This @Channel4NewsDemocracy Facebook video shows the difference between a proper Prime Minister - by the best of her lights - putting the UK's interest first and the current incumbent putting her party first:-
As the fightback to stop Brexit gathers momentum, UK EPP Leader Dirk Hazell contrasts May’s dismal New Year message with Merkel’s statesmanlike call for European solidarity.
Hazell advised: “Pro-European forces are gathering momentum. We are determined to resist May’s mendacity. Brexit combines the worst of the Tories’ 19th century opposition to Gladstone’s Home Rule for Ireland and 20th century Appeasement of fascism. Both inflicted untold suffering on the millions who had least.”
“Brussels is gearing up to resist Brexiters’ fantasy demands. May’s determination to march us out of Europe is further proof that Conservatives still put party before country,” Hazell warned.
“The UK EPP will never surrender. We are determined to return Britain to the heart of Europe. We shall always oppose Brexit,” Hazell pledged.
"We will continue to work closely both with our mainstream centre-right allies in the EPP and with like-minded pro-Europeans at home. At EPP meetings across Europe, we will seek to repair the damage inflicted by Cameron-May’s reckless Conservative split from the EPP,” concluded Hazell.
This reproduces in English - thanks to the translation of Judith Knott: https://judithknott.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/happy-new-year-from-angela-merkel/ - the New Year Message of Chancellor Merkel.
We believe it to be a far more relevant and positive statement for the future than the dissembling demand of the British Prime Minister that the UK unites around a divisive and flawed programme which represents a massive curtailment of existing British freedoms and could only harm most those British people who have least and particularly limit life chances for the UK's successor generations.
We particularly draw attention to the Chancellor's emphasis on:
making a success of Europe and the undesirability of Germany ever seeking to go it alone;
the positive qualities of parliamentary democracy, respect for individuals and exclusion of none;
the social market and its achievements; and
the imperative to help, through research and openness to the world, to shape the future and not merely be shaped by others.
“Dear fellow citizens, 2016 was a year of difficult challenges.
I want to talk to you this evening about that – but also about why, despite everything, I am confident for Germany, and why I am so convinced of the strengths of our country and her people.
The most difficult challenge is without doubt Islamic terrorism, which has had us Germans in its sights, too, for many years. In 2016 it attacked us in the heart of our country: in Würzburg, in Ansbach and just a few days ago in the Christmas market here at the Memorial Church in Berlin.
And – yes – it is especially bitter and disgusting when terror attacks are committed by people who supposedly seek protection in our country. Who for that very reason have experienced our country’s willingness to help, and now make a mockery of it with their deeds. Just as they mock those who really need and earn our protection.
So what of the confidence that I spoke of at the beginning? Confidence in the midst of deep grief for the dead and injured?
I think we could feel it here in Berlin and in many other German cities even in these difficult days: in the comfort that we were able to give or to receive.
And in our firm determination to counter the terrorists’ hate with our humanity and our solidarity.
By carrying on with our lives and our work, we are saying to terrorists: you are murderers, full of hate, but you do not determine how we live and want to live. We are free, humane, open.
And by being able to say once again, for example, with the pictures of a bombed Aleppo in Syria before our eyes, how important and right it was that our country, again in this past year, has helped those who really need our protection to get back to normal and integrate themselves here with us.
All of that – it is reflected in our democracy, in our rule of law, in our values.
They are the antithesis of the hate-filled world of terrorism, and they will be stronger than terrorism.
We are stronger together. Our state is stronger.
Our state does its utmost to guarantee security in freedom for its citizens.
This work is never done, and just this year we have given significant new support to the security services. In 2017, to the extent that political and legislative changes are needed, we – the federal government – will introduce and implement the necessary measures as quickly as possible.
Many also associate the past year, 2016, with the feeling that the whole world has turned upside-down, or that things that had been regarded as achieved are now thrown into question. The European Union for example. Or even parliamentary democracy, which supposedly has no concern for the interest of citizens, but serves only the interests of a few.
Yes, Europe is slow. It’s arduous. It has to suffer deep incisions, such as the departure of a member state. And – yes – Europe should concentrate on what it can really do better than the nation-state.
But no – we Germans should never let ourselves pretend that a happy future could ever lie in going it alone as a nation.
Where Europe is challenged as a whole – such as in global competition, the protection of our external borders, or migration – it must also find the answer as a whole – regardless of how arduous and tough that is.
And we Germans have every interest in playing a leading role.
It’s also a caricature that many paint of our parliamentary democracy.
