Friday, August 24, 2007

The Pressure Mounts

Ian Davidson MP
Ian Davidson MP
Following on from yesterday's developments as more unions called for a referendum on the upcoming EU treaty, has come news of similar rumblings within the Parliamentary Labour Party itself.

The exact number of of Labour MPs discontent with the party line on not holding a referendum is estimated by various sources as being between 40 and 100, certainly, even at the lower end, enough to bring significant discomfort to the Prime Minister. Names are thin on the ground, however Ian Davidson, MP for Glasgow South West has bravely stuck his head over the parapet, according to the Telegraph:
And Mr Davidson urged the new Prime Minister to abandon Tony Blair's later refusal to hold a vote on the new EU treaty just as he tore up his predecessor's plans for a giant super-casino.

Mr Brown should appeal to other EU leaders to realise that he was now under "domestic pressure" and needed to give way on the referendum, the MP said.

"He could honestly say: a bad boy (Mr Blair) did this and ran away," Mr Davidson told The Daily Telegraph.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

The Telegraph also notes that Gwyneth Dunwoody, never one to let the needs of the party get in the way of doing what is right, has also voiced support for a referendum. The original article is worth a look for the picture of how much Angela Merkel enjoyed the Dour One's company at Wembely alone.

This is excellent news and carries none of the risks that concerned me in my posting on union support for a referendum. Of those who have spoken up, there seems to be a clear matter of principle in play. While most of the known names hail from the left of the Labour party and would doubtlessly very much like to see the rights charter have full legal force, the way they are positioning themselves has left no room for them to be bought off by any such tinkering with the final treaty. For them to drop their support in return for inclusion of even more of the original constitution would be completely untenable.

I suspect as more names become known they will generally be people with whom I would agree on very little, but I applaud them fully for their principled stand.

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