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How Blair could get a Yes

I find this all too persuasive. George Trefgarne sketches out how Tony Blair could win not only the next election by a mile, but then the Euro-referendum by enough to settle the matter for ever.

Key towards-the-end paragraph:

As the polls start to switch, other arguments are deployed by the pro-constitution lobby, of which the most potent is that the real choice is between ratifying the constitution, with all its disadvantages, or being reduced to a colonial outpost of George W Bush’s America. Scare stories are spread that withdrawing would also mean the end to cheap flights to France and Spain. Then, in March 2006, a referendum results in a Yes vote, by 52 per cent to 48 per cent – and Teflon Tony will have done it again.

At the heart of Trefgarne’s view of Britain now is the utter and continuing hopelessness of the Conservatives.

I confess that once upon a time I expected that America would be an issue to unite the Conservatives while still dividing Labour. But for many months now the Conservatives have been as split about America as they are about everything else. This means that they will remain a shambles for the foreseeable future, and that they will be in no state to argue persuasively against all that “colonial outpost of Bush’s America” stuff, as and when it comes on stream. Even more than now, I mean.

27 comments to How Blair could get a Yes

  • zmollusc

    I will vote for the colonial thing!
    (singing) …..Our star spangled union jack flutters so proud, over the dancing heads of the merry patriotic crowd….. tip your hat to the yankee conquerers, we’ve got no reds under our beds with guns under our pillows……..

  • Kristopher Barrett

    Ingsoc will always be allied with Oceania!

  • Giles

    I think the problem is more with the right wing press than the conservatives themselves. They’ve got so in the habit of calling the conservatives useless, hopeless or worse that they cant really stop.

    Are there disagreements in the Conservative party – yes its a braod church. Are they split? Clearly not.

    Are they a “libertarian” party – no – but no country has ever elected a libertarian party. Libs need to grow up show some ability to compromise and decide which is more important – id cards or islamofascism.

  • id cards or islamofascism.

    Neither is tolerable. But ID cards are a particularly absurd thing to hold up as an either/or as they have nothing whatsoever to do with combatting Islamofascism. In any case, I am more worried about NuLab’s ‘smiley face’ authoritarianism as a threat to Britain as it is a more clear and present danger than the Islamofacist threat right now. We are fighting Islamic totalitarians in Iraq, we are fighting British authoritarians in Britain.

  • Politics is a brutal business. And if the big Conservative problem is getting the conservative press to be nicer, then they should have done that by now. If they haven’t, then that is just another facet of their uselessness.

    Blaming the media is one of the oldest games in politics, and it is always a losing game.

  • Verity

    As probably the most despised prime minister ever and a man generally acknowledged to be a fantasist incapable of telling the truth, I think Blair will win the next election – absent a miracle from the Tories – but he won’t romp home. Even more than at the last election, I think people won’t vote.

    The true Conservatives, who always saw through this transparent liar and poseur, will trudge to the polls because they know his infantile wilfullness is very dangerous. The “Tories” who voted for him last time will surely to god, by now, have become disillusioned with this mysterious “project” and I think they won’t vote at all. I think they’ll stay home in a sulk, but I believe many Tories who didn’t vote last time will vote this time out of hatred of Blair.

    Labour voters seem to be disillusioned first over the war – as Mr Burns would say, excellent! – and then because some of them are still not on the public payroll and are having to go out to work. Civil servants, especially those Real Nappy Outreach Counsellors, etc who got their jobs through the Grauniad will vote for the socialists; and the teachers’ union, the denizens of lefty universities, most of the media, etc. But it don’t add up to a hill of beans, and I think’s Blair’s majority will be much reduced.

    So I think he’ll win, but it’ll be humiliating.

    Maybe I’m living on another planet, but I’m looking for a surprise from the Tories. I think Howard is more savvy than his predecessors and more able to keep his lip buttoned. He knows he’s up against a magpie – a birdbrain, essentially – and he isn’t giving him anything glittery to steal. I could be wrong, obviously.

    The euro referendum, no. I would bet good money that he will not win it. Don’t forget, he has no credibility. Even his fans know he’s a compulsive liar. Former best friend Gordon Brown has announced publicly that he can’t be trusted. The Brits are watching the euro-economies tanking.

