09_june_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,112

Tuesday 09 June 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Getting a straight answer out of a politician is worse than pulling teeth. Small wonder that people find it hard, if not impossible, to engage with politics. Naturally, politicians call this voter apathy, which is typical, because everything in political life is always someone else’s fault.

Here’s a marvellous example:

Question: “On the EU referendum, have you absolutely closed your mind to allowing ministers a free vote? That’s a no-no?”

PM: “I’ve been very clear, which is I’ve said that if you want to be part of the government, you have to take the view that we are engaged in an exercise of renegotiation to have a referendum, and that will lead to a successful outcome.”

Question: “So anyone in government who opposes that will have to resign?”

PM: “Everyone in government has signed up to the programme set out in the Conservative manifesto. Thank you. See you all later. Enjoy the mountain.”

Two very simple questions to which an unequivocal ‘yes’ or ‘no’ could have been given, but that’s not the way it is in politics, although your words were backed up by communities minister James Wharton, “If the Government is taking a Government position, if collective responsibility is applied, if you don’t want to support that position, you have to leave.” So that’s clear then. Well, no.

Yesterday, headlines screamed U-turn when, at a lobby briefing, your official spokeswoman claimed you had been “over-interpreted” and that you’d only been talking about collective responsibility applying during the renegotiation period. What happened during the referendum was different. She claimed you had not yet said whether or not ministers would be allowed to campaign for Britain to leave in the referendum.

So there you have it, as clear as pond mud and silly us for trying to make bricks out of the slurry. Enjoy the mountain? No, it’s covered in brown stuff. Blame the bulls.