Lines drawn in Blood

Farage told his UKIP followers that Cameron could not be trusted to deliver an In/Out EU referendum. Delusion.  Cameron, not Farage, is the only one in a position to give the country what the UKIP leader promised but with no possibility of achieving.

This might now be Prime Minister Cameron’s clear, if controversial, message to win back trust and enthusiasm for political process on this, more temperate, side of the channel : 

We all know that the political European Union is not working as was originally designed.

But while there is a chance it can get its act together, my urgent task in the next parliament is to bend every sinew to wrestle it into a shape all member nations can recognise as honest, honourable, secure and effective. Frankly, to British eyes, the EU is now fast resembling a monolithic power block which does not function, as it claims, for world peace. While African countries, for instance, are excluded from vital trade deals, many abandoned, desperate nations will struggle to achieve economic viability. Britain deeply regrets that EU bureaucracy denies “outsiders” better opportunities for  prosperity which is the basis of stable societies; and those societies built up of people who will not then need to flee to Europe’s overcrowded shores…

But if all this wider argument falls on tuned-out ears, I will select one crucial pledge which will be a red line for me personally. I will stake my career, and more importantly, my reputation on tabling a deal-breaker for our continuing membership of the EU:

It might surprise many of you as “an initiative too far”, irrelevant, “outside the box”. On the contrary: it is integral to our history.

Britain will again take the lead, this time in setting new standards for animal welfare, starting with a ban on live exports and legislating for licensing at all stages of food processing, including abattoirs.

Many will wonder why, in the context of all the pressing challenges facing politicians, humans should be distracted by suffering of creatures which most of us never have to witness. The reason is that we have moved on in our civilisation. The fact can no longer be ignored that animals have no voice and therefore it is for us to speak up for them, and champion them as their guardians. The fate of all creatures now lies in the hands of mankind and our evolving standards of how we see ourselves. 

Just as a society can be judged by how it treats its elderly and vulnerable, so now we must include defenceless, voiceless creatures in that spectrum of our dependents. Our elderly, our children, our vulnerable and our dumb creatures are mirrors held up to who we are. Britain took the lead in ending slavery when the nation’s conscience awoke to the horrors inflicted by man upon man. Today we extend our responsibilities to the evils inflicted by man on the sentient creatures whose world we dominate. When we become finer people, the world will be a finer place as a reflection of our deeds.

If the EU cannot step up to the plate we will offer them, by banning live export from our shores, and over distances which are not reasonably local, we must deem the institution incapable of higher vision; and therefore it cannot reward our sustained efforts to work within its unwieldy organisation.

To all those who have mistrusted my intentions, please accept this single token as an example of the many other reforms I will be fighting for, in fairness. If my efforts fail, I will not fudge the realities by pretending otherwise. But whether or not your prime minister succeeds in reforming the EU , I promise that the Referendum will be conducted with a new, ground-breaking transparency. It will be an opportunity to showcase to the world how Britain sets ever higher standards of governance for a people who are ever more educated, informed, and  fair-minded.

A United Kingdom of differing poitions will have the opportunity to choose an honest historic direction. Personally, I do not flinch from declaring that two of the most disastrous ideas ever delivered were 1) The Euro and 2) The dismantling of national borders.

Once again, with or without the EU, I pledge that Britain will ban live exports. That’s just for starters. Britain can always achieve more…”

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