EU REFERENDUM: Why the Government’s lead could soon evaporate.

faragebastBut someone needs to manage Mr Bombastic

Just as the Greeks wanted to stay in the eurozone and reconfigure their debt, so too the Brits want to stay in the European Union and change the rules. Did we learn anything from the Greek marathon? Er, no: 57% of us want to ‘stay in the EU and reform it from within’.

But here’s the interesting bit: only 29% think staying in the EU will give the UK more influence in the world, whereas 56% don’t believe it makes any difference whether we stay or go…and within that 56%, 42% (about 4 out of 5) don’t think we’ll gain any economic advantage either.

So what we’re left with here is the odd spectacle of 57% preferring to stay in the Union, but the vast majority of them NOT basing the decision on geopolitical influence or personal prosperity.

Previously on In or Out, either fear or expected advantage have been at the core of persuasion by each side. Bombarded with a dizzying array of stats, not surprisingly most voters probably wind up deciding on gut feel…and as the pro-media vastly outweigh the antis, we wind up with this, I suspect, very misleading figure of 57%.

But behind that headline figure, I think these data results show that real commitment to the EU isn’t that strong. They sort of “feel OK” about being inside a can of worms, on the grounds (perhaps) that it might be even worse outside.

I would make three points here:

1. I know UKipper Sloggers are expecting this, but it remains my belief that Nigel Farage will get in the way of persuading the ‘sort of feel OK’ people of reasons to quit the EU that go beyond being a swivel-eyed pub bore. At worst, he should be relegated to cheering up the faithful; at best, we need to see mainstreamers like Kate Hoey, Owen Paterson and Graham Stringer leading the debate for OUT. But he’s already jumped the gun and tried to appoint himself as the focal point of the campaign; this does not bode well.

2. I feel more and more that spelling out just how unpleasant, illegal, neo-fascist and malign the Brussels-am-Berlin axis is should be the central focus of the OUT campaign. The bizarre fantasy that the EC and its allies are harmless is an easy target for people who know what they’re about. The sense that things would be even worse outside the EU should be demolished with one recurrent observation: it is the worst-performing economic bloc in the world. That’s it.

3. The credibility of the IN campaign should be ridiculed from Day 1 – again, on one consistent basis: the EU will not be open to any substantive reform. Greece exists as the obvious example here, and others may pop out of the rotten woodwork before the referendum. But the major blow-after-blow emphasis will have to be on the Government’s failure to extract any real change from the Eunatics. Luckily, it already looks like Eurogrope and the EC (with Merkel ever-present) will play into the OUT campaign’s hands here.

Osborne has been given a severe bum’s-rush in Paris during his first sally-forth to test the waters. And there is no way the EU will ever give way on freedom of citizen movement across the Union. Regardless of the latest polling data, this is one referendum the OUTers will have to lose. Campaign simplicity plus the development of events should make it very difficult for Camerlot to get his majority.

Sadly, Farage has not made a good start. Two days ago, he ‘slammed’ Eurosceptic Tories in a speech in London: “Stop moaning, stop bitching and get off your backsides and help us win this referendum,” he cajoled gently.

Nigel is very much a chap for the slamming: it’s his speciality. To be entirely accurate, being a controlling bombast, it’s the only way he can operate. It won’t be enough to win over the ‘sort of OK’ apathy. We shall see whether UKip’s founder can make that leap. I have my doubts.

Yesterday at The Slog: Devilish ends are never going to justify unethical means

36 thoughts on “EU REFERENDUM: Why the Government’s lead could soon evaporate.

  1. This chain – Lisbon Treaty – this inevitable adoption of the euro.

    This is what we should learn from Greece, that if you do not control your central bank directly you can never balance your economy ever. You might hate QE or not, the thing is this QE is by whoever controls the ECB for the euro currently Germany and can’t see it changing as they benefited the most from the EZ and the euro.

    Out on this principle, burn the Lisbon treaty and resort to an economic trading area only and that is the only thing the British people have ever signed up to. Not to in the future be treated like a Greek.

    PS – You don’t control your central bank, but the UK economy would have tanked without the 375 billion QE injection just like Greece and it is what sovereigns do to cover their own arses.

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  2. There are many of us who would be happy to stay in a Europe that was properly and more democratically reformed. Unfortunately I do not see that happening. As for Farage I enjoy most of his rants in the euro parliament but frankly he IS a loose cannon and he is obviously unwilling to take any part other other than being the leading light in the “No” campaign. Such a campaign needs to be totally focussed and totally united around a single agreed platform if it is going to succeed against the combined money and control of the existing political status. Regrettably I believe that Farage is going to prove to be a negative influence that may even guarantee an unsuccessful outcome. For heaven’s sake is there noone in UKIP who can rein him in?

