Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron’

Has Cameron’s resignation effectively annulled the referendum?

June 27, 2016

Interesting theory:

David Cameron’s decision to resign before enacting Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – which sets out how a country could leave the EU – may have some pretty shitty implications for whoever steps into his soiled size nines.

One person in the comments section of the Guardian put forward this very interesting hypothesis:

If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost.

Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron.

With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership.

How?

Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.

And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legislation to be torn up and rewritten … the list grew and grew.

The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction.

The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50?

Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders?

Boris Johnson knew this yesterday, when he emerged subdued from his home and was even more subdued at the press conference. He has been out-manoeuvred and check-mated.

If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over – Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession … broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blond it is just that: an act.

The Brexit leaders now have a result that they cannot use. For them, leadership of the Tory party has become a poison chalice.

When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was “never”. When Michael Gove went on and on about “informal negotiations” … why? why not the formal ones straight away? … he also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take.

All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne. And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign.


 

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Brexit has lost – but so has Cameron

May 25, 2016

The UK will most likely vote to remain in the EU, much to the EU’s relief. The fear of being an outsider in Europe will likely be stronger than the fear of surrendering sovereignty and law-making powers to Brussels. This referendum will not be the catalyst for change that the flawed EU concept desperately needs. Instead of using the referendum as a weapon, Cameron has not had the courage to confront the ideologues and has missed his opportunity to be the Great Reformer. He has used the referendum weapon more for domestic purposes than for pressuring the EU.

But the cracks in the flawed Franco-German vision of the Holy European Empire will remain. In fact, the cracks will only get wider. While the centre (Brussels) tries to expand by bringing in new countries, the countries at the eastern border will take their own line. The strains on the Euro will grow greater as Brussels expansionism brings in countries with weaker economies. The Euro zone, far from being a homogeneous region of uniform economic strength, will be in constant crises and bailouts. The conflict between the free movement of wealth creators (labour) and the free movement of wealth consumers (welfare tourists) will remain as long as the huge variation in economic conditions across Europe remain.

There will be a tug-of war between the expansionists and the likes of Poland and Hungary and Austria when it comes to accepting Muslim countries (Bosnia and Turkey primarily). Kosovo is also such a country but is not yet fully recognised as a country.

Cameron has missed his chance to roll back some of the excesses in Europe. The European Parliament has become the most useless and least democratic parliament in the world. And the European Commission, rather than being a disseminator of best practices, has become a body where the lowest common standard applies.

Of course, the UK needs to stay in the EU – for both the good of the UK and of the EU. But the EU needs to be drastically thinned down and vigorously cleaned up. Common sense has to return and replace the orthodoxy of the Holy European Empire.

EU colonial expansion

EU colonial expansion


 

Pots & kettles as Obama criticises Cameron over Libya

March 11, 2016

It seems a bit rich for Obama with his utter shambles in Syria to be criticising David Cameron for the shambles in Libya. Not that Obama (and Hillary Clinton) didn’t mess up in Libya as well but the UK and France were taking the lead there.  And while it may have been the fall of Libya which unleashed the weapons and fanatics who morphed into ISIS, they would not have expanded as they did without Obama and Kerry dropping the ball in Iraq and Syria.

The Russian strategy seems to be actually forcing ISIS back, but plan B for ISIS seems to be to setup headquarters in Libya if they are eventually squeezed out of Iraq and Syria. The UK and France have to take their share of the blame for their sanctimonious but ill-thought out “regime change” in Libya, but the real frustration for Obama is that he has compounded the failed end-game in Libya and multiplied it in Syria.

BBC:

David Cameron became “distracted” after the 2011 intervention in Libya, US President Barack Obama has said. Speaking to the Atlantic magazine, he said the operation went as well as he had hoped, but Libya was now “a mess”. The article also said he had warned the PM the UK would have to pay its “fair share” and spend 2% of GDP on defence. …..

…. BBC North America editor Jon Sopel said the unsolicited statement put out by the White House suggested Downing Street had reacted angrily to the article. “It’s like we’ve seen a curtain drawn back on the unspun thoughts of President Obama, complete with frustration as well, and what we’ve seen tonight is the White House trying to close the curtain as quickly as it can,” he added. …….

……. The toppling of the Gaddafi regime in Libya – following UN-backed air strikes designed to protect civilians – led to a power vacuum and instability, with no authority in full control. The intervention was led by the UK and France – and in his interview, Mr Obama reflects on “what went wrong”, saying: “There’s room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up.” Mr Cameron, he said, became “distracted by a range of other things”.

He also criticised former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, saying he had tried to claim the spotlight. The former French president, he said, “wanted to trumpet the flights he was taking in the air campaign, despite the fact that we had wiped out all the air defences and essentially set up the entire infrastructure” for the intervention. President Obama said the intervention “averted large-scale civilian casualties (and) prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict”. But he added: “And despite all that, Libya is a mess.”

Trying to pass on some of the blame onto Cameron and Sarkozy is not unjustified but it does not put Obama’s utter fiasco in Iraq and Syria into any better light. It really does not help the pot when it calls the kettles black.


