Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Good God! When it comes to the EU and unilateralism, Conservative and Labour MPs are even more cowardly than I'd suspected!

First, there are all those ladyboy Blairite/centrist Labour MPs fannying about threatening to do something really drastic if their Trotskyite leaders go full loonytunes and back a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament - a policy that (among many other shortcomings) made their party unelectable between 1979 and 1997. What comes out of the mouths of pro-nuclear defence MPs is:
I will do such things,--
What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be
The terrors of the earth. 
...but what "such things" boil down to is an off-the-record whining session with a political journalist, and getting a bit shouty in meetings when the Dear Leader sends some hapless member of the Politburo to soak up a bit of verbal punishment over his latest piece of doolalliness.

The one thing that partly excuses these cowardly lions is that Labour isn't in power, Jezbollah was elected by a sizeable majority of party members, and none of them really expects the old twit to be leader come the next general election. If they do eventually manage to defenestrate Steptoe, they'll probably argue (albeit feebly) that they refrained from going medieval on the old twit's ass in public - or resigning from a shadow cabinet post - in the interests of party "unity". "We saw it as our duty," they'll pompously inform us, "to steady the ship." Yeah, yeah - good for you.

But I feel even greater contempt for those Tory ministers who have spent years fooling the party faithful by masquerading as eurosceptics. Their leader, David Cameron, went to the EU, cap in hand, and begged for enough "concessions" to allow him to claim that he'd persuaded the EU to reform itself, and that, therefore, Britain could remain a member without being constantly assailed by a sense of national shame that a once proud country was allowing itself to be pushed around by a bunch of left-wing bureaucratic bullies intent on destroying national boundaries and national cultures. Since Cameron slunk back with his risible "peace in our time" Potemkin deal, Theresa May, Michael Gove and Philip Hammond have all indicated that they'll be supporting Cameron's campaign to remain on board the Titanic. The former eurosceptic minister Nick Herbert has gone one step further by announcing that he'll be leading Conservatives for Reform in Europe, a new pro-EU Tory group. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson - who writes amusingly rude things about the EU, but is no one's idea of a sceptic - is desperately trying to figure out whether taking up the cudgels on behalf of the Leave campaign would help him usurp George Osborne as Cameron's successor, or spell the end of his leadership ambitions.

Shame on all of them.

I'm pretty sure that the Euro referendum result will mirror the Scottish Independence result. With formerly eurosceptic Tory MPs deserting the cause, small "c" conservative voters who might otherwise have been tempted to stick two fingers up to a patently doomed enterprise will opt for a quiet life and vote to remain. This will result in a 10% or greater majority for staying. Within weeks of the result, there'll be a series of anti-national sovereignty outrages engineered by EU-crats determined to revenge themselves on the UK, and - as in Scotland - a vast groundswell of support for the Leave camp and demands for another referendum. But, as in Scotland, those demands will come too late - this country will be forever shackled to a disastrously failing left-wing superstate run by unelected socialist ideologues. Or...

....the disparate parts of the Leave campaign could coalesce into one well-funded, well-coordinated, professional campaign able to reach all parts of the electorate with a loudly-delivered, relentlessly upbeat message. The problem for the Scots Nats was that the the other side was able to rip their ludicrously optimistic economic projections to pieces - and, given the current price of oil, they were right, and the EU made it clear that an independent Scotland wouldn't automatically be allowed to join their continental death cult.  But the fear-mongering of the EU Remain lot consists of nothing but hysterical and demonstrably unjustifiable lies - the economic "leap into the void" scenario, the idea that no EU country would choose to do business with UK firms, the farcical notion that the economic migrants in Calais would immediately set up their jungle camp somewhere in Kent (we're an island an we have an army and guns and stuff), the idea that we'd lose our influence with the US (we don't have any), and that the City of London will become a ghost town etc. We Leavers have a terrific story to tell compared to the other side's peely-wally pessimist piffle (the other side mainly consisting of the BBC, the government, the Scots, and left-liberal public sector troughers). I just fear that internal squabbling and UKIP's sense that it's entitled to lead the fight might drown out that feelgood message. I really hope I'm wrong, because this is the most momentous decision the British people have been called upon to make since the war. It's really frightfully important that the people on the right side of the argument give it their best shot.

As for Gove, May, Hammond and their fellow Tory turncoats - unless they know something that they're unable to share with the rest of us, how will they will be able to live with their treachery?


  1. Conservatism's Dull Quietude10 February 2016 at 21:24

    This is terrific stuff and thank you for it.

    I particularly enjoyed "peely - wally" , an antique Scoticism seldom heard these days and one which doubtless can be categorised among the "things I learned at my mother's knee and other low joints".

  2. There is no way the Leave campaign can fail, whoever isn't running it.

    Soon there will be no UK EuroMPs. I look forward to Daniel Hannan coming home to lead the Conservatives.

