Following on from Cameron’s politicking on the Eurozone crisis I wasdelighted to have sight of a leaked copy of the ‘vetoed treaty’ from ITV News.
On my Masters of Laws degree in European Union Law, which I studied over 3 years atthe University of Glamorgan, graduating in the Top 5%, I must have looked at manyof the over 80,000 pages of EU legislation, so as you can expect, themisrepresentation over the significance of this treaty to anyone outside ofacademia and journalism now I have seen it is frustrating.
Before the Lisbon Treaty was passed, the European Union was split into three ‘pillars’; the ‘European Community’, the ‘Police and Judicial Co-operation in CriminalMatters’ and ‘Common Foreign and Security Policy’.
Ever sincethe Maastricht Treaty in 1992, it has been UK Government policy to have as few ‘pillars’as possible. John Major reduced it from six to four, Tony Blair to three and Gordon Brown to one.
This Treaty, called the ‘Reinforced Economic Treaty’ would have created an extra pillar, ‘the euro area Heads of State or Government’, so there would be two pillars. This goes against UK Government Policy, which is why Cameron most likely vetoed it. If Cameron were to listen to me then he would see how the treaty could be achieved and keep one pillar, and have no effect on the UK – using ‘enhanced co-operation’ so the other EU countries could get on with it without him interfering, trying to be in-bed with the EU but with no blanket!
Being an EU law expert I have a very good feeling for what is going on. Does any remember back when David Cameron first became PM he and Angela were flirting over EU integration. “I will not ‘reopen Lisbon’” he said, and she approved.
What on earth does re-open Lisbon mean? To me it meant that they won’t have a third post-Constitution treaty negotiation. To eurosceptics it meant there would be no further transfers of powers. To Europhiles it meant that the Lisbon Treaty would not be annulled.
Being quite kind to her copper-plated poodle Cameron, this week Angela gave David another chance to show he could defeat her as the Goliath. He vetoed one of her treaties – first time in history apparently. Well not to experts like me. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown vetoed many versions of the Constitutional, Reform and Lisbon Treaties with their ‘red-lines’.
Being a eurosceptic-skeptic this is what I think is going on.
Cameron has won a battle to defend the rights of UK citizens against the “encroaching EU”. He is a hero back home, and will stand a good chance of winning the next election for his party. Abroad he is a villain, despised for wanting to hold back the EU countries.
All at the end of it, the ‘vetoed treaty’ will be re-written into a ‘enhanced co-operation’ Regulation under Title III of the EU Treaty, virtually identical to what happened with EU patents, just faster.
All the EU Governments except France and Italy wanted to create an EU Patent and an EU Patent Court. The European Court of Justice (CJEU) said they couldn’t create new institutions without a treaty, like the one proposing a new economic government this week. What they could do however, was to give new powers to one of the existing bodies, in this case the CJEU itself.
So what I think will happen, is that a ‘Economic Governance Regulation’ virtually identical to the so-called treaty will be created, where the European Central Bank gets more powers, among others, which would achieve the same outcome as the intended treaty. Britain, Denmark and all the other non-eurozone countries (not including Sweden, which is in the euro de jure), will have an opt-out.
So Cameron will have shown he is tough on Europe as he got the UK an opt-out of something that didn’t concern it when all that will happen is the solution I recommend weeks ago will have been implemented!
I have High Functioning Autism, this means I am very clever, but can’t feel the way others can feel. I can still show that I care, but it’s a rational concern for others based on values about what is right and wrong that I learned from discrimination as a child, rather than one based on emotion.
I am also a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer, something I spent 10 years of my life working towards. I was even willing to give up a grant from the European union worth over £20,000 to be a Fellow of the BCS, so if my party asked to go against my beliefs and lie, like they tried to do Aneurin Bevan, who gave up his cabinet position because they tried to force him to vote against his belief in nationalisation, then I would resign like he did.
I think all politicians should have to say where stand on all the significant policies, fundamental to the country’s functioning that are in the UK Citizenship Test so they have less opportunity to say different things to different people, base on his knowledge of whether they are socialist, capitalist, liberal or conservative.
As the people of Treforest know I stood against John Bell at the last election. They knew I was autistic, but didn’t know That John was dyslexic.Had they known than the same understandable worries the ruling body of the Labour Party (the NEC) had about me would have been cancelled out. During this elected I was told shopkeeper in Treforest at the election that John Bell was telling people I had autism. I trust them to have told me the truth – why would they lie? Also, the Chair of RCT Lib Dems Karen Roberts, stirred things up by posting to the Pontytown forum saying ‘Is this Man (me) fit to be a town councillor’. I am honest, if I were to lie, I could be ‘impeached’ by the British Computer Society and possibly lose everything I’ve woeked for. So I would like the public to have access to ‘the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ about politicians. So if I got my way, John Bell would have had to have declared his dyslexia like I did my autism – Then we would have been on a level playing field.
