Friday, September 07, 2007

Riding Two Horses

One of the leading causes of Euroscepticism
Peter Mandelson, who other than being one of the more free-trade minded commissioners, I still consider to be one of the most odious of individuals to emerge from the fetid swamp of NuLab politics, is at it again.

He has followed his boss, the buffoon Barosso, and several other commissioners, in a wholly inappropriate intervention into the internal affairs of a member state. The fact that he is the UK nominee to the commission makes it no more acceptable than any other commissioner's intervention.

According to the BBC:
EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson has warned pro-European MPs not to get drawn into an anti-Europe campaign by supporting an EU Treaty referendum.


"Britain is not a country governed by the use of referenda. And those who argue for one in reality all too often want Britain to withdraw.

"I am afraid those pro-Europeans arguing for a referendum risk being drawn into supporting this agenda."

Source: BBC News

Curiously enough though he prefixed his comments with:
"It is not for me to express a view on the UK's domestic decision about a referendum"

Source: BBC News

In this, and in this alone he is right. But of course then went on to do exactly what he clearly knew it was inappropriate for him to do. When the ever ethically challenged Mr Mandelson went to Brussels, the commitments he made to the commission were in direct conflict with the oaths of office he had made as a government minister. Now, here again he willfully has violated the rules that govern his new role out of simple self-interest.

If Mr Mandelson wants to influence the decision on whether the UK should, or should not have a referendum, the path is clear. He must resign his role in Brussels and return to national politics where his voice may be legitimately be heard. Nothing would please me less than to see more of the deeply unlikable Mandelson in our domestic politics, but his intervention would be nonetheless legitimate; what he cannot do is continue to ride two horses, reentering national politics as and when it is in the interests of the Commission for him to do so.

As to the substance of his remarks, they are at heart pathetic. The idea that the likes of Keith Vaz and Gisela Stuart are some kind of unwitting puppet of the Eurosceptics is ludicrous. Their position is one of confidence and principle, where his is one of weakness and cowardly self-interest.

It is not these life-long supporters of the concept of European Union who cause the nation's distrust of the institution, nor is it the Eurosceptics. It is people like Mandelson and his vile colleagues, who insist that Europe continues to be something 'done to us', without, at any cost, letting the people ever have a say in the matter and letting it, perhaps, become their project too. It is the like of Mandelson who show 'the project' in a bad light, as they continue to shamelessly show utter contempt for the views of the people of Europe and campaign ceaselessly for their voice to be silenced.

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