Mr Cameron’s legacy

I have  read some harsh things about David Cameron’s period in office. My view is somewhat different to the negative commentaries I have read, and probably different to David’s own view of his place in history.

To me he deserves to be written about as the most important Prime Minister since the end of the 2nd World War. His brave decision to allow UK voters the choice on the EU has made a big difference to our political future. It has saved us from the troubled prospect  of being alongside the Eurozone as it struggles to complete the political union it needs. It removes from us any responsibility to fund or bail out the troubled banks and regional economies of the Eurozone that are suffering from the present scheme. It means we do not have to keep on being the delayer, the negative influence on projects for more EU government.  It will energise us by allowing new policies on trade, business, budgets, investment, foreign policy and the rest. It will mean a more global connected UK with better links and influences worldwide as an independent country again.

Until this June I always regarded Edward Heath as the most important post war Prime Minister. It was his strategic vision of the UK being part of the emerging European Union which settled so much of our country’s future. It led to our law codes and policies on everything from energy to transport, from agriculture to fishing, from trade policy to taxation and budgets being completely determined or substantially influenced by the EU. I watched as successive governments found they had to accept a growing body of EU law. I saw Parliament push through volumes of legislation which it could neither amend nor stop. Large areas of policy could no longer be debated with rival views in elections, as they were settled elsewhere.

David Cameron himself will say his greatest achievement was gay marriage. He will rightly remind people of the need for steadying influences to get over the big banking and economic crash of 2008-9. The Coalition he led did launch a major recovery in jobs and business prosperity which was much needed, and confirmed a more tolerant approach to differing lifestyles much encouraged by other political parties too.

However, these will be less remembered than the big event of the EU referendum. Why did he do it? I suspect because he himself was no committed believer in EU political integration. He had many Eurosceptic thoughts and moments. He never wanted us to join the Euro, the keystone of the project. He did veto the Fiscal Treaty for the UK. He did take the Conservative party out of the centre right federalist grouping in the European Parliament. He did try to get the UK back powers of self government. He had no wish to join Schengen and was frustrated we could not even decide our own benefit payments.

It is curious at the end he put so much effort in trying to win the referendum for Remain. He could have stayed above the fray and said he would implement the decision of the voters. He was popular in 2015 for offering a referendum. He could have said the renegotiation had not achieved all that he wished – as it clearly fell short – and that he would let the people decide.

It looks as if he was persuaded to be so strongly Remain and to back Project Fear by George Osborne and Peter Mandelson, who took a joint prominent role in the campaign. It was this choice that led to his resignation. I suspect history will be kinder to him, when over the years ahead we see just what opportunity freedom has given us. We may well also see that the EU’s ultimate destination is indeed one which a large majority of UK people do not want. The UK was in it for the trade, and that is what we have to grow and develop from outside.



  1. Richard1
    September 2, 2016

    I gave him c. 6/10 under the coalition, mainly for not being Labour. The economy was stabilised after the catastrophe of Labour – albeit with continued virtue-signalling waste in some areas such as green crap and overseas aid, and further planned waste such as HS2 and Hinkley Point. He did also preside over some excellent reforms in education and welfare (though the welfare reforms have been slow). He also went some way to lancing the boil of Scottish separatism, another catastrophic consequence of Labour trying to stitch up the electorate for themselves.

    He should have played a longer game in his EU negotiation, and as in any negotiation, been prepared to walk away. It will be interesting to see how Mrs May shapes up by comparison, we really can’t say at the moment.

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 2, 2016

      He should have played a harder game in his EU negotiation, and been prepared to come back and say he had done his best but in his view the other governments had not been willing to make enough concessions, so he would not be campaigning for us to stay in the EU but instead would stand aside from the referendum and await the verdict of the electorate. As it has turned out he just put off the evil day when the UK government would have to have it out properly.

    2. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      Good points, but 6 out of 10 is extremely generous. And why is Theresa May waiting so long to make her mark! Indications so far is she is another Cameron/Libdem type full of gender pay gap drivel and the likes. Was her poll walking in Switzerland really that vital? Might she not have just got on with the job of setting a proper real Tory direction?

    3. Hope
      September 2, 2016

      JR is having a ruse with us. Cameron made Gordon Brown look great. We are still waiting for the public spending and tax cut ratio he promised. He was going to have a balanced deficit by May last year! He and Osborne were more interested to fly on the president’s plane than manage the 2012 budget- pasty tax fiasco and all! No plans to increase VAT, it is now at 20 percent!

      He devastated the military and police while sending the first to an unnecessary war and both overwhelmed to be effective to prevent terrorism.

  2. Leslie Singleton
    September 2, 2016

    You do say some odd things every now and again. Let’s just say that on the above I pretty much think the opposite on everything you say. Too much to mention but in particular the idea that Cameron should get any credit for the Referendum is simply ridiculous.

      September 2, 2016

      I’m grateful he called the referendum, whatever his own motivation may have been.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 3, 2016

        His motivation was surely that politically he was forced to promise one by the UKIP threat, the closet racists and nutters as he would put it. He thought another coalition rather likely and so thought he could rat on the promise with that as the ruse. Then later he thought that by sloping the pitch with every government lever available, Obama and Osborne threats he could find he would just about win it.

        As usual he was wrong.

    2. Hope
      September 2, 2016

      Well said. JR appears to be having a wobbly moment. His memory is in contrast to reality and fact. EU referendum because of threat from UKIP, the veto that never was had two points, he was going to stop Eurozone countries using EU institutions. Name one JR. He was going to stop £90 million being spent on the two EU parliaments and chickened out as it might upset the French. Coalition to change his party- he could have followed Steve Harper in Canada and gone alone. No guts to lead. Gay marriage epitomosed his arrogance, posh boy contempt for public opinion and total disregard for democracy, you could not believe a word he said, he caused misery to millions of lives in Lybia continuing today and wanted the same in Syria. No strategic vision according to one senior military figure. His false promises started before he gained power over cleaning up Westminster, when he had the support of all the main parties, yet still failed to deliver, his last act in leaving was a corrupt out of touch honours list that we should have expected to stop! After he left we learn another 327,000 immigrants arrived at the beginning of the year while he was in charge and had promised to cut to ten of thousands. Difficult to understand why he could not cut the number if genuine as we are an island.

    3. getahead
      September 3, 2016

      Totally agree. Cameron was a PR man for big business who found it very difficult to read his own party manifesto. He called the referendum thinking he was going to win it.
      Why did he have to demean himself by campaigning so hard to stay in the EU only to lose? Lose the referendum and his dignity. A very poor prime minister.

    4. John Lamble
      September 4, 2016

      Agreed. It’s an old saying that you should never ask a question to which you don’t know the answer. Cameron was absolutely sure that he knew how the referendum would go so I personally give him no credit at all for asking that particular question; rather it shows how little he knew about the country of which he was prime minister.

  3. Mick
    September 2, 2016

    Mr Cameron had guts to offer a eu referendum, But I think at the back of his mind he thought that he wouldn’t win the 2015 GE and that he would be in partnership with the lib’s again and if so they would have put a stop to any vote,

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      Indeed that was surely his thinking or that he could win one with his lies, a sloped pitch and threats for all the arms of Government.

  4. DaveM
    September 2, 2016

    As you mention, he will be remembered in the short term for dividing his party over gay marriage and for resigning when he didn’t like the result of a referendum he himself called.

    I wonder if he’ll look back and realise what an opportunity he missed, ie, to be remembered as the PM who set the country on an independent and successful course for the next century.

    1. Anonymous
      September 2, 2016

      Are those who support gay marriage and the EU on the same side ?

    2. John C.
      September 2, 2016

      Yes, he had the opportunity to declare openly that his talks with the E.U. leaders were going nowhere, and that he would follow his own promise that in those circumstances he would recommend that we leave. Had he done that, he would have won the referendum and guaranteed his place in history- for the right reasons.
      He could even have risen above the struggle, pointed out the situation and taken no active part in the debate- an awkward step, but one which would have left him still in power.
      But no, he had to pretend pathetically that he had wrung concessions and that the situation was now clearly in favour of Remaining. Not only that, he became amongst the most vigorous supporters of the E.U. threatening disaster if we left.
      We will have to see how it all turns out, but to my mind he will appear inept, false and astonishingly un-Conservative. A man of some talent and charisma, but hollow.

  5. eeyore
    September 2, 2016

    Mr Cameron has few supporters here so I’m glad to read this. It’s true that he and Mr Heath both made a momentous change. However, Heath’s was largely malign and Cameron’s inadvertent and against his wishes.

    If Mr Cameron is a great PM, so was Lord North. Under each mighty events happened to the ultimate greater good of Britain and the world. But isn’t a degree of volition on the part of the statesman desirable?

  6. mickc
    September 2, 2016

    I rather think you have set up a straw man to be knocked down by saying Cameron is the most important post war Prime Minister.

    Cameron was utterly trivial and insignificant. He attained the Premiership almost by accident, and had no idea what he wished to achieve with the power he had. He was not the master of events, but totally at their mercy. And that is why we had the Referendum. It was not his intention, it was his autonomic response to a political situation; he made a promise believing he would not have to fulfill it.

    The Referendum was an important event certainly; the person who was its victim was not. Gavrilo Princep was unimportant, his “event” was not.

    Obviously, the most important post war Prime Minister was Thatcher. She had vision and drive, and was in command of events. She joins Lloyd George and Churchill as the greatest Prime Ministers of the 20th Century. Their intentional achievements and impact, for better or worse, was huge….and hugely important.

    Reply Important is mot tge same as great

    1. mickc
      September 2, 2016

      Indeed: but the importance of an unintended event does not make important the person under whose guardianship it occurred.

