The Treaty of Lisbon exposedReaders may recall our recent report of a hidden agenda within the Church of England in support of European integration, a policy that extends to divesting itself of its own bibliographical and documentary heritage in order to remove any sense of national identity and a record of centuries of achievement. It seems this has stimulated a discussion between our patron Lindsay Jenkins and a mildly Eurosceptic vicar.
We reproduce their email correspondence below.
29 April 2008
Dear Mr. Knight,
Thank you for taking an interest in my posting.
I am very sorry to hear that both Archbishop Temple and Bishop Bell are today revered in the Church of England. Indeed I am surprised but no doubt you are in touch with a broad grouping.
My own family tell me that Archbishop Temple was very far from universally revered while he was alive; many were appalled – even at a time when some were thoroughly hoodwinked by Stalin.
What was thought through in 1940 (and the thinking started a lot earlier than that) is what we now see in the Lisbon treaty – the EU in all its intrusiveness.
The end of the nation state was exactly what Archbishop Temple and others were working towards. He was not proposing a cosy federation of friends.
The aim was political union and that was exemplified by the first serious attempt with the help of a beneficial crisis in June 1940 – Anglo-Franco Union.
An Oxford lawyer, Professor Zimmern, wrote a detailed constitution of the proposed combination of France and the UK into one country and it had been agreed with sympathetic French in Paris in 1939. But it was stopped by the French government - cowering in Vichy and selling out to the Germans. You may remember the exchange:
General Weygand leading the defeatists said, ‘In three weeks England will have her neck rung like a chicken.’ (Churchill later replied, ‘Some chicken - some neck!’). Jean Ybarnegaray exclaimed, ‘Better be a Nazi province. At least we know what that means’.
An even more comprehensive constitution (similar to the treaty of Lisbon) to include most of Europe was written by an Australian solicitor, Ronald Mackay, who had settled in Britain in 1934, building on constitutional work begun by Lionel Curtis, and the American lawyer, Professor A H Goodhart of University College, Oxford.
That constitution was presented to a 1940 conference in Oxford organised by the Fabian Society with which Archbishop Temple was most closely associated.
On the World Council of Churches (WCC), if you have not already read it I found the Memoirs of the Rev Dr. Willem Visser ‘t Hooft illuminating: he was the first Secretary-General.
Many people over the last decades have not realised what was creeping up, because generations of politicians have either not read the texts (Ken Clarke), not believed them or have deliberately lied.
Should you be interested I have written a book on who has created the EU and why called Britain Held Hostage, The Coming Euro-Dictatorship.
With kind regards
From Rev. R. Knight
Subject: Re: THE CHURCH & ITS SUPPORT FOR THE EU - Another Letter to Bishop of Chichester
29 April 2008
I’m glad you are all vigilant about misrepresentations of what is going on with the Lisbon Treaty. I was dismayed to read a letter in the “Times” which seemed to imply that the Church of England supported Lisbon.
That cannot be so for the reasons I included in my letter to the Bishop of St Alban’s.
I must say, however, that I do not at all agree with Lindsay Jenkins and, as a clergyman in the Church of England, I must suggest that it would be
counterproductive to use his letter as a template. William Temple and George Bell were good men - no doubt flawed in some respects like all of us - and are revered in the modern Church of England. Any decent person would want to ensure that nothing like the two world wars could never happen again and it is not unreasonable to explore the possibility that leagues or federations of nations might be an answer. Bell and Temple ought not to demonised for trying. Neither can they be held responsible for the EU’s development into a superstate which wants to intrude into every area of our lives. No-one would have foreseen this in the late 1940s. Indeed, part of the case for a referendum now is that most people did not foresee how the EU would turn out even as late as the 1970s. I’ll paste in my letter to the Bishop of St Alban’s to offer alternative arguments to use with the bishops.
