David Cameron leaves today. He will be remembered for three things. Allowing Britain to leave the most stabilising and prosperity delivering force that global politics has ever known, implementing gay marriage against the will of most of his party and putting his penis in a dead pigs head. But there is a third that he should be remembered for, and that is one of dithering, procrastination and indecision which presents Theresa May with a spankload of work to do.
At first glance his resume appears to be less worse than Blair. And that is no mean feat given given the Tories are meant to be the evil ones and Labour the less evil ones. Yet the inbox for May looks as awful as any that has confronted any Prime Minister in the last 80 years – with many of the things that were deservedly top of the agenda just four weeks ago now shunted into the very long and prickly grass.
For Theresa May and for Britain, the initial things that have to be dealt with are obvious. Exit the EU completely and stop EU immigration. Exit the EU but join EFTA allowing freedom of movement of goods, services and people. Or offer a second referendum. All three paths are riddled with pitfalls both politically, economically and, most importantly, socially. Each will either leave the country and people poorer or feeling like they have been cheated thereby increasing the disenchantment and the disenfranchisement that has already manifested itself in spades. When else has the leaders of every single main political party advocated a choice only for people to stick two fingers up at them?
Yet, looking at each government department in alphabetical order, it can be seen that Cameron has failed to tackle some of THE most pressing issues of our time.
BIS – Keeping multi-national companies in Britain so they don’t take their jobs to Europe – especially after Theresa has stated that big companies had to pay more tax.
DCLG – How do you keep the lights on? Thanks to the Cameron administration local government has seen 40% of their cash in real terms axed. No organisation could carry on delivering services in the same way as before with so much less cash and, crucially, so many more older people needing caring for. Oh, and the small matter of the housing problem.
DCMS – Aside from the BBC charter, there is still the unresolved issue of press regulation; tackling the scourge of marketing that is leading to obesity, debt and people buying stuff they don’t need, don’t want and can’t afford and, finally, trying to pretend that there has been an Olympic legacy of some sort that isn’t just £9bn and a shallow promise to the IOC to get the Games to Britain.
Education – The catastrophic teacher shortage comes top, but also how to reform the ridiculous University system that can now charge for tuition fees but, speaking from experience, fails to provide a decent service to students.
DEFRA – Without the EU Common Agricultural Policy, how you keep farmers from going bust. How, without the Common Fisheries Policy, how you keep fishermen in business and don’t just kill the oceans through their catching greed. Badger culling is still there as well as an issue. And there is the elephant of how they can be an environment department when the biggest issue is climate change and that sits elsewhere in Whitehall.
DFID – How do you convince a hateful right wing press that spending 0.7% of GDP (as per the Brandt Report of 1980) on Johnny Foreigner is a good thing.
Transport – Heathrow or Gatwick? Crossrail 2? HS2? Driverless cars? Drones?
Works and Pensions – How to juggle benefits for the sick and disabled with less and less cash available and a stronger right wing Tory wing crying out for more cuts? How does a government justify paying pensioners ever more money and giving them ever more freebies (obvs not for vote winning purposes) when their average income is just 7% below average earnings? Does universal credit get binned?
Energy and Climate Change – Does Hinckley C ever get built and, if not, what next to stop the lights going on when alternative energy subsidies have been slashed? Oh, and there is the small matter of mitigating and slowing climate change and global warming.
Health – The NHS is failing with no matter how much money being thrown at the problem simply being gobbled up with more patients and more self inflicted illnesses and an aging population. How can it be turned into a Health Service and not a Sickness Service? And how does May achieve this without the claim that the Tories are trying to destroy the NHS? How do you start making the service more about treating the patient as well as the disease they are suffering from? How do you start hypochondriacs wasting time? How do you ensure staffing levels are maintained when so many of the staff are immigrants?
Foreign Office – How to manage relationships with the rest of the world when everyone sees you in such a dreadful light?
Treasury – With so many of the Brexit scaremonger prophesies now coming true how to you prevent stagflation, deflation, unemployment, pay off the deficit, improve credit ratings, get investors and innovators to stay and come to the UK?
Home Office – How do you reform the Police to stop making so many screw ups when they are meant to police by consent? How do you save money in fire and police services with crime and blazes dropping like a stone without being accused of being soft. How do you appear to be tackling immigration when one of the things that Britain really needs to keep the economy ticking are immigrants?
Justice – How do you make prisons work? How do you make victims feel supported? How do you reduce the prison population without appearing soft on crime?
Northern Ireland – How do you maintain peace in light of the vote to leave the EU are the ramifications that offers up to the Republic and the IRA?
Scotland – How do you manage the almost inevitable second Scotland independence referendum and the eventual splitting of the UK?
There are a myriad more and many I have missed, but it gives a flavour of just what a rubbish legacy of failing to put massive issues to bed Cameron has left and what a shitty end of a shitty stick May has been given by the now former Prime Minister.