This is not a scientific analysis, but an opinion. It is an opinion which will ensure that, if propagated, Conservatives don't win an election. The people who believe in EU federalism for certain, Labour and Lib Dem will win thanks to the propagating of such opinions.
The only party which stands against Lisbon will be kicked out of reach of power. This is cutting off your nose to spite your face. It's a kind of suicide tendency, understandable for an American with nothing to lose, but as for dear old North.....
Better to stick to the facts which he is one of the best at handling. Politics is an art, which, judging by Richard North's track record, is one which eludes him.
Faith. Art. Timing. Lying even are all part of it. If the world conformed directly to scientific and logical specification, North would be emperor of all.
For a Conservative party which is confronting a seriously incompetent and unpopular government, only to score around 40 percent in the polls - and take a mere 10 percent of the popular vote in the euro-elctions - is one that would not seem to me to have mastered the "art" of politics. That this is also a party that does not have the courage of its convictions (if it actually has any convictions) to set out an unequivocal policy on a referendum, and keeps playing with the mantra "we would not leave it there", is also one which would seem lacking in that same art.
A party which cannot define a credible energy policy, which has a leadership besotted with "climate change" - when public opinion is increasingly hostile to "green" measures - a party which has yet to offer a credible line on defence (or any sign that it even understands the issues), a party which until recently had as its economic policy "sharing the proceeds of growth" and failed completely to spot the banking collapse, a party which would maintain the high level of spending on overseas aid, despite the growing volume of evidence as to its damaging effects, a party that seems to think that India is on a par with China, when it comes to devising what it laughably calls a foreign policy ... a party whose shadow foreign secretary still believes we can be "in Europe and not ruled by Europe", is also one which demonstrates that it falls somewhat short of mastering the "art" of politics.
Currently, the only thing the Conservative party has going for it is that it is not the Labour party. That may be enough for it to get elected. It is not enough either to inspire confidence or give it a mandate for radical change ... not that we have any expectations of such. It requires no "art" to sit back and watch an unpopular government collapse, and then move into its place in an elevated form of "buggins turn". But that is what the Conservative party seems intent on doing. In fact, it is not "art" - it is taking the piss, a sin for which it is likely to pay dear, if not immediately, then in the not too distant future.
Locked in its Westminster bubble, the party has lost the plot - it has failed completely to read the mood of the people. Dalrymple is right - the party is held in contempt. Despite that, we will vote for it ... some of us will, but only because it is not Labour ... many more will stay at home and turn their backs completely on the political process. It will win, not because of, but in spite of what it is and has become. And then its troubles will really start. Then, it will find out what the "art" is really about ... and it won't be pretty pictures hanging on the walls of their gilded offices.