The Pimlico Plumbers founder on why the PM’s backing is no sign of doom
From Lewis Hamilton’s failure to capture the Formula One title in his debut season back in 2007 to two Warburtons bakeries burning down in 2010, for some David Cameron’s backing is as sought after as the dreaded chairman’s vote of confidence is by a beleaguered football manager.
Then there was his favourite TV show ‘Spooks’ which got canned after he outed himself as an avid fan, while others blame his support for Nicholas Sarkozy as crucial in the French President’s 2012 election defeat. The list goes on, especially if you were a Waitrose employee who had your bonus cut last year, after being wished ‘every success’ by the PM as he presented the supermarket with a Big Society Award.
So, when it comes to public affirmations of support, be it attending a match or recommending Murray for a knighthood, should David Cameron’s backing have carried a health warning – perhaps ‘Dangerous Dave’ might have been appropriate? And, after publically cheering Andy Murray to victory at Wimbledon on Sunday, should we now proclaim the curse of Dangerous Dave lifted?
Or could it be that the truth of the matter is that David Cameron is no Jonah, but is just a little bit more like the rest of us? Is it that he when he actually makes public appearances, he acts like a normal person, not an ‘always on’ politician? Does anyone, for example, remember seeing Tony Blair animatedly cheering on a British sporting star? And do you think the former PM would have allowed himself to be sat near, let alone a rung below, the leader of the Scottish National Party, Alex Salmond*?
The fact is there was never a curse of Dangerous Dave, and the only reason, apart from bored journalists with nothing else to write about, that the idea ever gained any currency is because our Prime Minister isn’t afraid to go out on a limb and show his human side. What other excuse could there be for the sunglasses he was wearing on Centre Court Sunday? Looked to me like he was planning to ride his Hog back to Number 10 after the match! But so what?
No, it turns out that Lewis Hamilton didn’t drive fast enough, often enough; and Spooks, while a great show, had run out of story lines (and spies) after 10 years fighting the evil plots of enemy powers (and the Americans). The French didn’t like Mr Sarkozy anymore (or ever) and Waitrose didn’t sell enough posh groceries. Like most things that happen they were the responsibility of those directly involved.
And while I’m sure Andy Murray really appreciated the support of both the British and Scottish leaders, I’m certain he’ll be putting his win down to years of hard work, physical and psychological training, a strict teetotal diet, and no small measure of talent!
David Cameron is running the country and will be judged on how the economy continues to recover over the next couple of years – surely that’s enough for one man to have to answer for?
*Shame the All England Club didn’t throw him out for trying to turn a pure sporting moment into a political stunt.