I generally and genuinely admire politicians of whatever political hue, believing that many, if not the majority, enter politics with a genuine desire to work for the public good. Or I used to. I’ve come to feel politically homeless in the UK. The movement to leave the European Union has spawned – and been spawned by – a particularly nasty surfeit of narcissistic, self-serving, increasingly right-wing, nationalistic specimens… and feeble left-wingers derelict in opposition to them. These I despise. But my focus here is on one particular privileged Tory who is (or who would have us think he is) more moderate on the political spectrum.
If you can consider the ‘austerity’ program that inflicted pain on those least able to bear it following the banking-induced financial crisis to be ‘moderate’. Certainly, that project of David Cameron and George Osborne and the associated “We’re all in this together” rhetoric convinced me that my hitherto instinctive aversion to these characters was warranted. But it’s the EU referendum that particularly maintains the frothing in my mouth when it comes to Cameron. And is why I eventually bit the bullet and spent money on a (half-price) copy of his memoir, For the Record. Because, having been of the opinion that the decision to hold a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU was monumentally stupid – and developments during the ensuing three-and-a-half years have only served to cement this viewpoint – I wanted to read what he has to say for himself on the matter.
My secondary interest was on how this weighty, 700+-page tome is written, curious as to whether he comes across in the manner of many of the speeches he gave whilst in office, which I often found condescendingly tyronic. Well, sometimes yes, he does. (And here no longer has the excuse of reliance on speechwriters.) There has inevitably been a degree of (necessary) dumbing down to render it readable and accessible, though I don’t think he’s a particularly good writer, regardless. However, whilst his attempts at humour fall flat and some of the book is incredibly dull, there is nevertheless much that makes for compelling reading. Not Cameron (I’ve never found him compelling); rather, the background to recent seismic events. After all, his decisions have had / are having direct bearing on the lives of many – and will do so for generations to come. And I was genuinely interested in seeing how he explains himself. Whether he could assuage this reader’s ignorance (which we all possess to greater or lesser degree); whether he might change my mind about the holding of the EU referendum; how he lives with having opened a political Pandora’s Box.
He begins by telling us that, since the EU referendum, he has daily thought about his decision to hold it and its consequences. (So he bloody well should! Who hasn’t?) And, to excuse his three years of apparent silence – due in part to a dose of writer’s block, alleviation of which necessitated the acquisition of a luxury shepherd’s hut – he quickly seeks to convince us of his own pain at the sight of the politically paralysed and divided country that has ensued. He confesses to many regrets, ‘From the timing of the vote to the expectations I allowed to build about the renegotiation…’. But let’s cut him some slack; after all, no-one could doubt that negotiating a country’s relational agreements within the EU is complex, difficult diplomacy. And in the chapters entitled ‘Treaties and Treadmills’, ‘Bloomberg’, ‘Junckernaut’ and ‘Renegotiation’, Cameron is often impressively strong on detail and occasionally has you nodding in understanding of points he seeks to make. There is so much to consider and one does get a real impression of what a difficult job he had. (And has me wondering that some of his detractors have perhaps been too harsh in not giving him due credit.) However, I have to question where, how and why his efforts to improve the UK’s lot in the EU were applied.
What bothers me is how much thought Cameron gave to the referendum, both before he decided on the damn thing, and during the campaign. Well, he gives us clues; for example, this revealing statement:
‘I did not fully anticipate the strength of feeling that would be unleashed both during the referendum and afterwards, and I am truly sorry to have seen the country I love so much suffer uncertainty and division in the years since then.’
You may speculate differently to me on this plea for sympathy and forgiveness. Did Cameron ‘not fully anticipate’ because he doesn’t know and understand his own country well enough? Or did he simply not spend enough time in thought and discussion on the emotional reactions that would inevitably be provoked? Or because, having been rattled by Nigel Farage’s UKIP and the defection of backbenchers to that rabble, the country was a consideration secondary to a riven Tory party with its malcontents perpetually ‘banging on about Europe’? He denies the latter, repeatedly reminding us that he first thought about holding a referendum as early as 2012 (– and he has it on tape to prove it!).
