Hit or Miss - David Cameron apologises for not foreseeing the recession

Sorry state David Cameron's 'apology' last Friday for his party's failure to anticipate the recession was widely interpreted as a PR wheeze, designed to highlight Gordon Brown's unwillingness to issue an apology.

'Of course I am sorry we got some things wrong,' said the Tory leader. The PM responded this Tuesday by telling The Guardian he accepted 'full responsibility for all my actions, but we're dealing with a bigger problem that is global in nature'.

How I see it

Charles Lewington, MD, Hanover Communications

Elton John may have said sorry is the 'hardest word' but that's not David Cameron's opinion. Deploying the 's' word when you haven't been responsible for any great misdemeanour is, in fact, pretty easy. It was a neat win-win because it secured a tactical advantage over a PM who is stubbornly refusing to 'fess up to his economic mistakes. In one respect, it's a sad reflection of lobby journalists' obsession with tactics that a politician can be feted for apologising for holding an incorrect opinion. But this put Gordon Brown on the back foot, forcing him into a half-apology a few days later. I don't buy the theory that this was a strategically significant moment on the path to power, signalling the type of 'honest Dave' PM he might turn out to be. It was, however, a smart media play worthy of Tony Blair.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in