Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time to Take a Stand against Elitism

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time to Take a Stand against Elitism

Article excerpt

Byline: KEITH HANN

ANOTHER week, another voting scandal. Yet again people foolishly imagined they were being invited to make a democratic choice, then found that they had been conned into casting meaningless votes because only the views of the so-called experts actually counted.

In the case of Strictly Come Dancing, the internet is abuzz with suggestions that the judges might have engineered Saturday night's debacle as their revenge on the public for backing John Sergeant in previous rounds, in defiance of their instructions.

At least there is no need to waste time dreaming up conspiracy theories in Ireland. Anyone there who believed that voters' rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum earlier this year would kill the project stone dead, as legally it should have done, would have had to be even more stupid than the stereotypical characters in those jokes we are no longer allowed to tell.

To absolutely no one's astonishment, the Irish people are to be required to vote again, after some amendments to soothe their feelings.

Just as the voters of Denmark were made to reconsider after they rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.

Only the Dutch and French votes against the European Constitution in 2005 caused the juggernaut to brake, and then only until its drivers had the brainwave of smuggling 99% of the constitution into an unreadable treaty with a different name, which would not require a second vote. Brilliant.

What else would you expect, when the founding assumption of the whole European project is that the people of the Continent cannot be trusted to govern themselves?

The same cast of mind was all too evident in EU Commission President Barroso's recent claim that "the people who matter in Britain" are warming towards membership of the euro. A move that should certainly become psychologically easier as the brilliant economic management of our world-saving Prime Minister and his Treasury satrap leads the pound to dive to parity with the euro, and quite possibly below. …

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