Rebecca Tyrrel: 'By 2020, the hope is that Britain will have a politician named Street Downing'

 

Share
Related Topics

Who knew that there is a member of the US House of Representatives by the name of David Camp who may yet pioneer an exciting variation on the idea of "nominative determinism", or "cognomen syndrome" as Tom Stoppard coined it in his play Jumpers.

This of course is the idea that a person's destiny is shaped by their name. Everyone is aware of the boxer Tyson Fury and the present Lord Chief Justice Igor Judge, while experts in the field also cite David Snowman, the author on the effects of climate change on the polar regions.

This Republican congressman from Michigan, however, is the first recorded guinea pig for the concept of reverse nominative determinism. The crucial question is whether he can become US President, and end up starring in the headline "David Camp flies to Camp David".

The nomen omens are mixed. Mr Camp is the chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, a powerful position on Capitol Hill from which three men (James Polk, Millard Philmore, and most recently William McKinley, poor fellow, who was assassinated in 1901) went on to occupy the Oval Office, long before Camp David in the mountains of Maryland became the official presidential retreat in 1942.

On the other hand, Mr Camp is nearly 60, and was treated last year for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Although he has since announced that the treatment worked and he is free of cancer, John McCain's two episodes of melanoma added to the doubts about the wisdom of electing him.

If Mr Camp does make it to the White House, it will not be for a while since he would probably need to spend some time in the Senate first. The hope is that, by 2020, an as yet unknown British politician by the name of Street Downing will have become prime minister, and will be his official guest at Camp David.

If not, he may still have time for a conventionally nominative determinist career. The congressman, who was educated at Sussex University in the 1970s, and will be familiar with the glory days of Wonderful Radio 1, is better known as Dave Lee Camp. With a name hinting so strongly at a hybrid between DLT and the late Alan "Fluff" Freeman, he could yet become a Harry Enfield character.

Either way, to borrow from both a previous president, Ronald Reagan, and Smashy and Nicey, when it comes to David Camp you ain't seen nothing yet.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
George Osborne appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, 5 July 2015  

George Osborne says benefits should be capped at £20,000 to meet average earnings – but working families take home £31,500

Ellie Mae O'Hagan
The BBC has agreed to fund the £650m annual cost of providing free television licences for the over-75s  

Osborne’s assault on the BBC is doing Murdoch’s dirty work

James Cusick James Cusick
Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high