Monday, October 02, 2006


Five Unkind Ways to Mock Poor Mr Cameron

Imagine my surprise when after yesterday’s Mr Balloon cartoon I noticed four more mickey-takes of Mr Cameron. On the Spitting Image principle, he must be delighted that he’s being noticed, though he’s probably jealous that the vidcasts competing with his own are each from men considerably younger and more handsome than he is (take a bow, Will, and of course Stephen, who’s now definitively laid to rest any rumour that he’s a flirt*). Then there’s the BBC(ish), but my personal favourite was a real news report – well, ITV, anyway – broadcast last night. Missed it? Then here’s a transcript.
“People say David Cameron is obsessed by image, but that is, clearly, utter nonsense. Just look at today. Early this morning he was dressed soberly in a cream shirt and red tie. [On-screen time for clip: 09:02] Admittedly, he arrived in Bournemouth a little later in jeans and funky trainers, [11:21] and, between the photocall and the hotel, he did manage to slip back into the suit, but this time with a blue, rather than cream, shirt, [12:03] and then there was the moment he emerged half an hour later, Samantha still sensibly in yellow but Dave now in a white shirt and tie. [12:39] Still, four changes before lunchtime doesn’t mean you’re concerned about your image. This is ‘hunt-a-policy week’ – no sign of one yet… Tom Bradley, ITV News, in Bournemouth.”
Richard found this in the bulletin after Cracker, which he’d recorded, and showed it to me afterwards; if anyone else did the same, and feels like YouTubing it… I should point out that, for the benefit of those not seeing the pictures, he wore his blue shirt open at the collar, but had an indigo tie with the white shirt. I wouldn’t want you to think he didn’t bother picking out a different collar ‘look’ for each outfit.

Mr Cameron then, of course, tried to encourage comparisons between himself and John F Kennedy, a claim bolstered by the Conservatives’ big guest of the day, Senator John McCain, a man from the party of President Kennedy Richard Nixon and George Bush (some mistake, surely?).

Actually, I thought of a famous American comparison too when I heard Mr Cameron’s bold initiative to “let sunshine win the day” (though of course “let moonlight win the day” would have been bolder, if more astronomically improbable). It immediately called to mind ‘Let the Sunshine In’ from the musical Hair. So, is Mr Cameron encouraging the assembled Tories to embrace their inner hippy, throw off their clothes and surgical appliances and rush naked into the sea? Or has he gone back to his old habits and taken a little pick-me-up before his speech, channelling the Age of Aquarius in his starry-eyed rhetoric?

*Stephen Tall has, of course, been accused of being a ‘flirt’ by someone whose identity I shall disguise by assigning him the codename ‘Mr Fibwick’. To prove just how wrong this charge is, Stephen has appeared in his new video chatting to camera from the sink with his shirt mostly unbuttoned, then leaning seductively over the ironing board to allow the best view inside his t-shirt. Doesn’t sound flirty at all, does it?

Look, it could have been more flirty:
Stephen could have taken off his shirt altogether, rather than just leaving it open
Oh – actually he does that after the other two…

Stephen could have been “unexpectedly caught” shaving
Oh – actually he came up with that idea on Will’s blog…

…Or in bed
Oh – actually he came up with that idea on Will’s blog, too…

Instead of just standing at the sink, Stephen could have “accidentally” covered himself in water and confided to the camera, “Look… I’m – all wet…”
Ah, he missed a trick there. Quick, Will! Now’s your chance to compete in your next one! Though, to be fair, Will’s ‘Webcameraon 3’ is particularly racy anyway.
Meanwhile, anyone who wishes to borrow my Mr Balloon cartoon may do so. It’s not as pretty or witty as Will or Stephen’s videos, but it’s much easier to put on a Focus. Like many people, I don’t even know how to save a YouTube / Google video clip (which will no doubt aid sales of the forthcoming Will Howells / Stephen Tall / Nick Clegg ‘Lib Dem hunks’ DVD compilation. You heard it here first).

Oddly enough, having not watched ITV News for goodness knows how long, I also caught that package, having watched Cracker too. Most amusing.

Technically, of course, sunshine can never win the day: at the end of every day, it is vanquished.
Alex - I quite like this Martin Rowson cartoon. Presses all the right buttons!
I genuinely had no idea my ironing was seductive.

If you think that's saucy, you should see me vacuuming.
But Will, surely you’re not implying Mr Cameron is some sort of transient and constantly shifting phenomenon? Look out for the report on YouTube soon, I’m told…

By the way, your new video is pretty steamy. Gosh. I’m looking forward to that DVD.

Speaking of which, Stephen, I’m sure you’re entirely innocent and in no way play on your pin-up status. Though should you ever wish to pop round and do the vacuuming* or the ironing for us… ;-)

Ah, and an excellent cartoon of young Fotherington-Thomas. Brilliant thought bubbles.

*This was by far the cleanest reply I could come up with.
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