Coffee House

Dave vs Angela, round 2

22 October 2012

David Cameron appears to be looking for a suite of examples for his party that he’s still fighting their corner. He’s about to deliver his speech on offenders, and his spokesman has just suggested he’s up for a real scrap on the European Union budget, too.

The FT’s splash this morning is that Angela Merkel is threatening to cancel next month’s European budget summit if Britain refuses to approve any other deal than a total freeze on spending. The paper reports that Merkel believes there is no point in holding the summit if Cameron is going to veto any deal on the table. The problem for the German Chancellor is that if Cameron vetoes a deal, it will be good for him politically, but bad for Merkel as Germany will lose its rebate and therefore will have to contribute more.

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If that threat was supposed to worry Number 10, it doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said this morning:

‘We don’t see a case for increases in spending above the rate of inflation.’

This suggests that there could be a small increase in the budget that is below inflation. What is most likely is that an agreement is reached to freeze the budget, rather than Cameron vetoing any other deal. But it’s important for the Prime Minister to be clear that he’s keen for more veto moments to keep his party on side.

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Show comments
  • bloughmee

    Not much of a fight here, Cameron against Merkel.

    It’ll be Angie by KO 30 seconds into the first.

  • Daniel Maris

    Spare us the fake fight – like some superannuated ex world champion being put in the ring with a Mexican lardarse.

  • RatherAnnoyedPleb

    Isabel, did you really use the word ‘suite’ outside of the context of hotels and furniture? You are a management consultant and I claim my ten pounds.

  • Heartless etc.,

    Why have you changed the picture? (twice?)

    Stepping on sensitive toes perhaps?

    I only ask.

  • In2minds

    What fantasist created that pic? His gloves are bigger than hers, this is misleading as Merkel will crush him!

  • In2minds

    As already spotted the name calling of the pro-EU folk is getting tedious. As soon as you see ‘loony tunes’ you know they have not so much lost the argument as failed to understand it in the first place.

  • Russell

    Cameron says categorically no in/out EU referendum. Cameron says he will let the British people vote to agree with whatever he arranges in getting back some powers from the EU or stay with what we have now?
    No pint in having a referendum at all then.
    Cameron is an idiot and the Tories really are finished.

  • Boudicca_Icenii

    An increase in the EU Budget in line with inflation (whose inflation? Ours?) is STILL an increase. The Budget needs reducing, not increasing.
    Cameron is setting the scene for a climbdown. He will come back to Blighty waving a piece of paper, insisting that he has secured savings in our time ……. except he won’t have. He will have sanctioned a further transfer of UK taxpayers funds to the Kommissars.

  • Magnolia

    In pure logical terms Mrs M is right to say that a meeting is pointless if one member has already made up their mind not to be open to being flexible however it looks very bad to us when she refuses to countenance our viewpoint at all by physically staying away and ordering everyone else to as well. She’s driving us out of the EU for a purpose I suppose. Perhaps she wants to blame the EU breakup and subsequent Euro economic mess on poor little old us?

  • Salisbury

    One would have thought that Frau Merkel, leading a country that is having to bankroll half of Europe, would be pleased to side with somebody who says that the EU’s budget has to be kept in check. If the price of that is Germany having to lose its rebate, why doesn’t she get in there and negotiate another outcome, which keeps the budget frozen and lets Germany have its money back.

    The problem for the Germans is that they are so desperate to be seen as “good Europeans” that they lose sight of their own national interest.

    • Russell

      “The problem for the Germans is that they are so desperate to be seen as
      “good Europeans” that they lose sight of their own national interest.”

      As do every country in the EU, and in particular the UK.

      • Salisbury

        No: it is far more true of Germany than other European countries because of their desire to bury their past. France, for example, is notorious for pursuing its own interests and will use “Europe” only to the extent that it perceives it as a vehicle for those interests.

        As to the UK, the idea that we behave as “good Europeans” is reasoning that only the twisted mentality of the UKIPper would entertain. We are self-evidently more sceptical of, and resistant to, Europe’s grand designs than any other member state. I know this falls short of getting out of the EU altogether, but it is objectively true nonetheless.

  • TomTom

    Merkel is probably tired of Cameron’s dilettantism and the way English is used to throw up a veil over some secret deal. She knows Cameron is playing and will cave in, but simply wants to stop Hollande jumping up and down with his Club Med allies.

  • Mirtha Tidville

    I dont care how Dave does it, but not a penny more for these bozos…..sadly I dont think Dave means it, its just designed to stop more joining UKIP………some hope eh

    • Baron

      Mirtha, Baron has news for you.

