If one accepts (and I’m afraid one has to) that Cameron, having buggered up the last election, couldn’t hold a referendum during this 5-year Coalition Government, his speech today and its commitment to a manifesto pledge for an In/Out vote in 2017 is as good as one could possibly have hoped for, for all sorts of reasons.
First, he now has the priceless First Mover Status on a referendum. This will help the Conservatives enormously in the next general election.
Secondly, it marginalises the LibDems, who deserve no other fate, being unutterable charlatans and rank opportunists.
Third, it should eradicate the UKIP vote in Labour/Tory marginals. There can be no justification for them handing Labour a seat that would otherwise be Conservative.
Fourth, an Out vote is favourite in 2017. The behaviour of Rumpy Pumpy, Barroso, and Eurotrash politicians too numerous to mention shows no flicker of friendliness, humour, or tolerance towards Britain (and certainly no thanks for this nation’s sacrifices for a Free Europe over the past 100 years). The British people know this, and the majority feel repulsed by it. They know that the World is big, and mostly not European. Our grandchildren will trade with more Chinese, Vietnamese, Brazilians and Mexicans than with the EU.
Fifth, if I am wrong and the British vote to stay In in 2017, it will be because Cameron has convinced them that his negotiations have borne fruit. This will not be achieved by the cancellation of a few pettifogging regulations to do with fruit, or child carseats, or the correct colour for roadsigns. By 2017, we will be somewhat reluctant hosts to about half a million Romanians and Bulgarians, and there will be heightened national resentment that a virtually bankrupt government is pouring billions into our creaking hospitals, schools and social housing for an ethnic minority that has absolutely no links of empire or alliance with Britain, and has contributed almost nothing in tax to justify our largesse. If Cameron can’t get control back of our borders, he will fail in his quest to keep us In. We are not in the mood to sell our country for a few shiny beads and a relaxation in the Working Time Directive.
Sixth, if Dave wins the election, but loses the referendum, he will have to resign as PM. Now is not the time to be horrid to the poor fellow, having delivered us the promise we wanted, but it must be said that he is a wet blanket and needs to be replaced by a proper Tory. Our country will remain close to crisis for many years ahead and it needs, by God it needs, a bit of sound, no-nonsense management.
Of course, this may not win him the election, and we all know that crypto-Marxists like Miliband and Balls like nothing better than the comradeship and approbation of like-minded socialists in Europe. Things will get a whole heap worse under them.
So, expect a proper bounce for Dave and the Tories. Any improvement in the economy in the next eighteen months, and we get our vote. Oh happy day.