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A question of trust

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david cameronCameron’s “new” EU policy under scrutiny

We were given a “cast iron guarantee” of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it had not been ratified before a Conservative government came to power, but if it was then David Cameron and William Hague said “we will not let matters rest”, of course it was this latter statement which left us asking more questions, and the answers to those questions were given yesterday.

Those answers amount to very little indeed other than “hope”. Hope that the EU sceptics will stay quiet until well after the next general election, hope that the onward march of EU federalism will not be at too quick of a pace and hope that he can keep at least Conservative MEPs on board without any more electoral gains for UKIP. The three fundamental changes that he wishes to see again amount to little more than hopes, reforms for Britain in the shape of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, protecting our own criminal justice system from EU courts, and control over our own social and employment legislation, rely overly much on imagination rather than reality. Lisbon is a self amending treaty that allows the EU to evolve without recourse to national Parliaments, yet he wants to limit further encroachments of national sovereignty by the EU?

The whole sorry mess is already under intense scrutiny this morning although Tim Montgomery at Conservative Home has called a temporary truce and put the EU question on the back burner in an attempt to concentrate efforts on turning out Brown’s government:

Disappointed as I am, I’m going to take a vow of silence on Europe for the next few weeks. Getting rid of Labour and implementing all those other worthwhile policies must now take absolute precedence.

Over 200 respondents show a variety of dissent in different shades.

At The Telegraph Benedict Brogan talks lugubriously about trust and gives a long peroration about how it has been damaged by politicians over the course of the last year, and ends his sorry missive by saying:

Mr Cameron took a difficult but necessary step to restore our trust not in politics but politicians, by promising no more than he can deliver. To have gone further – including any sort of promise of a post-election referendum to strengthen his hand in negotiations with Europe – would have invited ridicule. Instead, we had a thought-through, realistic scheme for stopping the drift to ever greater European integration.

I wish I could agree, but the drift is already in free flow Benedict, and I don’t think that a bunch of meagre hopes that do not look like “we will not let matters rest” means the restoration of trust is complete, not by a long chalk. By the looks of the comments neither do your readers! I am not the only one to be wholly unimpressed by this woolly fantasy of trust being repaired after seeing the long yearned for referendum kicked into the long grass, – nay kicked, stamped upon, suffocated, and buried in a very deep hole. Richard at EU Referendum is calling you a “village idiot” and he’s not too complimentary about “call me Dave” either. South East Conservative MEP Dan Hannan is similarly disquieted by yesterday’s statement from David Cameron, judging by his blog he has resigned his position as the Tory’s legal spokesman in the EU Parliament and returned to the back benches:

Don’t misunderstand me: I voted for David Cameron as leader, I like him, and I reckon he’d be a million times better than Gordon Brown as Prime Minister. One of his strengths is that, unlike Gordon Brown, he doesn’t mind people disagreeing with him. Well, then. This Conservative is for a referendum: a proper, deep-cleansing referendum that will settle whether our country remains subordinate, or becomes self-governing. Now who will stand on either hand and keep the bridge with me?

I like a man with principles, and I like a man who is prepared to stand by his principles, but I wonder if Hannan would react the same way if he’d been Leader of his group?

The Daily Mail is scathing of this “new policy” this morning calling it “a sorry day for democracy, Britain, and the Tories” they also manage to point the way to the elephant in the room where others have failed to do so:

And of course the worst aspect of Lisbon is that it obviates the need for future treaties, since it gives the EU authority to change its own constitution. Moreover, what good can it do to pass legislation asserting the supremacy of British laws, when we’ve already signed that supremacy away?

So there we have it, the Lisbon Treaty is signed sealed and delivered, the onward march of the EU continues unabated, it will continue to intrude more and more into the daily lives of people in South Tyneside and the governments that we elect in future will become little more than a branch office of a greater corporate body able to organise their own staff parties and outings but unable to change much without the agreement of 26 other nation states.

If David Cameron and William Hague have decided to “hope” upon minor improvements to a structure which includes people calling us “autistic” and willing to be “fighting it out on climate, on trade, on every Goddamn issue on the surface of the Earth” then we must hope that one day Britain’s leaders find the strength and courage to assert themselves and stand up for our individuality, our sovereignty, our ability to cut our own path, make our own laws, and not be participating in a utopian dream to rival the size and power of the USA with a federal government to match it.

Brogan was right to show that trust between the British public and it’s politicians has been damaged over the past year, but so wrong to suggest that on this issue it has in some way been repaired.

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Written by curly

November 5, 2009 at 11:11 am

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