Launch of How David Cameron Saved Scotland
The launch event of Owen Dudley Edwards’ How David Cameron Saved Scotland, And May Yet Save Us All at Blackwell’s on Thursday 5 February was hugely successful. As the event was about to commence, more and more people filled up the many chairs in this beautiful, literary setting to hear Dudley Edwards talk about his book. The event was hosted by Jim Eadie, MSP.
How David Cameron Saved Scotland is written as a long, open letter to the Prime Minister in which the author sardonically congratulates Cameron on his victory and asks how he managed to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom. In a very ironical deconstruction of the unionist campaign, Dudley Edwards then helpfully goes on to answer this question himself.
For the first half of the launch the author captivated his audience with eccentric and witty excursions into British politics and this book – which should probably be titled How Scotland Saved Cameron’s Skin, as the author humorously stated. Dudley Edwards pointed out that Cameron’s extreme intelligence and the fact that he is probably better trained in constitutionalism than any other Prime Minister before him are key to understanding his successful defence of the Union.
The author’s witty, polemical tone, which is expertly showcased throughout the book itself, emerged in throwaway remarks about Cameron, such as ‘You’d find it hard to find a Viking chief as cynical as him’ or ‘Although I discovered David Cameron is actually very intelligent, I also discovered that Margaret Thatcher was very, very stupid’. Dudley Edwards then talked about Cameron’s alliance with Ulster Unionism and compared his leadership style to that of other British Prime Ministers including Thatcher, Winston Churchill and Gordon Brown, all the while transfixing his audience with his vast knowledge and witty remarks.
The second half of the event was set aside for the audience to ask questions which they appeared to be keen on doing. These contributions ranged from queries about Gordon Brown’s real attitude to the Iraq War to speculations on what David Cameron is for and whether or not to expect Cameron to play a similar role in the upcoming referendum on the UK’s future in the EU. These questions opened up another set of highly interesting and somewhat entertaining answers on the author’s part, including more sincere, heartfelt judgements such as his description of Gordon Brown as ‘the real tragedy of the story’. The event definitely had the capacity to go on for quite a while but in order to allow time for book signings Jim Eadie finally wrapped up the evening and rounded it off with a lovely statement on the author:
‘Owen Dudley Edwards – scholar, gentleman and inspiration’.
Many thanks to Sarah Fissmer for attending this event and writing this piece for our blog