Post #1-of-4 on the subject of the UK’s EU Referendum: how will you decide?
Who Speaks for You?
Democracy in Moray has gone a bit pear shaped when it comes to the debate about whether the UK should ‘Remain’ in the European Union, or ‘Leave’ the Union. The political class in Moray in particular, and in Scotland as a whole – the Scottish Nationalists, the Tories, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, The Green Party – have all decided to coalesce around a predetermined view: the UK will be better off remaining in the European Union. Full stop. Too bad if you wish to explore the alternative option; nobody in Scottish politics is interested in your case. Apart from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), there isn’t a mainstream political party arguing for the UK to Leave the European Union. This is not democracy in action, it’s all but a one-party state, and that should make you uneasy.
The Libertarian View
Before we go any further you might ask what’s Moraymint’s political persuasion? Well, let’s be clear about what I’m not. I’m not a Scottish Nationalist; I’m not a Tory, nor a capitalist per se; I’m not a Labour supporter, nor a socialist; I’m not a Liberal Democrat; I’m not Green.I’m a Libertarian. I believe that liberty should be the core political value of modern civilisation, the one that gives substance and form to all the other values of social life.As a Libertarian I believe in maximising personal autonomy and freedom of choice; I’m keen on political freedom (rather than political parties joining forces to thump out a single view, for example); I believe in voluntary association (join whichever club you like, pray to whomever you like, donate money to whatever cause appeals to you, and so on and so forth); I believe in self-reliance and the primacy of individual judgement. Fundamentally, I’m suspicious of politicians and ‘the state’. The only political party that comes anywhere near Libertarianism is UKIP; that’s why I’m a member of UKIP and why I vote UKIP. It’s on this basis that I approach the question, should I vote for the UK to Remain in the EU, or to Leave?
The Political Class
Since the various mainstream political parties have chosen to coalesce around a single view – that the UK should Remain in the EU, come what may – it’s reasonable to lump those political parties together and refer to them collectively as The Political Class.In his book, The Triumph of the Political Class, Peter Oborne defines The Political Class as:
‘The new ruling elite of Britain, a group characterised by its professionalised attitude to politics rather than old fashioned ideology, and which has made party-political differences non-existent in its pursuit of power and patronage.’
I’m challenging The Political Class’s case for Remaining in the EU – and I’d like to share that challenge with you here.
Voting Intentions Today
Broadly speaking, at the time of writing, the opinion polls suggest one of two scenarios. Either the British electorate is evenly split between Remain and Leave, or the electorate is about 40% in favour of Remain, 40% in favour of Leave and 20% undecided. This, of course, is at odds with The Political Class which is 100% in favour of Remain. This disconnect between The Political Class and the voting public is stark. For me, it demonstrates the extent to which The Political Class is significantly out of touch with vast swathes of the people whom supposedly they serve.
On What Basis Should I Make My Decision?
Before we look at the various factors affecting your decision about the UK’s membership of the EU, we should ask if there is any fundamental factor to consider here. Is there a profound basis from which to explore the arguments for and against the European Union? Think of the EU as a club and imagine for a moment that you’re contemplating joining that club. Your first questions might include, ‘What’s this club all about? Who are its members? ‘Will I ‘fit’ in this club?’. We can summarise these musings in a single question, ‘What is the culture of the club which is the European Union?’. The culture of an organisation is the set of norms, values and beliefs which permeate the organisation and determine how its people behave. You then have to ask yourself whether you’d feel comfortable being a member of this club.
The Great Deception
If you were minded to read the unexpurgated history of the European Union (as I have), you would discover that it is a club founded upon deceit. Now, you don’t have to take my word for this; you could, for example, read Booker & North’s ‘The Great Deception’, or Marta Andreasen’s ‘Brussels Laid Bare’, or Craig & Elliott’s, ‘The Great European Rip-Off’, to name just three accounts of the dubious history and culture of the club you’re contemplating joining. Within these histories and descriptions, you will discover evidence of the deception at the heart of the European Union. Perhaps the motto of the European Union was best articulated by its founding father, Jean Monnet, a French political economist and diplomat revered by Europhiles, who said that:
‘Europe’s nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening.This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.’
