Monday, 16 June 2008

Europe the way forward?

As we ponder the way forward in Europe perhaps the devolution position in the UK is a model to consider.

In Scotland the settled will suggested full law making from day one would fly while in Wales the settled will would have voted no out of hand so we have a partial solution and a roadmap to something better.

The EU problem is that, to continue the analogy, they have imposed the Scottish Model on Wales then wondered why its unpopular.

So what is the way forward?

Not as the analogy may suggest a two speed approach but a realisation that the peoples of Europe are what matter.

Stereotypically we are all to a greater or lesser extent xenophobes with a mistrust of authority.

When Marillion sung of "pleading answers from the nameless faceless watchers who stalk the carpeted halls of Whitehall" they capture that concern and when established politicians subconsciously associate humour in the use of Wop to characterise Italians it demonstrates how deeply ingrained this is in the national psyche.

To be faced with foreign president and overcentralised powers was therefore too much too soon.

Our leaders must go back to the treaty drawing board and look at what it contains. Grandiose schemes like Presidents must go on the back burner whereas processes that open up the commission and give powers from bureaucrat to parliamentarian and open up the processes to the public must come to the fore.

Europe must earn the trust of its peoples with a simple treaty designed for the population not those stalking the corridors in Brussels and Strasbourg.

In short we need a Welsh treaty not the Scottish one on offer