Brand new Government – that’s the line we were sold. All the old bad habits of New Labour would be swept away. So there would, presumably, be less spin merchants and other hangers on in 10 Downing Street. Wouldn’t there? Alas, no, if last week’s revelations are anything to go by.
Young Dave has appointed a personal photographer and cameraman to his staff, and as they are on short term contracts – rather like a lot of freelance workers – the usual rules for civil service interviewing do not apply. And yes, they are on the public payroll.
Added to these two are an appointment to the Government’s “nudge unit” – those of a certain age will be disappointed to know that neither Eric Idle nor Terry Jones feature – and someone to help Sam Cam with her wardrobe. The Guardian has merely looked on with a certain amused detachment, but for the Daily Mail, this is serious stuff.
The legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre doesn’t like Young Dave. He was on reasonably good terms with Pa Broon, but detested Tone. And he isn’t impressed by Corporal Clegg or Mil The Younger either. So any of the current party leaders is fair game for his obedient hackery.
Hence the article appearing under the by-line of Simon Walters, although doubtless done to order, which talks of “the Camerons ... falling into the same trap as the image fixated Blairs”. This is a warning shot across the bows of the PM’s ship of state, and it says that there will be more of these stories.
And, as with the ridiculous tirades against Miliband, the next round of knocking copy will be of the usual righteous and overbearing nature. Others do not need so many words, though: this cruel and tasteless, but very funny, cartoon from the Guardian’s Martin Rowson is just as effective.
Welcome to the sharp end of politics.