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David Cameron - As Radical as Margaret Thatcher?
Written: April-May 2013
Published: May 2013
Two years before he became prime minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron expressed his intention:
"I'm going to be as radical a social reformer as Mrs Thatcher was an economic reformer, and radical social reform is what this country needs"
David Cameron, 15th May 2008
David has been accused of being bland, and passionless. He has been accused of being a Public Relations (PR) man, and of not being a real Conservative. He has been accused of being an enigma. He has been accused of being unclear about what he stands for, and he has been accused of not actually standing for anything. He has even been accused of being not as nice as he appears to be. One thing his name has never been synonymous with is the description 'radical'. Yet there we have his intention stated in black and white two years prior to the General Election of May 2010 which granted him the highest political office in the land.
It is fair to say that most people see Margaret Thatcher as having been a radical reformer, of having brought radical change to the country, but in the future will people see David Cameron in that way too? More to the point, should they? Is he an empty vessel or, the above quotation notwithstanding, did he successfully conceal his reforming zeal prior to becoming prime minister? Did he manage to pass himself off as 'a safe pair of hands' for schools and the National Health Service (amongst other things) only to then set about privatising them - or as David carefully refers to it 'introducing competition', 'diversity', 'opening up the system' or 'releasing the grip of State control' - once in power? Is he the 'heir to Thatcher' in terms of radicality?
In a Conservative-supporting newspaper in early 2011 David Cameron wrote:
"We will create a new presumption... that public services should be open to a range of providers competing to offer a better service. Of course there are some areas – such as national security or the judiciary – where this wouldn't make sense. But everywhere else should be open to diversity... instead of having to justify why it makes sense to introduce competition in some public services – as we are now doing with schools and in the NHS – the state will have to justify why it should ever operate a monopoly."
David Cameron, Daily Telegraph, 20th February 2011
Over the course of a year from July 2007 to May 2008 the editor, journalist and author Dylan Jones interviewed David Cameron for a book officially titled 'Cameron on Cameron: Conversations with Dylan Jones', and unofficially and playfully called 'The Book of Dave'. Reflecting on the experience, Dylan wrote:
"So what did I learn from my year with David Cameron? That he has the power of his convictions - he believes in what he says he believes in. And what he believes in is far more radical than most people assume."
In a speech to Scottish Conservatives at their conference in Perth in February 2010 Cameron said:
"If we win the election we are not going to sit back, get comfortable in our ministerial chairs and enjoy the chauffeur-driven cars. We are going to come in and from day one start attacking the great challenges this country faces with a radical zeal. ... But we're not just going to be radical on welfare. School reform. Police reform. Drug rehabilitation. Reducing re-offending. Families, parenting and early years support. In all these areas and more we plan big changes..."
At the Conservative party's conference in Birmingham in October 2010 David again laid claim to radicality. This time he claimed it not for himself alone but for the coalition. By this time he had become prime minister and was in government, whereas previously he had been speaking in his role as leader of the official opposition. He said:
"... I think you'll see that social change is where this coalition has its beating, radical heart. This is what drives us. To change forever the way our country is run.
...the most radical shift in power that this country has seen in decades.
...We are the radicals now, breaking apart the old system with a massive transfer of power, from the state to citizens, politicians to people, government to society. That is the power-shift our country needs today..."
We are now three years into Cameron's prime ministership and the coalition's governing, so we are in a position to assess its radical nature. It seems accurate to say that David was being honest about his radical intent, even though he has always been extremely careful to avoid using the word 'privatisation'.
So when we look at the birth chart of David Cameron do we see the chart of a radical reformer?
