Is Captain Cameron shark food?

Cameron's In/Out referendum is a desperate attempt to throw bait to stalking sharks in a bid to keep them from his crew. Unsurprisingly, that tactic will likely fatally backfire

Can Cameron replicate Chief Martin Brody's heroics from the film Jaws?
Andrew Ian Dodge
On 15 May 2013 09:27

David Cameron’s current situation reminds me of a movie scene in which sharks are busy stalking the protagonists on a sinking ship. Desperately trying to avoid being eaten, it looks from the outside as if they’re doomed, holed below the waterline.

The Prime Minister’s announcement of the wording of the In/Out Referendum is a desperate attempt to keep the sharks from picking off his crew by chucking some more chum into the ocean. But that only adds to the considerable blood already in the water and the sharks are in a feeding frenzy.  Some of Captain Cameron’s shipmates are in such a panic they want to jump in and get it over with.

You may think I'm getting carried away, overstretching that analogy somewhat. But let’s look at a few simple facts.

We already know UKIP did rather well in the local elections taking a 24 percent of all votes cast. Since then it has added another councilor to its portfolio, in a seat formerly held by the Tories. And then there’s a recent poll putting UKIP on 18 percent, its highest rating to date; consider these details:

“Ukip's 18% is the best it has achieved with any pollster in any of the surveys logged at UK Polling Report. It is all the more remarkable for ICM, whose careful adjustments for voters who decline to reveal their political preference smooths out the wilder fluctuations of the electoral cycle.”

So the sharks are certainly doing their part – but the panic spreading among Cameron’s shipmates has been egged on by certain moves by the captain himself:

“A few days before polling day, the Prime Minister’s office signalled to The Daily Telegraph and elsewhere that Mr Cameron might be ready to bring forward legislation for an in/out referendum in this parliament. He might even, it was hinted, put it to a vote.”

And let’s discuss “the chum”, the bait he is using to ward off the sharks. It comes in the form of an In/Out referendum “promised” for 2017, two years after most think Cameron will be in forced into retirement. It’d be some feat binding a successor government of any form; a Jaws-like miracle if that government was to involve the Labour Party.

But surely, given that this is the man that promised, with a cast iron guarantee, a referendum during the last election, we can invest some certainty into his words. Indeed, the captain was explicit back in 2007:

Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations.  No treaty should be ratified without consulting the British people in a referendum.”

Of course, the only problem is that never happened. And that’s a fairly big problem, come to think about it.

It seems, then, that Captain Cameron has failed to learn from the last time he tossed the sharks some bait to keep them happy – a tactic that backfired spectacularly. As any fisherman will tell you, the more chum you throw into the swim, the more sharks you’ll attract.

Is it any wonder, then, that the crew onboard the Conservative ship are a little unsure as to whether their captain has full control, or whether he is completely at sea? If Cameron is struggling to keep morale high now, the difficulties will only intensify as a particularly large shark named Nigel approaches from below.

Andrew Ian Dodge is a former US Senate Candidate for Maine (Libertarian), a former Tea Party cordinator, and a freelance writer. Follow him on Twitter @Lagwolf

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