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Ed Miliband adopts a rope-a-dope strategy on Europe

12 March 2014

1:05 PM

12 March 2014

1:05 PM

Hopi Sen is not alone. There are many people in this country supremely indifferent to the whole and vexatious question of whether or not there should be a referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the European Union.

Yes, yes, they will tell pollsters that if they must they suppose they might fancy having a referendum some day. But they don’t really care. They mumble about a referendum because that seems the done thing to do and because when a pollster asks you if you’d like to have a say on something it sounds better to say Yes than No thanks, I really can’t be bothered.

And sure, if pressed, they might grumble and chunter about the European Union too and say that it seems to be an unnecessarily invasive institution – or set of institutions, treaties and agreements. Judges may be mentioned. So might bananas and their curvature. All the familiar and favourite things.

But in the end, deep down, most people don’t really care. Not very much anyway. A lot of noise is made by the people who really do care about Europe – many of them dizzyingly monomaniacal – and this impresses lots of folk at Westminster and in newspaper offices but their volume disguises the fact that the people who really, really care about the EU are a pretty small minority. And the number who work themselves into a popped-blood-vessel frenzy over the precise timing and nature of an In or Out referendum is even smaller. These people are not truly representative of the Silent Majority Who Don’t Give Much of a Toss.

This should not surprise. Most subjects are minority enthusiasms. Relatively few people really care about education policy, for instance. People think, in general terms, that there should be schools and it would be good if they were good schools but so long as their own children appear to be getting a decent education most of them don’t much care – not really – whether the kids from across town are receiving a proper education. And if you don’t have school age children the chances you care about education policy – I mean really care – diminish still further.

Even immigration and ‘race relations’ which is the great ‘hot button’ issue of our time is a minority concern. Approximately 30% of people tell pollsters it’s one of the gravest and most pressing issues facing the United Kingdom. That’s a significant number of people. Twice as many, for instance, as tend to list education (this may depress you; it depresses me). So the concern is real. But it’s still a minority concern. Two thirds of the people in this country don’t give a hoot about immigration or race relations.

[Alt-Text]


We are all crackpots, it’s just that the things about which we are crackpots vary. My common sense is your crackpottery and vice versa. With bells on. And knobs. It’s all very off-putting.

All this being the case what are we supposed to make of Ed Miliband’s declaration that he will not hold an In or Out referendum in the next parliament? Assuming, obviously, that he becomes Prime Minister. Which is more probable than not (ye gods).

Well, I think Iain Martin is correct. This suggests Miliband is confident he will win. It may even be something stranger and stronger than that: it might be that he thinks a referendum is the wrong thing to do and not in Britain’s interest. Astonishing scenes.

Of course Miliband also knows that he might lose such a referendum. Certainly a Leave Now vote is more probable under Labour than the Conservatives. The easiest way to keep Britain within the EU is to avoid having a referendum. Since Miliband thinks Britain should remain a member of the club his position at least has the merit of making sense.

Which is more than can be said for David Cameron’s position. The Prime Minister, I think, wants Britain to remain a member of the EU but will risk that membership to buy off his euro-obsessed backbenchers and members many of whom actually want to leave the EU. They can’t both get what they want and it takes no great soothsayer to predict that trouble and ruin lies ahead.

Anyway, Miliband’s decision to rule out a referendum (absent some non-existent major new transfer of powers to Brussels) will annoy all kinds of people who were never going to vote for Labour anyway.

More troublingly it will delight many Tory MPs who will spend the next year telling us over and over again that the only way to get a bloody referendum is to vote for Tory government. A vote for Miliband is a vote for Brussels. Or something like that.

Perhaps this will help recruit some UKIP-minded types or persuade waverers to remain within the Tory fold. So far so encouraging. But danger lurks here too. Because I am afraid that this means the Tory election campaign is liable to be even more euro and referendum obsessed than it would otherwise have been. And it was always going to be quite obsessed by these issues.

