Thursday, August 22, 2013

The deerstalker Prime Minister

Sir Alec Douglas-Home, as he then wasn't, was called from the grouse moors to be Prime Minister by his fellow toff Harold MacMillan. Supermac also shot things as a pastime I recall. In those days, and of course earlier, our leaders had quite a penchant for killing innocent creatures - it's what the gentry did. Since then our Prime Ministers have declared open season on Argentinians, Iraqis and Afghanistanis but not on British wildlife. Until now , that is, for it seems that the present incumbent is a deer stalker. You don't just stalk the poor creature when you do this , of course, you shoot it between the eyes. It seems an odd way to get your kicks. I prefer my deer gambolling about rather than being splayed on the ground as a carcass. And the idea that bringing sudden death to a creature that you with your superior intellect and team of servants have pursued through the undergrowth for an hour or so is pretty unpleasant. But it's not against the law and unless we make it so Mr Cameron is quite within his rights to spend some holiday time with the blood of the deer on his hands.

So Dave, the law says, can kill if he wants to. Should we just shrug our shoulders and leave it at that ? I don't think so. As Prime Minister Mr Cameron should try and relate to ordinary people (the rest of us) but he isn't very good at it. Indeed I would say he has the least "common touch" of any post war Prime Minister. MacMillan, Eden and their generation were changed by their experiences in the Great War. As front line officers they were close to the British Tommy and understood and respected him. There was nothing patronising about this. Nor was it Noblesse Oblige. Command men in battle and you learn about them. It is not Cameron's fault that he grew up in a privileged world and that in peace time there was nothing that forced him to relate to how the other half live. But you can charge that at no point has he had to have any meaningful contact with the working man. He is privileged, upper class, Oxfordshire man and it is in these circles he is comfortable. The elite by wealth, education and lifestyle - including the stalking of deer!

Cameron failed to win the 2010 election in part because people saw him as the elitist he is. Nothing he has done since becoming Prime Minister has shown that he has any feeling for people as PEOPLE rather than just as voters. His attempts at populism are laughable - he is not a snob, I see no sign of that, he just so obviously doesn't understand us. His appointments from Andy Coulson to Lynton Crosby have shown his appalling judgments about people. The continued stalking of deer whilst he is Prime Minister is another example of terrible judgment. It provides a symbolism of remoteness, elitism and of a man who lives in a world far removed from that of 99% of British citizens. In that he is even worse than the Prince of Wales (with whom he seems pally). And that takes some doing !


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