Coffee House

Tony Blair and David Miliband warn Cameron: voters are not to be trusted on Europe

27 January 2013

27 January 2013

Frustrated with David Cameron? The perfect remedy lies in your newsagents today. Tony Blair has a a piece in the Mail on Sunday and his aspirant jedi padawan, David Miliband, has one in the Sunday Telegraph. Both serve a refreshing reminder of the stale, elitist, failed thinking that David Cameron swept aside with his historic referendum pledge last week.

Having taken a break from frontline politics, both Blair and Miliband might have returned with fresh ideas for connecting Labour to the voters it alienated. Instead, both seem to have spent their time hanging out with business jet-set and, increasingly, speak as their envoys. Blair opens his piece by telling us how his friends – ‘outside of Britain,’ natch – are deeply concerned about the idea of the public being given a say in the future of their country.

“There is only one question on their lips: ‘Are you guys seriously going to leave Europe?’ The incredulity with which they ask reflects their view of the wisdom of leaving… Up to last Wednesday I would answer confidently (though not always feeling it): no, we’re staying in Europe. After David Cameron’s speech, in which, for the first time since we joined Europe almost 40 years ago, a leader of a party with a chance of  governing has said it will be its policy to put leaving to a referendum, I can’t give that answer. The answer has to be: maybe.

God knows why businessman asks Blair about Britain – he’s hardly been here for the last four years. Ask him about Emirates business class, yes, or how much Kazakstan businessmen pay those who help prop up their regimes. But not Britain.

Those with a taste in schadenfreude should read all of Blair’s piece. The world is changing, he reveals, China will soon be a big world power. This is precisely the case for reforming our trading system: right now, Switzerland sells more to China that Britain does – not bad for a country a quarter of our economic size. The idea that you need to be in the Eurozone to profit from globalization is risible: the unfair and often immoral tariffs that the EU imposes to try and protect its member states from globalization are, if anything, holding us back.

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Britain’s share of trade with the new emerging economies is one of the smallest in Europe – and before, in the Commonwealth, we had a rather good global free trade thing going on. Blair’s attempt to conflate EU membership with trading block membership is a joke. But Blair’s piece finishes in the best joke of all. “I believe there is a sensible, solid majority in the UK for us to stay in Europe.” On page 8-9 of the same newspaper, the latest poll shows 50 per cent want out of the EU, and 36 per cent want in. I suspect Blair would, if challenged, stress the word “sensible”.

You’d think Miliband would know better, but he also seems to regard Cameron’s Euro pledge as a form of political self-immolation. Cameron has “pulled the rug from under him” – by which Miliband means that Cameron won’t be as welcome in these Brussels soirées anymore. Have’t Tories learned the first rule of Labour statesmanship: that the British public are there to be invoked in speeches, not actually consulted?

Britain has moved on from this de-haut-en-bas way of governing. The expenses scandal accelerated a collapse of confidence in MPs and ministers – and Cameron has understood this better than anyone. He is trying a new form of government: one which seeks to pass power from the few to the many. Not saying “trust me” but “I trust you”. As I argued in my last Daily Telegraph column, this includes a power flip in schools and hospitals – letting parents and patients choose.

Crucially, the economy has moved on too. Big businesses are, on the whole, shedding jobs – most job creation comes from small businesses. Our future depends on the emergence of companies that have not been invented yet, so the bodements of big business  should not be taken so seriously.

Once, Blair and Miliband both understood the direction that Britain was taking, and both were adapting to it quite well. Miliband used to speak of “double devolution” – moving power no just from central to local government, but from local government to the people. Blair used to call it the “choice” agenda, supposedly his defining mission.

Neither seem to like the idea of choice now – especially when it comes to letting people choose what happens to their country. It’s sad to see, but both now exemplify a very recognisable type of left-winger: one who will do anything for the working class, except trust them.

PS: It’s odd to think it but the Conservatives, now, trust the working class more than any other party.  If Cameron is smart, he’ll point this out.


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Show comments
  • Ambriorix_Le_Belge

    Google the phrase ‘clerisy’. That is precisely what we live under. Also, this shows the typical arrogance of the political class on the European issue i.e. the people don’t know what they want.

  • pj.hack@btinternet.com

    So the public aren’t to be trusted on Europe eh? The politicians aren’t to be trusted on anything.

  • Chris Green

    this shows how undemocratic and anti English these people the Labour party are.

  • joshuafalken

    Ha Ha Ha

    The biggest thing voters could not be trusted on was Tony Blair

  • Don_Harrison

    They are right about Cameron, but has been a long time since we could trust Blair

  • Wessex Man

    189 comments and most of them scoring points off of each other rather than discussing a very relevent column, still never mind I suppose you will have something else to ignore tomorrow just you wait and see.

  • http://twitter.com/LoganDon don logan

    Are they frotting in that picture, Mr Tony’s face looks particularly sweaty.

  • Patrick

    Fraser, Emirates Business Class would be slumming it for Bliar – private jet or at a push, First Class for this man of the people

  • http://www.facebook.com/roger.hudson.946 Roger Hudson

    Elite tossers like Blair never liked voters, he never even wanted a cabinet or parliament.
    When will he hurry up and die.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Good Heavens I don’t want him to die. Long may he flourish.

  • http://twitter.com/ianwalkeruk Ian Walker

    If being in the EU is so great for us, they’ve got five years to make their arguments. You’ll forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

  • HooksLaw

    We should have had a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, but Labour denied it.

    We will have a negotiation, we will distance ourselves from the changing Europe, we will have a referendum recommending we accept the new status and the vote will say Yes.

    And if we vote No then perversely we will have to go through another set of negotiations, the outcome of which will be precious little different to the first. But probably with no further referendum.

    • Rhoda Klapp2

      Do you think that Cameron, in the event of a no vote, will apply to leave? Is he committed so to do? I read your vomment* as saying that we get new terms and vote in or vte out and get another set of terms to vote on. Is that how you see it.

      *Started as a typo, rather liked it.

  • Carlazi

    In Britains history only weak politicians have resorted to referenduma and unfortunately for Britain DC is in a extremely vulnerable place

  • NAVESTOCK

    re Mail opinion poll – polls can sometimes reflect the desires of the commissioner – one for a TU before Boris/newt-fancier round 1 had the newt-fancier winning by 10 points.
    re TB – his ‘Managed Migration Agenda’ was (and I do not say this lightly) unprecedented in world history in the light of what we now know from the ORIGINAL draft of the White Paper(which MigrationWatch were able to get by a FOI request) and the article of his speech writer in Evening Standard of October 2009 ?23rd.

