I have to fess up and say that, what with world market developments, the accelerating EU slide into shitfarce, rage at the blood transfusion issue, starting a pressure group and – most important of all – the arrival of my granddaughter down here, the unpleasant Mr Lynton Crosby was but a small blip on the outer ring of my steam-driven radar. The return of the first Slog grandchild has been an unalloyed joy, made even more profound by the awareness that, at any time, I can hand her back to the parents. But she truly is a little belter.
However, as little Lyla Murphy took her first dip in a grown-up pool, a Michael Deacon tweet alerted me to the fact that David Cameron had been on Andrew Marr this morning. I make a point of never, ever watching shows on telly where pols are interviewed, because the cost of replacing axed televisions was getting too much for my meagre Zirped investment income and QE-screwed pension to bear. But there was something in the Deacon deadpan that made me find a link, and watch it.
Before I go further on this issue, let me make something plain as a pikestaff: I abhor the politics of envy. My problem is, I abhor the assumptions of undeserved privilege even more. This kind of nonchalant privilege is a cancer at the core of our culture – and one that, on a regular basis, seems able to turn a moral hazard into an ethical desert without any remorse whatsoever on the part of the participants. Names as varied as Geoff Hoon, Iqbal Socranie, Nick Clegg, Leon Brittan, Tony Blair, Boris Johnson and Rupert Murdoch spring to mind. These are the folks with double-standards who assume that the standard deal for them will involve double-helpings.
But there is something about David Cameron that led me last week to refer to him as Dorian Gray. Partly this is the company he keeps, partly his recreational preferences, but chiefly the chortling thing he now uses to hide acute discomfort.
Dave can chortle through any accusation. He can chortle at the Despatch Box about the ‘leg up’, having himself got into PR entirely on the influence of Sam’s mum rather than his own ability. He can chortle about people on Twitter being twats – and then become one of the worst examples of twattering himself. And this morning he chortled as he told Marr “I’ve already answered your question”, when he quite clearly hadn’t.
The Marr question related to the extent to which cigarette apologist Lynton Crosby (Cameron’s latest electoral strategist called in to stop the PM ballsing up two elections in a row) had exerted undue influence on Dave regarding the brakes being put on new and even more direct plain-wrapper health warnings for cigarette packaging in the UK. This would, by the way, be the same sort of undue influence allegedly exerted upon Dave by the UK’s construction industry in return for a £3.5m donation before the last election, and the Boxing Day lunch during which he and Redtop Rebekah did not at any point discuss Newscorp’s bid for BSkyB.
As time goes on, the more insensitively chortley the Prime Minister becomes, the more one realises the extent to which he is undergoing a transition from the decadent Etonian pillock to the depraved Dorian Gray, projecting his moral decay onto a worm-covered painting in the attic. But only once in his inadequate Premiership have I seen even Dave able to grasp that discomfited humility was the order of the day. That was when Tom Watson asked him at PMQs about “strong evidence” of a paedophile ring linked to 10 Downing Street.
I described his body-language at the time as shifty. In truth, the Prime Minister and leading Tory grandees are scared witless of their potential exposure to the Westminster paedophile issue – in exactly the same way that Labour is weak on its complicity in Islamic paedophile rings at the local government level. David Cameron hired Leon Brittan as an exports consultant in late 2010. Nick Clegg’s first EU boss was….Leon Brittan. Clegg’s Dad was best friends with…Leon Brittan. The man who shafted Heseltine during the Westland scandal was….Leon Brittan.
Frightening a weak and decadent Prime Minister is a dangerous sport. Especially one cajoled into appointing Jeremy Hunt as Health Secretary, when that same Jeremy Hunt is bankrolled by JHJ Lewis the one-time Groucho Club proprietor and accused paedophile facilitator-cum-client blackmailer. The truly horrifying thing in all this is that the people who want Cameron out because he is “betraying Tory principles” are rapidly gaining ascendancy in the Parliamentary Conservative Party.