What UKIP doesn’t tell you


by Edward Frostick

I’ve just been reading UKIP’s policy, which is nothing more than an unthought out scribble of ideas without any thought as to how to achieve them; that or they’re lying. From what I know of UKIP it could be either.

It say it wants a relation with the EU similar to Switzerland’s. Well what it wants and what it might get could easily be two different things. But supposing they’re right. What will that mean. Well, UKIP doesn’t tell you that it will mean adopting much of EU law. There would be no opting out, and no say in further EU law imposed on us. If we don’t accept it, the association is terminated.

UKIP says it wants a free trade agreement with NAFTA. Has it approached NAFTA? No. Would it get it? Probably not, for two reasons. Firstly, the whole purpose of NAFTA membership is to impose rules on its members. For example, member states can’t refuse imports from member states. That means member states cannot refuse to allow entry of goods considered harmful or detrimental to health, including foodstuffs. Secondly, any application would almost certainly be rejected if we had associate membership of the EU. Washington told the Tory rebels that joint membership with the EU would not be allowed. There’s no reason to believe that associate membership would be any different.

I think UKIP has a lot of explaining to do.

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75 responses to “What UKIP doesn’t tell you

  1. If you trade with people in another country you have (sadly) to obey the laws of that country.

    Goods and services made in Switzerland to be used IN SWITZERLAND do not (as far as I know) have to obey E.U. regulations (although the Swiss government sometimes pretends they do – for its own nasty reasons).

    Nor (again as far as I know) do goods made in Switzerland for people in countries outside the E.U. have to obey E.U. regulations.

    Of course even if the Swiss had no treaty with the E.U. at all goods and services made in Switzerland to be sold to people in E.U. nations would still have to obey E.U. regulations.

    The real problem the Swiss have is not the treaty – it is the demented choice of the Swiss CENTRAL BANK to tie the Swiss Franc to the Euro.

    The Swiss elite broke the link with gold some years ago – not an E.U. thing (it was in the new P.C. Constitution). And the Swiss government CHOOSES to stand behind Swiss banks.

    Insane – utterly insane. But not an E.U. thing.

    So that is the Swiss thing (I hope) explained.

    As for a free trade deal Britain and the the North American Free Trade Association (which is much more like the old EFTA than the EU).

    That was a perfectly reasonable plan – if Romney had been elected.

    Prime Minister Harper of Canada would have been in favour of it – and a “President Romney” would have been also. And Mexico (not that trade with Mexico is that important for Britain) would have gone along.

    However, Barack Obama (who hates Britian – it makes me smile to see how deluded the British media, and British polticians, are about him) won relection – so that policy (free trade with North America) is unlikely.

    Still….

    The whole problem of trade is overstressed./

    Under WTO rules British goods can not be discriminated against – by the E.U. or any other member.

    And the duties that can be imposed on British goods are low – and Britain could threaten to impose duties on German goods if that game (trade problems) was played by the E.U.

    There are many real problems facing this country (and every other major Western country).

    A bankrupt Welfare State.

    A credit bubble financial system.

    Endless regulations – mostly from the E.U.

    And so on.

    But a trade war with the E.U. is not a real threat.

    So NO – UKIP does NOT “have a lot of explaining to do”.

    And I am not even a supporter of UKIP (I am a “tribal” Tory – born into it).

    I just thought I would save UKIP people the bother of replying to this.

  2. Before I open my mouth, let me declare my hand, and in fairness I would respectfully ask the writer to do likewise; I have been a member of UKIP since 1994. Having said that, my allegiance to the Party is nil – I do not recognise such a concept as ‘party loyalty’. My commitment to withdrawal from the European Union, on the other hand, is total, and as long as UKIP supports that policy, I shall support UKIP.
    You seem to be putting forward two conflicting arguments with regard to NAFTA; 1) that Ukip is doomed to failure if it requests a free trade deal with NAFTA; and 2) that a free trade deal with NAFTA would be undesirable.
    I would answer this by pointing out that if such a deal was deemed undesirable, we would not pursue it. But at least, once free of the constraints of EU membership, we would free to decide whether to pursue it or not. As members of the EU we are forbidden from negotiating free trade deals with anybody.
    You mention Switzerland, and its need to ‘adopt much of EU law’. Well, it’s true that if Switzerland wishes to export to the EU it must comply with EU rules. But the same goes for Japan. And every other country in the globe. Their exports to the EU have to comply with EU rules. We do about 8% of our business with the EU, but as an EU Member State we have to apply those burdensome EU rules to the other 92% of our trade as well. For the sake of clarity I should explain that the oft-repeated claim that ‘half our trade is with the EU’ refers to exports only. Exports make up about one fifth of our trade, and the EU takes just under half of that. This figure is further distorted by the ‘Rotterdam and Antwerp effect’, whereby exports which pass through these ports are counted as exports to the EU, even though they may be ultimately destined for another part of the world altogether.
    To conclude, I would like to explore your claim that, if we had a ‘Swiss-style’ relationship with the EU we would have “no say in further EU law imposed on us”. This is an interesting point. As a Member State we currently have no say in framing EU law, which is indeed imposed on us as you correctly state. The right of proposing Regulations and Directives belongs exclusively to the unelected European Commission, one of three legislatures in the world which meets in secret and issues no minutes (the other two being Cuba and North Korea). Speaking purely for myself, I prefer the Swiss model.
    If there are any other issues which you feel ‘need explaining’, I will be happy to attempt the task.

  3. I should have added that Switzerland is currently negotiating a free trade deal with China. Wouldn’t we love to do the same? But the EU won’t let us.

  4. Paul Marks – I was quick off the mark but you write more quickly than I do, and your post overtook mine, so your attempt to ‘save UKIP people the bother of replying’ was in vain I’m afraid! If I may make a pedantic correction to your post, ‘NAFTA’ stands for North American Free Trade Agreement (not Association).

  5. We definitely do not want to be as Switzerland or Norway because it means signing up to the EU “four freedoms”: free movement of goods, services, capital and people within the EU/EEA .

  6. No one has ever suggested anything other than the fact that associate membership of the EU and membership of NAFTA are alternative options. We could join NAFTA or be an associate member of the EU. This person doesn’t seem to have realised that no one has ever suggested anything different.
    NAFTA does not impose free movement of people on its members.
    As far as Swiss adoption of EU laws, it is very restricted in scope – less than 10% of the whole – and largely limited to things like the size of soap boxes.
    Personally I would prefer us to reorient our trade away from the EU, because the EU is for me the creation of something that our whole foreign policy over centuries has been designed to prevent – to prevent the emergence of a united power on the Continent that could dominate us. It seems absurd to collude in the creation of such a power. Also, our Armed Forces exist – not to intervene in Libya – but purely to prevent invasion from the Continent.

  7. Robert Henderson – Switzerland and Norway are at liberty to sign, or not to sign, anything they please. As for the EU “four freedoms”: free movement of goods, services, capital and people within the EU/EEA , as you put it; obviously neither country is in the EU; Norway is in the European Economic Area, (as are all EU Member States plus Iceland and Leichtenstein), while Switzerland is a member of EFTA. They are each sovereign countries, however, unlike the UK.
    DJ Webb you mention the possibility of being an ‘associate member’ of the EU. What exactly do you think this means? It is like California opting to be an ‘associate member’ of the United States. There is no mechanism for achieving such a thing, whatever it might mean.
    You have to understand that what is being created here, indeed what already HAS been created with the introduction of the European Constitution a.k.a. Lisbon Treaty, is a new country called ‘Europe’. It is a unitary state which derives its authority from the Constitution itself, unlike the ‘pre-Lisbon’ EU, which was an inter-governmental organisation of sovereign states.
    I have already stated that I am a member of UKIP, but I find myself at odds with their core policy of a referendum, for reasons which I will return to in a later post, as I am in a rush as usual right now. UKIP has always had as its central objective repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act, by which we would immediately resile from the Treaty of Rome. If we tried to do that today, the ECJ (who would of course be the final arbiters of such matters) would simply say sorry, chaps, you have repudiated a treaty which no longer exists; it has been modified and replaced by Lisbon. We would in turn tell the ECJ that we no longer recognise their repudiation of our repudiation. Then what? I have been involved in this game for nearly twenty years, and during that time I have never wavered from my belief that the only way we are ever going to free ourselves from the EU is by force of arms.

  8. I can understand why someone might not want free movement of people (although free movement of people was the standard British policy till the 20th century – people who support “Victorian values” should remember that immigration controls are no more Victorian than the “war on drugs” is).

    However, how could anybody oppse the free movement of “goods, services and capital”?

    Surely the Fascist and Nazi ideas of “national self suffciency” were discreditd long ago? And even the Fascists and National Socialist never intended their ideas to apply to a small, densely populated (hence the argument for immigration controls?), island in the northern seas.

    A world of restrictions on the free movement of goods, services and capital could only lead to total economic collapse in Britain.

    I am totally against the European Union.

    But an “argument” that we must leave the E.U. in order to impose controls on the free movement of “goods, services and capital” is an argument for STAYING IN the E.U., such an “argument” UNDERMINES the case for leaving the E.U.

    The supporters of the E.U. love to smear their opponents as “racists”, and “protectionists”.

    PLEASE, in the name of reason STOP PLAYING INTO THEIR HANDS.

    Unless it is the intention of this site to DISCREDIT the anti European Union position.

  9. “The only way we are going to free ourselves from the E.U. is by force of arms”.

    Parden?

    When little Greenland wanted to leave the E.U. it did – no German Panzer divisions were sent to stop them.

    If the British Parliament voted to leave the E.U. there would be huff and puff about trade restrictions.

    However, World Trade Organisation rules forbid that – and German companies sell more stuff to people in Britian than business enterprises sell to people in Germany anyway (ditto most other E.U. countries) so the idea that they would start a trade dispute is silly.

    As for “force of arms”.

    Why make make the anti E.U. position look absurd?

  10. Paul Marks; “However, how could anybody oppose the free movement of “goods, services and capital”? Well, you will probably find the answer to your question in a year’s time, when 29 million people from Romania and Bulgaria gain the right to come here and enjoy all the benefits of our generous welfare state. These are very poor people, and we are a very prosperous country. But they are, or will be, EU citizens, just like you and I, not ‘immigrants’. To add to the problem, the Bulgarians and certainly the Romanians also have been selling passports on the black market for years(£280 a time last I heard). Anybody who gets their hands on one of these, and by definition they are criminals, will be on the first plane over in 2014. I also know a bit about the Romanian people (my father was an ethnic German from Romania). Suffice it to say that 80% of all UK credit card fraud was perpetrated by Romanians – and that was before they even joined the EU! Don’t know much about Bulgarians except they have wonderful music.
    As for Greenland, they did not leave the European Union. They left the European Economic Community, some years before the (original) EU came into being. And that was by special treaty, as there was no mechanism at the time for leaving the EEC, nor indeed for leaving the (original) EU. Now we are in the mark 2 (post-Lisbon) European Union, and that is a very important distinction. The EU Constitution a.k.a Lisbon Treaty introduced a mechanism for Member States who wished to leave the EU. The idea is, you simply give notice and leave. But that is only if you get the agreement of every other Member State, and that is NEVER going to happen. This is an odd place to insert my starting premise, but I will do so nonetheless; the EU cannot survive without the UK as a Member State. We pay something like £50 million every day to the EU. I have no idea what our fish is worth to them, but you can be sure it’s a lot. So for financial as well as ideological reasons they will never let us go. Now, to return to the Lisbon (Article 50) mechanism for withdrawal, if unanimous agreement is not obtained, there is a two year moratorium after which we will be free to go. But there’s a catch. During that period, we will be excluded from all talks. Our European ‘partners’ will have absolute freedom to rape and pillage this country while we look on impotent.
    I believe Stalin had a similar clause allowing for withdrawal from the Soviet Union. And yes, I know force of arms sounds absurd, but remember Budapest in 1956 and Prague in 1968. On reflection, perhaps I should qualify my answer; we will leave the EU by force of arms or not at all. Probably the latter.

  11. Hugo I already made the point of saying that immigration was a different matter – although I did not express any opinion on it.

    I clearly said “goods, services and capital” – and you reply by going on about immigration.

    By the way you might want to know that the late Enoch Powell said (and I was there when he said it) that he supported free trade (i.e. the free movement of goods, services and capital) so that people did not have to move.

    By the way……. the East Europeans I have met are hard working people – it is the “racially superior” English who would rather live on benefits than work.

    As for your claim that the EU would not “let us go”.

    It is the United Kingdom PARLIAMENT that will not let us go.

    No German Panzer divisions will be on the streets of London.

    It is the U.K. PARLIAMENT that is at fault.

    Get them to vote to get Britain out – and Britain is out.

    It really is that simple.

    But you do not think you can convince PARLIAMENT do you?

    Hence all the waffle to try and obscure the issue.

    Personally I would never vote for a member of PARLIAMENT that did not support getting the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland out of the E.U.

