Cameron projects himself as Brussels' defender of the taxpayer

David Cameron's attack on eurocrats' pay and conditions was effective Photo: REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet

I'm not sure what kind of reception David Cameron is going to get from the British press when he returns home from Brussels tonight - given that Leveson is around the corner, perhaps a rapturous one - but his political positioning here has been interesting.

His enemies in Europe said he would be isolated, even reviled, at this summit.

But he managed to put a lot of them on the back foot with a neat attack on the indefensible pay and conditions of many eurocrats, and then clearly succeeded in rowing in a few allies on the budget as a whole.

Consequently, he has just given a press conference in which he was able to project himself as the leader of a determined minority (alongside the Swedes, Dutch and possibly the Germans) intent on protecting the interests not just of British but European taxpayers.

You might find it credible or you might not, but the politics of it were quite well handled.

The start of a more sophisticated tactical approach to Europe, perhaps?