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