Day Democracy Died

Fifth March 2015 was the 7th anniversary of the day democracy died in the United Kingdom.  On that day of infamy in 2008 a majority of the elected representatives of the people voted in the House of Commons against holding a referendum on the Lisbon (European Reform) Treaty.  They did this contrary to the pledges, in the manifestos of all the main political parties in the 2005 General Election, that they would hold a referendum on the European Union Constitution. The Labour and Liberal Democrat parties reneged on their pledges, going through contortions in the process.  Both parties tried to justify their stance by claiming that the Lisbon Treaty and the Constitution were not the same, even though a clause by clause comparison proved they were.

Tony Blair, when Prime Minister, was an architect and champion of the Constitution and its derivative Treaties.  Acting through the EU Council, comprising all the Heads of Government, they directed the work of the European Commission and its President.  He does not have clean hands on this and his pledge in the 2005 Labour manifesto to hold a referendum was a cynical political move to counter the Conservative Party pledge.  Gordon Brown was PM by the time a vote was held in the House of Commons and applied the Party whip to force Labour MPs to vote against holding a referendum.  To their credit 29 Labour MPs revolted in favour of the referendum with 308 dishonouring their manifesto promise.

Nick Clegg was not LibDem Leader in 2005, but as a party candidate had signed up to the Liberal Democrat election manifesto.  He became Leader in 2007 and adopted a most unusual and contrary position.  He was in favour of an in-out referendum on EU membership, but opposed holding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.  To this end he applied the Party whip to force their MPs to abstain from the vote.  This resulted in 50 complying, but 13 followed their conscience and their manifesto promise to vote in favour of holding the referendum.

David Cameron was Leader of the Conservative Party in 2005 and, even though he lost the general election, he stood by their manifesto pledge with 186 Conservative MPs voting in favour of the referendum.  Maverick MPs, of which there was 3 including Kenneth Clark, voted against.  A further 20 MPs, comprised of independents and national parties, voted in favour of the referendum.  In 2010 David Cameron again pledged to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, but it was ratified by Gordon Brown before the General Election.  Instead he introduced legislation to ensure that future EU treaties would need the approval of the people.

The manifestos and pledges of political parties have become increasingly meaningless.  In the ten years since 2005 the issue of the UKs membership of the EU has festered because of the refusal to hold a referendum.  Tony Blair, Leader of the Labour Party in 2005, has reappeared to publicly attack David Cameron’s current pledge to hold a membership referendum.  Nick Clegg, Leader of the LibDems since 2007, says he agrees with Mr Blair.  Blair is backing Ed Milliband 100% and wants Labour to win “for the future of the country”, claiming the referendum is a huge distraction with the possibility of a UK exit a “pall of unpredictability hanging over the British economy”.

Blair’s further words of wisdom on the event of the voters making the wrong decision to leave the EU; it would “leave Britain diminished in the world” and take the country “out of the leadership game” globally.  In this respect he is deliberately misleading and plain wrong.  The UKs leading position in the world is not enhanced by EU membership, where our views are watered down as one of twenty-eight, resulting in a diluted EU external affairs policy stance.  Within the Group of 7 leading world economies the UK along with France, Germany and Italy are independently represented.  The UK position at the United Nations is pre-eminent as a founder of the UN during WW2 and defender of democracy.  This is recognised by the UKs permanent membership of the UN Security Council and one of only five with a veto over decisions, with this position being non-negotiable.  This places a great responsibility on the UK, which should be a force for good, but unfortunately this is not always so when it pursues a population-control agenda.

