It's pretty clear that the decision to hold a referendum on EU membership poses big problems for Cameron. He did it to undercut UKIP and hoped to repeat Harold Wilson's confidence trick of 1975 but things have changed since then.
There's more opposition to Membership. The EU which looked successful then is a mess now thanks to the Euro which will never work.The structures have hardened and become less flexible. Labour didn't get any real changes in its re negotiation Cameron will get less so he's not going to be able to say "I've pulled it's teeth. Let's stay in".He'll still say it of course but it won't carry any conviction.
So what should Labour say? Up to now we've said only that it's a wonderful institution and we mustn't frighten business by thinking of leaving.Total rubbish of course but the kind of rubbish we can't talk in the run up to the next referendum. Now can we do as we did in the Scots referendum and just become lame accomplices of the Tories.
So we should make our own demands in the re-negotiation to show we're not just Junker's poodle. Most essential is a reduction in our payments. The budget contribution alone is now £11 billion net and that for a nation in heavy balance of trade difficulties. Add to that the use of the CAP as a regional policy from which we benefit least of all because out agriculture is so small. Why should we have to buy their dear food when we can get it so much more cheaply elsewhere ? Then the CFP gives them too much of our rich fish stocks and U.S. To few powers of enforcement.So demand the 12 mile limit all wound, better quotas in the fifty mile and the right of hot pursuit. Finally we're going to have to rebuild our manufacturing base in the face of intense competition from them .So we need the ability to pay state aids and investment grants to industry and to operate a regional policy to subsidise regional labour.
Finally we need the ability to tax profits generated in Britain so that the firms making them make their contribution to our public services. We can't do this as long as must of the tax fiddles which corporations use to dodge their taxes are sanctioned by the EU.Ireland's 17% corporation tax hurts us as does the double Irish fiddle sanctioned by the Republic. Luxembourg helps firms to avoid British taxes and we should ask how many of the businesses preaching the benefits of staying in the EU are using those benefits to fiddle their tax obligations to this country Do tell. All this can only be stopped by European measures .We need to have these as part of the renegotiation
The essential point, always ignored is that we are in a heavy trade deficit,particularly in manufactures with the EU..That means that the business lobby for the EU is mostly importers not exporters and that the talk of threatening three million jobs is utter rubbish since more of their jobs than ours are threatened if trade is restricted. (Which it won't be)
Labour must recognise that most of its voters want out and most of its members feel an unease about such an unequal relationship . It's only our naive leaders who view the Euro monster with such vacuous enthusiasm that their policy towards it has become hear no evil speak no evil of the club which charges us so much to ruin us.
We can't argue for power to be transferred down to the people in political matters but insist that it be taken for further away to Europe in other matters.Put the national interest first in these negotiations and use them to increase the power of a Labour government to help ourselves Our approach shouldn't be to say how much we love this job gobbler on wheels as it was in the election.
It's depressing to see how quickly British politics have returned to normal after the brief revival of hope in the election.. The government is already embarking on another set of its prejudiced enormities and defending them with the usual lies while Labour whines but offers no alternative and the press tells a disbelieving nation how wonderful things are going when they're not.
Tory policy is reverse socialism: Keynes for the upper classes neo Liberalism for the rest.so we pour out huge socialist subsidies to landlords to low paying gradgrind employers and to landowners and estate agents but cut spending on welfare,benefits and local government to allow tax cuts to the subsidised classes.It makes no sense but it's what we bovine Brits voted for and just in case we get too fed up of it the government will now revive the aborted 2011 redistribution to give themselves 20 more seats.
That's how Tory government works.It may work better for the few than the many but the many can always be conned by the press into accepting anything.
Wednesday is the world premier of the greatest film ever shot in Grimsby. "Great Grimsby" is screened for a waiting world at the Parkway Cinema in Cleethorpes with an all star attendance and an all star cast of Grimsby greats. Don't miss it.