Obama should butt out of UK's Europe referendum plans

Anti-democratic practices from Brussels are bad enough without Americans encouraging the eurocrats' worst instincts

by Yorker on 10 January 2013 07:24

Who is this guy? More pertinently, what is he talking about? The answer to the first question is that he's Philip Gordon, a high ranking bureaucrat in Barack Obama's State Department. The answer to the second question is that he's blatantly interfering in Britain's internal affairs by telling us not to hold a referendum on our relationship with Europe.

After all, we might vote the "wrong" way!

This is what he has just said: "Referendums have often turned countries inwards... We have a growing relationship with the EU as an institution, which has an increasing voice in the world, and we want to see a strong British voice in that EU. That is in America's interests. We welcome an outward-looking EU with Britain in it."

And then he starts to get garbled and confused as he half remembers that he probably shouldn't start sounding too openly anti-democratic but then can't quite make it all coherent:

"The more the EU reflects on its internal debate, the less it is able to be unified...I'm not going to imagine an EU which ever buried any internal debates... but it is best for everyone, we think, when leaders have the time to be able to focus on common challenges rather than spending their time on internal workings."

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. The reason that that construction is such as mess is that it is fundamentally dishonest. What the administration wants is a united Europe that will be easier to do business with. Whether that is achieved via the consent of the governed is neither here nor there to them.

That is a truthful representation of what Gordon wanted to say. Instead he says "Referendums have often turned countries inwards". What kind of a comment is that? Actually, it reveals quite a lot about the man, and the administration he represents.

By "turned countries inwards" he means nothing more than "said no to Brussels" which could just as easily be rendered as "said yes to genuine democracy". That is something that terrifies the US bureaucrat as much as his European counterpart. If people are given a vote, they have the opportunity to disagree. Therefore, they should not be given a vote.

Sorry Phil but, as our French friends are fond of saying, you just missed a great opportunity to shut up.

Anti-democratic practices from Brussels are bad enough without Americans encouraging the eurocrats' worst instincts.

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