Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Cameron's bluff called on Europe

Such brave words we've had from the Prime Minister on Europe; not one step further, a real repatriation of powers, a treaty re-negotiation, even the threat of a referendum if the UK doesn't get what its people want. And what audacious mendacity. Not a word of it the truth. It's now clear that Cameron will go along with whatever Sarkozy and Merkel have decided without anything in return for the UK, and will wriggle and dissemble and squirm his way out of any threat of a referendum. 

In this not entirely unexpected betrayal of British interests, Cameron has proven himself responsive not only to pressure from the Franco-German alliance but from the US, which has been leaning heavily on the British government to do nothing that would rock a potential Euro settlement. The UK, it seems, is to pay the price for American financial stability. 

Cameron is a politician very much in the mould of Chamberlain, ever ready to see the grievances of others as justification for appeasement. The Germans were angry about the Versailles settlement, so they must be allowed to recover the Sudentenland, the Rhine, Alsace, Danzig to calm them down; Hitler would become a benign Euro statesman, visiting the King at Windsor, taking tea at Balmoral, and fairies would play at the bottom of the garden. 

Of course it's high time we ditched the Chamberlains and Halifaxes from our government. But this time, there's no Churchill waiting in the wings.  


Greg Tingey said...

Ah, someone else has noticed.

The other one that Camoron reminds me of (and I can remember) is A. Eden - everything HE touched turned to shit - yet he looked so assured.
( For another example of this, try Indira Ghandi )

As for Churchill's in the wings ....

Anonymous said...

If one considers that the European (so-called) parliament is more akin to the wilderness (Churchill was self exiled to the USA during the appeasement years), I can think of nobody better than Nigel Farage… A true conservative, that has been exiled from his party (the Tory party that is no more), and exiled from his country.

As was Chruchill, he is far from perfect… And like Churchill, there is more to him than politics, he is an unwilling politician. Like Churchill, he is always ready with a quip to damn his enemies or a homily to keep his supporters on side. Like Churchill, he has been accused of everything by the big politicians and the MSM, from racism, to little englandism, the list of comparisons is long.

And yet, there are some comparisons, that are right, which make him stand out… He is loyal to his country and those that died for it, he is fiercely independent and believes in the people, rather than the leaders….

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Preposterous? Me?

Raedwald said...

right writes - he's certainly about the most credible candidate in the field

Weekend Yachtsman said...

R 09:25 - perhaps the finest example of "damning with faint praise" that I've seen in a while.

Because after all, the field is pretty much barren, is it not?

Anonymous said...

This is the third denial of democracy that we have suffered in such a short time and it troubles me more than the machinations of the EU. Brown made an election promise regarding the Lisbon treaty and then denied us the referendum. Cameron made an election promise on an EU referendum but withdrew it from the manifesto before it became enshrined. Now here he are again. We all know that any Merkozy changes to the EU treaties will, without doubt, involve changes that materially affect Britain - and therefor we should have a referendum.

It isn't the EU that I am worried about, its the parlous state of our democracy, or what's left of it, that concerns me most.

Coney Island

Anonymous said...

@Weekend Yachtsman...

"Because after all, the field is pretty much barren, is it not?"

As was the case in the 1930's sir, and Churchill was no stranger to faint praise or ridicule either, if that was indeed Raedwald's intention.

Of course the big difference between the two, is that the latter has not held big office in parliament and failed in all of them.

Anonymous said...

Far from us repatriating powers, I'm confident that when the time is right, 5 to 6 years from now, we will be joining the Euro.

When that time arrives, we will be offered a referendum, but the terms will be rigged, the MSM and the BBC will be in pro-Euro overdrive, the grandees in politics, media, business, all will be pro-Euro. Besides, there will be a whole new generation of voters who will have been fed with pro-Euro propaganda.

There are strategic reasons why this will be so.

cosmic said...

The leading core of the Conservative party has understood perfectly well the political nature of the European Project, for at least five decades, and has been heartily enthusiastic.

They also knew that if they came clean, most of their support would drop away. Hence their policy on 'Europe' has always been completely dishonest.

They've misrepresented it as a purely economic arrangement. They've usually tried to avoid the subject. For at least the past ten years they've prattled about a pick and choose option via repatriation of powers and renegotiation, which is all moonshine because there isn't any pick and choose option in the structure of the EU and they haven't done the slightest thing to bring it about anyway. For all the twaddle they've churned out, they've always made it clear that leaving the EU is absolutely not an option.

Their latest ruses are the Referendum Lock, the Europlastic revolt (which I believe is encouraged by the Whips' Office) and the all party group to begin to look at the possibility of repatriating certain powers. Their actions show all of this to be no more than gesturing.

If Cameron rocks the EU boat, it will rapidly resolve to a question of in or out, and the leadership of the Conservatives and the other two main parties are resolved on in.

Of course Cameron will go along with it, making noises to suggest that he might not be.

Anonymous said...

T and C's* - The Tory and Conservative referendum promise.

*(Not applicable in the UK).


cosmic said...

It's tempting to compare Cameron to other PMs of the past who've been weak characters, but I'd suggest this isn't really about Cameron, it's the upper echelons of the Conservative Party, who've been consistently pursuing this same dishonest line, in one form or another, for decades.

