Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gordon Brown may not give the UK a referendum on the ‘Constitution for Europe’

According to the FT, regime change in the UK and the coronation of a new king is just as unlikely to give the British people a referendum on the EU Constitution. According to Geoff Hoon, the ‘Minister for Europe’, Mr Brown is under no constitutional requirement to hold a referendum on ‘detailed processes’ of the European Union.

He cites, of course, the bleak reality that no previous government has held a referendum on the ‘detailed processes’ which have all effectively been mini-treaty amendments to the Treaty of Rome. The reality is that, while France and the Netherlands have failed to ratify the Constitution, some 18 other member states have managed to do so. Mr Hoon refers to the ‘important politics’ in those member-states that have ratified the treaty and this should be recognised.

In the ‘third way’, all-things-to-all-people politics of New Labour, a way has to be found of facing both directions at once: ‘We have got to find a way forward that respects both the obvious problem of those countries that have held a referendum where it has failed, but equally acknowledges that some countries have held a referendum and succeeded. That is an important context. We tend to see it solely from the perspective of a country that has not ratified. But trying to find a solution involves countries that have as well.’

We have already seen cabinet ministers voting for cuts in the NHS, then defending their endangered A&E services within their constituencies; and secretaries of state who preach comprehensive education for all, yet send their own children to selective and private schools. How long will the British people remain blind to this?

The Lord may well say to them: ‘You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.’

Is it remotely possible that the British people will simply roll over and silently accept a politically foreign and philosophically alien constitution which rides roughshod over centuries of English and British tradition?

Who will deliver us from this evil?


Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Cameron has banned all Conservative MPs from signing up to the Better Off Out campaign. So there is no one at all to "deliver us from this evil"!!

14 January 2007 at 14:36  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Cameron can do what he likes - my MP has not only signed up to it but it is leading figure in it.

AS for Brown - he would do well to read Welt am Sonntag today where Roman Herzog, former Presiding Judge of the German Constitutional Court, and former President of the Republic, and a foremost constitutional authority; has just published a report stating that the EU Constitution undermines German Democracy and is in need of being completely discarded - that the Council of Ministers should be a Revising Chamber on the Commission and that national parliaments should repatriate powers.

Further that there are a great many German MPs who recognise these flaws but have kept their heads below the parapet and that Germany needs a full and open debate on these issues.


and yes, it is in German

14 January 2007 at 15:15  
Anonymous Northwing said...

Good sabbath your holiness.

The 'internationalism' Brown mentions briefly in his letter to the Telegraph yesterday points to the real Brown - a European nationalist Brown, and an international socialist despite his Adam Smith pretensions. He's not interested in going back and fixing the constitutional devolutionary mess we now live in, because in Brown's future, all this will be absorbed and surplanted by closer integration within Europe.

14 January 2007 at 15:15  
Anonymous dexey said...

"whitewashed tombs"? Shouldn't that be whited sepulchres, Your Grace?

As to the blind British public. We are not blind, but we are powerless and, when not ignored, patronised.

14 January 2007 at 17:06  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Ms Dexey,

Whited sepulchres would indeed be His Grace's favoured translation, but he had been preaching from the NIV this morning, and had it to hand.

He apologises for any distress caused.

14 January 2007 at 17:10  
Anonymous Voyager said...

from the NIV this morning,

That is indeed distressing news.....1960s English is hardly the key to reverential worship

14 January 2007 at 17:29  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Voyager,

His Grace accords, but notes the importance of deploying the vernacular when communicating with the masses. There is little point standing in a pulpit if no-one has a clue what one is talking about. Until schools teach Shakespeare properly and begin to understand the majesty of the English language, His Grace regrets that the Authorised Version becomes as inaccessible as his magnificent Prayer Book...

14 January 2007 at 17:36  
Anonymous Rob Spear said...

Chesterton's vague threat of the people of England who "never have spoken yet" is looking pretty feeble these days. Last chance coming up soon, gentlemen.

14 January 2007 at 18:07  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Are we to infer that Your Grace has become a school chaplain? Ichabod! How are the mighty fallen!
And if your little charges don't get Shakespeare in class, all the more reason to make sure they know the Authorized Version and your superb Prayer Book.

14 January 2007 at 18:18  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager wrote a praiseworthy comment about Herzog's profound criticism of the undemocratic EU: here.

