|Cameron and JC
Last Wednesday I was listening to the hourly news bulletin on Radio 2 and the lead story was the Prime Minister's attack in the Commons on Jeremy Corbyn's dress sense. Fascinated, I followed the story for the rest of the day and afterwards. The BBC quickly lost interest and I had to wait to Channel 4 news that evening to catch the leader of the Opposition's response. Full marks to JC - it was a good one and did silence the extraordinary baying hordes of Conservative MPs. But what an insight into the inner world of David Cameron!
Did you catch the spat on television or read about it in the press or online? The Tories have reason enough to minimise its impact. John Crace in his sketch was superb in The Guardian the next day, writing:
'Here was Dave unscripted: the Dave that Dave would rather you didn't see'. And much more savage comedy at Dave's expense follows. It's well worth reading.
What happened? Stung by a heckle from Labour's Andrea Eagle about his own mother's opposition to welfare cuts, a rattled Cameron launched this tirade at JC:
'I know what my mother would say. She'd look across the dispatch box and say: put on a proper suit, do up your tie and sing the national anthem.'
'Talking of motherly advice, my late mother would have said: "stand up for the principle of a health service free at the point of use" because that is what she dedicated her life to, as did many people of her generation'.
For Tories such as Cameron and Osborne, the world is and always has been split between 'the people like us' and those who will never cut the mustard, those who are most distinctly 'not like us'. And Cameron made it clear: JC will never be 'one of us'. Wrong suit. Too scruffy. Too crumpled. And a Socialist.
But what a swaggering, contemptible way to address a fellow senior member of parliament. Another descent into the politics of the gutter by our smooth-talking spinner, the prime minister of Great Britain. How much more decent and civilised, and yes kindlier, was the response of the leader of the Opposition. I wonder how many of us could have reacted so well under such a personal assault followed immediately by the baying of the blood hound Tories on their benches.
Well done, J.C - and shame on you, Mr Cameron.