It’s Europe stupid

 

          This week new analysis showed that the Parliament first elected in May 2010 has been more rebellious by far than the Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown led Parliaments. Conservative MPs have been the most rebellious.

          This should come as no suprise. Coalition governments are by nature different from majority governments. The Coalition is not enacting the Conservative manifesto, so it does not have the automatic loyalty that comes from fighting an election on  a common platform. Whips cannot appeal to MPs who are unhappy with something by reminding them  that their election was helped by the presence of this item in the manifesto, even if they themselves did not like it. Conservative MPs were not invited to a full meeting where we could all put our views about the potential Coalition before it went ahead, unlike Lib Dem MPs. No vote of Conservative MPs  was taken over it.

            However, I do not think the main reason Conservatives have been so rebellious is the existence of a coalition. Whilst some Conservative members think Lib Dems have influenced the government too much, there is not a huge amount of evidence to support that claim. It is true one of the most unpopular policies of the Coalition, the higher tuition fees, was worked out and proposed by a Lib Dem Secretary of State, but it is difficult to believe that either a Conservative or a Labour majority government would have come up with very different proposals in the circumstances. Both the main parties had given Browne a fair wind to produce his report and might have stayed a bit closer to it, but the differences were  not huge. It is true the Lib Dems pressed a referendum vote on a different voting system against Conservative wishes, but the public dismissed it.

          No. The main reason the Conservatives are rebellious is the EU. There are more rebellions on EU matters than others. And many of the issues which anger or annoy Conservative MPs are ones where EU law now has a considerable impact on what any Minister is allowed to do.

          Carbon taxes, renewables and dearer energy, fortnightly bin collections, votes for prisoners, higher spending to fuel the EU  budget, bail outs of Euroland countries, immigrati0n rules, human rights requirements for political correctness – all these matters are  determined by the EU or are areas where Ministerial action is very circumscribed by the EU or the ECHR.

           The EU has induced a dishonesty in UK politics over the years. Ministers do not normally come to the Commons and say they are  proposing this solely because we have to comply with EU requirements, though much of our legislation is now to do just that. It may well be that individual Ministers do think the same as the EU on matters like recycling or dearer energy, so they are telling the truth when the recommend these courses of action to us. Overall, however, the impression is given that the UK government still has plenty of freedom to choose its own way, when in many areas it does not.

             Conservatives in the government say they wish to limit immigration. Yet we all know that they cannot impose controls on EU immigration, including migrants from outside the EU who have spent some time in another EU country, unless EU law is changed. The government says it wishes to deregulate industry and commerce, yet  much of the regulation is now baked into the European system and cannot be repealed. Ministers say they are establishing a new UK system of financial regulation, yet in reality they are agreeing to the EU undertaking more and more of the controlling functions in financial regulation.

              The government is usually able to ignore the numerous Conservative Eurosceptics, because Labour and the Lib Dems agree with much of the EU lawmaking. It might be wise, however, for the government to amend its rhetoric on issues where the EU is in charge, and admit it. It would also be wise for the government to seek more powers back for the UK as the EU seeks our agreement to a further centralising drive in the name of saving the Euro. Conservatives at base worry more that any UK government now is just the provincial outpost of Brussels, than they worry about the balance of the Coalition.

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100 Comments

  1. Peter Richmond
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Admitting that the EU really is in charge would probably lead to the many, not just the few, understanding that our government in Westminster is evolving into no more than a regional county council in European terms. Such admissions of truth by our politicians would be completely out of character. It would probably help the eurosceptic cause too much and is arguably the reason why our politicians continue to mislead us which of course they have been doing ever since the original referendum in the 1970s. It is time, as you suggest, however to strive to regain more power back from Brussels.

    • APL
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      .. our government in Westminster *has devolved* into nothing more than a regional county council in European terms.

      Fixed that for you Peter.

      I expect Kenneth Clarke will be jumping for joy since he has managed to bring about the goal he spoke about all those years ago.

      But with this post we see the Tory right wingers let off the leash in an attempt to corral all the right wing rank and file back into the polling booths to support the ‘Chameleon Tory party’. It’s looking a little blue at the moment, just as the coalition is a bit shaky, so Cameron needs the right wing of his party back on side.

      If you fall for it again, you really will deserve Theresa May’s accolade all those years ago, ‘the stupid party’.

      Reply: As I have often explained this site does not take instructions from the Conservative party.

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        to the reply – alas the reverse is true also if only they did.

    • A David H
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      I say, could we have our country back please Mr Cameron? It seems to have gone missing whilst several governments weren’t looking. Perhaps a referendum might be in order……..

    • Tim
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood it is time we had a referendum on our continued membership of this awful undemacratic organisation.
      Costs: £11.5-£13 billion net and rising to fund foreign infrastructure and farmers (74% rise last year alone as Blair gave away a big chunk of our rebate for nothing, hoping to influence and become its first President!)
      Billions spent on the Common Agricultural Policy to subsidise foreign farmers and push up our food costs by £billions. This undercuts third world farmers so they cannot trade with us partly leading to the ridiculous £11. 5 billion foreign aid giveaway.
      Loss of an entire fishing industry and 400000 jobs.
      £42 billion pound trade deficit with the EU last year and £262 billion net over the last 10 years!
      £9 billion to administer new EU laws and directives every year!
      £12.5 billion in illegal EU bailouts.
      £19 billion to the IMF to sneakilly cover further bailouts through the backdoor.
      EUHCR Human Rights overruling our laws on a weekly basis to our detriment.
      1000,000 young people unemployed as eastern Europeans undercut their wages.
      Directed increases in our energy bills by 25% to ensure we have 20% renewables by 2020. Windmills standing idle whilst we build 12 gas fired power stations to cover their inefficiency, cutting the produictivity of our industries and driving them abroad.
      So the benefits are? 40% of our trade is with them, but 60% is NOT.
      Where are the marches getting organised by patriots to influence our leaders?
      Get us out of this madness please.

    • walter barrington
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      If big decisions are made in Brussels, why do we need 650MPs.
      If we can’t leave the EU we don’t need all the 650 MPs

      • APL
        Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        walter barrington: “why do we need 650MPs.”

        What do the 650 MPs and their MEPs have in common?

        They disguise the fact that there is no democracy in Europe.

