James Kirkup

Come back David Cameron

Come back David Cameron
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We don’t hear much from David Cameron these days. He’s generally too busy. He fills his time in many ways: writing a book; making bundles of cash; playing tennis; not taking the blame for Brexit.

But he’s given an interview to the Financial Times about Alzheimer’s disease and the search for a cure. It’s worth a read, and not just because it’s an important subject. It’s also a reminder of what was lost when Cameron fled Parliament last summer (I know - it seems much longer). To my mind, it is both shameful and a shame that Cameron has left the Commons, and did it in such a manner.

It shames him that having taken one of the most momentous decisions in modern British history, he ran away rather than answer for that decision and help deal with the many consequences of his referendum (note the possessive there: it’s important that history records that it was Cameron’s vote and Cameron’s choice).

But it’s a shame for the rest of us that he’s not around to do stuff like this on Alzheimer’s in a more regular and prominent way. Because, whatever else is true about Cameron and Europe (and to repeat: posterity isn’t done with you yet, Dave), he’s also a gifted communicator whose optimism is sorely needed these days. Likewise his knack for recognising that attitudes and opinions and ideas can matter as much as detailed policies: vision and tone do matter. There’s also a short essay to be written about how the Tories need to relearn his lessons on branding, but that’ll need to wait for another day.

For now, I only want to say something that surprises me: I miss David Cameron’s presence in daily politics, and I think we’d be better off if he was still in Parliament (I think the same of John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, incidentally). Come back Dave. Not all is forgiven, and nor will it ever be. But come back anyway.

Written byJames Kirkup

James Kirkup is the Director of the Social Market Foundation and a former political editor of The Scotsman and The Daily Telegraph

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