Is David Cameron after some reflected glory?

David Cameron made a campaign speech in Milton Keynes this weekend. Hardly a big surprise. All the party leaders are out and about doing the rounds. In case you’re living at the bottom of the sea, there’s a general election just around the corner.  He confirmed to an audience of Conservative party members that they were in a “close fight”. If they needed  telling that after weeks of narrowing poll trends, they have bigger problems than campaigning. Then he went on to say that they had a “once-in-a-generation” chance to get into power at the approaching election. Given that we have a general election every five years maximum, I worry about Cameron’s understanding of the word generation. What does that mean for Tory policy for the country’s older generation? Sorry, I forgot there isn’t any policy. He then launched his soundbite for the speech.
 

“So, my friends, 40 days and 40 nights. I don’t want you to think of them in terms of weekends or bank holidays or anything like that. It’s 40 days, it’s 40 nights, and they’re all the same. That is the time that we’ve got left to win this great argument.”  

Next he went on his change agenda. He stated that 

  

“the economy’s stuck”  

 It’s not, it’s growing.  

“society’s stuck”  

 No it’s not just you, I’m not sure how he’s measuring society either.  

“the whole country’s stuck”  

 That doesn’t actually mean anything. I mean is he talking geographically? Because mid-atlantic drift means we’re on the move, just extremely slowly. His speech went on a bit after that, with the usual drivel about why we shouldn’t choose Labour without any real reason to elect Tories.  

But it wasn’t the vacuous text that caught my attention. Probably because it was vacuous. Vacuousness isn’t exactly designed to catch attention. What stood out for me was his wardrobe. Not because I’m a fashion connoisseur. Or a massive fan of whatever designer he was wearing. No, it wasn’t so much what he was wearing. Rather, how he was wearing it. It was saturday, so Cam’s entitled to be a bit casual. No problem with that at all.  

Boden Man hits the beach

 

 My problem is that he wasn’t just being relaxed and dressing down a bit, it was contrived. Dave, man of the people that he is, is well-known as “Boden man”. There were a stack of news articles about it a summer or two ago. He does natty little polo shirts and nice cashmere sweaters. Relaxed but smart. That’s Dave. But at yesterday’s speech, it was all rumpled shirt and rolled up sleeves. Ready for anything, Action Dave. Not his style at all. But it was the style of another well-known campaigner, not too long ago. Every time we saw footage of the US Presidential election campaign, we’d see footage of Barack Obama addressing the masses from some stadium or hangar dressed in a slightly rumpled shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He looked like a man ready to take care of business, to get down to hard work, get his hands dirty. I don’t know if it was affected or not. Maybe Obama has an over-sensitive wrist. Maybe Michelle gets annoyed having to scrub the grime off them with Vanish. I don’t know. But I do know that Dave never dressed like that before. He’s always been very particular in his clothes. So am I being cynical, or is Cameron trying to emulate the man of the moment over the pond?  

Could he have gone from wanting to be the heir to Blair to the offspring of Obama?
Obama in Maine

 

    

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