The Death of Britain?

At the end of the last century I wrote a book predicting that Labour’s constitutional revolution would be very destructive of the UK. At the time Labour derided my language, claiming it was excessive to argue that their modest constitutional changes were revolutionary and would lead to the destruction of the UK as we knew it, and to overturning its way of government.  I think it is time to look again at the forecasts and to ask what has happened?

I wrote then

“The UK is in the grip of a constitutional revolution. The cumulative effects of the (EU) treaties are made more radical by the quickening pace of European integration on the continent….The ECJ is making more and more advances…The Court now overturns Acts of Parliament…. The Labour government has adopted much of the European agenda as its own…Labour willingly advance the cause of more European government…the Social Chapter…the European Charter of Human Rights…limiting our legislature in criminal and judicial matters.  Labour’s plans to split the kingdom into regions are often urged to ensure that we have regional governments that can act as supplicants for European funding… Even their plans for proportional representation are part of a scheme to bring us into line with the continent. ..The British government has decided to introduce these (PR) for elections to regional Parliaments and the European Parliament. Undoubtedly the government’s devolution plans will create more tension and conflict, not less. It is helping to fuel nationalist movements in Scotland and Wales…

“Third Way politics is allied to a hatred of Parliament, which remained stubbornly confrontational and argumentative. …Ensuring Parliament met as infrequently as possible, arranging set piece meetings on subjects like Northern Ireland more likely to produce cross party agreement, and scaling back Prime Ministerial appearances…were all part of the plan to try to prevent parliamentary argument disrupting third way consensus.  A Parliament elected by a different means that did not produce a majority government would be the ultimate conclusion of this course of action.

“devolution Labour style will devolve more power not to people but to politicians and administrators. Far from cementing the UK, it will pull it part as advocates of a Europe of the regions intend. ….the relentless drive to a European state continues. It is time to ask the question, will this government break the UK apart? How far do they wish to go in transferring government from London to Brussels and regional centres?”

Much of what I feared came true. Over the following decade Labour signed the Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon Treaties, transferring 168 major areas of policy from UK control to majority voting in the EU. That included control over our borders and immigration policy, energy and some criminal justice amongst many.

Their devolution policy, far from settling the kingdom, gave a huge boost to Scottish nationalism and has led directly to a vote on whether Scotland wants to stay in the Union at all.

The Human Rights policy has led to senior Judges now pointing out that Parliament has lost its sovereignty in crucial areas of law, and to many domestic complaints about actions and judgements that the UK can no longer decide or control.

Parliament has been damaged by moving to shorter hours and fewer days in session, by a single PM Questions each week, and above all by now facing many areas where Parliament cannot change the law even if it wishes to, owing to EU law.

Labour changed the UK and its constitution radically. We no longer have a constitution based on a powerful  Parliament subject to  the sovereignty of the people, expressed at election time in the ballot box and the rest of the time as public opinion. We are now a member state under European control in many fields, and a divided nation arguing about whether to stay together or not. I rest my case.

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115 Comments

  1. Arschloch
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Eh Brussels determines the levels of taxation, who can be a British citizen, who we go to war against etc? No blame it on Brussels is the easy way out for a corrupt degenerate political class. Like a deer stuck in the headlights of a rapidly moving truck they remain paralysed at the failure of neo-liberal economics which they all believe in. Although it is not so obvious as when Hague was leader of the opposition, and PMQs was reduced to a stream of schoolboy gags. In essence politics as it is happens in the UK today is nothing but a series of exercises by one faction trying to outwit the other purely for powers sake. That is where the rot comes from not Brussels. As I have pointed out here before if you do not like what the EU wants just ignore them e.g. Belgium’s recent deportation of benefit tourists from Spain, Bulgaria and Romania.

    • Jennifer A
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      It is not merely a constitutional change but a cultural one which has taken place.

      So effective and destructive was the Nu Labour assault on the English that it is now difficult to see where a Conservative party can fit. Nay. In many respects it has become illegal to be Conservative.

      It has reached the point where sincere politicians, in all conscience, ought to ask themselves if there remains an honest reason for the continuation of the UK Parliament. If there isn’t then they, as individuals, should leave making it abundantly clear why. There is no ‘working to make things better from the inside’ that time has passed.

      How dare they point their fingers at unions and say that there must be cuts and economies when they themselves are so pointless, costly and ineffective.

      • Arschloch
        Posted January 28, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Have a read of this interview with my MP, Rory Stewart, on how little power an MP actually has. It constantly amazes me when I compare his CV to those of Cameron and Osborne’s and I think how those two inadequates have got so far.

        http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/03/rory-stewart-interview

      • Feodor
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:53 am | Permalink

        Jennifer A: “In many respects it has become illegal to be Conservative.”

        In what respects exactly?

        Hyperbole helps no one.

        • lifelogic
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          Certainly few seem to be prepared to make highly moral case for a smaller state, lower taxes, fewer regulations, no EU, no green tosh, easy hire and fire, selective immigration ….. The complete opposite of the usual libdem “BBC think” drivel in fact.

          In fact this would anyway be better for all on balance. Fewer parasites all round and more, better paid jobs for all.

          • Feodor
            Posted January 30, 2014 at 2:57 am | Permalink

            “Certainly few seem to be prepared to make highly moral case for a smaller state…”

            Mr. Redwood seems to do that–and do a reasonably good job of it, too–on a regular basis. Indeed, a good many politicians have made a career out of campaigning on just these issues. The reality you refuse to confront, is that while there are no shortage of people who advocate such views, they are not able to win an electoral majority for them. They can’t even establish themselves as the dominant faction in the Conservative Party! That being said, to return to the original point, being unpopular and disliked is not the same as being proscribed. Nothing you list is illegal to do, on the BBC or elsewhere.

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Unlike Belgium we in have respect for the law. If the law is wrong, i.e. permits benefit tourism, then we want to change the law not ignore it. As members of the EU we are unable to change such laws in a timely manner if at all.

    • Douglas Carter
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      I’d agree wholeheartedly with the first half of y0ur piece, but would have to depart from the second half. I certainly have great contempt for a nation which frequently gold-plates EU legislation that some of the sclerotic continental banana-republics in the EU disregard contentedly, but we must withdraw from the EU rather than give our own Parliament implied mandate to ignore law inconvenient to its intentions.

      Just this month, we saw a Deputy Prime Minister of the UK publically declare a man guilty in a matter no public authority had found him guilty for.

      Susan Gaszczak speaking on Channel Four news less than two weeks ago (where she was introduced as a ‘Senior LibDem decision maker’) implied twice in interview the tenet that people – according to her, and therefore presumably she’s also speaking on behalf of party policy – must now ‘prove themselves not guilty’. I don’t recall the law being changed on either of these things, doubtless they’ll be in the next LibDem election manifesto? But when your own DPM is now apparently facilitated with the powers to declare a man guilty by means of internal Party assertion, you know these are people who cannot be trusted with a custom-and-practice approved mandate to abrogate law.

      We need that protection against dangerously weak Prime Ministers (1990-1997), dangerously out-of-control Prime Ministers (1997-2007) or dangerously arrogant MPs (MP for Rushcliffe for example).

