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Cameron looking weaker under twin attack from Sarko and Eurosceptic backbenchers

Posted on 24 October 2011 | 7:10am

You’d have thought President Sarkozy would still have been in post-Libya mutual backslap mode with Dave, added to which a new baby usually puts a man in a good mood for a few days.

So our PM must really have been getting Sarko’s goat to provoke the tirade that came his way at the European crisis summit yesterday.

It came shortly after one of the British journalists covering the summit tweeted how refreshing it was not to have a PM like GB constantly lecturing the other leaders and telling them what to do. Cameron’s irritant factor is rather different. Gordon was full of ideas and solutions. It is why Europe’s leaders have cause to thank him for his leadership in Global Financial Crisis 1. As we approach GFC2 and its full implications, Cameron seems to do plenty of finger-pointing and blame-gaming but he and his Chancellor have precious little to say by way of solutions. But this is a crisis with huge implicatios for Britain, though we are outside the euro.

Just as they like to pretend all the UK’s economic problems are Labour’s fault, so now the strategy on the eurozone crisis is as much about avoiding the political fallout as it is addressing the economic impact on British jobs, living standards and growth.

Meanwhile, he has somehow managed to land himself in a fight with his own backbenchers which he thought would show him as strong, but may end up with his authority and credibility weakened.

He thought he was going to be the first Tory leader since Heath not to have the issue of Europe strangle his leadership and divide his party. Once again, he is learning that hope is not a strategy.

  • Libdem

    Cameron has been a narrow minded idiot over the referendum debate in the HoC today. He should have allowed a free vote, thanked everyone for their input and then ignored them. By attempting to appear to be strong he has actually managed the opposite and it certainly shows how deficient our democracy really is that he can simply ‘ignore’ the wishes of the majority.

    Regarding Sarkozy, who really gives a damn if the PM upsets a French leader? I would think this would actually go down quite well with the electorate as the French are hardly the most popular of nations. We’d have been better off in Europe getting alongside the Germans if we could have and isolating France whose political class will always attempt to work the EU to its sole benefit.

  • Robert

    I am reminded of Anthony Trollope’s novel “The way we live now”.

    In one of the chapters some cashless dissolutes have racked up enormous debts to each other represented by matchsticks. They welcome to their midst a gentleman looking to play cards who they believe has real money in his pocket – they need to settle bar bills.

    Solution to Euro debt crisis? Invite Libya to join the EU.

    (But in the book, the gentleman turns out wilier than than they, wins his trick and the story moves on. IIRC)

  • Chris lancashire

    Usual slanted piece from Mr Campbell. As he well knows Cameron and Osborne have put forward a plan to support the Euro and clearly Mr Sarkozy doesn’t like it.

  • MicheleB

    Does Mr Sarkozy have any reason to think it’s more likely to solve Euro problems than Osbo’s Plan A has been here ?

    Cameron and Osbo need to realise that they need to stop this talking ‘at’ people habit.  Their self-belief is born of something other than actual accomplishment.  They need some real new clothes.

  • Mark Wright

    This week it will finally be brought home to David Cameron that he is the leader of the Conservative Party, not the coalition.

  • Chris lancashire

    Well at the least they haven’t told us that they’ve ended boom and bust (yet).

  • Fresh out of surgery but still free-thinking enough to coin two phrases, muddle them up and, hopefully say what I mean with effect (hold on, I’m getting there) – Cameron is all bluster, no knickers.

    But, unlike Cameron & Clegg’s lot, I can admit my pre-op phrase hybrid mistakes.How much worse to be pointing out the errors of other governments from a high platform of…what? Inactivity? False economies? No bite? Nah, no knickers says it all.

  • Dave Simons

    Poor old Gordon – he’s going to be haunted by that stupid comment he made about ‘no more boom or bust’. But at least I think he hoped for it to be true. Most Tories are pragmatic enough to know that boom and bust is endemic to the capitalist mode of production, distribution and exchange, and as they are more or less resigned to the idea that capitalism is what we’ve got and is better than some of its alternatives – as they’ve worked out in practice rather than in theory – then the best policy is to make sure that when things are booming you get the lion’s share for yourself without interference by the state, and when things are going bust you ask that  same state to bail you out for nothing. I think it’s called free enterprise.

  • MicheleB

    Isn’t the sad truth that they could be / likely will be gaining privately from whatever happens to sterling CL?

  • George

    Almost the ‘best’ quote by Ed ever….We must reform the way the EU works, not leave it…..this is great coming from a party which managed to sign up for more and more EU during its 13 years in power and also gave back a substantial part of the rebate. Hypocritical b*stard…..

  • MicheleB

    Yep, it’s hard to get out of the hole cleanly when someone’s lumbered the nation as your (apparent) heroine had.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/scrap-eu-rebate-in-return-for-reform-says-prescott-511259.html

  • MicheleB

    We have to work with where we are and who we’re partnered with now, not flail around like frustrated singles !!

    We did what we did to the Commonwealth, we’re seeing the offence that has been taken about that (or maybe some would be wanting to exit it anyway by now) and there is no backwards for the future available to us.

    I never liked mustard-col’d bitter grainy butter anyway …… ho hum.

  • MicheleB

    Politics is hardball isn’t it?

    I can understand the motive of the Tory MP who resigned his ministerial post in order to vote against the Govt as he felt it was more important to honour his pact with his voters.
    However, he’s sacrificed his own future career for a project that had no hope of winning and he might be realising belatedly that more of his voters were in favour of his party’s mandate than in agreement with the malcontents in the constituency.

    Nice man hoist etc.

