Richard North, 05/05/2004  

In an interview with the New Statesman, Blair’s best friend and reluctant Lord Chancellor, Charlie Falconer, claims that a “yes” vote in the constitutional referendum is “eminently winnable.

He acknowledges that governments, "even when they are popular, can and have lost such plebiscites", but "whatever happens on this one, he has told NS", "I believe that we will win it." Unfortunately, we are left no wiser as to how this miracle is to be achieved. No detail is offered.

Interestingly, the NS finds him less sanguine on the euro. Here, Falconer, when asked whether we could join in the lifetime of this government – which could last as long as 2010, “betrays an uncharacteristic lack of confidence”, and declines comment. He argues that there are “whole variety of variables” in that question."

Examining the two issues side by side – the constitution and the euro – are there not as many variables in the constitutional issue? Unfortunately, Falconer is not asked that question. But if there are as many, we would love to know the reason for his confidence.

For the full article, which deals with a wide range of issues, click here (subscription).

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