Don’t you just hate name-droppers? Those people who are so insecure in themselves, and so desperate for you to think more highly of them, that they compulsively insert the names of various famous people into their conversation in the hope of some credibility and gravitas rubbing off on them?
‘Well, as Gandhi once said to me…’
‘I was having a chat with old Branson the other day and…’
Even as they’re saying it, you’re thinking ‘What a tosser’ or something similar – and you’re pretty sure that if the person they’re talking about does actually know them at all, he or she thinks much the same.
So you can imagine my gut reaction when I read, on Eoin Clarke’s excellent blog, that David Cameron had sent the following tweet when the US Presidential election result became known:
‘my friend Barack Obama’.
If you’re wondering how Obama reacted when he read this message from his ‘bezzie’ Dave – assuming he ever did – wonder no more. He will have shuddered with the same cringing embarrassment you’re feeling right now from just having glanced at it.
After he met Cameron in 2008, while Cameron was leader of the Opposition, Obama famously said, ‘What a lightweight!’ – a story picked up a couple of years later by even the right-wing press. I have mixed feelings about Obama, but you’ve got to give it to the man – he’s a good judge of character.
I have to confess, I still shake my head at the fact that Tory spin-doctors thought it a good idea to let Cameron loose on Twitter. I mean, he hardly has an auspicious record with text messages, does he?
I believe personally that Labour should be attacking the Tories as aggressively as possible on every issue, because their weaknesses on every issue are so great and need to be brought to the attention of the electorate as clearly as possible. That’s one of the big reasons why I write this blog.
I also believe that Labour should likewise defend itself loudly and aggressively against the Tories’ ill-founded, paper-thin jibes about ‘the mess we inherited’ etc, because the facts say otherwise but many people won’t realise it unless they hear the soundbites and mantras contradicted emphatically.
But when you consider the Tories’ many ‘open mouth, insert foot’ episodes, including ‘plebgate‘, ‘LOL‘, cutting taxes for the rich and now ‘my friend Obama‘, I can understand the temptation to sit back, keep quiet and let the Tories lampoon themselves into electoral destruction.
I can understand the attraction – but it’s still the wrong tactic. Cameron is a vain, shallow, insecure narcissist who needs to name-drop Obama to associate himself with credibility – but he managed to sneak into number 10. The country can’t afford a second term of coalition or Tory government – the disaster of only 2 1/2 years of them demonstrates that they’ll tear the house down if given the chance. So it’s the duty of every right-thinking, informed person – politician or not – to expose their flaws, lies and fallacies at every opportunity, to make sure it doesn’t happen.
So let’s get to it.