I could not dig; I dared not rob:
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?
To express our solidarity with Britain's successor generations denied their desired role within the EU, we reproduce here an apposite poem by Rudyard Kipling:
I could not dig; I dared not rob:
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?
This document re-states our earlier demand that you and all other Commissioners resign forthwith.
On your watch the Commission has been biased, deceitful and dilatory. In our view, you materially prejudiced the outcome of last week’s referendum which was in any case already biased against Remain (for example, by limiting the electorate).
You have even had the nerve to use your own delay, deceit and obfuscation as excuses to close down correspondence. You and your fellow Commissioners, who are on notice of our grave and wholly legitimate concerns, should in our view face a life ban on all public office.
Further, the Speaker’s office has conveyed to us two material imprecisions.
We do not believe that the Electoral Commission in its current form and as supervised by the Speaker’s Committee is a trustworthy electoral regulator, particularly in the envisaged context outside the European Union, and with our gerrymandered and mostly unelected Westminster Parliament.
Referendum Ballot Paper
As regards the referendum ballot paper we yet again request and require that you explain why the text of the questions was right justified while you held yourself out to Parliament as complying with precedent. (This has all, of course, been amply evidenced and detailed by us in correspondence.)
We had to ask three times why the ballot paper differs from that in Schedule 4 SI 2016 No 219 (and don’t we just get a lot of secondary legislation these days). You eventually claimed that the font had not been prescribed by Parliament. Please explain the exact basis in law by which you claim you were entitled to vary the ballot paper in any way whatsoever from the form reproduced in Schedule 4.
As you know, there was an article in The Spectator at a material time - so those advocating Brexit would have been well aware of it - entitled The Hitler guide to rigging a referendum. That article prominently featured the 1938 Anschluß plebiscite polling paper.
The attachment is not a document in a form we would use for legal proceedings - the merging software is insufficiently sophisticated - but this shows your ballot paper (with the right margin modified for reasons previously discussed in correspondence) overlapping Hitler’s:
It is clear that the two references to leave are both to be found in the sweet spots correctly identified by Hitler/Goebbels. The substance and manner of your sustained egregious conduct in my view suggests that you would have a huge burden of proof to overcome in demonstrating conclusively that this was extremely unfortunate but innocent error rather than deliberate design: I suspect what happened is that some patsy on your staff gratefully accepted a template from a Brexiter.
Our earlier correspondence has of course gone into much more detail about your ballot paper and some amplification is reproduced on our website. What the public does not yet know is that we warned both the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and the Chancellor’s PPS when there was still time to do something.
Be that as it may, you have a very substantial burden of proof to overcome. You will instead doubtless employ, at our expense, “independent” “consultants” who will again aver that you are regulatory perfection in human form.
The premise behind your approach to the referendum
As stated in our letter of 8 March 2016, from para. 1.17 onwards of your referendum assessment, you indulge yourselves with unbalanced concerns about the potential legitimacy, in the eyes of those campaigning to leave and some members of the public, of the referendum result - particularly if there was a vote to remain a member of the European Union.
As Remainers, we are extremely concerned about the legitimacy of the result and your conduct of your duties. You have no wriggle room: the element of bias in the above-quoted sentence would itself justify immediate closure of the Commission.
Your bias against us
It took 18 months and countless requests to ask why EPP and not TUSC was censored during the General Election, a matter in which there has been much obfuscation on your part and all that has emerged is that you did not apply proper process.
Both you and the Speaker were somewhat casual about your unlawful disqualification (which we have always assumed was “inspired” by the Executive and/or other Brexiters) of our Party during the Long Campaign for the General Election.
One wonders what stunts the Commission might try to pull on future occasions.
We believe the lack of profile inflicted on us both by you and, during the European election, by pressure applied by the Executive on the media has affected the outcome of this referendum by a figure roughly equal to the Leave majority.
That is difficult to prove of course: but perhaps not impossible and without any further evidence from us, you have a case to answer given your demonstrable course of Brexit-favouring conduct.
We therefore request and require that you very clearly explain exactly why EPP but not TUSC was - and indeed still is partially - censored. We also require the immediate restoration of the status quo ante as regards EPP.
It would be very hard to over-state our anger and disgust. We will not relent and those with whom the British Government will now need to negotiate are aware of what you have done. You have inflicted incalculable damage on our Country and allies: in my view, your letters are sufficiently cunning to suggest that you knew exactly what you were doing.
cc Speaker’s Secretary
Following announcement of the result of the Referendum, Dirk Hazell as leader of UK EPP has made the following statement:
“Cameron enters history as the Prime Minister who chose, for party political advantage, to gamble the future of both the British and European Unions.
In the General Election he excited English nationalists against Scottish nationalists.
