Coffee House

Cameron appears to be prioritising policy for the next election campaign

17 October 2013

6:54 PM

17 October 2013

6:54 PM

Ten days before the last election, The Spectator interviewed David Cameron. By this point, it was quite clear that a hung parliament was the most likely result of the next election. But Cameron repeatedly refused to discuss which parts of the Tory manifesto were non-negotiable. He told us that ‘spending a lot of time trying to fillet your own manifesto is not a particularly good use of time in the actual campaign.’

The next campaign, though, is going to be very different, I argue in the magazine this week. We already know that Cameron’s promise to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU and hold an In/Out referendum applies regardless of whether Cameron is leading a coalition or a Tory majority government. So, if Cameron won’t say the same about other policies we will know that they are not as much of a priority.

This process worries people at the heart of government, in both parties. They fear that it could lead to so many red lines being put down that any future coalition agreement becomes impossible. The area that worries insiders most is Britain’s relationship with the European Court of Human Rights. One Clegg confidant told me that he worries that both leaders are being pushed to make such firm commitments on the ECHR that it will prove a stumbling block for any deal.

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  • Aftab Hussain

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    http://www.politicalmarketing.pk

  • Denis_Cooper

    “We already know that Cameron’s promise to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU and hold an In/Out referendum applies regardless of whether Cameron is leading a coalition or a Tory majority government.”

    The author gives no reference to support that casual claim; in his magazine article he says:

    “He made clear after his speech on Europe in January that an in/out referendum would happen if he remains Prime Minister — with or without a majority.”

    It certainly wasn’t IN that speech, as reported in full here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9820230/David-Camerons-EU-speech-in-full.html

    Exactly the opposite: all the references are to what a Conservative government would do, with nothing at all about what would happen if Cameron was leading a coalition government.

    “The next Conservative Manifesto in 2015 will ask for a mandate from the British people for a Conservative Government to negotiate a new settlement with our European partners in the next Parliament.”

    “And if a Conservative Government is elected we will introduce the enabling legislation immediately and pass it by the end of that year.”

    As for AFTER his speech, on January 23rd the FT reported:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a683a0e8-653a-11e2-a3db-00144feab49a.html#axzz2hxyjXx88

    “He implied he would make the referendum an essential condition of any coalition agreement if the Conservatives did not achieve a majority.”

    But then on February 21st the FT reported the opposite:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/32e79152-7c2e-11e2-bf52-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=uk#axzz2hxyjXx88

    “Speaking at a campaign event in Eastleigh ahead of a by-election in the Hampshire constituency on February 28, the prime minister told voters: “To get an EU referendum you need to vote for a Tory-only government.”

    The statement contradicts his assertion last month when he told reporters after his speech on Europe: “If I’m prime minister, the referendum will happen.”

    Those initial comments suggested Mr Cameron would insist on a referendum even if he was again presiding over a coalition government after 2015. Conservative MPs hoped this meant the prime minister would make the referendum a “red line” in future negotiations with the Liberal Democrats or any other prospective partner.

    But his suggestion on Thursday that only a Tory majority in 2015 would guarantee a referendum threw that into doubt.”

    “Although Mr Cameron’s comments in Eastleigh were seen as a useful piece of electioneering as the tense by-election campaign enters its final week, allies confirmed the prime minister was not willing to scupper a future coalition on the referendum issue.

    “You never know what might happen in coalition talks,” said one. “The only way we can be 100 per cent sure of getting a referendum is with a Tory majority.””

    So here we have the usual slippery multi-faced Cameron; and those who say we should simply trust him to mean what we’d perhaps like him to mean, and of course he would keep his word, – which one? – are trying to take us for fools again.

  • simmo70

    BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS-WE HAVE NO CHOICE LABOUR OR TORIES

    Having just watched channel 4 News the British Gas Price
    hike of 9% was being discussed between Greg Blake Tory and Caroline Flint
    Labour ,with Jon Snow as interviewer with some straight dialogue from him
    .Unfortunately all the MP’s did was skirt the issue and waffled their usual BS.

