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Seeing modern Britain for what it is

Sometimes the views of Britain one reads in the American press suggest to me that the authors must have visited Britain in some parallel universe rather than the one I live in.

Every now and again however, I read an article that suggests not just that there are indeed commentators in the USA who understand Britain just fine, but that some of them understand the truth about Britain a great deal better than many British journalists and the majority of Britain’s dismal political class.

The sad truth is that British journalists who are not sounding shrill and alarmed clearly have not grasped the magnitude of what is about to happen to the British people’s remaining ability to live under accountable governance and accessible law. As a result, the only voices in Britain which seem to be aware of the rapidly approaching blackhole that the United States of Europe represents are the perpetually shrill and alarmist tabloid newspapers like the resolutely low-brow Sun newspaper.

Thus it is this tabloid rag that Washington Times journalist Paul Craig Roberts quotes extensively:

Next month, Mr. Blair intends to give his approval to a new European Union constitution, which would create a United States of Europe and turn Parliament into the equivalent of a local council.

Trevor Kavanagh, political editor of the Sun, Britain’s largest newspaper, says Mr. Blair’s decision signs away 1,000 years of British sovereignty and hands “control of our economic, defense, foreign and immigration policies to Brussels. The EU will also gain authority over our justice, transport, health and commerce systems and dictate the strength of union power.”

Mr. Blair has ruled out a referendum or vote on his decision to terminate the existence of Britain as a country. He says the issue is too complicated for voters to understand.

Think about that for a moment. Do you think it is too difficult for people to understand the difference between being an independent country and a province in a European empire? Do you think voters can’t understand the difference between electing a government that is accountable to them and being ruled from afar?

[...]

Britain’s unique legal system, with its habeas corpus and double jeopardy protections, would cease to exist. Native Britons could be imprisoned for voicing opposition to their cities being overrun by Third World immigrants. But Mr. Blair thinks these changes are too difficult for British voters to evaluate.

[...]

Britons can be arrested for self-defense. Imagine having to decide whether to submit to rape, robbery or assault or face arrest for responding with excessive force. Force capable of driving off an attacker is likely to be “excessive,” especially if accomplished with use of a weapon.

[...]

Habeas corpus and protection against double jeopardy mean little when criminal sanctions apply to self-defense and to children playing with toy guns. It might be that, practically speaking, the British have already lost the protection of their law. In choosing Mr. Blair, perhaps the British people showed an indifference to continued national sovereignty.

Read the whole article. I am indifferent to the fading vaingloriousness of states. However I am far from indifferent to a process that will lock in the ever increasing growth of state by making its power centres even more remote than they already are, thereby making them immune to even the weak checks and balances of locally sourced law and democracy.

Many have fought the advent of the European super-state in Britain, but it has just been one issue amongst many. Only now and oh so very belatedly have a few newspapers and media commentators picked up the horn and sounded it. Suddenly it is dawning on them that the battle has now reached the very last ditch almost unnoticed, whilst the mass of people sleepwalk towards the end of a thousand years of evolving political culture. Lose this one and there will be no more political means left for opposition. No doubt the perpetual growth of mass surveillance and the impending introduction of ID cards at this time is just a coincidence. Sure.

Welcome to a dying nation.

25 comments to Seeing modern Britain for what it is

  • I lived under impression that the EU constitution MUST be ratified by parliaments of member countries.

    Is treason this easy to commit?

  • Way to send us into the weekend on a high, Perry!

    Only joking; it’s a grave matter and one that troubles me deeply. Well done.

  • NC3

    And not a peep from the USA about this? Something’s not right. Either this is blown totally out of proportion or silence is the return on the Labor Party’s investment in the Iraqi war. It would seem to me that this could be a greater threat to America’s national security than a nuclear Islamic Confederacy. Something’s not right.

  • G Cooper

    That’s a very sobering piece, Mr. de Havilland – for which thanks.

    I, too, am both astonished and staggered to see this country strolling along the precipice of annihilation. Every now and then, I keep trying to cheer myself up by remembering that one of the better characteristics of we British is that we don’t flap very easily, that we allowed the previous two European menaces (Napoleon and Hitler) so much room to grow that we were nearly wiped-out on both occasions but, twice, managed to snatch back our freedom when we finally awoke.

    But looking around I see little sign that many of us are either aware of what the traitors in Westminster are doing – or that we even care. Fifty years of preaching self-loathing by the liberal elite has wickedly capitalised on what was, once, a charming quality – self-deprecation. Where we used to laugh at ourselves, we have now been taught to loath both what we have been and what we are. The only future, we are told, is to become subsumed into something else.

    ‘Oh, the Spanish aren’t any less Spanish for being in the EU’ they tell us. Perhaps. But they are already less Spanish than they were, for having submitted to past French imperialism which now informs their legal system and their weights and measures. How much less Spanish they may become in a USE is anyone’s guess.

    And what’s to be done about it? The Sun, the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph might, at last, have taken up arms, but the BBC, other Left wing media organisations, most trades unions and the lying toads of big business (whose only concern is venal – culture and history meaning nothing to these louts) all conspire against the country and what political opposition there is – the UKIP and some Conservatives – is, at best, feeble, at worst risible.