    Mr Neather in his article which was headlined ‘London needs more immigrants’ said that at Home Office meetings he attended there were TWO attitudes :-

    1)to promote multiculturalism – which is obvious even from the headline he is VERY SUPPORTIVE of

    2)’to make the Right’s arguments out of date’ i.e to create FACTS on the GROUND that could NEVER BE REVERSED and to ‘RUB THE RIGHT’S NOSES IN DIVERSITY’ (i.e. to spite patriotic British people – he was very much OPPOSED this. There is no elucidation as to who had this attitude. ? Barbara Roche then Immigration Minister. Mr Straw has said ‘there was NO PLOT’ – everyone will have to make their own judgment about in the absence of the seizure of all relevant documents – clearly the 30YEAR RULE means that we only find out the TRUTH when it is TOO LATE. As for TB he certainly wrote in 2010/2011 ‘political leaders should not give in to the temptation to have ANTI-IMMIGARATION policies’. At the very least we

  • Edward Sutherland

    “Yes, trust the people. You, who are ambitious, and rightly ambitious, of being guardians of the British Constitution, trust the people and they will trust you-and they will follow you and join you in the defence of that Constitution against any and every foe……The future of the Constitution, the destinies of (Britain) are in the hands of the Tory Party in Parliament; and if only the leaders of the Party in Parliament will have the courage of their convictions, grasp their responsibilities, and adapt their policies to those responsibilities….. that future and those destinies are great and assured.”
    (Extract from Lord Randolph Churchill’s “Trust the People” speech, delivered in Birmingham on 16th April 1884.)
    Sometimes, it seems, it takes an aristocrat to point out to self-styled “men of the people” the true nature of democracy in this country.

    • David Lindsay

      He was calling for a General Election, not a referendum.

      • Edward Sutherland

        He was calling on politicians to trust the people, a point germane to Fraser’s piece; whether a general election or referendum is not the issue with regard to Lord Randolph’s sentiment.

  • Jimmy R

    So Bliar and Sillyband are of the opinion voters can’t be trusted. As i recall Hitler and Stalin felt very much the same.

    • David Lindsay

      Hitler was very fond of referendums. Though not as much as Mussolini was.

      • Magnolia

        Hitler certainly had lots of votes but he expected people to vote in the correct way. He did not believe in democracy!

      • Jimmy R

        Yes, Hitler invaded the Rhineland 3rd March 1936 and then asked the German voters if he should on the 29th March at which point it was obvious that he would never order the German Army to give up control of the Rhineland and retreat. After that he abolished all elections and no more were held whilst he remained in power.

        • Daniel Maris

          If by “elections” you are including referenda, then I don’t think you’re right. I think there was a plebiscite held on the Anschluss.

          • arnoldo87

            Yes, Daniel – there was. And I think 97% voted in favour of the Anschluss. The other 3%, of course, were all at the Salzburg Music Festival portrayed at the end of “The Sound of Music”.

  • Boudicca_Icenii

    That picture is of a Has-Been and a Never-Was. Why are we supposed to listen to anything they have to say?
    The best possible filip for the OUT campaign will be if Mr Shyster Blair is the leader of the IN faction. He is utterly despised by the electorate with very good reason, but doesn’t seem to really understand that.
    Membership if the EU has been good for the political elite and good for Big Business. But calamitous for the British working classes. It’s very instructive that Blair and Miliband don’t give a tinkers’ cuss for the people their Party was created to represent and are dead against the people having a say in the future Blair/Miliband and the rest of the pro-EU faction want to create.
    I do hope Labour voters are taking notice.

    • David Lindsay

      Why should they? As you say, a has-been and a never-was.

  • http://twitter.com/bbcgoogle Rockin Ron

    A major flaw with Mr Cameron’s position is that action is not proposed until 2017, after the next General Election. This from an expenses fiddling crook who wants us to vote him in again, so he can wriggle out of this commitment. Remember this is ‘Cast Iron Guarantee’ Cameron who is promising ‘jam tomorrow’.
    The real test of Mr Cameron’s conviction is a simple one. If he is so convinced of the need for a referendum, why not have it before the 2015 General Election?

    • HooksLaw

      Cameron is not an expense fiddling crook. And to pretend otherwise is laughable.

      The notion of announcing a policy and fighting an election on it and acting on it seems highly democratic to me. Sadly you are a closed mind. In truth probably an empty one.

      The Conservatives broke no promises on the Lisbon treaty, their stance was quite clear, and indeed this recent announcement is one step in fulfilling their actual promise of continuing to take matters further. Do all you can to minimise a tory election win – thats the best way to make sure you never get a referendum on the EU.

  • sarahsmith232

    did anyone catch another version of this this morning with Johnathan Powell on Sky News? JP being on the chief New Labour Spads. when asked about the referendum and the fact that Labour had promised one but didn’t give one. Unbelievably he said ‘well, it’s a good job we didn’t, in Ireland and the Netherlands they rejected them’. absolutely beyond belief!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Trant/1105641645 David Trant

    I note that a few left-wing politicians have been talking as if this
    campaign is about whether we should JOIN the European Community.

    It is not. We have been members for two and a half years.

    It is a question of whether we should leave.

    But for Britain to leave would mean denouncing a Treaty.

    Britain does not break Treaties.

    It would be bad for Britain, bad for our relations with the rest
    of the world and bad for any future treaty on trade we may need to make.

    As Harold Macmillan said recently: “We used to stand for good
    faith. That is the greatest strength of our commerce overseas. And we
    are now being asked to tear up a Treaty into which we solemnly entered”.

    Mrs Thatcher April 1975.

  • http://twitter.com/tomdaylight tomdaylight

    It’s understandable why David Miliband is not inclined to trust the decision making ability of the masses.

    Now three-times election winner Tony Blair, on the other hand…

    • David Lindsay

      Yes, that is odd, isn’t it?

      Whereas the affiliated (mostly trade union) section of the Labour Electoral College is the only involvement of millions of ordinary people in the choice of any Party Leader. And that was what swung it for Ed Miliband. No wonder that his party has been doing so well ever since.

      • HooksLaw

        As far as the affiliated members (ie not members at all) vote went then, 119,405 went for Ed and 80,266 went for Dave.
        Hardly millions and hardly a mass movement from trade unionist rank and file to support the policies of Ed over Dave.

        In terms of votes in a leadership election Cameron got 134,446. (68%)
        In his election Ed M got 172,519.
        There is no great difference there in terms of a mass movement.

      • http://twitter.com/tomdaylight tomwhuxley

        A section, of course, where a member with enough ballot forms is eligible to vote up to 27 times. No wonder Sadiq Khan wanted to be Ed’s campaign manager…

  • ScaryBiscuits

    So Cameron’s great because Blair or Miliband D would be worse? Hardly a ringing endorsement. And Cameron is scarcely better because all he has really announced is a tactic to keep Britain in the EU. He doesn’t differ from Miliband on the substansive issue. How about a leader that actually represents the people?

