Please support the democratic Czechs [22.06.2008,
It’s Munich all over again. The plucky Czechs are on their own, let down by those on whom they had relied — above all, and most painfully, by the British. Since Ireland’s “No”, the other governments have queued up to announce that implementation of the Lisbon Treaty will continue. In a few hours’ time, the Lords, in a revolting act of necrophilia, will vote to ratify the text — thereby ripping away whatever shreds of legitimacy they retain, and hastening their abolition.
I have observed before that the issue of European integration pits the politicians against the people. Sure enough, the various prime ministers have formed a protective testudo, blaming the Irish for voting as they know their own electorates would have done.
Only Mirek Topolánek, the leader of the Czech ODS, is standing up for the rule of law and for democratic legitimacy. “The Irish ‘No’ is not of a lesser impact for us than the French and Dutch ‘No’,” he says. “It signifies that no matter whether the ratification process continues or not, the Lisbon Treaty will not enter into force.”
You can imagine how this is going down with Sarko, Merkel et al. There is a chance that the EPP will instruct their Czech subordinates, a minor party called the Christian Democrats, to withdraw from Mr Topolánek’s coalition, causing his government to fall. If not, the ODS might become the sole exception to Hannan’s First Law of Politics: that no party is ever Euro-sceptic while in office.
Either way, please let Mr Topolánek know that he is not alone. The poor fellow is coming under immense pressure from politicians to reverse his position. It would be nice if he got the odd supportive email from the rest of us. You can reach him at email@example.com