Speak for the UK, Mr Cameron

 

            Mr Cameron has a simple choice. He can either go along with the plans for a German Europe, and be hailed by federalists as a good European, or he can call their bluff and speak for the UK.

             The Merkel plan will not save the Euro. It does nothing to tackle the underlying problems of too much government borrowing, and too little competitiveness. It increases the gap between the governed and the governing.  Fining countries who have no money is ludicrous. Refusal to print the cash hastens  market retribution. If they decide to print they can buy time, but that has nothing to do with a new Treaty.

             Mr Cameron needs to say the UK needs a new relationship based on trade and friendship, and refuse to sign anything without agreement to that. He can offer them the ultimate solution for the UK problem. The UK can opt out of the intrusive government in return for letting them go ahead.  If he sits in silence, or presses for a small concession, he will suit neither the home audience nor please Mrs Merkel. Looking at yesterday’s Question Time performance of many Conservatives,  he only has a majority for Merkel”s Europe   if Labour supports him.

 

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144 Comments

  1. norman
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it absolutely batty, given our history, that we are now in a position where in order to be allowed to make decisions that affect our own citizenry, and that’s all that’s being asked for – it’s not like we’re trying to tell anyone else what to do, we have to go through this drama and rigmarole?

    How on earth have we managed to end up here.

    • lifelogic
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      We ended up here because of Heath, Wilson, Callahan, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, all three main political parties and the BBC all acting in a blatant, dishonest, conspiracy and fog of misinformation against the voters. That and a voting system that rewards the existing parties and prevents new ones breaking through and forces people to vote on many issues for one person from just two or three parties. A person who will say one thing at election times and do another like Cameron.

      This BBC and party misinformation is also the reason we waste billions on the green exaggerations.

      I have no faith that Cameron will do the right things for the UK nor the right things to save France and Germany from their follies. He has not done so far.

      • Disaffected
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Once more Lifelogic Spot on. Heath lied and deceived the public to enter the EU in a different guise and for a different purpose than he told the country. Obama was on the phone yesterday to pressure Cameron to save the Euro. Obama ought to stick his nose out of our business, he does not care for Britain only his election chances if further global crisis continues to harm his prospects of election. Junka wanted to tell Britain in advance he would not tolerate the UK’s protests.. Bully for him Lib Dems threaten an end to the coalition- good it would become an in our EU election just what the EU masters do not want. Hence they prevented Ireland, Greece and Italy from holding general elections because they could lose control of these countries. So go on Lib Dems break the Coalition and let us see how you and the EU fair at the next election.

        Cameron has nailed his colours to the wrong mast. He made himself very clear on 23rd October when he put the Lib Dems, Eu dictators and Obama ahead of his own MPs, public and national interest. The Euro will fail and Cameron has already thrown away billions of taxpayers’ money to try to save it by bailing out Ireland and Greece- you will note he negotiated nothing in return. The puppet governments of these countries are deceiving their public for the benefit of a pan European state dream- like Clegg and the European Liberal Democrats. Cameron cannot and will not achieve anything. German finance minister and the EU finance commissioner have already said the City of London is a European asset not a British one! Germany and France have also made it clear that if the Uk object they will go it alone with the other 17. Does this sound like a united club acting in the interests of everyone?? Dictators the lot of them. It is a simple choice, either the UK is in or out. They will not ALLOW any negotiation- who is kidding who?

        Of the 736 MEPs only 35 turned up for the last finance meeting. Why do we need so many layers of government and all the MEPs, MPs, councillors, quangos etc?

        Tory MPs have until March to get rid of him if some of them want to keep their jobs beyond 2015 and even shorter time for Boris at next year’s mayor’s election.

        • lifelogic
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          You ask :- “Why do we need so many layers of government and all the MEPs, MPs, councillors, quangos etc?”

          Perhaps so that friends of the powerful can get nice cushy jobs, pensions, expenses, interns to help them and interesting fact finding travel trips and so that economic growth and all the real jobs can be destroyed or exported.

          • A different Simon
            Posted December 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            Pretty much sums it up .

            Lifelogic ,

            Have you any idea how John Hutton’s proposals on pensions which were meant to be good for 50 years into the future are apparently invalid after 9 months ?

            Doesn’t this mean that all the defined contribution crap should be consigned to the bin ?

        • rose
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          If Rupe were still close to him he might have been a counterweight to the pro-EU people in his life. He did a good job on Brown and Blair in keeping us out of the Euro – as he said, it was what they mostly used to argue about.

          • Bazman
            Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            Is this Rupert Murdock? If it is, this is an amazing way of thinking.

          • rose
            Posted December 9, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

            Yes, Bazman, it is.

            Not an amazing way but a desperate way: the FO, the FT, the City, the B of E, the front benches of two of the three so-called main parties and at least half the front bench and many of the backbenchers of the third, the CBI, big business in general, the FSI, the Stock Exchange, the US, France, Germany, and many other European nations, the C of E, the Guardian, the Independent, the Economist, the Statesman, the BBC, ITN, Channel 4, the LSE, the establishments of Oxford and Cambridge and most of the provincial universities – I won’t go on because it’s tedious as well as depressing – were solidly in favour of the EU in general and the single currency in particular.

            A PM needs to hear a different point of view in high and influential places. If it came from Rupert Murdoch and no-one else, then I’m not going to complain if it had the right effect. All that coming and going through the back door of Downing St, all those sleepovers at Chequers – wasn’t it worth it for the rest of us, even if a little undignified in the public telling? Or do you think Brown, who got so much else wrong, worked out this lonely position all out by himself?

          • rose
            Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            PS I suppose it is possible Brown kept us out of the Euro because Blair wanted us in, not because he listened to a reasoned argument.

          • Bazman
            Posted December 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            Unelected plutocratic non British citizens are not where British politicians should be seeking impartial advice and if you think they are you need help.

          • lifelogic
            Posted December 10, 2011 at 6:30 am | Permalink

            Rose you seem to have listed most of the guilty in favour of the stifling EU and the EURO. The Media, the political parties. the BBC and Universities.

            I would also add most of the civil service and large business and industry, who see the EU and regulation as a way of gaining competitive advantage. The introduction of complex regulation to directly disadvantage smaller competitors and put them out of business.

            Within these groups what proportion, I wonder, were in favour due of an irrational religious feeling as perhaps Shirley William, some journalists and the LibDems are, what proportion due to EU “grants” and “income” perhaps including the BBC and what proportion due to the pure self interest in skewing the system for example large business. Also, I suppose, there are the politicians and civil servants who just like the food, wine, travel and jollies in Europe. It gives them a chance to brush up their school French, Spanish and German.