    The little that was gleaned is that Labour cannot freeze
    the Market and Tories are happy that we have options to swop supplier .Snow
    having asked Flint if she would refer British Gas to the Monopolies Commission
    dodged the question three times and moved on.

    Camerons reaction was “I am Disappointed” slightly less
    aggrieved than us then .

    What wasn’t discussed is that Energy is bought years in
    advance.The new energy Deal we are doing with China to build a New Nuclear Power
    Station will in affect cost far more because China will want profits from it
    and our Government their share.It’s totally ingnoring fairness on the Public.

    It is Abundantly Clear we the Public do not enter the equation–
    what’s more important it seems is who gets on the 2015 Gravy Train.BSB

    http://brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com

    • Tom Tom

      China and Japan are buying huge amounts of LNG from Iran. Qatar is spot pricing LNG tankers at sea and diverting to the market with tightest supply and that is often the UK.

  • Tom Tom

    Cameron is a dead duck.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      And yet the last time I looked he was still Prime Minister

      • Wessex Man

        That means nothing, I recall some fella called Brown who was holding that position but wasn’t really there.

  • Charles Kirkland

    Everyone
    should get into the green lifestyle. Great news to hear. Solar is coming a
    long way

    • Tom Tom

      If only the sun would get nearer we could enjoy direct heat

    • Wessex Man

      except when it’s raining or when it’s night or after ten years when you have to buy new panels!

  • Austin Barry

    A tip for Cameron: prepare the battlefield for EU negotiations by proscribing, entirely, the 1 January 2014 open door for Romanian and Bulgarian immigration.

    This would:

    (1) show the EU that you mean business in the upcoming negotiations;
    (2) cut the ground from under UKIP; and
    (3) establish that you are more than an emasculated, EU-centric toff who doesn’t care about the electorate’s concerns with respect to immigration.

    I suspect, however, that being a coward you will miss this opportunity.

    • Tony_E

      Bit difficult, the coalition would immediately collapse, the result would be an early election before the economic recovery takes hold and a Lib/Lab government.

      And no EU referendum. Ever.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        The coalition will never collapse, not before the 2015 election. The Cleggites know they’ll be annihilated in that election, so they’ll cling to the meager bits of government they temporarily have, at least until that election finally comes and liquidates them.

        Dave could bind them up in a latex suit and ball gag, and they still wouldn’t call an election. That’s how committed Call Me Dave is to the EU project and the full socialist agenda. The LD’s are nothing but political hostages, he could do whatever he wanted, yet he still won’t toughen up with them.

        • Tony_E

          If the Lib Dems were political hostages, then we would have had boundary reform, not a referendum on AV.

          You have to accept the truth of the situation, simply that Clegg only has to bring his MPs out against anything the government wants to do and the Conservatives have no majority.

          If they were to do it on such an issue, there would be no way to hold the coalition together, the backbench Tories alone would make the issue impossible for the leadership to continue.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            I think you’re agreeing with me .The LD’s are political hostages, but socialist Dave agrees with their politics, so nothing like boundary reform will ever be pushed, then or now.

            I agree with you, the Cleggsters could blow up the coalition, but they never will, because their power would instantaneously disappear with that decision. The LD’s won’t be drawing +20% of the electorate in that election they force, it will be more like single digits, and it’s not even certain they could provide enough to form a coalition with anybody, even if they wanted.

            They will be annihilated, and that’s something they absolutely don’t want. There are jobs and cash at stake here, if only for the next 19 months. As that 2015 election approaches, they’ll know the certain outcome, and can all secure new sinecures, in plenty of time. No sense precipitously bringing on that event.

            Dave agrees with his LD hostages, and will never ask ransom for them. More’s the pity.

            • ArchiePonsonby

              I think that it is highly unlikely that, a) the Lib Dems would put down any “red lines”, or b) that Cameron would stand up to them if they did because surely either case would result in an election having to be called in which the Lib Dems would be annihilated and the Tories couldn’t win a majority (again!).

