As I read the news (Source):

In his final remarks, he reprised a remark he made to Tony Blair during his first ever PMQs as opposition leader in 2005. saying: "I was the future once".

What does "I was the future once" really mean? Does he simply mean that he was the PM once?


In 2005 Cameron told Blair that "He(Blair) was the future once".

When we say someone is the future we mean that that person will determine the future direction of a country/ government/ organisation/ society. There is a common saying that "children are the future". We also might say "Pokemon Go is the future (of computer games)"

Cameron was mocking Blair by saying that he (Blair) had run out of new policies, and would soon be out of office. Implicitly Cameron was telling us that he would be the future, that he would be able to determine the future direction of the country by eventually becoming PM.

Now, as he hands over to May he is turning the line around, as a bit of rhetoric.


Think of it as:

I was the future once (upon a time).

Meaning at some time in the past, Blair was considered to be the "future (hope)" of the UK. But not any more.

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