Sunday, August 31, 2003

IDS on the Attack

A strong attack came from the Tory leader today "End the culture of deceit" in the Independent on Sunday (Link repaired 8yh July 2011)

According to a summary at the beginning Iain Duncan Smith quite correctly believes and states:-

The real problem with the last six years is that Labour hasn't just ruined its reputation, it has poisoned the whole of politics

Which is exactly what we have been arguing for many months on our sister blog Ironies and elswhere.

However, it is not just the deceit and the control and the inefficiences of the Blair government, all of which IDS adequately covers; it is the very quality of debate in public life that has been devalued by Campbell's thuggish approach to the media. This in turn, as I have unhappily witnessed during infrequent visits, has permeated through society so that not just on the roads or in crowded public places, but even within families or closer circles there is sometimes a harsh and badgering tone to routine daily or mundane exchanges.

I hope that with the passing of Campbell, soon to be followed (it is deeply wished) by Blair and the rest of his truly woefully awful cabinet and administration, some degree of courtesy might be restored if not to politics than at least to the broader British society.

In the penultimate paragraph of his comment the Leader of the Opposition says the following:-

At the next general election the British people won't vote for politicians whose only plea is for them to be trusted with even more power. They don't want another know-all government that promises the earth but delivers nothing. They want a government that is ready to pass Whitehall's power to local communities and to the doctors, teachers and police officers who serve them.

They also want an honest government, and the problem for the Tories as the natural successors to Blair, is that their political party is stained by the same brush as he correctly identifies colours the problems of New Labour.

British Democracy depends upon the party system to function, all parties are now rightly held in such contempt that one must wonder how any can win. That seems to be the challenge for IDS, can all traces of the Major mal-administration be completely purged so that they might just be mostly forgotten?

In my view, with Europe entering a period of almost certain, deep and seemingly incurable economic crisis a re-positioning on that critical policy matter, that impinges on all others even those he chooses to prioritise namely health, education and law and order, would seem the most attractive way of distancing himself from the disastrous policies of his Conservative predecessor. More rigorous sidelining of the remaining Major euro-federalists within the party and more robust policies towards the EU, if adopted now, might well pay dividends subject for once to both being sincerely meant and subsequently followed through.

Friday, August 29, 2003

The Debate Continues

The exchange below took place on the 'Eurofaq' Forum between Mark Croucher, signing himself National Press Officer UK Independence Party and Christina Speight, editor EU Facts, Figures and Phantasies, in connection with the speeches of IDS and Jack Straw, both of which have been posted on this blog:

From Mark Croucher, Thursday 28 August 2003 17:45

It is faintly amusing to see you rushing to believe what New Labour ministers say when it suits your fantasy.

"Let me be clear. The Conservative Party does not want Britain to leave the European Union. We want to make it work. Anyone who says differently is telling a lie." Ian Duncan Smith, Prague, July 2003.

There are none so blind etc

Best etc


From Christina Speight, Thursday 28 August 2003 20:49

Mark is wriggling as usual and can't tell his whatsit from his thingumajig.

IDS has spelt it out perfectly and Straw is scared and it showed! and his EU paid friend Mark too! UKIP has no role to play now....

1. The Tories demand a referendum on the constitution;
2. If they don't get one they will fight the election on the constitution issue;
3. They do not want ANY constitution at all;
4. The Tories reject "a centralised and federalist Europe" and want "a partnership of sovereign states, trading freely with each other and co-operating on matters of common interest." (Isn't this what we all want?)
5. "But Parliament has no more right to lay Britain's sovereignty at the feet of a foreign constitution than it has to ban elections. No British government has the authority to give away that which it does not own. Because the Westminster Parliament's authority is founded in the will of the British people. An EU Constitution would thwart the will of the peoples of Europe and over-rule their national parliaments. That's why the Conservative Party's opposition to the adoption of a European constitution is a matter of principle. It's a basic principle that sovereignty bleongs to individual nations and their peoples."
6. "The European Union can only prosper as an alliance of sovereign democracies. A Europe of nations in a world of nations. Willing to fight for its own peoples and for a fairer, safer world. A stronger Britain in a stronger Europe."

Sure, Duncan Smith does not want to leave Europe BUT HE DOES NOT WANT TO STAY IN THE ONE ON OFFER! If the Constitution is not accepted by Britain and the others go ahead, Britain will have left the EU - Prodi says so!