      The recovery of all accountability to Westminster is the only acceptable method.

    • Graham
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Well said – but you need to want to do that – and none of our so called politicians of all shades will do what is so obviously required.

    • Auror
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      What exactly do you regard as the ‘neo-liberal economics’ that the ‘political class’ all believe in?

      • arschloch
        Posted January 28, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        free movement of labour and flexible labour markets, money printing, deregulation and privatisation whether it makes sense or not etc. All the parties subscribe to it. It must be flaming obvious by now. In 1997 Brown says he is sticking to Clarke’s economic parameters and Osborne has not really changed course since 2010. Do you really think Osborne would have let RBS and HBOS crash and burn as they should have?

        • Auror
          Posted January 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Ok. Well that it is fairly obvious that something like that is what the whole damn crew goes along with, or at least claims to. I honestly don’t think many of them have a very clear idea of what they actually believe in. … and no I don’t think that Osbourne would have let the banks fail although I agree that they should have.

          I’m not sure however what you are advocating as an alternative. What you call neo-liberalism is no longer very new nor is it particularly liberal. Whilst I strongly disapprove of money printing, I don’t think that freedom and flexibility in labour is all that bad, and as regards deregulation/privatisation its not clear to me that the state has really retreated significantly from many areas as is claimed.

          • Jennifer A
            Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

            Auror – there always was freedom and flexibility in labour.

            What we have now is chaotic capitulation which requires (at some point in the process) massive public subsidy to keep it going.

            I would remind you that our national debt is now in the order of £1.5 trillion. Up from £1 trillion at the start of the Coalition.

            Something’s not working, is it !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      I see that Kenneth Clarke is in the Telegraph today:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/10600151/Ken-Clarke-British-ministers-to-blame-for-red-tape-not-EU.html

      with the same general line that if anything goes wrong it is the fault of the UK government and not his beloved EU, although admittedly he doesn’t go as far as you in referring to “a corrupt degenerate political class” presumably because he is part of it. This is a man who when he was in government and was asked whether he had actually read the Maastricht Treaty breezily admitted/pretended that he hadn’t because it was too “boring”, one of the longstanding standard Tory party methods to attempt to trivialise the issue and deflect criticism of its eurofederalist policies, “Oh it’s boring, nobody is interested in that”. And then he attempted to take over the Tory party on the basis that members could safely vote for him to become leader because the EU Constitution was “dead”, when he knew very well that it was only in suspended animation; luckily the members were not duped into placing control of their party in his hands, but unfortunately they were later duped into placing control of their party in the hands of Cameron.

      “As I have pointed out here before if you do not like what the EU wants just ignore them e.g. Belgium’s recent deportation of benefit tourists from Spain, Bulgaria and Romania.”

      We’re not Belgium and we expect our government to obey the law as passed by our Parliament, which includes Acts to approve EU treaties creating a structure for the passage of measures which according to those treaties are legally binding on all its member states, and just in case anyone is left in any doubt about the matter in Article 291 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union:

      “Member States shall adopt all measures of national law necessary to implement legally binding Union acts.”

      The worst thing we could do would be to urge our national government to break our national law to get itself out of difficulties which have arisen from EU treaties which were negotiated and agreed with other countries and then approved by our Parliament; if the government wants to break some part of those treaties then it should have the courage to ask Parliament to expressly disapply the problematic EU treaty provisions and laws, not cheat on our Parliament as well as cheating on the governments of the other countries.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Why doesn’t the UK lead a delegation (with Spain, Bulgaria and Romania) to fine Belgium for acting against the EU treaties, isn’t that what we’re always threatened with? Isn’t the British EU MEP group led by Conservatives as the biggest group. It’s time for the UK to stop turning the other cheek and give them a taste of their own medicine.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Indeed Labour has changed the UK and its constitution radically and it is very much worse and less efficient as a result. But this would not have happened without the help of Heath, Major, Cameron and much of the Conservative party on the way. Even Mrs Thatcher, as she was at the time, player her part in this vandalism.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I see the BBC is going on about off shore wind power again with the usual positive noises. If we are really to have 20% of electricity from intermittent wind it will virtually double overall UK electricity costs. Should do wonders for our competitive advantage.

      This green crap is even more bonkers than HS2, the EURO, gender equal insurance or the ERM was. Why are we governed by such incompetent (and already proven wrong) donkeys?

      • Bazman
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        China are pushing ever harder on wind and spending more than ever. The need for clean energy is getting ever greater.
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25623400
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25924284
        Closer to home a large number have been installed of the coast of Barrow-in-Furness. Now its true wind power is intermittent, but this part of the world is consistently windy cheap energy if the technology can be refined enough. What is strange though is the large number no turning at any one time even when wind is blowing. A prime example being the derelict one in the Barrow Tesco car park. There are questions to be asked, but green crap is not clean sustainable energy. No nuclear crap I see. Do tell us why given its massive cost, subsidies, and danger?

        • Edward2
          Posted January 31, 2014 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          I woudn’t get too excited about wind power in the UK Baz, it will never be more than a useful but small part of our total energy needs, as this article from the BBC shows:-
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24823641

          • Bazman
            Posted February 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            As fracking will be and other expensive forms of energy such as nuclear and geothermal.

  3. Posted January 28, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    A big part of the problem is the Conservative Party which has lost nearly all its support North of the Border.

    In the 60’s the Unionists, as they were then known, won nearly half the seats there. Sir Alec Douglas Home was probably the best known and the last of the Unionists. Many Unionists used to make a point of being referred to as such and would reject the label of Conservative. It was important to the Unionist working class in Scotland that they were voting for Unionism not Conservatism.

    What possessed the Conservative Party to change such a winning formula?

    • Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      PS To the above. I’d suggest that you should change back to being the Scottish Unionist Party. Strongly make the case for a continued Union. Support the idea of a referendum both on the UK itself, in Scotland, and in the UK as a whole on the EU.

      Get rid of the word Conservative from all literature there. Its sounds far too pro-English, with negative aristocratic connections.

      Tell the Scottish people how much you value them and ban any Tory who has expressed any hint of anti Scottish sentiment from going anywhere near the place!

      It may be too late, but it may not be, and it couldn’t possibly do any harm!

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted January 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Just call it the Unionist Party then and keep it simple. Why do we have to have everything prefixed by ‘Scottish’? I’m Scottish and sick of this fawning to nationalist sentiment.
        We are told to hate Thatcher here. Well that’s fine because a good dose of hate is healthier than contempt. Keep the ‘Scottish’ out of it and refuse to fight on ground of the enemy’s choosing. We can’t turn the clock back and many Tory voters here have died off. A new approach is certainly needed. Funnily enough Thatcher is still admired by many Scots, including some on the right-wing of the SNP who have remained in the Party but who are not happy with its leftist leadership. Strong leadership counts for much, even from beyond the grave in the case of Thatcher.

        • Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:37 am | Permalink

          As I’m not Scottish I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone there what they should call their party. You can call it what you like. But changing the name of the (Scottish) Unionist Party to the Conservative Party was an example of exactly that ie disastrous English interference.

