Cameron’s Hurt Locker
It is a tale of David and Goliath proportions. A juggernaut stopped in its tracks and trounced, gloriously, by the underdog. News that Hurt Locker has defeated Avatar at this year’s Oscars is warming to all of us who like to believe that the ‘little man’ is capable of victory against seemingly insurmountable odds. All that money spent on marketing, lobbying and PR, it seems, could not sway the Academy jury in James Cameron’s direction.
Here in Britain, of course, another Cameron is in a spot of bother for his over-enthusiasm for high-budget marketing. The revelations about Ashcroft’s tax status are not that revelatory but they are, make no mistake, very damaging to David Cameron’s Conservatives. Alongside the powerful rhetoric about radically redistributing power to the masses, Cameron has been relying on the distinctly old-fashioned power of the oligarchs to finance all those shiny and much derided poster campaigns. Yes, Labour receives money from tax-avoiding billionaires too. But, as the establishment (the Goliath of this blog), we expect them to be stuck in the past. If it is change we want, and it is change we have been promised by Cameron, then we desire a political leadership that embodies it in their behaviour rather than simply calling for it from a pulpit.
There is nothing that Cameron can now do to assuage the very real disappointment that this sordid affair has caused his supporters. The past is done and is unalterable. But as when he was finally confronted with the reality of his MPs’ greed during the expenses scandal, he must now act swiftly, and brutally, to repair some of the damage. It is time to wave goodbye to the Belizean billionaire and, indeed, to his cash. If Hurt Locker could trounce the moneyed blue tribes-people of Hollywood’s most expensive morality tale, the Conservatives can win without un-taxed millions. Cameron needs to face Britain confident in his ability to defeat the establishment, embodying the change that he advocates and rinsed clean of the kind of financial scandals that men like Ashcroft always leave in their wake. Otherwise he risks the same fate as his American namesake, with money in the bank but having roundly missed the prize.