Showing posts from June, 2016

As the next Conservative leadership election begins ...

Amazing as it may seem, the first Conservative leadership election took place as recently as 1965 - fifty one years ago this year. On previous occasions including the time before that in 1963 when a leader was needed, someone emerged from a "magic circle" of consultations or was "sent for" by the monarch. Since then there have been just nine leadership elections and the results are interesting: 1965: Favourite, Reggie Maudling . Winner, Ted Heath. 1975: Favourite , 1st ballot Ted Heath , 2nd ballot Whitelaw. Winner, Margaret Thatcher. 1989: "Stalking horse" challenge to sitting PM Margaret Thatcher by unknown backbencher Sir Anthony Meyer. This is the one time the favourite, Mrs Thatcher, won but it was hardly a serious fight. But the following year: 1990: Favourite , 1st ballot Mrs Thatcher , 2nd ballot Michael Heseltine. Winner, John Major . 1995; John Major resigns as party leader and stands for re-election, challenging opponents within the

Quote of the day 30th June 2016

I posted the open full letter from Jamie Reed to Jeremy Corbyn begging him to resign as Labour leader, but in case not everyone found it easy to read, here are the opening and closing paragraphs as my quote of the day. It shows how normal politics have been suspended that Jamie Red, who is the sort of Labour MP who you would absolutely not expect to do this, actually started and finished his letter with references to a Conservative prime minister which were almost complementary .. "At Prime Minister's Question Time today an inexplicable development occurred whereby David Cameron spoke for the overwhelming majority of Labour MPs and Labour voters everywhere: '... it might be in  my party's interests for him to sit there; it is not in the national interest. I would say "For heaven's sake, man, go!" '" "In the hours after the EU referendum result, David Cameron recognised that he could no longer lead our country, his party, or his memb

Jamie Reed MP calls on Jeremy Corbyn to resign

I don't often quote the Labour MP for Copeland - indeed on the principle that it's usually better not to say anything about someone than to fire off frequent personal attacks on them, I usually avoid mentioning him at all. I think today is the only time in the eleven years since his election I have mentioned him twice in one day. (The other was on my hospitals blog: it would have been churlish not to mention his role in the meeting of WCH campaigners with Health minister Ben Gummer.) However, as the rules of normal politics have so completely been suspended that the open letter to Jeremy Corbyn which Jamie Reed published today began and ended with favourable references to David Cameron, I'm going to quote it here.

WCH campaigners meet Ben Gummer, health minister

A delegation of campaigners for services at West Cumberland Hospital met health minister Ben Gummer MP at the Department of Health today. More details on my hospitals blog here .

Today's PMQs - Corbyn Versus Cameron

Here are the exchanges between David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn at today's Prime Minister's Questions. It began with some points almost everyone could agree about - commemorations for the Somme and the death of Lord Mayhew, concern on both sides about the economy and the downgrading of the UK by leading credit rating. There was also agreement that racist attacks, which have increased since last Thursday are unacceptable, must be condemned on all sides, and must be stopped. However from there the level of disagreement increased, and it ended with DC telling Jeremy Corbyn "It may be in my party's interest for him to sit there, it isn't in the national interest. For heaven's sake man, go!"

The lesson for young voters from Brexit isn't to blame the old: it's for young people to vote

Surveys of how people voted and how they turned out (yes, I know, none of us trust the opinion polls to predict anything at the moment, but they are all we have to go on in trying to understand what happened) show two trends by age. 1) The older people are, the more likely they are to vote, with turnout increasing in each age group. 2) Up to about the age of 80, the older people are the more likely they were to vote Leave. although there is some evidence that the very oldest voters - those like Field Marshall Lord Bramall who is one of the last survivors of the D-Day landings - who remember WWII, come into two categories: those who have never forgiven the Germans, or those who completely buy into one of the original founding aims of the EU, to make another war between the nations of Europe unthinkable. Not having lived through what they did, it is not my place to make a judgement on either group, but there appear to be enough of them in the latter category that the very oldest vo

Scotland and Brexit

Professor Adam Tomkins, a professor of constitutional law who was elected to the Scottish parliament this year, made a very constructive unionist contribution to the debate about the Scottish response to Brexit which you can watch and listen to here .