    • Fraser Nelson

      I’m saying things could be a lot worse

      • the viceroy’s gin

        No, they couldn’t.

        The worst possible outcome is to do nothing for the next 5 years.

        Exactly what’s happening, in other words.

    • David Lindsay

      And neither Blair nor Milly-D is the Leader of the Opposition. Or of anything else, come to that. Do the media quite realise this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Trant/1105641645 David Trant

    So with 5 years to go Forsyth has convinced himself there will actually be a referendum, you can sell some idiots anything.

  • http://twitter.com/PaddyBriggs Paddy Briggs

    This really is intellectually bereft bile. Are you really so desperate that
    to have to bury your powers of fair and reasoned judgement and make
    unsubstantiated and hugely over-personalised remarks like these ? Maybe so. You
    know that Cameron is a busted flush – indeed you have frequently said or hinted
    so. You know, or you should, that the antediluvian rightist agenda this rant
    relates to is unelectable. You know, or you should, that David Miliband is
    Britain’s leading international affairs politician and that Blair is still by
    far our most respected Statesman.

    The idea that a Conservative Party
    with leaders like Cameron, Osborne & Johnson has a clue about the working
    class is preposterous.

    When I read this piece I wondered whether it was
    a wind-up – written over a bottle of gin by a load of Old Farts in a Home
    Counties Golf Club late at night. That’s how it reads. It’s drivel.

    • Rhoda Klapp2

      And miliband HAS a clue about the working class? No objection to your characterisation of the tories here, but the idea that labour is any different is too much of a stretch for me. Weren’t you watching in the years 1997 to 2010?

      Do you believe the fate of our nation should be decided by Tony blair’s foreign businessman mates? Or his UK businessman mates, for that matter? Don’t you remember what a piece of scum he is? Don’t you notice what a prat Dave Miliband is? HE was rejected by the labour party. For his brother!

      • http://twitter.com/PaddyBriggs Paddy Briggs

        Both Milibands relate very well to people from all strata of society.

        • David Lindsay

          David doesn’t. I have heard him in action, several times.

          For example, when he was Schools Minister, I once heard him tell a Fabian Society audience, so a room full of teachers, that the higher differences in results within than between schools was due to “which teacher you are given”.

          Even Hilary Armstrong, who had brought him along, looked as if she wanted the ground to swallow her. But I later heard him use exactly the same line to a Durham student audience.

          I also once heard a South Shields Labour stalwart express astonishment that in deepest County Durham there were still meetings to select council candidates. “David’s [London] office just tells us who were are going to get,” apparently.

        • 2trueblue

          Who do you mix with? Must be a very closed range in society.

      • David Lindsay

        The Blair years are the past, rejected by the Labour Party at the last Leadership Election. Every Election since has confirmed the rightness of that judgement, with another tranche of them this coming May.

        Last year, when Labour won Chipping Norton and Southern villages that Tony Blair had never even contested, all that the Conservatives could hold was some non-job for a showbusiness personality who won because a foreign state instructed its London loyalists to vote for him.

        But even in those areas, they voted Labour for the Assembly on the same day. And that position is not up for election this year.

        • CharlieleChump

          And now the “foreign state” paranoia. Of course Labour has never bowed to the instructions of a foreign power has it?

          • David Lindsay

            Only under Blair, and he has gone.

            Especially through the pages of the Telavivagraph, Israel openly instructed its supporters in London to vote for Boris Johnson. Damian Thompson gloatingly published the ward-by-ward breakdowns to prove that that strategy had worked. No other foreign state could get away with that in Britain. None.

            Today, this country has a noisy Hard Right, including a very noisy Loony Right. That is given acres of media space from which to promote policies far outside the mainstream, such as the dismantlement of all public provision and the repeal of all social protection, and including submission to the dominating influence of foreign powers, or arguably of a single foreign power based on two continents.

            The Soviet Union no longer exists, and exactly as many conservative as Labour Ministers were ever in its pay, anyway; likewise numerous Conservative MPs were, as they still are, MI6 agents, at a time when it was riddled with the KGB from top to bottom.

            Even overt Maoists cannot, on their own principles, advocate domination by China as she is now. Or by Juchist North Korea, even had she the slightest aspiration to such a thing. Similarly, Cuba, or the present regime in Venezuela, or whatever, has no interest in controlling anything in Britain.

            By very stark contrast indeed, the American and Israeli Far Rights are threats of the utmost gravity, far in excess of any that the USSR ever posed, as Enoch Powell pointed out.

            The American end of that operation is not even in government in its own country. The whole thing is closely allied to all manner of unsavoury regimes in the Gulf, in Central Asia, in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, as well as to violent Hindu nationalism in India. One of its most frightening features is its manifest promiscuity, its inherent moral indifference.

            • HooksLaw

              Take note loony toons. This is exactly how you come across…

          • Colin

            They just asked them for money to fight Thatcher…

            • David Lindsay

              They would have been better advised to have given it to much of her own party. And probably did.

              • Colin

                I was referring to the requests for money from the USSR, to help fight the 1983 election.

                • David Lindsay

                  And I am saying that it won’t have been the only request from these shores. It will, however, have been the one that resulted in no payment. The ones that resulted in payment will have helped to do for in the end, which was not at the hands of the Labour Party.

              • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

                There was no landslide in 2001. A landslide is what changes the political landscape, as in 1997.

        • HooksLaw

          Its good news for all of us that want to see a Britain with a future that the Labour party has rejected Blairism (which is really code for rejecting socialism).
          It minimises their chances of being re-elected. Labour hopes rest heavily on UKIP.

          In truth the Labour party never accepted ‘Blairism’ – Brown continually obstructed the reforming policies that Blairism represented (in so far as they were meaningful). And ultimately it was Browns socialist failures which have ruined the country. Blair should have sacked Brown in 2001.

      • HooksLaw

        Ho ho – stockbrokers son, and stockbroker himself,Farage who went to Dulwich School – he has his finger on the working man’s pulse has he?

        Well IF he has, you need to admit its not because of his background. Likewise other people’s background has no bearing either.

        • Rhoda Klapp2

          Find one quote in all the stuff i have ever posted where I have supported Farage. You cannot. I have never done so. I know what a prat he is too, and how inadequate UKIP is to be sole representative of the eurosceptics at a time like this. And I don’t much care about people’s background either.

    • David Lindsay

      “You know, or you should, that David Miliband is Britain’s leading international affairs politician and that Blair is still by far our most respected Statesman.”

      I shudder to think where, when or over a bottle of what that was written. But it cannot be a wind-up. It is beyond satire.

      • http://twitter.com/PaddyBriggs Paddy Briggs

        He was an excellent Foreign Secretary. Ask the Americans.

        • David Lindsay

          Further comment on that would be superfluous.

        • Rhoda Klapp2

          Ask the Indians?

