Politicians afraid of making decisions will lead you to believe the latter. So much of this or that is dependent on European stuff an' t'ing. If we pull out we risk exclusion and worse. Our trade will be affected, our world standing will be eroded... will we sink forever or just thrash about in the shallow end? How will we feed ourselves, defend ourselves, feel good about ourselves?
The plain and simple answer is right there in the midst of that thrashing about, shilly-shallying and dilly-dallying like a procrastinator's wet dream. The time is not right, they say. It's what they've always said. If you put off until the day after tomorrow what you should have done the day before yesterday, pretty soon it's the middle of next week and before long a month of Mondays has passed you by like the flicking corners of a school exercise book stick-man cartoon and you're starting all over again on page one.
Sometimes (often) it is far better to make a decision and live with the consequences than to agonise about whether to make the decision at all. Occasionally procrastination is fortuitous - wait long enough and the problem goes away. But Europe isn't going anywhere and for better or for worse it has declared its hand. The
We don't want what Rompuy wants, what Barroso wants, what Merkel wants.We don't want to be involved with it and we don't want it imposed on us. The only real option is out, right out and stay out. Daniel Hannan has been pushing and prodding at this for yonks; it's about time somebody listened.
Britain on its own would have no hiding place, nobody else to blame, nobody to pick up the tab, nobody else to bail out. We could stand on our own two feet, as we have for centuries. Britain on its own could finally start to make a real difference for its people, unshackled by the Über-Socialism of an aspirationally challenged European Juggernaut. (Did you ever notice how much German you need to describe Europe?)
All Prime Ministers want to leave a legacy but few of them have a real choice in what that legacy is. David Cameron has a real opportunity here to do the right thing for Britain and be remembered, possibly even revered, as a deliverer. Churchill saved us from the Nazis, Cameron could save us from their natural successors. Gotta be worth a punt, eh, Shiny Dave?
Or shall we put off the procrastination for another day?