            There also seems to be rather a positive correlation between religious beliefs in the EU, big state socialism, beliefs in the more absurd global warming exaggerations, the possession of an arts education, working in the extended state sector (BBC, universities etc.).

          • Bazman
            Posted December 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            Murdock’s Fox News has been
            showing streets ablaze, violent clashes and fire bombs thrown at security officers, but with one major problem, the images are not from Russia,
            they’re from Greece. Sloppy journalism? I doubt it. This is just one of many ‘errors’ in this channels reporting.
            People like you Rose and many of the one post right wing fantasists on this site would have this country a banana republic.

          • rose
            Posted December 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            Lifelogic, you are thorough as usual. I think also a big motive in the disinterested older generation was the misplaced belief that the Common Market and not NATO had kept the peace after the war. This fiction has been passed down to the schools and universities, presumably because unusually large numbers of silly people seem to go into education. (Please let this rude generalisation past, Mr R. I have close friends and relations in the industry who are not silly, but rather a lot who are.)

            Bazman, we do indeed need help!

        • uanime5
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          Italy and Greece didn’t want elections because some politicians felt they’d be unlikely to be re-elected as their party was in power when the economy started collapsing. Ireland recently had an election.

          • APL
            Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

            uanime5: “Italy and Greece didn’t want elections”

            The implication being ‘Italy and Greece’ encompasses the people of Italy and Greece. When in fact you mean the political class of the European Union didn’t want elections.

            uanime5: “Ireland recently had an election.”

            And elected a completely different party, that carried on with the previous party’s economic policies AKA the European Unions economic policies.

          • lifelogic
            Posted December 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            to APL

            Precisely

      • Disaffected
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        You must also ember that Clegg went further in the run up to the election he was rubbishing cameron’s position stating that the public wanted a referendum as he was proposing by a 2:1 majority as the public did not sign up to this form of Europe. `he was very clear that the Lib Dems would offer a referendum whereas the Tories only offered a partial one on the Lisbon treaty. We all now know that you cannot believe a word Clegg says, literally nothing.

        • lifelogic
          Posted December 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          To be fair to Clegg all his pre-election promises (and LibDem promises in general) are made just to attract votes – they never really expected to ever win an election and actually have to implement a land of wind farms, tuition fees and referendums just carp at others from the back benches.

          So policies are not constructed with this in mind.

          Tories on the other hand always say one thing to convey an impression of say “Cast Iron” but always leave an escape clause in the small print.

      • APL
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “This BBC and party misinformation is also the reason we waste billions on the green exaggerations.”

        I would just like to observe that with the wind we have been experiencing this last day or so, all the windmill generation plant have been disabled because there has been too much wind.

        Three years running this now being the fourth, at the coldest time of the year these damn subsidy farms have been useless at the coldest time of year!

        • lifelogic
          Posted December 11, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          Indeed – how many month of electricity generation will they need (at true value say 3p per KWH for intermittent electricity) to pay for all the repairs needed to the exploding and damaged ones I wonder. So a storm one or twice a year would render them even more pointless.

          Or perhaps a broken ship or cargo drifting through the ones at sea? Or lightning strikes?

          When the subsidy stops so will these pointless, sometimes rotating ,expensive church crosses.

    • javelin
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      I’ll try my joke again about Clegg’s absurd view of treaty changes triggering a referendum.

      David Cameron walks into his bedroom and finds Nick Clegg in bed with his wife Samantha. David says. “Our relationship has changed completely Samantha I want a divorce.” Clegg then pipes up “You can’t get divorced David because the marriage contract hasn’t changed.”

  2. Robert K
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I hope he will, I doubt he will.

    • Disaffected
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      There is no doubt, he will not achieve anything. He will try to get permission to release a press statement to say he negotiated safeguards to the City of LOndon- when we have already been told it is a European asset not British.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Nicely put.

    At the moment, I think Mr Cameron is going to fall between the two stools. We so badly need to get equal with Norway again. Next week, I go to be a pauper in Switzerland where even a cup of Gluwein will be beyond my means,because Europe ismaking is poor. A friend went to Australia a week ago and paid £90 for a steak dinner for two people.

    And where is the Labour party? David and Ed Miliband have been talking some sense recently. If only they could put it into parliamentary voting!

    • Alan
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      We can’t get back to being equal with Norway – they just have more oil and more cheap hydro power per person than we do.

      And we are supposed to be pleased at having a low valued currency. It’s supposed to be a good thing that we have devalued the pound. You are supposed to be deterred from spending money abroad. These are the successes that we are supposed to be enjoying because we did not join the euro.

      I hope you enjoy Switzerland. I have just had a good holiday there and I didn’t think its prices were much different from London. I’ve kept the francs I had left over though.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Thank you for an encouraging post!

        • alan jutson
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Mike

          Have a good trip.
          At least the trains are clean, run on time, and you can usually get a seat.

      • lifelogic
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        We certainly should be richer than Norway were we well run, had a smaller state sector by a factor or two, got out of the EU and had fewer regulations. We have huge advantages over Norway in so many ways, in scale, climate and pleasantness and plenty of gas to be extracted near Blackpool and coal all over and nuclear skills too. It is just that Huhne seems rather obsessed with silly rotating religious monuments and pointless PV house bling and daft electric cars/vans, with energy at 4 to 20 times the going rate. He is clearly not an engineer or sensible economist and seems to think he has a magic crystal ball to see the future of engineering, climate and energy.

        If he does have one please tell him it is clearly broken.

        So all the industry is going overseas too.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Norway has to obey all EU law but has no way to influence these laws. I doubt any UK politicians would agree to these terms.

  4. Adam5x5
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, I do not see Mr Cameron doing what is in the nations interests.

    I would love to be proved wrong but I believe Cameron to be to much of a europe-fanatic to allow the people to decide for ourselves.

    • Cliff.
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Although Mr Cameron keeps saying he will look after our national interests, he can’t; the EU’s treaty/constitution that we are signed up to, clearly states that we must put the interests of the EU ahead of any national interest.

      Mr Cameron has lost the little support he had from the country and he will guarantee the party a long time in the political wilderness. Sadly for the country, Labour and The LibDems are waiting in the wings to take over and they will complete the European project. The pro-EUSSR camp has played a good hand and I cannot see any way now that we will end up in anything other than a giant, soviet style, socialist super state.
      The only thing the federalists forget, is that although they can force us to act in a certain way and make many things, such as true free speech illegal, they cannot control our freedom to think and feel and they cannot legislate to change human nature.

      • Alexis
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        I cannot see any way now that we will end up in anything other than a giant, soviet style, socialist super state.

