So, what did we learn courtesy of Dave’s little turn this morning? I reckon we’ve learned that our PM is pretty gullible or is wilfully misunderstanding that which is before him. The speech started with a load of waffle about the post war era and name checked NATO only once, perpetuating the whole ‘EU is the bulwark of peace’ myth, but as NATO has proven, the enjoyment of peace in Europe is not down purely to the EU, although I am happy to accept it has played a part. However I also have real concerns that the collapse, as it will come, as it inevitably comes for all empires, could be the cause of war in itself.
We’ve learned that our PM believes that the aim of EU is to secure prosperity. Really? OK, it may be its aim, but the idealogical dogma that pervades throughout means that it will not happen. The stats the PM trotted out during the speech back this up, the EU accounts for 7% of global population, 25% of global GDP (although how you can have global gross domestic product is a mystery to me) and is responsible for 50% of ‘social spending’. This is just unsustainable. There is no way that this ideology can lead to prosperity. I think it was Churchill who drew the comparison to nations taxing themselves into prosperity with a man stood in a bucket trying to lift himself off the ground by raising the handle. The scenes in Greece will be repeated continent wide before the edifice collapses, in just the same way as the USSR fell apart.
He believes the EU is an ‘anchor of democracy’. I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.
He believes that an independent UK would be stymied by isolationism. He’s right. However, I don’t think anyone is talking about isolationism, and he very conveniently failed to mention the one word that could prove our salvation, the word that will never be uttered by the pro-EUists, the word that will be kryptonite to the ‘innies’. That word is Commonwealth. We’re already a member of a club that is prosperous, that is (largely) democratic, and, more importantly, actually likes us.
He believes that he can reform the EU. He thinks he can usher in a new age of competitiveness, whilst ignoring that competitiveness is anathema to the vested interests in the EU, French politicians in thrall to farmer’s reliance on CAP for example. He wants to scale back on the directives, but the directives are life blood of EU, there can be no scaling back. Bureaucracy is king. He makes the mistake of trying to tell me that the EU is by the member states for the member states, but it just isn’t. It is run by the executive for the executive, this is why his claim that the EU is an ‘anchor of democracy’ is so laughable.
He wants to see more flexibility, but these are autocrats, there cannot be flexibility, only unquestioning obedience to the commissariats. These autocrats don’t want flexibility, for as soon as you allow people to be flexible, the autocrats surrender a degree of control. Everything must be prescribed, measured, regulated and controlled. They just aren’t going to sanction any flexibility.
He wants ever closer union, except for the UK. Cameron seems to think that ECU is good for some member states, but fails to understand, or purposefully ignores, the idea that the individual is subservient to the state in the EU. As far as the EU is concerned what is good for the state is good for the citizen and what is good for state comes second to what is good for the superstate – that being the autocrats.
He talks about democratic accountability, well forget it. They don’t want democracy. They’ve demonstrated this with the Irish referendum and the overthrowing of sitting prime ministers. Democracy returns the ‘wrong answer’ time and again. There is no motivation for any democratic accountability in the EU let alone any meaningful democratic reform. Jesus, this is an organisation with three Presidents and more than a score of Commissioners, over none of those appointments do you or I have any say. Democracy? Rubbish.
He glibly talks of referenda, saying of the EU electorate; ‘They’ve had referendums promised and not delivered’ Et tu, David? That was the point when I realised you weren’t ignorant and were actually malfeasant.
So, Prime Minister, tell me, if you’re in favour of a referendum, why did you whip your MP’s against it? Why no mention of this being a binding referendum?
You say we need to wait until 2017 to be sure of what we are choosing to be a part of or apart from. What we are choosing to be in or out of is simple. The EU will not change, it has no interest in changing. You cannot make it change.
This is hubris of the highest order from Cameron. He will be outflanked, the EU will introduce changes over the next 4-5 years making it even more difficult for us to leave. The EU’s campaign of propaganda to keep us in will start today.
‘It is time for the British people to have their say’ he says. He might as well have added, ‘Well, not quite, in four years or so, if you are all good little drones and vote for me. Then I promise, really really promise, that we will give you a straight in or out referendum, once we’ve ramped the pressure up on you, by telling you that leaving the EU will mean that a paedo will move into your spare bedroom.’
This whole thing is based on the assumption that he will gracefully deliver us a referendum if we vote him back into power. It is cynical, self-serving and given what has gone before in guarantees, I do not believe he can or will deliver on this promise.
Regardless, the EU keep UK in campaign will start today. Watch the EU funding pour into the BBC. See the scare stories come out as the insidious campaign to keep us in starts, paid for from the taxes that are taken from us.
What happens next? France, Germany and Spain made it clear pretty quickly that they aren’t about to negotiate. So a question, what happens when Cameron comes back from the negotiating table with nothing? What if he doesn’t even get to a negotiating table, because nobody consents to sitting round it. Is this referendum being sold on the basis of him getting a deal; therefore if no deal is offered, he can say the conditions for a referendum have not been met?
Just as what form Cameron’s proposed restructure of the EU looks like was vague in the extreme, his response to Miliband’s questions in PMQ’s was ambivalent at best. It would appear that he hasn’t considered the eventually that he will not have a deal to put to us. There’s his get out clause. Sorry folks, I tried. But hey, I got another five years at Number 10, so it’s not all bad!
Miliband was clear that there would be no referendum under Labour. Clegg has said that this is not the right time, but as far as I can see, the right time as far as Clegg is concerned is likely to be when hell freezes over.
It is obvious that the Tories will now sell this as a case of ’vote UKIP get no referendum’, BUT, how many Labour voters vote for them because they are not the Tories, not because of their EU policy? How many Labour voters having heard Miliband’s response will be sufficiently exercised to go over to UKIP? Let us not forget, the famous Rotherham foster parents had gone to UKIP from Labour. How many people are supporting UKIP not because of EU policy, but because they are significantly different to the other three?
What happens if the Tories win the election, if the negotiations result in a package that can be put to the people, if the people then reject our membership? The EU don’t want us, but they don’t want to lose our money. What happens when the EU declines our resignation? What then? As far as I’m aware, and I stand to be corrected, the Lisbon Treaty says that withdrawal must be agreed by all member states. Well what if they tell us we can’t leave, in direct contradiction to a referendum result? They’ve got four years to put more obstacles in the way. Are they going to try to keep us in by force of arms? Will they see which way the wind is blowing and try to unseat a PM and get their own man in? Their own man is sat next to the PM on those green benches every Wednesday. Could an Act of Parliament enabling a referendum be repealed after Herself has signed it off but before it has been carried out?
Cameron taking a risk with his job here, but if he was going to be bold, he’d have been better off calling a referendum to run alongside the next General Election. Sure the LibDems would have created merry hell about it, but he could have called their bluff, had the government resign. OK the new fixed term parliaments mean it wouldn’t have led to a General Election, but it would have made life very difficult for both the LibDems and Labour if the Tories declined a request from Her Maj to form a government.
He’s fudged the issue. There are too many imponderables. Too many opportunities to sideline the issue and wriggle out of it, and when push comes to shove, after the ‘Cast-Iron Guarantee’ I just plain old don’t believe him.
My vote sticks with UKIP, because I will vote for what I believe in, not against that which I oppose.