Cameron caved in after constant pressure from Labour and the media but resisted strongly. He wheeled out Tory "dirty work man" Francis Maude for the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme and Five Live breakfast. He just wanted to bang on about Labour being funding by the trade unions that founded them, as if that was some sort of crime. It didn't wash and Maude "trended" on Twitter all morning. Poor Franny. Why should he take the blame?
Unfortunately today's poor political management from Cameron and his team is part of a long running pattern. In opposition Cameron was quick to jump on any bandwagon he could. This included repeatedly talking down his country, remember "Broken Britain"? Apparently that was all because of family breakdown, yet 2011's youth rioting was instead due to a moral breakdown.
Whenever there has been a political storm under Cameron's premiership he has resisted weakly, then given in. The list is growing, with today's meek climbdown following these other highlights:
- Being reluctantly forced into allowing a public inquiry into phone hacking at News International
- Telling us all Liam Fox was doing "a good job", which he tried in vain to keep him in as pressure grew around his friendship with Adam Werrity
- Telling us all that his spin doctor Andy Coulson was doing " a good job" which he tried in vain to keep him in as pressure grew around his involvement in phone hacking
- Reluctantly bowing to public pressure to intervene and limit bonuses at state owned bank RBS
Cameron clearly doesn't feel that his government is strong enough to resist in such cases. If that is so why not just limit the political damage by admitting so immediately the next time something like this trips him up? That way he'd be able to recover and move on more quickly.
He won't do that because he either doesn't have the political judgement or the right advisers with that required judgement who are continually leading him down a path towards a lack of control that if faced with a more serious crisis of Black Wednesday proportions could fatally damage the government.