for the Henry "Scoop" Jackson Award
for values and vision in politics
Room, House of Lords, 30th January 2007
Baroness Cox (My Noble Friend),
Michael Cherney, Ladies & Gentlemen, you can have little idea
how much pleasure it gives a maverick political outsider like me
to receive this great honour. Not only is it deeply flattering to
be credited with values and vision in politics, but I have always
been an admirer of Israel, and so most of the things I hold dear
come together in our Judaeo-Christian heritage.
In fact my mother did her best to claim that we
had Jewish blood, because her father's surname was Moysey. His family
came over from France in the 17th Century and settled in Devon,
and we like to think that Moysey was a Devonian distortion of 'Moss?'.
Be that as it may, I have long regarded the Jewish people as quite
simply the most cultured and civilized race on this earth.
Israel is of course also a democracy, the only
genuine democracy in its troubled region, but that does not cut
much ice with our politically correct friends, who demonise the
United States of America and Israel, and who despise our own history
of Empire and all the good things we have done over the last few
Talking of political correctitude, I think your
concentration on the sins of gender and religious apartheid in the
war against Islamism is quite brilliant. I do not see how they are
going to get round that one.
I have two thoughts, two areas to put before you,
which might repay greater research and publicity. Mr. Marcus spoke
about the abuse of the school syllabus in Palestine, and of course
that is wholly pernicious. But something similar has been going
on for many years, since the 1950s in fact, in this country and
in the United States, and probably elsewhere. I came across it when
I sat on the body which validated all the teacher training courses
in this country, from 1983-1992. When you come to think of it, one
can get very worried about what goes on in primary schools, but
primary schools are not really the heart of the problem. Rather,
I suggest it is teacher training which is the soil in which the
roots of education feed. Then you have primary schools, then secondary,
and then universities. And the frightening thing I want to tell
you is that the mission statement of the council which validated
all the teacher training courses in this country was to "permeate
the whole curriculum with issues of gender, race and class".
And they did it, and that is where I suggest so much of our political
correctness, and indeed moral relativism, comes from. Its an area
which we should probably examine in greater depth.
Another area concerns Islam. Here I must confess
that I am not in the least an Islamic scholar, and indeed most of
what little I know I have learnt from Caroline Cox and John Marks'
brilliant book "The 'West', Islam and Islamism: Is ideological
Islam compatible with liberal democracy?" which they have brought
along to distribute today, and from other similar writings. So you
all know much more about it than me, but I still want humbly to
suggest that perhaps we should look at more closely, and publicise
more widely, the Islamic principle of 'abrogation'. I understand
that this principle is pretty well universally accepted across the
Islamic world, and it means that where there is conflict in the
Koran, it is the later verses which hold sway over the earlier verses.
And the Koran gets steadily more violent as it proceeds, as it reflects
Mohammed's sayings after he left Mecca in 622 and moved to Medina,
becoming more and more bellicose. So if abrogation is accepted,
the Koran is not a peaceful book at all. In fact, it is pretty much
an incitement to religious hatred and violence, which is a crime
in most civilized countries.
Islam has one other great disadvantage, it seems
to me. It is both a religion and a political system, and the penalty
for rejecting it and its law, as set out in the Koran and Islamic
traditions, is death. Not a very creative arrangement.
Yet we are told "most Moslems are peace-loving
people". Well, they may be, but if they are it seems to me
that perhaps our main priority should be to get them to debate the
meaning of their religion as set out in the Koran, the hadith and
the sunna, and abrogation in particular, with their violent co-religionists;
with the Islamists. And we all know how difficult that is to do,
but I suppose we just have to go on trying, because we are unlikely
to be able to bomb the Islamists out of existence, given their growing
hold over so much of the world.
You have very kindly mentioned my work behind the
Iron Curtain in the former Soviet Union. I must say I thought that
that was the great struggle of my generation, of our life times,
and we won it. But we didn't see that an enemy just as menacing
would replace the Soviet evil. It is as though the dark side of
human nature, at its deep collective level, has moved across from
Soviet Communism and taken root in Islamism. And in some ways Islamism
is more frightening. After all, nobody actually believed in Soviet
Communism after about 1955; it was held together by fear. But these
Islamists, who are also determined to dominate the planet, very
definitely do believe in what they are doing, to the extent of blowing
themselves up and thousands of innocent people with them. So we
have to get at them from within, and break them down with the kind
of reason you are bringing to bear, and I congratulate you.
I have been asked to say something about another
major problem of which I have some experience, and to which you
may not have given the attention it deserves. I know it is controversial,
but I refer to the European Union, which has I think been less than
helpful in the aid it has been giving to the Palestinians. It's
a safe bet that the EU will not be an ally of yours in your campaign,
so I want to make sure you know the kind of animal you are dealing
Its important to understand that the project of
European Union was born of a single big idea; that idea emerged
after the two world wars, and was that the nation states had been
responsible for the carnage of those wars, and for the long history
of war in Europe. The nation states, with their unreliable democracies,
therefore had to be emasculated and diluted into a new form of supranational
government, which would be run by a Commission of wise technocrats.
So, the project of European integration had as its prime inspiration
the pursuit of peace, and it was an honourable enough idea at the
time. The trouble is that it has gone wrong. But the Eurocrats still
claim that the EU has brought peace to Europe since 1945, and that
the peace which the EU brings to Europe justifies all its other
disadvantages. If you challenge this claim, you immediately become
'anti-European', a dangerous nationalist, a little-Englander, a
xenophobe or worse. But it doesn't stack up. NATO kept the peace
in Europe after 1945, and no European country would have gone to
war with another in the absence of the EU. Also, if you stand back
and take a calm look at it, the EU is actually a well tried model
for discord, not peace. It is a top-down amalgamation of different
peoples, put together without their informed consent, and such arrangements
usually end in conflict. You've only got to look at Northern Ireland,
Yugoslavia, the Transcaucusus, Kashmir, and much of Africa to see
that. The EU is also institutionally corrupt, and innately undemocratic.
