Let's not have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. After all, that Treaty simply is not the rejected EU Constitution. And it was only on the Constitution that a referendum was promised. More importantly, calling for a referendum is David Cameron's way of getting himself off the hook.
Cameron's Leadership drives the final nail into the coffin of Tory Euroscepticism, such as it ever was. The Tories gave us the Treaty of Rome, the Single European Act, and the Maastricht Treaty. With their record of camel-swallowing, it has been both hilarious and disgusting to observe their affected straining at gnats since 1997.
But under Cameron, they have stopped pretending. The aristocratic Europhilia of the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies is restored. Yet Tory activists exhibit very strong Eurosceptical tendencies, which have never been party policy.
So Cameron, knowing that Brown will refuse a referendum, is demanding one. He will soon stand up in the House of Commons and bang on about how, in the absence one, he and his party will be voting against the Treaty. But this is all completely beside the point. They should be voting against the Treaty anyway. All MPs should be, without even thinking about a referendum.
Let Alex Salmond and Ian Paisley earn their MPs' salaries. Let the anti-Treaty SNP and the anti-Treaty DUP put down an amendment which does not mention a referendum, but rejects the Treaty out of hand because it extends the legislative power of a body which meets in secret and publishes no Official Report, and because it fails to abolish the Common Fisheries Policy.
How could the second part be opposed at least by any MP from Scotland, Northern Ireland, the West Country or the East Coast? And how could the first part be opposed by any MP at all?