Coffee House

David Cameron is acting in a principled way over Juncker – so let’s back him

27 June 2014

12:52 PM

27 June 2014

12:52 PM

It’s pretty rich hearing the Labour Party criticize Cameron for taking a principled stance on Europe. How vulgar, they say, how amateur. Doesn’t he know that the job is to (as Douglas Alexander put it yesterday) ‘balance’ domestic interests and European ambitions?

When I thought that Cameron was following Labour’s ‘sophisticated’ approach – ie, being sellouts – I lambasted him. I had egg on my face pretty quickly: my Telegraph column was published on the day that he said ‘no’ to the Eurozone deal. In my defence, he had set out to sellout – he’d wanted to take a figleaf of protection from the French. Sarkozy denied him that, as it suited his domestic purposes to be seen to sock it to Les Anglo-Saxons who he blamed for starting the crash. But Cameron learned his lesson: double-dealing is an integral part of these Brussels negotiations that he has come to loathe. He has decided to play a different game, and one I look at in my Telegraph column today.

[Alt-Text]


His position now is everything that his erstwhile critics (myself included) wanted: clear, principled, honest and radical. He has called for an in-or-out referendum should he win the next election. And today he is the only European leader saying in public what they’re all saying in private: that Jean-Claude Juncker is a totally unfit to become President of the European Commission. He’s an old soak, a federalist – but this isn’t about his three-bottle lunches. He embodies a coup by Brussels institutions, in this case the European Parliament, over the elected heads of government. As Iain Martin argued on his Telegraph blog recently, his election is lurch in the wrong direction.

So why not say so? I was watching Mr Smith Goes To Washington last night, and there’s an element of this about Cameron’s new position. Why mislead? In whose service? Why not just call it as it is? Yes, Cameron may have not planned to take this ‘very well then, alone!’ position – he may have been naïve in believing the assurances from other EU leaders that they’d back him. But his starting point has been to do something unusual in Brussels: to say what he means, and mean what he says. And if that leaves him in a minority of one, it’s a matter for national pride. (Polls show that voters back him about 3-1 on Juncker.)

Unlike Blair, Cameron has no ambitions to run a continent – and he won’t give away any sovereignty to buy him brownie points in a complex Euro game that the voters don’t want him to play.

Cameron may drive many CoffeeHousers up the wall for many reasons – but here, he is being brave and bold and deserves support from those of us who criticize him when he is neither. It is Merkel who has caved in to opinion polls, which is precisely what Cameron is accused of doing. The PM is calculating that it’s better to say the right thing and lose than to sell out, fake victory and lose. And I suspect voters will agree.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
  • Chingford Man

    I’m backing Nigel. Vote UKIP.

  • verfugbarkite

    David is acting like a Machiavellian condottieri with this farce. A meaningless battle he knows he will lose, just to convince those watching he’s actually fighting. He isn’t, and it shouldn’t fool anyone.

  • DaveTheRave

    I’m afraid what we may see as principled they regard as folly.
    They are working to a completely different agenda already agreed to several decades ago.
    We should’ve seen it coming.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Farage Says Juncker Appointment a Gift to UKIP Exit Drive

    U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker to theEuropean Union’s top executive job over British objections would add momentum to UKIP’s calls to leave the EU.

    U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has “misunderstood” the
    EU’s political determination to install Juncker as European
    Commission president, an appointment that will undermine
    Britain’s push to scale back the bloc’s powers through
    renegotiation, Farage said in an interview yesterday in
    Brussels.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-24/farage-says-juncker-appointment-a-gift-to-ukip-exit-drive.html

  • McRobbie

    I find the stance of both milie the ambivalent and farage the mouth, stomach turning, Camerons stance against juncker is principled and right and courageous. Milie has in effect said give in to an undemocratically selected EU chancer…apparently because its not the done thing and the EU wont like it. Stuff them..for the first time I am for leaving the EU to stew in its own cognac.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Cameron’s stance has done more to secure Junckers the office than anything. how stomach churning is that?

  • Curnonsky

    It is worth noting – this was not about Europe (minus Britain and Hungary) voting Juncker IN, it was about them voting Britain OUT. At this point Cameron has realized that the referendum has been superseded by events.

  • Denis_Cooper

    “When I thought that Cameron was following Labour’s ‘sophisticated’ approach – ie, being sellouts – I lambasted him.”

    The link leads to an article you wrote in November 2011, in the run-up to Merkel’s “fiscal pact”, in which you criticised him for apparently being unwilling to seek the repatriation of powers now that the opportunity had arisen.

