This morning Mr. Hague, Conservative Shadow Foreign Secretary, may have let something of a cat out of the bag. When asked, on the “Today” programme, if he would be so kind as to confirm that the next Tory manifesto would contain a commitment to hold a Referendum on the Constitutional Treaty, he didn’t and wouldn’t.

How very odd! Here was me thinking that the Conservatives had, with their demand for a Referendum, recognized, as many others have done, that this Treaty represents finis to that quaint but still loved institution (by all but some Painted Picts), the United Kingdom. How silly of me. I should have realized that once it is all done and dusted and comes into force, then the Tories will take the view that they did all they could, made a lot of noise, but now it is to be: “let us get on and make the best of a bad job”.

There is, of course, method in their madness. If the Treaty comes into force on 1st. January 2009 and the Tories come to power in, say, June 2009, they will be faced with a different legal situation. Refusing to ratify is no longer an option: the only way to unpick this will be by way either of complete renegotiation or of entering into a derogation of the Treaty.

The former is not going to happen. The EuroNabobery has not spent the last five years working out how to crush all resistance (it was very simple in the end: “The Constitutional Concept is abandoned” is all they had to say) just to let the UK wheedle its way out of it all. They are not going to renegotiate a thing. Why should they? We have no power and may safely be ignored.

That leaves derogation. This is in effect the nuclear option for, if the UK Regional Council indicated it wished to have a derogation to what will become this December the Treaty of Lisbon, such will entail our complete rejection of the Treaty. If we reject the treaty, we reject our membership of The Union. And we would not want that would we?

Meanwhile The Town Rat Catcher has announced that he will halt the European Union juggernaut now the issue of the new Treaty is settled.

In an attempt to head off growing call for a UK referendum on the Treaty, the Prime Minister has pledged that there will be no new transfers of powers to Brussels “for many years”.

This is meaningless drivel. The Union rules here now and can take what it wants, when it wants and need not bother troubling itself with the irritating views of minor functionaries.

I note also that David Chamberband, for just a little while more Her Brittanic Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has claimed that demands for a popular vote are based on “scare stories and myths” and that referendums were the “refuge of dictators and demagogues”.

Really? I wonder what that makes Tony Blair who had a referendum in the former Scotland on the issue of devolution and then promised us one on the Union Constitution or John Prescott (I know, I know, chaps and chapesses, keep it clean now!) who held a referendum on the North-east having a parish council. Or for that matter what that makes Harold Wilson, who occupies a particularly crooked niche in Labour’s Pantheon, who held a referendum in 1975 on our membership of the then Common Market (Oh happy days!). Or for that matter what does it make Gordon Brown and himself, both of whom stood on a manifesto promising a Referendum on The Union Constitution? Whoopee! Two Dictator-Demagogues for the price of one!

I realized long ago that he was a particularly Unctuous Little Squirt. I had not realized that, despite an Oxford education, he was also a dunderhead.

The Telegraph meanwhile has reported that Nicholas Sarkozy, chairperson of the French Regional Council, is touting Vanity Blair as his preferred candidate for President of the Union. I am tempted to say that, given Gordon Brown’s enthusiasm for his predecessor that the chances of that happening are similar to a long line of Gloucester Old Spots doing aerobatics over The Mall: tempted, that is, until I caught myself and remembered that he will neither be asked nor will he have any say in the matter.

Lastly I note this little snippet:

MPs are to have longer recesses next year, with their total time away from Westminster increased to 18 weeks, it emerged yesterday.

There were complaints that MPs were granting themselves “ridiculous luxuries” when most people were having to work harder, after the plans for an extra week off at Easter and an even longer summer break were announced — ten days more than this year.

This development is unsurprising. If you hand over ‘competences’ in nearly sixty policy areas to The Union, there is not going to very much for our regional councillors to do in future, save to learn how best to wield a rubber stamp.