Tuesday, February 12, 2013

There will be more of this

What with Popes resigning for the first time in nearly 600 years and kings being found after nearly 430 years as well as the horse meat scandal that the Boss is dealing with superlatively well, little attention is being paid to the EU Budget or for the ongoing shenanigans around it. When I say little, I mean less than usual and I do not blame anyone. From my perspective, all the above stories are more interesting.

We all know that the Budget is not really being cut merely the growth is slowing down, that our contribution will probably go up and that the European Parliament has still to vote on it and might actually do so in a secret ballot.

There is another aspect of the whole story and I was reminded of it and I was reminded of it when, the other evening I did not sprint across the kitchen fast enough in order to switch off the radio, thus having to listen to the Prime Minister's dulcet tones telling me that his achievement demonstrated that "with allies we could reform aspects of the EU". Like hell, we can, though I, then recalled that several people who ought to know better and organizations who are supposed to be on our side have been pronouncing in a similar portentous way.

This, they are saying, can be achieved if we threaten to leave the EU (which we have not done); we can deal with the others if we just take the firm line (which is exactly what anybody decides it is).

There will be a great deal more of it: phony victories, faux vetoes, elusive alliances to achieve non-existent reforms. All grist to the mill to persuade the populace to vote for staying in when we get that referendum.

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