THERE’S NO NEED TO MAKE STUFF UP
by Sir Thomas Crapper
Honestly, you think you’ve found the quote of all quotes to persuade the UK voter that the EU is an undemocratic con-trick.
Then you find out that, most likely, someone made it up.
So this, attributed to Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU: “Europe’s nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose but which will irreversibly lead to federation”.*
Yes, unfortunately, it appears to have been invented by someone with a grudge against the EU. We’ve got no problem with the grudge; but making stuff up – no.
And in any event – why?
Why do you need to make up something like the above, when you have this to rely on? This really is Monnet, from a speech given in Luxembourg, August 10, 1952 to the ‘High Authority’ (sounds positively Masonic):
“In the names of all of you, I publicly repeat the pledge which each of us took when we accepted our appointment:
“We will perform our duties with complete independence in the general interest of the Community.
“In the performance of our duties, we will neither request nor accept instructions from any Government or organisation and we will abstain from any action incompatible with the supra-national character of our functions.
“We take note of the pledge of the member States to respect this supra-national character and not to seek to influence us in the performance of our duties.”
Is this not shockingly undemocratic enough for you?
Here is a man, talking to a ‘High Authority’ (of which we, by the way, knew nothing) admitting that it and its members have been appointed ‘by the common consent of’ six democratically elected governments.
Nevertheless, these unelected Members of the High Authority pledge to act apart from (i.e. undemocratically) their individual democratically elected Governments. And in this, they have the explicit co-operation of those same democratically elected governments. (“We take note of the pledge of the member States to respect the supra-national character…..”).
So, already, we have six countries – none of which are the UK at this point (and not for another 20+ years) – who know that they are handing undemocratic authority to a supra-national organisation and are happy to do so without their voters knowing.
It’s not often we find ourselves agreeing with Anthony Wedgwood Benn, 2nd Viscount Stansgate (renounced). But the meme at the top of this post says it all. If people have and use power over others, the assumed power is undemocratic unless those wielding it can answer his five questions:
- What power have you got?
- Where did you get it from?
- In whose interests do you exercise it?
- To whom are you accountable?
- How can we get rid of you?
On that last question alone, the EU falls down a massive hole. We cannot get rid of it by any peaceful and democratic means. Therefore it fails every democratic test.
Benn was avidly anti-EU. “It is, first of all, a simple matter of democracy: why give up your sovereignty and democratic power to the EU and give away the power to change government policy on many substantive issues, when the EU is so clearly anti-democratic?
“Secondly, the EU is a neoliberal train wreck: it was designed on economically conservative ideas and the worst neoclassical economics. It was designed to be a monetary union without a powerful central fiscal authority: an unworkable and disastrous idea.
“The Eurozone has led to catastrophe on the fringes of Europe in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal and Baltic states. In the larger states like Germany and France the situation is somewhat better, but hardly anything to boast of.”
We’ll leave it at that, for now.
*If anyone can properly source and attribute that elusive Paul Monnet quote, we’d be grateful. Someone else using it is not a proper source.
There is an officially sourced clip of one of Monnet’s speeches here
You can download two of Jean Monnet’s speeches from 1952 in full here