Tuesday 1 November 2011

Making the wrong choice about where to put the clock back

So at last the great moment arrived when David Cameron could claim his place in my pantheon of true Conservative heroes by attempting to put the clock back – and not simply because it was the end of British Summer Time.

True, it was disappointing that he chose to do it by announcing the reincarnation of the British Empire Medal.

For God and the Empire. How very un-Dave

An award for those deemed rather too common to meet the Queen, abolished by John Major in 1993 in his pursuit of a classless society. With his famous cones hotline long closed, this reversal threatens to undo one of the few defining achievements of his administration.

Sadly one small step backwards counted for little in a week when a raft of other measures betrayed Mr Cameron’s continued obsession with that falsest of gods, “progress”.

These included the attempt to “modernise” the monarchy by altering the rules of succession to give equal rights to female heirs. Few seemed to question that this was a good thing. But how can you possibly hope to drag a hereditary monarchy into the twenty-first century? It is, by its nature, a mediaeval anachronism. That is precisely why some of us find it so appealing.

Once you start tinkering with the ancient rules, people will start to wonder why we have to have the first-born son or daughter when the third in line seems so much more personable. Or, indeed, why we have to have a member of that particular family at all.

Long may she reign
The Royal Standard for Australia (never let it be said that this is not an educational column)

I cannot help thinking that this great step forward will look slightly less brilliant when some of the Commonwealth legislatures invited to amend the rules of succession decide to vote for a republic instead.

As if that were not enough, there was the bold decision in principle to defy Nature and put Britain, at least for a trial period, on Berlin rather than Greenwich time.

No need to bother with any of that nonsense - we'll cave in on the time zone issue without even being asked

A piece of craziness to rank alongside anyone ever imagining that they could place a hard-working, efficient and well-governed country like Germany in a currency union with an indolent, shambolic and corrupt one like Greece, and not face major problems.

But then the people who came up with the euro were not stupid. They always knew that it was economic nonsense. But it prepared the ground for the sort of “beneficial crisis” that would advance their goal of creating a single government for Europe.

And so, behold, it is coming to pass. Just as those derided loony Eurosceptics warned it would. And very soon the siren voices of the Europhiles will be raised again, warning that Britain cannot afford to be left behind as this “inevitable” Union progresses.

In fact they are at it already, with David Banks reminding us in his column on Friday about “the £150m Brussels earmarked this year to build jobs and prosperity in the North East”. Only it’s OUR money. Britain is the second largest net contributor to the great EU racket.

Being grateful for handouts we have paid for is a bit like thanking a mugger who considerately hands you a tenner for your cab fare home after he has pinched your wallet.

Take an issue about which a large chunk of the population feel strongly, whether that be capital punishment or the extinction of our independence as a nation, and you can be sure that the reaction of the political class will be to close ranks, stick their fingers in their ears and chant “La la la not listening” until we go away.

Except that, in an attempt to put the inconvenient European issue to bed, they have already passed an act requiring a referendum on any future treaty change that hands more power to Brussels. One of the delights of the coming months will be watching them trying to weasel out of that promise as the United States of Europe emerges unmistakably from the euro crisis.

But why worry? We will all be able to enjoy an extra hour of daylight in which to polish our BEMs and pray that the Duchess of Cambridge may be safely delivered of a girl. Because otherwise an awful lot of valuable Parliamentary time will have been expended in vain.

Originally published in The Journal, Newcastle upon Tyne.


Keef said...

One of your more brillant articles, Keith
Charles De Gaulle did try and keep the UK out of the EEC, bless him!

Keef said...

Blogger Keef said...

One of your more brillant articles, Keith
Charles De Gaulle did try and keep the UK out of the EEC, bless him!

1 November 2011 14:18