Thursday, July 07, 2011
Deliberate or just plain stupid?
In an angry piece, the colleague takes this apart. She points out, inter alia, that it is not possible to negotiate a "new relationship" between Britain and the European Union. As she rightly observes, we don't have a relationship with the EU, as such. The British government is part of the EU – the EU is part of the British government. The government would be negotiating with itself.
What is especially interesting about the Express story, though, is that it is based on an "exclusive" interview of Cameron by the Speccytwats, in which we see a man who has hitherto been keen to avoid talking about "Europe" all of a sudden doing an awful lot of talking about the subject.
Some of this may be due to the political fallout from unsavoury relationship with the so-called "Chipping Norton set", something he also needs to renegotiate, if it hasn't already gone too far.
More likely, it seems, we are seeing a continuation of a deliberate campaign to recover the eurosceptic vote. This has the hallmarks of having been planned for some time, in anticipation of the collapse of the coalition and an early general election. But, with his unhealthily close association with Murdoch and News International, Cameron may also be feeling the need to forge a new alliance with the disenfranchised rump of the Tory party.
However, no one with the slightest understanding of how the EU works could fall for the line offered by Cameron, which is so implausible as to be laughable – a direct insult to a real eurosceptic.
This begs the question – one we have addressed before, without real success. Is Cameron so stupid that he does not realise the implausibility of his own rhetoric, or does he know more than he lets on, and is deliberately setting out to pull the wool over the eyes of the electorate?
On balance, I think it is quite possible the Cameron is as stupid as he looks and behaves. I have never been impressed with his skills as a politician and the longer he stays in office, the more obvious his lack of skill becomes. And if the man thinks his honeyed words about the EU are going to cut any ice with an increasingly cynical public, then he is simply confirming his own inadequacy.