        • Fergus Pickering

          You mean the Americans liked him. That would be because he did as they said.

      • CharlieleChump

        Unbelievably I completely agree with you David.

        • David Lindsay

          You are very kind.

          Although I do not know why you are surprised.

    • CharlieleChump

      Ah a new comrade Troll: they seem to be multiplying but not a single original thought between them.

      • Rhoda Klapp2

        This one smells of a central office rapid rebuttal op. Whether Labour or the tories to make them look daft I cannot tell.

        • CharlieleChump

          True, not much difference between the lot of them

  • David B

    I hope they get themselves heavily involved with the yes campaign, will guarantee a big majority to leave.

    • telemaque

      Tony Blair untainted by the financial crisis is loved and trusted by a majority of our citizens.
      While David Miliband is remembered with affection as a trusted Foreign Secretary untainted by the approbation given his brother.
      I fear that you and the post author have misread this one.
      Davos has shown us that the financial and Eurozone crisis are receding and the perspicacious UK voters will want to hitch us to the German Tiger.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Lived and trusted by a majority eh? Another rubbish soundbite from the Propaganda Troll.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jul/23/tony-blair-prime-minister-return

      • David B

        Are you serious, Tony Blair loved. He will be remembered in the same breath as Chamberlin, a prime minister when the point arrived for him to stand up and be counted, he fluffed his lines, especially on EU treaties. A man that made a case for war that was so totally flawed …. (do we need to go on). If he leads the IN campaign it will sink without trace.

        David Miliband, the only way he will be relevant is by moving to the shadow front bench. He would therefore have to replace the incompetent Balls as shadow chancellor. Just like his mentor, Blair, he will not want to take the pay cut.

        As for hitching us to the German “Tiger”, we tried that with the ERM and how
        successful was that?

        • telemaque

          I did not say the Euro.
          The German economy.
          Just stand outside your house and time how long it takes before a non German car goes past

          • David B

            I did not mention the Euro either, I mentioned the ERM and the mess we made of the tying to the German Economy in the past

            There will be more Ford Tractors pass my house than anything today.

            • telemaque

              Ah
              An explanation
              Those in the industial belt need dynamic interaction with Europe

              • David B

                Just because I live in the country does not mean I don’t work in an industrial belt

                • telemaque

                  In which case you understand the need to engage with the German economic powerhouse
                  In truth I cannot understand why anyone with sense would wish to divorce us from maximum drive to growth at this difficult time

                • Little Black Censored

                  Leaving the EU would not mean commersial disengagement with Germany.

                • David B

                  As always u make assumptions which are incorrect.

                  Of the companies in the complex I have my business in there are a number of exporters. The largest market would be North America by a margin.

                  These business compete with the German “tiger”, not sell to it. To hitch us to that market would be more likely to make these companies uncompetitive rather than help. Just as Greece found out German productivity is much higher than ours when everything else is equal

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Simon-Fay/1127268875 Simon Fay

        Telemaque’s joke has now been milked drier than ‘Little Britain’s characters. C’mon chum -try a different slant, like “Shipman’s surviving patients insist they still miss his bedside manner”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1296945479 John McClane

        You live in a parallel universe.

        • Wessex Man

          He comes on here to keep us on our toes, he’s David blunkett in disguise.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bill.rollinson1 Bill Rollinson

        Tory Blair….loved? He conned the working class in 1997 and has been kidding them ever since! The man is a typical Tory…..self, self, self!

    • Donnaa Damzelle

      David B how true is that! great

  • http://twitter.com/MargaretRHallid Margaret Halliday

    This is opinionated rubbish, the only ‘destroyers’ of the Labour Party are the far left idiological ‘lunny left’ such as yourself, thanks for giving us Cameron for the next 6 years I’m sure the poor, the needy, the disabled, elderly, children, the ill, the homeless will be very grateful for your free contribution to the Tory Party election campagne.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Cue violins for sweet lickle victims as rapacious Tory villain twirls moustache and gloats “Muahhahaha!”

      What a joke you people are. I have only two words for you – 10p Tax.

    • David Lindsay

      I bet that you have never before been called “the Loony Left”, Fraser. Have you?

      If anyone is prepared to run it, I have exactly 600 words on The Rise of the Loony Right, mirroring in the present age the Loony Left of 30 years ago. Do get in touch – davidaslindsay@hotmail.com

      • http://twitter.com/PaddyBriggs Paddy Briggs

        Good line “The rise of the Loony Right”. Hope to hear more!

        • David Lindsay

          Are you an editor? I am, among other things, a freelance journalist.

          • echo34

            Really? Mind your head on the door.

  • Alan Coombe

    Absolute disgrace, the British people should have a say we are after all meant to be a democracy, the day I take the opinion of David a Labour reject and Blair the PM who ruined the country is the day you can put me in the nuthouse

    Sign this petition to restrict Bulgarian and Romanians from entering the UK:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41492

    Sign this petition to allow UKIP to take part in the 2015 TV election
    debates:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43153

  • Curnonsky

    It is all up to Frau Merkel now and she does not appear to be in a giving mood. Cameron may have to settle for a few face-saving gestures which he can wave in the air as he steps off the plane, Neville Chamberlain-style.

  • berridgeab

    That’s the trouble with the left, case of government knows best.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Trant/1105641645 David Trant

      Really it was the ‘left’ that gave this country its only referendum on Europe, when Mrs Thatcher called referendums, ‘A device for despots and dictators’

      • 2trueblue

        During the last Liebore Government we were promised a referendum and over the 13yrs did not get it.

        • David Lindsay

          Only if there were ever any attempt to join the euro. As, thanks to Gordon Brown and Ed Balls, there was never any chance of our doing. The 1997 Election was the de facto referendum on the euro. The country voted No. By voting Labour,

          • Hexhamgeezer

            Blah

          • Fergus Pickering

            Don’t be silly, Lindsay. Of course that is not so. Are you saying that a vote for Party X means endorsing everything it says?

            • Noa

              Yes. When you cast your vote for any person or party you have given them an unconditional licence to act as they see fit.

              You may think they will act in your interests; but they couldn’t possibly comment.

              • http://www.facebook.com/bill.rollinson1 Bill Rollinson

                This is why we need change! The ‘candidate’ will promise the earth and the electorate fall for it, with out reading up on the parties policy OR manifesto. Our system doesn’t allow for Independants to sprout. In the last GE, the 4th largest party 970,000 votes never got a seat, yet the Greens (6th) 287.000 votes got ONE? This is another reason Cameron didn’t want PR, under PR the Tories will never get in, yet they use it to elect a leader?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Trant/1105641645 David Trant

          When?

          There was never a promise of a referendum post 97, if you have the evidence please point me to it.

