Is Gordon Brown really blind in one eye?
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."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
“The fundamentals of the Constitution have been maintained in large part… We have renounced everything that makes people think of a state, like the flag and the national anthem.”(El Pais (25 June)
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."
UK Minister for Europe Jim Murphy: The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, on which the Government proposed a referendum, is now defunct. The mandate for a Reform Treaty agreed by the European Council states clearly:“The constitutional concept, which consisted in repealing all existing Treaties and replacing them by a single text called “Constitution”, is abandoned”.As my right hon. Friend the then Prime Minister (Mr. Tony Blair) set out in his statement to Parliament on 25 June, the Reform Treaty will differ fundamentally from the Constitutional Treaty in both form and substance. (Hansard (10 July)
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."
Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
“Given the fact that there was strong legal advice that the draft constitution in 2004 would require a referendum in Ireland, and given the fact that these changes haven't made any dramatic change to the substance of what was agreed back in 2004, I think it is likely that a referendum will be held... thankfully they haven't changed the substance - 90 per cent of it is still there."
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."
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero
"A great part of the content of the European Constitution is captured in the new treaties”, Zapatero said. “Everyone has conceded a little so that we all gain a lot”, added Zapatero. (El Pais (25 June).
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."
UK Prime M inister Gordon Brown
Let me just read from the mandate agreed at the Council: "The constitutional concept, which consisted in repealing all existing Treaties and replacing them by a single text called 'Constitution', is abandoned." That was the decision made at the intergovernmental conference in Brussels.. (Hansard 25 July)
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."
Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen
“The good thing is...that all the symbolic elements are gone, and that which really matters – the core - is left." (Jyllands-Posten (25 June)
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!
Finland’s Europe Minister Astrid Thors: “There’s nothing from the original institutional package that has been changed” (TV-Nytt, (23 June)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has claimed victory, saying, “This was France’s idea from the start.” (Libération (25 June)
Never stand behind an elephant (Anoneumouse)
Hat tip: John Godfrey Saxe ( 1816-1887)
So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean;
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!