Ever since Mark criticised the cut-and-paste content of some of my blogs I had shied away from pasting entire pieces from the media and leaving them for comment. However Monsieur Plus Illumin- du Soleil cannot be right. It is one of the basic blog activites as best demonstrated by our friend Robert at Wired Temples. Going through todays The Times I could not help noting some interesting phrases (mainly on the French vote) and sharing them with you guys.
*reproduced from CartoonArts International
Lord Kerr of Kinlochard former head of the British Diplomatic Service and one of the authors of the constitution, talking to The Times last week, said he believed that France had been entirely right in its conviction from the start that Europe should have one Presidency. “You can’t say to the President of the United States ‘go and talk to the Maltese’“, he said.
With Diplomats like these…who needs savages? I’m sure the Dubya has interesting conversations with Tony B… who would want some Maltese bastard ruining the entente cordiale with the Yanks eh!! Mintoff’s spectre hovers in a Banquo moment!
Jean-Claude Juncker (PM of our Grand Duchy)
Ratification of the constitution must continue even if a country rejects it in a referendum. Mr Juncker whose country is holding a referendum in July said that any country that votes “no” in a referendum must hold the referendum again, to get the “right answer”.
Ok. We thought Alfred Sant was mad when analysing the Maltese referendum results. It seems like every country has its own crackpot with an original view on how democracy works. This distance between governors and governed is just what votes against the constitution are all about. The political servants of the people need a new reminder of what elections and referenda are all about. They need a reminder of where sovereignty lies. They need a reminder that, in this least evil of all systems, no matter how ignorant the electorate can be, it is imperative that its decisions reign supreme. Otherwise give me Idi Amin, Kim Il Jung, Pinochet or Mintoff any day of the week.
The European Trade Commissioner refuted reports that Tony Blair was keen for other countries to reject the constitution so that he did not have to hold a referendum in Britain. “I don’t think he wants to get off the hook, as you put it. I think he would like the constitution to go through and, if there is a constitutional treaty to vote ‘yes’ for, he woulds like to see that ratified in Britain,” he told the BBC.
Bollocks. Who do you think you are kidding Peter Mandelson? The moment the first ripples of the Non! echoed into 10 Downing Street I am sure Tony was throwing a private party of his own. The Netherlands will probably vote Nej too so by the time it is Brittania’s turn she can sit calmly and claim that there is no longer anything to vote about. Tony B avoids another bashing at the polls (for the last elections cannot be seen as anything but a bashing for Labour who can only thank a twisted electoral system for their parliamentary majority).
Les voteurs en France
Patrick Leclaire, 52, an electricity worker employed by EDF, the state generator: The more President Chirac had told him to vote “yes”, the greater had been his resolve to vote “no”. He said: “He’s like a travelling saleseman and he’s got no credibility”. He was worried that Europe would usher in a liberal economy through the back door, signifying privatisation and a loss of job security for EDF employees.
Jer�me Joinet, a 38 year old journalist said that he had been in favour of a “yes” at the beginning of the campaign and then changed to a “no”. A few hours before voting he returned to a “yes”. “I’m in favour of tax harmonisation and the constitution does nothing for that. But a “no” vote means going back 50 years and starting from scratch.”
Christian Bounay, 50, a literature teacher in a local secondary had followed a similar path: from “yes” to “no” and back to “yes” again. “At first, I thought I’m pro-European andd so I’m going to approve the constitution. Then I read it and became very reticent about it. It’s making economic-liberalism the official doctrine – and we can see all the damage the liberalism is producing now. But when I voted the weight of saying “no” was too great and the idea of voting the same way as Jean-Marie Le Pen was too much. The pressure was too intense and so I said “yes”.
Gonzi and Sant take note. Patrick voted NO not to be like Chirac. Christian voted YES not to be like Le Pen. Is it just my impression or are European voters across the continent increasingly voting negatively? A vote has become defined by “who you are not voting for” rather than “what I am voting for”. The electorate is faced with such bad choices that they choose the lesser of all evils. Give us a new project NOW! The Nationalists in Malta hooked onto this idea ages ago (remember the Ma Tistax Tafdah posters… which admittedly backfired… twice). Sant still fails to see what a winning argument the “Don’t Vote for Him” is and continues to plod on in the realm of the unelectable. Harry V is also having a hard time shedding off the “Don’t Vote Green Monsters” label. And yet we go on….
Last one from Tony B himself
Speaking from Tuscany, where he is on holiday, the prime Minister said while the debate over the constitution had been necessary, it did not reflect the concerns of ordinary people. “I think that underneath all this there is a more profound question which is about the future of Europe, and in particular the future of the European economy and how we deal with the modern questions of globalisation and technological change,” he said. While institutional reform was important, voters were clearly more concerned with jobs, economic security, public services and welfare reform.
Eureka! With a bit of luck the Tuscan sun might inspire some brain cells in the young man from Downing Street.
That’s the end of my quasi-anthropological survey of what is being said. Hope you enjoyed the trip. Incidentally most quotes were taken from today’s and yesterday’s editions of The Times.