December 14, 2009

Theft Report-An MP Responds

I have to be honest when I say that I expected my article Theft Report would be read only by my regular visitors. Around 80 people. Instead, it was read by thousands upon thousands of people. I was surprised and inordinately pleased. Of course, it would not have generated the interest it did without the help of my fellow bloggers who kindly reposted the piece on their (more popular) blogs, and the hundreds of people who linked back to my little rant. It was then, and remains now, a short piece highlighting the losses we suffered when 1st December 2009 dawned. It was never intended to be a battle cry or a call to arms, it was a farewell to some old friends. It was right that someone mourned their passing. The piece fitted in perfectly with my stated goals of becoming a Freeman. I had wrongly thought that being swallowed by the European Union would end my plans. Hurried research showed that the Treaty on European Union (the new name for the Lisbon Treaty) was merely another statute I could safely, and lawfully, ignore.

Last night I was contacted by one of the Awkward Sods in the bloglist to your left. I was asked if I was interested in a follow-up to the original piece and of course I said yes. This particular awkward sod had received an email from a commenter who asked that the letter below be passed on to me. The only condition was that I protected the source. Not for any nefarious reasons, just to protect his/her anonymity. It was an easy condition to agree to, as their identity is not germane. The original letter to the MP, which I have seen, but will not be reproducing here, is merely an enquiry from an angry and astonished constituent to his/her MP.

What follows from the MP is not mind-blowing or earth-shattering, but I think it tells us several things. I won't analyse the response, but you, dear reader, are most welcome to.

Dear XXXX,

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

I do agree with the slant that there are also serious problems with the EU Constitution which came into force on the 1st December following the signing of the Lisbon Treaty by the Czech Republic President. . The costs of EU membership are heavier than they should be. There have been improvements – proposed new EU laws are now assessed for their impact on jobs and businesses – but there is still too much red tape coming from Brussels and too much interference in matters that should be decided by Europe’s nation states, not the EU. Some EU laws are doing real damage to our businesses and public services.
The EU budget also costs British taxpayers more than it should, not least because this Labour Government signed away £7 billion of Britain’s hard won rebate in return for nothing at all. A Conservative Government would robustly defend Britain’s financial interests in Europe and press for further reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, which accounts for two fifths of the EU budget.
I know from a number of letters and emails that I have received how much people resent the fact we cannot now have the referendum we were promised by the Government.

Personally, I can live with David Cameron’s statement although I share your anger that we have found ourselves in this situation in the first place.  This is a situation which has been brought about by the Labour Party (aided by the Lib Dems), who could have instigated a referendum at any time prior to the Treaty’s ratification.  I firmly believe that it is for the current Prime Minister to have given us a referendum on the EU constitution, as he promised.  A promise from an elected government is a promise.  It’s this government that has robbed us of a referendum and forced us into a whole new level of EU integration.  There will now be a new President of the European Council, the High Representative will have more powers and all the other changes affecting all EU countries will be in place. Until the Lisbon Treaty came into force a referendum in Britain could have stopped all that. Now it cannot.
We have always been clear that, if this situation came about, we would immediately set out how a Conservative Government would respond. So the day after the last signature that the Treaty needed was given David Cameron gave a key speech in London making clear our approach for the future.

As David Cameron explained, if we win the next election, our first step would be to prohibit, by law, the transfer of further power to the EU without a referendum. Never again should it be possible for a British government to use a Treaty to transfer areas of power to the EU without the British people’s consent.

Second, we will introduce a United Kingdom Sovereignty Bill to make it clear that ultimate authority stays in this country, in our Parliament.

And third, we want to negotiate three specific guarantees with our European partners over powers that we believe should reside with Britain, not the EU. We will negotiate the return of Britain’s opt-out from social and employment legislation in those areas which have proved most damaging to our economy and public services. We also want a complete opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights. And we would negotiate for a return of powers in criminal justice to prevent EU judges gaining steadily greater control over our criminal justice system.

If the Conservatives win the next election, the British Government will be an active member of the European Union. Like every other Member State, we will fight our corner to advance our national interests. But our guiding principles will be that Britain’s interests are best served by a European Union that is an association of its member states - and that we must never allow Britain to slide into a federal Europe.

