What do Glasgow University students think of David Cameron’s return to government?
‘We’re living in an episode of The Thick of It’
Guess who’s back, back, back again?
The Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle last week after Suella Braverman was sacked saw the shocking return of David Cameron to government. He has now become the first former Prime Minister to take up a ministerial position since the 1970s, becoming foreign secretary.
Cameron’s time as Prime Minister from 2010 to 2016 is widely characterised by the lasting impact of austerity and the 2016 Brexit referendum. His return to politics, whether you like him or not, was definitely a surprise to most.
Cameron said (on X) he “gladly accepted” Sunak’s offer, adding that he hopes his “experience as Conservative leader for 11 years and prime minister as six will assist him in helping the Prime Minister”.
However, not everyone was glad to see his return. Many people, including fellow Conservative MPs, have expressed their distaste for Cameron’s reappearance. Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mog said: “From the point of view of the Conservatives winning the next election, today is a mistake”.
Even Katie Hopkins disagreed when replying to Cameron’s post on X, writing “unelected prime minister elects unelected foreign secretary!”
Many of today’s students grew up in David Cameron’s Britain, so we asked them along with UofG’s political party societies what they thought of his return.
When asked if they wanted to share their thoughts the Glasgow University Conservative and Unionist Society said: “GUCUA supports the Conservative Party and the Conservative government. We do not comment on cabinet reshuffles. We are absolutely certain that a Conservative government is better for this country than the alternative”.
Both the Labour Party Society and the Socialist Worker Student Society had different opinions, claiming they were “appalled”.
UofG Labour Society said: “In 2015 Cameron promised stability with him or chaos under Ed Miliband. We don’t know about you but to us, it looks like this Conservative government has delivered nothing but chaos for Britain”, adding that they were “absolutely appalled to see the unelected return of the man that set this chaos into motion”.
‘The cracks of the Tory government are turning into deep breaks’
The Socialist Worker Student Society spoke of “cracks” in the government, saying Cameron was “just as corrupt as the rest of them – we know this from the experience of the horrific austerity of 2010”.
They also added that “as the seventh foreign secretary in seven years, the recycling of old material shows the Tories are more desperate than ever. We hope his time in government is short!”
Many students discussed the undemocratic nature of Cameron’s return, as well as generally disagreeing with his ideology and past political moves.
Eilidh, a fifth year student, felt that it shows the undemocratic nature of the UK government due to “an unelected person being able to hold such a powerful position in the cabinet, only due to his status in the House of Lords!”
The social policy student also expressed her anger regarding the conflict in the Middle East: “He’s well-known for being one of the most pro-Zionist prime ministers we’ve ever had, which again reflects how our politicians are ignoring public opinion on the crisis in Gaza”.
Fourth year economics student, Joe, said he felt “tired” as the “man responsible for Brexit and austerity should not be near power, Tories seem desperate”.
Aaron, a French and Spanish student in his second year, spoke of Cameron’s return as “desperation”. He said: “It’s a complete cry of desperation from the Tories, Rishi cannot even trust his own list of MPs with their own democratic constituencies. So how is it even fair to have such a senior member of the cabinet who nobody has voted for?”.
He added that it showed how desperate the government were, “surely they don’t have a chance in the next general election”.
Will, who studies media, culture and Society (MSc), discussed how he feels having spent most of his life under a Conservative government, writing: “In the many many years of a rotten Conservative Government (since I was nine) we’ve seen them done, say and tried to do a lot to ‘fix’ the country. Austerity, the whole university fuck up, and let’s not forget Brexit! That was all one guy, our new Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron.”
‘Lord Cameron is another prime example of how easily manipulated our Westminster System truly is’
He expressed anger that despite not being a Lord, an MP or a minister on Sunday, Cameron now holds a great amount of power and cannot be held accountable by anyone except the current prime minister, who wasn’t even elected by the general public.
Issy expressed how “surreal” the government feels, saying how she feels “we’re living in an episode of The Thick of It”. The second year politics student said: “They don’t even care about their ‘people’ just their pockets. And that applies to the current situation in Gaza”.
It seems the overwhelming response from students is negative but will this have any impact on the next election as so many have suggested?
Recent data from the Higher Education Policy Institute shows that only seven per cent of full time undergraduate students in the UK plan to vote Conservative next year,
The UofG Labour Society said that although they always encourage students not to vote Tory, they “plan to do more canvassing sessions closer to the next general election” and will urge every door they knock on to vote Labour.
Featured image via YouTube