    If most voters did the same – then the problem would be solved.

    It really is that straightforward.

    If the British people really CARE it will be done.

    If the British people do not really care – it will not be done.

    “Fight on the streets”.

    They will not even vote for anti E.U. candidates – and you expect them to fight?

    Hugo – please listen to me.

    I visit countries where people “fight”.

    I know places where people fight.

    People who will not even VOTE for their independence – certainly will fight for it.

  12. Paul, I do apologise for hastily mis-reading your point – you repeated it enough times. However, there will surely be a flight of capital from this country to the poorer regions of the EU – in fact this is already happening, as the people who come here send money home. Now, if I may take you to task on two terms you use; you accuse me of going on about ‘immigration’. But what is happening, while it might look like immigration, is in fact merely EU citizens moving from one Region to another, just as someone from Arkansas might move to Florida. The whole political construct has changed over the last few years, and people have not yet recognised this. The other term I would take issue with is ‘East Europeans’. I studiously avoid using this term because the countries of Eastern Europe are so diverse in their culture. It is a truism to say that Poles are almost universally honest and hard-working. In my limited experience I have always found people from the Czech Republic to be utterly charming. However, other countries have attracted soubriquets such as ‘Kosovan knife gangs’ and ‘Albanian people smugglers’. And as for Romanians, with apologies to the many honest Romanians who must exist somewhere, generally their idea of an honest day’s work is to sit around drinking all day and go out thieving at night.
    Now, you may agree with me or you may not, but the essential point is that it should be for the people of this country to decide whether we wish to allow these people into our country or not, and as long as we remain in the EU we cannot do that.
    You say “Get them to vote to get Britain out – and Britain is out. It really is that simple.”
    I have to disagree with you here. Can you spell out the detail of how it would work? The government brings forward a Bill to ….. what exactly? Prior to Lisbon I would have agreed with you – we could have simply repealed the 1972 E.C.A. Now such an act would be meaningless, or at least the ECJ would rule that it was meaningless, and then?????
    I agree we not have German Panzers on the streets of London, but we will in all probability see Europol and the EGF (EU Gendarmerie Force) in action. I am surprised they haven’t showed up in Greece and Spain yet, but it can only be a matter of time. These people are armed, by the way, and they enjoy a lifetime immunity from prosecution (which even the Gestapo and the KGB did not have).
    As for the problem being with the British Parliament, I could not agree with you more. The simple fact is that for the past fifty or so years, apart from a brief interval during the 1980′s, the British government has effectively been working for Brussels.
    I mentioned that I have been a UKIP member since 1994. What I might have added is that when Francis Maude signed the Maastricht Treaty I could no longer vote Conservative. There being no alternatives with whom I remotely agreed, I decided to do the obvious thing and stand for Parliament myself, in 1997, 2001 and again in 2005. Luckily I didn’t give up the day job. You say (paraphrase) that if most voters tried to persuade Parliament to withdraw, we would do it. That is exactly what we (UKIP) have been saying since 1997. If enough people had voted according to their beliefs, we would have been out ages ago.
    You say ” If the British people really CARE it will be done.
    If the British people do not really care – it will not be done.”
    Norman Tebbit made this point at a meeting once. “The trouble is,” he said “they don’t bloody care – they don’t bloody care”.
    PS I presume you left a ‘not’ out of your closing sentence?

  13. Hugo – I did indeed leave out a “not”. I have the vice of seeing what is in my mind – not what I type (or wrtite). So my typeing and writing errors can be extreme.

    On the free migration of people – well I could be Captain Hypocrite and claim that, as I am libertarian, I believe in it under all circumstances. However, as I have stood on some of the most troubled borders on the planet (and would have totally horrified to see people come over those borders) I think my nose would grow so long that I would not be able to move without bumping into walls.

    Britain is indeed a very overcrowded place (as I live in Northamptonshire I now that only too well – the growth of housing estates has ruined such towns as Northampton), Indeed a nation which is actually smaller than New Zealand has a population more than ten times larger. And New Zealand is (contrary to what some people seem to think) certainly not an underpopulated country.

    And actually the case is more extreme than this – as most of Scotland and Wales is made up of mountains (and so on). England is even more overpopulated than Britain (or the United Kingdom – if we count Ulster WHICH WE SHOULD) is.

    How would we get out of the E.U.?

    Actually a one page Bill could do so (if turned into an Act) – the Bill would list all agreements with the E.U. and repeal them all.

    I assuse you that the Queen would sign such a Bill (thus turning it into an Act) – if it was passed by Parliament.

    The trouble is – Parliament.

    Speicially the House of Commons – as the (so called) House of Lords would not stand in the way of such a Bill, if it was passed by the Commons.

    I am glad you stood for the House of Commons. Who defeated you?

    Some lobby fodder type I suppose (there are too many of them).

    I repeat my statement that I would only vote for someone to represent me in the House of Commons if they supported comming out of the European Union,.

    That means (inspite of being a “tribal Tory” – whose friends in this town, ALL MY LIFE, have been from the Conservative Association) if the Conservative candidate refused to back comming out of the E.U. – I would have to vote UKIP.

  14. Two points (I admit to having skip-read the thread, so not specifically answering anyone).

    First: I do not see that libertarianism requires any particular immigration policy. In my view, liberty describes the character of the relationship between the individual and the collective he is part of. A libertarian relationship has few rules, an authoritarian one has many rules. A libertarian desires to live in a colelctive with few rules. An authoritarian desires to live in one with many rules.

    Any collective- be it a “State” or an anarcho-whatever commune, is going to have some kind of a door policy, which decides who and under what conditions new members can join. In terms of States, we call that immigration. But if the world is instead several million communes or city-states, or what have you, they are still going to have some sort of policy. It might be a complete open door in some, or many. But that is still a policy. No collective, whether voluntary or pseudo-voluntary (like current States) is obligated to admit anyone. It is not obligated even to admit the children of current members. That is a matter for the members to decide.

    So the point I’m making here is that I think libertarians who insist that libertarian philosophy requires free movement of people is mistaken.

    The second point regards leaving the EU. I am mystified as to why anyone thinks it would take more than an afternoon in the Commons. All that is required is to phone up the EU and say, “we are leaving”. Once you have decided to leave a collective, its rules no longer bind you. If Paul and I set up the Northants Libertarian Society, and agree to abide by its rules, we can. But then if Paul says he’s bored with it, and he’s leaving, the rules instantly cease application, including any formal “how to leave” rules.

    Unless the collective can use force to impose them. Which the EU cannot. It has no army. Neither is there any possibility that Germans, Frenchmen and Greeks would be prepared to mount an invasion across the Channel. They might be miffed at us leaving, but that is all they can do. Be upset. They have neither the military capability, nor the military will, to do anything else.

    An example where a voluntary federation turned into an involuntary one was, of course, the USA, and its ensuing CIvil War. The North had both the will and capability to prevent secessing of the Confederate States. But they were far farther down the road of “Union” than we are, and shared a landmass, and wars were logistically simpler then. We are not in that position. Not even close. Nobody would be prepared to die for the EU. Leaving would be very simple indeed.

  15. Yes Ian – even the modern corrupt courts accept that if the British Parliament said “we are not playing – we are taking our ball and going home” that would be it.

    As for the American Civil War – some of the more innocent Southerners actually suggested freeing the slaves (to show that the war was not about slavery). They were promptly told (in no uncertain terms) to shut their cake holes. As the war WAS ABOUT SLAVERY.

    Today the situation is quite different.

    If, for example, the modern Governor of South Carolina supported secession then even the media would find it hard to brand her a “racist” or “sexist” or whatever “ist”.

    Also the numbers game is different now.

    The free population of the South was only a tiny fraction of that of the North in 1860.

    The astonishing thing is not that the North won (how could they lose?) but that it took four years.

    These days the demograhic situation is quite different.

    “But the professional army”.

    What of it?

    It mostly Southern (indeed more than 20% of it is from Texas).

    They are more likely to turn their rifles on Comrade Barack than on fellow Southerners – or on Westerners (if such places as North and South Dakota and many other Western States decide to go).

    The military hate Comrade Barack – they are about the only insitution in the United States the left do NOT control.

  16. Well Ian, I agree we could be out of the EU in an afternoon.

    The position for example of Richard North is that the EU could then say that leaving voids all the trade agreements etc so they won’t take any UK goods and that using Article 50–intention/sort of notice that we are leaving would give us time to re-negotiate a new set of deals. Dr N is a fine fellow but he is a statist and a democrat and he seems to think that productive activity would cease without some kind of interscumbag agreements. I disagree–since most of these agreements are part of the states rip-offs or bogus nannying–but if enough state-lovers out there both sides of the channel agreed with Dr N then it could be a problem.

  17. Oh dear – where to start? Let me work upwards with a response to Mr Ecks; Richard North is a very clever man. I am puzzled that both he and his colleague Christopher Booker, and now also Nigel Farage, are putting forward this Article 50 premise. Apart from the fact that by doing so they are giving legitimacy to the Lisbon Treaty, Paragraph 4 of Article 50 of that Treaty reads as follows; – “4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.”
    So if we are excluded from talks, how on earth can we negotiate anything? Or am I missing something?
    Now, to Paul Marks latest post; I do not accept that the American Civil War was primarily about slavery, nor that it was inevitable that the North should win. The South very nearly won, until a few things went wrong at Gettysburg. For what it’s worth, I believe that Robert E. Lee was a fine gentleman and Lincoln was a scoundrel, and it is a senseless tragedy that the ‘War of Northern Aggression’ occurred at all, and that it ended as it did. I will resist expanding these points here – maybe another time.
    Ian B says the EU cannot use force against us because it has no army. Well, that’s not quite true – what was it Romano Prodi said several years ago when Blair was making similar denials? – “You can call it Margaret, you can all it Mary Anne, but it is stilll a European Army”. That is from memory but I don’t think I’m far off word for word. The European Army may not yet be fully operational, but Europol and the European Gendarmerie Force certainly are. The EGF is a paramilitary force formed precisely to deal with domestic uprisings. Their emblem, incidentally, is an upturned sword and a flaming grenade. Hardly Dixon of Dock Green, is it?
    Now, still working upwards, Paul Marks says “Actually a one page Bill could do so (if turned into an Act) – the Bill would list all agreements with the E.U. and repeal them all.” Here again I must disagree with you. We simply do not have “agreements with the EU”, any more than Tennessee has an agreement with the U.S.A. The UK is now nothing more than a collection of ‘Euro-Regions’ – part of a unitary state called the European Union. England no longer exists, except as a grouping of nine such Euro-Regions. This new ‘country called Europe’, is quite different from the inter-governmental association of nation states, also called the European Union, which preceded it prior to Lisbon a.k.a. the Constitution for Europe.
    Now, Paul when you say
    “I assure you that the Queen would sign such a Bill (thus turning it into an Act) – if it was passed by Parliament” you have touched a raw nerve. I frankly think you are completely mistaken in your assumption. The role of HMQ in all this is a topic which has fascinated me. When I was campaigning against the Nice Treaty I collared Francis Maude and asked if he would sign our petition beseeching Her Majesty to refuse her assent. He declined, and with a knowing look said “she will sign it”. From that moment on I knew something was up. What did he know that I did not? That must remain a rhetorical question, but it is a matter of record that she has broken her Coronation Oath frequently and enthusiastically by placing her subjects under foreign rule. I have written to HMQ many many times and always received the same bland pro-EU response. In my last letter I openly addressed her as ‘Elizabeth the Betrayer’, which I believe is a fitting soubriquet.
    You ask whom I stood against when I stood for Parliament – well, ironically it was Francis Maude, one of the most despicable men in politics, and that is saying something. He lost his Warwickshire seat after signing Maastricht, but the Tory Party rewarded him for doing their dirty work by parachuting him into the safest Conservative seat in the country here in Horsham in 1997, where he now has a comfortable job for life.
    I can promise you, Paul, that your Conservative candidate at the next election will not promise withdrawal from Europe. That would be verboten. So it looks like you’ll be voting UKIP after all!

  18. “You can call it Margaret, you can all it Mary Anne, but it is stilll a European Army”. That is from memory but I don’t think I’m far off word for word. The European Army may not yet be fully operational, but Europol and the European Gendarmerie Force certainly are. The EGF is a paramilitary force formed precisely to deal with domestic uprisings. Their emblem, incidentally, is an upturned sword and a flaming grenade. Hardly Dixon of Dock Green, is it?

    Are you seriously arguing that the EU has anything that can mount an invasion across the Channel, or that anyone in the EU would have the will to do so? What they have is a bureaucracy, and a logo. Maybe they will bombard us with filing cabinets and drop directives on us, but it’s hardly the Blitz, is it? This is absurd, Hugo.

