In-depth analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis. What do the public think of the prime minister's tax affairs? Plus Conrad Black on Donald Trump.
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at the end of a couple of rough months.
Where does the Prime Minister stand with his people?
Cameron, the competent Prime Minister who looks the part, and
Cameron the posh boy out of touch. The posh boy who was out of touch, I
agree. Eton posh boy. We'll give you the longer
version of the view And take stock of the
Prime Minister's stock. He's not a far-right candidate
in any sense, he's not pitching it
to the skinheads or the Klan He's an Alf Garnett
cheering on his football team. Working in a central London office
for many years, I became incredibly frustrated with the lack of access
I had to the natural world. One lunch break, I took a sandwich,
stepped into the park next to the office
and shimmied up a tree. But is this man right?
Are we overthinking our happiness? So the hashtag #CameronResign
has been trending all day. Ken Livingstone even
tentatively suggested It's not been the kind of attention
a Prime Minister wants, but we do know that neither Twitter
or Ken Livingstone are entirely representative
of broad public opinion. So what, actually, do the public
think about the Blairmore affair? The headline writers
got the first say, So two questions
on what we've learned about the Prime
Minister this week. One, how does it play,
what do people think about it? And two, do they think
that about him anyway? Has it actually changed
anybody's mind? Well, where better to test public
opinion in an unscientific way So, look, we've got these
two pictures of David Cameron, help me out with this one,
and put this one there. So what do we think
of the Cameron on the left, Character, if anything.
Character? I think he looks slightly out
of touch, power. Out of touch.
Yeah. What about the one on the right?
What's the one on the right? That is kind of, I think,
how he would like you do think of him.
Authoritative. Leader. Which of these two is the more...
Which is the real Cameron? or the Prime Minister looking
policy man on the right? I think more the posh
boy, the Eton lad. Yeah, the one on the
left is more Cameron. Has the story this week
in any way changed your view? and he shouldn't necessarily be
punished just for being privileged. He's that position, and it's
an opportunity that a lot of people would like to be in.
I don't hold it against him. What about you?
Has your view changed? You've read about these
Panama Papers, shares offshore. I think, given what he's supposed
to stand for, what the Tories are supposed to stand for,
I think it's slightly hypocritical. I think he should have closed them
prior to the Panama Papers, because we've talked about that,
we need a fair economy, one society, and we are trying to crack down
on people evading taxes. I really wished he'd
disclosed it sooner, rather than waiting for it
to be out in the open, put in a corner now that he
has to say something about it. Joe? A lot of people jump
on people's backs Perhaps he could have
admitted it earlier. Could have handled it better.
Could have handled it differently. You are, I think, the one who has
the least favourable view of David Cameron,
would you take it You put me in a very difficult
position. Be honest! You think you could make
a little bit of money. If I think about the financial
situation I am in now, I think yeah. That is another side
of it, but financially, From the King and Queen pub
to the king of public opinion, In general, he is viewed
as a competent, safe pair of hands, Perhaps he is viewed
as a strong leader. In general, over the last few
months, there has been a bit It seems to have been more among
Conservatives and Ukip voters, which would suggest that it may be
a case of the referendum and all of the events around
that impacting on his ratings. It's only an scientific snapshot
of public opinion that we have right now on the specifics
of the Cameron admission, but the evidence generally
is that it has been a fraught few One YouGov poll did put
Jeremy Corbyn's approval rating That was actually this week
rather than since last night. Significant?
A real change occurring? Let's talk to Ayesha Hazarika,
the former Labour advisor. and Mail on Sunday columunist
Rachel Johnson. Let's just start on public opinion,
how do you think it is playing? Well, I think people have priced it
into how they view Cameron. I think most people do think he is quite
true to the Nadine Dorries, posh boy that does not know the price of
milk. I think they are not surprised at the fact that his father was very
wealthy, they are not surprised that his father's name came up in those
papers, and they are not really surprised that this has happened. I
think people have been surprised by the incompetence with which Cameron
has handled this. As a former PR specialist, to have denied something
four or five times and then had to admitted... Or evaded it. A lot of
the public and people I have spoken to who have been running focus
groups, it ties up with what your own we focus group found out. The
public think it is not great, but they have priced it into their
overall impression of Cameron. I think this is playing extremely
badly with the public, but that is because it is entirely of his own
making. Why didn't he come clean at the beginning of the week and
admitted had this ?30,000, instead of saying it is a private matter?
And then saying he has had no shares in the future. And then backtracking
on that, and then getting aggressive, saying put up or shut
up, then having to come clean. As you say, a terrible PR move. Let's
separate the PR from it for a moment, the essence of the issue,
Rachel, mountain or molehill? It is definitely a molehill that has been
turned into a mountain, but David Cameron has mounted the foothills
himself. As you say, not getting all the bad news out, and then quickly
moving on. How did this happen? What went wrong? He is a PR guy. One of
the big mistakes they have made as well, all the things that Suzanne
said, but it is very hurtful for his family and very upsetting for his
father and all, but he did not take the same approach with Ed Miliband.
With his brother, his father, anyone who had met Ed was fair game. There
is a sort of double standard, his PR handling, and also the cover-up, it
seems worse than what is happening. I don't actually agree. I think the
fact that the pictures of Ian Cameron have been displayed
alongside pictures of Putin and Poroshenko and Gaddafi, every
kleptocratic and mention, has actually, I think the public find
that rather distressing... Do you find it distressing? I think the
public and stand that he does, and the reason that he, for the wrong
reasons, killed the story, because he could not bear his father's name
being dragged through the mud. Suzanne. He didn't kill the story,
he it running. Can I make a point? Some newspaper said that Ed
Miliband's dad hated Britain, so I think there are double standards. Do
you think this is game changing in terms of the perceptions of the
party? Is it going to be big? Another occasions people might have
thought something big was going to happen. We experienced something
with the phone hacking in the Labour Party, when this happens, you can
have the feeling that this will be game changing, and I think it will
have a profound effect on the local elections, on the London elections,
and possibly for the EU referendum. Fast forward to 2020, will it be an
issue that moves the needle? I don't think it will. I think it will move
the needle on the Brexit campaign, because towards the end of the week
what happened was an attempt to deflect personal attention away from
him, but we get this announcement of this piece of EU propaganda, this
leaflet that the Government, having said it will not