Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Dave the Loser Lost it

Today was a disastrous day for the coalition. Absolutely disastrous.

Possibly, however, not for the reasons you might think I'd give.

PMQs saw the very worst of "Flashman" Cameron.. He was not at the top of his game and when put under pressure, he gets rattled. When he's rattled, he blusters and when he blusters, leaning that one arrogant arm on his despatch box, he looks the epitome of everything he wishes to avoid. Red in the cheeks, sneering and condescending.

Now let me be clear. Lots of the public will hear Cameron telling Angela Eagle to "Calm Down Dear" and giggle. In some ways it connects the PM, makes him seem more human.

For a minute though fast forward to 2015. Whatever the outcome of the general election, I feel fairly confident in predicting a pretty bloody battle. Cameron will be hoping to revive "Call me Dave" for sham-election-campaign No2.

Whatever your political view, this coalition will have bought about some pretty unpleasant and unpopular policies by then. Some will believe they were necessary, some will believe they were not, but the cuts will have made themselves known in all their glory by then. Every single person who has lost child benefit, or tax credits or winter fuel payments or disability benefit or social care or an EMA or a job or a house will have to be persuaded that it was all in the common good, that pretty green shoots are pushing through, that it was all actually pretty fair. That's "Dave's" job, not "Flashman's"

That quote will play in a loop, it will haunt him. Want patronising Dave? Show the clip. Want bully-boy Dave? Show the clip. Want sexist Dave? Show the clip. Today it was funny, for the rest of his life it will be proof that he is nastier than Thatcher.

At least that's what the media filed it away under today.

A few hours later, Danny Alexander faced a ferocious Krishnan Guru-Murthy who threw him about a bit like a dog with a rag-doll. For a few perilous moments a "Michael Howard" moment seemed to hover, then just as he might have pulled it back, when asked about the flat economy, Alexander replied "I don't apologise for it (a choppy economy) at all.

Any viewers wondering if in fact the coalition might be a bit arrogant would not have been reassured.

Apologising for 6 months of stagnation, whilst explaining why they believe it is necessary might have been OK - there's still a good deal of goodwill towards the coalition's economic plan. Ensuring that Worcester Woman, Gloucester Granny or Liverpool Lass think you're a bit of a git, might not have been the best tactic.

**Just as I was about to post this, Channel Four played Michael Winner being about as sexist and patronising  as a man can be. And so it begins.


  1. Calm down Sue lol, i have to agree he is a nasty piece of work one the country can do without. It may well be his downfall sooner rather than later.

  2. Yes, I agree that this may be one of these moments that haunts him.

    I'm surprised the pompous little shit of a speaker didn't point out to him that adressing another member as "dear", male or female, wasn't parliamentary language.

    Where will this decline in standards end? Will Ball and Mrs Balls call each other darling, and will Alistair then get all confused and answer instead?

    Will someone then call Clegg a two faced muppet, and three quarters of the commons answer instead?

    Most of all Cameron should "calm down". He's going to get wrinkles on that forehead for all the personal photographers airbrushing and the daily botox injections.

  3. David Cameron is the personification of depravity.

    I always knew what he was, his "call me Dave" act never fooled me. I could see what he really was in his eyes, I used to tell people "the guy is evil I can see the cruelty, spite and malevolence in his eyes" but they couldn't see it.

    Now they are amazed,they say to me "bloody hell you were right you are obviously a great judge of character".

    Good article Sue.

  4. You are right: The Prime Minister is clearly rattled; his outburst at Ed Balls before the recess showed this, his outburst at Angela Eagle was even worse. Cameron is usually patronising; today he added a disdainful sexist tone. "Calm down dear" is not an appropriate way of addressing anyone in the house of parliament. It is the speakers job to calm people down. It is an MPs job to debate the issues and address each other as 'right honourable'. He repeated the line then refused to apologise; arrogant enough to think that flippant, disrespectful remarks are OK.

    There are not many female MPs in the tory party, in percentage terms half the number of female Labour MPs 16% vs 32%. The Conservative party still appears to be a 'boys club' and with comments like this from their leader we can expect this to continue.

  5. Hate to be a pedant but it was Krishnan Guru Murphy's interview not Faisal Islam's...

  6. Sue - I think you're making a good point here.
    It's damaging to DC in a much more subtle and long-term way than most people realise at the moment. It feeds the public school bully image, which is exactly the image he fought so hard to avoid in the run up to the last GE.
    He fought so hard to avoid the image before because he knew it would turn off a LOT of voters. How's he going to escape it now?

  7. People are forgetting that Eagle was busy correcting another of Cameron's lies when he distracted everyone with his petty nonsense.

    Is it a coincidence that on the day the economy flatlined Lansley is spewing more lies and kicking people on sick benefits again?

    When is someone going to hold them to account for misleading parliament or "causing alarm and distress" to people on benefits?

    I get the impression that because the Tories think they are above the law they think everyone else is a liar and a cheat.

  8. Nadeem, oops, it totally was. You can probably tell I was typing as I watched channel 4 news. Usually best to concentrate a little.

  9. @Anonymous

    "I get the impression that because the Tories think they are above the law they think everyone else is a liar and a cheat"

    Absolutely. They would be benefit cheats if they were poor; they cannot conceive of anyone having principles based on conscience and decency and the respectful treatment of others. They must think that anyone who claims to have such principles must be lying. Scumbags. I'm not leaving MPs of other parties out when I say that, but Conservatives are by far the worst for it.

  10. Jan, I agree with your follow-up and, I suppose, we have to acknowledge that not everyone is a cynical liar either.

    Another issue and one that Sue Marsh (and others making contributions in their own way) have helped is developing power. She's helped bring a much needed focus to the facts and generated support.

    I'm hoping I'm not going to jinx her when I say that Sue may well be deserving of elevation to the house of lords (or a middle ranking award at the very least on the work so far). It would make a change from the usual Tory bandits and their opposite number poverty pimps in the Labour party and two-faced handwringers in the Liberal party.

    Priorities matter and as part of enfranchising and encouraging people like us getting those priorities recognised is a start.

    We have power. We are a priority.

  11. I think you're reading a bit too much into this. The only people who may be offended are those who loathe Cameron anyway, most people couldn't care less.

  12. The real issue is developing focus. Cameron's fumble is a stepping stone to that. It matters because it clarifies and incentivises people into pushing an alternative.

    By breaking Cameron's carefully crafted image the alternative develops confidence and the enemy loses morale at the sign of his weakness. They may make claims and pretend shrug but behind the mask they're crumbling.

    When you swing the sword at your enemy do so with the intent to cut them. No half measures. No pulled punches. Give every impression and act with every sinew to destroy them. Utterly.