Cameron finds his Bulldog
He did it. By George, he did it.
This is not the delusional ‘game, set and match’ claimed by John Major over Maastricht: David Cameron returns to the UK from his mini-summit in Brussels with the media unanimously lauding his resolute defence of the ‘British interest’ (ie the City) from further irrevocable EU regulations to provide ‘stability’ for the eurozone. His demands were really quite modest: in exchange for the euro-17 becoming a bit ‘ever closer’ in their union, the UK should be granted permanent derogation from any financial service regulations related to the eurozone crisis.
Merkozy said ‘non/nein’. The heirs to the Empire of Charlemagne had their heart set on London: nothing less would do. And so the -ozy half of the chimera announced that Mr Cameron’s demands were ‘unacceptable’, making a full accord impossible ‘given the position of our British friends’. Conveniently ignoring the fact that the UK is not ‘isolated’, but is (presently) joined by Sweden, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Perhaps the Swedes, Hungarians and Czechs are not Merkozy’s ‘friends’.
But this is all very interesting. The Treaty of Rome (as amended by successive treaties) does not provide for a two-tier union. It remains to be seen how the eurozone (+6) move ‘ever closer’ without impinging upon the rights of the recalcitrant members. As the Prime Minister makes clear, all the institutions of the EU – the Commission, Parliament and courts – are designed for a union of equal partners: the inner-23 may not ride roughshod over the outer-four. And yet the outer-four should not be permitted to imperil the ‘stability’ of the inner-23.
In fact, the inner core will find that their fiscal union (for that is what it is) will produce its own instability: France and Germany are simply perpetuating the euro’s fatal flaws, delaying the inevitable: Eurogeddon will surely come.
But His Grace is worried this morning about His Holiness.
Last night, C4 News announced that Pope Benedict XVI was ‘praying for the euro’. Now, C4 is impeccably concerned with the reporting of facts, and John Snow is known to be an admirer of His Holiness and great respecter of the Holy See. The source of his information is unknown, but if Mr Snow provides the nation with insight into the Pope’s prayer priorities, it must be true.
Jesus exhorted us to pray for the poor, the sick and destitute; for those who are persecuted, and those who are being lost. There is not one example of the Lord praying for the denarius, even as it was debased by successive caesars.
Of course, the debasement of Mammon leads to inflation, which increases poverty, which multiplies the poor and impoverished, which increases suffering. One wonders why John Snow didn’t simply say that the Pope was praying for the alleviation of our suffering.