This morning, for example, it was a quick flit through the studios of SKY News and a quick nibble from the toothless gums of our Eamonn.
This most dishonest of Prime Ministers (an amazing feat given the highest of benchmarks set by his nemesis Tony Blair) promised when he assumed office that there would be an end to spin and that in pursuit of this he and his ministers would, inter alia, make announcements of new policy to Parliament.
That was a lie, of course, as it was always intended to be. This arch-spinner could no more give up his gyratory habits than could Amy Winehouse unclog the cocaine from her right nostril. So there he was this morning announcing a huge new ‘screening’ programme for the NHS, a programme designed to catch at an early stage a wide range of medical problems.
Holmes lobbed a donkey-drop to him to enquire about where the money for all this would come from, bearing in mind that the NHS is already strapped for cash. It was a good question: such a programme implies huge numbers of extra staff and equipment. How is it to be paid for? Sadly Homes let him away with simply answering another question which he had not asked, so we shall not know until the Tories make due enquiries upon the matter in Parliament, where the programme should have been announced in the first place.
Marr on the other hand let Brown off on another matter where his utter incompetence is in issue: the flogging off of the family gold. The issue was raised yesterday on ConservativeHome (here). The rest of the interview was just as anodyne and friendly.
This then seems to be the policy: we are going to spin, spin, spin until we whiz off in the polls. Expect to see the Cabinet formed up in the Palace of Westminster’s Central lobby doing their “Whirling Dervish” routine shortly as Browne’s lap-dogs follow their master’s example and opt for this tried and tested means of hoodwinking the British people. What this means is that there is not going to be a Brown interview any time soon with one of the boot boys such as Paxman or Humphrys. With a yellow streak down his spine so wide you could drive a tank down it, Brown is not about to let himself be disembowelled for the public amusement: he can risk that every week at Prime Minister’s Questions, thank you very much, and that is more than often enough.
Would it not be a good idea, therefore, for Cameron, Osborne and Davis to take a calculated risk and get themselves in short order into a series of hard interviews with the likes of Paxo, Humphrys and Snow so that a telling point about the distinction in character of the protagonists can be made: the Tories are ready to mix it with the hard men, but Gordon Brown is a gutless coward and only does set piece comfort-zone stuff?
Nothing like reinforcing a perception that the British public is only too willing to believe just at the moment, is there?
Another Prime Minister, her personal courage never in doubt, had a word for what Gordon Brown has become: ‘Frit!’. Never defeated at the polls, she will hopefully derive as much pleasure as any of us when this second-rater gets the order of the boot from the British people, knowing that she remains atop the towering pinnacle of British politics of the last fifty years.
Whilst Cameron is unlikely to scale quite such heights, he can have a go by exposing himself to a bit of shot and shell in the trenches which will contrast nicely with Gordon Brown doing the round of the cushy billets he seems to prefer. Character, after all, will be an important feature of the next election.