David Cameron's birth chart
5:55am, 9th October 1966, London, UK
Writing about this chart in the autumn of 2005 I picked up on the theme of radicality, however it is interesting to me that today David Cameron is still not really seen as synonymous with 'radical' by most of the media or most of the general public. Plenty of people see his large-scale reforms in the education system and the NHS as radical, but I am not sure that the penny has really dropped with the country as a whole about his intention to totally overhaul the nation, in every area of life and in an extremely short space of time. There is a lack of information being set out in advance, and a lack of detail being given to the public, presumably so as to ensure minimal resistance to the changes, but even those who agree with the changes are not really being given a chance to fully understand and support them. In short, there is a torrent of change uprooting the country's norms, its institutions and its assets, and it is coinciding with the transit of Pluto to the UK's Sun and IC (written about elsewhere on this website).
I wanted to revisit David's chart from the point of view of harmonics to show, in addition to my previous writings on his chart, just how radical David Cameron is underneath his carefully-maintained 'safe pair of hands' persona. It is a good example of the subtler harmonics in a birthchart.
But before we get to the harmonics let's re-consider the birthtime and the Signs of the Zodiac which were rising over the horizon at the hour of David's birth.
The Questionable Rising Sign
Writing in October 2005 I had no information about the time when David Cameron was born, however not long afterwards it became circulated that David was born at 6:00am, with the source of the data being Cameron himself. Shortly after that a time of 5:55am came to light, with the source of the data being David's mother. Initially there was also uncertainty about the place of birth - the only information available back then was Wantage but later biographical information gave London - although in this case the difference of place has a much lesser impact on the birth chart.
The two times given - 6:00am and 5:55am - both give a rising Sign in the first two degrees of Libra, the Ascendant having just moved out of Virgo just a few minutes earlier. This fact led to debate amongst astrologers about whether David has a Virgo or a Libra Ascendant. The diagram below shows how the rising degree and Sign changes on the morning of David's birthday, moving from Virgo to Libra at 5:51am:
Because birthtimes in England are not required by law to be recorded, the times given are necessarily reliant on the accuracy of human memory. Because of the tendency to round times to the nearest 5, 10 and even 15 minutes it is easily possible that David has Virgo rising, rather than Libra. Whilst Mercury rules Virgo, Venus rules Libra and it is not Venus but Mercury in David's chart which is linked with the famous 1960s configuration of Uranus conjunct Pluto with Saturn opposite symbolising 'radical change'.
Planets Rising and Setting
If David was born earlier than the stated time(s) it would have implications for the outer planets' nearness to his Ascendant axis. The following diagrams show this.
What the graphic shows is the time when Uranus was conjunct the Ascendant. It shows the same for Pluto and it shows when Saturn was conjunct the Descendant (i.e. directly opposite the Ascendant). The diagram indicates with wavy lines how the conjunction becomes closer, then peaks, then fades away. We could use various orbs for this exercise but I have used 5 degrees. A wider orb would cover a broader expanse of time, and a narrower orb would cover a narrower period.
You can see from this that for Uranus to have been exactly on the Ascendant David would need to have been born nearer to 5:00am, not 6:00am. For Pluto to have been exactly on the Ascendant he would have to have been born about ten minutes before 5:00am, and for Saturn to be exactly on the Descendant he would have to have been born just after 5:20am. By 5:55am/6:00am all these three outer planets have fallen away from the Ascendant-Descendant axis.
But if these planets were closer to this axis then surely David would not have such a bland persona? And would he not have acquired a reputation as radical, reforming and zealous much earlier on? The fact that this powerful configuration of outer planets falls some distance away from his Ascendant axis shows that his radicality is not immediately obvious, that it doesn't colour his outward behaviour, that it is hidden from view, that it is even possible to hide it. It could be argued that this helps to suggest that his birthtime as given is more or less correct, however all of this is a matter that will never be settled and I include it for merely for information and illustration.
Now let us turn to the harmonics on the day that David Cameron was born to see what was going on.
Harmonics: Viewed across the day
This next diagram shows the entire day of David Cameron's birth, so that we can look at which aspects were present for just a few hours and which were present for a longer period.