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps just to remind us that 650 people do still have good defined benefit pensions and still linked to the old RPI unlike everyone elses.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    A tiny point will show you how very annoying the EU actually is.

    We are trying to start up what remains of our Free School. If we get permission to start up from the DfE we need a Provider because a tiny group of parents has not got the skill, the teachers, the money or the wherewithal to do this.

    We need an outside agency.

    And we have got the best. I am not allowed to say their name because the EU procurement Policy has prevented that. We are not allowed to take their CEO to the meeting with the DfE, even though we are all secretly on Christian name terms and have often had meals together, because we have not gone through the EU procurement process. We have to pretend that we are going to start up the school ourselves.

    We hope to open in September 2012. The Procurement Process will take, we are told, up to December 2011 at least. We have to advertise the position all over Europe even though the Provider in not English but actually from mainland Europe.

    This ridiculous rule is annoying and it gets in the way of starting up. It also makes us pretend and, yes, lie. That is humiliating and dangerous.

    How many other people, I wonder, are made to stumble over equally silly rules?

    And then there is the daily drip drip drip of unwanted laws which cost us more and more billions………

    • Jose
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      But Mike, surely you must realise that that is the process undertaken in every member state; the rules should be viewed rather as ‘guidelines’, in other words, work your way round them.
      Isn’t that how Greece gained entry to the euro……

    • Alan
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I am not quite sure I am understanding your point, but it sounds as though you want to come to an agreement amongst yourselves on who to pay to run your school. However if you are spending public money you do have to show that everything is fair and above board. That, I think, wold be true whether or not the EU were involved.

      In general it seems to me that much of the EU regulation is a useful way of trying to ensure a common market and that is to the benefit of a trading nation like the UK. As always the regulation would be better if it were less and clearer, but the EU is run by humans and will suffer the inevitable inefficiencies that are characteristic of all human institutions.

      I think we gain much more than we lose from the EU.

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        “I think we gain much more than we lose from the EU” really what exactly I cannot think of any significant gains other than trade and travel which is available to all the world anyway?

        Why are all the places outside the EU doing so much better then?

    • Acorn
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Talking of “are made to stumble over equally silly rules”. You may have come across yet another “surprising” result of an Employment Tribunal in Bailey v R & R Plant. How to avoid retiring at 65; claim unfair dismissal / age discrimination and collect £4455.

      http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2011/0370_10_1805.html

      • Scottspeig
        Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        not quite true – It looks like the employer failed to express, in writing, that he was to retire. I agree that it is daft considering the employer did inform him that he was to retire.

    • Daniel Hewson
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      In Margaret Thatcher’s last book ‘statecraft’ she advocated withdrawal from the EU, the EU has evolved into an undemocratic superstate dominated by Germany, it treats sovereign government’s with the same contempt it treats the various European electorates, they’ve been unwilling to reform, unwilling to cut costs, unwilling to sign off their accounts, total withdrawal is the only serious option now.

  3. Anthony Harrison
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I’m sure you are correct in saying that there are “more rebelllions on EU matters than others,” but to outside observers the significance of this is not apparent. How many Conservative MPs, exactly, voted for Mark Reckless’s motion? Genuinely stroppy, vociferous, cogent, high profile Conservative opponents of their leadership’s pro-EU practice (as opposed to the latter’s specious cod-Eurosceptic soundbites) are conspicuous by their rarity. Of course it’s Europe! Everyone knows this. But depressingly few Conservative MPs are prepared to say so. It’s why many of us now vote UKIP, and more are likely to.

    Reply: Up to 40 have voted against on EU matters, and more have abstained.

    • Ross Goodley
      Posted July 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Up to 40? Well whoopy ‘kin do. And those who abstain really are beyond (beneath?) gutless.

    • Mr Ecks
      Posted July 11, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      40 is pathetic. Ali Baba had that many on his team never mind a party that was suposed to stand for keeping our heritage (but has actually betrayed it at every turn).

  4. lifelogic
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Indeed “just the provincial outpost of Brussels” but pretending to be a democracy and with the additional problem of the counter productive wars, daft energy policy and the large and troubled banking sector with a poor control framework.

    Quite simply a mad gigantic fraud against the people of – say one thing do another. The policy continued by Cast Iron and the Libdems (clearly neither Liberal nor Democratic). The EU policies on energy, regulation, central top down control, recycling, control of the financial industry, movement of people and the half baked Euro are clearly just mad.

    Cast iron Cameron attained his position on a complete lie to both the party and the people and fail to win the election due to his pathetic centre left prospectus and lack of vision. A good “presenter” with no compass. Could he not go and get a job as a second hand car salesman or something similar – more suited to his abilities and level of honesty.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      I am very much more concerned by the policies and views of pleasant smiling elderly Libdem ladies like Baroness Shirley Williams (revealed on Question time yesterday) and the, hugely damaging, agendas of the state funded BBC than by the Murdock press.

      Clearly their actions in this matter have been illegal and outrageous but the lack of a free press is far more dangerous to what little remains of democracy.

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        How did the BBC know, yesterday, that Clive Goodman and Andy Coulson were to be arrested today one wonders?

        Will the enquiry concentrate on any of the extensive police misbehaviour?

        • rose
          Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Or rather, how did their friends in the Guardian know? That is the only paper they take seriously, and the one which sets their day’s agenda.

          • Caterpillar
            Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

            Yes, it does feel rather hypocritical.

            And the general argumentation being applied by the media (and the Leader of the Opposition) at the moment – if someone lower down has done something then a head higher up must take responsibility and never be allowed to work again.

            Well, I believe Her Majesty is the Head of State and some people in the country have misbehaved … I just do not see how the media’s and the Opposition Leader’s tittle tattle can be treated as more than a joke, about a serious issue.

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Simon Hughes is making much of Murdoch staff knowing, at (senior-ed) levels of the illegalities taking place (as one assumes (some-ed) police did – through their (alleged-ed) involvement). He argues therefore that they are not fit and proper to hold a licence. Are the police “fit and proper” to do their job I wonder?

        I assume that all virtually all MP’s were clearly aware of the illegality in very many of MP’s expense claims. Does Mr Hughes therefore consider himself “fit and proper” to be an MP and play such a role in government of the country?

        Reply: No, we were not aware of illegal claims, nor were they common, as we see from the number of prosecutions. There were many ill judged claims, which is a different matter.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      MPs and MEPs have called for the amount of about £56,000 to be paid back to the Northampton university, which was penalised for not advertising the fact that it was getting EU funding for some project.

