Snatching defeat from the jaws of a straightforward victory

Unless voters can be reassured that withdrawal from the EU will not cause economic harm, they could very well opt to remain in the European Union.

That simple yet powerful sentence, written by Richard, is almost certainly the reason why YouGov’s latest opinion poll – reported in the Wail – is showing that voters who were in favour of securing this country’s independence are starting to to get nervous and thinking instead that staying in the EU is the only way of preserving our economic interests through access to the single market.

Most people don’t know the ins and outs, but the pro-EU campaign’s claims that exit from the EU would harm this country’s economy sounds plausible enough to warrant a change of heart.  And the fact of the matter is these plausible claims – which deliberately spin only a slanted and easily rebutted version of the story – are not being countered by the supposed ‘leaders’ of the loose collection of EUsceptic organisations.

You could be forgiven for expecting the counter arguments and details of a strategy to protect this country’s economic interests after exit from the EU would be front and centre on the UKIP website, but they seem to prefer to focus on other things and asking people to sign petitions, while the voters drift away:

This is the direct consequence of the absolute refusal of certain EUsceptics to consider any means of exit from the EU other than the ‘magic wand’ option – repealing the European Communities Act, thereby precipitating an abrogation of the EU Treaties with no alternatives in place. Farage and Co continue to play their fiddle while Rome burns our cash and helps decide the laws British people have to abide by.

This is why, despite the UKIP brickbats that inevitably come in my direction when I make this argument, I say that faith in Nigel Farage is completely misplaced. He will destroy our efforts.  Unless people understand and recognise this, we are heading for defeat.

The absence of strategy and detail, that reassures voters and businessmen alike that leaving the EU doesn’t mean giving up involvement in the single market, is giving the EUphiles the opportunity to swing the argument in their favour.  With the exception of a small band of bloggers trying to make a noise from the cheap seats, they have the stage to themselves.  It defies belief.

So it is that despite people citing a multitude of essential reasons for the UK getting out of the EU, for many of them the thought of losing the ability to sell our goods and services and the subsequent impact of that on jobs and the economy, outweighs the absence of democracy, self determination and the huge sums of money we are compelled to send to Brussels.  Against this backdrop we have the celebrated and high profile EUsceptics absolutely nowhere in the debate and on the verge of consigning the UK to membership of this rancid union for generations to come.

It would be easy to say I feel despair about all this but it’s not despair, it’s frustration and anger.

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44 Responses to “Snatching defeat from the jaws of a straightforward victory”


  1. 1 pperrin 21/01/2013 at 9:33 pm

    Couldn’t agree more.

    No2EU really need have to present a positive vision of an independent UK.

    UKIP MEPs are well financed and have little enough to do with their time (just voting no to everything). They really have no excuse.

    If the commonwealth is the future of our growth, it needs to be spelt out – which countries, which products, which new markets…

    The commonwealth isn’t a free trade area – make it one and be part of it and the sky is the limit – but it needs solid financial figures and people promoting it.

  2. 2 tallbloke 21/01/2013 at 9:39 pm

    I think this might be a bit overdramatised. eureferendum.com is ranked lower than the talkshop according to Alexa, and I only get around 4000 visitors a day.

    Or was Richard’s sentence repeated in a daily?

  3. 3 Autonomous Mind 21/01/2013 at 9:54 pm

    If this is overdramatised Rog how would you explain the significant shift in the in-out the polls and UKIP’s drop to 7%?

    If you can point to Farage/UKIP countering the false claims about ‘fax democracy’ or putting forward a clear plan about staying in the single market to provide reassurance about the economic future, I’d love to see it.

  4. 4 Martin 21/01/2013 at 9:56 pm

    I like the idea of an army of volunteers to campaign for out . I’m sure an articulate format that can be photocopied , with some basic truths could work . I will personally deliver it to every household in Norwich for a start . The cost of ink cartridges is a small price to pay for my countries sovereignty .

  5. 5 philbo62 21/01/2013 at 9:59 pm

    I’m a strong supporter of The UKIP but, I have the same fears. I don’t believe the current “pollster speak” telling us that the vast majority of people want to go back to the original 1975 agreement on the Common Market. However, the message from UKIP has got to include Policy fact on the economy, trade and the Welfare State.

    We have heard enough about immigration and the need to withdraw from the EU. What the public need is a viable reason to vote for UKIP. It is still looking like a two trick pony. As Mr Perrin says, we need the future under UKIP to be clearly spelt out; dot the “I’s”, cross the “Ts” and make us believe.

