One-time FT journalist Stefan Stern recently blogged some advice from Napoleon about how to respond to the Conservative implosion over Europe. “Do not interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake,” was the broad thrust, and it is wise advice. As someone who started referring to “swivel-eyed” europhobes way back in January when Cameron made the European speech that his coterie crowed over but which may turn out to be his biggest error, I am well aware of the dangers of entering the Conservative-UKIP ‘debate’.
But unions need to beware of standing on the sidelines. The stakes are too high. We need to shift the terms of the debate back from Britain’s relationship with Europe to the economic crisis. As ATL General Secretary Mary Bousted put it last week “I wish they’d obsess about jobs, instead of Europe!”