The Whelk’s Sham

I have never really liked David Cameron. He’s too slick, too slimy. He is really little more than a British Malcolm Turnbull. I’d hesitate to walk behind him in fear of slipping on the trail of slime he emits. As much as I disliked him personally he never struck me as being stupid. Yet, that is what he has revealed himself to be – tone deaf, stupid. I knew that his “renegotiation” with the EU would not amount to much. The EU cannot be changed. It is an exorbitant old age pensioner’s home for failed politicians and somewhere for Europe’s worst mediocrities to go in order to gain political “experience”. The good of the continent and its peoples matters not a jot to the EU. Any illusion that it was anything but a swamp should have been shattered after the failure of the European Constitution was summarily ignored and rammed down the throats of the continent’s electorates as the infinitely worse Treaty of Lisbon. Wretched Huns, wrecking Europe once again, it was, after all Angular Honecker’s brainchild.

Still, I had anticipated that Cameron, a master of spin and press releases would at least pretend more effectively. He gained nothing. At least Harald Wilson pretended to have gained concessions at a time when the Common Market was far from a political union. Cameron is treating the British people with contempt. After promising a free vote, he is forcing cabinet ministers to support his view. It doesn’t surprise me that support for British liberation from the dying EU has gone up significantly over the last week. It would not surprise me if support for staying in the EU dropped even more as Cameron is, with each faux pas, undermining any case for staying in. If for no other reason, voting to leave the EU would force Cameron to resign and end the political “careers” of other non-entities like Theresa May, George Osborne (I trust no relationship to the two great Osbornes, Christina or Ozzy? ), Phillip Hammond, etc. May the rotting edifice take its sycophants down with it. Sorry, OZ, I will need to keep this quart of Frizz Ease for myself.


Author: Christopher-Dorset

A Bloody Kangaroo

61 thoughts on “The Whelk’s Sham”

  1. C, I’m shocked by your uncharacteristically subjective assessment of the Downing St Eton alumni. The great economic crash in 2008 left the world floundering, especially Continental Europe. Since then only the US, UK and Hunland can be said to have recovered. So like them or loathe them as perspnalities, the Public Schoolboys have done a decent job. The challenge of renegotiating EU membership was always going to be uphill for the Tories, who could never find out if they wanted it at all. But Shengen is dead, Angela’s open doors are closed and the ClubMed are still in deepsh*t. So the Eurozone continues to crumble. What’s not to like about Dave’s sabre-rattling?

    PS Stupid is of course relative. Dave’s 1st in PPE at a fine college by the Thames is not to be sneezed at, even by those who despise academia.

  2. Janus: As I said, I never thought Cameron was stupid until now. Or, perhaps, stupid is the wrong word. Whatever the case, Cameron’s handling of the so-called “renegotiation” has been an absolute sham. Was it always going to be an uphill battle? Of course. Was he actually going to be able to deliver on promises of profound changes? If he truly wanted to, he could have. Many continental leaders were irked by his approach. It was as much a waste of their time as it was an insult to the intelligence of the British people. Does he really think that people are so naive as to believe that this amounts to anything at all? Does he really believe that wielding the whip after promising to allow his government to vote their consciences is a point that will be missed? In the 1970s one might have accepted that that was a possibility — just. Today? Within an hour everyone from Na h-Eileanan Siar to Thanet will have got wind of it and by the next morning there will be more commentaries online and in print than stars in Andromeda. His threats of 50,000 migrants crossing have been undermined by France saying that they will maintain bilateral agreements with the UK. He’s not mentally deficient, but his behaviour is absolutely stupid and his attitude is obnoxious.

    The US is not doing especially well. Unemployment is hidden by tortured statistics — the long-term unemployed are no longer considered even if they are still unemployed. Those who only work part-time or had to accept far lower positions than they held before are similarly considered fully employed. Hunland survives on wage deflation and hiring staff on the 450-euro basis. Were Hunland to have a normal currency and regular wage inflation it would be little better off than France or Northern Italy. The EU is dying, but such institutions are often the most dangerous in death and reports of its demise have been premature on a number of occasions. Cameron’s handling of this situation threatens to lessen Britain’s position even more.

