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.

But sending the country into chaos through the referendum, just to manage his own backbenchers and stave off a party with one MP, comes a close second to Tony Blair’s Iraq disaster. We were warned at the last election of chaos if Ed Miliband had won, supported by the SNP. But the UK under Ed Miliband would have looked like a summer holiday compared with the constitutional, economic, financial, foreign relations, social and global turmoil caused by David Cameron with the referendum. …And that just a year after an historic election victory when he swept all before him.

I think Radio Four’s Deadringers got it spot on, in their programme of June 24th. Their “David Cameron” gave a statement after the referendum results came in:

Good morning everyone. I fought this campaign as I always have done. I said what I wanted and then I assumed I would get it, just because I said that I wanted it. I have been absolutely clear in my belief that I am astute politician and a born leader. Because they always told me that I was at school. But I now realise that I am, in fact, one of the great asses of history. You see, I only agreed to this referendum because it never occurred to me that I might lose. That’s the sort of arrogant, entitled bell-end I really am.

David Cameron’s instincts in wanting a referendum were laudable, but wisdom failed him.

I would also add that David Cameron’s instincts in seeking, quite decisively, a coalition with the LibDems after 2010, were laudable also.

It is often estimated that the extreme pain of the grief of losing a loved one takes at least four years to pass over. After losing his son, Ivan, in traumatic circumstances in 2009, David Cameron fought a tough election and was then Prime Minister through those four years. To my mind, that must have taken super-human reserves of resilience to achieve. I take my hat off to him for that.

David Cameron is a decent and honourable man, and for 80% of the time he was a decent Prime Minister. But he will go down in history as a failed Prime Minister, alongside Eden (Suez) and Blair (Iraq).

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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14 Comments

  • ……………….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………..

    If we ignore his involvement in Libya, which continued the destabilisation of this region…But, of course, no British lives were lost so it doesn’t really count…

  • Conor McGovern 13th Jul '16 - 11:51am

    Good riddance.

  • So farewell then, David Cameron.
    Famous for saying “I agree with Nick.”
    Which is more than Theresa May ever did.
    You thought you could blag the Conservatives
    Into staying in the EU
    But couldn’t conceal the split.
    Talking of splits, Keith’s mum points out
    Short haircuts don’t let you cover
    That bare patch on your pate.

  • “But sending the country into chaos through the referendum, just to manage his own backbenchers and stave off a party with one MP, comes a close second to Tony Blair’s Iraq disaster”.

    Not good, but putting the Liberal Democrat obsession with Europe on one side, the Brexit foul up has not resulted in the death and destruction of Iraq.

  • As I remember, Cameron did vote for the invasion of Iraq, anyway. Had the majority of Tories not supported the invasion it would not have happened.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 13th Jul '16 - 1:27pm

    I agree with Paul on much of this , but not on the extent f his personal responsibility for the EU referendum , he campaigned so hard he redeemed himself partially for the decision to have it !

    I agree with David , no comparison with Blair on Iraq, no lives lost , no buddying up with lousy leaders , no lies , no manipulation of paliament.

    For a Tory , my favourite since Major and Hezza !

  • Amongst the worst PMs in recent history. A very weak PR man who’s shtick consisted of delivering glib statements and walking away, which after much blustering to the opposite he did to the last. On the plus side he did wear some nice suits.

  • Bill le Breton 13th Jul '16 - 1:58pm

    It is interesting that ultimately, in the Referendum campaign, Cameron put Party unity before ideology when insisting time and again within the campaign that there should be no ‘blue on blue’ campaigning by the Remain campaign. Probably costing them a victory.

    As a result his Party has survived three months when it might have fractured and now finds itself pretty united behind its next leader.

    The price for this continuing unity being Brexit.

    On the other hand, in the red corner, Corbyn put the furtherance of his ideology before party unity. He has actually manufactured division. His Party comes out of the referendum fractured and on the verge of a massive split, but probably with his ideology safeguarded and strengthened within ‘his’ Labour Party – provided he wins his campaign.

    An interesting study in contrasted leadership which may determine much of this country’s future for the next quarter century.

  • The Professor 13th Jul '16 - 2:39pm

    David Cameron’s legacy:

    Excellent
    Same sex marriage
    EU referendum (declaration of interest – I voted Leave)
    Leveson Inquiry (but only partly implemented)

    Good
    Large increase in Income Tax threshold (originally a Lib Dem policy)
    Mental health is on the agenda (but is it taken seriously?)
    Increase in Inheritance Tax (protecting homeowners)

    Bad
    Tuition fees tripling (aided by foolish pledge breaking Lib Dems)
    HS2 (the cash should be spent on improving rail capacity and 2nd route to Cornwall)
    Hinkley Point C – a white elephant – very poor value for money
    Hiring Andy Coulson

    Awful
    Libya intervention – a situation now akin to Iraq
    Syria vote 2015 – nothing has changed in Syria
    Budget deficit is £70billion (his Chancellor failed to fix the roof as did the Lib Dem deputy)
    Health and Social Care Act 2012 (with help from Lib Dems)
    so called Welfare reform (again with help from Lib Dems)

  • PinkNews Editorial: David Cameron will leave behind a proud legacy on LGBT rights.

    He got some things wrong, but the above headline shows he got a few things right. I’m not sure I would class him as a failure.

  • My political epitaph on Cameron: He was no John Major.

  • Libya. A disaster.

  • Richard Underhill 12th Sep '16 - 5:12pm

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