        We are perhaps already in one.

        “National sovereignty is the root cause of the most crying evils of our time….The only final remedy for this supreme and catastrophic evil is a federal union of the peoples.” ‘

        Quote from EU visitors’ centre.

        Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/andrew-gilligan/8933457/Fiddling-as-the-euro-burns.html

        If you want to lead, Mr Cameron, do so. Or make way for those who will.

      • Kevin Dabson
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        “Mr Cameron has lost the little support he had from the country and he will guarantee the party a long time in the political wilderness. Sadly for the country, Labour and The LibDems are waiting in the wings to take over and they will complete the European project. The pro-EUSSR camp has played a good hand and I cannot see any way now that we will end up in anything other than a giant, soviet style, socialist super state.”

        I was just thinking this. Add to that sterling tracking the euro as someone mentioned in a previous post, and no deficit reduction, which someone speculated could be to engineer a market attack against sterling forcing us into the euro.

        The euro’s problem could be solved in 5 mins by printing money and eurobonds (though not it’s structural/productivity problems long term)
        So this is not the issue being considered at the EU summit. They are being conflated by europhiles.

        Cameron’s problem is he doesn’t have a majority. So he is getting/type of blackmailed by LibDems by forcing a general election with no guarentee the conservatives would win. Their are more federalists in the commons as you mention above. LibDems & Labour would join euro & USE.

        Plus socialist Obama alledgedly pressurising him to keep the euro together.

        Thinking about it, maybe we should refrain from Cameron bashing so much. He is in a tricky political position.

  5. Antisthenes
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    There is no proposal that I have seen that indicates a fiscal union only tightening of the existing rules with a few other things thrown in the major one being the financial transaction tax.So how that addresses the euro crisis beats me but it does not bode well for the interests of the UK. Cameron not asking for powers back, holding a referendum and safeguarding the city does not save the euro but it does leave him open to the charge that he caused the collapse of the euro if he does. So he and the UK are between a rock and a hard place. Reality is likely to triumph over aspiration at this summit and the shock waves that that causes in Britain may be overwhelming.

  6. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    All prime-ministers will speak up for their countries. Cameron’s chances will be best if a major treaty change is on the cards. If I am allowed a prediction, it would be that for the immediate crisis the protocol amending path will be chosen, with much larger changes next year, possibly even a new convention. In that case Cameron’s better chances would come next year, provided that he will have agreement within his coalition.

    • lojolondon
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Sorry Peter, that is where you are wrong. Cameron, like Blair is speaking for the EU, and, I suspect, he is hoping for a job for life as an MEP, so he is speaking for himself. THAT is why the British people are so angry, because he promised to stand up for us and he has failed to do so. He is a traitor.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        @lojolondon: It seems to me that all your consecutive prime-ministers are called “traitor” by one or other part of UK public opinion. Maybe too much polarization?@lojolondon: It seems to me that all your consecutive prime-ministers are called “traitor” by one or other part of UK public opinion. Maybe too much polarization?

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Always next year, never now. Enoigh prevarication, lets get out of this socialist mess.

      • lifelogic
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Cameron is not likely, to even try, to get out of this “EU socialist mess” when he think that Lord Patten is a suitable person to oversee the BBC is he?

    • Dave B
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Mr Oborne reports that Mr Cameron is getting a lot of pressure from the USA to not rock the boat. Which is not something I had considered.

      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100122393/david-cameron-support-of-the-euro-is-honourable-yet-it-could-ruin-him/

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      According to one of our very top journalists (Peter Oborne) if the Euro goes down, it will take every bank in Europe with it, it will usher in 4 million unemployed and it will throw the entire world out of economic prosperity.

      I would really like to know your own views on this.

      Reply: That is an extreme forecast. The break up of the rouble zone shows what can be done when splitting a malfunctioning single currency. Remember that whilst banks lose money on devaluing currencies, they make money on the revaluing ones, where they hold the bonds. Remember also banks have assets and liabilities, so it’s not all bad news when a currency devalues. They handle the devaluing pound and dollar without going bust.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        I would describe Peter Oborne as a “pendulum journalist”. He has uncovered serious issues where his style is appropriate but on some other matters he does over read the situation not least with his pieces on DC, which vary wildly. I think at one stage he was lauding Brown as PM, maybe I am wrong.

        Cameron’s main aim is to protect this country’s interest and not fail at the game of Euro poker, which unfortunately is highly improbable. Basically it is not our problem, the contingency plan should be to manage any fallout not to bailout and give away what is left in our store.

        • Tom William
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Agreed. Not one of the VERY top. How about Jeff Randall?

        • Dave B
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          I did wonder if he flatters particular politicians in the hope of getting interviews/exclusives.

      • lifelogic
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        He is right to a large degree. Many of the banks would clearly not pass any sensible solvency tests if the EURO currencies are to break up. But there are winners and losers in the long term. It would, on balance in the long term, probably be the least worst option to resolve this EU disaster.

        Inflicted on us all by Major, Blair, Brown, Heseltine, G Howe, M Rifkin, the Libdems and Ken Clark and now to be continued by Cameron with some of the above still in support roles it seems.

        • Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

          But surely the excessive debt that most of Europe is carrying means that it will all crash anyway. Surely the difference is between a fast crash and a slow drawn out crash.

          A slow crash may sound more appealing to those in power but for the rest of us perhaps a decisive crash is the least worst medicine.

    • Javelin
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Yes but Cameron has chosen to take an extreme position in his own party and a minority position in the country.

      I simply think he lacks inner strength.

  7. zorro
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Yes John, it is time to call a spade a spade…..For some posters here have been showing how the EU is basically rigged as a German export market. What we are seeing is a quickening pace of EU economic control (I.e. German budget control). German industrialists and bankers are getting their hands on European assets in exchange for saving the PIGIS and allowing them to stay in the Euro.

    Von Clausewitz stated that ‘war was a continuation of politics by other means’……This time they are using economic control instead of war to achieve their ends.

    Zorro

    • Willy Wombat
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Often overlooked is the fact not only that Europe becomes a German export market but also that competition by Eurozone states with German goods in other markets is driven out.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    John

    I said a few weeks ago on this site that the EU Sceptic momentum was growing fast, and that the 81 may become 181 in due time.
    We may not be there yet, but I get the feeling that the momentum is increasing, not only in Parliament, but also in the media, and this is the key.

    Whilst votes in Parliament are very important for immediate policy decisions, Public opinion is also vital in order to put pressure on individual MP’s, who if they continue to vote against their constituants wishes, may find themselves without a job in 3 years time.

