DAVE’S EU NEGOTIATIONS: is the King of Camerlot about to lose his horse?


As the Prime Minister’s plans for EU reform continue to transmute from concrete to dust, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that – even if the electorate is infinitely more interested in The X-Factor than the European Union – Britain as a Sovereign nation on the verge of Brexit is way, way down the list of EC priorities compared to the capricious needs of Recep Erdogan. David Cameron and his advisers are obviously aware of this: but is the PM underestimating the political damage he is suffering within and without the Conservative Party?

During July 2015, Carl Herman (the man behind Washington’s blog) opined as follows:

‘Because of its deleterious impact on personal freedom and initiative, centralization of both economic and political power is the critical issue facing society. The primary obstacle to reversing this growing concentration of power is an almost universal ignorance of the manner in which the existing financial system renders the price-system increasingly non-self-liquidating, making impossible the recovery of industrial production costs through sales. Institutions and individuals attempt to resolve this problem by resorting to bank debt, thereby obtaining access to the products of industry by the self-defeating expedient of mortgaging our future–i.e., transferring these costs as an exponentially growing debt charge against future cycles of production–and by engaging in an orgy of wasteful and destructive activities, effectively culminating in continuous war.’

I’m a long way from agreeing with every Herman opinion, but this extract (while a little too complex for my taste) strikes me as pretty much on the money: the EU continues to move at a rate of knots towards a centralised banking, militarised joint security force, and federalist governmental structure. The following winds of ISIL and Jihadist attacks in Paris have, however, accelerated the trend even more than Herman might have imagined.

In the last 36 hours, The FT  has reported that ‘Brussels is to propose the creation of a standing European border force that could take control of the bloc’s external frontiers — even if a government objected…..The move would arguably represent the biggest transfer of sovereignty since the creation of the single currency.’

The FT is about as blindly pro-EU as any media title anywhere. So it would appear that The Slog’s Mogherini post wasn’t europhobic paranoia after all.

But one thing’s for sure: you can always rely on Brussels-am-Berlin’s ability to hand the Brexit camp half a million votes a week. Now David Cameron is preparing to climb down yet again after his negotiations with the EU/ECB/EC Troika on welfare rights reform led to a blanket ‘No’ from his European, ahem, “partners”.

Mr Cameron must by now be the only member State PM negotiator in history to have started at the peak of the Eiger, and then climbed down to the foothills via the North Face. Control of borders was a deal-breaker. The never-ending Pound was a deal-breaker. Freedom of Movement optout was a deal-breaker. Retaining the sovereignty of local Parliaments was a deal-breaker. And then having failed on all the above, making European migrants who move to the UK wait four years before they can claim state benefits was a deal-breaker: a ‘key pledge’ no less, to follow the four core demands previously tossed into a remote ditch when nobody was looking.

But yesterday, it seems, ‘senior government sources’ told the Torygraph that Mr Cameron was ready to ditch the key pledge….as heralded by the Polish PM’s reaction to it. And I have it on very good authority that the leading source was Boris Johnson.

It could well be that Mayor/MP Johnson is closer to the pulse of the coldhearted Tory power brokers than the Party leader. For with every failure, David Cameron seems to be proving the eurosceptics’ hypothesis….that the engorged egos of the European Commission know only how to dictate: they don’t do listening.

The only thing protecting the Prime Minister at the moment is that the Party Opposite wants to stay in the EU even more than he does. Were that not so (and/or the British media set were not onside) Mr Cameron would be a laughing stock. I must confess to finding it odd that the pro-EU majority within Labour aren’t praising the EU’s hardline against Cameron the Nasty Neolib….although I think it quite likely that some spin rottweiler somewhere has told the Corbynistas that taking that line could be a vote-loser.

However, for those few of us left with enough experience and no political axe to grind, it is still eccentric bordering on surreal to pretend that Dave (as a dyed in the sheep-wool eunatic) has either the motive or the mandate to ‘shake up’ the European Union. As with Tsipras, the Troikanauts take a Churchillian view: “Madame, we have already established that you are a whore….all we are doing now is haggling about the price”.

For our Prime Minister, the price could end up being his crown as King of Camerlot rolling across the killing grounds of Bosworth Field.




27 thoughts on “DAVE’S EU NEGOTIATIONS: is the King of Camerlot about to lose his horse?

  1. I don’t believe that Cameron thought anything other than ‘We are staying in at all costs’, and still thinks that way, as usual, it’s all smoke and mirrors, and, why would we believe a single word he utters? He isn’t renown for his truthful manor, is he?
    Business as usual. Same old same old.


