Saturday, July 12, 2003
Aren't bald men supposed to be evil? - 12th July 2003, 22.23

Not if they're Duncan Goodhew. Unfortunately IDS, the most ill-fated acronym that initials could supply, took a turn on the catwalk at Prague and paraded some soiled rags masquerading as a policy on Europe. On paper, the speech reads no better and no worse than one of Blair's efforts. It gave nothing away and expounded vague sentiment in the style of a sententious vicar, hand-wringing in the pulpit. Like their Nulab counterparts, Tory spindoctors shamelessly purloin slogans and statements, proving that Donny Rumsfeld has a hobby for retirement: speechwriting for lesser mortals.

And they are why the British Conservative Party – and many other peoples across this continent – are ready to campaign for a New Europe.
A New Europe of democracies.
A New Europe of enterprise.
A New Europe of nations dedicating their will and wealth to the twin objectives of global justice and global security.
Building a New Europe is the task before us.
And it is an urgent task.

IDS knows that the Constitution is agreed, apart from some clause-swapping in intergovernmental orgies amongst the continentals. His vision of a European Union of nation-states will never be achieved, and feels quite happy to paint whatever canvas is required, as everyone else will have signed up to a cosy superstate. Picking up the signals from this incoherent soup, served to the British electorate as a small hors d'oeuvre before the main event on the Constitution in 2004, is straightforward. The Tories will not sign the Euro or the Constitution, without a referendum, but IDS said nothing about withdrawing if we had already joined. Curious how the words withdrawal, exit, out were never mentioned, even though they permeated the entire piece. For if you are arguing on a point that may prove an interesting story in some virtual uchronia, your audience are left wondering "what's left"?

The witless wonders can only puff up their own future as commanders by proxy of an unsinkable aircraft carrier. If not Europe, then America. If the two didn't exist, they'd probably doff their caps to Iceland in order to salve their need to depend upon others.

It is America that IDS looks towards, on bended knee in gratitude, serving as a foreign monarch for a withered squirearchy. Here's a Tory leader who doesn't understand his own constitution and who believes Dicey describes a PMQ. His reasoning is half-right, but whilst parliamentary sovereignty depends upon popular acceptance, IDS twists the constitutional principle into a writ for direct democracy on such issues, thereby proving he's not a conservative, he's not a Tory, but he still belongs to the stupid party.

But the British people are not being given the referendum they want and deserve.
The argument that ordinary people don't understand the issues well enough to make the right decision is as pathetic as it is patronising.
The British people already know they don't need the constitution.
They don't want it.
Given the chance, I believe, they'll vote against it.
And in campaigning for a referendum we won't let them down.
It is even claimed that Parliament can decide – because Parliament is sovereign.
But Parliament has no more right to lay Britain's sovereignty at the feet of a foreign constitution than it has to ban elections.
No British government has the authority to give away that which it does not own.
Because the Westminster Parliament's authority is founded in the will of the British people.

So, IDS would not support United Empire Loyalists Day, and probably roots for the rebels rather than the redcoats. In the scheme of things, half-baked spin, that signals the Tory tiptoe away from Brussels should be welcomed, but you always suspect he might mean what he says and the party will try to work for reform from within: rather like watching a dog scratch fleas.

This was not a Eurosceptic speech. A shame!


Post a Comment

Blog Archive