|Comparison with Taiwan
Personal Liberty in Peril from Europe
England in Limbo
Defence of the Realm
Personal Liberty in Peril from Westminster
Conclusion and Recommendation
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See also:More Boundaries, Please!
The citizen is concerned about two things only bread and the big match. Juvenal, c.60-130 CE.
The superficial similarities are obvious. In both cases, we have relatively small, moderately democratic, and economically successful off-shore islands subject to take-over bids by their totally undemocratic continental neighbours.
The contrast is chiefly in the historical development of the two situations. Whereas Taiwan has been independent of China for only fifty years and their peoples have much culture in common, the British Isles have been independent of Europe for over nine centuries and have had the enlightening experience of assembling an Empire spanning much of the Earth before dismantling it in such a way that most of its former constituents still voluntarily remain part of the British Commonwealth. Yet the Taiwanese are preparing to defend themselves against armed invasion by Chinese warlords, while the United Kingdom is meekly acceding to every bureaucratic instruction from a European Commission composed mainly of failed politicians appointed without reference to the European citizen. Why have the formerly self-confident British suddenly become so pusillanimous by comparison with the Taiwanese?
I think the answer must be that we in Britain have become so addicted to State subsidies and distracted by spectator sports and TV entertainment that we are no longer aware of how feather-bedded we are. We no longer reflect that our personal liberties and privileges have not been granted to us by benevolent Ministers for Sport or Social Security but were hard-won over hundreds of years by the sweat and blood and tears of ancestors who fought for them against the tyrants of their own times. These are the ancestors whom we must once again emulate if what may reasonably claim to have been the most liberal country in the Western world is not to disintegrate in apathy, anarchy, and despair.
It may be argued that the Taiwanese situation is likely to involve the United States, thus sparking off a war between two 'great' powers, whereas the 'peace-loving' British deserve credit for avoiding giving any excuse for similar conflict in the European theatre. But surely the personal liberty that we British once cherished is too precious to be traded away by traitorous politicians who promise us in exchange nothing more valuable than continued enjoyment of bread and the big match. In view of their fumbling over the Millennium Dome, Wembley Stadium, and the Royal Opera House, one cannot help but doubt their ability to deliver on any promises at all. We should all do well to try to earn our own bread as best we can.
Consider just a few of the results of our political flirtation with Europe in the last thirty years. Our fishing industry has been ravaged by regulations drafted by bureaucrats who seem to imagine that dead fish will magically be restored to life when they are thrown back into the water. Our farming industry is being strangled by amateurish gratuitous interference with local practices which have grown organically over the centuries to suit the local soil and climate and culture. Small British businesses must give the requirements of Continental regulators precedence over serving their British customers. Suddenly, and almost unheralded, it has become a criminal offence to sell produce whose price is expressed with reference to our traditional units of weight and measure.
As someone brought up in a Gaelic-speaking community in Scotland, I bitterly regret the constitutional vandalism which has re-introduced artificial political boundaries into the mainland of Great Britain (by which I mean the largest island in the British Isles). I now consider myself fortunate to have been resident in England for over thirty years: but I still resent having to re-label myself English as opposed to Scottish or British. No doubt our political power-seekers saw some electoral advantage in pandering to the demands of Scottish and Welsh Nationalists (although, in the event, it seems to have rebounded on them). But is it also possible that part of the underlying aim was to divide the country to make it less resistant to European take-over?
Rather than carve these islands up into political lumps still too large and diverse to be digestible, would it not have been infinitely preferable to have restored the powers which have been progressively removed from local authorities counties. cities, towns, districts and parishes all looking to the Crown as the executive Head of State and to one UK Parliament as their first and principal safeguard against tyranny?
