camsnaketeethThe wriggling nature of snake-in-long-grass Cameron, and why Vote Leave and UKIP must force him out into open ground

One consideration perhaps above all others for those in the Brexit/Vote Leave camp is that the ‘negotiating’ team with the EU regarding reform is one strong – David Cameron. This would be unhealthy at the best of times, but given the Prime Minister’s history of being both devious and lacking in common sense, it is a recipe for sellout on the sort of scale that would please many….but leave the better-informed Outers feeling very bitter indeed. The Slog warns for the second time that he is getting away with murder.

The Vote Leave contingent consists of many people with whom I would disagree, and whose reasons for wanting Out are often not mine; but they are almost all well-meaning, with a low swivel-eyes count. Not too deep down, they would agree with me that, like most Suprastates, the EU is anti-democratic and authoritarian.

But Cameron is playing a very clever game based on two simple realities:

  1. For the vast majority of Brits, In or Out of the EU is not a burning issue. Nigel Farage’s success with UKip has very little to do with opposition to a joined-up Europe run by unelected, mediocre crooks: it is based on first of all, the immigration issue – and let’s call a digging implement a spade here, it’s immigration….not freedom of movement or ‘migrants’; second (connected, but more general) a long-held citizen feeling that the Establishment needs to listen to us more; and a very poor third, concerns about the philosophy, ethics and generally bent way in which the Union operates. Ask Kipper insiders away from the mics, and most will readily agree that assessment: apathy is the biggest single factor in Referendum politics.
  2. Mr Cameron has one enormous ally in the forthcoming process: a Labour Party still largely committed to Big State ideas and ‘EU as agent for peace’ ideals. Somehow, the whole Brussels dictation, barmy austerity, German triumphalism, Greek-bashing, illegal fiscal bullying, Ukraine Imperial meddling and gangster ECB tactics seem to have flown above their brain radars like so many mythical pigs….the excrement from whom never seems to land on their privileged, muddled heads. CallmeDave knows that in the referendum, Labour’s intelligentsia and institutional support will be solidly behind continued membership – and the more traditional voter could be relatively easily pushed into support or abstention by vague promises about maximum migration levels.

I must be honest here and report that if, as a blogger, you are a hits-chaser, then Brexit news is not the best way to achieve your goal. The greatest threat facing the Outers is Cameron’s instinctive understanding that all most people want is to be reassured, and then left to follow Soaps, vote in formulaic fame shows, buy gaming software, read celeb mags and watch footie on Sky. Over the weekend, we saw further evidence of him riddling another stick in the already muddy waters of what we must get from the EU.

Just under a month ago, I posted this piece (to a wave of indifference) pointing out that Cameron appeared to have dropped the core demand of control of UK borders. At that time, his ‘4 key demands’ were:

  • Brussels to make “an explicit statement” that Britain will be kept out of any move towards ‘ever-closer union
  • An “explicit statement” that the euro is not the official currency of the EU, making clear that Europe is a “multi-currency” union and the Pound is forever.
  • A new “red card” system to bring power back from Brussels to Britain
  • The block of 28 nations to be reorganised to prevent the nine countries that are not in the eurozone being dominated by the 19 member states that are.

Both the Conservative and UKIP media centres determinedly fail to call back on the issue of the disappearing border controls demand. Yesterday, the Independent on Sunday reported that Cameron will make a hallmark speech tomorrow (Tuesday) following which the UK’s EU ‘reform’ wishlist will be handed to Juncker apparatchik, Poland’s Donald Tusk. They are now described as follows:

camEUwishlist8115Compare the two lists – October 12th and November 8th 2015: only the exclusion from ever-closer union remains.

These are the brutally obvious differences:

  • All references to a multi-currency union and guaranteed existence of the Pound have been dropped
  • The ‘red card’ retrieval of powers demand has been hugely diluted, and become vapours about Member Parliament sovereignty
  • The two-speed eurozone v EU veto has been removed completely
  • The Border Controls demand remains absent, but this time an entirely different demand – reducing migrant rights to benefits – has replaced the core concern of all UKippers.

Is it just me? I’ve been banging on about the bleeding obvious now forever, but the people I want to win do not seem to get it. I apologise for the seemingly endless lists in this latest piece, and yet I must reiterate three final points:

  1. Nigel One-Note’s eternal bombast about immigrants is preaching to the converted, and likely to alienate the more enlightened Left that does have a problem with EU authoritarian corporatism. It is at best a waste of breath, and at worst playing into Cameron’s hands.
  2. Thus far, the Vote Leave campaign has been professional, sound and empirically damning about the flakey nature of most Stay In Arguments. But this too, I suspect, is yet more persuasion of the long-since persuaded.
  3. The man with all the power – and an unshakeable drive to keep us in – can defeat all the confident Outers by continuing to shift his ground, disappear back into the long grass, and emerge having muddied the waters in what he insists will be a future Oasis for Britain. That is devious claptrap based on self-interest, and the time to point out the inconsistencies in his constantly changing demands is already long overdue.

