Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mr Fawkes: What's GuF Really Think of Referenda


GuF utters a load of self serving twaddle about the Irish Vote and analysis thereof RIGHT HERE. Yes, alright Guido, The Independent in general and Steve Richards in particular are up themselves most of the time. Not unlike Guido in that regard.

Would Guido be such a fan of referenda if they gave us back hanging? Never mind, drawing and quartering and BBQing of a man's offal. If they gave us 90-days detention without trial? Or indeed if the Irish had voted narrowly for rather than against European reform?

Irony of ironies is this little quotation from GuF's site, featuring the witterings of Mr Richards:

Richards accepts that a referendum on Europe would be lost in Britain, he blames this rightly on "Distant bureaucrats that run the EU, apparently incapable of producing documents that are comprehensible to voters. We cannot hold these officials to account if we do not know what they are doing or supposed to do." Does he accept this signals that Europe needs to be reformed?

There was a good set of readers' letters in the Guardian yesterday. Caroline Stihler MEP pointed out:

... the loss of the Lisbon treaty means that national parliaments will not get the power to reject EU proposals before they come to the European parliament, that children's rights will not be incorporated for the first time into the treaties, and that we will lose the citizens' right of initiative.

While this one is worth presenting in full:

Among all the crowing and EU-bashing, one point will be overlooked: the Eurosceptic lobby in this country hated Lisbon, not because it diluted democracy, but because it did much to enhance it. The Irish have said no to the right of 1 million signatories to petition the commission to initiate law. They've said no to a commission president who must be of the same political hue as the majority grouping in the elected European parliament. And they've thrown out the proposal to make the (currently secret) deliberations of council meetings public. There was a very real risk of this modest treaty making Europe more palatable. And that would never have done.
Dominic Brett
London

The Lisbon Treaty was after all a reforming treaty with the benefits listed above inter alia. And it was not the same as the rejected Constitution. Except of course in dealing with many of the same pressing issues around enlargement and subsidiarity.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oooh, you're sooooooo hard!

Osama will be quaking in his boots

Chris Paul said...

What are you on about anon?

Good to see you bravely signing your name to your "thoughts"!

(Osama is wearing sandals at the moment, and quite relaxed)

Cassilis said...

As per our discussion on your other post Chris those letters illustrate the problem.

If this treaty returned rights to sovereign parliaments which a previous treaty obviously removed then the anti-EU mob are crowing at the wrong time and have won a pyrrhic victory. But the point remains that those powers should never have been wrestled from National parliaments in the first place and the whole thing speaks to the absurdity of many aspects of the European project.

Will there be another treaty to wrestle them back at some point...then another to....

Evan Price said...

It is nonsence to say that the Treaty of Lisbon 'returns powers' to national Parliaments.

The effect of the Treaty is to increase the power (competence) of the EU into the second and third pillars of the TEU - Maastricht - which until now are the subject of unanimity.

The absurdity of passing an Act of Parliament that refers to a Treaty that does not exist (and it cannot exist unless all 27 member states ratify it) is obvious. The need for further debate, when Ireland has rejected the treaty, is pure politics; no practical or legal benefit can follow.