The problem with deception though as is widely acknowledged that the only person you end up deceiving is yourself. With this in mind I turn to Norman Tebbit's latest column in the Telegraph. In some quarters he appears to be viewed as a so-called "sound Tory" - for example he's highly critical of Cameron and is seemingly a supporter of Ukip:
How I wish that someone in the No10 circle could understand that there might be a better approach to winning the election than a mud-slinging exercise to expose the real or imaginary personal shortcomings of Mr Farage and just hoping that Labour will passively surrender.Yet further down the article, in response to comments on his blog, he writes this rather revealing paragraph:
As usual Amos 47 banged on about the Single European Act. As I have explained before, that was designed to make a reality of the single market. Until then any member state could veto any action to open its markets to other members, notably against British exporter of services such as insurance and banking. It also gave us a chance to undo foolish decisions by our predecessors in Government.And therein lies the classic deception - or self-denial - of a Tory, depending on how you view it. The SEA was not a single market treaty but instead part of a process to further integrate the member states into the EU, a clue given explicitly in its title.
Its origins lie with Altiero Spinelli who in 1984 via his Draft Treaty establishing the European Union proposed a massive and bold leap forward in European integration. So bold was this leap forward that for tactical reasons it was decided to split the draft into two separate treaties which happened 5 years apart. Thus it became the SEA (part 1) and Maastricht (part 2). One can see for example Article 3 from the original 1984 draft:
The citizens of the Member States shall ipso facto be citizens of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall be dependent upon citizenship of a Member State; it may not be independently acquired or forfeited. Citizens of the Union shall take part in the political life of the Union in the forms laid down by this Treaty, enjoy the rights granted to them by the legal system of the Union and be subject to its laws....which then went on to appear in Maastricht. Even some Tory MPs subsequently acknowledged the significance of the SEA and regretted its passing through Parliament. Peter Tapsell said: "We didn't give it the attention we should have done."
The second assertion by Tebbit is the implication that the abolition of the veto was a benefit, giving the then Tory government the chance to "undo foolish decisions of the past" created by vetoes. One is staggered by his naivety if he believes that. Abolishing the veto is the holy grail of EU integration as it transforms an intergovernmental organisation into a supranational one. Jean Monnet abhorred the right of veto. The SEA lead to the biggest-ever number of "competences" on which national vetoes would be abolished - it was a treaty precisely because it involved so much surrender of powers to Brussels.
Thus Tebbit's comment that it was designed to make "a reality of the single market" is a lack of candidness that fails to acknowledge that the EU is not an economic project but a political project disguised as an economic one. A lack of candidness that has lead to the collapse of the Tory party as illustrated by this article in the same paper:
....the party's own MPs openly admit [membership figures] could be lower than 100,000, around half Labour’s membership. Speak to those in the party outside Westminster, and they will tell you the branches out in the country are withering, and this could cost David Cameron an outright majority at the next election.A collapse of the Tories, or indeed of any credible alternative, leads to a vacuum - one that inevitably gets filled which, as Political Betting starkly shows via this graph, leads to a rise of the others: