Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Harriet Harman, acting leader of the Labour Party makes a dramatic U turn on the issue of a referendum on Britain's EU membership, this previous deadlock is a symptom of how badly out of touch the senior leadership is with the public mood

Dear All

One of the things which destroyed the Labour vote in England by their own hand was the Party refusing to back an in-out referendum on membership of the European Union.

The Labour Party has a problem in backing decisions and then having to do an embarrassing U turn when their position becomes untenable.

The people of the United Kingdom want the EU referendum for a number of specific reasons.

One of the prime reasons for wanting to opt out of the European project is the UK cannot control our own borders, this is particularly noticeable and has led to numerous social problems in the UK in a whole range of areas such jobs, housing and social cohesion.

Ordinary people say enough’s enough.

Years ago, I wrote on how the EU was in desperate need of reform, and the policy idea I had was the internal EU immigration policy. Each country in conjunction with the EU sets a strict code of residency in all EU countries. The criteria in one country could be radically different from the conditions set in another member state. This isn’t a block on free of movement of Labour; rather it’s recognition of the realities of life.

There is a strong case for staying as part of the EU, but equally there is a strong case to made for leaving the EU, while reform agenda remains little better than an academic discussion.

I fully support the people’s right to have a referendum on the EU, just as I supported the right of people to have a Scottish referendum.

What does it say that after being massive defeated that the Labour Party has now decided that listening to the people is a good idea?

It rather proves my point about the need for fresh talent to fill the Labour ranks is sorely needed, by fresh talent that doesn’t mean people who were chairs of Labour student organisations while at University. People that can look at problems and come up with radical solutions both internationally and domestically!

Ed Miliband while leader of the Labour Party made a lot of mistakes, he was weak, he had no vision and wasn’t a listening politician. His first big mistake was standing against his brother David for the leadership; he wasn’t ready for this post.    

After changing their mind of the EU, the party doesn’t wish the in-out referendum on membership of the European to clash with next year’s Scottish Parliament election. I would think that David Cameron would agree with this and the 2017 date which was touted early on would probably remain.

2017 is also date for the Council elections in Scotland.
One of issues already flagged up is the issue of eligibility to vote, the UK government have stated that people from most other EU nations living in the UK will not be able to vote.

The franchise used will be the general election franchise, with only UK, Irish and Commonwealth citizens eligible to cast their vote.

Acting leader of Labour, Harriet Harman said:

“There just does not seem to be the public appetite for us to man the barricades against a referendum that appears inevitably going to happen. We will vote for the bill and then get into the big questions for and against Europe.”

She added:

“It’s a big constitutional issue on its own and it needs that separate consideration.”

That is debatable that people cannot wrap their heads around multiple issues at the same time.

‘Fake Scot’ Angus Robertson of ‘Sein Fein’ SNP decided to take the opportunity to renew his party’s call for separate votes on the EU in each constituent part of the UK. The SNP want a majority in each country to say out or the vote is null and void. In effect, he thinks a minority should be able to hold the rest of the UK to ransom.

David Cameron will not take that nonsense onboard, Englishman Angus Robertson is particularly liked at the House of Commons; his words carry no weight with his English countrymen.

Robertson says a failure to allow each constituent part of the UK to decide on its status in the EU would leave Mr Cameron’s independence referendum vow to give Scotland an equal voice “in tatters”.

No, it doesn’t, this is a UK wide vote, and should and will be treated as such.

Robertson diatribe runs to this:

“We will also seek to amend the legislation to ensure no constituent part of the UK can be taken out of the EU against its will.”

There is no legal precedent for this point; it is meaningless much like Angus Robertson himself.

He also added the SNP will also seek to ensure 16 and 17-year-olds are allowed to vote in the EU membership referendum.

Robertson piped up:

“Young people are our future. It is their UK, and their Europe, so they must have their say. 16 and 17-year-olds can pay taxes, get married and join the armed forces, so it is only right and fair that they should also be entitled to vote.”

If that is the case, why do they need a State appointed Guardian?

Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip, said Labour had “been dragged, unwillingly” to accept an in-out referendum on Europe after its electoral defeat on 7 May.

I would have to agree with Nigel Farage’s assessment, nothing like defeat to make a party interested in accepting democracy again.

Farage said:

“They grudgingly accept that it is the will of the British people to have a say on their future, but they make it clear that they will campaign for in, whatever the result of Mr Cameron’s negotiations. So in reality this isn’t a conversion to democracy and the facts of the European argument, merely an acceptance of the inevitable. Claims that the EU has kept the peace for 70 years, and that Britain would be in some way barred from trade with the EU nations, rebels against all evidence. But they have closed their minds and hearts to evidence.”

Labour has already stated their position and this was confirmed by Shadow Europe Minister Pat McFadden said he “can’t see circumstances where Labour would back a no vote.