    You didn’t lambast him before, from the summer of 2010 when Merkel demanded a major EU treaty change to provide a legal base for eurozone bailouts, and he simply gave it to her without asking for anything in return.

    Like the rest of the media you kept completely quiet about that; even when the Tory MP Mark Reckless raised it in the Commons you didn’t pick it up and publicise it.

    On October 24th 2011, at Column 36 here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm111024/debtext/111024-0001.htm

    “The Prime Minister tells The Daily Telegraph today that we should use any treaty change to shore up the euro to get powers over employment and social policy back, yet on 25 March, he agreed to precisely such a treaty change, but did not ask for anything in return.”

  • HookesLaw

    ‘His position now is everything that his erstwhile critics (myself included) wanted:’ — Don’t expect the neigbourhood nutjobs to agree.’

    ‘Cameron may drive many CoffeeHousers up the wall’ — Come out and really say who it is that is being driven ‘up the wall’. ‘Coffeehousers’ is far too polite a term.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Well you haven’t agreed with Nelson for months if I recall correctly. What was that you were saying about neighbourhood nutjobs?

  • Smithersjones2013

    That Cameron is running around like a headless chicken conveniently discovering ‘principles’ (when his regime has always boasted it pragmatism) at the eleventh hour when his cause is lost over something in reality he had absolutely no control over (proving how impotent he is) only goes to prove how much the UKIP fox is in the Westminster hen house.

    This is the utmost humiliation for Cameron and that he persists with this futile gesture not only make him look pathetic but it is also humiliating for this country!

    • HookesLaw

      You should know about headless chickens. There is nothing coherent about you or your fellow nutjobs.
      There is no humiliation. Would you rather he had said nothing or even gone and agreed to Junkner?

      • Smithersjones2013

        Afternoon Hooky Indeed I do know about headless chickens I have to suffer your maniacal squawkings on a regular basis.

        They’ve let you out for your daily chunter have they? And taken the straightjacket off. How nice of them.

        I’d have rather he recognised that Juncker (note the spelling) is little different to anyone else the EPP would have nominated as Boris Johnson, Hannan and numerous others have pointed than making a ridiculous spectacle of himself wasting any political capital he still had..

        As it goes from what I’ve read many national leaders were luke warm about Junckers and if gently persuaded behind closed doors with a bit of smart diplomacy they may have dropped their support for him but Cameron’s bull in a china shop opposition to him has forced the likes of Merkel to support Junckers.

        Are you sure Dave isn’t ensuring Junckers gets the job with his overt opposition?

        Now be a good boy. Back to the padded cell with you. You don’t want to upset all the nice people now do you?

        • echo34

          As far as i can see, the whole idea was to posture and make a big fuss over this Juncker leader, lose and then spin the idea that Cameron fights for the UK in the EU.

          DC knew he was never going to get anywhere. Look out for several more small examples of Cameron throwing his toys out of the pram over specious EU policies and decisions.

          Come May 2015, it’ll be “look how i stood up for the UK!”

          Pure posturing. If he wants to impress invoke Article 50.

          • Smithersjones2013

            Exactly. The trouble is Cameron is the most transparently crass poser to walk the UK political stage. Everyone knows what he’s up to even if they play along with the propaganda line..All this does is make it look as if he’s patronising the UK electorate.

            He really is an imbecile when it comes to politics

          • Fred Smith

            I disagree. It was posturing to guild his eurosceptic credentials, but it was done believing he’d have the support of Merkel and other national leaders. However, whatever Merkel said, she has domestic political pressures to respond to, and then went about persuading other leaders to support Juncker.

            There wouldn’t be any point deliberately making a fuss over Juncker, if he started out believing he would fail. I’m sure he started out believing it was in the bag that Juncker wouldn’t be appointed. It just makes him look like a loser. It would have made more sense to pick a fight over policy.

            Now he’s made so much of it, the spin they’ve to put on it is that Cameron was doing this out of principle and standing up for Britain. They’re hardly going to say it was a disaster and there are no redeeming aspects at all.

            The thing to remember with Cameron and the Conservatives is that they absolutely don’t want to leave the EU, and any anti-EU noises they make are just that, including the talked-about referendum, which they’d rig if they could and avoid if that couldn’t be done.

    • Denis_Cooper

      The principle for which Cameron claims to be fighting now was surrendered over two decades ago by Major through the Maastricht Treaty. And I’m sure that his highly paid legal advisors know that and will have told him.

