The Eurozone crisis is troubling news for Britain, nevertheless it represents a rare, if perilous, opportunity to play true, and badly needed, hardball with the EU. Some sad little parodies of tough talk apart, there are few signs that Britain’s hopelessly out-of-his-depth prime minister has the imagination or the inclination to take on the country’s frenemies in Brussels, Berlin, and Paris, and the voters are beginning to notice:
Tories crashed to a humiliating defeat in the latest council by-elections, being forced from first to third place in a south east England stronghold. Liberal Democrat Alex Slater gained on a huge swing at Hazlemere South, Wycombe District, Buckinghamshire. There was also a shock showing by Ukip which came from nowhere to take more than a third of the votes.
It’s only a local by-election, but more than a third for UKIP is good, very good. More Tory defeats, please, the bigger the better. The Liberal Democrats (Cameron’s coalition partners) are a ghastly bunch, and thoroughly bad for Britain, but if David Cameron fails to pay attention to the constituency that Nigel Farage’s often oddball UKIP has come, by Tory default, to represent, he can look forward to many more such humiliations as the Right divides, and the Left slithers through.
Sadly, appealing to his acute sense self-interest is all that is left to encourage Cameron to slip Merkel’s leash. He needs to be reminded that his current approach to the EU is a road to national disaster. A vote for UKIP is, for now, the best reminder there is.