Just a quick word from our homeland on the rubbish that the Conservatives are supposedly ‘tearing themselves apart’, ‘imploding’ or ‘falling apart’ over the issue of the EU referendum on June 23rd. That’s not the case until the opposition Labour party, or anyone else, looks as if they are in a position to benefit. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, appears to be backing continued EU membership simply because he wouldn’t be able to get away with presiding over a party of largely pro-EU MPs and not backing it. The Labour figures most likely to make a strong case for staying in the EU are ex-Prime Ministers who are no longer in Parliament, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (which doesn’t say a lot at the moment for those pro-EU Labour MPs that are in Parliament, with the possible exception of former Home Secretary Alan Johnson).
To all intents and purposes, the referendum is a de facto Conservative party leadership contest between Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured below) and London Mayor Boris Johnson, both of whom are on opposite sides of the debate. But the Conservatives will still be in power come June 24th (unforeseen disasters notwithstanding) – and they’ll probably rally around the figurehead who has prevailed in the election. Because that kind of pragmatism is what Conservatives do well. The weird thing is that although there is clearly a lot of in-fighting taking place in the Conservative party, it only underlines how much their opponents are – for now – in the wilderness.