Waddya mean, what's a 'Feigenblatt'? It's a 'fig leaf', for goodness sake, and if you can't speak the language of our European friends and allies - and stop that sniggering now! - how can you expect to follow the nuances of the forthcoming European debate which Dave started this morning with an almighty, er, well, bang isn't quite the word but you know what I mean!
Anyway, I'm sure our friends and allies - I'm not going to tell you again! - understood the message Dave was sending them which was, roughly translated: Look, give me something, OK, it doesn't have to be much, just something that I can drape over my weeny bit of political capital so that I can be seen in public at the next election. Meanwhile, our European friends and allies - right, that's it, you will all stay in tonight for detention - are forced to hold each other up because they are so helpless with laughter! They now have Dave exactly where they want him. He was asked twice by reporters if he would campaign for an 'OUT' if he failed to get anything meaningful from 'Brussels-Berlin' and twice he dodged an answer. So, if they think he's worth saving all they need do is toss him a political scrap which he can then inflate and take to the country as he campaigns for an 'IN'. On the other hand, if they don't fancy him much, and who would?, they can play hard ball, give him nowt for his troubles and watch him lose the next election because anyway they would much rather deal with young Miliband especially if he's in coalition with Clegg and his bunch of Euro-fanatics.
If Dave really had any sort of core belief in his being he would tell the Europeans that he intended to change the arrangement between us and them, without being specific at this early stage, and that if they failed to produce something worthwhile he would throw himself and his party wholeheartedly into a 'OUT' campaign. That, more than anything else, would improve his chances at the next election and would provide a big stick with which to beat up Labour if, as seems likely, they refuse to contemplate a referendum.
As it is he has chosen a weak central positon which is the worst of all possible worlds, not just for him (which he deserves) but for all of us.