Tags: norman | burke | band | together

British MP Norman: Edmund Burke Would Tell GOP Band Together

Monday, 20 May 2013 07:52 PM

By Melanie Batley and Kathleen Walter

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Edmund Burke would tell today's Republicans they need to band together instead of getting sidetracked by their own differences, Jesse Norman, a member of the British Parliament, has told Newsmax.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Norman said that Burke, the man recognized as one of the founders of conservatism, would advise Republicans to "not allow yourself to get split and fragmented into factions, but try to focus on the big issues that knit people together and not the smaller differences."

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Norman, a member of Britain's ruling Conservative party is the author of a new book "Edmund Burke: The First Conservative" about the 18th Century statesman and philosopher.

"In America, historically, political parties were quite broad-based institutions," Norman pointed out. "He'd be looking to get back to that while of course always preaching and promoting an idea of limited government and support for the family of the nation state."

Norman, who was elected to the House of Commons in 2010 and named Parliamentarian of the Year two years later, said he chose to write about Burke because "he's an extraordinary man and a great hero who we Brits and you Americans should be enormously reveling in and enjoying again.

"He's right up there alongside Adam Smith, who's one of the founding fathers of our modern political economy."

He said Burke was the founder of the political party and of the idea of representative government as we know it, adding that Burke believed in moderate government and in the preservation of society, the social order, and the institutions in it but in "a very incremental and reform-minded way, not through some great scheme of radical innovation."

Norman said that while Burke might not have had any specific recommendations about the US and Britain's role in fighting terrorism, "he'd be very alert to warn of the danger of terror as an ideology, as it were, as a spreading germ of ideas which can do so much damaging if it's allowed to get embedded in the body politic."

In the wide-ranging interview, Norman also discussed the future of the euro and Britain's role in the European Union.

He said the euro "has a very serious problem" even though much has been done to ease the monetary conditions in Europe. The difficulty, he said, is that the lower levels of competitiveness in the southern part of the Eurozone are being subsidized, mainly by Germany, and it's unclear how that problem will be resolved.

Commenting on whether Britain will have a referendum on its membership in the EU, Norman said there should first be a "renegotiation about a different balance of powers in Europe" after which any agreement on that score could be put to a vote. But he said before that can happen, Europe needs to be given some time to get through its current financial crisis.

Commenting on Britain's views of the president in light of the IRS and Benghazi controversies, Norman said, "British parliamentarians have got a great deal of respect for the American political system at the moment. They would say, certainly Burke would say, that, and he, of course, fought his life to oppose the abuse of power and arbitrary power, he would be very, very strong on the need for these kinds of scandals to be properly investigated and tracked down."

Norman, who represents the western English town of Hereford in parliament, added, "He would be supportive of a style of government that is limited but inclusive and that would be the message he would want to send to American politicians."

Norman also discussed the delicate job Prime Minister David Cameron has in holding together a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. "The prime minister is trying to hold together a coalition of two political parties that do not by any means see eye-to-eye" and said he's trying to do it in "the face of the worst economic crisis we've had in 100 years." He added that Cameron is working on a number of policies designed to save money, economize and limit the scope of government to give people more control over their lives.

"What he needs to be allowed to do is to complete the job that he started and it will be greatly to the benefit to the country if he's able to do that," said Norman.

Norman said his vision for Britain is for the country to provide leadership in Europe and around the world, and also to build an economy based on innovation, adding, "America's done that very, very well over the last 10 or 15 years and I would love us to emulate it and take that process even further if we could."

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