So, Jeremy Hunt is still in his job tonight, loyally deflecting the press from going for the PM and Chancellor, who, if the evidence presented yesterday is even partly true, are in the ordure up to their eyeballs.
The much bigger question should really be whether David Cameron is actually up to the job of being PM. We know he likes it, and that it leaves him enough time for a spot of tennis. We know that he likes looking important, that as a practised PR professional he enjoys trying to sell British products (mainly weapons) around the world. Like Peter Cook’s TVPM skit, he is very good at travelling around the world on our behalf, and at our expense.
Yet whenever things go wrong, as they seem to do so often with this bunch, David Cameron at first denies any culpability, then blames Labour, then promises to stick by whichever minister has messed up, then relies on Nick Robinson to explain a way out of it. If caught out at PMQs, as he was once again today, it is the same old story – bluster, shrill and loud blaming of Labour, followed by turning puce and shouting some more. This is pretty much the only response that any Coalition politician these days, now that their magic cloak of economic competence is torn to shreds.
A one-time PR man for Carlton Television, you would be justified in believing that Cameron should be adept at selling the odd shit sandwich now and again, but the frequency of blunders leads me to think that there is a much deeper problem at the heart of the Coalition.
Along with the assessment of Barak Obama that he is an intellectual lightweight, I think we need to add some other facets that David seems to lack:
Firstly, he relies upon loyalty, yet, outside his own little group, shows none to anyone else. That goes even within his Party, let alone the Cabinet.
Secondly, he is not ruthless enough. Having given Ministers a seemingly free reign and watch them stuff up – on Forests, Jeremy Hunt, Pasty Tax and a whole host of issues, he simply cannot move quickly and decisively. In fact, the only time he has done so was in the taking away of responsibility for adjudicating the BSKYB deal from vince Cable.
Thirdly, he is lazy. Really man, stop wittering about your work-life balance, and pay attention to your job.
Fourthly, he simply does not seem to be able to act quickly, nor does he seem to have the mental capacity to deal with mistakes of his own making.
Fifthly, it is increasingly clear that Gideon Osborne is the brains of the outfit, which is disturbing, given the mess he made of the Budget.
Simply put, the time has come for both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to consider who really should be PM, because Cameron surely is not working…