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March 12, 2011

Daniel Hannan: "A European's Warning to America"

Topics: Police Brutality and Corruption

Daniel Hannan, Member of the European Parliament and certainly the most popular Englishman in conservative and libertarian circles, has written a must-read opinion piece extolling the virtues of America, and the dangers of this country's road to Europeanization. In his piece, he sees America under the Obama administration heading down the path of Europe, surrendering that which makes America great: its freedoms. All of which, England has itself surrendered to European bureaucrats and policies (hat tip - Jennifer Cubachi):

Daniel Hannan on The perils of following (the UK) toward greater regulation, higher taxes and centralized power:

[...] the economic data are pitilessly clear. For the past 40 years, Europeans have fallen further and further behind Americans in their standard of living. Europe also has become accustomed to a high level of structural unemployment. Only now, as the U.S. applies a European-style economic strategy based on fiscal stimulus, nationalization, bailouts, quantitative easing and the regulation of private-sector remuneration, has the rate of unemployment in the U.S. leaped to European levels.

Why is a European politician urging America to avoid Europeanization? As a Briton, I see the American republic as a repository of our traditional freedoms. The doctrines rooted in the common law, in the Magna Carta, and in the Bill of Rights found their fullest and most sublime expression in the old courthouse of Philadelphia. Britain, as a result of its unhappy membership in the European Union, has now surrendered a large part of its birthright. But our freedoms live on in America.

Which brings me to my country's present tragedy. The fears that the American patriot leaders had about a Hanoverian tyranny were exaggerated. The United Kingdom did not develop into an absolutist state. Power continued to pass from the Crown to the House of Commons.

Until now. Nearly two and a half centuries after the Declaration of Independence, the grievances it adumbrated are belatedly coming true. Colossal sums are being commandeered by the government in order to fund bailouts and nationalizations without any proper parliamentary authorization. Legislation happens increasingly through what are called standing orders, a device that allows ministers to make laws without parliamentary consent -- often for the purpose of implementing EU standards.

How aptly the British people might today apply the ringing phrases of the Declaration of Independence against their own rulers, who have "combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws."

So you can imagine how I feel when I see the U.S. making the same mistakes that Britain has made: expanding its government, regulating private commerce, centralizing its jurisdiction, breaking the link between taxation and representation, abandoning its sovereignty.

You deserve better, cousins. And we expect better.

Read Hannan's entire piece here ...

Posted by Richard at March 12, 2011 10:21 AM

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