Since the miracle of Nigel Farrage falling down to earth in a little plane, UKIP has ascended the clouds casting shadows upon other parties. Like 'secular' Indian politicians who turn to holymen for guidance during elections, 'moderate' British leaders are foraging Farrage's ultranationalism for votes. He wants out of Europe, keep out immigrants, keep out wind farms and reintroduce smoking in public houses. A dream-er's charter.
I say 'English' nationalism because I doubt Salmon wants Scotland to leave Europe. Some Scottish nationalists made this clear by packing Farrage back in a police van. If a referendum is held now and the English vote to leave EU, Scotland will have an even better excuse to leave UK, to become member of EU. There won't be much of Great Britain left if Northern Ireland and Wales vote for EU.
If Britain votes to stay in EU then UK will have lost its most powerful negotiating card. Without the threat of UK leaving, Europeans won't take UK's demands seriously. Either way, 'referendum now' is politically suicidal for England.
Cameron is right in insisting 'first renegotiate then hold the referendum'. For some reason, Europe is eager to keep Britain in and might give in to quite a few demands to keep English voters happy.
But this entire idea of breaking from Europe and going solo lacks realism. How will UK single compete in a tough economic world on its own. Ukip is harking back to grandiose days of the Empire. What they fail to appreciate is that Britain's colonial economy was based on forced trade, captured markets and taxes on colonised economies. For instance only British sanctioned companies could mine salt in India and it was taxed. That sort of salt economy is history.
Today, UK plc has to earn every dollar and rupee. It is up against giants like USA and EU to compete in markets around the world. Are UKIP and others seriously thinking UKsolo can outdo EU's collective bargaining muscle in international trade?
UKIP's other policy is as naïve. UKIP doesn't appear to be racist in the mould of National Front. It has changed the immigrations argument from race to 'numbers' and its target appears to be East European migrants.
Not difficult to see why. While most Asian and Afro Carribean tradesmen work within their own communities, Eastern Europeans have been able to invade traditional working grounds of white workers, that is white dominated areas, with cheaper rates.
Keeping East Europeans out won't increase the purchasing power of people. People will still seek affordable deals or not build that extension at all. Perhaps UKIP members should lobby for waiving of VAT and become competitive, rather than seek French type protective tradesmen's market.
Moreover what will happen to the more than million Brits working in Europe. Will Europe retaliate and close doors to British workers?
Perhaps UKIP's and Tory soloists' most short sighted vision is the idea that United Kingdom can regain its 'glorious place' in the world by unhinging from Europe. There are inevitable changes emerging on the international scene. Countries once colonised now call the shots in the world. They have been strongly hinting at changing the United Nations Security Council whose membership gives Britain its tremendous clout in the world. Either the Security Council will become redundant as these countries, such as India, Brazil and South Africa, throw their weight around or the Security Council will have to change and include them.
One of the three western Security Council members will have to go as the world won't tolerate three from one stable. Chances are that representation in the UN Security Council will be either on regional blocks or civilisations or both.
Of the three, USA won't go. The west will sacrifice either France or UK. If UK leaves EU, that will be it. 'Punching beyond our weight will become punching air'. Europe may retain its place collectively or through France.
UKsolo will be seen as part of US axis. History shows that the 'special relationship' is more rhetoric than real. The USA doesn't give a toss about UK. At least if UK remains within EU, it will continue to be a big player and can mould EU and international policies.
UKIP's agenda is forged by memories of lost power and insecurities in a fast changing world. Fact is that some British are still suffering from post Empire blues. UKIP is right about one thing. England needs to stop wallowing in guilt over the Empire. Empires come and go. The British Empire is history, but there were proud moments as well as bad ones. Now England's future lies in Europe otherwise it will go adrift.
The Tories seem to have been contaminated by UKIP's yester year utopia. They are in disarray. Miliband et al have been cool. It seems it remains for Labour to keep a steady head and steer England away from grandiose visions and come to terms with the real world, where competitive advantage is best achieved by forging relationships, networks and partnerships.