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Cameron's more Major than Thatcher

cameron-ashes-to-ashes.jpgIn the 2010 election, one Labour ad featured David Cameron as Ashes to Ashes character Gene Hunt with the wording 'Don't let him take Britain back to the '80s'. The ad saw through the facade of Cameron the 'moderniser'.

The ad was accurate in exposing the phoney moderniser, but was out by a decade in where Cameron would take the UK. Cameron wasn't about taking the Tory Party back to the 1980s. They had Thatcher then and at least she provided leadership, not drift. She dominated her party, whilst he is dominated by it, jettisoning any attempts at modernising in the face of even the most minor internal difficulties for the Conservatives.

We've seen the 'greenest government ever' go brown very fast - scrapping wind turbine support in 2010, the attempt to flog off forests, favouring gas power and even gassing badgers. The revealing of an end to 'green crap' surprised only the most gullible of conservationists as the Conservatives retreated to more usual territory.

The 'Big Society' also quickly learned its place under Cameron's Conservatives. Focus on "knitting" were the apparent words of the paisley pyjama wearing former Minister. But the Tories went further to try and legislate to prevent the voluntary sector campaigning against incumbent governments in an attempt to gag opposition.

It is also hard to imagine Thatcher shirking her role as Prime Minister of the UK in the face of the Scotland referendum. Cameron hid in SW1 whilst the Labour Party led the debate - with crucial roles for Darling, Murphy and Brown in particular. Cameron not only almost oversaw the breakup of the United Kingdom but now risks perpetuating division by failing to understand the damage of his policies north of the border and manipulating the result to try and assert Tory dominance in the Commons under the guise of the 'English votes' campaign.

Instead, current Tory difficulties are more reminiscent of the '90s. Cameron is more Major than Thatcher. No clear policy goals or vision, weak leadership, overt European division, offensive individual Ministers (Freud the most recent case), and open jockeying for the leadership role after the next election (May, Gove, even Grayling).

But Cameron is in an even weaker position than John Major; at least Major won an election. Cameron's legacy will be the PM who never won.

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