From Mark Croucher Friday 29 August 2003 09:51

Sorry, Christina, but where exactly did IDS say he does not want to stay in the one on offer. I'm afraid you're making it up, based on your fantasies and predjudices, of which there are plenty.

The definitive (spelling corrected ed.) statement form the Tory leader was made in Prague last month. "Let me be clear. The Conservative Party does not want Britain to leave the EU. We want to make it work. Anyone who says differently is telling a lie."

They have already thrown away their bargaining position by saying they wouldn't leave. It doesn't get much clearer than that. You can fool yourself as much as you like, but I'm afraid those of us in the real world accept that IDS has just sufficient integrity to be telling the truth, which is more than you can do. After all, the Tories have fought every election since 1983 on a basis of reforming/renegotiating/altering the terms of Britain's membership of the EU, but I can't say I noticed any great moves in that direction under either Thatcher or Major. Just the opposite, in fact. So, you carry on supporting the party which took us in, which signed the Maastricht and the Single European Act, which numbers Brittan, Heseltine, Patten, Hurd, Heath etc amongst its members and which has categorically said that it does not want to leave, and the rest of us will work for the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

There are still none so blind etc

Best etc


From Christina Speight Friday 29 August 2003 12:17

Mark - owing his loyalty to his paymaster the EU - is a fine one to talk of integrity!!! He's an EU-paid propagandist.

But talking of "none so blind..." he totally ignores IDS' perfectly clear tactics. IDS is not prepared to have the Constitution..."An EU constitution would thwart the will of the peoples of Europe and over-rule their national parliaments. That's why the Conservative Party's opposition to the adoption of a European constitution is a matter of principle. It's a basic principle that sovereignty belongs to individual nations and their peoples".

If we do NOT have the Constitution we are NOT in the EU...Prodi SAYS SO. But the EU will have left us to go its own way so we will have left nothing. THAT way the Campbell school of spinners cannot blacken the Tories because the Tories have a vision of the Europe they want and one which we all want...."a partnership of sovereign states, trading freely with each other and co-operating on matters of common interest."

Meanwhile the UKIP (being kept going on EU money) will try and stop Blair being defeated. That way we WILL stay in the EU.

The honest members of UKIP are beginning to see where the EU money is taking their leadership on a journey of wrecking the anti-EU movement. As Mark many remember "He who pays the piper calls the tune".


Thursday, August 28, 2003

A Critique of Straw's Speech

The speech delivered yesterday is quoted below in full. Sections in italics are commented upon by Martin Cole. These comments are in bold print

'Labour engaged in Europe while the Tories are in fantasy land'
Wednesday 27 August 2003
Speech by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at the Foreign Policy Centre, London

Of all the changes the Labour Party undertook in the 1980s and 90s, one of the most significant was its attitude towards the European Union.
Twenty years ago, the party fought a General Election on an explicit and straightforward policy of withdrawal from what was then the EEC. To quote from that now infamous manifesto, we promised to "open immediate negotiations with our EEC partners, and introduce the necessary legislation, to prepare for Britain’s withdrawal from the EEC, to be completed well within the lifetime of the Labour government."
Such a course was by then no longer a viable one and the British electorate took the view that a policy of withdrawal would have been wrong.

The British electorate took the view that the then Labour Party was led by a complete bunch of no-hopers and nearly all their manifesto policies appeared completely loopy especially those regarding Britain’s defence. As I remember the campaign, Europe hardly figured it was the personalities of those leading Labour that cost them the election.

Ten years earlier – and, more particularly, in the 1975 referendum – Britain did have a genuine choice about the strategic direction of its future relationship with the rest of Europe. Those of us who campaigned for a No vote did so because we felt a viable alternative course existed at the time.

The British Electorate were persuaded, in my particular case by the stature of those politicians supporting membership and my wariness of the beliefs and records of those supporting the No campaign (particularly Enoch Powell and Wedgewood-Benn) but more importantly by the ‘Yes’ side's assertion that “EVER CLOSER UNION” merely appeared in the preamble and was therefore not binding. It is this harsh lesson, that my suspicions were justified and the established political elite perfectly prepared to lie, that causes me to dwell on the Preamble to the Constitution as I have done most recently in my comments posted on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Convention discussion web page on the 20th August 2003.

Withdrawal today would however be nothing less than a betrayal of Britain’s fundamental national interests.

I take the exactly reverse position.

