PM David Cameron - a political genius

PM Cameron, many called him a fool during the Scottish referendum because they don't understand him as they feared he may cause the split of the UK but 'No' won while many fear he may move the UK out the EU because of the referendum he promised the people. Yet, from a party-political view, he is a master in politics who managed to win an overall majority after 5 years in government with austerity as a central part of his policies while almost completely destroyed many of his opponents.

First, while in opposition he managed that the Tories were again accepted after years of distrust by many British after years of Margaret Thatcher as prime minister and her merciless capitalism that destroyed a large part of British society although people celebrated they could buy (old) social houses. After PM Thatcher, over a decade of New Labour politics under PM Blair that embraced a changed society that accepted immigrants, gays, women, tried to destroy poverty, was less negative towards the EU, ... . Mr. Cameron managed to regain trust by preaching before the general election of 2010 a compassionate society he called the 'Big Society’ although he was also lucky Mr Brown was PM after Mr Brown managed to out Mr Blair as PM. But after his election, almost overnight now PM Cameron changed tactics by preaching austerity to reduce the UK's debts (and blaming New Labour for it), that work can give you everything and thus he introduced zero-hour contracts so people are never sure how long they can work while claiming the state is too big and thus reducing the numbers of civil servants. By introducing the policies of his goddess Thatcher, he changed society that rose under New Labour from a warm one that applauded the reduction of poverty and improving state schools so every child had an equal chance towards a cold society whereby people agree that people have to look after themselves. He targeted certain sections of society and continuously repeated his adagio: the poor are to blame, as well as the immigrants, the sick, ...

  • Make enough people slightly poorer so life becomes that little more difficult, and people start blaming the poor of which many need financial help so people will agree it should be taken away so many have to start begging and thus more people start to dislike them; 
  •  Blame almost daily that immigrants take jobs and the poor (and others) start blaming immigrants for their poverty although the rich immigrants are still welcomed by the powerful elite and continue to increase house prices; 
  • Claim how inefficient state schools are and people will agree private schools are better.

But Mr Cameron was also lucky that PM Blair was such a strong supporter of war while the financial crisis erupted when Mr Brown was PM so opposition against New Labour grew. Still, he also allowed some social policies that others in his party despise such as gay wedding. But, it was mainly his handling of certain issues and his opponents that won him an overall majority during the last elections of 2015, although probably at a high cost for the Nation as one part of the country voted completely different from the other while also the referendum may show the differences and may bring an unbalance that the old powers don't agree with. Here how he destroyed his opponents so the Tories won a majority.

Liberal Democrats (LibDems)

How many politicians in any country were ever able to not only completely destroy their opponent but also their coalition partner (i.e. LibDems) within less than one (1, ONE) year? A destruction so complete that the LibDems became completely powerless and never recovered during the next four years, and this maybe for a few elections if the party even manages to continue to exist? Indeed, the LibDems, the great losers in the UK during the European Parliament elections in 2014 when their numbers of MEP (Members of European Parliament) fell from 11 to only one while they lost many local councillors during local elections. And during the general UK elections of 2015, they were reduced to a handful of MPs, still the main reason for the LibDems' losses, i.e. Mr Clegg, managed to hold on to his seat as Tories in his constituency voted strategically to keep the Labour candidate out of power. Everyone who has the slightest interest in politics could have predicted this loss and this from the moment they came into power. Indeed, almost everything that Mr Clegg does is political suicide. Each and every time he chooses the wrong subjects.

Before the previous general UK elections of 2010, as many people I was in favour of the LibDems because they had progressive ideas concerning the voting system, environment, cities, education, ... and if I could, I would have voted for them as so many people did. But within a short period he managed to alienate almost every person who voted LibDems. 

  • First, as Mr Clegg was the 'kingmaker' after the 2010 elections, many people were hoping he would form a coalition with Labour, but he preferred a coalition with the Tories (and before the elections of 2015, he said he would do it again although not many politicians may want to form a coalition with Mr Brown, candidate for Labour). 
  • However, more importantly, he broke an election promise that at least the tuition fee would not increase by agreeing with the Tories to triple it so it rose from £3,000 to £9,000 per annum (PM Blair introduced the fee but also grants for poorer people). Mr Clegg claimed he took his responsibility as part of the government but, although I can accept that maybe a small increase may have been unavoidable, accepting such an increase means the calculations and promises made by the LibDems before the elections were simply falls. He could at least have forced exceptions for the poorer people but even those had been under discussion.

