Friday, 15 April 2011

The demise of the Lib/Lab/Con (and other) Parties?

There are two European Union Regulations that may well have a profound effect, in the future, on how political parties and politics operate in the UK. The two Regulations are (i) Regulation (EC) 2004/2003; and (ii) Regulation 1524/2007; the latter amending the former. A report has also been produced on the 18th March 2011 regarding the application of Regulation (EC) 2004/2003 on the regulations governing political parties at the European level and the rules regarding their funding These regulations deal with the creation of Pan European Parties; something that already, to a certain extent, exists with national parties sitting in political groups. Presently, the groups comprise:

The introduction of pan-European parties must surely be seen as a move by the European Union to negate political parties representing national freedom. For example paragraph 4 of Regulation (EC) 2004/2003 states:
"In order to be able to identify a ‘political party at European level’, it is important to set certain conditions. In particular, it is necessary for political parties at European level to observe the principles on which the European Union is founded, as set out in the Treaties and recognised in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union."
For any political party that does not recognise the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (something on which the British people have never been consulted) - because in their view it negates the inalienable rights as free-born British people contained in the British Constitution, Magna Carta and Bill of Rights - it cannot be "identified", ie allowed, if as a result of that non-recognition it refuses to integrate itself in a pan-European party - an attitude completely totalitarian and one at odds with what we in the UK believe.

It can also be justifiably argued that the creation of pan-European parties is but part of the development of the European Union as a state in that a pan-European party will be designed to represent constituents across national borders, thus side-lining not only national parliaments and their peoples, but also individual, national, political parties.

These pan-European parties are to receive funding from the European Union amounting to approximately £1.16million annually; this sum being split into two parts, one to fund the political party and the other a Think Tank. The figure of £1.16million would then be divided between all parties within a pan-European party. But note that this funding is only usable by the pan-European party and not by any national party. Article 7 (i) and (ii) of Regulation (EC) 1524/2007 states:
"Prohibition of funding

1. The funding of political parties at European level from the general budget of the European Union or from any other source may not be used for the direct or indirect funding of other political parties, and in particular national parties or candidates. These national political parties and candidates shall continue to be governed by national rules.

2. The funding of political foundations at European level from the general budget of the European Union or from any other source shall not be used for the direct or indirect funding of political parties or candidates either at European or national level or foundations at national level."
Article 8 of Regulation 1524/2007 also states:
"Such expenditure shall not be used to finance referenda campaigns."
From the two regulations it would appear all that the funds due to a pan-European party (as against those for their Think Tank) could be used for would be meetings, conferences, administration, personnel, travel costs, publications and campaign costs in respect of European elections (leaflets etc). Personally I am against the state-funding of political parties as a portion of any such 'tax (for tax is what it is) can then be given to a political party in which I have no belief, nor wish to support.

It is also worth noting that, presently, national parties are still mentioned in these two regulations; but bearing in mind the point above about the side-lining of national parliaments, coupled with the known fact that the European Union works in a 'gradual' and 'creeping' manner - how long before it decides that national parties are no longer allowed? Far-fetched? I don't think so.

As an aside, I notice from the latest in-house magazine of UKIP that there is great debate on whether to join, or not, a pan-European party - and it could well be a debate that will cause division within UKIP.

Interesting times indeed!


TomTom said...

This is probably essential. No political party has really been Anti-EU. They have not really organised themselves with proper multi-lingual Websites nor coherent platforms.

The chaotic approach of Anti-Eu parties contrasts with the lax approach of Establishment Parties who are basically discredited.

Only by outlawing parties and driving dissent underground do people have hope - the Ballot Box and the Armalite

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TT: whilst I agree with your point about coherent platforms, why would say UKIP want a multi-lingual website when they are appealing to the people in the UK? (anyway everyone speaks english - heh!)

Re your last para - I believe it will be the Armalite!