Britain’s deepened membership of the European Union is a vital part of our country’s economic prosperity and wellbeing, and an increasingly important element of our political and diplomatic influence in the world.

Almost 60% of our exports go to the rest of the EU,

Wrong from this link the Governments own figures can be found:-

Trade Statistics

The latest month for which statistics are available from the government June 2003, gives exports of goods to the EU of 7,884 million pounds from a total of 14,404 million pounds being 54.75 per cent closer to 50 per cent than the 60 per cent figure chosen by Britain’s Foreign Secretary, another distortion.

Contrary views of the economic benefits can also be found, one such here:-

B Burkitt University of Bradford

From which we quote the Conclusion-
The surplus of trade in manufactured goods that that U.K. traditionally enjoyed became a deficit for the first time in 1983, which by 1994 reached a colossal 10.8 billion. The E.U. is the principal cause of this imbalance. Britain's surplus on invisibles has to pay not only for food and raw material imports but for overseas, especially E.U., manufacturers; for example, the surplus on the U.K.'s invisible trade in 1994 came to 10.4 billion, a sum that virtually offset the deficit on visibles. The inevitable outcome is slow growth of national income and living standards due to a balance of payments constraint. It will be lifted only when Britain disentangles itself from its current wealth - destroying relationship with an E.U. focused upon 'ever closer allocation' between its member countries. A looser co-operation between nation states, each retaining its independent economic policy, within and beyond the E.U. is clearly indicated.
B Burkitt
University of Bradford

and 3 million jobs rely on our place in the largest single market in the world – a market that is set to rise to 450 million people from next year.

The export figures being wrong, as can so easily be determined, what chance is there that the jobs figure is not equally likely to have been exaggerated? It can only be guesswork and for all we know such workers might well be more lucratively employed elsewhere were we to be freed from the ever-growing regulation and red-tape brought down upon business by both the EU and the Labour Government.

And the benefits to Britain extend well beyond the economic. Our air is cleaner and beaches less polluted because of binding environmental standards agreed across the Union. Workers’ rights have been enhanced and British people can travel with ease across our continent.

Can Straw really believe the British public will fall for such a line? ARE THESE THE ONLY POSITIVES HE CAN ACTUALLY FIND TO LIST FROM OUR HUGELY EXPENSIVE MEMBERSHIP OF THIS NON-DEMOCRATIC BUREAUCRATIC NIGHTMARE: clean beaches, and the freedom to travel to warmer ones in the sun. Both were available pre-EU and the main beach problems were oil pollution solved by international agreement within IMCO and the Load on Top and TOVALOP procedure annd arrangement entered into by tanker owners. Sewage pollution of beaches could have been cured by the action of Central and Local British Government and clean air, most of which in the British Isles comes courtesy of the SW prevailing winds and our archipelagian geography could similarly have been supplemented by International Agreements and British Government action without any EU involvement whatsoever.

As a party, we have always believed that nations co-operating achieve more together than they can alone. After all, that’s why we have felt so strongly about the United Nations and other multilateral international organisations working for the common good.
So as an active and engaged member of the European Union, our Labour government has helped achieve further benefits to British citizens on a range of issues from working hours to tackling cross-border crime, from more effective measures to deal with asylum to the whole Lisbon agenda for economic reform.
And as Gordon Brown made clear in June, if and when we believe that the economic conditions are right and the tests spelt out by Gordon have been met, we will propose to the British people in a referendum that the UK join the Single European currency.

But perhaps the EU’s greatest achievement is a more profound one. It is easy to forget that but for the last 50 years or so Europe resolved its conflicts through violence and war. The visceral hatreds and animosities which existed between countries of our continent appeared to be insoluble to most of my parents’ generation. Yet the EU has helped to provide a means of reconciliation and friendship between once hostile enemies. By encouraging a genuine sense of shared destiny, it has helped achieve the most basic goal of its creators: the absence of war.

Here we have once more repeated the greatest lie of all. Romano Prodi during the early part of his Presidency was for ever claiming the EU had brought peace to the European Continent. I like to believe, that possibly partly due to my constant e-mail haranguing as to the clear fact that this was a gross distortion of history, he, at least, is nowadays more realistic and cautious when talking of the causes of peace on the Continent.