  • Daidragon

    First time I’ve heard that running around yerp like an emasculated poodle, yapping but not scaring anyone, as being somehow principled. Cameron is making a fool of himself over this. Even our erstwhile allies in the EU think he’s an idiot.

  • Fred Smith

    It can hardly matter whether or not the next president of the Commission is Juncker; the direction of travel won’t change and certainly not in the direction that Cameron says he wants. The power of national leaders in choosing the president was diluted by the Maastricht, Nice and Lisbon treaties.

    All I see in this is Cameron putting on a show of standing up to Europe, purely for home consumption and demonstrating in the process, that he doesn’t really have much idea how it all works.

    There and again I have absolutely no patience for the Tories’ reform and repatriation of powers blather, which the Juncker sideshow seems to be in aid of. The options are in and out.

    • HookesLaw

      You are right about who the president is does not really matter. what does matter is Cameron opposed him. And if we get a tory govt we will get a referendum where you can vote OUT if you want.
      But what people like you tell us is how we would be able to deal with the EU if we left. Are you going to be happy if as part of some deal we have to be in Schengen? And how do our industries cope when as a consequence of refusing that we are denied access to the single market.
      The only way we can protect our interests is to negotiate these things from within, not by walking out first.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Are you going to be happy if as part of some deal we have to be in Schengen

        Oh for god sake Hooky give it up! We are not fully signed up for Schengen which is why we still have the pretense of border control. If we withdraw the last thing that will happen is the ceasing of our Schengen opt out!

        Stop with the braindead scaremongering!

  • No Couch Potato

    I have to say a lot of the time I have disagreed with Dave but on this I think he has done the right thing even if it doesn’t help us. The EU is a monster rapidly getting out of control and it is totally wrong for them to brush aside a country simply because it does not want to tow the Brussels line. Lets leave and then when Juncker ***** up everything we can then at least hold our heads up high while the rest of the EU realises what it had done.

  • Mark Page

    What a distraction from Dave’s outing as a useless judge of character; he shoe-horned a Murdoch stooge into the heart of government IN SPITE of repeated warnings; it was always going to end badly. Now we are assured that he has judged Junkers to be unfit as president of the EU, and we are supposed to agree with him and not think he is merely partaking in some EU bashing to fend of UKIP?

    • Kitty MLB

      Sorry old chap but not everything is about UKIP.
      UKIP has a choice, they can stop the petty remarks,
      rebuke Labour for their lack of support, they believe
      Like the BBC and the EU that Cameron should just shut up.
      Or UKIP can put party before Country and join in throwing
      stones. But beware, the electorate will be on the side
      of he that fights alone, join Labour with your stone throwing
      at your peril.

      • Bob Hill

        rubbish

      • Patonback

        As a UKIP supporter, I fully agree. They can join in the stone throwing or stand above it all and simply say “we told you so”. Disgraceful behaviour from the other party leaders who are choosing political point scoring which undermines the UKs concerns, instead of pointing at the double dealing liars including Merkel who indicated their support for David Cameron.

      • Smithersjones2013

        But aren’t Labour and the Libdems in full agreement with Cameron that they do not want Junckers?

        Alexander’s criticisms have been about style and tactics and given Cameron has lost this one quite disastrously Alexander may have a point.

        Now as it goes whoever they were going to make President was highly likely to be a raving Europhiliac (to ensure the strident pursuit of ever close union) so why Cameron has wasted what little political capital he might have in Brussels on a lost cause seems completely deranged. Do tell how throwing away any credibility he had in Brussels is in the country’s interests or in anyway at all aids his aspirations for a reformed Europe?

      • Mark Page

        I think it’s a fair point that Cameron picked this spat at the concluson of the phone hacking trial. Gives the press a chance to quickly ‘move on’. We should be grateful he didn’t start bombing Syria, Iraq or Russia I suppose.

      • Conway

        I don’t see how it is putting “party before country” to point out Cameron’s own words about wanting the UK to stay in, nor to point out that the idea of renegotiation is a complete non-starter when that has so obviously been shown to be the case. Both these things are a matter of record.

  • Kitty MLB

    Well done I totally agree. No more of speaking our country down
    or listening to the likes of Labour who wish Cameron to cower
    to the EU succubus, as do the BBC and entire Leftie establishment.
    The prime minister truly believes Juncker will be a utter disaster
    and he has all those working against him. He must be supported
    atleast in the United Kingdom unless we wish to be agreeing
    with Labour and the EU.

    • Smithersjones2013

      So you want a competent EU Oligarch attempting to manipulate and deceive this country do you?

