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Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2016, David William Donald Cameron (1966 to present), is the first Conservative PM of the 21st century and the youngest since 1812.
His early life saw him attend Eton College (as have many Prime Ministers) and Oxford University (ditto). At the latter he was a member of the Bullingdon Club, an invite-only students' drinking club renowned for being seriously posh and seriously destructive. After graduating, he was an adviser to Norman Lamont and Michael Howard in the John Major administration, then worked in public relations.
In 2001, he became MP for Witney (the previous member, Shaun Woodward, had done a rather unpopular thing in rural Oxfordshire and defected to the Labour Party, so ended up being parachuted into another seat).
The 2005 Conservative election defeat saw Cameron run for leader and beat another David, David Davis. He spent nearly five years as Leader of the Opposition, rebuilding the image of a party shattered by three straight electoral defeats, with some policy moves not welcomed by the more traditional branch of the party. He also suffered a family tragedy in 2009, with the death of his 6 year old son Ivan, who had been born severely disabled.
Cameron looked likely to become PM from the start of the recession onwards, but his lead was steadily eroded, mostly by the impression that he was offering nothing but a retread on the divisive policies of Margaret Thatcher and a strong performance by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in the first leaders' debates in British electoral history (which didn't lead to the huge gain that his party expected) proved enough to produce a "Hung Parliament". Gordon Brown resigned when he could not negotiate a Liberal Democrat/Labour coalition. Later that day David successfully made a coalition with the Lib Dems, a deal they hope will last five years.
Despite the obvious success he achieved in managing to form a government, Cameron has come under criticism for not being able to achieve a more decisive and conclusive victory against a largely unpopular incumbent. Many of his policies have also not been incredibly popular, or have seen a certain amount of criticism or protest; however, much of the criticism seems to have been successfully deflected onto the Lib Dems and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, their leader. It helps that a significant percentage of Lib Dems vote that way precisely because while they may disagree with Labour, they definitely don't want a Conservative government, and were not incredibly impressed by Clegg getting into bed with Cameron (not literally, although a certain amount of Ho Yay has not gone unnoticed). While Cameron and his party might not be the most popular people ever, support for Clegg and the Lib Dems has drastically plummeted as they're increasingly seen to be lapdogs for the Conservatives.
Cameron's generally privileged upbringing has made him a rich source for satire- and class-based attacks on him. Like this. As has his PR background.
David Cameron contains examples of
- Beam Me Up, Scotty: The 'hug a hoodie' fiasco.
- "Call me Dave" has also been claimed to be this.
- Blue Blood: He's descended from an illegitimate child of King William IV - who, it's worth noting, was far from typical in this in that he shocked society by openly living with his mistress and doting on said illegitimate children.
- Boarding School: He attended Eton.
- Catch Phrase: Possibly "What we need to make absolutely clear is..." which he uses about as often as Tony Blair used "in a very real sense".
- He also really likes starting sentences with "Frankly..."
- And has a fondness for inserting "Pure and simple" into his lines.
- He also really likes starting sentences with "Frankly..."
- Cluster F-Bomb: Was reportedly responsible for one after throwing a fork at a mouse in Ten Downing Street, annoyed that Larry the cat (Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office) wasn't doing his job.
- Cold War: As a young man the KGB tried to hire him.
- Deadpan Snarker: As good as Thatcher. Here are some of his best one-liners:
- "Too many twits make a twat." - Expressing his views on Twitter.
- "Nick Clegg." - When asked what his favourite joke was. A journalist reminded him of this when the two held a press conference upon the coalition's formation.
- "When I hear the sound of George Osborne, I reach for my revolver." - Interview with Max Hastings.
- "Next he'll be telling us how much he admires Margaret Thatcher." - On Gordon Brown.
- Everyone Went to School Together: He and Dominic West were together at uni where they both competed for the affections of the future Mrs. Cameron.
- Also at Eton and Oxford with (though not in the same year as) Boris Johnson. (They were in the Bullingdon Club together: this will be pointed out roughly once every issue of Private Eye)
- Perhaps oddly, the trope has been extended in popular belief to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who while an Oxford graduate was not there at the same time as Cameron, and is, in his own words, possibly the only man ever unfairly accused of having gone to Eton (in fact it's said that when he was in the Bullingdon Club he was nicknamed "Oik" because we went to the comparatively 'common' public school St. Paul's). It even extends to the rest of the cabinet - though posh, attending public school is not unknown among Labour either, and one Question Time audience member's dismissal of the government on the basis that 'half [of them] went to Eton' is a tad ridiculous.