His announcement came the following year, in his 5000-word, half-hour-plus Bloomberg speech. I have to concede, contrary to the impression I usually had of him when I watched him speak, that this was an impressive, statesman-like performance in what was (we can say in hindsight) the most significant speech of his political career. He spoke at length about how the EU must change, without which Britain would “drift away”. In his book he writes that he wanted to avoid the referendum being a straight in/out vote; rather he wanted it tied to a renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU, the necessity of which he stressed at Bloomberg. But, listening to that speech, he clearly stated, though he gives that sequence, that it would be an IN/OUT referendum, and that without renegotiation, the UK would be out. In so doing, he was imploring the EU to work with him in order to ensure that the UK wouldn’t leave. Threatening? Or begging for help?
He recounted why the EU came into being and paid tribute to it, but criticised its increasing grab of powers from national governments. He hypocritically complained about its decisions taken on austerity, which he had so readily inflicted on his own people. He spoke repeatedly of the need to retain access to the Single Market, indeed emphasising its supreme importance to the UK; that the UK’s participation “at the heart” of this “essential foundation” was the principle reason for the UK’s membership of the EU; that to cease to be part of it would be dangerous. The Single Market, a pillar of which is the free movement of people and, consequently, the ‘immigration’ of EU citizens to the UK – a condition he didn’t talk about in his speech. But in his book, wherein he discusses immigration rather a lot, he confesses to this omission as a mistake. Hm. In 2013 he thought the power repatriation argument was all he needed; he didn’t want or need to touch on immigration then. He would later be forced to. Meanwhile, he in effect confessed that he didn’t yet have the evidential basis for much of the criticism he levelled:
“We have already launched our ‘balance of competences review’ to give us an informed and objective analysis of where the EU helps and where it hampers.”
That’s right: at the time he made this speech, he didn’t know the extent of the powers he claimed the EU had taken from the UK parliament, and where, how and why EU membership was negatively affecting the UK.
The Review of the Balance of Competences of the EU was launched in mid-2012, culminating in a set of 32 reports by the end of 2014 covering every aspect of EU policy. Apparently announced in the expectation that areas for repatriation of powers would be identified, there was little in the way of publicity of its findings. Which were? Not one of the 32 reports concluded that there was a case for the repatriation of powers or that EU membership unduly interfered with UK politics. Not one.
However, though the individual reports are available, no media-friendly summary of these findings was published and consequently, having failed to find what they were expected to find, they were not publicised and attracted little attention.
Collectively, these negative outcomes rendered specious the argument that EU membership was detrimental to UK interests. So why don’t I recollect Cameron discussing the EU Balance of Competences review and their findings during the referendum campaign? He was Prime Minister when the review was instigated at public expense, with the authority to make its findings public. Did he ever talk about it again after Bloomberg, where he had implied his renegotiation would be steered by its findings? (I’m not saying he didn’t; I may have missed it.) Though the review had virtually nullified any requirement to argue for repatriation of any powers from the EU – and hold a referendum on that basis – renegotiation and referendum would remain Tory policy. At Bloomberg, when he was unaware that there was little in terms of powers that it was necessary, or that he would be able, to renegotiate, he had pledged a referendum following renegotiation, and this was to be a Tory party manifesto commitment in its quest for a majority in 2015. And he implies that this manifesto commitment was influential in delivering the overall majority he secured. Indeed, he had stated he would not lead a minority government because without a majority he could not guarantee the referendum. So, during the 2015 election campaign, in order to avoid jeopardising that result, the findings of the review were… muted.
And I have to wonder why I cannot find mention of this EU Balance of Competences review in Cameron’s book. Why wouldn’t the supposed Remain campaigner-in-chief have cited evidence to counter the Leave ‘Take back control’ sloganeering? Because, though it is counter-argument to the Brexiter claims of excessive EU interference in UK parliamentary sovereignty, its summarised citation during the Remain campaign would have been embarrassing for Cameron and the Tory party. It turned out to have been an unnecessary waste of time and public money, and it essentially torpedoed his basis for renegotiation. He buried the findings during the referendum campaign and he buries them in his memoir. If you accept these points then you must surely conclude that Cameron is being dishonest, having lied by omission.
So, Cameron required an argumentative re-focus for his renegotiation and campaign – both because of the review’s findings, and as a distraction from them. And by the time of the referendum campaign the focus had become mainly immigration-based, and the review became bury-able.
