Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A Word To Ed Miliband

I'm very anti-EU. This statement won't be a surprise to anyone who's scanned this blog or my Twitter feed. In fact, I'm quite boring on the issue. However, that isn't the point of this post. It isn't really about the essence of the debate last night which led to the public being denied a referendum on our continued EU membership. I could go on and on about David Cameron's heavy-handed tactics when it came to his backbenchers or Nick Clegg's support for a project rapidly going down the toilet but I want to focus on our worthy leader of the opposition: Mr Ed Miliband.

From the moment the result of the vote was announced last night, Miliband - there's no other way to say it - gloated about the fact that David Cameron couldn't control his backbenchers. He gloated. He believes that politicians should serve a party leader and not their constituents. His words, quoted by the Telegraph, were: "The problem with the Prime Minister is that he's spent the last six years putting his party interests before the national interest." Who is Miliband to say what's in the national interest when he just denied the people a say in their own destiny? When asked why he opposed a referendum he said, "At this time of all times for Britain to be looking inwards and renegotiating whether we're in Europe or outside Europe would be the wrong step." In Miliband's opinion it would be the wrong step. But last night wasn't about the opinion of the political class in this country. It was about the wider public being offered the chance to have a say in where a huge proportion of their money goes.

What David Cameron did on the referendum issue was unforgivable. But I'd argue that what Ed Miliband did was worse. Miliband seems pleased that the electorate has been denied a voice. Something in me recoiled from him last night. It's one thing to have a viewpoint on an issue which perhaps contradicts the popular consensus: it's quite another to deny those people a voice because you know what the outcome will be. I am sick of politicians believing they know what's best for us. If that was the case then they could have allowed this issue to go to a referendum and would have been able to convince us that being in the EU is good for our economy and stability. They knew they couldn't prove such an outlandish theory so they blocked us. All three parties stood in a row and told the people to get lost.

Ed Miliband has no hope of winning an election while he so mockingly ignores the will of the people. He's scored a few political points against David Cameron. I hope he's content with that because I have the distinct feeling that's all he'll gain in the next five years.

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