Not literally of course.
But increasingly the EU Referendum looks like an opportunity to bring down the Tory Government. Even allowing for the fact that General Elections are now fixed at every five years and Cameron’s Government has not yet completed its first year, it looks increasingly likely that the Conservative Party will tear itself apart …and as always the issue is Europe. There should be no problem in helping the process along.
The irony is that the sole purpose of the EU Referendum was to keep the Tories in power. Worried by the rise of a Europhobic party like UKIP and the ever present Tory backwoods men, David Cameron promised to re-negotiate Britains membership of the European Union and put the revised terms to the people of Britain in a Referendum.
Having won the 2015, General Election, David Cameron spent most of the winter jetting around Europe talking to other governments and rather like his Tory predecessor, Anthony Eden in 1938, landed back in London waving a piece of paper.
Of course it was always the case that the re-negotiations were a cosmetic exercise. Cameron obviously presents it all as a triumph but UKIP, Labour skeptics and Tory “Little Englanders” see thru it. Indeed Tory “europhobes” probably make up the majority of the Party.
We therefore have the curiousity of the Referendum being more or less a debate that is outside the normal Tory-Labour divide. Indeed while six of Cameron’s cabinet campaign to leave the EU ….and still remain members of the Cabinet, the majority of the Labour Party are committed to staying in the EU.
Increasingly Cameron looks like he has outsmarted himself. Increasingly the “IN” people are resorting to the tactics of Fear…jobs will be lost, Britain will be more insecure against the threat of terrorism etc. The problem with the “Fear” tactic is that it was used less than two years ago by the coalition of unionists (Tory, Labour and Lib Dem and banks and big business) that defeated the referendum on Scottish Independence (September 2014). The Scots were conned. And punished the unionist parties in Westminster Election less than a year later.
Having seen the Scots conned, it looks like the people of England are suspicious of Government information, including an explanatory booklet due to be delivered to every home in England next week. This explanatory booklet has been denounced as “taxpayer funded Government propaganda” …..by Tory members of the Government!
The situation is getting more bizarre. Cameron rightly points out that the Government is not neutral. And members of his own Government call for signatures to an online petition condemning the mis-use of taxpayers money.
Any hope that David Cameron had that his Party could reasonably disagree on such a major Government policy and then come together after the result of the Referendum looks forlorn. And the survival of his government looks increasingly dependant on Labour goodwill. And the secrets of the “Panama Papers” hangs over Tory toffs.
I am not for one minute suggesting that voting to leave the EU is a legitimate tactic to overthrow the Tories. People should make up their minds on what is best for them and their children. What is right for Scotland, Wales and Norn Iron (or Ireland itself) is not necessarily right for Greater England, England or even the English regions (the City of London for example).
Anyone contemplating an “OUT” vote needs to consider the people they are supporting….Michael Gove, Ian Duncan-Smith, John Redwood, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Arlene Foster, Jim Allister and Kate Hoey….and the Daily Mail and Daily Express.
On the other hand, anyone contemplating an “IN” vote needs to deal with supporting David Ford, Naomi Long, Vernon Coaker ,the big banks and the Norn Iron Independent Retailers Association.
But there are two points. Your “IN” or “OUT” vote should not depend on the strange bedfellows that are a consequence of these cross-party campaigns. Rather this is a manufactured campaign to maintain Tory unity. People who oppose Tories can still vote “IN” and undermine the Tory government. For example that online petition.
Sign the Petition. You know it makes sense.