Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Acting The (Judas) Goat

On Monday in the EU-supporting Telegraph, we have Douglas Carswell in his regular blog arguing that Britain should leave the Ukraine alone. He states:
What should we do? Take great care, for a start.
At the time of the Schleswig-Holstein question, when Britain was the world’s hyperpower, we avoided wading in. We would be wise to be cautious now.
Maybe, just maybe, this desire to be in the thick of things comes less from a sense of our strength, and more from a fear of our weakness.  Perhaps after Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, a certain kind of British official feels that this is what one does.
British diplomats might want to be doing the deals and laying down the terms of the UN resolutions. But since when was the amour-propre of British diplomats the yardstick by which we measure the national interest?
In his anticipation of the motives of British diplomats, what seems to have escaped Carswell's notice is that the UK does not have a choice in the matter. We are members of the EU and as a consequence we cannot have a separate national foreign policy on nations who have Association Agreements with the EU and are undergoing a European Neighbourhood Policy which applies to Ukraine.

Such matters are now a European External Action Service (EEAS) competence so our foreign policy is whatever President Barosso and Baroness Ashton decides it is. It doesn't matter what the UK wants - we are up to our necks in the Ukrainian mess because of our EU membership.

The increasing importance, or 'encroachment' of the EEAS regarding the UK is demonstrated by its continuing expansion at same time the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is declining. For example since 2006-7, staffing has been cut from 7,005 to 4,450 and it is planned to fall further to 4,285 by 2014-15 (page 31).

Yet strangely not once is the EU or the EEAS mentioned in Carswell's blog. And it's not as if Carswell is unaware of the EEAS given that he voted against its establishment in July 2010 while most of his colleagues voted for it, and in October of the same year he said this to the House:
I remind Members that the European External Action Service is the EU's diplomatic corps. It already has about 20 times the budget of our Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
So one wonders why the silence now, Carswell?

Update: I've just spotted that Autonomous Mind has just written a piece on a similar theme regarding the silence on the EEAS from Con Coughlin in the Telegraph.


  1. It is weird... I'd heard of them but not put it together until I took a look at their wikipedia page - blimey..

    Say Hello to The European Peoples Party

    70 national parties from 40 countries.- including Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia - sheesh - take a look.

    Strange thing is though - no UK provincial branch.... no wonder Vladmir's looking a bit ticked off....

  2. I've come to the conclusion that Carswell is basically a tosser and has one way or another, wittingly or unwittingly, been playing the part of a licensed eurosceptic and experimental Tory.

    Judas goat more or less fits the bill, although as an elected Tory MP with professed radical views, he's asking for it by running a column in the DT and his own blog.

    I find the inscrutable John Redwood more straightforward, which is saying quite a lot.

    1. Ironically it was Dan Hannan that argued the Tories were more "euroscepetic in opposition than in Government".

      Carswell has clearly come back into the Tory fold, despite asserting a couple of years ago that his job is to scrutinise the government.

      It's amazing what power does to principles...

    2. His blog comments have gone down a lot in the past few months and a lot of the regular commentators don't seem to bother any more.

      Now he does pre-moderate the comments, so it might be that he doesn't want to hear what they have to say these days.

      I think there's a general feeling that he's a disappointment and an empty vessel.

    3. Cosmic, I have ceased to post on Carswell, not to long ago I thought he was the real deal. After getting 70 upvotes on his blog for a contrary positon he's declined any of my posts. This from the man who espouses the virtues of idemocracy. I don't know if his position was an illusion or he's been got at.
      Very disappointing.

    4. Flyinthesky,

      I never posted there a lot and I'm certain I never posted anything rude or defamatory, but that's what I found, my posts suddenly stopped appearing after one that was a bit critical. No notification. So I assume my ID had been blacklisted and the posts directed to the bit bucket, This is really rather sly and rather rude.

      Then there was that business about how he was in favour of winding up BOO, which made me think.

      There was a time when I thought that if he was my MP I'd be happy to vote for him, and his main danger was encouraging people to believe that the Tory Party as a whole was, or might be, of like mind,

      Now I'm inclined to the view that there was never anything of substance to the bloke. Just another Tory MP with his particular niche line of hot air, now rallying to the flag and the bogus referendum line.

  3. Gathering info at the moment on this - appreciated.