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Will the last person in the building please switch off the lights

Just when one thought The Brexit Matter couldn’t get any worse, suddenly – with appropriately ghastly timing – the spectre of David Cameron, the man who brought the whole thing about by setting up the 2016 EU Referendum, returns to haunt us with the launch of his 752-page political memoirs (thankfully cut by 100,000 word at the publisher’s request) entitled For The Record.

Legend has it that Winston Churchill more than once spouted aphorisms along the lines “History is written by the victors” and “History shall be kind to me for I shall write it”.

Over the past one hundred years it had become a semi-tradition for former UK Premiers to pen their versions of their time at the helm for consumption by the public, presumably for the triple purpose of “getting their retaliation in first”, occupying some of the perceived endless miles of desert nothingness that stretches ahead of them in life … and hopefully making some a half-decent pile of cash to cushion them in their advancing years.

From where I’m sitting, even without having read a word of it, the only thing positive to be said about Mr Cameron’s tome is that he can at least be absolved from the last of the above because it is understood that he has earmarked any proceeds from its sales to be applied to charitable causes.

Apparently someone at HarperCollins persuaded themselves to pay a whopping advance of £800,000 in October 2016 for Call Me Dave’s version of events but thankfully the early signs are that it is going to flop, despite intense publicity drive currently assailing us from all sides.

See here for a preview by John Stevens, Deputy Political Editor of the Daily Mail, and James Wood for Mail Online, as appears today upon the website of the – DAILY MAIL

Mind you, I suppose things could be worse: hands up anyone who has copies of John Major’s John Major: The Autobiography (1999) or Gordon Brown’s My Life, Our Times (2017) still taking up space on their personal bookshelves?

According to an interview he has given to The Times, Mr Cameron finds it difficult to sleep at night as he contemplates where the Brexit issue has taken us, accuses Messrs Johnson and Gove of behaving appallingly during the EU Referendum campaign and now feels that a Second Referendum might well be the best route to extricating the country from its current mess.

Er, thanks Dave – but don’t call us, we’ll call you …

Regular readers will be all too aware of my unremittingly cynical views on politicians and the various ways human society has – and always will – organise itself given the randomness of chance and circumstance, e.g. whether one happens to be born in Western Society, some famine-ridden desert or a far-off jungle somewhere in Papua New Guinea.

In which context, given the scale of the issues facing the future course of our planet, the weaknesses of democratic notions, political-correctness and 21st Century “wokeness” are little more than activities akin to re-arranging deckchairs on the Titanic – and, in the scheme of things, effectively pointless.

The fundamental flaw with our system of government as a concept is that – taken to its logical conclusion in a modern world in which the internet, social media and even manipulation of the aforementioned by powers both foreign and at home are endemic – never mind the theory that UK politicians are elected as representatives of the people but also able to “think for themselves” (under the guise that, of course, they know what is good for us better than we do), the idea that democracy “works” is for the birds.

To generalise absurdly to make my point – who needs 650 MPs in our House of Commons when, with a modicum of preparation and administration, we could simply conduct daily referenda on every policy matter under the sun?

The technology to do this already exists – why not implement it?

I’ll tell you why.

Because the issues facing humanity are too great, too complex and too difficult to be left to “the people”.

From this perspective, politics and the application of power are far simpler and more effective in communist states, or in those where democratic pretensions are removed from playing any part in the process.

The UK has done great service to humanity over these past three years by proving the point with bells on.

Arguably, life would be far easier for everyone if we stripped things back and let the Establishment “get on with it” without the dragging anchor of having to pretend that it (the Establishment) is acting in any way through the legitimacy of “carrying out the will of the people”.

Let’s face it, clearly it stands to reason that “the people” have practically zero idea of what is good for them anyway.

Furthermore, we all know that, over time, human beings get used to whatever they get used to.

Why should our lives be complicated by the fantasy that we have – or indeed need to take – any responsibility for what is decided anyway?

Better, perhaps, just to let “the Establishment” get on with it.

I’ll get me coat …



About Simon Campion-Brown

A former lecturer in politics at Keele University, Simon now lives in Oxfordshire. Married with two children, in 2007 he decided to monitor the Westminster village via newspaper and television and has never looked back. More Posts