Is David Cameron Margaret Thatcher or is he Ted Heath?
This is the only question that really matters about the man who will be our prime minister this time next year. Unfortunately, the front page of today’s Guardian already has the answer, under the heading “David Cameron retreats on European referendum.”
“David Cameron is to rule out a referendum on the Lisbon treaty if the measure is ratified by all 27 members of the EU before next year’s general election in Britain.”
“Amid signs the measure will enter EU law by the end of the year – as the Czech Republic and Poland indicated over the weekend they will fall into line – Tory sources admitted yesterday that Cameron will not try to unpick the treaty’s main reforms.”
In other words, we’re stuffed. United States of Europe and President Tony Blair here we come.
Obviously it would be nice to be able to dismiss this as just a case of the Left’s house journal fomenting trouble. Except that Ben Brogan was predicting similar things yesterday; and you can even detect hints of it in the uncharacteristically havering tone of this blog by Dan Hannan.
I’m quite sure Dan will be popping up here soon to explain in lavish and persuasive detail just why David Cameron’s refusal to grant the British people the referendum on the EU Constitution the majority of them crave is in fact a masterstroke of realpolitik, and that Dave’s intention to repatriate significant powers on social and employment law will be the “terrors of the earth.”
To me though, it sounds like a classic case of Heathite ‘managed decline.’
“We’ve lost the battle to preserve our liberty and our sovereignty,” it says. “You’re part of the European Socialist Superstate now, so you might as well accept that for the rest of your lives 80 per cent of all your new laws will be made by unaccountable Brussels bureaucrats, your businesses strangled by more and more red tape, and your freedoms increasingly constrained by Nannying socialist busy bodies.”
Still, great news for UKIP, eh?