  3. Mornin’ all. Having said that his negotiations were to restore control over UK borders and hence immigration, Dave was on his hind legs yesterday scaremongering that a vote in favour of leaving would lead to thousands of gimmegrants immediately decamping to the Home Counties.

    Read Dave’s Deceits here

    Even the French, never my favourites, have contradicted Dave’s skewed version of the truth, as a result of which I would not even buy a bottle of snake oil from our esteemed PM let alone vote for him and the sooner the various ‘No’ campaigns grow up and get their respective acts together the better for the future of my country.

    I have sufficient FrizzEase for the time being – just.


  4. Janus: Cameron’s present position has gone down like a lead balloon and he’s been roundly criticised from the Telegraph to the Spectator. It isn’t only the likes of the Daily Mail or, shudder, the Express. I understand politics well and can understand that settlements are rarely pretty. However, I cannot accept these blatant insults to intelligence.

  5. Oz: Cameron can’t even come up with lies that can stand up long enough to be printed without being refuted first. His “deal” didn’t even need a thorough analysis to see that it was an insult. Some sources have reported that at least some of the disparate “out” groups have started to unify. Frankly, the sooner the better. David Davis wrote a brilliant analysis. If anyone is interested I would be happy to post a link.

    We will see many changes yet before the UK will vote. The situation in much of the continent will hot up before a summer vote, if it can even be held that early. An even bigger gimmegrant crisis than last year, political turmoil in Spain if no sensible government can be formed, Italy and France accelerating their economic declines, etc. Things are quiet now, but they’re never for long.

  6. I know what France has said about keeping to the treaties signed with the UK, because they have nothing to do with the EU. I just hope we can get it in writing!

  7. My opinion of Cameron has remained unaltered because it couldn’t get any lower.
    His latest uttering are borne out desperation at facing the awful possibility that we might vote to leave the EU. In that event whatever else happens his political career would be over along with that of a host of others.
    A vote to leave would almost certainly be followed by a general election, the result of which I cannot imagine except to say that it would probably be a bloodbath for the political establishment.

    Christopher, I’m sure you meant ‘nan Eilean Siar’ though maybe you should have said Muckle Flugga or even Out Stack both of which are far north of the Western Isles although I’m not sure that there are many voters on either.

    Janus, “..PS Stupid is of course relative. Dave’s 1st in PPE at a fine college by the Thames is not to be sneezed at, even by those who despise academia…”

    I doubt if Dave would have got his double first if he’d held opinions with which his tutors disagreed.
    PPE is just a means by which people with the ‘correct’ opinions can get themselves accredited and hence into positions of influence.

  8. Sheona “…I know what France has said about keeping to the treaties signed with the UK, because they have nothing to do with the EU. I just hope we can get it in writing!….”

    I’m sure we don’t have verbal treaties. The governments will have texted one and other at the very least 😉

  9. Jazz, your strange opinion of Oxford degrees doesn’t bear examination. You know nothing about them but that won’t stop you, I’m sure.

  10. Oh! Christopher – I loved your opening remark. Alas! I fear that few charioteers will fully understand what you mean – but I do. And I so agree – unfortunately I don’t think that Turnbull is quite as stupid as Cameron – he’s ‘leaking’ ideas before acting on them – but that’s a different issue. I pressed the like button after that first sentence and then read the rest!

    Both Bearsy and I, for our sins, were conned into voting for remaining in the Common Market. For those old enough to remember the ‘debate’ at that time – it was, as it seems to me, only the Extreme Right and Left who spoke against it. With reference to Janus’s post, I didn’t trust extreme politics – and so I voted for the status quo. It was a salutary lesson, and it is why I would now join with ‘extremists to vote “Out” – if I had a vote. 🙂

    I have followed Cameron’s ‘renegotiations’ with interest. What I fail to understand is why so many politicians want to stay in the EU… all Cameron, and his allies, talk about are the “supposed” negative effects of leaving. The fact that he refuses to talk about the positive benefits of remaining in the EU and is gagging opponents says, to me, that there are ‘hidden’ agendas that we know nothing about…

  11. Jazz – as someone with a Ph.D (Econ) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, I find it quite insulting that you should consider that I only got my Degree because I held opinions that were deemed acceptable to those judging the value of my research.

