A lifebelt for spendthrift economies

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If you happened to be watching the news on Spanish television recently, you might have caught a remark that the Lisbon Treaty had been ‘modified’ to allow the amount of relief money available for cash-strapped member states, to be almost doubled. But wasn’t this fund originally intended to aid EU member states beset by natural disasters?

Who decided it should be used as a lifebelt for spendthrift economies? I don’t recall that being in the small print.

 

 

This Treaty was signed behind our backs by the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown – no, wait, I’m in error! Perhaps even he, with his singular contempt for democracy, couldn’t bring himself to sink that low, so he sent David Milliband along instead. And so, without debate, this Treaty was ratified, supposedly in our name.

Most Treaties, being agreements between governments, have various clauses, sub-clauses, and explanatory footnotes, so that everyone knows what they are signing up to. But this was not the case with the Lisbon Treaty, which is now discovered to be self-adjusting, allowing items, never discussed, debated, or perhaps even imagined when the document was drawn up, to be added at the stroke of a pen.

This leaves the way open for the Council of Ministers of the European Union to rule by decree, a ploy much favoured by dictators.

Hitler used that system, as did Mussolini and Stalin. Even Chavez, President of Venezuela, took that power only a few weeks ago, when his term of office was extended for a further 18 months.

I can’t imagine even Brown embracing the Treaty if he’d realised just how dangerous it might be. Certainly it was never made clear to the British public what was being ratified in their name, although one group, the United Kingdom Independence Party did try to sound a wake-up call.

It’s so easy to become disillusioned with politicians and to distrust them when they routinely use ‘weasel words’ to excuse their actions. David Cameron, for instance, when in opposition, twice made what he called ‘copper-bottomed’ promises to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty should he win the election.

Now he says there would be no point, since the Treaty has been ratified by all member states, and thus is a done deal. It has been put to him that this should not prevent him granting a referendum if only to give the British public the opportunity of making their views known, but this suggestion appears not to merit a response.

It looks as if we’re stuck with this un-debated Treaty, unless – oh happy thought – we secede altogether from that retirement home for political incompetents – the EU.

By Jim Collins

 

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