Such peace was brought to Europe by the Allies of World War II and maintained firstly as a result of the courageous airman who kept Berlin alive through the air lift, and subsequently due to the Nato alliance that was its outcome. Individuals remarkable for the ultimate success in the defeat of the most recent threat to peace ‘Soviet Communism’ were Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

During that period the EU (as it has since become) was known for nothing other than its self-centred squabbles over butter mountains, wine lakes or whatever other means either one or more of its members states (or group of member states) could find to obtain some form of advantage, preferably economic in nature, over some other member state (or opposing group of member states). As far as I can determine that situation continues to this day.

Moreover, it has done so by advancing fundamental values of freedom, tolerance and democracy across our European continent.


The prospect and reality of EU membership was an important element in the transition of Spain, Portugal and Greece from right-wing dictatorships 30 years ago to vibrant democracies.

I have not previously heard that argued, but find the proposition doubtful. Especially in the case of Portugal, a country where I had very close business arrangements and which I visited frequently during and after the transitional period.

And today, we are witnessing its most historic advance with the final end to the Cold War division of Europe and the welcoming of counties which for decades laboured under the tyranny of the Soviet bloc.
Eight of Europe’s new democracies are to join the EU next year, along with Cyprus and Malta. For countries like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, EU membership will a key part of their full emergence as strong, confident and prosperous nation states.
The expansion of the EU to Central and Eastern Europe will boost the influence and prestige of the Union. But it will result in a significant enhancement to Britain’s own economic and political interests too.
It is already changing the culture and dynamics of the EU to our advantage. After all, countries which have successfully thrown off the shackles of Soviet tyranny are not about to agree to subsume their national identities into any superstate of anti-European myth.

We must most sincerely hope not!

And so I believe that enlargement of the EU should be the cause for celebration across the political spectrum here in Britain.

None of the preceding parts of the speech can possibly justify this belief! There can be nothing worth celebrating in the EU of today - recession, unemployment, anti-Americanism fed it would seem by the political elites as the cement for an unsafe structure, corrupt government, a fraudulant constitution, unaudited accounts, where democracy only gets a passing mention in Greek at the very opening as if it can be safely ignored thereafter, and so on ad infinitum. Where is a cause for celebration? On our clean beaches in our clean air I suppose with our biometric ID cards and list of rules and regulations covering every single aspect of our daily lives!

Yet over recent months we have witnessed the bizarre spectacle of senior Conservatives travelling to countries of this new Europe urging people in national referendums to reject EU membership.
They include David Heathcoat-Amory, the man whom the Conservative Party chose to be one of the British Parliament’s two representatives on the Convention on the Future of Europe, and two Conservative MEPS, Daniel Hannan and Roger Helmer.
None of these can be dismissed as eccentrics on the fringe of the Tory Party. And while they have been spectacularly unsuccessful so far in winning over the people of Central and Eastern Europe the fact that they have received no censure from the Party leadership speaks volumes for how the Conservative Party’s centre of gravity has shifted rightwards under Iain Duncan Smith.

We must all most sincerely hope that this is truly the case.

Today’s Tory party is a far cry from the one which took Britain into the EEC in 1973 and negotiated both the Single European Act in 1986 and the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 – the two European treaties which saw the greatest pooling of sovereignty in the last 30 years.
The dogmatic hatred of the European Union within the Tory Party is both deep and visceral. Pro-Europeans like Chris Patten, Douglas Hurd and Kenneth Clarke are marginalised, even ridiculed, by a new majority which views hostility to the EU as an act of ideological faith.
The election of the Maastricht rebel Iain Duncan Smith as Conservative Party leader two years ago was the anti-Europeans’ greatest success – and he has not disappointed them.
Ten years ago, Iain Duncan Smith was part of a small but obsessive clique of right- wingers in the Conservative Party intent on wrecking the Maastricht Treaty and bringing down John Major’s government.
A Government whip described the group to a Tory backbencher of the time as "nutters" (Ian Taylor, Hansard, 21.5.03, col. 1073.
Now, alongside Iain Duncan Smith in the Shadow Cabinet, and now seemingly responsible for policy on the forthcoming EU constitutional treaty, is the hardest nut of all, Bill Cash.
This would be funny if it were not so serious. Serious because Britain’s main Opposition party is now run by people whose life’s work has been directed at undermining Britain’s place within the European Union.

About time too! But is it soon enough to save the country from the consequences of the actions of the duped fools such as those Tories mentioned by Straw and the present Cabinet, who sit idly by and do nothing as even today the BBC News reports have sacrificed our fisheries as part of the entrance fee to this socialist-inclined club. At least in his enthusiasms Straw is being true to his left wing economic beliefs. Patten, Clarke, Hurd Heseltine, Taylor and all the other Eurotories have no such excuse.

