We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

And this is how it ends

If there are any talented graphic designers out there perhaps they might want to grasp this opportunity to design a symbol that will, from now on, represent the ‘Country formerly known as Britain’.

The instrument of conquest, the draft EU constitution, was presented in Brussels today. For those of your with the time and fortitude all 148 pages (yes, 148!) of this document can be found here.

Fortunately, the Telegraph has an edited version which sets out the ‘money’ clauses (the ones that British federasts would rather nobody spoke about). Among these are:

Article I-2: The Union’s values
The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

These values are common to the Member States in a society of pluralism, tolerance, justice, equality, solidarity and non-discrimination.

Meaningless, empty prattle that might have been drafted up by the editorial team of the Guardian. What ‘solidarity’? What does that mean? And ‘equality’? Does this mean Mao suits for everyone? If not, then what? And why on earth the prohibition on ‘discrimination’? Discrimination just means ‘judgement’. Are we supposed to live without it?

2 The Union shall offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers, and a single market where competition is free and undistorted.

Which means that Anglo-Saxon common law and Habeas Corpus are out to be replaced by Napoleonic Code and Corpus Juris.

The Union shall work for a Europe of sustainable development based on balanced economic growth, with a social market economy aiming at full employment and social progress.

Semi-planned economies with rigid labour laws and an omnipresent dead-hand of state.

It shall contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the Earth, solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and protection of human rights and in particular children’s rights, as well as to strict observance and development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Euro-sclerosis for the whole world!!

Article I-5: Relations between the Union and the Member States
1 The Union shall respect the national identities of its Member States, inherent in their fundamental structures, political and constitutional, including for regional and local self government.

2 The Member States shall facilitate the achievement of the Union’s tasks and refrain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the objectives set out in the Constitution.

The potemkin clause. This is the one the federasts will refer to in an attempt to rebut concerns over loss of sovereignty. As per usual, they will be lying. It only says that ‘national identities’ will be respected, not sovereignty which is clearly abolished by Part 2 of the clause.

Article I-6: Legal personality
The Union shall have legal personality.

So no question that this is any longer about ‘co-operation of sovereign states for mutual benefit’. The EU will exist as a formal entity separate from the national governments.

3 The Union shall have competence to co-ordinate the economic and employment policies of the Member States.

4 The Union shall have competence to define and implement a common foreign and security policy, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy.

Need I add more?

The Union shall have exclusive competence to establish competition rules within the internal market, and in the following areas:
monetary policy, for the Member States which have adopted the euro; common commercial policy; customs union; the conservation of marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy.

Shared competence applies in the following principal areas: internal market; area of freedom, security and justice; agriculture and fisheries excluding the conservation of marine biological resources; transport and trans-European networks; energy; social policy; for aspects defined in Part Three; economic and social cohesion; environment; consumer protection; common safety concerns in public health matters.

Well, that just about covers the lot. Even the term ‘shared competence’ only means that national governments decisions can only extend to areas not covered by Brussels and since Brussels legislates for pretty much everything that doesn’t leave a lot of scope.

The Union’s competence in matters of common foreign and security policy shall cover all areas of foreign policy and all questions relating to the Union’s security, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy, which might lead to a common defence.

Member States shall actively and unreservedly support the Union’s common foreign and security policy in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity and shall comply with the acts adopted by the Union in this area. They shall refrain from action contrary to the Union’s interests or likely to impair its effectiveness.

The end of an independent British foreign policy and independent British security. Goodbye ‘special relationship’ with the USA. Goodbye Britain as a sovereign nation.

There is more but it is all more of the same. In short, it is the foundation of the ‘Superstate’ that the federasts have always gone to great pains to tell us was never on the table. Of course, the same people will re-double their tactics of lies, smears and evasions in order to try to muddy the waters long enough to smuggle all this through.

And I can sort of understand their sense of urgency. After all, this is the fruition of the Jacobin dream of a whole world unified, ordered and under total state control, where executive power is both unaccountable and unchecked and where nobody will be able to do so much as change their socks without first obtaining bureaucratic approval.

As for Blair, well all I can say is that you can pretty much dismiss all the plaintiff, indignant denials emanating from his office. His grand proclamation (that he has convinced the Convention to drop the word ‘federal’ from the document) is a pure piece of political theatre, designed to give the British the impression that he is not signing away this country’s independence. The truth is that the ‘federal’ was never going to be included in the first place because it is superfluous. The document as drawn is sufficiently breathtaking in scope and ambition without the need to rely on ‘trigger’ words.

The constitution is due to discussed at an EU Heads of State conference planned for 2004. Tony Blair will perform the usual pantomime by going to Brussels, pretent to exact ‘concessions designed to preserve our sovereignty’ and sign up to the whole package in return for what he earnestly hopes will be a shot at the Presidency of ‘Europe’.

Blair’s ambitions are not unopposed. Fortunately, there are signs of uncomfortable stirrings among the famously bovine and indifferent British public and even in the ranks of the usually-useless Conservative Party. The calls for a referendum on the new constitution are growing and will not be silenced. Blair wants no such thing. He knows he will lose and the one prospect neither he nor his federast toadies cannot entertain is the British people getting an opportunity to interfere with the ‘democratic process’.

So, a thousand years of independence and the struggles against Phillip II, Napoleon and Hitler will all boil down to the next 12 months of struggle against Blair.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VK

145 comments to And this is how it ends

  • RyMaN600

    Chilling…

    Especially these excerpts:

    “The Union shall offer its citizens an area of freedom…”

    “The Union’s aim is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples.

    “Its citizens”? “Its peoples”? It’s as if “The Union”, the government, now owns each and every one of you, and can “offer” you the freedoms it sees fit.

    In America, as Steven Den Beste has said, we think of our elected representatives as leading us, while it seems Europe sees theirs as ruling them.

    In the edited draft, I see no mention of the people directly electing members of government.

    And then there’s this:

    “Member States shall actively and unreservedly support the Union’s common foreign and security policy in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity and shall comply with the acts adopted by the Union in this area. They shall refrain from action contrary to the Union’s interests or likely to impair its effectiveness.”

    In other words, The Union’s foreign and security policy is completely unquestionable, and mustn’t be debated, under a “spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity”.

    Kiss your soverigenty goodbye.

  • RyMaN600

    Whoa momma….

    I was just searching through the actual PDF of the constitution, and found an edit:

    “The Union shall be open to all European States Whose people share Which respect the values referred to in Article 2, and who respect them and are committed to promoting them together.

    I guess “the people” don’t really count…it’s the state that really matters…

    Wow…and this is backed up in the revision comments:

    The first sentence added to this Article takes over the first sentence of former Article 43. The words “whose peoples” have been deleted to take account of amendments calling for respect of Union values, as a condition for accesssion, to be an obligation on the candidate States themselves, and not their peoples.

    There you have it. The state takes precedence over the people.

  • Here’s my lazy (but subtly appropriate, I think) idea for a new flag.

    The unsovereign flag of the country formerly known as the United Kingdom

  • The fact that the Constitution needs to be 148 pages should raise eyebrows alone. To me it indicates a grouping of countries that lack a common intellectual heritage, meaning things such as “common law” could be taken for granted and the size of the document reduced. It also indicates that the EU is prepared to screw everything to death and to do it in a document that is not easily modified, as opposed to legislation.

    If adopted, this will mean a sorry end to a proud country with a rich intellectual heritage that spawned the Enlightenment and the United States, albeit by force of arms on the latter. The U.S. will lose her best friend as well. Sad.

  • I don’t think I’ve seen such a brazen misuse of the term “free trade” up to this point. The EU with have an “undistorted” market? That’s such a comical misapplication of what the EU would actually have (and what is called for mere sentences away!) that it makes me wonder if there is any non-violent debatable way to change the minds of people who support this stuff.

  • Morpheus

    This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back.

    You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

    You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

  • Here is my attempt at the Union flag:

    Show Flag

  • Perhaps we should call it the EUnion flag?

  • David Packer

    Bye-bye, baby
    EU lied to me, baby
    I must have been crazy
    Baby, bye-bye
    It’s EUr turn to cry

    Cry, cry, baby
    EU lied to me, baby
    I’ll survive without EU, baby
    Baby, bye, baby, bye-bye

  • Nice to know who our friends are.

    For your readers in the US, it appears to be a case of “It’s been nice knowing you”, rather than “How can we help?”.

    So much for the special relationship. It’s 1940 all over again.

  • Philip,

    I don’t believe that is quite fair. What do you expect our US readers to do? Even the US federal government is hardly going to intervene in what is, on the face of it, the decision of a democratically elected British PM? What can they possibly do?

    Besides, there are few enough of our fellow Brits prepared to put up a fight, so why should the Americans do something for Britain that most Brits are not willing to do themselves?

  • Liberty Belle

    Interesting comment, Philip, and it certainly looks that way. But perhaps we overestimated our importance to our American cousins. And where are the Ozzies?

  • Liberty Belle

    They could lobby their Congressmen to offer asylum to those of us who refuse to live under the yoke of tyranny. If Blair uses our birthright as freeborn Britons as a bargaining chip for being named the unelected (except by fellow dictators) president of “Europe”, this ought to count as a war crime. Blair doesn’t own us. Our birthright is not his to sign away.

    No, of course no one would expect the Americans to invade Britain, but they might be generous enough to offer an escape route to those of us who never got a vote on our future.

  • Liberty Belle,

    Yes, that they could do. They could (and I hope they will) open the immigration doors for Brits who do not want to live under occupation.

    I wonder if they realise just how much that would benefit America.

  • Despite my disagreement with your apparent support for the ‘special relationship’ which has been all one way and leads us into all kinds of trouble, I do agree with much of what you say.

    The EU, in its current form, is a fundamentally undemocratic institution. They should have abolished the Council of Ministers and reduced the Commission to an advisory role, and made the Parliament the most important and powerful body, as it as after all the only one we directly elect.

    Who’s in charge of all these ‘common competencies’?

    Take the example of economic policy – setting interests rates etc. For Eurozone countries it’s the European Central Bank. We don’t elect them, yet they control our economy. It’s such a centralising document I can barely believe it.

    For people who have commented on the 148 pages, remember that most of that is commentary and amendments. It’s actually only 40.

    Oh, and the British public are bovine are they? I notice you have ‘London’ in brackets after your name. If you hate the British and love America you know what to do. Heathrow’s just around the corner….

  • Huw

    So….what is the plan for stopping this?
    Is there one?
    Does anyone know?

    Can we push for a referendum?
    Can we pressurise the government (Hah!)

    Anyone got any ideas?

    Or do we need to start planning to emigrate now?

  • S. Weasel

    Oh! Ach! It mentions the United Nations right in the constitution. <koff><hack>

    Really, I don’t know what anyone expects American readers to do about it, when you haven’t the foggiest idea what to do about it yourselves. It’s like trying to keep your drunken friend from getting a tattoo.

    Of Chairman Mao.

    On his forehead.

