"The new treaty is 44,000 words long," writes Denis MacShane in the Guardian's Comment is free. "The dead constitution was 157,000 words long. Unless there is a new EU mathematic directive abolishing the laws of percentages 44,000 cannot be 90, or 95 or even 50 percent of 157,000."
He then goes on to ask, rhetorically, "Is the new treaty the old constitution?" then telling us that, "It is difficult to see how this can be intellectually defended." The new treaty, he says, "…leaves all the old treaties in place. The constitution abolished all the old treaties and rolled them into one giant EU document."
Now, the "constitution abolished all the old treaties". But it then re-enacted, them with amendments, and also adding new components or "innovations" as the "colleagues" prefer to call them, to make up 157,000 words.
The new treaty simply amends the existing treaties (and adds new components) so that the end result, as a consolidated treaty, is near as damn it 157,000 words. And, as the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee yesterday reported , the new consolidated document is "substantially equivalent" to the constitution.
So, is MacShane so stupid that he cannot work this out? The answer is, probably not. His stupidity is of a different order – that he is stupid enough to expect us to believe his tosh.