One interviewer caught an exceptional comment from David Cameron last week: an unequivocal answer to a straight question, and on an issue that is as potentially destructive to the Tories now as it was under “Shagger” Major. Young Dave was asked if there were any circumstances under which he would consider pulling the UK out of the EU. His answer was that, no, there were none that he could envisage. That may surprise and disappoint some. Not me.
This reveals the true nature of the Tory approach to the EU. It also explains the attempt by Cameron and his pal William ‘Ague to put together a new right-wing grouping within the European Parliament. This grouping, so Master ‘Ague would have us believe, is to be Eurosceptic in nature. The sad fact of the matter is that the Tories would ally themselves with a dubious convocation of oddballs, as I’ve already observed. But here they would have no problems railing against all those jolly ghastly foreigners that Dave’s been warning us about.
For this is the real reason for the “realignment”: to use the EU as a whipping boy, something on which to heap the blame and divert attention from those times, which will come as certainly as night follows day, when the probing of the Cameron character – and that of his jolly good chaps – comes under increasing scrutiny. It will be the fault of “Europe” or “Brussels” that poor Dave can’t jolly well do as he’d love to. Those rotten Eurocrats will be held to stand in the way of reform, trade, jobs and anything else that Dave and his pals can dream up in the meantime.
There is, of course, a finite amount of blame dumping that can be done before Joe and Joanne Public start to ask the obvious question: if the EU is so bad for us, what are we doing there? Given the rabidly anti-EU stance of so much of the press, the pressure to come out could escalate very rapidly. And it would be down to Young Dave and his jolly good chaps, and their blame gaming. But there’s the problem.
Coming out of the EU could only be done once. Having done the deed, the idea that we might get welcomed back does not stand serious analysis: the UK Government would have sprayed its goodwill up the wall long before any act of withdrawal, and memories would be long enough to ensure that relations would remain in the deep freeze for many years after.
Also, if the EU were no longer an influence, it could no longer be blamed for the country’s misfortunes. Which brings us back to the idea that Young Dave has to talk tough to those rotten foreigners while keeping us in the EU. Effectively, he has to behave one way at home and another once he gets to Brussels.
Alternatively, he could quit farting around, stop this charade, and tell Andy Coulson to come up with a better idea.