David Cameron says he is putting the country first in seeking an in-out vote on the UKs continuing membership of the EU following the negotiation of reforms.  The promised referendum is also conditional on the Conservative Party getting an overall majority in the forthcoming General Election.  These caveats are higher than the jumps at Aintree race course.  He has clearly indicated that his preference is to remain in full membership of the EU with some powers repatriated from the European Commission in Brussels.  Any such powers that are returned will be trivial compared to the reforms that are really going to make a difference.  The relenting march towards a Federal EU reached a tipping point with the adoption of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty which reformed the EU, thereby making it into a State with a Constitution.  The Constitution was rejected in referenda by the people of France and the Netherlands.  Undeterred the European Commission resurrected it by reworking the contents of the Constitution.  The existing Treaty on the European Union [TEU] was amended to include elements of the Constitution.  The Treaty establishing the European Community [TEC] was renamed as the Treaty on the functioning of the Union [TFEU].  This resulted in the EU having a single legal personality.  The word Community was replaced by the word Union so that the Union replaces and succeeds the Community – which is the EEC that the people of the UK voted for in 1975.  This provided for the EU to be recognised by the Council of Europe as a separate State.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary it was stated that the TEU and the TFEU would not have a constitutional character and would only deal with institutional arrangements.  In fact they created the new posts of President of the EU Council and External Affairs High Representative, as provided for in the failed Constitution.  The intent was to deceive all European citizens into believing that a referendum on the Constitutional Treaties was not required, but with some minor exceptions the Constitution and the two Treaties are exactly the same.  Those exceptions were references to mention of the symbols of the EU – the flag, anthem and motto – which were deleted but they still exist.

With the financial crisis in 2008 and severe repercussions in Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Cyprus that put the future of the Euro currency in doubt, the opportunity was taken to further integrate the economies of the Euro Zone countries and reduce their sovereign competencies.  It is the competencies handed to the European Commission by the Constitutional Treaties that need to be reduced, with a consequential reduction in the number of Commissioners with portfolios.  This would radically reduce the scope for interference by Brussels.  The European elite will not let that happen and neither will their Quislings in the UK.

The issue of the UKs membership of the EU is a boil that must be lanced.  The people must be allowed to vote and the politicians must be side-lined.  Whichever way the vote goes it must be accepted once and for all times, so that we can move forward to a certain future free from division.

There are two clear camps.  The politicians and political parties who want the people to vote in a referendum are pro-democratic.  The Christian Democratic Party is in the democratic camp, as befits our title. The politicians and political parties that would deny the people a vote are anti-democratic.  The Liberal Democrats, contrary to their title, are in the anti-democratic camp with Nick Clegg labelling those demanding a vote as unpatriotic.  And then there is the Scottish National Party.  They are opposed to holding a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU, but if a referendum does take place they want to be able to veto it if the people of Scotland vote against.  That is hardly democratic and given that having lost the Scottish independence referendum they desire a second referendum, there is a lack of consistency with an odious opportunism.



One Response to Day Democracy Died

  1. Richard says:

    I am sure that this isn’t meant to sound as though Cameron is a decent guy, but I rather fear that it does. Even if only because your criticisms of his opponents seem to outweigh those aimed at him.

    Yes Cameron has promised a Referendum.
    But first of all that relies on a Conservative Majority which as he knows is highly unlikely.

    Then, he is planning to negotiate first. He knows he will get nothing concrete. In fact that has been reiterated again this week by Juncker. I rather suspect that there is some chance that the UK will be given exemptions from certain regulations that many countries already exempt themselves from and Cameron will laud it as a great victory.
    Cameron has already said that he wants to stay in the EU. He wants to extend it to the Ural Mountains. He is of course entitled to his own opinion.
    However, in the unlikely event of a referendum taking place do we really believe that he will allow Government ministers (my predictive text tried to change this to monsters) to campaign against?
    Will he guarantee equal funding or will the EU pump in money openly or otherwise?
    Will the BBC be required to be impartial? If it’s going to be in 2017 then it had better start now at least learning what the word means.

    Cameron will do everything in his power to ensure that the result is to stay in.

    Juncker’s statement means that there is no point trying to negotiate. Let’s have the referendum this year and get an answer.

    A real democrat would ensure that the debate was fair. We don’t need to try hard to see how susceptible people are to subtle and not so subtle bullying. The fact that a majority supposedly support the (at best) nonsense that is “Same Sex Marriage” shows what an alliance of the media and government can do.

    Even if we get a referendum, very unlikely, the bias will almost certainly mean that all that will come of it is two years of uncertainty that will undoubtedly have a negative effect on the economy.

    Cameron is making this offer to win some voters back from UKIP. That’s all.

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