          English Conservatives haven’t appreciated is that there is a big difference between supporting the concept of a Union and supporting an English political party. You can argue that the Labour Party are English too, but they seem to be more British than English so manage to get away with it. Conservatives, though, have an image of Englishness not Britishness which works fine in Berkshire but not in Banffshire.

          There a joke that Scottish people support Scotland at football, or if they aren’t playing they’ll support whoever is playing England. Except, I’m not sure if it really is a joke. Even some Scots who support the Union think that way too. They’d never ever vote Conservative but they would vote for a Unionist.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Just call it the Conservative and European Unionist Party.

  4. Old Albion
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I make you about right JR.
    But you forgot to say ; Labour ignored England except for the failed attempt by Prescott to begin the regionalistion of this ancient country.
    And of course the Conservative led coalition continues to ignore England. It refuses to address the democratic defecit of no English representation.
    It continues to deliberately conflate Britain with England.
    It’s politicians refuse to use the words England/English even when discussing matters that, due to the impact of devolution, are English.
    So your criticism of Labour is just. But the same criticism applies to the Conservatives and Liberals.
    The Lib/Lab/Con ignoring England since 1998…………………………..

  5. A.Sedgwick
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Very prescient but why then did the Conservative Party end up with Dave?

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Why? Because he pretended to be an EU skeptic and some of the 100 or so Tory MPs on the sensible wing of the party were taken in by him. He is quite good at saying the right things to the right people at the right time, even if it conflicted with what he said the day before and the day after. The problem is he never actually does any of the sensible actions.

      In his heart and soul, he is clearly just a John Major/Ted Heath/Nick Clegg/T Bliar/Ed Davey type. He is surely determined to go over the cliff for his pro EU cause.

      Still at least Balls/Milliband seem to be against HS2 and pointless wars.

  6. Richard1
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Prescient words. Labour gerrymandered the constitution to try to ensure permanent government by statist apparatchiks like them, deliberately promoted uncontrolled immigration, wrecked the economy due to their faith in tax borrow and spend and saddled us with unsustainably high energy prices due to their faith in global warming theory. Every effort must be made to ensure these disastrous socialists are not allowed back into government at the next election.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      But Cameron is just the same a ratting, pro EU, fake green, tax borrow and waste, disastrous socialist. What is the difference just 5% in income tax and no HS2 with Balls hopefully!

  7. alan jutson
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Your forsight is to be applauded.

    Whilst much of what you say has proved correct John, do remember that it was the Conservative Edward Heath that started the rot, when he took us into this rotten organisation in the first place.

    He knowingly lied to the British People, and most other governments of the UK have continued to do the same, by being complicit in allowing this organisation more and more powers over the people, of what was once a United Kingdom.

    Some politicians have spoken out ,yourself included, but so far they have been too few and have talking to closed ears and eyes.

    Will the ears and eyes eventually open ?

    I hope so, for without them doing so we will continue to sleepwalk into further control.

    • Qubus
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Enoch Powell was right as well.

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Qubus

        Think Tony Benn was against as well.

        Oh for Politicians of such Stature now, even if you did not agree with all that they said and stood for.

        Come to that, Oh for a Robin Day as well !!!!!

        • lifelogic
          Posted January 28, 2014 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

          The quality of political debate nowadays (especially on the BBC) is just appalling. All pre-framed by BBC lefties and irrational appeals to envy, emotion, robbing the rich, enforced “equality”, unscientific nonsense and general ignorance.

          It is debate largely to justify & preserve the jobs and pensions of the state sector.

  8. TGod
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    It was the Conservative party which first took the country into Europe and subsequently signed up to several damaging EU treaties and off course it still projects itself as a europhile party with policies which are largely pro-europe.

    It is misleading to claim that the Labour governments are solely responsible for the damage to our constitution, the Conservative governments have also made a big contribution to wrecking this country.

  9. JoolsB
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Labour never planned to split the UK into regions. They only ever planned to split England into regions whilst Scotland, Wales & NI remained nation states and hopefully Labour fiefdoms with their own self determining legislatures – something which was and still is denied to England.

    If/when Labour get back into power, they will stop at nothing until euro-sceptic England is split into regions and they are already making mutterings at every opportunity stirring up the north/south divide as an excuse to do so. Not only will they fulfil the EU’s bidding but once broken into regions, the problem of England wanting it’s own national representation will go away suiting them nicely as this will allow them to carry on using their Scottish, Welsh & NI votes and MPs to keep the Tories, the party chosen by England, out of Westminster where more and more legislation passed there only applies to England nowadays. And just what has Cameron and this Conservative led Government done to end this affront to democracy and insult to every man, woman and child and England – absolutely nothing, that’s what.

    If Labour succeed in balkanising England – the Conservatives will be every bit as culpable for refusing to address the English Question whilst they had the chance!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      There is a long history of the UK being divided into regions for various internal purposes, and usually Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were all treated as each being a single region, while England was divided into various regions.

      It was not Labour who first decided to divide up England into regions specifically for the benefit of the EU but the Tory Major, following on from the establishment of the EU itself, and of the EU Committee of the Regions, through the Maastricht Treaty that he forced through on a confidence vote without a referendum.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regions_of_England#Regions_as_areas_of_administration

      “In April 1994 the John Major government created a set of ten Government Office Regions for England. Prior to 1994, although various central government departments had different regional offices, the regions they used tended to be different and ad hoc.”

      “The Maastricht Treaty encouraged the creation of regional boundaries for selection of members for the Committee of the Regions of the European Union: Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had each constituted a region, but England represents such a large proportion of the population of the United Kingdom that further division was thought necessary. The English regions, which initially numbered ten, also replaced the Standard Statistical Regions. Merseyside originally constituted a region in itself, but in 1998 it was merged into the North West England region, creating the nine present-day regions. Since 1999, the nine regions have also been used as England’s European Parliament constituencies and as statistical NUTS level 1 regions.”

      • APL
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Denis Cooper: “It was not Labour who first decided to divide up England into regions specifically for the benefit of the EU but the Tory Major”

        But don’t forget the Heathite local government reorganisation, the first blow to continuity and tradition, from the other great tory traitor, Heath.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Very interesting Denis thank you. I read today that Liverpool is a City intended for 800,000 residents but only 450,000 live there. The Wirral used to be Liverpool postcode area (not sure if a Liverpool political area) but they moved to a Cheshire postcode not sure about governance.

  10. Cheshire girl
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    If the European Union is in charge of ruling this country then it won’t matter which party we vote for, as all of them seem to be unable to do anything about the current situation . I had hoped for better from the Conservatives. I am hoping that at the time of the next election I shall be surer in my mind where to put my cross on the ballot paper, or whether to vote at all!

    • APL
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Cheshire girl: ” then it won’t matter which party we vote for, ”

      It doesn’t matter, you get the same policy thrust, with just enough changed emphasis to allow them to make the plausable claim that they are different from the other party.

      Since the majority of the laws passed through Parliament are (a) not properly scrutinized by Parliament, (b) originate with the EU, you maybe can see why choosing one or other of the three main parties is futile.

