Yowser! It’s the mid-1990s all over again. I half expect to hear Ace of Base blaring out of a thousand Ford Cosworths. The Tories are split down the middle on the EU and Heseltine is stamping around, flogging his dirigiste interventionist stuff (which these days commends itself only to Labour, doesn’t it?). What next? Antonia De Sancha (come on, you remember her. “From Toe Job to No Job” was the memorable headline. She was very foxy. Certainly out of Mellor’s league, one would have thought.)

There is a supreme arrogance in Nick Clegg telling Tory rebels that they do not stand a chance in hell of getting the EU budget reduced. We have a parliamentary democracy. It wishes the budget to be reduced. That is the mandate for the Prime Minister – which means a veto. I realise that this is either too simplistic or simple for Clegg to understand.

Tags: Europe, Michael Heseltine, Nick Clegg, Politics, Tories