After resigning his parliamentary seat yesterday, Cameron said that his continued presence would be a ‘distraction’ from the work of his successor, and appeared to make it clear that he did not want to be in a position of putting an alternative point of view to that of the government. However, he also said that ‘he wants to continue in public service and campaign on the domestic and international causes that he championed in Downing Street’. I wonder how he squares that particular circle.
There was another piece of analysis yesterday by the BBC’s Political Editor, looking at how completely May has junked the people and policies of the Cameron era. We’ve had a complete overturning of the economic policy which Cameron, Osborne, (and, I’m sure, even May) previously told us were essential. International policy (towards China in particular) looks likely to see significant change. This week, policy on selective education was reversed. It seems that the so-called ‘northern powerhouse’ so beloved of the ex-Chancellor is rather less close to the hearts of the new team as well – and all this in just two months. Who knows what else will change as she really gets stuck in?
The comment ("it IS a new government", one senior Tory told me, "not everyone has understood that yet") reported in the second story seemed quite accurate to me. We have a new government, working to a new and different set of priorities. Whilst the changes are not necessarily in the same direction, the difference between a May administration and a Cameron one looks like being as great – perhaps even greater – than the difference that there would have been between a Cameron administration and a Miliband administration had the 2015 election gone the other way. And all achieved without the bother and hassle of an election.But back to Cameron: given the extent of the emerging differences, how can he continue to campaign for the same things without ending up in opposition to May’s government?