Matthew d’Ancona, a friend and admirer of the late Christopher Hitchens, reaches for one of the few times he had ever spoken on the subject of David Cameron:
“He seems content-free to me. Never had a job, except in PR, and it shows. People ask, ‘What do you think of him?’ My answer is: he doesn’t make me think.”
D’Ancona follows up by stating:
The biggest problem of perception facing this Government is that it is less than the sum of its parts; that it is efficiently committed to deficit reduction, holding its own in Europe, and trouncing Ed Miliband (see our ICM poll today for details), but that it lacks an overarching set of principles or a clear route map for the nation.
Hitchens was English born, Oxford educated but claimed his greatest fame after moving to the US. In Washington he lived and breathed at the physical intersection between big politics, wealthy think tanks and the diplomatic community.
He was part of an influential transatlantic elite whose opinion of the UK matters in the US, not least because so few of his fellow Americans have the time or the attention to spend on an ally that seems to decrease in reach and influence with each passing prime ministerial term.
The weightlessness that ‘Hitch’ attached to Cameron has been there from the beginning of his leadership. And has not always been a disadvantage. In a world were form and format are proving more and more protean and weightless (just ask Mr Junker for instance) the fault may lie more with the old world mores of the Poppinjay, than the Tory Prime Minister.
Note: the last paragraph added after this post was published.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty