Thursday, 27 January 2011

Hannan, Carswell & other matters

The Eurosceptic blogosphere has come alive with the disclosure that Hannan and Carswell have proposed that the Better Off Out (BOO) campaign be wound up.

Many bloggers have entered the fray, notably EU Referendum, Your Freedom and Ours, Autonomous Mind, nourishing obscurity and Ian Parker Joseph, who highlights an earlier post of his from November 2009.

Now this is where I differ from the condemnation offered by some, of Hannan and Carswell, in that I do believe that "The Plan" is a basis on which a new form of democracy for our nation could be built. However, I would agree with Ian Parker Joseph and all that he writes in the post linked to above; consequently, the ideas contained in "The Plan" cannot be implemented whilst we remain a member of the European Union as all it would achieve would be the aims of that odious body.

My condemnation of Hannan and Carswell - and other supposed "Eurosceptic" Conservative MPs - is that they cannot remain "Eurosceptic" whilst continuing their membership - and representation of - their party. Autonomous Mind repeats a point that I have made many times - that it would appear Hannan, Carswell - and others - place more importance on their careers rather than the principles of the cause they espouse. Another supposed "Eurosceptic" Conservative MP for whom my admiration is fast waning is John Redwood, whose latest musings on the subject of the European Union Bill is here; and which ends thus:
"However, the cruel logic of the arithmetic reminds us daily that the British people elected a pro EU Parliament. Whenever Eurosceptic Conservatives push their proposals to a vote to increase Parliament’s grip over the EU or to widen the number of issues which would require a referendum, they are heavily defeated as Labour and Liberal Democrats have no wish to make any such changes to the Bill. UKIP, of course, makes no contribution whatsoever to these important matters, as there is no single UKIP member elected to do so. UKIP will just criticise from outside that none of this is sufficient. What we need is votes inside, and only Conservatives can supply those."
Two points: first, the term "Eurosceptic Conservatives" describes a collection of people that just do not exist, as I have pointed out; and by what God given right does Redwood presume that only Conservatives can be the voice of opposition to the EU? Redwood should realise that the longer Cameron continues on his path of subservience to the EU - and his supposed 'rebels' continue to follow him like the sheep they so obviously are - so will grow the support for UKIP and therefore there may well be one or more UKIP "voices within" in the not too distant future.

Carswell and Hannan do lay themselves open to the charge of 'toadyism' with their suggested course of action and as Critical Mind states:
"It’s hard to see what the case is for abolishing BOO. Apart from anything else, far from having achieved nothing, it’s the one group in the last quarter century that has given any public salience whatsoever to the idea of British withdrawal from the EU. Beyond that the low politics of the Hannan/Carswell proposal don’t seem to make much immediate sense either. If Tory MPs are reluctant to join BOO because of the implications for their career prospects, any group which is established that doesn’t threaten their personal ambitions isn’t likely to be doing its job. David Cameron has been unambiguous on this point: he fully supports British membership of the EU. A group that he and the whips can tolerate ambitious Tory backbenchers belonging to is, almost by definition, a neutered body. With, in this instance, the proposed distinction of being one that intends to neuter itself."
which begs the question: just what the hell is Hannan and Carswell trying to achieve if not attempting to neuter opposition to this nation's membership of the EU.

It is also my belief that those supporting and voting for the present Conservative Party, coupled with those standing for election as representatives of that party are guilty of serving under false colours. What is generally accepted as a "Conservative Party" no longer exists - if the aforementioned were true to their beliefs, rather than support the Conservative Party they would support UKIP as that is the only party espousing 'true' Conservative principles.

