It’s time that the Puritans read Thatcher’s Bruges speech and not just the spin. The ‘it’ that May must get on with is what made Thatcher a great negotiator. Compromise.
19 Oct 2018 at 08:34
Perhaps if politicians read less columnists and understood more history they could sleep easier in their beds and be happier in their own skins. Before Madame settles down for kip tonight she should be reassured by the words of John Major in his memoirs.
“Was there something I could have said, some policy I could have adopted, someone I should have fired, someone I could have hired, a speech, a broadcast, an argument which might have begun my party’s journey back to sanity?…….could a different man have done it?”
Perhaps ‘reassured’ is the wrong word. But she knows that Major’s words ring as true today. All the huffing, puffing, threatening, posturing, pivoting, pizzaing and fictional letter writing amounts to nothing more than wishful thinking. The Tories may have gone postal but there will not be a leadership challenge this side of March.
And, while trying to appease the puritans who want to burn the Remainer heretics at the stake, Madame should heed the words of Rudyard Kipling.
“But we’ve proved it again and again.
That once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane”.
But hark. There is a voice of sanity, of compromise, of such lucidity that it could have only been from that great philosopher and intellectual heavy weight Nadine Dorries. All we need to do is install David Davis as a caretaker Prime Minister, no doubt as Bozo’s John the Baptist, and he can negotiate a good deal.
Well, let’s have a think about this. The Puritan view is that we have to go in with all guns blazing and tell Brussels to accept our deal or else. And they will roll over. It, of course, means that the traitor, Ollie Robbins, and all of his garlic breathing Quislings will have to be sacked and be replaced by er………mmm, and thereby lies the problem. It’s just daft. And so simplistic it’s bloody dangerous. But no doubt over a pizza (it would have to be a Margarita) and a glass of Sanotagen with the ghastly Loathsome it appears breathtakingly easy.
I wonder if any of the puritans have bothered to actually read the words of Margaret Thatcher’s Bruges speech rather than the spin that is conveniently put to it?
“Britain does not dream of some cosy isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community. Our destiny is in Europe as part of the Community….The Community is not an end in itself. Nor is it an institutional device to be constantly modified according to the dictates of some abstract intellectual concept….The European community is a practical means by which Europe can ensure the future prosperity and security of its people…..I want to see us work more closely on the things we can to better together than alone. Europe is stronger when we do. But working more closely together does not require power to be centralised in Brussels or decisions to be taken by an appointed bureaucracy…..we have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain only to see them reimposed at a European level with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels”.
I do not disagree with any of this and in the words of Charles Powell, who wrote the speech, ‘they were hardly the words of a deep rooted opponent of everything European’.
Thatcher’s view of the EU was transactional. In other words, we could work together for the benefit of Britain and Europe. The irony is that Corbyn and MacDonnell despise the EU. They see it as a capitalist club and a brake on their grand socialist designs of propping up failing industries with state subsidies.
To the Puritans ‘compromise’ is a dirty word. They carefully air brush out of history the word that made Thatcher such an effective a negotiator. Let me give you an example of what she said on sovereignty.
“Almost every nation has been obliged by the pressure of the post war world to pool significant areas of sovereignty so as to create more effective political units”.
If these words had been uttered by Madame or John Major, that ghastly little shit Mogg would have called them enemies of the people.
And please, please make an effort to understand the psyche of Europe. The project is deeply emotional. The EU doesn’t want to punish us, but they don’t want us to be the catalyst the breaks the whole thing up. And it’s pretty obvious why. This is what Churchill said in 1947.
“When the Nazi power was broken I was asked what the best advice I could give to my fellow citizens here in this island and across the channel in our ravaged continent. There was no difficulty in answering the question. My counsel to Europe can be given in a single word: Unite!”
And for those who would seek to twist these words let me remind you of what the great man said to his wife after his 1945 defeat.
“If I were ten years younger I might be the first President of the United States of Europe.”
It is poplar to tell Theresa May to ‘just get on with it’. But nobody can pin down what ‘it’ is. Well let me tell you. Take a leaf out of the Thatcher play book. Don’t be afraid to compromise and in the words of Churchill, ‘keep buggering on’. And she might find that the leaning tower of Pizza might just collapse.