Performance of the Economy

Threats

The principal threat to our future, to our well-being and indeed to our very existence as an independent nation is our continuing membership of the European Union and the delusions which flow from this membership. To describe the other members of the EU as our “partners” is like describing Manchester United and Liverpool as “partners” in the FA Cup competition. There is in fact a completely surreal element, bordering on fantasy, in the way the British functionary classes view the world. When BMW took over Rover, Britain suffered the biggest single industrial defeat ever – an industrial Dunkirk – as I described it in an article in a national newspaper[6]. To describe this defeat as a testimony to the attractiveness of Britain as an investment area for foreign businesses, as Michael Heseltine did, is like describing the German invasion of the Channel Islands in 1940 as a mark of their confidence in British holiday towns. In fact BMW bought a very valuable market at a knock-down price from an increasingly dangerous rival. I have great respect for the German people and although one can hardly ignore the fact that they have launched five aggressive wars against their neighbours over the last 133 years (i.e. one every 26 years on average), it has no bearing on my many professional and personal dealings with German people. But to see German industry as anything but the most deadly competitor and therefore threat, is simply folly of the most dangerous kind and which Germans themselves see as folly. Likewise to regard France as anything but our most serious cultural rival is to mistake pleasant holiday experiences for the fact that the one thing which unites the French official class of all political persuasions, especially the formidable Enarques[7] is an unrelenting determination to oppose Britain, the English language and Anglo-Saxondom generally wherever, at an acceptable cost to themselves, they can. The pronouncement in October 1995 by President Chirac about recognising the independence of Quebec is only the latest in a long series of such mischief making. Moreover, it is noticeable that the official classes in Germany, as in France, play down Britain’s contribution to winning the Second World War and defeating communism in the Cold War, preferring, for all their Euroism, to play up the USA instead[8]. The chief delusion, however, which has gripped the British political class, concerns the future development of the EU. In a series of letters and articles in the 1980s and in the essay entitled “No Middle Way”Ref 5, I maintained that the Continental political classes were of one mind in their determination to create a single European State on the Republican model, with one government, one anthem, one flag, one Central Bank, one currency, one Army, Navy and Airforce, one General Staff, a Supreme Court and a Presidential Head of State. As each instalment of this programme remorselessly unfoldsRef 7 – the anthem, the flag, the Monetary Institute as the prototype Central Bank, the ERM as the first stage to a single currency, the Euro-corps as the prototype Euro-army, the Anglo-French Airforce planning staff as the embryo General Staff, British Ministers, especially Prime Ministers, maintain that these preparations do not portend what in the eyes of the whole of the rest of the world is so obvious as not to be worth discussing. Thus on the “Today Programme” on February 2 1995, Mr Selwyn Gummer, a Cabinet Minister in the Conservative government, maintained that Monetary Union “was not on the agenda” despite the fact that the Chairman of the EU’s monetary union committee is Sir Nigel Wicks, Second Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, that the same official who contributed so much to the changeover to metric currency is advising the relevant EU committee on the changeover to Euros and that the British Bankers’ Association has its own committee working out the details of replacing the pound as our currency. Again on the “Today Programme” Kenneth Clarke, while he was Chancellor, maintained that he would veto any transfer of taxation power to Brussels. He had evidently not heard of VAT which was effectively transferred to Brussels by Norman Lamont in 1992. Likewise on the “Today Programme” (11 December 1996) Mr Clarke brushed aside the transfer of British gold to the European Central Bank, although this is explicity required by the Maastricht TreatyRef 1, while actually describing the new Euro-currency, with all its colossal implications for our businesses and for our self-government, as “just a means of exchange”[9].

What we need to do

To correct our weaknesses, deal with the threats, build on our strengths and exploit our opportunities, we need to do specific things, some practical, some inspirational. In my view these measures should include:

  • Repealing the 1972 European Communities Act which took us into the Common Market, the subsequent Single European Act (1986) and the European Communities Amendment Acts (1992, 1998) commonly known as the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties.
  • Pursuing a national goal of expanding manufacturing by about one third so we become a modern industrious society.
  • Teaching our history so that young British people can take pride in what their forbears have achieved and derive inspiration from the tremendous inheritance they have to build on.
  • Encouraging young British people to join with young people from other rich Commonwealth countries in helping the poorer ones.
  • Systematically expanding our trade and cultural influence throughout the world using the supreme legacy of the English language.
  • A self-governing nation once more, promoting to the world our centuries’ old ideal as “Freedom’s Isle” – maximising freedom from regulation at home, defending freedom abroad.
  • Working out a new relationship with the European Union.

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