    Keep up the pressure, Cameron has yet to prove himself, either a bulldog or a poodle.

  9. Atlas
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Hasn’t Cameron, by saying he wants to remain in the EU come what may, done the equivalent of the Cricket team captain breaking his own bat before he walks out to the crease? If it was true for Howe, so it is still true now.

  10. lojolondon
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    YES, John, YES, YES, YES.

    A firm stand should have already been made and needs to be made as soon as possible?

    Perhaps this is a good time to admit you were wrong a month ago on the referendum vote in parliament ?

    Reply: I remain committed to a referendum and pleased I voted for one. .

  11. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Having heard the EU plan for fiscal governance and control it is inconceivable that this can be nodded through by the 17. Anti democratic, unsustainable, unworkable – a typical EU product, which will be rejected by the people either immediately or at the ballot box. Merkel and Sargozy are close to elections and if they are not re-elected the whole game changes again.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      How is an agreement between democratically elected leaders undemocratic?

  12. scottspeig
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    My worry is that he’ll come back with the “I stopped the Tobin Tax” or something similar. No repatriation, but a commitment to be allowed to keep the status quo!

    My question to you John would be: What will be Cameron’s punishment for doing so? I know you won’t resign the whip, nor defect to UKIP, but I hope you will move to have the quisling Cameron removed from his post.

  13. Electro-Kevin
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks to you and all of your allies for making a stand at this important time.

    The EU is too restrictive, too statist, too undemocratic, too Leftist and – dare I say it – too corrupt to succeed.

    There are at least as many risks involved in remaining within as there are in getting out.

    Reply: Thanks for the support. It makes a welcome change from endless carping criticism which is what many offer me for my efforts. Apparently resigning from the Cabinet to save the pound, writing three books and a continuous blog, and voting consistently for less EU is not enough for most people.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I’m very supportive now that I’ve seen that your policy of keeping your powder dry was the correct one.

      It must have caused you intense frustration over the years.

      Once again. Thanks.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Clarification: Remaining in the party and not trying to form a new one being the correct policy.

      • Mazz
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        … Thanks to you and all of your allies for making a stand at this important time. …

        I second that.

      • Kevin Ronald Lohse
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Me Too. Carry on the good fight John.

    • Duyfken
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      I hope I’m not regarded as one of those carping. I too support and thank you for continuing the good fight resolutely.

    • forthurst
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      “Apparently resigning from the Cabinet to save the pound, writing three books and a continuous blog, and voting consistently for less EU is not enough for most people.”

      On the contrary, it’s far too much for the enemies of England.

    • zorro
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Multiple dittos….go forward and complete your victory. They won’t stand….

      Zorro

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      I guess that means I fall into the carping camp!

      I’m grateful for the opportunity for direct dialogue, but forgive me if I don’t agree with your desire to remain latched to a party that long ago decided that the policies you (and I) support are toxic and no longer ‘on trend’ with the Notting Hill set.

      • APL
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        Jon Burgess: []

        Seconded.

        I think 30 years is time enough to wait for the Tory party to show some inkling of patriotism and some EUrosceptic actions.

        You are a stalwart Mr Redwood, but one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

    • Alexis
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:40 am | Permalink

      Mr R., be assured you have friends old and new out here. Not all comment on this blog.

      We applaud your integrity, and calm analysis.

      We know that what the public want to have happen, and what can be done, are very much at odds at present.

      In the meantime, please accept our thanks, and keep writing.

  14. Ferdinand
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Too many people confuse intelligence with common sense. Cameron may have some of the former but he is showing a blatant lack of the latter.

  15. Electro-Kevin
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Off topic please:

    I know that benefits were raised faster than soldiers’ wages at the behest of Nick Clegg. This has caused much consternation in these parts.

    Is it known whether or not this summer’s rioting featured in the Govt’s decision ?

    After all. It’s well known that Govt policy gets changed when faced with serious public disorder rather than orderly demonstration (Poll Tax for one.)

    • forthurst
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Much cheaper to re-introduce the Riot Act which becomes more essential the more vibrant our ‘society’ becomes.

  16. Alan
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    The Eurosceptics seem to me to be exaggerating Mr Cameron’s bargaining power. All he can really do is prevent an agreement amongst all the EU counties, thereby forcing the Eurozone countries, plus those who intend to join the euro, to come to an agreement amongst themselves. The Eurozone countries have already said they are willing to do that.

    Whatever Mr Cameron does, he is likely to return to the UK without any major concession, apart perhaps from an agreement that the EU will not continue advocating a financial services tax to be applied in the UK. The Eurosceptics will be annoyed; they might work to overthrow Mr Cameron. He could end up back in the situation that Mr Major was in, to the delight of Labour, the Lib Dems, and even UKIP.

    Reply: I would prefer an agreement of the 17, not the 27 – real headline 17 Euro members leave EU – but I don’t think it is a serious threat, just an attempt to bludgeon the UK

    • Alan
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      And maybe the threat to press for a UK financial services tax is similarly something that they can concede so that Mr Cameron can return with something to show for agreeing to the Eurozone changes.

      Whatever the case it seems quite likely that Mr Cameron agreed last week with Mrs Merkel and President Sarkozy what each is willing to concede and what each insists on.

    • Sebastian Weetabix
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Which just goes to show the entire Europhile argument about ‘retaining influence’ for the pile of crap it is. They don’t like us, they don’t listen to us, they just take our money and hobble our interests.

  17. Viv Evans
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    We’ve read in the DT that Mr Juncker of Luxemburg, head of something to do wit EU Nations (no, don’t know the exact title, nor do I care, seeing that there were no EU wide elections for him) has told Cameron not to interfere with any proposals today and spoil the party.

    So Cameron, and therefore we all in the UK have been told again to shut up and out up with what the unelected in Brussels plan to do.

    There simply is no longer any wiggle-room, not for Cameron nor for us.
    It is time to ask how many tiny, minute parts of our sovereignty, which are being conceded to Brussels, without referendum, are needed until it is all gone?

    It really is time for a referendum!

  18. NickW
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Does Merkel put the interest of Europe before the interests of Germany?

    Does Sarkozy put the interests of Europe before his own interests and those of France?

    I see no evidence that either Merkel are Sarkozy are pursuing anything other than their national interests or self interest.

    Why then, just for once, can’t Britain play by the same rules as everybody else and pursue its own interests, without succumbing to the childish emotional blackmail of French and German politicians, who tell us that the British alone cannot have anything they want because it would block the reform of the Euro group.?

    If Britain has legitimate demands, those who refuse them will be responsible for the failure of the negotiations, and nobody else.

