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Wednesday 13 May 2009

Shameless Dave

All the world’s a stage - and yesterday David Cameron proved the sentiment in spades. His acting ability I’ve considered previously: this time it was taken to a new level in the aftermath of Expensegate (now also Poolgate, Wisteriagate, or Helipadgate).

Cameron’s cheerleaders have applauded yesterday’s press conference as showing decisiveness, and contrasting it with Pa Broon and Corporal Clegg, if only because Young Dave got in first. They missed the play acting, and haven’t asked what appear to be rather obvious questions. Perhaps a reminder is called for.

Dave was jolly angry. Further, he wanted you to know that not only was he jolly angry, but he really meant it. This was another example of the faux anger that Cameron does very well, but all it demonstrates is a shameless lack of real sincerity. Tory supporters lap it up; anyone else should beware. It’s an easy way to encourage swing voters – and next time round there might be a lot of them – into the Blue Corner.

Dave has said he’s going to pay back the money he claimed for clearing up the wisteria on his house. On the face of it, this appears a straightforward and honourable gesture, until the obvious question is put: why did he claim for it in the first place? Was it a mistake? If so, why not say so directly? If it was deliberate, then it appears that Cameron did it because he believed he could get away with it – just like so much of the stuff that’s been filling the Maily Telegraph these last few days.

And there seems to have been little probing of what Dave is not going to pay back: a whole 24k of mortgage payments. Cameron represents Witney, hardly a place out in the sticks, yet he’s up for the second home money as much as anyone else. The town is around 65 miles from London – rather less than the 76 of Peterborough, 77 of Swindon, or 83 of Rugby. So what? So, many commute from these last mentioned centres to London on a daily basis, without the ability to claim for a second home.

Moreover, Cameron and wife Samantha are reckoned to be worth a double figure number of millions of pounds. So, once again, if he’s such an upstanding chap, why does he need to claim a penny in second home allowances?

He doesn’t. But he can. Perhaps the difference between Young Dave and his fellow Aston Villa fan Jacqui Smith is not so great after all.

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