This appeared on a Times Leader Page in August 2002, and it’s so true that it’s depressing!
There is a depressing pattern which applies, regardless of the party in power, to Britain’s position on any major political initiative in the European Union.
- It is at first denied that any radical new plan exists;
- it is then conceded that it exists and, at some point it is finally recognised that it has made such a difference, but it was always known that it would and voters were told so from the outset.
- It is then noted that it exists but ministers swear blind that it is not even on our political agenda;
- it is then noted that it might well be on the agenda but is not a serious proposition;
- it is later conceded that it is a serious proposition, but that it will never be implemented;
… after then it is acknowledged that it will be implemented but in such a diluted form that it could make no difference to the lives of ordinary people …
I was about to add, by then it’s too late, but it was too late much earlier in the cycle!