Sunday, 31 July 2011

A lost cause?

Exploiting the Coalition's promise that any petition securing 100,000 signatures will be 'eligible' for debating in Parliament, the Express has launched a petition for a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.

Captain Ranty is exhorting his readership to sign the petition, however as one of his commenters states:
"I'm afraid, Captain, under their rules, this is as much of a non-starter as all the other wastes of time that are spun as wonderful new ways of "opening up democracy". Any petitions that get over 100k get shoved on a list for a backbench committee to "look at", and after "consideration" and "checking" by the relevant govt department, the committee may propose that the petitions be put it forward to a debate in the House but the government isn't bound to look at the proposal or discuss it anyway. It is entirely symbolic! ....[.....].....Anything that the people want but the LibLabCon and their corporate money masters don't want will not get anywhere. They will be classed as "Offensive, joke or nonsense e-petitions" on the basis that they are provocative or "extreme" in their views. Of course, we would then get the "government ignores electorate" situation, but then that's no different to the way things already are."
That commenter is perfectly correct when he spells out the procedure to be followed to which any peitition must adhere. It is also worth repeating that any such petition is only 'eligible' for debate in Parliament - there is nothing in the Coalition 'manifesto promise', or on the Directgove website that says otherwise.

As I have posted previously, for any referendum to be held on this subject requires strict limits placed on both sides of the argument - equal funding, equal air-time, etc. That won't happen as we all know, coupled with which the EU will do all it can (knowing them, legally or otherwise) to influence the result. It is worth repeating from my previous post:
"To fix wholly and solely on an “in/out” referendum is to declare the chosen means of fighting to an enemy who will have the advantage of making the dispositions of his far superior forces of money, influence and persuasion well in advance and of fixing the time of the engagement to his best advantage. It will not be a fair fight. Most of it will take place long before the immediate campaign before the poll – without rules and with all the advantage to big money and entrenched influence."
It is my intention to sign this petition, if only to see how the government wriggle out of not holding a debate - and even if it is held, a pound to a penny the vote would have a three-line whip imposed. I just wish that those pushing for a referendum on our membership of the EU would just stop and think because as and when a referendum is held, it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity and there needs to be a level playing field - especially bearing in mind that the ultimate decision on whether the referendum is held will be in the hands of our elected representatives.

Because of EU membership; the effects of the ECHR; the unrestricted influx of immigrants, it is obvious that our society has been - and is being -changed with dire consequences to the extent that the indigenious polulation feels like a foreigner in their own country. Nothing illustrates this more than this heartfelt post from Calling England - one that I just wish I had written!

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