In 1989, events that led to the fall of the USSR overshadowed one that arguably would have an even greater economic, cultural and political impact. According to Poole College of Management, outsourcing was formally identified as a business strategy that year.
The collapse of Carillon in January 2018, the loss of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds focused attention on outsourcing. Its complex Russian doll web of subcontracting made responsibility a charade. Ministers, the NHS, Councils and Corporations all claimed to have relied on professionals, as did directors of outsourcing firms. Long gone are the days when audit clerks counted coins in cash boxes. Engagement letters, which excuse almost everything by anyone, replace diligence. Complaints procedures shield the incompetent, dividends rather than value motivate shareholders. Victims, taxpayers and consumers have no redress. The lack of control, security, product and service quality problems and, above all, loss of vital skills were all clear to see beneath the gloss and clever accounting. But, businesses were novices compared to government.
A few decades after Britain's finest hour, it was to suffer its biggest betrayal since King John made England a Papal vassal. The 1972 European Communities Act outsourced swathes of parliament's responsibilities and the people's rights to a foreign bureaucracy and nascent state.
The extent of the betrayal became apparent with the release, thirty years after it was written, of the 1971 FCO document 30/1048 'Legal and constitutional implications of UK entry into EEC.' With appalling clarity it sets out the contempt in which politicians and civil servants held the electorate, democracy and the country:
Ministers were advised to: "preserve the illusion that the British government was still sovereign, for this century at least - by which time it would no longer be possible for us to leave."
Politicians and the civil service planned the end of UK sovereignty and democracy: "British interest after accession to encourage the development of the Community toward an effectively harmonised economic, fiscal and monetary system and a fairly closely coordinated and consistent foreign and defence policy. If it came to do so then essential aspects of sovereignty both internal and external would indeed increasingly be transferred to the Community itself."
Contrary to our constitution it was made clear that: "Parliament is binding its successors, our law will be subservient, greater political responsibility of the bureaucracy of the EEC and the lack of effective democratic control."This was a position only changed by the Lisbon Treaty.
Following EU – UK negotiations, David Cameron put his deal to the people in 2016. The referendum act had been approved overwhelmingly by parliament after Philip Hammond (then Leader of the House) made it clear it was: "to give the British people the final say on our EU membership in an in/out referendum by the end of 2017." That promise was reiterated in the infamous £9 million government leaflet: "This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide."
The real issue, political union was not discussed; it was avoided like the plague. After all, asking the electorate if they wish to disenfranchise themselves and give away their country is not a vote winner.
Remain concentrated on the economy. Supported by President Obama, the civil service, much of the media and big business they launched a propaganda offensive. It would have left Goebbels in awe. Economic armageddon, no planes landing, the collapse of the NHS were opening shots, added to daily as project threat and fear reached polling day crescendo. Remain's best-laid schemes went awry, when unbowed by threats, the majority voted leave.
The genius of our democracy and law is that it depends on consent. We consent to be ruled and the rulers promise to respect democracy and exercise power in the interests of the people.
Parliament's pro EU anti democracy faction claim they are protecting parliamentary supremacy; the supremacy and sovereignty they cheerfully outsourced to the EU. Parliament voted to give the final decision on continued EU membership to the people. The losers, ignoring parliament, seek to overturn democracy. With breathtaking insolence, they claim the referendum was not binding, despite voting for it and being elected on manifestos supporting it. During my time in business, there was one aspect of English law my continental colleagues hated above all else: unwritten contracts. Where we shake hands, they go to the notary. It's a fundamental difference that should have rung alarm bells in the late 1960s.
Anti democrats justify their actions by quoting Edmund Burke's view that the role of an MP "is not as a delegate but to exercise judgement on behalf of the people even if they disagree." Does this allow them to dispose of the people's sovereign right to elect representatives? Burke also wrote: "In the famous law... called the Petition of Right, the parliament says to the king, "Your subjects have inherited this freedom," claiming their franchises not on abstract principles "as the rights of men," but as the rights of Englishmen, and as a patrimony derived from their forefathers."
It is a travesty that he is used to justify challenging the will of parliament and the people. If MPs are not trustees of our ancient rights and guardians of democracy, they are nothing, but self-serving opportunists.
The concept of consent is alien to the EU. It pretends to be democratic, but what is the reality? The EU has a consistent record of ignoring democracy, shifting goal posts, forcing re-votes and installing Gauleiters to enforce its will. Its supporters claim it is all for the good and that pooling sovereignty makes the whole stronger - but what is the whole and does it serve anyone other than those who run it? Organisations run by managers for the sake of managers become bureaucratic nightmares. Process replaces common sense; the rights of the few take precedence over the rights of the many.
The EU has as its final arbiter a court, not a parliament. The EU Commission issues regulations, directives and decisions that apply without debate or parliamentary scrutiny. ECJ decisions take precedence over our laws, despite according to Joseph H. H. Weiler,"mixing legal and political consideration."
Our parliamentarians have failed 52,741 times to represent us since 1990.That is almost 14 times a day based on average sittings; a staggering case of outsourced responsibilities.According to EUR-Lex 52,741 is the number of laws issued since 1990, excluding decisions. It may be more because they admit that not all are recorded. According to Professor Patrick Minford EU regulations cost us £120 billion a year.
A United States of Europe is the single goal that drives the EU. In 1996, Ken Clark said, "I look forward to the day when the Westminster Parliament is just a Council Chamber in Europe." Would that other MPs seeking the dissolution of our country were as honest.
Are those seeking to overturn Brexit and stay in the EU too stupid to understand its purpose or too venal to be other than monstrously disingenuous? Certainly, many parliamentarians have enjoyed pay, privileges and pensions for doing little except ignore the democratic rights of the people they are supposed to serve.
Those seeking to overturn democracy have resorted to that last refuge of the political scoundrel, the misuse of words and claims of sensitivity. They disguise their EU loyalty by Humpty Dumpty word play. Those who dare to name the giving away of their country as a "betrayal" are upbraided for using hurtful intemperate language. Thus, the dissemblers seek to obscure an extraordinary crime against democracy and the rights of British citizens.
The EU has fostered a dangerous contempt for the democratic process. Years ago, I attended a meeting in Bishkek where a British EU official gave a presentation on the benefits of the organisation. There were many questions, including one on democracy: when would the people have a say? He brushed aside the question: "We cannot allow people like cleaners to vote on issues that determine the future of Europe."
British politicians supporting the EU have a Carolingian belief in their divine right to rule, unfettered by the opinions of the people. An attitude that led John Adams, the United States second President, to say, "Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself." Certainly, the assassin's knives have been busy for decades in the UK.
The acceptance of election results is the foundation of democratic society. It is denied by many of those elected to preserve it. Happily taking money to sit in parliament they work against the people who elected them. They pretend it's all about trade so they do not need to explain a future without democracy or country. Parliamentarians and civil servants are not the masters of the people, but their servants. Those who refuse to accept a democratic result, threaten not just the stability of this country, but of the wider world too. Those who destroy are often victims of the whirlwind they create; once let loose the forces of non-democratic ignorance are not discerning about whom they attack or whom they hurt.
The EU Withdrawal bill, taking its place alongside Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights, heralds a British democratic renaissance. It should inspire and be welcomed by all who respect democracy, freedom and human rights. By reclaiming democracy we can set a much-needed example to the world.