Well done the pro referendum protesters

it was good to see so many people turn up to lobby MPs for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. They did so peacefully and patiently, in best UK democratic style. None of them went on to the roof. I hope all the MPs who still plan to break their word on such a referendum will now feel even guiltier about doing so.

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16 Comments

  1. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    What a pity that this democratic protest by so many, representing the views of so many, received so little media coverage compared to the law breaking by so few!

  2. Stuart Fairney
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Not so curious that the BBC sought to ignore the law abiding protestors that they disagree with and glorify the criminal protestors that they agree with!

  3. Letters From A Tory
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Such a shame that those idiotic runway protesters ruined the press coverage of the referendum lobbying.
    http://lettersfromatory.wordpress.com

  4. David Hannah
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    The thing is John, by not going on the roof, the EU referendum protesters escaped any modicum of media coverage, while the climate change bores monopolised our TV screens for most of the day. Under the circumstances, one wonders if Gordon Brown was instrumental in giving them a Westminster pass.

    I can’t help but feel how a large banner emblazoned with “To Let”, “For Sale”, or "Under New Management" hanging down the side of the palace would have been more effective than a mass lobby that will be ignored.

  5. NotaSheep
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Most will not feel any guilt at all. They will just hide behind the agreement that the "constitutional concept" has been abandoned in Brussels and that "This is an amending treaty and not a constitutional treaty." This is true but also misleading. The concept that was abandoned was the concept of having a new Constitutional Treaty, the point is that rather than replace all existing treaties with a new Constitution, the EU have devised an amending treaty that has the same result.

  6. Elizabeth Elliot-Pyl
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Yes, John, but as you say 'MPs who still plan to break their word…' My point is: will this mass lobby have had any effect? Can you tell us, as an MP yourself, whether any of them will be swayed? Do MPs really give a monkeys?
    I realise that some in marginal seats may be forced to re-think, but what about all the others?
    And if they wont be swayed, or are too afraid of their whips, what on earth can we mere electors DO????

    Reply: We have to keep up the pressure, but unless the Lib dems buckle we cannot win the vote. We must fight each battle as it presents itself – at the moment the battle is to secure votes in Commons and Lords for a referendum.

  7. number 6
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I doubt those who break their via their party manifesto give the proverbial monkeys to those of us who chose to put our point of view across in person.

    Guilt is not a feeling that will trouble someone capable of allowing the very democracy they claim to represent to be undermined by the unelected EU.

  8. Tim
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    For that lot to get all their junk into the Palace and up onto the roof, they would have needed to have passes or friends with passes, otherwise security would have caught them. This means members, or their staff, were instrumental in letting these people in, and up onto the roof.

    I have been in the Palace a few times and if you are wandering the corridors you get caught and escorted back to where you are supposed to be within a matter of minutes. The climate change chaps were aided by someone with the necessary passes and authority to not receive any second glances from the security.

    In whose interest would it be to make sure the IWAR crowd were ignored? These are the people who helped that lot in.

    On a more serious note, if the security at the Palace is so lax, how long before someone smuggles in a bomb, or a gun to take someone hostage or worse?

    reply: There are checks to stop people entering with weapons.

  9. Sam Pepson
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Apologies if it's not directly relevant to your blog, but what do you think about the Spectator story on Ian Davidson's amendment?
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/527496/eur

    (The amendment proposes a two question referendum which would ask:

    “Should the United Kingdom retain its membership of the European Union?”

    “If it remains a member of the European Union, should the United Kingdom approve the Lisbon Treaty?” )

    It seems to have attracted very little attention so far, though it seems to be the ideal amendment to focus on. David Cameron could (and should) take the moral high ground by allowing a free vote. What do we have to lose?

    Reply: I do think an In Out referendum requires preparation so we know what "In" means, and what terms are available for "Out". I think we need to vote on Lisbon and then renegotiate, then vote again.

  10. Dave B
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Surely the Davidson amendment is the best chance of getting a referendum on the Constitution/Lisbon Treaty? The Lib-Dems have said they WANT an in/out referendum, but would abstain from a referendum on the Constitution/Lisbon, and the Conservatives don't have enough votes without the Lib-Dems.

    Reply: I don't think the LIb Dems are up for the Davidson amendment.

  11. mikestallard
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    John, I do hope that you are registering:
    1. The anger that is building up about this terrible betrayal of all that we have stood for over the past 1000 years.
    2. Our complete inability to do much about it. Please do not give up! It is very rare that people are right or wrong in politics, but you are right. Jim Murphy and his party are wrong.

    One of the most unpleasant things, I think, is the way that Daniel Hannan's blog has been vandalised by Trolls from the EU. I really do not want my life micromanaged by people like that.

  12. niconoclast
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Shouldn't the referendum be on UK membership of the EU as the liberals are proposing? It comes to something when a conservative voter has to look to the liberals of all people to draw attention to the EU elephant in the drawing room.

    Reply: Shame on you. The Conservatives are the only party who promised a referendum on Lisbon and are voting for one. We constantly highlight the "elephant in the room" and especially the large new transfer of powers to the EU prpopsed in the latest Treaty. Unlike the Lib dems we OPPOSE this.

  13. Bazman
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    It's funny how the British governments always want to opt out of anything to do with tax, employment laws and human rights.
    Even the Labour governments is against the rights of temporary workers to be the same as permanent ones. How long before temporary becomes permanent.
    I don't really see on principle why further integration into the EU is such a bad thing. France and Germany have their problems, but most of the British middle classes would like a European lifestyle. Making their money in Britain and then spending as much time in France to bleat about the state of Britain seems to be the scrip.
    This country is in danger of turning into a grotty island tax haven and apparently many agree so are leaving in their droves.
    Probably to Europe. Whilst their people escape their countries rubbish systems that favor the old and wealthy by coming here.

    Reply: When are you emigrating, Bazman? Despite a Labour government , we are still on high average incomes than the rest of the EU.

  14. Curly
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    What a shame that the BBC hid the news away on the politics page of their website, more worrying is the probability of the EU Amendment Treaty being fully ratified with the help of Labour's whips.

  15. Puncheon
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    In my experience, and I worked in Brussels for 5 years, the more pro-EU a politician the less they know about Europe. The fact is that the EU is very, very corrupt and anti-democratic. The main problem is the Commission – it dates from a time when there was no European Parliamement and should be deprived of its executive functions. It is riddled with marxists, Frenchmen and other(s -ed). The European Parliament is full of Euro-trash and mad single issue fanatics. The UK pro-Euro politician is typically someone keen to get on a bigger gravy train and have a bigger stage on which to perform. We have a negative trade balance with Europe, they are buying out all our companies and refusing to let us do the same in their countries. The growing economies are to the east. HM the Queen was right all those years ago when she wanted us to form a free trade area with the Commonwealth, only tho be shouted down by the – small minded political class, eg E Heath and co.

  16. Bazman
    Posted March 1, 2008 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I take your point John, but I'm still waiting for all the obnoxious people who said they would leave if labour got in. I don't remember the Conservative governments creating the right economic conditions for the likes of Bazman though.
    A writer, 27-year-old Carolina Alguacil, lives in downtown Barcelona works for an advertising agency and coined the term 'mileurista'.
    These are often very well educated thirty somethings, engineers and other foreign language speaking professionals living four to a flat with no car, savings, etc. living almost hand to mouth. Although this mainly applies to Barcelona. From what I hear this is common across Europe.
    There is greater opportunities in Britain than Europe and many of the Polish I talk to agree. There could be even greater ones in Canada and Australia, but the pay looks similar. Out of the frying pan and into the frying pan I fear.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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