Labour's leadership election campaign has turned from a debate on the future of the party and its policies into a three to one debate about Jeremy Corbyn and whether he's the reincarnation of Attlee, Keir Hardie, Trotsky or Coco the clown. All great fun of course particularly for the press and the Tories but something which leaves out of account what will be the big issue of the future. What do we do about the EU? On that silence reigns.
Having been changed by T Blair Esq from a Euro-sceptic party into one of vacuous enthusiasm for the EU which a traditionally naive and internationalist party believed to be a good thing though we couldn't precisely say why our leaders have nothing to say on what will be the big issue of 2017 do we leave or stay?
We do know that Cameron is embarked on as big con to maintain the unity of the Tory Party, so he'll get only s few piddling concessions from the EU in his negociations and then announce that he's castrated the beast and turned it from a ravening monster into Britain's lap dog so it's safe to vote for it. We can also see that Labour's first instinct is to back him in this and announce that we too think that though it may have a few minor faults its basically a wonderful thing in which Britain can and must play a leading role even if none of the others want this.
Taking this position gives us the worst of all worlds. It weakens Cameron's hand in the negociations by giving the impression that the country isn't behind what he's trying to do. It fails to do anything to stop the EU's decline because of the unworkable Euro into a high unemployment low growth blackspot dragging us down rather than pulling us up as we were told it would in the seventies. It doesn't recognise that the Euro states are bound to draw closer together not now because of their ccoling desire for ever closer cuddles but because they're forced to surrender powers in a desperate attempt to make the Euro work and that we'll be excluded from this unless we adopt the Euro which we can't so that while claiming to lead Europe we're relegated to a plaintive periphery. People can see all this. Is Labour to keep quiet about it? Les silences de la merde?
The British people may on balance be frightened into voting to stay in the EU but they have strong lingering resentments which Labour should feel too. The Common Fisheries policy robs us of jobs, fish and seafood production , the Common Agricultural policy provides protection to French farmers but means food prices are still too high. Our contributions are far too heavy (and scheduled to grow steadily) for a nation with a gasping trade deficit and EU rules inhibit any attempt to rebuild an manufacturing base which has shrunk too far for survival.. We need to control our own borders but have to lay them open to any Rumanian sheepnappers who want to take any sheep they've stolen to Macdonalds rather than skilled Kiwis
In that situation supine bleats about how wonderful the EU is, or how naughty Cameron in appeasing UKIP might make us feel virtuous but do no good at all politically, We should formulate our own demands give Britain some backbone and be prepared to campaign to come out unless we get the real concessions Britain needs but that soft soap salesman the Prime Minister daren't ask.It's time for Labour to speak up for England (and Scotland's best interests too) not those of the Liberal Democrats.