Brendan O’Neill: Love Democracy? Then Leave the EU

Posted: February 23, 2016 by tallbloke in EU Referendum, solar system dynamics

Excerpt reposted with permission from Spiked Online

eu democracyFor spiked, the EU is not, as its cheerleaders claim, a coming-together of European peoples. Rather, it represents the outsourcing of key parts of national political life to the unaccountable, unreachable realm of the European Commission and other Brussels-based bodies. It directly waters down our democratic clout through granting ever-greater authority to institutions like the EC and the European Court of Justice, whose edicts and rulings can be imposed on nations regardless of what national governments, far less national plebiscites, think of them. That is anti-democratic. End of. And it should be viewed as intolerable by anyone who considers himself progressive, and who recognises that every radical, inspiring leap forward in modern times – from the Levellers to the Chartists to the Suffragettes – has been about people wrestling from the authorities the right to choose who governs them; the right to political say-so.

The EU is a union not of peoples, but of elites. It has in recent decades become the sphere in which national elites, feeling ever more estranged from their national electorates, have effectively taken refuge. In pooling their national sovereignties into the EU, our national rulers absolve themselves of the responsibility to have tough, testy debates with us about various political and social matters, in favour of seeing such issues discussed and resolved by the commissioners and self-styled experts of this rarefied zone.

The EU is not any kind of internationalist or cosmopolitan project, as its supporters claim. Nor is it a conspiracy of French and German blaggards to do over decent Blighty, as its detractors insist. Rather, it is the institution that has grown from and been constantly fed by national elites’ own growing feeling of exhaustion with democracy – and with democracy’s engine: the demos – be it politicians who would rather an aloof court decided something they haven’t got the stomach to debate or advocacy campaigners who agitate for an EC regulation because nothing repulses them more than the idea of trying to win over the plebs of their own nations. All those things that the Remain lobby claims will be better if we stay in the EU – workers’ rights, freedom of movement, anti-terror security measures – are things that should be discussed and decided by us. To say the EU does ‘good things’, even though it does them without any real democratic oversight, is to support a benevolent tyranny. A tyranny enacted not to crush us but to save us – the worst kind.

Full article (well worth the read)

  1. hunter says:

    The EU is a pernicious bureaucracy, run by oligarchs, mostly left leaning.

  2. Yes, Hunter. As an Australian I think anyone wanting to be part of the EU is stupid. Young people do not know their history. They should read about Hitler, Stalin, Franco, the Vichy in France, Kaiser William, strong corrupt leaders, weak supplicants etc. What did the British fight for in two world wars? Elites and dictators lead to wars and suffering and deaths (Hitler and Stalin) Democracy and the right to say no is freedom and success. Singapore has not had market ties to become one of the wealthiest nations -all with no resources but brains and effort. Out of the EU Britain could again take a proud place in the world

  3. Fanakapan says:


    You mention Singapore, do the people there have the ‘Right to say No’ ?

    If as this source suggests, it is only ‘Partly Free’ or a ‘Flawed Democracy’ then it would be a point of interest as to how Singapore is used so often as an example of what Britain could become if not for the EU.

    The use of Singapore as an example does seem to reinforce the idea that withdrawal is propelled mainly by a desire to scrap regulation, and enter a race where the Devil will take the hindmost. Sort of Thatcherism on steroids 🙂

  4. David A says:

    “To say the EU does ‘good things’, even though it does them without any real democratic oversight, is to support a benevolent tyranny. A tyranny enacted not to crush us but to save us – the worst kind.

    “Such is the nature of the tyrant, when he first appears he is protector” Plato

    Human nature, still the same thousands of years later.

  5. Fanakapan says:

    Just heard Mr O’Neill on Any Questions, odd sort, follows the well trodden path between extreme leftism, to libertarian anarchy.

    It would be as well for many who would ‘Flock’ with those who profess to want out, to take a while to check just why they want out. And whilst O’Neill talks much of ‘Freedom’, it could be that the sort of freedom that he would seek might be just as objectionable as the supposed tyranny of the EU.

    They call em Libtards across the pond, a rather confused bunch who seem to come Betsy Ross wrapped, but who upon closer inspection are pushing an agenda for a new Utopia based upon untried and alien principles.

  6. tom0mason says:

    More costs heading for the consumer from the EU –

    The next phase of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) will nearly quadruple European refiners’ carbon costs to around 23 euro cents per barrel, up from six cents now, the head of the European refiners’ industry body said on Tuesday.

    He added to calls from other energy intensive industries for free allowances to cover their emissions until there is a global carbon price.

    “A carbon market is fundamentally the right approach,” John Cooper, director general FuelsEurope, said at a forum attended by the European Commission and representatives from the refining industry.