‘Most importantly, we failed to deliver effective control over levels of immigration in to our country… ‘.
Cameron must surely have anticipated that Farage – the patron saint of NIMBYists – and his odious acolytes would emotionally play on the immigration factor and appeal to xenophobia – manifest and latent. He repeatedly emphasises that he was already mulling a referendum before UKIP became a ‘force’, but confesses that he feared losing Tory voters to UKIP – this when in coalition but trying to land the prize of a Tory majority. Yet he denies that UKIP, victorious in the 2014 European elections wherein the Tories slumped to third, significantly influenced his thinking. It’s a fair presumption that he initially underestimated Farage’s influence on the electorate’s psyche; and that, having won referendums on Alternative Voting and Scottish independence, and having secured the first Tory majority in 23 years, he really believed he was on a winning streak. So arrogantly confident was he that it would be a cakewalk, it is reasonable to suspect that he barely contemplated the possibility of losing the thing. Indeed, it seems that it wasn’t until late in the campaign, that the notion, ‘… we could lose this thing’, occurred to him. Because if it had, he would have had to seriously consider the consequences before it was too late. Because, as he stated at Bloomberg, he was well aware of the advantages that EU membership brought the United Kingdom and, hence, savvy of the negative consequences leaving would wreak. Because to sanction such a risk would be reckless. Who in their right mind would have given it the go-ahead?
That he finds justification difficult is suggested by his repeated appeal to the inevitability line:
‘… Britain’s unstable position in a changing EU was the biggest can kicked down the longest road.’
He repeatedly resorts to this deflection tactic without admitting to seeing that, even though his party could never resolve its own internal battles on Europe, previous leaders had pragmatically recognised that internecine warfare was preferable to jeopardising the national interest. Instead, he seeks to justify his acquiescence to party political pressure on the issue, somewhat confusingly arguing that paying attention to views in the parliamentary party is what its leader has to do, and thus holding the EU referendum was a consequence of parliamentary democracy. He feared the Labour Party would propose a referendum and he would then lose the initiative on the issue, further undermining him in the eyes of his party’s EU troublemakers. He feared he would ‘… fuel the psychodrama in the Conservative Party that we were trying to stop… ’ if he sacked the agitating employment minister, Priti Patel, because doing so would make her ‘a Brexit martyr’ – a somewhat silly assertion. (You were her boss, for fuck’s sake!) He seeks to dismiss this confession to party prioritisation as secondary to the overwhelming vote for the referendum in Parliament. Is this his attempt to pass the buck – it wasn’t his decision to hold the referendum, it was Parliament’s? Well, at the risk of being trite, it is perhaps worth reminding ourselves what exactly that overwhelming parliamentary support he cites was for:
An advisory referendum, which, ‘… does not contain any requirement for the UK Government to implement the results of the referendum… ‘. This was explicitly stipulated in the Referendum Bill, as presented to, debated and voted for in parliament. Cameron does not – because he cannot – make the argument that Parliament would have, or could have, voted for a Bill green-lighting a referendum that was not advisory. Because the UK constitution does not provide for such. The Bill voted on in parliament did not state that the government would be bound to act on the outcome of the referendum.
Contrast with the wording of the information booklet that Cameron’s government distributed as part of the campaign to Remain:
‘This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.’
As though it would be a simple formality. I might have missed something apparent to many, but nevertheless have to ask: Was it clear to the public that it was the outcome of the renegotiation it was voting on? Was it clear to the public what the outcome of the renegotiation was? Was it clear to the public what the renegotiation was? (Because, recall, the Balance of Competences review had rendered much of it unnecessary.) I would wager it wasn’t clear to most. And to nuance-incapable UKIP-ers, it wouldn’t matter a toss. Cameron blames the Electoral Commission’s influence for the wording of the question on the referendum ballot. He wanted it to couple the ‘In’ vote to his ‘new deal’. But the Commission’s version was pretty much the ‘in/out’ he had pledged in his Bloomberg speech and what he repeatedly told the electorate in his speeches during the campaign. It’s unclear to me whether he is suggesting that clear reference to his renegotiation would have made a difference. Because it was no longer prudent to refer to it. If you are going to couple a referendum to a renegotiation, then you need to be pretty damn certain you are going to get what you want. At Bloomberg, Cameron didn’t even know what that was! He’d instigated the Balance of Competences review in order to determine this; and, as it subsequently found, on convincingly significant matters… there had been virtually fuck-all to renegotiate!