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  3. John as I start to see a Little better what is going on .
    I am alarmed by the anti German focus. This in my opinion is because …
    Jellybean and Kamoron sound as if they went both went to the same Pavlov dog academy.
    Jelly ignores the wishes of Fritz and Kamoron the the same for the white working classes in the UK.
    What I fear is going on is moves by the elites towards the end game .
    The swamping of national identities by Alien cultures?
    dofornow.

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  4. By 2017 the global economy will be the real game changer and not Nigel or Jeremy Corbyn.

    Also the rise of the far-right needs to be considered with the NF in France, the Swedish “Democrats” on 20%, the Swiss (I know they are not in the EU) People’s Party on 25% etc. Any major banking crisis can only add to their support levels.

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  5. Ange Fairleg, the accident-prone actor who plays Dotty in the long running tragi-sitcom Corporation Street, prefers hush puppies to stilettos; he’s not sharp enough and suffers from Achilles’ heel.

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  6. Cameron is hoping that staying in the EU is the easier option for British voters rather than leaving and confronting unknown risks. Opinion polls currently support him. His strategy is to be given meaningless ‘reforms’, which he will take back to the British people.

    To counter this, the ‘Out’ campaign needs to specify what reforms would make it worth staying in the EU. They can then show the British people the distance between what is needed and what is being offered.

    I agree Farage is not the person to lead the campaign. He will not shift the middle ground to voting ‘out’.

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  7. It matter not a jot which way the vote goes. If Washington wants us in, then will will stay in, if Washington wants us out, then we will leave, it’s as simple as that. Cameron will do as exactly as instructed, as will they all.

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  8. Farage accepts that he can be a bit ‘marmite’, as far as voters are concerned, but he is bothered by the possibility that Cameron will present a set of (faux) reforms late this year, with a quick referendum in March next year. He understands that the public consciousness does not move so quickly to analyse if those reforms are good or bad, and may just vote YES as the already default position.
    He also wants very much to share the OUT platform, so that others on the OUT platform can reach those that Farage knows very well that he can’t reach. For example, Farage would love to share the OUT platform with Boris Johnson, but Boris is low profiling until he can work out what will work best for his chances of becoming Tory leader in 2020.
    In short, Farage’s mini rant, was not a leadership bid, but moreover a ‘call to arms’ for the OUT campaign to start *NOW*, instead of foolishly waiting for the Cameron three card shuffle? He knows he can reach 4 million voters, but also knows that is not enough, and logically, the OUT platform needs a varied team, who can collectively reach all sections of voters.?

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  9. I rather fear, kfc, that this is the nub of it; this, together with the easy manipulation of the cattle who will be voting one way or t’other come referendum time. Having listened to some of hoi polloi this last week on the matter of what the EU really represents I am, like the Roman, filled with much foreboding.

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  10. It looks as though there will be 2 referendum votes anyway as the EU is seeking treaty change for closer union which will not happen before the original referendum and will also need our vote. The treaty change is likely to include Associate member status for the likes of 2nd tier southern states and Cameldung may use this as excuse to then push for full membership so not to be seen to miss out. Associate membership is but a slip road to the motorway of full membership anyway and the time for weaker countries to get their act together to be at the top table. Time to keep a close eye on how the colleagues and our supposed leaders try to work this one.
    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=85687#disqus_thread

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  11. Any one who objects to his country being governed by unelected marxist bureaucrats and subjected to mass third world invasion is now ‘far right’ !

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  12. So who are on the list of heavy-hitting anti-Eu MPs, and would any of them ever get a chance to put Cameron on the spot at PM Questions?

    Osbourn must be anti EU, surely

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  13. Who here, us of those that follow this blog religiously, believe that a little thing like a referendum is going to get in the way of these psychopath’s ambitions and desires? The people are not going to get a say in this matter in any event, or they’ll get a say that will be ignored if they don’t like what they are hearing, the PTB have already made clear on too many occasions that we, the people don’t know what’s best, only they do in their opinion. And we don’t figure when they want what’s best for them.

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  14. aahh! that old wheeze… ‘the vote’ . its the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship. With the dictator you do what you’re told or else. In a democracy you vote then.. do what you’re told or else. . hat tip to Buckowski. and to Stalin ‘it matters not for whom you vote. it only matters who counts them..’

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  15. A straw poll at a ” French BBQ ” I was at last night showed an overwhelming majority of yes voters. However when asked why the depth of ignorance was astounding. The token German there’s opinion about Greece was equally typical. So I am less optimistic about getting a no vote unless the no campaign starts spelling out in the language of a 5 year old what the EU ‘s goals are. Most still think it’s a trading arrangement.

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  16. With Ladbrokes offering 3:1 against exit, may I suggest that the only statesman with the necessary skills to extract the UK from the EEC and the vitally necessary influence with those across the Atlantic sea with whom we have a special relationship is, very obviously – although probably expensively – Anthony Charles Lynton Blair.