      Want to vote Conservative? Vote independent Conservative.
      Want to vote Labour? Vote independent Labour canditate.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I’m a Cheshire girl too, don’t you feel that there is more confidence about recently to improve the current situation? I do. I think the people are just fed up with all the gloom and doom and negative news and just need more encouragement to keep the momentum going. We’ve been able to create two new jobs this year and people I know that have been unemployed have recently found employment. We need a marketing makeover in the UK.

  11. The PrangWizard
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    No mention, I note, of the status of England, the nation at the heart of the Union. A Unionist will not speak out for England; other nations and interests will always take precedence. The present government (the all-UK government) refuses to grant recognition to my right to self-determination. Parliamentary and large ‘national’ cultural institutions do not reflect my identity. I reject the Union. I am English, not British, the first step to resolve this injustice is to appoint a Minister for England immediately, to be followed by a parliament for England, and then let England be independent too.

    If it is legitimate to wish to be free of the European State, it is legitimate for me to be wish to be free of the British State. The issues are very much the same.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Most foreigners refer to England when they mean Britain or the UK.
      You are the heart of the Union and I would like you to feel that Scotland is your country also. England would be seriously diminished without Scotland and Scotland would become even more unstable than it is now without the continued moderating influence of England.

      • Posted January 29, 2014 at 3:07 am | Permalink

        Yes. Wales and NI too are part of the Union. If it breaks up the separated regions will inevitably be subsumed into the EU and it will only be a matter of time before a UK identity is replaced by a greater European identity complete with Euro currency!

        There is really no reason for the UK to break up. We all speak the same, or nearly the same, language. I’m sure nearly every family would have at least a few Scottish connections. Apart from the expected banter at sports matches there is no hostility between the populations.

        Except perhaps in the Conservative party. There were some shockingly bad sentiments expressed after the 2010 election because the Scots and Welsh had the temerity to vote for Gordon Brown and his party in the numbers they did. I don’t believe its because the Scots are intrinsically more left wing than the English. There’s a right of centre and pro-Unionist vote there to be had and it’s not difficult to see why it’s not going to the Tory party.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          And nor are the Scots intrinsically more pro-EU than the English, beyond a certain degree which is barely significant when viewed in the context of the other variations across the UK.

  12. peter davies
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately there’s not in this article I can disagree with. I personally like the idea of regional democracy, not to comply with the rotten EU but to deliver local accountability for local issues.

    With this however I think that it should be done without the extra layer of politicians that we don’t need which has made UK Governance lop sided.

    The obvious answer is for ONE set of MPs to either sit in the HOC or their devolved assembly aligned with the business timetable thus ensuring that they only carry out devolved matters in their parliaments so you don’t have a Scottish MP voting in the HOC on a devolved matter.

    “Third Way” politics was swallowed hook line and sinker by the UK – clearly having a dull tired Tory pro EU administration opened the door for this.

    We cant change the part but will we learn from it and do what is necessary to balance UK democracy and put the EU where it belongs – out to grass with a FTA using EEA/EFTA rules.

  13. Edward.
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    “The death of Britain?”

    Aye indeed.

    Britain disappears before out eyes, in some areas it is gone and Labour were the facilitators but the EU was the excuse.

    etc ed

  14. Bert Young
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Labour policies and actions were , as you say , detrimental to our sovereign state and our natural attitude to independence ; the decisions taken by them and the support given recently to the EU by David Cameron have not reflected public opinion and the desire to reclaim our identity . The threats on the horizon of the ” revolt ” this week in the HoC , the imminent EU elections and the new found confidence in our economy , definitely will have influence on what happens next ; it is fostered by the recent debate in the House of Lords showing how the action of a few does work against democracy . Hue and cry is not far away from hitting the streets .

  15. rolls
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Yes Mr Redwood, we have been led down the garden path like lambs to the slaughter. Blair rescinded the treason laws for precisely this purpose. When the sheeple realise what politicians have done, they better hide.

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      …and as a precautionary backstop passed the Civil Contingencies Act to arm himself with absolute powers if needed.

  16. James Matthews
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Entirely agree, but who should voters turn to if they want to resist this destruction. Clearly not the current Conservative Party who have embraced devolution (for everyone but England) and who are busy promising Scotland so much more that even if the Scots do, for the time being, vote to reject full independence, the “Union” will be pretty much meaningless and who have already told Brussels and the world that, whatever the outcome of any negotiations, they will not recommend that Britain leave the EU.

    Scotland is pretty much a lost cause. England on its own would have a better chance of saving itself from the EU. Any way you look at it now that we are on this road there has to be more drastic constitutional change. The status quo is not a sustainable option.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      The Conservative Party in Scotland may be a lost cause but Scotland is not. United we stand, divided we fall, to the EU – all of us.

      • James Matthews
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        The opinion polls say otherwise. Scotland has a pro EU majority and, if the UK were to vote to leave the EU on the back of English votes the Scots would no doubt spend whatever remaining time it took for the UK to fall apart complaining even more than they do now. Even if the Scots vote no in September their large disaffected minority will continue to cripple England politically. Better to recognise that the Union has run its course.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          “Scotland has a pro EU majority”

          This report on the subject commissioned by the Scottish Executive:

          http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/163772/0044574.pdf

          came to conclusions that some people may not like.

          On page 5:

          “There is very little difference between Scotland and the UK as a whole on attitudes to Europe.”

          And on page 7:

          “It is often believed that within the UK, Scotland is one of the most pro-European areas. The evidence within this review suggests that on the whole this is not the case, with people in Scotland reporting broadly similar Eurosceptic views as people in Britain as a whole.”

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    So it’s all the fault of Labour, and especially their agreement to the Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties without putting any of them to a referendum.

    It’s not as if the preparatory work for the Amsterdam Treaty started under Major, and if he had continued in office then he would have refused to put it to a referendum just as he had refused to put the Maastricht Treaty to a referendum, and when in opposition the new Tory leader Hague welcomed many of its provisions.

    It’s not as if as one part of that Maastricht Treaty agreed by Major and imposed through a Commons confidence vote without a referendum set up the EU’s Committee of the Regions, which could later communicate directly with the South East England Regional Assembly, even while the Tory chairman of that assembly swore blind in the local press that it had “nothing whatsoever to do with the EU”.

    It’s not as if Thatcher set the precedent that having got the people to directly consent to a certain arrangement in the 1975 referendum the government and Parliament need not then go back to ask the people for their consent to changes to that arrangement, both in terms of the abolition of national vetoes and preparations for a single currency and in terms of including additional countries in the arrangement.

    And of course it’s not as if a Tory, Heath, first got us entangled in the EEC/EC/EU project in breach of his party’s manifesto for the 1970 general election, and had no idea that we should be asked directly whether we wanted our country to embark on that new course which he knew perfectly well was intended to lead to a federation.

    And at the other end of the timeline, it’s not as if Cameron abandoned his demand for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, and then as Prime Minister set aside “Keep the Pound” and threw his support behind “Save the Euro”, at our expense, and simply gave Merkel an EU treaty change she wanted to legalise eurozone bailouts without asking for any other treaty changes in return, not wanting any treaty changes to prune back the eurozone or even treaty changes to limit its future expansion.

