So here it is. On Thursday
October 27th[Monday 24th October—DK], the House of Commons will vote on the following motion:"This house calls upon the government to introduce a bill in the next session of parliament to provide for the holding of a national referendum on whether the united kingdom:
- should remain a member of the European Union on the current terms;
- leave the european union; or
- re-negotiate the terms of its membership in order to create a new relationship based on trade and co-operation"
Of course there might be some spolier amendments tabled to try to confuse the issue. Perhaps the whips might try a few tricks. But regardless, we know that there will be a division of the House of Commons on the motion above.
Well, let joy be unconfined! Not.
In some ways, this motion is welcome: for starters, by the time of the proposed referendum Bill (sometime in the next session), the EU should be even more of a basket-case than it is now. And, as regular readers will know, your humble Devil has argued against a referendum until the full damaging horror of our membership this institution has been properly realised by the British people.
However, there are many things about this supposed triumph that very much fail to register on my "whoops—that's fucking amazing"-ometer.
First, the third option simply isn't an option: as EUReferendum puts it...
... we can no more have a relationship with the EU than can Tim Montgomerie have a relationship with his left foot – or vice-versa.
And our EU colleagues are most certainly not going to allow a "renegotiation"—for which read "the UK contributes less cash" (just for starters)—at a point when they need all of the piggy-banks that they can get their hands on.
Second, however, the whole issue has revealed Cameron to be the lying fucking shitbag that your humble Devil has always maintained him to be. That's right: Dave "cast-iron" Cameron has issued a three-line whip to his MPs—to vote against the motion!
Even as MPs agreed to hold a Commons vote on a referendum, government sources made clear that the Tories would be whipped to vote against a poll.
Mr Cameron's decision to impose a three-line whip has angered many MPs, since the vote was called under rules the Coalition promised would give backbenchers more freedom.
The back-bench business committee yesterday voted to hold a debate on the issue on Oct 27 after more than 100,000 people signed a petition demanding a choice.
The Prime Minister, who has expressed his desire to take back some powers from Brussels, is publicly opposed to a referendum and will order his MPs to vote against it.
The Buttered New Potato has always maintained that he wants to "repatriate powers from the EU": well, what better mandate could he possibly have if he could persuade the majority of people to vote for the (non-existent) third option?
And if everyone voted to maintain our relationship with the EU, then Dave could happily restate his intention to "repatriate powers" but actually do—as has been the case so far—less than fuck all.
For two out of the three possible answers, Dave hits a winner.
So why on earth would he oppose such a referendum—especially when he claims himself to be such a believer in the power of democracy?
Could it be...? No! No, surely not!
Could it really be that Call Me Dave believes that the British people would vote for withdrawal? And could it be that Big Dave believes that, even if they did, that he should ignore the result?
No. It can't be.
It must be because... Um. Well...
But, even if the above motion were passed, the decision would not be binding on the government: they wouldn't even have to hold a referendum—let alone abide by its result. So what is Dave so scared of...?
Can it be that our massively-foreheaded, "cast-iron promise" Prime Minister is, in fact, a ravening EUphile who has been attempting to quell the ever-increasing contempt in which the EU is held by promising a tough stance that he has no intention of delivering?
Yes—I think it can.
The EUsceptic Conservative Party leadership is now exposed for the myth that it always was.
The only question now is... How many of the Conservative Party MPs actually have the belief and balls to defy the whips and vote in the right way—on the side of decency, of sovereignty and of democracy—and how many will betray this country in favour of their own, selfish careers? Cameron has revealed his true colours—how many of our MPs will now have the courage to back theirs?*
This will be a referendum on more than our membership of the EU: the vote on the motion itself will decide the intrinsic value—or, as I suspect, lack of it—of our entire system of "representative" democracy...
* Yes, Douglas, Steve and John—I am looking at you in particular...
UPDATE: Hmmm. Thanks to Katabasis in the comments, it seems that our Lords and Masters might be rather more scared than we thought...