Monday, 9 July 2012
What has Cameron told us about his own sense of National Identity?
This picture tells a tale about Cameron's national identity. It is said to be "Chillaxing: David Cameron walks with his wife Samantha past stalls at this year's Cornbury Festival" held at the Great Tew estate near Chipping Norton, the Cotswolds market town that has become the unlikely power base for Britain’s political and media elite. Mr Cameron’s constituency home is close by in Witney.
The Cornbury Music Festival prides itself on being a “top notch, very English affair”. Organisers describe it as “a homespun melting pot where music-lovers share pies and a glass of champagne with superstars, toffs, rockers, crooners, Morris dancers, farmers, urbanites, fashionistas, gourmet chefs and little old ladies who make exceptional cakes”.
But what has Dave Donald Cameon told us about his own sense of National Identity?
What follows is a sample of some revealing comments. What do you think it really tells us about his attachment to England?
Negative stereotypes of Scots undermining union: CameronPublished: Sunday, 17 September, 2006, 10:22 AM Doha Time
By Colin Brown
ENGLISH ignorance of Scotland and the portrayal of Glaswegians as drunks is damaging the union, Conservative leader David Cameron warned in a speech aimed at defusing growing calls for an English Parliament.
Mr Cameron vowed to ensure that Scotland would remain part of the UK if he became prime minister, but he said that ‘ignorant and inaccurate stereotypes’ by comedians and commentators were threatening to undermine the union.
“Whether it’s Russ Abbott-style lampooning or the inevitable aggressive Glaswegian drunk in TV programmes, the cumulative effect can be depressing,” he said.
Sports commentators who described Scottish sportsmen and women as ‘British’ when they won but only referred to them as Scots when they lost were also blamed by Mr Cameron for exacerbating the tensions.
He said there was also no excuse for shops in England treating Scottish pound notes as if they had come ‘straight out of a Monopoly box’.
“Instead of deriding Scots as chippy or difficult, isn’t it time that English people of good will educated themselves?” he said.
Attacking confusion among English commentators, Mr Cameron claimed they derided the Scots as ‘hopeless drunks and beggars’ while at the same time protesting at the domination of Scots in the media as the ‘Scottish raj - a race of superhumans led by John Reid and Kirsty Wark’.
Calling for a fresh start by the Tories on Scotland, Mr Cameron admitted that a series of ‘blunders’ had been made by the Tories in Scotland including the poll tax.
It was the second time in recent weeks that he had criticised Scotland’s past record, having said it was wrong over apartheid in South Africa.
“The decision to treat Scotland as a laboratory for experimentation in new methods of local government finance was clumsy and unjust,” he said.
“On devolution too, we fought on against the idea of a Scottish Parliament long after it became clear that it was the settled will of the people.”
It was no compensation to see the Labour Party ‘displaying the same insensitivity’, he said, by destroying historic regiments such as the Black Watch. “It weakens the Union and reminds Scots of Tory mistakes,” he said.
Mr Cameron made it plain he wants to rebuild Tory support in Scotland in advance of next year’s May elections, which are expected to be bad for Labour.
He said the Tories’ hold on only one Scottish Parliamentary seat out of 59, and 17 seats in the Holyrood Parliament was ‘pretty dismal’.
But his remarks underlined growing fears that the election of the Gordon Brown as Prime Minister with a Cabinet dominated by ministers with Scottish seats will spark a renewed controversy over Scottish representation at Westminster next year, which marks the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union.
Some senior Conservative figures believe it will lead to fresh calls for an English Parliament that could be dominated by the Tories.
The Tory leader warned that SNP leader Alex Salmond could not ask for more effective allies than ‘sour Little Englanders’ who cried ‘good riddance’ when full independence for Scotland was raised.
Mr Cameron set himself against calls for an English Parliament, and warned against exacerbating anti-English opinion north of the border.
One recent poll showed a majority in Scotland were in favour of independence, and during the World Cup, tensions had boiled over with Jack McConnell, the Scottish Labour leader, being criticised for adopting an ‘anyone but England’ attitude.