    Look, the grand mobilisations of the the past century are long gone. There isn’t an army (including ours) in Europe fit to fight any proper war. The French have one aircraft carrier, we might have two several years in the future, with no planes, Germany doesn’t even meet NATO’s minimum capabilities, and the Dutch have got the Village People. Nobody has a fraction of a per cent of an invasion fleet.

    Well, okay. Maybe us and the French can lob nukes at each other. I can really see the French standing there in the ruins of Paris saying “well, that was worth it to stop the English leaving an organisation we never really wanted them in in the first place”.

    Really, it isn’t going to happen.

  19. That’s just the problem. It sounds too absurd to be true. But that is the case with many of the things we are enduring from the EU. A few short years ago they too would have been considered absurd.
    In any case, they have far more than just a bureaucracy and a logo. The EGF is fully operational and I am only surprised they haven’t (yet) been seen on the streets of Athens. But there are also more subtle means of suppression of dissent, such as the European Arrest Warrant, the (domestic) Civil Contingencies Act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.
    I will repeat my starting premise; that the EU cannot survive without us, and that there is nothing, and I do mean nothing, that they will not resort to in order to prevent us leaving.
    Of course I do not believe it will come to force; that would require an uprising on our part, which is not the British way. What will happen is that Cameron will come with yet another half-baked fudge with which to placate the voters – maybe even another rigged referendum as in 1975, and we will just carry on grumbling as before.

  20. How the hell are they going to use the EAW, the CCA or RIPA when the government that has just told them it’s leaving is the one they need to enforce them?

  21. In my hastily written replies I have probably muddied the waters rather than clarified my argument. So let me start again;

    1) It is my firm belief that the EU cannot survive without our financial input and other resources (e.g. fish etc).

    2) For this reason, and also to satisfy its own ideological ambitions, the EU will do everything in its power to resist any attempts on our part to leave their ‘Empire’ (as President Barroso recently described it).

    3) The entire British Political Establishment, none more so than the Conservative Party, is similarly committed to keeping us in the EU. Again, this is from a mixture of financial motives and ideological ambition.

    4) With these combined forces ranged against us, the British people will never succeed in leaving the EU by anything resembling a democratic process, whether by invoking Lisbon Article 50 or any other means.

    5) Therefore, our only way out is to declare U.D.I.

    6) In the impossibly unlikley event that we do embark on such a course of action, we must recognise the fact that we shall be acting unlawfully, and we shall have to be prepared to defend our actions by the use of force if necessary.

    7) As an aside, prior to Lisbon, the EGF could not set foot on British soil unless invited by the Home Secretary. David Milliband, when he was Home Secretary, indicated that he would not deny such an invitation. Interestingly, once they were invited here, he could not dismiss them – they could only be recalled by Brussels. But now, in the Post-Lisbon EU (which as I keep repeating is a very different animal from that which went before) the EGF are free to come and go as they please, with or without our permission.

    Now, to briefly respond to Ian B’s last points, yes, I can’t fault your logic; it is true that any British government which had taken us out of the EU would be unlikely to use oppressive domestic legislation to thwart their own course of action. But that is not what I meant, and I apologise for not making myself clear; the R.I.P.A. and C.C.A. would be used to forestall any attempted insurrection on our part. Remember that I am starting from the premise that the British Government is acting as an agent for Brussels. The Civil Contingencies Act copies Hitler’s Enabling Act in places, and the language used by Charles Clarke to justify it could have come straight from the mouth of Adolf Hitler himself.

    The E.A.W. is quite another matter. We can already be arrested on the orders of a European Public Prosecutor merely for criticising the European Union. The British courts and the British government have no say in this. No evidence has to be presented. You may be arrested by ‘any appropriate person’. That person does not need to have an Arrest Warrant in his possession. Indeed there does not even have to be an Arrest Warrant; the person arresting is merely required to have a reasonable belief that an Arrest Warrant exists. So it’s basically a knock on the door (probably in the middle of the night) and “Come with me”. And remember that all EU officials are immune from prosecution, so if you get shot while ‘resisting arrest’, well that’s just too bad.

    Yes, I know that’s a worst case scenario, but that is what the law currently permits, not something that might possibly happen one day in the future.

    In practice, the EU has much more subtle tools at its disposal. I will confine myself to one point for now; the government, acting on orders from the EU, is determined to make us reliant on windmills for our electricity. I do not need to explain that these are very unreiable in terms of output, and need some sort of back-up provision. Our far-sighted government has already thought of this, and they are laying a bloody great cable through the Channel Tunnel so we can buy electricity from the French. You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you? How many days without electricity before we capitulate?

  22. Hugo, the discussion was predicated on some future British government choosing to leave the EU. And that is the only pragmatic scenario.

    If the British people in sufficient numbers want to leave; and were so desirous of that that they would be prepared to fight a war over it, then one must also conclude that they would be willing to elect a government with a policy of leaving the EU. So what you are saying doesn’t make any sense.

    You seem to be talking of a scenario in which the British people fight our way out of the EU against the British government. But there is no plausible scenario in which “the people” wouldn’t just first elect a government contrary to their wishes. It does not make any sense to claim that we would all be prepared to die for indpendence, but not be prepared to vote for it.

  23. Ok, supposing a UKIP government were to be elected in 2015. UKIP’s policy at the moment seems to be to hold a referendum on our membership of the EU. This is a policy I fundamentally disagree with, briefly because I believe any such referendum would be rigged and then it would all be over for us (there is more to my argument but I don’t want to get distracted). But supposing a referendum were held which resulted in a vote for withdrawal. What would happen next? Presumably we would invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. As I have said before, we would then remain EU Members and subject to the Lisbon Treaty for the next two years, after which time we would be free. But we would be excluded from all talks during that two year period. The EU, meanwhile, could do whatever it liked to us. I have no idea what they might have in mind, but they could strip this country bare. Whatever the outcome of their machinations, we would soon wish we’d never opened our mouths. I do not know whether we would retain the right during this two year moratorium to appeal to the ECJ, but even if we did, it is inconceivable that the ECJ would find in our favour.
    So the only reasonable way out is just to tell them all to get stuffed. But there would be consequences. We would have to accept, as I have said previously, that we were acting unlawfully, which is fine with me, but we would have to be prepared to defend our actions with physical force if necessary, and that is where it would all fall apart. Or do you think the EU would just say ‘Ok, it’s been nice knowing you’ and leave it at that? I do not believe it for one minute, because of my initial premise that they would quickly go bust without us.
    You say “It does not make any sense to claim that we would all be prepared to die for independence, but not be prepared to vote for it”. I have never believed for an instant that the British people will lift a finger to regain their freedom, never mind die for the cause. As Norman Tebbit said, “They just don’t bloody care”. It is all very depressing, especially when you consider the sacrifices made by previous generations who DID fight and die to secure the very freedom which we are now carelessly throwing away. A few dissidents arrested (which is legally possible even now) and the whole resistance movement would quickly unravel, assuming it ever got off the ground in the first place.
    The great puzzle, and this is one which will surely exercise the minds of future historians, is why so many Britons who are desperate to get out of the EU continually vote for politicians who are committed to keeping us in. If you are in favour of EU membership and vote Labour or Conservative that makes sense. What makes no sense is why so many people who want out will happily vote for a Conservative candidate, when the Conservatives have consistently said they will NEVER take us out. Their commitment to the EU is the one principle they have clung to religiously, while jettisoning all others.
    And yes, if we did fight our way out we would indeed have to fight AGAINST our own government, unless of course UKIP can form a majority in 2015, and I’m not betting any money on that happening.

  24. Hugo.

    Jefferson Davis was President of the “Slave Holding States of America” (have a look at the Consitution of the Confederacy some time). What General Lee believed or did not believe did not matter a tinker’s curse (although, unlike me, Lee was a gentleman – and did not curse).

    As for Generals – George Thomas from Virginia was good (but he wore blue – not gray).

    On “winning the war” – I rememer a Southern historian showing off a photograph of the Harvard and Yale boat race team.

    Not a man of them (from either University) faught in the war.

    “Had we won more battles – the North would simply have taken the other arm from behind their back, and won anyway”.

    That is how Grant beat Lee – Grant was prepared to lose more men than Less even had.

    Rather like Monty versus Rommel – Rommel was the better general, but M. had more men and more tanks.

    As for Lincoln – well I would have supported Salmon P. Chase at the Convention (so I do not think Lincoln would have liked me very much).

    As for the E.U. – you are just flat wrong, we could live tomorrow (and they would do NOTHING – apart from huff and puff).

    However, I do not trust Mr Cameron to run the vote – with an honest question and so on (so we agree there).

    “But he is the leader of your party”.

    His is not the name of the mug I am drinking my tea from – and that is from the leadership campaign.

    Still the MP for Kettering is not called “David Cameron” – look up the voting record of the MP for Kettering some time.

    We do not need a UKIP MP – we already have an anti EU Member of Parliament.

    If he turns pro E.U. – then my vote turns.

    Hugo – you are a rare thing in this world, someone EVEN MORE GLOOMY THAN ME.

    Be of good heart.

    I am a useless piece of dog turd myself – but I know fighting men when I see them.

    And people like the President of France are not fighting men – they have no steel in the backbone.

    Scum like this do not even scare me.

    So they should not scare you.

    Believe me – they are NOTHING.

  25. By the way – my opinion of Barack Obama is very different from my opinion of the Euro leaders.

    There is ideological steel in him. He was trained by his mother, and by Frank Marshall Davis, and at Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law – and by DECADES of training witht he Comrades in Chicago.

    Evil yes – but I respect him.

    He will order anything that needs to be done for his cause – and he will not bat an eyelid over it.

    People like the President of France are not cut from the same cloth.

    I repeat – it is foolish to respect such people.

    They are nothing.

  26. Paul, I never mentioned the French President, and I’m not going to start now, other than to say he doesn’t scare me either! It’s the apathy of the British that scares me.

    You say “As for the E.U. – you are just flat wrong, we could leave tomorrow (and they would do NOTHING – apart from huff and puff).”
    I have spelled out in precise detail where I believe any attempt to leave the EU would flounder – can you spell out in similar detail how you think it would succeed? The British government would enact a Bill to say … what?? And how would it be implemented? Would we quit the legal way (via Lisbon Article 50) and face the consequences or defy the law and face the consequences? I don’t think anybody has really though this through, even UKIP.

    I will return to the Civil War another time, except to throw in that Lincoln initially asked Robert E Lee to command the Union Army, but Lee felt his allegiance was to his State rather than to the Union. The entire British Establishment, of course takes the contrary view.

  27. Lincoln did indeed ask Lee to command the Union Army – and it would have been better for Virginia (and much else) had Lee said “yes”.

    “Should we defy the law”.

    I simply do not see things the way you do Hugo.

    For example, I do not regard the ravings of the E.U. as “law”

    No more than the ravings of the United Nations Organisations.

    I would wipe my backside with the judgement of the “European Court” (either of them).

  28. And if British judges decided to side with the E.U. – against the Queen-in-Parliament.

    I would have then impeached.

  29. Paul, whether you regard the ravings of the EU as ‘law’ is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that EU law has supremacy over domestic law, and has done since we signed the Treaty of Rome in 1972. This issue will not be decided by British judges, but by the European Court of ‘Justice’ (ha ha!). You appear to be arguing that we should disregard the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty a.k.a. Constitution for Europe. The problem is that we are signatories to that Treaty and therefore bound by it. I have absolutely no idea what the implications of such a move would be with regard to international law.
    But we keep coming back to the same unanswered question; what happens when the ECJ rules that we are acting illegally, and we say, as you are saying, that we do not recognise their jurisdiction over us and tell them to get lost? Will they acquiesce and just say ok, which I find inconceivable, and if not, what? I am quite certain that they will send in their paramilitaries to ‘restore order’, much as Lincoln did when South Carolina tried the same thing.
    The parallels are striking; the argument then, as it is now, was whether a State had the right to secede from the Union. This right had been accepted from the time of Jefferson (who spelled it out explicitly). You say it was inevitable that the Union would prevail, and I am saying exactly the same thing.

  30. Oh, and as for ‘British judges siding with the EU against the Queen in Parliament’, regrettably the ‘Queen in Parliament’ is already on the side of the EU, and has long been so. There would thus be no conflict. Or more correctly, the conflict would be between us peasants with our pitchforks, and the combined forces of the British political Establishment together with the EU.

  31. I have heard that sort of stuff from Sean.

    Actually the Queen will sign anything Parliament passes (we are not dealing with Queen Victoria).

    PARLIAMENT IS THE PROBLEM.

    Get a majority in the House of Commons and all the problems you think exist you will find DO NOT EXIST.

