Dave Cameron’s Sports Problem

why Cameron tries too hard at meaningless bouts of sport


In Alan Hollinghurst’s brilliant 2006 novel The Line of Beauty, Gerald Fedden is a wealthy businessman and rising MP in Thatcher’s landslide 80s Tory government. There’s a memorable scene in the book where, much to his displeasure, Fedden has to take part in a fete organised by his constituents. He gets drawn into a wellie-whanging contest with a bespectacled socialist and to rising comic effect, we see Fedden’s absurd determination to win this minor feat of strength. He wins; we lose. It’s a small mirror into his dickish soul.

This is also how I also see his non-fiction Tory counterpart, David Cameron. There are numerous reasons to find the Prime Minister to be a dick. Here’s mine: he is overly competitive at non-important sporting events and this tells you all you need to know about him. Google image search’David Cameron playing sport’ and you’ll see what I mean.

This is the lot of heads of state: playing meaningless bouts of sport with random kids at the opening of whatever; kicking a ball to and fro with visiting dignitaries for the sake of a photo-opp. It can be tough: if you make a mistake you’ll be ridiculed on the Buzzticles so you have to keep a good head and maintain concentration. But our man Cameron takes it to whole new playing field.

Face scrunched, tongue out, eyes bulged, all in the name of a shuttlecock howsyerfather with some eight year olds. It’s undignified for one thing. But I think tells you something about Cameron the man (and boy). A privileged young master of the universe, who was told (and expects) to win at everything from the get-go. There’s no self-consciousness, no reflection on the pointlessness of these endeavours, just alpha-male peacocking all over the park.


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