December 9, 2011

ACT LIKE AN ANGLO AND THEY'LL ACT LIKE EUROPEANS:

EU Treaty: after a feat close to genius, David Cameron's status is now as high as it has ever been: David Cameron has achieved an outcome previously thought wholly impossible (Peter Oborne, 12/09/11, The Telegraph)


[C]ameron has achieved an outcome that I would previously have judged wholly impossible. He has led Britain into a position where it is outnumbered 26-1 in Europe, and yet retained the support of the fanatically pro-Brussels Liberal Democrats.

On Friday night it was not just Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who were rallying round the Government. So were backbenchers such as Sir Menzies Campbell, the powerful Lib Dem grandee, although some colleagues accused their leader of betrayal. So an extraordinary new alliance had been created: Cameron's policy of principled, reasonable isolation is backed by the mutinous Tory Right, the pro-European Conservative Left and the Europhile Lib Dems.

It takes something close to genius to bring together such a warring group of diehard ideological opponents. Yet against all the odds and in defiance of conventional wisdom Cameron has achieved it.

How did he pull off this amazing feat? I do not believe that the Prime Minister cunningly plotted the outcome. I can discern no Mandelsonian dark arts, and no cunning strategy. Cameron did not travel to Brussels thinking how he could outmanoeuvre the Tory right, while keeping the Lib Dems sweet.

He won out because he played it straight. He wanted to do the right thing by Europe and by Britain. The evidence suggests that he was motivated by nothing more sophisticated than a determination to conduct himself with integrity and to act in the national interest. 

Posted by at December 9, 2011 4:30 PM
  

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