      PS As I have previously pointed out both Labour and Libdems support Cameron’s opposition to Junckers.

  • beenzrgud

    I don’t particularly like Cameron, but at the moment I’d take him over the spineless wimps running scared of Merkel.

    • Mike Oddpiece

      Yes, but whom is Merkel running scared of? She thinks Juncker to be the wrong man too.

      • beenzrgud

        Merkel has been outmanoeuvred, but is unwilling to take the fall for her mistake.

  • Colonel Mustard

    In their lunch time news the BBC were trying to make Cameron the bad guy and even featured the weird looking Finnish PM chiding us British to wake up and smell the coffee. I’m not sure what it is we are supposed to smell but the stench of Euro federalism is wafting westwards already. I wonder how the Finnish people would feel if Cameron had the temerity to tell them to “wake up and smell the coffee”. I guess they’d be a tad upset and not put up with their national broadcaster gloating over it.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Yeah I get pretty fed up with the way the British media go around touting for foreign nationals to put the boot into our country. They are almost orgasmic when they find someone to bad mouth our country.

    • Kitty MLB

      If Labour, the BBC,the leftie press and the EU are all against
      Cameron on this then we know he is right to pursue this
      and support him regardless of personal grievances with the
      man.He will never support the EU if it goes down this
      road.

      • dado_trunking

        Now that the leftie BBC have lost their right wing anchor man, surely that other daily politics right wing anchor man will be next, given what will happen in September. Oh how we all must be deeply saddened by what’s coming.

        • Kitty MLB

          We know what’s coming next, Labour, the EU
          and the entire Leftie establishment will attack
          Cameron when he stands against the EU.
          But that just makes him more determined
          and creates fire in his belly.
          I just wonder how The Lib Dems will react.
          I know how UKIP will react.

          • dado_trunking

            Cameron to stand against the EU?
            That would be a major policy shift which incidentally even Fraser has yet failed to pick up on.

            • HookesLaw

              No you are displaying how ignorant you are. Cameron has clearly stated how opposed he is to ‘ever closer union’.

              • Conway

                He has also clearly stated that he does not want to take the UK out of the EU. Since ever closer union is a fundamental and not for renegotiation, how is he going to square the circle?

                • Wessex Man

                  He’s not, he’s going to circle the wagons and hope we don’t notice that the Emperor has no clothes, just many double chins.

              • dado_trunking

                Honi soit qui ma(d)ly p***es himself.

          • Bob Hill

            fire in his belly ..are you having a laugh righty

          • Conway

            I doubt if Dave’s determined to do anything more than try to fool people into keeping him in power.

          • Wessex Man

            How do you think will react?

      • Daidragon

        So deluded. If you think the Tory donors in the city would let Cameron take us out of EU you are living in cloud cuckoo land. Never forget who it is that benefits from free movement of labour. The rich.

        • HookesLaw

          Its the city that have most to fear from closer EU union.

        • Kitty MLB

          Even closer EU union will be a disaster for
          the city….and speaking of businesses and
          donors….I assume UKIP must have backing
          in these areas..you unfortunately you need
          them.

      • Wessex Man

        I’ve given you an up tick but you do know that if he had won, which he had no chance of doing he would have paraded this as a major victory. the time has come for him to say exactly what reforms he will be aiming for in his negoitations after he has ‘won’ the next election.

        People other than you and I who are already committed to Political Parties would then be able in a fair and considered way decide which Party to vote for.

    • HookesLaw

      When the Euro was created it was inevitable that there would come a time when we have to distance ourselves from the EU. Those discussions ar going to come and we will get a vote on them if we have a tory govt.
      Cameron has repeadedly made his position clear about not wanting ever closer union and wanting tom concentrate on economic and trade benefits. His is the best deal Euro sceptics are going to get. My fear is that with Miliband we would get nothing.

      • Conway

        When the Euro was created it was inevitable that there would come a time when we have to distance ourselves from the EU.” Strange, I thought we were told the sky would fall in if we didn’t join. Apart from the usual plague of boils, all the car companies would leave and we’d lose all our jobs. I seem to recall that all those who said the euro was a bad idea and a case of putting the cart before the horse were slagged off as crazy loons.

        • Makroon

          You have a really bad memory.

        • Wessex Man

          You are absolutely right, Heseltine, Willets, Clarke, Cambell,Clegg, Huhne and Blair slagged us all off. What a fine group of gentlemen, one of whom is a war crimnal another who has served time and yet another who thought the Lisbon Treaty was ‘good’ even though he hadn’t read it.