Quote of the day 29th June 2016


Calling graduates of Bristol University

Most of my fellow graduates of the University of Bristol will probably be aware of this, but just in case any who read this blog are not: Voting in the  Convocation & Alumni Association elections 2016  is now under way.   There are contested elections for   * Vice Chair of Convocation (the "Old boys and Girls" organisation which seeks to represent graduates of the university and bring them together * three seats on the Convocation committee and * 25 of the hundred seats reserved for graduates on Bristol University Court are up this year. I am just coming to the end of my most recent four year term as one of the representatives of Bristol's graduates on Court (which is a sort of advisory board of governors) and am seeking re-election. There are a lot of excellent candidates standing: as a result of having a surname beginning with "W" I find myself near the bottom of a long list of excellent people. It has been my consistent experience ov

The Irony meter is off the scale 3

Everyone in a democracy is entitled to their opinion, even if it disagrees with that of an expert. Experts get things wrong too, sometimes. I did find it a little surprising when Michael Gove appeared to make a positive virtue out of claiming to know more about science than Stephen Hawking and the great majority of Britain's most distinguished scientists, more about economics than the vast majority of our most distinguished economists (including the ones who never supported the Euro) and more than most experts in several other fields when he said "People in this country have had enough of experts." Since the Referendum his wife Sarah Vine has turned this round 180 degrees: as you can read here  she has asked on social media for "clever people" to make "this a positive moment for the country by offering to lend advice and expertise." That's presumably to write a Brexit plan like the one that the Leave Alliance bothered to publish but

Moving the goalposts ...

Interesting article at the BBC Reality check site here  on whether leading Leave campaigners have changed their position following the referendum

Quote of the day 28th June 2016

"Hodgson, the only man in England with a coherent plan for leaving Europe" ( Christian Bennett on Twitter) P.S. I realise that this is actually rather unfair to the Leave Alliance and the authors of Flexcit, but the line was too good not to use

Labour in their own words

Top hits from those Shadow cabinet resignation letters. With friends like these: Heidi Alexander, resigning as shadow Health Secretary "I do not believe you have the capacity to shape the answers our country is demanding."  Lucy Power, resigning as shadow Education Secretary "Your position is untenable and you are unable to command the support of the Shadow Cabinet, the Parliamentary Labour Party, and most importantly, the country." Ian Murray, resigning as shadow Scottish Secretary "I have always expressed my thoughts directly to you as I think it is important to be honest and open with each other.   ...I do not feel this has been reciprocated." Chris Bryant, resigning as shadow  Leader of the House of Commons "The vast majority of Labour MPs did not vote for you. Your ambivalent attitude in the campaign was a betrayal of the Labour Party and the wider Labour movement and it has let down a whole generation of young people."

The irony meter is off the scale - 2

Now they tell them! The Sun Newspaper campaigned for a Leave vote and congratulated British voters on the win for that side. But the day after the vote they also published on their website a personal finances guide to Brexit which suggested the following possible consequences of the UK leaving the EU: 1. Inflation is likely to rise 2. The cost of an average family holiday will rise 3. Accommodation abroad will cost more 4. Beer prices will go up 5. EU caps on international calls will no longer apply, so it’ll cost much more to make calls in Europe 6. Unemployment will rise and wages will fall by up to four per cent 7. Mortgages prices will rise 8. Rates of taxation will increase 9. Benefit payments may be slashed Needless to say quite a few of their readers commented that it might have been helpful to hear this from the Sun BEFORE the vote. Don't know how long this will stay up on the Sun site but you can read here on the 'i' site that one Sun read

The Irony meter is off the scale - 1

You know that silly petition asking for a re-run of the EU Referendum? (Which I will not be signing) It wasn't set up by a Remain supporter. Turns out it was set up a month or so ago by a Leave supporter who thought his side were going to lose. Though of course the people who are signing it now are Remainers. Here is a statement by the buffoon who set it up. He complains about "sore losers" on the Remain side exploiting what he would have wanted to do had his side lost without any apparent trace of irony. Well this is one of a number of things which is sending my irony meter off the scale. You really couldn't make it up. What an extreme case of poetic justice! I have not laughed so much since I heard the Referendum result. (Actually, if I'm honest, since a long time before.)

