Scratch the surface of "new" Gordon Brown and you find exactly the same grisly product that has presided in tandem with Tony Blair of the last ten years of the decline of the United Kingdom. And nowhere is that more true than in the case of the "new" European Constitution.
When I referred, in the House of Commons, to the "Constitutional Treaty" I was told sharply by the Leader of the House, Chairman of the Labour Party and Frau Valdemort of the Palace of Westminster, Ms. Harman, that it was "not a constitution" and that clearly my translation was at fault.
My translation? The fact is that although the House is due to discuss this re-hashed European Constitution in October and although the Projet de Traite modifiant le Traite sur L`union Europeenne et leTraite Instituant la Communaute Europeenne ((Or the Draft Treaty modifying the treaty on the European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, to give its exciting title in English) was published in July it was published only in French and was not readily available in the House of Commons.
French is not my first language and European Community Brussels French is not anyone's first language but, as the Government was clearly so determined that Members of Parliament should not see it I persuaded the ever obliging House of Commons Library to obtain and photocopy the French text for me. I have now struggled through this turgid prose in its original form even though it has subsequently escaped in something approximating English. Harry Potter it is not, but full of evil things and dark spells it most certainly is.
What is more important is that notwithstanding the protestations of the goodly Frau Valdemort it is the European Constitution writ large and with only minor modifications and under another name.
The Irish Prime Minister has said that ninety per cent of the Constitution remains in the Constitutional Treaty and the Spanish Prime Minister has said that ninety-eight per cent of it remains. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has acknowledged that "the fundamentals of the Constitution have been maintained in large part" and the Danish Prime Minister has said that "all the symbolic elements are gone - and that which really matters, the core, is left". European Officials have scarcely been able to contain their glee and their mirth at the fact that the European Council of Ministers has taken this regurgitated offering hook, line and sinker. Mr. Brown, however, the Prime Minister of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, tells the House of Commons that "we have secured our negotiating objective"!
Well, Mr.Brown, you may have secured your own "negotiating objective" but you have not secured mine! As the Constitutional Treaty stands the EU will have a President to set the Agenda, not on a rotating basis as at present but for a fixed and much longer term. (A future sinecure for Mr, Blair?). The EU will have a Foreign Minister in all but name and a legal system that would enshrine the supremacy of European law over British law. Immediately, our national right of veto would be abolished in sixty areas of competence with a further power for the EU to extend this to cover everything except defence. Make no mistake: this constitutional treaty provides the framework, in a way that no previous treaty has done, for a future Federal United States of Europe.
In Mr. Brown's last election manifesto he said that "We will put the European Constitution to the British People in a referendum" and Ex-Prime Minister Blair said that "what you can't do is have a situation where you get a rejection of the treaty and then bring it back with a few amendments and say we'll have another go". That, of course, is very precisely what is happening. This is an issue that is too fundamental for government or even parliament to decide. The British people must be given the right to vote that Gordon Brown seeks to deny them.