          It’s matey below who has a really bad memory.

      • Fergus Pickering

        With Milibum we would get nothing of any sort. You just have to look over the Channel to see what a Socialist can do to a country in very short order.. Mind you, I don’t think Miiibum will be out shagging on a scooter. He would fall off.

    • Fergus Pickering

      WTF cares what some bloody Finn thinks about anything? When I went to Oslo it was full of drunks but the Norwegians said they were all Finns. It’s what they do. Would YOU like to be a Finn and speak a language absolutely no-one understands?

      • Colonel Mustard

        “WTF cares what some bloody Finn thinks about anything?”

        The BBC do. They were positively gloating over his offensive remark which is presumably why they included it in their slagging off Cameron feature on the news.

        • Fergus Pickering

          WTF cares what the ghastly Beeb thinks about anything. Lefty perverts the lot of them.

    • an ex-tory voter

      There is a war going on between the nation state and the federalists. Since becoming PM David Cameron has shown no inclination to lead the fight against the federalists (which is exactly why UKIP is on the rise) nor shown the slightest understanding of the strategy needed to win the war.

      His first move should have been to to disarm and disband the enemy propaganda machine (BBC) and on gaining office he had the perfect opportunity (licence fee settlement) to do that. At this first low hurdle he FAILED. Even if he did not see the BBC as his enemy in regard to matters EU, as a true “conservative” he could not fail to see them as his political enemy and one which has for years abused it’s monopoly for the benefit of socialism.

      Either David Cameron is not a “conservative” or he is not a man with the strategic sense necessary to lead the nation in this war. Whichever is the case, when put up against Van Rumpoy, Barroso and Merkel he is as much use as a chocolate teapot!

  • LadyDingDong

    The best piece I have read from you in a long time Fraser – well said. If anything epitomizes the disconnect from the corrupt double-dealers in Europe is the attempt by Juncker’s aides to change the rules so that he can continue to smoke inside the Presidential offices. Ban the little people from indulging their highly-taxed addictions so long as the elites can do what they like.

    • dado_trunking

      Fantastic stuff – you too appear to require a refresher course on the basics of democratic representation.

  • GIN1138

    Fraser Nelson saying something nice about Cameron!

    Have I joined the Twilight Zone!

    • Bob Hill

      well he is a rabid tory

  • Patonback

    A good and fair article by Frazer Nelson albeit a little surprising.. This was a time for the political leaders to stand up for Britains interests. I see only David Cameron and Nigel Farage doing that. Utterly wrong for Milliband and Vince Cable to attack him publicly on this issue. I will never ever trust Labour or the Libs to represent the UKs interests after seeing Cameron savaged in this way and at this time, We should have shown unity, but once again division is visible to the EU federalists. You will never see clearer proof of the EU’s ambitions than the hasty signing of trade deals with the recently troubled Ukraine and with Moldova and Georgia. Dangerous stuff indeed and a clear provocation to Russia. This EU monster is now “out of control” and we should exit quickly. Our concerns are not even being heard whilst the juggernaut rolls on to closer and closer union.This was a time for the political leaders to stand up for Britains interests. I see only David Cameron and Nigel Farage doing that. It is disappointing to see senior UKIP figures attacking Cameron instead of backing him. Utterly wrong for Milliband and Vince Cable to attack him publicly on this issue. I will never trust Labour or the Libs to represent the UKs interests after seeing Cameron savaged in this way and at this time, We should have shown unity, but once again division is visible to the EU federalists. You will never see clearer proof of the EU’s ambitions than the hasty signing of trade deals with the recently troubled Ukraine and with Moldova and Georgia. Dangerous stuff indeed and a clear provocation to Russia. This EU monster is now “out of control” and we should exit quickly. Our concerns are not even being heard whilst the juggernaut rolls on to closer and closer union.

    • Smithersjones2013

      UKIP a because they neither believe he is genuine or credible and as such are critical of Cameron because he is throwing away any political capital he has on a battle that even if winnable (which it never was) is futile.

      One can only conclude that at some point Cameron will throw his hands in the air wave the white flag, capitulate completely and say ‘I tried but there was nothing I could do.

      • HookesLaw

        idiot ramblings

        • Smithersjones2013

          You didn’t take your tablets again today did you?

