Friday, 2 October 2009


We all know that Mr Brown will not let us have a referendum on whether or not to approve the Lisbon Treaty. He’s not overly keen that we should express our opinions on things, although it was promised in Labour’s manifesto.

But today the Irish have their chance to vote, yet again, on this subject. (You see, it balances out; we get none and they get two.) They said "NO" last time, but of course the times, if not the Treaty, have changed since then and the YES campaign have been able to warn, possibly with some veracity, that Ireland needs to say YES in order to survive.

The BBC today visited two areas in Dublin asking for voters’ views. Overwhelmingly in the middle class area, the answer was YES, whilst in the working class area the answer was NO. The overall guess was that the YES campaign will win. Clearly there are more middle class than working class voters in Ireland.

Commentators have suggested that the Irish referendum will decide whether or not the Treaty is ratified, but the Poles and the Czechs have also yet to sign up for Lisbon. As far as Poland is concerned it looks like a done deal, but the Czechs are a different story altogether.

According to a segment of the Today programme this morning, Senators in the Czech parliament are unhappy that some of the Treaty contravenes the Czech constitution.

(Terrible things these written constitutions aren’t they? Means you have to stick to the rules. It’s there in black and white. Whereas good old Gordon has this unwritten constitution, which means you can, if you have a compliant Attorney General [snigger snigger] make it up as you go along to suit yourself. No wonder they keep telling us that our constitution is the envy of the world. It would be the envy of any dictator for sure. )

Anyway, the Czech Senators are taking the Treaty to their constitutional court, and this process could take months and months to reach its conclusion. Of course, the fact that the Czech President has no love for the EU, and does not want to sign the Treaty into law will do the Senators and their cause no harm at all.

So.... if the Czechs can hold on for 9 months until there is a Tory government in the UK, David Cameron will be able to scupper the Treaty (and Tony Blair's new job) by giving us a referendum in the UK. Aware of this, apparently the Conservative Party admits to having had talks with the Czech President.

A totally unrepresentative opinion poll, provided by today’s Times, points an arrow in the direction that the outcome of that referendum might be.


  1. The Irish have the right idea, just keep hving a referendum until you get the result you want.

  2. Well, I've never agreed with Alex Salmond's notion that a referendum is a "once in a generation" thing, but with the EU it seems to be a "once a year" thing till you get the answer you wanted.

    That's an insulting notion, but it's Western Demmocracy for you. You know, the kind we are trying to foist on everyone else, and supporting in Afghanistan.

    Unless the Czechs can hold their approval of the Treaty until Mr Cameron becomes Prime Minister then Scotland will be lumbered with a president it didn't vote for as well as a prime minister it didn't vote for.

    How Mr Mandleson must be rubbing his grubby little hands with glee this morning. I wonder what position President Blair will give him.

    I suppose the only thing that is positive in the current situation is that Mr Blair's boss at least for the next few years will be the relatively benign President Obama.