Further, Nick Clegg promised free school meals for all children and not much concessions on environmental issues. However, a shortage on the budget for free meals forced him to retreat in both fields: some unspent money from another department was used in return for ceding some environmental demands. Giving the limited amount of money to all school children resulted in it being limited to primary school after which no-one, including the poor, receive anything. Mr Clegg could have listened to people within his own party who said it would be better to spend the money on buying food for the poor during their time at school until, if necessary, they are 18 than to dilute the money by giving free meals to those who have everything. Indeed, governments have to look after the weak in society, not those who can afford it.

Over the past years, each time the LibDems, and especially Mr Clegg, claimed they take responsibility by agreeing to take harsh decision in this crisis, it favours only the Tories and their electorate. He may claim without his party the policies may have been even harsher, but no-one can check this and people only see that many, if not all, policies of the Tories are accepted while hardly any LibDem promised before the elections. Taking responsibility also means sometimes (to threaten to) bring down a government when one considers certain policies are unacceptable instead of accepting them, claiming "to take responsibilities" as it suggests the party doesn't believe its own policies will work. Threatening to bring the government down may result in getting some concessions from those who want to stay in power. As long as Mr Clegg found the survival of the government essential, he could get nothing from his own program while people considered him as a career politician. Bringing down a government to prevent certain things are implemented is not a bad thing in a democracy as than people can choose during the election which solutions they prefer. Losing an election because one defends a certain program is more honorable than winning an election because one doesn't believe in one’s own program and that will be punished by the people as they choose for the Tories.

The LibDems cannot claim people choose wrong. Indeed, after the first error (tuition fee), they had another four years to try to have certain of their own policies implemented so people may have forgiven their first mistake. For instance, they could have achieved more on environmental issues but time and again they allowed the Tories to overrule their own ideas. By always trying to explain the government’s actions, people had the impression the LibDems agreed with the Tories and thus were not needed to change the course of the future.

But Mr Clegg was a master in choosing the wrong issues. E.g. concerning his defense of the EU during a debate before the European election with Mr Farage from UKIP, it was a total disaster in a country where since Mrs Thatcher people have been told that the EU is something bad. It may seem to be courageous to defend the UK in Europe but even he can't change the direction during a few discussions but needed to demonstrate the advantages of the EU when the opportunity arose such as any possible investment. In contrast to PM Cameron, it showed Mr Clegg didn't understand at all the English. OK, you can tell the people the EU is good, but PM Cameron already told this (for the interests of the UK) and thus he didn't say anything new. It showed he didn't understand at all that many people blame the EU for the failure in the economy, certainly in the Eurozone and that many British don't want to be part of an organisation they consider to be a failure.

Similarly, with the environment whereby they claimed to be differently and to support green policies. The LibDems were opposed to nuclear energy and supported renewable energies while ones in the coalition they agreed with the Tory policies (i.e. taking responsibilities) to build more nuclear plants; also fracking is very supported by the Tories while I hardly heard any opposition and suggestions for alternatives from the LibDems. Indeed, the Tories are correct to claim burning gas is better than coal and thus supporting this can look as if they support the environment while the LibDems could have defended the use of renewable energy much stronger. As they didn't, after the general elections of 2015, the Green party rose to prominence while the LibDems were wiped from the card. But it is not only Mr Clegg, also other members of his party could have spoken louder.

While in general I am opposed to outing the leader when things are not well, here a rebellion against Mr Clegg was needed because he hardly ever defended the policies of the LibDems with the argument he was taking his responsibilities. To save the party, he should have been replaced with someone else. But probably the LibDems wanted to proof they are different from other parties by supporting their leader, thereby destroying their party. And thus, as PM Cameron understood the LibDems wanted power, he managed to wipe them out; well done although I find it a pity as I believed the solutions of the LibDems before the general election of 2010 while I oppose the Tory policies.

PM Cameron also managed to weaken Labour because they too had an extremely weak leader who even plotted against his own (much better) brother during the Labour leadership election to gain power. Just before the general elections, the Labour leader agreed with the Tories there is too much immigration from Europeans into the UK while he didn't seem to have any directions what to do. Even people within Labour were telling Mr Ed Milliband not to start blaming immigrants and thus the party became divided. Indeed, weak leaders who want power change course when they don't believe in their own program; otherwise they would continue defending it (but immigration has become everywhere a hot topic, certainly when the financial crisis continues but also when climate change will destroy yields and thus food prices will increase). In addition, the Tories find Labour has too many connections with the unions, and although Mr Milliband came to power because he used the special position of the unions within the Labour party to defeat his own brother, he agreed with the Tories that the connection between his worker's party, i.e. Labour, and the organisations that defend workers, i.e. unions, should be weakened, cutting the ties with those who helped him to gain power and thus in effect betraying them although I agree unions should not be able to block the will of the majority. Indeed, people who want power betray everyone, even those who helped them into power.

