Coffee House readers may remember a classic John Cleese comedy film almost thirty years ago called Clockwise. It's the story of middle class angst, frustration, desperation and ultimate triumph at the last possible moment. It's most memorable quote is that of Cleese to his young companion:
'It's not the despair Laura, it's the hope I cant stand.'
Such is the attitude of many Conservative backbenchers as they wait for the Prime Minister's keynote speech on his renegotiation with the European Union due before Christmas, a speech that will inevitably be seen through the prism of concern at the level of European Union citizens immigration to the UK, the growing voter salience of immigration across the country and all pollsters and the rise of UKIP which - along with gay marriage - has used the issue as a catalyst to damn the political classes or 'Westminster bubble' (pace Carswell) and create space for its brand of incoherent ubiquitous populism and snake oil pieties.