It would seem that the SS United Kingdom is adrift in a sea of confusion with, apparently, only clueless idiots in charge on the bridge.
Two posts, one by Richard North, the other by Autonomous Mind – together with an article in the Telegraph by Isabel Hardman – have appeared today. All three are ‘linked’ and worthy of further comment.
Richard North writes on the polling figures in respect of leaving the European Union, remarking on the fall of those who wish us to leave. Autonomous Mind, while acknowledging the small number of blogs attempting to educate the public, lays the blame for the falling numbers fairly and squarely at the door of Nigel Farage and his party. Isabel Hartman tackles a number of subjects in her article, from Cameron’s wish to ‘slim down the EU’, renegotiation, to the 2017 promised referendum.
Now either Isabel Hardman, Nigel Farage and all the supposed ‘eurosceptic’ Conservative MPs are totally clueless about ‘matters EU’, or they are deliberately choosing not to mention or discuss the intricacies of our membership of the EU – on both counts one has to ask: why? As Autonomous Mind asks: is it any wonder the numbers of those who would vote for ‘out’ are falling, when all they hear and read in the media is about renegotiation, a new deal and reclamation of powers?
Not one Conservative politician, nor Farage, nor come to that Hardman, will talk about what is the ‘nitty-gritty’; that powers cannot be reclaimed, that the 2017 referendum cannot and will not take place, that the EU never will be ‘slimmed down’; that treaty change and an IGC will be required; that it is not necessary to be a full member of the EU to trade with the EU, thus retaining the statu quo that the business community is so hell-bent on. Where supposed eurosceptic Conservative MPs and Farage are concerned, all we get is: Ah, once we are out of the EU…. Witness Douglas Carswell (at 2:58) in response to a question about EU immigration – After we have left the EU…..
I have yet to hear one Conservative MP talk about all the diplomatic work that would be required were we to leave the EU, nor what type of free-trade agreement we should have – not one! This may be due a number of factors: the ‘payroll vote’ or fear of deselection, for example – or it may be due to the fact besides being afloat on a sea of confusion, there has been a deliberate attempt to create an accompanying fog of confusion and that, having taken Cameron’s plea on board, they are all in it together – including Farage and Ukip.
Readers will have noticed in Hartman’s piece that David Lidington, the Europe minister, has told Conservative colleagues that details of the renegotiation will only emerge after the European elections next year. What we are not told is how soon after the European elections we will be told, not that that is very important. All things considered, does it matter whether you get rebuffed now or later – and it should also be remembered that Barroso has already doomed to failure the repatriation meme.
The way the polls are heading means that if they continue on their present course Cameron faces coming into contact with something that will sink his ship in about 18 months time. Whether he can avoid his impending catastrophe is dependent on whether his radar is still working, which bearing in mind the defence cuts probably isn’t.