The futile backbench debate to be held in the House of Commons on 24 October will be a gift to the Daily Mail and the Sun, will give false hope to Eurosceptics across the country and will be a total waste of time and a distraction as the government is not in any way bound by it’s result. What we will see is a lot of not very bright MPs with highly vested interests spouting their usual, uninformed, vitriolic ‘little Englander’ rubbish.
These demonstrably, often dishonest people have no idea how Europe works and choose to ignore the many benefits that have helped ordinary working class people and ordinary families to live a better and more comfortable life. What is more, these MPs fully intend to deny the public the knowledge of those benefits in order to promote their own selfish ambitions.
The conservative party, traditionally Eurosceptic and with its ideals based in the 19th century where the powerful ruled the rest of us, has three years been lamenting the decision by Edward Heath to take us into what was then known as the Common Market in 1974 following a national referendum.
Whilst it is true that the EU today is very different indeed from the common market which was based on trade and cooperation, the benefits received by ordinary people in this country from its membership of the EU have been enormous. Many people do not realise that many of the things they now take for granted have their origins in our membership of the European Union.
Equal rights for workers, paid holidays for part-time workers, the right to be able to take the State to court if it breaks the law, the protection of gay and lesbian minorities, the recognition of transgender status, the minimum wage, the end of the death penalty, racial equality, the work done towards ending discrimination against the less able and those with learning difficulties, equal rights for women, an end to highly biased adoption procedures, the right of those with different points of view to be able to express them freely, the ability to challenge decisions made by the police, the probation service, the protection of prisoners in custody, the ability to challenge the courts and most definitely the politicians.
These are just a few of the benefits that started life as an idea in the European Union. Many critics of the EU claim that Britain and the British Parliament should be able to make these decisions and make these changes for itself, independent of Europe. Whilst this is a perfectly reasonable point of view, history shows us that until Britain joined the EU, no British Parliament had even thought of introducing such measures to improve people’s lives, let alone contemplate the idea that all people are equal and that everybody is entitled to live a rewarding and satisfying life.
For centuries prior to our membership of the European Union, it was accepted by the British people that the rich would rule and the rest of us would do as we are told. This lamentable state of affairs, missed so much by right-wing Tory MPs, is the jewel in the crown for Eurosceptics who desperately wish to return us to those days of discrimination which amounted to little more than a feudal existence.
The many new MPs elected at the last general election in 2010 have been brought up on a diet of Tony Blair, the Daily Mail, the now-defunct News of the World and its sister paper, the Sun. Whilst Blair and many other MPs, along with other well-heeled individuals, have all enjoyed the benefits of having a house in Europe and being able to travel and shop freely – something almost impossible before we joined the EU unless you were exceedingly rich – and whilst millions of people have enjoyed the’ booze cruises’ so loved by day-trippers along with the foreign holidays within Europe, it is still a fact that the vast majority of British people have absolutely no idea how the EU works, what it is about or what the benefits of membership actually are.
This is no accident either as successive governments and politicians with vested interests have deliberately ensured that most people do not understand the benefits of EU membership and instead are fed a diet of anti-EU slogans and rhetoric spewed out daily by right-wing newspapers whose sole interest is to make as much money as possible out of a gullible and ignorant public.
There are of course many who do understand the intricacies of membership of the European Union but regrettably, though perhaps not surprisingly, they choose to keep quiet for fear of making themselves unpopular, whether that be in the House of Commons or the Dog and Duck on a Friday night.
Schoolchildren are not taught about our membership of the EU; indeed they are not taught anything about Europe at all and nowadays do not even get the opportunity to learn a European language, despite the fact that they would probably double their employment opportunities were they able to do so.
Shoppers in high streets up and down the country live in blissful ignorance of the fact that contrary to popular belief, only a tiny percentage of VAT goes to Europe with the vast majority of it going straight into David Cameron’s coffers. Many of those who are lucky enough to be employed are completely ignorant of the fact that were it not for European legislation protecting the rights of workers from being sacked, they may have been significantly less fortunate.
