View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Cameron, May and Corbyn

David Cameron is about to hand over to Theresa May as prime minister of the United Kingdom. Cameron was in office for just over 6 years, first heading up a Conservative / Liberal Democrate coalition, and since last year a single party, Conservative government. As Tory PMs go, he wasn't too bad. The way he left office was not something that I find very good.

The UK voting to leave the EU was his prompt to leave office. The EU has always been a divisive issue in the Conservative Party, and over the last few years, the Tories were running scared of the Eurosceptic UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party). That was enough for Cameron to give in to demands for a referendum, something that he was not obliged to organise. He did. Although I was not following the debates, these appear to have been highly polarised. Worse than that, I have been horrified at the levels of racism and xenophobia that seem to be about in the UK. The perceived flood of migrant workers from other EU countries could be to 'blame' for that.

The referendum result has also served to split the Labour party. Although current leader Jeremy Corbyn faces a challenge to his leadership, I expect him to be returned as leader. He is held to be on the left flank of the party, and with Cameron's successor Theresa May positioned towards the right of the Conservative Party, politics in the UK appear to be back where they were some 25-30 years ago. Highly polarised.