  12. Boadicea, Insulted ?? Why because someone didn’t give you the respect you think you deserve ? Anyway I was talking of Cameron and PPE degrees but if you want to be tarred with the same brush that’s up to you.

    Janus, I wasn’t speaking of all Oxford degrees.

  13. Sheona: at first France said that this treaty would continue to be honoured, no it says that it might not be. What is it with this sham? It’s so blatant and obvious that anything but “out” would be the vote of a masochist! They can’t even stay on the same page for a day. Ugh.

    Jazz: oh, everyone is absolutely terrified of Britain actually voting to quit the EU. The EU is only saved by its incompetence. Every so often a political elite collapses, usually after they become reliant on an untenable status quo. The French Revolutions, the Russian Revolutions, the Chinese Revolutions, the Meiji Restoration in Japan, democratisation in South Korea and Taiwan, the collapse of Imperial Germany, the implosion of political parties in the US and UK, etc. A vote for Brexit would similarly destroy the political careers of those who were wedded to it in the UK and send shock waves throughout the continent.

    Gaelic place names are often a bit confusing as many places have multiple names. From nan Eilean Siar to Thanet, from the Shetlands to Land’s End.

    Boadicea: in the 1970s there was only the Common Market. The UK was in a terrible bind at that time and people were desperate. Successive governments have done everything possible to prevent the British people from having a say. If the Treaty of Maastricht had been put to a vote it would almost certainly have been rejected by a large margin. If the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon had been put to a vote they would likewise have been rejected. I do not have a vote, but I’d vote to leave. I would have voted to leave a decade ago. To vote in Germany, incidentally, is an exercise in futility. The options are a Hunnish equivalent of Blair’s Labour, something even wetter than Cameron’s Tories or a combination of the two. It would be nice if they just admitted that Germany was a liberal dictatorship and scrapped elections to save some money. Merkel’s gimmegrants have to be fed, clothed and housed somehow!

    Turnbull is interested in only one thing, his position. He’s wanted to be prime minister since he was a teenager. He took his lessons from the failure of the 1999 republic referendum and Abbott’s successful challenge during the first Rudd government. At the same time, he’s skilled at getting bits of his agenda through without having to take political heat for it — yet. Like Merkel, he tends to waffle until the last second before coming up with some sort of “compromise” that pleases no one but doesn’t enrage many, either.

  14. Christopher, “…Jazz: oh, everyone is absolutely terrified of Britain actually voting to quit the EU…..”

    I’m not sure if you mean by everyone, however most people I know are more terrified that we vote to stay in.

  15. Jazz: Oh, my. I see what you mean. Let me re-state that: every parasitic Euro-nonentity with her/his head in the Brussels trough is terrified of Britain voting to leave the EU as their lollies will be harder to come by.

  16. Christopher, I though you might mean something like that, but ‘everyone’ is a fairly broad term 🙂

    Janus, Thanks to Google I do know a little about the PPE degree, I do or did know four PPE graduates and I could barely stand any of them. As it turns out they were all wrong about the euro.
    Anyway thanks for your link but here is the penultimate paragraph from Some thoughts on PPE and its role in UK politics and society

    “..Put all of this together and you have a heady brew of prejudice: a narrow, motivated elite, with a sketchy level of knowledge, and an excellent ability to bullshit, who use these skills to run the country badly. And they all studied PPE! It’s the sort of thing that ends up in one-liners like this from Faisal Islam.

