Sorry to go on
about Dave Cameron again (oh ok, I’m not sorry at all) but I saw him blathering
on the story about the 13-year-old who became a Dad. He had exactly the same
intensity of expression he applies for soundbites on economic calamity,
ministerial scandal, diplomatic crisis, global warfare and pestilence or how
well Slumdog Millionaire does at the Oscars. And he had absolutely nothing to
say. Well, granted, he did have ‘something’ to say, roughly boiled down as
‘children shouldn’t have children.’ Yeah! And?
Yet he and his
team will have considered yesterday a good day’s work on the media front. By
getting into the Dad at 13 story, they kept his profile up, had him saying
something which most people agree with (should children have babies, yes or no?
Er…) but most importantly he was able to avoid saying anything on the economy.
You might think,
given its state, that he would want to get noticed for saying something on the
economy. But no, you see having nothing much to say on the economy might get
noticed more. It would underline the fact he would be out of his depth dealing
with the current crisis. So far better to pop up and say something trite about
whatever passing talking point the media is focussed on.
One of the
reasons the media like him, and give him such a tummy-tickling ride, is that
he’s always there with a little quote or two.
You see in our country the Leader of the Opposition is an official and
important position. So to have him chipping in on a story, for those who are
running it, remains a good commodity to have. ‘Cameron calls for this, Cameron
calls for that, Cameron praises Kate Winslet’s Baftas speech, Cameron steps
into Chelsea turmoil, Cameron says something must be done about double parking
in Notting Hill,’ it is still worth something.
Or it will be,
until people realise that the politician as day to day commentator is not just
part of the act – it’s pretty much all there is.