Even if this happened and politicians were made to tell the truth, the media would still have the powers to tell lies about them and damage their character. David Cameron can’t make a speech without the Daily Mirror spreading mistruths about him. Ed Miliband can’t make a speech without the Daily Mail misrepresenting him. A similar thing happened to me recently – the press said I was a “nominated” councillor who hadn’t been elected by the public. This was a mistruth: I had been nominated by two prominent members of the community and then no one stood against me so I was elected unopposed. I see this as no less democratic than when Bill Clinton stood for the very senior position of Attorney General, which while making my position of a town councillor seem insignificant, the principle stills applies â€“ My election to public office was no less legitimate that his.
So, in addition to making politicians provide more information to the public and think while there should be freedom of the press to say what they want, they should be made to give the public the chance to test whether what they are saying is correct. My mother reads her paper as a way to relax and escape from the real world. My father on the other hand watches the news on the TV to relax and unwind. But I, like many other people read and watch the news to see what is going on in the world, in search of the “truth”, which even if we don’t find it, it won’t stop us looking. So what I’d like is this:
Whenever the media reports on a speech by a politician (whether in Parliament or in public) they should have to provide an Internet address of where their readers can go to see the original, such as ‘Hansard’ or the Prime Minister’s website, or Leader of the Opposition’s for example
I would like the rules of the game of politics to change as I say about – so that people like me who are upfront and honest are not disadvantaged when contesting elections. Do you think if the public had known that within days of George Bush getting into office he was preparing for a war against Saddam Hussein they would have voted for him? I don’t’ and that’s why I want the public to have full access to information, so they can make an informed decision, like I am giving them the chance to do by putting everything I have said and done since 2002, including my weblog, letters to the press, press releases and news coverage on my website for all to see.
If I am being upfront and honest with the public, why shouldn’t other politicians have to. The media, through fairly holding these politicians to account by providing the public with full access to the information they need, then maybe politics will mean more genuine people like Gordon Brown and me will be in politics.
Gordon Brown said that in his position as Prime Minister he has a duty to â€˜seek to resolveâ€™ the current situation with regards to a hung parliament. Another prime minister once suggested that true leadership is to find opportunity in every difficulty.
The Prime Ministerâ€™s solution should not simply look towards forming a coalition, but a new type of politics. With the support of the other parties he could facilitate the creation of a 25-seat cabinet composed of MPs based on the share of the vote the parties have received and who have been appointed by their partyâ€™s MPs. This executive could then elect a chairperson who would assume the role of Prime Minister and appoint the cabinet portfolios in a similar way to the way the European Commission works. The executive would be like the board of a company where everyone has equal responsibility and would therefore have to act in the interests of the country and not their party.
Parliamentary committees could also become proportional. In addition, individual MPs could then be given the right to vote freely or as part of a group on all issues, in a similar way to how they do in the European Parliament. MPs would no longer be accountable to the whips, but to their constituents.
This approach would renew our democracy and could be done without primary legislation. I urge the parties to adopt this position and take the country forward, to a future where partisanism ends and progress begins.
Tony Blair was defined as a Labour Leader by taking on the idealistic failures of his party to redefine Labour as party fit for government. Gordon Brown needs to take on the political classes to transform Britain into a country where power, wealth
and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few.
Periods in history have always been struggles for identity, whether it be the working class struggling against the bourgeoisie under Marxism, or the battle between repressive men and ambitious women under Feminism, people have fought battles to secure equality and self-respect.
For me, the present time is a battle between the ordinary people who have a profession and work for a living against the political elite who wield power like it is their weapon of choice, who consume wealth like they have sole access to a tuck shop and who deprive others of opportunity like they are the only ones who have a right to achieve their goals.
As a recently elected Town Councillor who aspires to be a Member of Parliament, and a Chartered IT Professional who aspires to be on the Board of Directors of a leading IT firm, I experience the difficulties of an ordinary person seeking
responsibility in a world where only the elite prosper, and where difference is seen as a disadvantage.
The party political system favours the elite, the people who are remote from everyday people, who have the talents of a salesman, the cunning of a cameleon, and who have struggled as much as someone trying to put a hot knife through
It was once illegal to live on earnings from the oldest profession in the world; this should be the case for elected representatives. Being a politician should only ever be a part-time unpaid position as this would mean that elected representatives would be required to have a real job and face the same financial struggles as the people in society they claim to represent. Brown should tackle the elite who cling on to power to preserve their publicly funded lifestyles, rather than to serve the public interest.
House of Lords reform is often talked about as a class battle, but all the government want to do is replace an unelected elite with another political elite.
The House of Lords should be made up of professional people and members diverse interest groups rather than consider of more members of the political class.
Brown needs to tackle the inequalities created by the political class, firstly in his own party and then in political institutions in the country as a whole.