    2. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      No “important” here just means dire.

    3. Ed Mahony
      September 2, 2016


      – None of them come close to Churchill, i think. And if he were alive today, i have no doubt he would be bashing most of the Brexiteers AND Remainers saying we’ve got to stay in Europe BUT that it needs to be reformed. Perhaps someone only someone like Churchill has the intelligence, imagination and sheer strength of will power to achieve that. But others could try at least (but don’t).

      1. Lifelogic
        September 3, 2016

        A reformed EU, sure about as likely as finding a live unicorn.

        1. Lifelogic
          September 3, 2016

          The only way it will ever reform is if nearly everyone leaves.

  7. Mark B
    September 2, 2016

    Good morning.

    Our kind host is being most generous to our former Prime Minister. And he will no doubt find many here, and elsewhere, in disagreement with him and, I am afraid to say, I too am one of those people.

    I do not believe that either, David Cameron or Edward Heath to be important, but they were significant and the decisions they made did indeed impact, mostly for the worse (eg the ERM), this nation and its people. The most ‘important’ PM post war was Clement Attlee. It was his government that created much of the world we live in today and, our nuclear deterrent. A significant achievement after the war.

    One of the strangest ironies is that, David Cameron claimed in his resignation speech, that GAY marriage was one of his finest achievements. In fact, and this is going to be hard for many here to believe, it was in fact his successor that made that happen. There is out there, documentation that bears her signature but, our kind host does not like links so you are going to:

    a) have to take my word for it.

    b) Google it yourselves.

    Cameron’s will be remembered as the PM who gambled everything on Black to see it turn up Red on the Roulette Wheel of political life. He was a political chancer who got lucky. I do not think he ever was a Europhile or Eurosceptic. At best, he was a Euro-agnostic. He was happy to go to meetings and the like but, when it came to it, he was second-rate. Lady Thatcher went to Europe to get her rebate and, she got it ! Only for the likes of Blair and others to give it away for next to nothing. Cameron thought he might try the same thing but with a, Wilson touch but was known to be so weak and pathetic that they ending up giving him less than nothing. They clearly underestimated the mood in this country and, if was not for all the lies and poor campaigning by the official Leave group the margin of BREXIT would have been far, far higher.

    For me, David Cameron’s time in office can be best summed up in one word: WASTE

    Waste of time, money, opportunity (extracting concessions from the EU) etc. A better man, or woman, could have don so much better with less than he had.

    And the saddest thing of all, is the one thing that he really can say was his greatest achievement is the bastard child of a referendum. And providing no one screws up BREXIT it really will be his and our greatest moment in 21st Century history.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      He had two open goal elections, a huge opportunity to be a Great leader, but was always working with his cast iron lies, deceptions and a totally broken compass. He was never a conservative at all.

    2. getahead
      September 3, 2016

      The leave campaign was not in the same league as the remaniacs for telling lies. Much is made of the gaffe of so many millions to be available for the NHS but what else was there?

  8. Sir Joe Soap
    September 2, 2016

    This is like crediting John Major for White Wednesday. An happy accident despite his policies, not because of them. Cameron’s final misjudgement could have been to limp on like Major, but at least he dodged that bullet.
    Probably Cameron’s greatest attribute was not being Gordon Brown.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      Exactly like crediting John Major for White Wednesday!

      Indeed not quite as bad as Brown or Miliband/Sturgeon but nearly.

  9. Richard1
    September 2, 2016

    Mr Cameron’s intervention in Libya is looking increasingly like a mistake, as predicted by commentators such as Max Hastings. It really is time to resolve that UK forces go into action if and only if the UK or its allies are threatened. Virtuous efforts at regime change which are not triggered by aggression towards us or our allies seems to be always and everywhere a recipe for disaster.

    Meanwhile the BMA emerges as the new Scargill-type Union, and resistance to their blackmail will be the first test of Theresa Mays mettle. I hope the govt have made plans to secure treatment for patients affected at private institutions, perhaps abroad (there are excellent private hospitals in Germany & even much further afield which offer cost competitive treatment eg). All new NHS contracts should have no strike agreements, it is an outrage that doctors are provided by the state with £1/2m worth of training for free, work for a state owned monopoly and then use the position to hold the elected govt to ransom to try to force a change in policy voted for in a general election. Governments have held off radical reform of the NHS, but surely now is the time to revisit that as people will see what a terrible liability it is to have our health at risk to the whims of militant unions.

    September 2, 2016

    Mr Cameron’s greatest legacy will be that which followed the 20th April 2010 explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

    There had been a number of American oil disasters such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on 24th March 24, 1989. But the BP one was somehow different. Much more expensive.

    BP was heralded the “Flagship” of British industry and our pension funds were invested too heavily. Just one more example of how British business despite political fanfares on all sides has consistently and continually made bad moves for the past century. Thank heavens for the relatively even greater incompetence and corruptness of our global competitors.

    So, we cap in hand: a non-disguised Uriah Heap expression on Cameron’s face and probably deliberate histrionic similar tone of voice, he went to speak to The Leader of the Free World,who only the Americans, and only some of them, recognise as such, and say how Britain ” is only a small, a very small player at that” on the international front to plead with Obama not to let his US courts drive BP out of business and impoverish our pensioners. “It makes sense to keep BP in business, somehow” whined Cameron without an option to do otherwise.
    So it happened that with Obama’s affable smirk at the customary double lecterns with some medievalesque motif on the front, he gave consoling figuratively pats on the back to little brother Cameron who had done wrong.

    It has still not ended…the millions being paid to “victims” for loss of candyfloss sales on the seashore…though the press bought and ate more than any theoretical tourist buyers. Skinned us half alive rather than fully. It allowed an American to replace the British head of BP and half the company being sold at a discount to the Russians. Our pensioners were actually saved. Our flagship sunk. But ever so humbly.

  11. Chris S
    September 2, 2016

    We will have to wait for the memoirs to find out what DC really thought about Brexit. I suspect he offered the referendum because he wanted to get people like us off his back and he thought he would get a good enough deal to win it.

    He surely must have been shocked when Merkel refused to help him over FOM but was so keen enough to keep us in that he instigated the ludicrous Project Fear which left him and especially Osbourne wihout a shred of credibility.

    If he had any serious Eurosceptic leanings, surely he would not have recommended the pathetic crumbs off the Brussels table he was offered ?

    As for other PMs. Heath was a failure. He lacked the charisma necessary to win an election on the question of who runs Britain and it was only the guts and determination of Margaret Thatcher that rescued the Country from a socialist nightmare.

    She above all others was the most courageous and most important post-war PM.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 3, 2016

      “If he had any serious Eurosceptic leanings, surely he would not have recommended the pathetic crumbs off the Brussels table he was offered ?”

      Indeed the deal he came back with was a complete joke. How on earth did he have the chutzpah to recommend that to the nation? It it quite clear now that all his claims to be skeptic were always totally phoney from day one. Even if JR and most of the Tory mps were taken in by cast iron. As Douglas Carswell put it when he left the party Cameron was simply not serious about the issue at all.

      1. getahead
        September 3, 2016

        A compulsive liar perhaps?

  12. Antisthenes
    September 2, 2016

    You have highlighted a conundrum. Announcing a referendum on membership of the EU was it what he really wanted or was it for expediency sake to take the wind out of UKIP’s sails. He and George Osborne have had a tendency of stealing other parties territories. Their forays into centre left land and taking the Conservative party away from it’s more traditional centre right policy areas I always thought were for strategic reasons or I at least I hoped it was. So I applauded it as I noted that not all policies had moved that way and much was happening that was from Conservative core values.

    How posterity will measure him is difficult to say but I do believe they will be kinder to him than I and many others have been and after reading what you write today probably rightly so. I do believe we can attribute to him the fact that he made many who the left had unjustifiably convince that the Conservatives are the nasty party change their mind on that.

  13. Ex-expat Colin
    September 2, 2016

    “To me he deserves to be written about as the most important Prime Minister since the end of the 2nd World War”

    I’ll pretend that I didn’t see that….however, he wasn’t by a long way.

    1. getahead
      September 3, 2016

      I think John meant “least”.

  14. Liz
    September 2, 2016

    I’m a Brexiteer. I thought DC was an excellent PM. When he spoke for the country, he came over so strong and articulate with real presence; it made me proud he was our leader. For the referendum, for the sake of the country after the vote, the Tories knew they had to have continuity and he had to side with the likely winner but knew he would be the sacrificial lamb for the country if Brexit won. In his heart, I think we all felt he was really a Brexiteer but his hands were tied. Top man, top PM.

    1. John C.
      September 2, 2016

      Who tied his hands? He had the chance to be straight and honest, and came across as shifty and insincere. If a P.M. cannot say what he believes to be the truth, which of us can?

      1. Liz
        September 3, 2016

        Big picture view assessed before campaign.
        Analogy perhaps like the Royal family travel separately so the lineage goes on in case of an accident. DC had to take one side but took the wrong helicopter. I think he could have campaigned just as easy for Brexit but by going remain, he could still conduct continuing friendly relations with the EU leaders.

        1. getahead
          September 3, 2016

          Cameron worked well as a PR man for big business. As a prime minister he was appalling.

    2. Lifelogic
      September 3, 2016

      When he spoke he said some sensible things, but he never did any of them. They were just empty words and total lies.

  15. Nig l
    September 2, 2016

    Not sure supporters of Mrs thatcher would agree and as far as Hesth is concerned miners strikes, three day weeks, I don’t think so.i agree mainly about Cameron and would add taking millions of people out of tax and the pension increases and lock.

