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David Cameron & The Two Referendums
Written: 8th-18th September 2014
Published: 18th September 2014
Leading up to today's referendum in Scotland, speculation has been rife that David Cameron - and Edward Miliband - will be forced to resign if the outcome of the plebiscite is in favour of dissolving what the Act of Union of May 1707 brought into being. This comes in the year when a referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union has been 'pledged' by David Cameron, subject to him being re-elected and remaining as Prime Minister after the next General Election. What light can astrology shed on what's going on with David Cameron now, and next, in terms of these referendums?
Firstly, it has to be remembered that (i) David was chosen by his party in 2005 with little enthusiasm; (ii) although David succeeded to the position of Prime Minister in May 2010, the Conservative Party did not obtain a sizeable-enough victory to form a stable/sustainable government in its own right; (iii) the Coalition outcome was prepared for quite a while before the General Election in May 2010, as David Cameron and his team readied for a partnership with Nicholas 'Nick' Clegg and the Liberal Democrats; (iv) it's well-established that there are a number of old-timers and newer-intake intending to vie for leadership of the Conservative party, with a strong rise of rumours in spring 2013 of a possible leadership challenge; (v) the EU's influence on the UK and its constituent parts is an ever-present pressure, catalysing deep and unrelenting structural changes in every decade since the 1970s, and now approaching crisis-point.
David's chart shows a number of very close, astrologically-intense connections with the Scotland referendum chart, which I will detail in a moment. However, the really testing time for David is March 2015, just before the scheduled General Election in May. It is the last third of March which sees exact and intense developments in David's chart, which are more likely to correlate with a peak in attempts to force him out of his leadership role. Looking ahead to 2017, which is when he claims there will be a referendum on the UK's relationship with the EU, his transits reveal an interesting picture that suggests he could even campaign for independence; if not, then another way he would be able to twist it is by campaigning for some kind of radical leadership of the EU, whether by himself personally or by the UK as a leading nation within the European Union. But I am getting ahead of myself, so let's backtrack and go into the details so you can see the fleshed-out picture.
Scotland Referendum - membership of the United Kingdom
The best way to make clear how strongly interconnected David Cameron is with this referendum decision is to show you using the chart-wheels. This double chart wheel shows David Cameron's birthchart on the inner wheel, and the outer wheel shows the midpoint positions of David's chart and that of the referendum. For example, in the outer wheel, where you see the symbol for the Sun (a circle with a dot in it), that actually marks the midpoint of David's Sun and the referendum's Sun.
Inner wheel - David Cameron's birthchart
Outer wheel - The midpoints of David Cameron's planets & the planets for close of polling for Scotland's Referendum
To list three main points of connection:
An insightful point which I have included is the degree of the Foremoon. This is the position of the Moon at whichever of two major moon phases - New or Full - falls before an event or a person's birth. I call this the Foremoon (or where necessary the Forebirth Moon) but you will see it referred to by other astrologers using its Latinate English name, 'Prenatal Lunation'. Below is the Foremoon chart for David Cameron's birth and in it you can see that the phase preceding it was a Full Moon, not a New Moon, with the Sun at 6 degrees 05 Libra and the Moon at the same degree of Aries. This sensitive degree falls in David's chart directly opposite the position of Venus when David was born. It is also the location of the Asc/Desc axis in the UK's chart, the MC-IC axis in the Labour Party's chart, and last but by no means least, the position of Venus in the Act of Union of 1707 chart:
David Cameron - Foremoon
29th September 1966
5:47pm BST (4:47pm GMT)
Act of Union - Scotland with England-and-Wales - creating the kingdom of Great Britain
1st May 1707, midnight LMT
The only unknown quantity here is how much weight to give the midpoint connections discussed above, since they are transiting symmetry-markers. In most cases I am inclined to give them a relatively light weighting in terms of concrete events, but a stronger weighting in terms of the inner significance and personal meaning. This event definitely has meaning and significance for David Cameron, since the independence of Scotland is often projected (psychologically as well as propagandically) in terms of independence from 'Tory England'. However, since this referendum is a momentous and historic occasion it may well be that they should be given substantial weight with regard to concrete events. Watching and learning from how things pan out is a substantial part of doing astrology - astrologers are eternal students, not just practitioners.
