Tories tell the BBC that they "will use Lib Dem stance on EU referendum to attack and win Lib Dem seats"

William Hague outlined today on the Andrew Marr show how the Tories will use the Lib Dems broken promise to have a referendum on the EU Constitution (renamed the EU Reform Treaty) to target and win Liberal Democrat seats in a future General Election .

He told Andrew Marr that Lib Dem MP's " in marginal seats will have to remember that their breach of that promise is something we will remind their constituents about in some detail at the next general election."

And to be honest, who could blame the Tories for doing this ? It is what we as a party do so well, We find issues that the public believe in, issues the public support, we find evidence that Tories/Labour (delete as applicable) have ignored the public on an issue and we stick it on a piece of paper and shove it through the electors letter boxes.

As it appears, and as the article on the BBC website explains, there is unique opportunity for the Lib Dems to defeat Gordon Brown on this issue. It is a golden opportunity for any new Lib Dem leader to make a mark, for the party to show that we really do trust the people, but in the same way as we saved John Major's neck back in 1993 when Lib Dem MP's marched in to the lobby's with the Tories to support the Maastricht Treaty, on an issue that John Major referred to openly as a "confidence vote", the party is in danger of showing itself to be government lackeys, toeing a line that the public neither support or the voters, in the short term, will forgive us for.

What a wasted opportunity.


john said...

I did make reference to this in my position statement.

Charlotte Gore said...

Yes, I noticed this earlier on BBC News website, quoting Hague as saying that they won't be able to defeat the government on the EU referendum without the help of the Lib Dems.

I recognised that straight away as a positioning exercise designed to lump us in with the government and highlight that we have, fundamentally, the same position.

The Tories are probably overestimating just how much this issue will still hold weight at the next election and frankly, if they start campaigning heavily on Europe again they'll lose the next election.

Gavin Whenman said...

Unfortunate to see both Clegg and Huhne supporting a broader referendum on the EU in general, rather than a specific vote on this treaty. At the same time, though, we can use this when the Tories attack us.

Hywel said...

Except within a year of the Maastrict vote the people seemed to have forgiven us. At least those in Newbury, Christchurch and the 1993 County elections.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I remember canvassing in an area where we wanted to squeeze the third placed Labour vote, and in the months after the Maastricht vote it was very difficult.

The Tories will use this against us at every opportunity.