    However as far as I am concerned he disassembled constantly from meekly accepting Lisbon to supporting the Remain campaign to frankly lying on the issue of Turkeys membership, to saying if he didn’t get a good deal he would vote against, to getting nothing from the renegotiation and spinning it as if it was a massive achievement, all the while throwing the Tory party enough anti EC titbits to keep them quiet.

    He wasn’t brave to offer the referendum he was panicking because of the rise of UKIP.

    To me that last part will define his legacy.

  16. fedupsoutherner
    September 2, 2016

    For me the biggest impact of Cameron’s legacy is a feeling of more mistrust in government. David Cameron said he would stand by the results of the election and if we voted to go out he would invoke article 50 and take us out immediately. What did he do? Resign! At a time when the UK was in a vulnerable position and when we needed real leadership and guidance, he stood down. Is it any wonder people don’t trust what politicians say?

    I heard Soubry going on about the cabinet meeting on ITV this morning and thought I might throw up in my cereal bowl. She was saying that all the remain ministers, of which there were most, wanted to stay in the single market, in fact they thought it imperative that we did, and accept some immigration. She said that the 3 Brexiteers present didn’t contribute anything concerning the Single Market. I wondered if that was because they couldn’t get a word in edgeways. She really is the most annoying minister in the Conservative party and enough to put most people off voting Conservative on her own merit. She is just another one who cannot stand being wrong and doesn’t want to listen to what the people have asked for.

    Cameron has left behind a debacle of nonsense over the energy policy and was guilty of listening to his best friend Osborne who has been equally treacherous in his actions over Brexit. Thank God they have both gone. I just hope Theresa May will be more honest and clear over what she says and more importantly, does. When Cameron used to say “Let me be clear” I used to say “Yes, clear as mud”. Sorry John but he did not impress me one bit. He needed to show he was a real Tory and not some Libdim/Liebore candidate.

  17. Ian Wragg
    September 2, 2016

    I’m afraid I think history will be less kind to Cameron.
    A man who fooled the Tory party when he hadn’t a Tory bone in his body. At home with the LimpDumbs and his mate Clegg.
    Born to rule thinking he could bamboozle the electorate into his vision of Europe whilst proclaiming to be a Eurosceptic.

    With his mate Gideon taking the national debt near to £2 trillion.
    Balkanising Britain and handing national security to the Chinese.
    Yes only gay marriage and chopping up ships and aircraft will he be remember for.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      Exactly how did he ever con himself into the Conservatives?

  18. fedupsoutherner
    September 2, 2016

    John, you say It has saved us from the troubled prospect of being alongside the Eurozone as it struggles to complete the political union it needs. It removes from us any responsibility to fund or bail out the troubled banks and regional economies of the Eurozone that are suffering from the present scheme. It means we do not have to keep on being the delayer, the negative influence on projects for more EU government. It will energise us by allowing new policies on trade, business, budgets, investment, foreign policy and the rest. It will mean a more global connected UK with better links and influences worldwide as an independent country again.

    Cameron didn’t have this vision at all. He renounced all you have said here and simply trashed Britain making us look like a tin pot nation and letting other foreign leaders do the same. He was shameful in his actions.

  19. agricola
    September 2, 2016

    Allowing us the referendum seems ironic. Out here in the real world he was prodded there on the UKIP pike. It was only the thought of a government led by Labour and the SNP that limited the UKIP vote and put the Conservatives in government in May 2015. His largesse over the referendum does not equate with his tooth and nail fight to persuade us to remain. All that we gain from leave he fought against by means not all would see as acceptable.

    Ted Heath’s experience of WW2 may have led him to believe in the European project as did the majority at the time. The general euphoria clouded what was really planned, and the means by which it was to be achieved.

    How is it that the likes of yourself, Nigel Farage, and many others could see the changes in the way in which the EU was developing, but David Cameron at the centre of all the available information could not, or chose not to see it. Through lack of any other logical reason I still think he was under the thumb of Bilderberg and it’s grand plans for World governance.

    1. getahead
      September 3, 2016

      “The general euphoria clouded what was really planned, and the means by which it was to be achieved.”

      No that was the lying Heath.

      1. Robert Christopher
        September 4, 2016

        Dan Hannan’s book, Why Vote Leave, last para page 91 to page 94, references Hugo Young’s book, This Blessed Plot, and describes how the Continental desire for political union was paramount, and ends: Had Britain, or at least her leaders, remained opposed to federalism, she would never have joined.

        In 1975, I voted to stay in, which I wouldn’t have done if I knew that Heath had ‘given away our fishing grounds’. My Grandparents lived in Grimsby!

        At least that is resting lighter on my conscience 🙂

    September 2, 2016

    A vote was in Parliament on the bombing of Syria. After the nonsense and customary historical failure of British foreign policy in that area of the world: Canada ( our closest ally…according to William Haigh who wished them to share their overseas Embassies with us to cut costs ) was withdrawing the RCAF. Mr Cameron succeeded in getting every man Jack and Jill of the Labour Party…now the 171 anti-democratic clique to support indiscriminate reckless bombing in a country most of them had not and still do not have a clue about..
    Without such Outing of allegedly “Labour” MPs showing their true colours,their absolute contempt for Labour Party history, principles and humanity, Corbyn would not now be marching to decisive victory as Leader of the Party.

    Mr Cameron has ensured Conservative victory after victory perhaps to the end of time. A legacy indeed. But did he mean it? Will the Chairman of the Tory Party present him with a toy golden plastic bomb as a retirement gift or a voucher redeemable in all good stores for a year’s supply of the Daily Mirror? Time will tell.

  21. Denis Cooper
    September 2, 2016

    He was pushed and dragged into doing things that he did not really want to do. Finally he was pushed and dragged into doing something which almost by a miracle turned out very well for the country but very badly for him.

    Like him I expected that Remain would win the referendum, and by a large margin. On the day that he came back from Brussels with his “pretty thin gruel” I thought that if there was any justice he had just lost the referendum, but I did not expect it to happen.

    When he started out on his “renegotiation” with our neighbours he could have decided that he was going to have it out properly, and if he met with intransigence then at the end he would recommend that we should leave, but he was advised to soft peddle. That was actually the same advice that was given to Wilson before his “renegotiation”, but Wilson got away with it while Cameron did not.

    Now it’s down to May to tell the other governments that they cannot continue to have their EU cake and eat it, which is what they want to do and what most of our elite have come to accept as being the natural order of things.

    1. getahead
      September 3, 2016

      Denis, Cameron didn’t know what he wanted, nor did he know what he didn’t want.
      His decisions were made by others. He was a good PR man. Otherwise a complete waster.

  22. Russell
    September 2, 2016

    Nigel Farage was recently interviewed and talked of Hilary Clinton seeing the EU as a precursor to a wider global government. It’s been talked of as the New World Order.

    I’m aware that in the conspiracy community they have long believed there are long range plans to govern with a powerful top down global government. Yet within the higher echelons of finance, academia/think tanks and government there is such interest. There are also endless global bodies and plans that are designed to move power toward an unaccountable elite.

    Can we presume Mr Redwood is as against such schemes as he was against the EU? It seems likely. Yet we need more analysis of these global governance ambitions as without shedding light on them it leaves the public in the dark and less able to repel them.

    Some examples might be some very strange UN agreements which stretch far beyond was that organisation is sold to us as. Also various trade agreements that would influence much beyond trade.

    It should also be pointed out the various justifications for global governance such as disease outbreaks, unstable regions, supposed ‘excess’ population growth.

    I hope such analysis can finally move out of the conspiracy fringe and be dealt with by our elder political statesman.

    1. ian wragg
      September 2, 2016

      Britain leaving the EU is the beginning of the New World Order unravelling. That silly man Lizzard on the Vine show said ….it is an exciting experiment in supra national government and we shouldn’t derail it…… maybe not the exact words but something similar.
      All these institutions are coming under close scrutiny by the populace due to the internet. We no longer have to believe the MSM and BBC.
      The Bilderburger group and Common Purpose are 1 – 0 down at the moment and I think there will be more setbacks. Euro, immigration etc etc.

  23. Bob
    September 2, 2016

    “It looks as if he was persuaded to be so strongly Remain and to back Project Fear by George Osborne and Peter Mandelson, who took a joint prominent role in the campaign.”

    According to one Tory adviser: ‘George is goggle-eyed in the presence of Peter Mandelson. He behaves like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.’
    Peter Oborne – Daily Mail – 24th Oct. 2015

    Why are Tory leaders dancing to Mandelson’s tune?

    1. Bob
      September 2, 2016

      Could this be where the pressure for gay marriage came from?

      1. rose
        September 2, 2016

        No, it came from Lynne Featherstone via Theresa May. They pushed it through in Strasbourg. DC had nothing to do with it until it was in the bag.

        1. Chris
          September 3, 2016

          It was decided in the European Parliament in 2010 to introduce gay marriage, among other things, and Cameron gave the undertaking to the Council of Europe when the UK had the chairmanship to introduce it by June 2013, which he did. I was not permitted to post the links but a simple google search including on R North’s website will reveal all.

      2. Chris
        September 2, 2016

        The pressure for gay marriage came from the European Parliament in 2010, followed by Cameron’s undertaking to the Council of Europe (UK took over Chairmanship in November 2011), that by June 2013 he would have introduced gay marriage to the UK, which he did.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      September 2, 2016

      Bob, yes, a prime minister should not be so easily influenced or persuaded to do things that are bad for the country. Has the man not got a brain of his own?

    3. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      Why would anyone dance to Mandelson’s tune, another one wrong on nearly every issue.

  24. A different Simon
    September 2, 2016

    Well said Mr Redwood .

    Whatever his flaws , Mr Cameron did at least let Britain have it’s referendum , something which I will be eternally grateful to him for .

    People should take note that the globalists have ostracised him for it and ask themselves whether this is right in a supposed democracy .

