David Cameron was dealt a near-lethal blow to his leadership of the Conservative Party this week, when more than half of the votes cast by Tory MPs in the Commons on the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill went against his own position. In a true free vote on a pure matter of principle, recovery from such a fiasco would be vaguely foreseeable, BUT documents now publicly available from the EU demonstrate that was clearly not the case.
Similar concurrent legislation within other countries of the EU make clear that Cameron is merely obeying Brussels' diktat by forcing such legislation onto the British statute book, in an area formerly considered entirely personal. The similar furore in France resulting from the EU's determination to interfere in every small detail of every European's daily life is reported in Australia, and possibly even Germany.
Cameron, mortally wounded by the gay marriage vote, faces yet more humiliation today and over the coming weekend when, again at the hands of the EU, he will be mauled and battered over the Multiannual Financial Framework, which gives the EU billions to be waste and misspend without auditing, and will suck billions of pounds from the UK between 2014 and 2020.
Worse, however, seems to wait for Cameron in the wings, with the Jillings Report on sexual abuse in Wales and investigations into the alleged paedophile ring at Elms Guest House, near Richmond, hitting the headlines.
So the Tories are going to need a new leader, and the candidate whose name is at the tip of everyone's tongue, is of course, Mayor of London Boris Johnson - who lacks the all-important seat in Parliament.
Now in theory Boris could request early retirement of an elderly Tory MP in a safe seat and speed his way back to Westminster at the drop of a hat. History, in the form of one Patrick Gordon Walker, makes clear that the electorate does not always take kindly to such manipulation, especially in the distrustful climate of today.
The serious miscalculation by the Liberal Democrats, in holding the Eastleigh by-election on 28<sup>th February, leaves less than three weeks for campaigning. Curious indeed, unless the seat has already been given up as lost to the Lib Dems, given that the Huhnes' trial and sentencing will dominate the early campaign stages, before EU crises and child abuse sex scandals swing the spotlight back to the equally scandal-ridden Tories.
This rushed vote has also undermined the excuse of UKIP Leader Nigel Farage, who has announced he will not stand in the by-election, which will potentially facilitate an easy victory for Mr Johnson, (should he chose to stand) thus adding renewed legitimacy to the bloody business of political assassination that must then follow.
Last night I urged Mr Farage of UKIP in various tweets to reconsider his earlier decision not to stand at Eastleigh, which he justified on the basis of his commitments within Europe and the EU, a somewhat ludicrous stance for somebody in his position who is leader of a party called UK Independence to adopt, one would think.
In the absence of any referendum on our status within the EU unlikely before 2017 on present plans, would not a three-week contest between Boris Johnson for the Tories and Nigel Farage for UKIP not be a delicious prospect, and one which would permit a thorough airing of the EU/UK debate, helping the wider electorate to form their views after a detailed examination of all the hugely complex issues?
Martin Cole runs several politically themed blogs, mainly Ironies Too, and tweets and comments almost unceasingly about the erosions of our liberties.