  6. 6 tallbloke 21/01/2013 at 10:04 pm

    Well, I’ma science animal not a political animal so I don’t know. I just questioned you laying this on Richard’s toes when his website gets less traffic than mine.

    If UKIP have dropped from X% to Y% and Richard’s site gets under 4000 visits a day, you do the maths.

    Maybe he’s just expressing what a lot of other people are already thinking.

    Myself, I say get out and feck the consequences. It’s never as bad as you fear. The only thing to fear is fear itself.

  7. 7 pperrin 21/01/2013 at 10:15 pm

    While I agree that a positive vision is needed – the route proposed by EU Referendum site is certainly not one that I would support.

    They (for whatever reason) spread their own incorrect FUD. They seem to be more in favour of reform than an exit.

  8. 8 Autonomous Mind 21/01/2013 at 10:16 pm

    Perhaps I’m confused Rog, but I’m not laying anything on Richard’s toes. I am pointing to a cogent argument he has made and that I fully support and added to it to demonstrate how the EUsceptic cause is being undermined by its supposed leading lights failing to counter misinformation and spin. I am side by side with Richard on this.

    FWIW I don’t know how Alexa works, but I know Richard’s visit count is several times the 4000 that Talkshop attracts.

  9. 9 Autonomous Mind 21/01/2013 at 10:18 pm

    Sorry Paul, but that is completely wrong. Richard at EU Referendum wants out, not reform. I have no idea how you drew your conclusion, but you are way out with that one.

  10. 10 Richard North 21/01/2013 at 10:20 pm

    I think you will find AM is referring to the sentiment expressed by the sentence, rather than the sentence itself – which you might have guessed, as the words were written more than two days after the poll.

  11. 11 tallbloke 21/01/2013 at 10:27 pm

    And I thought cause and effect was tricky to pin down in the climate system. I’ll stick to differential equations and linear regressions in future. :(

    Sorry to disturb the Pax Pretani.

  12. 12 Autonomous Mind 21/01/2013 at 10:35 pm

    Not at all Rog. Sorry if my post wasn’t clear. It’s been a long day and I did kind of bash it out on the keyboard at speed. I should check my ramblings are more clear in future.

  13. 13 tallbloke 21/01/2013 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks AM, and apologies to Richard for my misunderstanding. I’m not up with the latest sequence of events – lots happening on my climate patch.

  14. 14 Richard North 21/01/2013 at 11:25 pm

    :-) all that white global warming stuff … it’s bound to have an effect.

  15. 15 Paul Perrin (@pperrin) 22/01/2013 at 12:02 am

    My suspicion of EUReferendum is based on several people recently trying to tell me that article 50 was the *only* way of leaving the EU, and that a UK Government can be bound by previous governments — and citing EUReferndum as a source to support them.

    Now there is an EUReferendum post about this very subject…

    Whatever the ‘best’ way to leave the EU, I don’t trust people who tell bare faced lies.

    EUReferendum seems to have a fetish about article 50 and the vienna convention that it is pushing.

    Two years as members of the EU with no representation at all? Yes, that really sounds like it will end well – rebate gone, hijacking of UK Banking/services… It would likely be two years of the EU screwing us over and either leaving us for dead, or offering us a tiny, little bit back in return for staying in after all.

    EUReferendum says there are around 1000 treaties to consider and each will require several years work before considering leaving the EU – does that sound like someone who really wants to leave and have an independent UK? Certainly doesn’t to me. Wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole.

    But enough of that site – the posting here is correct – we need a positive vision of an independent UK.

  16. 16 TheBoilingFrog 22/01/2013 at 7:42 am

    @Paul Perrin “Two years as members of the EU with no representation at all? Yes, that really sounds like it will end well – rebate gone, hijacking of UK Banking/services”

    The trouble is Paul, by arguing that you effectively admit that by being in the EU we do have influence, we can stop laws, we can help make laws, which then begs the obvious question so why are we leaving?

    The truth is it matters not, we can ignore any regulations or directives, we can refuse to pay any more money or indeed any at all. By the time the EU gets around to fining us or taking us to the ECJ we will be long gone…

  17. 17 Autonomous Mind 22/01/2013 at 8:24 am

    Perhaps Paul you would like to outline your non Article 50 exit strategy, highlighting how UK economic interests would be protected and trade agreements for the post referendum era would be established? I would be interested to read it.

