One of the defining moments of the referendum campaign on the UK’s continued membership of the then EEC in 1975 - yes, we’ve had a vote on Europe before - was when members of the Labour cabinet were allowed to campaign against membership, even though Harold Wilson had recommended a Yes vote and a Commons vote had backed that stance by a two to one majority.
Look cheps, any of you who don't agree with me, go and stend over thyah! Jolly good sheow!!
Thus we had the spectacle of ministers such as future party leader Michael Foot, along with Tony Benn and Barbara Castle, backing withdrawal, while Wilson, along with Roy Jenkins, Denis Healey and Jim Callaghan supported the Yes campaign. And, unlike today, most Tories were firmly pro-European, including former leader Ted Heath and his successor Margaret Thatcher. How different it looks with Young Dave.
[UPDATE 1400 hours: that didn't take long to unravel, then. Both the BBC and Guardian are reporting that Cameron has now let it be known that ministers will not be sacked for campaigning for a No vote. Well, perhaps.
The chosen excuse was explained thus: "Mr Cameron's spokeswoman said reporters at the G7 Summit in Germany had 'over interpreted his remarks'". Clearly a big boy had done it and run away.
It seems that even the Mail is taking the line that Dave is now presiding over Team Shambles. Things, as the song said, can only get better. Perhaps]