David Cameron’s premiership has entered a period of unprecedented and deserved crisis. He has betrayed his party, his voters and more importantly his country in a desperate attempt to salvage Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU).
The poise and ease of Cameron’s normally slick media machine has all but collapsed – with revelations about the Prime Minister’s tax returns dominating the business of government for nearly a week – replacing news of his attempts to run the country.
The Government, effectively acting without a Prime Minister whilst he has been busy securing his legacy, has been nothing short of shambolic. Chancellor George Osborne had be left in control as Cameron flew around the other 27 EU Member States trying to secure his pitiful so-called renegotiation ‘deal’.
The NHS is in a state of near permanent crisis, with seemingly no resolution to the junior doctor’s strike in sight. The chief architect of Cameron’s welfare reforms, the highly influential cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith, resigned in anger over Mr. Osborne’s most recent Budget.
However, the most abhorrent thing is Cameron’s stunning assault on British democracy. He has thrown our proud democratic traditions under the bus to preserve his own political legacy.
He has disregarded the principle of government neutrality before the referendum with his outrageous waste of £9.3millon of taxpayers’ money on supposedly “factual” leaflets. Literature that has been derided as nothing more than biased opinions, half-truths and downright lies by many Tory backbenchers and various Eurosceptic campaign groups – including Get Britain Out.
This is sheer abuse of government privilege. It’s a clear attempt to rig the result of the referendum in favour of Remain, and is nothing short of a disgrace from a sitting Prime Minister and completely unbefitting of the illustrious office he holds.
It may be David Cameron and the rest of the establishment’s view that Britain is better off in the EU, but it does not mean they can subvert the democratic will of the people in order to promote it.
The purdah period exists to prevent just this sort of undue government influence on democracy. Simply asserting that it is legally okay because it is days outside of the purdah period is not an adequate defence. The principle has been violated.
The ending of government neutrality is only part of Cameron’s assault on the democratic process. Democracy thrives on active debate, and Cameron has clearly been trying to stifle it.
During his speaking tour around the country, on a recent visit to Exeter University, rather than inviting a single members from either the Conservative Students Association or the Freedom Society – the two right wing political societies on campus and also two of the biggest – he chose to instead invite all of the Labour and the Lib Dems.
For a Conservative Prime Minister to snub his own party members in favour of Labour and the Lib Dems is a sign of cowardice, from a man who obviously wishes to shut down debate and hear no criticism of his pro-EU stance. Cameron does not care for democracy.
To restore the sanctity of our British democracy and send a clear message to a Prime Minister who abandons his constitutional duties in order to preserve his own political legacy, we must all vote to Get Britain Out of the EU on June 23rd.
Ryan Fiske is a Research Executive with cross-party, grassroots Eurosceptic campaign group Get Britain Out