Cameron has truly shown himself to be the ‘heir to Blair’ by resigning as an MP months after leaving Downing Street. His departure stinks of contradiction.
Nick Gutteridge produced an article for The Daily Express days after the EU Referendum that said the former prime minister will stay on as an MP because he ‘doesn’t want to be remembered like Blair.’ In fact, the now former Witney MP went as far as saying that he will seek re-election in the 2020 General Election.
For those Tories who were annoyed at the way he behaved during the referendum this year, for a brief moment it felt like there was a shred of decency left in a man who established a reputation as entering politics for the right reasons. It made us all feel sad that he was leaving despite lying so much during the referendum.
However, that was soon forgotten when the Honours List scandal emerged, whereby he provided Will Straw, the failed leader of the Stronger In campaign, and his other cronies like Osborne, with honours. Andrew Grice for The Independent went as far as saying that this list would embarrass ‘a medieval court.’
Like some of his other allies that include Nicky Morgan, Cameron also tried to kick up a fight regarding May’s plans to lift the ban on grammar schools. After months of political isolation, the man finally gathered enough strength to embrace a new political battle. Here is the man who was provided with the opportunity to attend Eton now trying to deny children from a poorer background the chance to a decent education. Is it any wonder people still saw the Conservatives as the ‘party of the rich’ despite providing us with a majority last year?
Understandably, he abandoned this fight. It was no wonder he did so because he spent months fighting for a campaign that he lost. Instead of sticking to his convictions, he has resigned as an MP. This is the quickest change of heart in politics that has been witnessed recently. In regards to grammar schools and changing his mind, who remembers when the former Witney MP kept dithering over lifting the ban on grammars in 2007?
What’s worse about the ex prime minister’s decision to resign is that he spent five years as leader of the opposition trying to destroy New Labour whilst suggesting that he was the ‘heir to Blair.’ Already, there was an apparent contradiction. Here is the man who promised to end ‘Punch and Judy’ politics only to find that he encouraged it during his years debating five Labour leaders in the House of Commons. The man who went from hugging huskies to eradicating a budget deficit caused by the Labour government he slated in office. Yet before that, Cameron assured us all that Labour’s spending plans would be safe under the Tories prior to 2008.
Cameron’s u-turns throughout the years were compensated with moments of luck. After the omnishambles budget of 2012, the economy started to grow again in 2013. When it seemed possible that he would struggle to win a majority, he only went and did it. The former prime minister was also blessed with useless coalition partners and weak opposition.
Remember when he said the Conservative Party needs to quit ‘banging on about Europe’ and when he produced countless Eurosceptic noises? Then this year, he maintained that we should stay in the EU as part of a pathetic deal stronger prime ministers would have walked away from?
At least we knew Blair stood for a ‘third way’ between Thatcherism and social democracy. What did the former Witney MP represent? Pure pragmatism and opportunity.
This is what makes his resignation stink of contradiction. It is reflective of all his other half-hearted moves in the past. It is disappointing that the man who promised to be different to Blair has only gone and thrown away his legacy for good by copying his actions. The words ‘career politician’ spring to mind.