Undemocratic by design and in practice, institutionally corrupt, unaccountable - that is the reality of the European Union. Arrogant, ignorant, frequently dishonest, self interested, lacking in any principle - that is the reality of the majority of the British political class.
It is obvious that most of the electorate know these things to be true, either because they have studied the facts, or because their instincts unerringly tell them that if something looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is a duck.
Yet, although supporting Eurorealists in European elections the vast majority of voters constantly turn back to the three main parties at General elections, despite the obvious fact that the latter are merely three branches of the one tree when it comes to policy on the EU.
As we reach the endgame, when either we rebel against the Europhiles and take the first steps on the path to withdrawal, or we succumb and abandon any idea of regaining our independence, the need for the electorate to take a stand has become critical.
There is a poem and a book which not only remind us of the fact that we have so far failed to draw the line in the sand, but which point to the fact that we must do so before it is too late.
The poem is 'The Secret People' by G K Chesterton, which contains lines that can be applied directly to the situation in which we now find ourselves:
"They have given us into the hand of new, unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet, Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget."
The book is "Still to Decide" by Enoch Powell, published in 1972 and my copy of which he kindly signed in 1995. Whatever one may think of his views on other matters there is no doubt that he spoke for the British people when it came to the European project. He analyses the different aspects, economic, military and political of the proposed European Union and makes clear that it is the latter which is the heart of the matter.
He points out that the ideas that a federal Europe would be either economically stronger, or militarily more effective than a continent of nation states, are fallacies and that for Britain in particular the results would be uniformly negative. However one sentence sums up the real crux of the matter, as true now as it was when he wrote it:
"Either British entry is a declaration of intent to surrender this country's sovereignty, stage by stage, in all that matters to a nation and makes a nation, or else it is an empty gesture, disgraceful in its hollowness alike to those who proffer and to those who accept it".
This book concerns itself with the fundamentals and asks the questions which should precede the formulation of any political philosophy:
Who are we? What are we? What is the nation, 'free' or 'unfree', 'afraid' or 'not afraid'? On what principles are our lives to be managed, by whom are we to be ruled, and, as Churchill once demanded of the Nazis, 'what sort of people do they think we are?
Powell gave his own answers but the point of the book's title was to emphasise that the people had not, and now over thirty years later, have still not, decided.
We in the Eurorealist movement have done all that we can to put these basic questions before the electorate and it is now time for the people to decide and time for the people to speak. The next General election may be their last chance and it is up to them to take it.