Since David Cameron appears to be the only person in Britain not to have noticed that British attitudes towards the EU have undergone the same sea-change that attitudes to Labour have undergone, I expect he will take not a blind bit of notice of this plea.
But don't be put off by the faint-hearts who say renegotiation is not possible. Certainly renegotiation of the Treaty would not be, but renegotiation of Britain's relationship certainly would be possible if there was the will to do it. But the problem is Cameron - I presume from his lack of action that he has absolutely no intention of taking any action at all. Therefore we should all bend our backs to the task of persuading him that if he wants to succeed - HE MUST take action!
DAILY MAIL 9.6.08
The dirty little secret is that our MPs hardly matter any more
Cup your ears. What is that sound we are suddenly picking up on the bush telegraph?
It is the distant but unmistakable trumpeting of the elephant in the room. And the name of that most dangerous but lamentably unscrutinised animal is the European Union.
The EU is the issue that all politicians are ignoring in the hope we will forget about it. Most immediately, they hope we have forgotten to be concerned about the European Constitution, which is masquerading as a bog standard treaty over which we need lose no sleep.
One symbol for all: Is the EU stripping all power from our MPs?
This constitution, which would bring into being an unprecedented bureaucratic super-state and end once and for all what remains of the independence of EU member nations, was dumped after it was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005. It was then resurrected in all but name as the Treaty of Lisbon, which Parliament is in the process of ratifying. This week, that constitution faces a triple test.
Today, businessman Stuart Wheeler's legal challenge to Labour's refusal to honour its manifesto pledge to put it to a referendum reaches the High Court. On Wednesday, the ratification Bill reaches the House of Lords. This Bill was ruthlessly shoe-horned through the Commons. This week we will see whether their Lordships will also spinelessly roll over, or recall their historic role as a last- ditch defence of this country's interests against such abuse of power.
But something else is happening which our politicians didn't bargain for. As we know, the constitution has to be approved by every member state or else it falls. On Thursday, Ireland votes on the treaty - and it looks as if it might vote against it.
The Irish government is filled with panic and horror at the possibility that the Irish public might actually be thinking for themselves. For the EU has always relied on bamboozling the public about the joys of EUtopia and terrifying them that their whole world will collapse if it is thwarted.
More and more people, however, are realising that they have been lied to, not only about the constitution but about the whole EU project. In Britain, we were told from the start that it was only an economic union which would entail no loss of sovereignty.
That was the very opposite of the truth. The dirty little secret is that, even without the constitution, political power has simply drained away from Westminster to Brussels.
In a little-noticed but quite devastating speech in the Commons last week, the Tory MP Peter Lilley recorded that last year the EU passed no fewer than 177 directives - more or less equivalent to our Acts of Parliament - and 2,033 regulations enforceable in the UK, as well as making 1,045 decisions which affect us.
Our own Trade Minister has admitted that 'around half of all UK legislation with an impact on business, charities and the voluntary sector' stems from laws passed in Brussels. Once these powers have been transferred to the EU, observed Mr Lilley, ministers engage 'in a charade of pretence that they retain those powers' and often end up 'nobly accepting responsibility for laws which they actually opposed in Brussels'.
Is it any wonder that so many are terminally disillusioned with the entire political process when politicians make promises which they are simply powerless to keep - a fact which they carefully conceal?
Now the former Tory policy adviser Lord Blackwell is arguing that Britain should renegotiate the terms of its EU membership, restricting it to trade agreements and common security and environment policies, but rejecting EU control over monetary policy, foreign affairs, defence and justice.
An opinion poll run by his group Global Vision suggests that more than a third of voters across all parties would back a prospective Conservative Government pledge to negotiate such a change, and that people would support it in a referendum by more than two to one.
The fact is that those opposed to the creation of a European super-state are not the 'xenophobes' or 'Little Englanders' of the overheated Eurofanatic imagination.
On the contrary, many Eurosceptics like their European neighbours and find much to admire in their culture. They merely want to carry on governing themselves in their own country - because they have an enduring attachment to democracy.
And the EU is fundamentally an anti- democratic project, based on the belief that the individual nation is the source of the ills of the world and that by contrast supra-national institutions offer the solution to all its problems.
It is that absence of democratic transparency which is now corrupting not just European politics but our own. The fresh outbreak of 'Tory sleaze' over the expenses gravy train is rooted in Brussels, where corruption is the accepted way of EU life.
Yesterday, the Irish government said that a 'no' vote over the constitution would be a crisis for Europe. What rubbish. The plain fact is that the EU has brought about a crisis for democracy within Europe. Which is why it is essential that we should renegotiate our place within it.
Politicians, however, run a mile from any such suggestion. The terror of acknowledging the true nature of what has happened, in case he is required to address it, has propelled David Cameron into a cul-de-sac.
His pledge to allow the British people a vote on the constitution is worthless since - as he has only now admitted explicitly - once the treaty is ratified it will be almost impossible to do anything about it.
But since his party has warned that the constitution will spell the end of British self-government, this turns Mr Cameron into the Hamlet of the European debate - an awesome talent for speeches denouncing tyranny, but a complete inability to act against it.
Mr Cameron is paralysed by fear of reigniting the Tories' internal civil war over Europe. But the Tory Europhiles are now moth- eaten has-beens who have comprehensively lost the argument with the British people.
The fact is that Parliament is now so emasculated it is becoming the equivalent of Westminster regional council in the Republic of Euroland.
Why, therefore, should we bother to vote for politicians who will have no power except to do the bidding of the Brussels bureaucrats imposing their undemocratic rule over the British people?
It is time to end this charade. Whatever happens to the constitutional treaty in Ireland or anywhere else, Britain must now re-negotiate its relationship with the EU. The politician who does so will be a hero to the nation. Which is why Mr Cameron should ignore the faint-hearts and suede-shod Euro-fanatics in his ranks. This country must rediscover its identity and sense of purpose, or else it is finished. It can do so only if it regains the power to govern itself.
The issue is quite simply whether democracy in Britain has a future at all. It could not be more fundamental.
If Mr Cameron were to say he would renegotiate Britain's place in Europe, he would silence all the muttering that he is a blank page, an opportunist, a follower rather than a leader. He would immediately establish himself instead as a statesman of the first rank.
Come on, Mr Cameron: the people would not only be with you, but are simply desperate to hear a politician say that he will fight to preserve what so many of our fellow citizens down through the centuries have died to defend.