Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Spiked loses the plot again

Says Brendan O'Neill of Spiked Online, "it is time we reckoned with the historic magnitude of what is happening in Britain right now. Democracy is being euthanised. This fact, this terrible fact, is too often obscured by the euphemism and cynicism of the anti-Brexit lobby, which is virtually the entire political class. It doesn’t speak in the language of dictatorship. It speaks in the pseudo-neutral language of ‘softening’ Brexit, of concession and compromise".

Essentially this is true. If you look at tonight's amendments to the Withdrawal Bill, we are not looking at informed attempts to preserve economic cooperation with the EU via single market instruments. Were that the case they would at least be using the correct terminology. Instead what we see is a dash for safety to evade any change at all.

This is essentially what makes it difficult to argue for continued EEA membership in that one's bedfellows are indeed those seeking to effectively erase the vote. Some, however, appreciate that real life gets in the way of the most noble of political ambitions - as we find with the Northern Irish border. Not so Brendan O'Neill.  

O'Neill has it that "The extent of May’s compromise was alarming, if not especially surprising. She erased all of her own ‘red lines’, particularly on the Single Market and the European Court of Justice. She conceded to the EU’s demand that if a suitable agreement is not reached on the Irish border, then the whole of the UK will remain aligned with the Single Market".

The fact of the matter is that it was never going to be any other way. Forty years of technical and economic cooperation are not erased with a single vote and sovereignty is not restored in a single bound. There are decisions to be made where we separate out the technical from the political. 

Our starting point is that we need a whole UK solution and one that maintains an open border in Northern Ireland without introducing any new barriers. Being that the EU has its own distinct legal personality, its own customs territory and is a sovereign entity, insofar as trade is concerned, it is already a "United States of Europe". It can and does dictate the terms of market participation and that is the source of its power. We are not, therefore, able to do as we please without due consideration for the sovereignty of our neighbours. 

Like it or not, the regulatory ecosystem of Europe is dominated by the EU and that is a fact of life with which we must contend. Where do we draw the line and how much is absolute sovereignty worth to us? Must everything be a matter for public consideration? How democratic must we be? 

For instance, what is Spiked Online's view on the management of ballast water discharges? Does it have a particular view on maritime surveillance? Or maybe the risk assessment criteria for phytosanitary protection measures? I perhaps missed the thundering Brendan O'Neill article where he skillfully dismantles the case for adopting UNECE standards on reflective strips for articulated trailers.

Perhaps Tom Slater has offered a view on aubergine marketing standards and the power rating for refrigerated ISO containers? These are quite obviously essential matters we must have full democratic control over and extensive public debate. We can't have faceless men in grey suits colluding to decide what radio frequency the Irish Sea coastguard services should use, can we?

Clearly an independent codetermination body like the Efta court insufficient. Down with this undemocratic nonsense! On reflection it's totally worth a hard border in Ireland so we can have referendums on the gradient of wheelchair ramps. I'm sure Spiked is itching to mount a campaign on the minimum fatigue life of fuselage fasteners.

The very idea of having to consult our neighbours and collaborate with them on common standards to avoid technical barriers to trade is an insult to our ancestors - they who fought on the beaches of Normandy to ensure those filthy hun could not impose their weather radar methodology on an unsuspecting public.

I'm glad Spiked is here to engage in these nuances - standing up for the huddled masses who for decades had their faces trampled into the floor by bureaucrats who won't rest until we all have the same non-glare wing mirrors. The man on the Clapham omnibus doesn't need elitist scientists working on disease control measures in plantlife. Who needs a common methodology on control of creutzfeldt jakob disease?

Time we turned it over to ordinary citizenry and spit in the faces of the elites. We take Gotham from the corrupt, the rich, the oppressors of generations - who have kept you down with myths of opportunity - and we give it back to you, the people. Gotham is yours. None shall interfere, do as you please.

No comments:

Post a Comment