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Really, you have to start feeling sorry for him

Posted by Helen Sunday, May 16, 2004

As if Tony Blair did not have enough problems, what with the colleagues in “Europe” ambushing him and his own cabinet plotting to get rid of him (do they really think Gordon Brown or John Prescott could run a whelk stall, let alone win an election?) he has now had an offer from Charles Kennedy that he may not be able to refuse.

Mr Kennedy, who, as readers of the blog will recall, said that the European election campaign should be run on … the issue of the Iraq war, has announced on Breakfast with Frost that he was ready to campaign for the treaty on the constitution alongside Mr Blair.

It is reasonably clear that Mr Kennedy has no very coherent idea of what he is talking about, since he explained that: "If we were to have a referendum on a sensible constitution which I think and hope will be achieved shortly, then obviously we will want an all-party campaign.” Who defines sensible?

He did, however, have a ritual moan about the eurosceptics getting it all their own way because the media is on their side and there is no coherent “yes” campaign and, anyway, eurosceptics should welcome the constitution.

To show that he is ready to campaign alongside the Prime Minister, Mr Kennedy became positively Blairite in his syntax: "And the issue we have got to get over ... is look, a constitution is a good idea if it bolts down what Europe can do and what Europe can't do." Disentangling the meaning of that sentence one realizes that Mr Kennedy has not read any of the different versions of the constitution that are floating around.