Flashman feels the pressure

by Sanjay Patel

Red-faced, splenetic and in a corner. That’s where David Cameron finds himself after his Commons performance today.

There’s little doubt, this was the angriest David Cameron has been at the despatch box. That nice, mild mannered, likeable chap who hugged a huskie (or something like that) was nowhere to be seen. As ever when rattled, Cameron gave into his emotion, he channelled it. And as so often when a politician indulges in a response riven with emotion, tipped over into parody.

The Tory MPs might have liked what they heard and bayed for more, but it won’t look like that on the news. The lasting image will be of Flashman hurling invective across the floor of the House, sneering at Dennis Skinner to claim his pension.

It might have felt good, even cathartic for Cameron to have a full throated rant. It might be the type of response that carried the day in student debating chambers. But with his government in a hole he struck the opposite of the calm, considered tone needed to defuse the situation and suck the drama out of the moment.

Instead Cameron personified blustering braggadocio. Following such an unrestrained and furious defence of his ailing secretary of state for culture, what happens if Hunt has to go? By doubling down on his original error of backing Hunt unconditionally, David Cameron has increased the impending damage to his reputation.

It was notable that in Flashman’s defiance he didn’t address a single one of the substantive points methodically put by Ed Miliband. A point not lost on the watching media who were emphatic in their verdict.

The tweets from the parliamentary lobby tell a tale of prime minister who is fooling no one. Tim Shipman, from the Daily Mail,

Miliband accuses Cameron of using the ‘News of the World’ defence – one rogue operative acting alone. It’s about as credible…”

Or Iain Martin of the Telegraph,

“This is really terrible from Cameron. Awful performance, shouting about Charlie Whelan etc.”

Or maybe Patrick O’Flynn from the Express

“Cam sounded a bit petulant to me (again). Speaker has perfect right to ask PM to account for stuff to Commons”

These aren’t the outriders of the liberal left, they are the Mail, the Telegraph and the Express, they should be Cameron’s media base. Their scepticism speaks volumes about the ever diminishing chances of Jeremy Hunt’s political survival, the prime minister’s performance and most importantly, his cracked judgement.

Sanjay Patel is a social media consultant and Labour party activist

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6 Responses to “Flashman feels the pressure”

  1. Clr Ralph Baldwin says:

    Well to Cameron’s credit there is plenty to be angry about.

    But then it’s good to have some politicians who give a damn and actually display emotion even if it’s frustration and anger rather than the weird emotionless and appallingly transparent fake concern of the Labour Shadow cabinet who clearly care about nothing and nobody and it shines through blatantly.

  2. Clint Spencer says:

    on a scale of 1 to sh1t Cameron is nearly as bad as the bearded wonder editor of Labourlist the left leaning BS site with no credibility whatsoever.

  3. Clint Spencer says:

    Please can we expel the left? They are an electoral liability.

  4. Anon E Mouse says:

    No normal person is in the least bit interested in any of this lot and I would just ask how this will benefit Ed Miliband one bit. Has a single thing that has happened made him any more attractive to the voters? Of course not.

    Labour’s most successful leader in their history, Tony Blair, is godparent to one of Murdoch’s children. If this useless government ever gets a decent PR machine this will come back to bite the Labour Party big time.

    Why don’t the official opposition stop wasting life on this nonsense and explain how working people can afford to fill their cars with petrol.

    A gallon of fuel costs one hour of work at the minimum wage and perhaps if a little less time was spent on things no one cares about apart from the Primrose Hill set and Guardian readers then Labour may be considered electable again.

    This “Flashman” remark is only understood by public school educated prats and is completely wasted on the electors.

    Labour needs to start representing the workers again and put forward a POSITIVE agenda for government and why they won’t do that I do not understand. Negative campaigning lost them the last election and it will do the same again….

  5. swatantra says:

    The fact that the Coalition has run into a perfect storm has had an impact and is testing Dave’s limit of tolerance. Buffetted on all sides by the winds of change and lashed to the mainbrace by Leveson, someone is going to have to carry the can, and its not going to be James M Jr.
    Someone is going to have to be thrown to the dogs; a pawn is going to have to be sacrificed. But yes it was a bit ageist to pick on old Skinner; why not Tapsell even older than the beast of bolsover? both are Chamber Blockers for the aspiring young Spads anxious to make their mark in life, and draw a hefty salary plus generous expenses plus a grand pension in a job for life.
    ‘Petulance’ could actually describe the whole House; its becoming more and more like the Oxford Union on a bad day.
    Ed had another good day but will have to learn to be magnanimous in victory. The public admire humility.

  6. Ralph Baldwin says:

    Actually though I am now in oppostion to him, I have tremendous respect for Mark Ferguson of Labourlist.

    As I did of his predecessor too, they respect Freedom of speech far better than many in Politics.

    Not his fault the party is a running laughing embarresment of the Political Establishment.

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