      Not that the blue veined barbarian likes it, but when we get the long awaited referendum on the Brussels monstrosity, the unwashed will vote to stay in. Why? Well, not only are they going to be suffocated with pleas from unions, the CBI, the civic organisations and others telling them to vote yes. They are also going to be told that getting out will mean a small little Britain in a nasty world of giants. They will be told to choose between a proud and independent nation, but with few jobs, high cost of money, little influence in the world, or a dominium status, a sort of Ireland like offshoot of the Continent, but with plenty of money to fill their bellies with.

      It will be the repeat of the sainted Tony years, everyone hated the Labour tossers what with their Ecclestone sleaze, Iraq lies, the Hunting Bill and stuff, but everyone still cast the vote for them three times in a row because the money was rolling in. Sad, but true, my blogging friend.

      • Magnolia

        The money was not rolling in, but the never ending expansion of credit and the increasing state spending and debt gave ordinary people the illusion of a rising standard of living. I suspect that the ‘unwashed’, as you call ordinary people, have woken up to this fake ‘money’, which was as real as ‘no more boom and bust’ and may not be as gullible as you seem to think.

        • Baron

          Magnolia, sir, so where did the money created through credit expansion, or channeled through the increased government spending go to then, did it dissolve into thin air? It wasn’t illusionary, you may like to check the age profile of the cars on the road for the ten years to 2006.

          But let’s wait and see, shall we?
          and also, the term ‘the great unwashed’ ain’t Baron’s (how the poorly educated Slav wishes it was), it was coined by one William Makepeace Thackeray in his novel ‘The History of Pendennis’ published a year before the Great Exhibition in 1851. Not a bad read. On this you can trust Baron, he knows, he’s checked it up.

          • Magnolia

            If you’d written ‘the great unwashed’ then I might have had a clue.
            Mr Neil likes the term ‘hoi polloi’ I think. Perhaps that’s scottish!
            Thanks for the literary tip, Aged P! It looks like a good read.I freely admit that I don’t understand economics but I do know that wealth and money are not necessarily the same thing and that the spent money now exists in debt form as ageing cars on the never never, PFI hospitals, negative equity on housing mortgages etc.

          • 2trueblue

            Baron, it was all borrowed and a lot of people did buy cars by remortgaging their houses, went on holidays, etc. There is a huge number of pensioners who have large mortgages because of this. The amount carried over on credit is also where the ‘money’ went.

      • dalai guevara

        Ah yes Baron, the party line on Scottish independence exactly… just replace the word Brussels with Westminster.

      • james102

        The electorate would not believe the political classes, including the union bosses ,if they said the seasons tend to differ with regard to weather.
        That is the consequences of years of spin:a cynical electorate.
        The political class know it ,which is why they will resist having a referendum to the end.

  • Chris

    It’s ridiculous to call Cameron’s posturing ‘robust’. He’s thrown away any negotiating chances he may have had with his ridiculous behaviour – for the benefit of the sort of moron among the British electorate who think that British prime ministers should sit in EU level meetings chanting ‘two world wars and one world cup.’

    All this is a great advert for being run by Brussels – the British political class are utterly incompetent. The less London has to do with governing us, the better.

    • Austin Barry

      This being ruled by Brussels is becoming more and more of a misnomer, particulary for the Eurozone countries. It’s rule by Berlin. Our parents and grandparents would be proud.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      Correction: for the benefit of morons (like me) who think that British prime ministers shouldn’t sit in EU meetings at all.

  • Austin Barry

    How exactly can Merkel unilaterally decide to cancel a meeting?

    We know the Germans are the de facto rulers of Europe, but Merkel really should be more subtle about her imperium maius.

    • james102

      Is there a German term for ‘subtle’?

      • Ostrich (occasionally)

        Not really…you can try ‘fein’ or ‘raffiniert’ (I think that’s how it’s spelt) but neither of them really conveys the sense as it’s used in English.

      • Heartless etc.,

        would the Italian con fuoco help?

        • hexton

          con fuoco = “with fire” … ma non sottilmente ?

          • Heartless etc.,

            Thank you hexton. Perhaps my thoughts were too deeply influenced by one or more Rhinemaiden(s) or Das Rheingold.

            • hexton

              And I thought you were just being sarcastic!

            • mcclane

              or Danegeld

              • Heartless etc.,

                Thank you mcclane! You touch the vital truth of this EUSSR charade. The only problem being that tribute paid as Danegeld prevented the country being ravaged, whereas we pay exorbitant amounts – and are still ravaged.