  • Chris,

    I was going to respond until I took a look at the ‘news sources’ linked on your blog. They tell me pretty much all I need to know about you and your opinions (which are not worth responding to).

  • I believe there already is a rather good symbol free-for-use at the moment. It consists of a hand-scythe, to represent the occasional toiling of the French peasant, in between subsidy cheques, and a panel beating implement, to represent the industrial muscle of the German auto industry.

    The Hammer and Sickle is the obvious choice of a New Generation of serfs. Welcome to the Napoleonic code, a legal framework designed by a tyrant, for the tyrants, of the tyrants.

    Is what I’ve just written illegal yet?

  • David,

    Why should I be fair? I’m not fighting for their country, but for mine. If all I hear from US libertarians and conservatives is “Gee, that’s dreadful” and nothing more, I think I have a right to criticise them as fairweather friends. If they are not going to be of any use to me or mine, then au revoir.

    It is because of the enormity of our task that some help would be appreciated rather than an exit strategy for would-be emigrants. You know, more than anyone, that the responsibility lies on our shoulders, not theirs, but with their resources, the conservative movement in America could provide strong influence and pressure in this area, both in the arena of ideas and policy. They haven’t.

    Philip

  • Johan

    Bad, bad, and bad. I was already on my way out of the suburb (Sweden) to Brussels, and this gives me more reason to get the hellybelly out of here.

    In the very end, we have no control over who’s going to “rule” over us (because it’s only a matter of ruling in this case). First, we elect politicians in our own countries, and that choice is always limited to what everyone else wants (which is almost always not what you want), and then those politicians (whom you most likely dislike) are supposed to sit in Brussels and decide this and that. And whatever they and the rest try to decide is most likely not what you want either. Or what the EU President wants. So we have this chain of dislike over what’s happening – and most importantly: you can not stop it or change it. Because:

    “2 The Member States [us included] shall facilitate the achievement of the Union’s tasks and refrain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the objectives set out in the Constitution.”

    And we would not be acting “in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity”, thus we are a threat and should be excluded from the Union. (I hope they send me away to USA then!)

    Stalin&Lenin&Mao couldn’t have done it better.

  • Becky

    Wow. You guys give conspiracy theorists a good name. The EU is the new Soviet Union? The U.S. should provide asylum? You guys wouldn’t know what real oppression is if it fucked you up the arse. “Rational” libertarians? Excuse me, I’m wanted back on planet Earth…

  • David Carr: My news sources are a bit of a mess and I don’t look at all of them all the time. They need sorting as there are some not very good ones in there. I don’t know if you had a particular objection to one or two of the sites I list, or if it’s the general left-wing theme of some of them that you don’t like. Fair enough, anyway, I often think the same about people who watch Fox News.

    My opinions not worth responding to? You never know you might convert me – I could be dragged away from the dark side.

  • Huw writes:

    So….what is the plan for stopping this?
    Is there one?
    Does anyone know?

    It’s like Atlas Shrugged coming true to life, with the sheep of Britain walking to the meat plant whispering to each other “it must be OK, we all voted Labour didn’t we?”.

    I asked the same question myself over the weekend: What the hell can we do, except throw rocks and pot plants at the Radio every time Peter ‘Wormtongue’ Hain comes on?

    (BTW, why will nobody quote Peter Hain back to himself, from his book which slated the EU, and told us that they’d use all sorts of verbal trickery to get us in the Superstate? The continuing failure of interviewers to put him on the spot, and show him up for the paid-for hypocrite he is, is driving me loopy!)

    These are the options, as I see them:

    • Riot, get arrested, give them all the ammunition they need about ‘right-wing’ nutters
    • Organise MASS Riot, get arrested, get lectured by the Guardianistas about how “those who profess the Rule of Law, are always those ones who break it…” etc, etc
    • Organise MASS peaceful demonstration – Errr…, if a million won’t change Blair’s mind, how many would we need? Two, three, four million? Chances of getting that? Not high.
    • Leave the country, hoping the US will take us, but this is a big step, and virtually impossible for some of us with wives who won’t leave until the 3am Europol knock, when it’s too late – anyhow, I want my country back, I don’t want to give it to the looters. OK, so you might say change wives, but it gets tricky with children.
    • Form a new political party, or join UKIP, and take part in Britain’s wonderful political process – an absolute no-hope, sorry, just won’t work, hasn’t worked, isn’t working
    • Buy lots of copies of the Mail, the Telegraph, and the Sun, and leave them lying around areas where cheapskate Labour voters might pick them up in preference to the Independent (Ha!), the Guardian, and the Daily Mirror. Not exactly direct.
    • We each write, phone, harrass local and national media outlets, and make Peter Hain hoarse from having to defend the EU. Problem: There’s always plenty more Peter Hains, and the Govt have our unlimited cash to publicize their views.
    • Stop moaning about the uselessness of the Conservative Party (boo, hiss), and get in there, sort it out, and give Blair the resultant huge Westminster headache, and slipping polls.

    I can’t think of any others, but I want to man some kind of barricade to fight back. Before I head down the track of that last option, is there something else I should be considering? Please, help.

    Rgds,
    Man Going Out Of His Mind

  • Innocent Abroad

    Oh dear, “federasts” again.

    Well done, Becky, I only come here to appease my dark side, it’s a fairly harmless way of acting out.

    If David Carr & co do cross the pond, I think we can assume they won’t be settling in the “clean government” states (the ones that border Canada), Dixie sounds more like their bag.

  • Liberty Belle

    Actually, the Americans (save the highly erudite, well-informed Becky) who have posted are quite right. Why should the US be moved to take action when the British won’t act themselves?

    Even hearty EU haters like The Telegraph don’t seem to have any fire in their bellies. This morning, they discussed various clauses of this piece of ordure. Why bother? The whole thing is totally repugnant and should be condemned wholesale. Picking through clauses gives the impression that if only the wording were tweaked around a bit, it might be more to their liking. We have to make it clear: Constitution for a federal Europe: Out of the question. End of story. No.

    But I feel the mendacious, slippery Blair and the gang of thugs and chancers who surround him, will pretend to be arguing about wording. It’s not the wording that’s the problem. It’s the concept.

    And the mendacious, slippery Blair is going to talk about “getting the best deal for Britain”. We don’t need a deal in federal Europe. There is no question of us bargaining our way through this garbage. We simply have to reject it. But how?

  • Kathleen

    Your course of action is not yet against the EU constitution, but against Tony Blair himself. I am unfamiliar with the British constitution, but I suggest you implement your rights against the government while you still have the chance. Signing away soverignty is nothing less than treason.

  • Kathleen

    Your course of action is not yet against the EU constitution, but against Tony Blair himself. I am unfamiliar with the British constitution, but I suggest you implement your rights against the government while you still have the chance. Signing away soverignty is nothing less than treason.

  • Andy,

    Write and campaign. If it gets through, then its a long hard slog to get our country back. If you want a good fictional exploration, try John Christopher’s “Bad Dream” – he of the Tripods fame.

    Becky,

    And no, the EU won’t be like the Soviet Union, because the elites understand that a huge decline in living standards would end their legitimacy. It is that the current European set-up is inherently authoritarian and unaccountable, vulnerable to the weak nostrums of the Left now, or possibly the tool of a revitalised far right a few years down the road.

    Without checks and balances, how do you constrain these people. Answer, you cannot. With the rise of the far right in Europe, what happens if they take over? Then, you really will see “internal security”!

    Whether it is the right or the left, this Constitution is a “vile steaming pile of ordure” and should be swept away, becaiuse it dramatically widens the scope of the state, when we want to whittle it down to the bare minimum

  • bear, the (one each)

    Philip Chaston: you are bordering on sounding French. “Oh USA! Please save us, even if we haven’t the resources or fortitude to defend ourselves”. We rounded up and sent you weapons so your people could defend themselves in the event of a channel invasion 60-someodd years ago. Why? Because your laws and culture saw to it there were not enough guns to go around. Meantime we have at least what is left of the 2nd Amendment.

    Your socieity has slipped to the point that gangs rule your streets worse than they do here. At least here we have the right to defend ourselves, rather than being hauled off to the clink (the nick?) for holding off burglars with a toy gun, or smacking one of them in the jaw with a fist.

    If you folks won’t stand up for yourselves, don’t expect the US to come barging in there to do it for you.

  • Jacob

    JohnJo,
    Beautiful flag.

    David
    Why don’t you print some copies of it and give it to every person or business willing to hang it in prominent places and in their windows ?

  • Can anyone tell me what happens if, when it realises the actual implications of the EU, Britain, having signed this thing, decides later on not to abide by it?

    Do we get thrown out of their club? (Ooooh, I’m so scared)

  • If you folks won’t stand up for yourselves, don’t expect the US to come barging in there to do it for you.

    Do you really, honestly believe that we expect you to do anything of the sort? And I resent the implication that we are not standing up for ourselves. You have no idea of the considerable effort that some of us put into our positions and, indeed, the risks that some of us take when voicing our opinions.

    If you want to chastise someone, please go ahead, but leave the rest of “us folks” out of it.

  • G Cooper

    Andy Duncan writes:

    “can’t think of any others, but I want to man some kind of barricade to fight back. Before I head down the track of that last option, is there something else I should be considering? Please, help.”

    I think Mr. Duncan has, not for the first time, put his finger on it. For all that posting here is a fine way to let off steam, there’s no point pretending that it achieves very much. Ignoring the basket cases who come here from the Left because, like psychic moths, they can’t help being attracted by the light – even though it blinds them – the rest of us are all of the same mind. And small wonder.

    The problem is, what do we actually do? The political parties are a complete wasteland (has anyone heard a peep out of the UKIP in months?) so what options are open to us? There is no point lobbying our MPs. Minds are made up and Parliament is stuffed with robotic representatives of the pasta-gobbling political classes, who think the EU is A Good Thing. How can you change minds where there are no minds to change?

    The greatest tragedy in all this is the way it has exposed an almost complete lack of democracy at the rotten political heart of this country. A government elected simply because people were sick of the previous incumbents, claims that it is thus endowed with a mandate to surrender our sovereignty to a foreign power. With an insensitivity so profound it must be mockery, it appoints two foreigners (Peter Hain and Gisela Stewart) to negotiate the document of surrender and there is nothing the people can do about it. Hain, whose swaggering arrogance seems to grow with every day, declares that we are not to be allowed to even voice an opinion in a referendum.

    Back at Runnymede in 1215 we had powerful barons who could put a metaphorical dagger to the king’s throat. Sadly, the only barons riding to our defence now are of the press variety. We may yet need to sharpen daggers of our own – but, short of quite literally taking to the streets, at whose throat do we point them?

  • JohnJo, Beautiful flag.

    Thanks Jacob, but looking at it again I don’t think that it really puts across the idea that David wants it to (ie represent the ‘Country formerly known as Britain’).

    If you look at it in isolation it is confusing and makes it look like the EU has invaded and shot the place up. Heh.

    I am a narrow thinker when it comes to this kind of thing and usually approach things from the point of view of that minority know as the shooting sportsman (hence the bullet holes – I was aiming at the middle BTW).