 

Is David Cameron “sexing up” the intelligence on Russian jet crash?

November 5, 2015

This morning nearly all UK main stream news outlets have been pushing the story about intelligence pointing to a possible ISIS bomb on the Russian jet which crashed in Sinai. They have all been reporting David Cameron’s decision to stop all UK flights to Sharm el-Sheikh. As I have posted earlier, I am a little sceptical since this concerted media push coincides with the visit of the Egyptian President to the UK and with David Cameron’s frustration at not being able to take the issue of strikes on ISIS in Syria to his Parliament. The media push is so synchronised that it suggests to me that somebody in government is pushing them. Moreover, David Cameron’s frustration at not being able to get any Labour support in spite of Jeremy Corbyn’s extreme nonsense, really makes him look ineffective. He even got the Foreign Secretary to make a statement that an ISIS bomb was a “significant possibility” based on US intelligence.

It seems to be a US -UK media effort. The Egyptians are annoyed. The Russians can’t really say anything about speculation until there is hard information from the accident investigation. Certainly I would not have thought that a bomb would leave no traces which could not eventually be found by the investigators. It is remarkable also that this UK decision comes based not on the accident investigation, but on anonymous, US intelligence sources. But this is not the main story in the US media as it is in the UK.

Maybe I am being fanciful, but it reminds me of Tony Blair’s manipulation of the Iraq dossier by “sexing it up”. Here too the fraud was effected by UK intelligence based on US intelligence. Blair was trying to get the approval of the Parliament. Most of the dossier was just made up and largely at Blair’s instigation. Is Cameron actually following the example of and precedent set by Blair?

The Russians have finally reacted and cautioned that the theories are all just speculation.

BBC: 

Theories about the cause of a Russian airliner crash in Sinai that killed 224 passengers are “speculation” at this stage, the Kremlin says.

“Any sort of version of what happened… can only be put forward by the investigation,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

He was speaking after US and UK officials said intelligence suggested the plane may have been bombed.

Militants linked to Islamic State (IS) have claimed that they brought it down.

The Metrojet Airbus 321, bound for St Petersburg, crashed in Egypt’s Sinai desert just 23 minutes after take-off from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday.

On Thursday, the UK suspended flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who is on a visit to the UK, told the BBC: “We do not want to rush into conclusions. We all share the same concerns. We want to know the reasons behind it.

“The investigation will be disclosed with all transparency, we have nothing to hide.”

But if the accident investigators cannot find clear evidence of a bomb – and if it was a bomb, the evidence will surely be there – I shall conclude that this was just a PR ploy by Cameron, implemented by UK intelligence sexing up the story – and not for the first time – with some help from unnamed US intelligence sources.

Cameron is the unlikely winner of the Greek referendum

July 6, 2015

There will be millions of words written about the Greek “No” to the conditions set by its international creditors and what it means. But what strikes me is that the only real winner is David Cameron.

For Greece and the EU it is a lose-lose situation. If the creditors soften their conditions, the Euro and the EU loses. If the creditors stand firm and Greece leaves the Euro, the sanctity of the Euro and membership of the Eurozone is gone forever. My view remains that the best for Greece and the EU is for a return to the drachma, an EU which shrinks its ambitions and a dissolution of the Euro.

If the creditors now soften their conditions and a Grexit from the Eurozone is avoided, it will demonstrate that the IMF, ECB and EU conditions will never be the final word again for any member country. Each will always have the option in any negotiation of calling a “referendum” to reject the terms. Any negotiation by a member country with the EU can use a referendum to finally reject an EU position. Any country can then reserve the right to put any EU Directive to a referendum and EU Directives will become merely guidelines to be accepted or rejected by member countries at will.

If, on the other hand, a Grexit does occur and the fatally flawed Euro experiment begins to come to an end, it will be emphatic evidence also that the entire concept of a new Holy European Empire is something only in the minds of a very few in Bonn and Paris and Brussels, but is not shared – at this time – by the general population (represented by the general Greek public). It is a concept either too far ahead of its time or possibly which will never be real. At any rate, for this time, it would demonstrate that it is fundamentally flawed.

And what strikes me is that this helps David Cameron both within the EU in his quest for renegotiation and even for treaty change. It even helps him domestically. He has had an issue of credibility in that he has called for an In/Out referendum where he will surely have to call for an “In” vote. His problem lies in being able to show that he has won enough during negotiations to justify an “In” recommendation. But now, with the Greek precedent, he can even demand the most drastic changes in Europe without being thrown out of any room. He is likely to get changes which were unthinkable yesterday. He can even go to a referendum ostensibly demanding an “Out” as a negotiating ploy, get an “Out” vote and then return to the negotiating table. He can call a second or even a third referendum (and if a bankrupt Greece can carry out a referendum within a week then surely the UK can manage something similar).

Referenda are now just a step in the EU negotiating process.

If Miliband is Moses does that make Cameron the Pharaoh?

May 4, 2015

“Red” Ed Miliband, aka Milibrand, aka Moses, is getting much attention from the photoshoppers with his 8ft high limestone tablet of “commandments.

