Like most people round here I have been reading about and pondering Cameron’s ‘veto’ for a few days.
I usually apply the principle of Occam’s Razor when trying to understand such news. I tend to think Cameron is weak willed, self serving and mostly out of his depth in the Machiavellian conspiring of the EU, thus to me his ‘veto’ was basic botched politics and self preservation. Having cornered himself between the ‘rock’ of the EU elite and the ‘hard place’ of the eurosceptics he decided he would prefer to remain PM and avoid going down in history as the man who destroyed the Conservative party. Yes I know that’s simplistic, but it will do for me.
The views of Richard North (whose blog I highly respect) and others, questioning whether there was ever a treaty, and if not how could he veto it seem to me to risk courting diversions from what is important. While we certainly do need to know exactly what happened and just how much was play acting (most?) and it’s instructive to know how deluded the MSM (and parliament itself) has become I feel it may be a diversion from examining where we are now in the wider context.
I find IanPJ’s suggestion that the City of London has some very special protections to be a fascinating hypothesis, and to my mind may well be spot on. There is a sense to the idea and it fully explains why Cameron, for what must be the first time in his stint as PM, actually took a definite stand on anything. If IanPJ is correct then at least we know Cameron won't back down, which would be useful to know.
However, I have a simplistic view of the ‘veto’ and ‘treaty’ and ‘reason’. Whether it was a paper treaty or simply a powerpoint of what Merkozy intended, whether it was eurosceptic power or City of London status doesn’t change where we are now or the basics of the situation. The basics, as I see them, is that the EU elite, on the excuse of strengthening the Eurozone, were determined to extend financial control and tax powers into all EU countries, including the non-euro ones. Cameron said no, he wouldn’t play, and was (for once) correct to do so.
My big worry is that he will now allow the threats from the EU and Lib-Dems to pressure him into backtracking and boot-licking to try and regain his ‘influence’. I see today even Angela is trying to be nice to him. We know of course that he won’t get any influence back, he never really had any in the first place. Neither will his ‘influence’ or a 'place at the table' change the EU’s long term intention to extend controls. In fact just the opposite, such behavior will simply weaken him again and put him back where the EU want him.
I desperately hope he will stand firm. It seems likely already that most other non-euro countries are having doubts about the proposed treaty changes. Ordinary people on the ground all over Europe are definitely having doubts, even in Germany they have come close to aparliamentary defeat on the issue.
If Cameron holds firm and continues to oppose the spread of these EU finance intrusions he could become the beacon for European democracy and self-determination, a beacon of opposition to EU control and bureaucracy across Europe. It may be one government against 26 for now, but it won’t stay that way, and as we all know governments in Europe don’t speak for their citizens nowadays, so he could easily end up speaking for half the population of Europe.
What he should also do is take advantage of his current position. The EU elite hate him. They are already hitting back and will try everything they can to belittle and marginalize the UK. So he may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb. He should go back, very apologetically and politely of course, and tell them firmly that as well as their misplaced financial controls we will exit from the working time directive, the European arrest warrant, the social clauses, the fishing regulations and everything else that makes us uncompetitive.
Get all the unpleasantness out of the way in one fell swoop.