The EU’s real philosopher-guardians
We have been duped.
While the European Commission has busied itself nullifying and abolishing democracy, and the media has been obsessed with the side-show of Tony Blair’s quest to be the first Emperor of the Holy European Empire, the President of the Commission has been appointing our real philosopher-guardians.
Plato would have been proud.
Until Lee Rotherham of the Taxpayers’ Alliance brought this to Cranmer’s attention, His Grace had no idea that the President of the Commission (and he alone) appoints a group of ‘experts’ as the EU’s ethical advisers and spiritual guides. And if His Grace did not know, it is highly likely that very few indeed knew: and quite possibly only Dr Richard North, for he knows everything that there is to know or that is worth knowing about the EU.
But if he knew, he has been very Jesuitical about it.
Dr Rotherham observes: ‘The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies is a moral compass in the Commission.’ They are tasked with ‘quietly’ guiding EU policy on some of the biggest issues of our day, including ‘stem cell research, meat consumption, food waste, Dolly the Sheep, GM crops, and the range of issues that summon up bands of outraged activists into chilly fields to chain themselves to outcrops of nature’.
They go by the acronym EGE (European Group on Ethics), and their mandate is to advise the Commission on ethical questions, either at the request of the Commission or on its own initiative (Article 2). And in true EU style, ‘the EGE's working sessions shall be private’ (Article 4.3) and ‘the EGE shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure’ (Article 4.7).
And the EU’s website does not conceal the fact that these 15 ‘experts’ have been hand-picked by one man: ‘They are appointed by the President of the European Commission on the basis of their individual expertise, and they are experts in disciplines such as science, jurisprudence, philosophy and theology.’ They will advise the Commission for the next four years on every important scientific pursuit and ethical consideration. And their deliberations are in secret and they can make up the rules as they go along.
If the President appoints them, he alone becomes the arbiter of what is right and wrong; what is permissible and what is prohibited; what is good and what is evil. His criteria for selection are not disclosed, but these ‘techno-moral custodians’ are dominated by scientists, and, as Dr Rotherham observes, specifically exclude ‘general moral philosophers’. He asks: ‘In particular, why is there not even a single symbolic churchman there?’
Cranmer would rather have a churchman doing the job of a churchman than look like a churchman and not be doing the job of a churchman. And he would himself rather not look like a churchman but be a churchman than look like a churchman and not be. There are too many ‘symbolic’ appointments which do little more than provide a patina to the decaying bronze.
But it is no longer a secret: the European Union has an ‘ethics committee’ to discern the mind of God; to determine the divine will; to decide what constitutes the canon of secular scripture and to define what is good and what is evil.
Another unaccountable priestly caste takes its place.
As Harold Macmillan once observed: "We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts."
Except, of course, that now we have.