By Peter Hoskin
Follow Peter on Twitter
newslinks this morning, and you’ll notice something: David Cameron is
everywhere in them, even more so than usual. From shale gas to social networks,
from Gibraltar to the tenets of his Christianity, the Prime Minister is broadcasting
more content than the average satellite channel, at the moment. He’s even ‘fessed
up to his
love for The Boss.
is something that the Guardian’s Patrick Wintour has noticed, too. In a fine
article for the Guardian, he describes Cameron as a “24-hour news machine”,
and contrasts his and Nick Clegg’s hyperactivity with Labour’s relative silence.
As Wintour puts it:
has been any governing going on it has had to be squeezed in between David
Cameron and Nick Clegg’s appearances on various phone-ins, press conferences,
morning breakfast shows and Cameron Directs. ‘A lot said, a lot more to say,’ seems
to be the coalition’s slogan.”
the pitfalls of this approach. The Prime Minister should be careful not to
achromatise himself from overexposure, which is part of the reason why
ConservativeHome has consistently
urged him to make fewer speeches. He should also be careful not to breathe inanities
on every given subject, as he did when he got
involved in the Hillary Mantel row in February. And, of course, he should leave
time for actual government.
on the whole, I think Cameron’s current omnipresence – in the forms it is
taking – is a welcome thing. Far better for the battered cause of trust in
politics that he goes around the country, talking more or less directly to the
public, rather than running the Westminster treadmill. This is why I’ve previously
advocated that he scrap PMQs. It’s why I reckon he should follow
Clegg’s lead, and do more radio Q&As.
there could be something else to this approach. I remember speaking
to a Cameroon adviser, a couple of years ago, who was puzzling over Cameron’s
best side: should he be more David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United
Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, leading us from the mire? Or should he be
Dave, some guy you’d have a drink with downt’ pub? That
we’re now seeing more of the second, mixed in the first, could reflect Downing
St’s increasing optimism about the state of the economy.