Which means that the Tories will spend the next year frothing and banging on about Europe all the time. Past experience suggests that is not a good look for the Conservative Party. They risk, yet again, seeming monomaniacal zealots obsessed with all matters European. Fair enough. Lots of important questions that need asking and answering and all of that. But, still, it risks making them seem somewhat eccentric.

So Miliband’s move today is, I think, quite clever. A political form of Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope strategy. Let the Tories huff and puff about Europe all they like. Let them punch themselves out. They will tire and more importantly – in this instance – the public will tire of a party ceaselessly banging on about sodding Europe all the time. The Tories will make crackpots of themselves and the public, however sympathetic it might be towards eccentrics, won’t elect a divided party dominated by crackpottery.

Or, to put it another way, it may be that Miliband has given the Tories enough rope with which to hang themselves. Worse still, they will do so cheerfully.


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Show comments
  • clara

    I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS UNTIL I MET THIS WORLD’S TOP SPELL CASTER. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE’S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB AND SPELLS TO WIN LOTTERIES .I’M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE WOMAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 2 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 2YEARS… I REALLY LOVED HIM, BUT HIS MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND HE HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 7 DAYS WHEN I RETURNED TO USA, MY GIRLFRIEND(NOW WIFE) CALLED ME BY HERSELF AND CAME TO ME APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HIS MOM AND FAMILY AND SHE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY GIRLFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO… WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY WIFE ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS; PROPHETBAZ34@YAHOO.COM ……HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT OUR OPPORTUNITY … CONTACT THIS GREAT SPEELL CASTER VIA EMAIL:PROPHETBAZ34@YAHOO.COM

  • clara

    I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS UNTIL I MET THIS WORLD’S TOP SPELL CASTER. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE’S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB AND SPELLS TO WIN LOTTERIES .I’M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE WOMAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 2 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 2YEARS… I REALLY LOVED HIM, BUT HIS MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND HE HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 7 DAYS WHEN I RETURNED TO USA, MY GIRLFRIEND(NOW WIFE) CALLED ME BY HERSELF AND CAME TO ME APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HIS MOM AND FAMILY AND SHE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY GIRLFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO… WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY WIFE ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS; PROPHETBAZ34@YAHOO.COM ……HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT OUR OPPORTUNITY … CONTACT THIS GREAT SPELL CASTER VIA EMAIL:PROPHETBAZ34@YAHOO.COM

  • Daniel J

    The crux of the European discussion is that (some) people relate EU Membership directly with immigration and welfare issues, amongst others. A perception driven by UKIP and lapped up by the Tories.

    Now that Miliband has outlined his position and the Tories will ‘go big’ on the fact that only they can deliver an in/out referendum, Labour has a body of work to do to (somewhat subtly) reinforce the positives of remaining in i.e. they must show that EU membership should be looked upon separately from issues that voters actually care about, and, moreover, offers huge benefits in many other areas.

  • Will Rees

    The people who shaped the previous treaties have already published their pre draft of the next one, http://www.spinelligroup.eu/article/fundamental-law-european-union. It might be sensible to ask Milliband if that qualifies for his lump it or leave referendum or do we have to wait until after the sham of Cameron’s 2017 referendum has been trampled into the dust. Associate membership for non EUro countries, that’s what they were offering Ukraine.

  • Teacher

    I don’t think people are ‘indifferent’ as to whether we are in or out of the EU so much as despairing of whether voting to pull out would bring them any benefits. Change in this country tends only to benefit those who make the changes. There might well be a ‘better the devil you know’ aspect of the seeming ‘indifference’ as well as the effects of confirmation bias.

  • Wessex Man

    I really don’t know what world you live in Alex Massie, going by most of your posts it’s the tiny little world of Scottish Independence of which you write constantly and incorrectly, you are all over the place on that as well.

    In my world, maybe because my views are well known in my area, Europe, the EU, immigration, lack of jobs, lack of affordable housing, over crowded hospitals and schools, shocking roads and floods are what I’m constantly asked about. Sometimes it really gets up my nose that those subjects are broached with me as soon as I walk into the Shop or Pub!

