Monday, 31 October 2011


They exorcised it with three-line whips last week. They drove a derisive stake through its heart, murmured the ancient incantation, ‘Calm down, dears’ and thought that they could carry on carousing undisturbed in their Westminster mansion.
But this Halloween, the many-headed monster known as ‘the people’ comes back to haunt Cameron, Clegg and their hangers-on. It is bigger and fiercer than ever.
The Campaign for a Referendum led by Independent MEP Nikki Sinclaire, gathered 120,000 signatures demanding a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU and so triggered the debate and a major Tory rebellion, will reappear tomorrow on College Green with a brand new peoples petition, and this time she is making use of a little-noticed clause in the coalition agreement to force the issue through.

“Many of us did not believe that politicians appointed by the public would treat the public like dirt,” says Nikki, “so we did not invoke this clause. It seems that we were naive. David Cameron and Nick Clegg owe their positions to some 30,000 voters apiece. They plainly think those were all discerning, intelligent voters who should be obeyed. We have four times as many. They just sneer.

“So we’re coming back with a different Campaign for a Referendum petition, and this time we’re invoking a firm pledge. We’ll see if it’s any firmer than Cameron’s cast-iron promise to hold a referendum which turned out to be made of Belgian chocolate and melted in the heat of high office. The original petitioners are very angry at the way they were treated and will sign again, and there will be many, many more who want to remind these people that we are sovereign and that we have never been given a chance to decide whether we want our laws made by unelected, unknown bureaucrats in Brussels. All that we are saying, as ever, is ‘Let the People Decide.’”