Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Making the Worst of a Bad Job

Brown and Miliband try on the new official Foreign Office treaty signing uniforms

Gordon Brown has been struggling with his decision decision over how involved he should be in the proceedings surrounding the signing of the rebadged EU constitution.

Yesterday he appeared to have two options to select from. Should he show a bit of nerve and show his personal support for the treaty he used to loathe so much by turning up in person to be photographed signing it? Alternatively, would he rather take the shifty and cowardly way by not wishing to be frozen for posterity with his pen hovering over a a document that will probably be causing bad headlines for years to come?

Even amongst those of us who are not that keen on the document in question and are even less happy with the fraud perpetrated on the electorate over the promised referendum, many would probably have preferred the former option. Not for once to further embarrass the walking embarrassment that is Gordon Brown, but because, at least in my case I felt that to be the only leader absent would look like an act of petulance that would reflect badly not only on Brown, but on the whole nation. The latter option would have been much more in character for Macavity Brown; cynical, calculating and counter-productive.

Amazingly though, the Prime Minister has truly excelled himself by coming up with a third option, worse than either of the two he was initially weighing up, by turning up late, missing the incriminating photographs and signing the treaty in private over lunch.

I don't like the treaty, but whether our Prime Minister should sign it is a private debate within this country, as much as the likes of Barroso may wish otherwise, just as although I'm sorry that the Danish Prime Minister has also lacked the courage to involve his own people in the way they clearly wish, that is purely a matter for the Danes.

If though, on the public stage, the treaty is going to be signed by our government, I would prefer it was done with a little dignity, but sadly that's another quality Brown lacks entirely.

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