In questioning the fact "Eurosceptic" Conservative MPs are anything but, why has there been no rebellion and condemnation of the fact there is to be no referendum offered under the European Union Bill, when it is passed, within the life of the present Parliament? Does this not make a mockery of the haste with which the Government is attempting to enact this Bill? Failure to fully enact this Bill immediately means that the present status quo, whereby the Executive can opt-in to any EU proposal without the express wish of the people being first obtained, continues. The latest example coming under consideration is taken from Hansard (column 331):
"Business without Debate
European Union Document
Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 119(11)),

Cross-border enforcement
That this House takes note of European Union Document No. 7984/08 and Addenda 1 and 2, Unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum dated 13 September 2010 and Unnumbered Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum dated 21 December 2010, submitted by the Department for Transport, relating to facilitating cross-border enforcement in the field of road safety; and notes that the Government is deciding whether or not to opt in to this Directive under the terms of Protocol 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union on the position of the United Kingdom in respect of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice.- (Mike Penning .)

Question agreed to.
For those interested, the EU document referred to above can be found here. This document relates "facilitating cross-border enforcement in the field of road safety", from which we learn:
"The vast majority of experts and stakeholders have expressed agreement on the necessity for consistent enforcement of road traffic offences, both in substance and in procedural matters, in order to increase road safety. In terms of offences to be dealt with at EU level, the contributions confirm that the proposal should cover offences which are known to be the main causes of road deaths, namely speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and non use of seat belts. This scope may be progressively extended to other offences. Practically all respondents agreed that EU enforcement actions should not be limited to the Trans-European Road Network, but should cover all roads in the EU."
Do note the phrase: "This scope may be progressively extended to other offences."; the potential of which I leave to reader's imagination! Reverting to the matter of the European Union Bill and the continuing ability of the Executive to opt-in, note that this matter will be decided by them. The ability of our nation's government to legislate on any subject which would affect the population of this nation, once conceded to Brussels is a loss of power; and as such, in my opinion, should warrant a referendum. Needless to say the Government and Parliament will, no doubt, not agree!

In demonstrating the supine nature of Conservative MPs in general, from Open Europe's press summary we learn:
"MPs last night voted, by 313 votes to 26, against an amendment that would have required the Government to get the approval of a referendum before it could waive the UK’s right to opt out of over 90 EU crime and policing laws in 2014. Amendments that would have required the Government to seek Parliamentary approval before opting in to new justice, policing and immigration laws were not pushed to a vote. As a result, under the Bill, Ministers will continue to have full discretion, without needing to seek a vote in Parliament, to decide to opt in to new EU justice and home affairs laws. Documents released last Friday revealed that out of the 13 times the new Coalition Government has had to decide whether to opt in or not to such laws, Ministers have opted in eight times.

Europe Minister David Lidington conceded that that the UK’s 2014 opt out on crime and policing “is important and sensitive for the United Kingdom” and that the Government will announce plans to give Parliament a vote on this decision. He also pledged to consult with Parliament over giving MPs and Lords more power to scrutinise and potentially vote on “significant” new EU justice and immigration laws."
Amendments that would have required the Government to seek Parliamentary approval before opting in to new justice, policing and immigration laws were not even pushed to a vote! So MPs, besides believing that the people should be consulted, show that they also believe there is no need to consult them! That in itself demonstrates that we now really do live under a democratised dictatorship! For those readers who wish to read the transcript of the debate yesterday, please use the Hansard link above.

When, I repeat when, the people of this land become aware of what is happening in their name (an unlikely event it would seem, bearing in mind their present level of interest) perhaps we will then be able to provide the retribution - and all that that will entail - our political elite have so deservedly earned!


James Higham said...

It's a con, WFW and that naivety of H/C is why they were called useful fools. CP is poised to take control in each and every region and local area. Ask IPJ.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

James: If by saying "its a con" you are referring to The Plan, that may be so in our present situation.

My argument is only that The Plan does contain some good ideas for a new type of democracy and that it could only be used once we have extracted ourselves from the EU. For that reason I still believe The Plan to be useful post-EU and shud not be dismissed out of hand.

That CP is a problem is not in doubt to my mind.

Bearing those two points in mind, I can only suggest you re-read the post.