“We can’t go on like this…”
“We can’t go on like this…”
The debate was good enough to shift obdurate, entrenched and virulent opinion (I speak for myself).
In the end the summary seems to be: good idea, bad bill/bad idea, bad bill.
In the blue corner, the democrats who say that it is the settled will of the British people that there be a referendum (Lords Owen, King et alia). In the red corner, the lofty lefties who think the people should act in their higher interests by doing what they’re told.
In the middle, peers who may be for or against a referendum but who prefer to wallow the filthy politics of it. For them it’s a partisan Bill, it’s designed to get Cameron out of a hole, it’s pandering, it’s probably the result of global warming.
Lord Liddle (Lab, obviously) got a great shout of laughter when he described the deep divisions in the Conservative party on Europe and claimed, “Labour does not have these visceral internal divisions to manage.”
Noble Lords: Oh!
“Oh!” may need translating. I leave that to Commentators, below.
European Union (Referendum) Bill – Second Reading – Lord Dobbs
B Falkner of Margravine
L Hannay of Chiswick
L MacGregor of Pulham Market
L Howell of Guildford
L Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay
L King of Bridgwater
L Willoughby de Broke
B Liddell of Coatdyke
L Hennessy of Nympsfield
L Anderson of Swansea
L Foulkes of Cumnock
L Jay of Ewelme
L Armstrong of Ilminster
L Stoddart of Swindon
L Watson of Richmond
L Davies of Stamford
L Lea of Crondall
L Kerr of Kinlochard
L Thomas of Swynnerton
L Howe of Aberavon
B Farrington of Ribbleton
L Lawson of Blaby
Eurocrat-ess Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, has lashed out at David Cameron:
“I am mostly frustrated about the political leaders [in Britain], because what is leadership if you just try with populist movements and populist speech to gain votes. You are destroying the future of your people.”
Those ‘political leaders’ are also elected and accountable to the public unlike you, Ms Reding.
Christine Lagarde the French chief of the IMF narrowly escaped being charged recently. Her candidacy’s main cheerleader for the IMF was George Osborne, Guido had his doubts at the time. The IMF is searching for a solution for debt laden European states to stop the €uro collapsing. Stop spending more than you tax is considered naive – how will the ruling elites get re-elected if they stop bribing the electorate with their own children’s money? Option 6 in the IMF’s discussion paper on the subject is brutally straight-forward. The final act of financial repression is to steal from everyone who has savings with a 10% wealth tax.
You have been warned now – just like Cypriot political insiders were – don’t keep any capital in €urozone banks. The IMF argues that the element of surprise is essential for the success of a capital levy…
Former Labour spinner and one time librarian John McTernan has let the cat out of the bag speaking about Europe on the Daily Politics.
JM: I think a referendum is ridiculous.
DP: People want it…
JM: I don’t care if people want it. People want lots of things…
DP: Do you think it will actually happen?
JM: No I don’t, no. I think that a Labour government would not have a referendum.
Guido would wager that McTernan is channelling, accidentally or otherwise, Miliband’s exact thinking there.
Guido cannot help but notice the irony of the very same Tory MPs who voted against Lords reform now complaining that peers should not be allowed to derail the EU referendum bill because they are unelected and unaccountable. Not only has the Tories destroying Lords reform resulted in the death of the boundary review, severely hindering their chances in 2015, but it also damages their chances of actually getting an EU referendum as well. Slow clap.
Taking a policy straight out of The Thick of It, the European Commission is offering €800,000 in prizes to whoever can design the best smartphone app. Students, geeks, Romanians and Bulgarians are invited to take part in the competition, with €400,000 going to the finalists and winners of each of the two categories: Smart Cities and Smart Business & Industry. Guido’s suggestions of a Herman van Rompuy app that creates red tape at the press of a button, or a ticker at border crossings counting the success of Dave’s immigration policy, may not take home the cash…
Tellers: Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone
Labour: Mike Gapes
Danny Alexander was let out for the evening last night to give a speech in the City about Europe. The Chief Sec stood in front of the banner above, which he described as “a small illustration of our message”. Poor thing must have forgotten when he pledged:
“The European Union has evolved significantly since the last public vote on membership over thirty years ago. Liberal Democrats therefore remain committed to an in/out referendum”.
What that picture does not show is the LibDem’s path is pointing straight over a cliff…
Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome
A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:
“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”