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January 6, 2012 / politicsbitesize

New Year Rebels

New Year Fireworks

New Year’s Eve 2012 was welcomed, like all those previously, with spectacular displays of fireworks from all over the world, but by New Year’s Day the Brits we already complaining about the amount spent. The Daily Mail reported that the ‘eleven magical minutes’ of fireworks in London was a display which ‘dazzled the world’ but then complained that the cost to stage it was around £1.9m in total. The article was followed by numerous voices declaring their disgust at such a waste of money! Yet, what those who vocalised their disdain for such a frivolous pay out by the taxpayer are missing is the fact that hundreds of jobs were either created or kept alive by this event. The creation and maintenance of jobs is also true for the most part of 2012 as it sees the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics.

It seems unfortunate that such a point wasn’t included in the Prime Minister’s New Year Message. David Cameron does mention the coming ‘drama of the Olympics and the glory of the Diamond Jubilee’ and welcomes the attention the UK will be receiving from around the world because of these events. He goes on to acknowledge that many people will be trying to balance their budgets and curb their spending in 2012 and that this will be coupled with ‘fears about jobs and paying the bills’. And in a bid to be like the rest of us he states that he knows ‘how difficult it will be to get through this‘. But does he? Well, it is just possible that the storm inside the Coalition over the PM’s use of the EU veto might yet unhitch his leadership. The opening gambit in his message reflects this:

This year will be the year Britain see the world and the world sees Britain. It must be the year we go for it – the year the coalition government I lead does everything it takes to get our country up to strength.’ (Emphasis added).

As can be seen, David Cameron opens his message with an assertion of his power over the Coalition Government. But there is more to this than him simply trying to secure control over his government. The references he makes in the opening paragraph to Britain seeing the world and the world seeing Britain is echoed throughout the remainder of the address. Cameron states that, ‘while much of Europe’s economy is struggling, other parts of the world are growing. There are huge opportunities for our businesses all over the world’. What can be taken from his suggestion is that Britain’s businesses should stand back from links with Europe and begin looking towards building links further a field.

Already the Eurosceptics inside the Conservative Party are making more noise and putting pressure on David Cameron to redefine the UK’s relationship with the EU. The new ‘81 Group’ (so called because of the number of Conservative back benchers that are involved) are making demands on the Prime Minster by calling for a claw back of certain powers, such as employment laws, from Brussels and asking for the issue not to be swept under the carpet. They are also calling for Nick Clegg to back Cameron’s attempt to bring back these powers. This group could cause further tension in the Coalition and could be a distraction to Cameron whose aims for Britain in 2012 are to be ‘Resilient. Realistic. Intelligent. Curious. Enterprising. Inventive. Unswerving.’ With this backbench rebellion looming large perhaps the Prime Minister does actually ‘get it’ when it comes to worrying about unemployment. But in the end all he needs to remember is that there is a huge world out there in which he could find employment – all he’d need to do is ask Tony Blair for advice!

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