The topmost level shows the Uranus and Pluto information that we have just looked at in the diagram above, though obviously it looks different here because of zooming out to show a larger time-frame. Every planet is conjunct the Ascendant once a day so there are two spikes: one on the 9th of October and one on the 10th.
The four levels below that show subtler harmonics which will be discussed below. Note that they all involve the Sun and two involve the Moon; this is deliberate on my part. Collectively known as 'the lights', the Sun and Moon are the foremost places to examine in all charts, their aspects being vitally important.
Here is the diagram:
You can see that the Sun-14H-Pluto aspect was exact on the 8th of October and is tailing off as David is born, whereas the Sun-Mars-Uranus configuration in the 15th harmonic is building as he is born and peaks just after the given birth time of 6am.
The 17th harmonic aspects between Moon, Mars and Pluto are different - the Mars-17H-Pluto is present throughout the whole period of time shown, however because the Moon moves much more quickly it flits in and out of 17th harmonic resonance with Mars and Pluto, resulting in a peak in the 17th harmonic around 6am, just as David Cameron makes his appearance.
Last but by no means least, the Sun and Moon come into resonance in the 21st harmonic around David's birth too.
Before discussing what this means in terms of character and life issues, I want to show the same diagram zoomed in to the hours around the birth time.
Harmonics: Zoomed in to the birth hours
This next diagram is exactly the same as the one above, except for the fact that it is zoomed in to show three hours of clock time on the day of David Cameron's birth. This will show more clearly the 5:55am/6:00am birth time in relation to these subtle harmonic patterns.
This diagram adds some detail, showing clearly that the Sun-Moon aspect in the 21st harmonic peaks just after 6:00am, whereas the Moon-Mars-Pluto configuration in the 17th harmonic peaks just before.
Now we will take each harmonic one by one and discuss what it means in relation to David Cameron's psyche and his statements about some of his policies.
Harmonics of the Sun & Moon
As David Hamblin points out in both of his books on harmonics¹, the harmonic in which the Sun and the Moon link with one another is very important to take note of. It is central to a person's sense of themselves, how they think of themselves, how they relate to themselves, and therefore to how they behave.
Unless David's birthtime is inaccurate by an hour or more, he was born when the Sun and Moon were forming a 21st-harmonic aspect:
Since 21 is 3 x 7, the meaning of 21 is an interaction of the meanings of 3 and 7. I think that this is seen most clearly in David Cameron's longstanding wish to promote 'GWB' - 'General Well-Being'. Friends of David's have remarked on how his upbringing in the idyllic surrounds of a village in Berkshire have influenced his wishes for the country as a whole - he knows how good life can be in this country.
" Wealth is about so much more than pounds, or euros or dollars can ever measure. It's time we admitted that there's more to life than money, and it's time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB - general well-being.
Well-being can't be measured by money or traded in markets. It can't be required by law or delivered by government. It's about the beauty of our surroundings, the quality of our culture, and above all the strength of our relationships.
Improving our society's sense of well-being is, I believe, the central political challenge of our times."
David Cameron, May 2006
"[David Cameron's] vision of Britain is one based on his home and his constituency." Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph, September 2008
Aspects of the 3rd harmonic are to do with contentment, joy and happiness, and aspects of the 7th harmonic are about romantic views of things and the hope of inspiring other people with some quality we see ourselves as possessing - reality can, naturally enough, differ from our self-perception.
The 21st harmonic is an interacting and combining of these, and I see this aspect as symbolising David's idyll-tinged desire to imbue other people with the contentment he feels within himself. In my view the 15th harmonic configuration involving the Sun also plays a large part in this, as does the Leo-Libra Sign emphasis in his chart, but we will come to the 15th harmonic in a moment.
This next harmonic involves the Sun and Pluto. It is the 14th harmonic, which is of course 2 x 7. This is therefore not a harmonic of contentment or joy, but of striving and dealing with polarities. As you can see in this zoomed-in view, the harmonic was within orb but tailing off during the morning of the 9th. David's birthtime as given would have to be very inaccurate for this harmonic not to be present in his chart - it would need to be the case that he was born mid-afternoon or later.
