Friday, October 07, 2005

Hey, Jabba, Does It Look Dead ?

The main excuse for the Clarke candidacy is that the European issue is currently on ice for the foreseeable future. That’s a dubious idea at the best of times, but look at what happened just about five minutes after Clarke’s little speech.

Yes, yes, yes, Mr Pedant, I know the ECHR is formerly separate from the EU but, in so far as it involves Continental philosopher kings plucking bogus rights out of thin air in order to impose foreign standards on our country even in the teeth of opposition from both public and Parliament, all the key elements of Clarkism are there.

This is what I mean about Europe being a perfect litmus test for Conservatism. Here we have a case where unelected members of the Liberal elite claim the right to overrule the freely expressed will of the people. The whole concept is based on the idea of an ever-expanding list of fundamental rights which, by definition, are not subject to democratic review. Add in the fact that we have foreign justices, naturally enough basing their judgements on foreign principles, ruling on cases involving British people in Britain, and this case is practically an ink-blot test for Conservatism.

If you’re Ken ‘referendums are a silly idea’ Clarke or, for that matter, Cherie Blair, then the prospect of rule by an unelected, unaccountable elite of the soi dissant enlightened is no problem. Real Conservatives may have different thoughts about the prospect of the House of Commons being slowly reduced to the same role as the House of Lords, while the courts assume powers that would have awed Charles I. Similarly, if you think ‘Britain’ is just a nice bit of geographical shorthand, who cares if we now have Greeks ruling on cases in Manchester ? Again, real Conservatives would disagree.

As it happens, and despite what the Left would have you believe, the ECHR doesn’t actually have any real legal power. Though an analysis of recent history may lead you to think otherwise, a British government could quite easily tell them where to stick their rulings. So that’s today’s litmus test right there: is there a single Conservative MP who will object to the possibility that Ian Huntley could help him keep his job ?
I am reminded in the comments that I had my philosopher kings confused. It's the European Court of Human Rights that issues these insane pronouncements. The European Court of Justice is part of the EU, and so has a whole different flavour of insanity all its own.

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