Today we can bring you Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, former French president and 'author' of the orginal constitutional treaty (or Turnip senior). You know, the one that was famously voted down by the French (too much free market, too little state) and the Dutch (too much state, too little free market).
In the British Daily Mail (via Brussels Journal and England Expects) Giscard d’Estaing gives us an insight into the mind of a quint-essential EU-rocrat (emphasis mine - KV):
The proposed treaty on how Europe will be run is essentially the same as the rejected EU Constitution, an architect of the original document said yesterday.And if that weren't bad enough, Giscard d’Estaing warned against any democratic input on the matter:
Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the former French president, admitted the changes made were "few and far between...and more cosmetic than real".
Mr d'Estaing, who has compared his role in drawing up the blueprint to that of America's founding fathers, said the term 'constitution' had been dropped simply to "make a few people happy".
Mr d'Estaing warned that a referendum in Britain must be avoided because the outcome would be "uncertain to say the least".Arrogant? Check! He apparently thinks so little of EU citizens that he thinks he can pimp an old tart for a fresh, young dirndle by changing the make up. Delusional? Check! I mean: comparing himself to the US Founding Fathers? Anti-democratic? Check! Remember: referenda are uncertain in their outcome and thus must be avoided. One wonders what Giscard d’Estaing thinks of elections in general, who's outcome is also notoriously 'uncertain'?
So, what of all those things that were changed to avoid the Turnip resembling Turnip senior too much? Well...
Talking about the decision not to keep the constitutional terminology, and to officially throw out the symbols of the Union (anthem, flag...) he admitted that they were omitted to avoid that the new treaty “would resemble the constitutional treaty.” However, he called on the Parliament to note that the symbols of the EU were everywhere already and that they shouldn’t get too upset about it. Even on Bastille day the Ode to Joy played alongside the Marseillaise.Back to the wondering we started with: Why are EU-rocrats so unusually frank about the true nature of the Turnip (see here. And here. Oh, and here)? Obviously, they think they've already won. The Turnip, it seems to them, is a done deal, so there is no need to be circumspect. They can openly gloat about how they managed to sneak the rejected EU Constitution back via a side window 'mandate'. What do they know that we don't?
He pointed out that the “primacy of the European law is fixed by an annex.” He pointed out that the “High Representative for Common Foreign and Security is one and the same as the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs” in the Constitution treaty and that “in any case, everyone will call him ‘Minister’.”
For the former President of the Convention, “The changes are only in presentation, but the content are the results of the European Convention and of the 2004 IGC [the ‘European Constitution’]. They remain unchanged, but in a different order, with some minor corrections in the form of protocols.”
Whatever it is, what is now undeniably clear, despite PM Balkenendes protestations to the contrary, is that the EU Constitution is back. Not a new treaty, or 'amending treaty', but the entire, hideous monstrosity, it's true size and power-greediness hidden behind a document that is an incomprehensible tangle of footnotes and cross-references which is sold to us as something completely different. It is the same beast we voted out of existence (or thought we did, anyway) two years ago.
Whether we all get the chance to vote on it again, is anyones guess (but the signs ain't good).
[UPDATE001] For Dutch readers: NRC gives an honest account of the story here. The title of that piece says it all: "New envelope, old letter".