    Trying to blame it all on Labour isn’t going to wash, JR, it just isn’t going to wash.

    Reply I wrote a book about the whole package of EU constitutional reforms adopted by the Labour government. I today have reviewed how accurate the predictions were. The article does not say our whole EU memebrship is Labour’s fault – I seem to remember the British peopel played a role by voting for the Treaty of Rome in 1975 when I voted No.

    • Timaction
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      When the people voted for the Treaty of Rome in 1975 they were lied to by the Tory Party (Heath) as to the true intentions (FCO 1971, 30/1048) and the Labour and Lib Dems went along with that deceit.
      Whilst some of your predictions have shown to be true so has your parties support of the federalist state as is shown by their actions, not words.
      Parliament needs root and branch reform. We want our democracy back and sovereignty returned to these shores. LibLabCons can no longer be trusted with the nations interests and have been found seriously wanting! All actions by the old legacy parties have shown utter contempt for the indigenous people of Britain.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Trying to blame it on the British people isn’t going to wash either!

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      But you wrote: “Labour changed the UK and its constitution radically.” Which sounds like blaming it all on Labour and then when questioned about it you blame the British people. Not a word of criticism about your party. Is it any wonder that, even with your personal record, we don’t trust you or your party when it comes to the EU?

      Reply Look at the topic of the article. I have before explained my disagreements with the Conservatives over the Single European Act and ERM.

      • APL
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        Brian Tomkinson: “Not a word of criticism about your party ”

        Someone else has noticed. Good.

  18. Douglas Carter
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Very welcome speech by your colleague the member for North East Somerset yesterday evening John.

    If anyone missed this (and it’s definitely worth watching) then when the relevant catch-up for Parliament TV is archived a little later (not available at time of writing – probably a bit too early), go to the debate of early yesterday evening and Mr. Rees-Mogg should be listened to in particular around 17:40.

    Apologies if I’ve missed any contribution from yourself Mr. Redwood but unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch the entire debate.

    Reply Yes, I too spoke in the debate

    • bigneil
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      I thought sir Richard shepherd (hope name is right) – also spoke very well.

  19. Alan Wheatley
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Case proven!

    Underlying much of these conflicts is the concept of nationality. Nationality has been a concept for good and ill, but it seems to me it is a necessary concept for the organisation of humanity.

    Humans can achieve great things, the more so when they work together in a coherent way towards a common objective. But not all humans seek the same objective; some objectives are in direct conflict. The nation state can, over time, bring about order where otherwise there would be chaos; likely not ideal, but better than alternatives.

    One of the difficulties with the concept of nationality and the nation state is knowing the position of the borders, and it is made much worse if the borders change, and keep changing. In this respect an island nation is at a significant advantage.

    The UK has had the advantage of being (mainly) an island nation for 300 years. Added to which a lack of invasion for 1000 years has led to a degree of stability not enjoyed by most, if not all, of our mainland European neighbours. I think this is at the heart of the matter with respect to the EU. For many European peoples the EU represent a great leap forward and a beacon of hope for something much better than their previous experience. For the UK the EU offers a solution to a problem we do not have, and a change towards objectives at odds with the ones we morphed out of disorder over 1000 years of evolution.

    I think the UK would be far better outside the EU, pursuing its own destiny. It could also be good for the EU as it would provide a working example, hopefully with the Commonwealth, of another way of doing things.

  20. Roger Farmer
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Your prediction on sovereignty was not unlike that of Enoch Powell on immigration. Fortunately yours did not include any classical allegories that can be twisted to political ends.
    In all your condemnation of Labour you omit the treacherous part that Edward Heath played in the whole sorry saga. Perhaps his wartime experience mislead him into thinking that the UK should be part of a federal Europe. Treacherous because he quite deliberately sold it as a trade arrangement knowing full well what it’s ultimate aims were.
    The question now is how do we unravel it with utmost speed.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Maybe yes fighting on the beaches during D Day did convince Heath of the need for a united Europe. As did Denis Healey. Traitors both eh?

      They both showed considerable courage and they are entitled to form their views from their experiences. I salute them both for that and I am grateful for what they did.

      • Roger Farmer
        Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        While not doubting the courage of either of them and their entitlement to an opinion. I do however question the duplicity of Heath in selling a trade deal when he knew it was a step towards a federalist Europe and our membership of same.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 28, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Well, it’s a technicality but for the record Heath didn’t fight on the beaches during D-Day, his regiment arrived in France about three weeks later.

  21. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Apparently, perhaps in your case more than most, I do not know why, being measured accurate and usually correct seems to carry very little weight generally and less than none with a good few MP’s. How and why do other MP’s read what you have written today without realising the sheer awfulness of what has been done? As that gravestone says, He was right, dead right, as he sped along, But he is just as dead as if he were wrong. Let’s just hope that the tide turns, somehow, on some sort of natural rebound, rather than the nightmare going on and on. A massive upheaval in May followed by extermination of the LibDems would be a good start. One thing I don’t know, but would like to, is if Scotland does vote to leave (Let’s hope not though) and, as friend Salmon keeps saying, stays in or is allowed back in to the EU, am I right in thinking that the continuing UK would have a majority for getting the Hell out of the EU (preferably people and MP’s) ? If I am right and there is such a majority maybe explaining that might persuade at least a few voters in Scotland to keep Britain whole, else won’t they feel a bit stranded up there?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Postscript–Salmond with a d it should have been of course; and adding to the bit about Scotland being stranded, one of the first things the strandees up there might have to try and do on present form is persuade a wounded Sassenach Government to rebuild HS2 round London at their own vast expense to join up with HS1. Anything else is barking mad anyway. Some HS Railway with a gr8 big break in the middle!

  22. Oscar De Ville
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Oscar

    Your entry today is the best I`ve seen, even from your consistently high standard. A timely wake-up reminder for us.

    But, as its prediction of EU control was so good, why did it not become entrenched in Conservative policy, and consistently so ? It would surely have had widespread support, as the significant but reluctant drift into Ukip shows.

    Was it a lack of drive and purpose on your part ? Or a lack of a seat on Mr Cameron`s sofa ? Or genuine disagreement on high there ? Or a lame blaming of Lib-Dems in the Coalition ?

    Whatever it was, is there any, very late, prospect of getting back on the rails as your own logic favoured ? Or are we all doomed to rely on the “buying time” proposal of a long-promised referendum in 2017, so easily scuppered in the House of Lords last Friday and subject to so many events including a general election and decision on a break-up of Great Britain where only Scots have been allowed a vote ?

    After what you have said, and now repeated, are you really satisfied with that ?

  23. Neil Craig
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Polls show that the British people split 70:20 in favour of PR so I don’t see that its introduction is in any way anti-British.

    PR greatly reduces the “barriers to entry” to politics which is currently, corruptly, limited to 2 1/2 parties, 2 of whom openly agree they should have such a monopoly. No politician who believes in free markets and low barriers to entry to industry can be expected to be trusted if they cannot explain why they believe in such monopolistic practices in the formation of Parliament.

    Which partly explains the contempt MPs are held in.