Scorpio - longstanding significance
The third midpoint connection on the above list brings me to the significance in these matters of Scorpio, a Sign associated with settling old scores whether in the form of catalysing a deep healing response or seeking retaliation and revenge. Margaret Thatcher was born with Saturn in Scorpio at 16 degrees, and her Ascendant nextdoor at around 15 degrees. Alex Salmond was born when Saturn was at 18 degrees Scorpio (Alistair Darling, who debated on behalf of David Cameron with Alex in two televised debates recently, was born with Mercury at 16 Scorpio and Saturn at 4 degrees of Scorpio conjunct David Cameron's Mercury). When the notorious Poll Tax was introduced by Margaret and her Cabinet in Scotland - note: Scotland, not the rest of the UK or even the whole of the UK all at once; Scotland was used, disgustingly, as a test-bed for the tax prior to introducing it throughout the whole country - Pluto was at 15 degrees Scorpio. When the tax was brought in in England and Wales Pluto was at 17 degrees Scorpio. Margaret was thrown out of office when Pluto was at 18 degrees Scorpio. These events are being picked up by the current position of Saturn in Scorpio: this referendum is being held with Saturn at 19 degrees of the Sign, and the elections for the EU's so-called Parliament which took place in May this year were held when Saturn was at 19 degrees of Scorpio too. The events are made personal to David Cameron through the position of his South Node, which is at 16 degrees Scorpio. Furthermore, one of the charts for the Conservative Party has the Sun at 20 degrees Scorpio opposite Pluto at 15 degrees Taurus, and another has Saturn in square to the middle of Scorpio at somewhere between 15 and 17 degrees of Leo (the exact date of this chart is not known, only the month, so a specific degree of Saturn cannot be known). This kind of Scorpionic theme is at the heart of the Party and its current leadership. There is an echo of this degree - but not Saturn - within the chart for the Act of Union of 1707 which has the MC at 21 degrees Scorpio (and the Sun opposite at 20 degrees Taurus), and the fact that many of the UK's elections take place early in May means that the Sun and inner planets are often placed opposite this area. As an example, even Scotland's next parliamentary elections are scheduled for the 5th of May 2016 which puts the Sun at 15.5 degrees Taurus, the Moon at 2 degrees Taurus, Mercury at 21.5 degrees Taurus and Venus at 7 degrees Taurus.
In David's chart the involvement of the South Node suggests the danger of unravelling for him, as well as scandal, slander and damage in general. You could argue that he ought to have used this South Node connection in the form of helping to unravel the simmering grievances at the heart of the matter. The participation of Saturn symbolises reckonings, or what we could call comeuppance, and also reminds politicians that there are - or at least there ought to be - limits to their power. I have been working on this writing for a few days now, but just yesterday David Cameron has, ironically, reminded everyone that he won't be here forever and nor will his Party. When push has come to shove he has, at the eleventh hour, given voice to Saturn, but he has not given deed to Saturn in the forms of effective checks and balances on power. On the contrary, he has worked with the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party to extend their power by introducing fixed-term Parliaments and altering the threshold to make it much harder to remove the government through a vote of 'No Confidence' in Parliament; neither of these two Constitution-level changes were put to the public even for consultation, never mind for the people to decide.
But it doesn't end there. The Edinburgh Agreement between the UK government and the Scotland government which provided for this week's referendum to go ahead on an agreed basis was signed just after Saturn had entered Scorpio. Saturn was at 1 degree 09 minutes back then, and has therefore been running through this Sign whilst the radio, television, newspaper and internet debates on independence versus union have been happening. The date of the UK's next General Election has been, since 2010, fixed for the 7th of May 2015. This date could be brought forward if the fall-out from the Scotland referendum is sufficiently destabilising and indeed some political commentators have been predicting for some time now that if Scotland's people vote to leave the UK it will precipitate an early national election for the rest of the UK. Looking at the chart for close of polls on the currently-scheduled date shows that Saturn will have just left Scorpio and will be at 2 degrees 45 minutes Sagittarius, right on the Ascendant when the polls close. At least symbolically, this traversing of Scorpio and completion of a 30-degree section of the Zodiac surely marks the closing of a chapter. Saturn changes from Scorpio to Sagittarius on the 23rd of December. It will temporarily re-enter Scorpio - going backwards - in mid-June 2015, not long after the scheduled election date. As an aside (or maybe it isn't!), June sees the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, and this is something which I expect the politicians to thoroughly disgrace themselves over, as they will have to evade awkward questions about why they are bragging about it being one of 'our' great achievements and a gift to the world when they have step-by-step removed most, if not all, of the principles and practices it laid down for limiting their power and injecting a modicum of fairness into society. After having turned forwards in early August, Saturn will re-enter Sagittarius on the 18th of September 2015.
