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Simon Carr

The Sketch: Betrayal of the promises to Parliament and the people

You can see why people climb cranes and get on the roof. People like to be heard, and be seen to be heard. The Prime Minister wants people to get involved in politics, but only in the approved way (voting Labour every four years).

The Lisbon Treaty is in its last week in the Commons. "Eight full days of debate," said the minister. Yes, "and only one in six" of his constituents voted for a referendum on the treaty. It was pointed out that "eight full days" was actually 19 hours, and that 85 per cent of his constituents who voted in the poll voted for a referendum.

It's been a shabby affair. Low, dishonest and shabby. Never mind all that dare-to-dream Obama bollocks we heard from the PM at Labour's spring conference. This treaty strategy is Gordon Brown's personal creation, this is his specified treatment of Parliament, and visible to all is his definition of politics as cynicism in action.

Far from the promised "line by line" scrutiny, whole areas have been left entirely undiscussed. Defence, ignored. Social policy, ignored. Free movement of labour, ignored. Borders and visas, ignored. Transport, as Gwyneth Dunwoody told us, without a debate even on the order paper.

Mark Francois told us that 20 groups of amendments had been selected, and only eight had been debated (and one for just five minutes). Brown had been hoping to recreate the Maastricht debates and create havoc among the Tories. So he created a procedural abortion which has failed to scrutinise the text and succeeded only in uniting John Gummer, Ken Clarke and Bill Cash ("something we haven't managed to do for years," Francois said).

Meanwhile, "Moral Compass" Brown tells the nation (or the six-and-a-half party hacks at his conference) that they're going to build Jerusalem in this green and pleasant land. If he could build an outhouse throttling pit at the bottom of my garden I'd eat my hat.

PS: Listening to the government defence team I really can't imagine Labour getting in again. Des Brownsworth-Twigg, a conjoined triplet with 12 limbs and one incredibly boring brain. Everything they say sounds like a hangover. Six more years? It only felt like it.