Today’s big political story, the Adam Afriyie inspired vote to bring forward an EU Referendum in this parliament, will be the big story for the wrong reasons. As the Daily Mail reports:
David Cameron is facing a Tory rebellion of up to 20 MPs today as he tries to head off calls to hold a referendum on Europe next year.
Maverick Tory Adam Afriyie last night indicated he would defy the Prime Minister and force a Commons vote as he tries to make the PM hold a referendum before the 2015 general election.
The media will paint this as Eurosceptics trying to push David Cameron into an early referendum so people can have their say on who runs Britain. The reality is rather less noble. They are not doing this for us. This posturing is the political equivalent of the Italian Job with Afriyie in the Michael Caine role, leading a small gang on an enterprise in their own interest. This is the self preservation society in action, putting their electoral prospects before all else. As the story reminds us:
In a letter to MPs, Mr Afriyie said: ‘This is Conservative MPs’ last chance to try to secure a referendum. If we don’t take this opportunity we risk sleepwalking to election defeat by driving voters to Ukip.’
We may as well look away. This is a local issue for local political climbers, there’s nothing for us here. Whereas in the film we are left guessing as to whether Caine’s gang managed to save the gold they had plundered, the outcome of this little enterprise is nailed on. It is going nowhere. But that won’t stop the media hamming it up in an effort to embarrass Cameron. With most governance being managed from abroad, this is what passes for major political news in Britain these days.
Still, it will serve to deflect attention from something else. So keep your eyes peeled for something unappetising being sneaked out while the glorious media corps piles into Westminster in an effort to make a big drama with some colouring pencils, old pieces of newspaper and paste.