    As for the importance of Parliament – this is enhanced not reduced by coalition and a representative democratic system. Parliament’s power has inevitably grown under the coalition. So long as Parliament is merely a rubber stamp for a party which has gained an overall majority of seats on a decreasing minority of votes, power is bound to be centralised on the party leader not the rubber stamp.

  24. Mike Wilson
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    …Even their plans for proportional representation …

    Careful – you’ll have me voting Labour!

  25. bigneil
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    common sense Britain is dead – -having just read that the Somali “burka” fugitive is to be given legal aid to sue us for millions – -yes – common sense Britain is DEFINITELY dead.

    Tony Blair – -destroying this country is the only thing you managed to make a damn good job of – hope you are proud of yourself.

  26. Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    Your predictions were correct in the main, but I must disagree with one statement in your post. I quote “We no longer have a constitution based on a powerful Parliament subject to the sovereignty of the people”….

    Most of those who have commented have accepted your statement in its entirety and as a result, the comments consist of apportioning blame for past actions and asking for future change.

    I reject the hands and knees approach to the problem. When will you politicians grow some backbone?

    We have a robust Constitution, tested over hundreds of years, won by the blood and work of our English ancestors, set out in the Constitutional documents which have been quoted over the years by statesmen maintaining our freedom.

    What purports to be the constitution at present is a collection of unlawful legislation, passed by traitors and careless Members of a Parliament which has been acting unconstitutionally, since the Liberal Party began the rot in 1911 by downgrading the role of the House of Lords and denying the Royal Prerogative.

    The rot has continued under the Conservative, Heath, the Labour Blair, and the current Coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Signing European Treaties which reduced the Queen to a European citizen, making foreign Courts superior to English Common Law Courts, ceding sovereignty which parliament does not possess, these are all unlawful acts, contrary to the English Constitution. Our freedoms are not given us by politicians, who constantly try to limit our God-given freedom to further their own ideologies. We are not governed by unlawful treaties, or the leaders of political parties, no matter what they claim.

    Our form of government is a Constitutional Monarchy. Our ruler is our Queen, whose role is clearly set out in the first paragraph of Article 37 in the 39 Articles of Religion and which role was repeated in the Declaration of Right in 1689. Whatever is contrary to that is treason.

    John Wrake.

    Reply Not so. The powers in our state accept the EU settlement pushed through by successive Parliaments. We do not live in your past golden age under a frozen constitution.

    • James Matthews
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply. No, the constitution is not frozen and never has been, but it can move in any direction. Were this not the case we would not be having a referendum on Scottish independence after 307 years. So while Mr Wrake’s legal arguments may not hold his underlying complaint does. If our elected representatives had the will there would be a way.

    • APL
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      JR: “We do not live in your past golden age under a frozen constitution.”

      Quite so. But we need to ask why?

      That’d be the tretchery of the Tory party, the party you support, people like Heath, Hestletine, Major, Clarke and yes, sadly Thatcher.

      Rotten Parliament, because it is infested by rotten parties.

  27. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t take a genius to work out that every nation wants power and certain nations want power over others.It is simple terratorial and very basic animal rules. We forget that we are just another species of animals and somehow elevate ourselves into thinking that these basic instincts do not apply. Why are some so naiive as to ignore this and bend to the whims of an apparent mirror image truth ( by doing what our opposites desire) and ignore historical events which underline the need of Countries to be powerful in their own right or absorb others into their own cultures and then make them second class citizens.

  28. Steve Tierney
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    You’re right, but it’s not just Labour its ALL of them. They all want PR, for the same reasons their councillors want Committee Systems. It’s all about diffusing power so that decisions can’t be taken. Sure, UKIP want it for strategic reasons, while Labs and Libs want it for ideological ones, but they’re all as bad as each other.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Yes, of course I should be happy with a system which means that a small number of people change their minds and we swing from having a local council in which the LibDems can impose their will without effective challenge to having a local council in which members of your party can impose their will without effective challenge, and then back again, and then back again, to and fro, and at no point over the years do independents or alternative parties get a look in.

  29. forthurst
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    “[Labour’s] devolution policy, far from settling the kingdom, gave a huge boost to Scottish nationalism and has led directly to a vote on whether Scotland wants to stay in the Union at all.”

    Alex Salmond clearly wishes to jump the gun in becoming a region of the EU, which also happens to encapsulate an ancient national identity, before Labour enacts a regional breakup of England. The English, on the other hand, do not have any residual folk memory of belonging to separate smaller principalities to which they could cling. The only other nationalisms in England are those imported by alien peoples which the Conservative Party likes to fawn over whilst ignoring their own sense of national identity.

  30. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    You imply that Scotland voting on whether to leave UK is a bad thing. Why ?

  31. oldtimer
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    As others have already commented, your remarks were prescient.

    It is but a small concolation that the proposed NE region (advocated by John Prescott) was roundly defeated in a referendum. The only way the current state of affairs will change is if enough enough concerned adults of voting age actually turning out to vote for change by electing those who want such change. Otherwise measures will become bogged down by delaying tactics. The first opportunity will be provided by the forthcoming elections for the European parliament. It would indeed be ironical if those elections produced a strong nationalist votes across the EU in opposition to the European project of ever closer union. I would argue it is be a precondition of change by the national governments.

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Apologies for the uncorrected grammatical errors above.

  32. Antisthenes
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I doubt if the average person in the street cares much about the niceties of who governs them the UK Parliament or the EU all that interests them is their standard of living and who will allow them to have more without expecting them to do more for it. People are not generally interested in the political process and are to a large extent switched off from it maintaining that all political parties are the same. They do have a point as all parties now have very narrow boundaries in which they can operate as they have to maintain a society that is redistributive and feed what is now a nanny society. The nanny state is becoming less sustainable however the EU and the left claim that trust in them will ensure that the nanny state will endure for ever and even grow. The right when in government are presented with the reality and take measures to correct the failings they find but to very little avail. The best they can ever achieve is to improve wealth creation a bit for the other lot to squander and waste. They are hampered by the EU and the left who the people see as their champions in their determination that the nanny state continues to heap it’s largess on them.

  33. REPay
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Will the UK actually exist without Scotland? I don’t see how – there were only two kingdoms and if one leaves there are two which are not united. Will I then become an English citizen? It seems that this referendum might unravel everything. (Armed forces, stopping having to correct people who say England when they mean the UK, seat at the UN? having to play an irksome role in the world, Labour’s electoral advantage, will my passport change, will the Union flag become purely historical…)

    Your analysis above seems spot on – an many others said the said. Please more about the implications of a yes vote…

    • Andrew Richardson
      Posted February 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      I too am slightly puzzled about talk of a “Rump UK”.
      As I understand it the United Kingdom is the product of a union between Ireland (Northern Ireland) and “Great Britain” . Great Britain is the union of the Kingdom of Scotland and Kingdom of England (which includes Wales). Surely if the 1707 Act of Union is scrapped then Great Britain ceases to exist and with it the U.K since N.Ireland no longer has a partner.
      What will happen to N. Ireland in the event of Scottish Independence ?

  34. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I have just read that Cameron says he listens and has answers for everything–this at the same time that he is saying also that race and culture (repeat and culture) have nothing to do with the country’s views on immigration. He hasn’t got a clue.

