Who Really Runs the World? Part 5

The Fabian Society and New Labour

There is occasional mention of the Fabian Society in the media – usually in connection with some report or other. However, many people have never heard of it, and of those that have, most probably have little idea of what it stands for. Significantly, Blair and most of his cabinet colleagues past and present including Straw, Mandelson, Brown, Mowlam and others are members of the centre left socialist intellectual Fabian Society.

Fabianism believes in what it describes as “the democratic control of society in all its activities.” The key word is control – whereas most people see democracy as based on the freedom and liberty of the individual, Fabian socialism places the emphasis on control of the individual – a sort of “we know what is best” attitude. It sees this as being best achieved through some form of global government, a goal it shares with Communism, (which is also based on centralised control). Some time ago an elderly friend of mine told me how she had attended Fabian Society meetings in the 1930s, and she confirmed that world government was what was discussed even then. In short, those who adhere to Fabian philosophy, seek a highly centralised power base – the elimination of national sovereignty is fundamental to the process. The emblem of the Fabian Society is the tortoise, which represents slow but steady progress. The Labour Party has always included Fabians, but Blair’s Labour now seems riddled with them. This political philosophy, widespread throughout the so called centre left parties of Europe must explain so much about how and why the EU has developed in the way that it has and why our government is so committed to the single European state. It has also had influence within the U.S. Democratic party. Members of the Fabian Society founded the London School of Economics, which has traditionally ensured that budding socialists receive a thorough grounding in traditional economics and monetary policy!

Fabianism would appear to have many adherents on the staff of the centre left newspapers such as the Independent, the Guardian and the Observer that have generally been very supportive of the EEC/EU over the years, not to mention the BBC which has singularly failed over the years to disclose the reality of the EEC/EU to the public.

What Blair has described as the “third way” is in fact the coming together of Fabian socialism and the free market global economy. New Labour represents the radical restructuring of the party and its policies to fit in with the “global economy”, modelled on the U.S. Democratic party. New Labour now presides over the growing tendency towards short time, short-term lower paid jobs. Its leaders openly fraternise and seek favour with corporate interests from the City to the far east – it has unashamedly become the new party of big business, on which it now relies for a substantial part of its funding, and whose interests it does everything possible to promote – e.g. genetically modified crops. It has distanced itself from trade unions from which few parliamentary candidates are now drawn. Policy is made at the top, its traditional commitments to employment, local authorities, pensions and benefits have all fallen by the wayside. Spending is kept under tight control and privatisation continues apace. Services in health care, education, care of the elderly and many other services traditionally provided by the state and local authorities, are all up for grabs by the big operators in the private sector under New Labour’s “private finance initiatives”. [1]

The European Union – model for the future?

“Let’s stop pretending that the European Union is the product of some starry-eyed internationalism dedicated to peace and harmony….” Spectre magazine

The European Union also represents the coming together of Fabian socialism and the corporate free market economy. The agenda is centralisation of power, ultimately leading to some form of global government. The destruction of sovereign nation states is clearly vital if that is to be achieved, and anyone who has examined the reality of European Union can be under no illusion that that is what is happening to the member states of the EU. It is very likely as a result of secret discussions such as those of the Bilderberg group, to which only a select few are party, that cross party consensus throughout Europe on the creation of the EU was established, ensuring that no choice on the EU has been offered to the people of Europe. The sudden imposition of a gigantic totalitarian police state, which is what the EU is becoming, would never be accepted. The key has been a gradual step by step stealth approach so that when people finally realise what the game is, it is too late. To get us to support membership initially, we were told it was just a free trade bloc entailing no loss of sovereignty – now rapidly we are being confronted with political union leading to a single federal state, with a mass of regulations and directives impinging on every aspect of our lives emanating from unelected bodies. The Maastricht Treaty is very complex, and has to be read in conjunction with the Treaty of Rome and the Single European Act in order to make sense. The Amsterdam Treaty also has to be read in conjunction with the Maastricht Treaty complicating matters even more. There is almost no possibility that any M.Ps or even government ministers in any member state will have read them – they simply wouldn’t have the time. How many of them really know what they entail? What information was given to our M.Ps. when they were debated in Parliament? The Acts of Parliament incorporating them into our law simply refer to the treaties as a whole, and are only two pages long…

The EU may be well be the global model for the future, so let’s look at it closely – first the major institutions: [2]

The Council of Ministers, which meets behind closed doors is the policy making institution of the EU, backed by the powerful Committee of Permanent Representatives – a body of appointed paid civil servants. The make up of the Council depends on what is being discussed – foreign ministers discuss foreign policy, agriculture ministers farming, the Common Agricultural Policy etc. Decisions are made unanimously, or by “qualified majority”, which is being extended by each successive treaty. Its individual members are generally, as in the case of Britain, elected members of national parliaments, but as a body, it is not answerable to any elected institution nor can it be disbanded or dismissed. The process is one of reaching agreements at meetings, and then what has been agreed being implemented by legislation or otherwise across the EU by governments of member states. It has been and continues to be a very important method of developing the EU and its policy. It is also employed at the six monthly EU summits attended by the heads of governments of member states.

