Thursday, June 04, 2009

The BBC’s guide to the EU – it’s a piece of cake



Cranmer is sometime accused of obscure references or overly complex analyses. For those who are intellectually deficient, the BBC has produced this convenient guide to today’s elections to the totalitarian superstate European Parliament – just so you all know what it’s really about.

Unlike some of the priestly caste, Cranmer shall not direct his flock in the way they must vote: he simply exhorts all of his readers and communicants to vote according to their conscience, in the sure knowledge that they shall get an EU government no different from the one they have at present.

But as you are considering where to place your ‘X’, consider whence change might come. William Hague has said: ‘A vote for the Conservatives is also a vote for a referendum on the EU constitution. We're the only party that has stuck by the promise to give people their say.’

It is an unequivocal and unqualified commitment, devoid of the ‘we won’t let matters rest there’ caveat. David Cameron is on the cusp of removing his MEPs from the EPP, in fulfilment of the promise he made during the leadership contest. Certainly, it was not accomplished ‘within weeks not months’, but, for the first time in the history of the ECSC/EEC/EC/EU, there will be a group within its parliament which opposes the divinely-ordained doctrine of ‘ever closer union’. One should not underestimate the magnitude of this political heresy or the personal disapprobation David Cameron has endured in the realising of it.

There are about 375 million people eligible to vote in the European Elections, and it is estimated that turnout may be as low as 30 per cent. The ‘European demos’ is either bemused by its complexity or indifferent to its concerns. Or they perceive that it is indifferent to theirs. When the first elections to the European Parliament were held thirty years ago, almost two-thirds of the electorate voted believing the project to be somehow relevant to them. But it has become distant, bureaucratic, inefficient and otiose. With some MEPs purporting to represent constituencies of 6 million people, the gulf between elector and elected could not be greater. They are mutually unknown and unknowable.

It is ironic that, for an institution which is the fount of 75-85 per cent of UK law, there is such a low level of interest. But then this BBC excerpt establishes that the media and most journalists have little understanding of the significance of the EU’s political decision-making. They are deluded with the quaint notion that somehow the Westminster Parliament still makes the important decisions when, in reality, more than three quarters of legislation emanates from Brussels.

The UK Parliament has been reduced to the equivalent of a county council, assiduously and faithfully rubber-stamping all that it is directed to: the UK is now merely an outer province of a country called ‘Europe’.

The Conservative Party is not only pledged to challenge this from within the European Parliament, the next Conservative government is most likely to invoke the subsidiarity clause of the Maastricht Treaty and negotiate the return of powers back from Brussels. By pledging to reverse the Acquis and formalise an opposition grouping, the Conservative Party has taken the necessary first step on the most politically-significant journey to correct the historical error of European political union.

And so Cranmer exhorts all of his readers and communicants to vote today according to their conscience, mindful of the indubitable, undeniable and irrefutable fact that there is only one party worth voting for.

Sometimes the reforming radicals are those who also seek to conserve.

28 Comments:

Blogger Gnostic said...

Typical of the BBC to use a tasty chocolate cake when what is really required is a great big pile of steaming manure. I can't make up my mind whether the presenter was giving us a subliminal message to vote Tory (mmm tasty) or symbolically biting off their heads.

Your Grace, Hague utterances or no Hague utterances, I still don't see a vapid Cameron as a reforming radical (he has Clarke on the front bench but won't have Carswell so what does that tell you?) let alone someone I would trust with such an important issue. It would be like trying to bludgeon the EU into capitulation with a feather duster. A wasted exercise. So Cameron still isn't going to get my vote.

4 June 2009 at 08:54  
Blogger John Woolman said...

I totally agree with voting in accordance with the dictates of conscience. But conscience should be informed by intellect and not necessarily by simply accepting the views of the keeper of a steeple house, reasonable in this case though they might be....

4 June 2009 at 08:55  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Does Mr Hughes put that chocolate cake on BBC expenses?

4 June 2009 at 09:03  
Anonymous Puritan Preacher said...

Your Grace,

Ratification by other nations might cause the Conservatives to wriggle out of their EU Referendum commitment. To regard it as firm would be folly.

My non-conformist conscience is pulling me further to the Right.

4 June 2009 at 09:34  
OpenID britologywatch said...

Your Grace, what about the assertion, made elsewhere today, that: "To repeal the Lisbon Treaty, or even to just repatriate powers from the EU like the Tories say they will in their manifesto, requires the unanimous agreement of all EU member states. The only way to repeal the Lisbon Treaty after it has been ratified by all member states and comes into force is to repeal the European Communities Act and leave the European Empire".