    Will hatred of the US lead to suicide? Well, I don’t think that many people outside the socialists really hate the US, even if they don’t like the war and even if they don’t like Mr Bush. I don’t think they would slit their own throats by voting for the euro in response to a flimsy, patently silly, accusation that Britain is a N Sea outpost of the US. A kind of reverse Hawaii.

    The question is, would they rather be a colonial outpost of the EU? Or remain an independent, sovereign nation which for over a thousand years has beaten off those who now still seek to rule us by stealth?

  • Hank Scorpio

    “As probably the most despised prime minister ever”

    Surely that honor would belong to Chamberlain, wouldn’t it?

  • Verity

    Hank – why? Because he tried to appease Germany? Did Chamberlain ever give a hint that he intended to curtail British freedom of speech to halt people talking negatively about Germans?

    How about someone who is set on appeasing the entire Islamic world?

  • “But ID cards are a particularly absurd thing to hold up as an either/or as they have nothing whatsoever to do with combatting Islamofascism”

    Are ID cards open to abuse – yes of course they are, particularly by a labor gov. I dont think the conservatives will abuse them in the same way.

    I think (unlike you) that there’s no great harm in ID cards and that its a bit of a totemic issue. But surely you’d agree that they would be less of a menace under a conservative government than a labour one?

    So maybe a tory vote is the lesser of 2 evils and you should bite the bullet on that one?

  • Heck, under the Bush / Cheney Empire, Britain (and Britons) would have considerably more autonomy and freedom than they currently do under the velvet jackboot of the EU.

  • Wild Pegasus

    If the trend in Fourth Parties in Britain continues, Blair could end up remaining prime minister with a minority of voters and a meagre plurality of ridings. Of course, the UKIP and BNP could just end up tearing the Conservative vote apart and giving Labour electability for as long as possible, world without end.

    – Josh

  • Johnathan

    It gives me great pleasure to say that I agree 110 pct with Verity’s comments above. Well said. I think Blair alas will win but with a considerably reduced majority. The hatred for Blair is really deeply entrenched now.

  • David Wildgoose

    The Tories need to learn the lesson that their job as the official Opposition is to OPPOSE the Government. There’s only LOST votes in continually supporting the government over everything from Foundation Hospitals, the War in Iraq and now ID cards.

    As Opposition they don’t have to say what they are for until an election is due. They can just get away with saying what they are against.

    All they are doing right now is ensuring that people who are sick of New Labour’s policies can’t turn to them as an alternative because all they are promised is more of the same, only blue tinged.

  • Hi Josh,
    Interesting comments re: UKIP and BNP splitting the Tories.

    I would agree with you on UKIP, but I think BNP would appeal more toward Labour’s traditional constituency than to the Tories’. But not quite enough to cause a major dent.


  • George Atkisson

    I’m afraid that Britain will continue down its nanny state path, with its survellance cameras, disarmed public, ID cards, and eventual EU constitution. Britain will then go down into irrelevance along with Europe, on the global scene.

    It will be a sad thing for the United States and the rest of the Anglosphere who have rejoiced in Britain’s history and support. Much like a beloved uncle who can no longer be trusted with the car keys.

  • Edward Teague

    20th July 1957: Harold Macmillan The prime minister spoke at a Tory rally in Bedford to mark 25 years’ service by Lennox-Boyd, the Colonial Secretary, as MP for Mid-Bedfordshire.

    “Indeed let us be frank about it – most of our people have never had it so good.

    “Go around the country, go to the industrial towns, go to the farms and you will see a state of prosperity such as we have never had in my lifetime – nor indeed in the history of this country.

    On the question of colonialism, Mr Macmillan said people of the Commonwealth looked to Britain for leadership and were gradually gaining their freedom.

    In March, Ghana became the first Black African nation to gain independence from the UK. Other British colonies are expected to follow suit in the next few years.

    “The pattern of the Commonwealth is changing and with it is changing Britain’s position as the Mother Country. Our children are growing up.”

    Monday 27 September 2004 Speech by Gordon Brown MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Labour Party Annual Conference, Brighton Centre
    ….” No longer the most inflation prone economy, with New Labour, Britain today has the lowest inflation for thirty years.

    No longer the boom-bust economy, Britain has had the lowest interest rates for forty years.

    And no longer the stop-go economy, Britain is now enjoying the longest period of sustained economic growth for 200 years.

    And no longer the country of mass unemployment, Britain is now advancing further and faster towards full employment than at any time in our lives.