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    This happens with every PM. They think they have the charm, tactics and sense of purpose to go to Brussels and come away with a win. They never do, they always get their noses smacked like a puppy seeking to feed from the big dogs’ dish. Sometimes the slap doesn’t take, and they go again. Sometimes it does, and they learn to mistrust everything to do with the EU. But if they decide to break ranks and go against it, they are swiftly hauled into line or dispensed with entirely. Not by the EU, but by the EU fanatics in our own institutions. If Cameron ever looks serious about tough renegotiation or recommending withdrawal if we don’t get a deal, he will be dealt with just like the others.

    • Conway

      I don’t think there’s any danger of that, though. Cameron is “sound” in EU terms. He just pretends to be eurosceptic for home consumption.

  • Blindsideflanker

    I am favourably surprised at Cameron’s stance on Juncker, but I struggle to put that together with what Cameron has done when he has serially letting us down on EU. let alone the abuse he has thrown at EUsceptics, as such it is hard to trust him, let alone figuring out what we are supposed to be backing him on.

    In his Junker stance I am struggling to understand the logic of it, for along with this die in the ditch strategy, you then look at his renegotiating position, which is positively anaemic, shorn of all substance like the repatriation of fishing, which used to be Conservative policy, but no longer, instead we get this whishy washy desire to deal with red tape….wow!!!

    So if you want us to back Cameron, please tell us what it is we are supposed to be supporting?

    • Makroon

      Perhaps Cameron has realised that if he blinked on Juncker, Merkel would take him less seriously on the negotiations.

      • Wessex Man

        heavens sake, they don’t take him seriously now, we are regarded as an hostile cash cow and that’s all.

  • lakelander

    It has been a pleasant surprise to see Cameron sticking it to the collective EU leadership. He has done the right thing and left Labour standing on the issue.

    • sameerakhan

      One of the primary ‘reforms’ that us Eurosceptics want is an end to the principle of ‘freedom of movement’.

      As has been made clear repeatedly, that isn’t even up for discussion. Juncker or another arch-federalist, it doesn’t make an iota of difference.

      • HookesLaw

        Freedom of movement is freedom to work and Cameron has already stated that it is not freedom to claim benefiots. Current EU rules do not allow ‘benefit tourism’.

        • sameerakhan

          Doesn’t matter. Benefits or not, someone in Albania, Moldova, Romania or Bulgaria will always prefer to come over to London to hunt for jobs rather than their capital cities.

          For anyone born in the last 25 years in Europe, if they know a second language, it’s most likely to be English. So we don’t even have that as a barrier.

          Britain should be able to pick and choose who it is that enters the country, that is the point.

    • Bob Hill

      bullmuck

    • Daidragon

      Is your real name Goebbels? Cameron has just been laughed out of Europe.

  • eclair

    Any politician who declares his position then sticks to it needs applauding…Dont you think Telemachus?

    • Smithersjones2013

      So which position about an EU referendum should we applaud Cameron for? When he said he wouldn’t have one or when he said he would after he started getting a kicking in the ballot box?

      • eclair

        Im not overly bothered. What bothers me more are politicians who make declarations but make sure the back door is open. Cameron has left himself nowhere to go but at least he’s going to fall on his own sword, however he got there.

  • dado_trunking

    Let’s summarise where a summary is due:
    DC finds himself in the unique position to oppose a democratically elected candidate established by a democratically elected Parliament not an elite club at the Council. Fail.
    DC finds himself pleading to a Northern Alliance for support. Fail.
    DC finds himself not publicly supporting any other candidate for the post. Fail.
    DC in fact copied the UKIP way of thinking and doing things. Fail.
    DC now finds himself in the company of only one other quasi fascist PM. Fail.

    Yes, if we felt repeat and abject failure needed our undivided attention and support – now is the time to show that indeed.

    • Rhoda Klapp8

      In what way is the parliament democratic? Just because you think you got a vote? Was Juncker mentioned by the MEP you voted for? Was the party grouping you voted for even mentioned on the ballot, much less its policies or voting intention?

      • dado_trunking

        How does your logic work on a national level?

        • Rhoda Klapp8

          Not as well as I’d like, but the EU elections are a farce and always have been, party of the blame lying with our own media. At least in national elections there are manifestos and there is relevant coverage. And even if you are voting only for your own MP at least you know who the party leader is likely to be.

          • dado_trunking

            Ok, I get that.
            What I think you are saying is that your personal horizon when voting in local elections is national, but when voting at EU elections it is also national.
            Am I getting this right?