  32. The biggest problem UKIP has had to deal with right from the outset is the activies of infiltrators and various agents provocateurs. Norman Tebbit once said UKIP had been infiltrated by MI5 (or is it MI6, I can never remember which is which). In my first post I invited the person who kicked off this debate to declare his hand. He has not done so, and I am therefore left wondering whether he may be one of the above. Earlier on I mentioned my opposition to UKIP’s current policy of holding a referendum on our EU membership. I would like to expand on this a little; in 1992 I was campaigning for a referendum on the Maastricht Treaty. By the 1997 election we had the Referendum Party. Everybody seems to have forgotten this, but their statement of aims was to hold a retrospective referendum on Maastricht (which was five years old by then), and then stand down and call another election. The Party itself proclaimed itself to be neutral on the subject, but of course it wasn’t.
    I had by now become aware of the determination of the British Establishment to keep us in the EU at all costs, and I reasoned that if we were to hold a referendum it would certainly be rigged, as was the 1975 referendum, and then the debate would be over for good. That remains my position today. We know that (postal) vote-rigging was a way of life during the reign of the Blair government. Judge Richard Mawry QC commented that the level of voting fraud would disgrace a banana republic. This was just prior to the 2005 election if I recall correctly. Blair’s response was frankly incredible; – ‘Yes, we know there is a problem, but there’s no time to fix it before the election. We will deal with it afterwards.’
    In other words, he was saying ‘let me just rig this election first, then I’ll fix it.’ I wrote to the Queen pointing out that the writ of the current parliament had a full year to run – Blair was calling the election a year early – and I implored Her Majesty to refuse Blair’s request for a dissolution of Parliament until the issue of vote-rigging had been addressed. Needless to say she told me to get lost.
    Now, back to referenda. Over the Christmas lull, I have been reviewing some old tape cassettes of various political meetings I have organised over the last fifteen years or so, and copying them on to CD. They make fascinating listening. In 1999 we were discussing the forthcoming referendum on joining the Euro. In 2003 we were awaiting a referendum on the EU Constitution. In 2009 David Cameron gave us a ‘cast iron promise’ of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Just how much longer can these politicians string the British people along? There seems to be no limit to what we will be taken in by.
    Now look at the history of referenda throughout the EU; – Denmark held a referendum on Maastricht and voted No. The Treaty was dead in the water (as it required unanimous approval). But the Danes were just told to go and vote again and get it right this time. Which they did. Then the Irish rejected the Nice Treaty and killed it stone dead. Same thing happened. Sorry, wrong answer, try again. They obviously realised their mistake and voted Yes, or at least a Yes vote was procured by some means or other. Then both the French and the Dutch rejected the Constitution. Blair had by that point promised us a referendum on the Constitution ‘whatever happened in other countries’. The EU simply went away and renamed it the Lisbon Treaty and rammed it through without a referendum. Except in Ireland, which was obliged by its own constitution to hold a referendum. And guess what, they voted No. And guess what again – they were told to go away and have another go, and get it right this time.
    So you will understand why I am a bit cynical about the idea of referenda when it comes to the European Union. These treaties get killed off time after time but they just won’t stay dead.

  33. Paul, your most recent post overlapped mine – I must ask you again – what is the mechanism by which the British government would secure our withdrawal if it so desired? The Devil is always in the detail.

  34. Hugo, you seem to be tied up in the idea that legal systems have some kind of independent reality. They don’t. They only exist so long as some group of people agree to use them, and there is sufficient force to impose them on defectors. A treaty only has power so long as its signatories agree that it has power, or if there is the capability and willingness to impose it by force.

    We have already ascertained that, even if they wanted to, the EU has not got the military capability to enforce membership. So, you’re left with the “agreement” part.

    So, it is very simple. If a future British government decides that it no longer agrees to be part of the EU, it is no longer part of the EU. It does not need a “mechanism” to leave. The treaty and “international law” simply ceases to exist.

    You need to remember that historically, treaties and agreements cease to exist all the time. Hitler and Stalin signed a non-aggression and mutual co-operation pact. Then, when he felt like it, Hitler ignored it. The treaty simply ceased to exist at that point, other than meaningless words on a piece of paper.

    Also, if you write to the Queen, she doesn’t actually read the letter. I’m sad to have to tell you that your letters are read by a bored civil servant who sends out a pro-forma reply.

  35. As Ian points out – the “Devil is in the details” only if you let these details become important.

    I do understand that British people (at least a certain generation of British people) would rather burn to death than use a door marked “No Exit”, but I am not like that (no doubt Sean Gabb would explain that in relation to my not being part of the “English race” or something). However, this ultra Prussian British attitude did not always exist (till the late 19th century the British were considered a rather wild bunch) and the attitude is going to have to change.

    As for UKIP – the big problem has never been efforts at MI5 (MI6?) infitration.

    The problem has been attempted infiltarion by racists.

    Of course some of these racists may really have Special Branch connnections.

    But some of them are…..

    Well the people whose writings one sees on some threads on this site.

    It is these people who could destroy UKIP – by spreading their moral sickness of racialism to it.

    And I am personally interested.

    After all if my Member of Parliament is driven from the Conservative Party by the antics of Cameron and co – then I go with him. He does not employ me (he would not be the least expensive MP in the House if he did), but there is a matter of loyality (which to me, in my “Feudal” way [and that is one charge made by Kevin and Sean against me that actually has some truth in it] is a two way street).

    And it would be nice to have somewhere to go to.

  36. If I may work from the bottom up again, Paul, I don’t know who your MP is, but you must recognise that the Conservatives need to present a Euro-sceptic facade to the voters, and in order to do that they need MPs who are, or who pretend to be, as virulently Eurosceptic as any UKIP member. Why do you think Dan Hannan was pushed up to number one on the List of Euro-MP candidates? Do not be taken in by them. It is a distraction and adivesion. Hannan is a wonderful fellow, but the fact remains that he represents a party which is absolutely committed to preventing our withdrawal from the EU. It has been a long road to political integration, or should I say subsumation, and I believe that one of the first steps along this road was the takeover of the Conservative Party. The leader of the Party is not the Party. Remember what happened to Margaret Thatcher when she threatened to resist Maastricht? She was knifed in the back by the REAL Conservative Party – the ‘men in grey suits’ (one of whom, incidentally, was my current MP Francis Maude, and another was my previous MP Peter Hordern). I would not presume to tell you whom to vote for, but the inescapable and immutable fact is that a vote for the Conservatives (or indeed Labour or the Lib-Dems) is a vote for the EU.
    UKIP has never had a problem with racists. At least I have never met any in almost twenty years of involvement. The problem is with people who spread the idea that it is a racist party. Agents provocateurs, as I said earlier. Seeing as ‘racism’ whatever the Hell that undefined term is supposed to mean, is just about the most heinous crime one can commit these days, that was the obvious slur to throw at us.
    Now, to move up the page, Ian B neatly makes my point for me. Hitler did indeed tear up the non-aggression pact with Stalin. But boy, did he back it up with force! If we were prepared to do the same to Brussels I would say go ahead, tell them what they can do with their Treaty.
    Ian, you also say “If a future British government decides that it no longer agrees to be part of the EU, it is no longer part of the EU. It does not need a “mechanism” to leave. The treaty and “international law” simply ceases to exist.”
    I find this a very odd statement. Without a ‘mechanism’ to leave the EU, how would we get out? Would Prime Minister Farage just make a speech to the House, or to the BBC News perhaps, announcing to the world that we are no longer an EU Member State? Don’t there have to be votes in Parliament and stuff like that, and if there is a vote there has to be something which is being voted on. That is what I describe as a ‘mechanism’. Somehow I just cannot envisage the prospect, much as I would like to, of any Parliament of ours ever voting to act illegally and declare U.D.I. I just can’t see it happening. And you will have to explain to me how a British Prime Minister can make International Law cease to exist.
    Then, Ian, you say “We have already ascertained that, even if they wanted to, the EU has not got the military capability to enforce membership”. Where did that come from? How did we ascertain that? I have said repeatedly that they DO have the force. Maybe not Panzers through the tunnel (not yet, anyway), but they do have the EGF and Europol, who have the powers of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment without trial. And answer me this – what on earth do you think will happen when we tell Brussels what they can do with their Common Fisheries Policy and that henceforth all fish in British waters are ours. Are we going to go up to all those Spanish trawlers and say “sorry old chaps, you got to go home”? And if we do do that, do you think they will oblige? No Sir, If we try to re-assert our territorial fishing waters we shall certainly have to be prepared to defend that action by force. Panzers through the Tunnel may be far fetched, but Cod Wars are not. And in terms of International Law, for what that is worth, we shall be the ones who are in the wrong.
    As for the Queen not reading her letters, it seems highly improbable I agree. But why does she keep insisting that she does? I do, however, know she saw the placards we were waving at her when she visited Horsham some years ago. It was hilarious – we ambushed her five times in all; we would wait at a certain point till she had passed then nip through a short-cut to get ahead of her motorcade again, and when she got back to her helicopter in Horsham Park we were already there waiting for her. Philip, interestingly, made a point of acknowledging our presence. And I also know she saw the bus I was driving round and round Westminster Abbey while she was re-taking her Coronation Oath in an act of gross hypocrisy to celebrate fifty years on the throne. Painted on the sides of the bus were the words “Your Majesty – Remember your Coronation Oath – save us from the EU Constituion”. Took me ages to get the paint off afterwards. We did get our picture on page 2 of the ‘Sun’ though, opposite the lovely Nicola (23) from Croydon if I recall.

  37. Footnote – until about a hundred years ago we had a law that the British Navy had to be maintained at a size larger than the second- and third-largest navies in the world combined. If we had that today we might be able to tell Brussels where to go!

  38. I’m so sorry, I have got so bogged down in replying to each point in detail that I have completely missed the main point. All this talk of ‘tearing up treaties’ and suchlike is nonsense. A treaty is an agreement between two sovereign bodies. South Carolina, incidentally, was an equal member of a voluntary association of States. They did try to back up their succession with force, and look what happened to them. Lincoln made it voluntary at the point of a gun.
    We, by which I mean the British people, are still looking at this as though we are ‘over here’ and Europe is ‘over there’. This might have been true until the coming into force of the EU Constituion a.k.a. Lisbon Treaty. Sorry if I keep labouring this point, but the ‘old’ EU and the ‘new’ EU are quite diffferent creatures. The original (pre-Lisbon) EU was indeed an intergovernmental organisation. It was an agreement between sovereign governments, and we could indeed have left simply by repealing the 1972 European Communities Act and thereby repudiating the Treaty of Rome. That is the MECHANISM, Ian, that I keep talking about. Today we are in the EU Mark 2. It is also called the European Union, but it is quite different from the original. That has now gone. It is a dead parrot. The ‘new’ EU derives its authority from its own Constitution a.k.a. Lisbon Treaty. That is also now OUR constitution. It is subtle, I know, and it has been very much confused by the name change from “A Constitution For Europe” to the “Lisbon Treaty”. The European Council (not to be confused with the Council of Europe!) was formerly an INTERGOVERNMENTAL body. So when Blair and his predecessors attended, they did so as representatives of this country. The European Council has been transformed by Lisbon into an EU INSTITUTION, so when Cameron attends, he does so as an agent or appointee of the EU. It is a subtle shift, yet the implications are enormous. It is by thousands of little details like this that we are tied, like Gulliver, to the EU. (Yes, I know Gulliver wasn’t tied to the EU, but you get my point!).
    Chancellor Helmut Kohl famously remarked “The future will belong to the Germans when we build the house of Europe”. Well, the house is pretty well finished now (they just need to get us into the Euro – which we are Consntitutionally bound to join, by the way – our opt-out vanished when Lisbon superseded Maastricht). And we are trapped INSIDE this House of Europe, not looking on like spectators from the outside. What David Cameron will try to do is negotiate the removal of a few bricks to let a bit of light in, and that will probably placate those voters who are complaining that it is getting a bit dark in here.
    What we really need to do, however, is blow the bloody doors off so we can get out. But we don’t have enough explosive to do that.

  39. Hugo you just do not “get it”.

    We do not need to blow the doors off – because there is no wall, just an empty space with (according to you) a “No Exit” sign put in the ground.

    It is of no strength – it has no military force (at least not a military force worth spit). It can not stop us doing anything (unless we let it – by our own sillyness).

    It is NOTHING.

    Other than what we make it – but letting it con us.

    Overestimating an enemy is as bad a vice as underestimating an enemy.

  40. I don’t think I agree with your last sentence, but there you go. So tell me – how do you think we should effect our exit (within the law or outside it, in other words in accordance with Lisbon Article 50 or not), and what do you think the response of the EU would be in each case? If we went by the ‘approved’ route, the parliamentary mechanism would be absolutely straightforward. The EU would then have free rein over us for two years. That much is fact. What do you think they would do to us during that period? And if we acted unlawfully, i.e. outside the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty? What would be the parliamentary mechanism for committing such an unlawful act? Would the UN then have a role in imposing sanctions against us, for example? (I have no idea myself – I’m just flying a kite with this one). Or should we just nuke Brussels and solve the problem that way? (yay!!).
    I have spelled out in fairly precise detail what I believe would be the EU’s response in either scenario, and also the difficulties I can see in adopting the ‘illegal’ route, as I cannot see a mechanism for doing so. There is no precedent. This country more than any other is governed by precedent and convention. (Mind you, I suppose there was no precedent for chopping our King’s head off either). But surely you must agree it would be problematic? Everybody (so far) disagrees with me, but I have yet to see a similarly detailed alternative scenario.
    Over to you!

