Monday, April 26, 2004

Well, I've neglected this one for a while. It has been over a year since I started it, planning to track my musings in the run-up to EU expansion and the finalisation of the EU Constitution.

The situation has changed a lot. The new member states are now going to join in four days, prompting tabloid tales of a mass of migrants piled up beyond the former iron curtain, desperately waiting to scrabble towards our bounteous benefits system.

However, most worryingly Tony Blair has made a spectacular U-turn by announcing that (despite everything he said before) there will new be a referendum on the Constitution.

Yep, that's right folks, the "Great British Public" will be entrusted with analysing the details of what is currently about 230 pages of dense legal bumf, and working out what it might mean for the country's long-term best interests.

The Murdoch press has already come out anti (so that's the most widely read tabloid and most widely read broadsheet already campaigning against).

Last time I checked, the Telegraph was being surprisingly sensible about the whole thing, but no matter what happens over its ownership in the next few months, it will likely go anti as well.

The Express (a vile rag) has just officially switched allegiance back to the Tories after 10 years supporting Labour and, thanks to recent reports of Richard Desmond's anti-German tirades last week, I think it's fairly obvious where that "news"paper's views on the Constitution are going to lie.

The Mail, let's face it, has never been a big fan of foreigners, and there's no reason for it to start now.

So, that leaves the Mirror, Guardian and Independent to fight the corner of the loosely pro-Europe camp - newspapers with a combined daily readership of less than that of the Sun alone.

The Constitution is as good as vetoed already. The "Yes" campaign is in severe trouble. Quite how Blair (or, for that matter, the Liberal Democrats, who are pro, yet have been demanding a referendum for months) reckons he can win this thing, I have no idea.

It will be an interesting time. Europe expanding; the constitution being finalised in June; US Presidential elections in November; British General election in approximately a year's time. I'll try and keep this updated. I'll also try and work out how to change my username - one of the primary reasons I didn't keep this thing up...

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