Saturday, April 16, 2011

Was he telling the truth?

The usual method of finding out whether a politician is lying is to watch his or her lips. If these are moving with speech, lies are issuing. In this case, the question is was George Osborne lying to the Commons. Well, of course, he was, I hear you cry, without knowing what it is I am talking about and I tend to agree. However, this is of some importance.

The matter under discussion is the "deal agreed by European finance ministers in May last year on the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM), making all EU nations liable to contribute to potential euro bailouts". Alistair Darling, then Chancellor of the Exchequer represented this country and on our behalf though without bothering to ask our opinion, agreed to the deal and signed us up to an open-ended bail-out sum. The question is not whether Georgie-Porgie knew about it - nobody is denying that he did as Mr Darling, quite properly, consulted him - but whether he agreed to it. This is what Douglas Carswell MP has been trying to find out, as different people give different versions.
The controversy for Carswell surrounds what Osborne did or didn't agree with Darling.

The Clacton MP has seized on a Treasury document signed by Treasury Minister Justine Greening from July last year (highlighted by Paul Waugh on his blog at the end of last month) which suggests that there was a "cross-party consensus" over the EFSM.

Yet there has been a series of strenuous denials to the Commons that Osborne agreed with the decision made at the meeting in Brussels on May 9th.
Some say this and some say that and what I say is that Lord Willoughby de Broke is right: one Parliament cannot bind its successor. As this government seems reluctant to act upon that principle, one cannot help feeling just a teensy-weensy bit suspicious.

1 comment:

  1. Being devoid of an "absolute" government hardly bothers the EU anyhow. Look at Portugal. The Tories know they will be suffering all round if they admit to agreeing any substantial sums being paid. Especially as the taxpayers are having to make all sorts of cuts in their precious frontline services.

    They are used to fighting off Labour supporters, they've been doing it for years but now their own people are starting to get fed up with the EU. They're being attacked from all sides, whether these people genuinely believe their own anti-EU hyperbole or not. Not a great position to be especially when some of that conflict is coming from their own members. Easier just to lie, it worked for Labour. Fortunately, we are all a little wiser and less trusting now and thank goodness for the internet!