Cameron’s Nervous Tick over Libya

In the run up to the Gulf war, from the summer of 1990, to the air attack early 1991, much of the media coverage concerned the war of bluff between George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein.

American Intelligence officers used to observe news footage of Saddam and count his blink rate to try to establish if he was becoming nervous as the pressure built.

If Colonel Gaddafi were to look at news footage of David Cameron these days, he’d see a similar nervous tick. However, with Cameron, it’s not a “blink rate”, but a “Lick rate”.

During this interview with Sky, on 17th April, he licks his lips three times while answering questions about Libya, but this doesn’t occur when he is interviewed about the AV referendum.

The charitable among you may say that perhaps he’d had a drink the night before and was just slightly dehydrated or nervous. But the original interview was much longer and I can positively confirm that he didn’t lick his lips once during the rest of the interview. It was only when he was speaking about Libya.

The reason this is interesting is that the greatest talent of David Cameron is his outward appearance of super self-confidence. For a politician, being able to persuade others that you have conviction is a vital characteristic.

What we see here is that outward display of confidence cracking under pressure, as his ill-advised military adventure, goes pear-shaped.

4 Responses to Cameron’s Nervous Tick over Libya

  1. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    This is a very interesting post, Dan. Cameron likes to bull things up or breezily move on when it suits him. Dissing Brown then claiming elsewhere that he doesn’t condone personal attacks get behind an impression he’s lost the plot.

    One question I do have is where his bullish and airy attitude highlighted by your post and other media coincide. Is Cameron betting his entire power tripping ego on Libya and does he feel Clegg is completely on board the Tory project regardless of the outcome on AV? If so…

  2. dan says:

    It was Downing street that said he doesn’t condone personal attacks. Shame, as I would have kept that and used it if he’d said it himself.

  3. dan says:

    It was Downing street that said he doesn’t condone personal attacks. Shame, as I would have kept that and used it if he’d said it himself.

  4. Thus Spake Zarathustra says:

    I see right through Cameron and am more cavalier in my attitude but I appreciate your distinction. I also appreciate it’s something the more cynical leaders and PR people play on.

    I’m just thinking that Cameron is trying to write the headline and avoid accountability. Isn’t Dannatt who spoke up to rationalise Cameron’s policy a busted flush? Didn’t Cameron claim before the election he didn’t do personal attacks?

    Just trying to work an angle here and understand why you wrote the story you did. Looking beyond the glitz of cinema is there any mileage in explaining the practical issues of journalism to people?

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