As his article in today’s Times proves, Dave ‘David’ Cameron isn’t the kind of politician who hides behind the smokescreen of obfuscation. He’s more than willing to explain his actions and intentions. Straight from the lip, just as we like it. But who, to use Byron’s phrase, will explain the explanation? Here’s my starter for 10 (no, not years in the slammer, this isn’t Russia yet, so keep your gallows humour to yourself).
Britain, according to Dave, will do anything to protect her national interests, even if this means not repatriating any powers from Brussels, because ‘we benefit greatly from the single market, which we must both safeguard and extend’ and it’s in our national interest to protect our national interests, which in any case is part of Dave’s job description and he cherishes our national identity as a source of strength, no not of Brussels, of Britain you silly thing, so there will be no referendum because there will be no transfer of power to Brussels, which has all the power already, so those sceptics can go boil an egg and let the Greeks eat it while Dave is out there protecting our national interests, especially those of our financial industry that has to be strong enough to make donations to Dave’s party so he can continue to protect our national interests that are coextensive with his own, so if the new treaty only has 17 signatories, and not 27, which really would be in our national interests, then there will be no referendum because Dave would not have signed anything new, and even if he did there would be no referendum anyhow because this would run contrary to our national interests, as defined by Dave, whose job it is to protect them by ‘bold structural reform programmes’ and ‘closer fiscal coordination’, provided they are in our national interests.
There, what could possibly be any clearer? If you want any specifics, you must look for them not in the text, but in the sub-text. The only issue Dave is prepared to stand firm on is the so-called Tobin tax on all financial transactions, which would effectively relocate Europe’s financial centre from London to Frankfurt, lowering Britain onto the perch currently occupied by Greece. And you know what? I’m sure Angie and Nicky will go along with this, chuckling between themselves at their own cleverness behind Dave’s back. You see, protecting the City of London from this egregious assault involves no repatriation of powers from Brussels. The Tobin tax isn’t in effect yet. It was only proposed by the European Commission on 28 September this year, and — call me a conspiracy theorist and kick me all the way to Brussels — one suspects specifically for the purpose of enabling Dave to save face by pretending he can protect Britain’s interests. To Angie and Nicky the Tobin tax is what a pawn sacrifice is to a chess master. The intent isn’t to give anything away. It’s to win the game.
While columnists are debating the interesting but moot point of where exactly Dave’s heart is (the universal assumption is that he has one), he finds himself in agreement with Ken ‘Kenneth’ Clarke, the Tory who entered into his own coalition with the LibDems 20 years ago. We aren’t going to repatriate any powers from Brussels at this point, says Ken, because trying to do so would prevent us from focusing on ‘how to maintain the financial stability of the western world.’ By inference, letting Angie and Nicky, proudly assisted by Dave, to ride roughshod over Britain equals pan-western stability. That argument wouldn’t survive 10 seconds of intelligent discussion, but a realist would never invite Ken ‘Kenneth’ to take part in one. People must never be taken out of their depth.
A word of avuncular advice to Dave: get yourself better writers, mate. That way you wouldn’t have to put your name to the kind of drivel that enables the likes of me to poke scurrilous fun. Really, waffle must be written so that no one guesses that’s what it is. It’s all in the wrist.