Tuesday, 25 October 2011

No Referendum Please, We're British ...

Seems to be the attitude of the political classes in the UK at present. I suspect the reason every major party has reneged on promises to hold one on continued membership of the EU is that they know that they will probably get an answer they don't want. In a large part this is their own fault. The EU is a dirty word in the UK, primarily because government after government has used it as the excuse for passing ever more unpopular regulations and laws, but also because, no matter what the people of Britain want or vote for, Brussels - unelected and unelectable - always overrules it.

I happen to believe that, in general, the EU could be a good thing for all European nations, but not in its present form and certainly not with unelected "Commissioners" and bureaucrats having the power to flout the laws of member nations, overrule courts (or ignore judgements which don't suit their agenda) and intervene in the lawful business of traders and manufacturers. Nor is the EU made any more acceptable when Parliament refuses to acknowledge that their electorate has some very legitimate concerns about the direction the EU has taken and refuses to give them a voice. The EU tore the last Conservative government apart, it is now threatening to tear the present one apart, but it is not a uniquely Conservative problem. Liebor has equal divisions, but, as Socialists with an "Inetrnationalist" agenda, it is perhaps less obvious.

Blair promised a Referendum over the Lisbon Treaty, having already surrendered all the reservations and opt-outs the country had from the Maastricht Treaty (Over which there was supposed to have been a referendum as well). He then reneged, claiming that the Lisbon Treaty had "no major impact" on the UK's position or constitution. When truly pressed, he claimed it changed nothing, but, either he hadn't understood it or didn't want to admit he'd surrendered everything. Either way, no referendum from him and now no referendum from Cameron.

The real problem at the heart of this is a reluctance in Parliament to admit that their much vaunted "sovereignty" rests on the consent of the people. They claim that to consult the electorate on these issues would "undermine" the "sovereignty of Parliament." The truth is that this twisting and turning simply deepens the distrust of the people in both the institution of Parliament and in the EU.

Someone needs to ram this through the heads of the political classes and perhaps more importantly, through the unelected bureaucrats who really run the country.

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