    Up until the referendum , I thought people had failed to draw the connection between the EU and the “Post Democratic Age” which Peter Mandelson was promoting .

    The behaviour of many remainers shows they view themselves as superior to the plebs in a nazi/fabian socialist way and would prefer a command-control arrangement with positions appointed rather than elected .

    They do not care that the plebs will be subject to the abuses of the state .

    They illogically assume that they , and their genetic offspring , would never fall out of the technocratic elite class and get relegated to the underclass .

    Do you think Tony Blair also played a part in convincing Mr Cameron to back Project Fear ?

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      “Mr Cameron did at least let Britain have it’s referendum, something which I will be eternally grateful to him for.”

      Only because he thought he could win it will governments threats, a sloped pitch and tax payer funded propaganda.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 2, 2016

        Or because he thought he would lose the second election too and get the coalition again this avoiding one by blaming them.

        1. getahead
          September 3, 2016

          Did he fall or was he pushed?

  25. Denis Cooper
    September 2, 2016

    Somewhat off-topic:

    “Brexit may not happen, EU top judge says”

    Apparently the referendum result was “a clear political signal”, but “everything is still somewhat speculative”.

  26. Lifelogic
    September 2, 2016

    Well Cameron “achieved” a Brexit vote for which we should be grateful, but only against his will and despite his appalling attempts to slant the field of play using every trick and lie he could muster.

    Why on earth did he accept the pathetic deal he was offered by the EU when it came so far short of even the trivial demands he was initially asking for? Above all he made the appalling decision to appoint and retain the economic illiterate George Osborne. This man’s huge tax increases, tax complexity increases, landlord/tenant and pensioner muggings, IHT ratting, absurd stamp duty rates, endless waste (such as HS2 and green grants) and his absurd central wage controls were hugely damaging to the economy. They still are!

    Then we have all the lies: My priority in three letters is the NHS, I am at heart a low tax Conservative (sure Dave), interest rates will have to go up if we leave the EU, we have control of our borders through Schengen, I will stay on after a Brexit vote, I will trigger article 50 straight away, the emergency I will punish you budget threat, the use of the Bank of England, the dithering over runways, the lies over immigration to the tens of thousands, the absurd climate alarmist, the appointment on Chris Patten to the BBC trust ….

    The man is essentially a dreadful, wet, misguided Libdem. The best that I can find to say of him is that he is better than Osborne. But why did he joint the Conservatives rather than the Libdems. I assume he thought it was just a better career move. Why did he pretend to be a Eurosceptic, just to dishonestly win the Tory leadership one assumes!

    He left his priority in three letters the unworkable NHS in a far worse state than when he arrived, and it was dire enough then. He is a heart over brain person. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      Funny, that. The “experts” were not just a little bit wrong but horrendously, hopelessly so.

      Allister Heath spot on again today.

    2. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      Cameron’s “we are repaying the debts” sure you are Dave!

      The only debts he repaid (not using his money needless to say) were in his appalling remainers honours list. Which further devalued the whole honours system and put more dreadful people into the Lords.

  27. Lifelogic
    September 2, 2016

    A talented PR spin doctor with no compunction whatsoever about endless serial lying. One who was alas always using a compass that was 180 degree out. A consummate career politician. A misguided Libdim at heart who thought he would have a better Career by lying & pretending to be a Eurosceptic Conservative. He even lacked the excuse of vacuity (that the appalling John Major had). Cameron and Osborne had also observed at close range the many disasters of the ERM, the EURO, CAP, fishing, employment regulations, the endless red tap, the expensive energy renewable lunacy and all the many failures of the EU, but the man failed to learn anything from it.

    Then there is Cameron disastrous interventions in Libya.

    We even had the threat that Brexit could trigger world war three from the man.

    Thank goodness he is gone. I suspect that like John Major and Clegg (plus wife) he will be endlessly invited on to the BBC with his fatuous “BBC think” opinions for many years.

    1. getahead
      September 3, 2016

      I hope the BBC will not last too “many years”.

  28. Lifelogic
    September 2, 2016

    Worse still the man has an open goal at two elections, he flunked the first one with his EU cast Iron ratting and his wet Libdim approach and only just won the second thanks mainly to the uselessness of Miliband and the threat to the English of the SNP.

  29. acorn
    September 2, 2016

    What” No Thatcher!!! Anyway, nice use of the word “important” JR. I would have used “disastrous”, which is the word, I suspect, you really wanted to use.

    “I saw Parliament push through volumes of legislation which it could neither amend nor stop.” But you have stayed there for 29 years taking the money anyway. 😉 Hypocrisy Rules OK.

    1. mickc
      September 2, 2016

      Harsh, old man, harsh!

      Our host surely deserves credit for remaining to fight for what he, and most of us here, believe in.

      1. getahead
        September 3, 2016

        John has been fighting a long time. Victory appears elusive. His party moved away from him. He is now in the wrong party.

  30. Vanessa
    September 2, 2016

    The only thing he will be remembered for, in the public’s memory, is his decision to give us a referendum on our membership of the European Union. Then to tell us that the sky would fall in, that World War III would start and that we would have to be taxed up to the hilt and all our credits would have to be withdrawn if we left the EU. And the best thing was that he nearly burst into tears when we did not believe him and voted to leave and he realised he could not stay in 10 Downing Street any longer. We don’t like being bullied or threatened by ANYBODY – let that be a lesson to you all.

  31. McBryde
    September 2, 2016

    Thank you for that, JR. You have given me reason to alter my opinion about him.
    I did feel sympathy for him when he gave his resignation speech. It occurred to me then that he might feel misunderstood.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      We understand him very well indeed that is the problem and why he lost. The man was never the low tax, at heart Eurosceptic, Conservative that he claimed to be. He was always a EUphile Libdim, he lied to get elected Tory leader and continued to lie throughout his term in office. Culminating in his outrageous “honours” list.

      A man one could only judge by his actions that were usually the complete opposite of his words.

  32. Lifelogic
    September 2, 2016

    The other problem with Cameron’s legacy is the fairly dire selection of new “Tory” MP’s and his “A list” and celeb approach which will damage the party for years to come. I still remain to be convinced that Mrs May is not yet another dire Cameron type. We need far smaller government, far less red tape and rather more freedom & liberty.

    She lied to the public that we had control of our borders through Schengen (to try to deceive us into a remain vote, she wants workers and customers on company boards, wants gender pay reporting and has not even cancelled HS2 yet? She even sent some very silly & rather offensive “go home you illegal immigrants” advert vans driving round certain selected areas. She seems rather daft to me, a Geography graduate too I note. Still I hope she proves my suspicions to be wrong but why is she not getting on with the job!

  33. Mike Stallard
    September 2, 2016

    Mr Redwood: two questions:
    1. How do you propose to leave the EEA without damaging, for a number of years, our very important trade with Europe?
    2. Why is Article 112 of the EEA so impossible to negotiate?

    1. ian wragg
      September 2, 2016

      You spend too much time reading RN Mike.

    2. Denis Cooper
      September 2, 2016

      It depends what can be negotiated, and we won’t know that until negotiations have actually started, and the other countries are adamant that they won’t start formal negotiations until the UK has sent in its Article 50 notice, so it’s a bit daft for some Remoaners to say that the UK should not send in the notice until the Leave side has formulated its detailed plan for leaving, even though that or any other detailed plan may not survive for long once it becomes the subject of negotiations …

  34. bigneil
    September 2, 2016

    I have had to delete most of my own comments as you would not have allowed them. ( I would have had to do a Lifelogic and reply to my own replies to get them all in )

    My recently arrived pension forecast – for working till 60 – is under £100 a week – I would be better off having jumped out of a lorry from Calais. Housed, benefits and healthcare – why work?? Massive trouble is brewing – and it’s the govt that has switched the kettle, on due to uncontrolled, DELIBERATE, lied about figures, mass immigration. This once beautiful country is being turned into (many problems ed) Whose side is the govt on? – clearly not ours.

    You may remember him as a good PM – but that shows we live VERY different lives. I really am glad that most of mine has already gone, because the future is definitely NOT bright.

  35. James Munroe
    September 2, 2016

    I agree that Cameron should have ‘stayed above the fray’ during the campaign.
    He should have acted in a statesmanlike manner, guiding, and honestly informing the voters.
    For me and others, a line was crossed, when the Jo Cox issue was used by the Remain campaign.

    The way that Cameron embraced the Remain campaign, means he was fundamentally a true Remainer.
    If he was not a true Remainer, then he made himself look like a very shallow person, with no core beliefs, who was ready to wholeheartedly take on a cause he did not believe in, for political advantage.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      Loads of lines were crossed, the hijacking of the Jo Cox murder by remain perhaps the worse, the threats from the treasury and Carney, Osborne’s emergency budget, threats of higher mortgages, the tax payer funded propaganda, the your a racist, less educated and old if you are Brexit supporter agenda, the appallingly biased BBC, the letters for “scientists” and academics …… and Mrs May’s blatant lies over border controls through Schengen.

  36. Bert Young
    September 2, 2016

    It is seldom that I disagree with Johns’ views ; today I was gobsmacked . I have never had any respect for David Cameron since he imposed his will against that of our local Conservative Association who had nominated a high profile candidate as our MP . Cameron stepped in and insisted that his nomination had to be the one selected ; at that point a considerable number of members resigned from the Party .

    While DC was in office he surrounded himself with individuals who would think the way he did and support him ; he never showed a willingness to use alternative views ; I considered him to be naive , inexperienced in the real world and entirely obsessed with his personal ambition . He was totally ill-equipped to be the leader of a mature and sophisticated country .

