Monday, 12 October 2015

Blair, Brown, Major and Cameron. Really?

The original stated premise of Cameron’s promise of a referendum on the EU was that he would first conduct some sort of renegotiation of the terms of membership and then put the result to a vote.  Perhaps he genuinely intended things to work that way, although exactly what was to be ‘renegotiated’ was never very clear.
It’s increasingly irrelevant though.  Both the ‘in’ camp and the ‘out’ camp are gearing up their campaigns already.  The ‘negotiations’ have barely begun, but the results – if there are any – will have no effect on the make-up of the campaigns.  Cameron’s fig leaf is looking decidedly dodgy.
In a sense, it’s not really a bad thing that the debate centres on the principle rather than the detail; I find it hard to believe that many electors will make up their minds by looking at the details of any Cameron package and carefully weighing up the impact.  It’s much more likely that they will be voting on issues such as immigration, or even just a desire to give a kicking to a government mid term, which all serves to underline the folly of getting into this position for short term internal party reasons.
I do wonder though about the strategy of the ‘in’ camp in the names that they’re putting forward.  It looks like the product of some sort of bubble-think to me.  I fear that an unholy alliance of Blair, Brown, Major and Cameron might actually end up having quite the opposite effect of that intended.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My first opportunity to vote was the Euro referendum back inthe 1970s. I voted then on the general point of in or out and for the life of me have no recollection of what Harold Wilson renegotiated and I'm sure it was true at the time. Youare quite right it will not be about any renegotiation but the general point. In the 1970s it was about keeping the Labour party together. Today it is about keeping the Tory party together.