He marched himself to the top of the hill, only to march himself back down again, muttering scarcely credible pledges of loyalty.
Europe has always been the Tories’ most toxic issue — and even this “once in a generation” vote seems unlikely to draw out all the poison.
Those members of his Cabinet who plan to campaign to leave will do so knowing they are, in effect, also campaigning to remove David Cameron as Prime Minister.
Every person has been pre-screened, approved by the party machine, and guaranteed not to produce embarrassing or uncomfortable headlines. Ordinary voters have more chance of bumping into Elvis Presley than David Cameron or Ed Miliband.