    • Craig Sweaton

      I agree. He might even gain two things that he’s been obviously lacking so far…..respect and therefore votes!

  • London Calling

    I think its time Dave started rewarding those ‘hard working people’ he keeps going on about………..or else Labour and UKIP will cause all kinds of problems come the next GE…………………

  • keith

    Cameron and red lines you are joking, i think the only thing that is clear is Cameron will be willing to put anything up for negotiation if it means staying in number ten, the only record he will be able to lay claim to, is having never won an election, so cheer up Dave that’s one record that will stay with you, and if you think Cameron wants out off ECHR i think you have taken some substance that’s affecting your judgement

    • Makroon

      Cheer up. Cameron looks a bit fatigued, and rumours suggest he would stand down in year three of a new parliament.

      • keith

        that’s cheered me up no end, pass the valium

        • Wessex Man

          That’s no reason to cheer up!

  • Smithersjones2013

    I think the very discussion of the possibility of another coalition is the best way to ensure a Labour government and maximise the gravity of the defeat for both Tories and Libdems.

    Given the rancour between the two parties below those who are ‘playing house’ in Downing Street surely another coalition could possibly kill them both off for good?

    • David Lindsay

      YouGov has Labour and the Tories tied today. That’s a comfortable Labour overall majority.

      • neotelemachus

        For now boyo, for now. Lost 12 points in less than 6 months with 18 months to go. Getting nervous yet?

        • David Lindsay

          Not in the least.

          • neotelemachus

            I don’t believe you. All that lovely confidence after Milibank’s ‘good’ conference and yet Labtard dropped 5 points in 2 weeks. His 35% policy is not going to work and Cameron will win, mark my words. Again.

            • David Lindsay

              The Tories have to be so ludicrously far ahead to win that it can’t be done. And that is without even so much as a 10 per cent vote for UKIP, which is carnage for the Tories in the South.

              • neotelemachus

                Cling to that hope boyo. Meet you here on the day after the election to see who is right. Again.

                • David Lindsay

                  Well, I was right last time. I said on here and elsewhere for years that it was psephologically impossible for the Tories to win. I was right.

                • neotelemachus

                  Of course you were. You are always right. You are the wonder of the age. Time for bed.

                • David Lindsay

                  I graciously accept that concession of defeat.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Labour gain, why not? (Eastleigh)

                • Wessex Man

                  Yes, I know how you said on here for years and wlsewhere for years, you were boring then and before and now!

              • Colonel Mustard

                When I read some of your plaintive appeals about the fantasy that you believe the Labour party represents vs the reality of what their policies mean and would mean under the malevolent gang sitting on the opposition front bench, those usual suspects, I have to wonder why on earth you would want to see them in power.

                Is that the crux of Labour? A support based on an optimism that is invariable disappointed and then has to be justified by excusing what amount to criminality? But they mean well, so that’s all right then? Only they don’t mean well and they don’t represent any of the rose-tinted, nostalgic, homespun Labour you cleave to.

                You could well be correct about them winning but sadly that is not the end of it, not the solution. Things can only get better? We hear it every time. The same premature triumphalism and hollow boasts. I’m surprised that you play that game too given some of what you have written here.

                • David Lindsay

                  You could well be correct about them winning but sadly that is not the end of it, not the solution.

                  It is the subject of this thread.

                  People who believe in the possibility of any other outcome cannot do basic arithmetic.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  A week is a long time in politics. The world changes. The country changes. Polls change. Lots more skeletons to be shaken, kicking and screaming, from Labour’s many hidden closets between now and the election.

                  I note you have dodged again too.

                • Russell

                  Exactly…Ask the people of Glasgow how well off they are after about 50 years of Labour councils and several labour governments! Same is true in all the Labour Stronghold slum cities.

                • Tom Tom

                  True

              • Russell

                UKIP will ensure many labour MP’s are thrown out along with many Tory and LibDem MP’s.

