Honeyball’s Weekly Update

Ed Miliband admitted that this year has not been the easiest, referring to his relationship with his brother in an enlightening interview in the Weekend Guardian magazine.

This might not come as the biggest surprise to any of us –it was inevitable that it would put a strain on the relationship.

However, it’s already been six months since he was elected the leader of the party and the interview reveals his relationship with other senior figures, during a trip to Gateshead where he doesn’t put on any airs and graces, and the interviewer says that since the first time he interviewed a much younger, albeit ‘geeky’ Miliband a decade ago he hasn’t changed.

Even then the interviewer says ‘he was the warmest and most open of Brown’s inner circle.’ It really is one of the most revealing interviews I have read and really illustrates just how genuine he is and reveals his ability to empathise with his audiences and ‘draw people out.’ You can read the interview in full here.

Bill Cash debated the United Kingdom Parliamentary Sovereignty Bill on Friday. He specifically asked the minister for Europe if there might be a repatriation of powers as indicated by the Prime Minister in a speech in 2005 to the Centre for Policy Studies.

He was reminded by the minister (Mark Harper) that the Government did not win the election outright and formed a coalition therefore the Party did not get the mandate it sought thus making it more difficult to implement all the programmes it hoped to.

The debate got quite fiery at one point when Mr Cash said to the minister: ‘We should not be arguing about this. I find it astonishing that I should have to raise the matter in a debate. For a Minister to question whether my remarks are valid in one respect or another is again astonishing.

I cannot believe it: I know the Minister’s business background; I know he understands the issues; I know perfectly well that he is caught on the horns of a dilemma. I believe that he would personally love to see the repatriation of powers—and I am sure his constituents would, as well. I am afraid, however, that it will do no good if he offers resistance to my simple, straightforward and common-sense proposals.’

I rarely would suggest that a Hansard debate is an enthralling read but for those interested in European politics and the role the EU plays domestically,  and – it must be said the divisions it causes especially among the Tories – then you can read the second half of the debate here.

1 Comment

Filed under Labour Party

One response to “Honeyball’s Weekly Update

  1. Daniel Oxley

    I am glad that Mary brought the debate in the House of Commons to our attention. I am no fan of Mr. Cash but he made a very important comment about the authority of the EU over our MPs. I realise that long quotes from Tory MPs might not be to the taste of this blog’s readers and I hope that I can be forgiven for such a long extract.

    He said, ‘When Members are debating Bills, there is frequently—almost invariably—no way for them to know whether the legislation emanates from EU law. When I was a member of the Statutory Instruments Committee many years ago, I managed to instigate a system to ensure that legislation emanating from the European Union was denoted by an asterisk to show where it came from. It would be extremely helpful for MPs to have that included in all Bills—for convenience, perhaps it could be in the explanatory notes—because if we are not entitled to legislate’.

    How telling! It comes from the EU, so we are not allowed to legislate! Our Parliament is supposed to be sovereign. What is the point of us electing MPs and paying their salaries if they are going to act on behalf of others?

    We have a parliament in Brussels which cannot do anything without the authority of the unelected EU Commission and another parliament in Westminster which is also subservient to the unelected EU Commission. The EU is not based on a pooling of our sovereignty; it is all about the abolition of our sovereignty and the destruction of our democracy.

    We have been told by our dishonest political class for decades that the point of the EU is that it is for economic benefit but it is, of course, about political union for its own sake – the economic benefit is a Euro Myth, it was the excuse for integration not the reason.

    Bill Cash also quoted from another politician in his speech. The quote was from Peter Mandelson, so we know it must be true.

    ‘I (Bill Cash) have recently quoted Lord Mandelson, who said when he was Trade Commissioner that over-regulation from the European Union amounts to 4% of GDP, and Mr Verheugen has demonstrated that over-regulation costs many billions of pounds. The most recent calculation I have seen is that since 1999 European over-regulation has cost the British economy and British business alone £124 billion’.

    What a colossal waste of money and it is, of course, on top of the current and about to increase £6.7 billion annual membership fee we pay. All this money when we still trade at a loss with Europe and at a profit with every other continent in the world.

    The argument that we need to be in the EU for economic reasons is absurd and all that EUphiles have to fall back on is their other bit of nonsense about it preventing wars. Their theory is that war cannot break out within a single economic zone. They forget that USA had a civil war despite it being an economically integrated entity; the same thing happened in this country. The absence of major wars in Europe since the Second World War is down to NATO not the EU.

    God help us if we had to rely on or Federal masters to defend us, they are not even vaguely on our side at the best of times. One would have to be very optimistic in hoping that they would show the quick decisive action needed in war time. They were the people who took sixteen years to decide what chocolate is.

    I imagine that with the enemy at our EU borders, President Rompuy would struggle to live up to the example of Corporal Jones, let alone Churchill.