How about a few conspiracies? Okay, I’m not going to go all David Icke on you, just yet, and I haven’t indulged in any of the ludicrous, evidence-free 9/11 conspiracies, so I shall confine my suspicions on today’s events in politics, namely David Cameron’s resignation as an MP.
I think there are probably three reasons he has gone.
Firstly, he understands that his political career is over. I believe him when he says being the MP for Witney has been a huge honour. Being an MP for anywhere is an enormous privilege. But when you have been prime minister for six years, a term that ended in abject failure when the country voted against his advice to remain in the EU, what’s left? He’s 49, stinking rich, so why not plan ahead to make even more money doing not very much. After all, the only job he had before being a politician was that of a TV PR man. There must be tons of PR vacancies out there for an ex PM, not to mention that autobiography and after dinner speaking. There are other, more pressing reasons.
There is a report coming out soon over the west’s involvement in Libya, toppling Muammar Gaddafi but having no plan to deal with the aftermath which has seen the country fall apart and slip, at least partly, into the hands of islamic fascists. Remember Cameron addressing the thousands of thrilled Libyans? It all seemed so good, until he forgot all about it. Will this be Cameron’s Iraq, his dual legacy being departure from the EU and catastrophe in Libya? I think it could be this, too.
The clincher for me, though, is grammar schools. Recent Tory prime ministers have not shown any desire to bring back selection – in fact, the loathed and detested Thatcher closed more grammar schools than anyone else. Cameron, too, has shown no great enthusiasm to so do and the word is that he disagrees profoundly with May’s plans. In fact, his resignation comments were very interesting: “I support Theresa. Obviously I am going to have my own views on different issues.” What can these differences be?
May’s record in the House of Commons suggests any differences with Cameron were wafer-thin. She sat in his cabinet, loyally voting for all his policies. I cannot think of a single area where they have disagreed. So, he announces his resignation on the very day the government starts the journey to turn the clock back in the world of selective education. I don’t know whether Cameron is making a point with his resignation timing but I find it hard to believe it’s unconnected.
As for the by-election itself, this will be the most boring one in history. Cameron had a majority of 25,000, Jeremy Corbyn will be too busy attending public meetings in support of himself to campaign for the Labour Party and anyway, have you ever been to Witney? No pound shops, no branches of Greggs or Iceland, hardly any charity shops on Witney High Street. It’s picture postcard perfect and will return a Tory MP under every imaginable circumstance. (It is worth adding that when Tony Blair won in 1997, the Tory majority was 7,000. It is hard to imagine Corbyn achieving anything better than that!)
So farewell, David Cameron. Doubtless, you’ll soon be presenting a series of travelogues on BBC 2 or next year’s I’m A Celebrity. I’ll miss you at PMQs, but as a prime minister you left this country a far worse place with a million people using food banks, the ongoing persecution of the sick and disabled, the crisis in the NHS, widening inequality and university students indebted to the eyeballs.
If nothing else, Cameron will have more time to point at fish.