This EU business. The general reaction from these shores seems to be all about me, me, me. Or rather us, us, us.
For example, Cameron hasn’t signed the treaty because it’s not 'in Britain’s interests'. And there seems to be a general view from the right that with impending Eurozone disaster on the horizon, thank goodness we’re retiring to a safe distance to rubberneck at the accident. Or as Michael Portillo has put it:
“The euro is a burning building with locked doors, and it seems to be a pretty good idea to be out of that.”
But to me, that’s the real problem.
When your neighbour’s house is on fire, you don’t shrug and say ’thank goodness I live in a large detached house some way from the inferno’. You fight tooth and nail to get into the house to help save them, and then you do everything you can to put the fire out
Isn’t that the right thing to do? Won’t that mean they are more likely to reciprocate next time you find yourself in similar circumstances?
(And as David Cameron himself was pointing out not so long ago, that seems a pretty good way of making sure the fire doesn’t spread next door. I rather think he’s forgotten that).
And this seems to me to be the main problem with the narrative, not just over the last few hours and days, but weeks and months.
It’s all about what’s in my interests or our interests. And not what’s in everyone’s interests.
I’m not saying the Eurozone are any better. I don’t suppose the Frankfurt Group have lost many hours sleep wondering how they can make Britain’s life easier.
But at the end of the day, the European project is about making sure we do all we can for those members of the group who most need it, when they need it.
If I see the Titanic going down – I hope I send my life rafts in its direction. And not just thank God that I missed the boat