Richard North’s Doubts Need Qualifying

Richard North in his Post on EUreferendum titled A Question Of Trust comes to two conclusions.

1. He doesn’t trust Cameron.

2. There is a debate going on as to the direction of European policy in the Conservative Party.

Taking 2 as correct is easy enough. The evidence is apparent.

As for 1, there are three possible options (I will call them a,b, and c) for the application of R.North’s mistrust. Blanket mistrust of Cameron might not be a sensible strategy for a europolemicist such as Richard North in all three cases. Maybe mistrust could be qualified and applied with the objective of longterm EUseparation in mind.

a. Cameron is a secret EU whore(!) he is acting out his europolemics, and we are lost.

b. Cameron might, OTOH be a secret withdrawalist, and is delaying his moves to keep in with the media, and conform with the views of KC and the Sunshine Band, Rifkind, Portillo etc.

c. He is a pragmatist with few beliefs either way.

(a) seems an unlikely view of Cameron. There is no evidence. He could be acting out his europolemic statements in order to win right wing support, but he manages to persuade many longstanding europolemicists to support him, who he meets regularly, and who can look into his eyes as he speaks. As the opportunity arises to make europolemic noises, he grabs the chance. Even though there is often watering down subsequently, he appears to be trying to push the boat out. Would a committed EUtraitor be acting in this way? I have to say, it seems most unlikely.

(b) possible.

(c) possible.

Both b and c provide enough hope that Cameron could fufil the europolemic expectations of the party activists, if both the pressures on him, and enough support are maintained.

However if he were (b), he would need to make an impression of (c) to avoid being detected. So he will appear as a (c) regardless. That is why, unless Cameron is (a) the Helmer/Hannan support of Cameron and non-expression of doubts (or at least minimal expression) is the correct strategy to adopt.

Whatever Cameron is, he cannot be a,b and c.

Richard’s mistrust is expressed very much as ‘I’ve been let down too many times before.’ And of course he has been, as have we all. But Cameron’s the new game in town. It is better to play the game, than miss opportunities to make progress by discounting Cameron’s efforts to zero. Maybe qualified mistrust, leaving open the possibility of europolemic progress is the way to go.

Too big an emphasis on the negative has a danger of being self-fulfilling, however justifiable it may seem to those like Richard who’ve been in the europolemic game a long time.

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