>> 29 Oct 2004

Straw in the Wind

Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw has promised Britain's voters the opportunity to vote on the EU Constitution signed today in Rome by our esteemed autocrat, Tony Blair.

Please forgive me if I don't jump for joy around the room or shout my expostulations of exaltation across the moors. I remain more than a tad sceptical about the intentions this nefarious crowd will use to try to browbeat the electorate into endorsing a document that, whatever propagandistic gloss is put over to the people, the supposedly nebulous powers incorporated into this constitution are actually anything but!

A fundamental difference between previous treaties (however objectionable they were) and the new constitution lies in the long-term ramifications for the ability of Parliament to remain the identifiable sovereign body for the United Kingdom. Independence of sovereign integrity is sacred to all nations. When Germany violated Belgium's independence in 1914, it helped to precipitate the First World War. When the EOKA movement and the machinations of Makarios in Cyprus undermined the tripartite agreement guaranteeing the status of the island as an independent entity, it brought about the Turkish invasion of 1974. In most parts of the world the moves towards cooperative coalescence mean a closer degree of collaboration in areas such as trade and the environment; they do not mean the progressive encroachment of pan-national inteference into sacred tenets of sovereignty. The European Union is the exception, and an exception increasingly rejected by the peoples over which it is supposed to rule.

Let the British nation beware. If the government tries to manipulate the electorate with comparable thinly-veiled threats and lies employed in the vote on the Belfast Agreement, we will be in for a hard struggle. Nonetheless, I possess considerable faith in my fellow Britons to reject this document when they are presented with the opportunity to do so.


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