Time to move beyond the errors of the prime ministers David Cameron and Boris Johnson

A letter from John Gemmell:

Monday, 26th April 2021, 9:04 am
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 9:25 am
David Cameron and Boris Johnson, seen together in late 2014 when Mr Cameron was prime minister and Mr Johnson mayor of London, both slid effortlessly through Eton and Oxford into stellar careers. But, their privilege and initial success followed parallel trajectories towards selfishness and error

Boris Johnson and David Cameron have much in common. They both slid effortlessly through Eton and Oxford into stellar careers. But, their privilege and initial success followed parallel trajectories towards selfishness and error.

That selfishness and error was fuelled by arrogance and by superficiality. David Cameron never had a vision for the future of the UK.

Imagine him in one of those so called ‘gentlemen’s’ clubs in London, with a large antique globe in the reading room. Imagine asking him to outline his strategic plan for the UK in a changing world, whilst rotating that globe. Imagine the silence that would ensue, the lack of vision that would be exposed. But, he had a clearer, if unusual, plan for making even more money, by pushing the virtues of a company built on candy floss, selling services signifying nothing.

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Boris Johnson shared Mr Cameron’s early Midas touch, but has lost it recently, like his old chum. He joked and schemed his golden route to power, never recognising the importance of attention to detail. The happier version of the Midas myth has the King learning from his foolishness and vanity.

There are things more important in life than having everything you touch, including figuratively speaking your soft furnishings, turn to gold. Mr Johnson never learnt this, and he should sooner or later feel the dust running through his fingers as a result.

The next few weeks might damage the reputations of these two men comprehensively. It no longer matters about Mr Cameron, already out of power and now out of influence. But, Mr Johnson has not yet run out of road, in his case the wreckage is still building up.

The Conservative Party needs to refresh itself, quickly. There are already the first signs of the now famously disloyal parliamentary party planning to ditch Mr Johnson. That’s perhaps premature. But, one thing is sure, a new Tory leader is required. It’s time to skip the favourites and forget Gove, Raab, even Sunak. Is it now even necessary to include Priti Patel in that list, once one of the ‘golden generation’?

There are, however, a few junior Cabinet ministers, and even more backbenchers, who should do a little better than the incumbent.

John Gemmell, Wem, Shropshire

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