Facing the growing media hype over the local government elections, David Cameron has acted in his usual decisive fashion.
Mr Cameron, it appears, has indicated that he is preparing to hint that he is ready to give serious consideration to thinking about conceding, maybe, that there might be a possibility, sometime, of his schedule permitting him to explore the feasibility of drafting a proposal that might have a chance of going forward, the effect of which will raise hopes that there will be an elevated likelihood of a genuine debate on whether to table a motion suggesting that EU referendum legislation could be placed on the statute book before the next election, or even the one after that.
This dangerous "drift to the right" has been picked up by the loss-making Guardian as clear evidence of something, while the Telegraph reverts to its traditional, tribal role and bigs up this very poor thing.
Cue the duty sycophant, Peter Oborne, to tell us that voting UKIP will wreck the chances of having this referendum on "Europe".
"Stealing votes from the Tories", he whimpers, "guarantees the election of a pro-European Labour Party in thrall to the unions, which would waste no time in destroying Mr Cameron's remarkable public service reforms".
This bizarre assertion that votes somehow "belong" to the Tories is heavily embedded in the Tory psyche, and is one of the reasons why voters are so keen to smack them in the teeth (figuratively speaking). This "entitlement culture" must be firmly dealt-with before it gets out of hand.
Nevertheless, if Oborne got to vote today (he doesn't) he would make his mark for the Conservatives with enthusiasm. If possible, he would do so twice. As someone once remarked – her name escapes him – there is no alternative.
There, and only there, he is right. There is no alternative to electoral fraud if the Tories are going to salvage something from this mess – unless they change their ways and begin to communicate with the electorate. Sadly for them, though, they seem to have lost the knack.