This is without doubt the no-choice, phoney election. Take the EU. Opinion polls say that the majority of Britons would vote to leave if given the chance. That is why David Cameron and Ed Miliband are actually working to shut down debate on both the UK’s relationship with the EU and its closely-related bedfellow, immigration.
David Cameron is as much in his own way a Brussels enthusiast as Kenneth Clarke, Ted Heath or Michael Heseltine. He certainly fits into the same tradition of Conservatism. His declared ambition is that the EU’s domain eventually stretches from the Atlantic to the Urals. At every opportunity he and George Osborne say that they want the UK to stay inside what has now become arguably a bigger socialist/statist experiment than the USSR ever was.
For his part, Ed Miliband makes no bones that he wants to cosy up to the Eurocrats and the federalists in the same way that Tony Blair did. Without doubt, five years of a Labour-SNP government would enmesh us even deeper in the Brussels mire.
In this space it is impossible to unpick the full range of Corporation bias as the election approaches. Suffice it to say that they are enthusiastic partners in the Camerband dance. A primary feature of coverage is that there has been massive bias by omission – an editorial avoidance of discussing the issue of withdrawal itself.
Another aspect of the endemic bias is that editors bust a gut to find and explore the views of those who oppose withdrawal – and virtually ignore those who favour it. Tony Blair’s intervention in the election is a classic case in point. Blair’s pronouncements on the economic disaster that would ensue if the UK left the EU were given maximum exposure and weight – and those who genuinely disagreed did not get a look in, as analysis of the flagship coverage on BBC1 News at 10 shows.
Both MIliband and Cameron clearly know that their approaches to the EU are hated by a significant part of their core vote. But their calculated, cynical gamble is to focus their electoral fire elsewhere. Their hope is that the country’s deep and visceral distrust of the EU won’t really count when the ballot boxes are opened. And afterwards, whoever is elected will carry on regardless in their pro-EU trajectory.
BUT, they’re starting to sweat as we approach the election day because the polls are not moving. The UKIP vote is not ‘coming home’ despite such pleas as Dear Ukippers, quit while you’re ahead in The Times. There’s a pay wall but you can see the start Only fruitcakes or loonies would let Ed Balls and Alex Salmond into power. The time for protest is over — for now. So the journalist Capt NumbNutz uses the phrase ‘fruitcakes or loonies’ which only serves to remind ‘kippers of Cameron’s old insult to them. Well done, mate. Well done. That should get ‘er done.
The political class has never been so remote and so despised. But they earned it. They have resolutely ignored every warning to clean up their act.
The Official Monster Raving Loony Party is on TV at lunchtime, I’ll see if I can get a clip to share.