Conservatism and Christian Democracy
Mr Cameron appears to be ignorant of the fundamental irreconcilable differences between the British right and that of the Continent, and quickly forgets why the EPP is antithetical to everything that Conservative Party professes to believe in. The continental right has historically been the political wing of the Vatican, and is of quite a different political and social philosophy to the Anglo-Saxon right. But while Chancellor Merkel is Protestant, as is the leader of the CSU in Bavaria, the Christian Democratic parties have not progressed from their fundamental obsession with Catholic social teaching, autocracy, cohesion, and corporatism.
Christian Democracy is the antithesis of the Anglo-Saxon political right-wing philosophy, which, as Dr Andrew Lilico observes in the European Journal, is concerned with free markets, liberty, tolerance, and a sovereign legislature. It is the corporatist section of the Conservative Party which favours the EU agenda, corporatism being an expression of Roman Catholic social doctrine. It advocates close co-operation between employers and workers, with the state overseeing wages, working conditions, production, prices and exchange. By eliminating competition, the system is meant to promote social justice and order. The connection between Catholicism and the continental right-wing is evident in the various Christian Democratic parties, where for ‘Christian’, one should substitute ‘Roman Catholic’. They are the lineal descendants of the old centre parties brought into politics at the behest of the Papacy towards the end of the 19th century, and were attracted by the idea of a united European Christendom. True to their confessional roots, they are perfectly at ease with the notion of authorities higher than national governments.
The Conservative Party consequently has a profoundly different view of the EU from that of the centrist Christian Democratic parties on the Continent that make up the EPP. With Catholicism and interventionist statism dominating on the Continent, the Conservative Party, founded on a Protestant Christian ethic, deliberately eschews denominational links and espouses free-market liberalism. When Disraeli referred to the Conservative Party as the National Party, it was essentially because of its defence of the nation state. If Britain ceased to be a state, the Conservative Party would be deprived of its raison d’être. The Labour Party’s abhorrence of the ‘forces of conservatism’ (which comprise fragile constitutional balances which have contributed to centuries of peace and stability) has been a soundbite designed to serve the federalising agenda of the EU, and move this ‘New’ Labour Party into the territory of European Christian Democracy. Indeed, Tony Blair was rewarded with the ‘Charlemagne Prize’ for services to European integration, and stated that it was his ambition to end any ambiguity in Britain's relationship with Europe. He failed, but it is no coincidence that his leadership style was described as overbearing and autocratic, and his Executive’s contempt for the parliamentary process caused the Speaker to chastise him for undermining the role of Parliament. Such a style is intrinsic to the continental system of state government, and central to the ‘modernising’ agenda to change Britain radically and irreversibly.
But if Mr Cameron were serious about economic competitiveness, he would ignore the EU and look to the US. According a UN report, US workers are the most productive in the world. They stay longer in the office, at the factory, or on the farm, and they produce more per capita over the year. They also get more done per hour than everyone but the Norwegians, and lead the world in labour productivity.
Cranmer wonders if this might possible have something to do with the Protestant work ethic.