The Gun with only One Bullet
17 December 2011
The UK's EU veto is like a gun with a single bullet. When you've lost the ability to influence what's going on, you can take it out, point it into the air and pull the trigger. There's a puff of smoke, a flash of light and lots of echoing noise. Everyone stops talking and looks at you - suddenly you're the centre of attention.
Many of those around you are impressed that you had the balls to shoot the gun. You're now who everyone is talking about, and if you take a straw poll of those in the area, you'll find lots who now know who you are and enjoyed the excitement.
But within a short time the smoke disperses, the echoing noise fades and people turn to their friends and start chatting again.
...and you? Now you're just the guy standing in the room with an empty gun.
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David Cameron's only hope that his actions will pay off in the medium to long term is that the Euro goes titsup. Whilst that's not impossible, there are 26 countries pulling together to try to prevent it. If the Euro is stabilised Cameron will be left as the poster boy of the Tory right, but with no friends and no influence anywhere else.