                • Tom Tom

                  UKIP will achieve little and have a problem finding serious candidates……the result will be a Tory-LibDem-Lab stitchup

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                And you find that acceptable nd democratic do you? Spare us the ‘that’s the way it is’ nonsense.

      • 2trueblue

        Absolutely because there is the boundary issue, which is undemocratic.

        • David Lindsay

          And?

          • Chris lancashire

            So that’s OK then. The unlevel playing field works in Labour’s favour. Let’s wait in 10 or 20 years time when it’s the other way round. Democracy it ain’t.

            • David Lindsay

              It’s the way it is, and the persistence of that situation in 2015 will not be the fault of a party which had been out of office since 2010.

              • Chris lancashire

                So that’s OK then. Morally.

                • David Lindsay

                  That depends exactly what you think that Parliament is for.

                • Chris lancashire

                  Well I don’t think it is there to be stacked in favour of one party or the other. I have a belief it is there to reflect the will of the people. And if one party starts with an 8% advantage over the other then it’s really not right. And eventually, one way or the other, I have confidence that the British people will correct it. You may, of course, be happy that Labour had this inbuilt advantage; but it won’t benefit the Party in the long run.

                • David Lindsay

                  In that case, you ought to be in favour of the chaotic Israeli electoral system. I am certainly not.

                • Chris lancashire

                  Eh?

                • David Lindsay

                  It does what you seem to want.

                • Chris lancashire

                  I think, that when you are losing the argument, silence would be better than producing the reddest of red herrings.

                • neotelemachus

                  I have had more intelligent responses from my cat than from the idiot Lindsay. Frustrated, paired lefty politico who thinks he. Sean. Intellectual but has to come here for his kicks. They all laugh at him at LabiaLost.

                • HookesLaw

                  And me from my grand mothers cat and it is stuffed on the sideboard

                • Wessex Man

                  I always knew you were strange!

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I think an intelellectually challenged Tadpole called Colin would give him a run for his money let alone an intellectual collossus like a Cat.

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  You’re not a fan of the Israeli electoral system? Hold page 17 column 4 last para of The Journal.

                • Tom Tom

                  Certainly produces some weird coalition politics

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Your buddy Dave seems to be happy with it.

                  He’s brought on all the global warming stupidity, massive tax increases, homosexual marriage, Leveson censorship, help for islamofascists throughout the Middle East, and any number of other senseless stupidities, but no push to address this problem you claim is so relevant.

                  So perhaps you should take the matter up with your hero Dave? Perhaps he can find time to address it, if he can find the time away from all the other obviously more important matters?

                • Russell

                  And labours postal vote fraud carries on with no action from this coalition.

                • Tom Tom

                  Postal ballots are fine – far better than traipsing into some dingy cubicle to put an illiterate’s cross in pencil on a scrap of paper. Funny how the system has not evolved beyond illiterates….can you still put a cross on a marriage register ?

                • Denis_Cooper

                  What, do you think we should be required to sign the ballot paper? The cross is for secrecy, nothing to do with illiteracy. On the other hand, the inclusion of party logos on the ballot paper is something that we copied from countries with low rates of literacy.

                • Wessex Man

                  You mean that other countries are turning out even worse school leavers than us?

                • Tom Tom

                  Do read more closely Dr Cooper ! I think voting is a waste of time – putting a pencil cross every 5 years to allow a gang to do as it pleases it hardly worth while. MY surname is neither Brown nor Russell nor even Russell Brown. I simply find the electoral process a waste of time and feel inclined to deny my Conservative MP my vote this time – “nasty socialists”, what a wet term from a wet individual, vote Conservative and even UKIP because the whole electoral process is a farce. How anyone can get motivated to put a cross in a box on a scrap of paper to choose some puppet is beyond ridicule….that people like Russell get so worked up about it is hilarious. Go ahead Russell, let your party take away the franchise instead of simply devaluing it and we can seek a Syrian Solution……..AR15s all round !

                • HookesLaw

                  Garbage. You show you are infantile. The whole world is out of step with you. bwah bwah bwah….