      • Baron

        do they need a term for ‘subtle’, james102?

        More than a half a century ago, they had the Wermacht, but were penniless, it didn’t work; Today, with few men in uniform, but plenty of money, it may work.

        • TomTom

          Total bollocks. The British had the Royal Navy but it proved useless in defending Poland or preventing the rise of the Japanese and Italian navies. The Wehrmacht was the best army on earth and the combined might of the USSR, USA and British Empire were hard-pressed… the Britrish and American armies spend 11 years taking on a rag-bag od Pashtuns in Afghanistans and look for honorable retreat

          • starfish

            I wouldn’t emphsise the Italian Navy too much
            Japan was an ally in WW1 (and before) so why would Britain have stopped the rise of its Navy?
            The problem in AFG is caused largely by the ability of the Taliban to operate openly and with impunity across borders with the tacit support of a host nation in Pakistan
            That and the West’s inability to do anything without wrapping itself in knots over international law, morals and some absurd notion of civilisation none of which is respected by the Taliban – oh and our strange selection of ‘good Afghans’, most of whom are not much better than the Taliban

      • Andy

        Not really, merely a different number of tanks.

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      “How exactly can Merkel unilaterally decide to cancel a meeting?”

      Same way she can yell “Raus!” and the prime minister of Greece finds himself out of a job. It’s because Germany = the EU, and all the rest are just groupies.

  • Westham1980

    I think this is brilliant. UKIP will never gain power but minibrain could. If this sort of grandstanding keeps the Balls, minibrain and the other nutters out of powers in 2015 then it is worth it. Stop your childish moaning and realise that Cameron for all his faults is the only option this country has that won’t result in disaster.

    • Chris lancashire

      Nice touch of realism Westham1980. Cameron/Osborne, besides making excellent progress on the economy, are the only hope of achieving a better balance with Brussels. Meanwhile the only thing the single-issue Euronutters can achieve by voting UKIP is the installation of a decidedly pro-Europe Labour government. Despite the evidence of preserving Balls’ seat for him last time round they don’t seem to be able to get this through their thick heads.

      • Stuart Eels

        What a charming person you are, I suggest you investigate the UKip manifesto.
        In case you haven’t noticed, theres rioting in the streets of Athens and Madrid and Merkel is desperate to keep Call me Dave onside as she has more of her population wanting out than we do.
        The Lib/Dems are toast UKip have overtaken then in two OPs this weekend, it would be something really amusing to see Cameron or Miliband trying to form an alliance with Nigel Farage and UKip.

        • HooksLaw

          No the sad reality is that people like you are thick beyond comprehension.
          Being OUT of the EU will still need us to have a relationship with the EU, just like Norway, only no say in its decision.
          The EU would not go away, nor is it likely to reform itself and a broken EU would still be bad for the UK economy.

          The EU will in any event leave us as and when the Eurozone bring forward a new treaty. the issue then is how we do in fact renegotiate our relatioship with the EU.

          Despite all this loony tune mad UKIPers pursue a policy which would as like as not leave Miliband in charge of such negotiations. Feel lucky?

          And BTW – UKIP are not a real party. They are a pressure group masquerading as a party and their sole purpose is to destroy the conservative party as it has existed since the war. Only the maddest of the mad would give it any credence at all.

          • james102

            We have no say in Japan’s regulations or Chinas or Brazil’s: we still trade with them.
            Unlike Norway we run a trade deficit with the rest of the EU, I think we account for about 25% of their exports. Norway, of course, runs a trade surplus with the EU.
            Are you suggesting the Germans would refuse to sell washing machines or cars to us unless we conformed to the Working Time directive?

          • razzysmum

            oh dear, another one telling us the end of the world will happen if we leave the EU and the sun will not come up next day!
            The EU will not go away… well, that’s debatable the way things are going it may just fall into it’s own black hole.
            Europe will not go away and that is the GOOD thing. Europeans are our brothers and we have traded with them for centuries and would, no doubt, trade with them in or out of the EU. Would France not want to sell their goods to us? Would Germany not want to sell their cars to us? Grow up and grow a backbone, my friend, the EU is not the be-all and end-all of the world and it’s existence. There is EFTA and even NAFTA and we would still be a member of the EEC.
            I am not much bothered by UKIP but I loath LibLabCon, so there isn’t much other choice really…. but do go on calling UKIPers looney-tunes because it makes you sound like the uninformed and silly person you are.

