Wasteful show trials won't change a thing
We all know that mistakes were made -- but we now must move on. Why is it so difficult to accept this simple fact, asks Eilis O'Hanlon
THIS Thursday, Britons will go to the polls to decide whether to ditch the traditional 'first past the post' method of electing members of parliament in favour of the Alternative Vote system, as used by the good people of Papua New Guinea and esteemed members of Hollywood's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when choosing who gets the Oscar for best movie.
Polls suggest the move will be defeated, but what's really noteworthy is that this is only the second time the entire United Kingdom will have held a referendum since the early Seventies, when it followed us into what we naively believed back then was a Common Market, rather than the sinister scheme for continental domination which European federalism turned out to be. In that time, we've had 25 of them, including referenda on reducing the voting age, protecting freedom of travel, regulating the legality of adoption, not to mention the innumerable exercises in giving even more power to European autocrats trying to achieve with a show of democracy what Adolf Hitler failed to manage with the Luftwaffe.
Now Enda Kenny has announced there'll be another one along later in the year, this time on breaking the Constitutional stranglehold which prevents judges' pay being reduced -- in addition to a proposed referendum to give back to the Oireachtas the power to conduct Dirt-tax style inquiries into the banking crisis.