  2. It’s all theatre and media bluster as negotiations are fake and Cameron didn’t make any demands on welfare. He is but triangulating or positioning himself as the acceptable middle man between outright leavers and those further integrationists. Watch him eventually return from phoney ‘negotiations’ with reforms that he can claim to be the British Model or such like which offer an associate membership to the EU croc. For us ‘clingons’ it will be like being in the turn-stiled lobby of a decrepid department store when we could be in the great hall of an open bazaar.


  3. Move along, nothing to see here……… Once the planned ‘state of emergency’ takes effect, any thoughts of an EU referendum will be kicked into the very long and very deep euro-grass.
    Referenda are only held when they can be confident of the ‘right’ result – if not, then a reason is found not to hold one.


  4. It may well be that Dave is now starting to formulate a plan. Brexit. Early days, but I think something is brewing on the QT.


  5. I have to say that the readers/bloggers of most of the right wing media are most assuredly ‘not onside’ where the EU is concerned – there is daily frothing, which has been going on for 5 years, about the iniquities of the EU and how voting ‘No’ is the only option. A DT website poll on leaving the EU had 80%+ of those polled saying they would vote to get out of the EU (of course, that is not the country, but it is the readers of a major right wing title….)

    I think the biggest event since 2010 is the total collapse of respect in the media by the electorate – up to 2010, most were giving them the benefit of the doubt, but now most see them as the enemy within almost. It’s almost as if it’s only click thrus which count any more. You can send the entire readership into fits of apoplexy and that’s fine as click metrics are all that matter any more. You will know that the UK is dead if Simon Heffer ever writes an article praising the EU…….he hasn’t to date, as far as I am aware!!

    There are of the course the ‘we know what’s best for you’, as described perfectly by the blog/troller ‘Telemachus’ at the Speccie, one of the most shameless supporters of all things Labour and EU around – and he hails from your city of origin Mr Ward.

    Churchill did after all oversee Dunkirk before finally winning on D-Day…….few would see the former as Britain’s finest hour, after all……


  6. (Off topic) A very interesting piece from Paul Craig Roberts, OAH.

    Only the real problem isn’t Russia, it is, as stated in the last paragraph, America. The US is warmongering and has been for the last few decades, and seems bent on baiting Russia until she finally cracks and says “come on then, let’s fight it out”. Because this is why Mr Roberts thinks that “We are left with the paradox that Russia’s determination to avoid war is leading directly to war” – what else can one do with an America that is hell-bent on war? There is and can be no other outcome with a peace-loving democracy such as the US is today, and if Mr Roberts thinks it’s Russia’s fault, he needs to think things through again.

    Make no mistake about it: Russia is being baited mercilessly by a country that should, in truth, grow up.


  7. I don’t think it makes much difference – when it comes to a referendum, I think most people will vote to stay in the EU, regardless of what Cameron secures.
    Cameron’s ‘negotiations’ are probably merely to play for time with the gullible eurosceptic wing of he Conservative Party and possibly his backers.
    And, in fact, I suspect the whole EU issue is played up to distract us from the fact that the Americans, Saudis and Israelis have more influence on Britain than the EU does. It’s convenient both as a scapegoat for poor political leadership here and as a diversionary tactic.


  8. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man/woman is in danger of being rendered sightless by people waving sharp implements about.


  9. The failure of Marine Le Pen’s National Front to win a single region in the runoffs puts an end to any talk of her becoming president of France.
    This now probably cements the view that the people of europe seek safety in numbers and reject any ideas of calls to ditch the euro and re-establish national borders, as well as the dangers of immigration.
    It would be a brave politician in the UK who thought that BREXIT will ever happen, because the modern blend of people just don’t have the desire.
    As Lagarde said recently, certainty will be helpful, and I think we now have that.


  10. @Gemma (Also OT)

    As PCR and now Alistair Crooke are in agreement with the earlier comments of the Vineyard Saker, I am now of the belief that the psychopaths running FUKUS policy in the ME and Ukraine really believe that both a distraction from the collapse of their Ponzi and a general culling is necessary. I think they honestly believe that they can survive a nuclear exchange with Russia and as official US policy was quietly changed to a first strike strategy several years ago I am convinced that some of the elites are itching for the total destruction of Russia. This is the video clip that put a shiver down my spine this week.


  11. In or out, it’s irrelevant in the scheme of things, the unemployment issue is the one that will eventually override all else, after all, nothing stirs a nation like a hungry belly. Technology will, unlike trickle down wealth (lol!) trickle up, first the menial jobs, then the not so menial, and so on, almost ad infinitum, this will overshadow all else, particularly in the US where, most will be armed to the teeth. Maybe a war or two will reduce the population problem? War is inevitable, it’s to what scale is the most concern.


