Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Brown's Betrayal

So he's done it, then. Gordon Brown-Trousers has won his bid to ride roughshod over the House of Commons, the British electorate and his own party's credibility by denying us a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

By a majority of 63, the cowardly man at the head of what is, temporarily, the British Government, has signed away so many rights and powers to Brussels that he might as well have declared himself - and the rest of the House - redundant. I fail to see any point in him going to work any longer, because, as a result of this day's work, he's nothing more than a puppet of various faceless European bodies. Odd that he should have plotted and schemed and connived so long to get into Number 10, just to hand away his new-found powers, isn't it?

The Telegraph has the whole sorry story here, including the abject humiliation of the Lib Dims, but it's all rather tame, shell-shocked stuff. After all, what can be said that hasn't already been said, loudly and clearly by around 88% of the British people - we don't want this EU Treaty. And, knowing this, the tooth-sucking former Chancellor, who finds himself leading a Government collapsing from within on a daily basis, has gone ahead and done the very thing that he KNOWS the people he is supposed to be leading do not want him to do.

Back in 1990, the then Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher, made some very shrewd observations on the EU, the objectives of the European Commission and where things were heading. She was talking about the proposed European Currency, the future intentions of the European Commission and the Labour Party's inability to deal with their schemes to create a Federal Europe by the "back door". Check out this heavily edited clip of Mrs T's speech from YouTube, and then compare it to the craven behaviour of our current Prime Minister.

Specifically, at around 2 minutes, she said, "Yes, the Commission DOES want to increase its powers. Yes it is a non-elected body and I do not want the commission to increase its powers against this House..."

And at around 3 minutes, "Of course the President of the Commission said at a press conference the other day he wanted the European Parliament to be the democratic body of the Community, he wanted the Commission to be the Executive and he wanted the Council of Ministers to be the senate. No! No! No!... What is the point in trying to get elected to Parliament only to hand over your Sterling, only to hand over the powers of this House to Europe?..."

And, at about 9:40, "I think when the proposals for EMU came out, it was said immediately by my Rt Hon Friend the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, that this was not really about monetary policy at all, it was really about a back door to a Federal Europe. A Federal Europe taking many many democratic powers away from democratically elected bodies to non-elected bodies. I believe fervently that that is true, which is why I will have nothing to do with their definition of economic and monetary union."

Well said, Mrs Thatcher! Clearly, she could see what was on the cards almost 18 years ago, but the British people, passive as they are, have been led by the nose by a succession of increasingly disreputable politicians until we reach the disgraceful state in which we find ourselves today - a British Prime Minister signing away so much power that he is now effectively toothless.

What a shambles! And what a disgraceful, disrespectful, dishonest way for our own Prime Minister to treat the electorate. This betrayal of trust goes far beyond mere political skulduggery - it is a crime against the very democratic foundations of our society.

You see, "promises" made in an election manifesto aren't really promises, as such. They are an indication of what the party in question (and this applies to ALL parties) will do if it is able, if the sky doesn't fall, if nothing unforeseen happens to prevent it. Nobody really expects them to be cast iron guarantees, and nobody is really surprised when all those optimistic financial estimates melt away like ice in a volcano once they come into contact with reality, making some of the other promises unachievable. Or, if the politician is really cunning, unachievable yet, without much increases in taxation, less backsliding etc.

That's fine, it's just the rough and tumble of politics, and it's rare that a broken election promise has really devastating consequences for a politician, not least because a) nobody can remember what they were, and b) they'd all be hoist with their own petard if they tried it. But there is nothing unexpected, unplanned or beyond the Government's control about this situation. At the last election, ALL of the major parties promised the public a referendum on the issue of the EU Constitution. The name of the Treaty may have changed, but its content remains substantially the same - so say many other European leaders. Sure, one or two points may have been massaged, but it's not all that different. And there is no pressing reason for the Government NOT to stand by its promise - unless, of course, it is afraid to lose.

That's really what it's all about, isn't it? Our cowardly Prime Minister knows that, if there were to be a referendum on this issue tomorrow, his party would lose in a spectacularly catastrophic way. And if that happened, if a poll showed that a Treaty devised by the leading lights of this Government, signed by the Prime Minister (albeit some time after all the other leaders had signed it!) and in support of which the Labour party had campaigned for a "yes" vote was unwelcome to, say, 88% of the electorate, what then?

Wouldn't the Government, humiliated by a resounding rejection of a Treaty that was central to its foreign policy, have to resign? Would they retain sufficient authority to cling, limpet-like, to power even if they wanted to? No, of course not - they would have to go. And that is what Brown-Trousers fears most of all. That's why he bottled out an election a few months ago, and why he's sold his own country down the river today. Hmm, isn't there a word for people who do that?

Unfortunately, Crazy Cammeron isn't a patch of his formidable predecessor - his efforts to take the Prime Minister to task on this vitally important issue lack lustre, to say the least, and the fact that he will probably end up as PM when the electorate finally catch up with Brown doesn't fill me with joy. Nonetheless, I doubt very much that people will forget about Lisbon.

Sure, there will be new crises to deal with, new outrages to be furious about as the Brown Government lurches from one chaotic disaster to the next - that's always the way in politics, and the indifference many people show towards politicians is indicative of that. But the betrayal of democracy itself is something special, and I suspect indifference is gradually shifting towards resentment. People will remember that Gordon Brown broke his promise for a very long time, and they will not look kindly upon him for proving to them once and for all how untrustworthy politicians can be.

He wanted his chance to show people his vision for the future (well, so he said - I think he just wanted to stay in Downing St a bit longer) but he's blown it. His vision is a nightmare in which we can't trust a word the Prime Minister says. Yes, I know, we don't trust politicians anyway, but in his case it isn't because he's a politician, it's because he has deliberately deceived and manipulated the public on a matter of national importance - there's a difference!

Billy Seggars.

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