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Euroscepticism in the world

Posted by Helen Friday, March 04, 2005

When we started this blog, less than a year ago (well, it was my colleague’s idea in the first place, but I became an enthusiastic convert within days if not hours) we decided to call it EUReferendum as that was the most pressing issue on the eurosceptic front.

When the referendum is over, whichever way it goes, we shall probably have to rename it. Even if we win that particular battle the war will not be over. What do we mean by that?

First and foremost, there is the fact that neither Richard North nor I have ever hidden our belief (despite accusations to the contrary from some of our less than totally attentive readers) that the European Union is the wrong way forward for Europe and for Britain. We would like to see this country renegotiate all its links with other European countries and we would like to see Europe shape itself in a different way in a world that is very different from the one in which the idea of the EU was born.

So, even if we win the referendum, it will only be one battle won. The war will go on.

We also believe that the referendum is not going to be fought on the details of the constitution, though these obviously matter, but on the whole idea of European integration and the notion of creating something called “Europe” or a new state, the European Union, one of whose purposes will be to oppose the United States and its allies, that is to split and destroy the western alliance.

We feel we need to deal with all these aspects, large and small; we need to analyze and talk about “Europe” as it affects our daily life and as it attempts to influence developments in the world. That is why the blog is there to discuss issues that are relevant to the referendum but have wider repercussions.

There are, however, issues that reach even further than that. We see the construction of the European project as part of important twin developments, both of which we oppose and write about in the blog.

On the one hand there is the growing power of the transnational organizations. At the apex of this construction is the United Nations, which provides the movement for supranationalism and transnationalism with its ideology. Below it there are other organizations, NGOs, the International Criminal Court and, of course, the European Union, the political expression of the whole movement.

The EU is in the process of turning itself into a state but is, nevertheless, an important weapon in the fight against the liberal, democratic, national state, of which the biggest and strongest is the United States. It is because we believe in the basic ideas that underpin that country and its allies, such as Australia, that we write in their praise.

We also believe that it behoves United Kingdom to break its relations with the managerial, regulatory, unaccountable, undemocratic system that the EU is and throw in her lot with the liberal democracies of the world. We should stand up against the system that the tranzis wish to impose on all of us. That is why we write about these organizations and their behaviour. We see the EU as part of that system and are convinced that we cannot discuss one without the other.

Beyond democracy and accountability, it is a question of freedom – of free states and free people, neither of whom should be submerged into the ideology created by a certain number of self-selected groups and individuals who take it upon themselves to try to produce a political order for the world.

At the other end of this network is the regulatory structure that affects people’s everyday life. There is a close connection between people who want to define European veal, force airlines into paying compensation whether it is appropriate or not, and define relative poverty in order to give government agencies the right to interfere in people’s lives.

All these are motivated by a conviction that the world ought to be run by a few (well, relatively few) experts who will impose their views on the rest of us, no doubt for our own good as they perceive it.

We, on the other hand, believe that to the greatest possible extent, people should make their own decisions and take responsibility for their actions. They can choose to fly cheap airlines, knowing that they will not be compensated if things beyond that airline’s control go wrong or they can choose to fly more expensive ones; they can even change airlines if they have had too many bad experiences and then market forces will kick in; the same people can decide what they expect to buy and eat when they go to a butcher in different countries for veal chops; and, whatever their income, they take responsibility for themselves and their families.

There are many other such instances. I have referred merely to three recent, fairly controversial postings.

The concept of freedom is seamless. It includes the freedom to run your own life and business and make your own choices; it also includes being able to influence the legislation of the country you live in.

We have chosen to focus the blog on one particular aspect of this fight against those who oppose individual and national freedom but to deal with that one aspect adequately we need to look, as far as we can, at the issue as a whole.