Funny, Boris forgets own u-turn on EU referendum


by Sunny Hundal    
8:46 am - January 29th 2013

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Yesterday, London’s Mayor Boris Johnson published his weekly column in the Telegraph, titled ‘Only a coward would deny the people their voice on Europe‘.

Funny, anyone remember this?

Whether you have In/Out referendum now, you know, in the run-up to 2015, I can’t, I have to say I can’t quite see why it would be necessary. What is happening, though, John, is that… the thing that worries me, and I’m going to be making a speech about this pretty soon, the thing that worries me is basically the European Union is changing from what it was initially constituted to be: it is becoming the eurozone de facto, and the eurozone is not something we participate in, and I think it’s becoming a little unfair on us that we are endlessly belaboured and criticised for being the back marker, when actually this project is not one that we think is well-founded or well-thought through.

That emphasis is mine. It was, of course, Boris Johnson in an interview.

At the time, the Spectator’s Isabel Hardman reported on Boris’s comments as ‘Boris Johnson rejects In/Out referendum call‘.

Curiously, Boris is now on the EU Referendum bandwagon again, pretending he was in favour all along. The Labour party hasn’t ruled out a Referendum entirely (though I wish they’d promise it too) – but that hasn’t stopped Boris trying to mis-characterise the party’s position and whitewash his own.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Europe ,Foreign affairs ,News


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Reader comments


What a complete cunt he is

That emphasis is mine. It was, of course, Boris Johnson in an interview.

A shift in position from I can’t quite see why it would be necessary – hardly outright opposition – to support for a referendum isn’t much of a ‘u-turn’.

But as a general principle ‘u-turn’ arguments are counter-productive. If someone sticks to their original position they’re obstinate and undemocratic but if they change their opinion it’s either hypocrisy or a humiliating climb-down.

Are you for or against politicians changing their minds?

The Labour party hasn’t ruled out a Referendum entirely

The best way to avoid changes of hypocrisy or making u-turns is to not tell people what your opinion is in the first place.

By expressing no opinion whatsoever Labour can take potshots at pro-Europeans and anti-Europeans alike.

1 – Judging by the Mayoral election results, more people thought that about Livingstone.

I am slightly surprised that you can’t see the distinction in what he has said. I suspect you can actually, but are still raw about the Livingstone loss.

Whether you have In/Out referendum now, you know, in the run-up to 2015, I can’t, I have to say I can’t quite see why it would be necessary.

Spot anything Sunny?

Try in Monday’s FT: Wolfgang Munchau on: Euro and trade will make the EU irrelevant
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e3c03460-664f-11e2-b967-00144feab49a.html?ftcamp=published_links%2Frss%2Fcomment%2Ffeed%2F%2Fproduct

He is saying the effective choice for the referendum may come down to joining the Eurozone or leaving the EU. If so, Cameron may come to regret raising the issue but by some media reports, some Conservative MPs are already reckoning that the Conservatives will lose the election in 2015.

Not surprising from brown shirt boris.

The idea that this jack boot thug is running the Met while all the time he is sucking Murdochs cock is unbelievable. But what do you expect in Tory Britains banana republic?

Where schools are handed over to big donors of the tory party. And Hospitals will soon go the same way. Where the Prime Minister parades his dying son as an electoral prop to con people into believing he supports the NHS.

The whole tory party is a criminal mafia organisation, owned and supported by a new criminal class of fecless lazy corporate welfare addicted scum.

@Sally – whereas Blair’s Murdoch’s kid’s Godfather and Brown noshed Murdoch so much that finally Rupert had to dump him because he was getting too clingy, too desperate, too much like hard work? Where Cherie Blair’s set to make over £100 million from private healthcare provision established by Alan Milburn, Alan Johnson, Patsy and hard working Scouser and man o’ the people Andy Burnham?

Yeah, those evil Tories eh, doing err… exactly the same as Labour! Whodda thunk??

Spot anything Sunny?

why don’t you explain how the Boris position is different to the Labour position?

10. Shatterface

Not surprising from brown shirt boris.

The idea that this jack boot thug is running the Met while all the time he is sucking Murdochs cock is unbelievable.

Two Nazi references and one homophobic one in your first two sentences: Sunny’s rabid pet is really on form.

11. Shatterface

why don’t you explain how the Boris position is different to the Labour position?

Is it because we don’t know what the fuck Labour’s position is? Or did you forget you wrote this:

The Labour party hasn’t ruled out a Referendum entirely (though I wish they’d promise it too) – but that hasn’t stopped Boris trying to mis-characterise the party’s position and whitewash his own.

Hint: don’t attack one person’s equivocation while you are still waiting for your own party to stop dithering.

What, by the way, does ‘whitewhasing’ mean in this context?

Do you understand the idiom?

[deleted for swearing]

9 – Guh. He was opposed to an in/out referendum on a status quo/out basis, to be held before the election. As was the PM, and the majority of the Tory Party.

He is in favour of negotiating the return of competencies, followed by an in/out referendum on a renegotiated package/out basis, to be held in 2017. As is the PM and virtually all the Tory Party.

There’s no contradiction between these positions.

Explaining how it’s different to Labour’s position is tricky, I agree, because no-one seems to have the faintest idea what Labour’s position is. I thought that Ed Miliband said that he was opposed to any referendum on in/out, but then I’ve heard other spokesmen say that it’s only this referendum in particular that they don’t like. Who the hell knows, frankly.

Incidentally, when you say that Boris is now “pretending he was in favour of a referendum all along” did you somehow miss this bit of the interview?

if and when the eurozone goes forward into a fiscal, banking union, into a full-scale political union, then I think it is inevitable, given the changes that will entail to the EU constitution, that you will have to consult with the British people about what kind of arrangements they want, and in those circumstances, yes, you should jolly well have a referendum.

14. Shatterface

[deleted]

I thought that Ed Miliband said that he was opposed to any referendum on in/out, but then I’ve heard other spokesmen say that it’s only this referendum in particular that they don’t like. Who the hell knows, frankly.

The Labour party’s position to the media comes across as confused, but anyone with half a brain listening to what is being said can’t claim ignorance.

They’re not ruling out a referendum (as was clarified after PMQs) and during PMQs Ed Mili himself said they’re also signed the agreement that there wouldn’t be a significant change without a referendum.

so in effect the Labour position is the same as Boris Johnson’s position (though he keeps changing it.. at least Labour sticks to one).

This comment section is hilarious. I swear I can practically hear Sally’s slurring rabid fits from home.

Sunny please do everyone a favour and wake up. If you are going to have a comment policy enforce it:

“•We have a tight comments policy aimed at fostering constructive debate.
•We believe in free speech but not your right to abuse our space.
•Abusive, sarcastic or silly comments may be deleted.
•Misogynist, racist, homophobic and xenophobic comments will be deleted.”

Otherwise the comments that do eventually get censored stand for no more than censorship in its most intolerable form.

17. Dick the Prick

[deleted]

[deleted]

FREE SPEECH? who said i was joking?

ive backed up every comment btw

your just discrimanating against the mentally ill

i cant help the way my thoughts go into text

thats why im not on twitter id be in prison otherwise

So the trolls like the pro zionist right wing shut down freedom. Sorry you fall for such blatant tactics Sunny.

But you will find appeasing right wing trolls won’t get you any brownie points. They will just use it as a sign of weakness.

Why you allow well known racists like So much for subtlety to peddle his right wing neo nazi fantasies but delete my post is odd to say the least.


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