Following the first article in this series readers will recall that I had also emailed my constituency Member of Parliament, Grahame Morris (Labour – Easington) asking for his assistance on this matter. It should also be mentioned that I took the opportunity in that email to make the point that it was depressing that not one Member of Parliament raised the concerns I had expressed; which begs the question whether they are all bereft of knowledge where ‘matters EU’ are concerned.
Today we had David Cameron’s speech to the CBI, together with various articles suggesting that were his December European Council meeting to ‘go well’ it may be that the promised referendum could happen in June 2016; or at the latest in September.
June is ‘pie in the sky’ for one simple reason: did not the Electoral Commission state there should be a six-month period between the referendum being called and the actual vote? Then of course there are Scottish, Welsh, local and London Mayoral elections in May 2016; plus the EU referendum bill is still in the House of Lords and the matter of whether 16-17 year olds can vote has yet to be resolved. If the Lords gives the government another bloody nose, it is highly unlikely redrawing the electoral register to widen the franchise would be achieved by June.
Yesterday, in the House of Commons, David Cameron repeated his dismissal of the ‘Norway Option’ as an alternative form of membership of the European Union, stating that Norway has no seat at the table and no ability to negotiate – something he repeated on Facebook.
Readers will recall my handing David Cameron a ‘dossier‘, during a meeting at his constituency office in Witney. Readers will also recall that in his response he stated that he could not agree with a number of the points I made, eventually informing me that he was drawing our correspondence to a close. In that dossier facts were presented to David Cameron which showed that Norway does have a seat at top tables and does have the ability to negotiate as a result of being heavily involved in the various stages by which EU law is implemented.
At PMQs today Christpher Pincher – Conservative: Tamworth – (starts 01:00:57) rose to ask David Cameron whether, on the question of the UK’s reformed relationship with the EU, he [David Cameron] would confirm that no option is ‘off the table’ and that all British options would be considered; including one similar to Norway.
David Cameron replied that no options were off the table and went on to say that some wishing to leave the EU point to Norway stating her position is a good outcome. He continued that Norway has ‘no seat at the table’ and ‘no ability to negotiate’ – in effect ruling that option out.
The Minister for Local Growth & the Northern Powerhouse James Wharton writes about the devolution of power and support of the devolution deals taking power from Whitehall and returning it to communities.
He writes how devolution can give voters, civic leaders and businesses power over the decisions which affect them and which shape their local environment. Elected ‘civic leaders’ can only be held to account by voters once every four years, so just how can the people who are subject to decisions made by those (businesses) over whom they have no real control whatsoever hold them to account? Paraphrasing this article, business needs to learn one thing: how we are governed is not the business of business.
Paraphrasing H.L. Mencken, it would seem the aim of present day politicians, especially the blue ones, is to keep the populace subdued and content with repetition of their imaginary acts of patriotism.
I see today that David Cameron, in his closing speech to the Tory conference, repeats the lie that we have ‘got out’ of bailouts – no we have not, Mr. Cameron. It is worth recalling that, although he chose not to repeat them, neither was there a treaty vetoed; and nor is Norway ‘governed by fax’.
So David Cameron has ‘laid down the law’, informing his EU fellow Heads of State just what and what is not acceptable to the United Kingdom where our membership of the European Union is concerned – well, that is what he said he would do, many moons ago.
As with ‘everything Cameron’, there is a vast difference in what he says he will do and what he eventually does. We had a demand for ‘full-on’ treaty change; now we now learn that we can’t have ‘full-on’ treaty change prior to ‘his referendum’. We now find that what we are likely to get is a ‘promise’ that his demands will be incorporated into the process of a future treaty change, something that will be legally binding – as and when that may happen. On this point of a promise, one can but refer to Richard North’s point (in the comments section) that there is a vast difference twixt legally binding and politically binding.
Not in the sense of being an environmental
advocate ‘nut’, but in the sense of knowing nothing, thus being naive – leaving aside the colour aspect, it being a mixture of blue and yellow; which in what follows begs the question whether Damian Green is in the right party.
Damian Green has an article on the Speccie Coffee House blog extolling the virtues to be gained by continuing this country’s membership of the European Union. As with all such articles it is full of holes and repeats well-worn propaganda such as 3 million jobs depend on such membership; not forgetting of course that British people can work and study anywhere in the EU, buy second homes or retire in France or Spain, and establish businesses and bid for contracts on a level playing field. What Green forgets is that all of the benefits arising from our membership of the European Union could have been negotiated without the loss of our sovereignty.
On the BBC news this evening David Cameron, when questioned about the ‘Clarkson/Top Gear’ fiasco, stated that he did not wish to become involved in the ‘running of the BBC’ (readers can go find the link – do I have to everything round here? I jest, naturally).
But consider: were Clarkson, who lives lives in Chipping Norton (which is part of Cameron’s Witney constituency), to seek a meeting with his MP alleging victimisation resulting in his loss of earnings and asking for help, then Cameron would of necessity have to become involved with the running of the BBC.