Seldon on Cameron

6 Sep

Cameron at 10, the new paperback edition has a brief update to remind you that having done his best to cling on to power through the coalition, the Scottish and STV referenda and beyond Cameron shot two great big holes in his no doubt expensively shoed feet and has left the building.

Seldon has become the instant go to man for insight and narrative on the inner workings of the Prime Ministership. His work on John Major was almost a lengthy diary comprised on numbers newspaper cuttings and “private information”, his works on Blair more thematic. Seldon comes to like the latter Blair, where as he seems as though he can hardly tolerate Brown and finds Ed Balls ” the puppet master ” Ed Balls the dancer younger readers may not be aware was a politician and friend of Gordon Brown in a former life.

So his approach to Cameron seems , well headmasterly. Seldon seems to have a soft spot for Tories and   posh ones at that. Cameron is seen as failing the big tests, he is a tactician not a strategist. He keeps all the plates spinning when many would like them to crash, until of course they do spectacularly. For Seldon Osborne seems to be the real hero of the book, political,ruthless and yet ever so subservient. One for the price of two seems a constant theme around Cameron / Osborne (Camborne perhaps ?). Seldon doesn’t really make much comment on the levels of fear or poor campaign run by Cameron in both Scotland and Brexit, as with his books on Blair he drops relationship in in a thematic way – read a chapter on Lynton Crosby or Michael Gove rather than interweaving them. At times its disjointing, at others its helpful ( you can skip Gove if you wish – Gove skipping would be a sight and perhaps a tourist attraction).

Im not sure what value Seldons books really bring. Its a combination of Journalism and at times infuriating private information. One imagines for example that conversations between Cameron and John Oliver are attributable to one or the other of them, maybe even both of them! One wonders if the Seldon machine is gearing up to befriend Teresa May, and if they are, for all its faults I will probably read it.

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