The Bishop of St. Albans
Letter from Rev. R. Knight to Rt. Rev. Christopher Herbert, Bishop of St. Albans
2 March 2008
Dear Bishop Christopher,
I was dismayed to read your letter in today’s “Times” suggesting that the Church of England supports the Lisbon Treaty. I should be very surprised if the Church of England has an official view on this subject or if there is any one view of the Lisbon Treaty to which Anglican Christians might be expected to subscribe.
In fact, I believe, there are two issues. Is the Lisbon Treaty a good thing? Ought there to be a referendum in the UK on the Lisbon Treaty?
The answer to the latter question is obvious. Nearly every MP at present in the House of Commons was elected on a manifesto promise to hold a referendum on the European Constitution. Virtually everybody, who has any expertise, in the matter agrees that the Lisbon Treaty is effectively the same thing as the constitution. MPs have broken a promise in refusing a referendum. Christians must condemn that (Psalm 15).
There ought, therefore, to be a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. If we were given a referendum, I am sure that sincere Christians could with a good conscience vote either way. There is a strong case to be made for the EU and for strengthening its organisation and administration and you have made an important contribution to that case in today’s “Times”. One can also argue, of course, that the EU is a club of rich western nations which harms poorer parts of the world by its trade policies. One can argue that it is too intrusive into the life of its citizens. One can argue that there is a considerable democratic deficit in the EU. And one can also argue, that, while any decent person cannot but rejoice in the fact that nations which were deadly enemies twice in C20 are now allies and partners, it is wrong to overlook the fact that our membership of the EU has been to the disadvantage of Commonwealth countries and others who supported us in the fight against German expansionism under the Kaiser and the horrors of Nazism and Fascism. Christians are 100% committed to the reconciliation of enemies, but there is absolutely nothing in the Gospel that allows us to betray our former friends.
So, Christians, including Anglican Christians, should continue to demand a referendum on Lisbon and could vote either way in such a referendum without doing an injustice to their Christian conscience.
Rector of Cuxton and Halling,
Diocese of Rochester
John Hind, Bishop of Chichester
28 April 2008
Rt Rev John Hind
Bishop of Chichester
c/o House of Lords
My Lord Bishop,
In your recent speech in the House of Lords supporting the Lisbon Treaty, you described one of your predecessors, Bishop Bell, as 'one of the greatest Europeans of the last century'.
Bishop Bell was indeed of that inner group which was seminal in creating what is now the European Union. But I am not sure that Bishop Bell's views are worthy of the eulogy, which you gave him in the House of Lords; unless that is you are either a Communist or a Communist sympathiser and that I doubt very much.
As you may know, Bishop Bell was very close to Archbishop Temple, widely known throughout most of his adult life as a 'radical Bolshevik' and fervent admirer of the USSR. Bell joined Temple in many political ventures including the founding of Federal Trust in 1940 by an inner group of the Fabian Society.
Bell, when Dean of Canterbury, also helped Temple (then Archbishop of York) to launch the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 1937. Temple had for many years campaigned and manoeuvred to lead the Protestant Churches away from a spiritual role to a much more political one, and a very left wing one at that, and achieved it with the WCC.
I quote from one of my own books :
"Thirty-five clergymen attended the 1937 meeting at Westfield College, London University and Temple hoodwinked most of them. Only two bishops voted against the motion to set up the WCC because they guessed its purpose was political, not spiritual. It was: Temple and Bell had deliberately manipulated the meeting."
Both Bishop Bell and Archbishop Temple were no friends of the nation state and believed that nations cause war and should be totally subsumed into a federal Europe, a federal Europe that would echo the USSR.
I am sorry that you have apparently so misunderstood the nature of the European Union not only to praise it, but also to praise your own predecessor, Bishop Bell, who wished to hijack the Church of England for political ends, ends which many then and now find deeply distasteful and who worked to end the independent sovereignty of the United Kingdom.
Your present position, like that of Bishop Bell, does of course leave the role of the Church of England in a no-mans-land: no England, no Church.
I do hope that you will review the nature of the European Union and support not only the Church of England but also the independence of the United Kingdom.
Anything but ordinary
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.
Marcus Tullius Cicero