Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Reform Treaty Is Indeed the Rejected Constitution under Another Name

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Reform Treaty Is Indeed the Rejected Constitution under Another Name

Article excerpt

Byline: keith hann

THERE is apparently no truth in the rumour that a couple in Connaught Square have been threatened with an Asbo by Westminster City Council.

This allegedly followed complaints that their neighbours had been kept awake all night by uproarious laughter, as the Blairs repeatedly watched a recording of Gordon Brown's humiliation at Prime Minister's Questions last week. Still, it must have been a dream come true, particularly for Cherie.

Who would have predicted that the man with the Big Clunking Fist would land it so unerringly on his own chin?

It took Tony Blair years and a hugely unpopular war to destroy his credibility; Gordon Brown has accomplished it in little more than two weeks. The longest courtship in British political history has been followed by the shortest honeymoon.

The divorce, however, could prove a longerrunning saga than the current Mills- McCartney bust-up. Mr Brown has a secure majority in Parliament and no one can force him to hold a General Election before 2010. So let's turn our attention to another vote he is determined not to give us. No, please don't turn over.

This may make your eyes feel heavy, but it's really important.

However much we may dislike Gordon Brown or David Cameron, can't we at least agree that we'd prefer to be governed by a British politician we stand a chance of removing, rather than some unelected and faceless bureaucrat in Brussels? (There is another issue, about whether a Scot should be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom under the present constitutional settlement, which is hugely unfair to the English, but that is a subject for another day.) We must all hope that Mr Brown is on rather better form this week, as he defends Britain's "red lines" at the summit with other European leaders in Lisbon, than he was against Mr Cameron last Wednesday.

But we also have the word of the Labour MP who chairs the Commons European Scrutiny Committee that these "red lines" are worthless because they will "leak like a sieve". …

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