      So we pay vast amounts of tax to HMRC (with many jobs lost overseas as a result) they then pay a proportion, after high collection costs, to the EU. The EU who then pay an even smaller proportion of it back to Northampton University on the condition that they ram the undemocratic EU flag down these same taxpayer’s throats. Doubtless while playing the Choral symphony. The university then uses perhaps 10% of the original tax money to do something useful if you are lucky. What did Major say subsidiarity was all about?

      Looks like a good plan for parasites and a very bad one for jobs, the UK and everyone else as usual. Doubtless cast iron Dave and the Libdems all approve of taxes being used to indoctrinate BBC style.

      Good to see the money is being well spent and waste and inefficiency is being cut ruthlessly to the bone by Cameron as usual.

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Would anyone in the UK, but a few mad Libdems and Cameron, waive the EU flag – if they were not bribed into doing it using their own taxes?

  5. stred
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    If the EU is forcing us to build vast and almost totally useless wind farms at sea and slightly less so all over our best countryside, how does France manage to build a sensible system? In the UK our incompetent non- technocratic politicians and civil servants cannot understand the engineering and only understand the law, so they blindly follow EU directives. In France their elite technical universities produce leaders who know when to stick two fingers up.

    • APL
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Stred: “how does France manage to build a sensible system? ”

      France is one of the largest nuclear power producers in Europe.

      • Morningstar
        Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        This is true – but if France did not have as much nuclear energy – there is not a hope in the hot spot that the French Government would have plastered her vast open and scenic spaces with useless windmills and rapid to deteriorate solar panels ! (Ever seen a solor panel after muddy rain has fallen ?) The cost of upkeep of solar energy fields (weeding and cleaning to keep them working) is the equivalent of the mashing of the gearboxes in the stationary windmills once every couple of months ! Still – the taxpayer doesn’t mind forking out through their (hidden tax) energy bills ! Being forced (where is market choice and competion now ?) to buy the more expensive ‘green’ energy we do not want !

        Sorry – turned into a rant – but I am hopping mad about this fraud and theft !

  6. Robert K
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    At the height of the Lisbon Treaty wranglings, Clegg suggested a referendum on EU membership. Let’s have it now.

    • Robert K
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Just to add a neat observation from Dan Hannen in the Telegraph this morning: “Virtually every day, some long-standing British Europhile turns his coat and pretends to have had his doubts all along. When 60 per cent of the electorate want to leave the EU, but only 3 per cent of MPs admit to sharing their view, something has to give. Sooner or later, one of the parties will grasp that there is an electoral premium in letting the country as a whole settle the issue of EU membership through a referendum. Perhaps our politicians will feel the heat; or perhaps they will see the light”

  7. Alison Granger
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    The coalition certainly isn’t implementing Conservative policies but then their leader isn’t a real conservative.
    It’s high time we had a government that will stand up for the British people and get us out of the EU which is a hugely expensive club that does nothing to help us and merely makes us less competitive in the world.
    A mass repeal of laws passed by Labour on behalf of the EU and a machete taken to the public sector would then be possible.

  8. cuffleyburgers
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    “It is time, as you suggest, however to strive to regain more power back from Brussels” – Peter Richmond – unfortunately that cannot happen, and the likes of Cameron who talk about doing it are deluding themselves and us.

    The only way which can ensure that any fragment of our great nation can survive, is to leave forthwith; to use the forthcoming treaty changes as a lever to get the “colleagues” to agree to our leaving and remaining on a swiss-type EFTA relationship.

    Has Cameron the cojones to insist on this? No, I rather doubt it, and as this will likely be the last chance for a peaceful exit we should prepare for a grim future.

  9. Nick
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Conservatives in the government say they wish to limit immigration. Yet we all know that they cannot impose controls on EU immigration, including migrants from outside the EU who have spent some time in another EU country, unless EU law is changed.

    Here’s one thing you can control.

    How about no benefits from the state until you have paid in for 5 years?

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Indeed they will have to go that way unless they leave the EU it might not be a bad think but leaving the EU would be better.

    • norman
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Nope, can’t control that, EU competence I’m afraid. EU rules say that any EU citizen has to be treated the same as any British citizen, outwith a few waivers such as when new countries join they can be excluded for a number of years.

      Unless you mean no British citizen gets benefits until paid in for five years but that would be unworkable, how would you treat an unemployed 18 year old if he required medical treatment, or a single mother of 19, or someone who lost his job after 3 years of employment, or the child of someone unemployed who was of school age.

  10. Richard
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Events such as the News of the World saga must be a very welcome relief for Number 10.
    An event they can seem really tough and decisive over and at the same time a good diversion for the media, stopping difficult questions being aimed at Number 10 over inflation levels, progrees on deficit reduction, human rights laws, immigration control, bail out money, and energy supply planning to name just a few examples.

    When you see the likes of Mr and Mrs Kinnock being given over £1 miilion a year from their minor roles in the EU salariat it tells me all I need to know about this expensive, anti democratic, power grabbing, fundamentally socialist organisation.

  11. Scottspeig
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    This is why people say that the EU is low on people’s priorities, they don’t realise that the EU interferes in all of their priorities.

    Much of this is due to politicians as you said yourself, repeating the EU line without saying that it is the EU, as well as a seemingly news blackout on the far reaching EU commission etc.

    Thankfully, people and politicians are waking up to this behemoth that we do not want and so there is hope. I’d have more hope if you had a conservative leader though! (Or if Cameron actually backed up his vacuous words with actions)

  12. alan jutson
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    John, I see from the Telegraph front page, that Mr Clegg is going to give a speech on Europe today, saying we are all in this together, no matter what type of coins you have in your pocket.

    Whilst people in such power are so blind to the need to put our own Country first, the government will continue to have a problem over Europe, because it seems to most of us out here, that over the years we have always put others interests first, at a huge cost to ourselves already.

    Makes you wonder why such loyalty to the EU, especially from past employees.
    Its almost as if they are restricted in some way, and cannot say a word against the organisation.

    This blind supporting of everything EU by most government Ministers and Mps (of all Parties) will I forecast, eventually end in tears.

