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On the brink

A quite splendid editorial in the Telegraph from George Trefgarne:

If Mr Blair signs the European constitution – which he seems determined to do – it will, as far as I can see, be the end of Britain as a serious independent power. It will also lead to the gradual redesigning of our institutional framework.

The euro beckons. Taxation and regulation would increase as we tilted towards the European social democratic model. Judging by the woes of Germany and France, economic growth would be lower and unemployment higher.

I can add little except a recommendation that the whole article be read in order to fully appreciate the monumental folly that Tony Blair seems determined to commit.

6 comments to On the brink

  • This constitution is indeed an unholy mess and Blair shouldn’t sign it, nor should anybody else.

    I doubt that any constitution drafted today would be much better, though. Considering the influence of the various interest groups and ideologues it would be very hard to keep highly specific, “positive” right out, as opposed to the negative “rights” (“government shall not…”) defined by any constitution worth the paper its written on. So any attempt to write a new one is ill-advised (and of course Giscard et al provide plenty of ill will).

    An aside: Keeping the existing constititions won’t stop the relentless pressure to convert republics with guaranteed individual rights into “straight” democracies where the tyranny of the majority rules. Any suggestions how to effetively resist this process?

  • Ralf,

    I totally understand your point. No system can really withstand a sustained assault by legions of people wielding stupid and destructive ideas. Even the US Constitution is beginning to bend under the weight of looters, regulators and PC fascists.

    Perry and I have discussed this and we have both agreed that the only reliable defence of good societies is a culture of freedom. Sadly, that is now a rare and dwindling phenomenon just about everywhere.

  • T. Hartin

    I second David’s comments. Institutional barriers to statism like the US Constitution are only effective if a significant fraction of the population is willing to stand up for freedom. I think the US Constitution was wrecked in the mid-’30s, when FDR “convinced” the Supremem Court the Consititution was not a serious impediment to the exercise of state power. Its been pretty much downhill for Constitutional government ever since.

  • S. Weasel

    Does Blair have the personal authority to sign off on the constitution and make it binding, or is this one of those “we don’t know, it never came up before” things?

  • Ron

    Just a tangential thought about negative “rights” (“government shall not…”).

    Most of the Ten Commandments are often seen by libertarians as being highly restrictive. However, if you restate them thus (for example):

    “You shall not steal”


    “You (plural) shall not take from someone against his will”,

    which, when you see the “someone” as yourself and the “You (plural)” as the rest of society and/or the government, translates quite neatly into the negative rights paradigm.

    Of course, you yourself are part of “society” from another person’s perspective.

  • Chris Josephson

    I can’t bear to watch, but I can’t help watching as the UK gives away its sovereignty.

    I’ve read that trial by jury will be eliminated. I can’t believe the UK would allow that. I can’t imagine a judicial system that doesn’t allow trial by jury. Seems barbaric to me.

    Still don’t understand what it will take for UK citizens to realize they are vassals of the EU and take to the streets in protest. I believe that Britons, Scots, Irish, and Welsh have their freedoms and liberties ingrained into their characters and will have to awaken *sometime* to the fact they are vassals of the EU state.