Mr Cameron became Tory leader largely because he rightly recognised that his party needed to commit itself to public services. How could a party govern unless it could be trusted with health or schools? But he wrongly decided that this meant endorsing existing forms. In his first party conference speech as leader, in 2006, he said: “Tony Blair once explained his priority in three words: education, education, education. I can do it in three letters: NHS.”
Instead of endorsing what mattered – health care for all – Mr Cameron endorsed our particular system delivering it. It is the worst in the Western world. It is organised from the centre and run by the producers and the trade unions. The one thing it cannot do is what we all most want – to look at the whole patient and meet his or her medical needs. Anyone on a waiting list (currently 24 weeks in our area for a rheumatology appointment) experiences this. So does anyone elderly, or with an elderly relation. So do the queues in A and E, the sick who cannot get a GP at weekends; so did the dead in Mid Staffs or Barrow-in-Furness.
Out of a sense of their own weakness, the Conservatives put themselves in hock to the sort of service that a man like David Nicholson delivers. It was out of a similar vulnerability – in Labour’s case, about how to deal with capitalists – that Gordon Brown abased himself in front of the bankers. It has all gone wrong. As the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt rushes from studio to studio trying to get ahead of the story, you can tell by his hunted look that he sees this, too late.
David Cameron leaves things late. Leadership by essay crisis, it has been called, a nod to procrastination by generations of students. But his belated response to the mounting political turmoil over Britain’s membership in the EU—a speech proposing an in/out referendum—won’t save him from disaster in the 2015 general election.
It’s always bloody Europe. It was Europe (specifically, Tory splits over Britain’s relationship with the EU) that finally did in Mrs. Thatcher, and it did in poor John Major too. Now it is beginning to look like David Cameron might eventually go the same way, felled by the issue he has tried to dodge since becoming party leader in 2005. To borrow his phrase from the following year, “banging on” about Brussels was over. Saving the planet was in.
On the occasion of the Official Visit, The President and Mrs. Obama gave the Prime Minister and Mrs. Cameron a one-of-a-kind Braten 1000 Series Grill hand made by Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers of Paxton, Illinois. Symbolizing the personal friendship between the President and Mrs. Obama and Prime Minister and Mrs. Cameron, the gift commemorates their May 2011 visit to 10 Downing Street where together they grilled and served food to American and British Armed Service Members.
London—Trying to return to Hackney, five minutes from the heart of the protests, from vacation on the night the rioting was at its fiercest provided an insight into the carnage engulfing London. The city had been transformed into a kind of Alan Moore dystopia. Sirens were deafening, with bright lights blinding. Train operators announced gravely that there had been “civil unrest” across London, and that some areas of the city were no longer safe.
The riots in the United Kingdom continue for a fourth straight day. On Tuesday, Londoners awoke to torched cars and street scuffles in Ealing, police horses lining up in Lewisham, and stores and residences in flames in Tottenham. Prosperous boroughs in the capital now resemble war zones, as mobs continue to overwhelm police and loot stores. In the last twenty-four hours, disorder has also spread to cities across England, including Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, and Nottingham.
For a politician whose previous career was in public relations, David Cameron cannot have picked a more polarizing subject, or less opportune time to address it, than his recent speech on the failure of state multiculturalism, which he delivered in early February at the Munich Security Conference. The British prime minister’s remarks happened to coincide with a mass rally in Luton led by the xenophobic English Defence League (EDL). Liberal commentators in Britain did not fail to notice the unfortunate overlap and everywhere detected a high-frequency Tory appeal to the far right.
“It could have been much worse.” That’s the line many of my British friends are putting forward about the cuts to the British defense budget announced by the new Tory government this past week. And they’re right.
Hamas are resistance fighters who are struggling to defend their land. They have won an election. I have told this to U.S. officials ... I do not accept Hamas as a terrorist organization. I think the same today. They are defending their land.
Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that his government has agreed to investigate torture allegations made by former Guantanamo detainees. The inquiry is expected to last one year. And, according to Cameron, it will look into claims that British officials knew of “improper treatment of detainees held by other countries in counterterrorism operations overseas, or were aware of improper treatment of detainees in operations in which the UK was involved.”