  17. I will wade into dangerous waters. I am always suspicious of “multi-disciplinary” degrees. Not holding multiple degrees or reading multiple disciplines, mind you, but of having a university degree which comprises several fields of study and favours the general over the specific. I am well aware of the risks of being overly specific in studies. For example, I have known professors who could go on in the most minute of details about women in 18th century France or Swedish immigrants in late-19th century Minneapolis but ask them about the Mughal Emperor Akbar or early-20th century British politics and you’d be met with a confused expressions and a gaping gob. Once a professor challenged me about Japanese cultural contributions to Korea during the Japanese invasions of the 1590s. He argued that I should consider them seriously. I told him that after some 80 years of civil war Japan had little left in the way of culture or civil society — hence Tokugawa Ieyasu’s unique opportunity to mould Japan as he pleased. He was miffed. Then again, he only read American history.

    Yet, I do not trust a PPE degree. There are some people who have them who turned out for the best, but many have a pronounced ego that well exceeds their intellectual capacities and actual capabilities. They often know a little about many things, knowledge that is a mile wide but only an inch deep. Oxford’s are clearly among the best that can be had, but many come out so steeped in theories that there is little room left in their heads for actual practical knowledge.

  18. I think that this explains rather a lot ( courtesy of Wikipedia)

    “……Margaret Roberts arrived at Oxford in 1943 and graduated in 1947 with Second-Class Honours in the four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree, specialising in X-ray crystallography under the supervision of Dorothy Hodgkin.[12][13] Her dissertation was on the structure of the antibiotic gramicidin.[14] Even while working on chemistry, she was already thinking towards law and politics.[14] She was reportedly more proud of becoming the first Prime Minister with a science degree than the first female Prime Minister.[15]…….”

  19. Jazz, how right you are. What an intellect! I can’t wait to read your memoires, describing your dismantling of academia.

  20. It gives me great pleasure to declare that Boadicea and Christopher are both wrong !!!

    I can forgive Boadicea, for the events took place a long time ago and memories can become dim – and I can forgive Christopher, because he’s far too young so he wasn’t around at the time. 🙂

    But –

    The EFTA – the “outer seven” – was formed in 1960, much of the impetus coming from Britain. Britain then left EFTA to join the EEC – the “inner six” – (as it was then, later becoming the EU (SSR)) in 1973, following a referendum of the British people, who voted yes because Ted Heath told enormous porkies about the EEC not being a political union.

    The EFTA still exists, although with only four members. For the 13 years of its full existence it was a great economic success.

    Please don’t let me get started on academics, scientists and engineers, or on the changes over generations of the worth and implications of Bachelors, Masters and Doctors degrees 🙂

  21. Today the petty whelks of France, Hunland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy have said that it is time for Europe to form an even tighter union. Yesterday, the Bank of France and German Federal Bank have called for a common European treasury. It seems as if continental leaders are making the “out” campaign’s case for it.

  22. I admit to being old enough to have been conned into voting ‘yes’ in the ’75 referendum in favour of continued membership of the European Community [sic]. Like most of the electorate I believed we were voting to remain in a trading bloc, as Bearsy rightly states. That, I thought, would be a good idea and I still do, but we were deceived by the bloody traitorous Heath in ’73, Wilson in 75′, then ‘Woy’ Jenkins (who went on personally to do very nicely out of the European Union, thank you very much), even Thatcher and especially almost every establishment politician and trough hogger since, PPE graduate or not. Akshully, one of the leading opponents at the time of closer union was one Enoch Powell, a scholar of the Classics of considerable renown and formidable intellect whom history subsequently proved right on that and so many other issues of the day.

    But I digress. Trading blocs work satisfactorily in the Americas and also in the southern hemisphere as APEC. Sovereign countries trade with each other more or less in harmony, so why does the European version need a centralised European bank, parliament, treasury, military, legal and tax systems, constitution, countless layers of bureaucracy, an anthem, that hateful effin’ flag and all the other perceived trappings of Statehood?

    The one hope in this sorry mess is that with every word and action Dave and his cross-party cohorts further strengthen people’s distrust of the system and opposition to the whole corrupt gravy train. I want my country to be free to trade with the rest of the world, to continue taking its place as an independent member of NATO (the organisation which really has kept the peace in Europe since the last unpleasantness) and the United Nations. I want my country back.


  23. And the same goes for my adopted country too. The headline on the main TV News this morning is ‘European Union may [sic] approve Portugal’s 2016 national budget at a summit in Brussels tomorrow.’

