Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Cameron in a hole

I was a little impolite this morning.

I tweeted that, in my opinion, whilst the Czech result is a huge disappointment, we should not forget who it was, exactly, who denied us a referendum and therefore put us in the position of having to rely on a vain hope that a Czech court would go the way we (or some of us, at least) wanted. @MarkReckons responded, and I stayed around long enough to send a quick response before vanishing into a meeting and leaving Mark's argument unanswered. Sorry, Mark. Work, eh - tsk.

Mark raised a few decent points. Cameron was indeed free to set his policy as he wished. No-one forced him to make a "cast-iron" guarantee of a referendum. Fortunately, Stuart Sharpe was around to leap to the defence of my argument; he went on to make the points that I would have made, had I been there.

Those points are, of course, that Cameron made his cast-iron pledge to a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty early in 2007, when we were expecting that Brown would go the country that Autumn in order to give himself a democratic mandate, and when the Lib Dems were making the same promise. Since then, Brown (the unelected PM) has refused to seek a mandate, and pressed the Lisbon Treaty into place undemocratically, in blatant defiance of his party's manifesto promise.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democratic Party has exercised a thoroughly disreputable, anti-Liberal, anti-Democratic reversal of its promise and showed its real pro-EU colours.

The only politician who has, throughout, kept to his promise that he would hold a referendum, is David Cameron. Every other party has dropped us in it. What is worse, they have dropped us in it so thoroughly, and so deeply, and so irrevocably, that they now actually dare to criticise Cameron for acknowledging that the promise he made is no longer deliverable.

This is, surely, politics at its very worst. Labour and the Lib Dems should hang their heads in shame. Cameron is not perfect, but he is not the contemptible character in this story.


  1. Spot on. Couldn't agree more. We need our politicians to be realists. The last thing we need are more undeliverable promises being made in opposition that will lead, in government, to yet more disillusionment in our politicians.

    And you're quite right to refocus on who has put this country in this position to start off with. It's Labour that have reneged on their referendum
    promise. The Tories can't do much about it once the treaty is ratified internationally.