hms iron duke

hms iron duke

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Nudger Dave

Alphen, Netherlands.  6 October.  PR-Meister Dave ‘Magna Carta’ Cameron is this week going to address the Conservative Party of which he was once a member at the party conference which starts tomorrow in Birmingham.  As a sweetener he will promise a qualified referendum on Britain’s EU membership some time in 2016 or 2017. It is a promise in which he simply does not believe and has no intention of honouring.   

Whilst Cameron is a consummate tactician he is simply unable or unwilling to see the big picture implications for Britain of what is happening on the European continent. So just at the moment when Britain national strategy faces the most profound choice since World War Two PR-Meister Dave retreats into the meaningless Dave-speak of the tactically-irrelevant.  Number 10 has even come up with a ‘concept’ to justify his alternative to sound national strategy - nudging.  Stop laughing please.

Rather, what passes for Dave strategy these days is the kind of empty gesture politics evident in Dave’s apple-pie and motherhood speech about Britain´s development effort to the UN General Assembly, by which the poor British pay for rich governments elsewhere in the world to ignore their own poor.  This was grand ‘nudging’ at its very worst.  What he failed to mention in his UN gush was that a recent House of Commons report revealed the pitifully weak relationship between British money spent and the change-promoting activism he claims for it.  Much of the money spent being wasted either on countries that do not need it or those that make little or no effort to collect due taxes.  Dave, you see, is all about heat not light.

Sadly, at a time of the most profound shifts in global political plate-tectonics Cameron and his fellow nudgers have privately conceded defeat.  To justify his inability to understand the British national interest and how to defend it above and beyond the noblesse oblige which seems to afflict him and the little aristocratic clique he surrounds himself with Dave has instead bought into the absurd idea that his only real job is to manage Britain’s decline.  Churchill he ain’t.

This is nowhere more apparent than in the proposed takeover by Franco-German defence giant EADS of Britain’s not-quite-so defence giant BAE Systems.  On the face of it Dave’s qualified support for this ‘deal’ is because again he fails to understand the strategic implications.  However, the man is not stupid.  Given that he is about to back himself into a corner over an EU referendum the alternative interpretation is that he needs to drive up the cost of any British departure so high as to intimidate the British people into agreeing to stay within an EU that is today implacably opposed to Britain and its national interests. 

The usual London suspects have of course emerged into the light to argue that a Britain that either seeks to renegotiate its EU membership or leave will be relegated to the second-tier and thus be less able to shape Brussels’ decisions.  It may be news to them but Britain is ALREADY in the second-tier and the EU of today bears little resemblance to the EU Britain ever-wanted.   

A ‘yes to the EU’ vote would also certainly mean that Britain joins the benighted Euro as the middle ground Cameron claims for Britain will simply no longer exist by 2016.  If you will not take my word for it, just look at ‘President’ Van Rompuy Gang of Four Report on the future of European’s money.  

Quite simply, Britain can never and will never be at the heart of THIS Europe.  Instead, if Dave succeeds Britain would be confirmed as a second-class state within the Union and we British condemned to pay for ever more for ever higher EU Commission budgets as massive transfers of ordinary Briton’s hard-earned money are committed to pay for an unaccountable and undemocratic European political monster.  How on Earth can Dave defend that and call himself a British Prime Minister?

Taken together the qualified Cameron offer of a qualified referendum and his qualified support for the takeover of BAE Systems by a company dominated by the French and German governments demonstrates yet again a failure of strategic will, belief and ambition at the top of Britain’s political elite.     

Big British thinking has been decimated by nudgers like Dave because they break the link between strategic cause and desired effect.  Maybe, just maybe, Dave will prove me wrong at his forthcoming speech to the Conservative Party Conference.  Somehow I doubt it and all we will get is more of this nudging nonsense.

Dave also said at the UN he would not preside over any cuts to Britain’s development budget however broke the country may be.  Well, there is an easy solution to that Dave.  Nudge off!

Julian Lindley-French

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