In over 40 years of membership of the Conservative Party, I cannot recall being ashamed at what appears to be deceit practised by some senior ministers.
Since Parliament deals with all our great issues, there should never have been a referendum - neither on continuing membership of the European Union nor Scottish Independence (a matter for the entire United Kingdom) nor voting systems.
If ministers need our help, they could equally consult us on unambitious standards in state education, an insolvent and poorly managed health service, penal policy, going to war unprepared and on a whim, unfunded pension obligations, the burden of social security and much else.
But we are asked to decide whether to quit the sclerotic bureaucracy which is the European Union. We should do so; and disengage as soon as possible from the work of the European Court of Justice and the Convention on Human Rights.
Before their twelfth birthday, children used to be taught about the great struggle between King and Parliament which culminated in the Glorious Revolution. Much of our freedom to live at peace under the law flows from the events of those days.
Now ministers are presenting economic and financial ‘facts’ which prove our imminent ruination if we leave the Union. The ‘facts’ are nothing but fiction, invention and speculation and it is doubly disappointing that a supporting cast of grandees and experts (many of them appointed to important and well-remunerated jobs by the inner ministerial circle) is trotted out to lend support to such chicanery which is designed to frighten us into obedience. The interesting arguments centre on whether the existence of the European Union has preserved our peace (it may well have held back our prosperity). Surely, the world has never been more dangerous.
Many of our European friends will join the United Kingdom in a new mission of independent leadership and co-operation to tackle these great matters.
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