FLC033, George Stanton: First Martyr of the Anti-EU Movement, 12th June 1999
Free Life Commentary,
an independent journal of comment published on the Internet
Issue Number 33
12th July 1999
First Martyr of the Anti-EU Movement
by Sean Gabb
George Staunton is a 78-year old veteran of the Second World War who lives in Liverpool. Early in the morning of last 9th June, which was polling day in the elections to the European Parliament, he admits to having gone out to encourage support for the United Kingdom Independence Party, which believes in withdrawal from the European Union. He put up several UKIP posters, and on the wall of a derelict commercial property painted the words: "Don't forget the 1945 War" and "Free Speech for England".
Just as he was finishing his display, Mr Staunton was arrested by the Merseyside Police. The cost of repairing his criminal damage is estimated at £80—not a large sum, and the wall painted on is soon to be demolished. Bearing also in mind his age and previous good character, one might think he would have been sent home and advised to keep his political high spirits under better control in future. Instead, he was charged with racially-aggravated criminal damage under section 30 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The maximum penalty for this offence is 14 years imprisonment or unlimited fine or both.
Mr Staunton's solicitor is confident that he can get the charges dropped. Probably he can. The case has attracted enough publicity for the authorities not to want still greater embarrassment than they have already suffered. Besides, there is no evidence of any sort that Mr Staunton is a "racist": indeed, his solicitor is described in one report as "a well- known advocate of black and ethnic minority organisations in Liverpool"; and he fully supports Mr Staunton. Nevertheless, this is more than just another case of police stupidity. I have no doubt the officers directly involved were stupid in going after Mr Staunton rather than somebody else. But this is not an isolated act of power. It is the start of a persecution of the anti-EU movement.
The case for British membership of a federal Europe has never been argued in this country. This is because there is no case. By history, by political culture, by economic structure, and by every other test but geographic proximity and ethnic similarity, we are not suited to membership of such a federation. We can only be fitted in at the cost of giving up everything that makes us distinct as a nation. There are no beneficiaries except an elite of politicians, bureaucrats and big business interests. Sadly, these interests are so committed to membership that they will do everything to stop an open, rational debate of its merits—a debate that they cannot hope to win.
For the first twenty years of our membership, it was enough for our masters to lie to us. "This is not a political federation" they said in scornful unison whenever a sceptical voice was raised loudly enough to be heard. "It is a free trade association. Anyone against our membership is either a protectionist or paranoid". After the Maastricht Treaty was rammed through Parliament—a treaty promising "ever closer union" and creating a European citizenship—this line had to be subtly changed. It was now admitted that some Europeans thought the European Union was an embryonic federal state; but we were told that these were an unimportant minority, and that in any event we could trust our politicians and diplomats to stand up for British interests. Then our fishing industry was shut down, and the Royal Navy was sent to protect Spanish poacher vessels from the Cornishmen from whose traditional waters they were sucking everything with gills. Then our beef industry was shut down. Then nearly all the European politicians began insisting—and in English—that they did want full political union, and that a common currency was the prelude to this. By the mid-1990s, a large and growing movement had emerged hostile in various ways to the direction of European policy.
It was now that the Quisling Right was sent into action. These are people and institutions whose purpose it is to prevent opposition to the established order. They are persuasive. They are well-connected. They are well-funded. They attract trust and money and publicity away from the real opposition. And they do nothing. They take up a campaign, and do just enough with it to keep ordinary people happy that something is being done, but make sure never to deliver. What they say is carefully phrased opposition. What they do is naked collaboration. The Daily Telegraph is one of the central institutions of the Quisling Right. So is the Conservative Party. Both are filled with second rate apparatchiks forever declaring their own patriotism, while keeping patriots out of office or out of print. They had already done a fine job "resisting" socialism and welfarism, and "defending" freedom and the rule of law. They now transformed themselves into Eurosceptics.
This worked for a few years longer. We have to admire the professionalism of the Quislings over the Amsterdam Treaty in 1998. There is no reason to suppose that men like Michael Howard or Francis Maude would have negotiated a different treaty had they been in office. But they set up an entirely convincing clamour against Labour for having sold out the country's interests. They resisted the Ratification Bill all the way through the House of Commons, where the Government has a crushing majority. Then in the Lords, where the Conservatives have a majority of their own, the Bill was quietly allowed to slide onto the statute book. Or look at their strategy in the European elections. I have their leaflet beside me. I can count four repetitions of the mantra "in Europe, not ruled by Europe". A casual read suggests that this is the manifesto of a solidly anti-EU party, utterly committed to opposing the single currency. In fact, the Conservatives do not oppose the single currency on any principled grounds, but only insist that no decision should be taken until the election after next, by when we may know if entry is "in our interests".