    And after decades of underinvestment, investment in schools is doubling, in policing doubling, in transport doubling, in housing doubling, and instead of £40 billion spent on the NHS in 1997, by 2008 £110 billion for the NHS.

    …. ‘This is our country, Great Britain; we built it generation to generation upon the foundation of liberty duty and fairness;

    ‘We are enriching it, extending new opportunities to all;

    ‘A Britain where – because we recognise our shared needs, mutual obligations and linked destinies – it is not every man for himself not them against us.’……”

    Free of any restraining and old fashioned ideology, the voting middle classes have been seduced by soaring house prices (“ MY house earns more than I do”) a market rigged by insane planning laws, maternity pay and leave, nursery payments. Last year saw record sales of cars. Personal debt has soared – Live now Pay Later was the phrase of the late 50’s – indeed was the title of a fillum.

    Tony claims to be influenced by Margaret Thatcher, I feel that Gordon owes much to Harold Macmillan – who of course went on to a stunning victory after the defeat of Suez – another totally failed Mid-east military venture done in cahoots with scheming Zionists. No wonder polls say with GB at the top they would get even more votes. Maybe that is the plot, after all. “Thank God we’ve got rid of Tony now you have trusty Gordon the thrifty Scot.” We’ll vote for him.

    Perhaps, time for Tony to succumb to medical problems, just as Eden did.

    Whisper it softly lad – you’ve never had it so good

  • Tim Sturm

    Conservatism is a dead concept, and the Conservative Party needs to be killed off once and for all. In its place we need a Classical Liberal party that will provide the ideological and institutional platform to take us (and the country) forward over the next 100 years.

    The short term is irrelevant. The best you can do in the short term is vote UKIP and hasten the Conservatives’ demise.

  • chris edwards

    Just now I cannot get a clear idea of the UKIP intrusion into the sane vote, it all depends on Howard, the English are quite patiotic if you push us enough and Howard could turn the vote in a big way by trashing Europe (just tell 1/3 of the truth). I know a lot of tories who voted ukip in local but will stay tory in the national vote. Me? if the trip towards England becoming neutered and a puppet state of the Franco German lemming empire continues, as soon as my stepkids are old enough (5 years MAX) I will go west, now the USA seem to have outgrown their romance with the failed social experiment of liberalism it looks a more wholesome place than the liberal utopia to the north. (unless we get another commie labour gov that bans taking more than $40.00 per trip outside the country).
    Still the US had the sense to vote smart in opposition to predictions so there is hope for my country yet.
    The choice between European minion or US state is a no brainer, the US understand and like us, europe only want to rob our London busness(they tried twice to seduce it but failed)
    Chris Edwards

  • Euan Gray

    a Classical Liberal party that will provide the ideological and institutional platform to take us (and the country) forward

    And which will, in election after election, gain no more than a miniscule proportion of the vote (libertarianism is not electorally popular), thus handing us an indefinite period of Labour government.

    Good thinking there, Tim.


  • Tim Sturm

    Who said anything about a libertarian party?

    As someone who presents himself as favourable to Christian Conservatism, EG, you are the last person my comments would be directed towards.

    For anyone else, it’s very simple: If you want the battle lines to be the individual vs the collective, then you need a party that stands for individualism. Conservatism, whatever it is, is not that.

    Labour has already been in power in many years and looks likely to continue for a fair few yet. And in any case, would anyone apart from EG really feel that much better off under a Conservative government?

    Better to cut your losses now and start something new that offers at least some potential.

  • Verity

    Where is G Cooper? He is an able defender of UKIP.

    The most important thing just now is to get the toxic Mr Blair (and the equally toxic chancellor of the exchequer) out of power. (NB to T Blair and G Brown: Great Britain is not a fiefdom and you are not medieval barons, you pair of insulting morons.)

    If it takes a combination of the BNP, UKIP and the Tories, so be it. Parties spring up in response to perceived needs. The Gramscians in Downing St, with their attempt to dilute Britishness with otherwise pointless mass immigration from an alien culture, have caused the BNP to become viable. Their accelerated plan to hand over British sovereignty to vapid, pointless, dying Europe, has given wind to UKIP’s sails. As I said above, I think a lot of Tory voters who didn’t bother to vote last time will vote this time motivated by sheer hatred of Tony Blair. (Plus the former Tory voters who were stupid enough to “give Blair a chance” will fall away from Labour this time, I believe, and may not vote at all.)

