Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Least Worst Option

I have been looking forward to this election for a long, long time.  I have been yearning for the simple pleasure of watching Gordon Brown issue a concession speech on the early hours of 7th May when it becomes clear that his beloved Labour Party has been completely wiped out in the polls with the Great British People having issued a stinging and lasting rebuke to kick the Socialists into the long grass for a decade or so.

But as time has rolled on by and as the election has drawn closer the reality of the situation and that of our politics has become more and more clear.  The three "main" Parties have all set themselves out on a course over the past year that in many ways is spectacularly similar.  Elections are no longer about people voting for what they want their MPs to do, and elections no longer provide for a democratically charged change of direction.  Elections are now used, here in this country of ours as a mandate for Governing in a way that the overwhelming majority of people do not agree with.  Manifestos are no longer adhered to, the policies are largely the same; our function as voters is reduced to changing a few of the main characters every five years or so and even then we are not exactly torn by the selection on offer, we seldom regret not electing certain individuals do we?  We are continuously picking and actively screening for the least worst candidate.  Those who are eventually deselected via ballot go on to lucrative and unelected positions either in the House of Lords or in Europe. 

Why are the political parties in the UK all offering much the same?  The answer is simple, they all must operate within the guidelines of what the EU lets them govern.  In other words, the EU makes the laws for us in the areas in which it chooses, then our Parliament and our political parties operate in the waste land that the EU does not deem important enough to already legislate on.  This election is worse, because post-Lisbon the EU controls so much more and is building the framework to seize control of our markets and our diplomatic service.  Do not kid yourselves that this decreasing sphere of legislative freedom will not get smaller and smaller as the EU expandes again in the coming years.

Look at what according to the House of Lords the EU has sole control over.

Look also at some more seized EU broad controls:

And, they were good enough to share these, though don't forget that EU law has primacy in the UK, so by "share" they mean that they are prepared to and empowered to over rule with anything they disagree with.  You will hear our home grown parties talking about these policies, but run down the list and you will understand that their similarities are based upon the extent in which they think they can manoeuvre without being over ruled by the EU.

And lastly, the these are things the EU likes to control some funding and will be seizing overall control over at a later date.

So with so much hanging in the control of the EU, and with the people we put in Westminster the only ones who can both speak up for us, and maybe, just maybe work to bring control and decision making back to our shores and place it back into the hands of voters it really does matter who we vote for - but don't let any candidate or any party tell you that this election is not about Europe or the EU because it really is.  There are Euro ID Cards, Policing, Harmonised and Centrally Collected Taxes (probably VAT), all to come from the EU before the next UK Election on top of the surrendered competencies.

The only mechanism available to us in the Post Lisbon world is a referendum of the people of the United Kingdom asking for consent to remain in the EU with our present relationship.  There is no other mandate now for withdrawal - even repeal of the 1972 European Communities  Act probably won't do now we have signed into Lisbon as it formalises a drawn out and difficult divorce scenario, one which is designed to deter exit - in keeping with the "progressive" style legislation enacted by the EU which always points in one direction.

If you, like me are completely sick of this scenario, we have one month to make our voices heard.  There are options.  Firstly, there is UKIP who are preparing to fight this election with a promise to provide a referendum on EU Membership.  UKIP are not everybodies cup of tea, but if you are voting with the EU in mind, then UKIP must be considered.  They are clearly a compatible vote for disgruntled Tories. 

There is Jury Team who are a Party of Independents, who have an over-reaching set of shared aims, and at the top of that list is a referendum on continued EU Membership.

A lot of people though will want to still consider the main parties, and for them I would recommend they take a look at the Albion Alliance Pledge Pages, and see just which candidates are prepared to undertake this very simple pledge:

I pledge to work tirelessly to give the voters of my constituency a democratic and direct voice in the United Kingdom’s continued relationship with the EU.

I pledge that I will sponsor a Private Members Bill, written in clear concise terms, calling for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union – and/or support any motion for such a referendum – and to vote positively for any Bill that may call for such a referendum, irrespective of Party Whip, with a view to the successful outcome of this pledge within 1 year of a new Parliament or sooner.

I simply can't imagine voting for anybody who would not address this most pressing of issues. If your preferred candidate has no and will not sign up to this, can you trust them to act in your best interests in Parliament?

You can help, even though there is still time for candidates to declare there are 1,004 candidates that have yet to be contacted to see if they will pledge and a further 2,156 who have been contacted but have as yet not stated if they will or will not pledge.  The Albion Alliance is not a political party, it is a cross-party initiative that is open to all candidates - and all they have to do is sign their name up to the above pledge which is hardly asking much of them given how important and how widely popular such action would be.

There is also another option, as I mentioned there is still time to become a candidate.  Most of the seats targeted by the main parties are done and as good as closed.  This country is almost singularly brilliant in its inclusion of independent candidates in our elections, and they are often the most colourful and interesting candidates.  Independents essentially say to the main candidates that you cannot run in my constituency if you will not speak to my issues and I hope that Independent Candidates up and down the country take the fight to the LIB/LAB/CON Alliance of government only so far as the EU prescribes.

Lastly I hope what I am hearing that the new batch of Conservative Candidates being more EU Sceptic than the present bunch is true, but I hope they if elected to a majority government are prepared to act on those instincts.  [They can obviously start by signing the Albion Alliance Pledge!]  The Conservatives are driving people into the hands of UKIP and despite the threat of a Hung Parliament; they seem instead to prefer a hung parliament with a greatly reduced anti-EU vote, than an outright victory with an anti-EU membership vote.  Why is this?  I am one of those people who used to think the Conservatives were right about "being in Europe, but not run by Europe" and that "we can reform from within" but I was a sucker and more importantly I was wrong.  I want the Conservative Party to speak to Conservative issues, and at present it is not really doing that; I hope that this is a short term development and it will soon mend its ways.  But if David Cameron is to issue his "referendum lock" and if he is to renegotiate some powers back to the UK, perhaps he would be so good as to publish the legislation he intends to introduce for this referendum lock, and perhaps he will tell us how he intends to do the impossible and get certain controls back, because until he does I don't believe the Conservatives can make any claims to represent in any way the EU Sceptic and democracy loving millions of voters who still do not know for sure who they are going to vote for.


Witterings From Witney said...

Top post Daniel - and thanks on behalf of the AA for the 'plug'.

Your writing is a joy to read!

James Higham said...

Have to second that.