Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Don't talk about the Referendum & Browns "Constitutional Conversation"

If the EU provides as much British law in Britain as it does in Germany (80%) then addressing its legitimacy and accountability is the overriding Constitutional priority. The sudden enthusiasm to discuss the (admitted) deficiencies of the British Constitution also has the look of a tactic – coming as it does in the precise period when the treaty is to be reviewed. For instance our dear leader Mr. Brown recently published a government discussion paper on the Constitution and said he wanted to start a “National conversation” on our Constitution. Europe (or English devolution) was not mentioned.

Why this sudden interest in moving all the deckchairs noisily around the deck of the good ship Great Britain at just the time when Brown wants to quietly hand over the keys, the wheel and the engine room to EU institutions? Could this be a diversionary tactic dressed up as "a constitutional conversation".

If Brown were serious about kick starting a real "constitutional conversation" he would honour his existing pledge and hold the referendum on the treaty. Inviting us to a theoretical constitutional conversation instead of delivering on his actual constitutional pledges is an exercise in crude manipulation and misrepresentation.

As mentioned above - Brown could kick off his “constitutional conversation” by explaining to us that he, as a member of the "reformed" European council of ministers, is now bound by articles 1-19 (of the defeated Constitution but fully restored in the "reform" treaty) to offer his highest loyalty to the EU and not to the British State. His allegiance to the peoples of Europe now comes before his former allegiance to the British people (who are no longer referred to as a distinct people). His allegiance to the institutions of the EU comes before his former allegiance to Crown, Cabinet or Parliament (and the electorate don't even get a mention). His allegiance to European law overrules his former allegiance to British law.

In better times he would have been made to register with the foreign office as the representative of a foreign power. But in our brave new European world of keeping up national appearances whilst obeying EU directives we will still have a foreign office but we won't have a foreign policy. We will still have elections but we won't change direction.

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