Saturday, September 15, 2007

Keep talking about Europe

The world is a better place when The Stupid Party are talking about Europe.

Here's Tom on Heffer. And here is Daniel Hannan, a Tory MEP who does almost nothing with his blog apart from deride the institution that he's been elected to that he clearly doesn't believe in.

The good news here is that this is a subject that obsesses a sizeable proportion of The Stupid Party to the point of distraction. It's a subject upon which they will always be able to win any superficial public debate.

Contrary to appearances, this is good for Labour, good for pro-Europeans, and good for the country.

Of the fraction of the population that won't just switch off when they get onto this subject, a healthy majority find the blend of pseudo-antiestablishent rhetoric, xenophobia, and downright misrepresentation more attractive than the alternatives. And they can always comfort themselves that this kind of frothing offers them the only route back into the arms of Rupert Murdoch and his nasty little elves.

There are, I suspect, few converts to be had on this issue. It's one that seemed important in the mid-1990s because the last Tory administration found that the combination of a small majority and a rabidly eurosceptic fringe ensured that it was constantly on the agenda. But it is not a big issue today, if my survey of overheard conversations at bus-stops is anything to go by. It allows the party of opposition to appeal to it's core vote.

Obsessing on the subject is the electoral equivalent of Labour - in the mid-1990s - adopting a Scargillite position on trade union reform.

The public, when asked, are anti-EU, in the same way that they were pro-hanging for many years. But they won't vote for a party that adopts a populist and obsessive opposition to something that just doesn't show itself to be threat in their day-to-day lives. The logic of representative government (as I argued a few months ago) is that it is objectively humane and progressive. If I had time, I'd extend Comrade Kautsky's position to argue that a deepening of representative democracy is - in itself - the most important transitional demand that any socialist can make.

In the meantime, if the new Prime Minister wants to continue fucking with the Tories heads, he should start issuing a few statements in support of some of the more unpopular pro-EU positions. Suggest that buses should lead a gradual transition to the whole country driving on the wrong side of the road - that sort of thing.

Get a flunkey to drop the rumour to Richard Littlecock and then give it a few days before the rumour is quashed. It'll keep the Tories on the sidelines for at least another decade - they can't help themselves.


Anonymous said...

>>The public, when asked, are anti-EU, in the same way that they were pro-hanging for many years.<<

I think you will find that the vast majority of public support CP, even labour supporters are 50/50 on the issue

so you are wrong on 2 counts not just one :0)

any ref on either issue would have you on the losing side, as long as its a straight 50% threshold, i am sure you would want 2/3s to try and stop it

Paulie said...

I saw a news report earlier this year that claimed that - for the first time - the majority of the public no longer wanted capital punishment in the UK.