        • dalai guevara

          you are referring to the ‘cast iron’ one? – I remember that…it proved to be just as relevant as DC’s speech this week.

          • HooksLaw

            There was a clear promise to hold a referendum if the treaty had not been ratified by the time of the general election. The treaty was indeed ratified, despite labour breaking its promise and despite the tories voting against it in parliament.

            The tory voting record clearly shows it does not agree with the present set up of the EU. Unfortunately along with a disastrous economy its what labour bequeathed us all.

            • fubarroso

              There was no such caveat on Dave’s cast-iron guarantee. A “no” vote in a referendum post ratification would have proved beyond doubt that the treaty had been signed against the will of the people. That, according to our constitution, and that of any other democratic nation, would have made Miliband’s and Brown’s signatures and HM’s subsequent royal assent null and void.

          • francbanc

            How can an interpretation of what he said to the Sun in ’07, despite the position being made clear before the treaty was ratified, ever have been relevant?

      • sarahsmith232

        the only reason they gave one in the 70s is cause they thought we’d vote to stay out. Labour was anti the Common Market, saw it a capitalist conspiracy. the yes vote was a pro capitalism vote and from Labour’s point of view we all went and gave them futher evidence that when given the chance we’d all and use of vote stupidly.

        • David Lindsay

          And who could disagree?

          A referendum is the wrong way of going about this. It calls for primary legislation. By Parliament.

          To be fair, David Trant, she was quoting Attlee.

          • Hexhamgeezer

            Blah Blah

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Trant/1105641645 David Trant

            So she meant it! when did she ever offer a referendum on anything?

            • David Lindsay

              Oh, she meant it, all right. As did Attlee.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Trant/1105641645 David Trant

          Really which is why Wilson after re-negotiation recommended we stay in is it?

          67% of those who voted voted to remain in, a breakdown of that vote showed that nearly 70% of them were Tory voters.

          • HooksLaw

            Correct. Labour were in favour of the EU and only used the notion of some vaguely bad terms as an election ploy. Given that all parties supported Yes in the then referendum its no surprise the vote went that way.

            To pretend as Ms Smith does is to simply demonstrate the total lack of understanding in the UKIper brigade.

        • http://www.facebook.com/bill.rollinson1 Bill Rollinson

          I have never spoken to or met ANYONE who voted go in?

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think that was Churchill’s pitch in 1950.

    • telemaque

      Ask folks if they want a return to Capital Punishment.
      And then sit down and consider what is reasonable.

  • Terrence Henderson

    If st Tony Blair and his stooge gives the pensioners the £8,000 a year increase to help the MP’s avoid declaring their hidden assets – Well I am sure most pensioners could then go somewhere warmer to live and enable houses for people arriving here to go straight on benefit and have housing that does not need to be built on a green belt.

  • Noa

    “…and Cameron has understood this best of all. He is trying a new form
    of government: one which seeks to pass power from the few to the many….”

    Oh dear Fraser, I’m afraid that even the most outrageous flattery only goes so far. Does a faux referendum in 5 years time, if re-elected, on a few minor changes agreed with Angela Merkel and with his unconditional recommendation for a acceptance

    • David Lindsay

      Then he is still living in the Blair years. As, obviously, are you.

      • Noa

        I’ll probably regret this, David, but pray tell me why you think so.

        • David Lindsay

          Look at the most recent by-election results, for a start. UKIP is possibly replacing the Tories in Labour areas, but that is all.

          The traditional Labour vote is happier with Labour now that at any point in a generation and a half.

          • Rhoda Klapp2

            Now you are all ’twas bliss in that dawn to be alive’ but soon it will be ‘Never glad confident morning again!’

            Whenever I hear the words traditional labour vote’ I reach for my Browning.

            • Rhoda Klapp2

              Yes. I know the first one is Wordsworth. Pearls before swine, this.

            • Noa

              De-commissioned of course, just like it’s previous owner, again thanks to Mr Cameron.
              “… …The blossoms
              Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
              Any of them using their finger.”

              • Rhoda Klapp2

                No, this post is the naming of prats.

                • Little Black Censored

                  Touché!

          • CharlieleChump

            Just keep repeating ” The traditional Labour vote is happier , the traditional Labour vote is happier . . . ” wrap your head in a wet towel, comrade Stalin will come to you in your dreams

            • David Lindsay

              Not only is it, but beyond that the Labour vote even last year was big enough to win somewhere like Chipping Norton. And that was before the triple dip.

              Come this year’s local elections, never mind next year’s European Elections, the Tories are going to be wiped off the map. Leading to the General Election of 2015, presumably in the throes of a quadruple or quintuple dip recession.

              And it would all have happened even if UKIP had never existed. Think on that.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hilton-Holloway/708772773 Hilton Holloway

                Dave, the reason Cameron has promised a referendum now, is that he has covered his back if a hundred thousand people from Bulgaria and Romania turn up next January.

                DC can say, in all honestly, sorry, EU laws say we can’t control the numbers who can settle.

                Labour MPs were recently surveyed and 82% said they did not want a limit on immigration. The only cross-over between the International Socialists that make up the Labour party, and the UK working class, is the belief in government underwriting their incomes.

                When the next wave of migrants appear, we’ll see Milimarx and the rest with nothing to say.

                Never forget that even Brown regarded a working class Labour voter as a bigot for mentioning immigration. Labour’s irreducible core belief is one of an international, free-moving, under-written working class.

                Which is all well and good, but the Welfare State is not an infinite fund and the UK is very densely populated compared to Germany or France.

                • David Lindsay

                  Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.

                  Meanwhile, every election result for years now speaks for itself.

                  People are going to move from their own, improving, parts of the Lower Second World to someone else’s, declining, part? No they are not.

                  The Poles came here because we were prosperous, i.e., before Osborne. And the Bulgarians and the Romanians would only have come, if they would have done, if Darling, who left this country without a recession, had not been replaced with Osborne.

                  Labour could score an easy point by calling for the limits to be kept on at the end of the year. But dear God, to what, exactly, would anyone wish to come in Britain by then? They weren’t coming, anyway. May as well demand that they not be allowed to, for all the difference that it would make in practice.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hilton-Holloway/708772773 Hilton Holloway

                  I’m not sure that speech will get Milimarx out of his International Socialist hole in 365 days from now…

                • David Lindsay

                  Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.

                  Meanwhile, every election result, for years now, speaks for itself.

                • Chris lancashire

                  Perhaps it’s time to get a life David. Switch the computer off dear boy.

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

                • HooksLaw

                  It these immigrants who have done damage to the labour traditional working voter. Its why the unions cheered when Brown said British jobs for British workers (although there was nothing in his speech to justify that.

                  Free movement of labour is a disaster for the trade unions.

