The signing of the Lisbon Treaty (EU Constitution) sounds the death knell for democracy throughout Europe, not just here in the UK.
The EU is not a democratic organisation. Its MEPs have no power, they merely rubber stamp the edicts of the bureaucrats, be it the EU Commissioners or the Council of Ministers. When does a true democracy tell its populace to vote again in referendum after referendum if they don't get the answer they, the masters want first time? How would you feel if, in 1997, John Major had declared the general election result wrong, changed a couple of his minor policies, then had another election?
When, in a healthy democracy, does a leader declare that a record low turnout in elections shows that the people are happy? Well Barroso did this year.
Not only do the EU re-run referenda when it suits them, note they didn't re-run our 1975 referendum which went their way, but they push something through anyway by renaming it. The Dutch and French also voted against the EU Constitutional Treaty, but it has been foisted on them now under the name 'Lisbon Treaty'.
OK I spent from July 2004 to last September working for an MEP, which is enough to make anybody cynical, but I did see at first hand what a sham the whole structure is. I know MEPs have no power. They are remote. Can you name even one of your MEPs? Can you tell me a positive thing that a single MEP has done in your region? Why do they exist other than to make money? I really don't know.
It is my firm belief that we are now beyond the traditional liberal democracy that we so valued. Too many people sleep walked into the European Union, soon to have its own President and Foreign Secretary, while being soothed with platitudes about it just being a trading block. First it was the Common Market, then the European Economic Community, then the European Community and now the European Union with the power to impose its will on us and to even dictate the splitting up of our banks. Those of us who warned, over the years, about its ultimate destination, were called 'Little Englanders' and worse. Well tell me now we weren't right!
There is a profound difference in the relationship between people and state in much of Europe, compared to the UK, or at least there was. The state has been traditionally much more powerful in Europe than here, largely why in my view Spain, Italy, Germany and elsewhere experienced fascism in the last century which we thankfuly didn't, although we still bear the scars from fighting it.
I also see why the bureaucrats in post-World War 2 Europe wanted to forge such close alliances betweeen countries, starting with the Steel and Coal Confederation, so that European war again would be virtually impossible, after all look at what their politicians had unleashed on Europe. But please do not tell me that it is the EU that has given us peace in Europe since 1945. Until we joined in 1972 there were only 6 member states, peace was preserved by 'the bomb', NATO and the Cold War.
I love Europe, its people its diversity. I loathe the interfering, busybody monster that is the European Union. The scandal of the Lisbon Treaty will surely hasten the demise of the EU. What we will then have to decide is the type of democracy we will replace it with. One thing is for sure, we can't turn the clock back, the EU and New Labour between them have destroyed too much of our democracy, values and freedoms. Tough decisions will be necessary when the day comes, and it can't come too soon.