This is how they sell you down the river - Tony Blair secretly agreed the blueprint for an updated version of the failed European Union constitution, devised by the German Chancellor, Angelea Merkel, to circumvent the constitution’s rejection by French and Dutch voters. They are calling it a ‘treaty’ in the hope the dimmer citizens don’t cotton on.
Margaret Beckett, the UK Foreign Secretary, attempted to claim that "nothing you could really call negotiations" had actually taken place as MPs, from all parties protested, pointing out that the new ‘treaty’ was largely comprised of measures contained in the rejected EU constitution vetoed by the French and Dutch referenda in 2005.
This is the same Tony Blier who promised, presumably with his fingers crossed behind his back, in 2004, that there would be a referendum in Britain on the original EU constitution. “Let the people have the final say.", he trumpeted when backed into a corner, after months of trying to avoid one, the government insisting that no public vote was necessary.
Clearly he has changed his mind back again, as later this month, just before stepping down, a man bereft of a mandate, his political remit effectively bankrupt, he is planning(while he can still get away with it) to sign Britain up to a treaty, designed to increase the EU's power and to enact, by the back door, many of the proposals originally planned for the constitution.
Presumably this is to be more of his tainted ‘Legacy’. It is enough to make you despair of the whole political process.
What will the French and Dutch voters make of this betrayal of the democratic process? This cynical negation of their democratically expressed will.
Do the British electorate care enough to resist being disenfranchised?