Thursday, 24 May 2012

Being A Member Of A Club

One of the increasingly insidious 'benefits' of EU membership is a desire, largely because of a disconnect between the people and their government, to argue that the government should break the law, particularly where the EU (or the ECHR) legislates in areas we don't agree with.

Often comments on websites or when campaigning in elections consist usually of the following; "Why don't we do what the French do?", "why don't we tell the EU to get stuffed" or "other countries ignore the EU why not us?".

While such sentiments are understandable, they overlook a universal truth. Democracy is, or should be based on the rule of law, - the EU is part of our law and government - so we have a duty to comply.

Arguing for our politicians to essentially break the law leads us down a very slippery slope indeed ("I wanted our government to tell the EU to go do one - great - but now it's locked me up for 18 months without a trial, that's not fair")

Instead the answer is actually pretty straight forward - don't belong to the club. Belonging to any club is always simple, whether it's the EU, the WI jam making society or the East India Club:
  1. Accept and abide by the rules.

  2. Disagree with rules so change them from within.

  3. Or leave
So when it comes to our membership of the EU:
  1. Acceptance is the desire of our political class but they can't cope with being honest about the rules. So they lie. Instead they should put up or shut up.

  2. Changing the rules is never going to happen and is virtually impossible, despite Tory lightweights trying to pretend otherwise.

  3. So in the event of disagreeing with the EU (ECHR) and complaining about rules you can't change then that only leaves one option. Number 3.
 Which leads me neatly onto blogger Crash, Bang and Wallace:
So the European Court of Human Rights has once more trampled over our sovereign right to set our own laws – this time ruling to outlaw the extremely popular ban on convicts being able to vote.
Plenty of people would be delighted if the British Government simply ignored the ruling, and refused to pay any fines it might levy as a result. However, if the Government is really keen to ensure we obey the rule of law – even absurd Strasbourg law – then there is another solution.
Why not do as the ECHR asks, and abolish our blanket ban by allowing some prisoners to vote – but only those convicted of one very specific and very obscure crime which is unlikely to be committed and even more unlikely to be prosecuted?
A good example would be the offence of “Impersonating a Chelsea Pensioner” – a historic crime for which no-one is currently in jail. We would technically be ticking the box for Strasbourg, while in reality thumbing our nose at them.
If they can act ridiculously to thwart our intentions, then surely we can do the same in return.
 Or there's another solution...leave. When will people grow up?


  1. What an elegant solution. Can't see our spineless lot doing anything like that of course.

  2. Anyone imprisoned for non-payment of the TV licence should also retain the right to vote.