Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools

After a protracted battle over the second reading of the Lisbon Treaty Ratification Bill, the Polish Lower House has voted to send it to the Senate and then to the President.

The opposition Law and Justice, which had threatened to vote against the bill if guarantees of opt-outs a la Anglais from the Fundamental Rights Charter, plus maintaining Poland’s blocking mechanism in case they didn’t like some Euro-legislation, in the end, was all a load of hot air.

The Prime Minister Tusk went to the President at the weekend and emerged with what is basically an informal compromise.

Law and Justice then withdrew their amendments to the Bill and voted it through this afternoon.

The opposition to the bill has come from nationalists and from the Left. The government is a Thatcher-ite bunch of rightwingers. What’s different about their politics from Lady Thatcher’s, however, is commitment to, and enthusiasm, of Brussels – something that would make the Old Lady barf, if she still knows how to barf, that is. You won’t find many business and Big Business people in Poland who are against the EU, and that is the government’s electoral base.

The Polish government has successfully bypassed the electorate and pushed through the Treaty without having to bother the electorate. In doing so, they have joined the other national governments within the EU, who were scared out of their tiny minds by the populist moment in French and Dutch booted the old Constitutional Treaty in to touch.

The difference between, for instance, Poland and the UK is that if out to the vote here, the government would have won a ‘Tak’ vote. All they were scared of was that the turnout would not make the 50 percent threshold for the vote to be valid.

The Polish government were scared of the apathy of the majority of the population over an issue that is indeed a distant, detached.

So I don’t think that the Eurocrats should be patting themselves too hard on the back for a ‘Yes’ vote in the Polish parliament. The Lisbon Treaty is not going to solve the problem that the original Constitutional Treaty set out to solve – the lack of real connection between Brussels and the rest of us.

Still, a Yes vote after a prolonged piece of nonsense by the political class in Poland on April Fool’s Day. Apt.


Anonymous said...

I see folk are very very interested in the EU, BT. It really is a topic that 'connects' with the demos!

Anonymous said...

So, for a few little baubles, the Law and Justice party have assented to the Lisbon Treaty. They are making a big mistake. They have voted for the abolition of the Polish nation. No doubt, they and all the other Polish politicians will be well rewarded for their treachery; by the 'good europeans'.