This Charming Man

There has been an increasing number of reports of incompetence at No.10. Just what exactly is going on round there?

by Adrian Moss on 22 October 2012 10:00

Getting to interview the Prime Minister is never an easy task and our meeting time, 0600, is unforgiving. Having been shown into a well-appointed room at No. 10, I only have to wait five minutes before he arrives in his dressing gown, limping profoundly.

“Morning, morning” he says breezily, before his face falls a little. “I say, would you mind not sitting there? That’s Nick’s special chair. Last time someone sat in his special chair he tried to call a meeting of the COBRA committee. I know it’s a bit of a bore but he does tend to get a bit tearful.”

I move to another and take out my notebook and recorder.

‘Shall we make a start Mr Cameron?’

“Yes, yes, quite.”

He looks down at his feet and tuts to himself. Removing his wife’s kitten heel slippers he sits opposite me and then quickly gets up again and rushes towards the door.

“Coffee! We must have coffee!”

Returning almost immediately he asks me where the kitchen is and I reply that I have no idea. He disappears again.

On his eventual return he hands me a cracked china mug filled with gravy granules and tepid water.

“Hope it’s not too strong. Right. Where shall we start?”

I open my notebook. Suddenly there is a loud banging on the wall and I raise my eyebrows.

“Oh that. That’ll be George. He stays up all night playing Call of Duty. Says he can’t do sums until after lunch so what’s the point of the morning. Clever eh? Always been a bit of a thinker.”

He leans over and looks at my watch with some difficulty. His tongue sticks out and his lips move silently. Then, suddenly -

“Come on!” He cries, leaping from his chair.

In a frenzy of activity he rushes back into his flat and quickly comes out in most of a charcoal grey suit.

“We review the newspapers at 0630. You’re a journalist. You can help.”

We rush down a flight of stairs and, after only two mistakes, walk into the correct meeting room where we are met by his Chief Press Officer.

“So George. Peter. No, wait I’ll get it, Nobby. What’s going on?” asks the Prime Minister, hopefully. His CPO looks quizzical.

“I’m waiting for you.”

George, Peter, Nobby or whoever it is, looks around the room and his shoulders fall a little.

“Oh right, yes. The papers.”

Moving to the desk he picks up a phone and dials a number. 

“Geoff, can you pop round to Boots and get the papers? Oh. Don’t they? That’s weird. I thought they did. OK try WH Smith’s then. Oh and I think they’ve got my dry cleaning too. Or is that Halfords?”

Turning to the PM he lets his head fall to one side.

“We have the Saudis at 0900 Prime Minister”

“Yes, I know. Looking forward to it”

“It might be wise to put some trousers on beforehand.”

The PM stands up and grins awkwardly.

“You know I thought it was chilly.”

Turning towards the door he has a thought.

“Should I wear my burka do you think?”

The CPO thinks deeply.

“Hmm. I’ll ring Ken Clark and ask; he’ll know”

I’m puzzled by this and say so.

“Surely you’d be better off ringing William Hague. He is the Foreign Secretary after all.”

Cameron stops at the door, astonished

“Is he? Good grief. I wondered why he was round here so often.”

He turns the handle.

It comes off in his hands.

“I say. You wouldn’t have a screwdriver would you?”

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