Steve Baker’s Whinge

The first things I saw today were two opinion polls: one poll from Ipsos-MORI (“IM”) of 16th May 2016 and a You-Gov (“YG”) poll of 17th May 2016 reporting:

IM:  Stay = 48%, Leave = 35%, Undecided = 14%

    YG: Stay =  44%, Leave = 40%, Undecided = 12%

Then up popped an e-mail from my Euro currency provider advising me that Sterling had risen as a result of the improved polling and that it might be a good moment to buy some more Euros.

Next I saw a whinge from  Steve Baker, the Co-chair of Conservatives for Britain on the Conservative Home  blog –  Remain campaigners – including Downing Street – must stop these nasty personal attacks.

What was interesting what not the whinge from the Steve Baker  but some of the responses from more sensible Conservatives of which the following are some extracts:-

  • This tit for tat on the EU debate is sickening. The Leave campaign aren’t coming out with a really positive and convincing reason to withdraw. Where is it?   What is it? If Leave are so convinced themselves why aren’t they able to get the story out? There is plenty of opportunity, but listen to Boris, IDS, Priti Patel, the story just seems to be “Don’t be scared” They even use the same corny tactics – accusations of scaremongering –  as Alex Salmond did in the Scottish Referendum.
  • Why does the Leave Campaign play the man not the ball on every major organisation with argues the downsides to leaving outweigh the upside – OECD, IMF, Obama, Treasury? If you want to fight this campaign with arguments, you need to produce them, not scream scaremongering left, right and centre.
  • It’s rather laughable to think that someone like Lord Heseltine can be “used” by Downing St. I suspect he says what he wants to say, and I rather agree with him. The fact is, the Conservative Government is campaigning for a Remain vote. Those who disagree with that can hardly complain about the cut and thrust of debate. Steve Baker also forgets the decades of vitriol from various anti-European groups directed at One Nation pro-European Tories, targeting seats and so on. This all looks like Vote Leave is giving up on winning and already fighting the recriminations war.
  • When I review the long history of hostility to the EU in the Conservative Party, and the determination with which so many with strong pro-EU convictions in the Conservative tradition have been comprehensively marginalised, not to say vilified, for decades, I find this complaint by an anti EU MP over the conduct of the debate during the past few weeks frankly rather ridiculous.
  • I am still technically undecided – having wavered between Leave and Remain for about a year now. But as we approach the date I am more inclined to vote Remain simply because of the vindictive and unprincipled stances of some (not all) in the Leave camp. I’d love to know who these people are outside London that think Boris is a hoot – I think he’s a lying idiot.
  • It’s interesting to see the differing perspectives of how the campaign is playing out. Certainly, there are some on both sides who haven’t covered themselves in glory, but many in Leave are acting like petulant children and some government ministers (e.g. Patel) have been unbelievably disloyal. Personally I’d rather listen to the Prime Minister, the first Conservative leader to win a majority for the party in 23 years, and John Major et al than the likes of Duncan Smith, Boris ‘bandwagon’ Johnson and Nigel Farage.

These sound more like traditional Conservatives who have a proper sense of Party and of the duty to back the policy of the Leader when in Government.   There are some details of  Conservatives For Britain  and its seems to be something of a party within a party  – the Tory equivalent of Labour’s Militant Tendency.

But even though the Conservative Home Blog does seem to be rather full of Brexiteer propaganda these days, it was quite a pleasure to read this post on the blog by Garvan Walshe which will, inevitably, be ridiculed by Brexiteers:  Garvan Walshe: Risky and radical. Why voting to leave the EU is un-conservative.

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