The man who promises everything is sure to fulfill nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition.
On EUReferendum, The Boiling Frog has a guest post (‘filling in’ there while Richard North is in Iceland – the country, not the shop) about Cameron’s broken promises to cut red tape; while on his own blog he writes about how Cameron is being boxed into a corner by the proposals of the Spinelli Group for an ‘Associate’ form of membership for the EU, one which would be necessary for those Member States who refused to join the euro.
Membership of the euro is anathema, so we are informed, to both Cameron and Miliband, although not according to Clegg, meaning that Cameron and Miliband have made – I hesitate to use the phrase – cast iron promises that the United Kingdom will not join the euro on their watch. Confirming Clegg’s view, it is well known that Heseltine is of the opinion that the inevitable will happen, a view he has since repeated.
But what of political promises, be they verbal or written in a manifesto?
The Coalition has broken promises (or failed to implement them) that they made in their post-election manifesto, ‘a programme for government’. The last Labour government broke promises it made in their 2005 election manifesto. Cameron has become infamous for breaking his ‘cast-iron’ pledge about a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty – the fact that it had become ‘law’ is surely neither here nor there.
So what of this promise by Cameron and Miliband that the UK will not join the euro on their watch – and can it be relied upon? History tells us that no political promise can be relied upon because even when a promise is kept there is usually a sting in the tail (recall of MPs?). Any political decision to join the euro would be subject to a referendum of the British people, who according to Benedict Brogan, don’t wish to be taken for idiots.
Unfortunately the British people also have a history of being taken for idiots by their continual belief in party manifestos; and while Brogan may maintain that tribal voting is now something in the past, I would beg to differ. They also have a preponderance to follow the line of thought that some people have beliefs that are weather related, or possibly, following that true political principle of appearing to agree with the person one is standing closest to at any particular moment.
With both Cameron and Miliband insistent that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union I would offer this prediction: If push came to shove and the Spinelli suggestion for a new treaty was adopted whereby the United Kingdom had to make a decision twixt full or associate membership we will end up joining the euro. Bearing in mind the present and accepted view that the British people are against relinquishing the pound sterling; this is countered by the view proffered by the last sentence of the preceding paragraph.
Were the situation to arise whereby the political opinion was that it is in Britain’s interest to join the euro we can then expect, as sure as God made little apples, we would be subjected to what will no doubt be the biggest propaganda exercise ever undertaken and one which will include the ‘europhile tendency’ talking themselves red, white and blue in the face.
It is now an accepted fact that treaty change will happen, so we must remember that process is subject to the agreement of all 28 member states. While it may be possible that Cameron might have a moments hesitation before signing on the dotted line, I am of the opinion that were it MilibandE asked to do so there would be no hesitation.
In conclusion, where politician’s promises are concerned, one can only surmise that if we got one-tenth of what was promised us there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven. There is of course another way to ensure there would be no need for any inducement to go to heaven – and that is if the people of this country awoke from their stupor and adopted the 6 Demands – but I digress.