The Conservative leader said the so-called West Lothian question was a ‘problem’ that needed addressing, and was being reviewed by the Conservative commission on democracy under Kenneth Clarke, the former Chancellor.
The issue - raised by Tam Dalyell, when he was Labour MP for West Lothian - questioned the right of Scottish MPs to vote on bills affecting England at Westminster while English MPs were denied that right because of Scottish devolution.
“Sending and MSP to Holyrood to vote against tuition fees for Scotland is fine,” he said. “Sending an MP to Westminster to vote for tuition fees for England is fine too. Doing both at the same time is problematic to say the least.” – The Independent
The full text of the speech is here:-
Click>Scottish Conservatives :: Speeches
Perhaps we should not be surprised after this, from the MP for Witney:-
Subj: Andrew Marr interviews "Dave" Donald Cameron, Sunday 25th June 2006
ANDREW MARR: Another area of constitutional argument just at the moment is the whole business of the Scots and the English. Lots of people are saying now there should be English votes for English laws - Ken Clarke is clearly attracted by that - and there's quite hubbub now saying that the Scots are getting too much public money, that the old Barnett formula, in fact Joel Barnett himself has said this, needs to be looked at again. Are the Scots getting too much public money at the moment, proportionately?
DAVID CAMERON: I don't have any plans to change the arrangements. Obviously we're in opposition, we have the opportunity to look at these things and we should do so. But I don't have any plans to make changes. And we should look at funding on the basis of need. And I think that's the right way, right way round. But I want, you know, I am a passionate Unionist, I think that Scotland brings a huge amount to the United Kingdom. The Scottish people bring a huge amount to the United Kingdom and I don't want, and I'm a Cameron, there is quite a lot of Scottish blood flowing through these veins.
ANDREW MARR: It's clearly the problem that you could have is in effect one party, shall we say the Conservative Party, had won a majority of seats in England, and was therefore in effect the government of England when it came to most of the things that voters were interested in, and there might be another party, Lib-Lab party or whatever it might be, still formally the British government.
DAVID CAMERON: Well I would put it another way which it would mean in the future that you couldn't have a government that could override the wishes of MPs sitting for English constituencies on matters that affect England in terms of health and education and transport.
ANDREW MARR: But it's tricky?
DAVID CAMERON: Well I don't see why it should ... I want parliament to be back at the centre of national life. I think one of the problems under this government is Parliament and the House of Commons has been so by-passed.
Here is his official position:-
Thank you for writing to David Cameron - I am replying on his behalf.
David was born in England so, if you are asking whether he is Scottish, English or Welsh - he is English. However, he likes to think of himself as British.
Many thanks again for your email.
David Cameron's Office
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Here's a link to this:- Click> http://crossofstgeorge.net/forum/viewtopic.phpt=10836&highlight=david+english++likes+think+himself+british
David Cameron continues to be adamantly against any show of Englishness. In proof, I give you a quotation from a recent article by a journalist, Mark Stuart.
“As an ardent Unionist, I was greatly encouraged by David Cameron’s remarks earlier this year, when he took part in a grilling from Yorkshire Post readers. When quizzed by Paul Cockcroft, a member of the Royal Society of St George about introducing a new public holiday to celebrate St George’s Day, Cameron rejected the idea, adding: “I want to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, not just England. I think we’re stronger having England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland united”.
So one of the first things English nationalists need to realise about David Cameron is that he will leave them disappointed. The Conservatives have no plans to establish an English Parliament. Nor do they propose solving the so-called West Lothian Question”..
Tory leader, David Cameron, was at Christ Church Parish Centre in North Shields on the 10th
January 2009 fielding questions from the public. Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle Alaistair Craig reported this response.
“One member of the audience complained of the huge differences between services in the North East and Scotland.
She complained that free prescriptions, university tuition and care for the elderly in England should be a priority issue for any Cameron Government.
Mr Cameron responded “I don’t want to do anything that will encourage a sense of English nationalism and distance between the two countries.”