  19. lojolondon
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    A very good quote from Dan Hannan today –

    “Yet we now seem to be in the utterly ludicrous situation where ministers are reluctant to press for a better deal because a change in Britain’s relationship with the EU would trigger a referendum under the 2011 European Union Act. Thus, the legislation presented as a guarantor of sovereignty turns out, in practice, to have the opposite effect.”

    Am I just a nasty suspicious person, or did ‘Cast-iron Cameron’ know that this would be the effect of his legislation??

  20. yaosxx
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Come on John – show some guts! How about laying down the consequences for Cameron if he doens’t speak for the UK???

    Reply: There you go again. Whatever I do it is never enough. Idle threats are useless in this situation. It’s actions and votes that matter.

    • forthurst
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      agent provocateur.

      • yaosxx
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        I’m flattered!

    • yaosxx
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Well alright agreed – you won’t be getting my vote unless you do something!

      • Jose
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but rather’ seems rather appropriate for you. So, what will you do for our country as John Redwood is already doing quite a bit?

        • yaosxx
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          Jose – Sorry but that’s just inconsequential waffle!

          • Jose
            Posted December 9, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            So, I take it that you’ll be doing nothing then! It’s our apparent indifference that permits the political class to do precisely what it wants. We are all guilty of expecting them to do the ‘right thing’ and yet we only want our say once every 5 years, they need holding to account. Our parliamentary system needs a comprehensive review rather than running a 2 party state as the present system allows. We are all driven by the whims of a PM who has ignored the fact that the bulk of people want a different relationship with the EU; this cannot be right waffle or not!

        • Jon Burgess
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          The only sensible thing would be to vote UKIP.

          You can vote conservative all you like, but you end up with a handful of John Redwoods and a whole heap of Ken Clarkes.

    • Steven Whitfield
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      I’d like to express my thanks to John Redwood for his consistent stance in campaigning for British interests.

      I think venting frustration at the current state of the Conservative party on him is out of order – he is one MP with one vote in a largely Pro federal EU parliament. To his critics, read his books and study the history then judge.
      Too many of JR’s lesser peers have put a comfortable ministerial career before the best interests of the country.

  21. MajorFrustration
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    This could get interesting. Either the PM comes back with something that shows that he has stood up for the UK and achieved something tangible by way of repat. or and failing that the back bencher’s group of 81 will need to show that they are not all blather and bluster

  22. Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    As I note (elsewhere-ed), according to a <a href=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8941781/David-Cameron-faces-another-revolt-from-the-ranks-as-Tory-rebels-demand-referendum-on-euro-deal.html", Germany has now called a summit amongst the Non-Euro-zone EU members EXCLUDING BRITAIN.
    If we had a real leader, Britain would have taken the initiative and called a summit of the non-Euro-zone EU members in London – If Germany wants to be self appointed leader of the Eurozone, at least we should have tried to become leader of the remaining countries.

    • A different Simon
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Is it a summit of the non Euro-Zone countries or is it a summit of the non-Euro-Zone countries plus Germany ?

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      You took the words right out of my ..er ..post.

      It does suggest another lost opportunity – is it because he was too busy focussing on the Franco German alliance and who best to keep them happy whilst appearing to be seen as tough at home?

    • uanime5
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      The UK is the only member of the EU that has an exemption from joining the Euro (Denmark recently agreed to join the Euro), so this negotiation may not be relevant to the UK.

  23. Martyn
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    If the PM really wanted to draw attention to himself on the EU Christmas pantomime stage, he could play one of his strongest cards and announce that the UK contribution to the EU budget is no longer affordable and will be reduced by, say, 50% with immediate effect.
    That will not of course happen, because it would immediately derail the gravy-train of the EU Commission and its attendant army of rotten, corrupt and undemocratic hangers on, let alone cause apoplectic hissy-fits in Germany and France. I would, however, so love to see it happen!

    • rose
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Your resignation shows how far we have fallen since Mrs T’s day.

      • Martyn
        Posted December 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        OT but related to leadership issues. Oh for another Mrs T – love her, hate her, no matter what one thinks of her she had very real leadership and courage of the type we have not seen since her days in office. I was privileged to talk with her at length when we hosted her in the Mess at RAF Ascension Island on her way back from the Falkland Islands on the 10th anniversary of that war. The US base commander of Wideawake airfield was next to me when she and I were discussing the FI war and she said to me “do you know that the Americans said that we couldn’t land our aircraft at Widewake in support of the war, so I called Ronnie and said “it is our island, you rent the airfield from us so we will land our aircraft as and when we want”. The US base commander’s face was a picture, but can anyone imagine the current PM taking such a positive, forceful stance on Europe?

        • rose
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Not OT at all, especially as we are now in danger of losing the Falklands as well.

          I fear this new film won’t get that earnest, diffident, pigeon-toed defiance, or her straight talking uneloquent sincerity. It was unique. I don’t remember her smiling much, certainly not like a film star, though she often looked elegant and even glamorous.

          What floored them all was the detail she could command – always the chemist turned barrister, always fully briefed. No wonder they had to spin against her on the Continent. Madame Non indeed! She was the origninal Madame Oui, Nous Pouvez. That belief in her own countrymen’s ability to command their own destiny is what I most miss now, though DC occasionally mouths it.

          • rose
            Posted December 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            Sorry Mr R, Nous Pouvons.

        • A different Simon
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          Obama is no Reagan either is he .

          I guess we can count on even less assistance after British oil exploration companies take all the risk and make discoveries in the South Falklands basin in 2012 Q1 and Q2 .

          Expect the Yanks to do a deal with Argentina to get their hands on cheap oil .

          Briton has got to re-learn to fend for itself and fast .

        • Jon Burgess
          Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          In answer to your question:
          Er… no.

    • Jose
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Actually Martyn, you’ve been far too reasonable with the 50%, it should be 100% and let them take us to Court, it’ll take about 3 years to get anywhere!

  24. Posted December 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Those concerned about the possibility of defaults, the alleged carnage it would cause and how a closer union would allegedly prevent it should read this WSJ article on the default, in 1841, of a number of US states which was not prevented by them being in a closer union and did not lead to the end of civilisation. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704835504576060193029215716.html

  25. Malcolm Edward
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    If Cameron agrees to any changes to the EU and does not give us a referendum, then we will need a change of leader.
    When the happy day arrives and our country extracts itself from the EU, we must not get snared in the EEA or EFTA. This is because the EU is using these organisations as vehicles for pushing EU law onto those member countries (including social policy, immigration and control of the north sea oil industry), in which they have no say, and also charges them heftily for the privilige.
    The europhiles will still be up to their tricks, they will try to get us trapped in the EEA or EFTA as an ongoing means to their ends and a restriction on our independence.
    I’m all for free trade, but I want it without cost and without EU dictated encumberances.

