Friday, April 27, 2007

EU Constitution to be 'presented' differently

Look at this saintly face. Butter wouldn't melt. But do not trust mere appearances, for Satan himself appears as an angel of light. Cranmer has been forwarded a rather alarming briefing by Daniel Hannan MEP. The content is by no means surprising; indeed, Cranmer predicted this strategy some time ago. But as Mr Hannan observes, the brazenness of the strategy is breathtaking. He writes:

I am clutching in my hot, trembling hands the most extraordinary document I have come across in eight years of Euro-politics. It is a letter from the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to her fellow EU heads of government. In it, she proposes a scheme to bring back the constitution under a new name — or, as she artlessly puts it, “to use different terminology without changing the legal substance”.

Now this, in itself, is not surprising. Many of us have suspected all along that the Eurocrats would try to bring back the constitution surreptitiously: I have written as much in these pages. What is shocking is the brazenness. Mrs Merkel flagrantly admits that she wants to preserve intact the content of the European constitution, making only “the necessary presentational changes”.

These changes mainly involve dropping paragraphs which the voters don’t like, and which are in any case unnecessary because they restate what is in the existing treaties. Thus, Mrs Merkel suggests excising the reference to the primacy of EU law. Since this concept has been part of EU jurisprudence since 1964, she reasons, there is no point in rubbing people’s noses in the fact by spelling it out.

She also proposes scrapping the reference to the EU’s symbols. Again, not a single twelve-star flag will be hauled down as a consequence. The bands will still strike up Beethoven’s Ninth, bringing a lump to Euro-enthusiast throats (I’m afraid that that stirring tune now has the same effect on me as it has on Alex in A Clockwork Orange and for the same reason — bad connotations). The change will be, as Mrs Merkel puts it with such admirable frankness, presentational.

Similarly, she has a clever wheeze to “replace the full text of the Charter of Fundamental Rights with a short cross-reference having the same legal value”. And so on.

The leaking of this letter is calamitous for the Euro-federalists. Their whole strategy depended on obfuscation, complexity and — consequent on these things — voter fatigue. The electorates of Europe might sense that their leaders are up to no good but, so far, they have not been able to hang their doubts on anything specific. Now, though, they have it in black and white: they are to get the same constitution as before, but without the promised referendums.

Think, for a moment, about how scandalous this is. After all, Labour’s commitment to a plebiscite did not come as an afterthought. It was central to that party's election strategy.

There was a time, back in 2004, when it looked as if Europe might again dominate British politics, greatly to the disbenefit of the governing party. People could see that Brussels was engaged in a huge power-grab. They could see, too, that other countries were offering their peoples referendums. In Britain, the Tories and the Lib-Dems were making similar demands.

Tony Blair feared, with good reason, that if he did not allow a referendum, voters would treat the 2004 European election and, worse, the 2005 general election as a surrogate referendum. Returning back from the Caribbean, tanned fit and lean, he suddenly announced that he would, after all, let the people decide.

We Tories were left opening and closing our mouths like Appalachian yokels. Blair’s announcement deprived us at the last minute of what was to have been our main argument. I remember, as a Euro-candidate in 2004, having to pulp whole forests of redundant campaign literature. We were left with almost nothing to say, and duly went down to the worst defeat the Conservative Party has ever suffered — worse even than the catastrophe of 1832.

Having promised a referendum in two manifestoes, and having won office on that basis, Labour will find it pretty awkward to explain why now wants to rat. The publication of the Merkel letter makes it impossible to pretend that the new text is substantively different from the old one.

No doubt ministers will try, essaying all sorts of sophist arguments to the effect that treaties are different from constitutions, and that the EU is already doing most of the things that the sceptics complain about. None of it will wash, though.

I hope I never have to give an interview like the one poor Geoff Hoon gave to The World At One on Friday. His own mother, had she been listening, would have thought him a terrible fibber. “What was different about the Constitutional Treaty,” stammered the hapless Europe minister, “was that it altered the basic relationship between the European Union and the member states, and therefore it was appropriate to have a referendum.” How painful to re-read those words in the context of the Merkel letter.

Let us be clear: the European Constitution amounts to a constitutional revolution, perhaps the most far-reaching since the civil and religious upheavals of the 17th century. This revolution is taking place, not as the result of popular insurrection or foreign occupation, but because the governing party is abusing its majority.

