by Kevin Meagher
Those prime ministers whom the gods wish to destroy they first ridicule.
The current incumbent, who once promised to “let sunshine win the day” has a face like thunder these days.
That’s because David Cameron’s once-luxuriant Teflon coating has now rubbed off leaving him mired in a series of presentational sticky patches. He’s getting to know what ridicule is all about.
From his cosy relationship with the Murdoch empire through to leaving his daughter at the pub, the gaffes mount; while his performances at prime minister’s questions are becoming an erratic series of desperate lunges and hacking motions. The rapier has become a bludgeon.
His latest scrape, berating Tory backbencher Jesse Norman who led Tuesday’s House of Lords rebellion against the government, is now Westminster folklore.
What gives the story added comedy value is the tale of four government whips banishing Norman from the parliamentary precinct. Was it for his own good? Did they think Dave would pop a cap in him during a corridor “walk by” if he hung around?
Red-faced, finger-jabbing, insult-waving petulance is not behaviour that adds to the prime ministerial lustre.
As he put it himself when goading his predecessor-but-one, “he was the future once”. It is a telling remark. Slowly, but assuredly, David Cameron is turning into yesterday’s man.