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   David Cameron: The Prime Minister has changed his mind on Europe


Something is stirring. We taste it in the air, we feel its tremors under our soles. Britain is reconsidering the European orientation that has defined its domestic as well as its foreign policy for four decades. And yet, if you relied on the old media for coverage, you would have no idea of the magnitude of what was at stake.

The question of EU membership has vast economic, legal, democratic, diplomatic and constitutional implications. But our newspapers and broadcasters insist on covering it in the most trivial way imaginable as a story about "Tory splits".

Many lobby correspondents are stuck in the early 1990s, determined to press every event into their petty Westminster narratives. When, to pick a more or less random example, Nigel Lawson, the author of Margaret Thatcher's tax reforms, wrote a calm and measured article concluding that the economic balance of advantage had now shifted against continued membership, no one stopped to ask why a successful Chancellor, who knew a thing or two about finance, had changed his mind. Instead, out came all the hackneyed phrases and mixed metaphors that signal when journalists aren't bothering to think about what they're writing. Nigel Lawson, chorused the lobby, had "lobbed a hand grenade" into his party, which was now "split from stem to stern", "picking at the scab", "causing a major headache for David Cameron", "consumed with infighting" etc.

Quite apart from missing the point, such analysis isn't true. Most Eurosceptics — which is to say, most voters — were pleased when the Prime Minister announced a referendum on continued membership. Labour and the Liberal Democrats are on the wrong side of public opinion, and they know it. Their spokesmen perfunctorily try to claim that Mr Cameron has been pushed into the referendum by (boo! hiss!) The Tory Right. But who are these nasty Rightists who have been demanding a referendum? Depending on which opinion poll we believe, they are anywhere between 62 and 82 per cent of the electorate.

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Ray Veysey
July 9th, 2013
2:07 PM
Nothing here you haven't said before, therefore nothing new to respond with. Cameron, you say has changed his mind (or did you actually say that?) and if he has what's to prevent him changing it again, we have seen so many U turns this government has made. We give up on UKIP he rotates again and where are we ? You will be unhappy but you will follow Cameron regardless despite your feelings about the EU, because You put Party Before Country and People every time, and until you say that you will go against your party and leader in a substantial manner why should we move position. You have been struggling recently to maintain credibility this is another plea for that.

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