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Margaret Daly Headshot

Kamikaze Cameron?

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In recent weeks, there have been some brilliant TV programmes analysing how the world financial crisis evolved, how deregulation was exploited by banks and financial institutions, worst of all in the USA but closely followed by the City of London.

They showed how greed and recklessness at the top brought financial chaos to national economies. They demonstrated how the world citizen has been the major and ultimate victim of the financial collapse. His job has gone, his home repossessed, his public services cut, his pension reduced or delayed and his family's future threatened.

Meanwhile, the fat cats at the top of the financial pile remain relatively unscathed and untouched. They continue to bask in a semi-monopolistic bonus culture where tax evasion, tax avoidance and tax havens, masterminded by the major accountancy firms and banks, bleed off billions of potential tax revenues every week - billions which are sorely needed to reduce the deficits of the national economies concerned. It is no surprise that the global street protest movement has gained such momentum with their increasing focus on corporate greed.

This background makes David Cameron's pretext 'defending the City of London' as an excuse for vetoing much needed EU restructuring appears downright bizarre, malevolent or emotionally misjudged.

David Cameron must realise he no longer has influence with those who matter in the European Union. If he had not removed his MEPs from the European Peoples Party, without proper consultation, he could have well have been at the Congress of the EPP held in Marseille on 7 and 8 December, "moving Europe forward."

As a direct member of the EPP and a former MEP, I had an invitation to attend. Sadly, I could not attend but I can see from the agenda that there was a meeting of EPP Heads of State and prime ministers on Thursday last. Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozi and leaders of many EU countries were present. Had British Conservatives still been members of the group, Cameron would certainly have been invited together with all his MEPs.

The EPP currently has the majority of heads of state or government in Europe, as well as 13 members of the European Commission, 264 members of the European Parliament, and the Presidents of the three main institutions. This powerful presence across Europe means that together, they can work to improve the continent for its citizens.

The main topic for discussion was navigating Europe towards economic growth, fiscal stability and political consolidation. What a marvellous platform for constructive input from those interested in securing the future of the Euro, the EU itself and all our economies.

I believe David Cameron should have welcomed the eurozone moves to redress the balance between big money and the citizen. The financial transaction tax would have offered a modest and long overdue start. Much more will ultimately be needed before the citizen can breathe safely and a fairer balance is restored, but sadly Mr Cameron seems oblivious to this major issue.

Hearing that David Cameron, an avowed eurosceptic, hosted a party in Friday night for eurosceptics at Chequers, which would normally require some advance planning, suggests he had no intention of listening to the views of other leaders anyway. I object to Chequers being used for such revelling over actions taken which cannot be in Britain's best interests.

Thank God for Michael Heseltine, who realises and speaks out about just how naïve Cameron can be. I welcome the revelations yesterday that both Nick Clegg and Vince Cable warned Cameron how dangerous such a veto could be for the country.

The sceptics will soon find out the British people will cease to be gullible when they have the real facts. The EU Institutions, MEPs and MPs, together with all those who have experience of working positively with the EU, must make sure the public has all the information it needs before any more gaffes are made.

This is not the end. Cameron's misguided decision must be reversed.