Quite literally, in fact.
I feel that in the fledgling moments of 2011, it is worth demonstrating in a clear, visual format the comprehensive verdict delivered to Mr Cameron and his close allies in the wake of the 2010 General Election (courtesy of the BBC):
In spite of this, and as I have blogged before, Mr Cameron has not only wantonly ignored England even when speaking solely about England or to English people, he has ignored the nation itself. He does so at his profound peril.
Concerns over devolution are beginning to grow to a crescendo. Very shortly, Wales will have an opportunity to seize control of their own affairs. The key players, notably a Mr Roger Lewis, claim that
“Time, money, energy and imagination are being exhausted on making an over-complicated law-making system work. In times like this we cannot afford to waste a moment continually arguing about the way laws are made. It is time for the assembly to be given the tools necessary to get on with the job it was elected to, so that all our energies can be focused on forging a better future.”
It is quotes like this that make one seriously question in which blissful sphere of ignorance the pro-devolution lobby reside. I can say with some degree of certainty that Wales will not reject any of the £14.78bn it takes from the UK Government merely to fund its subsidised existence as a pseudo-nation, so where will money be saved, and for whom? Furthermore, in the case of Scotland, the Centre for Policy Studies warned as early as January 1998 that
“… there is a real danger that in ceding so much legislative power to the Scottish Parliament and such a wide range of powers (including ones over local authorities), while retaining so great a control over the purse strings, the Blair Government has created a recipe for continual conflict.”
The Welsh Assembly seek very similar powers now. It should come as precisely no surprise that Ed Miliband, a man seemingly entirely oblivious to anything that has happened in the past fifteen years, has championed the Welsh cause:
“I think that devolution has been a success,” he said.
“The next step is about Wales not having to come to London when it wants to make changes within the devolved policy areas but being able to make the changes itself.
“It’s a better system, it’s a fairer system, and I think it’s a system that respects Wales.”
A desperate sop to try to gain total control of Wales, or an effort to spin supposed Labour ‘achievements’ into a reality vacuum? Probably the latter, but bizarrely, Cameron has no grounds to criticise this flagrant politicking by Labour, nor this near-final chapter of the story of the legal and constitutional break-up of the United Kingdom; he is duty-bound by the inherently un-Conservative Coalition Agreement to
“… implement the proposals of the Calman Commission and introduce a referendum on further Welsh devolution.”
So while desperate to remain Prime Minister of Britain, he is presiding over – and explicitly endorsing- the final measures of nonsensical, unprecedented and unequal Blairite devolution!
Cameron’s ideological muddle gets worse in the face of Europe. ‘Cast-iron’ promises aside, he seems to be entirely deluded. Coalition Agreement principles such as
“… a United Kingdom Sovereignty Bill to make it clear that ultimate authority remains with Parliament…”
are a myth and fallacy, as Simon Heffer succinctly reasons:
“A number of treaties signed by Her Majesty’s various governments since the Treaty of Brussels in 1972 make it quite clear that ultimate authority on a number of matters does not remain with Parliament. To say now to the contrary, while an admirable sentiment, would put us directly at odds with the European Union, the spirit and the letter of its laws. Therefore Clause 18 of the EU Bill – “Status of EU law dependent on continuing statutory basis” – has been drafted by Parliamentary Counsel on the advice of the Foreign Office’s lawyers, and it ensures that no such clash can take place. In short, the “sovereignty clause” is a sham.”
So, content with ensuring that Britain’s sovereignty remains abroad, Mr Cameron is duly duty-bound to ensure that he has precisely no control over our borders, thus negating his already minimal ability (and pathetically low desire) to protect Britain’s culture and heritage itself.
A recent IPPR study demonstrated the extent to which immigration is really and truly ‘out of control’ legally as well as numerically. But the Tories daren’t discuss it. Or just don’t, can’t or won’t see the actual effects on the nation. As Peter Hitchens suggests, Cameron’s pseudo-Tories have no interest in the actual reality of their favoured high-immigration policy:
“Not for them the other side of immigration – the transformation of familiar neighbourhoods into foreign territory. Not for them the schools where many pupils cannot speak English, and the overloaded public services. Not for them the mosque and the madrassa where the church and the pub used to be. Not that they mind that so much. These people have no special loyalty to this country, nor much love for it. They are not significantly different from the Blairite apparatchik Andrew Neather, who last year unwisely said openly what such people have long thought privately.”
Mr Cameron is essentially presiding over a ‘nation’ that has given over-riding power to its contituent parts, surrendered its sovereignty to an undemocratic foreign superstate and in doing so handed over its borders and security to unelected bureaucrats.
What kind of nation is that?
The irony of all this is that Mr Cameron is – unwittingly, perhaps – complicit in demolishing the values and ideological bastions of the Britain he supposedly so adores, while desperately grasping the only British institutions that are beginning to show their age: namely his party and the concept of a United Kingdom.
Suggesting that Mr Cameron should disband the United Kingdom solely due to his party’s huge support in England would be arrant nonsense; flagrant opportunism only matched by the Lib Dems’ nonsense AV referendum. What he must accept, however, is that the inheritance he so coveted when admiring New Labour from across the dispatch box was wantonly destroyed by the man he sought to emulate: Tony Blair.
If Mr Cameron wished to be truly radical, rather than be content to use it as a buzzword to satisfy his truly (and destructively) radical Coalition partners, he must return to Conservative principles, and if he so desires, return Britain to itself before it is too late.
If he does not, or if he makes too many wrong moves, he will be known not as the Prime Minister who held Britain together, nor as the Prime Minister who logically dealt with the tarnished Disunited Kingdom as masterminded by his disgraceful predecessors, but as a man who failed to grasp the reality of the situation he found himself in and chose to ignore the true problems he faced.
His legacy remains in his own hands.