Saturday, September 11, 2004

"We are giving you a referendum you never asked for. Isn't that democratic?"


* New Labour's record of commitment to 'democracy' is very poor.Remember the Party vote on the choice of London mayoral candidate? MPswere given one thousand votes each, party members one vote.

* The people of Gibraltar want to stay British and are heavily opposedto the 'sovereignty-sharing' (i.e. surrendering) agreement with Spain.Blair, of course, will ignore their referendum result.

* Despite 90% overall opposition, and 75% from business, John Prescotttransferred county councils' housing planning powers. to (unelected)regional bodies. (Telegraph, 19.7.02).

* New Lab's mania for uprooting local government hit trouble after 15out of 22 referendums rejected "continental" elected mayors, at a costof £2.5m and turnouts averaging 30%. (Times, 19.7.02).

* Of course, when they were proposed in 1997/8, John Prescott's"reforms" insisted on centralising power with a cabinet and/or executivemayor as "really good government", and voters were not permitted toretain the existing set up whereby decisions were taken by the full bodyof elected councillors.

* Now Councils will no longer have to hold referendums on electedmayors. Councils can just go ahead if they want a scheme. (BBC Online,25.6.02)

* The percentage of voters who do not want the Euro is easily in the'sixties', even 'seventies'. This has not stopped the Government wastingmillions on Euro preparations - cynically "to give voters a choice".Scrapping the Pound for the Euro not only transfers vital powers to runour currency to unelected and unaccountable European bankers. TheGovernment it quiet over the fact that would be legally irreversible -even if a country's voters find it doesn't work and change their minds.

* By ratifying the Treaty of Amsterdam, more powers have been passedfrom the elected Parliament to EU institutions. The Government wants totransfer even more powers via the Treaty of Nice, even though this hasbeen rejected by voters in the Irish Republic. Their wishes in thereferendum should have been respected, which would have meant droppingthe proposed Treaty across Europe.

* You can also add the reluctance to give the people a referendum on theEU Constitution....2003/4

Brian Mooney

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