We knew the EU hates democracy, says Peter Oborne in the Mail today, and he adds, Now it seems our leaders do too. What happened to the free vote? It was so depressing to see Amber Rudd on BBC Question Time, when asked for her personal opinion on the PM’s EU deal, choosing her words with the fearful wariness of a prisoner on trial for her life. It was impossible to tell what she really thought.As Isabel Oakshotte said to Amber, it is simply not fair for the PM to gag the cabinet from saying where they stand over the EU, while indulging his own pro-EU views to the max. He has also threatened any Brexit supporters with deselection. The shires turn on Cameron, said another Mail headline. Understandably. Cameron has ordered his MPs to ignore the views of their constituents.
It seems that winning the last General Election outright, and being faced with an utterly hopeless Labour leader, has had a terrible effect on David Cameron and George Osborne. Faced with overwhelming disapproval of his plan for tax credit cuts, Osbo’s first reaction was not to listen to the general Tory opinion, but to try bribery. What can I do for you or your constituency?
So far, as Peter Oborne points out in the Mail this morning, the trampling underfoot of democracy by the dictatorial duo seems to have escaped unscathed.
Or has it? Dominic Sandbrook points out “For as the past shows with overwhelming clarity, national patriotism is often a far more powerful force than either utopian idealism or economic self-interest.” Brexit has suddenly leapt ahead in the polls. If Britain votes to leave the EU, what then? By trying so hard to rig the result, the PM and Osbo seem to be achieving the very result they wish to avoid.