              • arnoldo87

                Don’t be too sure of this. Remember that a truly left-wing Labour Party has not won a General Election since 1974. It took Tony Blair to convince the British voters that Labour were electable.
                At the moment the opinion poll lead really is a protest vote against the necessary measures that Cameron is taking. Not only have Labour failed to articulate a sensible alternative, but they just haven’t got a front bench with the gravitas and experience of the Tories.
                Miliband E has definitely improved his performance as opposition leader over the last year, but he really isn’t in the same class as Cameron, whose speeches on Europe lately have been excellent.
                I think that the Tories will close the gap by 2015 and actually have a chance of securing a majority. It’s truly amazing that this prospect will appal most contributors to this blog, while a Blairite like me can view it with equanimity.

                • David Lindsay

                  Total rubbish.

                  The poll rating that was the 1997 result had not varied since September 1992, when only the most obsessive political anoraks had ever heard of Tony Blair. Swings as large as any in 1997 had been recorded at the European Elections in 1994, under Margaret Beckett.

                  Blair had been about to announce his retirement from Parliament at the Election then expected in 1996. But John Smith, who had planned to keep out of the Cabinet (the Shadow Cabinet was still elected by Labour MPs in those days), died, so he changed his mind. Smith’s death was the happiest day of Blair’s life.

                  The always-inevitable size of the 1997 victory made the 2001 landslide equally inevitable. Tony Blair’s only ever influence over the outcome of a General Election was in 2005, when he lost Labour a hundred seats that any other Leader would have kept, against the only “Opposition” that he could still have beaten by then.

                  That “opposition” became totally Blairite during the subsequent Parliament, at the end of which it failed to win an overall majority against Blair’s archenemy. If Labour is going to be exactly the same as this Blairite Coalition, as you would wish, then why bother having elections at all? Over what? But in 2015, we finally get to have the Electoopn, and the result, that we should have had in 1997.

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

                • HooksLaw

                  Labour lost 47 seats in 2005, not 100. The privilege of losing one of the highest numbers of seats in Labour history goes to Gordon Brown.

                  The nut jobs should certainly be thanking you for giving them a master class in fantasy island politics..

                • arnoldo87

                  “Smith’s death was the happiest day of Blair’s life.”
                  Are you proud of this comment, or is this what passes for socialist compassion and empathy these days?

              • Hexhamgeezer

                Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

          • Noa

            No, it’s already picking up Labour voters, vide Rotherham. The trend will only grow.

            • David Lindsay

              No, those were Tory votes. Just in a Labour seat. Look at the figures. They speak for themselves.

              • Noa

                No. Many of them spoke to me.

                “I’m a Labour voter, but I’m ashamed of the Labour party…”.
                It can only grow.

                • David Lindsay

                  Course they did.

                  Labour romped home, despite the previous Labour MP’s having resigned due to financial scandal. UKIP, although it came second, took a lower number of votes and a lower proportion of the vote than the Tories did there even in the 1980s. And that was after the fostering story that people still believed was true on polling day.

                  Like the BNP five or 10 years ago (see, most strikingly, Glasgow North East, where Labour also romped home, while the Tory vote went down and the BNP vote went up by almost exactly the same amount), UKIP is just somewhere for Tories in Labour areas to park themselves when they are feeling a bit out of sorts.

                  Whenever UKIP’s vote goes up, the Tory vote goes down, and the Labour vote stays the same. The BNP was just like that. It is now practically defunct.

                • Noa

                  You may well believe so. We shall see.

                  For Labour the Islamabad block and postal vote has proved a reliable standby in the past.

                  How much do you think Respect will be prepared to pay for it?
                  How much do you think they, (or rather we,) will have to pay for the Roumanian and Bulgarian blocs when they arrive? Less or more than the Cameroons?

                • David Lindsay

                  Belief does not enter into it. What I gave you were facts.

                • Noa

                  Rotherham By-election 2010
                  MacShane Denis Labour 16,741,
                  Lib Dem 5994
                  Con 6297
                  BNP 3,906

                  qv By Election 2012
                  Con 1157
                  UKIP 4648
                  Respect 1997
                  Labour 9966
                  Lib Dem 451
                  BNP 1804

                  With nearly 7000 votes lost Labour were extremely grateful for the 30% bloc postal vote.

                • David Lindsay

                  And?

                  In point of fact, t is the Conservative Party that is the fully functioning British political vehicle of the Far Left, of Islamism, and of South Asian communalism.

                  The entire Socialist Workers’ Party faction of Respect in Tower Hamlets not long ago defected to the Conservative Party after having fallen out with the Islamists. Johanna Kaschke, a longstanding Respect and Communist Party figure, left the Labour Party in 2007 after having failed to secure its nomination for the parliamentary seat of Bethnal Green and Bow, and ended that year by joining the Conservative Party, in which she has rapidly become a well-connected activist.

                  Around the country, local factions of various Asian and other origins routinely defect from Labour or other things to the Conservatives on frankly communal grounds, and are always welcomed with open arms. David Cameron’s vehicles toured Ealing Southall blasting out in Asian languages that Hindu, Muslim and Sikh festivals would be made public holidays under his party. His “Quality of Life Commission” (don’t laugh, it’s real) then proposed giving the power to decide these things to “local community leaders”.

                  What else will those figures be given the power to decide in return for filling in every postal voting form in their households in the Bullingdon Boys’ interest, and making sure that all their mates did likewise? To the statelets thus created – little Caliphates, little Hindutvas, little Khalistans, and so on – people minded to live in such places will flock from the ends of the earth, entrenching the situation forever.

                  Cameron has signed up Mohammad Asghar, a Member of the Welsh Assembly who has moved seamlessly from Plaid Cymru. Rehman Chishti, now a rising star as MP for Gillingham and Rainham, was Francis Maude’s Labour opponent in 2005 while working for Benazir Bhutto, whom he assisted from 1991 until her assassination in 2007 in her leadership of a party the motto of which includes both “Islam is our Faith” and “Socialism is our Economy”; he was still doing that job when he defected to the Conservative Party in 2006 and became an aide to Maude as its Chairman.

                  And so on, and on, and on.

                • sarahsmith232

                  Asains that go into politics only do so to represent ‘their community’ and gravitate to whichever party they see can get them into power. they have zero loyalty to whichever party tehy end up with, only to their fellow muslims and their ‘community’. when they switch about it’s ’cause they see the writing on the wall and move towards any old joe party that will get them elected.

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

                • Wessex Man

                  Go away you halfwit

                • Donnaa Damzelle

                  right on Wessex Mn

                • Noa

                  You correctly identify the bidding war for ethnic votes between the main parties.That you choose Conservative party examples is irrelevant, I’m sure you can provide a similar Labour list.
                  It’s a war that neither can permanently win.

