I just listened to yet another ‘major’ policy speech on Europe this morning by @Number10Gov, and I can totally understand why the rest of Europe’s leaders plainly ignore David Cameron. In 37 Minutes of waffle there are no great new ideas. He still doesn’t mention a single power he wants to repatriate from Brussels to London. Quite frankly, the only thing I can detect and prevails throughout is a cold fear of being left behind in the big bad world and marginalised in a Euroland he declined to be part of.
In his latest speech Cameron would like us to think he addressed five big principles for a Europe his party would find acceptable. More of the following: 1. Competitiveness; 2. Flexibility; 3. Repatriation of Powers; 4. Democratic Accountability; 5. Fairness.
Competitiveness with whom? you might well ask. In his speech we are primed to look at the emerging markets of China, Brazil, Africa and India as a ‘threat’ from outside EU borders. The idea is planted in our head that ‘they’ are all out to take our wealth and comfortable life styles away from us. What is wrong with these economies crawling out of centuries of poverty? They are doing it on their own steam and, unlike the British empire, they are not stealing it with gun boats. They are doing it with toil and graft and trading with us the fruits of their hard labour. Where is the threat in that? All we are doing in the EU is evolving some sensible common tariff barriers to avoid surplus goods just being dumped on us. We don’t want to compete with low cost economies by building our own sweatshops in a desperate race to the bottom. Let them gently catch up with us and we can all have comfort and prosperity. Not those lucky few in the Western world.
Here Cameron is merely regurgitating the first point. The only ‘hard’ example he can come up with, is that he wants the freedom to work NHS Junior Doctors in the ground with excessive hours that, I am sure, only will harm patients when doctors nearly collapse from fatigue and start making mistakes in diagnosis and prescriptions.
It has been said before, but what are these mythical powers that Brussels now have, but would blossom better when exercised in London, Paris or Amsterdam? Because it sure ain’t the environment that would benefit from repatriation! I thought most common sense people at least agreed, that the environment is the one thing that can’t be stopped at our borders. It blows right over the channel after all! And even if you don’t believe in climate change; if a strong united Europe can convince a USA and China to play by the same set of climate change rules; what is wrong with that? How does it disadvantage Britain or Europe in any way, aiming for durability and sustainability? Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels that by definition will at one point run out, even if climate isn’t affected as claimed by some?
I thought Cameron was going to mention the #Juncker word again. I thought seeing Juncker, Verhofstadt, Keller, Schulz and Tsipras debate it out on TV was a wonderful step in the right direction. But no… what it seems David is afraid of, is the Euro-parliament stealing the lime light and making the Westminster circus look exactly that.
A freak show of no importance. Well most Brits I know, couldn’t give a rat’s arse in any case. Kippers think all British political leaders are spineless paedophiles anyway. Let them debate their duck house allowances and leave the big decisions to a democratically elected and accountable Euro Parliament is what I say. Also less chance of Britain engaging in senseless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that way?
It is hard to remember anything David said of note in this section. I only made a small note of the words “we weren’t asked”. David laments loosing ‘our powers of veto’ and mentioning more and more things that are decided by ‘qualified Majority voting’.
Well David, welcome to the new brave world, where if you want to achieve things you do things together and no! you can’t be head-boy like you were at Eton or the Bullington club. Sometimes other people get to sit at the head of the table, so just get over it.
There are no ‘big ideas’ coming from David Cameron. He is simply playing for time trying to appease his Euro-sceptic back-benchers, who are getting more and more frustrated. They see a crack of a door opened with the ukip foot of Nigel Farage firmly wedged in it. @number10Gov hopes ukip and other right wing fringe parties will turn out to be ‘one day flies’ and just go away. He hopes that the public mood gradually will shift back to the sensible #whyIamIn #EU position and he can force back the lid on Pandora’s box which he inadvertently opened by mentioning the word ‘referendum’.
But what drives a politician to constantly put himself in harms way by picking fights he can’t possibly hope to win? My take: Like many other Brits, even kippers!, he is feeling terribly insecure about one thing under all this bravado. Secretly Brits admire the way the euro adopting EU members have kept their currency afloat in the biggest of storms. In public they have to keep calling the Euro a disaster but the Euro has weathered many a storm! And as the saying goes, if a crisis doesn’t kill the Euro, it only serves to make it stronger! That’s why the Euro is now the world’s favourite reserve currency after the Dollar and not so the Pound! That’s why in the City more transactions are done in Euros than in any other currency. Britain is in Euroland hook line and sinker, but of course when it comes to Euroland policy making they are excluded and that makes some people in Britain like Cameron and Farage very nervous indeed: What if they got it wrong?????