Labour's leader in Brussels risked further controversy over the revived EU constitution yesterday as he claimed campaigners for a referendum wanted to "overturn Parliamentary democracy".Um, yes. Because of course, it's the opponents of the EU who have stripped parliament of its status as the supreme legislative body, and who now want to hand over even more of its powers.
In any event, I fail to see how indicating a desire to see the party of government abide by its manifesto commitment to hold a referendum on the constitution can be seen as an assault upon parliamentary democracy. Surely it is the people (if Labour politicians may be so termed) who promise one thing at election time, and do something else after the election, who are behaving undemocratically?
Gary Titley said opponents of the new reform treaty "hate the EU" and insisted the Government would ratify the blueprint and "move on".FR says "Gary Titley hates rational thought and debate". Certainly, he seems to be utterly incapable of engaging in either, and it looks like he wants to deny other people the opportunity to engage in the second. There are plenty of objections to the constitution, and there are plenty of people who are actually in favour of EU membership who are nonetheless opposed to the constitution. To declare that all opponents of the constitution (i.e. most people) are merely harbouring an irrational hatred of the EU, and that there is no other explanation for their opposition, is indicative of either deep dishonesty, extreme stupidity, or, most probably, both.
Meanwhile, the BBC has interviewed a number of delegates to the Labour conference (and, I might add, an uglier group of people you would have to travel many miles to see) about their views on the constitution, and, more specifically, the calls for a referendum. Their views suggest that, among Labour party members, Gary Titley may well be some kind of Aristotelian genius. For example, consider the views of Joseph Fitzpatrick, of the Oldham East and Saddleworth Labour Party:
[Brown] shouldn't [hold a referendum] because it isn't a constitution.It's quite impressive that he managed to contradict himself in the space of two sentences, denying that the "reform treaty" was a constitution in his first sentence, before calling it a constitution in the second. As for the point that it's not a constitution: well, Valery Giscard d'Estaing and EU commissioner Margot Walstrom beg to differ. As does Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. And Spanish PM Jose Zapatero. Not to mention numerous pro-EU MEPs. But perhaps they're all wrong, and Mr Fitzpatrick (and the Labour leadership, whose line he parrots) know better...
If we had a referendum it would not be about the constitution anyway.
Or there's Pat Brown, of Hornchurch and Upminster:
I think there are too many consultations and referendums.Now, as far as I am aware, the last time we had a nationwide referendum was 1975. There have been a couple of regional referenda since, but they haven't applied to most of us.
We elect people to represent us and if we disagree with them we put our views across in different ways.As I said before, Labour was elected on a platform which included a commitment to hold a referendum on the constitution, and they are now denying us a referendum. When a government is elected promising to do one thing, and then proceeds to do something quite opposite, the argument that we should accept what they do because we elected them is negated.
I don't think there is any point in having a referendum on a constitution when most people don't understand what it is about.Ah yes, the public are too stupid to understand. Which, incidentally, is also an argument that one could use against the very concept of democracy, were one so inclined.
But, in any case, I think that, while the public may not be aware of every single detail contained within the constitution (particularly considering that it has been written in deliberately obscure language), they are certainly more than capable of understanding (and rejecting) the very concept of a constitution, as well as the more significant contents of this one.
Even if you explained it better to people, it would just be taken over by the eurosceptics.What does she actually mean by this? It sounds to me like she regards it as a sufficient argument against holding a referendum on the constitution, to say that people who opposed the constitution would campaign in such a referendum. Not overly keen on popular democracy and open argument, are they, these Labourites?
They don't seem overly bright either. But then, how stupid must we be, that we have allowed these idiots to rule over us?