But the European elections saw the failure of this last policy. The debate on Europe could not be suppressed. Nor could it be taken over and lost. The Internet had brought thousands of activists together where once each would never have known the others existed. They had become a genteel British equivalent of the militia movement that had come together a few years earlier in America—again enabled by the Internet, and with the same motivation, to save their nation and its liberties from an Establishment stuffed with New World Order traitors. And they had a political manifestation in UKIP. For the first time in generations, we had a non-racist alternative to the Conservative Party. Not only this, but the change to proportional representation for the European elections meant that UKIP would nearly certainly win seats. This would mean the beginning at last of a meaningful debate on our membership—inevitably to be followed by withdrawal. Crude lying had failed. Subtle lying had failed. The Quisling Right had failed. What more could be done?
The answer is accusations of racism. That is how the American Establishment smashed the militia movement. The reality was that Americans of all races and creeds had come together to make their protest—and to demand justice for the martyrs of Waco, many of whom were black. The propaganda beat from Washington and New York was of deranged white supremacists letting off bombs and planning a civil war. It worked. The militia leaders are now either in prison or cowed into silence and inactivity. The same is being tried here against the patriotic movement.
As the election results flowed in last month, and the scale of opposition to Europe became apparent—three UKIP seats and a good showing all over England—the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties set up an instant drone about "right wing nationalism". This was taken up in the media. It has now been confirmed by Gerry Gable, the Editor of a magazine called Searchlight. This is a sinister publication, notorious for its lies and its provocations to violence and murder. Though seemingly run by Marxists and committed to "the fight against racism and fascism", Searchlight is actually a creature of the security services, and exists to smear conservatives, libertarians, socialist libertarians, and anyone else the Establishment happens to hate or fear. It is more than of passing interest, then, that Mr Gable has claimed in the July issue that the "defining characteristic" of fascism in modern Britain is Euro- scepticism. The fact that Oswald Mosley wanted a European Union, and that Hitler briefly created one, the fact that the British anti-EU movement contains many Jews and black and Asian people—these facts are ignored. Mr Gable has been set on the anti-EU movement because the British Establishment has decided to play the racist card. Let us all be smeared as racists, and the debate comes to another halt. Just imagine the forest of questions and insinuations about motive that any anti-European will have to face if this lie is allowed to stick. Just imagine the sanctimonious horror of the federalists whenever anyone accuses them of treason, if such accusations can be somehow associated with a desire to pack women and children into gas chambers.
This is the significance of the George Staunton case. He is the first to suffer persecution for his views about the European Union. As said, he will not suffer very much. But his persecution is to be the precedent for ours.
Our obvious course of action is to shout the word "persecution" as loudly as we can—and the Internet allows words to carry a long way. We must expose this shabby conspiracy and frighten its projectors into retreating from it. We cannot put them off altogether, but I do think we can stop them from walking all over us in the manner they are hoping to. I suggest letters of protest to the following persons:
Merseyside Police Authority
E-mailing form available at http://www.merseyside.police.uk/feedback.htm
Letters from Britain outside Liverpool and from all over the world will be helpful. Mr Bettison should be told that his arresting policy is being watched by an international audience. He should also be asked if Liverpool is so safe from thieves and murderers that he can spare officers for investigations into allegations of criminal damage against derelict buildings by old age pensioners.
The Customer Service Unit
The Crown Prosecution Service
50 Ludgate Hill
London EC4M 7EX
The CPS is the body responsible in England and Wales for deciding whether criminal charges should be brought against alleged offenders, and if so which charges. The same points should be made as above.
c/o Messrs Broudie
1-3 Sir Thomas St
Liverpool L1 8BW
Tel: 0151 227 1429
Mr Staunton needs letters of support from everyone who cares about his case. Also, though his legal costs are being paid by the State, I am sure the occasional financial contribution will not be unwelcome.
I repeat—this is a matter of importance far beyond the specific incidents and personalities involved. It is the beginning of what may be a vicious persecution. Through the Internet, we have been able to come together as a movement. Let us now use the Internet to act as a movement and tell these people what we think.