Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Cameron gawn

Just watched the outgoing PM in the commons. He is a likeable fellow in a spirited sparring match, but I won't miss him. He can rattle off impressive sounding economic metrics but he is no reformer. What we have seen is an effective manager in winding down the mess created by Blair. He has rationalised Blair's creation but he has largely continued it.

The changes we needed to see have always been at the council level, reining in the NGOcracy and dismantling the fake charities that wound their way into local authorities over the Blair years. All of that still stands in tact. It has only been curtailed by way of reduced funding meaning that it is only in hibernation. The only real threat to it is of course Brexit. Something which Cameron fought tooth and nail to prevent.

We have seen no real devolution of powers and no meaningful localism beyond tinkering with budgets and we have seen a continued corporatisation of councils where we see unnecessary outsourcing in place of privatisation. Meanwhile access to justice has collapsed and ordinary citizens have no means of holding local government to account. It's the invisible activities of government we have lost control over and they have been on autopilot ever since.

This is also the man who has dismantled the air force and the navy, and plastered the country with wind turbines. This is a man who has done nothing to curtail energy price rises, done nothing to address council tax and done nothing to improve social mobility. Reality paints a very different picture to the numbers.

The only honourable thing he has done is to give us a referendum, one which he used every power at his disposal to distort. All that we can say of his departure is that we no see the real end to the Blair era. Brexit will ensure it does not survive. We did that. Not him. He was elected by a slim margin by way of being only marginally less dreadful than Brown or Miliband. And with such dreadful competition, winning by only a narrow margin says rather a lot about the man.

Being generous I can say that we could have done a lot worse than him, especially given the alternatives in the Conservative Party but he will not be remembered as one of the greats. His government backed down from every single radical proposal. He was a caretaker prime minister who will readily be forgotten. He neither influenced nor defined the era and were it not for Brexit, the politics he espoused and the politics he prolonged would have shattered the country. We have lanced that boil by settling the EU question. Apart from thanking him for his role in giving us the opportunity, he was otherwise unremarkable.

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