  26. backofanenvelope
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I feel quite sorry for Mr Cameron. He is now in the position of ALL British politicians since 1970. The French didn’t want to us join and would not be unhappy to see us go away. As all prime ministers since 1970 have ended up in this position – one of humiliation – it can’t really be Cameron’s fault.

    If I was him I would make only one intervention. Whatever Merkozy decides there will be a referendum in the UK.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Ah, but it could have been so different. A referendum with an overwhelming result in favour of repatriation of powers would have given him the strongest hand:

      ‘I’m sorry but my hands are tied. Those that elect me and pay my wages do not wish me to agree to anything unless we have full return of powers on….’

      You could imagine the colour of Sarkovy and Merkels faces.

  27. Chris
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Attitude of Germany to David Cameron summed up in Der Spiegel article today. Also interesting analysis of Merkel versus Rompuy (eurobonds and ESM), and also fears expressed over having to hold referendums:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,802444,00.html

    “Irritation in Germany over Britian and the EU Institutions:
    But the Germans aren’t interested in such British sensitivities. Within the parliamentary group of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, the moves in Britain are being described as “a massive attempt at blackmail.” The German government sees no reason whatsoever for any kind of barter deal. Government officials in Berlin have noted that, as a country that has not adopted the common currency, Great Britain wouldn’t be affected by the corrections in the Stability Pact that are being sought by Germany and France. Politicians in Berlin are also concerned that other countries might also step in with similar wishes, thus protracting already difficult negotiations. Germany and France are seeking to complete the new text for the treaty changes by the end of March.

    Politicians in Berlin are also angered by the report released by Herman Van Rompuy…Euro bonds, which have been vehemently rejected by Germany, pop up again in the report as does the possibility of issuing a banking license for the future euro rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). German officials thought that both issues had already been settled and were no longer under consideration..

    Referendum Worries:
    There are a number of member countries that would find Rompuy’s alternative exceedingly attractive. Many countries would be required to hold referendums on the treaty changes, and they are afraid of how they might turn out. “In a moment when the esteem of the European project is at a low point, do we really want to risk new referendums in the individual countries?” asked Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg in an interview published in Thursday’s issue of Die Zeit, adding that he found such a prospect “very risky.” In the same interview, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt expressed similar skepticism…”

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Nice to see that they call us Great Britain though!

      Imagine that – if we ask for something in return, some of those other non Euro countries might catch on as well! As if they aren’t doing that already.

  28. Norman Dee
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Cameron is probably going to end up as the useful idiot to blame when all goes tits up, this of course he will deny and promise us peace in our time. This is not a political problem, it’s an ego problem. Mainly the ego of the unelected beurocrats in Brussels who are trying to build their own superstate, of which they can take it turns to be Emperor

  29. Posted December 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    My preference would be for trade and friendship and substantial policy harmonisation.

    But I suspect all of these will be under threat as too many have substantial vested interests in portraying what we would see as being a pragmatic way forward as being a selfish and xenaphobic one.

    Hence we must take care to put energy and emphasis into our friendly relations with Europeans. Never forget that while the Euro was always fundamentally flawed there have been some brilliant projects which have built friendship and stability in Europe, of which the most obvious is European twinning.

    I’ve done a great deal over the last decade to develop the idea and reality of the global twinning of schools through the British Council (currently being advertised on the TV in association with the Oympics). It’s important we do not neglect our European Twinning. I’m sure this project represents a vision people from all sides of this terrible situation can agree to support. There are many others. We must make time to focus on and cherish such projects through this storm. I agree with you John that the the storm will not end soon.

    To look further down the line…
    1. We would then need to rapidly sort out the UK. To do this we need to dramatically enhance our processes of inclusive and productive consultation. I can’t find the article online but there’s an excellent review of new systems of online consultative democracy in Latvia in Total Politics this month (p20). This website shows how New Zealand have been experimenting with the online interactive questioning of candidates http://vote.co.nz/2011/q-and-a/.

    2. What happens to the idea of Scottish Independence? What currency would Scotland use? What’s the maximum amount of devolution which can be allowed for currency union to remain viable?

  30. John Williams
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Totally in agreement with you Mr Redwood. Let’s hope Mr Cameron is listening and stands up for us and UK’s intertests!

  31. Jose
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    They really do take the biscuit sometimes. Merkel and Sarkozy’s proposal published in an ‘open’ letter, Junker calling for the Brits to be good Europeans and stop being selfish. What more could they have done to make life difficult for Cameron? They would have all done better by keeping schtum until they’d agreed something, I think it’s called ‘managing expectations’!

    Cameron needs to forget about Merkel, Sarkozy and Obama and just keep his UK hat on, what’s best for us is best for us and tough on the others.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      That, I’m afraid is the problem.

      I think, like Blair and Golden Gordon before him, Cameron mistakenly feels the hand of destiny on his shoulder; this is his moment to be seen to be saving the world and the last thing he wants is to be seen as a hard nosed pragmatist dealing only in the petty national interest. This is a time for world statesmen!

      Whatever he does tomorrow, the French and Germans hate him for it, (too weak to stand up to them or too obstinate to see things their way) and by surrendering to the Franco German will without anything meaningful in return, the voters at home will do likewise and sink him and his party at the next available opportunity.

      A bit of a win win, really. Come on UKIP!

      • Bob
        Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        A good negotiator he is not. He will be weak in the face of pressure from Merkozy and he will cave in like Blair did over the rebate.
        I would at the very very least expect to see an end to the CAP, but don’t hold your breath.

  32. albion
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Can John Redwood explain how Germany lacks competitiveness ?
    Perhaps he could also explain why Germany exports to China are nearly six times higher than UK exports to China.
    Another little inconvenient fact he may care to comment:
    Sales in the UK of Audi and Mercedes cars are up by over 10% so far this year in a market that is 4.46% down, whereas sales of (Indian-owned !) Jaguar are over 15% down. This is despite a devaluation of Sterling of over 25% in the last 3 years.

    reply: I have pointed out that Germany is supercompetitive vis a vis the rest of the EU. She doesn’t sell a lot outside the EU

    • Tom William
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Where do you get your figures Albion? Just google UK Car production 2011 (or 2010) and you will see that what you claim is false.

      • albion
        Posted December 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        The figures I quote are from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders).
        You are confusing cars produced in the UK with cars sold in the UK !
        May I suggest you read through before you post ….

