Well, Conservatives, your man has spoken. Governor Cameron has decreed from on high thou shalt not have a referendum on membership of the European Union. So what are you going to do now?
Cameron, pictured meeting his overlord outside the provincial gubernatorial residence in London, described himself to the Liaison Committee in Parliament as a ‘practical Eurosceptic’ – confirming the extent to which the name has been corrupted, hijacked to become the diametric opposite of what it has always meant and been commonly accepted to mean. He said:
“I want us to be influential in Europe about the things that matter to our national interest – promoting the single market, pushing forward for growth, making sure we get lower energy prices.
“Those are things we will be fighting for but I don’t see the case for an in out referendum on Europe.
“We are in Europe, we have got to make it work for us.”
So because he doesn’t see the case the British public will be denied their democratic entitlement to determine how this country is run. And in case he had not made clear his very personal position would be projected upon the nation he also said:
“I don’t support an In/Out referendum because I don’t think that’s the question people want asked about the EU.”
If Cameron was honest he would tell the British people: ‘What you want is irrelevant. Every decision I make has democratic legitimacy because I say so. I am in Downing Street and you can do nothing about it. I want this country to be part of the EU so that’s the way it’s going to be. If you don’t like it, tough.’
So that covers ‘our most instinctively Eurosceptic Prime Minister for 20 years‘. What about the Europlastics? You know, those Tories who wrapped themselves in the cloak of Euroscepticism to enhance their electoral prospects, but who are nothing of the sort.
The charade continues, as Richard North on EU Referendum points out. How? Step forward George Eustice, Europlastic Tory MP for Camborne and Redruth. George describes himself to all and sundry as a Eurosceptic, but he doesn’t want us to leave the EU. He doesn’t even support the idea of a referendum. He is a co-founder of a group of around 80 Conservative MPs who also claim to be Eurosceptic, but who only want EU reform while Britain continues to be ruled by bureaucrats in Brussels and Strasbourg. Eustice is quoted by the BBC as saying his group would promote a:
“sensible discussion about how we can radically overhaul the EU and make it fit for purpose in the 21st Century”.
“It is important we start to come up with thinking about what the EU will become and how we want to start to change it.”
All those calls for a referendum and opinion polls saying a majority of Britons want this country to leave the EU fall on deaf ears where Eustice and his sidekick and former EU gracy train rider Chris Heaton-Harris are concerned. They want Britain to stay firmly inside the EU and their group is designed to ensure that happens regardless of what the majority of this country’s citizens want. Repatriation of powers has been abandoned and the EU project cannot and will not reverse integration. The group’s aims are on a par with other myths, such as the tooth fairy, Loch Ness monster and the Easter Bunny.
Despite this we see Roger Helmer, a self professed Eurosceptic MEP who says he wants an In/Out referendum – and who is Honorary Chairman of The Freedom Association, the pressure group that runs the Better Off Out campaign – publicly supporting this group of pro-EU reformers.
How can we trust anything we are told by Roger Helmer, the most prominent member of the ‘Better Off Out’ campaign, when he pledges to do anything he can to support a group of MPs that is committed to i) denying the British public a referendum and ii) keeping Britain firmly inside the EU? Maybe now the penny will drop among those who feel this blog has been unfair to Helmer for exposing his stunningly contradictory position.
Of course Helmer could confound this criticism by denouncing Cameron’s stance, urging Conservatives to take on Cameron, and rejecting the Eustice / Heaton-Harris Europlastic grouping which is actively seeking to undermine that which he claims to stand for. So what has the great man decided to talk about on his website the day after Cameron and Eustice’s comments? Fuel poverty. And even then he only mentions one of the EU’s directives and laws imposed on this country that are increasing energy prices and plunging poorer families into fuel poverty. Perhaps it is all part of his strategy.
The reality of the Europhile Conservative position, of supporting ever closer union and denying the population an opportunity to reject EU membership, has been laid bare in words and deeds. It is unambiguous. It is unmistakable. The myth cannot be sustained any longer. So for how much longer will Conservatives who want Britain to leave the EU stay in that Europhile party, kidding themselves Cameron is a Eurosceptic? The fantasy is over.
Update: The excellent Witterings From Witney weighs in with a clinical evisceration of another Europlastic, William Hague.