Friday, 20 November 2009

Angry, again

I recall from younger days that I was taught many parables. One was the parable in which a rich man who will be away for some time divides his riches between his three servants and tells them to look after it until he returns. One invests it, one puts it on deposit, and one hides it in a hole. When the boss gets back, the one who hid it proudly returns the entire fortune intact and is a bit miffed to be on the receiving end of a telling off for not making some kind of return on it.

(As a brief aside, I see that as a message to bosses to be clear in communicating objectives and setting targets. I don't think that's the official interpretation though.)

Now, imagine how annoyed the boss would have been if, on his return, the servant had explained that a few years ago he had passed the entire fortune on to a former subordinate of his because he wanted to go off and do something else, and that the subordinate had recently passed some of the fortune on to a groups of servants drawn from the houses in the immediate vicinity, and that the group had decided that the lead servant from one of the other houses should look after the collective pot, so the boss really shouldn't look at him for return of the money because it was someone else's responsibility now. Oh, and the group decision was that money could only go into their pot and could not be taken out. I think the boss would be rather put out.

Which brings me to the subject of the Lisbon treaty.

In 2005 we made a temporary loan of our sovereignty to Labour on the explicit promises that (a) Blair would serve a full term and (b) that the EU Constitution would not be enacted without a referendum. Or, that Blair would look after it until he returned it to us in 4 or 5 years and that he would not hand it over to the group without asking us first.

Now, it is a simple fact that the Lisbon treaty is the EU Constitution by another name, and that it hands powers to Brussels. This is not debatable; it is a simple matter of fact. Therefore, it matters not whether the powers handed over are significant or trivial. It matters not whether the powers are best wielded by Whitehall or Brussels. The simple fact is that the powers are being handed over by someone who does not have our authority to do so.

Which is why I am angry. Powers have been handed over without our consent, by a Prime Minister who we did not elect and who Labour had no mandate to appoint, to an EU President who we did not elect and an EU Foreign Secretary who no-one, anywhere, has ever elected.

Roll on March. Please let it be the 15th...


  1. According to the BBC the Spanish pleaded with our Gordie to be EU President. Now there's a thought. If anyone thought it might be worth asking the people of Britain their opinion on that, it would have been interesting to the see answer.

  2. The Ides of March? How can you compare our Prime Minister to Julius Caesar? Surely you don't think that Gordon Brown doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus?


  3. More likely he believes that there are at least 60 of his MPs who would like to stab him.

  4. Patently the ultimate fault lies in the electorate for allowing a British constitution to develop which allowed such a turn of events. Parliament has not done anything unconstitutional by ratifying the treaty without holding a referendum. Parliament didn't do anything unconstitutional by appointing Brown as PM.

    That is why Cameron's pledge to implement a new ratification procedure for new treaties is quite significant. I think he should also move towards a shorter parliamentary term (four years?) and a perhaps unwritten rule that a PM resigning should trigger an election within a certain period (say six months).

    As for Brown for president, that would suit Brown quite nicely, but not sure why our continental friends would want him.

  5. Blue - exactly how did we voters "allow" the Constitution to develop in this way? When did we approve this?

    (Yes, it should change - on that you are quite right.)

  6. Well this isn't the first time a governing party has forced through an unpopular treaty, is it? The voters should have said "non" sooner.

  7. No, it isn't, and I objected very vociferously last time.

    But the question is how to say "non", to whom, and when? Believe me, since Maastrict I have been looking for a viable way of telling the Westminster establishment that they do not have my consent to enter into such treaties, and Cameron's latest announcement is the first real chance I have seen since then for me to do so.

  8. The point is that there could be a very quick turnaround if enough people cared. Not enough do. We've had the Referendum Party and UKIP for quite a while now. Virtually nobody votes for them for Westminster. The problem for Eurosceptics and Constitutional Reformists is that ultimately most people don't give a monkeys.

    Politicians don't take us for a ride, they do precisely as much as we allow them to do to us, as an electorate.

  9. I'm with P on this one. Although Europe is very important, it isn't the only important issue. Our political system supports big political parties against important popular issues.