It was only yesterday that British prime minister David Cameron was likened by one of his own parliamentary backbenchers to Neville Chamberlain, with the two-headed Merkozy creature cast in the role of Adolf Hitler. Offensive, everyone cried, including those who secretly shared this view of a man they regard as spineless as well as chinless.
So off trots Call me Dave to Brussels, to show us how strong he really is in standing up for England’s interests on the European stage. In the early hours of this morning, Cameron vetoes a proposal for EU treaty change, thereby prompting the online trolls of this Blessed Albion to sing his praises. “Good on ya, Dave!”, they wibble as one, but this sentiment isn’t echoed by the editorial writers of the right wing press, who are just about bright enough to realise that Cameron’s actions leave Britain “isolated” on the international stage.
Will Mr Cameron tomorrow turn into Colonel Blimp? Possibly, but few will care. In the real world beyond this increasingly paranoid island fortress, politicians and commentators seem satisfied with the outcome of the EU summit last night. Only the irrelevant are on the UK side, with a couple of other member states holding back until parliamentary debates have been conducted. Of the undecided with which I am familiar, Denmark will surely go with the flow.
Contrary to the French president’s hyperbole, Europe will not explode, and neither will the Euro. A two-speed Europe seems likely, but the slow lane will be largely empty. More fools us.