I had the temerity to question the following sentence in a blog piece by Guido today, he writes (my emphasis throughout):
Despite Downing Street getting to choose the candidate for EU Commissioner, the European Parliament has to approve their pick. Guido understands Number 10 is preparing for the possibility that the PM’s first choice will be spiked by MEPs as revenge for the British vetoing the 2011 treaty. So Dave faces a dilemma. Does he put forward his first choice as normal and risk seeing them vetoed, or does he hold back who he actually wants at the risk of a decoy first nomination scraping through?:And that apparently passes for a stunning piece of political analysis. Of course we shouldn't expect much better given Guido has previously campaigned for the return of capital punishment without acknowledging that it is against our EU membership or that he once said this:
We are briefed that Blair is the official unofficial candidate of the FCO for permanent President of the Council of Europe.As regular readers know, and has been well rehearsed, there was no veto. Nor could there have been as it's extremely difficult to veto a Treaty which does not exist and the power of a veto is not available.
It's worth remembering that David Cameron only initially confirmed that he "effectively vetoed". Ah the word 'effectively'? It’s rather like running a mile every day for 26 days and then declaring "I effectively ran a marathon". Not a lie essentially but crucially neither is it the truth. Newspapers of course don't pander to such nuances or subtleties - remove the word 'effectively' and there is your headline.
Interestingly when Cameron gave his report to the House of Commons on 12th December 2011 he did not use the word “veto” once – that would be “Lying In the House”. With this in mind we note Jack Straw’s question to Cameron:
Mr Jack Straw (Blackburn) (Lab): There was no draft treaty before the European Council last Thursday and Friday; there was a set of draft conclusions. Will the Prime Minister set out the paragraph numbers that he thinks would have damaged Britain’s interests had we agreed to them? Will he also confirm that we had a veto on a financial transactions tax before the Council and that we still have one; and that financial services regulation was subject to qualified majority voting before last Thursday and still is?And then to David Milliband:
“This is the first veto in history not to stop something. The plans are going right ahead. It was a phantom veto against a phantom threat".But I guess pointing out the facts make me a "Muppet" - Guido with his head so far up the arse of the establishment is no different to the rest of the media where reporting the details is far beyond their comprehension.
And how ironic, and rather odd, that to make his case on Twitter to me Guido links to the Guardian – a newspaper he frequently derides.