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  17. “…Most still think it’s a trading arrangement.”
    – And most still think a country needs to be a member of the EU to trade with it. They need to be reminded loudly and often that such non-European nations as S. Korea, Mexico, Norway, Iceland,Chile, South Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, all have free trade agreements with the EU, which is also in negotiations with the ASEAN countries, Japan, MercoSur countries, India, not to mention much of Africa. Then factor in the EU Euro-Mediterranean Agreement which includes Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel etc. It’s pretty obvious why the EU wants to trade with the rest of the world, since their website states that 90% of trade in the next 15-20 years will be outside the EU.

    Only the naive, ignorant and mentally lazy citizens of the EU believe the lie that not belonging to the EU means the end of trading with it, whilst the majority of Britain’s politicians, Labour and LibDems in particular, propagate this lie at every opportunity.

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  18. Stalin is old hat…a rearview mirror.

    In the USSR, they had elections and choice was ‘Communist; or ‘Gulag’. Your choice.

    In today’s EUSSR (and ASSR for that matter), it’s much, much more civilised. You ensure that the two main parties are exactly the same but with a difference. The difference being that, in opposition, the opposing party can say anything they like to disagree with the ruling party…because they are in absolutely no position to do anything about it…even if they wanted to…which they don’t.

    So, when you elect the opposition,,,,well, you get exactly the same sh!t as you would have done in any event. Meet the new boss…same as the old boss.

    And please don’t get be on ‘the centre ground’ of politics. The ‘centre ground’ is also known on independent media as’the sheep’.

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  19. Rather depressingly, I think the UK will vote to stay in the EU. There will be false promises of reform and Cameron will be allowed some “victories”. The essence of the EU is the move to a united states of Europe. Every time the project screws up, the answer is “more Europe is needed”. Populations have been destroyed in the attempt to create the EU. Whole generations are on the scrap heap. The benign environment of the UK combined with the general political sense of the electorate (good in the UK, hopeless outside of it) will deliver in my view a “stay in a and try to reform” vote – which is actually ” stay in and how far would you like me to bend over”.

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  20. I think the cause is lost because almost everything I hear about the out option is couched in negative terms – even by out supporters – and also out supporters are much too honest! An argument like this can only be won by shouting the positives, and they must be REAL simple understandable positives not vague wooly arguments like UK sovereignty.
    Things like the ability to make trade deals with India, China etc. The ability to make our own laws for our own society. The ability to close our borders. The ability to control our own money supply. It doesn’t matter that some of those things can be done now, they won’t be possible if we stay in, and we should bend such truths as much as the stay-inners do.

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  21. It must never be forgotten that neither Cameron nor any other mainstream party leader ever wanted a referendum. It has been reluctantly, nay grudgingly, granted solely because of those 4 million ‘wasted’ UKIP votes – faced with that degree of ‘rebellion’, giving a referendum was the least they could hope to get away with. Therefore due credit must always go to Farage and his less bombastic fellows for enabling it to happen, if nothing else.
    That said, I agree that a ‘No’ campaign fronted by Farage would not succeed in breaking through to the huge volume of don’t knows and don’t cares.
    The ‘No’ campaign needs to learn from the SNP and build a focus on a very simple, emotion-based message, not allowing the opponents to fog the issue with their formidable flood of fantasy ‘facts’ – the modern UK electorate cannot handle complex factual judgements, it just wants to have its emotions fondled and respond accordingly (see X Factor etc. for reference).
    True, the SNP lost the first foray, but only just when the result is compared to their starting-point, and they are now consolidating on that and will surely win the next battle – the EU ‘No’ campaign, however, will only ever get one shot at this, so it must create a delivery team which can manage the foreplay, penetrate enough of the voters’ emotions and consummate their conversion. I do not currently have a name of any one leader to do this – that’s the saddest part because, without one, this most important cherry of opportunity may already be lost to the amoral Johnny Foreigner.

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  22. @ Kfc – Yes, but the writer sees the only solution as total political and fiscal integration, which would mean Germany would continue to dominate. The NS typically does not delve into the issue of democracy or how the citizenry would feel suitably represented by the politicians of 28 other member states.
    O/T – The NS carries another naive and irritating piece:- http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/07/why-do-care-more-about-cecil-lion-we-do-about-swarm-migrants-calais, which aims to guilt those who care about the demise of Cecil the lion more than about the thousands of migrants trying to get into Britain.

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  23. The pro EU camp may be winning at the moment but the simmering ongoing debacle in Calais with the unwanted third world migrants has the potential to swiftly and permanently change all of that. Particularly when the French decide they have had enough and move the border back to Dover. What will the hapless David Cameron do then?