At Bloomberg Cameron made this prophetic comment:
“You should plan for the aftermath as well as dealing with the present crisis.”
Can we say that parliament would have voted differently had the Bill been worded so as to compel the government to take the UK out of the EU in the event of a Leave win, as the leaflet distributed to households read, and as Cameron repeatedly said during the campaign? We can’t say. We can only state the facts. And the fact is that parliament voted to hold an advisory referendum that did not compel the government to implement anything. So, we have the problem of understanding why there was apparently nothing in the way of contingency planning should Leave win a simple majority vote, which allows for the possibility of a narrow result and hence a country split down the middle – which has turned out to be the case. Did Cameron consider that a simple majority was a safer bet? Thus allowing for the “… this will be your decision” faux earnestness… in the arrogant expectation that it would never be. How else to explain the lack of contingency planning for the event of a winning Leave vote? If he thought it was possible, he should have laid some ground. But without envisaging the requirement to implement (and with austerity ongoing), there was no justification for diverting staff time, resources and public expense on planning for such eventuality. Moreover, though it would have been responsible, it could have been interpreted as a lack of confidence and belief in his stance for Remain. As such, the ‘advisory’ caveat should have been made clear to the electorate – as a safeguard. It wasn’t. (Instead Cameron repeatedly told us: “I say to the British people, this will be your decision.” Which could be interpreted as pre-emptive blame: “If you vote Leave and it all goes wrong, well… you voted for it.”). A leader prepared to take such a gamble on the nation’s future would surely prepare the ground for the eventuality of losing. For the good of the country he purports to passionately love. Moreover, such preparative measures may also have seen him retain his job. Unless, that is, he didn’t relish the thought of continuing as PM after a Leave win. Otherwise, why risk an outcome wherein he felt his only option would be to resign, with all the ramifications for his reputation? If you don’t buy that line, then surely you have to conclude that Cameron’s arrogant confidence that he would win the thing regardless was the reason for the lack of contingency planning. Whichever way you look at it, Cameron didn’t prepare for the aftermath of a Leave vote.
He writes, ‘I passionately believe in the Union between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.’ Yet it is hard to believe that sufficient thought was given to the jeopardy in which that union would be placed, were the referendum to be lost. He briefly laments the failure of the impact of sharing a platform in Northern Ireland with John Major and Tony Blair, whereupon the prospect of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and the consequent risk to the Peace Progress, were discussed, defensively stating:
‘Those who claim it wasn’t raised at the time conveniently forget this.’
Perhaps because, if you only raise it once, a fair few might miss it! One has to wonder at the advice he was receiving, or whether he heeded it. (And also, at the media’s apparent overlooking during the campaign of this majorly significant point.) As passionate about the Union as he claims to be, he had apparently forgotten his job titles: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party. He might have felt confident enough about the Scottish independence referendum’s risk to the Union; but when and to what extent did the potential ramifications for the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland become issues for concern?
The pre-referendum failure to plan for a potential vote to leave the EU ‘… indicated the prioritisation of political interests above national security’ and ‘… amounted to gross negligence’ on the part of Cameron’s government, according to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee’s Equipping the Government for Brexit report, published on July 20, 2016 – a month after the referendum. There is little in the way of Cameron discussing contingency planning for the event of a vote to leave the EU: he briefly discusses this in ‘The End’ chapter, but fails to adequately address this damning verdict of the HoC Foreign Affairs Committee in his book, published three years later.
At times, Cameron comes across as even more of a Eurosceptic than he would have us believe. In fact, he devotes swathes of his book to criticising and taking swipes at the EU. It is less easy to find passages where he talks up (UK membership of) the EU. Indeed, he confesses, ‘… frankly, we hadn’t done enough to trumpet the achievements of the EU… ‘, which could occasionally bring one to the view that he was not whole-heartedly pro-Remain. A tin foil hatter might even stretch that he was actually pro-Leave and deliberately aided the Leave campaign (ably abetted by the useful idiot leading The Opposition). Which is as ridiculous as the other end of the theory spectrum: that Cameron did exactly the right thing and went about it in exactly the right way (ably abetted by the useful idiot leading The Opposition) – which he himself confesses was not the case. So, we’re somewhere in between.