But in fact parliamentary democracy is strong. It enables people to work together and to have a say. It tolerates – no, it requires – dissent and criticism. Criticism that is peaceful and has respect for individuals, that seeks solutions and compromises and does not exclude whole groups.
2017 is also the year of the next federal election. I will do what I can to have a robust political debate, where we will argue passionately about many things, but always as democrats, who never forget that it is an honour to serve our democracy, and thereby serve people.
Another thing from which I take heart for Germany is our social market economy. It allows us to cope with crises and change processes better than any other economic system in the world.
Never before have so many people been in work as today. Our businesses are overwhelmingly in good shape. Our economic success gives us opportunities to strengthen our social system and to help all those who need help. From tomorrow, for example, important improvements in care will come into force.
I am also heartened by the enthusiasm and innovative spirit with which our businesses and universities carry out research and development for the future. Whether it’s new energy sources or digitalisation – in all areas we have the opportunity not to be the ones who are driven but the ones who discover and determine the new paths.
To do that, we need an open outlook on the world and self-confidence – in ourselves and in our country.
Solidarity, openness, our democracy and a strong economy serving the interests of all: that is what makes me confident for our future here in Germany, even at the end of a hard year.
None of these values are given to us on a plate. We will have to work collectively for each one of them in 2017, everyone contributing what they can – and this work will be worthwhile.
I wish you and your families, from my heart, a joyful new year, happiness, health and God’s blessing.”
UK EPP has learned with the greatest sadness of the death of Peter Hintze.
We particularly remember him with the greatest respect and affection as an exceptionally capable and supportive Vice President of the EPP.
He was a great Christian Democrat: a man both sure in his own Faith and also an outstandingly effective and principled statesman to whom both Germany and Europe owe even more than they know.
We will always be grateful for his unstinting and supportive intelligence and kindness when UK EPP was established. We strive to continue to honour the trust he placed in us.
Im tiefstem Trauer.
Similarities have been reported by the media between a passage in Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' and the Home Secretary's assertion at the Conservative Party Conference that: Firms must list their foreign employees, to prevent migrants taking jobs that British people can do.
The Prime Minister in her concluding speech said: too many people in positions of power behave as though they have more in common with international elites than with the people down the road, the people they employ, the people they pass in the street. But if you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word “citizenship” means.
We strongly disagree: and specifically, we value the many rights all British subjects currently enjoy as European Citizens.
Perhaps more to the point, some might detect similarity with one of Hitler's most notorious speeches, that of November 1933 in Berlin:-
By kind permission of the www.tribunemagazine.org, we here reproduce an article by former Conservative MP, Dr Harold Elletson:-
I have never felt so ashamed for having once been a Tory MP as when I heard the Prime Minister address the Conservative Party conference on Sunday.
Wearing a black dress on a stage set painted in the petroleum blue of the night sky, she tolled the bell for the last pretence of pro-European Conservatism.
To raucous cheers from supporters of a party more thoroughly infected by extremist entryism than Labour ever was, Theresa May signalled that Britain is now heading towards a hard Brexit.
In doing so, she sought neither to heal the wounds, nor to soothe the pain of many of her fellow citizens, including those Conservatives who feel a real sense of loss – even, as some have said, of bereavement – at the decision to leave the European Union.
She sought instead to capture the applause of the crowd and to revel in praise from those she should long ago have learned to distrust and despise.
The daughter of the Reverend Hubert Brasier showed that what matters to her is not ensuring that the jobs, businesses and acquired rights of millions of Britons should be protected by ensuring that we stay in the single market but that our fellow Europeans should be prevented from living and working in our country (and that our citizens should lose the right to live and work in theirs).
The foxes have their holes and the birds of the air have their nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.
Perhaps Pastor Horst Kasner, theologian and father of the German chancellor, preached from Saint Luke more often than Theresa’s father. Or maybe Theresa didn’t listen.
Whatever the reason, the Prime Minister has made it clear that preventing foreigners from coming to Britain and working in our health service, teaching in our universities and helping to build our economy is a greater priority for her than protecting our livelihoods and those of our neighbours.
A comparison between the priorities of Theresa May and those of Angela Merkel is not spurious.
German friends, from across the political spectrum, have told me of their pride that, in spite of all the obvious difficulties of providing a home to a million homeless migrants, their Chancellor’s priority was not restricting immigration but solidarity.
Theresa May’s concern, however, is not to weigh the strains and costs of immigration from the European Union against the many undoubted benefits but simply to address the bigotry and irrational fear of those in her party who worry about more black, brown, Polish or Romanian faces in the home counties.
