The Captain regrets having to take up arms against Dan Hannan so soon after the last time, but it is possible to discern a subtle public shift in his position that strongly hints at his buying into mainstream Tory dogma rather than opposing it as he has purported to do for so long.
Today we have a new blog post at his Telegraph perch. In it he waxes lyrical, as he is wont to do, at some seminal moment in our history and claims it as proof of our divergence from the Continental dirigiste model of government. On this occasion he plumps for Marston Moor, the 370th. anniversary of which falls today
It would be idle to get into the debate about whether he is right or wrong on that point. Each of us has our own moment to which we could ascribe our abjuration of absolutism.
Hannan, when he plonks his bottom on the blue benches of the European ‘Parliament’, sits as a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group. Note the word ‘reformists’. Hannan would have you believe he is in favour of withdrawal.
But today, j’accuse.
Hannan is no longer a withdrawalist, but has decided to toe the Party Line that you can reform the EU and remain within it.
The evidence, shipmates?
The aforementioned blog has this as its last paragraph:
Parliament remained sovereign until 1 January 1973, when Sections 2 and 3 of the 1972 European Communities Act came into effect, giving EU law primacy over British law. If I had to pick just one reform that would right our relationship with the EU, I’d repeal that part of the Act, so that EU Directives and Regulations were treated as advisory pending an implementing decision by our own elected representatives. Grant that, and much else follows.
This, it seems clear, is to advance the position that we could remain in the European Union, provided this one reform (which would have, of course, to apply to each of the other 27 Member States) was introduced. He is, in short, a reformist not a withdrawlist – which all understand to mean a complete withdrawal from all the Treaties and the repeal not just of the 1972 Act but all Acts of Parliament which have over the years sold our birthright to Brussels.
Even if this reform were to be made (think ‘snowball in hell’), this would still mean that Parliament would be asked on a daily basis to agree to the cession of this power or that to the Brussels Diktat. In many cases, especially, but not exclusively, under a Labour or Labour-LibDem government, would so agree. The Directives and Regulations of the EU routinely demand the cession of power.
Sovereignty-slicing the Dan Hannan Way:
death of a nation by a thousand cuts
So, instead of a periodic wholesale transfer of sovereignty by way of Treaty as has been the case hitherto, Hannan would give Parliament the power to slice off our Sovereignty much as one would slice a salami: piece by piece. But when you get to the end of the salami, there is, of course, nothing left. And once the Brussels gourmand has eaten the tasty dainty, it is gone forever. Under his proposal, Brussels could still propose and a pro-EU Westminster could still dispose.
The clue is in the title of the political group to which he has sworn allegiance and the pan-European political party which he runs, the titles of which refer to ‘Conservatives and Reformists’. Hannan has plumped for reform, but of a type that will still lead us by way of the elective dictatorship that Westminster has become to a complete loss of sovereignty.
Remember, when it comes to membership of the EU, there is no such thing as being ‘slightly pregnant’.
Only a nation which has completely disengaged itself from the Brussels Diktat can call itself a free, sovereign, independent nation. Only a removal of the power of Parliament to give any sovereignty (which belongs at all times to The People) away will our freedom be guranteed. And only UKIP promises this.
As to Hannan’s proposal: No! No! No!