Sun-Pluto aspects are about will-power, control, change and passion. These two being yoked in this harmonic could mean that David is striving to inspire people to change or to accept change, but it could equally mean that he is inspired by people's resistance to change and that their resistance 'turns him on' to become increasingly driven, passionate and zealous. This aspect suggests that he sees himself in a somewhat romantic light as a fighter for reform, battling against the odds as a kind of heroic figure.
Now we arrive at the 15th harmonic. Three planets come together here and they apply across the whole day so we know that they are present in David's chart no matter his time of birth.
These three planets are wilful, galvanising and dynamic. They symbolise a drive for independence and leadership, unconventionality and breaking the rules, disconnecting from the habits of the past and taking bold risks on new ideas. That they come together in the 15th harmonic indicates that David thinks that by bringing these qualities to bear he can easily and comfortably re-shape and re-structure things. It shows his comfort as a forceful leader of reform, and as a 'moderniser'.
The final harmonic configuration we will look at involves the Moon again. Here is the diagram:
Because 17 is a prime number we cannot speculate about or deduce its meaning from its factors the way we can with 14, 15 and 21. David Hamblin's research has led him to make some proposals about what qualities this number could have, though he does emphasise that they are just that - proposals and pointers, not conclusions. The proposal he makes is that this is a harmonic of revolutionary fervour and the wish to change society, as contrasted with the desire to change oneself. In light of this, it seems to me that the Moon's fleeting involvement around 6:00am could be highly significant, showing a personalising of what otherwise would be an aspect that covered more than the whole day on which David Cameron was born.
Mars and Pluto contacts generally show a deeply passionate will, boiling with frustration and the determination to hold onto unfinished business until such a time as it can be brought to an emotionally-satisfying conclusion. The involvement of the Moon, representing David Cameron's emotions and his instinctive responses to his experience and his environment, reinforces this. If we draw upon David Hamblin's suggestions for the meaning of this number then the fact that it is by the 17th harmonic that these three planetary bodies resonate with one another shows that David Cameron's 'radical reforming zeal' does not spring from dry intellectualism, dispassionate observation, academic analysis or even a sense of being duty-bound to serve and give back to society, but that it is driven at the gut-level by an instinct to obtain the power to bring about revolutionary changes.
It also suggests to me that he is furious about something he sees in society - or which he sees in himself and projects upon society - and that this fury is mostly concealed by the fact that he comes across as someone who is largely content with his lot; remember, we are dealing with subtle harmonics here which are not always obvious in a person unless we know them extremely well or unless, as is the case with people like artists and politicians, they translate their psyches into their work and thereby disseminate the contents of their psyches throughout society and the world.
Regardless of whether or not David's reforms come to pass to the extent that he wishes, I do not doubt his intention to be the equal of Margaret Thatcher when it comes to being a radical reformer of this country, and perhaps beyond.
¹ For the interpretational side of harmonics I have over the years been much influenced by the two books on the subject written by David Hamblin, one of which was published in the 1980s and the other in 2011 and both of which I highly recommend. I am greatly indebted to David Hamblin for his harmonics work.
References & Related links:
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Articles on this website:
David Cameron: Aiming to Win - Oct 2005
David Cameron: More on his Birth Chart, & UK Synastry
- Dec 2005
David Cameron's speech at Conservative Party conference, Birmingham - 6th Oct 2010
David Cameron's article in the Daily Telegraph - 20th Feb 2011
David Cameron's speech on Big Society [sic] - 14th Feb 2011
David Cameron's speech to Scottish Conservatives conference - 12th Feb 2010
BBC News report of the above speech
Dylan Jones writing about his year with David Cameron - 20th Aug 2008
David Cameron - speech to Google Zeitgeist Europe in London - source of well-being quotation - 22nd May 2006
Office of National Statistics (ONS) - National well-being
Nick Clegg, David Cameron,
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