The press reaction to the events of the past few days has been to smear, to misrepresent and to outright lie. As George Monbiot points out in The Guardian today, journalists are now a lickspittle bunch of toadies for their society friends. The circle of journalists is so narrow that any independent thought is being crushed by an isolationist, very right wing groupthink.
As the Daily Mail comes out with some variation on Lib Dems support for Europe taxing your granny to give you cancer shock horror and the Daily Express continue to find some spurious excuse to print a picture of Diana, it is hard not to feel a burning anger at the injustice that allows these poltroons to get away with their schtick.
Of course the Lib Dems are right to feel that Cameron played to his Eurosceptic gallery rather than the national interest when he wielded a veto that could be ignored. However we also know, as does David Cameron, that if the UK is going to recover, then the Eurozone must recover- and restructure- too. How it does this is of critical importance to Britain, and refusing to even participate in the process is an abdication of responsibility that is not only unworthy, it is positively dangerous to the UK national interest.
However that does not leave "Merkozy" in the right. The fact is that Sarkozy may have overplayed his hand too, and yet he still has no guarantees that the Germans will yet do what is now necessary to free up the ECB to act directly and to provide funding for the EFSF. Germany may have claimed European oversight over member country's finances, but it is by no means clear that they are yet ready to sanction the release of liquidity that would persuade the market that the Euro can recover. So although the Brussels summit veto has served notice of the parting of the ways, in fact there remain many potential outcomes still in play.
The fact that Nick Clegg absented himself from the yah-boo fest of the House of Commons was probably wise, and the relatively measured way that David Cameron made his statement, "more in sorrow than in anger" has clearly helped to cool tempers. His insistence on continued European Union membership will have reassured the Liberal Democats, after the more rabid Europhobes launched their maximalist- and totally irresponsible- demands for withdrawal.
In Germany, the press too has wondered aloud whether the UK should not just leave the EU, but in today''s press there is a far more measured tone, and many German politicians are growing irritated with the grandstanding of "Merkozy"- especially the Sarkozy part- and reminding themselves that a German-British alliance would be more congenial in many ways.
So we are not where we were a week ago, but Nick Clegg has made his point- albeit to the universal derision of the gutter press. They may remain loud, but David Cameron has been forced to take more notice of his coalition partner than a bunch of Yah-Hoos in the press... even if they did go to the same schools as many of his friends.