In the meantime I thought that I would highlight the ongoing drama that is David "it's just a flesh wound" Cameron, and there's so many quotes in this Telegraph article that it's hard to know where to start:
David Cameron has promised a shift in power from government to the people today as Whitehall departments published business plans setting out what they intend to do and how voters can hold them accountable for it.A shift in power to the people? Is Cameron promising a referendum on the EU? Oh don't be silly:
Mr Cameron said Labour's targets ''bred bureaucracy... created inefficiency and unintended consequences (and) crushed morale in the public sector.Bred bureaucracy? What about that other place. Oh sorry we mustn't mention that a la "He who should not be named":
Instead of bureaucratic accountability to the Government machine, these business plans bring in a new system of democratic accountability - accountability to the people."Accountability to the people?" Now there's a novel idea, it might even catch on:
''We will be the first Government in a generation to leave office with much less power in Whitehall than we started with.Ha ha! Yes because you gave most of of it away to Brussels - this is one 'cast iron' promise Cameron may actually be able to keep:
Mr Cameron said the move would help reverse the trend towards centralisation of power in Whitehall and would encourage ministers and officials to govern for the long term.
''We are going to take power from government and hand it to people, families and communities - and how we will do that is set out right here in these business plans.
''In one of the biggest blows for people power, we're shining a bright light of transparency on everything government does.
I'm truly astounded, he really has surpassed all my very low expectations of him. The "Cameron piss-take-o-meter" has just gone so far off the scale it needs re-calibrating for further tests.
Autonomous Mind has a great post here about Cameron's deceit.
Then yesterday, former eurosceptic now converted 'where's the soap' William Hague appeared on Andrew Marr (my emphasis):
As proposed, it would not give rise to a referendum because our proposal - and we will publish our legislation on this in the coming week - is that if any government, if we or any future government propose to hand over new areas of power to the European Union, then there must be a referendum of the British people.
Ah new areas, and so fulfilling Carswell rule number 2. Congratulations Mr Hague you've now joined Mr Redwood's club. 'The People' naturally weren't informed of the 'new areas small print clause' when Cameron gave his speech here.
Hague's interview continues:
But you're going to give away billions as well. And, furthermore, the 2.9% hasn't yet been agreed by the European Parliament who could push it higher. So what happens if they do that?
It can be blocked. This is the … What you're talking about is the budget for next year …
… that has to be agreed between the Parliament and the Council of Ministers. David Cameron at the European Council ten days ago assembled much more than what we would call a blocking minority to ensure that the Parliament and the Commission cannot have their way, and that will save the British taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds, probably four hundred and fifty million pounds…
(over) So I come back to the question what happens if they increase it beyond the 2.9%?
They will not be able to.
Because we have now got 11 countries lined up with us out of the 27 to say you cannot have more than 2.9% whatever you do. And I think David Cameron did extremely well with that. And now there is an even bigger task to address the point you're making about European expenditure …
Whoops. Hague will come to regret that; "They will not be able to" remark.
The EU juggernaut must be stoppedA bit too pleased? Blimey even the Telegraph has noticed that Cameron has...er... not done as well as hoped, however in the spirit of true Conservative misguided optimism it writes:
Telegraph View: When David Cameron returned from the Brussels summit on budget contributions last month he was perhaps a bit too pleased with what he had achieved.
Until now, Mr Cameron has given the impression that he knows how to stop the EU "juggernaut", as he rightly calls it, in its tracks.
That's translated as; "wait 'till Dave gets in then we'll see that he's Eurosceptic":
But every British prime minister has made a similar claim, and every one of them has failed. If Mr Cameron is not to join their number, he must find a way of turning his rhetoric into action – and quickly.
My comment in response to the editorial is currently the 2nd most popular on the Telegraph article.