Purple Tribe now says that the debacle over the European Arrest Warrant is proof that Blue Tribe cannot be trusted to give us a referendum on the EU. This is willful self-hypnosis. Y'see Ukip doesn't think beyond the immediate electoral goals. There is no game plan and they're winging it. And here's why...
We were given a "cast iron" guarantee that we would get a referendum on the Lisbon treaty. By the time Cameron got in the treaty had already been ratified which renders any referendum somewhat pointless. But that has not stopped the foamers from spinning it ever since. And it has cost Cameron. There have been other acts of political theatre since, including the phantom veto that have failed to impress eurosceptics, and euosceptics never forget when it comes to this stuff. It is against this backdrop that the Tories lost a great deal of support to Ukip.
So in the hypothetical scenario that the Tories win the election, what do you suppose would happen to the Tories if Cameron fails to deliver a referendum this time? Total annihilation, a leadership contest, possibly a party split and electoral oblivion. And Ukip would be the chief beneficiary of this. If Ukip were are so certain that Cameron will not deliver, then they'd be smart to bide their time.
But then on the other hand, Cameron might just deliver. Which wouldn't do Ukip's polling any immediate favours, but it would give them what they have wanted all along: the opportunity to leave the EU. The prospect of leaving the EU is the one reason a great many Ukipists tolerate the ineptitude and stupidity of Ukip, and yet here we are with Ukip determined to blow the chance of a referendum. This is not rational forward thinking behaviour. But then tribalism isn't rational. And that's what this is. It's no longer about advancement of political objectives, it's about dominance of the tribe - and they have forgotten what they are for.
One can only conclude that Ukip are simply not interested in leaving the EU. They say they are but there is no evidence to support this claim. They are not preparing to win the argument, they have no coherent Brexit policy, or a roadmap for it and - they're doing as much as Labour to dodge a referendum. The only realistic prospect of one too. Since Ukip have gone into full kamikaze mode, the best asset for Eurosceptics right now is Ed Miliband who has turned a ten point lead into a one point lead. There is hope yet.
Some of the brighter Ukipists have remarked that exit camp would probably lose against a three way onslaught from the establishment parties in any referendum, but a good tactician ought to be able to turn that into an advantage. With a volatile win margin floating around the middle, it's about as good odds as we're ever going to get and it is going to be bloody fight whenever we have it. So the question for Purple Tribe, is if not now... when?
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