The Absurdity of David Cameron

by George_East on May 9, 2016

david-cameronHopefully there will be some blogging over the course of the next month or so here on allthatsleft about the forthcoming EU Referendum.  But to lay my cards on the table straight away, I am going to be voting Remain, without equivocation or doubt.   There is a lot wrong with the EU, but none of that is solved by leaving and a hell of lot more problems both here and in the remained of the EU are likely to be caused by our leaving.  But as I say that is for another day.

This should be a referendum that is relatively easily one. The leap into the dark that leaving the EU represents (something no fully sovereign nation has ever done – the only example is Greenland, technically part of Denmark, which opted out in 1979) should mean that the referendum is easily won.  I’ve been predicting pretty much since it was called that Remain will win by 10 points or more. As we saw in the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014, there is a strong pull towards the status quo, whatever the temptations of the unknown.

However the polls have tightened and tightened and are now, with only 6 or so weeks to go now neck and neck. I still think Remain will win, but as we have seen over recent weeks the one person who could deliver a Leave victory is our shallow and trivial Prime Minister.   Just as the agreement to hold the referendum in the first place was a tactical sop to his barking mad right wingers, at a time when the heady odour of UKIP defections was in the air and the Tory shires were in uproar over Gay Marriage, rather than a decision made in the strategic interests of the country, Cameron has ever since treated the voters as morons who won’t notice his dissembling and will fall for his finger nail deep PR.

So first we had the ridiculous choreography of the negotiations with the other European leaders resulting in the most minor tweaks to the benefit rules being sold as some major renegotiation of our relationship with the EU. An easy test of that proposition – if it doesn’t require treaty change it isn’t a fundamental change in our relationship.  It doesn’t.   The outcome of the negotiations was of course that now the Prime Minister could endorse our continued membership of the EU – implicitly meaning that if these minor changes had not been conceded, he would have been duty bound to recommend a Leave Vote.

Yet this morning in his speech, the Prime Minister claimed that to Leave the EU would be economically reckless (because we wouldn’t have access to the single market) and would even risk World War III.

It as if he hopes that we don’t remember that on his own case he was prepared to recommend that the UK leave the EU had he not got minor tweaks to the benefit rules.   Now, if his threats of the potential consequences of leaving are true (economic meltdown and World War), then surely the whole renegotiation and implicit threat to leave was the ultimate in recklessness.

In truth we are getting what we always get with David Cameron, a shallow and frankly absurd PR narrative, that changes with convenience and treats the voters with contempt.

The truth is that he was always going to recommend Remain, that he wishes he had never granted the referendum and the very real risks of an EU exit almost certainly don’t included the apocalypse.

 

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