Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are we getting anywhere?

Several people, whose genuine euroscepticism or eurorealism cannot be doubted have said to me that the result on Monday was the best one could imagine. The referendum motion was lost, which is a good thing since we are not prepared for the battle but the issue was raised and dissatisfaction in the Conservative Party was displayed.

I am not so sure. For one thing, I suspect the dissatisfaction had more to do with the accurate analysis that reneging on that cast-iron promise cost the Cameroonie Conservative Party many votes and contributed strongly to their inability to win against the least popular government in living memory. There is dissatisfaction with Cameron and his team, in general and, no doubt, annoyance with his childishly petulant behaviour.

Are the right conclusions being drawn from it all, though. Sadly, no. The Daily Wail managed to interrupt its constant complaints about immigration long enough to have a go (quite justifiably) at the Lib-Dims who were the only party to float the idea of an IN/OUT referendum in the last election and who all but one voted against one now, though with a three-option proposal it was not exactly IN/OUT. But any newspaper that calls William Hague and Michael Gove lifelong eurosceptics has not been attention.

Nevertheless, when the lambasting of our politicians is completed (and I have no arguments with that, as readers of this blog know) the Mail says this:
Let the Mail lay all its cards on the table. This paper has no desire for Britain to pull out of Europe — and particularly not at a time like this, when withdrawal would add immeasurably to the uncertainties threatening our recovery and rocking the confidence of the markets.

For the same reason, we earnestly hope EU leaders will find a solution that saves the euro from disorderly collapse.

Inevitably, we believe, this will mean re‑writing the EU constitution yet again, to bring the countries of the Eurozone under a single economic government, with more uniform tax and spending policies — almost certainly to be dictated by Germany.

Whether this can work in the long run is anybody’s guess. The Mail doubts it. But in the depths of this crisis, we see no other way. Herein, of course, lies great danger for Britain. For as a leopard never changes its spots, so the Euro empire-builders will surely seek to extend any new fiscal and regulatory powers beyond the Eurozone, with their eyes fixed firmly, as ever, on the wealth of the City of London.

But here, also, lies a golden opportunity, perhaps never to be repeated, to redefine our own relationship with the EU in a way that sets democracy back on its rightful throne at Westminster.

For what the Mail wants passionately — and we believe the overwhelming majority of Britons share our wish — is to reclaim powers over such matters as immigration, social policy and business regulation, which should never have been conceded to Brussels and which are daily threatening our ability to compete with developing super-giant economies such as India and China.
So that is what the Mail going to be campaigning for: redefining our relationship "with the EU" and reclaiming powers. Oh and for a whole squadron of flying pigs.

What of the Daily Express, the torch-bearer of something or other? Well, they seem to have Britain's withdrawal from the EU as an aim though the words are carefully chosen not to be held against them at some later date:
For Monday’s vote did not mark the end of the matter. The mood of the public and the acknowledgement of that mood by politicians of all parties cannot now be ignored.

There is a growing sense of outrage that Britain’s right to determine its own affairs, unquestioned for 1,000 years, is now being rapidly eroded with every new piece of legislation from Brussels.

Who in their right mind would have agreed to this if we had been given the choice? Who would agree to this if we were given the choice now?

On Monday the motion to hold a referendum was defeated. But it is a defeat that for many will also be seen as part of a process that will ultimately lead to victory for those who want Britain out of the EU.
Not clear what the newspaper would campaign for if there were a referendum. Best leave it that way. After all, you never know. Of course, one could argue that the choice to vote against this is there at every election: there is a party called UKIP and with all its many faults, it stands for withdrawal from the EU. People could vote for it if they really cared about not having a say in the way things are developing.

Finally, there is this Letter to Members of Parliament, though he means Conservative ones, from Glenn Beck. Not sure what to make of it. It's full of errors, the least of which is equating England with the United Kingdom. Many of them Mr Beck obviously picked up from the British media and rather hysterical Conservative commentators. It is all a bit of a muddle with odd references to Tahrir Square and the Occupiers at St Paul's Cathedral and old uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all. People might want a referendum in general terms but there is no reason to suppose that they will vote in it when it happens or vote for withdrawal, especially if there is that bogus third option.

My biggest problem with it is that Glenn Beck, who is entitled to his opinion though one would prefer it to be better informed, comes perilously close to that idiotic performance by the Guardian when they tried to interfere in the American election by setting up a website to call on people in one county in Ohio to vote against Bush.

So are we getting anywhere? Are we going to use the time we have gained to build up real exit and post-exit strategies and put together real ideas for how to fight for a withdrawal from the pernicious European project and what to do afterwards? Not so that you'd notice. Well, this blog will continue to do its poor and unfunded best to explain the situation and propose some solutions. But we shall not put our trust in kings and famous people.

Someone agrees with me, broadly speaking, and that is Autonomous Mind.

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