If this is true, even if Cameron held a retrospective referendum on the Lisbon Treaty after it is ratified, he won't be able to implement it without taking the UK out of the EU, which he has said the Tories will not do under any circumstances. For that reason, my vote goes to UKIP.

4 June 2009 at 09:46  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Britologywatch,

Because UKIP will, of course, be in a position to achieve all that you outline above?

4 June 2009 at 09:53  
Blogger Bert Rustle said...

Archbishop Cranmer wrote ... William Hague has said: ‘A vote for the Conservatives is also a vote for a referendum on the EU constitution. We're the only party that has stuck by the promise to give people their say.’

It is an unequivocal and unqualified commitment, devoid of the ‘we won’t let matters rest there’ caveat. ...


On Newsnight, 21:24 in, http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00kwqyr/Newsnight_02_06_2009/

"Vague" Hague rigorously defines "we will not let matters rest there" as "we will not let matters rest there".

4 June 2009 at 10:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Grace, I believe that neither the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats nor UKIP will do anything to extract us from the European super state. After all, why would they want to put an end to a gravy train even more massive and unaccountable than that at Westminster? Take for instance the recent BBC 2 Daily Politics Show interview with Labour’s Denis MacShane, where he revealed that UKIP leader Nigel Farage had told him that he’d “got two million pounds in expenses from the European Parliament in the last ten years.” If this is what one UKIP MEP has managed to pocket then one can only imagine how much the old hands from the three main parties must have taken.

4 June 2009 at 10:40  
Blogger Demetrius said...

Let them eat sausages.

4 June 2009 at 10:42  
OpenID britologywatch said...

Your Grace, UKIP would hold a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU and would campaign in favour of withdrawal, which I support. So yes, UKIP's position is at least consistent: hold a referendum and then enact it - as opposed to Cameron's position, which is hold a referendum and then be powerless to do anything about it.

Clearly, a vote for UKIP alone won't deliver such a referendum. However, it will add to the pressure for major constitutional reform, which may include an enhanced ability for citizens to demand referenda. Also, under PR - especially the system currently being mooted (AV+) - the Lib Dems would be favoured. And they, too, support a referendum on EU membership.

So a vote for UKIP might actually help to achieve something. A vote for the Tories does nothing.

4 June 2009 at 10:42  
Anonymous cosmic said...

Your Grace,

I suggest you revisit William Hague's words and consider them in the light of the Newsnight programme, referenced by another communicant and his recent answers to questions on ToryDiary.

I am sure your learned and erudite opinion in the light of these will be that his words might mean something, could mean anything but probably mean nothing, or as the North American pagans might have it - Paleface speak with forked tongue.

Simple faith in an evasive politician such as Hague, who absolutely will not state clearly what his position is, or seems to state it in an unqualified way, then qualifies it later, so that no one is any the wiser, is not a sensible basis for voting.

4 June 2009 at 11:28  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Everyone knows that the European Parliament is the veneer of sham democracy covering the dictatorship that is Brussels (indeed, our own Parliaments and Assemblies do little more than add further veneer).

However, the Euro elections do have one use: to build support for the only party that will ensure that Britain is not swamped by Islam. The Conservative Party, along with Labour, the LibDems, the Greens and UKIP will do nothing to halt Islamization, a threat to our way of life that far outweighs anything that the European Union can throw at us.

4 June 2009 at 12:02  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Your Grace - one of the problems about being old (not, of course, nearly as old as His Grace!) is that one tends to remember the broken promises of politicians.

I recall only too well the previous tory government in opposition making the flat statement that they would not increase VAT. One of their first acts was to increase it from 12½% to 15%. Then it came to their second term of office. Once again, a straightforward pledge not to increase VAT, in, of course, the teeth of some robust questions about the subject of whether, given what had happened last time, this could be relied upon. Assurances were repeated. And, yes, you guessed it, one of their first acts was to increase VAT from 15% to 17½%.

Can the true blues therefore really expect people to believe their pledges on the eu? Sorry, guys, your track record stands you condemned. (And I haven't even begun to talk about Grocer Heath lying in his teeth about "no loss of sovereignty" when the infamous common market referendum was pushed through)

It's as a previous communicant put it. I simply don't believe that DC would pull us out of the eu, even if he were given a huge mandate to do so. But I do believe that UKIP would. I believe UKIP would just renegotiate from strength. The eu wants us a lot more than we want them. Take a look at the trade imbalance to see why. So our exports might get hurt, but those on the continent would lose massively more than us.

