Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Cameron close-up is stand-up funny

The only person to come out of the Prime Minister's press gallery lunch without a smile on their face was impressionist Rory Bremner. He might as well go hang his hat up - Cameron can carry off his own stand-up act with confidence, fluency and some wit.

Some politicians see a lunch speech to the collected journalists of the parliamentary press gallery as a daunting, nerve-rattling rite of passage. Cameron judged it right, piling in the jokes, dropping in one or two serious points, and batting any question put to him with some panache.

He had jokes at the expense of Mr Speaker, Silvio Berlusconi and, of course, Ed Miliband. I'll leave the punchlines to their owner.

He spoke about he wanted to run "a radical government not a managerial government" and his realisation, gleaned from Blair's experience, that he had a very short time in which to deliver before government itself swallows up the agenda.

He looked forward to the return of outcast Treasury Secretary David Laws "soon" and he promised to make the Tories electable in Scotland. "I'm not giving up," he said.

He turned high speed rail into the tonic for tackling the North-South economic divide and he revealed that "security" took up more of his Prime Ministerial time than "prosperity".

He did this, on a duck lunch, after PMQs, and with thousands of students milling outside parliament in an angry mood. And,for someone who is a very recent dad, he looked quite fresh. Damn him.

I've always suspected that Cameron closes the door of Downing Street every night and does a wee jig of joy - coalition or no coalition. Today's performance proves he's loving every minute of it.

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