Of medical staff and the NHS

Over the years we have consistently failed to train enough British people as medical staff and in consequence have had to recruit more from all over the world. I believe we should train more British people as doctors, dentists and nurses. But we cannot do this overnight. Yesterday I saw this picture of some of the thousands of foreign nationals who work in our NHS - it was posted of course, in the context of the EU membership vote. There are a lot of different figures floating around about how many doctors who were born, qualified or have citizenship of other countries work in the NHS. I looked first at the "Full Facts" fact checking website and their page on the subject which you can read  here . According to "Full Facts"about 36% of doctors and 23% of GPs in the UK qualified abroad. I presume some of these now have British citizenship, as they also say that 24% of NHS doctors are foreign nationals. Another fact checking site reported that about 10% of

Quote of the day 27th June 2016


Sunday music spot: Handel's Sarabande


The idea of a snap General Election should be stamped on HARD

There should NOT be a snap general election and this idea should be strongly discouraged. This hare appears to have been set running by Peter Mandelson who was re-fighting the argument about whether Gordon Brown should have called one when he became PM. It has been picked up by journalists who are the only people in Britain who profit from uncertainty and excitement and by some Remainers, who hope that MPs could use that General Election to seek a mandate to overturn the referendum result. (Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has already said he will do this) That is a recipe for chaos. First of all, is any of the parties in a position to fight an election properly? Our machine might be in a better state than most, but that's not saying much.   Secondly, We've already had one Pro-Remain MP, David Lammy, calling on his fellow remain MPs to block the referendum decision and one party leader Tim Farron of the Lib/Dems, saying he will seek to use the next general election to reverse it

Quote of the day 26th June 2016

Thanks to John Rentoul of the Independent for drawing my attention to a brilliant article about the strength of democracy by Ian Leslie which contains this superb quote. You can read the full article, "The people have spoken, the bastards," here . Belief in democracy does not, in my own opinion, mean you have to think the people will get everything right. You can believe that there will be some wrong decisions, and I think the UK made one pm Thursday. But you accept the majority decision because there will be fewer wrong decisions under democracy than under any other system. And yes, because you recognise that you might be wrong. And because, collectively, thirty-three million people know far more than any one individual human being possibly can.

Scotland and Europe

At the moment I greatly distrust all opinion polls. I presume that the fieldwork for this one in the Sunday Post suggesting 59% support for Scottish Independence must have been taken while half the country was in a state of shock at the Brexit vote and may not reflect what people will think when they have all calmed down - particularly given that where the oil price is at the moment an independent Scotland would have a massive hole in it's budget. With no majority in the Scottish parliament it is by no means certain that Nicola Sturgeon can call another Indyref and neither is it certain that she can win one. There are some strong arguments in a Telegraph piece  here by John McTernan that a second Scottish Indyref is not inevitable. There is also apparently an EU report which says that Scotland cannot stay seamlessly in the EU by voting for Independence from the UK before Britain leaves the EU and applying to stay in: they have to leave an

Saturday music spot - A Neil Sedaka classic which seems relevant today ,,,

Sadly almost all the questions in Neil Sedaka's classic look today like what John Rentoul of the Independent would call a QTWTAIN (Questions to which the answer is No.)

Quote of the day 25th June 2016

"As their price for supporting German unification, France and Italy pinned Germany down to a timetable for an overhasty, ill-designed and overextended European monetary union. As a result of their liberation from Soviet communist control, many poorer countries in eastern Europe were set on a path to EU membership, including its core freedom of movement. And 1989 opened the door to globalisation, with spectacular winners and numerous losers. Each of these chickens has come home to roost in Britain’s referendum. Since the financial crisis exposed the structural flaws of the eurozone, the continent’s economic weakness has been a key argument for leave, just as the continent’s economic strength was a key argument for remain in the referendum of 1975, when Thatcher wore that jumper. “ As for the 19 countries locked into the catastrophic, one-sized-fits-all single currency ,” the Daily Mail wrote on referendum day, urging its readers to vote leave , “ ask the jobless young people of

The implications of a close vote

All those on both sides of the EU referendum who have strong views about it would be wise to think about how they would be feeling if as the last polls before the vote had suggested it would, instead of being 51.9% to 48.1% for Leave, it had been the other way round. Nigel Farage apparently said on 17th May that "In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way." Funnily enough he only seems to apply this one way round. Personally I think that those of us who lost have to respect the majority decision, and I would have been of that view whichever way it had gone, but I also think that in a vote this close the winning side owe it to their country to recognise that they have not won an overwhelming victory. Let's put the votes cast for both sides in context Winning Leave vote in this referendum: 17.4 million Losing Remain vote in this referendum: 16.1 million Record vote cast for any government in history: 14.1 million Votes cast fo