So we would end up with a nice trade treaty, the same as the EFTA countries have, and we would then have what we always wanted, a free trade zone, without the totalitarian superstate that the eu has become. (sham elections notwithastanding for a rubber stamp parliament)

I've already voted UKIP today.

Tea, anyone?

4 June 2009 at 12:27  
Anonymous Phido said...

Confirmation at last. We ARE being ruled by a lot of overpaid, unelected, bad for our health Belgian tarts. (Chocolate optional but leads to sticky fingers in till).

4 June 2009 at 12:49  
Anonymous Simon Garfunkel and Obama said...

Gee but it's great to be back home
Home is where I want to be.
I've been on the road so long my friend,
And if you came along
I know you couldn't disagree.

It's the same old story
Everywhere I go,
I get slandered,
Libeled,
I hear words I never heard
In the Bible
And I'm one step ahead of the shoe shine
Two steps away from the county line
Just trying to keep my customers satisfied,
Satisfied.

4 June 2009 at 13:24  
Anonymous Adrian Peirson said...

I don't want a referendum, the Transfer of Sovereignty was an is Illegal.
I want all those treaties torn up.
Our Constitution was the envy of the World until the New World Order Commies like Straw started hacking away at it to turn it into what it is now, a Tyrannical Charter.
Every single problem we face in this country is because Westminster and Whitehall have disobeyed the Laws of this Great Land and people.

They have surrendered our Soverignty, they have subverted our ability to manufacture, they have trashed our culture, heritage and tradition for the sole reason of bringing us, the British People to heel in THEIR New World Order, this is Sedition, it is Treason.
They have sold off our industries, engaged in clearly fraudulant banking practices, conjuring fractional reserved thin air money ( credit ) out of thin air to lend to the British people at interest.
Then Periodically raised the rate so the wealth of the hard working British people can be trawled into the Vaults of the Global Elites.
The Lib Lab Cons, at central office level have conspired together to deny the British people a say.
They have Knowingly gotten us involved in illegal wars, swapped real wealth in the for of 900 Tons of Our Gold for worthless unbacked fiat paper currency.
They have given away this Nations fishing grounds, sold off our industries, and allowed in an Army of Anti British Hordes intent on our destruction, paid for by our taxes and welfare.
Every single problem we face in this country can be traced back to Westminster and Whitehlaa Failing to abide by British Constitutional Law.

4 June 2009 at 13:46  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Nearly all of my colleagues, and there are many of them, are saying that they will be voting UKIP.

Hague and Cameron’s change of positions has come too late. Of course at the General Election they will be switching to the Conservatives. When I ask them would they vote for the BNP at the General Election, I receive the following response:

‘Na, Na. Are you stupid or what? You can’t have the BNP with its finger on the nuclear trigger; can’t see them mate dealing with the delicate issues of foreign diplomacy.’

4 June 2009 at 13:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you are form Tower hamlets then innit mate..UKIP sounds wickid mate wickid innit. Me an my mates an all fink so innit mate.

Dam boy, you have gone an converted me innit mate.

4 June 2009 at 14:29  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Hear,hear, Adrian Peirson.

4 June 2009 at 14:30  
Anonymous Proudgeordie said...

UKIP have had 10 years and done nothing. Farrage, Wise and Bloom have been shown to do very nicely from their expenses and 2 UKIP MEP's were arrested for fraud. During their tenure they have voted to give up our fishing territories and ratified the Lisbon Treaty (EU Constitution).

Lab and Con have lied to us, Lib openly love Europe and UKIP are combat ineffective. There is only the BNP for the anti-EU vote.

Oh and the BNP foreign diplomacy would be fine, we have nothing against any one nation, only their conduct and effect on our economy when residing here.

4 June 2009 at 18:28  
Anonymous Katy said...

Voting for a party in today's elections on the grounds that it wants to withdraw from Europe is madness. Would you expect Turkeys to vote for Christmas?

I've just come back from the polling station to put my pencil 'X' next to the only party worth voting for. I always have an 'incident'. Here is today's story;

Got there to find the officials all in a fluster, arguing with a lady I vaguely know. She was shouting at them that she wanted to see someone who 'lives near Bradford' (which is odd because we're IN Bradford) because there was 'always someone here who tells me who to vote for'. (Really? We must do something about that). She wouldn't be pacified, and when the official quietly explained that in this election you voted for a party, not a person, she shouted back 'yes but, someone always tells me which one...'.

OMG. Some people shouldn't be allowed to vote.

4 June 2009 at 19:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace, it is a shame that you repeat one of the many, untrustworthy figures for the proportion of UK laws that come from Europe. You are normally more considered.

