The last man standing. The last free European. The little Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke. The only man standing for freedom and democracy against the might of the Brussels machine, while half a million Europeans are dragooned into a new polity which very few of them wanted, and for which very few voted.
Twenty-six EU member-states have ratified the Lisbon Treaty, including, shamefully, the UK, where our Labour government simply ignored its solemn manifesto commitment to a Referendum. Only the brave Czech Republic remains. And Klaus, though he has the support of 65% of the people in a recent poll, is facing flak from national politicians and commentators, and anyone who thinks they might stand to gain by fawning on the European institutions.
Will he stick to his guns? Will he hold out until an incoming Conservative government in the UK comes galloping over the hill like the Seventh Cavalry? I understand that Cameron has the legislation drafted and may actually have a Referendum date in a General Election Manifesto. The UK papers of ratification could be withdrawn by our Ambassador in Rome within hours of a Conservative victory.
I don’t know whether Klaus will hold out. He’s under extreme pressure, and he’s not the man to make a key decision for his country’s future according to our electoral convenience. But I know this. Everyone in Europe who believes in freedom and democracy owes him a huge debt of gratitude.
So what hope is there for Britain? Our Party policy, repeated by David Cameron at Party Conference earlier this month, is to bring back powers from Brussels, especially in the employment and social policy areas. That will require a renegotiation of the treaties then in place, whether Lisbon has been ratified or not.