David Parker wrote:
To blame "the Boy" or even the Infant Miliband for our EU woes, is to ignore the elephant in Whitehall.
Cameron has been skilfully manipulated by the civil service mandarins in Whitehall, who are the real ogres behind this debacle.It might be argued that Blair managed to manipulate these mandarins to promote his own aims (which, evil though they were, were not very different from theirs), but in Cameron they found their perfect puppet.
Douglas Carswell has been arguing something along these lines on his website.
I've no doubt that a significant factor dragging us further into the EU has always been the Civil Service.
However, Conservative policy on the EU (prattling about reform but ruling out leaving) has always been either naive or dishonest. It looks to me like full commitment but having to make fraudulent gestures to keep a large proportion of their supporters on board, basically stringing them along with a pack of lies. Look at their behaviour this parliament,
As for Cameron, I don't get the impression his actions in dealing with any of this are referenced to a set of principles, just soundbites and gestures and whatever is needed to muddle through without rocking the boat, and that pretty much goes for the Parliamentary Conservative Party as a whole. Cameron either doesn't know what he's doing and really hasn't thought about any of this (they had 13 years in opposition to think about it) or he's a shyster.
It won't do to blame all this on Civil Servants.