Labour may get its way, in the narrow sense of ramming the new treaty through without a referendum. But it will pay a heavy price in damage to its reputation, as will the Euro-integrationist cause more widely. “Vencerán, pero no convencerán,” said Miguel de Unamuno to the Nationalist leaders at the beginning of Spain’s Civil War: you’ll conquer, but you won’t convince.

Parliament is not the owner of our freedoms, but their temporary and contingent custodian. If Labour MPs want to give those freedoms away in perpetuity, they should have the decency to ask us first.

If they win, I promise to accept the result with as much good grace as I can muster. But if they go back on their manifesto promise, they won’t deserve to be forgiven.

Cranmer thanks God that this letter has been disclosed, and cannot now wait for Britain’s Conservative MEPs to leave the EPP and form a new group within the EU Parliament. This will give the EU, for the first time, an Official Opposition: an alliance of Centre-Right parties dedicated to opposing the foundational tenet of ‘ever-closer union’. In the meantime, Frau Merkel's letter wonderfully affirms those who always asserted that we were being lied to; that the European Union was a work of deception from its inception; that the strategy is to construct a political entity regardless, and, if necessary, contrary to the will of the people.

An empire built upon a foundation of lies and deception is not one which will tolerate a nation trying to pursue righteousness. The two cannot coexist; one must give way to the other...


Anonymous Oiznop said...

Shocking. Deeply shocking. The only way these duplicitous politicians can achieve their vision of a United States of Europe is to achieve it through the acquis, ratchet-like, consistently denying their objective, while realising it incrementally. This letter blows the lid off the assertions of successive British governments that the EU is not about the dark art of politics, but the everyday necessity of trade. If they talk freely of the political objective on the Continent, it's about time it was admitted in the UK. And then we could have a real debate, examine the constitutional implications, and demand the long-promised referendum.

27 April 2007 at 10:06  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The German Foreign Minister Steinmeier was the Chef de Cabinet to Gerhard Schroeder, so you can take it for granted the Auswaertiges Amt has exactly the same teams working on such matters as before the election.

The German voters put Frau Merkel as Head of an SPD Government and policy has continued as before to the point where Merkel's Government now proposes tax increases to provide nationwide child care for the under-4s and is accused of GDR-type Socialism by the Catholic Bishop of Augsburg.

Merkel is a calculating politician, too often underrated, and too often the bodies of those who crossed her float by in the river - but she has no real policy on Europe save the warmed-up one that has been simmering in Foreign Ministries

27 April 2007 at 10:09  
Blogger Infoholic UK said...

I'm sorry your Grace, but excepting a couple of articles hidden away below the fold in the Telegraph, neither the MSM nor the Tories (and especially not the BBC) will say or do anything about this. And even if they did, the average Joe in the street is too stupid to understand or care about the implications.

27 April 2007 at 10:29  
Blogger Sir Henry Morgan said...

And who could we vote for that isn't in on this? Labour? Conservative? Liberal Democrats? They will all agree to it.

27 April 2007 at 10:33  
Anonymous Tanfield said...

If the 3 main parties will all agree to this, expressly or otherwise, then many will think about voting for the BNP

27 April 2007 at 12:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reichschancellor Merkel although not by birth, is by upbringing an Osti- she has little background in an open democratic society.

Any day she'll be saying this is "her last constitutional demand in Europe. "

27 April 2007 at 12:52  
Anonymous Observer said...

Reichschancellor Merkel

I think you were wise to post anonymously. Risks that the doctors might find you away from your bed and increase your medications are great when you post lunacies

27 April 2007 at 14:21  
Anonymous worried said...

It is really good of Angela Merkel to confirm that the policy continues unabated. But significantly earlier references to a european superstate were made by Ted Heath. This policy has been there all along, and we the people have been consistently lied to. Time, methinks, to re-read "The Principality and Power of Europe" by Adrian Hilton (ISBN 0-9518386-2-8)

27 April 2007 at 22:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome for all in the world to vote at, link to and write about

One liner: ”human development in its richest diversity” (Wilhelm von Humboldt, J S Mill)

EU's Constitution -

vote online at

28 April 2007 at 11:10  

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