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Democrat May-June 2013 (Number 135)

Review of pamphlet

Standing up to EU despots

David Green: What Have We Done?*

Since joining the EEC in 1973 we have steadily lost the power to govern ourselves. This pamphlet describes the essential aspects of the democratic system and legislation which has evolved during a thousand years of national life. This includes a potted history with the origins of parliament from around 1213 and role of lawyers. Outlined is the struggle between parliament and the monarchy which built up to the beheading of Charles I and the English Civil Wars. After Charles II was installed parliament became more powerful than the crown. This was proven by the removal of James II being replaced by William and Mary.

The development of Cabinet government and role of Ministers, who are still technically appointed by the crown, is also explained. What is not included are the popular campaigns to extend the electorate and key aspects of formal democracy by the Chartists, labour movement, trade unions and suffragettes.

Dr Green shows how the transfer of powers to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels over decades has been a betrayal of 1,000 years of history. With the European Communities Act of 1972 and then the 1986 Single European Act (SEA) of 1986, the EU has been given control of swathes of Britain's life for negligible return of democratic accountability. The SEA replaces Britain's national veto with qualified majority voting (QMV) in twelve key areas which the Thatcher government agreed to.

Currently "the single market is a Brussels code word for harmonisation" which Cameron has "made 'completion'…a top priority". The author states the 'system' in Britain "has been weakened but not yet destroyed, and argues that it falls to the generations now living to be more reliable custodians of liberty and democracy, and to restore our heritage before it's too late". This pamphlet is very useful and inforrmative especially when read with the Democrat to hand.

*CIVITAS: ISBN 978-1-906837-51-8: 49pp: £3