I'm not one to normally go off on flights of fancy, but something clicked in my mind today while surfing the news websites. There have been some very important developments arising in Gordon Browns first few weeks in power:
1. Tony Blair agrees to the EU Treaty (Seen by many as a the failed Constitution re-written).
2. Gordon Brown goes back on the governments pledge to hold a referendum. (Labour manifesto in the last election).
3. There is a huge outcry from the opposition, the media and the public for a referendum on the EU Treaty (Talk of European Empire and loss of sovereignty).
4. At the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington DC, International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said: isolationism "simply does not work in an interdependent world". And so we must form new alliances, based on common values, ones not just to protect us from the world, but ones which reach out to the world. Multilateralist, not unilateralist means a rules-based international system. Just as we need the rule of law at home to have civilisation so we need rules abroad to ensure global civilisation." (This was seen by many to be critical of the US and a possible cooling of our friendship).
5. Foreign Secretary David Miliband announces Britain's decision to expel four Russian diplomats following Russia's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, an ex-KGB officer and prime suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. (This leads to threats of retaliation from Russia and the spectre of the Cold War arises).
6. David Miliband says that Britain will seek support from the EU. (Mmm.... are the dots starting to join yet?)
7. Gordon Brown's first official visit is not to the US to meet with Bush, but to Germany to meet with Merkel. (Strange?).
Now forgive me if I get a bit cynical here, but if I were desperate to avoid having to give the country a referendum on the EU Treaty because they would vote NO, I could come up with the following plan:
1. Make the people believe that our friendship with the US has cooled and we can no longer depend on their support. (See point 4 above).
2. Cause a political row with our old enemy Russia, who are sure to threaten retaliation. (See point 5 above).
3. Show the people how friendly we are with the major players in the EU and tell them that we can rely on the EU for support. (See points 6 and 7 above).
4. The people start to believe that we need the EU's strength, and begin to realise that we don't need one of those silly little referendums after all.
5. Gordon signs the Treaty, we make up with Russia and we assure the public that relations with the US have never been better.
6. Problem sorted.