    Maybe because you live up in the borders you are completely out of touch in which case the Spectator should sack you.

    • HY

      Bring back Daniel Korski !

  • Denis_Cooper

    “Anyway, Miliband’s decision to rule out a referendum (absent some non-existent major new transfer of powers to Brussels) … ”

    Joining the euro would entail a major transfer of powers to the EU. No treaty change would be necessary, as provision for the UK to join the euro is already in the treaties waiting to be activated if the UK government decides to do so, but power would still flow from the UK to the EU.

    Therefore if Miliband means what he has said a proposal that we should join the euro would trigger a referendum; but it would not be a referendum just on whether to adopt the euro, it would a referendum on whether to stay in the EU and adopt the euro or to leave the EU.

    The Italian politician and erstwhile EU Commissioner Mario Monti came up with this method of applying duress to a recalcitrant electorate back in December 2004, when he proposed that if the people of a country voted against accepting the EU Constitution there should be a second referendum in which the question would be:

    “Do you wish to accept the EU Constitution, or do you wish to leave the EU?”

    What Miliband and also Clegg now propose only differs from Monti’s idea that in that the bullying would start straight away with the first referendum, rather than waiting to see if it was needed for a repeat referendum.

  • Tim Reed

    A bit of a non sequitur here…

    “Approximately 30% of people tell pollsters it’s one of the gravest and most pressing issues facing the United Kingdom.”

    “Two thirds of the people in this country don’t give a hoot about immigration or race relations.”

    No. From this we can conclude that two thirds of people don’t rate ‘immigration or race relations’ as their top priority. Very different from ‘not giving a hoot’.

  • global city

    Why is this mantra about the EU being ‘so low down on people’s priorities’ given any time?

    When you think about it, it is hypocritical and meaningless. If you look at those lists you will see that many policy fields that the political class absolutely obsess over are way down there too… and many even lower down.

    The EU is also a yawnfest, but at the same time vital to our very existence.

    Come on MSM… pull your bloody fingers out and question the idiot europhiles for one?

  • Brigantian

    There are only two classes of people in the UK.
    Those who watch reality TV shows and those who want to get out of the EU.
    Ed Miliband already has the votes of people who watch reality TV shows so he will not increase his share of the electorate by refusing to leave the EU.

    • global city

      Good point. Right on the button.

  • Conway

    But in the end, deep down, most people don’t really care. Not very much anyway” Unfortunately for those in their ivory towers in Westminster, the effects of the EU are starting to impinge more and more on the citizen in the street who is slowly but surely waking up to just how much. People are starting to care and the legacy parties ignore that at their peril. UKIP are the beneficiaries.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    So where will the UKIP vote go in 2015?

    • Conway

      I suggest that if we were sufficiently clairvoyant to be able to answer that question, we’d win the lottery jackpot and the Scoop Six every week!

    • Brigantian

      Down the pub to celebrate victory…

      • Conway

        That would be good, wouldn’t it?

  • Liberty

    Most are not interested in the EU because they do not know how much it is the government. The do not know that the EU makes most of our laws, control agriculture, fisheries, foreign trade, immigration, environmental and employment law and much, much more. Thy also do not know that it costs 14bn a year, their accounts have never been signed off by auditors, employees pay an average 7% tax on far, far bigger salaries and overgenerous allowances and pensions that are tax free. The EU is not a democracy and do what they want behind cloed doors.

    People may moan about our government and administration because they are on the TV bickering about this and tht wound up by Paxman, Neil, Dimbleby et al without realising that they take their orders mostly from the EU. They never see anyone from the EU because EU people do not need to, they are not elected and answerable to no-one.

    When the referendum campaign is underway if the Tories get in then all this will be in the public domain – if the MSM allow it that is.

