Democrat Editorial April-May 2005 (Number 87)
Vote for what you want
Like the General Election four years ago in 2001, deciding who to vote for in the General Election this time around on 5 May is difficult for nearly everybody. As we said in 2001 we repeat now, vote for what you want even though you may not get it, rather than vote for something you do not want and end up with that instead.
The biggest issue facing Britain today is the EU state Constitution and a referendum in Britain during 2006. If the Constitution were to be ratified and put in place then even fewer policies and laws will be decided by elected MPs and Government at Westminster. A whole new raft of matters affecting our lives in Britain will be decided in Brussels by unaccountable EU institutions.
Labour's Manifesto for this election is incorrect in stating that powers will be returned to Britain when the Constitution is put in place. This is just not true. Sixty-nine specific national vetoes would be removed by the Constitution and no powers will be returned. The pamphlet reviewed in our centre pages lists these lost national powers and states that in fact 100 powers will be transferred to the EU if the Constitution is ratified all round by the 25 EU Member States.
Prospective parliamentary candidates can be questioned as to where they stand on the EU Constitution and asked about the transfer of these powers away from the Government and Parliament in Westminster.
The current Foreign Secretary of Britain, Jack Straw, should be asked why he keeps saying that there will be no EU common Foreign Secretary and no Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU when they are clearly written into the Constitution.
According to international treaties there would be illegal proliferation of French and British nuclear weapons for use by a European Army which can act anywhere in the world.
The 69 lost vetoes and a European Army with battle groups and rapid reaction forces are issues important enough to discuss in this General Election. These matters have to be compared with the less important questions raised for the benefit of shadow boxing between party leaders acted out for consumption by TV cameras which end up as tedious viewing.
For example leaders of all the main political parties have said they will be tough on crime and that magistrates and judges should send more people to prison. We are presented with conflicting evidence as to whether serious crime has gone up or down. What they do not discuss is the fact that if the EU state Constitution is put in place the whole legal system will be pushed towards harmonising with the continental system where there are trials without juries and magistrates preside over investigations.
What the political parties do not discuss is the EU Directive on Services which would be a further massive threat to jobs and conditions hard won by struggles in the past. Although this Directive has been temporarily withdrawn by the EU Commission it will be put in place by this unaccountable and unelected powerful body after the French Referendum.
All these matters should be discussed during the General Election campaign and continued afterwards whoever is elected and whoever is the Government.