Posts Tagged ‘Achilles’

Cameron’s history notes 1: Achilles, revisited

31/10/2011, 09:48:16 AM

by Rob Marchant

Last week, David Cameron had a bad week. But it’s important to understand what kind of bad week. He’s had not a defeat, but a sour victory in the Commons against his own rebels. But so did Tony Blair on two memorable occasions – Iraq and tuition fees – when he feared that he might have to resign, and didn’t. These things, although nerve-wracking at the time, are to some extent part and parcel of being a prime minister.

The extent of the defeat, though large, was to be expected over an issue as touchy as Europe and the relative weakness of his electoral position. However, neither does his government look “in office but not in power”, as Norman Lamont described the Major government. And his rebuke by Sarkozy, for trying to interfere in a subject, the euro, which Britain long ago put on the long finger, was also to be expected.

Many have adversely criticised his handling of the Commons vote, saying that he was looking for a fight; but it is hardly his fault that half of his backbenchers defy rationality on this subject. And some believe that, despite the bad headlines, he called it right. (more…)

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