Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Village Life: How Tony Helped Dave, to Old Etonian Cheers, While Everyone Ignored Cherie

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Village Life: How Tony Helped Dave, to Old Etonian Cheers, While Everyone Ignored Cherie

Article excerpt

To the lengthy charge list of Tony Blair's political crimes compiled by Labour's irreconcilable wing is added the name of David "call me Dave" Cameron. Had Blair not allowed Tory turncoat Shaun Woodward into the Labour Party, reason the malcontents, there'd have been no vacancy in the Witney constituency, leaving the Conservative Party leadership favourite to do what TV types do best. Cameron's fumbling despatch performance on schools may yet force a rethink, with the novice failing to put the ball into the back of the open goal opposite that is Ruth Kelly. Afterwards, Cameron's trembling hands left him struggling to place his speech in an envelope.

Old Etonians are prematurely celebrating silver-spooned Cameron's success as proof toffs are back as a class at the top of the Conservatives, after a 40-year interregnum since fellow Old Etonian Sir Alec Douglas-Home stepped down. That other fine product of fagging, Nicholas "Fatty" Soames, declared within hearing: "Marvellous, absolutely marvellous. The natural order is reasserting itself." Cameron curiously missed a vote condemning Labour's open-all-hours licensing law, an abrogation of leadership surely unconnected to his past directorship of bar chain Urbium.

Newly unwelcome in Downing Street is devoted disciple Stephen Byers after voting for Clare Short's ill-fated bid to stop trigger-happy Blair going to war without Commons consent. No 10 issued firm instructions to kill the bill, but Byers joined half a dozen ex-cabinet ministers (Nick Brown, Frank Dobson, Andrew Smith, Gavin Strang, Short herself plus our man) to defy the outgoing premier. …

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