Monday, June 21, 2010

Well this is exciting! Or not.

For some time now the Boss at EUReferendum and I have been a little puzzled by the fact that various organizations close to the Conservative Party (now a member of the Clegeron Coalition) but pretending to be somewhat rebellious, have been talking about a coming IGC that would trigger off a referendum and then we shall see the Boy-King's mettle. (And no, they do not refer to him as the Boy-King but we do.)

An IGC? An Inter-Governmental Conference with all the grandiose trappings for which there are certain rules and which will produce a new treaty that should already have been more or less written and discussed with the Spanish Prime Minister (of the outgoing Presidency) rushing around the other capitals? This is a big event or ought to be. How on earth did we and, indeed, just about everybody else outside the above-mentioned organizations managed to miss it?

Phew! I have now found what all the excitement was about. It seems that on Wednesday there will be a meeting of the Permanent Representatives (or, in other words, not government leaders) to finalize certain arrangements for the Toy Parliament that had been more or less agreed on before.

It was decided to discuss those amendments without calling a Convention or add any of the grand trappings. Indeed, as an Inter-Governmental Conference is is decidedly a damp squib. Perhaps COREPER now feels that they are the real representatives of the various governments not the various Ministers, Prime Ministers or Presidents.

My guess is that this Amendment will be passed without any difficulty through Parliament. It seems unlikely that the Boy-King will consider a bickering about how many representatives there should be in the Toy Parliament a matter of such importance as to give even an ordinary, let alone a cast-iron guarantee of a referendum.


  1. I have always been baffled by the propensity of the proprietor of EUReferendum to sneer at those who know less than he does. Now you seem to be joining in. But lack of knowledge does not not necessarily mean lack of sense. And knowledge does not necessarily mean sense.

  2. Obviously one doesn't sneer at general ignorance, but the difference here is that these people are being paid an awful lot of money to know better than us so that they may inform us.
    Do we keep ourselves sufficiently ignorant that they seem informative? Or do we demand that they up their game lest they become irrelevant?
    The 'net makes the thinking classes dangerous ;)

  3. Not only these people are paid considerably more money than either the Boss or I; not only they refuse to find out basic facts, which is their job; not only do they try to skew the debate away from important matters in order to protect the Conservative Party; they also tell us all (and that means you as well) that until they came on the scene nobody had ever thought of discussing the European Union and, indeed, if they did not do so now nobody would. Of course if you think that neither the Boss nor I have any sense because we happen to know more about the EU than these Tory front organizations, there is nothing much I can do about it. You are free to believe that.

  4. Helen - I appreciate your reply, but I think it partially illustrates my point. You don't like criticism, I don't, no-one does.

    I accept that you (and the Boss) know more about the EU than I do, or the Tory leadership does. But if I know as little as the Tories, sneering at them is sneering at me. Not the way to get me onside.

    There is another little problem. In any accident, the observers will all give a different tale. Depending exclusively on any one observer risks bias and error. Similarly in any big organisation like the Army or the EU to depend on a particular source at a particular level, however sincere, risks bias and error. I think you and the Boss fall into this trap.

  5. I think you have misunderstood my reply, Budgie. It is not criticism I object to but well-paid ignorance, bad faith and dismissal of other people's work. If you think that the Conservative Party front organizations are correct in their analysis then that is up to you. We are not talking about possible differences in interpretations, which the Boss and I have from time to time as well.