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Highlighting news stories important to the Civic Republican
particularly those that are overlooked or little covered in the main media.
British journalists and newsmen woke up in their beds today to find a “political earthquake” has happened. In their default somnambulant state they had difficulty in believing what had happened.
UKIP was expected to do very well in Sunday’s pan-European EU elections, but it takes the announcement of the election result to make them begin to reflect on what is happening in politics.
They will no doubt over-react and still get it all wrong so it falls to your correspondent at the Newsletter to point out some of the bleeding obvious facts that do not surface in the British media.
Bleeding Obvious No 1. This is not an earthquake but merely the continuation of trends already set well in place. It would only be an earthquake if it told us anything about the results of the 2015 general election, but it does not. Nothing is new as regards that.
Bleeding Obvious No 2. British journalists and the BBC have conducted a deliberate campaign of ridiculing UKIP seizing on the comments of a few nutters in the party – as if such people did not exist in all the parties. This British people have simply ignored this press campaign.
Bleeding Obvious No 3. The European Union is shifting sands. That is why any referendum is meaningless if people are asked to vote on EU membership as it stands or on some recently negotiated amendment to the Treaty. All the main advocates of the EU wish to move it further and further towards a federal Europe and bit by chunk they get their way.
The only meaningful referendum would ask: Do you want a Federal Europe or not? Because that is what we will eventually get
Bleeding Obvious No 4. The Tories are not stupid. They have proposed a referendum at the earliest possible date in the new parliament. This is because they are aware of Bleeding Obvious No 3 and so the earlier the referendum the more palatable the EU will look and so the more likely a yes vote to stay in.
Once the referendum has been held, it will be argued that the people have spoken and the way will be clear for more and more integration.
Bleeding Obvious No 5. Ed Milliband is unelectable. Both Labour and Conservatives have in the past proved themselves adept at choosing leaders that will never be elected Prime Minister – Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock, William Hague, IDF, Michael Howard, Gordon Brown.
The bleeding obvious thing about the unelectable is that they are never elected. It is rare that we have a true electoral race where both main parties have electable leaders, the last being when John Major fought Tony Blair in 1997. Cameron against Ed Milliband is a non-contest.
Bleeding Obvious No 6. Ed Milliband used union block votes to stab his brother in the back, usurping David Milliband’s rightful place as leader of Labour. David would have been highly electable as leader. The British electorate have not forgotten the betrayal by his sibling.
The dignity with which David has accepted the defeat and the ruination of his promising political career is notable – although his lack of courage in challenging Gordon Brown when he had the chance shows a personal failing that cannot be ignored and, as it turned out, sealed his fate. Ed wisely did not disclose his intentions to his brother at that time
Bleeding Obvious No 7. Clegg has been criticised for taking on Farage in televised debates on Europe exposing himself to humiliation and boosting Farage’s profile. The content of the debates have been picked over to try to find illumination on Clegg’s debating skills, Farage’s weaknesses and so on.
All this ignores the bleeding obvious that Clegg knows he and his party, the LibDems, will be wiped out in 2015 and that like a sensible chap he has his eye on his next employment. The debates were simply a display of his undying loyalty to the European dream to set himself up for a high-salaried post in the EU. Whether he won or lost the arguments was irrelevant.
Bleeding Obvious No 8. In view of Bleeding Obvious Nos 3, 4, 5 and 6, the Tories will get an overall majority in 2015. The only fly in the ointment is UKIP but the promise of a EU, in out referendum was an easy way of shooting UKIPs fox. The referendum will happen and the latest EU package will be dressed up as a good deal for Britain.
Following the waving of a piece of paper signed in Europe foretelling “European concessions in our time”, the EU will continue its march to European federalism. That is clearly the plan. It may work.
Bleeding Obvious No 9. The European project will at some point fall apart. If Britain does not quit, the French will. The anger in France against Europe is even greater than in Britain – but then France suffers in addition by being in the Eurozone. Without one of its key nations the EU will probably survive as a union of Germany with mainly East European states who believe they have much to gain be being allied to Germany.
The legacy of the EU experiment will be a Greater Germany.
Bleeding Obvious No 10. Whatever one says about the state of democracy in Britain, the success of UKIP shows that democracy can still make a difference. But the British first-past-the-post will in 2015 do its job of stifling and annulling UKIPs support and it will be lucky to get one MP. But it deserves one or more at least. Let us hope this can happen against an electoral system that stacks the odds against it.
[The DRP proposes an alternative electoral system, the Kellowian Weighted Representation System – neither first-past-the-post nor PR. Read about the Kellowian system here.]
Let me conclude with something not so obvious – not so obvious because it is so obscure.
As well as elections to the European Parliament there are also ongoing elections for the powerful post of European Union President.
The candidates are all nonentities as far as most Europeans are concerned having forged their careers mostly as euro-apparatchiks.
Newsnight’s Katie Razzell [25 May 14] asked candidate, Jean-Claude Juncker: “Do you think many people know your policies?” His answer revealed his distance and his contempt for the people he is supposed to be representing.
I don’t know but that’s not really my problem. They have to take some interest in what we are proposing. I’m not running after the electorate.
We will shortly be writing personally to all members to formalise their membership and ask them to set up standing order to pay their subscriptions
in the run up to the 2015 election campaign we will be writing personally to every member requesting donations. We can do nothing without money.