Moses Miliband

But that would make Cameron the Pharaoh to Moses Miliband.

And if my memory serves, Aaron, Moses’ elder brother acted as his spokesperson, his “prophet”, because Moses could not speak very well.

I suppose Nicola Sturgeon could be a Miriam to “Red” Ed Moses Milibrand and Nigel Farage would be best suited as the High Priest of Amun.

(Nick Clegg does not count).

But whether Moses won or Ramses II won depends on who tells the story. After all Ramses managed to expel Moses and his people and continued to rule for a very long time.

David Cameron snubbed by Obama and left off the NSA spy list

October 24, 2013

Information is now filtering into the public space that the Heads of friendly nations including Brazil and Mexico and France and India and now – horror of horrors – Germany have had their communications bugged and mobile phones tapped by the US intelligence Agencies (mainly the NSA).

BBC: 

Germany has summoned the US ambassador to Berlin over claims that the US monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. Foreign minister Guido Westerwelle will personally meet US envoy John Emerson later on Thursday.

Mrs Merkel has demanded a “complete explanation” of the claims, which are threatening to overshadow an EU summit on Thursday and Friday.

She discussed the issue with US President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

President Obama told Mrs Merkel the US was not monitoring her calls and would not in future, the White House said. However, it left open the question of whether calls had been listened to in the past.

The list of governments, companies and people who have been spied on by the US is now getting very long. But what is also very clear is that anybody – who is anybody – is or was on the spy list.

But poor David Cameron was not / is not quite important enough to make the NSA spy list as The Telegraph reports:

The White House has explicitly said US spies never monitored David Cameron’s communications but refused to say whether it had ever tapped Angela Merkel’s phone in the past.

A spokesman for President Barack Obama told The Telegraph that the US never targeted the prime minister but the White House would not offer the same assurances about the German chancellor.

But what would really be almost impossible for Cameron to bear would be if Ed Miliband has made the list and that adds to his consequence.

Any referendum on continued EU membership only makes sense after invoking Article 50

May 13, 2013

My opinion on whether the UK should remain within the EU or leave has no locus standi and, in that sense, is irrelevant. But I find the sham promises of an EU referendum by politicians is behaviour which is interesting.  Anything which curbs the growth of the EU bureaucracy and the European Parliament is – I think – a good thing. I certainly think that the UK – and Sweden – should continue to stay well clear of the Euro where I think the experiment is failing.

The current noise in the UK around a future referendum about staying in or leaving the EU seems very contrived to me. Prime Minister Cameron promises an EU referendum after the next election only to try and gain the anti-EU support for the purposes of the election. He has no real intention of allowing any referendum to come to a decision to leave and everybody knows it. Any cosmetic re-negotiation of terms of membership will be known by all parties to be cosmetic and will have little focus.

The only way that I can see that any such referendum would be meaningful – in any member state –  is if it is held after the member state invokes Article 50 to leave the EU. The subsequent negotiations for an Agreement to Leave would then have a 2 year time limit and would have no option but to be sharp and focused. There would be no difficulty in withdrawing the invocation of Article 50 provided the referendum was held within the two year dead-line and decided that membership would continue.

Any member state which really wishes to have meaningful negotiations about EU membership must first invoke Article 50. Both options would then be truly open. Without this any referendum would be without teeth and any result “to leave” would be a hollow one.  By far the best negotiating position for a member state would be with an invocation of Article 50 to be followed by immediate negotiations and a referendum about 20 months later.

A parliamentary vote to invoke Article 50, then negotiations culminating in a referendum towards the end of the 2-year period would be the proper way to go.

Lisbon Treaty: Article 50

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it. A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

“Single currency needs a single government” and a single European government would be a monster

May 9, 2012

Finally, David Cameron actually voiced what all politicians in Europe know but will not voice publicly. And they will not voice it publicly because a single European Government – in the current state of European politics – would be a many-headed monster – of bureaucracy, of over-represented fanatic fringes, of minority oppression, of waste, of scams and inefficiency.

Reuters:

A successful euro zone requires a single government if it is to work properly, British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a newspaper interview on Wednesday.

“There’s nowhere in the world that has a single currency without having more of a single government,” Cameron told Britain’s Daily Mail.

(more…)

Who’s surprised? £250k for dinner with Cameron and Osborne and some policy input

March 25, 2012

The UK press led by Murdoch’s Sunday Times  – is going to town with the story.

But why is anybody surprised? 

The Tory Party co-treasurer, Peter Cruddas, was caught on film by some intrepid Murdoch reporters from the Sunday Times pointing out the benefits of paying for access. He has now resigned –  for being caught on tape it would seem. He surely did not resign for doing what was expected of him in his job.

“One hundred grand is not Premier League… it’s not bad… But two hundred grand to 250 is premier league… what you would get is, when we talk about your donations the first thing we want to do is get you at the Cameron/Osborne dinners.”

“It’ll be awesome for your business. You’ll be… well pleased. Because your guests will be photographed with David Cameron. We do that, you know.”

“If you’re unhappy about something, we will listen to you and put it into the policy committee at number 10 – we feed all feedback to the policy committee.”

(more…)


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