        • dalai guevara

          Classic case of misjudgement – as Portillo put it last week, why go for the 4% on the far right, when the fight should be over the 10-15% middle ground. You cannot blame the chap for his bone dry analytical abilities.

          • james102

            Depends where the Middle Ground is.
            Is it Daily Mail readers? Guardian readers?
            The Middle Grounds tends to mean “people who hold my views”.

            • dalai guevara

              Portillo is a good man – you should listen more to what he has to say (with the exception of his position to Europe). He is equally biased when it comes to that.

              • james102

                I actually meet Portillo once. Very bright, at least in an academic way, but still very much an inhabitant of the Bubble.
                Where do you think he would place the “Middle”—the Guardian? The Daily Mail? Like his friend Mandelson or old School comrade Diane Abbott, they float above the “Brits” with their Island mentality.

                • dalai guevara

                  You refer to the Mail, that is pure comedy for me – sorry cannot help you out there, it is just too amusing.

                  Other than that, policy/opinion etc should be based on fact based analysis and transcend what it is out to achieve, understandable for a five year old. I admit, occasionally positions get entangled and too complex to be understood by a young one, but then one might just feel the urge to call for Alexander’s approach with respect to the Gordian Knot.

                • james102

                  But the Daily Mail is one of the most successful newspapers in the UK and has a readership many many times the size of the loss making Guardian.
                  So where do you look for the middle ground the mass readership Daily Mail or the Guardian that relies on virtually a monopoly of public sector advertisements to sell even the limited numbers it does?
                  We are looking for the views of the majority ,not where we fall in the range of views as by our interest in blogs like Coffee House we are obviously not typical voters.
                  That is why political parties have focus groups and use polls.

                • dalai guevara

                  …polls? All the political parties need to do is read the comments sections of the papers you quote – and this one – to see what the mood is like out there. If I conducted my intake purely by readership numbers and supported those ‘popular’ opinions every time, then – when looking at it from a cosmopolitan European outlook – I would have to support the German national side at the next world cup from now on, purely basing it on numbers.

                  That would be hard to take for some.

                • james102

                  But the comments sections just reflect the views of the commentators.
                  We are a very fragmented society, some of that is due to policies such as mass immigration, some of it due to income dispersal and some of it due to historical-cultural reasons.
                  We are not looking at this from a cosmopolitan European perceptive but from a perspective trying to predict how the British electorate will respond to various policies.
                  Our political class are now so detached from the majority of the population (consider the background of the three party leaders) that they have no idea where the so-called “middle” ground, by which they mean the majority, is.
                  That is why they use focus groups and polls; like a company market testing a new product before launching it.

                • dalai guevara

                  Every country gets the leaders it deserves. Poll all you like, that fact won’t change.

                  What bothers me most in Britain nowadays is that everyone appears to think only of themselves.

                • james102

                  Yes, an interesting point.
                  Maybe it is that we interact less with other people than past generations or move away from our families who may (to quote) have sat under the same oak tree for 500 years.
                  Expecting Cameron, Clegg and Miliband to understand the typical inhabitant of the middle ground is a tall order considering their backgrounds.
                  Less than one in 4 of the eligible electorate voted for Blair when he got his overwhelming majority. What was the turnout at the last general election? 50%?
                  A YouGov poll in 2008 showed only 4% of those polled thought politician put the country’s interest before their own. I don’t think you would have got that result in 1914 or 1939 or we would never have been able to mobilise.
                  That is the extent of the problem we have and that is why many of us think the present pseudo-democracy needs to end.

                • dalai guevara

                  What is clear is that since the collapse of the ‘God-given’ rule many centuries ago, two powers have filled the gaps this has left:

                  1- political apparatchiks – often, sometimes rightly, Brussels is named as the main delinquent

                  2- corporate rule: something of particular interest in the UK

                  Keeping both in balance should be one of the main tasks of a good government. When apparatchiks begin to work for corporations, all is lost.

                • james102

                  In many respects we are at a crossroads. Demographics mean Europeans are a diminishing group in the world and even among us there are various definitions of democracy and even disagreements about whether it is desirable. The EU use the term ‘Post Democratic.’
                  The future will be Asiatic, simply because that is where economic, scientific and populations will be. There is no history of democracy there so maybe it was just a blip in human history.
                  The EU is certainly not the future as its social model has a built in destruct: declining and ageing populations. They will seek to compensate with immigration because they do not believe in human nature. I do, so don’t think young Africans/Arabs will pay taxes to support old Germans/Italians/Spanish etc.

