David Cameron's short second life
The former prime minister's return as foreign secretary is a sign of desperation - but also a better appointment than others available to Rishi Sunak
Some political lives do have a second act. David Cameron’s return to government as foreign secretary is objectively many things: remarkable, funny, desperate. But most of all it confirms that reality can no longer be denied in Downing Street. For this is the action of a prime minister who recognises that his party is due an almighty hammering at the general election next year.
This is the fag end’s fag end appointment, a confession that the cupboard is bare, the barrel empty, and the jig well and truly up. Cameron returns as a kind of greybeard consultant, asked to help keep the show more or less on the road even though everyone already knows the team is all but relegated. Indeed, if this was not the case, if there were real grounds for hope, there’d be no need to call in his services.
Intellectually and perhaps strategically too, it is an admission of hopelessness. Rishi Sunak’s speech at the Tory conference was a bold but unconvincing attempt to pitch himself as an agent of change. …