Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

No 10's 60-Minute Make-Under

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

No 10's 60-Minute Make-Under

Article excerpt

The Bullet boy played musical chairs to make his new digs appear less posh on Sunday-morning television. Downing Street's grand White Room was chosen for David Cameron's light grilling by the BBC's Andy Marr, but an eagle-eyed veteran of the evicted Labour regime noticed the furniture had been switched. Instead of sitting on one of the room's plush seats, the Old Etonian perched on a plain-looking number usually found in the Thatcher Study. Operation De-Toff had been launched by the government of gentlemen.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

No respecter of Downing Street service is the Hammer of Hackney, Diane Abbott. The lefty marched into Newsnight's green room to find every chair occupied. Abbott pointed at the ex-No 10 staffer Peter Hyman and, according to a snout, uttered the words "oi", "you" and "up", in that order. Hyman left Blair's pay to retrain as a teacher and is now deputy head of an Ealing comp, and so is able to spot an awkward pupil. He sensibly realised he was beaten and got up to surrender his seat.

Plans are afoot, I hear, for Cameron to invite Maggie Thatcher for tea to reassure true blues that his yellow streak isn't too wide. This is one official function he doesn't intend to share with his new chum Nick Clegg; diarists are seeking a date when Clegg won't be cluttering the place up. Meanwhile the Tory right wants the Rusty Lady's portrait hung in a more prominent spot. She is currently opposite a No 10 lavatory.

The first victims of cuts by the miserable minister, Vince Cable, are Twickenham Lib Dems. …

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