Monday, 25 June 2007

Irish allowed Referendum on EU Constitutional Treaty

As we all now know, following anti democratic pressure to ignore his electorate and avoid a referendum, from the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, Tony Blair the outgoing UK Premier has signed the German Chancellor’s new European constitutional‘treaty’.

It seems though, that other nation’s leaders have a greater commitment to the democratic process. Ireland's constitutional arrangements actually make it difficult not to call a referendum on the treaty. Hence Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern is to call a referendum on the ‘treaty’.

An Irish Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman said that although some constitutional elements had gone, 90 per cent of what was there was still there.

Denmark has also been looking at whether, or not, it has to hold a referendum.

Last night, the UK Shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague, pointed out: "As each day goes by, more and more of the Government's case on the EU treaty falls to pieces.”

"It is now getting clearer and clearer that this is basically the constitution by another name. Large amounts of power have been transferred to Brussels and the Government has failed to safeguard Britain's interests.”

"People in Britain will want to know, when Irish voters will decide for themselves on this crucial treaty, why Gordon Brown thinks British people do not have the right to have their say, even though he promised they would."

It would seem, when it comes to democracy, some nations are more equal than others.

Is that a Licenced Sporran you'r wearing laddie?

You couldn’t make it up - The law of unintended consequences strikes again.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive said there are now new rules to bring Scotland into line with existing European regulations, designed to protect vulnerable species.

They require anyone who owns any part of a protected animal to obtain a licence the penalty is a maximum fine of £5,000 and/or six months in prison.

It seems that Kilt wearers would be liable to prosecution under the regulations, if they were in possession of an unlicensed sporran.

Best place to keep the licence would presumably be your sporran as they would presumably be most likely to be asked to produce it when actually wearing it.

"Is that a licence in your sporran, or are you just glad to see me?" ;-) Hat tip to Mae West.

The legislation applies to animals killed after 1994.

So how could you prove how old your sporran was - and more to the point, exactly how much will the licence cost…