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I suppose it is important

Posted by Richard Thursday, December 29, 2005

We would rather the Telegraph had used the space for a grown-up commentary on the political implications of Galileo – but then we would wouldn’t we – but even then, what the paper did actually print seems to display a rather odd sense of priorities.

For sure, the subject of its lead editorial was worthy enough – an examination of the case for the Boy King taking the ModCons out of the European People’s Party in the EU parliament, and issue we have rehearsed on this blog.

But what is odd about the piece is its timing. Lacking a topical news "hook" it pops up out of nowhere, quite unrelated to any recently reported events, at a time anyway when the EU parliament is in recess and nothing much is happening.

However, careful reading – and a little inside knowledge – suggests a sub-text. The leader writer reminds us that pulling the ModCons out of the EPP is the one unequivocal promise that the Boy King made during his leadership campaign and, "failing to deliver on the one thing he can do in opposition would make voters doubt his ability to deliver in government".

That last assertion is a little overblown, as the average voter neither knows nor cares about the EPP. But it is an issue that is passionately important to a small section of the faithful and the piece seems to suggest that there is some doubt as to whether the Boy King is going to deliver. It is, therefore a "shot across the bows", warning of trouble if the promise is not honoured.

Clearly, the Tory Europhiles entrenched in their comfortable niche in the EPP are mounting a rearguard action, and are going to make the Boy King’s life very difficult. He may be tempted to abandon the struggle, or kick it into the long grass. Whether he does will indeed be a good measure of his resolve so, I suppose it is important.

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