    Your post, blogmeister, is a game of two halves. That was the easy half.

    Nuclear defence is a much harder problem.

    Bruce Anderson says we have had at least two Chiefs of the Defence Staff who thought Trident is a waste of money. And I remember Enoch Powell in a TV debate with Michael Heseltine saying that it is literally MAD, we'll never use it.

    1. Trident-schmident - as long as it's got that nuclear fear factor, I don't care. Mrs. Thatcher expended a lot of energy trying to derail Reagan's attempts to get Gorbachev to agree to full nuclear disarmament in the '80s, which, as she and the Germans agreed, would leave Europe wide open to an invasion by Soviet forces. I was a great admirer of Enoch Powell, but his anti-Americanism occasionally found him on the wrong side of an argument.

  3. Conservatism's Dull Quietude16 February 2016 at 07:12

    The above piece describes an interesting scenario re England's missed opportunity.

  4. Conservatism's Dull Quietude16 February 2016 at 08:57

    Mr Enoch Powell's anti - Americanism may well have pre - dated the above proof of the USA's desire to abolish his beloved British Empire but the conduct of our ally certainly did not improve EP's jaundiced view.

  5. Reciprocal Member19 February 2016 at 12:18

    Is Bruce Anderson still living in a garret atop the Travellers Club?

    Well, I suppose that the considerable distance from his home town of Aberdeen to SW1 qualified him for membership.

    1. Isn't that/wasn't that Monsignor Gilbey?

      I think Bruce Anderson lives on the Fulham Rd somewhere, where he got into trouble for blasting a burglar alarm with his shotgun.

      I hitch-hiked to Aberdeen once. In August. It snowed.

      We seem to be watching the end of a Prime Minister this morning, PM hopes fade as EU leaders ignore plea to avoid ‘suicide’.

    2. Don't worry, Mr. Moss - Cameron said he would support Brexit if the EU didn't give what he wanted and I, for one, believe him. I also believe that God didn't make the little green apples and it don't snow in Indianapolis in the wintertime.

    3. And Michael Gove is backing Brexit! Thank God! He's back on my christmas card list.

  6. Quiz

    In his 21 February 2016 Telegraph newspaper column Boris Johnson wrote:

    It was one thing when that court [the European Court of Justice] contented itself with the single market, and ensuring that there was free and fair trade across the EU. We are now way beyond that stage. Under the Lisbon Treaty, the court has taken on the ability to vindicate people’s rights under the 55-clause “Charter of Fundamental Human Rights”, including such peculiar entitlements as the right to found a school, or the right to “pursue a freely chosen occupation” anywhere in the EU, or the right to start a business.

    These are not fundamental rights as we normally understand them, and the mind boggles as to how they will be enforced. Tony Blair told us he had an opt-out from this charter.

    Alas, that opt-out has not proved legally durable, and there are real fears among British jurists about the activism of the court ...

    On 9 February 2016 someone wrote:

    My thesis is this: the reach of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg has extended to a point where the status quo is untenable. Aside from eroding national sovereignty, which it does, the current situation also undermines legal certainty, which in turn undermines good governance ...

    The power of the Court has also been extended by the Charter of Fundamental Rights, given legal force by the Lisbon Treaty. At the time, it was loudly proclaimed that the Charter did not extend the competences of the Union ... despite containing 50 rights and freedoms, to the Convention’s 20 or so rights.

    Anticipating trouble, and anxious that the Charter should not be used to overturn national law, the (then Labour) government (and Poles) negotiated what they believed to be an opt out of the Charter by means of Protocol No 30 ...

    Tony Blair told the Commons ... David Miliband, then Foreign Secretary told the European Scrutiny Committee ... The Coalition Government gave similar assurances: in March 2011 Ken Clarke, then Justice Secretary, told a Commons committee that the Charter was “of more political and public presentation importance than it is of deep significance because it does not actually change anything” ...

    NS, an Afghan national who had entered the EU via Greece, claimed asylum in the UK ... he challenged the [UK] deportation order on grounds that the treatment of asylum seekers in Greece amounted to degrading treatment contrary to Article 3 of the ECHR and Articles 1, 4, 18, 19, and 47 of the Charter ... the Home Secretary conceded that the Charter could be directly invoked. The case was referred to Luxembourg for clarification as to the scope of the Charter rights, and the effect of Protocol 30[3].

    ... the Court ruled that Protocol 30 was not intended to exempt the UK from the obligation to comply with the provisions of the Charter or to prevent a [UK] court from ensuring compliance with its provisions. In other words, there was no opt out [pace Messrs Blair, Miliband and Clarke]. The Charter applied in the UK and in Poland in precisely the same way as in any other member state ...

    Question – who wrote that scholarly piece? (See also here.)