Just as many Tories were becoming fed up with Cameron, our PM has done three things that should put smiles on their faces.Alex tells us that the three things he has done, is show some balls on the Prisoner Votes issue by alowing a free vote. (Odd that allowing others to show backbone in a symbolic way is a sign of backbone in yourself - its all a bit "go on chaps, over the top. Me I will sit here with a nice cup of char").
Then he claims that changes to the DFID targetting is meaningfull and finally that the proposals top open up the tender book of the state to private competiton. These together says Alex,,
Assuming this policy is not watered down, Cameron won’t – as is widely predicted – go down in history as a wet. He’ll be the man who advanced the Thatcher revolution. Quite a turnaround, don’t you think?No, not really. Lets take each on its own.
Firstly the whole issue of Britain's relationship with the ECHR is complex, but to suggest that allowing a free vote is anything other then a sticking plaster on a sucking chest wound. Alex suggests that,
This, I can tell you, threw Ukip off-balance, as that party had been trying to argue to that it was impossible for Britain to reject the court’s rulings without leaving the EU. Ukip’s message failed to resonate and, whatever the legal ramifications of the vote, the vote has made the Conservatives seem genuinely Eurosceptic for the first time in years.There is something in this, in that we, against all experience hoped that the media would spot the dishonesty of the position. The legal advice given to Clegg that suggests that there are no legal and finacial implications in ignoring the ECHR decision is somewhat cute. It is correct, today. Come 2012 when Article 6 of the Treaty comes into force then it ceases to be correct, and, under our Treaty obligations we will ahve to comply, with both legal and finacial impluicatuions if we ignore their decisions.
I note Alex talks about "whatever the legal ramifications of the vote" as if the law was incidental. It isn't, and though UKIP are surprised at the free vote, we are de lighted, as it is providing the basis for a fundamental look at the decisons of the Strasbourg Court. No decision they make, or plan to make will take place within the media Omerta any longer. As trhe story that broke in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday and followed up today everywhere else shows, the ECHR and its judgements are npow a live political issue. Worse still for the Government, by allowing the free vote they have now put themselves in a position that to comply with EU law in the future they will be fighting against the express will of the House. Cameron a Eurosceptic? - The key word is appears to be "seem".
Point 2 is the one about DFID and the UK's aid budget. Now stopping funding China would I agree bne a good thing and targetting any money we do spend on those who need it most is a sensibvle idea, and one which most would agree with. But Alex rather shoots himself, or his arguement in the foot by stating as he does,
The Government’s policy to increase the aid budget is still wrong, but cutting the most wasteful spending will help to appease the Right.
The budget is still increasing at a time of retrenchment at home. We are still chucking a billion pounds to a country, India, with nuclear powered aircraft carriers and a space program. So no, I don't think this amounts to a row of beans.
And on the third point, though Cameron's article is welcome, something about it sticks against the sides. Oh yes that's it, could this be merely him complying with EU Tendering law and maybe just extending its scope? Don't get me wrong, I am all for it, but swallows and the summer come to mind.