Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I Am Shaken, But Not Stirred, by the Traceless Rise of Mr David Cameron

Watching an interview with Mr Mikhail Gorbachev on television last night, it struck me how quickly the world is spinning. It seems like only yesterday that "Gorby" was plotting with the star of Bedtime for Bonzo - dear old President Reagan - to bring about the end of the Cold War. The fact that Mr Reagan may have been under the impression that he was starring in a sequel to Hellcats of the Navy when he negotiated away half of the United States' nuclear arsenal only brings further poignancy to the recollection. How safe we felt in those days of Mutually Assured Destruction!
But looking at the face of Mr Gorbachev now was a poignant experience. His features have thinned, and his pallor is pale. Were it were not for the beetroot stain on his forehead, he would have been unrecognisable. Destiny has left him. Now he has only the whims of fate to deal with.
I thought of Mr Gorbachev as I watched the reports of the Conservative leadership elections. There was Mr Clarke, with his puffed-up personality, deflating in front of the cameras. The windbag was a burst balloon.
All eyes have now turned to young Master Cameron, who is said to have the qualities to appeal to the youth of the nation. Frankly, as my old Uncle Bert - the philosopher and scaffie - used to say, "I ha'e ma doots". Even with my limited experience of the Youth of Today - garnered mainly at bus stops - I cannot imagine him "connecting" with that broad swathe of barbaric immaturity which is to be found, eating, drinking, and variously mewling around our town centres with its collective hood up and its earphones in. Mr Cameron has the unconcerned look of Billy Bunter about him, and is thus well-placed to appeal to those who imagine that life and its various complications are similar to a term at Greyfriars School. Without wishing to sound like Master Bunter's form master, Mr Quelch, it is rather more complicated than that.
According to today's reports, there are signs that the Conservative leadership election may turn into a coronation, which is splendid news for those of us who believe that politics is best when it is conducted as a beauty contest with no reference to policies. If elected in this manner, Mr Cameron will stand only for youth; a strategy which worked wonders for his predecessors, Mr Hague, and Mr Duncan Smith. Of course, Mr Cameron has hair, which may be significant.
Even so, my mind wandered to a significant coronation at another conservative institution. Earlier this week, it was announced that the role of James Bond is to be played by Mr Daniel Craig, who will, apparently, take the character closer to the intentions of its creator, Mr Ian Fleming. If he does, then Commander Bond will need to abandon his martinis and become a whisky drinker, as well as a heavy smoker. According to the character, Vesper Lynd, in Casino Royale, he will be reminiscent of Mr Hoagy Carmichael, yet possessed also with a cold ruthlessness.
The cinematic Bond has never had much to do with Mr Fleming's intentions. That great screen Dracula, Mr Christopher Lee, once suggested that the ideal Bond would have been Mr James Mason, who had the right air of sophistication about him. Though I realise that there are some practical difficulties with the suggestion, I would be happy to see Mr Mason as the leader of the Conservative Party. But Mr Cameron as 007? I'll eat my steel bowler hat if it works.


starbender said...

Mr Daniel Craig just Doesn't "do it" for me!

dearieme said...

"reminiscent of Mr Hoagy Carmichael": you mean he'll write tunes for Bix Beiderbecke? A bit bloody late in the day.

Anonymous said...

At least Bond and Cameron have one thing in common - they both attended Eton, although the former was expelled. Also,unless his name is racially misleading, Cameron is of Scots provenance. Perhaps, if elected, he will be as modern and dynamic as the last Scottish OE Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas Home.