Of course, in his bid for respectability, Mr Duncan Smith has been very careful. For 12 months, he barely uttered a word on Europe for fear of scaring the horses, and remarks made before his leadership election about renegotiation and withdrawal have not been repeated.
A stronger, more able leader might have used this opportunity to take on the destructive ideology of Tory anti-Europeanism as part of a strategy of returning the party to the mainstream of British politics. There was perhaps no one better placed to do it, just as Neil Kinnock was the only politician in 1983 able to begin the reform of the Labour Party.
But Iain Duncan Smith is no Neil Kinnock – and is as much a prisoner of the anti-Europeans as its spokesman.

Praise for Kinnock? This speech IS an application for a post in the EU, so that’s it!

The experience of one Tory Party pressure group committed to the prospect of UK withdrawal from the EU is telling. Conservatives Against a Federal Europe (Café) boasts Iain Duncan Smith as one of its Vice Presidents and, after years of acting as a thorn in the side of Central Office, decided to suspend active campaigning following his election as leader of the party.
Yet, for all this, Duncan Smith pleads that the Tory Party is not in favour of withdrawal. He accuses those of suggesting otherwise of "telling a lie" (Speech in Prague, 10.7.03). Indeed, in an attempt to convince people of his undying support for the European Union, he travelled to Prague last month to make that speech in which he described EU enlargement – the very same enlargement opposed by senior Tories in Estonia, Malta and elsewhere – as "historic" and the Union’s "greatest achievement".
And in a phrase which would have made Bill Cash startle, he even commended the EU’s founders for their clarity of vision.
But Bill Cash and the others who share Duncan Smith’s history and instincts have no need to worry, for behind these warm words was an extraordinary speech which painted a picture of an EU of his dreams which, even if desirable, would never be attainable.
It inhabited a fantasy world of distorted logic and contrived demons to suggest that the EU had been hijacked by power-crazed and unelected bureaucrats determined to destroy the sovereignty of national parliaments and create a United States of Europe against the wishes of democratically-elected governments.
Quite apart from the fact that change within the EU can only take place with the agreement of member states, his answer to this demon appears to be to reject some of the fundamental aspects of the EU which Britain has long accepted and, instead, suggest the creation of some sort of European free-trade area where any one of 25 or more national parliaments could exercise a veto over any particular EU measure.
In doing so, Mr Duncan Smith appears far keener to re-fight the battle of 1993 – and even 1973 – than make constructive proposals for 2003 and beyond.
Little wonder then that Ken Clarke said that "Iain should not pretend this speech is not a call for withdrawal from the European Union in any recognisable form." [Gallery News, 10 July 2003]
Mr Duncan Smith’s argument that the EU should not have "supremacy over our national laws" is extraordinary from someone who claims to be in favour of British membership of the European Union. From its outset with the Treaty of Rome, EU law has had primacy over national law in those areas where member states agree. The British Parliament accepted this in 1973.
How, for example, could the Single Market work if each member state decided to ignore agreed measures, and there was no supranational power to enforce it? That was, after all, why Margaret Thatcher agreed to give up the national veto on a wide range of issues in the 1986 Single European Act.
I know of no other EU country which has advocated such a proposal, and there was no effort made in this speech to suggest where Britain would receive support in the event that a Conservative government put it forward.
Even in the accession countries with which Duncan Smith crassly attempts to align himself there is no appetite for the changes he suggests.
Yet without support for such a wholesale renegotiation of existing treaties, this imaginary Conservative government would be faced either with capitulation or withdrawal. It is the choice which today’s Tory Party would prefer not to acknowledge publicly. But it is the only choice there is. And either course would do lasting damage to Britain at home and abroad.
That is the reason for various attempts from senior Conservatives such as David Heathcoat-Amory to contrive some mythical alternative of "associate membership". Quite apart from the unfortunate position Britain would find itself – being subject to measures over which it had no say - such a prospect is the stuff of right-wing pamphlets and think-tanks and has no connection with today’s EU.
For all the faults of Labour’s 1983 manifesto, at least the commitment to withdraw from the EEC was honest and straightforward. It was based on the acceptance that one member state cannot dictate fundamental reform of what is now the EU without the agreement of our European partners. After all, collective organisations only work on the basis of consensus and accommodation.
The suggestion that a Conservative government led by Iain Duncan Smith will be able to subvert this logic in the future is at best hopelessly naïve, at worst profoundly dishonest.

