Click here for Cardiff City personalised gift shop
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: David Cameronís memoir

  1. #1
    International
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Inside Your Head
    Posts
    15,342

    David Cameronís memoir

    David Cameron has unwittingly written the best ever case for Brexit

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics...r-case-brexit/

  2. #2
    International
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Inside Your Head
    Posts
    15,342

    Re: David Cameronís memoir

    The former PM expected diplomacy from the EU but found a bureaucratic Death Star incapable of reform

    If you voted for Brexit, your optimism might be wavering right now. I can propose just the remedy: David Cameron’s memoir. It is, unintentionally, the most convincing case for Brexit that you will ever read.

    For The Record was written as political tragedy, a 700-page apology to the nation for the former prime minister’s role in what he regards as a calamity.

    But it’s also a candid account of how he pursued an idea – that the EU can be reformed – and tested it to (his) destruction. We see him making allies, drafting strategies, threatening and begging – but his story ends in failure. He expected diplomacy, but encountered a bureaucratic Death Star whose hunger for power is matched only by its intransigence. From the former Remainer-in-Chief, it’s quite a story.

    Cameron started out a Eurosceptic, but one who thought that the irritations of the EU were a price worth paying for the general aims of solidarity and free trade. In opposition, he mocked politicians who “bang on about Europe” but in No 10 he soon found out why they did.

    Once inside its inner circle, he was exposed to the horrors. The directives, the stitch-ups, the knives always out for the City of London. He found Silvio Berlusconi advising a table of EU leaders to take a mistress in Brussels, because it was the only way to survive the late-night summits. The purpose of these meetings, he discovered, was to grind everyone into submission. Including, eventually, him.

    He found the EU to be “peacenik” on security, unable to respond to threats on its doorstep. He vetoed one of the eurozone bailout packages that threatened to suck in Britain, only to see the rules changed so the UK veto would not count. When the UK tried to go its own way, it “wasn’t simply a disagreement with the others, it was a heresy against the scripture”. He thought Angela Merkel nice, but unreliable. He refers to the “half-life of a Merkel promise”: the time taken between her making one and breaking it. In general, he found “Germany’s unfailing ability to get what it wants in the end.”

    Britain’s ability to get what it wants was, by contrast, pretty minimal. When the federalist Jean-Claude Juncker was put forward as European Commission president, Cameron was shocked to discover that just two of the 28 EU member states’ leaders wanted him.

    There is a touch of Mr Smith Goes to Washington about what happened next: why, he asks then, go along with this stitch-up? He stays up late drinking wine with fellow leaders, and they promise to back him in stopping Juncker. Then Merkel decides it’s not worth the fight, so they all support a massive decision that they all know to be wrong.

    Cameron goes home appalled. But as he was to find out, this is how things work. “‘Anyone who says that the EU is an organisation based on law and not politics has never seen it act under pressure,” he records. “Whenever there was pressure to transfer powers to Brussels, the lawyers always found a way, but when I wanted to take powers back, those same lawyers always opposed it.” It is a formula to trap democracies: use complex laws and regulation to suck powers in, but never give them back.

    So Brexit wasn’t – as is so often argued – about appeasing Tory backbenchers. In fact, Cameron rightly points out that it’s no bad thing. MPs meet constituents every week, and if the public mood changes (for example, more people thinking that EU membership has become intolerable) this gets fed back to the prime minister through the MPs. This is how a parliamentary democracy is supposed to work. His book shows him seeking to explain this, to an often baffled EU. So the renegotiation failed.

  3. #3
    International
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Inside Your Head
    Posts
    15,342

    Re: David Cameronís memoir

    So many of the disputes come from a basic difference in understanding. “Merkel and others just didn’t see free movement as immigration,” he admits. “If you’re from outside the EU, you’re a migrant.” So how was he going to negotiate a solution, if his counterparts could not understand the problem?

    Dealing with their officials, he says, was even worse. “To them, I was a dangerous heretic stamping on their sacred texts.” He records with amazement how the Germans (and others) saw the EU as the fount of democracy, where Brits only ever wanted a forum for economic co-operation.

    Had these been the memoirs of Nigel Farage, we might suspect that the author didn’t try too hard to win others around. But Cameron tried (and gave) everything. He once invited me to a dinner where he was talking tactics with Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, about the urgent need to reform. In the book, he records how even Rutte abandoned him over Juncker’s appointment. But you can see why. Who wants to fight with the mighty EU? Cameron never quite explains why, after so many losses, he thought he might win.

    Or why he backed Remain. There is almost nothing in those 700 pages to explain why EU membership is a good thing. There is not a single example of anything emanating from Brussels that benefits Britain. So why does he start to talk about Britain’s future being in the EU and about it being a fundamental part of who we are as a country?

    He doesn’t offer a proper explanation himself. Perhaps his close friendship with George Osborne, an avid Remainer, swung him – in the way he thinks his friendship with Michael Gove and Boris Johnson ought to have swung them. It’s pretty hard to reconcile the calm, rational, patient author of the first 40 chapters of the book with that of the final seven chapters who talks about Brexiteers as careerists, villains and Islamophobes.

    But the great value of Cameron’s book is its candour. He recorded his thoughts once a month, wrote each chapter from the perspective of what he felt at the time, and has not twisted the facts to suit his final conclusion. He regards Brexit as a disaster, but those who read his book would be tempted to see it as liberation. A great democracy was being squeezed inside an unaccountable bureaucracy, and no one else in Europe wanted to risk their career by challenging it – or giving voters the chance to escape it. But Cameron did. He might, one day, come to see it as the greatest single service he did his country.

  4. #4

    Re: David Cameronís memoir

    Quote Originally Posted by Wales-Bales View Post
    David Cameron has unwittingly written the best ever case for Brexit

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics...r-case-brexit/
    I do wonder if Europe had embraced some of Dave boys suggesting pre Brexit we might be in a better place , ah well he did his best .

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •