Tuesday 23 October 2007

Cameron, not Brown, is the Euro-loser

The Europhobic press remain upset that Gordon Brown has not given them a referendum over some relatively minor structural changes in Brussels to accommodate the widening European Union. And the consensus seems to be that Brown has been damaged by the combination of not calling an election and not granting this referendum. But I'm with Tim Hames in The Times in wondering why some centre-left commentators have allowed themselves to get so excited about the absence of an election. And Steve Richards is absolutely right in The Independent when he says that the Tories should be celebrating not castigating this Treaty:
Here is Margaret Thatcher in her famous Bruges speech, the address that heightened the Euro-sceptic fervour in her party. It was the shrill tone that roused the passions of her ardent followers, rather than much of the substance. Her section on the wider Europe was modest and beyond dispute. "We must never forget that, east of the Iron Curtain, peoples who once enjoyed a full share of European culture, freedom and identity have been cut off from their roots," she said. Now the peoples have got their freedom and identity as members of the EU..... The Tory Euro-sceptics should be raising a glass over this latest treaty, rather than spitting blood once more.
And Richards is right too to believe that when this fuss has died down, it will be David Cameron - forced onto territory far removed from his modernisation agenda - who is likely to be the real loser from this whole debate, not Gordon Brown.

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