Conservative rebels are pushing for an in-or-out referendum on the Eurovision Song Contest after a Guardian/ICM poll showed they are backed by some 70% of voters who say they would consider voting for UK withdrawal of the song festival – mainly because we never seem to get even close to winning it.
But David Cameron will make the case against staging a Eurovision referendum, by arguing that regardless of the public’s feelings on the obviously dire state of European musical tastes, winning the contest is currently one of the government’s most pressing priorities today.
Mr Cameron explained the government’s keenness to remain part of Eurovision:
As everyone knows, my government has made a complete mess of the economy, the NHS and nearly everything else we’re in charge of so we’re pinning our hopes on winning Eurovision in 2015 to give us a boost before the next election.
Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, the well-known Eurovision sceptic, explained why he thinks the UK creates enough kitsch of its own like The Only Way Is Essex and Girls Aloud without having to import even more rubbish music, fake tans and sequinned outfits from a European superstate of song:
The majority of British people will be looking at some of the countries who are regularly above us on the scoreboard – like Azerbaijan, Serbia and Russia and thinking – if they can get people to vote for them, then why can’t we?
The Eurovision Song Contest is deeply partisan, undemocratic and corrupt – something we in the UK are quite capable of being ourselves without any interference from other EV countries.
The domestic European row also deepened yesterday as Nick Clegg fired a fresh warning to Tory Eurovision sceptics not to leave Britain isolated in the Eurovision sphere of dodgy pop song writing, ratcheting up tension with the coalition Government.
The Deputy Prime Minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
Eurovision isolation will cost UK citizens a lot, because if you wilfully move to the margins of Europe, you will find that it hits people where it hurts most – on the scoreboard. The urgent, overriding national priority for the whole coalition should be to promote our position in the Eurovision and try to at least end up on the left-hand side of the scoreboard.
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