Skip to main content

Nick Clegg steadies the ship

David Cameron went to Brussels but his use of the veto, which could have been justified in certain circumstances was bad from the point of view of strategy and pretty appalling from the point of view of tactics.

His position was so last minute that he had not briefed even a single potential ally. The result was that we had no allies.

Sarkozy laid an ambush which the UK walked straight into. The result was a catastrophic defeat for British diplomacy, which puts at risk not only our wider diplomatic reach, but undermines respect in Washington and Beijing. Neither has the veto stopped anything the EU26 now wish to agree among themselves without reference to the UK, so the defeat is total.

In the UK the Europhobes' references to the Second World War have come thicker and faster than ever. Complete withdrawal is now seen as possible, even likely.

So what Nick Clegg has started to do today is sensible. He has understood the fury amongst the Liberal Democrats at a defeat which is on the same scale as the AV humiliation that the Tories inflicted on us.

He learned a lot from that.

I suspect that the Brussels veto is not the last word on this matter, and that from now on, the Europhobic attack dogs will get far less of what they want than their gleeful triumphalism will have them believe today.

I judge that the mood among Lib Dems is now grimly determined. 

We have been successful in putting forward the liberal agenda in government. The price of the Brussels debacle will be that the Lib Dems will start to dig in their heels a lot more- and that includes starting to reach out to our EU allies and rebuilding the relationship that has been so badly damaged by Tory scorn and ineptitude.

My father has one line that he uses from time to time: "Never ever trust the ******* Tories", he should know, he once was one. Liberal Democrats must trust less and verify more: this coalition is a business relationship, not a marriage. It is time we got more from this, including real constitutional reform. That must now be the determined goal for Mr. Clegg. and all the Lib Dems.


john smith said…
I'd hoped the Liberal presence would have buffered our country against the worst excesses of the Tory right. In practice it has accelerated the process.
It begs the question what would the Tories have to do for the Liberal leadership to leave the coalition?

Popular posts from this blog

Trump and Brexit are the Pearl Harbor and the Fall of Singapore in Russia's Hybrid war against the West.

In December 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. After the subsequent declaration of war, within three days, the Japanese had sunk the British warships, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, and the rapid Japanese attack led to the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and the fall of Singapore only two months after Pearl Harbor. These were the opening blows in the long war of the Pacific that cost over 30,000,000 lives and was only ended with the detonations above Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"History doesn't often repeat itself, but it rhymes" is an aphorism attributed to Mark Twain, and in a way it seems quite appropriate when we survey the current scene. 

In 1941, Imperial Japan, knowing its own weakness, chose a non-conventional form of war, the surprise attack. Since the end of his first Presidential term, Vladimir Putin, knowing Russia's weakness, has also chosen non-conventional ways to promote his domestic powe…

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…