  35. Posted January 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Reply to your reply: “Not so. The powers in our state accept the EU settlement pushed through by successive Parliaments. We do not live in your past golden age under a frozen constitution.”

    I do not live in a past golden age. There is no such thing. Our Constitution is not frozen. it is living and continues to be the pattern on which other nations have formed their own.

    You speak of the powers in our state accepting the EU settlement. Who are these powers? Powers in our state are not political parties. Politicians are servants of the people, not the other way round. Those who accept what politicians, with weasel words and dishonest actions have done, have been deceived into thinking that treason has been legitimised. They have made the mistake of trusting promises made by liars. But a lie remains a lie no matter how many voice it, and now, more and more begin to recognise that those making these unlawful decisions are acting contrary to Common Law, which is the bedrock of our Constitution.

    The citizens of this nation see the results. Calls to end Jury Trials because ordinary people cannot understand evidence. Juries were put in place to protect the citizen from unjust laws and unjust judges, and those problems still exist.

    Habeas Corpus is a safeguard against despotic action by the State, yet the European Arrest Warrant overturns this freedom which has been ours for 800 years. I could go on.

    What we face now, this nation has faced many times before, when those without honour and truth in their dealings pervert the nation’s justice, break their oaths of loyalty to their monarch and seek their own advantage.

    I am aware that not all Parliamentarians can be so described. Then it is up to those who claim to be different to act in a way which will restore lawful government to the country.

    John Wrake.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Calls to end Jury Trials because ordinary people cannot understand evidence. Juries were put in place to protect the citizen from unjust laws and unjust judges, and those problems still exist.

      Juries were used as an alternative to trial by fire and duelling because people felt that they shouldn’t keep asking God to help the most just side win. It was originally based on a system whereby someone would be found innocent if enough people testified that this person was innocent. Nothing to do with protecting people from unjust laws or judges.

      Habeas Corpus is a safeguard against despotic action by the State, yet the European Arrest Warrant overturns this freedom which has been ours for 800 years.

      Give that you need to charge someone with a crime to get a European Arrest Warrant it’s clear that Habeas Corpus (providing a reason why someone has been arrested) still exists.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        You have your unusual history book out again Uni with your ideas on the reasons for the use of juries, which if we agree to disagree on the history for a moment, have the effect of allowing you the right to be judged by your peers not agents of the establishment.
        I would have thought you would favour this as an example of power to the people.
        Regarding the arrest warrants now in place for the USA and the EU you should have said “ONLY need to charge someone with a crime…”
        It is now possible for you to be arrested in the UK and taken forcibly to another country where legal aid may not be available to you and to be nearly always refused bail on a charge that has not been scrutinised by a magistrate in this country.
        You could be taken away on a charge which does not even constitute an criminal offence in this country.
        I only hope you do not ever find yourself languishing, innocent of any offence, for many months before your case is heard, in a foreign jail due to this dreadful arrangement.

        • APL
          Posted January 30, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          Edward2: “You have your unusual history book ”

          Facts are not something uanime5 concerns itself with.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        You really need to read up about the EU Arrest Warrant.

      • APL
        Posted January 30, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        uanime5: “Give that you need to charge someone with a crime ”

        Not surprising that a Leftie thinks the police automatically have the right suspect. Your faith in the organs of the state is touching but naive.

        Habeas Corpus is a safeguard against abuse of state power, as such it is a good thing.

        The estabilshed process in this country is (was) that the state ( police ) should put primi facie evidence before an independent court, within a strict time frame ( shamefully extended by the Tory party ) if the evidence is sufficient, the court will approve the continued detention of the suspect.

        uanime5: “to get a European Arrest Warrant it’s clear that Habeas Corpus (providing a reason why someone has been arrested) still exists.”

        Habeas Corpus doesn’t exist outside much of the Anglosphere.

        The European arrest warrent is an (unconstitutional) agreement between tryanical governments that the authorities in another juristiction suspect a person, that is *all* that is required ( no evidence need be supplied to British courts, simply the say so of the foreign police or judicial authority ) to detain that individual, ship him halfway across Europe to navigate a legal system the person is unfamiliar with, probably in a language he does not understand and where the protections of the English legal system do not apply.

        Reply I seem to remember Conservatives reducing the time a person could be detained without trial following Labour’s extension of it.

        • APL
          Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          JR: “I seem to remember Conservatives reducing the time a person could be detained without trial following Labour’s extension of it. ”

          Good, When are you going to bring it back to 24hours?

  36. Max Dunbar
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    A grim title indeed. We’re doomed, doomed as Private Frazer would mournfully declare!

    So much damage was done during the Blair years that it appears impossible to mend our broken and humiliated nation. Can the country be allowed to break apart leaving us all defenceless and vulnerable? Will we allow the same traitors to continue the revolutionary work of destruction after 2015? Has democracy failed and will other methods too awful to contemplate be resorted to in desperation? Has the time for talking passed?

    Perhaps the oracle of Redwood can answer some of these questions.

  37. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    What astounds me is the frothing fury of the comments bursting on the breakwaters of politics.

    Actually it is new. I have been on this blog now for several years and have never seen it like this.

    Doesn’t anyone read it except us? Doesn’t anyone out there care? If only the BBC would present Guy Verhofstadt, M. Barroso or the German Foreign Minister, for instance so we could learn the truth about the EU. If only!

    Meanwhile, divided we fall. In 2015 I confidently expect a LibDem-Labour Coalition run by the TUC.

    • Excalibur
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      I share your pessimism, Michael. Surely within the Labour Party and elsewhere there are people who mourn for England, if not for Britain. I do not think matters will change, despite the best efforts of our host and others. The triumph of leftist pro-European dogma is so complete that it has become irreversible. As you imply, how did it come to this ?? How is it that all that has gone before has ended with the death of Britain ?? All the lives, the sacrifices, the heroism, the honourable endeavour, washed away in a few short years of ideologically driven transformation.

  38. Vanessa
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    It seems you have only just woken up to what most of us on the eu-sceptic side have known for many years.
    Our Constitution, which is hundreds of years old and was built organically on a bed of laws has been destroyed, not just by Labour, but by the Conservatives (who made us members of the EU without asking us). I see that the government has been bleating about cutting red tape for about 5 years but done absolutely nothing. Currently, Cameron has raised this issue again of cutting red tape but has opted-IN to all the destructive legislation of the Lisbon Treaty – Arrest Warrant, Investigation laws, etc. and hundreds of others – making quite sure our ancient freedoms which we took for granted have been destroyed.

    He lied about a “cast-iron guarantee” referendum and he is lying about a “triple-lock” referendum now. Why does nobody believe him ?
    The referendum was never going to be given because the President, Barroso, is about to step down a new one takes a while to “bed-in”. Cameron has the rolling Presidency of some commission or council in 2017 – hardly a good time to call a referendum AND in 2017 there will be negotiations on a new Treaty, I think, on financial issues.

    Who will he renegotiate with for our new relationship with the EU ?

  39. Normandee
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Last night Parliament supported the #EU (Approvals) Bill – a Bill that absolutely destroys trust in politics.

