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Still in a fog

Posted by Helen Wednesday, April 01, 2009 ,

Two press releases from Libertas UK (as they still call themselves) yesterday. Well, at least, they keep themselves busy. I hear, by the way, that Jury Team has had a tremendous website response. People are knocking on the door very insistently or, at least, as some of the pro-referendum demo organizers realized, looking at the website. As a political force that remains ungagable.

One press release is a response to Caroline Flint's highly amusing admission that she had not really read the Constitutional Lisbon Treaty though she had assured us all that the Irish no vote was based on a misunderstanding of that document. How would she know, precisely?

Mind you, there is no call for the Conservatives to crow. I recall similar admissions by Conservative Ministers with relation to the Maastricht Treaty. Memory failure is no excuse in politics.

Libertas's comments about Ms Flint are reasonable enough. Having reminded everyone that Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen had not read the treaty either, they add:

Flint and Cowen can't read it and we shouldn’t have to. Democratic governance should be transparent and accountable, not opaque and elitist.
Not sure what they mean by elitist. After all, is it not the case that we would all like to see better and more intelligent people in politics and is that not elitist? The trouble with the whole Libertas mess is that they are not all that good at drawing conclusions either. The whole purpose of the European project is to be unaccountable – its founders and promoters have not time for democracy but, much worse, they have not time for accountability or freedom either.

That Libertas and its denizens do not understand what the fight is really about is shown by the sentence that follows:
Libertas advocates a peoples' constitution that is clear and understandable.
What is a peoples’ constitution and who actually needs or wants it (apart from Mr Ganley and the Former British Soldier, Robin Matthews)? What is wrong with the constitutional structures we already have? You know the ones that involve the Houses of Parliament or the Houses of the Oireachtas or whatever other legislatures the various countries have, not to mention existing legal systems?

The other press release, rather oddly deals with the … ahem … inappropriate expenses on Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s account. Libertas, they tell us, are in a position to prove that this is merely one aspect of prevailing corruption that is present in the European Parliament as well as in the national one.
As in London, so in Brussels, where the bloated bureaucracy works for itself, not for European people.

Libertas has revealed that, fresh from awarding themselves massive pay rises and lower taxes, our MEPs have decided to also let their assistants help themselves to even more of our money. Employing family and friends (or even fictitious people) in these roles is commonplace and makes abuse very hard to track, making it easy for MEPs and their associates to help themselves to unbelievable amounts of European taxpayers cash.
I am shocked, I tell you, shocked, not least by the press release writer’s inability to put an apostrophe where it is required. But, seriously, none of us knew that about MEPs until Mr Ganley and his merry men came along. Or did we?

Never mind. Former British Soldier, present UK campaign manager for Libertas and prospective Toy Parliament candidate in the South-West, Robin Matthews knows the answer:
As Matthews explained “Libertas wants the people have their say so that together we can build a Europe that we can believe in. This means holding Brussels to account in order to stop the waste and save money. We need to open up the corridors of power and make the EU work for us, not for them."

Robin Matthews added "How can we expect national parties to hold Brussels to account for its corruption and waste when they are too are busy helping themselves to taxpayers money."
I am looking forward to Colonel Matthews explaining to me what he really means by the EU working for us, not for them. He certainly failed to do so at the launch.

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