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David Cameron won the first British general election in which I was old enough to vote, at 18, in May 2010. His tenure as Prime Minister is a sad memory for the nation. He is behind austerity measures that have decimated public services, leading to a sharp increase in child poverty and the use of food banks.
He also began the process of destroying the National Health Service, the UK’s public health system, by underfunding it. David Cameron resigned in 2016 after the result of the Brexit referendum, which he himself had called to end the debate on membership of the European Union and whose result, as everyone probably knows by now , is disastrous.
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One day in the spring of 2012, he also left his daughter in a pub, but honestly, that was the only time I thought about him: “Ah, he’s human after all.” In November 2018, rumors swirled that David Cameron was considering a return to the political spotlight because he “Bored to death”but that had never happened.
When he tries to rehabilitate his image in the form of very self-indulgent memoirs (For memory), published in September 2019, the reception was not warm. The New York Times even headlined at the time: “David Cameron is sorry. Really, really sorry. Since then, he has remained more or less out of sight, out of mind.
Surprise and arrangements
And so, logging on to my computer on a Monday morning and discovering that David Cameron is the new Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom is difficult. A real shock. The appointment came immediately after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacked Home Secretary Suella Braverman, a far-right politician who called ” dream “ a plan to send people seeking asylum in Britain to Rwanda (this plan was ultimately ruled illegal by the British Supreme Court on Wednesday 15 November) and claimed that living on the streets was a ” choice of life “no later than November 4.
Suella Braverman was fired after criticizing police for being too lenient towards protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. And now, at the end of the last reshuffle carried out on Monday November 13 (former Foreign Minister James Cleverly takes Suella Braverman’s place at the Interior), we find David Cameron, a figure from the recent past of the Conservative Party to come back to haunt us.
What has David Cameron been doing since retiring from politics? He had been involved in charities and had written this rather mediocre memoir in what he called a “shepherd’s hut” installed in his garden. He then took on a dubious role as special adviser at Greensill Capital, a financial services company, which paid him an annual salary of £1 million, to lobby senior ministers for emergency loans due to of the Covid crisis.
Sky News presenter Kay Burley also said he spent the last seven years ” to gain weight “in one of the most unnecessary asides I can remember and which quickly sparked outrage among British internet users.
It is difficult to predict the political effects of David Cameron’s appointment, but it is undoubtedly a measure intended to help the Conservatives win the British general election. Rishi Sunak is expected to convene them within about a year (by January 2025 at the latest) and recent polls indicate his approval rating is at its lowest since the disastrous Conservative Party conference in early October in Manchester.
There is nothing glorious about David Cameron’s appointment. Rishi Sunak looked at all his MPs and said: “No, let’s take one of the old ones back instead.” » In fact, no longer being an elected parliamentarian, David Cameron should never have been able to claim this position. Special measures had to be taken, with Rishi Sunak granting him a seat in the House of Lords (the upper house of the British Parliament) to legalize this appointment. This brings us back in a rather unpleasant way to a defect in our “democratic government”: if a Prime Minister decides to appoint an individual as lord, he does not even need to be an MP, nor to be elected by whom whether to occupy the position of lord. a position in the government.
David Cameron’s return also discredits Rishi Sunak’s entire speech so far. In fact, he says he is breaking with the thirteen previous years of Conservative government, almost half of which took place under the leadership of… David Cameron (2010-2016).
The savior of the conservative camp?
So why bet on David Cameron? It was he who succeeded in bringing the conservatives back to power after thirteen years in government. direction Labor (Tony Blair then Gordon Brown between 1997 and 2010). He remained in charge for some time, serving as Prime Minister for six years. In the seven years since, the UK has seen four different Conservative Prime Ministers: Theresa May (2016-2019), Boris Johnson (2019-2022), Liz Truss (September-October 2022) and Rishi Sunak. . Liz Truss, whose longevity has been compared to that of a lettuce, only remained in power for fifty days.
The Conservative Party feels unstable and the impression that Rishi Sunak wants to give in the run-up to the election is above all one of stability. What better choice then than that of David Cameron, a man who has built his reputation on notions of common sense and reliability, rather than on speeches emblematic of the far right, like Suella Braverman? (Let’s forget the whole Brexit thing.)
Some voters are already won over, that’s obvious. One conservative supporter even exclaimed “Dad is back” in reaction to the appointment of David Cameron on November 13.
However, much of the Tory base is still furious about the Brexit referendum and has not forgotten who orchestrated it. David Cameron’s bleak return says a lot about the state of British politics, not least because he could very well be a game-changer for the Conservatives in the run-up to the election. I hope that won’t be the case. But I have no doubt that he will find his way out anyway.