Thursday, February 07, 2008

In space, no one can hear you scream

A long scream of anguish comes from John Redwood on his blog as he sets out how the government is silencing debate on the EU constitutional Lisbon treaty, invoking surprise from one of his readers that the national press does not seem to have picked up on this.

Perhaps the nearest thing to comment in the MSM – and not very near – is an opinion piece from Iain Martin in The Daily Telegraph. There he observes, vis-à-vis the scandalous behaviour of "Gorbals Mick", the speaker of the House of Commons, that:

Parliament is weak enough, thanks to Whitehall and the rapacious European Union. Neuter it and the idea that it is a historical wonder, the product of centuries of constitutional evolution, and the defender of our rights and liberties, would be lost for good.
That, actually is the point. Over term, since our accession to the (then) EEC and the ratification of successive treaties which have given the EU more and more power, Parliament has weakened itself to the point where it is no longer relevant in huge areas of our daily lives.

Governance – rather than government – is a matter of dialogue between the provincial government in Whitehall and our masters in Brussels, and MPs are mere bystanders in a process over which they no longer have any control.

Shorn of any real power - a largely self-inflicted injury – we first get the phenomenon whereby the establishment turns in on itself and becomes obsessed with the trivia of the institution, a form of denial that reflects its inability to come to terms with its own diminished status.

Secondly, as Tapestry observes today, the commentators divert their attention to the centres of real power, where there is excitement and drama – hence the pre-occupation with the early stages of the US election process.

Meanwhile, as the Parliament's power gravitates to Brussels, the lobbyists, the NGOs and the rent-seekers follow it, leaving Westminister as an idle backwater, bereft of influence. It is in that vacuum that Redwood delivers his despairing cry – the vacuum of space. But, as the film Alien so aptly pointed out, in space no one can hear you scream.

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