  18. 18 CredibleMan 22/01/2013 at 8:58 am

    Personally, I don’t understand the levels of antipathy directed at UKIP on this blog, EU Referendum, boling frog, witterings from witney etc.

    EU Referendum seems to only want to leave the EU if some sort of perfect re-casting of our political and governmental system is enacted. For me, right now, UKIP seem to offer the best possible chance of bringing the EU into more main stream discussions and consequently, capable of delivering our exit from the EU – certainly none of the other three parties have this intention, and flawed or not, the system of parliamentary democracy we have right now is not going to change any time soon. In other words, to achieve an exit from the EU, the shortest route is UKIP muddying the waters for LibLabCon.

    One thing that is increasingly clear is that support for UKIP is not restricted to just people who want out of the EU – in fact, this policy is somewhat lower down on most UKIP supporters agendas. Given this, UKIP are almost certainly framing their responses and planning their tactics based on the messages they know are being positively received by the people who support them.

    Further, it seems to me that to continually gripe about UKIP on this and other blogs is self-defeating. You yourselves risk removing support for them, and consequently, making our exit less likely.

    There is constant reference to how we need a credible exit plan. Do we? Is there one area that the UK does not have a government body that can take responsibility for its own agenda? Do we need to put in place new departments etc. to replace EU ones?

  19. 19 Richard North 22/01/2013 at 9:59 am

    There is a fundamental misunderstanding here about the nature of Art 50. The representation of the UK would not end during the negotiation period … simply the UK is excluded from discussions on the European Council and the Council of Ministers, when negotiations are being discussed.

    That is very obviously necessary because, otherwise, the UK would be sitting both sides of the table. Otherwise, UK representation and participation carries on unchanged.

    As to the need for a credible exit plan, I am find it inexplicable that a supposedly serious political party cannot come up with workable ideas for securing Britain’s exit.

    And this is not a zero sum game … unless the reassurance is there, people will not vote for a leap in the dark. This is the “status quo” effect, and will be a major factor in any referendum. To ignore it is to guarantee losing.

  20. 20 John Payne 22/01/2013 at 10:41 am

    a very blunt but accurate article. Ukip main strategy is to attract Conservative protest votes and have no strategy beyond that task. in my experience they have no drive to go for Lib Dem or Labour euro sceptics. I have tried to pursuade them but receive no constructive response. you are quite right unless they change people will lose interest.

  21. 21 John Smith 22/01/2013 at 11:07 am

    Vote UKIP nothing will ever change otherwise

    Sign this petition to restrict Bulgarian and Romanians from entering the UK:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41492

    Sign this petition to allow UKIP to take part in the 2015 TV election debates:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43153

  22. 22 Peter S 22/01/2013 at 11:34 am

    CredibleMan – “Further, it seems to me that to continually gripe about UKIP on this and other blogs is self-defeating.”

    A lucid observation. In my experience, getting people to talk to you and work towards a common goal requires, at the very least, an ability to contain the huge chip on one’s shoulder for long enough to contribute something other than a rant.

    I think there’s also a misunderstanding here about UKIP’s relationship to the voting public. As with all political demands, this one expresses itself as an urgent, forceful, and necessarily basic, call for action. I’ve never yet been on, or experienced, a popular ‘demo’ where the chant goes:

    “What do we want?
    – an EU referendum!
    When do we want it?
    – err, in five years time, if renegotiations fail and by invoking article 50 – but only once a wide-ranging policy document has been drawn up for returning British powers!”

    As a description of the route-map required, it may be accurate. As a popular rallying cry – it ain’t got legs.

  23. 23 Autonomous Mind 22/01/2013 at 11:44 am

    Legs won’t matter when the argument has been lost because of the complete failure by UKIP to reassure the public we can leave the EU without losing access to the single market – and more crucially, explain how when challenged to back up the claim.

    Right now UKIP is unable or unwilling to do either and the polls suggest people who were in favour of leaving the EU are changing their mind. So how’s Farage’s petition strategy working out for you?

  24. 24 Richard North 22/01/2013 at 11:47 am

    If we had a referendum now, we would lose it. It we have a referendum with a long lead-in, the opposition can expend its ammunition and then we can come in and win the battle. We are much better equipped to win a long war of attrition than a “big bang” offensive.

    That is a tactical view … there is no merit in going over the top and charging into the machine guns.

  25. 25 Paul Perrin (@pperrin) 22/01/2013 at 1:09 pm

    Got a gripe about UKIP – fine start an alternative party.

