The latest Time magazine’s David Cameron cover story is clearly pitched to an international audience. New revelations and in-depth interviews with figures close to Cameron mostly give way to a good retelling of British politics in recent years. Most of the content of the 3,800 word piece will be very familiar to anyone who has been watching British politics closely.
But the piece does reveal more about Cameron the man, if only by identifying him as an ‘enigma’ personally. The article touches on a sense even in those close to the Conservative leader that they don’t quite know him, and that his guardedness about his privacy is very real. Francis Elliott tells Time that he finds Cameron elusive even after eighteen months of researching and observing him for the biography he wrote: "Smooth, cold so flawless and polished you forget it’s a barrier – until you try to cross it." Cameron himself modestly suggests there simply aren’t all the hidden depths for which others are looking: "I’m a very simple soul".
A discussion with an old Oxford and Bullingdon Club friend of Cameron’s suggests a very politically interested undergraduate: "I remember David quoting Winston Churchill extensively by memory – Churchill was a bit of a lush, so they were quotes about drinking – and he was very funny… I know David had only sipped a bit but he was articulate and lucid and I always remember him like that – the centre of attention".
Another Oxford contemporary notes: "We were doing out best to grasp basic economic concepts. David – there was nobody else who came even close. He would be integrating them with the way the British political system is put together. He could have lectured me on it and I would have sat there and taken notes and learned how British politics were put together".