David Cameron had a bad week last week. A particularly bad week. Hardly anything to be surprised or worked up around, other than the demonstration of two spectacularly myopic character traits that epitomise just what is wrong with his brand of crony Toryism.
Let's start with the judicial criticism. After the conviction of Andy Coulson, Cameron clearly decided to make as blatant a hand-washing exercise as he could; whether or not he was wise to do so is a call as to whether his reputation trumps the justice system. While Coulson had been convicted on some of the hacking activity, there were still outstanding verdicts due and it is quite inappropriate for a Prime Minister to express a view when this is ongoing. Now the taxpayer funds a further trail to determine whether these charges stick as any conviction could have been unsafe. Clever man.
And then his "bad day for Europe" with the elevation of M. Juncker to the EU Presidency. Had Cameron not been playing to the gallery and the frightening Kippers, he might have reflected on a sensible course of action. Given that once Merkel had been manoeuvred into doing the EPP's bidding he was effectively on his own, it would have been better to abstain or at least shut up during the final voting, increasing leverage when it comes to the distribution of Commissioner portfolios later in the year. Einstein strikes back.
The PR/intern/political hackery route, beloved of all the political parties, leads politicians to make such bad calls. To get it so wrong on so broad a canvass takes an arrogant stupidity. If the left has any guts it will make these points time after time over the next year - that a foolish egotism is exactly the kind of messianic hubris that led Blair into the arms of Bush and the Middle East towards perdition.