Congratulations to the European Union on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Amid all the bile that is hurled at the EU, we should never forget that its founding purpose was to prevent general European war after two devastating conflicts that had ripped the continent apart.


However I sometimes feel that relying on that justification to support the EU is a bit desperate, the last refuge of a pro-European who has run out of other arguments. So let’s look at much more up to date evidence that the EU is doing a good job whilst most British politicians are engaged in a pathetic race to prove their Euroscepticism to a deluded British public.


Let’s take the Home Secretary’s announcement that she is considering pulling the UK out of European police and justice co-operation. The European arrest warrant is at the heart of this with Euro sceptics claiming that we are in danger of being lifted off the streets at the whim of some Belgian or Bulgarian policeman and left to languish in a foreign jail for years.


How the warrant works may need looking at but it, along with a whole range of other measures have been highly successful in breaking up paedophile rings, arresting terrorists, deporting dangerous criminals and catching fraudsters who thought they were safe from British justice as the sunned themselves on the Costa del Crime.


Those pressing for this grand assertion of British independence from the grip of Europe should ponder the successes of the warrant in arresting Hussein Osman one of the failed 21/7 London bombers or more recently the arrest of Jeremy Forrester the teacher wanted for alleged child abduction having run off with a 15 year old pupil.


We need to work wholeheartedly within the European Union and stop this ridiculous half in half out nonsense. Take the current discussions on bank regulation. Do we suppose that just because we are not in the Euro zone, our banks won’t be affected. They trade in Euros all the time. Our voice must be heard to make a difference.


Despite this Tory and Labour politicians grow increasingly frightened of UKIP. David Cameron and Ed Miliband both know withdrawal from the EU would be disastrous for Britain but fear that is what would happen if the public was offered an in/out referendum.


So examine the Prime Minister’s remarks on a referendum very carefully. What he is likely to offer is a referendum on what concessions he can get on social and employment law, probably after the General Election.


You can predict that he will get very little from the other 26 countries on the basis that we all have to abide by the same rules in a free market. The press will criticise the package, the voters will vote to reject Cameron’s package……and then what?


It is a disgraceful con and shame on Labour for flirting with the possibility of offering a similar referendum.


We are in the EU, let’s use our influence to reform it and away with this endless boring argument about leaving.




I went to the memorial service for Lord Alf Morris who died this summer. Born into Manchester poverty he was Wythenshawe’s MP for over thirty years. His crowning achievement was the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act which has transformed the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Few politicians make a real difference, Alf was one.