    I do notice from interviews that Ministers are now at least begining to say we cannot take certain action, because of EU regulation, but it has to be dragged out of them. Perhaps sooner rather than later they will wake up and smell the bacon, and realise that they are no longer in control of implementing a National policy, but a European one.

    • Morningstar
      Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I think you will find that any ex EU employee who ceases to be in favour of the EU can have their EU pensions withdrawn at EU discretion ! Thus once they are in you have a captive collective !

  13. Yarnesfromhorsham
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Despite your comments Mr.R the Government carries on its own way but the voters will have their reckoning eventually. Recent events have highlighted that we have (questionable-ed) politicians, a (questionable-ed) MSM and (questionable-ed) guardians of the law and unless the politicians do start ensuring they represent the wishes of their voters our society will degenerate even further.

  14. lojolondon
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    You are quite correct, John, everything is Europe – meaning specifically the EU – that unelected stazi that monitors and legislates everything we do, and fines us when we miss their targets. At the same time, even though Tony Bliar gave then a bribe of £5Bn pa, and Brave Dave has rolled over for them at every opportunity, they absolutely despise and loathe us, so there is no benefit to us being in this club.

    Most Conservative MP’s agree with my sentiments, as do most intelligent people who are not on the take, but it is more than their jobs are worth to say so. Therefore, if the Tories are going to rule the UK honestly, we need a new PM, who will honestly face up to the situation and leave the EU.

  15. Peter Charles
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    “It might be wise, however, for the government to amend its rhetoric on issues where the EU is in charge, and admit it. It would also be wise for the government to seek more powers back for the UK as the EU seeks our agreement to a further centralising drive in the name of saving the Euro.”

    It certainly wouldn’t be wise for the Conservative Party, unless they changed their stance to favouring withdrawal at the same time, however, no one is likely to trust them even if they did. If nothing else it would make UKIP and sadly the BNP viable alternatives, if not propel them into at least a measure of power.

    I am also sure you know very well, John, if I may make so bold as to use your name, that there is absolutely no chance of gaining any meaningful powers back from the EU. A few sops that could be spun into appearing something concrete, some measures the EU no longer considers useful no doubt and so on, but nothing meaningful. Even then there would be the quid pro quo’s sneaked in and we would find a year or so down the road that we had actually ceded even more powers to the EU, especially as it as sure as eggs is eggs our negotiators would be outright europhiles and integrationists.

    Reply: That would depend on political will and hard we negotiated. The British people voted for a common market, not a common government

    • APL
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      JR: “That would depend on political will and hard we negotiated.”

      You have lost already. ‘negotiation’ will fail. The EU understands one thing, ACTION.

      By the way, the treaties explicitely forbid bailouts, by bailing out Greece, Ireland and Portugal the treaties have been abrogated.

      Now make it official!!

    • Morningstar
      Posted July 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      But as the 30 year rule documents as released show – the government was fully aware of the political union which they were putting before the electorate – they lied blatently and completely thus in my mind that vote was a sham ! Ever since – the lying and conspiring has continued ! Even to the extent that the ejection of Mrs Thatcher is still blamed on the poll tax !

  16. EJT
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    100% correct. Hope it becomes a catch-phrase.

  17. EJT
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Also, could Mr. Redwood give some insight into why there is a sudden ( i.e. last week or so) surge in “euro-skeptic” volume from the party ? It all looks a bit ” co-odinated” .

    Reply: This is not co-ordinated with anything. I suspect it is because there is so much EU influence on current political debate.

    • norman
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      This site I’m sure is independent of any control and the message is consistent, at least the last couple of years I’ve been reading it.

      However there are certain journalists (names deleted as the ones mentioned have recently written anti No 10 pieces as well -ed….. immediately spring to my mind as candidates) some of whose copy reads like a press release from No.10 with their names stuck on top of it, which I guess they have to do to keep access but when all of these sources start singing from the same hymn sheet you know strings are being pulled behind the scenes.

  18. forthurst
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Parliament is a charade. Brussells calls the shots. Brussells, however, is not a force of nature; it is a human conspiracy against us; it is high time that those at the epicentre of this malodorous undertaking were exposed to full public view. Who are they? Where were they trained? Where lie their loyalties? Just because many apparently reasonable people ‘believe’ in it, does not make it harmless. For decades after the Bolshevik coup d’etat in Russia, people were talking up this alien gang of mobsters as though it were a legitimate political force.

    The USA is moving towards a fully fledged policed state; this sadly is what happens when those (unflattering descriptions-ed) are able to (get-ed) their way to control of Congress. A coup d’etat is in progress; the perpetrators are evil beyond measure; do we have any reason to believe those who are removing our autonomy in Brussels are any more benign?

  19. Javelin
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Listening to Trichet yesterday in his new conference at the ECB – I honestly felt like shaking the guy – the bit that got me was when I said he didn’t need lectures on being a central banker because the ECB had held interest rates down at their lowest level for a hundred years.

    Of course we all know the ECB were NOT responsible for these lower interest rates – it was the cheap labour from China and India and globalisation. We also know that the ECB shook off the responsibilty for the financial crisis that they have caused in Greece and the other PIGS by ignoring their own rules on deficit levels.

    So in summary he takes responsiblity for something that is beneficial – when he did nothing and he shirks responsiblity for problems – when he should have done something.

    Not only did I find him arrogant and a reality denier I also found the press pack passive and weak by not challenging him. The press we well orgainised because they let the hacks from the PIGs talk first – but that was the extent of their willingness to challenge Trichet. Trichet controlled who asked the questions and so the press didnt challenge his arrogant boasts because they knew he would not ask them again.

    His boasts continued – how he had so much power over the 300 million people in the Euro area – but he forgot to mention no one in that huge group had elected him democratically.

    He followed on saying “No to default. No to credit event …” and how he would continue to buy junk debt on behalf of the tax payers.There is a solvency crisis in Europe and he could not acknowledge that taking on junk debt for a soverign that WILL default is just throwing taxpayers money away. When the Euro and the ECB crash and burn, which it will, I hope this man is at the tip of the spear – but I suspect he will run and hide.

    Next time he says he doesnt need lectures I hope Dan Hannan is to hand to put him in his place.

  20. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Clearly this government, like all others, is lying to us regularly about Europe. What happens to supposedly Eurosceptic politicians when they take office? They all become EU supporters if not fanatics like Clegg and Huhne who worked in the EU and seem to have a mission to ensure we become subservient to their masters.

