Friday, June 22, 2007

Constitution or Treaty - it's still 'ever closer union'

When Monnet had his great vision for a European Empire, his strategy was to achieve it in bite-size pieces, in order that the people did not choke on something they were not able to swallow. He believed in the Catholic vision that Europe should become a federal superstate, into which all ancient nations would be ‘fused’, and this is wholly consistent with the language of EU treaties. The peoples of Europe were not even meant to realise what was happening; each step was to be disguised as having an economic purpose, but all, taken together, would inevitably and irreversibly lead to federation. After Europe’s coal and steel production were pooled, Europe’s atomic programmes were to be co-ordinated. Then would follow the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Market. After this would come the single currency, and so on.

We arrive, once again, at the constitution stage.

It was too much to chew two years ago, so it has been in the deep freeze. It now returns, not so much chopped up into smaller pieces, but served as a different dish altogether.

Let us be in no doubt: whatever kicking and screaming noises Mr Blair is reported to be making; whatever the BBC is stating is the UK’s reluctance; whatever Commissioner Barroso thinks of the British Parliament or people, there will be an agreement because ‘there is no alternative’, it is ‘destiny’. They might as well say it is the will of God. Former British defence minister Alan Clark observed: ‘The European not a programmatically hostile and aggressive force, as was Nazi Germany. But it is not benign. And the reason for its ill-disposition towards of the same nature as that felt by Napoleon, by Kaiser Wilhelm, and by Adolf Hitler.’

This is why the EU is so dangerous for the United Kingdom. Not only is it an entity that consists of smoke and mirrors; it is a political project into which the UK is being irrevocablt fused, and the people are being deceived. That is the constant. All the opt-outs are temporary; the derogations are ephemeral; and the proposition that we are ‘winning the argument’ an illusion. Indeed, it is reported that the EU is dropping its commitment to the free market, which is a highly significant eradication of an 'anglo-saxon' concept. The words 'undistorted competition' are replaced with talk of a 'social market economy' and a commitment to full employment. There's no mistaking that this is antithetical to everything that Margaret Thatcher thought she was achieving when she signed the Single European Act. This about a 'social Europe' that is introspectively concerned with rights and welfare, and absolutely nothing to do with liberty or the achieving of a vibrant economy.

Hugh Gaitskell uttered a salient warning at the 1962 Labour Party Conference. He spoke of ‘the end of Britain as an independent nation state... the end of a thousand years of history. You may say “let it end” but, my goodness, it is a decision that needs a little care and thought.’

It not only needs care and thought, Mr Blair, Mr Brown; it needs a referendum. The rights and liberties of the British people are not yours to sign away. Imposition and enforcement do not result in heart-felt conversation, and one man’s assent does not amount to divine blessing.

And speaking of conversion and blessing, why is Mr Blair flying straight from Brussels to the Vatican to see the ‘Holy Father’?


Anonymous Moomintroll said...

First of all I would like to say that Cranmer's is one of the few blogs that I read for serious intellectual discussion and comment.

In particular, on Europe he is one of the few who have seen through to the real argument, rather than a lot of emotive talk about how being anti the European Union, which is not the same as being anti the people of Europe, is bigoted or backward looking. The whole point about Britain's incorporation in the European Union is that we are selling out a thousand years of a gradually developed and workable political system in order to have imposed on us an undemocratic and bureaucratic dictatorship in Brussels. Having been unable to conquer us by force, the powers of continental Europe are gradually stealing our independent by stealth.

Cranmer's voice is needed to to oppose the siren songs of Europe's useful idiots. Only today the Independent has a front-page story trying to convince us that we need Europe to give us the rights which we already have through the common-law.

22 June 2007 at 11:26  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Moomintroll,

Welcome to His Grace's blog of intelligent and erudite comment upon matters religio-political.

His Grace thanks you for your kind comments, and for the poetic creativity of your monika. You are evidently and intelligent and discerning chap.

22 June 2007 at 11:34  
Anonymous kevin said...

I wondered what His Grace feels about the role of England in all this now that the union he seems to believe in so strongly is under threat. I notice His Grace constantly refers to the 'British' people. Hugh Gaitskell refers inaccurately to a thousand years of British history since he obviously means English history of which His Grace must be aware since he was the mastermind behind that excellent tome of Anglican liberation from the Papacy: The Book of Common Prayer. And I quote from the preface: 'It hath been the wisdom of the church of ENGLAND...'

22 June 2007 at 11:46  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Yes, yes, quite so, quite so.

England is subsumed to all things British. Of course this history belongs to and is uniquely expressed by England and the English.

There was, however, an England before the Reformation...

22 June 2007 at 11:53  
Blogger Marcusa said...

Your Grace, I fear it is too late, England as a nation is already gone. The causes are many, mass immigration, a dysfunctional poulation who are not interested in politics or what is happening to them, as long as they have Sky TV, football and bingo.

22 June 2007 at 12:19  
Anonymous kevin said...

Your Grace is as, dare I say 'infallible', as ever. Indeed there was a Roman Catholic England before the Reformation and before that some would argue an 'Orthodox Catholic' England. Far be it from me to deny any of these aspects of our rich ecclesiastical history. But as Your Grace says 'quite so' they are all aspects of English and not British history.

22 June 2007 at 12:53  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

I head it aptly put the other day on R4 that is was the submission of Common Law in favour of Roman Law, I would be very interested to read My Voyagers considered opinion on this and its consequences for British jurist's prudence.

22 June 2007 at 12:58  
Blogger istanbultory said...

Greetings Your Grace,
I have finally returned to the flock after a protracted spell in the wilderness. Blame the Mohammedans.

