Is the Prime Minister becoming a bit of a pushover?
His edict, a little while ago, suggesting that Cabinet ministers who campaigned against his view that Britain should remain in the European Union should ‘quit’, was ill-judged, high-handed and probably impossible to enforce.
But when the error of his ways was pointed out, he hastily backtracked – just as he did at the last Parliament when he tried to interfere with the 1922 Committee, which is the sole preserve of Tory backbenchers, especially when the Conservatives are in power.
These were both bad judgements but the rapidity with which the PM caved in at the first whiff of revolt will not have passed unnoticed in Brussels. His weakness – as it will be seen by Eurocrats – will make his already huge task to secure meaningful reforms to the overheated EU blunderbuss even more difficult, if not unattainable.
These are hard nuts to crack in Brussels, and many significant Eurosceptics, notably Lord Lawson, the former Tory Chancellor, have predicted that the prospects of Cameron achieving any important reforms are negligible. He may return home, waving a bit of paper, and shouting “victory”, but on closer examination, it will add up to no more than a row of beans, they say.
A man who surrenders so easily when his own supporters cut up rough won’t stand much of a chance against the implacable bureaucrats who already appear to try to run our country. But good luck. He’ll need it.
The ink was barely dry on the latest batch of Birthday Honours before feminists started to moan about its contents. They protested that there were far more knights in the list than dames. Unfair, they cried. Where is gender equality?
They don’t seem to have woken up to the fact that honours are not given to people simply to make up the numbers. They are given for services rendered or achievements attained.
It is ludicrous to suggest that those who bestow honours have to scrabble around to find enough women to match the number of men – or, indeed, vice versa.
The trouble is that some people will not be happy until we are all boringly equal and identical. And then nobody would be happy!