Cameron, the Brilliant Media Performer

Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto the #labourdoorstep, the dorsal fin has reappeared. The shark is back. Cameron has returned to his media performing best. Should we be worried?

Normally when a politician’s policies are falling apart, they revert to foreign policy, but the sight of Benghazi’s finest retreating in total disorder seems to have become a metaphor for Cameron’s policies.

It’s got so bad that he’s frightened of describing his NHS U-turn, as a U-turn, and claims he’s engaging in a discussion. Poor old Lansley is so inept that he has no idea that a “pause and reflect” on a policy with such hostile enemies is the equivalent of a soldier dropping his gun and throwing his arms into the air.

But just at the moment when this punch drunk prime minister appeared to on the ropes, he reverts to his true talent and becomes a media performer.

The photo of Dave and Sam in the Stanstead airport lounge, waiting for their bargain flight to Spain, was not taken by an amateur photographer, as was reported; it’s too good for that. And if we look at the collection of pix of the happy couple on their Spanish mini-break, the credits show a multitude of agency photographers. Far from enjoying a relaxing break, they are being flocked by the Fleet Street scrum.

But why would a couple, who own so many houses that they can’t count them from memory, go on a cheap-flight mini-break, the same as ordinary people? Could it possibly be because they need time alone, together? Is it for an escape from the pressures of office? Is it really his romantic gift to her?

Or is it that they are putting on a performance for the Mail and Telegraph? Is he playing the part of nice-guy Dave?

In “The Cameron Collapse Scenario” I wrote of the way that the right-wing press had turned against the Tory leader, although not against the Tories. It will be interesting to see if these papers continue to attack him, or if they appreciate the pictures he’s provided, and lay off.

There’s no doubt that this story has done a lot of good for Cameron. Pictures speak a thousand words, even when they’re made up like this. People can relate to this man. Perhaps they’ll blame the Tories but appreciate Cameron. As if they are separate entities.

In answer to my question at the beginning of this piece, we should be worried.

He may be a useless leader, but he’s a good media manipulator. And, in politics, that’s half the job.

4 Responses to Cameron, the Brilliant Media Performer

  1. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    Policy by headline. Voter grooming by stunt. A good expose, Dan, but one thing I do know about people like Cameron is they can’t handle the unexpected nor are they able to cope with real people laying on how it is. He’s nowhere near as tough or smooth as he looks. He’s just playing on peoples ideas of probity and empathy.

    “Under the sword lifted high, There is hell making you tremble. But go ahead, And you have the land of bliss.”

    — Miyamoto Musashi

  2. Elizabeth says:

    The guy is a media manipulator but he’s also a complete media twat which will come back and bite him. He’s always taking the side of the ‘little people’ against the experts and/or ‘pen-pushers’ (his words not mine) who might actually have an idea what they’re talking about or a good reason for doing or saying what they do. Eg law courts (a few months ago), Oxford University, local government and street parties.

    He gets it totally wrong, publicises the wrong but publicly favourable attitude and ends up with totally unnecessarily hostility from those he criticises wrongly and unfairly. And in due course that will swing back and hit him in the face.

    • dan says:

      It’s funny how nasty he is, but how good at coming across as “nice guy Dave”. The civil service hate hi since he called them the enemies of enterprise.

  3. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    When done well the photographic image and media relations can be a good thing. Not so much when it lacks integrity. Since first posting I’ve dug up some pictures which illustrate this point more graphically.

    http://prisonphotography.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/brouhaha-in-sweden-following-award-to-paul-hansen-for-his-image-of-fabienne-cherisma/

    I’m on a bit of a Miyamoto Musahi jolly this week. If I can indulge myself again I’ve found a quote that straddles the good and the bad. It exhorts a wisdom that Cameron gives little sign of appreciating.

    “Get beyond love and grief: exist for the good of Man.”

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