ON Monday The Sun’s image of Gordon Brown sticking two fingers up to the British public was provocative. But it was right.

 

What a difference to Churchill. When he made that salute, it inspired this country to wipe the scourge of fascism from Europe.

 

But for Gordon Brown, it’s a gesture to the British people saying: “I know best. Your views are irrelevant. Get used to it.”

 

Make no mistake, that’s the reason he refuses to give the British people a referendum on the EU constitutional treaty — he simply doesn’t trust them. It’s the arrogant belief that he — and only he — has the right to decide what’s best for Britain’s future.

 

Well, Prime Minister, I’ve news for you. The old politics that you grew up in no longer reflect the new world we live in. It’s a world where people are demanding — and getting — more power and more control over their lives.

Dave's stamp ... Cameron's signature

Dave’s stamp … Cameron’s signature

 

 

Take America. Over there, twice as many people get health information online than from their doctor. And in some towns, you can look at online crime maps before deciding where to buy a property.

 

And in the UK, the internet has transformed lives. At the click of a button we buy insurance, holidays and access information on just about anything. Gordon Brown just doesn’t get this. With him, freedom and control is fine — but only if he has the freedom to control your life.

 

Take Citizens Juries. He says he wants to listen to people. But they are just glorified focus-groups, hand-picked and cloaked in secrecy. Believe me, if they really reflected the will of Britons the message would be loud and clear — we want a referendum.

 

It doesn’t have to be like this. Giving people freedom and control over their lives is one of the things that makes me a Conservative.

 

And it is why from the moment the EU Constitution was dreamt up by elites in Brussels, the Conservative Party’s squadron was first in the air, demanding a referendum in this battle for our country’s future.

 

Since then, we have been keeping up the fight, looking out for the interests of Britain.

 

There is a second reason why I want a referendum on the treaty.

 

One of the great challenges we face is rolling back the tide of bureaucracy that is drowning our country in regulations and forms.

 

 

And you can’t do that without targeting one of the main sources of this bureaucracy — Brussels.

Because it is Europe that ties our businesses up in red tape.

And it is Europe that ties the hands of our courts. We won’t be able to deal with any of this unless we have a referendum.

The final reason we must have a vote is trust. Gordon Brown talks about “new” politics.

But there’s nothing “new” about breaking your promises to the British public. It’s classic Labour.

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