Monday, 4 May 2015

A letter from Dave

Dear Voter,

With only a few more days to go before polling day and as everyone else seems to have gone to bed and the bottle is not quite empty, may I pass on a few quiet thoughts before retiring?

We both know elections are largely a matter of voting against the party or parties we have been persuaded to dislike or even fear. It is nothing to be ashamed because this is how politics works, how life works. Look at me. I actually joined a political party – the Conservatives.

It is also worth pointing out something I’m sure you already know but rarely hear from your newspaper or television. The two major parties in British politics are much the same.

The Lib Dems merely add a pleasing touch of democratic lustre to our political system. Their delightful arm-waving creates an impression that political divides are greater than in fact they are. Which is good – of course it is.

So it comes as no surprise to me if you are annoyed by the way we major parties are in close agreement on all significant issues such as the EU. You are right to be annoyed, but if you reflect for a moment, you are bound to realise why things are as they are.

As you know the EU has long been an ineradicable fact of political life and there are no political circumstances where we would ever leave. Politics is the art of the possible and leaving the EU isn't even on the agenda.

So what about my pledge of an EU referendum should you do me the honour of asking me to be your Prime Minister again? A very good question indeed, but if you reflect a little further I know you will realise how unlikely it is that even a referendum could possibly eject us from the EU.

Unfortunately, and I know you understand this point perfectly well, unfortunately the EU voice in such a referendum is certain to be by far the most persuasive - and frankly a little scary. Millions of jobs lost, a collapse in investment, a loss of status on the world stage. These arguments may err on the side of mild hyperbole but we both know they will carry the day.

Even if the unthinkable happens and the British people use my referendum to express a modicum of dissatisfaction with the EU, I shall still be Prime Minister.

Therefore it would become my responsibility and the responsibility of Parliament acting under advice from the EU to decide precisely what is required for Britain to “leave”, what form of words are appropriate, which new documents must be drafted, when the next referendum should be.

There, I’ve said more than enough.

Kind regards



Demetrius said...

On the other hand, if some of my favourite doomsters are right we could be in for a collapse that does for the EU and globalisation as we know it. To add to the interest Gaia seems to be getting a bit twitchy these days.

Flyinthesky said...

Well, what can you say to that, a near perfect illustration of reality.
We have Richard North working on a comprehensive exit plan while 70% of the population don't know why we need one. They don't know what it is.
Most people accept what they experience as minor irritations but they generally see the eu as a benign entity working for the benefit of European society. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What may well have had a high minded intention in the beginning, for the benefit of Europe it has now evolved into a self aggrandising and corporate facilitation exercise and sadly the UN has evolved along the same lines.
Until the general population realises it's hostile we're going nowhere.
The absolute is you don't have to be governed by it to trade with it but the insisted inference is we do.

graham wood said...

I go along with the obvious sarcasm - unfortunately a touch too near reality for comfort.
Re Dr N's Flexcit plan for leaving the EU, it appears not many are persuaded by it.
Running over 350 pages of complex and comprehensive coverage of policies, it can only be of use AFTER a decision to leave the EU has been made.
Only then can Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty be invoked and as we know there is no political party (UKIP excepted) which has any intention of doing that!
His Flexcit therefore remains a completely academic exercise - a nice theory but far removed from political reality.
But there is a better route to leaving, fast, effective, and quite doable given a change in political climate in Westminster - but we know that change is not yet on the horizon.

Flyinthesky said...

The problem with Flexcit , to me, is it's not and never going to be a retail product. It's a technical manual for ministers and civil servants. 95%+ are never going to read it.
What is required is a bullet point simplistic retail product that the public are going to read, outlining what it is, what it has done and what it's intentions are.
I've said it many times before, if the eu had done to us in five years what it has taken them fifty we wouldn't be negotiating with it we'd be bombing it.

A quote from Adolph Hitler:

“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”

The eu are masters of this M.O.

You can't and won't address an enemy until you realise it is one.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - I think Gaia is the bigger danger. She isn't a benign old dear if only we treat her right as the Greens seem to think.

Fly and Graham - I agree. I haven't read North's plan and don't intend to because without the political will it is a waste of time.

That political will will be reflected in the UKIP vote on Thursday and all indications are that they won't receive anywhere near enough votes for exit to be politically viable.

In which case, a referendum will probably sink the EU sceptic case forever because power, money and shamelessly exaggerated scare stories will swing it.

In my view this is one reason why Cameron is happy to run with the referendum promise. It's a honey trap and many EU sceptics will fall right in.

Flyinthesky said...

Mr Haart, I know it's a never ending circular argument and I've had it with Richard on not a few occasions, there can not be a political will if there is, concealed with intent, not a recognisable threat to the general population. I do really wish I was smart enough to convey it.
The thing is you know it, I know it, Graham Woods knows it, people like James Higham, Kath Lissenden et al know it. The bottom line is how many people do we represent who are aware, let alone consider, disappointingly it's miniscule.

Edward Spalton said...

I'll be trying to prove you wrong in the next year
Edward Spalton
Chairman of the cross-party

Founded 1969 and still fighting

A K Haart said...

Fly - as far as I can see it takes a certain amount of courage to argue with North.

Edward - and you should keep trying to prove me wrong because I'm merely an old cynic who thinks money will always win the day.

I also think the future is inherently unpredictable.

Edward Spalton said...

You are right about unpredictability.

With regard to the Flexcit plan:

It is the scaffolding and detail on which a simplified,attractive, credible, referendum-winning strategy can be presented to the public with honesty, backed up with an impressive amount of detail when required.

So, for instance, if a canvasser is faced with the question "What happens to my son's Erasmus scholarship if we leave the EU?" It can be looked up quickly - and yes, the lad will still get to go to the Sorbonne, Heidelberg or wherever.

It completely pulls the rug from underneath the "3 million jobs" scare and offers a high level of certainty to businesses and investors that trade with the EU can continue without a day's disruption when we leave. Because it is essentially an "off the peg" solution, it can realistically be negotiated well within a couple of years.

It also has fall-back positions, if negotiations do not proceed smoothly.

Other "bespoke" solutions would take an estimated 5 to 10 years to negotiate and every single, economically significant agreement would have to be complete before we stepped out of the EU and into the world. There would also be negotiations with Third countries where our trade is presently regulated by agreements made through the EU. The Foreign Office has been run down like our armed forces and would find it very difficult to cope. Flexcit overcomes that because it is included in the pre-pack.

Of course, it is nowhere near as emotionally satisfying as repealing the European Communities Act 1972 and telling Johnny Foreigner to sod off is to some- but that is the position the Europhiles would like the independence movement to take. When we held a meeting at Derby, addressed by Robert Oulds, Director of the Bruges Group, a well-known Europhile rubbished it in the Derby Telegraph, saying all this talk was completely unnecessary as Parliament could get us out "in the twinkling of an eye"! That is certainly how they will portray the "out" option, if they can. The disruption would be catastrophic. If they succeed, every business and every person with a job dependent on trade with the EU would be scared so they would want "to keep a hold of nurse for fear of getting something worse".