Whenever there’s a problem that needs a policy decision, Mr Cameron (Eton and Brazenose) has an emotion at it. Today’s Daily Mail bugled the headline “Cameron wants to claw back 100 powers from EU” on page 2 of the print edition.
He has learned well from his mentor, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (Fettes and St John’s) who in his slithery way claimed to “regret with every fibre of my being the loss of those who died in Iraq.” We can all regret the loss, but where exactly is there any admission of culpability?
Both are like the Japanese who have several levels of apology and have consistently avoided ever using the sincerest one about the treatment of Allied prisoners of war. They have only to wait a few more years and then there will be no-one to receive such an apology.
The online edition of the Mail substitutes the formula “prepares series of moves” for “wants”: almost a muscular twitch, then. From a man who couldn’t tell David Letterman what “Magna Carta” means.
The late James Clavell, himself a survivor of Changi, repeats an old Japanese proverb in one of his novels: “always give them fish soup, never the fish.” And that is what we will get, until finally it is too late.