Saturday, 19 February 2005

President Bush on the EU Constitution

by Dom Corrigan

Charles Moore, our favourite Christian libertarian, has read more of the new EU Constitution (the "European Holy Bible" or the road to serfdom) than is probably healthy, but at least in Mr. Moore, we have a writer who has done his research and knows what he is talking about.

If you read just the first few pages of the Constitution you needn't really bother going any further - you get representative flavour of the document and it leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. In the first few clauses of the very first article (p11 onwards) almost all of our Sovereign powers are allocated to bodies unknown and politicians (largely) unelected in Brussels and Strasbourg. Please read it for yourself, it's dynamite that the "No" camp will always have in its armory, however much tax-payers' money the "Yes" groups, including the UK Foreign Office, splash out on campaigns to persuade us otherwise.

Mr. Moore's important argument is that the EU Constitution won't only totally dilute the power of the Mother of Parliaments, but is also bad news for the United States because it will end up clipping NATO's wings. Of course the Guardian calls for it to be disbanded, but however anti-American you happen to be, you surely must acknowledge the success of NATO as a supra-national organisation compared to well-documented failings of the UN. On a technical level it promotes interoperability between national forces and diplomatically it's probably the only organisation that keeps the US directly involved in European affairs and away from isolationism.

What is surprising to Charles Moore is that George Bush is widely tipped to make a somewhat pro-European (by which I mean pro-EU) speech on when he visits the European Commission. Actually, I think that far from being a surprising move, George Bush cannot lose by taking a pro-EU line. Mr. Bush is a clever man, and those that forget this, or wish to portray Mr. Bush as an imbecile, do so at their peril. One can only just begin to imagine how the the American Left feels about having been badly beaten in two Presidential elections by a man they widely denigrate as an illiterate hick.

Mr. Bush is a man of action, and his actions are driven by the interests of his people - a lesson in democracy that European leaders should learn. In giving his implicit backing to the EU Constitution, I think that the President is aiming to scuttle it.

In the UK, at least, the fervour with which the Left supports the EU Constitution is matched only by its anti-Americanism. In a clever bit of reverse psychology, by mooting the Constitution as a good thing George Bush will plant the seeds of doubt in the barren minds of our pro-EU friends - if Bush is pro-EU Constitution, surely it cannot be "a good thing". These apparently pro-EU Constitution noises will please Tony Blair, while upsetting the Constitution's grass-roots supporters.

If we all lose and the EU Constitution is ratified by all EU nations, the President can also have it the other way. Either way, the US wins. Mr. Bush knows that the EU Constitution will shackle its signatories to the so-called "European economic model", which places almost every aspect of the lives and businesses of Europeans under the yolk of Big Government, which cannot but ensure low growth, low productivity and high unemployment. In a potential future world where China and the EU pose an economic threat to the US, it's in George Bush's interest to take one of the players out of the game. Who can blame him?

No comments: