Yesterday, I felt that David Cameron was worth a few words of praise over his stance on housing benefit. Today, it is the reverse, and it is clear that he has no guts when push turns to shove.
Reports in the Daily Mail
"Cameron can't halt rise in Euro budget: PM admits jump of at least £430m is out of his hands (And he's not even going to try to stop a new EU treaty or give us a referendum on it)"
and in the Daily Telegraph
"David Cameron softens on EU budget"
seem to confirm my beliefs about him.
In his blog today, John Redwood MP asks "What is the UK’s national interest?", to which my response was that it should be the UK, and nothing but the UK. The job of the UK government is to look after our national interests and no-one else's. The French have always done this very effectively; if you were to ask anyone in France "what is the French national interest", they'd think that you were stupid, or worse. Similarly, the Scottish parliament considers it their duty to look after Scotland, not the UK as a whole - I don't like the idea, but I believe that they are acting correctly.
Look how the French dealt with the matter of the Roma gypsies (who no doubt will soon be in a town near you). They started to deport them, The EU huffed and puffed and threatened legal action. The deportations continued. The EU decided to take a further look at the matter (ie do nothing for now). No change from France, so the apparatchiks crawled back into their comfortable holes in Brussels and decided that the UK was an easier target.
If Cameron had any guts, he would say to the EU "Britain is having to cut all its government spending by 10% and we propose to cut our EU budget by the same amount". No if or buts, just cut it and await reaction. I suspect the EU would accept it simply because they would know that if they did anything else, the pressure on Cameron to have a referendum on withdrawing from the EU would become irresistible.
For once I'm tempted to say "Why can't the British Government be more like the French?".