The Aunt Sally of course refers not to the lovely Linda but to the Aunt Sally that is the European Financial Transaction Tax that was put forward by European Commission President, José Manuel Durão Barroso.
Señor Barroso, a former Prime Minister of Portugal is an intelligent man and is no fool. He realises that his proposed tax, four fifths of whose revenues would come from the City of London, has about as much chance of passing through the House of Commons as Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has of being eventually invited to Binyamin Netanyahu grandson Shmuel’s Bar Mitzvah (in 2022).
The reason why Señor Barroso has put up this particular Aunt Sally is that he is hopeful that by “conceding” this tax, David Cameron will go away from the negotiations that are soon to take place to create a successor to the Lisbon Treaty – that will set up a fully functional federal economic government for the Eurozone – leaving the rest of the clauses of the Lisbon Treaty that render this formerly sovereign state a vassal of the European Union in place.
Tory Eurosceptics such as John Redwood are already calling for Cameron to seize this opportunity as a once only opportunity to demand the EU hand back powers to the UK.
Of course, the British Gazette’s position is clear. All powers should be handed back as nothing less will not restore lawful sovereign government in the UK. John Redwood’s position falls considerably short of this but John Redwood does want to reclaim as much sovereign decision making as he possibly can.
Of course his leader Cameron realises that any attempt by this government to do this will result in the Liberal Democrats “pulling the plug” on the coalition. They have already made this clear at their annual party conference just gone.
Now there may be those who may think that the Lib-Dems would not do a Samson (bring the temple down on themselves) but the British Gazette (whose Editor was once a member of the SDP) would counsel that this is one threat the Lib-Dems would be prepared to carry out. Even if they knew they were going to be wiped out at the polls. This is because “Europe” is an article of faith with these people.
Cameron knows this. The British Gazette therefore suspects that Cameron keen to cling onto the prestige of being Prime Minister will avoid this showdown and meekly walk away from this great opportunity.
Cameron ought of course show some courage for once in his life. If Cameron was to adopt John Redwood’s wish list there would undoubtedly be a dissolution of the coalition. Ed Miliband would get up on his hind legs and put forward a No Confidence Motion which all Labour, Lib-Dems and nationalist MPs would back. This would precipitate a General Election.
This would actually be a rather good chance for Cameron to become the leader of a Conservative majority government. It is likely in such circumstances that the Lib-Dem vote would be squeezed as never before with the majority of Lib-Dem voters voting Labour. If however Cameron can turn those Lib-Dem voters into Tory voters in the Tory marginals is back with a majority government.
The reason for such optimism would be that most the British electorate would regard a General Election in these circumstances as a clear two party fight: they either vote Tory or vote Labour. It is likely that Labour and Tory politicians would state this openly. It is a plain simple fact that the First Past The Post electoral system has one MAJOR flaw – when there is more than two major parties the results are disproportionate. If an election was to be called whilst the LibDems are as unpopular as they are now, the likelihood would be that there would either be returned a majority Conservative government or a majority Labour government.
The trouble is that in this Prime Minister we have a man who lacks the courage to take that particular gamble and would rather cling to office than to principle.
There is a possible deal here with UKIP. The British Gazette agrees with UKIP that only lawful sovereign government is acceptable. We would urge Nigel Farage and UKIP members to offer this Tories this:
That they will:
1. Not stand any candidates in any constituency in the UK.
2. They will NOT take ANY part in the election. That is to say they will not campaign for or against any party and in fact will: “sit this one out.”
What would UKIP gain and what would UKIP loose from this tactic.
The gains are obvious: Thousands of pounds not lost in hundreds of lost deposits. What would they loose? A little publicity.
The British Gazette however would urge that UKIP members should not go further than this. Under no circumstances whatsoever should they put their names to anything less than leaving the EU and to restore lawful government to this UK. In other words – they do not help the Tories in their election campaign. This is because to do anything less is unlawful and Misprision of Treason. The British Gazette cannot and will not counsel any of its readers to break the law.
Were however UKIP to “sit this one out” it might tip the balance enough to give the Tories a majority. Of course they should only do this were the Tories to give them adequate assurances that they would extract meaningful and considerable tranches of competences back to the UK.