IF... (a verse for David Cameron)

David Cameron Image copyright Getty Images

A verse for David Cameron

By James Landale (with apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

If you can keep your head when all about you

some MPs want yours for not going far enough,

If your party stops talking about the powers it wants from Europe

so you can talk of jobs and growth and other things,

If you can stop firms pausing before investing in a Britain

that might one day struggle to trade in Europe,

If you can persuade people this is a real attempt to reform the EU

in the interests of the UK, not UKIP,

If you can get the votes you need in 2015

or persuade your coalition partners to back a referendum too:


If you can wait and not be tired of waiting

for Europe to change its treaties

And then get Angela and all the others

to agree a new relationship before 2017,

If you can still vote Yes if you don't get all you want

And treat triumph and disaster just the same:


If you can talk with sceptics and keep us in the EU

Or walk with Europe's kings - nor lose the Commons touch,

If you can stop your party dividing between In and Out

and genuinely settle the European question,

If you can keep the British people onside

and not go down in history as the man who took Britain out of the EU,

Yours is the next election, Dave, and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll have won, my son!