    • Conway

      When the referendum campaign is underway if the Tories get in then all this will be in the public domain” If you are suggesting that the Tories will advertise just how deeply we are affected by the EU, then I suggest you will be in for a disappointment. Cameron is pro-EU and does not want us to leave. The campaign will no doubt follow the template of the 1975 Common Market referendum, when we were assured it was only a trading agreement and there would be “no loss of sovereignty”. Expect the Bbc and most Msm to parrot the line “the EU is good for us, but does not have much impact on our daily lives”.

    • Daniel J

      EU membership has been forced towards the top of the public agenda on the basis that it is directly linked to immigration. Thus supposedly directly effecting working classes re employment, welfare etc.

  • manonthebus

    Well if most people can’t be bothered, I need no longer worry about what sort of country we are leaving them. I will do my best to ensure I leave nothing for a future government to waste.

    • ohforheavensake

      Nope- most people are too intelligent to be bothered by non-existent threats.

  • andagain

    I’m looking forwards to all the UKIP people continuing to tell me that there is no difference between the Tories and Labour on Europe.

    • Brigantian

      Labour are going to have a hard job now pretending that UKIP is just another name for Labour like they did at South Shields. You can only lie to someone once.

      • andagain

        Why? The average South Shields voter probably hardly cares about the EU. They are hardly going to pay any attention to a difference of opinion on a subject they care nothing about.

    • Conway

      I’ll bite. The Tories are very pro-EU (they took us in, signed the Single Market Act and Maastricht). Labour is equally pro-EU (they signed the Lisbon Treaty). Both are aware that the electorate (you know, those pesky, annoying plebs, the voters who have to be attended to once every five years) are not, in general, pro-EU and so Labour says a referendum is unlikely (but doesn’t completely rule it out) and the Cameroons say they will offer a referendum (but know that none of the conditions will be met so it will never happen). Ergo, it would appear that there is, in fact, no noticeable difference between the Tories and Labour on Europe.

      • andagain

        I hope you remember all that under Prime Minister Milliband. I hope you remember that you did your bit to put him in power.

  • FF42

    Except to confirm a major constitutional change that has already been decided, a referendum is never about consulting the people. The only other purpose for a referendum is to provide political cover for a controversial position.

    A referendum to confirm a decision to leave the EU would make sense; a referendum to confirm that the government should do nothing doesn’t make sense. Ed Miliband is simply reflecting the implication of his EU policy. David Cameron’s similar policy of doing nothing is controversial in his party, so he calls for a referendum.

  • CharlietheChump

    The real problem which no party is addressing is that NOBODY gives a toss about anything, least of all bothering to vote.
    Democracy with minimal voter participation is not democratic.

    • Brigantian

      The big problem is that there are far fewer people voting than votes being cast. If this was Zimbabwe the ‘International Community’ would be in an uproar.

      • Wessex Man

        Agree, voting should be compulsory as in Australia and you should only be allowed to vote if your name appears on the current Census and you should only be able to claim benefits if you are on the Census- ah but wait Call me Dave and Milipede both want to do away with it. Would that be because the next one will show the population to be closer to 80 million than the 60 million they claim.

  • Daniel Maris

    At any time on any issue the “can’t be bothered to care” lot would probably have a majority. It’s hardly the most powerful argument against a referendum.

    What we need is an informed referendum – probably with more than one step or more than one question.

  • AnotherDave

    77% of our laws are now made in Brussels. How can holding a referendum on British membership of the EU be anything but the right thing to do?

    • Angus McLellan

      “77% of our laws are now made in Brussels”.

      As they say on Wikipedia, {{citation needed}}. My guess is that the only places in Europe where 77% of laws are made in Brussels are parts of Belgium, but maybe you can convince me otherwise?

      • Chris Bond

        Erm, that Viviane redding idiot admitted it. You know, her of EU parliament fame.

        • Angus McLellan

          Must try harder. That’s not a source, that’s “I heard it somewhere”. If you need help. and I think you do, Wikipedia has a whole slew of pages explaining what a reliable source is and isn’t.

          • AnotherDave

            The lady is an EU Commissioner.

