Call me Dave painted himself into a corner over the Lisbon Treaty and has now had to walk out over the paint. It was the first real test of his leadership as a potential Prime Minister and he flunked it.
Yes, I know all the arguments against holding a referendum on a treaty which is already in force. And there are, admittedly, more pressing problems at home over jobs and the economy.
Yet while the Lisbon sell-out isn't top of anyone's concerns in the real world right now, there is still an underlying sense of betrayal.If Dave is serious about renegotiating Britain's relationship with Europe, his hand would have been immeasurably strengthened by a massive popular rejection of 'ever closer union'.
His calculated refusal smacks of weakness and plays into the widespread 'they're all as bad as each other' disgust with politicians.
Submerging Britain into a quasi-socialist federal Europe was always the real aim of the New Labour 'project'.
It figured that if this country was really ruled from Brussels, it wouldn't matter who formed the puppet government at Westminster.
We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the real villain of the piece is Gordon Brown, the lying, moral coward who has brought shame and disgrace upon his great office and richly deserves to suffer a humiliating wipe-out at the next election.
But Lisbon has already 'castrated' Cameron, to use that crowing French minister's charming phrase, rendering impotent any prospect of democratic Conservative self-government.
If it isn't overturned by a British referendum, this country won't be worth governing and the New Labour traitors will have won.
This was the point where I was going to have a damned good rant but this next article says everything I wanted to say and more, so I'm going to have a badly needed early night at about 3.50am. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow or Saturday- Spidey.
Concessions? How can Cameron possibly win any at all
Having worked in Government as a special adviser through the Major years, the staunchly Eurosceptic David Cameron is determined on one thing; that any government that he leads should not be torn apart by constant arguments about Europe. That's why he has decided against promising any kind of referendum on our relationship with the EU. He doesn't want Brussels to dominate his first term.
But there is a danger that the programme that he is promising will lead to very outcome that he so desperately wants to avoid.
He is proposing to argue within the EU for the repatriation of powers to Britain, and in particular for a formal opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights, for a guarantee that would prevent the EU interfering in our criminal justice system, and for regaining control over large chunks of social and employment law that are now decided in Brussels.
Now these are all very laudable aims, but it's hard to see how we can persuade our European partners to grant them. In fact, in the first two areas, Labour tried really quite hard to obtain just these guarantees as part of the Lisbon Treaty negotiations. They failed, despite having the option of not ratifying the treaty. Why should other member states concede them to a future Tory government that won't have any such negotiating lever?
The other EU nations will be aware that to give Britain what Mr Cameron says he wants, there would have be a formal amendment to the Lisbon Treaty - effectively changing the EU constitution. It's hard to see how this would be possible without reopening the entire treaty negotiation process, and after the trouble they have had getting Lisbon through, there isn't the slightest chance of anyone in Brussels agreeing to that.
The best that Mr Cameron can hope for is a series of informal guarantees, of the kind that we already have concerning the Charter of Fundamental Rights. But they would only have a limited value, because the Constitutional Treaty - of which the charter is a part - overrides all other EU agreements. So we won't get what we want, but what we may get are a series of rows, in Brussels and in Westminster.
Apparently the Tory plan is to argue for each of these changes on a piecemeal basis over the course of a Parliament. On each occasion there will be a fuss in Europe where we will be isolated. In order to obtain even modest concessions we will have to make sacrifices of our own interests in other areas.
And then ministers will return to Westminster where they will be taunted over their failure to stand up for Britain. Of course, we do have some negotiating clout. We can threaten to veto the budget - just about the only key area where Lisbon and its predecessors have not abolished our right to say no. (so far!) But this is a risky option and we surely can't use it more than once.
So it might have been better to assemble a comprehensive package of reforms, promising that when they were agreed by Brussels they would be put to the British people in a referendum. We could then have gone to the EU and demanded that they agree to the package or else we would stop the financial traffic in Brussels.
There would of course have been a huge row, but it would have been time limited and at the end of it we could have put our relationship with the EU on a healthy basis. Instead Britain now faces the prospect of a series of running arguments over the EU throughout the next Parliament.