My appeal for the nth time is this simple: demolish the dishonesty in David Cameron’s referendum strategy, or you may yet lose. Again, because of the central importance of this debate to Britain’s future I am opening the comments facility to readers.

Related from a recent Slogpost: The impact of Conservative internal power politics on Brexit


  1. Yes, I believe that Cameron will manage to keep us in, and even if the vote went against him he will pull a similar stunt to Portugal stating that National Security would be threatened if we were to leave. He has Washington’s backing also. Although I note that Portugal’s government has collapsed in the last week. We don’t seem to be getting much news about that though, surprise surprise..It will be interesting to see how Catalonia gets on, although I suspect it won’t bother Brussels too much.
    I’ll go for remaining in for the duration. No way are we coming out on Cameron’s watch.
    Has anybody seen the new Facebook group ‘Leave.EU’? It does seem to be going from strength to strength, they seem to be able to simply and succinctly get the message across. It would indeed be ironic if FB were responsible for the vote leave camp to be victorious eh?


  2. ‘….Again, because of the central importance of this debate to Britain’s future I am opening the comments facility to readers….’
    actually, i only come here to voice my humble opinion, which in this case asks what happens to Scotland? Wee Scots like to be in the eu – but no one considers what wee think, and this could be crucial to the outcome of the referendum.


  3. John, I fear it’s a lost cause. The lumpen proletariate will do as they are told and Vote leave will fail 49/51 on a 30 per cent turnout. I hope I’m wrong but I will be outvoted in my own house 3/1.


  4. Very good piece John and I welcome the comments section’s return. I missed them even if they were a pia for you. The links to other pieces were very enlightening


  5. I agree. Nigel should widen his comments to returning powers to the UK parliament now that the immigration problem has become a Eurpean problem. The CBI believes behind the rhetoric that business is suffucated by the rules and stipulations out of Brussels. I doubt that there will be any help from DT as the Poles have benefitted from the Union which enabled them to migrate to jobs in the UK. Dave has made mandates and broken them so can he be trusted with negotiation?


  6. how good to be able to comment again… i could well be a thicko but i couldn’t grasp how the option to commenting here was to happen. whatever.. we seem to be like lemmings heading for the cliff at full speed whilst the constant bread and circuses both fuel and distract most of us. No doubt we all feel more and more powerless to do anything about. Voting seems to not help but i will vote to leave the eu if given a chance. But you know they that want to stay in no matter what cannot afford to lose so anything may happen.. The good option we have is to do an Iceland. Put the bankers in jail and go from there…


  7. From the article : “This just proves that Leave campaigners are not, and have never been, serious about reform.”

    That may be because most can see the futility of even trying to reform the EU. Time and time again our EU masters have made it clear they have a complete disregard for democracy, see national sovereignty as an abhorence and will push ahead towards ever closer union regardless of all opposition. No matter how coherant the arguament for reform is the EU will never agree to serious reforms. It is clear from quotes in that article that they would rather see Brexit happen first – which does gives me hope at least that we may be allowed to leave, although I’m still not convinced about that.

    And yet we must continue this farce of negotiation – stringing the public along and fooling them into thinking the EU can be reformed until it is too late and panic sets in. From speaking to normal people, most agree that the EU in it’s current state is detrimental to the UK – and likely to get much worse – but I also get a sense that they are afraid. They are burying their heads in the sand and don’t want to have to make the decision.

    My fear is that, despite serious reservations, a lot of people I know will accept some half-hearted (and easily broken) promises at reform and will take the easy vote to stay in, reassuring themselves that they took the safe option and that the nay sayers (people like us) were just scare mongering.

    I heartily agree that the Leave campaign – and especially UKIP – is not being vocal enough at the diminishing list of reforms and thank you for highlighting them. The leave campaign – and all of us – need to shout it from the rooftops : reform is already not working, will never work and staying in is certain to cause much more damage to the the UK – and it’s citizen’s cozy lifestyles – than leaving will. Staying in is not the easy – or safe – option.


  8. I am surprised that Cameron is not asserting that the rate of global warming will increase if the United Kingdom leaves the EU.


  9. We can depend on David Camerwrong to add the right amount of sugar to the fudge in order to guarantee a toothless response from the British electorate; the resulting mental caries will mean the hard facts almost certainly going unchewed.


  10. After so much evidence of shape-shifting, only an idiot would believe DC would keep to his word. And clearly those wishing to leave the ratpack in Brussels far behind would be fools to place their bets on him or his party. I’ve always thought Labour had a natural affinity for a uniform, homogenised central control type of rule and the way the British public have been brainwashed or coerced into believing this is the ‘natural’ state of affairs does not bode well for the outcome of the vote. That UKIP hasn’t put forward a stronger case is disappointing but they don’t seem to get the Press attention when it’s needed.

    I’ve always thought that if enough voters could bestir themselves to write/call their MPs and make absolutely clear they will never vote for them UNLESS ———- but in the Britain of today, that’s wishful thinking. As for the English considering the Scots’ desire to stay in – is that a serious question, when all our futures are at stake and most Scots have already shown an incomprehensible eagerness to sever ties and replace British rules by much worse Brussels ones??!!!!?