Edinburgh Agreement - Signed by David Cameron and Alex Salmond
15th October 2012, 1:05pm BST (12:05pm GMT)
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Note Uranus at 6 Aries, Pluto at 7 Capricorn, New Moon in Libra and Saturn in early Scorpio
Transiting Pluto's relationship with the star Sirius
I have previously written on my blog about the paran relationship between the current position of Pluto and the star Sirius. This paran adds a specific strand of meaning to the current Uranus-Pluto squares, which comes home to the United Kingdom through the transit of Pluto to the UK's Sun and IC/MC axis. The meaning of the Pluto-Sirius paran was formulated by astrologer Bernadette Brady more than a decade ago, without reference to the situation between the UK and Scotland. That meaning is:
"Invasion or division of nations, or communities."
The months when this paran is in effect are:
SNP's aspirational date of independence
There is an official date for the hoped-for independence from the UK, and so we can reckon a chart for it. Since this date is aspirational it should be interpreted accordingly. Here is the wheel:
Scotland - SNP's aspirational independence day
24th March 2016, Edinburgh
Note the Aries planets: Mercury is in the heart of the Sun ('cazimi'), although by longitude only, showing the aspiration to a powerful moment in the gestation of a new phase. Aries is the Sign of new beginnings, and this Sun-Mercury conjunction is an echo of the SNP's Sun-Mars conjunction in the same Sign, albeit not the same degree, since conjunctions are also the point of a new beginning in a series of ongoing cycles. The SNP was founded when Uranus was in Aries, and it will have its Uranus Return when the planet once again reaches the same degree of the Zodiac which it occupied at the Party's foundation. The current position of Uranus is 15 degrees 16 minutes Aries, so it is within 12 degrees orb of the conjunction with the SNP's natal Uranus at 26 degrees 46 minutes Aries. The conjunction will be exact on three dates in 2017-2018: 27th May 2017, 13th October 2017 and 18th March 2018. This tells us that no matter the outcome of today's referendum, the SNP is almost at the end of a cycle which has to do with breaking out of situations that are being experienced as restrictive or entrapping us in some way, or which exist in forms which do not allow the independent side of our spirit to do as it wishes, when it wishes, how it wishes without explaining, answering or accounting to a partner. From 2019 to 2020 the SNP will experience its Pluto Half-Return, which is an opposition of transiting Pluto to its position at the founding of the Party. This aspect will be within 6 degrees orb from February 2016 onwards, so both the elections to Scotland's Parliament in May 2016 and the SNP's proposed day of independence fall within this period. Not long after that, transiting Pluto will square the SNP's natal Uranus. This sequence could hardly be more radically transformative. To some extent it stands in contrast to Alex Salmond, however.
Alex Salmond - a romantic conservative
It is interesting to see that Alex Salmond's chart diverges from this. He is essentially a romantic conservative (with a small 'c'): he has a Grand Trine in Water Signs and his Sun is in Capricorn.
It's true that his chart has a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction signifying a provocative desire to break free of binding ties, and that it is in Cancer and is one of the corners of his Water Trine, showing that those ties are essentially ones of kith and kin, however this also indicates an emotionally-driven impulse, not an intellectual or materialistic one. His Uranus being in square with Neptune shows, again, a romantic streak a mile wide behind his vision of a better society. His Venus (relations) and Saturn (binding commitments, the status quo, authority relationships) in Scorpio, and Venus in square to Pluto, show deep-seated control issues, power-conflicts and manipulative skill. His chart mixes his Jupiter-Uranus and Piscean anti-establishment qualities with his desire, shown by his Capricorn Sun in septile with Saturn, to be the establishment himself. These configurations symbolise a compelling vision of himself as the father of the nation, no less, and no doubt they link to his father's experience of politics during Alex's childhood. But make no mistake - Alex Salmond is not the Aries-type of person. His chart is actually very weak in the Fire Element.
Conservative Party leadership challengers
There are a number of politicians known to be wanting to challenge David Cameron's position as leader of the Conservative Party and thereby his role as Prime Minister. The question is really if they will risk bringing opprobrium on themselves and their Party by putting the UK at risk financially through precipitating a General Election prior to the one scheduled for May 2015. Astrology aside, it seems highly unlikely to me that they will do so. But does the astrology bear this out?
A further issue is the demise of the Labour Party in Scotland. In this article I have chosen to focus mainly on David Cameron simply because he is the current Prime Minister, but Ed Miliband and his Party are also in a vulnerable position over their past, present and future handling of the constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom.
