That EU Referendum

Interesting that despite this story being the most viewed, The Telegraph chose to drop it from their major featured stories within a few hours.

Cameron told to call referendum on Europe or face rebellion

Pretty significant headline. About time, one would have thought and yet we should be cautious, even within sight of victory. At my place, I posted today on “simultaneously holding opposed views” and the general thrust was that we tend to hold the views of our group and our own area of politics but should we examine those from time to time? Do circumstances change?

As a member of The Albion Alliance, [in whose current form it still gets much traffic, being the primary source for all matters EU], we were pretty vehement about getting a referendum on EU withdrawal and we fronted PPCs directly, asking for commitment on it. In our pow-wows, I maintained we were being too aggressive, which is good coming from me.

As Norman Tebbit said, we had “no traction” and in many ways, yes that was so but I’d contend we did in others – we created a certain antagonism which at least had people looking at the issue. One of the largest obstacles was that this anti-EU cause was not helped by key bloggers – and everyone knows DK was one – who refused to accept or push for a referendum on the question. Though Toque personally signed for it, the Witanagemot, CEP etc. did not and many libertarians, strangely, did not seem to want out out of the EU, when it was clearly anti-personal-freedom, as is now apparent.

The argument against was that any question put to the electorate at that stage would be rigged [Brown was in charge and Cameron seemingly on the way into power]. That was very true but if no question was put at all, it would be a dead issue and meanwhile – the thing the anti-referendum crowd did not see – was that the EU was going hell for leather gathering powers at a rate of knots and every delay in getting out was causing us to lose more and more. Lisbon was re-ratified and altered again, Ireland lost its way and so on.

People, we were going down. Sue was screaming about it and many were of a similar mind. The anti-referendum crowd were stating that it was better to put it in five years, when people were hurting and might vote Out but I’d say this about that view:

1. The question was still going to be rigged, whether earlier or later and the only way to stop that was for whoever the government were, e.g. the Tories – for their Eurosceptics to refuse to ratify the question if it would produce a bad result.

2. The assumption that the people would be hurting and that they’d blame the EU was never one I accepted because the blame has been projected onto everything but the EU and people go along with what they’re told. In other words, the time would never come when the people would turn, en masse, against the EU. In fact, they’ve turned, en masse, against Cameron.

Now the question of whether Cameron is being altruistic for his country and playing the EUphile, to be eventually beaten down, a la Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, is one only he would know [and Sam Cam]. It might be a way to get the result, achieving for himself statesman status and protecting him from Them in the fallout, the real power of whom he seems quite frightened and should.

The AA were never quite sure about Hannan and Carswell but there were others – Bill Cash etc. and it did look like the Tory backbenchers might raise hell. For a while it looked that way.

My first suspicion that it was otherwise was listening to Roger Helmer at the Tory conference and to Jesse Norman. It was pretty clear that despite all the noises, these guys were supporting repatriating powers only, a mindless position, given how we’ve demonstrated over and over, in detail, how the EU has NEVER had powers repatriated away from it – Roger Helmer actually stated that. In fact, it was the UK which basically allowed the EU to be set up in its current form. The enemy was clearly within Westminster, just as much as it was in Brussels.

Read Autonomous Mind on Roger Helmer:

Roger Helmer should oppose new ‘Eurosceptic movement’ or resign from The Freedom Assocation. You don’t have to take my word for it, why not take the word of Anthony Browne, who attended the meeting in the Thatcher Room in Portcullis House and wrote about it on ConservativeHome – content partner of The Guardian:

Under the chairmanship of George Eustice, there was a calm determination to take advantage of what everyone agreed was a “golden opportunity” presented by the euro crisis to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU – with the aim of repatriating some powers. Contrary to media reports, the aim of the meeting was not to pressure the government into holding a referendum on pulling out of the EU – indeed, that was explicitly and repeatedly ruled out as a purpose of the new group. The government has very good reasons not to want to hold such a referendum – it would pull the coalition apart, it would stop the government doing any other policies, and the outcome would be very unpredictable.

That needs to be looked at carefully. There is every chance that, even though some Tories are undoubtedly Eurosceptic in the sense of in/out, we only had one Tory sign the Albion Alliance pledge, under secrecy although we knew of a few others who would have, from conversations. There was clear pressure from above, on pain of preselection troubles, to drop the whole matter.

I don’t trust what the Tory Eurosceptics are going to be willing to settle for – it’s as simple as that. I don’t mean that they don’t feel it inside their hearts – some of them do – but they simply can’t buck the system and Westminster is now a tool of the EU – has been for a long time but they were more subtle earlier.

And why so bold now, all of a sudden? We’ve been losing powers to Brussels steadily – so why now? Perhaps Witterings or IPJ know the answer to that. Perhaps Richard knows.

15 comments for “That EU Referendum

  1. Bill
    September 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Perhaps the Germans ‘have signalled’ that it’s all going tits up so they are pulling out.

  2. September 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    If a referendum question now will be rigged, and if asked in five years it will still be rigged, and if not asked the issue becomes forgotten, then I’d say the best hope is for the EU’s self destruction as early as possible. And it does look like the EU is doing it’s very best in that regard. It’s just a shame it’ll be so bloody painful for everyone in Europe.

  3. WitteringWitney
    September 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Many thanks for the link JH.

  4. September 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm


    I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that I do not trust any Tory at the moment to say anything truthful, supposed eurosceptic or not. I see the Tories trying to play both ends of the candle, seeing what happens over Greece, Italy and the others before making any decisions, whilst at the same time trying to keep their supporters close in, knowing that UKIP is likely to do well at any referendum.

