Regions debate: Jeffrey Titford MEP
By Jeffrey Titford MEPTHE writing has been on the wall in regard to the 'regionalisation' of our nation for a very long time. Unbeknown to most people, unelected regional assemblies have been quietly installed all over the country.
By Jeffrey Titford MEP
THE writing has been on the wall in regard to the 'regionalisation' of our nation for a very long time. Unbeknown to most people, unelected regional assemblies have been quietly installed all over the country. County and local councillors are serving on them and subsidising them with thousands of pounds of council taxpayers' money. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is gradually stripping councils of their powers and handing them over to these faceless institutions.
A spurious democratic legitimacy is claimed by the proponents of regional assemblies because many of the assembly members are elected officials. However, what they neglect to mention is that they were all elected to serve on councils of one sort or another, not on a regional assembly.
John Prescott went ahead with a referendum on having an elected assembly in the North East. It was massively defeated and many people were fooled into thinking that this was the end of the plans for regional government. However, the North East Regional Assembly simply carried on working in its unelected form.
To fully understand the origins of regional government, one has to know something of the history of the European Union, for it has been pushing regionalism for decades. In 1969, the European Commission made its policy clear, when it stated that the EEC, (as it was then called) or 'the regions' must determine economic and social policy. “Harmonious economic and social policy,” it said, could not be left to the nation states.
Under its Economic and Cohesion Policy, the EU wants Britain broken up into regions, the same ones that are used for the European elections - no coincidence that! They will ultimately report directly to Brussels. In May 2001, a leaflet entitled Major Steps Towards a Europe of the Regions and Cities in an Integrated Continen, was issued by the EU's Committee of the Regions, making the long term plan perfectly clear. (Copies are available from my office). The British Government is engaging in a massive deception by pretending that the whole thing is its own idea.
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In an act of wanton vandalism, we are seeing the systematic dismantling of the whole structure of local government and essential services in Britain. We do not want these gigantic unitary authorities, which will cost more and take local government further away, not closer, as its proponents claim. All of this is being done for political reasons and not for the benefit of the people who actually live in these artificially created regions.
Make no mistake, this is another aspect of the EU's stealthy takeover of our country and it is a sickness we must all fight.
Jeffrey Titford has been a UK Independence Party Euro MP since 1999. He served on the former Clacton urban district council and its successor Tendring district council.