Democrat - March-April 2008 (Number 107)
Allegience and belonging
Comments by Arthur Smelt
"Time to get back to those basic core values" - John Major
Whatever John Major meant by 'basic core values' is anybody's guess, but Lord Goldsmith's idea of swearing allegiance to Queen and country and teaching citizenship in schools could well be an acknowledgement that our divided society is seriously problem ridden.
It is highly unlikely that swearing allegiance in any direction will bring about a more cohesive and community minded populace. Nor will it bring a sense of belonging and inclusiveness when the whole political and economic climate militates against such a state of affairs. One does not have to be too astute to realise we are bogged down in an absolute morass of lies and double standards which are divisive and create disaffection.
We hear words such as honesty, openness, inclusiveness and transparency coming from the mouths of politicians in an attempt to give the impression they are about to adopt the mantle of altruism hitherto neglected by their predecessors. In the next breath we find their actions running counter to all their noble utterances. Lavish expenses, slush funds, money fiddles and scandals exemplify the self-seeking society we live in. Billions of pounds of taxpayers money is wasted in a myriad of different ways then the taxes go up, except for those who are able to put millions away in off-shore accounts.
Standards within the EU are as bad or worse. Some time ago the scandal of MEPs expenses claims was made public but little seems to have changed. The same can be said of EU accounting which is still not in order, where huge sums of euros continue to go unaccounted for. Recently we have seen the chicanery connected with the European Constitution, resulting in it being renamed the Lisbon Treaty.
Some of us remember when the Maastricht Treaty was concocted the bureaucrats responsible stated that should any member state vote against the Treaty, it would become void. Denmark voted against it but that was much too democratic and unacceptable. A period of time elapsed during which the propaganda for a yes vote intensified. Eventually another referendum was held and a number of ditherers were persuaded to change their vote to yes which shaded the vote in favour of the Treaty. This time the vote was accepted.
Much the same happened in Ireland with regard to the Nice Treaty. When the European Constitution came up and the electorates of France and the Netherlands voted decisively against, it must have been decided that the Denmark and Ireland trick would not work on this occasion and so a different ruse had to be initiated.
Although the European Constitution has been incorporated in the Lisbon Treaty, there are those who would have us believe otherwise. Senior politicians on mainland Europe have acknowledged there is little basic difference in these treaties. There are however politicians in this country who have lied through their teeth on the issue. Just what kind of allegiance do they expect when they behave in this manner?
In September 2003 Gordon Brown is reputed to have said; ' ... to transform lives you have to transform society'. Society is certainly being transformed. The incidence of malfeasance and bureaucratic bungling which is damaging our whole infrastructure, subscribes to an increasingly damaged social climate.
The electorate is far from feeling a sense of belonging or wanting to swear allegiance; thousands are worried about losing their homes, job insecurity, the NHS and education not to mention the massive financial crisis, which could endanger their savings. EU directives and manoeuvres do not develop unity, allegiance or the sense of belonging necessary in a civilised cohesive society.