TheOpinionSite.org can understand that proprietors of small businesses and unethical bosses of larger businesses together with unscrupulous bankers may indeed lament and membership of the European Union, not least because it prevents them from hiring and firing people on a whim and from exploiting the rest of us in the way that was popular back in the 1950s and 60s. It should never be forgotten is another name for ‘ business’ is exploitation; the art of getting as much money for as little as possible.
Whilst the EU cannot and does not claim to protect us from all the evils of the state or of unscrupulous individuals, it has nevertheless forced governments into bringing into reality protective legislation that they would never otherwise have been inclined to introduce.
Little wonder then that right wing Conservative MPs are so opposed to our membership of the European Union for Bay more than any other group are missing the exploitative opportunities that were once available to the powerful and to the ‘ruling class’.
For the first time since our entry into the EU in 1974 we have a truly Eurosceptic, Conservative led government tempered only by the moderating influence of the Liberal Democrats; the only party in parliament to truly understand the benefits of membership of the EU.
There are though one or two conservative politicians who are not like the rest and who appreciate the benefits of being ‘in Europe’, the Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke for one. whose reformist ideas, though eminently sensible and fair are coming under fire from the very same right wing, selfish, exploitative Conservative MPs who have signed the motion that tries to force a referendum on the British people.
For a referendum to be successful and to accurately reflect the will of the people, it is a prerequisite that the people are educated and informed as to the subject matter of the said referendum. In the case of tomorrow’s debate, nothing could be further from the truth.
The debate will be nothing more than an opportunity for generally thick, ignorant MPs with vested interests in controlling the rest of us, to let off steam and suck up to the tabloid press who have no interest in supporting the freedoms of the rest of us.
Fortunately for common sense, all the main party leaders have instructed their own MPs not to support the motion demanding a referendum. Once again, we must state that many MPs do understand the benefits of Europe and even those that do not are fully aware of the fact that trying to force a referendum at this time is most undesirable, the greater need being to do everything we can to assist the Eurozone to combat its current difficulties.
TheOpinionSite.org must make one other point, a point that is often deliberately missed along with so many others by the tabloid press and the anti-Europe brigade. The fact is that if Europe fails, Britain will also fail; it is as simple as that.
No amount of wistful thinking and longing for the old days of Commonwealth and British global supremacy will ever bring that period back. It’s a good job too, for what many people nowadays forget, often because it is inconvenient to remember, is that the vast majority of British wealth was created at the expense of treating other nations as slaves and servants of the ultimately British Empire.
Never forget that the great country houses of England were all built using money obtained by slave traders and when the slaves were finally freed, the British turned on their own. Instead of persecuting those from other nations, the British state decided to persecute its own people and in its own way it continues to do so, cleverly masking power driven credentials and ambitions with a false covering of perceived freedom and liberty that in reality does not exist. This is not new; all empires have gone done the same thing when they have no one left to dominate.
Tomorrow’s debate will be amusing, if nothing else. It will achieve nothing though, use up valuable time that could be spent trying to prevent us from going back into recession and will only satisfy those who are too stupid and ignorant to understand the benefits of being a member of the EU, their opinions so often based on prejudice and ignorance, lack of understanding and a complete unwillingness to accept that Britain relies on its membership of Europe for its own credibility.
And for those wondering why I have not mentioned the Human Rights Act or the European Convention on Human Rights, the answer is simple: neither has anything to do with ‘Europe’ or the EU. The ECHR is a product of the Council of Europe, not the EU and Britain would still be subject to the ECHR even if it were to leave the EU.
The unpalatable truth is that Britain Is no longer a powerful country and in reality is little more than a tiny, rather insignificant island moored somewhere off the north coast of Europe and which is ignored and often ridiculed by most of the rest of the world.
The bottom line is that if Britain ever did leave Europe, it would go broke almost overnight and any influence that it still has in the world would be lost forever. That is too high a price to pay in order to satisfy the ignorant cravings of a few Eurosceptic, selfish and ignorant Conservative MPs who, in the last analysis, have no one’s interests at heart other than their own.