Wednesday, July 09, 2008

More European Anti-Democracy

THIS blogpost by Dan Hannan moves me one step further towards the Better Off Out cause. He tells the tale of how the European Parliament is trying to stamp out any opposition to the great European juggernaut by making it almost impossible for small groupings to be formed. It also has the effect of making it more difficult for the British Conservatives to leave the EPP. And who should support such a move? Why none other than Timothy Kirkhope MEP, former leader of the Conservative MEPs, and the man who wants his old job back. Fat chance.

UPDATE: To those EU defenders in the comments, imagine if Gordon Brown proposed a rule which said that you could only table an amendment to a Bill in the House of Commons if it was supported by more than two political party groupings in the House of Commons and more than thorty MPs. He would be accused of heading down the path to a dictatorship. What is different here?

30 comments:

Beachhutman said...

Come on Iain, MEPs and the EU commissars don't give a flying frock for democracy, never have, never will.We'll have to string them up one day.... after we've practiced on Nu labour.

John, Edinburgh said...

No Iain, what the post by Hannan tells you is that, errr, whatever the EP does, Hannan - who sits there - will not be happy.

One could observe that the changes, approved across parties, might just go some way to making parties which actually have something politically in common to work together - rather than just a low threshold to apply for soft money and committee positions with no obvious connection with your group "colleagues".

There will be over 750 MEPs, from 27+ Member States, and >200 national political parties. It actually seems to me that it might be a useful control on the use of public money.

Just because the EP does not have a majority which agrees with Hannan etc does not make it unrepresentative, or undemocratic...

Roger Thornhill said...

This has been a long time coming but the writing was on the wall.

Anyone who dared to point it out had been considered something akin to David Ike's mad cousin Ruprecht.


First they came for the fringe parties...

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Why we're better off out:

At some point this year, maybe next, the Euro is going to be ripped asunder as Spanish/Irish/Italian/Eastern European banks go tits up, whilst the Germans demand higher interest rates.
These are the days that History books are made of.
You heard it here first.
Bring back Maggie or vote UKIP.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

I'd like to know if I can see the European Union for breech of copyright, i.e. MEP = Mr Elvis Paisley. I was there first you bastards!

Richard Patient said...

Iain

What took you so long?

On a serious point, you now have NO CHANCE of getting any where serious in the higher echelons of the Tory Party.

David Cameron has decreed it, in his wisdom, that anyone who even mentions the name Better Off Out should be cast out into the wilderness.

I agree with DC on many things. I hope I agree with him on Europe - my problem is I don't know what he stands for on Europe.

ukipwebmaster said...

Careful Iain,
You're starting to sound a little bit UKIP.
(Or are you just playing to the gallery?)

Anonymous said...


Wait to see what warming really is.


-Satan-

Anonymous said...

Iain - welcome to the light. The EU is the cancer at the herat of our government.

Johnny Norfolk said...

We are just part of the EU dictatorship. Why are more people not up in arms about it. I dont think most Brits realise what we are drifting into. Where is Cameron on this.?

Anonymous said...

You and many,many others.
Dave better not make a mess of this one!

tapestry said...

Can we ask David Cameron to remove the title Conservative from those the Party sends to Brussels as MEPs?

Maybe Deservative, as they obviously think they deserve all the flthy lucre they obtain there.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

The EU is not a democratic organisation. I would have thought the lessons from the French and Dutch referendums. The Irish having two and now the Irish having said NO to the constitreaty
look as if they are being forced to have another referendum!

What manner of democracy is this?

Then we read that the EU is going to have EU police Stations throughout the EU, whereby police from other countries will be policing on our streets - and our police on their streets.

(Now, after your previous blog many may consider this a good thing!)

But, how long before the EU decide that those that do not believe in the EU will be moved to indoctrination camps?

Also, ready for any threat of direct action by the people against the EU!

Our weak politicians have sold this country because they all want to be in the club.

I do hope the scenario suggested by 'tone made me do it' @1254 does materialise.

Where is our modern day Churchill when one needs him?

Anonymous said...

What a lot of paranoid tosh.

What this really shows is that the Euro loony right, including our own housing benefit fraudsters, are repeatedly and emphatically rejected by the people at the polls and they just cannot accept that.

As for Hannan, if he wants out of the EU he should have the guts to say so and the issue should be put to the British people.

Instead he whinges and moans and snipes to build his own career on a false premise.

Finally no one is proposing " Eu policse stations", how gullible are you lot?

curly15 said...

Thorty?

Has Iain Dale joined the Geordie Tories?

Sir Ralph Perkins said...

I love your anti-EU rants Iain! You jump up and down about David Davis "for freedom" yet most of our human rights legislation comes to us through the EU. We have access to the most effective human rights convention in the world. As gay men we have much greater equality not because of New Labour (and definitely not because of the Tories) but because of the EU. I'm not prepared to throw that away. I would prefer to find a way to make it better - not give it up. But perhaps that is just too hard for some people....

Anonymous said...

Charlemagne had more popular support than the EU.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to deny that, though they need help to put their message across better, UKIP have been spot on all the way.

Buenaventura Durruti said...

Almost as nonsensical and undemocratic as not allowing an MP elected on a republican manifesto entering parliament unless he/she swears allegiance to the monarch.

thedurruticolumn said...

Almost as nonsensical and undemocratic as not allowing an MP elected on a republican manifesto entering parliament unless he/she swears allegiance to the monarch.

