The EU’s democracy deficit widens

No referendum for you!

A statement from Prime Minister George Papandreou scrapping the referendum on the $178 billion European bailout package has been provided to the Associated Press. “The referendum was never an end in itself,” Papandreou said. “We had a dilemma – either true assent or a referendum. I said yesterday, if the assent were there, we would not need a referendum.”

It won’t make any difference. The question isn’t whether it’s all going to come crashing down, it’s just a question of which of the many straws upon the camel’s back will be that does the trick.

My expectation is that once people realize they are not only being railroaded, but don’t even have the opportunity to protest, we’re going to start seeing the revival of the Red Brigades soon. As I told the DC radio guy who interviewed me this afternoon, it’s not the crash that concerns me, that’s inevitable and I’m just hoping to stay buckled in and enjoy the ride. It is what comes after and how the popular fury will be channeled that is worrisome.

If I was an elite strategist, that’s what I’d have focused on for the last two years, not wasting the time on playing King Canute.