08/04/2016 Newsnight


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