    Gloomy thoughts for a Bank Holiday weekend, indeed.

  • T. Hartin

    So long, Britain. Its been nice to know you.

  • JRR

    “Tell me, what future is there in marrying a corpse?”

    You should ask Anna Nicole Smith. ;)

  • JRR

    “Tell me, what future is there in marrying a corpse?”

    You should ask Anna Nicole Smith. ;)

  • D2D

    The thing that would save Britain is the Anglosphere. To join the U.S., Australia, N.Z., western Canada, some Caribbean nations, some south Pacific nations, maybe Ireland, India, and perhaps Costa Rica in forming a trading bloc with mutual political ideals, language, goals, and interests. I would include South Africa but I see that nation sliding into the sewer within a few years, better off without S.A.

    Anglo-American ideals have always been more about freedom and the individual not necessarily the collective. That shit has been tried and it failed, but the Euros are never ones to stop beatin’ the dead horse, are they? And believe me the rest of the world would have to deal with the Anglosphere, because it would be the most powerful economic, military, and political force on the planet. And it would be a hell of a lot freer.

    Man I gotta start proofreading. sheesh.

  • D. Lee

    Do Britons really know what’s in the EU Constitution, and what are the practical, day to day implications? Will they be free to criticize a French corporation or a German politician, or will such actions result in legal procedings? Will you be able to arrest and detain terrorist suspects without being taken to court by a loopy Belgian lawyer? Will Britons be able to set their own taxes and change monetary policy to match changing local economic conditions, or will this all be controlled by Uncle Jacque? What if you get totally screwed in a civil or criminal case? What are the recourses? Are there any real checks and balances, or any local politicians who can be held accountable at the ballot box? Who will set foreign policy, France? What happens when everyone is finished singing “Kum-By-Yah” with Uncle Jacque and reality sets in? What if Britain wants out of the Union? Will military force be used to keep them in (see American Civil War, 1861-1865)?

    It seems any time intelligent questions start getting asked, they’re answered with a condescending “don’t worry your little plebe head, all of us smart Liberals are looking out for you”.

    This isn’t about bloviating nationalism of the sort that gave us Hitler and Mussolini, it’s about an accountable, responsive democracy and legal system that took 1000 years to build, and may be destroyed at the stroke of a pen.

    Reminds me of ther old American TV show “Let’s Make a Deal”. “You’ve won the car, the boat, the new appliances, the all expense paid holiday, but you can trade it all away for what’s behind door number 2!” What was usually behind door number 2 was a goat tethered by a rope to a smiling young model. Oooohhh! Too bad! Thanks for playing!

  • It seems to me that this European superstate isn’t going to be a big threat to America unless it’s serious about building its defence. As far as I can tell, they’re not.

    And maybe I’m biased, but I’m guessing that the American administration pretty much expects the European superstate to be its own worst enemy, self-destructing and wallowing in a bog of corruption and socialist self-sabotage. That’s kind of what I expect, though it’s not so cosy to watch at close range.

  • NC3

    Jackie…if you were responding to me and my fears about American security it’s not an armed EU that bothers me. It’s being out here all alone. There is a great deal of comfort in having one of the greatest nations that ever existed there to watch your back. Too bad more of the Brit’s don’t feel the same way about the USA. God help us all if England turns into France.

  • lindenen

    The EU is a proto-Soviet Union. Its current structure scares the shiite out of me. It’s completely unaccountable to the public. An enormous bureaucracy with a president? All it takes is one megalomaniac. 50+ years of opposing the Soviet Union and in less than twenty years, Europe decides to transform itself into a baby Soviet Union. Unbelievable.

  • T. Hartin

    The danger is that one year soon, the EU will be a NUCLEAR-ARMED superstate, self-destructing and wallowing in a bog of corruption and socialist self-sabotage. God only knows what kind of horrible mischief the EU will get into as it collapses. We can only pray the EU dies as easily as its role model, the USSR.

  • tim ferrell

    Perry – excellent work. I have wondered for some time about the apparent disconnect between the British tradition of freedom and the agenda of its government in this century (and most of the last). The people are heirs to a great political tradition, yet they seem to be repulsed by it. Will slavery change their view? I am not sure. Maybe it will never come to that if more people say what’s on their minds.

    NC3 – re the US lack of involvement – we took an international drubbing for removing a psychopathic dictator from a country far away. What do you think would be the reaction to a move (political move) against our “friends” in greater Europe? The message from the EU has been basically “stay away unless you want to give us money”, and a growing sentiment in this country is “with pleasure, who needs your shit?”

    I agree with Jackie’s idea that the EU is it’s own worst enemy. Although we outlasted the Soviet Empire, many horrors occurred before they came to their senses. If greater Europe goes that route, it’ll be ugly, again. Why is it so hard to grasp that individual freedom works wherever it is tried, and that collectivism and statism fail wherever they are tried? The need to tell others what to do, and force them to do it, is the most insiduious, despicable poison of our times.

