As far as I am aware, this is a first for the MSM anywhere in the EUnion. And of course it happened in the UK. Janet Daley of the Telegraph writes what we in the conservative European corner of the blogosphere have known for years: In the EUnion democracy and sovereignty are dead. The Social Contract between a government and its constituency has been broken.
The immediate reason for this unexpected outburst of honesty are the wild-cat strikes at the Lindsey Oil Refinery in North Killingholme, UK.
The workers walked out in protest to 250 jobs being given to foreign workers instead of unemployed locals following the awarding of a specialist contract to an Italian firm.
In the same posts mr. North already observed the ‘elephant in the living room’:
However, there is nothing at all that the government can do. Readers may dimly recall in 2007, two separate actions in the ECJ, one concerning the Rosella ferry and the other, about Laval un Partneri. (…)
In both cases, the court upheld the employers’ rights to employ cheaper, foreign workers. Also, in both cases, the court upheld the right of displaced workers (or those under threat of displacement) to take “collective action”, although it also ruled that any such action would be illegal if it restricted the EU’s rules on freedom of establishment.
Back to mrs. Daley. She is also seeing the elephant, where others are still trying to be blind to its looming presence:
What the strikers at the Lindsey oil refinery (and their brother supporters in Nottinghamshire and Kent) have discovered is the real meaning of the fine print in those treaties, and the significance of those European court judgments whose interpretation they left to EU obsessives: it is now illegal – illegal – for the government of an EU country to put the needs and concerns of its own population first. It would, for example, be against European law to do what Frank Field has sensibly suggested and reintroduce a system of “work permits” for EU nationals who wished to apply for jobs here.
Citing occurrences of public dissatisfaction in Germany and France, last week, mrs. Daley observes a breaking down of the social contract between government and governed:
The protesters are simply demanding what they thought – what all free people have been taught to think since the 18th-century enlightenment – was their birthright. That is to say, for the basic principle of modern democracy: the understanding between the state and its people that the proper function of a government is to represent the interests of those who elected it. (…)
In the grand abstract terms of the enlightenment, the legitimacy of government derives from the consent of the governed, and therefore no government should have the right to hand over its authority to some external body which is not democratically accountable to its own people. So when the framers of the EU arranged for the nations of Europe to do exactly that, they were repudiating the two centuries old political struggle for the rights and liberties of ordinary citizens, of government “of the people, by the people and for the people”. (…)
And here we are, with a generation of European political leaders who almost all accept the terms in which their predecessors gave away the most important principle of that great democratic pact between a free people and its government. While times were good and there was enough prosperity to keep everybody distracted and happy, the loss went almost unnoticed except by a few persistent and despairing critics. Well, not any more.
Will the credit crunch be the wake-up call that ordinary citizens need to realize how much has been lost these last 30-40 years? Will the smell of the corpses of both freedom and sovereignty finally be strong enough to notice? And do we have the will to reckon with all those generations of our own politicians that stabbed them (and us) in the back?
Hope springs eternal, as they say.
[INSTANT UPDATE] EU Referendum have a couple of other posts up hammering home the point of the EUnions destructive influence and the helplessly inept attempts to obscure it: Here and here. And if you think that this is not a problem in the Netherlands: The so-called ‘Polish CAO’ (NL) is the exact same problem in a slightly different coat.
For foreign readers: Today it emerged that internet trade union (don’t ask, I don’t know either) VIA negotiated a collective agreement for imported (mostly Polish) temp labour that undercuts the negotiated salaries in the Dutch collective agreement for temp workers by as much as 10%. Much as with the Lindsey refinery, reactions are fast and furious. Socialist Party MP Paul Ulenbelt:
“It’s too retarded for words to allow a collective agreement that gives advantage to cheap East European labour over Dutch workers”.
Well, welcome to the EUnion, mr. Ulenbelt. It may be ‘too retarded for words’, but that is the EUnion for you. And there is not a damn thing you can do about it. And by the way, how did you vote, when the Lisbon Treaty came up in Second Chamber?
[UPDATE001] Reporting on the Polish CAO in EN available here at Dutch News.