Friday, 22 July 2011
While Westminster descends into bad farce, Europe is busy establishing The Fourth Reich (and not the EUSSR however interesting that concept might be) and just about all the major policy areas in UK government are turning into dross where was Cameron?
He was doing a Blair Brown Tribute act. Off he goes for a quick photo-opportunity in Afghanistan promising the lads they will be home before Christmas, although which one is open to debate. Then we are visiting other top people in other places who no doubt would be happier watching the beach volley ball on TV.
In his company are the same sort of friends and helpers that have been with other Prime Ministers recently. I understand there was Vodaphone, lately beneficiaries of a “sweetheart” off the cuff tax deal with HMRC. Also there is the Diamond geezer from Barclaycapital.
This is an organisation which specialises in interesting tax arrangements for the wealthy and other things. What ii does do is to take all the income it gets and fiddles with it to enable some very complicated trading and the rest which make all the very many books of its untold number of subsidiaries look good.
In South Africa this means ensuring that those with lots of money will pay little tax. As this is a country which needs major resources for public services this leads to tax short falls and problems of provision. So Cameron commits us to sending dollops of our tax money to help them.
In the meantime the very same firm is arranging for many of our rich also to avoid tax. As we have a problem with our debts and taxes this means that the poorer people of the UK have to pay more.
The logic of this may be clear to Cameron and Diamond, it means they and their friends all do very nicely but it is bad news for all those in either the UK or South Africa who are feeling not just the pinch but the punch.
Unluckily, the horrors of the Euro crisis could put a stop to all and every little scheme all these politicians are dreaming up. We really do not know what is happening next. But where are Cameron and Clegg. We know where Clegg is, it is on his own little Libdem Fantasy European Island.
This is a crisis that cannot be covered with clever words or carefully staged posing. It is where it all gets real and desperately serious and Cameron needs to display the courage and intellect of a real leader and statesman. I fear the boy is not up to it and never will be. So what is he?
Shakespeare, as ever, has the right words, Coriolanus, Act v Scene VI, “Thou boy of tears.”
Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius: dost thou think
I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol'n name
Coriolanus in Corioli?
You lords and heads o' the state, perfidiously
He has betray'd your business, and given up,
For certain drops of salt, your city Rome,
I say 'your city,' to his wife and mother;
Breaking his oath and resolution like
A twist of rotten silk, never admitting
Counsel o' the war, but at his nurse's tears
He whined and roar'd away your victory,
That pages blush'd at him and men of heart
Look'd wondering each at other.
Hear’st thou Mars?
Name not the god, thou boy of tears!
If Cameron gets it wrong Mars the God of War could be back again.