How clever-clever Cameron politics have landed Dave in it yet again
Interrogation of the latest EU summit reveals a Coalition Europe policy facing total collapse: the Prime Minister’s veto had no effect whatsoever, the City wants to be part of the banking union now, and Britain’s rejection of further integration inevitably means Treaty renegotiation and at least one referendum by 2015. But whether full Union ever materialises remains severely in doubt, with tensions rising to fever pitch between Berlin and Athens, and Italo-Spanish bond yields rising inexorably.
The distraction of Diamonds (and the Tories working 24/7 to disguise how the Libor Party is virtually a division of Central Office) has kept media and public attention away from Europe’s continuing slide into chaos for a week or so now. But the biggest thing coming to light is just how comprehensively David Cameron has misjudged the situation there – and shown himself to be comletely devoid of any power or influence.
There is clearly not going to be any repeat of the alleged veto last December, in which the UK was allowed to ‘stop’ deeper integration. Nobody among the eurozoners now regrets the showdown last December. Cameron, obviously unable to hide much longer just how much his bluff had been called, told the media: ‘We won’t be part of a banking union, fiscal union or political union’.
Effectively this leaves Britain with all the fiscal responsibilities of EU membership, but none of the power – and thus none of the rapidly dwindling advantages. In order to avoid being dragged along to yet more bailout parties, the clear priority now must be to leave the EU as quickly as possible. But he shows no signs of doing so.
Ironically, says one Liberal MEP, “Just as the UK government rejects the European banking union, the high priests of Anglo-Saxon capitalism in the City of London (itself a victim of light regulation) would prefer to participate in such a centralised banking union at least in so far as their extensive euro dominated operations are concerned.” He’s right, actually: so Cameron has wound up pleasing nobody.
But the drift away from the centre of Europe by the UK has in turn dealt the Prime Minister’s ‘no eurozone, no referendum’ policy a mortal blow: for with equal irony, this newly widened divide between the UK and its EU partners will require revisions to various EU treaties. Therefore, institutions, governments and political parties will be heading for a new constitutional Convention in spring 2015: from which, it now seems certain, ‘multiple referendums’ will result….just as the Coalition faces a UK General Election.
Effecively then, David Cameron’s wriggle room on a UK referendum has been reduced to 0%….by the very people the pro-referendum anti-EU folks like me want to get away from. Rather than waiting for any more inevitable outcomes to stop being imponderables, we should be exiting the Union with all speed. For once, Nigel Farage has put this case rather well in a Telegraph piece today, but as so often with Niggly Farrago, his grasp of the detail is weak. Rather than hoisting the PM on a sword of inevitability, he chooses to speculate needlessly, by concluding that ‘A referendum promise in the next Tory election manifesto on any “new package” would leave us exactly where we are now’. On the contrary, our membership rights will be diluted out of all recognition by then. That, above any other, is the key reason why we should declare our secession now, and back it up with a referendum.
In the same way that the Camerlot inner circle have consistently overestimated the benefits of EU membership and underestimated the advantages of leaving, so too have those same dullards completely failed to see down the road on the issue of eurozone implosion via over-borrowing, wealth discrepancies, and Germany’s obsessive intransigence. But it continues, and no amount of local distraction can take away the certainty of Gotterdammerung.
Germany has halted a plan to send as many as 165 tax officials to Greece to bolster tax collection, Bild reports today, citing unidentified people in the Finance Ministry and government. Greek officials apparently turned very nasty indeed on the idea of answering to hordes of meddlesome Teutonic Knights, while the head of this delegation had already expressed concerns for the safety of the 150+ gang-bang formerly destined for Athens. A flashpoint of equally unpleasant potential awaits the Troikanauts, who arrive in Athens this weekend to inform the new Coalition of Pasok and New Democracy that there will be absolutely no backsliding on the rape and pillage of ordinary Greece. Sources in the capital tell me that the security accompanying their visit will be “unprecedented”. It’d be quite nice if it was unsuccessful too.
The Troika star firmament will be led by Christine Lagarde, absentee author of France’s €75bn deficit in 2011, and still on the fence between rigid austerity and laid-back growth. Mme Lafarge la tricoteuse de verité spoke yesterday in her IMF capacity about the ‘disturbing’ nature of the global economy, having earlier last year spoken about the “exaggeration of French banking and fiscal problems” in her capacity as French Minister for the Economy. That this truly daft woman continues to be taken seriously beggars belief, but the Greeks have not forgotten her comments of a month ago about how spendthrift and lazy they are. If Chrissie has any sense, she will arrive in a reinforced tank and avoid all public appearances.
But elsewhere, reality contiues to poke its malodorous bottom through every hole it can find in the Brussels defence. The interest rates for Spain and Italy’s benchmark 10-year bonds have been rising sharply again this morning, yields for the Spanish bond standing at a crazy 6.9%, and Italy’s up 13 basis points to 6.01% just a few minutes ago (11.40 am GMT Friday).
What the recent EU summit also gave Mario Draghi was a great deal more power. But only the power of concentrated Kryptonite can save ClubMed from a meltdown…with France the next candidate for well-deserved doubts.
Like the rest of Camerlot foreign policy, its EU strategy is thus a sort of tragifarce, a hilariously sad melange of Shakespearian hubris and Feydeau slapstick. Dave threatens to leave or else, and gets a boot up his backside…only to discover that the booter is vapourising before his eyes.
A principled man of substance would’ve announced his intention to secede last year, when the Madness of Queen Merkel became glaringly apparent. Instead, the empty suit inside 10 Downing Street upped the stakes with only 9-high in his sweaty little hand. What a silly little boy he is.