Even in these times where the well-heeled and well-certified are happy to bemoan how the oiks vote, it is rare for somebody to openly advance new means of restricting the franchise. But it has happened.
‘A fragile state is one that has been racked by conflict, affected by corruption, one that is not really capable of delivering the basic services like health and education that its people needs. It’s often got a very divided society.’
But enough about Britain, to misquote former prime minister David Cameron in an interview with CNN earlier this week.
Presumably from his expensive shed, Cameron has been chairing a report into how the West fixes dysfunctional countries, advocating a gradualist, conservative approach that takes proper account of local conditions. It seems jolly sensible.
Being complex, boring and a tad vague, it has been overlooked by hacks in favour of Cameron’s admission he believes holding a referendum was justified. Cameron remains a remainer, but previously said the outlook for Britain leaving the bloc was not as doom-laden as previously thought – ‘a mistake, not a disaster.’
Unlike some undemocratic remoaners, he also acknowledges the basic principal of political consent.
‘I don’t regret holding a referendum; I think it was the right thing to do,’ he said. ‘I don’t think you can belong to these organisations and see their powers grow, and treaty after treaty, and power after power going from Westminster to Brussels, and never asking the people whether they are happy being governed that way.
‘There was also, I believe, a quite fundamental problem that Britain had, and Britain was seeing, with the development of the single currency, the beginning of decisions being made about us without us, and we needed to fix our position. I wanted to fix it inside the European Union; the British public chose that we would fix it from outside the European Union.’
Correct, although I suspect the conventional read that Cameron was hoping to avoid a referendum by again forming a coalition with the Liberal Democrats after the 2015 general election is true.
Frontbench British politicians have studiously avoided the lack of political accountability in Europe ever since we joined the European Economic Community – save for the 1975 referendum that approved that membership.
Even so, it is awkward for remoaners that even Cameron says that people should not be governed without consent.