Peter Preston’s column in the Guardian is the usual lefty wankery about how the world will end if the Tories win power (sample – the pound to drop to parity with the dollar, the FTSE to drop 560 points in a day etc etc) – and the cause of this Armageddon? The holding of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Well, excuse me for not taking that threat particularly seriously. Although I suppose it does provide an insight into the left’s view of democracy – people asked their opinion; world ends.
What struck me more was the inadvertent light the piece shed on the role that Europe is likely to play in the next Tory administration. It has long been virtually an article of faith that all Conservative Governments will split over Europe – with Thatcher and Major being seen as prime examples. Preston plays this aspect up too:
Ken Clarke and four others decline administration jobs.
That’s it. Ken Clarke is the last of the Tory Europhiles in parliament. The rest (Patten, Heseltine and the rest) are gone. The euro-sceptic wing of the party has taken over the entire party. The scope for bitter division simply isn’t there any more – Preston can’t even think of one more big name.
Oh, one more thing about this article, it says, and I’ve read elsewhere (in the economist for example) that Barack Obama is tired with Tory euroscepticism and wants us all just to get along (or words to that effect). Well, I’m sure that Obama is well acquainted with the politics of closer union, and with the history of British relations with the European Union. But I fail to see that it’s got anything to do with him.
If the American President seeks to limit or direct British European policy, then I hope whoever is Prime Minister tells him to go piss up a rope. Or alternatively, listens to what he says, and replies that we in Britain are concerned that the US appears to be drifting away from NAFTA and that we all believe it is in North America’s best interests for the US to be at the heart of NAFTA – but that it’s fuck all to with us, just as the politics of the European Union are fuck all to do with him.