Does it take David Cameron longer to choose his ‘G8 casual look’ than it does to refuse medical staff a pay rise?

That wasn’t the first one that he tried on. Don’t think for a second that it was the first. David would like us to think it was the first. That he just rolled out of bed, took some high power calls (with real authority), picked out a grey jumper and strolled out to the lawn to do some casual, hair-down stuff with a few world leaders. But the real scene was very different. There would be David, Samantha, maybe 2 PR experts, his director of communications and maybe a specially hired fashion political fashion consultant. Laid out on the bed would have been 8-10 jumpers of different colours and shades. At least four different shades of blue would have been visible.

‘Does anyone know what Barrack’s wearing?’

Of course that was the big question. If Barrack wore a dark suit without a tie, casual but not ‘I’m just here to get pissed on free champagne’ casual, then David would suffer by comparison. He might looks like he wasn’t taking things seriously. Even worse, he might look like Michael Gove. One of the PR consultants would have done a quick recce but a flash of a secret service man’s pistol would have sent him straight back. And then there’s the whole pastel minefield. Do you go with a dull grey, dark blue or black or do you take a dip in the dangerous waters of a light pastel green or mauve. The team had to work out whether David could transcend the glass ceiling that separates the cold darkness of Anglo-Saxon chic through to the promise land of Mediterranean pastels. Pastel can be a war zone if you are one tone out. The trapdoor between cosmopolitan fashion icon and aging gigolo is a notoriously fractious one and one in the end that Team Cameron couldn’t afford to chance. Pastel was out. And of course there would be the thorny issue of disco tits. David would have known that anything lighter than the darkest grey might make him perfectly mistakeable for a woman from the head down. Next to Angela Merkel this wouldn’t be a problem but Barrack is a fit man. Toned, lean and statuesque and there was only so much that holding his shoulders up was going to be able to do to compete. One PR consultant might have suggested he wear a tight thermal running top. ‘They are brilliant at pulling male disco tits flat’. But then a thermal top might make him sweat and he couldn’t be seen to look nervous among the world’s political elite. He had to look authoritative. What everyone wanted was a look that said ‘Hey, it’s just Dave and a few mates chillin’ here, move on”.

“Be honest do I look a bit disco-titty?” “No, not at all” everyone lies.

So, after hours of careful deliberation, Team Cameron went with grey.

A question that recently went through my mind was whether it took longer for him to choose this G8 jumper than it took him to make his recent decision not to implement the NHS pay review commissions’ recommendation that medical staff get a 1% pay rise. That wasn’t an easy decision either. There would have to be a weighing up of positives and negatives-

On the plus side NHS staff save people’s lives They are essential public servants Inflation is running at 2%. Since essential NHS staff are living beings they need to eat to survive. And they need to keep warm to survive too. This means paying for food and a home and fuel. This becomes impossible if their wages don’t match inflation. And finally they save lives. It’s been mentioned before but Dave might have thought it particularly relevant in the decision process.

On the minus side They are not Tory donors They are not friends who live in Belize They probably don’t vote Tory If you pay them what they deserve and need then they will function well and a public NHS will function well. If your aim is to strangle the NHS via the withdrawal of funding so that private healthcare firms can see grounds for immediate profit then this is not a good thing

No brainer then. Of course it’s a bit awkward because most people like the NHS and are satisfied with it and they want their essential medical staff paid well. So David would have to give his mate Jeremy a quick call to let him know that he needs to trot out the whole spiel about it being the best way to keep jobs, to remind people about Mid Staffs, to talk about difficult times. And so Jeremy did just that. And as he put the phone down he might have shaken his head in frustration. People didn’t understand how difficult his job was, it wasn’t just A&E nurses who had it hard. Choosing a jumper for meeting with world leaders wasn’t easy either. People don’t always understand the pressures of being a leading MP, that’s why they need an 11% pay rise. And seriously, what a jumper. What a lovely, lovely jumper. Nobody said being an A&E nurse was easy but let’s see how they would manage if you put 11 different pastel jumpers laid out in a bed in front of them and they had to coordinate a team of PR consultants to choose one. ‘Not too bloody well I’ll tell you’ he might have thought to himself.

So which decision took longer?

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