  41. I give up.

    Not on leaving the E.U.

    Just on you Hugo.

  42. I shall take that as a compliment! Time will tell of course whether any of my predictions are proved correct. Here’s another one – we shall be a member of the Euro much sooner than we think. I don’t want to sound like a braggart, but I do have a pretty good track record over the last twenty five years of predicting matters EU. I flatter myself that I think I understand their various motives, ambitions and methods quite well. But in all serousness I am still in the dark as to how you, or anyone else, thinks this will be played out. I assume we agree that any attempt on our part to leave the EU must begin in the Westminster Parliament? Beyond that point I have a very clear idea of what I believe will happen, but I have absolutely no clue what you think the next step, or even the first step, will be. And I would genuinely like to know. I will apologise in advance if you have already told me and I have carelessly overlooked it or been too dense to take it in.
    Good night!

  43. Ok, here’s another one for you – to ‘tear up’ the Lsibon Treaty would, I presume we agree, require an Act of Parliament? This would require the Royal Assent. HMQ gave her Assent to this Treaty in June 2008. Do you seriously believe she would give her assent to a total breach of the same Treaty five years later? Seriously? And if she DID give her Assent, then that’s where it gets interesting. HMQ is, and has been since Maastricht, an EU citizen, just like you and I. She is subject to EU law the same as you and I. If she DID give her Assent to a breach of the Lisbon Treaty, she would be breaking EU law and she could be arrested.
    I sent in a post earlier which seems to have evaporated, pointing out that even if we were to quit the EU tomorrow, most of the body of EU law would still apply (irrespective of HOW we got out). Each and every EU Directive has to be transposed into British Statute Law. They would all need to be repealed, one by one, and that would take a long time. EU Regulations, on the other hand, would cease to have force the moment we left. At least that is what WE would say. The ECJ, of course, would tell us they still applied (if we left by the ‘legal’ route, Regulations would apply for two years; if we left illegally, the ECJ would not even recognise our departure). Then we’re back to the same point which all roads lead to – the fundamental conflict between the ECJ and the British government. How would that be resolved? I should not need to point out that every previous conflict has been resolved in the ECJ’s favour. How is this one going to be any different?
    I would welcome an intelligent response to these conundrums. All I have had so far is “you’re wrong” or “you don’t get it”, which leaves me little the wiser. I would be delighted to be proven wrong, but in order for that to happen we need alternative prognoses.

  44. Hugo.

    Either a nation leaves the European Union or it does not.

    Endless talk about “mechanism” and “alternative prognoses” and articles of the Lisbon Treaty, are just excuses for NOT leaving the E.U.

    Do you want to leave the E.U.?

    If you do…..

    Then stop this waffle.

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland could leave the E.U. (“how when…..” = waffle) tomorrow.

    The E.U. would huff and puff.

    But they would do – NOTHING.

  45. But Paul – HOW would we do it? It would have to start in Parliament, wouldn’t it? I assume we are agreed on that? But that is an assumption on my part, because you have told me nothing!
    As I see things, a British government would have two options – to invoke Article 50 and leave by the authorised route. That is straightforward enough to understand. I foresee difficulties in the two year moratorium that would follow; you, presumably, do not. Fair enough.

    Or they would somehow have to circumvent the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty. I presume this would involve introducing a Bill which would need to be approved by Parliament and gain the Royal Assent. Is this what you think also? I genuinely have no idea how any government would do this.

    So let me ask you a couple of simple questions;
    1) Do you think the government should invoke Article 50 and hope the EU doesn’t punish us during the two year moratorium that would ensue?
    2) Do you think the goverment should simply tell Brussels to get lost, ignore Lisbon, and hope the EU won’t retaliate?
    3) If you opt for the latter route, how would the government do it? (It’s that word ‘mechanism’ again). Do you think the Prime Minister would just let out a ‘cosmic squawk’ and it would be done, or do you believe there would have to be some sort of Parliamentary procedure? And if so, what?

    A lot of subsidiary questions there, I’m afraid, but I do genuinely want to know what you think. Why won’t you tell me?

  46. “But Paul how would we do it”

    Ian already told you – and have I (several times).

    Do you want to leave the E.U. or not?

    Yes or no?

    If “yes”.

    Stop the waffle

    We could leave tomorrow.

    The only “how” is passing it by the House of Commons.

    No resistance from the Queen.

    No …… clauses of …… treaties.

    The problem is simple.

    LACK OF A MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS TO LEAVE THE E.U.

    Get a majority in the House of Commons – and your complex “hows” would not exist.

  47. Paul, either you are misunderstanding my question, or I am misunderstanding your answer. Ok, assume we have a UKIP majority in Parliament. You say “The only “how” is passing it by the House of Commons.”. Yes Paul, but passing WHAT? You are talking about an Act of Parliament I take it? Such an Act would have to say SOMETHING? What would that something be? THAT is my question.

    UKIP’s answer to the question has traditionally been “to repeal the 1972 E.C.A.” That is the kind of answer I am looking for. Nice and simple, and legally precise. We would thereby repudiate the Treaty of Rome (legally) and be free of the EU. And yes, we could do it tomorrow.

    But that was then and this is now. The post-Lisbon EU is a different creature altogether.
    To repeal the 1972 E.C.A. tomorrow would, in my view, be a futile exercise. We would be repudiating a Treaty which has been replaced and superseded by Lisbon, and Lisbon incorporates (for the first time, incidentally) a procedure for Member States who wish to leave the EU. So do we follow that procedure or not? Your answer seems to imply that we do not. In which case Paul, if you were Prime Minister, what would your proposed Act of Parliament say? It would have to say SOMETHING! You would have to write some words on a sheet of paper. What would those words be?

  48. Follow up comment; I think I realise where the stumbling block to our understanding may lie Paul. Yes, I fully agree that we could have legally repudiated or resiled from the Treaty of Rome. That Treaty was an intergovernmental Treaty among equals, and was silent on the subject of withdrawal. So it was our absolute sovereign right to say ‘We’ve had enough of this – we’re taking our ball and going home’.
    But Lisbon, a.k.a. the Constitution for Europe, which supersedes and replaces Rome, and to which we have legally submitted ourselves, does indeed provide an exit mechanism, and we have agreed to be legally bound by that mechanism. We have to give two year’s notice, during which time we are excluded from all talks. We have no LEGAL means of by-passing this. And there’s the rub.
    For the British Parliament to introduce an ILLEGAL Bill and ask the Monarch to agree to it …. wow, that would be something!

  49. Nothing passed by Parliament is “illegal”.

  50. That depends on one’s perspective! The ECJ would say it is illegal, because it would put us in violation of the EU Constitution, by which we are legally bound.

    How would you word such an Act – that is what I would like to know? I keep asking you this question, and answer comes there none!
    Incidentally, UKIP would clearly follow the ‘legal’ route and invoke Article 50. I have already pointed out the problems which I foresee with this course of action, but in terms of Parliamentary process it is absolutely straightforward.
    How Parliament would legislate to violate the EU Constitution I have no idea – nor, I suggest, do you.

    At the risk of repeating myself ad nauseam, I will again point out that the ‘old’ EU was an intergovernmental organisation, which drew its authority from the consent of the signatories, which we could easily revoke. The ‘new’ EU, however, is a unitary State which draws its authority from the Constitution itself, from which we cannot legally resile except by the provisions contained in that Constitution, namely Article 50.

    However we seek to escape, we always find ourselves back at the same point; we (the British government) would say one thing; the ECJ would say another. It reminds me of that old Irish Faerie curse – when you were staggering home from the pub, the further you walked, the further away your home would retreat. The cure for this, I am reliably informed, is to take your jacket off and put it on inside out. Or maybe not upset the Faeries in the first place.

    So how would you word your Act of Parliament? I mean, when Hitler violated his non-aggression pact with Stalin, he did it with tanks. I don’t suppose he bothered with passing legislation in the Reichstag first. But Hitler wasn’t British, was he? (He probably wasn’t Aryan either come to that!).

  51. Further thought – how would you compare our situation with that in the United States? You say ‘Nothing passed by Parliament is illegal’. But if Congress passed a law which was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, it would be struck down.
    That is exactly the position we are in. Any attempt to contravene the provisions of the EU Constitution a.k.a. Lisbon Treaty would (quite correctly) be declared unconstitutional by the EU Supreme Court in Luxembourg.

  52. Interesting point Hugo.

    In Britain, since the time of Blackstone at least, the position is as I describe it – actually I do not like the idea of “all power to Parliament”, but I like the idea of “power to the E.U.” even less.

    The United States went for an older point of view – the view of fundemental charters defending fundemental (natural) law. As with the Great Charter of 1215 (for all the efforts of modern academics to explain it away) and the Charter of 1100 (of Henry 1st) and the Edict in France in 877 (and so on).

    However………

    When the Supreme Court (quite correctly) ruled that paper money was unconstitutional (in the first “Greenback” case) Congress added some judges and there was the second “Greenback” case (Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase in dissent).

    After all – we are going back on gold anyway, and it would be a bit off for the people to be told that we have been illegally cheating them for years (to fund the Civil War – and what came after), so let us just forget about it……

    However ….. (and this “however” is more serious).

    In the 1930s Franklin Roosevelt decided to wipe his bottom with the Consitutiton – almost everything he did violated (fundementally violated) the basic principles of limited government the Consitution was written to defend. Starting with his stealing of privately owned gold (and violation of private contracts) in 1933.

    Four of the Justices of the Supreme Court (the so called “Four Horsemen of the Ap………”) prepared themselves for battle and war.

    But four other Justices DID NOT – and (most importantly) nor did the Chief Justice (so five to four).

    Certainly the Chief Justice cast the “Four Horsemen” some bones for example ruling that the “National Recovery Agency” was unconstitutional (General Johnson’s jack booted “Blue Eagle” thugs who went around smashing shop windows, and so on, of any business that stood against the “National Industrial and Economic Recovery Act” which tried to force every business into a government supported cartel with prices and so on determined by the government and representatives of the cartel – in line with what is known as the “German form of socialism” from the German “War Socialism” of World War One).

    A regulatory agency could not just make up rules with the force of law – and punish business enterprises for the “crimes” of charging different prices, or selling goods that were different from the goods other business enterprises sold.

    This caused a dreadful stink – with Roosevelt threatening the pack the court with extra judges and so on.

    However, it obscured the real point – on most of the “New Deal” the court GAVE IN.

    It let Roosevelt wipe his bottom with the Constitution – because it did not want to challenge a “democratically elected government” (and some of the Justices were “Progressives” themselves).

    The longer term?

    Even the National Recovery Agency would be unheld now – after all government agencies have (since World War II) been making up rules with the force of law (under vague “Enabling Acts” from Congress – much like the “delegated legislation” in Britain that the Chief Justice denounced in “The New Despotism” as far back as 1929).

    Last year “Obamacare” came before the court.

    In the Act it says (repeatedly) that it is NOT a tax – it is an compulsory “insurance scheme”.

    The Constitution gives the Federal government no power to set up insurance schemes.

    So Chief Justice Roberts faced a choice (a similar one as was faced when “Social Security” came before the Court in the 1930s).

    He could fight – or he could not fight.

    He choose NOT to fight – to declare something (the “Affordable Health Care Act”) that says (in the text of the Act) that it is NOT a tax – to be …….
    Yes – a tax. And thus (he pretended) the Act was allowed. Of course the Act would still fail (if the Constitution was actually defended) as there is no “general welfare spending power” – the “common defence and general welfare” actually being the PURPOSE of the specific spending powers given to the Congress by Article One, Section Eight. The Tenth Amendment removes all reasonable doubt (if there could be any – even without the Tenth Amendment).

    But if one said this to Chief Justice Roberts (and his government appointed fellow judges) they would just stick their fingers in their ears while engaging in waffle about “democracy” (a word that is nowhere to be found in the Constitution of the United States).

    “Bottom Line”.

    Constitution or no Constitution – the Supreme Court is a weak reed.

    What do you expect of a GOVERNMENT APPOINTED court?

    That it will really challenge a “democratically elected government”?

    A court might resist – if the judges were themselves elected (as they are in Texas and other places).

    But appointed judges will (if the elected government has the WILL to impose its desires) give in.

    If, I repeat, the govenment has really made a choice (if it tips them a wink really saying “we want you to oppose ……” things are different).

    Control the House of Commons (have a real majority in the House of Commons) – and all other problems fall flat.

    The Queen is not a elected President – to be blunt, the lady does as she is told.