    I have had much to do in the recommendation and selection of leaders in the industrial and commercial world ; the Civil Service also in the past sought the views of myself and that of my organisation in the appointment of key individuals . I would never have recommended anyone who had not had in depth experience of what they were asked to do , had been checked out against an agreed criteria and showed a clear capability with their peers ; Cameron would not have been on my short-list .

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      I agree. Unless the jobs was for a position as a dubious second hand car salesman.

    2. Vanessa
      September 2, 2016

      Well said Bert Young. I know many in the BBC who had to kow-tow to Cameron and they said he was a shallow, who had no beliefs of his own, but told anybody who bent his ear that he agreed with them! Also if he did not think you were important to HIM he ignored you. No common courtesy or genuine “niceness” unless you were useful to him. Not a nice man. Good riddance I say. Be careful who you are rude to when you are in public office – people never forget.

    3. Anonymous
      September 3, 2016

      Six years of Tory adminstration and not even an attempt to count immigration properly – let alone deal with it.

      This is why we have voted to leave the EU.

  37. brian
    September 2, 2016

    David Cameron was a credit to our nation. He conducted himself well as Prime Minister at home and overseas. I was always impressed when he sat before the Liaison Committee of his grasp of the many facets of government.
    I don’t believe that he himself proposed a so-called Project Fear. This narrative was a product of the Leavers and commentators.

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 2, 2016

      “This narrative was a product of the Leavers and commentators.”

      That just about takes the biscuit.

      So you think it was the Leavers who tried to scare the electors witless about what would happen to them if they voted to leave the EU?

  38. William Long
    September 2, 2016

    I find it very difficult to agree with you when I cast my mind back to the post war ‘Butskell’ era: the assumption that socialism and nationalised industry was inevitable and the only way to control inflation was by control of wages, that high high levels of personal taxation were a positive thing and the Trades Unions were all powerful. The catalyst for change was without doubt Mrs Thatcher and her views and those of her mentors, Hayek,Friedman, Joseph et al. were far from mainstream or popular even in the city. I remember well hearing about the in-drawn breath from a table full of city bigwigs when she was asked to address them after a dinner arranged by my then firm, on what she intended to do when she had won the forthcoming election. Few of them were pleased by what she had to say and many I think realised that they might for the first time have to work hard without a socialist government of either party providing a gravy train of nationalisation etc. I have never doubted and still do not, that Mrs Thatcher was by far and away the most important postwar Prime Minister. What she and her governments achieved was a complete revolution without which this country would have collapsed.
    You are of course right that the referendum is a watershed event for the UK and could be the gateway to huge benefits for it; but as far as Mr Cameron is concerned the outcome seems to have been a terrible accident. I cannot agree that the decision to hold it was courageous; it was a cynical political ploy that failed.
    A number of Mr Cameron’s actions, in particular the move to fixed term parliaments and his failure to reform the House of Lords and appointment of a string of nonentities to it, have done the constitution of our country enormous harm.

    September 2, 2016

    It would be a legacy for Mr Cameron if he had forced the SNP somehow to side with him in being pro-EU; if he had forced the SNP to make fun of itself by advocating subservience to a twenty-seven headed foreign power in Europe ; if he had winkled out the 171 Labour anti-democrats of the Labour Party and leaving a very democratic but useless Opposition; if he had simply told the British people the EU could not be reformed..he had tried..we saw how he tried…and lead the nation to vote Leave in an even greater majority…making us even more united; if he had not been obsessed with futile Middle-Eastern intrigue bringing our nation, arguably, under greater internal terror threat.
    Terror but a Tory Party which is likely to remain in power for quite some time if it does not send life-rafts out for those 171 Labour MPs paddling and flapping about pathetically in a stormy political sea entirely of their own making. They should be allowed to sink and disappear, inevitably and justly, in their own phlegm and bile.Parliament and democracy will be better served by their absence.

  40. Antisthenes
    September 2, 2016

    This quote “It has now become clear that in many ways the European Union is a cartel of high-tax governments whose goal is to restrain tax competition. The EU’s supposedly free — this is, regulated — trade policy is none other than an excuse to homogenize the tax and regulatory regimes of the nation-states.

    The ultimate goal of the high-tax member states such as France is to use the EU to milk as much as possible from the productive members of society without losing their tax base.” I have taken from Mises Daily.

    I believe it clearly demonstrates the insidiousness and perfidy of Brussels and why their fine of of Google was cynically political. Why David Cameron ever wanted the UK to stay part of this crony orientated corrupt organisation defies reason. Unless of course he condoned this type of nefarious action and the many others that the EU through Brussels are guilty of. None of which are the Conservative way or at least should not be.

  41. Mike Wilson
    September 2, 2016

    Interesting and, if I may say so, somewhat odd analysis. The man who fought tooth and nail to keep us in the EU will be remembered as the man who took us out of it! I can’t see it myself.

    I think he will be remembered for broken promises on immigration and the mythical ‘bonfire of the QUANGOs’ – and for doubling the national debt. Not much else springs to mind.

  42. David Murfin
    September 2, 2016

    “The UK was in it for the trade” At the moment we are still in it. I for one shall not be happy until we are out.

  43. Lifelogic
    September 2, 2016

    Osborne legacy is even worse. He leaves a fiscal system that is appallingly & damagingly complex, absurdly high tax rates, bonkers national wage controls, he ratted on his IHT promise (while pathetically pretending not to), has taxed landlords and thus tenants on profits they have not even made and gains that are not even real thus decreasing the supply of property. This created countless pointless and unproductive jobs in tax, law, bureaucracy, consulting and the likes each one of which make the UK less competitive and destroys real jobs. Many of his taxes are well above the Laffer point so do not even raise tax receipts. Hence the huge debt and deficit he leaves to future generations.

    His GAAR is a hugely damaging arbitrary and “after the event” you owe what we say you owe mate Mugabe tax, that will deter much needed investment.

    He continued to use tax payers money to fund pointless white elephants like the green crap and HS2. He even lied that he was “repaying the debt” at one point or was that Cameron?

    Also he has failed to do anything about the dire and rapidly deteriorating NHS. Indeed most public services in the UK are dire and deteriorating. Even having the odd library or decent public loo seems to be beyond them. The police have absurd PC priorities and very many far more serious crimes are not really investigated at all. HMRC cannot even be bothered to answer the phone or reply to letters in general.

    1. Bob
      September 2, 2016


      “has taxed landlords and thus tenants on profits they have not even made and gains that are not even real”

      This needs looking into if we ever get a competent Chancellor.
      No one should be taxed on unrealised gains.
      This desperate grab for cash would not be necessary if the expense side of the Budget were given due consideration. Giving money away in in foreign aid when you are having to borrow and print it is preposterous.

  44. Iain Gill
    September 2, 2016

    The biggest problem with Cameron was him surrounding himself with ex public school people, and actively discriminating against anyone who went to a state school. This gave him a rather narrow view of the world, and fed him rather poor unbalanced advice.
    In this he was more extreme than any PM in my lifetime.
    Lots of his failings are a direct consequence of this.

    1. rose
      September 2, 2016

      But wasn’t it the non public schoolboys, those cabinet secretaries, who subverted a decent man? What were their motives in foisting a coalition government on us by wresting the Queen’s prerogative from her? How would things have been had we had a Conservative government for the last six years? IHT would have been reformed, for a start. Homosexual marriage would not have been forced through.
      Other tax reforms might have been made. The EU might have been seen through less starry eyes. Mass immigration might have been tackled, as it was in the eighties.

      The morning after the fall of the Brown administration was still glorious. The firts thing they did was to redesignate gardens as green field sites after Prescott had designated them as brown field. Good manners were back and civilization. Bullying was gone. But soon the malign influence of the Liberals was felt, especially in their immature wish to dissociate themselves from the government in their absurd policy of “differentiation”. This is what I think the public punished them for at the election.

      Mr Cameron was Prime Ministerial until the dark days of the Referendum campaign when something went very wrong. His mastery of detail was always impressive, and he commanded the House. But he was a creature of contradictions: genuinely concerned with the environment and family matters, and with a true conservative instinct which betrayed itself at times when he was on his feet, he needed mentors to offset those bad influences all around him. He needed a Denis Thatcher or a Prince Philip on the one hand, and a conservative intellectual on the other, someone to teach him history and to explain other matters to him.

      His fall strikes me as a tragedy. He had so much energy and strength, still so much to give. If only he had taken the right side of the argument and led the Leave campaign to a triumphant finish.

      1. rose
        September 4, 2016

        His other fault, besides his lack of a mentor to teach him history, the constitution, and economics, etc. was his diffidence about his family background. He wasn’t a billionaire aristocrat and if he had been he should have carried that off too. He was an upper middle class boy whose hardworking father sent him to the best school he could. As his tax returns, which he should never have disclosed, showed, he had not accumulated great wealth. He wasn’t that much different from Boris, except that Boris was a scholarship boy. But Boris never let the carping and envy get to him. Mr Cameron on the other hand was always trying to compensate, as was George Osborne, and it skewed their judgement. It didn’t win them any friends either, and when they fell, the atmosphere had something of the 1790s about it. Much better to have been true to themselves all along. Who wants to guillotine Jacob Rees Mogg?

  45. James Matthews
    September 2, 2016

    I think that assessment is hugely overgenerous. Cameron offered a referendum on leaving the EU to avoid being electorally outflanked on the European issue by UKIP and in the belief that it would be easy to achieve a remain vote against the “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”. When he sought concessions from the EU he asked for little and achieved almost nothing, then he spared no effort and supported any threat, however ill-founded, in his attempts to gain a majority to stay in the EU.

    Does he deserve credit for keeping his promise to hold a vote? I really don’t believe so. That is the minimum the electorate should be able to expect.

