Clegg moves away from Cameron on EU stand

Yesterday I said that Lib-Dem leader and Cameron coalition partner Nick Clegg’s support for Cameron’s veto of the fiscal union would not last. I continued:

It seems likely that the [Liberal-Democratic] party could ultimately threaten to quit the governing coalition over the issue. However, that would not necessarily cow Cameron into yielding. He might well calculate that the Lib-Dems’ exit from the government would be balanced by the huge increase of support Cameron would receive if he maintained his anti-fiscal union stand.

Today Daniel Hannan writes in the Telegraph:
Sure enough, Cleggie is already trying to reverse the substance of Friday morning’s deal, arguing that the eurozone states should be able to use EU structures and mechanisms rather than having to establish their own institutions. This would, of course, make a mockery of the veto, and I can’t imagine David Cameron would countenance it — although, as I argue in the MoS [?], our Brussels apparatchiki will work frantically to convince him.

Britain’s strategic aim should be to provide for the development of two parallel bodies: the European Union (EU) and the Fiscal Union (FU). The former should be allowed to subside gradually into an amplified free trade area, while the latter becomes a federation. I suspect that, at that stage, the numbers would be far more evenly matched than 26 to one.

FU is, indeed, precisely the attitude that many eurozone leaders seem to take to their voters. You’re unhappy about the loans-for-austerity racket? FU! You’d prefer a devaluation to endless poverty? FU! You don’t see why your business has to close so that the euro can hold together? FU!

Thank Heaven we’ve stayed out.

A commenter, Fabian Solutions, writes:

Nick Clegg must be bitterly regretting his myopic and opportunistic decision to spurn Gordon Brown’s advances in favour of a Faustian pact with the Little Englander Tories.

Clegg doesn’t belong with the xenophobic, nationalistic Tories. He belongs in the Labour Party.

Let’s hope he finally comes to his senses and forces a General Election.

The commenter evidently wants such an election because he believes that it would remove the Conservatives from power. I would expect the opposite to happen.

- end of initial entry -

James R. writes:

You quoted Daniel Hannan writing: ” … I argue in the MoS [?] … ”

MoS is the Mail on Sunday. Some British papers maintain a semi-divide between the daily paper and their sunday editions, which are treated as separate entities; Peter Hitchens, for example, writes his column for the MoS, not the Mail itself.

LA replies:

Thanks. You may remember that for a long time I dropped the name “Daily Mail” and spoke only of the “Mail.” I did this in order to encompass the two supposed different entities with a single name and avoid confusion. More recently, deciding that “the Mail” was incorrect, I went back to saying “the Daily Mail,” and if occasionally “Daily Mail” is the incorrect designation because the article being referenced (such as a column by Peter Hitchens) is from the Sunday Mail, so be it. It’s ridiculous for the same entity to go by two different names depending on the day of the week.

December 12

A. Patterson writes:

In your post about the Clegg/Cameron rift re eurozone, I see that a reader has explained the italicized acronym MoS as referring to the British newspaper The Mail on Sunday. I agree with you that not calling the paper simply “the Sunday edition of the Daily Mail” is needlessly confusing, but according to Wiki the two papers are separate, and use different editorial staff. What exactly is supposed to be the purpose of this divide is unclear to me, but that’s apparently how they do things on Fleet Street:

The Mail on Sunday is a British conservative newspaper, currently published in a tabloid format. First published in 1982 by Lord Rothermere, it became Britain’s biggest-selling Sunday newspaper following the closing of The News of the World in July 2011. Its sister paper, the Daily Mail was launched in 1896.

It is owned by Associated Newspapers, but the editorial staff are entirely separate from the Daily Mail. [Boldface mine.]

I agree with you also that if Clegg were to force an election over this, the results would benefit Cameron and his Tories far more than they would Clegg and his Lib-Dims (sic). I believe it would bring to an end Clegg’s brief (and unlikely-ever-to-be-repeated) role as kingmaker in a minority government. It would be the biggest blunder of Clegg’s career, probably plunging him and his party into permanent irrelevance—so I heartily encourage him to do it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 11, 2011 09:56 AM | Send

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