    ‘Scuse me, but just who TF do these people think they are?


  24. Edward Heath went to Balliol on an organ scholarship (?) but he got a degree in, guess what………PPE.

  25. Jazz, what I want in writing from France is this spoken promise to adhere to the non-EU treaties with the UK regarding immigrants.

    I do agree with Christopher that many of the europrats are in fact doing the work of the OUT campaign. But I read that Weidmann has denied calling for an EU treasury. He knows very well what that would mean for Germany.

  26. I would have thought it painfully obvious that all the politicians are only in it for themselves, a nice retirement sinecure on endless expense accounts.
    I voted against in 72, I strongly objected to the Channel Tunnel, I object to anything that strengthens any ties with Europe.

    Vastly entertaining that Trump has taken NH.

    I would like to see the Alma Mater’s accounts of the college attended by Cameron for the time he was there.
    Just bet there were some interestingly hefty contributions from his father. Rather reminds me of George Bush at an Ivy league!
    Not in a million years on their own abilities.

  27. A Good New Year to you, CO.

    I usually try to avoid this sort of debate but ‘facts are chiels that winna ding’ as the boy Rabbie had it and I feel it’s time to stick my head above the parapet.

    Whatever else you might be able to say about Mr Cameron, I do not believe that anyone can challenge his right to his First Class Honours degree.

    At Eton, he gained 12 ‘O’ Levels, 3 ‘A’ grade A Levels and had a distinction in Politics and Economics at Scholarship Level. He was awarded an exhibition for his first class performance in his Oxford Uni entrance examination. His tutor, who was and is no fan of his politics said that he was one of the ablest students he has ever taught.

    Moving on, I did not vote for him in the Leadership election campaign despite the fact that he creamed my pal David Davis in the 2005 Conference speeches which defined that campaign. I remain a libertarian of the Davis persuasion but I also hold the opinion that David Cameron is not in politics for himself – he could easily have followed his father down the stockbroking road for an easier and more profitable life.

    I may, of course, be wrong, but I happen to think that David Cameron is a politician of the old school and a believer in the principle of public service. Doesn’t mean, of course, that he’s right in all of his policies or some of his actions.

  28. JM, hello again.

    I trust you are wearing suitable headgear for your peek over the top? There are those among us who confuse brainpower with political behaviour. Always dangerous, imho.

  29. Just to put the record straight. I am not challenging Cameron’s right to his first in PPE but I do wonder about the value of the degree itself. If he had a first in one of the STEM subjects that would be different.

    I saw the leadership debate between David Davies and Cameron and by any sensible measure Davies won by a mile, but I guess Cameron was the anointed one.

  30. A Good New Year to you jazz.

    With respect, I supported David Davis and voted for him out of personal loyalty and student friendship but I think that even David himself would admit that he was bested by DC’s extempore performance at Conference.

    DD led the MPs ballot throughout all the voting rounds but lost by 2 to 1 when the membership voted. It really was no contest in the end.

  31. JM if as you say he excelled academically it is a great shame he did not stay in some Ivory tower. He should never have emerged into the gutter of politics, where he has proven to be singularly inept. He has as much charisma as a slug.
    David Davies was much the better man, maybe less educated but far more adept in the ways of the world.

  32. Sheona: I’ve had well enough of hearing about “more Europe” or “more intense integration” only for changes to be symbolic at best, shambolic at worst. A European treasury would be illegal under existing German law and incompatible with the German Constitution. Dutch politics are growing more unpredictable by the day, the only political figure in France who hasn’t been utterly discredited is Marine Le Pen and Italy is generally ungovernable. Does anyone take any of these leaders seriously?

    Tina: I realised in those times I was in the UK and Ireland, that I simply don’t understand continentals. I get on perfectly well and understand Britons, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders. On a good day I can tolerate Yanks, but other than for some Eastern Europeans and Scandinavians the rest of the continent is a mystery. I don’t really understand Germans any more, either. Best to withdraw and leave the lot with its like!