                • Tom Tom

                  The whole world…..all 6 billion people are with Hookles Law. Absolute Folly !

                • Russell

                  If people cannot be bothered to walk to a polling station, they should not be allowed to vote. The fact that most of labours core voters are illiterate through either labours 13 years of education destruction, or because they are immigrants who cannot speak or write English explains your preference for retaining postal voting. The fact that the majority of fraudulent postal votes also involves the Labour party also explains your preference to retain this corrupted method of voting.

                • Tom Tom

                  ” explains your preference for retaining postal voting.” Really ? Does it Psychic Russell ? Actually I don’t see any point in putting a cross in pencil on a scrap of paper. In Victorian England Voters had much more to decide – such as Burial Board Elections, School Board Elections……and in some places Voters decide on Spending, Bond Issues, Councillor Remuneration, Chief Executives, and a plethora of issues. Only in hokey little Rotten Borough England do arrogant s’ds like you slur people and show what an unreconstructed bigot you really are

                • Russell

                  Could your surname perhaps be Brown! A common trait amongst the nasty socialists is to call names, particularly to call someone a bigot if they don’t like what they hear.

                • Tom Tom

                  Parliament has rarely reflected the will of the people, it is a top-down system run by the Privy Council

                • HookesLaw

                  Hillarious

                • Tom Tom

                  Hardly. Some of think it is tragic

                • Hello

                  Seeing as though governments primarily spend money, perhaps constituencies should be based on wealth. For example, we could say that each constituency had to have an income of 2.5bn, allowing for 600 seats.

                  This, I think, would be a fair system.

                • David Lindsay

                  In that case, then you would base it on tax take. Giving not at all the result that you probably assume.

                • Hello

                  No. Gerrymandering would be far too easy. You’ll find my original proposition to be appropriate.

                • David Lindsay

                  How?

                  Your proposal is to gerrymander in favour of Tory tax-avoiders.

                • Hello

                  Changing tax rates. Regional exemptions. Etc.

                • David Lindsay

                  That would still leave you with the take from any given area, and it would be based on that.

                  Better yet, average proportion of overall income paid in tax. That would really screw the Tories, whose core supporters barely pay at all.

                • Hello

                  Rubbish. Tory supporters pay for the country to operate. The rest of you should be grateful.

                • David Lindsay

                  Totally false. As a proportion of income, the opposite of the truth. The core Tory vote is not only able to avoid tax, but is disproportionately entitled to age-based benefits, and claims every penny. Rich old freeloaders, basically. Just look at the audience at a Conservative Party Conference, and there they all are.

                • Hello

                  Firstly, I’d be amazed if you had a “income tax by voting intention” chart. Secondly, what is relevant is nominal amounts. Though, I am glad that you agree that the burden of socialism falls primarily on the poor.

                • David Lindsay

                  It does if the rich don’t have to pay.

                  You certainly had such a chart in your own mind. Unfortunately, yours exists nowhere else.

                • Hello

                  I find there to be a strong correlation between my imagination and reality, I feel I made this clear, but that is not at issue.

                  What is at issue is your attitude, which I find deeply distressing. You seem to operate under the most absurd assumption that you are entitled to spend other peoples money.

                  You conjure up the most unpleasant images of the sort of people that hang around on streets (begging, no less!) as a substitute for good labour. In any case, I think it most distasteful and kindly suggest that you stop: I have not yet had dinner and would like what I do consume to go through the more protracted exit procedure.

                • David Lindsay

                  I find there to be a strong correlation between my imagination and reality

                  There are technical terms for that…

                • Hello

                  That’s quite enough from you, young man.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  You are arguing with somebody who defines a fact as: ‘whatever I say it is’ and History as: ‘the past as I think it ought to have been’.

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  G’won davy boy. Threaten him. You know you want to.

                • Russell

                  Not one of the millions of public sector employees pays any tax. There is an amount deducted from the gross taxpayer paid wages they receive (so privately employed taxpayers and private companies actually pay for any deduction which is called tax on their payslips). None of the Council staff pay tax for the same reason.None of the millions of unemployed and students pay any taxes.

