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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What's in a name?

Quite apart from the presumptiousness inherent in today's news that Chris Patten fancies himself for one of the job EU jobs that will be created if and only if the Lisbon Treaty comes into force, it is interesting to note the language used in the FT to report the story.

You will remember the Government made a song and dance about the decision to change the title of one of the new positions from 'EU Foreign Minister', as it appeared in the original EU Constitution, to "High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy", as it now appears in the Lisbon Treaty.

This title change was one of the main arguments used by the Government when it argued again and again that the Lisbon Treaty was "fundamentally different" from the rejected EU Constitution, in order to backpeddle out of its commitment to hold a referendum on the Treaty.

At the time, Open Europe, as well as many others, pointed out that the change was so cosmetic as to be utterly irrelevant.

Even the-then Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, admitted it:

"It's the original job as proposed but they just put on this long title - High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and also vice President of the Commission. It's the same job [.] it's still going to be the same position." (Irish Independent, 24 June 2007)

We argued that the title of "High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy" was so deliberately long and awkward that it would inevitably be ditched in favour of the much easier-sounding "EU Foreign Minister" (while also pointing out that none of the important bits about the role had changed - such as the fact that he or she will be a member of the Commission, thereby giving the supranational body a role in foreign policy for the first time, or the fact that he or she will be nominated by a qualified majority vote, or that his or her proposals will be voted on by QMV...etc etc etc.)

And lo and behold, it is happening already. The FT today talks about "Europe's first foreign minister".

Is David Miliband going to write to the editor and correct this 'error'?


Anonymous said...

To be honest, Chris Patten is my favourite politician because of what he did in Hong Kong and if the position went for 'Euro Foreign Minister', He is the person whom I would most like to see in that job.

I just hope that it isnt created. I only support Europe if the UK is the hegemon of it, otherwise, NO!

colin syme said...

l believe that the job should go to Chris Patten.
Tony Blair should be arrested and charged with treason with all the evidence made public as to how we became embroiled in the illegal war in Iraq.

Keith Bentley said...

As we all thought this is being fixed by the Eurocrats and the Irish won't even get the vote. Reminds me of Zimbabwe

ex warrior said...

I believe that there should not be a president for the EU. It is already a dictatorship, unelected and directing the lives of all the citizens in Europe who had no say in membership. Britain should be OUT of Europe. Norway did not see the need to join Europe in order to survive, and they are doing very well. They are not alone in declining membership of this very corrupt club. Is ANYBODY seriously suggesting, that Britain cannot survive alone??? absolute BULLSHIT!
There are many other countries who are doing excellently without it.
We should be part of the "other" group. AND... what is more, there should be nothing done to move Britain deeper into the dictatorship with out giving us a referendum. There is NO good reason for us NOT to voice our opinions. Our country is suffering enough from the effects of the liars, cheats and thieves ruuning the place now. Creating yet ANOTHER useles position (president of europe) can only be bad news for Britain.

Anonymous said...

In God's name, why do we need yet another overpaid job being created for a lying, greedy politician.
Greed is what drives them all.
We do not need them. Get Britain out!!

Anonymous said...

Is this to be a position that we can vote on or again decided by the famous few.
if we are to have this treaty/constitution surely to be totaly democratic we should vote on who is to be our President.
Maybe europe might get some credability back.

Anonymous said...

lets face it the name shouldn't be EU it should be USSE or Forth Reich it is so accountable to those who should be making the decisions--the voters!

Anonymous said...

We should never have gone into the EU in the first place we should get out ASAP

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest if I was offered a job that would be worth over £million I would say yes as well. Having said that there is no reason for this post at all.