Going for the Sympathy Vote?


Poor David Cameron.  He’s had a tough time in his EU “renegotiation”.  I guess it was harder than he expected.  He’s failed at just about every point.  No treaty change.  No repatriation of powers.  No control of borders – just a little fiddling with welfare benefits.  And no substance in relation to “ever closer union” – changing the words is meaningless unless we also have a veto over new EU legislation.  Nor is there any joy on regulation – just the usual assurances that deregulation is a priority.  But then they’ve always said that.

It’s got worse for our poor Prime Minister.  The press has been almost universally dismissive of his non-package.  Serious commentators have pointed out that much in the package is not new – there is already a red-card system allowing a majority of member-states to send legislation back to the Commission, for example.  Disturbing comparisons have been made with Harold Wilson’s “renegotiation” in 1974.  A few trivial cosmetic changes, swept aside by the tide of history, and now long forgotten. Can you remember what they were?  I can’t.

It’s true that the Europhiles won the 1975 referendum.  No doubt Cameron hopes to follow that precedent.  But times have changed.  These days we understand the Brussels Leviathan.  And unlike 1975, we now have strong voices in the media, in industry and in the trade unions speaking out for Brexit.

But Cameron’s travails continue.  The proposed Tusk deal is merely a draft.  The other 27 member-states are taking it apart, so it has to be renegotiated all over again.  Meantime looking at the opinion polls, Cameron knows he hasn’t done enough, and Number Ten nurtures the forlorn hope that in can be strengthened.

Then the coup de grace.  European parliament President Martin Schulz says that the final deal has to be approved by the parliament, and that the parliament will not consider it until after the referendum – for if Britain votes to leave, why should the parliament waste time on it?  So the British public will be invited to vote on a deal that isn’t yet a deal, and if they vote to remain, they’ll have to wait and see whether they’ll be allowed to have what they voted for.

And in a disastrous faux pas, Cameron has infuriated his grassroots by telling his MPs to ignore them.  This has been a key Tory Party problem for years – the tendency of the leadership to take the grassroots for granted, and to dismiss them as bigoted backwoodsmen.  The shires are angry.

But in a brilliant stroke of generalship, Cameron fell back on the winning tactic of the Scottish referendum campaign:fear.  If we leave the EU, he said, the French may renege on the arrangement allowing British Border Guards in Calais.  “The Jungle” will empty as migrants flood into Britain, and we’ll have squalid migrant camps all over South East England.

It made headlines yesterday.  But today as I write (Feb 9th) the Telegraph headline read “France: We won’t move the border”.  At one blow, the Prime Minister’s scare tactic is scuppered.

Really, you would need a heart of stone not to laugh out loud.

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22 Responses to Going for the Sympathy Vote?

  1. Jane Davies says:

    Also unlike 1975 the people, who have always had strong voices, are now being heard loud and clear via social media, twitter etc…..
    I am doing my bit across the pond by spreading the word about the EU shambles and the clowns who run it, and Cameron and his bunch of merry millionaires who have made themselves look not just stupid but also heartless when it comes to seniors and the disabled who they target relentlessly instead of going after the real drain on the economy like big corporate tax evasion etc.
    Yes laugh out loud everyone as Cameron is hung out to dry by his own petard.

  2. Alan Wheatley says:

    The “jungle” argument is even worse for Cameron than his merely being wrong on a matter of fact.

    In effect he is saying, as the Prime Minister of an independent country, he would not know how to prevent people we do not want in our country from entering our country. As for a scare tactic, it is he who is scared of having the responsibility of being a lonely Prime Minister. No wonder he wants to remain in the EU as sharing decision making with 27 other people is so much safer!

  3. davidbuckingham says:

    Roger, what’s UKIP/theOUT campaign’s predictions for the Scottish reaction to Brexit? As things stand and being more interventionist and open to offers from the EU than England they might well vote for another referendum to split from UK and rejoin. I’ve read somewhere rejoining wouldn’t be a rubber stamp however.

    It’d be a huge shame but as Scotland’s population is under half London’s, 5.4m (and shrinking?) out of UK’s 64m and rising, it wouldn’t make such a massive difference economically perhaps, although Hadrian’s Wall might need reinforcing. And I can’t see Wales and N.Ireland voting to leave the UK although there may well be EU seductions in the pipeline.

    It would all depend on the EU scenario post-Brexit. Likely that UK would lead a charge for alternative political and economic arrangements like EFTA ; a massive shake-up could make Scotland re-joining less appealing or not even on offer. Other countries like Holland and Denmark might want to leave among others, Germany and France wanting an inner core union insulated from the likes of Greece, Portugal, Spain.

    In short Brexit would change the whole dynamic of Europe surely – hopefully waking it up out of its leviathan sloth? Haven’t heard much about this vision. With its present structure the EU is lumbering on to its self-destruction or implosion but who knows how long it’ll take? As it has simply replaced a lot of small fascist regimes with one enormous one it could easily turn aggressive as its economy gets more desperate, assuming it retains its unity and no other countries don’t cut and run. Would love to hear your views. I think the issue of Scotland leaving the UK needs to be confronted by the OUT campaign.

    • David, By an odd coincidence I wrote about Scotland a few days ago: https://rogerhelmermep.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/simplistic-soundbites-scotland/. With today’s oil price, Scottish Independence is a non-starter.

      • davidbuckingham says:

        sorry I managed to miss your fascinating offering – as is Barclay’s – momentum building.
        btw – bumper-sticker idea…

      • davidbuckingham says:

        Interesting emphasis by Sarah Wollaston, a Europhile who now wants out, in the Times today – “if this is the best that can be grudgingly conceded when there’s a serious chance of Brexit what chance is there of any meaningful reform if we vote to continue our membership?” Other positive points about Norway and anti-democratic nature of the EU. Worth a read.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      I thought this was not to happen. Suddenly it did courtesy of the French?

