There are few things as contemptible as politicians making public some of their supposedly private comments in order to con the public.
James Forsyth’s article on the Daily Mail site last night will no doubt have some Eurosceptics crowing with glee that the Cameron government is waking up to how membership of the EU hinders the ability of Westminster politicians to govern the UK. But Forsyth’s piece should not be taken at face value, instead it should have people asking questions, such as:
Who gave this story to Forsyth?
Why did they give it to him?
Think about it. We’ve heard all this before from senior Conservatives. Anyone with a half decent memory will recall the repeated handwringing and calls to do something that have been drip fed from CCHQ over the years. The EU is doing nothing new, Brussels is behaving as it has for a long time and in a way with which the Tories are familiar, so why position this supposed frustration story in the media now?
Constantly being told what you can and can’t do by Brussels is driving Ministers and No 10 deeper and deeper into the Eurosceptic camp.
Oliver Letwin, Cameron’s mild-mannered and cerebral Policy Minister, has become so frustrated by this constant interference that he has told colleagues he thinks Britain should leave the European Union if it won’t give us all the opt-outs the Government wants.
What a load of rubbish. It’s just another imaginary crumb from the table to keep us distracted while the business of the EU running the UK continues without impediment. If there was any truth to this, why did the entire Conservative front bench team, including Letwin, abstain from voting against votes for prisoners following the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in Hirst v United Kingdom?
Having finally been allowed to put their grubby paws on the levers of power at the Westminster level what have the Conservatives actually done about the EU’s governance of this country, apart from not turn up to vote? That’s right, a continuation of opt ins to EU measures such as European Investigation Orders, the timid acceptance of EU oversight of the UK’s financial sector and desperate attempts to prevent any amendments to the sham European Union Bill in the Commons. How very Eurosceptic. This little story is one of the CCHQ permitted ‘dissents’ that are purposely encouraged to give the impression the Conservatives might be somewhat opposed to the EU after all.
Are we seriously supposed to believe that they have had a Damascene conversion and now understand that reforming the EU is impossible and only leaving can result in the UK being sovereign once again? Perhaps if James Forsyth believes this horse dung he has published he still believes in Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny too. It is an insult to our intelligence.
Update: Paul in the comments has more on his Luikkerlog blog.