Britain Cannot “Outsource” War: Cameron

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Barack Obama David Cameron
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, President Barack Obama of the United States and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom observe a moment of silence during the G20 summit in Antalya, November 15 (White House/Pete Souza)

British prime minister David Cameron made his case for airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State in Syria on Thursday. He called the Islamist group a “serious and undeniable” threat and argued that the United Kingdom cannot “outsource” its security to allies.

American and French warplanes are already striking Islamic State targets in Syria. Britain only bombs in Iraq at the invitation of the government in Baghdad.

Cameron has urged more expansive British action against the group, which controls territory in both Middle Eastern countries, for months.

But he did not immediately call for a vote in the House of Commons, saying he wanted to be assured of a “clear majority” in advance. Another defeat, he said, would be a “publicity coup” for the Islamic State. Read more “Britain Cannot “Outsource” War: Cameron”

Cameron’s Europe Demands Really Are Significant

David Cameron Mark Rutte
British prime minister David Cameron visits his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, in The Hague, March 24, 2014 (10 Downing Street)

David Cameron is due to formally petition fellow European Union leaders for changes in Britain’s membership of the bloc this week.

Critics who argue that Cameron’s demands are vague have a point. But they shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking them meaningless altogether. Read more “Cameron’s Europe Demands Really Are Significant”

Polish Conservative Win Boon to Britain’s Cameron

The victory of Poland’s conservatives in an election on Sunday should help British prime minister David Cameron as he seeks to redefine his island nation’s EU membership.

The Law and Justice party that unseated the liberal Civic Platform groups with Cameron’s Conservative Party in the European Parliament and is generally more Euroskeptic. It won an overall majority on Sunday, the first time since Poland emerged from communism that a party will be able to govern without coalition partners.

Cameron, who gave his party its first overall majority in twenty years in an election in May, seeks a looser relationship with Brussels to convince Britons to vote in favor of continued European Union membership in a referendum due by 2017.

Open Europe’s Pawel Swidlicki argues that the Polish election result strengthens Cameron’s narrative about “an EU that has overreached itself and which needs reforms to become more accountable to its citizens and less dismissive of their concerns.” Read more “Polish Conservative Win Boon to Britain’s Cameron”

Sometimes Blandness Is a Good Thing

David Cameron Pedro Passos Coelho
Prime Ministers David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Pedro Passos Coelho of Portugal meet in Lisbon, September 4 (10 Downing Street/Adam Brown)

British prime minister David Cameron’s pitch for stability on Wednesday did not impress everyone.

The Guardian‘s Michael White, for one, found the Conservative Party leader’s annual conference speech wanting. The promise of more of the same “is pretty flimsy stuff,” he writes.

White believes that Cameron’s record pales in comparison to Margaret Thatcher’s, the Conservative prime minister who thoroughly liberalized Britain’s economy in the 1980s and decidedly shifted the center ground in British politics to the right. “The Tories’ current crop of leaders looks feeble by comparison.”

He may be underestimating Cameron’s radicalism. Read more “Sometimes Blandness Is a Good Thing”

Britain’s Cameron Shows Liberal Side at Conference

David Cameron
British prime minister David Cameron delivers a press conference outside his office at 10 Downing Street in London, England, May 23, 2013 (10 Downing Street)

When British prime minister David Cameron was reelected in May, this website urged liberals to rejoice. His centrist platform, we argued, would do more to advance the liberal cause than either Labour or the Liberal Democrats.

The Conservative Party leader’s conference speech on Wednesday vindicated that view.

The prime minister spoke with pride about how “social justice, equality for gay people, tackling climate change and helping the world’s poorest” are now “at the center of the Conservative Party’s mission.” He said he was frustrated that “people with white-sounding names are nearly twice as likely to get call backs for jobs than people with ethnic-sounding names” — and this comment was met with a standing ovation from a conference that had earlier listened to Home Secretary Theresa May bemoaning high levels of immigration.

There is a reactionary minority in the Conservative Party that still mistrusts Cameron’s “modernizing” effort. But his unexpected triumph in May has silenced the critics (for now) and showed that a liberal agenda, tempered by a dose of English patriotism and a bit of old-fashioned Tory paternalism, can be a winning strategy. Read more “Britain’s Cameron Shows Liberal Side at Conference”

Osborne Could Increasingly Define Conservative Agenda

British prime minister David Cameron’s surprise victory in May’s general election has made it more likely that his like-minded chancellor and deputy, George Osborne, will succeed him as Conservative Party leader before the next election, due in 2020.

But Osborne needs to be more than the candidate of continuity to triumph in an internal leadership election that is likely to pit him against London mayor Boris Johnson or Home Secretary Theresa May, both of whom are seen as more right-wing. Read more “Osborne Could Increasingly Define Conservative Agenda”

Cameron Advised Not to Call EU Referendum Next Year

While some in his Conservative Party may relish the prospect of an early referendum on Britain’s European Union membership, Prime Minister David Cameron should postpone it for as long as he can, argues Janan Ganesh.

The Financial Times columnist cautions Cameron and his team against seeing the referendum as a “chore to get out of the way, as if the following morning will bring new vigor and a world of possibilities.” They overestimate the loyalty of Conservatives, he believes, who — whatever the outcome of the referendum — will start preparing for the post-Cameron era the day after the vote. Read more “Cameron Advised Not to Call EU Referendum Next Year”

Britain to “Do More” to Defeat Islamists in Syria: Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday he wants Britain to do more to help defeat the self-declared Islamic State in Syria as part of what he described as a “full-spectrum response” to the radical Islamist group.

“We have to destroy this caliphate, whether it is in Iraq or in Syria,” Cameron told the American news program Meet the Press. “That is a key part of defeating this terrorist scourge that we face.”

Although British jets have been striking Islamic State targets in Iraq with the permission of the central government there, the United Kingdom shied away from carrying out attacks in Syria in 2013 when the opposition Labour Party demanded a United Nations Security Council resolution before authorizing military intervention.

Cameron recognized on Sunday he would need lawmakers’ support before Britain could conduct strikes in Syria. “I’ll always have to take my Parliament with me,” he said. Read more “Britain to “Do More” to Defeat Islamists in Syria: Cameron”

Guardian Reveals Cameron’s European Reform Proposals

Britain’s The Guardian newspaper claimed to have obtained a list of Prime Minister David Cameron’s European Union reform priorities on Friday.

Cameron made his proposals for reform to other leaders in Brussels on Thursday and hopes to secure ample changes in Britain’s relations with the rest of the European Union to win a referendum on membership before 2017.

Among the most contentious issues he raised, according to The Guardian, was a four-year ban on European work migrants claiming benefits in other member states.

Germany, Europe’s most powerful country, has cautioned that such restrictions must not impede on the free movement of people across Europe — one of the union’s core principles.

But Denmark and the Netherlands share Cameron’s concerns, even if the number of foreign workers claiming benefits in the three Northern European states is low. Read more “Guardian Reveals Cameron’s European Reform Proposals”

Britain’s Cameron Building Next Conservative Majority

Weeks after winning reelection, Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, is already laying the groundwork for the next Conservative Party victory.

The New Statesman‘s George Eaton lists three measures that should help the Conservatives beat Labour five years from now.

The first are boundary changes. The Liberal Democrats, who ruled in coalition with the Conservatives until last month, vetoed constituency changes in 2013. Now the Conservatives have an overall majority in Parliament, they can push through their plans.

Models suggest new boundaries would raise the Conservatives’ majority from twelve to around fifty. Read more “Britain’s Cameron Building Next Conservative Majority”