|A Christmas tale – The Power of the Ring
Many years ago – forty four to be precise – the United Kingdom came under the dreaded power of the one ring that rules all rings. It was easy at first, as they said it would be.
After all, we had given up the power of our ring willingly. We were told the one ring would be used sparingly. We still had control. The ring that controls all rings was used but lightly. It was as if the wizards had been right all along.
The one ring that controls all rings had lost much of its power.
It was possible to believe it was just a fairy tale that the ring of Brussels could do no wrong, brook no rivals, was under the spell of an unfriendly power.
Maybe the ring had been lost. Maybe hobbits as some had told had cast it into the furnace of Mordor after all.
Those who repeatedly claimed that the one ring was still out there, exerting its bad and increasingly powerful influence, were told they were mistaken.
They were scaremongers. They needed to get out more. They should read their Tolkein and understand the message. The ring had gone.
The rulers of the UK still wore the UK ring proudly. When rulers changed there was the same ancient ceremony to transfer the ring of power from one to the other.
It was true some rulers were distracted or overwhelmed by the ring’s power.
King Heath had fallen when he thought the power of our ring could allow him to stop people working five days a week according to our customs. King Callaghan was removed when he used the power of the ring to try to crush public service workers who wanted more money.
When King Blair used it to unleash war on middle kingdoms far away a mighty protest movement grew to oust him.
When he was replaced by King Brown the people were alert to the danger of misuse. They did not believe he had taken upon himself the power to end all booms and busts. He lost his right to the ring when the towers of UK banking came crashing down around him.
On each occasion power has passed peacefully from one to the next. The ring was taken easily from the hand of he who ruled, and passed to the legitimate heir.
Despite all this outward sign of order, the hobbits of Middle Britain persisted with their alternative history. Tolkien’s happy ending had been forced upon the writer by the custodians of the one ring.
When Gollum had plunged into the fires of Mordor with the ring a large eagle had mysteriously appeared and plucked the ring from him as he fell. The ring had been safely returned to the powers of Brussels. Only a few knew of its presence.
All were sworn to denial. This time around, reunited with their ultimate power, the controlling forces decided to get savvy.
They would not show off the ring in public for many years following its recapture. They would use its powers sparingly at first.
They would work towards a world where the holders of all the other rings thought they still had their powers, and wanted Brussels to control them more. Next time the one ring had to appear to be legitimately worn and wielded.
It was a nuisance to the dark forces that the United Kingdom was particularly sceptical about the missing ring. More and more Tolkien books were put into the misty isle.
Tolkien was made a hero. Films were made in English to get across the message. The whole panoply of government was tailored to reassure.
Everytime more power passed from our ring to the centre, we were told the opposite was happening. We were assured no power had passed.
We were given subsidiarity and opt outs. We were led to believe we did not have to join parts of the Union we did not like.
Whenever UK hobbits challenged the idea that Brussels did not hold sway, they were told pointedly that any day we could abolish the legal powers Brussels had over our ring. We could do it for ourselves by changing our laws.
There was no one ring dictating behind the scenes. Yet it seemed to a growing number of UK people that there was a dangerous power above us.
Told we could always settle our own taxes, Brussels made us impose VAT on things we did not want to tax. Brussels came along and awarded large backpayments of money into rich companies, claiming we had wrongly taxed them.
The UK voters chose a government dedicated to reducing the number of people we welcomed each year to join us in our communities. Brussels told the government that they could not do this.
Many voters wanted the UK to run its own fishing grounds.Brussels told us we had to allow huge industrial trawlers from Spain and Denmark, France and the Netherlands if they wished to come. The UK wanted to allow reasonable freedom to financial businesses. Brussels took over the task of controlling them, and set various rules we did not approve.
The hobbits kept up their pressure, claiming the one ring must still exist. They could feel its ever growing power. In a fit of pique and desperation the UK ruler laid down a challenge.
He said to all his critics there would be a great vote. The vote would show us we were still self-governing. If the critics could win, we would leave the Union and so show there was no all-powerful one ring above us. He assumed that with the power of the rings behind him, the hobbits would have no chance.
With all his fine and powerful friends they would be able to ridicule the very idea that the one ring was working its evil magic still.
As we now know, he lost his vote. The UK ring passed easily from him to another.
Far from it proving the easy and willing transfer of power we had always been told would happen if we so chose, the Brussels forces unleashed legions of experts, business people, foreign governments, international institutions and others to say the UK had made a mistake, the UK would be punished, the UK would have to change her mind. If proof were needed, dear reader, that the one ring must still exist, that was it.
The dark wizards had let loose thunderbolts of forecasts, predicting every conceivable calamity for poor Britain.
As the overwhelming majority of these proved to be wrong after the vote, so the wizards made their forecasts worse and longer term. As things went well for Britain, so they plotted better ways to make them go bad.
The next few months will be crucial. Can the White Queen unite with the hobbits and the White Wizard, and destroy the power of the one ring over us?
In the process, how will the power of the one ring be wielded over the power of all the other European rings? Is it as they now say, you cannot break the power of the one ring?
Will the one ring be successfully wielded to forge a full political union? Can the one ring wearer make his universal money succeed?
I will keep you posted. Meanwhile, a very happy Christmas to you all. We are living through a gripping battle for our freedom.
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