- Follow the Leader: On his election to leader of the Conservative Party, many accused him of simply duplicating Tony Blair's PR-friendly manner (and Cameron himself described himself as the 'heir to Blair'). Private Eye memorably summarised this with a cover also parodying the fact that Cameron became leader the same week as the world's first face transplant - it used the headline for the latter event, but showing Blair and Cameron as the 'before and after' pictures.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: During his debates with Gordon Brown at any rate.
- I Am Very British
- Identical Stranger: Doesn't he look rather like John Steed? Seriously!
- He's also been compared to Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation and bears a striking resemblance to early American presidential candidate DeWitt Clinton.
- Insult Backfire: The incident in the run-up to the 2010 election (detailed there and on Misaimed Fandom) in which the Labour party's ads inadvertently supplied free propaganda by portraying Cameron as a sexist, politically-incorrect TV character utterly incompatible with the 21st century. Only problem was, the character in question was Ashes to Ashes' Gene Hunt sitting on his Audi Quattro.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: How else to explain Samantha Cameron's unplanned pregnancy in the run-up to the election?
- Legacy Hero: Often considered to be one of these to Tony Blair, played up by Cameron himself with comments such as 'I am the heir to Blair', especially in the early part of his tenure as opposition leader. Private Eye memorably commemorated his election as opposition leader (which happened in the same week as the world's first face transplant) by using the latter headline above 'before and after' pictures of Blair and Cameron.
- No, You: A surprisingly effective use of this trope when he turned the Argentine government's words back on it and referred to the Argentines claiming the Falklands as "colonialism".
- Old Shame: He apparently views his support of Section 28, a homophobic policy introduced by the Thatcher government, to be this. He's since apologised for it.
- He even recorded a video for the "It Gets Better" video outreach project for suicidal LGBT teens. While there is debate as to the content of his message and quality of his advice (talking to your parents isn't always the best option for LGBT teens after all) even his critics have acknowledged that having the leader of the most right-wing party in the UK endorsing the project is worthy of respect - now if only his USA equivalent could do the same...
- Orwellian Editor: Now, David is a young, new, with-it hip-cat so he's all over this new media. Including some of its less savoury aspects.
- When Tory Edward McMillan-Scot defeated controversial far-right MEP Michal Kaminski and Cameron's coalition's official candidate running for Vice President of the European Parliament, a certain person made 25 rapid edits to Wikipedia from an address in the House of Commons.
- When Gordon Brown made a reference to Titian's age at death, David stood up in the House and mocked him for getting it wrong. His actual date of death isn't known and if anyone rushed to Wikipedia to check, hopefully he got there before a certain someone at Conservative Party Headquarters edited it to agree with Cameron.
- The Conservative Party HQ has since been banned from editing the site.
- While insisting that going to a private school had nothing to do with his decision to pack the shadow cabinet with his privileged fellows, their party websites completely omitted all mention of their education. George Osborne was not educated at St. Paul's, just "in London", Jeremy Hunt went to school "in Surrey" specifically Charterhouse, and Cheryl Gilliam describes Cheltenham Ladies' College as "educated at local schools". Fellow Etonian Oliver Letwin edits out his entire youth and the man himself "worked in business and government". But the 15 or so ministers who did got a state school, they describe this in lavish detail.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Caused controversy by calling the UKIP Party "a bunch of racist fruitcakes" and refused to apologise. Is famous for his rants against Gordon Brown during Prime-Minister's Question Time, at one point telling him "You're not a leader, you're a loser" and also allegedly gave one to Obama over the phone during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
- Incidentally, the first time Obama met him, the president was heard to mutter "What a lightweight".
- Totally Radical
- Upperclass Twit: Unavoidable satirical representation of him. As the grandson of a baronet and great grandson of King William IV (illegitimate, so he's not in line for the throne). Did we mention he went to Eton, that school you had to be registered at at birth? And Oxford, where he joined the Bullingdon Club? I'm sure Labour must have mentioned it on a leaflet somewhere.
- Cameron, like all party leaders, is a regular target for Private Eye, particularly in the comic strip Dave Snooty and his Pals (a spoof of The Beano's Lord Snooty). In the spirit of the Coalition, he shares his text feature, a parody school newsletter, with Nick Clegg.
- Headcases featured Cameron speaking with a distinctively "normal accent" in public and a more "Old Etonian" on in private.