We will miss David Cameron

There are many among those who supported the decision to Leave who hate David Cameron for not being right-wing enough or because he fought tooth and nail for the outcome he has always said he wanted. There are many among those who did not support that decision who are furious with him for calling the referendum in the first place. I am in neither group. I am not at all happy with the decision which the electorate has taken, but the European project could not continue on the road represented by Juncker's words "There is no democratic choice against the European Treaties." I wanted to see the sort of Europe of Nations of which Mrs Thatcher spoke at Bruges. You cannot build a democratic Europe without a democratic mandate. And the very fact that it was possible for Leave to win this referendum demonstrates how far out of line both the political elite in this country and the EU establishment had become with half of our country. David Cameron's critics said he

David Cameron's valedictory statement

   The country has just taken part in a giant democratic exercise, perhaps the biggest in our history. Over 33 million people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, have all had their say. We should be proud of the fact that in these islands, we trust the people with these big decisions. We not only have a parliamentary democracy but on questions about the arrangements for how we are governed, there are times when it is right to ask the people themselves, and that is what we have done. We not only have a parliamentary democracy but on questions about the arrangements for how we are governed, there are times when it is right to ask the people themselves, and that is what we have done.   The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected . I want to thank everyone who took part in the campaign on my side of the argument, including all those who put aside party differences to speak in what they believed was the na

The five stages of Brexit shock ...

Hopefully people on both sides of the issue will be able to find this funny. You may need to click on it to make the image big enough to read ... (I'm currently working my way through the anger stage and trying hard to be civil to everyone ...)

The problem with polls

Pity the pollsters. Yesterday's vote was a particularly hard one to call, but it turns out that this cartoon from January nailed it:

How not to react to a democratic vote

After a lot of agonising I voted remain and make no apology for it. But I respect the result, and we all now have to work together to implement the decision of the British people - preferably in a way which keeps good relations with our neighbours (who are still our partners and allies within NATO), keeps us a positive and open society, and maximises the opportunities for British businesses and jobs by trading both in Europe and around the world. We also urgently need to address the disengagement and disillusionment which caused so many of our people to cast what appears to have been an "up yours" vote against the establishment. Insults and recriminations will not help. Therefore I don't think the sort of comments Tim Farron was making this morning on TV will help that process. Neither will some of the comments from Nigel Farage. Several prominent members of the Leave campaign have criticised Farage's describing this as a " Victory for decent people &qu

Quote of the day 24th June 2016

What can my quote of the day be? I considered posting Sir Robert Walpole's 1739 quote at the start of the "War of Jenkins' Ear" but have decided that would be far too negative and could be seen as failing to respect the verdict of the people. I considered quoting Dick Tuck's famous concession speech but it has the same problem. I considered quoting Juliet's line from Romeo and Juliet about parting, but at the moment I am feeling a bit numb - indeed, stunned, though not surprised - rather than sweetness or sorrow. One person tweeted yesterday that we would shortly find out who would have to make their promises work and who could spend the rest of their life saying "I told you so." But actually, I have no intention of spending the rest of my life saying that, I want to make this decision work. This referendum has shown that Britain is a divided country. About 48% of us did not want this result. But we must ask ourselves why it happened. I


A few moments ago David Dimbleby announced that a Leave win has just become a mathematical certainty. It looks like the narrowest of margins - the BBC is predicting that 52% of the electorate have voted to leave the EU and 48% to remain. Whatever happens we now have to come together and make this work.

As the count begins

Polling stations have closed and all the ballots have been cast in the most important vote I expect to participate in during my lifetime. Now we have to wait and see what the people have decided. Thank you to all those on both sides who have campaigned hard for what they believed to be in the interests of Britain. And thank you to everyone who took the trouble to cast a vote. There have been too many insults hurled at people on both sides and I hope we can stop that, rise above it, and work together to try to make the best of whatever people have voted for. Whoever is Prime Minister at the end of this year, I hope there is no "revenge reshuffle." I had to make a decision and I voted the way I did partly because I believe that many of the things said by the other side were wrong. Indeed, both campaigns said some things which I think were wrong. That does not necessarily make them liars, certainly does not make them unpatriotic, does not make them racists, and does not

Three hours thirty minutes to go

If you have not voted in the EU membership referendum you have three and a half hours left. Polls close at 10pm. It may be very close and it could be the most important vote you will ever cast.

