There's only one way to guarantee a vote on Europe
It was one of the defining speeches of the generation; that apparently unscripted speech by the then 30-something David Cameron to the Conservative Party Conference in 2005, which in a mere 23 minutes secured him the leadership of his party. Cameron dealt with the EU question in short order. Yes, Europe was important, he conceded, "it's just that the public really do wish we would stop 'banging on' about it."
But what would Mr Cameron say today? He is, after all, committed to allowing the electorate, should they give him the necessary mandate, to decide whether they must remain bemired in perpetuity in the folly that is the European Union.
So how, for instance, would Cameron address the old canard that leaving the EU would mean exclusion from EU markets?
Well what about this?
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"Those ten thousand trucks a day coming in from the continent bringing goods into this country. They won't stop coming.
"The £25 to £35 billion trade surplus the rest of Europe runs with us. That's not going to stop.
"The idea that the EU will start a trade war with Britain is simply not credible.
"The real reason the EU won't be able or willing to stop trading with us is that the German car industry won't allow it. I just can't see Mrs Merkel explaining to Mercedes that they're not going to be selling into Britain any more."
You might assume that these were the words of a Conservative leader who had now realised that people were 'banging on' about Europe because Britain's presence in the EU ensures that virtually everything that matters, even down to the price of the food on our plates, is dictated by the EU and not by their own sovereign Parliament at Westminster.
Well not quite, because while these words are wholly consistent with a commitment to allow us a referendum, they were delivered during this year's party conference season, not by the leader of the Conservative Party, but by the UKIP leader Nigel Farage!
But even though Mr Farage's speech was overshadowed by the latest indiscretions of Godfrey Bloom MEP, the real damage to his prospects of making an electoral breakthrough in the 2015 General Election had been inflicted months before when David Cameron pinched the only bit of UKIP's legislative programme that ultimately matters, namely the granting of an In/Out Referendum.
Even as a life-long Conservative, I readily admit that I have a high regard for Mr Farage, both personally and politically. He has emerged as an orator of the first rank with forensic skills which, even if not underpinned by an Oxbridge First, are second to none. Furthermore, had Mr Farage not made UKIP the force it now is, I doubt that David Cameron would ever have conceded that referendum. Mr Cameron deserves all credit for allowing the British people to decide their own destiny, but it was Mr Farage who showed him the way.
But UKIP cannot win the next General Election, nor even aspire to hold the balance of power. Unfair?
Of course it is, but that's the way it is.
And even if Mr Farage triumphs in the European Elections in 2014, which he may well do, he will have no answer to this question,
"Since only David Cameron is pledging a referendum on Europe, surely the only principled vote for a UKIP supporter is to vote Conservative, because to reduce the Conservative vote is to increase the likelihood that Cameron will not be in a position to give that referendum?"
There is no answer to that. It's why, if you accept Mr Farage's analysis, you have to vote Conservative and why Mr Farage himself should vote Conservative as well.
And yet then you have this: Tucked away in a Daily Mail poll on attitudes to EU, we find that just 33%, yes only 33%, believe the Prime Minister would actually grant a referendum, if in a position to do so. Indeed over half, 54%, of people believe he would not.
Frankly, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Do I agree with everything that the Prime Minister has done?
But do I believe Mr Cameron is a liar?
And if in office Cameron did renege on that promise, it would be like legislating to extend the lifetime of Parliament. It would bring the nation to the barricades.
But that's apparently what people believe. The UKIP fox that was thoroughly shot is up and running with a vengeance and whether it can once again be consigned to its grave will depend on whether Cameron and Farage find that their mutual love of country transcends their mutual dislike of each other.
Those that agree with both of them can only hope that it is their patriotism that wins.