Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Real World Intrudes

Oh, what fun, over on Coffee House. Telegraph Blogs dare not even post anything on the story of the day, of the week, of the month, of the year.

Britain only stayed out of the euro because Gordon Brown replaced Ken Clarke as Chancellor in 1997. No one of the Eurosceptical views of Ed Balls or Jon Cruddas would be allowed to make the tea for David Cameron, still less to head his Treasury team or his Policy Review respectively.

66 Labour MPs voted against Maastricht (not a single one voted in favour) when only 22 Conservatives did so, and those 66 included, in Bryan Gould, the only resignation from either front bench in order to do so.

44 Labour MPs voted against John Major's increase in British contributions to the EU Budget (not a single one voted in favour) when the Conservative Whip was withdrawn from all of eight MPs for mere abstention and a ninth resigned it in sympathy.

And now, every single Labour MP has voted against the Government, providing most of the votes that have resulted in tonight's defeat. But that is not even considered worthy of media mention, still less of any sort of analysis, at least short of merely reproducing a CCHQ press release about "opportunism".

The bottom has just fallen out of a lot of people's, in any case entirely imaginary, world: while the Government was opposed by every single Labour MP without exception, the Conservative rebellion was derisory and was mostly made up of "impossible" people (and not even all of those - no Jacob Rees-Mogg, for example). That is now the reality of the inter-party debate on the EU in this country.

Which side are you on?


  1. Are Labour not thumbing their nose at the electorate here? I mean, if they really did intend on leaving the EU - or at the very least having a referendum on membership to it - they wouldn't have put Emma Reynolds on Newsnight to argue their case.

    Because, really, someone who says:

    'Britain's membership of the European Union is in our national interest'

    is hardly fit to state the reasons for leaving it, are they?

  2. Of course the Government - any Government - line in a referendum campaign would be to say in. But that is a different question. And how will things look after 2015? Will there be any EU to leave by then?