                • dalai guevara

                  Japan is already where you see us in twenty years time – they have chosen not to embrace immigration in the same way as we have. Let’s see whether that will work for them, I doubt it.

  • Acacia Avenue

    Merkel is the one person Cameron ought to try to get on side against Hollande. This anti-EU posturing is childish. Pretty obvious The Eurotopians are going to force Germany into the milking shed a crisis at a time and we are going to be totally isolated. Giving Merkel a helping hand would be more sensible than grandstanding like a wannabe Thatcher.


      Let’s grow up and replace the timorous craven word “isolated”, with the more assertively self-determining word “independent”!

    • Andy

      Germany is already in the ‘milking shed’ as you put it. Go and look at the Target T2 balances if you don’t believe me.

      • dalai guevara

        Finally, some form of argument for the equilibrium.

  • Vulture

    ‘He’s keen for more veto moments to keep his party on side…’
    Translation: ‘He’s looking for another opportunity to pretend to be doing something about the EU while in fact doing sweet FA since he adores the EU and all its works’. After all look what happened to his last pseudo veto.
    The only way loist UKIP voters will return to the Tory fold is for David Cameron to cease to lead it and for the party to make a clear declaration that it is initiating negotiations with a view to an early withdrawal from the whole catastrophic mess.
    We won’t believe any more of Cameron’s lies.

    • peterbuss

      As a Conservative I have not the slightest interest in UKIP voters seeing sense and returning to the fold if it means that the only way to achieve that is that the Tory Party walks into the dark policy abyss that is UKIP.Far far better for David Cameron to go deeper, further and faster with his modernising agenda so the Conswervatives can again fulfil our destiny and speak to and speak for the nation as a whole.Nothing – and I| mean nothing – is more utterly depressing to me than the time given to UKIP voices on this Site and ConHome.It is completely the wrong way for my Party to go.

      • Vulture

        Peter – You might not have the slightest interest in UKIP, but more than a million voters deserted the Tories for them in 2010 and perhaps another million since – easily enough to deprive the Tories of a majority in 2015.

        I think you will have to accept that your pro-EU, pro-Dave views are now a distinctly minority viewpoint in your party, and that most real Conservatives want to reclaim their country – and their party – for freedom.

    • Magnolia

      Sweet Fanny Adams is a good euphemism for Dave.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    Empty grandstanding, stupid, pointless, designed to impress the gullible and not even achieving that.

    • Rhoda Klapp

      *with the possible exception of Isabel Hardman.

      • IsabelHardman

        Hi Rhoda, not sure where in the piece I’ve said I’m impressed by it, but Cameron has latched on to the veto idea as a way of improving his standing in the polls as it did so well for him last year. You are right that this is a lot of grandstanding – as the veto was last year, because he didn’t veto, he pulled out. And his big problem is that he seems terrified of making a robust offer on a referendum that will satisfy his party and satisfy would-be UKIP voters. James’ political column in this week’s mag is worth reading on this matter if you haven’t done so already.

        • Rhoda Klapp

          Sorry Isabel, I know you have to report this stuff as if it was serious and that scorn is a tool as forbidden to you as it is tempting to me.

          • Baron

            abit of sophisticated apology from Baron’s contemporary long standing guru? It’s nice to know chivalry survives in these highly charged times.

        • james102

          This quote from an MP in Iain Martin’s column I think sums up what an increasing number of us view as the core problem with British politics:
          “We have a serious issue with our political class,” says a disillusioned young Tory MP. “Running the country are three people, Cameron, Osborne and Clegg, who have never had a proper job. This applies to the Labour Party too.

          • Andy

            Well some of us – me for one – have been saying this for years.

            • james102

              Yes, it is now becoming accepted that the rise of the political class (I hope not the triumph, in Peter Oborne’s book title) is at the heart of the many failures of government.
              The problem is they are now untested before gaining experience.Cameron, Osborne, Clegg, and Miliband have never held senior positions outside politics. The fact that Cameron can become leader of the Conservative Party and then Prime Minister without as much as managing a Whelk Stall successfully is preposterous. This is particularly problematic as in modern politics they are expected to manage their departments, regardless of the theory. The days of Supermac when he could take a broad overview and work a few hours a day are well gone.
              I’m surprised Coffee House has had nothing so far on the Rent Swapping Scam: they learnt nothing from the expenses scandal.

          • HooksLaw

            This ‘never had a proper job’ meme is just a load of bollocks. Feeble line of attack because there is no real basis for the proposition.

