The unauthorized biography of David Cameron by Michael Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott, Call me Dave, is one of the two big news items this morning in this country. It’s being serialised in the Daily Mail, which is about halfway house in the gutter press league. As one might expect, the first instalment yesterday tells us that Cameron was a typical silly young rich man’s son while at Oxford University — perhaps more imaginative in sexual larks among his pals than most — one apparently involving a pig (a dead one it must be said) — but little more than that.
One has seen plenty of our Prime Minister on television in the last few years to be able to come to a fairly accurate idea of him. He’s not, one might say, statesman material, but he’s exceptionally good at public relations — the front man for the political Svengali behind the scene, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. One thing Cameron isn’t is nasty. That must be reserved for Lord Ashcroft, one of the authors of the book, who is piqued that he was not offered a senior ministerial job in exchange for donating huge sums to the Tory party. As for Isabel Oakeshott, beautiful and beautifully articulate though she is will, I think, come to regret taking part in this unnecessary book. There’ll be other unauthorized biographies coming along in due course which historians in the future will pay much more attention to.