    Just stop they useless, pointless, waste of time that is complaining about it all the time.

    Not serious? You do better.
    Wrong policy? You do better.

    Hangers on, trying to get some reflected glory by being part of UKIP’s success but wanting to be seen as ‘oh so much smarter’ by disagreeing with it all over the place.

    How many extra votes do you think complaining will get towards an EU exit? NONE.

    UKIP didn’t even have the resources to keep the 2010 manifesto with all its policies up to date!! And you want a detailed explanation of the mechanics of the UK leaveing the EU? DO GROWN UP.

    The GOVERNMENT have the full resources of the CIVIL SERVICE to do the research etc for that kind of work – if you think you can do it yourself, you are deluding yourself.

    Don’t think UKIP are ‘up to it’ – well get off your arse, off your keyboard and DO SOMETHING YOURSELF about it – armchair warriors telling everyone else what should be done are ten a penny.

  26. 26 Paul Perrin (@pperrin) 22/01/2013 at 1:13 pm

    I don’t know where the UKIP knockers stood on AV and electoral reform – but remember all the supposed ‘reformers’ who said voting against AV would force the government to offer ‘real’ PR?

    Thats where the UKIP knockers are sitting – trying to stop progress because (in their own little worlds) better progress will automatically reveal itself afterwards.

    It wont.

  27. 27 Richard North 22/01/2013 at 1:57 pm

    What a very unpleasant person you are Mr Perrin … bombast matched by ignorance … a winning combination.

  28. 28 Autonomous Mind 22/01/2013 at 2:18 pm

    What UKIP success Paul? Point to it and tell me where I’m hanging on to it? Dropping in the polls doesn’t suggest a bandwagon to me.

    Sorry if it’s hard for some to take, but the reasons for it have been set out on this and other blogs and resolutely ignored by those who in UKIP who do nicely out of the gravy train and get some media attention every so often. Shoot the messenger if you like, but when the campaign fails and you’re left scratching your head wondering why, look back at the posts you’re attacking and weigh it up.

    I would dearly love UKIP to be a success, but it isn’t because its leadership is not inspiring confidence and isn’t putting forward solutions needed to make it possible to exit the EU in an effective manner. The fact some UKIP supporters argue that the likes of Richard and I want to stay in this damned union shows how detached from reality some have become.

    UKIP telling people we’ll just leave and figure the rest out from there opens up EUsceptics to damaging attacks from those who have done their homework and realise that dog just ain’t gonna hunt. It’s not too late to fix this, but it won’t be fixed by attacking the people pointing out the serious deficiencies, and blaming them for Farage’s lack of performance.

    We’ve tried to offer constructive approaches but these are being ignored. The consequences are already becoming apparent. By the time you figure that out it might be too late. It makes no sense to jump from the train going in the right direction to one going the wrong way just so everyone is on the same team. Perhaps it’s time Farage saw the wood for the trees and started to listen to people other than himself.

  29. 29 Autonomous Mind 22/01/2013 at 2:27 pm

    Loved your last comment Paul.

    What progress are we stopping exactly? Pointing out something you would rather people didn’t know? The exact opposite of what you claim is the reality here. Progress is not being made. We’ve explained why.

    We’re trying to get Farage to understand this, precisely because his approach is that something will automatically reveal itself after an exit. We want him to get it right, but it won’t happen if he continues to turn a deaf ear and play his own game, which is now seeing him make UKIP fall behind again.

    I would love nothing more right now than to sit in a room with him and discuss this. Tell you what, I’ll even request a meeting with him and let you know the response.

  30. 30 graham wood 22/01/2013 at 6:21 pm

    I agree on the whole with Paul Perrin. As I posted before on WfW discussion of Article 50 of the LT is premature and simply does not, and cannot, arise under existing political circumstances.
    I think we would agree that it would only arise if a political decision had been taken by a British political party, with a sufficient majority in the H of C, and with a PM who deliberatly opts for an exit policy – but it is not going to happen in the forseeable future with DC is it?
    If for the sake of argument the present position is reversed and there is overwhelming support, say for and by the Torys at some future point, then the mechanics of leaving change. It is THEN that the debate would take place – i.e. should it be the Article 50 route or by FIRST repealing the 1972 Act?

