Monday, 11 July 2016

Leadership


I have never known a more turbulent time in politics.  Scarcely a day goes by without another resignation of some sort.  We are in the eye of the storm.  However, it will settle down in time and clarity will eventually prevail.  By the time you read this article the first two rounds of the Conservative leadership contest will have been completed.
 
I wish that David Cameron hadn’t resigned.  He did not need to in my view.  It was quite possible for him to put together a negotiating team to manage the outcome of the EU referendum while staying on to provide some continuity and to help with relations with other EU countries.  However, he didn't want to carry on so now we must calmly choose a new leader.

I worked for David Cameron for almost three years including during his own campaign for the Conservative leadership. From the very beginning I could see that he had the judgement and temperament to become a really great Prime Minister.  It has been fascinating to see him catapulted from an unknown MP twelve years ago to become leader of the party and then leader of our country.  I have seen him grow at each stage and as each challenge presented itself.  No one is born to be Prime Minister and there is no special training.  You have to learn it from trial and error on the job.  You either have the aptitude to do it, and manage to overcome obstacles and become stronger after each and every setback or, rather like Gordon Brown, the job overwhelms you and you get gradually eroded by it.

While David Cameron will be disappointed at the way things have ended, I think that history will judge him well. He took the helm in desperate times and steered the country back to economic recovery. He was the only Prime Minister I can think of who had the temperament to make coalition government really work for a full five years.  I am very sad to see him go but it has been a real privilege to have worked with him.

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