There has been a noticeable presence of NI Tory correspondence in the letters page of the News Letter in recent weeks. A noticeable theme seems to be portraying the DUP as isolationist, which presumably builds on the UUP`s claims that the DUP are actually `Ulster Nationalists`. Meanwhile the DUP have been attacking the Tory stance on Europe over the past month or so. First we had Ian Paisley in his News Letter column with a piece entitled `European dream has become a British nightmare`, followed by these pieces by Sammy Wilson and Diane Dodds after David Cameron announced there would be no Referendum post ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
“The Conservatives’ cast iron guarantee has become a disposable piece of political tinfoil. This sad turnaround contrasts with the stout opposition which William Hague led against the EU constitution when it was debated in Parliament. I was pleased to be able to participate in a number of those debates and join the Conservatives in demanding that the Labour Party honour its pledge to give the British people their say on the matter.
It gives me no pleasure to criticise the Conservatives for their betrayal since they were the hope which many of us had to reverse the great wrong imposed by the Labour Party. Seeing the way in which both major parties eventually cave into EU pressure I am more convinced that my membership of the ever expanding Better Off Out group at Westminster is justified. The time is coming when in order to preserve our democratic freedoms the UK is going to need to renegotiate its relationship with the EU.
There are good arguments for establishing trading arrangements with other EU countries, there is no case for the political integration which removes our ability to establish our own economic and fiscal policies or decide our own social, agricultural, environmental and industrial policies and our external relations with other countries.”
And then Dr Paisley gets stuck in again post ratification and states:
“The European Union, for the majority of British citizens, is an expensive, faceless bureaucracy and the MEPs they elect to represent them no longer include any stallions, just geldings.
The disempowerment of both the British individual and the British state has led to increased opposition in the UK to the EU. Thus the promise of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was of great importance to all of us. But Brown chickened out and now Cameron has adopted the same waddle, no doubt thankful that the Czechs threw their cape over the puddle to save him a drenching, and Mr Hague, ever his John-the-Baptist, did the necessary fore-running to the media on Tuesday when the news broke that Lisbon was ratified.
Just a few days ago Mr Hague was stamping his foot in Brussels telling the assembled Commission that Mr Blair would in no way be a suitable choice for President, and a few days after that he was over here stamping his other foot and telling us that the ‘New Force’ was the way forward for the Union.
So, by the time Tuesday came around he had only enough energy left to fly a little hand-held union flag while telling us that the grand promise of a referendum was now null and void. Is it any surprise that the two biggest political parties on the mainland no longer inspire? At this rate, UKIP will be saving a fortune on marketing. Their slogan could rightly be changed to ‘We Told You So!’ Over and over again Nigel Earage, their leader, pointed out that Cameron qualified his ‘cast iron’ promise of a referendum by adding he would only do so if the Treaty remained unratified by all member states.
The implications of Lisbon are huge for us. Presented as just another treaty in a long ongoing line, the public are not so soft as to believe that line leads nowhere. It started in Rome, travelled to Maastricht, visited Amsterdam and progressed to Nice. Quite the traveller! As it journeyed it rolled into its makeup many and varied provisions in the social chapter, thereby requiring the agreement of all 27 member states, as these may only be amended unanimously. So when Mr Cameron now promises to repatriate social and employment powers you will know to look heavenward and watch the pigs fly.“