“Did we really say that?” Politicians faux pas

Well, several this month as a postscript to the UK’s effective withdrawal from the EU, which dates back in Grumpy’s view to the signing of the Lisbon Treaty and the lack of a referendum thereupon. Here’s just a sample across the political spectrum of politicians talking democracy and then abandoning it when they realise it won’t produce the answer they wanted.

“Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations.” — David Cameron MP, The Sun, 26th September 2007

(Dave’s cast iron is obviously very malleable)

“There is no question of any constitutional treaty going through without the express consent of the British people . . . Regardless of how other members vote, we will have a referendum on the subject.” — Rt Hon. Tony Blair MP, Prime Minister, speech to the House of Commons, 21st June 2004

(See Angela Merkel’s comment on the Lisbon Treaty – “The substance of the constitution is preserved. That is a fact.” — Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, speech to the European Parliament, 27th June 2007)

“We will put it to the British people in a referendum.” — Gordon Brown, General Election Manifesto, 2005

“… ratification must be subject to a referendum of the British people.” — Liberal Democrat Party, General Election Manifesto, 2005