The European Commission also meets in secret, made up presently of 20 appointed members, 1 to 2 per state. It alone initiates EU legislation by turning policy decisions of the Council of Ministers into legislative “proposals” which eventually become “Community acts” in the form of directives and regulations binding on member states, whose elected national parliaments must implement them forthwith. It is backed up by about 13000 appointed paid civil servants. Commissioners are forbidden by the Treaty of Rome to represent their national interests – they must promote and represent the interests of the Union. (whatever they may be – their own and those of big business perhaps which in practice has easy access to the Commission, not readily granted to anyone else.)

European Parliament – the only elected institution in the EU, with 626 members of which Britain returns 87. In reality this is no more than an assembly – it cannot even initiate legislation, (it can only “ask” the Commission to do so) and it has no control over money supply or taxation. It often just gives opinions or only has the right to be “consulted”. Even where its approval is required for legislative proposals, a very complex procedure involving strict time limits favours legislative proposals going through unchallenged. In practice the parliament is a farce – the number of legislative proposals in the form of regulations and directives is so great that MEPs have to vote on large numbers of them at a time with little or no knowledge as to what the proposals involve. Debate is virtually non-existent – and with strict time limits of just a few minutes imposed on how long an individual MEP can speak, this barely even qualifies as a talking shop. Sitting in Brussels and Strasbourg it is hopelessly inaccessible as far as the electors are concerned. Once elected, an MEP’s role is basically to promote the EU for which he or she is well paid with lavish expenses.

European Central Bank – The ECB is run by appointees, who are completely “independent” (they do not take any instructions from people such as members of the European Parliament who have been elected, or any other EU institution or member state government, none of whom are permitted to attempt to influence it.). They come from private banking interests and meet behind closed doors with complete control over the direction of European economic and monetary policy and interest rates, and are able, on their own, to issue regulations and directives carrying the same force as those issued through the community legislative procedures. These people are totally unanswerable to anyone.

This is where the real power lies. For those states that sign up to the single currency, the ECB will determine monetary policy and set interest rates that control the amount of money and credit in circulation, and thus the general level of economic activity, at a given time throughout those member states which adopt the Euro.

What it decides will determine levels of direct and indirect taxation, spending in every area of economic and social activity, wage deals, government borrowing, the budgets to be allocated to the newly created regional assemblies etc. National Central Banks become an integral part of the European System of Central Banks and must act in accordance with its instructions. It therefore has the power to controls cycles of “boom” and “bust”. Its regulations and directives do not require the approval or consent of any of the other institutions, which are obliged to recognise its “independence”, by not seeking to influence it. The only control is a judicial one exercised by the European Court of Justice which is limited to deciding whether or not it has acted in accordance with it’s very wide powers!

The granting of full independence, and control of monetary policy to the Bank of England by the Labour Government immediately after it was elected, was essential to prepare for the handing over of power to the ECB and the incorporation of the Bank of England into the European System of Central Banks.

The Euro is fundamental to the continuing creation of a single European state. Our government, despite what some ministers may say publicly, is almost certainly ideologically committed to getting us in. The so called 5 economic tests that have to be met are really just a smoke screen to conceal the political objective, and to allow time to try to convince people that the single currency should be adopted. The government will try to avoid calling a referendum on the issue until they are satisfied they will get a yes vote. Even the protocol in the Masstricht Treaty that permitted Britain to remain outside the single currency is something of a sham, because we are already committed to managing our economic and monetary policy for the benefit of the community as a whole, and with a view to entry into full monetary union, no matter how far in the future that may be. What is the difference between running policy in readiness for going in and actually being in? It certainly means public spending, taxation, public sector borrowing and public sector wage deals are being tightly controlled to comply with the so called “convergence criteria” for joining the Euro. On the economic front, the shots are called by big business and multinational corporations, through organisations such as the European Round Table of Industrialists, whose founder Etienne Davignon chaired the Bilderberg Group meeting in 2000. So many new regulations seem designed to force small business people right out of business.

European Court of Justice – (NOT to be confused with the European Court of Human Rights which is separate and not an EU institution – yet) Its job is to interpret the rules of the treaties and all community legislative acts, regulations and directives made under them. Since the only law it applies is that contained in the treaties, which is designed to further European integration, it is essentially a political court, whose decisions and interpretations are intended to make sure member states give effect to that process.