  • Hi Becky,

    Hey wow, you’ve gotta tell me where you went to school. If my children ever show signs of failing to express themselves either succinctly or effectively, I’ll know exactly where to send ’em! 🙂

    Hi Philip,

    “Bad Dream”, on the way, but won’t get it for at least five weeks. In the meantime, the “Tripods Boxed Set” looks good and should be with me in 24 hours! 🙂

    Judging by the blurb, maybe the new icon for the EU should be a Tripod? (Or perhaps a three-legged Swastika?) I’m currently flogging my way through Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series, at the moment. Whaddya think of this for a cast list?

    • Baron Harkonnen: Gordon Brown
    • Dr Yueh: Tony Blair
    • The Beast Rabban: Dr John Reid
    • Piter de Vries, House Harkonnen Mentat: Peter Hain
    • Padishah Emperor: Valery Giscard d’Estaing
    • Count Fenring: Jacques Chirac
    • Duke Paul Atreides: F.A.Hayek
    • Bene Gesserit Imperial Truthsayer: Richard Littlejohn

    Oh, I could go on…! 🙂

    Thanks for the book recommendations. Anything to excuse myself from reading Popper’s “Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach”. Crikey, it’s taken me two days just to get to page 14! 😉

    Rgds,
    AndyD

  • Alice,

    As things stand, Britain can leave the EU or, indeed, be booted out (in some ways a better option – it is always cheaper to get fired rather than resign).

    But, the real problem here is our own political classes. They intend to enforce every bit of Euro-rule in this country and, if they did not so intend, they would already be drawing up plans to leave. In a very real sense our problem is not so much Europe as our own governing elite.

    However, once this constitution is nailed down, competence will gradually transfer to Brussels in all remaining areas including (within a few years) the legal right to withdraw. After that, the only way out is by a war of independence ( a real war!)

  • Liberty Belle

    Kathleen, We have no written constitution and we therefore have no real guaranteed rights. My father was always appalled that we didn’t have a written constitution and he foresaw a tragedy of this magnitude taking place.

  • Liberty Belle

    No matter whether the raving mad Blair wants to “allow” us a referendum, there seems to be a movement for having one anyway. The Daily Mail is going to hold its own, and I believe Boris Johnson is involved in trying to get a referendum together.

    Also, I have to question Blair’s legitimacy to sign this foul piece of ordure, because so few voted for him. If I remember rightly, only 28% of the electorate voted for him. This is not a mandate. Are there any constitutional lawyers reading? Can Blair sign away our country with only 28% of the popular vote?

  • damaged justice

    Gee, “Innocent Abroad”, thanks for the bigoted slur regarding the imcompetence, backwaterness and general Badness of the South. We hadn’t had our Ten Minutes Hate yet today, and the American South seems to be the last safe target. Certainly it always seems to be the preferred one…

  • G Cooper

    David Carr writes:

    ” After that, the only way out is by a war of independence ( a real war!)”

    Do you know, I really do believe it could come to that?

    One of the enduring ironies of this absurd situation is that the EU only came about because of France’s terror at the prospect of having Germany stomp up the Champs d’Elyse for the third time. Thus the Europhile cant about it being a brake on future European war.

    Certainly once the more volatile political cultures of Eastern Europe wake up to the reality of having swapped one hegemony for another, I can certainly see it leading to conflict.

  • Bear (one of each)

    Why don’t you read what I write instead of launching into arguments about the 2nd amendment. The reason why we had no weapons 60 years ago was because we left a lot of them on the beaches at Dunkirk, defending the French. Read a history book.

    What I clearly stated was that assistance from US conservatives and libertarians would be gratefully and would be better than the “well your culture’s degenerate, apathetic and useless now because you don’t stand up for your rights so it’s been nice knowing you but you’ve served your purpose and we can’t see any reason why we should help you” arguments that were set out in your comment.

    BTW, Americans do not owe their British counterparts any assistance and, to be quite honest, if none is forthcoming, we shall still be campaigning. I want assistance because it is useful for Britain, and mainly, by raising the profile of the subject in the United States.

    Oh, and gangs don’t rule our streets. There’s a problem with crime but I suggest you visit the UK and see for yourself.

  • G Cooper

    damaged justice writes:

    “Gee, “Innocent Abroad”, thanks for the bigoted slur regarding the imcompetence, backwaterness and general Badness of the South.”

    Isn’t it strange how the Left, which claims it is motivated by nothing more than love of humanity, is always the first to resort to this sort of empty, mindless vindictiveness?

    They just can’t help revealing their true natures.

  • AussieJoeJr

    Another victory for the tranzy pansies. What a sad defeat. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • Jacob

    JohnJo,
    Your flag might not be very nuanced, expressing exactely David’s theme, but it is very clear and starighforward, and easy to understand without explanations or captions, and therefore conveys very clearly it’s message, which makes it effective and powerful as a propaganda tool.

    Nobody loves to see his flag rddled by bullets.

    Could you please add some blood drops, dripping from the holes ?

  • Hands up anyone here who feels defeated yet?

    Anyhow, here is another attempt at fulfilling Davids difficult image criteria. This one has rude words in it so you have been warned. It will probably only make sense to UK people:

    Image here

  • This European Union Constitution is the sort of thing that can be imposed willy-nilly only upon a disarmed people. Sadly, that describes Britain.

    To all Britons who fear the approach of this new Leviathan: I intend to agitate for the lifting of all quotas on immigrants from Britain to the United States. Failing that, maybe Americans who would like to see their British cousins remain free can arrange for an ungodly big trans-Atlantic airdrop of small arms and ammunition for them.

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    Philip Chaston wrote:
    Oh, and gangs don’t rule our streets. There’s a problem with crime but I suggest you visit the UK and see for yourself.

    New Labour isn’t a gang? You could have fooled me. 🙂

  • JH

    The Soviet constitution,BTW,was also high on utopian rhetoric about what the Soviet Union was supposed to achieve and what it stood for.”It is a society in which the law of life is concern of all for the
    good of each and concern of each for the good of all”,says the preamble.(http://www.oefre.unibe.ch/law/icl/r100000_.html)

    Which was nothing but a cruel joke,after all.But the problem with utopianism is,these kind of statements usually refer to the kinds of things that no one in their right mind could oppose.Whose against freedom and equality,for example?

    The big question is,what can a citizen do if the Great Experiment turns out to be a hoax?The “citizens” of Soviet Union had no recourse when the State failed its promises.The proposed EU constitution has all sorts of vague statements like “The Union shall respect the national identities of its member states” and it will have “a social market economy aiming at full employment and social progress”.Which we don’t have now,if you have noticed.How can I sue the EU?And while we are at it,what the heck is ‘social progress’?

    It could be the case that it is enough for the Union to ‘aim’ at full employment,in which case actual results don’t matter,after all.

  • Brian

    Philip–

    I for one would like to help. Please post suggestions about what Americans can do–and no, I am not being sarcastic.

  • T. Hartin

    As (one) originator of the “so long, its been nice to know you” quip, believe me, Brit libertarians, I feel your pain. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a goddamn thing I, or my government, can do about it. Even if I were President of the US, I really can’t think of anything that I would do to interfere in England’s internal affairs and relationships with its neighbors. Oh, I might let slip that I think the EU is misguided, etc., but really, what are we supposed to do?

    The EU is the logical culmination of 60 – 70 years of leftward drift and erosion in England, which drift has been ratified, if not insisted upon, by the voters of that fair land. I can’t imagine what English libertarians could do to straighten out the US dreadful immigration policies, for example, so I can’t imagine what it is we are supposed to do.

    Other than keep the torch burning until England emerges from its long leftist nightmare, of course.

  • A_t

    🙂 well said Becky. Superbly put.

    I’m glad to see that furthermore, most of the UK’s population (with the exception of the Sun’s editorial team) seems to be avoiding the hysteria prevalent on this site. Not to say the EU’s faultless, but come on! Perspective needed.

  • Hi bear,

    I love the United States perhaps more than some Americans (Michael Moore and Ralph Nader spring to mind), and I would never want to beg you to come to our aid, unless the bombs were falling.

    Before that (as I see it inevitable) situation occurs, if we get locked into the EU, I would only ask you to consider your own position, and look after your own long-term interests. If you did help us throw off this menace, I think it would be entirely in your interests.

    • If we do get locked into the EU, and become a Franco-German province, you’re on your own fighting Al Quaeda, and other fascist ne’er-do-wells.
    • For instance, under the EU constitution we’d have been blocked from doing anything in Iraq. Ok, so no great shakes, you’d have sent another armoured division, but I reckon you lost Vietnam because you were on your own, not because your military weren’t capable of winning it, and won/held the line in Korea, because you had the figleaf of British (and other) support. I reckon this is because if outsiders don’t support you, your own internal Naderish socialist idiots become far more powerful, and eat your military away from the inside. Think of Britain as a spray-on anti-idiot termite killer, if it helps, while you tackle the nest! 🙂
    • The Franco-German elite will try to build up a military power to rival the US, not complement it. Ok, so that’s laughable right now, but give it 20 years, and who knows where we might end up? You wouldn’t be borrowing the SAS, the SAS would be your enemy (though I should imagine the SAS would lose all of its morale, kudos, and fighting effectiveness, as part of a Franco-Belgian brigade 🙂
    • If your enemy’s enemy is your friend, the new French Empire could even join with the Wahhabist Arab world, to fight against you.
    • The French Empire, cowards that they are, will attempt siege economic warfare against the US, before military warfare, which will cause you to lose markets, lose jobs, and lose trade.
    • The US will lose all of its military bases in Europe, and surrounding areas, including access to Cyprus, Turkey, and other sensitive spots. Your own security will then be compromised, not much, but the march to take America starts with a single base closure.
    • The French Empire will attempt to ring you with hostile blocs. You may remain strong, but you will feel under an increasingly constant siege.
    • If Russia should grow in power again, they will ally naturally with the French Empire, may even join the EU/French Empire. I’ll let you work out the US security implications in that can of maggots.

    You may not realise just quite how much the French hate you. Imagine you’re a man, with a girlfriend, and you’re taken hostage by German terrorists, say in 1940. Your friendly American bypasser helps you out, locks up the terrorists, and frees you both. And then steals your girl, and keeps reminding you that without him you’d be Gulag food. Given sixty years of increasing chip-on-your-shoulder inferiority-complex paranoia, McDonalds takeovers of Paris, and the anglicisation of your precious language, how much would you resent and hate that friendly American? Multiply it by about ten times, and you may be about there.

    The EU has three main purposes:

    • To stop Germany invading France.
    • To extend the secondary Marxist dream of creating a Social Democrat Nirvana, without (initial) bloodshed.
    • To create a French Empire to rival the US.

    Again, I would only ask you to think about helping us if you considered it to be in your own interest. At some point I’m confident, if things continue their downward slope over here, that I’ll be over there with you, holding my hand up to the US flag, if you’ll let me in, and extending my Dr Suess collection (I already have most of them). And I won’t be voting for Mr Nader.

