12 September 2007

What the Hell Has Happened to Us?

In the wake of Ming Campbell's announcement that he doesn't support a referendum on the new EU Treaty, LibDemBloggers have come out in support of him... Yes, that's right, in support. My post earlier today is the only one criticising his move.

Where the hell are the outraged voices arguing the point that whilst we support the Union, we also believe in the principle that on matters where power is transferred within our constitution, the people must have their say? Where are the voices stating that we are betraying one of our core principles by failing to call for a referendum? In short, what the hell happened to this party?

Shane Greer has been ripping us a new one on Iain Dale's blog because we're coming across as patriarchs who can tell the British people what is best for them. Can we at least credit everybody else on this island who isn't a LibDem with some intelligence? Can we at least accept the principle that the mass media are not the people, and that they're not going to be easily led by the mass media?

Before I burst a blood vessel, I leave you with this quote from the Maastricht Treaty Debate (col. 317, 4th November 1992):
Mr. Ashdown: ... I have always supported a referendum on the matter [of the Maastricht Treaty], and I hope that one will be agreed under the Bill. I agree that the Bill involves a shift of sovereignty--one that I recommend to the British people and in which I passionately believe--but the House does not have the right to give away sovereignty that it does not possess.

Sovereignty comes from the people. I believe that there should be a referendum. If there were a referendum, we should not be seen to take our people into Europe, which I strongly recommend they enter, depending on their ignorance or in the face of their hostility. That has always been my view, and will remain so.

6 comments:

Chris Black said...

I agree with you Gavin.... and with Paddy!

I noted from the BBC website:

The scope of decisions to be taken under this system is extended to 40-50 new areas - mainly in matters related to the police and the judiciary.

Hmmmm.

James said...

When I'm not having my arse booted out of the door by my gf, I'll add to the anti-Ming mini-throng on this one.

Paul Walter said...

Which element of the treaty do you regard as involving a transfer of sovereignity Gavin? The one Chris refers to is for "Double majority voting needing 55% of member states representing 65% of the population from 2014". Is that really a siginificant enough shift in power to involve a referendum of the whole country?

Peter Black said...

"we also believe in the principle that on matters where power is transferred within our constitution, the people must have their say"

Since when? That has never been a core principle of the party. We live in a representative democracy. Referendums have been used to resolve internal party disputes not to give people a greater say. I don't know about you but I am all referendumed-out. Oh and for all the bleatings by the Tories, it is a fact that no Tory government has ever called a referendum on a constitutional matter or otherwise.

Hywel said...

"Which element of the treaty do you regard as involving a transfer of sovereignity Gavin?"

The charter of fundamental rights at the very least I would say.

sid.cumberland said...

I think there may be a danger that people are focusing too closely on one part of what Ming has said. He has also said: “If there is to be a referendum it shouldn’t be restricted to a comparatively minor treaty. It must be a decision about the EU as a whole. Let’s have an honest debate on the European Union followed by a real choice for the British people. That means a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. We would ask the British people the big question - whether to remain in the European Union or not."

Sid