A European Superstate
The point is that the central goal of the political and bureaucratic elites who govern us through the auspices of the European Commission is to form a single European superstate. The Political Class will deny this at every turn because it’s in their interest so to do. The Political Class will abide by the EU’s central deceit, that is to persuade you and me that the purpose of the Union is to secure economic advantage for its peoples. This is a lie touted by The Political Class consistent with the culture of the club of which you’re contemplating Remaining as a member, or Leaving.
When It Becomes Serious, You Have to Lie
At this point it’s worth referring to words spoken by the current President of the European Commission (our de facto Head of State), Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, who has said the following at certain times:
‘Monetary policy is a serious issue. We should discuss this in secret, in the Eurogroup … I’m ready to be insulted as being insufficiently democratic, but I want to be serious … I am for secret, dark debates.’
‘We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens. If no-one kicks up a fuss, because most people don’t understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back.’
‘When it becomes serious, you have to lie.’
You’re On Your Own
Remember that Mr Juncker has a supreme level of power over your life and mine. Independent research commissioned by ‘Business for Britain’ concluded that some 65% of the laws of our land now emanate from Mr Juncker’s unelected, unaccountable pseudo-government in Brussels, the European Commission. The UK has no meaningful influence over the workings of the European Union holding as it does just 1/28th, or less than 4% of the voting power of the club. The culture of the European Union is founded upon deceit, operates today on the basis of deceit and is not interested in anything the UK might propose to counter that deceit. Indeed, on the contrary, The Political Class stands four-square behind the European Union and lives by Jean-Claude Juncker’s propensity to lie. British politicians have bought into The Great Deception and are hardly going to explain to you and me the advantages of voting to Leave. It explains why no political party, bar one, is prepared to serve the 20 million or so British people either undecided about, or minded to vote for the UK to Leave the European Union. You’re on your own when it comes to researching the pros and cons of membership of the EU. Hence me putting up these posts in the coming weeks.
A Failure of Democracy
If you think about it, it’s a spectacular failure of democracy when 20 million voters have nowhere to go politically; when no political party speaks for half the nation’s electorate. Of course, UKIP argues that it is the political party of the Leavers, and this is indeed the case. However, the truth is that, for one reason or another, UKIP struggles somewhat to get widespread popular traction. Nonetheless, it’s my guess that UKIP’s popularity will increase in the coming weeks and months, if that’s not happening already. Meantime, that half of the British public minded perhaps to see the UK Leave the EU find themselves in the hands of a ragtag and bobtail of individual politicians deemed by The Political Class to be mavericks. This suits The Political Class and the European Union perfectly.
The Culture of the Club
This is nothing to do with Boy George. The point is this. As we prepare to look at the factors affecting your decision and mine to vote for the UK to Remain in, or to Leave the EU, henceforth please bear in mind the culture of the club of which you’re contemplating membership. At this stage you may wish to recall the occasion when Groucho Marx wrote to his club, the Friar’s Club of Beverly Hills, along the following lines:
‘Please accept my resignation.I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.
Perhaps Jean-Claude Juncker should write in similar vein to his club, the European Union? How do you fancy being a member of a club founded upon deceit?
‘There is no question of Britain losing essential national sovereignty.’
Edward Heath, Britain’s Prime Minister 1970 – 74
In the coming posts we’ll look at some of the hard factors – economic, political and social – affecting your decision and mine about the UK’s membership of the EU. Please comment on this post, challenging my own views if you wish. Indeed, why not link this post to your MP, your MSP, your MEP and your local councillor? Ask them for their views. Share it with your family and friends. Share it on Twitter. Share it on your Facebook page. Get the word out. Show The Political Class that they don’t have a monopoly on this debate. Remember that despite the best efforts of the Prime Minister (who is at the vanguard of The Political Class) to dictate a single view, you and I have a choice here. Don’t be intimidated; trust your great British judgement!
Ed: For very informative links, and for an outstanding video which is a must-watch, do visit Moraymint’s blog where this article was published in a longer version.