    How many conservatives (to use they masquerade as now) voted for this?

    Reply I voted for the two amendments designed to stop our money being sent for these EU purposes, and spoke against the Bill.

    • Normandee
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Your response is not to the question posed, how many of your so called colleagues voted for the bill, and how can you ever hope to defeat a leader and party so dedicated to taking you in a direction you don’t want to go?

  40. uanime5
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    The ECJ is making more and more advances…The Court now overturns Acts of Parliament….

    The ECJ has been able to do that since the UK joined the EEC as all national laws have to be consistent with EU laws.

    The Labour government has adopted much of the European agenda as its own…

    Well since EU law prevents national governments from making laws contrary to EU law this isn’t very surprising.

    Labour’s plans to split the kingdom into regions are often urged to ensure that we have regional governments that can act as supplicants for European funding…

    Well this system does prevent a disproportionate amount of the EU funding going to London.

    Even their plans for proportional representation are part of a scheme to bring us into line with the continent.

    It would also make the voting system much fairer as it would prevent a party getting a majority of the seats with 30% of the votes.

    devolution Labour style will devolve more power not to people but to politicians and administrators.

    Who exactly is power being devolved from? It can’t be politicians because they’re meant to be gaining power.

    The Human Rights policy has led to senior Judges now pointing out that Parliament has lost its sovereignty in crucial areas of law, and to many domestic complaints about actions and judgements that the UK can no longer decide or control.

    Good. Parliament should not be making laws that infringe upon people’s human rights and ministers should accept that just because they want to do something doesn’t make it right.

    Parliament has been damaged by moving to shorter hours and fewer days in session, by a single PM Questions each week

    Something the coalition hasn’t changed.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      “The ECJ has been able to do that since the UK joined the EEC as all national laws have to be consistent with EU laws.”

      Then why did the Labour government’s official pamphlet urging people to vote to stay in the EEC, delivered to every household for the 1975 referendum, attempt to deny that Parliament would lose its power?

      Because Wilson was as big a liar as Heath?

      • APL
        Posted January 30, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Denis Cooper: “Because Wilson was as big a liar as Heath?”

        Huh! Same party even back then.

  41. Alte Fritz
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    I remember Charles Moore comparing New Labour to a dodgy builder who recklessly knocks holes through load bearing walls and otherwise weakens the structure of the house. How very true. It is not simply a matter of having to understand the past to understand the present, to be be conscious of and humble before the law of unintended consequences albeit that we may argue just how many consequences were unintended.

    The idea that a No vote in the Scottish referendum my lead to ‘devo max’ is, frankly, monstrous, but that is what those clever people set in train.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Is this the same person who compared bankers to plumbers who keep flooding the house, but are still employed as they know best? Probably not.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 30, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        It is indeed the same person Baz.
        He was criticising those like you who have now taught them they are too big to fail and supported bailing out these bankers instead of letting them suffer.

        • Bazman
          Posted January 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          The bankers would not have suffered that is the whole point.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 31, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            If the many successful banks who did not need any bail out had been allowed to take over the failed banks the top management would have been kicked out and would have found themselves looking for another job.
            What you have taught them is that no matter how poorly they run their companies the Government will come along and bail them out and so as you say, they will never suffer.

  42. Posted January 29, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    uanime5: “Juries were used as an alternative to trial by fire and duelling because people felt that they shouldn’t keep asking God to help the most just side win. It was originally based on a system whereby someone would be found innocent if enough people testified that this person was innocent. Nothing to do with protecting people from unjust laws or judges.”

    I’m afraid that your history is as wide of the mark as your understanding. Juries date back to Anglo-Saxon times.

    uanime5: “Give that you need to charge someone with a crime to get a European Arrest Warrant it’s clear that Habeas Corpus (providing a reason why someone has been arrested) still exists.”

    Your knowledge of Habeas Corpus is as reliable as your knowledge of history. Since it is peculiar to the English, it has no effect on a Warrant issued by another country, which does not provide for evidence of a crime to be laid before an English judge before an English citizen can be extradited to a foreign jail.

    uanime5: “The ECJ has been able to do that (overturn Acts of Parliament) since the UK joined the EEC as all national laws have to be consistent with EU laws.”

    Precisely. That is why joining the EEC, knowing its aim, was treason.

    ” since EU law prevents national governments from making laws contrary to EU law this isn’t very surprising.”

    More treason. A constitutional monarchy is not governed by treaty.

    Your response to a statement about loss of sovereignty: “Good. Parliament should not be making laws that infringe upon people’s human rights and ministers should accept that just because they want to do something doesn’t make it right.”

    At last you show yourself in your true colours. You welcome the loss of the sovereignty of the English people. You are (words left out ed), hiding behind a pseudonym, lacking the courage to state openly who you are. That demonstrates the value of your contribution to this blog.

    John Wrake.

  43. BobE
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    And without a shot being fired we surrendered

    • APL
      Posted January 30, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      BobE: ” we surrendered.”

      The political class capitulated.

  44. Robert Taggart
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    The death of Blighty ? – GOOD !…
    England can be free of the Celtdom and Eurodom – with a bit of luck !
    Next move – Republic, then disestablishment for the CofE, finally abolition of the House of Lords.
    All we need then be another Arthur, Alfred or Athelstan !

  45. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 30, 2014 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    John Redwood’s post is wide ranging and interesting. However, with the local and MEP elections only months away, the PM has not developed his European policy since his Bloomberg speech and the promise of an IN/OUT referendum, which their Lordships may talk out (how about a threat to get her Majesty to create 500 new Eurosceptic peers, pour encourager les autres?).

    Red lines (minimum acceptable recovery of powers) have not been defined.
    Deficiencies in the Single Market have not been identified.
    The means of decoupling from the Federalist juggernaut has not been discussed.

    Simultaneously, the Conservative Party has failed to make any dent in UKIP support. Indeed, the latest ComRes poll suggests that UKIP has recently won 4% from Labour, with Conservative report unchanged. I’m not surprised and nor should anyone else be.

  46. Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    The UK was once the centerpiece of a global empire that spread across the globe. But its failure as a global hegemonic empire, like that of the US Dollar hegemonic empire, was ordained from eternity past, and foretold in the Statue of Empires prophecy of Daniel 2:25-45, where the two iron legs would melt into the Two Feet and Ten Toed Kingdom of iron diktat and clay totalitarian collectivism to come forth as the Beat Regime of Revelation 13:1-4. The Labour government was simply God’s nail in the coffin to decisively and thoroughly terminate the power of the once mighty British Empire ……….
    That’s God for you. He works through empires. He has worked through empires, is now working through empires and always will work through empires. The Apostle Paul communicates in Ephesians 1:10, that God appointed his Son, Jesus Christ, as administrator of the economy of God, with responsibility to mature and complete every age, bringing to perfection all things therein ………. He terminated fiat money on October 23, 2013, and terminated fiat wealth on January 24, 2034, to bring forth a new debt based money system, that being the diktat money system, where regional overlords in each one of the world’s ten regions rule in mandates of regional economic governance and in schemes of totalitarian collectivism unifying all of mankind’s seven institutions for regional security, stability and sustainability.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
    Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU
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