            • Rhoda Klapp8

              If I took the EU elections seriously I would have severe reservations about the process. Indeed I have expressed them here many times. There is more to an election than a vote. In the national elections, I vote for a person. He or She is associated with a party programme which I can check. Media coverage, shallow though it may be, is relevant to that election. In the EU, I get a party list. Most of the parties represent themselves in terms of their domestic programme. They treat it as a mid-term opinion poll. The media ditto. That means there cannot be a proper democratic process. Nobody knows who or what they are voting for. And then when you get an MEP, they go over and from groups by backroom deals designed to maximise funding rather than to produce a manifesto. Then the parliament is a farce anyway. No free speech, no ability to propose laws. Plenty of rubberstamping of regulations to impose on all of us. There is no input to the process for us, and we don’t have the ability to chuck out the leadership, because they are not subject to election.

              Want any more?

              • dado_trunking

                You make very good points with regards to the backroom funding deals on EU level. One would hope this was further scrutinised by many, irrespective of whether they profit or not.

                The personal representation argument however is a rather weak one. We understand that candidates are parachuted in at many levels, we understand that the party line of course also exists here (what’s the three-line whip for?), we understand that currently the discussion *at the highest level* about UKIP/Tory deals on national level are designed to further circumvent to all intentions the process of voting for candidates as you outline.

                So no, I have little issue with the fact that in a Parliament that no longer consists of two parties, a Parliament in Britain with 5 parties plus, a Parliament in Brussels with 30 parties plus, that different rules now apply. Manifestos outline visions not certainty. That is perhaps the biggest hurdle you have yet to take.

                • Rhoda Klapp8

                  Parliament isn’t really designed to have parties at all. It is party considerations that mess everything up. You vote for a person. You don’t expect that his party will ask him to vote against your own constituency interests, but there you go, three-line whip, and e.g. HS2 rolls through your back garden. Parties are part of the problem. There is no democracy going on in Westminster or Brussels. But the EU is far the worse of the two.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Thomas Carlyle sad there are only two parties in any parliament, the one that is in and the one that is out. I am sure the man would not have wasted his time reading manifestos.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Oh I don’t think the “democratic process” by which he was “elected” is beyond reproach. A clue is the fact that he is the only candidate. And I didn’t vote for him or even the party he represents.

      Cameron’s “failure” is not the issue here.

      • dado_trunking

        erhm … he is most emphatically not the only candidate. I always wondered whether that Socialist Cameron would publicly back Schulz at one point.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Please name the other candidate(s) and provide us with details of the votes they received.

          Tell us who pays your salary to “comment” here while you are at it.

          • dado_trunking

            1- I just mentioned him above.
            2- oh no, not the money thing again, not from you, Colonel. Please.

            • Colonel Mustard

              And the votes? There were six candidates representing five parties.

              It’s not the money, old thing, it’s who is paying it to you and what for.

              • dado_trunking

                Ok, you will not leave it so I see no other option as to kindly ask you to pay your taxes for me to get my landlord benefits on time.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I already do pay my taxes. Answer the question. What were the voting results?

                • dado_trunking

                  Oh apologies, I don’t know the answer to that question.
                  Are you asking me about the voting results to field the respective candidates (similar to the Cameron/Davis thing), or are you asking me about once Cameron won the largest share of seats who voted for him to be PM? The latter vote is surely yet to happen one would hope.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You told us he was “a democratically elected candidate established by a democratically elected Parliament”. How can you assert that when you don’t even know the process by which he was “elected” or the results of the voting?

                  A lot of Euro-propaganda seems to be based on “take our word for it”. The people are restless about that. Don’t blame the people.

                • dado_trunking

                  Look, Colonel – if you had the intel to prove that the process with which the next President of the Commission is to be undemocratically appointed by backroom dealing evil bureaucrats, then let’s have your story.

                  I will for now assert that, whilst not a Juncker man myself, I will look forward to the day at which the democratically elected Parliament of Europe determines in a democratic way and after having been filled with members in the best possible democratic way known to mankind, the next President of the European Commission.
                  In fact, that would be so cool.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Which is a completely different proposition from your earlier assertion. It is your “intel” we are interested in since you are the one who asserted that Junker is “a democratically elected candidate established by a democratically elected Parliament”. Now prove it.

                • dado_trunking

                  No, you prove that he is not.
                  I outlined the process, I outlined the spirit of the European idea. You however question that and my intentions with your fatuous payment waffle which is what only morally corrupt and smearing individuals would do as a measure of last resort.
                  Prove the opposite yourself, in your own time.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I’m not questioning your intentions. Those are crystal clear (unlike your comments). I’m questioning who employs you to comment here. If no-one does then just say so.