    But even when I learn how to drive naturally on the wrong side of the road, and spell “colour” without a “u” (I may struggle with “through” as “thru”), and my US children are at a US High School, and I consider myself as American as George Washington (Jesus, I’m already most of the way there), then I will still consider it folly to let the French Empire continue its growth unmolested.

    I would consider it in my US children’s long-term interest to squash that bug, before it gets too big.

    Rgds,
    AndyD

  • Ellie

    Philip Chaston;

    What exactly would you want US conservatives and libertarians to do? It seems to me that large numbers of Europeans have found and find common cause in anti-Americanism. American anti-EU agitation could backfire by creating even more support for the EU than currently exists.

  • G Cooper

    Brian writes:

    “I for one would like to help. Please post suggestions about what Americans can do–and no, I am not being sarcastic”

    Actually, I think there is something Americans can do – or at least their politicians could.

    It is an unfortunate fact that encouraging British membership of the EU has been official US government policy for many years. This may have changed, but the US has exerted no small influence in this respect.

    If US politicians would publicly reverse that policy and, even better, disparage the statist drift of the EU, that would be a great help.

    Failing which, the offer of a small arms drop would be much appreciated. Put me down for a Glock, would you? And yes, I do know they’re Austrian…

  • Clio

    David and Company,

    God this is a long thread! Can’t resist adding to it though, as a lifelong Anglophile and British Historian.

    First piece of advice: use your best assets (i.e. humor and lack of respect for authority) to wake up your compatriots. Replace (or cover over) road signs and highway overpasses with Burma-shave type messages

    Jacques Chirac wants to thank you

    for saving France on the beaches of Normandy

    by giving you

    10% unemployment

    the Napoleonic code

    a Franco-Belgian style military defense

    vive le UK

    Second suggestion: organize something (not riots, something peaceful) to which we Americans who support you can come lend support. Stress the proud history of the British Isles as utterly distinct from that of the continent (except for moments of intense pain and suffering).

    Third: if all that fails, put out a call on this website for people to sponsor Brits who want to emigrate. I’ll sign for one. You can stay in the guest room.

    Cheers!

  • Uncle Bill

    And so the end of the United Kingdom ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper or, perhaps, not even that.

    Query: Has the stiff upper lip been criminalized yet or just gone out of style?

  • G Cooper

    A_t (who else?) writes:

    “I’m glad to see that furthermore, most of the UK’s population (with the exception of the Sun’s editorial team) seems to be avoiding the hysteria prevalent on this site”

    And by the use of what mystical powers do you claim know this?

    Please do share – it can come in handy having a soothsayer around.

  • If all else fails, let’s start a campaign in the US “A Briton for a pet” or “Every Household Needs A Brit” or “The English Keep Your Humour Fresh” or…

  • Ellie, Brian,

    I think that G (Gary?) Cooper has put his finger on what could be achieved in the United States.

    I agree that US funding of British Euroscepticism would be a real no-no and would provide a real fillip to anti-Americanism. However, it is a shame that Andy Duncan can provide a list of what the United States stands to lose and conservative thinktanks in Washington or elsewhere cannot.

    The State Department, of course, prefers the stability of Brussels to having to deal with fiddly national capitals and have won the foreign policy debate for the moment. It is about creating a climate of political and official opinion in the US that will favour Euroscepticism and Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, hence, the importance of conservative and libertarian opinion in bringing about that change.

    Philip

  • S. Weasel

    Philip: Okey doke. Let’s make a deal. We’ll control our politicians, and you control yours.

    Oh, wait…if we could do that neither one of us would have a problem.

    Sheesh.

  • M. Simon

    There is something America can give Britain.

    A written Constitution.

    Other than that I can’t help.

  • David,

    OK, so, say the worst happens, we get fully signed up, quagmire, etc etc.

    If we try to get out of the EU, in X years time Europe will launch a war against us?

    Really??

    I’m almost rather excited about that idea.

    Very interesting.

  • Nancy

    For Americans who have young English relatives interested in obtaining a green card or know of people who do, tell them to get the sponsorship ball rolling before the person in question turns 21. Before 21, the process is relatively straightforward and brief (a one year wait). After 21, it’s more complicated and the wait is much longer. They are currently processing applications from 1999.

    One thing that Americans could do is to write to their congressmen encouraging the participation of the English in the green card lottery. It is (to use a polite word) ironic that they cannot, but the French can.

    I enjoy seeing the British flag on the cars of the many British citizens who already reside in Florida. Freed from association with skinheads and football hooligans, it is again the proud symbol of one of the greatest nations on Earth. The heartbreaking thing to me is that the British want to be patriotic. When I lived in London, I hardly saw the flag anywhere. Here, I see it everyday.

  • Jacob

    “The EU has three main purposes:

    To stop Germany invading France.

    To extend the secondary Marxist dream of creating a Social Democrat Nirvana, without (initial) bloodshed. [and without working hard].

    To create a French Empire to rival the US.”

    It has at least another main, or founding, purpose:
    to make Germans pay fat subsidies to French farmers.

    The French will not advance the causes of fraternity, socialism and empire without a bribe.

    Which is why the whole EU enterprise is doomed.

    So I cannot share the desperate alarmism exspressed in this thread. Britain will survive, I’m sure, and outlive the EU. Or the EU will turn into another UN-like empty carcass.

    The problem with Britain is the socialist trend of it’s own people and government, which has nothing to do with the EU, and is a bigger threat.

  • M. Simon

    The campaign slogan: “British Constitution First”

  • Brian

    Clio’s Napoleon theme is good: “He tried it once before”, “This time he’s playing for keeps”, or whatever.

    Remember that Ayn Rand essay about the Red Army vs. the Whites in the Russian revolution. The Whites, she recalls, were simply against the Bolsheviks, and why? In the name of such not-very-arousing things as “tradition” and “birth-rights” and “heritage”. They had nothing they were really fighting FOR. Meanwhile the Reds were full of passionate intensity to remake the world. No need to tell you who wins a fight like that.

    The conservative movement is the US is a vast network of think tanks, local parties, fundraising groups, universities, journals, yada yada yada. The UK conservative movement seems to consist of Margaret Thatcher and maybe Denis.

    To quote Travis Bickle, “You gotta get organizized.”

  • Larry

    I find much of the commentary pitiful.

    If you dislike the EU proposal so much, organize. Find others like yourselves. Start education programs. Raise funds. Hold protests.

    Pls do not whine. Yell, cry, whatever — then get to work. It’s your nation, and your turn to defend it.

    Assumming you have no power makes it so. Assuming the cause is hopeless means that it is so.

  • Stacy

    I know I’m showing my ignorance, but can anyone tell me how member country representatives are elected to EU parliment seats? And how are the number of seats allocated? Would the EU president be elected by popular vote or something similar to the electoral college (usa model), or more similar to the British majority party governs? I realize the new constitution is supose to be federal “style”, but from what I’ve read the actual specifics of governing have not been included in this new constitution. Possibly, this has already been covered in prior “agreements”? Again showing my ignorance, to me a constitution is the exacting rules by which people grant power to and restrict power from the government. The limilted sections I’ve read above seem to be full of banal, subjective language like”respect” and “solidarity” . Please enlighted me if you can. Thanks.

  • It is ironic and sad right at the time Britons are reminded of how the loathe the French (French duplicity with regards to Iraq.), you Brits are going to sign over your liberties to French bureaucrats.

    The Right over here does want to try to help you save yourselves, but problem is Tony Blair is so popular over here. About the only thing we could do is to offer you membership in NAFTA. I am not sure Churchill’s idea of creating common citizenship across the Anglosphere would fly today, though many on the Right here would probably support it.

  • Brian

    The essay I referred to BTW was “The Lessons of Vietnam” in The Voice of Reason.

  • S. Weasel

    While it’s very pleasant to hear the US spoken of as a last refuge of individualism, we are, in truth, struggling to hold what liberties we have. Britain has the immediacy of the EU breathing down her neck, which highlights her dilemma, but the US still breeds one of the world’s hardiest varieties of nanny statists. In the infamous words of Claire Wolfe, “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.”

    So, while we’d be happy to absorb all your bloody-minded libertarian political malcontents, it’s not a real solution for either of us.

    Stage one: arriving on forums like this one and realizing we are not alone.
    Stage two: ??
    Stage three: profit!

  • Larry writes:


    Pls do not whine. Yell, cry, whatever — then get to work. It’s your nation, and your turn to defend it.

    By God, Harry, England and St. George, Larry is right. This £20 million quid someone is trying to raise, to create a fully kosher electoral-society-run independent postal ballot referendum.

    Can we help whoever’s trying to organise this, by providing bodies, letter lickers, fund raisers, telephone callers, odds and sods, etc?

    Sounds a damn sight more useful than wearing a blue rosette and knocking up old ladies in Sonning Common.

    If that referendum were to come off fully kosher, we’d stick Blair on the traitor’s spike he’d deserve. He’d twist in the wind (to mix my metaphors) trying to figure out how to get out of that one.

    Who? Where? When? Why? What? How?

    Anyone know anybody who’s got £20 million quid going spare? What’s Mick Jagger’s position on the Euro constitution? 😉

    I haven’t heard that rat Hain mentioning this potential postal ballot. One suspects his silence means they’re running scared on it. Let’s take the sods down.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I am not sure why Philip Chaston is getting quite so upset that the US is not helping us out on this one. What, in all sense, can the US do? Send B-52s to bomb the crap out of Brussels?

    Er, let’s not pursue that.

  • Stacy,

    “I know I’m showing my ignorance, but can anyone tell me how member country representatives are elected to EU parliment seats?”

    Direct elections from regional party lists every five(?) years. They aren’t appointed by national governments or anything, but unfortunately they seem to have the least power of all the EU institutions. Something like the US House of Representatives really.

    “And how are the number of seats allocated?”

    By the population of each region.

    “Would the EU president be elected by popular vote or something similar to the electoral college (usa model), or more similar to the British majority party governs?”

    I believe the idea is for the Council of Ministers to choose the President internally. It’s not quite as undemocratic as it sounds because they are just President of the Council, not head of state or anything.

    “I realize the new constitution is supose to be federal “style”, but from what I’ve read the actual specifics of governing have not been included in this new constitution. Possibly, this has already been covered in prior “agreements”? Again showing my ignorance, to me a constitution is the exacting rules by which people grant power to and restrict power from the government. The limilted sections I’ve read above seem to be full of banal, subjective language like”respect” and “solidarity”.”

    The aim of the Constitution is to consolidate all the previous treaties. They have always set out the specifics of governing, but the Constitution will do that now. It includes articles outlining which areas of decision-making are ‘exclusive competence’, ‘shared competence’, or whether the Union performs a purely co-ordinating role. The respect and solidarity stuff is from the beginning where it talks about the aims of the Union etc.

    That’s my understanding of it all anyway.

  • G Cooper

    Johnathan Pearce writes:

    “What, in all sense, can the US do? Send B-52s to bomb the crap out of Brussels?

    Er, let’s not pursue that.”

    Spoilsport.

