The fault-line that runs through the Tory party over membership of the EU has opened up again in a most entertaining way. Cameron seems as helpless in dealing with his Europhobes as poor old John Major was in his day. I’ve often wondered why the issue is so toxic for members of Britain’s governing elites. The only explanation I can think of is imperial afterglow. Whole-hearted membership of the EU means accepting that Britain is just another country — like France, Germany or — Sacre Bleu! — Greece or Portugal! And that’s too unpalatable for a country that once had an empire on which the sun apparently never set. The same afterglow is what is currently driving the government to insist that Britain needs to spend £20 billion-plus on a new nuclear deterrent.
It’s pathetic, but it’s happening: authentic folie de grandeur. And at the taxpayers’ expense, naturally.