Cameron isn't an exceptional departure, he's more of the same. He only appears exceptional because the issues are more pressing. The issue isn't Cameron, it's something which has been embedded for at least 50 years in the Conservative High Command.

Anonymous said...


" Their actions show all of this to be no more than gesturing."

I agree with your post, but I reckon that it is more than gesture politics….

I think it is a major part of the play, as I wrote in October:


As Witterings from Witney might say…

...Just sayin'

cosmic said...


Yes, Tory Euroscepticism is like one of those little side allies about 100 yards long full of deep sand you sometimes see on steep hills.

If your brakes have burned out you can steer the car into one and the kinetic energy of the car is gently dissipated.

The other comparison is to a lightning conductor which conducts the energy of the strike safely away to earth.

Umbongo said...

Churchill - who saved the country in war - was an indifferent peacetime PM as were all the other Conservative PM's until Mrs T. As cosmic (I think) implies, the policy of the Conservative Party from 1945 to 1979 was to accommodate socialism (or what Labour characterised as socialism) and run it better than Labour: thus the post-war ratchet operated. Apart from a bit of tinkering round the edges (the denationalisation of steel and Heath's half-hearted "Selsdon Man" who fell at the first hurdle of adverse publicity) the Conservatives played a consistent political game with Labour. With the removal of Mrs T the Conservatives returned to their traditional post-war strategy and Cameron is simply continuing it (albeit with less flair and less apparent success than even Macmillan could accomplish).

cosmic said...


I do think the Conservatives were never a proper right wing party. They were to defend existing privileges and dispense paternalistic socialism which drifted into state socialism.

Also the Labour Party drifted into defending existing privileges and a different sort of class structure.

The point I was trying to make is that the deep practical belief in single European state, can be traced back to the 40s.

Heath and others' views were informed by the war.

It was seen as being good for big business.

By the 60s there was a total lack of faith in Britain and it was thought that the EU would give us a seat at the top table and a place in the world. It would also sort out our industrial problems, by some magic.

By this stage, we have large sections of the administrative establishment dependent on the EU for things to regulate and empires to grow. Effectively bribed.

So, the attachment of the political parties to the EU can partly be explained by the idea that leaving it would be hard and drifting along is very comfortable.

Although the nature of the desire to be part of the EU may have changed, it's still very much at the core of Conservative thinking. They also realise that they have to conduct this charade of not really wanting to be part of the EU to keep their supporters sweet.

That's why I don't think Cameron's an exception, as it isn't any particular leader the Conservatives have, it's their nature.

Tarka the Rotter said...

So, gentlemen and ladies, what do we do about it?

Anonymous said...

@ Cosmic

See the TPA's report on the powers that should be repatriated.


On page 8 is a list of "missed opportunities" - those times when Britain could have repatriated powers or renegiated, but failed to do so.

I suggest we print that page and stick it above our computers. Perfect ammo that will drive the europhiles potty.

Umbongo said...


Agreed! The problem with the post-war Conservatives was to take the phrase "if it's not necessary to change then it's necessary not to change" and stretch it to breaking point. In other words, all the change was undertaken by Labour (except for Europe) and, as you say, for the Conservatives drifting along is/was very comfortable.

It's interesting why the Conservative establishment let Heath drag us into Europe as well as undertaking a most un-Conservative reorganisation of local government. Europe was, I think, a product of Conservative pessimism about the future of the UK. We were manifestly failing as an economic power in the 60s and it seemed then that hitching ourselves to the rising star of Europe (actually Germany) could save us as a world player (or part of a world player). The local government reorganisation was, in part, gesture politics (to give the impression of "reform" and modernisation) and, in part, ├ępater les bourgeois of the Conservative shires (very heathite).

Anyway, that's why Mrs T was so hated by the Conservative establishment. She was not willing to go along with the ratchet nor was she pessimistic about the future of the UK. Accordingly, she cannot be considered as a tradional "Conservative".

Well, the establishment did for her in the end and we now have real "Conservatives" in charge again. Cameron and Clarke: even Heseltine has risen from the political grave to cast his baleful influence on the body politic.

Anonymous said...

Our politicians are deluded if they believe that the EU will permit us to recover some sovereignty while it drives relentlessly towards a single state. The markets are deluded if they think that the flawed Euro can ever be made to work. Merkel and Sarkozy are deluded if they believe that they can use fiscal union to bully the Greeks and Italians into being as efficient as the Germans.

After decades of being showered with Euros, the citizens of Ireland, Greece and Italy are still determined to remain in the Eurozone. It may take weeks or months, but at some stage they will rebel against unending austerity measures and when they finally realise that they are actually governed by Germany and have no say in the matter, all hell will break loose. The Euro will be finished and probably the EU as well.

The UK must decide to be in or out. If it is in, it must join the Euro and be resigned to sacrifice all sovereignty. If it is out, it must make plans to unravel all the treaties and develop as an independent nation.

The Eurozone problems will continue to fester until at some stage the whole EU project will collapse. The UK should get well out of it as soon as possible.