A year ago, Iain Dale passed on a claim that the EU could block Cameron's promised 2017 referendum under the new "qualified majority voting" (QMV) rules, and Ian Parker-Joseph has made reference to the same claim on FB today.
What the Tulkinghorns of law and constitution fail to understand is that nations are governed not solely by the will of the majority (or their representatives), but also by the acquiescence of the minority. However craftily written, pieces of paper don't bind by themselves. If the schemers in their chambers forget this, they could cause dangerous cracks in the body politic.
Here's Jefferson in 1774:
When the representative body have lost the confidence of their constituents, when they have notoriously made sale of their most valuable rights, when they have assumed to themselves powers which the people never put into their hands, then indeed their continuing in office becomes dangerous to the state, and calls for an exercise of the power of dissolution...
A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.
And here, in 1782:
"Civil government being the sole object of forming societies, its administration
must be conducted by common consent." -- Notes on Virginia
Q.VIII, 1782. ME 2:120
Must the lessons of history be re-learned?
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