Second quote of the day 23rd June 2016

(David Aaronovitch in The Times today)

The ASI's Executive Director on the Libertarian case for Remain

Because of bad experiences in my student days I used to have rather a downer on the Adam Smith Institute but they have risen in my estimation since. Their site currently has well argued articles on both sides of the EU referendum decision. In an article   here Sam Bowman, the ASI's executive director, gives four reasons which explain why he went from backing leave to being undecided to an eventual decision to vote Remain. Interestingly, and like me, he would have been far more likely to vote Leave if the Flexcit proposal from the Leave alliance, or some form of the Norway option, had clearly been the likely result if Britain votes to leave. The trouble is that with key people in the Leave campaign dismissing the idea of staying in the EEA - including, as Sam rightly points out, the two people one of whom is likely to be PM by the end of the year if there is a Brexit vote - there is a very real possibility of the UK leaving not just the EU but the single market if we vote t

Down to the wire, continued

Peter Kellner, a very shrewd pollster,  has written a very interesting article at in which he takes an average of the final polls, with the telephone polls predicting a Remain win and the online polls a Leave win. The phone polls were more accurate in their General Election predictions although of course a referendum is different. Analysing the possible sources of error and late change - for example, the possibility that expats and Gibraltar might add up to half a percent to Remain's share and the chances of a late swing - he thinks Remain is likely to get between 51.2& and 57.3%, Leave between 42.7% and 48.8% with the mid point being a Remain lead of about 8%. But he admits that  "If the phone polls have been systematically overstating support for Remain throughout the campaign, then a victory for Brexit is perfectly possible." In other words it could still be very close and could still go either way. I love his last parag

What Mrs Thatcher said in 1975

This is what Margaret Thatcher said at the time of the last referendum about whether to stay in what was then called the European Economic Community and is now called the EU (when as Conservative leader of the opposition she lined up with a Labour Prime Minister.)   (Image from the times via @PickardJE and Mike Smithson) Nobody can be certain what Maggie would say if she were alive today. Sadly she isn't still with us to speak for herself. But after a lot of thought I have come to the view that what she said in 1975 was right then and is right today.

Polls are now open

Polls are now open in what will probably be the most important vote in the lifetime of most British electors reading this. Whatever you think is best for Britain, please use your vote. Polls are open until 10pm

The best article of the campaign

Until a day or so ago I thought the best article I had seen during the EU referendum campaign was by former International Development secretary Andrew Mitchell MP. The Establishment may be repulsive but on this it is right Mitchell compares the two sides in the EU debate to the description in Sellar and Yeatman's parody of history, " 1066 and all that " of the Roundheads and Cavaliers from what was then usually called the Civil War. Sellar and Yeatman described the Cavaliers as " Wrong but Wromatic " and the Roundheads as " Right but Repulsive." Mitchell made a brilliant case that the Brexit side were the "Wrong but Wromatic" side of the EU argument while Remain, though sometimes repulsive, is right. But yesterday my attention was drawn to an even more powerful article, Robert Colvile's A Eurosceptic case for Remain. Colvile is very aware of all the failings of the EU and recognises that those who want out are not people wh

Quote of the day 23rd June 2016 - REFERENDUM POLLING DAY

"Some within the Leave camp have managed to brush off the near-unanimous warnings of every economist, every NGO, every central bank, every friendly government that Brexit would have an immediate and severe economic cost. Experts have been wrong before, after all. But we surely have to take the weight of their opinion into account — the fact that analysts in the City are, to a man or woman, ******* petrified about what happens on Thursday. Even if we get away with just a collapse of the pound (and all its ensuing consequences), there will be months and years of uncertainty while whatever deal can be hammered out is hammered out — during which period there will be less investment, less certainty, less prosperity."   ( Robert Colvile , from his article, A Eurosceptic case for Remain )


I spent four years acquiring my two degrees in Economics (and a fifth year as a student managing the Student Union's budget of a million pounds in 1983 money). I have spent thirty years of my working life applying the knowledge I acquired on those degree courses and trying to plan and forecast how the economy and various other factors might affect the large company I work for. That does not give me any right to tell people who do not have equivalent knowledge and experience that they are not entitled to an opinion. Everyone is, and furthermore experts are sometimes wrong. But it does give me some understanding of the debate about what are the likely effects of a vote to Leave the EU, and why the overwhelming majority of economists, NGOs, International bodies, and the "experts" who Michael Gove so despises think that the economic impact would be bad. Both sides have valid arguments on democracy, sovereignty and security. The Leave side can certainly point to many, ma

The Irish Question ...

