The Disgrace of the Majority
To the disbelief of left-wing media, most Britons want a referendum on EU membership.
2 November 2011
An editorial in the Guardian on October 25 exposed the nature of what often is called the European project: a goal that those pursuing it never state out loud. In brief, it is the construction of a huge power bloc under the domination of a self-perpetuating political class and its auxiliary nomenklatura, free of the most minimal democratic oversight or constitutional restraint.
The editorial was titled Conservatives and Europe: learned nothing, forgotten nothing, a reference to Talleyrands famous dictum about the Bourbons. Britains Conservative Party, the editorial argued, was unfit to govern because of its continued internal division on the issue of the U.K.s membership in the European Union, the latest manifestation of which was a vote by 80 Conservative members of Parliament in favor of holding a referendum on the issue. A Guardian poll, published in the paper on the same day as the editorial, established that 70 percent of the population believed that such a referendum should be held; 49 percent wanted to leave the union and 40 percent wanted to remain in it (11 percent were undecided).
One can make many criticisms of the Conservative Party, but surely one such criticism is not that 80 of its members of parliament have voiced the disquiet of at least half the nations population about the most important question that it faces. The Guardian called the 80 members of parliament a disgrace, by which it meant that the opinion of fully half of the population, and possibly more, should not even be heard in the Mother of Parliaments. In other words, the philosopher-kings of the European nomenklatura should be allowed to get on with their work free of interference—because, after all (and as new evidence further proves every day), they are doing such a fantastic job.
Theodore Dalrymple, a physician, is a contributing editor of City Journal and the Dietrich Weismann Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
More by Theodore Dalrymple: