The mainstream media finally turns on David Cameron, now that he’s out of a job

Mark Turley

David Cameron has been ridiculed by the mainstream media after he was officially rated one of the worst prime ministers in modern history. In a study conducted by the University of Leeds, 82 leading political history professors were asked to rank Cameron on a list of PMs since World War Two. The results placed him third from bottom, leading to widespread derision from the mainstream media.

The survey

Conducted every six years in conjunction with Ipsos Mori, Woodnewton Associates and The Times, the poll has Clement Attlee (post-war Labour leader and champion of the welfare state) in first place. Any accusations of left-wing bias can be quickly abandoned, however, as second and fourth are both Conservatives (Margaret Thatcher and Harold Macmillan). Third place is filled by New Labour right-winger Tony Blair.

Respondents to the survey were asked to rate each leader with a score of 0-10, with 10 meaning that they saw them as “highly successful”. They were also invited to give their views on their greatest policy successes and failures. For obvious reasons, Brexit had a large part to play in Cameron’s poor showing. Professor Kevin Theakston, who led the study, said:

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David Cameron’s reputation seems destined to be defined by Brexit…academic opinion, as reflected in our study is currently pretty damning.

Only Sir Anthony Eden, who bungled the Suez crisis, and Sir Douglas-Home, who lasted just a year, ranked lower. Both were also Conservatives.

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Other factors

While the Brexit vote served as a full-stop to Cameron’s reign of error, future analysts will pick out other damning failures. The military intervention in Libya is now widely being described as a war crime, while the revelations in the Panama papers, demonstrating his father’s use of off-shore tax havens, cast a stark light on his infamous slogan that we were “all in this together”.

More than anything, history will record that under Cameron’s guidance, the toxic political choice of austerity was enforced on a suffering British public. Cuts to disability benefits, the bedroom tax, tightening restrictions on the unemployed, all while the wealthy paid less tax and awarded each other huge bonuses.

Under Cameron’s watch, the UK became one of the most unequal societies in the western world.

With much of the media carrying the story on 13 October, including traditionally Conservative outlets such as The Times, The Daily Mail and The Sun, David Cameron will not enjoy reading the morning papers. His legacy of failure has been confirmed.

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