      “Total turns on gas from west of Shetland Laggan and Tormore fields”

      I suppose the campers couldn’t get out there, but where was Greenpish? Its ok though because its for heating and cookers, which need to be banned.

      The SNP reckon they are going to loose £7Bn over 10 years (Block Grant/New Powers according to Hosie (SNP)). And they have an issue where they have to “take responsibility” if taxes don’t materialise adequately. He said the Scot Govt may need to “grow the population”. I know what that last bit means. And the worry is that they will be feeding off New Britain(NB) if NB and Scotland separately remain/join the EU.

      If I was a Scot I’d have to leave that place and definitely if not a Scot.

  4. Edward M says:

    By performing this charade of a negotiation and then threatening us with uncontrolled immigration (instead of protecting our borders) if we don’t meekly oblige him, Cameron has openly shown his disloyalty and contempt for his own countrymen. He is a scoundrel whom the country and the conservative party will be well rid of.

    • Jane Davies says:

      At best he sounds like a recalcitrant child, at worst he is resorting to blackmail. Not only is he showing disloyalty and contempt Edward, he is, as Alan above alluded to, showing us he is not fit to be a Prime Minister on his own without the prop of the EU to lean on. Once the UK leaves then I hope there is a vote of no confidence and an election is called. The UK needs a strong government in power to undo the the complete horlicks this government has made and who will eventually put the great back into Britain.

  5. Ian Terry says:

    All the fear about Scotland is just muddying the waters. Dictatorship Scotland will do what it wants to do as the main party does not give three fifths for what the majority voted for. What a hoot if the Scottish Parliament voted to leave and couldn’t join straight away or better still if they did and the whole EU collapsed as other countries start to see the advantages of being outside the madhouse and follow our lead.It could happen especially with all the troubles that seem to be rearing their ugly heads within the German banks, it is a stack of cards waiting to collapse. I do hope so.

    Cameron has done the electorate a favour and has highlighted that the country needs experienced people to run it and not career politicians that have never held down a real job in their life. This is always the case when the boys try to take on the men.

    I find it amazing that the under current within his party are not flexing their muscles to get rid of him and his type before we become the laughing stock of the world. He should have been cast aside years ago his short comings are becoming really embarrassing.

    He has brokered a deal for us? No he has not, nothing like it, it is all in his mind.

  6. Cameron deserves a vote of No Confidence, as a Liberal masquerading as a Conservative.
    To their discredit, Tory MPs are evidently willing to tolerate his charade.
    What would make them react as they ought to, giving Cameron the boot?

  7. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Make of this what you will,,,BBC Newsnight (9 Feb). Channel 4 did one the other night with baldy Shultz (kiss my nut Junker). But they are being given slots to influence folk…and they should not be.

    • Jane Davies says:

      I think this man is detached from reality, he has no idea or indeed no interest in the people of the UK who live in the real world. Of course he wants Britain to stay in the EU, 55 million a day less to play with.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        He was PM of Portugal…a clue in that? There a few ex’s in the EU 4th Reich and Blair wanted to be one of them…Cameron/Clegg anyone?

    • davidbuckingham says:

      Never heard his Orwellian concept of “sharing sovereignty” among EU states before.

  8. Shieldsman says:

    We have a Prime Minister who talks big and produces little/nothing. The Times had him producing rabbits out of the hat, if there was anything it was a dead mouse.
    Since opening with his Bloomburg speech he has shown no logic or common sense, in his negotiations and little knowledge of how the European Council works.
    The claim that he would reform the EU (lauded by most of his Cabinet) was a non starter from the word go, without a Treaty change.
    Yes there will be a Treaty change, with negotiations starting probably in 2017 and going on for many years. We know what we can look forward to if we stay in, the EU is on a wild ride to political union. The 5 Presidents Report mapping the future of the Euro and the EU is quite clear on these matters.
    The Spinelli Group – This proposal for a Fundamental Law of the European Union is a comprehensive revision of the Treaty of Lisbon (2007). Replacing the existing treaties, it takes a major step towards a federal union. It turns the European Commission into a democratic constitutional government, keeping to the method built by Jean Monnet in which the Commission drafts laws which are then enacted jointly by the Council, representing the states, and the European Parliament, representing the citizens.

    No chance of sovereignty being returned then, but does Cameron care.

  9. Brin Jenkins says:

    I want Cameron to have a state funeral, next week.

  10. Anyoldiron says:


    A new fight is on for our Country,
    Once more unto the breach dear friends,
    ‘Fight to the death’ once more is the call,
    For no knee of the English will bend.
    The people will not simply stand by
    While foreigners destroy our way of life,
    To carve up the Nation of England
    Into REGIONS, as though with a knife.

    The patience of each English Patriot,
    Tried and tested to fight once more,
    To gather the people around them,
    To fight as they did once before.
    Into nine EU Regions England is divided
    By foreigners, yet those we elect agreed,
    Ah yes, THEY made changes willingly
    Even knowing they could never succeed.

    But such is the way of strangers,
    When from overseas sights are set
    On ruling over the whole wide world,
    Until they, the English ‘giant’ is met,
    For no fierce a foe than the English
    Once their patience is put to the test,
    Soon the foreigners will realise again,
    Find THEY have met up with the best.

    The English, easy going and placid,
    Thought they could “Trust” their own,
    They voted and even paid them,
    But realised they had been let down.
    But soon the day will come now,
    When Magna Carta will come into it’s own,
    For England SHALL once more be free,
    Regions gone, England ONCE MORE WHOLE.

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