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Mr Cameron;s mistake – or the fault of a dysfunctional political system?

July 2, 2016

Text of letter to Dorset Echo Sunday 2nd July 2016.

Things would have been much better in the wake of the Brexit vote if there had been a Plan B. It appears that the Leave campaign did not have one, but neither did the government. Mr Cameron was (and still is) not only the leader of the Conservative Party but also Prime Minister, head of government and the person whose advice the Queen always accepts. He should be acting in the public interest. He believed we should stay in Europe, but by giving us the choice he should have ensured there was  a coherent plan for our possible withdrawal from the EU.

Many of us may not have anticipated how dirty the campaign was to be, but the politically savvy should have, especially in view of the precedent of the referendum on changing the voting system. Mr Cameron should have been able to seek advice from senior civil,servants, economists, and political advisers.

But would a different Prime Minister have done any better? Sadly I think not. The first past the post voting system forces politics to be confrontational. Beating your opponent becomes more important than doing the right thing. Parties that aspire to govern must be broad churches. The greatest sin is to try to cooperate with other parties. Until we change that system I see little hope of improvement.

David Smith, Weymouth

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