‘We should have done more – I should have done more – to mix criticisms of the EU with talking about its very real achievements; not least the two longstanding British objectives of creating the single market and enlarging the EU to take in countries that had emerged from decades of state socialism.’
Ah, but the Single Market means free movement, which means ‘immigration’. Cameron didn’t want this to be the focus because he knew he could do nothing about the Single Market – which he couldn’t talk up because he would be talking up free movement. Complicated, when you are striving to appear strong on immigration. And of the 32 reports of the EU Balance of Competences review, those covering the Single Market and Free Movement of Persons concluded that overall, despite some negative effects, they brought economic benefits to the UK. Cameron was trapped into allowing the focus to become the emotive issues of immigration and the (burden this placed on the) NHS. Despite the fact that by then, ‘Over half of that immigration was from outside the EU, so it was completely irrelevant to the referendum.’ The details of the changes he did or could bring about through renegotiation were technical, complex, nuanced. Unconvincing of effectivity, these made for minor, unappealing campaign arguments. Whereas the Leave campaign was able to appeal directly to people’s concerns on immigration per se, whether valid or invalid, with lashings of nationalism bleating on about lost sovereign powers, whether valid or (mostly) invalid.
‘Another weakness of our campaign was that it seemed we were relying excessively on technical arguments, whereas the Leave campaign had the emotional arguments.’
Yet he maintains the contradiction that his technical approach – renegotiation and referendum – was the right one; that the UK’s place in the EU was already precarious and a referendum inevitable – and citing anything and everything he can in support of this, whilst discussing the increasing complexity of that relationship: powers, treaties, etc. So many turns in several Gordian knots. The EU is complex enough; but how much more complex extrication? Which is precisely the bloody point! How on earth can the vast majority of us be expected to have a full grasp of all that this entails? Particularly as the picture is further complicated by the fact that Cameron was arguing for the sake of it; picking a fight he didn’t need to pick. Yet he chose to delegate it to the people as a grossly over-simplified, ripe-for-exploitation plebiscite.
This is (for me) a rather confusing paragraph:
‘But I know there are those who will never forgive me for holding it, or for failing to deliver the outcome – Britain staying in a reformed EU – that I sought. I deeply regret the outcome and accept that my approach failed. The decisions I took contributed to that failure. I failed. But, in my defence, I would make the case, as I think all prime ministers have, that especially when you are in the top job, not doing something, or putting something off, is also a decision.’
Cameron works hard to have us believe it is the potential harm to the country that bothers him, rather than his reputation. I imagine him lying awake at night, deliberating on how best to rationalise this in a way that best preserves his ego. But in plumbing for a responsibility-absolving referendum that he claims was inevitable, in attempting to halt the kicking of said can down said road, was he not – in passing the problem dogging his party onto the country – just kicking it even further? What is never discussed is his timing (though he says he has regrets about it): he’d pledged the vote before the end of 2017, but he went a year-and-a-half earlier, in June 2016 (coinciding with the nationalism-exacerbating football European Championship). Why? Another year to argue, negotiate and campaign; another year to undertake preparations for the eventuality of losing it – squandered. Instead, more concerned with being seen as a man of his word, he rushed it. Without even being sure who would ally with him.
Did he seriously believe that winning the referendum would heal the running sore and unite the Tories once and for all? If so, then he didn’t understand his own Party either. (‘The latent Leaver gene in the Tory Party was more dominant than I had foreseen.’) No renegotiation would satisfy the headbanging mind-set of many – including in his cabinet. He realised too late following the announcement of the referendum that, whatever the outcome, he had not resolved but exacerbated the ulceration in his party. That, even as a victorious Remain PM, the problem was not going to go anywhere. He’d already said he would not be standing for a third term come the next (2020) election, remember. (The only post-referendum preparation he made.) He already knew the problem would be great enough – if Remain won! What tribulations were the thing lost?
Cameron is quoted, upon once being asked why he wanted to be Prime Minister, as responding, “Because I think I’d be good at it.” I might risk some removal from context and do him disservice by not discussing what he likes to talk up as his positive accomplishments: modernisation of the Tory party, coalition, troops home from Afghanistan, security, ‘tech’, international aid and development.