  12. (O/T) Canexpat,
    the problem with the Americans is that they’ve been led to believe that there are no consequences to their warmaking. After all, in the Middle-East, all the appearances are that they have achieved their end. Throwing a few nukes at Russia cannot affect the US, can it?

    For us ordinary mortals, it’s called madness. But that’s America for you.

    The problem that the Americans have with the Russians is pretty well the same as Britain had with Germany in the late 1800s. Because it would have been in the 1880s that someone did their sums and realized that Germany’s GDP would outstrip Britain’s. This put the wind up the British because they had assumed that raping and pillaging half of the Globe would keep them as economic world leaders (please note that this practice is EXACTLY what Hitler did in the mid to late 30s, when he invaded country after country… he wasn’t funded by the Americans for nothing!)

    The British didn’t know what to do about this situation. After all, they couldn’t grow their economy because it was dependent on the resources of other countries and you just can’t develop this kind of thing very quickly. All the time the Germans are beavering away in the way Germans will, and producing the gear that when totted up, makes for a GDP. The Germans have a VERY different attitude to their GDP than the British. The British see it as the be-all and end-all; the Germans just see it as a result.

    The problem for the British is that there was nothing they could do… and being Anglo-Saxons, the only thing one can do in such a situation is to smash it. It’s the level of politics that a football hooligan could comprehend, and the Anglo-Saxon races are nothing if not pugnacious.

    The upshot of all this was the First World War. It flattened Germany, but crippled Britain for a century. The natural conclusion is ‘‘will America be stupid, aggressive enough to nuke Russia flat and destroy the US economy at the same time?’’

    And all because the Anglo-Saxons would rather smash their competition than work out how to make a profit out of their competition’s success.


  13. @kfc
    I agree re. the looming unemployment tsumami. So ironic that in my youth, the talking heads used to discuss how we would spend all the leisure time that an automated economy would produce. History should have taught us that all the productivity gains would be captured by a tiny percentage at the top, while the rest of us would be left to rot. I still find it amazing that the Neo-lib/Neo-con economists championed by the Thatcher/Blair school of ‘thought’ spent most of the 80’s and 90’s telling us plebs that if only productivity could be increased sufficiently, economic Nirvana would follow and we would all benefit. Productivity is through the roof compared to the 60’s yet the ability to lead a middle-class lifestyle on one salary, pay a reasonable mortgage on a house, sent your sprogs to university etc. is a pipedream for most in the UK nowadays. It was normal in the 60s. We have all been victims of a gigantic con trick perpetrated by the corporate and financial elite, enabled by their cronies in government and the MSM.


  14. @Gemma

    The one thing that I would take issue with in your comment above is that you seem to apply a broad brush to all Americans. Whilst many are kept totally ignorant of the crimes committed in their name, I suspect most ordinary Americans would much rather be left alone and leave the rest of the world alone. Of course before the Iraq and Afghan debacles most US citizens had only a Hollywood-inspired view on war – the lessons of Vietnam and the trauma inflicted on both veterans and Vietnamese civilians was airbrushed in their popular culture. The consequences of U.S. war making is certainly felt by the bottom rung of U.S. society as so many joined the military as the only alternative to a life a grinding poverty. The elites, not so much and it is precisely these elites that have been responsible for so much evil. At least a century ago, the UK elites suffered to a degree in WWI in that many of them lost sons and heirs in the butchery of the Western front, Their warmongering came at a price, (although like the Bush family in Vietnam, I’m sure many engineered sinecures behind the lines for their offspring). This is not the case today. The US elite’s attitude to its own military was articulated by Kissinger when he opined “‘Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”

    The current U.S. elite policy towards Russia is not new. It is clear that during the Cuban missile crisis, the U.S. military establishment and Deep State were desparate to launch a nuclear attack on Russia, convinced that a first strike would wipe out the Soviets’ ability to respond. It took the personal intervention and secret diplomacy of JFK via a Vatican intermediary to prevent this. (See the excellent JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass.) As it turned out, the CIA had completely underestimated the Russian arsenal and JFK can now be seen to have saved the world. Similar nutters control the reins of U.S. foreign policy and military doctrine now, but we lack someone with the fortitude of JFK to head them off. The crucial point is that it is not the ordinary U.S. citizen that is driving this madness, it is the Deep State of a failing hegemon.


  15. i must agree with both the article and most comments. the situation recalls for me a Shaw quote that went something like…’ we have learnt to fly in the air like birds and dive in the sea like fish… Now it is time to discover how to live on the land like human beings.’


  16. So if the EU gets its border force into place in a country, in spite of that country’s objections, which borders are they going to man? If Turkey does join, is that on the Syrian and Iraq borders? And where will that border be as it appears to be a moveable one for Erdogan as he attempts to annexe more territory. What about Cyprus? What about in the Ukraine? Norway is in Schengen but not the EU?