In the media so far, Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, has escaped the criticisms being directed towards the Conservatives and Labour, however his Sun being configured with David Cameron's suggests that they will stand and fall together. When one experiences a major transit to the Sun, so does the other one.
George Osborne, the current Chancellor the Exchequer, is the final name on the list of people at the top who could experience a downfall over this issue. As I've written about before on this website, he has - or had - a long-cherished hope of becoming the Prime Minister. What will this do to his ambitions?
A thorough review of prospective challengers to David Cameron's leadership deserves enough space to itself and so will have to await its own article. For now, I will keep focusing on David Cameron's transits from 2014 until 2017, by which time he claims he will have 'renegotiated' the UK's relationship with the EU and be ready to put a referendum to the UK public on whether to stay in or leave.
David Cameron's transits - Year by year up to 2017
Rumours of people readying to remove David Cameron from his post circulated quite strongly in spring 2013, as transiting Neptune made a trine to David's Mercury - a classic indicator of the rumour mill. David had numerous Jupiter transits which reflected the fact that he was able to strengthen his position sufficiently to stay put.
During 2014 David's chart has become configured with a new aspect: transiting Uranus opposing his natal Sun. This is a biggie, since it is part of the global Uranus-square-Pluto series of squares which occur infrequently, and David was born during the opening phase of the current Uranus-Pluto cycle. It is this which signals further choppy waters ahead, of a type which he will find trickier to navigate than those he has sailed through since 2010.
The first damage was done to the 'establishment' Parties back in May when the EU Parliament's elections were held. Transiting Uranus formed an exact opposition to David's Sun - and simultaneously a square to Nick Clegg's Sun - on the 30th of May 2014, just days after the EU Parliamentary results were revealed. Pluto was within orb of a square to his Sun, and had changed from direct to retrograde in April during the campaign period (it was noticeable that the Party Political Broadcasts by the Labour, LibDem and Conservative Parties during the campaign were not about the EU Parliamentary election, but the next UK General Election. This broke the spirit of the rules on such broadcasts, if not the letter, however nothing was done. Nevertheless, it revealed that the Parties had already put themselves into General Election campaign mode). The matter of David's resignation was raised, but there appeared to be no signs of a great appetite to remove him. Again, he had several transits from Jupiter, a planet which is linked to being protected from harm. The previous transit of Neptune to Mercury had eased away from exactitude, having earlier passed its peak.
On the 13th of September 2014 (i.e. a few days ago) transiting Uranus formed another exact opposition to David's Sun, but this time it was moving backwards through the Zodiac. This was just 7 days after a sudden, great panic as one 'shock poll result' was published which showed the referendum outcome was heading in the direction of independence. The poll was published on the weekend of the 6th-7th, and by the 9th the three leaders of the largest parties had decided to cancel their usual Parliamentary appearance and fly to Scotland in what was described as an 'emergency' visit. Thus David and his political class were jolted into action in true Uranian style as they got the rude awakening that was long overdue. Why they weren't sufficiently panicked by lower figures in favour of independence is for them to answer; it left them wide open to the charge that they sincerely did not care about huge swathes of people in the United Kingdom, or indeed about the United Kingdom itself. Nevertheless, we now have once again a transit of Jupiter, this time a sextile to David's Sun, which will be exact on the 28th of September. The problem for David is that this time it is the only Jupiter transit, and worse, it is followed by a transit of Saturn to his natal Mars by square aspect. This comes within orb at the start of November and reflects limits to his autonomy, a difficulty with leading and brakes being applied to his activities. It is generally an aspect of frustration and impediment. A trine by transiting Saturn to his natal Saturn from October to December (exact on the 8th of November) should help David to stabilise his position and, if necessary, the country's (whatever form the country is taking by then).
Last month (August) a by-election was trigged by a Conservative MP named Douglas Carswell defecting to UKIP. The by-election will be held on the 9th of October, which is David Cameron's birthday. The day before, there is an eclipse of the Moon which is not visible from the UK but which straddles David's chart right on the degree of his Sun.
Eclipse of the Moon - not visible from the UK
8th October 2014
15 degrees 05 minutes Aries
And so into 2015.
