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Our brave new constitution

Brown accidentally admits it is “the Constitution”; but says there is no need for a referendum

The Telegraph notes that Gordon Brown yesterday made a slip when he said he had discussed the “European Constitution" with Bertie Ahern, the Irish Prime Minister, when they met at Stormont.

Gordon Brown said, "We have discussed the European Constitution and how that can move forward over the next few months".

The Telegraph reports that "the revived EU constitution has deliberately been made "unreadable" to help fend off demands for a referendum, according to the former Italian prime minister, Giuliano Amato." This stance shows a total contempt for voters.

German MEP Elmar Brok said that he was content that the "real substance and content" of the original Constitution had been saved. The structures and the institutions, he said, "will be exactly the same as was in the constitutional treaty." Asked directly if the constitution was dead, he replied: "I think we got the substance of the constitution”.

Now that Brown has finally admitted it, can we end the farce of trying to pretend that this is a different document? Every other EU leader has admitted it (except in France and Holland for obvious reasons). The Government talks about how it has “safeguards” and “emergency brakes” – but they are the same safeguards and emergency brakes they had in the original Constitution. When the first text of the new version is released on Monday it’s going to become pretty apparent to everyone that we are not talking about a “few little amendments”…

Re: Our brave new constitution

What's the point of a referendum. What do most people understand of politics. Nothing. The same the world over.

Re: Our brave new constitution

The European Constitution is 80 pages long, and understandable only by lawyers. The US Constituion is (I think) 8 pages long and understandable to anybody who has finished high school.

There must be a lesson there somewhere.

Re: Our brave new constitution

The preambles; by way of comparison:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

And;

PREAMBLE
HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC, HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF DENMARK, THE PRESIDENT OF
THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF SPAIN, THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF IRELAND, THE PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE GRAND DUKE OF LUXEMBOURG, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF HUNGARY, THE PRESIDENT OF MALTA, HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF THE NETHERLANDS, THE FEDERAL PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND, THE PRESIDENT OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN, HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND,

DRAWING INSPIRATION from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, from which have developed the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law,

BELIEVING that Europe, reunited after bitter experiences, intends to continue along the path of civilisation, progress and prosperity, for the good of all its inhabitants, including the weakest and most deprived; that it wishes to remain a continent open to culture, learning and social progress; and that it wishes to deepen the democratic and transparent nature of its public life, and to strive for peace, justice and solidarity throughout the world,

CONVINCED that, while remaining proud of their own national identities and history, the peoples of Europe are determined to transcend their former divisions and, united ever more closely, to forge a common destiny,

CONVINCED that, thus "United in diversity", Europe offers them the best chance of pursuing, with due regard for the rights of each individual and in awareness of their responsibilities towards future generations and the Earth, the great venture which makes of it a special area of human hope,

DETERMINED to continue the work accomplished within the framework of the Treaties establishing the European Communities and the Treaty on European Union, by ensuring the continuity of the Community acquis,

GRATEFUL to the members of the European Convention for having prepared the draft of this Constitution on behalf of the citizens and States of Europe,

HAVE DESIGNATED AS THEIR PLENIPOTENTIARIES:
HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS,
Guy VERHOFSTADT, Prime Minister; Karel DE GUCHT Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC,
Stanislav GROSS, Prime Minister; Cyril SVOBODA, Minister for Foreign Affairs

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF DENMARK,
Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN, Prime Minister; Per Stig MØLLER, Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY,
Gerhard SCHRÖDER Federal Chancellor; Joseph FISCHER
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Federal Chancellor

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA,
Juhan PARTS Prime Minister; Kristiina OJULAND Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC,
Kostas KARAMANLIS Prime Minister; Petros G. MOLYVIATIS Minister of Foreign Affairs

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF SPAIN,
José Luis RODRÍGUEZ ZAPATERO President of the Government; Miguel Angel MORATINOS CUYAUBÉ Minister for External Affairs and Cooperation

THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC,
Jacques CHIRAC President Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN Prime Minister Michel BARNIER
Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF IRELAND,
Bertie AHERN Taoiseach Dermot AHERN Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC,
Silvio BERLUSCONI Prime Minister Franco FRATTINI Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS,
Tassos PAPADOPOULOS President George IACOVOU Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA,
Vaira VĪĶE FREIBERGA President Indulis EMSIS Prime Minister Artis PABRIKS Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA,
Valdas ADAMKUS President Algirdas Mykolas BRAZAUSKAS Prime Minister
Antanas VALIONIS Minister of Foreign Affairs

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE GRAND DUKE OF LUXEMBOURG,
Jean-Claude JUNCKER Prime Minister, Ministre d'Etat Jean ASSELBORN
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF HUNGARY,
Ferenc GYURCSÁNY Prime Minister László KOVÁCS Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF MALTA,
The Hon Lawrence GONZI Prime Minister The Hon Michael FRENDO Minister for Foreign Affairs

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF THE NETHERLANDS,
Dr. J. P. BALKENENDE Prime Minister Dr. B. R. BOT Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE FEDERAL PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA,
Dr. Wolfgang SCHÜSSEL Federal Chancellor Dr. Ursula PLASSNIK Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND,
Marek BELKA Prime Minister Włodzimierz CIMOSZEWICZ Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC,
Pedro Miguel DE SANTANA LOPES Prime Minister António Victor MARTINS MONTEIRO Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Portuguese Communities

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA,
Anton ROP President of the Government Ivo VAJGL Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC,
Mikuláš DZURINDA Prime Minister Eduard KUKAN Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND,
Matti VANHANEN Prime Minister Erkki TUOMIOJA Minister for Foreign Affairs

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN,
Göran PERSSON Prime Minister Laila FREIVALDS Minister for Foreign Affairs

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND,
The Rt. Hon Tony BLAIR Prime Minister The Rt. Hon Jack STRAW Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

WHO, having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:

Re: Our brave new constitution

-What a bunch of egotistical gits!

-“BELIEVING that Europe, reunited after bitter experiences”. Reunited? Let’s make up history while we are at it.

-“ for the good of all its inhabitants, including the weakest and most deprived;” Apparently “all” is not the superlative that one would believe.

-“ their responsibilities towards future generations and the Earth” Great, a constitution for a planet. Apparently it’s not enough to govern people; perhaps the moon’s exclusion was an oversight.

-” united ever more closely” Ever more? So this is a self amending instrument? Might there be a time that it is as “close” as possible or do they envision some implosion as with a cosmic Black Hole into which everything is sucked.

-“ GRATEFUL to the members of the European Convention” Way to pat yourself on the back boys and girls!

-“ CONVINCED that, … the peoples of Europe are determined to transcend their former divisions and, united ever more closely, to forge a common destiny” So convinced that you will put this up for referendum. Oh, sorry, perhaps not.

Re: Our brave new constitution

It really gets your back up, all this EU crap.
The common people of Europe would understand this well enough, and would reject it.
It's being presented as a fait accompli, and anyway none too important ...

An interesting little aside - the framers of the US constitution thought that "democracy" was a dirty word - a byword for rule by charlatans. Hence the insistence on "liberty".