                  So really how many labour taxpayers are there?…answer not a lot!

                • Tom Tom

                  Your thoughts would be logical but unfortunately do not happen. It would be better to pay State employees NETT and save time but just as the NHS pays VAT and Judges pay Income Tax and NIC so the Government pays VAT on its Consultants and the Military pays soldiers gross pay

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  And that same private sector pays every penny of those index-linked, salary based public sector pensions.

                • Tom Tom

                  Would that that were true ? I am not sure Tory supporters actually pay tax…..certainly Tory sponsors do not

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  Sorry Davy, Liebour still aren’t having you back.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Most Labour supporters work in the public sector and thus never pay any tax. Their salaries and index-linked pensions are paid for by deductions of tax from the private sector. Any deduction for tax on their pay-slips is simply recycling taxes already paid by the private sector.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Well it is not there to promote the ambitions of a single-party left-wing state.

              • Tony_E

                Actually it is – because if Labour had voted for equal sized constituencies and 50 fewer MPs then the Lib Dems would have been an insignificant minority.

                Labour has played its hand on electoral reform, and it didn’t want any, as the current situation (and the lack of impetus at the boundary commission) favours it by about 7%

      • Redrose82

        If history is a guide then Labour need to be about 12 points in the lead at this stage for them to win in 18 months time. The tide is with Cameron and with the economy firmly on the upturn and with the electorates till blaming Labour for the mess they left last time I see no reason for your confidence in your prediction.

        • David Lindsay

          This is why you shouldn’t be allowed to stay up one night per week to watch Question Time. You have to fill the two and a half hours when you would normally have been in bed.

          • Redrose82

            You are the most obnoxious young squirt it has ever been my misfortune to come across on this forum. I can say young because anybody not old enough to have voted in the 1951 election is young to me.

      • Tony_E

        Maybe, maybe not. The UKIP/Lib Dem share can make a lot of difference here – one possible outcome I found today was Labour 2 seats short of a majority, both Lab & Con on 36%.

      • HookesLaw

        it was IPSOS wasn’t it and BMRB have just a 2 point lead (tories up 5) and ICM 4 (with the equivalent YouGov just 2 point lead)

        Labour have gone nowhere despite their proipaganda. In terms of facts we have more people in employment than ever before.

  • Denis_Cooper

    “We already know that Cameron’s promise to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU and hold an In/Out referendum applies regardless of whether Cameron is leading a coalition or a Tory majority government.”

    Do we?

    Do you have that written and signed in Cameron’s blood, plus a £10 million bond of his personal money that he would forfeit if he broke his word again?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …no, it’s even better than that. It’s a cast iron guarantee.

    • Chris lancashire

      Oh do give it a rest. It really is beyond belief that any, repeat , any Conservative government, led by Cameron or anyone else, will not hold a referendum on EU membership after the GE. Get a life.

      • DrCoxon

        And his statement about SSM when interviewed just before the last election?
        And when Afriye spoke about placing an amendment to the referendum act, apparently Mr Cameron threatened to drop his support for the bill.
        And the Austrian minister who observed that Mr Cameron says different things to different people?

        I find very little beyond belief these days.
        I do for the moment have a life.

        • Chris lancashire

          Shock, horror, politician says different things to different people. And I am sure you are right, in the unlikely event that a Conservative government is returned (due to stacked boundaries) Cameron would indeed call for a stay in vote. And I will be voting to stay in.

          • Denis_Cooper

            When it comes to what you expect from politicians you have very low standards, as if it were perfectly acceptable for them to make a habit of lying and deceiving to mislead and dupe the electorate.

            • Chris lancashire

              Yes, I probably have. Maybe it’s based on experience but I routinely expect all politicians to dissemble.

              • Denis_Cooper

                But you tell us that Cameron would not dissemble.

                • Chris lancashire

                  Cameron will along with every other politician on certain issues some or all of the time.