    As to his social liberalism, well fine if you don’t think social liberalism has long since crossed the threshold of absurdity. Less so if, like many in his party, you do.

    Cameron certainly deserves serious criticism for his needless appeasement of Scottish nationalism (not, let me emphasis, because he held the independence referendum, that was absolutely right, but for the panic stricken concessions he made when he thought he might lose it).

    He and Osborne do deserve some credit for keeping a viable economy, though they have dealt with neither the deficit nor the debt and in the latter part of their terms in office they appeared to be quite reckless in their willingness to talk the economy down, but that is the top and bottom of it. It is not enough.

  46. Kevin
    September 2, 2016

    JR writes: “David Cameron himself will say his greatest achievement was gay marriage.”

    Cameron’s achievement here was to give legislative effect to Newspeak.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      I was not against gay marriage but it was hardly a priority. What was wrong with civil partnerships anyway? But now that have gay marriage why no civil partnerships for non gay couples?

    2. james Matthews
      September 2, 2016


    3. Vanessa
      September 2, 2016

      Rather sums him up – doesn’t it?!!!

  47. Richard Butler
    September 2, 2016

    Initially a supporter, as time went on I came to the view he lacked the vision to finally address our unbalanced economy that depended far too much on debt, imports, consumption and selling one another houses.

    This during an upheaval where people with once dignified lives found themselves ever more intruded upon by technology (UBER for example, transferring the once decent transformative earnings of licensed London cabbies over to the asset holding clique in California), and mass immigration which resulted in British employers doing away with on the job training and decent wages.

    Where was the grand industrial strategy, where was the spine when it came to making our benefits system as sceptical and difficult to access as those in Holland and France, where was the laser like focus on getting mass immigration down? I own a small business and see with my own eyes migrant after migrant able to run rinds around our soft touch nature, particularly in regard to in work housing benefit and tax credits, the abuse I see is thoroughly depressing, and as ever, unknown to the naïve liberal class that rely on equally naïve liberal academics for their evidence.
    He like those WW1 Generals became detached form trench life.

  48. Remington Norman
    September 2, 2016


    Your comments are obscure: if by ‘most important PM’ you mean PM whose decisions have most influenced the UK, Heath trumps Cameron. If, on the other hand, by ‘important’ you mean ‘has had most beneficial influence’ then neither Cameron and Heath approach consideration. Heath, as you point out, tied us to the EU and its well-rehearsed hegemony over the UK parliament. As to Cameron, you cite his ‘brave decision to allow voters the choice on the EU’ approvingly. The reality is that Cameron was forced into holding a referendum both by UKIP and by growing Tory discontent. His period in office was characterised by weakness and failure. In particular: making policy on the hoof and the subsequent necessary u-turns and by reluctance to take controversial decisions unless these were forced on him. He must rank with Heath, Blair and Brown among this country’s worst post-war PMs.

    1. John Downes
      September 2, 2016

      “He must rank with Heath, Blair and Brown among this country’s worst post-war PMs.”

      You left out Major, the man of Maastricht, ERM, Railtrack, Mad Cow Disease…. to be candid there is not a single PM we’ve had since MT that has not been a total dud.

    2. Vanessa
      September 2, 2016

      Why did he always announce big, important decisions HE had made on policy to the media and never Parliament as a first step ???

  49. jgd
    September 2, 2016

    This is one of the few occasions when I disagree heartily with you, Mr Redwood.

    I don’t believe that Cameron made a brave decision to give a referendum; it was a mixture of his desire to see off the UKIP threat (a party whose right wing, conservative aspirations never sat well with his left liberal, popularity seeking agenda) coupled with the expectation that he would once again be in coalition with his soulmates the Liberal Democrats, who would never allow such a plebiscite to take place, that led him to make a promise he saw little prospect of having to fulfil.

    I find nothing to suggest that he was anything other than pro EU. In none of his – overvalued – speeches, his numerous interviews and briefings, did he ever commit to voting to leave. Not only did he lead the Remain campaign, he abused every power at his disposal to deliver the vote he and his cronies wanted.

    You cite “Gay Marriage” as being a steadying influence to get over the banking crash. Since it was not in the manifesto, was not actively sought, and was a calculated slap in the face to traditional conservatives, I find this assessment of it peculiar.

    Margaret Thatcher was the outstanding Prime Minister since the Second World War, not a man of few principles who saw himself as the “heir to Blair,” and felt he sould be Prime Minister because he would be “rather good at it.”

    One of the few points of agreement I find is that he should be lumped together with Heath.

    For me, Cameron has all but destroyed the “conservative” traditions of the Conservative Party.

    He has been under a flag of convenience as a Conservative.

    1. Cheshire Girl
      September 2, 2016

      I agree that Margaret Thatcher was the outstanding Prime Minister since the Second World War. In my opinion, no one of her calibre has been in power since. Although he talked a lot about it, I felt that David Cameron did not understand the concerns of the ordinary person. He seemed to live in a different world. During his tenure the Conservative party lost many members, yet he didnt seem concerned about this. Some of them joined UKIP and were insulted to be called ‘closet racists’ and such, just because they disagreed with the way the Prime Minister was doing things. Gay Marriage was a case in point.

      I was unhappy about his insistence that we give a set amount in Foreign Aid. I thought this was a big mistake. Also, his insistence that we take many Refugees and Asylum Seekers, even though our services were bursting at the seams. Concerns about this were brushed aside.
      I cant say I was sorry when David Cameron resigned. I hope Theresa May will do things differently.

  50. SupportOurLefty
    September 2, 2016

    Very interesting and thoughtful piece as ever, Mr. Redwood.

  51. scottspeig
    September 2, 2016


    I do not think history will be kind.

    It will be Nigel Farage & UKIP that will be remembered for the EU referendum. Had Cameron stayed out of the debate, then he would have been remembered as the PM that offered direct democracy and implemented it. Unfortunately that will not be the case.

    While he will inevitably be linked to same-sex “marriage”, I do not think this will be kind in the long term as it will be this that started the openness of polygamy and polyamory and the social breakdown of the nuclear family that has had a positive influence on society.

    The lib-dem coalition I do not think is held as a positive thing, but at least he actually won an election against Ed Milliband. Had he not done so, he would have been (rightly) viewed as a terrible leader.

    The main problem is that we have a Conservative party that has left it’s core voters behind to chase the vacuous “centre ground” rather than persuading the voters that traditional conservative views are better for all.

    Hopefully T.May will rectify this, but given her maiden speech outside No.10, I will not be holding my breath…

    1. Lifelogic
      September 2, 2016

      He only just won the second election and that was little thanks to Cameron. It was because no one wanted a dire Miliband dog wagged by a dire Nicola Sturgeon and the SNp.

      He was just the least bad option. His policies, after all, were just Libdim policies and we say how popular they were.

  52. Mitchel
    September 2, 2016

    Provided that we do not confuse “important” with “great”,I agree….with the term being applied to both Heath and Cameron.

    What a pair of bookends!

  53. Ed Mahony
    September 2, 2016

    ‘The UK was in it for the trade’

    – The UK was/is in it for geopolitics = trade + peace + security (with peace + security also impacting on the long-term stability of the economy).

    The tragedy is we’re trying to throw the baby with the bathwater. The EU has problems and needs reforming. But it also has its benefits and you don’t turn your back on it. Instead you try and reform it (and we haven’t – trying to get concessions for the UK is not the same as trying to reform the EU as a whole). We haven’t tried. Rather we go for the easier options: A) Just go along with the EU B) Turn your back on it.

    So if you’re pragmatic and not willing to flow with the status quo (either as a Remainer or a Brexiteer) but up for a fight, then please get writing to your MP to try and get the EU reformed so that it works for all, including the UK (we can send men to the moon, surely we’ve got the intelligence, imagination and will power to get the EU reformed).

    1. mickc
      September 2, 2016

      The EU is as incapable of reform as were the Bourbons.

    2. ian wragg
      September 2, 2016

      Why would the EU want to reform. It is about a United States of Europe and nothing else matters. Even as the Euro bankrupts the southern states, nothing must stand in the projects way.
      They could have given Cameron something worthwhile but chose not too. Reform my a..e

    3. Denis Cooper
      September 2, 2016

      Well, in his January 2013 Bloomberg speech Cameron did intimate that he wanted to see the EU as a whole reformed, rather than just getting some changes specially for the UK.

      “So let me set out my vision for a new European Union, fit for the 21st Century.

      It is built on 5 principles …”

      “My strong preference is to enact these changes for the entire EU, not just for Britain.”

      “Because with courage and conviction I believe we can deliver a more flexible, adaptable and open European Union in which the interests and ambitions of all its members can be met.

      With courage and conviction I believe we can achieve a new settlement in which Britain can be comfortable and all our countries can thrive.”

      But that vision largely got lost on the way.

    4. Bob
      September 2, 2016

      @Ed Mahony

      “get the EU reformed”

      It’s too far gone. The Eurozone is a house of cards and the EU is a dysfunctional regional customs union with superpower aspirations. Let it go. The Phoenix will rise from the ashes.

      1. Ed Mahony
        September 3, 2016

        ‘It’s too far gone. The Eurozone is a house of cards and the EU is a dysfunctional regional customs union with superpower aspirations’

        – I’m sorry, but this is defeatism. We haven’t even tried. All we’ve done is go for the easier options which is either to:
        A) Leave
        B) Allow Germany and France to run things in Europe

    5. longinus
      September 3, 2016

      You can’t reform the EU.

      Peace? Kosovo and Ukraine, islamic terrorism
      Security? That was down to NATO.

      We tried to re-negotiate a better deal but Cameron was offered nothing substantial. We have discussed the issues repeatedly over many months and the case for remain was weak.

