Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Dave Cohen

GET UPDATES FROM Dave Cohen
 

David Cameron - If you Want Your Churchill Moment, Join the Euro

Posted: 23/11/11 23:00

Every prime minister wants to be described as Churchillian. The very word itself conjures up a spirit of what we imagine to be the best in ourselves, "our finest hour" to quote Norman Shelley, our finest Churchill impersonator.

Thatcher had her mini-war on penguins, Blair glimpsed the great man's shadow briefly during his 'People's princess' gig and Brown, accidentally, saved the world.

Now Cameron - somewhat forwardly for a man who isn't even the best politician in the Cameron family - is after the comparison. You see it every time he is interviewed on telly.

He puts on that 'gravitas' face they teach you at PR school - the wistful middle-distance stare supposed to make you look statesmanlike - but where you end up resembling the Werther's Original grandad mourning the loss of a full set of teeth from a lifetime of mint consumption.

But for once, Cameron may have his way. Now is his moment to act Churchillian. He's already proved a more than worthy successor as our finest misogynist, now he has a chance to take on the might of Germany and score a crushing victory for his ever-diminishing band of allies.

I don't know much about economics, but such statements have proved no barrier to most of the people who comment regularly on the subject in newspapers or, more worryingly, work for a living as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

My view is as valid as the next over-paid opinionated rabble-rousing mealy-mouthed ranting idiot. So here's what I think David Cameron should do.

He should announce, today, that Britain is joining the Euro. Now. Not next year, as some eminently sensible Lib Dem follower has suggested on these politics pages elsewhere this week. Now. This minute.

Just in case you missed that I shall repeat in capitals.

BRITAIN SHOULD JOIN THE EURO. NOW.

This is David Cameron's big chance to prove himself as the great leader he hoped we would one day elect by a majority to become prime minister. And here's why:

First, it makes economic sense. Actually I've no idea if it makes any sense at all, but can it make any less sense than 'quantative easing', a phrase designed to disguise what it really means - printing money - in order not to shock the markets? (Although my gran blowing a party squeaker and shouting 'boo!' is sufficient these days to raise bond interest in Portugal to 17%.)

Is it less sensible than forcing governments already massively in debt to cut back further? Is it more stupid than putting bankers in charge of governments, when there are so many other people out there whose CVs do not read "spent the last three years failing to solve massive financial crisis I helped create?"

Second, Cameron can announce it with a big flourish, make it look like we're being magnanimous, and show we aren't just carping from the sidelines as the Euro crisis threatens to give us something new to blame for our troubles along with last winter, the Royal Wedding, Gordon Brown, 'red tape' and the great Dutch tulip mania frenzy of 1634.

Finally, Cameron must realise that he has already lost that dwindling band of Eurosceptics who reluctantly stuck with the Conservative Party last time, on the basis that he has failed to deliver them a referendum next week asking the question "should Britain stay chained to the over-regulated over-spending over-taxing enemies of business that is the EU, or should we quit yesterday?"

And even if they get their way and Britain leaves the EU, these people won't be happy until we have quite literally loosened the ground from underneath us, stuck a giant oar in the English Channel and physically left Europe behind, rowing ourselves away towards the welcoming Statue of Liberty.

For a man who bangs on and on about the Big Bloody Society and how we should all do our bit to help those less fortunate than ourselves, he's being remarkably unphilanthropic to our unfortunate neighbours across the English Channel, who we are currently a far better position to help than we or they realise.

 

Follow Dave Cohen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cohendave