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David Cameron: Misunderstood?

This week, David Cameron became the president of Alzheimer’s Research UK which was a surprise to many, as rumours suggested that he was to become Secretary General of NATO. The appointment proves to the many who wrote him off as elitist that he has a deep concern with welfare, something which I believe was apparent in his six years in office.

A passionate speaker?

As Prime Minister Cameron oversaw rising employment, the legalisation of gay marriage and the introduction of the National Citizen Service: Cameron really did try to improve the quality of life for people living in a harsh economic climate and frequently demonstrated his enthusiasm for a fully inclusive society.

Cameron has been criticised as the man whose policies led to the Brexit vote, caused the NHS to go into crisis and, of course, as an Etonian, appointed very well-off friends as members of his cabinet. But despite this he was a man passionate about his country and his job. It showed great maturity as a leader that, instead of forming a minority government, he formed a coalition, accepting that the election result of 2010 was a push for change. The fact that this coalition lasted the full five-year term shows that it clearly worked. And at its end we were successfully out of a recession, having built a resilient economy, still vibrant even after the result of June’s referendum.

In part this has been due to Mark Carney and George Osborne, but the three of them were dynamic enough to bring the economy back from the brink, turning around Labour’s legacy that “there is no money left” at the close of the previous government’s administration.

Cameron’s passion for his country and job was never more apparent than during the closing weeks of the EU referendum in June. I recall that a week before, on the 10 o’clock news, Cameron was campaigning at the Mini assembly plant. He talked passionately about why the EU was good for the car industry in Britain and his authenticity was obvious.

The dynamic duo of the coalition

Unfortunately, the Remain campaign was his downfall. Maybe if the country had voted to remain Cameron would have quashed the rebellious Tory backbenchers and headed into the summer with a more stable government than before. But, sadly, this sunset ending never happened. Many criticise his move to resign after the vote but his options were limited. The country had voted against him and against something he campaigned passionately about.

Cameron’s vision was the “Big Society”, and through his new job he is continuing to try to achieve that vision. Cameron is not finished yet. If he can help make strides in treating and supporting Alzheimer’s sufferers and families, perhaps his vision will be realised.