25 3 mins 9 yrs


You need to look beyond the superficial headlines to understand the con job afoot;


A historic referendum on ­Britain’s membership of the ­European Union came a massive step closer last night when MPs unanimously backed legislation to trigger the poll. Loud cheers echoed in the Commons when a total of 304 MPs voted in favour of a backbench private member’s Bill to hold an in-or-out EU referendum by the end of 2017. Not one vote was cast against as most Labour and Lib Dem MPs refused to turn up for the debate. After the result, David Cameron wrote on Twitter: “Referendum Bill passes first Commons stage, bringing us one step closer to giving the British people a say on Europe.”

This is all whimsy.

For starters, Labour and the Libdems are ferociously dedicated to keeping the UK mired in the EU and they took a dive on this vote, which is why only 304 out of  650 MP’s registered there view. Most didn’t vote – and THAT tells you all you need to know about the utter contempt they hold the public in.

However those who DID choose to vote in favour of the Referendum BIll are a very mixed bunch. David Cameron, for example, is on record saying he wants to see the UK remain with the EU, subject to him negotiating amended terms. Further, this Bill ONLY happens if the Conservative Party forms a majority government in 2015. That looks extremely unlikely.

So, when you reduce it down, it is cloak and mirrors and an attempt by the Conservatives to defuse the UKIP threat. The underlying cynicism is profound if predictable. In the very unlikely event of there being such a referendum, and Cameron still being PM, we would find the leaders of ALL three main parties represented at Westminster would campaign for us to stay IN.

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  1. Labour and the Libdems are ferociously dedicated to keeping the UK mired in the EU and they took a dive on this vote,

    Not all of them

    from BBC

    Six Labour MPs – Roger Godsiff, Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins, Dennis Skinner, Graham Stringer and Gisela Stuart – joined Conservatives in the yes lobby calling for a referendum.

    Kate and Skinner are “Eurosceptic” not sure about the others. Some calling for a referendum would vote “yes” in it.

  2. How mnay years have we listened to Cameron’s promises? – and nary a one has been fulfilled, in some cases he has actually reneged on his original promise and in others he has used prevarication to evade confronation.

    For just how long does he think he can fool the electorate?

    It seems that anything in the least contentious gets his special treatment, – the eternal promise of action ‘after the next election’, whether it be EU membership, immigration, or the utterly ludicrous ‘Human Rights act’ – the technique is the same, postpone, evade, misinform, and in some cases outright lie, until such time as any reversal or revision of the status quo, is out of the question. Immigration being the frontrunner as being irrevesible.

    Of course, it doesn’t stop with the three items mentioned, we have the problem of peadophilia, and its ‘sweeping under the carpet’, by the police, apart from a few dead or dying celebs being thrown to the dogs, what has been done? – nothing, zero, zilch!. Even when the people employed in the care and education areas are found to be guilty of abuse, they get a token punishment and are then re-employed in the same jobs, – ludicrous by anyone’s standards.

    Likewise with the phone-tapping, those responsible have their moment of humiliation before some group they have the gall to call ‘a committee’, – a clique with no power to do anything but prevaicate, – for how many years has that horse been ridden in the courts, and the media? five, ten! and counting, and the result nothing!

    And so on, – MP’s pay and expenses, quangoes, and we musn’t forget the NHS management scam, where the ‘man in charge’, gets the pay but has none of the responsibility, as in the case of the Mid Staff Hospital management, which has been under inquiry since 2009.

    Prevarication, indolence, and excuses and a lack or a total denial of any responsibility, – and all on ‘Cameron’s watch’, – and nothing gets done! – or is even likely to get done.

    This really is the epitomy in more ways than one of Never-Never Land, complete with the Queen of Hearts! – and we all thought that J.M.Barrie wrote fairy tales!- and never guessed it was really sci-fiction, soon to become sci-fact!

  3. Extract from Peter Pan.

    “Wendy: Where do you live now?

    Peter: With the lost boys. They are the children who fall out of their prams when the nurse is looking the other way. If they are not claimed in seven days they are sent far away to the Never Land.”

    Now how symbolically prophetic is that?…

  4. Four years is a long way off. Things move fast these days.
    I predict that at least one country will bow-out of the union before then.