    If the above scenario becomes a reality, then of course there is nothing to stop Parliament from exercising its right to withdraw consent to remaining in the Union. It was a constant refrain from some MPs and sceptics some years ago that what Parliament has granted (to the EU via Treaties) Parliament had the power to reverse and could simply repeal the Act in order to begin a process of withdrawal. That is still a Constitutional right, and of course the UK is not bound by any terms the EU may set, Article 50 not withstanding.
    If, in addition, a PM under such a scenario went to the country in a GE, or via a In/Out referendum, recommending an OUT vote then that would dramatically change the whole debate and the die would be cast.
    All hypothetical at this stage of course, but not beyond the realms of possibility should the political pendelum swing our way.

    Of course that would not solve all problems of unravelling the myriads of the rotten silken cords that bind us overnight, but the point is that these are not insuperable barriers to leaving.
    It would roughly parallel the situation after the chaos of WW2 right across Europe, but the question of how to repair the ravages of 6 years war did not arise as a reason for not pursuing the single objective of fighting and defeating the Nazi Fascists.
    Once the political will to leave is there, established, and supported by popular consent, then nothing is impossible. Where there is a will, there will be found the way. Article 50 is not sacrosanct, and is certainly not relevant to the political and economic arguments that still need to be made right now.
    As a poster above has rightly commented – if UKIP needs “educating” as to improvement to its strategy (or non strategy) then get out there and join it to reform it. Challenge Farage’s ‘simple’ approach Isn’t that that an essential part of the political process for wannabe reformers?

  31. 31 Audrey Quattro 22/01/2013 at 7:01 pm

    Just pure speculation here but perhaps I can get a reasoned reply…. what would be wrong with just “turning off the tap” and using the £50m/day (?) to fix our own woes? Would THAT method be impossible? Would THAT method require treaty reorganisation? Would THAT method involve invoking Article 50 etc etc??? It’s only money.

  32. 32 pperrin 22/01/2013 at 7:17 pm

    “What UKIP success?” Well where are you in the polls? How many MEPs do you have? How often are you on TV?

    If you can do better – just go ahead and do it… whats stopping you? But, no its easier to snipe from the side lines, so any set back for any reason whatsoever gives you an excuse to say ‘told you so’.

    Just as every critic of evertything always claims that it was their contribution that would have made all the difference.

    I think a positive vision for an independent UK is the most important thing right now – shall I simply whine that noone is doing it? And blog and tweet about noone else doing it?

    Well, no, I recently masively shifted my focus from party political in/out campaigning to that generic issue of ‘what does an independent UK look like’ while you UKIP knockers do your self-congratulatory, but pointless ‘kreminology’ on details of UKIP that only you are interested in some people are working on getting the PUBLIC engaged…

  33. 33 graham wood 22/01/2013 at 8:25 pm

    Audrey: “Just pure speculation here but perhaps I can get a reasoned reply…. what would be wrong with just “turning off the tap” and using the £50m/day (?) to fix our own woes? Would THAT method be impossible? Would THAT method require treaty reorganisation? Would THAT method involve invoking Article 50 etc etc??? It’s only money.”

    Audrey. A good question! Some years ago the Democracy Movement ran a campign entitled ‘Stop the cheques’
    Again, I suggest that there is theoretically, nothing to stop a British Parliament doing so, by FIRST repealing the 1972 Act which would be the first necessary step and would herald our exit from the EU and our membership fee with it.
    Some would still argue that we have no constitutional right to such a course because they claim “EU law is above even our Constitution”
    That is absolute nonsense.
    Another route would be to invoke the terms of our own existing Bill of Rights of 1689 which is still extant Constitutional law – and it was a Speaker in the Commons who declared in 1993 that the B of R “will be required to be fully respected by all those appearing before the courts”
    Constitutional law itself can only be repealed by express intent of Parliament, not by implied repeal via later “laws”, from the EU.

    “Its only money”. Indeed, but more to the point, it is OUR money, and does not even belong to our government, let alone the EU!

  34. 34 Richard North 22/01/2013 at 8:39 pm

    It is interesting how, Graham, that you try out this argument over at EU Ref and get it fully explained why we cannot just walk away from the treaty. So you come over here without so much as a blush and repeat exactly the same argument.

    It is almost as if you have a death wish … you actually want to destroy the economy of the UK – because that is what a “magic wand” withdrawal would do.

    The trouble is, I cannot compete with fantasy politics – where you write your own rules, without reference to reality. It’s like building an aeroplane without reference to gravity. Performance-wise, it will always win against the real thing – on paper. But it will never fly.

  35. 35 Autonomous Mind 22/01/2013 at 9:09 pm

    I am getting to the point where I can see the only way out of this mess, for me, is to emigrate to a non-EU country.

