Saturday, 7 November 2009

China in your hand

Over at Conservative Ho they’ve been busier than Carol Decker’s drycleaners in whitewashing David Cameron’s betrayal of his ‘cast iron pledge’ to hold a referendum of the Lisbon Treaty if it was in force by the time he was elected Provincial Governor.


"Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: if I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations. No treaty should be ratified without consulting the British people in a referendum…"

should in fact have read:

The Conservative Party campaign for a UK referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was over after the Czech Republic became the final EU member state to sign the document on Tuesday. It's no longer a treaty, it's been incorporated into EU law,"

It’s a simple typo. Anyone can see that. Miss out an insignificant little word such as ‘not’ and all of a sudden everyone’s on your case. Sheesh.

Melanchthon presents a sophistical argument why this egregious u-turn is in fact a victory for those of us on the Right who do not want our country to be subsumed into a European super state. Firstly the dear ancient Proddy establishes his unimpeachable eurosceptic record:

I have been a Eurosceptic since the late 1980s. I remember challenging Leon Brittan in 1989, asking him what an entity with its own Executive, civil service, legal space, Parliament and supreme court was supposed to be if not a state. If it waddled like a duck and quacked like a duck, I said, it was probably a duck. I made my first speech against the Single European Currency in 1991. Throughout the 1990s I argued in favour of Euroscepticism, that we should be in Europe but not run by Europe. After Maastricht I was in favour of renegotiation. Neither of these views was code for anything. My belief in renegotiation was not code for "get out of Europe". My belief in "in Europe but not run by Europe" was not code for "join the Single European State by stealth". I was a Eurosceptic.

In those days, it seems, ‘eurosceptic’ meant wanting to stay in but to make the project better, and to guarantee national sovereignty within the EU.

Or EC. Or EEC. Or Roman Empire or whatever the hell its real name is.

The plan was to enshrine our freedoms and nationhood in law by some kind of phrasing, clauses, or constitutional instrument to uphold the following key principles:

That Britain's membership of the European Union should be clarified as an international agreement of a sovereign state, not the pooling of sovereignty into a newly sovereign entity of Europe

The dear boy doesn’t seem to have noticed that Lisbon is self-amending and essentially an enabling act for EU institutions to extend their already considerable powers without further getting of peoples’ dander up by asking them anything about it. See this one of several Irish sites explaining it in detail. (We don’t need such sites and explanations in the UK because, well, you know.) Such a clarification would surely have to be, um, gold plated, or copper-bottomed, or something. The ‘something’ being either A: ‘Let’s get out now,’ (unlikely), or B: a lie.

That Britain should state that it would not join the Single European Currency.

This is unlikely now that Labour has reduced the Pound’s prestige and value as an international currency to about that of the Matabele gumbo bean, and the EU would have to break almost all of its qualifications criteria to let us into the Euro…

Ah. Yes. I see.

That Britain should have no participation in any future aspect of the European Union encompassing criminal law.

The European Arrest Warrant being, er, some kind of chocolate treat from Belgium, or a flirting website belonging to an Italian porn-star MEP, yeah? Clearly, Melanchthon believes that giving foreign fuzz the power to insist that our coppers send British subjects to lands where a criminal trial does not have to be speedy, or conducted by juries of one’s peers rather than inquisitorial magistrates, or free from laws passed by former Soviet-era Communists doesn’t count as any future aspect of the European Union encompassing criminal law.

Phew. With a single bound he was free.

Maybe not us, though.

The Boy from the Black Stuff then turns to the matter of referendums.

I was always opposed to the idea of referendums. These are a device of dictatorship, fundamentally incompatible with Parliamentary democracy, an appeal to the Will of the People over the heads of their elected representative…Unlike his glorious leader until very recently it seems.

Let’s look at the dictatorships that have used this device incorporating the Will of the People (Who dey? Ed.) to overcome Parliamentary democracy, shall we?

The Mosleyite UK, who got it right.

Fascist France, who got it wrong.

Quisling Norway, who also got it wrong.

The Apartheid-originating Dutch, who, strangely, also got it wrong.

These dictatorial rejections of the Constitution led to the Irish to abandon their referendum, until the potato-munching bastards got it wrong on Lisbon too, but who later got it right, the lambs.

