Growing up as a child in America, my father had framed on our wall a quote from US President Calvin Coolidge. The quote, one that has been one he has tried to live his life by, reads: “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” It is a quote that I too have tried to live my life by.
David Cameron, who has many faults like any other human being, has been extremely persistent in working hard to change the UK from the shambles it was left in 2010. Along the way, he and his government have faced extreme criticism, most of it unwarranted. The left has cried, screamed and bemoaned his government. The brave changes to cap welfare, the curbing of immigration, the cutting of taxes, the imposition of actual standards on the education system and worst of all, the cutting of spending has driven them out of their minds with fury. To many leftists austerity and the removal of the spare room subsidy that they call the “bedroom tax” are the apocalypse at the end of Revelation the “whore of Babylon” Margaret Thatcher started. Yet despite this Cameron, Osborne, Duncan Smith, Gove and May have pressed on.
The right of this country too has often directed their ire at Cameron’s government, furious at him for failing to win a majority and having to coalition with the Lib Dems. Unlike the left, the right’s concerns were legitimate. The EU was too powerful, the Lib Dem constitutional tinkering a waste of the government’s time and of course there is always the “they are not doing enough crowd”, many of them defecting to UKIP. Yet, Cameron’s government presses on, acknowledging mistakes over Europe yet slowly putting the ball back in Britain’s court.
Persistence is paying off for the Tories and now we are slowly seeing the great results that come from Conservative government take blossom. On Europe, the UK, through pressing for its case in Brussels, have used vetoes that they never would have dare used under the Europhile New Labour regime and now have deported Qatada finally, over European objections. Now, in 2017 the UK will get its say on EU membership all together, for the first time in over 40 years. On getting Britain’s fiscal house in order, Britain is borrowing less and the deficit is shrinking. Economically, there is record employment with I believe the welfare caps putting people back to work. But most importantly, the UK now has the developed world’s fastest growing economy. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10354575/UK-economy-growing-at-fastest-rate-in-the-developed-world.html. Good things are happening, the sun is rising.
Throughout his first three years of Cameron’s government there were many times it would have been more politically expedient to take other actions or retreat. They could have backed down over welfare, the economy was bad and they could have used that as an excuse. They could have raised taxes on energy companies, mansions and higher earners to seem “in touch” with average Britons during hard economic times. They didn’t have to improve education, made tougher standards and re-focused the British history curriculum and could have been safe with the teachers unions. Even in times I didn’t agree with him, such as gay marriage or the Syrian war, he could have saved himself a lot of time and grief by simply passing on making tough decisions. But he didn’t, he pressed on. At the conference at the last week he took two more controversial but right, good and just initiatives, tax cuts that reward marriage and no benefits for people under 25. Not only do these have economic advantages but they will strengthen the moral fabric of the country. I have no doubt Mr. Cameron’s persistent government will carry them through.
Finally, I’m sure you Britons know the lack of leadership America is suffering from right now. We have a vindictive President who is refusing to negotiate with Republicans over a government “shutdown” to kill them politically. Worse for us, the Republicans are mostly an incoherent and inarticulate party. Cameron’s speech at the Conservative party conference truly inspired me, something that an American politician has not done for me in a long, long time. His speech beautifully articulated the moral case for Conservatism, which is just as important as the raw facts and figures. I believe persistence is a virtue, and a Conservative one at that. I applaud most of Cameron’s government actions these past three years and I hope he carries them through to a re-election in 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Tgcax2p8MYI