Tuesday, August 18, 2009

David Cameron and the Labour Trade Union blogger

Picture is from this morning’s breakfast seminar at the RSA. The main speaker was Nassim Nicholas Taleb author of “Black Swans” who famously was one of the few to “see it coming” and predict the current economic crisis. David Cameron was also part of the panel. I will post separately on this seminar which appears to have picked up quite a lot of negative (and inaccurate) comment.

I thought it was really interesting even if the dastardly chair Danny Finkelstein from the FT didn’t choose me to ask a question (not from my lack of trying).

Now this is the first time I have ever seen “Just call me Dave” up front and I will admit I am just a teeny, tiny bit biased against him, but I honestly didn’t think he came over that well. He seemed to me to be a little tense and even very, very slightly annoyed all the time. Not that he was at all rude or abrupt, just a little testy. It is ironic that to me he comes over well on the national TV but in such a relatively small gathering (75 of us?) he is a bit, well, plastic. While “our Gordon” comes over as a person much better in similar gatherings.

There seems to be some discussion why he was there and was it some attempt at the rebranding of his image as an intellectual heavyweight?

To be fair as I came out of the RSA he was chatting to people (aka being lobbied) as he was getting in his car. I went up to him and said “David I am not a supporter but could someone take a picture with the two of us”. He immediately agreed and for the first time that day gave a lovely relaxed tanned smile for the camera... Such is the prospect of appearing on John’s Labour blog!

I know I am setting myself for some stick by publishing this photo - but why not, it is after all the silly season.


Mike Law said...

Will you be using this photo in your election material for the local elections?

I think you should, it'll give you a lot of credibility with the good folk of Newham.

John Gray said...

Seal of death and destruction more likely being pictured with the Eton Black Swan.

Mike Law said...

I did think it was an odd choice for a photo opp.; but, whatever floats your boat!

By the way, what was the question you so desperately wanted to ask?

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
Are you holding your wallet in your hand in the pic, I would becauses we all know what they want.
P.S I've washed my hand ten times tonight, I touched the hand that touched the hand of Cameron..

Tom Powdrill said...

You should have had one of those joke buzzer things in your hand!

John Gray said...

Hi Anon (Paul)

Profuse apologies for the hand washing!

Hi Mike

My usual question about the contribution to the current economic crisis by the poor governance of workers capital. Don't worry I would have used smaller words and shorter sentences for Dave's benefit.

Hi Tom

as if...this is outside the RSA!

Charlie Marks said...

How is it you never get that question asked, John? Good on you for trying - would've been interesting to hear Cameron's reply.

I mean, he's done "conservative cooperatives", why not "conservative capital stewardship".

On the photo - you are at least giving the dominant handshake and wearing a sly expression. I reckon this could just about finish Cameron...

John Gray said...

Hi Charlie

and when I do it is usually misinterpreted.

Hopefully the "curse of grayee" will now be upon him.

Anonymous said...

Did shaking Camerons hand feel any different to shaking Blair's? After all isnt Cameron made in his image like Blair was made in Thatcher's?

Fran said...

Oi you! Stop tickling that bloke's hand!

John Gray said...

Hi Anon

There are similarities of course - they have both dragged their Parties towards the centre to make them electable. Hopefully Cameron will be less sucessful than Blair of course. But there is still huge differences between the two.

If you are of the ultra left or right then you will think they are the same since you see the world very differently than the rest of us on planet earth.

Hi Fran

As if!

Julian Ware-Lane said...

Why not shake Mr Cameron's hand? I do not like his politics but this does not mean I wish him any personal ill.

Fran said...

Ain't that Prince William of Wales in the background?

ModernityBlog said...

John, a slippery slop?

John Gray said...

Hi Julian
Apologies for the delay in responding. Yes, I don’t hold him personal “ill-will” but I take it personally if he gets rid of pension credit (my Mums pension), the minimum wage (my nieces pay packet), reintroduces all the Tory anti-trade union laws (my fellow workers) or dismantles public pension schemes (amongst the poorest in our society) etc.

Hi Fran
Don’t think so!

Hi Modernity
Maybe, just maybe - it could have been an upward experience for him – to the forces of light and truth? (Okay, not really)