All the UK media (and doubtless others elsewhere) have been wittering on today about UK prime minister David Cameron’s decision to hire a personal photographer, one Andrew Parsons, and film-maker, Nicky Woodhouse at £35K a year each from the country’s hard-pressed public finances.
Uncouth paparazzi photographers and documentary makers often focus on this inconvenient aspect of the Cameron crown. But Cameron knows full well that baldies don’t play well with the British public. Especially Tory leaders. Of his three immediate predecessors as Tory leader William Hague and Ian Duncan-Smith both struck out partly because they were bald.
The other one, Michael Howard, wasn’t particularly well-endowed tonsorially but he had a bit. And lots of problems besides, such as his desire to lock up most of the UK’s population.
Actually baldies don’t win British elections for any party. Labour leaders tend to have a lot of it (hair) although there are still suspicions about Tony Blair’s energetic back and forwards hairline. The last Tory leader to win an election with a smooth cranium was Winston Churchill in 1950, but he’d never had any hair.
So what to make of this PR own goal by Cameron?
Well it’s a bit odd isn’t it, given that his only job outside politics was as PR man to Michael Green, once owner of Carlton TV. He should be a PR expert after all. But keeping Green the client satisfied probably had more to do with praising him to the hilt in person and decrying the ungrateful hacks in receipt of his opinions. Sky business editor Jeff Randall, not a man to be trifled with, still nurses a grudge against Cameron for, in Randall’s opinion, being lied to.
Anyway, these are sticky waters. The truth lies somewhere above Cameron’s bald patch. Vanity, vanity, it gets them all in the end.