            • Conway

              Not just any EU Commissioner, either. She is the Vice President. Of course, McLellan knows better.

          • Chris Bond

            You are just embarrassing yourself now.

          • global city

            Idiot.

      • Brigantian

        That word ‘make’ can be very misleading. A barrister could easily argue that none of our laws are made in Brussels as all have to be ‘enacted’ by parliament. Another barrister could argue that ALL our laws are made in Europe and that Westminster does nothing more than rubber stamp legislation.

    • HookesLaw

      ‘Laws’ dealing with trade and which we contribute to. If we leave and join the EEA we will be subject to the same laws but have no say in setting them. The EU exists and leaving it will not make it go away.
      Other laws are just the same that we would agree anyway by other treaties.
      Real laws like on health education welfare are all our owm

  • saffrin

    May 2014 will tell if the Silent Majority Give a Toss Alex.
    Those that do will be voting UKIP.

    • DDownie

      Good article
      The UKIPpers are neither silent nor a majority.
      A vote for UKIP will be a vote for Milliband.
      And yes to the rest of us the obsessive discussion about Europe in the Tory party will make them look like out of touch crackpots. Again.

      • saffrin

        My vote takes a vote off Miliband as I would have traditionally voted Labour.
        However, as today’s Labour are so obviously anti British working class I have no option other than UKIP.
        Even white Brit’s need a job DDownie.

        • M. Wenzl

          In what sense does UKIP represent working class? Ok, it gives a strong voice to their concerns about the EU and immigration; but look at their manifesto – take away the EU and immigration, and all you have left is Thatcherite trimmings.

          • saffrin

            Whose jobs do you think immigrants are taking?

            • M. Wenzl

              Immigrants are generally getting working class jobs for two reasons. First, it is because they are prepared to work for lower wages, possibly even below the minimum wage – in which case, the regulator has to ensure that the minimum wage is being paid. Second, it’s because they are better qualified and therefore more competitive – in which case, the state has to focus on making sure that education and training is up to scratch. You don’t need to chuck out the majority of immigrants and leave the EU to remedy those two problems.

              • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

                And ensure you get Jan and Marta in to a trade union with everyone else, so the divide and rule tactic by employers becomes impossible.

                • Daniel Maris

                  If that happens, employers will simply replace Jan and Marta with Marta and Jan.

                • M. Wenzl

                  Not if there are hefty sanctions in place for firms who don’t pay the minimum wage.

                • M. Wenzl

                  Good idea.

              • Daniel Maris

                You want a minimum wage economy? Do you work for the minimum wage. Try living on that in London.

                • M. Wenzl

                  To both questions: no, I don’t – but that’s not the point. Immigration isn’t affecting the level of the minimum wage, which can be upped regardless.

                • Conway

                  It’s clear that you don’t work for the minimum wage. Don’t forget, if you are self-employed (plumber, joiner etc), you can be undercut by cheaper immigrant labour that has lower overheads (no mortgage, family at home, able to share accommodation, etc). For every native displaced by an immigrant (who will need housing and possibly health care) there is a welfare bill to be paid. It is the working class that bears the brunt of unlimited immigration, but it is ultimately everyone who pays taxes who will pick up the tab.

                • M. Wenzl

                  I’m not sure you can lump the self-employed (e.g. plumbers, joiners, etc) in with minimum wage earners, even if they can be undercut by cheaper immigrant labour on the points you accurately flag up. Three points though. First, you say, “ultimately everyone who pays taxes will pick up the tab” – that assumes that immigrants are a burden on the public finances, which has been repeatedly proven not to be the case. Second, no one’s denying that there are problems among ‘indigenous’ low income workers vis-a-vis foreign competition – but the question is what a proportionate response to that problem is. It’s not at all clear that limiting immigration, let alone effectively banning it through strong curbs, is the solution when the state can intervene in particular problem areas. Third, I don’t work for the minimum wage, but I have done, and even were that not the case, I don’t think that precludes me from suggesting solutions that don’t pander to UKIP or the right of the Conservatives.

