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Promoting Democracy and Human Rights

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 7:28 pm on 13th October 2008.

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Photo of Tony Wright Tony Wright Labour, Cannock Chase 7:28 pm, 13th October 2008

The hon. Gentleman has taken my concluding peroration; I shall have to do a bogus one now. He has given the answer to the paradox: that democracy has to operate at many different levels and we have to get the democratic forms appropriate to those levels. People could then understand that democracy is near to them and in a form that they can control, but that, for some issues, it will require different forms of control.

If we want democracy to do what is necessary—discipline power—we need mechanisms that link the local neighbourhood council to the new international regulatory mechanisms. We have not begun to explain how the paradox works. When we debate Europe some people call for a referendum because they say that Europe is not very democratic and the people must be allowed to speak. My response is that although people might say that, a referendum on the European issue would be the worst thing to do, because we would not know what people were voting for and against. We would not know which bits of the Lisbon treaty people liked and which they did not like, nor what the consequences would be. We need, instead, to argue for the democratisation of different levels of power.

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Jane Birkby
Posted on 15 Oct 2008 12:01 am (Report this annotation)

This 'gentleman' simply does not understand, that the people of Britain and particularly of England, do not want any of the 'bits' of the Lisbon Treaty.
In fact they don't want the EU full stop.
The EU have ruined our farming and industry, placed our utilities in foreign hands, hamstrung our security services, reduced our armed forces, run roughshod over what the people actually hold dear, and placed us in grave danger, while siphoning £billions from taxpayers contributions.
He doesn't seem to understand exactly what democracy is as perceived by the voters, who have seen their own protections ripped apart by treacherous politicians over the last 100 years.
Where is Cromwell when we need him?
Parliament is a joke these days, unrepresentative, and undemocratic, as it dances to the tunes its masters play.

David Clark
Posted on 15 Oct 2008 10:14 am (Report this annotation)

The problem with the European Referendum is not simply whether we should have one or not, but whether a party that promised one in its election manifesto should simply be allowed to abandon it because it now fears it will not get the result it wants.