  • George

    Hardly my ‘heroine’ as you put it but remind me, how exactly were you going to persuade the French to abolish the CAP? All that your man Blair got was a promise to review it in return for ‘chopping’ our rebate, and as you’d expect, the Europeans said it was all hunky dory…As normal, all hot air from the likes of Prescott.

  • Libdem

    Two PPS resigned so how can you know that ‘more of his voters were in favour of his party’s mandate’? 
    Before they voted they knew they wouldn’t win, with a Conservative, Labour and LibDem 3 line whip it was impossible. Nonetheless, they debated on a subject that had been ‘raised’ by more than 100,000 people via the e-petition route; wasn’t this the point of e-petitions? That the people could actually raise points to our lords and masters in the HoC rather than sitting out the parliament to the next general election. Cameron has come out of this very badly simply because he had to employ the whips, Miliband and Clegg similarly.There should have been a free vote.

  • MicheleB

    I didn’t say ‘more of his voters were in favour of his party’s mandate’ though did I (although it is very likely the case)?
    Your disingenuous editing of the weight of the word ‘might’ and the spin that its removal made (without your being surgical enough to deserve the addition of ‘doctor’) is the sole reason for your post.

    Timing is everything and although in general I don’t agree with any leader  dictating votes I think at this particular time (and especially in this week) the UK does not benefit by looking as if many of us might want to withdraw from the EU. 

    One EU politico was brave enough last night to state pretty clearly that the Euro cannot be controlled without mono-Govt for fiscal matters …..  how could that be surgically discrete from matters?

    MPs have a duty to all constituents, not just their own voters and I feel great empathy for the Tory MP who took the action he did, while I’m also thinking he misunderstood his full constituency role.  All MPs should understand that when they make wild promises to their own voters.

    ePetitions ….. 100,000 supporters in a year ….. easily manipulable.

  • Whatifwhatif

    We are where we are and being pragmatic is probably boring to some but not to all of us.

    We have to roll with the pros and cons of EU membership and not faff around looking like a bunch of recalcitrants!

    It’s noticeable that the question about ‘what more would you change about employment law’ is ALWAYS ignored by Tories this week.  The idea that changing Tribunal regs so that min 24m with a company is required rather than 12m before an UD case can be brought is being described as supportive to small companies.  Garbage. 

    If a person is being sacked because they deserve to be sacked, are not fit for purpose and are not improving, their claim would not even get past its preliminary hearing.  Sor’ed.  

    If a person is being sacked because it’s cheaper than their being made redundant or something like coinciding with an owners’ progeny reaching working age ….. it’s something that has to be admitted rather than putting a slur on an employee’s record unfairly. 

    Employees as well as employers take chances with new employment. 

  • MicheleB

    ooops, my last post’s ID switched as it moved through and out 🙁

  • George

    Sorry but pragmatism has nothing to do with it; the politicians of all colours have let us down over Europe full stop! It is obvious that the ‘people’ in Brussels want more and more control over the member states, the evidence so far is that all of our governments over many years have gone along with it. But it’s becoming a joke, apparently today the European Parliament has voted itself a 5.2% rise in its budget. Exactly where do they think this money is coming from? Half the eurozone is ‘bust’ and according to Olli so are we so, how on earth can they justify demanding more money from us when we’re struggling at home? And yet when this is raised they do the ‘normal’ thing of accusing us of being bad Europeans or anti-EU or anything except provide the justification.
    This lack of justification also applies within the UK, the politicians here fail to explain why membership is so essential, what are our benefits etc. Simply stating as the 3 main party leaders do that they ‘believe’ it is in our national interest no longer cuts the mustard!

    You’re moaning about tory interpretations of working directives whilst Athens is literally burning.

  • MicheleB

    I am ‘moaning’ as you put it about the Tories not having the decency to fess up about what changes they still hope to have the freedom to make to employment law.

    If they had the decency to put out about that you would have the right to whinge about my moaning.  As they haven’t, give up the whingeing.

    A direct question has been being put to various Tory reps all week and not a single one has had the freedom to offer up a single hint but as we all know, there are other plans re employment law.

    Shaky Dave blustered today about how many countries in the EU have less unfair dismissal cases than UK does.  IF that is true it seems not to have occurred to him that it is because there are fewer examples of it ….. durrrrr.

    What does the punctuation around the word a word in your third line mean?  Do you not deem them to be people?

    We have to work WITH the EU, we are in it, better or worse.  We cannot row back and reclaim Commonwealth partners, we ditched their trade when we did and they’re now all very busy moaning about our ancestors having ‘exploited’ (I mean that punctuation) theirs.  I love the way some of that occurs, rejecting some stuff but carrying on working / trading in the English language   …..  having and eating cake?

    Olli will doubtless advise us how EU / Euro plans will affect Finland; we can only celebrate that our own leaders were not reckless enough to believe that budget submissions claiming currencies’ parity / comparisons with Euro values were reliable.  Europe should be as mad with the lying budget submissions from some Euro members as we all are with bankers.

  • George

    I suspect from what you have said that you will constantly moan about the tories and Dave.

    I won’t trade punctuation marks with you but simply to say I was trying to differentiate between the general populace of Brussels and the eurocrats. I think as probably a Labour voter you simply accept any and everything the EU means which is rather a silly position to adopt. If your argument was valid we may just as well dispense with Westminster and hand over everything to Brussels.

    Europe might be mad with the likes of the Greeks and the Italians but they will bail them out as they only know one way and that certainly won’t help the bailed out countries but it will massage the others’ egos. 

  • MicheleB

    ” ………………..I suspect …… you will ………..

    ……….I think ….. ….. you simply accept … which is rather…….”

    You extrapolate a tad too much George.

    Don’t tell me what you think I do or you think I will do ….. comment on the ACTUAL content.

    Let me extrapolate about your MO …… oooops I’ve glazed over.