  53. Fascinating. I used to regard myself as quite well informed about these matters – but having read your article I realise just how much I don’t know! I’m going to go back over it tomorrow in more detail. Just one point for now though – you describe the U.S. Supreme Court as government appointed – the judges are appointed by the President himself, are they not? I regard that as one of the greatest powers afforded to the President. And although I agree with you about FDR, I have always regarded Lincoln as the biggest violator of the Constitution – but that’s another discussion for another day.

    Back to the EU; you have still not even begun to describe HOW the British government would propose to violate the EU Constitution / Lisbon Treaty. As I’ve said before, I can easily see how they could have repudiated the Treaty of Rome & got out that way (all they had to do was repeal the 1972 ECA – seemples!), and I can easily see how they can invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and get out that way. What I cannot begin to comprehend is how our government could introduce legislation deliberately violating the Treaty / Constitution. What would the Bill say? If you haven’t a clue just say so and I shall stop asking the same question over and over, but if you do have a clue please share it with me!

    Here’s another analogy for you; if you worked for McDonalds & wanted out, that would be simple. You would just say “I quit”, walk out the door and it would be done. If you joined the Army & wanted out, there is (I believe) a mechanism for buying yourself out. Again, that is quite simple. What is not so simple, is if you had joined the Army & you just said “I quit” and walked out the door. You would be arrested and cout-martialled or possibly shot as a deserter. That is pretty much our position vis a vis the EU. We have signed up to the Lisbon Treaty, including the provision contained in that Treaty for withdrawal. We cannot legally violate that provision, therefore we must do it illegally. Pretty much as Ian Smith did in Rhodesia (except of course he didn’t have the luxury of a legal way out, as we do).

    Whatever route we take to the door marked ‘exit’, if we start with my initial premise that the EU is broke without us, our journey ends in a conflict between the will of the British people as expressed through Parliament on the one hand, and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on the other. And I can’t see that conflict being resolved in our favour, either with or without the use of force.

    Don’t misunderstand my motives here. I have dedicated the past twenty years of my life to getting out of the EU. Up until Lisbon it would have been so simple – as you say, all we needed was a majority in Parliament with which to repeal the 1972 ECA, which has always been UKIP’s policy, and it would have been done. With Lisbon we are in a completely different situation. I believe it is game over, unless we are prepared to shoot our way out ( which clearly we are not). UKIP now supports the idea of a referendum followed, if successful, by invoking Lisbon Article 50. This is very convoluted and fraught with danger, and I honestly cannot support it. Trouble is, I don’t have a better alternative. You seem to be advocating ignoring Article 50 and just leaving. If I thought that could work I would be right behind you. But, as I keep repeating, I don’t know how it could be done. You would have to start somewhere, and that would presumably be with a Bill before Parliament. What would the Bill say?

  54. Hugo – yes the President appoints judges, although they must be confirmed by the Senate. It is true that sometimes a Justice will turn out to be more decent than the President expected – but an intelligent President (and Barack Obama is intelligent) will normally check carefully that the judges he appoints share his political opinions (and that they hold that these opinions trump the opinions of the “dead white males” who wrote the Consitution of the United States).

    How anyone could believe that such a system would work well (basically the government appointing people who are supposed to be watch dogs on the very government that appointed them) is beyond me.

    Lincoln argument was that the Consitutution says that in case of “rebellion” such things as Hapius Corpus can be suspended (and the, lawyer, Lincoln was correct – it does say that). However, Lincoln violated the Constitution in lots of other ways.

    But one must not judge him in a void – JEFFERSON DAVIS violated the rule of law also.

    Indeed FAR MORE than Lincoln did. Indeed the rule of law was the “first casuality” in the South.

    If the military uprising of 1861 had really been about limiting out of control government would not (for example) Governor Sam Houston (of Texas) have supported it? He did not support it.

    Who was the true Texan patriot?

    Sam Houston, or General Hood – a man who led the Confederate armies of the West to utter and complete ruin?

    I am actually SUPPORTIVE of States leaving the Union – if they do so for the right reasons and in the right way.

    The right reasons being a SINCERE desire to reduce the size and scope of government (not to protect SLAVERY – which was the aim of the “Slave Holding States of North America”) .

    The right way being a vote by a vote of the PEOPLE – including BLACK people. To leave the Union.

    As for the European Union.

    Both myself and Ian B. have anwered your question – more than once.

    I am not going to answer it yet again.

    You appear to be a gentleman who is unable to take “yes for an answer”.

  55. Thank you for this – working up from the bottom once more, maybe I am being dense, but I honestly and truly have no clue what you mean. How have you (and Ian) answered my question? Please stop playing games with me and put me out of my misery!

    Now to the U.S.; History, of course, is written by the victors. Washington and all the Founding Fathers would have been (rightly) hanged as traitors if they had not prevailed in their lunatic scheme to take on the might of the world’s greatest super-power. The history of the Civil War would be presented in a very different light had the Confederate campaign not floundered at Gettysburg. I am told the debacle largely hinged on a single mis-interpreted command from General Lee, who ordered that Little Round Top (I think it was that one) be taken ‘if practicable’. This was intended as an order, but was expressed in a gentlemanly way, and the officer responsible (I forget who it was) decided it was not practicable & left it at that. Then there was Jeb Stewart’s massive cavalry charge that was stopped in its tracks (for some inexplicable reason) by General Custer’s meagre forces. You may say this is all nonsense, and you may well be right, as you seem to have a more in depth knowledge of these things than I do.

    I once heard that Sam Houston committed suicide when the South fell, but this is clearly not true – am I confusing him with someone else?

    As for the “correct way” to secede being by a vote of the people, now that you say that, I realise that I don’t actually know how (or by whom) the decision was made to shell Fort Sumter – perhaps you can enlighten me? But when it comes to giving Negroes the vote, that is much more tricky (or at least would have been more tricky at the time). The plain fact is that the Negro slaves WERE inferior to their white masters in almost every way (except physically). Remember you had the cream of the White elite running America,(by which I mean the descendants of the intrepid people who had ventured forth to found the Colonies, not the weaklings who stayed safe at home in England). The slaves, on the other hand, could hardly be described as the elite of anything – or they wouldn’t have been captured! Even Lincoln recognised the inferiority of the Black race and the sheer impossibility (at the time) of assimilating them into White society – he (Lincoln) proposed shipping them off to somewhere in South America, and it is certainly the case that the Republican Party at the time described itself in its own literature as “The White Man’s Party” (or possibly “The Party of the White Man”). The reason they were opposed to slavery owes as much to the fact that they wanted to keep the new emerging States as the preserve of the White Man. Lincoln himself said quite explicitly that he did not want to end slavery – he just didn’t want it to spread into the new States. He didn’t want Blacks contaminating everything out West.
    The issue of slavery only became a pretext for the War to give it a figleaf of decency when Britain (or was it France?) thretened to intervene on the side of the Confederacy.

    The issue of Slavery had of course been an intractable problem right from the start. Jefferson famously described it as “like having hold of a wolf by the ears” (maybe a paraphrase). And in the early 1800′s they placed an import tax on people in a vain attempt to discourage the practise. Then there was Monrovia (now Liberia).
    But the United States did not invent slavery. It was just how things were done in those days. The United States, however, was the only country which fought a war ostensibly to end the practise. It is my belief that the cure was worse than the disease – 620,000 of America’s finest young men lost – and for that I blame Lincoln. Slavery would have fizzled out on its own without such a sacrifice, as it did everywhere else.

    There is also the small point (which I find intensely irritating) that Lincoln took Jefferson’s words (in fact I think he was more or less quoting Thomas Paine) about ‘All men being created equal’ and shamelessly twisted their meaning into something completely different. Jefferson, of course, was talking about Kings and Commoners, not Black and White.

    The list of crimes levelled against Lincoln is a very long one indeed. I believe that if he had not won the war he would have been tried as a war criminal.

  56. Sam Houston was against the secession effort of 1861 – because he understood the true (and SQUALID) reason for it. Slavery and the desire to EXPAND slavery.

    Houston never said that secession could never be justified, and neither have I. Indeed I would SUPPORT secession if done for the right reason (to reduce the size and scope of government) and in the right WAY (i.e. the vote of the people – including BLACK people in a State).

    Lincoln?

    In reality the war started before Lincoln was even elected – why do you think “Bleeding Kansas” was called “Bleeding” Kansas?

    The war had already started (before any bits of paper were waved about) and it started over the desire of the Slave Power (the slaver owners of the South) to EXPAND slavery.

    The Slave Power (the “Slave Owning States of North America”) also planned to expand slavery by taking over areas of South and Central America (much as Imperial Germany dreamed of doing before the First World War).

    War crimes?

    There were many – on both sides.

    For example three men from Alabama arrived in Kansas (again before Lincolin was elected) and boasted about how they were going to kill the anti slavery people.

    They boasted to the wrong people…..

    They were taken and tied to stakes – and cut to death (Indian style).

    It took them all night to die.

    The European Union.

    If you wish to claim that there all sorts of complex reasons why we can not leave the European Union, that is up to you.

    It is nothing to do to me.

    Personally I would IGNORE anything the European UNion and its “courts” said.

    Others might prefer to treat them the way those three men from Alabama were treated – but I see no reason to do that.

  57. I going to go top down this time; Sam Houston – this is an aside really – I’m just puzzled as to why I believed for quite a time that he was a secessionist who had committed suicide after Lee’s surrender. Could I be getting him confused with anybody else you can think of? If not, this mistake on my part will have to remain one of life’s mysteries I suppose.

    As for Black people taking part in a vote for secession, until recently voting in this country was restricted to the property-owning classes. Slaves WERE property, so the idea of giving them the vote was imp[ractacal to say the least. And how many free Blacks were there in South Carolina? The decision to fire on Fort Sumter was made by the democratically elected government of South Carolina, which is as close you are going to get to doing it the ‘right way’, unless you think they should have held a referendum perhaps?

    Yes, I know about the Kansas / Nebraska business, and the Missouri compromise. The fact is that the whole issue of slavery had been a thorn in the side of the United States for almost a century. And secession was nothing new; there had been numerous secession movements over the decades but all had fizzled out without amounting to anything. It was universally accepted that a State had the right to secede from the Union, for the ‘right’ reason or for any reason. Until, that is, Lincoln came along. It is a travesty that he is credited with ‘saving the Union’ when in fact he changed what had been a voluntary Union of States into one that was voluntary at the point of a gun. It is a further travesty that he turned Jefferson’s dictum “That all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed” on its head, by demanding that consent at the point of a gun.

    You mentioned earlier that the US Constitution provided for the suspension of Habeas Corpus. Yes, but it reserved that right to Congress, not to the President. Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus quite illegally by Presidential decree and used its suspension ruthlessly to arrest and imprison anyone who disagreed with him.

    And that is only to scratch the surface. So, Lincoln a war criminal? Definitely. And yes, of course there were war crimes committed by both sides. But only one of the perpetrators was President.

    Now, to flip back to the EU, thank you for clearing that up. My sanity is now restored, in the knowledge that you have not answered my question at all. In fact you appear not to have understood or maybe even to have read it! That is exactly the sort of thing my wife does – you ask her a question and she answers a different one. You are describing how we should deal with the EU’s response to our own demand for secession. You say we should just ignore the EU. Fair enough. I do not agree with you ( I don’t think it will be possible to ignore them) but time will tell. But you have jumped the gun – I wasn’t asking how you think we should deal with the EU’s response to our demand for freedom, but how we should frame that demand in the first place. I don’t think you have any more idea than I do!

  58. Hugo you clearly regard the rules of the E.U. as very important. Ian tried to explain to you that if we leave the E.U. (which we could be a stroke of a pen) they do not apply, and I have tried also.

    You do not understand what either of us has siad – you feel that we have not “answered the question”. There is no real question to be answered – the question exists only in your own mind.

    I doubt that you would actually support a vote to get the United Kingdom out of the E.U, you would be likely to think up complex reasons as to why the vote would be a bad thing, and how we could not leave the E.U. for X,Y, Z, reasons.

    Lincoln did many bad things – but nothing that JEFFERSON DAVIS (a name you seem unable to use) did not do more than Lincoln did.

    By the way your reference to black people as “property” assumes the correctness of the position of Mr Davis.

    As I reject the position of Mr Davis I see no point in continuing the discussion.

  59. Why ever not? Please tell me more about Jeff Davis. I hadn’t mentioned him because I didn’t regard him as particularly central to the issues. I have never heard of any crimes alleged against him – no doubt you will fill me in? I did have a glance at the Confederate Constitution and thought it was rather good. I will wait for you to tell me why it is not!

    I did not refer to Black people as ‘property’, by the way. Slaves, however, were indeed the property of their owner – just like his horses or his cattle. That was nothing whatsoever to do with Jeff Davis – it had always been the legal position even before the United States existed. And it would have remained the law, I suppose, until the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. The ‘Emancipation Proclamation’ of course was another of Lincoln’s clever little tricks – it did not free a single slave, as it only applied to territory occupied by Union forces, and, as it was a War Measure, if the War had ended the next day the Emancipation Proclamation would have ended with it and, legally, the slaves would all have gone back to servitude.

