February 15, 2021
On Hostile Ground features a singing former PM – and plenty of savagely witty numbers about wrongful detention and deportation. As it prepares to launch, we go behind the scenes
David Cameron’s memoir stretched to 752 pages but he somehow couldn’t find space to describe the ministerial meetings he called in 2013 to brainstorm how best to introduce legislation to transform Britain into a really hostile place for illegal immigrants. The meetings have been described in detail by Lib-Dem coalition colleagues but For the Record, Cameron’s 2019 autobiography, contains no mention of how he collaborated with Theresa May to create this hostile environment. Perhaps he felt it was a part of his legacy it would be preferable to forget.
If that’s the case, the opening song of the new musical On Hostile Ground will come as an unwelcome surprise. The scene is Whitehall, Cabinet Room A, and a youthful version of Cameron declares: “We need to see tough new measures to see net migration reduced by 100,000. / I’m afraid these migrants will need to go home.” Ministerial colleagues were under pressure to devise new ways to increase checks to root out illegal immigrants – in schools, hospitals, banks and workplaces. “I want your proposals, as per my memo,” he chants.