Daily Archives: July 25, 2008

Gideon Rachman

The British papers are full of excited commentary about the Glasgow East by-election and last night’s catastrophic defeat for the Labour Party. But it seems to me the really significant event in British politics yesterday was news of the theft of David Cameron’s bike.

Opinion is divided on the meaning of the bike theft. My colleague Stefan Stern thinks that the photo of the Tory leader searching for his bike made him look foolish – “That little boy lost look rather undermined the more statesman-like image he has been trying so hard to create.” On the other hand, Mary Cunningham (well-known commenter on this blog) reckons that it will cement Cameron’s image as “one of us”.

I think I’m with Mary on this one. The bike theft incident has it all. It underlines that Cameron really does cycle around London. He is also revealed as someone who shops at Tesco’s on his way home from work – and as a victim of street crime. What could be more normal than that? In fact, it’s so perfect that I wondered whether Tory Central Office might not have arranged the bicycle theft. I put this to a colleague who used to work there, who responded – “They couldn’t manage to do anything as organised as that.” Read more