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  24. Jw’s original remarks correctly drew attention to the insecure conclusions to be drawn from polls about possible voting intentions in the referendum.

    Most other sloggers comments seem to echo criticisms of Farage whose 20 year campaign has brought about the opportunity for a referendum in the first place.

    Perhaps they are supporters of Richard North whose Blog – http://eureferendum.com – contains a downloadable link – Flexcit – putting forward ideas on how a “No” vote could lead to a rolling and continuous renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the “Europe” Nation State likely to emerge from the embers of the Eurozone – if it survives present and future discord between its creditor and debtor countries. His latest suggestion that Cameron will pull a last minute switch and try to “Sell” as a triumph of his negotiations “Associate Membership” of a new “Europe” (Current day German Reich) rings only too true.

    North’s blog and comments from many sloggers are admirable for their intellectual rigour but are most unlikely to attract any attention from the mass audiences of “East Enders”, “Coronation Street”, “Strictly..”, “Britain’s Got Talent” etc.

    Who from those audiences will remember who Owen Patterson is, or Liam Fox, or Geoff Hoon, or Phillip Hammond, or Bill Cash, or ……. and pay any attention to their views. The only potential alternative leader of a “No” campaign with popular public recognition is Boris Johnson – who seems more concerned with positioning himself to succeed Cameron than he is with preserving the United Kingdom as a sovereign nation-state.

    You may all think Farage has tried to seize the role for himself but if you actually listen to his words he has expressed himself very carefully as being willing to co-operate and work with others – and for all his limitations he is actually trying to do something and not just talk about it.

    Would you prefer him to just fade into the background? And if so what else would you like instead?

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  25. Our island mentality, not being part of EMU, and the prevailing political and media spin present formidable obstacles to an OUT vote. We’re only in it up to our knees, it’s all too easy to think; the fact that some participants are in it up to their necks and beyond is all too easily ignored. And cowardice, being afraid to recognise cause and effect, has been ennobled by the impoverished but siren language of political correctness. If that weren’t enough, the psychological discomfort (fear of rejection) which easily accompanies the first departing party pooper exerts a powerful cautionary influence on those who vacillate. In the absence of a credible and intelligent focus for the OUT vote, with at least some chance of parity in terms of media representation, it is hard to see any real possibility of extricating ourselves at this point. Things may look different in hindsight, but then they usually do.

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  26. An excellent article.

    However I would also have mentioned the US TTIP, CAFTA, TSIP and Mutual Defence Agreements.

    These agreements would give US corporations even more power over every aspect of our lives than the EU/EZ EURO ever dreemed of.

    All this would be acheived via the courts and a bunch of slick lawyers. Anyone trust them to protect their family’s best interests ?

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  27. Two wheel Hero very insightful the only thing I would disagree with you is the level of your involvement with the EU you said up to your knees but I will use the American term and add up to your balls. Balls being a term which we equate with courage. I fear your British balls are shrinking.

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  28. Clegg campaigned for a referendum at the 2010 general election. When he went into coalition his party voted against a referendum.

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  29. The swamping of national identities by Alien cultures?

    This has been going on for years, the introduction of minority communities in areas with strong community ties, the systematic destruction of local community focal points such as ‘traditional’ pubs, social and workingman’s clubs and community centres and the emphasis on integration while favouring non-indigenous practices. They encourage a dog-eat-dog, selfish attitude where money is the only goal and simpler things like, happiness, family, and good health are secondary to the pursuit of wealth and power.

    The govmint discourages debate or meaningful social contact because from discourse springs education and from education comes the truth that we, the PEOPLE, are not chattels of the state WE ARE THE STATE.

    The elites are are balancing on the top of the pyramid. The more unstable the bottom of the pyramid, the harder it is for them to stay on top. They want a docile population not an educated, questioning one.

    There are people in the world who are trying to wake the sheeple, but these sheepdogs are undermined by the mainstream media as kooks and crackpots or conspiracy theorists. The sheeple continue to lose the ability to think critically and become increasing hooked on the teat of the elites.

    The sheepdogs are losing the battle because of the apathy of those they are trying to protect.

    VLR!

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  30. It’s all very well criticising Farage but the much vaunted anti-EU lot who would save us are nowhere. As for the Tory Eurosceptics, whatever happened to the eighty-one MPs who voted against the Tory three-line whip in 2011. Have they been Cameronised and are now convinced that the EU is wonderful after all?

    Farage could well be not only the only leader we have now, but the only leader we’ll ever get.Think on that you Tory Eurosceptics!

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  31. John, while I have more respect for Farage than you for his single handed courage to stand up and be counted in the political arena against the tyranny of the EU in the face of the onslaught from the traitorous MSM, I do agree that we need big names from the other parties to get off the fence and campaign for what they believe instead of looking after their vested interests.

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