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Monday, 1 November 2010

King Pyrrhus, David Cameron and the EU Budget: Another “Victory” Like That and We Will be Finished

King Pyrrhus, David Cameron and the EU Budget: Another “Victory” Like That and We Will be Undone

David Cameron’s claim of a “victory” over the European Union’s increased budget spending plan is like King Pyrrhus of Epirus’s triumph over the Romans 2090 years ago: one more “victory” like that and we will be completely undone.
Mr Cameron has claimed “victory” after managing to persuade enough EU member states to reject an EU budget rise of 6 percent, and revert back to the 2.9 percent increase originally planned.
All that Mr Cameron has actually achieved therefore is to ensure that the EU budget increases by “only” 2.9 percent. In real terms this means an increase of “only” £3.14 billion as opposed to the £6.5 billion the EU Parliament voted for last week.
In addition, Mr Cameron failed to obtain any guarantee that there would no further increases, as he promised the British public only a week ago.
This sort of “triumph” is known as a Pyrrhic victory, a phrase derived from over 2000 years ago when the armies of King Pyrrhus of Epirus suffered irreplaceable casualties after defeating the Romans at Asculum in 279 BC.
After the battle, it is recorded, “Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him.”
Instead of celebrating an utterly false “victory,” Mr Cameron should rather explain to the British public why they will now have to contribute around £8 billion next year towards the EU budget (which is what our contribution will now be after the “victorious” cut from 6 to 2.9 percent).
As the Telegraph columnist Simon Heffer so aptly put it in an article titled “David Cameron and the euro millions roll-over,” it is Mr Cameron’s “project to realign his party on the centre-Left, which means, in the end, he will always do what he is told by Brussels.
“There is absolutely no need for a 2.9 percent rise in our contributions to the EU. Europe is tottering financially,” Mr Heffer continued.
“The EU should be saving money, as most countries are, not finding ways to spend more of it.
“Dave was saying only a few days ago that he would seek a freeze or even a cut in our contribution. For him to roll over so quickly, and to agree to have the taxpayer’s pocket picked in this way, is predictable, but contemptible.
“What has happened in the past couple of days is an affirmation of business as usual: an exhibition of Britain’s devastating loss of sovereignty, and the continual willingness of those who should defend us to run up the white flag.
“It is no surprise to those of us who never believed Dave was a Conservative. Perhaps, though, it has helped open the eyes of those who foolishly thought he was,” Mr Heffer concluded.