Monday, 18 June 2007

A Significant Transfer Of Power

Gordon Brown will not allow any further "significant transfer of power" to the EU. Well, good for him as far that goes. But it doesn't go very far, if anywhere: "thanks" to Heath, Thatcher and Major (above all, "thanks" to Thatcher), there is no significant power left to transfer to the EU.

Instead, Brown should be promising a significant transfer of power back from the EU to Britain: the restoration of the supremacy of British over EU law, the use of this to restore our historic fishing rights in accordance with international law, no EU legislation to apply in the United Kingdom unless and until passed by both Houses of Parliament exactly as if it had originated in either of them, and the British adoption of the show-stopping Empty Chair policy until the Council of Ministers meets in public and publishes an Official Report akin to Hansard.

And he should be promising comparable (indeed, closely related) significant transfers of power back to Britain from NATO, from the United States, from the World Trade Organisation, from the International Monetary Fund, and from the World Bank.

He won't. But where are the politicians who will indeed promise these transfers, and will indeed deliver them? Where is their party? That that party does not yet exist is our own fault: yours and mine. Only we can create it. I'm doing my bit. What are you doing?


  1. Peter Davidson19 June 2007 at 13:52


    You appear to be living in a fantasy world located circa 1900-1950, where the great powers (of which dear old blighty was of course a leading contender) when not beating the proverbial seven shades out of each other on the battlefield held dominion over a much more fixed and predictable world order.

    Damn those pesky foreign types for wanting to disturb such a cosy environment where everybody knew their place and damn well stuck to it (or were blown to smithereens if they had the temerity to step out of line).

    I don't envy you because you are doomed to decades of frustration and loneliness. Good luck - you'll need it!

  2. Not at all. I'm talking about the world of the universal and comprehensive Welfare State, and the strong statutory and other (including trade union) protection of workers, consumers, communities and the environment, the former paid for by progressive taxation, the whole underwritten by full employment, and all these good things delivered by the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government.

    Thatcher's Single Market has done more than any other single force to destroy this, and the EU can never deliver it anyway, because it is far too large.

    On that latter point, now that the extension of voting rights has made it impossible for states ever to revert to segregation, the American Left should support states' rights, because that is the level at which social democracy can be created and sustained, and thus the best conservative values defended against capitalism.

    And the European Left should be Eurosceptical for exactly the same reason, as much of it always has been, and as an increasing part of it is again becoming.