This is a very tricky year for David in terms of his transits and therefore with reference to his career. Transiting Jupiter puts in an appearance, sextiling his Sun again (but this time backwards/retrograde) in February-March, and a third time (this time direct/forwards) in May-June. He will no doubt be glad of that, but there the straightforwardness ends and the trickiness begins, because running throughout the year is the transit of Pluto in square with his natal Sun... and remember that that means transiting Pluto is at roughly the same time aspecting Nick Clegg's Sun by conjunction, and they are the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister respectively, i.e. the top two political leaders in the United Kingdom. This will not only be relevant to them separately as individuals, but also to their relationship with each other. These are once-in-a-lifetime transits and therefore the changes they symbolise are of a once-in-a-lifetime nature.
David Cameron - Transits of Uranus & Pluto to his natal Sun
Note that both Uranus & Pluto converge in their aspects
to his natal Sun in early 2015
In David's chart the Pluto square will be exact for the first time on the 28th of March 2015, with transiting Uranus forming its third and final opposition to his Sun on the19th of March. Pluto will be travelling forwards through the Zodiac, but very slowly indeed, as it halts its motion in April before turning backwards and making a second exact square to David's Sun on the 6th of May, one day before the General Election. This slowing-down of Pluto, its halt and its backstepping motion coincide with the pre-election campaign period, the postal voting period, election day itself and the aftermath. Whilst it is common for elections in the UK to be held in the month of May, previously the Prime Minister had discretion within limits as to when s/he could trigger one. When David gained power in May 2010 he initiated legislation to bring in fixed-term Parliaments and the date was set, unwittingly, for this astrologically appropriate moment.
David Cameron - March to May 2015
Transits of Uranus & Pluto to his natal Sun
including Pluto stationary retrograde
From June to September 2015 transiting Saturn will be within orb of that aforementioned square to David's Mars, so he will feel constrained again and unable to fight at his best, however the aspect does not become exact again so the restraining influences upon him will be less tight. In the midst of this transiting Jupiter will conjoin his natal Mars, which reflects an upsurge in his aggressive instincts and willingness to fight the constraints rather than discipline himself. Greater conflict - internally and externally - is the likely result.
At the end of the year transiting Jupiter will link with his natal Uranus-Pluto conjunction, opposing his Saturn in the early part of the following year. This creates a continuously-unfolding sub-chapter in his life as he will be trying to use this time period for constructive change.
By this time Pluto will have eased away from its square to his natal Sun, however it will remain within orb all year, non-stop. It will therefore colour his entire year, and he will be dealing continually with its themes: power, letting go, loss, manipulation, resentment, betrayal, ambition, envy, spite, rage, grief, secrecy, scrutiny, vindictiveness, intense emotionality, obsession, all-or-nothing attitudes, transformation, starting again, renewal.
This year sees a further 3 exact squares of transiting Pluto to David's natal Sun. Once again Pluto will remain within orb of the squares all year, continuously, so David has two years solid ahead of him of dealing with Plutonic experiences, and no doubt acting Plutonically himself. The difference between 2015 and 2016 is that this year transiting Uranus is moving away from the opposition to his Sun, and in fact makes no further exact squares to it. This is a Plutonic year, not a Uranian one nor so much of a Urano-Plutonic hybrid in terms of transiting planets, however, scattered through the year are transits by Jupiter to David's natal Uranus-Pluto conjunction. These follow on from the end of 2015, so whatever they correlate with will first show itself then, and then be further developed this year. By the time this is over David will understand the Uranian and Plutonic sides of life very well indeed. This is the politician who long ago said he wanted to 'mend Broken Britain' and be as much a social reformer as Margaret Thatcher was an economic reformer. Neither of those things has he achieved, however his time has already been full of the series of Uranus-Pluto squares, their challenges and his use of their particular time-qualities. If he is still Prime Minister - or in some other position of authority or prominence - in 2016, his activities are going to be even more associated with these Uranus-Pluto transits. And besides, what about ambitiously reforming himself and his colleagues?
Depending on David's exact time of birth, which is not known with certainty, transiting Jupiter will cross his Ascendant this year, probably later in the year, but it could be earlier or even in the following year, 2017. What we can be certain of is that in late 2016 Jupiter will aspect his Sun by conjunction which usually indicates an uplift in mood, energy-levels and popularity.
To sum up, David has two exact Pluto squares to his Sun in 2015, and three exact ones in 2016. He has no exact ones before that or after that. He has two exact Uranus oppositions to his Sun in 2014, and one in 2015, with none before or after that. Hence it is 2015 which is most 'busy' in terms of Uranus-Pluto themes and outworkings - especially in March on with Uranus on the 19th then Pluto on the 28th forming exact aspects to his Sun - with 2016 showing a continued Plutonic colouring.
