BROWN SHOULD BEWARE THE FURIOUS BACKLASH AGAINST THE THEFT OF OUR LIBERTIES
About freedom, democracy or liberty.
By Leo McKinstry, Daily Express, June 16, 2008
THE flag of freedom has been flying low in recent years. Our traditional institutions and liberties have
been traduced1 by a Government which despises2 our past.
Our democracy has been grievously weakened by the transfer of sovereignty to an unelected bureaucracy in
Our individual rights have been undermined by arrogant officials, constantly prying3 into our lives or
grabbing our money. But at last there is a mood of rebellion in the air against the increasingly
authoritarian State machine.
In Ireland the public refused to be bullied4 into supporting the Lisbon Treaty, which aims to strengthen
further the central powers of the unaccountable EU Commission at the expense of national democracies.
Despite all the blandishments5 of its political elite, the Irish were determined not to engage in further
surrender to Brussels. "We had to fight for our freedom and I don't like to see it thrown away,"
said one Irish voter, summing up this heroic spirit of defiance.
Here in Britain the resignation of Shadow Home Secretary David Davis represents another trumpet blast
against the creeping despotism of the State.
Davis6 decided to give up his seat and fight a by-election campaign in defence of our civil liberties
after Labour forced through its scheme to extend the legal detention period for terror suspects to 42
Even worse was the squalid way the measure was pushed through. In a process that brought shame on our
Parliamentary democracy, a deal was stitched up with Ulster's Democratic Unionist Party while taxpayers'
money was showered around like confetti to keep most of Labour's awkward squad in line.
It was an outrage that the destruction of one of our most ancient liberties stretching back to Magna
Carta in 1215 should be treated as nothing more than a political football by the Government.
Mr Davis is right to take a stand against this cynicism, just as he is correct in railing against
identity cards, the mass finger-printing of children, the growth in official powers to snoop around
our homes and the sinister spread of surveillance cameras into even our rubbish bins.
In New Labour's brave new world the relationship between the citizen and the State has completely
In a true democracy the State should be accountable to the public but today law-abiding people are
increasingly being told to account for their actions by a vast army of tax collectors, recycling
inspectors, municipal pen pushers, civil servants, traffic attendants, diversity enforcers and
It is telling that the political classes in both the EU and Westminster have reacted with such outrage
to David Davis and the Irish voters. Endlessly prattling7 about "tolerance", they cannot tolerate any
challenge to their cherished project of creating the all-powerful centralised European state.
So they condemn their opponents as lunatic or ill-informed, a smear tactic always used by totalitarian
In Ireland "no" campaigners were derided as a bunch of "cranks8" while the leading voice against the
Lisbon Treaty, telecoms entrepreneur Declan Ganley, was described as "that mad millionaire" by the
pro-EU Labour MP Denis McShane. Similarly, in Westminster David Davis is said to have "taken leave
of his senses" or embarked on a self-indulgent "ego trip", even though he may have sacrificed a
frontbench career for his principles.
The contempt of the political elite for democracy shines through its response to the Irish vote and
Davis's resignation. EU bosses have decided to press ahead with integration, ignoring the wishes of
the Irish. "We're sticking firmly to our goal of putting this treaty into effect," announced the
German Foreign Minister with typical arrogance, despite the fact that ratification is required by
all 27 member states.
Gordon Brown, too, has said that Ireland's decision will make no difference to ratification in
Parliament. In the same way, Brown used the word "farce" about the by-election9 in Davis's Yorkshire seat
of Haltemprice and Howden. But this is because the Prime Minister does not have a democratic bone in
His favourite political activity is running away from elections. Through bullying and threats, he avoided
a Labour leadership contest last year, was too terrified to hold a general election last October, then
betrayed his promise to hold a referendum on EU integration.
Now he has decreed that Labour will not put up a candidate in the by-election. If he really believes
his stance on civil liberties is popular and right, he would have the guts to campaign for it at the
polls. But, as usual, his cowardice has made a mockery of democracy.
It is characteristic that the Brown government would prefer to give Turkey membership of the EU rather
than give the British public its rightful vote on the Lisbon Treaty. This is an administration that has
lost all concept of the real meaning of terms like freedom, democracy or liberty.
It blathers10 about "empowerment" and "Britishness" but it destroys our national identity and freedoms.
In place of progress it fosters a climate of fear for its own ends.
It transforms our country through the removal of borders, the ideology of multi-culturalism and the
promotion of mass immigration without giving the electorate any say over these far-reaching developments.
Then it uses the consequent rise in violent crime and domestic terrorism as an excuse to expand its
Having caused so much damage to our country, Labour may be shocked at the groundswell11 of public anger
that builds up behind David Davis's courageous anger.
1. to traduce - verleumden
2. to despise - geringschätzen, verachten
3. to pry - herumschnüffeln
4. to bully - drangsalieren, schikanieren
5. blandishment - Schmeichelei
6. Davis recently gave up his constuency seat in protest of Labour policy
7. to prattle - daherschwätzen, labern
8. crank - Griesgram, Verückter
9. by-election - Nachwahlen
10. blather - schwafeln, labern
11. groundswell - Dünung
1. Which two incidents in Ireland and England respectively does the columnist put forward in order to prove
that civil liberties are on a decline.
2. According to Mr. McKinstry, how does Labour's 'brave new world' look like? Also take into account
Mr. Davis' points of protest against Labour's politics.
3. What does the author of this newspaper article accuse Gordon Brown of, esp. what his attitude towards
the EU is concerned?
4. Why does the columnist not trust the EU commission?
5. The columnist obviously disagrees with the European superstate as it has now developed. Pick two of his
main arguments which you would also disagree with. Support your own opinion.