You know, if I was going to suggest that the welfare of the British people would be improved by some kind of international league or confederation of countries, I surely wouldn’t want it to include nations governed by such rally-addressing, Rhine-crossing, Champs-Elysees strutting populist Right-wingers as: Harold Wilson; Jacques Chirac; Centre Party Reichsleiter Anne Enger; all the major parties of the Netherlands (I know, I know); and those Dark Lands forged by that notorious Jew-bating paper formally known as The Irish Constitution, but which will soon grace the bomb-proofed walls of the Jyllands-Posten Comedy Document Archive.

He goes on: Of course, I hope that in renegotiation lots of matters of detail come up - things to do with the CAP, CFP, the Social Chapter, and much else. But these are all matters of detail, of the policy of the moment, things that can be negotiated away one day and taken back the next if the basic constitutional principles he proposes are established.

By the same token, I hope that my formerly spiteful ex-wife will reverse a decade-long vendetta against me and restore our daughter’s lost childhood happiness, but I imagine that it’ll take some pretty fancy footwork on my part and a time machine, and I doubt that Cameron is much of a hoofer and he’d look silly in a police box.

In his wisdom, Melanchthon goes on:

Our EU partners will certainly accept the measures Cameron proposes - how could they object, since these are all amendments to our own domestic constitution, other than by ejecting us from the EU? But if they were to object to them in some way, we would be ejected from the EU, and the issue of a referendum on renegotiation would not arise. I just think that idea missed the point.

These are small quibbles. The key thing is that November 4th represented the triumph of Euroscepticism. I really think most of those that have taken these proposal badly either failed to understand them or have actually long been get-outers rather than Eurosceptics at all. For those of us that are, indeed, Eurosceptics, this is our moment.

Oops, M.

And so black is white. Up is down. Slavery is freedom. War is peace. All this is the topsy-turvy, caucus race world of the Tory ‘eurosceptics.’

I remember being proud of being a Conservative and Unionist: canvassing and leafleting and public speaking and envelope stuffing and telling outside the poling stations and driving the little old ladies to the polling booth in the rickety Northmobile and prompting the late voters to go and cast their ballots in what was, back then, credibly a sovereign nation inside a trading bloc.

Mrs Thatcher and her colleagues promised to sort out Labour’s inflationary economic mess, re-equip our armed forces in the face of growing Soviet empire outside of Eurasia, fight against terrorism and tame the over-mighty trades unions. Ah the 1980s! I remember them well: The New Wave. Blondie. The BBC's CND week. Spitting Image. My Nuke the Whales for Christ lapel badge. The International Symposium of the Open Society. The Alternative Bookshop. Guns 'n Roses. Wham! Club Tropicana. Slipping out for a quick pint with Marc Almond.

And as Maggie said, so she did to a large extent. She promised A and, within reason, she achieved A. Nothing and no-one’s perfect but she tried, and we could understand what she was trying to do and we could connect that to our beliefs about our country, the world, and the future security and prosperity of our families. Later, of course, this rot set in.

The sophistical modern Tories, however, are forever changing the words, their meanings, the meaning of the meaning of their words, and the order in which their words are presented.

It’s like some crazy, meaningless charade that resembles a real game, but which has no rules and no purpose except to resemble a real game.

And in that spirit here are some messages for some of our friends in Occupied London - Wimbledon, Pontoon Dock, Marylebone, Marble Arch, Cannon Street, Cockfosters, King's Cross, Westminster, Mornington Crescent. Thank you, and good night.


James Higham said...

The dear boy doesn’t seem to have noticed that Lisbon is self-amending and essentially an enabling act for EU institutions to extend their already considerable powers without further getting of peoples’ dander up by asking them anything about it.

I believe what it is about is that the EU funds regions and has great clout. It tells Cameron behind closed doors that he can have his sceptic policy on paper but it mustn't have any teeth.

If it does, he can kiss May 2010 goodbye. They swayed Ireland, they can sway the still half-Labour Britain.

Quiet_Man said...

Winston Smith appears to be alive and well and working at Conservative Home. Non the worse for his room 101 experiences.

Barking Spider said...

The heir to Blair he once said NNW, and indeed he is with a good line in doublespeak, God help us!

North Northwester said...

I do remember when eurosceptic meant 'stay in but reform,' but surely no-one brainy enough to put national self government top of the list believes that the Treaty of Rome is reformable and that the political will exists on the Continent to do so? ye; just as Blair's new labour came in promising to keep the advantages of Tory prosperity without its rough edges, Cameron promises to preserve the New Labour State without the rough edges. The problems are that it's all rough edges - and Cameron will be responsible to a foreign overlord.
Nobody's going to change that - but us and people like us, I think.


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