Hitchens writes emotively – ‘When it comes to action, the Tory Party will continue to support the EU because they have been committed to it since the Sixties, and cannot admit that this was a mistake.
But they also recognise how unpopular it is, which is why they pretend to be hostile and invented ‘Euroscepticism’ to console disgruntled voters. The longer this goes on, the harder it will be to unscramble. My advice is not to be diverted by campaigns for a referendum that will get us nowhere.
It is to consider, very carefully, whether you will be able to look your children and grandchildren in the face when, 20 years hence, they ask: “What did you do to stop the country being taken over by a foreign power?”
Only thing missing from Hitch’s piece is a mechanism to deliver his policy. There is only one party and one leader that could save him from having to explain to his grandchildren – the same party he wishes to bury in criticism for past misdemeanours.
If he is serious about his intentions, he has to stop looking backwards and moaning, and explain what he is doing to ensure Cameron wins the next election. That combined with what he is doing to fight the internal debate within the Conservatives. Rumours abound of a completely fresh approach to the EU about to be taken as Conservative Party policy. At the least, there is a realisation that the approach that’s been taken previously, cannot go on.
As Hitch says, scepticism is the past. EUpolemicism must be the here and now.
Cameron needs support at this critical time, not a history lesson. I trust that Hitchens’s promised follow-up articles on this topic will be imbued with a spirit of forward-looking determination, and practicality. We cannot afford to approach the EU looking backwards at the past. The Conservatives will only get one shot at forcing our relationship with the EU into something acceptable for future generations. It had better be a good one.
Either that, or The Sun will continue to lead in this major repositioning of Britain in the world.