The Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has told today's Irish Times that, "At the end of the day, 90 percent of what was in the constitution is still there. I make no secret of the fact that I would rather the form that was set out. We were not going to get it that way that we wanted it, so we had to go back and look at the issue."
The Tories have actually managed to get their act together and put something up on their website about a referendum, UKIP is currently leading on a story about the EU banning natural paintbrushes, and Channel 4 has decided that, "the Prime Minister was in knockabout form as he defended the new European Union treaty agreed at the eleventh hour last week".
Tony is actually more focused on a new job in the Middle East, despite confident predictions that he was to be the new EU president, and is leaving Brown to clean up his mess. Peter Riddell, in The Times, however, reckons that Brown can tough it out without going for a referendum.
Meanwhile, Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman offers his "take" on recent events in Brussels: EU leaders began their meeting with a constitutional text, he writes. Then, over many hours, they added endless footnotes, protocols and "clarifications", which became more important than the original text itself. "The result", he says,
…is almost impossible to read or understand. And that is entirely intentional. Many things happened at the summit. But perhaps the most important was that the EU finally abandoned the idea that it wants ordinary Europeans to understand what it is doing.He concludes that the weekend marked the end of the EU's experiment with transparency and popularity. The Union, he suggests, "will once again inspire interest only among a small band of specialists, devotees and deviants."
Ho hum. Back to being a deviant.
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