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From the horse's behind

Posted by Richard Monday, December 12, 2011


So, directly from Boris – or from his extremely well-paid fingers as they tap delicately on his golden keyboard - this observation about the "colleagues" (pull-quote above):
They blame David Cameron for "vetoing" a new EU treaty, when really he has done no such thing. It is perfectly open to the other EU countries now to go ahead and form their own new fiscal rules.
So there we have it … "really he has done no such thing". There was no veto. Soon enough, we'll get an admission that there wasn't an EU treaty either. Just a proposal for a treaty, and a draft statement of intent, neither of which were amenable to veto.

As for the fabled non-veto, the "colleagues" could have ignored The Boy and gone ahead with treaty negotiations anyway. There is absolutely nothing Cameron could have done to stop them convening an IGC and drafting a treaty.

What actually happened though is that The Boy was asked to support the statement by euro area heads launching a new "fiscal compact". He asked for the inclusion of a reference to some vague and as yet specified "protections" for the City of London.

The "colleagues" told The Boy to get on his bike, and to pre-empt any veto further down the line when they had actually prepared a treaty, they redrafted the statement, declaring that they had opted to go down the intergovernmental route – which is immune to interference, and does not require unanimity.

That was something the "colleagues" probably preferred to do, making the process of treaty preparation quicker and easier. The Boy gave them the excuse they needed to do what they wanted to do anyway.

So where does that leave Mr Cameron, and his hype? This is hardly the heroic eurosceptic dragon-slayer of legend. It is more like a lost little boy who really did not know what was going on, and has been comprehensively out-manoeuvred by the "colleagues".

With his PR skills, however, The Boy at least had the wit to spin it during the subsequent press conferences, giving a bored and idle press corps a "line" for a story that would keep their editors entertained. Never mind the quality chaps, feel the width.

So what of a media that can't seem to tell the difference between a draft treaty and a statement of intent, and between a refusal of support and a veto? This is the media which would have us rely it for information and analysis, and give it money for the privilege?

This is a bunch of dummies that needs to go back to reporter school – the whole lot of them. They are not even worth they paper they are not writing on. But to add to the surreal situation in which we now find ourselves, 57 percent of respondents in a Times poll (no link) declared that The Boy was right to cast his non-existent veto against the non-existent treaty, so that the "colleagues" could go ahead anyway. Next, a poll on whether the moon is made of green cheese.

Meanwhile, later today (about 3pm) we have the prime minister's statement in the House on the European Council - not the "summit" to which the brain-dead hacks refer, but a European Council. It will be interesting to see how The Boy spins this one, and whether our expensive and largely useless MPs let him get away with it.

COMMENT: "NOW YOU SEE IT" THREAD