    There is no reasoning with these ‘shortcut’ experts who make up their own rules and in whose world they can simply join a party and change it from the inside, enabling them to shout down anyone who dares criticise their beloved leader.

    When the Farage fan club are left broken and defeated and stuck with the consequences of giving unswerving fealty to a leader who will undermine the campaign and consign the UK to permanent EU domination, I will be free of it as the country goes down the plug hole.

    You all know best. You get on with it.

  36. 36 Richard North 22/01/2013 at 10:21 pm

    … if you read the Lisbon Treaty and the other treaties, you find there is a provision for the countries to leave the EU. There are quite specific provisions requiring the institutions to reach a trade agreement with the country that leaves. There is no doubt at all that we’ll have a free trade agreement that’ll kick in immediately, if we were to use – people debate which mechanism but the obvious one is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which gives you a period of disengagement and negotiation. As far as I can see, trade would be unaffected.

    Roger Helmer

    A UKIP MEP, I believe.

    http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/business-news/politics/cameron-is-an-arrogant-pr-man-the-uk-will-leave-the-eu-and-prosper/4516.article

  37. 37 pperrin 22/01/2013 at 10:57 pm

    Anyone who thinks they are going to go in and tell the civil service how to do their job is in cloud cukoo land.

    You tell them policy is for as rapid an exit as possible, they come back with realistic, researched options. Present them with your personal ‘research’ to be implemented and prepare to be laughed out of the room.

    The level of detail the amatures want to go into is like UKIP members who are defence ‘experts’ – one explaining how only an idiot would support trident and it will cost UKIP the next election; another explaining how only an idiot would abandon trident and such a policy will lose UKIP the next election. All delivered with 100% conviction.

    A three week exit looks plausible (and was researched/reviewed) – stopping payments immediately seems 100% the right thing to do.

    The big ‘trick’ is to get Cameron to instruct the civil service to do this research NOW as part of his (phoney) renegotiation deal. If cons are serious, how can they refuse?

    If we are already too far in (as EUReferendum insists) to get out – he will have’to admit it and explain how this came about on his watch. (He’d never say this is the case)

  38. 38 pperrin 22/01/2013 at 11:00 pm

    Which party leader deserves a kicking for the UK being in the EU? Cameron? Clegg? Miliband? No, in the UKIP knockers view it is all Nigel Farages fault… sheesh…

  39. 39 pperrin 22/01/2013 at 11:42 pm

    If you really want out of the EU here is your lead – get to it…

    Paul Perrin (@pperrin) tweeted at 11:37 PM on Tue, Jan 22, 2013:
    If Cameron is serious about offering an in/out referendum – we need a complete plan on how ‘leaving’ actually works – just leave? Art 50?

    (https://twitter.com/pperrin/status/293865087226224640)

  40. 40 Peter S 23/01/2013 at 1:46 am

    From reading these threads, it seems the problem for Autonomous Mind is that Mr Farage has an autonomous mind.

    And surely, there’s no little irony in someone so keen on ‘decoupling’ feeling completely unable to participate unless he’s coupled.

  41. 41 Autonomous Mind 23/01/2013 at 7:11 am

    “Which party leader deserves a kicking for the UK being in the EU? Cameron? Clegg? Miliband? No, in the UKIP knockers view it is all Nigel Farages fault… sheesh…”

    Don’t be stupid Paul. No one has suggested that and building such a ludicrous strawman shows you’re not arguing the merits but simply attacking me for criticising Farage.

    Making up nonsense like that is almost up there with the ‘leave and it will all be ok in the end’ narrative people like you follow, because Farage says nothing different.

  42. 42 Autonomous Mind 23/01/2013 at 7:13 am

    “Paul Perrin (@pperrin) tweeted at 11:37 PM on Tue, Jan 22, 2013:
    If Cameron is serious about offering an in/out referendum – we need a complete plan on how ‘leaving’ actually works – just leave? Art 50?”

    It’s already been explained over on EURef, you know, the site you think is devoted to staying in the EU…

  43. 43 Autonomous Mind 23/01/2013 at 7:14 am

    Peter, you intellectual heavyweight you. That was a brilliant play on words. Truly excellent. However the issue with Farage is that he has a closed mind. He only listens to people who will reinforce his own view.

  44. 44 RedNed 23/01/2013 at 8:08 am

    What effect on the polling would the change in question format have? Some think it was deliberately changed to precipitate such an outcome.


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