    Clearly the EU is planning ahead to when the borders are all re-drawn after WW3. But then we’ve never been without a war so maybe it’s WW4 by now or really just one long continuous war with commercial breaks!


  17. Can Expat. When you say that “you seem to apply a broad brush to all Americans” – why then is it that “The consequences of U.S. war making is certainly felt by the bottom rung of U.S. society as so many joined the military as the only alternative to a life a grinding poverty”?

    This is the same country we’re talking about here, after all. On the one hand you say that I’m applying a rather caustic brush to the poor Americans – and you go and back me up to the hilt with your statement.

    Now to be fair, I have met nice Americans, one of them is my best friend. On the whole, they do tend to value money above their neighbour’s welfare. Quite as importantly, the Americans have a poorly regulated welfare state which means people DO wind up in grinding poverty when their boss ships all his machinery to China along with the job they once depended on. I will add that Japan does this too – but ONLY when they have developed the next level of technology to keep their business going back home in Kobe or Tokyo.

    The way the Americans operate IS one sided, after all, if they traded with their opponents rather than smashed them into submission, they’d not need as big an army – and the people in the army today would have a job in an industrial firm.

    Well, we can all dream, can’t we?

    My point is that the pugnacity and irritability of the American government runs through the entire society: take a note of how many police killings there are, and how many mass shootings too. These things do happen elsewhere in the world. One man was shot by police in Naumburg (my second home) – and Anders Brevik did shoot people in Norway. The issue isn’t that these have happened, but that Americans have one mass shooting every day – 351 this year, up to the 2nd of December, at least. I doubt they’ll slow down for Christmas, this is the Land of the Free.


  18. @Gemma

    Thanks for your reply.

    Actually, what I meant by my comment re. underclass Americans joining the military was to suggest that it is not so much from bloodlust, or because they support ‘their’ government’s foreign policy aims, but rather from a desire to make a salary with prospects beyond the crippling poverty that would otherwise be their lot.

    I agree that there appears to be something in the U.S. psyche that glorifies violence – read any Cormac McCarthy book and his premise that the U.S. was founded on genocidal violence is evident. My point was that ordinary Americans have very little influence on the foreign policy pursued by the elites, for the benefit of the elites. The U.S. has been shown to be an oligarchy in several academic studies, and in the same way that I do not feel responsibility for the actions of the Neocon Harper, or for the criminal actions of Tony Blair, I find it hard to blame all ordinary Americans for the policies of the rabid Neocons in the State Department. Whilst it is true that many endorse the crimes committed in their name, I believe this is mainly a result of genuine ignorance and the constant brainwashing of their appalling M.S.M. In my (admittedly limited) experience, U.S. citizens are no more or less likely to support the actions of their government than your average Briton. Although the MSM never report it, the U.S. anti-war movement remains remarkably vibrant even in the face of considerable Police-State repression.


  19. Canexpat; firstly apols for the late answer.

    All of the things you say are the result of a culture that does not like taking risks. On the one hand, the élite bomb countries who cannot respond in real terms – which was, after all, their ruling strategy when threatening to nuke Russia in 1963. On the other hand, Joe Public wants a quiet life where he can go home and watch TV. Meanwhile, in his bedroom, Joe Public Jr polishes a semi-automatic rifle with which he intends to inflict his will on others – who are necessarily unarmed and unable to respond.

    If there is ONE thing that characterizes the modern American, it is unfairness.

    After all, they’d not join the military because the alternative was grinding poverty. That very grinding poverty is the result of a manager having the power over his workforce in a way that is all but impossible in the more cultured parts of Europe.

    America’s world strategy is just a larger version of the manager sacking a labourer or that labourer’s son going out to kill those people who offended him.


  20. @Gemma

    No problem – I apologise for being a day late with this one :) Once JW has moved on, I don’t usually check back to read previous threads, but I’m glad I noticed a comment had been added to this one.

    I think there is a lot to what you say about the U.S., although I would argue that the attitude is cultural, and that U.S. culture is to a large extent controlled and determined by U.S. elites. The answer to every problem in U.S. media, especially in Hollywood films, seems to be a liberal application of brute force. I refuse to believe that left to their own devices, individual U.S. citizens are any more prone to violent adventures abroad or at home than members of any other nation. As I stated earlier, I have had limited experience with U.S. citizens, and my sampling must be anything but random, but the ones I have met have been kind, polite, affable individuals. My own experience growing up in the U.K. would suggest that in terms of violence, (albeit without firearms), young, pissed-up males in the U.K. could rival anywhere on Earth in terms of their predilection for a punch-up.


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