Totally Totalitarian Britain
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011 @ 23:53:35 EST
Topic: Socialism

Libyans Can Decide Their Future But Not The Britons

A. Millar

The breathtaking contempt at the heart of the British government for its own people and for democracy was showcased by its Conservative-Liberal Democrats coalition on October 24. Prompted by popular sentiment, a non-binding motion on Britain and the European Union was scheduled to be debated by MPs. The motion proposed holding a referendum, giving the public a chance to express their opinion on whether the country should withdraw from the EU, or remain a part of the EU, perhaps with the intention of negotiating some powers back from Brussels.

With three parties virtually indistinguishable on every major issue, and largely unresponsive to public opinion, faith in the democratic process in Britain has been seriously shaken over the last decade. Nevertheless, there has been reason to hope: The UK Government has a public website for petitions that can potentially raise the concerns of the public. Any British citizen can create a new petition, and members of the public can sign their names to it. If a petition that gets more than 100,000 signatures, it can be debated in the House of Commons.

As the three main parties – the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and Labour – all promised to give the public a vote on membership of the Europe Union – and as David Cameron gave his "cast iron guarantee" that there would be one – you would expect that they would be delighted to learn that this threshold had recently been reached on the issue.

Nikki Sinclaire, and independent Member of Parliament, formerly with UKIP, had initiated a petition calling for a vote on Britain's membership in the EU. It received more than 121, 000 signatures.

If the European Union was created as a counterweight to the United States, the EU looks ever-increasingly as if it was modeled on the Soviet Union.

There is no "inconvenient" opposition party in the EU Parliament, where legislation is drafted and passed into law that must be obeyed by the British people.

Neither the British nor any other people in Europe voted for its President, Herman Van Rompuy. Nor do they --or anyone, for that matter -- have the power to vote him or anyone out. Yet at least 75% of laws passed in Britain are currently drafted in the EU. Vladimir Bukovsky, a former jailed dissident who fled the former Soviet Union, calls it, "The EUSSR." The EU is, fundamentally, totalitarian.

At best, the EU Parliament is a benign oligarchy that controls more and more the affairs of Europe's nation states and their people. Whether it will be benign in ten or twenty years, or to future generations, is, of course, unknown. History and human nature, however, suggest that a one-party Parliament with an appointed President and an "elite" that drafts legislation in secret is not a recipe for a free and prosperous people.

Polls consistently show that a majority of Britons want to leave. Who can blame them?

In response to the petition's 121,000 signatures, Conservative MP David Nuttall tabled a motion calling for a public referendum on EU membership, effectively giving the majority of Britons the finger.

The reaction of the three main parties has been baffling, to put it mildly. Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party congratulated the Prime Minister over the ousting of the Gaddafi regime, and spoke of the importance of Libya being able to decide its own future. Without the slightest hint of irony, he then claimed that Britain had to remain in Europe, negotiating its place. As such, he asserted, it would be wrong to allow the British public to vote on EU membership. It might be good for Libyans to decide their future, but apparently not for Britons.

Most astonishing, however, was the response by the Conservative Party leadership, rightly described by Peter Hitchens – author of The Abolition of Britain, and brother of Christopher Hitchens – as "a near-medieval group of courtiers beyond the reach of any sort of accountability." Prime Minister Cameron and his clique made British democracy appear as little more than an elaborate sham on Monday as they attempted to justify denying the public a voice on their future, and the future of their children and grandchildren. That may seem a dramatic statement, but unfortunately it is accurate.

The debate tabled for Parliament was then brought forward so that both the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary William Hague could lead the charge against party "rebels" who wanted to give the country a vote.

Strict instructions were issued, ordering Conservative MPs to vote with Cameron, and against giving the British people a referendum on EU membership. Those who said that they would not go along with the Government were threatened that their careers in politics would be finished.

Considering the level of intimidation, most pundits believed that only around 70 MPs would vote for the motion, and one BBC 5 pundit predicted that only about 12 would. In the end, 111 MPs voted for it, and 483 against it.

The motion was debated amid heckles, mocking and angry laughter. The mood in parliament was uncharacteristically tense and heated, as have been some of the personal exchanges among frontbench and backbench MPs in private. As Tim Montgomerie of the respected ConservativeHome website tweeted: "One brave MP got call from George Osborne ten minutes before vote. Told him [Osborne] to "f**k off". This is now mood of many Tory MPs towards govt."

The Conservative "rebels" have been treated disgracefully by the party leadership, as has the country -- and democracy.

Since the motion was non-binding it would not have prompted a referendum automatically, but it would put pressure on the Government to hold one if the EU made another grab for more power.

Cameron and other Europhiles asserted, again and again over the day that, with Europe's debt crisis and cracks in the union beginning to appear, "now is not the time" for a referendum. This mantra was designed for the press. It is a good sound bite, but without substance. The "party rebels" were not even hoping for a vote in the near future, but perhaps in three years?

Regardless, Cameron told Parliament, "When your neighbor's house is on fire your first instinct is to put out the flames, not least stopping them from reaching your own house. This is not the time to talk about running away."

The analogy is seriously flawed, of course. The EU may be on fire, but it is not our "neighbor's house." Britain is in the EU – but despite public opposition, not because of it. In other words, the EU is Britain's house, but if the public cannot debate whether to get out when the house is on fire, when exactly can it?


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