But another question to ask is: is it also Cameron’s Conflagration?
After the passage of the UK’s 1832 Reform Bill, Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington was collared by a Tory diehard who asked him why he had ‘betrayed’ his Party. The Duke replied:
“Well sir, as a sound commander sir, I listen to the latest dispatches. And they suggested that the situation had changed, and without heeding them we would lose the battle. Pray tell me sir, when fighting for survival, what strategy do you apply?”
The problem with Angela Merkel is that she ignored the dispatches for far too long, and and has now wound up fighting for her survival. She ignored Joachim Gauck’s shot across her ample bows, she ignored Karlsruhe’s concerns, and she ignored the fact that the wind was blowing in Francois Hollande’s direction.
Thus has the Bundestag vote on ESM this afternoon gone from being a formality to a fight – if indeed it happens at all. Carsten Schneider, a senior SPD Party member, told reporters this morning, “Now it is a completely open question whether we will be able to ratify the ESM today or not…the Chancellor [Merkel] has, by caving in to Spanish and Italian demands at the summit, suffered a stinging defeat and effected a complete turnaround on her previous positions in Brussels”.
It’s pretty hard to argue with any of that really. But such is the fate of all those politicians who do not listen. And for me, the same fate may well await David Cameron. In ruling out the IN/OUT referendum sought by Tory MEP Dan Hannan, Scameron really has cut himself off from majority UK public opinion. In his head, he may well have a million machiavellian reasons for doing so, but none of them matter a jot to those who trusted him.
I suspect we are about to find out whether Graham Brady’s 1922 has grown a pair over the last few weeks. What has been very noticeable in the last few hours is the almost complete lack of Tory MPs coming out to lick Dave’s backside on his decision. This does not bode well for our Beloved Leader. As I write, it seems, Draper Osborne is plotting.
Cameron would do well to take the Iron Duke’s advice. The Coalition policy of the eurozone being “an imponderable” was always daft. To continue holding that view would be suicidal for the entire population of Camerlot.