Monday, 21 September 2009

It's the Czechs again

It was the Czechs that Neville Chamberlain sold out at Munich in 1938 and the Czechs (along with the Poles) that Barack Obama has hugely upset with his breaking of the Bush era promise to site anti-ballistic missile systems in Eastern Europe.

Now the Czech President, Václav Klaus, is apparently planning to have a group of loyal senators in the Czech Upper House refer the Lisbon treaty back to the Czech constitutional court for a second time; this could delay ratification of the Treaty for between three and six months. A six month delay would not be quite long enough for a David Cameron government to be elected and promise to hold the referendum that the UK Labour government promised but failed to deliver on, but seven months would be. Of course the UK have already signed the treaty, you remember Gordon Brown's courageous separate signing (lack of) ceremony, so with a referendum to organise maybe the Czechs could delay by say nine months.

Of course the EU is furious and worried that the Czechs are delaying matters, Nicolas Sarkozy, who helped to draw up the treaty after the French and Dutch voted against its, almost identical in effect, predecessor, the EU Constitution, has warned Prague that it faces "consequences" if it does not swiftly follow an Irish "yes" with its own ratification. The EU powers fear that an incoming Conservative government might derail the Lisbon Treaty with a referendum. The fact that 70% of Brits questioned want a referendum and intend to vote "NO" is reason enough for the EU and their placemen around the EU governments to ensure that their voice is not heard; the EU is not interested in democracy after all. Just think of all that hard work by such as Peter Mandelson, the man of whom Adam Boulton apparently said:
"By propping up Mr Brown, Lord Mandelson has delayed the Election - and quite possibly facilitated the ratification of the treaty. This will doubtless endear him to EU leaders, who in turn might look all the more favourably on choosing Mr Blair as their president.'"

Oddly the only other country that has yet to ratify the Treaty, assuming the population of Ireland fall into line,will be Poland. In 1938 Czechoslovakia was abandoned to the Nazis by a West who saw it as a "far away country about which we know little". In 1939 Poland was invaded by both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Maybe that history helps to explain why these countries are more than a little wary of huge superstates looking to subsume them.

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