After the general elections Mr Miliband resigned because of the bad results of Labour. I think the Scottish referendum is mainly to blame for this defeat. Indeed, PM Cameron promised that people could vote for their own future, either for the Scottish to remain with the UK or for the British to remain within the EU. Labour’s leader Mr Miliband and other Labour members (as well as the LibDems’ Mr Clegg) opposed both referendums and thus seemed to deny that the British could decide their own future, as if they are too stupid. Of course, politicians can defend one or another idea, but they should not defend that people can't choose. And thus PM Cameron could be seen not only as the defender of democracy but also as the politician who believes that people can make the right decision in a referendum. Still, many in Scotland never liked the Tories and thus during the general elections of 2015 the Tories couldn't lose much while on the other hand, Labour, before the elections a strong party in Scotland, lost heavily while the SNP (Scottish National Party) gained much and thus the opponents of the Tories in the British Parliament was reduced significantly.

But not only the failure to recognise that people were excited to be able to vote during referendums, also his almost absolute failure to defend any policies of the previous New Labour government under PM Blair resulted in his downfall. Indeed, PM Cameron recognised the achievements of PM Blair and thus called himself the heir of PM Blair while this confirmed to supporters of Mr Blair that Mr Cameron can be trusted while confirms opponents of Mr Blair that Mr Blair was part of the establishment and thus should not return to UK politics. The weakness of Mr Ed Miliband could be seen during the Labour conference when he made a speech without notes so he forgot to mention what is important for many people: the economy and austerity. Indeed, clever leaders use notes during speeches so they will not forget important things. Certainly a Labour leader should have mentioned how he would help people who lost their jobs and Mr Blair would have done that. Mr Miliband should have mentioned the investments in science, health and education by the previous New Labour government and how poverty decreased for many. He should then have acknowledged that mistakes were made (e.g. allowing that the financial sector took control in an undemocratic manner) and what he would do better to correct these mistakes. But, as he was a Brownite, he could only mention what many consider are PM Blair’s failures, i.e. the war in Iraq. And now, as Mr Cameron won the elections, he can introduce the real Tory policies of austerity and support for the rich. So, while PM Blair invested in new schools and hospitals, PM Cameron invests in the city, building major and expensive buildings that only wealthy Europeans, Americans and Asians can buy while the British can only dream, increasing resistance towards foreigners. But it is also foreign money that is used to build a beautiful city while that is no longer available elsewhere. And thus euros disappear towards London while the UK gets ever richer.

After Mr Miliband left as Labour leader, he was replaced by Mr Jeremy Corbyn. This person has some ideas but is often an easy target for ridicule as he refuses to follow protocols. But politics often require respect towards others by agreeing to certain protocols. Also within his own party he has many opponents whereby some may want to topple him. I think he will be replaced by Mr Brown, finance minister under PM Blair and his successor as PM as he is still considered as someone with authority on the economy and in the middle of Labour who may be able to win the next general elections as he was less involved in Iraq.

PM Cameron's future
And now the EU referendum that many fear may bring down PM Cameron. But will it? Many journalists were wrong that PM Cameron may survive the Scottish referendum. Many journalists didn't think he would be re-elected with an overall majority. PM Cameron predicts he will re-unite his party after the EU referendum and maybe he will. The outcome of the referendum is difficult to predict as both "IN" and "OUT" are equal in strength. I think after the referendum, PM Cameron may reshuffle his government whereby some of the Leave side such as Michael Gove and Boris Johnson may join his government and be involved in future negotiations between the UK and the EU about either the position of the UK within the EU or the conditions to leave the EU. These negotiations may block the EU and thus further weaken it unless the EU takes decisive actions: "out" is "out" or "in" is "in". In the end, I think the EU will give in as the Eurozone is weaker than the UK, certainly when the influx of refugees will further weaken the EU.

I also think PM Cameron is serious when he says he will not go for a third term as PM. Indeed, the Tory policies will hurt people sufficiently that they will vote Labour where Mr Corbyn may or may not have been replaced by Mr Brown as its leader who then needs to deal with all the new legislature the Tories introduced and thus a Labour leader will be blamed. Future will tell.


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