Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Ukip are now indefensible
From the title, you would expect this post to be an attack on Ukip. It isn't. It's just an observation. There are a few anti-Ukippers on Twitter I like a great deal and I joined them in gleefully tormenting kippers over the course of the general election, but as one of the more prominent eurosceptic voices on Twitter you would expect I would have shifted my position now that the Brexit debate is heating up.
You would expect that when the anti-kippers round on Ukip that I would be stepping in to give kippers a helping hand, but their complaints about the EU are so wildly inaccurate and unhinged, I can't do much more than point out the arguments they would be making if they had half a clue what they were actually complaining out.
This is a natural consequence of Ukip having picked up anti-EU arguments half cocked without proper research and applied scepticism - and have mangled them beyond credible use. If there is a wrong end of the stick, Ukip will grasp it with both hands. On the matter of the EU, it's the one thing I should be able to find common ground with Ukip on, yet on all the technical arguments they have lost the plot completely.
In fact, the only time for as long as I can reasonably remember that I have agreed with Farage is this evening, with the above image. And that's really the one that matters, where as much as I despise every last kipper with every fibre of my being, in the end, you will find me shoulder to shoulder with them on that one principle.
From the local government right up to the top tiers of international governance, neither my ballot paper or yours is worth a damn. You can vote in your local elections and replace all the councillors but the same grubby officials and executives are still in charge - working within the parameters set by Whitehall who in turn do not design policy, but instead devise policy delivery mechanisms as dictated by EU directives.
Moreover, as this blog has noted, even the EU is a recipient of law rather than the maker of it and in so doing it waters down not just British participation but any genuine consultation whatsoever - unless you're a corporate lobbyist.
In this it comes down to Tony Benn's five questions of democracy: what power do you have; where did you get it; in whose interests do you exercise it; to whom are you accountable; and, how can we get rid of you? Anyone who cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a democratic system.
If we examine the EU, we see that it has a great many powers to dictate, and to subordinate national governments. Those powers were obtained by the Lisbon treaty which passed without a referendum, the commission is accountable to nobody in any real sense, and as for getting rid of them? Well we can have an electorally mandated reshuffle to kick out a few MEPs but the machine remains the same, the agenda remains the same, and our own government continues to be subordinate.
Talk to any europhile and they will point to the various voting rituals and elections and say that is democracy. But the word democracy stems from the Greek, directly meaning "people power". I can think of no examples where the people of this nation have been empowered to prevent their supreme government (for the EU has legal supremacy) imposing its agenda. A small political elite having a vote about matters governing nearly half a billion people can in no way be considered a democracy. It is an abuse of the word.
And with a Westminster establishment that will use every single institution at its disposal to distort the Brexit debate and cloud the issues, obscuring the true nature of the EU - where no general election changes that dynamic, that "establishment" we speak of is that government orthodoxy that cannot be removed even if we voted out every single standing MP.
But that doesn't bother the left. Gone are the days where you could appeal to a leftist with arguments concerning democracy. The few who know what it is despise it. You see democracy might mean a conservative government got in and actually have the power to do what it had a mandate for. That would mean that the left had to mobilse, organise and fight for their rights. And as passive recipients of rights from the global orders, that's the last thing they ever want to do. Benign dictatorship is preferable to self-determination in their eyes.
So while the anti-Ukippers may call Ukip fascists and all the rest, in the totalitarian stakes, it's the europhiles who have the serious questions to answer.
For sure they may prefer that lofty human rights be out of the reach of messy things like democracy, and they may prefer that we are passive recipients of rights from a governmental benefactor rather than fighting for them and owning them, but as Kant said "One who makes a himself a worm cannot complain afterwards if people step on him". History has yet to produce a single example of a government that has remained benign throughout its history - and the more that is carried out without a mandate from the people, the more it will have to exert control over us. The result of that will not be a united, peaceful Europe. More likely the precise opposite.