When is a referendum not a referendum? Answer — when it is a politically convenient device used by a slippery Prime Minister in trouble with half his MPs.
The EU Referendum held on the 23rd of June was phony. It has no legal consequences. That in turn means that it has no effect. Whoever becomes leader of the Tory Party and thus Prime Minister of Great Britain, will, if she or he wishes to cause the UK to leave the EU, have to follow the normal Parliamentary procedure for the making of law. It could take years for legislation to pass, if it is not blocked from the start by the majority of pro-EU MPs.
Captain of the UK ship of State, Dave ‘Mine’s a Pint’ Cameron nailed his colours to the mast and finally had the worm-eaten hulk torpedoed from under him. And what did it? His own insufferable Tory hubris and his barrow-boy addiction to gambling. Thanks to Cameron, the end of Europe as we know it has become likely. The voters in Britain just pulled out the props and the sky fell in.
Well, that was what it felt like this morning as I turned on my pc and suddenly realised that the UK had altered the course of history. The sky has not actually fallen in, of course, but apparently it is dark with the bodies of money-men throwing themselves off tall buildings in the City of London. They will soon be joined, I should not wonder, by the corpses of Tory grandees caught on the wrong side as the traditional ‘Night of the Long Knives’ is enacted.
We have just seen the biggest single political event since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Not just in European, but world terms. The echoes of the cataclysm are booming through the corridors of power from Washington to Moscow. Vlad ‘The Slayer’ Putin must have chuckled in his morning bath of chamomile leaves as his aides brought him the good news.