Saturday, 4 April 2009

Obama, EU, the Rift and where we stand now:

Obama’s call to Europe to send more troops to Afghanistan was ignored last week. It’s odd how the Germans and the French leaders do not seem to quite grasp, that there is a war for civilization currently being fought out in that part of the world. The Taliban, notorious for their medieval repression including throwing acid on the faces of women and burning down women’s schools, are fighting against any form of modern liberal Government. Pressure is such that the current incumbent, Hamid Karzai, is forced to follow some policies only found in the most radical Islamic doctrine in order to pacify factions in his populace. The German and French leaders don’t quite value the importance of fundamental freedoms and open Government as much as some of their populations do, and certainly not as much as the US and the UK.

There is an evident fundamental difference in approach here (as there was with the invasion in Iraq in 2003) that should demonstrate to those who fantasise about a Federal European project, with an over-arching super-national foreign policy, that this is another reason why that project is doomed. This problem of cohesion is as great as another, often raised, problem. That is the complete lack of democratic accountability for European Institutions. Lord Hoffmann recently criticised the European Court of Human Rights, for usurping powers that were never given to it. The European Court of Justice, in conjunction with the European Commission and European Council (and previous European Institutions), has been doing that since the late 1950s. It is only self-interested lawyers in the UK, in positions of influence, and of a generation that can recall the Second World War that have continued to sponsor the democratically illegitimate European Project. In their weak understanding of international relations they seem to believe that continued power to the European Union is needed in case another Hitler comes to power in Germany. This approach has reached a certain level of irony that is difficult to muster: the authoritarian law-making by the European Commission and Council is such that one might pinch one’s self to argue that the Nazi’s had a greater mandate to Govern vis-à-vis their own people. No British National has a vote on a European Regulation, nor the conception of policy by the European Commission. Even European Directives only become consented to by forgone Parliamentary Constitutional anomalies that were designed to give assent to Treaties of Peace in forgone centuries. No British National was given a vote on which states should join the continuously expanding project. Like the German people in the late 1930s who found themselves in one moment allied to the French, then to the Russians, we have no say in which peoples will have an allowance from our own taxpayers money, when the European Commission decides to give more subsidies to its newest members. This European project seems to be, a farce by our modern understanding of representative Government. Why do we suffer it?

Further, there is no financial accountability in European Institutions. An official report showed that the European Court of Auditors has not been doing its job. Nor is there any control or accountability of expenditure within European Institutions. Auditing reports demonstrate instances in Brussels were institutional expenditure was rife with corruption and excessive claims. Further to mock the intelligence of the British People a false, almost, powerless institution is created where one can vote for its members. It is mockingly called European ‘Parliament’. The role of the European Parliament is so opaque, that if one was to do a door to door canvass of streets in the UK, anyone who had heard of it would have no ideas what its role or powers are. These were problems with the European project in its very inception. The unelected technocrats, such as Schuman and Monnet, were so concerned with function and purpose of the system that they overlooked mandate. The search for a European Economy or market was so great, that the words ‘Economy’, ‘union’ and ‘market’ simply ran riot and embezzled every other right of a sovereign state to meet their ends. The citizens of nation states did not realize that every law making power that they had delegated to their Government’s could be usurped and re-defined so that it could fit with notions such as ‘market’ and ‘Union’. In this way slowly and surely the entire legislative autonomy of a nation state, and thus its people, has been slowly and continuously filtered off to Brussels.

This current foreign policy difference highlights the reality that the EU’s desire for unlimited ‘centralised’ power cannot belie the individual character of States of the European Union. Both France and Germany are states with huge social characteristics in their domestic policies. It is not all together remarkable that these Fabian instincts of pacifism and wilting to foreign bullies are embedded in their foreign policy instincts. The socialist instinct of selfishness is inherent within this; we are content and complacent in our own nest the rest of the world can go to hell. This is why neither the French nor German Empires created enduring institutions like the British. It also shows that further integration would be a nightmare for Britain. Our culture and instinct are vastly distinct to other Europeans, even those states that are supposed to be most like us. We must reverse the trend of integration, to a national conscious position in Europe where we, the people, can have a right to scrutinize the Commissions Policy Making. There should even be considered a Centre for European Policy installed in the UK with public access to policies and access to clear accounts of expenditure. Any further integration into the European project ought to be stopped, including jettisoning the Lisbon Treaty and its enervation of the nation state. I dare not imagine the day when a Sarkozy has a veto on whether we should invade the Falklands.

APG Pandya

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