Thursday, 30 July 2009

Cameron, the press and the Hello model

It's clear that the media have already anointed David Cameron, starting with the lionisation that greeted his (gasp!) memorising a speech. But it has now got to the point where they are collaborating in a transparent Hello-style publicity stunt, planned apology and all. All day yesterday Radio 4 news ran the story of Cameron's mild-swearing-on-the-radio 'gaffe' with no sign of scepticism, despite the fact that there can really be no doubt that the whole thing was planned in advance by Cameron and his spin machine. Apparently one of the freesheets mentioned the possibility that the mild swearing wasn't entirely inadvertent, but I haven't encountered any other mention of it even as a possibility - let alone a journo actually asking the direct question. The recording itself leaves little doubt that the 'profanity' was deliberate. Cameron very obviously worked his way up to his 'too many tweets make a twat' remark, which in itself is pretty clearly a prepared phrase. There were even preemptive giggles from one of his interlocutors, suggesting that even they were told in advance. At no point did Cameron show any sign of getting carried away. But quite general considerations make it quite unbelievable that this was anything but carefully choreographed. I'm trying to think of the last time I heard anyone accidentally swearing without being under he influence or involved in a thumb-hammering incident. It doesn't happen. Perhaps someone in an unfamiliar social situation, or someone who is inthe throes of strong emotion, but Cameron, the memoriser of speeches? It almost seems ridiculous to be commenting on this - but Cameron clearly thinks there is political capital to be gained from some quarter - and he's relying on not being directly challenged about, for example, the sincerity of his spokesman's apology. And it seems he can rely on the press in that regard.