David Cameron’s place in history

 

Sir, – David Cameron claims that the 2016 Brexit referendum was “necessary” and “inevitable” (“Cameron ‘truly sorry’ for division that followed Brexit”, News, September 14th).

However, it’s unclear if he’s saying in his new book For the Record that an in/out vote was unavoidable for the Tory party or the UK.

Maybe, in the former British prime minister’s mind, the two are indivisible.

Let’s not forget that in the run-up to the 2015 UK general election, the then-Labour leader, Ed Miliband, wisely refused to promise an EU referendum because he said that the issue was too serious to use for party political advantage. Mr Cameron, of course, had few such qualms.

I don’t really blame Mr Cameron for his reckless gamble. It’s probably an inevitable part of his characteristically irresponsible “top” private school nature caused by a deeply entitled upbringing.

After all, he’s spent his whole life among people for whom mistakes do not ultimately matter; and who rarely have to clear up their own mess.

But I find it incredible that Britain’s political and media establishment is still in thrall to a rotten system that has produced two cavalier Eton and Oxford-educated leaders that have led the UK to the brink of calamity.

Perhaps the obvious reason for the lack of fundamental debate is that British society is still controlled by men and women very similar to David Cameron and Boris Johnson.

People who are basically incapable of questioning themselves and their own privileged right to run things. – Yours, etc,

JOE McCARTHY,

Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – David Cameron blames his erstwhile friends Michael Gove and Boris Johnson for the current situation.

However, it was his brainwave to hold the referendum in the first place, and his decision to quit the prime minister’s post as soon as the result did not go his way.

The UK does not have a written constitution, therefore referendums are not required. It could be argued that the one conducted in 2016 was but a method testing the feelings of the electorate and the result did not have to be followed by the government.

All I hear is Mr Cameron saying, “Ochón, ochón”. – Yours, etc,

MALACHI

O’SULLIVAN,

Limoges,

France.

Sir, – David Cameron has some cheek; accusing Michael Gove and Boris Johnson of engaging in conduct unbecoming during the 2016 EU referendum campaign is nothing short of reprehensible. It was his political pusillanimity that landed the UK in the mess it is currently in. Had he put his country before party, the Brexit referendum would never have been held.

Even though he promised the electorate that if the Tories were returned to power with an overall majority after the 2015 general election – a result he never thought possible – he would hold an in/out referendum on Britain’s EU membership, he should have reneged on that pledge, even if such a brazen U-turn resulted in a revolt by Tory hardliners, and in ridicule and vilification in the popular press.

Real leaders know that election promises – especially egregiously reckless ones – are like pie crusts; they’re made to be broken.

Mr Cameron was the architect of his own downfall; and he must also carry the can for the predicament that his country now finds itself in.

Censuring certain individuals for misbehaving and for “leaving the truth at home” just won’t wash! He can’t blame others for an appalling situation which he was instrumental in creating.

Still, an emotional mea culpa always contributes to the rehabilitation of an errant politician. – Yours, etc,

PAUL DELANEY,

Dalkey,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – I’m looking forward to Boris Johnson’s memoirs: “Confessions of an Incredible Hulk”. – Yours, etc,

SARAH

BYRNE,

Dublin 8.