I don't think I've ever read such a strident piece by one of my favourite political writers, William Rees-Mogg as in today's Mail on Sunday. He begins by writing that 'On Thursday, December 13, a day that may well live in infamy, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom signed away British independence. He had no intention of consulting the British people'.
He went on to describe it as a betrayal, that became a farce. Well, we all saw the farce - when our Prime Minister turned up 4 hours late to sign the new Lisbon Treaty, when everyone else had gone home - hoping that this act of crass rudeness would convey the impression that he, Gordon Brown, was in some way distancing himself from the Treaty which he knows is unpopular with the British people. Blair would never have pulled such a cowardly stunt. He really is a very poor Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, I just can't find the story on the Mail on Sunday online page to provide the link.
The reason that William Rees-Mogg is so angry is that Gordon Brown is breaking a promise made to the British people that they would be offered a referendum on this treaty before its ratification. 'a Government that breaks a promise to the people is even worse than a Government that lies to Parliament', thunders the great man.
Almost no-one now, except the rather ridiculous Minister for Europe, Jim Murphy (who is a superb footballer, clearly with all of his ability in his feet) pretends that the Lisbon Treaty is different from the original Constitutional Treaty, except in a minuscule way. The article quotes Labour's promise to the British people - "It is a good Treaty for Britain and for the New Europe. We will put it to the British people in a referendum, and campaign wholeheartedly for a Yes vote, to keep Britain a leading nation in Europe". He describes the decision not to hold a referendum as shameful. It is difficult to disagree with this assessment.
The question we all have to ask ourselves is whether December 13th was the day that the British people realised that Gordon Brown showed him to be unfit to be Prime Minister. Personally, I think it was.