Six men of Euroland
to learning much inclined,
Who went to see an elephant,
though all of them were blind,
That each by observation
might satisfy his mind.
The first approached the elephant,
and happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
at once began to bawl,
"This mystery of an elephant
is very like a wall."
"There will not be a referendum. The reason is that the constitution does not fundamentally change the relationship between the UK and the EU." Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, October 2003
The second, feeling of the tusk,
cried, "Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear,
This wonder of an elephant
is very like a spear."
'I think the EU constitution is the birth certificate of the United States of Europe,' 'It is not the end point of integration, but the framework for - as it says in the preamble - an ever closer union.' Hans Martin Bury, Germany's Europe minister.
The third approached the elephant,
and happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
thus boldly up and spake,
"I see," quoth he,
"the elephant is very like a snake."
I never said that it was just a tidying-up exercise; I said that it was a tidying-up exercise and a process of reform and modernisation. Given that more than three quarters of the clauses in the new constitutional treaty come from the existing four treaties, how else would one describe the reform other than to say that those clauses are tidied up into the new constitutional treaty? Peter Hain Hansard
The fourth reached out an eager hand,
and felt above the knee,
"What this most wondrous beast
is like is very plain" said he,
"'Tis clear enough the elephant
is very like a tree."
“The constitution will create a political and institutional framework from which no one will be be able to withdraw. It is a big step towards a more Social Europe” Jacques Chirac.
The fifth who chanced to touch the ear
said, "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
deny the fact who can;
This marvel of an elephant
is very like a fan."
“It lays down the EU's values and political objectives and makes clear that member states confer powers on the EU, not the other way round”. Jack Straw.
The sixth no sooner had begun
about the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
that fell within his scope;
"I see," said he, "the elephant
is very like a rope."
"[The EU Constitution] embodies the French vision of Europe. A 'yes' vote will reinforce the French model in Europe, a 'no' vote will weaken it." Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin (AP, 29 and 30 March)
So six blind men of Euroland
disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
exceeding stiff and strong;
Though each was partly in the right,
they all were in the wrong!
We should render unto poets that which poets can do and render unto the responsibility of good government that which we have to do. Mr. MacShane Hansard
Never stand behind an Elephant. Anoneumouse
Hat tip John Godfrey Saxe