Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Who are the real authoritarians, Mr Miliband?

David Miliband, the foreign secretary, has in recent weeks launched a typically New Labour, McCarthyite attack on the Conservative party for teaming up with some east European political parties in the European parliament who are alleged to hold anti-semitic, homophobic and ‘neo-Nazi’ views.

However, since the European Parliament is clearly not where significant power lies in Brussels, the decision of the Tories to team up with East European centre-right parties is of little consequence, regardless of whether or not the claims made against them have been spun in some typically New Labour way by the foreign secretary.

McCarthyite tactic

New Labour, throughout its Peter Mandelson-orchestrated history, has frequently attempted to smear its opponents as being ‘far right’ or ‘xenophobic’ in order to distract attention from the actual substance of the inconvenient political position or claim being advanced.

The foreign secretary in making the attacks he has is merely continuing a long, disreputable tradition, characterised in relation to the EU issue principally by former Europe minister Denis MacShane.

David Miliband’s intention now is to distract attention away from his government’s anti-democratic breaking of its promise at the 2005 general election to let the British people vote on the Lisbon treaty (the cynically re-named European Constitution rejected by a large majority of French and Dutch voters in 2005).

Nor does he want us to focus on the fundamentally undemocratic nature of the system of governance that citizens from all the member countries are being placed under the control of without their consent.

EU's fascist backers

Since Mr Miliband has attempted to create this McCarthyite smokescreen, he should perhaps reflect that, as Dr John Laughland’s book The Tainted Source: The undemocratic origins of the European Union so brilliantly demonstrates, the original project of creating a Pan-European political system was actually enthusiastically supported by fascist movements.

The National Alliance in Italy, the successors to Mussolini’s party and partners in the Berlusconi coalition government, are firm supporters of greater European political union today.

The British fascist leader, Oswald Mosley, campaigned post-war on the slogan of ‘Europe a nation’. The original plans for a single currency were drawn up by the Nazis.

Former French presidents and drivers for European centralisation, Francois Mitterand, Giscard d’Estaing and Jacques Delors were all active for the Vichy government in various capacities. Mitterand even received the Francisc medal from Marshall Petain for his service to the fascist regime.

Fascists were attracted to the idea of a politically unified and regulated continent with a non-elected elite at its core.

New euro-authoritarians

The peoples of Europe today are confronted by a new and dangerous post-democratic elitism - Euro-Authoritarianism - of which David Miliband is one classic manifestation.

Euro-Authoritarianism is self-evidently more subtle than Twentieth Century fascism, and it is not motivated by anti-semitism.

The Euro-Authoritarians do not seek to end multi-party elections, but rather to greatly restrict the parameters within which electorates can make meaningful collective choices.

This is achieved by transferring ever more law-powers to appointed, non-accountable institutions in Brussels and through so-called Human Rights legislation that enables judges to become policy makers though their interpretations of vaguely drafted articles.

The new Euro-Authoritarians are driven by a post-modernist, Third Way ideology. This represents a direct threat to the liberal, anti-colonialist legacy of the European Enlightenment and the idea that sovereignty should reside with national communities of people rather than unaccountable elites.

Mr Miliband and his associates in New Labour today are working to create an elitist, post-democratic political system based in Brussels that does not accord with the rule of law and can by-pass parliamentary and public accountability.

The Euro-Authoritarians fear the concept of popular democracy, hence their hysterical denunciations of the idea that voters should be allowed to directly determine important issues by referendum.

The New Euro-Authoritarians support…

…preventing the peoples of the EU member states having a direct democratic say regarding whether or not new law-making powers should be centralised in Brussels. When the French and Dutch voters overwhelmingly rejected the Lisbon treaty (then named the EU Constitution) their wishes were ignored. When the Irish rejected both the Nice and Lisbon treaties they were forced to vote again within a year in rigged referenda so that these treaties could be forced through.

…the centralisation of more law-making powers in Brussels. Once directives are passed, no national elected government or parliament can opt to reject or reverse them as the unelected Commission retains the monopoly right to initiate new legislation. Because of the volume of laws emanating from Brussels, most of the measures are passed in Britain through the use of statutory instruments. MPs do not even get the chance to debate them, let alone vote to block them.

…the introduction of a raft of measures designed to increase state surveillance and control. Lisbon will lead to the creation of the Committee on Internal Security (COSI) which will share DNA, fingerprint, CCTV footage and internet surveillance material between security organisations. In May, the EU Data Retention Directive was passed. This enables state agencies to find out what all citizens - not just those suspected of committing criminal offences - have been downloading and who they have been contacting electronically.

The Commission is already funding Project Indect which is a mass surveillance project dedicated to identifying "abnormal behaviour" through CCTV footage and a "continuous monitoring of websites, discussion forums, usernet groups… and individual computer systems".

The EU now has an embryonic police force, Europol, whose officers, like senior EU officials, enjoy, revealingly, immunity from prosecution in member states (Statutory Instrument 1997 No.2973). This body will gain powers of "implementation"of operational powers within the member states as a consequence of Lisbon.

EU citizens can now under the European Arrest Warrant be deported automatically to another member country without any hard evidence having been provided by prosecuting authorities. The Commission has been for many years financing various projects designed to result in the introduction of ID cards, though their formal implementation is still a matter of national law.

…the current undemocratic structure of the EU. In addition to the unelected Commission’s monopoly right to introduce new legislation, the Council of Ministers meets in secret and votes are not recorded. In reality, the vast majority of its decisions are taken by civil servants representing the ministers from the member states in COREPER. European voters cannot hold these bodies collectively responsible through the ballot box.

The executive and the key legislative body, therefore, are beyond democratic account. It is illegal under article 108 of the current treaty for elected representatives from the member states to in any way try to influence the deliberations of the European Central Bank.

Under Lisbon, the political leaders, meeting behind closed doors in the European Council, will be able to appoint a full-time president and foreign minister to represent the Union on the world stage.

… an elitist, corporatist system of politics. The mindset of the EU political class is to concentrate power in the hands of elite bodies representing big business and the major trades unions. Hence, the Committee of the Social Partners which affords elite access to the European Round Table of Industrialists.

The EU model of corporatist politics cuts out ordinary voters and gives a massive advantage to lobbyists from big financial interests, as was seen in the decision to outlaw 300 alternative health treatments following extensive lobbying by Pfizer, Boots and other big companies.

Cowardly elite

New Labour have shown themselves to be notoriously cowardly in terms of openly debating the EU issue, as well as virtually every other issue.

They prefer, as good authoritarians, to speak only at controlled, all-ticket events with no or only planted questions from the floor.

Having made his outspoken accusation in the cosy company of the press that EU critics like William Hague and the Tory party are consorting with ‘neo-Nazis’, does the foreign secretary - who claims to be an intellectual - have the cojones to publicly debate the question of ‘anti-democratic politics’ with Dr Laughland?

We would be pleased to make all the arrangements, including finding a neutral chairperson that both participants find acceptable.

So how about it Mr Miliband?

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