    JM: I understand your point about Cameron. He’s followed a relatively liberal path and in many instances has shown that he does have good intentions, whether or not I agreed with him or not. The UK’s financial situation has stabilised and some of the worst policies implemented by Tone Bliar and Brown have been mollified as much as possible, but Cameron often brilliantly sticks both feet in his mouth. He’s in an almost impossible position. I’d have preferred Davis for the sake of intellectual clarity, but it is always easier to say that someone else would have been better without knowing exactly how s/he would handle the same situations.

  33. Jazz, sorry to ask but how do you measure the usefulness of university degrees? Do you suggest Dave would have been ‘better’ with a degree in marine engineering?

  34. It was said somewhere above that PPE undergraduates drop the ‘E’ bit PDQ into or after year one. Here’s why.

    Philosophy Question: Explain why, and if not, why not.
    Politics Question: Explain why.
    Economics Question: Explain clearly how the taxpayer can be stiffed yet again.

    The first two questions are subjective, therefore have no correct answer and are thus worthy of an applauded first which is used to give ‘gravitas’ in later life to the usual bullsh@t from graduate politicos. The economics question, however, requires specific answers and is to be avoided at all costs – somehow always the taxpayer’s. QED

    Please excuse my early morning cynicism.


  35. Janus, “….Do you suggest Dave would have been ‘better’ with a degree in marine engineering?…..”

    Not necessarily although we might have been. There is the assumption that Dave would have been capable of getting such a degree which you can bet is a lot harder than one PPE. Then there is the problem of getting your hands dirty, unavoidable if you want to be a marine engineer. So I’m not sure that Dave would be up for it.

  36. John Mackie “…DD led the MPs ballot throughout all the voting rounds but lost by 2 to 1 when the membership voted. It really was no contest in the end…..”

    That explains it ‘ Tory Membership ‘ a bunch of drones….If the members round here are anything to go by, I was a member for a short period.

  37. Jazz, your scale of ‘hardness’ is distinctly idiosyncratic. Marine engineering is ‘harder’ than PPE. Do you mean
    A. Intellectually
    B. Physically
    C. In some other ways?

    How many A* A-levels do you need to study it?

  38. janus, that you even need to ask the question shows how out of touch you are. I’m sure you need a few A levels (Maths and Physics) or equivalent. In my day certificated marine engineers held Board of Trade certificates steam motor or both, there were virtually no graduates at sea, nevertheless we managed to find our way about without satnav (and a host of other gizmos incl. calculators)and without going aground or breaking down too often.

    Your implied assumption that the number of ‘A’ levels that someone obtains somehow determines their worth (or intelligence ?) is naive.

    Below is a link for an MSc in Marine Engineering at Strathclyde University (there are others) it looks pretty rigorous to me (including the entry requirements).

  39. JM, “DD led the MPs ballot throughout all the voting rounds but lost by 2 to 1 when the membership voted. It really was no contest in the end.”

    A friend of mine is a Conservative MP. His preference was DD, but when he polled his constituents they said they preferred DC and so he cast his vote with those who had elected him to office. I was a decision for which I have berated him. But it is ironic really when you consider that DC has told MPs to ignore their constituents’ views with regards to Brexit.

    In many ways, DC is worse than TB. Cameron had the chance to repudiate everything that Blair stood for. Instead he tries to emulate him.

  40. I do worry. I got 10 ‘O’s at fourteen and three decent ‘A’s in Classics two years later, which was quite an achievement back in the day. Forty years later I don’t know why I bothered. It made no difference whatsoever to my subsequent career.


  41. A Good New Year to you OZ.

    I think that you will find that JW’s choice of boat team to support is probably down to the fact that they row in the colours of the Teddy Bears.

    That’s not pale blue to him – it’s Light or Ibrox Blue.

    Mind, he’s right in this case! I stopped supporting Oxford when they refused the Leader her honorary degreee.

  42. Oh dear, dark blue is incomparably more elegant, durable and practical. Should appeal to people of similar bent. 🚣🏉😎

  43. Just seen your comment, OZ. Hello to you too, wolf cousin. Hope you’ve been monitoring and deleting the bad language while I’ve been away. Remember, no c words allowed.

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