fingers in their ears

The Open Europe group yesterday staged a demonstration at the EU summit – life-size models of the 27 EU leaders with their fingers in their ears, symbolising their stark refusal to listen to what the people want. The summit’s discussions about the revised constitutional treaty are being held in private, so that there’s no transparency whatsoever about the deliberations themselves, and once they reach their decision, the last thing they want to do is make it available for their respective electorates to examine, debate, and judge for themselves.

A splendid rant from Cranmer this morning makes this trenchant point:

Let us be in no doubt: whatever kicking and screaming noises Mr Blair is reported to be making; whatever the BBC is stating is the UK’s reluctance; whatever Commissioner Barroso thinks of the British Parliament or people, there will be an agreement because ‘there is no alternative’, it is ‘destiny’. They might as well say it is the will of God. Former British defence minister Alan Clark observed: ‘The European Commission…is not a programmatically hostile and aggressive force, as was Nazi Germany. But it is not benign.’

Not only is [the EU] an entity that consists of smoke and mirrors; it is a political project into which the UK is being irrevocablt fused, and the people are being deceived. That is the constant. All the opt-outs are temporary; the derogations are ephemeral; and the proposition that we are ‘winning the argument’ an illusion.

A recent briefing from Open Europe, ‘Who’s afraid of a referendum?’ provides several damning quotes from specific EU leaders showing their contempt for democracy in their determination to go ahead with the constitution regardless of what the voters think. Voters in every single EU member state want a referendum on transferring this much power to Brussels, but the strategy of the heads of state has simply been to use different words and names to disguise the fact that they’re persisting with these plans in spite of knowing how unpopular they are among the people who elected them to supposedly represent them.

The briefing (available here in .doc format) concludes:

Fundamentally, this is about democracy. The Government promised a referendum which is long overdue; now they want to take it away again. When MPs permanently give away powers which we have only lent to them in the first place, the voters should have a say. In the UK, no-one under the age of 50 has had a chance to have a vote on the direction of the EU. The fact that they might vote “no” is not an acceptable argument.

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