The EU has accused one of its members, Hungary, of not upholding European Values. The EU parliament has voted to 'launch action' against the government of Viktor Orban. There are many charges, but according to Judith Sargentini, the EU parliament's rapporteur on Hungary:
The main issue is that Hungarian citizens are losing out on an inclusive democracy.
However, the EU's unsavoury democratic record was summed up by Jean Claude Junker's comment on the EU Constitution referendum in France:
If it's a Yes, we will say 'on we go' and if it's a No we will say 'we continue.'
If Ms Sargentini's accusation were a line from the latest farce it would be amusing. Sadly, it is evidence of a serious illness eating away at democracy's heart.
This is not a simple case of hypocrisy and duplicity, but a symptom of a mindset summed up by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland:
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master—that's all.'
In EU wonderland, there is one truth and one master. The 'European project with its European values' (the EU conflates itself with a continent) is a religion. It crusades to impose its 'truth' upon all. In pursuit of its goal, it cheerfully accepts the devastation of generations of its citizens, their hopes, ambition and livelihoods. Six of the IMF's top ten debtor countries are EU eurozone members, five from the economically struggling south; a fact that produces not even a hint of remorse.
Just like a religion, acolytes support the project. Their fanaticism may vary, at least overtly, but all are wholly committed to the faith. Those who disagree with the project are derided as populists, far right racists, enemies of progress peace and security and, above all, enemies of democracy. Swedish democrats and the AFD are regarded as pariahs while the Left party and Die Linke (both firmly rooted in a communist past) are welcomed as coalition partners. In a world where the Mad Hatter tells the time, left is good, right is bad. The fact that Die Linke shares John McDonnell's ambition of destroying capitalism is fine. Everything is fine provided the project is worshipped.
Labour's 1945 manifesto proposed a Socialist commonwealth, a radical programme of state ownership and control. It was communism by another name and, in a different culture might have succeeded. Many reasons have been given for Atlee's failure. All, in my view, miss the point. The communist experiment failed because most Labour MPs and voters were democrats. The program could not be implemented in a democracy. Communism, just like other 'isms', cannot coexist with anything else. There is only one path, one belief, one thought.
EUism is no exception; it cannot tolerate difference. It cannot co-exist. Democracy is permissible only within the framework of total loyalty and adherence to its aims and ambition. The Chinese by designating free enterprise as the correct path, but reserving power to the communist party, squared their circle. The EU seeks to square its circle by imposing the orthodoxy of political union and 'European values.' In the EU context, everything, including law and democracy, must serve the project.
UK democracy depends on law, culture and tradition. At the end of the sixth century, King Æthelberht did something strange. Diverging from European practice, he had laws written in English. The practice continued, and two centuries later, Alfred the Great extended it. He insisted that all who dispensed justice did so in English. Further, he started translating the Bible into English believing the people had the right to knowledge in their own language. Early English law was concerned with the peace of the realm and preservation of property. Magna Carta was born of ancient rights and is, in many respects, a restatement of principles set out centuries before. Those rights, now granted to all, form the basis of our democracy.
For 1,400 years, we have followed a different path to other European countries, one that puts people and common sense before statute. We developed a system that allows for evolution based on principles of natural justice and fairness. It puts consent before dogma, consent to law and consent to government as the foundation stones of democracy. In the preface to his laws King Alfred wrote:
A man has no need of law books if he judges fairly and equally.
There is no better summary of the difference between the two worldviews.
Continental Europe stuck with codified Roman law. Unlike our system, the people do not consent. Their consent is assumed. A judge is not an impartial arbiter advising a jury on the law, but an investigator, judge, jury and executioner. The systems and culture these created are different from what exists in Britain, a fact recognised by de Gaulle:
She (Britain) has, in all her doings, very marked and very original habits and traditions.
Given our history, it is difficult to understand why anyone here wanted to join the Common market and staying in as it morphed into the EU defies reason. The EU elite behaves as if it were already a sovereign state. It is a 21st century dystopian nightmare that exists without a democratic mandate. Those it governs have never consented. It is the antithesis of everything our law and democracy stands for.
Remainers intent on giving away our country refuse to explain their reasons; why they believe a bureaucracy with Napoleonic ambitions should govern our country. When pressed, they claim certain knowledge of economic Armageddon. If one praises their clairvoyant abilities and asks for six lotto numbers, a different dark side emerges. They disparage Britain, its achievements and people and resort to name calling and abuse. Thus, they are organised to march in support of the overthrow of a democratic decision. They signal their hatred by getting animals to urinate on pictures of their opponents.
We live in an age of virtue signalling faux sensitivity, an age where extremists claim to represent the 'middle' and condemn any who disagree as 'hard' this or that. The self-anointed middle claim to represent Liberal values, but are determined on that most illiberal of ideas: the overthrow of democracy. It is as if we are in a time warp and at any moment books will be burned and those who support democracy will be branded as witches.
Those who worship at the altar of EU theocracy are, mostly, ignorant of its purpose. Apart from an occasional holiday, they will have had no direct experience of living or working in an EU country. Most will be hard pressed to communicate with the 'Europeans' they proudly claim as fellow citizens. Why then do they want to stay in an organization hell bent on destroying their country and its hard won rights? Can it be that a few conversations in broken English have convinced them that LaLa land is real? Of course, some have been convinced by project fear propaganda. Others are genuinely worried about strawberry harvesting and care home workers. Inhabiting a self-congratulatory bubble, confident of their intellectual superiority, they sneer at democracy's supporters. Convinced they know best, but unable to articulate the reasons, those opposed to self-rule keep claiming that they are right. It is as if a few million Esau clones have decided to sell everyone else's birthright for a bowl of strawberries.
"We must have immigration." they demand as if 'immigrants' are produced on factory assembly lines. Explain that immigrants move in search of a better life or because, as with the southern EU, they have no hope; tell them that to maintain immigration means EU countries in the south and east have got to fail, that life in those countries must remain so awful that the only hope is to emigrate - and one is met with rage. Like southern aristocracy clinging to slavery, they would rather see others in miserable penury than join in the task of post-Brexit development.
In our Humpty Dumpty times, total destruction of our economy after Brexit is claimed as fact and simple logic regarding migration is scorned as nonsense. When the truth of political union is explained to them they deny it. When shown incontrovertible evidence, they invariably respond, 'The EU won't do that' or, 'We have opt outs.' With Canute-like determination they refuse to accept that, unlike the post war Labour party, the EU is not democratic. While cheerfully driving a stake through HMS UK's hull, they excuse their actions by relying on the very thing they are destroying. Perversely, they believe that they have a lifeboat; that the EU will respect our traditional democratic values of decency, fair play and consent. No wonder the Brussels cat is grinning.
(Torquil Dick-Erikson's excellent article: EU Militia on British Streets? explains in detail the differences between common and civil law in respect of criminal law.)