You’d have thought President Sarkozy would still have been in post-Libya mutual backslap mode with Dave, added to which a new baby usually puts a man in a good mood for a few days.
So our PM must really have been getting Sarko’s goat to provoke the tirade that came his way at the European crisis summit yesterday.
It came shortly after one of the British journalists covering the summit tweeted how refreshing it was not to have a PM like GB constantly lecturing the other leaders and telling them what to do. Cameron’s irritant factor is rather different. Gordon was full of ideas and solutions. It is why Europe’s leaders have cause to thank him for his leadership in Global Financial Crisis 1. As we approach GFC2 and its full implications, Cameron seems to do plenty of finger-pointing and blame-gaming but he and his Chancellor have precious little to say by way of solutions. But this is a crisis with huge implicatios for Britain, though we are outside the euro.
Just as they like to pretend all the UK’s economic problems are Labour’s fault, so now the strategy on the eurozone crisis is as much about avoiding the political fallout as it is addressing the economic impact on British jobs, living standards and growth.
Meanwhile, he has somehow managed to land himself in a fight with his own backbenchers which he thought would show him as strong, but may end up with his authority and credibility weakened.
He thought he was going to be the first Tory leader since Heath not to have the issue of Europe strangle his leadership and divide his party. Once again, he is learning that hope is not a strategy.