Sunday, 19 June 2016

New Statesman letter on Cameron`s naivety

David Cameron might well "dislike the frequent comparisons" between himself and Harold Wilson, but as Stephen Bush says, he should have realised that he has "stronger opponents and weaker allies" in his referendum campaign than the Labour leader had (Politics,10thJune, 2016). In fact, what this campaign has revealed, above all else, is not only the prime minister`s political naivety, but his complete lack of foresight.
    Having announced his pre-resignation, did Cameron really expect loyalty from all of his cabinet, with so many opportunities available to any Tories willing to sacrifice principles for popularity? Should he not have prepared in advance for the ambitious Johnson to play the role of the 1846 Disraeli to his Robert Peel? Tories talk so much about the importance of national history in the school curriculum, but even with their expensive education, team Cameron appear to have learned very little from it. Similarly, why would he think Gove was going to heed expert advice on Europe when he had dismissed it on education?
   Another obvious point is whether Cameron ever considered whose support would be needed if Remain was to prove victorious; plenty of evidence, months ago, suggested non-Tory voters would have to be persuaded, yet Cameron`s government continued its assault on trade unions, and offered no regulation to prevent the exploitation of private tenants, whilst the prime minister himself continued to ridicule the very man whose support, arguably, he needed most of all, at PMQs. 
Cameron will probably be remembered as the "premier who took Britain out of Europe", by hardly "by accident"!


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