Cameron’s has further tarnished his legacy by placing his allies who backed Britain’s membership of the EU on this year’s Honour List.
Four of his former cabinet ministers on the Honours List include David Lidington, Patrick McLoughlin, Michael Fallon and Phillip Hammond.
However, this year’s Honours List also includes Tory donors such as Ian Taylor and Andrew Cook. Together, both of them generously donated £3 million for Cameron’s Conservative Party as well as the Remain campaign.
This year’s Honours List, successfully obtained by The Sunday Times, includes Will Straw, the director of the Remain campaign, who has been nominated for a CBE. Former chancellor George Osborne has been put forward as a companion of honour.
Theresa May has insisted that she will not interfere in the Honours List this year. This is a disappointing decision considering the first month of her premiership will be occupied by the uproar this year’s Honours List nominations have caused and makes it incredibly difficult for the Government to have a clean break from the previous one. It also damages the reputation of the Westminster political system at a time May is trying to restore faith in it.
These nominations beg the question as to why these people are being awarded for their failures.
Take Will Straw for example. His campaign failed to persuade the majority of British people who bothered to vote at this year’s EU Referendum to vote for Britain to remain a part of the EU. Yet he is receiving an award for leading a campaign that lost? This proves what the fundamental problem with the Honours List is; it stinks of cronyism.
Also, does George Osborne really deserve to be on the Honours List at all? Granted, this man has brought economic stability back to our economy during one of the most turbulent times for our country in recent years. But he is not being awarded for his ability to steer the economy through challenging times; he is being awarded for pledging his loyalty to the Remain camp. And he certainly does not deserve an award for that.
Osborne’s behaviour during the EU Referendum was disgraceful. If there was a segment of the British population worth threatening with economic turmoil if we left the EU, Osborne would certainly not waste an opportunity to do so. First, he suggested each family in this country would be left with a £4300 bill if we left the EU. Then he alarmed pensioners into thinking that their pensions would be harmed if we left the EU. Finally, he spoke at length about a post-Brexit budget that would impose further austerity upon people if we left the EU.
May was right to sack Osborne as soon as she took office. His rants about economic turmoil if we left the EU were dumbfounded and ridiculous. By placing Osborne on this year’s Honours List, Cameron has ensured that a former cabinet minister who behaved recklessly and paid the price for it will be rewarded via the Honours List now, regardless of his stupid behaviour.
What this year’s Honours List proves is that if you did not back the Remain camp during the EU Referendum, then there is no chance your name will be placed on there. It fails to recognise the efforts former cabinet ministers achieved prior to the EU Referendum.
Iain Duncan Smith has lifted millions of people out of poverty by creating the Universal Credit system that has ended many years of complication in the welfare system. Without the Universal Credit, millions more people would not be in work. Iain Duncan Smith had to endure years of criticism from the Labour Party and hard work to pass the legislation necessary for Universal Credit to become a reality. He deserves to be on that Honours List, despite which side he backed during the EU Referendum.
Or what about John Whittingdale? This man has bravely confronted the problems of the BBC by issuing a new Charter that guarantees TV license payers are on the receiving end of a fairer deal from the BBC.
John Whittingdale’s and Iain Duncan Smith’s contributions towards Cameron’s government are just as valiant as most of those former cabinet ministers of his already on there. They are being punished for supporting the Leave side.
‘The public wants cleaner politics and better value for money,’ said Cameron in response to Tony Blair’s ‘cash for honours’ scandal ten years ago. Those words ring hollow now. Cameron has truly become the ‘heir to Blair’ considering he has mocked the majority of voters who voted to leave the EU. He has done this by awarding his cronies with awards as part of a system those who voted to leave the EU are already angry about.
So for those who believed Cameron would create a ‘new kind of politics’ should be disappointed. His legacy is tarnished by his awful decision to stuff the Honours List with his loyal friends. This will now be our lasting memory of Cameron’s premiership and one we will never forget. What an awful way to end your time in power.