Friday 30 October 2009

What the Tory Euro row really means

Bagehot in the Economist today is spot on in explaining the real significance of this week's row over Kaminski and the odds and sods that pass for a Tory grouping in Europe.

Seeing the move as a ransom paid to his party may be the best excuse for the moral compromises and apparent political myopia it involved. The switch and the credit it earned may even make it easier for Mr Cameron to take a relatively sane position on the Lisbon treaty if, as expected, it goes into force soon. But if this interpretation—charitable but plausible—mitigates the foolishness of Mr Cameron’s past decisions, it also raises an awkward question about his future.

It is this: if this shoddy, shaming alliance is the price he was obliged to pay his party for the changes needed to make it seem modern and compassionate, what sort of party is it that Mr Cameron leads? What else will its members demand, and what else—when his popularity and authority wane—will he be obliged to give them, after he becomes prime minister.

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