Tag Archives: david cameron

Heart of England, reject the Tories now

Perhaps we should have known. The Witney constituency is West Oxfordshire, a quiet, beautiful farming area of fields dotted with golden-stone villages and small towns. It is an area for hunting, real ale and country dancing. Among the little towns is Chipping Norton. And Chipping Norton became identified with a ‘set’, including David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks – and you remember then about the News of the World and the phone-hacking scandal.

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Rennie on referendum anniversary: Cameron does not deserve our respect or fond memory

Willie Rennie speaking at Lib Dem Spring conference, Liverpool 2008It’s two years since the Scottish Independence was held and Scotland chose to stay in the UK. Within hours of the result, David Cameron had trashed the fragile victory by banging on about English Votes for English Laws. Whatever the merits of the case, that really was not the time.

Willie Rennie MSP, speaking to activists at the party’s federal conference in Brighton, has said that  David Cameron “does not deserve our respect or fond memory” as he slammed the Tories for entrenching division following the independence referendum in 2014.

Speaking to senior councillors, Willie recalled how the former Prime Minister used the result of the independence referendum to stoke up English nationalism for party advantage.  He he is glad that Mr Cameron has gone from Downing Street.

He said:

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Did you spot the Liberal Democrat in David Cameron’s Resignation Honours?

Really. There was one:

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 00.45.02

There’s a surprise. Lena Pietsch, Nick Clegg’s former Special Adviser when he was Deputy PM, gets an OBE.

This is what the Standard had to say about her two years ago when they named her one of the most influential people in London.

Nick Clegg’s director of public relations
The happiest Lib-Dem in Britain on July 13, German-born Pietsch was celebrating her team winning the World Cup. On maternity leave during the summer, having given birth to her second child, she continued to advise Mr Clegg from home, including on using Twitter to appeal to women voters. An ex-journalist, she was key in persuading the DPM to do his Call Clegg show on LBC Radio.

Cameron has done what Nick Clegg failed to do last year. When he announced his dissolution honours, female Special Advisers were conspicuous by their absence, as Jo Swinson wrote for us.

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So farewell then David Cameron…

In the week of Chilcot, we can at least observe that David Cameron didn’t cause an unnecessary Middle East invasion which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Posted in Op-eds | 14 Comments

Goodbye, David

As David Cameron leaves No 10, his legacy is being scrutinised.  I have to say that I found the glowing tributes coming from his Cabinet colleagues as they entered Downing Street yesterday pretty nauseating.

Much of the news commentary has been way too positive.

I am dreading the inevitable fawning over him that’s going to happen as he faces his last Prime Minister’s Questions. I will not be happy if, as they did for Blair, any of our lot indulge in any applause or standing ovations for him.

Let’s look at some of the key compliments people are paying him:

Stabilise the economy?

Well, do you remember the 1980s when the recession lasted for years because the Tories insisted on cutting public spending beyond what was sensible? Well, this time they were prevented from doing so by the Liberal Democrats in coalition. They wanted to cut further and faster. It was Nick Clegg and David Laws, by and large, who saw that common sense prevailed. Even then, some of their ideas weren’t put into practice because the Tories wouldn’t have it. Some of us felt that even the Liberal Democrats in Government too far but at least the economy was starting to do well. Until, that is, David Cameron’s actions have led to a spectacular crash in the value of the pound. More money was wiped from the country in the days after the referendum than we ever paid to the EU. And that’s only the start.

Same sex marriage?

Well, he didn’t really. The person who drove that through Government was Lynne Featherstone, backed up by Theresa May. Cameron regretted it because of the fuss his backbenchers made. He couldn’t even get half of them to go through the lobbies in support of the measure. Nick Clegg was the first leader to enthusiastically embrace the concept of same sex marriage and did so even ahead of the 2010 election.

He won two elections and a referendum?

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A PM fails this country and destroys another, yet faces no action. Where’s the accountability in that?

I’m watching an at times close to tears Tony Blair giving his response to the Chilcot Report.

He asks us to accept that he took the decision to go to war in good faith. I’m not sure that was ever actually in doubt. Charles Kennedy, in disagreeing with him in the House of Commons during the March 2003 Commons debate, did not doubt the sincerity of his position.

However, Blair’s comments, and all the regret he may feel, cannot make up for what the report makes clear was a very flawed decision making process, with insufficient planning for the aftermath, putting British forces in added danger as they were fighting on two fronts (Iraq and Afghanistan) and weren’t given the resources to do their jobs and that the process establishing whether the decision was even legal was flawed.

The “with you, whatever” memo is not quite damning as it seems. If you read the whole thing, Blair is actually trying to steer the US President down a path of forming an international coalition and pointing out the consequences of not doing so. The problem with the memo as Chilcot says is that he sent a fairly detailed exposition of the UK Government’s position without even asking the Foreign and Defence Secretaries to comment. However, I am less convinced that Straw or Hoon would have changed anything, but that’s just a personal opinion. Also, using loose language like “with you, whatever” is at best not advisable. At worst it shows a contempt for Parliament and the decision making process in Government.

I have never been one of those people who has thought that Tony Blair should be tried as a war criminal. To suggest such a thing, that there is some equivalence between him and the likes of Radovan Karadzic, sentenced earlier this year for his part in the Bosnian genocide is to my mind inappropriate. The errors of Blair and his Government were not of brutality but of folly, negligence and incompetence.

Those were pretty major errors but nobody involved is actually going to face any consequences for that. How can that be? If Blair were still in office, he would have to resign in disgrace. A decade on, he enjoys a privileged and comfortable life with an international career.

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Farron reacts to David Cameron’s resignation

Tim Farron has said that this “self-inflicted wound” will be David Cameron’s legacy as he commented on the Prime Minister’s resignation.

12 months ago David Cameron had the best result of his career. Today, the worst.

I was honoured to share a platform with the Prime Minster on this campaign, but this result, this self-inflicted wound, will be his legacy.

There have been many things I did not agree with the Prime Minister on, but I must thank him for his stewardship of the country and for the way he took the very bold decision to create a Coalition Government in 2010. It was an incredible act of bi-partisan cooperation.

The result of the referendum has left him with no choice. In this immediate period, the Government must act quickly to steady the economy, reassure the markets, and immediately set a new course.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarEthics gradient 28th Oct - 3:12am
    I think it is useful at to post up a map of how everybody voted. http://static1.uk.businessinsider.com/image/576cd2fd91058428008cb52f-1213/screen%20shot%202016-06-24%20at%207.21.45%20am.png Take a really good look at it and see...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 28th Oct - 12:58am
    Hi, folks. As a counsellor I'm well aware of self-fulfilling prophesies, and I think that the more people accept that Brexit WILL happen, the more...
  • User AvatarDavid Pearce 28th Oct - 12:10am
    Even if Brexit becomes inevitable because article 50 gets submitted and is irreversible (though legal challenges still pending on that), that is not the political...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 27th Oct - 11:13pm
    Ethicsgradient Do you mean a "huge backlash" like us getting 42% and the rest getting 58%?? I would take that! But actually the polls and...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 27th Oct - 11:01pm
    6. That Theresa May has made it very clear that the Tory change of heart on Heathrow is all because of Brexit, since apparently it...
  • User Avatarmadmacs 27th Oct - 10:55pm
    I am a Lib Dem member and voted Remain but for those who want a second referendum I think you are "whistling or worse in...