  5. pure candy for the people, It will never be put to a straight up or down vote by the people.

  6. //Which countries do you think are most likely to leave?//

    By the look of things at the moment, no country is going to leave.
    Opposition to membership is strongest in the UK, and even there if a referendum is held in a few years time the people will decide to stay in, probably with a few modifications.

    The population is split more or less evenly at the moment. But there is a significant age-related difference in support for membership, with a large majority of the young wanting to stay in. A majority of over 50’s want out, but their numbers will be reduced by the time a referendum comes around. Time is not on the side of the anti-EU faction, and this factor plus a few well-placed concessions to Britain’s membership will ensure that when the time comes a majority will vote to remain in the Union.

  7. you honestly believe put to the people they’ll want to stay in. That would be truly sad reflection on british common sense.

  8. Noel

    I think that you are right that no countries are likely to leave.

    In the case of the UK, I see it as bad faith that they have up to 4 yearsto have a vote. That is such a long time

    They could have it in 18 months, itself a long time.

  9. I think Noel’s right; I should have said ‘leave the euro’ not the union, which is a different matter.

  10. Are there countries that are likely to leave the euro?

    I don’t think so, not even Greece?

  11. People say we live in changing times, but has there ever before been a period where the mood was as conservative as today? People seem to have an in-built inertia and resistance to change in all things political of the kind that governments of former times must have dreamed of.

    We have seen markets collapse, currencies totter, enormous debts accumulate and generally the clear prospect of mass unemployment and economic catastrophe – yet still no radical movement for change emerged. People everywhere continue to elect more or less the same parties as before, we respect the same laws and police and we stay in and stay out of the same organisations that we were formerly in or out of.

    A lot of people in the UK make noise about EU membership, but one strange thing is that whenever the EU is brought to the fore in British politics, support for continued membership increases. The main opposition also seems to be pragmatic, not principled, with immigration policy being given as the main gripe with the EU. This, however, could, and would, be quickly patched up for Britain if it ever came to a referendum – and the wind would be taken from the Anti camp overnight.

    The last major change in our lifetime was the fall of the Iron Curtain, and that was long overdue. There have been huge social and technical changes in the developed world, of course, but folk seem to be more or less content with the way they are governed, or at least unwilling to face any alternatives.

    A glance at what’s happening in the Arab world should also convince everyone except the foolish that this is not a time for experiments.

  12. “In the case of the UK, I see it as bad faith that they have up to 4 years to have a vote. That is such a long time”

    That’s the point. There never actually will be a referendum. Committing to 18 months time means the decision to not have one will be too close to the election and will be electorally punished. By pushing it to 4 years the government after the election can get rid of it, take the hit at the time but retain enough time to recover.

  13. Well that’s a pretty fraudulent approach to the issue, regardless of where you are on the matter.

  14. The whole thing on all sides is electioneering. One side is ducking the issue to avoid being hit by the electorate and the other side is taking on the issue to try and hit the other side with the electorate.

    Personally I’m indifferent as I don’t support either side. I don’t like the EU and I don’t like referendums.

  15. Well if the EU is a bad idea, it sounds like a referendum is the only way out.

    Because the MPs will always be influenced by business and other pro EU forces more than they are influenced by the voters.

    The pro EU people will spin any anti forces as being xenophobic which is not necessarily true.

  16. Firstly I don’t buy the idea that MPs are more likely to influenced by spin etc than the public will be. I also don’t like the precedent of a referendum. If there is a referendum on the EU why not on healthcare? Why not on education? The budget?

  17. I am OK with rare referendums on major issues.

    You don’t want them every five minutes as in California

  18. Its a yes or no type issue well suited for a referendum

    The other issues are complex and continuous matters that will always be evolving

  19. referenda should be reserved for constitutional changes. That establishes the framework in which we vote for the other issues.

  20. Miliband is considering tabling an amendment to the bill when it comes back in September. The amendment would call for a referendum next June on the same day as the EU elections.

  21. But should they be mandatory for constitutional changes? What is a constitutional change in the UK? Is reform of local government constitutional change? If it is should that be put to a public vote? Is reform of constituency boundaries a constitutional change? If so should that be put to a public vote?

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