Monday, 27 June 2016

The Tragedy of David Cameron

David Cameron seemed born to be Prime Minister. With his wealthy background, Eton and Oxford education, first-class degree in politics, and good looks to boot, he was chosen and groomed from an early age by the Conservative party as its destined leader. They bestowed on him the safe seat of Witney, where he lives in a gracious mansion with wisteria adorning the roof. His only expenses offence was to claim the costs of having this pruned as a "bill run up in the course of his parliamentary duties". 

Although he held power for five years only in coalition he was re-elected last year with a clear majority and seemed to be on top of the world. The fact that so many people loathed him and regarded him as a liar, a two-faced career politician and a cad did not seem to matter - they were just ukipper-types, doomed always to be losers. Now he has resigned, despised, hated and pitied by no-one.

    What went wrong with Cameron's career?  He was always a hollow man, with no real principles. He did what he was told to do by his party big-wigs and party backers. He could be bought by anybody who offered enough to Tory party funds. A few days before the 2010 General Election he said "I have no intention of changing the institution of marriage". He was hardly through the door of number 10 than he reneged on his promise, and forced through the same-sex marriage law, which had not been in his or any party manifesto. It was just a backroom deal with those who could pay a few million into his party coffers. Now, pathetically, he says he will be remembered "for gay marriage". That's like saying he will be remembered for bugger-all.
      He did not have the guts to scrap Labour's awful Equality Act that came into force shortly after he became Prime Minister. This may have been because of the coalition with the LibDems, but nevertheless Cameron signed a piece of messy, confused, illogical legislation that is full-scale attack on free speech and civil liberties unparalled in our time.
          He presided over a government making painful spending cuts and despite the banking crisis solemnly told us that being in the EU had made us prosperous and protected us from "economic uncertainty". He let Ian Duncan-Smith take the rap for unpopular measures. Ordinary people were pushed out of their council homes while MEPs flounce around at Brussels spending colossal sums on more and more palatial buildings.
     He let himself be tempted to dabble in the internal affairs of Libya and was too quick to take sides in the so-called "Arab Spring". The result was he got us involved in supporting and arming ISIS. Maladroit even by the standards of Tony Blair.
     He panicked at the time of the Scottish Referendum, and rushed up to Scotland to offer the Scots almost anything to stay in the union. That was in spite of the fact that they don't vote for him and had to be bribed with promises of never-ending subsidy.
     When the Chinese premier visited England, Cameron never mentioned human rights or Tibet, (and the Prince of Wales seems to have been locked in a cupboard). It was no time for principles. Nor was his visit to Saudi Arabia, where he showed no qualms about going on selling them weapons. He brazenly defended the Saudis' right to sit on the UN human rights committee.
  He went on telling people they wanted HS2 when they didn't. He sat back and did nothing to help the workers at TATA steel  - but then he couldn't, because of EU regulations. 
When the Panama papers revealed his family's long term strategies of tax avoidance, he passed it off with suave assurance, saying that after all nobody had done anything illegal. 

     Cameron often insulted UKIP, once memorably describing its members as "fruitcakes and closet racists". That sort of casual, obnoxious insult has now come home to haunt him. The people he sneered at, whose arguments he did not think worth listening to, have now voted him out of office. Not so smug now, are you Dave?
      He frequently offered Britain a Referendum on EU membership, thinking that he would never have to hold it. Being in coalition was one good excuse. When he suddenly found himself freed from the coalition, he was put on the spot. He didn't want to hold a referendum, but thought he could win it, with enough funding from the EU and enough blatant media bias. To his own astonishment, that has not turned out to be the case. All those "little people" as Sigmar Gabriel called them, turned up at the polling booths and voted against him. This was a vote of the poor against the rich, no doubt about that. Looking at the demographics it was the working-class and the pensioners who were most in favour of Leave. It was the plebs versus the celebs.  It is a myth that young people in general favoured the EU. Only 36% of the 18-25s actually bothered to vote at all. And those who voted In, about one in four, would have soon changed their minds when conscripted into the new EU army. 
     Cameron could have played it differently. He could have gone to Brussels and negotiated harder, waving the big stick of Brexit to make sure he was not ignored. He could have come back and said, "Well they offered us nothing, so let's have a referendum, and whatever the people decide, I will stand by their decision, and lead the country to its destiny." Instead, he kow-towed to Brussels, expected us to vote Remain, and relied on PR skills to get him through. Faced with a LEAVE vote he had no option but to resign.
    Now cast-iron Dave is a cast-off. I don't feel a bit sorry for him  -  do you?

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