Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, responds to Denis MacShane’s challenge to David Cameron over the EU, and asks why he didn’t keep his Polish surname if he is so pro-integration.
Denis MacShane yesterday paid his customary homage to the European Union, in an Observer article entitled "David, the EU’s here to stay, so join in". The whole inference of the article suggests that David
Cameron and the Conservative Party are opposed to the EU and want to do
everything possible to destabilise the progress of the Constitution for
political gain. The truth is that the Conservative party feels
passionately about our country and cannot allow something like the new
Constitution to go ahead without a fight as we see it as a direct
threat to the sovereignty of Parliament and our British way of life.
I am the Chairman of the National Campaign for a Referendum and we have many MPs
as members coming from a variety of Parties. I applaud the Labour MP
for Luton North Kelvin Hopkins who has joined together with Frank Field
MP and Austin Mitchell MP. These are men of integrity and principle as
their love for their country will not be bowed by Labour whips nor the
clunking fist of Gordon Brown. I urge other Labour MPs to join our
group and fight for our sovereignty.
I have a challenge for Mr MacShane as well if he is so fond of the EU why can’t he revert back to his real Polish name of Matjaszuk. He would have a little more credibility in my eyes if he held on to his Polish roots and used his real name. Before I entered Parliament many people urged me to change my name or at least to anglicize it and went further by saying that I would never be elected with such an unpronounceable name. I refused to change my name and the good people of Shrewsbury voted for me to represent them in Parliament. British people are extremely fair and will give outsiders a chance that is why despite their concerns they have continued to eschew the withdrawal policies of parties like UKIP. Their tolerance is however now being tested. As a 35 year old my generation have never had the opportunity of a referendum on the continuing outflow of power to Brussels surely there must come a time when a subsequent generation to Ted Heath is allowed to either accept or reject the ongoing haemorrhaging of power to Brussels. Mr Heath signed our entry into the EEC on the day I was born 24th January 1972 things have changed dramatically in those 35 years and I want to have the opportunity of accepting or rejecting the ongoing federalist agenda of the EU.
Denis says that "Today, Labour has it’s anti-Europeanism under control". That comment is in itself indicative of the way in which the Labour leadership wants to gag their MPs and silence any debate on this matter. When I have spoken in the Chamber during European Union debates the Tory benches far outweigh those on the Labour side and hardly any Labour MPs dare to speak in such debates for fear of upsetting the new Emperor. What sort of a way is that for Parliament to function when issues of such fundamental importance as a constitution are rammed through without proper debate.
Mr MacShane goes on to say "If listening to the people equals referendums, why not one on immigration or prison sentences". The simply answer to that is that the government has never promised the people of this country a referendum on immigration nor one on prison sentences but it clearly promised the people a referendum on the EU Constitution in it’s 2005 manifesto. To break that pledge will just add to the weighty file of broken promises by Labour and only fuel the cynicism of people to politicians and what they say.
He continues his article by stating that the new treaty is "a quarter of the length of the dead constitution" which of course is highly misleading. The text may be shorter but the content is about 90% to 95% of the original treaty in it’s proposals and what it would mean to our sovereignty. The fact that some words have been trimmed and the second drafting of the text has led to improved and more concise wording does not mean that the basic ingredients have been changed.
He cited Digby Jones the former CBI chief and now Lord Jones of Birmingham as having changed his mind having been a "critic of the Constitution but now welcoming the new treaty when talking to a Commons Select Committee". Is this the same Digby who wanted to stand for the Conservatives and now has thrown away his concerns over the treaty having been made a Lord and joined the Labour government. To cite Lord Jones is a total farce of course he is not going to critique the new Constitution, he is not going to bite the hand that has just given him a peerage. Has Denis forgotten about Ministerial Common responsibility?
The article towards the end mentions the Poles. What it fails to do however is mention the disgraceful way in which the Poles were bullied by the Germans at the last major meeting of EU heads over their concerns on voting rights. The Poles tried to hold out against the brute force of the German Chancellor trying to bulldoze them into submission. All Mr Blair did is to stand back and let this happen. Why bother helping a country far away in her struggle to uphold her political integrity over genuine and passionately held views on the ability of small countries to challenge the will of the Franco-German axis? Well the reason we should have helped is that we must move the project forward at the pace of the slowest member to make sure that a genuine and strong foundation is created for the EU to develop not one rammed through and cobbled together in the face of real opposition and concerns as this will ultimately be built on sand and collapse.
Mr MacShane finishes his article by suggesting that the few numbers to have signed the petition for a referendum in the Daily Telegraph and other newspapers must show that this issue is not somehow important to people. I have not signed the Daily Telegraph petition but I want a referendum as do millions of other British citizens. The reason we have not signed it is largely because many of us know how imperious the Labour government are to these things. We know best and will do as we see fit. Many people will not sign the petition because they know that Labour is not listening. They didn’t listen to a million people marching through London against the war in Iraq so why should they listen to a newspaper tally of signatures.
One thing is for sure. If the British people allow Mr Brown a mandate of his own they will be signing away the last chance we have to retain our independence and our sovereignty.