The foregoing portion is a timely and interesting discussion on the very question that drove us to open this new blog. It highlights some interesting issues to which we will no doubt frequently return.

The EU is not perfect. Far from it. That is why Britain has played a leading role within the Convention on the Future of Europe to propose ways of enhancing its accountability and effectiveness.
We have, for example, championed the case of giving for the first time national Parliaments a role in the decision-making structure of the EU. We have proposed giving greater strategic authority to the body which represents national governments, the European Council. And we are working closely with our friends across Europe to fashion a more stable, coherent structure for the EU which better delivers in those areas where it can make a positive difference to people’s lives.
The draft constitutional text from the Convention on the Future of Europe does not have everything we want, but it is a good starting point for discussion between member states, and we will be working hard in the forthcoming Intergovernmental Conference to improve it. Yet our ability to lead change comes not from seeking isolation and marginalisation but by active engagement and support.
That is what has marked out our policy and with a dynamic, successful economy the envy of many and diplomatic authority across the world, we have been able to exert real influence within the European Union.
Yet far from seeking to promote ways of extending Britain’s power and prestige, today’s Tory Party, racked by ideological hostility to the EU, is committed to a course of diluting and diminishing that influence and authority.
At its heart, this flawed ideology represents a profound lack of confidence in Britain and what our country stands for. It is inward-looking and reactive and inhabits a time warp out of touch with the reality of Britons living, working and travelling in today’s Europe. Fundamentally, it represents a raw deal for Britain and would set this country on a profoundly damaging course which would be catastrophic for British jobs and British prestige.
Today, there are clear dividing lines between the two main political parties on the vital issues. On one hand, there is a party committed to excellent public services for all, and engaged within the EU and on the international stage to promote national interests and values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law. On the other is a party committed to cutting investment in health and education and prepared to lead Britain to international isolation and withdrawal.
This is a divide we shall be confident to take to the British people at the next election.


Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Straw beats drum for Europe

This party political speech made by Jack Straw, Britain's Foreign Secretary, but issued from a Labour Party web-site 'Labour engaged in Europe while the Tories are in fantasy land'

We shall discuss this speech shortly.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Plea to trust IDS

Again from EU Facts, Figures and Phantasies we reproduce below a letter from its editor, setting out a case for a restoration of eurorealist faith in the Conservative Party:-

11 July 2003


Nigel Farage MEP and Derek Bennett (letters 11 July) are defending the

Duncan Smith was quite clear ...

The Tories demand a referendum on the constitution; If they don't get one they will fight the election on the constitution

3. They do not want ANY constitution at all;

4. Duncan Smith will have already succeeded in stopping the draft being railroaded through the IGC;

5. The Tories reject" a centralised and federalist Europe" and want " a partnership of sovereign states, trading freely with each other and co-operating on matters of common interest." [Isn't this what we all want?]

6. "But Parliament has no more right to lay Britain's sovereignty at the feet of a foreign constitution than it has to ban elections. No British government has the authority to give away that which it does not own. Because the Westminster Parliament's authority is founded in the will of the British people. An EU constitution would thwart the will of the peoples ofEurope and over-rule their national parliaments. That's why the Conservative Party's opposition to the adoption of a European constitution
is a matter of principle. It's a basic principle that sovereignty belongs to individual nations and their peoples"

7. "The European Union can only prosper as an alliance of sovereign democracies. A Europe of nations in a world of nations. Willing to fight for its own peoples and for a fairer, safer world. A stronger Britain in a stronger Europe."

Sure Duncan Smith does not want to leave Europe BUT HE DOES NOT WANT TO STAY IN THIS ONE!

We shall now be treated to that 1980s mantra 'we cannot trust the Tories' once again but after all if IDS can have sacrificed 5 years of his political life on a matter of principle of the Maastricht treaty, he at least deserves to be trusted!

So where does UKIP fit into this? It's now irrelevant!


Christina Speight

The case for Eurorealists to throw their weight behind the Tory Party as led by Iain Duncan Smith is most forcefully put by Christina Speight in her internet newsletter EU Facts Figures and Phantasies.

