Writing in the online version of the Spectator today Peter Hoskin makes a very pertinent observation. Obviously the Spectator supports the Tory party but Hoskin says of William Hague,
The shadow foreign secretary was in uncharacteristically subdued form, (during the Daily Politics' foreign affairs debate this afternoon).
Now why should that be, what happened? Hoskin says -
Hague did deploy one of his parties' trump cards, though, by mentioning how the other two had instigated a "betrayal of democracy" over the Lisbon Treaty. Word from the doorsteps suggests that this is a more important issue than most politicos realise.
Aha! So years of 'lets pretend' by all three political parties, that is don't mention the EU and that's a problem solved, has not paid off. Hague is a very smart man and loyal to David Cameron. But Cameron has brought ultra pro-EU Ken Clarke back into the Tory big tent and, much as predicted, this move does not go down well on the doorstep. Thus Hague has to be careful.
I did think that Mr Cameron and Mr Hague were honourable men. They said that they would 'not let matters rest' regarding the Lisbon Treaty ratification and pretended they had a plan. Now we see that they did not and David Cameron even has the gall to say he will pass a 'Sovereignty Act' so that no further powers can be taken by the EU without a referendum. Either he is stupid or he thinks we are. Lisbon is a self-amending treaty. That's it.
So how can we believe the Conservatives when they say they will roll back the surveillance state, drop ID cards, the NIR, ContactPoint, ISA, the Intercept Modernisation Programme and so on?
This is the week that Vaclav Klaus, much against the pain in his soul, signed the Lisbon Treaty into Czech law. It's an easy joke to say that Gordon Brown does not have a soul. But unlike Klaus, whose pain was clear, Brown crept through the back door to do his signing. Both leaders have been reduced as a result but only one retains his dignity. And this is the week that David Cameron pretends he has not had his nose rubbed in the dirt by being too clever by half on what his party would do about Lisbon.
This represents a huge loss. But then look at what is happening to our banks.
Daniel Hannan gives another impassioned speech summing up the EU and the democratic deficit. He diplomatically fails to mention that Mr Cameron refuses to say whether the Conservatives would hold a referendum if they won the next election but the Lisbon Treaty had already been ratified by all the member states.
Cameron, Hague and friends simply repeat the enigmatic mantra that: "they will not let matters rest there".
The picture, see right, says it all. Mind you many politicians seem unable to act in such a way as not to make fools of themselves; those of you with long memories will recall Michael Hesteltine wearing a flak jacket when in the presence of troops while he was Defence Secretary. More up to date is Harriet Harman in the stab-proof vest during a walk-about with police officers, an act she described as "a matter of courtesy" though, as with Hestletine, words like stupidity and vanity seem more apt. And now Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France and for 6 months the President of the European Union and in his mind for all we know, 'Leader of the free world' - vive le Sarko, always a bit tetchy and so gaffe-prone that Boris Johnson has nothing to worry about, is laying into the Irish like a man possessed, see HERE.