I do hope you feel reassured by the approach we have taken.

Thank you, once again, for getting in touch about this issue.

Best wishes,

Chloe Smith
Member of Parliament for Norwich North

For those of us that have done our research, one glaring error leaps off the page. Ms Smith lays the blame at the door of the Labour Party and partly the LibDems. Perhaps she is not aware that this all began with Ted Heath's Conservative government when they passed the European Communities Act in 1972.

MPs must assume that their letters to constituents may end up in the public domain from time to time and I do not think Ms Smith has anything to worry about in her reply. She may, of course, see it differently. If you have anything to add Ms Smith, mi blog es su blog, and you are most welcome to expand if you wish.

My thanks go to the Awkward Sod and to their commenter for their trust, and for allowing me to use the material they supplied in this follow-up.

The floor, dear readers, is yours.



Oldrightie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catosays said...

It seems to me that, as European Law now has precedence of UK Law, then it will not be possible for any law to be passed by a Conservative government prohibiting the transfer of more power to Brussels.......unless Chloe knows better.

And, Chloe, where's the referendum that Cameron gave a 'cast-iron' guarantee about?

Oldrightie said...

"Like every other Member State".
Ambiguous use of "State" as time goes by the ambiguity will be lost and State become as in Federal. She sounds every bit like Ted Heath. Nothing ever changes, just sometimes looks prettier!

Witterings from Witney said...

Cap'n, any chance you could ask your AS if we have his/her ok to post that response from chloe on the Albion Website?

Captain Ranty said...

Will do. Stand by.


Captain Ranty said...


I have received permission. Please go ahead and repost.


Pesky Anonymous said...

Para 1: Oh it's awful isn't it.
Para 2: In fact it's really awful and we are going to complain about it.
Para 3: It's labour's fault. It's a done deal now. Tough titty.
Para 4: We (the tories) have always grumbled about it.
Paras 5, 6, & 7: These are the things we are going to grumble about (sorry: "negotiate") if we ever get a chance.
Para 8: We are part of Europe now. Get fucking used to it.

"We also want a complete opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights" to me sounds like: "Fuck you, little people." (although I am not familiar with the charter).

Conclusion: pure bullshit, as you would expect from one of the 646. Compulsive liars and charlatans.

Atheist Ranter said...

Politicians are nothing more than self-serving liars. Promise something one day then not do it the next. Kill a few a week for a while is the only way forward

Anonymous said...

"A promise from an elected government is a promise"

And so, I would have thought, is a promise from the Leader of the Opposition. Unless, of course, it's a cast iron one that's been smelted down and turned into a back brace to support the spineless twat!

In which case why should we believe you when you say "if we win the next election, our first step would be to prohibit, by law, the transfer of further power to the EU without a referendum"?

Call me Dave?

I'm calling you Blue fucking Labour at the moment and, as most people already know, I don't vote Labour.

Never have, never will.

That is all.

Rob Farrington said...

I've been over to Katabasis's place, and things don't look good:

Long, but essential reading for anyone who hasn't read it already.

Anonymous said...

I've seen it too Rob and you're right, it doesn't look good for us at all ..... and that's only Part 1.

Katabasis tells me that he will soon be posting Part 2, of his analysis of the Treaty, and I can't see that the news will be any better there either ;-(

banned said...

"As David Cameron explained (lied), if we win the next election, our first step would be (to pretend) to prohibit, by law, the transfer of further power to the EU without a referendum"
Cheers Chloe, but, as we all know, the Lisbon Treaty was a glorified Enabling Act, they don't need any more treaties and can assume any powers they want without further reference to us.

On the other hand, if Dave held a Unilateral Referendum In/Out, what could the evil EU do about it ? Send in the Italians ?

Captain Ranty said...

Thanks for your comments.

I agree with them all. It's nice to know it's not just me.

This MP is 27 years old. I had hoped (when I read about her during the Norwich by-election) that she would be different, but it looks like she is going to slot right into the machine.

If we leave them to it, nothing will ever change.