    • Posted December 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Germany also lack competitiveness due to it cancelling it’s nuclear program.

      • Posted December 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        lacks. And to keep in with John’s post shoud it be ‘her’ and ‘her’ rather than ‘it’ and ‘its’ (definitely not it’s tut tut Rebecca).

        Illiterates corner for me tonight. Well either that or an online conference on digital technologies in maths education (it depends on whether I can get the kids to sleep or not).

    • albion
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Wrong. German exports to the BRIC countries (and not just luxury cars) have been booming in recent years.
      German exports to China in 2010 reached €55bn.
      Perhaps you would like to comment on its ever-growing trade surplus with the UK (over £20bn), in spite of successive devaluations of the Peso Pound.
      How can this be when Germany is supposed to be plagued with inflexible social rules?

      • Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        The culture of works councils has always been important and constructive.

        But I like your point about the inflexible social rules albion. Appropriate inflexible social rules often prevent those in power protecting their positions when they are inadequate or insulating against the detection of their inappropriate practice.

        I’ve no idea why the conservatives think that doing away with unfair dismissal is a good idea. It just allows corrupt managers to suss out whether employees will play to their tune and sack the ones who won’t. Good managers have appropriate powers to hire and fire. These new laws seem to be designed to ensure that bad and lazy managers do too…… how is that good for the economy?

        And what’s this scandal of all the taxpayer money spent on unions which Cameron has been harping on about? As far as I can tell it seem to relate to the situations where an employee is being disciplined and they bring someone along to the meeting to help them and that person happens to be a union rep. What a scandal that person who happens to be a union rep with trained skills in rapidly and effectively resolving situations (which they have learned in their own time through training funded by employees) is not deducted pay for the time they spend in that meeting!!!!

        Either that’s a scandal or perhaps the scandal is the ludicrously obvious lack of life experience of Cameron and co in understanding the realities of how trained union reps actually generally rapidly and constructively resolve situations because they bring substantial training and experience (paid for by the employees) to the situation.

    • Kevin Dabson
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      “Perhaps he could also explain why Germany exports to China are nearly six times higher than UK exports to China”

      It’s completely impossible for germany to compete long term via exports with china once japanese companies move in. Or china improves their capabilities.

      To repeat from a previous post

      The German govt is subsidising it’s exports through it’s state owned banks. Why hasn’t BMW’s gone up in price since UK devaluation?

      Additionally, by being in the euro and pegging it’s currency down it is effectively “stealing jobs” from other parts of the euro/EU and world. Aka Krugman with China/US. It’s not the economic/industrial miracle people think it is.

      Germany is the main problem in the Euro. They are like the Japanese who allow only 4% car imports!. Anti competitive and predatory practices.

      You cannot have free trade with people like this no matter how good the idea is. We probably lose 7m jobs for the 3m we gain with the EU Single Market.

      Regrettably the chinese seem similar…Only import duties/taxes will work.

    • lojolondon
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Actually Germany IS super-competitive, for the reason that she shares a currency with a load of poor-performing economies. In normal circumstances, with burgoning high-value exports the German currency (Deutschmark) would have risen against other currencies as the balance of payments grew, but thanks to the PIIGS, the Euro has stayed low, thus turbo-charging the German economy. The whole mis-matched, unbalanced game is all about to end.

      I wish I was smart like George Soros, because if he made millions out of the UK trying to stay in the ERM for a weekend, then surely he must be about to make Bilions from the whole EU trying to keep the Euro afloat for a year or more!

    • Bazman
      Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      Germany is an inward looking country with Germans disliking anything not German. The food is often quite strange and bad except for beer and sausages. Stupid thing to say, but true. Applies to a lot of German products too.

      • A different Simon
        Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:45 am | Permalink

        “Applies to a lot of German products too.”

        Their products are not as good as British ones but their marketing and brand perception is A1 .

        Somebody (Mercedes?) ought to teach (German engine makers-ed) how to build an engine that will not blow a head gasket in the first 100k km .

        Herman Goering had it right .

        He promised himself an English radio after the war was over because he wanted at least one thing that worked .

        • Bazman
          Posted December 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          Funnily enough. I bought a Grundig radio in Bavaria in the 90’s and after a short time the tuning knob did not work. Roberts radio for Herman. The Nazi’s were right. Ha! Ha!

          • A different Simon
            Posted December 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            How do you convince the middle classes though ?

            Most people who buy Boring Monkey Wagen’s aren’t even using their own money .

            Got a Grundig DAB radio myself . Should have taken it back before they went bust !

            They do some good stuff but they are very insular .

            They still think David Hasselhoff is the King of Rock and Roll .

            Remarkable woman that Angela Merkel is I wish she would just step back and see the monster she is creating .

    • Stephen O
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:38 am | Permalink

      Both Audi and Mercedes have factories in China, while Jaguar does not. I would expect that would have something to do with higher sales figures there.

  33. JimF
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    “The UK can opt out of the intrusive government in return for letting them go ahead.”

    Look at the options though:

    1 Opt out but the structure of the EU will be used to help the 17. The 27 will therefore continue to carry the cost of Euroland bail-outs.
    2 De-construct the EU so that the 17 carry the cost of all EU institutions, and the remaining 10 are trading partners only like Norway/CH-Enter an unhappy 17 who believe that we will manipulate rules and taxes in our Anglo-Saxon way to make us fleet of foot and too competitive with them, also unhappy smaller states who think the Euro is still a dream they should aspire to
    3 Total fracture-not on the cards at the summit.

    Cameron needs to come up with a very grand plan or walk away.
    As a wildcard, how about calling Obama’s bluff by proposing a currency unit binding the USD and Euro together, like a Western Currency Unit? WECU? Clearly the US would need to bail out poorer members of the Euro for this to work, and we could promise to join it in say 20 years’ time (or not)?

    The way out of this has to be, of course, that Greek pensions/welfare/govt employees get paid in drachma, whilst the Euro remains a trading currency for Greek corporations and smaller exporters. Same could then happen for Spain, Italy and even Ireland in their local currencies. The UK, of course is already doing this. Maybe Cameron will just wait for the game to catch up with what we’re already doing, and even poke the others in this direction.

    • A different Simon
      Posted December 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Love the idea of calling Obama’s bluff like that .

      Some how I don’t think it would last 20 years !

      If Obama won’t join it why should we ?

      It’s about time people in this country realised that we are (and have always been) on our own and nobody else gives a damn about us .

      Time to concentrate on strengthening relationships with countries outside the EU and US .