The BBC this week managed to broadcast four different figures for this in the space of 25 minutes. Let us be clear...nobody knows. All figures are arbitary and depend comepletely on the definition of "legislation".

Common sense is probably the most useful tool in arriving at a conclusion. The EU does not control public service reform, 42 days detention, the Crossrail levy, ASBOs, gay marriage, recapitalisation of the banks, top-up fees, the decision to go to War or indeed most of the important decisions taken.

Of course there are several aspects of many of the above policy areas that the EU influences. Imposing a 48 hour week will impact the NHS. The City is likely to be regulated by the EU. And of course, there are lots of areas they influence that I have not mentioned (eg. Post Office).

The EU may well produce vast numbers of regulations, but it does not run this country.

4 June 2009 at 21:42  
Anonymous 13th Spitfire said...

What most likely will happen though:

This government will be as pro-EU as the incumbent. They wont change the status-quo at all. They will not hold a referendum; if they were going to do you not think they would scream a little louder about it, since it is an election winner.

There will be no election.

The government after this coming Conservative one might deliver but not because they want to but because they have to.

5 June 2009 at 08:10  
OpenID shanecroucher said...

A referendum wouldn't be a good thing. The public, at large, don't know enough about the EU to make a well-informed choice, be it for or against.

Leave it to our elected representatives. For those who do know enough about the issue, lobby your MPs to get your voice heard, start campaigns. But on the whole, a referendum on the EU Constitution is a bad idea.

http://shanecroucher.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/referendum-eu-dont-know-enough-about-it/

5 June 2009 at 15:46  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Shanecroucher:
You're spinning the mantra of a true Oppressor and his Agent!!
'The people are ignorant, shiftless, lazy, and not to be trusted.'

So no point in giving US a voice then! We are but a 'thing' to be pushed around by our masters in such a way as to ensure no rebellion, no opposition. Dont give us the chance to think about it - just keep on feeding us your lie, that way you'll make us believe it's truth.

So now we have no wherewithal or right to think - you've convinced us that we are inauthentic and inferior. He he. Now you've ensured we also have no right or confidence to act - to rebel and to remove our oppressors.

He He. Now you can act to press home your advantage for your masters, the eu. Now you can ensure their complete economic and cultural control over us ignorant and feckless peasants: the British. He he.

Well - I will avail myself of commie jargon, in the interests of communicating something to you. I am a British SUBJECT, Shane; not a euro object. My reinscription of your stereotype means: because I'm British, I've been nurtured and educated to think and act in my own right and in the interests of my society: and to do so to a set of standards and values that the Oppressor can never aspire to.

So I mean to subvert you from your goals. That's why I say:

euSSR GO HOME
HOME RULE FOR BRITAIN
GIVE US A REFERENDUM NOW

5 June 2009 at 17:28  
Anonymous len said...

Is the U K still ( or ever ) a democracy?
Web definition.
"Democracy is a form of government in which supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system".
This seems to imply that 'the people 'have some sort of say in what their government does?

5 June 2009 at 19:47  
Anonymous Puritan Preacher said...

Len:
We have a 'Parliamentary Democracy.' A system of government where the people exercise their political power by electing representatives to parliament to make laws.

So every five years we have an outbreak of democracy whereby the people can exercise their voting rights.

Once our representatives are elected we have 5 year Oligarchy where they can do what the heck they like or at least they used to be able to until the tentacles of the EUSSR began to turn the screws of Tyranny.

We have virtually no say in what our government can or cannot do once it is in power except for recourse to law when it breaks its own statutes.

I do not think we could take them to court for deception if they break manifesto commitments nor do I think a disgruntled electorate could petition the Sovereign for a dissolution of Parliament.

Perhaps such provisions should be considered in the forthcoming 'consultations' on parliamentary reforms.

5 June 2009 at 20:38  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Your Grace -

Somehow the Swiss manage to "do" democracy with no particular problem. They hold referenda on lots of issues, big ones and little ones. Referenda were difficult to arrange in the past, because they were unwieldy and hard to count, but with modern technology, really, there shouldn't be a problem.

The actual problem is that the governing class here in the UK don't want that kind of dangerous change, thank you. Obviously, they are very content with the oligarchy referred in an earlier post, whereby we, the electorate, vote them in once every five 5 years and then they ignore us totally until the next election.

Arrogant b*stards, of course.

But this needs to change, and quickly. It's all about empowerment. When it's painfully obvious that your government will do what the h*ll it wants, regardless of popular opinion, then it's fairly natural to think "why bother to vote" thus playing even more into their hands.

Occasionally, rather more often, recently, I think that Guido's illustrious predecessor had the right idea

5 June 2009 at 22:35  

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