    For total disenchantment with the EU to set in, my guess is we’ll have to wait until the EU expands further to include all the arab states around the sourthern borders of the Med., with whom they already have free trade agreements. Then, after millions more immigrants have improved our quality of life, they may just have second thoughts but by then, NOT a second chance to vote.


  11. Crampon played a master stroke in the timing of the Scottish Independence Referendum (in regards to the 2015 GE date), knowing that the Labour party would be split asunder by the process, let alone the result.

    Instead of the emphasis being on the UK staying or leaving the EU (sounds tiring and most people are lazy), wouldn’t it be better on removing the EU stink? People don’t like pungent smells – see how easy the smoking bans have been accepted.


  12. John
    I still consider the Islamic womb : To be the greatest threat to the world you would prefer!
    Re : Jelly babies lecture to the German folk.
    I have decided that her mantra . Is to the effect … That Germans.. and including the unborn!… were responsible for all the wickedness committed in the 30s and 40s! and in consequence be punished.
    No mention of the actions of the Poles/Soviets/League of Nations/Bankers .. that were the cause of Hitlers rise to power to power.


  13. The referendum is already lost. Voters put their trust in Cameron at the general election while UKIP were skewered through their lack of nous against the establishment juggernaut, and the same thing will happen in the referendum.
    Add to that the fact that all leading politicians and business leaders will support Britain remaining in the EU, and the fact that even some UKIP supporters wouldn’t vote to leave, and you have a decisive vote to stay, whatever Cameron does or does not secure.


  14. There is little chance of the out argument getting a fair hearing from the msm which is the Cameron/in/EU ace in the hole. With concerted fear mongering as per the Scottish referendum – the establishment will likely get its way with us again. Fortunately we can see the break up of this abomination of a scheme due to its own inability to organise a p1ss up in a cider vat and more volatile folks getting a tad angry with the failing market. I still think that it’ll be bloody work before it’s all done and dusted through…


  15. Pleased to see the comments section return. Let’s hope that those who contribute behave themselves.
    While your articles are always enlightening I also find lots of useful information from this comments section too. I suspect other’s think the same.
    Keep up the good work.


  16. There was never likely to be more than misdirection during the dance of the seven veils stage, before the other Members insisted on something with HMG’s name on it ahead of the December Council.

    The main thing now is to increase focus on seeking explanation for how tomorrow’s shopping list constitutes the asserted “fundamental reform” pledged by the Tories. Thus:
    – how the broad demand for greater national sovereignty will translate into legally effective red cards – which QMV areas of Council decisions will be affected and how, without the unanimity requirements of pledged Treaty change
    – what specific measures to increase the EU’s competitiveness require its fundamental reform to enact them
    – which of the EU laws passed to date would not have passed had the “ever closer” words been modified to some other meaningless phrase at the time of Maastricht
    – how close to the tens of thousands pledge would 4 years (versus another period) re in-work benefits get us, based on previous HMG’s ability to predict migration patterns under existing EU law.

    There is an increased number of other Members with varying agendas – including Finland, Poland and Croatia as well as Hungary – whose own voters have sharpened interest in the answers to these practical questions for Scameron, and the earlier the damp squib of the “demands” can be exposed by steady challenge, the more likely it is that the subsequent campaign can persuade at least some marginal voters they are being conned.


  17. Alice in Wonderland
    ditto Skirmish and Desmond. I couln’t even figure out how to read the other people’s Letters to the Editor let alone post one. I am allergic to technolology, though. The quality of comment on The Slog has always been very high and thus enjoyable . Just compare them to those on Zero Hedge for example. The links offered opened a whole new world to me that I didn’t know existed a few years ago. If it is your intention John to wake the sheeple and other people, then keep allowing the comments section. The comment have been even better since you suspended them for some time. I suspect and HOPE that you are actively censoring some of the bores, who previously misused your Blog all the time, without adding to the discussion.

    Personally I wish Britain would leave the Eu .Having been out of the country for years, I have no vote on the matter.
    Hubby , an Austrian, is convinced that Britain could not stand alone and that the Eu would want revenge should Britain
    leave. I would love to “Do an Iceland” but it’s not going to happen. I think the matter will be taken out of our hands, as I forsee the break up of the Eu as we know it soon, due to the massive influx of refugees, which some say will reach 3 million by the end of 2016.
    The refugees in Austria are now being spread around the different Counties (Länder) Austria already has a huge number of Turkish residents and people from the new European eastern states. There is NOBODY in my peer group , who does not hate the whole idea and will probably vote accordingly next time. Germany will be no different.
    Keep slogging and blogging John. Thanks for all the time and hard work you put in to it all. We appreciate it


  18. UK taking the € by 2020 was the plan I believe, as with all EU members.

    Will it happen? Not by then I think, but by 2030, to coincide with the UN’s new ‘cunning plan’ Agenda 2030…who knows?

    Thanks for reinstating the comments John.


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