Monday, September 17, 2007

Conservatism and Christian Democracy

It appears that David Cameron has at long last met with Chancellor Merkel in the German capital, at the invitation of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. She has been somewhat reluctant to meet the Leader of HM Opposition since he decided that his party should withdraw from the federalist European People's Party (EPP), the mainstream centre-right grouping in the European Parliament. But after two frosty years, relations are thawing, and they are reported to be setting up ‘joint working groups’ on issues like ‘climate change, counter-terrorism and economic competitiveness’. The focus is to be on ‘how centre-right parties can work together’.

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.


Anonymous penlan said...

An excellent and thought-provoking post.In many ways I have more confidence in the Presbyterian Mr Brown than Mr Cameron when the question of Europe is raised.Mr Blair was of course,entirely in thrall to those people.

17 September 2007 at 10:35  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is analogous to the Friedich Ebert Stiftung for the SPD, and the latter funded Labour search groups throughout their wilderness years.

The Foundations are the "research arms" of the German Parties, moreover they are the recipients of the £120 million annual public funding of poltical Volksparteien in the German system.

It may well be that Cameron is merely seeing how the German Volksparteien are able to skim so much off the taxpayers so the FDP (liberals) can run castles in Spain for seminars, or the SPD as Germany's richest political parties owning its own printing companies and newspapers can siphon off so much taxpayer cash while its MdBs were still on the pay-and-prostitutes list as Volkswagen AG...or some of Frau Merkel's MPs could be retained secretly as lobyists for big energy groups while drawing salaries as MPs.

Then again as the satirist Urban Priol said the other day on 3SAT some of the advisers around Merkel are not exactly glorious as their business careers his words Heinrich von Pierer (formerly Chief at Siemens where major corruption inquiries are occupying the SEC and State Prosecutors) is a man "who knows nothing" as an ideal foil for Frau Merkel, the Chancellor "who does nothing"

Even the glorious period of Germany's EU Presidency has left Portugal to actually implement the mess Merkel forced through in Germany's 6-month presidency

So maybe Cameron is going to learn the art of looking good on the bridge as the ship takes water and the bilge pumps seize up ?

17 September 2007 at 11:51  
Anonymous Lega Nord said...

Your Eminence,
I've been reading for a while your posts and I really appreciate them for being frank and most interesting. Nevertheless, I don't approve at all your stance on the European integration. It started, as you correctly pointed out, and still is an elite phaenomenon, driven by forces and schemes that we, the European peoples, cannot control. You're right to confront this situation, but the underpinnings of your reasoning is, according to me, flawed. Very flawed.
You treat the "continental danger", that is the European integration, the forces who draw Britain closer to the "Continent" in the same way as the real danger the whole of Europe is now facing, the mortal threat of the Muslim hordes. The idealists Eurocrat might be trying to change your "insular" peculiarities, but in no way he resembles the bearded Muhammedan barbarian who wants to destroy and crush our beloved civilisation. This isn't a quibble about which hour to have tea, but a mortal threat to our laws, customs and even to our True Religion.
As you surely know, in "continental" Europe, people don't hate Britain, but they respect her very much as a free and thriving country with a greatest culture. On the contrary, the bearded fanatical ignorant hordes want you to change according to their barbarous and uncivilised customs.
And, unfortunately, you, the British, are at the forefront of this struggle and you're losing.
While you're spending your time criticising elusive popist threats to the British way of life, your politicians pander to the Muhammedan blasphemers. Do you realise that? Even in Catholic countries, like Padania (which is not Italy), we don't like popery, but now it's time to unite around our Christian values and stand up to the Great Satan.
This isn't a hollow call.

17 September 2007 at 12:46  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr/Ms/Miss/Ms Lega Nord,

If you have really been reading His Grace's posts 'for a while', you ought to have discerned that he has considerable sympathies for the points you are making. Posts on the Pope's speech in Regensburg, for example, raise these very issues.

17 September 2007 at 13:23  
Anonymous Lega Nord said...

Your Eminence,
I apologise humbly for having misunderstood you. Lega Nord is the name of my party (Northern League), Alessandro is my name. Please, feel free to call me however your Eminence wishes. As you noticed on your post called "EU policing - a portent of things to come?", we, the "Leghisti", take the Muhammedan threat very seriously, and don't fear the consquences of our acts of protest. But protests don't suffice with such a sly enemy, we need more... But I don't want to go off topic, I'll wait patiently for your next Great Blasphemy (alias Islam) related post to express my (and my party's) opinions.
Meanwhile, I'll look for your posts about the Pope's speech in Regensburg: I'd be very pleased to read your comments.
Best wishes,
W la Padania. (Long Live Padany)

17 September 2007 at 14:09  
Anonymous 4micah said...

Mr. Cranmer is right to be skeptical of the Continent, not because it's Roman Catholic flavor per se, but because virtually no one on the continent understands human nature and human rights.

I must correct Mr. Cranmer on one point:
"it was essentially because of its [the Conservative party's] defence of the nation state [Britain]"

Britain is not a nation-state. First, there are three nations in Great Britain. Secondly, one of those three (England) isn't much of a nation because it hasn't had a national identity for over 50 years. Thirdly, the UK is not fully a State since it doesn't make most of its policies.

The accurate description of the UK would be tributary state.

17 September 2007 at 18:21  
Anonymous CCTV said...

The accurate description of the UK would be tributary state.

satrapy sounds nice

18 September 2007 at 06:55  
Anonymous Lega Nord said...

Dear Mr/Ms 4micah,
I suppose you woke up in the wrong historical period: you aren't on 1804 or 1805, there's no Napoleon wanting to conquer your island. Your real enemy is within, it's not on the continent. Why did no one dare to publish the Muhammed caricatures in the country of the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights? Because they'd have been slaughtered by the Muhammedan lynching mob! At least in the loathed France, many famous newspapers published them and many people, even Muslims spoke out against Islamo-nazism. Nothing similar happened in the UK. So, dear Mr/Ms 4micah, now tell me who doesn't understand "human nature and human rights". Please stop reenacting Trafalgar and Waterloo, and start focusing on the real issues (i.e. the spreading of the Muhammedan blasphemy). O peoples of Europe, let's come together, let's unite to drive these beasts off our beloved countries.
In the name of Our Saviour we'll defeat them, we'll win.
Let's start another Holy Crusade in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ! May your Great Lion tear the infidel invaders to pieces!
Dieu et Mon Droit (NOT ALLAH!)

18 September 2007 at 07:53  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

His Grace's coruscating strokes of erudition and insight again throw back the forces of darkness. We need a Europe of nations, not a nation of Europe.

18 September 2007 at 11:46  

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