  21. Neil Craig
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Good point about the dishonesty introduced by pretending to be a free Parliament when the EU tell us what laws to pass. A double dishonety may be that many ministers secretly ewish to be protected from popular wishes by having the EU at their back.

    This is particularly obvious over the immigration issue.

    Rebellions may be less serious because the majority, with the LudDims is much greater than Major enhoyed. Or the government’s real position may be much weaker because they depend on them )& because Mr Cameron is clearly happyto be so). On the other hand it may just be that we have only just ended the first year of the parliament and that, so far, it has been possible to blame the deficit and recession on Labour.

  22. James Matthews
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    The only viable option is to leave the EU. There is no possibility that the United Kingdom will be able to reform it from within. The last thirty years should have taught everyone that.

    Unfortunately the majority of our political class within all three major parties find the EU and the European Court very convenient. It enables them to impose on the electorate many things that they want, but which the majority of the electorate do not, and point the finger of blame at Brussels. Unless and until we have a “ship money” moment we will continue to lose more and more of our self-government. Do any substantial number of our MPs care? It seems not.

  23. Winston Smith
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Is the EU behind the Bribery Act? We are starting to get requests from pulic sector clients requesting details of our anti-corruption policies. I was under the impression that this Act was under review and had not yet become law. Am I wrong? Its just yet another added cost and time consuming regulation stifling business.

    Reply: It was, but now it is coming in.

  24. Andrew Smith
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Do we think the pro-EUropeans do not read what we write or do they just want to believe we are joyous about the problems of the Euro and Greece. They are so one-dimensional “for” (everything about the EU/Euro is marvellous and we want more of both) or against (we love it when Eurozone countries get into trouble and prove we were right).

    See here for an example of one-dimensional thinking. And speaking too, more’s the pity.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nick-clegg-and-david-cameron-split-over-europe-2308882.html

    Of course we know that economic or financial problems in any significant trading country with whom we and our fellow citizens and firms have business dealings, whether as buyer, seller or competitor, will create problems for the UK. Well, there’s a surprise.

    But that does not mean, as Clegg seems to believe, there is an unlimited amount of cash that the UK should throw at them to “help” them.

    Even as a UKIPper. I am not sure I want the Euro to “collapse”; I would rather it was unwound in a considered manner. Each day that passes makes a soft landing for the PIIGS less likely. There is a high probability of disruption of the world economy because of the vanity of EU politicians (over “there” and here) and the more cash that Greece is pressed to accept increases it.

  25. Graham Cook
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    What a sorry state we are in becuase nothing will change unless UKIP or similar bring the issue really into the fore.

    Unfortunately starved over publicity by the BBC and crooked press the word will not be spread – oh for another Churchill in our hour of need!!

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Churchill needed but only Cameron delivered.

  26. Caterpillar
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    In what is I believe is the terminogy of the contemporary young, de Gaulle gave the finger to MacMillan in ’63, as perhaps the UK was giving to the Commonwealth – so the UK and foreign policy eh? At least 50 years of getting it wrong.

    But it is history that the UK chose the more Euro-focussed route to get the ‘non’ only once more. Three parties had essentially the same policy, and at least one of the Coalition still has it strongly, what is, is. The UK turned away from the global Commonwealth to the insular, yet multiple language, multiple culture Europe -the UK made its bed many years ago. (A generation or two of this, and ‘we’ haven’t even got a unifying language, why we, Europe, can’t have all witched to Spanish/German/French by now or even Latin for Mayor Johnson I just don’t know.)

    Anyway, I will not lament the European induced democratic problems whilst the UK’s unaccountable, unelected Monetary Policy Committe make the largest decisions that effect the country – and these unrepresentative people aren’t even all European. Smokescreen Europe has performed this function for forty years, I don’t see much hope for UK politicians a whole, wishing to change this one way or another (i.e. fully committed to the European project or fully committed to being an insignificant country having turned away from the Commonwealth. It will be many a decade more before the UK makes the all or nothing choice.)

  27. AndyC71
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Not nearly rebellious enough! I’ve posted here before that I don’t see much sign of any practical action on the EU issue from most of the Conservative Party in the Commons, and in any case, real change is going to have to come from the leadership. Like, err, what they promised before the 2010 election.

    At present, Britain is no longer in any meaningful sense an independent state. This could be rectified easily by amendment of the 1972 Act, but who will do it? Instead politicians make up for their lack of real power by concentrating on trivia, aided and abetted by the media. I suspect this is at the root of much of the modern day contempt for politics.

  28. Chris
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I love the implicit optimism that we will be able to claw back powers from the EU even if our politicians really wanted to. IMHO the European leaders have effectively won that battle and are more interested in getting the other institutions in place to complete the united states of europe. This is being helped along by the current euro crisis.

  29. rose
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I have never been able to understand why from John Major onwards ministers have pretended things like the separation of the railways from their tracks and all sorts of damaging bureaucratic nonsense has nothing to do with the EU. They would have made themselves so much more popular if they had just been honest about the extent to which the EU was tying their hands and doing our country down. Was it fear of losing face at having given so much power away, or what? It is a complete mystery to me.

    • rose
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      After all councils, love to blame central government for everything, and the very name “council tax” was coined in a futile attempt to stop them doing that. So why doesn’t central governernment in its turn blame the EU, when it very well could?

      • Scottspeig
        Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Quite simply, the local councils cannot tell the government where to go, but Parliament can tell Brussels to shove it!!

        So it opens the door that we already know, that the UK is no longer sovereign.

  30. Derek Buxton
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    But you were warned, many people have been saying for years that we are ruled by Brussels, all were correct. And yes, every PM from the late, unlamented Heath have lied in their teeth to promote the EU. There is also the problem of MPs and Peers who have held posts in the EU, they get a very good pension, but on condition that they forward the aims of the EU against our interests. Huhne, Clegg, the Kinnock fanily, and many, many more. These people are a fifth column working tirelessly against the interests of our Country and it’s People, personally I am disgusted at such as these.

  31. Steve Cox
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    While I agree wholeheartedly with your comments on the EU, John, the nub is really what you wrote here:

    “…but it is difficult to believe that either a Conservative or a Labour majority government would have come up with very different proposals in the circumstances.”