  34. Chris
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Mr Cameron is not the only leader to have problems. The Finnish PM has problems too – all connected with something called democracy and the sovereignty of countries.
    http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2011/12/parliamentary_committee_franco-german_proposal_unconstitutional_3089102.html
    ” (The Finnish) Parliament’s Constitutional Law Committee has ruled that proposed changes to the European Union’s permanent bailout fund would not be compatible with the constitution. Any such proposal would therefore require a two-thirds majority in parliament, making acceptance of the package much more difficult….”

  35. Barbara Stevens
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    We must now depend upon the likes of Mr Redwood and his fellow MPs who dislike the EU as much as the country to get us out of this mess. Mr Cameron as a lot to considar, but most of all his aligence to this nation should be foremost in his mind. Some how I have my doubts but will admit and apologise if I’m wrong. Why is it, I just don’t believe he will come through with the right decisions. Will they be covered with waffle to deny us the referendum we all desire. In the end what we will see is German domination across the Channel with the French poodles crying when things don’t suit them, what did we fight the last war for? All our dead would be insulted by this, especially if he comes back with it not written down and signed. I wouldn’t trust them over the Channel as far as I could throw them, like before Chamblain came back holding that piece of paper, and Hitler delcared, ‘it’s only paper’. Memories don’t just go they remain, and some how I feel an underlying deceit happening under our noses. The likes of Mr Redwood will be the saviour of this nation, we now are depending upon them to save this nation, and the remains of the Tory party. I hope they know what the nations expects and act upon it, sooner than later.

  36. uanime5
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    John your plan has no chance of working. The Eurozone is not going to give into the demands of a country outside the Eurozone. We can no more stop the Eurozone countries creating a new treaty that only affect them then Russia, the USA, or China can.

    • A different Simon
      Posted December 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Let them go ahead and destroy themselves .

      They have managed an incredible feat of reverse synergy .

      The total is less than the sum of the component countries .

      As for Russian , are you sure you don’t mean that other artificial thrown together union the USSR ?

  37. zorro
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    If Tory MPs who came out yesterday stick with it, and Cameron has to rely on the Labour Party to vote through any deal he reaches, then he is finished……

    zorro

  38. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Today, UK-MEP Graham Watson asked Rutte (Dutch prime-minister) to help bridge the gap between Cameron and Sarkozy – and why not? It’s better to have 26 friends than no friends.

    • APL
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Peter van Leeuwen: “It’s better to have 26 friends than no friends.”

      Friendships are things people have. It’s possible you and I could be friends Peter.

      Friendships are not things Nations have, they have common interests or conflicting interests on that basis they may or may not form alliances.

      Our interest is not served by joining the Euro, not when it was in the ascendant and definitely not now when a quarter to a third of the constituent countries are bankrupt.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted December 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        @APL: You are correct of course, but I use it as short-hand for very warm relationships, as there may be between countries as well. It is certainly useful to have warm relationships. You may know that the origin of this “being interest driven only” is an English politician’s quote.
        Your Lord Palmerston said in 1848: “England has no eternal friends, England has no perpetual enemies, England has only eternal and perpetual interests”
        Maybe you’ll have warmer ties within a revamped Commonwealth or Anglo-sphere?

        • A different Simon
          Posted December 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Peter ;

          What are you advocating we should do ?

          Pay for other countries cock ups as well as our own ?

          Offshore all our industries to the mainland ?

          Disadvantage our NHS so it is replaced by healthcare providers from the “single market” ?

          Ransack what totally inadequate provision for old age which has been made in order to share it with the rest of Europe ?

          Support the oppression of peoples and replacement of elected governments with technocrats ?

    • Bob
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      It’s got nothing to do with friendship.
      Do you tell your friends how to run their lives?

      • rose
        Posted December 10, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        Anyway, we and the French will still be best friends on the military front, when it suits us both. Better than with the Americans.

  39. Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think we should listen to the voices of doom and gloom when talking of the collapse of the Euro.

    The excessive debt has guaranteed doom and gloom anyway.

    The real debate is sudden exit versus slow decline.

    Germany prefers slow decline. I think this is reckless as it is more likely to lead to violence and chaos whereas a managed exit from the Euro by each nation will save life and limb.

  40. Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    As for good Europeans, there has always been a difference between pro-eu and pro Europe. However, nowadays they are not merely different, they are opposite.

    That is why I think pro Europeans should object to being called ‘Euro sceptic’ by the media.

  41. Vanessa
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I have just finished reading “Team of Rivals” about Abraham Lincoln and was profoundly impressed with the man. If only we had just ONE decent statesman in our parliament, I believe we could sort out our woes, but unless Dave grows a spine or more amazingly, balls! we do not have a chance. We will have to watch him roll over to have his tummy scratched while he signs whatever they put in front of him. Don’t hold your breath he is capable of standing up to anyone.

  42. A different Simon
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    People keep looking for a happy ending when there isn’t one .

    Parodoxically the best outcome may be the worst ; pretend and extend for another couple of years leading to devastation and complete destruction of the EU and hopefully the public demise of it’s ringleaders .

    Sort of the road to Bagdad minus the media precipitated ceasefire .

  43. Posted December 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Why am I not convinced all is not quite as it looks re Mr Cameron’s using his VETO? Firstly the back benchers plus Boris is convinced Mr Cameron has ‘done a Blinder’-what ever that means and the back benchers feel they have at last been listened to. Yet Mr Clegg it now turns out, was “included in the loop” as regards the ‘possible forthcoming VETO, did Mr Cameron leave the room to ask Mr Clegg? I certain do not know. Would Mr Clegg not have agreed to if there had not been something for himself and his Party at the end of it. So, there just HAD to be some-thing else.

    There was also too many ‘back slapping’ for Mr Cameron, too many smiling faces, or didn’t anyone else notice?

    What has happened since he used his VETO? The rest are now going ahead with what they wanted to do anyway, and far better for them than what was proposed orginally. Mr Cameron’s Vote “NO” was exactly what those at the top table seemed to want, wasn’t it? They could then turn top the much want ESM Treaty. Have you all READ that Treaty?

    I am still left with the fact, in spite of what Mr Cameron has done, the Localism Bill was done and dusted and it is ready to use in exactly the way the EU wants it to be used, direct control over the citizens in the EU Regions of what used to be a Nation on the English in a Country called ENGLAND. The Localism Act is now playing its dreadful part all on behalf of the European Union. Scotland was already classed as an EU Region, as is Wales, Northern Ireand and LONDON, the latter EU London Region, exactly where the Financial Services are based.

    The Treaty we now find out, is the ESM Treaty.

    Reply: You could at least be grateful he did veto something worse.

    • rose
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Rome cannot be demolished in a day.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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