  • Johnathan,

    I wasn’t upset. I was exasperated, but you’re right, we should bomb Brussels… with the animal carcasses killed by their regulations over the last decade.

    I suspect that’s vicious, even by my standards

  • Liberty Belle

    T Hartin is correct. The Brits have done this to themselves, through their passivity, their docility, their complacency, through their smug assumption that everything would turn out fine because they’re British. There are millions out there who still haven’t twigged what is happening to them (read the lefty postings on the BBC’s Have Your Say). These are the soma people. Easy to control.

  • Eddie Cochrane

    I’ve only taken a quick skim through the draft constitution so far (the annotated bits are very useful), but in answer to the question,

    What ‘solidarity’? What does that mean?

    I think that rather than the dictionary definition of “unity based on community of interests, objectives, and standards” it means “not actively being at each others throats”. The only part which discusses what that solidarity means in terms of relations between member states is in Article I-42,

    Article I-42: Solidarity clause
    1. The Union and its Member States shall act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if a Member State
    is the victim of terrorist attack or natural or man-made disaster. In application of the
    principle of solidarity, tThe Union shall mobilise all the instruments at its disposal, including
    the military resources made available by the Member States, to:
    (a) – prevent the terrorist threat in the territory of the Member States;
    – protect democratic institutions and the civilian population from any terrorist
    attack;
    – assist a Member State in its territory at the request of its political authorities in the
    event of a terrorist attack;
    (b) – assist a Member State in its territory at the request of its political authorities
    in the event of a disaster.

  • Martin Cole

    Pluralism is the number one aim of the new EU Society. That is really scary when you try to look into what the eurocrats might mean by that word.

    Visit the Blog http://ironies.blogspot.com for more on what that concept really means!

  • Liberty Belle

    Stacy, The EU “president” would be “elected” by other heads of state; not the populace. In other words, the premiers of 12 countries would vote for someone (behind closed doors). Tony Blair has all his fingers, all his toes and his lazy eye crossed.

  • I’ll spread the sad word here in Canada…which I am sure would gladly join the EU if it was possible…

  • The Brits have done this to themselves, through their passivity, their docility, their complacency…

    Come here and say that!

  • I have linked this article and talked about it in my blog.

  • BTW, Americans do not owe their British counterparts any assistance and, to be quite honest, if none is forthcoming, we shall still be campaigning. I want assistance because it is useful for Britain, and mainly, by raising the profile of the subject in the United States.

    Philip, this American, for one, will be rooting for the English to shove the EU down the hell-pitt where it deserves to go. I for one will be rooting for you.

  • Liberty Belle

    JohnJo – It’s gone this far. Whose fault is that? They could have found a way to stop it. They could have chucked Tony Blair out of office at the last election; it was evident by then what he is. They could have called his many lies; they could have called the lies of their supine elected representatives and the pyramids of government ministers and secretaries of state – but they didn’t. They could have insisted on grilling Peter Hain. They could have insisted on knowing what the hell is twice-disgraced Peter Mandelson’s role in all this (and why, as an ordinary MP, is he still being swanked around in a taxpayer funded limousine after having been [I repeat] twice forced to resign in disgrace as a government minister?). There are many sinister aspects to this government … But it began to creep in on little cat feet 30 years ago. The British gave their government a pass on the lies. They gave them a pass when the Spanish illegally depleted our fish stocks. They gave them a pass when they made a trumped up song and dance about BSE (and, whoaaah, this is of karmic proportions) and the French still have commercials from a national fast food restaurant promising that they don’t serve British beef. And the French have never paid their massive daily fines for their illegal embargo on British beef – now the safest beef in the world – and no one has forced them to. Because, of course, no one can. The French are above the law. Pass after pass after pass. No one demanding answers, except as suave debating points. So the increments inched up – oops! centimetred up. And they didn’t notice, didn’t care, didn’t call the government on it. Lazy. And more and more politicians got embedded, like worms, burying into the rich soil and then concealing themselves. The layers of functionaires built up …

    You can challenge me, and I welcome it, but the evidence is all against you.

    However, the chippy British public – in my view – handed out so many passes because it was such a thrill to feel superior to those who were ringing alarm bells – xenophobics! Little Englanders! (unlike us sophisticates who take cheap holiday flights to Spain and never have to say one word in Spanish, but demonstrates how how frightfully “European” we are). After reading today’s threads, I am persuaded that they deserve to disgrace and dishonour their ancestors and be subsumed into a fascist, thought-controlled dictatorship. And if you think that’s too dramatic, visit France. Oh! You can’t! The air traffic controllers and the train drivers are on strike. As they were last week. As were the teachers and the Post Office today. And as they are scheduled to be three days next week. So, with the public holiday on Thursday and the “bridge day” into the weekend that they are allowed, plus the three public holidays this month, plus your mandatory strike days, they will have worked out at around, ohhhh, 12/13 days. But their pensions are secure. The work-orientated Brits will be paying them.

  • Johnjo,

    Liberty Belle is right. This constitution thing has not just popped out of the woodwork all of a sudden. It is the culmination of a process that has been developing for the last 3 decades which has seen competencies gradually handed over to Europe, sometimes by stealth and sometimes in great wadges. However, the famously indifferent British public have stood for it, muttering barely a word of discontent while they let each successive travesty just slide.

    Now, finally, there are some stirrings and discontented grumbles but only at the point where national extinction is, quite literally, staring them in the face.

    Once again, though, the real problem lies with our own political classes. Boy, is that some Augean mess.

  • ernest young

    My recent suggestion that the EU bears a similarity to the USSR seems to have irritated and annoyed some folk. Well how about this glimpse into my crystal ball. —

    Uproar over the proposed ‘Constitution’ causes Blair to reject it, but the Franco-German axis goes ahead anyway, they admit all of the former communist bloc countries, and proceed to play at being a world power of some consequence. UK in the meanwhile has embraced Socialism to such a degree that we may as well have accepted the EU Constitution in the first place. As is usual with any socialist inspired scheme, we end up with the worst of all possible worlds. Shunned by both friends and enemies.

    The scene fades with th UK playing Yugoslavia to the EU’s USSR.

    Meanwhile the US treats the EU with the contempt it richly deserves, and concentrates it’s attention on the Pacific Rim countries, where incidentaly, the market just happens to be about three times that of the EU.

  • ernest young

    Liberty Belle,

    Just couldn’t have put it better myself….. that is apart from the very last sentence, or was that meant as a joke?…

  • G Cooper

    Excellent post, Liberty Bell!

    And yes, you are entirely right. This has happened to us because we have been complacent and if Gt Britain does end up stuffed and mounted in a glass case as a museum exhibit, then we’ll only have ourselves to blame.

    Of course, there is a temperamental factor at work here. Britons tend to be slow to anger and in the 1930s this nearly cost us dear.

    We can only hope that the turning point has been reached and that the political and media jackals who have led us to this will soon be on the receiving end of some very traditional treatment.

  • ernest young

    See – The French really do have something to contribute……

    “Member States shall actively and unreservedly support the Union’s common foreign and security policy in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity and shall comply with the acts adopted by the Union in this area. They shall refrain from action contrary to the Union’s interests or likely to impair its effectiveness.”

    Straight out of Dumas’s ‘Three Musketeers’, “One for all, and all for one”.

    Only difference in the story it took only three to defend French sovereignty, in socialist EU it takes at least fifteen….

  • M. Simon

    Can some one tell me why the Brits don’t want a constitution?

  • American here, from Texas even. Worse, I’m new to Samizdata. I find this whole thing fascinating. But I just have no idea what to think or which of the eighty or so issues raised are the most important.

    I guess the most important thing is that England’s people would be ‘governed’ by a government no longer elected by England’s people, by power NOT granted by consent of the governed.

    I’d love to know what I could do. Lobby for getting immigration laws w/r/t British immigrants looked at/changed?

    It’s hard to find ‘mainstream-sourced’ news on the EU Constitution though. I listened to ‘all news’ AM radio all afternoon–not a peep. ABC World News Tonight didn’t say a word. At CNN.com, I finally found a small nugget on the ‘World’ subpage about Denmark’s referendum vote on the Constitution. I don’t generally get all my news from these places, but I went to find what the glamour media sources would be saying, and found nothing. I believe the average American has never *heard* of the EU Constitution.

  • ernest young

    M. Simon,

    It isn’t that we don’t want a constitution, we don’t want a European Constitution. Particularly one drawn up by a Franco-German alliance.

    We would also like to be consulted on the matter, and not be connived and weaselled into agreeing to something that we are told to like, ‘because it will be good for us’.

    In other words we would like our politicians to show us, – the electorate, – a little respect.

    Our Government has taken almost a thousand years to establish a reasonably fair and democratic system, and we do have a document called Magna Carta, which lays down a few of the ground rules.

    Should we sacrifice this system which has, and could again, work very well, to satisfy the egotistic desires of ‘Sly Tony’ et al?.

    Really – do we need a constitution?. not really.

    Hope this helps to clear up some of your queries on the matter.

  • M. Simon: Can some one tell me why the Brits don’t want a constitution?

    We do have one. Always have done, but it is clearly collapsing. But if you means a written constitution, no, we do not.

    Of course if we had a written one like in the USA, we would not have to worry about terrible things like the RICO laws, members of strange cults getting gunned down by the state, civil asset forfeiture without a trial or abridgements of the right to keep and bear arms, right? Strange that I could not carry a gun when I lived in New York though.

  • M.Simon and others,

    Britain does have a constitution but it has been built by custom and craft over hundreds of years rather than codified in one document.

    However some of it has now been wrecked anyway.

  • Philip Chaston,
    I am an American and I write my legislators all the time. Sometimes they even listen. Give me some suggestions on how I can help and I will be glad to do so. I agree with you about our State Department, I certainly do not claim my country is perfect and our State Department is one of biggest problems. But you can take some solace in that President Bush disdains them too.

    Liberty Belle,
    If worse comes to worse, I will be glad to help as many of our UK friends immigrate to the States as so desire. But it seems a bit early to give up.

    Alice Bachini,
    The US will never use force to stop your government from joining the Socialist Republic of Europe. However, should the UK actually join, and then if it is clear that majority of UK citizens want out in the future, and are willing to fight for their independence, I expect that the US will be on your side. I for one would actively support this.

    AndyD,
    Interesting perspective and it is appreciated. Yes, the help of the UK and other allies does help keep our naïve ones see reality (our idiots are mostly hopeless, but they cannot accomplish much unless they convince our naïve ones to follow them). Although I personally think the odds of France ever rivaling the US are on par with chipmonks becoming a significant threat to society. This is not blind nationalism (e.g., I can see China matching our economic and military strength by 2050 if trends continue), but merely a recognition of the problems France faces (e.g,. a declining population, ethnic/religious problems, a brain drain to the US, and a regulated economy.).

    G Cooper,
    Thank you for a basic suggestion. If you would care to make a rough draft of a letter, with your main points in order of priority, I will write my legislators and express my concern.

