A coolness in the Tory coalition?

John Rentoul

Once again, a telling detail from James Forsyth’s column in the forthcoming issue of The Spectator:

When one senior Tory backbencher went to see the Chancellor recently, he was surprised that he constantly referred to the Prime Minister as ‘Cameron’.*

I have been reading Alastair Campbell’s diaries, with its extraordinary narrative of mutual hatreds, tantrums and people being impossible to work with, so perhaps I am sensitised.

I would have expected him to stick to “Dave” as in opposition, or “Prime Minister”. But “Cameron”: that is rude.

*All right, it is not great grammar, but the story is revealing. As Andrea Gill points out in the comments, the first “he” is the senior backbencher and the second “he” is the Chancellor, who referred to the Prime Minister as “Cameron”.

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  • Andrea Gill

    You say “he was surprised that he constantly referred to the Prime Minister as ‘Cameron’.”

    Which he is the senior backbencher and which is the Chancellor?

  • Charles Barry

    Interesting. Referring to the Prime Minister by his surname is normally the fare of middle-ranking civil servants in their water-cooler gossip.

  • Joe Bolsiano

    Surely all public schoolboys address each other by their surnames, at least when oiks are around? I’m sure that in private they’d use nicknames: Cammers, Ozzers, Govers, Cleggers and, of course, Cablers.

  • Tapestry

    So no one ever said Churchill? ‘Winston’ was only for insiders. Cameron is better than the endless use of ‘Tony’ and ‘Gordon’. It will hold respect. Labour’s sofa politics and Christian names allowed rubbish decision making. I like Cameron please.

  • Oldrightie

    Oh, please, we really are desperate to find something to “chatterati” about, aren’t we. Despicable. Labour can do no wrong, except wreck the economy, anybody else can do no right when looking to nurture the scorched earth back to fertility. Cameron will be a great Prime Minister who will eschew popularity and electoral sycophancy for the good of the nation. Now Labour, well nepotism and power grabbing incompetence will increase behind the skirts of the unions.

  • drg40

    Forgive me, but this article has all the desperation of a close deadline and no copy.

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