            You go and give up the rest of your life just to pursue a career in politics and become an MP.
            Try it.
            But of course you will not, you me and virtually every other normal person, (apart from a gang of trade unionist activists and agitators) have not got the stomach for it,
            It does not wash.
            What was the proper job that Winston Churchill had (a man born in Blenhiem Palace BTW)?

            The source of Martin’s diatribe might well think Willie Whitelaw was a sound mainstream conservative who gave the party, and Thatcher, great (and loyal) service. Whitelaw went straight from the army into politics. Well actually he didn’t – he spent a few years managing the Lanarkshire Estate he inherited from his grandfather.
            Today thanks to the absurd hyperbole from people like Martin and you, someone like Whitelaw would be blackballed from the outset.

            The reality is all this talk is a load of cobblers.

          • Fergus Pickering

            What would a proper job be? Would editing The Spectator be a proper job? Would keeping a whorehouse? Would being a professional cricketer? Would being a Trade Union leader? Or a writer of chick lit? What was Churchill’s proper job? What did Lloyd George do before he was a politician?

            • james102

              Some track record of success and managerial experience at a reasonable level as well as strategic responsibility.
              I’m not a great fan of Churchill and suggest you read Field Marshall Alanbrook’s contemporaneous diaries to see the problems. There were also his financial affairs and involvement with various financiers which would have ruled him out of office in today’s world. And it is today’s world we are dealing with, very different than even Macmillans, let alone Lloyd George’s time.
              Politics is now much more “Executive” in nature and people like Cameron and Miliband are completely untested before they take up post: a ridiculous situation that would be unthinkable in any other area.

        • MikeBrighton

          He’s terrified beacuse he fears what the answer is likely (but not assuredly) to be “No”. He’s aslo further terrified beacuse the wheeze of “in” or “in but some subtle changes” referendum has been rumbles.

          Isabel to be clear the majority of the poltical class is totally and utterly bought, weighed and measured by the EU (see the terms of the fat EU pensions a number of them draw!) and withdrawal is simply outside their worldview or frame of reference. It’s just not going to happen.
          What’s changed is the election of new Tory MPs that have not been co-opted into this worldview of the poltical class so the balance of opinion within the Tories has moved from the mainstream political class view to the right.

          However there is absolutely no way in hell that the current Tory, LIbDem or Labour leaderships who are all fully paid-up members of the political class will offer a in/out referendum.

        • Baron

          Isabel, good response on both counts, and also could you tell the Scot that employs you he’s missing on a story that every dick and harry’s talking about, even the Guardian has in on their front page today, you’re supposed to be in the centre/right boat, but except for abit by James three days ago (on Sir Jimmy) you have completely missed the BBC cover-up.

          The Corporation’s tossers were in the front line of attack on the NoW, Fraser may feel magnanimous, he shouldn’t, unless the monstrosity is brought down, it will keep on suffocating everyone who doesn’t sing from their hymn sheet.

          • Andy

            Fraser shouldn’t feel magnanimous towards the BBC and nor should anyone else. The same principles they and that fascist rag The Guardian applied to News International re phone hacking should be applied to the BBC over the much more serious matter of child abuse.

    • Heartless etc.,

      A picture tells a thousand words. And the picture you choose to illustrate a piece about No 10 – is headed by the German (and EUSSR) Chancellor.

      Thank you.

      • Baron

        but Heartless, sir, the Huns have the money, and money not only talks, it has power, haven’t you figured that yet?

        • Heartless etc.,

          Ah! Thank you. I wonder how they got it (the money). Presumably by hard work, frugality, and saving,.

          On the other hand, how come we are in deep debt / deficit / doo-doo having been guided for so many years by the masterly hand of the Greatest Economist in the Universe? And subsequently governed by the Party of Sound Money.

          (Answer not required)

        • pilsden

          I fear the German’s belief they have the money is misguided, Frau Merkel is busily stacking up their off balance sheet liabilities through various guarantee/underwriting schemes.When they wake up to this they will realise they are in the same hole as us after the this trick was pulled by Brown.Perhaps we both should stop making the hole deeper but since the people who will pay are either too young to vote or not yet born there is no chance.

          • james102

            They still have their gold. Germany has never sold its reserves.
            It is owed billions by Greek, Irish (now yet to be born Irish taxpayers) Spanish etc banks.
            German banks were the last to continue to buy US sub-prime…

      • I’m not a pedant but…


      • Fergus Pickering

        Oh don’t be silly. The piece is about her.

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