Friday, 6 February 2009

Say hello to the Elephant by Trevor Colman UKIP MEP South West

For the past ten years or so I have been travelling around the country speaking to clubs, groups and associations about European Union (EU) membership. On one occasion, about nine years ago, I spoke at a Round Table dinner in Somerset. After a splendid meal I began my 40 minute address. Within five minutes every person present had turned their chair around so that they had their backs to me. For the next 35 minutes I was studiously ignored and, at the end, politely helped to the exit.

At about the same time I recall speaking to a Probus group in Devon where I predicted, amongst other things, that eventually the EU would require us all to have a licence for virtually every activity. I was laughed off the stage.

In neither incident do I now think that the members of the audience were being intentionally rude. The fact was that they simply could not accept what I was telling them. Britain was about to disappear I pointed out. Regional government directed from Brussels, would replace Westminster. EU laws would govern us at home whilst foreign policy, including the deployment of EU armed forces, would be under the control of Brussels. Thousands of EU laws would change the British way of life.

I realise now that at the hundreds of meetings I addressed very few people, if any, believed me. The reason for their disbelief is simple. Then, as now, and for the past thirty six years, the truth about EU membership has been deliberately hidden from the British people. It has been described as the elephant in the room that no-one mentions.In addition to downright lies one common form of deceit has been to present EU laws as being Westminster initiatives. There are countless examples of this, the following are just two.

A couple of years ago John Major admitted that separating the management of the railway rolling stock from the management of the track had been a mistake. What he omitted to say was that this arrangement came from an EU Directive. Similarly, a while back the BBC Spotlight programme transmitted a piece about the diminishing herds of moorland ponies but failed to mention that one of the main reasons was the EU requirement for pony ‘passports’, making it financially unviable for farmers to maintain the herds.

Gradually, however, the British people are becoming aware that the closure of Post Offices, the changes in waste collection, the proposed introduction of I/D cards, imprisonment without charge and a whole host of other measures are happening because Brussels says so. The elephant is stirring. Now, something truly significant is happening. Something that can’t be ignored by turning our backs on it or laughing at it. There is growing civil unrest by groups of British workers worried about losing their jobs.

Although mass immigration never appeared in any party manifesto, the Brussels rules allow for free movement of people within the EU and this means 450 million foreigners have the right to come and reside in Britain. UK politicians have readily enforced this rule as a result of which Britain has been forced to accept millions of immigrants over the past few years.

At the 2007 Labour Party conference Gordon Brown accidentally prodded the elephant when he promised ‘British jobs for British workers’. The simple fact is that Brown cannot deliver on this promise. The EU won’t let him. Brussels has decreed that those millions of immigrants our politicians have allowed in have the same rights, including the right to work, as British workers and many of them will work for a lot less.

The British people are suddenly waking up to the fact that they are ‘Europeans’ first and British second. For millions of British workers this will result in the dole queue whilst foreign workers snap up those promised ‘British’ jobs. Whilst we are members of the EU there is nothing you or I (or Brown) can do about it, except obey. This is what it means to be a citizen of the European Union.

It’s time to say hello to the elephant.