Although I don’t have much time for David Cameron, he does seem to have played a weak hand pretty well. The coalition was not popular with the chattering classes yet his party emerged with an overall majority in the House. Not only that, but the forthcoming EU membership referendum seems likely to deliver a hefty blow to those of us who think the UK should leave.
The promised EU referendum was an election trap for the unwary and it is as well to ponder what might happen after the out vote loses to superior firepower, better tactics, fewer scruples and various advantages accruing to the status quo.
Cameron is bound to have other issues to contend with, but the referendum may also give him a hold on the subtle and pervasive power of the BBC, our increasingly shaky establishment broadcaster.
John Whittingdale is "a good choice" as culture secretary whose appointment last week will not have an adverse impact on the BBC, the outgoing vice-chair of the BBC Trust has said.
Diane Coyle said Mr Whittingdale recognised the BBC "has great popularity" with Conservative voters.
Sajid Javid's successor, she went on, is "a pragmatic, sensible man".
Quietly pushing the pro-EU cause, allowing its tame celebrities to label everything else with the fruitcake and racist memes are right up the Beeb’s street. Neither Mr Cameron nor Mr Whittingdale has any need to mention or even hint at a possible quid pro quo re the referendum. The Beeb would have been happy to oblige anyway.
So the licence fee issue may well be kicked into touch if the BBC finds its inner Tory. We eurosceptics may not like it and things may turn out differently, but it is a good idea to consider the strengths of each position and weigh them. Interesting too.