    In terms of Bill’s comment above, I have already posted on the possibility of a German take-over, which to my mind is a very real possibility, a fourth Reich.

    • September 20, 2011 at 5:34 am

      “What I do know is that I do not trust any Tory at the moment to say anything truthful…”

      Interesting! Where are you finding these ‘Tories’? I’ve looked and looked and can’t seem to see any…

      • james Higham
        September 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

        That’s so. It’s like a branch of the Labour Party.

  5. Rossa
    September 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    As I see it James the biggest problem is the question asked in any referendum will be based on the automatic assumption that the UK should have a “relationship” with the EU whether as a trading bloc right up to full integration fiscally and politically, neither of which is an answer a true libertarian would want. We need OUT full stop.

    And since when has a No answer in a referendum even been taken for a full and final answer. THEY always come back and ask the question again until THEY get the answer THEY want! Just ask our cousins across the water in all directions.

    It’s yet another smoke and mirros exercise, a complete waste of time and money, designed to make the lumpen proles believe that the Govt is doing something. And anyone who reads anything here knows what that really means.

  6. September 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    It really is curly. The essential problem, as you have said above and I did too, is that we cannot trust any of the bstds [‘scuse my French] but we really can’t. And if they play the “relationship and repatriated powers game”, that will give the EU an extension of life, unless, as Bill says, Germany enters the fray. Phew.

  7. Sue
    September 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    “And why so bold now, all of a sudden?” I’ll tell you why. They can see the Euro going “tits up” and once the excreta hits the fan, nobody will want responsibility for the mess that the UK will be left in.

    The murmerings are an attempt at covering their slimy behinds so they can say “I told you so”. Either way then, they’re covered. We have dissent, but just enough, not enough to actually DO ANYTHING.

    They know that life is going to be hard when unemployment rises even more, businesses continue to close and taxes go up. They’re making sure their little nest eggs will see them through the lean period to come while the rest of us suffer and pay the debts that the banks and government have left behind.

    I can just imagine the threats, speak too forcibly and your pension is at risk. The likes of Roger Helmer have not got too far to go until he retires with his nice little EU pension. Why jeopardise that?

    It’s all about them, not about us. We don’t matter except at election time. They lie, cheat, steal and don’t even pretend anymore.

    The time of revolution has come. We need to bring the whole bally lot of them down. Sod the treaties, we didn’t consent to them. They are illegal.

    The whole world is waking up to the “powers that be” and they’re not liking what they see. We need to do our bit. Get out on the streets and demand true democracy.

    Get rid of the EU and their puppets and elect independent freeman to represent us. The days of party politics are dead, they don’t work. They produce career politicians who have never worked a day in their lives and are in the job for the power trip, prestige and money. Look at Cameron poncing about in Libya and Blair before that, with his celebrity circle of friends.

    They’re nothing but a bunch of self serving aristocratic idiots. They know nothing of real life.

    • September 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      It used to be said that lawyers were the most despised but now it does seem like the politicians. Frankly, I don’t care what they do at their conferences. I shan’t be reporting on them.

      • Sue
        September 20, 2011 at 1:29 am

        Oh James but the LibDim conference is a scream. With each and every speaker, I am left totally dumbfounded with the sheer arrogance and crap they’re coming out with. They have managed to relegate themselves to the fourth party in the UK and they behave as though they are in power. It takes a special kind of person to be a LibDim, preferably not of this planet.

        • Bill
          September 20, 2011 at 7:57 am

          We the people cannot afford their government.

      • September 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm

        A lot of politicians are lawyers, though a learned friend (who really is a lawyer) reckons that if good lawyers end up practising law and shithouse ones go into politics. Maybe that’s why they’re even easier to despise than lawyers, who can sometimes be okay… right up to the point they present you with their bill.

  8. September 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I pledge to work tirelessly to give the voters of my constituency a democratic and direct voice in the United Kingdom’s continued relationship with the EU.

    I pledge that I will sponsor a Private Members Bill, written in clear concise terms, calling for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union – and/or support any motion for such a referendum – and to vote positively for any Bill that may call for such a referendum, irrespective of Party Whip, with a view to the successful outcome of this pledge within 1 year of a new Parliament or sooner. – Albion Alliance pledge

    It didn’t seem like much of a stretch for anybody who really did want a referendum or to exit the EU to take such a simple pledge – the fact that so few Lib/Lab/Con candidates did take the pledge spoke volumes.

    There must have been some success because the debate has moved somewhat since the election. The term “eurosceptic” is now under the microscope. Fans of EU membership, but just not how the EU looks today have used this label to give a misleading impression of where they stand (mostly Tories). Withdrawalists would have no problem with the above pledge. The prominence of this middle ground group serves to muddy the waters and thus maintain the status quo – that, IMHO is why they are getting the airtime and some focus.

    In the UK when the there are three answers – in, repatriate, or out – there is no overall majority. Ask simply, in or out and the outs have it. The EU’s own surveys show the same return (will try to dig out the link and post tomorrow). Cameron wants a modest amount of attention here because it helps sell the “eurosceptic” label.

    The battle now is to control the question, us withdrawalists need it to be in or out.

  9. Patrick Harris
    September 19, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    The question will never include the words “out of The European Union”, the referendum will never be agreed until THEY have found a way of manipulating the voting results, something like DIEBOLD of the USA they supply, programme and maintain the electronic voting machines used in American elections. Voter fraud suits are rife in most States making lots od money for the lawyers but not much difference to the governance.

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