During the course of our blogging about the EU and the Brexit Referendum we have touched repeatedly on a number of themes. In this post we highlight the disdain in which the EU and its leaders hold the people and their nations.
So great is the mission that it must not be impeded by citizens’ self-interest, in other words by democracy – which reminds us of this:
“There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters.” (US Senator Daniel Webster, from a speech given in New York in 1837).
Webster continued with a perfect summary of our EU masters:
“Their notion of the public interest is apt to be quite closely connected with their own exercise of authority. They may not, indeed, always understand their own motives. The love of power may sink too deep in their own hearts even for their own scrutiny, and may pass with themselves for mere patriotism and benevolence.” (Webster was a presidential candidate and twice US Secretary of State).
We start our retrospective review of this theme with the European Parliament (EP). This is the only EU body to which voters can directly elect people, although it has little power within the EU and none at all to dismiss the federal government. The EU’s disdain for its people, notably the voters, is illustrated here, in their proposal for Brexit:
Article 96 of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement (p. 60) (Draft EU/UK Agreement – 1)
- For the purposes of this Title, “members of the institutions” means, irrespective of their nationality, the President of the European Council, the members of the European Commission, the Judges, the Advocates-General, the Registrars and the Assistant Rapporteurs of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the members of the Court of Auditors, the members of the organs of the European Central Bank, the members of the organs of the European Investment Bank, as well as all other persons assimilated to any of those categories of persons under Union law for the purposes of Protocol (No 7) on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union (“Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities”). The term “members of the institutions” does not include members of the European Parliament. (our emphasis)
(The 123-page document can be downloaded from here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/negotiation-agreements-atom-energy-15mar_en.pdf )
We guess that “members of the institutions” are the employees, the civil servants, rather than the elected representatives. In a democracy the elected members would oversee the civil service; in the EU it is the other way about – it is a looking glass democracy.
A second illustration, on the same theme, shows how the elected members are made subservient to the needs and expectations of the civil servants. And, of course, the public interest comes nowhere (see Expensives).
When the EUobserver asked the EP to publish documents relating to reform of its member’s expenses the request was dismissed with “…parliament has to consider that the interest that you invoke does not outweigh the interest in the protection of parliament’s internal decision-making process“.
The response is entirely consistent with the EU’s true hierarchy of ‘values’, which puts the interests of the EU above any interests of the citizens, whilst claiming the latter take priority. They need to protect their processes from scrutiny because they are so often at odds with their sanctimonious claims, and rules.
Our next example illustrates the EU’s disregard for its own rules and regulations (see Revealing Appointment, and Revealing Appointment-2).
In February this year the European Commission appointed Martin Selmayr to the post of Secretary-General, effectively the head of the EU’s civil service. The process by which his appointment was made blindsided the European Parliament, which responded by saying that Selmayr’s promotion “could be viewed as a coup-like action which stretched and possibly even overstretched the limits of the law.”
The Commission, of course, says that it followed the established recruitment process “religiously” and was “in full compliance with all legal rules”, which claim their own ombudsman has challenged. This shows the disdain that the Commission has for due process, let alone for the European Parliament and EU citizens.
We have previously highlighted five characteristics of this over-mighty EU, which are:
- protectionist treatment of countries outside the Union (“third countries”, soon to include the UK);
- corruption and disregard for due process;
- disdain for citizens and voters;
- selective application of treaty obligations, rules and regulations;
- lack of credibility arising from the gap between words and deeds.
We recall that the European Commission is charged with maintaining high standards, and frequently declares that it does so. Its disregard of its own procedures risks weakening its authority, for example in the current disagreements with Poland and Hungary, where the Commission is pressing those countries to follow EU procedures and obey the law.
We follow this post with a companion in which our comments, updated from earlier posts, are grouped to highlight our theme of disdain under the following five headings: Foundations, Citizens and Voters, UK Elites, Deceptions and Intra-EU.