                  As for your “defence” of Junker’s “election” – risible.

                • dado_trunking

                  Either my arguments stand or they do not.
                  The rest is fatuous propaganda to divert from the argument.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  The only thing I know about Juncker that I like is that he is a drunk and a chain smoker. Whoops! That’s two things. Do you think he is a serial shagger? That would be three things.

    • Smithersjones2013

      DC in fact copied the UKIP way of thinking and doing things. Fail.

      it is a wholly different thing for the anti-EU UKIP to demonstrate how little sovereignty we have and how little consideration we are given by Brussels, it is wholly another for a pro-European to do the same so graphically.

      Cameron is doing UKIP’s work for them.

      • dado_trunking

        He is in self-destruct mode and he knows it.
        It is so sad to watch.

        • Smithersjones2013

          i think Cameron is in self destruct mode too

  • Last Man Standing

    Fraser Nelson continues his very long and drawn out job application for the Tory gravy train. Try to make it a bit less obvious, old chap.

    • Rhoda Klapp8

      Not a hope, he’s Jockinese. That’s going to be a show-stopper.

    • telemachus

      ” taking a principled stance on Europe. How vulgar,”
      *
      Not vulgar
      Incompetent
      Inept
      *
      In politics you have to see which way the wind is blowing because you cannot turn it round
      *
      You have to remember you have to deal with these people week in week out for the next few years whether we stay in or not
      And depend on their good offices to facilitate renegotiation in any event
      *
      The only light here is that Cameron will be gone next May and we can start afresh

      • Colonel Mustard

        “In politics you have to see which way the wind is blowing because you cannot turn it round”

        Good job we didn’t succumb to that defeatism in 1940 when the national socialist wind had blown all the way across Europe from Poland to the Channel.

        And who was it lecturing us here recently that winning in politics is everything? How can you “win” if you are not prepared to “fight” but instead meekly submit to whatever the prevailing consensus is? An odd resignation for a supposed “progressive” engaged in a mythic “struggle” against the status quo.

        • telemachus

          I do not mean that you should accept reality and stop trying to make it better? Of course not. When you accept reality you realize that nothing you can do will change the situation now

          Cameron’s motivation to improve should no longer come from an inner sense of weakness but a desire to exploit the reality and truly engender change

          A good friend of mine would say he must begin to lead from reality but beyond his authority

          He must accept, conciliate and then lead

          He has chemistry with Merkel and a unique opportunity

          • Colonel Mustard

            No-one in public service should ever lead beyond their authority. That is an abuse of power. When done collectively to pursue the hidden agenda of an unelected and secretive organisation it becomes a conspiracy against the people.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Chemistry? Is she a goer then?

  • Full Name

    I would only hope Cameron was “going through the motions” to be a fair-minded diplomatic before concluding that Article 50 TEU Lisbon Treaty is the only authentic renegotiation between EQUAL partners unlike the reform “in + eu”.

    But I honestly doubt that is the case. He is part of the Pro-EU political complex where the elites in government have closed ranks against the people and grown the democratic deficit (just as they do with the national deficit and debt, mind).

    Reform in the EU = Barking Cats (opposed and opposite things in one thing wished for).

    If Cameron was honest, principled and all the rest of it his COMMUNICATION would “betray” as such:

    * Article 50 TEU Lisbon Treaty
    * EEA (European Economic Area) UK is party to 1994 = Single Market access
    * Habeus Corpus, Common Law > Community Law (aka British values genuine institutions not fluff)
    * Parliamentary Sovereignty > EU Parliament
    * Global Goverance > Little EU-peaners
    * EZ Crisis was collateral damage of Engrenage of the Federal USE “Ever Closer Union”.

    And educate the public in good time before the coming referendum and Brexit.

    But no, these cheap charades in Brussels talking to non-British people is more important for the image of things than genuine leadership.

    Cameron is only mildly better than Labour and Liberal Democrats:-

    1. We Must join the EURO (Lib/Lab)
    2. We Must reform the EU (Cons)
    3. We must get out of the EU (UKIP) **new**

    Seeing a trend here? Of course now the question is what does Brexit look like as it’s becoming a genuine option (3. as it’s taken 40 years of bluster and blagging to get here from over-paid crooked politicians)?

    FLEXCIT by Dr. RAE North is the answer and is already fully drafted and currently being extended as a “live document”.

    IN = Federal USE
    OUT = FLEXCIT (EEA day 1 (day after referendum), Global position day 1 + x (future)).

Close