The Economist is right about this ... I have driven over the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland on a fair number of occasions. There is absolutely nothing to mark that border. The only thing that tells you that you have crossed into a different country is that the speed limit signs change, with units in miles to on one side and KM on the other. There are no fences, no border posts, no customs, in many places not even a Welcome to Great Britain or Welcome to Ireland sign. At the moment Britain and Ireland have a common travel zone which largely works, and is made possible because Britain and Ireland are both in the EU but neither is in the Schengen agreement area. Essentially Britain and Ireland jointly police that travel zone. Both sides in the present EU referendum have said some exaggerated, implausible or ridiculous things. But in terms of promises to the voters which are completely incompatible, one of the most completely incredible things said by either side is

Private Eye on the Leave campaign's impossible promises


Down to the wire

The final polls suggest that the EU referendum is looking very tight tomorrow. Heaven only knows what is going to happen. Like most people, I thought the General Election last year would be much closer than it was, although I was expecting the Conservatives to sneak back in: I knew we had a chance of a majority but did not expect it. This time the pollsters have an even harder job getting it right because there has not been a really equivalent vote for 41 years. So it is possible that the polls and expectations could be completely wrong and one side could be heading for a big win. My gut instinct, however is that it is going to be very close indeed and that is what the polls also show, as the table below (produced by Mike Smithson of Political Betting) indicates. I think this one is going right down to the wire and every vote could count.


Tomorrow is polling day in the EU referendum - the most important vote most of us will have the opportunity to cast in our lifetimes. Like everyone younger than their late fifties, I was born too late to vote last time Britain had a vote on whether to be part of what was then officially known as the European Economic Community (and informally a the Common Market) and is now called the European Union. If Britain votes to Leave tomorrow, the decision is likely to stand for a long time and have major consequences  - and if we were to change our minds it is most unlikely that we could ever come back in under as favourable terms of membership, with the right to keep the pound, exemption from the Schengen area and from "ever-closer union" that we have now. If Britain votes to Remain there probably will not be another referendum on leaving in my lifetime. Whatever you think is the best option for Britain, please turn out and vote tomorrow.

Quote of the day 22nd June 2016

"Voters in Scotland can be forgiven for suffering from referendum fatigue at the moment. Less than two years since the independence referendum, the country is once again preparing to decide its future. The arguments, on the surface, appear familiar. For Yes v No, replace Out v In. We are urged to back separation, not this time by Alex Salmond, but by his fellow Scot, Michael Gove. And once more, we are asked to look beyond the sound and fury and seek out the facts beneath. Superficially, it might seem the same sort of decision. It’s not. For me, the independence referendum was not just about facts and figures — as important as they were — it was about heart and soul; ideas of national and personal identity. It spoke of who we are and what we consider “home”. Removing Scotland from the United Kingdom would have broken up our nation and changed us all. This is not the case this time. I do not diminish the significance of the EU referendum but, in or out, Britain will still stand.

Worst of both worlds Twelve

I had originally intended to post this article on Thursday 16th but after the tragic events of that day it seemed appropriate to step back for a few days. Here is what will probably be the last in my series of the worst nonsense and scaremongers of both sides The most extreme "Remain" scare of the campaign Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, is normally one of the most sensible of the top Eurocrats. This week  he was suggesting correctly that the EU will have to learn lessons from the issues raised by the UK referendum campaign even if there is a "Remain" vote, one of them being that the enthusiasm of the elites for the European project is not shared by the peoples of Europe. Nevertheless last week hecame out with probably the most extreme scare of the entire campaign when he suggested that Britain leaving the EU could threaten Western Civilisation. I could not at first believe that Donald Tusk could really have said this. I wondered if it mig