Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read blogs from today, on the coming Tory deal, Andy Burnham and former politicians.

1. Lib Dems should take the Tory deal

If the Lib Dems are ever to get proportional representation, they need to demonstrate that coalitions can work in practice, argues Mark Thompson. The Tories' offer provides them with their best chance to do so.

2. Andy Burnham opposes Lib-Lab coalition. Time to lock 'n' load?

Paul Waugh reports on Andy Burnham's remarkable decision to oppose a Lib-Lab coalition publicly and support David Blunkett's position.

3. Is Cameron offer of an AV referendum a cast-iron guarantee?

Remember David Cameron's "cast-iron guarantee" of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty? Iain Martin wonders whether the sane guarantee applies to a referendum on electoral reform.

4. Alastair Campbell uncut

John Rentoul says that we can expect more Blair-Brown revelations as Campbell prepares the unexpurgated version of his diaries.

5. Why the media turn to former politicians in a crisis

At the Guardian, Jon Henley explains why we're seeing so much of Paddy Ashdown, David Steel, John Major et al.

Special offer: get 12 issues of the New Statesman for just £5.99 plus a free copy of "Liberty in the Age of Terror" by A C Grayling.

YouTube screengrab
Show Hide image

“Trembling, shaking / Oh, my heart is aching”: the EU out campaign song will give you chills

But not in a good way.

You know the story. Some old guys with vague dreams of empire want Britain to leave the European Union. They’ve been kicking up such a big fuss over the past few years that the government is letting the public decide.

And what is it that sways a largely politically indifferent electorate? Strikes hope in their hearts for a mildly less bureaucratic yet dangerously human rights-free future? An anthem, of course!

Originally by Carly You’re so Vain Simon, this is the song the Leave.EU campaign (Nigel Farage’s chosen group) has chosen. It is performed by the singer Antonia Suñer, for whom freedom from the technofederalists couldn’t come any suñer.

Here are the lyrics, of which your mole has done a close reading. But essentially it’s just nature imagery with fascist undertones and some heartburn.

"Let the river run

"Let all the dreamers

"Wake the nation.

"Come, the new Jerusalem."

Don’t use a river metaphor in anything political, unless you actively want to evoke Enoch Powell. Also, Jerusalem? That’s a bit... strong, isn’t it? Heavy connotations of being a little bit too Englandy.

"Silver cities rise,

"The morning lights,

"The streets that meet them,

"And sirens call them on

"With a song."

Sirens and streets. Doesn’t sound like a wholly un-authoritarian view of the UK’s EU-free future to me.

"It’s asking for the taking,

"Trembling, shaking,

"Oh, my heart is aching."

A reference to the elderly nature of many of the UK’s eurosceptics, perhaps?

"We’re coming to the edge,

"Running on the water,

"Coming through the fog,

"Your sons and daughters."

I feel like this is something to do with the hosepipe ban.

"We the great and small,

"Stand on a star,

"And blaze a trail of desire,

"Through the dark’ning dawn."

Everyone will have to speak this kind of English in the new Jerusalem, m'lady, oft with shorten’d words which will leave you feeling cringéd.

"It’s asking for the taking.

"Come run with me now,

"The sky is the colour of blue,

"You’ve never even seen,

"In the eyes of your lover."

I think this means: no one has ever loved anyone with the same colour eyes as the EU flag.

I'm a mole, innit.