Political Promise

Why Baroness Ashton’s attendance record is yet another reason for Britain to rethink its relationship with the European Union

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2011 at 7:27 pm

In his first post, Tom Ellis considers why Baroness Ashton’s attendance record is one more reason for Britons to reconsider our relationship with Europe.

After the destruction caused by the two World Wars of the twentieth century few people can deny that the establishment of some sort of a European Union, in the hope of avoiding future hostilities, was a powerful idea.

Of course, thankfully, the current generation of Britons does not fear a loss of identity through military aggression. Even so, many of them have reason to fear such a loss as the result of political and economic measures which are being imposed upon Britain from Brussels.

A Eurosceptic’s ultimate fear is that an overwhelming European hegemony could swallow up Britain and her institutions, and reduce her from being the great nation she still is to a relatively powerless single state within a United States of Europe. This fear emanates from a growing belief that the EU could well come to hold precedence over Britain in many areas of its existence. Unfortunately, the EU already does hold such precedence. There are, of course, the smaller issues which may seem rather irrelevant to some, such as the EU’s new legislation which ban Britons from selling eggs by the dozen. Yet it is just such petty issues that show just how far-reaching Herman Van Rumpuy’s laws are extending into the British domain.

In addition, there are the larger issues such as the European Arrest Warrant, whereby British citizens can be whisked away from their homes and put before a foreign court (which has lower judicial standards than those of a British court), and often charged with only minor offences.

Those are just two examples of the detrimental effects which the EU has upon the individual British citizen. I have not even mentioned the numerous treaties which have been hurried through parliament with a distinct absence of national referenda.

However, for all the EU’s faults and imperfections, at least we have a representative fighting for our interests on the European Commission, the branch of EU government which initiates European legislation, don’t we? It emerged last week that Baroness Ashton, the only British member of the Commission, has the poorest attendance record of all 27 Commissioners. Since this time last year Baroness Ashton has failed to attend 17 meetings, so just who is pushing British interests forward?

Only the EU, a union with a tradition of appointing senior posts without the vote of the electorate, could appoint a woman to a role of which the pay is £250,000 a year, a role which surely requires someone who has held a senior political position in the past. However, unsurprisingly the EU appointed someone who has never held any such senior position before – someone is who is clearly not up to the job of representing the people of Europe on the international stage, and, more importantly, of representing British interests.

I go back to my original point. Few people can deny that the establishment of some sort of a European Union, in the hope of avoiding future hostilities, was a powerful idea. As we have seen, even Norman Tebbit recently admitted he was once a Europhile, and I can see why. I believe the EU did indeed start out with good intentions. Even so, the EU has greatly changed since we joined it in its original form in 1973. It is now such a threat to our sovereignty that we cannot beneficially continue as members of this Union. Baroness Ashton’s lack of commitment to the Union is just one more reason why, pragmatically, we should rethink our relationship with this European hegemon.

  1. Congrats on your first article. I can see where you are coming from with this piece. The EU is a frustrating thing to criticize because it is so complex we just don’t know where to begin.

    Baroness Ashton in my view has an illegitimate position and being paid (whatever the sum) makes the offense even greater. I’m not surprised that politicos like her are consistently absent from meetings. She does not represent British interest. The myth that Euro-fans in politics say that exposes their ignorance on the subject is that EU is for British intersts. That’s nonsense. The EU is set-up for European interest (up to interpretation). Take these commissioners as example. European commissioners are to represent European interest (again whatever that means). So Baroness Ashton will have to take positions or views that may go against British interests. That is the consequence. EU commissioners I believe should be stripped of their corresponding citizenships. They are unaccountable, possess compromised loyalties, not to mention, who elected them?

    If its peace we want in Europe, we can do that without the EU. We can do what we are now doing with by simply adhering to UN resolutions plus its various UN agencies. I prefer the UN Declaration of Human Rights. The EU just duplicates UN achievements – waste of time and money. Furthermore, if we want peace we could also observe international law as stipulated by the International Court of Justice. The EU is an economic device where Great Britain is being conned in many ways such as narrowing trade away from the wider Commonwealth markets plus China to small countries in the EU like Ireland. I’m god smacked by the voice government opinion that Ireland’s financial mess can actually be construed as being a national interest for Great Britain to intervene. Ireland? When the world is rushing to catch Chinese and Indian overseas investment, Great Britain managed to tie itself so deeply into the Irish economy that when they screwed up it was of national interest for the UK to keep intervening? It is truly astonishing how the EU distorts our trade and economic activities.

    I also find it absolutely bizarre how there is in this country certain political figures who can honestly believe and say that Great Britain’s future and prospectw are not so different to micro-countries like Belgium, Malta, Portugal, Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania so on and so forth. Most of these countries are small and historically internationally isolated. The UK is beyond comparison. Why are we not playing to our strengths by engaging already existing ties to the wider world, the Commonwealth (that includes India) for example? Instead we are in a situation where we are bickering over a tiny table that is the EU with tiny countries. I seriously doubt France and Germany are countries where they have things that we do not. Our political figures (we lack leaders) need to get their perspectives and priorities right.

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