The rise of a “technocracy” was always part of the plan for Europe.
– The EU’s architects never meant it to be a democracy (Telegraph, Nov. 12, 2011)
So, as headlines scream that vain bids to save the euro threaten us with “Armageddon”, the EU’s ruling elite has toppled two more elected prime ministers, to replace them with technocratic officials who can be trusted to do Brussels’s bidding.
The new Greek prime minister, Lucas Papademos, was the man who, as head of Greece’s central bank, fiddled the figures to enable Greece to get into the euro (against the rules) in the first place – before being rewarded with a senior post in the European Central Bank. He is no more democratically elected than Mario Monti, who will most likely be Italy’s new prime minister and had hurriedly to be made a “senator for life” to qualify him for the job. Monti’s main qualification is that, as a former senior EU Commissioner, he has long been a member of the Brussels elite himself.
One of the few pleasures of watching this self-inflicted shambles unfolding day by day has been to see the panjandrums of the Today programme, James Naughtie and John Humphrys, at last beginning to ask whether the EU is a democratic institution. Had they studied the history of the object of their admiration, they might long ago have realised that the “European project” was never intended to be a democratic institution.
The idea first conceived back in the 1920s by two senior officials of the League of Nations – Jean Monnet and Arthur Salter, a British civil servant – was a United States of Europe, ruled by a government of unelected technocrats like themselves. Two things were anathema to them: nation states with the power of veto (which they had seen destroy the League of Nations) and any need to consult the wishes of the people in elections.
As Richard North and I showed in our book The Great Deception, this was the idea that Monnet put at the heart of the “project” from 1950 onwards, modelling his “government of Europe” on precisely the same four institutions that made up the League of Nations – a commission, a council of ministers, a parliament and a court. Thus, step by step over decades, Monnet’s technocratic dream has come to pass.
The events of last week were by no means the first time that an elected prime minister has been toppled by the Euro-elite. The most dramatic example, as we also showed in our book, was in 1990, when Mrs Thatcher had emerged as the biggest obstacle to the next great leap forward in their slow-motion coup d’etat, the Maastricht Treaty, creating the European Union and the single currency. Following her ambushing at a European Council in October 1990, when she was outnumbered 11 to one, the trap was sprung. An alliance between the European elite, led by Jacques Delors, and our own Tory Europhiles, led by Geoffrey Howe and Michael Heseltine, brought her down within weeks.
They had disposed of the greatest political obstacle to the onward march of their project just as ruthlessly as they were later to brush aside all those referendums expressing the objections of the French, the Dutch and the Irish to their Constitution. The one thing for which there has never been any place in their grand design is democracy. What a pity the Today programme didn’t wake up to that years ago.
The BBC reveals how Blair’s ‘multi-billion-pound gaffe’ may triple our electricity bills
I would not have wished it on anyone to sit through last Monday’s laborious Panorama, entitled “Who’s Fuelling the Rise in Your Fuel Bills?”, but two things about it were remarkable. One was that it was the first BBC programme, as far as I know, to admit that electricity from wind turbines is “eye-wateringly more expensive” than that from conventional power stations. According to one estimate cited by Panorama, Chris Huhne’s wish for us to spend £200 billion on renewable energy in the next nine years could triple our electricity bills, pushing millions more households into “fuel poverty”.
The programme’s other startling feature was an interview with Sir David King, formerly Tony Blair’s chief scientific adviser. This confirmed that in March 2007, the prime minister had made “a multi-billion-pound gaffe” when he signed us up to the European Council’s historic commitment that, by 2020, the EU would derive 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources. What Blair did not realise, as he and the EU’s political leaders argued “until two or three in the morning” without their technical advisers, was that “energy” includes many things, such as gas for heating, which cannot be derived from renewables.
A Treasury official explained to Panorama that they had worked out that Britain could not hope to generate more than 15 per cent of its electricity from renewables. But Blair recklessly signed up to a target which meant that 32 per cent of our electricity would have to come from renewables, which would be fantastically expensive were it even feasible. By the time King and Blair’s other advisers learnt what he had let us in for, it was too late.
The programme ended with the ineffable Mr Huhne assuring us that “the overall effect of government policy will be to lower bills”. Even the BBC was clearly not convinced.