There are other general features that need looking at as well:

Europol – A Europe wide police force known as Europol is being created. It has very wide powers but is not answerable to any elected body. It reports to a special committee appointed by the Council of Ministers. It exists ostensibly to fight crime, but it has a much wider function. Not only will it collect and store information on known and suspected criminals, but also on anyone’s political and religious beliefs and activities. The building up of large databases is specifically provided for under the Maastricht Treaty. Europol has recently been empowered to form its own anti terrorist squad with access to information held by MI5 and MI6. All Europol personnel are immune from prosecution.

Corpus Juris – The European Commission and the European Parliament are pressing for the imposition of a uniform legal system throughout the EU known as Corpus Juris. If fully implemented in Britain, all criminal prosecutions would be heard solely by judges or other professional paid officials appointed by the state. Trial by jury would be phased out, to be replaced by a single judge sitting alone. Recent attempts to get legislation through Parliament reducing those cases where an accused can demand trial by jury, should be seen as the start of this process. In addition a Home Office report has recommended that lay magistrates should be replaced by stipendiary (i.e. professional paid) magistrates, another measure that clearly fits in with the Corpus Juris plan. In both cases the government claims the measures are simply in the interests of efficiency and cost effectiveness. The involvement of ordinary people in the judicial process as magistrates and jurors is fundamental to the system of justice employed through much of the English speaking world, and goes back hundreds of years – it is designed to protect the citizen against the risk of arbitrary or malicious prosecution, and is a healthy feature in any democracy. Corpus Juris would also introduce detention without trial, since under this continental system, a person suspected of an offence can be arrested and held in custody for a period of six months or more, pending such further investigations and enquiries as the public prosecutor sees fit, before being brought before a court. This is radically different from our own system of Habeas Corpus (which has its origins as far back as Magna Carta of 1215), whereby an accused person must be brought before a court within a very short period of arrest, and evidence against the arrested person produced. The Anti –Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 rushed through parliament in the aftermath of September 11th includes provisions enabling the Home Secretary to make changes such as these to our court system, by statutory instrument, rather than by a bill requiring full parliamentary debate. A European public prosecutor has already been appointed and will have authority in Britain and throughout the EU, initially only in respect of cases involving fraud against the EU budget (e.g. people who make dishonest claims for EU grants and subsidies etc.) this is now being extended via Eurojust, a new agency which will have powers of investigation in all EU member states.

European Army – Under the new Nice treaty, an old European defence pact known as Western European Union is to be incorporated into the European Union itself. It will lay the foundation for a European Army, hailed by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer as another pillar in the process of European unification. The first steps to create the European army were taken at the EU Helsinki summit in December 1999, where agreement was reached to set up a so called “rapid reaction force” of 60,000 soldiers complete with command, planning and intelligence bases. It is likely to have an offensive role rather like NATO adopted and put into practice in Yugoslavia and Kosovo in 1999. More significantly, French PM Lionel Jospin has stated that “by pooling its armies, Europe will be able to maintain internal security, as well as prevent conflicts throughout the world..” Indeed, Foreign Office sources indicate that the setting up of a 5000 strong internal emergency reaction force was approved at the EU summit at Feira, Portugal in June 2000. In many parts of the EU, it is normal practice already for riot police, with tear gas and water cannon, to be used to confront even peaceful protests

Banning Political Parties? – In April 2000, the European Parliament approved the Dimitrakopoulos-Leinen Report, article 6 of which makes provision for the setting up of EU wide political parties. However, this is subject to the proviso that “parties that do not respect human rights and democratic principles as set out in the Treaty of Rome shall be the subject of suspension proceedings in the European Court of Justice”. Despite the rhetoric in its preamble, the Treaty of Rome is not based on democratic principles but rather on European integration. Is the framework being created that any party opposed to the EU such as the United Kingdom Independence Party, could be subjected to such proceedings? The banning of political parties characterised the former Soviet Union. They never abolished elections – the ruling Communist party simply outlawed all other parties as “fascist” or “counter revolutionary” and maintained itself in power that way!

EU Constitution etc. The Treaty of Amsterdam, signed in October 1997, provided for the removal of border controls between EU member states, although Britain has a temporary opt out on this. Plans exist for a written constitution for the EU incorporating the existing treaties – the Nice Treaty declares that this will be presented to the next intergovernmental conference in 2004. The last intergovernmental conference that produced the Nice Treaty laid the foundations for this under the guise of a charter of fundamental rights – this may sound great… until you realise that the only rights you get are the ones specifically mentioned in the charter – and that under article 51 all rights can be suspended if “the interests of the Union” so require. This along with the possible future replacement of the Council of Ministers by a president with power to appoint a cabinet would ensure that member states’ governments would no longer have any involvement in EU policy making, or be able to amend the treaties or a future EU constitution. The Nice Treaty also provides the framework for the enlargement of the EU from the present 15 states up to 27 – mainly the former communist states of eastern Europe and some of the old soviet republics.