    That is true in just about every area of policy. There is absolutely NO clear blue water between the Conservatives under David Cameron and the Labour party. Just look at that other unpopular item of excessive expenditure, the Overseas Development budget. Cameron has championed a policy that the demi-Socialists in New Labour would probably have been scared witless of proposing in the current straitened circumstances. Neither main party has any inclination even to offer us a referendum on staying in the EUSSR, in spite of Dave’s big words about renegotiating the relationship. Dan Hannan saw that bluff off nicely in the Telegraph today.

    Personally, I don’t think it’s so much the EU, although that is certainly a major factor. It’s the simple fact that both Cameron and Osborne would fit far more cosily into Clegg’s HiSo Lib Dems than they do in the Conservative party. They are not Conservatives with a capital ‘C’, and neither of them is pursuing Conservative polices. So there should be little surprise that the backbenchers and the new intake (one of whom is a friend) are getting restless. Let Cameron do the job as his party expected him to when he was elected leader, instead if playing pinko-lefty fairy tale policiesd with Clegg, and maybe there may be a bit less rebelliousness?

  32. Edward.
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    The Prime minister is a patsy, a puppet of the EU and EU vested interests in Britain.

    Both, Dave and the executive are literally petrified of annoying, irking the EU nomenklatura and of stirring the hornets nest in the left leaning media and salons of Londonistan.
    Mention of the prevasive and poisonous influence of ‘outside’ power has paralysed any British government into making or coming to any beneficial decision made solelyin the interests of the British people.

    Our executive whether they like it or not: work for Brussels.

    We are a minor province of a Greater Federal Europe, the clever bit is, we didn’t realise it until [after] 13 years of Bliar’s Amazon diversity Stasi had finished the work of the Tories post 19 72.

    Now it is bread and circuses all the way, dissenters – will provide the entertainment.

  33. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Outside Schengen,
    outside the euro,
    outside EMU, ECB, Ecofin-inner circle, or anything related to Euroland,
    outside the charter of fundamental rights,
    outside freedom, security and justice legislation,
    and possibly soon outside the European convention on human rights?

    It cannot be difficult for the UK to feel an outsider and think of the EU as some “foreign institution”
    The “us and them” mindset of Eurosceptic politicians may be gaining steam, but steaming heads may be bound for the historical error of self-marginalization. The EU will evolve into a closer, more integrated and more democratic union in diversity. The US knows, the BRIC countries know, almost everybody knows it. But Britain . . .?

    • rose
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Britain could be inside the real world, Peter..

    • Scottspeig
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      But Britain wishes to retain Sovereinty! Yey for Britain.

      If it hadn’t been for the north/south war in America, there would be no “United States” today. I just don’t understand how one votes away power?!?

      If you look at all nations, can you name one that has voluntarily acceded power to become a non-country?? Whereas it is easy to find ones that want independance!!

      Reply: there are examples of Unions by agreement – vide the many small German states which joined the German union, Scotland, N Ireland and Wales joining England as the UK, the Italian states in the C19, the Spanish states etc. I hasten to add that does not make me want to join a European country.

      • norman
        Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        I think the difference is that in all the other examples the city states / provinces which have came together all share a common culture and language. The United Kingdom is the outlier but even that is now creaking, with Southern Ireland having gone it’s own way 100 years ago and the other countries now having devolved Parliaments even though we are culturally a lot similar than, say, England and Estonia.

        Unions of disparate nation states, Roman Empire, Soviet Union, Hapsburg Empire, Persian Empire, who try and achieve political and financial union tend to fragment and have internal difficulties which often require force of arms to resolve.

        • simple soul
          Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:31 am | Permalink

          Empires can be successful so long as they rule with a loose and light rein – which the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires largely did, but the Soviet Empire didn’t. The EU started out in the former mould but has become much more like the latter, presumably strangling its subjects and eventually itself to death.

      • Steve Cox
        Posted July 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        I seem to recall that Wales wasn’t actually given much of a choice in the matter!

        • Morningstar
          Posted July 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          Maybe – but the welsh generally do not know what is good for them – even now they are still a left wing (mainly Labour) stronghold. Personally I think we should give them full independance and turn them out for 5 years – after which they’d stop their moaning and beg us to shut down the Welsh assembly !
          Failing that we could just reduce the ‘per head’ subsidy which the English transfer to the outlying lands to the same per head value that the English get – and watch them lose their ‘socialist subsidised benefits’ in one fell swoop !

        • Ross Goodley
          Posted July 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

          And after the Darien fiasco Scotland was a bit spoiled for choice too.

    • Peter Richmond
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      This is a rather arrogant response. If you wish to move forward to a ‘closer, more integrated union’ then feel free so to do but do not feel upset if some member states do not want to follow you. As point of detail, let us hope the EU does become ‘democratic’ one day. It certainly is not at the moment with its unelected Presidents, Vice Presidents Commissioners and the like and I think the UK has a rather longer democratic tradition that that of many states in mainland Europe.

    • James Matthews
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Ahh Peter, what a delightful prospect you paint. “Marginalised” in your terms means self-governing in ours. Bring it on.

    • Phil
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Peter – the EU is corrupt, socialist, elitist without any hint of democracy running through its veins.
      Would you please lobby for the UK to be kicked out of this sinister and evil Soviet style club. You may even get Knighthood!

    • sjb
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      @Peter van Leeuwen

      The UK is not outside the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In R (Saeedi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 990, at para 7:
      “[The Home Secretary] accepts, in principle, that fundamental rights set out in the Charter can be relied on as against the United Kingdom […]”
      http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2010/990.html

    • sm
      Posted July 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Seems we are on the inside when it comes to paying and i question the level playing field and influence. Still we have all these problems now within the UK.

      The policy to regionalise europe and lessen the nation state is about to backfire.

      Waiting for Greece to regain freedom and democracy.
      Waiting for the German constitutional court to rule on the bailouts.
      Waiting for the Scots to ask and take devolution and void the whole EU treaty.

      I warm to Mr Salmond and the forthcoming Scots devolution from the UK every day- it has a large silver lining of freedom from the EU.

      There is zero chance the people will be given a direct choice or representation by the current setup.