    Jacob,
    You are probably right. I for one am optimistic that the UK will either not join and/or the EU constitution will be changed to something more reasonable. Even if the US stayed completely out of the picture, the UK’s military may still be stronger than the rest of the EU put together. Your biggest concern is internal, but that is true of most countries including my own.

    Most of you from the UK,
    Why the overwhelming pessimism? It is your country, have the balls to defend it! You know it best and you care about it the most. I have the impression that Blair cares about public opinion, but if I am wrong, how would you legally go about removing Blair from power? Can your government cast a vote of no confidence? What is needed to do so? It actually bothers me to talk about removing Blair because he was so helpful to the US recently. What other ways do you have of preventing this? You are not sheep, think of plans. Without being anything close to an expert on your government, my perspective is that people should demand a national referendum on the matter. If this is unrealistic, why? What obstacles need to be overcome? What other options are there?

    Again, I will be glad to help you if you can provide reasonable ways for me to do so. I am sure many Americans would do the same – and a number of them have already spoken here. But sitting around whining about the situation is less than useless. And I fully realize this does not apply to all of you any more than I represent all Americans.

  • Perry de Havilland wrote:

    Of course if we had a written one like in the USA, we would not have to worry about terrible things like the RICO laws, members of strange cults getting gunned down by the state, civil asset forfeiture without a trial or abridgements of the right to keep and bear arms, right? Strange that I could not carry a gun when I lived in New York though.

    This is a great point. My Constitution is constantly assailed by those with a “Modernistic” or “Instrumentalistic” interpretive approach to it. What exactly the Bill of Rights ensures, and where it does so, is in constant flux. It makes me wonder, sometimes, if it really is preferable to have a vague, general ruling document, as opposed to the Texas Constitution, for instance, which is around 180 pages and contains over 400 amendments.

    Overall, I see a written constitution as ablative armor, not a surefire safeguard.

  • Dan McWiggins

    Perry, David, G. Cooper, Liberty Belle and others,

    There is an extremely important point being missed in this discussion. WHAT IS THE POSITION OF THE BRITISH MILITARY? I know, on a board with so many extremely bright people, that I’m not the only person who knows about the Curragh mutiny. Would the military support Government action against a majority of the people if they decide they don’t want to be subsumed into the EUnistate?

    If it turns out that the majority WANT to be EUnuchs, then it’s time for Samizdataists to head for the American Embassy and apply for a visa. We’ll welcome you with open arms because we KNOW how much you’ll strengthen us. If, however, you can convince the majority of Britons that there is something desperately wrong with what Mr. Blair is doing to the country, then your concern is with what you would face when you present this government with truly serious, and probably violent, opposition to its policies. If you can get to that point, AND THE MILITARY WILL EITHER STAND ASIDE OR ACTIVELY SUPPORT YOU, the example of Iran’s collapse in 1979 should be a good guide to the rest of the story. You’ve got a link to ARRSE on this site. What DOES the military think about all this? Those guys are smart, tough, capable, courageous and patriotic. I can’t see them being in favor of this but I’m not British so my perspective isn’t accurate. One more question: what does Queen Elizabeth think about this? She’s probably the one person in the U.K. who could stop this EU-ward motion in its tracks by a simple strongly-worded statement. Is SHE in favor of abandoning national sovereignty?

    One last comment: I sure wish you folks hadn’t surrendered your guns!

  • even today, I am reading articles and blogs by and about the British that seem to indicate that they are little different in character or charm of that time period…only more…focused. Despite the fossilization of socialism, despite the growing distance between the state and its people, despite the erosion of values and traditions that made Great Britain the unique sovereignty that it is, its people are, in nature, polite and commercial, open and…well, NOT France.

  • I could find only one thing wrong with your new Constitution: It presumes to be granting rights to the people, rather than protecting the rights the people already have. The laws a people chose to live under are none of my business — but I don’t know that you will get a chance to chose the new laws you live under. You are at the merci of Jacques, Fritz and, oh geez, what’s a good name for a Belgian… Otis?

    This is bad bad bad bad bad. This does not bode well for your individual liberties.

    Peace is nice. Free markets is nice. Industry-wide standards for convenient dealing is nice. But passing your sovereignty to 10,000 petty bureaucratic tyrants isn’t nice in any sense of the word. Too bad y’all don’t have guns. I bet Blair and the Euro-continental collection of scum, perverts and Stalinists would listen then. As Robin Williams said about your bobbies, you can only yell stop… and if that doesn’t work, yell stop again.

  • Stacy

    Chris,

    Thanks for the clarification. It was helpful.

  • Jim Bennett

    The problem is that this time, unlike 1940, Britian does not have Churchill in No. 10; in regards to the European question, the current occupant is more like Oswald Moseley. If Britain had a visible figure somewhere in its leadership who was clearly articulating why this constitution was bad for Britain and bad for America, Americans would respond in kind. Unfortunately, the Brit most visible to Americans is working hard to sell the idea, including to Bush. This limits our ability to mobilize.

    Much progress has been made over the past three years on educating America. Before that, many American conservatives and libertarians thought the EU was actually a good thing, a pro-free-trade organization. Today, National Review Online, for example, has become pretty euroskeptic.

    The big secret about American politics is that there really is no “America” except once in a long while. When someone kills three thousand of us one morning, for example. Most of the time policy is influenced by a small group of people who feel strongly about the issue at hand. Hardly anybody in America likes the European Union or cares strongly about it; US support comes from maybe three hundred sleepwalkers at the State Deaprtment who support it because they always have supported it.

    There’s plenty that can be done. Mobilize several thousand Americans to make influencing the US government on the EU a major political priority for a year or two, and policy will change. Hell, everyone says they hate the French; here’s something more constructive than renaming French fires “freedom fries”. We need a new Eagle Squadron — commemorating the Americans who volunteered to fly against the First European Union back in 1940. But these would stay home and lobby Congress.

    If the US made it clear to the UK political establishment that the US would be very unhappy about the UK approving the EU constitution, this would have a strong political effect.

  • cheshirecat

    JohnJo.

    “Hands up anyone here who feels defeated yet?
    Anyhow, here is another attempt at fulfilling Davids difficult image criteria. This one has rude words in it so you have been warned. It will probably only make sense to UK people:”

    I got it…I believe its a EU-styled car registration plate. Each country has it’s own logo on the left.

    I think that is a very good “flag” you have there.

    cheshirecat

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    Omnibus Bill wrote:
    what’s a good name for a Belgian… Otis?

    Try Dutroux. 🙂

  • Perry,

    Now you’re just getting nasty, tongue in ass cheek or not. We do have problems with our Constitution being interpreted out of existence but it has swung the other way to some degree and things like the fifth amendment are getting renewed attention. I know you’re pulling our wangs legs, but things will get better and we have a roadmap — our Constitution — to guide us back. It also focuses, properly so, on negative rights as opposed to positive non-rights like that EU abomination.

    Mark,

    I was unaware that Churchill supported common citizenship across the Anglosphere, but it sounds like a fantastic idea to me. I would still be an American, but the idea of having Brits and Aussies treated as American citizens — and vice-versa — is a nifty idea.

    As Francis suggested, I would also support increased immigration from Britain — as many as wanted to come — effective immediately with expedited rules for citizenship.

    If Britain does actually surrender its sovereignty and join the EU and had to fight a war to get out later I would hope America supports the Brits, though given Britains military they would likely kick the shit out of the continent without our help.

    If Britain joins the EU does that mean the EU would only have one permanent seat on the UN Security Council?

  • cheshirecat

    My tuppence worth…

    How would this be stopped? And maybe I’m naive, but I would suggest:

    1) Getting parliament to holding a vote of (no)-confidence…

    2)Dissolve and stand for election, by which one would hope enough of an effort has been made by the anti-EU Constitution segment, that the whole lot of Labour is thrown out of the majority (this only works if the Tories are dead against this nonsence)

    3) Finally sitting down and writing and ratifying (via referendum) a Constitution…and not one that is 200 pages long. I think maybe 20 pages would probably be a good start.

    Now, is all this possible. Item 1 probably is, 2 would be a challenge, and 3)?….I dunno.

    cheshirecat

  • Doug Collins

    Another American here, who would be happy to help if there is some way to do so.

    -Someone mentioned a mail referendum election earlier- apparently it requires money to set up – where can we contribute?

    -Stop talking about emigrating. Sure, we would be glad to have you but you will never save your country by keeping an eye on the exit. Now is the time to be thinking about the fight.

    Speaking of thinking – This is a libertarian blog. One of the weaknesses of libertarianism is its lack of mechanisms for concerted action. It might only be a system that can survive in a world with some decidedly unlibertarian force available to protect it.

    Or not.

    If that last remark irritates some of you enough to argue the point, this would be a good time for some ideas. How do you incite very independent, somewhat self interested people into sacrificing their time and money (and later, perhaps a great deal more) for something that may not repay that investment to them personally?

    -Another question: Assuming the worst, that Britain slides down the memory hole, is there a way to institute a sort of poison pill now, something that will make the EU disgorge an unpalatable meal later?

  • Dean

    All this talk about Brits emigrating to the States if Britain self-distructs is part of the problem. It’s fine for an individual, but a nation only contains a small minority who really care about Liberty.

    For over 200 years, America has been sopping up that small minority from nations accross the globe. I suspect we’ve snagged virtually all of the European ones. Soon we’ll have most of the Asian, African, and Latin-American liberty-philes as well.

    The truly tragic outcome for the world of America’s immigration policy isn’t a brain-drain, it’s a spine-drain. I think that’s part of the reason why Cuba has never gotten rid of Castro. All the Cubans who really hate that SOB are either drowned or living in Miami.

    I’m not suggesting that there is a solution to this problem. I think liberty-phile immigrants to America are great (I married one). But for other countries there is a downside.

    The United States of America was settled and founded by authority-loathing malcontents. In any society, there is a finite number of those people to go around. And generation after generation of them continue to head down to the US embassy to get visas. It’s got to take its toll.

    Robert Heinlein posited that space travel would destroy the Earth for the same reason. Space is where the bright and the brave can find their futures, leaving the Earth’s future in the hands of the ever more stupid and cowardly.

    If you are an American (or thinking about becoming one), revel in your country’s capacity to fire the imagination and desires of the world’s misfits, rogues, refugees and renegades. But take a moment to pity those nations that have lost that capacity, along with any hope of a brighter future.

  • M. Simon

    Perry de Havilland,

    Point taken. The right to bear arms in America is coming back though based on judges enforcing the original document. So at least we have something to point to.

    And you would need to Ammend it before such drastic changes as the pEU Constitution suggests. That would slow things down.

    Any way “British Constitution First” might put some sand into the gears. Or at least create discussion.