Devolution – There’s been lots of spin and hype about bringing power closer to people by devolving power to Scotland and Wales. The devolved assemblies have very limited powers in practice – they have no revenue raising powers such as the council tax raised by county councils. Fixed sums are allocated to them annually by central government. What they can spend the money on is also limited to health, education and certain aspects of economic development. The devolution plan is fundamental to the ongoing creation of the single European state, which may explain why our government launched such massive campaigns in favour of a “yes” vote in the referenda for Scottish and Welsh devolution. The 1998 “Good Friday” agreement, presented as a breakthrough in the Northern Ireland peace process, was a vital part of the same plan, because, crucially, it set up an assembly for Northern Ireland.

Under the umbrella of the Committee of the Regions (set up by the Maastricht Treaty) the EU is divided into 111 regions of which Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are each a region. England is divided into 9 regions and the plan is for these regions also to have assemblies – John Prescott is a vigorous promoter of these. The first English assembly (Greater London) is already in place. The remaining eight would complete the EU pattern. Their forerunners, the regional development agencies, have already been set up. These assemblies will play no part in the EU legislative process – they too simply decide how a budget allocated to them will be spent in limited areas such as health and education. Their voice in the EU will be confined to 2 members each appointed to the Committee of the Regions which is only consulted by the other institutions in very limited areas of legislation.

In 1998, Tory MEP Roger Helmer was told seriously by a fellow Tory MEP that in 10 years that Britain’s national government would be gone, in its place the U.K. would be divided into 12 regions governed from Brussels. With major constitutional and law making powers being transferred to the federal institutions of the EU, and limited spending powers being devolved to the regions, elected national parliaments are already becoming just “clearing houses” for passing on EU made policy, rules and regulations – part of major global moves intended to deprive democratic structures of any real power and substance. [3]

Some people defend the EU saying without it we would all end up at war. This is nonsense – it is thanks to such things as modern communications, television and travel that have brought us together in ways that were impossible 50 plus years ago, making it highly unlikely that we would ever fight each other again as in the past. They also ignore the fact that most wars in the world today are being fought within states with totalitarian regimes which refuse to accept minority and individual rights to run their own affairs. This is the pointer for the future – conflict in Europe with the grass roots rising up against undemocratic centralised control that the EU, especially an enlarged EU represents… Indeed mass protests are already starting to take place throughout the EU as more and more people see their livelihoods being sacrificed on the altar of what is becoming a banker corporate dictatorship.

NAFTA, APEC and “DOLLARISATION”

A similar process as we have with the European Union is now beginning to take place on the other side of the Atlantic. The embryonic North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is presently comprised only of the U.S. Canada and Mexico. It is presented at this stage as no more than a free trade bloc, as was the EU’s forerunner the Common Market. However, Bill Clinton spoke latterly of expanding it to take in central and south American states and extending its powers. All central and South American countries are already tied into at least one of several free trade blocs of which Mercosur is the largest – these seem likely to be merged into NAFTA in due course. A vastly expanded NAFTA to be known as the Free Trade Area of the Americas was the central theme at the “Summit of the Americas” held in Quebec City, Canada in April 2001. This whole process is backed by George W. Bush and the New York based “Council of the Americas” comprised of bankers and big corporate bosses.

Although there are rules and arbitration procedures and an enforcement tribunal, as yet NAFTA does not have formal institutions like the EU’s. However, in addition a process of “dollarisation” is afoot. There has been serious debate in Canada and Argentina to scrap their currencies and adopt the U.S. dollar instead, and Ecuador and Panama have already done so. Ultimately, a single currency for the Americas (the US dollar), like a single currency for the EU, is a probable objective in certain corporate banking and government circles.

A third major bloc is starting to be formed, namely the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation zone (APEC) – within that region is AFTA (the Asian Free Trade Area.) which covers ten states in south east Asia. Are these the forerunners of “the American Union” and “the Asia-Pacific Union”?

1 For details of the full extent to which new Labour has become a part of the corporate agenda see “Captive State” by George Monbiot and “Prawn Cocktail Party” by Robin Ramsay – address note 3 above.
2 This summary of the powers of the EU institutions was compiled by me from having studied the texts of the Treaties of Rome and Maastricht and the Single European Act.
3 Two good sources of information on what’s going on in the EU corridors of power are Eurofacts, P.O. Box 9984 London W12 8WZ, and Facts Figures & Phantasies, from Independent Media Digest & Commentary, 20 Ramillies Road, London W14 1JN.