Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cameron's Turning the Clock Back in More Ways Than One; Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cameron's Turning the Clock Back in More Ways Than One; Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: Keith Hann

SO AT last the great moment arrived when David Cameron could claim his place in my pantheon of true Conservative heroes by attempting to put the clock back - and not simply because it was the end of British Summer Time.

True, it was disappointing that he chose to do it by announcing the reincarnation of the British Empire Medal - an award for those deemed rather too common to meet the Queen, abolished by John Major in 1993 in his pursuit of a classless society. With his famous cones hotline long closed, this reversal threatens to undo one of the few defining achievements of his administration. Sadly, one small step backwards counted for little in a week when a raft of other measures betrayed Mr Cameron's continued obsession with that falsest of gods, "progress".

There was the in principle to and put Britain These included rather than the attempt to "modernise" the monarchy by altering the rules of succession to give equal rights to female heirs. Few seemed to question that this was a good thing. But how can you possibly hope to drag a hereditary monarchy into the 21st Century? It is, by its nature, a mediaeval anachronism. That is precisely why some of us find it so appealing.

Once you start tinkering with the rules, people will start to wonder why we have to have the first-born son or daughter when the third-in-line seems so much more personable. Or, indeed, why we have to have a member of that particular family at all.

I cannot help thinking that this great step forward will look slightly less brilliant when some of the Commonwealth legislatures invited to amend the rules of succession decide to vote for a republic instead.

As if that were not enough, there was the bold decision in principle to defy nature and put Britain, at least for a trial period, on Berlin rather than Greenwich time.

It's a piece of craziness to rank alongside anyone ever imagining that they could place a hard-working, efficient and well-governed country like Germany in a currency union with an indolent, shambolic and corrupt one like Greece and not face major problems. …

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