In the referendum, his Remain campaign that should have been a positive and inclusive Project Hope was too often a constrained Project Fear. Technical aspects of the referendum also merit much closer attention than they have so far received.
Cameron rebuffed formal party political alliances with Europe’s democratic EPP political leaders such as Enda Kenny and Angela Merkel for alliance with Putin, Erdogan and fervent Waffen SS commemorators.
While the British people spoke in different ways in different parts of the Kingdom, sufficient discontent came to light in this referendum to require Westminster to put its own house in order.
To respond to this discontent, Westminster must now undertake substantial reform, with a fairer electoral system and devolution of powers and fiscal sovereignty throughout the United Kingdom, including the English Regions.”
By kind permission of The Very Reverend Dr John Arnold OBE, the text of his Sermon at the 2016 Europe Day Ecumenical Service at Methodist Central Hall is below reproduced with his further explanatory Appendix:-
The Christianisation of Europe goes back to Saint Paul – a Greek-speaking Jew who was a Roman citizen.
‘During the night Paul had a vision; there stood a man of Macedonia (was it St Luke?) pleading with him and saying: ‘Come over to Macedonia (from Asia) and help us.’ (Acts 15, 9)
It was the impact of an originally Asiatic faith, which was to provide an embryonic Europe with a new identity when the political and cultural unity of the Græco-Roman world disintegrated.
North Africa and the Asiatic parts of the Roman Empire fell away as a result of the rise of Islam; Ethiopia and the Malabar coast of India were cut off from contact and almost from memory, while Ireland, Scotland, Northern Germany, Scandinavia, the Baltic and the eastern Slav lands, which had not been in the Empire, became part of Europe as a result of missionary expansion.
By conversion to Orthodox Christianity in 988, on the eve of the schism between East and West, Russia became European rather than Asiatic with incalculable consequences lasting to the present day.
The Mediterranean which had, as its name implies, been at the centre of the Roman world became, like the Adriatic, a boundary with Asia and with Africa, too.
The word Europe is first used in its modern sense by the chronicler Isidore Pacensis, who describes as Europeenses those who fought with and under the Franks against the Muslims at the Battle of Poitiers in 732AD.
Should Europe now be defined as ‘over against Islam’? That is the first question. It has acquired new poignancy today.
Still, from then on Europe was identified with Christendom, until the rise of secularism in modern times. As J. M. Roberts says: “Christianity grew up within the classical world of the Roman Empire, fusing itself in the end with its institutions and spreading through its social and mental structures to become our most important legacy from that civilisation.
Often disguised and muted, its influence runs through all the great creative processes of the last fifteen hundred years; almost incidentally it defined Europe. We are what we are because a handful of Jews saw their leader crucified and believed that he rose again from the dead.” He does not say that he believes it; it is enough for a post-Enlightenment historian to say that he believes that they believed it.
It is not enough for us, who need faith in ‘Christ crucified in weakness, but alive by the power of God’(2 Cor 13,4), if we are to give a soul to Europe, that Europe which is a heady mixture of the remnants of empire, the vigour of barbarism and the influence of Christianity, the three ingredients which go to make Africa, for example, so full of potential today. This mixture may be seen on the Anglo-Saxon Franks casket in the British Museum, which depicts the Roman myth of Romulus and Remus, the Norse saga of Wieland the Smith and the biblical story of the visit of the Magi: the remnants of empire, the vigour of barbarism and the influence of Christianity.
Europe now comprises the territory of historic Christendom from the Atlantic to the Ural, despite the facts that:
Islam and Judaism contributed a great deal more to the making of Europe than has generally been acknowledged (there were Jews in Europe before there were Christians or St Paul would have had no synagogues to preach in);
many Europeans do not now believe in Christianity;
there are many more Christians in other parts of the globe; and
there are many immigrants and some converts to other world faiths in Europe.
Major attempts in the twentieth century, however, to replace Christianity as the spiritual and mental guide of Europe, either by neo-paganism in its Fascist form or by atheism in its Marxist-Leninist form, have failed.
We may well be the first continent in history to belong not only to a post-Christian era, but also to a post-atheist one. Boris Pasternak, when questioned by a journalist about his religious beliefs, replied, “I am an atheist who has lost his faith.” There are plenty like him. Still, we should not be complacent, for as G K Chesterton said, “When people cease believing in God, they do not believe in nothing, they believe in anything.”
The great Dutch ecumenist Willem Visser ‘t Hooft used to say that, while it was true that the Church made Europe, in so doing it unmade itself as a Church, so thoroughly did it become entangled in the worldliness of the world it had made.
Christianity did not only define the emergent Europe, and it certainly did not pacify it. It helped to make Europe exceptionally dynamic, innovative, scientific and schismatic.