              • Wessex Man

                You arrogant person you, so it has nothing to do with the jobs being advertised in the Eastern European States by Gang Masters to people desperate to get here working for pocket money.

                If you think they are better qualified go and have a word with a few of them working the fields.

                We do need to get rid of these freedom of movement rules that’s taking away any job prospects for our young.

                • M. Wenzl

                  Your approach seems to be to shoot first and ask questions later. All of these issues can be addressed without pulling out of the EU. Regulations can ensure that jobs are advertised in the UK before they are advertised in Eastern Europe, ensuring that competition is fair. The reality is – and this is a large part of UKIP’s appeal – that a chunk of the low-wage workforce aren’t sufficiently well-trained. Failing that, there are a great many who don’t actually want to work in low-wage jobs, which would leave a labour shortage were immigrants not there to fill them. Also, even if there are poorly qualified Eastern European workers, overall the reason they are attractive to employers is that they are well-trained and well-educated relative to what they are prepared to work for. That is true for businesses hiring them as migrant works, and businesses investing in Eastern European countries.

                  Either way, your approach to the issue appears to be ideological rather than grounded in anything other than anecdotal evidence. Call me arrogant if you want, but policy needs to be backed up by fact.

                • Wessex Man

                  absolute rubbish, how can a British person apply for a job in here if it’s advertised in Poland/Romania/Bulgaria and not here by gang masters who pay only pocket money. Get into the real world!

                • M. Wenzl

                  Maybe the solution is to target the ‘gang masters’ and organised crime, and stop this from happening? And as I said, the state has to ensure that employers pay the minimum wage. Rather than the disproportionate response of raising the drawbridge.

          • global city

            aspiration and a hand up, rather than a hand out is the cry from many of those crappy housing estates you obviously think are full of people happy in their servitude to the state.

            • M. Wenzl

              At what point did I say that?

              • global city

                You wrote above that UKIP’s calls for shrinking the tax base and making people more free would be rejected by normal folk as ‘Thatcherite’… as you clearly categorised many UKIP ideas.

                • M. Wenzl

                  Define freedom, and why it would be a good thing.

          • Brigantian

            It may be more Putinite than Thatcherite.
            Section 28A.

          • Wessex Man

            Most of the Farming community around here seem set on voting for us, the Farm Workers more so than their bosses but time will tell and it’s not long to wait now!

          • Wessex Man

            Do the Labour, Tory or Lib/dums have their manifestos for 2015 available, or are you quoting from 2010? the same year that the Tories promised a vote in theirs, take away the lies and what do you have? Conmen!

            • M. Wenzl

              Technically you need the lies in order for them to classify as conmen..

      • DDownie

        Then you are one of the 7% UKIP voters switching from Labour versus the 60% switching from Tory (YouGov numbers March last year – unlikely to have changed much I suspect)
        I may have missed something but I didn’t notice any mention in my post on jobs or race.
        I share your concern on jobs, especially for our young unemployed of whatever colour skin.
        EU immigrants are almost entirely white-skinned, as it happens.

        • saffrin

          “EU immigrants are almost entirely white-skinned”
          So where are the rest coming from and what is your excuse for for that?

          • DDownie

            Mr Saffrin, I suggest you look at Melanie McDonagh’s blog. I think you will find some helpful links there. I believe about half the immigrants coming into the UK last year were from non-EU countries.
            That is in part why the exit from the EU doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If there is a problem with immigration (and I don’t think there is – I think the problem is that somehow we are not training the indigenous workforce – my fellow and perhaps your fellow working class, either in skills or attitude to fill the jobs and just as important find places to live where they can fill the jobs) I don’t think exit from the EU will solve this or the many other underlying issues. I think the EU exit, and the Scottish vote are massive distractions from getting on and addressing the things that are crying out to be fixed, and I worry a lot about the ‘tribal’ and ‘racial’ undertones that are giving both issues momentum.
            Of course to true UKipper believers, and I am not including you in this, exit from the EU is the answer to all of our problems – just as for the Eurofanatics if you go back a while joining the Euro was the philosopher’s stone. Just wrong.
            My excuse for the non EU immigrants is neither ‘mine’ nor an ‘excuse’. I didn’t create the immigration rules for non
            -EU migrants. That was done by various Governments, both Conservative and Labour, over the last 50 years.

