Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sovereign Integrity?

"The sovereign integrity of the nation state, opposition to European federalism and a renewed respect for true subsidiarity," is the fifth of the 10 principles set out in the Prague Declaration, the constituent declaration of the European Conservatives and Reformists.

26 of the 56 MEPs in the ECR are British Conservatives, a twenty-seventh is drawn from their Ulster Unionist allies, the Chairman is the North East's very own Martin Callanan, and the Secretary-General of its Europarty is none other than Daniel Hannan.

How odd, then, that Callanan and Hannan should both be among the 12 ECR MEPs, seven of whom are British Conservatives, to be members of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

There is also a UKIPite who was elected as a Conservative, a Swedish Moderate who is therefore a member of the European People's Party, and a Flemish separatist whose party's roots are in the Flemish Division of the SS, which is at least some riposte to those who blah blah blah that such things were and are left-wing. For example, Daniel Hannan.

ALEC, you see, claims to be "federalist" but seems to have adopted the European rather than the American definition of the word. It is a body of State Legislators who undertake to ensure that their respective states all adopt identical legislation drafted by that body's corporate backers.

A handful of Democrats does belong to this thing, raising serious questions about the limits of the diversity of the Democratic Party, the Republican Party having arrived at the opposite extreme, with club rights extended only to those who subscribe, and that with sufficient fervour, to each and all of dozens of shibboleths.

But all except two of the State Chairmen are Republicans, and those two hold the office jointly with members of the other party. What was once the GOP provides all of the "Public Co-Chairs" of ALEC's policy task forces that write the legislation, on which they enjoy no veto power, since that attaches only to the "Private Co-Chairs" who not merely come from, but explicitly represent, their own corporations.

The one for International Relations, which are constitutionally outside the province of State Legislatures but on which work is clearly being done, has as its veto-wielding Private Co-Chair a senior executive of Philip Morris International. To ALEC, the whole of foreign policy is subordinate to the interests of big tobacco.

So much for Hannan's Anglosphere, since ALEC contains one Australian Senator, as well as one Georgian MP and one Pakistani Assemblywoman. All of its other "International Delegates" sit in the European Parliament. There to enact legislation written by giant American corporations, as if the European Parliament were an American State Legislature, with the United Kingdom having much the status of an American county.

Eight of those MEPs sit for the United Kingdom. Seven of them are members of the party led by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and all eight were elected for that party; the eighth is now a member of an entity which laughably calls itself "the United Kingdom Independence Party".

And no fewer than 12, four fifths of the total, belong to the Group, and include both its Chairman and the Secretary-General of its Europarty, the creation of which was supposed to have been David Cameron's great EU-level triumph in the cause of the sovereign integrity of the nation state, opposition to European federalism and a renewed respect for true subsidiarity.


  1. There is also a possibility that Jordanian MP Reem Badran, head of investment development for the Arab League, is a member of ALEC.

    But you would be right, she is not as clearly so as the people you refer to. Interesting that there is no apparent suggestion of anyone from ALEC in the Knesset.

    This post is what proper journalism looks like. Thank you so much for it. Keep up the good work.

  2. And, according to rather a high-powered email just received, Iris Evans, Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations for Alberta. But again, that is unclear.

    And ALEC's ties with Liam Fox seem to have been cut, although it is quite outrageous that he was in the Cabinet if he ever had them. In any case, the links that are the real problem with him are his ones to Israel.

    That still leaves the overwhelming majority of ALEC's "International" members in the European Parliament, mostly for the ECR and predominantly for the British Conservative Party.

  3. Maybe you should try to find out a little about ALEC before you sound off, David. ALEC is dedicated to Jeffersonian principles, which explicitly include not only free markets and limited government, but also "family and nation". I am proud to be associated with ALEC. Feel free to mention my name. ROGER HELMER MEP.

  4. In your scheme for "the disapplication in the United Kingdom of anything passed by the European Parliament but not by the majority of those MEPs certified as politically acceptable by one or more seat-taking members of the House of Commons" would there be a further specific ban on members of ALEC even if one or more MPs, e.g. Liam Fox, wanted them?

  5. Something like that, yes, now that you mention it.

    But it couldn't name ALEC, because then they would just pull some kind of trick. It would have to be cleverer than that.

    Could be done, though. And therefore should be done.

  6. If you really are Roger Helmer (Blogger originally sent the comment to Spam), or even if you are not, how can using the European Parliament to enact legislation drafted for American State Legislatures by American-based transnational corporations be an expression of the principle of national sovereignty?

    Jefferson believed so strongly in families that he had two at once, a white one and a black one.

  7. Andrew Shakespeare8 September 2013 at 21:05

    It is a body of State Legislators who undertake to ensure that their respective states all adopt identical legislation drafted by that body’s corporate backers.

    I have lost patience with your blog right there, on the fifth paragraph. You see, unlike you, Mr Lindsey, I have actually lived in the United States, for four years. And quite frankly, the idea that any state — any state at all — would meekly rubber stamp some bill just because they’ve been instructed to by some group that nobody elected, consisting of people who, for the most part, aren’t from the state, or who aren’t even American, is simply absurd.

    The idea that people could order a state legislature to pass this or that legislation goes against the whole point of state legislatures, which is that the states can adapt to local issues and maintain an individuality; a very necessary provision in uniting a country of 300 million across ten time zones, and one of the big reasons why the EU will never succeed in imposing a political union on us all.

    Occasionally, the federal government does try to muscle in on the states’ rights. It is almost always universally resented. It’s rather like the Westminster government saying to Wales, “I know we gave you power to grant free prescriptions, but we’re going to intervene to stop you doing so.” The reaction would, inevitably, be, “Get stuffed.”

    You mentioned “laughable,” Mr Lindsay? That proposition alone is so laughable, I’ve lost all interest. You're talking bollocks.

  8. The idea that people could order a state legislature to pass this or that legislation goes against the whole point of state legislatures


    And yet it is happening.

    With these people using the European Parliament as an American state legislature for the purpose.

    Effectively relegating the United Kingdom to an American county.

    Please spell my name correctly. This site is not "edited" by Damian Thompson.

  9. Andrew Shakespeare8 September 2013 at 21:24

    And yet it is happening

    No, it isn't. And you haven't a clue what the hell you're talking about.

  10. Very evidently, I do. And you know that I do. For that matter, Roger Helmer knows that I do.

    But whereas ALEC may be, just about, within the acceptable bounds of his former party, is it really within those of his present party?

    No one else in it seems to think so, since no one else in it is also in an organisation which uses the European Parliament to enact legislation designed by corporate America to be enacted in identical form by every American state legislature.