Cameron in Europe: en route to not much changing at all . . .
Former Newshour presenter extraordinaire Robin Lustig’s blog has a new lease of life now he is unchained from the BBC objectivity police . . . lustigletter.blogspot.co.uk. I recommend you bookmark it.
In a post from 25th Jan Robin spells out 5 scenarios for David Cameron’s future as a politician and leader following his big EU in/out speech of 23rd and they’re worth reading in full however, I’d like to take this opportunity to add a sixth outcome to Robin’s 5:
Scenario 6: Cameron wins the next election, forms a government (majority or coalition) , holds the referendum as promised and finds the result so unpalatable that he is forced to ignore it. His defiance of the popular will is so brazen that his credibility is shot and he resigns.
Nobody can predict the political climate of 2015 but experience tells us that in Europe, when politicans get a referendum result they dislike, they simply ignore it or hold another referendum until they get the result they want.
No matter what opt-outs, buy-ins and cherries Cameron picks from the wizened EU tree the British people will vote OUT anyway and therein lies the problem: no politician amongst today’s current crop — save perhaps a UKIP Prime Minister — would ever take Britain out of the EU . . . the outcome could be apocalyptic.
Cameron, caught between a personal campaign fought with all his “heart & soul” to keep the UK in and the let’s say 63% who will vote for OUT no matter what concessions obtained, will be forced to dismiss the popular will. The praise for this principled stand from Angela Merkel, Mario Monti and Jacques Delors speaking from his retirement home will only add to his woes; the opposition will have a field day; UKIP’s popularity will soar; Tory membership will plummet; Cameron will resign. Boris Johnson steps in as interim leader and criticises the referendum question as “ambiguous”, he promises another referendum to “clarify” what the British people really want and under pressure from the entire nation he holds a snap general election within 6 months.
UKIP, with a temporary leader standing in for Nigel Farage (still bed-bound with a hangover from referendum night celebrations), will win a slender majority and form a government with the ever-opportunistic Lib-Dems. Handicapped by the obligations of coalition they are unable to get the votes in Parliament to take the UK out of the EU. Britain returns to the status quo. Farage becomes PM and devotes his remaining time in office to reducing the top rate of tax for stockbrokers to -5%.