During the recent tributes and look back at some of the key moments in the political career of Margaret Thatcher, Howe’s resignation speech in the House of Commons, was referenced and used in audio/visual clips time and again. The clip used, that was so devastating back then, has allowed people to see in hindsight just how wrong Howe had been about the Euroclub, its aims and direction and its approach:
We commit a serious error if we think always in terms of “surrendering” sovereignty and seek to stand pat for all time on a given deal–by proclaiming, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister did two weeks ago, that we have “surrendered enough”.
The European enterprise is not and should not be seen like that–as some kind of zero sum game. Sir Winston Churchill put it much more positively 40 years ago, when he said:
“It is also possible and not less agreeable to regard this sacrifice or merger of national sovereignty as the gradual assumption by all the nations concerned of that larger sovereignty which can alone protect their diverse and distinctive customs and characteristics and their national traditions.”
I have to say that I find Winston Churchill’s perception a good deal more convincing, and more encouraging for the interests of our nation, than the nightmare image sometimes conjured up by my right hon. Friend, who seems sometimes to look out upon a continent that is positively teeming with ill- intentioned people, scheming, in her words, to “extinguish democracy”, to “dissolve our national identities” and to lead us “through the back-door into a federal Europe”.
What kind of vision is that for our business people, who trade there each day, for our financiers, who seek to make London the money capital of Europe or for all the young people of today?
These concerns are especially important as we approach the crucial topic of economic and monetary union. We must be positively and centrally involved in this debate and not fearfully and negatively detached. The costs of disengagement here could be very serious indeed.
The nightmare image envisaged by Thatcher was frighteningly accurate. What has characterised our experience in Europe is being faced with ill-intentioned schemers whose behaviour seeks to further aims that have eroded and continue to erode democracy, that have dissolved national identity and are building a federal Europe. Howe was wrong then and he is still wrong now – only ignorance can be no defence for Howe after all these years.
As always, the same justifications for this larceny is presented, economic interests and the needs of business and employers. As always, the question about why economic and trade relationships require this country to give up control over its laws, borders, international relationships and immense sums of our money, is never asked by our agenda-ridden excuse for a media and never volunteered by the likes of Howe and the political class – who slither through the corridors of what used to be a seat of power and influence, but is now a provincial hub of managerialism and execution of the diktats faxed over from Brussels.
Howe has clearly not learned – or more likely not wanted to learn or acknowledge – the reality, which is why the human-cum-dead sheep is still there even today declaring that if a proposed referendum led to the UK leaving the EU, there would be dire consequences for the country’s global influence. Compounding this quisling’s idiocy is his willingness to perpetuate the impression that not wanting to be governed from overseas by unaccountable politicians and bureaucrats over which we have no democratic control is ‘anti European’:
The ratchet-effect of Euroscepticism has now gone so far that the Conservative leadership is in effect running scared of its own backbenchers, let alone UKIP, having allowed deep anti-Europeanism to infect the very soul of the party.
The Conservative Party’s long, nervous breakdown over Europe continues and what is essentially a Tory problem is now, once again, becoming a national problem.
Serious mistakes have been made, but the situation is not irretrievable.
The ‘situation’ to which he refers is the perceived bad behaviour in some people in the Conservative Party daring to question our EU overlords and having the temerity to disagree with their rule over us from overseas. For the situation to be retrieved, those who wish to rebuild democracy, maintain a national identity and oppose a federal Europe – namely those things he derided all those years ago as conspiracy theories and scare stories – need to be silenced and beaten into submission by the party leader.
The irony – perhaps that should read hypocrisy – of a man calling for the leader of the Conservative Party to rein in dissenters, when he resigned as a minister for being reined for his dissent against Thatcher, is not lost on us.
Howe and his ilk are the enemy within. These carefully deceitful and treacherous fifth columnists have spent too many years seeking to destroy this country’s status as a nation state to see their anti-democratic enterprise undone now and people given the opportunity to say No to the political class.