Most of all, I am concerned about the prospect of the formation of a European Defence Force and the effect it would inevitably have on the uniformed men and women whose tradition is to support British policy and defend the integrity of the United Kingdom more often than not against hostile powers on the neighbouring continent. Why have we been given no clear definition of what constitutes the Europe that is supposed to be defended? Why have we had no indication of the identity of the potentially hostile forces it is to be defended against? Could it perhaps be because such a European Defence Force could have no honest role except in the context of a conflict between 'great powers' of which the European Union aspires to be one? It should be obvious that if a European Defence Force were ever involved in a war, that war would be both global in scale and catastrophic in outcome. But it seems more likely that the intention behind the formation of such a force is the suppression of political dissent within Europe itself. In either case, it is of paramount importance to ensure that no serious attempt is made to constitute such a force. And the best way of stopping it is to make sure that Britain (or, at least, England) not only refrains from participating in it, but preserves the means of resisting its imposition by force, if necessary.
The formation of 'great' powers augments the fears which lead to wars. Hence the best prospects for political stability arise from voluntary restraint in political ambition. If politicians were content with maintaining the territorial integrity of relatively small countries (such as Taiwan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) within which men and women were left in peace as far as possible to work out their own solutions to their own local problems and make friends with other men and women throughout the world, there would be little incentive for wars to break out between them. 'Small' powers present little threat to anyone outside their own borders. And the best defence for the immediate neighbours of any country riven by internal strife would be to seal off its borders and make its citizens fight it out among themselves until peace was restored. This would not only prevent the conflict from spreading but would eliminate the problems caused by attempting to make false distinctions between 'refugees' and 'economic migrants'. If there is no prospect of refuge and nowhere to migrate to, the importance of finding ways of getting on with one's fellow-citizens becomes more pressing.
Witness the hysteria with which European politicians have reacted to the electoral success of the Austrian Freedom Party. If the EU doesn't respect the verdicts of Austrian ballot boxes, is there any reason to suppose it will respect those of British ones if they go against the European political grain?
Witness the situation in France, which has only recently relinquished the Presidency of the EU whatever that means. There, in a manner reminiscent of the Albigensian Crusade and the suppression of the Knights Templar, draconian laws aimed at the criminal suppression of associations or groups (loosely described as 'cults') have been approved by the Senate. There we have the politicians of a country supposedly founded on 'Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity' arrogating to themselves powers to criminalise the members of any association that is not an established church or a powerful political party merely by lumping them with 'combatant and anti-government organisations and private militias'. Is this not enough to make every red-blooded citizen become anti-government?
Witness Denmark, where the Prime Minister is being sued for allegedly mis-using taxpayers' money to influence the 1997 referendum on the Amsterdam Treaty by illegally disguising its consequences. Is it any wonder that in a recent referendum, the Danish people decided to refrain from sacrificing their national currency in favour of the Euro?
Witness the situation in Germany, wherein the leadership of what was until recently the ruling political party and the mainspring of EU development, is shown to have been utterly corrupt.
Witness the corruption recently exposed in the European Commission itself, which was required to resign en bloc. How confident can we be that everything will be OK now that the staff of the Commission in Belgium have been stripped of their privilege to ignore traffic rules a privilege that most people in the EU were not aware they had? This privilege is now restricted to the twenty Commissioners: but one can't help wondering why responsible law-makers should reserve to themselves powers to break laws that don't suit them.
And witness Turkey where secularist politicians anxious to joint the EU are campaigning to ban Islamic ritual slaughter of animals.
Is it not now clear that the EU, which was intended to unite the peoples of Europe, is having precisely the opposite effect, even to the extent of stirring up unnecessary polarisation among the peoples of its constituent states?
As I write, our own Home Secretary is seeking to curtail the best guarantee of personal freedom that English law affords: the right to have one's guilt or innocence determined by a jury of one's peers. Taken in conjunction with a tendency, especially in matters connected with taxation, to view suspects as guilty unless they can prove their own innocence to the satisfaction of a detached specialist duly authorised by government, we are clearly on a slippery slope towards total subordination to political dictatorship.
A brief specimen form of Declaration is appended.
Declaration by a Candidate for Election to the Westminster Parliament
I hereby solemnly declare and affirm that: