Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Monday, 22 October 2007

The End of the Beginning

We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonality...but we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not combined. We are interested and associated but not absorbed. - Winston Churchill, 1946

OH, WHAT A HOPELESS ROMANTIC Churchill appears in retrospect. Britain does not have its own dream or task in the world today; the great global British project has quite transparently made way for a grandiose European one instead. Britain is no longer just in Europe, of Europe and for Europe, they are becoming under Europe too, thanks to the democratically deceitful handiwork of their political masters. They are not merely interested or associated or linked; but combined, absorbed, entrenched and entangled, perhaps now, irretrievably. With the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon by Gordon Brown, the United Kingdom will surely be pushed all the way into the cesspool of continental European integration.

And for what? Is it really possible to suppose that whatever integrated Europe could ever evolve from the cesspit of unrepresentative and irresponsible corruption, of anti-American, anti-Christian, weak-at-the-knees bureaucratic paralysis, that currently defines its governmental apparatus; could possibly be better for Britain, than what Great Britain has evolved for itself over the course of a thousand years?

For the life of me, I cannot think of one single net positive likely outcome of this effort. Britain has, throughout its history, been secured as the constant incubator of civil liberties, parliamentary democracy and liberal economy; by the distance which it has physically enjoyed, and which it has strategically, politically and militarily nurtured; from the continent of Europe. What circumstances have changed, that should conspire to direct Britain's core interests and decisions in precisely the opposite direction from the compass north it has observed throughout its entire history, I know not.

In this respect, I ask the exactly same question as Sir Winston Churchill in his speech of March, 1936 to the Conservative Backbench Foreign Affairs Committee. In that speech, Churchill pointed out that throughout the course of almost four centuries, and in the face of four successive mortal threats to its free security from a rising and belligerent continental power (Philip II's Spain, Louis XIV's and Napoleon I's France, and Wilhem II's Germany), Britain always chose the hard but correct path of steadfast opposition to the power which - animated by principles vastly different from those of liberal Britain - could and would, in victory and in the achievement of hegemony, only diminish or destroy Britain's essence. Churchill asked: what has changed, that we should, in 1936, regard our proper response to the rising power of Adolf Hitler's Germany in a different manner?

The answer was, of course, nothing at all; and that Churchill was able to persuade his fellow countrymen of that fact, changed the course of history for the immeasurably better.

What was true in 1936 is, in my view, true today. That is not to suggest for a moment that there is any country or power on the continent of Europe today, which constitutes a belligerent and militaristic threat to Great Britain in the classical sense. Most European countries are today, at least nominally, liberal democracies. I suppose it is this very fact which leads many in Britain to think that the magnetic north pole of Britain's strategic self-interest has moved, and that that move justifies a submersion of Britain's hard-won independence and long-evolved institutions, into a European institutional hodge-podge without history, accountability, checks and balances, or record of performance.

Yet the risk Gordon Brown runs - on behalf of all Britons and, by extension, all Commonwealth subjects - should be self-evident from this description. What I find truly confounding is that there is nothing whatsoever that I can see to justify taking this risk, even assuming that integrated Europe should somehow acquire an effective, representative and responsible government. Britain already has one of those. So, too, does it have free trade and free flow of goods, workers and other economic constituent components and forces, between itself and its European neighbours.

Is it too late? Up until now, member states of the European Union have agreed upon common policies that are merely suggestive of a single federated state, be it a common civil service (the European Commission), a single High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, a common European Security and Defence Policy, a supreme court (European Court of Justice in matters of European Union law), a common space agency (the European Space Agency), a peacekeeping force (Eurofor), and an intergovernmental research organisation (the EIROforum). It may talk of a "single European currency", a European Central Bank and a European Parliament, but the EU does not have a single government, a single foreign policy set by that government, or a single taxation system contributing to a single exchequer. It still does not have a constitution. It is still missing the symbols of statehood, such as an official coat-of-arms and presidential seal. It does, however, have a common flag, anthem, holiday and motto. It has basically come as far as it can come without becoming a constitutional republic with a semi-presidential system.

And that is why it is finally the end of the beginning. The long phoney war is over. To be or not to be is now the question. The cunning ambiguity about what it all means continues, but people seem less easily fooled over treaties dressed up as constitutions, or rather constitutions dressed down as treaties. Deceitful diversions like grandstanding over the crossing of certain "red lines" for an undefined period of time sound increasingly like desperate ploys to avoid a politically feared referendum. People may just be waking up. For the future of Her Majesty, the real battle has arrived; the year of reckoning has finally come.

Posted by Beaverbrook and Walsingham


David Byers said...

Technically Britain is part of Europe one only needs to see any map of the world to see that but to be swallowed up by the ideology of what Europe now stands for is a great shame.

Kipling said...

Grave tidings Beaverbrook. We are all grieved at what is happening to Mother England.

Dundonald said...

A new alien form of government has been imposed on the people of the United Kingdom (now more commonly known as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland); one that is immune from such inconveniences as elections. Meanwhile, the constituent countries of the formerly United Kingdom continue to squabble like adolescent siblings. The “colleagues” have played a masterstroke.

Now, how does one go about becoming a Canadian citizen?

Beaverbrook said...

Not so fast, Dundonald. In the same way as Paris is worth a mass, Britain deserves a referendum. But it needs to be a referendum that clearly points the way, not just a delay of the inevitable. The UK should become an associate member of the EU, not a province of a federated European state. I'm convinced Britons would chose that path if given half the chance.

Anonymous said...

Pass the word around about the pro-referendum rally next Saturday: Should be a good laugh...

Matt Bondy said...

This is a wonderful post, Beaverbrook. Like so much of your commentary, it's as stirring as it is insightful.


Death Bredon said...

Don't let Europe Rule Britannia! My mother country, don't do it!

To surrender to the the Unholy European Empire now, without a shot fired, would be an egregious betrayal of all things British and of the memories of Queen Elizabeth I, Nelson, Wellington, and Churchill.