                  The stakes will always be liable to being raised and the silent despised majority are the losers.
                  In the meantime the ethnic communities are constructing their own political parties. We may well see 30 Muslim Brotherhood MPs in 202, and 70 by 2025..
                  We are witnessing the deepening corruption and ultimately the destruction of our democracy.

                • David Lindsay

                  “That you choose Conservative party examples is irrelevant, I’m sure you can provide a similar Labour list.”

                  I can’t. It doesn’t exist. This is a Tory problem, plain and simple. Except that they don’t see it as a problem. They publicly and positively rejoice in it.

                • Noa

                  No, it is a clear threat to the existence of the United Kingdom as we know it when a Labour government imported millions of immediately enfranchisable immigrants, who would vote for it in return for access to comprehensive state provided benefits.

                • http://twitter.com/heraclesblack Heracles Black

                  Only citizens of the Commonwealth have a vote.

                • Noa
                • Hexhamgeezer

                  Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

                • HooksLaw

                  ‘Whenever UKIP’s vote goes up, the Tory vote goes down, and the Labour vote stays the same.’- ah now you are saying something really sensible. Vote UKIP and get labour. Yes thats a sound analysis.

                • Noa

                  As opposed to vote Cameron and get Labour. Soundly analysed.

              • Hexhamgeezer

                Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

          • Hexhamgeezer

            Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

          • HooksLaw

            The traditional labour vote was happy with Gordon Brown in 2010. Labour need more than the traditional Labour vote.

        • Rhoda Klapp2

          Because David L has noticed just how all the failing prats of the blair years have been excluded from the labour front bench? No, not that.

          • David Lindsay

            Most of them have been. The rest will last a year into a Miliband Government and be out in the first reshuffle: Twigg, Flint, that lot. Several will be lucky to be appointed at all. All eyes are on the 2010 intake, who were never MPs with Blair. The Other Miliband, with whom the media remain inexplicably obsessed, is unlikely to contest the next General Election.

            • Hexhamgeezer

              Blah Blah Blah Blah

            • HooksLaw

              There won’t be a Miliband government, so good luck with that one.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Blah Blah Blah

    • David B

      A referndum is a referndum. It will give an in/out choice, all the renegotations before is just preliminary the result will come down to the campaign and Cameron’s position is irrelevant to that.

      The legislation will not pass in this Parliment because the maths will not add up and no amount of demand will change that fact.

      So if u don’t want a referndum vote for a party that will ensue there is no conservative majority and then the enevatable Labour government will ensure we can’t leave in the future.

      • David Lindsay

        Imagine, just imagine, that Cameron pulled this one off. Imagine that we arrived at a point where the two options on a ballot paper were a renegotiated settlement acceptable to his lot, and outright withdrawal.

        It would unite the Left on the EU like nothing since a section of it first inexplicably decided that “Europe” was a bulwark against Thatcherism (several years later, Thatcher herself even more oddly seemed to begin to agree with them), much as there have always been a few people on the Old Right who have thought of it as a bulwark against Americanism.

        For if the only alternative were whatever could be sold to the remains of the
        Conservative Party, then the only viable option would be whatever else were on offer. Namely, withdrawal.

        As would then be advocated in the strongest possible terms by the whole of the Left. It would be the Thatcherites who would be campaigning to stay in. Well, of course. It was ever thus.

        • David B

          Can I point out that she resigned over 22 years ago. This just shows how importanr she was to shaping curent Britain. The decision on in/out will be based on the facts at the time not historical prejudice.

          • David Lindsay

            Well, I hope that that made sense to you.

            • HooksLaw

              Well what you said made no sense.

        • CharlieleChump

          He you are back again dribbling on about “The Left” as if anyone but the other Troll and you care. CIF is one click away, off you go and have yourselves a jolly Central Committee moment and share your “analysis” with the brothers.

          • David Lindsay

            Says a man who will of course have to vote to stay in the EU on Cameron’s terms, should they ever materialise, whereas we shall have to vote (gladly) to pull out.

            • Hexhamgeezer

              Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

              • Donnaa Damzelle

                What purpose do you think your serving?

        • Fergus Pickering

          You can’t really believe this, Lindsay. Not even you can believe it.

      • Noa

        It’s spelt referendum.

        And you deceive only yourself if you think that Cameron’s hedged equivocations amount to people’s democracy.

        • David B

          It’s better than the alternative as expressed by the elder “statesmen”. Ie don’t ask they might get it wrong

          • Noa

            You may think so. But he has only highlighted party differences and national concerns, not resolved them.

            Only Farage is addressing Labour’s totalitarianism with its grassroots.

            • David B

              I don’t think any politician can resolve this, that is why we want s referendum so we can have our say directly and right now Cameron is the only hope of delevering one. (And I altered autocorrect I think)

              • Noa

                Cameron could give 2 years notice of the UK’s intention to leave the EU under article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty tomorrow.

                This would commence negotiations and stimulate an honest debate and meaningful negotiation on the terms of departure or basis for remaining, for a referendum in May 2015.
                Why do you think he’s not prepared to trust the British people in such a real referendum?

                • HooksLaw

                  What authority would Cameron or anyone have to announce we were leaving the EU?
                  There is no majority in parliament to ‘give notice’ and indeed there is no evidence of one in the general public.

                  Only by fighting an election on a platform to leave the EU could any party justify such an act – if it gained power.

                  The Tories will enter 2015 on a platform of renegotiation and a subsequent referendum. You are a hypocrite.

                • Noa

                  Hooky.
                  You are either duplicitous or a fool. possibly both. But certainly self deceiving.

                  You know that Cameron’s ‘referendum’ is nothing of the sort, a false construct hedged with conditions precedent and subsequent, optional and non binding.

                  He has no mandate for Gay marriage be he has tabled a bill for that.

                  He could, if he wanted, present a Bill invoking Article 50, debate the issues honestly and win the support of the nation and the next election.

                  But he’s already said he wants to remain in the EU come what may.
                  We shall watch with interest as the Conservative party scrutinises the lacunae in his EU polices and finds it and him wanting.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Ah, gay marriage again. A bit of a King Charles’s head with you, Noa.

                • Noa

                  Have you no school reminiscences or statistical samples to share today, Fergus?

                • David B

                  I don’t trust Article 50, like all parts of the Lisbon Treaty it is window dressing not substance. I suspect if it is invoked we would spend a lot more than the 5 years trying to leave. All you need to do is look at what the EU has done to ensure Greece and Italy remains in the Euro to get an idea of what will happen here.

                  How about this: The conservatives introduce a bill using Article 50. The Lib Dems announce that they are leaving the coalition and will vote against the bill, ensuring a majority in the House of Commons against it. The Lib Dems then announce they are going into coalition with Labour, with Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg putting their difference behind them for the purposes of “protecting the UK’s strategic position in the EU”. The new PM, ED Miliband, then goes
                  to Europe and negotiates the UK’s entry into the Euro, into the banking union, giving up the rest of the rebate, etc as well as a new treaty creating the “Great State of Europe”, without a referendum and for the purposes of ensuring the UK “Strategic” interests are protected for the future.

