries and their representatives must give pro-Brussels views or none at all, he also baldly states that "Britain's case falls on deaf ears with its European colleagues when it is couched in Eurosceptic language".

So we have no internal opposition, publicly funded quangos to denounce and delegitimise external opposition, and a warning to any political leaders from member states that should they go as far as to step out of line in a speech or newspaper column, their countries will suffer and their views be ignored unless they match those of the European Commission. This is the body, the institution, the superstate, to which Tony Blair and his closest cronies want to surrender Britain's final rights of self-government over almost every area of policy, from how we educate our children to how we indulge in space exploration. What cynically realistic judgement he shows by refusing us a referendum on this issue of an EU Constitution. How right we are to continue to demand one, and to remain determined to vote 'No'.

Great Sites
Tory Party
Reading ...