It is striking how prime-ministers tend to become much more impressive when they are ex-prime-ministers. It's not surprising, I guess. They were never stupid in the first place, and whatever ideological differences you might have with them, they were also almost too busy to think for themselves, and pressured by the party machine and the over-scrutiny of everything they say. Once out of office, they have time to think and freedom to say it. Even if you disagree with them, there tends to be at least a reflective argument with which you can engage. To put it another way, you only become a 'statesman' (or woman) after you have actually ceased to be an active one.
I thought exactly that about John Major on the Today programme this morning (it's at 8.10). I remember so vividly when he was my enemy number one. Here he was deftly puncturing the "faux-patriotic" mantras of the Brexit side, about Britain as some kind of victim of the EU. OK, you'll say, I just happen to agree with him for once. And I can't deny that must be part of it. But he was actually trying to put a bit of reflective complexity into the debate, especially on sovereignty -- an idea that is touted by the Vote Leave side as if it equated to Britain having the unfettered right to do whatever it fancied. Sovereignty is always shared, just as our own individual freedom of action and rights to self-determination is always a negotation with others. It's seriously misleading to suggest otherwise.
But I found myself thinking again this morning of the questions, beyond the slogans, that Brexit isn't even raising, let alone answering (unless I've missed it amongs all the speechifying). Like what do they actually plan to happen if we vote Out. To put it another way, we wake up on the morning of the 24 June to discover it's been a Brexit victory, then what?