The first whole continent to be converted to Christianity, it has also been the source of many scourges, which have been exported to and have afflicted the world; imperialism and colonialism, the division of the churches, the ideological split between Capitalism and Communism and two world wars, which drew in non-European nations. Can such a continent be saved? How does such a continent relate to others? And how should we in Britain relate to it? By standing aside? Or by coming over to help? That is the second question, which our text invites.
It continues: ‘When (Paul) had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia.’
It is not for me to offer more than an arrow prayer for those who are trying, even now, to cross over to Macedonia; but it is the time to recall that this is the moment when the subjects of Luke’s story change from ‘they’ to ‘we’ and the objects from ‘them’ to ‘us’.
Is this really the time for the subjects of Queen Elizabeth to change their relationship with their fellow Europeans back from ‘we’ to ‘they’, and the objects from ‘us’ to ‘them’? That is the third question.
Particularity and Universality
It is in the letters of St Paul that the complementary nature of the particular and the universal is treated and it is by him that it is expressed most articulately. At different times and for different purposes he emphasises his identity not only as a Jew but more specifically as of the tribe of Benjamin and a Pharisee, not only as a Roman citizen but also as a Greek-speaker from Tarsus.
These things, however formative and useful they may be, he accounts as of little worth compared with being ‘in Christ’, that is to say, reconciled through the Cross of Christ to God and to his fellow human-beings. He it is, so proud of his multiple identities on earth, who also claimed that ‘our citizenship is in heaven.’ (Phil. 3, 20.) The particularities of nation, race, language, party and citizenship are to be valued not for the ways in which they cut us off from others but for their ability to form personalities and characters which are capable of making mature relationships with others. For Paul human beings are put in a right relationship with God, not by nation or race, language or culture, gender or social status, but by meeting grace with faith, that is to say by responding with trust to love. This does not mean the repudiation of other relationships (except with idols, which are non-entities), nor does it mean the loss of other identities. It does mean their enlargement and transformation.
The implications for contemporary anxieties about identity are clear. No one should be asked to exchange their identity as British or English for an identity as European. We may, however, rightly acquire or retain not an alternative but an additional identity as European, rather like Douglas Hurd putting on a Loden overcoat over a Savile Row suit.
This pattern can be traced to the writings of the Venerable Bede (673-735), which were equally responsible for the development of an English national self-consciousness and for the insistence that the destiny of the English was continental rather than insular. For him the underlying point at issue at the Synod of Whitby (664) was whether the English, by their adherence to the customs of the Celtic Church, would be condemned to languish forever in a provincial backwater, or whether, by becoming part of the wider Western Church, they would be integrated into a potentially universal culture and civilisation. It was not that everything Celtic was wrong and everything Roman right. On the contrary, he could not hide his admiration for the piety and effectiveness of Aidan, Oswald and Cuthbert in Northumbria compared with the vacillation and tactlessness of Augustine in Kent.
However, if the English were to receive the blessings of belonging to a wider world, they would need, for example, to adopt a common date for Easter, which was the equivalent then of accepting directives from Brussels now. Bede, who lived to see the beginnings of the extraordinary contribution paid (or rather repaid) by the English to the continued conversion of Europe by missionaries and scholars like Willibrord and, a little later, by Boniface and Alcuin. This two-way traffic of influence and enrichment, of values and insights, accompanies trade and commerce and is not less important. That is why the European churches (through the Conference of European Churches and the Council of Catholic Bishops Conferences in Europe) said in the Charta Ecumenica (Strasbourg, Easter 2001), ‘The Churches support an integration of the European continent. Without common values, unity cannot endure. We are convinced that the spiritual heritage of Christianity contributes an empowering source of inspiration and enrichment for Europe…’
The pan-European and global perspective
The Churches are clear that the scope of the Community must be pan-European. It cannot and must not be a reincarnation of Western Christendom or the Holy Roman Empire. Eastern Europe is every bit as European as is Western Europe. Indeed the Greeks, whose relationship with the rest of the European Union has been fraught from the start, may claim to have the best title of all. Meanwhile, the underlying problem of the relationship between Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Europe remains unsolved; and it is insoluble at the level of politics and economics alone. All the historic Orthodox lands wish to benefit from the financial, social and political advances of the West, but they have not
had the experience of the long march through the Renaissance, the Reformation and especially the Enlightenment, which made them possible. The pillars of the European Union – the rule of law, pluralist democracy, human rights and religious freedom – require spiritual and cultural as well as political and economic convergence, or there will only be, as there is with Greece, a dialogue of the deaf. Bede was active well before the disastrous schism between East and West in the eleventh century and he wrote appreciatively of the contribution made by Archbishop Theodore (like St Paul a Greek-speaking citizen of Tarsus) to the establishment in the Ecclesia Anglicana of provincial, diocesan and parochial structures which have lasted till today. Bede wanted his fellow countrymen to adopt Roman practices, but he took it for granted that Rome was in communion with Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople. For him, integration into Western Christendom did not mean the acceptance of limitation and narrowed loyalties, but rather a way of being in communion and fellowship also with Eastern Christendom and with churches in Africa and Asia, in a word with the oikoumene, the whole inhabited world in so far as it was known in his day. The Charta Ecumenica goes on to say, ‘At the same time we must avoid Eurocentricity and heighten Europe’s sense of responsibility for the whole of humanity, particularly for the poor all over the world.’ Britain, which retains special links with the United States of America and with the worldwide Commonwealth, is well placed both to benefit from a whole-hearted commitment to the European project and also to contribute to the development of its vision and values.
