All things considered, you have to feel some feeling of sympathy towards the Prime Minister.
The media has gone into a frenzy, and splashed his beach holiday pics all over their front pages.
The Telegraph writes: “David Cameron: Life’s a beach for holidaying prime minister”. The Daily Mail, too, appears to have sunk one the best punchlines with “Dave will fight them from the beaches”, and the Mirror cruises in with “David Cameron rides out Iraq criticism – by going surfing on Cornish holiday”.
All in all, Cameron’s popularity is taking a slight nose dive with his current holiday in Cornwall appearing to be more important than the security of the country. With mounting pressure from within government to ask help from Syria’s Bashar al-Assad – a man Mr. Cameron was, just one year ago, planning on starting a war with – to fight the Islamic State in Iraq, Cameron is likely relishing time away from the office.
The crisis in Iraq is growing, with a fear that there are now a number of British Muslims making the trip to fight in the name of Islam. One man on BBC Radio 1 on Thursday night was asked “would you kill?” His reply was: “if I was being threatened, or my friends were being threatened – yes, I would kill.”
It is extremely worrying, and a very difficult situation for the PM. On one hand he wants to defend the UK’s borders, and on the other he has potential voters feeling the need to fight a jiahadist war against him.
Furthermore, is David Cameron not forgetting something even more pressing than the threat of IS? Surely he has not forgotten his pledge to fight, with every bone in his body, to keep Scotland untied with the rest of the UK.
It would appear so.
In less than a month, Scotland will be going to the polls to decide whether or not to become an independent country. Meanwhile, David Cameron takes a dip in the sea. Should Scotland choose to take its own path, Cameron will be a laughing stock.
He is leaving himself open to the possibility of becoming the first PM to see part of his country leave and set up its own state. That will not look good on his CV.
On the other hand, we may be able to see genius beneath our initial analysis. We know that Scots tend to take a very hostile approach to visitors from Westminster. It appears to many that the only reason that those in government would come up here to fight the case for the union, is to win support of the electorate if there is a “no” vote. Therefore, perhaps David Cameron is attempting to be seen as not wanting to intrude on the referendum. Clever thinking…albeit, it is not exactly the best idea, as the potential result can hardly be called desirable for him.
Yet, he may still be holding on to one note of comfort.
For Westminster politicians, the fight is not just about the 18th September; it’s for the General Election next May. Surely, if there is a “yes” vote, then Labour will most likely be wiped off the political spectrum, with 41 of their 258 seats being in Scotland. This may seem like a small number, but if we see that Labour won 42% of Scotland’s vote, and just 28%, and 36% of their vote from England and Wales respectively, it is of no surprise that Ed Miliband might feel a bit tense come the 18th.
Cameron, on the other hand, holds most of the cards down South, and certainly we will see a long run of Tory-led governments for the rest of the United Kingdom should we become independent. With this in mind, maybe DC sees the potential benefit of Scotland leaving the UK. Of course, this is an exceptionally childish conclusion to draw, and one would hope that the Prime Minister is not in that current mindset.
So, while the papers may be condemning Cameron’s quick trip to the waves of Cornwall, saying he is neglecting the crisis of ISIS (or IS, whichever you prefer), perhaps they should think about the other issues closer at hand.
ISIS is a long-term issue; the referendum for independence is very imminent, so it is surprising that Mr. Cameron is not up here, backing his teammate Alistair Darling ahead of the BBC debate on the 25th.
Perhaps there is method in the madness, else David Cameron will be washed away by the tide of criticism he may have to deal with for years to come.
“Yes, I was the PM who saw a quarter of his country separate from the United Kingdom” – a title I am sure he would rather not have to endure.