A Q&A session to keep democracy in check – Tony Benn

tony bennSir,

A name well known to older readers of your paper, the late Tony Benn, MP for Bristol, asked five very important questions of politicians which I repeat below.

  1. What power do you have?
  2. Where did you get it?
  3. In whose interests do you exercise it?
  4. To whom are you accountable?
  5. How can we get rid of you?

These are important questions I believe everyone should be asking of the EU Commissioners before casting their votes in just under three weeks time.

The answers are simple:

  1. The power of the Commission is absolute; it alone in the EU has the power to propose new legislation. EU law is superior to all national laws. Unlike MPs in the UK, MEPs in Brussels can only “suggest” or “amend” new laws, they have no real authority, an important matter reflecting the lack of democratic accountability in the EU.
  2. They obtain that power from the 1957 Treaty of Rome, signed into British law (without a mandate) by Ted Heath in 1972.
  3. The Commission exercise that power for their own ends, not the betterment of Europe, as 50 per cent unemployment, a falling world GDP and huge levels of corruption at the highest levels show all too clearly. A new report showed corruption in the EU cost the taxpayers £675 million last year alone, or nearly £2 million a day.
  4. They are accountable to no one, being unelected, appointed by other Commissioners and other high ranking EU officials (Treaty of Rome).
  5. We can’t. Since the EU’s highest are unelected the electorate hold no power over them.

Put those five answers together and the lack of a democracy in the EU is blindingly obvious.
We have but one chance to restore a proper, meaningful, democracy in Britain on June 23rd, by leaving the EU.

Yours faithfully
UKIP Councillor Michael Baker