  34. Bernard Otway
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Most of the political class is completely ignorant of the anger of ordinary people about the EU issue,including lots of conservatives.While canvassing before may 6 last year in leafy north surrey,I followed a team of young [app under 30 yrs old]conservative volunteers,as an exercise in finding out what they were talking about,the two issues that these youngies glossed over,because they were told to by the candidate, were Immigration and the EU,YET they were the Main issues concerning the residents,3/4 bed large semi or detatched houses.
    Needless to say I gave the candidate[who lost] the biggest ear bashing they have ever had,I now vote UKIP and am active for them and have brought over more than 10 of my friends.
    If you read the comments to most conservative home issues lots of them are now UKIP,
    including Edward Huxley an ex chairman of his local party and many more,in fact the chairman of my local with two others have gone independant as councillors since may 6,
    the Chairman openly told me he actually voted UKIP on may 6 .YOU at HQ are going to get the shock of your lives at the next GE,I personally talk to and persuade at least 5 strangers every day as do many other former conservatives,and I use my examples and analogies,like the one I used about my South African Citrus farmer friend and the non export of that product at such a cheap price,in a recent post,or asking people if Eire is our biggest trading
    partner at £29 billion pa from only 4.3 million people,WHAT do they think we SHOULD be selling to our COUSINS totalling 28 million in Australia and New Zealand ?.That fool
    Clegg is going to make a speech today in Paris warning conservative MP’s not to crow about the Eurozone Crisis or other people not to carp from the sidelines,using our intertwinedness with the EU by saying it threatens our and their economies,saying we dont’ trade as much with the USA,well I tell people that the economies we should be trading with are the BRICS,AUS,NZ,and the rest of S E ASIA,also that because we run a balance of payments DEFICIT of about £42 billion with the EU they actually have More to lose than we do.A Figure I have looked up shows that the UK exports through Emmigration about 200,000 people per annum right now to AUS and NZ surely they will certainly buy from us,we actually don’t need europe except as a holiday destination and a source of some products,give me a choice between a Lexus or a Merc I know which I would buy.The political map is going to change the libdems will be lucky to get back to 5%,UKIP will really surprise and people know that Millibore is now LIEBOUR BLUE and DC is
    conservative PINK,people Want things done ,like almost zero immigratation,I also tell fellow pensioners that NO FOREIGN AID will increase pensions to a proper level,provide care to the elderly when needed etc etc etc,I have a T shirt made that says MUSEVENI’s
    Gulfstream 5 is paid for by YOUR PENSION,you should see the reception I get when I wear it.

    Reply: The Conservative high command do not believe this. They have been told for years now that UKIP is about to break through, and it never has in a first past the post election. The splits in Euroscepticism are part of the reason the federalists do so well.

    • Morningstar
      Posted July 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      But will Cameron SELECT any eurosceptics to fight Conservative seats in the next election ! (Rhetorical question !)

      I personally know many conservative activists in my local area who have turned to UKIP – purely because they do not believe that Cameron (and it is blamed on Cameron) will do anything to change anything about the EU situation ! They all want out ! They know that UKIP is the only cure !

      • APL
        Posted July 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Morningstar: “(Rhetorical question !)”

        Yes, but what is to stop patriotic conservatives standing as independent conservatives?

  35. John Page
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Kudos for setting this out, John, even though your final paragraph is just spitting in the wind, I’m afraid.

    That’s why I and many others feel disfranchised. But your leaders don’t care.

  36. Phil
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    John – Do your fellow MPs of all persuasions not realise the goal of Brussels is to do away with the nation states and create a United States of Europe? If they do then they are traitors if they dont then they are incredibly naive and shouldnt be in public office. Which is it? There is no middle ground on this question!!

  37. Douglas Orchard
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    “Conservative MPs were not invited to a full meeting where we could all put our views about the potential Coalition before it went ahead, unlike Lib Dem MPs. No vote of Conservative MPs was taken over it.”

    The above sums up the arrogance of the Tory heirarchy. They went ahead without any consultation with MP’s who are considered nothing more than voting fodder.

    No democarcy there then!

    Sit on your hands and only raise them to vote according to what devious Dave has to say. What a state parliament has got into. No different to Brown and the labour lot.

    Reply: There was a short meeting with no vote, where people anti were not invited to speak.

  38. BobE
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    The latest 5 year plan of the EUSSR shows tractor production is well ahead of the target.

  39. BobE
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    America became a single country and then chose a currency. Europe is trying to do it in reverse, it doesn’t work. They will have to force a single country first. The third attenpt to do this and with luck it will fail again. (Please please).

  40. Iain Gill
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    not convinced this is the full story

    on immigration for instance the govt could easily stop the ICT industry (employing many overseas people-ed) by stopping ICT visas, India is not in Europe! but of course the govt has chosen to leave these uncapped

    it could easily clamp down on those parts of the country using marriage visas to (allow many migrants-ed) here

    it could easily make foreign nationals pay at least as much tax and national insurance as a Brit when they are on a UK payroll

    it could easily cut the over generous provision of free school places and NHS to families of non EC nationals here on work visas

    and so on, these are small examples but they demonstrate that Europe gets the blame when often its just a smokescreen

    • Morningstar
      Posted July 10, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      This is wrong – the India ICT deal was done by European Trade negotiations thus the UK has no choice but to accept Indian workers to replace UK ones ! Sad to defend Cameron on this – but it is another EU competance over which our government has no control and no say !

  41. Freeborn John
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely spot on Mr. Redwood on all points, including the dishonesty that has been introduced in British politics. Ministers have steadily become the representatives of Brussels to British voters. We the public see the dishonesty though, of ministers who lack the political courage to do take on and defeat the federalists, and so pretend to agree with the federalising measures that they cannot prevent anyway. The Eurocrats are no more fooled by grandstanding British politicians than we voters are and simply refuse to be deflected by British ministers who always back down and follow the course of least resistance. The course of least resistance is what has got the UK into the current EU mess and only a clear-sighted Uk government will chart us out of it. That will not be a Cameron government; he like John Major and Blair are the very personification of the course of least resistance.

  42. Kenneth
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I detect that, at last, the tide is turning.

    I will place a bet now that the Labour Party will come up with a policy to offer a referendum on our future relationship with the eu because:

    1) There are many dormant voices on the Left who have never been convinced by the eu quango and I suspect that Greece has produced a few new recruits to the cause in the Labour Party

    2) The Labour Party is more opportunistic these days and will grab a vote winner where they can find it

    3) They will want to steal the Conservative clothes. If they announce this before the Conservatives they will steal votes directly from the Conservatives and possibly even UKIP

    If Labour takes this gamble then the Conservatives would presumably follow and everything will have changed.

