Richard North, 02/01/2015  
 

"As for Ukip", says David Cameron, writing for the Daily Telegraph, "all they can deliver is Ed Miliband into Downing Street". He goes on to say:
A vote for Ukip is a vote to prop up a failing Labour government – a government that would refuse to give people a referendum on Europe and that would take us back to the days of open-door immigration, an out-of-control welfare budget and a something-for-nothing society …
Then up pops an oft-repeated promise: Labour's Human Rights Act would be scrapped, and thence for emphasis, Mr Cameron again tells us that: "an in-out referendum on Europe [will be] delivered".

Needless to say, there is no reason to trust that Mr Cameron will keep his promises. But then trust is not an issue. Our best judgement is that, if he again reneged on a promise of a referendum, the Conservative party would rebel, and he would quickly be deposed as a leader.

Furthermore, come the 2020 general election, with no referendum having been delivered, the Conservative Party would be unelectable. Mr Cameron would have wiped out any chance of a further Conservative government for the foreseeable future.

But then, if you want to quibble, is Mr Cameron's statement any more or less credible than this from Mr Farage?
Ukip is no longer seen as the "protest vote", but rather as an opportunity to look outside the Westminster bubble for real solutions, devised by real people, with real life experience. We will fight the upcoming elections believing that our potential is still underestimated, and that the balance of power is within our grasp.
If you believe that, frankly, you will believe anything. But, of the two, I'm more prepared to take Mr Cameron at his word – not because I trust him, but because he's boxed himself into a corner, and has no realistic option other than to deliver, if he again becomes prime minister after this year's general election.

That notwithstanding, sooner of later, we are going to have a referendum. And the better prepared we are to fight the campaign, the better our chances are of winning it. Thus, whether or not Mr Cameron delivers on his promise, we should still be preparing for a referendum campaign.

And, with even greater emphasis, that's what we're going to be doing on this blog.






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