Monday, 27 April 2009

Tories Demand Lisbon Treaty Referendum

The issue on everyone's mind, of course.

They aren't saying that they'd campaign for a No vote. They have never said that.

This whole referendum business is a distraction. They pointedly failed to put down a Second Reading amendment which did not mention a referendum, but simply rejected the Treaty itself because of what was in it.

In office, they would have signed it without protest and ratified it without a referendum. They are the party of the Treaty of Rome, the Single European Act and the Maastricht Treaty. And they always will be.


  1. are you sure they haven't said they'd campaign for a no vote?

  2. If they have, then not only have I never noticed, but nor has anyone to whom I have made this point, over and over again, on Coffee House, Iain Dale's Diary, ConservativeHome, the Telegraph's blog, Peter Hitchens's blog, &c, &c, &c.

  3. They want a referendum so that the BBC can engineer a yes vote by its biased reporting as happened in 1975. At the start of that campaign two thirds of people were going to vote no. After a month of Auntie on the subject two thirds of people votes yes.

  4. Exactly.

    And remember that the BBC fixed the Leadership for Cameron, lavishing wholly uncritical coverage on him while ignoring his much better rival almost completely.

  5. They are being very clever about this.

    People will assume that they want a No vote because that is what would happen if there were a referendum this Thursday. But they really want what Anonymous says.

    If the referendum ever came, they would probably declare that the government had to be nuetral.

  6. That IS clever! That way, all the statements th Tories have made about voting no can be ignored, and David's hypothesis still stands! And of course, because it's impossible to prove what they "really" would do, no one can prove him wrong!

    For other examples of this brilliance in action, see "Purnell will take a job in Cameron's cabinet", "Tories will privatise the NHS", "Iran has no nuclear weapons", and "the earth is flat".

    I may have got one of those wrong, but you take the point.

  7. I may be wrong, but isn't denying what people have actually said in favour of what they "really" mean, as divined by the speaker himself a classic sign of paranoia, self delusion and a tenuous grasp on reality?

  8. Ian, this is not about what they have siad, but about what they have (very pointedly) not said. I think that Jack is spot on: they would find some excuse for government neutrality, and just let the Beeb do its worst.

    Sid, at least until the rise of modern Flat Earth Societies, no one ever believed that the earth was flat. The suggestion that this was the Mediaeval view can be dated precisely to January 1828, which saw the publication of 'The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus', as highly fictionalised an account as one would expect from its author, Washington Irving, who also gave the world those noted works of historical realism, 'Rip Van Winkle' and 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow', as well as popularising the use of "Gotham" to refer to New York.

    Purnell has been publicly offered, and has publicly accepted, his current job in a Cameron Cabinet, all the while retaining what is now the meaningless Labour Whip. The Tories would be lucky to find any of the NHS left to privatise, but they have said in the last few days that they would privatise primary education. And Iran has no nuclear weapons - everyone knows that. Nor had Iraq, of course. Everyone knew that, too.

  9. "That IS clever! That way, all the statements th Tories have made about voting no can be ignored"

    They have never made any.

  10. They really are annoyed that people have cottoned on to this: calling for a referendum is not the same thing as calling for a No vote, and opinions can change drastically in the course of a referendum campaign.

    You know it. But you had assumed that we didn't, so complete is your contempt for the electorate.

    Well, we do.

    And we despise you at least as much as you despise us. Yes, as much as THAT.

  11. Perhaps David Cameron should be asked the question directly?

  12. He won't be.

    If he said "Yes, we will campaign for a No vote", then Ken Clarke would resign from the Shadow Cabinet.

    If he said, "No, we won't campaign for a No vote", then ... actually, what WOULD happen? Now that I think about it, nothing possibly could. People who objected would never have been in the Treaty of Rome/Single European Act/Maastricht Treaty Party in the first place. Would they?