We have 4 weeks or so until the earliest opportunity to install a EU President, possibly Tony Blair. Political Betting reports that he is 6/4 favourite.
This is unthinkable. Blair is completely discredited in the UK because of his legacy of spin and the lies and deceit surrounding the disastrous Iraq War. In fact, the only reason Labour were elected in 2005 was his promise to stand down and the false hope that Gordon Brown could somehow do a better job.
I feel revolted and viscerally angry at the prospect of an unelected 'President Blair', anger I have not felt since the Hutton Inquiry (whitewash) and my decision to resign my Royal Air Force commission.
Time to fight back! It is possible that the treaty could be fully ratified and a president appointed after the next month. We have 4 weeks to save ourselves from the prospect of a President Blair!
So, how to fight back? Expressing our opinions to the UK government is a waste of time. They promised a referendum at the time of the last election, then broke that promise. Labour view the democratic process as an inconvenience and will be delighted if they can foist Blair upon us as a 'scorched earth' legacy to remain after their eviction from office. The Tories can do little, as they may well take office after the treaty is fully ratified. It is also debatable whether Cameron wants to fight on this issue (given the history of Euro-politics within the Tories) although William Hague's intervention in the Times today is extremely welcome. We need to express our opposition to Blair to the UK government, but that will be just letting off steam and will do nothing except for put our defiance on the record. We need another approach.
We need to lobby Europe. My Euro-politics are middle-of-the-road: I recognise the EU as a good thing but believe it is bloated and over-intrusive. Many of us will be anti-EU, possibly a few of us pro-EU. But it is no good simply writing off letters in English full of the usual arguments.
Our lobbying must be focussed and effective.
- 1. Target the audience. There are 2 main audiences. Firstly, the national newspapers. The French have Le Monde, the Germans have Die Zeit, the Suddeutsche Zeitung and the Frankfurt-Allgemeine Zeitung; in Spain it is El Pais and El Mundo. Secondly, national leaders. Most of us know them - Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy etc. But we need a definitive list, of both newspapers and leaders, particularly from the newer EU members.
- 2. Frame the argument. The argument needs to be clear and EU-neutral. We need to accept broadly the position of the Lisbon Treaty even if we disagree with it (or the lack of a referendum). The argument needs to focus on a few critical issues why Blair should not be a EU President, from the UK's perspective:
- - Blair's discredited status and the fact he left office when in government
- - Blair's role in the lies and deceit of the Iraq War, and the suspicions of supporting CIA torture.
- - The discredited nature of the UK Brown government that is seeking to foist Blair upon us.
- - Particular anger in the UK when the British people have had no say in either the treaty or the candidate.
- - The real risk that specific anti-Blair anger could alienate the British people from Europe in a manner not seen before, possibly leading to pressure to break away from the EU.
- This argument needs to be drafted and translated into the languages of the nations it is being sent to. We need help to do this. I can knock out a basic German letter but it would be inelegant and far from colloquial. This is very important. It shows respect, effort and credibility. The letters need to be in French, German, Spanish, Italian at least as well as languages of the newer members (Czech Republic).
- 3. Get the argument out there. We need to use the internet to mobilise opposition. Supporters of this campaign need to be able to download translated letters, add their own details, email them to the targets from a pre-prepared list.
The aim of this campaign is to get UK anti-Blair anger on the front pages of European national newspapers, and to register this anger with other EU leaders That is the only avenue we have open to us.
We need to mobilise our own resources.
- A draft letter in English. (I can undertake to do this)
- Volunteers to translate the letter into colloquial French, German, Spanish, Italian and as many other EU languages as possible. (I can probably arrange Spanish translation and have an attempt at German translation)
- Volunteers to compile a list of email addresses for European newspapers and the offices of European leaders.
- A dedicated website or blog to host the letters, instructions and email addresses. This blog is an excellent start, ideally such a blog will be multi-user.
- Other bloggers and the MSM to 'spread the word'
We can stop Blair. We must stop Blair.