Friday, November 01, 2013
EU Debate - Smart things I should have said
Well here are a few from our EU debate:
One of the 2 Johns, in reply to a statement that 75% of British laws now come from the EU said a House of commons one said it was 15%. Lord Monckton gave chapter and verse of why it was 75% or perhaps more. At the time I knew nothing of the 15% figure but here it is in a Channel 4 "factcheck" whose bias against UKIP is palpable:
"A much-misreported House of Commons library study into the amount of our legislation that comes from Europe said it was “possible to justify any measure between 15 per cent and 50 per cent or thereabouts” depending on how you looked at EU regulations”
So not, as claimed an assertion of 15% but merely an assertion that this is the very lowest it is possible for even our pro-EU Parliament to claim possible.
One of the 2 Johns said that there are no EU tariffs on food. I was just too gobsmacked to say he was a total liar, which would probably have been unparliamentary anyway.
When 2 questions were raised the first was about whether democracy could survive with modern technology. I answered only the 2nd question. John P replied about the benefits of representative democracy over pure democracy, Athenian style, giving as an example the Athenian assembly voting to kill everybody in Syracuse and next day changing its mind and sending out another, faster, ship to carry the reprieve. It wasn't actually Syracuse.
With hindsight I would say that modern technology makes pure democracy practical; that UKIP's commitment to referendums is a start in that direction; that the FPTP electoral system does not give us representative democracy since it is deliberately maintained to ensure Parliament is not representative but skewed towards the parties in power. I could also have quoted Churchill "democracy is the worst system of government, apart from all the others" and Machiavelli on how the people may sometimes be fickle and ungrateful but that a "a Prince" almost always is; and that in the case he gave the people showed mercy whereas Alexander had, in several cases, exterminated a city for resisting him.
You don't get perfection entrusting yourself to a dictator, you may get grandeur instead. In the EU you don't get grandeur either you just get incompetent bureaucracy. Technology and the internet have given us ways to learn what government doesn't want us to know and to choose for ourselves things those in power would rather we obediently accepted.
The former Tory MEP answered a point I made about our immigration policy by launching a spiel about unlimited immigration being a good thing. At the time I let it stand because I thought he had made an ass of himself. Perhaps I should have responded that what he was saying, while he was perfectly entitled to believe it, was not his party's policy. UKIP's policy is a 50,000 a year limit. At the last election Mr Cameron made a specific promise to cut immigration to "10s not hundreds of thousands" by the end of this Parliament. Since 50k is midway between 10s and hundreds there is barely a cigarette paper between U&KIP and official Tory policy. The only real difference is that when Cameron made the promise he knew it could not be kept so long as, as EU members, we cannot stop EU immigration.
It is not a policy difference it just that everybody knows the Tory policy promise is a lie whereas everybody, even our opponents, know UKIP believe in our policies.