No stranger to wearing a penguin suit and playing the joker, David Cameron is currently sliding around Davos at the World Economic Forum. The game he is playing is certainly without frontiers and the uncontrolled laughter is probably audible from outer space.
Cameron`s long delayed and much anticipated speech setting out the future of the UK and Europe was a masterpiece of comic timing. Presiding over zero growth, increased government borrowing, an imminent triple-dip depression and catastrophic austerity to maintain the lifestyles of his chums, our unelected leader`s vision was completely meaningless. Playing to a tiny, braying gallery of Tory newspaper editors, back bench dinosaurs and an increasingly deranged UKIP, Cameron managed to alienate an entire continent and the largest market in the world. Like watching a bad magician, it was obvious how the conjuring trick he was performing was done. By keeping the slow-witted distracted, he ensured that an in/out referendum will never happen. How we laughed as a polystyrene giant wearing weighted boots fell over.
The in/out referendum will never happen because it is dependent upon two distinct hypotheses. Firstly, the plan assumes that Cameron will be elected for a second term of government in 2015 with a clear Conservative majority. Given the woeful inaction of the current Labour party in opposition, this unlikely proposition has some credibility. However, it will not be Ed Miliband or his necessary successor that will unseat David; it will be a small coalition of vested interests that will persuade the team captain of le Royaume-Uni to undertake a series of lucrative lecture tours before becoming a European Commissioner. Once the Tory back benchers, newspaper editors and “influential” Tory donors who wrote The Times realise that they have been duped, Dave`s days are numbered. The in/out referendum is not going to happen. Add to this the possibility of irrelevant Liberal Democrats realising that Clegg is a Tory and dump him and we may find that the coalition government of Vereinigtes Konigreich collapses under the weight of its own shame and Liberals turn to Labour in the hope of avoiding extinction.
Secondly, Cameron claims that he will negotiate for better terms with the European Union before offering a referendum. This is a Prime Minister that walked out of previous negotiations when he was not allowed his own way. He also offered a “cast iron guarantee” of a referendum over the Lisbon Treaty and has yet to say what powers he wants to “repatriate” from Brussels. Should he fail again to rip up the Working Time Directive, the Declaration of Human Rights, the irritation of “red tape” health and safety legislation yet return triumphant with the God given right of every British man, woman and child to buy and sell bent bananas measured in pounds and ounces, then he will have to vote to leave the European community. Realising that leaving the EC would be a complete disaster, he has kicked the idea into the long grass covered by so many unknown conditions that an in/out referendum will never happen. A recent opinion poll indicated that the majority of people in favour of a withdrawal from Europe were aged 65 and over. Cameron`s tactic seems be that they and his more feral Europhobe back benchers will have died by 2017. That will certainly be the case for UKIP. Now over to Eddie Waring for the mini-marathon.
Cameron then appeared in a Party Political Broadcast and claimed he was driving down Britain`s debt. Wrong. The UK is borrowing more; the debt and the deficit are increasing and displaying a complete lack of understanding of the difference between debt and deficit, our Prime Minister lied to the nation. Interestingly, unemployment has fallen, crime is down and our GCSE and A-level students have gained the best results in living memory, our armed forces are now more efficient and our high streets are thriving. The government are telling us lies. The media, particularly the BBC, express “surprise” at the positive indicators of a growing economy in the face of overwhelming evidence that we are all well and truly intercoursed. If that balanced and impartial reporting raises a few eyebrows, then the BBC tow the line and report on “scroungers” and the failings of the previous government.
Busy boy Cameron then jetted off to Davos to smooze with a diet version and slightly less secretive manifestation of the Bilderberg Group. No less an authority on global affairs, the bizarre Boris Johnson described the World Economic Forum as “a constellation of egos involved in orgies of adulation”. Boris, you might remember, this week denied the existence of global warming because he could see snow out of his window and has used his veto to close Fire Stations in London. We can only hope that when he and Cameron return, their helicopter does not have an unfortunate coming together with a crane en route to Battersea Heliport.
Once in the Alps, Cameron came into his own. With the UK economy disappearing down an ever deepening hole, our sub-Prime Minister tells the wealthy elite who engineered the ruin that tax avoidance must be a priority. With fists crammed into mouths in an attempt to stifle the guffaws, his audience already knew that to be self-evidently true. Having completely failed to improve the fortunes of his own country, apart from the fortunes of his chums, he will now tour the capital cities of Europe and beyond to tell foreigners how to govern. It is only 18 months since he and the long gone Sarkozy were worshiped by adoring crowds in Benghazi as part of Cameron`s tour of the Middle East to sell weapons to dangerous people. Today “westerners”, as the BBC like to call them, are being told to get the intercourse out of Benghazi as quickly as possible. There is, in Cameron, a deep seated and spurious notion that because of his privilege and upbringing, he is in some way superior. Given his domestic track record, his negotiations with European leaders will be as hilarious as the Eurovision Song Contest. Royaume-Uni, nil point.
Back in the 70`s, that cunning old fox Harold Wilson was playing a similar game. He promised negotiation and a referendum on what was then called the Common Market. Tory Prime Minister Heath was responsible for joining the EEC in 1973. On the basis of his promise, Wilson managed to scrape into power with a minority government in February of 1974 because Edward Heath and Jeremy Thorpe could find little in the way of shared interests. With political leadership untenable, a second election took place in October with Labour securing a majority of only three seats. This saw the end of both Heath and Thorpe and unlike what Cameron is likely to do; Wilson kept his promise and held a referendum. On Thursday 5th June 1975, 65 per cent of the electorate voted and of that 65 per cent, 67 per cent voted to remain in the European Economic Community. This led to the unstoppable rise of the Social Democrat Party (the gang of four; remember them?) and a certain grocer`s daughter from Grantham.
In those far off days, we loved our three channel television sets. We had On The Buses, Love Thy Neighbour, Z-Cars, Opportunity Knocks, Top of the Form, Till Death Us Do Part and The Golden Shot, but best of all was It`s a Knockout. The comedy pairing of Eddie Waring and Stuart Hall commentating on idiots falling over and hurting each other was sublime. Sadly, Eddie has taken the early bath but Stuart, mercifully, is still with us. Ongoing legal proceedings prevent any further comment regarding prime time television from the past.
Forget the referendum, it`s not going to happen. Forget Cameron, he`s gone. Remember instead the damage he has caused and how he achieved this with the aid of Liberal Democrats and the weakness of the Labour party.
It`s a Knockout.