Chris, London said...

For goodness sake Iain - just for a change engage the brain before writing about the EU.

This reform increases the number of MEPs needed to form a group from 20 to 25 - out of a Parliament of 785 MEPs. Even the spokeswoman for IND-DEM (UKIPs group)proposed a compromise to set the threshold at 23 MEPs. So basically you're haggling about a difference of 2 MEPs.

As for leaving the EPP, well the Tories already have 27 MEPs and I would imagine that you're not expecting to lose many of those next year. There are already about 60-70 die-hard eurosceptics in the Parliament, so they're voices aren't going to be affected either.

BTW - five Tory MEPs either voted in favour or refused to vote against the change - what do you have to say about that?

Penfold said...

The EU has never been democratic, created by stealth and deception, it has spent the last half century pulling the wool over the people.
Only those that subscribe to the EU propaganda line are acceptable, opposition is treated as apostasy, and dissentients marginalised or excommunicated, but certainly not allowed to utter any heresy.
Recent actions by Hans-Gert Poettering to control debate in the EU Parliament should have been seen as the thin edge of some pretty dictatorial measures. An aspect raised by a certian MEP, who likened the actions to the machinations of Hitlers Nazi Party and the manipulation of the Reichstag prior to it famously self-igniting/self combusting, in abject shame no doubt.

That McBroon, alias GIT, will not allow a referendum on Lisbon, is an example of the creeping autarchy that we are experiencing. Those europhobes that mock the anti's are either deluded, treacherous or moronic imbeciles.

neil craig said...

The problem with the comparison you give is because large numbers of small parties don't get elected. The reason for this is that we have an electoral system that has exactly the sort of institutional bias against small parties getting in that you, correctly, denounce the EU for having in preventing them using their position once they have got in.

Of the 2 the EU bias is the less anti-democratic.

Croydonian said...

Credit is due to the ALDE, the group the Lib Dems are members of. They have slated the move, so good for them. For once.

Penfold said...

Re my earlier post:-

"Those europhobes that mock the anti's are either deluded, treacherous or moronic imbeciles."


Whoops sorry,

europhobes should read europhiles

Roger Thornhill said...

Sir Ralph Perkins said...

I love your anti-EU rants Iain! You jump up and down about David Davis "for freedom" yet most of our human rights legislation comes to us through the EU.


And? I did not give the EU permission to decide what "rights" I have or not. I have my freedoms and we need Rule of Law, our own BoR and Common Law, not Napoleonic "permission to speak" Code.

Rohan said...

Quite agree. I'm increasingly of the view we should have a more semi-detached relationship with the EU.

BTW Sir Ralph Perkins you are wrong:

"our human rights legislation comes to us through the EU. We have access to the most effective human rights convention in the world."

No it doesn't. The European Convention on Human Rights is not part of the EU. It is a treaty of the Council of Europe. The court at Strasbourg is different to the one in Luxembourg. In fact to become a member of the ECHR you need to be a democracy. The EU does not qualify. And quite possibly membership of the latter is running close to be inconsistent with the ECHR.

Rog said...

To those who are so pro-EU, who suggest such things as human rights legislation as a benefit of our EU membership, may I ask a question?

Precisely what legislation could not have been passed by our own sovereign government?

Why do you prefer to have rafts of legislation made and imposed on us (at vast expense), rather than our own country deciding what's right for us?

That the pro EU types invariably label those that prefer self-government as "loony", "rabid", etc. rather gives the impression of not having a sound leg to stand on.

*Insert Heather McCartney joke here*

Helen said...

So, let me get this straight. You are saying that the European Union is not only undemocratic but, actually, anti-democratic. Well, well. Who knew?

Carl Richardson said...

Sir Ralph Perkins said:
“You jump up and down about David Davis "for freedom" yet most of our human rights legislation comes to us through the EU. “

Wrong. Although it is true that the European Convention of Human Rights has to be ratified before a country can become a member of the EU, this was not the case with the UK and certainly nothing like the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) is required. Indeed, the UK was a founding member of the Council of Europe (nothing to do with the EU) and ratified the convention in 1951 and recognised right to public petition in 1966. That was 22 years before the UK joined the EC in 1973. Furthermore, the HRA wasn’t passed until 1998 – 25 years after the UK joined the EC.

The HRA was mainly concerned with the amount of time it took to petition a case to the ECHR not some EU directive. Indeed, the conservatives could scrap it if they so pleased without been in breach of any EU law.

“As gay men we have much greater equality not because of New Labour (and definitely not because of the Tories) but because of the EU.”

You are probably right in terms of employment discrimination although such changes would probably have occurred anyway. In fact, in lot of work related matters a UK national wouldn’t be able to rely on EU law whereas an EU migrant who comes to work in the UK would be able to rely on said law.

Certainly it didn’t take the EU to decriminalise homosexual behaviour that was done in 1967 (not after 1973) by the Sexual Offences Act and was based heavily on the Wolfenden Report (1957). The Civil Partnership Act 2004 also wasn’t an EU initiative.

“I'm not prepared to throw that away. I would prefer to find a way to make it better - not give it up. But perhaps that is just too hard for some people....”


If you see a gem in a heap of manure would you keep the whole lot or simply remove the gem?

Anything good it has to offer can be had without the anti democratic bureaucrat ladened EU.