h1

Is ConHome right to be getting excited?

November 25th, 2010

Is this the politics for those who believe the Diana conspiracy?

The Daily Express is not one of those papers that often gets cited on PB, or indeed other political sites, for its most noted for its front pages on the Diana conspiracy and regular new cures for one form of cancer or another.

So how are we to regard it’s launch of a campaign crusade today to get the UK out of the EU? Is this going to resonate and are we going to see something more than the usual moans about Brussels that have been there since the Conservative party took us into Europe thirty-seven years ago?

Tim Mongtomerie of the Michael Ashcroft-owned, ConservativeHome, is getting excited and is running a piece headed “The Daily Express becomes the first national newspaper to support Britain leaving the EU”.

The Irish crisis and the need for Britain to commit large sums to maintain stability is a reminder that the EU might not be as robust an institution as was thought. For many it does sound crazy that this should be taking at a time of government cut-backs.

But even the recent headlines about what going on across the Irish sea don’t seem to have registered amongst voters. The EU was still barely mentioned as an “important” issue in the latest Ipsos-MORI issues index.

Politically, of course, the Cameron government has found it quite convenient to be in coalition because it’s enabled it to marginalise the Tory euro-sceptics. If there was a Tory majority now this could present bigger challenges for Number 10.

Whether Britain stays in or not is more a question of whether the EU itself can survive in an inclement financial climate. Certainly the pressures on countries like Spain and Portugal look very serious.

Maybe the Express is just being opportunistic here – so if it it all does fall apart it can claim – “It was us wot done it”.

The next few days on PB: I’m going to on holiday on the north Norfolk coast and won’t be originating many posts myself. There are a number of guest slots in the pipe-line.

Mike Smithson