Baffling speech by David Cameron

The Prime Minister made a speech today on Scottish Independence. I was baffled by its strategic intent and execution

I watched and listened this morning [February 7th, 2014] as The Prime Minister gave a heavily trailed speech to a small audience at the London Velodrome. It was intended to urge the citizens of the United Kingdom who could not vote to use their influence on those who could to assist a NO vote in the Scottish referendum next year. [That is to say, he addressed people in Northern Ireland, Wales and England to persuade those living in Scotland to vote NO]

‘The sum is greater than the parts’

The Speech argued for the merits of The United Kingdom as a coherent political unity, so much more than the sum of its parts. It was accidentally a case that could be applied to the EU as well, although I am sure that was not the PM’s subliminal intent.

English cool and Celtic warmth?

It might have been an attempt to rebut rationally the points made by the YES campaign. In content however, the emphasis was on the more emotional point that David Cameron was ethnically [like many living in the UK] a mix of Scottish, English and perhaps a dash of Welsh genes.

The style was a restrained emotionalism if I might risk an oxymoron. Perhaps Anglo-Saxon cool and Celtic heat? The PM appeared uncomfortable about the whole performance. The careful explanation of why it took place in the Velodrome was clunky [Scottish for not terribly convincing, old boy].

Why did I find it baffling?

I just could not make much sense of his intentions or of the execution of the speech. What dilemma might he be seeking to address? Was it the need to reverse apparent gains in the YES vote, in recent polls whatever the political risk? Did his advisers appreciate the dilemma of risking infuriating Scottish voters by the intervention? Was there a concern to find a popular new initiative in difficult political times?

Comments and interpretations welcomed.

7 Responses to Baffling speech by David Cameron

  1. Edward Spalton says:

    I have had grave doubts about the Consevative party’s real attachment to the Union ever since the took the words “And Unionist” off the title on the membership cards. They are committed totally to membership of the EU . In that framework it is relatively unimportant whether one part of the British offshore provinces is nominally independent or not.

    Mr Salmond’s Achilles’ heel is that “independence in Europe” is no independence at all but all the nominally unionist parties are – first and foremost Euro-unionists.

    The Conservatives connived with devolution which was an obvious antechamber to dissolution of the UK. It was they who set up the English regions to meet EU requirements- although it was Labour who tried to establish elected assemblies in them.

    My wife is Scottish and points out that there used to be Conservative Scottish MPs – even in Glasgow. They were never safe seats and the bright boys, like Teddy Taylor, headed South for a tranquil career. Admittedly my wife has now been with me in England for almost forty years but she said that the candidates who replaced them were appallingly bad

    Then there is the effect of Irish politics, invisible to suburban English
    Tory MPs. Mrs Thatcher’s Anglo Irish Agreement with Charlie Haughey was like a wet fish across the face of Unionist opinion on both sides of the Irish Sea. The working class Conservative vote was overwhelmingly a Protestant Unionist vote. Anyone who doubts the continuing pull of this loyalty should stand in Argyle Street on 12 July.

    Everybody in the UK is fed up to the back teeth with Westminter sub Brussels ( even if they don’t know the abject nature and extent of accumulated surrenders and the impossibility of “renegotiation ” from the inside)so it is not unsurprising that Mr Salmond is able to sell Edinburgh sub Brussels as an alternative.
    But it’s just as phony.

  2. Lynn Atkinson says:

    Quite right! Edward Spalton is right on the button!

  3. frank leeming says:

    For a truly English parliament all we need is 51 English MP’s to do the job of rubber stamping EU dictat that his taking 651 to do at the moment . Local coucillors do more work for a lot less..

  4. Thanks, Edward. I hadn’t thought of the possibility you suggest regarding Cameron’s concealed intentions. I have enough problems assessing the intended and direct purpose OOF the speech.

  5. Thanks Lynn. I see that Edward is not alone in s view.

  6. Roger Wright-Morris says:

    I agree with Edward Spalton.
    Cameron is pro European Dictatorship, otherwise he would have entered into a detailed and principled Article 50 debate long ago and begun serious Tory , but not-coalition, EU negotiations as from a point immediately after his election last time.
    Cameron cannot just do nothing for 5 years except talk in generalities and expect to be trusted and to be taken seriously….” He Can’t Be Serious!” springs to mind and to that of many others who see no alternative to UKIP with the Article 50 route as the sole and vital objective for those who seek FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE ONCE MORE..

    Roger Wright-Morris adds…

  7. Thanks, Roger. UKIP has the advantage of starting out as a single issue party. This will be an advantage in the Euro elections and a liability as the 2015 general election campaign intensifies.

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