McFadden said:

“I don’t think the European Union necessarily always works best by always threatening to leave. We’ve achieved change by working with others; the Prime Minister is going to have to get some agreement from others to some of the changes that he wants so let’s see what he comes up with. But he too has some issues here because in terms of the programme that he’s set out so far, there is nothing that he could renegotiate that would satisfy a good number of his backbenchers who want to come out come what may.”

David Cameron says he will try and get a deal on reforms from Europe, I doubt his efforts will be productive as he thinks, even if he gets all he wishes, there is a sizeable population who want control of UK borders to be returned fully to the UK control. I would say he is looking at this from the wrong end of the telescope; the issue is much wider that the UK’s self interest, the EU problems require a 28 member discussion on the future of the EU.

It could be that the EU needs a re-invention what it stands for; so far the organisation has failed to address problems like illegal immigration of economic migrants into the EU, failed to fix the Euro currency, failed to properly protect EU member states whose economies can’t match the German powerhouse, allowed itself to grow too big without necessary safeguards re treaty changes.

It is too late to tinker with ‘wee things’ and present that as gold plated reforms, much in the same way as UK mission creep towards Federalism will be an absolute disaster. It was pointed out o me a short while ago, that the language of the British Government has changed, Instead of talking about Team GB, we are now seeing the push towards calling Britain, the United Kingdom, in UK government literature. 

A pointer of the push towards Federalism is Professor Adam Tomkins blog, ‘notes from North Britain which has a new article on Federalism as a way of saving the Union.

Wishful thinking on his part, and a non starter with yessers!

Some time ago, I mentioned to him to see that Better Together archived its material, I said he might have need of it again, when indyref 2 comes along, post 2020; post Cameron.

Tomkins has been recently appointed as an advisor to Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell on matters to do with the Constitution. As a law Professor at Glasgow University, he is quite smart on law, but independence is about more than facts.

Anyway, the United Kingdom has held membership of the EU for circa 40 years, it would be a shame to lose it, but the British public may think the damage that comes with membership is too high a price to pay.

The European Union really does need an internal immigration policy, this is a good base to start from; it is also a measure that will have to eventually come into play at some point, along with a permanent cap on membership limits.

Finally, Labour’s U turn on the EU is a symptom of how badly out of touch the senior leadership is with the public mood.

Yours sincerely

George Laird

The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Freddy said...

I'd still vote to stay in George but the Labour party needs to be seen to listening to people. The borders issue is however serious we need to be able to restrict access to this country if need be.

Anonymous said...

Amusing to see wee Nicola saying that all 4 home nations should have a vote on leaving the EU.

Curious how this did not apply during the Indyref when all 4 nations would have been affected by Scotland leaving the UK.


Hun fae Perth said...

The SNP would support the EU regardless of it's silly laws and ideas. They need the EU to make their independence nightmare appear to work. The 7.6 billion black hole is just peanuts compared to the "hell hole" we would be in if they failed to gain entry and even just being excluded temporary for a couple of years say, would damage our finances big style.

Sturgeon will be so far up Junckie's arse, she'll see Salmond's feet. "Open borders and asylum quotas, no problem for us here in Scotland. We are the SNP. We can do anything you want President Junckie. What we want to do your Highness, is get rid of Westminster then we'll give all the power to you in Europe. We will be free of the English and for us, nothing else matters".

Despite the drastic failure of Sweden to integrate it's huge Moslem immigrant population of mainly asylum seekers and have to live with the enormous self inflicted social problem, the SNP want to copy their model. FFS the lefty multiculturalist governments of the Scandinavian countries have screwed their own people. Ask the indigenous populations about how tolerant Islam is. They have ruined their country forever. Moslems never integrate in any country to date. Individually yes but in a tiny minority.

The SNP might have won the GE but the real Scot's are not going to be fooled over the EU. Africa cannot empty into Europe. Islamic State cannot have free movement on the piggyback of open border policy. Reform or we MUST leave. The consequences are too dire to contemplate.

Anonymous said...

Especially for Hun fae Perth...

For the low down on the Scandinavian paradise the SNP love so much.

No its not utopia!



Auld Jock said...

I would say the borders issue can be sorted without the sledge hammer approach of leaving the EU. Doing so would carry huge economic disadvantage. I don't agree that indyref 2 will follow in 2020. I don't think I will see another reffyrendumb in my lifetime. It was interesting that salmond's recent stream of "alex salmond says" announcements was followed by his "mates" in the snp spilling the beans on what he did with the ryder cup tickets. Owning up to that would have been unthinkable only a short time ago. It looks like stroke and counterstroke to me. Nikkyknockynoo wants him to shut up and stop embarrassing her. Call me anxious to see the back of the snp, but I hope this is the beginning of a shooting war between eck and the nikkster. At the very least eck will be seriously annoyed. salmond leads the neds branch of the snp and they will expect him to return fire. Time will tell.