    Now, back to this side of the Atlantic, you are quite correct when you say we could leave the European Union with a stroke of a pen. We could invoke Lisbon Article 50, as Nigel Farage proposes. I have already spoken of the problems that would attend this course of action – that there would then ensue a two year moratorium during which we would remain a Member State of the EU bound by EU law, but be excluded from all talks, and it is my belief that there will be nothing left of this country by the time the Piranhas of the EU have gnawed at our bones for that length of time. Prior to Lisbon, also, we could easily have been out ‘with the stroke of a pen’ by repealing the 1972 ECA. Post-Lisbon that would be pointless. I am repeating all this because, with the greatest respect, I am still not convinced you understand the nuances, and in particular the fundamental change that has taken place with the advent of the Lisbon Treaty / EU Constitution.
    I understood you to be arguing that there was still a way out without following the provisions of Lisbon Article 50, and if that is indeed what you are saying, then I must disagree with you. I just can’t see where we would start. We cannot just introduce a Bill that would enable us to opt out of the EU Constitution and go our own way, any more than can Texas opt out of the US Constitution and revert to being a republic. If that is too radical a move for even Nigel Farage, it is unlikely that anybody else would attempt it.

    And needless to say you are quite wrong when you suggest I would not support a vote to get us out of the EU. I have devoted the past twenty-odd years of my life to precisely that end. What I am saying is we need a coherent plan of escape before we go off at half cock. The EEC / EC/ EU has spent the last fifty years working towards trapping this country in its snare, and it is not going to let us escape its clutches so easily. You appear to believe the EU would be indifferent to our departure – I emphatically do not. The noose around our necks is now much tighter than most people realise, youself included I would respectfully suggest. If we are to get out we need to be smart and think ahead. My desire to escape from the EU is matched only by the EU’s determination to stop us escaping. I would happily consent to the use of force to achieve my objective, and so, I’m afraid, would the EU. Hitler was right, you know, when he said “All great issues are ultimately settled by blood and iron”.

  60. Hugo your reply is rather odd.

    The E.U. has no “blood and iron” (and the quote is from Bismark). And it would not use blood and iron if had such force (which it does not).

    As I have told you (multiple times) the E.U. would huff and puff if the United Kingdom left – but it would do NOTHING.

    As for Jefferson Davis – not being central to the issues.

    He was the President of the Confederacy – and he dominated it. If you really do not know of his policies….. well then you do not know the Confederacy (by the way his autobiography is usless – a load of self justifications and dishonest, wildly dishonest, dodges).

    End to the rule of law – check (other than in North Carolina where Governor Vance put up a determined resistance to the collapse of the rule of law and had a enough regiments to make his word something that could not be ignored), executions without trial check, and on and on.

    Someone like General Lee had virtually no influence upon policy.He is worth studying for the specialised study of military history – but not for general history.

    It would be like saying “I understand Nazi Germany – because I have studied the political opinions of General Erwin Rommel”. As if Rommel had any influence on policy.

    On the Constitutional drift before the war – on straw in the wind was Tennessee.

    In the Consitution of Tennesee of 1816 free blacks had the vote – in the Constitution of 1835 they were stripped of the vote.

    The North was hardly perfect – but the trend was in the right direction, In the South the trend went the other way.

    Each year put the sides further and further apart – so by the 1850s (notice I typed “1850s” not “1860s”) they were shooting each other (and cutting each other up with knives – and burning each other) in “Bleeding Kansas”. This would have been unthinkable in the 1790s.

    [By the way both modern sterotypes of modern Republicans as religious fanatics, John Brown types, and as supporters of big business - go back to the 1850s and were staples of "Slaver Power" propaganda, Bible-in-one-hand-but-pistol-in-the-other-and-well-used-account-book-in-the-back-pocket].

    The Southern leadership of people such as Washington, Jefferson and Madison regarded slavery as an EVIL – that would pass way.

    To people such as Calhoun (and Jefferson Davis) slavery was a “positive good” that should be SPREAD.

    Nor was “States Rights” sincere.

    This can be seen from the Confederate invasion of Kentucky in 1861.

    Kentucky was a slave State – but even the rulering politicians (in no State was whether to try to leave the Union PUT TO THE WHOLE PEOPLE in a vote) were uncertain about whether to leave the Union.

    Confederate military forces arrived (unasked for) to “protect” Kentucky – and would not leave. So war came to Kentucky.

    Even “Redneck” Central, West Virginia, was not a Confederate stronghold.

    On the contrary – West Virgina did not even exist before the war, it broke away from Virginia in order to fight AGAINST Jefferson Davis and co (although – as in so many places, families were split).

    Even in VIrginia proper one of the famous Generals (George Thomas “The Rock of Chi….”) wore blue not gray.

    By the way – you show the same weakness that Lee did.

    Obsession with the east.

    On the very time that Lee was obsessed with his invasion of Pennsylvania (July 1863 – ending in Gettysburg) the South was loing the war.

    July 1863 (July 4th actually) – the fall of Vicksberg CUTTING THE CONFEDERACY IN TWO.

    General Lee had no chance – none.

    The North had a free population of 20 million – the South a free population of 6 million.

    The North had a 14 to 1 superiority in merchant shipping.

    3 to 1 in farm acreage – 2 to 1 in corn and 412 (yes 412) to 1 in wheat. The Southerners could not eat their cotton.

    The North produced 94% of cloth (the South had trouble even turning its cotton into clothing), 90% of the shoes and boots (barefoot Confederates may be romantic – but in winter time you end up with a lot of men with no feet).

    The North had the vast majority of the 286 pig-iron furnaces.

    An the North out produced the South in firearms 32 to 1.

    Had General Lee been a more than a “battlefield General” (“amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk LOGISTICS” as the British army saying has it) he would have gone to the political leaders of the Slave Power and said the following…….

    “Your proposed war is hopeless – indeed it is madness, if you persist with this enterprise I will arrest you”.

    However, he did not do that – instead he went along with the poltical leadership of the Slave Power, in a dream that fancy tactics could defeat the brutal facts of mathematics.

    And he did score victories – but look at those victories more closely.

    For example, every time Lee defeated General McClellan, Lee lost more men than McClellan did (a fact that Lee, an honest man, admitted himself). Lee could not a BREAK the United States army – he could only push it back (for awhile) and at a greater cost to the Confederate troops than to the Union troops.

    Think about that – and remember that McClellan’s losses could be replaced, Lee’s could not be replaced to anything like the same degree

    Year after year of this (not to mention the lunatic antics of General Hood in the West – with his “Celtic Charges” that were little more than live fireing practice for the United States Army) led to every white family in the South losing a loved one.

    All in a cause (the cause of the Slave Power) that had no chance to start with.

    This is not patriotism – it is folly.

    By the way……

    For the (almost Marxist) propaganda some Southerners resorted to (for example George Fitzhugh’s “Cannibals All!” 1854 – with its labour theory of value and attacks on “big business”) see pages 261-2 “A Patriot’s History of the United States” Larr Schweikart and Michael Allen – Penguin 2004).

    Do not rely on Schweikart and Allen on banking (which they do not understand) – but they are O.K. on military history.

    There are better works – but it will do as it covers the political context before and after the war.

  61. By the way Hugo – do you know who first spread the myth (and it is a myth) in academia that the war about resistance to big government?

    I know a lot of libertarians come out with this myth – but who first spread it in academia?

    WOODROW WILSON – and for his own, very nasty, reasons.

    Wilson was a fanatical racist (for example he was the first President to forbid black and white people using the same toilets in government buildings – yes he was as petty and nasty as that).

    So the idea that Civil War was about slavery did not suit him (indeed he thought the end of slavery was rather a mistake).

    So what was the war about according to Wilson?

    Building a new big govenrment of course…….

    Actually there is no evidence that Lincoln was anything other than a normal Henry Clay Whig.

    A bit of a shit (if I may use that word) like most Henry Clay Whigs – but certainly NOT someone with the totalitarian dreams of Woodrow Wilson (see “Philip Dru: Administrator” by Wilson’s “Other Self” Colonel House, or Wilson’s own book “The State”).

    Woodrow Wilson disliked Republican organisations such as the National Rifle Association (still hated by collectivists to this day) and loved its enemy the KKK (indeed “Birth Of A Nation” was Wilson’s favourate film – and his backing of the film led to a massive grouth of the KKK). The KKK was (as has been forgotten) the backbone of “gun control” efforts in the South (especially where black people were concered) and sometimes got into armed clashes with NRA types in the 19th century (the NRA being founded at about the same time as the KKK – but by retired United States army officers).

    All this has gone down the “memory hole”.

    Even the fact that people such as Governor L. Maddox (Georgia – 1966-1970) were big spending LEFTISTS as well as racists (try finding that in the establishment textbooks).

    Who do you think that Condi Rice’s father scared off (with his rifle) from the family home in Alabama in the 1960s?

    The local branch of the Chamber of Commerce?

    No – they were KKK people who hated “big business” as much as they hated blacks. And whose “religious faith” involved planting bombs in churches to murder children.

    The rewritting of history (by the left) to turn the KKK into a “conservative” organisation, is one of the biggest snow jobs in history.

    It would not have worked without the iron grip the left has on the education system – both in the schools and the universities, and their iron grip on the media.

    How to get round the irritaing fact the South lost the war?

    Simple – make the war a reactionary struggle against noble big government – of which Woodrow Wilson (of Prussian dominated John Hopkins university and later of Princeton) was the High Priest.

    Thus defeat could be turned into victory – by the pretense that Wilson and co (really the children of Jefferson Davis) were the children of Lincoln.

    It is still being done – right now.

    Remember……

    Which had more fiat money inflation – the Confederacy did.

    Which had higher and a more “Progressive” income tax – the Confederacy did.

    Which had a more rules and regulations (even on overseas trade) and ended up nationalising what manufacturin and communications that it had?

    The Confederacy – or rather the “Slave Holding States of North America” (we must not forget the formal title).

    Somehow, under the infuence of Woodrow Wilson, all this somehow becomes the inheritance of the blue (not of the gray).

    The defeated become the victors.

    A similar snow job was done in South Africa – as recently as the 1920s the Communist Party was a racist party (“workers unite and save a white South Africa”) organised to fight the “capitalists” and their “cheap labour” blacks.

    Then (quite suddenly) the Communist Party became the “party of the natives” (later on they understood that “native” did not have quite the right ring to it…..) and pretended they always had been.

    The (social democratic) Democrats in the United States (not even in the 1920s – but as late as the 1960s) suddenly went from being the party of racism (de facto defending lynching as late as the 1950s) to (quite suddenly) being the “party of civil rights”.

    It is CYNICAL Hugo.

    Astonishingly cynical.

    And the ………. have got away with it.

    Even though people like Senator Byrd (ex top man in the West Virginia KKK) only died a couple of years ago.

  62. Thank you so much for all this Paul. I am completely overwhelmed by the facts and statistics you present – I am not even going to study your article right now as I have work to do while it is daylight! I will come back to it tonight & try to pick it apart.

    There is, however, one thing which I have never understood.
    You know, most wars make sense; the Revolutionary War made perfect sense from both sides, the First World War made sense of a sort. The Second World War makes perfect sense, both from the Nazi and the Allied perspectives.But to me, the Civil War makes no sense at all.
    I can fully understand why a Southerner would take up arms to preserve and defend his way of life if he felt threatened. That makes sense. What I have never been able to understand is why anyone from the North would put on a uniform and get himself shot at. They weren’t being threatened. If I were a Northerner, and Lincoln asked me to take up arms to ‘Preserve the Union’ I would say “Let them go – it’s not worth killing my fellow citizens or being killed myself.”. And if Lincoln asked me to fight ‘to free the slaves’ I would say ” Not my problem. Much as I dislike the notion of slavery, I’m not risking my life killing my brothers to hasten its demise”.
    I cannot envisage any argument that would persuade me to don a blue uniform and go out & shoot my fellow countrymen. I just don’t get it.

  63. “They were not being threatened” – yes they were Hugo.

    “Bleeding Kansas” – and the whole “who gets the West” question.

    Had an independent “Slave Holding States of North America” been allowed (had “these States been allowed to leave the Union”) this new country would have been a war with the United States soon enough, in any case.

    And if Maryland had joined the Slave Holding States of North American – the capital if the United States would have been cut off.

    Still YES American nationalism was also a factor.

    A nationalism that (ironically enough) be fanned by SOUTHERNERS.

    After all Calhoun has been one of the “War Hawks” of 1812 – and most of the other War Hawks were Southerns as well.

    Even Jefferson (still alive at the time) said that capturing Canada would be “just a matter of marching”.

    When people in New England questioned the policy of war they were denounced.

    When they tried to “nulify” Federal “Fugitive Slave Laws” Calhoun and the others (the very people who stressed “nulification” later) denounced the Northern people in the most violent terms.

