John Clark writes…
First published: November 2011 – Gazette & Herald
Nowhere is the contempt for the public by the Westminster political class greater than in the subject of the EU. Nearly two in three (61%) British citizens want a referendum on the EU. At election times or the imposing of yet another EU Treaty, the party in opposition calls for a referendum. When in power the call for a referendum is conveniently forgotten or ignored. When each Treaty comes into force we are told it is too late to look backwards. As a result the Euroland project is ratcheted endlessly upwards. The present situation has little relationship to the original ‘Free Trade Area’.
Joining the euro is a similar farce. The Labour government said we wouldn’t join unless the conditions were right. The LibDems campaigned for Britain to join the euro. Now, doing yet another U-turn, they say they wouldn’t have joined unless the conditions were right. Well, what is right? Was the euro ever right for Germany? Was it ever right for Greece, or for those in-between? How could it ever have been right for the UK?
In an attempt to appear to be closer to the public the ConDem government introduced a new procedure. If a petition calling for a debate in parliament gained 100.000 signatures then it would be debated. Over 100,000 people signed a petition calling for an EU referendum. There were to be three options on the referendum ballot paper:
- Stay in the EU.
- Leave the EU.
- Renegotiate our membership.
Here was an opportunity for MPs to vote close to the views of the public. Labour, LibDem and Conservative parties all instructed, through a three line whip, their MPs to vote against the proposed referendum. Our own MP toed the party line and voted against a referendum. The Liberal Party policy is to renegotiate. If the EU will not reform then we believe Britain would be better off outside the EU.
Meanwhile, in Athens the Greek Prime Minister suggested that Greece should have a referendum to see if the Greek people wanted to support the ‘cuts’ or leave the eurozone. There was an international outcry. The markets, the media and politicians from other countries all called for the Greek Prime Minister to resign. ‘How dare he consult the people on the EU/euro?’ He might get the ‘wrong’ result. In other words Greece must remain in the eurozone as well as the EU – there is no choice.
Now the Commission, the EU bureaucrats, the media and the markets are saying who it is that is acceptable to be the Prime Minister of Greece. The same is underway in Italy. Ex Brussels officials are being ‘appointed’ to replace elected politicians across Europe. These are the non-elected people who created the problem in the first place.
This is not only an economic crisis but also a political one. A political crisis so severe that democracy across Europe is in danger of being replaced by the Brussels bureaucracy. How much longer will the British people allow the politicians and civil servants to dish out what is ‘best for us’?