Our last post demonstrated four specific elements of visual bias in the Europe referendum ballot paper resulting from the recommendation of the Electoral Commission and as approved by Parliament (Statutory Instrument 2016, No 219 page 103).
It also illustrated bias in the Electoral Commission's own written proposal.
This post goes further: it points to specific similarities between the Europe referendum ballot paper and that used to secure 99.7% support in Hitler's 1938 referendum to endorse the incorporation of Austria into Germany.
Hitler's referendum was of course the act of a dictator on a roll: there was no need for any subtlety in the signals given by the ballot paper.
The Europe referendum paper incorporates some of the same characteristics but these will not immediately be obvious to the voter whose eye is drawn, for reasons not fully understood in the ballot box, to "Leave": it is therefore a fraud on the British people.
Before we make these comparisons, we illustrate what we think is a good referendum ballot paper: Scotland's in 2014. It is clear, concise (8 words to the Electoral Commission's 51) and neutral:-
We first consider horizontal bias.
In Hitler's referendum, "positive" words are within the horizontal centring line: "Ja", "Adolf Hitler", "our", "Austria", "Greater Germany":
A similar effect, as shown by the two strong red lines, is achieved in the Europe ballot paper, especially if the right margin is taken as an extension of the strong vertical line created by the two boxes and which bounds nearly all the text the voter will read. The thin blue line shows the weaker effect of taking the edge of the form as the margin:-
On Hitler's ballot paper, the undesired outcome "Nein" is pushed towards the horizontal margin. Similarly, in the Europe referendum, "leave"/"Leave" look and are much closer to the centre than "Remain" an effect enhanced by "leave" being as directly above "Leave" as the different typeface allows.
While the "Nein" is further de-emphasised by being much smaller, "Remain" as discussed in our last post is diluted by being much more entangled in surrounding text: "Leave" stands out.
Staying with horizontal bias, the Europe referendum ballot is much worse - getting on for twice as bad - as Hitler's in use of emphasising clear space to the left of the "desired" outcome. The Electoral Commission has repeatedly fail to explain this orientation:-
Vertical bias - again creating more space and prominence for the "Leave" choice - was briefly discussed in our last post and is clearly strong in the ballot paper.
Although the vertical similarities with Hitler's ballot paper are not quite as marked, there are some.
In the Hitler ballot, the star of the show is vertically centred, as shown by the strong red line. Looking at the "golden ratio" of the vertical component of the page, the desired outcome "Ja" falls on it as shown by the strong dark blue line. And the centre of the "Ja" voting circle is about 80% of the way down the page, fairly close to the centre of the component below "Ja":
On the Europe ballot paper, the centre red line effect is not as strong: however it is closer to the reference to "leave" than to "remain", and this is exacerbated by the horizontal centring as above: again, "leave" looks as though it is in the middle of the paper.
Equally the golden segment effect is not as strong: but it is closer to "leave" than to "Remain" and "leave" is prominent through its proximity.
"Leave" is about 90% of the way down the form, just about within the vertical area of the "Ja" circle and , with the adjusted right margin, in exactly the same horizontal position: although the correlation is greater on adjusted horizontal alignment there is also correlation on vertical alignment.
Our last post drew attention to four specific components of visual bias in the Europe ballot paper drawing the eye to "Leave".
UK EPP believes this ballot paper (page 103, SI 2016, No 219) is biased. All Electoral Commissioners should immediately resign.
WHICH REFERENDUM BALLOT IS CLEARER & MORE NEUTRAL? AND WHICH TEMPLATE DO YOU THINK THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION PROPOSED FOR #EUREFERENDUM?
The top format has been used in previous referendums including the 2014 Scotland referendum. The lower format is that proposed for the 2016 EU Referendum
4 Freedoms Party (UK EPP)
Promoted by M Paterson on behalf of 4 Freedoms Party (UK EPP), both at Office 103, 405 Kings Road, London, SW10 0BB