Useful Notes: David Cameron
Current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David William Donald Cameron (1966 to present), is the first Conservative PM of the 21st century and the youngest since 1812. His early life saw him attend Eton College (as have many Prime Ministers) and Oxford University (ditto). At the latter he was a member of the Bullingdon Club, an invite-only students' drinking club renowned for being seriously posh and seriously destructive. After graduating, he was an adviser to Norman Lamont and Michael Howard in the John Major administration, then worked in public relations. In 2001, he became MP for Witney (the previous member, Shaun Woodward, had done a rather unpopular thing in rural Oxfordshire and defected to the Labour Party, so ended up being parachuted into another seat). The 2005 Conservative election defeat saw Cameron run for leader and beat another David, David Davis. He spent nearly five years as Leader of the Opposition, rebuilding the image of a party shattered by three straight electoral defeats, with some policy moves not welcomed by the more traditional branch of the party. He also suffered a family tragedy in 2009, with the death of his 6 year old son Ivan, who had been born severely disabled. Cameron looked likely to become PM from the start of the recession onwards, but his lead was steadily eroded, mostly by the impression that he was offering nothing but a retread on the divisive policies of Margaret Thatcher, and a strong performance by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in the first leaders' debates in British electoral history (which didn't lead to the huge gain that his party expected) proved enough to produce a "Hung Parliament". Gordon Brown resigned when he could not negotiate a Liberal Democrat/Labour coalition. Later that day David successfully made a coalition with the Lib Dems. Despite the obvious success he achieved in managing to form a government, Cameron has come under criticism for not being able to achieve a more decisive and conclusive victory against a largely unpopular incumbent. Many of his policies have also not been incredibly popular, or have seen a certain amount of criticism or protest; however, much of the criticism seems to have been successfully deflected onto the Lib Dems and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, their leader. It helps that a significant percentage of Lib Dems vote that way precisely because while they may disagree with Labour, they definitely don't want a Conservative government, and were not incredibly impressed by Clegg getting into bed with Cameron (not literally, although a certain amount of Ho Yay has not gone unnoticed). While Cameron and his party might not be the most popular people ever, support for Clegg and the Lib Dems has drastically plummeted as they're increasingly seen to be lapdogs for the Conservatives. As the 2015 election approaches, the biggest danger to Cameron is generally seen not to be Labour — Ed Milliband's leadership of that party often being seen as divisive and ineffectual — but rather the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which has adopted a much harder-right-wing set of policies and made huge gains in local and European elections, and is seen as being able to potentially split the Conservative vote and allow the election of Labour. In the 2015 elections the Conservatives gained many seats. Cameron therefore remained as Prime Minister. The elections results also saw three other party leaders, Nigel Farage, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, resign. As he entered Buckingham Palace at 12:28 the Conservatives only needed one to win a majority. The Conservatives shortly after reached a majority. Cameron's generally privileged upbringing has made him a rich source for satire- and class-based attacks on him. Like this. As has his PR background.
David Cameron in fiction:
- Cameron, like all party leaders, is a regular target for Private Eye, particularly in the comic strip Dave Snooty and his Pals (a spoof of The Beano's Lord Snooty). In the spirit of the Coalition, he shares his text feature, a parody school newsletter, with Nick Clegg.
- Headcases featured Cameron speaking with a distinctively "normal accent" in public and a more "Old Etonian" on in private.
- In the ITV telemovie The Trial of Tony Blair, Cameron's election campaign revolves around his attempts to appear cool and modern by riding a bike to work and trying to hang out with inner-city teens and using what he thinks is their lingo (and failing miserably).
- Steve Bell's long-running cartoon in the Guardian portrayed him as a jellyfish wearing a cycle helmet, and later with an inflated condom for a head.
- In The Bojeffries Saga, an unnamed but recognisable Cameron is murdered via Neck Snap by Ginda Bojeffries during Prime Minister's Question Time.