      You lost, please get over it.

      1. Ed Mahony
        September 3, 2016

        ‘We tried to re-negotiate a better deal but Cameron was offered nothing substantial’

        – I’m not talking about deals. I’m talking about trying to get more control of Europe so that we can try and reform it.

        ‘We have discussed the issues repeatedly over many months and the case for remain was weak’. No we haven’t. We haven’t discussed at all about how to reform the EU.

        ‘You lost, please get over it’. Please don’t be so confrontational and blinkered in your thinking. You’re not even responding to my comment. My comment is about reforming the EU so that the UK can benefit from what is best about Europe whilst discarding what is worst about it.

    6. Mitchel
      September 3, 2016

      Did you not hear what the clueless threesome had to say on the good ship Garibaldi last week?

  54. Dung
    September 2, 2016

    In contrast to amost every thing else you have ever written, I find your views on Cameron impossible to understand. He was driven to giving us a referendum by Farage, and he has tried to wriggle out of it at every opportunity. He has spent billions of taxpayer pounds on on what he wrongly believed was a threat to the planet in the form of CO2. He has ignored the needs of our defence forces, he regularly makes up policy as he goes a long and then forgets it once he realises how stupid it was. Cameron would have brought in the Climate Change Act if Labour had not got there first, an act which I believe you helped try to abolish.. Cameron is and was an embarrassmentan a disgrace to his party and his country and in no way is he or was he a true Conservatiove.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      September 2, 2016

      Hear, hear, Dung

  55. Bobe
    September 2, 2016

    Dear John, Cameron only allowed the referendum so as to stymie the UKIP vote. He assumed that the Lib Dims would be in coalition and so would stop the referendum. That’s the truth of it.

  56. Liz
    September 2, 2016

    David Cameron’s greatest achievement was in the joint creation of the coalition Government and holding it together for a full term at a difficult time financially. He also gave us the referndum on continued EU membership something it is all too obvious many prominent people in Parkiament and in the country now detest and wish to reverse by any means they can – he is a true democrat – they are not.

  57. Lifelogic
    September 2, 2016

    You say:- “It looks as if he was persuaded to be so strongly Remain and to back Project Fear by George Osborne and Peter Mandelson”. Would anyone sensible take advice from either of these two characters?

    1. fedupsoutherner
      September 2, 2016

      Exactly what I said Lifelogic. Why would a leader of our nation take notice of these two?

  58. Roy Grainger
    September 2, 2016

    The fact Cameron thinks gay marriage was his greatest achievement shows what a very minor Prime Minister he was. It wasn’t in the Conservative manifesto so he never had to argue the case for it with the public, and there was cross-party support for it so he had no problem getting it through Parliament either. And the result of the policy is few thousand (I don’t know the figure) gay couples get married instead of being in a civil partnership which had the same material benefits. It’s hardly ranks with the founding of the NHS does it.

    You say his holding the EU referendum was brave, I take the opposite view, as a rabid Euro-enthusiast he thought a Remain vote was certain and it would silence those critics he hadn’t been able to convince by argument, a sign of weakness on his part really.

    September 2, 2016

    Off topic:

    BBC TV announced today it is running a documentary next week on “How two months of Brexit has affected people up and down the country” . Since we haven’t had Brexit yet I guess their next documentary will be “How was Christmas 2018, and did everyone get the presents they wanted? ”

    Just a few moments ago, they did a feature about dog-ticks. It took the BBC five minutes to show a brief blurred photo of a tick; a minute later they showed a half-second shot of a tick and five minutes talking of how the symptoms and illness caused by an infected tick can lead to a human being incapacitated for three years. They missed out altogether a description ( visual or verbal ) of the symptoms and illness in humans and dogs.

    We should miss out our TV licence fee. They wouldn’t know. But could very well talk about the possibility in future tense without actually mentioning “licence fee” at all.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      September 2, 2016

      Yes, and Nick asked how long it took for ticks to grow from small insects to the large bulbous things but they didn’t tell us. Pathetic as usual.

    2. james Matthews
      September 2, 2016

      The Corporation continuing its relentless campaign to soften up the electorate for a vote to remain in the EU in a second referendum. They really can’t forgive voters for not following their lead in the first. All pretence of impartiality has now gone.

  60. Lifelogic
    September 2, 2016

    To be fair to Cameron all the Prime Ministers in my lifetime (Labour or Conservative) from the dire Suez crisis, one nation, Keynesian policies of Macmillan to the dreadful & dishonest Ted Heath, the ERM/EURO enthusiast John Major, the disastrous warmonger Bliar and the absurd “no return to boom and bust” Gordon Brown to the totally dishonest, say one think do the opposite Cast Iron and a Libdem in disguise.

    The only partial exception is Lady Thatcher, but even she made terrible mistakes. She closed countless grammar schools, signed the European Act, appointed John Major as minister & then chancellor (a man who failed his maths O level and can hardly speak in full sentences) and then allowed him to push her into the ERM and even replace her!

    1. Duyfken
      September 2, 2016

      Ll, you missed one or two in that list and anyway I forgive the blessed Margaret for some misjudgments. I do agree that by comparison with or rather by contrast to the other predecessors, Cameron was a shade better. Nevertheless I give no credit to him for agreeing to the EU referendum – imo, he was persuaded to do so (by GO naturally) for Party political advantage, and not for altruistic thoughts that it was right for the country.

  61. agricola
    September 2, 2016

    Totally off topic but important. I see that Google are test flying drones with a view to using them for delivery purposes. Yet again a commercial airliner in the Heathrow control area has come unacceptibly close to a collision with one flown illegally outside it’s designated limits. There are two concerns. First that an idiot member of the general public with no knowledge of aviation decides to fly one in controlled airspace because he/she is ignorant that such spaces exist. Two that a terrorist, and we have plenty lying dormant awaiting an opportunity to create mayhem, uses one to blow a hole in an airliner, ten Downing Street, or an atomic facility.

    I do not want to meet up with a load of Amazon books in a thermal over Spain, real live vultures are a big enough challenge, nor do I want to be downed by one when I fly into the UK. Look upon drones as you would a Kalashnikov, inert in the hands of a responsible person, but in the hands of a maniac or terrorist totally lethal. I would suggest that it is long overdue that the CAA and Parliament gave serious thought as to how the proliferation of these devices can be controlled. My personal view is that anyone finding one hovering over their property should be free to take a shotgun to it.

  62. Old Buccaneer
    September 2, 2016

    I’m surprised Lady Thatcher doesn’t make your list. Turning the UK round after the “winter of discontent” and the Falklands (which in my version of history led to the fall of the Berlin Wall), among other achievements, seem to me to be quite major.

    Reply I wasnt making a list of great leaders, but assessing their impact as important.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      September 2, 2016

      Reply to reply. But Thatcher’s achievements were important. At least we knew she was a Conservative leader and not a follower of every Tom, Dick and Harry like Cameron.

  63. Glenn Vaughan
    September 2, 2016


    I sincerely hope that normal service will be resumed for tomorrow’s blog after this latest inexplicable aberration.

  64. cosmic
    September 2, 2016

    Cameron offered the referendum as a UKIP spoiler, believing the general election was lost, or at least that an outright majority was off the cards – it was a post dated cheque he believed he wouldn’t have to cash. It was a gamble that failed.

    It’s hard to understand what his position on the EU was apart from a desire not to rock the boat. In fact it’s difficult to see that he had a considered opinion on almost anything – truly the heir to Blair.

    His misjudgement delivered something I hoped for but thought I wouldn’t live to see, but it was an accident on his part.

    I can’t have much respect for the man although I’m grateful to him in a way.

  65. Newmania
    September 2, 2016

    Whilst Edward Heath may occupy an especially hot seat in the colourful demonology of Blue and Red UKIP his attitude to Europe was unremarkable and shared by MacMillian and then Wilson , all of whom wished to address the UKs impoverished backward and deluded condition. They and many more worked towards our inclusion in the “rich man`s club” as its protectionist opponents like to call it . How Tony Benn and Enoch Powell must enjoy their spiritual heirs gloating now .
    David Cameron was in my view the most talented politician of my lifetime , playing a weak hand and leading a Party still half determined to be unelectable he steered the country some way through a crisis the scale of which we must hope never to discover aided, of course , by the magnificent George Osborne

    George Osborne`s star will ultimately shine while David Cameron can at best hope to cast as tragically flawed hero .He made a deal with the devil to fend off UKIP ,hoping to bargain the consequences away .Obliged to pay up, he assumed that no British electorate could , in the end do anything so stupid as to leave the EU. We know better now

    So now we trudge to the dark prison of our own making, led by lobotomised bride of Ian Duncan Smith facing a preening parochial debating society Communist . The sheer Lilliputian scale of personnel is enough to make you despair.

    Things will have to change . I see the only way forward as extra on line organisations of resistance within the system on the Momentum model and targeting the MPs responsible ( as I am doing ) outside Party lines . David Cameron may be the last great figure to come from the old system

  66. adam
    September 2, 2016

    I dont like his beliefs or ideas but he was a good PM anyway.

    Im not having that he was secretly anti EU. He was desperately trying to get us into it forever, hence the referendum.

  67. Don Dutta
    September 2, 2016

    I think David Cameron had a lot of guts to call the referendum in the first place, then nail his colours to the Remain mast to show what he believed in – and did the honourable thing by resigning when he lost the referendum! Lot of politicians – past and present – would have distanced themselves from the competing camps and in so doing, save their jobs. He did help in turning the economy around from Labour’s catastrophic mess- and in the process help create over 2 million jobs. I hope this is how history will remember him.

