Two events this week that have sparked some passionate debate in Britain. The first was the hypocritical response to the death of the first servicewoman in Afghanistan, and the other the 'NO' vote in Ireland at closer integration with Europe.
The way the EU Constitution works is that all 27 member nations have to ratify a treaty for it to be accepted. Nineteen countries have so far agreed to this particular Lisbon Treaty and the referendum in Ireland returned the not unexpected, but thoroughly Democratic, refusal.
I am pro-Europe and have argued many times that the future is one large European nation run along the line of the United States of America so the Ireland result was a disappointment to me personally but the Irish citizens said no and that has to be respected, but at least they got the opportunity to vote against it because here in Britain the Prime Minster has taken the decision for us and ratified it anyway although that is on hiatus because of a legal challenge.
There will now be some tinkering with this Treaty and a few sentences deleted, inserted or replaced to make it more acceptable to the Irish followed by a series of re-votes until it is accepted which i don't have an aversion to although the way the PM has rode roughshod over the British people has left a nasty taste in my mouth despite my obvious agreement with the EU vision.
The United States of Europe is going to happen, it is inevitable so we have a choice. We can become part of the process and have a voice in the decisions that that shapes and defines who we are and what we are doing or we can stay outside and be swept along with what others decide in our absence.
The world is changing and the next century will be dominated by countries like China, India and America and the voices of countries likes Ireland and Britain will be ignored as inconsequential. Europe has to be in there swinging as an influential major player on the big decisions that effect us all from future conflicts to the Environment and that means us joining together to become a global force of 800 million people because the alternative is us becoming that small island off the Coast of the next Superpower withering to a painful demise.