Curious silence from blogging and tweeting Conservative MPs at Conference....
This from Douglas Carswell.
Wild conspiracy theories at a function last night about the lack of MPs blogging and tweeting in Manchester.
Was it a directive handed down from CCHQ to avoid any banana skins in conference week, someone asked me? Part of a pre-election clamp down to prevent folk going "off message", speculated another?
No. Alas, the lack of internet comment was due to something more mundane. Dodgy wifi connections
Surely not deliberate?
The Conference has left the eurosceptic wing totally turned off....that is 80% of the party. Hannan and Johnson have tried to keep hopes alive, but their jolly texts and words offering juicy sounding referendum hopes, no longer ring true. The season of hope for freedom lovers is sadly ending.
The media are threatening dire talk of Cameron's support leaving him if he turns to the right - i.e. they will clobber him with endless Bullingdon exposure, if he dares to go eurosceptic. And on cue, he's gone dead on all referendum promises.
The media are the gate-keepers. The Conservatives are stranded.
One way forward would be to use lateral thinking and go for Proportional Representation, as Brown is suggesting.
He imagines a Lib Dem/Labour coalition would emanate, keeping Conservatives at bay, and is proposing a PR referendum takes place at the same moment as the next general election. But would the result be as he (and the EU) imagine ?
In the EP elections, where 15 million votes were cast, eurosceptics outnumbered europhiles 2 to 1.
Conservative, UKIP, BNP, Green plus a host of others were 10 million votes to Lab, Lib Dem and SNP at 4.5 million.
These numbers open up possibilities for different eurosceptic electoral strategies.
If PR were to be introduced, I'd be in favour of a palace revolution inside the Conservative Party, as prescribed by Richard North on EU Referendum, as the party loyalty equation applies less forcefully as it does with FPTP.
Why do eurosceptics not do something unexpected, and back Brown's PR referendum?
And then set about building a withdrawalist coalition between a filtered Conservative Party made up of eurosceptics, UKIP, BNP, Greens and a host of others like English Democrats and so on?
That could bust open Britain's electoral system to produce a majority withdrawalist grouping in power, and finally get free of Brussels, Lisbon, Nice, Maastricht and all.
What are the arguments against?
See Proportional Representation In The UK? They'll Never Do It.