Wednesday, 13 July 2016

David Cameron's last bow


Damn, I missed seeing David Cameron's last Prime Minister's Questions live. (Click here.) I had forgotten that they are now held at midday.

I am very sorry that they clapped him - something the House did for the first time in its history when Tony Blair resigned, after a speech in which he said that he never liked the place. Clapping is not what the House should do when it wants to demonstrate approval. It should roar itself hoarse and throw its order papers in the air.

How recently Mrs Thatcher's last PMQs seem, when she cried out 'I'm enjoying this!'

Unlike her I imagine David Cameron will lead a happy life. Unlike her he has what Dennis Healey called a hinterland. In other words he is cultured, reads and has interests beyond politics.

David Cameron was a good Prime Minister in some ways, a decent man, at least until the deceitfulness of his referendum campaign, but will be remembered only for Brexit and to a very much lesser extent homosexual marriage. His other legacies are changing the rules of succession to the throne and making the Tories Blairites.

Being an Etonian was a plus - it made him a rounded human being who read books - as was not being an OUCA hack 
(Oxford University Conservative Association student politician) . Mrs May, by contrast, is a classic OUCA hack and like most politicians a two-dimensional human being. In her case a humourless swot with none of Cameron's brilliance.

It is very much to his discredit that he wanted to stay till the G20 summit and a very good thing that he goes today. 

Because of the referendum, which he expected would put an end forever to the question of UK leaving the EU, he will be remembered as one of the three great failures as Prime Minister, along with Sir Anthony Eden and Lord North. If Brexit turns out to be the right thing to have done, as I am pretty sure it will, he will not be given the credit.

1 comment:

  1. Mr Cameron was dignified and extremely capable. He was a conservative, but a reasonable one, and he helped Britain through the financial crisis. People trusted him. I suspect many will miss him more than they currently think.