The Classic FM radio news said that "David Cameron" (the Prime Minister, apparently - Google him up) "may consider" a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU. (My position is that we're not in it.)
The Sunday paper (Mail, of course - I need to know what the gullible are thinking, they're - we're - the ones who vote) gave this a big front-page splash, though their (print-version) headline "BRITAIN TO GET VOTE ON EUROPE" might just as easily have been "PRIME MINISTER COUGHS." For a few seconds' further reading tells you his new sort-of-potential-policy is a bit of skirt-twitching, hinting that you might get lucky in 2015. It might be part of a General Election manifesto, or a stand-alone referendum (which might be in-out or might also include some alternative about staying in but clawing back some powers). Or it might be just a hand job, or maybe you should give up and buy a packet of chips.
We've had duplicitous bastards before. Think of John Major (who prided himself on being able to talk to "the man in the four-ale bar") and, of course, the lucky, hard-wriggling spermatozoon Blair who pierced the Labour Party and altered its DNA. But they only employed special advisers; Cameron simply was one, is one.
Perhaps everything that's happened since the 1960s has been a kind of reconditioning of our expectations, so that we become habituated to hoping and believing less and less every year. The end point will be when we don't buy newspapers (the proprietors are already starting to give up selling them), disbelieve what we see on telly news, stop voting altogether. Those with get-up-and-go will either run the country (how many modern politicians go straight into the machine from university!), own it (increasingly, from abroad, at least from a taxation standpoint) or leave it. The rest will lapse into a dumb brutishness quite, quite unlike that of the mediaeval peasantry.
I heard years ago (and it's plausible) that Allied soldiers taken prisoner in the Korean War were initially placed in a holding area, and their behaviour observed. Those who displayed signs of initiative were taken to smaller, heavily-controlled camps; the rest were herded into much larger pens with few guards. And when I taught in an inner-city school in Birmingham in the late 70s, I was interested to note that the very dumbest kids were white: anybody of the old population who had anything about them, had left, and the new incomers were entrepreneurial, legally or otherwise.
The British Left, with its self-loathing and penchant for anarchic mischief, and the British Right, with its love of money above all else, have conspired in a cultural subversion that I cannot see anywhere else on Earth. For decades, brains and talent have fled this country like Equitable Life investors scrambling to get out of their with-profits fund, while immigration has been keenly encouraged, by the Left on Gramsci-ite principles and the Right because cheap imported labour has helped in the transfer of wealth from the (increasingly indebted) working and lower middle classes to the rich.
But the last laugh will be on all of them. For as with America, the key is initiative: those who had the gumption to leave their country and try to make a living here will eventually acquire whatever schooling, skills and knowledge they need, but the jizz is hard-wired into their DNA. The Left will wither as a new class of entrepreneurs springs up that sees no need to support anyone who isn't family; the Right will find that the domination game is no longer so easy, and while they spent their time foxhunting and otherwise aping a class from which they did not spring, their businesses were outcompeted. Eventually they will be kept going in genteel captivity, like pandas, while a new class arises that works hard, protects their family and fears God in whatever form they worship Him.
As Alexander Pope, observing the self-indulgent decadence of the filthy rich in the eighteenth century, dared to hope:
Another age shall see the golden ear
Imbrown the slope, and nod on the parterre,
Deep harvests bury all his pride has planned,
And laughing Ceres reassume the land.