14 January 2007 at 19:07  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Until schools teach Shakespeare properly and begin to understand the majesty of the English language

Perhaps the Revised Version ?

15 January 2007 at 07:10  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

I believe Mr Tyndale said something about the Scriptures being available to the merest ploughboy. Granted his translation (which was lifted almost verbatim by the AV) sounds majestic now, but the point of the scripture in English is to be understood.

The NIV is not a perfect translation but neither is the new KJV or the RSV or the NASB. As for the Revised Version it is accurate but near to unreadable. We are blessed indeed to have so many aids to understanding and to have so many authorities on the original languages who are able to point out to us the points of dispute. But none of the translations is to be revered as untouchable. They are the Holy Scriptures, not the Holy Translations.

15 January 2007 at 08:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt that MacBrown will be taking such a risk, he is famously risk averse. However, we should prepare for the eventuality, as it could provide an excellent opportunity to get a really good debate on the EU, and change our nations course.

This wretched serf is flattered that his grace used a picture of MacBrown doctored by his humble self.

15 January 2007 at 09:46  
Anonymous Voyager said...

They are the Holy Scriptures, not the Holy Translations.

As I told a Jehovah's Witness Jesus spoke English and the original Scriptures were written in English and subsequently The Bible Translation Society was formed for those who could not speak or read it.....which is where the translations came from

15 January 2007 at 11:20  
Anonymous Colin said...

His Grace might be interested in today's ruling of the constitutional court in Baveria:

The Bavarian constitutional court of justice in Munich has rejected on Monday a complaint against the two-year valid headscarf ban for Muslim teachers at schools. An Islamic organisation in Berlin had filed a lawsuit against the law complaining about an unequal treatment of the headscarf and the national costume of Christian sisters. The constitutional court of justice ruled that the ban is constitutional "provided that the symbols or clothes can be understood by pupils or parents as expression of an attitude which is incompatible with the constitutional values and educational goals of the constitution including the Christian-western educational and cultural values." Here the link.

15 January 2007 at 11:37  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Professor Hamblin,

His Grace accords with you perfectly. He has never understood those who insist on the 'theological perfection' of the AV, asserting every subsequent translation to be deficient.

Mr Serf,

His Grace is intrigued to be informed that the MacBrown picture had its genesis in your creative paws. You should be flattered that in circulates in the cyber ether so abundantly that His Grace managed to pick it up, albeit unattributed. He is happy to acknowledge your manifest ability with photoshop.

Mr Colin,

His Grace thanks you for this most interesting link. He shall ponder the implications.

15 January 2007 at 12:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a little under eighteen months,before the traitors ,bliar and our supposed monarch,sign part six of the european treaty,that will permanently enslave the English nation,and abolish our country,our parliament, our currency,our county councils,the union with scotland ,and our right to be who we are,and yet few apart from this and a handfull of other blogs,are even discussing it,so i am afraid that there will be no revolution today as the sheeple are watching the footie,fornicating and drinking themselves stupid,oblivious of the impending disaster that is about to overtake them.

15 January 2007 at 14:18  
Blogger The 'Twenty-Something' said...

Please accept this informal invitation to join the mailing list of 18 Doughty Street, Political Talk TV. Please reply by email to with your email address.

Kind regards.

15 January 2007 at 16:52  
Blogger Eddie said...

As a Bible Translator by profession, I am pleased to see the discussion of translation issues here. My own interest and background is in translating into minority languages around the world. However, those who are interested in the debate on translation into English might like to visit for some serious and erudite discussion.

15 January 2007 at 17:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

That is a very interesting Blog - thank you for bringing that to the House of Cranmer, a site where erudition has a chance to exercise without the sans-culottes shouting down discussion.

I have also passed on your URl to interested parties

15 January 2007 at 18:20  
Anonymous dexey said...

Cranmer said...
Professor Hamblin,

His Grace accords with you perfectly. He has never understood those who insist on the 'theological perfection' of the AV, asserting every subsequent translation to be deficient.

Very true, but the language is so much prettier, Your Grace.

15 January 2007 at 19:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is one of the best posts I have read in a a long time.

15 January 2007 at 21:24  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Cityunslicker,

His Grace is delighted.

16 January 2007 at 13:57  

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