The United Kingdom has the third largest population among the member states of the European Union and a lot of power to shape EU affairs. With a responsible and constructive attitude, the UK could have even more influence. But the discourse on Europe among the elites, the media and the population is so strange that it has long ago become a common European concern.
Subjects treated as such
In the land of the unwritten and unknown constitution, the subjects of unlimited parliamentary discretion are singing the old tune:
It’s the same the whole world over,
It’s the poor wot gets the blame,
It’s the rich wot gets the gravy,
Ain’t it all a bleedin’ shame?
After reading David Cameron’s article in The Guardian, New politics: We need a massive, radical redistribution of power (25 May 2009), I can hardly wait to hear more about Britain under a Conservative government.
Let me just pick two items of interest ahead of today’s speech.
Fundamental rights and the rule of law seem alien to Cameron, who believes in a massive, sweeping, radical redistribution of power from judges to the people.
Does he want direct action by lynch mobs or does he prefer people’s courts to act as instruments in robbing individuals of protection against public authorities?
As Conservative leader Cameron demands a massive, sweeping, radical redistribution of power from the EU to Britain.
Ahead of the European Parliament elections it is only fair to ask which powers under the existing Treaty of Nice he wants repatriated.
If Cameron wants the United Kingdom to secede from the European Union, he should say so, but he would need to indicate the shape of the future outside.
If Cameron wants Britain to stay on in the European Union, he should explain why he believes that the other EU member states are going to accept by unanimity every Tory demand for even less British responsibilities and still keep the UK as a member state
Jon Worth called for radical electoral reform in Now is always the wrong time for opponents of electoral reform:
“The creaking British constitutional settlement - thankfully exposed by the expenses scandals - is ripe for reform. And if not now, when?”
On the Federal Union blog Richard Laming comments on David Cameron in the post Somewhere else:
“You don’t need to talk about progressive politics to understand David Cameron’s attitude to Europe, you merely need to read that sentence. Europe is “somewhere else”.
If you look at a map, though, or if you look at our trading patterns, or our environmental problems, or our security interests, Europe is not somewhere else, it is where we are.”
Jon Worth and Richard Laming are right, but they are rare creatures in a country seemingly unfit for real reform or constructive EU membership.