Blair has always been a particularly indolent thinker when it comes to ethical questions.
His Grace will doubtless recall that Cardinal Basil Hume, the late Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, wrote to Mr Blair in 1996 demanding that he cease taking Communion at his wife’s church in Islington.
Blair made clear that he did not agree with the decision in a pointed letter to Cardinal Hume which said: “I wonder what Jesus would have made of it”.
The word of a cardinal not sufficient to still blair's fevered mind it would seem.

I also recall that Blair's parish priest in Great Missenden near Chequers, Father Russ said a few years ago that he was concerned about the Prime Minister’s views of the moral order and the sanctity of family life.
Just a few short months ago, Downing Street said there was to be no exemption from anti-discrimination laws for Catholic adoption agencies. The Catholic Church in England and Wales said it was "deeply disappointed" that no exemption had been offered.
Are we to assume that the Church of Rome no longer has any concerns about Blair's views of the moral order? If so, why is this the case?

22 June 2007 at 16:21  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Istanbultory,

His Grace is delighted by your re-appearance - the demise of your own blog was a cause for concern. It is not quite the return of the prodigal, but the fatted claf shall be slaughtered nonetheless (halal, of course).

His Grace is more inclined to think that the imminent reception of Mr Blair into the Roman Catholic fold is much more about his own concerns for the state of his wretched soul than it is with any grand theological plan; rather like Frank Sinatra offering Pope John Paul II millions of dollars for a private audience.

For all its theological seriousness and philosophical endeavour, Rome is about theatre, majesty, drama, status... Mr Blair will feel very much at home there.

22 June 2007 at 16:40  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Sorry, 'demise' was too strong a term. It now appears that your blog is resurrected...after a quarter of a year...

His Grace hopes it was nothing too serious.

22 June 2007 at 16:43  
Anonymous The Clarendon Code said...

Rome is about theatre, majesty, drama, status

Smells and bells as you no doubt recall Your Grace.....

22 June 2007 at 17:21  
Anonymous Observer said...

Should there be any doubt about French intentions in Europe Jean Monnet can dispel them......

Jean Monnet, memorandum to Robert Schuman and Georges Bidault (4th May, 1950)

Wherever we look in the present world situation we see nothing but deadlock - whether it be the increasing acceptance of a war that is thought to be inevitable, the problem of Germany, the continuation of French recovery, the organisation of Europe, the very place of France in Europe and in the world.

From such a situation there is only one way of escape: concrete action on a limited but decisive point, bringing about on this point a fundamental change and gradually modifying the very terms of all the problems.

The continuation of France's recovery will be halted if the question of German industrial production and its competitive capacity is not rapidly solved.

Already Germany is asking to increase her production from 11 to 14 million tons. We shall refuse, but the Americans will insist. Finally, we shall state our reservations but we shall give in. At the same time, French production is levelling off or even falling.

Merely to state these facts makes it unnecessary to describe in great detail what the consequences will be: Germany expanding, German dumping on export markets; a call for the protection of French industries; the halting or camouflage of trade liberalisation; the reestablishment of prewar cartels; perhaps an orientation of German expansion towards the East, a prelude to political agreements; France fallen back into the rut of limited, protected production.

The USA do not want things to take this course. They will accept an alternative solution if it is dynamic and constructive, especially if it is proposed by France.

At the present moment, Europe can be brought to birth only by France. Only France can speak and act.

But if France does not speak and act now, what will happen? A group will form around the United States, but in order to wage the Cold War with greater force. The obvious reason is that the countries of Europe are afraid and are seeking help. Britain will draw closer and closer to the United States; Germany will develop rapidly, and we shall not be able to prevent her being rearmed. France will be trapped again in her former Malthusianism, and this will lead inevitably to her being effaced.

22 June 2007 at 18:08  
Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said...

One of your best Your Grace. Looks like the British people don't want to be the British people.

22 June 2007 at 18:33  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Rome is about theatre, majesty, drama, status...

You know what they say Your Grace, "If you’ve got it flaunt it". and who doesn't like a good show

22 June 2007 at 20:29  
Anonymous worried said...

Rome is about theatre, majesty, drama, status... Mr Blair will feel very much at home there

Blair also has significant personal ambition. Perhaps the FT provides a clue at:
How could one be President of Europe without being a member of the Church of Rome?

23 June 2007 at 11:30  
Anonymous David Lonsdale said...

Forgive me if I remind your Grace that there is only one Holy Father and that is our Holy Father in heaven referred to by Jesus in John 17 v. 1. As Jesus also said, "Call no man Father but thy Father in heaven". He was, of course, referring to a spiritual father. When the Pope stands before the Father he is in for a surprise, if not a severe ticking off.

23 June 2007 at 16:30  
Anonymous Voyager said...

When the Pope stands before the Father he is in for a surprise, if not a severe ticking off.

Our Lord is very forgiving - He sent Martin Luther to show The Pope the error of his ways....

23 June 2007 at 17:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the same 1962 Labour Party conference, Hugh Gaitskell also said, presumably in the same speech :

"We are now being told that the British people are not capable of judging the issue - the top people are the only people that understand it. This is the classic argument of every tyranny in history. It begins as a refined intellectual argument and it moves into a one-man dictatorship. We did not win the political battles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to have this reactionary nonsense thrust upon us again"

23 June 2007 at 22:40  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr David Lonsdale,

Do you not understand the purpose of inverted commas?

23 June 2007 at 22:44  
Anonymous Observer said...

After King Edward VII brokered the Entente Cordiale there have been no sacrifices the British elites have not been prepared to load upon their own people in the service of France

25 June 2007 at 08:01  

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