Thursday, November 08, 2007

Referendums

On Monday night I attended Liberty's comedy show at the wonderful Hackney Empire, "Bonfire of the Liberties". Bremner - brilliant as always. An excellent Iranian comedienne, a female ventriloquist with a monkey - an act full of Brechtian alienation - and, of course, Marcus Brigstocke as compere. It was Brigstocke who sent up the idea of a referendum on the EU Reform Treaty. See Jeremy Hargreaves blog and Jonathan Calder's reaction.

Referendums are poor instruments for deciding anything but are absurd for treaty ratification, which requires line-by-line scrutiny, which only parliament can give. Neither the North Atlantic Treaty nor any other treaty I can think of has been ratified by referendum in the UK. Liberal Democrats were wrong to give credence to the idea that a referendum was appropriate. Eurosceptics want a referendum precisely because they fear the decision of people who will actually have examined the treaty.

1 comment:

Norfolk Blogger said...

The party opposes a referendum because it knows the vote would be no.