05 October 2007

The value of a referendum plan

The Conservatives have promised they "would change the law to ensure a referendum is held every time ministers agree to sign away powers to the EU". According to Archbishop Cranmer, this is

possibly the most important ‘Europe’ announcement of any political party in the United Kingdom since accession to the EEC in 1973, and the ensuing referendum of 1975.

Cranmer thinks it means that UKIP

cannot stand against any Conservative candidate, but must now actively support the Conservative Party and campaign for this policy to become law.

I haven't yet made up my mind about this, but I found the following two comments on the post (possibly from the same "Anonymous" — not me, I assure you) interesting.

Anonymous said:

I find it always pays to listen carefully — very carefully — to promises from all three parties, but especially the party that is responsible for passing (forcing through in the case of Maastricht) all the legislation that resulted in major advances of EU governance.

The point is that there will be no more treaties — because there won't be the need for them. If I understand this latest Not-a-Constitution-but-an-amending-Treaty correctly, it contains within it the power to be self-amending and therefore self-perpetuating and self-extending, without the need for any more treaties.

If this goes through the damage has already been done and it's a whole new arena.

Sadly and as so often happens, the Tory Generals are fighting the last war. There will be no more pitched battles but stealthy guerrilla raids.

Anonymous said:

I think I can understand the fervent desire to get rid of the hypocritical, self-serving, lying charlatans that we have suffered from for the past 10 years.

That desire is so deeply felt that there can be superficial attraction to take anybody, anybody, in their place.

But I want to suggest that it doesn't matter who we have out of the existing two and a bit parties because already 70 plus percent of our legislation is imposed on them anyway and the new treaty will only reduce their real authority (as opposed to their self-perceived and apparent power) even more.

So what if a small band of single minded zealots contributes to no change happening. Tory to Labour, Labour to Tory , it's a distinction without a difference (with an excrescent growth called the LibDems on the side whatever way it goes).

In fact there's a case for welcoming a re-election of the present Government. They are so deeply despised and regarded as incompetent by a rapidly growing sector of the electorate that their continued existence will only hasten the point at which we have the true libertarian revolution — and yes I mean revolution — that we so desperately need to clear out the Aegean stables that the socio-political establishment of Britain has now become.