    The other thing is that the government cannot deliver on its pledge to cut immigration without crossing swords with the eu quango. As it now has some potential allies in other European governments who are seeing public opinion move towards increasing border restrictions, I can see David Cameron joining with them to force a change.

    Finally, the BBC is changing its tune. After years of acquiescence, the problems with Greece and the gradual move to the Right in the European ‘Parliament’ appears to be making many at the BBC uneasy with the direction of the eu.

    Is the future rosy after all or is all this wishful thinking on my part?

  43. Yasin
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    I think, rather annoyingly, that the coalition has been a great distraction to the rebellions caused by the EU in parliament.

  44. Javelin
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    I have always remained neutral in Europe. I have always felt that the benefits outweighed the costs. But today I no longer think that is the case. After listening to Trichet and the other European leaders I see Europe as a huge liability. There is an undemocratic and collective madness at the heart of Euope. Europe’s leaders have lost the plot and when I see them day after day denying their own economic incompetence I can’t support the project any more.

    I can see Europe becoming the new banking crisis. I still believe Italian banks will bring Europe down. They are so opaque and small, have imbalances that can turn on a dime.

    I woke up this morning for the first time wanting a referendum on the EU. It felt like something snapped and I realised I wanted a divorce.

  45. Alan Redford
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    In many ways, what the Greeks have done is admirable. Raising two fingers to all the requirements of the ECB they have cheated the EU, flouted every financial regulation and ripped off international bond holders who will receive their just deserts for investment in the European vanity project. Yes, they are suffering right now – but their refusal to buy the line of political control imposed by Brussels will send the whole project onto the rocks sooner rather than later.

  46. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    What is needed are cabinet ministers who are prepared to blurt out the truth in response to questions. Peter Lilley was once asked if he was introducing a particular VAT change because the EU required him to. He responded with a straight ‘Yes’. The effect was devastating.

  47. APL
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    JR: “It’s Europe stupid”

    Once again for the record, it’s not ‘Europe’ that EUrosceptics object to, it’s the political construct ‘The European Union’.

    Many of us spend a great deal of our free time and our discretionary income in Europe and have developed an affinity for the place and its peoples.

  48. Electro-Kevin
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Conservatives at base ought to be worried that the EU wields such power because that’s precisely how the British political and broadcast elites like it.

  49. david
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I wish that the people of this country would realize that it is social mobility and social engineering, allied to a weird idea about equality which is the cause of most of our current problems, both sociological and economic. The whole enterprise merely means a continuous flux as the wheel has to be reinvented on a daily basis for each person elevated to a position for which he is unprepared. This is much liked by those would espouse change for the sake of change and call it progress, no matter what its outcome as long as its their outcome. The socialist, communitarian paradigm of society has held sway since 1945, perhaps almost since 1920, in this realm and much of the world and is strangling it to death. A change is almost impossible as there is no vocabulary available or permitted under the paradigm able to wrest the world from its grip. The whole process is actively encouraged by the various diasporas of Mittel-Europeans, those evangelists of the Frankfurt School, who are using it methods to destroy the old European culture and replace it by what is, for want of a better term, a New World Order. The cleverest act of the proponents of this philosophy is to have duped globalized corporatism and international capitalism to get into bed with them, prior to a takeover in the name of some over-arching World Government based on totalitarian tenets. The EU is the thin end of the wedge in this process and it is likely that the model will extend it sway ever wider unless we radically alter the way we think.
    I do not subscribe to conspiracy theories. This is not the work of a few conspirators; it is a paradigm of political thinking, almost a Zeitgeist, which pervades all society. It has been brought about by a general absorption into the educational curricula and general thinking of the West of a certain way of viewing the world. I neither criticize it, nor praise it, I merely observe it. I attempt, with scant success, to see its possible outcomes. However, there will be those who see this politico-philosophy as a way to achieve their desired outcomes for the future of mankind; this makes them a political movement not a band of conspirators.
    The great difficulty is that we are all so embedded in this culture that even those who despise it can only discuss it in its own terms. It is the same problem as trying to discuss repairing a nuclear reactor having a lexicon of terms only suitable for describing oranges. Until someone emerges able forge a new vocabulary and way of thinking about politics and the philosophy of life. Humankind will be degraded and constrained, the human spirit crushed by a belief in systems rather than people. A semblance of Orwell’s dystopia will be established for those who have endured the arduous path that led to this end.

  50. Anne Palmer
    Posted July 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    You write, “It might be wise, however, for the government to amend its rhetoric on issues where the EU is in charge, and admit it. It would also be wise for the government to seek more powers back for the UK as the EU seeks our agreement to a further centralising drive in the name of saving the Euro.”

    Shall we start with the Localism Bill then going through Parliament at present? This is an extra layer of Governance we simply cannot afford. We are led to believe this comes from the heart of Government-part of Mr Cameron’s Big Society?

    The idea of Local Self-Governments comes directly from our own Government.
    WRONG! For our Government takes their orders from the European Union, an Organisation whose members are mainly from the Continent of Europe, and most have written Constitutions that allow them to change quite easily to suit whatever occasion. Most have fairly new written Constitutions that came into being after World War II. Our Constitution is not so easily changed, for some parts exist from 1215, Magna Carta, and as this is a Treaty between the British Crown and the people, without their permission it has to remain.

    So, the whole idea on Local Governance stems from the European Union.
    WRONG! The EU is also following the Treaties that are laid down in the Council of Europe on Local Governance and a little box is ticked when each country has completed any one of the tasks set for it. So now we have come to understand how it all works, wheels within wheels,
    WRONG! For it seems the ones that are masters is the United Nations and yes, there it all is, “Towards a World Charter of local Self Government.” However, I have emphasized “SEEMS” because when looking at the dates, it rather looks as if the UN has taken its lead from the EU and not the other way around.

    Council of Europe. Signing up to the Localism Bill-=European Charter of Local Self-Government.
    http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/Commun/ListeDeclarations.asp?NT=122&CM=&DF=&CL=ENG&VL=1

    Habitat-Towards a World Charter of Local Self-Government
    http://www.gdrc.org/u-gov/charter.html

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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