Sunday, June 24, 2007

The EU treastitution.

To analyse this sleight of hand by the resurgent Merkel and Sarkozy, and the no-longer-needing-to-tread-with-care Blair, you have to take a step back. Of course it is correct to say that it is practically the same as the EU Constitution which French and Dutch voters rejected. Back in October 2004 Blair said "There will not be a referendum. The reason is that the constitution does not fundamentally change the relationship between the UK and the EU."

Well said, Mr Blair! Bravo!

Now he is saying almost the same thing! Here's principle for you:

"If it's not a constitutional treaty, so that it alters the basic relationship between Europe and the member states, then there isn't the same case for a referendum,"

Phrasing slightly different, meaning the same. Yet in between these two occasions, in the three years that have passed, he has continually reiterated either the commitment to a referendum on the matter on the table then and now, or its obscurity as an issue out of consideration. Three years of rhetoric- denied, as Frank Field affirms in EUbusiness:

"One of the more popular things Tony Blair did was promising a referendum... Going back on that is against all the rhetoric of a government which says it wants to reconnect with a disillusioned if not hostile electorate"

That's it, win popularity where you need to, backtrack when you can, and return to the idea you first thought of because you're too pig-headed to think of anything else. That's Blair, and he'll make a fantabulous EU president no doubt.

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