    If the Tories do, as I hope, have some weapons they are keeping well hidden for the moment, then they, UKIP and the BNP may well make a huge dent in Blair’s majority. This would mean he was constrained from doing any further damage. And there may be another election in two or so years.

    And we can always hope for a miracle.

  • Sandy P

    Outpost of frankenreich, outpost of America.

    Decisions, decisions…..

    Those who’ve already decided bought homes around Orlando since the euro is up.

  • Euan Gray

    Who said anything about a libertarian party?

    Whether you want to call it Classical Liberalism or libertarianism, you are calling for the creation of what would be, in current British political terms, a radical libertarian or quasi-libertarian party.

    you are the last person my comments would be directed towards

    Unfortunately, in politics you need to address your ideas to pretty much everyone. Otherwise, all you’re doing is preaching to the choir. Whilst the libertarian has little chance of winning over the hard core Marxist, there is a possibility of persuading the conservative – but not, I’d venture, if you treat them like that.

    If you want the battle lines to be the individual vs the collective

    Again, politics doesn’t work like this – the simplistic either/or struggle you appear to be assuming. Politics works on people’s perceptions, and successful parties must propose a degree of compromise acceptable to sufficient voters. The compromise may lean one way or the other, but it’s still a compromise and you won’t get anywhere electorally by espousing a radical agenda with inadequate compromise.

    you need a party that stands for individualism

    Which is not going to get you very far, I’m afraid. Individualism of the type you propose, whatever label you wish to give it, has extremely limited electoral appeal. If your scenario came to pass, all that would really happen would be a prolonged succession of Labour election victories in the absence of any credible opposition. It would really be the mirror image of the 1980s, when a generally disliked Conservative administration kept winning because the opposition was too radical.

    We may more or less have no credible opposition now, but the Conservative party can at least start from a base of several million votes. I personally doubt very much if we will see the destruction of the Conservative party at the next election, or the one after that. People will vote UKIP, sure, but I would gladly wager that the UKIP vote at the general election will be markedly down on that of the EU elections – the British electorate may make some daft choices, but they do seem to recognise when the election is important (general elections and referenda) and when it is not (local elections, Euro elections). Protest votes don’t happen so much at general elections.

    If the Tories do collapse, it will be because of a challenge from the centre, not the right. There seems to be no real appetite in the country for classically liberal policy, nor even for the radical Conservatism of Thatcher. People simply won’t vote in large enough numbers for racist bigots like the BNP, or fringe single-issue parties like the UKIP. I am aware that the UKIP has a reasonably developed manifesto, but the essential point of the party is anti-EU and the other policies are sufficiently Liberal to put off a lot of people – it is seen, rightly or wrongly, as a single issue party. Furthermore, it has next to no internal discipline (an expected failing with most more Liberal/libertarian parties), and this is also off-putting.

    Like it or not, the most credible way of unseating Labour is the Conservative party.


  • Sandy P

    Verity, Howard sent people to work for Cabana Boy’s campaign.

  • Verity

    Ouch, Sandy! I’d forgotten that! Now you’ve given me recovered memory syndrome and lowered my expectations of sudden appearances of rabbits out of hats prior to the election. I wonder if Howard imagined that picking a fight with George Bush would endear him to the anti-war segment of the British public. It was still a louche move – and, from Howard’s point of view, an ineffective one.

  • Tim Sturm

    but not, I’d venture, if you treat them like that

    Just returning the favour EG.

    If the Tories do collapse, it will be because of a challenge from the centre, not the right.

    If they carry on as they are who’s to say that some of those “on the right” won’t get an attack of principle and decide to ditch their cowardly cohorts and start something new with the good bits of UKIP.

    However, more likely you are probably right, but that just proves my point that the Conservatives offer no hope at all.

    What bothers me most though is not just that the Conservatives offer no hope in the short term, its that any institution founded on conservatism offers no hope for the long term either.

    As Verity said, “Parties spring up in response to perceived needs”.

  • The best way to stop TB getting a yes is to keep steady pressure on from now until the referendum. The more horrendous news from the EU that the public hears, the less effective the threat of in or out will be.

    Then for those of us that want out, we refuse to aknowledge that it is a question of in or out and focus on the actual document. We can openly say we want out but insist that the referendum is not about this.