World

David Cameron gets an honour

24 March 2022

8:01 PM

24 March 2022

8:01 PM

When you’ve held the highest elected office in the land, subsequent honours might all seem a bit trivial. Gongs, trophies, baubles: what can compare to the premiership? But there is one highly-desired honour which has managed to elude David Cameron – until now. For the Old Etonian this week joins an exclusive club in becoming the 22nd former Prime Minister whose words have now graced the pages of The Spectator.

Cameron’s diary about his Poland excursion places him in hallowed company among a select band of his successors. Some 40 per cent of the 55 men and women to have held the post have written for this magazine: quite an accomplishment given the modern edition did not begin until 1828, by which time Walpole, North et al had been and gone. More have written for The Spectator than the 20 who went to Eton; every post-war Prime Minister but three – Churchill, Eden and Wilson – have featured in print.


Clement Attlee, for instance, wrote numerous book reviews in the 1950s, typically on the subject of the two World Wars in which he served. Harold Macmillan gave a tour d’horizon as Foreign Secretary in 1955 while Theresa May contributed her Christmas cake recipe to the 2020 festive edition. William Gladstone wrote a letter correcting a report on the amount of time he spent reading Homer; the grumpy Edward Heath did the same in 1997 concerning his attitude to HMY Britannia.

John Major meanwhile explained his love of the Oval in 2017 with David Lloyd George making the case for a public works scheme in 1935. Herbert Asquith wrote some 60 unsigned ‘topics of the day’ articles between 1876 and 1885 with Stanley Baldwin musing on Spenser’s poetry with regards to Arrian and Plato. Our current Prime Minister is of course one Boris Johnson, whose name was a familiar fixture throughout the 1990s and 2000s as first political correspondent and then editor of this publication.

Steerpike salutes Cameron’s contribution and looks forward to his successors continuing this tradition in future. No. 10 Downing Street might be the seat of government but everyone knows that 22 Old Queen Street is much more fun.

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