I don't know with which Europeans Gordon Brown has been hobnobbing, but they certainly aren't English. Had he ever consulted us on this 'historic' signing, he would have heard very different accounts of what these 'European' citizens are worried about: immigration, bank bailouts to the tune of £4,000+ each (foetuses included), cheating MPs and the loss of even the meagre sovereignty that to these 646 MPs Lisbon represents.
The truth is - as even Brown the spurious historian would have to concede, were he not so far up his own backside as to render truth redundant - that Britain and Europe have never really been the best of friends. That 21 mile wide strip of water separating us from France may as well have been a 1000 mile gulf. We don't share language, national concerns, temperament or character; we've been proud to be insular, 'this sceptred isle', until Labour came along and told us that we should be ashamed of everything we've ever done. Ever. Our humour, stoicism, ability to keep down ten pints of strong ale and love of monarchy - at times when Europe burned in the fires of republican revolutions - set us apart. But this isn't an apologetic for Euro-scepticism. It isn't even a rant about Brown achieving his socialist world view in which everyone marches to the same tune - or else. I'm genuinely worried about what will happen next. It seems that Merkel et al are so intent on making the EU a 'global player' - whatever that means - that they have forgotten entirely about the millions of people they have crushed together. The mere concept that Tony Blair, a man with the blood of millions on his hands, thinks that he's a good candidate to run the European show should have sent alarm bells ringing around Brussels months ago.
As it is, from this day forth our votes will mean little or nothing. Our legal system - upon which 60% of the world's legal systems are based and arguably the most successful - has been shelved in favour of its antithesis, the Napoleonic code. Our politicians' strings will be further jerked by the unelected shadowy figures somewhere on the Continent. Personal privacy will become even more of a laughable idea as Europe openly rolls out its 'security' taskforces and shares our 'data' with all and sundry. Though contemporary English democracy has only become a concrete idea since WWI in which national institutions turned things like private property rights, limited taxation and privacy upside down, its proponents eighty or ninety years ago believed in and fought bitterly for personal and national sovereignty. I await with bated breath Cameron's re-thought-out plans for Europe, due later today. If ever there were an eleventh hour crisis, this is it.