Thursday 28 May 2009

David Cameron's McCain moment

"I'm not sure. I'll have to check with my staff" was John McCain's response to an inquiry about how many houses he owned during the last US election campaign.

Johann Hari's Independent column yesterday noted an uncannily similar uncertainty from David Cameron in a recent interview.

This was part of a long Who is David Cameron? interview with Ginny Dougary in The Times, published the weekend before last, and which seems to have been largely overlooked because of expenses-gate.

The relevant section is here.

The four properties thing is rubbish. Touching that you believe everything you read in the newspapers!”

You patronising git, I exclaim.

“I don’t mean it like that, but…” So how many properties do you own? “I own a house in North Kensington which you’ve been to and my house in the constituency in Oxfordshire and that is, as far as I know, all I have.”

A house in Cornwall? “No, that is, Samantha used to have a timeshare in South Devon but she doesn’t any more.” And there isn’t a fourth? “I don’t think so – not that I can think of.” Please don’t say, “Not that I can think of.” “You might be… Samantha owns a field in Scunthorpe but she doesn’t own a house…”

The rest of the interview was punctuated with Cameron’s nagging anxiety about how this exchange was going to make him sound: “I was wondering how that will come across as a soundbite”; “‘Not that I can think of’ makes me sound… I am really worried about that…”; “I am still thinking about this house thing”; and his parting shot was: “Do not make me sound like a prat for not knowing how many houses I’ve got.”

(Hat tip to Liberal Conspiracy for the source).

As Hari writes

The fact that David and Samantha Cameron are worth an almost-entirely-inherited £30m, according to financial expert Philip Beresford, isn’t in itself damning. Franklin Roosevelt was very rich, but became a great crusader for the poor. But Cameron is advocating policies that will benefit his tiny class of super-rich Trustafarians at the expense of the rest of us. He is committed to spending billions on a massive tax cut for the richest inheritees, paid for by the bottom 94 percent of us – and now he has announced his enthusiasm for a bogus economic theory that will justify shovelling far more of our money their way.

1 comment:

Bearded Socialist said...

Brilliant, the whole thing around this.
The guy is either incompetent or dishonest. At best.
He's obsessed with sound bites and how he will be perceived in the media.
Tax cuts for the rich, tax rises for the poor.
Looking forward to the Tory government? I'm not