Democracy, EU Style (again)

Ireland have just had their election. The response from the EU is predicable if not outrageous. From the Telegraph (my emphasis):

A European diplomat, from a large eurozone country, told The Sunday Telegraph that “the more the Irish make a big deal about renegotiation in public, the more attitudes will harden”.

“It is not even take it or leave it. It’s done. Ireland’s only role in this now is to implement the programme agreed with the EU, IMF and European Central Bank. Irish voters are not a party in this process, whatever they have been told,” said the diplomat.

Astonishing arrogance, please, please say this to the UK as well. Then all bets are off.

Just The Way You Are

Kerry McCarthy (Labour MP with an eating disorder – she’s a vegan) is just a gift that keeps on coming. Her latest post quite clearly articulates her shock at former Westlife member Brian McFadden’s latest release. Now the lyrics, granted, do seem rather suspect:

‘I like you just the way you are, drunk as shit dancing at the bar/can’t wait to get you home so I can do some damage, can’t wait to get you home and take advantage.’

Ms McCarthy isn’t impressed:

I can’t believe that anyone has allowed this record to be made.

Well I can.. er.. because it’s a free country. You can see precisely where Ms McCarthy is going with this – she is ‘shocked’ so the record must be banned.

It’s worth remembering that her taste in music largely consists of late 70’s and early 80’s punk, that well known genre of politeness and good taste. In fact one of her favourite groups is Joy Division which were named after a… forced brothel in a Nazi concentration camp.

I love the hypocrisy of the left.

A Coincidence?

The establishment of the EU External Action Service (under Lisbon), meant that the UK would no longer have an independent foreign policy. The impact on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has long raised concerns, such as this one by Lord Pearson just over a year ago:

Lord Pearson of Rannoch: Can the noble Lord give us a clear assurance that there will be any British embassies left in 10 years’ time? If he can give that assurance, will he tell us where they will be? If he does not have the answer at his fingertips, would he be good enough to put a letter in the Library?

And in October last year Peter Oborne of the Telegraph received an email regarding the implications of the Spending Review for the future of British diplomacy, a key part of which was this:

This will reflect a fundamental shift in UK diplomatic influence and activity.

Civil servants and diplomats follow the money. It is one of the reasons why historically in Brussels the best quality civil servants and diplomats tend to come from Ireland and other smaller states – because the EU budgets far exceed their own home country’s ministry budgets. That was never the case for the larger countries in the EU, until now.

A young diplomat from the UK joining up in 2015 will be faced with option of joining the UK diplomatic corps or an EU corps with twice the funding. Which will the most ambitious opt for?

This revolution in UK diplomacy is taking place against a backdrop of a Foreign Office already thrown into internal confusion by David Cameron.

Fast forward to today and we have the shambles that is the Libyian evacuation of British citizens:

Like the Treasury, the Foreign Office is supposed to contain the brightest and best of Britain’s civil servants. But just as the Treasury failed to anticipate the banking crisis, so Carlton-Browne of the FO seems to have been caught on the hop by the collapse of regimes across the Middle East.

This is, of course, a department of state which is said to pride itself on an intimate knowledge of Arab affairs. Yet the uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain and Libya appear to have come as a complete surprise to our diplomatic elite.

A coincidence? Shurley sum mistake.

The Right Is Wrong

As the prisoners’ right to vote saga continues to rumble on, I have a letter published today in my local paper: the Oxford Mail, which I reproduce below:

Catherine Bearder MEP said (Oxford Mail, February 14) that the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is independent of any government or political interference.

That is largely correct, but it means by logical conclusion that it is also independent of the views of the ballot box.

The perfect irony with the issue of votes for prisoners is, should the ECHR force us to abide by its ruling, that in effect will deprive the rest of us of exactly the same human right – the right to change this law by the ballot box.

That is fundamentally wrong.

This issue should be decided by our democratically elected parliament not by an unaccountable foreign court.

In this judgement the ECHR has gone beyond the wishes of its creators and is overstepping its remit.

It’s sad to say, but if it continues to do so we have no option but to withdraw for the sake of our democracy, and the human rights of the vast majority of our law-abiding citizens.