Wednesday 13 July 2016
Brexitwatch: So farewell then, David Cameron
According to Enoch Powell, 'all political careers end in failure'. But few can have burned up quite so spectacularly as that of David Cameron.
He spent months telling us it would be a disaster if we left the EU, and yet because of his foolishly constructed referendum, which imposed no minimum threshold for Brexit, on the say-so of not much more than a third of the electorate, we are now consigned to suffer the damage he predicted.
As for his flagship policy - elimination of the budget deficit - he abandoned that completely. Originally he promised to balance the books by 2015, then by 2020, and much pain and austerity was inflicted on the British people to achieve this objective. Now there is no plan for getting rid of the deficit, just as there is no plan for what to do when we leave Europe.
In Peer Gynt, as the hero's life nears its end, he is confronted by a button-moulder who proposes melting him down to see if anything of value remains. When David Cameron's time at No 10 is melted down, what will we find? He legalised same-sex marriage. And that is about it.
We British often get sentimental about prime ministers who are coming to the end of their careers, however unpopular they may have been. But David Cameron's great failing was that he put the interests of the Conservative Party before the interests of his country. And for that history will judge him harshly, and rightly so.
He leaves office a leading contender, against some formidable competition, for the title of Britain's worst-ever prime minister.