            • Conway

              Of course to true UKipper believers, and I am not including you in
              this, exit from the EU is the answer to all of our problems –
              ” I’m not aware of anyone in my branch who believes that leaving the EU will solve all our problems overnight. What leaving the EU will do, however, is allow us to set our own targets, make our own laws, control our own borders, produce solutions specific to our own problems, and widen our trade to the expanding rest of the world rather than being tied to the declining EU. It seems like a good start.

      • Conway

        Will we notice any difference? Big state, borrow, pro-EU – all three parties are much of a muchness. Only the shade of the rosette differentiates them these days. You assume that only former Conservatives vote UKIP and in that you are mistaken, so a vote for UKIP is a vote for UKIP and one less for all the other parties, including NOTA.

    • Tinker

      They’re renowned for their care policy…

  • Chris Bond

    “These people are not truly representative of the Silent Majority Who Don’t Give Much of a Toss.”

    That’s been the plan and the purpose of the EU. A trans-national organization which can operate at will, and without democratic mandate, or oversight to design and implement psychotic “progressive” policies like multiculturalism and Gender Mainstreaming.

    Our government and the press operate a vast mis-information machine to ensure people are not aware of this, and act as their patsies. The lengths they go to (including the Daily Mails and Guardians bad cop, good cop routine) are astounding.

    Take the Gender Mainstreaming psychosis organized by insane feminists in the UN and EU. All governments under the EU now have to ensure that their foreign aid promotes gender issues/ rights (gay marriage etc). The government in the UK were obviously so worried about this getting out, that they got Bill Cash to put the Gender Equality Bill forward as a private members bill, and the press made a song a dance about it having nothing to do with the EU. Except it did – http://blogs.spectator (dot) co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/12/shock-as-government-agrees-with-bill-cash/

    This is why we are having Nigeria, India, Uganda and Russia making an issue about homosexuality. Not Evangelical preachers or some other scape goat – but the EU and the UN.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      I’d rather my taxes didn’t go to people who want me dead, to the extent such things can be avoided.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Sorry, but it can’t be avoided. The islamofascists require the danegeld be paid, and that’s that.

  • Boris Watch

    This is pretty much on the nail. Miliband is a pro-EU leader of a mostly pro-EU party with a few antis. Cameron is a pro-EU leader of an almost entirely anti-EU party who distrust him on the subject. Which leader would Miliband’s strategists rather talked about Europe more during the election campaign?

    • Cooper1992

      Ah but what about Labour’s supporters??

      This may sound revolutionary to a self-serving, morally bankrupt, economically-illiterate party such as Labour – but why don’t they ask what their voters and the Great British people at large think? Why don’t they try to tailor policy to THEIR opinions and not the opinions of their champagne socialist Metropolitan elite?

      All of UKIP voters and most core, grassroots Tory and Labour voters see the destruction that the fat, odious Eurocrats are doing to their country. Only the revolting Metros in the Lib Dems are still salivating at the thought of more Brussels bureaucracy.

      Miliband has once again shown that he serves the champagne guzzling, namby-pamby Guardian readers that make up the elite of the Labour party, and NOT the good people of
      Britain, or indeed even the true working class that have been blindly voting for Labour since Year Dot. What a weak weasal he is. A dangerous weasal who could be our next PM

      Prime Minister Miliband. God help this country….

      • David Robjant

        Gosh that’s fun…. Exhibit A.

    • global city

      Eurosceptics from all sides really must force the europhiles out into the open and debate the issue from the ideological point that they support.

      The deception taking place should be the first series of tactics exposed by the MSM….oh, that’s right, the MSM are on their side.

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