    When the New Englanders hinted at secession (the Hatfield Convention) they were threatened with MILITARY ACTION.

    All this came back to hit the South in 1861.

    “Now we have the numbers – now you do what WE say”.

  64. Of course the wheel may have turned – yet again.

    The numbers look very different in the 2010 census than they did in 1860 census.

    And the race factor may play very differently – now the issue is not slavery.

    Indeed, in some ways, Southern blacks are more conservative (or less anti conservative) than Northern whites.

    Go to a “black church” in the South and ask about abortion.

  65. Paul, you are racing ahead of me here – there is much I would like to respond to but I don’t know where the time goes! Just a couple of quickies for now –

    1) I don’t see how the ‘Bleeding Kansas’ episode can be regarded as a threat to the North. The North certainly posed a threat to the South in that depriving the Southerners of their slaves would certainly have threatened their livelihood, but what threat did the Confederacy pose to the North? I do not see why the United States could not have lived in peace with the loyalist Canada to the north (no problems there) and the Confederacy to the south.

    2) “The Slave-holding States of North America” – you say this was their official name (I think that’s what you said but I’m just too tired to go back over your post to check!). I have never heard this. I mean, as a descriptive term it’s ok, but an ‘official title’? Never heard that. Where does that come from?

    3) The only thing I can really recall about the Confederate Constitution is that it forbade import tariffs. So produce coming into New York, which currently had to pay a (protectionist) tariff of some weird figure like 40.7%, could sail into the Southern ports tariff-free, thus giving the South a clear commercial advantage over the North. By the way, do you know who wrote the Confederate Constituion – I don’t!? No doubt you are about to present me with a long list of nasties contained in it! But for now, I’m off to bed – this cold weather tires me out – Goodnight!

  66. Ok, I just looked it up – you knew I would, didn’t you?! Very briefly, the Confederate Constitution gives the President a line by line veto on legislation; allows for the impeachment of federal officals by state legislatures; a single term of six years for the presidency; bans the import of slaves (except from other slave-holding states); confirms the ‘right of property in negro slaves’; and permits the Confederacy to acquire new territories (which would, by definition, recognise the right to own slaves). And there is much to promote free trade and ban political interference in it.
    I have always held that the Confederate Constitution is, on balance, an improvement on the original US Constitution, and that remains my position.
    Any further contribution on my part will have to wait, as now I AM going to bed!

  67. Hugo if you had looked up the document (it still exists in Richmond Virginia – although so many of the Gray records were lost in the fires) you should have seen the title.

    As for slavery and the EXPANSION of slavery.

    Well I do not regard slavery or its expansion as a good thing.

    But then that might not be what you are saying – I too am tired (very late here – Saturday in fact).

  68. Slavery; No, I do not regard slavery as a good thing, but neither do I see it as the unmitigated evil it is regarded as through 20th Century eyes. But let me backtrack; I am quite certain that the Founding Fathers, if they had been starting with a blank sheet of paper, would not have encompassed slavery in the United States. But they didn’t start with a blank sheet of paper; they started with the Colonies, in which slavery was a way of life as much as it was everywhere else in the world. They did make several attempts to eradicate the practice, but there are some things which are just not politically possible. Slavery was in decline throughout the world in the nineteenth century, and would undoubtedly have died out eventually in the United States as well. I was discussing this with a friend in Florida a while ago – I asked him whether he thought there would still be slaves in the US if there had been no Civil War. To my surprise he said yes, he thought there would be, probably working in Walmart. It took me some time to figure out he was joking!

    What makes the US unique, of course, is that it is the only country that fought a war (ostensibly) to eradicate slavery. My view on this is that the cure was far worse than the disease, and that if John Wilkes Booth had cocked his gun a few years earlier he would have done the country a great favour. Of course Lincoln didn’t intend to start a Civil War; he was merely crushing a rebellion – specifically he wanted to put down the Free Trade movement in the Southern States that was impoverishing the protectionist North.
    Now, I am no military historian, but this seems to be a pattern with wars. The British Redcoats marched on Lexington to ‘disarm the militia’ and look how that turned out. Troops marched off to the First World War confident in the belief that they would be home by Christmas. Hitler thought he could conclude Barbarossa before the Russian winter set in. I’m not even going to mention Iraq and Afghanistan.
    A brief note on Lincoln’s election; his name did not even appear on the ballot paper in any of the Southern States except one (can’t remember which), and there he gained 2 per cent of the votes. So he was very much a President imposed on the South by the Yankees, much as Gordon Brown was imposed on the English by the Scots, and he was similarly resented. The Southerners saw him as a threat to their traditional way of life, both in temrs of free trade and the westward expansion of slavery. Of course Lincoln maintained to his dying day that he never intended to abolish slavery, merely to stop it spreading to the new territories. As I have said before, his motives in this are questionable; the Republican party described itself as ‘The Party of the White man’ and simply didn’t want Blacks contaminating the new States. Whether Lincoln himself had nobler motives I cannot say, but on his own admission he wanted the Blacks out of America. Just as Monroe had created Monrovia (now Liberia) as a haven for the deported slaves, Lincoln wanted to ship them to somewhere like Panama, or possibly Haiti (I forget which).
    But what I can still not get my head around is why anybody from the North would willingly go and put themselves in harm’s way in order to kill their fellow-countrymen in a bloody war. That I do not understand. Not to ‘free the slaves’, nor to ‘save the Union’ not for any reason I can think of. Bear in mind that many abolitionists were in favour of secession – they would then be able to live in a country which was no longer tainted by slavery.

    And it was a very bloody war indeed. The invention in Belgium of the Minie Ball made this the first war in which corpses littered the battlefield. In the old days, if you were unlucky enough to be shot by musket fire, you would in all probability be taken home to die in peace there. The Minie Ball changed all that – get hit by one of those things & it would just smash its way through flesh and bone and anything else in its path, and you would die where you fell, and probably be photographed as you lay there to become part of the war footage.

    Now to the issue of slavery itself. If you were my slave, it would be in my commercial interest, having paid good money for you, to keep you in good condition. To feed you well and take care of you when you were sick. Otherwise you would be of no use to me and my investment would be wasted. Once the Civil War had been lost, however, you would, assuming I had been a reasonably good master, stay on as my employee. Now I don’t care a jot for your welfare. If you are too sick to work I will just hire somebody else, and if you die that is of no commercial consequence to me. So in many ways you would be worse off. The fact is that there are some people to whom security is more valuable than liberty. I am not one of those people, but they do exist.

    Also, I often wonder how the imported slaves’ lives in America compared with their previous lives back in Africa, and how their offspring would have fared if their parents had never been captured. Michelle Obama might have been foraging for scraps of food on a rubbish tip in Zimbabwe instead of being First Lady of the most powerful nation on Earth. We’ll never know. But, while I think any notion of assimilation was out of the question a hundred and fifty years ago, I think it is to the great credit of the Negro population that they have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps until they are as near as dammit equal to the white man today, and I think it is to the even greater credit of the United States of America that they have allowed and indeed encouraged them to do so. After all, it could have all gone the other way – we might have had the men in pointy hats implementing America’s own ‘Final Solution’.

  69. I misunderstood you Hugo – I apologise.

    What really concerns me about the Southern leadership of 1861 is their doctrine that slavery was a “positive good” and should be – EXPANDED.

    They are totally different (in their beliefs) to Washington, Jefferson, Madison (and so on) who all assumed that slavery would pass away. The new generations of slave masters got worse and worse (not better and better) in their opinions and beliefs.

    Benjamin Franklin was right (but he was too ill to make the impact he might have).

    Slavery had to be dealt with NOW (at the Constitutional Convention) even if it meant stuffing-the-slave-owners-mouths-with-gold by giving them the proceeds of public land sales.

    After all they need not give up any slaves right now – just agree that all future people born would be free.

    As for American blacks.

    The cultural RETROGRESSION since the late 1940s has been astonishingly bad.

    The writings of Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams (and others) have explained it much better than I can.

    The “compassionate” government has done American blacks more harm than even the KKK could have dreamed of.

    Such things as the cultural institution of the family have collapsed – and welfarism has exploded.

    A small group of political blacks (such as Mrs Obama) have benefitted from the new big govenrment the United States. But most ordinary black people have been utterly destroyed by the new order.

    On the Civil War.

    Yes – it cost more lives than all other American wars put together (including both World Wars).

    Lincoln could have massively reduced the butcher’s bill had he managed to win over a few Southern States. Just one or two would have made a huge difference (and there was a lot of pro Union sentiment in many States, they loved America to, – sentiment that an intelligent statesman could have played on).

    But Lincoln (and here we agree) was not the great statesman of the books and films – he was a hack politician who messed things up. “But he won the war” – with the advantage the North had in men and materials, a person picked (at random) off the street could have “won the war”. The point was to win the war WITHOUT 600, 000 people dying.

    And Lincoln failed to do that.

  70. You say “What really concerns me about the Southern leadership of 1861 is their doctrine that slavery was a “positive good” and should be – EXPANDED.”
    I have never heard that. But when you talk of ‘expansion’, all that means in real terms is the ability to move slaves from one State to another – to the newly acquired territories that the Confederate Constitution permitted it to seek. The Confederate Constitution expressly forbade the importation of slaves.

    “Slavery had to be dealt with NOW (at the Constitutional Convention) even if it meant stuffing-the-slave-owners-mouths-with-gold by giving them the proceeds of public land sales.”
    I don’t know about that – slavery was just accepted practice at the time, and the Founding Fathers, much as they would have liked to see the end of slavery, had bigger fish to fry. In any case, they had enough trouble getting all the newly formed States to agree on the Constitution as it was; if they had inserted a clause banning the practice, or even winding it down, it would never have been agreed at all. Incidentally, I have read that the monetary cost alone of the Civil War would have paid for 40 acres and a mule for every slave!

    You say the slave-owners became harsher as time went on. I don’t know about that, but I do believe that most slaves stayed with their masters after the War between the States, this time as employees, so they can’t have been all that bad.

    Lincoln of course had many overwhelming advantages over the South when it came to the conduct of the War – specifically the railroad system and the telegraph were his, so he could be in constant communication with his commanders in the field, and could ship large numbers of troops quickly to wherever they were needed.

    In my view Lincoln was an out and out scoundrel who had no regard for the Law and contempt for the Constitution, very much like Obama in fact. His regime was like that of Putin’s Russia. His commanding officers such as Sheridan and Sherman violated international law and the Geneva Convention in the way they waged war against civilians in the South and operated a ‘scorched earth’ policy as they advanced through the South. Their reprisals against saboteurs and civilian dissidents were the equal of anything perpetrated by Hitler’s Gestapo. And these heinous acts were not committed against an invading army, but against their fellow citizens. That is what doesn’t make sense. If anyone tried to tell me they embarked on this orgy of destruction out of a sense of compassion for the slaves I simply will not believe it. I am sure it was not all one sided of course. The whole thing was an unmitigated tragedy from start to finish.

    Naturally I agree with everything you say about ‘welfarism’ and how it has dragged down Negro (and white) society in general.

    As a passing comment I once naively remarked to a group of friends in Florida that if I had been on that bus where Rosa Parkes had been ordered to give up her seat to me, I would have politely declined her offer. I was told in no uncertain terms what fate would have befallen me – I would have been denounced as a ‘nigger-lover’, lost my job, and quite likely had a visit from the men in white robes who would have raped my wife in front of me and given me a severe beating if not lynched me outright. Scarcely seems credible today, but this was only, what, sixty-odd years ago.

    Indicentally, the last survivor to fight in the Civil War died as recently as 1958.

    One day The South Shall Rise Again! (sans slaves of course!)

    • Hugo – the KKK would only have done those things had you been unarmed.

      They were cowards.

      For example, Condi Rice’s father scared a whole group of them off – with one rifle. The KKK men were armed – but they would not risk their lives against a single armed opponent (even one from an “inferior race”).

      Planting bombs in churches to kill children, that was more their style.

  71. Simplified, all political parties tell fibs!

  72. Paul – I’m off to Florida next week – and I’m going to get me a gun! Before Obama bans them! Pity Condi Rice didn’t run for President – she’s a fine woman – trained as a concert pianist and even has an oil tanker named after her (she was vice president (?) of an oil company before entering politics). How can anybody have so much talent?

  73. Hugo – try and make it to Saint Augustine if you can. I have only seen it on the internet, but it seems an interesting little town.

    Firearms – the civilian (semi automatic) version of the FN FAL might be nice – and not too expensive (or anything 762 – such as the G3 or the American M14, civilian semiautomatic versions of course).

    Or if you want a pistol – a Colt automatic 45 1911 (any pistol that has been in production for over a century must be getting something right – target shooters love them, and the bullet is big enough to have a good chance to kill first time and quickly).

    Condi is no libertarian – but no worse than Romney on policy. And Condi Rice would have won – and winning is important.