          • DrCoxon

            Yes, politicians do say different things to different people. But when his international peers are criticising, it takes on a different dimension.
            Living afar, I gaze as an observer.

            • Chris lancashire

              Whether it’s a domestic or international politician criticising another doesn’t add “a different dimension”.

              • DrCoxon

                Here in Europe I am embarrassed when continental politicians do not have a regard for Mr Cameron. For me that is a different dimension.

                • Chris lancashire

                  I don’t think Cameron has a high opinion of Hollande; I doubt any Frenchman will be too disturbed.

                • DrCoxon

                  Traditionally however the British have commanded a certain respect, even when their policies were hated. Thatcher was loathed – and respected.

                • Chris lancashire

                  And the French, of course, don’t.

      • Denis_Cooper

        Of course it’s beyond belief. And when it happens, you’ll be amongst those keen to explain why he hasn’t broken any pledge.

        Give me a reliable reference to support the author’s casual claim:

        “We already know that Cameron’s promise to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU and hold an In/Out referendum applies regardless of whether Cameron is leading a coalition or a Tory majority government.”

        The author doesn’t, not even in his magazine article.

        • Chris lancashire

          There are two parties that won’t give you a referendum and one that can’t. They are, in order, Labour, LibDem and UKIP. There is one party that will – you might say might – but that is the choice.

          • Denis_Cooper

            Instead of going off at a tangent, why don’t you give proof to support the author’s throwaway claim that the EU referendum would be a red-line for Cameron in the negotiations for any coalition agreement?

            • Chris lancashire

              Because, believe it or not, I’m not DC.

              • Denis_Cooper

                You don’t have to be DC to come up with convincing support for the author’s claim that DC would insist on making the EU referendum one of his red lines when negotiating any coalition agreement.

                • Chris lancashire

                  OK. If Cameron or any other leader of the Conservatives reneged on an EU referendum it would lead to a fair proportion of MPs led by Cash et al to completely rebel turfing said leader out of power, probably along with the Conservatives. Far safer for Cameron to claim a successful renegotiation, campaign for an In vote and hold referendum. Q.E.D.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  Now that our most recent comments have finally become visible on my screen I can reply, and my reply is this:

                  If you really believe that would happen you are being very naïve.

                  Far more likely that Cameron would tell the Tory MPs that he had secured LibDem support for the highly desirable Tory proposals X, Y and Z, but not for an EU referendum, and while a small minority would protest the great majority would accept that agreement, and then the dissidents would accept that as being the will of the parliamentary party.

                  Then you would come on here to attempt to justify that.

                  The fact is that most Tory MPs do not actually want an EU referendum; they certainly like the promise of a referendum as electoral bait, but they don’t particularly want one.

                  I refer you to the second of the FT articles I mentioned above, the one in February with this passage:

                  “Although Mr Cameron’s comments in Eastleigh were seen as a useful piece of electioneering as the tense by-election campaign enters its final week, allies confirmed the prime minister was not willing to scupper a future coalition on the referendum issue.”

              • Wessex Man

                Your waffle lead me to believe that you were.

          • Craig Sweaton

            You are very foolish or naive if you think that any referendum that Cameron gives would even be honoured.
            He has no intention of leaving the EU and that’s why he wants time to “‘re-negotiate” our membership. I think more likely that he wants to see how it will affect us if Scotland leave the union, which is why he’s leaving the referendum until 2017…..Just leverage for his negotiations.

      • HookesLaw

        Correct
        We only need to see how the tea party have ruined the republican brand in America and handed 2016 to Hillary to see where the usual suspects are taking us.

        The total mess that is the US budget planning is a reminder about how well we have handled things here.

        • Wessex Man

          listen tinkerbell, the Yanks come in two varieties, insane and as mad as a teapot. We here unfortunately, have the Tories, Labour and Lib/Dums that come in as Dumb, Dumber and weird – all interchangable!

        • the viceroy’s gin

          What a dullard you are.

          You know nothing about what is happening in the US, other than the most casual whimsy, which pretty much explains why you’re a Camerloon fantatic.

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