The Telegraph had a headline: That Cameron would back down to demands from other governments on the European Council and transfer powers to Brussels. The two powers cited were budget overview at a transnational level and financial supervision of the City. Their reasoning was clear:
A senior Belgian official has suggested that the Prime Minister will
ultimately back down now that elections, and forming a government,
behind him. "We will wait until some weeks after the elections," said the
official. "It is sometimes easier to discuss after elections."
Belgian negotiators are convinced that Mr Cameron's hard line opposition
giving more sovereignty up to the EU, a pledge written into his
government's agreement, will be sacrificed in the interests of
The senior source observed that no EU agreements would ever be possible
European leaders stuck to the "totality" of their election
"It is impossible to have compromise with total programmes," he said.
There is a clear positional conflict here between the Belgian position, publicised in advance for motivations that remain opaque, and the contractarian position of the political manifesto. This is described as a totality, a misleading term as most manifestos are viewed as guidelines, to be nuanced for the needs of coalition government or just events.
It does reveal that the relationship between the representative government and the represented has lesser value than the pragmatic horsetrading at a European level in the eyes of a 'Belgian official'. Whereas the word 'totality' is used to denote an unrealistic perspective, realism is imported at a European level as presumably this is where real power resides. The wishes of the electorate must be overriden by the pragmatic requirements of day to day European politics. The iniquities of this view speaks for itself.
It is a point that the moral honour remains with the democrat who represents his constituents and the immoral abrogation of such promises rests with the official, in a perceived conflict of totalising democracy preventing the active delivery of policy. Only Brussels could have invented a system where the people are viewed as a hindrance.