                  You think this is ridiculous, but it is no more ridiculous than this parliament voting for us to leave the EU under Article 50 or giving an In/Out referendum in the next 2 years. The referendum is the best offer we have and we need to trust the public. Do I think Cameron will go back on this offer, no I don’t because he and the conservatives will be destroyed at the next election if he does, and like all politicians he will want a legacy.

                • Noa

                  Trust or otherwise, in Article 50 is irrelevant. It is the termination mechanism which exists under the Lisbon treaty.
                  provided.
                  A Coalition split would break the lock and we would have an early general election on the basis of in or out following Article 50 negotiations.
                  As there is every likelihood that the electorate would vote for leaving the matter would be settled in months not years.

                  Which is why none of the parties trust the electorate to actually decide the matter and Cameron’s maybe faux referendum is meaningless.

                • David B

                  I do not trust Article 50 as most things in the EU are not what they seem (it is why the majority of us want to leave the EU). I remember one of the arguments put forward by those that supported the Lisbon Treaty was the existence of Article 50, and it was rejected by those opposed because it was only a statement of principle not a proper mechanism.

                  On what basis do you believe a coalition split will lead automatically to a General Election? I will stand to be correct, but my understanding is that Labour will be invited to form a government before an election will be called as the writ of this parliament has not run out yet and if they move to coalition with the Lib Dems they will have enough MP’s to form a working government (especially with the nationalists).

                • Noa

                  You are, I think, partly correct, but it depends on the numbers and a Lab/Lib combination does not necessarily give them a majority. A Coalition split would not necessarily trigger a general election. We would move into unknown ground.

                  Either party could (and presumably would) try to form a government and if unsuccessful, a two thirds majority would be required for an early general election..
                  All bets would be off.

                  http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/state-of-the-parties/
                  http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn06111

                • David B

                  I think a Lib/Lab coalition would have a very small majority (from memory after the last election they would have a majority of less than 10 if they had gone into coalition). Since then Labour have won a
                  few seats in byelections. I also suspect the SNP, SDLP, Alliance (NI party’s) and Plaid Cymru will support that coalition giving them a majority in the low to mid teens. Small but I suspect enough if they have an overriding principle of keeping us in the EU, which all these parties have.

                  Definitely all bets off in those circumstances as I believe all the stops will be out to ensure the UK is in so deep it cannot get out.

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1296945479 John McClane

                  We don’t need to use Article 50. Parliament simply has to repeal the European Communities Act 1972. Parliament is sovereign. It could repeal it within 2 weeks.

                • Noa

                  I agree. Although one expects a sovereign government to abide by its treaty obligations no Parliament can, theoretically at least, bind its successor.

                • http://twitter.com/robvsnature Rob Broome

                  Could he bollocks give 2 years notice tomorrow. He doesn’t have a majority or a mandate for it. If we’re going to leave Europe it’s for the country to decide. Not the politicians. He’s the only political leader with a hope of forming a government that is offering an unequivocal in/out referendum. Farage won’t have a single MP elected in 2015, he cannot give what he claims he wants. If you want a say on Britain’s membership of the EU there is only one pragmatic choice.

              • http://www.facebook.com/bill.rollinson1 Bill Rollinson

                You don’t really believe that do you?

        • HooksLaw

          Pathetic. You get what you ask for and because you know you will lose you start making excuses already.

          And picking up on typos is truly the last refuge of the man bereft of argument.

          • Noa

            I do enjoy your own logical, incisive, immaculately constructed and immaculate arguments.Their ability to persuade and convince readers is overwhelming.

            Dispassionate is the word I would like to reach for, but, sadly I;m unable to.

            As to spelling errors.

            Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but a third time is incompetence. If a responding poster can’t spell the word ‘referendum’ or other common words, that can undermine, often fatally, the arguments he advances.

            But what is your excuse for your continued self deception?

            • Fergus Pickering

              I don’t see why an inability to spell should undermine an argument.

              • Noa

                An argument is never spoilt by knowledge of the facts, whereas debate is based on logic and reason and is informed both by knowledge and competence in its use.
                You illustrate an argument when using the number of gay MP’s as a basis for Cameron’s prioritising of gay marriage over an EU referendum.
                Debate is illustrated by factually determining whether, if one party isn’t even using the same words, we are even considering the same issue.

              • Little Black Censored

                Perhaps it shouldn’t but in practice it does. Misspelling and bad grammar make it less likely that your opponent, and the onlookers you hope to persuade, will take you seriously.

            • David B

              I happen to by dyslectic, meaning I have difficulty in spelling and grammar. I take it from your post that you think my views should instantly be discounted. That is not debate, it is just a perceived level of superiority.

              • Noa

                Well you take it wrong. Read what I wrote.
                I clarified that we were addressing the same issue and addressed your point.
                If you feel that you require special consideration because of your condition you should have made that clear in your initial post.

                • David B

                  I am not asking for special treatment, just not to be dismissed on the basis I cannot spell properly, which is what you appear to suggest. I qoute as follows:

                  “If a responding poster can’t spell the word ‘referendum’ and other
                  common words, that can fatally undermine his arguments.”

                • Noa

                  And so it can. Do you dispute that?

                  And I did not dismiss your arguments, I answered them objectively and on their merits. And you replied accordingly.

                  So why, several posts later, do you introduce dyslexia as your reason for mis-spelling and, on that basis, suggest that you may have been mis-treated?

                • David B

                  Because you made reference to poor spelling being a reason to not listen to an argument. I quote

                  “If a responding poster can’t spell the word ‘referendum’ and other
                  common words, that can fatally undermine his arguments.”

                • Noa

                  “…you made reference to poor spelling being a reason to not listen to an argument.”

                  No I did not, An argument being potentially undermined by its advocate is not the same as that argument not being listened to.
                  However, as I believe neither of us intended to give, or to take offence, I wish to propose that we consider the matter closed, without ill feeling on either side, and move on to more productive matters.

                • David B

                  I will agree with that with pleasure and I have been enjoying our argument (appart from this part) yesterday and today.

                • Noa

                  Argument? Surely not! Debate? Certainly!

                • David B

                  Your right, it has been a debate, and a good one at that

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700430683 Tony Webb

      Negotiations are irrelevant. The people will decide whether or not they like what they see. Your notion is blunted by this incontrovertible fact.

      • Noa

        Cameron losing the 2015 election means they won’t ever see anything, still less vote on it. Your notion is blunted by this incontrovertible fact.

    • Little Black Censored

      “A referndum is a referndum.”
      No denying that, whatever else it is.

  • David Lindsay

    They are dead, aren’t they?

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