And these are further ingredients for trouble.
Before we look at just how undemocratic the EU is, I take it we
can all agree that the fundamental principle of democracy is the
hard-won right of the people to elect and dismiss those who make
their laws. That's the heart of the matter; that the people can
sack their lawmakers. Yet the German government has recently calculated
that 80% of all new German legislation since 1998 has been made
in Brussels, and the figure will apply to the other Member States,
How does the EU law-making system work? First,
the unelected and corrupt bureaucracy - the Commission - has the
monopoly to propose new laws. The process takes place in secret.
Second, the Commission's legislative proposals are then negotiated,
also in secret, by the shadowy committee of permanent representatives,
or COREPER; bureaucrats from the nation states. Decisions are taken
in the Council of Ministers from the member states, again by secret
vote, where the UK now has about 8% of those votes. The Treaties
ordain that the resultant laws must be enacted by national parliaments,
often on pain of unlimited fines in the Luxembourg Court. The Commission
then executes all EU legislation.
The European Parliament cannot initiate legislation. MEPs can block
proposals, but they hardly ever do so because the more European
legislation there is, the merrier for the project as a whole (including
their bloated salaries, fraudulent travel expenses, etc.).
Broadly speaking, under the Treaty of Nice, which is where we stand
now legally in the absence of the proposed EU Constitution, the
following areas of our national life are already subject to majority
voting in the Council: all of our commerce and industry, our social
and labour policy, our agriculture, fish, foreign aid and foreign
trade. In addition, our Parliament must also rubberstamp any decisions
agreed in Brussels by the Government, by the executive, in all of
our foreign and defence policy, and in all of our justice and home
affairs. So that's how bad it is at the moment. But of course it
all goes back to that original big idea - that our national democracies
must be emasculated and diluted into a new form of supranational
government, run by a Commission of wise technocrats.
There are at least three other features of this innately undemocratic
system which I should bring to your attention. The first is that
there is no appeal against the judgements of the Luxembourg Court
of so-called Justice. This is not a court of law as you would understand
that expression, but rather it is the engine of the treaties. It
is encouraged by the treaties to find in favour of the "ever-closer
union of the peoples of Europe" ordained in the treaties, and
it interprets them with admirable imagination in order to do so.
Second, once an area of national life has been ceded to control
from Brussels, it cannot be returned to national Parliaments. This
is known in Euro-speak as the acquis communautaire - or powers acquired
by the community. In plain English, this translates as 'the ratchet',
which can only grind in one direction, towards the ever closer union
of the peoples of Europe. Third, no changes can be made to the treaties
unless they are unanimously agreed by all the Member States in the
Council of Ministers. So renegotiation of the treaties to reclaim
our democracy is not realistic - the only way out is the door.
Perhaps I should just mention the EU Constitution, which is supposed
to be undergoing 'a period of reflection', after the French and
Dutch people voted it down. Its worst features were that it gave
the EU its own legal personality, superior to that of the member
states, and passed most of the remaining areas of our national life
under the control of Brussels. But we would be wrong to think that
the Constitution has gone away.
Several very worrying initiatives are being taken forward by the
Eurocrats, based on dishonest interpretation of the existing treaties,
as though the French and Dutch people had not spoken. One of these
is the Charter of Fundamental Rights, with its new agency in Vienna.
This is the initiative which the Europe Minister, Keith Vaz, assured
us would have no more force than the Beano, and which the Prime
Minister assured us would not be justiciable in the Luxembourg Court.
Yet, the Court is already taking note of the Charter in its judgements,
and the Commission has ordained that all new legislation must adhere
to it. It is no exaggeration to say that the Charter aims to deprive
us of most of our remaining legal independence, by imposing the
EU social model on our economic, employment, welfare, education,
health, environment and cultural policies. It's a sort of vast EU
Human Rights law.
Other initiatives include the EU taking forward
its diplomatic corps and pursuing its military ambitions. Our defence
procurement must now favour EU suppliers over those of our US allies,
at much greater cost. The EU's space programme proceeds, which includes
the Galileo satellite system, in which China has a 20% stake, and
which has been set up in direct competition with the US Global Positioning
System. Under Justice and Home Affairs a European Criminal Justice
system is emerging. And so it goes on. All this and more is going
ahead supposedly under the existing Treaties. At some stage in the
next 18 months or so there will be a perfunctory Intergovernmental
Conference, just to tie up the lose ends - the new voting weights
in the Council, for example, and the end of the rotating presidency.
Nothing to trouble the ignorant people with, of course; it would
be absurd to hold referendums on such detailed and technical proposals.
So the project of European Union cannot stop now;
it can only move forward. Soon we will be faced with the new megastate,
which will be hostile to the United States and to Israel. Already
this hostility is embodied in the Eurabia Treaties, and inspired
by France's deep psychotic need to bite the hand that freed her
in two World Wards.
There are, I suppose, three great problems facing
us today; global warming, Islamism and the European Union. I am
not sure how much responsibility we bear for global warming, and
I'm not sure we can do much about it quickly enough anyway. I wanted
to make sure you understand the nature of the beast in Brussels,
and to wish you every success as you ride into battle against by
far the greatest threat facing our civilisation today, militant