No, no, no Prime Minister … that media blitz yesterday was not the thing to do.
I mean they were perfectly nice pictures, jacket off in the Today programme studio, striding red box in hand around Number 10, hitting said red box on train, factory visit, sit down with Nick Robinson in nice industrial setting, and you even managed to slip a cardigan back onto a working woman’s shoulders. Nice.
But ... the mood has changed, and what happens when the mood has changed is that what once was just absorbed and accepted as ‘nice pictures’ now just grates, frankly.
But worse than that is the sense coming from the country’s PM that life is just one long round of media appearances. Sorry to repeat myself – but do more and say less.
Being on telly from PMQs. Fine. Being on telly from summits and big speeches with big points to make. Good. But stop being your own spokesman on running stories of the day.
Nadine Dorries has said all that before, about you and George being posh boys who don’t get people’s lives. That’s the other thing that happens when the mood changes – things people ignored in good mood times suddenly gain traction in bad mood times.
But there was something a bit demeaning about seeing a Prime Minister sit there and have her words read to him, and ‘hit back’ with a hurt look and stories of his supermarket shopping so that he could reveal he knew the price of milk.
In so far as there was a message yesterday, it was that he intended to focus on the challenges facing the country, and ignore all the froth. The effect, however, was that he added to the froth and so, to be frank, was off message! Unusual for him, but these are changed times!