Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker / Trainee Broker / Closer - OTE £250,000

£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL)

£30 - 40k + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / ...

Recruitment Genius: ICT Operations Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is the single governing and regul...

i Editor's Letter: Nothing really changes in politics

 

Many thanks for all your kind messages yesterday – too many to respond to (I now also have to find time in my tight schedule to write a daily letter). 

But, unlike newspapers, it appears that nothing changes in politics. Forty years ago Britain joined the EC. Twenty years ago we were watching the Tories tear each other apart over Europe. And yesterday Lord Lawson became the most senior Conservative to challenge David Cameron on the issue.

When John Major succeeded Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in 1990, he promised to keep Britain “at the very heart of Europe” and claimed to have won “game, set and match for Britain” after he negotiated a single-currency opt-out. But when the “Maastricht Rebels” rounded on him over aspects of the treaty, it forced him to call a vote of confidence, the result of which damaged his authority beyond repair, despite winning by 40 votes.

While the challenge facing Mr Cameron is different in many ways, the European issue is again beginning to tear his party apart. The surge in UKIP’s vote – and the Tories’ decline – in last week’s local elections has been largely attributed to a protest vote from Eurosceptic Conservatives.

The PM attempted to head off the challenge in January by promising a referendum “in 2017 at the latest”, but the issue has continued to rear its ugly head. Lord Lawson’s words have only served to prevent the beast from creeping back into hibernation after the local elections.

With things going in 20-year cycles, who’s to say we won’t be having the same debate in 20 years? You never know, I might still be here to say: “I told you so!”

Twitter.com: @jonesrhodri

SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935