  • charliecat

    I am a British expat living in Texas. Feel more patriotic about the UK living here than I did at at home. I fly the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes at my restaurant and my home. We buy only British and American cheeses and there is not a single French wine on the menu. I would go home, but can’t afford to live there thanks to taxes and the outrageous housing market. The rot set in for England years ago when she joined the common market. My sister is a dairy farmer and has quotas governing how much milk she can take to market. Where is the incentive to do better? The EU is nothing more than gift-wrapped communism. I have learned a few things over here that might be helpful to your cause. The average American that I come in contact with knows far less about British and European politics than they should. The fact that Blair supported the US in gulf war II makes him a “good guy”. This is such a vast country and people work an average of 55 hours a week and seem to have little time for any news other than local or state issues. We are fed the national news, but it very rarely deals with international issues-other than the Middle East. So you start with education. The only British perspective we get over here is the BBC and God help me, what is going on with them? Are they now an affiliate of Al-jazeera? We need to start demanding another, less left perspective. Americans need to stop the tax-payer funding for the public broadcasting channel that carries this drivel. Americans respect crass commmercialism, someone with money in the UK needs to get the message out on some popularly consumed product-anyone heard of “Mecca cola”? Put your message out in commercials on American tv. Americans love the internet, send us some British government e-mail adresses that we can inundate with our protests. Get some internet protests going that we can sign and send to number 10 and The White House. All Americans should know that it is not in their best interests to lose their greatest ally in the foul and stinking melting pot of the EU. All of us over here can lobby our congressman and representatives with just a simple e-mail. Can you come up with a pithy message for us to send, many people will not understand the intricacies of the EU problem, so keep it simple! I love this country where I have been made a welcome guest even though I am homesick every day. But I am homesick for the way things used to be. What happened to the kind of national pride that my grandmother used to feel? Why does it seem as though the apologists and the p/c commandos are running the UK. Why do you accept immigrants who hate everything that England stands for? Get out your patriotism, find your pride, remember what made England great in the first place. Literature, architecture, rule of law, honesty, good manners, the countryside, tolerance-but not at the expense of eveything we know to be good and true, political freedoms, bravery and stoicism, the willingness to die for someone elses freedom, generosity, loyalty and integrity. The Americans are not afraid of patriotism, and neither are they afraid to criticise their government. Wave the Union Jack for goodness’ sake. Remember what it stands for, wear it on t-shirts, put it on stickers. There is nothing wrong with a little pride in what our grandfathers died for. I will do everything that I can over here, I already spend my days explaining that I am not European! Another thing, America is very much a two party system and even though England is a little different, don’t waste your vote on an ideal or a party that stands no hope in hell of winning. When my father became tired of Conservative trickery and arrogance, he voted Independant and promptly handed Labour a victory.Don’t split your vote to the effect that it becomes worthless. Godd luck to you, take care of my beloved country until I can come home. Thankyou.

  • Liberty Belle

    Thank you for all the intelligent and shrewd posts from American commentators.

    Two things: There is a group which is going to run a referendum anyway, despite cowardly Blair’s refusal to do so. (By the way, how bad does it have to be when the French are behaving more democratically, by holding a referendum, than the British?) They need to raise £20m. This will probably be forthcoming, but if it is not, why not a pay-for-referendum? You would have to pay £1 for your ballot paper at the polling station. Old age pensioners could be charged 50P.

    Blair fears a referendum because he knows the great indifferent mass wouldn’t bother to vote. (To Americans: Blair put on a good show for you. He is a weak and cowardly dimwit, but this was his chance to have his photo taken coming and going from the White House and posing with a real elected president, Mr Bush. This was all done with an eye to impressing France and Germany with how “presidential” he is. The man’s a vapid poseur.)

    And speaking of Mr Bush brings me to my second point. Mr Bush doesn’t like Tony Blair’s politics. He plays his cards so close to his chest that we have no way of knowing what he really thinks of Blair himself – although I think we know how Mr Rumsfeld feels. But President Bush does get on well with William Hague. They are in sync. It is inconceivable to me that Mr Hague and Mr Duncan Smith (for Americans, the Leader of the Opposition)have not been having conversations with the president. I’m not saying it’s high on Mr Bush’s agenda, but he will be aware of our concerns and will listen in particular to William Hague. The two of them are comfortable together.

  • You can challenge me, and I welcome it, but the evidence is all against you.

    Liberty Belle,

    You stand on the shoulders of your giants and wag your pointy fingers at us. Fine, but don’t accuse me of anything lest I make something up about you.

  • Liberty Belle

    PS – My comments about the foul Tony Blair should not be interpreted in any way as a criticism of our military presence in Iraq. It is right that we were there. But had it not been for his ambitions in Europe, former CNDer and appeasenik Tony Blair would never have ordered our military to Iraq.

  • cheshirecat,

    I got it…I believe its a EU-styled car registration plate. Each country has it’s own logo on the left.

    Kerching! I could never bring myself to buy a car sporting such a plate.

    Liberty Belle,

    My last comment makes little sense as I thought you were writing from the states as a US citizen. My bad.

  • Almanack

    America is helping, indirectly: (1) we’re embarking on a project to punish France, hopefully reducing both its ambition to act outside its borders and its ability; and (2) we’re continuing to diminish the UN. In [US] football this is known as “running interference,” smackin down one of the guys who are trying to smack you.

    Failing that, I have a guest room where you can crash.

  • Is there a reputable organization pushing for a referendum? I would gladly hit PayPal to support such a resolution or to help agitate for one.

  • Some of the people posting comments here have lost all comprehension of what is going on. There are people talking about military intervention, the end of Britain, the Queen bravely stepping in to defend her loyal subjects – all this is total crap. Go and find out about the EU Constitution by reading the news instead of the opinions of about three people on here who want you to believe the EU is a vast socialist conspiracy. I suspect they really are deluded into thinking this is true.

    As for the removal of Blair, or some kind of American rescue via Hague and Duncan Smith (they are both such implausible saviours that anyone who knows anything about British politics would find the idea laughable), it won’t happen. Not because the British public will allow themselves to be deprived of their democracy, but because it really isn’t as bad as some people are trying to make out. I’m not really happy with a lot of this Constitution either, and I want a referendum on it (please note that a variety of prominent socialists, Tony Benn etc, have been demanding the same thing), but I don’t believe that this is the end of Britain.

  • Here’s my pissweak effort at the graphic design…

  • Brian

    Jim Bennett is right. A single press release about how France is going to be dictating foreign policy to England, thus taking away our only Euro ally, could get this in the news. A big enough movement could be set up to sway US policy toward Euroskepticism in a fairly short time. Who best to organize it, I wonder? What interest groups would get behind it?

  • David Mercer

    Wow Chris, have you been reading the same document I have?

    Yes, I’ve read the whole bloody thing, have you?

    I know I must not be smoking whatever you are…

  • Yes I have read the whole thing, and as I say I am not happy with it. What bothers me is the exaggeration.

  • Chris,

    I am aware that a lot of people on the left, such as Tony Benn, are deeply skeptical about this constitution. I hope that they will start making a lot of noise about it and therefore launch an attack on two fronts.

    I am sure a lot of Labour Party backbenchers and grassroots supporters would love nothing better than shafting Tony Blair.

  • Chris,

    I dunno… it’s pretty big… one might say “vast”.

    It appears to contain elements of socialism, both in its language and its proposed execution…

    If it’s not a conspiracy, there does appear to have been some collusion, some attempt to circumvent such devices as referendum voting, some dismissal of the British hoi polloi as not being sophisticated enough to understand the issues.

    Is it the end of Britain? Well, what do you think? I admit, I’m only just absorbing the scope of the issues involved here [insert self-deprecating humor about being a stupid ‘murican]. If not “the end of Britain”, certainly a distinct possibility for a significant change in how Britain is governed, how it’s run? A change that many here feel will ultimately be unpleasant, deplorable, or destructive.

    I looked over your website, as well as some of your links. The best I can tell you is that I like your design. It’s rather clean and uncluttered and the colors are soft.

    But I’m curious now. What it is it YOU don’t like about the EU Constitution, or the plans to implement it?

  • Liberty Belle

    Chris, With respect, you say that you are “not happy with a lot of this constitution either”, which would seem to indicate that you are oblivious to the dangers it poses to national sovereignty. Those of us who wish to preserve Britain as an independent country, are not happy with ANY of this constitution. That a federal constitution be proposed for a former free trade zone is presumptuous. This constitution is designed to force formerly free nations into a federal construct, and many of us in Britain want it halted. No fidgeting around with clauses, no Tony Blair deflecting attention from the wrongness of the whole enterprise by saying he’s taking a tough line to getting “the best deal for Britain” because we shouldn’t be making deals over our national sovereignty.

    BTW, you do William Hague an injustice. I’m not saying they’re best buds, but he does have access to Mr Bush.

    JohnJo – No probs.

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    You don’t need no stinkin’ PERMISSION for asylum here in the U.S.

    You don’t need no stinkin’ green card.

    You don’t need no stinkin’ visa.

    All you need is a competent “coyote.” A sus ordenes. Meet me in Monterrey and I’ll have you in Dallas a couple of days later if you don’t mind wet feet and some caliche in your socks.

  • Hi Chris,

    I’m unsure as to your political orientation, but if you were a follower of Karl Marx’s fallback idea of creating a social democratic Utopia, via the ballot box rather than via the bullet in the back of the neck, how would you do it? Putting my devout Marxist hat on, (and I was such an idiot, until well after my 30th year), this is how I would do it:

    Marxist Hat ON

    • I would base myself in my philosophical homeland of Germany and France, the roaming ground of Hegel, Marx, Napoleon, Kant, Sartre, and other assorted violent destroyers and idiots.
    • I would pretend to be democratic, having seen honest revolutionaries fail in Russia and elsewhere.
    • I would slowly subvert democracy, steal or distort the language of liberty to throw off my accusers and enemies, and gradually form an unspoken aristocracy of fellow travellers. What better than to call this a “liberal” elite, to really turn white into black, and make two plus two equal five? 🙂
    • I would gradually raise taxes, intervene, cause capitalist failure through regulation, thereby allowing myself the excuse to interfere even further, raise even more taxes, etc, etc, until at least half of the economy was in my hands (though 40% will do nicely).
    • I would take over the schools, with other fellow travellers, and educate children away from capitalism. I would never ban non-state education, as this would raise too many alarm bells, but would gradually tighten the screw to make it less and less palatable, either financially or “morally”.
    • Once secure in my own domain, I would link up with other like-minded fellows, and form a “common market”, gradually moving towards a “community”, then a “union”.
    • I would remove all defended borders, using the language of liberty (free market, trading partners, etc), I would then start linking further countries together one by one, as their social democrat governments topple capitalism bit by bit, through ever increasing statism, the failure of each new control, leading to ever more controls. Lovely.
    • Using that favorite Marxist phrase, “The Inevitability of History”, I would then start taking direct control of these countries, tiny increment by tiny increment, so that the ratcheting process is barely noticeable. This process would be never-ending. Capitalists are so smug, living off the backs of the workers and the fat of the land, that they’ll never notice anyway.
    • We’d slowly introduce ID cards, remove habeas corpus, juries, and all the other paraphenalia of a failed history, which would get in the way of later true command socialism. The People decide the laws, and who is in need of re-education (and I will represent the people).
    • One day, without even knowing the exact day, the People will wake up free from capitalism, into a perfect state run by the workers, for the workers, with me and my friends in temporary control until the state withers naturally away (though this may not be possible until we’d extended this Nirvana across the face of the globe, and removed all potential aggressors – eg. The United States.)