    Best,

    -tim-

  • Andy

    The apathy that the US populace is a general apathy towards anything political; add to that the blinding lack of any real press coverage on the mess that the EU is (biased or objective) and the issue quietly falls to the wayside. The Washington Times, while a great paper, is an also-ran. It isn’t an NY Times (cough cough) or an LA Times, both of which are much wider-read papers.

  • ernest young

    The sniffy little reference to the Sun as ‘a tabloid rag’, is probably accurate, but it has long championed the feelings of a large proportion of the population. Of course,, it has been thoroughly ignored by the bureacrats and politicians, they prefer the editorials of that true example of ‘gutter press’, the Daily Mirror!, a close relative of the Daily Worker, and a longtime Labour supporter.

    None-the-less, could it be that The Sun is the only one at the parade who notices that the Emporor has no clothes?.

    I think that most folk get their ‘news’ from the tv, which does not offer as much choice as compared to the ‘old’ days when there was a selection of tabloids and broadsheets to choose from, and they were not all owned by a couple of publishers with similar political viewpoints.

    British journalists just do not get excited about the political scene, for whatever reason, either the passion is edited out, or maybe it just isn’t deemed to be ‘cool’. In fact, it could be said that such a ‘laid-back’ attitude has contributed very largely to the apathy that exists generally with regard to politics.

    The British have long ago given up the fight to maintain their freedoms, through apathy, and an education system that actively discourages anything other than a passing interest in politics.

    As many people know, personal freedom is one of those precious things that needs to be nurtured and guarded all of the time. The British take it for granted, and consider it a ‘right’, – all the easier for the statists to steal it, piece by piece, until we reach the present position where we are about to lose our personal freedom in a big way, and to a cynical, conniving Frenchman.

    What the British people should consider, is that once it is lost, (personal freedom), it will be a very long time before it can be recovered, and one does not have to be a prophet to see a lot of blood and tears being shed in the process.

    People die for freedom, it should not be discarded so arbitarily.

    All together — ‘No to the EU’.

  • Guy Herbert

    Tomas Kohl,

    There’s nothing in the draft Constitution about that. It is a matter for the various countries how they ratify their treaties/abrogate their own constitutions. In Ireland, for example, it’s not just a matter for parliament, but if it has constitutional implications there must be a referendum. In Britain treaties fall under royal prerogative, and don’t require parliamentary ratification, but are made effective by legislation.

    What foreigners may not realise is that UK legislation is _always_ passed in the form the government of the day requires–and largely without useful debate–if it is important to them. The only case where, having reached the floor of the House, a bill may sometimes be dropped or ameliorated is if it proves unpopular enough to cause delay to something the government wants more.

  • Perry,

    Just to be accurate, the Constitution will be published next month but it will be discussed at an intergovernmental conference in December. Blair has stated that he does not wish to see the red lines of national sovereignty crossed (security policy and tax). However, as the offending document will be put forward as ‘all or nothing’, we can see that Blair will bow down to his ideolgical need to be at the “heart of Europe”.

    I certainly don’t think Britain or England are dying nations, just because people don’t act the way you think they should. Most people don’t give a toss because theyare pissed off with all politics and don’t think their voice or vote changes a thing. They have therefore decided to ignore the whole thing and pissed off to B & Q to buy a barbeque for the bank holiday weekend.

    Frustrating, isn’t it!

  • Germaine

    I have not heard this issue addressed in the media (TV news, papers or radio) in the US. How could such a thing even be an option? When is regression a desired path? Turning over the keys of a thriving nation (as well as your self-determination) to another country or group of countries is crazy! Just plain crazy! Have there been any organized protests to let them know how the people feel about this issue?

  • Fascinating reading from over the pond in socialist Toronto…sorry to see we are not in the Anglosphere (D2D, above).

    I know if our PM could, he too would join the EU and submit us to similar Gallic slavery.

    Thank goodness the US would never let us.

    Good luck, old Mother country!

  • D2D

    Philip C.,

    If Blair goes ahead and submits, er, commits Great Britain and her citizens to the E.U. without a popular referendum then your voices or votes won’t count.

    Man, ya’ll have gone to hell in a handbasket, but quick!

  • Sleepwalking into obscurity…
    Watching Big Brother on TV while the REAL Big Brother creeps up behind you.
    Perhaps the concrete shields round the Houses of Parliament are there for protection when the great British public realises what is being taken from them…

  • Dave O'Neill

    Nice patirotic tub-thumping but Habeus Corpus? Double Jeperdy? Trial by Jury?

    The tories started the rot on this and Labour’s been helping.

  • Exactly so Dave… which is why you will not find the people who write for this blog singing the praises of the Tory Party either.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Nice piece Perry. Like you, I don’t get too hung up on concerns about national sovereignty – since many of those who value it are often folk who would impose collectivism at home. However, it is going to be much, much harder to roll back a EU superstate than a single national one. In a multi-lingual, multi-national empire like the EU, such rollback will be much harder to achieve and the political dynamic much less.

    Blair does not give a damn about the democratic niceties of the Constitution. Being largely ignorant of history and contemptuous of what he does know, his behaviour is true to form.