when preparation meets opportunity

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As the debate concerning who exactly stands to benefit financially from our withdrawal from the EU looks set to rage unabated, it’s obvious one person is certainly in the money, Brexit’s principal protagonist, David Cameron. Accounts for his office were made public last week, ironically on our final day of EU membership, and showed he has pocketed the princely sum of exactly £1.63m (£1,630,000.00) over the last two years. And that doesn’t include the profits from his shepherd-hut-penned post-Brexit bestseller, For The Record, which will appear in next year’s accounts.

In his formative years, Cameron had gone to great lengths to portray himself as a moderniser, someone who wanted the Tories to stop banging on about Europe, so it’s perhaps his misfortune that will go down in history as one of those prime ministers, like Neville Chamberlain (1938’s ‘peace in our time’ declaration) and Anthony Eden (1956’s Suez crisis), whose time in office will be defined by a single extraordinary miscalculation. I’ll actually cut him some unexpected slack here and point out that, sooner or later, the Conservative Party was going to have to face-up to large sections of their traditional electorate being unhappy wrt our continued involvement in the European project and it’ll come as a surprise that both the Lib Dems made an EU referendum policy-supporting decision in 2008, incredulously followed by Caroline Lucas and her Greens in 2001. However, at the very least, he should’ve made it no more than explicitly advisory and found some face-saving way of kicking it into the long-grass. Again.

I’ll also go as far as conceding that the ‘revolving door’ between government and business existed long before he pushed against it: both David Miliband and Tony Blair benefitted hugely from commercialising their experiences, the latter, reputedly, to the tune of a recently-amassed £60m fortune. As today’s spurning of BJ’s climate role shows, Davey-Boy is being slightly more discerning than his ex-right-hand-man and serial job-taker George Osborne who now has nine currently on-the-go including both the highly visible editorship of London’s Evening Standard and the highly lucrative £650k part-time advisory-gig with BlackRock. Nice work if you can get it, Gideon.

An undaunted and steadfast self-believer, when asked by Ken Clarke what would happen if they lost 2016’s referendum, Cameron replied “Don’t worry, Kenneth, I always win.” Ever the optimist, after he publically resigned outside No 10, he was heard humming to himself and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, like Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s recently deposed CEO, following the failed bid for Asda, he’d been humming 42nd Street’s ‘We’re in the Money’ as that’s certainly proved to be the case.