    The lesson of history has taught we Marxists that we must be less direct. We must sneak up from behind, and use every capitalist trick we can to prevent the enemy from seeing our subterfuge. We must hire as much of the workforce as we can, to get them to vote for us, we must blame supra-national organisations, or capitalist greed, for all the bad things that happen, we must talk continuously of the “Inevitability” of our destiny. And then, when we finally slough off the evil of capitalism, the People will be truly grateful, for we will have delivered them into a world of peace, opportunity, and freedom. The birds will sing, and choirs will form spontaneously, singing Hallelujah. Before we burn down the churches, of course. Except where they’re really pretty (and I will be the judge of that.)

    Marxist Hat OFF

    Well, that’s how I would do it. Does the process outlined above remind you of anything? Again I ask you, if you were to try to create a socialist utopia, in Europe, how would you do it? I would suggest it would not be too dissimilar from what has actually happened.

    But aside from all that, the most worrying aspect of the Euro constitution is not all the fancy-dancy detail, about which ex-President can do what shilly-shallying to whom. It is the absolute central removal of the right of a future British parliament to repeal this dangerous Act, whatever it’s to be called (I would suggest the treaty is signed in Nuremburg, to give it a really evocative title.) This Constitutional Act’s signing, by the Queen, will make it illegal for her, or her successor, to repeal it. As she will be passing that legal right upwards to Brussels. That is why it so fundamentally changes the unwritten constitution of this country (that any parliament may repeal the acts of any other previous parliament), and that is why it is so dangerous, and why we absolutely must have a Yes or No referendum on it. Or just plain abandon it.

    As long as a future parliament can remove and clean up the mess Tony Blair and his useful idiots have created, this country stands a chance. Once he makes himself and his gang a permanent feature, as this move is surely intended to do, and we can’t get rid of socialism, we’ve had it; better book those German lessons and get used to being free to do whatever it is you’re told to do.

    Forget the detail, concentrate on the main big point. This constitutional move is irrevocable. That means one of two things. It will either last forever, or there will be a war. Assuming that nothing ever lasts forever, that means a war. That’s how wars happen. Go and buy a history book if you don’t believe me.

    To all of my idiot irrationalist Marxist friends reading this, with whom it’s not really even worth debating the price of fish, as your brains are such mush, Valery Giscard d’Estaing really has made all this a bit obvious. Couldn’t he have waited until we’d been shoe-horned into the Euro, when it would’ve seemed less obvious? But that’s socialism for you, always failing, always another generation of idiots waiting to give it yet “another” try. Vive le UK! 😉

  • S. Weasel

    Andy: yow!

  • Startlingly well-written. Hard to refute. Puts things into perspective.

  • Conrad Burns

    For anyone who wants to raise their voice against the EU madness before it’s too late you might try this.

  • Someone in the UK needs to convince Rupert Murdoch to join the fight to save Britain.

  • T. Hartin

    Really, there are two, maybe three things you need to know about the EU Constitution:

    (1) Nations may not secede from the EU without the EU’s permission.

    (2) Acts of the EU have primacy over acts of the member provinces (or states, whatever).

    (3) (This is optional) The EU bureaucracy has been structured and staffed by those master bureaucrats, the French, to give primacy to France. This primacy will be nearly impossible to dislodge without unmaking the EU.

  • Katherine

    I love Britain. I admire Britain. Britain gave us Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, John Stewart Mill etc etc. etc. British people developed concept of individual liberty. Without Britain there would be no American Constitution (no matter how abused since). How can you give it all up? How can you give up your sovereignty? Freedom? Individualism?

    Somebody on this thread accused us Americans of indifference. I hardly think that any, even verbal, intervention from the US government would be welcome ? that would be meddling in British internal affairs, wouldn?t it?
    But, should any of you Brits decide to leave your shores for the last semi-free country (that would be US of A), individual Americans can act as your sponsors. Anyone can do it. If asked, we can help.

  • I wrote a long comment but the bastard computer crashed when I pressed post and the whole thing was tragically lost. I really cannot bring myself to rewrite the entire thing.

    Nepenthe, my objection to the Constitution is basically that it preserves undemocratic institutions such as the Council and the Commission at the expense of the directly-elected Parliament.

    David Carr, I agree, and I am happy to join everyone here in calling for a referendum on this.

    Andy Duncan, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, but you’ve really twisted things in the point-by-point analysis, and some of your logic is bizarre. Anyway the Constitution isn’t irrevocable: it even has a get-out clause for countries who might decide to leave the Union in the future. For your information my political orientation is well left of Blair (he is, after all, a Thatcherite masquerading as a social democrat). If you want a pigeonhole put me somewhere around the Benn/Livingstone mark maybe. I’m not a Marxist and I don’t want a revolution.

    The EU is not a new Soviet Union for the West, nor is the Constitution a socialist document. It has good bits and bad bits, but overall I think I want it thrown out. I am in fact pro-European. I just despair at the way it seems to be developing. Let’s hope a referendum can send them back to the drawing board. If they gave it a really good rewrite I’d be all in favour.

    I went on to talk about the Growth and Stability Pact, unaccountability of bodies such as the ECB, the suggestion that the Constitution contains socialist elements, and quite a bit more.

    Anyway that’s computers for you….

  • Understood. After having I don’t know how many absolutely brilliant emails, forum posts, product reviews, and blog entries destroyed over the decade, I’ve become O-C about doing the highlight and CTRL-C thing periodically while typing and always always before hitting any ‘post’ or ‘send’ buttons. Actually, I type in .txt files if it’s more than a page. Few things hack me off more than instantly losing something I put a lot of thought into.

    Anyway, thanks for the reply the computer *didn’t* thoughtlessly trash.

  • I’d echo Liberty Belle in stating that the ovrwhelming response from Americans here (my carping aside) has been a refreshing reminder of why their politics have been better than ours.

    Some have asked: how can we help and I would refer to Jim Bennett’s comment above: giving an Anglosphere response.

    Over and out.

  • If you don’t mind, I’ll purloin James Bennett’s comment for Airstrip One.

  • T. Hartin

    Chris –

    You should read the fine print.

    “Anyway the Constitution isn’t irrevocable: it even has a get-out clause for countries who might decide to leave the Union in the future. ”

    Yeah, you can withdraw from the EU if the EU gives you permission to withdraw, after you agree to the EU’s terms and conditions. In my book, that means you can’t withdraw.

  • Andy Duncan

    Hi Chris,

    I think there’s hope for you yet, despite your current political position. Your constant monitoring of Samizdata tells me your unconscious is rebelling, and really wants to come to the side of light and goodness.

    If any part of you agrees with that statement, you may wish to try my patented Cure for Socialism.

    Rgds,
    AndyD

    PS: I would add to these books, Karl Popper’s “The Open Society and its Enemies”.

    PPS: To get the cure really going off quickly, I thoroughly recommend Herr Von Mises’ “The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality”

  • Frank

    I don’t understand this British obsession with “Europe”. Maybe it made some sense before the 747, Fed-Ex & the Internet, but now is the Atlantic really that much wider than the Channel? You want NAFTA? All you have to do is ask, Bush would do it in a heartbeat, and there’s no way Congress would demur. You want reciprocal citizrenship and complete freedom of abode? Right now I think that’s doable too. If you feel you have to join _something_, come where everybody knows your name..

  • Chris,

    You seem to think that this thread is filled with scare-mongering and exaggerations. But what if they’re right? It will be too late for you and your kind (those with their heads in the sand) because

    A. Your slave masters in Brussels will already have consolidated power and shown you exactly how your “escape clause” just turned into guard towers and concertina wire.

    B. The British Army isn’t going to do jack shit, because they will be scattered, absorbed into different units in the European forces and unable to mount any effective, organized resistance.

    C. In the absence of direct American intervention, British citizens aren’t going to be able to free themselves, because you allowed your government to disarm you. Any representatives of the European forces stationed in Britian will be from other countries, so they have no sympathy with the local populace.

    D. Since speaking out against this new regime will soon be outlawed, you can look forward to a knock on your door in the middle of the night for attempting to organize your fellow Brits to either escape or revolt.

    I feel bad for Brits, I really do. Mostly because people like yourself have no idea of what’s coming. You look at this bill of sale Constitution and think, “hey, that’s not so bad, we’ll all be working together.” That’s YOUR end of the spectrum. MY end of the spectrum interprets it as “Chris and his fellows will be lucky to get a scrap of meat in his gruel bowl ten years from now.”

    One of us is wrong. If I’m wrong, I’ll say you were right, apologize, and you can bask in the glow of a revitalized and prosperous Europe.

    If YOU are wrong, it’ll be too late, slave boy. What if you’re wrong?

    If we have to liberate Britian down the line, I’ll gladly go back into uniform and fight for them. If they piss away their freedom willingly, I’ll still support allowing every British refugee to stay. So if the thought of what could happen if you ARE wrong frightens you in the least, you Brits better get fucking cracking NOW. March down to Parliament and drag those fuckers out into the street if you have to. Ignore that queasy feeling in your stomach at your own peril, like Chris is trying to.

  • As a self confessed numb nuts would someone please explain to me who the “loyal” opposition are in the European “Parliament”? As far as I can see there isn’t one. If we were to argue that the opposition comes from within each member state what relevence does it have if each member state is surrendering the laws that govern it to a “Parliament” which is utlimately more powerful than itself? If this is true then doesn’t that effectively create a totalitarian state in all but name? Moreover where are the checks and balances in the EU “Parliamentary” system?
    If I may recommend an interesting book on the history and purpose of the EU please take a look at “Britain Held Hostage” by Lindsay Jenkins who has too many qualifications to speak on this matter to list here.

    Note to Andy:
    I don’t know if you have read the aforementioned book but you could have written the foreword to it. As it happens Frederick Forsyth did.
    I thoroughly enjoyed your insight especially as a former Marxist

  • JamesT

    Ummm. Not to rub salt in the wounds, but I bet the Brits wish they still had their personal firearms. If not now, then in about ten years. Slightly paranoid thinking on my part, but jeesh, that panty liner constitution is slightly unnerving…..

  • Steve Lehn

    Hi, another American chiming in here. Here’s a short column from a favorite Rightist pundit of mine concerning the fascist background of a united Europe. Has anyone read this book he’s talking about?

    http://www.richardpoe.com/column.cgi?story=123

  • Jim

    I notice all of this talk about the UK and its relationship with the EU and the US, as though these are the only two options. What about the Commonwealth, the Queen’s other subjects? Don’t we count for anything? I believe that Britain should be part of neither the EU or a non-existent ‘special relationship” with the US. The time has come to strengthen and possibly unite the Crown Commonwealth – Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK should form their own union which can be an independent force. This is the third option and deserves some consideration from the British. After all, we were at Britain’s side from the start in both world wars (I am Canadian).