Stick It Up Your Juncker

by George_East on June 28, 2014

david-cameron26 v 2.  Not even close.  Indeed a complete massacre.   As German tabloid Bild reported:  ‘David Cameron is the Wayne Rooney of politics: he lines up, he loses, he goes home’.

The Prime Minister’s pitiful performance in seeking to veto Jean Claude Juncker’s assent to President of the European Commission was all the more embarrassing for being a strategy that he had publicly committed the UK to from pretty much the moment the results in the Euro elections had been announced at the end of last month.

The victory for the centre right Peoples’ Party grouping in the European Parliament, which is comfortably the biggest group, made it inevitable that its nominee (Juncker) would be heavily backed for the role and that if he was to be stopped then an enormous amount of coalition building would be required.

David Cameron in his typically arrogant way seemed to mistake his relatively cordial relations with Angela Merkel as an indication that she would do his bidding and ditch Junker.   Yet this is the same David Cameron who (against the advice of the far more genuinely Euro-sceptic foreign secretary William Hague) withdrew the conservative party from the People’s Party to form a new grouping in the European Parliament with a rag tag bunch of anti-semites, nationalists and nutjobs.     You make your bed and you lie in it.   It is hardly surprising that British influence on such things is negligible.

Of course for the ever shallow PR man that is our Prime Minister the whole campaign against Juncker, was not really about Juncker and how the EU is run at all.   Instead it was all about Cameron’s fear of UKIP and the increasingly UKIPpy nature of his own party.    For Cameron the last thing he would ever do is try to take this tendency on – instead it is always the path of least resistance for him and the easy pandering to trite prejudices.

The result was, once again (see previously, the absurd spectacle of the non-veto veto in December 2011), British diplomatic interests being sacrificed in an attempt to get a few positive headlines about how ‘tough’ he was being with Europe.    The pitiful behavior of No 10 in this respect even apparently stooping to briefing on Juncker’s alleged drinking problems to the Telegraph, who dutifully splashed it all over the front page.

What though David Cameron never seems to learn is that this strategy is self-defeating even on its own narrowly political terms.  Whether over the non-veto veto or the referendum in 2017 pledge the clear lesson is that there is nothing he could do other than announcing the withdrawal of the UK tomorrow from the EU without a referendum that will ever satisfy the rabidly Euro-phobic press and a growing proportion of his own party.  Two or three days of positive headlines about being ‘tough’ will only make the clamours to get out of the EU even more strident.

More importantly from a national interest point of view it is the worst kind of spoilt brat kindergarten politics.  If you don’t do what we say then we will take our ball away.  The rest of Europe must be laughing at us.

David Cameron is, by a distance, the least Prime Ministerial Prime Minister of my life time (and no putting on that serious frowny face that you do Dave doesn’t count).  An utter embarrassment. Please make him go away.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike Killingworth June 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I actually feel a little bit sorry for DC. Only a little bit, but I do feel it.

“A rag tag bunch of anti-semites, nationalists and nutjobs” is not too wide of the mark as a description of the Tory party membership to-day, after all.


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