As I am presently experiencing difficulty in linking to the Telegraph website (all I continually receive is notices that their website is not responding) links to articles in that newspaper cannot be provided. However.....
The op-ed page in today's edition of the Daily Telegraph is taken over by two articles, one by Charles Moore and a smaller one underneath by William Hague. Moore writes about the need for a referendum on our membership of the EU, headlining his piece "The voters have been cheated for too long. Let them decide." One section stands out:
"Most people reading this column, I suspect, do not believe in government by referendum. We elect politicians to make laws on our behalf, not to keep scurrying back to ask us which laws to make. But the idea of consent is crucial to trust in the political process. For more than 20 years now, in European matters, that consent has been lacking. It has been in the interest of all political parties to make decisions which have changed our lives without offering us any electoral choice in the matter. Therefore our future consent cannot be assumed. It must be sought in writing."
That which seems to have escaped such luminaries as Charles Moore is that for decades the consent of the people to some of the laws that have been imposed on them has been lacking - and not just in the area of our membership of the EU. That political parties present manifestos, come election time, is neither here nor there as measures in those manifestos have not been implemented as promised, but have been amended thereby imposing laws for which the people were never given the opportunity of voting. Likewise there are some laws implemented by events, measures that were not in any party's manifesto, on which again the people were never given the opportunity to vote. Moore is contradicting himself when he complains that politicians have changed our lives without our consent, but then appears to be against referendums per se. In the same piece Moore writes that we should treat William Hague with a degree of tolerance because it is difficult being a minister, especially in a coalition; and that 'Europe' is a particularly painful subject for the Conservative Party. Stating that we should not insist Cameron and Hague vote for the motion under debate out of respect for the aforementioned 'difficulties' just illustrates that Charles Moore is part of the problem - he is a member of the Westminster Bubble!
Turning to William Hague's piece, he continues his stupid and illogical mantra of being in Europe but not being governed by it. He writes that as a Conservative (really?) he wishes to repatriate powers, as mentioned in his party's general election manifesto. William Hague is presented to us as a 'wise politician', one who 'knows' all that needs to be known.; one who can be trusted to make the right decisions. If Hague is 'so clever' just what is it the man does not understand about the process of acquis communitaire, something embedded in the treaties? Does he not understand that once the European Union assumes competence over any area of government it cannot be returned to member states. As I have written previously, repatriation of even one power will never be achieved as once the UK succeeded, then just about every other member state would be jumping on the bandwagon, the result being disintegration of the European Union - and that the EU elite just ain't going to allow. In any even, if Hague is so adamant about the supposed benefits of our membership of the EU, why not publish a cost/benefit analysis? The response to that question by our political elite is that the benefits are obvious - well if they are so 'obvious', prove it chaps.
Hague also writes about the need to ensure eurozone integration does not allow countries in the single currency to impose decisions on countries outside it. Just why does he not understand that the figure of 17 comprises a majority in a total figure of 27 - or is simple maths not one of his strong points? That financial control of all member states is the reported aim of Jose Manuel Barosso is touched upon in John Redwood's latest post. Once again, just what is it about a "single coherent framework for the better economic governance based on the community method" that Hague does not understand and as such continues to maintain that we are not governed by the EU? Reverting to the benefits of our country's membership of the EU, Hague writes:
"The ability to lead European countries to a united position, as with sanctions on Iran and Syria, strengthens Britain's power in the world. Even obscure directives can have benefits: directive 2009/147/EC prevents the slaughter of our garden birds as they migrate over the Mediterranean."
And the prevention of the slaughter of our garden birds flying over the Mediterranean is reason enough for our being a chattel of the European Union? Sheesh, Hague is more of an idiot than I first thought.
On the subject of the forthcoming debate on Monday next, Autonomous Mind posts on this subject, mentioning the Eustice amendment. As I posted a day or two ago, this motion is a Backbench Business Committee motion and as such needs to be debated as written - yet few have 'picked up' on this point. Speaker Bercow proclaims himself a champion of the backbenches and it is unlikely he would allow any amendment or alternative motion. To do so would mean him subjecting himself to accusations of hypocrisy, let alone any accusation of being a 'government tool' and that of ignoring the will of MPs and their own committee. Turning to another aspect of AM's post, I refer to the letter sent to Eustice by Bernard Jenkin in which the latter advises he is against an In/Out referendum. That statement immediately, in my book, transfers Jenkin from the 'eurosceptic' camp into the 'europlastic' camp. Just who the hell is Bernard Jenkin to allow his personal view to interfere in how and where he casts his vote? But then Jenkin is but doing what all MPs do - namely having achieved the position of MP promptly then deciding that only they know best and to hell with the views of the people they are meant to represent.
Another interesting aspect of this forthcoming debate and the questions on the motion proposed by the Backbench Business Committee comes with the publication of a poll by YouGov, one referred to by James Forsyth in this post from the Coffee House:
"The poll results also demonstrate that only a small percentage of the public would vote for the country’s current set-up with the European Union if they had the chance. Only 15 per cent would vote to stay in, compared to 28 per cent who would vote to leave, while 47 per cent would plump for renegotiation. If forced to chose between In or Out, the public splits 31 to 52."
Notice how 'renegotiation' has achieved a substantial following and one has to wonder just how many of that following actually understand that the option they most favour just ain't available, or why? Yet again we see how political spin and the failure to be honest with the electorate achieves just exactly what the politicians want, namely the pursuance of an unachievable policy but one that effectively closes further debate on the subject. On this subject of 'renegotiation', it is worth reading this, which Richard North wrote way back in 2008 and which reaffirms my previous comment about why renegotiation is not an option.
As an aside, Ian Parker-Joseph has announced the birth of his fifth grandson and remarks, in a reply in his comment section, that he fights for his country, a fight previously carried out by his father and grandfather. He ends by saying that he will never give up that fight and would wish to seem them all hang first. In offering my congratulations I suggested that as part of the celebrations perhaps we should being the hanging now.