Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Then came Cameron. And the amateurs had won after all

Related Topics

"It is a new evening, is it not?" To paraphrase Tony Blair. Last night, after Gordon Brown's resignation, we saw David Cameron driving to the Palace straight into a meteorological metaphor. After a long, patchy afternoon and a dull evening, the sun suddenly came out in that way it can, and flooded the scene from behind. A rainbow appeared.

A rainbow! On cue! Ready when you are Mr de Mille! A rainbow appeared behind Buckingham Palace saying that a higher authority had agreed a covenant with the British people that never again would... you should complete that sentence in your own time. And then a heavenly chorus swelled slowly and (no, hang on, that can't be right). What had happened?

Gordon Brown had resigned in a full and final settlement. Initially it was possible to scan it for wriggle room. "I've informed the Queen's Private Secretary that it's my intention to tender my resignation." There are two soft steps in that sentence. Blair could have turned into a 10-year mandate for government. "In the event the Queen accepts" – that's another one. The Queen might argue him out of it, in the national interest, for the sake of global stability and the young mother I met in Harrogate...

Ah, but then Brown was wishing the next prime minister well. Wishing him well. That was the end, then. That was straight. That was a very decent thing to say. It wasn't true, looking back on it, but it was well said.

"Only those who have held the office of Prime Minister can understand..." he went on. Now that was true. It's like the old maxim: "It doesn't matter whom you marry because it always turns out to be someone else." It's the problem of power. You start like a fresh-faced idealist with generous hair and you end up, quite suddenly, with a tortoise-like head and neck pushing out of your collar (Tony Blair, you must have noticed).

"I have been privileged to learn about the best in human nature and much about its frailties, including myself," he said, smiling in the right place.

Admirers of Gordon Brown (who will have multiplied overnight) will scourge the cynical for saying things like this. But if Gordon will write a proper book about the frailties in himself which his premiership has exposed he will deserve a place in heaven.

"Thank you and goodbye." That was an odd ending to a well-received speech, He's only going up the road, after all. I'm sure we'll see more of him. It isn't... the end of the world. It isn't the Apocalypse.

His lot will be back soon enough, no doubt, let's not make a crisis out of a drama.

Then, Cameron. Good Lord. The amateurs won after all. They beat the professionals. His speech outside the Downing St door made his pitch. The elderly, frail, vulnerable. Bit of freedom and fairness. The Tory-hating section of society will have climaxed in their loathing at these words. Personally, from my occasional encounters with him, dating from 2001, Cameron has always seemed a decent, public-spirited, one-Nation sort of Tory who has been bred in the Treasury.

Then there was the husbandly touch around his wife's mid-section – it's an ambiguous area when your wife is pregnant – it became a little uncertain, and therefore the object of comment. Oh, it's a new day all right.

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas