Things are getting scary. Dave is on the warpath and he is taking no prisoners. Suddenly, Mr Angry in Number 10 has become as iconic a British character as Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.
In his stern new persona of war leader Dave is rejecting opportunities for buffoonery he would formerly have embraced, e.g. his refusal to join Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg in sporting a feminist T-shirt bearing the legend: “This is what a big girl’s blouse looks like.”
Dave is clearly finding his new role congenial. He has been thundering from dispatch boxes, fuming for television cameras and thumping tables in Brussels. Chillaxing is so yesterday, pole-axeing is the new fashion. This is Clint “Make-my-day” Cameron.
The latest contrived choler is over Nick Clegg’s scuttling of the European Referendum Bill. One of the two pillars of CCHQ’s Baldrick-style cunning plan to derail UKIP is to chant the mantra “Only the Conservatives can guarantee an In/Out referendum on the EU.” This becomes a tad unpersuasive when it emerges that Dave cannot even get the legislation through Westminster.
The complementary mantra, of course, is: “Vote UKIP, get Labour”, which has lost a soupcon of its credibility since Clacton and looks increasingly likely to become untenable when Rochester and Strood defenestrates the Tories.
So, Dave’s last resort is to throw a temper tantrum on every possible occasion – and the opportunities are not far to seek. There is the small matter of the EU demanding an extra £1.7bn from British taxpayers, as a penalty for having a semi-functional economy.
Apparently Dave knew nothing about this, despite its being canvassed months ago. It would take a brave civil servant, however, to suggest the demand notice was buried beneath a pile of Portuguese holiday brochures on Dave’s desk.
It transpires that the EU is reassessing the GDP of member states by including the black economy – drug dealing, prostitution and robbery – in the overall total. Evidently Brussels feels no embarrassment about living off immoral earnings. Since drug barons and ladies of the night pay no tax, the EU – that sanctimonious forum of “fairness” and equality – has decided that small businessmen and nurses should stump up the missing revenue instead.
The public reaction has produced polling figures now showing one voter in five intending to support UKIP and one voter in three seriously considering this option. So Dave, who has never entertained a conviction in his life, beyond his own sense of entitlement, is playing the rage card. His anger resembles that of a Shakespearean king – not Henry V, more King Lear: “I will do such things – What they are yet I know not – but they shall be the terrors of the earth.”
But just in case that fails to terrify European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker – whom Dave famously “blocked” from gaining that post – Mr Angry has coyly let it be known that, while he “won’t be paying anything like” £1.7bn, a smaller surcharge might be acceptable. The clever money is on a compromise figure of around £1.69bn, which would be a classic Dave triumph over Brussels.
The question everybody except the political class is asking is: why does the European Union have a €142.6bn budget? What does it do to improve our well-being that demands such massive – and rising – expenditure?
The biggest slice of this cake, amounting to just under €60bn, is devoted to “sustainable growth: natural resources”. As soon as you see the weasel word “sustainable”, you may be sure some imposture is being practised. The second largest item, totalling €47.5bn, is “economic, social and territorial cohesion”. The model outcome in that department, presumably, would be Greece.
And – oh, yes, one small detail: for the nineteenth successive year the Court of Auditors has refused to sign off the EU’s accounts, an annual event that has assumed a purely ceremonial significance. Yet the EU, which is operating illegally, is sternly threatening fines and a claw-back of Britain’s rebate if the UK does not stump up £1.7bn by 1 December.
If all such sanctions are ignored, our membership of the EU could be at risk. O frabjous day! Expulsion would be the happy ending that would save us the expense and tedium of a referendum.
Brussels knows that behind every table-thumping demand made by Dave is the threat that, if his wishes are not met, he will campaign tirelessly for Britain to remain in the EU. None of his demands will be conceded; unrestrained immigration is non-negotiable; so is every other outrageous imposition crippling this country.
The Tory Eurosceptics – more accurately Euro-eunuchs – are performing a pantomime of futility. Dave’s anger is as synthetic as his pretence that he has a prospect of renegotiating Britain’s EU membership. The Tory Party is doomed to extinction and so is the squalid conspiracy called the European Union.