Blair to Rig Poll?
Reluctant to give the recalcitrant British an opportunity to reject entry into the eurozone by mounting a legitimate referendum, British Prime Minister Tony Blair thinks he’s hit upon the ace solution to this conundrum.
It is well known that about three fourths of the British population wishes to retain Britain’s beloved and sovereign means of exchange, the British pound, rather than opt for the European Union’s currency of choice, the euro. Thus, it would simply be political suicide for a British leader to stake his future career on a positive outcome to any vote put to the public on Britain entering the European Monetary Exchange.
To avoid this predicament, Blair has come up with an alternative plan for getting through any future referendum on the issue. “The prime minister faced anger after it emerged that the 725,000 non-British EU citizens living in the UK could vote—even though they are excluded from general elections. And that number may soar to as many as a million when 10 new countries … join the EU next year …” (Daily Mail, London, Aug. 5).
The great irony in all of this is that Germans who were not permitted any vote on their own country entering the eurozone could be allowed to take part in the UK referendum and contribute to swinging the vote.
This rankly dishonest approach to fixing the euro vote in Britain even has members of Tony Blair’s own party up in arms.
Member of Parliament Ian Davidson heads up a group of backbenchers who have called themselves “Labor Against the Euro.” The strength of feeling that the prime minister’s mooted vote fixing has engendered is reflected in Mr. Davidson’s declaration that, “A referendum vote in Britain which was influenced by foreign voters would be morally bankrupt.”
Mr. Blair’s endeavors to force Britain into the euro against the nation’s will may backfire on him politically.