Merkel’s response to Europe’s migration crisis is a testament to the extent to which her country has become a beacon of modern civilisation. May’s shameful prioritising of immigration above the economic well-being of Britain, on the other hand, is an indication of how far backwards her Government intends to take ours.
In dealing with refugees and migrants who were desperate for somewhere to lay their heads, the pastor’s daughter, Angela Merkel, showed that she was straightforward, honest and inspired by the most fundamental Christian virtues.
The vicar’s daughter on the other hand has shown herself merely duplicitous. Submarine May, who spent much of the referendum dodging appeals for her to join the fray, has now revealed that what she said in April was not what she really thought at all. In April she said:
If we… leave the European Union, we risk bringing the development of the single market to a halt, we risk a loss of investors and businesses… Remaining inside the European Union does make us more secure, it does make us more prosperous and it does make us more influential beyond our shores… I believe it is clearly in our national interest to remain a member of the European Union.
The national interest in April is still the national interest in October and, given those remarks, one might reasonably have expected Mrs May at least to do her duty and defend Britain’s position in the single market. But it seems that all along she had shared the dark obsessions and base instincts of the more ignoble parts of her party. It’s not about the economy, it’s about the immigrants, stupid.
Little wonder then that she chose to reward with high office those who won their victory in the referendum as a result of carefully fabricated lies.
Boris Johnson, for example, that great, blubbering blancmange of insincerity, helped to trumpet not only the lie that the NHS could be given the 350 million pounds we supposedly send every week to Brussels, but also the great immigration fabrication – that 70 million Turks were on their way into the European Union.
Theresa rewarded this supreme equivocator-liar with one of the great offices of state. We should have realised that, far from being an attempt to set Boris the Brexiteer up for a fall, the appointment was a mark of her esteem and an indication of the importance she attaches to pulling up Little Britain’s drawbridge at whatever the cost.
The woman who called the Tories the “nasty party” is now the leader of a party in its nastiest incarnation yet. She reserved a special sneer for those who are seeking to challenge her authority, as an unelected Prime Minister, to use antiquated royal powers to trigger Article 50 and set us on the road out of Europe, without a vote in Parliament.
“Come on!” was her condescending rejoinder to those seeking to challenge her in the courts.
Yet the courts are an essential part of our constitutional system and it is entirely right that they should review her authority to act without reference to Parliament, when petitioned to do so by concerned citizens.
The fact that the Prime Minister chose openly to criticise those seeking a legal review of her use of mediaeval powers says a great deal not only about her temperament and her lack of understanding of the issues, but also about her preference for the exercise of personal power over due process.
The most offensive aspect of her speech, however, was the threat it represents to the United Kingdom because of its failure to pay heed to the constitutional position and national interests of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Her reference, in one simple sentence, to removing the UK from the purview of the European Court of Justice has direct implications for the Scottish legal system but is the clearest indication of her evident intention to remove the whole country from the single European market.
That stated intention, adopted without reference to the devolved Governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland will undermine their interests and offend their sensibilities.
The consequence of that one sentence will be the end of the United Kingdom.
It is a sentence which no other British post-war Prime Minister would ever have spoken and it will ultimately be her undoing.
UK EPP has submitted written evidence to two Select Committees.
The first, to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee,(data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/public-administration-and-constitutional-affairs-committee/lessons-learned-from-the-eu-referendum/written/36616.pdf),
outlines our principal concerns relevant to the terms of reference of their Inquiry Lessons Learned from the EU Referendum. We discuss technical deficiencies of the 2016 referendum and propose changes to the Electoral Commission's statutory legal framework.
The second, to the House of Lords European Union Committee, (data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/european-union-committee/brexit-parliamentary-scrutiny/written/39496.pdf),
offers evidence to their Brexit: parliamentary scrutiny Inquiry. We advocate the most comprehensive, rigorous and transparent real-time monitoring by Parliament of the Government's handling of Brexit and suggest that the House of Lords extends particular focus to the UK's Nations, regions and cities.
The not so new Government ... and what some of them said during the Referendum. This is for information: NOT an endorsement!
The Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs
The Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs
The Secretary of State for International Development
The Secretary of State for International Trade
blast from the past
What they promised if UK leaves EU:
What they threatened if UK remains in EU:
Bishop Robert Diocese in Europe - @Bishop_Europe - concludes lecture on Christianity and Europe with John Donne poem
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
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