The colouring - or flavouring, if you prefer! - of 2017 is very different. David's main transits this year are a trine of transiting Pluto to his natal Pluto, a square of transiting Saturn to his natal Saturn and a trine of transiting Uranus to his natal Mars. A fourth, slightly less significant but still important transit is that of transiting Jupiter, making a conjunction with his natal Sun which lasts longer than usual due to retrogradation. Add in to these a transiting square of Jupiter to its natal position and you have a year in which three of the five outermost planets are making significant aspects to their own positions at David's birth. That is quite a unique colouring (flavouring!) and very different from the qualities he will experience during 2016, 2015 and 2014.
This is the year by which David intends to hold a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. I don't expect him to be in office at this time, and I don't expect any referendum to be held this year, however as with the SNP's aspirational date of independence we can consider David's transits this year as saying something about what he had in mind when he chose it.
What I find interesting is the transit of Uranus to his Mars from April to December (exact on 1st May and 19th July, changing from direct to retrograde in June) shows that he will not be in a 'union' mood himself. If by this year he is in a role in which he is able to influence any referendum on independence versus union, he will be more inclined towards at least the spirit of independence if not its practice, or a leadership role for the UK within the EU - he is not likely to in a mood for supporting any kind of subordination or ceding of authority. He is also likely to be in a fully-woken-up, leadership-oriented mood, ready to take risks, stir the pot somewhat and update the rulebook even if not throw it out totally. On the other hand, his rebelliousness could be against his own pledge to the UK public to hold a referendum 'by the end of 2017'; transits of Uranus to Mars are not known for people feeling committed to what has gone before.
Saturn will be 'turning a corner' in his chart, showing that David will be taking stock of how much and how little he has achieved that he wanted to achieve, and reassessing whether or not his goals remain true to his wishes. This transit is within orb throughout the year, almost non-stop, and is exact on 3rd February, 11th June and 3rd November. Just prior to it Saturn will square his Uranus-Pluto conjunction, and he will measure his desire for reform against the realities involved. At this time he is likely to encounter more limits to his power and restrictions on his freedom and visions of the future.
Transiting Pluto will still be within orb of squaring his Sun, so he will be in the after-effects phase psychologically and career-wise. Hopefully he will be wiser and he will no doubt hope that he will be stronger too. After all, that is the aim, if we can speak of such a thing, of a Pluto transit - not wipe-out but re-strengthening. He will still have an appetite for change, however the fact that transiting Pluto will be trine his natal Pluto (within orb all year, but exact on 25th March and 17th May, as well as three further occasions in 2018) suggests that a mellower perspective will inform it.
The Presidency of the Council of the European Union will be held by the United Kingdom from July to December 2017, however the role is considerably hemmed in structurally and does not give any lee-way to a country seeking to reform Treaties or withdraw from the EU; on the contrary, it requires the country to advance the EU's purpose, goals and commitments. By picking this time which roughly coincides with this temporary role of the UK in the EU, I presume that David was making a symbolic gesture for his much-touted referendum pledge.
Speaking in May 2014, David was asked if holding the referendum was a 'cast-iron pledge' [sic]:
"Absolutely. We will hold that referendum by the end of 2017; it will be a referendum on an in-out basis – do we stay in a reformed European Union or do we leave? And I've said very clearly that whatever the outcome of the next general election – and of course I want an overall majority and I'm hoping and believing I can win an overall majority – but people should be in no doubt that I will not become prime minister unless I can guarantee that we can hold that referendum." ¹
He also wrote in a Telegraph newspaper article in May 2014:
"We’ve proved we can deliver. And as for that referendum? I have made a clear and personal commitment: I would not be Prime Minister of a government unless we could carry out our pledge of an in-out referendum. This is a fundamental principle for me."²
The phrase 'I would not be Prime Minister of a government unless we could carry out our pledge of an in-out referendum' seems extremely ambiguous and open to future re-interpretation if you ask me, as if he is already setting up his 'get out of jail free' card.
Note too that he said 'can' deliver, not 'will' deliver. When he wrote those words in the Telegraph, he had been repeatedly skewered for his earlier reneging on his promise of a referendum. He and his Party were trying to live it down, but despite his article in the Conservative-supporting newspaper they went on to pay a high price in the EU Parliament elections and in the August defection, which is expected to result in giving UKIP its first MP on David's birthday.
The frustrating thing is that all this could have been avoided. Every bit of it. If they'd only just listen to people's grievances, and instead of dismissing what we say or trying to steer us to their ends, heed our calls for change.
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