On 14th July she provided the following extract from an Opinion piece by William Rees-Mogg

We don't need a hero, bring on the Quiet Man

Almost unnoticed, Mr Duncan Smith has built a strong team at the top. Michael Ancram is a moderate but shrewd Shadow Foreign Secretary; he has avoided the difficulties into which Jack Straw has fallen. Oliver Letwin has mastered David Blunkett on Home Office issues. Mr Howard has been the first Shadow Chancellor to out-debate Gordon Brown in the House; he has exposed serious flaws in the Chancellor’s economic policy. The Conservatives have been winning many of the arguments. Yet this is the IDS team, chosen by and working to him.

The leadership of a party calls for commonsense judgement. Every party needs brilliance, but brilliance can come to be distrusted. Until last week there was real doubt whether Mr Duncan Smith would be able to handle the big definitions of policy, particularly those on Europe, that had destroyed two previous leaders: Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

Mr Duncan Smith’s Prague speech on Friday was the right speech, in the right place, at the right time. It gave life to the theme of a free-trade, outward-looking Europe, working with rather than against the United States, based on the democratic parliaments of the individual nations.

The speech can be summed up in his quotation from the great Czech leader, Vaclav Klaus: “The current European unification process is not about opening up. It is about centralism, about regulation and control, about redistribution and social transfers, about the ever-increasing role of an unelected and uncontrolled bureaucracy, about the retreat from classical parliamentarianism.” Duncan Smith and Klaus are real European democrats.

Mr Blair also claims to want a Europe based on democracy, based on the individual nations, expanding global free trade, working with America, with less rather than more bureaucracy, retaining as wide an area of national independence as possible. But he has failed to support these objectives in the negotiations for a European constitution, which is bureaucratic and anti-democratic. It will transfer massive further powers from national parliaments to Brussels. The more this is debated the clearer it will become that Mr Duncan Smith has got it right. On Europe, Mr Blair is a hypocrite.

Mr Duncan Smith may be recovering from being underrated; certainly the Conservatives have made a strong recovery. The opposite process is happening on the Left; Tony Blair is losing the trust of the people, but most of all he is losing the trust of his own party. Iraq, dossiers, spin, foundation hospitals, crime, taxes, university fees, Europe itself are all damaging him. The familiar slogans now sound empty and meaningless.

TIMES Opinion [E X T R A C T] July 14, 2003 William Rees-Mogg

Monday, August 25, 2003


At the heart of the Conservative Party's ongoing difficulties over Europe is the deep split among it members over the European Union. Can the Tories be trusted, if once again given control over the remaining levers of Britain's power, to not cede any more of Britain's sovereignty to Brussels, let alone regain some small portion of all that has been lost, most of which, it should not be forgotten was during previous Conservative administrations.

Ian Duncan Smith voted against the Maastricht Treaty, a promising start but his Prague speech available from the link in the post below contains worrying contradictions. Some of which are quoted here:-

This historic enlargement is the European Union's greatest achievement and the culmination of its post-war purpose. An enlarged European Union of which Britain is a committed member.

"The British, Czech and Polish peoples - and all people who cherish democratic freedoms - want a different path, a different destination. They want a New Europe.

"Let me be clear: The Conservative Party does not want Britain to leave the European Union. We want to make it work. Anyone who says differently is telling a lie.

"A vote against the Constitution is not a vote to leave the European Union.

"The truth is that we are as committed to building a New Europe of sovereign democracies as we are opposed to a United States of Europe. That's the real choice. That's the real debate."

There are many fine words in the speech, particularly on the subject of the constitution and the clear fact that democracy cannot exist in a unit larger than the nation state - but - the old inconsistency, forced by the need for party unity, results in a contradictory compromise no less severe or impossible than William Hague's 'In Europe - not run by Europe'

*************THAT EUROPE IS NOT ON OFFER****************

Throughout the speech IDS references Britain, the Czech Republic and Poland and these countries may indeed see eye to eye on the importance of the nation state, Nato, sovereign democracy etc. The other "Old" European Countries do not. It is a fact and wishing it were otherwise will never make it so. If any can make a convincing case why this analysis is flawed we shall post it here.

In the near future we will be adding a "Comment" facility to this Blog.
Iain Duncan Smith's Prague Speech

This blog, created by those responsible for UKIP Uncovered and Ironies, will explore in detail the critical question for Eurorealists of whether or not the Tories, under the leadership of IDS, can be trusted to disregard the strong euro-federalist instincts of many within their party, and restore sovereignty to the Westminster Parliament and its democratic accountability to the people of the United Kingdom.

The Full Text of the IDS Prague speech from The Daily Telegraph 11th July 2003