Cameron v Farage - Who will history treat more kindly ?

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David Cameron joined Nigel Farage last week in becoming an ex-leader of a British political party.

Cameron was effectively booted from office by the public, following his abortive handling of the EU referendum. And then he was swiftly removed from Downing Street by a Conservative Party keen to fill the vacancy he created to do the job he felt unable to handle. Cameron's legacy then took less than 24 hours for new British Prime Minister Theresa May to dismantle, as key Cameron supporters were sacked from the Cabinet and swiftly dispatched to the backbenches, and many of the policies that defined his time in office - financial, economic and social - look set to be reviewed and reversed. 

Dave, of course, blew it. The Big Society was a big failure, hugging a hoodie only got you your wallet or purse stolen, and every bold major policy announcement - on tax credits, disabled payments, forced school academisation, Sunday trading, child refugees and trade union practices - were rolled back after predictable outcries. Cameron and Co, of course, justified these you-turns on the basis that they were taken after 'consulting' with stakeholders. Pity they didn't do more effective consultations before they rolled out their policies!

And Europe became the issue that will forever define his premiership. He gambled - and lost. He returned from Brussels with a package of reforms that fooled nobody. And when his attempts to con the public into believing that he had struck a good deal failed, he rolled out the scare tactics. Cameron didn't understand that every time he or his Chancellor George Osborne opened their mouths, the ordinary public turned away. And getting President Obama to intervene in our domestic affairs was also a major mistake, as tens of thousands of voters came across to the Leave campaign after each pathetic interjection.

Then the day after the referendum result, Cameron resigned. He legged it. So much for being the leader we all hoped he'd be. So much for sorting out the very mess he created by his arrogance and ineptitude. 

 So, what will David Cameron be remembered for ? You got it - you-turns, Europe - and gay marriage. And as worthy as gay marriage is, it's not much to hang your hat on after 6 years as Prime Minister.

History, on the otherhand, might just treat Nigel Farage more kindly. Sure, Farage is a one-issue guy who ran a party that struggled to be taken seriously by some in establishment quarters, but he struck a cord with the electorate and kept on message. He overcame the mocking, the sneering and the claims of racial prejudice and helped frame the European debate in order to get the outcome he sought. And he stepped down as UKIP leader last month having achieved his goals, knowing that for years he had been successfully sowing the seeds that will eventually lead to Brexit.

In years to come, when Dave Cameron is just a brief foot-note in political history, Nigel Farage may be remembered as the man who set the world on the road to the significant social, political and economic change that resulted in the destruction of the EU. What impact those changes will have on Britain, of course, remains to be seen.