Martin Bright

Now the Tories Need to Get Serious About Their Euro-Allies

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The Guardian splash today puts some serious meat on my story in last week's Jewish Chronicle about growing US unhappiness about the Tories' new friends in Europe. Jonathan Freedland adds some important analysis.

When I first put it to the Conservative Party press office that there might be an issue here I was told that it was unlikely the Obama government was troubling itself with such a parochial British issue. To me this demonstrates a fundamental failure of understanding that stretches right up to David Cameron himself. There has always been the suspicion that, for Cameron and his circle, politics is a game. The original ruse to leave the European People's Party was a ruse to attract the Eurosceptic ultras to his leadership campaign. A mature leader would have abandoned this daft idea when he realised what the consequences would be. If he had taken the trouble to do as much a Google search on his new allies he would have been able to predict that this would become a serious problem for him in America.

William Hague will have some big questions to answer about the new European Conservatives and Reformists group when he meets Hillary Clinton today. 

The Tories had trouble being taken seriously in Washington during the Blair era. Now the Americans have to recognise they are likely to form the next government and have begun to put them under genuine scrutiny. Cameron and Hague may yet be forced to reconsider the schoolboy jape that has turned into this distasteful alliance.