Toby Helm, of the Daily Telegraph, along with all British journalists, sees it all as a fight between gallant little Blair and the rest of them. One can’t help thinking that he has been reading a different set of news from the rest of us:
“His eight years as Prime Minister have seen him fight the French and Germans over the British rebate, the Common Agricultural Policy, tax harmonisation,European defence, who should be commission president and president of the European Central Bank, and much more.”
Well, I guess he has not lost the rebate yet, but only because that particular argument has not yet come to a head. The other great fights either did not really happen (Commission President – Barroso was quite a popular candidate with many who did not want Verhofstadt; tax harmonisation is being pushed forward by the ECJ) or Blair lost or gave away.
Who remembers what the CAP fight was about? Who cares? Nothing much changed in any significant way.
European defence was Mr Blair’s idea, or so he kept telling us after the St Malo meeting (actually he was tricked by the French but who’s counting?); the president of the ECB is Trichet, in defiance of the Maastricht Treaty but in accordance with French ideas on how things should run.
One wonders what the much more is.