Richard North, 15/05/2012  
 

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Senior Labour ranks are considering an in/out referendum on the European Union, "it emerged yesterday" – according to the Daily Wail.

This is shadow chancellor Ed Balls, and he was actually on prime-time BBC News yesterday, saying as much in a very down-key fashion. But that is translated into a politicians who has "admitted the public could have their say on whether Britain should continue its membership of the crisis-hit EU in the years to come".

Now we get to the "pressure is mounting" meme, the hare having been set running by a claque of journalists, even though it has no substance whatsoever, and the idea of the Tories offering a referendum has been trashed by Wee Willie.

This then, is sheer political opportunism. Because the Tories are rejecting the idea, Balls is pitching in trying to scoop up some Brownie points. Thus does he tells us: "Whether there could be a case for there being a referendum more widely on Britain’s relationship with Europe as a new settlement evolves ... that might be an issue whose time comes".

This is not exactly a cast-iron commitment – not that people have been at all taken in by it. The best scoring comment on the Wail has Tim Hall of Ashted shouting: "WE ARE NOT FALLING FOR IT, YOU WESTMINSTER MAGGOTS! WE DESPISE EVERY ONE OF YOU!"

Needless to say, the Wail is playing its two-faced game. On the one hand it maintains its pro-EU stance while, on the other, it is talking up a referendum.

"Dave", the paper says, "needs to bind his party together, not drive it apart. Now that Labour is toying with the idea of offering a referendum on British membership of the EU, perhaps it is time for the PM to act boldly - and stall the Miliband bandwagon".

Thus is the vital issue of our membership of the EU in danger of becoming a plaything for the groupescules, a battle fought not out of commitment but for short-term political gain. And, when push comes to shove, we can see the players who so stridently called for a referendum turning coat and telling us to vote to remain in the Union.

Lemming-like, a faction of the eurosceptic movement is rushing to its own oblivion, in supporting this naked political ploy. The way out of the EU is to present to the public a more attractive and realisable alternative. Fighting on the ground chosen by your enemies is tactical suicide, and the only thing in which so many of our allies excel.

Why then are they so intent on letting the Westminster maggots chose the battlefield? The people calling for an EU referendum are not our friends – they are not even allies.

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