  68. zorro
    September 2, 2016

    i don’t agree. ‘Important’ in the sense of nothing to do with him at all apart from being there at the time. This idea that he wanted to give us a referendum out of the goodness of his heart or any positive overriding political conviction is for the birds. The empirical facts suggest the opposite….. I am afraid that I will believe his own words in that he thought that his most important (and proudest) achievement was gay marriage.

    ‘It looks as if he was persuaded to be so strongly Remain and to back Project Fear by George Osborne and Peter Mandelson, who took a joint prominent role in the campaign.’….. That is his judgement – dreadful. But let’s give him a chance? Let’s assume that Cameron in some way had good intentions….. Surely, he should have stayed above the fray, and do what he said he would do – Listen to the British people and carry out their direction. He said this solemnly on multiple occasions. He said that if Leave won, he would remain Prime Minister and carry out their wishes and invoke Article 50 the next day….

    Instead, he turned and ran in IGNOMINY. What pathetic nonsense that he had no choice. I cannot think of a greater abdication of responsibility by a Prime Minister in this country’s history than that exercised by Cast Elastic Cameron. Maybe he looked the part of Prime Minister, but he flunked it both tactically and strategically BIG time! I’m sorry that I don’t feel sorry for him one bit, because I think that he was duplicitous when speaking to the nation with regards to his opinions and true intentions….


  69. Horatio McSherry
    September 2, 2016


    I think that’s a pretty fair assessment from yourself, as someone of your position and standing.

    I think on a personal level, I liked him as a person, and always thought he’d be enjoyable company to share a pint or two with. I also think he always genuinely wanted to do the best for people.

    Politically though he was a very lucky Prime Minister. He never really had an opposition, events always seemed to drop in such a way that he never really had to adapt to anything, and when he did, following events seemedcto drop nicely (you can’t hold these against him, however). But, to be honest, as a politician he just leaves a feeling of flimsiness. As Tony Benn might say, “a weather-cock” and his big decisions seemed to stem from political manouvering/expediency (and being led in his naively by advisors) rather than any firm belief in something. He was a bit like water: just…kind of…there.

    Overall, I liked him, (After the malevolence of Blair and Brown anything would have been better), but I see much of his tenure as missed opportunities and the last part as just playing the game, waiting for it to be over.

  70. R.T.G.
    September 2, 2016

    How will history judge him for being one of the cheerleaders in the campaign to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi?

    The so called Arab Spring in Libya seems to have produced rather less flowers than Gaddafi’s astonishing irrigation project, The ‘Great Man-Made River’.

    Gaddafi was containable and kept good order in Libya, allowing many Libyans a secular and fairly modern standard of living. Since his overthrow and subsequent murder, there is a disorder which unnecessarily contributes to the problems now manifesting in Southern and Northern Europe.

  71. Maureen Turner
    September 2, 2016

    I don’t see Mr. Cameron as an important ex PM but he inherited a terrible financial /economic mess which he did his best to address and succeeded to a considerable degree.

    Margaret Thatcher was both important and great as she took this country from being the sick man of Europe and transformed it into a nation respected around the world. One of the problems the Con. Party continues to face some 20+ years down the line is the lack of a Leader who can fill her shoes. Just like Churchhill but in entirely different circumstances MT was the right person in very troubled times plus she had an excellent team around her.

    I suppose you could say Edward Heath was important in that he took the UK into the EEC but the damage to our fishing industry and agriculture lives with us to this day. Yes, wrong political decisions can be important when viewed as negative as well as positive.

    Mr. Cameron will have no problem in finding employment. He has in abundance the charm and wit which was probably honed in his PR days – he just wasn’t PM material when it comes to the Tory Party.

  72. MARTWC
    September 2, 2016

    I would not be quite as lenient as all that. When Cameron made the referendum promise he never believed he would ever have to deliver on it. Three years ago, the next election was almost certainly a Labour government run by Ed Milli and, or maybe a Lab/Snp coalition,or maybe a Lab/Lib coalition. Possibly, as an outside chance, another Con-lib coalition. I think he never thought he would ever have to deliver.
    But in all credit to him, deliver on that promise is exactly what he did.

  73. Ronald Olden
    September 3, 2016

    Dave M. David Cameron did not resign ‘because he did not like the result of the Referendum he called’. He resigned because it left him (let alone Osborne), with no credibility left to carry through Brexit. He’d already promised he wasn’t going to carry on beyond his Parliament anyway. He was a lame duck. A clean break was entirely the right decision leaving a new Government to make the moist of the new opportunity Brexit offers.

    I wish Cameron well. He returned the Tories back to power and made the party electable again. The Tories now have a great opportunity to make something of the legacy he has given it.

    Neither did he ‘split the party’ on Gay Marriage. Hardly any Tories I speak to mention the subject. And it takes two sides to make a ‘split’. It’s high time the losers in this debate stopped banging on about it accepted the outcome.

    Richard1 I can’t see that David Cameron could have got anything better out of the EU if he had played a ‘long game’. The EU wanted us in on their own terms. We’re better off without them and they without us. It’s much better that this decision was taken so early in the Parliament, so that we can complete this Brexit well in time for the General Election in 2020 and before what would otherwise have been Euro Elections in 2019.

    Micke, Cameron and Nigel Farage were the most important post was politicians save for Mrs Thatcher. It’s thanks to Cameron winning a majority in the 2015 Election and Farage extracting the promise of a Referendum out of the Tories that there was a Referendum at all. I can’t see any other leader who would have won a majority in that election. Cameron detoxified the Tory brand and achieved those vital extra thousands of votes. The outcome of the 2015 General Election has led to the likelihood that the Tories will now be in power till at least 2025 and that we will leave the EU altogether.

  74. David Price
    September 3, 2016

    The inadvertent consequences of some of his actions will be profound so in that sense he was important. But my abiding memory is that almost his first action was to fly to Paris for a meeting with Sarkozy and Merkel when on the flight out he made disparaging remarks about the people of this country. Clegg did the very same thing.

    From that point on my opinion of Cameron & co was that they were lightweight, disloyal and did not represent our best interests, just those of certain vocal minorities.

    We’ll have to see how Theresa May does in the role.

  75. stred
    September 3, 2016

    Eural will be able to enrich himself using his main talent. His speaking ability and flexibility of belief will make him a top after dinner and academia entertainer. Well worth $20k a gob work out. Or perhaps, given his superhuman effort to frighten the electorate into remaining, a cushy number in his favoured territory, Belgium.

  76. Lindsay McDougall
    September 4, 2016

    Like Mikhail Gorbachev, David Cameron will be fondly remembered as a useful idiot. There are many worse roles in history.

  77. bluedog
    September 4, 2016

    From a recent poll, it seems that two-thirds of the electorate are happy with progress in implementing Brexit so far. Indeed, one can say that Mrs May’s performance in fending off pleas for a greatly reduced version of Brexit has been both impeccable and courageous. Without a mandate of her own, Mrs May depends heavily on the polls to be able to stare down her critics.

    But the negotiations have not yet begun in a formal sense. When they do so it will be under conditions that we cannot foresee, for example, will the long mooted banking crash in the EU have struck? In any event, if Mrs May is thwarted in achieving a beneficial settlement with the EU for any reason, one imagines that George Osborne will have some ideas on what he and David Cameron should do next. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

  78. peter davies
    September 5, 2016

    I read somewhere he was advised to reject the EU “negotiation” by Lynton Crosby but declined that advice. He should have been honest and stated clearly this falls short of what was asked for, over to you electorate and i will stay neutral and accept whatever result – then it would probably have been more like 65% leave.

    I suspect in years to come when we are out and hopefully forging a better direction in the world history will be kind to him.

  79. Lindsay McDougall
    September 5, 2016

    I’ll tell you whose legacy is looking better and better with each passing year. He has been dead for 18 years and his name is Enoch Powell.

    Enoch advocated scrapping Bretton Woods and floating currencies freely when he supported the ROBOT scheme in 1952. Most western currencies floated from about 1970.

    Enoch advocated wholesale denationalisation (privatisation) in the early 1960s and it happened in the early 1980s. Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph accepted the credit.

    Enoch advocated wholesale scrapping of forex controls in the early 1960s. The Howe/Lawson budget of 1980 enacted it.

    Enoch suggested in 1964 that rates should be replaced by a local government tax on the capital value of houses. Council tax was introduced in 1991 and Michael Heseltine claimed the credit.

    Enoch said in 1968 that mass immigration would lead to ‘Rivers of blood’ (not the actual words used). The Brixton and Toxteth riots happened in 1981 and anyone who thinks that prospects for harmony in Greater London are good is a complete fool.

    Enoch forced over 100 divisions against his own Government in 1972 when the Bill to join the EEC was being passed. After losing the 1975 Referendum, he said that the verdict to stay in was temporary. Roll forward to 2016.

    Enoch said that the Sunningdale agreement of 1974 would never work because it was asking Unionists to renounce the Union. He was right. John Reid has described the Good Friday Agreement of 1999 as Sunningdale for slow learners. The Good Friday Agreement has created an ambiguity about the future of the Union that will need to be resolved eventually.

    For a man who opined that all political lives end in failure, Enoch is doing pretty well.

    1. Lindsay McDougall
      September 5, 2016

      And in the early 1960s Enoch advocated removing the immunity of Trade Unions to civil proscecutions. After a false start by Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher’s government made it happen in the early 1980s.

    2. bluedog
      September 7, 2016

      Good comment. Enoch’s problem was one of presentation. He never learned to sugar the pill and present his ideas in a manner that was not a direct challenge to the listener. In an era that was becoming less formal, the three piece suits in dark cloth always seemed very dated, and made him look as though he belonged in some pre-war parliament. Of course the substance was superb, it’s such a pity his skills as a salesman were not more developed.

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