Cameron, vanquisher of Tory critics, tells Europe to buck up

PM will hope for an easy ride on Europe after his loyalists unseated 'bloody rude' Tory critics from 1922 committee

Column LAST UPDATED AT 08:57 ON Thu 17 May 2012

DAVID CAMERON will issue his starkest warning so far to the Eurozone countries to 'make up or break up' today. But it is not likely to cut much ice with his own Conservative eurosceptics who want to see Britain taking more steps to insulate itself from the storms ahead.

The Downing Street spin doctors have briefed Lobby journalists at Westminster that Cameron will repeat the warning he gave at Prime Minister's Question Time that the German chancellor Angela Merkel and the new French president Francois Hollande need to establish a financial firewall before the eurozone cracks up.

The BBC is reporting today Cameron will insist it is his job to "keep Britain safe" whatever the fate of the eurozone.

In a speech to business leaders in Manchester, the PM is expected to say the euro area is at a "crossroads" and could go into "uncharted territory".

The Daily Telegraph is reporting this morning that Cameron will say that Europe needs a committed, stable eurozone with an effective financial firewall, well-regulated banks and a supportive monetary policy "or we are in uncharted territory which carries huge risks for everybody".

He will also invoke the spirit of TINA - There is No Alternative - about Britain's austerity strategy, which has been called into question by the election of Hollande and an interview by Merkel saying she was prepared to look at a growth strategy.

Cameron's use of the Thatcher rhetoric would normally be expected to warm the hearts of the right wing of the Tory Party. His spin doctors have briefed The Daily Telegraph that he will reject calls for Britain to abandon its cuts in public expenditure.

Normally, that would be music to the ears of Tory eurosceptics. But they have increasingly become Camo-sceptics as Cameron has talked tough but done little to follow up his 'veto' at the EU summit last December when he stood alone against closer integration by the 27 members of the EU club.

His detractors on the Tory backbench are already muttering they want to see 'deeds not words', and are asking why George Osborne, the Chancellor, is giving £10bn of British taxpayers' money to the IMF fund to assist the eurozone. This caused outrage in the Daily Mail back in April and the Tory eurosceptics believe the money would be better used to help British banks withstand the shocks ahead.

Normally, some of the most vociferous backbench critics of the Cameron/Osborne approach to the EU would have a platform on the 1922 Committee, but last night, many of its most outspoken members were defeated in the backbench elections.

They included Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone, described on the Tory website ConservativeHome as 'high-register rebels', who weren't re-elected to the backbench business committee, and veteran eurosceptic Chris Chope.

Paul Waugh, editor of PoliticsHome, tweeted: "Talkin' bout their generation... '22 election was 'Mods' v 'Wreckers'. Big progress for the 'Mods' of the modernising 301 group."

Nick Watt of The Guardian reported: "A bold move by loyalists to achieve 'seismic change' in the elections, by removing 'bloody rude' members of the old guard, achieved partial success when some critics of the prime minister were unseated."

Shergar-look-alike Graham Brady, who was returned unopposed as the Tory MPs' chief shop steward (aka chairman of the 1922 Committee) complained about the tactics of the so-called 301 group who issued a slate of candidates like the old leftwing Tribune used to do for Labour backbench elections to the shadow cabinet.

Ben Brogan, the Daily Telegraph deputy editor, tweeted: "Electioneering ahead of 22 contest was unpleasant and too factional, Graham Brady tells Carolyn Quinn on World Tonight. Who would that be?"

Paul Goodman answered Brogan's rhetorical question on the ConservativeHome website: "Glasses will be raised this evening to the winners in Downing Street and the Treasury...  Friends of both have spent much of the day strenuously denying that either interfered in these elections in any way whatsoever. I am not altogether persuaded." · 

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Cameron is pursuing ever more risky policies - while surrounding himself with "yes men" he is, inevitably, denying a legitimate channel of protest to those within his party (and, by extension, the wider electorate) with his continuing failure to give more "bite" and red meat to traditionalists. 

This strategy might just work to provide him with less hassle in domestic Party Political terms but it is not good for democracy and I fear that it will alienate him from some very influential senior Tories - just when he might find that he needs some friends around him.

Cameron's relative immaturity, exacerbated by his inexperience in the real world, beyond Westminster, is becoming a real problem for the future of this nation - while he might have a sound grasp of some matters, his lack of understanding of day-to-day matters affecting the "man in the street" is parlous, to say the least;  for example, how many of us really care about his "Big Society"?   How many of us even understand what is meant by that term?   

He is fortunate insomuch as he has a lunatic fringe of economic "flat earthers" on the opposite benches - that ensures that he remains relatively secure in office in the absence of any serious challenge, either from within his own ranks - surely, one of the prime reasons behind his largely successful efforts to load the "22" committee with placemen and "yes men"?   Unfortunately, both he and Osborne continue to misread the wider mood in the country, particularly when it comes to the Euro and the Eurozone - he should recognise a lost cause for what it is and adjust his policies accordingly, for the good of this nation and our economy into the longer term.

How unfortunate that Tory Euro-sceptics have been neutered.  Of course the 10bn, given to the IMF, should be used, by British Banks, to weather the storms ahead. 

UKIP needs to step up to the plate now and become a more serious alternative to the Tories.

Goodness me Mr. Cameron is making the rest of us so ashamed of his blithering.  I think the rest of Europe within the Euro zone realises that they have to come up with something fast, they do not need Mr. Cameron who has seen us into a double dip recession telling them what to do, he obviously hasn't got the intelligence or the know how.   It is obvious now that the Tories have not learnt by past mistakes, the austerity measure are matching up to the advice the then Tories and Liberals gave to the Labour Chancellor back in the 1930s and it didn't work then and it will not work now.  What Mr. Cameron has failed to understand is that when a family are struggling to make ends meet on low wages and or benefits and seeing their children deprived the deficit means nothing at all to them.   Yes we have to bring down the deficit, just the same as individual families need to bring down debt.  Unfortunately Mr. Cameron or Mr. Osborne do not have the ability to see that sometimes one has to speculate to accumulate.  A few £billion spent on building much needed social and economic homes would get thousands of skilled people back into work, it would create thousands of apprenticeship jobs and would boost manufacturing from bricks to washing machines to the humble cup and saucer etc. etc. etc.  

You are probably quite right, I certainly agree with you, especially in the light of these gypsies hanging around London making a nuisance of themselves with their filth and begging.  What I might ask is Theresa May doing about this?