‘Winning the 2015 election after five years of coalition, difficult economic decisions and bold measures, like legislating for gay marriage, was proof that commanding the rational, centre ground can deliver good government and good politics too. It is the approach – in my view – that should be applied to Brexit.’ (My emphasis in bold.)
But this is the Conservative Party we’re talking about here. He’s proud to have faced down many in delivering on gay marriage as emblematic of his progressive modernisation. But then he failed to annul the regressive anti-EU faction within its ranks. If he so ‘passionately’ (a suspiciously frequent, mal-applied adverb) believes in the centre ground of politics why, in 2009, did he pull the Tories out of the European parliament centre-right group and align it with the Polish nationalist Law and Justice party-led bloc, which opposed the gay marriage he championed? To appease the anti-EU faction in the Tory ranks, of course. And, despite his awareness that European elections are the vehicle for a protest vote, he in effect allowed the country a mid-term protest vote, by when immigration had become the main focus of the issue of the UK’s membership of the EU. You see the problem? How to lure back Eurosceptic Tory voters who had defected to UKIP: guarantee them the opportunity to bring about the UK’s exit from the EU via a referendum; but then have to campaign against their position during that referendum. Cameron was drawing himself into a trap that his arrogance blinded him to. He needed the renegotiation-referendum line to secure a majority. But, as he states, the majority was a surprise. He didn’t expect it, and so did not expect to have to follow through on the manifesto pledge. With a majority, he had to. He’d trapped himself into having to gamble on his country’s future. He was no longer in command of the rational, centre ground.
I’m not trying here to make the argument for staying in the EU (or at least not directly). There are many aspects of pooled sovereignty, intra-EU relations that present arguments for questioning the organisation and the UK’s membership (e.g. see here for a detailed and informative pre-referendum compendium). Politics is the art of compromise: There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. It is foolish to deny that immigration presents challenges for the UK (and other countries). But it is an incredibly complicated, nuanced issue that has been grossly oversimplified, misrepresented and abused. However, while allowing that the EU does make mistakes – the Balkans crisis comes to mind – and that member states need to be vigilant in recognising and acting upon need for change, I have still, when weighed against all the benefits that membership has brought, to encounter a single convincing argument why the UK should leave the EU.
I freely confess to an instinctive dislike of David Cameron, who I’ve always felt was a transparent politician. I’ve taken advantage of free movement and was recently in conversation with a student who had lived in Brussels for five years with a friend who worked in the EU headquarters. She takes an interest in Brexit, and said, unprompted, “David Cameron – why did he do that?” I bought his book in order to be able to respond with more than my prejudices and a shrug and a shake of the head. Whether or not I understand better, my prejudices have certainly been reinforced.
It has been reported that he has been eyeing a return to public life, particularly fancying the post of Foreign Secretary. I’m not clear as to whether this would require him to re-run for election as an MP. Because, let’s not forget, it wasn’t long after resigning as PM that he stood down as MP for Witney, which he was no longer interested in representing as a backbencher. (If he ever was. Contrast this attitude with that of the deposed Theresa May, who, to her credit, remains a backbench MP eight months and a general election after her dethronement.)
I’ve read that, following the referendum, Cameron and Boris Johnson met, and Johnson confessed, “I fucked up, didn’t I?” I imagine Cameron replying, “So did I.” I also imagine another dialogue, adapting a scene from the film version of The Fourth Protocol with, say, a sinister senior parliamentarian or civil servant with gravitas who makes no attempt to disguise his contempt:
- Cameron: [Upon realising the ramifications of the referendum result] Oh my God… what have I done?
Sir X : You’ve failed your country. You’ve damaged the lives of British men and women. And I’d say you’ve weakened the UK. Perhaps irretrievably.
Cameron: Oh my God…
Sir X : Just you, and your schoolboy politics, and your idiotically conceited faith in your own importance.
Everybody is concerned about their reputation. Every Prime Minister – whatever their motivation for pursuing the highest office in the land (“Because I think I’d be good at it.”) – wants history to regard them well. To be remembered for bringing necessary change and achieving great things. Cameron can remind us all he likes of the good things he did. But his legacy is to have facilitated the process that is turning his country into a basket case. History will rue him.