Free Life 31, June 1999, Editorial: A Vote for Independence, by Sean Gabb

From Free Life, Issue 31, June 1999
ISSN: 0260 5112

Editorial: A Vote for Independence
by Sean Gabb

Though it was not intended, the change to proportional representation for the European elections has given us the chance to pass judgment on British membership of the European Union. This is not something that can easily be done at a general election, when a choice must be made on the overall balance of good and evil between two parties of government. But this coming 10th June involves no such choice. It makes no difference to how we are governed whether the placemen we send to Strasbourg wear blue or red rosettes. It will not affect Mr Blair’s mandate to rule the country, nor affect the nature of the orders sent him from Brussels. More than any other has yet been, this election can be made into a referendum on Europe.

It cannot be denied that our membership of the European Union is now the most important issue in British politics. It is especially so for libertarians. Nearly all the issues that normally concern us – identity cards, Trial by Jury, the war on drugs and money laundering, and so forth – cannot be decided our way until they are unset from the cement of treaty obligations. Even those issues on which membership has tended to enforce a more liberal policy cannot be used to justify continued membership. I know that some libertarians continue to disagree on this matter. But it seems plain to me that there is no point in concentrating on purely libertarian campaigns when a political order that, for all its imperfections, we understand and can try to influence is being replaced by something more remote and alien, and therefore less open to our efforts at influence.

This being so, the question is which party deserves the anti-European vote. We can dismiss Labour without examination. Enoch Powell was mistaken in 1974 about Labour as led by Harold Wilson. No one of even the meanest intelligence could take Labour as led by Messrs Blair and Brown for anything but a party of New World Order satraps. But the Conservative Party deserves a more detailed examination. Attempts are being made to persuade us that only Mr Hague stands between us and a European Federal State. In reality, the Conservatives are doing nothing to resist the destruction of our independence. They took us into the European Economic Community. They helped turn it into the European Community, and then into the European Union. One of its present leaders signed the Treaty of Maastricht Its MEPs have even voted for the infamous Corpus Juris – which requires the abolition of Trial by Jury and the whole Common Law.

The leadership is at last bowing to frantic pressure from ordinary Party members and its usual electorate, and has moderated its former enthusiasm. But the sceptical noises made are just that – noises. There is no commitment to withdraw from the European Union. There is no commitment even to keep the pound beyond the lifetime of the next Parliament. On this, as on every other issue, the Conservatives are lying. They talk of “being in Europe but not ruled by Europe”. Banality aside, this claim is the rhetorical equivalent of lithium salts – it is intended to sedate its victims without addressing their genuine fears.

So which party should libertarians support? I shall be voting for the United Kingdom Independence Party. For all its talk of inclusivity, this is made up overwhelmingly of Conservative dissenters. It is a sort of Conservative Party in exile. It is not perfect. Its leaders are often rather strange. They have done little to prevent the infiltration of their Party by security service agents who will start making national socialist noises as soon as ordered. But the Party is a single issue group a vote for which cannot be mistaken for anything but a vote against Europe.

I would end my editorial here with a general endorsement of UKIP. However, I have recently discovered that many readers of Free Life are not conservative libertarians, but libertarian socialists. I will therefore mention the Socialist Labour Party led by Arthur Scargill. I never thought I should ever say a kind word about a believer in armed Marxist revolution. But Mr Scargill is a patriot who has always campaigned against membership of the European Union. At this moment of supreme national danger, there can be no divisions between “left” and “right”, between “liberal” and “socialist”. The only meaningful difference now is between New World Order fascists and those who believe in a world of sovereign nation states.

Now that we have the chance, let us send our political masters a message that even they will not be able to ignore or forget.

Sean Gabb

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